Nightmare of Battle found this great footage from a Japanese TV channel of Satoshi Ishii’s visit to Las Vegas at UFC 92. Ishii trains a little with Stephan Bonnar at the Ultimate Fighter set, and later with Randy at Xtreme Couture. Randy seems to have a high opinion of him, so perhaps we’ll be seeing a new contender in the heavyweight division down the line. I’m still a little skeptical, but I thought the same thing about Brock Lesnar, so who knows.
In terms of the number of high-profile fights, UFC 92 easily surpassed any other UFC event in 2008, but it was never expected to surpass the juggernaut of money-makers that was UFC 91 in pay-per-view buys. Not even close actually.
For those of you wondering how Wanderlei Silva is doing following his loss last Saturday night, here’s a video interview with him at his after party. No need to worry, he appears to be fine. In fact, you can’t even tell he was on the wrong end of a brutal knockout only hours before. As for what’s next for Wandy, nearly everybody that has written about it has said it’s time for Wandy to move to middleweight, but judging by his responses in the interview it doesn’t sound like he’s too interested. Sticking with his desire to fight at big events, Wandy hopes to make a July return at UFC 100, and if everything falls his way, he wants a rematch with Rampage, and is even open to a fifth fight between the two. That’s one hell of a rivalry. Of course, the UFC will likely want to have a say in Wandy’s plans now, so we’ll have to wait and see.
RawVegas also interviewed Chuck Liddell (after the jump), and if you were wondering why Chuck looked disappointed on the pay-per-view broadcast, it’s because he was apparently going to fight Wandy again if he had won. If the UFC still wants to make that fight, I don’t see why they shouldn’t. They’re both coming off losses…again. As I mentioned above, Wandy wants to wait till July to fight again and Chuck wants to fight in March or April, so it’s pretty safe to say Chuck will be fighting someone else. Who will that be? I don’t know, but Michael Rome made a list of likely candidates that’s worth checking out.
Quick Update: Dana White on Liddell’s next opponent:
“If (Mauricio Rua) Shogun defeats Mark Coleman in Ireland, it could be Shogun — or it could be Wanderlei (Silva),” said White.
Chuck after the jump.
The NSAC has released the fighter payouts for UFC 92 “The Ultimate 2008.” Keep in mind, these figures represent the base contracted pay the fighter receives from the promotion. These figures do not include any additional “locker room” bonuses or sponsorship money, which in many cases exceeds a fighter’s base pay. These numbers also do not account for taxes, insurance, and license fees.
Satoshi Ishii made the rounds this weekend at UFC 92 meeting Dana White and Randy Couture. According to MMA Fighting, White suggested to Ishii to start training at either Xtreme Couture or AKA (surprisingly), however, when Ishii asked about Russia (he was considering Fedor’s Red Devil team), White (not surprisingly) told him, “If you are serious about MMA, Russia is not the place you should go.” White also offered Ishii the opportunity to be a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter. Wouldn’t that be a dirty trick. Give up millions for peanuts on a worn-out reality show.
Reality show or not, it definitely looks like the UFC is making a move for Ishii considering they issued this press release announcing they’re in “exclusive negotiations.”
Earlier this month, Mr. Ishii decided that he wished to start his MMA career in the United States, and that his dream was to fight in the UFC. He made his choice to negotiate with UFC last night after watching UFC 92.
“I was impressed with the training programs here in Las Vegas and the UFC event,” said Mr. Ishii. “I am looking forward to working with the UFC and to developing my mixed martial arts skills.”
“Satoshi Ishii has the potential to be very successful in mixed martial arts,” said Dana White, UFC President. “We can’t wait to start working with Mr. Ishii, we look forward to helping him with his training, his career, and his eventual debut in a professional fight.”
Zach Arnold thinks the UFC is trying to send K-1 a message. I can’t say I disagree. Can you remember the last time the UFC issued a press release just to announce they’re negotiating with someone? I can’t.
MMA Junkie has been posting news and announcements today from the post-fight press conference. Here’s a quick rundown.
- Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson will headline UFC 95. Pretty weak for a main event. Sorry London.
- Thales Leites will “probably” challenge Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 97.
- Rampage Jackson challenging newly crowned UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Rashad Evans “makes sense,” according to Dana, but no official decision has been made yet. Rampage would rather fight Forrest.
- Not from the press conference, but MMA Weekly is reporting Keith Jardine will be fighting at UFC 96 on March 7, however, his opponent will not be Chuck Liddell.
- MMA Weekly is also reporting Forrest Griffin broke his hand during the fight.
More press-conference videos after the jump.