MFC 29: Marcus Davis vs. Kajan Johnson booked for April 8 on HDNet

Already sporting a talent-rich lightweight roster, the Maximum Fighting Championship has added one of the division’s most powerful strikers, and a fighter who has targeted big finishes in fan-favorite encounters.

Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis has signed a multi-fight deal with the Maximum Fighting Championship, and will make his much-anticipated debut when S.L. Feldman’s & Associates presents MFC 29: Conquer at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Friday, April 8. Tickets for the event go on sale at Noon ET on Friday, March 4 at http://www.caesarswindsor.com and The Colosseum box office.

Davis (17-8) is expected to meet the livewire “Ragin” Kajan Johnson (18-11-1) in one of the featured matchups that will air live on HDNet Fights.

The Bangor , Maine , product and member of Team Sityodtong already feels like he has found a home in the MFC which prides itself in pushing the entertainment envelope.

“I feel I’m sort of the Nostradamus of MMA,” explained Davis . “When I started in the sport I was talking to boxing magazines and told them that MMA was going to take over boxing. They said I was crazy but it happened.”

“I feel the same about being in the MFC. (Owner/President) Mark Pavelich has done a very good job not only developing his brand but also developing his fighters. That’s why I made the choice I did.

 

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David Branch preps for toughest test

By Frank Curreri

Facing off against a crushing leg lock specialist like Rousimar Palhares is fraught with risk, but it’s a cakewalk compared to UFC fighter David Branch’s previous job. The gregarious New Yorker endured more than four years as an iron worker, widely regarded as one of America’s most dangerous and deadliest professions.

“It’s hard as hell, man. I worked on some of the highest buildings in New York City, walking beams,” said the 29-year-old Branch, who lives in the same rough Brownsville, New York, neighborhood that produced boxing icon “Iron” Mike Tyson. “You’ve got to climb, grind and haul heavy materials and boxes up and down stairs. It’s a very difficult job.”

Every work day – following a night of intense MMA practices — Branch would rise at 5 a.m., and usually climb atop a towering steel beam by 7:30 a.m. He might be situated 30 stories or higher in the sky.

“I would sit on top of a building and look around at all of New York City,” he said. “I’d say to myself, ‘There’s got to be a better way. This is not me.’

 

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Dana White: “Fedor Emelianenko Looks Old and It’s Over”

By Tom Ngo

Although Dana White held UFC 127 this past Saturday in Australia, and is hosting a freebie fight card this Thursday in Kentucky, the Octagon president had more than enough time on his hands to drop his two cents on Fedor Emelianenko.

According to the brash promoter, the Russian’s best days are well in his rear-view mirror and his fanboys simply need to live in the now.

“His fans just need to deal with it. Deal with the fact that he’s not one of the best in the world. It’s over,” White matter of factly told MMAFighting. “All that was back in 2005. It’s not 2005 anymore.

“Guy’s been inactive, hasn’t fought anybody good in a long time. He looks old and it’s over. It is what it is.”

White has tried to recruit Emelianenko to fight inside of his Octagon for years to no avail. To him, Fedor will always be the one that got away. It appears his heartbreak has quickly subsided since “The Last Emperor” was finished in his last two outings.

 

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The Return of Bellator

By Jesse Zavala

Bellator Fighting Chamionships will make its return to the world come March 5th with what is set to be the biggest and most promising season in the promotion’s short four year career. After a slew of problems plagued the Fox Sports broadcasts in seasons two and three, CEO Bjorn Rebney secured a tremendous partnership with pop culture giant MTV2 to air its events live every Saturday night for the next three years. Bellator seems intent on going hard or going home, but one look at the upcoming schedule and it’s obvious this won’t be easy.

Bellator 35 kicks off the season in Lemoore, California at the Tachi Palace Casino and Resort with the quarter finals of the welterweight tournament and makes a hell of an introduction to the Jersey Shore audience with top talent like Jay Hieron , Dan Hornbuckle, and women’s 115 lbs. champion Zoila Frausto in a non-title bout. However, let’s not forget Strikeforce’s big contribution to the Arnold Sports Festival in Ohio is taking place that very same night. Strikeforce: Feijao vs Henderson features title defenses of both the light-heavyweight and women’s welterweight belts with Raphael Cavalcante vs. Dan Henderson and Marloes Coenen vs Liz Carmouche inside the Nationwide Arena, factor in the momentum garnered from the Strikeforce World Grand Prix and this makes for a rough start to Bellator’s 2011.

 

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Tim Kennedy’s Doomsday Scenario

By Steven Kelliher

Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy recently spoke with Tapology’s Steven Kelliher to articulate his thoughts on some negative trends in MMA and his hope for the future.

Kennedy last saw action six months ago when he made an unsuccessful bid for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship belt currently held by RonaldoJacare” Souza. Since coming out on the wrong side of a somewhat controversial Unanimous Decision, Kennedy has expressed frustration over his opponent’s defensive approach to the fight.

“I was actually more disappointed with the way he wasn’t fighting me,” Kennedy said about Souza. “The numbers that we put up in five rounds—I think Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard put those same numbers up in one round.”

While personal experience undoubtedly influences Kennedy’s thoughts on the matter, the aggressive fighter fears that fighting to decisions is a trend that could do real damage to the sport, irrespective of intelligent arguments made by more conservative fighters.

 

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Ronaldo Jacaré talks next challenges, Feijão vs Henderson and ADCC 2011

By Erik Engelhart

Strikeforce middleweight champion, Ronaldo Jacare defended his belt title for the first time with a finishing the tough Robbie Lawler with a rear naked choke. The tough guy can’t wait to return to the cage and is thinking about fighting Braulio Estima at ADCC, in September. On an exclusive interview given to TATAME, the Brazilian talked about the expectations for his next belt defense, commented the fight with Braulio and betted that Dan Henderson won’t last five rounds with Rafael Feijao, who, in Ronaldo’s opinion, should be called “The Shark”. Check below the exclusive chat with the champion.

You’ll be on a super fight at ADCC against Braulio Estima, who you’ve beaten at World of 2005. How are your expectations for this bout?
I’m hoping to do a good fight with Braulio, even because he’s on an excellent phase, he’s improved a lot both physically and technically, and I want to fight him. I’ve fought him before but it won’t hurt to do it again.

Are you doing a specific training for this fight? Your MMA trainings disturb you from preparing yourself?
No. Of course it disturbs me from focusing, I can’t deny it. I want to fight really badly, but I have to check my calendar. My priority now is MMA, but that’s a good opportunity for Braulio to try to beat me at least once (laughs).

 

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Fitch says he won the fight, Dana strongly disagrees

By Fighters Only

Jon Fitch has sat down and watched his UFC 127 fight with BJ Penn – and thinks the judges should have awarded him the win rather than declaring the fight to be a draw.

“Finally watched the fight back myself. First [round] draw and I won [round] 2 and 3. I will prove myself if I must. But I know I won that fight,” he wrote on The Underground.

“Much respect to BJ. He is the legend I thought he was. I think that was the best BJ any of us have ever seen.”

Unfortunately for Fitch, UFC president Dana White shot his performance to bits after the event and said he believed Penn should have been awarded the win.

“Fitch is one of these guys that goes, ‘Oh, I want my respect,’” White said. “He just fought a 155-pound guy and went to a draw with him and in my opinion, he lost the first two rounds – and he’s crying for a title shot?

“Personally, I scored the first two rounds for Penn and had him winning the fight. There’s no doubt B.J. got pounded in the third round, but that wasn’t a 10-8 round. You’ve got to get in there and decisively beat people. You have to have fans clamouring for you to fight for the title.”

 

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Admin Note: I scored the fight also. Jon Fitch clearly won that fight.

Attention Goes to UFC 127 Drama, but Praise Belongs With Brian Ebersole

By Mike Chiappetta

Let’s put the UFC 127 controversy and arguments away for a little while, just long enough to celebrate someone deserving of some praise. Can we do that? I mean, it’s easy to focus on the negative, but shouldn’t we give equal time to the people who beat the odds? That’s why we watch sports, isn’t it? To watch people win, to overcome obstacles, and celebrate the triumph of the human will.

We get enough negativity in this lifetime from the regular news, yet in the sports world, the victory of Brian Ebersole is buried under the headlines of Michael Bisping spitting, and the disputed draw between BJ Penn and Jon Fitch.

Ebersole was never going to have an easy time stealing the limelight from those guys. Despite a career spent in the trenches, he was not well known by anyone other than the hardest of the hardcore fans. Walking in to his fight with Chris Lytle, Ebersole was a major underdog, particularly fighting on short notice as a replacement for the injured Carlos Condit.

But Ebersole performed brilliantly under the adverse conditions. He frustrated Lytle with his unconventional style, hurt him badly with a flush knee to the chin, and stifled most of Lytle’s considerable offensive skills.

When it was all said and done, Ebersole — a self-proclaimed MMA journeyman who had fought in places far and wide, from Australia to South Africa to Japan to Mexico — had his first UFC win at the age of 30.

 

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Strikeforce’s Masvidal on Evangelista: “I’m going to kick his ass, man”

By Derek Bolender

Jorge Masvidal has been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride of late. The 26-year-old Miami native is an even 3-3 in his past six contests.

The good news for Masvidal (20-6 MMA, 2-0 SF) is he will soon get a fresh start in his second career stint with the Strikeforce promotion.

“I had some inconsistency, so I just want to clear that up and get on the right track, get in the winning circle,” Masvidal recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).

Masvidal agrees, to a certain extent, that a lack of focus has attributed to his recent ups and downs.

“I’ve always been focused,” he said. “I just focus sometimes on the wrong things like my weight cutting and stuff, taking fights on short notice, things like that. I’m ready this year to do my thing.”

His first test in 2011 comes in the form of the undefeated Billy Evangelista (11-0 MMA, 7-0 SF) on the main card of “Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson” this Saturday, March 5. Showtime broadcasts the event from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

 

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Vitor Belfort hints at May match-up with Michael Bisping

By Brendhan Conlan

The unsportsmanlike actions of Michael Bisping at UFC 127 during/after his bout with Jorge Rivera resonated strongly with a number of people both in attendance and watching at home. It appears one of those individuals happened to be a former promotional champ known for his knockout power among other things.

Vitor Belfort took to his Twitter account Sunday night and expressed his interest in acting as Bisping’s next opponent saying he was on his way to Las Vegas and looking forward to facing “The Count” in May.

“I’d really like to fight Bisping,” the Brazilian striker wrote on his page of the potential showdown.

While no specific event was mentioned and nothing has been made official the only May 2011 PPV is UFC 130 over Memorial Day weekend. However, the main card already appears to be full including a headlining title-bout between Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard as well as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Hamill and Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson. Perhaps a more likely possibility, UFC 131 is set for June 4 and seemingly has a bit more flexibility with only a few significant pairings in place thus far.

 

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Bisping awaits White call over possible suspension

By ESPN

All eyes are on UFC president Dana White after Jorge Rivera‘s camp called for Michael Bisping to be suspended following the incidents that occurred at UFC 127.

Bisping beat Rivera by second-round stoppage on Saturday, but only after he had driven an illegal knee into the American‘s head. The Briton later celebrated in front of Rivera’s camp, who claim he spat in their direction.

The accusation is firmly denied by Bisping, who insists he merely went over to show what he thought of them after several pre-fight videos that abused the Brit, but that has not stopped Rivera’s Alchemist Management calling for a fine and suspension.

“Michael Bisping’s conduct in the Octagon at UFC 127 was unconscionable, unprofessional, and smacks of a man with no morals or character,” read the statement.

 

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Phil Baroni weighs in for Bisping

By Fighters Only

Phil Baroni has thrown his support behind Michael Bisping and says the British welterweight was under no obligation to be on friendly terms with Jorge Rivera after their UFC 127 fight.

Bisping was involved in heated scenes following the fight, arguing with Rivera and Rivera’s corner team and spitting in the direction of one of them.

Baroni says, “Bisping kicked Rivera’s ass after a bad blood, bitter rival pre-fight campaign instigated by Rivera and his camp. Why does Mike have to kiss and make up with Rivera after he smashes him? Why?

Mike beat his ass broke him physically and even more mentally. Case closed. They had annomisity and hatred for each other prefight. If you want to talk shit prefight, insult, make videos, etc in order to promote yourself, the fight or whatever that’s your choice.

But after the guy kicks your ass he don’t have to be you be your best friend and hug it out with you. Don’t expect it to be water under the bridge especially after a one-sided affair.”

 

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Alexander set for Irvin rematch

By Hakon

Houston Alexander is set for a rematch with James Irvin in the co-main event at the upcoming ‘Shark Fights 14’.

Alexander managed an impressive second round TKO victory over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in his last fight.

Alexander said: “I am definitely looking forward to fighting under the Shark Fights banner again. Shark Fights is a class act organization and take a lot of pride in putting the fighters and the fans first, and I have to say that Texas is home to some of the greatest MMA fans on the planet.

“At Shark Fights 13 the fans came out in full force to support the fighters and show their love for the sport. We do what we do for the fans, so it’s always great to fight in Texas! I am more than ready for this fight. When I step into the cage with Irvin, it’s on! Fans will not be disappointed.”

 

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Paul Daley: Fighting his way back

By Ben Lettman

A resurgent Paul Daley returns home

ARGUABLY BRITAIN’S best mixed martial artist, Paul Daley returns to the octagon on February 26 as he fights for the BAMMA (British Associations of Mixed Martial Arts) welterweight title against Yuya Shirai at the MEN Arena.

However, the 27-year-old’s future in MMA looked uncertain after his ill-tempered bout with Josh Koscheck last May which resulted in him being banished from the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) for punching Koscheck after the fight as the American’s back was turned.

Since his actions at UFC 113 Daley has thrived, recording three straight wins and the Nottingham native conveyed to the Voice of Sport that you do not have to be in the UFC to be amongst the elite in the sport.

“I just want the other fighters out there on smaller shows trying to get up to the UFC to know it’s not only the UFC. You can’t let one person control the whole sport. There’s other ways that you can survive in the sport and do what you love doing and still be a professional as your day-to-day thing without going to the UFC. There are opportunities out there.”

 

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Martin Kampmann: “I Want To Get Back to Knocking People Out”

By Damon Martin

Through 11 fights in the UFC, Martin Kampmann has picked up a lot of victories a lot of different ways, but now he’s ready to try out a new one.

As he trained for his fight against Diego Sanchez in the main event of UFC on Versus 3 in Louisville, Ky., this week, Kampmann learned a valuable lesson from his last fight that he wants to carry into this one.

Kampmann lost a razor close decision to current top contender Jake Shields last year. He blames himself for the outcome, and promises it will never happen again.

“I did a lot of mistakes in that fight. I think I could of won it, and it was basically giving it away, through my mistakes. I was trying to hard to submit him and I should have just stuck to punching him in the face instead,” Kampmann told MMAWeekly Radio recently.

 

 

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