Strikeforce: Big Foot brushes up grappling with Shaolin and Co.

By Marcelo Dunlop

Heavyweight Antonio “Big Foot” Silva and his team don’t want to hear of any surprises coming from Fedor Emelianenko on the ground this coming weekend, and they paid a visit to our GMA-affiliate academies.

Before the Strikeforce GP, the first stage of which happens this Saturday, Pezão went to train at Vitor Shaolin’s Jiu-Jitsu academy in New York.

The training session included stalwart fighters like Benrei, Carlos Augusto, Guto Inocente, “Big Foot”, Vitor “Shaolin”, Marcos “Loro”, Gabriel Miglioli, and Alex Davis.

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Condit in doubt for UFC 127


Welterweight contender Carlos (The Natural Born Killer) Condit is on the verge of withdrawing from his UFC 127 bout against Chris Lytle, sources tell Sportsnet.

Condit (26-5) has apparently suffered a knee injury and it looks as if it will hamper his performance in the bout.

While many fighters often compete at less than 100 per cent, this situation would have Condit at a massive disadvantage.

He is coming off a first-round knockout performance against Dan Hardy at UFC 120 and was hoping to continue his trek up the welterweight rankings vs. Lytle, who is riding a four-fight winning streak, the last against former welterweight champion Matt Serra at UFC 119.


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Fabricio Werdum: I’ve Watched Fedor Fight 1,000 Times

By Mike Chiappetta

NEW YORK — It was the best night of his life as a mixed martial artist, so you might not be surprised to learn that Fabricio Werdum has spent many a night (and day) re-living his June victory over the legendary Fedor Emelianenko.

In fact, at a Wednesday press conference to publicize Saturday’s kickoff to the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, Werdum got one of the day’s biggest laughs when he responded to a question about how often he’s watched the victory.

“No joking, maybe 1,000 times,” he said. “No joke. I watch it all the time at home. I watch it on the internet. I like it It’s good for me. I’m not joking. Really, 1,000 times, maybe more.”

Prior to the start of the press conference, a pair of monitors displayed the fight, and true to form, Werdum watched intently as he locked on the fight-ending triangle, a smile crossing his face as Emelianenko tapped.

The win snapped a nine-and-a-half-year unbeaten streak for the Russian legend.

Since then, Werdum (14-4-1) had elbow surgery and has apparently basked in the enjoyment of the historic victory, but now he moves on to the next phase of his career, trying to continue the forward momentum.

He’ll face Alistair Overeem in the first round of the tournament in April. That will be a rematch of a 2006 fight, which Werdum won via submission.


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Japan Still Possible for Strikeforce Grand Prix Date

By Mike Chiappetta

NEW YORK — With its anticipated Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament just days away from beginning, Strikeforce and its emboldened CEO Scott Coker are still entertaining the possibility of hosting its April event in Japan.

After a press conference for Saturday’s show to be held at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Coker said he planned to continue working to make the Japan event a reality, though time is running short.

“I think I’m going to give it one more week, and then if not, we’ll make an arrangement here,” Coker said.

Coker, who put the odds of a Japan event as “50/50,” also discussed states that could possibly hold the event if Japan falls through.

Saying he had 8-10 state commissions who would welcome Josh Barnett to fight pending a passed drug test, Coker named Georgia, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma as possible destinations for the first-round event that would host Barnett against Brett Rogers and Alistair Overeem against Fabricio Werdum.

Barnett remains unlicensed in the US coming off a failed drug test prior to a scheduled Affliction event in August 2009.

It seems clear that Coker’s preference is to stage the event in Japan, where Overeem and Barnett are big stars from their time in PRIDE. One issue complicating the proceedings is that the venue that Strikeforce would like to run — the Saitama Super Arena — is unavailable.


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UFC 129’s Challengers – Jake Shields

By Thomas Gerbasi

When the list of people you’ve beaten includes the names Martin Kampmann, Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, Dave Menne, Yushin Okami, Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, Carlos Condit, Jason Miller and Paul Daley, it’s safe to say that you’ve been in some big fights.

But Jake Shields knows that his April 30th challenge of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will be unlike any other.

“Without a doubt it will be the biggest,” said Shields, the number one contender at 170 pounds. “Fights don’t get much bigger than this.”

Don’t mistake that observation for intimidation though. Shields has been doing this sort of thing for 11 years now, and he has 26 wins to show for it. In fact, he hasn’t lost since 2005, a string covering 15 bouts. So it’s unlikely that 40,000 Canadians screaming for their hero will rattle the California product.

“You try not to think about the crowd,” he said. “It’s just gonna be me and Georges in that cage, so it doesn’t matter how many people are gonna be in the audience.”

St-Pierre is quite the handful in the Octagon though, and if his own winning streak (eight) and five title defenses aren’t enough, consider that he hasn’t lost as much as a round since August of 2007. Yet during that time, Shields, who was collecting title belts in the Elite XC and Strikeforce organizations, always had an eye on the pride of Montreal while envisioning a future fight.

“This is the fight I’ve wanted for years,” he said. “He (St-Pierre) has been a champ for a while in the UFC, and he’s the one everyone’s talking about as the best in the world. I’ve been over there thinking I can beat him for the last three, four years, and it’s been frustrating not having that opportunity. So to finally have this opportunity in front of me, I couldn’t be more excited.”


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UFC 125 Drug Test Results: Thiago Silva’s Name Missing From List

By Fighters Only

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released a list of fighters drug tested at January 1st’s UFC 125 event.

All the athletes tested were negative – but one sample is still undergoing testing. Fighters Only understands that sample belongs to Thiago Silva.

The athletes who provided negative samples were Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Chris Leben, Brian Stann, Brandon Vera, Phil Baroni, Thiago Tavares, Jeremy Stephens, Poirier,Diego Nunes, Roberts, Jacob Volkmann, Kim and Clay Guida.

“All those tests were negative. We are still processing another athlete’s urine sample from that event,” an email from NSAC to Fighters Only stated earlier.

The UFC is attempting to prepare for the possibility of Thiago Silva failing the test and being forced out of a mooted UFC 130 fight with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

Fighters Only understands that Rashad Evans has been approached about stepping in if required. This was previousy reported as a done deal but things have not progressed as far as a solid agreement as yet.


Admin: Probably the reason for the rumor that Rampage will be fighting Rashad. We shall see.

UPDATE: Silva put this out today…”Looks like (the NSAC) did two tests, one was positive and the other negative. My blood is clean, I’m calm, took nothing,”

Marcus Davis release from the UFC was nothing personal, just business

By Geno Mrokso


“I know a lot of interest has come from the U.K., so we are talking to people over there. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I haven’t performed my best in the last year and a half, and, therefore, they gotta kick me out to make room for the guys that are performing their best,” he said. “I don’t hold anything against the UFC. I’m still friends with [UFC President] Dana [White] and [matchmaker] Joe Silva and all those guys. It was business. It wasn’t personal at all. I’m not actually entertaining any offers at 70. [Lightweight] is honestly where I should have been my entire career, and that’s where I’m gonna be. Right now, it’s not difficult for me maintaining and staying close to that weight.”

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