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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Mixed Martial Arts Online Betting Surges in Popularity

By Online-Casinos.com

The popularity of Boxing has been eclipsed by the public’s fascination with Ultimate Fighting which has been driven in part by the expanding use of the internet as a form of entertainment and communications. The Ultimate Fighting phenomenon is proving to be a great boon for online sports books as punters watch and bet on the outcome of the matches.

Now the public is able to watch the fight form anywhere in the world via the internet where all that you need to make a wager is at your fingertips in an instant. The Mixed martial arts events are creating an enormous new wagering venue for online gambling operators.

The next big mixed martial arts event is being held in Australia at the Acer Arena in Sydney and with the internet, fans can watch the event streamed live on their computers or television. Mixed Martial Arts isn’t just about the fighting, technique, and training. It’s about the gambling, and pop culture relevance that’s what attracting the media attention and the huge fan base that’s growing fast.

It is a common belief that because Mixed Martial Arts is so new to the betting world, there are great values to be had at nearly every major event. The betting is a bit different from those bets on football or basketball where there are point spreads. Mixed Martial Arts competitions have odds that the bookies call moneylines. A moneyline is basically a way for the sports books to even out the betting public. The moneylines on MMA contests will often change with the amount of money coming in on each side. If a lot of money is coming in on one side, the sports book will adjust the moneyline to even out the action and get bettors betting on the other fighter, whatever the odds are when you place your bet, are the odds you obtain.

 

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Rising MMA talent Ryan Bader from Reno hits toughest test

By Jim Krajewski

He recently suffered the first loss of his mixed martial arts career, but Ryan Bader still has his sights set on winning a title. Bader, who lost to Jon Jones earlier this month via second-round tap out, is not sure when he will fight next. He would like to fight three times a year.

“Training for a fight requires two-plus months of preparation and it takes a lot out of you. Your body needs some time off after that, not necessarily from the fight, but from the training camp,” he wrote from Australia, where he was promoting but not participating in an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight. “My goal is to be champion.”

Even with the loss, Bader (6-foot-2, 205 pounds), still is ranked No. 7 in the latest UFC light heavyweight rankings by profighting-fans.com. Curt Heinrichs compiled the rankings, and says the 27-year-old from Reno has knockout power and will be a force in his weight class.

“Bader took a step backwards in the division when he lost to Jon Jones, but he is still young and improving every time he steps into the octagon,” Heinrichs wrote.

He doesn’t have any fights in his immediate future, but Bader, who wrestled for Arizona State in college, is staying busy. He is preparing to open a combination MMA and fitness gym in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 25,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open March 19.

“People can come train to be a fighter, just take a Jiu Jitsu class, run on the treadmill, lift weights, and anything and everything in between,” Bader said.

 

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Dennis Siver Beats George Sotiropoulos

By Michael David Smith

In a surprising lightweight result in Sydney, Dennis Siver won a unanimous decision over Australia’s own George Sotiropoulos at UFC 127.

It was a very good fight that Siver won on the judges’ scorcards by scores of 29-28, 30-28 and 30-27, improving his professional record to 18-7. Sotiropoulos falls to 14-3, and snaps an eight-fight winning streak.

“It was a hard, hard fight, but I could (follow) my game plan, and that’s why I won,” the German Siver said afterward, through his translator. “We trained so much every day.”

After an exchange of strikes for a couple minutes, Sotiropoulos caught a Siver kick and tried to take Siver to the ground. Bus Siver did a great job of hopping around on one foot while Sotiropoulos held his other foot, and eventually Sotiropoulos let go without Siver ever hitting the floor. It was a great display of takdeown defense and balance by Siver.

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Anthony Perosh Submits Tom Blackledge

By Leland Roling

Australian-born Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Anthony Perosh put on an impressive performance in front of his hometown crowd as he choked out British knockout artist Tom Blackledge in the first round on Saturday night at UFC 127. After some sloppy striking on the feet in the opening moments of the round, Perosh gained top control against the fence, battering Blackledge with strikes. As Blackledge tried to escape to the feet, Perosh took advantage by taking the back, sprawling out Blackledge’s body, and sinking in a rear naked choke.

The victory shelves the looming threat of being cut from the UFC after he lost his debut against Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic at UFC 110 back in February of last year. Perosh took the fight on only two days notice, creating an almost insurmountable obstacle for him to overcome in a seasoned veteran like Filipovic. Despite the loss, Perosh garnered respect from many fans for his ability to last until the end of the second round.

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Sotiropoulos hopes to enter title mix with win tonight

By The Canadian Press

George Sotiropoulos just has to think about the time he lived in a New York laundromat to remember how far he has come.

It was just for a week, back in 2002, but it was long enough for the Australian to question his mixed martial arts career path.

“I was in an office, sleeping on a couch, but it was like ‘What am I doing here?”‘ he recalled. “It wasn’t in the greatest part of town and basically it sounded like an asylum.

“Not that I’ve seen in an asylum, but I have seen the movies,” he added with a laugh.

“I couldn’t wait to get out of there. And I did shortly after.”

Sotiropoulos (14-2, including 7-0 in the UFC) now ranks as one of the world’s elite lightweights.

He can cement his place as a championship contender with a win over hard-nosed German kickboxer Dennis Siver (17-7, including 6-4 in the UFC) on Saturday night at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia (available on pay-per-view).

“This has been such a long project for me,” Sotiropoulos said. “It started over a decade ago. To get here was not easy. It was very difficult. I went through a lot of adversity and a lot of challenges and had to figure out a lot of things.

 

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The Ultimate Fighter U.K. vs. Australia In The Works

By Jeff Cain

Sports are built on rivalries, and there’s none better than the U.K. vs. Australia. But this time, it won’t happen on a cricket pitch.

UFC president Dana White recently said on a UFC 127 media conference call that The Ultimate Fighter was going international in 2011. The first stop will likely be the Philippines, but it appears that a TUF-themed Australia vs. England series is also in the works.

“We’re getting pretty far along. We’re not in a position to announce anything,” said Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development.

The UFC wants to get The Ultimate Fighter 13 shown in Australia before moving forward with the planned reality show that they’re going to call “The Smashes.”

“We’re getting close here on an announcement for The Ultimate Fighter season 13. It will be very widely distributed here once we get that deal secured. That will be the first step in trying to get ‘The Smashes,’ I think we’re going to call it,” said Zelaznik during the UFC 127 pre-fight press conference in Sydney, Australia.

 

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Brit Tom Blackledge Plans To Play Hometown Spoiler

By Lee Whitehead

Wolfslair standout Tom Blackledge is on the cusp of his UFC debut, fit, healthy and ready to go… unlike UFC 120 where an injury forced him out of a home-soil trial by fire against James McSweeney.

If the name remains unknown to Stateside fans, and even fans down under, the face will soon be familiar, as Blackledge was one of Team Rampage’s coaches during Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. But this is his chance to make a big impression and show the world what he’s got as a fighter.

“It’s very exciting and a huge honor to get the opportunity to be able to fight in Australia, even if the fans there won’t be too happy with me after the fight.”

The import fighter clashing with a hometown hero is a story that’s been played out many times on fight cards throughout the world, but in Blackledge’s case, it’s against Antony Perosh, the gutsy Aussie fighter who stepped into the breach against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic last time the UFC went down under.

“He’s a tough guy with good cardio,” Blackledge said of Perosh.

 

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Sotiropoulos: From laundry mat to the Octagon

By The Canadian Press

George Sotiropoulos just has to think about the time he lived in a New York laundromat to remember how far he has come.

It was just for a week, back in 2002, but it was long enough for the Australian to question his mixed martial arts career path.

“I was in an office, sleeping on a couch, but it was like ‘What am I doing here?”‘ he recalled. “It wasn’t in the greatest part of town and basically it sounded like an asylum.

“Not that I’ve seen in an asylum, but I have seen the movies,” he added with a laugh.

“I couldn’t wait to get out of there. And I did shortly after.”

Sotiropoulos (14-2, including 7-0 in the UFC) now ranks as one of the world’s elite lightweights.

 

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Jorge Rivera, “The Campaign on Bisping Worked, Now I Need to Put Him Away”

By Damon Martin

To say that Jorge Rivera has slightly gotten under the skin of Michael Bisping prior to their fight at UFC 127 might be like saying Charlie Sheen has had just a couple of issues recently.

The Massachusetts based fighter made a series of videos prior to leaving for Australia, panning Bisping in every way from his fighting style to his interviews to the fact that a lot of fans simply don’t like him. With hundreds of thousands of views on the videos, and everyone talking about them, Rivera has gotten the desired effect.

He got Bisping so riled up he finally lashed out at the UFC 127 pre-fight press conference, and then got in Rivera’s face during their photo op staredown, cursing and throwing threats his way as well.

Rivera kept a quiet demeanor the whole time, but admits the motive behind the videos has paid off.

“I’m not coming into the cage to hug you to death. I’m coming in there to fight you. So I’m going to lay it on the line, you want to take the fight, take the fight. If not, don’t, and he did,” Rivera told MMAWeekly Radio.

 

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Sotiropoulos among Dana White’s Jiu-Jitsu favorites

By Carlos Eduardo Ozório

On an eight-fight winning streak, seven taking place in the UFC, Australia’s George Sotiropoulos is one of the most keenly-awaited fighters to perform at this Saturday’s UFC 127 show in Sydney. A grappling wizard with eight submissions in 14 wins (two losses), Sotiropoulos, who will face also-finisher (nine) Dennis Siver, mixes up an assortment of different positions, from the omoplata to the traditional rear-naked choke.

The fight promises plenty of ground action and George will have to apply himself to appease his public. Among the Australian’s fans from Jiu-Jitsu is none other than UFC president Dana White, who heaped praise on the fighter in a recent conversation with GRACIEMAG>com. Sotiropoulos says he has just what it takes to meet expectations:

“I was doing Jiu-Jitsu one week, wrestling the next, boxing, then MMA, and back to Jiu-Jitsu. That mentality always kept me going and always gave me another goal to look forward to and something to always prepare for. I like having something to do, I like having something to strive for, and I feel a sense of achievement every time I set my mind to something and I’m working away at getting it done. It gives you something to look forward to everyday and this is what I love doing. I couldn’t accept myself doing anything else, and because of that, I’m motivated to do it every day. ” he said on the UFC website.

 

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Maciej Jewtuszko: The Pride of Poland

By Frank Curreri

Until now, Poland has been vastly under appreciated in MMA circles. But the central European nation is quietly emerging as a hotbed for the skyrocketing fight sport. Do not be surprised if, within the next few years, UFC president Dana White starts publicly referring to the land of potatoes, sausage and sauerkraut in the same glowing terms as fight-crazy nations such as the United States, Canada and Australia.

My premonition, based on conversations with fighters and coaches with extensive involvement in Poland, is that the rabid fervor and fanaticism of Poland is a coming revelation that is going to blow a lot of people’s minds. When the UFC eventually hits Poland, expect to see the same rapid sellouts and frenzied fanbase that have been the hallmarks of established and recognized markets such as Toronto, Montreal and Sydney.

Having said that, hurdles remain for Poland to fulfill its huge but overshadowed potential. While the remarkably homogeneous population of 38 million people is overflowing with off-the-charts nationalistic pride similar to the Philippines, and is also rich with the same kind of tough-guy ethic that is prevalent in Australia, Poland still lacks the world-class MMA resources that can be found in the states, Brazil and Canada. Several Polish-born fighters, such as Bart Palaszewski and Krzysztof Soszynski, have fared well at the highest level of the sport, though they had relocated to North American cities at young ages and benefited from affiliations with top training camps. Tomasz Drwal, Polish born and bred, has also produced respectable performances inside of the Octagon. But perhaps none of those men is being watched as closely as a rising, homegrown product named Maciej Jewtuszko, a promising prospect with the best chance to inspire and uplift his nation.

 

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Te Huna on fighting: “It’s in my blood”

By Philip Ferraro

It’s not often that you hear a UFC fighter say that he was a bad athlete growing up, especially since the Ultimate Fighting Championship is mostly populated by former standout wrestlers, kickboxers, and football players. It’s particularly surprising coming from James Te Huna, one of the light heavyweight division’s most powerful strikers.

“Through primary and high school I was right into sports, competed in a lot of school activities and I wasn’t good at anything – I had two left feet. All the bigger kids and the lazier kids would end up beating me in a race,” said Te Huna. “When I finished school I took up boxing, put a lot of hours in the gym, just worked hard at it, became good at it, and yeah – the fighting game was good for me.”

A New Zealand-born Australian, Te Huna is now better known for his fists than his two left feet, and he has four KOs and one TKO in his last five fights — all via punches — a streak that includes wins over UFC veterans Igor Pokrajac (in his UFC debut in February of 2010) and Anthony Perosh.

But at times, a UFC career seemed to be an unlikely prospect for an adult Te Huna, too. He’s been plagued by a recurring shoulder injury in the past, and in 2010 an ugly broken arm threatened the 29-year old’s livelihood.

 

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Time to cut Michael Bisping some slack after Jorge Rivera’s smack talk

By Gareth A Davies

Sydney and UFC 127 might be the time for Bisping bashing from American fans to abate somewhat. But then again, fight sports need heroes and ‘villains’. With Bisping, he appears to fall into the latter category, although the British mixed martial artist told me recently that he rarely, if ever, had anything rude said to his face by fans of the sport. Quite the contrary.

He has had the burden, in a sense, of carrying the UK torch in the UFC, an organisation utterly barren of a British belt holder in its history.

Jorge Rivera, Bisping’s middleweight opponent a week on Sunday in the Australian city where the UFC has created its newest burgeoning home, has been trading on Bisping’s infamy to build noise around the fight – but he might have just gone a step too far.

Bisping is privately fuming that Rivera has been conducting a mocking campaign, being rude about his wife and children. “Completely disrespected,” are the words directly from Bisping. Prior to the smack talk, there were those in Bisping’s camp concerned that he was not taking the threat of Rivera strongly enough. The plan may backfire on Rivera. Bisping’s anger is genuine and I understand after initially wanting to be kept apart from the American in build-up week, he got over the hump – so to speak – and his team are delighted with the way he has channelled his ire in training. I’m told by camp insiders that Bisping is “completely focused”.

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Back Home, Hunt Wants to Impress

By Philip Ferraro

While he’s never looked overjoyed after a loss, Mark Hunt seemed especially frustrated following his submission defeat to Sean McCorkle last September.

That’s understandable when you consider the work he put in to get down to 265 pounds (after having the luxury of hovering near 300 pounds while fighting in Japan), his excitement for another shot at the big time, and his completion of a hard training camp with American Top Team away from his home in Australia.

So when he succumbed to his sixth submission loss – a straight armbar from McCorkle’s guard at 1:03 seconds into the first round at UFC 119, it was the submission that broke the camel’s back.

“It just pisses me off because it’s like how the hell did I lose like that?” said Hunt. “Rubbish! I’m a lot better than that! Way better than that! How could I lose to something like that? It’s just frustrating for me”

To add to his frustration is the knowledge that regardless of whether the outcome of the fight would have been different, he wasn’t fighting at his best. While Hunt doesn’t want to excuse away the loss, and no pre-fight circumstance is ever perfect, his stay in MMA limbo (no MMA fights in 2007, two in 2008 and one in 2009) was far from ideal. That’s plenty of time outside of the cage or ring, plenty of time without the rigors of a training camp, plenty of time for skills to corrode.

“I know I’m a lot better than that, way better than that; it could have been how long I haven’t fought in the ring or the cage,” said Hunt, 36. “If you don’t fight as often you’re not as sharp. I mean, no excuse, I lost, but it happens if you don’t fight a lot. I wasn’t nervous from the atmosphere – to me it’s just another crowd – but if you haven’t fought for a while, that’s what happens; you’re not as clued up to everything that goes on.”

 

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