Chael Sonnen’s Suspension Is Complete: What’s Next for the UFC Middleweight?

By Trent Reinsmith

As of Thursday, March 3, Chael Sonnen had completed the six-month suspension that was handed to him by the California State Athletic Commission.

MMAFighting reports that CSAC executive officer George Dodd informed the website that Sonnen had fulfilled the terms of his suspension and would be able to apply to have his license reinstated.

“If Mr. Sonnen wants to be licensed here in California, he will have to appear before the commission to regain his license,” Dodd informed MMAFighting.

“Every other state will have to make a determination on their process for licensing Mr. Sonnen.”

Sonnen was originally handed a one-year suspension from the CSAC due to a positive drug test following his loss to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 127, which took place in August of last year.

Sonnen’s test revealed elevated levels of testosterone, which he and his physician argued were due to hypogonadism, a condition that results in low testosterone levels.

 

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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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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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Bisping Denies Spitting on Cornerman, Rivera’s Team Wants Suspension

By Mike Chiappetta

In the immediate seconds following the conclusion of an emotionally charged fight between Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera, Bisping walked to the octagon corner nearest to Rivera’s team and spit. That much is clear. But the two sides disagree on what exactly he was aiming at, and whether he hit it.

Rivera’s team says that the spit was directed — and hit — boxing coach Matt Phinney. Bisping denies it.

“No, not at all. I was spitting on the floor to let him know what I thought of him,” Bisping told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani in a UFC 127 post-fight interview. “I apologized for that, and I never want to act like that.”

The bad blood between the two stemmed from a series of videos Rivera did leading up to the fight which mocked Bisping. In the videos, Phinney portrayed Bisping.

During a break in the fight following a Bisping intentional foul, Bisping also directed a middle finger towards Phinney.

According to Rivera’s management team, that wasn’t the worst of it. After completing his second-round TKO win, Bisping walked towards Rivera’s corner and spat at them. But while Bisping denies directing it at anyone, Rivera’s team says he did indeed hit a cornerman.

“Bisping’s conduct after he was awarded the TKO is not acceptable,” Rivera’s manager Lex McMahon told MMA Fighting in an email. “Taunting and spitting at and on Jorge’s coach Matt Phinney is the deplorable conduct of a school yard bully. And like all bullies, Mr. Bisping needs to be punished. In this instance, it would be appropriate if Bisping is fined and suspended by the commission and/or the UFC.”

 

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Michael Bisping Beats Up Jorge Rivera

By Kid Nate

Michael Bisping followed up a first round illegal knee on the ground with some brutal punching in the following round to finish Jorge Rivera at UFC 127.

Bisping apologized for some of his trash talk and behavior after the fight.

The bitter rivals didn’t waste any time with touching gloves before the fight. Rivera came out lunging forward but Bisping easily made him miss. Bisping took him down with almost four minutes left. Rivera stood back up. After a hard right landed for Rivera, Bisping went for a single leg that went nowhere. Bisping followed with a double leg that worked with about 2:45 left. Bisping landed some hard ground and pound but added an illegal knee to the head while Rivera was down on the ground. Rivera took his time getting up but the doctor allowed him to continue. Bisping lost a point. Rivera came out aggressive. Bisping went for another double leg but got stuffed. Bisping got him down with just under a minute left. Bisping landed hard shots on the ground. Rivera stood up but ate more shots doing it. Bisping talked some trash after the end of the round.

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Brian Ebersole Shocks Chris Lytle for Cinderella Upset

By Kid Nate

Brian Ebersole waited ten years to make his UFC debut but only took three rounds to shock UFC regular Chris Lytle at UFC 127. Ebersole, a huge underdog took all three judges cards, 29-28 (x 2) and 30-27.

Ebersole opened the fight with a very unconventional and awkward carosel kick attempt that Lytle largely blocked. Lytle countered with a hard right hand. Ebersole shot in but Lytle easily stuffed it. Then he clinched and Lytle worked over Ebersole’s body. Ebersole shot in again and Lytle went for a guillotine but Ebersole reversed. Lytle then got top position as Ebersole worked his own choke attempt. Ebersole then got top position as a bleeding Lytle went after his neck. Lytle then went for a knee bar. Ebersole then landed some vicious ground and pound to end the round. Just before the round ended, Ebersole stood and spun his finger in the air in a dismissive gesture.

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It’s not now or never for Bisping… it’s now

By ESPN

Michael Bisping rejects theories that Saturday’s fight with Jorge Rivera is a ‘now or never’ moment in his career, but he insists he wants his time to be ‘now’.

Bisping turns 32 years of age on February 28, and he has already seen one run at the UFC middleweight title collapse when he ran into the right hand of Dan Henderson at UFC 100.

Now, utilising his added maturity and undoubted improvement in the sport, Bisping is on his second tear, with Rivera representing the chance for a fourth win in five fights.

Defeat would leave Bisping to face obvious questions about whether he will ever be able to scale the ladder to a crack at UFC gold but, as the Briton points out, his career is not too dissimilar to Anderson Silva, who did not make his UFC debut until he was 31 – four years later than Bisping.

“I wouldn’t say it’s now or never, but I definitely want it to be now,” Bisping told ESPN. “I’ve learnt from my mistakes, I’m on a roll now and I definitely want it to be now.

 

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UFC 127: Penn vs Fitch – Weigh-In Results

Main PPV Card
BJ Penn (169lb) vs. Jon Fitch (170lb)
Jorge Rivera (185lb) vs. Michael Bisping (185lb)
George Sotiropoulos (156lb) vs. Dennis Siver (156.6lb)
Chris Lytle (170lb) vs. Brian Ebersole (170lb)
Chris Camozzi (185lb) vs. Kyle Noke (184lb)

ION TV Preliminary Card
Ross Pearson (155lb) vs. Spencer Fisher (154lb)
James Te-Huna (205lb) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (205lb)
Riki Fukuda (185lb) vs. Nick Ring (185lb)

Non-Televised Prelims
Mark Hunt (263lb) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (261lb)
Maciej Jewtuszko (154lb) vs. Curt Warburton (156lb)

Facebook Prelims
Anthony Perosh (205lb) vs. Tom Blackledge (205lb)
Tiequan Zhang (146lb) vs. Jason Reinhardt (145lb)

Note: Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Below Photos by www.heavy.com

Joe Rogan Offers His Official Preview Of UFC 127

By Trent Reinsmith

UFC commentator Joe Rogan has released a preview and prediction video covering three of the UFC 127 main card bouts. Rogan takes a look at B.J. Penn versus Jon Fitch, Michael Bisping versus Jorge Rivera and George Sotiropoulos versus Dennis Siver.

Rogan praises the work ethic and constant improvements Fitch has made throughout his career, describing Fitch as “the ultimate grinder.” The grinding style has not made him the biggest fan favorite, but it has allowed him to win five UFC fights in a row.

Rogan also looks at Penn and how “The Prodigy” we all saw decimate Matt Hughes in 21 seconds at UFC 123 looked like the B.J. Penn of old. If that Penn enters the Octagon against Fitch he stands a good chance to win, according to Rogan.

Rogan’s big question for the fight is, “Will Fitch be able to take B.J. Penn down? If he’s not able to take B.J. Penn down, will he be able to deal with his hands and his kicks and his knees?”

Both welterweight fighters seem eager to test each other in this fight.

Rogan then moves on to the Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera bout.

 

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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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Bisping ‘would welcome’ title eliminator with Okami

By ESPN

Michael Bisping has confessed he would welcome a title eliminator with Yushin Okami if he beats Jorge Rivera at UFC 127 in Sydney.

Bisping is convinced two victories would lead him to a shot at the UFC middleweight title, and ESPN understands the UFC has similar thoughts on the Briton’s career path.

Okami is currently the No. 1 contender in the 185lb division, but middleweight champion Anderson Silva‘s next fight will be against Georges St-Pierre, if the Canadian overcomes Jake Shields at UFC 129.

That would leave Okami waiting around for his shot, and Bisping is willing to keep the Japanese busy by luring him into a title eliminator – possibly to be held in the UK.

“If GSP beats Jakes Shields he will be fighting Anderson Silva. I can understand that, it’s a big business fight for the UFC and the fans want to see it,” Bisping told ESPN.

 

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Exclusive Ricco Rodriguez Interview For BAMMA 5

By Admin

I caught up with legendary MMA fighter Ricco Rodriguez the other day. He had a lot to say on a variety of subjects, including his quality time training at Wolfslair, Michael Bisping and his upcoming fight with James McSweeney.

Thanks for doing the interview Ricco. It’s a pleasure to be talking to you. Firstly, I’ve got to ask, where did you get your nickname from?
Ricco: It was just something that people in my family call me and it’s from a rapper called Gerardo (Rico Suave). It was something that described me perfectly, because if you know me well or you know anything about me, I’m just really smooth.

I’m really elegant with the way I handle my business and my relationships, and it’s something that’s just kind of stuck. I can’t say that it’s something that I chose personally for myself, but it’s how people refer to me.

How long have you been training in the UK?
Ricco: I got here in mid-January. I’m friends with the guys at Wolfslair, so working with guys like Michael Bisping, Cheick Kongo and Rampage was easy. I’ve known Rampage since the Team Punishment days and he gave me the invitation.

I came out here two years ago and I got along with all of these guys. They’re really just a great group of guys. The guys helping the pro’s train like Gavin, Smoothy and the coaches like Kenny and Dave Jackson. It’s just an eclectic group of great trainers, an elite camp and just great guys. The camaraderie amongst these men is just phenomenal.

Even though it’s cold, they still crack jokes and make sure the training is amazing.

 

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Tickets available from http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk
BAMMA 5 will air live on Syfy in the UK and Ireland http://www.syfy.co.uk/shows/bamma
International fans can watch live at http://www.bammatv.com/

More information at http://www.bamma.com

Bisping says Jorge Rivera is sending him “nothing personal” messages following videos

By Michael Pepper

Speaking via MMAJunkie.com, Bisping said:

“He’s sending messages to me (that say) ‘Oh, nothing personal.’ If you’re going to talk [expletive], be a man and accept responsibility for it. He’s criticized me and ridiculed me for being English. He’s being racist – let’s be honest. If he was making fun of me because I was Jewish or black, there would be an uproar. But because I’m English, that’s OK. He’s out of order, and I’m going to make him pay for it.”

“He’s off his [expletive] head, pardon my language. I try to put my opponents away. It’s just that I’ve fought guys that are hard to finish. (Yoshihiro) Akiyama is hard to finish, Chris Leben is hard to finish; Dan Miller has never been finished. These are hard guys, and I’ve kicked their asses, with all due respect. They were a mess after the fight; it looked like a hand grenade exploded in their face.”

“I’m never going to see [Rivera] again. He’s not on my Christmas card list, so it doesn’t really matter whether or not we’ve squashed the feelings or not. I’m going to go out there (and) I’m going to beat him up, make a fool out of him, and that’s that.”

“He’s acting like a child. He’s 38 years old; you’d think he’d know better. I’m just getting on with my training and trying to prepare accordingly. Whereas he’s selling his soul for the sake of a few YouTube hits. Ultimately, he’s making a fool out of himself … acting like a retard. Good luck to him.”

 

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