MMA overtime round? UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar says bring it on

By MMAjunkie.com

The first two months of 2011 delivered two high-profile draws – UFC 125’s Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II and UFC 127’s B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch – both of which ushered in a slew of controversy and left their respective divisions in flux.

As a rule, draws generally frustrate fans, almost certainly frustrate fighters and generally cause more confusion than resolution. But can the sport’s governing bodies find some way to improve the current system? At least one UFC champion thinks so.

In this past week’s new edition of HDNet’s “Inside MMA,” MMA legend and show host Bas Rutten addressed a viewer’s email that suggested an overtime round be instituted to resolve draws in high-profile bouts such as title contests and No. 1 contender affairs.

Rutten, a former UFC heavyweight champion and King of Pancrase, thinks the idea is a winner. After all, it’s already used in other combat sports, and the UFC even has a “sudden victory” round in place for its Spike TV-broadcast reality series.

“They do it at K-1 in Japan, and I love that idea,” Rutten said. “Actually, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ does it, too. You fight to a draw, boom, the last [round], whoever wins that wins.”

Edgar, who survived a first-round beatdown against Maynard to battle make to a split draw at UFC 125, was a guest on the new edition of “Inside MMA” and also supported the idea. The UFC lightweight champion now rematches his nemesis at May’s UFC 130 event, but Edgar said he would have preferred to put the situation behind him in January.

“I think another five-minute round would be perfect,” Edgar said. “You go into a fight, you prepare, and you want a decisive outcome. To have to wait another three months and possibly another fight is kind of annoying. I would say another round would be great. You get to figure out who’s the winner right then and there.

 

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UFC on Versus 4 set for June 26; company brass says location yet to be determined

By MMAjunkie.com

While the books aren’t quite closed on UFC on Versus 3 just yet – a stellar main event and hotly contested decision result have ensured that – the former home of the WEC is already looking forward to broadcasting its next event.

During Thursday’s UFC on Versus 3 event, UFC and Versus executives officially announced UFC on Versus 4 will take place on Sunday, June 26.

Today, the UFC’s vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that a location for the event has yet to be officialy determined, but the promotion is eyeing multiple venues in the Midwest and East Coast regions of the country.

Multiple sources suggested to MMAjunkie.com that Milwaukee may be a leading candidate to net the event, but UFC officials declined to comment on the likelihood of Wisconsin scoring the card, but a February report by MMA Fighting suggested a yet-to-be announced Aug. 14 card, UFC on Versus 5, would instead land at the city’s 20,000-seat Bradley Center.

 

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Spiritwolf vs. Jara, other bouts added to Bellator 35 preliminary card

By MMAjunkie.com

Three additional preliminary-card bouts are now set for next month’s season-opening Bellator 35 event.

As previously reported, a non-title fight between 115-pound champion Zoila Frausto (10-1 MMA, 4-0 BFC) and Karina Hallinan (3-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC) headlines the untelevised portion of the show.

Joining that bout are welterweights Waachiim Spiritwolf (8-7-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Jamie Jara (29-8 MMA, 0-0 BFC), featherweights Josh Herrick (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Brandon Bender (7-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC), and bantamweights Jesus Castro (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Paul Ruiz (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC), MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with event sources.

Bellator 35, which kicks off the organization’s fourth season, takes place March 5, and the main card airs on MTV2.

 

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Bellator boss: No deal with ex-UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez

By Dann Stupp

Ricco Rodriguez has not joined the Bellator Fighting Championships roster.

Although the fighter recently gave an interview in which he said he has signed a contract with the promotion, an official denied those claims.

Bellator Chairman and CEO told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he’s impressed by Rodriguez’s recent career resurgence but hasn’t signed the fighter to the organization.

“Ricco’s a great fighter enjoying a spectacular rebirth to his career, but he is not signed to Bellator,” Rebeny said when reached for comment.

Rodriguez, who’s fought in 17 different promotions during his past 18 fights, had been signed for a Bellator 31 fight with Dave Herman before a knee injury forced him off the September 2010 card.

 

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I’m more complete than Rampage – Hamill

By ESPN

Matt Hamill has labelled Quinton Rampage Jackson one-dimensional and his camp claims he will be an easier match-up than Phil Davis.

Jackson, a former UFC champion, was surprisingly handed the challenge of Hamill after a delay in the clearance of Thiago Silva‘s UFC 125 drug test results. Rashad Evans had initially been reported as Silva’s replacement for the UFC 130 bout, but the lesser revered Hamill is the man Jackson will face.

The bookmakers will have Rampage as the overwhelming favourite and, to the casual observer, it would seem Hamill is making a giant step into the big league.

However, previously-slated opponent Davis is a hugely athletic wrestler with an undefeated record, and Hamill claims it will be less difficult to figure out Jackson’s boxing offence.

“I’m just glad Rampage accepted the fight,” Hamill told MMAjunkie. “I had my doubts if he would or not. I’m glad he’s so motivated. He won’t have any excuses when I beat him. I will prove I belong in the title mix at 205.

“Rampage is an old-school brawler. I’m much more of a complete mixed martial artist. I have the heart to break his will, and I will make Rampage very uncomfortable in this fight.”

 

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“UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2” drug tests come back clean

By MMAjunkie.com

All six fighters who underwent drug testing at January’s “UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2″ event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.

UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner today confirmed the results with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

“UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2” took place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Texas, and the night’s main card aired on Spike TV. The event raised more than $4 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

 

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Fight Path: With notable trainer, 5-foot-tall Tyler Freeland ready for Tachi debut

By Kyle Nagel

The “M word” doesn’t go over well with Tyler Freeland. Especially when there are potential weapons nearby.

“I used to work at the Ranch Club, a bar back home,” Freeland said during a recent appearance on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “These Army guys came in and thought they were big and tough.”

Freeland was there with his girlfriend, a friend and the friend’s girlfriend. The 5-foot-tall fighter who is preparing to make his professional mixed-martial-arts debut was drinking and having a good time. The visitors had continued comments.

“They kept antagonizing me,” Freeland said. “One pushed me and said, ‘Hey, midget.'”

Not good.

“There was a pool stick next to me,” he said. “I’m hot-headed, so I took this pool stick, and I busted it over the guy’s head. [Freeland’s friend] was beating the other guy, and when the guy I hit got up, he had a big gash on his face.”

Such is the stereotype Freeland has been battling since he started wrestling in junior high school in Boise, Idaho. But the bar story – like others he shared – underline that he doesn’t like that certain word, and he has the chops to back up his annoyance.

Now, after 21 amateur fights (and a 15-6 record), Freeland is set to make his pro debut in a 145-pound fight against fellow Las Vegas resident Diego Melendez (0-0) at Friday’s Tachi Palace Fights 8 event, which streams for free on MMAjunkie.com. It’s a rematch of an earlier fight “Hulk Hands” lost by triangle-choke submission, a weakness for him because of his height.

But with a move to Las Vegas and a stronger dedication to training – twice a day as his full-time job – Freeland is trying to make a successful jump to the professional world while shutting up anyone who uses the “M word.”

If his training schedule is any indication, Freeland can handle the punishment. His favorite part? Sparring.

“I love getting hit,” he said.

 

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