Tito Ortiz Races For Charity

By Jeff Cain

Former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Tito Ortiz will race through the streets of Long Beach on April 16 to raise money for charity.

Oritz is entered in the 35th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity race and will be donated the proceeds to “Racing for Kids” with the money going to the Miller’s Children Hospital in Long Beach and Orange County.

“We got in touch with them last year about doing it,” said Ortiz. “I was recovering (from neck surgery) about this time last year, so I wasn’t able to get in a car, but I’ve always been a huge fan of it. I’ve always wanted to do it, so it was an opportunity that came around again and I’ll be doing it.”

“I’m always giving back to our youth. It’s something that I’ve always done,” Ortiz told Heavy.com. “It’s always about giving back to the children.”

Ortiz hasn’t raced before, but has been a long time fan of racing, particularly Formula 1.


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‘Ninja’ Rua says Jon Jones “will get hurt” when his brother’s punches “finds his face”

By Guilherme Cruz

UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Shogun will put his title on the line against the young Jon Jones. Despite all experience he has on MMA and the fact he had become Pride’s champion when he was at the same age Jones currently is, the Brazilian is seen as the underdog by the press and the American fans, but his brother Murilo “Ninja” Rua bets all his chips in Mauricio, despite complimenting the American.

“Jon Jones is a respectful athlete, he’s young, but my brother is the favorite for the experience he has, he’s fought tougher guys than Jones. My brother has proven it, and he’ll win. The guy wants it bad, he has nothing to lose, but the experience can be the differential”, bets Murilo, who doesn’t consider Jones to be the greatest challenge on his brother’s career. “He’s one of the toughest fighters on MMA currently, he’s tall and has a great conditioning, he’s rising, so it must be a hell of a good fight. But he’ll get hurt when my brother’s punches finds his face. Jon Jones ain’t Mauricio’s greatest challenge. My brother had had great ones, and it’ll be another fight on his career”.



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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Shogun’s Former Coach Says He Needs To Take Jon Jones To The Ground

By Raj Giri

Despite being the UFC light heavyweight champion, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua finds himself as an underdog heading into UFC 128 in March. Shogun will be challenged by fast-rising light heavyweight Jon “Bones” Jones, who is replacing Rashad Evans in the main event, who had to withdraw due to injury.

Eager to defend his crown for the first time, Rua sees similarities in Evans and Jones, who are training partners. Given Jones’ strong wrestling background and unorthodox striking, the 29-year-old champion plans on making a few adjustments, but overall, anticipates a similar fight.

“I’ve been training hard for a fight on this date and I was prepared to fight Rashad,” said Rua, who is a +180 underdog. “I face this new challenge as motivation to train even harder. I’m a fighter and I don’t pick opponents. I’ll be ready for Jon Jones.”

Rua’s former coach at Chute Boxe, Cristiano Marcello, won the Nitrix Lightweight Championship last weekend after defeating Oriol Gaset. Marcello spoke to FightLine.com about Rua’s upcoming defense and had some advice for his former pupil.

“Put it on the ground and submit him,” Marcello told FightLine.com, when asked what Rua needed to do to defeat Jones. “It’s not gonna be easy, but I think his ground game is better than Jon Jones.


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Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Doerr in the works for M-1 Challenge on Showtime

By John Morgan

Two-time UFC veteran Vinny Magalhaes (6-5) has already been announced as a participant at March’s “M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa,” and now his opponent is all but official.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the organization that Magalhaes and undefeated Wisconsin native Jake Doerr (6-0) have verbally agreed to meet in the evening’s co-main event, though bout agreements have yet to be finalized.

Featuring a lightweight title fight between current champion Artiom Damkovsky and challenger Jose Figueroa, “M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa” takes place March 25 in Virginia and marks M-1 Global‘s first M-1 Challenge event to air on Showtime.

Magalhaes is probably best known for his stint as a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 8,” where he made his way to the season’s finals before losing via TKO to Ryan Bader. “Pezao” returned at UFC 97, where he lost a decision to Eliot Marshall and was released by the promotion.

Since leaving the UFC, Magalhaes has earned four wins in five outings. All four victories have come via submission.


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Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans: Coach Trevor Wittman on Why They Should Fight

By Mitch Ciccarelli

After defeating Ryan Bader at UFC 126 in yet another dominant performance that had us all question whether Jon Jones was genetically created from the sperm of a Kryptonian, the undefeated light heavyweight was publically granted a title shot with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

Jones will replace an injured Rashad Evans, one of his close friends and training partners, in the UFC 128 main event against Rua next month. The logical next step would be to have Evans, who is already established as the No. 1 contender, fight the winner for the title when he’s healthy enough to compete.

However, Evans has stated on numerous occasions that he will never fight his friend Jones and would consider changing weight classes if Jones were to win the championship. We’ve all heard how UFC President Dana White feels about the situation but I recently had the opportunity to speak with elite MMA striking coach Trevor Wittman on the subject.

Wittman is the owner of the Grudge Training Center in Colorado and is affiliated with Team Greg Jackson. He works very closely with Evans and was brought on as an assistant coach for Team Rashad on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10.

Surprisingly, he feels that Evans should challenge Jones if the UFC light heavyweight championship were up for grabs. Here’s what he had to say.


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Minotauro Nogueira: “My plan is to knock Phil Davis out”

By Erik Engelhart

Coming from a loss to Ryan Bader, Rogerio Nogueira would face the veteran and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, on UFN 24, but the American had to leave the bout. The replacement for the fight, which happens on March 26th, is Phil Davis, who’s undefeated with eight fights on his professional record.

The sudden change of opponent wasn’t enough to keep awake the experienced Minotouro analyzed the replacement on a chat with TATAME. “My work’s done, man, the thing is to focus and train hard to face this new opponent. I still didn’t have the chance to watch many of his fights, but his game is similar to Tito Ortiz’s. I know he tends to use his kicks more, but his strong point also is Wrestling… The same background”, commented Rogerio, who revealed that he’ll make the difference on the bout.


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