MMA News and Notes – July 24-30
In this edition we cover all the MMA news from the past week and discuss some upcoming fights, recent fighter signings, and rumoured fights. Covering the UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator as well as Tachi Palace Fights, Shark Fights and the Maximum Fighting Championship, continue reading for all the week’s news from the wonderful world of Mixed Martial Arts.
- The Dan Henderson-Fedor Emelianenko fight on Saturday was the talk of the MMA world – and it did not disappoint – but the biggest news story was the fact that Strikeforce has cut their Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. That now leaves both the Welterweight and Heayweight titles vacant for the organization. The news just keeps getting worse for Strikeforce as Dan Henderson’s bout this past weekend was his last on his current Strikeforce contract. The new free agent could very well sign with the UFC and Strikeforce could be left with three vacant titles. When Dana White uttered his infamous “business as usual” line, I guess that meant tearing apart the company for the sole benefit of the UFC. If you think releasing Overeem was Scott Coker’s decision you are dead wrong. Coker has a ton of patience – perhaps too much at times – but that was a Lorenzo Fertitta move.
- With the recent signings of Ryan Ford and Douglas Lima to the already deep Bellator Welterweight division the MFC is doing everything they can to prevent the two fighters, who are still under contract to the MFC, from fighting with Bellator. Owner Mark Pavelich continues to publicly criticize the Bellator organization, in a desperation effort to prevent losing one of his biggest draws (Ford) and top talents (Lima) permanently.
- The Featherweight tournament final is set with Marlon Sandro and Pat Curran squaring off for the right to face the winner of the Joe Warren-Patricio Freire rematch. The tournament final will take place August 20th, with the other notable fights on the card being Cole Konrad facing Paul Buentello in a Heavyweight non-title fight, and Seth Petruzelli taking on Ricco Rodriguez at Light Heavyweight.
- Rich Franklin is set to have a movie made about his life. The self-taught former high school math teacher rose through the ranks of MMA and became the UFC Middleweight champion just as the sport was coming into the mainstream, and Franklin remains a popular figure in the sport to this day.
- UFC 133 is this coming Saturday (August 6th) with Tito Ortiz stepping in on short notice to battle Rashad Evans in the main event. Both fighters showed a lot of animosity the first time they faced each other (UFC 74) and this time it has been much more subdued, but I anticipate the trash talking to pick up the week of the fight. Yoshihiro Akiyama and Vitor Belfort both look to get back on track in the co-main event. Once again, the Alessio Sakara-Jorge Rivera fight has fallen apart, forcing Joe Silva to scramble for yet another replacement. Rivera is now matched with Constantino Phillippou. This maybe remembered as the most injury riddled card in UFC history with Antonio Rogerio Noguiera, Jon Jones, Phil Davis, Vladimir Matshushenko, and now Sakara all being forced to drop out of their planned bouts.