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Fighter's Corner

February 14, 2011 1:44 PM

UFC sells out 55,000 seat stadium for UFC 129


In an unprecedented event, the UFC announced Saturday that it had sold out all 55,000 seats in their configuration of the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada which will hold UFC 129 on April 30.

The stadium was originally set to hold 42,000 fans but due to the incredibly high demand -- which saw all 42,000 seats sold in their exclusive Fight Club presale -- it was reconfigured to seat 55,000 fans.

UFC 129 will be the first ever mixed martial arts event held in the province of Ontario. The 55,000 potential attendance number dwarfs the previous record for a UFC event of 23,000 in December at UFC 124 in Montreal at the Bell Centre.

UFC 129 will showcase a main event between UFC welterweight champion Georges St.-Pierre and Jake Shields with fights such as Jose Aldo defending his featherweight belt against Canadian challenger Mark Hominick and UFC hall of famer Randy Couture taking on Lyoto Machida at 205 lbs.

The event is also expected to shatter the promotion's gate record of $5.4 million which was set at UFC 66 by surpassing the $10 million mark.

February 10, 2011 2:08 PM

Two UFC fighters potentially making moves down in weight


Due to a fluke knee injury just last week, UFC light heavyweight Rashad Evans (20-1-1) could see his fight career change dramatically.

Evans, 31, was scheduled to challenge light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (19-4) at March 19th's UFC 128 event. However, he suffered the knee injury (sprained MCL) during a training session which will sideline him 4-8 weeks forcing him to pull out of the title fight that was just six weeks away.

The unfortunate situation is compounded by the fact that his teammate and training partner, the phenom Jon Jones who defeated Ryan Bader at last weekend's UFC 126, is replacing him in the title fight against Rua.

Continue to Two UFC fighters potentially making moves down in weight

February 8, 2011 7:13 PM

A picture worth a thousand words


jonesandshogun.jpgThere's a photo making its way around the MMA blogosphere from UFC 126 and MMA Weekly photographer Scott Petersen that really is the essence of the old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Another MMA blog site has posted a detailed viewpoint of what this photo says but I thought I'd also take a stab at describing just a fraction of what this photo says.

In it, we focus on a triumphant victor, reveling in the joy of his victory. He's a young fighter who has accomplished his biggest win to date and quite possibly is in the best moment of his life. He's joyous. He's excited. He's on cloud nine.

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February 7, 2011 3:31 PM

UFC 126 by the numbers


It's always interesting to look at the business side of things after such a huge event for any sport, but taking a look at the numbers for the UFC is critical, in my opinion, as the UFC continues its quest to become "the biggest sport in the world" according to President Dana White.

As we look at UFC 126 which took place this past weekend from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, we see that it attracted an attendance of 10,893 for a live gate of $3.6 million which puts it easily in the top five for its Vegas events. By comparison, UFC 100 which also took place at Mandalay Bay holds the gate record at $5.1 million with an attendance of 22 fewer people.

However, the UFC also sold 1,000 seats in a closed-circuit viewing on site in the hotel for another $45,100 which brings the gate even higher. The pay-per-view figures always take a few weeks to ascertain an accurate buy rate (and even then aren't 100% known because the UFC is a private company and usually doesn't release this information) but analysts of such things are already trending it as one of the biggest fights in the UFC's history.

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February 6, 2011 2:55 PM

Silva's front kick from nowhere adds new chapter to his greatness at UFC 126


It was billed as his greatest test to date. A striker with faster hands, more power, more strength. A fighter from his very own country set to take his belt away, a belt that he's held onto for more than four years.

But when the lights dimmed and the crowd began to shuffle out, Anderson Silva (28-4) had successfully defended his middleweight championship belt for a UFC record eighth consecutive time by beating 185 lb challenger Vitor Belfort (19-9) with a front kick 3:25 into the first round, adding yet another chapter to his ever-growing legacy.

It was a much-hyped bout between former friends and training partners. Belfort, a fellow Brazilian, trained with Silva at his Blackhouse camp for a time earlier in both of the fighters' careers before transferring to the Chute Box camp and eventually to Randy Couture's camp in Las Vegas. It is an unwritten rule, a sort of "fighter's code" that when you train with someone you become brothers. As they spend countless hours with one another in a gym helping each other get better, they have unparalleled insight into each others' vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Many fighters believe that you don't betray that trust.

Continue to Silva's front kick from nowhere adds new chapter to his greatness at UFC 126

September 22, 2010 9:26 PM

Chael Sonnen suspended 1 year by CSAC, dominoes follow

Easy come, easy go.

UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen has been suspended for one year by the California State Athletic Commission for a failed drug test prior to his UFC 117 fight with Anderson Silva on August 7th.

According to the CSAC, Sonnen tested positive for anabolic steroid and even mentioned to CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd that he was taking a banned substance prior to the test just days before the fight.

Continue to Chael Sonnen suspended 1 year by CSAC, dominoes follow

September 6, 2010 1:11 PM

Lesnar vs. Velazquez headlines list of upcoming main events

Now that August is in the rear view mirror, we can start to look ahead at the home stretch of 2010 and what the UFC has on its schedule. Let's just hope the fights continue to be as good as they have been in the previous eight months.

September 25th, UFC 119 will feature heavyweights Frank Mir and Cro Cop doing battle to climb up the heavyweight ladder live from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

October 16th, UFC 120 will feature middleweights Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama throwing down in a pivotal clash in London, England on Spike TV.

October 23rd, UFC 121 is the heavyweight showdown a lot of fans have been waiting for with Brock Lesnar and No. 1 contender Cain Velasquez meeting to decide the UFC Heavyweight Championship in Anaheim, CA.

November 13th, UFC 122 middleweights Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami battle to decide the UFC No. 1 middleweight contender in Germany and eventually who will take on the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II for the UFC middleweight title.

November 20th, UFC 123 former light heavyweight champions "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto Machida will fight in Detroit, MI to try and reassert themselves in the title discussion.

December 11th, UFC 124 UFC welterweight champion Georges St.-Pierre finally puts his welterweight strap on the line against Josh Koscheck after their stint on The Ultimate Fighter 12 coaching against one another.

Updates of the entire fight cards for each event will be posted here as they become announced.

August 22, 2010 6:42 PM

Thiago Alves looking to stick at 170

After his latest toils with the scale, UFC welterweight fighter Thiago Alves, hopes to remain as such. That is, he hopes that for his next fight, Joe Rogan isn't announcing his name and "middleweight" in the same sentence as he steps onto the scale.

Alves recently spoke with MMA Fighting and said this:

"I had a chance to look back at the situation. I know I have things to correct ... It was just a half-pound, so I'm sure my body could have flushed it out. But I didn't want to. I just wanted to concentrate on the fight. It was just easier for me to give up the money. Yes, we fight for money, but you also fight to win, and at the time, I was thinking I didn't want to cut the weight. I was just focused on getting ready to fight. When you're cutting weight and dehydrated, you don't always think right. In the future, that won't happen again. It can't happen again ... I appreciate the support I've gotten. When things like this happen, you see people's true colors. I don't care about the people who've turned their backs on me. I just focus on the ones who appreciate me. That's what's important to me and I won't let them down. I'm going to take this thing to the next level. I'm going to make it happen. I know what I've been through and I see things clearly now. Nothing's holding me back."

Alves is determined to stay at 170 and change people's perceptions of him as somebody who struggles to make weight. He's now employed the services of Mike Dolce, famous for his "Dolce Diet" in order to better control his weight cut.

It'll be interesting to see over the course of the next few months, just who wins the battle between Alves and UFC President Dana White. White's stance post UFC 117 was that Alves should move to middleweight, but ultimately it is the fighter's choice and clearly Alves wants to stay a welterweight.

However, actions speak louder than words and one thing is for sure, Alves is on his last grace.

August 10, 2010 3:15 PM

UFC 117 by the numbers

Just days after one of the most exciting pay-per-view events the Ultimate Fighting Championship has put on, the numbers for UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen which took place live from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, are starting to trickle in.

Fighter salaries have yet to be released by the CSAC but UFC President Dana White did announce the special bonuses for the event and attendance and gate figures have been released.

The "Fight of the Night" bonus went to Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen for their epic five round championship struggle in which Silva pulled off a triangle submission in the 11th hour to retain his title. For that submission, Silva also walked away with co-honors for "Submission of the Night", a title he shared with Matt Hughes for his rare north-south choke out of jiu-jitsu specialist Ricardo Almeida. And taking home some extra cake for the "Knockout of the Night" was heavyweight Stefan Struve for his beatdown of Christian Morecraft.

Continue to UFC 117 by the numbers

August 8, 2010 2:55 PM

Anderson Silva prevails in storybook finish at UFC 117

Anderson Silva emerged Saturday night with the belt still tied safely around his waist after his seventh and toughest title defense to date.

After being dominated on the ground for the better part of four and a half rounds, Silva (27-4) lying on his back pounced on the one opening Sonnen left him in 23 minutes of action -- a high head. As Sonnen worked to stay busy to avoid a stand-up where Silva could have received one last opportunity to knock him out, Sonnen left his head unguarded in Silva's guard and the champion quickly pounced. Within seconds, Sonnen had his head locked in a deep triangle and as he tried to wriggle free, Silva slapped in an armbar as well and the pain was intolerable for the challenger as he reluctantly tapped twice, conceding defeat in a fight he was just two minutes away from winning.

It was a finish worthy of 'ESPN Classic'. A finish that only the best champions of all time are able to pull off. On Saturday night, in front of a sold out crowd at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, Silva cemented his legacy as the best MMA fighter of all time.

Continue to Anderson Silva prevails in storybook finish at UFC 117

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