"UFC just offered me to fight BJ Penn... I said YES!!!!! Just waiting on him!!!!!! Let's scrap bra?"
Rich Franklin (28-6-1) knows he must be close to retirement because people keep asking him about it. For the last two years it's come up in nearly every interview, he said, and that tells him something, even if it's something he might not want to hear.
The king is dead. Long live the king.
In a year where "Business as usual" became a tongue-in-cheek slogan for MMA fans in the know, it was a series of big business moves that changed the sport's landscape forever.
LAS VEGAS -- I'll admit it: it's strange to see Jason "Mayhem" Miller this calm. Unsettling, even. As he leans back on the plush sofa in his suite at the Palms, patiently explaining how he finally feels like a mature, responsible individual -- "I'm like a real adult now, which is weird," he says -- I can't help but wonder if this is some elaborate practical joke.
If you have something better to do with your life than watch so-called reality television -- and who doesn't? -- you've not been missing much if you've chosen to skip The Ultimate Fighter. The Spike TV show did put the UFC on the map six years ago, but it's never evolved beyond a tiresome formula of a few minutes of fervent, if ham-fisted fighting wrapped around hours of sometimes drunken, always childish stupidity. In other words, typical reality TV fare.
Some call this the most wonderful time of the year, and fans of mixed martial arts have quite a bit to be thankful for.
It's been a rough few years for auto dealers. Hundreds have had to close over the last couple of years and the those that survive face a still-tough economy and even tougher customers.
She's into "sarcasm, satire, self-deprecating humor," but don't believe those JT rumors
Are you ready for a big weekend of mixed martial arts? What, you weren't aware? Hey, just because a Countdown to UFC Whatever hype-it-up preview show hasn't been replayed over and over on Spike, Versus and all 32 flavors of ESPN throughout the week doesn't mean the cage is empty. There's Strikeforce on Friday, the Bellator Fighting Championships on Saturday and the UFC on Sunday. Clear out the TV room.
Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin have a few things in common. Each has stepped into a mixed martial arts cage or ring 13 times. Each has walked out a winner after all but one of those bouts.
Ramsey Nijem and Tony Ferguson will be in Las Vegas on Saturday night, competing for the fighter contract the UFC awards to the winner of its reality TV show, The Ultimate Fighter. They're the last two survivors in the season-long game of musical chairs.
In some ways, going from The Ultimate Fighter to the UFC is a little like finally finding a job after months and months of unemployment. At first, you're overcome with joy. Mission accomplished, and all that.
In everyday life, Quinton Jackson likes to say, he's Quinton. In an MMA cage, he's "Rampage."
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Matt "The Hammer" Hamill is not a bad fight. Jackson is a former UFC light heavyweight champion, a brawny aggressor who twice has earned a Fight of the Night bonus and two other times has pocketed the many thousand extra dollars company president Dana White awards for Knockout of the Night. Hamill also is a forward-moving strongman with a UFC Fight of the Night and a Knockout of the Night on his résumé. It will not be a boring bout.
Spike TV will be honoring the actress and her beauty on June 10
Shane Carwin was working out Thursday afternoon at his training camp in Colorado when his cellphone rang. He ignored it, keeping his focus on preparations for his June 11 bout at UFC 131. The phone rang again. And again. "My phone was blowing up," Carwin later wrote on his blog, "so I looked over and saw some missed calls from Dana and Joe Silva."
The idea behind hefty promotional efforts like UFC Primetime on Spike TV is simple: take fans behind the scenes and inside the camps of the two main event fighters in the weeks leading up to their bout, thus making viewers all the more likely to buy the pay-per-view once the event finally rolls around.
"Repo Games," a reality television show from Spike TV that allows debtors a chance to win back their repossessed cars, will hit the airwaves later this month.
Now I know what Vitor Belfort feels like. In the days after Anderson Silva stopped him with a devastating attack that was as spectacular as it was sudden, I took a few kicks to the face myself from readers for my February fighter rankings. The biggest point of contention was my flip-flopping the consensus opinion among media rankings and putting UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at No. 1 ahead of Silva, the middleweight champ. But that was not my only ranking that rankled readers. I took some heat for putting a division champion below a guy who's fought at that weight only once. And slotting Alistair Overeem at No. 2 among heavyweights made me the heavy for several readers who apparently don't put much weight in his Strikeforce title belt.
The producers of "Jersey Shore" are launching a reality show about a topic that's attuned to tough times: repossessed cars.
Herschel Walker needs no introduction, but I'll give him one anyway, in case you've forgotten about all he's done in sports or aren't old enough to fully grasp his legacy. That second possibility is certainly feasible for some in the youngish fan base of mixed martial arts, considering that the 48-year-old won his Heisman Trophy 29 years ago and had his Pro Bowl seasons way back in 1987 and 1988, which may or may not have been during the NFL's leather-helmet era.
Dana White can't call Evan Dunham undefeated anymore.
He's not a main event fighter, never has been, at least not in the big show. He's not even part of Saturday night's co-main event -- you know, the other fight the UFC has chosen to trumpet on its poster for Fight for the Troops 2. That distinction goes to the big boys, Matt Mitrione and Tim Hague, probably because heavyweight bouts always make us sit up straighter in our seats.
Every few weeks Dana White spends an evening cageside watching a couple dozen fighters show him their courage and toughness. This Saturday night the UFC president will be sitting among fighters he considers the toughest and most courageous of all -- some 6,000 of them -- when Fight for the Troops 2 takes place in front of a crowd of military men and women at Fort Hood outside the small central Texas city of Killeen.
When UFC president Dana White announced in late October that his promotion's roster would merge with that of WEC, its sister entity, this was the rare move applauded by more or less everyone who loves fights.
Five observations from UFC 122, where Yushin Okami beat Nate Marquardt to become the No. 1 contender in the middleweight division:
SI.com caught up with Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim to talk about Saturday's UFC 122 card at the König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
Two fight cards this week speak to the reasons Zuffa decided it was time to fold WEC into the UFC.
UFC president Dana White is fond of saying nationalism doesn't apply in mixed martial arts. He doesn't express it quite like that, but essentially his thinking suggests if a good fight is within view, humans will watch regardless of the neighborhood they're from. Two Brazilians can meet in Montreal and MMA fans will care just as if their very own Canadiens were going after it. And in most cases, this has proven to be true. During Pride's heyday, the majority of the Japanese company's most beloved fighters, the guys who really drew at the gate and created an aura around events, were not native. Yet local fans showed up in droves for the fight and spectacle.
Reality television digs deep next spring, when Spike TV follows West Virginia coal miners underground.
It happens sometimes that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva puts together a card both fans and media are quick to prejudge. It also happens that these events, on occasion, are among the organization's most exciting. That hope lingered Saturday night as UFC made its debut in Indiana without a championship up for grabs or a main event -- altered in August when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was replaced by Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic to fight Frank Mir -- that held much importance.
The UFC's light heavyweight division has long been the promotion's premier class. With relatively few exceptions, the UFC has locked down top stars and prospects at that weight, which makes Ryan Bader -- an undefeated 27-year-old former Arizona State University wrestler who made a statement by easily winning the eighth season of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter -- someone worth watching.
Like every good villain, Josh Koscheck has an origin story. Not the whole birth, adolescence, adulthood thing. Everybody's got that. This is more about how he became the Koscheck MMA fans have learned to know and hate.
As fight towns go, Brent Medley is aware of what he has in Amarillo, Texas.
When a football player flattens his opponent with a bone-crushing hit, the crowd leaps to its feet and roars approval. When hockey referees break up a fight, spectators often jeer. In the increasingly popular mixed martial arts competitions, bloodied and battered fighters can knee, elbow, and kick each other in the face.
There was a period not so long ago when televised mixed martial arts was considered the keystone to yanking the sport out of the shadows. Five years after The Ultimate Fighter performed its magic on Spike TV, that notion has been affirmed, to the point that MMA fans have so many options these days they're as likely to stumble upon a bout as they are a baseball game.
John Hackleman paused. Emotion shook his voice, which is perpetually hoarse after "18 million reminders over 20 years" for Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell to keep his hands up.
Held up against the crassness from Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans two weeks ago in Las Vegas, Zuffa's follow-up event Saturday in Vancouver, B.C., feels downright saccharine.
Actress Sandra Bullock didn't shy away from the spotlight at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday -- one of her first public appearances since reports surfaced that her husband Jesse James cheated on her.
Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise and "Twilight" shine at the MTV Movie Awards.
In her first public appearance since the Oscars, the actress accepts a Spike TV award from the troops
Herewith five things we learned from Saturday night's WEC 48 from Sacramento, Calif:
In terms of sheer fight-finishing excitement, Wednesday's UFC Fight Night on Spike TV delivered in a way that last weekend's pay-per-view outing didn't. Maybe you have to sit through a ton of commercials to get to it, but who says you never get anything good for free? Here are some of the things we learned from Wednesday's action:
Roy Nelson got off to a bit of a rocky start with his current boss. Maybe that's understating it a little, since UFC president Dana White has publicly referred to him as a "moron" and an "idiot," while also making an issue of how unimpressed he was with Nelson's performance on The Ultimate Fighter.
Never again. If his loss to Matt Serra in 2007 provided any lasting impact on Georges St. Pierre, it's that never again would he be cocky walking into fight. Never again would he consider himself unbeatable. Never again would he fail to take every possible step to ensure his readiness. Never, he's repeated like some mantra, again.
Seated at a small, cloth-covered circular table that seemed insufficient for its guests, old friends, former sparring partners, Larry Holmes and Joe Frazier laughed, appraised, remembered and spoke truth, as they know it.
Five years ago Monday, The Ultimate Fighter debuted on Spike TV and changed the trajectory of a sport. For as much impact as Zuffa had in popularizing mixed martial arts and the UFC, it could be argued that no group is more integral to the sport's turnaround than the brass at a fledgling cable network attempting to establish itself as a bastion for all things male.
SI.com's resident MMA guru Josh Gross points out five key storylines from UFC 107, highlighted by lightweight champion B.J. Penn's successful title defense against Diego Sanchez.
As mixed martial arts gears up for a hectic November, here are five questions worth asking before Thanksgiving rolls around.
The two seem cozy at Saturday's Spike Awards and hit Chateau Marmont after!
Wednesday night's Ultimate Fighter elimination bout between Kimbo Slice and Roy Nelson might have been the most watched fight in the show's 10-season history on Spike TV. It also may have been among the most predictable.
UFC 103 may not have been the type of blockbuster show that could overshadow a Floyd Mayweather fight, but there are still plenty of lessons we can take away from the UFC's venture into Dallas, Texas ,on Saturday night.
For the first time in a while, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has recaptured a bit of that underdog feel it once wore so well.
So this is "The Lyoto Machida Era" in mixed martial arts. That's what everyone is saying, anyway, with a certain unmistakable reverence. Think the Ming Dynasty and Roman Empire all rolled into one. That's the kind of dominant reign the MMA world is expecting. But as far as challengers go, it's starting to look like the Machida Era is not going to get off to the best possible start.