• Chael Sonnen: Great promoter or greatest promoter?

    That belt's origins are still unknown. (Getty)CHICAGO -- "Chael's nuts."

    UFC president Dana White started off the press conference with the statement that everyone in MMA has thought, but not said. Sonnen, who walked out with a UFC championship belt and the words, "Undisputed, undefeated!" flowing from his mouth, showed again he is the best promoter in MMA.

    White barely had to say anything to promote Saturday's bouts on Fox, because the Sonnen Show took center stage. His opponent on Saturday, Michael Bisping, tried to keep up with Sonnen, but his attempts were futile.

    Sonnen explained where he picked up the belt ... kind of.

    "Well, for

    Read More »from Chael Sonnen: Great promoter or greatest promoter?
  • Debunking Rashad Evans’ claims about Phil Davis’ wrestling

    Ph12612CHICAGO -- Rashad Evans and Phil Davis both wrestled in the Big Ten in college, a fact that has been discussed several times over in the build-up to their UFC on Fox 2 bout on Saturday. Davis has questioned Evans' credentials, while Evans called Davis' technique trash.

    During Thursday's press conference, Evans even went as far to call competition Davis faced during his tenure weak.

    "You wrestled in a year that was kind of soft," Evans said. "Your technique is trash."

    Unfortunately, the facts don't support Evans' claims.

    Davis was a four-time All-American at Penn State, which means he placed in the top eight of the country in every year he wrestled. It's a difficult feat, no matter the competition. But the wrestlers Davis faced every year that he earned All-American status are names that are familiar to MMA fans.

    Davis won the national title as a senior, beating three-time All-American Wynn Michalak from Central Michigan along the way. Max Askren, Ben's brother who won the title in 2010, also placed in the top eight that year.

    In 2007, he shared the podium with the same man he shared the dais with today: UFC middleweight Chris Weidman, who beat future world team member J.D. Bergman on the way to a third-place finish. Davis lost in the finals in 2006 to Jake Rosholt, a UFC and WEC veteran and a three-time NCAA champion. When Davis took seventh his freshman year, he beat UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader in the second round of the tournament.

    Evans has talked about how he is better at MMA wrestling than Davis, and he'll get to test out that theory on Saturday. However, questioning his wrestling credentials is a waste of trash talk. A man with a national title, four All-Americans and two Big Ten titles has already proven himself on the mat.

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  • ‘UFC on Fox 2′s’ Mike Russow balances police work and fighting

    Mike Russow at open workouts (Getty)CHICAGO -- As a rookie police officer, Mike Russow was assigned to work a Chicago Bulls game at the United Center in 2003. On Saturday, he will be back at the United Center. This time, instead of keeping the peace, he'll fight Jon Olav Einemo at "UFC on Fox 2."

    While putting together a record of 14-1 with three wins in the UFC, Russow has kept his day job in the Chicago Police Department. Russow currently patrols the third district on the city's South Side. He is understandably hesitant to give specifics about the details of his daily work,  but said that he has been recognized as a fighter when on the job.

    "I had someone who I was arresting for a warrant, and he saw the Chicago Sun-Times picture that day. He noticed," Russow said.

    Though Russow can't use his Octagon-worthy moves on offenders, he says police work and fighting share a mental side.

    "You have to be calm. There's a lot of situations with police work where it's scary. You're clearing a house, by yourself, it's dark, no lights, and you don't know if the offender is in there. It's just like in the cage."

    His calm demeanor came in handy when Russow fought Todd Duffee at UFC 114.

    "When I was fighting Todd Duffee, he was beating my ass. I stayed calm, hung in there, and got a lucky punch. I think that's how it helps. Being mentally tough."

    He broke his left arm early in the bout, and was having trouble with his right arm. Still he knew he had to pull something out to get the win.

    "It was like an effortless punch. The right technique, and the right time, and I hit him and he went down. I was coming off of elbow surgery, and I couldn't extend my right arm all the way. My left arm broke. I knew something was wrong. Right before that I thought, I got to do something."

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  • Chris Weidman: From parents’ basement to network TV

    Weidman prepares for fight with Maia (Zuffa)CHICAGO -- Ten months ago, Chris Weidman was living in his parents' basement with his wife and daughter. After winning three straight fights in the UFC, he will challenge Demian Maia on the UFC's second show on network television.

    At Wednesday's open workouts for UFC on Fox 2, Weidman said he has not had time to sit back and think about all he's accomplished in such a short time.

    "I really haven't set back to think about it all in a 10-month period. It started getting tough. Any amount of money at that point was going to get me to come," Weidman said.

    When he took the fight with Alessio Sakara last March, he was on the verge of signing with Bellator. He even had dinner reservations to celebrate the signing, but gave himself more time to consider the contract. Waiting opened the door for the UFC to sign him.

    By July, he had a decision over Sakara and a submission of Jesse Bongfeldt, and a new home for his wife and now two-year-old daughter Cassidy.

    Weidman's spot on the card this weekend was just as surprising. When Mark Munoz was injured last week, the UFC had to scramble to create a card that would make people tune in to Fox. Michael Bisping was given the spot against Chael Sonnen, leaving a hole on the card to fight Maia. Weidman, who beat Tom Lawlor in November, was called.

    "At the time, I was surprised, because I thought I was going to fight April 22. But I had a funny feeling that something was going to end up happening.

    Read More »from Chris Weidman: From parents’ basement to network TV
  • This is a nice behind-the-scenes video blog following Rashad Evans. As always Evans drops some awesome lines. He talks about being a heel and that he wouldn't want it any other way (5:35 mark). Watch the end, the delivery is dynamite.

    Evans faces Phil Davis in the main event of Saturday's UFC on Fox 2 card in Chicago.

  • Nate Diaz with 'Jersey Shore' star Ronnie

    The Fox/UFC deal is moving ahead full bore.

    Heavy promotion for this weekend's second network TV card is underway, a cool new commercial with Jon Jones debuted over the weekend and last night, Dana White confirmed fights for the next MMA appearance on Fox.

    That May date is interesting because it's the same night Floyd Mayweather is planning on fighting on pay-per-view in Las Vegas.

    Mayweather got out of his 90-day jail sentence by saying he had a contracted fight for May 5. He has to fight that night or he violates the terms of his agreement. Mayweather is now due to check into the Clark County Detention Center on June 1.

    Read More »from With UFC on Fox 2 on deck, UFC on Fox 3 taking shape on same night as proposed Floyd Mayweather fight
  • MMA Marketplace: Bid for a fighter to fight cancer

    A UFC Hall-of-Famer? He's a steal at twice the price! (Zuffa)Normally in MMA Marketplace, we tell you about the latest fight-related merchandise. Today, we bring you a special sale on fighters. Well, kind of. It Ain't Chemo, a charity that provides support to cancer survivors is hosting a celebrity auction on Friday, Feb. 3, in Las Vegas. Coinciding with UFC 143, several fighters will be up for bidding.

    Perhaps you want a nice UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture? Or you would like to spend your cash on the original Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin? Martin Kampmann, Clay Guida and Kyle Kingsbury will also be on the auction block. Women included are UFC Octagon Girl Chandella Powell and former Octagon Girl Natasha Wicks.

    Auction winners will attend dinner at Fogo de Chao. If you're in Las Vegas for next weekend's fights, check out the event. It's $15 at the Mandalay Bay. Even if you can't win a fighter, it's sure to be a great time.

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  • Rashad Evans with Michael Johnson and Tyrone SpongThe most annoying conversation that emerges following a champion's dominant victory, are the cries of a division being cleared out. It's almost never the case.

    Champs age, suffer injuries and the field of developing fighters beneath them eventually catches up.

    Jon Jones is already getting that ridiculous treatment at light heavyweight, so Adam Hill from the Las Vegas Review-Journal put together a list over at to shine a light on the guys who may end Jones' dominance at 205 pounds. Phil Davis was tabbed the No. 1 prospect contender.

    The parameters he used were active fighters who have not held a UFC belt in the weight class and haven't previously fought for a title in the weight class.

    Check out the entire list here (sorry it's Insider access only). The list included fighters like:

    8. Ryan Jimmo (16-1), UFC
    The Canadian got knocked out in the first round of his MMA debut way back in 2007. Since then, he's lost one fight ....

    Read More »from Jon Jones’ future: One writer’s view of top prospects at 205 pounds
  • Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson at XS (XS/Danny Mahoney)

    Another sign some of us are getting really old. How many of you folks remember watching a precocious 22-year-old Tito Ortiz debut at UFC 13 in 1997 and eventually slam his way to a UFC title in 2000?

    One of the originals of this young sport just turned 37 yesterday.

    Tito did it in style with his girlfiend Jenna Jameson at XS nightclub inside Encore Las Vegas.

    [...] arrived at the hotspot after midnight and were seated at a private table overlooking the dance floor. Ortiz was dressed to the nines in a black pinstripe vest, black slacks, a black dress shirt and a white tie, while the blonde bombshell and former porn star wore skin-tight black pants, a shear top and fingerless leather gloves.

    Before the late night party, Tito and friends celebrated just south on Las Vegas Boulevard at Caesars.

    Read More »from Remember when Tito Ortiz was a 22-year-old phenom? He celebrated his 37th birthday yesterday in Vegas
  • A rare bad day for Davis as he works submission defense (Getty)Phil Davis is talking a damn good game getting ready for his UFC on Fox 2 main event fight against Rashad Evans. It was so good recently that Evans had finally had enough saying it's all lip service until their face to face in the Octagon.

    "When you get hit in the mouth, things change," Evans said during the UFC on Fox 2 conference call (2:15 mark). "When you got hit by 'Little Nog,' you didn't know what to do. When I hit you n the mouth, you're going to feel it."

    Davis set off Evans when he said the former UFC light heavyweight champ wouldn't have to worry about a title shot after this fight. Evans unloaded on the young Davis, also suggesting he would freeze in a fight of this magnitude.

    Read More »from UFC on Fox 2: Evans says Davis isn’t ready for the big stage