Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ultimate Fighting Championship

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(Pettis cracks Ben Henderson en route to winning the WEC Lightweight Championship.)

The winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos will be crowned on June 4 at The Pearl at The Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., and the card will be topped by a likely lightweight title eliminator bout.

Promised an immediate title shot versus the winner of Edgar vs. Maynard II, former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis (#9 Lightweight) instead has to settle for a match with hyperkinetic wrestler Clay Guida (#9). Guida, winner of three in a row after losses to former title contenders Diego Sanchez (#8 Welterweight) and Kenny Florian (#17 Lightweight), could take Pettis’ spot in line with a win.

Other bouts on the card include Jonathan Brookins (#22 Featherweight) vs. Jeremy Stephens (#18 Lightweight) Scott Jorgensen (#7 Bantamweight) vs. Ken Stone, Josh Grispi (#16 Featherweight) vs. George Roop (#46) and Renan “Barao” (#5 Bantamweight) vs. Demetrious Johnson (#4).

The full card can be viewed here as it develops.

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After visiting Black House our FIGHT! Life series continues with former UFC Heavyweight Champion, King of Pancrase, Pride FC commentator, and co-host of Inside MMA, Bas Rutten. In this video, “El Guapo” talks about childhood illnesses and bullying and how this led him to take up martial arts and eventually fight back. Produced and directed by Matthew Ross. Shot by Marc Rizzo and Randy Ward. Edited by Ashley Cahill and Ryan Jackson-Healy.

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(Props to Warmma.com.)
(Props to Warmma.com.)

You already recognize some of names and faces from the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but there’s a lot you probably still don’t know about this group of 16 heavyweight warriors. Each weekday between now and the Sept. 16 premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights,” FIGHT! will introduce two cast members leading up to the introduction of our TUF bloggers.

Justin Wren
Age: 22
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 264 lbs.
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Trains: Fort Worth with Travis Lutter
MMA record: 6-1-0

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Wren attended Dallas Bishop Lynch High School, where he was a two-time Prep State Champion (2004, 2005) and a two-time Prep all-American, becoming a Prep National Championship his senior year. With two Olympic gold medal winners as coaches, Wren had superb mentors to hone his wrestling prowess. During his last year at Dallas Bishop Lynch, he spent time training at the Olympic Training Center. He attended Iowa State University and joined the wrestling team, but spent his freshman year as a medical red shirt following elbow surgery. During his recovery time, he worked on his mixed martial arts skills and decided to turn pro. Even though Iowa State offered him a full scholarship, he turned it down in order to pursue his professional career in mixed martial arts.

Wren train in Fort Worth with “The Ultimate Fighter 4” champ Travis Lutter but is currently relocating to Denver, Colo. to train at Nate Marquardt’s High Altitude Martial Arts and Trevor Whitman’s T’s KO Fight Club.

To connect with Wren, visit his Myspace page here. Below are videos of Wren wrestling in high school (set to a touching tune by Story of the Year) and a Fort Worth news report about his budding career in “the sport of UFC.”

Learn more about the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.”

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(McGee celebrates his TUF win. Check out the full TUF 11 Finale gallery here.)

Court McGee completed his ‘life comeback’ by taking the weird glass TUF plaque. A recovering addict, McGee survived the drunken shenanigans of the TUF house and came back from a loss to make the finals and defeat Kris McCray once he got there.

FIGHT! Facts

Court McGee def. Kris McCray by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:41 of round two.
Matt Hamill def. Keith Jardine by majority decision.
Chris Leben def. Aaron Simpson by KO (punches) at 4:17 of round two.
Denis Siver def. Spencer Fisher by unanimous decision.
Rich Antonito def. Jamie Yager by TKO (punches) at 4:25 of round two.
John Gunderson def. Mark Holst by unanimous decision.
Brad Tavares def. Seth Baczynski by unanimous decision.
Kyle Noke def. Josh Bryan by TKO (punches and leg kicks) at 3:12 of round two.
Chris Camozzi def. James Hammortree by unanimous decision.
Travis Browne def. James McSweeney by TKO (punches) at 4:32 of round one.


(Hamill and Jardine trade. Check out the full gallery here.)

Attendance and Gate

1,708 fans brought in a $43,250 gate to The Pearl at The Palms.

Awards and Bonuses

Chris Leben scored Knockout of the Night, Court McGee took Submission of the Night, and Matt Hamill and Keith Jardine fought their way to Fight of the Night—each combatant brought home a $25,000 bonus.

Odds and Ends

Matt Hamill competed with staph infection and incurred a broken hand en route to his decision win.


(Fisher’s foot meets Sivers’ face. Check out the full TUF 11 Finale gallery here.)

FIGHT! Picks Recap

We smashed our cystal ball after going 1-3 with our picks. FIGHT! is now 55-34 on the year.

Court McGee (-200) vs Kris McCray (+160)
FIGHT! Pick: McGeeResulting Outcome:  CORRECT

Matt Hamill (-145) vs Keith Jardine (+115)
FIGHT! Pick: JardineResulting Outcome:  INCORRECT

Chris Leben vs. Aaron Simpson
FIGHT! Pick: SimpsonResulting Outcome:  INCORRECT

Spencer Fisher (-175) vs Dennis Siver (+145)
FIGHT! Pick: FisherResulting Outcome:  INCORRECT

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(Osipczak pounds his way to victory over Matt Riddle)

“Slick” Nick Osipczak became a fan favourite on the ninth series of The Ultimate Fighter: UK vs. USA. His exciting style and likeable, ‘cheeky chappy’ personality formed a valid combination, though this obviously this wasn’t hindered by two knockout wins over Tommy Maguire and Mark Miller.

Osipczak progressed to the semi-finals of the show, eventually dropping a decision to Damarques Johnson in a tough, back and forth battle. The loss did little to damage his credibility, however, due to the nature of the contest and he was invited back to fight on the finale on June 20th, 2009. Again, Nick showcased his repertoire of techniques with a submission victory over the durable Frank Lester and this was enough to cement himself a spot on the UFC’s roster.

All set to return at UFC 105 in Manchester, it was the events leading up to the November bout that propelled Nick’s fight against American wrestler Matt Riddle into one of the most anticipated of the night. Bad blood was rife, and Osipczak’s third round stoppage victory over the previously undefeated American was enough to silence his previously vocal adversary.

Now, four months on, Osipczak is scheduled to face Rick Story at the UFC’s inaugural event in Abu Dhabi and we caught up with the Rough House man to get his take on the encounter.

FIGHT! Magazine: Nick, you’re returning to action in Abu Dhabi in April. First and foremost, how does it feel to be a part of a first and memorable moment with the organisation?

Nick Osipczak: Feels great, I asked to be on that card so I’m really appreciative to get on it. It’s gonna be one of the best UFCs ever I think; a great card in a great stadium. Plus, I like going places I’ve never been before, and it doesn’t hurt that the weather is nice!

FIGHT!: It’ll be almost five months since we saw you last. What have you been up to in the layoff?

Nick: I’ve been getting better! In particular I’ve been working my ground game by training in a gi at BJJ School under head coach Felipe Alves De Souza. I’ve also been spending lots of time at my own club, New Wave Academy MMA, helping my students compete.

FIGHT!: You’re back at the Rough House with the most elite welterweights in the country. Has the camp been a good one and how are you feeling?

Nick: It’s been a great camp, what with so many of the other guys having fights lined up a few weeks either side of mine, so we’ve all been pushing each other and are peaking at a similar time. I’m feeling very excited at the moment. In fact, I’ve literally just come back from a session with my mental performance coach Eamonn Madden, so I’m buzzing with confidence!

FIGHT!: Were there many differences from this camp to the last one, considering both guys are/were primarily wrestlers?

Nick: Not a lot to be honest, we’ve just adjusted some tactics for the height differences and worked on some more specific combinations which are likely to work against Rick.

FIGHT!: What do you make of Story’s skills and is there anything in particular you’ll be looking to exploit?

Nick: I don’t think his skills match up well with mine, and I plan on exploiting everything he does! I am confident I can finish him.

FIGHT!: There hasn’t much anywhere near the level of bad blood coming into this one (yet!), do you prefer to keep it professional or do you think the banter with Riddle was good for you and hype for the bout?

Nick: A bit of trash-talking hype is becoming a bit of a tradition with the Rough House! But I’m easy either way. At the end of the day, I’m still gonna win. I guess I just didn’t like Riddle’s face, but this Rick fella is less offensive.

FIGHT!: Coming back to Riddle briefly, that must have been a satisfying feeling? Were things amicable afterwards?

Nick: No, he still hated me! I couldn’t give a f**k though. He just couldn’t get over the fact I said I was gonna piss on him!

FIGHT!: Should you get a victory over a tough Rick Story, where would you be in the 170lbs pile?

Nick: I’m not thinking like that, I’m just taking it one fight at a time and enjoying my evolution. I’m more than happy to let Dan and Paul rule the welterweight roost for now and represent Rough House…my time will come.

FIGHT!: A lot of your partners and Brits are getting huge fights. Obviously Hardy vs. GSP, “Semtex” vs. Kos and then you have Hathaway vs. Sanchez. Is that a level you think you’re ready for or are you happy taking it steady?

Nick: I’m happy taking it steady, but I know from how I perform in the gym with Dan and Paul so if I’m called to step up and fight a big name then I’m ready.

FIGHT!: After taking a ‘piddle on Riddle’, what could you do to Story as there doesn’t appear to be any amusing rhymes?!

Nick: I might read him a bed time story and put him to sleep.

FIGHT!: Finally, as it’s a massive debate that’s raging in the MMA world, what do you reckon will happen when your man Dan takes on GSP?

Nick: I reckon I’ll get much better odds from the bookies than I should be getting!

Just a quick thank you to finish; big thanks to my team and everyone around me as everyone’s been great. I couldn’t do this without them and my sponsors like Maximuscle, Jaco, Tokyo Five, Love MMA, Hayabusa and Mighty Mouthguards!

Look out for Nick on the UFC 112 card as he prepares to say “night, night” to Story and continue his ascent onwards and upwards in the UFC’s welterweight division, further diluting 170lbs with British talent from the Rough House.

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Michael Huang’s profile of Cain Velasquez originally appeared in the Jan. 2010 issue of FIGHT! Magazine. Velasquez will face former Pride and UFC Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on Feb. 21 at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia.

In ancient Aztec tradition, young men climbed in rank and status through combat. Specifically, they rose with each battle and the number of enemies they took prisoner. After five or six captives were taken, young Aztec warriors attained the rank of “Eagle” and were on their way to becoming Aztec warrior nobility.

Like his Aztec ancestors before him, rising Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Cain Velasquez continues to win battle after battle. His foes have grown not only in stature and profile, but also in size and experience. Yet, he remains undefeated.

To strap on the UFC’s Heavyweight Championship Belt, however, Velasquez will rely on what’s tattooed on his chest: “Brown Pride”—and it smacks opponents in the face like a left jab.

“When I throw a punch in the Octagon,” he says, with the Mexican flag wrapped around his right fist, “all the Mexican people are throwing that punch with me.”

Indeed, Velasquez draws upon the strength of La Raza, or the people—his people.

CHOPPING TREES

On the other side of the Octagon stood a Redwood, well, make that a Rothwell.

“Big” Ben Rothwell, a former IFL Grand Prix Heavyweight Champion matched his experience against Velasquez’s athleticism at UFC 104. Rothwell was making his UFC debut and talked about making a big splash at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Velasquez was having none of it.

“If you want a stepping stone to a title shot or something like that, don’t fight me,” Velasquez says.

His strategy was obvious: Chop the big man to the ground. And it didn’t take long.

About midway through the first round, after Velasquez had repeatedly taken down Rothwell with single legs and used elbows to pound him, Rothwell appeared winded. By the second round, Velasquez rained down La Raza on Rothwell’s face, who stood pinned against the cage. Referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight.

Critics and fans cried early stoppage. Velasquez seemed disappointed. He wanted to finish Rothwell. He has since vowed his next fight would be even more decisive and absolute.

“I want to win super impressively, be the total package,” Velasquez says. “I just have to go back to the gym and keep improving.”

rothwell_velasquez_five

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

According to U.S. Census numbers, Hispanics could become the secondlargest race or ethnic group in the United States by 2010.

And yet, despite the considerable growth of the Hispanic population, Velasquez had few Hispanic athletes as role models. Sure, there were boxers like Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez.

“For me growing up, there wasn’t really anyone like me on TV or anything. As great as they were, most Mexican- American fighters were little guys,” says the 6’1”, 239-pound Velasquez. “There aren’t too many Mexican heavyweights, if any. As far as being someone people can look up to, I don’t feel any pressure to be that role model.”

And from a marketing standpoint, it is difficult not to notice Velasquez. He is an advertiser’s dream.

“There are no Mexican heavyweights out there,” says Javier Mendez, owner and head trainer at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. “You haven’t seen anything like him.”

Velasquez is a warrior born. He first donned boxing gloves at age 5 and took his beatings from older brother Efrain, like any younger brother should. They pounded a punching bag and boxed each other. Cain learned to enjoy the taste of combat—he had to. His neighborhood in Yuma, Ariz., ate up weakness like candy.

“He got picked on by some kids, but drugs were the biggest concern around our neighborhood,” says Velasquez’s mother, Isabel. “One day he ran into the house out of breath. He said to me, ‘Mom, I hit him! And it felt good!’ He was very proud of himself for standing up to trouble.”

110 FROM YUMA

On the mat, under the tutelage of head coach Shawn Rustad, Velasquez crushed his opposition, going 110-10 for Kofa (Ariz.) High School. Velasquez ended his high school career as a two-time 5A Arizona State Heavyweight Champion.

But grades forced a stint at Iowa Central Community College, where he became a Junior College National Champion. At that point, Velasquez had all but decided to wrestle for one of the storied Iowa or Iowa State programs, but two men talked him into returning to the desert.

“Our wrestling room wasn’t the greatest, but we worked hard, and I promised him he would become a great wrestler,” says Thom Ortiz, former head wrestling coach of Arizona State University, who also has coached MMA fighters Ryan Bader and CB Dollaway. “I said, ‘you’ll be closer to home,’ and he liked that idea. But frankly, he hadn’t even thought of going to ASU.”

It also was Rustad’s recommendation of ASU that prompted Velasquez return to the desert. And at ASU, Ortiz saw the warrior born come alive.

“He was the guy who showed up to practice 15 minutes early. Then, after two and a half hours of practice, he got right on the bike or ran sprints,” Ortiz says. “The guy is a machine. His best attribute is not the wrestling, not the striking, not the jiu-jitsu. It’s his cardio. Don’t get me wrong, those other three attributes are pretty good. But he will stop at nothing to beat his opponent. Cain will wear down his opponent before he ever will. ‘Never’ is not in this guy’s vocabulary.”

Velasquez dominated at ASU, becoming a two-time All-American. His senior year, Velasquez won 21 straight matches before losing a 2-2 decision to Minnesota’s Cole Conrad in the semifinals of the 2006 National Championships. Cole eventually won the title, and the defeat burns and stings at Velasquez to this day.

“Cain does not take defeat well,” Isabel said. “It pushes him even more. He gets that work ethic from his father.”

Like Father, Like Son

For Efrain Velasquez, repetition was how he came to live in the United States, and perhaps how he came to be a truck driver. He learned to love the solitary life on the road at an early age.

But let his son tell that story.

“When my dad was 18 years old, he wanted to cross to the United States to make some money and help out his mom and to make a better life. So he just walked the desert until he got here,” Cain says. “He’d make money then bring it back. Then he’d go back again. He did something like 15 trips across the desert.

“So people started coming to him asking, ‘Can you help us out and take us across?’ Efrain said he wasn’t doing anything special. ‘I’m just walking across the desert. But if you want to come with me, that’s fine.’ A guy from the Mexican army went with him one time, and the guy couldn’t make it. He just stopped walking at one point, and my dad had to leave him there. So, even guys from the army couldn’t keep up with my dad.”

Apparently Cain’s famed cardio and love for the desert is hereditary. It also was through repetition that a young Cain sculpted his body through working in the fields, pitching watermelons all day for 12 years. That ability to translate movements from repetition has made Velasquez a dangerous learning machine—dangerous because of how fast he learns.

“The guy doesn’t stop training,” Ortiz says. “But it is his ability to understand what a guy is trying to do to him and learn from a mistake quickly that makes him tough on the mat.”

Indeed, during one tournament years ago at East Stroudsburg University, one unfortunate soul caught Velasquez in a cradle, earning back points and nearly pinning him.

“If it were a freestyle match, that was a pin, but the ref didn’t call it,” Ortiz says. “I told him that.”

Velasquez managed to wriggle free but was still down 5–0.

“I was worried for the guy after Cain got free and stood up,” Ortiz says. “You could see it in his eyes.”

In the next four minutes, Velasquez scored 22 straight points.

“That pissed him off, like the Cheick Kongo fight,” Ortiz says.

Indeed, Velasquez took Kongo’s best shots straight on the chin at UFC 97, staggering him, but also igniting him.

“That’s his will. He didn’t learn that at American Kickboxing Academy.

He didn’t learn that at ASU or in high school. That’s pure Velasquez. You don’t teach that.”

Rising Aztec

By his junior year at ASU, Velasquez had taken a healthy interest in MMA.

Wrestling wasn’t enough.

“If I got taken down, I’d be ready to punch the guy,” Velasquez says. “It’s always seemed natural for me. Then I saw mixed martial arts and said that’s what I want to do.”

Velasquez was ready to leave school after his junior year, but Ortiz convinced him to wait one more year. Not for wrestling’s sake, but rather, to make sure he earned his bachelor’s degree.

“I told him he’d be great at it, and when he finished his degree, I would be the first to put him in touch with people I knew,” Ortiz says. “He held up his end of the bargain, so I held up mine.”

Ortiz flew Velasquez to San Jose for a three-day workout at American Kickboxing Academy to connect with one of Ortiz’s old wrestling colleagues, MMA mega-agent Dewayne Zinkin. A former All-American wrestler at Cal State-Fresno in the early 1990s, Zinkin liked what he saw in Velasquez.

Velasquez was sparring with a former highly ranked heavyweight kickboxer, Jean Claude Leuyer, who threw a head kick that Velasquez summarily caught, slamming Leuyer down.

Before Velasquez was back in Arizona, Zinkin faxed over a contract, Ortiz says.

“Before I sent Cain up to AKA, I asked myself ‘where would I send my own son?’ I trusted Zinkin, and he trusted I was sending him a good fighter. He faxed a contract over, and on the cover sheet it read: ‘Can I sign him yesterday?’”

Velasquez had come full circle, having been born in Salinas, Calif. In signing with Zinkin Entertainment and AKA, he had returned to San Jose, just mere miles from his birthplace.

For The People

However, not everyone was pleased about Velasquez’s choice of vocation. After all, Cain was the first Velasquez to earn a college degree. Even his best friend since third grade, Anthony Ortiz, was skeptical.

“My dad didn’t know what it was,” Velasquez says. “I tried to explain it’s like kickboxing. So he watched some tapes, and he was hooked. My mom understands now, too, and supports me. But Anthony didn’t. I said ‘Dude, you’re my best friend. You got to have my back on this.’ But he didn’t. That’s because it was all new to him.”

Winning the support of friends and family was one hurdle, but Velazquez faced another before he could appeal to his growing fan base: learning Spanish. While his older brother and sister grew up completely fluent in Spanish, Cain did not. He understood Spanish, but couldn’t speak it.

“I just never spoke a whole lot of Spanish with him,” Isabel says. “But he went out and learned how to speak it. I told him if that’s your image, your ‘Brown Pride’ tattoo, you better know how to speak Spanish.”

His popularity among La Raza is surging. Where the Aztecs rewarded young warriors for taking prisoners, Velasquez is taking none. At UFC 104, the heavily Hispanic crowd lustily cheered for their champion after he addressed them in Spanish:

“I’m thankful that all the Latino fans are here with me. I will fight, and I will win for you.”

Shortly before UFC 100 in July, the UFC flew Velasquez down to Mexico City and Velasquez made use of that Spanish.

“They sent him there for two weeks and the people treated him like royalty,” Ortiz says.

For this Aztec warrior, it might only be a matter of time.

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Danny Acosta and Rick Lee were on the scene at tonight’s UFC 116 weigh ins. Paul Thatcher was, too. You can check out his best shots here.

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Jon Jones mopped up Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko just eight ticks shy of two minutes at the San Diego Sports for UFC on Versus II.

Everyone gave Matyushenko a snowball’s chance in Las Vegas and expected “Bones” to perform in dominating fashion like he did. Jones moved to 5-1 inside the Octagon and 11-1 overall—the lone smudge on his perfect record a disqualification against Matt Hamill. At a glance, it appears the fight was a lateral movement for Jones, adding no higher trajectory to his rising star. However, the New York native’s second headlining bout pointed to a variety of factors that prove the bout was a pivotal contest for Jones.

The 23-year-old took center cage in an Anderson Silvaesque stance. Like kids trying to emulate their favorite baseball player’s swings, the New York mimicked “The Spider” in a live environment against a tough veteran and it worked. He absorbs and executes what he sees. Judo, for example, he’s picked up from YouTube. There’s no reward with risk, fun without creativity or winning without technique and Jones has struck a balance between all.

He realized the expectations surrounding him and made adjustments to ensure he’d live up to those expectations. Jones refused to underestimate the Belarusian despite being given every reason by media and fans to believe he was markedly better than the former IFL Light Heavyweight Champion. Greg Jackson’s team expressed Jones’ biggest strides in the Matyushenko camp were as a person. In an individual sport, the most dangerous combatant can be oneself—Jones has fended off defeating himself through humility and dedication.

Jones has been wisely brought up through the ranks slowly by the UFC, allowing him to progress as a fighter. What’s missing from the equation has been an opponent to push Jones inside the cage. Without seeing how Jones handles real adversity in a fight, it’s too soon to punch his ticket for a title shot.

Winning, and doing so convincingly, necessitates fighters move toward the belt, especially with the backing of fans like Jones enjoys. But the UFC needs to continue its steady path with him. The UFC requires its Chuck Liddell’s and Jones is clearly emerging as a staple star. Rushing into a title fight isn’t worth the risk of forcing Jones before he’s ready. After all, he admittedly just started maturing as a person and a fighter.

Jones is clamoring for a test inside the cage though. Without jumping into title bouts, a returning Thiago Silva is a stern challenge or a fight with the winner of Tito Ortiz-Matt Hamill can benefit Jones. Ortiz’s divisive personality can elevate Jones, while a rematch with a much-improved Hamill would give Jones an opportunity to eradicate the lone loss on his record no matter how dubious.

Okami On Point

Perennial contender Yushin Okami bested standout wrestler Mark Munoz via split decision. “Thunder” showcased his most complete game to date as he’s refined his passive style into a patient defensive, counter style with strong bursts of offense standing, clinching and grappling. Dana White’s recent remarks that he’s warming up to an Okami title shot should hold more weight now. A fight with Vitor Belfort or Chris Leben could serve as number one contender contests.

Ellenberger Asks for Top Welterweights

Jake Ellenberger swelled John Howard’s eye so bad Howard could have been cast a zombie in a movie without any makeup. It’s the welterweight’s second consecutive UFC stoppage and the Reign Training Center product feels ready to step up in competition. A chance at Mike Swick would be the right step for the 25-year-old.

Gomi’s Fireball

Former PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi lit up Tyson Griffin with a right hook 64 seconds into his second UFC fight, scoring his first UFC victory. It’s the first time in 18 fights Griffin’s night ended early and given Griffin’s consistent spot near the top of the division, “The Fireball Kid” is one of few marketable challengers for the 155-pound crown. A shot at the loser of Frankie Edgar-B.J. Penn II or a scrap with Clay Guida could clarify if Gomi is ready for a return for prominence.

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Riding high after his first Octagon win, UFC welterweight Daniel “Ninja” Roberts tells Danny Acosta that his UFC 121 contest with Michael “Joker” Guymon is no laughing matter. Shot and edited by Rick Lee.

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Tune in right here at 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST today, Tues., Feb. 23 for live streaming video of the UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch press conference. The presser will take place at the Star City Casino in Sydney, Australia. The card is headlined by former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion BJ Penn (#2 Welterweight) and perennial welterweight challenger Jon Fitch (#3), with the winner promised a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship. The catch is that its possible that the championship will be vacant by the time either man gets his shot, as UFC President Dana White has stated that if Georges St-Pierre (#1) – who has beaten both Penn (twice) and Fitch (once) – beats Jake Shields (#4) at UFC 129, he will vacate his belt to fight at 185 pounds.

UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch will air live on pay per view in the United States on Sat., Feb. 26 with two preliminary fights airing on ION Television and two preliminary fights streaming on Facebook.com/UFC. Go here to view the full UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch fight card.

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