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Archive for the ‘UFC | Mixed Martial Arts’

Frank Mir On His Recent Losses, Taking A Break From MMA & UFC Fight Night 61

February 19, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir recently spoke with UFC.com about his upcoming fight with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC Fight Night 61. There are some gems in this piece. Check out the highlights down below.

On taking a break from fighting: “I was having a bad streak there for a while, so I’ve taken a year off to evaluate what I needed to fix and address, and I feel like I’ve given myself enough time to heal up properly and have a proper off-season and build up my physical activity again,” he said. “I worked on mobility so I can be more efficient and proficient in fighting. And that’s what this fight is. It’s an opportunity to show I’m still able to perform the moves that I know how to do.”

On his losses: “I was being delusional,” he said. “Over the last few years, my brain knew what move I had to do during the fight, almost like a coach in my own head, saying ‘Okay, you need to sit out and then wall walk,’ but the conditioning just wasn’t there. I was constantly training around injuries and scheduling my camps around injuries. The time I had elbow surgery I had to adjust training because it wasn’t healed yet. Same thing with shoulder surgery; my range of motion wasn’t there yet. So instead of taking time off to address these issues so I can throw a punch properly or do a pushup or a downward facing dog position, I would just not do those things at all, and I end up doing patchwork. Well, you can’t do that in a fight, not at this level. How do you get a guy to do a get-up position from guard when he can’t even do three pushups because his shoulder or elbow is hurting? So when I’m in a fight and I try to execute a move and I can’t because I haven’t practiced it in a gym leading up to the fight, that is what leads to the type of performances that I ended up with.”

On how a fighter’s body takes so much punishment: “It is extremely frustrating.” Mir will say “frustrating” several more times during our conversation. “I understand now when people get older and they say they can’t do that anymore. The brain knows what to do but the body is just not willing. At first, I thought I had to retire but after about two months off I thought ‘Maybe not. Maybe if I am able to heal.’ That’s when I started being more diligent with my physical therapy outside of a fight, not waiting until six weeks before a fight to get better. I took the time to proactively heal my body to become an athlete again. And I didn’t give myself a time frame on how long it will take me out of the ring. I was willing to take the time off to work on my shoulder mobility. I wanted to be able to do fifty pushups again. I wanted to be able to jump on a box that pretty much everyone else in the gym can jump on. I wanted to heal my rotator cuff problems, and my elbows. I wanted to take a yoga class with my wife without having to tape up everything like I’m getting ready to fight somebody. And once I got to that level I was feeling really good and thought I could fight again.”

On how he feels physically heading into his fight with Antonio Silva: “In sparring I haven’t lost a round,” he said. “In rolling, I would get a fresh guy on me and I’m able to do anything I want to do. I can sprawl properly now when a guy shoots in for a takedown. I can do the athletic stuff I was able to do that made me good at Jiu-Jitsu in the first place, like jumping up for a triangle and diving for a heel hook. Even my stand-up is better because my legs are fresh and not aching. When I fought Nogueira the first time I was bouncing and moving and using angles, and since then it’s not like I forgot how to box, it’s that ‘this hurts,’ so I stopped training it. And a lot of fighters have this ego that tells them if they’re not training a certain move, ‘Well, I’ll just make it happen in the fight.’ You get to the point where you’ll avoid it in the gym but think you’ll make it happen when the lights come on. That’s delusional.”

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Georges St. Pierre & His Coach Blast Anderson Silva Over Testing Positive For Steroids

February 09, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has done more talking once he stepped away from MMA than he did when he was ruling the sports as champion. While both GSP and former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva are no longer champions, they are both considered the two greatest MMA fighters of all time.

While Silva has been respectful to GSP in the past, GSP has no love lost for Silva, who failed his pre-fight drug test to Nick Diaz at UFC 183 on January 31st. A fight in which Silva was returning from a broken leg that he suffered at UFC 168 in his title rematch against now UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

When speaking to the Canadian Press, GSP believes that Silva should never have been allowed to compete at the event once he failed the drug test a few weeks prior to the event. It should be noted that Silva as well as the NSAC and the entire world did not know that he failed his drug test until the fight had already
taken place.

The fight should be cancelled because it’s cheating, it’s a biological weapon that you have. If I fight someone with a knife and the promoter and the organization know I have a knife. I’m bringing a knife into the fight, they should not let me fight because I’m carrying a weapon.

“A performance-enhancing drug is the same thing, it’s a biological weapon. It’s an advantage that you have over your opponent that you should not be able to compete with. Because you put the health of the competitor in jeopardy.

“We’re not playing golf, we’re not racing, we’re fighting. Every time we fight we put our lives, our well-being in jeopardy.”

When asked about the drug testing system, GSP had this to say:

“I don’t want to talk about one individual, I want to talk about the system. The system is a big problem in the sport of mixed martial arts. It’s something that I believe the UFC and fighters should confront and deal with it. Because if you don’t deal with it right now, it’s going to get worse and worse and worse.”

Speaking of Silva and GSP, Pierre’s coach, Firas Zahabi spoke with French-Canadian outlet La Presse about Silva’s failed drug test. He had some very strong words to say about Silva and his legacy.

“It’s horrible for the sport. Lance Armstrong has not helped the sport of cycling. A lot of people were inspired by his story and afterwards we find out that it’s a lie. Here, we’re going through something similar in our sport.”

“It’s unbelievable that they let them fight. Me personally, I would like the sport to be cleaned up. Because one day, a guy is going to die in the Octagon and we’re going to find out that the guy who killed him tested positive after the fact. Our sport is already dangerous enough as it is. If we add doping on top of that, it becomes madness.”

The notion that Silva testing positive for steroids is horrible for the sport is definitely taking a leap in the fact that other fighters have tested positive for steroids.

Yes, Silva was the face of the UFC for many years as champion, but he never tested positive for anything during his run as champion. Silva’s accomplishments are supreme and some would argue better than Pierre’s.

Some will like this and some will not, but if Pierre wants to take shots at a fighter (Silva) that the fans, media and more importantly the UFC wanted him to fight for several years, but never did, some would say that is a bit chicken-ish. But hey, everyone has an opinion right?

Andy Ravens is head writer for Efightnews.com, and lead reporter for Ewrestlingnews.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Anderson Silva Tests Positive For Steroids, Nick Diaz Over Marijuana Limit

February 03, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

“When the guys test for the steroids, (they should have) no more fights,” Silva said. “When you use the steroids, you use them for a long time. When you use the steroids for a long time, you have a problem. It’s a drug and it’s not good for the sport.”

Those words are about to come back to haunt Anderson Silva. The Spider made those statements just a few months ago and is now looking just as big of a hypocrite as his friend Jon Jones. Silva has tested positive for steroids.

A big story is in the midst of breaking in the MMA world. Not only did one, but both fighters tested positive in the UFC 183 main-event. Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz are both facing suspension after getting popped for positives.

Kevin Iole of Yahoo.com reports that Silva tested positive for drostanolone in a PRE-FIGHT test conducted Jan. 9. Diaz was over limit for marijuana from post-fight test. Drostanolone is an anabolic steroid and if Silva is true to his word, he will never fight again.

I want to revisit some of the things Silva just recently said back in October on performance enhancing drugs.

“This is not bad for me, this is bad for the sport,” Silva told MMAjunkie. “People around the world love the UFC, but the kids love the UFC, and the families love UFC. It’s bad for the sport. I don’t think this is good because the sport can change the lives of the kids and the people in the world.

“When the guys test for the steroids, it’s bad because this is a problem. It’s bad not just for the UFC, but for the sport.”

“(Steroids) make the sport bad,” Silva said. “If you do the sport in a good light, you have a good life. That is my opinion.”

UFC quickly confirmed the news with a statement.

“On February 3, 2015, the UFC organization was notified by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that Anderson Silva tested positive for Drostanolone metabolites on his Jan. 9 out of competition drug test. UFC’s understanding is that further testing will be conducted by the Commission to confirm these preliminary results.
“Anderson Silva has been an amazing champion and a true ambassador of the sport of mixed martial arts and the UFC, in Brazil as well as around the world. UFC is disappointed to learn of these initial results.
“The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by its athletes.”

The positive test screams of a man that was not ready to fight. I don’t believe that Silva was taking this steroid to body build. I believe he was taking this steroid to heal faster than naturally from his injury. Regardless of the case, Silva tested positive and I have to believe that this is the last we ever see of Silva in the octagon again.

It’s a shame because what looked like a happy ending to Silva’s story will now be tarnished by this terrible decision. You can’t take away the great things he did in MMA during his prime, but any goodwill he could have had as an ambassador for the sport is gone. That could be the biggest loss in all.

There is also a question as to why a positive test administrated on January 9 did not cancel the fight. According to reports, the commission did not receive the results until after the fight. Okay fine, so what is the point of testing on January 9 than? Call me crazy but something sounds very fishy to me here. Unfortunately for all parties it may be time for the government to step in and investigate because this all doesn’t add up.

The UFC has a drug problem. Out of competition testing is a new thing and in the last two months you have caught two of the biggest stars of the company testing positive. You have had positive tests on the last few big cards. Yet Dana White doesn’t want to invest the money in testing after the Cung Le mess. Well guess what? Your sport stinks right now and gets dirtier every month. Something must be done!

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Anderson Silva Must Retire

February 03, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

“My son talked to me serious. When I talked to my son, my son cried. ‘Dad, stop, please. Back home. Please. You don’t need more fights.'”

Anderson Silva returned to the UFC at UFC 183 emerged victorious over Nick Diaz. While Diaz was the one leaving with bruises and cuts, it may have been Silva who walked away the most scathed, knowing that his career of dominance is officially over.

Silva overcame seemingly insurmountable odds by returning to the octagon only 13 months after suffering one of the most horrific leg breaks in UFC history. For any other MMA fighter, just winning would have been enough to quiet critics. Unfortunately the Spider is not anyone and delivering leg kicks on a previous broken leg isn’t enough to question the talents of the former UFC champion.

Silva put this pressure on himself. It was Silva who wrote the headlines. Silva gave media interviews in which he proclaimed that he was approaching this fight the same way he approached his UFC debut. By making those outlandish claims, media and fans were expecting to see the guy who destroyed Chris Leben in under a minute eight and a half years ago. That Spider was nowhere to be found on Saturday.

Silva looked anything but the legendary fighter we have all been privileged to watch over those eight and a half years. Silva stood tall and won most of the exchanges with Diaz, enough to earn him a unanimous decision. Yet the Silva he promised to unleash would have KO’d Diaz with several of those exchanges. The vintage Silva would have probably toyed with Diaz for a round and a half before engaging in a brutal strike-fest that would have left Diaz looking up at the lights. That wasn’t this guy.

Silva told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview that his family begged him to discontinue fighting. Silva pondered aloud the idea of retirement. Now this wasn’t the first time Silva had brought up retirement. Silva had brought that up several times in recent years. However, this is the first time Silva appeared sincere. This was also the first time that I agreed with the legend.

I can’t even begin to imagine the frustration an elite professional athlete like Silva feels after losing those skills. Going from an elite athlete to a pretty good athlete is never fun to watch. In UFC alone we all were forced to watch Chuck Liddell lose it practically overnight as well as countless others. Unfortunately many of those athletes, Liddell included, confuse great camps with reality and somehow continue to convince themselves that they are elite. Sadly those are the fighters we are all forced to watch fall…some harder than others. I don’t want to see that happen to Silva.

Anderson Silva has been a professional MMA fighter for almost twenty-years. No matter how good you are, your body and your mind are going to get out of sync at some point and your instincts and/or your power are going to go. I don’t want to rush to judgment here but I think the Diaz fight was a perfect example of this. Silva is still pretty good and could probably hang around with a lot of the top fighters in UFC. At the same time, he would likely be embarrassed by the elite and that is nothing I want to see.

Let’s take a look at the landscape. What is the end game for Silva? Naturally it would be a UFC middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman. While I am not convinced that Silva wouldn’t have retained his title in their first fight, I am convinced that he looked lost, frustrated, and outclassed by Weidman in their rematch. I am even more convinced that the guy I saw fight Nick Diaz would probably not last the full fight against Weidman. Anything can happen but I don’t see any way that Anderson Silva can hang with Weidman.

Stepping down you have Vitor Belfort, Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza, and Lyoto Machida. Belfort is a wild card to me because until I see him without TRT I have no idea what kind of fighter he still is. As for the others, I think all of them would take Silva. I think Souza would destroy him to put it bluntly. Machida is another wild card because you never know what you’re going to get from him. Rockhold as well. In other words, I don’t see Silva getting past any of those guys other than possibly Belfort depending upon what Belfort looks like post-TRT ban.

Do I really want to watch Silva vs. the 6-15 ranked fighters? I also would have no interest in any of the Super Fights proposed such as Jon Jones or GSP vs. Silva. The UFC would either have to feed Silva optimal matchups or feed Silva to the wolves in the top five. Neither situation is desirable for UFC fans, the UFC and most importantly Silva.

Silva can walk away now on his own terms. He is not being forced out due to injury. He is not leaving winless in his last two fights. He is not leaving after getting dominated and exposed as a fighter far past his prime. He is leaving now with a win, his health and the satisfaction of knowing that he did it on his terms. I can’t envision a better scenario for Silva to retire.

It’s now or never because there is no happy ending here if Silva continues. We are either going to be forced to watch the end of a legend or forced to watch a manipulated elite fighter. Neither works for me and I hope everyone has some common sense and does the right thing.

Update: It appears Silva got popped for failing a pre-fight drug test. Silva allegedly tested positive for a steroid. So yes, it’s time to retire.

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UFC 183 Silva vs. Diaz Results: Anderson Silva Wins Decision

February 01, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos

The Spider is back…well sort of. Anderson Silva returned from a career threatening injury to win a unanimous decision over Nick Diaz. While the win was nice, the story was the Silva we saw and didn’t see at UFC 183.

Silva returned after a devastating leg injury 13-months ago to take on Nick Diaz in a UFC Super Fight. Silva’s future was in doubt at this time last year and Nick Diaz was missing in action. Both guys resurfaced and delivered what will likely be one of the biggest fights of the year. Yet it wasn’t the fight I and others paid to see.

I thought that the styles of both Silva and Diaz made for one of the most exciting matchups in recent memory. Both guys like to fight on the offense and neither guy was known for coasting to decisions. That said I expected it to go the decision because neither guy had a propensity to get knocked out. Yet at the end of the fight it was really the first two minutes and final two minutes that were the most exciting. The rest of the fight consisted of both guys picking spots yet rarely engaging in anything more than some elaborate stick and move.

Quite frankly the most exciting parts of the fight came in the first two rounds when Diaz talked smack and at one point laid down begging Silva to go down to the ground. Unfortunately Nick stopped talking until the end of the fight, thus the Diaz show failed to deliver as advertised. Silva collapsed at the end of the fight in tears while Diaz was busted up pretty badly. Silva intimated at the end of the fight that this could have been his last fight, although I think I have heard that speech from Silva for the last two years.

The big question was Silva’s leg. How would it hold up? The leg was definitely not a problem as Silva gained confidence. Silva rarely used it early on but he gained confidence as the fight progressed and was kicking just fine with the rehabilitated leg. Nick said after the fight that the leg kicks from that leg weren’t very effective but consider the source.

The big story here in my opinion is that while Silva was back, the Spider was still at home. Silva looked nothing like the dominant machine he was for many years. Chris Weidman would have dominated the Silva that fought tonight. It was kind of sad quite frankly and yes Silva did win the fight. But this was dialed-back Silva and not the Silva you probably paid money to see.

I don’t know where you go with either guy from here. Both guys only want to fight super fights or title fights. Diaz certainly doesn’t deserve a title fight and neither does Silva. I do believe that Silva vs. Weidman needs a definitive conclusion. Whether that is Weidman rolling through this Silva or not is another story. However, I just don’t see any way that you can justify booking this unimpressive Silva directly into a title fight. Stranger things have happened and let’s face it. The championship booking in UFC lost credibility years ago. I just think he needs one more win minimum, and I am not so sure he’s going to get it against any of the top contenders in the division.

Full UFC 183 Silva vs. Diaz results…

Anderson Silva defeated Nick Diaz via Decision (unanimous) (49-46, 50-45, 50-45)
Tyron Woodley defeated Kelvin Gastelum via Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Al Iaquinta defeated Joe Lauzon via TKO (punches)
Thales Leites defeated Tim Boetsch via Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke)
Thiago Alves defeated Jordan Mein via TKO (body kick and punches)
Miesha Tate defeated Sara McMann via Decision (majority) (29-28, 29-27, 28-28)
Derek Brunson defeated Ed Herman via TKO (punches)
John Lineker defeated Ian McCall via Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rafael Natal defeated Tom Watson via Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Ildemar Alcântara defeated Richardson Moreira via Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Thiago Santos defeated Andy Enz via TKO (punches)

UFC 183 Post Fight Press Conference

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Demetrious Johnson Talks Ian McCall vs. John Linker Fight At UFC 183

January 27, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson is looking for his next fight and in a recent interview, the champion said that he is interested in the Ian McCall vs. John Linker fight at UFC 183. In the interview (which we have highlights down below) Johnson explains who he thinks will win and more.

“If I had to bet, I would bet on Ian McCall, but I would not be surprised if Lineker gets a decision. So the fight can go other way, but on paper, I see Ian McCall winning it.”

Johnson then went onto explain why he thinks that Ian McCall will win at UFC 183.

“Ian McCall is going to use his footwork and his speed, and he’s going to be in and out. He’s going to fight him like he fought Brad Pickett (and) throw the body kicks when he gets close. He’s basically going to run around, or use his footwork, to run around and avoid damage from Lineker and get takedowns whenever he can. Ian is one of the few mixed martial artists that doesn’t stay in guard. He postures up, passes, and looks for submissions.”

When asked what Johnson likes about Ian McCall, Johnson had this to say.

On McCall: “What he’s got going for himself is very good footwork. He’s very athletic; he mixes it up. The biggest thing that hurts Ian McCall is he breaks his hands in his fights, and he can come out with injuries because he trains very hard.”

Johnson then gave his thoughts on John Lineker and if he is a title contender.

On Lineker: “John Lineker … has his first fight with the scale – 126 (pounds). I am assuming he’s going to make that. He just throws bombs. His footwork is not very sound, he crosses distance very well because he walks across it, and he knows that people can take him down.”

Johnson is not ready bank on meeting the winner of Saturday’s fight. After all, his schedule as champ was unpredictable, with injury replacements and short-notice headliners taking up much of 2014.

On if he will likely face the winner of the bout: “Even after that, who wins the fight and how impressively they win it, it could be them or it couldn’t. At the end of the day, you never know.”

UFC 183 will be held in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The event takes place on January 31st and will be headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz. The prelims will air on both Fight Pass and Fox Sports 1. The main card airs on PPV.

On the potential bouts: “I love my odds in rematches. And Lineker, that’s going to be a challenge. The guy hits hard. Everybody is scared to stand up with him. I think I have a good matchup with him. At the end of the day, I’m just here to defend my belt, and it doesn’t matter to me. The biggest thing is I’d like to have a set date, whether it’s me fighting twice this year or three times a year. I hate waiting on somebody have a clear-cut contender, because I’m waiting on somebody else to do great in this sport. I like to be like, ‘This is what I want to do, and I’m going to go do it.’”

Johnson is still awaiting his next title defense, but these two could be a possible title contention fight. UFC 183 will be one for the history books.

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Bellator MMA’s Scott Coker On Signing CM Punk, The Success Of Bellator, & More

January 22, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker appeared on Tuesday’s edition of the MMA Hour and this interview had some gems in it. Down below are highlights from the interview.

When asked if Bellator MMA would ever sign CM Punk, Coker said:

“We had talked about it, honestly, but we never reached out to him or made that call. We were not in dialogue with him by any means. It was just like, ‘He’s never had a fight before. You think he really wants to fight?’ I didn’t even know if he really, really wanted to fight, so let’s see. Let’s see how he does in his debut.”

…and Alberto del Rio:

“I’m not sure. From everything I understand, he’s still pro wrestling and he’s very busy pro wrestling. Even though he’s had some great MMA fights – he fought a couple of big names – at the end of the day, it’s a different sport completely.”

“To me, I know that they’re still in dialogue, but is he going to become a MMA fighter? That I cannot answer.”

Currently, Punk is signed to a multi-fight deal with the UFC and will debut sometime this year.

When asked his thoughts on today’s free agent market in MMA today, Coker said:

“There’s going to be free agent who come up time to time. It’s going to be our job to build these fighters from the ground up that we have, and keep building them and keep building them. What a great platform we have with Spike TV to keep building these new stars.”

“It kinda reminds me of Strikeforce, really. We bought a few free agents. It’s not just us going after them. Believe me, they’re calling us. This is not a one-way street where we’re just going after fighters. We’re going to win some. We’re going to lose some. That’s just how the nature of this beast is going to be.”

“If you’re a free agent out there or you’re going to become a free agent, you’re going to talk to everybody. You’re going to want to use your leverage to get the best deal you can. We’re in a position now with the Viacom ownership group, there’s not going to be any fighter that’s out of the price range.”

“If we feel the deal’s right and the fighter’s right, we’re going to do it.”

Coker recently visited Japan to scout talent and possible deals for Bellator MMA.

“To see K-1 in its heyday, to see PRIDE in its heyday, I think the new fans today are really missing out because it was something special, something spectacular. They just had that ‘wow’ factor.”

“I went to a couple of fights, actually three different events in five days….I met with some of the key players in that industry. You and I talked about Sakakibara and his mounting comeback. I met IGF people. I sat down with Fedor [Emelianenko], just a lot of different fighters. It was a great time and I’m glad I did it because as dominant as Japan was in the past, there’s a place for them in the world of mixed martial arts to make a resurgence and I think that what Sakakibara is working on over there is very special. He’s going to come out with a big bang before the end of the year.”

“I think anyone who can promote a fight on New Year’s Eve and sell tickets and actually have people show up and then throw a fight the night before and then a boxing match the night before and then a kickboxing fight – a new show called Blade – the night before that…I mean, here’s a country that’s, the word I would use is sleeping. They’re waiting for the next resurgence of a Japanese MMA promotion.”

While Coker did wonders for Strikeforce and most likely to do the same with Bellator, the idea of Bellator ever being on or near the same level of the UFC is just not realistic. The UFC has and will be the top promotion in the world when it comes to MMA.

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WWE WrestleMania 32 Is A Big Reason To Re-sign Brock Lesnar

January 21, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The big news today is the impending announcement that the WWE will officially announce its home for WrestleMania 32. The venue is expected to be AT&T Stadium. There probably is nobody more excited for this news in the WWE locker room than Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar is coming up on the end of his WWE deal. Lesnar’s deal expires with his WrestleMania 31 match or appearance. Due to the MMA war between Bellator and the UFC, Lesnar is expected to receive big offers from both companies to fight again. Most predicted that the WWE would be out of the bidding. I say, not so fast.

I was on board with this crowd until this whole WrestleMania 32 scenario hit me. The economics of the WWE and its business have changed. The WWE can no longer justify spending on high-priced free agents like Lesnar without PPV revenue and an under-performing Network. Quite frankly there is just no good reason to justify re-sign Lesnar and thus most expected him to walk. Now they have a reason and that reason is 92,000+ seats.

Vince McMahon and company aren’t looking to get into AT&T Stadium, draw half of a house, and lose their behinds. The WWE is not only looking to draw big, but they are looking to fill the stadium and break its own WrestleMania attendance record. With all due respect to the current roster of WWE talent, there is nobody on that roster that is going to collectively draw 92,000 in 2016 in Texas. It just isn’t going to happen.

The WWE will need some heavy hitters on that show. The company will need some of those high-priced special talents to put the butts in the seats. There are a ton of rumors surrounding Steve Austin coming back for this show. The thought is nice but we have seen this flirtation quite a few times and it never ends with Austin back in the ring. Without Austin what do you got? You need more and one of those guys needed to fill the place will be Brock Lesnar.

The business case has now been made. Locking up Lesnar a year in advance will at least give the company the confidence that it has at least one component needed to fill the place. Lesnar on his own won’t do it, but they have a much better chance with him than without him. It also isn’t as if Lesnar will be hanging around waiting for a call. Once he signs with an MMA group he will be unavailable for at least a year and a half if not two years. He is not nearly as expendable as he was before this location was announced.

I am also convinced that they are moving towards a Rock vs. Triple H match at 32. I thought that the second I saw the SmackDown vignette between the two where they exchanged challenges, specifically mentioning a large stadium. The better move for business would be Rock vs. Brock and it could happen, but I think that as of today the working idea is a Rock vs. Hunter match. While it’s always nice to see Rock back, that won’t do it on its own.

The WWE need Lesnar more today than they did a few weeks ago and for that reason I think he is staying. I don’t think Lesnar wants to fight again and I think he enjoys the short schedule for big money without a training camp. Now that the WWE has a chance to get back into the bidding, I think they lock up their guy before he hits free agency.

There is also ego involved here. The UFC already tried to book Brock in a fight in AT&T Stadium but the fight fell through. Does the WWE really want to take the chance that the UFC books Brock in this same stadium and outdraws WrestleMania? It sounds petty and it is but I don’t think Vince McMahon could ever live with himself if that happened.

I guess we’ll have that question answered on Sunday. If he leaves as champion I’d bet he re-signed or is close. if he doesn’t, I would bet that the WWE thinks he is on borrowed time.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

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Matt Brown Talks CM Punk Fighting In The UFC

January 20, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Welterweight Matt Brown recently appeared on the MMA Hour and he had a lot to say about the UFC signing former WWE champion CM Punk to a contract without him having any previous fighting experience.

“I thought the sport, the UFC, itself, was beyond that now, Bellator doing this, I could understand. I could see other organizations doing it. The UFC, I just didn’t expect it.

On CM Punk signing with the UFC: “I don’t have a problem with the UFC doing it. What I have a problem with is CM Punk being dumb enough to think he can do it,” Brown continued. “If he wants to come fight a real man I’ll be standing there. I’ll fight Tarec Saffiedine on [Feb. 14] and I’m the main event, everyone will be gone. I’ll fight him right after Tarec if he wants. Hopefully what happens here is that all these keyboard warriors that are like, ‘Oh I could go in there and fight’ see that a legit athlete — CM Punk is an athlete — and they see him go in a get demolished by a prelim fighter or someone that also shouldn’t be in there and they’ll see this shit is a little more than what you think.”

Punk has gotten both positive and negative feedback with this new move.

“On ESPN, they said I called him a ‘dumb athlete’. Well, I didn’t call him a dumb athlete. I said he’s dumb to think that he could compete with UFC-level guys in his first fight.”

Punk left the WWE in 2014 after several medical issues and now he is stepping inside the octagon without any previous fighting ability is a stiff dose of reality for Punk.

“And I would completely stand by that statement. If he were standing right in front of me, I would tell him that. How many people walk into our gym all the time and say, ‘I want to be in the UFC’? I’m like, ‘Well, you’re dumb to think you’re going to be able to do that. I don’t care if you’re freakin’ CrossFit champion or gymnastics champion, whatever. Unless you’re a wrestling champion – not pro wrestling champion, but like a NCAA champion or something – then I would tell you you probably shouldn’t even think about it until a few years of training.”

Brown prides himself on a tough nose fighter, who has some of the best striking in all of MMA.

On Punk’s opponent: “Who is he going to fight? The only person they could bring in would be another person that doesn’t know how to fight. It’s crazy to me.”

On comparisons to Brock Lesnar: “At least Brock Lesnar, he at least knew what he had in store, what it felt like to get in there. The thing that I was getting at when I was talking about CM Punk was, I think he’s going to be in for a big shock. When you step in that UFC cage, when they say it’s as real as it gets, that’s the truth. When you walk in there, those lights shining on you, everybody looking at you and there’s a dude across the cage that wants to rip your head off, it’s a different feeling than anything he’s ever felt before.

Brock Lesnar had an actual wrestling background, Punk does not. That should be the start and end of any comparisons between the two. Bottom line.

“He’s going to have some really deep, dark thoughts,” Brown explained. “We call it the Worm of Doubt. He’s going to have lots of worms in his head causing doubt.”

Matt Brown is scheduled to fight former UFC Welterweight Champion Johnny Hendricks at UFC 185 in Dallas, Texas.

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The Rock On Brock Lesnar, Dana White, MMA & More

January 16, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Former WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has made it clear in the past that he is a huge MMA fan. Johnson recently did a Q&A with UFC Magazine and here are the highlights.

On if he was a fan of MMA before or after Brock Lesnar entered the sport: I was always a fan of the UFC, dating back to UFC 1 in ’93. But what actually drew me to MMA was when I attended UFC 60, when Matt Hughes faced Royce Gracie in a non-title catchweight fight. I was interested in MMA at that time, so I went to the Staples Center early and sat in the front row to watch every fight that night— including all the prelims. I wanted to absorb as much I could and become somewhat of a student for the night. When the main event was about to start, they sat the Gracie family next to me. Specifically Helio Gracie—his energy and presence was powerful. I’ll never forget shaking his hand. Royce lost, but even in defeat, the grace, pride and poise he and the Gracie family showed that night was inspiring. I went home that night with such a greater respect for the sport and all its fighters.

On his favorite MMA fighters: I always have my eyes on the champions, specifically the heavyweight and light heavyweight champs. Cain Velasquez is an animal with the type of heart and conditioning that makes me want to run through a wall at 3 a.m. and do my cardio and training. My buddy Jon Jones is a very special fighter who bridges fighting and artistry like no one ever before has. They’re both incredibly inspiring champions who are needle movers in the world of MMA. And I bet 2015 will be the year of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson: a bad dude. When he becomes champion, I’m gonna have to claim him as my cousin! [Laughs]

Lesnar left the WWE in 2004 to pursue his NFL dreams, but failed to make the 53 man roster for the Minnesota Vikings. He went back to pro wrestling in late 04 and eventually into MMA a few years later.

On if he gave Lesnar any advice before stepping into the cage: I never spoke to Brock when he decided to compete in MMA. We’ve been good buds for years, and he always knew I supported his decision. To be able to accomplish what he did and become UFC heavyweight champion in that short amount of time was insane—historic.

Johnson asked UFC President Dana White to appear on his all new TNA show, “Wake Up Call”.

On why he reached out to White to appear on his show: On that episode of Wake Up Call, we have an 18-year-old high-school dropout who has one dream: to become a UFC champion. Despite the fact that his mom is in prison and he dropped out of school, he’s a good kid with a big heart and a dream. I told him if he meets me halfway and puts in the hard work, then I’ll provide the tools he needs to achieve his dream. I called Dana to see if he’d come down to Florida and take a look at this kid and see if he had any potential. I knew I could count on Dana to give it to me and the kid straight without any bullshit. Not only did Dana fly all the way to Florida, but he brought Mike Dolce with him. They put that kid through the ringer with training, conditioning and a shot to become part of Coach Libo’s [Ricardo Liborio] American Top Team up the road from where we live. I won’t give it away, but let’s just say that we may see that kid, Terrell Moore, in the Octagon one day. I can’t thank Dana and the UFC enough for their support of Wake Up Call.

You can catch Johnson’s show on Friday nights.

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