“The Predator” Patrick Cote (15-7), a man known for his powerful strikes and iron chin, is back to his winning ways with two solid decisions over former UFC fighters Kalib Starless (12-5) and “Bulldog” Todd Brown (15-4) following his release from the UFC last fall following a three-fight skid. Cote has been fighting in his homeland of Quebec, Canada under the promotion Ringside MMA where he is not only making his stock rise, but also putting fans in seats at every show in which he’s featured. Although his long term goal is to fight under the UFC banner once again, there are several other career choices he could take to get back on top, as he may benefit from dominating elsewhere prior to returning to the promotion that made his name.
It is no secret that “The Predator” wants to rejoin the ranks of the UFC’s middleweight roster, but will they even take him back after one or two more wins? With the buyout of Strikeforce, Cote could find himself in the hands of Scott Coker and neck deep in the talent rich 185lbs. division against the likes of Tim Kennedy (14-3), champion “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (13-2), and heavy handed slugger “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-7). Needless to say, the California-based promotion would provide Cote with ample opportunity to shine. However, Cote would likely have to prove his worth against the up-and-comers before being permitted to once again step into the cage with the big dogs. A light heavyweight in his early career days with Canadian promotion TKO, Cote is a sizable middleweight. He has even won titles in both weight classes with the most notable coming at 185lbs. against “Dooms” Jason Day (16-10) and “The Athlete” Jason Macdonald (23-14). While it’s safe to say that “The Predator” is at home in the middleweight division, his frame does suggest that he could seek a new dawn in his career as a welterweight where his sizable stature may offer a distinct advantage.
Paul “Semtex” Daley is arguably the hardest hitting Welterweight in MMA. Nick Diaz began his fight with “Semtex” Saturday night by walking towards him, taunting him with his hands down at his side. That’s some crazy shit. Crazy like a fox? I think so. Diaz showed the cocky Brit how cocky is done – 209 style. But there’s definitely a method to Diaz’s madness. The conventional wisdom was that Diaz should try to get the fight to the ground where Daley is weakest and the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu master has a huge advantage… but Nick Diaz ain’t no bitch. He’s said as much on many occasions. Nick doesn’t change the way he fights based on his opponent. He comes out, starts trash talking, looks for his openings and begins picking his opponent apart with his unorthodox but accurate and effective striking and if the fight happens to go to the ground, well, he’s certainly okay with that too.
UFC President Dana White announced today that its parent company Zuffa, LLC. purchased the California-based rival MMA promotion Strikeforce. The reactions of the MMA community were immediately evident as the questions about the implications of the purchase began to pour out of every media outlet and Twitter feed in the MMA world. However, many of the concerns and speculations on everything from potential fight match-ups, to the future of certain Strikeforce fighters, to the continuation of Strikeforce’s Women’s MMA (WMMA) divisions are based largely on the general public’s lack of knowledge into how a business deal of this nature truly works.
The purchase was not a corporate raid or hostile takeover. Zuffa simply purchased a company and while they could change things in the future, it is Scott Coker, not Dana White, who is in charge of the operation of Strikeforce which is still a completely separate company from the UFC. As White said in his MMAFighting.com interview, “It’s business as usual…That’s a separate business that has their own income. They have their own budgets and everything else that they do. They have their own television deals. If they’re that interested in acquiring [a fighter], it’s no different than it was before.”
Today, UFC President Dana White announced via MMAFighting.com reporter Ariel Helwani that the world’s premier mixed martial arts company has purchased their sole North American competitor of note, the San Jose, California-based promotion Strikeforce. While the MMA world is abuzz with questions and concerns regarding the future of the smaller organization’s fighters as well as their deals with Showtime, K-1, and DREAM, Dana White has stated that the organization will remain autonomous in much the same way that the WEC operated for four years prior to being absorbed by the UFC.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will remain in charge of Strikeforce and things will be “business as usual” said the UFC headman, including deals with fighters who are mutually outspoken in their dislike for Dana White, such as “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2) and “The Baby Faced Assassin” Josh Barnett (21-5), and the inclusion of Women’s MMA (WMMA). The UFC President reasserted these points by stating, “That’s a separate business that has their own income. They have their own budgets and everything else that they do. They have their own television deals. If they’re that interested in acquiring [a fighter], it’s no different than it was before.”
Tonight, the world’s second most powerful force in MMA visits Columbus, Ohio for Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson. While the MMA world is frustrated over the delay of the continuation of the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix, Scott Coker and his promotional team keep moving along, providing cards that serve up the very best Strikeforce has to offer in the meantime. Tonight, the California-based promotion gives the fans a pair of title fights and a couple of fan pleasing brawls to provide the primer. As is the promotion’s tradition the under card features 11 Ohio native fighters showcasing their skills for the hometown crowd. Let’s take a closer look at the main card to be aired on Showtime.
For the fifth time in “Semtex” Paul Daley’s (23-10-2) past 11 fights, the British slugger has missed weight. And this time, not even an extra hour made a difference.
Daley was slated to take on DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8) in the main event tomorrow night for the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts’ (BAMMA) currently vacant welterweight title at BAMMA 5 in Manchester, England. But during today’s event weigh-ins, Daley came in at 172lbs. – two pounds over the limit – reportedly due to his hotel’s malfunctioning sauna. He was given an hour to drop the additional weight, during which he reportedly traveled to another location in attempt to shed the extra pounds in a working sauna. His second attempt on the scale rendered a reading of 170.4lbs., which still exceeds the limit for a title fight. Consequently what was scheduled to be a five-round title fight is now reduced to a non-title three-round affair. Shirai on the other hand made weight, coming in at 169.6lbs.
The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) steps away from its usual stomping grounds of London and Birmingham in the United Kingdom to bring MMA fans in the City of Manchester a blistering card with BAMMA 5: Daley vs. Shirai this Saturday night.
BAMMA 5 is highlighted with bouts between some of the UK’s well known top prospects and local fan favorites, while its main event and co-main event feature names the American audience may find more familiar. Recent UFC castaway and The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum “The Hammer” James McSweeney (4-6) takes on a seasoned veteran and former UFC Heavyweight Champion in “Suave” Ricco Rodriguez (44-11) in the evening’s co-main event heavyweight tilt. The main event pits UFC veteran and heavy-handed British slugger “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2) against Pancrase and M-1 veteran and DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8), where the winner will earn the title of BAMMA’s very first welterweight king. The stakes of Saturday night’s championship bout are particularly high for Daley, who was recently dubbed the top contender to challenge Strikeforce Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) for the UFC-rival promotion’s 170lbs. belt. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has stated that should Daley come out on the winning end of his BAMMA 5 bout, he gets the title shot – if not, “the deck gets reshuffled”, according to MMA Junkie.
“The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski (14-9) is undoubtedly and by large considered one of the most skilled and dangerous heavyweight MMA fighters of all time. The 1st Razryad International Master in Sambo has seen a lot of glory in his 11-year mixed martial arts career, having been the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion and later promoted to the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, taking out some of the most formidable opponents in his weight class along the way. Some of those who have succumbed to Arlovski’s fighting prowess are “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5), “Cabbage” Wesley Correira (19-15), “The Maine-Iac” Tim Sylvia (28-7), “The Executioner” Paul Buentello (28-13), “Vai Cavalo” Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1), “Irish” Jake O’Brien (13-3), “Big” Ben Rothwell (27-7), and “Big Country” Roy Nelson (15-5). “The Pitbull” has built an impressive legacy and all the while has maintained his status as a fan favorite.
The MMA world has been ablaze since the end of 2010 when Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced the organization’s upcoming eight-man single-elimination tournament, dubbed the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, which was slated to include some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division signed on as competitors. Last night the San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion kicked off that tournament, as the main card of its “Fedor vs. Silva” event, with two Quarter-Finals match-ups and two alternate qualifying bouts. It was an amazing night of fights, culminating with a fight between “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (15-2 ) and “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-3).
One of the most highly anticipated cards of the year has come and gone – more quickly than some expected, and in a very different manner than most expected.
In tonight’s premier installment of the two-part Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals, four men stepped into the six-sided cage with the hopes of advancing to the Semi-Finals of the promotion’s inaugural heavyweight tournament. In the co-main event, the first of the pairings saw PRIDE veteran and dangerous kickboxer “The Russian Mercenary” Sergei Kharitonov (17-4) taking on Sambo master and former UFC Heavyweight Champion “The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski (14-9). The Belarusian exhibited more than a glimmer of his old self coming out of the gate, instantly putting the pressure on his opponent, and out-striking Kharitonov with precision jabs, uppercuts, and leg kicks. Things were really looking up for the formerly top 10 ranked heavyweight, but unfortunately it didn’t last long. Arlovski allowed himself to be backed toward the cage, where he quickly became at the mercy of Kharitonov’s own brand of stellar striking. It took only a few well-placed punches until Arlovski found himself in the same place as two of his last three fights: on the canvas, out cold. “The Pitbull” is out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, and Sergei Kharitonov advances to the Semi-Finals.
Strikeforce presented another Showtime sports event with welterweight champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) taking on Chute Boxe fighter “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos (17-14) in the main event in one of two title fights this past Saturday night. Before these two took to the cage at the “Shark Tank” of the HP Pavilion Center in San Jose, California, big names such as Roger Gracie (4-0) of the renowned Gracie family came to not only remain undefeated, but to prove his family is still as much of an influence in MMA with not only instructing Jiu-Jitsu but fighting as well. Herschel Walker (2-0) hoped to master another battlefield when he traded out the gridiron for six sides of steel, and elite middleweights “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (13-2) and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-7) met for the middleweight championship.
Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (30-12) will not be defending his title during the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix as originally planned, according to the organization’s CEO Scott Coker. During a press conference earlier today, Coker addressed MMA media outlets concerning the many rumors surrounding the tournament, including those that Overeem would be defending his belt throughout and other rumors that any fight involving the champion would be contested for five rounds as opposed to three. Coker also announced that the ultimate winner of the tournament would not be the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion but would instead hold an entirely different Strikeforce Grand Prix Championship belt.