Saturday, June 30, 2012

Janet Martin Invicta Fighting Championships Interview

Photo Credits:
Photos 1-6: Invicta FC

The first Invicta FC card was a big success. Well run with some talented female fighters, highlighted by a fight of the year candidate between Kaitlin Young and Leslie Smith. On July 28th the second Invicta card takes place, including some of the names from the first, like Kaitlin and some other stars such as Liz Carmouche, Alexis Davis and a great main event between Sara McMann and Shayna Baszler. The people at Invicta are taking the lead in promoting female mixed martial arts fighters and giving them a place to show that they have the same skill set and skill level as male fighters. This is such a great opportunity to not only support women's MMA, but just to see some great fights featuring great athletes. One of the main people behind Invicta is Janet Martin, so here is my interview with Janet.

Q: Before we talk about the next card, with the first one, just overall, how satisfied were you with how it went?
A: We were very pleased with the event overall. We had great attendance, outstanding viewership of our free live stream. The fights were phenomenal, all the fighters stepped up and performed in an outstanding way. Win or lose it really made a statement for women's MMA.

Q: You guys have been great at dealing with media and women's MMA supporters, how big a part did that community play in the success of the first show?
A: It helps. Everyone got their shoulders on their heads and lifted the event up. They supported the fighters and Invicta FC. The women's MMA community has been phenomenal, the advocates, the fans, the media, the fighters themselves were really supporting each other. That support was a vital component for it. It really made the difference in the success of the event.

Q: Looking at the whole event, was there one thing that stood out that maybe ten years from now will be your big memory from the event?
A: From a fight perspective, definitely the Kaitlin Young and Leslie Smith fight was outstanding. Going toe to toe, it ended in a draw. It was phenomenal fight for both fighters, it was exciting for the fans, it carried the momentum forward. It really helped make a statement on the quality of fighters out there. Throughout the event we got outstanding support from fans watching it, tweeting about it, facebook comments. It really helped elevate the event for us. That is something I will take forward. We put our first event out and the enthusiasm about is something I will remember ten or twenty years from now.

Q: Kaitlin and Leslie had a great fight, a possible fight of the year, was their any consideration into matching them again?
A: I see that in the future. It was our first event and they put on an outstanding fight and I think they would be eager to fight again. I see us possibly making that in the future, I think they would embrace it. Both fighters were excited about their performances, each one wants to get that win, so I see that happening in the future.

Q: I have said I think Sara McMann is pound for pound the best in the sport right now, how big is it to have her in the main event?
A: Sara is an outstanding fighter and an outstanding role model for women's MMA. She brings her Olympic experience as well as a dedication to training to adapt from wrestling to MMA. It is a pleasure to work with her and her camp. She has a great personality that spills out of the cage. It is our pleasure to have that relationship with Pro Elite and have her on the card.

Q: Shayna Baszler is a great fighter who gets overlooked, would you agree she presents Sara with her toughest opposition to this point?
A: Oh yeah! Sara and Shayna squaring off in the cage is an excellent challenge for both fighters. Shayna has experience and has fought on all kinds of levels of shows. As far as skill match-up, they have their individual skills but they also cross over and compare in the type of skills they bring to the cage. I wont get gutsy and predict a winner, they are evenly matched. They are stepping in to win so the best fighter will win, but I cant predict who that will be.

Q: You also have opened up relationships to get some good talent in from Japan, did you actively seek that out or did it come to you?
A: It was kind of we met in the middle. I have worked with Sucker Punch before with Roxanne Modafferi, and she has that relationship with the Japanese fighters, so I came to him talking about talent, and we are happy to have the relationship with Jewels. It will bring some unique talent to the United States. Sharing that talent with Jewels and maybe in the future send some fighters to Japan is exciting.

Q: For this card, with people like Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis, you seem to have more names known to the casual fan, does that make you optimistic this can reach a wider audience than the first one?
A: Yeah, I think the fighters like Liz and Alexis and Amanda (Nunes) have put themselves out there at a different level and have expanded their fan base. For the casual fan it is recognizable names, so I am optimistic we will bring in additional viewership. It allows us to showcase some talent stepping in across the cage from them who may not have that recognition but their fights will speak for them.

Q: The first event you had so many females who were not even on the card hyping it up and saying how great it was, how satisfying was that for you?
A: It was very satisfying. Both Shannon Knapp and I wanted to make a difference and that was one way we saw the potential for that, the female fighters rallying around each other and supporting. They are competitors in the cage but understand it is a community and they are in it together, they train and condition the same and fight their hearts out. They saw a lot of themselves in the fighters on the card, using social media to get the word out, it introduced women's MMA to more people. I feel females will benefit from that kind of impact.

Q: There is a lot of good amateur talent right now, do you closely follow the amateurs and see who might be the future fighters for you?
A: Most Definitely! I keep tapped into the ammy fights, look at the rankings, look at the promotions and title holders. I am constantly doing research on both amateur and pro fighters. The amateur fighters will be the next wave of fighters coming up so to find that new wave of talent and step in and challenge the upper level fighters is what will keep women's MMA fresh, exciting and moving forward.

Q: Has their been any talk of having titles in the future?
A: Yes, as we progress and possibly even in the very near future we will start putting together title matches. In some weight classes it may take a little longer to progress. In the near future their will be some exciting title fights.

Q: One thing I liked was for example Miesha Tate being able to commentate a fight even though she is with a different organization, to me that helps show you aren't out there trying to compete, but more give female fighters a place to fight, is that accurate?
A: Yeah we want to have a cooperative working relationship in the MMA community. We are showcasing female fighters, that is our platform. We want to be cooperative and competitive and have a great experience for fans. It is about the experience we can create as a women's MMA platform.

Q: What is maybe one thing you learned from the first event that will help make the second one better?
A: There is always opportunities to learn. There is small little things within the venue, the flow of the show and great input from the fans. We will keep tweaking things to make the events a better experience for the fans in the venue and viewers at home. I can't say there is one specific thing, but as we move forward there are some small things we will do better. That is our challenge to our self, to keep making it a great experience and show for the fans.

Q: For someone reading who doesn't know what Invicta is, why should they watch it?
A: It is the outstanding depth of female talent. We work with people making their pro debut to higher ranking veterans. Give it a chance, sit down, we offer it for free, or buy a ticket if you are local, and enjoy it. All the hard work they put into their fight camps, they will bring it, they will have the heart and passion. It will be exciting to watch them give it their all. You will walk away satisfied, it will be some of the best fights MMA can offer.

Q: Anything you want to add?
A: We are excited to be working with all of the females on the card and bring in International talent. We wish them all the best, they are training hard and we are here to support that and give them the platform they deserve.

Sarah Kaufman on MMAJUNKIE discussing upcoming fight with Ronda Rousey

Sarah Kaufman on MMAJUNKIE discussing upcoming fight with Ronda Rousey

Jordan Gaza To Make Pro Debut This Weekend at Ultimate Warrior Fighting MMA

A few months ago we introduced the USCS fans to Jordan Gaza, an amateur female mixed martial artist out of Corpus Christi, TX. This weekend, the up-and-coming prospect makes her long awaited professional MMA debut.
Coming off a recent loss, this “Ninja Princess” wants to get back on track by securing a win again Paige Vanzant, also making her pro debut. This will be the first time Gaza is fighting in her hometown of Corpus Christi, something she says is giving her the pre-fight jitters.
*To read the rest of the article, (click here).

Ronda Rousey vs Sarah Kaufman Trailer Kicks Off Their Promotional Tour.

I've posted the trailer underneath, which is very well done and shows both the characters of the fighters and the skills they will be bringing to the cage on August 18th. Though I would have liked a few highlights of Sarah Kaufman's TKO's from the beginning of her career, of course their quality and availability might make this impossible.

Something I noticed is that Ronda Rousey did not do any major chat shows in her last promotional tour. I would like to see both her and Kaufman be guests on one or more of the big shows together, eg Leno, Letterman, Ferguson, Fallon, Conan or Kimmel. Rousey now has a big enough name to at least get on the later network shows.

As much as I like Rousey, it's not hard to see that she can be a very polarizing character. Kaufman comes across very natural and likable in her interviews, which gives those that don't like Rousey someone to support. This is an easy fight to promote, hopefully the Zuffa promotional machine will be at full power for this one.

(Click for full-size video)

Click For More Pics and Vids Of Ronda Rousey

Sarah Kaufman vs Miesha Tate

(Click here for full size video)

Click For More Pics and Vids Of Sarah Kaufman

Ovince St. Preux vs. TJ Cook Added to Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman

Strikeforce fighter Ovince St. Preux
Strikeforce on Friday announced another bout for its Aug. 18 event in San Diego, adding a light heavyweight fight pitting Ovince St. Preux vs. T.J. Cook.
St. Preux (11-5) rocketed up the Strikeforce light heavyweight ranks, winning his first five consecutive bouts for the promotion. His last time in the cage, however, he ran into former champion Gegard Mousasi, suffering the first defeat of his tenure in the promotion.
He’ll make his first start in eight months in August when he squares up with Cook, who is stepping into the Strikeforce cage for the third time.
Cook (12-4) is also coming off of a loss, that being to Trevor Smith last November. That loss ended a five-fight winning streak for Cook.
Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman features bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey putting her belt on the line for the first time when she faces No. 1 contender Sarah Kaufman on Aug. 18 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.

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Shogun and Lombard Open as Sizeable Favorites In Upcoming Bouts

Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera
Injuries have derailed some of the summer’s biggest fights, but there are still plenty of match-ups to talk about including the debut of a former Bellator champion and the return of a former UFC title holder.
Former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will make his long awaited Octagon debut at UFC 149 where he faces former light heavyweight Tim Boetsch in a 185lb showdown.
According to Nick Kalikas from, Lombard’s reputation as a knockout artist will follow him to the UFC where he has opened as a sizeable favorite over UFC veteran Boetsch.
Lombard comes in as a whopping -310 favorite with the comeback on Boetsch at +240
Before he even signed with the UFC, Lombard was calling out middleweight king Anderson Silva, but first things first he has back up the hype and for now the oddsmakers are betting on that becoming reality.
At UFC on Fox 4, the entire main event was scrapped when Lombard’s original opponent Brian Stann fell out of the fight due to injury so the promotion opted to go with former light heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua taking on Brandon Vera.
Vera was originally scheduled to fight James Te Huna at UFC on Fuel TV 4 in July, but got the opportunity to face Rua instead when injuries forced several changes on the summer cards.
Rua opens as an expected favorite in the fight with -290 odds in his favor while Vera comes back at the underdog with +220 odds on his side.
As the fight draws closer, those numbers could shift due to Rua’s popularity and status heading into this one with Vera struggling mightily over his last several performances.

Korean Zombie: I Will End Jose Aldo's 'Reign as a Champion'

Rafael Suanes, US PRESSWIRE
Rafael Suanes, US PRESSWIRE
Jun 29, 2012 - The Korean Zombie called out his next desired opponent on Friday and it's none other than UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. "I want Jose Aldo," Chan Sung Jung Tweeted. "I will end his reign as a champion."
Jung, 25, most recently competed at UFC on FUEL TV 3 where he bested fellow contender Dustin Poirier in one of the best fights of the year at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. UFC President Dana White initially suggested Jung was potentially in the running for a title shot against Aldo, but later stated he was the clear cut top contender.
Even if Jung gets his desired match-up with Aldo for a UFC title, there are two clear obstacles in his way.
Aldo, 25, was originally scheduled to face Erik Koch at UFC 149 next month in Calgary, Canada, but was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury. However, the fight itself has not been scrapped. Aldo is still expected to face Koch at an undetermined date in the future.
Aldo last competed at UFC 142 in January of this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he defeated Chad Mendes in the first round of their bout by TKO.
If Jung were to receive a title shot without taking an additional bout between now, and whenever Aldo and Koch eventually face one another, he will be the first fighter to earn the opportunity based on a win from a main event on the UFC on FUEL TV series.

Thomas Gerbasi: Defining Chael Sonnen

Read on for the defining moments of number one middleweight contender Chael Sonnen...

UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen
UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen
The rematch the world has waited for finally takes place in the main event of UFC 148 on July 7th in Las Vegas. We’ve looked at champion Anderson Silva’s defining moments earlier this week. Now up to the plate – challenger Chael Sonnen.

Jeremy Horn III – UFC 60 – May 27, 2006
Result – Horn Wsub2

What happened – When Sonnen faced off with Jeremy Horn at UFC 60 in 2006, he was fresh from his first Octagon victory over someone who had beaten him previously, Trevor Prangley, and 23 fights into a career that began in 1997, there was no better time for some more redemption, considering that Horn held two wins over him. It didn’t happen though, as Sonnen succumbed to an armbar in the second round. It would be nearly three years before he returned to the UFC.

What was said – “The one thing with Horn is that he is so doggone crafty and you would almost have to fight him to understand what I mean,” said Sonnen before the fight. “So physically, for 15 minutes I need to pay attention and focus in on a couple of positions that he gets in where he is real dangerous. But mainly what I take from those fights is a mental thing. The first time I fought Horn, I was scared of him. I’ve been scared of a lot of guys but you’ve got to walk out there and fight them anyway. The second time, I believed ‘Jeez, I can really beat this guy,’ but pretty much the whole fight I was just waiting for him to catch me. I remember even thinking ‘is he gonna catch me now? Is it gonna be in this round or in this position?’ So mentally, things are different. I now know I can beat Jeremy Horn, and I know I’m going to beat Jeremy Horn, and there’s a big difference mentally.”

Paulo Filho I – WEC 31 – December 12, 2007
Result – Filho Wsub2

What happened – The rivalry with Silva doesn’t mark Sonnen’s first encounter with one of Brazil’s finest. There was the two fight series with then-unbeaten Paulo Filho, the WEC middleweight champion considered to be the best middleweight not under contract to the UFC. In their first bout, Sonnen appeared to have Filho knocked out at one point, but the Brazilian weathered the storm to score what was then seen as a very controversial submission win. Sonnen would even things up with the troubled Filho with a bizarre decision win nearly a year later, but with Filho not making weight, the WEC belt was no longer on the line. Next stop for Sonnen? Back to the UFC.

What was said - “I hit him on our feet and he went out and in fact, I caught him,” recalled Sonnen. “I walked all the way around him and grabbed him. In hindsight I should have just let him fall forward. But I was so excited because I thought it was over and I told the ref “he’s out.” And he was. He wasn’t moving or budging, but of course, I’m laying on top of him. For whatever reason, that was the route I took.”

“It hurts,” he continued. “I don’t know what a moral victory means. If the shoe was on the other foot and I got handed one that I didn’t quite earn, I’d feel just as good about it. I’d be completely content and proud of myself. At the end of the night, it’s whoever gets his hand raised, and so it hurt a lot. It kept me up at night. I got right back into the gym, but I was going through the motions and it was really difficult. I didn’t know how it would play out and whether I’d have this void forever. I’ve had a lot of disappointments in athletics over the years and they hurt a lot. But that’s the risk you take. It’s a two-man sport and only one guy’s gonna win.”

Dan MillerUFC 98 – May 23, 2009
Result – Sonnen W3

What happened – When Sonnen returned to the UFC in 2009, the result was familiar to those who followed his Octagon career, as he was submitted by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Demian Maia at UFC 95. But with his back against the wall, he pulled off a hard fought three round victory over New Jersey’s Dan Miller three months later, beginning his run to a world title shot against Anderson Silva and making it clear that this time, he was in the UFC to stay.

What was said – “UFC’s got the tradition, and when I was a young man and went to bed at night, it was the UFC I was dreaming about,” he said before the Maia fight. “You always want to be satisfied and happy with your situation, and I always was, but in the back of the head, there’s no way to deny or pretend that this isn’t exactly what I was hoping to happen.”

Yushin OkamiUFC 104 – October 24, 2009
Result – Sonnen W3

What happened – Sonnen was always a compelling interview, but it was around his UFC 104 bout with Japanese contender Yushin Okami that the rest of the world began to catch on, and the Oregonian became to amp things up in terms of promoting a possible fight down the line with champion Anderson Silva. Of course, there was the business of beating Okami, not an easy task at all, especially with “Thunder” bringing a three fight winning streak into the bout. But Sonnen made his three round decision win look easy, and now people considered him a legit contender for the title. He would need to keep winning though and keep things intense in training camp. So to help him with the latter part, he brought in none other than Yushin Okami.

What was said – “You don’t want to get beat by anybody, but especially him,” said Sonnen before the fight. “I gotta prepare for a guy and try to hype a fight with a guy that doesn’t even understand what hyping a fight means. I’m a one man band in this thing. I’m going at it alone, and when we get in the ring, if he backs up like he likes to always do, there’s just no end game here – there’s no way to win. So anyway, I’m just gonna go and beat the guy up because it’s the only thing that he and I can do together in friendship.”

“When the music hits those speakers, I will suck it up and make that walk,” he said. “And if I’ve got to take my medicine like a man, I’ll take it like a man, but either way, I’ll be in that ring on the 24th. And if Okami or anybody else wants to dispute something, I swear to goodness I will give them their opportunity. And I’ll end it on this – Yushin Okami is coming off an injury. Nobody is as good returning from an injury as they were prior to their injury, and I could’ve beat Okami when he was tough.”

“I want to be the champ and that’s it,” Sonnen continued. “If Anderson gets beat, I no longer want to fight Anderson. I don’t blame him for going up to light heavyweight – it’s a lot easier division than ours. I think there’s a false mystique when he flies up to light heavyweight and beats up these slow, unathletic guys. ‘Oh my goodness, he’s the king of two divisions.’ Well sure, anybody can move up a weight class. Look at Randy (Couture). Randy slid up from 205 to heavyweight and he wins a title every time he does it. The toughest guy to fight is the one a weight class below you. We’d have the same problem at 185 if one of the ’70 pounders moved up – ‘jeez, this guy’s a little faster than what we’re used to.’ So I, for one, am not impressed that Anderson went up to 205 and beat up some slow light heavyweights.”

Nate MarquardtUFC 109 – February 6, 2010
Result – Sonnen W3

What happened – 4-1 with four finishes and one controversial decision defeat since his title fight loss to Silva in 2007, Nate Marquardt was one win away from a return meeting with the champion and he was favored to get the job done against Sonnen, whose pre-fight rhetoric was reaching epic proportions. But the man soon to christen himself as “The Gangster from West Linn” took Marquardt by surprise with his speed and control of the Octagon, and while both guys looked like they had been in a bat fight and not a fistfight at the end of three rounds, it was Sonnen who took the win and earned his shot at “The Spider.”

What was said – “I don’t want to be an also-ran. I want to be king of the mountain and I think I can beat any man God ever made.”

Anderson Silva – UFC 117 – August 7, 2010
Result – Silva Wsub5

What happened – Not much can be said about this fight that hasn’t already. Suffice to say that it was one of the best in UFC history, a nearly five round battle that saw Sonnen shock the world by dominating the pound for pound king for over four of those rounds. But it was the final seconds that the world will remember, as Silva crushed Sonnen’s championship dreams with a triangle armbar that forced the challenger to tap out with only 1:50 left on the clock.

What was said – “No one tunes in to see Anderson Silva,” said Sonnen before the fight. “The guy’s the worst Pay-Per-View draw in the history of Zuffa, and he’s a four-year undefeated athlete with one sponsor. There is one company on the face of the planet that’s willing to put their name on that guy. He walks into a room, he doesn’t have any fans, the media doesn’t want to talk to him, you watch the UFC promotion and it’s the Chael Sonnen show and it might as well be. Anderson Silva is about as entertaining as watching paint dry so if you can keep the mic and camera on me; I’ll sell some tickets. I can drag Anderson Silva outside the hotel any day I wanted to and beat him up, But I’m gonna wait until August 7th and I’m gonna do everything I can to make sure millions of people are watching me do it.”

Brian Stann – UFC 136 – October 8, 2011
Result – Sonnen Wsub2

What happened – The world wanted and needed to see a rematch between Sonnen and Silva, but legal and commission issues kept MMA’s most compelling figure on the sidelines while the champion knocked out Vitor Belfort and Okami in title defenses. When Sonnen was cleared to return in October of 2011, anticipation was at a fever pitch as American hero Brian Stann squared off with the American gangster. And this time, the “bad guy” won, as Sonnen dominated before scoring his first finish win since 2007 via second round submission. Sonnen would have to win one more bout – against Michael Bisping – before getting his return match with Silva, but on July 7th in Las Vegas, the wait is over.

What was said – “It’s almost the opposite of the last guy I fought,” said Sonnen of Stann. “The last guy I fought was a little dancing chicken, and this guy’s more of a man that will come out and draw a line in the Octagon and say put your toe on it and let’s go.”

Tweets of the Week - 6/29

A look at the best tweets from the world of UFC. Follow @ufc, the list of official UFC accounts, the list of UFC fighters and the list of Strikeforce fighters to keep up with these guys.
Some UFC 147 Tweets
Translation: "Jorge, I fell very bad that you are not here with me right now" in Portuguese.... What a performance @RichFranklin #Orgulho -Jorge Gurgel ‏

I always forget how good RichFranklin is, mad props to him...still haven't watched the Maynard/Guida fight yet... -Benson Henderson ‏

I would have spoke both language for more camera time and for the FANS! #fb -Roy Nelson ‏

Wow. Wouldn't want to judge that one. Close fight. I'd give wand a 10-8 in the 2nd, though. He either wins our gets a draw. Maybe?
Or not. Close fight though. Congrats to both guys. -Dan Henderson ‏

I get the whole Jim Carey thing w/ Franklin, wow does he look like Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber right now -Brian Stann ‏

Nice that Rich Franklin went with the lloyd christmas cut tonight #UFC147 -Patrick Healy ‏

They Just Miss the Cali Kid
Crazy how many people still think I'm fighting in Vegas on the 7th, guess that will happen when u promote a date for 5 months on Live TV. -Urijah Faber ‏

Well, If you Insist…
Hey so .... Espn body issue..... If anyone wants to see me "artistically nude" I suggest you grab a copy when it's revealed on July 13th -Ronda Rousey ‏

Speaking of Nudity…
(back stage at @UFC) yves lavigne-"Phil Davis?? Sorry I'm used to seeing you with your clothes off" me -"yeah that's what I'm known for" -Phil Davis ‏

Stupid Tweet, Hunt!
Where da hell is all the haters -Mark Hunt ‏

The Outlaw Supports the Bully
@GrayMaynard you did everything you could to make a fight out of it mate. You deserve that victory, even if it wasn't how you planned it. -Dan Hardy ‏

@danhardymma of course! I just get bored sometimes and like to answer one or two of those idiots that "know" fight so well -Gray Maynard ‏

Pimp Scott’s Ride –with Treats
I need a freezer installed in the center console of my truck to keep my Reese's big cups so I always have deliciousness close by -Scott Jorgensen ‏

The Always Stylish and Modest KenFlo
From a few yrs ago. Sometimes my hair isn't perfect, this wasn't one of those days. #ThrowbackThursday -Kenny Florian ‏

Michael Beesting
I got stung off a bee for the first time ever before, and it bloody hurt! -Michael Bisping ‏

‘Squatch Love the Java
Just almost got eaten by a red headed Sasquatch and her young at the coffee bean... No pic cuz I was afraid sorry -Ian McCall ‏

How Could it Not Be?
Silva vs Sonnen Primetime is awesome!!! -Dana White ‏

Run, Forrest, Run!
It's great when your doc says let me give you something to relax you. Its creepy when your roommate says let me give you something to relaxu -Forrest Griffin ‏

The Powerful Joe Rogan: Jiu Jitsu Black Belt
Thank you all for the kind words re: the black belt. It's a real honor, and I couldn't be happier tonight! Thank you for all the love! -Joe Rogan ‏

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mick Hammond: There’s a Hurricane Brewing; Heather Clark Working to be Best Female Fighter

Following a disappointing loss in her last XFC outing in February, Heather “Hurricane” Clark was looking to make a statement at this past Friday’s event against Avery Vilche.
Heather Clark XFC
Heather Clark (Courtesy of XFC)
“I think I performed pretty well,” said Clark. “I think I could have done some a few things better, but all in all I listened to my corner and stuck with the game plan and it worked pretty effectively.
“She actually pulled me on top of her into half-guard and from there I kind of baited an arm bar to pass to side and from there I set up mount, and from mount I did a little ground and pound and made her turn her back and finished with the rear naked choke.”
The victory over Vilche gives Clark five wins in her last six fights, but it’s that loss in February to Marianna Kheyfets that still bothers her.
“Looking back at the tape, all my coaches and friends haven’t been able to find exactly where the strike happened that made the eye swell, so it’s a little bit frustrating,” said Clark. “What happened was, I thought, ‘fair enough, she got me,’ but looking back now on the film, I can’t really find it, so I believe it should be a no contest and not a loss.
“It kind of gave me a little bit of a drive to show XFC what I’m capable of doing.”
With so few nationally televised events carrying women’s MMA, Clark feels that finding a home in a promotion like the XFC is a boom for her career.
“I feel completely honored and blessed to be with XFC,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t believe there is anywhere better I could be at my weight class. Bellator’s a good show as well, but I honestly think that the XFC does a better job at promoting their fighters, especially their female fighters. I couldn’t be anywhere better.”
For her next bout, Clark told that she’d like to move down to 115 pounds and establish a title in the XFC at that weight. And thanks to the level of training she gets at Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque, N.M., whomever Clark faces, she feels will be at a distinct disadvantage to her.
“I moved out here from Los Angeles just to train at this gym,” she said. “Working with Mike Winklejohn and attending Greg Jackson’s classes and learning from the best of the best. Going against that tough competition like Michelle (Waterson), Julie (Kedzie) and Holly (Holm), I can’t tell you how much confidence it gives me.
“When I get in the cage before my fights, I say, ‘This ain’t Julie, Holly or Michelle. I got this.’ I’m kind of joking, but I’m also serious because it’s true. What I have to face with these girls on a daily basis getting my butt kicked, when I get into my fights, it’s been nothing compared to this.”
Considering the opportunities afforded her by the XFC and her training camp, Clark doesn’t see anything less than a title around her waist a year from now and a spot amongst the top ranked female fighters.
“I’ve got to keep working on all my different skills and continue to be a well-rounded fighter, so that no matter who they put in front of me, I’ll be able to dominate and get through people and finish the fights,” she said. “I’ll keep working my butt off to become the best female fighter in the world, and I won’t stop at anything less.”

E-mail Mick HammondFor more UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Strikeforce Announces Saffiedine vs. Bowling

Tarec Saffiedine vs Roger Bowling at Strikeforce
Strikeforce on Thursday made official a pair of bouts for its Aug. 18 fight card in San Diego, which features bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defending her belt against Sarah Kaufman in the main event.
Thursday’s announcement firmed up the Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Derek Brunson middleweight bout that had previously reported, as well as a welterweight clash between Tarec Saffiedine and Roger Bowling.
Saffiedine (12-3) would be in the thick of the battle for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title that Tyron Woodley and Nate Marquardt will battle over in July, if it weren’t for the fact that his sole Strikeforce blemish was a decision loss to Woodley.
He has since won back-to-back bouts over Scotty Smith and Tyler Stinson, and a win over Bowling would go a long way towards putting him in contention for the top contender spot for the winner of Woodley vs. Marquardt.
Bowling (11-2) is in a similar situation, having twice lost to Bobby Voelker under the Strikeforce banner. He has also won his last two fights, albeit to Brandon Sailing and Jerron Peoples, not quite the caliber of opposition Saffiedine has face.
Defeating Saffiedine would be the victory that Bowling needs to launch him into the contenders’ mix.
Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman takes place on Aug. 18 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.

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Morning Report: Frank Shamrock Blasts Dana White, Chael Sonnen Goes Off on Portland Radio Host

Michael Cohen, Getty Images
Michael Cohen, Getty Images
Jun 29, 2012 - Lately it seems like the UFC Hall of Fame -- and to a greater extent, what the Hall actually represents -- has became a surprisingly divisive topic.
First there was the Brock Lesnar dilemma. Both Randy Couture and Kenny Florian vouched for the big guy's credentials, but the community was decidedly split on honoring a man with a career 5-3 record. Then came the announcement of Tito Ortiz's upcoming induction, which nobody could've foreseen back when Ortiz and UFC President Dana White were training to punch each other in the face on the classic 90-minute special, Bad Blood: Dana White vs. Tito Ortiz.
And now Frank Shamrock wants in on the action. The five-time UFC champion voiced his displeasure at not being included in the Hall of Fame by ripping White a new one on Spike TV's MMA Uncensored Live.

"I believe I should be in the Hall of Fame," Shamrock declared. "But it ain't my Hall of Fame. If they want to put me in, that's great. It's not going to keep me up at night.
"It's definitely personal between Dana and I. I've done everything I can possibly do for this sport. I hope that would include UFC. You know, Dana and I don't get along. I think he's a total douchebag and a bully. I just, I got no breath for him."
Shamrock's feud with White is well documented, though given his current employment with Strikeforce, referring to your boss as a "douchebag" probably isn't the most tactful move.
Regardless, his credentials are hard to overlook. Shamrock became the first UFC light heavyweight champion, and defended his belt a then-record four times, including a memorable TKO victory over a young Tito Ortiz. He then left to become the inaugural WEC light heavyweight champion, and eventually, the inaugural Strikeforce middleweight champion, both of which ended up under Zuffa ownership. Plus, he made the best .gif ever.
It's tough to deny that résumé.
Shamrock calls out White. Strikeforce commentator and former UFC champion Frank Shamrock blasted Dana White, referring to the Zuffa boss as a "total douchebag and a bully," while repeating he should already be a member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Sonnen pulls a Sonnen, hangs up on interview. A local radio interview between Portland's John Canzano and UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen quickly went south when Canzano brought up the fighter's criminal past, and Sonnen responded by hanging up and saying he hoped Canzano wasn't still beating his wife.
Couture talks Silva vs. Sonnen II. Legendary multi-division champion Randy Couture discussed the unique dynamic to Silva-Sonnen II, why Sonnen's victory over Nate Marquardt altered his career trajectory, and how next weekend's rematch is going to play out.
White brags about hacker arrest. UFC President Dana White gleefully bragged about his involvement in the arrest of Mir Islam, aka JoshTheGod, who was taken down by FBI agents for his role in a credit card fraud ring.
UFC cuts Rocha. Carlos Eduardo Rocha was released by the UFC after losing consecutive bouts to Jake Ellenberger and Mike Pierce, the latter of which he referred to as '15 minutes of 'bulls---'.

Ladies and gentlemen, smooth talking Chael Sonnen could make us buy anything. (HT: Reddit)

Among the topics found in Matt Serra and Forrest Griffin's conversation: shrinkage, man touching man time, dropping a deuce in Griffin's house, and giggle fits towards Strikeforce. Seriously, this needs to be a weekly show. (And yes, Serra visited Sonnen too, so just click here.)

Jose Aldo's destruction of Chad Mendes -- and the ensuing celebration -- is already classic footage, but when paired with a Brazilian broadcast team on the verge of losing their minds, it's hard not to get goosebumps all over again. (HT: Reddit)

Way back in 2003, Mr. Sonnen faced off against another unknown light heavyweight, Forrest Griffin, at the IFC: Global Domination single-day tournament. Other members of the absurd eight-man field: Shogun Rua, Babalu Sobral, Jeremy Horn and Trevor Prangley. (Just in case you were interested, Babalu decisioned Horn to win it all.) Props to Leon MacCormack for the find.

Check out the "most helpful" Amazon review for Chael's book. Click for supersize.
And of course, the next installment of UFC 148's The Silver Spider vs. The American Gangsta comic strip.

(Props to the appropriately named @Hugh_Jaload for the find.)
Announced yesterday (Thursday, June 28, 2012):
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from Andy Davis, who asks for your opinion on: The Greatest Fight That Never Happened
Joe Silva has the best job on the planet. This man spends his days planning fights. He creates a path for a contender to rise to the championship. He gives the newcomer interesting challenges. He gets to claim that he set up the legendary fights that no one will forget. The man lives and breathes fighting.
He also has the worst job. Fights fall through all the time. Fighters get injured, they fail drug tests, and sometimes (expletive) just happens for the weirdest of reasons. And then he has to scramble to find a replacement, all the while bearing the disappointment of the fight that didn't happen. But perhaps worst of all, everyone else thinks they could do his job better than he can. And far more often than decrying a fight that is planned, we complain about the fights that don't happen.
As fans, the greatest fights are often the ones that didn't happen. As we know, the idea of a fight is often very different from what actually happens. Fights that look fantastic on paper don't always deliver, and we're often pleasantly surprised by fights that weren't very appealing. With that in mind, we as fans don't anticipate a stinker. Every (imaginary) fight is FOTY, even if we know they aren't going to happen. We love to pine for the fights that should've happened. Perhaps the moment has passed and two greats never met, like Randy/Fedor. Maybe there's still a chance, like GSP/Diaz. Or maybe there's a matchup in your head that you know will never happen, but it should, damnit!
My own personal favorite was Condit/Penn. When it was announced, I was merely excited. Then our own NickTheFace did his magic, and I went from excited, to drooling, to BRRRAAWA. I spent weeks anticipating, watching tape, trying the figure out how it would play out. Words do not describe how excited I was. I was (expletive) pumped.
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's post.

California State Athletic Commission in Disarray, With Boss Censured, Agency Insolvent

Christian Petersen, Getty Images
Christian Petersen, Getty Images
Jun 28, 2012 - The California state athletic commission is one of the largest combat sports sanctioning bodies in the nation, overseeing 190 events during its 2011 fiscal year, but it is also in chaos, a fact highlighted by a Tuesday meeting in which it was revealed that the agency is insolvent, with expenditures far outpacing revenue.

CSAC is already in the red, and according to numbers released in a memorandum from Department of Consumer Affairs budget officer Taylor Schick, if the commission continues its current projections, it would face a deficit of nearly $700,000 by the end of fiscal year 2013, a shortfall that could have a catastrophic effect on MMA and boxing in the state, because it could cause the commission to halt its programs, thereby denying regulation for combat sports.
"Without the ability to pay for even basic services, the Commission will have no choice but to cease operation immediately and cancel or postpone indefinitely all Commission regulated events," Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) director Denise Brown wrote in a recent letter to CSAC's executive director George Dodd.

Dodd -- who has been the commission's executive officer since February 2010 -- came under fire in Tuesday's meeting, during which his continued employment was a subject of debate behind closed doors. He ultimately emerged with his job, although he was censured for "not adequately informing the commission about the insolvency of the athletic commission fund," according to The Los Angeles Times.
That was not enough for one commissioner, Linda Forster, who on Thursday resigned, saying she was "shocked" to learn of the financial crisis.
Under this duress, California is still tasked with regulating the upcoming July 11 UFC on FUEL 4 show, which emanates from HP Pavilion in San Jose, as well as August 4's UFC on FOX 4 event, which will be held at Los Angeles'' Staples Center. The UFC also ran two events in the state in 2012 and three in 2011.

During the open portion of the meeting held in South El Monte, Dodd said that revenue has decreased because the state has failed to attract as many major events as in years past.

In fiscal 2011, he said, the commission regulated 12 shows which generated over $25,000 of revenue apiece. In 2012, that number dipped to seven, partly he said, due to taxing issues that deterred promoters from going there, and partly due to the loss of Strikeforce as a standalone promotion.

Schick's numbers show that CSAC began the 2011-'12 fiscal year with $467,000, and is projected to collect $1,284,000 in revenue while spending $1,786,000. That means the fiscal year, which ends on June 30, is likely to leave the fund with a deficit of $35,000.

Dodd, who was famously Chael Sonnen's foil at a hearing related to Sonnen's UFC 117 drug test that came back with an elevated T/E ratio, said that he had attempted to slash costs, including those related to inspectors' fees, but had been told nothing more could be done. While he maintained his position, he has been asked to provide a plan to address the budget shortfall and be subjected to another job evaluation within 90 days, according to the Times.

As of now, no scheduled fights have been affected, but given the economic difficulties faced by state governments and regulatory agencies across the country, this is a situation that bears watching as a possible harbinger of trouble elsewhere.

Ahead of UFC 148, Randy Couture Believes Tactical Roles Reversed for Silva vs. Sonnen 2

Christian Petersen, Getty Images
Christian Petersen, Getty Images
Jun 28, 2012 - When two high-level fighters rematch, who has the responsibility to anticipate changes in their opponents tactics and techniques to ensure victory the second time around? According to former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, it's typically the winner of the first fight. Obviously the complexion of the first fight can change that balance, but the logic is this: the winner already knew what it took to win the first time. They dug a path to victory. They know the loser of the first bout is going to change, but how? Yet, in Couture's mind, Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva have the roles backwards ahead of their rematch at UFC 148.
"It's kind of odd," Couture told MMA Fighting at his Xtreme Couture facility recently in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Normally I would say that the onus is on the guy who won the first fight to anticipate the changes the loser is going to make and get the same outcome."
"If you look at Anderson and Chael, Anderson won by triangle choke with two minutes left. He didn't really win the fight. He got his ass whooped - literally - for four-plus rounds," Couture continued, "but it's almost like he was the guy that won. He wants it to go the same minus the triangle."
Watch the video below as Couture explains his reasoning in depth, talks about the trajectory of Sonnen's career, why the Nate Marquardt fight was a turning point for the Oregonian, why Sonnen might have the best takedowns in mixed martial arts and much more.



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