Been slacking hardcore recently, so I will just cluster bomb some of the more notable news in mma.
From MMA Junkie
Jon Jones: Heavyweight is an option.
Just four fights into his UFC run, many mixed martial arts fans are already calling for a light heavyweight title shot.
But as Jones prepares for a showdown with veteran grinder Vladimir Matyushenko (24-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at August’s UFC on Versus 2 event, the soon-to-be-23-year-old told the crew of ESPN’s “MMA Live” that he’s not necessarily just focused on a 205-pound title. “Bones” might eventually go up to heavyweight, too.
“This training camp has been really tough for me, actually,” Jones said on the most recent episode of “MMA Live.” “I got up to about 231 (pounds) for the first time, and I’ll be 23 on Monday. I feel as if I’m growing into a more adult body.
“Who knows what the future holds for me. I’m always training hard, and I’m going to start to focus more on weightlifting in my off-time. You heavyweights gotta watch out because you never know what’s going to happen.”
This may come as a shock to some but anybody who saw how young and huge Jones was when he made it into the UFC (6′4 & 21 years old) it wasn’t that much of a stretch to think he would outgrow the weight class he started in. If he continues to grow in skill and experience as well as size a move to heavyweight would be seen as a smart one for one of the most promising prospects to enter the sport in years.
From MMA Fighting,
FEG Announces Partnership with PUJI Captital, Declares War With UFC
DREAM and K-1 promoter FEG announced Friday that it is entering a partnership with Shanghai-based investment bank PUJI Capital that could be worth 20 billion yen ($230 million).
K-1 President Sadaharu Tanikawa stressed that FEG had not been sold and in fact it will now be setting its sights much higher.
“This is a declaration of war against the WWE and UFC. From Asia, we will take the world,” Tanikawa stated.
Tanikawa admitted that expansion to American soil would be futile at this stage and under the watchful eye of K-1 creator Kazuyoshi Ishii, they will set their sights on the rest of the world.
“Mr. Ishii is completely supporting us. We won’t stand a chance in the American market so we will spread to the rest of the world.”
A call for a drastic change in Japanese MMA has been needed since the collapse of PRIDE, even Tanikawa admitted himself.
“When K-1 and PRIDE were competing against each other, 80% of the martial arts market was in Japan. It is now the opposite and Japan is only 20%. We were worried that Japan would be left behind if we let this continue, it is unacceptable. We needed to change our business model.”
“We’ve let Dana White get a lead on us. Before (Shinya) Aoki beats (Gilbert) Melendez, we must win as promoters.”
With last weeks Dream event we saw Shinya Aoki defend his belt and unofficial title as the best Japanese fighter currently competing in MMA. This victory could also been seen as a defeat or moot point considering how utterly ineffectual Aoki was in his fight against Strikeforce Lightweight Champ Gilbert Melendez. Dream also seemed to be in a transitional period from its revamped lighter weight clsasses to this weeks announcement, Fight Entertainment Group (FEG) may be making a case for long awaited fanboy fantasy of a vibrant high level mixed martial arts scene reminiscent of the PRIDE glory days.
Wishful thinking aside this partnership will have to produce results first before this is taken seriously. Even if the declaration of war against two major organizations (WWE and UFC) was just a figure of speech. The sentiment of wanting to compete at the highest levels promotion wise is very palpable. Until this partnership produces compelling cards it will be seen as another sad story of investors looking to make a quick buck off of the illusory cash cow of mixed martial arts. Both White and McMahon giving a crap about this is unlikely but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility if they did take this news into consideration.
At the end of the day when combat sports and sports entertainment organizations compete: The fans win.
From Bloody Elbow
Jake Shields is Officially signed to the UFC Unofficially…huh!?!?
It’s official. According to Graciefighter.com, the UFC has signed the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Jake Shields (25-4-1) to a contract. They also announced that the #3 ranked middleweight will drop back down to join the UFC welterweight shark tank:
Jake Shields will be debuting at the 170lbs weight division in the UFC. After careful consideration and consulting with UFC representatives it was determined Jake would be finally going back to his original fighting weight.
Jake’s opponent is one of the UFC’s top contenders and will be announced shortly.
Seeing as how there was the Aldo vs Faber photo op with Dana White led to Shields contract not being renegotiated and his belt being put up for an fantabulous 8 man middleweight tournamet that got derailed thanks to The Lone Star State not allowing combat sport tournaments. From MMA Fighting
Strikeforce officials would not comment on the proposed tournament last week, telling MMA Fighting only, “We aren’t doing a tournament there.”
But TDLR administrator Greg Alvarez confirmed to MMA Fighting on Saturday that Strikeforce wanted a one-night, bracket-style tournament for the Houston show, which will air live on Showtime. But Alvarez said that request was denied.
“They asked if it was possible and I told them that when Tough Man was outlawed, the state also did away with tournaments back in 2001,” Alvarez said.
Sec. 2052.254 of Texas’ Combative Sports Occupations Code specifically deals with tournaments. The code states: “An elimination tournament may not be conducted in this state.”
Which led to the subsequent title fight between Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Tim Kennedy for the Strikeforce middleweight belt and Shields heading to the UFC.
And lastly, how about some Bobby Lashley news, eh?
Bobby Lashley’s opponent at the upcoming Strikeforce show in Houston will be IFL and Rage in the Cage veteran Chad Griggs.
Not much to say here other than “Lashley better not pull out of this fight or risk the mma community completely writing him off”.
That should be enough binge blogging for the day. And now to enjoy a weekend without fights, if that is possible.