I’ll Be Back

In the words of the Governator, “I’ll be back”  I am leaving today for a short vacation, but will be back and resume by blogging duties.  My apologies to my wonderful blog readers.  It is an exciting week in MMA.  We should learn more about Randy Couture to the UFC and a potential match with Brock Lesnar at UFC 91.  We have the upcoming UFC 88, which is exciting.  I look forward to the “Countdown to UFC 88” on SPIKE.  We could learn more about a rumored TV deal, but that may not be made known until after October 4th.  We may have more match-ups revealed for UFC 91 and 92.  I’ll be beack and play catch up when I return Friday night or Saturday morning.  In the mean time…I am out like the fat kid in dodge ball.

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UFC News: Quinton Jackson Pleans Not Guilty

We know of the legal woes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.  He appeared in court on Thursday and Quinton Jackson revealed what happened on July 15.

He said he thought he was on a mission to save a friend – who had recently lost his faith in God – and was unaware that he had hit any other cars or was being pursued by a phalanx of police cars.

“I thought I heard the voice of God telling me to go save Brian,” he said in an interview today after his arraignment on two felony evading arrest charges. “I felt if I didn’t get to Brian, he would die.”

Now, he says, he believes he was irrational because of lack of sleep and nutrition.

“What was I thinking?” he said. “l know now that Brian was never in danger. …But I really thought at the time that he was about to die.”

Jackson said he takes “full responsibility” for what happened, adding that he apologizes to “everyone who was affected.”

Jackson went on to claim that the lack of sleep and nutrition was caused by the alleged betrayal of his best friend and father figure.

But he said he was depressed and obsessed after learning that his best friend, who was also one of his employees, had allegedly been cheating him out of money.

Losing the cash, he said, wasn’t as painful as learning that his friend was behind what he called a betrayal. The friend, who he declined to identify, was like a father to him. He said they prayed together and that he felt like they were family.

Jackson said his mind started to obsessively dwell on the betrayal, prompting him to lose his appetite and a lot of sleep.

Jackson said he watched the movie to the end that night and saw its message in a new light. Jackson, who became a born-again Christian about four years ago, said he connected the teachings of the movie with the teachings of the Bible.

“The Bible told me to have faith,” he said. “But ‘The Secret’ taught me how to have faith.”

But then he also remembered he had loaned a copy of “The Secret” to his friend Brian Talbert, also a UFC fighter. He said he somehow got it in his mind that if he didn’t warn his friend to watch the movie all the way to the end, Brian would die.

Lavacot said that Jackson, because of his mental state, was unaware that he was breaking any laws during the chase.

“The law says you have to have criminal intent. He didn’t have it,” Lavacot said.

“You can analogize this to somebody whose child is dying,” she added. “Are they going to slow down or stop and wait for an ambulance? Or are they going to do everything they can to get that child to the hospital?”

I have no idea how this plea will work in Jackson’s case.

MMA News: Randy Couture Could Fight in The UFC Again

We all know of the lgal battle over Randy Couture’s contract.  Zuffa has apparently won that legal battle and now controls Couture’s fighting future.  At 45 years old Couture cannot have much left in the tank, but it is possible despite all the back and forth legal troubles to see Randy in the UFC octagon one more time, and this may be before year’s end.  Randy is still considered the UFC heavyweight champ and I do not know how a fight would be marketed or what it would entail, but another fight is possible as a means of settling with Zuffa out of court and then freeing him from his contract and enabling him to fight Fedor Emelieanenko.  Here is what I have found on the issue…

Rumors are starting to swirl that former UFC heavyweight champion Randy “The Natural” Couture could headline UFC 91 as the organization swings into Portland, OR, for the first time ever in November.Goldenboy, a respected member of the mixedmartialarts.com forum who has provided credible tips in the past, provided the info earlier this afternoon. He first broke the news of Aleksander Emelianenko failing his blood test.

Even more notably:

While Couture’s participation at UFC 91 is far from official, Eric, an amateur member of the Xtreme Couture gym where Randy trains, has confirmed that Couture is training to fight somebody in the near future.

And more…

Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture could return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship by year’s end as part of an out-of-court settlement with the organization.

Multiple sources close to the fighter, speaking exclusively to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), today said that Couture is willing to fight once more for the UFC, possibly before the end of the year, as a potentia; resolution to his ongoing legal battles with the fight promotion.

However, Couture himself could not be reached for comment, and it’s unknown if the UFC is even considering the offer at this point.

According to one source, as part of Couture’s concession to return the octagon, the 45-year-old UFC hall-of-famer would want to walk away “clear and free” from the organization after the bout

The question is who will Randy fight?  The situation is complicated.  Randy is still the UFC heavyweight champion.  Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is the UFC interim heavyweight champion.  Nogueira is scheduled to fight Frank Mir in December as a cap to the TUF 8 season.  It wouldn’t make sense for Randy to fight Nogueira, although that is the fight I have called for the whole time.  I have never understood why Randy ducked Nogueira.  Nogueira is by most considered the number 2 heavyweight in the world behind Fedor.  Randy said he wants to fight those better than him and he wants Fedor.  Why cause all this rift to get to Fedor when he should beat the number 2 first?  A fight with Nogueira would complicate things now.  If Couture won, what would happen to Nog’s title?  If Nog won it would be ideal, but you can’t bank on that.  Some have speculated it could be Brock Lesnar, who was rumored to fight Knongo at UFC 91, but that has been reported off due to a injury to Kongo.  Oh boy.  I have no idea what will happen now.  I suspect we will find out soon.

MMA News: Quinton Jackson to Train in England

When all Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s legal issues began we heard of a split with him and trained Juanito Ibarra.  Now it seems that Jackson will leave the U.S. and begin to train in England at Wolfslair.

Those guys got it together. Michael Bisping took to me like a brother from the first time I met him. He and [Paul] Anthony were very hospitable towards me when I first came to the UK. I feel like Wolfslair can make me go farther than I have been; I’m really excited about being able to travel there to train. The guys on the team, they like to laugh and joke around but they train hard and that’s me, that’s what I like to do. What better team to join than one called Wolfslair? I’m a werewolf. It was my destiny. People don’t understand destiny but I do. Wolfslair is the most perfect team for me.”

I don’t know if this means anything significant, but it is interesting.  You seldom hear of Ameircan fighters training in Europe.

UFC News: Glover Teixeira to Fight in the UFC

It was rumored by many that light heavyweight fighter Glover Teixeira was going to be on season 8 of the Ultimate Fighter.  When the cast was released that proved to be a rumor.  It is possible that the UFC contacted him regarding that opportunity.  Teixeira, is a light heavyweight fighter who trains with John Hackleman at the Pit in San Luis Obispo, California, which is known for being the training home of UFC star and former light heavyweight champ Chuck “the Iceman” Liddell.  Teixeira also gained some fame with his knockout of UFC fighter Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. 

Teixeira made the comments during a video interview with InTheGuard.tv.

“I’ve always loved to have fought in the UFC and now actually my dream is going to come true,” the native Brazilian said. “I’m going to be fighting in the UFC, probably in my next fight. I’ve been having visa problems in the United States. That’s why I am here, taking care of everything. And soon as I am back I’ll be ready to go and fight with the big boys.”

This is a solid signing if it is true for the UFC.  The UFC light heavyweight divison is sick deep with talent and Teixeira is by many considered one of the top unsigned light heavyweights.  I would suspect that a re-match with Sokoudjou would be interesting, but they may give him a tune up in November or December if this rumor proves true.

UFC News: Liddell vs. Griffin Possible at UFC 92

It looks very likely that Chuck Lidell’s next fight is in the works.  Of course his next fight will be determined by his fight at UFC 88 against Rashad Evans, however it is being reported that if Chuck beats Rashad that he will get a crack at Forrest Griffin at UFC 92.  I would be curious as to what would happen if Liddell loses to Evans.   IcemanRX, on of Liddell’s sponsor’s leaked this news. 

I know the UFC wants that Liddell vs. Griffin match, but I don’t know if it is fair to a guy like Lyoto Machida, who with a with at UFC 89 would undoubtedly get a title shot.  Liddell better not look past Rashad Evans who is a great wrestler and dangerous striker.  Some people will be picking Evans to win this fight.

UFC News: Quinton Jackson to Fight November 15

It looks as if Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will fight in the midst of his legal troubles and it is likely that he will fight on November 15th.  This from MMAjunkie.com

The UFC plans to allow former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to fight even though he was formally charged with two felonies on Tuesday for his role in a July 15 traffic incident in Southern California.

Jackson, 30, was charged with one felony count of evading while driving recklessly and one felony count of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic. He was also charged with three misdemeanors.

Notably, he will not be charged in the death of the unborn child of one of the women whose car he hit, 38-year-old Holli Griggs. Griggs was driving in the left lane on the southbound 55 Freeway when Jackson’s pick-up truck sideswiped her sport utility vehicle, according to police. Griggs miscarried following the accident.

Jackson, who will be arraigned on Thursday, is free on $25,000 bail.

UFC president Dana White, who has been outspoken in his support of Jackson, said he believes Jackson committed no crime and was simply ill. He said Jackson suffered from delirium, the result of days of little or no sleep, no food and no liquid other than energy drinks.

White said Jackson did not have drugs or alcohol in his system when he was tested following the incident and said he was not given medication to help him after his arrest.

“They gave him an IV to get fluids into him and they made him go to sleep,” White said. White said he and UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta support Jackson “unequivocally” and said he spent much of the day on Monday attempting to arrange a bout for Jackson.

Though there has been much speculation that Jackson would fight Wanderlei Silva, White declined to comment. But a source close to the situation said a Jackson-Silva fight is unlikely. Silva has two wins over Jackson from their days together in the PRIDE Fighting Championship.

But Jackson will fight, likely on the Nov. 15 card in Portland, Ore., and the charges won’t impede him.

“Of course he’ll fight,” White said. “If he was doing drugs, if he had been drunk, if he had gone out there and done what he did because he was pissed off at someone, that would be a completely different story. But he was ill. And in this company, we support our friends and anyone who works for us when they’re ill and have problems. He was ill, the incident occurred, and now he’s fine.

“Rampage feels awful about the woman’s baby, but he had nothing to do with it. And the (traffic incident) occurred because he was very ill and not with him in control of his faculties.”

Jackson’s opponent is not yet known.  Every rumor has pointed to Shogun and Wanderlei Silva and I would have to suspect it would be one of those guys as every other major contender is locked up besides Forrest Griffin.  One would have to wonder if Rampage can keep focused on a big fight in the midst of legal troubles.