The Pit Report: Liddell vs. Jackson II, Ortiz vs. Evans, Riggs in WEC, HERO*S in U.S.

Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will defend the UFC Light Heavyweight title against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 71, according to Jackson’s manager and trainer, Juanito Ibarra. Ibarra told over the weekend that the bout will take place on May 26th in Las Vegas.

Liddell’s 2003 loss to Jackson in PRIDE is the only loss in his career he has not avenged. Liddell told Joe Rogan in his UFC 66 post-fight interview that he could not wait for this fight.

Personally, I’m a little shocked that Dana White is moving forward with this fight so soon. Liddell has always been his golden boy, but I suppose with all the media attention that Randy Couture is getting, he’s willing to take a gamble on giving Jackson a title shot.

While the summer seems far away right now, UFC 72 is already shaping up on paper. Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans, originally rumored to take place at UFC 71 now appears to be slated for UFC 72 in July. Also rumored to be on the card is UFC Middleweight champ Anderson Silva defending against Nate Marquardt, and UFC Lightweight champ Sean Sherk defending against Hermes Franca. UFC 72 is expected to be held on July 7th, but the exact location has yet to be revealed.

K1 HERO*S will be holding a press conference in America within the next two weeks to reveal their “plan and strategy” for the promotion’s U.S. debut. According to K-1’s Mr. Tanigawa, “It’s going to be a really interesting press conference that will have a lot of content to convey to you, something that will surprise Dana White as well.”

I’m sure the Dana White comment has something to do with the rumors that have been on MMAWeekly and other MMA sites, suggesting that former WWE superstar Brock Lesnar will be making his MMA debut at the show, possibly facing the 7′ 2″ South Korean fighter Hong Man Choi. White has expressed interest in Lesnar in recent moths. However, even more interesting is that UFC veteran Royce Gracie is also rumored to be on the card.

HERO*S is expected to debut on June 2nd, most likely in Los Angeles. Looks like we’ll know more before the end of the month.

UFC veteran Joe Riggs is planning another move, both in weight class and fighting promotion. After acquiring World Extreme Cagefighting, UFC’s parent company Zuffa is looking to establish the promotion as a separate entity from the UFC. Joe Riggs recently requested a move to UFC’s sister promotion, and their Middleweight division.

In an interview with CBS Sportsline Riggs said, “This organization is going to grow a lot. I see a lot of growth with it, and I see all the great fighters coming in, and I’m in this game to fight the best in the world and see what I got. And that’s pretty much why I’m in the WEC. I plan to be the world champ and stay the world champ and in becoming the WEC 185-pound champion being the best 185-pound champion in the world.”

BodogFight has named Jeff Osborne as its commissioner. Fans will know Osborne as a commentator for BodogFight: St. Petersburg on ION. The Indiana-based former MMA promoter’s new job will give him the responsibility of making sure that all of the rules and regulations are followed.

BodogFight rules are similar to the MMA rules established by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, with the exception of no elbow strikes.


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