Welcome back to No News Barred everyone! There’s a lot to get to this week so let’s see what happened in the week that was for MMA 4/22-4/28/2009.
Anderson Silva Had a Big Week:
Fresh off his sub par title defense last week Silva couldn’t keep his name out of the news. It was reported this week that Silva’s manager Ed Soares purposefully incorrectly translated Silva’s post fight interview. These allegations weren’t exactly confirmed nor denied by Soares.
Soares explained that he tries to “paraphrase down” Silva’s comments due to the length and translation issues between Portuguese and English. He says that some things do get lost in translation but he does his best to say everything Silva says. While I’m sure Soares does a decent job you can’t help but wonder how often Silva’s words are doctored by his manager/translator to smooth out his public image in the U.S.
However, the big news that just recently dropped, today in fact, is that Silva already has his next opponent. Silva will be moving up to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 in August. Silva will move back up to 205 lbs but this time will face a former world champion in Griffin. Obviously the UFC is pushing Silva to really test himself in order to avoid boring fights like Silva’s last two at 185 lbs.
This fight will hopefully bring out Silva’s skills as Griffin is definitely an aggressive fighter and should be much larger than Silva come fight night. Griffin is no James Irvin and should be able to test Silva. This is a huge fight due to Silva’s status and Griffin’s marketable name. However, I am curious as to why Griffin would make this his first fight back since losing his title and sustaining an injury.
UFC Fight Announcements:
Tomasz Drwal v. Eric Schafer has been made official for the The Ultimate Fighter 9 finale on June 20th. Schafer comes in riding a two fight win streak and Drwal recently got his first win in the UFC in quite some time. This match up will definitely bulk up the card which is pretty stacked for a free fight card.
Also confirmed for the TUF 9 finale are welterweights Matt Brown and Anthony Johnson. Both of these guys are on two fight win streaks and are looking to make serious names for themselves in the division.
In other UFC news the UFC announced that they will be targeting Australia as a destination for 2010. I know I’m ready for a 10am live show!
Changes to the June 6th Strikeforce Card:
Renato “Babalu” Sobral’s light heavyweight title defense has been called off. The timing of the fight coincides with the expected delivery of Sobral’s latest child. Sobral’s challenger, Rafael Cavalcante, will still fight on the card against unheralded American Jared Hamann. Assuming Cavalcante wins he will get his title shot at a later date.
It was also announced this week that Nick Diaz will take on another big winner from Strikeforce’s card in April, Scott Smith. Diaz will stay at the 179lb catch weight for this fight. After seeing both of their last two fights this should be a great battle. It’s fortunate these guys filled the void after Sobral’s title fight was canceled.
DREAM 9 Is Beefing Up:
Two major fights were announced this week for DREAM’s upcoming show in May. First was the middleweight title fight between Jason Miller and Ronaldo Souza. Miller, long a fan favorite in Japan, will face the man who forced him into semi retirement for the vacant DREAM middleweight championship.
Souza was the runner up in DREAM’s middleweight grand prix and should be the favorite in this fight after already beating Miller less than a year ago. Hopefully Miller is refreshed and ready to go in order to make this a good fight.
Also announced this week was Gesias Calvancante v. Tatsuya Kawajiri. This is a top flight match up between two top ten lightweights and has to be the main attraction on the card. There are some other big names on the card but none of the match ups even come close to what this fight promises.
This week it was announced that Gibert Yvel will take on Pedro Rizzo at PFP: Unarmed Combat. This is the same show that features Bobby Lashley v. Bob Sapp. Also on this card is Chris Horodecki, Din Thomas, and Affliction co-owner Tom Atencio. Atencio has one victory in his only MMA fight back in 2005. This card is big on names but probably won’t deliver.
And in the strangest news of the week it was announced that M-1 Challenge will be putting on an event tomorrow that will feature a “grappling exhibition” between top lightweight Shinya Aoki and perennial P4P kingpin Fedor Emelianenko. Aoki is one of the best grapplers in the world but Fedor has a strong Sambo background. If Fedor was some schlub I wouldn’t be worried for Aoki even with the incredible size disadvantage.
Unfortunately Fedor is arguably the best fighter in the world so the size becomes a huge disadvantage for Aoki. It’ll be interesting to see if he can even pull anything off against the much larger and skilled Fedor.
That’ll wrap it up for this week folks. Stay tuned for your weekly MMA news dose next week. Until then,
Enjoy the fights!
Tags: Affliction, anderson silva, bob sapp, Bobby Lashley, Chris Horodecki, Din Thomas, DREAM, ed soares, Fedor Emelianenko, forrest griffin, gilbert yvel, Jason Miller, M -1, Matt Brown, Mixed Martial Arts, Nick Diaz, Pedro Rizzo, Rafael Cavalcante, Renato Sobral, Ronaldo Souza, Shinya Aoki, Strikeforce, Tatsuya Kawajiri, tom atencio, Tomasz Drwal, UFC, UFC 101