After returning to the UFC in September following a 16 month layoff, Belcher will now take on rising contender Rousimar Palhares at UFC on Fox 3 on May 5th. Belcher recently spoke with MMAFrenzy.com’s Bryan Robison about that layoff, the matchup with Palhares, and what the future brings for “The Talent”.Read More
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
It didn’t happen at Wrestlemania 28, but on Monday night, ten years to the day from Brock Lesnar’s WWE debut, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion returned to professional wrestling on WWE’s Monday Night Raw.
Lesnar interrupted a diatribe by John Cena at the end of the show, receiving a massive ovation from the crowd at the American Airlines Arena.
After soaking up the ovation, Lesnar slowly walked down to the ring, then jawed at Cena once inside. Without grabbing a microphone, Lesnar jawed at Cena, then delivered his old finishing move, the F-5. The show went off the air with him celebrating in the corner, and the return has been set.
Penick’s Analysis: Good for Lesnar. While he’s going to catch flak from a lot of his critics in MMA, the fact is he accomplished what he could in a limited time. He put forth some excellent performances in his time in the UFC, but that battle with diverticulitis really took a lot out of him. He’s going to get a very good payday here for this WWE return, and he’s not going to work the type of schedule that led to his burnout back in 2004. His time in the UFC isn’t cheapened by his return to pro wrestling; he was a legitimate fighter, now he’s ready to be “an entertainer” once again.
[Brock Lesnar art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
UPDATE: Here’s video of Lesnar’s return:
Video URL: http://youtu.be/vZBhU-eVs1A
After being unable to attend UFC on Fox 2 in January, WWE wrestler CM Punk is hoping he will be able to corner Chael Sonnen at UFC 147 in Brazil in June. The wrestler expressed interest in cornering the UFC middleweight and friend in Sonnen, who will face UFC champion Anderson Silva at the event on June 23rd in Rio de Janeiro.Read More
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson took to Twitter and HDNet’s “Inside MMA” to make his case for the UFC to let him go so he can fight elsewhere, or not fight at all. Last week, Jackson called the UFC “U fight cheap.” Now he says it’s not about the money. It’s all about the love.
First, he spoke up on Twitter. “I’m not complaining about money, cause I’m about 2 make a lot less money now,but at least the people I fight 4 will appreciate what I do 4 mma.”
See? He just wants someone to say thank you. He later added in the HDNet interview:
“The UFC talks about being in a billion homes. They’re making all this money. Yet I’m making less money than I used to make with the UFC. The UFC is getting bigger, which means I’m getting bigger, but I’m making less money. Why?”
So it might be a little bit about money. He also is not happy with matchmaking, and wanted to throw some violence UFC matchmaker Joe Silva’s way.
“I think (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva needs to be slapped in the face,” he said. “I’m sorry, (but) you’ve got a fighter like me who likes to go out there and fight fights, so why do you keep giving me wrestlers who are going to take me down and hump me?”
Four of Jackson’s last five opponents wrestled collegiately. He lost three of those fights.
But not all is bad in Jackson’s world. He tweeted that he is going to put out some of his own music soon. Cage Potato found footage of him singing rapping in a Japanese nightclub. It’s only 20 seconds long, but it does manage to have NSFW language.
It’s no “SUPA FIGHT LEEEEEG.” Perhaps fighting is the better career path for Jackson.Read More
The NCAA Division I wrestling national championships start on Thursday in St. Louis, and it will undoubtedly feature future stars of MMA. Randy Couture, Mark Munoz, Urijah Faber, Phil Davis, Ben Askren, Chael Sonnen, Tyron Woodley, Daniel Cormier, Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Josh Koscheck, Brock Lesnar and so many more familiar names from the fight world once wrestled in this tournament. MMA fans should tune in, so here’s what you need to know.
Penn State has the ability to repeat as champions. They won the Big Ten title last week, but will have plenty of challengers. Minnesota won the dual meet championship earlier this year. Missouri won the Big 12 and was the only team in the country to qualify a wrestler at every weight class. (Ed. note — GO TIGERS!) Cornell won their sixth straight EIWA title. Perennial powers Oklahoma State and Iowa will also be expected to challenge for a team trophy.
The 2012 field isn’t as star-studded as some of the top wrestlers, like Mizzou’s Dom Bradley, took a redshirt to focus on making the U.S. Olympic teams. Well known wrestlers like Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins from Arizona State and Jordan Burroughs from Nebraska have graduated. However, there are plenty of wrestlers to watch during the tournament.
Kyle Dake, Cornell: When Dake was a freshman, he wrestled at 141 lbs. and won a national championship. His sophomore year, he moved up at 149 lbs. again took home the title. This year, he is a junior and at 157 lbs. His goal is to keep the streak alive.
Ian Miller, Kent State: The freshman has taken the MAC by storm this season, going 28-3. He won the MAC at 149 lbs., and already has 11 pins and nine major decisions (winning by 8-14 points).
Frank Molinaro, Penn State: When you picture a wrestler in your mind, you are most likely picturing Molinaro. He’s looking to become a four-time All-American and win his first championship in St. Louis this weekend and is the favorite at 149 lbs after winning the Big Ten title with a technical fall (winning by 15 points or more) in the finals.
Jordan Oliver, Oklahoma State: The same school that produced Munoz, Cormier, Mo Lawal, Johny Hendricks and Shane Roller has another star in the making with Oliver, the returning national champ at 133 lbs. He won the Most Outstanding Wrestler award at the Big 12 tournament for plowing through competition and racking up bonus points. (Wrestlers earn their teams bonus points for winning by pin, technical fall or major decision.)
Zack Rey, Lehigh: As the returning champion at heavyweight, expectations will be high for Rey, who is known for having insane strength. He lost to American’s Ryan Flores in a sudden victory match at the EIWA final, so he’ll be on the lookout for revenge.
See a complete list of qualifiers and brackets here. The finals will air live on Saturday on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET. Other rounds will air on ESPNU, so check local listings. Also, follow me on Twitter for updates from the tournament.Read More