UFC 79 News, Notes &
UFC 79 may have ended, but
the news and notes from the show are nowhere
near complete. Many of the participants had
some very interesting things to say on a wide
assortment of subjects.
The end of an era?
For Matt Hughes, the loss
to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 79 may represent
a turning point in his career. Hughes admitted
that he is going to take a look and examine
if he should keep fighting.
“I’m not going
to come out here and be someone’s highlight
reel,” said Hughes, “I have to see
what the UFC wants me to do, and I have to see
what my family wants me to do.”
There is one fight, however,
that Hughes may very well still be up for.
“I want to fight Matt
Serra. Yes, I do.”
As for Serra’s long-term
prospects as champion, Hughes is not very optimistic
for an extended title reign.
“I think when Georges
St. Pierre and Matt Serra match-up again it
will be a completely different fight. Serra
is going to go down. He won’t be around
for long,” Hughes said.
Finally, a heavyweight
title match (sort of)
Due to Randy Couture’s
sudden departure, the UFC has been left without
a heavyweight champion. Now, plans are set to
crown a new titleholder.
That winner of the fight,
however, will only be the interim champ.
“Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
and Tim Sylvia will face off on February 2nd
for the UFC
Interim championship,” UFC President Dana
During a recent HDNet Fights
card, Randy Couture publicly announced that
he would be free to fight Fedor Emelianenko
come October 2008.
UFC President Dana White
“I expect Randy Couture
to honor his contract. He is the heavyweight
champion of the UFC. Until he either retires
or fulfills his contract, he fights for the
UFC,” said White.
White already knows the next
fight that will be lined up for Couture.
“Nogueira and Sylvia
are fighting for the interim title, and the
winner will fight Randy.”
Is Pride FC’s lightweight
Having already signed Pride
FC’s middleweight and light heavyweight
champion in Dan Henderson, White openly admitted
that he would like to bring in another one of
That man is lightweight champion
When asked about Gomi, White
was quick to respond:
to sign Takanori Gomi for a long time. I am
very interested in him,”
At UFC 79, Gomi had ringside
seats. Was it just a coincidence or was Gomi
at the arena to talk to White?
“Gomi was just here
to watch the fights,” White said, “He
did stop by and say hello though.”
UFC welterweight champion
Matt Serra is not too far away from a return
to the Octagon.
According to White, Serra
said that he is confident that he’ll be
ready to return in April of next year.
Not coincidentally, April
is the month UFC plans to debut in Canada -
Montreal to be exact.
Should Serra be able to fight
in April, White said that he would be fighting
interim champion Georges St. Pierre to determine
the undisputed welterweight championship.
From one top heavyweight
directly to another
Former UFC heavyweight champion
Tim Sylvia was very candid in his response about
the man generally regarded as the top heavyweight
in the world, Fedor Emelianenko. Sylvia was
not pleased about Emelianenko’s recent
decision to join the brand new M-1 Global instead
of the UFC.
“I think he’s
being a (expletive),” said Sylvia.
Sylvia went on to say that
he respects Emelianenko’s skills –
just not his choice of opponents.
“I think Fedor is very
good, but you have to fight the top level competitors
all the time to keep that status, and he is
just not doing that.”
Emelianenko is set to take
on Hong-Man Choi on New Year’s Eve. Choi
has a career mixed martial arts record of 1-0.
UFC or the Olympics?
The reason Georges St. Pierre
was in such good shape heading into the fight
with Hughes after only signing for the fight
five weeks ago was simple: St. Pierre was preparing
for something else.
“I was training in
wrestling for the Olympics,” said St.
Pierre, “That’s why I was ready
to go so quickly.”
Now that the fight with Hughes
is over, St. Pierre said the Olympics could
“The UFC title is much
more important to me than the Olympics.”
Dana White quickly said,
“I love when he says that.”
Could Matt Lindland
join the UFC?
Highly respected middleweight
Matt Lindland has been in the news recently
by stating that he has interest in fighting
current champion Anderson Silva.
However, UFC President Dana
White is only lukewarm on the topic.
“I’ve had some
issues with Lindland in the past. I have talked
to him, and they want to continue to talk,”
said White, “I am still on the fence with
Lindland. I want someone that wants to be a
team player. I don’t need a promotion
full of Tito’s (Ortiz).”
White went on to extol the
virtues of Lindland’s close friend and
training partner, Dan Henderson, as well as
Silva in comparison to Lindland.
“I think Henderson
is ten times the fighter that Matt Lindland
is,” White said, “He is much more
well-rounded, and if Silva does to Henderson
what he’s being doing to everyone else?
Wow, he will be the man.”
What really made
UFC welterweight Rich Clementi
opened the UFC 79 pay-per-view with a big victory
over heated rival Melvin Guillard. The two had
a long-running war of words both before and
after the fight.
The feud definitely does
not appear to be over.
“Melvin is a dumb young
kid. For him to run his mouth the way he did,
it is disrespectful,” said Clementi in
the post-fight press conference, “I am
glad to let everyone see what kind of an idiot
The victory over Guillard
though was not the only feather in his cap.
“For some reason, I
was the underdog in this fight,” said
Clementi, “My friends are calling me up
left and right now. They all bet on me and made
“That makes me very
happy,” Clementi said.
UFC 79 Awards
Following the show, the UFC handed out awards
for the best fight, the best knockout, and the
best submission. With the award comes a $50k
Best fight: Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva.
Liddell finally to put to rest the debate on
who is the better fighter between the two. Liddell
won the exciting three-round slugfest by unanimous
Best knockout: Eddie Sanchez.
Sanchez pounded on Soa Palelei for two and a
half rounds before the referee mercifully stopped
Best submission: Georges
St. Pierre. In the second round of St. Pierre’s
dominating victory over Matt Hughes, St. Pierre
locked in a picture-perfect armbar submission
to secure the win.