Could Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem Fight at UFC 140?

Brock Lesnar announced Thursday he is healthy and that he wants to become the UFC heavyweight champion. It’s probably no surprise that Lesnar’s proclamation came on the same day the UFC announced its new partnership with FOX; Lesnar is one of the company’s biggest stars. Having him fight on FOX would attract major attention for the promotion, not to mention viewers.

Stick Lesnar in the octagon against any fighter and he’ll draw viewers. That being the case, we still have to wonder who they’ll choose for his next opponent. One rumor we read suggests he could end up fighting Alistair Overeem.

Overeem you’ll remember was cut by Strikeforce despite being their heavyweight champion. Overeem didn’t want to fight in September during their Grand Prix because he wanted time to recover from injuries. Instead, he booked a fight for his trainer’s promotional company Golden Glory. Overeem has said he’s open to signing an exclusive deal with the UFC. If they’re able to lock him up, it would set up a potential blockbuster with Lesnar.

Both fighters are large in stature, popular with the fan base, and incredibly talented. The only holdup is that Overeem may be too much of a challenge for Lesnar in his first fight back. Then again, he doesn’t have much time left in his career so maybe he won’t want to waste his body on a tune-up fight. If I were the UFC, I’d pounce on the opportunity to sign Overeem and match him up with Lesnar. Then we could call the fight the Junior dos Santos bowl. Don’t get the reference? Read this.

UPDATE: Dana White says we probably shouldn’t expect Lesnar to fight until the first of 2012

Dana White Says UFC Will go Mainstream, I’m Skeptical

Dana White is the president of the UFC. He’s the man responsible for promoting the company, so his comments aren’t always objective. He’s frequently honest, but he’s biased. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he was asked if the UFC could go mainstream and compete with the likes of football, baseball, and basketball. His response should not surprise you:

“It will become mainstream. Absolutely. Right now we’re the largest pay-per-view provider in the world. Our fights have gone head-to-head with the NBA playoffs and out-rated them in the demo (men 18-34). One of my big philosophies is that fighting is the sport that crosses all borders. I don’t care what color you are, what country you come from or what language you speak, fighting is in our DNA. We get it and we like it. One thing I can’t prove, but I firmly believe is that two men were put on this earth – one threw a punch and a third guy came over and watched. And that happened before anybody ever threw or kicked a ball.”

Like I said, what would you expect his answer to be? The UFC has an enormous following and is immensely popular. They do well on pay-per-view (but fall behind boxing’s biggest fights), and they get pretty good ratings on Spike. That said, I have a differing view from Dana White for several reasons.

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Ronda Rousey Is an Armbar Master and Wants to be the Face of Women’s MMA

Ronda Rousey fights Friday night on Strikeforce Challengers 18 in Las Vegas and will look to go 3-0 in her professional MMA career. Even though she hasn’t fought much as a pro, she’s an athlete you should know. As Bloody Elbow explained to us, Rousey has aspirations of becoming the new female face of MMA. With the talent she’s displayed, gaining that reputation seems entirely possible.

In five career fights (three amateur and two professional), Rousey is 5-0 with five submissions coming by armbar, all in the first minute. She’s also an accomplished Olympian having represented the U.S. twice in judo. Rousey made the Olympics team as a 17-year-old in 2004 and won a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008.

In an interview posted Thursday by Strikeforce, Rousey stated some of her future goals.

“For this fight my goal is to go in and win. Make it look good, make it look entertaining, and look good while I’m at it,” she said. “I want to bring a lot more attention to women’s MMA and what I really think we need right now is a face of the sport that people actually want to look at. So I’m gonna try my best to be that person.”

If you think that female MMA already has a public face, you’re right. Rousey recognizes that Gina Carano has helped grow the sport for females and appreciates what she’s done.

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Dennis Hallman Responds to Speedo Incident, Says He Lost a Bet

For those of you who missed it, Dennis Hallman made an interesting wardrobe selection over the weekend at UFC 133.  His banana hammock made headlines everywhere, and the trunks were so small his berries even made a disturbing appearance during his fight.  Needless to say, Dana White was furious with what Hallman wore and the fact that people allowed it to happen.

Hallman told MMAJunkie.com on Monday that he had to smuggle grapes to his fight with Brian Ebersole because he lost a bet with a couple of training buddies.  He explained that he isn’t the first guy to wear a Speedo and the only reason it’s a big deal is because he’s the first in the modern UFC era to do it.  Then he came out with this gem:

“People are sick, disgusting perverts,” Hallman said. “They’ll break the film down frame-by-frame so they can get a little ball action. That’s kind of strange. They have problems.”

In other words, we’re sick and twisted for talking about Hallman’s balls popping out during a UFC fight.  He’s not sick and twisted for wearing something that turns a fight with a mostly male audience into a peep show.  We’re glad he only wore the Speedo because he lost a bet, but don’t try to defend it by calling us perverts.

Fedor Emelianenko to Fight in Russia, Possibly Japan; Not Retiring

Fedor Emelianenko lost his third fight in a row two weekends ago, falling to Dan Henderson in a first-round knockout and stoppage. The third consecutive loss, coupled with a release from Strikeforce, left plenty of fans wondering if Emelianenko would retire. After all, it was Fedor who raised the possibility following his loss to Big Foot Silva two fights ago.

Looks like the worries are unfounded; Fedor is not retiring. M-1 Global President and co-founder Vadim Finkelstein said in a statement Monday that Fedor has future fight plans.

“We consulted with Fedor and it was decided that he should not leave the sport in this way. His friends and past opponents support Fedor in continuing his career and he agreed,” said Finkelstein. “We want to organize a fight for Fedor in Russia and have already begun working in this direction. If everything goes as planned, we will produce a card in Moscow or St. Petersburg sometime in the fall with Fedor as the main event.” The opponent is yet to be determined.

More plans are also in the mix according to Finkelstein, “In addition to the fight in Russia, we’re also working with our Japanese contacts to organize a New Year’s Eve event in Japan that Fedor would participate in as well.”

Boom, done. I have to say I’m quite pleased. Before getting knocked out by Henderson, Fedor had recorded a knockdown and was winning the fight. He’s not the untouchable specimen he was five or 10 years ago, but he’s good enough to keep fighting. I’m glad to hear he will not go out on his third straight loss.

Dana White Furious About Dennis Hallman’s Speedo Shorts (Video)

What happened at UFC 133 Saturday night will change the sport forever. We’re not talking about an epic battle between two fighters that will effect the way everyone views mixed martial arts.  No, this particular change comes more in the form of a dress code adjustment.

Dennis Hallman, who was knocked out in the first round by Brian Ebersole, infuriated Dana White with his wardrobe selection.  Hallman decided it would be a good idea to show up for his fight wearing a grape-smuggler. After the fight, White expressed extreme disappointment in his “people” for allowing it to happen and said he was disgusted with Hallman for wearing the shorts.  Check out White’s comments, courtesy of MMAFighting.com:

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Aleksander Emelianenko Reportedly Ripped Fedor’s Coaches After Henderson Loss

Fedor Emelianenko changed his training regimen for his fight with Dan Henderson. He chose to work with his brother Aleksander who’s also a talented fighter. Although he trained with his brother, the result was the same — a third straight loss. Just like last time, the Emelianenko crew is doling out blame following the defeat.

According to a translation by Fighters Only Magazine via Bloody Elbow, Aleksander ripped Fedor’s coaches:

“They sat like two amoebas, and did not know what to say. They were asked direct questions and would say, “It is difficult to say… we will see in the fight,” – what kind of a coach says that? Only one who doesn’t understand the sport. I just call them ‘Stopwatch’ and ‘Towel’. That’s as much use as they are, that’s it,” Aleks snarled.

“[MMA] is constantly improving, but ‘Stopwatch’ and ‘Towel’ have not changed anything in the program – just frozen in time and not been able to develop the base that Fedor already has. Fedor could train himself, he must take on it personally, to rethink many of the training points to learn and develop. Suffer and work!

“We’ll talk with Fedor – whether he wants to change something in his preparation. If he wants to, I will make the effort.”

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