1. Rampage Jackson to fight Lil’ Nog:According to Tatame.com, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira have verbally agreed to fight at UFC 119. UFC 119 is scheduled for September 25 at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. And I have Rampage in this one. I don’t know why I’m so quick to call this, but Lil’ Nog didn’t look good at all against Brilz, a fight in which he won but lost in everyone’s eyes. If Brilz can do that to Nogueira I can only assume Rampage will have a field day. But, I am excited to see it.
2. UFC coming to Austin, TX:The UFC is in the final stages of securing the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX for UFC Fight Night 22 on September 15th. The venue holds roughly 16,000 fans. A representative with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has confirmed that UFC has requested the date and venue for the UFN 22 show. UFC Fight Night 22 will air live on Spike TV and is expected to be headlined by Demian Maia vs. Alan Belcher. Well, it was their first choice over the AT&T Center in San Antonio, so when it became available it was no doubt going to happen. I think the AT&T Center would be better for fans, but the arena they chose isn’t bad. And selfishly I wanted the UFC to come to San Antonio. So what. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?
3. MMA in New York hitting a wall:New York state has long been one of the holy grails in the movement to legalize MMA across the country. A study commissioned by the UFC in 2009 said an event in upstate New York could generate $5 million into the local economy, while an event in New York City could add $10 million. Governor David Paterson is in favor of legalizing MMA and has noted that it doesn’t make much sense to turn down UFC events. MMA legalization was even included in this year’s budget bill. However, the New York Daily News reported Monday that Democrats in the State Assembly decided to pull MMA regulation out of a budget bill that could be voted on as soon as Tuesday. Soooo, what you are saying is that Democrats want to spend all kinds of money, but don’t feel like making any. I got it now. I hate to go all political on it, but this is beyond ridiculous. MMA says, “Here’s 10 million.” Democrat responds, “No thanks.”
4. Jake Shields officially released from Strikeforce:Strikeforce has released their Middleweight Champion, Jake Shields, from his contract according to a report from Sherdog.com. Strikeforce will move forward with their proposed Middleweight tournament. Shields will likely end up fighting for the UFC. The word “duh” comes to mind. They should have released him as soon as he beat Dan Henderson, as they had zero chance of retaining the champion. He made no secret that he wanted to fight for the UFC as soon as EliteXC fell, so given the chance, he would go there. Now’s his chance.
5. Overeem pulls out of DREAM.15 fight:Alistair Overeem has pulled out of his scheduled fight with Ricco Rodriguez at DREAM.15…and he may even be done with the promotion completely. Martin De Jong, Overeem’s trainer and co-manager, said his camp will talk to DREAM representatives at the end of this week to determine Overeem’s future in the promotion. “Right now, I can just say he’s not going to fight Ricco, and he’s not sure if he’s going to fight in DREAM,” De Jong said today. Well that was fast. I don’t know why or how, but I’m glad this isn’t happening. It really doesn’t make sense for Overeem to fight Rodriguez. I don’t know if that means he’s fighting Werdum sooner rather than later, but I’m sure something will come of this in the near future. Stay tuned.