1. Machida planning on taking Rampage down: Lyoto Machida spoke to GracieMag.com about how he plans to beat Rampage Jackson at UFC 123. “[Rampage is] a strong guy who has good boxing and wrestling. I feel he’s a bit limited standing, but he’s really strong and, although he may defend well on the ground, he’s not that good there, either. As I feel MMA is a sport in constant evolution, one tends to seek out all the possibilities, regardless of the facet of the fight that comes up. I’m going to exploit Rampage where he isn’t totally dominant.” Taking Rampage down is not a bad plan. Especially after Rashad pulled the “lay & pray” on Rampage. But don’t forget, Rampage was a couple of inches from ending that fight on the ground. This will be one of the more interesting match-ups this year.
2. No immediate rematch clause in the UFC: In a Q&A session with fans, Dana White addressed the notion of “immediate” rematches. “There’s no such thing as an automatic rematch. Back in the day, in boxing, when they would negotiate contracts there would be a rematch provision, meaning, if I have the title and I lose this fight I get an automatic rematch… That doesn’t happen in the UFC. We rematch fights that we think a) deserve it or b) people want to see. So there really is no automatic rematch, there’s no such thing.” And I still maintain that Sonnen doesn’t deserve this rematch, but it will sell. I would have rather had Vitor Belfort vs. Chael Sonnen and the winner gets a shot. But, like I said, this will sell.
3. Liddell not ready to retire: Chuck Liddell spoke to the Minneapolis Star Tribune this past weekend about his future and whether or not his is in fact retired. “It’s about how I feel and if I want to go back and make a run at a title and how far away that would be. And whatever I think is left in the tank,” Liddell said. “I’ve been doing PR stuff for the last couple months, and I’ll finally be home for the month. I’ll probably decide sometime in September, when I have time to relax.” I hate to tell athletes to hang it up, but I would definitely tell Dana that it’s time for Chuck to hang them up. If you can still fight, ala Randy Couture, then by all means. But if you can’t take a glancing blow to the face, then I’d say the sport has left you behind.
4. UFC Heavyweight prospect released: According to a report from MMAJunkie.com, the UFC has decided to cut their 24 year old heavyweight prospect, Todd Duffee. Duffee had gone 1-1 in the organization and was set to face off against Jon Madsen at UFC 121 this October, but a lingering knee injury forced him off the card and Gilbert Yvel stepped into his place. No word on Duffee’s future plans outside the UFC. And this is very odd. Duffee has a ton of potential, so for the UFC to release him it must have something to do with either his injuries or something far worse. No way they release a young prospect with a 1-1 record.
5. TapouT, Silverstar, and Hitman purchased: Monday night Bloomberg reported that business man Jamie Salter had purchased MMA clothing companies, TapouT, Silverstar, and Hitman. Salter is reportedly putting the three brands together under his Toronto-based company Authentic Brands Group LLC. “These are some of the most exciting brands I’ve seen in years,” Salter told Bloomberg. “The popularity of mixed martial arts and the UFC is soaring around the world. The last time I saw a sport with this much potential was 20 years ago with snowboarding.” Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Tim “SkySkrape” Katz will still be involved with TapouT’s business affairs. While I agree with Salter’s want to purchase these three companies, somehow I don’t believe this is what Charles “Mask” Lewis would have wanted for TapouT. I’m just saying.