Michael Bisping to face Anderson Silva if he can get past Dan Henderson

Dan Henderson became the official coach Saturday night at UFC 93 for Team USA on season nine of The Ultimate Fighter which will air on Spike TV beginning April 1. His team will be competing against Team U.K. coached by Michael Bisping.

At the conclusion of season nine, Coach Bisping will face Coach Henderson inside The Octagon. According to a new report, if Michael Bisping is successful in that fight he will be granted a Middleweight Title shot against the number one fighter in the world, UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva.

This is an incredible opportunity for Bisping who had been a contestant on season three of the very reality series he will be coaching. Bisping’s only loss inside The Octagon came from the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Rashad Evans at UFC 78 in November of 2007. Since then he has reeled off three straight victories.

Read moreMichael Bisping to face Anderson Silva if he can get past Dan Henderson

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Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – UFC 97

Two of the sport’s biggest names at 205 will face off in a highly anticpated battle to climb the hill that comprises the stacked Light Heavyweight division in the UFC.  

The news came via the UFC 93 post fight press conference, with Dana White announcing the bout being set as the main event for UFC 97 which is to take place on April 18th in Montreal, Canada.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (17-3, 1-1 UFC) is coming off his victory over UFC legend Mark Coleman at UFC 93.  Once highly regarded as the top 205’er on the planet, Shogun was disappointing in his showing versus Forrest Griffin and was slated to fight Chuck Liddell at UFC 85 before suffering yet another injury to his knee.

Read moreChuck “The Iceman” Liddell vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – UFC 97

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What about UFC 95 and 96?

This week has practically been a UFC media blitz. With UFC 93 going down today in Dublin and the premiere of UFC Primetime, which is promoting UFC 94, it is hard to even think about anything else in the MMA world.

Perhaps the folks over at ZUFFA have gone ahead and made the mistake of not thinking of anything else. The number one promotion in the MMA business closed out 2008 in style with one of their most stacked cards of the year, UFC 92. However, now they seem to be in danger of producing two less than stellar cards.

Some MMA pundits have complained about the quality of UFC 93, which is headlined by a too late match up between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson and a rematch between Pride GP champions Mark Coleman and Shogun Rua. In a lot of ways this card does not live up to the UFC’s recent level, but it is still far and away better than what is currently scheduled to come next.

Read moreWhat about UFC 95 and 96?

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EliteXC fighters seek release

It is being reported that the fighters still in contract limbo due to the failure of the sale of EliteXC have joined together with the Mixed Martial Artists Fighters Association and forwarded a draft of complaint to EliteXC officials to have them officially released from the company. They have warned in the complaint that if acknowlegement of their release is not granted within a specefied time frame, they will in turn file the complaint in open court.

The complaint itself was brought about by multiple fighters’ agents banding together with the MMAFA to speed up the release status of their collective clients’ contracts that are still owned by EliteXC.

We will have to wait and see what action, if any, EliteXC will take on this complaint but the agents feel like this will gain their fighters freedom to fight for other companies, as opposed to being stagnant and unable to earn an income while ProElite tries to sell their company.

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PRO MMA Gym Spotlight: Guardian MMA Pt. 1

One of PRO MMA’s missions is to take the reader behind the scenes to get a better look at what has made MMA into the fastest growing sport in the world. Fans often get just a glimpse behind the scenes of an MMA fight with shows like the UFC Countdown series, The Ultimate Fighter series, and the Tapout reality shows.  

We read or hear about the training camps and gym affiliations that guys are associated with, and learn that there are many people involved in preparing these athletes to do battle.  An MMA fighter relies on coaches, trainers, managers, agents, training partners, and promoters but the base of operations is a home gym.  

Many guys cross train at multiple gyms, but their home gym is often where it all started.  Whether it is a tiny MMA gym in a small town in Anywhere USA, or a large franchise of gyms like Xtreme Couture, the gym is like a second home to many fighters both amateur and professional.

Read morePRO MMA Gym Spotlight: Guardian MMA Pt. 1

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MMA legislation in New York hits a speed bump

Could this man kill MMA in New York?

There is trouble in New York. For fans of the greatest sport in the world, mixed martial arts, each year seems to be getting better. New states open the flood gates to allow sanctioned MMA fights and young people everywhere have a new sport they can participate in and make a career out of if they choose.

Just when MMA appears poised to take over the world, a speed bump in New York could slow down the progress. The New York State Assembly’s Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development Committee held session on Tuesday and among several pieces of legislature up for vote is Bill 1-11458-A, designed to regulate the sport of MMA in New York state.

The bill was not on the committee’s agenda this week but could be voted on as early as next week. Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a Democratic member of the committee who represents the 109th district of New York, opposes the legislation and his sentiments seem to be gaining some traction.

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PRO MMA Exclusive, part 1: Joe Lauzon

UFC Lightweight Joe Lauzon’s first trip back to the Octagon in 2009 pits him against former title contender Hermes Franca. “J-Lau” went 1-1 in 2008 losing to Kenny “Ken-Flo” Florian and bouncing back with a TKO victory over Kyle Bradley. The Massachusetts native hopes to kick off ’09 with a bang by defeating the former American Top Team fighter.

PRO MMA caught up with Lauzon Wednesday morning to discuss his February 7th bout with Franca, along with a bevy of other topics. In the first installment of this two part feature, The Ultimate Fighter veteran talked about life after his loss to Kenny Florian, what he looks at while studying an opponent as well as his thoughts on how his Ultimate Fight Night 17 bout will end.

PRO MMA: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Joe.
Lauzon: Hey no problem, thank you.

Read morePRO MMA Exclusive, part 1: Joe Lauzon

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Xxtreme Knockout (XKO) 2 in Arlington, TX – results

Arlington, TX, Jan. 10th, 2009 – Backalley Promotions out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas has reentered the world of mixed martial arts. They had previously held one event prior to January 10th back in 2002 under Pancrase rules. While that event might not have struck a cord with the local mixed martial arts fans in north Texas, Saturday’s show is definitely going to generate a rippling effect of excitement.

Backalley Promotions owner Mike Bussey has a 20,000 sq ft training facility dubbed simply “The Gym” that also includes a 600 seat auditorium to use to his advantage. Mr. Bussey, along with his sons Chris and Thomas brought some of their professional wrestling experience to the mixed martial arts event on January 10th.

While some feel that we should seperate our sport and sports entertainment, the Xtreme Knockouts 2 event proved that with the right leadership, the sport of mixed martial arts and the showmanship of professional wrestling can be fused into an entertaining product.

Read moreXxtreme Knockout (XKO) 2 in Arlington, TX – results

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