Strikeforce’s Heavyweight World Grand Prix kicked off earlier this month on February 12 with some eye-opening fights, but the second set of quarterfinal bouts may not start as planned. Strikeforce’s April 9th event was expected to feature Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal bouts of Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Brett Rogers vs. Josh Barnett. However, Sherdog.com is reporting that both of those fights will be delayed. According to the report, Strikeforce is now planning to run the event in California, and both of those fights are likely to be pushed off the card. In their place, Strikeforce is planning a Welterweight Championship bout between Nick Diaz and either Paul Daley or Tyron Woodley, and a Lightweight Championship bout between Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Of course it’s going to be delayed. With Barnett’s troubles with steroids I’ll be surprised if it ever moves along. Not being sarcastic, I’m serious. The expected replacement fights are great, but I’d rather move forward with the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Money says they move these fights overseas.
Rashad Evans responded to Dana White’s comments about not wanting to see him fight Rampage again. Evans told MMAFighting.com, “Dana White says what he says, and one thing you can always appreciate him for is his honesty. I guess sometimes his honesty doesn’t favor me, but that’s fine. That’s okay. He can say our fight was boring, but I have a different perspective being in the fight. There was a lot of points in that fight where my heart rate got up a little bit, so I could never agree that that fight was boring. He says a Hamill fight would be more exciting? I mean, we’ll see. Hamill has pretty much the same style that I have, so we’ll see if Hamill’s able to make it more exciting than I was. If he’s saying it was boring because of me, I don’t understand that. I watched the Machida and Rampage fight, and that fight was pretty boring to me.” Yes, Rashad, Rampage/Machida was boring. Looked a lot like your fight with Rampage, except without all the lame takedowns that led to nothing. As for comparing your style with Hamill’s style, they may be similar, but when was the last time Hamill was in a boring fight? I rest my case.
MMAJunkie.com is reporting that Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard will be back in non-title action in the upcoming fourth season, where he will meet Falaniko Vitale at Bellator 44. Vitale is going to be Lombard’s toughest test yet. I know Bellator is big on their tournament winners getting title shots, but this could easily be for the championship.
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Jorge Santiago is officially back with the UFC, and Santiago has confirmed in an interview with MMAWeekly.com that he has signed on to fight Brian Stann at UFC 130 in May. Sa-weet! Stann is improving every fight and Santiago seems to have gotten his mojo back. This should be a great fight. If Stann wins, it’ll be hard to deny him a title shot.
Brando Vera was cut by the UFC following his third consecutive loss at UFC 125. However, MMAJunkie.com is reporting that the result of that bout is expected to be changed to a “no contest” following Thiago Silva failing of a post-fight drug test, and that the promotion has rescinded Vera’s release. We aren’t we the lucky one, Vera? Use this second chance to make something out of your career.