Sports

MMA News: Chris Lytle, "Rampage" Jackson, Rich Franklin and More

| by Sports Nickel

Chris Lytle told Sherdog.com’s “Beatdown” radio show that he feels like a drug addict.

“I don’t believe that fighters are made. I think they’re born, and it’s kind of who you are. With me, I still have that competitive fire. It wasn’t a point of me being like, ‘I hate fighting. I don’t want fight.’ It was a point of me deciding I’m going to [retire] because I need to spend more time with my kids, but that doesn’t make that competitive fire go away… When you win, it’s just such a good feeling of achievement. It’s kind of unbelievable, and not only that, there’s fans there, thousands of people cheering for you, everybody watching. It’s about as good a feeling as it gets when you win.

"It’s about as bad a feeling you can have when you lose. It’s addictive. When you win, you want to always have that feeling..Maybe I’m hoping [the urge to fight] will just kind of slowly, day after day, maybe it will go away a little bit. I don’t know, but it’s not really happening. I go to an event and I’m like, ‘Man, this sucks.’ There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. There’s no anything for me to kind of look forward to in that aspect. It’s very tough. I’m trying to fulfill it with other things…It’s kind of like being addicted to a drug, I think, but it’s not a drug.”

I can imagine. To be in the spotlight, always putting on exciting fights, having the fans chant your name, to sitting at home going on with a “normal” life has got to be a shock. Many athletes have trouble adjusting at first, be it football, basketball, baseball, etc. But he retired for an admirable cause: to spend time with family. And I agree with his statement, that fighters are born, not made. It takes a certain type of person to exile in this field, and an inherent need to compete can’t be taught.

In an interview with MMAWeekly.com, Benson Henderson declared he doesn’t care about money or fame as it pertains to his fighting career.

“I’m not the biggest party goer. I don’t want fame. I don’t want money. I do want to be able to pay my bills, and leave a little bit of money for my kids. I want to provide for my mom, my brother, my family. I’m not about the fame. I’m not about the riches. I’m not about the girls. I’m not about the partying, drinking, none of that stuff. I just want to be the best fighter, period. I don’t want magazine covers; I don’t want none of that stuff. If it comes my way, I’ll deal with it if I have to. I’ll do these interviews. I’ll do whatever it takes, but I just want to be known as the best fighter. That’s what I want. That’s what I’m working for. A lot of these other fighters, they just want to walk around with sunglasses on at the nightclub, getting free bottles of whatever,” he said. “‘Oh I got this comped, I got this VIP, blah, blah, blah.’ Cool dude, that’s awesome, that’s good for you. I don’t want none of that. I just want to be the best fighter on the planet.”

Henson has a stellar attitude towards MMA and towards becoming a champion. It may not sound fun to a lot of people (no partying, no women) but if that’s what it takes to become a great champion, then I applaud him for chasing his dream, no matter how hard the sacrifice.

A week ago it was reported that Rich Franklin expressed interest in fighting Tito Ortiz, should Ortiz get past Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. On the set of Inside MMA, Tito Ortiz accepted that challenge. “100%, yes, I would love to [fight Franklin]. I’ll take any fights. Put ‘em in front of me, I’ll fight. UFC wants me to fight him? I’ll fight. Dana wants me to fight him? I’ll fight. Rich Franklin, you wanna get broken off some? I’ll break you off some…Just do it, do it, do it.”

Well, this is predicated on Ortiz defeating “Lil’ Nog,” which is no easy task. But if he does, then I’m all for this fight.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson asked UFC President Dana White to put him on their card in Japan this February. His plan was to get a rematch with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to avenge a Pride FC loss. But after Rua’s battle with Dan Henderson, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. And it seems Jackson too is not fighting on that card. Jackson tweeted, “It don’t look like I’m fighting [in] Japan which I’m not happy about at all. I think it’s a big mistake by the UFC…Fuck it.”

I think Rampage just wanted to be on that card, no matter the opponent. Fighting Rua was just icing on the cake. Hopefully they can put that fight together down the road…or put Jackson in there with Stephan Bonnar. Bonnar sort of asked for it, so let’s see it.

Tatame.com is reporting that Strikeforce heavyweight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva underwent shoulder surgery to repair an injury suffered in his loss to Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals in September. His manager, Alex Davis, said he’d be able to return to training in six weeks, and hopes that Silva would be brought to the UFC. “I hope that, meanwhile, Strikeforce decides its future and that Bigfoot can come with all his power to the UFC.”

I really don’t know what’s taking so long to fold Strikeforce. Their heavyweights would be a fantastic addition to the UFC roster.