Sports

MMA News: TUF 15, Faber, Cruz, St-Pierre, Jones, Henderson and More

| by Sports Nickel

The UFC announced that Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz will coach the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter, the show’s debut on FX, and will square off for the UFC Bantamweight Championship in mid-2012 following the season. Dana White said,

“It’s going to be can’t-miss TV. Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are two incredible personalities who also happen to be two of the best fighters in the world. They genuinely dislike each other and I expect this to make for the best season yet.” Dominick Cruz told the media, “Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a gym rat and love learning and teaching mixed martial arts. This is a dream come true. To get a chance to coach TUF and beat Faber again is all the motivation I need. This is going to be an insane season of The Ultimate Fighter.” And Faber added, “I can’t wait to be the next coach on The Ultimate Fighter. I am looking forward to mentoring a bunch of hungry and talented fighters. The new cast needs to be ready to work hard and learn! Having Dominick coach on the opposite side couldn’t be more perfect. I’m not too thrilled about being in each other’s space for an extended period of time, as I am sure we are going to get on each other’s nerves. But I can’t wait to mentally beat him up as a coach, and then literally beat him up in the cage and swipe that UFC strap.”

This is excellent news. I thought they should have been the coaches last season, but TUF 14 was entertaining nonetheless. TUF 15 with these two guys should be just as entertaining. And I very interested in the “live fight” format.

In an interview with Sherdog.com, Dan Henderson said he may try to leapfrog Rashad Evans to get a Light Heavyweight Title shot, citing Evans’ injuries as a crutch. “It’s unfortunate that Rashad got hurt, but you know, it’s happened twice now. “He’s had people step in…All I know is, if I have to, I’ll pull out the age card and just say I should have seniority here. I’m getting older. Rashad’s got a little more time than I do.”

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I don’t think Henderson should get a shot over Evans. Yeah, Evans was hurt, and there has always been someone to step in for him. If he’s healthy and he defeats Phil Davis, he should get the next shot, no question. Henderson can wait a few more months or take another fight.

Jon Jones told Ariel Helwani during the MMA Hour that Phil Davis has a real shot at defeating Rashad Evans. “Phil Davis can win more than he realizes, he has to be comfortable striking. I won’t say too much because I have my own ideas on how to beat Rashad, but I don’t think Rashad has a chin at all. Trust me, Rashad does not have chin. But it will be a closer fight than people will realize.”

For someone who wants to stop talking about Evans, Jones sure does like to keep talking about Evans. If these two ever meet, the trash talk will reach astronomical heights. As for Davis winning, yeah, it could happen. But I don’t see it. Evans is just as good of a wrestler, but a much better striker.

During the press conference to hype UFC’s return to Japan, Frankie Edgar told the media he’d like to defeat Benson Henderson quickly. “I’d like it to be a quick fight, but that doesn’t seem how it goes for me. I’m not trying to make a habit of it, taking the punishment I’ve been taking in the last couple of fights. It’s like a cat has nine lives and I don’t know how many lives I have to get out of that first round if that happens again.”

Finishing Henderson quickly is not likely to happen. He can take a punch and he has cardio for weeks. Expect another 5 round fight, an entertaining five round fight.

Georges St-Pierre told the Montreal Gazette that he has Nick Diaz’s number. “I truly believe [Diaz] deserves the fight. He’s a fight that I want and a fight that everybody wants to see. Let’s do it…He’s a very good boxer, probably one of the best in mixed martial arts. Also very good jiu-jitsu. But I believe I’m better than him everywhere. He’s fought very well, but I know I have his number. I will beat him.”

Better than Diaz everywhere? I don’t know about that. Better than him overall, I will agree. But, Diaz’s boxing is no joke. GSP better be on his game come February.