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Liddell’s Trainer Responds To White Allegations
By Loretta Hunt
In light of Vernon "Tiger" White’s contention that opponent Chuck Liddell poked his eye at the conclusion of their fight last Saturday night at UFC 49, Liddell’s head trainer John Hackleman has contacted FCF on his student’s behalf to make the following statement:
"Speaking for The Pit and all my fighters, including Chuck, we think Vernon had a great fight. He showed tons of heart, tons of skill, and I think he comes from a real classy gym. He has one of the best trainers/MMA icons in the world, Ken Shamrock, as his mentor and I don’t think you can get any better than that. During the fight, Vernon showed a lot of class, but I watched that tape 150 times and I didn’t see an eye poke. I hope Vernon’s eye is okay. I hope he’s not hurt at all. Chuck and I both hope Vernon is okay, but I don’t believe there was an eye poke, a thumb gouge or anything– intentional or unintentional. We think he just got a whuppin’. He fought like a champ–kept coming and coming and made it tough for Chuck, but Chuck was never in trouble. Chuck was never, never about to lose or losing that fight. It was just a matter of time and it came quicker than later. We hope Vernon makes a speedy recovery and gets back into the ring because he is a great fighter, competitor, and athlete."
Hackleman says Liddell has been made aware of White’s allegations, but currently on the road completing press relations for the UFC, he is unable to respond himself at this time.
Stalking Dana White:
Reality Show, Japan, and Ax Murderer Details Revealed
By Loretta Hunt
Dana White has been uncharacteristically quiet these days. The voice for America’s number one mixed martial arts promotion, you’d think the UFC president would be singing its praises with the recent news that they’ve secured a television reality show on Spike TV. But, despite White’s announcement last Saturday night that the show is scheduled to begin shooting on September 15th and air starting January 15th in the Monday night slot following pro-wrestling juggernaut WWE, The Ultimate Fighter has enjoyed virtual anonymity. White says there is good reason for that. "It’s a reality show," he whispers for dramatic effect. "It’s a secret." Admitting that he, too, has to answer to the show’s producers striving to kept every little detail in the dark for as long as possible, White pleads the 5th for once.
But FCF is a persistent lady, literally cornering the spokesman at the post-fight conference following UFC 49’s plentiful night of KO action. Here’s what we got on the show, as well as the UFC’s eminent return to Japan and talk of a Couture-Silva face-off:
And onto the UFC’s return to the Land Of The Rising Sun, Vitor Belfort already let the cat out of the bag with his seemingly impromptu announcement at the podium that he will face Tito Ortiz come December 12th in Japan. White confirmed this headliner for the tentatively-titled UFC 51 whether Ortiz loses to Mezger at UFC 50 or not, and shared this regarding the proposed card. "It’s gonna have a lot of our stars so we can make a big impact on Japan." Catering to the local audience, White says he also hopes to use past UFC fighters such as Genki Sudo and Caol Uno, mentioning that Sudo might square-off against UFC 49 victor Yves Edwards.
Regarding venue, White says he is remaining reasonable. "I’m not gonna go over there and go crazy, but I can’t imagine that I could do less than I do here. So, we’re going to go for 13 to 15 thousand."
As for a certain Brazilian fellow who made many an MMA fan’s year with his gracious appearance at UFC 49, FCF spoke with both sides regarding a potential UFC-PRIDE crossover involving their respective stars Couture and Wanderlei Silva.
Without knowing the victor of Couture-Belfort the night before, PRIDE officials suggested a "two fight" scenario that sent the UFC’s rep to Japan for a rumble in the ring under their rules, and then a follow-up meeting of the pair in the caged Octagon under its regulations. When asked about this scenario, White seemed a little less optimistic about it coming to fruition, but says he is game nonetheless. "I don’t care. I’ll do anything. I’ll do anything that’s exciting and that I think will be a good fight. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been asking for these fights. I’ve been pushing these guys. Their always talking and nothing ever happens. I’ve been talking to them the last couple of months trying to make a fight and they don’t want to do it."
A TV show on the horizon, Japan in its sights, and some signs of life for a crossover event with PRIDE — FCF is on the case.
From the event’s promoter:
King of the Cage comes to SKY CITY CASINO live Saturday, August 28th at 8PM, doors open at 7PM
#1 ranked contender Joey Villasenor (Farmington, NM/Jackson’s Gaidojutsu) takes on Hank "The Vice" Wiess (Salt Lake City, UT) who is coming off a knock out win of Brad Gumm. Look for heavy handed action. For the 1st time ever in New Mexico history there will be a female Cage Fight. Sara Boyd (Albuquerque, NM/Crane Style BJJ Santa Fe) returns From "Smackgirl" in Japan where she faced the # 1 contender to do battle with tough Californian, Adrian Thompson. Also "BIG" Dan Christiansen (Albuquerque, NM/Jackson’s Gaidojutsu) the 6 foot 8 inch tall Native American will do Battle with 300lbs Rage in the Cage veteran Lemuel Vicent (Phoenix, AZ/Asher Combat Academy). Also to feature an exciting under card Tickets are available by calling 1-888-SKY-CITY.
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