by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
CONTRACTS, CONTRACTS, CONTRACTS
Two of the hottest prospects in MMA have been busy fielding offers lately, but so far, neither one has signed. As part of the fallout from the ownership change-up of Pride, Denis Kang and Thierry Sokoudjou are looking for new homes.
Sokoudjou, ranked by MMAWeekly.com as the #6 light heavyweight fighter in the world, has publicly acknowledged that his intentions lean towards signing an offer from EliteXC, but in checking in with his camp, the contract has yet to be signed. There’s no real drama here; Sokoudjou’s representatives are working on contract details and it is likely that there will be a resolution soon.
Things aren’t quite as clear for Denis Kang, who is also fielding offers and is also ranked #6, but in the middleweight division. According to Kang, his representatives have been working on sorting through various offers, but he has yet to make a decision.
“I just want to know, you know. I want to get back in there and fight,” said an anxious Kang. “I’m just waiting for my management to figure things out.”
It sounds as if Bodog is leading the pack of suitors for Kang’s services, but as he stated, he just doesn’t know yet where he is headed. He just wants to resolve the situation and get back to doing what he does best… fight.
WEC BOLSTERS THEIR MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION
World Extreme Cagefighting, hot on the heels of its move to Las Vegas and a new television deal with the Versus network, has been making a lot of signings to bolster their roster. They have recently brought in fighters like Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Jeff Curran, John Alessio, Mark Hominick, and others.
WEC can now add the #3 ranked middleweight in the world, Paulo Filho, and UFC veteran Joe Doerksen to the list. At WEC 29, which already features Carlos Condit defending his welterweight belt against Brock Larson, Filho and Doerksen are expected to square off for the middleweight strap. Expect to see them in the cage and on Versus, August 5 from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
PULVER WANTS 145, BUT READY TO FIGHT ANYWHERE
“I think I’ve made it clear to everyone that I’d love to fight at 145 [pounds], but I’m ready to do whatever Dana, Joe and Monte want me to do. If they want me at 145, that’s where I’ll go. If they want me to continue at 155, I’ll fight there.”
Those were the words of Jens Pulver yesterday as we talked about rumors that he is fighting in the WEC on Sept. 5. “I don’t know when my next fight is yet,” confirmed Pulver.
Weighing in at 152 pounds for his recent fight [a 155-pound bout] with BJ Penn, Pulver would seem a natural fit and an exciting addition the WEC’s featherweight class at 145 pounds. He very well could be headed there for a fight on Sept. 5, as the timing would seem appropriate, but as of now, that’s news to Pulver.
MMA ON TV… TO THE EXTREME
In addition to the several offerings that the UFC has on SpikeTV and pay-per-view and the IFL on FOX Sports and MyNetworkTV, there has been an explosion of MMA-related content on TV. Leading the pack is the aforementioned Versus Network.
Versus has weekly offerings of the WEC in the form of WrekCage, a highlight show in the vein of UFC’s Unleashed on SpikeTV. WrekCage airs weekly on Wednesdays at 8pm ET. They also began live telecasts with WEC 28, which aired live on Sunday, June 3 and will continue WEC live offerings with the August 5 telecast of WEC 29.
The infamous Tapout crew, as well-known for their ever present cartoon personalities as their industry leading clothing line, has also developed a reality show that airs on Versus. The series follows the Tapout crew around as they look to discover and help build the careers of up-and-coming fighters. Tapout follows WrekCage on Versus every Wednesday at 9pm ET.
For those of you who missed “Shamrock vs. Baroni” on pay-per-view last week, the event replays tonight on Showtime at 10pm PT/ET. It will then be available July 1-27 on Showtime On-Demand.
ALISTAIR OVEREEM TO K-1 HERO’S
According to CBS Sportsline contributor Sam Caplan’s website, FiveOuncesOfPain.com, it appears that Alistair Overeem has signed a long-term contract with K-1 to fight in its Hero’s promotion.
With wins over Vitor Belfort and Sergei Kharitonov, Overeem has long knocked on the door of a championship fight, but can’t seem to break through. With a 25-10 professional record, he is a solid addition to the Hero’s promotion.