by Marco Antico – MMAWeekly.com
Former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre, Patrick Cote, and Jason MacDonald are all plotting their returns to UFC action…
COTE TO MAKE HIS UFC RETURN IN SEPTEMBER, BUT…
“I’ve been told that I will be returning to the UFC in September or maybe October. But, if I lose my next fight then I don’t know,” explained a determined Patrick Cote whose next fight is on June 1st at TKO 29 against UFC veteran Crafton Wallace. “This is for sure the biggest fight of my career and I am very happy to be fighting again in front of my home fans, in the main event and for the Middleweight World Championship. People expect me to win, but a fight is a fight. Just look at what happened with Georges [St. Pierre] and Matt Serra. This guy is very dangerous and I’m preparing for this fight harder than I’ve ever prepared in my life.”
MACDONALD LOOKING FOR ATONEMENT
On June 16th, at UFC 72, Jason MacDonald will try to continue his pillaging of past Ultimate Fighter contestants when he faces Rory Singer. “I’m looking forward to getting back in there and redeeming my poor performance against Franklin and putting myself back in the mix at the top of the division,” explained a determined MacDonald.
GEORGES ST. PIERRE UPDATE
Despite previous statements to the contrary, while teaching seminars in Southern Ontario, GSP began to admit that he did not train as hard as he should have for Matt Serra. But despite this setback, he remains adamant in his quest to once again become UFC Champion.
His road back to the title looks like it will begin on August 25th at UFC 74. He is in negotiations to fight top contender Josh Koscheck, but the fight has not yet been officially signed.
It’s worthwhile noting that after losing to GSP, Matt Hughes was offered an immediate rematch, which he turned down. He was then offered a tune-up fight against a very game, but clearly overmatched Chris Lytle. Despite a lackluster performance, he’s now set to coach The Ultimate Fighter’s next reality series and has been promised the first title shot versus Matt Serra. GSP’s UFC journey has been considerably tougher of late having faced only the best in the UFC with Koscheck, of course, being no exception.
UFC 71: KALIB STARNES vs. CHRIS LEBEN
The next live UFC fight you’ll likely see will be Kalib Starnes taking on fellow Ultimate Fighter alumni Chris Leben, as they are currently set to kick-off the main card at UFC 71 on May 26th. This is a fight in which both fighters feel as though their backs are against the wall. Starnes is coming off a TKO loss to Yushin Okami while Leben was last choked out by Jason MacDonald. They have a similar hardnosed style of fighting which should make this a very entertaining match-up for the fans.
SHOOTO: ANTONIO CARVALHO vs. HATSU HIOKI
On May 18th, Canadian MMA fans will be watching intently as current TKO Featherweight Champion Hatsu Hioki takes on Canadian standout Antonio Carvalho in Tokyo, Japan. Antonio told MMAWeekly, “The only thing I know for sure is that I will do my best win, lose or draw.”
UGC 18: SCOTT ARNOLD vs. PAT SMITH
Also on May 18th, Canadian Light Heavyweight fighter Scott Arnold will be moving up in weight to challenge UFC legend Pat Smith for the UGC Heavyweight Championship. “I am very excited to be fighting a UFC legend and I’m very hungry as I am just coming off a loss to a very tough Jason Day,” stated Scott Arnold. “I am confident for this fight, but very respectful of Mr. Smith as he is a great striker and will be much bigger and stronger than me. It should be a great fight and I would love to get the Canadian fans behind me!”
UFC TARGETING MONTREAL IN 2008, WHILE ONTARIO MUST WAIT
Marc Ratner, of the UFC, explained that Montreal will still be the first stop on their Canadian tour which will likely begin in 2008. The UFC has also been contacted by a number of Canadian venues expressing their interest in holding UFC events. Other Canadian cities that are high on the list include Edmonton and Vancouver. The situation in Ontario (Canada’s most populous province) still remains grim as Commissioner Ken Hayashi is standing firm on his desire to see amateur come before professional. The UFC intends on revisiting the issue, but likely after attending to other Canadian cities which are welcoming them with open arms.
CANADIAN MMA CALENDAR
May 18 – UGC 18 Extreme Victory at the Medley in Montreal, Quebec
June 1 – TKO 29: Repercussion at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
June 9 – Rumble in the Cage 24 at the Roadhouse in Lethbridge, Alberta
June 22 – MFC 12: High Stakes at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta
June 23 – Rage in the Ring 8 at the Exhibition Pavilion in Lethbridge, Alberta
June 23 – UCW 23: Natural Invasion at the Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba
September 28 – TKO 30 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
December 14 – TKO 31 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec