On Wednesday, the UFC formally announced UFC 112 - the first outdoor event in UFC history - set for April 10th at the incredible Ferrari World complex in Abu Dhabi.
The card - which Yahoo's Dave Meltzer has said is the strongest overseas event the UFC has put on - will feature Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva (left) vs. Vitor Belfort, Lightweight Champion BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar and Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie headlining the show.
An interesting storyline will be how the fighters survive in the outdoor venue, especially with the heat. I'm guessing that with this complex, they'll figure out a way to make it as comfortable for the fighters as possible. Still, this is going to be a good dry (or sweaty) run for future discussed outdoor events in Hawaii and Boston.
In all, UFC 112 is going to be quite a spectacle and I would love to be there to see history being made. Anyone out there need a freelance journalist to go cover it? I ain't too proud to beg!
Preparations are ongoing for this Saturday's Strikeforce event that will feature Nick Diaz, Bobby Lashley, Herschel Walker, Robbie Lawler and Cris 'Cyborg' Santos. I'll have a full preview this Friday and should be on with Arda Ocal on The Fight Show this Friday to discuss.
UFC made a huge business move Wednesday, announcing that they've inked a deal to begin streaming events online in China. The company they've partnered with also works with streaming the NBA, ESPN and more there so the built-in ease of use and cooperation with the government is already in place.
For the world's biggest MMA company to now be in front of one of the five largest countries in the world is a big move for them and is the first step in perhaps putting on an event there in the next few years. I can't even begin to imagine how many would attend that show.
Weigh-ins for Saturday's Strikeforce event are FREE for you this Friday, so make your way over to the BankAtlantic Center Chairman's Club in Fort Lauderdale, FL, at 5:30 pm and see the stars of Strikeforce disrobe and pose without shirts on just for you.
The company is also getting into the pre-fight streaming business as you can see Jay Hieron vs. Joe Riggs live on EASportsMMA.com at 9 pm EST. This is the only fight they plan on airing. Very cool stuff.
Anyone else think the 'Jim Rome bashes Brock Lesnar' stuff from earlier this week was a little blown out of proportion? I guess you just need to listen to Rome to understand him, but I don't think he even said anything that bad. People just like to stir up problems when there's really not a story there.
If you missed my James Toney opinion piece Tuesday, here it is. By pure coincidence, he went on The Fight Show Wednesday and continued his delusional ways, saying among other things, a fight between him and Randy Couture would be great.
I would LOVE to see this counter-offer and what he expects. He also posted this ridiculous YouTube video This guy is something else and a great self-promoter is one of them.
And some quick-hit news from the past few days in case you missed it:
- Forrest Griffin vs. "Lil' Nog" Antonio Nogueira is rumored for UFC 113, the emerging megacard set for Montreal, Canada. Already talked about but unconfirmed for that event is Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans, Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida vs. "Shogun" Rua II, Paul Daley vs. Josh Koscheck, Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrione and more.
- Light heavyweight Razak Al-Hassan was cut by the UFC Wednesday after going 0-2 in the Octagon. He hasn't fought since October 2009.
- After a 3.5 year stint in the WEC, lightweight Richard Crunkilton was released Wednesday. He was 1-2 in his last three fights and hasn't been in action since October 2009. Apparently, that was a bad month to lose if you're a Zuffa employee.
Josh Nason has published MMA blog Ropes, Ring and Cage.com since 2007. He is a contributor to Fight Magazine and appears regularly on The Fight Show and Fight Network Radio. Follow him on Twitter.