MMA News And Notes

Lots of MMA news and tidbits in this week’s installment, so let’s get started.  Mike Sloan of Sherdog.com is reporting that lightweight Hermes Franca‘s suspension came to a close on Wednesday and was re-licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission – just in time to fight on the UFC event that takes place on July 19 and will be televised on Spike TV; his opponent that night will be Frankie Edgar.  Franca had been out of action since July 2007 for testing positive for the illegal anabolic steroid Drostanolone following his loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 73; Franca was subsequently suspended and fined $2,500.  Franca, before he is cleared to fight again, will be required to take and pass a mandatory urinalysis before he will be cleared to fight.  In other MMA news:

  • The UFC is lining up venues fast – real fast.  The organization has events lined up for July 19 in Las Vegas, Minneapolis on August 9, Atlanta on September 6 and Birmingham, England on October 18; in addition, the UFC has lined up an event in Omaha, NE for September 17, along with three year-end pay-per-views.  An unnamed source is stating that the UFC is lining up an event in Chicago with late October or early November the targeted dates, with Portland, OR as a locale for a November show and Las Vegas, NV as a likely stop for a New Year Eve show.  Of those aforementioned 3 dates, it is being rumored that Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami will enter the octagon in one of them.
  • Middleweight Martin Kampmann is hopeful for a return to action as early as October, although it is unclear when he will fight again; Kampmann last fought at UFC 85 in London in June after being sidelined with a severe knee injury.  A source is saying that Kampmann will have to undergo an arthroscopic procedure on the injured knee and shouldn’t be hampered much as long as his rehab goes well.  Kampmann is hoping for a return on either an October UFC event or at worst a November event.
  • Former UFC heavyweight Ricco Rodriguez lost a disputed 4-round split decision to Chad Davis Tuesday at the Las Vegas Hilton Showroom; Rodriguez’ power seemed to be sufficient for the victory, but 2 of the judges scored the fight 39-37 Davis, hence the controversy.  With his first loss in the boxing ring, Rodriguez is now 1-1.
  • Fledgling MMA organization Las Vegas Combat Championships apparently has had a change of heart – and venues – regarding future locations for their shows; according to Chris Sarkissian, president of LVCC, he has decided to change locales for some of the promotions’ future shows.  In an email obtained by Sherdog.com, Sarkissian stated that LVCC’s next show will be an all-amateur show in September with an all-pro event to take place in late October – both in larger venues.  Sarkissian added, “We are moving to a casino for the amateur show, and might do the pro show at Cox Pavilion or Orleans arena.  We are going to have a LVCC Pro Division and LVCC Amateur Division… I have (a) team helping me to improve the show to a whole new level.”  Exact dates and locations have yet to be finalized, but once that information is learned, Octagon Buzz will have it for you.
  • The Nevada State Athletic Commission Wednesday granted a new mixed martial arts license to Jorge Rivera by unanimous vote; typically the Commission grants licenses to fighters over 35 years of age; in Rivera’s case, the whole procedure took less than 2 minutes.
  • Tuff-N-Uff, a mixed martial arts organization, will be holding an event on August 8 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, more than likely inside the Mardi Gras Ballroom; participants will be named in the near future.  As always, Octagon Buzz will have those names for you as soon as they’re released.
  • Xtreme Couture owner Randy Couture will conduct a 3-day seminar, along with welterweight Mike Pyle; 40 spots are available and it is open to the public.  Tickets for the seminar are $500; for more information, go to: www.xtremecouture.tv.
  • Man it must really suck to be Vernon White right now; White got rear-naked choked by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  Specifically, the Commission suspended White after he was found to have used a banned diuretic prior to his fight against Anthony Brown on May 31 in Las Vegas at an XFA show.  White earned $5,000 for the fight, but was subsequently suspended for 9 months, changed his victory to a “no decision”, and took away his $2,000 win bonus along with a fine of $1,000; as is customary, White will have to submit to drug testing before he can be re-instated by the Commission.
  • Millenium Events, in conjunction with Kick International USA, will host an event in Henderson, NV on July 24 at the Henderson Convention Center.
  • Finally, in an interesting legal twist, Shad Smith‘s disciplinary hearing following his fight on May 10 on a Total Combat show in Laughlin, NV was postponed on Wednesday; Smith lost to Toby Imada and was found afterward to have had traces of marijuana in a post-fight urinalysis.  Smith, by telephone, was present during the hearing but requested to have an attorney present – yet he stated that he couldn’t afford one.  The hearing has been postponed indefinitely, as a result.
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