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Inside the Octagon


Bad news, no vuvuzelas at UFC 116


Press release below

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – As the world prepares for the greatest heavyweight title fight of the past two decades, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® made a stunning announcement today that will undoubtedly have a global impact. UFC President Dana White confirmed that vuvuzelas, pesky noise makers used infamously by South African fans at this year’s World Cup, have been banned at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday.

Thus, when UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar enters the cage to battle interim beltholder Shane Carwin in the most important heavyweight fight since the Ali era, fans will have to rely on their voices, hands, and feet to root on their favorite athlete.

“This decision was pretty simple for me,” White said. “Vuvuzelas make the most horrific sound I’ve ever heard. I’d rather let Brock punch me in the face than hear 15,000 people blow on those things. This is the biggest heavyweight fight we’ve ever done. We’ll make enough noise this weekend when Brock and Shane finally step inside the Octagon.”

Posted by lvollmer on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 at 11:32 am |

UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin ticket info released


The UFC has released the poster to promote UFC 116, which features a heavyweight title unification match between heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin. Check it out below, along with ticket information.

The UFC fight club presale starts Tuesday, May 11th at 10AM PT.

The UFC Newsletter presale starts Wednesday, May 12th at 10AM PT.

Tickets go on sale to the public Thursday, May 13th at 10AM PT.

Posted by lvollmer on Monday, May 10th, 2010 at 3:08 pm |

Lesnar, Nogueira pull out of UFC 108


UFC main event fighters are dropping like flies.brock-lesnar-heavyweight-champion

A fourth potential main event  has been scrapped for UFC 108, as Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort, Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin and Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua were all scheduled for that date.

Brock Lesnar has been diagnosed with mononucleosis, a viral infection causing fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands, especially in the neck. He has suffered from this for some time now, and an interim heavyweight champion may have to be named if Lesnar cannot get healthy soon.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is suffering from a severe staph infection that has entered into his bloodsteam.

“(It’s) bad, to the point now that it’s in his bloodstream,” White stated after UFC 105, according to TSN. “He’s probably going to have to be hospitalized and intravenously given antibiotics.”

This may open the door for a Cain Velasquez vs Shane Carwin heavyweight fight, perhaps for an interim heavyweight title.

UFC has now upgraded Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva from co-main event, to the main event.

Posted by lvollmer on Monday, November 16th, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
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Cain Velasquez meets Big Nog at UFC 108



Picture 3

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a heavyweight legend looking to climb to the top of the mountain one more time following his win over Hall of Famer Randy Couture in August. Unbeaten rising star Cain Velasquez has moved rapidly up the ranks, but he needs one more win to get a shot at the belt. On Saturday, January 2nd, the main event of UFC 108 will see these two heavyweight standouts meet to determine a future challenger for the title. Also, former UFC light heavyweight champion ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans begins on his road back to the title as he attempts to avenge his teammate Keith Jardine’s loss against Brazilian knockout artist Thiago Silva at UFC 108: Nogueira vs Velasquez, presented by “Bayonetta” and live on pay-per-view from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Nogueira vs. Velasquez is a great matchup between the present and the future of the heavyweight division,” said UFC President Dana White. “Nogueira showed in the Couture fight that he still has plenty left to offer at the top level of the game, and Velasquez was devastating in his win over Ben Rothwell, so with both guys in top form, we’re definitely going to see a number one contender emerge from this fight to take on the winner of the Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin title fight.”

Tickets for UFC 108 are priced at $600, $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges, go on sale Saturday, November 14 at 10 a.m. at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at UFC.com , www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com .

Posted by lvollmer on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 9:42 am |
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Lesnar off UFC 106


Brock Lesnar will not defend his UFC heavyweight title at UFC 106.

According to UFC.com, Lesnar has an illness that has forced him out of training camp for almost a month. The UFC hopes to re-schedule the bout for early 2010.

Lesnar’s opponent, Shane Carwin, posted on his twitter account earlier today. He claims that the match will take place on January 2, 2010.

UFC 106 will now feature a main event of Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin. This is rematch from UFC 59 where Tito Ortiz was awarded a very close split decision win over Forrest.

With Lesnar’s withdrawal, the UFC will have two consecutive events without a title fight. UFC 105 will air free on Spike TV and features a light heavyweight main event of Randy “The Natural” Couture and Brandon “The Truth” Vera.

Posted by lvollmer on Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 4:33 pm |

My UFC 100 experience


When I was 9 and by brother was 7, we used to go to the video store with my dad and rent the Ultimate Fighting Champion fights on video cassette. We’d watch every UFC PPV as soon as it hit Blockbuster. It was such a different sport back then, where hair pulling, groin strikes, and all types of vicious street fight type maneuvers were legal.

Fast forward 17 years, and I was fortunate enough to attend UFC 100 at the Mandalay Bay with my dad and my brother, witnessing the evolution of a sport I have grown to love. The event was remarkable from start to finish, and I found it pretty surreal that I have witnessed close to 100 Ultimate Fighting Championship events.

Tickets for UFC 100 never went on sale to the public. My brother purchased an eighty dollar UFC fight club membership to specifically  have the rights to purchase UFC 100 tickets before they went on sale to the general public. Looking back, the investment turned out to be worth it.

A shot of Mandalay Bay near the pool. I took this with my phone.

We touched down in Las Vegas around 10:30, and immediately sought a taxi to take us to the casino. While making our way to the airport shuttle lobby, we ran into Marcus Davis and Eddie Bravo. Both guys were pleasant and were nice enough to take a picture with us.

Eddie Bravo, Me, Marcus Davis

We arrived at the Mandalay Bay casino at on July 9th around 11pm. Upon entering the casino we met Robbie Lawler and Lyoto Machida. Machida was standing in line waiting to check in when a swarm of fans greeted him. He looked a little surprised, and taken back a bit.

Exhausted from a long flight, we opted not to go out and party, but rather play a little 1-2 no limit Texas Hold’em. We shared a poker room with Krystof Sozynski and James Wilks.

The next day we hit up the UFC Fan expo. I thought the fan expo would be the highlight of my trip, but it turned out to be a massive disappointment. We stood online for an hour just to get in. I have never stood on a line so long in my entire life. When we got into the expo, there were humongous lines just to get to each booth. We didn’t wait in any of them. We checked out some of the merchandise booths and got pictures with Amir Sadollah, Grey Maynard, Anthony Johnson and Gilbert Yvel. We received free samples of nutritional supplements, free magazines, key chains, got pictures in the UFC octagon and even had our punching power tested. I didn’t meet any of the big name fighters. Our time in Las Vegas was short and we weren’t too excited to wait in a line for 3 hours to get a few pictures and autographs. I have met a lot of big names already, and the novelty has kind of worn off.
I remember leaving the fan expo kind of annoyed at Dana White for selling so many fan expo tickets, but my opinion on this would change. More on that later.

Price/Affliction veteran Gilbert Yvel and me.

My brother, father, and I headed back to the casino where I shared an elevator with Shogun, who didn’t want to take pictures with any fans. A group of irate fans told him he sucked, among other things, after he refused to take pictures with them.

Sharing an elevator with Shogun.

Later in the evening I played 3-card poker with Karo Parisyan. He was very cool to chat with and even snapped a picture with my brother and I.

My brother, Karo Parisyan, me

Finally, it is time. On Saturday, July 11th we entered the Mandalay Bay Event center. When I entered the arena, the feeling was indescribable. I’ve put so much passion, effort, and emotion into to this sport and to be able to attend this milestone with my brother and father event was just incredible.

I was a bit worried, however. More of then then not, when a UFC PPV has a lot of hype around it, it usually ends up disappointing for one reason or another. UFC 100 would live up to everything that I expected, however, and I had the time of my life.

From start to finish, there was never a boring fight. Shannon Gugerty and Matt Grice would open the event. Grice wouldn’t last long, as he succumbed to a guillotine choke that left his body lifeless on the octagon canvas for a good eight to ten seconds.  The next fight saw “Filthy” Tom Lawlor entertain the arena as he came out to “Who Let the Dogs Out”. This was a nice little stab at CB Dollaway, his opponent, who’s nicknamed “The Doberman”. Dollaway would suffer the same fate as Matt Grice, although Dollaway only lasted 55 seconds in the octagon. Again, a vice grip like guillotine choke would leave Dollaway lifeless on the canvas. Dong Hyun Kim, Jon Jones, and Jim Miller would all have dominating performances over their opponents. Mark Coleman was impressive as he repeatedly took down Stephan Bonnar in route to a unanimous decision.

The first fight on the main card was Alan Belcher vs Yoshihiro Akiyama. This was Akiyama’s UFC debut and he was pitted against a very game Alan Belcher. Akiyama would end up winning the fight, but I think Belcher might have had it. I have to re watch it. There was a chorus of boos when the decision was announced and Joe Rogan  was not pleased with the decision either.

Next up, Michael Bisping would finally meet his maker. I was looking forward to this match because I knew Dan Henderson has talent eons above what Bisping has been facing in the UFC. After all the trash talking about knocking Henderson out, Bisping became the recipient of one of the most devastating knockouts I have ever seen. At that moment, 4 different friends text messaged me saying they couldn’t have been happier. I was too. I hate Bisping. Welcome to real competition Mikey boy. You have been humbled.

Dan Henderson celebrates after knocking Michael Bisping out cold.

GSP dominated in typical fashion, Lesnar lived up to the hype, and Jon Fitch fought a typical Jon Fitch match as all three superstars walked out of UFC 100 with wins.

After arriving home and reading some UFC news, I see that Dana White awarded $100,000 dollar bonuses to the fighters who had won submission of the night, knockout of the night, and fight of the night. The usual bonus is $60,000, so it’s nice to see that some of the fan expo money went directly to the fighters and not directly into the pockets of the promoters.

All in all, I had a blast. The event lived up to the hype and so much more. Dana White says that UFC 100 isn’t a milestone; they are just getting started. MMA has come such a long way since I was a nine-year-old boy renting fights on VHS with my brother and my dad. I can’t wait to see where it goes next, and hopefully I am around for UFC 200.

Me and Gray Maynard

The Octagon at the expo

Me and Anthony Johnson. I can’t believe this guy fights at 170.

My brother is about to get his punching power tested.

Posted by lvollmer on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 at 5:22 pm |


A trip down memory lane : My first Lesnar/Mir prediction


As I sit here at my desk trying to drum up predictions for UFC 100, I’d like for you to read my first Lesnar/Mir prediction, which was dead on the money.

Check it out here.

Posted by lvollmer on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 10:57 am |
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The Pros pick


Every time there is a big fight on the horizon, sherdog.com puts a column out called “Pros Pick”. They ask professional fighters their opinion on upcoming super fights.

Their latest installment is Mir vs Lesnar, the  upcoming heavyweight title unification match set to take place at UFC 100. Check it out here.

Posted by lvollmer on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 11:21 am |
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M-1 Global invites Dana White, Brock Lesnar, and Frank Mir to Affliction 3


MMAweekly.com is reporting that COO of M-1 Global is interested in revisiting talks with the UFC in regards to a heavyweight match featuring WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

“I’d like to reach out with an invitation to Mr. Dana White, Mr. Brock Lesnar, and Mr. Frank Mir to come out to our show, the Trilogy show, and I’m sure we can arrange some front seat tickets, and they can watch a real championship fight. Hopefully we can follow up in the same lines as what the UFC has done for Mr. Mirko Cro Cop in a one-fight deal. I think we can make that happen for other occasions, and we’d like to make that happen.” said M-1 COO, Joost Raimond.

That is slightly backhanded. A real championship fight? I can’t wait to see Dana White’s video blog reaction to this.

Dana White has continually bashed Fedor Emelianenko for ducking the best heavyweights in the world, those heavyweights being in the UFC. In the story written by MMA Weekly, Raimond brings up a good point.

I’m not a sucker for statistics, but we did a little bit of homework, and we came up with an interesting fact. If you look at the UFC over history, if you include the interim heavyweight champions, they’ve had 17 champions in total. Mr. Fedor Emelianenko has done eight fights against UFC champions, against five different opponents. If we exclude his fights against Mr. Nogueira, who was a formidable opponent in his time, Fedor spent less than 15 minutes in the ring with these UFC champions and defeated them all.

I think the timing of this challenge is a little coincidental, seeing as this is Fedor will complete his three fight deal with Affliction at Affliction III. Is M-1 Global desperate to get Fedor signed somewhere? Affliction has asked their fighters to take pay cuts in the past, and it is unknown as to whether or not they will bring Emelianenko back for a second deal. Fedor could go to the Dream organization, but there are few notable heavyweights to oppose him there. Strikeforce is another candidate, but seeing as they just acquired EliteXC’s assets, I don’t see them having the extra cash lying around to spend on Emelianenko.

Bottom line is that Dana White doesn’t need to bring in Fedor. The UFC is tremendously successful without him and the high salary he commands.

Fedor’s representatives refuse to conform to Dana White’s contractual stipulations for Fedor, and that has led to problems in the past. I highly doubt White is willing to bend in order to sign Fedor.

Regardless, I am excited to see Dana’s profanity laced reaction to this invitation/challenge.

Posted by lvollmer on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 1:44 pm |


UFC 91 – Lesnar vs Couture replay was most-watched taped UFC event in Spike TV history



UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar can now add television ratings champion to his resume. Spike TV’s replay of UFC 91 (originally airing on Pay Per View on November 15) featuring UFC legend Randy Couture vs. Lesnar was the highest rated show among Men 18-34 in all of television (broadcast or cable) in its time slot on Saturday, January 24 (9:00-11:30pm ET/PT). UFC 91 peaked at 3.3 million viewers at 11:15pm for the Lesnar victory ending in a second round TKO. The entire fight card, which included exciting victories for lightweight contender Kenny Florian and heavyweight hopeful Gabriel Gonzaga, averaged 2.3 million viewers for the 2.5 hour telecast, easily making UFC 91 the most-watched taped UFC event in network history.

Overall, UFC 91 on Spike TV drew a 1.7 household rating and a 1.8 among M18-49 (991,000), a 1.8 among M18-34 (508,000) and had an average audience of 2.3 million viewers.

Posted by lvollmer on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
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About this blog
Web programmer by day, practicing mixed martial artist at night, Larry Vollmer Jr. brings the latest news from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the rest of the mixed martial arts world - a fast-spreading obsession on TV and online. These are the bouts - they occur in an octagon-shaped "ring" - that test men's souls.