Lots of news to cover this morning and little time. I think it makes sense for another edition of the “MMA Notebook”:
* UFCjunkie.com has broken news about a lot of new UFC fights in recent days. It looks like Jeremy Stephens has preserved his job in the UFC and will be taking on Nate Mohr at UFC 76 on September 22 in Anaheim, Calif.
* Junkie is also reporting that Jorge Gurgel is likely to be facing Doug Evans at UFC 77 in Cincinnati this coming October. Many of Gurgel’s schools are based in the Ohio area, so it will be a home game for him of sorts. All those rumors about him fighting Frankie Edgar are obviously false. They didn’t make sense to begin with. Why would you force one of those guys to not be able to fight in front of a home crowd? It’s not like the UFC has a shortage of lightweight fighters to match up with them.
* Tito Ortiz is back from Iraq and recently did an interview with UFCMania.com. Apparently Tito has been successful thus far in bypassing the chain of command in the UFC and is talking directly to Lorenzo Fertitta about business matters:
“I’m dealing with Lorenzo Fertitta now and he’s awesome to deal with, a great businessman, not like that loser they have as President. What a horrible guy. He’s gonna send the company down the drain because sooner or later the fighters are gonna realize they don’t have to be bullied anymore. They should just get rid of Dana.”
The fact that Tito and Dana White won’t be going to war against each other during contract renegotiations greatly improves the chances of Ortiz re-signing with the UFC. The fact that the UFC is willing to accommodate him in this matter shows they want him back… or, at least not fighting for the competition.
* MMAWeekly.com has confirmed that Fabricio Werdum has officially joined the Chute Boxe camp in Curitiba, Brazil.
* In an interview with MMAWeekly.com, Greg Jackson has confirmed that Diego Sanchez has left his camp and is moving to California. According to the interview, Sanchez is moving further West to reconnect with his son. Sanchez will be working with Rob Garcia in California as he preps for his next fight at UFC 76 against Jon Fitch.
* The archive of my debate with Jordan Breen on his show yesterday is now available on Sherdog.com. The topic was the “Ten Biggest Underachievers in MMA” article that appeared on CBS Sportsline a few weeks back. Some people thought Jordan won and some people thought I won. Listen for yourself and decide.
* If you want to hear more of me on the radio, check out the debut edition of Inside the Cage Radio. Co-host Matt Cava and I interview IFL co-founded and commissioner Kurt Otto and BodogFIGHT analyst Paul Lazenby. Matt and I also discuss the best MMA-related TV show; Sherk and Franca; Liddell vs. Jardine and whether it’s a legit matchup; and much more! We’re cutting our second show tomorrow and Kurt Pellegrino is slated to join us. We’ll be talking about a number of things with him, including his upcoming match in a few weeks at UFC 74 against Joe Stevenson.