Neil Springer's MMA notes

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:11 AM ET

TORONTO - With rumours floating around that the UFC will stop airing fights on Spike TV once its current contract is up, speculation has begun swirling that Bellator Fighting Championships is Spike’s MMA backup plan.

Bellator currently airs on MTV2, which is owned by Viacom, who also owns Spike. However, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said if any such plans are in the works, no one’s told him about it.

“I’ve heard all the rumours that you’ve heard,” Rebney said in an interview with QMI Agency. “I’ve seen them all; I’ve heard them all. I’ve got people that talk to me consistently in the television industry about what they’re hearing.

“The reality is MTV Networks is an enormous, powerful and influential body in the entertainment industry. They own and control networks like Spike, MTV, MTV2, VH1, Comedy Central and the list goes on. The decisions that happen under that umbrella happen at an extremely high level and they happen behind closed doors with those networks.”

Gomi takes on his second Diaz

Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi is set to collide with Nate Diaz at UFC 135.

This isn’t the first time Gomi has gone toe-to-toe with a member of the Diaz family.

He faced Nate’s brother Nick in one of the most exciting fights in MMA history at PRIDE 33 in Las Vegas four years ago. After a wild first round, Nick choked Gomi out with a gogoplata in the second.

The victory was short-lived, as Nick tested positive for marijuana and the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled the bout a no contest.

Nate’s coming fight with Gomi marks his return to 155 pounds after getting ragdolled all over the octagon by B.C. welterweight Rory MacDonald at UFC 129 in Toronto.

UFC 135 takes place at the Pepsi Center in Denver Sept. 24 and will be headlined by a light-heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Quinton (Rampage) Jackson.

Condit would fight his teammates

UFC welterweight Carlos Condit wouldn’t hesitate to throw down with a teammate.

Despite training with Team Jackson-Winkeljohn, where a number of fighters have famously shot down the idea, Condit said he doesn’t fight to make friends.

“To compete at the top level in this sport, you have to train on a daily basis with guys who are on the same level as you,” Condit said in an interview with Buddhasport. “They could possibly be in the same organization and the same weight class. So I think that it’s inevitable that eventually you’re going to have to cross paths with a teammate. Especially in my case, training at Jackson’s with all the top-notch fighters coming out of that camp.

“At the end of the day it’s a business and we are in MMA to fight, not make friends. You should want to be the best in the world. So sometimes you might have to fight a teammate. I’m not saying it’s not a tough thing, because it is. It’s just business.”

Eight fights on Facebook

All eight preliminary fights from UFC on Versus 4 will stream on Facebook this Sunday evening. Fans can catch the following bouts online: Manny Gamburyan vs. Tyson Griffin, Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez, Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton, Rich Attonito vs. Daniel Roberts, Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira, Matt Grice vs. Ricardo Lamas and Edward Faaloloto vs. Michael Johnson.

Nova Scotia native T.J. Grant was scheduled to face Charlie Brenneman on the undercard, but pulled out due to an undisclosed illness.

The main card, which starts at 9 p.m. ET on Rogers Sportsnet, will be headlined by a welterweight scrap between Nate Marquardt and Rick Story. This marks Marquardt’s debut at 170 pounds. The card also features a co-main event between Pat Barry and Cheick Kongo.

Jose Rodriguez's rant of the week

Oh stop it already!

There are small pockets of whining that welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre’s next title defence won’t take place on home soil.

Maybe Canadian fans have grown too spoiled after playing hosts to three numbered cards in the past six months — including two featuring St Pierre.

Maybe it’s just those rabid, long-starved Ontario fans screaming for another event after hosting the largest MMA spectacle in North American history.

Whatever the case, there is little reason to distress.

Following back-to-back title defences in Canada — he beat Jake Shields in Toronto at 129 and Josh Koscheck in Montreal at 124 — St. Pierre will be forced to take on Nick Diaz in Las Vegas at UFC 137.

The event is expected to take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Oct. 29.

For those who don’t like the idea of GSP fighting abroad, take this into consideration.

When fighting in Vegas — as in Canada — St. Pierre is undefeated.

But unlike in Canada — where he has only been able to finish a third of his fights — St. Pierre is batting .500 when it comes to stoppages or submissions when in Sin City.

And God knows St. Pierre could use a result that doesn’t come after the fifth round’s horn.

Also, there is no more neutral turf in the fight world than Vegas.

Yes, there will be chants of “U-S-A” during the main event.

But the city the mob built adopted St. Pierre long ago and a chant of “G-S-P” has the exact same amount of syllables.


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