Here are a few notes to wrap up our UFC 115 coverage from Vancouver this weekend. The Heavy.com team is now in Los Angeles and will be covering Wednesday’s “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” event, which features a main event catchweight bout between Robbie Lawler and Renato “Babalu” Sobral. From there, the team heads to Las Vegas to cover the Ultimate Fighter Finale on Saturday night.
Needless to say, Heavy.com is the place to be for MMA coverage this week.
FRANKLIN HEADED FOR SURGERY
Rich Franklin is having surgery to correct a broken ulna suffered in last night’s fight with Chuck Liddell. The former middleweight champion’s arm was broken while blocking a Liddell kick early in the first round. Franklin powered through the injury to knock Liddell out and send him into retirement for the final time, but said after the fight that the injury would have severely hampered him in the second and third frames.
“I definitely wasn’t going to quit. I’ve broken bones before and continued fighting,” Franklin said. “But there was part of me that was wondering what kind of strategy I was going to use to win the fight with a broken left arm in the second and third rounds.”
FILIPOVIC WILL GET NEW CONTRACT
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will likely sign a new contract with the UFC following his submission victory over Pat Barry. Filipovic said prior to the bout that he wanted to finish his career in the UFC, and Dana White said after the fight that Filipovic’s impressive performance was enough to warrant a new contract.
“We’re going to talk to Mirko and see what Mirko wants to do,” White said. “Mirko said to me that he wants to finish his career here, so we plan on him finishing his career with the UFC.”
Filipovic, who made himself openly available to the media for the first time in his career, said that his preparation for the Barry fight was the hardest he’s ever done. The Croatian has typically prepared for opponents by undertaking a sparse camp, a low-tech effort compared to the majority of modern fighters. Where most top fighters use multiple sparring partners and train in a regulation cage, Filipovic opted to simply hit heavy bags using boxing gloves, foregoing a live sparring element entirely.
That changed with this fight, however. Filipovic brought in multiple sparring partners. He trained in a cage. He used regulation UFC gloves instead of boxing gloves, all in preparation for proving to the world that he wasn’t too old to continue in the sport that made him a legend.
“I wanted to prove to everyone that I’m not too old, and they are wrong,” Filipovic said. “Using a punching bag is one thing, but sparring is another. The preparation for this fight was the hardest I’ve ever done in my entire life.”