Sin City Sentinel: Tyson Training for MMA?

By: Mike Sloan
Jun 19, 2008
LAS VEGAS -- Word on the hot Vegas streets is that Mike Tyson is training again, but for what? The former heavyweight boxing champion and "Baddest Man on the Planet" has long been a source of speculation among MMA fans.

A source, who asked to remain anonymous, informed that Tyson has been quietly "training his ass off" with a prominent strength and conditioning coach in the area. The source also stated that Tyson "is not going to do boxing anymore," but when asked if "Iron Mike" was going to try MMA, the source shrugged, "I don't know, I can't say."

In recent years, the rumor mill linked the 41-year-old Tyson with EliteXC heavyweight Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, Quinton Jackson (Pictures) and Tito Ortiz (Pictures) among others. In 2006, he was a guest referee at a World Cage Fighting Championship bout in Manchester, England and signed an appearances-only contract with the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships.

"Rude Boy" out for summer

Popular UFC lightweight prospect and "The Ultimate Fighter 6" alumnus Troy Mandaloniz (Pictures) told that he will be out at least four months due to injury. "Rude Boy" was scheduled to face Paul Kelly (Pictures) at UFC 85 "Bedlam" June 7 in London, but he aggravated a bulging disc in his back. Mandaloniz said he'll be out another four months and there's no telling when he'll be cleared to return to train at the Cobra Kai Academy at full speed, let alone fight. But the good news for the 28-year-old Hawaiian is that his back will not need surgery.

"Suave" stabs at sweet science

Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez (Pictures) has decided to give professional boxing a try again. The loquacious heavyweight recently resumed his pro MMA career after a stint on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab," but won't fight anybody inside a cage in the near future. Instead, he'll be squaring off inside the ropes against an opponent-to-be-determined on July 8. The bout is slated to take place on the undercard of Aaron Pryor Jr. and Kevin Kelley's co-headlined event at the Las Vegas Hilton. Rodriguez is not a complete stranger to professional boxing. He fought October 12, 2006 in Houston, Texas, stopping Brandon Baker in the first round.

LVCC plans more cards

Las Vegas Combat Championships promoter Chris Sarkissian told that he plans on having as many events inside the Alexis Resort as possible. Current plans are to scheduled a show every six to eight weeks.

"I know I'm going to get killed (financially) early on," he said. "I'm not trying to host these events inside a huge arena because I know it's hard to promote without big names and a huge bank account. I'm planning on losing money for the first few shows and then hopefully I can start breaking even and then start making money."

The LVCC held its first event at the venue on June 14.

Steele still itching to promote

Hall of Fame boxing referee Richard Steele still has the urge to partake in MMA. Steele retired from boxing in 2006 and ventured into the world of MMA promotion by forming Steele Cage Promotions. The Vegas-based company teamed up with the International Fighting Organization (IFO) and delivered three lukewarm shows in Las Vegas, but the IFO eventually went belly up. However, Steele confirmed to that Steele Cage Promotions has an MMA show slated to take place in Texas in the near future and could return to Vegas shortly after.

Quick hits

• The showdown between TUF 6 alumni Ben Saunders and Jared Rollins (Pictures) has been moved from July 5's UFC 86 "Jackson vs. Griffin" in Las Vegas and to UFC 87 "Seek and Destroy" Aug. 9 at the Target Center in Mineappolis -- Zuffa's first venture into Minnesota.

• Though the International Fight League is currently on life support and had to cancel its Aug. 15 card in New Jersey, the IFL's proposed Oct. 17 card at the Orleans Arena is still a go, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission's online calendar. Considering the organization's current financial situation, it seems unlikely that the Vegas card will materialize. A representative from the NSAC told that the event has not been cancelled, but also that it has yet to be officially approved by the commission.

• According to Roland Sarria, the president and founder of the Arizona-based Rage in the Cage organization, his brand of MMA might come to Vegas sooner rather than later. Currently, in accordance with Arizona law, the RITC requires combatants to strike with open hands. Sarria told that he plans to take RITC across the country and that Vegas is one of his goals.

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