Latest UFC/MMA news and notes from around the web for the week of January 1, 2012

Photo via Yell Magazine

Welcome, Maniacs, to the weekly series where we help you catch up on some of the original reporting done by other sites in the vast MMA landscape. Like Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine pictured above, we can all "get along."

Teaming up with MMA sites like MMA Fighting, Cage Potato, Fight Opinion and The Fight Nerd, we'll provide an opportunity for all MMA fans to read some fresh and original voices in the sport.

This week, Five Ounces of Pain speaks with Phil Davis, MMA Fighting gets Sarah Kaufman's thoughts on Ronda Rousey getting a title shot before her and Bleacher Report speaks with former Strikeforce champ Muhammed Lawal.

The full list of links is after the jump.

- Keith Jardine doesn't care what the critics say (LowKick)

UFC veteran and Strikeforce Middleweight title challenger, Keith Jardine, who will look to dethrone division Champion Luke Rockhold this Saturday night, discusses his opponent, as well as the critics who say he doesn't deserve the title shot. Jardine admits that he's avoided the negativity surrounding the match-up, and says that he plans to make it a "real fight."

- 10 most forgettable fights of 2011 (Cage Potato)

- Phil Davis wants a title shot with a victory over Rashad Evans (Five Ounces of Pain)

Much has been made of Rashad Evans wrestling credentials and how he used them during his mixed martial arts career, but what some fail to realize is that his collegiate record is a mediocre 48-34 during his three years at Michigan State. Davis on the other hand has a superb record of 116-17. Will that translate for Davis when the two meet on January 28? "Mr. Wonderful" certainly thinks so.

- Sarah Kaufman feels Ronda Rousey title fight is 'ridiculous' (MMA Fighting)

Sarah Kaufman saw the internet reports of a Miesha Tate-Ronda Rousey title at about the same time the rest of the MMA world did. She wasn't terribly surprised, she told MMA Fighting on Thursday, but neither was she particularly pleased.

"I think it's terrible news," the former Strikeforce 135-pound women's champ said, and you can probably guess why.

- Dana White Eyes Summer Slugfest for Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem (5thRound)

Alistair Overeem secured his date with destiny by viciously disposed of Brock Lesnar last weekend at UFC 141. Now that he's solidified his top contender status, the only question remaining is when will his shootout with heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos take place?

- Luke Rockhold thinks that a few key wins can put him in a position for Anderson Silva's belt (MiddleEasy)

Can I just get this out of the way: I'm so thankful Strikeforce is still around. If Strikeforce wasn't in existence we wouldn't be able to have these fascinating interviews with Strikeforce champions using MMA math to leverage title shots in the UFC.

- Top 10 best fights of 2011 (The Fight Nerd)

In a sport with the sheer variety of outcomes that MMA has, there's no specific formula for what makes a great fight. Instead, truly great matches are made when some or all of the elements of MMA come together in two fighters to make something that is both a highly competitive bout and a dramatic story told through action.

2011 served as a flagship year in the world's largest MMA organization when it came to great fights. To put a bow on this passing age, below are the top ten greatest fights in the UFC for 2011.See who earned the top spot!

- Five big items of fallout from the two NYE shows (Fight Opinion)

Very sad & discouraging to hear the news about 30-year old DEEP fighter Tomoya Miyashita dying on New Year's Eve. He had fought one round of cancer (seminoma) and then was diagnosed with leukemia and lost the battle. He had a personal blog online at Ameba where he commented on his struggles and also posted pictures of those in the fight community who came to visit with him.

- UFC 141: Payout Perspective (MMA Payout)

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we look at a special Friday night event from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada which featured Brock Lesnar versus Alistair Overeem.

- King Mo: It's time to give Larkin his first loss (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

"I can deal with anybody. With Gracie, I could have taken him down a bunch of times and made him just stand back up. The thing is with Larkin is yea I can take him down, but we will see where the fight goes. I'm confident in my hands. Who has (Larkin) knocked out with his kicks? Nobody. I'm prepared for whatever he has. I'm not worried. I've been training with a great camp. I've trained with everybody. I've seen everything I can see. I know flash. I can defeat flash easy."

- What Strikeforce needs to be great (MMA Convert)

Sure, Scott Coker and his baby are beholden to their masters, and as such, the UFC has now laid claim to all of the Strikeforce heavyweights plus assorted other top talent. But gosh darn it, when Lorenzo Fertitta and company ponied up the cheddar and bought the whole thing, the number two MMA organization in the world was something to behold. Rockhold vs. Jardine is whole ‘lotta "not so much". So what, then, does Strikeforce need to be great? I am glad you asked...

- Full interview with Karo Parisyan (Fightline)

Karo Parisyan is tired, you can hear it in his voice. Tired like he's just waking up from a years-long nightmare in which someone else was living in his body, fighting and making his decisions for him. What makes it all worse is that there was no dream, that Parisyan has been the pilot all along, the reason for his own derailment. Now, frustrated but attaining clarity, he's just hoping it's not too late to fix his mistakes.

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