Thursday, June 28, 2007

Badass Fighter Gets Badass Marketing Campaign Because He is Badass

Eddie Alvarez. He's the fighter you've seen plastered all over New York City. Formerly BodogFIGHT's welterweight champ, Alvarez will be returning to the East Coast after competing in such exotic locales as Costa Rica and St. Petersburg, and he's being pushed as the star of BodogFIGHT's July 14th Trenton, New Jersey show. The former high school wrestling champ is well-known for his knockout hands, his ability to kick ass, and his knack for packing a venue with hundreds of cheering fans.

Alvarez is one of the best fighters not signed by the UFC, and would have no problems competing in the Octagon. In fact, he was flown out to Las Vegas as an alternate for the second season of "The Ultimate Fighter" (SpikeTV and Zuffa ended up not needing him). He's that good. And fans of action can expect an extra-large dose of it on July 14th.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kimbo Slice Breaks All the Rules

On Saturday night, when bare-knuckle pugilist Kimbo Slice defeated former world heavyweight boxing champ Ray Mercer by guillotine choke in just over a minute in an exhibition MMA bout, he broke all the rules. Not for giving the 7,300 in attendance at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall their first glimpse of the Internet-created legend. Not for making Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s first pay-per-view venture a memorable (and successful) one. No, Slice broke all the rules pertaining to debut fighters: he headlined the event and made 75,000 bucks. Aside from main eventers Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson, that’s far more than any of the veterans were paid at UFC 71.

Did the ex-backyard boxing star – whose record lists wins over the likes of Big Mac, “The Bouncer” and Afro Puff – deserve it? Hell yes. Regardless of where he may rank amongst the world’s MMA heavyweights, Kimbo brings a ton of charisma and hype, and that kind of love only helps the sport. Thousands of fans showed up or tuned in and droves of media cast a watchful eye, and everyone got to see not just him, but CFFC’s brand of quality MMA, as well as a roster of outstanding undercard fighters. And for that, Kimbo deserved every penny.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

TapouT Breathes Life Back into MMA Television

What season of “The Ultimate Fighter” are we on? Fifty? What (or when, exactly) was the last episode of BodogFight? Fuck if I know. But one thing I do know is whoever thought up the concept for the new “TapouT” reality TV show – a show that combines elements of a road trip and a fighter profile with behind the scenes perspectives – deserves some serious “Yeah boy!” For those Generation TUFers out there who don’t know, the TapouT crew have been around forever, supporting the sport while promoting their brand of clothing. Hell, the man behind TapouT, Charles Lewis, was even on the box cover of the old UFC PlayStation game (he was the “fighter” getting smashed by Tito Ortiz).

Sadly, as MTV has taught us, when the “Real World” gets boring and “Road Rules” has run its course, the “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” will soon follow. But until those Ultimate Fighter and TapouT veterans square off in some producer’s pugilistic permutation, I’m going to enjoy the Mask, Skyscrape and Punkass ride.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Clash of the Titans at EC78

The skies will darken, the clouds will rumble and the earth will shake at Extreme Challenge 78 in Asbury Park this weekend - an event featuring a clash of heavyweight titans in Jon Murphy versus Carlos Moreno. Murphy, the current EC Northeast heavyweight title holder, earned his belt when he struck UFC vet Sherman Pendergarst's chin with a bolt of lighting at EC75. Moreno is a former Ring of Combat champ whose return to MMA has given him fresh opportunities to devour his foes. Promoter Ed Hsu's matchmaking machinations have two of the best in the Northeast squaring off, and when these knockout artists step into the cage, you can bet the gods will be watching with interest.