Friday, July 27, 2007

Matt Lee Succeeds In Not Getting Butt Totally Kicked; In Fact, Looks Impressive

New Englander Matt Lee landed on the wrong side of a unanimous decision when he took on Eddie Alvarez at the July 14th BodogFIGHT show in Trenton, New Jersey. However, the veteran Team Elite representative was successful in one regard: he survived - a feat made so much more notable by the fact that few predicted he'd last more than a round when the match-up was announced. Lee ate a ton of leather taking the heavy-handed superstar the distance. But he dished it out too, and even bloodied his opponent's nose and tripped Alvarez to the canvas as time ran out. When it was all over, there was no question Alvarez, BodogFIGHT's recently dethroned welterweight king, had won. And there was also no question that Lee - who fought hard out of every bad position and refused to be bullied around the ring - had looked impressive.

To Do: Buy Stock in CFFC

Whatever the folks behind the Cage Fury Fighting Championship are doing, they're doing it right. Case in point: the recently announced card for their October 12th, Atlantic City event. Kimbo versus Tank. Former King of Pancrase Ricardo Almeida coming out of retirement to face Dennis Hallman. Old-school kickboxing champs Derek Panza and Duke Roufus squaring off in an MMA bout. Veteran fighter Chris Brennan against local champ Jim Miller. The UFC may have a stranglehold on top talent, but CFFC matchmaker Gary Marino has used his fight knowledge, creativity, and negotation skills to turn water into wine (i.e., made compelling bouts out of nothing). If the MMA market is finite and dominated by the UFC, well, CFFC is doing a great job with their product and carving out their own share. Now excuse me while I call my broker.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Trouble with Bloggers

I read just about anything and everything related to MMA, and this morning I spied some gems on two seperate blogs. One blogger spoke of TUF veteran Luke Cummo's up-coming fight and said that Cummo is well-known for his jiu-jitsu skills. Another blogger talked of UFC Lightweight Champ Sean Sherk being stripped of his belt, and he suggested that BJ Penn fight for the vacant title against either Joe Stevenson or Roger Huerta. Please, God, smite these bloggers - obviously newcomers to the sport and weaned on nothing but Zuffa's MMA milk - for their ignorance. Cummo was a Muay Thai fighter (his last venture into the ring just before TUF was a kickboxing bout at Combat at the Capitale in NYC), while it's universally accepted that Stevenson and Huerta are far from ready for the likes of Penn. Sadly, those two web-writers know only what they've seen on SpikeTV or pay-per-view, and neither have a knowledgeable editor to catch these gaffs. They can print anything. Which, ultimately, is the trouble with bloggers.

Friday, July 20, 2007

UFC Lightweight Division Sticks Needle in Ass, Gets Caught

I like Hermes Franca and Sean Sherk. Really. They’re amiable, friendly and down-to-earth guys, and they embody a lot of the hard work and dedication that makes this sport great. But them testing positive for steroids – after their epic, five-round war at UFC 73 – truly sucks. Words like “integrity” and “honesty” come to mind, as well as phrases like “true champion” and “role model to many”. Ultimately, though, like fellow juicers Royce Gracie and Phil Baroni, the top 155-pound challenger and the UFC lightweight champ are only human. Sometimes the money is worth the risk.

Just prior to the test results being made public, Franca issued an apology, saying he was injured during training and under a lot of pressure to perform. Sherk, on the other hand, is purportedly going to appeal the test results (remember: in 2005, UFC fighter Nate Marquardt failed a post-fight drug test only to be retested and deemed clean). I sincerely hope it’s a false-positive in Sherk’s case. The word “cheater” should not belong in the same sentence as “champ”.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Laura D'Auguste Injured, Breakdancing Career in Jeopardy

Laura D'Auguste, top-ranked competitor in the world of breakdancing, injured her ankle late last week while practicing at Bittencourt's B-Boy Academy in Newark, New Jersey. Known for her ability to windmill, downrock, and freeze at a moment's notice, D'Auguste was preparing for the eagerly-anticipated championship battle she was to have against Tara LaRosa, scheduled for the July 14th BodogFIGHT "Electric Boogaloo" event. Via text message, D'Auguste had this to say: "Not broken but hurt ligaments... Couple weeks be ok... I hope going for a MRI... Chipped the bone just a little nothen [sic] they can do for that..." No word yet on what this may mean for her career down the road - although it's safe to assume she'll be forced to incorporate more handstands into her routine.