Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Week in Review

It's been a busy week for news. Here's a brief recap of a few of the week's more important MMA-related events, courtesy of the hard-working staff at MMA Journalist. -Kalib Starnes disgraces long-distance runners worldwide by occasionally throwing one or two kicks and punches at Nate Quarry during their UFC 83 footrace. The TUF veteran is promptly cut from the UFC's roster. -Chuck Liddell injures hamstring during a night of Nyquil-fueled group sex. His injury forces him off the card for the June 7th UFC 85 in London, and his hamstring is promptly cut from the UFC's roster. -The IFL and ProElite release their annual 10-K reports, detailing dire fiscal straits for the two MMA promotions. The promotions' financial advisors are promptly cut from the UFC's roster. -Dave Meltzer reports in his Wrestling Observer newsletter that the UFC is trimming the fat by cutting its roster. The UFC roster is promptly cut from the UFC's roster.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Piece of MMA History: BAMA Fight Night

Say "BAMA Fight Night" to any East Coast old-schooler and they might smile and get a far-away look in their eyes. Some may even wax nostalgic. "BAMA Fight Night?" they might say. "That's where Matt and Nick Serra had their first fights. Man, those were the days." In 1996 the UFC was on the verge of being banned and Japan's Pride FC had not yet been born, while in New Jersey, Bayside Academy of Martial Arts owner Dan Miragliotta organized his first of many Fight Night events. Want to see your training partners step into the ring for a Shootfighting tournament or an NHB bout? Well, if you lived in the Tri-State area, Fight Night was the only game in town. It was where everyone came to get their feet wet. Thanks to the efforts of a rival promoter, this institution's swan song was Fight Night 20 in April of 2003 - an event that saw Carmine Zocchi and Glenn Ortiz both win via heelhook while Judah Ciervo and Billy Craparo had a complete slugfest. And though the list of competitors who went on to make names for themselves is but a fraction of the size of the list of fighters never heard from again, one thing is undeniable: BAMA Fight Night made a definite mark on MMA history.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Haselrig Defeats Ott Amid Controversy

Ex-NFL player Carlton Haselrig defeated IFL veteran Shane Ott at BCX 4 on Saturday night in Atlantic City, with Haselrig pounding out an impressive TKO win in only his first MMA fight. But the victory wasn't without controversy, as the former Pittsburgh Steeler was permitted to wear a football helmet and shoulder pads in the cage - something which may have given him an unfair advantage. "We're looking into it," said an official with the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. "If we find that Haselrig's hard plastic helmet with facemask and full shoulder pads did in fact give him a competitive edge, appropriate action will be taken." No word yet on what that action may be, although it would likely mean the bout would be ruled a "no contest" and Haselrig would have to take back his touchdown victory dance.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

BodogFIGHT: Where Did It Go Wrong?

Recent reports indicate that billionaire Calvin Ayre's BodogFIGHT is in its final death throes. This news - while disappointing - doesn't come as a shock, as industry insiders have been witnessing the promotion hemorrhage money since its inception in 2006. Where did BodogFIGHT go wrong? Some may point to the dismal pay-per-view buy rates for their "USA vs. Russia" and "Clash of Nations" shows, the poorly-attended "Alvarez vs. Lee" event, or the ill-conceived reality TV series broadcast on the barely-watched ION Television network. However, one thing above all else was the biggest nail in BodogFIGHT's coffin: the size of the food and drink spread backstage. At their event in Trenton, New Jersey, a hot buffet of sliced roast beef, roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables complimented a large selection of fresh fruit, juice and granola bars - an offering that, though appreciated, was both excessive and unnecessary. Is there a direct correlation between the success of an organization and the free grub it provides? During Zuffa's early years of UFC ownership they went overboard with their backstage fingerfoods; they have since mended their ways and now thrive. Conversely, Pride's own catered spread was legendary. Where are they now? Even the IFL has wised up, offering up a stack of pizzas to the press and nothing more. When an autopsy is performed on BodogFIGHT, analysts will no doubt claim that losses outstripped profits or similar financial mumbo-jumbo. But smaller promotions succeeded with far less in terms of resources - and they only handed out bottles of water.

Bisping Talks Trash. I Think.

Although the welterweight title bout between Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre headlines UFC 83 this weekend, the middleweight match-up of TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping and TUF 4 veteran Charles McCarthy has garnered quite a bit of attention - due in no small part Bisping's knack for trash talking. MMA Journalist caught up with the articulate Brit to get his thoughts on his upcoming fight. "My read and write? I'm telling you, mate, the bloke's brown bread." Is Bisping concerned at all with McCarthy's jiu-jitsu? "Ha! E's a vertical bacon sandwich, e' is. Always rabbitting on about something, but the ginger will quiet up once I punch 'im in the mincer and give 'im an ocean liner. Know wha' I mean, geezah? Now excuse me, but I 'ave one in the departure lounge and 'ave to float a sausage to the seaside."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

St. Pierre Out to Prove There's More to Canada Than Snow and Maple Syrup

Georges St. Pierre will finally get his rematch against welterweight champ Matt Serra at this Saturday's UFC 83 in Montreal, but to the young Canadian there's more to the bout than simple revenge. For on April 19th, St. Pierre intends to show the world that he's the best 170-pounder out there - and he wants to prove that there's more to his native country than just snow and maple syrup. "We are a proud people full of culture and refinement," said the former champ from his log cabin in the Yukon. With his pet moose "Matilda" grunting in the background, St. Pierre continued. "We do not sit around and speak French and wear fur hats all the time. We also train very, very hard in the mixed martial arts. You will see. At UFC 83, I will put down my poutine - which is a popular Quebecois dish consisting of french fries, cheese curds and gravy - and reclaim the belt that was mine."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Proving Grounds: The New Kid on the Amateur MMA Block

"Proving Grounds" is the latest amateur MMA promotion to sprout up, and it's the child of veteran promoters Lou Neglia & Ray Longo. On Saturday night, representatives from some of the top fight teams in New York and New Jersey stepped into the cage at the Recreation Center in Rahway. A good time was had by all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Ode to MMA's Mystery Men

They come out of nowhere to headline a local event or appear on some big show undercard. They possess enough raw talent and skill to kick serious ass, and when the dust settles fans are left scratching their heads, wondering where the hell these guys came from. They are MMA's mystery men, and whether they've spent the last few years mixing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai or toiling on the mats in some isolated Russian conclave, they have always been the X-factors of the sport. On this week's "Iron Ring", Northeast mystery man and jiu-jitsu brown belt JoJo Guarin got royally screwed out of a submission win but looked great in process, while sambo specialist Oleg Savitsky will step into the cage to throw down at this Friday's YAMMA event in Atlantic City. And though they might not be carbon copies of the sport's greatest mystery man in BJ Penn (who emerged from the shadows at UFC 31 to dominate and become one of the best), fighters like Guarin and Savitsky - and Billy Craparo, Shannon McGee and countless others - will always be the secret ingredient in MMA's recipe for success.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Very Brief Interview with Randy Couture

Wayward UFC champ Randy Couture was at the IFL's "New Blood, New Battles" event in New Jersey on Friday to corner Jay Hieron, and while holding the door to the front entrance of the arena open for the fighting legend, MMA Journalist conducted this very brief interview before the show.

MMA Journalist: "Hey man."

Couture: "Hey stud."

MMA Journalist: "How you doing?"

Couture: "I'm doing good."

MMA Journalist: "Cool."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Jim Miller Makes IFL Rue the Day They Signed Him

If the International Fight League is a parade, then Jim Miller is rain. At the IFL's "New Blood, New Battles" event at the IZOD Center on Friday, incumbent star Bart Palaszewski - one of the organization's top 155-pound fighters - stepped into the ring against Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu representative Miller and was completely handled for all three rounds. How badly was he handled? After the event, four crates of "Bartimus is #1" giant foam fingers were found in a dumpster behind the arena, and it's rumored that IFL founder Kurt Otto approached Palaszewski backstage and demanded the Midwest Combat fighter repay all the money the organization had spent on promoting him. Yes, Miller is a definite monkey wrench in whatever works the IFL had in mind for their lightweight division, and with champ Ryan Schultz taking on Miller's teammate Deividas Taurosevicius (a bout that Schultz will likely lose), the only logical match-up left for Miller is Chris Horodecki - which means the value of another heavily-pushed IFL star will be reduced to zero. Miller, with his seamless wrestling and jiu-jitsu, is destined to make the IFL rue the day they signed him.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Official EliteXC/Strikeforce Salaries

MMA Journalist has obtained a list of the official salaries paid to competitors for Saturday night's EliteXC/Strikeforce event in San Jose, California. As was reported to the California State Athletic Commission, the Frank Shamrock/Cung Le-headlined show drew a "shitload" of fans (a "crapload" of which paid for tickets), making this one of the company's most successful outings to date. The total payroll was listed as "a pittance". The salary figures are as follows:
-Cung Le (who defeated Shamrock): $10,000 in gold doubloons, a signed copy of Stephen King's "It" and the soundtrack to "Grease-The Original Broadway Cast" on 8-track tape. -Frank Shamrock: $3,000 worth of strippers. -Drew Fickett (who defeated Jae S. Lim): 1,000 pesos, an electric moustache trimmer and a gigantic wheel of aged swiss cheese. -Jae S. Lim: one square meal. -Gilbert Melendez (who defeated Gabe Lemley): $40.67 and the complete "Lord of the Rings" DVD box set. -Gabe Lemley: a pack of smokes. -Wayne Cole (who defeated Mike Kyle): $800 worth of food stamps plus the respect and adulation of the MMA community. -Mike Kyle: Rorion Gracie's "The Basics of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Volume 1" on Betamax. -Joey Villasenor (who defeated Ryan Jensen): a red 1982 Volkswagon Bug with tinted windows. -Ryan Jensen: a Team Quest T-shirt. -Billy Evangelista (who defeated Marlon Sims): the leadership position in Sim's underground-dwelling band of mutants known as the "Morlocks". -Marlon Sims: the right to add five more streetfighting victories to his record. -Tiki Ghosn, Luke Stewart, Darren Uyenoyama, Anthony Figueroa, Jesse Jones and Jesse Gillespie weren't paid anything, and actually gave EliteXC/Strikeforce officials money to compete on the card.

Spoilers for TUF 7: "Ultimate Housing Projects"

The seventh season of "The Ultimate Fighter" premieres tonight on SpikeTV after the live UFN broadcast, and while it is well-known that UFC champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and TUF veteran Forrest Griffin are coaches and that the season will begin with 32 fighters competing just to be on the show, new details have emerged regarding the pre-recorded but highly-secretive series. SPOILER WARNING: -Unlike prior seasons, which took place in a lavish house in Las Vegas, this season takes place in on the 23rd floor of the Oprah Q. Winfrey Housing Projects located in East Harlem, New York City. -Of the 32 competitors vying for the 16 vacant slots, only 24 actually get to fight. Three are stabbed, two are shot, two jump out of windows and one is arrested in a drug sweep. -Rampage joins the Nation of Islam and invites Louis Farrakhan to be a guest trainer. The UFC champ promises to defeat Griffin's team "by any means necessary". -Griffin, under pressure from housing project residents to vacate the premises, averts disaster by convincing the crowd that they're filming the next season of BET's "Iron Ring". Shouts of "Kill whitey! Kill whitey!" are changed to "Kill the head and the body will follow! There's no warming up on the streets!" -Dana White is mugged and the UFC Hummer is stolen and stripped for parts.

Breaking News: UFC Fighter "Looking for Victory"

This just in to the MMA Journalist newsroom: according to a report on, one of the competitors in tonight's UFC Fight Night event in Colorado actually wants to win his bout. Thanks to the investigative efforts of veteran journalists Greg Savage and Dave Mandel, a six-minute news video titled "Florian Looking For Victory at UFN" reveals that a UFC fighter - possibly Kenny Florian - does not want to lose at the SpikeTV-broadcasted event, and in fact wants to emerge from his bout with a "W". If true, this is news that will no doubt send shockwaves through the MMA community - and make Savage and Mandel the Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of our generation. Stay tuned for more as this situation develops.