Thursday, July 31, 2008
Lightweight UFC poster boy Roger Huerta, who gained notoriety when he made the cover of Sports Illustrated and who will be facing Kenny Florian at UFC 87 for number one contender status, lashed out at his employers in a recent interview with Fight! Magazine. At the top of his list of gripes is, of course, pay, with the Mexican-American making Nevada's minimum wage of $6.85 per hour. It doesn't stop there. According to Huerta, he's often told to mow Dana White's lawn or perform other gardening and landscaping tasks, and on numerous occasions has been paid in pesos. "Come on, man," he says. "That's not cool. I was born here. And I don't even speak Spanish." Huerta reportedly has only two bouts left on his contract; only time will tell if this will affect contract renegotiations.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
James Irvin, who recently lost to Anderson Silva in the UFC middleweight champ's foray into the light-heavyweight division at UFN 14, has tested positive for everything according to a Nevada State Athletic Commission post-fight drug test. Known for his strong striking skills and recurring injuries, Irvin took the bout against Silva on relatively short notice. He now faces a fine and suspension pending a disciplinary hearing. Said NSAC bossman Keith Kizer, "Methadone, oxymorphone, ibuprofen, lidocaine, dextromethorphan, moonshine, Tylenol PM, SpaghettiOs - you name it, he tested positive for it." Added Kizer: "That's actually pretty impressive."
Monday, July 28, 2008
- At "Unfinished Business", EliteXC listened to the hardcore MMA fans and put together a show that definitely pleased them all. According to preliminary ratings reports, however, no one but hardcore fans watched the damn thing. - Cris Cyborg, Wanderlei Silva's transexual brother, looked scary beating down Shayna Baszler. Can Gina Carano save us from her brand of Brazilian lovin'? - Jake Shields made it look easy. Yes, it does indeed say "Bad Motherfucker" on his wallet. - Thomas Denny was an excellent human punching bag for Nick Diaz. But for all his faults, the "Wildman" sure did show a ton of heart. Bravo, man. Bravo. - With heavy hands, a well-rounded game and legitimate credentials, Robbie Lawler is everything EliteXC could want in a middleweight champ. I bet the UFC regrets his departure now, eh?
Ron Scott Stevens, the chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission and hater of all things mixed martial arts, has been given the boot. His replacement: Melvina Lathan. MMA Journalist spoke with Commissioner Lathan a few months ago and learned that she's a big fan of the sport. Sweet!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Regardless of the eye-injury that sidelined him in the finals, Philadelphia-born messiah Eddie Alvarez is the real winner of last weekend's Dream 5 Lightweight Grand Prix. He took out Andre Amade, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Joachim Hansen in impressive fashion to earn his berth in the finals, and though Hansen stepped in as an alternate to defeat Shinya Aoki when Alvarez was deemed unable to continue, the Nordic warrior can't really be all that proud of his new championship belt knowing he had to eat a unanimous decision loss along the way. So who is this Alvarez cat who's taken the international MMA scene by storm? Gather round kids, 'cause MMA Journalist was there when his career first began in the New Jersey fight circuit. - December '03 - Alvarez stepped into the ring for the first time at ROC 5, where he took out Team Serra/Longo rookie Anthony LaDonna. Takedown to punches from the mount to KO and it was all over in about four minutes. - April '04 - Alvarez had no trouble steamrolling over Pitts Penn fighter Adam Fearon at ROC 6, with Fearon tapping out in two minutes. - October '04 - Reality Fighting 7 saw the Alvarez phenemon take shape, as hundreds of cheering fans filled the stands to watch the Philly slugger KO grappler Chris Schlesinger in a minute. This phenemon caught the attention of MFC matchmaker Miguel Iturate, who scooped Alvarez up in the hopes that he'd reverse the promotion's ailing ticket sales. - February '05 - "USA vs. the World" was the theme of this MFC, and Alvarez stepped up to TKO Seichi Ikemoto. This one wasn't even close. - May '05 - MFC's "USA vs. Russia" pitted Alvarez against Danila Veselov. By now the word was out: don't let Alvarez punch you. The Russian got punched midway through the second round and it was all over. - November '05 - Daisuke Hanazawa fell at MFC's "USA vs. Japan" show. Alvarez's fans took up entire sections, and they went bananas and crowded the ring when he fought. The star even got his own pre-fight video montage - the only fighter on the card to get one. - June '06 - MFC put together another "USA vs. Russia" card, although Alvarez's bout with UFC vet Derrick Noble is more of a superfight. The legend of Alvarez had grown enough at this point to warrant a visit from West Coaster Jeff Sherwood (aka Sherdog). Sherwood predicted a KO win by Noble before the fight. Alvarez knocked Noble out in a minute. Sherwood conceded that Alvarez was the real deal. - After that, Alvarez hit the road, wrecking Hidenobu Koike in Japan, smoking Aaron Riley in British Columbia, and trouncing Scott Henze in Costa Rica. In Russia Nick Thompson handed Alvarez his only loss, but redemption came when he returned to the Garden State and defeated Matt Lee. And the rest is history.
Apparently all you need to earn a fight on network television is interesting hair. Don't believe me? Just ask perpetual journeyman Thomas "Wildman" Denny, a regional West Coast fighter who's fought and lost to some of the best while touting a curious array of hairstyles. On Saturday night, EliteXC returns to CBS with "Unfinished Business", a sophomore effort that will feature Robbie Lawler rematching with Scott Smith, Shayna Baszler spine-locking Cristiane Cyborg, and Jake Shields and Nick Thompson exchanging grooming tips in the cage. But the real star of the evening will be Denny's ever-changing locks when he takes on stoner Nick Diaz. Will the Wildman rock the cornrows? Will he go the multicolored route? Or will the mid-level fighter with the on-staff hairdresser throw down whilst sporting a pompadour, mohawk or bouffant? Only time will tell. But on Saturday night you can count on two things: Denny will lose, and his hair will be spectacular.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Nefarious. Dastardly. Villainous. These are words often used to describe UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, whose latest act of treachery is the August 9th UFC 87 match-up between New York bad boy Jon Jones and New Jersey star Andre Gusmao. By rights, this pairing of explosive and ultra-exciting fighters belongs to fans in the Northeast - perhaps something savored as the main event on a ROC or BCX. Yet Silva wants otherwise. And now fans at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and on pay-per-view around the world, will get Jones vs. Gusmao instead. Sadly, this isn't the first time Silva has done this (the rematch between Pete "Drago" Sell and Chris Liguori was considered for UFC 45) and it likely won't be the last. Is no top-level fighter sacred? Will the Northeast ever get to keep one of its best athletes to itself? With Silva the Trickster, Silva the God of Mischief and Deceit, around to fulfill dreams and offer up lucrative contracts, probably not.
Trainer/manager Mike Constantino of the AMA Fight Club in New Jersey announced today that Jim and Dan Miller have been signed by the UFC. With flawless wrestling and top-notch submission skills, Jim has cut a swath through the Northeast's lightweights. He's won a slew of championship belts, and has wins over the likes of Chris Liguori and Bart Palaszewski. Older brother Dan - also a grappling stud - has done much of the same in the 185-pound weightclass, with his kneebar win over Miletich-trained Ryan McGivern garnering him the IFL title. How good are these guys? At the news that they were graduating to the UFC, the Northeast's lightweights and middleweights breathed a collective sigh of relief. Believe it, baby.
Monday, July 21, 2008
- Matt Lindland edged out Brazilian newcomer Fabio "Negao" Nascimento for the unanimous decision win after a grueling three-round fight, which served to remind fans yet again that the "Law" is boring as hell. Boring. As. Hell. - Megadeth? Really? - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Mike Pyle, Babalu, Mark Hominick and Vitor Belfort all scored victories by various means. According to the promoter, they will all fight champ Fedor Emelianenko simultaneously at the next event. Pyle and Hominick are even allowed to bring guns. - Megadeth? Seriously? - Josh Barnett's KO of Pedro Rizzo was a thing of beauty, and avenged Barnett's 2001 loss to the Brazilian slugger. Rizzo now must return Barnett's collection of Robotech: "The Macross Saga" DVDs and life-size Gundam replica. - Andre Arlovski crushed Ben Rothwell's soul. That's it. Nothing more needs to be said. - Megadeth? Really? This isn't some sort of joke? - Fedor's bout with Tim Sylvia lasted only 36 seconds. Why so quick? Fedor wanted to get back home so he could watch UFC Fight Night 14 on DVR.
- CB Dollaway finished Jesse Taylor in impressive fashion, punctuating a very exciting and memorable season of TUF. Um, not. - Kevin Burns defeated Anthony Johnson via bout-ending gouge to the eyes. Afterwards, Burns assured fans that he has a full arsenal of such techniques at his disposal, including the throat-bite, the groin-kick and the chair-busted-over-opponent's-head-when-opponent-isn't-looking. Expect big things from this future champ. - Frankie Edgar looked great controlling Hermes Franca with repeated takedowns. Unfortunately, Edgar's win will be tarnished when Franca tests positive for rollerskates in his post-fight drug screen. - Brandon Vera and Reese Andy clashed and... zzzzzzz... zzzzzz... *snore* zzzzz... - UFC middleweight monster Anderson Silva dispatched light-heavyweight James Irvin in a minute and one second. Why so quickly? Silva wanted to get home and watch Affliction on DVR.
Point: Fedor is God - Holy moley! Can you believe how fast Fedor Emelianenko wrecked former UFC champ Tim Sylvia at Saturday night's Affliction: "Banned" event? Thirty-six seconds and the giant from Maine was bloody and tapping. The Russian sambo player and Pride champ was large and in charge from beginning to end. Wow! If they ever meet in the ring, I'm not sure Randy Couture could defeat him. Clearly, Fedor is God. Counterpoint: Fedor is not God - Whatevs, bro. Fedor ain't no God. At most he's a minor diety. Like Ares or Thor or something.
Friday, July 18, 2008
An MMA "superweekend" is upon us, as Affliction: "Banned" debuts on pay-per-view on Saturday night, UFC Fight Night 14 airs concurrently on SpikeTV, and DREAM's lightweight grand prix in Japan will conclude early Monday (for those of us checking out the play-by-play on Sherdog.com). MMA Journalist is breaking out its crystal ball to forecast what will happen at this veritable buffet of combat. - At Affliction, headliners Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia will clash in epic fashion. No one outside of MMA's hardcore fanbase will know the results, nor will they care. - At UFC Fight Night 14, middleweight champ Anderson Silva will have his hands full with light-heavyweight opponent James Irvin. Specifically, his hands will be full of the back of Irvin's neck as the Brazilian delivers a storm of bout-ending knees to Irvin's grill. - At UFC Fight Night 14, Frankie Edgar will go for a takedown at some point. Also, he will get it. - At Affliction, Mike Pyle, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Mike Whitehead and Matt Lindland will be paid in T-shirts adorned with designs of skulls, flames and other masculine things. - At UFC Fight Night 14, IFL expats Reese Andy, Rory Markham and Brad Blackburn will receive their paychecks, deposit them into their bank accounts, and be pleasantly surprised the checks don't bounce. You know, because that's what they're used to. - At DREAM, Eddie Alvarez will defeat his first Japanese opponent, but before he can compete in the final bout the promoters will make him complete the nigh-impossible "Ninja Warrior" obstacle course. He will do it.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This just in! Famed celebrity gossip website TMZ.com is reporting that former UFC light-heavyweight champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has been arrested for felony hit and run in California. Sources on the scene say that Rampage, while hopped up on goofballs, chased by paparazzi and on the phone with hotel heiress Paris Hilton, drove his monster truck over Lindsay Lohan's lawn (crushing three Tiffany's garden gnomes in the process) then struck two parked cars before police were able to catch up with him. LAPD officers allegedly zapped the UFC star with tasers and beat him with nightsticks while shouting racial epithets. Said "Friends" actress Jennifer Aniston: "Oh, it's horrible." Stay tuned for more as TMZ.com reports the unbiased news to us.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Bust out the Fail-O-Meter. Affliction: "Banned" will air on pay-per-view this Saturday opposite SpikeTV's UFC Fight Night 14, which means that: a) fight fans will have a chance to pay to see Fedor Emelianenko fight Tim Sylvia; b) fight fans will have a chance to see Anderson Silva destroy James Irvin on free TV; and, c) Affliction will make enough money to cover the cost of maybe 90 seconds of the Fedor/Sylvia bout, but everything after those 90 seconds and everything on the rest of the card is going to have to be written off as a financial loss. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Affliction, I'm thrilled they've put together a card of top fighters, and I wish them success. But reality has a way of slapping wanna-be UFCs (with a little money to burn and no viable revenue stream) in the face, and Affliction is going to get slapped pretty damn hard. Prediction: in terms of projected losses, someone will take a big hit on Saturday - and it ain't the UFC.
Battle Cage Xtreme had their fifth event on Saturday night, and with seven belts on the line, the event provided a healthy dose of ass-kickery. Some notes: -Joey Camacho absolutely crushed Micah Goss, proving yet again that he's more than capable of bringing the fury. A post-fight Goss looked like he'd been in a car wreck. -The unbreakable Don Wagner, old school warrior Joey Brown and last-minute replacement Andrew Montanez all fought their hearts out right up to the final bell, despite being on the losing end earlier on. You gotta love it. -Why can't Kevin Roddy ever get a split decision to go his way? He's so damn talented and skilled. Props to Dwayne Shelton for not getting caught by the K-Rod sub machine. -Jon Jones is good but he still needs to be tested. Someone like Brendan Barrett, Costa Phillippou or Ricardo Romero won't be overwhelmed by Jones' speed and athleticism. -Tim Troxell looked great (as usual) but Lester Caslow was pretty impressive for hanging in there, and he even had the Trox rocked at one point. On paper, I thought this would've been a mismatch, but Caslow proved he belonged. -Joe Abouata exposed Carlton Haselrig as a one-dimensional wrestler. Oh wait, we already knew that. Well, Abouata looked fantastic either way.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The Underground Combat League's latest installment was last night, and the event - dubbed "Apocalypse" - featured impressive performances by Josh Candon, Chaz Dimitropoulos, Marwin Roque and Kirkland Campbell. A Fox News camera crew was on hand to document the evening.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Battle Cage Xtreme's fifth outing will grace the Tropicana Casino & Resort on Saturday night with its brand of premiere local MMA action, and no less than seven championship belts are on the line. However, in a sport where almost anything can happen, at BCX 5 there are a few things that definitely won't. For example: -Carlton Haselrig will not win via omoplata. Nope. No sir. -Hercules Benjamin will not throw a spinning back kick. At least, not successfully. -Carlos Eduardo's cornermen will not, at any point, shout anything in English. Except maybe curse words. -Joey Brown will not turn to his traditional full contact karate background and perform a kata. -Jon Jones will not not throw any punches, nor will he not not attempt to suplex his opponent. I guarantee it. -Joey Camacho will not forego takedown attempts in lieu of just getting his opponent to the ground via gestures and harsh language. -Kevin Roddy will not snag an armbar when Dwayne Shelton is in his guard. Unless he wants to. Then it's his.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Last week the Association of Boxing Commissioners met for their annual conference and hammered out some new weight classes for the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts (versions of which are followed by New Jersey, Nevada, California and most of the free world). In addition, certain fouls were added, certain fouls were removed and clarification was added to existing prohibitions, while a proposed amendment to the "no knees to the head of a downed opponent" rule was shot down. What else was proposed but did not make the final cut? MMA Journalist has obtained the following list from the conference transcript: - 1) When facing Kimbo Slice, opponents must never attempt to take the fight to the ground. - 2) No one can speak ill of Dana White. Ever. Seriously. - 3) Gina Carano is no longer required to make her contracted weight. For her, weight classes are merely a suggestion. - 4) Team-based MMA, with cockamamie team names like the "Washington Woodchucks", "Seattle Squid", "Tulsa Tumbleweeds", etc., is not allowed. - 5) Dear God, no more promotions from online gambling moguls. Please. - 6) Are we ordering pizza for lunch? If so, put me down for a pepperoni. Also, a diet Pepsi. - 7) "The Ultimate Fighter" must go on forever and ever, until Zuffa and SpikeTV have milked every dollar and modicum of talent possible from fans and fighters. - 8) Nick Lembo cannot possibly think that tie matches his shirt, can he? - 9) If you think that's bad, you should've seen Armando Garcia's sombrero from last year. - 10) Wait, are we being recorded?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Alexandre "Pequeno" Nogueira, a former Shooto champ and legendary master of the ten-finger guillotine, has tested positive for steroids. Pequeno (which means "cheater" in Portuguese) last fought at WEC 34 in Sacramento, California, where he lost via second-round beatdown to Jose "Just Some Scrub" Aldo. For failing his post-fight drug test, the decorated Brazilian featherweight has garnered himself a year-long suspension and a healthy dose of the "sully" of his good name.
Veteran journo Shu Hirata of "boutreviewusa.com" and "adcombat.com" is reporting that the July 24th Smackgirl show in Japan has been cancelled, leaving a big question mark over the organization's future. Say it ain't so! Smackgirl is the longest-running female MMA promotion in the world, and despite a 30-seconds-on-the-ground rule, it has produced some badass bouts and tournaments. What went wrong with the organization that has featured likes of Laura D'Auguste, Hitomi Akano, Tara LaRosa, Roxanne Modafferi, Amanda Buckner and Megumi Fuji? According to Hirata, a loss of a major sponsor and a cash shortage are the most likely culprits, but everyone is waiting on Smackgirl to make an official announcement. Stay tuned for more.
Monday, July 7, 2008
-Tyson Griffin looked impressive out-working his opponent for the unanimous decision win. Unfortunately, commentators Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan again remarked about the size of his butt. It makes me feel uncomfortable and icky. -Josh Koscheck and Chris Lytle did an excellent job re-enacting that scene in Friday the 13th Part 4 when Jason hacks up those coeds and gets blood everywhere. Very convincing. -Melvin Guillard defeated Denis Siver via quick knockout, shaking the very foundation of the lightweight rankings. -Neither Patrick Cote nor Ricardo Almeida showed anything that could prove to be a threat to middleweight champ Anderson Silva. In fact, I think both fighters realized this going into the last round, so they made concerted efforts to lose knowing the winner would have to face certain doom. -Forrest Griffin clearly won against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Which just goes to show that tons of hard work, unwavering dedication and literally selling your soul to the Devil can get you a UFC championship belt.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
This month's issue of Full Contact Fighter has an article on Team Tiger Schulmann welterweight Lyman Good, an undefeated stud destined for big things. Pick up a copy, or check out a pdf of the article at the Tiger Schulmann website (http://www.tsk.com/imgs/news/2008pics/lyman.pdf).