Friday, October 31, 2008
Looking to put his days as a drug mule for the Mexican cartel behind him, 145-pound scrapper Leonard Garcia is very focused on his upcoming WEC 36 bout against former UFC champ Jens Pulver - his first bout back since being swept up in a DEA investigation in March. Garcia's arrest and detainment, which kept him on ice for months, left fans wondering if they'd see the man who battled Roger Huerta and Cole Miller in the Octagon ever again. "That's all behind me now," says Garcia, who sometimes regurgitates old cocaine-filled balloons after intense workouts. "I'm an MMA fighter. That's my job. Not ferrying drugs." The November 5th WEC 36 also features a featherweight championship bout between Urijah Faber and Mike Brown and will air live on the Versus cable channel.
Tomorrow night, at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, Sengoku will trudge forward with its sixth event - an event that brings us the final two rounds of its lightweight and middleweight grand prix tournaments, plus some moderately interesting bouts featuring Takanori Gomi, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (yes, the brother of that dude on TUF 8), Jorge Masvidal and Joe Doerksen. Like DREAM, Sengoku is struggling to fill the void Pride FC left behind, and like DREAM, there are some compelling match-ups on deck that could affect fighter rankings worldwide. And sadly, like DREAM, Sengoku will most likely garner the attention of only hardcore fans here in the States. In the past year, Sengoku and DREAM have given studs like Roger Gracie, Eddie Alvarez, Josh Barnett and a ton of others a platform to show the international audience that they're bad, bad men and worthy of respect. It's behooves any true MMA fan to visit sites like http://Sherdog.com and http://www.japan-mma.com/ and check these events out.
Sometimes promising athletes realize their full potential, sometimes they don't. At an Underground Combat League event in December of 2004, 200-pound Bronx native Kaream Ellington clashed with 335-pound wrestling monster Bryan Vetell. It was a true "David vs. Goliath" bout that saw "David" survive almost seven grueling minutes of ground and pound to turn the tables and get the tap out via strikes. The win made the crowd go absolutely berserk, and it seemed to set Ellington's career back on track - a year and a half later the Muay Thai-trained warrior was dodging Kenichi Yamamoto's leglocks at the Mixed Fighting Championship in Atlantic City, then it was off to Costa Rica for BodogFIGHT and off to Japan for a match against a Brazilian. But now it's been two years since Ellington last fought. Will we ever see the talented competitor - who won an IFC tournament in New Jersey back in 2000, fought at seminal Garden State show BAMA FightNight and won a four-man tournament at the first UCL - fight again? With Ellington's personal problems, that's hard to answer. He will, however, always be the man who gutted out a win against "Goliath" to show New York City fight fans what a mixed martial artist was capable of. Realized or unrealized potential notwithstanding, that's something.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
DREAM may be interested in Seth "Promotion Killer" Petruzelli for their New Years Eve event, according to preliminary reports. The Japanese fight organization is famous for circus freak show bouts with the likes of Bob Sapp, Don Frye and Akebono, and is considering hosting a Petruzelli/Kimbo Slice rematch - which would give Petruzelli an opportunity to reveal whatever DREAM secrets he could in post-event interviews. "We like what Mr. Petruzelli did to EliteXC," said DREAM president Sadaharu Tanigawa. "DREAM has been fixing fights for a while now, and what better way to reveal that to the public than to have the Promotion Killer do it for us?" No word yet on whether Slice will be available for this match-up.
The seventh episode of TUF 8, blah, blah, blah. Eccentric assistant coach Stankie was very subdued this week, as prior to filming he'd spent a few nights in Clark County Jail for bringing a live grenade into famed strip joint Spearmint Rhino. Hey man, it wasn't like he was going to pull the pin or anything.
- Coach Mir's victory speech to Junie Browning consisted of a lot of "Dude, you suck!" and a tiny bit of "But congrats anyway". Interesting coaching style, buddy.
- Running on a treadmill with a scuba mask on and diving into a giant ice bath? Last night, Wanderlei Silva was sitting in his living room with his conditioning coach, and they were laughing their asses off at the young fighters tricked into taking part in these elaborate pranks disguised as "cutting-edge training methods".
- Why is Shane Nelson getting camera time? Didn't he already get beat? He should be out mowing a lawn somewhere.
- Okay, let me get this straight: Krzysztof Soszynski requests a body bag and the producers don't flip out? Come on. You just know Dana White got a phone call on that one.
- Fiery Brazilian drama between Coach Nogueira and Vinicius Magalhaes alert! Woot-woot! Someone is defintely getting stabbed with one of those giant meat skewers they use at churrascarias.
- Vinny's fight against Jules Bruchez was a solid ten on the "meh" meter.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
In an official statement released yesterday, UFC heavyweight champ Randy Couture declared that size doesn't matter, refuting a spam email he received claiming that "bigger iz betta in da bedroom!!!1" (sic). The MMA legend, who has often found himself dwarfed by opponents in and out of the cage, went on to state that "it's not the size of the fighter in the fight, but the size of the fight in the fighter" - a belief that, coupled with his superior wrestling pedigree and unwavering work ethic, has yielded him belts in both the light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions as well as countless girlfriends and wives. "I'm not a big guy," said Couture. "But I know how to use what I have." Couture returns to the Octagon at UFC 91 after a well-publicized resignation and subsequent legal battle. He'll face 265-pound behemoth Brock Lesnar.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Pete "Drago" Sell, who defeated Josh Burkman via unanimous decision at UFC 90 to snap a four-fight losing streak, credits his win and new found focus to Scientology, and in a post-event interview, thanks the L. Ron Hubbard science fiction novel-based religion for putting him back on the winning track. "Yo, my thetan levels are off the hook now," says the Team Serra/Longo welterweight and TUF 4 veteran, who regularly socializes with John Travolta and Tom Cruise at official Church of Scientology meetings. He adds: "The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology." No word yet on when Sell will return to the Octagon.
UFC grand poobah Dana White revealed that his organization could not afford the services of Kimbo Slice, and at UFC 90's post-event press conference White made an impassioned plea to the EliteXC/CBS star that he fight for free on "The Ultimate Fighter". Slice, who's fought in the number one and number three most-watched MMA bouts in US history, earned $700,000 for his last bout (not counting sponsorship money); a standard TUF competitor earns nothing but can keep whatever he manages to steal from the UFC training center. Based on these figures alone, it's highly unlikely someone with Slice's popularity and drawing power would take the step down TUF represents. White, however, sounded hopeful, and even went so far as to issue his trademark interrogative. "Kimbo, do you want to be a broke-ass fighter?"
Monday, October 27, 2008
TUF 8 competitor and all-around killer Phillipe Nover will be holding an episode eight viewing party on November 5th. Obviously, Nover fights on that episode. The Aviator Sports and Recreation Center in Brooklyn is the location (just south of the Belt Parkway), and the festivities begin at 8pm. Check out http://phillipenover.blogspot.com/ for more details.
Dan Miller - IFL middleweight champ, ace grappler and older brother of lightweight badass Jim Miller - was successful in upholding his family's proud tradition of winning in the Octagon, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Matt Horwich at UFC 90 this past Saturday. Thanks to some tough genes and a solid work ethic, the tradition, which began when Grand Pappy Miller defeated Zulu in a 1936 UFC bout, has held strong for three generations. And if the Millers have their way it will continue for generations to come. Said former babysitter Alissa Handerson, "Yeah, the Millers... they're tough. Rowdy, but very, very tough."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
- Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin fought a fantastic fight. However, it was extremely disturbing to hear Randy Couture cursing like a sailor in Griffin's corner. Extremely disturbing.
- What is Rich Clementi? He's crafty. Crafty. I don't know why that's stuck in my head. Oh wait, yes I do - it's because Joe Rogan said it two billion times.
- Thiago Alves could very well demolish Georges St. Pierre.
- Anderson Silva is the nicest guy in the world. After all, he did carry Patrick Cote for two rounds in their championship bout.
Friday, October 24, 2008
UFC 90 on Saturday night! Anderson Silva committing another legal murder! Wahoo! Here's a list of things that won't happen at this Rosemont, Illinois event:
- Patrick Cote is not going to emerge from his bout with Silva unscathed. In fact, he's going to be scathed. Very, very scathed.
- Josh Koscheck is not going to reveal his ethnicity in his victory speech.
- Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin are not going to employ any wrestling in their lightweight battle. Psych!
- Matt Horwich is not going to invoke Satan is his pre-fight warm-up.
- The corner men of Hermes Franca and Marcus Aurelio will not shout any instructions in Portuguese. Psych!
Last night MTV's True Life documentary series featured an episode called "I am a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter", which had an amateur from Colorado named Ian Stone fighting in a local event, Muay Thai champ Kit Cope fighting in Atlantic City against some scrub, and UFC lightweight star Frankie Edgar taking on Gray Maynard. Some thoughts:
- Stone is a good example of what's wrong with MMA kids today. I mean, he cooked that lone egg he was eating for dinner. Rocky Balboa would've eaten it raw.
- It was good to see Cope and girlfriend Aubrey together again after she'd stood by his side on that True Life: "I am a Muay Thai Fighter" from a few years ago. The sport needs more interpersonal drama like that. Maybe they can hang out with that couple from True Life: "I am an Douchebag from Staten Island".
- The producers did an excellent job of showing that the venue was almost completely empty for Cope's fight at the World Fighting Championship in Atlantic City. They should have at least added in spectators via CGI, right?
- Edgar conducted an interview over the phone while driving. Whenever a fighter tells me he's driving during our phone interview, I worry that he'll get distracted and crash. No reporter wants to be the one to tell Dana White, "Um, yeah, so I was asking him about rumored pay cuts, and... boom! Sorry, man."
The Florida State Boxing Commission has concluded that no wrongdoing occurred in the Kimbo Slice/Seth Petruzelli bout from EliteXC's ill-fated October 4th card. Allegations of fight-fixing arose after Petruzelli claimed in a post-event radio interview that he was paid extra to keep the fight standing, with the resulting uproar over "Standgate" prompting the FSBC's investigation. "Dis is wicked news," said EliteXC figurehead Jared Shaw. "Now naffink stands in da way hof CBS buyin' us. Booyakasha!"
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Zach Arnold over at FightOpinion has an interesting discussion going on the topic of promoters paying off the media (link: http://www.fightopinion.com/2008/10/22/dana-whites-admission-that-will-likely-not-get-much-attention-but-really-should/). Basically, he blasts the UFC for having various journalists in their pocket, and he blasts journalists for being there in the first place. Having been in this business for a while, I can honestly say that the practice of buying off reporters, bloggers, editors, publishers, etc. is about as commonplace as staph in a jiu-jitsu academy (i.e., it's freakin' everywhere). Want a personal example? When Zuffa first took over, Dana White liked my glowing UFC 34 write-up so much, he told my boss that my hotel would be paid for whenever I covered UFC events. (Incidentally, my boss told Dana to go scratch; he didn't want anyone having that kind of control over who writes what.) The truth is, promoters often buy up a block of hotel rooms for staff and fighters, and members of the media will get what's left over. Add to that equation the backstage food spreads at shows (the UFC's used to be huge but was pared down over time, BodogFIGHT's was epic, the IFL's just consisted of stacks of pizzas), and you have a lot of people getting free stuff. Does it affect the story at the end of the day? I can't speak for anyone else, but I can say that it's never colored what I write. If I think an event sucks, no amount of lodging or grub is going to change that - and that's the truth. Now excuse me while I go sell these ROC and UCL t-shirts on eBay.
Last night brought us the sixth episode of the TUF 8 season, and we were treated to Junie Browning finally putting his money where his mouth is, coach Mir being a douche, and... wait for it... wait for it... STANKIE!
- Team Noguiera boxing coach Stankie is the best thing to ever happen to SpikeTV. Shouting "Fight, fight, kill, kill!" was just the tip of the iceberg. I just know he was out in the parking lot afterwards smashing windshields with a tire iron, and I have it on good authority that when the Team Mir van was shuttling the fighters back to the TUF house, Stankie tried to run it off the road with his beat-up 1974 Dodge Charger.
- Browning may never know how close to death he came for spitting on that black belt. Word is that Anderson Silva was mad as hell, and to release some of his anger, went over to one of the hanging bags and kicked it. The bag burst into flames.
- Based on his striking and wrestling ability, there's no question Roli Delgado is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
- Although he snagged the split decision, Browning did not impress with that performance. If he ever fights Phillipe Nover, Nover is going to take his head clean off.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Patrick Cote was finally told yesterday that his UFC 90 opponent is none other than middleweight champ Anderson Silva, a fact that was kept from the Canadian slugger since he signed the generic bout agreement months ago. Cote was reportedly kept in the dark by his management team because no one in their right mind would want to get in the cage with the man who destroyed former champ Rich Franklin twice and made short work of Pride champ Dan Henderson. Standing behind the podium at a press conference when he heard the news, Cote at first seemed shocked, then became dismayed. "Wait, I'm fighting who?" he said before throwing his UFC cap to the ground and storming off the stage. "Yeah, we didn't tell him who he was fighting," said Muay Thai trainer Mark DellaGrotte. DellaGrotte worked with Cote on possible strategies for the UFC 90 bout, including the "go fetal and cry" maneuver and the "tap out really, really fast" technique, and though DellaGrotte was successful in keeping the opponent's identity a secret, he feels strongly about Cote's chances. "If he does what we practiced, he may make it out of the cage alive. Unconscious, but alive." UFC 90 airs Saturday night on pay-per-view, and in addition to the Silva/Cote bout, it features a welterweight match-up between Thiago Alves and Josh Koscheck.
Showtime, the cable network that was home to EliteXC and ShoXC, sent this statement to MMA Journalist yesterday. I guess they got a taste of MMA and liked it. "ProElite officials have advised us that they will not be able to put on the EliteXC event scheduled for exhibition on Showtime on November 8. In view of Showtime's leadership role in sports programming, including boxing and mixed martial arts, we intend to explore other opportunities."
The sudden collapse of EliteXC has left more than a few fighters wondering where their next paycheck will come from, but Eddie Alvarez - who was slated to fight Nick Diaz for a championship belt at EliteXC's November 8th Showtime event - isn't all that worried. After all, the dude was BodogFIGHT's big star before they crapped the bed, and he cleaned house in Japan's DREAM tournament not too long ago. He should have no problems finding work. Last night MMA Journalist caught up with the Philadelphia superstar, and got his thoughts on the whole EliteXC debacle. "It's unfortunate for the promotion and it's unfortunate for the fighters who put all their eggs in one basket," he said. "I spread myself out and didn't put all my eggs in one basket, so I'm not too concerned. I have a great manager (Monte Cox) and I'm confident he'll find something for me." Added Alvarez: "I've been through this with Bodog so it's nothing new to me."
MMA Journalist tracked down longtime Kimbo Slice manager Icey Mike yesterday to get his perspective on the sudden downfall of EliteXC. Here are some quotes.
- "I'm doing good, man. Who is this?"
- "I don't know, man, I just found out about it yesterday (Monday). I thought they had a good show coming up in November, and now this."
- "All this happened yesterday and I don't know what's going on until I meet with [ProElite] and figure out where we're at."
- "Our plan was to fight again in January or February but it doesn't look like that's happening now."
- "We gotta talk with these guys and see where we're at with the contracts and stuff. We've never been in this situation before."
- "When everything is said and done, we'll take offers from everyone."
- "It's going to be hard for anybody to start and organization from the ground up, now. These guys had a lot going for them and they couldn't make it work."
- "So this is for the New York Times, right?"
Pick up a copy of today's Newsday (a Long Island newspaper and the tenth largest newspaper in the country) for an article on ProElite's demise written by yours truly. And in case you ever wonder why there's a lull in MMA Journalist posts... yes, it's because I'm cheating on you with other news outlets. I'm sorry you had to find out this way. Link: http://www.newsday.com/sports/custom/boxing/ny-spelite1022,0,2422751.story
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
EliteXC, the promotion that brought Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano and a slew of other talented fighters to prime time network television, is dead. An official autopsy report won't be available for some time, but it is strongly suspected that the cause of death centered around financial woes. It's no secret that EliteXC had recently taken to begging and panhandling for loose change, with some speculating that the organization's nights were spent walking the streets to solicit "johns" and turn tricks. If true, this would've been a sad turn of events for the promotion responsible for the first and third most-watched MMA bouts in US history (Slice vs. James Thompson and Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli). EliteXC's unfortunate demise leaves quite a few fighters without a home, but more importantly, it leaves fans with fewer opportunities to watch fights. Without question, this is a loss everyone in the sport will feel. No details have been released yet concerning possible funeral services.
Monday, October 20, 2008
A French magistrate has issued an arrest warrant for AMA Fight Club/Team Renzo lightweight Jim Miller, which stems from Miller's three-round raping of Parisien judoka David Baron at UFC 89. The bout, which was not shown on Saturday's SpikeTV broadcast but is available for free at UFC.com, featured a dominant performance by the New Jersey native, with Baron tapping out to a rear naked choke in the third round. Said Magistrate Claude Tete-du-Merde: "Ze people of France will not stand for this outrage. All guilty parties will be brought to justice!" There are no extradition agreements between France and New Jersey, and it is unclear how this may affect Miller's international fighting career.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
- This UFC proved to be the most painful to watch ever, as there were no less than three groin shots requiring a brief recovery time. I will be wearing a cup when I watch UFC 90, thank you very much.
- Paul Taylor was robbed when that decision went to Chris Lytle. Where's Scotland Yard when you need them?
- Why does Sokoudjou all of a sudden suck?
- Chris Leben and Michael Bisping fought a fantastic fight and Bisping more than deserved that win. But it really says something when your opponent chases you around the cage with his chin out and hands down, begging you to trade punches with him, and still you can't knock him out. If Bisping ever faces Anderson Silva, he's going to get slaughtered.
Friday, October 17, 2008
If the card holds together, then ROC 22 will bring us the return of one of New Jersey's most exciting fighters. That's right, Jay Isip is coming back. "Who?" you ask? Back when BAMA FightNight was the only show in town, Isip - who hails from Team Endgame and fights like a 155-pound wrestler on crystal meth - was kicking ass in Shootfighting tournaments, and he made the leap to Reality Fighting and Sportfighting when those promotions rolled around. Yes, his record sucks, but the dude had zero problems fighting the best (Kurt Pellegrino, Frankie Edgar, Deividas Taurosevicius), and every time he fought you could count on a balls-to-the-wall performance. Pray that when November 21st comes, Isip is still on the card.
UFC 89. Birmingham, England. SpikeTV. Yeah, right on. Anyway, the following is a list of things that definitely won't happen at the Michael Bisping/Chris Leben headlined event.
- Chris Leben will not win by omoplata.
- Michael Bisping will not say anything after the bout that an American will be able to understand.
- Brandon Vera will not do a victory dance resembling the Cha-Cha or the Charleston. Sadly.
- Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou will not utilize a cloaking device or shoulder-mounted laser.
- Marcus Davis will not thank the Irish Republican Army for their war against the British.
- Chris Lytle will not get cut and bleed profusely. Oh, forget that one. He's going to be spurting blood simply from walking to the cage.
A preliminary card for Ring of Combat 22 on November 21st has been released, and while the event is five weeks away - which is plenty of time for fighters to drop out - the assembled roster as it stands now is certainly an impressive one. Perennial top New Jersey fighter Chris Liguori makes his return, as does TUF veteran Dante Rivera (against TUF washout Paul Bradley), EliteXC veteran John Doyle, and jiu-jitsu black belt Igor Gracie. Some other fighters to watch:
- Tim Troxell - one of the best 145 pounders in the Garden State, he'll be facing ROC "Beasts of the Northeast" tournament finalist Dave Sachs.
- Tom Gallicchio - a top-ranked welterweight, Gallicchio will be taking on a tough but overmatched Rich Ashkar.
- Jimmie Rivera and Nick Pace - the next generation of Team Tiger Schulmann's MMA warriors, both fighters are transitioning to pro from extensive amateur careers.
- Leandro Hernandez - a tough BAMA FightNight vet in need of a win, Hernandez will be taking on UCL vet Andrew Leone.
- Dom Stanco - a welterweight with heavy, heavy hands, Stanco should be fighting for a belt soon.
- Greg Soto - a welterweight CITC champ, Soto is another fighter on the fast track to big things.
- Joe Abouata - the first guy to beat Carlton Haselrig, Abouata is a BCX champ and a top heavyweight in New Jersey.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
UFC 89 is nearly upon us, and the Birmingham, England event features a bevy of moderately-talented US and international fighters mixed with scrubs - plus the occasional future star. One such future star is lightweight Jim Miller, a jiu-jitsu bad boy who went from dominating the New Jersey circuit to kicking Bart Palaszewski's ass in the IFL. His opponent for UFC 89: David Baron, a Frenchman with a judo background and a recent win over a past-his-prime Hayato Sakurai. Expect Baron to choke on a baguette, complain about America, and retreat and surrender at the earliest opportunity. UFC 89 will air for free on SpikeTV on Saturday night (on a tape delay), and the main event pits UK "Great White Hope" Michael Bisping against the hard-headed Chris Leben in a bout that promises a lot of crazed looks and unintelligible post-fight speeches.
The fifth episode of TUF 8 saw a lot less alcohol consumption, a lot more of coach Nogueira speaking incoherently, and a quick fight between two light-heavyweights who belong in the minor leagues fighting for a cheap and tacky belt and bragging rights at the local Hooters.
- Junie Browning jumps the cage and threatens Efrain Escudero after Escudero's win. His punishment for this shameful outburst? Dana White shaking his head disapprovingly while simultaneously salivating over his new ticking time bomb/potential ratings goldmine. Frank Mir, please eat this guy already!
- The more I see Stankie stumbling around mumbling like that drunk Vietnam veteran uncle who everyone avoids at family gatherings, the more I like him. I predict the TUF kids are going to wake up one morning and find Stankie passed out on the lawn. That's just a hunch.
- Anderson Silva's guest appearance and subsequent sparring with the TUF kids made me think of a child casually batting around his GI Joe action figures. Only in that scenario, Silva would be the child's parent, and the TUF kids would be the discarded cardboard boxes the action figures came in.
- Coach Nogueira was very endearing going to the TUF house and asking the guys to lay off the pranks. He strikes me as the type of parent that shows up at school asking the bullies to please stop stuffing his son in a locker. Sadly, that always ends up with the son getting stuffed into a trash can instead.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It's time to face the truth, folks: the American Fight League, which made headlines a few months back for signing top female fighter Tara LaRosa, Bobby Lashley of the WWE, Elvis and a unicorn, is a lie. A big, fat lie. Their promised pay-per-view event has yet to materialize, and today it's being reported that the rematch between LaRosa and Roxanne Modaferri, which was slated for the November 8th Ironheart Crown show and to be paid for by the AFL (think: the lone Affliction bout on the last EliteXC card), is now kaput due to lack of funding. Listen, I enjoy a good pipe dream as much as the next guy, but when you promise fighters - and fans - the world, you should at least give them a continent or decent-sized island. The AFL, however, has given us nothing. Nothing! At least YAMMA Pit Fighting had a show and some T-shirts.
Things suddenly got more complicated for Thiago Alves. Originally scheduled to face Diego Sanchez at UFC 90 on October 25th, the American Top Team star welterweight will now square off against Josh Koscheck thanks to a rib injury Sanchez sustained in training - a last-minute change that definitely throws a monkey wrench in the works for the ATT fighter. "We trained to face a Mexican," says coach Ricardo Liborio. "But now... now what do we train for? A white guy? A black guy? This man is like 'Gonzo' from the Muppets. No one knows what he is!"
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Lightweight stud Nick Diaz has a trick up his sleeve for Eddie Alvarez when the two face each other at EliteXC's November 8th event: special marijuana powers. Promising to "smoke" the hard-hitting Philly slugger once the cage door shuts, Diaz claims his top-level jiu-jitsu and aggressive boxing won't be needed when he "rolls" Alvarez up and employs some "puff, puff, pass" and "choke and cough". Said Diaz, "Um, yeah, so... I... wait, what?" EliteXC's November 8th event will be broadcast live on Showtime, and will also feature middleweight champ Robbie Lawler defending his belt against Joey Villasenor.
MMA Journalist reporter Adam Butterworth was on hand at the Ultimate Warrior Challenge in Fairfax, Virginia this past weekend to catch Washington, D.C.'s biggest (and only) MMA show. Urijah Faber and Carlos Condit were in attendance, TUF veteran Antwon Britt scored a quick knockout, badass Mike Easton squeaked by with a split decision, and ROC champ Binky Jones lost to Kyle Baker. "The show was awesome," said Adam. "Some terrific fights." Apparently, there were some terrific ring card girls, too.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
- A Brazilian whose nickname is "Tractor" lost to a man whose last name sounds an awful lot like "beer bong"... Sorry, I got nothing.
- Alexander Shlemenko took the best Bubba McDaniel had to offer on the ground, and in the closing seconds of the first round the Russian planted a flying knee into McDaniel's ribs that left him writhing in pain on the floor of the cage for quite some time. In fact, according to reports, McDaniels was writhing in pain on the dance floor at the after party, and his writhing continued long after he checked out of the fighters' hotel the next day.
- Jason Guida looked very impressive pushing that much smaller referee. Since his career in MMA doesn't seem to be working out, perhaps Guida might find success as a schoolyard bully.
- Kerry Schall may have lost to Dave Herman via TKO in just a little over a minute, but it was a moral victory for the man known as "Meat Truck". After all, he did not get kneed or kicked in the groin, nor did he fall out of the ring and onto a folding chair.
Friday, October 10, 2008
MMA Journalist has just received a fax from an EliteXC insider regarding tonight's ShoXC event in Hammond, Indiana. The event, which will be broadcast live on Showtime, will feature Dave Herman taking on TUF veteran Kerry Schall, as well as bouts with TUF washout Jason Guida and rising stars Anthony Lapsley and Bubba McDaniel. The fax - deemed to be credible as this source (which will remained unnamed) is a reliable one - seems to list the "under the table" bribes the competitors are receiving to ensure a specific performance. The list is as follows:
- Herman will be paid an additional $5,000 to not reveal why he is called "PeeWee" on national television.
- Schall will be paid an additional $2,000 if he promises to not offer Herman ride in his "Meat Truck".
- Guida will be paid an additional $10,000 if he successfully keeps his scrotum hidden from view.
- Lapsely will receive $500 worth of marijuana if he passes his post-fight drug screening.
- McDaniel will be given a real first name if victorious. Come on, "Bubba"? Seriously?
If you saw Fox 5 News' story on "Illegal Fight Clubs" a few weeks back, then you saw 169-pound MTA employee Chaz Dimitropoulos throwing down and throwing down hard at a July Underground Combat League event. Sporting a 2-1 record, a background in traditional Japanese Jujitsu and a lot of heart, Dimitropoulos won fans over with a gutsy performance over John Padron - a performance that saw Padron blast him in the face with a punch that swelled shut his eye in Round One and Dimitropoulos come back to snag an armbar in Round Two. "Who really wants to travel all the way out to New Jersey to do mixed martial arts?" says the up-and-coming fighter. "I don't think it's fair that we have to. If you're from New York, you should be able to fight in New York." What does the future hold for the part-time athlete? "I would definitely like to get a lot more fights under my belt," he says. "I would like to be comfortable in the ring. I don't want to be nervous at all - I want it to feel like I'm just in a training session."
Zach Arnold of FightOpinion.com has been around as long as I have, and in that time he's established himself as a journalist full of honesty and integrity. And in light of the recent EliteXC/Kimbo Slice stand-up bonus allegations, Zach really, really thinks EliteXC must die. Or at the very least, EliteXC honcho Jeremy Lappen and the Shaw father/son conglomerate need to be crucified, burned at the stake, dismembered and burned again. I admire Zach's fervor. Every sport needs a watchdog willing to decry every bad move and instance of possible unethical behavior. But one thing I learned in law school (yes, I went to law school), and especially in the New York City Police Academy (yes, I went there too), was that there's a difference between when something is wrong and when something is illegal. And in this instance, the Florida State Boxing Commission itself has already guffawed at the idea that EliteXC broke the law. Did EliteXC throw a stack of cash at Seth Petruzelli to encourage him not to go for a takedown against Kimbo Slice? Is the UFC guilty of the same thing when they show up in Phil Baroni's and Matt Lindland's locker rooms before their UFC 34 bout, promising them that they're gone from the promotion if they don't make their fight exciting? You know, it doesn't really matter. Because what happens in the cage is never what anyone plans. Not the promoters, not the fighters, not the fans. And that's what makes this sport so great.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
EliteXC 170-pound champ Jake Shields had no problems controlling top UK welterweight Paul Daley on the ground at this past weekend's "Heat" event, but one thing was painfully obvious from cageside (and maybe pretty obvious watching on TV): Shields has crappy stand-up. From his ineffectual strikes to his poor wrestling to his apparent lack of confidence forcing him to shoot from halfway across the cage, a few things can be deduced - such as, he's a knockout waiting to happen. Or, that the first person with a great sprawl is going to give him fits. Or, that Lyman Good - who had signed with the organization last month but has yet to have a fight materialize - would kill him. Yes, Shields is an extremely skilled and talented grappler who has taken out some tough competition in the form of Renato Verissimo and Nick Thompson. But up close, the chinks in his armor are visible. It's just a matter of time before someone exploits them.
Another episode of TUF, another night of drunken mayhem and coach Nogueira's subtitles.
- Junie Browning is an embarrassment to mixed martial arts. Please, PLEASE choke to death on your own vomit Mr. Browning. You're not even worthy enough to die in battle.
- How do you cut a fellow castmate with a glass and threaten others with a bottle and not get thrown off the show? Dana White, you have shamed us all.
- Was Stankie seen dressed up as a Scotsman during one of the training sessions? If so, that's awesome. Coach Nogueira should also bring in circus clowns and jugglers.
- When do we get to see Phillipe Nover knock someone out?
EliteXC's "Heat" event, which featured Kimbo Slice taking on last-minute replacement Seth Petruzelli and losing in stunning fashion on CBS network television, is drawing some major heat from the media thanks to the shocking revelation that Petruzelli was actually paid to fight. In an interview conducted the day after the show, Petruzelli told reporters EliteXC offered to compensate him if he agreed to face their star attraction. He has since retracted his statements. "This is an outrage if it's true," said Kirk Thomas, spokesman for the Volunteer Fighters of America. "If a promoter actually paid money to a fighter to perform... That's just unethical. Something must be done."
Monday, October 6, 2008
Hindsight may be 20/20, but no amount of retrospective analysis can answer everything. On Saturday night, when Ken Shamrock let officials know he was unable to compete, EliteXC superstar Kimbo Slice was offered Seth Petruzelli as a last-minute replacement opponent. Why did Kimbo take that fight against Petruzelli? MMA Journalist, in an exclusive interview with an EliteXC executive who asked to remain anonymous, has learned that, for his participation in the cobbled-together main event that he ultimately lost, the YouTube legend was promised a lot of bread. Specifically, he was promised his very own bakery. Apparently, the prospect of a lifetime supply of bagels and dinner rolls, as well as loaves of rye, wheat, white, challah and cinnamon swirl bread, was enough to sway him. Did Kimbo make the right choice? Only he can answer that, but when MMA Journalist attempted to contact him for comment, the man who lost on network television was too busy rolling in dough to respond.
There may or may not have been a Strikeforce show this weekend. Possibly in Denver, Colorado. Maybe someone named Duane "Bang" Ludwig fought, maybe Frank Trigg. I don't know. Kimbo Slice wasn't on the card, so this event - if it happened - got zero love from the MMA media. If anyone knows for sure, please let MMA Journalist know.