Friday, November 28, 2008

Fedor Realizes He Can't Speak English, Cancels US Press Tour

Fedor Emelianenko, widely hailed as the best heavyweight fighter in the world, has cancelled his US press tour according to a written statement from his management team. The cancellation comes after the Russian sambo specialist's sudden realization that he cannot speak English, a realization that struck when Fedor was presented with his itinerary (which was to include interviews on "The Today Show" and "Nightline" as well as guest lectures at Columbia University, Yale and Harvard). "This man who follows me around and repeats what I say, but in other languages, I think he's a translator," said Fedor through a translator. "Really, I just thought people couldn't understand me because I mumble. But no, it's because I don't speak anything but Russian." Fedor is set to face former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski at Affliction's sophomore outing on January 24th.

Jorge Gurgel Jumps From UFC to Strikeforce, Vows to Never Go to the Ground Again

TUF 2 veteran Jorge Gurgel, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and grappling instructor for former champ Rich Franklin, was cut from the UFC's roster this week but immediately signed with Strikeforce. Gurgel lost four of his seven bouts in the Octagon, with his last outing - a three-round "Fight of the Night" war against Aaron Riley - garnering the lightweight submission master both praise and criticism for his dogged desire to engage in a pure stand-up battle. "I may be a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, but I swear you will never see an ounce of grappling from me ever again," said Gurgel, who wields at best only mediocre kickboxing skills. "Fans don't want to see me win with fancy armlocks and chokes. They want to see me get my head pounded in - and that's what I'll give them." Gurgel joins a talent-rich Strikeforce roster that includes Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez, both of whom will be more than happy to punch him in the face.

Major Staff Changes at WEC

According to inside sources, the WEC has undergone some major staffing changes in the past few days. The long-running promotion, which went from a regional, California-based affair to an international Zuffa-owned organization showcasing the best of the lighter weight classes, suffered dismal ratings on its last "Versus" channel event. Included on the list of those who got the axe are janitor John "Broomy" Legumet, who purportedly left a dirty mop head too close to Urijah Faber's hamster cage (Faber subsequently ate it), street team member Spence Feinstein, who failed to put flyers under the windshield wipers of every car in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino parking lot, and Geraldine "Easy" Ryder, an intern who is allegedly "getting back together with her ex-boyfriend". No word yet if these key employees will be replaced.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Faber and Pulver to Rematch... Because I Guess Their First Bout was Inconclusive or Something

According to an report, former WEC champ Urijah Faber will rematch with former UFC champ Jens Pulver at WEC 38 on January 25th. The two had met in June at WEC 34, with Faber earning a unanimous decision after winning each round of the five-round championship contest. But despite the decisive victory, questions remained - questions such as, "Is Pulver capable of taking more punishment like that?" and "Can we milk this bout again for more ratings?" On January 25th those questions will be answered.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Update on Shane Ott

Courtesy of Anthony "The Duke": "Shane is awake and talking now, though he is heavily sedated and still in the ICU. His condition is still critical but stable. Doctors are worrying about infection, that is why Shane is still in the ICU. Shane's speech is improving, probably slurred by the drugs they have him on. Shane lifted his arms, despite his injuries. He talked with his family and even watched a little TV. Shane is making excellent progress in his recovery and he has a very positive attitude towards his situation right now.

There is a benefit concert for him in Reading, PA. Link to my site for flyer and information ("

A Piece of MMA History: Laura D'Auguste

If the sport was in its infancy in 2002, then the concept of women competing in MMA was barely clearing the birth canal. But Laura D'Auguste was ahead of her time, and in events like New Jersey's Ring of Combat and Reality Fighting and Japan's Smackgirl, she was racking up wins against top lady warriors such as Amanda Buckner, Roxanne Modefferi and Megumi Yabushita, putting the world on notice that a bout featuring two females waging war was every bit as exciting as seeing a clash between two men. What made D'Auguste special? The truth is, D'Auguste could really grapple - so much so that she'd compete in men's divisions at NAGA tournaments. Her skills on the mat (honed to a razor's edge at Tiger Schulmann fight team sessions) translated into an undefeated MMA record and a berth at the prestigious 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships, and by July of that year she was widely seen as the best 135-pound female fighter on the planet. Sadly, it's been a two years since D'Auguste last saw action. A split from Team Tiger Schulmann prompted her to join Romulo Bittencourt's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in Newark, while an injury had her bow out of a potential BodogFIGHT match-up against Tara LaRosa. Add to that a new marriage, and the full-time cardiovascular nurse no longer seemed to hold MMA competition as a priority. Which is a shame, because thanks to her, the East Coast was at one time the center of the female mixed martial arts universe.

Help Wanted: Reporter Near Buffalo

Will you be near Buffalo, New York on December 13th? Do you have a digital camera capable of taking about three pics? Can you tell the difference between an armbar and a leglock? If so, then MMA Journalist wants you to cover a pro/am show by Knockout Productions called "There Will Be Blood". New Jersey superstars Kevin Roddy and Steve DeAngelis are fighting, as is Lance Evans (TUF star Rashad Evans' brother). How much does the job pay? Zero! But you do get the writing and photography credit, plus, thanks to your all-access press pass, you get to keep whatever you can steal from the fighters' locker rooms (note: they will kill you if you get caught). If interested, send an email to

Monday, November 24, 2008

The East Coast's Big Ticket Sellers

Two promotions are coming to Atlantic City in the first quarter of 2009 to stake their claim in the Garden State's MMA fan-rich soil - the World Cagefighting Alliance (headed by Derek Panza, Keith Evans and Gary Marino), and a Monte Cox event (it could be an Extreme Challenge or it could be an Adrenaline show, we just don't know yet) that will be headlined by Eddie Alvarez. Both Marino and Cox should have a pretty decent handle on which fighters put asses in seats, but to help them out, MMA Journalist has put together the following list of the East Coast's big ticket sellers (a local big ticket seller is the cornerstone of the "Strikforce business model" these promotions aspire to):
  1. Lyman Good, an exciting welterweight/middleweight and star player for the Tiger Schulmann Mixed Martial Arts clan.
  2. Really, almost any other Team Tiger Schulmann fighter. TSMMA students turn out in droves to see their instructors fight.
  3. Dom Stanco, a heavy-handed lightweight from Bellmore Kickboxing who always has a decent-sized cheering section.
  4. Chris Schlesinger, a frenetic grappler from Bellmore Kickboxing. Schlesinger used to pack Reality Fighting shows with legions of fans.
  5. Al Buck, a lightweight scrapper. Tons of fans.
  6. Carlos Moreno, a heavyweight slugger who's been known to bring a crowd of supporters.
  7. Chris Liguori, a top New Jersey lightweight and ROC champ.
  8. Dante Rivera, a top New Jersey middleweight.
  9. Doug Gordon, a well-rounded welterweight who always seems to have people going nuts for him in the bleachers.
  10. Greg Soto, a welterweight grappler whose Combat in the Cage championship win nearly brought down the house.
  11. Jon Murphy, a heavyweight EliteXC veteran. When he knocked out Sherman Pendergarst at Extreme Challenge 75, women were unabashedly throwing their panties into the cage.
  12. Jose Rodriguez, a welterweight brawler and long-time New Jersey competitor.
  13. Steve DeAngelis, a featherweight BCX champ. Big cheering section.
  14. Kevin Roddy, a featherweight/lightweight grappling stud who is to the Jersey Shore what Barack Obama is to Illinois.
  15. Justin Garcia, a welterweight/middleweight jiu-jitsu beast who, if you can lure him back into MMA competition, brings tons of rabid fans.

For his January 13th show at the Tropicana Casino & Resort, Cox already has the aforementioned Alvarez headliner and popular welterweight Tom Gallicchio taking on Phil Baroni (maybe). It will be interesting to see who else ends up on that card and who winds up on the February 6th WCA show.

Secret Washington, DC Show on December 13th

Apparently there's some sort of secret MMA show in Washington, DC on December 13th, and by "secret", I mean "What the hell? Why don't you people advertise? Good Lord, you have to be clairvoyant to find out about these things!" The event is called "Battle at the Nation's Capital", and the card features ROC champs James "Binky" Jones and Paul Bradley, Dave Branch (who trains with TUF 8 stud Phillipe Nover in Brooklyn), some Team Quest fighters and some local guys, and a mean-looking Brazilian - and the only reason I know all this is because I stumbled across their website ( . So, yeah, if you're anywhere near the DC Armory on that day, knock on the front door three times and tell the security guard "Mr. X" sent you. Let me know how it goes.

With Impressive Win Over Tough Lina Kvokov at Strikeforce: "Destruction", Kim Couture Now Ready For Top-Ranked Tara LaRosa

Ha. Not.

After a Wealth of Success in the UFC, Frankie Edgar Finally Awarded Purple Belt

After a wealth of success in the UFC, lightweight contender Frankie Edgar was finally awarded his purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu this past Saturday. At an elaborate ceremony at the Hamiliton, New Jersey, YMCA gymnasium, Edgar - who dominated the East Coast MMA circuit and who's defeated black belts Hermes Franca and Mark Bocek in the Octagon - was given his rank by trainer Ricardo Almeida, an accomplished grappling champ who's produced a multitude of top-level competitors. The order of the colored belt ranks, from lowest to highest, is white, blue, purple, brown and black. Said a source within the Almeida camp, "Frankie deserved it. He's come a long way in jiu-jitsu and earned his purple belt for sure." To achieve the rank of brown belt, Edgar is expected to be able to levitate, raise the dead, and manipulate fire with his mind.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Liveblog: ROC 22 Part 5

  • Chris Liguori is battling in the cage against Cory Mahon. Liguori sports a tightly-buzzed bowl-cut hairstyle that looks to be throwing Mahon off his game.
  • Ricardo Almeida is shouting instructions from Liguori's corner. My how times have changed. Eight years ago, Liguori was a member of Pitts Penn - a team of salty scrappers who wouldn't have hesitated to let the air out of the tires of Almeida's ten-speed bicycle. Now they're all friends.
  • Liguori lands the bout-ending armbar. He's now the ROC lightweight champ, and he gets his pick of any one of the ring card girls.
  • Dante Rivera squares off against Paul "Heebee-Jeebees" Bradley. Rivera is wearing a full-body condom.
  • Bradley stuns Rivera with a hook and follows it up with a storm of punches on the ground. The referee steps in after 34 seconds. The ROC middleweight belt now belongs to someone who doesn't live in the Tri-State area. Boo.
  • And I'm spent.

Liveblog: ROC 22 Part 4

  • Constantino Phillippou and John Doyle are up now. You can cut the tension in the air with a knife. Okay, not really. Everyone is cool.
  • Phillippou via TKO in the third round. I think he must be Greek, as ecstatic fans showered him with feta cheese.
  • Tim Troxell vs. Dave Sachs is up now. Wow. Either Troxell is having an "off" night, or Sachs is way better than I thought. The Pittsburgh Fight Club representative has got the AMA FC/Team Renzo stud on the defensive almost constantly.
  • Sachs submits Troxell late in the second round. This is why I don't bet on fights. Well, that and I'm morally against gambling. Plus I don't have money.

Liveblog: ROC 22 Part 3

  • Dom Stanco with the KO at :40 of Round Two. Listen up, people: you cannot stand and trade with this guy. He will kill you.
  • Joe Abouata is now 2-0 against big, scary black dudes. He needs to face people of other ethnic backgrounds, though, before I make any claims as to his potential.
  • Jimmie Rivera and Jay McLean seemed to have an agreement before the bout to make things as difficult as possible for the judges when it went to the scorecards. It worked. Blatnik, who is judging and is sitting directly in front of me, actually wept when the final bell rang.
  • Boy, this Igor Gracie fellow sure is good at jiu-jitsu.

Liveblog: ROC 22 Part 2

  • Jim Boudourakis needs to work on something other than just charging in with his head down. I think he might have been a bull in a past life.
  • Nick Pace is one scary 135 pounder.
  • Jay Isip's return bout ended with him getting rear naked choked by John Salgado. You know what? You can't help but like Isip - win or lose.
  • The ring card girls seem to have more silicone than usual tonight. Just an observation.

Liveblog: ROC 22 Part 1

MMA Journalist is here at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City liveblogging ROC 22. The card has suffered some last-minute dropouts, but it's still an extremely solid one. Some notes:
  • Rob Guarino's bout against Doug Sonier is off. Rhino Fight Team representative Sean Foreman is out with staph and shingles, so his bout against Greg Soto is off. Everything else is a go - including three badass title fights.
  • The new NJSACB commissioner Aaron Davis is in attendance. He seems pretty relaxed. I don't think anyone has told him that, since this is his first ROC, he has to fight.
  • All the usual suspects are here: jiu-jitsu legend Renzo Gracie, UFC fighter Pete "Drago" Sell, top-level trainer Ray Longo, Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnik, and pink anthropomorphic mountain lion Snagglepuss.
  • Just kidding. Snagglepuss isn't here.
  • The cafeteria selection included roasted chicken, mussels in some ungodly white sauce, a mystery fish, plain linguine and yellow rice.

Tom Galliccio to Fight Phil Baroni

This just in from the MMA Journalist rumor department: New Jersey star welterweight Tom Gallicchio will face Phil Baroni at the January 23rd Adrenaline show in Atlantic City. Stay tuned for more unsubstantiated rumors as they come in.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MMA Journalist to Liveblog ROC 22

Provided the Internet connection at the Tropicana isn't on the fritz, MMA Journalist will be liveblogging ROC 22 tomorrow night. Tune in for some insight from cageside, including a detailed analysis of the selection in the cafeteria.

Newsflash: Dana White Doesn't Play Fair

Ivan Tremblow (one of the best MMA bloggers out there) has a pretty solid piece up at on the whole Dana White/Jon Fitch/American Kickboxing Academy conflagration, and in the article Tremblow points out how White is trying to drive a wedge between fighters and their managers. White's behavior, while reprehensible, is certainly nothing new. According to a manager I spoke to last year, when a certain East Coast fighter made it into the Octagon and earned himself a sizable performance-based bonus, White and company handed the fighter his money personally and urged him to keep it all for himself - a blatant attempt at undermining that fighter's relationship with his manager. Based on this and similar stories, and White's public prompting for Fitch to just call him, White is all about circumventing managers when it suits him. He always has been. And until something changes (fighters' union, anyone?), he always will.

A Message to the Media from Dana White Re: the Fitch Contract Debacle

"[Expletive] you all! I [expletive] my [expletive] [expletive] all [expletive] to [expletive], and this is just [expletive]! If you could [expletive] [expletive] a duck, then I'd [expletive] three iguanas and a [expletive] to Domino's Pizza with a piece of [expletive]. Know what I'm saying? Seriously, [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] you!"

UFC Cuts Jon Fitch Over Rights to His Soul

The MMA world is abuzz today over the news that top welterweight contender Jon Fitch has been cut from the UFC roster for his management team's refusal to let him sign a contract that would give Zuffa the rights to his image and likeness forever. The contract in question stems from a much-maligned merchandising agreement drawn up by the UFC's Bogunga Indian attorneys (the Bogunga, an Indian tribe in Amazon Jungle, believe all pictures and images of people are mechanisms used to capture the subject's soul), and the UFC has harnessed the dark mystical magic within these merchandising agreements to maintain control over their fighters - and even the industry itself. Also dropped from the UFC's roster are Fitch's American Kickboxing Academy teammates Christian Wellisch and Cain Velasquez. The future of noted welterweight Josh Koscheck, an AKA fighter as well, is also in question. Said AKA Head Shaman "Crazy" Bob Cook, "Oh Great Spirit, please guide us through these trying times. Also, does anyone have Affliction's phone number?"

TUF 8 Analysis: Episode 10

Is it me or has coach Nogueira's English slightly improved? Anyway, TUF 8's tenth episode and the last of the quarterfinal match-ups - yahoo! But only a little Stankie - boo!
  • John Polakowski loves to hug people. Unfortunately, that hugging is the extent of his grappling ability.
  • This week the "prank of the night" was eating all the marshmallows in Polakowski's box of Lucky Charms. What, were the housemates out of urine?
  • A one-handed George Roop was able to defeat a healthy Polakowski. That's got to be embarrassing.
  • The semifinal match-ups are announced, and the preview for the next episode shows Junie Browning engaging in more shenanigans. Oh joy! Do us all proud, Junie!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sheik Dana Al-Whitefa Considering Gina Carano for WEC

Reports have surfaced today that Sheik Dana Al-Whitefa may be considering allowing superstar female fighter Gina Carano to compete in the WEC - a move that would be contrary to the devout Muslim teachings Sheik Al-Whitefa has previously espoused. In a recent interview with Yahoo Foreign Minister Kevin Iolaziz, Sheik Al-Whitefa was quoted as saying, "The cage is no place for a woman. Praise be to Allah." Allowing Carano into the WEC would, without question, be a radical shift from that viewpoint, although one that may be warranted given Carano's immense popularity. As of this writing, it's not known when Carano would make her WEC debut, but it is known that as a condition of her participation, the former EliteXC fighter would have to wear a traditional Muslim burqa with a veil concealing her eyes. Any violation would be met with immediate stoning.

ROC 22 Fun Facts

Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat 22 is this Friday at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, and the Garden State promotion will feature three championship contests atop a card full of tough East Coast fighters. But just who are the men competing at ROC 22? MMA Journalist has delved beyond the records and cold statistics and compiled the following list of fun fighter facts:
  • Constantino Phillippou, from Team Serra/Longo, served 11 years in the French Foreign Legion. His nickname was "Constantino Phillippou".
  • Rob Guarino, of the Rhino Fight Team, once shot a man in Reno - just to watch him die.
  • Igor Gracie used to work for his uncle, Dr. Frankenstein Gracie, during summers. He eventually left that laboratory assistant position to pursue jiu-jitsu.
  • Jim Boudourakis, of Redboy BJJ, had his last name legally shortened. It was originally "Boudourakis-Boudourakis-Rah-Rah-Rah, Boudourakis-Boudourakis-Rah-Rah-Rah". His parents met on the professional cheerleading circuit.
  • Joe Abouata, of Alex Wilkie's Martial Arts Academy, defeated Carlton Haselrig at the last BCX. Haselrig's pelt now hangs above his mantelpiece.
  • Team Tiger Schulmann's Nick Pace is actually comprised of the parts of various other lesser Team Tiger Schulmann fighters.
  • Chris Liguori has a twin brother named Emmit Liguori, who favors spending time in libraries reading the classics and talking philosophy. Chris still beats him up regularly.

Strikeforce is the New Black

You can tell when reality has set in when people start aiming lower. If you go over to, there's a post up talking about a new East Coast promotion called the World Cagefighting Alliance, which will debut on February 6th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and "will adopt the same business model as Strikeforce". Strikeforce, eh? I guess the days of organizations trying to be the next UFC are gone - which isn't exactly a bad thing, as so many of these wanna-bes have crapped the bed and left disappointed fighters and fans in their wake. But Strikeforce's success as a super-regional West Coast show is definitely a realistic goal for anyone with a competent staff and viable product. Heck, even veteran promoter Monte Cox has claimed he aspires his Adrenaline promotion to be the "Strikeforce of the Midwest". I guess Strikeforce is the new black.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Which Other Pro Wrestlers Could Succeed in MMA?

Former WWE star Brock Lesnar is now the UFC's heavyweight champ. (Breathe, breathe, it'll be okay. It's not the end of the world. Breathe.) In light of this shocking development, MMA Journalist has culled through the rosters of various professional wrestling organizations and compiled a list of who else might find success in the sport of mixed martial arts.
  1. King Stupid, of the World Complete Wrestling Association - A trademarked finishing hold called "Eat My Scepter" is what sets King Stupid apart from the rest, and his royal physique and legion of followers means he'd be in line for a shot at the UFC's heavyweight title (after a tune-up bout against someone along the lines of Josh Hendricks, of course).
  2. The Retard Kid, of the Alabama Wrasslin' Alliance - With a knack for eating folding folding chairs (literally) and drooling on audience members, the Retard Kid would give someone like Bobby Southworth or Renato Sobral fits and make a decent addition to Strikeforce's light-heavyweight division.
  3. Sal Monilla, of the Garden State Goomba League - Sal Monilla's ring entrances involve him tossing out handfuls of cooked pasta and raw chicken. Definitely an Adrenaline middleweight in the making.
  4. The Masked Burrito, of the Idiota Lucha Libre Administracion - No one knows what the Masked Burrito looks like. However, they most certainly know when he's eaten a fair amount of beans and guacamole. The UFC heavyweight division. No question.
  5. Madame Fajina, of the Glamorous Lesbians of Wrestling - A man-hater of epic proportions, Madame Fajina... Hey, wait a second...
  6. Captain Miniscule, of the International Midget Wrestling Organization - The name says it all. And if he wanted to, Captain Miniscule could give WEC champ Mike Brown a run for his money.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mark Cuban Charged with Insider Trading - Who Will Put Together Fedor vs. Couture Now?

MMA Journalist has just learned that Dallas Mavericks owner and HDNet Fights founder Mark Cuban has been charged with insider trading by the Securities Exchange Commission. The allegations stem from his sale of Xyience stock, a sale which immediately preceded the supplement company's crash and burn. Cuban is best known to MMA fans as the man who promised to put together the dream bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Randy Couture - a match-up that is now in jeopardy thanks to these legal developments. If convicted, Cuban could face two years in the TUF house, drinking urine and splooging on sushi.

Brock Lesnar Tests Positive for Gamma Rays

Hot on the heels of Brock Lesnar's dramatic UFC 91 TKO victory over Randy Couture comes news that the freshly-minted champ has failed his post-fight drug screening, with the 275-pound former WWE star testing positive for gamma rays. "According to state guidelines, a fighter is tested for gamma rays, cosmic rays, radioactive spider venom, and midi-chlorians," says Nevada State Athletic Commission Maestro Keith Kizer. "Lesnar's urinalysis revealed that he has an exceedingly high-level of gamma rays in him. That's a clear violation." No word yet on what this may mean for belt, but the new champ issued this statement: "Grrrr. Lesnar smash."

Observations from My Couch: UFC 91

  • Sometimes the UFC rewards a fighter for all his hard work. On Saturday night, Gabriel Gonzaga's reward was tomato can Josh Hendricks.
  • I don't know what was scarier: Dustin Hazelett's flawless jiu-jitsu transitions, or his Amish "Wrath of an Angry Old Testament God" beard.
  • Jeremy Stephens hit Rafael dos Anjos so hard, he changed Rafael's last name to "uno Anjos".
  • Kenny Florian's fight with Joe Stevenson wasn't so much a fight as it was a rape. In fact, in his post-bout medical screening, the Nevada State Athletic Commission had Stevenson take a pregnancy test.
  • Brock Lesnar defeated Randy Couture. A WWE wrestler is now the UFC Heavyweight Champ. Excuse me while I go cry in my morning oatmeal.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Barncat" Hopes UFC 91 Win Will Enable Him to Live in Actual House

With winter just around the corner, Tamdan McCrory is counting on a win at UFC 91 - and it's not because a "W" would propel him further up the welterweight rankings. No, the well-rounded scrapper, whose quick rise to the top of the East Coast rankings garnered him a berth in the UFC after only a year of competition, is hoping a victory against opponent Dustin Hazelett will provide him with the cash needed to move into an actual house. "They call me the 'Barncat' because I live in a barn," says McCrory while picking hay from his hair. "Do you have any idea how cold it gets in a barn in January? It gets pretty damn cold." McCrory's only brush with defeat came at UFC 78 against Akihiro Gono, and he has since defeated the tough Luke Cummo. Does he have the tools to withstand Hazelett's jiu-jitsu attack? "Tools? Dude, I live in barn. I got all sorts of tools." UFC 91 airs Saturday night on pay-per-view, and features some wrestling dudes in the main event.

MMA Journalist News Haiku Roundup

It's been a busy week for news. Here are some haiku to bring you up to speed, courtesy of MMA Journalist:
  • Todd Beard likes to yell/ and make threats. Kim Couture likes/ restraining orders.
  • Showtime is footing/ the bill for Affliction's next/ show. Boy, are they dumb.
  • Dana White changes/ his mind on women fighting./ Benjamins, baby!
  • Whoever wins the/ KenFlo-Stevenson bout gets/ to be killed by Penn.
  • Randy Couture is/ apparently very old. / Has that ever mattered?

TUF 8 Analysis: Episode 9

The ninth episode of the season means we're winding down with all the outside storylines of where the fighters came from and why they're raging alcoholics. Thank God. TUF excels when it's all about which fighters are the best and which fighters suck. I could care less that Junie Browning lives in a trailer and Ryan Bader is wanted in three states for cattle rustling.
  • According to those who saw advance copies, episode nine was supposed to feature Dave Kaplan and Tom Lawlor drinking each other's urine, but SpikeTV wisely edited that out for the broadcast. Accent on the word "wisely", folks.
  • Kaplan wasn't lying when he said he couldn't be knocked out. However, he omitted the fact that he's narcoleptic. When Lawlor socked him on the jaw, Kaplan actually fell asleep. No lie.
  • Every household item moved into Krzysztof Soszynski's room? Every plate and spoon and fork on the basketball court? Those are the lamest pranks ever. In my day, decent pranks ended with a body count. Damn kids...
  • Not only does Frank Mir stink at soccer, but he stinks at losing too.
  • After having to face the vastly more-experienced Ben Rothwell twice in the IFL, Soszynski has definitely earned a few easy fights. We'll mark off his TUF bout against Kyle Kingsbury as one of the easy ones.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Allegations of Impropriety Tarnish Departing Armando Garcia's Reputation

With his impending deportation looming, departing California State Athletic Commission Grand Luchador Armando Garcia's reputation has suffered more than a few blows in recent days thanks to emerging allegations of impropriety. According to published reports, Garcia, who is being expelled from the country by the Immigration and Naturalization Service for being an illegal alien, was responsible for robbing a stagecoach outside of San Diego and forcing a subordinate to dance by shooting at the subordinate's feet with a pistol. "He is a bad man," said local villager Consuela Dominguez. "We call him 'El Diablo de la Comision Atletico'. Even the children are afraid of him." Garcia's last day with the CSAC will be November 18th.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NYS Assembly Roundtable on MMA - Postscript

  • Jeff Blatnik did a fantastic job answering every question regarding the safety of the sport. Someone should seriously be paying him for his work.
  • Zuffa was freakin' brilliant in hiring Marc Ratner as their VP of Regulatory Affairs. His opinion and perspective carried a lot of weight, and you could see that in how the others in the room listened to him.
  • Melvina Lathan and Edwin Torres of the NYSAC are very open to getting MMA into the state. They both come from extensive boxing backgrounds, but they had absolutely none of those boxing prejudices that have so long plagued the sport.
  • When MMA gets regulated in New York, the athletic commission is going to hunt down and execute underground promoters like Darth Vader hunted down the last surviving Jedi.
  • Assemblyman Steven Englebright ended things on a very positive note. If things go as planned, expect pro MMA in the state by the third or fourth quarter of 2009.

Liveblog: NYS Assembly Roundtable on MMA 5

More on the proposed bill: all gyms that teach MMA will need to be licensed by the athletic commission.

Liveblog: NYS Assembly Roundtable on MMA 4

James Leary, legal counsel for the NYSAC, is pitching the new law that would empower the commission to sanction the sport. Yikes. If this specific bill gets passed, anyone who gets paid to compete - or who gets paid to teach MMA or "pursue or assist in the practice of mixed martial arts" - will be considered a "professional combative sports participant". Good lord, where did this guy go to law school? That's never going to survive a legal challenge.

Liveblog: NYS Assembly Roundtable on MMA 3

NYSAC Commissioner Melvina Lathan gets the conch shell and her chief concern is the vast number of underground fights in the state. She's worried about the unregulated nature of these events, including the lack of record keeping, and her main gripe is that the athletic commission lacks the manpower to do anything about it. You can bet there's going to be a big underground fight/smoker crackdown when MMA gets regulated in NYS.

Liveblog: NYS Assembly Roundtable on MMA 2

A few words on Jeff Blatnik: for those who don't remember the role he played in getting the sport on track in the early days, then let this serve as a reminder that the man has worked tirelessly to educate state officials - in New York especially - on MMA. He's here today because he was invited by the assemblymen sponsoring the bill, and before the proceedings get underway he tells me his chief concern is for the unfettered growth of, not just the UFC, but for the smaller shows - shows which will happen far more frequently than the UFC rolling into town.

Liveblog: NYS Assembly Roundtable on MMA

MMA Journalist is live in downtown New York City blogging the New York State Assembly roundtable on the legalization of MMA in the Empire State. What the heck is a "roundtable"? Basically, just a chance for the UFC to rap about how much money the sport can bring to the state. Assemblyman Steven Englebright is the master of ceremonies, and in attendence thus far are Marc Ratner and Jeff Blatnik. After telling Ratner that he was my hero, he replied to me: "We'll get this done."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Amir Sadollah Injures Self to Avoid Facing Nick Catone at UFC 91

Middleweight TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah's bout against ROC champ Nick Catone, which was slated for the main card of Saturday's UFC 91, has now been cancelled according to the UFC website. The reason behind the last-minute cancellation is a self-inflicted leg injury, which was sustained when Sadollah purposely jumped into the path of a charging ram. Said Sadollah's trainer Dirk Frankenbaum: "I don't understand it. The training camp was great, everything was great. Then last night we showed Amir some footage of Catone's fights, and Amir ran out back and met up with that ram." Added Frankenbaum, "I guess Amir really didn't want to fight him." The preliminary match-up between Tamdan McCrory and Dustin Hazelett will now be moved up to the pay-per-view broadcast.

MMA Journalist Exclusive: Brock Lesnar Admits to Abusing Leprechauns in Imaginary Interview

In an exclusive imaginary interview with MMA Journalist, Brock Lesnar, who squares off against heavyweight champ Randy Couture this weekend at UFC 91, has revealed that he is an abuser of leprechauns. The former WWE wrestler, who earned his shot at the UFC title with a mere 2-1 fight record, describes a darker aspect of himself that most fans probably don't know - an aspect that fans maybe don't want to know. Here's an excerpt from that shocking imaginary interview:
  • Mr. Lesnar, you've accomplished a lot in the world of wrestling, and on Saturday you're facing a legend in the sport of MMA, so you definitely have a lot to be proud of. Is there anything about you you're not proud of? Well, there is, actually. All my life I've hated leprechauns.
  • Leprechauns? Yeah. You know, those little Irish fellas who guard pots of gold at the end of rainbows? I hate 'em. Always have.
  • I see. And have you ever acted on this hatred? Yeah, I have. I mean, well, some might say I've abused them.
  • Abused? How so? Well, at first it was all verbal. Like, whenever I'd see them I'd put them down... make fun of their pointy shoes, things like that. But as time went by, I'd walk by and kick over their pots of gold. And lately, I've just been tackling them. They hate that. They hate getting their clothes messed up.
  • That's very interesting. And where do you think this hatred stems from? I don't know, man. I just hate 'em.
  • Okay. Are you at all worried that revealing this... behavior might adversely affect your fans' opinions of you? I don't know. I guess. But it's something I have to get off my chest. I mean, fans know me as this big hulk of guy who doesn't even remotely deserve a shot at the UFC belt - but really, I'm much more complex than that.
  • Wow. Well, thanks for your time, Brock. No, thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fabricio Werdum Cut From the UFC; the World Mourns

The world is in mourning today with the news that Fabricio Werdum, a Brazilian heavyweight and jiu-jitsu black belt, was cut from the UFC's roster. The purported reason behind his exit is said to have been contractual in nature, driven in no small part by the Chute Boxe fighter's shocking upset loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 90. Werdum's career highlights included TKO wins over Brandon Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga in the Octagon, and Pride victories over Aleksander Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem. Said UFC Chief Executioner Dana White, "I know I'm not alone in feeling like we've lost a good friend today... Say, do you want to be fucking fighter?" Werdum leaves behind an ill-conceived heavyweight tournament and a disgustingly-anemic weight class. In lieu of flowers, the UFC prefers fans to make a cash donation to the "Give the UFC Your Money" charity.

So Where Did Lyman Good End Up?

East Coast standout and Team Tiger Schulmann superstar Lyman Good was on the verge of big-time exposure when EliteXC offered him a contract, but then EliteXC bit the dust. So where did Good finally end up? It looks like the Bellator Fighting Championships is the winner. The Bellator Fighting Championships will air on ESPN Deportes (ESPN's latin-centric sports channel), and will feature eight-man tournaments in various weight-classes. More details should come when the BFC starts leaking more info.

CSAC Head Armando Garcia to Be Deported by INS

California State Athletic Commission Grand Luchador Armando Garcia, the controversial head of the Golden State's MMA-governing body and a longtime illegal alien, is slated for deportation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and will therefore be stepping down, MMA Journalist has learned. With over two decades of boxing and Mexican wrestling experience on his resume, Garcia brought a distinctive flair to the sport of mixed martial arts, and though he was partly responsible for the administrative mis-steps in the high-profile suspensions of Sean Sherk, Phil Baroni and Nick Diaz, his trademark sombrero and low-slung pistols will surely be missed. When asked for comment on his deportation, Garcia replied, "No hables Ingles." It's expected he will return to his original job as a bandit in his native country. A successor has not yet been named.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Showtime to Sell EliteXC Fighters as Slaves

The cable network Showtime, which held significant financial interests in EliteXC at the time of the promotion's collapse, announced this week that it was auctioning off whatever EliteXC assets are available to repay the failed company's debt - and much to the chagrin of Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields and civil rights lawyers alike, those assets will include EliteXC's stable of contracted fighters. "I just got a call from Matt Hughes," said Monte Cox, who manages middleweight champ Lawler. "He was hysterical. Apparently they took Robbie away in shackles. Hey, I'm no legal expert, but this is clearly a violation of the Constitution's Thirteenth Amendment!" Added Shields' manager Cesar Gracie: "Yeah man. They already sold Jake to some Arab sheik. I think he's in the Middle East now waving a giant palm frond as the sultan's personal fan." It's unclear at this time if Showtime's actions will withstand a legal challenge, but as of this writing, other EliteXC fighters have gone into hiding. Stay tuned for more.

Fear and Loathing in Jupiter, Florida

UFC lightweight Hermes Franca was arrested yesterday in Jupiter, Florida for driving under the influence, capping off an LSD-fueled road trip involving a Mexican attorney and a typewriter inscribed with the words "Off the Pigs". According to the police report, Franca was shouting "I am the Lizard King! I am the Lizard King!" from his convertible the "Red Shark" when officers pulled him over, and he was taken into custody and booked at the Palm Beach County Jail. He was later released on his own recognizance.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Observations from My Couch: WEC 36

  • Someone needs to let Jake Rosholt know that it's okay to duck and dodge and not get punched in the face. Seriously. The WEC does not have a "Got Punched in the Face A Lot" bonus.
  • I can still remember when Jens Pulver was one of the most-feared strikers in the sport. I hate to say it, but he's getting old.
  • I would be totally cool with never having to see Paulo Filho fight again. That dude simply did not want to be there, and after three rounds of watching him buttflop, not a soul on the planet wanted him to be in there either.
  • Mike Brown took a page out of Seth Petruzelli's book and wrecked a big promotion's poster boy and their best laid plans. Urijah Faber should fight Kimbo Slice to earn his rematch.

TUF 8 Analysis: Episode 8

Another Wednesday night, another TUF 8 episode. Coach Mir grows more and more toolish, Stankie is kept off screen (aside from some crazy, old man gesticulating), and bodily fluids are consumed in "weird German porno" fashion.
  • Fruit marinated in urine and sushi coated in man-chowder. Ugh. Why is it that whenever I hype an episode and tell all my friends to watch it, the gay stuff happens? Now everyone is avoiding me.
  • Boiled duck fetuses? I guess for Phillipe Nover, fear is definitely not a factor.
  • Junie Browning giving out tips on how to beat his teammate Dave Kaplan is only half of what he did. Although it wasn't shown, Browning also let the air out of the tires on Kaplan's dirt bike and ate his pillow.
  • Nover hits very hard. So hard, in fact, that not only was Kaplan knocked silly enough to believe he was still the better fighter of the two afterwards, but coach Mir too was concussed into believing Kaplan was superior. I sincerely hope both Kaplan and Mir have since gotten MRIs and brain scans.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Scenes From Phillipe Nover's TUF Screening

The Aviator Recreation Center in Brooklyn played host to Phillipe Nover's TUF 8 episode screening party tonight. In attendance: Nover and a ton of his friends and family, plus jiu-jitsu ace Carmine Zocchi, founder Eric Joza and a lot of pizza.

Drug-Addled Paulo Filho Thinks He's Gina Carano, Fails to Make Weight

Middleweight belt holder Paulo Filho, whose battles with substance abuse prompted a recent stint in rehab, failed to make weight yesterday for his WEC 36 bout against Chael Sonnen, rendering their championship contest a three-round, non-title affair. The Brazilian Top Team star was reportedly wearing a wig and a skirt at the official weigh-ins, and while insisting everyone call him "Gina", stepped on to the scale at 192 pounds (a whopping seven pounds over the limit). "Paulo is... having some issues right now," said main handler Ed Soares, who ended up chasing Filho around the venue while Filho giggled and squealed. Added Soares: "I assure you, she - err, I mean he - will be ready for his fight." Tonight's WEC 36 will also feature a match-up between minuscule warriors Urijah Faber and Mike Brown and will air live on the "Versus" cable channel.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008