Monday, March 30, 2009

Shady Kansas City Promotion Trying to Screw One of Fred Ettish's Fighters

A shady Kansas City-based promotion called Close Quarter Combat, which held an event in the Kansas City area on March 21st, is trying to screw one of Fred Ettish's fighters - but you don't try to screw one of Ettish's fighters and get away with it. A competitor in UFC 2 and well-respected and longtime member of the MMA community, Ettish runs a Miletich Fighting Systems school nearby, and when CQC matchmakers Rick Huddleston and Jason Shane came around snooping for participants for their March event one of Ettish's students signed up. Unfortunately, despite athletic commission presence and oversight, no one got paid after the show... so Ettish is going to the press. And the state's attorney general. And the governor's office. And taking legal action. Bottom line: don't screw with Fred, because Fred is the Man. "CQC believes in helping our fighters reach their highest potential inside and outside the ring," reads a pre-event statement from the promotion. "We strive to help our fighters get maximum potential earnings and exposure during their career and to prepare them for a successful life after fighting in the ring." They seem to be failing to live up to their mission statement.

UFC 101 in Philadelphia to Not Be Headlined By Eddie Alvarez

The juggernaut that is the UFC will be coming to Philadelphia for UFC 101, and the organization is pulling out all the stops for its first event in the "City of Brotherly Love" by reportedly not having Philadelphia-based superstar Eddie Alvarez headline the show. Slated for August 8th at the Wachovia Center, UFC 101 will see non-Philadelphia native BJ Penn taking on another non-Philly fighter in Kenny Florian, while non-Philadelphia resident Forrest Griffin squares up against someone who probably couldn't even find Philadelphia on the map in Thiago Silva. Meanwhile, top-ten lightweight and local hero Alvarez still is not headlining the event (much less in the show). Said a spokesman for the organization, "We're very excited to be coming to Philadelphia - a place rich in pugilistic history and tradition - and what better way to celebrate our arrival than by not having the most successful Philadelphia-based fighter of all time on the card?"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Extreme Challenge: "Mayhem at the Marina" Postscript

Tara LaRosa had zero problem with Sally Krumdiack, Jeff Lentz completely neutralized Maciej Linke before wrecking him, and Kevin Roddy was slick as hell.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Liveblog: Mayhem at the Marina Part 4

Jay Silva of Team Rampage and Mike Johnson of Fight Factory make their way to the cage. Silva has Jorge "Macaco" Patino in his corner, while Johnson seems to have an entire Philly neighborhood on his side. Silva comes out taunting Johnson, daring him to trade with him, so of course Johnson engages in a grappling contest with him, the two trading positions and sub attempts and Silva getting the better of them. Silva gets his wish in Round 2, though, and after tagging Johnson repeatedly in the face he plants a knee to the ribs that has Johnson crumpling to the canvas. Silva wins via TKO at 1:26 of the round. Next up: Tim Bradley, who is apparently some badass wrestler from out west, against Steve DeAngelis of Team Pellegrino. DeAngelis seems to have superpowers, as all he needs to do to make Bradley verbally submit is to chill out in Bradley's guard and somehow pop the wrestler's rib. It's over at 1:50, and I'm not sure DeAngelis even broke a sweat. Last bout of the night and it's Tara LaRosa and Sally Krumdiack. Of course every opponent is a challenge, but will Krumdiack challenge LaRosa "extremely"? (See what I did there?) Not so much in Round 1, as LaRosa takes her down and pummels her intermittently for the duration. Round 2 is just like the first, while in the final round LaRosa punches Krumdiack in the face a couple times before taking her down and tapping her out with a keylock at 1:25. And that's it.

Liveblog: Mayhem at the Marina Part 3

It's time for Kevin Roddy of Team Pellegrino vs. Biff Walizer of Lionheart MMA. Once again, Roddy is firing off sub attempts like a Marine SAW gunner firing off rounds at Taliban irregulars, but Walizer dodges them all and punishes him return. Round 2, however, is when Roddy finally finds his groove, as he rocks Walizer on the feet then nails the triangle off a scramble. The official time of the tap out is 3:19 of the second round, and Roddy proves he's still got it. Schnake is in the cage introducing some Airforce "Special Forces" dude, and the Airman is pitching the US Airforce. Special Forces? Are they called in when the bird crap on the runway gets too fierce? I kid! Next up are Rich Edwards of Gold Team Fighters and Team Pellegrino's Dave Church. This is Edwards' first pro fight, and Church's only pro bout was a loss to Greg Soto about 10 years ago, so, um, yeah, I don't know what my point was. Oh wait, Richards favors boxing and Church grappling. How does this one play out? Church gets Edwards down, nearly gets him with a guillotine, then after a scramble gets Edwards with a head/arm choke at 2:29. Matt Kocher of some school in Pennsylvania and Troy Maxwell of Extreme Performance are up. I'm tempted to go up to Kocher and ask him if he only eats Kosher foods, but I don't think it would be well-received. Round 1 is pretty back-and-forth, with Kocher landing a hip toss and working for an RNC, and Maxwell almost hitting an RNC and some ground-and-pound. Round 2 has Kocher running out of gas and Maxwell beating him up standing and getting the RNC at 2:51.

Liveblog: Mayhem at the Marina Part 2

"Big" Poppa Schnake is announcing tonight and it truly is utter mayhem here at the Marina. Okay, not really. First bout is Pat White vs. Mervin Rodriguez, a featherweight match-up between two guys who weigh very little and probably eat a fraction of what normal-sized humans eat. Round 1 is all about Rodriguez beating the living hell out of White from every position possible, and while White manages to hang in there and even reverse at one point, he takes some serious punishment. The second round is more of the same until Rodriguez snags the armbar at 4:31. Dominant performance. Now it's Daniel Straus from Cincinatti taking on Lester Caslow of Kurt Pellegrino's Academy of Coolness. Straus' entrance music is an esoteric Queen song called "Keep Yourself Alive", which means he's either a fan of obscure classic rock or flamboyantly gay. Hmmm... he doesn't look gay. As usual, Caslow's entrance involves young girls swooning and throwing their panties into the cage. The opening round sees Caslow almost put his opponent to sleep with an arm-in guillotine, almost snag an armbar and punish him with knees on the feet. Straus gets some licks in, but I give it to the Team Pellegrino fighter. Things slow considerably in the second round, as an exhausted Caslow finds himself on the bottom losing the positional war. Round 3 is close, with both men scoring takedowns and blasting each other on the feet, and when time runs out the judges have the unenviable job of having to pick a winner. They pick Straus via split decision. That one seriously could have gone either way. Maciej Linke of Gold Team Fighters against Jeff Lentz of Rhino Fight Team are up. Linke is a Mundial winner or something, and from my vantage point I can see one of his cornermen praying and crossing himself. Hey, that's not fair bringing God into this. Wow, okay, I guess Lentz's purple belt courtesy of Carmine Zocchi is enough to keep him out of trouble, as he avoids Linke's ground game to drop bombs to knock Linke out. Linke is left unconscious on the mat at 1:45 of Round 1. Very impressive.

Liveblog: Mayhem at the Marina Part 1

MMA Journalist is cageside for Extreme Challenge's "Mayhem at the Marina", a Monte Cox event at Atlantic City's Trump Marina. This is the first New Jersey MMA show to take place at the Trump Marina, and the cage is set up in the ballroom of a casino full of elderly people and what I think may be zombies (or they could be just really old people). So, yeah, Trump Marina seems to be where old gamblers go to die. Here's hoping tonight's show doesn't give them heart attacks. Anyway, Tara LaRosa came in at 125 pounds, which is pretty light for her. Jay Silva is chilling with the Gold Team Fighters crew - I guess he's one of them now. Sally Krumdiak is pretty small, and up close it's apparent she does indeed have eyebrows (they're just very light).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Extreme Challenge: "Mayhem at the Marina" Lineup

Tomorrow night is Extreme Challenge: "Mayhem at the Marina", which takes place at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City. MMA Journalist will be there liveblogging the action, and the lineup currently looks like this:

  • Tara LaRosa (Fight Factory) vs. Sally Krumdiack (Charlie's Combat Club)
  • Maciej Linke (Gold Team Fighters) vs. Jeff Lentz (Rhino Fight Team)
  • Tim Bradley (Wolf Pack) vs. Steve DeAngelis (Team Pellegrino/Bombsquad)
  • Rich Edwards (Gold Team Fighters) vs. Dave Church (Team Pellegrino)
  • Matt Kocher (Lionheart MMA) vs. Troy Maxwell (Extreme Performance)
  • Jay Silva (Team Rampage) vs. Mike Johnson (Fight Factory)
  • Daniel Straus (Vision MMA) vs. Lester Caslow (Team Pellegrino)
  • Pat White (Evolution Fight Team) vs. Mervin Rodriguez (Rhino Fight Team)
  • Kevin Roddy (Team Pellegrino) vs. Biff Walizer (Lionheart MMA)

Keep an eye out for LaRosa, DeAngelis, Caslow and Roddy.

NJSACB Refuses to Allow Sylvia/Mercer Match-Up; Bout Moved to "Thunderdome"

The proposed match-up between former UFC champ Tim Sylvia and former heavyweight boxing champ Ray Mercer, which was to headline the May 30th Adrenaline event at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, has been denied sanctioning by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. Originally intended to be an MMA bout "with no grappling" then repackaged as a straight boxing match, Sylvia/Mercer stirred up a decent amount of fan interest despite finding no traction with the commission. Consequently, promoter Monte Cox has moved the match-up to June 13th at the "Thunderdome" in the unsanctioned wilds of Bartertown. Said Cox, "Who rules Bartertown? Masterblaster rules Bartertown, so we really don't have to worry about athletic commission approval down there. Also, the rules of the Thunderdome are that 'two men enter, one man leave' - which is perfect for the kind of bout we're going for." Adrenaline is still set for the Taj Mahal at the end of May, with the new tentative headliner a match-up between Jeremy Horn and Dante Rivera.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tara LaRosa Deserves a Superfight

Mention women's MMA to anyone and they'll immediately think of Gina Carano, then salivate over Carano's inevitable superfight against Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. Sadly, though widely considered the best in the world at 135 pounds (Carano fights at 180 pounds), Tara LaRosa's been in the game longer and accomplished more, yet commands only a fraction of the attention. What LaRosa needs is a superfight. Sure, she's headlining this weekend's Extreme Challenge: "Mayhem at the Marina", but it's a foregone conclusion that she'll put Sally Krumdiak away with a submission before time runs out. LaRosa should be facing the best, facing someone who'll make for a "Oh wow!" kind of match-up. That person might actually be located right here in the Northeast. Her name is Vanessa Porto. A Brazilian and member of Gold Team Fighters (which is based in Newark, New Jersey), Porto has wins over Hitomi Akano and Tonya Evinger, and she's got aggressiveness and experience against top-level fighters - two things that could make for a competitive and compelling fight against the Fight Factory femme. Think Carano vs. Cyborg will be exciting? LaRosa vs. Porto could put you into cardiac arrest. This is a superfight worthy of the best 135-pound female fighter in the world.

Team Serra/Longo, version 2.0

Dissect any fight team and lay out the parts and you'll see it's akin to a family, with the trainers as parents and the fighters of varying experience levels the siblings. The Northeast's Team Serra/Longo - helmed by jiu-jitsu magicians Matt and Nick Serra and striking guru Ray Longo - is no exception, and it's not hard to discern that veterans Pete Sell, Luke Cummo and James Gabert are the "older brothers". But who are the younger brothers? MMA Journalist has picked out four notable up-and-comers from this New York-based group. Keep an eye out for them, as they comprise Team Serra/Longo, version 2.0.
  1. Constantinos Phillippou, light-heavyweight/middleweight - Take Luke Cummo, shave his head and add a ton more muscle. That's "Costas", who's proven to be a deadly striker and very capable grappler in the 11 or so months he's been fighting. His only loss was a close split decision to Ring of Combat star Ricardo Romero, and at ROC 24 he'll be taking on UFC vet Sean Salmon.
  2. Al Iaquinta, lightweight - Solid wrestling mixed with submissions, plus a ton of experience as an undefeated amateur - that's the best way to describe Iaquinta, who made his pro debut at ROC 23 and dominated before nailing the Anaconda choke for the tap out. He's fighting again at ROC 24, in a rematch against Will Martinez (who Iaquinta defeated via decision at an amateur show in Delaware).
  3. Chris Weidman, middleweight - He's only fought once, but he looked pretty damn impressive. At ROC 23, Weidman steamrolled over Rubens Lopes, tossing the Brazilian to the ground and submitting him with a kimura in a minute and a half. This Serra/Longo rep will be taking on Mike Stewart at ROC 24.
  4. Anthony Abatelli, welterweight - An experienced amateur (although not nearly as experienced as Iaquinta), Abatelli is a wrestler and ground-and-pounder, and in his first pro fight he took out the veteran Garrett Carmody via decision.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gina Carano Speculates Wildly, Predicts Plagues and Apocalypse

The eagerly-anticipated match-up between Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos has yet to be formalized, but erstwhile female MMA superstar Carano recently gave an interview where she speculated wildly about the near future, dropping hints to fans everywhere as to when Carano vs. Cyborg may happen. "And now I saw a pale horse, and its rider's name was 'Death'," said Carano, who went from marquee fighter with EliteXC to contractual limbo with Strikeforce in recent months. "And there followed after him another horse whose rider's name was 'Hell'. They were given control of one-fourth of the earth, to kill with war and famine and disease and wild animals." Carano's last venture into the cage was in October, when she defeated Kelly Kobold by unanimous decision. Rumors have abounded concerning her return. When pressed for an exact date, Carano responded, "Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six." No word yet from Strikeforce to confirm if this is the date of a Showtime event or CBS event. Stay tuned for more.

April 25th UWC to Feature Mike Easton Executing Another Poor Soul

Unless Mike Easton's opponent has fought in the WEC or was invited to DREAM's 135-pound tournament but turned it down because he hates Japan, it's a sure bet that whoever Easton faces at the Ultimate Warrior Challenge will die. Sadly, such is the case with Josh Ferguson, who will be taking on DC's best fighter at the UWC: "Capital Punishment" event at the Patriot Center on April 25th. Who is Ferguson? Well, that doesn't really matter at this point, although his tombstone will probably say something like "Grappler Who Wasn't Ready For Easton's Kind of Badness". Expect "The Hulk" to execute another poor soul at the top of another exciting UWC.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dom Stanco to Perform Complex Dentistry on Brazilian Foe

Bellmore Kickboxing lightweight Dom Stanco will finally get his day in the sun, as the heavy-handed veteran has been tapped to take on Gold Team Fighters rep Charles Oliveira da Silva in ROC 24's marquee bout. At stake: the USKBA East Coast lightweight title, plus bragging rights if the Long Islander takes out the Brazilian (or vice versa). There isn't a lot of tape available on Oliveira da Silva, as he's one of many Brazilian expats who've recently surfaced in New Jersey to jump feet-first into the fight circuit, but what is known is that he's undefeated in six Sao Paulo MMA bouts and that he's a two-time jiu-jitsu champ. Yet no matter what skills he brings into the cage, Stanco will only need one punch to knock him the hell out. In terms of 155-pound talent, the East Coast has seen fantastic grapplers rise up and graduate to the major leagues (Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller); Stanco is the first one who could be considered a "big puncher". Expect Oliveira da Silva to have a drastically different dental layout when this one is over.

Deepest Condolences to the Miller Family

MMA Journalist has just learned that New Jersey-based UFC fighter Dan Miller's baby passed away shortly after birth. This is tragic news. Spend enough time covering the Northeast MMA circuit and a lot of the folks here start to feel like family, and it's no secret I have great affection for Dan (and his brother Jim). My deepest condolences go out to Dan and his loved ones.

Sally Krumdiak: A Warrior Without Eyebrows

Extreme Challenge returns to Atlantic City on Saturday, March 28th, and the event is headlined by top-ranked female fighter Tara LaRosa taking on Sally Krumdiak. Who is Sally Krumdiak? Apparently an up-and-coming warrior who eschews eyebrows. A search with Google Images paints a grim picture for LaRosa, for Krumdiak seems to have mastered the looks "mean", "foreboding", and "eyebrow color too light to be discernible". But can she fight? Does she have what it takes to overcome LaRosa's vast experience competing at the highest levels of female MMA? It doesn't matter. Win or lose, Krumdiak is going to be terrifying doing it.
(Pic courtesy of the Art of War website - who knows where they got it from.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Observations From My Couch: "March Badness"

  • As a competent play-by-play commentator who knows the ins and outs of both boxing and MMA, Colonel Bob Sheridan will be worth his weight in gold if this boxing/MMA hybrid stuff takes off. If he plays his cards right, he might even get promoted to brigadier general.
  • Seth Petruzelli. The man. The myth. The legend.
  • Cowboy Karate? Dennis Hallman is in trouble when he runs into a practitioner of Native American Judo.
  • Did Din Thomas hit on Rihanna?
  • Bobby Lashley is so not quite Brock Lesnar.
  • Roy Nelson needs to file a police report as soon as possible, 'cause that man was robbed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

If the WEC Goes to Pay-Per-View, Should You Buy It?

The World Extreme Cagefighting organization recently announced that it intends to air events live on pay-per-view instead of on the Versus network, a move that would force fans of the smaller fighters to shell out upwards of 40 bucks a show instead of the usual free (really, whatever your cable package costs with the Versus network option). This, of course, begs the question: If the WEC goes to pay-per-view, should you buy it? The answer is a definite "maybe", and while that "maybe" could be predicated on such factors as the value of the match-ups, the interest generated by the individual fighters and the level of overall intrigue attached to the show, MMA Journalist has developed a mathematical formula to help fans decide. Working under the premise that every worthwhile UFC pay-per-view event saw bouts from fighters with a combined weight exceeding 2,000 pounds, and cognizant of the fact that WEC fighters range from 125 to 155 pounds, the formula is thus: add together the weights of the WEC fighters expected to be seen on the pay-per-view broadcast, plus 50 pounds for each one whom you recognize. If that total exceeds 2,000, then buy it. For example, a card with just six bouts of lightweights, featherweights, bantamweights and flyweights would fall far short of the 2,000-pound cut-off. However, make some of those competitors "name" fighters like Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Miguel Torres and Jens Pulver, and suddenly that number is exceeded. It's simple, really. In these harsh economic times, consumers must be shrewd with their expenditures. This applies no less so to MMA fans. Hopefully this formula will hope those who are unsure of whether or not a WEC pay-per-view card is worth skipping a meal for.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Miguel Torres: "I Need to Fight at Heavyweight to Make Money - This Mullet Ain't Paying For Itself!"

WEC bantamweight champ Miguel Torres has announced his intention to fight up a few weight classes, a move he claims is prompted by reasons purely financial. "I need to fight at heavyweight to make money," said the best 135-pound fighter in the world, and he emphasized his reasoning by pointing to his hairstyle. "This mullet ain't paying for itself!" As it's a widely-accepted reality that higher weight-class fighters command larger salaries, and that mullets often require thousands of dollars worth of hair care products daily, it's understandable that Torres would even consider such a move. But for fans of the man who's risen to the top of the bantamweights, it's a move that's nonetheless regrettable. "Seriously, I need the dough," said Torres. "WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby told me he knew people and could probably get me a bout against Cheick Kongo. Maybe even Shane Carwin." According to athletic commission records, Torres' salary stands at 600 dollars a fight plus a case of hair gel as a win bonus.

UFC Coming to Michigan!

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, an organization that mixes the combative disciplines of karate, judo, kung fu and the exotic art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is coming to the Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan possibly by the end of the year. On tap to wage war within the confines of the dreaded "Octagon" are "World's Most Dangerous Man" Ken Shamrock and UFC 5 tournament winner Dan "the Beast" Severn, who will be rematching in a superfight that should determine just who the baddest no-holds-barred fighter on the planet really is! Also on the card is Don "the Predator" Frye against grappling master Amaury Bitetti, "Stuttering" Mark Hall against Japanese sumo legend Koji Kitao, and Olympic wrestling gold medalist Mark Schultz against Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge. Want to see blood? Want to see carnage? Then tune into UFC 9 on pay-per-view!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NSAC Orders Parisyan to Shave Back, Take Nine Months of Remedial English

The Nevada State Athletic Commission issued a harsh penalty to Karo Parisyan, ordering the UFC welterweight to shave his back and take nine months of remedial English before he can return to competition. As reported by MMA Journalist on February 10th, Parisyan tested positive for Armenian after his UFC 94 bout against Dong Hyun Kim. At yesterday's NSAC hearing Parisyan pleaded for leniency, but the pleas of the fighter - a judo expert who was once considered a top contender in the 170-pound weight class - were ultimately ignored. "We take these sorts of things very seriously," said NSAC Chief Xenophobe Keith Kizer, who, in addition to handing down punishment to the "hairy kid who says 'bro' way too much", overturned Parisyan's decision win over Kim, rendering it a "no contest". MMA Journalist contacted Parisyan for a comment but was unable to understand him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How Scary is Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos?

You may recognize her as that tough Chute Boxe representative who wrecked Shayna Baszler and Yoko Takahashi in EliteXC. You may know her as the fighter destined to face Gina Carano in what will be female MMA's biggest marquee match-up yet. But Brazil's Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, who's slated to execute Hitomi Akano at Strikeforce's April 11th show, is more than that: she's actually one of the most frightening individuals in the sport. So just how scary is Cyborg?
  • At EliteXC's "Unfinished Business" event in California, a mix up in the locker rooms had Cyborg confronting an innocent Robbie Lawler and accusing him of stealing her ice bucket. Lawler reportedly burst into tears and was inconsolable for an hour afterwards.
  • At last year's Chute Boxe Secret Santa gift exchange, trainer Rudimar Fedrigo gave Cyborg a small kitten. She swallowed the whole thing before he could tell her it was supposed to be a pet.
  • Heavyweight slugger Brett Rogers was originally offered a chance to fight Cyborg on April 11th. His reply: "Man, I ain't ready for that. You trying to get me killed?"
  • The most popular Halloween mask in Brazil for the last two years has been the "Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos" mask.
  • All of Cyborg's past opponents and two officiating referees now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and three of the fighters have sought medical treatment. One of the referees has given up MMA and become a Hare Krishna.

MMA Journalist Exclusive: Scott Coker to Set Up Animal vs. Animal Fights

In an exclusive imaginary interview with MMA Journalist, Strikeforce Grandmaster Scott Coker, the man behind the promotion's leap to Showtime and CBS, has revealed that he intends to set up animal vs. animal bouts in addition to regular MMA bouts. An idea once pushed by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, animal vs. animal bouts have gained little traction among athletic commissions and animal rights organizations. But the fan interest is there - a fact that Coker hopes to exploit to satisfy Strikeforce's suddenly daunting event schedule. Here's an excerpt from that shocking imaginary interview:
  • Okay, you have a ton of fighters on your roster now that you acquired all those ProElite contracts but you have quite a few events on your plate for both Showtime and CBS. Are you worried about being able to put together enough fights people want to see? No. I was at first. But then I was staring out my window and saw my dog - a cute, little Yorkshire Terrier - getting attacked by a bald eagle in my backyard. And it hit me: why not do animal against animal bouts, too?
  • Uh, animal against animal? Yeah, man. I mean, I remember talking to Joe Silva about it once. We were speculating on who would win if a lion fought an alligator or if a gorilla fought a rhinoceros, and he was saying that he'd tried to push that idea past the powers that be so the UFC could do those bouts. It never materialized, obviously, but why can't Strikeforce run with the idea?
  • I don't know... laws, maybe? Yeah, that was my initial thought. However, when I went out to my backyard, and that bald eagle was tearing apart my little Yorkie and I was trying to swat it with a shovel, I realized that the only legal issue that would arise would be if we used an endangered species.
  • Okay, but what about things like the carcass left behind once a match is finished? That's probably not something people want to see. No, you're right about that. No one wants to see a combatant fallen on the battlefield. But, going back to that bald eagle incident, when the thing retreated to a branch and stared down at me and my poor dog, that's when I realized that Mother Nature takes care of those things - if you let her. See, that's why, when Strikeforce does an animal vs. animal bout on Showtime or CBS, we're going to let the winner eat the loser. The problem about having a dead body left behind is solved.
  • Very interesting. So... how is your dog? Oh, I let the eagle have him.
  • Nice. Well, thanks for your time, Mr. Coker. And good luck. Thanks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Asylum Fight League 12 Postscript

A decent night of fights in a very intimate venue. Gabriel Crawley looked impressive, Jovany Alvarez looked scary and Jason Moore looked like he might be able to kick a few pro light-heavyweights' asses.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Liveblog: Asylum Fight League Part 6

Rex O'Corr of World Gym and Jason Moore of Team Vicious take to the cage for the second-to-last fight. It looks like Moore forgot this was amateur because in the opening seconds he kicks O'Corr in the face and punches him in the grill when he's down. After a restart they resume slugging and O'Corr takes one in the groin, then they restart yet again and O'Corr gets the takedown - at which point Moore armbars him. Boy, if there was ever a day that O'Corr should have stayed in bed... Last bout of the night and it's Oscar Arizmendi of Wilkie's Warriors against Liam Kerrigan of NJIMB/Cabecca, a battle between two men who would just as soon rip your ears off as look at you. Just kidding. They seem like nice guys. Arizmendi has a small puppy with him, while Kerrigan is tossing daisies into the crowd. Anyway, Kerrigan takes Arizmendi down and taps him out with a bent-armlock at 2:12 of the first round. That's all, folks.

Liveblog: Asylum Fight League Part 5

Leif Albright of Wilkie's Warriors and JC Carie of Dragon Theory Martial Arts are up. Albright is controlling Carie on the ground handily, and the bell rings with him almost landing an armbar. Carie makes it competitive in Round 2, winding up on top a few times and going for a guillotine or two, but Albright flexed his wrestling muscle for the final frame to take the unanimous decision. This is shaping up to be a good night for Alex Wilkie's team. Next is Kyle Malone of World Gym against Major Jon Lapidow of the New Jersey National Guard, who only trains one weekend a month and one month out of the year. It's enough. Major Lapidow puts Malone to sleep with a guillotine that has Tom Velasquez (a pro fighter working as a judge) beside me screaming "He's out! He's out!" The official time is :24 of the first round. It's time for Darryl Haze of TSMMA and Claudio Ladesma of North NJ MMA/Renzo Gracie Danville to go at it. Round 1 is pretty back and forth as the two take turns in top position punishing the other, while in the second Ladesma does a little more damage on the ground. Round 3 plays out just like Round 2, thereby convincing the judges that Ladesma deserved the decision.

Liveblog: Asylum Fight League Part 4

It's time for Steven "the Crab" DiSebastian of Wilkie's Warriors to take on Brandon Rook of Dragon Theory Martial Arts. You might wonder why DiSebastian has the nickname "the Crab". Well, in all seriousness, he's got six legs and a pair of claws - which is kind of amazing, actually, but it begs the question: why is he allowed to fight against a normal bipedal human? An interesting aside about his opponent Rook: the kid can only move forwards and backwards and side to side - not diagonally. Round 1 sees the Crab very nearly land a rear naked choke, but Rook counters with melted butter and some Old Bay seasoning and survives. The Crab controls his opponent with his pincers in Round 2, while in Round 3 the Rook rallies with a series of punches and a crowd-pleasing spinning backfist that has his opponent scuttling and trying to retreat back into the waves. It isn't enough, though, and the Crab gets the majority decision. Jovany Alvarez of TSMMA and Josh Aarons of Team Vicious take the cage, a pair of 120 pounders who move so fast on the ground no one can discern what they're doing until they replay it in slo-mo on the big screen. Alvarez takes the first round with about 50 sub attempts from the bottom, and he takes the second by feeding Aarons punches on the feet and pounding on him on the ground. Alvarez gets the armbar at 2:12 of the final round, but his victory celebration involves him screaming in his defeated opponent's face - which, um, ain't too cool. Outstanding performance, though.

Liveblog: Asylum Fight League Part 3

The Garv just asked for a Shabazz Fruit Cola. I guess the Shabazz company liked his announcing at that Newark show last month, and now they're sponsoring him. It's fitting. The Garv practically bleeds Shabazz Fruit Cola. TSMMA's Juan Pichardo and Team Pellegrino's Craig Theiem are up. This one is the best fight of the night thus far, as the two are aggressively blasting each other. I give the edge to Theiem in Round 1 - he's landing more and harder. Pichardo finds his range with his counterpunching in the second round, bloodying Theiem's nose, while in the final round Theiem goes to Plan B and starts bringing the fight to the ground and holding Pichardo there. The unanimous decision goes to Theiem when time runs out. Next up is Phil Mazzurco of Wilkie's Warriors and Matt Barth of Bloomsburg MMA. Here's a trip down memory lane for you: I was ringside for Mazzurco's first fight ever at BAMA Fight Night about 30 years ago; it was against Mike Ciesnolevicz, who fights in the UFC now, and Mazzurco lost by guillotine. Anyhoo, Mazzurco gets the takedown but they scramble and slam each other and Barth throws up sub attempts while Mazzurco pounds on him over and over again until I am hypnotized and no longer capable of rational thought. Mazzurco takes the decision. Naheem Selby of Vita Saana Assassins and John Flock of Team Vicious are up. According to one of Selby's cornermen, "vita saana" means "art of war" in Swahili, although Selby loses the war on the ground thanks to Flock's positional dominance. Time runs out and there's no question Flock took the decision.

Liveblog: Asylum Fight League Part 2

Garv is in the cage asking for a ten-count of silence for Charles Lewis, a.k.a. "Mask" of TapouT. Also, there's apparently some New Jersey National Guard colonel here and that colonel has a fighter on the card. If that fighter loses, a tank is going to crush the cars in the parking lot, so we'll see how that goes. First bout is Rob Depalo of TSMMA against Jimmy Finck of Rhino Fight Team, and Round 1 sees Depalo scoring on the feet and Finck very nearly sinking the Anaconda on the ground. Round 2 features both men trading and tagging each other and Finck getting a takedown late, and in the final round the Rhino rep kept up with the takedowns until the bell. It's not enough to convince the judges, though, who award Depalo the unanimous decision. Lyman Good is here. I ask him how his training's going for his Bellator FC bout on April 10th. He responds by breathing fire. Now it's time for Gabriel Crawley of Vita Saana Assassins against Kenny Blewett of Team Pellegrino, and the two are engaging in a grappling chessmatch that has Blewett hunting for subs from the bottom and Crawley slamming him over and over. Things come to an end at 2:04 of Round 2 when Crawley slams Blewett hard for the TKO win. Randy Dunn of Bloomsburg MMA and Eric Steppe of Team Vicious are up next. Steppe gets the takedown, Dunn goes for a biceps crusher and then it's scramble and slam time. Steppe's superior wrestling is enabling him to throw his opponent around, but Dunn is going for more finishes. Steppe takes the second round with positional dominance, and he lands a decent right hook and keeps up with the top game in Round 3 to earn the decision.

Liveblog: Asylum Fight League Part 1

MMA Journalist is cageside here at Asylum Fight League 12, an amateur MMA event in Northern New Jersey. The venue is Club Abyss in Sayreville, and the cage is set up in the middle of what would normally be the dance floor; expect a lot of victory dances involving "the Robot" and "the Electric Slide". There are 14 bouts on the card, with such fight schools as Kurt Pellegrino's Ballet Studio, Alex Wilkie's Ballroom Dancing and Team Tiger Schulmann's Tapdance Academy represented. The Garv is in attendance with a microphone and pages of fresh material.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Best of Luck to Jim Burman

As Fightlinker has reminded me (, fellow journalist Jim Burman is stepping into the ring for the first time tomorrow in some local Brit show. Burman writes for Fighters Only and he's been in the business for years, and he's part of that fraternity of fanboy-turned-journo so many of us claim membership in. So to Burman I say, "Best of luck, buddy, and break a leg (i.e., your opponent's)." Here's a pic of the two of us riding the subway here in New York City - we're either laughing or have gas. Or both.

New Jersey State Athletic Control Board to License Outlaw?

On March 28th Monte Cox's Extreme Challenge: "Mayhem at the Marina" comes to Trump Marina in Atlantic City, and while the event is headlined by top female fighter Tara LaRosa taking on up-and-comer Sally Krumdiak, one bout on the main card is raising eyebrows: Steve DeAngelis vs. Billy the Kidd. DeAngelis is one of the best 145-pounders the Garden State has to offer - capable of taking on nearly anyone and definitely destined for the WEC or Japan - but Billy the Kidd... Billy the Kidd is a well-known outlaw. Will the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board license a man wanted in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas for murder, cattle rustling, theft and cheating at poker? No one doubts DeAngelis' ability to handle whatever his opponent throws at him, but all it takes is one bullet from a .45 single-action six-shooter to end things unfairly. Also, should the commission allow this match-up, they'd essentially be condoning the fact that Billy the Kidd was a founding member of the vigilante group "The Regulators", and that during the course of his career he murdered lawmen and civilians alike. For the sake of fighter safety and especially common decency, let's hope the NJSACB does the right thing.

Asylum Fight League 12 to Feature 200+ Amateur Bouts

Asylum Fight League returns for their 12th installment tomorrow afternoon, this time at Club Abyss in Sayreville, New Jersey, and according to their website the card will be another 200+ bout epic. Hey, MMA Journalist digs amateur events and all, but these New Jersey shows tend to have as competitors everyone who's ever trained in MMA, and everyone who's ever thought about training in MMA - with the end result often leaving people in the venue on the verge of utter exhaustion and collapse (in fact, a referee actually passed out at one show back in 2007; the fighters in the cage at the time had to stop and revive him). Anyway, MMA Journalist will be there tomorrow to liveblog the event. For more info, go to the promotion's website at .

For Black Friday

In honor of Charles "Mask" Lewis:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trio of Anabolic Steroids Test Positive for Ken Shamrock

The anabolic steroids Stanozolol, Norandrosterone and Noretiocholanolone have tested positive for aging MMA legend Ken Shamrock and have been suspended for one year, according to a statement released yesterday by the anabolic steroid Deca-Durabolin. The positive test result comes after a post-fight screening for the February 13th Wargods event in California, an event that saw Shamrock defeat some laughably overweight dude via first-round armbar. "Shameful," said the steroid Sustanon. "That's all I have to say about it. It's just shameful." Added the human growth hormone Somatropin, which is used by a wide range of athletes and is virtually undetectable by current screening techniques, "This sort of thing simply will not be tolerated. I mean, Ken Shamrock? Really? Come on."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rest In Peace Charles Lewis

The MMA community suffered another huge loss today, as Charles Lewis, a.k.a. "Mask" of the TapouT crew, was killed in a car crash in Newport Beach, California. Attend almost any fight show out on the West Coast and you'd run into the garishly-dressed TapouT crew, shaking hands, posing for pics and repping their popular clothing brand. I only knew Charles in that capacity, but he was friendly as hell and treated everyone like a long-lost brother (at the last EliteXC in Florida, he saw me and affectionately pressed his forehead to mine). When we lose a fighter, we think of the battles they've given us in the cage or ring, and the battles they'll no longer fight. Losing Charles means we've lost one of the sport's biggest supporters - a man who sponsored tons of fighters and helped ingrain MMA into the public's consciousness. Rest in peace, Mask. You will be missed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TUF 9 Competitors Revealed

The list of competitors for the ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" has been revealed in a press release from SpikeTV. An eclectic mix of lightweights and welterweights from here and abroad, the roster (which includes coaches Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, who will helm Team US and Team UK, respectively) is filled with names that may be unknown to the general public. To prime fans for the April 1st debut, MMA Journalist has picked out a few notable contestants. They are:
  • Fatty McFat, Team UK, welterweight - the guy who can't make weight for his first fight and who gets replaced by Dark Horse O'Houlihan.
  • Joe Scumbag, Team US, lightweight - the kid stricken with bi-polar disorder who alternates between acting like a gentleman and a jackass. He shows a modicum of talent, but everyone hates him and (rightfully) views him as a ticking time bomb. No matter who he stabs or poisons, Dana White will never boot him from the TUF house. Ratings, you know.
  • Ian Noexperience, Team UK, lightweight - the chum the other sharks in the house will eat.
  • A glass of water, Team US, welterweight - he gets drunk a lot, providing constant entertainment for viewers.
  • Iwanna Breakstuff, Team US, lightweight - the man in charge of demolishing any and all furniture he can get his hands on.
  • Chuck Liddell, Team US, light-heavyweight - under the influence of an assortment of prescription drugs and cough medicine, the former champ wanders confused and incoherent into the TUF house. No one is able to get him to leave.
  • The Silver Surfer, Team US, welterweight - the ringer brought in with the expectation that he'll win it all.
  • Patty Garblemouf, Team UK, lightweight - the talented fighter with the accent so thick, no one - not even his own teammates - can understand him. Even the subtitles that appear on screen whenever he speaks make no sense.
  • The TUF house foosball table, Team IKEA, welterweight - having survived last season relatively intact, the foosball table returns to risk life and limb once more.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lyman Good to Kill, Kill, Kill at Mohegan Sun on April 10th

Bellator Fighting Championships has announced the details for their second installment, and the event, which will take place on April 10th at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut will see Team Tiger Schulmann-trained assassin Lyman Good taking on ShoXC and King of the Cage welterweight Hector Urbina. This will mark the first time Good has fought since his March, 2008 murder of Alexis Aquino at ROC 18, which Good stood trial for but was later acquitted on the grounds that Aquino was asking for it. Since then, the New York City-based fighter has been honing himself to a keen edge, adding such deadly skills as demolitions and knife throwing to his already frightening arsenal of death-dealing abilities. Expect Urbina's blood to stain the BFC canvas bright red before the night is through. The event will air on ESPN Deportes the next day.

Details Emerge Regarding Frank Mir's Injury

As anyone who watched UFC 96 on Saturday knows, Frank Mir's rematch with Brock Lesnar, which was slated for UFC 98, has now been postponed due to Mir getting injured. Today, new details have emerged regarding the nature of the interim heavyweight champ's injury - and it ain't pretty. According to sources within Mir's camp, he "damaged his esophagus swallowing one of those 125-pound fighters last week. Possibly the Mexican one." As MMA Journalist reported last Wednesday, Mir was absent from the WEC broadcast because he'd eaten an unknown number of flyweight fighters that were to be introduced on air. Now the Las Vegas native is suffering from severe gastrointestinal distress, and it is his inability to train properly that forced the Mir/Lesnar II bout's rescheduling. Continued the source (who asked to remain unnamed), "Frank is amazing in that he can eat a human being whole without having to chew, like that big alien guy on Futurama named Lrrr from Omicron Persei 8. Unfortunately, if someone is bad - like a Mexican fighter who drinks water from Mexico, which we Americans can't drink - well, you and I would just spit that person out. Not Frank. He swallows them whole." The showdown between heavyweight champ Lesnar and interim champ Mir has been tentatively scheduled for UFC 100 in July.

Observations From My Couch: UFC 96

  • All weekend long I was trying to think of something disparaging to say about Gray Maynard, as he defeated a fighter I like a lot in Jim Miller. I couldn't, though. Maynard just beat a very tough guy.
  • Screw that. Gray Maynard sucks and is about as exciting as watching a constipated frog take a dump.
  • Kendall Grove is one leg kick away from ending up like Corey Hill. Dude, eat a sandwich.
  • Not only did Matt Hamill impress with that spectacular high-kick knockout, but he seemed pretty adept at speaking Deep Mountain Dwarvish (a la Lord of the Rings) in his post-fight interview. I think he invited fans to his afterparty in the Mines of Moria.
  • Dear Jason Brilz, if I wanted to watch one man dry hump another... ah, never mind.
  • Tamdan McCrory's motto is apparently "fight like a stud, curse like a sailor". I like that.
  • I guess Mike Patt forgot that there is also grappling in mixed martial arts?
  • I don't know why Yves Lavigne hates Pete Sell and wants him dead, but I will get to the bottom of this mystery soon.
  • Shane Carwin: the man, the myth, the freight train.
  • Quinton Jackson's fight against Keith Jardine was mildly entertaining, but his post-fight exchange with Rashad Evans very nearly broke the black-o-meter on my TV. Hmmm... No, let me redo that one. Quinton Jackson's fight against Keith Jardine was mildly entertaining, but his post-fight exchange with Rashad Evans made me think I was watching "The Iron Ring" on BET. Hmmm... Forget it, I got nothing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Five Reason Why UFC 96 Isn't Going to Suck

Sure, on paper UFC 96 looks like a weak card that will have no impact at all on rankings or provide anything in the "Oh Wow!" department, but there are still reasons to shell out the dough for the pay-per-view. Actually, there are only five reasons - but they're good ones!
  1. If he defeats Keith Jardine, Quinton Jackson will have scored a victory for people of color everywhere who are intimidated by white, Aryan Nation-looking dudes who you just know hunt illegal immigrants for sport with high-powered rifles on the weekend.
  2. If he defeats Shane Carwin, Gabriel Gonzaga is guaranteed to make that same bug-out face he makes every time he wins, which is cute in a "Dude, what are you? Twelve?" kind of way.
  3. If he wins or if he loses, Matt Hamill still isn't going to know if the crowd cheered for him until someone tells him.
  4. If he wins, Pete "Drago" Sell's 1992 cherry red Camaro will be refitted with new fluorescent light panels on his vehicle's undercarriage, and the worn fuzzy dice dangling from the rearview mirror will be replaced with gold-colored leather mini-boxing gloves.
  5. If he wins, Jim Miller's older brother Dan will give him his little teddy bear "Mr. Sniggles" back - which Dan took from him back in second grade.

Mean University to Jardine: "Academia or Fighting - It's Time to Choose"

On the eve of Keith Jardine's main event bout against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 96, his employer in the realm of higher education has issued a statement demanding the "Dean of Mean" return to his post at Mean University - or else lose his job and tenure. "Academia or Fighting - it's time to choose, Professor Jardine," said Dr. Roland Provence, President of Mean University, in a letter addressed to the Greg Jackson-trained fighter. "We on the school board understand that a career as a professional mixed martial arts athlete can be quite rigorous and demanding, but as Dean of Mean Studies, you have a responsibility to the school and its students." Jardine attained his Doctorate in Meaness prior to his appearance on TUF 1, and was given a tenured position on the faculty sometime after his defeat of Forrest Griffin at UFC 66. However, according to Dr. Provence, Jardine has not lectured or published any papers in his field since, which are requirements of all faculty members. "Without question we are proud of your accomplishments within the Octagon," the statement continued. "But the University needs its Dean back. And if he's not coming back, then we'll have to hire someone else for the position." As of this post, Jardine has yet to respond.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Newark to Host ADCC Referee Seminar and Bake Sale

The esteemed Abu Dhabi Combat Club will be hosting a referee seminar and bake sale on April 5th at the Gold Team Fighters USA training facility in Newark, New Jersey for those interested in becoming an ADCC official and/or purchasing a wide selection of delicious cakes and pies. Considered the Olympics of submission grappling, the ADCC tournament attracts top-level ground specialists from around the world, with some of those grappling masters very capable of baking a number of desserts and pastries to perfection. Want to learn how to score an ADCC match? Unsure of the organization of an ADCC tournament? Curious about Jeff Monson's magic brownies or Ricardo Almeida's Boston Cream Pie? This is your chance to have all your questions answered. Anyone interested in attending should contact Richard Weling at

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Official Statement from M-1 Global re: Kirill Sidelnikov's Positive Steroid Test

"When M-1 Global learned from the California State Athletic Commission that Kirill Sidelnikov failed his post-fight screening for performance enhancing drugs, we conducted our own investigation and asked Kirill to explain himself.

In preparation for his Affliction bout against Paul 'Big Burrito' Buentello in January, Kirill suffered from severe and painful hemorrhoids. Not wanting to miss any training time leading up to 'Day of Reckoning', Kirill followed the advice of a proctologist not affiliated with M-1 who gave him an enema commonly used in Russia to help treat some of his symptoms. It is M-1's belief that the enema is what contained the Stanozol.

For those who are skeptical of this explanation, we believe Kirill's account is true based in large part to his physique, namely his buttocks. If he had been using large amounts of Stanozol on a regular basis, his buttocks would have contained leaner muscle that had more definition.

While we do not believe the use of the enema provided Kirill with an unfair competitive advantage, we are obviously disappointed in his lapse of judgment. M-1 tales full responsibility for Kirill's actions and we respect the decision of the California State Athletic Commission."

Why No Frank Mir at WEC 39?

Frank Mir is an excellent color commentator who brings a ton of knowledge, experience and credibility to the microphone when he sits cageside for WEC events and waxes prophetic. But he was noticeably absent at Sunday's WEC 39, and while stand-in Jens Pulver was more than up to the task, the question remained: Where was Mir? Says a company insider who asked to remain anonymous, "We'd just decided to bring in flyweights as a new weight class the organization would focus on, and a few of the 125-pounders were flown in to be introduced for the broadcast. Well, somehow they end up in a room with Frank, and the UFC champ eats them." According to the source, this isn't the first time Mir has devoured smaller athletes, but by all accounts those "days of eating anyone under 155 pounds" were behind him. It's unclear at this point if this will affect Mir's role as commentator. Stay tuned for more as the story develops.