Friday, May 29, 2009

Liveblog: CatC Part 6

With Peter Kaljevic in his corner, self-trained Mark LeCroulant squares off against stocky ninjitsu rep Mario Cowboy. With a ton of posturing and taunting, Cowboy entertains the crowd, but after about two minutes of punishment the realization that he is going to take a beating sets in, and he bows out citing a knee injury. Cool Hearts fighter Casey Bohrman and TSMMA's Melissa Bopp are next. This one is a freakin' thrill ride as Bohrman continually blasts Bopp with pushkicks while Bopp trudges forward with punches. Bopp is clearly losing, but in Round 2 she fires off a roundhouse that lands squarely on the taller Bohrman's neck, sending the Cool Hearts rep to the canvas. The ref waves it off a few seconds later when it's clear Bohrman is still on Queer Street. There are six more bouts left, but I have to pick my daughter up from the babysitter. Sorry, folks.

Liveblog: CatC Part 5

TSMMA fields another fighter in Katlyn Chookagian, who enters the ring to take on Lou Neglia student Andrea DeAngelo. Countering DeAngelo's propensity for wading in swinging bolos with concise and varied strikes, Chookagian takes the decision when time runs out. Longo Competition Team rep John Friedman vs. Wilkie Warrior rep Jay Kellog is next on tap. Clearly a fan of securing the Thai clinch and kneeing foes' bodies into jelly, Kellog batters Friedman relentlessly for the decision.

Liveblog: CatC Part 4

Dragon V rep Yves Derisier vs. Longo Competition Team rep Dean Middlebrook is up next. Middlebrook is making mean faces and flexing like a skinny, white Hulk, but a right hook to the temple ends it for him just 47 seconds in. Congrats to Derisier for the quickest finish so far. Bull Pen fighter Dave Fairley and James DeSantis of the Neglia Competition Team take to the ring. Fairley is the aggressor from the outset, but DeSantis' ability to return fire and land effectively gives him the split decision.

Liveblog: CatC Part 3

Ray Longo-trained Frank Hatsis and Kevin Mullhall-trained Rich Brattole of Jersey Fight Club enter the ring. Hatsis has Luke Cummo in his corner. No word if his waterbottle contains urine. The two maintain a frantic pace for all three rounds, but Brattole has more in his gas tank and keeps Hatsis reeling - which is enough to warrant the decision in his favor. Up next: Eddie Fahey of Dragon V against Giancarlo Vinciguerra of the Neglia Competition Team. For two rounds and 13 seconds Vinciguerra repeatedly tags Fahey in the grill, until finally Fahey lays down on the canvas and the referee calls it. TSMMA star striker Sophia Gegovic enters to take on Cool Hearts' Danika Johnston. This one plays out like a chessmatch, with Gegovic's superior boxing technique and timing enabling her to pick at the game Johnson throughout and earn her the decision.

Liveblog: CatC Part 2

Tiger Schulmann MMA fighter Linda Tarsio takes to the ring to face Norma Armijo of America's Finest. These two dimunitive femmes throw down doggedly for the duration, with Tarsio taking the decision with crisper striking. Alicia Bourne, sister of Jason, from the Wat Gym is up next to take on Champion Fitness' Heather Wagner. Before the bout gets underway Kru Phil Nurse takes a paintbrush and slathers Bourne with Vaseline. We'll see if that is a factor. Hmmm, okay, it's not a factor. What is though is the fact that Wagner brought karate to a kickboxing match, which means she gets knocked on her ass a lot and Bourne takes the decision. Alex Wilkie-trained Steve Sierra vs. TSMMA's Steven Regman is up next. The two go at it hard, but Regman's got the counter-striking edge and he takes the decision.

Liveblog: Combat at the Capitale Part 1

MMA Journalist is ringside for promoter Lou Neglia's Combat at the Capitale, an NYC kickboxing event in Chinatown. For those who don't know, the Capitale is a nightclub that used to be a bank, so fighters are locked in a vault and must kick their way out. Okay, not really, but the venue is beautiful and the place gets pretty packed. There are 20 bouts on the card, and first up is a female bout between Daniele Farula of Dragon V Martial Arts and Kasey Matthews of Wing Martial Arts. An interesting thing about Farula... Anyway, for three rounds Farula throws a grand total of seven kicks, 2,000 punches, gets her nose bloodied and wins the unanimous decision. Next is Robbie Guliano of Bull Pen vs. Eric Anthamatten of Premiere Martial Arts. Not Secondary Martial Arts, but Premiere Martial Arts, which is better. Want proof? Look no further than Anthamatten's three knockdowns of Guliano in Round 2 - an automatic stoppage and win for the Premiere rep.

Weekend Schedule

The latest installment of Bellator FC is tonight in Louisiana, and it features the semifinals of the middleweight tournament. Cuban judo star Hector Lombard is taking on Damien Stelly, and then some other dudes are fighting.

Tonight in New York City's Chinatown is Combat at the Capitale, promoter Lou Neglia's kickboxing-only event that usually has a few local MMA stars getting some ringtime to sharpen their striking skills. A preliminary card had Jimmie Rivera and Garrett Carmody on it, but I'm not sure who's on it now. MMA Journalist will be there to liveblog so stay tuned.

Link to Bleacher Report Article

Here's a link to a Bleacher Report article, because, well, why not?

Race Angle to Play No Role at All in TUF 10

The race angle will play no role at all in the tenth season of "The Ultimate Fighter", despite the fact that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans have been tapped to be opposing coaches, according to a statement released by SpikeTV. Said producer Emile Whitey Jones, "We are very pleased with how the show is shaping up. No single demographic is being pandered to. This will be a season everyone will find entertaining." TUF 10 will feature a fresh crop of heavyweights only, with a number of contestants hailing from NFL backgrounds. Rumored guest coaches include Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Chuck D from the rap group "Public Enemy" and that Rastaman bike messenger who you buy weed from once a month. The first episode is slated to air in September.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Presented Without Comment Re: Shady Promoter

"Hahahahaha!!! I know Rick Huddleston personally, and believe me, he has a LOOOOOOOONG history of ripping people off and being a scumbag loser!!!!!!!!!! He'll never change, just hopefully someone kicks his ass once and for all!!!!" - anonymous poster on "Cease and Desist" article

Mitch the Intern's TUF 9 Recap: Episode 9

*Editor's note: Mitch the Intern is an NYU undergrad whose favorite Wednesday night pastime includes the TV in his dorm room, a green beanbag chair and two hits of acid. Enjoy.*

So Team America: World Police is left without a fighter after Dana White has declared Jason Pierce too sad to compete. Poor Jason Pierce. As the Smurf destined to hate everything - including his injured foot, competing, the Octagon, human beings and TUF contracts - his lot in life is a dismal one. His teammates opt to kill him for his inability to muster a positive outlook, so he's weighted down with chains tied to cinderblocks and dropped into the pool.

Cue sad music. Okay, cut.

Dana calls Mark Miller into his lair and asks him if he wants to be a fucking fighter. "My nose hurts," replies Miller. "Plus, I knocked out Josh Neer in the IFL two years ago, so I pretty much peaked then."

"Right," says Dana, who then poses the same profanity-ridden question to Frank Loser. "Yes sir I do want to fight!" replies Frank Loser. "I lost my teeth in my fight a couple days ago, my face is sore and on the verge of failing off, my colon aches and I think I may have scurvy and gout, but I do want to fight!"

So Dana allows Frank Loser to fill in for the irreversibly depressed Jason Pierce, who by now is being picked apart by the hermit crabs that reside in the bottom of the TUF house pool.

Then there's some drama concerning who has to wake up early, with the Queen of England (Dan?) talking so slow a passing tortoise pauses, rears up on its hindclaws and declares, "Damn. Speed it up, will ya?" Apparently the Queen wants Team America: World Police to sleep later, but Team UK coach Michael Bisping doesn't want this whole coaching thing to get in the way of his morning snuggles with Dana White, where the two climb into a single purple Slanket and share a croissant while watching the Today Show. Bisping says no, then suggests that the impending match between Frank Loser and the garble-mouthed David Faulkner settle the issue. None of that flies, so in desperation he viciously attacks the Marquis de Johnson with water squirted from a bottle. The Marquis take 22 hit points of damage and must make a saving throw vs. water bottles, but after the Queen remarks that Bisping is acting like a child and seems to have a thing against royalty, the Brit apologizes. Or something. Who knows. Anyway, Team America: World Police gets to sleep later and Bisping's Slanket sessions with Dana suffer.

And what of that coveted homosexual demographic? What nod to them for this week's episode? It's the gag reflex! David Faulkner still can't keep things in his mouth, so he's sent to a hypnotist. Faulkner narrates in a form of English virtually unspoken since the Battle of Hastings in 1066, peppering his tale with a bunch of words like "ye" and "olde" and "forced to fellate a baguette as a childe" while he's put into some sort of faux-trance by a witch doctor. Is he healed? Doubtful, although he no longer has the urge to smoke and will cluck like a chicken whenever someone says "sandwich".

Then it's fight time, with a dearly departed Mask from Tapout cageside for what turns out to be a sloppy but entertaining war. Throughout the first round the Queen repeats "jab, jab, jab, jab..." until finally referee Moustache Mazzagati has had enough, and when Moustache Mazzagati takes off a shoe and hurls it the Queen, she ducks and hides in the crawl-space beneath the Octagon. Faulkner ends up getting the best of his American foe, but in Round 2 Frank Loser takes control, battering the Brit and sapping him of all his energy. The bell rings and it's expected that a third round is needed. Faulkner ain't having it.

"Don't do this," implores Bisping. "You'll regret this forever."

But Faulkner won't budge, repeatedly stating that he enjoyed himself. Interesting. Well, glad you enjoyed yourself, buddy. Why don't you sit back and relax? Can I get you a Sprite or something?

The fight is waved off and Frank Loser is now Frank Winner after forcing Team UK's alleged best fighter to quit. The end.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Top Five Legends of Karate

With his dominant UFC 98 performance and stunning knockout of TUF 2 winner Rashad Evans, karate black belt Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida not only secured himself the UFC's light-heavyweight crown, he earned himself a spot amongst the venerable "Legends of Karate" - a group of highly-regarded practitioners of the "Empty-Handed Way" forever entrenched within our culture as heroes. Who else shares in this legendary status? MMA Journalist has compiled a list. They are, in no particular order:
  • Walker, Texas Ranger - A law enforcement officer who worked in the Dallas/Fort Worth region, Cordell Walker utilized a two-fisted, gritty form of karate to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice.
  • Daniel LaRusso - From his early roots in New Jersey's YMCA karate scene to his growth as a karateka under the tutelage of Sensei Miyagi in California, LaRusso employed a deceptively effective style to that enabled him to fell opponents despite barely even touching them. After winning the All Valley Karate Tournament, he went overseas to compete in unsanctioned challenge matches in Japan.
  • Bruce Leroy - Labeled as "The Last Dragon", Leroy was a New York City native on a quest to attain "The Final Level" in a ranking system that bathed its most skilled and accomplished in "The Glow". Leroy was eventually successful in achieving the Final Level, with the resulting Glow enabling him to handily defeat Sho'Nuff, a.k.a. the Shogun of Harlem, in an underground bout.
  • Ryu, the Street Fighter - With techniques such as the "Hurricane Kick", the "Psycho Fire" and the "Dragon Punch", Ryu swept through an international martial arts tournament, defeating representatives from the United States, China and even Thailand. Ryu shared a rivalry with fellow tournament competitor Ken.
  • Oddjob - A personal bodyguard and henchman to Auric Goldfinger, the physically imposing Oddjob was a master of karate who often employed a razor-edged hat as a missile weapon. After dominating British Secret Intelligence Service agent James Bond in unarmed combat, he was inadvertently electrocuted by a loose electrical wire.

The Fight Nerd

Check him out at . He's making his presence felt in the world of MMA reporting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Observations From My Couch: UFC 98

  • Once again it's sad watching the passing of our heroes. For the longest time, Sean Sherk was the man. Now it seems it's Frankie Edgar's turn.
  • Dan Miller is better than that. Much.
  • Xavier Foupa-Pokam. The purest embodiment of "the suck" the Octagon has seen in quite a while.
  • Does this mean the Northeast MMA scene gets Andre Gusmao back? I have no problem with that. He can be pretty exciting at times.
  • Matt Serra was robbed, plain and simple.
  • Holy karate!

Back From Vacation

MMA Journalist is back from vacation, so, um, yeah. Back now. In case you were wondering why there were no posts... vacation.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mitch the Intern's TUF 9 Recap: Episode 8

*Editor's note: Mitch the Intern is an NYU undergrad whose favorite Wednesday night pastime includes the TV in his dorm room, a green beanbag chair and two hits of acid. Enjoy.*

Apparently, you have to actually want to be a fighter to become an "Ultimate Fighter". At least, that's what last night's episode taught us.

Close up on Team America: Word Police, training hard while the Queen of England (um, Dan?) talks so slow that her words are almost backwards, like "Hi guys, don't forget to train hard" is really "Ih syug, t'nod tegrof ot niart drah." Also, moss has started to grow on the Queen. We'll see where that goes.

Anyway, the American symbol of depression Jason Pierce sits despondent in a corner, shrouded in misery and blue like that smurf that hated everything is blue. His leg is infected with staph. Will he be able to fight? "I hate fighting," he replies. "I hate legs, too." Pierce pretty much hates it all.

Meawhile, Michael Bisping trains with his ward David Faulkner, with Faulkner's gag reflex the center of attention. "I hate stuff in me mouth," says Faulkner, and cheers erupt in a gay bar in Miami, then everyone does a shot and smacks the ass of the person to their right.

It's Frisbee time! Last week it was tennis, but this week, with no money on the line, Team America: World Police plays Frisbee. Stay tuned for next week, when hackeysack takes center stage.

Back to Pierce, who visits a doctor for his depression and is diagnosed with negative energy syndrome, a disease that affects millions every day and is the leading cause of black holes and trolls who live under bridges. The Queen of England declares her disdain for negative energy, but it comes out as something garbled that only ancient turtles and trees can understand. Vines now dangle from her almost inert form.

But like a hot dog dangled before a fat kid who hasn't eaten in hours, we don't get to see Pierce fight this week. Instead, Team America: World Police representative Jason Dent is paired up with ex-Monty Python member Jeff Lawson. Lawson provides the much needed comedic relief in that pressure cooker known as the TUF house, with most of his antics centering around skits involving him dressed as some sort of big-eared animal interacting with Mexican wrestlers. Also, we get to see his exposed butt (and in that gay bar in Miami, everyone cheers, does a shot and smacks the ass of the person on their right).

Suddenly it's fight day, and everyone heads to the TUF training center to prepare for battle. Dana White shows up, apparently aware that Pierce hates everything, and pulls him and the Queen of England aside. "How is your staph-infected leg?" asks Dana, adding a string of F-bombs and some colorful profanity.

"I hate it," replies Pierce. "Also, I hate you."

Dana dismisses them, then we're subjected to a sloppy MMA bout that sees Lawson on top in Round 1, trying fruitlessly to get a submission or drop leather but really looking like someone who has only heard MMA described and never actually seen a bout. Lawson runs out of gas in Round 2, though, and Dent applies an Anaconda choke to end the Brit's run at TUF glory.

Back to Dana, who's had time to mull over Pierce's responses and hatred over everything. He calls Pierce and the Queen back into a secluded room. "You don't want to be a fucking fighter, Pierce, so you're done." Pierce weeps a little, but then realizes he hates weeping, and moves on. The end.

Point/Counterpoint: The Country Breakfast vs. The Spaghetti Dinner

Point: The Country Breakfast- Woo-wee do you have a hard day on the farm ahead of you! Already you've cleaned out the hen house and fed the pigs, but now that the sun is up you have plenty of other chores to take care of - like milking the cows and chopping some fire wood. So why don't you sit right down over there and dig into that fresh stack of steaming pancakes. Want some maple syrup with that? Here, eat some of these sausage links and bacon strips, too. Also, don't forget to change the hay in the horse barn, and I believe the new parts for the combine have arrived at the general store in town, so don't forget to pick those up. Care for a bowl of oatmeal? There's sliced banana mixed in there. And have some of these scrambled eggs - they're a little runny, which is just how you like them. Did you hear that tree go down in the storm last night? It sounded like it was along the northern edge of the property, and if it fell and busted up the fence, well, that fence is going to need fixin' or else them sheep'll get out. Why don't you check on that, too? But first, I have a waffle and some biscuits ready for you. Eat up, boy!

Counterpoint: The Spaghetti Dinner- Bonjourno! How nice of you to drop by! I heard you were coming so I laid out a nice antipasti. It's got your favorite - melon wrapped in prosciutto - and when you finish with that there's some fried calamari with marinara. Mange! Mange! You look so thin these days. Are you getting enough to eat? Here, have some spaghetti - al dente, just how you like it. And here, have two-three meatballs. Mama-mia, those meatballs are good! Three kinds of meat in there, with garlic and basil and just the right amount of love! Mwah! Here, have some escarole with that. It's good for you. And when you're done, I've got some cannolis in the ice box. That's-a my boy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From the Mailbag re: Should Dana White Go for MMA to Grow?

From the mailbag: "Yo dogg, you crazy. my boy Dana knows whats up. he benn makin all the right moves to get evything where it is. He needs to stay and YOU NEED TO GO!!!1" - Newarkninja83

Thanks for the kind words, Newarkninja83. And I use the word "words" very, very loosely.

Things That Won't Happen at UFC 98

UFC 98 is Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, with light-heavyweight champ Rashad Evans defending his belt against Lyoto "Bruce Leroy" Machida, and Matt Hughes and Matt Serra finally meeting in a co-main event heralded as a grudge match but more akin to "Oh Jeez, Just Get the Damn Fight Over With" bout. Anyhoo, here's a list of things that won't happen at UFC 98:
  • Machida will not move forward. In fact, the infamous backpedaler will make his way to the Octagon backwards.
  • Hughes and Serra will not engage in a rousing striking-only battle. No, something about that whole match-up screams "Grappling! One man laying on another!"
  • Xavier Foupa-Pokam's name will not be made fun of at any afterparties. By drunken strippers. To his face. While he secretly weeps on the inside. At the painful memories of kids in grade school making fun of him.
  • Chael Sonnen will not win.
  • Frankie Edgar and Sean Sherk will not engage in or employ any kind of wrestling or wrestling technique. Instead, they will box like 1920s style boxers with their "dukes up".

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dana White Promotional Tour to Include Appearance on Jimmy Fallon Show, Ringing NASDAQ Bell, Selling Hotdogs at Gray's Papaya and Using Macy's Toilet

In conjunction with his promotional tour for the release of the "UFC 2009 Undisputed" video game, UFC Giant Tiki-Tiki Head Dana White will be appearing on the "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show tonight in New York City, as well as ringing the closing bell for the NASDAQ stock exchange. According to a statement issued by Zuffa, White will also be selling hotdogs at the 72nd Street & Broadway Gray's Papaya location at midday, using the toilet at the world-famous Macy's department store in midtown, vomiting on the sidewalk in front of where CBGB's once stood on the Bowery and hawking stolen car stereos under the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown. If his schedule permits it, White will also stab a pedestrian in Morningside Park and pass out in a hooker's apartment in the Frederick Douglass Houses low-income housing projects.

Q & A with Mirko CroCop's Shin

With the recent news that Mirko CroCop may be returning to the Octagon for UFC 99 in Germany, MMA Journalist tracked down the once-feared Pride star's shin for an interview. Always willing to talk, CroCop's shin addressed a number of issues, including up-coming opponent Mustapha Al-Turk and the pressure of performing.
  • So, you're CroCop's shin. How's that working out for you? Great! It's going great.
  • How's it feel to be returning to the UFC? Things didn't exactly work out for you the last time around... No, they absolutely did not. But you know what? I blame that on bad match-ups.
  • Bad match-ups? Yeah. I mean, look at who I faced. Gabriel Gonzaga, who totally copied my signature move - which I had trademarked, and yes, there is still legal action pending for trademark infringement. And then there was Cheick Kongo. Do you realize how tall that guy is? I can get up that high, man. I just can't.
  • Okay, so you faced opponents who were bad match-ups for you. What about your UFC 99 opponent, Mustapha Al-Turk? Oh, he should be no problem. He's only about 6'2", so I definitely can reach his head.
  • Do you feel any sort of pressure in regards to your return? After all, you were at one time considered one of the top heavyweight fighters in the world. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah. I was at the top but now I'm not. Listen, of course there's pressure. There always is in bouts you give a crap about. I didn't feel any pressure in my previous UFC bouts because I didn't give a crap about them. I honestly thought Pride fighters were tougher than UFC fighters, so I thought it would be easy. Well, I learned otherwise, so now I give a crap. Consequently, now I feel pressure.
  • How do you feel fighting for the UFC? Do you miss Pride? I like the UFC fine. Do I miss Pride? Well, I gotta tell you, I miss that cute little Japanese number who'd hit on me after my bouts. Now I have this clown Joe Rogan sticking a microphone in my face. He is no where near as cute.
  • Alrighty then. That's all the questions I have. Do you want to add anything for the fans? Sure. Stay tuned for a knockout at UFC 99. I've been kicking over banana trees in training and I'm going to take someone's head off.
  • Banana trees? Really? No, not really. It just sounds cool.

Monday, May 18, 2009

From the Mailbag re: Should Dana White Go for MMA to Grow?

From the mailbag: "Congratulations! You have been awarded the sum of $10,000,000 USD from the Royal Nigerian State Lottery. To collect your prize, send your full name, address, telephone number and date of birth to and you will be mailed a check for the sum. Do not delay in your reply." - Online Notification

Gee, thanks Mr. Online Notification. That really doesn't address the whole Dana White question, but I appreciate your response.

Congrats to Team New York San Da

Congrats are in order for Team New York San Da for their performances at that New York-area underground show in Friday. The event may have been unsanctioned and unregulated, but the fact that you stepped into the cage to test and sharpen yourselves speaks volumes to your progress as a fight team.

Observations From My Couch: Bellator FC Week 7

  • Alonzo Martinez, Victor Meza, Jose Chalupa, Chico Gonzales... A whole bunch of people I still don't know fought and won and lost. Yippee.
  • Boy was that Jay White/Eddie Sanchez bout a non-starter. That shouldn't even count as a win for Sanchez. That should go on his criminal record as a mugging.
  • It was nice of Jorge Ortiz to get all in shape for his welterweight semifinal bout. Please, someone get that guy a sandwich or something and then make him do some calisthenics.
  • Lyman Good is like a life-sized action figure that can punch you in the face really hard and choke the crap out of you. Fear him.
  • It's sad seeing someone like Dave Menne - the UFC's first middleweight champ and a true elder statesman in the sport - get his ass completely handed to him. Time is the enemy of us all.
  • Omar De La Cruz versus Good for the welterweight crown. Can I get a woot-woot?

Observations From My Couch: "Strikeforce Challengers"

  • You'd think that at some point someone would have clued Tito Jones in on the fact that he was in a fight and not a sparring match. In fights, you actually have to defeat your opponent, not just rock them and let them recover.
  • Aaron Rosa and Anthony Ruiz - not ready for prime time!
  • I'd like to see Lavar Johnson against someone like Alistair Overeem or Brett Rogers. He'd probably have to throw two or three punches then.
  • Sarah Kaufman and Miesha Tate had a decent little scrap, but one thing was very apparent as the bout went on: neither one were Tara LaRosa.
  • It's good that the Mike Aina/Billy Evangelista bout was stopped in Round 2. If it had gone the distance, there's no telling how many more fouls Evangelista would have committed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Question for the Weekend: Does Dana White Need to Go for MMA to Grow?

Here's a question for you: Does UFC president and head potty mouth Dana White need to step down from his highly-visible position for MMA to grow? It goes without saying that White has been instrumental in taking the UFC and the sport in general to its current heights. But are his profanity, reputation and in-your-face style hindering further growth? Ponder that, then send your response to . If you say something smart - or at least funny - MMA Journalist will discuss the email next week.

Weekend Schedule

A lot of MMA this weekend. ShoMMA airs tonight on Showtime, while the latest installment of Bellator FC touches down in Chicago and features the welterweight semifinals of Lyman Good vs. Jorge Ortiz and Dave Menne vs. Omar De La Cruz. If Good and Menne win (which they should), they'll be facing each other in the finals (most likely at Mohegan Sun on June 12th). Check out ESPN Deportes tomorrow night for the airing of tonight's Bellator event.

Also tonight is a very hush-hush underground show not far from New York City. The card is a mix of different kinds of bouts, including MMA.

On Saturday night promoters Lou Neglia and Carl Mascarenhas are teaming up for an Asylum Fight League event dubbed "Fusion". Club Abyss in Sayreville, New Jersey is the venue.

ShoMMA Fun Facts

ShoMMA, aka Strikeforce Challengers, aka "Strikeforce Lite", aka "Where the Up and Comers Earn Their Paychecks", airs tonight on Showtime. The card reads like a West Coast regional event - which is fine - but most of the names may be foreign to casual MMA fans, so MMA Journalist has compiled a handy list of fun facts! Did you know...
  • That undefeated lightweight Billy Evangelista is the cousin of supermodel Linda Evangelista? Neither did he!
  • That Mike Aina was the original "Punchy" - the official mascot of the fruit drink "Hawaiian Punch"? When Aina reached adulthood and was deemed "too old" for the role, he was replaced by actor Haley Joel Osment.
  • That neither Sarah Kaufman nor Miesha Tate have ever worked at Hooters?
  • That Lavar Johnson's nickname "Big" is misleading, as the 246-pound heavyweight is actually only 4'6"? He was raised on Jupiter, where gravity is far greater, so his body is more compact and much more dense than that of a normal human!
  • That Bao Quach was named after a Vietnamese sandwich containing pork, pickled diakon, shredded carrots and field mouse on a toasted baguette? The sandwich is delicious!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mitch the Intern's TUF 9 Recap: Episode 7

*Editor's note: Mitch the Intern is an NYU undergrad whose favorite Wednesday night pastime includes the TV in his dorm room, a green beanbag chair and two hits of acid. Enjoy.*

Like a Steven Soderbergh film, this episode is layered with scenes and montages of only tangential relevance to the TUF premise of aspiring fighters locked away in a house and competing for a UFC contract. In other words: WTF?

In the training center, the Brit team works out using various methods of "man holding man" machismo. Somewhere in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, a gay bar's patrons hoot and holler as they watch on a big-screen TV. Then Michael Bisping introduces a giant tire and sledgehammer, and Team UK proceeds to smash the floor, themselves and their guitars and drums because that's what The Who did back in the day.

Cut to Team America: World Police, and a brooding Jason Pierce. He hates his teammates, he hates MMA, he hates living in the TUF house and he hates Smurfy.

Meanwhile, Carrot Top has cooties. "Don't touch me," says Pierce. "I hate cooties."

Back to Team UK and David Faulkner, whom everyone loves and wishes he were their dad or something. Due to their accents I gather that Faulkner can wrestle well and has good stand-up, but one of the Brits either says Faulkner is a "pitbull" or a "pickle". God, who knows.

We then return to Team America: World Police and the ongoing saga of Pierce, now revealed to have an injured foot. "I hate feet," Pierce declares. "Just be positive," suggests the Queen of England (aka Dan). Big Tall French Guy chimes in with a "Oui" - which means "yes" in kickboxing. "I hate you all," says Pierce, and he hobbles away. "I don't know what's going on in Jason's head sometimes," says the Queen of England, and then he lies down in a corner of the gym and becomes very, very still. Eventually a cactus sprouts up and grows around him.

Cut to the next fight selection, where Carrot Top is paired up against Nottingham Forest's favorite son, Ross the Incoherent. Will Carrot Top's cooties clear up in time?

Then it's time for tennis! What a second, tennis? WTF? Anyway, Dana White gathers both teams at a tennis court, and after he and Bisping embrace - and stare long and hard into each other's eyes, their mouth's just inches apart and their lips quivering like a fat kid quivers when faced with a real-life version of Mayor McCheese - Dana announces that Bisping and the Queen of England will play tennis for money. Hilarity does not ensue. The Queen of England wins handily, but the real winners are the fans of tennis, who will never have to be subjected to watching this unless they somehow click on SpikeTV while changing channels on an afternoon they're not out horseback riding or playing polo.

Fast-forward to a birthday celebration at the TUF house. It's Carrot Top's birthday!

Switch to outside, where Big Tall French Guy and Frank Loser are listening to Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All weep over love lost. "I really miss 'Sex in the City'," Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All says amidst sobs. "Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha... I miss them all."

And then it's fight time. Ross the Incoherent keeps picking up Carrot Top and dumping him on the mat, and though he delivers an illegal knee to the grill while Carrot Top is on the ground, the point deduction means nothing; he eventually gets Carrot Top in position for a submission and snags an armbar. The end.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Extreme Challenge and WCA Team Up to Create Mega-Grand-Superduper-Two-Day MMA Marathon

Monte Cox's Extreme Challenge and the World Cagefighting Alliance are teaming up to create "Caged Combat" - a mega-grand-superduper-doubleheader MMA marathon on June 5th and June 6th at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City. Headlining Friday night's card will be Tara LaRosa versus someone - anyone - female, as well as Tom Gallicchio against some kid from Detroit, Lester Caslow, Kevin Roddy, Tim Troxell and a bunch of other local guys. Headlining Saturday night's card will be Doug Gordon against WEC refugee Justin Haskins, plus rising star Steve DeAngelis against hard-hitter Jeff Lentz, Greg Soto, Plinio Cruz and Tuan "The Career Derailer" Pham. Two consecutive days of MMA is an awful lot, so MMA Journalist may set up a small tent and camp out in the marsh beside the venue. Maybe even fire up a barbecue and grill some steaks. How do you like yours? Medium rare?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Upcoming Bellator FC Installment to Feature New York Fugitive Jay White

This week's upcoming installment of Bellator FC will of course provide us with the eagerly-anticipated welterweight semifinal match-ups of Lyman Good vs. Dead Man Walking and Dave Menne vs. Dude Destined to Die, but also on the card is heavyweight Jay White against Eddie Sanchez. Who is Jay White? Originally hailing from Troy, New York, White was a Team Renzo grappler on the fast track to MMA success back in 2003. But he made the mistake of jumping into the deep end of the pool before he'd mastered the art of swimming (which in non-metaphor speak means he took fights against killer opponents when he should've taken it slower; he lost to Jeff Monson twice, then fell to Mark Burch and Jake O'Brien - tough heavyweights all). With those losses, White played fugitive and absconded to training camps like Team Quest and Xtreme Couture to change things up, and Northeast fans hoping for a 265-pound jiu-jitsu rep to root for were left high and dry. Well, now White is back and hopefully has those chinks in his armor all patched up. And while his 4-5-1 record may not be all that awe-inspiring, a more talented prospect in his weight class you will not find. Keep an eye out for him if his bout is aired.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"The Key to Lyoto Machida's Success Lies in His Katas"

When top 205-pound contender Lyoto Machida steps into the Octagon to face champ Rashad Evans at UFC 98 on May 23rd, the Japanese-Brazilian Shotokan karate practitioner will almost certainly have his hands full with the champ's powerful wrestling and always-dangerous striking skills. But according to homeless karate master Sho'nuff, who was formerly the Shogun of Harlem but is now an itinerant ronin who collects empty soda cans, victory is entirely within Machida's grasp. "The key to Lyoto Machida's success lies in his katas," says Sho'nuff. "If he practices his technique to the point where he reaches the 'Final Level', well, that mofo will have 'The Glow'. Know wa mean?" But what of Evans' devastating KO power and athleticism? According to Sho'nuff, if Machida is bathed in the mythical Glow, nothing the TUF 2 winner brings into the cage will matter. "Who's the meanest? Who's the prettiest? Who's the baddest mofo, lowdown, around this town? If he's got the Glow, it will be that Brazilian cat. Trust me on this one, homeboy." Added the bedraggled-looking former competitor: "Say, brother, can you loan me a dollar?"

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weekend Schedule

The latest installment of Bellator FC is tonight in Robstown, Texas, and the only real bout of interest will be EliteXC champ Wilson Reis' semifinal match-up against Joe Soto. Whoever wins that one will move on to face the winner of Estevan Payan vs. Yahir Reyes in the featherweight finals. The event will air on ESPN Deportes on Saturday night.

Tonight is another edition of Friday Night Fights in New York City, a fully-sanctioned promotion featuring Muay Thai and boxing bouts. Last I heard, Joe Sampieri - who's taught Muay Thai at Renzo's academy and has fought MMA a few times with mixed results - is on the card.

There's also another Asylum Fight League this weekend. This one is way down in Southern New Jersey at some place called "Shady Katie's". I think Shady Katie's is a strip club. Or a meth lab. Or both. I dunno. Check it out and report back to me.

What's Up in New York?

What's going to happen to the Underground Combat League when MMA is sanctioned in New York? Check out this article written by some dude who likes to front like he's some sort of authority or something - .

Dana White and John Hackleman Exchange Barbs Over Hairstyles

UFC High Exhalted One Dana White and longtime Chuck Liddell-trainer John Hackleman, two of the industry's more recognizable bald men, exchanged barbs over hairstyles yesterday. At the heart of the matter is White's insistence that Liddell shave off his Mohawk after the former 205-pound champ's recent KO loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. According to White, Liddell - once one of the most feared Mohawk-sporting fighters in MMA - is past his competitive hirsute prime, and at the UFC 97 post-fight press conference White stated, "This is the last team you will see Chuck's legendary hairstyle in the Octagon."

"Dana doesn't know what he's talking about," said Hackleman, who in his youth enjoyed a healthy and expansive afro but has for the last 15 years been hairless atop his head. "Chuck's Mohawk is still very capable and very dangerous, and besides, it's up to Chuck to decide what he'll do with his hair. Dana's just jealous his own hairline receded so badly back in 2003."

"I guess John's still saving up for hair plugs," said White in response. "But I know what's best for Chuck. He needs to shave it off."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Bouts Lacking Eddie Alvarez Announced For UFC 101 in Philadelphia

The UFC has announced more bouts lacking superstar Eddie Alvarez for their UFC 101 Philadelphia grand affair slated for August 8th. In addition to the previously mentioned pairing of non-Philly natives BJ Penn and Kenny Florian, out-of-stater Forrest Griffin will be taking on middleweight champ and foreigner Anderson Silva in a light-heavyweight bout, and Virginia-based Amir Sadollah will face someone not named Eddie Alvarez. In a nod to Northeast MMA fans, Ricardo Almeida, Kurt Pellegrino, John Howard and Tamdan McCrory are also on the card. Meanwhile, it's questionable whether or not the most successful mixed martial artist Philadelphia has ever produced (Eddie Alvarez) will even be in the Wachovia Center that night. Said a spokesman for the UFC, "Please. Leave me alone."

Mitch the Intern's TUF 9 Recap: Episode 6

*Editor's note: Mitch the Intern is an NYU undergrad whose favorite Wednesday night pastime includes the TV in his dorm room, a green beanbag chair and two hits of acid. Enjoy.*

Last night's episode is all about the dichotomy of disparate warriors riding into combat, each armed with varied skills and attitudes and each capable of winning or losing in their very own ways. Also, there's teeth.

The British Mr. T - still sulking from his defeat at the hands of the Marquis de Johnson - is taken aside by coach Michael Bisping, and Bisping apologizes for missing his fight. He weaves together some sort of excuse with threads containing the words "jetlag", "inexcusable" and "fell asleep in Dana White's hot tub amidst empty bottles of Boone's Farm and half-eaten Ring Dings, drunk on passion and love". But we know the truth. *Wink wink, nudge nudge.*

Cue Elvis Presley song remix. Okay, cut.

Then the next fight is announced. Is it me or is everything moving at breakneck speed? Anyway, Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All prances around in a tutu and waves a wand fashioned out of toothbrushes, yet for all his carefree attitude and frolicky-ness, he confesses to be really, really scared of fighting. Sensing this like an underfed Rottweiller or PMS-suffering bobcat senses fear, Bisping announces that Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All will be facing Sir Edmund Stapler, the inventor of the common office stapler. The Team America: World Police rep gulps, starts sweating profusely, and can be heard uttering "Mommy..." under his breath.

Back at the TUF house, Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All builds a fort in the living room out of sheets, blankets and pillows and forbids entry to anyone with a British accent. Gone is showtune-singing lad from Not Gay, California. Instead, we see a man very much like Shaggy and Scooby-Doo after a swamp monster has taken a seat behind them in the movie theater and hissed the words "Down in front." At the gym, the Queen of England (or Dan - anyone know why?) says his ward can win if he sticks to his game plan of talking real slow and appearing to have no concerns whatsoever over anything - not fighting, not anything. "But my stand-up is terrible," says Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All, and he demonstrates his terribleness by throwing pixie dust at some focus mitts and missing. "I'm going to die," he says. Meanwhile, the Queen of England lies down in a corner of the gym and doesn't move, and eventually wild animals like jackrabbits and lizards make nests on his still form.

But Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All doesn't die when he gets into the cage with Sir Edmund Stapler. No, he throws the Brit down and chokes him out with ease. And then the next fight is announced (whoa, slow down SpikeTV. Do you have somewhere else you want to be? What happened to us savoring these episodes?), with Team America: World Police fighter Frank Loser taking on Some Brit Who Lives in California Because Weed is Legal There.

Frank Loser is the exact opposite of Cameron Dollar-Dollar-Bill-Y'All in that he dresses more masculine and stomps around declaring his need for violence and his eagerness to punch people in the face. A teammate with a grudge against teeth offers Frank Loser a $100 bounty on any dislodged toofs he brings back to the house. Keeping in line with the way the show has been going lately, the backstory we get on these guys encompasses pretty much just what they had for breakfast (Frank Loser has a bagel; Some Brit Who Lives in California Because Weed is Legal There has a bowl of Wheatabix). Then they're fighting.

For all his tough talk and aggression, Frank Loser comes out swinging and is quickly the absorber of a beating. Round 1 ends with the American sporting a Grand Canyon-like gap in his grill and teeth stuck in his mouthpiece, and soon into Round 2 the Brit is tapping him out with an armbar. Back in the locker room, Frank Loser remembers the $100 bounty and spits out more teeth, thereby coming away from the defeat richer by 500 bucks. Good for him.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anderson Silva and Roy Jones Jr. Agree to Tantalize and Torment Fans Interested in Match-Up

UFC middleweight demigod Anderson Silva and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. have agreed to relentlessly tantalize and torment fans interested in a match-up between the two, according to a report issued today by the Internet. Silva and Jones have proposed to dangle the idea of their meeting in the Octagon before fight-hungry fans indefinitely, and have even gone so far as to agree to facing each other under MMA rules - despite assurances from UFC Chief Scrooge Dana White that the bout would never happen. "I'd rather let another organization have Roy Jones Jr.," said White. "The UFC isn't about making money or pleasing fans. We'll leave that to someone else." Meanwhile, Strikeforce honcho Scott Coker released a statement, emphatically crying out "Oooh! Me! Me! Me!"

"Smokin'" Joey Villasenor to Give Up Smoking, Cites Health Reasons

"Smokin'" Joey Villasenor, a Greg Jackson-trained fighter from New Mexico known for his hard-hitting style and penchant for tobacco products, has announced his commitment to give up smoking. Citing health reasons and increasing statistical evidence that smoking can cause lung cancer and heart disease, Villasenor vowed in a statement to MMA Journalist that his "days of going through a carton of cigarettes and a box of cigars are through." "No more, man," said the veteran of Pride, the WFA and Strikeforce. "I owe it to myself, my loved ones and my coach. Smokin' Joe is done smoking." When pressed about the matter further, Villasenor conceded that he will continue to chew tobacco. "Yeah, you can call me Chewin' Tobacco Joe now." Villasenor is set to face Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos at Strikeforce Challengers June 19th event, which will be broadcast live on Showtime.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ROC 25 Shaping Up Nicely

Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat will return to the Tropicana in Atlantic City on June 12th, and the line-up for ROC 25 is shaping up nicely. According to their website, lightweight slugger Dom Stanco will be facing the well-rounded and dangerous Eddie Fyvie, heavyweight grappler Joe Abouata will take on up-and-comer Gian Villante, Igor Gracie will square off against Team Tiger Schulmann's Radji Bryson-Barrett, and TSMMA stand-out Louis Gaudinot will attempt to land a spinning backfist on veteran wrestler Nick Cottone. As for championship bouts, ROC middleweight champ and Team Renzo rep Rafael Sapo and UFC vet Sean Salmon will scrap, while light-heavyweight killer Ricardo Romero rematches with Glen Sandull (Romero lost their last bout via disqualification). As top-level regional promotions go, ROC is king. MMA Journalist will definitely be cageside for this one.

Top Five Worst Fighters in the Northeast

It takes a lot of guts to step into the ring or cage and test oneself in front of a crowd of strangers. However, it takes just one good look in the mirror to realize you're not ready for that test, and through the years MMA Journalist has witnessed a select few wade into combat totally unprepared and get clobbered for their ignorance. Here's a list of the top five worst Northeast fighters in no particular order (note: since the advent of amateur MMA in New Jersey in 2004, most people not ready for prime time get weeded out; sadly, the following had no such league to learn how much their karate sucked):
  • Rob Copenhaver - Back in 2003, Copenhaver was the man if a promoter needed a fighter to fill a hole in the card, and no opponent ever complained. It's hard to say what style Copenhaver represented, as he tended to get beaten up on the feet as much as on the ground. Yet one thing was certain: his full-length Lycra pants meant doom for anyone who dared oppose him. Okay, not really.
  • Jon McCaffrey - McCaffrey has the dubious distinction of being the first mixed martial artist to be banned from pro competition for poor performance. The performance in question? A Ring of Combat 6 13-second TKO loss to Jordan Pergola that was embarrassing for Pergola, the referee, the commission, the fans and innocent bystanders driving by on the New Jersey Turnpike who had no idea why they suddenly felt sick to their stomachs.
  • Abdul Mohammed - Perhaps the most scariest-looking individual to ever step into the ring (he's so heavily tattooed, the ink designs cover his face), Mohammed has trekked from the wilds of Pennsylvania to compete in NYC's Underground Combat League twice. And he's been knocked out in seconds both times. He looks tough but his jaw is glass.
  • Khristian Geraci - Supposedly, Geraci had boxed Golden Gloves and was dangerous with his hands. No one ever saw that, though, as he had very little ground game and kept losing. And losing. And losing. I think his record stands at 2-9-1 now, with his two wins coming via triangle choke after his opponents grew so overconfident they'd lit up pipes and casually starting smoking them from within his guard.
  • Felix Rodriguez - A staple at Underground Combat League shows, Rodriguez is a tall and lanky lightweight who can be talked into getting into the ring with anyone. Miraculously, Rodriguez has never been killed, despite facing the likes of light-heavyweight Kaream Ellington and anyone else from any weight class looking to get an easy win.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Gallicchio Wins, Returns to Jersey with Aijan Frozen in Carbonite

The mighty Tom Gallicchio was victorious this past weekend in his quest to submit and capture Ohio's Marcus Aijan. Tracking his prey to a UMMAXX event in Akron, Gallicchio utilized a second-round triangle choke to incapacitate the submission specialist before freezing Aijan in carbonite. This was Gallicchio's first fight since his surprising loss to Rich Ashkar back in February. He has since returned to New Jersey, and Aijan's frozen form now hangs in his living room.

Tara LaRosa to Not Face Meisha Tate at ShoMMA Event

Sources within the Strikeforce organization have revealed that Miesha Tate will not be facing Tara LaRosa at the ShoMMA: "Strikeforce Challengers" event on May 15th. Instead, Tate will be facing Sarah Kaufman, an undefeated 8-0 competitor who replaces original opponent Kim Couture (Couture withdrew for "personal reasons") and who is definitely not the top-ranked 135-pound female fighter LaRosa. "I am very excited not to be fighting the best female fighter in the world," said Tate on the match-up. "Yeah, me too," added Kaufman, who, like Tate, can breathe a sigh of relief now that her first bout on the inaugural Strikeforce Challengers event won't end in a definite humiliating loss. Said Tate and Kaufman in unison, "Imagine getting tapped out on live TV?" And then they giggled.

Toby Frickin' Imada

On Friday night's Bellator FC, lifelong journeyman Toby Imada catapulted himself into the major leagues with a never-before-seen inverted upside-down triangle choke that left top ten lightweight Jorge Masvidal tumbling to the mat unconscious. How huge an upset was that? About as big an upset as when that iceberg defeated the Titanic via TKO back in 1912. For two and a half rounds Imada got the worst of the stand-up exchanges, and as expected Masvidal was cruising into his slot in the finals, where he'd be facing Eddie Alvarez at a later date. Now, with that "submission of the year" candidate, it's going to be Imada versus Alvarez in a Bellator FC lightweight tournament finale that's suddenly been infused with storyline and drama. Woot!

As the Couture Turns

In today's episode, Doctor Randy Couture's marriage to Kim Couture is in jeopardy after the vaunted brain surgeon files for divorce. Daughter Gina Carano is stricken with amnesia and believes herself to be a member of Greg Jackson's gang of bank robbers, while back at Zuffa General Hospital it's revealed that Lorenzo Fertita is Dana White's long-lost father - the product of an illicit one-night stand with Tom Atencio. Kimbo Slice's wedding to Scott Coker is interrupted by an intoxicated and rowdy Joe Silva, who later professes his love to the former EliteXC star, and across town love is in the air as a first date between Forrest Griffin and Anderson Silva goes off without a hitch. Like sands in the hourglass, these are the days of our lives...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Weekend Schedule

Eddie Alvarez and Jorge Masvidal are taking on Eric Reynolds and Toby Imada in the next round of Bellator FC's lightweight tournament. The event is in Ohio tonight but will air on ESPN Deportes tomorrow. Expect the Philadelphia slugger and Miami maimer to wreck house.

The Asylum Fight League will be having a grand all-day shindig at the Raritan Center in Edison, New Jersey on Saturday. According to their press release, experienced pros like Alvarez, Phil Baroni, Kurt Pellegrino, Martin Kampmann and Jay Heiron will be conducting seminars, plus there will be a wrestling tournament and a NAGA grappling tournament going down. Then, in the evening, there will be a 13-bout AFL amateur MMA event. That's a lot of combat sports for one day.