Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cris Cyborg Wounded By Hunters; November 7th Bout in Jeopardy

Cris "Cyborg" Santos' November 7th bout against an unnamed opponent, which was to take place on the Fedor Emelianenko/Brett Rogers Strikeforce undercard and broadcast live on CBS, is now in jeopardy after the 145-pound female champ was wounded by hunters in Brazil. According to her handler, Santos was stalking food in the Pantanal wetlands when the gleam of her shiny championship belt gave her position away to a pair of game hunters, and she was grazed by the subsequent volley of shotgun fire. "She is fine as it was only a flesh wound," said Manuel Carfi of the Chute Boxe Academy of Monsters. "But it is up to the doctors to decide if she will be cleared to fight by November, so we shall see." The fate of the hunters is unknown at this time, although it is believed that they were eaten. By something. Something terrible.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy to Determine Who's Not Ready for GSP and Who's Really Not Ready for GSP

According to rumors, TUF 1 veteran Mike Swick and British hair casualty Dan Hardy will likely be facing at UFC 105 to determine who's not ready for Georges St. Pierre and who's really not ready for Georges St. Pierre, with the winner facing (and getting slaughtered by) the welterweight champ at a later date. Unless every other 170-pound fighter on the planet is somehow injured or otherwise busy, it's a match-up that makes little sense, as neither man has defeated a big enough "name" fighter to warrant top contender status. Regardless, thanks to St. Pierre needing the money to keep up on payments for his Lexus, the bout could very well happen. Who stands the better chance of not getting smooshed for the TKO stoppage in the title bout? American Kickboxing Academy-trained Swick is a capable striker with the ability to end fights suddenly with his right cross, whereas Hardy's right hook and awful hairstyle are his best assets. But neither will be able to stuff St. Pierre's takedowns, so really, the point is moot. Hopefully, the next 170-pound contender the UFC lines up will be a more compelling threat.

ION to Counterprogram TUF 10 Kimbo vs. Nelson Episode with "Golden Girls" Marathon

In an effort to counterprogram what is sure to be a monumental ratings draw, the Christian network ION has scheduled a "Golden Girls" marathon opposite tomorrow night's highly-anticipated TUF 10 episode featuring Kimbo Slice versus Roy Nelson on SpikeTV. It's a bold move. As promised by last week's TUF episode, the former backyard brawler and IFL champ are slated to meet in the Octagon - a hefty match-up for a reality show and a pairing that could conceivably have been a headliner in any other promotion. Said an ION spokesperson, "No way should SpikeTV dominate the coveted 'men ages 18-34' demographic. Hopefully, this Golden Girls marathon will put a damper on their market share." The Golden Girls, which starred Estelle Getty, Bea Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan, was a late '80s sitcom featuring old people doing old stuff.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Observations From My Couch: Strikeforce Challengers "Night of the Can"

  • Mismatches, mismatches, mismatches galore!
  • Why was Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier less impressive in his MMA debut than professional wrestler Brock Lesnar was in his?
  • A colonic is a method of colon cleansing involving enemas and bowel irrigation. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
  • Zach Light - same great look as a real fighter, but half the the calories.
  • Ray Sefo was getting owned before Kevin Jordan injured his quadriceps. Bummer. Jordan has always seemed like a cool dude.
  • Watching Tim Kennedy destroy Zak Cummings was like watching an M-1 Abrams battle tank roll into Kandahar and crush a slow-moving donkey in its path. In other words, it was ugly.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings

September 25, 2009: The September 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings have been released. These rankings are independent of any single MMA media outlet or sanctioning body, and are published on multiple web sites.

Some of the best and most knowledgeable MMA writers from across the MMA media landscape have come together to form one independent voting panel. These voting panel members are, in alphabetical order: Zach Arnold (Fight Opinion); Nicholas Bailey (MMA Ratings); Jared Barnes (Freelance), Jordan Breen (Sherdog); Jim Genia (Full Contact Fighter, MMA Memories, and MMA Journalist Blog); Jesse Holland (MMA Mania); Robert Joyner (Freelance); Todd Martin (CBS Sportsline); Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA); Leland Roling (Bloody Elbow); Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse); Jonathan Snowden (; Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion), Ivan Trembow (Freelance); and Dave Walsh (Total MMA).

Josh Thomson is not currently eligible to be ranked due to the fact that he has been inactive for over 12 months.

September 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings Ballots collected on September 22, 2009

Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Fedor Emelianenko (30-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Frank Mir (12-4)
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 No Contest)
5. Randy Couture (16-10)
6. Brett Rogers (10-0)
7. Shane Carwin (11-0)
8. Alistair Overeem (29-11, 1 No Contest)
9. Junior dos Santos (9-1)
10. Andrei Arlovski (15-7)

Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Lyoto Machida (15-0)
2. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
3. Rashad Evans (13-1-1)
4. Anderson Silva (25-4)
5. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-3)
6. Forrest Griffin (16-6)
7. Gegard Mousasi (26-2-1)
8. Dan Henderson (25-7)
9. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3)
10. Thiago Silva (14-1)

Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Nathan Marquardt (29-8-2)
3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
4. Yushin Okami (23-4)
5. Jorge Santiago (21-7)
6. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
7. Demian Maia (10-1)
8. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 No Contest)
9. Chael Sonnen (23-10-1)
10. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1, 2 No Contests)

Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
2. Jon Fitch (19-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-4)
4. Jake Shields (23-4-1)
5. Matt Hughes (43-7)
6. Josh Koscheck (13-4)
7. Mike Swick (14-2)
8. Paulo Thiago (11-1)
9. Carlos Condit (23-5)
10. Paul Daley (22-8-2)

Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)
1. B.J. Penn (14-5-1)
2. Shinya Aoki (21-4, 1 No Contest)
3. Eddie Alvarez (17-2)
4. Kenny Florian (11-4)
5. Tatsuya Kawajiri (24-5-2)
6. Gray Maynard (8-0, 1 No Contest)
7. Diego Sanchez (21-2)
8. Frankie Edgar (10-1)
9. Mizuto Hirota (12-3-1)
10. Sean Sherk (33-4-1)

Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Mike Brown (22-4)
2. Urijah Faber (22-3)
3. Wagnney Fabiano (12-1)
4. Jose Aldo (15-1)
5. Hatsu Hioki (20-3-2)
6. Leonard Garcia (13-4)
7. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (16-3)
8. Raphael Assuncao (13-1)
9. Josh Grispi (13-1)
10. Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (17-2)

Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)
1. Brian Bowles (8-0)
2. Miguel Torres (37-2)
3. Takeya Mizugaki (12-3-2)
4. Masakatsu Ueda (9-0-2)
5. Dominick Cruz (14-1)
6. Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2)
7. Joseph Benavidez (10-1)
8. Rani Yahya (14-4)
9. Will Ribeiro (10-2)
10. Damacio Page (11-4)

The Independent World MMA Rankings are tabulated on a monthly basis in each of the top seven weight classes of MMA, from heavyweight to bantamweight, with fighters receiving ten points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, and so on.

The rankings are based purely on the votes of the members of the voting panel, with nobody's vote counting more than anybody else's vote, and no computerized voting.

The voters are instructed to vote primarily based on fighters' actual accomplishments in the cage/ring (the quality of opposition that they've actually beaten), not based on a broad, subjective perception of which fighters would theoretically win fantasy match-ups.

Inactivity: Fighters who have not fought in the past 12 months are not eligible to be ranked, and will regain their eligibility the next time they fight.

Disciplinary Suspensions: Fighters who are currently serving disciplinary suspensions, or who have been denied a license for drug test or disciplinary reasons, are not eligible to be ranked.

Changing Weight Classes: When a fighter announces that he is leaving one weight class in order to fight in another weight class, the fighter is not eligible to be ranked in the new weight class until he has his first fight in the new weight class.

Catch Weight Fights: When fights are contested at weights that are in between the limits of the various weight classes, they are considered to be in the higher weight class. The weight limits for each weight class are listed at the top of the rankings for each weight class.

Special thanks to Eric Kamander, Zach Arnold, and Joshua Stein for their invaluable help with this project, and special thanks to Garrett Bailey for designing our logo.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Things That Won't Happen at Strikeforce Challengers "Kennedy vs. Cummings"

The latest installment of Strikeforce Challengers graces our television screens on Friday night, and the Showtime-broadcast event is chock full of wrestlers. Seriously, the event is named "Kennedy vs. Cummings" because Tim Kennedy and some scrub named Zak Cummings are meeting in the main event, but with all the wrestling pedigrees on the card a more apt name would've been "Wrestlemania Strikeforce". Or something. I dunno. Here are things that won't happen at the event.
  • Active-duty US Special Forces operator Kennedy will not line the cage with M18A1 Claymore antipersonnel mines and detonate them should his fight against wrestler Cummings go poorly. No, the mines will be set up in Cummings' locker room.
  • Kickboxing great Ray Sefo will not win via omoplata. That's just a hunch, though.
  • Zach Light will not win.
  • In the battle between two-time Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier and two-time state wrestling champ Gary Frazier, no takedowns will be attempted. Instead, they'll engage in a stand-up war resembling 18th century-style prize fighting.
  • After Travis Calonoc and Thomas Longacre fight, fans still won't know who they are.

Mitch the Intern's TUF 10 Recap: Episode 2

*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 week was all about the Man-Love Dry Hump, but there will be none of that this week. No siree. Instead, we get a bit more Kimbo, some Roy "Big Country-Fried Steak" Nelson, a TUF 9 Team UK leftover and a towering behemoth with no cardio. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. No lungs at all.

Coach Quinton Jackson and his lieutenant Tiki-Tiki-Head (yes, he's a giant wooden Hawaiian statue of a head - weird, huh?) train Kimbo on the art of avoiding getting raped by a dude, instructing him to push on the head and scramble out. If that doesn't work, use pepper spray, blow your rape whistle, and consider getting a good therapist. People are starting to come around about Kimbo, reconsidering their initial opinions of him being a thug and his beard some sort of sinister homage to the Taliban. Brandon Cottonswab even goes so far as to hand the former backyard brawler a valentine with "I Heart Kimbo" scrawled on it.

Meanwhile, Team Rashad trains and everyone loves each other and gives each other back rubs, but being a cut above the other contestants sets Roy "Big Country-Fried Steak" apart from the others, and he lets them know this. Also, he eats a production assistant, and the young P.A.'s cries from within Nelson's belly are disconcerting.

"I can't train you," says one of Coach Rashad Evans' lieutenants. "You know too much, you eat people whole, and all day long we have to listen to them cry from inside you while they're being digested. You're like a bipedal Sarlacc Pit monster, and if you don't stop I'm going to get Andrei Arlovski to knock you out again." At that, Nelson promises to play nicer with the other kids.

Jackson is in charge of picking the match-up for this week, and he chooses Rashad's British TUF 9 Team UK wanna-be James "Mike Bisping Foreva" McSweeney to face his pet mutant Johnny Asthma. Johnny Asthma used to play in the NFL, but he was cut when they realized he had no lungs. Seriously. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Nothing in there at all. McSweeney and Johnny Asthma do the ceremonial pose down and already the eight-feet tall Johnny Asthma is winded.

Everyone trains a little. Medicine balls go flying. Push-ups. Sweat glistening on Kimbo's beard. Nelson licks his chops at a camera man. Brandon Cottonswab twirling nunchucks. Assistant coach Mike Van Arsdale making everyone shoot takedowns on trees. Someone straps a flamethrower on their back and incinerates a heavy bag.

Then it's fight time. Coach Evans trains with McSweeney back in the real world, so he's expecting great things from his mate. The towering Johnny Asthma enters the cage and already he can't breath. They square off, the referee gives them the signal, and they engage. Well, sort of. Johnny Asthma is huge, and dangerous when there's still oxygen being fed into his bloodstream, so he initially manages to bully McSweeney around by using his gigantic limbs and circus-freak show mass. But McSweeney survives, survives a lame keylock attempt, survives a rear naked choke attempt and being mounted, and once Johnny Asthma has no more gas (really, none. Nada. Nothing. Zippity-do-da.), it's all about the Brit throwing a kick here and there and waiting to catch his breath while the Team Rampage fighter dies a slow, oxygen-less death within the cage.

This goes on for far too long. As he's begun to turn purple from his diminished lung capacity, Johnny Asthma looks horrid. As he cannot seem to finish a near-dead opponent and is gassed himself, McSweeney looks awful. And though McSweeney garners the majority decision when the scorecards are read, the only real winners here are the other fighters in the house, for the bar has now been set lower than ever and everyone else couldn't be as bad, right? Right?

The two teams are gathered together again to announce the next fight. Unorthodox? Yes, but only one match-up could warrant such a thing: Kimbo is going to face Roy "Big Country-Fried Steak" Nelson. Fade to black.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quinton Jackson: "I'm Done Fighting... Until I Go Crazy Again, Go On a Rampage and Need Money for a Lawyer"

In response to Dana White's disapproving words over his upcoming role in Martin Scorcese's "Othello", former UFC light-heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson has announced on his official website that he's retired from the fight game. "I'm done fighting," Jackson's said, but added, "until I go crazy again, go on a rampage and need money for a lawyer. Then I will need to fight, because I'll need the paycheck. *Howl*" While it's debatable that the popular fighter truly is finished with MMA competition, it's an inevitability that he will again go bonkers and lead police on another wild chase. 'Cause, you know, it's Quinton Jackson we're talking about here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Strikeforce Signs Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Thorpe

Strikeforce has signed Jim Thorpe, a gold medalist in the 1912 Olympics and accomplished professional player in football, baseball and basketball, to a multi-bout contract, the organization announced in a press release yesterday. Though dead since 1953, Thorpe has long been considered an elite athlete of the highest caliber, and it's anticipated that he will be added to Strikeforce's light-heavyweight ranks. Said Strikeforce Necromancer Scott Coker, "We are excited about having Jim Thorpe compete for us. I flew down to American Kickboxing Academy to watch him train, and while Thorpe has some learning to do, he looked impressive against Bobby Southworth and Paul Buentello. I think he's going to be a great fit." At this time it's unclear when Thorpe will have his first fight, although a match-up against 205-pound champ Gegard Mousasi will likely be in the cards.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Underground Profile: Chris Corr

There a those who train to get into shape, and then there's Chris Corr, a New Generation Karate rep who transformed himself from pudgy 175-pound scrapper to svelte 133-pound grappling machine. At yesterday's UCL, Corr - known affectionately as "Psycho" to his teammates - notched his first MMA win, dominating a game Doug "Lionheart" Ahammer on the ground from the beginning of the first round to the end of the third. But what was most impressive was how far Corr had come and the knowledge that it took one heck of a lot of hard work for him to get there. Throughout the years a number of talented bantam- and featherweights have stepped into the ring at the UCL; it may be time for Psycho to hunt them down one by one.

Observations From My Couch: UFC 103 "Bye-Bye CroCop"

  • After the beating suffered at the hands of Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin must really be hating Brazilians right now.
  • After the beating suffered at the hands (and knees) of Junior dos Santos, Mirko CroCop must really be hating that he can't do steroids for his US fights.
  • After the beating suffered at the hands of Paul Daley, Martin Kampmann must really be hating that no one at Xtreme Couture taught him how to do takedowns.
  • After the beating suffered at the hands of Josh Koscheck, Frank Trigg must really be hating the fact that he's gotten old.
  • Holy crap did Hermes Franca look out of shape and untrained.
  • After the beating suffered at the hands of Efrain Escudero, Cole Miller must really be hating all that time spent practicing jiu-jitsu instead of boxing.
  • After that beating suffered at the hands of Tomasz Drwal, Drew McFedries must really be hating the Polish lack of vowels in their names.
  • Jim Miller's jiu-jitsu is so good, he doesn't even have to touch you to dislocate your shoulder with a kimura.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


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Liveblog: UCL Part 5

Battleground Martial Arts 155-pounder Jonathan Rodriguez steps out of the audience to take on streetfighter Christian Suarez, and Rodriguez looks dominant and skilled out-striking and out-grappling his foe. The end comes when Rodriguez pounds on Suarez from the mount and sinks the choke when Suarez turns over. Last up is Ultimate Karate 165-pounder Jonathan Valez and New Generation Karate 165-pounder "Irish" Brian McDougal. Valez is all karate-style striking, throwing reverse punches and employing lunging footwork, but Irish isn't so much a student of New Gen as he is a street brawler, and eventually Valez tags him on the chin for the KO. And that's all she wrote for this UCL event, folks.

Liveblog: UCL Part 4

In a rematch of their bout at the last event, Team UCL 210-pound striker Kevin Wall takes on 250-pound freestyle fighter Xavier Morales. These two come out swinging, and as more of Wall's punches start finding their mark, Morales wavers then eventually falls. Wall keeps up the punishment and soon the ref has to step in. Morales is slow to get back to his feet, very visibly rocked. After a brief intermission, Wall gets back in the ring to face Shawn Obasi in a grappling match. Obasi was supposed to fight today, but being a Wing Chun heavyweight has its disadvantages, as three opponents backed out. Anyhoo, Obasi is a pretty capable grappler too and taps Wall in about a minute.


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Liveblog: UCL Part 3

Chris Corr, 133 pounds and representing New Generation Karate, enters the ring to face Gladiator Martial Arts 124-pounder Doug "Lionheart" Hammer. Corr, aka "Psycho", is a UCL vet, and in this one he's never looked better. Takedown after takedown after takedown, plus positional dominance and ground and pound when they're on the canvas, and Psycho is large and in charge for all three rounds. Lionheart is game as hell, though, and is constantly hunting for chokes and firing off elbows. Corr gets the unanimous decision in an action-packed fight. Columbia University grad John Baccaria, a 135-pound Zenbu Jujutsu rep, and William Lucas, a 140-pound New Generation Karate rep, enter the ring for a Pankration-rules match, and Lucas is quick with the triangle choke win.


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Liveblog: UCL Part 2

First up are freestyle fighter Tommy Diaz and Team UCL's Pat Bashara, which pits a 145-pounder against a 130-pounder. They mix it up nicely and wildly, winging bolos on the feet and working for position on the ground. But Bashara suffers an accidental eye-poke, and when the round ends he tells the ref and his cornermen that he can't see, so the bout is waved off. Meanwhile, someone in the crowd picks up his eyeball and returns it to him. Okay, I made that last part up. Diaz gets the win via stoppage. Next up: Big Wrestler versus New Generation Karate's Eric Blasich. Big Wrestler wastes no time going for takedowns, putting Blasich on the canvas repeatedly, but Blasich fights back with a close armbar attempt. Back on the feet and Big Wrestler goes for another takedown - and this time they fall through the ropes. Big Wrestler is nursing his shoulder after the fall and says he can't continue, so Blasich gets the first-round win.


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Liveblog: UCL Part 1

MMA Journalist is here in the deepest, darkest corner of NYC for latest installment of Peter Storm's Underground Combat League, the city's longest running (and only) vale tudo show. There are six bouts scheduled, with a few new faces mixed in with old-school vets. Not everyone wants there name or face published, so MMA Journalist will use aliases as needed.


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Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend Schedule

Aside from UFC 103 on pay-per-view and the free preliminary bouts that will be aired on SpikeTV prior to the main card, there's some MMA to be had this weekend for those in the Five Boroughs. Yes, there are two underground shows scheduled. No, I will not reveal where or when they'll be. Yes, MMA Journalist will be liveblogging one of them. No, I will not bring you back a bloody ear or other discarded body part. That said, stay tuned.

A Collection of News Haiku

  • Fedor will fight on/ Strikeforce's November 7th show./ CBS baby!
  • Where will this show be?/ Sears Center in Chicago? / Damn. Too far to drive.
  • TUF 10 ratings are / huge thanks to Kimbo. Dana/ is two-faced - but smart!
  • Cung Le has stepped down/ as Strikeforce middleweight champ./ The fight world says "Meh!"
  • Phillipe Nover was/ paid despite not fighting. Props/ to Dana for that one.
  • Sylvia fights in/ Adrenaline tonight. Tim,/ please be in shape. Please.
  • Brown and Aldo will/ meet at WEC 44. /Well, not "meet". They'll fight.

Predictions for UFC 103: "Come On, CroCop, Don't Mess This Up"

Just a few scant days after UFC Fight Night 19 and the TUF 10 premiere comes UFC 103, a pay-per-view extravaganza featuring no title bouts and no match-ups of any real consequence. Wahoo! Fighting at a catch-weight of 195 are Vitor Belfort and Rich Franklin, because 195 pounds is cool and hip and all the kids are doing it, while Mirk CroCop returns to hopefully not get clobbered. So, predictions!
  • The last seven fights Tyson Griffin has taken part in have ended via decision, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's going to defeat jiu-jitsu black belt Hermes Franca by... Falcon punch!
  • Josh Koscheck and Frank Trigg are two solid wrestlers who like to throw punches and get knocked out. Look for a double-KO in this one.
  • Martin Kampmann is Danish, which means when you bite into him you get a mouthful of frosting and some raisins. Brit striker Paul Daley hates raisins.
  • CroCop is going to TKO the less-experienced Junior dos Santos, which sets up a nice revenge match for a future UFC between the Croatian and Senior dos Santos.
  • Belfort is going to hit Franklin so hard, Franklin will no longer be qualified to teach high school arithmetic - only gym or special education.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mitch the Intern's TUF 10 Recap: Episode 1

*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.*

The Man-Love Dry Hump. It looms unspoken, a dirty phrase in the world of mixed martial arts that implies the worst kind of fight for fans to be subjected to, a fight that leaves one feeling icky and gross and uncomfortable, embarrassed, and seeking a licensed therapist. No one wants to see the Man-Love Dry Hump, no one wants it to grace their TV screen, but it happens. When two unskilled, untrained, untalented heavyweights get together, it happens. That dirty phrase, that curse. That pugilistic profanity.

It's the first episode of the tenth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" and we're greeted by coaches Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans, who sit within the lonely confines of the TUF Training Center arguing back and forth about who is blacker. "I'm blacker," says Jackson. "Aw hell no, I am," says Evans. This goes on for a bit with all the intensity of a nursing home rec room disagreement during nap time. Then the contestants arrive, a slew of heavyweights with varying backgrounds and potential.

There's the ex-NFL guys, big former football players who last fought at that Sigma Alpha Epsilon party back in college when those townies attempted to sneak into the frat house and steal a few plastic cups of warm, putrid beer from the keg. There's Giant Sasquatch Man, who looks like something out of an X-Men comic book but gets winded walking to the water cooler. There's Wes Sims, the comedy relief. There's Roy Nelson, the IFL champ who's far and away better and more experienced than everyone else there.

Jackson pokes Nelson in the belly and declares him fat. Jackson doesn't recognize Nelson, doesn't remember that Nelson fought on an EliteXC card broadcast on CBS. Maybe "Rampage" owns a TV that doesn't get that channel. Who knows.

Dana White arrives and lines everyone up. "Don't make a big deal about this guy," he says of the 16th TUF 10 contestant about to be introduced. "Really, he's just a street fighter," and White throws confetti into the air and pops the cork off a bottle of Moet. "Seriously. I hate him."

Kimbo Slice enters the gym, the last piece of the puzzle. A collective grumble issues forth from the cast, and contestant Brandon Cottonswab admits he wants to "fuck him", a promise of Man-Love Dry Hump that would would prove... what? That Kimbo ain't so tough? That Kimbo wasn't worth the $500,000 he made from his last fight? Does Brandon Cottonswab think that by making lurv to Kimbo he'd be entitled to whatever is in Mr. Slice's bank account?

The coaches must pick teams, and though Jackson makes it clear he wants Kimbo as his first and only pick, there's still the formality of the 16 fighters "trying out" for their slots. Evans, with his training guru Greg Jackson by his side, examines each contestant closely, watching how they punch heavybags, escape from submissions, crochet blankets and cook souffles. Rampage has Tiki Ghosn as his lieutenant and they simply have each contestant step on a scale. They want the biggest because, um, damn. "Size does matter," says Rampage. And somewhere in Chelsea, a gay bar erupts in cheers. Innuendo number one is in the books.

Teams are chosen, with Evans picking people he thinks can win (like Nelson) and Jackson picking people whose names he can spell (Kimbo, Wes Sims). As Evans got the first pick, Jackson gets to make the first match-up. He chooses a forgettable Jon Madsen from Team Rashad to face a regrettable Abe Wagner from Team Rampage.

There are training montages interspersed with glimpses and close-ups of these two heavyweights who are first up at bat, things that are supposed to make us care or at least illuminate why so-and-so is one-dimensional and why so-and-so sucks worse than a Hoover vacuum the size of the Death Star. But if you put a dress and some lipstick on a pig, and maybe a platinum-blond wig on its head and four tiny high heels on its hooves, it's still a pig underneath all that. Just like a Man-Love Dry Hump is just a Man-Love Dry Hump. Which, sadly, is what we get for the season's first fight.

There's blood, plenty of blood, blood pooled upon the Octagon floor as Madsen lays atop Wagner, his takedowns - his sole technique - unstoppable to the lumbering colossus that is Jackson's fighter. Maybe there's whispers, too, of love or hatred, and whimpers of regret (like, why didn't I ever train guard passes? Why didn't I ever train escapes? Was it wise to eat that BigMac before we got here?). And in the end the clock runs out, a sad testament to what may be in store for us for the rest of the season. Madsen has his arm raised, Wagner has a deep gash opened up on his skull, and all we're left with is prayers that someone, anyone of these TUF 10ers, will at least go down swinging.

Please, no more Man-Love Dry Hump.

Update on Phillipe Nover

Phillipe Nover's bout with Sam Stout was scratched from last night's UFC Fight Night 19 card when Nover suffered a seizure backstage. How's the "Filipino Assassin" doing? "I'm cool," he said in a text to MMA Journalist. "I'm in good health now. I should see a specialist when I get back to New York and make sure that never happens to me ever again." Added the TUF 9 veteran: "As soon as I can figure out what happened to me and see a neurologist and perhaps even get a few special diabetic tests done, I'll be back." MMA Journalist wishes Nover a speedy recovery from whatever is causing him problems. The dude is a stud and belongs in the cage kicking ass.

Observations From My Couch: UFC Fight Night 19

  • Maybe there was some sort of grand coincidence where everyone had a mortgage or car payment due, but it seemed like just about the entire main card was going balls-out to secure that "Fight of the Night" bonus. And yes, that's a good thing.
  • Nate "The Get Mauled But Still Beat The Hell Out Of You Rock" Quarry.
  • For a first timer, Jake Ellenberger sure didn't hesitate to pound the crap out of Carlos Condit. He definitely belongs in the Octagon.
  • Because of the beating he took and the ability he showed in recovering and coming back to win, Condit never looked better. He, too, belongs in the Octagon.
  • As last fights on contracts go, Roger Huerta kinda went out with style. He blasted Gray Maynard more than a few times, avoided the "Human Blanket" and refused to tap when his arm was nearly ripped out of its socket. He's going to make a great addition to Strikeforce's roster and will likely end up their champ.
  • Melvin Guillard: so much talent and raw ability, so much suck.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nevada Plumbers Union to Boycott TUF 10

The Nevada Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 525 is boycotting the tenth season of "The Ultimate Fighter". According to a statement released yesterday, the upcoming season - which features coaches Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans at the helm of two teams of heavyweights - saw the off-camera deaths of two licensed plumbers and the injury of three sanitation technicians and four apprentices during the course of filming, a death toll far exceeding those of previous TUF installments. "Sixteen heavyweights locked into a house with only three toilets? That's not just dangerous, that's criminal!" said union chief Sal Minganelli over the phone. "Every day my guys went in to that warzone to replace broken fixtures and ruptured pipes, and every day they put themselves in harm's way. And for what? A TV show about some clown named 'Kimbo'? I'm telling you, it's not right. It's not right." TUF 10 debuts tonight, and in addition to Kimbo Slice, will feature the toilet-busting prowess of Roy Nelson, Wes Sims and Scott "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" Junk.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Predictions for UFC Fight Night 19: "Nate Diaz vs. Easy Submission Win To Salvage His Career"

UFC Fight Night 19 is nearly upon us, and the show - titled "Nate Diaz vs. Easy Submission Win To Salvage His Career" - will feature TUF 5 winner Diaz against Melvin Guillard, a veritable grappling dummy that loves to throw big punches and do mountains of cocaine. The SpikeTV-broadcast event will serve as a lead-in for the eagerly anticipated TUF 10 debut episode, and if UFC Fight Night 19's card is of any indication, the network's executives really don't give a crap who is fighting on their channel, only that someone is. So... predictions!
  • In the Nate Quarry vs. Tim Credeur bout, the two elder statesmen will fight. Or maybe sit around and talk about the good old days while calling the younger fighters on the card whippersnappers. Then they'll leave to catch the early bird special at the buffet, and go to bed around 7pm.
  • Carlos Condit will defeat Jake Ellenberger. Afterwards, he'll go home, root around in his closet, pull out the WEC championship belt he threw there in shame after his last UFC bout, dust it off, and put it back in its display case on the wall in his living room.
  • Gray Maynard is going to dry-hump Roger Huerta so vigorously, Huerta is going to show up at Xtreme Couture in nine months with a baby in his arms and say to Maynard, "Gray, you're a daddy. Let's make this work for his sake."
  • It really doesn't matter who wins between Diaz and Guillard. What does matter is the ungodly amounts of weed and blow that will be found at their afterparty.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why Can't This Man Get A Pro Fight?

Maybe it's because he's a veteran of New York's underground fight scene, or maybe it's because he's considered a vale tudo badass, but James Funaro, a 175-pound warrior with a 7-3 record, is having a hard time securing his first pro fight. And that's insane. Funaro - a product of Vamos BJJ and BoxFit - is a finisher, capable of ending things on the ground or on the feet, and when he has to he can wage war until the final bell. What more could you want from someone who always seems to have a decent-sized cheering section rooting him on? Thus far Funaro has had zero luck getting through to local matchmakers. As ROC promoter Lou Neglia banned those who continue to fight in underground events from competing in his organization, Funaro hasn't fought since January (when the rule came down) lest he sink his pro career before it even starts. Meanwhile, an opponent he defeated in an unsanctioned show has fought twice now in Atlantic City, and Funaro's goal of getting paid to do what he loves remains unrealized. Why can't this man get a fight?

ROC 26 Postscript

  • Ricardo Romero needs a step up in competition, as he is no longer being tested by those he faces. Seriously, it's like a man fighting a boy.
  • Victor O'Donnell vs. Costa Phillippou was super-close and could've gone either way. I hope this isn't the last we see of O'Donnell.
  • Props to Rob Wince for stepping in and facing Gian Villante. Big props to Wince for his willingness to throw down.
  • Chris Schlesinger's still got it.
  • Kudos to the New Jersey amateur circuit for making Liam Kerrigan into a monster for his first pro fight.
  • Louis Gaudinot is a beast. Also impressive was Jackson Galka, who, despite losing, showed some sharp Muay Thai.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


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Long Island Underground Fight Show Postscript

Great show, very action-packed and the main event - which saw two very talented fighters throw down - delivered. Congrats to Rashad Clarke of the Brooklyn Fight Factory for his win via TKO, a ref stoppage due to cut against a quality opponent. Both men will be back.


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Liveblog: Long Island Underground Show

MMA Journalist has journeyed out to Long Island for an underground show tonight, a show which has asked to remain as anonymous as possible. Consequently, details will remain sparse, suffice to say that there are ten MMA bouts on the card and the skill-level promises to be somewhat high based on the camps where these fighters are hailing from. About a hundred spectators have showed up, and the man on the microphone has informed us that a portion of the proceeds are going to a cancer charity. That's about all I can say. So... Booyah.


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