Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Heavyweight superstar Fedor Emelianenko defeated top-ranked lightweight Shinya Aoki in a grappling exhibition match at DEEP/M-1 Challenge in Japan today, besting the crafty and popular Japanese submission specialist with an anklelock. After his victory, the Russian sambo champ - who's defeated the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia and various bears and Yetii in unarmed combat - was awarded the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) lightweight championship belt. "We feel that Fedor's accomplishments as lightweight merit it," said WAMMA executive Joe Bloggerstein. "He's the WAMMA heavyweight champ and now he's also the WAMMA lightweight champ, making him the man to beat in both divisions." Through the aid of a translator, the crestfallen Aoki added: "What's a 'WAMMA'?"
Feared bounty hunter Tom "Boba Fett" Gallicchio will be travelling from New Jersey to Ohio this weekend to compete at some event in Akron called UMMAXX and capture opponent Marcus Ajian either dead or alive. This will mark Gallicchio's first venture out of the Garden State while tracking quarry, although it won't be the first time the dangerous Team Pellegrino representative has faced someone as purportedly submission-savvy as Ajian (to this day, Gallicchio still wears the pelt of vanquished foe Igor Gracie). Said local Imperial officer Admiral Piett of Gallicchio's impending visit: "Bounty hunters. We don't need their scum."
Most know Brian Cimins as the man behind Grapplers Quest, the popular and long-running grappling tournament that has seen thousands upon thousands of would-be submission specialists hone their ground games on its mats throughout the years. But for those lucky enough to find themselves at the Marist High School gymnasium in Bayonne, New Jersey, on November 9th, 2002, Cimins was the promoter of Sportfighting's "Bragging Rights" - an MMA event that saw the humble debuts of Dante Rivera and Deividas Taurosevicius, Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu ace Nakapan Phungephorn scrap with sambo specialist Vlad Koulikov, and Team Renzo rep Mark Colangelo armbar Jon Weidler in a quick and surprising upset. Back then these were our Northeast up-and-comers and stars, and with just two Reality Fighting events and one Ring of Combat in the books, and BAMA Fight Night's schedule irregular at best, Sportfighting was the only other place one could see these fighters in action. Sadly, three years would pass before Cimins promoted another installment of his MMA brand, and he's since focused exclusively on Grapplers Quest. Meanwhile, Rivera went on to TUF, Taurosevicius went on to the IFL, and many of the other names on the card have gone into either teaching or obscurity (and in September, 2005, event referee Joe Priole died of cancer). However, on that November night in 2002, Sportfighting was king.