Friday, August 14, 2009
In the latest round of the imagined (or is it?) UFC/Strikeforce conflict, Dana White and company have decided to stymie Scott Coker's recruitment efforts by recycling all of their own old, discarded trash. First up on the recycle list are "New York Badass" Phil Baroni and Dennis Hallman - two fighters who, before Strikeforce signed Fedor and became a major player in the MMA promotion business, couldn't even get UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to take their phone calls. Now Baroni and Hallman are the recipients of a pair of juicy UFC contracts. Expect more Octagon detritus and debris to be scooped up by Zuffa in months to come.
In honor of Saturday's highly-anticipated Gina Carano/Cris "Cyborg" Santos epic - the biggest fight in female MMA history - MMA Journalist has compiled this handy-dandy collection of the biggest moments in Northeast female MMA. Curiously, the Northeast has at times been a comparative hotbed for fighting femmes, with top talent like Amanda Buckner, Laura D'Auguste, Tara LaRosa and Roxanne Modaferri (before she moved to Japan) calling this part of the world home. Anyway, the list:
- Laura D'Auguste vs. Shannon Logan, Reality Fighting 2, 11/02/02 - The first female MMA fight in the Northeast saw a Tiger Schulmann Karate rep in D'Auguste take on a Team Renzo blue belt in Logan, and it was like watching Chute Boxer Pele Landi Jons against Jorge Patino in Brazil circa 1996 (i.e., D'Auguste beat on Logan mercilessly). The crowd inside the Wildwood Convention Center went absolutely nuts - the first inclination that skilled women were viable competitors and just as exciting as men.
- Laura D'Auguste vs. Del Greer, Reality Fighting 3, 2/8/03 - The audience was much bigger for this one, and when D'Auguste managed to defeat the larger Greer despite a weight disadvantage, the whole place erupted. This was the first time a female bout was the main event, and no one left the Bayonne High School gymnasium disappointed.
- Shelby Walker vs. Angela Wilson, Ring of Fury 3, 5/3/03 - A Boston nightclub played host to Ring of Fury 3, and when the referee said "go!" Wilson charged right into Walker's fist. Walker got off another punch and that was all she wrote. At five seconds, it remains the fastest KO in women's MMA history.
- Laura D'Auguste vs. Roxanne Modafferi, Ring of Combat 8, 3/19/05 - When Jennifer Howe was considered the best female fighter in the world, Modafferi kicked her ass, then kicked her ass again in the rematch. And though a loss on a Smackgirl card in Japan marred her record, "Roxy" was considered the new chick to beat at the time. So in the dank depths of the Asbury Park Convention Hall that's just what D'Auguste did. After ROC 8, D'Auguste went on to win a Smackgirl tournament in Japan - a win which had nearly everyone in the industry pegging her as the top female fighter in the sport.
- Tara LaRosa vs. Roxanne Modafferi, MFC: "Boardwalk Blitz", 3/4/06 - Matchmaker Miguel Iturrate knew full well the appeal of women fighting, so he wasted little time in putting such bouts on his Mixed Fighting Championship cards. At this one, LaRosa - considered to be top contender - took on Modaferri in a grueling three-rounder.
- Amanda Buckner vs. Shayna Baszler, MFC: "USA vs. Russia", 6/3/06 - Another Miguel Iturrate special. When Buckner and Baszler threw down at Boardwalk Hall, they really threw down, and pics of the donnybrook made the cover of the New York Times the next day.
- Tara LaRosa vs. Kelly Kobold, BodogFIGHT: "Alvarez vs. Lee", 7/14/07 - BodogFIGHT wanted to crown a 135-pound female champ, and after pitting some of the best against each other for their weekly TV show, it was clear LaRosa was one half of the equation. Unfortunately, D'Auguste (now a full-fledged jiu-jitsu student) injured her ankle in training, so undefeated Midwesterner Kobold stepped in. LaRosa won via fourth-round armbar, and since then she's been the queen of the 135 pounders. D'Auguste, meanwhile, got married and retired from fighting.
- Tara LaRosa vs. Alexis Davis and Sally Krumdiak, Extreme Challenge's "War at the Shore" and "Mayhem at the Marina", 1/23/09 and 3/28/09 - While Carano was making waves on national TV, LaRosa returned to action to prove yet again that she's the best by taking on all comers and dominating. She remains one of the best and most accomplished unsung heroes in MMA.
- Jay Hieron will be declared the winner by disqualification when, after seeing opponent Jesse Taylor stumble, slur his words and vomit three times on the way to the ring, officials determine that Taylor is intoxicated to the point of blacking out.
- Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Gegard Mousasi will wage an absolute war over the Strikeforce light-heavyweight belt. But no matter what the outcome, Babalu's finely-coiffed hair will remain pristine.
- Utilizing world-class jiu-jitsu, Fabricio Werdum is going to get Mike Kyle down and mount him. Kyle will then produce a taser and stun the Brazilian, and when he's disqualified for cheating, he'll claim it was just "a heat of the moment thing".
- Gilbert Melendez and Mitsuhiro Ishida are just going to wrestle. That's it. Just wrestle.
- Gina Carano will defeat Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos after a long, protracted battle. She will, unfortunately, sustain a bite in the bout, and during the next full moon will temporarily transform into a feral Brazilian jungle cat.
The UFC's anti-Strikeforce effort is in full-swing with the announcement that SpikeTV will air an alleged Brock Lesnar sex tape at the same time as Strikeforce's "Carano vs. Cyborg" event on Showtime on Saturday night. The Lesnar tape is rumored to include the UFC heavyweight champ's recent antics with a giant inflatable Coors Lite can, his molestation of the Minnesota Vikings' mascot "Viktor E. Viking", and clips of his bachelor party, where strippers reportedly frolicked in over 1,000 pounds of carp. "You want to take my Fedor from me?" crowed Chief UFC Cry Baby Dana White. "Scott Coker, I play for keeps!"