Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
*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.*
Can gangsters fight? From such classics as "The Godfather", "Goodfellas", "Casino" and "Finding Nemo", we know that they can intimidate and assassinate pretty well, but we've never known much about their actual ability when it's time for a bit of the old one-on-one ultra-violence. Well, thanks to British organized crime figure Ronnie Kray, who ruled 1960s London with an iron fist and who's struggling to make a name for himself in the world of homoerotic MMA reality shows, we now have an answer. But first…
The wildcard fight! Let's all talk about it! Gather around, kids, and listen to a tale of two fighters, a duo comprised of "loss" and "fail" who got their asses kicked en route to the TUF finale but were given a second chance because… because… because why? Is it that the TUF formula has gotten so stale that these little twists are thrown in to spice up what would otherwise be a soup made up of nothing but water from the garden hose? Is it that TUF's advertisers are wavering, not quite sure that those 30-second commercial blocks may be worth it because really, how many viewers are going to tune in when Kimbo's not on the show? Is it that releasing a dozen rabid weasels into the house while the contestants are sleeping is simply an idea the production's insurance company just cannot get behind? Whatever the reason, two fighters who lost in the quarterfinals will get a second chance. Will it be Dumb as a Bag of Hammers, who lost to Hawaii Five-O in the trivia round? Will it be RC Cola, who's had 100 fights in his career and lost 70 of them? Well, it sure ain't going to be Rich Atonofneato, who broke his prosciutto when he fought, and it damn sure ain't going to be Fruit Striped Gum. Speaking of which…
Fade in to a fighter lying in bed. Moaning. Bandaged. Clearly messed up. With his shock of green hair, we realize it's Fruit Striped Gum. "I went to the doctor yesterday and he operated on me for three hours," and with his arm in a sling, a bandage on his shoulder, and a patchwork of stitching all over his body, we believe him. Apparently he really was injured in his fight, as the doctor removed his spleen and gall bladder, performed a vasectomy, reattached his right shoulder and sewed a cantankerous old man's head onto his left shoulder. "You son of bitch," utters the cantankerous old man head.
It's time to choose the next fight, and with Cypress Hill's TKO win over some anonymous someone, coach Tito Ortiz has the ball. The Giant-Headed One picks Brit gangster Ronnie Kray to face an unassuming kid named Josh. How unassuming is Josh? Says coach Chuck Liddell, "Wait, that kid was on my team? I thought he was a janitor?" Adds trainer John Hackleberry Finn, "I agree with whatever Chuck says. Even if it's gibberish."
Training montage, and Ortiz is making his wards work hard with push-ups while on fire and sit-ups while trapped under a bus. "I don't know if all this intense training is the smartest thing when someone has a fight coming up," says RC Cola, who's fought about 100 times and lost 70 of them. Uh, dude, if you're saying that, then it must be a brilliant idea.
Also around this time, Ortiz makes a point of apologizing to Fruit Striped Gum. "I gave you crap because I thought you were faking your injuries, but I can see now that I was wrong, so I'm sorry," says Ortiz.
"You son of bitch," says the cantankerous old man head sewn onto sewn onto Fruit Striped Gum's left shoulder.
And then it's fight time, and in typical Liddell fashion, Mr. I Can't Dance Better Than Donnie Osmond has taken a flight to Japan in the mistaken belief that Ronnie Kray's TUF quarterfinal bout was happening there. Consequently, he misses the bout.
Also missing: Ronnie Kray's cardio. Round 1 goes well for him and poorly for Josh, with the Brit gangster muscling his opponent all over the cage and shaking him down like he's an East End shopkeeper. But the wheels come off the double-decker bus in Round 2, and in Round 3 it's all about the one kid that no one noticed picking apart a life-long criminal both on the feet and on the ground. Josh takes the decision, and we have our answer: no, gangsters can't fight.
"You son of bitch," cries the cantankerous old man head.
According to MMAPayout, there's still a chance folks in the Empire State could somehow see some mixed martial arts before the year is out - a declaration that overlooks the fact that there have been over 60 unsanctioned but well-recognized MMA events in the state within the last ten years alone. In the article "MMA in New York Still Possible for 2010" (http://mmapayout.com/2010/04/mma-in-new-york-still-possible-for-2010/), much is made of a recent Wall Street Journal article that examines the status of Governor David Paterson's budget proposal, a proposal that includes a provision that would allow the state to sanction professional mixed martial arts. However, what both the Wall Street Journal article and MMAPayout seem to forget is the 20 Underground Combat Leagues shows (where UFC champ Frankie Edgar got his start), the 14 Vengeance at the Vanderbilts (of which Matt Serra, Pete Sell and Phil Baroni are veterans), the five Empire State Warriors Challenges, the five Clash in the Cages, the three International Fight Nights, the four Martial Arts Madness's, the one Battle on Broadway and Aggressive Shoot Championship, and the eight or so events that have taken place on Indian Reservations in Upstate New York. Have any of these shows been grand affairs to rival what the UFC/WEC/Strikeforce may bring to Madison Square Garden? No, but they sure as hell count as MMA events. (For a trip down memory lane, go here: http://mmajournalist.blogspot.com/2009/07/brief-history-of-underground-shows-in.html).
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
- Yeah, yeah, I get that there couldn’t have been any mention of the WEC because of two different Zuffa brands having homes on two different networks. But still, it felt like a George Orwell novel with Big Brother rewriting history, even if the show itself was doubleplusgood.
- Alex Karalexis has always been “meh”. But thus far, Anthony Pettis has looked pretty “eh”.
- Chan Sung Jung and Leonard Garcia fought so hard in such an entertaining back-and-forth battle, they both should’ve been declared “The Ultimate Fighter” and awarded UFC contracts.
- Chan Sung Jung – wow!
- It was disappointing to see Antonio Banuelos lose, especially because now he must go back to life as a bandit who robs stagecoaches along the road outside of Santa Fe.
- Anthony Njokuani should really learn some grappling. Just a thought.
- Anthony Morrison is tough, but I’m still not sold on Chad Mendes.
- “Bad” Brad Pickett is one bad mofo for winning with a busted collarbone. But where the hell did a Brit learn to wrestle like that?
- Props to Manny Gamburyan for the win, but that was not the same Mike Brown that took out Urijah Faber twice. Not the same fighter at all.
- Damn, was Ben Henderson vs. Don Cerrone a non-event or what? I was expecting fireworks. Instead, we got a road flare.
- It was so painful watching Jose Aldo slowly amputate Faber’s leg that I was walking with a limp all day yesterday.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
- It's widely believed that reigning featherweight champ Jose Aldo is Brazilian, but that's a misconception. He's actually from Staten Island. We can't understand him because his "Guido" accent is so thick.
- Urijah Faber is descended from a species of aggressive rodent that dates back to the prehistoric era.
- In his spare time, Mike Brown likes to domestic alligators at his Florida home. The number of alligators he's successfully domesticated? Zero out of twenty attempts.
- Donald Cerrone's nickname may be "Cowboy", but he hates country music.
- Lightweight champ Ben Henderson is Dan Henderson's kid from a previous marriage.
- Anthony Njokuani's last name is actually a shorted version. It was originally Njokuanisngklsejgnbsluenei%2)8s2kii$@.
- A WEC pay-per-view has less calories than a normal UFC pay-per-view, but it still has that same great Zuffa taste.
Much like the Men's Independent World MMA Rankings, which were launched inJune, 2009, the Women's Independent World MMA 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.
In the time since last month's rankings were published, the heads of two of the largest athletic commissions have clarified via e-mail that they use the same names for the weight classes in both men's MMA and women's MMA. For example, 145 pounds is featherweight, whether it's
in men's MMA or women's MMA.
The members of the voting panel for the Women's Independent World MMA Rankings are, in alphabetical order: Nicholas Bailey (MMA Ratings); Jim Genia (Full Contact Fighter, MMA Memories, and MMA Journalist Blog); Yael Grauer (MMA HQ); Jesse Holland (MMA Mania); Robert Joyner (Freelance); Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA); Leland Roling (Bloody Elbow); Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse); Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion); and Ivan Trembow (Freelance).
April 2010 Women's Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on April 20, 2010
Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (9-1)
2. Erin Toughill (10-2-1)
3. Marloes Coenen (17-4)
4. Gina Carano (7-1)
5. Yuko "Hiroko" Yamanaka (8-1-1)
6. Cindy Dandois (3-0)
7. Shana Olsen (3-0)
8. Amanda Nunes (5-1)
9. Jamie Seaton (2-1)
10. Emily Thompson (3-2)
Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)
1. Sarah Kaufman (11-0)
2. Tara LaRosa (18-1)
3. Roxanne Modafferi (14-5)
4. Hitomi Akano (15-7)
5. Takayo Hashi (12-2)
6. Shayna Baszler (11-6)
7. Miesha Tate (9-2)
8. Vanessa Porto (10-4)
9. Jennifer Tate (6-1)
10. Adrienna "AJ" Jenkins (17-3)
Flyweight Rankings (116 to 125 lbs.)
1. Rosi Sexton (10-1)
2. Tara LaRosa (18-1)
3. Aisling Daly (9-0)
4. Sally Krumdiack (7-3)
5. Rin Nakai (6-0)
6. Lena Ovchynnikova (6-0)
7. Monica Lovato (4-1)
8. Mutsumi Kasai (4-1)
9. Jeri Sitzes (3-1)
10. Anita Rodriguez (3-1)
Junior Flyweight Rankings (106 to 115 lbs.)
1. Megumi Fujii (19-0)
2. Yuka Tsuji (22-2)
3. Lisa Ward (12-5)
4. Mei "V Hajime" Yamaguchi (6-2)
5. Jessica Pene (7-0)
6. Kyoko Takabayashi (11-4)
7. Jessica Aguilar (7-3)
8. Angela Magana (8-4)
9. Saori Ishioka (8-4)
10. Elena Reid (4-1)
The Women's Independent World MMA Rankings are tabulated and published on a monthly basis, with fighters receiving ten points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, and so on.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
*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.*
Fade in to the tail-end of the Hawaii Five-O/Dumb as a Bag of Hammers fight, and to the cast mates cheering from the sidelines. Cypress Hill, a full-on member of Tito Ortiz's Team Over-Sized Cranium, is rooting for Hawaii Five-O, who is a member of Chuck Liddell's Team Brain Damage. Joe Feminine, who calls Ortiz coach as well, takes great umbrage at that, and afterwards he confronts the giant-haired fighter over the transgression.
"You don't root for someone on the other team," says Joe Feminine, sounding utterly and completely ghey (pronounced "oooohhhhh, miss thang!").
"Who you trying to get crazy with, esse? Don't you know I'm loco?" replies Cypress Hill. And just like that, the matter seems resolved.
Back at the TUF House, Cypress Hill has gathered with his friends Hawaii Five-O, Ronnie Kray and Crocodile Dundee to pass around a bong and discuss how awesome the Steven Spielberg sci-fi film "Minority Report" was, and especially how it was the perfect vehicle for Tom Cruise to display his acting chops.
"Yo, it totally deserved that Academy Award for 'Best Sound Editing'," says Ronnie Kray.
They all nod in agreement.
But all is not in agreement in the house as a whole. RC Cola despises Cypress Hill, and after finding one of his coveted shirts in the Latino rapper's room, he goes ballistic. "You're a thief!" RC Cola exclaims.
"Uh, I mistakenly put your shirt there," admits Ronnie Kray.
Undaunted by reality, RC Cola continues with his vitriol toward Cypress Hill. "You're a thief!"
Back at the TUF Training Center and coach Ortiz sits amongst his wards, playing the role of mediator.
"He's a thief!" says RC Cola, pointing at Cypress Hill. "He stole my shirt."
"But it's already been established that someone else took your shirt," says Ortiz plainly.
"I don't care!" replies RC Cola. "He's still a thief!"
Ortiz shakes his massive head and sighs, resigned to the fact that things like "reason", "logic" and "common sense" are prohibited by the standard TUF/SpikeTV contract.
It's fight announcement time, and as Liddell's team has been racking up the wins, the Mohawked One gets to choose again. He picks Rich Atonofneato (pronounced "a ton of neat-o"). That's it. Just Rich Atonofneato. After about 20 minutes of back and forth, with Dana White explaining that a fighter can't just fight himself and trainer John Hackleberry Finn going along with whatever Liddell says, Liddell finally choose RC Cola to face Rich Atonofneato.
Training montage time. Rich Atonofneato pretends to hump a heavy bag, then he goes over every Italian-themed nickname he's ever had ("Richie the Guido", "Richie from the Shore", "Richie East Lasagna", "Richie Talks with an Accent", "Richie Might Be Italian", etc…). Meanwhile, RC Cola grapples, spars, talks about his family.
"He's going to try to wrestle you," Ortiz says to RC Cola. "So when he gets you down, get back up and punch him."
Fight time, and Rich Atonofneato does the exact opposite of wrestle. Boom! goes the big Italian sub upside RC Cola's head, and what follows invokes images of a man pounding on a human-sized dollop of pizza dough. But the pizza dough recovers! And manages to get on top with a kimura! Rich Atonofneato starts to rise, and RC Cola - apparently confused and thinking he's fighting in Pride - delivers a pair of illegal knees to his downed opponent's head. Rich Atonofneato is messed up and leaking balsamic vinegar and olive oil everywhere. The referee calls the bout, declaring the fallen fighter the winner by disqualification.
Coach Ortiz doesn't like this, and when the flimsy wooded door to the locker room gives him guff, he smashes it.
Later on at the TUF House, Rich Atonofneato returns from the hospital with his hand in a cast. His paw is so busted up it's going to require surgery. Thus endeth his run on TUF 11.
But wait, there's more!
Another fight is announced, with Liddell (miraculously) picking one of his fighters - a generic one with no distinguishing features or personality - to face Cypress Hill.
Says Generic Fighter, "I really feel that-"
And the camera switches to Cypress Hill, shadow boxing, flexing, rolling himself a joint and monitoring the UV light and nutrient levels in the water of his little hydroponic "farm". "Sawed off shotgun, hand on the pump, left hand on the forty, puffin' on a blunt!" he says.
Then they're fighting, and Cypress Hill quickly lands a fist full of dynamite to Generic Fighter's face that sends him tumbling. Generic Fighter is done, Donesville (population: him), and the dude is out the door and off camera before you can even say "I ain't going out like that, I ain't going out like that."
With that, Team Ortiz has its very first win.
The Ultimate Warrior Challenge, which made waves as the pre-eminent Washington, DC-area fight show, has announced that it will be returning to the Patriot Center in Northern Virginia for UWC 8: "Judgment Day", which will feature local star Mike Easton taking on Ryan Diaz. Consequently, the Virginia Boxing and Wrestling Commission has announced that Easton will be the winner by unanimous decision. Said Commission spokesman David Amsterdam, "Look, we got a lot of grief over that Mike Easton/Chase Beebe debacle at the last UWC. But there's a learning curve and I believe we've got the hang of this MMA judging thing. We've come to the conclusion that if we release the official decisions for the May 22 event now, there won't be any nasty surprises on the night of the show." Ultimate Warrior Challenge 8 will also see John Dodson taking on Jessie Riggleman, but the Commission was mum on that one as it will end via submission.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
- Jose Aldo
- Urijah Faber
- Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber
- The rematch between Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone
- Studs like Brown, Scott Jorgensen and Manny Gamburyan
- The extremely high chance of nonstop action
- The extremely low chance of nonstop dry-humping
- No post-show brawls!
Monday, April 19, 2010
- Steve DeAngelis vs. Nick Pace, ROC 30 on June 11th – A 135-pound pairing for the promotion’s bantamweight belt, this one pits a Pellegrino MMA star against one of Team Tiger Schulmann’s best in bout that could be a stepping stone for entrance into the WEC or Strikeforce. DeAngelis was a couple wins away from fighting in DREAM last year when he lost to Jeff Lentz at 145 pounds, and Pace absolutely shined at Bellator, so a convincing win here for either man would both make them the king of the Northeast’s bantamweight mountain and open the door to bigger things.
- Tom Gallicchio vs. Jorge Patino, UCC 2 on May 14th – Despite a few bumps in the road, Gallicchio has long been one of New Jersey’s best welterweights, and in this scrap we’ll see just how his ace ground and pound and dogged mode of attack stack up against a true Brazilian vale tudo legend.
- Jessie Riggleman vs. Louis Gaudinot, ROC 30 on June 11th – MMA Institute’s Riggleman looked fantastic out-grappling Tuan Pham at ROC 29, and he’s strong in an area where Gaudinot is not: wrestling. However, you can count on Gaudinot to have worked diligently on that aspect of his game since his loss to Nick Cottone at ROC 25, and the green-haired TSMMA is more than capable of ending things with lightning-like strikes. This bout is for the flyweight belt, so it’s for all the marbles.
- Jose Rodriguez vs. TBA, Great Adventure MMA show on June 19th – Never mind who his opponent may or may not be, the big thing here is that Rodriguez is back. Who is Rodriguez? He’s a New Jersey MMA pioneer, a veteran of nearly every fight show to have ever touched down in the Garden State (including the seminal BAMA Fight Night events), and he’s one mean mofo when the cage door shuts. The dude is practically a pugilistic institution.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
- Three title fights featuring top-level guys and the worst possible scenario came to fruition: all three bouts went the distance. Jesus, what a crapfest. I love MMA, but I watched almost the whole thing on fast forward (thanks DVR!).
- Someone give Gegard Mousasi a pregnancy test. After all that humping on the ground, he might be having King Mo’s baby in nine months.
- Good lord did Shinya Aoki suck. I don’t know what was more disgraceful: the fact that he had no striking skill or wrestling, or the fact that he was the number two lightweight in the world going into that bout.
- Dan Henderson looked great for one round, then he looked spent. Jake Shields may have beaten him, but I think Father Time should get the win.
- Am I the only person out there who thinks Jason “Mayhem” Miller isn’t completely at fault for that post-show brawl? The dude was only trying to create hype for a future fight, and after 15 painful rounds of fanbase-killing non-action, hype is what Strikeforce needs more than anything.
- So long future CBS broadcasts. We hardly knew ya!
Talking to the doctor post-show and it seems Gian Villante fractured his humerus - which is the bone above the elbow - and not his forearm as I'd originally thought. The doctor said they could hear the snap from their seats cageside. Yikes. Congrats to Demetrius Richards for trekking out from Nebraska and pulling off the upset. It's a damn shame he got booed the way he did. Other stars of the night: Jessie Riggleman, who put away a tough Tuan Pham and looks like he may give Louis Gaudinot some trouble when they meet for the belt; Jimmie Rivera, who absolutely owned Carlos Oliveira; and David McMahon, who was getting clobbered by Jose Viera Jr. but turned it around with his cardio and a rear naked choke. ROC 29 was definitely one of the good ones.