Monday, May 31, 2010

Observations from My Couch: UFC 114 "Ultimate Strikeforce on CBS-Decision Festival"

  • It's good to know that if a promotion like Strikeforce can put forth an all-decision stinker on CBS, the "Superbowl of Mixed Martial Arts" can follow up with a banner night of their own.
  • I don't believe for a second that John Hathaway is British. I mean, the dude actually knows how to sprawl.
  • Go, Diego, Go!
  • I don't think Jason Brilz was robbed. But I do think Lil' Nog was given a gift.
  • Mike Russow knocked out Todd Duffee after two and a half rounds of getting his face pounded in. Remind me why I should care, please?
  • There was no Dongbar, but it was nice seeing Dong Hyun Kim smoke Amir Sadollah like some sort of South Korean ethnic cuisine that would totally make this joke relevant if I knew anything about Korean food. Um, bulgogi? Kimchi? Oh, I don't know.
  • For someone who didn't train and got kicked off his team, Dan Lauzon didn't look half bad.
  • Melvin Guillard, always entertaining when he takes out a scrub.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, Cyrille Diabate.
  • Dan Miller, why did you box with Michael Bisping when you could've subbed him in a heartbeat on the ground? Oh well. Good showing anyway.
  • Quinton Jackson may have lost the decision to Rashad Evans, but we'll see who the real winner is when the "A-Team" movie comes out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

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Predictions for UFC 114: "Ultimate Race War"

It’s time once again for an installment of the UFC, everyone’s favorite MMA promotion where the races of man can come together as one and unite under the penumbra of peace and combat.  For Saturday night’s event, we have former light-heavyweight champs Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson squaring off in a bout devoid of hate, devoid of color –HOLY “BLACK ON BLACK CRIME” WHAT? "I'M GONNA BEAT HIS BLACK ASS" WHAT?  Sweet Lord of Public Enemy and NWA, someone’s been laying the racial stuff on a bit thick.  Well, anyway, predictions.

    • Okay, so we’ve learned that Dan Lauzon has been kicked off his team because he doesn’t like to train like a pro fighter.  Sucks for him, but at the end of the day that’s great for Efrain Escudero, who’s going to catch this softball he’s being tossed and TKO it.
    • Dong Hyun Kim by Dongbar!
    • Dongbar!
    • Brit John Hathaway is about to learn the hard way that the gulf between the level of talent in the UFC’s UK roster and the UFC’s regular pay-per-view roster is about the size of the Grand Canyon.  Diego Sanchez by lightning bolt.
    • Jason Brilz lost to Eliot Marshall last year, then defeated Eric Shafer and must now fight Lil’ Nog.  Is it me or is Lil’ Nog being tossed a softball, too?  The Brazilian by anything he wants.
    • Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow?  Someone please tell me why I should care.
    • Dan Miller via triangle choke, and Michael Bisping becomes the first TUF winner to be relegated to working as Lorenzo Fertitta’s personal butler.
    • Rampage against Rashad Evans?  My money is on the black guy.
    • Dongbar!

Former Northeast Contender Busted for $1 Million in Pot - Let the Jokes Begin!

Travis Roesler, a former Northeast MMA fighter and contender in the light-heavyweight division, was arrested this week when Philadelphia police found over a million dollars worth of marijuana in his training studio.  A million bucks worth of weed?  Seriously?  Oh man, the jokes are practically writing themselves…

    • I think it goes without saying that Roesler is a big fan of Joe Rogan and Eddie Bravo.
    • In his last fight back in 2006, Roesler fought John Doyle for the Combat in the Cage belt and lost a razor-thin split decision.  It’s possible he took that loss pretty hard and needed some help coping.  However, as that loss was via split decision, I can’t help but wonder what Roesler would’ve needed if he’d lost via submission or knockout.  Two million in Ecstasy?  Five hundred grand in crystal meth?
    • Team Cannabis never die!
    • When he was active, Roesler had one of the best guards in his weight class, and he was always calm and relaxed when on the bottom.  Well, this certainly explains why he was so calm and relaxed.
    • Referee: “Fighters, are you ready?  Then fight!”  Roesler: “Dude, wait… um, what?”
    • Roesler’s wanted to return to the cage for years.  Unfortunately, every time he takes a pre-fight urine screening the inspector handling his sample disappears, and only reappears to giggle uncontrollably and hunt for food to satisfy his munchies.
    • Team Cannabis… wait… what?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mitch the Intern's TUF 11 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.*

This week on The Ultimate Smoke Monster: the tension between Jack and Locke comes to a head after they learn that coach Tito Ortiz is injured and may not be able to fight coach Chuck Liddell; Seth Bacitracin may be bound by whatever rules that keep him on the Island and prevent him from killing the Losties directly, but he still manages to punt Hawaii Five-O in the chops; British gangster Ronnie Kray and Aussie Crocodile Dundee fight over Kate; and, eccentric billionaire Dane Whitemore blows up a freighter.  Why?  Just because!

Fade in to a lush and verdant jungle.  It could be Guam, it could be a soundstage in Los Angeles, it could be some funky club in the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino where out-of-towners in black button-down shirts and Lucky Brand Jeans™ try their best to score with rail-thin blondes with dead hair and god-awful tattoos on the smalls of their backs.  It could be any of those places, but it's more likely a mysterious island in the South Pacific - the Island - where a jet crash has deposited a ragtag bunch of aspiring fighters and left them to fend for themselves, Gilligan Island-style, only instead of the Professor and Maryanne we get RC Cola, Joe Feminine and the loveable rogue Sawyer.

"Guys, my spine is broken," says Ortiz.  "I shouldn't even be walking now, I should be confined to a wheelchair."

"Tell me about it," says Locke, and he and Ortiz link arms and swing themselves around, skipping like participants in some secret Country-Western music hoedown.  Then Ortiz sits down.

"I'm numb in my back and legs, and I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that my girlfriend is an ex-pornstar," he says.

Flashback to Kate, graceful, pretty Kate, her face wrought with freckles and emotion.  She blows up her abusive stepfather's house, gets arrested by a US Marshall, escapes, and has a brief affair with Ronnie Kray in a bear cage.  Unfortunately, Crocodile Dundee wants some of that.

"I want some of the that," says Crocodile Dundee, so now he and Ronnie Kray must do the man-dance. 

Ortiz gives the camera some of his sagacious sage-liness.  "My boy Ronnie Kray.  Gonna lose."

And then Ronnie Kray and Crocodile Dundee are fighting.  Or, more aptly, they engage in some rough dry-humping, with Ronnie Kray getting his opponent down repeatedly but unable to do more than pant in his ear and talk about grim neighborhoods in London like the West End and Trafalgar Square.  Crocodile Dundee fires back with the names of Australian cities, like Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.  To the judges, this is enough to warrant a third round, but this time around Ronnie Kray actually adds some ground and pound into the mix.  He gets the decision and moves on to the next phase of the competition, which involves him ditching Kate and joining a sinister scientific group called the Dharma Initiative.  Hooray!

Meanwhile, Dana Whitemore orders mercenaries to kill Crocodile Dundee.  Ooh, what a douche.

Flashback to 1974.  Dana Whitemore is a fine, strapping young lad with long, luxurious locks of brown hair.  He wields it like a lion's mane, with authority, a majestic figure on the mean streets of Boston's Southside.  Cut to a delicatessen, and Whitemore approaches the counter.  Orders a pastrami sandwich on rye.  No mustard.  What could it mean?  WHAT COULD IT MEAN?

Back to the present, and it's time for another semifinal match-up, this one between Hawaii Five and Seth Bacitracin.  So the two find a clearing in the jungle, shoo away a snoozing polar bear and begin to fight.

They go back and forth, with Seth Bacitracin gaining the upper hand with a rear naked choke attempt, a close triangle choke attempt, and a VW bus that he finds in the woods and somehow manages to repair and use to run Hawaii Five-O down.  But Hawaii Five-O stands and dusts himself off after getting flattened cartoon-style, and he returns the favor with some leather bombs from above - some of them missing and some of them getting through.  Then they're scrambling, and when Seth Bacitracin gets to his feet he mistakes the prone Hawaii Five-O's face for a football and tries to score a field goal.  Um, that's a no-no.

You see, there's something called the Unified Rules of Lost, rules which prohibit: a) the Man in Tapout Gear from leaving the Island, b) the Man in Tapout Gear from killing Keith Kizer, c) a season of TUF going by without homoerotic innuendos, and d) kicks to the mouth of a downed opponent.

Seth Bacitracin is guilty of d), and though he apologizes profusely to his opponent, he's immediately disqualified, giving Hawaii Five-O the win.

"Dude," says Hurley.

"Shut up, you fat f*ck!" screams the injured Rich Atonofneato, and all sorts of chaos break loose.  From the sidelines putters Ortiz, shaking his fist from the seat of a motorized mobility scooter you sometimes see old and/or overweight people toodling around in.  Cypress Hill and the Amish Kid shake RC Cola until he sprays carbonated soda from his head.  Offshore, Desmond shouts "Ahoy, brothers!" from his passing yacht, while in a cave Joe Feminine plays backgammon with Bag of Hammers.  It's at this point that the nefarious Dana Whitemore tells Liddell that his bout with Ortiz is off.

A mask of rage overtakes the Mohawked One's face and he begins to tremble, a volcano of hate about to blow its top, spewing ash and grounding flights all over Europe.  He reaches into his pocket and produces a phone.  Stares at it at if its his sworn enemy.

"Why are you mad at your phone?" asks Dana Whitemore.

Liddell suddenly appears confused.  "A phone?  I thought this was a hotel for tiny people who liked to talk to me."

Cut to a black screen with "TUF" in white letters, suspended there ominously.

The end.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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Dan Miller's Greatest Hits

Reality Fighting 10 saw Nick Serra defeat Carlos Nieves before a screaming and rabid crowd packed into Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, and it saw future stars Dante Rivera, Mike Massenzio and Jim Miller each rack up wins as well.  But that night in November, 2005, also had Dan Miller popping his MMA cherry with a victory via submission, and it would mark the beginning of a hard-fought, three-year climb up the Northeast mountain that would eventually him into the Octagon.  What sort of fighter was Dan when he was coming up?  Like his younger brother Jim, he was gritty as hell - a trait that mixed well with his wrestling- and jiu-jitsu-heavy game.  And despite a close, split decision loss to Massenzio at Reality Fighting 12, Dan was either taking opponents down and making them tap or taking them down and making them his bitch until the final bell.  Notable wins included choking out Lance Everson, damn near ripping some cat's head off with a guillotine at an IFL, decisioning John Howard, and slapping a kneebar on Ryan McGivern to win the IFL's middleweight strap.  Dan could definitely do the dance. 

On Saturday night Dan is one-half of UFC 114's co-main event, and though he may be coming off a pair of losses to top-ranked contenders Chael Sonnen and Demian Maia, and though some seriously weighty issues at home may be taking up quite a bit of his time, he's still every bit the promising badass he was back at Reality Fighting 10.  You can bet UFC 114 opponent Michael Bisping is taking him seriously.  You should, too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday Night Fights to Hold All-Female Muay Thai and Amateur Boxing Card

Friday Night Fights, one of New York City's longer-running fight promotions, will be holding an all-female Muay Thai and amateur boxing fight card on June 11 at the Broad Street Ballroom in downtown Manhattan.  "Hell Hath No Fury" is the name of the event, and whatever you do, don't scorn these women, because, er, they'll nag you and make you sleep on the couch.  Or something.  Anyway, if you're not in Atlantic City checking out Ring of Combat that night, this show might be worth checking out.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Observations from My Couch: Strikeforce Challengers "Worst Crowd Ever"

    • As fight cards go, this one was pretty action-packed and entertaining.  However, based on the way the crowd booed everyone and everything, either the people of Oregon have never seen an MMA show before or the people of Oregon are retarded.  Which is it, Oregon?
    • Tarec Saffiedine is exceedingly fun to watch.  Exceedingly.
    • Good back and forth by Bobby Voelker and Roger Bowling, and tough break on the inadvertent eye injury.  Also, tough break on having an unappreciative audience full of idiots.
    • Tyron Woodley may not be the next big thing, but he’s at least the next “larger than usual” thing.
    • It took Matt Lindland two and a half rounds to beat a scrub.  Yeah, headlining a Strikeforce Challengers might be a good fit for him.

Observations from My Couch: Moosin's "The Best Awful MMA Event Ever"

    • I’ve seen so many pay-per-view crapfests masquerading as MMA shows throughout the years – gems like the World Combat Championship, Martial Arts Reality Superfighting and Pancrase – but Moosin was the absolute crappiest.  However, somehow, someway the fights were awesome, making this one the best.
    • Normally Bas Rutten is a fantastic commentator, but at Moosin, working side-by-side with those two other clowns, he was awful.  The trio’s commentating was like watching a drunken fraternity version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  And I mean that in the most unfunny way possible.
    • Ralph Johnson, Lukasz Jurkowski and Ho Jin Kim.  God bless Moosin for giving C-level fighters a chance to look C-level on a pay-per-view.
    • Yves Edwards = robbed.
    • Roxanne Modafferi vs. Tara LaRosa was as awesome as everyone knew it was going to be.  Congrats to Roxy for going to Japan and learning how to strike.
    • Will Rafael Natal be the next ROC champ to make it into the big show?  Magic Eight Ball says “It is decidedly so”.
    • We need more Travis Wiuff in the world.
    • Tim Sylvia losing to a champion pro boxer was like a body blow to MMA, but if he had lost to a strongman it would’ve been like putting a bag over MMA’s head, driving it out into the desert and shooting it in the back of the neck.  Thank you, Tim, for not losing to a strongman.

Friday, May 21, 2010

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Two UCL Vets Going Pro This Weekend

Moosin and Strikeforce Challengers may be dominating the airwaves tonight, but the real sushi dinner of the evening is the fact that UCL veterans Chris Corr and Eric Blasich are making their pro MMA debuts.  The event is the Paramount Cage Fighting Challenge in Washington, Pennsylvania, and both guys - who hail from New Generation Karate on Long Island - are solid, well-rounded fighters who've honed their skills in combat.  Expect them to be driving home with wins on their pro record and a car full of women eager to find out why New Yorkers are so damn tough.


May 2010 Women's Independent World MMA Rankings

The April 2010 Women's 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, as well as http://www.independentworldmmarankings.com/.

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).
Note: Erin Toughill is temporarily ineligible to be ranked, due to the fact that she has not fought in over 12 full months, and she will regain her eligibility to the next time she fights.

May 2010 Women's Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on May 18, 2010

Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (9-1)
2. Marloes Coenen (17-4)
3. Gina Carano (7-1)
4. Yuko "Hiroko" Yamanaka (8-1-1)
5. Cindy Dandois (3-0)
6. Shana Olsen (3-0)
7. Amanda Nunes (5-1)
8. Jamie Seaton (2-1)
9. Emily Thompson (3-2)
10. Hitomi Akano (15-7)

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. Julie Kedzie (13-8)

Flyweight Rankings (116 to 125 lbs.)
1. Rosi Sexton (10-1)
2. Tara LaRosa (18-1)
3. Aisling Daly (9-0)
4. Rin Nakai (6-0)
5. Sally Krumdiack (7-3)
6. Lena Ovchynnikova (6-0)
7. Monica Lovato (4-1)
8. Jeri Sitzes (3-1)
9. Mutsumi Kasai (4-1)
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. Emi Fujino (8-4)

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.
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 hypothetical 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 she 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 her first fight in the new weight class has taken place.
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, Joshua Stein and Yael Grauer for their invaluable help with this project, and special thanks to Garrett Bailey for designing our logo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Life in the Suck Lane

Welcome to the latest edition of Life in the Suck Lane, where we compare the career trajectories of two once-promising fighters and let you decide whose life sucks harder.  On today’s installment it’s Tim Sylvia vs. Matt Lindland.  Here are the ugly facts:

Tim Sylvia

    • Lost his first UFC championship belt when he tested positive for steroids.
    • Returned to the cage to face Frank Mir for the belt and promptly got his arm snapped in half.  Mir kept the arm hanging above his fireplace for two months before giving it back.
    • In his next venture into the Octagon, he lost to Andrei Arlovski so fast fans questioned if Sylvia had actually heard referee John McCarthy yell “Let’s get it on!” and knew the fight had begun.
    • Defeated Arlovski in a rematch, but their third meeting was hailed by Time Magazine as “The Worst Fight in the History of Fighting, But Not a Bad Example of Two Grown Men Dancing”.
    • Lost the belt to Randy Couture at UFC 68 in a bout that had the crowd cheering every time Sylvia took damage.  There’s unpopular, and then there’s Sylvia-level unpopular.  This was an example of the latter multiplied by a thousand.  Even Satan was watching that bout and muttering, “Jeez, go easy on the poor guy.”
    • Put together a string of impressive losses to such MMA legends as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fedor Emelianenko and Ray Mercer.  Wait, what?
    • Is headlining an event called Moosin on Friday.

Matt Lindland

    • Defeated anyone who faced him until he was fighting Murilo Bustamante for the UFC middleweight belt, at which point he tapped out, lied about having tapped out, and then quickly tapped out again.
    • Knocked himself out trying to slam Falaniko Vitale at UFC 43.  No, seriously. 
    • Lost by quick and violent knockout to Dave Terrell, but continued to dominate in the Octagon.  However, whatever momentum he had was flushed down the toilet when Lindland let money and banned sponsors cloud his judgment.  His severance package from the UFC included a Hallmark Card from Dana White brimming with curse words and a jockstrap someone had found in the locker room of the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
    • Was a coach for the IFL.  No, seriously. 
    • Lost to Fedor, got knocked out by Vitor Belfort so hard that for two weeks after he thought he was “Joey” from the NBC sitcom “Friends”, and got submitted by Jacare.
    • Ran for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives and lost to Howard Stern.  Stern was a write-in candidate.
    • Is headlining a Strikeforce Challengers event on Friday.  Seriously.  A Strikeforce Challengers event.

Well, there you have it.  Whose life sucks more?  You make the call.

Mitch the Intern's TUF 11 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.*

This week's episode is jam-packed with action!  Drama!  Injuries!  Infomercials!  Yes, folks, this one has it all, so stop your grinnin' and drop your linen', 'cause here we go!

Fade in to RC Cola on the phone.  The phone?  Who does he think he is?  Kimbo Slice?  But someone has allowed him outside contact, so RC Cola gets to talk to his wife, Pepsi, who has just given birth to the fighter's son.  Understandably, this has given RC Cola a sad, as she went ahead and named the kid Sprite.  They had previously agreed on Mr. Pibb.  He suspects that while he's been gone she's been carrying on with Dr. Pepper, and this sort of emotional baggage can make a fighter flat - especially when he has an impending fight to think about.  Which he does in the form of the "wildcard loser-gets-another-chance suckety-suck" bout against British gangster Ronnie Kray.

"I can't lose," says RC Cola.

Sure you can, RC Cola.  We have faith in you.

Just then, erstwhile UFC fighter and seminal TUF alum Forrest Griffin shows up.  With an overgrown beard, an old Led Zeppelin concert t-shirt and faded jeans with holes in the knees, he looks every bit the hobo, and from his pack (one of this sticks with a sack tied at the end) he pulls the new UFC video game.  "Guys, do you like pretending to fight instead of fighting for real?" he says, apparently reduced to hawking goods as an itinerant salesman.  I guess this is what crushing losses to Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva and barely squeaking by Tito Ortiz will do to you.

Cut to the wildsucker fight, and RC Cola and Ronnie Kray take to the cage.  "I'm just going to sit in the bleachers and not coach either one," says Ortiz of his wards.  "The better man will win."  Okay, Mr.Laissez-Faire. 

And then they're fighting, a tentative, cautious stand-up affair that looks like junior sparring night at Hong T. Kim's Tae Kwon Do and Laundromat, and though Ronnie Kray's kicks have all the force and confidence of a someone who learned those techniques maybe 20 minutes ago, RC Cola's kicks do damage, with one sidekick to the knee actually causing Ronnie Kray to cry out.  But that's about it in terms of RC Cola's offense.  In the latter half of Round 1 the British gangster dominates with his wrestling and ground and pound, and in Round 2 he seals the deal with a slam and a kimura.  An elated Ronnie Kray parades around the Octagon.  He sucks, but at least someone else sucks more.

Dana White beckons the coaches to join him in his lair, and Ortiz and Chuck Liddell follow.  You see, it's time to pick the next round's match-ups.  "Forget who's on who's team," says White.  "Let's just make the best fights."

Liddell scratches his mohawk, then blurts out, "Godzilla versus Mecha-Godzilla.  The Hamburglar versus the Tidy Bowl Man.  My left shoe versus my right shoe.  And 42."

Ortiz and White exchange confused looks.

"I mean it," says Liddell firmly.  "Those are my picks.  Also, tugboat."

White shakes his head in disgust.  "Just get the *^W$&*#$&* out of here.  I'll do this myself."

And he does, pairing Cypress Hill with some heretofore unknown kid named Josh (did he fight already?  Where'd he come from?  Is he the producers kid?), Seth Bacitracin against Hawaii Five-O, Ronnie Kray versus Crocodile Dundee and Joe Feminine with the Amish Kid.  Upon hearing this, the Amish Kid begins weeping quietly, his tears the tears of the molested.  "Bad touch, bad touch…" he mutters, his words barely audible but full of fear.

"Hey, do you guys hate doing crunches?" says the hobo salesman Forrest Griffin, and from his tattered Army surplus dufflebag he produces a plastic and metal contraption that looks like the framework of the Hunchback of Notre Dame's chair.  "Well, the Abdominator™ will solve all of your problems!"

Cut to the doctor's office, and Joe Feminine is in a gown and bent over an examination table with a grin on his face.

"Um, I'm just looking at your knee today," says the doctor with a grimace.  And he does, examining the joint and taking x-rays and MRIs and then consulting tea leaves and chicken gizzards.  "You have a torn ACL," he says.

And that's it for him, the man with questionable sexual preferences who most felt could've won the whole competition.  White shows up later at the TUF House to hear it from Joe Feminine's own mouth, the two out back and standing alone by the pool.  "Are you quitting?" says the UFC honcho.

"My ACL is torn.  I can't continue."  But then Joe Feminine smiles coyly, and runs a finger slowly along White's collar.  "However, maybe I could be convinced…"

White sprints, moving faster than he's ever moved before, fleeing the awkward situation until he's standing in the TUF House, breathless before the other contestants.  "Okay," he says breathlessly.  "Uh, Joe Feminine is out."

And everybody's eyebrows raise.

"Of the closet?" asks Hawaii Five-O.

"I mean out of the competition."

And everyone lets out a collective "Oh."

"So another one of you losers gets a chance," says White, and he leaves, passing hobo salesman Forrest Griffin on his way out the front door.

"Hey, do you guys like healthy food?" says Griffin, and from a shopping cart packed with soda cans he produces a thick, flat appliance with a dangling cord.  "I certainly do.  That's why I cook with the George Foreman's Grill ™."

Dumb as a Bag of Hammers bolts out the door, following White into the driveway.  "I'm your man, I want that fight."

And I guess that's all it takes, for White goes back into the house and announces that Bag of Hammers is going to face the Amish Kid.  Like, tomorrow.

Then they're fighting.  Round 1 is extremely back-and-forth, Bag of Hammers' wrestling facilitating his ability to get back to his feet and whatnot.  But the Amish Kid - relieved that he doesn't have to worry about getting his oil checked or getting back-mounted with disconcerting sweet nothings whispered lovingly into his ear - has the edge in boxing.  Round 2 begins and Bag of Hammers shoots with his head down, and soon after he's tapping to a guillotine.

"I like this Amish Kid," says White afterwards.  "He could be the darkhorse to win this whole season."

"Hey, do you like seasoned horsemeat?" says Griffin, who steps out of the shadows of the TUF center.  In his hands is a battered styrofoam cooler.  "I sure do.  That's why I eat Overeem Brand Horsemeant™.  It's yummy!"

Fade to black.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Moosin: Forget Sylvia vs. the Strongman - It's All About Tara LaRosa vs. Roxy

The Moosin: God of Martial Arts event is this Friday in Worcester, Massachusetts, and as the promotion decided to go with an ill-prepared strongman in its main event in lieu of an ill-prepared pro boxer managed by Don King, there's actually a chance the show might happen.  But don't let the Tim Sylvia/Mariusz Pudzianowski headliner discourage you from shelling out the dough for the pay-per-view, for the event's got an undercard with some compelling and worthwhile match-ups - not the least of which is the rematch between Tara LaRosa and Roxanne Modafferi.  You see, these two top five female fighters met in the ring back in 2006, at a Mixed Fighting Championship event in Atlantic City (the MFC went on to become BodogFIGHT), and if LaRosa vs. Roxy II is anything like their first fight, it should be action-packed from beginning to end.  The story of their MFC bout was that these two ladies went back-and-forth for the duration, LaRosa continually finding the dominant position and Roxy threatening with submissions throughout, and when it was all over the crowd went wild with appreciation.  This was way before Gina Carano put female MMA on the map and way, way before Cris Cyborg was crowned champ on Showtime.  But thanks to this bout, and the crowd-reaction fighters like Laura D'Auguste, Amanda Buckner and Shayna Baszler were getting, promoters were realizing that there was something to this whole "chicks fighting" thing.  And LaRosa and Roxy played a role in that.  So if you tune in to watch Moosin, don't expect much when the ex-UFC champ takes on the guy who flips giant tires for a living, but when the ladies take the stage, hold on to your freakin' hat.  It should be a barnburner.


Monday, May 17, 2010


Observations from My Couch: Strikeforce's "Horse Meat Surprise"

  • Much props to Antwain Britt for going down swinging. That could just as easily have been Rafael Cavalcante on the canvas, the Brazilian just landed cleanly first.
  • Thank God Roger Gracie came away looking nothing like Rolles. Thank God.
  • I was rooting for Joey Villasenor to make the comeback, but it's just as well that Jacare got the win. If Villasenor were to ever get the belt, he'd lose it immediately to the next challenger. Jacare has a chance of holding on to it.
  • Watching the great Andrei Arlovski fight like that gives me a sad.
  • How many horses died to help transform the Alistair Overeem who lost to Chuck Liddell in Pride to the monster that wrecked Brett Rogers on Saturday night?

UCC 2 Postscript

Another solid installment by the pro MMA show that's somewhat convenient to New York City. Dante Rivera looked like a fighter who's competed at the highest levels, whereas Ryan Contaldi looked like a fish out of water. John Cholish has got the tools, and against Hitalo Machado he showed he's got the heart, as he was getting the worst of it on the feet until he started landing that low-kick. He's definitely one to watch. And I don't know if Josh Rave plans on fighting locally some more, but in two Northeast bouts he's proven to be one of the best 125-135 pounders around.

Friday, May 14, 2010

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Liveblog: UCC 2 Part 5

Last fight and it's Ricardo Almeida-trained Dante Rivera against Iron Horse MMA's Ryan Contaldi. Based on cornermen alone Contaldi is in trouble, as he's got UFC fighter Mike Massenzio while Rivera has UFC champ Frankie Edgar plus Chris Liguori, Haz Ibrahim and Tom DeBlass. We'll see if he can overcome the deficit. The opening frame has the two going back and forth with select strikes and clinch-work, with Contaldi scoring a takedown late and Rivera nullifying his top game. Rivera is large and in charge in Round 2, though, throwing Contaldi with some high-amplitude takedowns and working into a North-South choke. The tap comes at 3:20 of the round. Good showing for Rivera. And that's all she wrote...

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Liveblog: UCC 2 Part 4

AMA FC flyweight Sean Santella vs. Midwesterner Josh Rave is the next bout on the menu, and if history tells us anything it's that this one should involve quite a bit of grappling. Santella finds himself on his back and immediately starts firing off armbar and triangle attempts, but Rave soon takes control with back-mount and a world of hurt visited upon the local fighter. "Shorty Rock" survives the round, yet in Round 2 he still seems stymied whenever Rave gets the better of the transitions, and every sub attempt is met with Rave deftly neutralizing it and escaping. Round 3 begins with Santella's fortunes reversing as he takes Rave's back and very nearly sinks the choke, but eventually Rave escapes and once more takes control. The unanimous decision goes to Rave. Next: Team Renzo lightweight John Cholish against ATT's Hitalo Machado in a five-round championship bout. This is another one where there should be a lot of grappling, maybe jiu-jitsu. Ah, what do I know? These two actually do engage a bit on the feet, each throwing some sharp and technical kicks and punches, but whenever Cholish wants a takedown he gets it, and on the ground they seem evenly matched (and equally dangerous). The second round has Machado getting the better of the boxing exchanges and the Team Renzo fighter firing off some killer kicks, and in the third Cholish has found a home for that low-kick and it's against the ATT rep's thigh. Machado is limping and visibly hurt, but he's still in it going into Round 4 - a situation Cholish remedies by mixing low-kicks with overhand rights until Machado collapses in a heap. The official time of the TKO is 2:25 of the fourth round, and Cholish comes away looking every bit the future superstar.

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Liveblog: UCC 2 Part 3

Sam Jackson and Mike Medrano take to the cage for a welterweight pairing. Medrano is a rising star coming out of AMA FC and is supposed to be fighting for the ROC belt at their next show, while Jackson starred in Pulp Fiction and played Mace Windu in those crappy Star Wars movies. The story of Round 1 is Medrano tossing Jackson to the canvas like a ragdoll and coming close with a kimura and Jackson swinging for the fences on the feet and reversing position on the ground. Round 2 sees Jackson get on top at first to deliver some damage, the Medrano take the reigns as ground-and-pounder for the duration. The last goes poorly for the AMA FC standout, though, as he finds himself on his back for the majority of the time. Regardless, he takes the unanimous decision when time runs out. TSMMA's Carlos Brooks is up and ready to face Team Link middleweight Alexandre Moreno. Well, it looks like Moreno did his homework, opting to avoid Brooks' deadly striking game and going right for the takedown. The Team Linker methodically works from the top, coming close with a kimura and an arm-triangle before finally catching Brooks with an arm-in guillotine. The official time of the tap out is 4:48 of the first round.

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Liveblog: UCC 2 Part 2

First fight and it's not Josh Key vs. Kevin Horowitz, as Horowitz gets negged at the last minute by the doctors for hypertension. Too bad, as that was a good match-up. Instead, 261-pound behemoth Willie Johnson and 246-pound mass of muscle Mike Dunaj take to the cage. Johnson hails from American Eagle Martial Arts, which is an affiliate of the GAP MMA Club and Team Banana Republic. This one is all Johnson, as he bullrushes Dunaj, gets on top and blasts him with about 300 fists and forearms. Ref Big Dan calls a stop to the onslaught at 2:27 of Round 1. Next is 145ers James Meals and Advanced Martial Arts' Jay McLean. Meals is actually the kickboxing instructor for Gold Team Fighters and he's been around MMA forever, but McLean is young, hungry and wanted in 15 states for a litany of crimes that include cattle rustling, jostling and soliciting a robot, so we'll see how this one goes. The bout begins and McLean comes out with guns blazing, landing strikes and throwing his opponent like he hates him. But Meals battles back hard, getting back to his feet and throwing knees and punches that put McLean on notice that he's in for a helluva fight. This slow in Round 2, as McLean is all about the ground and pound and Meals is suddenly tentative about launching leather lest he get taken down, while the final round Meals threatens with an armbar and almost takes McLean's back but is ultimately almost overwhelmed with strikes at the final bell. The Advanced Martial Arts rep takes the unanimous decision, but the cards don't do justice to the fact that this was one of the best James Meals we've seen in a long time.

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Liveblog: UCC 2 Part 1

MMA Journalist is here at the Armory in Jersey City for the second installment of the Urban Conflict Championship - a pro MMA show that does not require a two-hour trek to Atlantic City. Woot. Anyway, the card is a strong eight-bout collection of local rockstars in the making. In addition to Dante Rivera taking on Ryan Contaldi in the main event, Team Renzo's John Cholish is on deck to face Hitalo Machado, TSMMAer Carlos Brooks and Alexandre Moreno are going at it, and AMA FC's Sean Santella is going to do battle against Josh Rave in a flyweight bout. Sadly, it looks like the Joey Camacho/Jimmie Rivera match-up is off because Rivera couldn't get down to bantamweight. Is it me or is everyone starting to get out of control with the trips down the weight classes? Didn't UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar - who walks around at 118 pounds - just prove that you don't need to cut weight to win?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mitch the Intern's TUF 11 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.*

This week TUF celebrates National Loser Day with an episode focused on those loveable scamps who just quite aren't up to snuff, who don't exactly measure up and who ultimately suck when it comes to fighting.  That's right, this is the episode that features the final quarterfinal match-up - between Leonidas, a guy who everyone agrees hails from Stinksville, USA, and Sucky McSuck (aka, Seth Bacitracin), the person who was defeated in the bout to gain entry into the TUF House but who was brought back because Chevy Camaro died.  Also, apparently the term "wildcard" means "loser who gets a second chance at losing".  Woot.  But first…

Joe Feminine may have defeated the Amish Kid, but he apparently looked to be a shadow of his real self in the process.

"I am a shadow of my real self," he says, limping but throwing colorful streamers to and fro.  "My knee feels loose," he says.

Just the knee?

Anyhoo, in the locker room post-fight he sits, his knee examined by a doctor.  "Ah yes," says the doctor.  "I've seen this type of injury before.  It happens when you sashay too much."

"Pshaw!" says Joe Feminine.

It's fight announcement time, and despite it being Ortiz's turn to choose, and despite there being only two competitors left to fight, coach Chuck Liddell stands up and declares aloud, "I pick Abraham Lincoln and the Kraken."

A disgusted Dana White shakes his head and says, "Just ignore him."

So, Leonidas and Seth Bacitracin are paired up, and immediately everyone - the teammates, the housemates, the coaches and trainers, and even the dudes who drive the vans that take the TUFers to and from the Training Center - come before the camera to talk about how much Leonidas sucks.

"He's only been doing MMA for six months," says Hawaii Five-O.

"He hits like a girl," says Team Liddell's boxing coach, Senator Howard Dean.

"Leonidas can wrestle, but that's about it," says Ronnie Kray.

"My cat's breath smells like catfood," says Liddell.

Even Leonidas gets in on the hatefest.  "I train hard and I want to go far in this sport.  Oh, also, I can't fight worth a damn."

Training montage, and Leonidas is seen trying to hit some focus mitts.  He misses horribly, stumbles, and manages to fall through a plate glass window and into a moat full of alligators.  Meanwhile, Seth Bacitracin sits with Ortiz, lavishing the UFC fighter with praise and gratitude for giving him a second chance.  "You know, when I lost to the Amish Kid I was really bummed, but you believed in me enough to bring me back."

"Do I know you?" says Ortiz.

More training, and Joe Feminine is boxing with a teammate in the Octagon when his knee gives out.  He tumbles to the ground.  "It's loose!  It's loose!" he exclaims, and everyone backs away aghast.  "I'm talking about my knee!" he says, and at that clarification everyone lets out a collective "Oh" and moves to help him.

Then it's fight time, and somehow, someway the man who everyone took the time to describe as "sucky", "lame", "worthless in the cage" and "a total freakin' joke when it comes to unarmed combat" manages to grapple the hell out of Seth Bacitracin.  Back and forth, back and forth on the ground, one catching the other in a dominant position and the other escaping and reversing, and then Round 1 and Round 2 are done.  The judges have it a draw, so it goes to Round 3 - the perfect time and place for the exhausted Leonidas to live up to his hype.  He does so by laying down and going to sleep.  Seth Bacitracin earns the unanimous decision.

But wait, there's more!

With little fanfare, White has everyone gather for the wildcard announcements.  Who lost but will get another chance to lose again?  Who gets to demonstrate their lack of skills over and over again?

"RC Cola, you get to come back and fight Ronnie Kray," says White.  "And because Rich Atonofneato is injured, Amish Kid, you get to return.  Also, I'm bringing back Mirko CroCop, Ken Shamrock and Steve Jennum.  Because, you know, it's National Loser Day."

And there you have it.

MMA and the Legal Injunction: A Fond Look Back

Don King filed an injuction against Shine Fights to stop boxer Ricardo Mayorga - whom he manages in boxing - from facing Din Thomas in an MMA bout.  All arguments as to whether King's injunction has merit aside, what's noteworthy here is that a simple sheaf of documents could sink a pay-per-view mere days before its scheduled date.  Thus is the power of the legal injunction.  And though MMA's history is a short one, it's a history rife with broken contracts, copyright infringements and countless other court-based fisticuffs.  What are some of the more noteworthy legal actions taken in mixed martial arts?  MMA Journalist has compiled a list!

Zuffa v. US Department of Transportation – If 16 years of UFC action has taught us anything, it’s that the “Superbowl of Mixed Martial Arts” will sue the pants off of anyone who dares use an eight-sided cage.  But Zuffa has absolutely no compunctions about going after anyone employing literally anything with eight-sides, which has led to lawsuits against such children shows as Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba (for their episodes centering around shapes), as well as against the US Department of Transportation for their use of the stop sign.  Although six local Las Vegas judges in have ruled in Zuffa’s favor, the US District Court and the US Court of Appeals have denied the injunction against the Department of Transportation.  The US Supreme Court may still weigh in on the matter.

United States Equestrian Federation v. Alistair Overeem – The US Equestrian Federation loves horses, and Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem loves horse meat.  Put to the two together and you have a legal injunction that forbids the Golden Glory fighter from coming within two miles of such events as the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.  After all, if his massive size and physique doesn’t come from steroids but instead comes from eating steeds and ponies (as he claims), then Overeem must go through about a horse a day.  To the US Equestrian Federation, that simply will not do, hence the restraining order.

Food and Drug Administration v. Paulo Filho – The Food and Drug Administration is tasked with regulating prescription drugs, and to them, former Pride star and ex-WEC champ Paulo Filho is practically a walking pharmacy.  Thus, whenever Filho attempts to re-enter the United States, the FDA has agents meet him at the border – not to arrest or detain him, but to just marvel at the fact that someone so whacked out and unreliable can somehow still book fights.  This tact has so far worked well in keeping the Brazilian out of the country, but if he at some point does make it in, there’s a legal injunction in place that would keep fans and fighters alike from taking him seriously.

American Medical Association v. Andrei Arlovski – Nine out of ten doctors agree that Andrei Arlovski has taken far too many hard blows to the head, with five of those same doctors conceding that at this point he’s in danger of getting knocked out when faced with someone with just a simple case of bad breath.  Consequently, the AMA has filed an injunction that would mandate his use of a foam helmet for whenever he fights, with past opponents Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers going on record to voice their support of the legal requirement.  Said Emelianenko: “Da.”

Worldwide Karate Organization v. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s right hand – The stated mission of the Worldwide Karate Organization is to “promote the belief and practice of karate as a viable form of unarmed combat”.  Unfortunately, after Saturday night’s UFC 113 and the abrupt destruction of Shotokan practitioner Lyoto Machida, that mission’s viability took a serious blow.  Thus, the Worldwide Karate Organization has filed an injunction against Shogun’s right hand, asking that the courts ban its use against any MMA competitor who practices blocks and katas instead of learning how to box.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Best Part About Shine Fights' "Worlds Collide"?

The best part about Shine Fights' "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas" event on pay-per-view isn't that the price tag is about 20 bucks, nor is it that we'll get to watch Din Thomas wreck boxer Ricardo Mayorga (Don King injunction be damned), or that we'll get to see Murilo "Ninja" Rua, Nick Thompson and Jamal Patterson in action.  No, the best part about the show on Saturday night is that Bruce Beck is doing cageside commentary.  There are professional play-by-play announcers, and then there's Beck, who is the absolute best in the business - something evident from his stint as one of the UFC's first mic-men to his long-running gig as a sportscaster for NBC News here in New York.  I admit, I was barely cognizant that this event was coming up, but once I heard that Beck was working it, well, let me just say I know what we're going to be watching in the MMA Journalist household on Saturday night.

The Big Winners and Losers Coming Out of UFC 113

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua knocked out Lyoto Machida to become the new light-heavyweight champ, Josh Koscheck earned the unanimous decision over Paul Daley, Matt Mitrione TKO’d Kimbo Slice, blah, blah, blah.  Forget the individual results of the bouts and who snagged themselves a belt or a shot at the title, because coming out of UFC 113 the biggest winners and losers didn’t have their records marked with an “L” or a “W”.  No, those who benefited and suffered the most did so indirectly and in a fashion not easily seen by the untrained eye.  Thankfully, here’s a list of Saturday night’s big winners and losers, in no particular order. 

Big Winner: Strikeforce – For hearing the final bell, picking himself up off the ground and feeding his opponent a post-fight dose of fist salad, Brit striker Paul Daley got himself kicked out of the UFC.  Kimbo Slice, meanwhile, got the boot for sucking.  Ultimately, that makes Strikeforce the big winner here, as now the brand of MMA fighting that is decidedly not of the Octagon variety gets to insert a young, brash thug and an old, reformed thug into their freakshow menagerie rotation.  Want to see Daley lose to Nick Diaz, punch him in the back of the head after the bell and get stabbed?  Want to see Kimbo vs. Herschel Walker, Kimbo vs. Bo Cantrell II or even just Kimbo vs. a treadmill?  Tune in to Strikeforce on CBS, and check your local listings for dates and times.

Big Loser: Karate – When Machida knocked out Thiago Silva at UFC 94, approximately 800,000 karate refugees ran to their closets and dusted off their black gis with the patches of a yin-yang symbol and a fist punching an eagle in the crotch sewn on the shoulders.  Then, when the Brazilian destroyed Rashad Evans, those same refugees began practicing the heretofore forgotten “MMA kata” with pride.  Well, the Empty-Handed Way once again suffered a blow on Saturday night, and much like when Royce Gracie made Minoki Ichihara his bitch at UFC 2, it’s doubtful it will ever fully recover.  No amount of board-breaking would’ve prevented Shogun from crushing Machida, and there is no “kiai” battle cry loud enough to stop a right hand to the dome – two revelations that are once again illuminating the sad truth that the karate dojo a great place to pick up chicks but a crappy place to learn how to fight for real.

Big Winner: Dan Severn – When UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn burst onto the scene at UFC 4, he was a wrecking machine of takedowns and ground and pound, and he blazed a trail in this new sport that countless wrestlers have followed.  But the man with wins over the likes of Ken Shamrock, Paul Buentello and Forrest Griffin saw his last venture into the Octagon end in defeat at the hands (actually, leg-kicks) of Pedro Rizzo at UFC 27, and nearly ten years passed before we saw him in action again.  God bless the 51-year old for returning at UFC 113.  Looking somehow young, svelte and rejuvenated, and possessing far better boxing than he’d ever shown in his early days, Severn was almost like a new, completely (and genetically) different man.  Though he may have lost via choke to Joe Doerksen, Severn showed the world on Saturday night that the “Beast” is still a force to be reckoned with.

Big Loser: The Douchebags of the World – Webster’s New and Improved Deluxe Dictionary defines “douchebag” as “someone you just can’t help but to hate”, and on Saturday night – with Koscheck faking an injury from a phantom illegal knee to the head and Daley landing an extra-curricular punch – even the world’s douchebags were throwing their sneakers at their television screens.  Is it possible to dislike a pair of fighters in a bout so much you hope they somehow both lose the decision?  It is possible for a crowd to boo a fighter so harshly that it counts as a loss on their record?  Going in to their UFC 113 bout, we all knew Koscheck and Daley were going to be cast as villains in the epic saga that is the wholesome Georges St. Pierre Show, but who knew that by the end of the night even the drug dealers, kidnappers, pirates and overly-aggressive panhandlers of the world would want to disavow all relations to them?  For their despicable behavior, Koscheck and Daley seemingly did the impossible: they gave douchebags a bad name.

Big Winner: The Facial-Reconstruction and Plastic Surgery Industry – As per the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, spiking an opponent on their head is bad.  Very bad.  But slamming an opponent on their face?  All good in the ‘hood, bro.  Don’t believe it?  Just ask Alan Belcher, who picked up Patrick Cote and drove the Canadian’s grill into the canvas with the kind of force that would make two men married under the laws of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.  Unfortunately, with the discovery of this loophole in the rules comes the inevitable proliferation of fighters with completely messed up mugs – which should prove to be a boon for the facial-reconstruction and plastic surgery industry.  Suddenly ugly because Brock Lesnar sat on the back of your head?  Fear not!  For a fee, you can get fixed right up.  After all, it worked for Wanderlei Silva, didn’t it?


Monday, May 10, 2010

Who to Watch at Friday's UCC 2

The Urban Conflict Championship returns to the Armory in Jersey City on Friday for another installment of conflict in a (very) urban setting, and with it comes a crop of up-and-comers worth keeping an eye on.  At the top of the list is AMA FC's Sean Santella, a wrestler-turned-polished MMA fighter who's been racking up a slew of wins since losing to Nick Pace back in 2008.  Santella will be facing Josh Rave, who gave Zach Makovsky a decent scrap at the M-1 Global show last month before getting put to sleep with a choke, and if "Shorty Rock" can handle Rave as well, that would put him amongst the Northeast's top bantamweights.  Also someone to look out for on Friday is John Cholish.  This Team Renzo exponent's got a lot of hype following him around, and thus far it seems warranted, but squaring off against Matt Troyer at UCC 1 is a far cry from squaring off against Hitalo Machado, whom he'll be facing at UCC 2.  Can Cholish submit a true submission specialist?  Finally, keep an eye on Carlos Brooks, who'll be taking on Team Link's Alexandre Moreno.  Brooks - like teammates Jimmie Rivera, Nick Pace, Lyman Good and Urijah Hall - is aces in the "overwhelming strikes" department, but Moreno's got 11 fights to Brooks' two, so it will be interesting to see if the TS-MMA rep's sheer meanness is enough to overcome the experience factor.  Keep an eye on these guys, and to facilitate that, MMA Journalist will be there to liveblog the event.

Observations from My Couch: UFC 113 "Karate is Dead"

    • Congrats to Alan Belcher for uncovering the effectiveness of the “spike the face” maneuver.  Who knew dropping someone on their grill would be so devastating?
    • Thus endeth the woefully-short reign of Kimbo “Not Ready for the UFC” Slice.
    • You know what’s weird?  Watching the UFC in 1994 and cheering for Dan Severn, then watching the UFC in 2010 and seeing a fighter impersonate him.  And honestly, Tom Lawlor made for a really good Dan Severn.
    • Why was everyone acting like Marcus Davis’ job was on the line?  He may not be a world-beater, but when stacked up against the UFC’s “away team” welterweights (i.e., those who compete in the overseas UFC events), the dude is practically elite.
    • I’m glad Paul Daley got banned from the UFC, because now he can go to Strikeforce and punch Nick Diaz in the back of the head after the bell and get stabbed to death.
    • Where is your karate now, Lyoto Machida?  Where is your karate now?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Predictions for UFC 113: "Canadian Kumite"

Light-heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida re-matching with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.  A Brit striker who can’t grapple and a grappler with no chin.  Rampant moose.  Kimbo.  Maple syrup by the gallon.  If you looked at these clues and came up with UFC 113, then congratulations, you are both correct and annoying.  Please go away.  Predictions!

    • Patrick Cote is still around?  I thought he left fighting to become a lumberjack in the Yukon or something.  Well, good for him for getting back in there with someone like Alan Belcher, who will dodge his one money-punch and kick him repeatedly to earn the uninspiring decision.
    • Dana White to Joe Silva: “Hey, we need to milk this Kimbo thing a little more.”  “Okay.  How about pairing him up against a total throwaway fighter whose only recognition comes from being unlikeable on a TV show?”  “Awesome.”  Kimbo via beard scruff.
    • If the Sam Stout that fought Joe Lauzon shows up, he’s going to crush Jeremy Stephens.  Otherwise, he’s just going to edge him out by points.
    • I like both Paul Daley and Josh Koscheck as fighters and find them both entertaining, but if the whole Mike Swick/Dan Hardy thing taught us anything, it’s that OH MY GOD GEORGES ST. PIERRE JUST KILLED HIM!
    • If Machida represents karate and Shogun represents Muay Thai, then this rematch represents me going to bed and watching their second inconclusive five-round fight on DVR in the morning.  Mostly on fast-forward.

Observations from My Couch: Bellator 17 "Eyebrows of Doom"

    • If I never see Cole Konrad and Pat Bennett fight again, I will be happy.  Seriously, did they not know that MMA bouts are three rounds?
    • I will always watch Toby Imada fight with the expectation that a submission could come at any moment from any position.  In fact, it’s only a matter of time before he submits an opponent during the walk to the cage.
    • Like Jorge Masvidal and Wilson Reis before him, Roger Huerta went from hero to zero in a tournament that should’ve been his for the taking.  Bellator, you rock.
    • Talk about controlling your own destiny.  Pat Curran went out there and used footwork, a sprawl and measured striking to make destiny his bitch.
    • In a world where the lightweight rankings have been turned upside-down, it’s good to know we still have one constant: badass Eddie Alvarez and his eyebrows of doom.

May 2010 Independent World MMA Rankings

The May 2010 Men's 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. In addition to the numerous MMA web sites that publish the Independent World MMA Rankings, you can also access the rankings at any time by going to http://www.independentworldmmarankings.com/.

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); Jim Murphy (The Savage Science); Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA); Leland Roling (Bloody Elbow); Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse); Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion); Ivan Trembow (Freelance); and Dave Walsh (Head Kick Legend).

May 2010 Men's Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on May 4, 2010

Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Fedor Emelianenko (31-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Shane Carwin (12-0)
4. Cain Velasquez (8-0)
5. Frank Mir (13-5)
6. Junior dos Santos (11-1)
7. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 No Contest)
8. Brett Rogers (10-1)
9. Alistair Overeem (32-11, 1 No Contest)
10. Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1)

Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Lyoto Machida (16-0)
2. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-4)
3. Rashad Evans (14-1-1)
4. Anderson Silva (25-4)
5. Forrest Griffin (17-6)
6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3)
7. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (7-0)
8. Gegard Mousasi (28-3-1)
9. Thiago Silva (14-2)
10. Jon Jones (10-1)

Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Jake Shields (25-4-1)
3. Chael Sonnen (24-10-1)
4. Nathan Marquardt (29-9-2)
5. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
6. Dan Henderson (25-8)
7. Demian Maia (12-1)
8. Robbie Lawler (17-5, 1 No Contest)
9. Yushin Okami (24-5)
10. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (11-2, 1 No Contest)

Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (20-2)
2. Jon Fitch (22-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-6)
4. Josh Koscheck (14-4)
5. Paulo Thiago (13-1)
6. Nick Diaz (21-7, 1 No Contest)
7. Dan Hardy (23-7, 1 No Contest)
8. Matt Hughes (44-7)
9. Paul Daley (23-8-2)
10. Matt Serra (10-6)

Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)
1. Frankie Edgar (12-1)
2. B.J. Penn (15-6-1)
3. Gilbert Melendez (18-2)
4. Kenny Florian (13-4)
5. Eddie Alvarez (19-2)
6. Shinya Aoki (23-5, 1 No Contest)
7. Gray Maynard (9-0, 1 No Contest)
8. Tatsuya Kawajiri (26-5-2)
9. Ben Henderson (12-1)
10. Tyson Griffin (14-2)

Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Jose Aldo (17-1)
2. Urijah Faber (23-4)
3. Manny Gamburyan (11-4)
4. Mike Brown (23-6)
5. Bibiano Fernandes (8-2)
6. Hatsu Hioki (20-4-2)
7. Marlon Sandro (16-1)
8. Raphael Assuncao (14-2)
9. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (18-3)
10. Michihiro Omigawa (10-8-1)

Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)
1. Dominick Cruz (15-1)
2. Brian Bowles (8-1)
3. Joseph Benavidez (12-1)
4. Miguel Torres (37-3)
5. Scott Jorgensen (10-3)
6. Takeya Mizugaki (13-4-2)
7. Damacio Page (15-4)
8. Masakatsu Ueda (10-1-2)
9. Wagnney Fabiano (13-2)
10. Akitoshi Tamura (14-8-2)

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, May 6, 2010


Mitch the Intern's TUF 11 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.*

Although New York City's Greenwich Village has a standard, everyday level of "ghey" (pronounced "Ooh, I can't wait to see Sex in the City 2!") that sits at "High", once a year the needle gets pushed up into "Oh my God, that's fabulous!"  That's right, I'm talking about the Gay Pride Parade, which is what you get when you cross Brazil's Carnivale with a Broadway musical and the weirdos who were hanging out in the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars.  Well, tonight's episode was TUF's equivalent of the Gay Pride Parade, and like that wild and raucous all-day party of leather men, bears, queens, trannies, goofballs, bounty hunters, Greedo and the furry guy who got his arm lopped off by Obi-Wan Kenobi, it was definitely fun to watch.  But first!

British gangster Ronnie Kray has just gotten his ass kicked.  He is, however, cool with it.  After all, he's still got some extortion and prostitution rackets to fall back on, so it's not like this whole fighting thing is as far as it goes.  But RC Cola isn't cool with it.  In fact, RC Cola thinks it's all coach Tito Ortiz's fault.  You see, Ortiz has been training his team hard, forcing them to do arduous things like jumping jacks and meditation.

"We shouldn't be training this hard," say RC Cola, and a graphic showing his fight record of 30 wins and 70 losses is flashed across the bottom of the screen to remind us that if there's a secret to MMA success, RC Cola definitely knows it.  No one agrees with this statement - not Ronnie Kray, not Cypress Hill, not Dumb as a Bag of Hammers - and the news of the dissent makes its way back to coach Ortiz.

"Guys, gather around," says Ortiz at the TUF Training Center, and when everyone sits in a circle the former champ stands up and sprints the circumference, patting each aspiring fighter on the head and saying "Duck, duck, duck, goose!"  When he finishes with his game, he adds breathlessly, "Listen, we all know I can coach.  Remember how I handled that deaf kid back when Ken Shamrock was making everyone eat steak and chicken?"

Everyone nods, and the matter is dropped.

And then it's time for the coaches' challenge.  Given that past challenges saw Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping engage in a calligraphy contest (lame), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir have a chili cook-off (really lame) and Matt Serra and Matt Hughes work their stand-up act at open mic night at the Laugh Factory (not bad, actually), it can only get better, right?  Well it does when it's announced that this season's challenge is dodgeball.  That's right, dodgeball, with Ortiz and his coaches squaring off against Liddell and his coaches to re-enact the epic Average Joes vs. Globo-Gym kerfuffle of 2004.  Unfortunately for the Average Joes, Ortiz's gigantic head holds a significant disadvantage in dodgeball play (it's one hell of a target), so this time around Globo-Gym wins, with Liddell miraculously able to grasp the rules (Dana White: "Throw ball at people.  Don't get hit with ball." Chuck: "*Grunt*").  With his winnings of 10,000 pesos in hand, Liddell parades around like he's just won a medal at the Special Olympics.

Time for picking the next fight, and as Some Totally Forgettable Fighter scored the "W" over Team Ortiz's Ronnie Kray, Liddell gets to choose.  He declares that Wanderlei Silva should fight the Japanese announcer lady from Pride.  At that, White just shakes his head and points at Team Liddell's The Amish Kid and at Team Ortiz's Joe Feminine.  "You and you," says White, while trainer John Hackleberry Finn distracts Liddell with a juice box.

And now we enter… the Ghey Zone.

At the mention of Joe Feminine's name, confetti and streamers rain down, and when he stands before the Amish Kid for the usual pose-down, he's suddenly bedecked in a pink feather boa.  All present seem uncomfortable, but they mask it with uneasy smiles.  A close-up of Hawaii Five-O, who looks into the camera and says, "Yeah, um Joe Feminine, he's, uh, different.  But cool.  I mean, er, yeah.  Cool." 

Training montage.  To the tune of ABBA's "Dancing Queen", Joe Feminine sashays around the cage, batting away his sparring partners punches with a limp-wristed boxing style that leaves onlookers confused and feeling dirty. 

"Joe Feminine was, um, my, er, first pick," says coach Ortiz into the camera.  "Because Dana wanted us to push diversity and appeal to the homo-"  And then he's distracted by a producer off-camera who's whispering something with urgency.  "Because he's a, uh, tough fighter," says Ortiz, correcting himself.  Meanwhile, Joe Feminine is shown kicking a heavy bag while wearing a tutu.

Cut to the Amish Kid back at the TUF House.  He's talking about himself, giving his housemates and the viewers at home some insight into his life.  "I was addicted to drugs," he says.

"Cool story, bro," says Rich Atonofneato.

And it's fight time.  The Amish Kid makes his way to the cage, talking about not being allowed to use modern appliances and having to drive a horse and buggy.  Joe Feminine makes his way to the cage and the lights are dimmed, a disco ball is lowered, and some interminable dance track is blared.  White enters to give his usual spiel about two rounds with a third round if it's a draw and bonuses, and Joe Feminine showers him with a handful of glitter.  The UFC president blushes and exits quickly.

Then it's on!  In Round 1 the Amish Kid scores with a takedown, but seems upset when his attempts at passing the guard are met with his oponent saying gently, "Wait, please don't go.  Just hold me."  Back on the feet and Joe Feminine kicks and slaps, the kind of slaps that seem to say, "Oh you!  That was so funny!"  The round ends with Joe Feminine affixed to the Amish Kid's back, rubbing his shoulders with warm baby oil and muttering, "Mmm, you are so tense."

Back in their respective corners and the Amish Kid breaks down in tears.  "I don't want to do this anymore.  I feel icky."

Round 2 is more of a striking battle, and though the Amish Kid seems to land more and often, his apprehension at actually touching Joe Feminine leads to the Team Ortiz fighter getting the decision.  Liddell doesn't like that and is suddenly confused, stomping around and demanding to know what it takes to win an MMA bout.  "Isn't it about who has the weirder hair?  Isn't it?" he says.

Post-fight interview and the Amish Kid is shaking his head.  "I don't care that I lost," he says.  "I-I just wanted to get out of there.  I think I need to see a therapist," and he weeps.

Joe Feminine, though, couldn't be happier, and wearing a ruffled white button-down shirt and a pair of leather chaps, he leaps like a ballet dancer in front of the camera, yells "Woo!" and leaps away.

The end.