Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Great Text Messages in MMA History

In the old days, people used smoke signals to communicate over long distances.  Then came the Pony Express, which was great if you didn’t mind your letters getting to their destination weeks later and reeking of sweaty horse.  Email sped things up greatly, but near-instantaneous communication wasn’t achieved until the advent of the text message.  Yes, the text message, something nearly everyone with a cellular telephone has access to, and something that allows for the immediate gratification of needing only seconds to either tell someone you hate them or tell someone you love them.  Or both!  Well, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request and a cousin that works in the National Security Agency, MMA Journalist has gotten a hold of a slew of private communiqu├ęs exceedingly relevant to this industry.  So get ready for… great text messages in MMA history!

    • Dana White to Joe Silva, moments after Fedor lost to Fabricio Werdum on Saturday night: “Make Vadim offer, Fedor worth 20 and 20 - cents!”
    • Joe Silva to Dana White: "LOL!  U so crazy!"
    • Werdum to wife, moments after he defeated Fedor: “OMG! Still alive! Yes!!!”
    • Cris “Cyborg” Santos to husband, not long after she defeated Jan Finney: “Hungry for more blood. Stop by grocery store, pick up bag boy.”
    • Scott Coker to Gina Carano, after the ratings were released for Saturday night’s Strikeforce event on Showtime: “Please come back.  Please.”
    • Dana White to Sherdog, pretty much once a month: “I hate you, please die.  K thanx bye.”
    • Dana White to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, prior to their last interview: “Hey, make sure to get my dry cleaning on your way over.  Remember: extra starch.”
    • Brock Lesnar to Shane Carwin, after Fedor lost on Saturday night: “Crap, our bout might actually mean something now.  I wish I had trained.  I’ve only been drinking Coors Lite and lying on top of my wife.”
    • Shane Carwin to Brock Lesnar: “Can’t talk, Brock. Working double-shift at Home Depot to make up for paltry fight purse.”
    • New York State Assembly to Dana White: “Getting close.  Send more money.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New York: Wants More Underground Shows, Less UFCs

The State Assembly is negging Governor David Paterson's attempt to include the legalization of MMA in the state budget, and things don't look good re: the Assembly getting their act together enough to pass their own MMA bill.  So says the New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010/06/29/2010-06-29_mixed_martial_arts_ok_faces_ko.html.

RIP Michael Kirkham

Mixed martial arts in the United States saw it's second death in the cage this past weekend, with lightweight fighter Michael Kirkham suffering head trauma during a bout in South Carolina and dying soon after.  It was Kirkham's pro debut, but he had six amateur fights under his belt, and by all accounts this was a fully-sanctioned and regulated event.  This is a tragedy for all involved - for Kirkham and his family, of course, and for his opponent, who simply did his job and now must forever live with Kirkham's blood on his hands.  The likelihood of injury is ever-present in MMA, yet no one expects death to occur, and sadly, it infrequently does.  Everyone will always remember Sam Vasquez for being the first fighter to die in a sanctioned US bout, but we should never forget Michael Kirkham.  To do otherwise would dishonor the sport he died for.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Observations from My Couch: Strikeforce's "The Fall of Fedor"

    • Josh Thomson looked like a top-level fighter, but where the hell did this awesomely difficult Pat Healy come from?  Healy performed like a beast.
    • I don’t know why referee Kim Winslow wanted Jan Finney dead, but it was clear she wasn’t going to make Cyborg stop until there was Finney guts splattered all over the cage.
    • Mark my words: Cris “Cyborg” Santos will be the first female fighter to cross over into the male 145-pound division and win a belt.  In fact, on Sunday morning champ Jose Aldo had his manager call Sean Shelby at the WEC to add a “no Cyborg” clause to his contract.
    • Scott Smith may have lost, but Cung Le definitely respected Smith’s fists something fierce this time around.
    • Congrats, Fabricio Werdum, you’ve won the lottery.  Spend your money (i.e., fame) wisely.
    • Regardless of what anyone may say, one tap out to a triangle choke does not erase a decade of taking on – and destroying – the best heavyweights in the world.  You are still the man, Fedor.

Friday, June 25, 2010

UFC Terminates Keith Jardine

The UFC has terminated Keith Jardine after years of faithful service, the result of a string of consecutive losses including a recent majority decision loss to Matt Hamill at the TUF 11 Finale.  A veteran of TUF 2 and most known for his unorthodox striking style and scary rapist-looking face, Jardine was long a staple in the Octagon, scoring notable victories over Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell and getting destroyed by everyone from Wanderlei Silva to Thiago Silva to Houston Alexander.  "I liked Keith - he was a good kid," said Head UFC Executioner Dana White.  "But we just couldn't justify paying him when all he did was look mean and then go unconscious."  According to White, Jardine was taken out behind a utility shed in the Zuffa Complex parking lot and shot.  Said White, "I hated doing it.  But believe me, I was gentle."

Observations from My Couch: Bellator's "Season 2 Finale Ass-Kicking"

    • Zoila Frausto crushing Rosi Sexton like that was akin to Matt Serra crushing Georges St. Pierre in their first fight.  Sexton was the number one 125-pound female fighter, and Frausto utterly smoked her.
    • Announcing that you’re going to fight in a future Bellator tournament and then taking a tune-up fight = you’re going to die.  Don’t do it!
    • Alexander Shlemenko was sloppy, but he got the job done.  Hector Lombard is going to kill him, though.
    • Watching Nick Mamalis got me pretty excited for the upcoming bantamweight tournament – a tournament that Zach Makovsky is going to win.
    • Patricio Freire practically destroyed Joe Warren in the first round, and yet Warren bounced back to earn the decision.  The dude definitely deserved the championship belt.
    • Bellator Season 2 was full of win.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

M-1 Global "Selection" Card Revealed

At last, the M-1 Global “Selection” card, which is scheduled to take place at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, has been revealed!  Here are some of the fighters to watch out for:

    • Tom Gallicchio, welterweight scrapper and lifetime member of the “New Jersey Badass Club”.
    • Aaron Meisner, Muay Thai specialist from Philadelphia who throws deadly knees from the clinch.
    • Shane Primm, veteran of TUF 8 but not one of the dudes that ate jizz.  I think.
    • Josh Key, lightweight powerhouse capable of dishing out KOs and slams.
    • Ariel Sepulveda, light-heavyweight striker who will punch you in the face as much as look at you.
    • Andrei Kapilov, who is some Russian sambo guy but not the same Russian sambo guy who kneebarred Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Castello Branco back at a Rings event in 1999.  Damn, that would’ve been cool if it was the same guy, though, right?  That guy had sick submissions.

Predictions for Strikeforce's "Ultimate Fedor - No, Wait."

Yeah, so, Fedor.  Fighting again.  This time on Showtime, because he hates CBS for shooting down his spec script for “CSI: Moscow”.  Or something.  Anyway, everyone’s favorite legitimate number one heavyweight fighter in the world who never did pro wrestling and has more than five fights is facing pretty much just a warm body in Fabricio Werdum, so expect someone to die on cable TV on Saturday night.  (Uh, woot?)  Here are some other predictions:

    • Pat Healy versus Josh Thomson?  Strikeforce isn’t tossing Thomson a softball as much as they’re tossing him an inflatable beach ball filled with whipped cream and feathers.  Thomson via man-rape.
    • Cris “Cyborg” Santos, the top 145-pound female fighter on the planet, is facing Jan Finney, who is unranked.  Cyborg via man-rape.
    • Striker elite Cung Le gets another crack at Scott Smith.  You may recall that in their last meeting, Le gave Smith a beating for about two and half rounds until Smith turned it around and knocked him out.  You may recall that, but Le certainly doesn’t.  The dude was wrecked!
    • Fabricio Werdum is really good at jiu-jitsu.  Fedor is really good at killing to death the practitioners of jiu-jitsu.  Things don’t look good for Werdum.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Outrage Grows Over Doctor's Decision to Allow Matt Hamill to Compete While Deaf

Outrage has continued to grow over the fact that Matt Hamill was allowed to compete at the TUF 11 finale on Saturday, with the majority of the vitriol aimed at the Nevada State Athletic Commission-appointed physician who conducted Hamill's pre-fight screening and permitted the TUF 3 veteran to enter the cage while deaf.  Hamill ended up securing the hard-fought majority decision after going three rounds with Keith Jardine.  But at no time was Hamill able to hear anything, raising concerns that Hamill was cleared despite the very real threat of him giving Jardine his deafness.  "This issue here is if those of us who saw Matt Hamill's deafness on TV can second-guess the medical professional who examined him in real life," said anonymous blog comment poster FiteGeek15yrsold.  "And the answer is 'yes'.  We on the Internet know way more than someone with years of med school who looked at him up close."  When asked for comment, NSAC Chief Sign Language User Keith Kizer responded by pressing his palms to his ears and repeating, "Blah, blah, blah, I can't hear you."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's Doing in Albany

If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it's that you can predict what's going to happen in Albany about as well as you can predict if BJ Penn has actually done cardio.  Yes, I'm talking about the legalization of MMA in New York, and yes, I'm talking about how damn close we are again to getting it done.  Just like last year, the bill that would allow the UFC into Madison Square Garden has passed through the toughest committee in the Assembly and it must get through a couple of other committees before it can go to the Assembly floor for a vote.  However, unlike last year, the Senate has done their part by passing their own version of the bill.  So, this is what I know (and take it with a huge grain of salt.  We’re talking about politicians and the great mysteries of the legislative process, after all):

    • The sands in the hourglass have run out on legislative sessions, but the Assembly is still meeting to get a state budget done.  The state budget is almost three months overdue.
    • The governor is all for the legalization of MMA, and would sign the bill if the Assembly passes it.
    • The governor included MMA in his part of the budget proposal, as did the Senate, so if the bill doesn’t get passed to legalize the sport, the budget proposal – once approved – would accomplish the same thing.
    • Matt Serra was sent by Zuffa to Albany yesterday.  Zuffa thinks it’s close.
    • I was told by an insider that it’s close.  This person knows their stuff, and will likely play an important role in MMA in New York.
    • The New York State Athletic Commission, while not entirely prepared to hit the ground running, has been doing some work to get ready.
    • According to the text, if the bill going through the legislature passes, then there will be no more underground shows.  If the bill attached to the budget proposal passes instead, underground shows are on like Donkey Kong.

Take these facts for what they’re worth, which is nothing when it comes to the machinations of the Albany clusterfuck machine.  Last year we were on track and it seemed like nothing was going to stop it, and then an unforeseen Senate coup screwed us.  Literally anything can, and will, happen.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Observations from My Couch: "DVR 100% Full"

    • Other than wearing him like a blanket, Dan Hornbuckle had absolutely nothing for Ben Askren. 
    • Askren is going to get killed by Lyman Good.  I hope.
    • Note to fighters interested in getting in on a Bellator tournament: do not announce your intentions to participate in a tournament and then fight in a single-bout match as a tune-up.  You’re going to get killed.
    • Rich Attonito is clearly good.  Also, Jamie Yager is clearly sucky.
    • Dennis Siver looks like a poorly-constructed action figure.
    • Congrats to Aaron Simpson for earning the “Best Faceplant in an MMA Bout” award.  Seriously, he looked like he was a reject from the tryouts for “So You Think You Can Dance?”
    • Whoever let Matt Hamill compete with the gnarly staph sore on his back should be shot.  Hamill himself should be shot twice.
    • Good showing for Court McGee.  Did Kris McCray not know he had to prepare for a fight?
    • Will Campuzano needed that loss, as only a fighter with an unhealthy sense of self-worth would sport a haircut like that.
    • Oh my God, it took Chris Horodecki almost two and a half rounds to defeat someone with Down’s Syndrome.  Sad.  So sad.
    • How can you lose with a name like “Bendy”?  Via grappling, apparently.
    • Will “Bad Mofo” Kerr.
    • Josh Grispi is pure beast.  The sport’s 145-pound division is now the most exciting division in all of MMA.
    • Mark Hominick versus Yves Jabouin was a slobberknocker for sure.  I guess as long as Hominick doesn’t fight grapplers it’s all good in the ‘hood.
    • World Extreme Groinfighting.  Apologies to Jamie Varner’s nuts.
    • A majority draw?  How the hell did Kamal Shalorus not lose a point for that last kick to the junk?  Was referee Josh Rosenthal in on the fix?
    • Kenny Florian did a great job commentating for both the TUF Finale and the WEC.  That’s all I have to say on the matter.

MMA Mayhem Postscript

It was the first outdoor event I've been to since a 2001 King of the Cage at Soboba Casino, and despite a thin card it was pretty entertaining.  The home team went 5-1, with Chris Liguori, Jose Rodriguez and Adam Fearon racking up strong wins.  The decision in the Dante Rivera/Dan Cramer bout could've gone either way, but no way did Rivera take all three rounds.  Also, it was cool having people screaming on a rollercoaster in the background, although if a promoter plans a future show on the runway of an active airport or in the center of a racetrack, I will have to boycott the event. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

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Liveblog: MMA Mayhem Part 4

MMA Institute (not an accredited university) fields another one in the form of Rob Conner, who will have to deal with the fury of top dog Chris Liguori in the cage. Liguori is the yardstick by which lightweights are measured against - if you beat him, you're ready for the UFC, and if you lose to him, well, you just your ass kicked by a UFC vet, so yeah, what's up. Round 1 is the very definition of seesaw battle, as both men take turns on top working their respective ground assaults. The second round is more of the same, but as it wears on one thing becomes apparent: Connor is running out of gas and Liguori's still got 3/4 of a tank. Round 3 is all Liguori, as he gets on top and delivers some punishment, and when he gets reversed he just locks on the triangle and bloodies Conner with elbows. Ref Big Dan steps in at 3:16 of the round when it becomes apparent Conner isn't going nowhere. Last bout and it's Dante Rivera of RABJJ against Dan Cramer of American Top Team. Both are veterans of TUF 7, so this is a reunion of sorts, and afterwards they're going to sign each other's yearbooks. The huggy game is in full effect in the opening round, with both men jockeying for an advantage against the cage and peppering each other with knees and short punches. Maybe Cramer steals the round with a throw late - maybe - but it's an otherwise insanely close round. Ditto for Round 2. Miraculously, the tempo increases in the final round, with every minute filled with them flurrying each other at point-blank range. Time runs out and the judges award the split decision to Rivera. Good, hard-fought win that could've gone either way. And I'm out.

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Liveblog: MMA Mayhem Part 3

Kimbo Slice is in the house, literal munching on a loaf of bread, and Matt Serra was last seen at the tray of lasagna in the back. How confident is Zuffa that MMA is about to be legalized in New York? So confident that they're sending Serra up to Albany on Monday to either shake hands or bust heads. Welterweight old schooler Jose Rodriguez enters the cage to take on Rob Morrow of 11th Dimension. Morrow is pretty tall for his weight, but the last time Rodriguez faced someone with that kind of height advantage Rodriguez simply tapped him with a flying heelhook (seriously). The two come out and blast each other, and Rodriguez ends up off balance and falling to the canvas. However, he takes Morrow with him and has on the double-armbar practically instantaneously. Morrow manages to get one arm out, but he's tapping by the time the clock hits 1:03. Rodriguez is victorious, and his kids are cageside, thrilled that they're dad is okay and still a complete badass. A break in the action has Kimbo stepping into the cage showing the fans some love. He in turn gives the mic to some guy who calls his girlfriend into the cage and proposes to her. How touching. I give them six months. Just kidding. Adam Fearon of AMA FC enters to take on Justin Herbst of DOA Combat Squad in a welterweight match-up. Fearon looks to be in fantastic shape, and he comes out aggressive, but failed throw has him on the bottom and Herbst punishing him from mount and back-mount. Fearon toughs is out, though, and after dodging a rear naked choke he gets back to his feet and puts Herbst down with a double-leg. They scramble, and when Herbst leaves his neck exposed, a now-bleeding Fearon falls into a guillotine. The official time of the tap is 3:06 of the first round, and it's a strong showing for the local stud.

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Liveblog: MMA Mayhem Part 2

First bout and it's George Sheppard from MMA Institute (not an accredited university) against Williamsburg BJJ lightweight honcho Roger Mamedov. Despite having grappling elite like Ricardo Almeida and Frankie Edgar in his corner, Mamedov engages in a stand-up contest with Sheppard, the two going toe to toe and dinging each other repeatedly. But at around the three-minute mark Sheppard tags Mamedov on the chin and drops him. Mamedov rises only to get knocked down again, and another knockdown after that has the ref stepping in. The official time of the TKO is 3:29 of Round 1. Next is Quinton McCottrell of 11th Dimension MMA and Jim Tomczuk of RABJJ in a middleweight pairing. Round 1 has McCottrell flexing his wrestling muscle and Tomczuk beating him on the grappling transitions and scoring with some dirty boxing. Round 2 is more of the same, and when Tomczuk works onto his opponent's back, flattens him out and pounds him, it only seems like the inevitable is coming to fruition. Ref Kevin Mullhall halts the bombardment at 4:05 into the round.

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Liveblog: MMA Mayhem Part 1

MMA Journalist is here at Six Flags Great Adventure for MMA Mayhem, a six-fight pro card in the middle of a gigantic amusement park. New Jersey veteran Jose Rodriguez is slated to fight the Tasmanian Devil (or someone in a Tasmanian Devil suit), while Chris Liguori is facing the Joker from the Batman rollercoaster and Dante Rivera and Dan Cramer are squaring off on the Log Flume. So, um, yeah.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Mixed Martial Musings

    • Jake Shields leaving Strikeforce for the UFC would be great for Strikeforce.  Shields draws zero ratings, and the only time his bouts are exciting is when he’s losing (getting rocked by Dan Henderson, almost getting choked by Mayhem).  Also, nothing says “pure awesomeness” like an eight-man middleweight tournament – which is what Strikeforce will do to crown a new champ if Shields bolts.
    • Everyone knows UFC champ Frankie Edgar had his first fight ever in the Underground Combat League, but did you know that ROC champ Ryan LaFlare had his first fight there too?  And guess where Anthony Leone – who is making his WEC debut on Sunday – popped his MMA cherry?  If you said the UCL, then buy yourself a 40oz of Olde English 800, drink it from a paper bag and pass out on the corner.
    • The M-1 Global “Selection” show in Atlantic City is next weekend and they’ve purposely kept their fight card hush-hush lest some rival promotion poach their fighters.  I know Tom Gallicchio is fighting, and maybe Josh Key, but that’s it.  Oh the drama!
    • When MMA came along, Tiger Schulmann’s was a school that specialized in a karate that was heavy on boxing and kickboxing.  What’s remarkable about that is that their latest rising star, ROC bantamweight champ Nick Pace, has won ten of his eleven fights (both pro and amateur combined) with superior grappling.  That’s some serious evolution right there.
    • The fact that the New York State Senate passed a bill to legalize MMA this week made for some nice headlines, but all that optimism needs to be tempered with a dose of reality.  For it to become law, a legalization bill has to pass through two more committees in the Assembly before it can get a general vote, and with no committee meetings scheduled and the legislative session supposed to end on Monday… well, lets just say it would be a bit premature to start camping outside Madison Square Garden for UFC tickets right now.
    • MMA Mayhem is this Saturday at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, and the majority of the proceeds will be going to the Jackson Township PBA to combat some threatened layoffs of police officers.  MMA Journalist will be there liveblogging the event, and I’ll be wearing my vintage NWA and the Posse “F**K Da Police” t-shirt.  Just kidding. 

June 2010 Women's Independent World MMA Rankings

The June 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).

June 2010 Women's Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on June 15, 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 (9-1-1)
5. Cindy Dandois (4-0)
6. Shana Olsen (4-0)
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. Roxanne Modafferi (15-5)
3. Tara LaRosa (18-2)
4. Hitomi Akano (15-7)
5. Shayna Baszler (12-6)
6. Takayo Hashi (12-2)
7. Miesha Tate (9-2)
8. Julie Kedzie (14-8)
9. Vanessa Porto (10-4)
10. Jennifer Tate (6-1)

Flyweight Rankings (116 to 125 lbs.)
1. Rosi Sexton (10-1)
2. Tara LaRosa (18-2)
3. Aisling Daly (9-0)
4. Rin Nakai (6-0)
5. Sally Krumdiack (8-3)
6. Lena Ovchynnikova (6-0)
7. Megumi Fujii (20-0)
8. Monica Lovato (5-1)
9. Jeri Sitzes (3-1)
10. Mutsumi Kasai (4-1)

Junior Flyweight Rankings (106 to 115 lbs.)
1. Megumi Fujii (20-0)
2. Yuka Tsuji (22-2)
3. Lisa Ward (12-5)
4. Mei "V Hajime" Yamaguchi (6-2)
5. Jessica Pene (7-0)
6. Jessica Aguilar (8-3)
7. Kyoko Takabayashi (11-4)
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, June 17, 2010

Observations from My Couch: Strikeforce's Midweek Melee

    • Not a bad show.  Not a bad show at all.  Why couldn’t this have been their CBS show instead of that Jake Shields/Dan Henderson-headlined suckfest?
    • KJ Noons looked a bit out of shape but was still dangerous.  It might be nice seeing him slug it out with Jorge Gurgel.  Someone like Eddie Alvarez would kill him, though.
    • Wow.  Tim Kennedy pretty much ate Trevor Prangley for dinner.  Cobra Commander doesn’t stand a chance!
    • That DREAM championship belt that Marius Zaramoskis won last year is worth about nine dollars on E-Bay now.  Tops.
    • Best Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos ever.  I’d give him a 10% chance of defeating his wife in a fight now.
    • When Babalu first fought in the UFC he was a heavyweight.  When Robbie Lawler first fought in the UFC he was a welterweight.  I’m just going to leave that out there.

Dr. Sherry Wulkan - Not a Fan of the UCL

"To:CNN Money Reports
Re: Illegal Fight Club Hides in NY
Although the content of the report about the UCL/Illegal Fight Club in New York is unfortunately, accurate and if anything, understated, granting UCL’s CEO Peter Storm access to free press makes a mockery of legitimate promotions and Athletic Control Boards and sets the sport of MMA's reputation back at least 10-15 years, prior to the adoption of the Unified Rules of MMA initially drafted by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board in 2000.

The purpose of these rules is first and foremost, to make mixed martial arts competitions as safe as possible for its athletes: the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has continued to modify the original rules as the sport evolves and the skill sets of its participants change.

In this tape, Peter Storm 'proudly states' that he has only 4 rules. A young, obviously poorly trained young man is knocked out more than once in the same session and is hit on the back of the head multiple times. There are no trained referees, ringside physician(s) or ambulance(s) present. No legitimate trainer permits his athletes to participate in these promotions, since there is no way to ensure appropriate match making. Promoters of this sort claim their injury rate is no greater than that of events which comply with State Regulatory Commissions. However, many problems are not necessarily apparent the night of the event. For example, concussive symptoms (simple or complex) may not manifest immediately. Orbital fractures may be missed as may hand, rib or abdominal issues. Pre-fight testing also eliminates young, deceptively healthy looking athletes from competing (a case in point is Thiago Alves, whose dural fistula, if not fixed, could have ruptured at any time and killed him). The risk of spread of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B or C is also minimized with pre-fight testing.

In the state of New Jersey a fighter who has participated in one of these events must subject him/herself to full pro-medical pre-fight evaluations (which in New Jersey include either a head CT or MRI/MRA, full ophthalmologic examination, an EKG, HIV1/2 and hepatitis B and C screening, CBC and clotting times and a complete physical examination)before being allowed to fight for a licensed promoter, since there is no way to determine what types of injuries were sustained during an illegal match as no official records are kept.

The UCL is illegal and is potentially dangerous to its participants. It is only a matter of time until someone gets severely injured in one of these events. The shows should be stopped and charges should be pressed because of the blatant disregard of fighter safety for personal profit, and because, quite simply, what Peter Storm is flaunting, is illegal.

Dr. Sheryl Wulkan
Chief MMA Ringside Physician, New Jersey State Athletic Control Board
ABC MMA Rules Committee Medical Chair
Ringside Physician, New York State Athletic Commission
Certified Member, American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MMA Journalist's Five-Day Forecast

According to the latest available data, it looks like we're in for some interesting weather in the next five days - weather that could include a storm of fists, a light submission shower and possibly even some World Extreme-blizzard-like conditions.  Should you wear a raincoat and tote around an umbrella for Wednesday night's Strikeforce show?  Is the Bellator welterweight tournament final on Thursday going to be so hot sunglasses and tanning lotion will be required?  Will the Ultimate Fighter Finale on Saturday suck so hard that all air will be drawn up into the atmosphere and a deadly tornado formed?  Stay tuned, because here's MMA Journalist with the five-day forecast.

  • Wednesday: Clouds are gathering in Los Angeles for a mid-week Strikeforce event that will air on Showtime.  Watch for scattered excitement if Conor Heun decides to stand with KJ Noons and if Evangelista Cyborg goes toe-to-toe with Marius Zaramoskis.  There will be a break in the clouds when Tim Kennedy plays the hugging game with Trevor Prangley, and then severe thunder and lightning when Robbie Lawler rains hell down upon Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
  • Thursday: Bellator’s second-season welterweight tournament will draw to a close at night, so expect a quiet, uneventful evening of nothing and then a giant comet in the sky and explosion when Dan Kornbuckle kicks Ben Askren’s ass.
  • Friday: Nothing.  Absolutely nothing is going on.  Sit out on your lawn and read a book.
  • Saturday: As we have now finished off eleven seasons of TUF and somewhere around season 5 the Pope declared the reality TV show the most godless and unholy thing to ever be inflicted upon the Earth, expect some serious Revelation-type stuff for Saturday night’s TUF 11 Finale.  This includes a plague of locusts when Rich Attonito pounds out Jamie Yager, frogs raining down when Spencer Fisher and Chris Leben KO Dennis Siver and Aaron Simpson, and a freakin’ volcanic eruption that wipes out entire villages when Matt Hamill TKOs Keith Jardine.  What will happen when Court McGee takes on Kris McCray for the eponymous TUF winner title?  One can only hope for an earthquake and deep chasm that swallows them all whole.
  • Sunday: WEC 49 in Edmonton, Canada, rounds out the weekend nicely.  Expect some cool breezes every time Kamal Shalorus wings wild bolos at Jamie Varner, a calm and relaxing Josh Grispi submission over LC Davis, and bright sunshine when Mark Hominick takes out Yves Jabouin.  The only downside will be Chris Horodecki, who will stink up the joint.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Really Just an Opportunity to Say "Shinnecock"

Today at 11:00am the Shinnecock Indians on Eastern Long Island will get a phone call from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs telling them they've been granted federal recognition.  Whoopty-freakin'-doo, right?  Wrong.  Federal recognition for the Shinnecock means they won't be bound by New York State law, particularly the one banning pro MMA, and it means the Shinnecock will get to move forward with their plans to open a casino with hotel and entertainment facilities (i.e., a venue to host at least regional-sized MMA shows).  To draw a comparison, think of how the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut sprouted up and was soon hosting UFCs, IFLs and Bellators.  Now switch Connecticut with Long Island, and trim that 2 1/2 hour drive down to an hour (although the Shinnecock Reservation is in Southampton, they're working out a deal with the state to build their gambling mecca in Calverton, which is much closer to NYC). 

Technically, Albany could legalize MMA any time between next week and the year 2027 (and given how smooth New York runs, 2027 might be most accurate).  But it's good to know that there will at least be other options out there.

Also, "Shinnecock".  Tehe.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Old School Pitts Penn Reunion This Saturday

There will be threats, curses, fist-fights, blood, an assortment of tattoos depicting four-legged animals, and a brawl in the parking lot to cap off the night.  If the above description reminds you of a 2003 New Jersey fight show featuring Pitts Penn fighters, you're wrong - it actually depicts a typical weekend at Six Flags Great Adventure, which on Saturday night is hosting the inaugural "MMA Mayhem" event.  There are, however, a trio of Pitts Penn old-schoolers featured prominently on the card, three grizzled veterans in the form of Chris Liguori, Jose Rodriguez and Adam Fearon, and as MMA pioneers go, it doesn't get any more historical than them.  Each got their start at the BAMA Fight Night shows Dan Miragliotta used to run, in a time when the sport was new and fights began in the ring but only finished after some Jersey Shore kid tried to run you down with his beat-up Nissan Ultima after the event.  Thankfully, it's a kinder, gentler and more civilized sport today, and the only post-fight antics we'll likely encounter on Saturday night is when some drunken redneck named Cletus tries to ram his truck into a rhinoceros on the Wild Safari.  But how things were "back in the day" made for some interesting (and fun) times, and Pitts Penn - with their hard-charging fighters leaving it all in the ring - played a big role in making Garden State MMA what it is now.  Although they currently rep places like RABJJ and AMA Fight Club, expect Liguori, Rodriguez and Fearon to kick ass and take names, or at the very least, go down swinging.  That was the Pitts Penn way.

Observations from My Couch: UFC 115 "Ultimate Chuck Takes a Nap"

    • Mac Danzig got screwed and he got screwed hard.  Referee Yves Lavigne should’ve restarted that one.
    • Where the hell did that ref come from in the Ricardo Funch/Claude Patrick fight?  Has he ever seen an MMA bout before?  Don’t they teach grappling in Canada?
    • Evan Dunham and Rory MacDonald – two youngsters who are scary-good.  Watching them is like watching Georges St. Pierre circa 2004, i.e., you just know you’re gazing upon the future of the sport.
    • It’s good to see Mike Pyle get a chance to showcase his skills without him getting clobbered.
    • For an old horse way past his prime, Gilbert Yvel can still throw down.
    • I had no problem with CroCop and Pat Barry hugging during their fight.  You don’t have to hate someone to fight them, and *gasp* it’s even possible to respect the person you’re fighting.
    • So is Rich Franklin going to be remembered for his run as champ?  Or is he going to be remembered as the guy who retired Chuck Liddell?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

CNNMoney's Vid on the Last UCL

Enjoy - http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2010/06/10/n_illegal_mma_fight_club.cnnmoney/ .

ROC 30 Postscripts

This one was definitely one of the top five ROCs of all time. The Jenkins/Porkchop fight was a thriller, Brooks vs. Sepulveda lived up to the hype, and it was good seeing Wing and DeBlass rack up wins. As for the title fights, everyone in press row was predicting Hall, Barboza and LaFlare to score victorities, but Pace/DeAngelis was an absolute toss-up. If Pace isn't in something like the WEC soon, then WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby is just a straight-up hater.

Friday, June 11, 2010

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Liveblog: ROC 30 Part 6

TSMMA stand-up assassin Uriah Hall is up and he's facing some grappling specialist named Roger Carroll, who hails from Team Superior. How superior is Team Superior? Well, we're about to find out, and with the ROC middleweight up for grabs no less. Ugh, this one is just as savage as the Barboza/Guidici bout, with Carroll unable to match Hall's power, unable to take Hall down, and unable to do anything but wait to die. Instead of dying, though, Carroll taps out at 3:01 of the first round. Hall now sports a shiny piece of hardware around his waist. Last bout of the evening and it's Bellmore Kickboxing's Ryan LaFlare against AMA FC's Mike Medrano, LaFlare defending his welterweight championship title against someone short but powerful. This one is furious, frenetic and fast-paced as both men throw down with fervor (see what I did there?). Unfortunately, genetics make this contest an uphill battle for Medrano, whose height makes it easier for LaFlare to land strikes while avoiding the AMA FC rep's heavy hands. The end comes when LaFlare delivers a knee right to the bread basket and follows Medrano down with a barrage of leather. Referee Kevin Mullhall steps in at 4:07 of the first round, giving LaFlare the TKO win. And that's a wrap.

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Liveblog: ROC 30 Part 5

Probably the most important bout of the night (in the grand scheme of things) is about to begin, with Pellegrino MMA bantamweight Steve DeAngelis squaring off against TSMMA's Nick Pace. This one's for the belt, and the winner should be considered the best 135-pounder in the Northeast. The opening has DeAngelis shucking Pace's head down and working towards a D'Arce. But the TSMMA rep escapes and gets DeAngelis down, and after a scramble slips on a tight D'Arce of his own. The tap out comes at 3:03 of Round 1, and Pace is now a ROC champ. That's a big win over a quality opponent. Next up is Marcello Guidici of Team Renzo vs. Edson Barboza of the Armory - two Brazilians - for the ROC lightweight crown. As expected, this one is ugly as all hell, as Barboza's vastly superior Muay Thai enables him to chop out Guidici's knee with a low-kick and force Guidici to verbally submit at 3:03 of Round 1 (think: Pedro Rizzo vs. Dan Severn).

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Liveblog: ROC 30 Part 4

Adolfo Sanchez of the Rhino Fight Team and BJJ Shore Academy's Ryan Vaccaro enter the cage for a lightweight pairing. Round 1 is all methodically grappling-game - Vaccaro on top after a successful takedown and Sanchez doing his best to neutralize his opponent's offense while whispering demoralizing phrases like "Your tattoos are ugly" and "You call that a haircut?" Other than Vaccaro gaining mount, Round 2 is exactly the same, and after Round 3 plays out in identical fashion, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Vaccaro has garnered the unanimous decision. Tong Dragon's Liam Kerrigan, who made a pretty successful transition from the amateurs to the pros, steps up to face his toughest test yet: Armory lightweight powerhouse Ed Guedes. Oh lordy, Round 1 is almost a carbon-copy of what Vaccaro did to Sanchez, although Guedes does manage to attempt a D'Arce in the waning seconds of the frame. Guedes is infinitely more effective with his ground and pound in Round 2, raining down fists until Kerrigan gives up his back, and continuing with the storm until ref Dan Miragliotta steps in. The official time of the TKO is 2:41 of the second round.

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