Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Boy, it’s been so long since we had an installment of UFC that this Sunday’s UFC on Versus 2: “Jones vs. Matyushenko” seems like more of a treat than it really should be. I mean, the damn thing is packed to the gills with guys who at some point in their lives donned a wrestling singlet and got lectured about staph infections and showering with soap. Seriously, is Joe Silva getting paid under the table by the United Wrestlers Union? Anyhoo, predictions!
- Once upon a time, Takanori Gomi crapped awesomeness and bled cool. Now he’s just crappy and bleeds. Tyson Griffin is going to smoosh him.
- John Howard can punch really hard, as can Jake Ellenberger. As they can both wrestler as well, expect one of them to win by omoplata. Or something. I don’t know.
- Mark Munoz barely made it past Kendall Grove in his last fight, and Grove is no where near the fighter Yushin Okami is. Can you see where I’m going with this? That’s right. Referee Big John McCarthy via TKO.
- Man, that Vladimir Matyushenko was totally killer in that fight he had years ago against whoever. Too bad he has to fight contemporary rising star Jon Jones now and not back when Jones was still in junior high school.
- Jones via spinning back-spleen-kick/toehold combo.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Eric Uresk is flying out to California to help BJ Penn train for his rematch against Frankie Edgar at UFC 118. The interesting thing about that is that Edgar handed Uresk his first MMA loss, which was at an Underground Combat League event back in July, 2005 (Edgar's first fight, and Uresk's second). Since then, Edgar went on to win the UFC belt (duh), while Uresk - himself a solid Greco-Roman wrestler from Long Island - fought a number of times in New Jersey and out west. Uresk even trained at Xtreme Couture for a bit, and was one of Dana White's favorites at the TUF tryouts in New York City (along with Eddie Alvarez, Uresk was for some mysterious reason passed over). "[Penn's camp] contacted me out of nowhere," says Uresk, who sports some of the gnarliest cauliflower ears on the planet - a sure sign that the dude was invited to train with Penn because he's similar to Edgar in both size and wrestling-heavy style.
Monday, July 26, 2010
- Caros Fodor and Ousmane Thomas Diagne: two fighters you never heard of, and will never hear from again.
- How can you dislike a guy named “Abongo”? He’s like a character from an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel.
- Mike Kyle may be a solid fighter, but he’s still the douchebag who kicked Brian Olsen in the face when he was down. Therefore, I refuse to give Kyle any props until Olsen gets to kick him in the grill in return.
- Cory Devela vs. Bobby Voelker was close. So close, in fact, that Devela and Voelker are now legally married in Massachusetts, Hawaii and Vermont.
- Roxanne Modafferi is top-notch competition, and by putting her away with a slam, Sarah Kaufman has proven herself to be the most dangerous 135-pound chick out there. Now I’m curious to see how she’d do against Cyborg…
- Months ago I did not know nor care about Shane del Rosario. But credit Strikeforce for bringing this cat along right, because I sure as hell know and care now.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Strikeforce has just announced that they'll be holding a one-night, four-person tournament in their 135-pound female division for their August 13th event. That's right, a four-person tournament, and it's stocked with notables like submission studdettes Miesha Tate and Hitomi Akano and fiesty Brazilian Carina Damm (Finnish fighter Maiju Kujala rounds out the brackets, but I know nothing about her). In terms of excitement, this is great news, and in terms of making women's MMA something worth caring about, this is a big freakin' deal. Everyone knows Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg, but there's a lot more to the sport than those two ladies, and with Roxy and Sarah Kaufman fighting on Friday, Marloes Coenen getting the winner, and the tournament winner getting the title shot after that… well, that's a lot of storyline created right before our eyes. BodogFIGHT did a decent job of making us give a crap about female MMA, but Strikeforce's upcoming bouts and tournament are practically reaching into our colons and taking the crap from us. And I mean that in a good way.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Thus far in 2010 we've witnessed 145-pound Strikeforce champ Cris "Cyborg" Santos wreck an inferior fighter and utterly destroy someone who had no business being in the same cage. We've also seen Zoila Frausto unseat top-ranked 125 pounder Rosi Sexton in Bellator, and in one of the few serious bouts on that goofy Moosin card we saw Roxanne Modafferi avenge a 2006 loss to Tara LaRosa with a razor-thin split decision. But only now, in August, are we getting a female MMA bout with some real meaningfulness. That's right, I'm talking about Roxy squaring off against Strikeforce 135-pound champ Sarah Kaufman on Friday's Strikeforce Challengers event on Showtime. For unlike the rest of 2010's offerings, a champ is facing a legitimate challenger - a challenger who belongs in that same weight class and who isn't foolishly fighting up - and when you compare them side by side, it's clear you've got a compelling pairing. Roxy can throw and take a punch, can play the submission game as well as any of them, and has got a wealth of experience fighting the best. Kaufman, meanwhile, has got the best hands in her division and has never tasted defeat. In other words, these ladies are very capable of kicking each other's asses - a fact that goes a long way in making this one worth watching. Sure, Bellator's upcoming eight-person, 115-pound female tournament is going to rock, as will whatever tournament Strikeforce is putting together. But this Friday we're getting Roxy against Kaufman, and it's the first meaningful female fight of 2010.
Monday, July 19, 2010
That Dan Severn seminar slated for Ultimate Karate USA's school in Spanish Harlem tonight is now a Phillippe Nover seminar. The address is 1950 Third Avenue. Scheduled topics will include "Punching People in the Face Real Hard 101" and "Eating Balut (a Filipino delicacy of cooked duck fetus)".
Sitan's Omar Ahmed is the man, Bellmore Kickboxing's Terence Hill is beastly with his hands, and of course nothing beats a one-night eight-man tournament in terms of building excitement. Eleven decisions out of 12 fights was brutal, but unless you have mismatches, there's nothing you can really do about that. Overall, it was a great event with some very talented Muay Thai fighters.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
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 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).
July 2010 Women's Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on July 13, 2010
Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (10-1)
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. Jennifer Tate (6-1)
10. Vanessa Porto (10-4)
Flyweight Rankings (116 to 125 lbs.)
1. Tara LaRosa (18-2)
2. Aisling Daly (9-0)
3. Zoila Frausto (7-1)
4. Rosi Sexton (10-2)
5. Rin Nakai (7-0)
6. Sally Krumdiack (8-3)
7. Lena Ovchynnikova (6-0)
8. Megumi Fujii (20-0)
9. Monica Lovato (5-1)
10. Jeri Sitzes (3-1)
Junior Flyweight Rankings (106 to 115 lbs.)
1. Megumi Fujii (20-0)
2. Yuka Tsuji (22-2)
3. Lisa Ward (13-5)
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)
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
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.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Woo! Somehow, the statistically improbable has happened. This week there are no UFCs on pay-per-view, SpikeTV or Versus, there's no Strikeforces on CBS or Showtime, and there's no Bellators on Nickelodeon or PBS or whatever channel it's usually on. In other words, no news! But fear not, for your dear friend Mitch has combed the Internet for some worthy headlines to bite, chew on, swallow and vomit up.
- "UFC Champs Georges St. Pierre and Frankie Edgar Fail to Win ESP Awards" - Really? There's awards for that? And isn't it sort of good that St. Pierre and Edgar didn't win them? I mean, being two of the best fighters in the world is one thing, but being a badass telepath or clairvoyant on top of that would be way too much. They'd be, like, superheroes or something.
- "Tim Kennedy to Face Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza for Strikeforce Middleweight Title" - Stop me if I'm wrong, but an eight-man tournament to crown a 185-pound champ should involve more than two people. Right? I think Scott Coker needs some serious math tutoring.
- "Upcoming Bellator and Strikeforce Tournaments to Feature Every Female That's Ever Fought MMA Anywhere" - Uh, yay? Maybe? I kid. I love female MMA bouts. But it's really unfair when they make all those women fight that Cyborg dude.
- "WEC Champ Jose Aldo to Defend Belt Against Manny Gamburyan" - "Do you know who I am, bro?" Oops, sorry. Wrong short, hairy Armenian.
- "Shinya Aoki Defeats Tatsuya Kawajiri at DREAM 15 with Vicious Submission" - You know, these Japanese fighters are really good at kicking each other's asses. Too bad their best guys get crushed when they compete against Americans here in the States.
- "M-1 Global Closes Offices in Wake of Fedor Loss" - Seriously, was Fedor's win bonus supposed to go towards rent? Are they living paycheck to paycheck or something? I can see it now: Vadim Finkelstein is going to make Fedor wait tables for extra dough.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Mixed martial arts is a harsh business, and if you don’t believe that, just ask any fighter trying to earn a paycheck before his body crumbles. But the harshness of the sport extends in other directions, too, like to promoters struggling to make a buck, to clothing lines unable to make sponsorship payments, and even to news outlets. Last summer Full Contact Fighter magazine – the longest-running MMA publication around – ceased operations and went web-only as a news source. Now, even that’s done, and its name joins the ignominious ranks of magazines, newspapers and websites that were but are no more. Hey, I smell a list dead news outlets coming on. Do you?
- Full Contact Fighter – FCF was one of the first publications on MMA, and for a while it was the only offering around. Practically every scribe in the industry penned articles for the magazine, including Eddie Goldman, Josh Gross and Aaron Crecy, and the company’s well-branded clothing line was a constant presence in the Octagon. Unfortunately, just as the Internet has struck a blow to all print media in the real world (do you know how many people have been laid off at the New York Times? A frickin’ lot!), so too has the web hurt MMA’s hardcopy media. After all, who wants to buy a monthly magazine when all the fight info they could possibly need has been available on a frequently-updated website since a few weeks ago? The answer is “not enough people to make it worth it”. The FCF gear and apparel outfit continues on, but as of right now, the organization that was often the only place to read detailed Shooto, Jungle Fights or Ring of Combat write-ups from ringside reporters in Japan, Brazil and New Jersey, is out of the news business.
- Ultimate Athlete – Once upon a time a company called Zuffa bought a floundering promotion called the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This sudden infusion of cash made everyone crazy. Hence, the birth of Ultimate Athlete magazine, which endeavored to provide glossy coverage to this “new” sport on the cusp of an explosion in popularity. Sadly, that explosion didn’t come until 2005, when “The Ultimate Fighter” hit the airwaves. By then, the well had run dry, and Ultimate Athlete was dead.
- Fight Sport – Like Ultimate Athlete, Black Belt Magazine breathed deep the scent of money and got excited, so they responded by tacking on a small section in their monthly magazine dealing solely with mixed martial arts. This eventually grew into its own magazine, first helmed by Stephen Quadros, then by Josh Gross. But alas, unlike traditional martial arts stylists – who fear keyboards and don’t mind their news coming once a month – the fans of MMA are too Internet savvy and impatient. Thus, Fight Sport suffered a deadly Dim Mak blow to the accounting ledger, and it died alone in the woods.
- FightWorld.com - Back in the day (i.e., when SEG owned the UFC and it was nigh-impossible to find out results from smaller shows), the website FightWorld.com was the shiznit. Also the shiznit: their video magazines, which were behind-the-scenes footage and interviews in an era long before anyone did those. Sadly, FightWorld.com stopped doing news over a year ago, and now it’s some sort of link dump. *Sigh*.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Dan "the Beast" Severn - one of MMA's first UFC competitors and a pioneer in the sport - will be conducting a seminar at the Ultimate Karate USA school in Spanish Harlem on July 19th. Why would a school named Ultimate Karate USA be interested in an MMA seminar? Well, for your information, the dojo has a cage, and they've had a ton of solid fighters compete in New York City's underground circuit over the past few years. So put that in your pipe and smoke it. The address is 1950 Third Avenue (at 107th Street), and the seminar is from 7pm to 9:30pm. Topics to be covered include "Taking Your Shirt Off and Wiping Your Underarms With It" and "Releasing the Beast".
Eddie Cuello of Take-On Productions has put together another Muay Thai card in Flushing's Chinatown, this one featuring a one-night eight-man tournament stacked with representatives from such venerable kickboxing establishments as Sitan Gym, Bellmore Kickboxing and Borodins, among others. An eight-man tournament! Remember those? I think the last one that went down in New York City was one of the late Gene Fabrikant's Russian-nightclub specials in Brooklyn years ago. Anyway, the fists and shins will be flying this Saturday night, and expect MMA Journalist to provide the livebloggery.
Friday, July 9, 2010
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 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).
Note: Nick Diaz, Jason Miller, and Jake Shields were all recently issued disciplinary suspensions by the Tennessee Athletic Commission for their roles in the post-fight brawl at the Strikeforce event in Nashville. Like all fighters who are serving disciplinary suspensions, these fighters have temporarily lost their eligibility to be ranked, and they will regain their eligibility to be ranked as soon as their disciplinary suspensions have ended. Shields' three-month disciplinary suspension began on June 9; Miller's began on June 16; and Diaz' began on June 23. Gilbert Melendez' three-month disciplinary suspension has not yet begun, due to the fact that his consent order has not yet been received, so he has not yet lost his eligibility to be ranked.
July 2010 Men's Independent World MMA Rankings
Ballots collected on July 6, 2010
Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Brock Lesnar (5-1)
2. Fedor Emelianenko (31-2, 1 No Contest)
3. Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1)
4. Cain Velasquez (8-0)
5. Shane Carwin (12-1)
6. Junior dos Santos (11-1)
7. Alistair Overeem (33-11, 1 No Contest)
8. Frank Mir (13-5)
9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1, 1 No Contest)
10. Antonio Silva (14-2)
Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (19-4)
2. Lyoto Machida (16-1)
3. Rashad Evans (15-1-1)
4. Quinton Jackson (30-8)
5. Anderson Silva (25-4)
6. Forrest Griffin (17-6)
7. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (7-0)
8. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-3)
9. Gegard Mousasi (28-3-1)
10. Thiago Silva (14-2)
Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Chael Sonnen (24-10-1)
3. Nathan Marquardt (29-9-2)
4. Dan Henderson (25-8)
5. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
6. Demian Maia (12-1)
7. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (12-2, 1 No Contest)
8. Yushin Okami (24-5)
9. Jorge Santiago (22-8)
10. Robbie Lawler (17-6, 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 (15-4)
5. Dan Hardy (23-7, 1 No Contest)
6. Martin Kampmann (17-3)
7. Paulo Thiago (13-2)
8. Matt Hughes (44-7)
9. Paul Daley (23-9-2)
10. Matt Serra (11-6)
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 (20-2)
6. Shinya Aoki (23-5, 1 No Contest)
7. Gray Maynard (9-0, 1 No Contest)
8. Tatsuya Kawajiri (26-5-2)
9. Evan Dunham (11-0)
10. George Sotiropoulos (13-2)
Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Jose Aldo (17-1)
2. Manny Gamburyan (11-4)
3. Urijah Faber (23-4)
4. Mike Brown (23-6)
5. Hatsu Hioki (21-4-2)
6. Bibiano Fernandes (8-2)
7. Marlon Sandro (17-1)
8. Josh Grispi (14-1)
9. Michihiro Omigawa (10-8-1)
10. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (18-4)
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. Wagnney Fabiano (14-2)
9. Masakatsu Ueda (11-1-2)
10. Rani Yahya (15-6)
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, July 8, 2010
Months ago heavyweight fighter Shane Carwin posted online a list of those journalists he considered to be the best in the sport. And sure, maybe his list was an attempt to lash out at those who participate in fighter rankings, but the big guy did have the right idea. There are a ton of idiots out there cranking out blogs full of nonsense (myself included) and a ton of fools conducting horrific interviews, yet there are a few select individuals worth paying attention to. So how’s the Average Joe on the Internet supposed to know who to trust? Well, fear not, because MMA Journalist has made a list of the top five. Yes, it’s a subjective list, but it’s also a true list of who I read first whenever I start up my web browser. That’s got to mean something, right? Anyhoo, the top five journalists in MMA are:
- Dave Meltzer, Yahoo! Sports – Want a mix of choppy, hard-to-swallow writing with the keenest insight possible? Meltzer is your man. On the plus side, he came over from pro wrestling and has been around the MMA industry literally forever (he was cageside for the infamous Cain vs. Abel bout). On the minus side, his newsletter reads like a gang of chimpanzees raped a bunch of typewriters. But he seriously knows the business and entertainment angles of MMA like the back of his hand, and I will bite the bullet and read whatever he writes every time.
- Josh Gross, SI.com – Gross was writing about the sport back when it was called “no hold barred”, and for years he was the duct tape that held Sherdog.com together. To his credit, Gross isn’t afraid to ask hard questions – which, of course, means he will likely never again in his life get credentialed to a Zuffa event. But hey, so what? Neither will I.
- Zach Arnold, FightOpinion.com – Arnold is the exact opposite of paid shill, which means he will harsh on anything and anyone if he sees some form of ill being perpetrated. Yes, folks, MMA has (and needs) a moral compass, and the needle is always pointing toward FightOpinion and Arnold’s work.
- Ryan Harkness, Fightlinker.com – I don’t know about you, but I like to read my news while smoking a joint and wearing a pair of green-tinted goggles while the Beastie Boys’ “Paul’s Boutique” plays in the background. At least, that’s how Harkness makes me feel whenever I go to Fightlinker. And that’s a good thing.
- Steve Marrocco, MMAJunkie.com – Marrocco may be most famous for the time he was caught simultaneously writing for Full Contact Fighter and for MMAWeekly.com under an alias, but he churns out quality work that doesn’t make me want to throw up. I rank him right below Gross in terms of how well he writes (which is high praise), and when I want a little insight into what makes a certain fighter tick, I know Marrocco will be the one best providing it.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Ring of Combat may be on summer hiatus, but MMA Journalist has gazed into a crystal ball – okay, really I just checked out ROC’s Facebook page – and glimpsed matchups both epic and glorious for its September 24th show. On tap for ROC 31 is:
- Gian Villante vs. Demetrius Richards – This is a rematch, with the first one ending when Richards attempted a throw and Villante posted and messed up his arm. Villante is considered the “next big thing” around these parts, so this is definitely one to watch.
- Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman – A classic striker/grappler matchup, with Hall playing the role of killer TSMMA striker and Weidman the monster Serra/Longo wrestler.
- Ryan LaFlare vs. Doug Gordon – LaFlare, the ROC welterweight champ, has proven to be unstoppable. Gordon, meanwhile, has been in there with everyone and is capable of winning via sub or knockout. The chances of this one turning into a lay-and-pray festival are about slim to none.
- Nick Pace vs. Chase Beebe – A ROC bantamweight champ who’s aiming to fight in the WEC vs. a former WEC bantamweight champ. Both men are ace grapplers, but what Beebe has going for him is experience, as he’s fought in everything from the WEC to DREAM to King of the Cage. On the other hand, Pace is the epitome of rising star, and he may be too hot for Beebe to handle.
- Tom DeBlass vs. Tom Velasquez – DeBlass is a Ricardo Almeida-trained jiu-jitsu black belt and would seemingly have the edge in grappling. However, Velasquez is a crafty submission specialist known for pulling heelhooks out of nowhere. Expect fireworks for this one.
Take these pairings with a grain of salt, as anything can happen to shake the card up between now and then. But if even only a few of these bouts go off… whoo-wee, ROC 31 should be fun.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
For those sad and depressed that the New York State Assembly failed to pass the MMA bill this year, there's still something else to look forward to: the next installment of NYC's Underground Combat League will see Peter Storm taking on Shawn "Seal the Deal" Obasi. Both men are veterans of the scene, with Storm's last venture into combat ending with a win via heelhook and Obasi's last fight resulting in him beating some dude senseless at a cage match in Vermont. But it's their accomplishments outside of fighting that these men are most known for, as Storm is the UCL's promoter and Obasi is the guy who went to the M-1 Global tryouts in Spanish Harlem and ended up screaming "I'm a Wing Chun man! I will be a Wing Chun man 'till the day I die!" at the talent scouts (you can check out the footage of that on YouTube). It's hard to build hype for an underground fight - the nature of the beast is that you never know what you're going to get until you show up - and the last time a particular UCL bout was hyped (James Funaro vs. Christian Darrow) the fight never went down. But this one might actually happen, and if and when it does, it will be competitive. So, yeah. Wahoo! (Editor's note: don't bother asking about the whens and the wheres, 'cause I ain't telling. Just stay tuned for the liveblog.)
Monday, July 5, 2010
- Ricardo Romero looked flat and nothing like his usual self, and yet he still damn near ripped off Seth Petruzelli’s arm en route to victory. Think about that one.
- I’m fine with never having to see Chris Tuchscherer fight again.
- Brendan Schaub has promise. That’s for sure.
- Dave Branch is a beast, but alas, Gerald Harris is beastier.
- George Sotiropoulos may have defeated Kurt Pellegrino, but he’s going to get killed by BJ Penn, picked apart by Frankie Edgar, crushed by Kenny Florian and dry-humped to death by Gray Maynard.
- Congrats to Stephan Bonnar for fighting his heart out and getting the “W” – even if it was against a B-level fighter.
- Tough break for Chris Lytle. He employed some sweet jiu-jitsu for the tap out, and yet some big galoot in the main event steals his Submission of the Night bonus.
- Chris Leben is pure fun. Glad he pulled off two wins in two weeks and racked up a few hundred grand in bonus money. If anybody deserves an expensive vacation, it’s definitely him.
- I never thought I’d say this, but I am now impressed with Brock Lesnar. The dude paid zero dues in the cage to become champ, and yet when Shane Carwin had him on the ropes, he did what true champs do – rallied – and kicked ass. He’s definitely a worthy possessor of the belt.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Last Saturday night there was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Fedor fans cried out and were suddenly then silenced. And now… and now… we’re left with a UFC headlined by a bout that could determine who is the new number one heavyweight in the world. Will it be Shane Carwin, who’s never seen a fight go past the first round and for all we know could have absolutely no gas tank? Or will it be Brock Lesnar, who’s had a grand total of five MMA bouts in his lifetime and even lost one of them? Goddammit, Fedor, do you see what you’ve left us with? Anyway, predictions.
- Northeast MMA juggernaut Ricardo Romero is facing Kimbo-killer Seth Petruzelli in his UFC debut, and the bout will air as a prelim on SpikeTV. Excellent. So millions of people will get to watch Petruzelli become the first Octagon fatality.
- Brendan Schaub got destroyed by Roy Nelson. Chris Tuchscherer’s testicles got destroyed by Gabriel Gonzaga and Tuchscherer subsequently barfed in the cage. I don’t know who will win this, nor do I care, but it’s interesting that these two fighters’ most notable performances in the UFC involve their destruction.
- Kurt Pellegrino may be known as “Batman”, but in Australia George Sotiropoulos is known as Koala Man – who isn’t quite as menacing or tough as the Gotham-based superhero, but, you know, he’s still gets to wear a costume and fight crime. Petty crimes, though. Like, misdemeanors and parking violations.
- I hope Krzysztof Soszynski loses and gets cut by the UFC for no other reason than it’s a bitch spelling out his name.
- Chris Lytle: giving the UFC its dose of Toughman, one Fight of the Night bonus at a time.
- Yoshihiro Akiyama barely squeaked by Alan Belcher. Chris Leben is going to remove his teeth from his skull.
- Please, God, let Shane Carwin win. The UFC belt should at least belong to someone with a double-digit amount of MMA fights on his record.