She was supposed to lose to Rosi Sexton at Bellator 23, proving to the world that Sexton had the goods to be a force in the upcoming 115-pound tournament. Instead, she KO'd Sexton in two minutes with a knee, then took the Brit's slot in the tourney. And then she won it. In case there was any doubt, God does watch MMA, and he has a huge sense of humor. After all, how else can you explain Zoila Frausto - heretofore no great shakes as a female fighter - out-pointing Jessica Pene, squeaking by Jessica Aguilar with a gift split decision, and then beating the unbeaten Megumi Fujii to take Bellator's inaugural women's MMA title at last week's Bellator 34? In the grand tradition of Toby Imada spoiling things for Jorge Masvidal, Pat Curran squashing Roger Huerta's title run, and the dozen other fighters who derailed the best laid plans of mice and Bellator matchmakers, Frausto did what she had to do win (which, in her case, is avoid getting taken down and bust people up with her striking). Now she's the champ. Congrats to her. And this is why tournaments are awesome.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
*Editor's note: Mitch the Intern is an NYU undergrad whose favorite Wednesday night pastime includes the TV in his dorm room, a green beanbag chair and two hits of acid. Enjoy.*
Often, when there's no inherent drama in a situation - like when a supposed villain isn't that bad at all or when a Canadian doesn't know enough English to merit a speaking role - a SpikeTV producer must inject something into the scene to add spice. Sometimes it means the cast stumbles upon a cache of automatic weapons or a suitcase full of mob money. Sometimes it means telling cast members that their relatives have died (whether they have or not is irrelevant). And sometimes it means adding characters. But first!
There's one semifinal match-up left, and by the process of elimination we can surmise that it's going to be Team Josh Kosh B'Gosh's Armenian Fighter Wannabe # 34 vs. Joe Native American. Everyone agrees that Joe Native American sucks, from Dana White to Georges St. Pierre to Joe Native American to the janitor, and they voice their opinions in candid one-on-ones with the camera.
"Native American versus Armenian? No contest," says Dana White.
"I meed sure 'is fight was last bee-cuz 'ee sucks as a figh-terr," says the welterweight champ.
"Oh man, I suck," says Joe Native American.
"Jesus Christ," says the janitor, mop in hand. "Spencer the Page break the damn toilet bowl - again!"
The scene switches to the obligatory training montage. Joe Native American has pretty much gotten no screen time in the prior six episodes, which leads us to believe he's got zero personality and nothing about him worth talking about, so drunken French Muay Thai master Jean-Claude Van Hairy is thrust into the spotlight. You know, to add spice.
Says Jean-Claude Van Hairy after drinking a six-pack of Zima and half a bottle of Gordon's Gin: "Ah, oui…" There's retching sounds and then vomiting, and the kicboxer wipes off his chin. "Oui. Bien sur."
Meanwhile, in the Armenian Fighter Wannabe #34's life, there's talk of gunshot wounds, gangs and sweaters knitted out of the copious body hair an Armenian female generates in a year. There's also judo in there, studied since week nine in the womb, and we're led to believe that Joe Native American is in trouble. Grave trouble.
Unfortunately, none of this is moving the needle in the "Interesting-O-Meter", so a SpikeTV producer gets central casting on the phone.
Central casting: "Hello?"
SpikeTV producer: "Yeah, I need someone menacing. Someone not really a fighter, but who you'd think would be capable of fighting. But nothing too obvious - no prison escapees, no assassins, no crazies. What do you got?"
Central casting: "Hmmm… Menacing? Fighter but not a fighter? And nothing too obvious? How about a big black guy who works in the medical industry?"
SpikeTV: "Fantastic! Send him down."
And so there you have it, the reason why a heretofore unseen character is thrust into the cauldron of conflict, the reason why Josh Kosh B'Gosh walks into the TUF Training Center and starts beefing with the opposing team's "medic".
"So, you're the, uh, 'medic'?" says Josh Kosh B'Gosh, taking cues from someone off-screen. Someone probably the producer.
"Yes, I am the medic," says the new guy, his voice a monotone as he reads his lines from an index card in his palm. "And I will take no crap from you, Mr. Josh B'Kosha… K'Boshi…Kosh-Kosh-"
"Josh Kosh B'Gosh!" comes an urgent whisper from off-camera.
"Mr. Josh Kosh B'Gosh," says the new guy.
And then it's time for the coaches' challenge. That's right, that special time when the two opposing MMA fighters at the helm of each team must compete in some activity so inane and unrelated that the word "comedy" doesn't even come close to describing it (usually "tragedy" is more accurate). Once BJ Penn and Jens Pulver had to ride a bucking bronco (together - same bull). Another time Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz had to perform open-heart surgery (both patients died). Well, this time Georges St. Pierre and Josh Kosh B'Gosh must hit baseballs. Oh the insanity! The hijinks! Ah, who am I kidding, it's lame. Georges St. Pierre doesn't speak a lick of English and he's never seen a baseball bat in his life, so of course Josh Kosh B'Gosh kicks his butt. There's a stack of money involved and it goes to the American, but if any of that is meant to add additional spice to the proceeds… um, fail.
Fight time, and Joe Native American and Armenian Fighter Wannabe #34 mix it up against the cage for most of their bout, Joe Native American trying for a guillotine and somehow, someway using dark magick to avoid the perils of the Armenian Fighter Wannabe #34's alleged judo prowess. He still gets beat on, just not as badly.
"Wow, Joe Native American's not getting his ass kicked," says Dana White from his perch cageside. "As 'not getting your ass kicked' is a part of the judging criteria, he may actually win this!"
But it's not, and he doesn't, and Armenian Fighter Wannabe #34 takes the decision after two rounds.
Afterwards, Dana White gathers the two coaches in his lair. With clipboards in hand, they discuss which fighters should get a second chance and compete in the wildcard match-up. Both coaches agree that Brit Eye-run Wal-king Some deserves another shot (despite him being pretty battered and bruised from his scrap with Chris Rock on Steroids). But for slot number two Josh Kosh B'Gosh thinks Marky-Marc and the Funky Bunch should be the man; Georges St. Pierre wants Joe Native American. "Sum-times I do tings dat dee-fy logic an' ree-son," says the Canadian. "For een-stance, I agreed to coach when I do not speak En-glish so well."
Dana White shakes his head.
"See what I have to work with?" Josh Kosh B'Gosh says in exasperation.
So Eye-run Wal-king Some and Marky-Marc it is!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
There’s Ring of Combat, M-1 Global, Urban Conflict Championships and Brick City Fighting Championships, and soon New Jersey will have the DaMMAge Fight League. Debuting on November 24th at the Taj Mahal and brought to you by Carl Mascarenhas, DaMMAge is what you get when the promoter of the ultra-successful Asylum Fight League amateur events decides to cast his hat into the world of pro shows. Which is to say, unbridled awesomeness. Consider the following scheduled match-ups:
- Chris Liguori vs. John Salgado – Liguori’s been one of the best for a while, whereas Salgado has long skirted the line between “dude who gets beaten by the best” and “dude who somehow beats the best”. M-1 Global had high hopes for Renato Migliaccio before Salgado kicked his ass, so one has to wonder if Liguori is going to take him lightly and end up with the “L” on his record.
- Tara LaRosa vs. Takayo Hashi – Two losses – including her most recent outing against Strikeforce ex-champ Sarah Kaufman – in over a dozen fights means Hashi is one tough hombre (er, hombra?). LaRosa is one of the best unheralded female fighters out there. Of all the fight results that will stem from this card, I guarantee you that the outcome of LaRosa/Hashi will be the one retweeted the most.
- Claudio Ledesma vs. Tom McKenna – I don’t know McKenna but I do know Ledesma, whose relentless aggression and propensity for feeding opponents leather usually results in someone suffering a brutal beating. And that someone isn’t Ledesma!
- Felipe Arantes vs. James “Binky” Jones – Arantes looked absolutely demonic with his Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu at the last UCC, but Jones is a veteran with a capital “V”. This pairing should be a real test for both men. Or not. Maybe one will just steamroll over the other. Who knows?
- Kevin Roddy vs. Rafaello Oliveira – Oliveira may have gone 1-2 in the UFC in his last three bouts and is hungry to rack up more wins, but Atlantic City is Roddy’s town. RODDY’S TOWN.
Monday, October 25, 2010
- Patrick Cote, Tito Ortiz and Gabriel Gonzago are all glaring examples of the fact that getting old in the Octagon does not look pretty.
- Court McGee: takes a licking… That’s it. He just takes a licking.
- I bet Matt Hamill isn’t really deaf. I bet he just pretends he is so he can get in an extra strike at the bell.
- That wasn’t Diego Sanchez in there. That was some kind of superhero.
- “Jake Shields, I eem not eem-pressed wid your performance.” – Georges St. Pierre.
- Yes, Brock Lesnar got his ass kicked. But what truly sucks is he was just starting to become likeable.
- As part of his victory celebration, Cain Velasquez announced that he was going to drink Corona and lay on top of Lesnar’s wife. And he could because he’s the champ!
Not a bad show, although everyone involved - from the staff right on down to the media - was out of their comfort zone working in the midst of the expo. Oddly enough, Kim Couture had a few fans rooting for her, and she put up a decent fight against Munah Holland (who was as good in her debut as everyone thought she'd be). Claudio Ledesma's aggressiveness was like a force of nature, Liam Kerrigan looked smooth as hell, and John Cholish is a stud. Watch for him to move on up to one of the big shows soon.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thanks to the spirited performance of former School of Visual Arts student and Ecstasy dealer Banh Mi, Team Josh Kosh B'Gosh finally has a win to call their own, so they celebrate. There's champagne spraying everywhere, there's strippers, and at one point an assistant coach dons pagan robes and sacrifices a goat to Cthulhu. Is it excessive? Hey, anytime there's a sacrifice to Cthulhu and the sky is not torn open and giant tentacles do not emerge from the rift to lay waste to the Earth, well, I'd say hey, that's cool and no, it's not excessive. But some members of Team Georges St. What The Hell Is He Saying take great umbrage over it.
"Man, Josh Kosh B'Gosh and his team sucks," says Chris Rock on Steroids after being denied free healthcare in the locker room. "If this were Canada I'd be getting all the backrubs I want," he says, and it's then that we know he's gone completely over to the Canadian Side.
Back at the TUF House and Chris Rock on Steroids and his teammates are out back, barbecuing up some mope with a side of grilled glum. Team Josh Kosh B'Gosh is inside, still partying like it's 1999 (Banh Mi is dancing around wearing a raspberry beret - the kind you buy in a second-hand store). They're soon joined by their coaches, and together they go out to the deck to rub Team Canadia's face in their Satanic rituals and belief in Norse mythology.
"Man, you suck," says Chris Rock on Steroids to the opposing coach.
"Maybe I do," says Josh Kosh B'Gosh with a mischievous grin. "But at least I have personality and people can understand me when I talk."
"I'm a one-trick pony," interjects Spuds McKenzie, his low, plodding voice betraying either years of Oxycontin abuse or Down Syndrome. "I can do a guillotine."
Everyone stares at Spuds McKenzie blankly - even his own teammates. Eventually Josh Kosh B'Gosh nods his head and says "okay".
Thanks to Banh Mi, picking the next match-up is the responsibility of Josh Kosh B'Gosh. He chooses his best guy, Marky-Marc and the Funky Bunch, to face Spuds McKenzie. The two fighters square off for the staredown, and though Marky-Marc bears a confident smirk, his opponent bows his head and makes a face that looks like a combination of a grimace and a desperate need to use the toilet. When the staredown is over, Spuds McKenzie puts his finger to Josh Kosh B'Gosh's nose and implores him to smell it.
"Dude," says Josh Kosh B'Gosh.
And now it's time for a life lesson from Mr. Incomprehensible, Georges St. Huh? Today's topic: Christ, I don't know. Dealing with bullies? Absorbing insults? Given the welterweight champ's absolute disdain for speaking in a language American viewers can understand, it's difficult to say. But there's lots of "eets" and "ree-speck" and other mauled words in there, plus he gets up and gesticulates wildly. One has to wonder if the man actually understands himself.
Time for a little training montage and personal insight into the two competitors. Marky-Marc kicks a heavybag and mentions his love of K.D. Lang music; Spuds McKenzie says that he sucks at everything related to MMA but he knows that guillotine. As if to accentuate the obvious, Team Josh Kosh B'Gosh assistant coach Dave Chameleon instructs Marky-Marc to "avoid that guillotine. Avoid it. It."
Then it's fight time, and the Spuds McKenzie runs across the cage waving his arms and kicking his legs out like a bug having an epileptic seizure. Out of reflex Marky-Marc ducks his head and shoots in for the takedown - and Spuds McKenzie sinks in the guillotine. Marky-Marc is asleep before 20 seconds have elapsed.
Cageside, Josh Kosh B'Gosh looks stunned. He turns to the camera, stares, and says matter-of-factly, "my tummy hurts."
But wait, there's more.
As Spuds McKenzie and Marky-Marc's saga lasted only half an episode, there's time enough for another match-up.
On the Muppet Show everyone knew that Kermit the Frog was a frog, Miss Piggy was a pig, and the Swedish Chef was Swedish. But what the heck was Gonzo? According to later films (which are considered Muppet canon), Gonzo was some kind of alien. Well, this season of TUF has it's very own alien, a wrestler and jiu-jitsu guy named Jonathan with long blond hair, green skin, antlers, dreadlocks, scales and a tail.
As coach Georges St. Pierre now has the baton, he chooses his ward, Jonathan, to take on the Armenian Wonder.
Cue 30-second montage: Jonathan, meditating. Doing yoga. Picking flowers. Practicing calligraphy with a brush and a small bottle of ink. Meanwhile, the Armenian Wonder is smashing television sets with a baseball bat. Setting fire to a kennel. Going to expensive hotel rooms at the Bellagio and dumping a jar of bedbugs out onto the carpet.
And then they're fighting, and Jonathan - scales, antlers, green skin, tail and all - leaps onto the Armenian Wonder's back and chokes him out.
Boy, it sure does suck to be on Team Josh Kosh B'Gosh, eh?