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?