Saturday, July 30, 2011

XFE 8 Postscript

Pretty good show. I still don't know what "XFE" stands for, but I'm know that the end product means a lot of good fights.

  • Matt Secor totally jacked Matt Dempsey's elbow. Or, more accurately, Dempsey jacked it trying to escape from Secor's straight armbar. He did escape, but tapped out seconds later; it was visibly dislocated, and the doctors had to splint it so he could leave the cage.

  • Whitney Francois (who had Philippe Nover in his corner) was totally tossing Charlie Joseph around the cage and pounding on him. But all it took was split-second mistake and the Lotus BJJ rep was hyperextending Francois' knee.

  • Pellegrino MMA stud Mervin Rodriguez and Fight Factory old schooler Brian Jackson had a great grappling battle. It was back and forth at first, with each man pulling off slick escapes like they were nothing. However, Jackson took control in the second and third rounds, and then the story was how impossible it was to make Rodriguez to submit. No matter what, Rodriguez just would not tap, and he gutted out of everything. Really, an impressive performance by both men.

  • Jackson MMA's Brendan Weafer just straight up slew Mike Santiago. Santiago had one big slam that was an attempt to get out of a triangle, but Weafer had him tapping seconds later.

  • Bombsquader Brian Kelleher had his way with Manny Millan. I don't think that's about Millan being deficient in anything as much as I think it's about Kelleher being very skilled and dangerous.

  • I did not agree with the majority draw in the Dwayne Shelton/Jeff Lentz fight, and had Shelton winning the decision. It was the best Shelton we've ever seen, and though Lentz got some serious licks in - he wobbled the Virginian with a punch at one point and chopped away at him with leg-kicks - Shelton put a serious hurting on him with a killer neck crank and kept battering him throughout.

  • Dustin Caplinger was not ready for the likes of Tom Marcellino. That's about it. I'd like to see Marcellino face some stiffer competition, especially since he's now an XFE champ. Like maybe Chris Liguori or some other top Northeast lightweight.

  • Daddis FC rep Brylan Vanartsdalen completely smoked Anthony Leone. Completely.

  • I did not think JA Dudley did enough to warrant the decision in his heavyweight championship bout against Brendan Barrett, but on the other side of the coin, it wasn't the biggest robbery ever. Dudley took a beating on the feet, and Barrett was constantly going for sweeps and subs from his back when they were on the ground. The Team Endgamer did have a ton of takedowns and spent a decent amount of time in top position. Oh well. The promoter seemed cool with a rematch, and in the meantime, Dudley - who's been at this a while - gets to enjoy being a title-holder. He's certainly put in the miles to get where he's at.


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Friday, July 29, 2011


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Atlantic City-20110729-00014.jpg

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Liveblog: XFE 8 Part 1

MMAJournalist is here at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City for XFE 8, which will feature ten bouts showcasing the likes of Brendan Barrett, Mervin Rodriguez, Jeff Lentz and JA Dudley. Unfortunately, my new Blackberry is having a rough time supporting this browser plus Twitter plus taking pics. So if you want live results, follow me on Twitter (jim_genia); if you want a snarky postfight review, check back here tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

XFE 8: The Roster

I have no idea what “XFE” stands for (Xtreme Fighting Extravaganza?  Xylophonic Festival Extreme?), but one look at the cast of characters for their eighth installment – and Atlantic City promotional debut – on Friday night tells me all I need to know.  TUF alum Jeff Lentz, WEC vet Anthony Leone, hard-hitter Brendan Barrett, the scrappy Mervin Rodgriguez… dude, that’s a lot “kill”, “maim” and “celebrity” right there, which makes XFE 8 very much worth checking out.  Let’s examine the roster a bit further, shall we?

  • Anthony Leone – He’s fought in Bellator, Strikeforce and Bellator, but most people know the durable Leone for his role in the 1979 classic film “The Warriors”, where Leone played the leader of the Long Island-based gang “The Spaghetti-Os”.
  • Brendan Barrett – I once saw this IFL vet karate chop a man and the man died in his sleep two days later.  Coincidence?  I THINK NOT.
  • Jeff Lentz – Supposedly, the book “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method” is an unofficial biography of Lentz’s life.  Supposedly.  I’m illiterate, so I can’t say for sure.
  • Mervin Rodriguez – When not fighting, Rodriguez is a member of Mariah Carey’s security detail.  Rumor has it he saved her life when a crazed fan came at her with a chainsaw, so she named one of her kids after him.
  • Kevin Roddy – I swear to God I think Roddy stole my wallet.  We were sitting on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights drinking frozen Razzmatazz Jamba Juices mixed with homemade moonshine and the wallet was right there on the seat between us.  Then I turned away for a second to vomit, and when I turned back it was gone.  Gone.
  • Dwayne Shelton – There’s tough, and there’s “Dwayne Shelton tough”.  A burnt steak is somewhere in between on that scale.
  • JA Dudley – Dudley may have a fair number of wins and losses, but they last time he was actually finished in a fight was back in 2008.  I don’t know if that stat means anything.  I just thought I’d throw that out there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lest We Forget, A Brief Reminder of What's What in New York

Hey, here's the Albany Times Union keeping the "MMA in New York" flame alive:  It's good to know that this thing isn't out of mind when it's out of sight.

So, About This Weekend...

Once again this blog was lacking in the local event coverage department, although this time it was travel issues that sunk me.  Sorry about that.  From various reports, this edition of the Cage Fury Fighting Championship was a kickass show.  I will definitely be at the XFE show this coming Friday, however, liveblogging furiously to make up for lost coverage.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nine Reasons to Care About CFFC 10

The Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s tenth installment is this Saturday at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, and if you’re a fan of Northeast MMA, young fighters with promising futures, bloodshed and the very real possibility of seeing an arm break, then this is the event for you!  But what’s that you say?  You say you need more concrete reasons to give a darn?  Well, here are nine specific reasons attesting to the need for you care about CFFC 10.  Enjoy!

  • Joey Rivera – He can take a beating and he knows how to slap on a triangle choke, and because of that, Rivera is CFFC’s welterweight champ.  Now watch him defend it.
  • Al Buck – “Old school South Jersey tough”.  Yes, that’s a thing.  And Buck is it.
  • Mike Medrano – Medrano has forgotten more about hardcore scraps than most people will ever know.  That’s partially due to his crushing knockout at the hands of Joe Aviles, but some of the forgetfulness is due to age and natural attrition.  Still a tough and dangerous fighter, though.
  • Eddie Fyvie – Fyvie is so skilled and well-rounded, he could strike, grapple, do calligraphy and sing opera all in the same bout if he had to.
  • Artur Rofi – The aforementioned arm break is likely going to come from this guy, who mixes fast and aggressive jiu-jitsu with unbridled rage.  Really, I think Rofi just needs a hug.
  • Ozzy Dugulubgov – One.  Intense.  Dude.
  • Aljamain Sterling – Okay, Sterling may have squeaked by Claudio Ledesma at a recent ROC, but that feat alone is at least some indication that Sterling has got skills.  And promise.  Anyone that doesn’t get smoked by Ledesma has to be at least somewhat badass.
  • Anthony Dagostino – “Old man dies kicking younger dudes’ butts.”  That’s what the headline is going to read someday, because a) Dagostino is like 63-years old, b) yet remarkably jacked for his age, and c) still capable of kicking butt.
  • Lennox Chance – Chance is an accomplished ace kickboxing slowly transitioning to MMA, so that means for his next dozen fights we get to see opponents desperately try to get him to the ground whilst avoiding getting clobbered on the feet.  Woot.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tangential Product Plug

Ancient Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu probably never imagined his text "The Art of War" would be required reading for martial arts enthusiasts all the way through to the 21st Century, but hey, here we are.  Anyway, for a re-imagined take on it, check out Kelly Roman's graphic novel (link to sample here:  Said Roman to me via email: "My hope is the book will make the ancient text more accessible to a much larger audience - whether martial artists or bankers or soldiers, etc."  So yeah, check it out.


NYC Underground in Today's Wall Street Journal

There's an article on the Underground Combat League in today's Wall Street Journal.  Here's the link - - but you need to subscribe to the site to read it.  However, here's a link to the slideshow  At least that's free, right?  Anyway, I was interviewed at length for this piece and none of my quotes made it in.  I guess maybe I use too much foul language or something...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fun with Headlines

Hey there.  It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to bring some funny to my blog, but with a sizeable Bjorn Rebney interview in the can for and RAW COMBAT edited and currently stewing in the publisher’s cauldron, I find myself with some time to kill.  So why not kick it old school MMA Journalist style – am I right?  Anyhoo, despite the lull in fight show offerings, there’s been some news.  Let’s take a look at what’s transpired, shall we?

  • Man with Concussion Disorder to Face Man with Eating Disorder at UFC 137 – Heh.  Mirko CroCop vs. Roy Nelson.  Think the Croation can stay awake long enough for Nelson to gas?  Probably not.
  • Fighter with Ironic Last Name Cut from UFC – Andre Winner did not win TUF 9, nor did he manage any great success in the UFC proper.  I bet Dana White wishes he’d signed Joe Loser instead.
  • Pennsylvania Commission Finally Cashes Bonus Check from Zuffa, Lifts Marquardt Suspension – I’m just saying.
  • M-1 Challenge 26 Snags 161,000 Viewers; Showtime Execs Still Believe Their Events Are the UFC – You know how those non-MMA industry types are.  So out of touch, so lost.
  • Jake Shields Denies Knowing Who Jake Ellenberger Is; Athletic Commission Orders Neurological Examination – Damn, did Georges St. Pierre really hit Shields that hard?  It didn’t seem like it, but homeboy is acting all amnesiac now.
  • Tito Ortiz Steps Up and Gets Paid; Machida Left Drinking Cheap Urine – And not the good, expensive urine, mind you.  Like, the cheap stuff that tastes like *drumroll please* p*ss.  Thank you, thank you.  I’ll be here all week.  Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

Pete Lampasona Still Fighting the Good Fight

The battle for sanctioned MMA in New York continues, with journo Pete Lampasona writing a lengthy open letter to Dana White re: Zuffa's failed efforts.  Check it out here:  The last open letter White received - a Josh Gross doozy about rampant steroid use in the sport - secured Gross a permenant spot on White's shitlist, so let's hope Lampasona doesn't end up wearing cement shoes this weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Have Cris "Cyborg" Santos Kick Your Ass

From the Department of Women Kicking Your Ass: Strikeforce 145-pound female champ Cris "Cyborg" Santos is holding a seminar on July 23rd, in conjunction with an MMA Sports Expo and the Cage Fury Fighting Championship.  Anticipated topics will include "Eating Gina Carano's Soul", "Killing Large Carniverous Beasts with Your Bare Hands", and jiu-jitsu.  Go here for more info:

Saturday, July 9, 2011


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Battle at the Beacon Postscript

You know what sucks? The battery for my Blackberry, which seems to have zero ability to hold onto juice nowadays. Anyway, here's what you missed after my liveblogging went dark last night:

-Lions Fight Team rep Niko Tsigaras, who went all "Nick Diaz" on Sitan Gym rep Tim Amorim, and began mixing in taunts with his wild flurries. It was pretty entertaining, but a bloodied Amorim kept his cool and employed just enough Muay Thai technique (knees and clinchwork) to eke out the majority decision.

-Camp Undefeated's Ariel Abreu, who exhausted himself slugging Black & Blue MMA's James Harmony, but did enough in the first to rounds to garner the decision.

-Jose Cruz of Sitan Gym, who moves and fights like a genuine Thai but is so white he's practically clear. He was calm and razor-sharp in his decision win over Mushin MMA's Joey Hernandez.

-The back-and-forth contest between Mushin MMA's Sean Hinds and Fairtex's Doug Edwards. It was close, but Hinds edged out the decision.

-Turan Hasanov of Fight Factory and Eddie Martinez of Sitan Gym really went out for what was, what? Their eleventh rematch? Anyway, Martinez had superior Muay Thai technique and was using it to out-point his foe in Rounds 1 and 3, but in Round 2 Hasanov very nearly destroyed him with a stunning fist to the chops. It's a miracle Martinez made it out of the round, and the resulting majority draw was definitely warranted.

-Sitan Gym's Jay Matias has got some serious surgical precision to his game, and that - coupled with his unflappable demeanor - had him smashing CSC Virginia's Brandon Mickens to the canvas and taking Micken's lightweight belt with a TKO/doctor's stoppage (Mickens had a wicked cut above his nose).

-Team Renzo's Elijah Clarke put in a workhorse-like performance against an overmatched Andy Bellenger of CMA Georgia, battering Bellenger for the decision.

-Superior handspeed and superior kicks - that was the story behind Sitan Gym rep's Omar Ahmed destruction of Nisvet Sivac of Harlem Gym Holland. Ahmed, who won TakeOn's eight-man tournament last year, took the decision this time around.

-It wasn't a good night for returning champ Gaius Ebratt of Five Points Academy. First, he ran into Nick Vaughn of the Wat. Then, he got his ass kicked. Round 1 saw Ebratt knocked down at the bell, and the slobberknocker continued all the way through the fifth round. Vaughn took the decision and his belt.

-Crowd-favorite Andy Singh of Pin-Point MMA likes to throw flying knees like confetti, but it was his endurance and ability to score through the later rounds that had him taking the majority decision over Eric Riuz of PMA.

Friday, July 8, 2011


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Liveblog: Battle at the Beacon Part 2

First up is Chris Springer of Legacy Martial Arts and Andre Miller of Performance Muay Thai. Though Springer proves to be good at kicking and clinchwork, Miller is just as good at punching him in the face - which makes for a competitive three-rounder. Miller takes the decision when time runs out. Pablo Rayo of Sitan Gym and Daniel Bido of NYC Martial Arts are up next. Bido is a ball of furious aggression and face-punching, but he also can't stop blasting his foe in the junk. He loses a point for that, and the technical onslaught Rayo puts forth gives him the decision. Omar Estevez of Sitan and Julio Pena of Boston Muay Thai battle it out until Estevez lands a perfect kick to Pena's inner thigh. Pena can't walk, so it's a Round 3 TKO. Wat rep Laurie Hyacinthe and Sitan rep Laurel Holloway are next, and Holloway immediately proves to be adapt at landing kick and knees. Hyacinthe, on the other hand, is constantly pegging her with a one-two combo to the chops while she moves in, which enables her to take the decision. Jess Ng of Sitan and Andi Hilditch of CSC Virginia square off, and though Hilditch is always attacking, Ng finds her range and her timing to score her way to a decision.


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Liveblog: Battle at the Beacon Part 1

MMA Journalist is here at the Beacon Theater on the Upper Westside in Manhattan for "Battle at the Beacon", a 19-bout Muay Thai extravaganza. That's right. Nineteen bouts. Take it from me, that's a lot of kicks to the thigh. Anyway, Eddie Cuello and TakeOn Productions are the folks behind it all, and gyms represented include Sitan, Five Points, Black & Blue MMA, Fight Factory and the Wat, among others. So stand by, 'cause in about and hour things will get underway.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Battle at the Beacon" on Friday

M-1 Global may be rocking Showtime with another installment of "Russia vs. everyone" on Friday night, but we here in New York City are getting a nice, big Muay Thai event to sate our combative sport hunger.  Dubbed "Battle at the Beacon" (the Beacon Theater on the Upper Westside is the venue), the event is another one of Eddie Cuello and Take On Productions' kickboxing extravaganzas, and if this one is anything like their installments that took place out in Flushing, Queens, it should be a pretty damn fine night of action.  Reps from quite a few top gyms will be throwing down, including Eddie Martinez of Sitan Gym, Turan Hasanov of Fight Factory, Nick Vaughan of the Wat and Gaius Ebratt of Five Points Academy.  For more info go here: MMA Journalist will be there as well, liveblogging and tweeting furiously (

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


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