Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
You know, I've published over a thousand articles on MMA in the years I've been covering the sport, but somehow getting a book out there feels... different. I daresay, it feels "fucking awesome".
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
-For almost the entire five-round fight, Sterling was in control and damaging "Shorty-Rock". He had an answer for every takedown attempt, an answer for almost every scramble and transition, and his reach and confidence on the feet meant Santella was in trouble wherever the action went. Santella had to fight out of numerous rear naked chokes, an inverted triangle (!), and bad positions galore. Round 3 saw Santella come damn close with a triangle, but Sterling simply lifted him up and held him against the cage (think Matt Hughes vs. Carlos Newton I), and Santella eventually came tumbling down. I hate the comparison, but watching Sterling was like watching Jon Jones, albeit with a ton more groundfighting.
-Apparently Joey Gambino hits hard. Eddie Fyvie did his best to withstand the kicks and the punches, but Gambino had too much "umph" and "pizazz", and eventually Gambino overwhelmed him. With the win Gambino is now the organization's featherweight champ. I'd like to see how he does against some other top 145-pounder, though. Maybe someone like Jeff Lentz, who can hit hard right back?
-Mike Wade versus Mike Winters was all wrestling, and it was a game of inches. Unfortunately, they were unexciting inches.
-Rob Fabrizi is a nice little brawler. Fun to watch. Opponent Peter Aguinaldo was more technical in terms of kickboxing, but Fabrizi drew him into a dogfight and won out.
-Bruno Tostes is clearly aces on the ground, but he took a beating at the hands (and feet) of Andre Shuler while trying to get it there. Pitting Tostes against Fabrizi could be both entertaining and ugly.
-Brad Desir was so smooth in securing his armbar against Shane Mallory, you had to wonder if Mallory had known armbars can come from the guard. He definitely did know, though, 'cause his camp is AMA Fight Club - which I guess means that Desir is that good.
-Ryan Peterson completely handled Pat White. Same thing with Buster Crandall and his win over Billy Dee Williams. But yikes did Lucas Pimenta slaughter Bryan Danner. Danner got hit so hard with a knee and a flurry of fists, he went into convulsions. And Epi Diaz just kept blasting the taller and lankier Aaron Hicks in the face until something broke (that something was Hicks' face).
Saturday, October 22, 2011
-Nick Cottone, who's been scrapping in the cage since way before there was ever an Ultimate Fighter, looked to be his usual sharp self, mixing quick wrestling with, well, quick wrestling. But Billy Vaughan had his number, and after stunning him with an uppercut while Cottone shot in, he jumped into a mounted guillotine and that was all she wrote. Vaughan is now the bantamweight champ.
-Matt Nice just straight-up dominated Nicholas Bleser, and it was his ace jiu-jitsu and complete positional control that did it. Bleser was totally demoralized by the time Round 2 came around, and Nice just got on top and blasted away.
-Lamont Lister has had a long and fruitful career, but the strength of his chin has not kept up with the willingness of his heart. For about a minute and a half he fought to get and keep Brandon Saling down, but when Saling got up, BAM! He tagged Lister in the grill and put him to sleep.
-Harry Dickey had an impressive pro debut against Eddie Weiser, manhandling Weiser throughout the first, then damn near ripping off his arm in the second. Weiser left cage with his arm in a sling courtesy of Dickey's kimura. Yikes.
-In amateur action, Fight Factory's Matt Ibbotson had a nice, close back-and-forth with TSMMA's Nolan Wisser, and he came away with the tight split decision; Matt Rizzo out-wrestled a very dangerous John Michael Holland for the unanimous decision; Ken Richmond blended hard strikes with concise wrestling to decision Brandon Cromartie; and Javier Guzman put away a timid Michael Kropp.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
"Decades from now, long after MMA has been sanctioned and 'legalized' in New York State, the tales and history of the mysterious and hidden world of Underground MMA would have long been forgotten … but for this fucking book right here. Having personally attended and photographed just about every NYUCL show since the beginning of the promotion (I was originally tipped off to its existance by Genia himself), I can say without hesitation that Jim Genia has masterfully illustrated the smokey and hard hitting nuances surrounding the gritty unforgiving world of Underground Mixed Martial Arts in New York City.
Genia takes you through the emotional and brain bruising journeys of some of the East Coast’s most and least promising MMA athletes, including Frankie Edgar, current LW Champion of the UFC who had his first fight in Peter Storm’s Underground Show. Quick witted and deadly accutate this quintessential story of northeast MMA is a must-read for any fan of MMA and/or Human Cockfighting."
-Locked in the Cage on Friday night in the City of Brotherly Love, which, with the likes of Nick Cottone and Lamont Lister on the roster and Paul Miles spinning the matchmaking turntables, is worth checking out.
-The MMA & Sports Expo at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Friday and Saturday. It's an expo so there's vendors and tons of stuff to do and check out - can you dig it?
-The Cage Fury Fighting Championship on Saturday night at the Resorts Casino. Eddie Fyvie and Sean Santella are featured in the marquee bouts, so that's going to be a big plate of awesome.
-The Take On Muay Thai Show at Bally's in Atlantic City, also on Saturday night. Normally a top-notch New York-based promotion, Take On takes the show on the road for a kickboxing extravaganza.
So yeah, good weekend ahead. Stock up on Clif Bars and make a trip of it.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
- "The author writes in a bare-knuckled, no-holds-barred style that perfectly matches the raw world of underground MMA. Jim makes the experience as intimate as spending time with the actual fighters in person, inside and outside the cage or ring (and sometimes gym mats)."
- "Imagine reading Hunter S. Thompson writing about MMA, subtract the insane amount of drugs he did but leave in the clever wordplay, and there is the experience you will be reading for the next 200 pages."
- "I have read plenty of books on MMA; biographies, travel stories, encyclopedias and instructional books to name a few varieties. None of them compare to Jim Genia's 'Raw Combat: The Underground World of Mixed Martial Arts'."
Monday, October 10, 2011
- "Jim does a fantastic job of showcasing the true warrior spirit that these underground fighters embody."
- "I've been invited to several UCL events, but for various reasons have never yet attended one. But that's okay, because this book makes the reader feel like he's right there in the arena with the fighters."
- "It is very well-written and conveys the power and attraction of combat sports in its purest and rawest form."
- "Jim reeks of machismo and is the yardstick by which men are measured."
- Okay, I added that one myself.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
- Chad Hernandez's nearly flawless performance against the tough and experienced Anton Johnson. Employing top-notch jiu-jitsu, he kept Johnson on the defense for all three rounds, and earned himself a clear and convincing decision.
- Junior Lubin's no-nonsense destruction of the game Kevin Wall. Twelve seconds of punching was all it took for Lubin to send Wall stunned to the canvas.
- The spirited back and forth between Steven "Blackie Chan" Plummer and Thiago Chaves. They went the distance, and battered each other nicely along the way.
- Jonathan Velez's gutsy performance against Syed Adeel. At first, it seemed as if Adeel had the advantage on the ground and that he was going to exploit it. But Velez - who was featured in a Wall Street Journal article on the UCL not too long ago - weathered the storm and began wrecking Adeel on the feet. It all ended in Round 3, when Velez stunned Adeel, then dropped him with a killer kick to the leg. Props to both men for really going for it.
The only bummer of the evening was all the video I took of the fights. Did you know you can record things on fast forward? I did not, and everything I shot looks like a blur to the human eye. The Marvel Comics character "Quicksilver" would probably love it, though.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Whoo-wee, a lot of strong MMA coming up featuring some of the Northeast’s best and brightest – or at some of the Northeast’s angriest and punchiest. Between the next Cage Fury Fighting Championship and ROC and whatnot, there’s enough to make your head spin. But fear not, because MMA Journalist does nothing but sit around the house all day thinking about Northeast MMA, ignoring his dog and wife and three-year-old daughter and forsaking food and not showering, all because the doctors think I have some sort of mental disorder and what the hell do they know, man? Their pills make you crazier. Crazier. Ahem. Anyway, here’s some match-ups to watch out for.
·Tom Gallicchio vs. Joe Fukstick, M-1 Challenge, 10/14/11 – Actually, Gallicchio is facing someone named Daniel Madrid, but since Madrid sports a 6-2 record compared to “Da Tank’s” eleventy-billion fights, it’s almost like M-1 does not give a crap that someone is going to die on a live Showtime broadcast. Seriously, I once saw Gallicchio rip out an opponent’s intestines and bathe in their blood – and that was just at the weigh-ins.
·Zach Makovsky vs. Ryan Roberts, Bellator 54, 10/15/11 – Bellator is contractually obligated to give bantamweight champ Makovsky a certain number of fights per year, otherwise he returns to his home in that other dimension where everyone moves ten times faster than in our world. So, yeah, non-title fight, some cat named Roberts. Makovsky’s going to win that bout so fast, he’ll be back in the locker room before the kid even hits the floor.
·Claudio Ledesma vs. Brian Kelleher, Bellator 54, 10/15/11 – If you recall my recent Northeast rankings, you’ll know I have these two as top five bantamweights in the local scene, which makes this bout more compelling to me than any other pairing on the card (sad, huh?). Anyway, Ledesma’s been at it a while now and Kelleher’s been kicking ass like a superhero, so it should be fun.
·Eddie Fyvie vs. Joey Gambino, CFFC 11, 10/22/11 – Another top guy and veteran, Fyvie gets to take on a young buck in Gambino for the CFFC featherweight strap. I don’t know Gambino, but I do know Fyvie, and the guy has spent years polishing his skills in all aspects of fighting – striking, grappling, katanas, poison, firearms, improvised weapons such as a lamp swung by its cord – and for sure Gambino is in trouble.
·Sean Santella vs. Aljamain Sterling, CFFC 11, 10/22/11 – Santella is the best bantamweight not signed to a nationally-broadcast promotion (i.e., the UFC, Strikeforce or Bellator), and with good reason: he blends flawless grappling with, um, flawless grappling. Really, that’s all it takes to succeed in MMA, just being flawless. And Santella is it. Sterling, while tough, is too new to the game to be flawless. He’s still got flaws.
·Bradley Desir vs. Shane Mallory, CFFC 11, 10/22/11 – I care about this bout because Desir hails from New York Combat Sambo in New York City. We need more sambo in mixed martial arts. Not enough fighters are walking around with limps.
·Al Iaquinta vs. Pat Audinwood, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – Iaquinta is the best lightweight around. Audinwood had his last two fights in the Octagon, and though he lost, those losses don’t negate the fact that he’d made it to the highest level of the sport. This should be a fantastic fight against two
skilled and capable dudes.
·Tom DeBlass vs. Davit Tkeshelashvili, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – Watching DeBlass slaughter opponents one right after the other is like watching the fuse burn on a stick of dynamite. You just know coach Ricardo Almeida is eventually going to toss him into the UFC and DeBlass is going to explode and kill almost everyone within a thirty-yard radius, and Joe Rogan is going to emerge bloody from the rubble and declare into his headset microphone, “Oh my God that guy is awesome!” Anyway, Tkesh… elesh… forget it, I’m not spelling out that Russian’s name. He’s doomed as it is.
·Uriah Hall vs. Daniel Akinyemi, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – In just a few trips to the cage Akinyemi has proven to be deadly on the feet. Hall is a killer in the stand-up department, too, which means we’re either going to see the best striking-heavy fight ever, or someone is going to take the other down and grind out a win that leaves us all saying, “Damn, sure wish they’d slugged it out. That would’ve been cool.”
·Jay Isip vs. Marcio Bittencourt, ROC 28, 11/18/11 – Bittencourt is a jiu-jitsu black belt from Brazil, and when Isip fights there’s more “Fuck yeah!” per square inch than legally allowed in the State of New Jersey. This is going to be a thrilling match-up, so hold onto your gooch. It might get