MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

January, 2008

Fight of the Day: Shinya Aoki vs. Joachim Hansen

We mentioned this one yesterday. Here’s Aoki’s dismantling of Hansen at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 (12/31/06), and though Aoki’s rainbow stretch-pants are ridiculous, his skills are no joke. Check out his Penn-like flexibility as he works for the ultra-rare gogoplata submission; in our opinion, there’s only six welterweights in the world who could deal with him…

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Eight Questions with John Troyer

John Troyer

John Troyer is 8-0 as a professional and trains out of Louisville, KY with coaches Jason (“Y”) Weihe and Colin Cannon. His most impressive performance came last September when he won the middleweight HOOKnSHOOT tournament by defeating three fighters in a row – all in the first round – which put him on the fast track to a BodogFIGHT title shot. That chance comes on February 1st in Las Vegas when Troyer faces Nick “The Goat” Thompson.

Some of Troyer’s opponents have described him as “freakishly strong” and he combines his boxing and wrestling backgrounds to keep his opponents constantly on the defensive. After our interview with “The Goat” earlier this week, his opponent was cool enough to answer some questions for us, too.

1. Do you think HOOKnSHOOT tournaments are tougher than a single bout and how do you prepare differently for them?
Tourney style is much rougher. Very mentally draining. [But] It teaches you to relax and not rush anything. I just tried not to think about it and do what I love to do! I was very prepared. And a little lucky.

2. How do you feel you match up with “The Goat”?
I feel I have the size, strength, and heart to contend. But Thompson is well polished and has a lot of experience. He is very rounded. It will be a rough one.

3. Does his 17-1 record in his last 18 fights intimidate you?
Not intimidated, but I respect it!

4. “The Goat” admits he cries every time he sees Philadelphia. What’s your favorite Tom Hanks film?
Bachelor Party.

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Quote of the Day: Ken Shamrock Is Painfully Honest

KS

MMA Madness has a great interview with Ken Shamrock, where the UFC Hall-of-Famer discusses the IFL, Tito Ortiz, and his upcoming fight at Cage Rage. And just like every other time Ken is given a public forum, he used part of the interview to lash out at Dana White:

Everyone understands that he wants to be the show and if anyone threatens his popularity or strength, whether he’s right or wrong, Dana will go after them. He always says, verbatim, “I’m gonna bury him.” It’s this power thing for him and it’s gonna work for a while because myself, Chuck [Liddell], Tito [Ortiz], Randy [Couture] built this thing up. We gave Dana White the strength to do what he’s doing now but he’s hurting everything that we built. He can’t stop and just admit that this isn’t about him. It’s about the guys who went the distance with the UFC and kept them strong. Dana handles the UFC hall of fame and he inducted me. Even then, he had to be the center of attention. He needs to learn that it’s not about him. He calls fighters out. He calls managers out. Is Dana White a promoter or a fighter? … If you don’t follow Dana’s rules, he’ll pack up his toys and go home and he won’t let you play with his toys anymore. Somewhere along the line, as time goes on, the guys who built this will make him answer to his actions.

We’re also quite fond of this exchange:

MMA Madness: Your son, who is 1-0 in MMA competition, is also fighting at the event. What is more exciting, your comeback or your son’s first mainstream fight?

Ken Shamrock: Definitely my comeback.

Jesus. Can you imagine if Ken Shamrock was your father?

Ken: Let’s get one thing straight, Buster Brown. I’m the World’s Most Dangerous Man. Not you. You’re just the son of the World’s Most Dangerous Man. Is that clear?
Ryan:
Ken: I built you into what you are today! Without my sperm, and the egg of some lady, you would be nothing.
Ryan: But dad, all I wanted to do was…
Ken: No you may not borrow my body-grease! That’s Ken Shamrock’s body grease! KEN SHAMROCK’S, BODY GREASE! BLAAAAAAUUUUGH!!!!

Total nightmare.

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Ricco Rodriguez Can Sense the Hostility: MMA TV Roundup

RR

With Tito on Celebrity Apprentice, Ricco on Celebrity Rehab, and Tank on Jimmy Kimmel Live, last night was one big TV party — and we have the couch-sores to prove it. If you had better things to do, we envy you. But here’s what you missed:

The Celebrity Apprentice
The episode began with Tito Ortiz working out and explaining his charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. A nine-year-old girl named Elizabeth with “brittle bone disease” came to meet him and gave him a drawing of a garden. Tito nearly destroyed her with a bear hug. This segment was probably thrown together to make up for the fact that he was basically absent from the rest of the episode, in which Hydra and Empresario battled to sell the most Broadway show tickets. The men sneaked off with a very close win, and Jennie Finch was fired for always taking a back-seat “assistant” role. But Tito was equally under-the-radar in the challenge, and if the men had lost, he might have been in danger of getting kicked off himself.

Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew
Ricco Rodriguez made his first appearance at the treatment facility, checking in for his habitual cocaine use. As he explained, after finding success in the UFC, he discovered cocaine, started going through an 8-ball per day, and was the first “ultimate fighter” to be suspended for coke. His usage also led to domestic disputes with his girlfriend, which once resulted in them both being arrested and their one-year-old son being taken by child protective services. Ricco came off like the classic, freaked-out cokehead on his first day in the facility, visibly nervous when the staff went through his bag, and calling out the staff and the other celebrity addicts for their hostility and rudeness, all of which was in his head. In return, the female residents seemed to find him intolorably arrogant and cocky. We don’t think little Ricco will be making any friends at camp this summer. But the most shocking moment was Ricco’s story about a car accident he was in while under the influence.

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You Gotta Be Kidding Me: UFC Bans Affliction?

RCA

Over the last few months, we’ve often been surprised at how petty and short-sighted the UFC can be — but if this rumor is true, it represents a new low for Dana White & Co. According to a report on 5thRound.com, the UFC is trying to block the clothing line Affliction from sponsoring its fighters, due to Affliction apparently trying to start its own MMA organization. From the report:

We are still gathering all of the details about this story, but we have been able to confirm it with a couple of people within the MMA community. From what we’re being told, the UFC is no longer allowing the clothing line Affliction to sponsor its fighters…

The word is that the UFC was not happy about Affliction starting their own fighting organization. We currently aren’t sure if Affliction is partnering up with anybody or if they are going about it by themselves, but that was what we were able to confirm with our sources…

The last fighter to actually wear Affliction during an event was Georges St. Pierre at UFC 79 where he sported Affliction on his tights and gi. If you review UFC 80 and Wednesday’s Ultimate Fight Night: Swick vs. Burkman, you’ll notice that Affliction was noticeably absent from any fighter’s apparel.

Not sure how reputable these sources are, but since there’s more than one of them, we’ll put this in the “possibly true” file for now. What makes it more plausible is Affliction’s association with Randy Couture. Couture’s “Xtreme Couture” t-shirt line is a sub-label of Affliction, and if the UFC was petty enough to forbid the wearing of Xtreme Couture gear during Wanderlei Silva’s UFC All Access shoot, then we’d believe they’d try to exert pressure on his parent company by banning Affliction altogether. Of course, what makes this less plausible is that the UFC’s biggest stars — Chuck Liddell and Georges St. Pierre among them — all rep hard for Affliction. The UFC isn’t crazy enough to damage relationships with their last remaining big names over t-shirts. Are they? We’ll update you when we know more…

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Fedor Refuses Pedro Rizzo Fight

Fedor

MMA Fightline is saying that sources close to M-1 Global have confirmed the following:

…they received an offer from Art Of War to set up a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Pedro Rizzo. M-1 was uninterested in the offer however and it was promptly rejected. No further details were given as to the reason.

There’s certainly got to be more to this story than a simple turn down. Maybe it’s the actual offer, because it doesn’t seem like M-1 has got something better in its back pocket. Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo is 16-7 and became the Art Of War’s heavyweight division champ back in September via TKO over the musically-challenged and horribly-tattooed Jeff Monson. Since this Couture thing looks miles down the road, The Rock would be a logical fight for Fedor – especially to the pea-brained nay sayers that say he never takes a tough fight.

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Brock Lesnar on the Radio

Lesnar

Former pro wrestler and NFL failure Brock Lesnar will be on a Los Angeles radio morning show tomorrow (Friday, January 25th). The Kevin & Bean Show on 106.7 KROQ will have the phallic tattoo-sporting meathead on the air to promote UFC 81 and talk about his MMA future. Lesnar will be facing Frank Mir in a heavyweight battle on February 2nd at the aforementioned event.

If you aren’t in the L.A.-listening area, you can listen on-line.

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Tank Abbott vs. Leno, Letterman

Tank

For those of you who fall into one of the following categories:

a) I Love Tank Abbott.
b) I Love “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.
c) I stay up late to catch whatever is on against Letterman or Leno.
d) I am Kimbo Slice.

…the following is for you.

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE)

This just in: The always colorful, entertaining and unpredictable David “Tank” Abbott will be a special guest on the nationally televised Jimmy Kimmel Live show tonight/Thursday at 12:05 a.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Tank (tankabbott.proelite.com), one of the original Mixed Martial Arts bad boys and most ferocious knockout artists in history, will discuss, among other things, his eagerly anticipated, long-awaited grudge fight with Kimbo Slice (kimboslice.proelite.com) set for Saturday, Feb. 16, at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami on SHOWTIME.

Other guests Thursday will include reality show star Heidi Montague of the “The Hills.”

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Salaries, Injuries, and Apologies From UFC Fight Night 12

SwickBurk
(Swick’s like “Duuuh” and Burkman’s like “waaaah!”)

Lotta news coming out in the wake of UFN 12. Let’s get to it…

— Nate Diaz was the big money-winner last night, doubling his $15,000 base salary with his submission victory. Patrick Cote was a close second with $28,000 (base x 2), while Mike Swick and Kurt Pellegrino came in third with $20,000 for their wins. The big loser was Joe Veres, who took a $3,000 beating from Corey Hill, although Justin Buchholz, Alberto Crane, and Michihiro Omigawa weren’t far behind. Complete figures are here.

Eight fighters received medical suspensions after their UFN fights. Headliner Mike Swick received the longest suspension, as his effed-up right hand might sideline him until July 22. By comparison, Kurt Pellegrino’s grisly face-tear will only put him out of action until March 9.

— Following up his mea culpa speech after his decision victory, Mike Swick issued a formal apology to his fans begging forgiveness for his “lackluster” fight. As he explained:

Burkman is strong and I wanted to prove that I could resist his takedowns and strength. I wanted to stuff his takedowns while gassing him then pick him apart on the feet. By the time the 3rd round came I let it get so close that just one takedown could have seen me going home with a loss and so I was more tentitive than I should have been. I tried to look for the one punch knockout over using my usual combinations and flurries and deeply regret it now. Though I looked frail as some put it, I felt really strong at 170. My mistakes were mental.

— And finally, adding to an astoundingly packed card that already includes Kenny Florian vs. Joe Lauzon, Stephan Bonnar vs. Matt Hamill, Karo Parisyan vs. Thiago Alves, Tommy Speer vs. Anthony Johnson, and Marcus Aurelio vs. Spencer Fisher [Ed. note: OMFG], the next UFC Fight Night may also include bouts between Clay Guida and Cage Rage vet Samy Schiavo, and Din Thomas vs. Josh Neer. UFN 13 goes down April 2 in Broomfield, CO, and will be the lead-in to the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 7. Let’s hope Dana White doesn’t decide to stick in an “Interim Something-Weight Championship” fight on the card and charge 45 bucks for it.

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“JZ” Calvancante and Shinya Aoki Will Throw Down at K-1 in March

Aoki
(Shinya Aoki wraps up Akira Kikuchi during a Shooto championship bout in February 2007.)

Gesias “JZ” Calvancante and Shinya Aoki — who we have ranked as the #2 lightweight and #7 welterweight in the world, respectively — were originally scheduled to face each other at the Yarennoka! card in Japan on New Year’s Eve, but Calvancante had to pull out of the match due to a knee injury sustained during training. Luckily, Calvancante has recovered and the fight has been rescheduled to a K-1 event in March.

Calvancante, a Brazilian-born American Top Team member, has won the K-1 HERO’S Lightweight Grand Prix championship for the last two years, knocking off fighters like Rani Yahya, Caol Uno, and Vitor Ribeiro in the process. His record is 14-1-1, with his only loss coming at the hands of Joachim Hansen in 2004, and his draw coming from a 2005 match with current IFL lightweight champ Ryan Schultz. Shinya Aoki — one of the only fighters in the world whose ground skills may surpass B.J. Penn’s — is Shooto’s current middleweight (167 lbs.) champion. The Japanese fighter’s 12-2 record includes wins over Joachim Hansen, Clay French and Akira Kikuchi (twice).

It’s not clear yet which weight class the match will be fought at, or if this will be an open-weight bout — we’ll update you when we know more.

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