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21 Incredible Minimalist Movie Posters

April, 2008

Unaired ‘TUF 7′ Footage: Rampage Cracks Down

Reminder: A new episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest airs tonight at 10 p.m. on SpikeTV, and Team Rampage member Gerald Harris will be blogging his reactions to it right here tomorrow morning. To commemorate this occasion, here’s an outtake clip from episode three of Rampage laying down the law on his team’s jokesters following Mike Dolce’s loss to Jesse Taylor. Yes, that’s Gerald receiving the totally accidental bitchslap at the end.

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Tonya Evinger Lesbian Party

I love me some Tonya Evinger — she’s like a cute, perpetually drunk version of Aileen Wuornos.

(Props: TonyaEvinger.ProElite.com via Fightlinker)

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Aoki Out of DREAM GP! JZ [Not] Back In! Total F*cking Chaos!

AoJZ
(Aoki’s fancy flying guard-pull against Calvancante.)

Are you sitting down? Sherdog is reporting that Shinya Aoki suffered a facial injury in his fight against Gesias Calvancante yesterday, and will not be able to participate in the second round of DREAM’s lightweight grand prix (May 11th; Saitama, Japan). UPDATE: Sherdog amends their story: “Calvancante was approached about replacing the Japanese fighter, but the 24-year-old American Top Team representative could not come to terms with the promotion and has since left Japan.”

Aoki always seemed to have misgivings about continuing in the tournament. Here’s what he said in an interview on DREAM’s website a couple weeks ago:

Are you thinking about fighting on May 11 in DREAM 3?
I win on Apr 29, but not fight on May 11. That’s their business and not me. I’m not well-considered person to agree with fighting on May 11. I’m not thinking about a fight after Apr 29. I may fight if I had an easy fight on Apr 29.

Don’t you want a belt?
Not interested in. My next fight has more meaning than a belt.

And in another interview

“I have no schedule after April 29 so far. I don’t even think about the 2R. I will have a good result on April 29 and clean up my past.”

So, it’s safe to say that Aoki’s heart wasn’t in DREAM’s lightweight GP past the marquee matchup of him vs. Calvancante, and now this so-called “facial injury” is sounding a little too convenient. But hey, he’s in good company: Kazushi Sakuraba wants nothing to do with DREAM’s middleweight tournament. Good lord, is it too much to ask for DREAM to book fighters that actually want to be involved with them?

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False Positive: Does MMA Have a Drug Culture?

Drug Culture
(Cheech’s submissions may be legendary, but his cardio is highly suspect)

by Ben Fowlkes

With UFC 84 less than a month away, the issue of drug use among MMA fighters has taken center stage. It’s understandable, at least to a degree. Sean Sherk’s positive steroid test after his title defense last summer put a giant bull’s-eye on his back, even as he continues to proclaim his innocence to anyone who will listen. Both he and Penn came up clean in preliminary tests for their upcoming title fight, but it doesn’t mean the issue has gone away.

A recent MSNBC report would have us believe that this isn’t just an isolated incident or a reflection of the pro sports zeitgeist. Instead, David Avila asks the question, does MMA have a drug culture?

One nameless boxer-turned-MMA fighter claims yes, and it’s not just steroids:

“Oh, the MMA fighters train just as hard as boxers,” said a fighter now working out of Las Vegas who wished to remain anonymous. “But after they train, they party. I mean they drink, they go out. It’s crazy what they do.”

There’s nothing quite like a sweeping generalization to bolster your point, and that’s aside from the fact that training in Las Vegas may be different than training in, say, Minnesota (where Sherk trains) or in the secluded mountains of Big Bear, California (where Tito Ortiz, “Rampage” Jackson, and a host of others go to prepare).

But the UFC’s Marc Ratner – formerly of the Nevada State Athletic Commission – seems to agree:

“I don’t know what to make of it,” said Ratner regarding the large number of MMA fighters failing drug tests compared to boxers. “It’s a different culture.”

The article goes on to quote an MMA writer who suggests that the middle-class background of many MMA fighters may explain the difference in positive tests between boxers and MMA fighters. Boxers are typically poor, he argues, and thus view their shot at a career as “do-or-die”, whereas middle-class MMA fighters are more likely to slack off and use drugs.

This is a strange logic. Are MMA fighters more likely to use recreational drugs because they don’t take their careers as seriously as boxers? If so, how does that fit into the steroid argument?

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Patrick Smith Is a Sex Offender + Other Fun Facts!

Bed
(GIS result for “Bedlam.”)

— YAMMA veteran Patrick Smith had a little misunderstanding with a “child” (ugh) back in 1999. To learn which other MMA fighters might be living in your neighborhood, check out nsopr.gov.

UFC 85 has been given the official title of “Bedlam.”

— Wacky middleweight Jason “Mayhem” Miller has been booked to fight Katsuyori Shibata at DREAM.3 (May 11th; Saitama, Japan). Shibata is a former pro wrestler whose 2-3 MMA record includes a loss to Kazushi Sakuraba and a win over a dude named Ice Man. DREAM.3 will also feature the quarterfinals of their lightweight grand prix. (Well, maybe.)

— The lineup of WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver (June 1st; Sacramento, CA) has been finalized. Besides the much-anticipated headlining bout, the main card also features Miguel Angel Torres defending his bantamweight belt against Yoshiro Maeda, and former WEC lightweight champion “Razor” Rob McCullough taking on Kenneth Alexander.

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Doerksen Becomes Latest UFC Casualty

JD

Joe “El Dirte” Doerksen has become the latest UFC middleweight — after Kalib Starnes and Travis Lutter — to be released from his fight contract as part of the league’s roster cuts. Doerksen’s recent TKO loss to Jason MacDonald at UFC 83 brought his UFC record to 1-5 (and 38-12 overall). As he told Sportsnet.ca:

“(The UFC officials) made it very clear they’re very happy with the way I fight and they want me to come back. But they need me to go put a couple of wins together (first)…I’ve come and gone several times over my career and I’m sure I’ll be back again. It’s not really devastating news. It’s just the cycle I have to go through….I’m just going to go out and do what I always do, put five or 10 wins together and come back and try again. At the end of the day, I know the fight was very well received by the fans and that’s the most important thing to me personally.”

Doerksen has scored notable wins over Lee Murray, Denis Kang, Chris Leben, and Ed Herman outside of the UFC, but seemed to be cursed inside the Octagon. After losing his UFC debut against Joe Riggs at UFC 49, he came back to submit Patrick Côté at UFC 52, but then picked up two more losses against Matt Lindland and Nate Marquardt. Doerksen won six straight fights outside of the UFC before Zuffa took another chance on him, putting him up against Paulo Filho for the vacant WEC middleweight title (which he lost), then giving him UFC fights against Ed Herman and MacDonald (both of which he lost).

No matter how gently the UFC let Joe down, it’s hard to imagine someone with his Octagon track record being given another shot unless he can put together a monumental win streak. Good luck out there, brotha…

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Bas Rutten in ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’

“El Guapo” is the uncontrollably violent host of The Men’s Room, a show you can watch on Grand Theft Auto IV‘s in-game television. For more good times, check out the Bas Rutten soundboard.

(Props: MMAMania)

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Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn Both Staying On Message

Sean Sherk
(“The Muscle Shark” finds your rhetoric weak and your platform disingenuous. He also thinks you’re a pussy.)

Considering their recent verbal assaults on one another, it’s almost a shame that B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk didn’t go into politics. Not only do they both have a gift for bashing their opponent, they’re remarkable when it comes to zeroing in on a message and sticking to it.

Sherk has been eager to characterize Penn as a quitter. Granted, he’s not the first to do so, but just to make sure that it sticks he’s been hammering the point every chance he gets, such as in a recent video promo on the UFC website:

“B.J. has a lot of natural ability, but so do I. I’ve got just as much natural talent as he does. The only difference is I’ve got the mental ability and the heart. Come fight night you’ll see that. I’m going to make him quit. I’m coming at him real hard and he’s going to realize, after that first round, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll get right up in his face and we’re going to fight. Mentally, I think he’s got some quit in him. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it in the past. If you push him, he’ll quit.”

But Penn hit back recently by turning that same criticism against Sherk, like a page right out of the Karl Rove playbook:

“He’s been broken before, and he’s been broken bad by Georges St-Pierre. He got broken so bad that he moved down to the 155-pound division.”

See that? Sharp, succinct, and makes for a good sound byte. The McLaughlin Group would eat that up. But Penn didn’t stop there. He also attacked Sherk’s main talking points:

“His only hope is that he can take me into the later rounds and get me tired, but this is The UFC. This isn’t boxing and Floyd Mayweather where you can run the whole fight, where you ask people to pay $60 and then run away the whole fight. This is The UFC so we’ll come out to fight.

As an experienced fighter I shouldn’t say I want to take him out in the first round…but I want to take him out in the first round. I want to beat him by beat down, not by one punch but by beat down.”

Beat him by beat down. You can almost imagine that slogan on bumper stickers and t-shirts, arenas full of Penn supporters chanting it together.

‘Beat him by beat down. Yes he can.’

That’s how you hype a fight, people.

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Quote of the Day: Jay Larkin Suicide Watch

JL

From 411Mania via BloodyElbow. Behold, the lament of a broken man:

“The question it all comes down to for me is, is there a market for MMA? Now coming from the boxing world, when I first saw MMA I didn’t like it. I didn’t enjoy watching it. I found it boring and when it wasn’t boring I found it grotesque. Now what I had to do was learn about it. I had to learn more. I had to learn the moves, the players, the disciplines and the different camps and what they meant. The more I learned about it the more I found I enjoyed it and the more I could appreciate the strategies and I have found that for the most part, the fan base out there doesn’t have a clue. Not a clue what they’re seeing, not a clue what they’re watching and therefore they’re almost uniformly attracted to the UFC light show. The dancing girls, the music, the UFC brand and the spectacular job the UFC’s done in creating that brand…

I sincerely question whether or not there is a market place for legitimate MMA outside of the UFC. Now if you look at the card we had at the IZOD center that was spectacular. That was as good as MMA fighting ever gets and it didn’t make a blip on the radar screen. It was difficult selling tickets, the Monday morning reviews of the event were the fights were spectacular but the place wasn’t very full. What does one do to grow the audience? What does one do to sell tickets besides putting on the best show you could possibly put on? And when you put that show on and you still can’t sell tickets well then you have to ask yourself does the public want this? Do they really want fights? Do they want mixed martial arts? Do they want competition at the highest level of the sport? Or do they want to run around wearing their Affliction t-shirts and swigging Xyience. What is this really about? Is there really a fan base for this or is it a cult? And I’ll tell you, as truthfully as I can, I don’t know the answer.”

— Jay Larkin, CEO of the International Fight League

Well, first off, contempt for the audience will get you nowhere — and I’m not sure that the IFL’s fanbase has a smaller percentage of Affliction-wearing, Xyience-swilling meatheads than the UFC’s. Larkin may eventually be proven correct that there’s no mainstream market for MMA outside of the UFC, but I don’t think the failure of the IFL should be held up as proof of his thesis. I can’t speak for the general public, but as an MMA fan, I’ve been excited about recent fights held in the WEC, Strikeforce, EliteXC, and DREAM in a way that I’ve never really felt for matches held in the IFL. I get the sense that a lot of other MMA fans feel the same way, and for me, the reason is because the IFL never succeeded in promoting and building individual stars. EliteXC is Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. WEC is Urijah Faber. Strikeforce is Frank Shamrock and Cung Le. The IFL, on the other hand, is a questionable camp system where no single fighter is given more attention then his legendary coach. Larkin seems to think that solid matchups between up-and-comers should have been enough to make his league marketable. Am I a fake MMA fan for thinking that personalities create interest, not just talent?

— Ben Goldstein

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Videos: DREAM.2 Highlights

We’ll kick things off with Kiyoshi Tamura’s quick demolition of Masakatsu Funaki, which turned out to be the night’s only stoppage-by-strikes (action starts at the 1:17 mark). More vids after the jump; for a recap of the event, click here.

UPDATE: All the broken vids have been replaced…hopefully this batch will last a bit longer.

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