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The Best of Anne Hathaway [49 Photos]

April, 2008

Middleweight Seems To Agree With Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping
(Somebody’s been cutting back on the fish and chips)

Michael Bisping’s move down to 185 looks to be going smoothly. At yesterday’s weigh-in he showed up looking ripped, though not emaciated. A good physique doesn’t win fights all by itself, but it does indicate that the cut is not a significant problem for “The Count”.

If he’s in half as good of shape as he looks, McCarthy will have his hands full tonight.

Props: Tracy Lee at Combat Lifestyle, via Bloody Elbow

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Kimbo: “Come Get It…Chuck!

In this new video released by Triumph United, the fighter known by his momma as Kevin Ferguson vents some frustration at “all these MMA fighters talkin’ shit about me,” and invites Chuck Liddell to come see him at Elite MMA, maybe set up a bareknuckle match, y’know, whatever. Also: James “The Colossal” Thompson is dead!

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Mike Dolce Reveals The Untold Story Behind His TUF Elimination

Mike Dolce
(‘Okay fists, I don’t like you and you don’t like me, but let’s work together here.’)

Mike Dolce may have been eliminated in this week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to fade into the scenery just yet. In a well-written and surprisingly insightful blog entry for MMA Weekly, Dolce lets us in on some info that didn’t make it to air on Wednesday night.

Apparently, “Rampage” Jackson has his own ideas about how to prepare for a fight, even when you just fought a few days ago. Dolce doesn’t agree with him, but like most of us would have done when confronted with a big, bad man like “Rampage”, he went along with it despite being battered and exhausted and well under the weight requirement the day before the weigh-in:

The plan was for Rampage and Zach to alternate taking me down and just as I scrambled up, for the other to shoot back in and take me down again. For 15 minutes with no break.

Do you see the comedy in this? I’m laughing again as I write this.

Again, I tell both coaches I’m shot, and they tell me, “Don’t worry, we’ll just go light.”

Light? It was more like a live-drill pace than a fight pace, but in no way was it light.

When that was finally over, the other seven athletes on my team were brought into the cage and told to start in on double legs (takedowns) and make me fight out of it.

This fun little game ended when Dolce tore a ligament and damaged his rotator cuff, an injury he says he’s still being treated for.

“Surprisingly,” Dolce writes, “none of this made it to the television screen either.”

To Dolce’s credit, he doesn’t offer this as an excuse for his loss. He was pretty well dominated on the mat in that fight, and one gets the sense that the rotator cuff injury wasn’t all that stood between him and victory. Still, you can’t help but feel for him when he writes this:

“All things are possible to him who believes.” – Mark 9:23

I must have repeated that statement five thousand times, between the weigh-in and actual fight. You see, at no point did I ever question the outcome of the fight. I knew I was going to win. Losing wouldn’t even register in my mind. Even while lying on the floor of the octagon, with two grown men rubbing heating lube on my bare thigh and torso with television cameras catching every sordid detail, I did not question my chances of winning this fight. No way.

Damn. Tough break for Dolce. If only The Bible had made clear the need for a good takedown defense, things might have turned out differently.

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Travis Lutter Makes Weight!

TL
(Feel. The. Intensity. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

Whoo-hoo! Unlike his epic fail at UFC 67, Travis Lutter hit 185 right on the button at today’s weigh-ins for UFC 83. Serra and St. Pierre both played it safe, coming in at half a pound under, while the combined weight of UFC newcomers Brad Morris and Cain Velasquez is less than that of any other heavyweight bout we can remember; not that we blame 225-pound Morris for choosing the soft ripples of the UFC’s heavyweight pool over the Class 6 rapids of the 205 division.

Boos for Matt Serra at the Bell Centre were as loud as expected — Serra responded to the crowd with “If you’re pissed right now, wait until Saturday night” — while Michael Bisping and Charles McCarthy bumped heads and swapped obscenities during their face off. Full scale results are below:

MAIN CARD
Matt Serra (169.5) vs. Georges St. Pierre (169.5)
Rich Franklin (185.5) vs. Travis Lutter (185)
Nate Quarry (185.5) vs. Kalib Starnes (186)
Michael Bisping (185.5) vs. Charles McCarthy (186)
Marc Bocek (154.5) vs. Mac Danzig (154.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Joe Doerksen (184.5) vs. Jason MacDonald (185)
Rich Clementi (155) vs. Sam Stout (155.5)
Alan Belcher (185) vs. Jason Day (183.5)
Jonathan Goulet (169.5) vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (170)
Ed Herman (185.5) vs. Demian Maia (184.5)
Brad Morris (225.5) vs. Cain Velasquez (235.5)

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The Greatest Fighters Never to Enter the UFC

RG
(Rickson. That’s all you need to know.)

FIGHT! Magazine‘s May issue just hit newsstands and features a list of the seven best fighters who never did battle in an Octagon. This exclusive excerpt showcases four of them, starting with the undefeated legend of the Gracie family…

RICKSON GRACIE
Career: ‘94-‘00
Record: 11-0
Prime: ’94-’97

Tournament Experience:
Rickson won both the 1994 and 1995 Vale Tudo Japan eight-man tournaments.

Key Victories:
“Zulu” Nascimento, Masakatsu Funaki, Yoshihisa Yamamoto

Why it never happened:
This one is easy to answer. Rickson should have been in the UFC because it was designed with him in mind. As the family’s recognized champion, Rickson was Rorion Gracie’s first choice to show the world what Jiu-Jitsu could do. It was only after a falling out between the two brothers that younger brother Royce was selected to represent the family in the UFC. Rickson did help train Royce for the event, and he eventually established himself in another arena: Vale Tudo Japan.

IV
IGOR “ICE COLD” VOVCHANCHYN
Career: ‘95-‘05
Record: 51-10-1
Prime: ’96-’99

Tournament Experience:
Vovchanchyn is the winner of six eight-man tournaments, including three eight-man tournament titles and a four-man tournament in just sixty days. He competed in three other tournaments, losing in the semifinal or final bout.

Key Victories:
Kazushi Sakuraba, Mark Kerr (1-0-1), Gary Goodridge (2-0), Enson Inoue, Yuki Kondo

Key Losses:
Mark Coleman, Quinton Jackson, Mirko Filipovic, Mario Sperry, Alistair Overeem, Heath Herring

Why it never happened:
In 1996, Vovchanchyn’s name was mentioned for participation in the UFC 11 tournament, but visa issues kept the Ukrainian nightmare from ever stepping foot in the Octagon. Ironically, Mark Coleman went on to win that tournament. Like the PRIDE FC 2000 Grand Prix, he only fought twice that night to claim the title. Had Igor faced “Tank” Abbott in the semifinals, or Coleman in the final of UFC 11, we might be discussing a much different UFC history.

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UFC 83 Liveblog; Triumph United Contest; ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ Trailer

KS
(The Kimbo Slice LTD tee — only available at Triumph United.)

Heads up, people:

— We’ll be liveblogging UFC 83 tomorrow night starting at 10 p.m. ET, so come back for thrilling round-by-round updates and semi-coherent commentary. And please share your own thoughts during the broadcast via the comments section, especially because…

— We’ve teamed up with Triumph United to launch our Comment of the Week contest. We’re not going to lie; some of your comments have been making us LOFL lately, and we want to start rewarding you for your creativity. Thus, every Friday starting next week we’ll call out our favorite comments from the previous week and award one winner a Triumph United shirt of his/her choosing. If you’re tired of MMA-inspired shirts that induce headaches and seizures, you should definitely check out some of T.U.’s more reserved, aesthetically-pleasing designs. I’ve paid actual money for two of their shirts in the past, which I think demonstrates my genuine love for this brand. So keep hitting us with your witty/insightful comments and good luck. Lurkers, emerge from the shadows!

— Do us a favor and check out this interactive trailer for The Forbidden Kingdom. Then do Jackie Chan and Jet Li a favor and see the movie.

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UFC 83: Picks, Predictions, and More

Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre
(Will Serra prove to be MMA’s Buster Douglas, or will he send thousands of Canadians home drunk and angry?)

As UFC 83 draws nigh, we’re faced with the daunting task of predicting the winners in Saturday night’s bouts. But just picking the victor isn’t enough. In addition, we’ve decided to get really specific with our predictions, to the point where it’s mostly absurd. This makes it almost as much fun as the UFC drinking game, where you chug every time Mike Goldberg sounds way too excited about some upcoming movie/event/paid sponsor.

Hope you’ve got your Molsons ready for the UFC’s first Canadian event. It could be a long night.

Matt Serra vs. Georges St. Pierre

Here’s the thing: a lot of people have been quick to write off Matt Serra, and we can understand why. His victory over St. Pierre was so utterly shocking – and he hasn’t been back in the Octagon since – that it’s hard not to think of that win as a one-in-a-million lucky shot. In other words, Serra seems to have about the same odds as someone launching a half-court shot at the buzzer. Sure, you can do it once, but twice in a row?

We have to consider the possibility that Serra might legitimately present problems, stylewise, for GSP. Then again, how has Serra been preparing for this fight? Well, he had back surgery, filmed a reality show, and worked out with Pete Sell. Will that get you ready to face someone like GSP, who may be one of the best pure athletes in MMA? Doubtful at best.

CP Pick: Georges St. Pierre.

Unreasonably Specific Prediction: TKO, 2:35 of round 3.

What to Watch For: the expression on Serra’s face when the Montreal crowd gives him a good old-fashioned Canadian razzing during the introductions. Will it be a look of grim focus, or ‘I-got-your-boos-right-here-ya-turkeys!’ Wait and see.

Rich Franklin vs. Travis Lutter

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Frank Trigg Booked for DREAM Middleweight GP; Nick Diaz Rumored for Lightweight Feature?

FT

DREAM has updated the official card for their second event (April 29th; Saitama, Japan), with seven fights of the upcoming middleweight tournament already locked down. The biggest surprise is the addition of Frank Trigg, who will be taking on Brazilian Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (7-1). Trigg, who we consider to be the #9 middleweight in the world, most recently competed at HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon (12/15/07), where he submitted Edwin Dewees in the first round. The other six fights booked for DREAM’s middleweight GP are:

Denis Kang vs. Gegard Mousasi
Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa vs Kin Taiei
Kazushi Sakuraba (depending on traffic) vs. Andrews Nakahara
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Magomed Sultanakhmadov vs. Zelg Galesic
Yoon Dong Sik vs. Shungo Oyama

Other fighters rumored to fill out the eighth and final tourney fight include Yoshihiro Akiyama (who has been battling injuries), Daniel Acacio, Dae Won Kim, and Mamed Khalidov. DREAM.2 will also feature the do-over match between Shinya Aoki and Gesias Calvancante, to decide who will advance to round two of the lightweight GP on May 11th. In addition, GracieFighter.com is saying that Nick Diaz has verbally accepted a DREAM.2 fight against Marcelo Garcia, a former competitive grappler who lost his pro MMA debut last October at a K-1 HERO’s event. However, Garcia has reportedly backed out of the fight, and a new opponent may not be found for Diaz.

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IFL and Bodog on Brink of Extinction; UFC Keeps Stacking That Paper

FB
(The Fertitta brothers, preparing to order something expensive.)

The poor get poorer while the rich land on the cover of Forbes: Financial stability was a recurring theme in MMA this week, as two prominent leagues face death while another cemented its place at the top. First the bad news…

— The IFL filed their 10k SEC report on Tuesday, and things are looking grim. Since the league was founded in January 2006, it has suffered losses of $31 million. Last year’s revenues weren’t nearly enough the make up for the $15.9 million it spent on events; notably, the IFL only took in $498,000 in sponsorship revenue and $117,544 in branded merchandise sales in 2007. At this rate, the company won’t be able to survive past the third quarter of the 2008 fiscal year, and due to their continued losses, the IFL’s auditors have included a paragraph in their financial statements questioning their financial viability, which will make it even harder for the IFL to secure the additional financing it needs to sustain operations. As the report says, “If revenues grow slower than we anticipate, or if operating expenses exceed our expectations or cannot be adjusted accordingly, we may not achieve profitability and the value of your investment could decline significantly.”

An earlier rumor that BodogFight was near death gained more traction yesterday with MMAWeekly’s report that the Bodog subsidiary may be ceasing operations next week. The company lost a reported $38 million in 2007, and hasn’t announced any more events since it sponsored a Las Vegas Tuff-N-Uff show in February. From the article:

Asked if the company was folding, one executive who declined to be named told MMAWeekly.com, “I can neither confirm or deny that.”

When asked what Bodog Fight was currently working on, the executive responded, “I’m sitting in an empty office.”

Of course, in the land of the Octagon, it’s all champagne and caviar…

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Matt Lindland Talks Politics, And He’s Serious

Matt Lindland
(“The Law” could be headed to the Oregon Statehouse)

As you may have heard, Matt Lindland is running for public office. But what you may not know is he actually has a pretty decent chance of getting elected.

I spoke with Lindland recently about his political campaign. If you think it’s some kind of publicity stunt ala the porn star who ran for governor of California, think again. Lindland has a platform, an organization, and the backing of a real political party.

Guess which one it is. Give up? Hint: the phrase “the liberals in Salem” was peppered throughout our conversation.

That’s right, Lindland is a Republican. And while, yes, Oregon may have something of a reputation as a “granola” state, Lindland reminds us that his district leans more to the right.

“Don’t think that just because we’re close to Portland we’re all a bunch of liberals,” he said, referring to Oregon’s 52nd District, which we’re going to go ahead and dub “Lindland Country”.

Portland may be all latte-sipping, North Face-wearing, Prius-owners (that, and some awesome strip clubs…seriously), but the state representative seat that Lindland is seeking was vacated by a Republican woman.

“Outside of Multnomah County it’s a little more rural, with a different set of values,” he added.

But Lindland doesn’t seem to be running as a “values candidate”. Not really. His beef with Oregon state politics is an economic one, and judging from their high unemployment rate in recent years, that seems like a good way to court voters there.

At the heart of Lindland’s proposal is the ever-popular anti-tax stance. He says that business-owners in Oregon (of which he is one) are taxed too much already – a position that rarely gets argued against, considering even those people who don’t own businesses often, you know, work for them or buy things from them.

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