bad celebrity tattoos
20 Celebrities With Truly Awful Tattoos

July, 2008

Video of the Day: Fedor vs. Aleks


(Props: “Kakkarotto_san” on the UG)

Check out this clip of Fedor and Aleksander Emelianenko (along with their coach, Vladimir Voronov) putting on a Sambo demonstration in Korea — and pay attention, because this might be the only time you’ll see Fedor tap in your lifetime. There’s a lot of super-slick throws from both brothers during the demo, though we don’t understand why Aleks didn’t haul off and start whaling on Fedor’s face when he had the chance.

Speaking of Aleks, the younger Emelianenko brother claims that those Hepetitis reports were false, and he was blocked from competing at Affliction only because he was late in getting his medical tests done. Well, who are you gonna believe, us or some mulleted ex-con? (It’s times like these that I truly appreciate the fact that I can hide behind a computer.)

Somewhat related: The upcoming Street Fighter IV video game will contain a new character named Abel, an MMA fighter whose outfit looks to be Sambo-influenced. Dude kind of looks like Jake O’Brien on massive amounts of steroids. According to DasGamer.com, Abel was a huge hit among nerds gamers? nerds at Comic-Con, who overwhelmingly chose to play as him rather than new female character Crimson Viper.

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MMA and the Hardcore Fringe of American Culture


(My inner child, consumed with rage.)

One of the things I like to do in my spare time is read the internet and get mad. I honestly love it, to the point where it’s a shockingly poor use of my time. But I can’t deny that there’s a pleasure in indulging in the viewpoints of others that drive me absolutely insane, sometimes more so than reading opinions that I already agree with. I stumbled on to a gem yesterday by Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press, who managed to say almost nothing that I agreed with in a relatively short article about why MMA “won’t catch on to the mainstream.”

Here’s one of my favorite lines of reasoning from Samuelsen, who explains that while people tell him MMA is increasing in popularity, he doesn’t see it happening:

I don’t see the roots of the MMA. I don’t see it inherently in our culture. It’s a fascination, but it’s certainly not a participation sport. “Yeah, I do a little cage-fighting in my spare time. Let’s go see how the big boys do it.” I went to a UFC event at the Joe in 1996 when the sport was really picking up steam and was supposed to be the next big thing. Twelve years later, the sport has certainly grown. But has it grown to the extent that it was supposed to have. Yes it’s bigger, but I don’t think it’s that much bigger.

I bring this up not to bash Samuelsen’s viewpoint, but because it’s a fairly new criticism of MMA. We’re used to the human cockfighting angle, but this — this claim that it’s not rooted in our culture and not “a participation sport” — is something different, and something worth responding to.

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Fedor’s Real Take From Affliction: $1.6 Million?


(Did Fedor make approximately 640,000 ice cream cones at Affliction? Oh, would that he had more than two hands.)

We all knew there was no way in hell that Fedor Emelianenko only pocketed $300,000 for throttling Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned, as was reported in the official payout figures from the CSAC. Word had it that he got “a sizable” amount of his money in the form of a signing bonus. Now FightLine.com says they have sources telling them that the figure was $1.3 million, bringing his total cheddar from the event to $1.6 million.

Sizable? Yeah, we’d say so. Especially since he owns the right to his fight footage in Europe, which is both a little weird and totally awesome. So this seems to be more in line with what we’d expect Fedor to be getting paid, right? After all, if Tim Sylvia got $800,000, and Fedor is at least twice as valuable, $1.6 mill is right on the button.

But if we’re to believe everything we read (and we do, even science fiction, which explains why we’re terrified of Asimov’s robots) Fedor was offered and declined a deal for more money with the UFC. Dave Meltzer wrote recently that Emelianenko was offered “a seven-figure signing bonus and a minimum of $1.5 million per fight.”

If that’s true — and we’ll point out that Meltzer is probably getting his info from the UFC on this one, who also once claimed that they totally weren’t offering Fedor waaaaaay more than Randy Couture, who as you’ll recall got pissed off enough to leave behind these failed negotiations — then something isn’t adding up here. Or else Fedor and his management team love their video rights and their freedom more than cash. Or else they’re dumb.

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Fabricio Werdum Inks 5-Fight Deal, Is Next in Line for HW Title

Andrei Arlovski Fabricio Werdum UFC MMA
(Werdum and Andrei Arlovski throw down at UFC 70.)

As the man responsible for de-hyping both Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, Fabricio Werdum is riding high in the UFC’s heavyweight division. And to make sure he doesn’t slip away like Randy, Tim, and Andrei, the UFC has just locked him into a five-fight contract extension, with the promise of an immediate title shot if he wins his next fight. Sweetening the deal is the fact that his next fight might be a cakewalk for the well-seasoned and impossible to finish “Vai Cavalo” — he’ll compete at UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago), possibly against Junior Dos Santos, a 6-1 vet of various Brazilian shows who’s probably not ready for the UFC yet.

Assuming he wins his next match, Werdum will then face either Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Frank Mir, who are expected to fight in late December. Werdum hopes Big Nog comes out victorious, telling Tatame:

“A fight against Minotauro would be like a dream. It would be great for me, because I fought against him at PRIDE and it was a great fight, he deserved the victory, and I want to say that I’m fighting for the belt against Minotauro, probably in March.”

Werdum is referring to his unanimous decision loss to Nogueira at PRIDE Critical Countdown Absolute in July 2006. Following that fight, Werdum choked out Aleksander Emelianenko then moved to the UFC where he lost another unanimous decision to Andrei Arlovski before knocking off Gonzaga and Vera.

Related: Heavyweight Power Rankings

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Gary Shaw and Doug DeLuca Out of ProElite

Doug DeLuca Gary Shaw MMA EliteXC
(Doug DeLuca, CBS Senior Executive VP Kelly Kahl, and our man Gary. Photo courtesy of 411 Mania.)

So let me get this straight: All that talk from Jared Shaw and Doug DeLuca about how Gary Shaw wasn’t being pushed out of ProElite turns out to be…bullshit? ‘Fraid so, people. ProElite’s latest Securities Exchange Committee filing shows that both Shaw and DeLuca have resigned their positions with the company (as well as their spots on the Board of Directors) and will now serve as “consultants.”

Shaw has been EliteXC’s Live Events President since ProElite’s founding in 2006. DeLuca, who’s also been there since the beginning, started out as the company’s CEO before becoming Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the Board last February. The man who replaced him as CEO, Charles Champion, will now replace him as Chairman. No word yet on who will take over as the new EliteXC Live Events President.

But don’t cry too hard for Shaw and DeLuca, because their severance packages are pretty damn solid.

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TapouT at Least Partially Responsible for Diego Sanchez’s UFC Career?


(This picture is just another part of TapouT’s attempt to make you constantly feel like you are on mushrooms. That, and the paint and wigs and stuff.)

As much as we like to give the guys from TapouT a hard time about their TV show and their plans to make children’s furniture, we have to admit that they know what they’re doing with their off-the-wall personas and recognizable brand. And in an interview with USA Today’s MMA blogger, Sergio Non, they open up about their business (they expect to do “upwards of $100 million this year”), their history, and most interestingly, their role in Diego Sanchez’s victory on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter”:

There could be a fighter, like in (TUF season-one winner) Diego Sanchez’s case — he was already primed and ready, but there was just that nobody that knew about him. Whereas we knew about him because we’re scouring all those up-and-coming, lower shows.

So when Dana White came to me and was like, “Hey, this is who we’ve got going on there, is there anybody we missed…” I was like, “There’s this kid, Diego Sanchez out of New Mexico, he’s crazy and he’s insane.” And actually, this story is a true story, he ended up bumping one guy off The Ultimate Fighter that was slated to go on there, plugged Diego Sanchez in, Diego ends up winning it at the 185-pound mark, further cementing us as talent scouts.

Wow. I guess that guy who was bumped knows who to be pissed off at now. Also in this interview we learn (two of) their real names — Charles Lewis Jr. (Mask) and Dan Caldwell (Punkass), while Skyskrape is apparently a mystery man who hails from parts unknown, much like The Ultimate Warrior — and they also comment on the nature of their relationship with the UFC.

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James Irvin Pops Positive For Methadone, Oxymorphone

You thought it couldn’t get worse for James Irvin after his 61-second destruction at the hands of Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 14. You were dead wrong. Turns out Irvin’s post-fight urine sample was positive for both methadone and oxymorphone. That’s right, methadone, as in what they give to help recovering heroin addicts. And that’s also right, oxymorphone, the semi-synthetic opiod that is 6-8 times more potent than morphine. Damn, James Irvin. Sup?

Because this is undoubtedly a rough time for “The Sandman” we’ll refrain from jokes suggesting that if he was on these narcotic pain relievers before the bout with Silva, he may have to rob a pharmacy to get through his recovery afterwards. Instead we’ll just say that we’re very curious to hear an explanation and to see what steps the UFC and Nevada State Athletic Commission will take with something like this. Irvin has twenty days to respond and contest the results, or else it’s likely to be fine and suspension time.

Both drugs are considered “banned substances”, but are they performance enhancing? Will he suffer a suspension and fine similar to Nick Diaz, who the NSAC accused of being so doped up (on weed, no less) that he was virtually impervious to pain?

Guess we’ll wait and see. In the meantime, let’s just be glad that everyone else who was tested on the card came back clean.

Update: Justin Levens also tested positive for oxymorphone before the Affliction card that he didn’t even fight on (his bout was scratched due to time issues). He’s been fined $1,000 and is suspended until January 15. All without stepping into the ring.

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UFC to EliteXC: Suck It

Cris Cyborg EliteXC Cristiane Santos
(There’s really no reason for us to post this picture except that holy shit is Cris Cyborg terrifying.)

From an amusing new press release just sent out by Spike TV:

SPIKE TV’S RE-BROADCAST OF UFC 84 DRAWS MORE YOUNG MEN THAN A LIVE PRO ELITEXC CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT ON CBS

Need proof the UFC is the preeminent mixed martial arts brand in the world? On Saturday, July 26, more men 18-34 watched a repeat…a repeat…of a UFC event on Spike TV than a LIVE telecast of a Pro EliteXC championship card on CBS. Despite being available in over 17 million more homes [ed. note: I think they mean over 17 million less homes?], Spike TV drew 27% more Men 18-34 for a re-broadcast of “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” from (9:00-12:00am ET/PT) than CBS’s live show (9:00-11:00pm). Spike TV’s telecast tallied 433,000 Men 18-34 to CBS’s 341,000.

Overall, “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” drew higher ratings than Pro EliteXC in Men 18-49 (1.5 to 1.3) and Men 18-34 (1.5 and 1.0).

Reminiscent of the XFL’s rating collapse years ago, the CBS telecast was 69% lower in Men 18-34 and 57% lower with Men 18-49 than its initial broadcast on CBS in May featuring the “He Hate Me” of MMA, Kimbo Slice.

Garbling the competition’s name as “Pro EliteXC” is an awesomely passive aggressive touch, as is comparing EliteXC to the ill-fated XFL. We’re not sure what’s up with referring to Kimbo as “He Hate Me,” though it sounds vaguely racist, and Spike Lee is probably preparing an infringement lawsuit as we speak.

Anyway, sending out a press release on your competition’s weak ratings is a barrel of laughs, but maybe the joke’s on Spike.

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Juanito Ibarra Cast Out of Rampage Jackson’s Garden of Crazy

Quinton Rampage Jackson Juanito Ibarra UFC
(Photo courtesy of CageToday.)

Josh Gross has a lengthy update on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in his SI column, and while it’s good to hear any news on the troubled former UFC champ, nothing that Gross passes along could be classified as “reassuring.” First and foremost, Rampage and his trainer/manager Juanito Ibarra have indeed parted ways:

With defeat as the impetus, Jackson responded to rough terrain by relieving the trainer of his duties, though “bottom line, somehow, someway it all involves money,” said the fighter’s friend.

Jackson is now out of psychiatric observation and is attending outpatient treatment on a daily basis, but he didn’t seem completely cured after his initial release.

“He would still make comments that were slightly weird,” said Jackson’s longtime associate. “You could tell that he wasn’t all the way there, but each day you could tell he was better…He knows what he went through,” said the source. “He knew he had an emotional breakdown that led to a mental breakdown.”

There’s a few other things worth pulling from the article. First off, Jackson came to the Lord under duress. (“In 2004, Jackson…claimed he was touched by Jesus in a dream, scaring him enough to bolt from his apartment with his son D’Angelo in tow. That night he was born again.”) Second, at the time of his PRIDE 28 rematch with Wanderlei Silva, he hadn’t eaten for three days, because he had read on the Internet that fasting would keep the devil away.

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MMA’s Popularity Makes Judo Sad

Ryan Reser (above, right) is said to be one the United States’ best hopes in judo at this summer’s Olympics in Beijing, but apparently that doesn’t mean he isn’t still chapped about judo being largely ignored in the U.S. while MMA enjoys a growing a fan base. From a story in yesterday’s New York Times:

“It blows me away and upsets me because we’re not to that level,” he said at the Olympic judo trials in Las Vegas. “We’ve been doing a lot of that stuff all along. Not the punching and kicking, but the arm bars and chokes.”

[...]

Reser is hoping that the M.M.A. crowd will watch judo during the Olympics. He said the similarity between the two sports would lend to natural crossover appeal. And maybe get some athletes intrigued by the M.M.A. cage wearing a gi.

“We’re just not a very big sport,” he said. “We have a lot of judo, but it’s spread across the United States. It’s hard for us to get partners and news coverage. We’re hoping we can get more interest in judo.”

This is the second time in the recent lead-up to the Olympics that we’ve heard a judo-lover expressing frustration over the lack of interest in the sport stateside. First it was Karo Parisyan, and now Reser, who says he’s taken up training with some MMA fighters to learn a few new tricks. I’m not going to point out that the issue of “crossover appeal” for an Olympic sport that incorporates one aspect of MMA only reinforces my belief that MMA (which incorporates all the aspects of MMA) should be an Olympic sport all its own.

Instead, I’m going to hypothesize that crossover appeal is never the issue with the Olympics. Not really.

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