betty brosmer photos
Classic Crush: 31 Photos of Betty Brosmer, Legendary Pin-Up Girl

August, 2008

Exclusive Interview: Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral

Renato Babalu Sobral Strikeforce MMA
(Photo courtesy of StrikeforceUSA.net.)

One of the most unfortunate aspects of Tito Ortiz’s bizarre negotiation cock-up with Affliction is that it’s jeopardizing his grudge match with Renato “Babalu” Sobral, the Brazilian UFC vet who would love, love, love to kick the crap out of him. After Sobral’s impressive unanimous decision over Mike Whitehead last month at “Affliction: Banned,” a meeting between Babalu and the Huntington Beach Bad Boy seemed inevitable. Right now, the only thing that’s certain is that Sobral will be fighting Bobby Southworth on September 20th for Strikeforce’s light-heavyweight championship, and he’s currently training hard to be worthy of the belt. Our own Luiz De Souza chatted with Sobral recently about Ortiz, Strikeforce, and the real story behind his unique nickname.

***

CAGEPOTATO.COM: First of all, how likely is it that we’ll see you face Tito Ortiz in Affliction?
RENATO SOBRAL: I don’t know when that fight will happen. It’s not up to me — if it was, I would have beaten his ass yesterday.

You’ve said that facing Tito would be your “dream fight.” Why is that, exactly?
First of all because he said that I am a “C-class fighter,” then he went on to say that I am a third-world country fighter. It would be a pleasure for me to kick his ass.

What do you think of him as a person?
Well…he is a good fighter. But it would be my pleasure to send him to hell.

If you two fought, how do you think the fight would end?
Whatever way in which the ending is me sending him to hell.

The salaries for some of the fighters at the first Afflicton show were incredibly high — do you feel like you were underpaid compared to guys like Ben Rothwell, Matt Lindland, or some of the other headliners?
I don’t really comment on money. Some make more money; others who are just starting make less. I have nothing to complain about.

How has Affliction treated you, compared to some of the other promotions you’ve worked for?
I’ve been treated very well by everyone, and I have nothing to complain about. I am a professional. Fighting is a business — the show doesn’t have to be the fighter’s father and mother.

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Kimbo Slice to Knock Out Ken Shamrock on CBS

Ken Shamrock MMA

Sherdog scores the sad scoop:

Ken Shamrock will be the fourth man to face Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson when the two icons clash at EliteXC’s third installment of “Saturday Night Fights” Oct. 4 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. The headlining bout will anchor a live broadcast on CBS. Sherdog.com confirmed the bout’s signing with multiple parties aware of the fight, while a press release is expected to circulate later today with the news. The 44-year-old Shamrock (26-13-2) beat out fellow candidates Sean Gannon and Brett Rogers, who called out Slice in May, for the coveted slot.

[*shakes head*] Okay. So first off, Ken Shamrock has lost his last five fights by first-round KO/TKO. He has a tendency to get grazed on the chin, drop to the mat with his eyes rolled up in his head, and then immediately pop up to complain when the ref stops the fight. Maybe it’s just bad luck. Maybe he’s more susceptible to flash knockouts than most all MMA fighters. Whatever the case, he shouldn’t be headlining a network television fight card. Slice vs. Rogers would be a contest that MMA fans would actually want to watch. The only question we’ll have after Slice vs. Shamrock is, will the World’s Most Dangerous Man finally retire after this one?

It’s as good a time as any to bring up this fun fact: Kimbo’s second EliteXC opponent, Tank Abbott, had lost seven of his past eight fights before stepping into the cage at “Street Certified” in February. James Thompson had lost six of his last eight when he faced Kimbo at “Primetime.” Now, perhaps because Thompson gave Slice more problems than EliteXC had expected, they’re giving him Shamrock, who like Tank, has also lost seven of his last eight. These guys are beyond “jobbers” — they’re woefully unsuccessful.

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“Mayhem” Miller Gets Haircut, Ponders Race Relations


(Say what?!)

Oh, “Mayhem” Miller. You so crazy. You manage to turn what would normally be a boring blog post about a bad haircut into a saga of misadventure. We can only imagine what it must be like to be you on a full-time basis.

Miller’s recent blog entry diverges into a blend of social commentary and possible mental illness when he wanders into a barber shop and begins battling it out with the voices in his head:

“This place looks legit.” I thought, in the way that schizophrenics hear in stereo. “It has a rotating pole, a cruddy sign with the owners name on it, and smells like chemicals,” the voice in my head then paused to let me enter. Inside was a cute black chick about my age and an older black dude, kinda pudgy and wearing fubu or something else unfashionable. The chocolate bunny mustve had something better to do, so she left the moment I looked like I was staying.

“Its an older black dude, and you want a short haircut, perfect, they always know how to hook it up” my brain said but then retorted “that’s fucking racist dude, you’re judging his haircutting on his skin tone- ‘haircut profiling’ if you will.” The voice came back again, “yes, yes I am but I am just drawing from my experience, and how many good short haircuts have we got from older black dudes, as compared to the child molester/Nicholas Cage looking guy on melrose?” Touche’ voice 1, touche’.

“Have a seat. I can take ya now.” Pudgey Older Black Man says, “What can I do for you?” in a tone that was nice enough. “Trim it up man. I want to get it faded down to the skin, maybe keep some of the top.” (For future installments of the strip of doom.) I guess I shouldn’t have said the word “skin” because that is all he heard and before I could look up I had half a bowl-cut. “Aw damn, man.. I, aw..”

You know, I never thought about it before, but Nicolas Cage does look an awful lot like a child molester. Well put, “Mayhem.”

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Anderson Silva vs. Chuck Liddell? Sure, Why Not.


(‘You dance very good, little woman. You are negative for the STD’s, yes?’)

Poor Anderson Silva. The UFC middleweight champ just can’t find enough playmates in the UFC middleweight neighborhood. Yes, there’s that nice Patrick Cote boy, but then what? Silva is basically being forced to go door to door and ask, in broken English, if there are any middleweights or light heavyweights who can come out and play. Next up could very well be Chuck Liddell, according to Silva’s manager, Ed Soares:

“I think he wants to fight those big mega fights because that’s the kind of fight we want to be involved with right now,” he said about Silva’s future fights. “I think it’s a combination of seeing what the potential opponent is and also seeing what the UFC wants to do. At the end of the day, this is a business, and they need to sell fights. They need to sell a lot of pay-per-views, and they need to sell tickets. So, we want to be involved with those types of fights.”

“We’re not looking past Patrick Cote, but I think we’ll take one step at a time and see what happens. But yeah, if a Chuck Liddell fight came up, we’d take it,” stated Soares. “Whoever the UFC wants to put in front of us, he wants to fight the best, and whoever that may be at the time, that’s who he wants to fight.”

The very idea of a Silva-Liddell superfight is probably enough to give Dana White an erection, and for good reason. The pay-per-view numbers on this would likely be record-breaking, and no matter how it goes someone gets a big boost. Liddell, however, is probably a little less enthusiastic.

For one, he recently made known his belief that a victory over Rashad Evans should be enough to net him a title shot. Chances are he didn’t mean the middleweight title. For another, beating the champ from a lower weight class is sort of like being the toughest kid in eighth grade after being held back a year. There’s always a ‘but’ attached to that victory.

Silva has more to gain from this fight than Liddell does, but if there’s one thing we know about “The Iceman” it’s that he’ll do the UFC’s bidding, whatever it happens to be. He’ll also probably make a ton of money to do it, and everyone can go home fat and happy if this fight materializes on a pay-per-view at year’s end.

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Videos: Sengoku Lightweight GP Quarterfinals


(Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Rodrigo Damm)


(Satoru Kitaoka vs. Clay French)

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‘Ninja,’ Lindland, Miller Book Next Fights

Murilo Rua EliteXC ninja
(Murilo Rua and a devoted fan. Picture courtesy of Sherdog.)

— Murilo “Ninja” Rua, brother of UFC light-heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and the former EliteXC middleweight champion, will face IFL standout Benji Radach at EliteXC’s October 4th card on CBS. Radach hasn’t fought since his loss to Matt Horwich at the IFL World Grand Prix Finals last December, while Rua is coming off a first-round TKO victory over Tony Bonello at EliteXC: The Return of the King in June. It will be the first in a three-fight EliteXC contract for the American Top Team trained Radach.

— Speaking of Shogun, the older Rua brother’s rumored match with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is looking more likely.

— And speaking of the EliteXC middleweight title, a rematch between belt-holder Robbie Lawler and Joey Villasenor is nearly a done deal for EliteXC’s November 8th card on Showtime. Lawler and Villasenor previously met at PRIDE 32 in October ’06, where Lawler won via flying knee KO in just 22 seconds.

Matt Lindland’s next Affliction fight will be against UFC/BodogFight/Strikeforce vet Trevor Prangley, at “Day of Reckoning” on October 11th in Las Vegas. It’s been a long layoff for Prangley, who hasn’t competed since Strikeforce’s “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” middleweight tournament last November, where he defeated Falaniko Vitale then lost to Jorge Santiago.

— Former IFL middleweight champ Dan Miller will make his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 15 (September 17th, Omaha) against Rob Kimmons, who most recently choked out Rob Yundt at the TUF 7 finale in June.

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Gomi + Trigg Win, Schultz Gets KTFO @ Sengoku 4

Frank Trigg Sengoku MMA
(In Trigg’s defense, he had just gotten out of the pool.)

Sengoku’s “Fourth Battle” went down today in Saitama, Japan, featuring the long-awaited returns of Takanori Gomi and Frank Trigg, and the first round of their lightweight grand prix. In a non-tourney main event bout, Gomi faced 5-1 Korean DEEP vet Seung Hwan Bang — who should have been steamrolled by the legendary “Fireball Kid” — but Bang hung in for all three rounds. Eventually, Gomi’s accurate striking and control of the fight’s pace convinced the judges to unanimously give him the win. Trigg’s opponent was Makoto Takimoto, a judoka and PRIDE vet who came into the fight with a 4-4 MMA record, and as with Gomi, the fight was a little more difficult than it should have been. Trigg dominated the standup and inflicted major damage from top positions on the ground, but Takimoto nearly caught Twinkle Toes in a kimura in the second round, and spent a lot of the third on top; still, it wasn’t enough to prevent the judges from giving Trigg the decision after the fight went the distance.

The first round of Sengoku’s lightweight tournament held some surprises as three big names were unceremoniously bounced out of the competition. The HIT Squad’s Clay French was tapped in 31 seconds via achilles lock by former Pancrase mainstay Satoru Kitaoka, and jiu-jitsu ace Rodrigo Damm also suffered a first-round submission at the hands of Eiji Mitsuoka. Former IFL lightweight champ Ryan Schultz, who was the biggest favorite to win his first GP match, got his lights put out by a superman-punch from Cage Force champ Mizuto Hirota in the second round of their fight. Full results after the jump; videos to come.

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Hieron Agrees to Face Fickett in Affliction, But Will It Actually Happen?

Former IFL welterweight champ Jay Hieron has reportedly verbally agreed to face Drew Fickett at the next Affliction event in Las Vegas on October 11. The real question is, will Fickett find some clever new way to screw it up? Fickett’s manager, Alexander Oxendine, seems open to that possibility:

“We’re in discussion with a few organizations and Affliction is one of them,” said Oxendine. “They are at the top of our list. As far as Drew is concerned, he’s made a great turnaround with his life and training. He is ready to move forward.”

If you don’t know, Fickett is the same guy who managed to get himself fired from MFC and booted off a Strikeforce card in one glorious weekend when he tried to breach his contract in the apparent hopes that no one would figure it out. They did, chaos ensued, and Fickett went on to lose via questionable stoppage in a Rage in the Cage event.

So now one of MMA’s favorite troublemakers is being offered a spot in Affliction against one of the tougher welterweights outside of the UFC, and he’s not sure if he wants to take it? Affliction should not only be at the top of his list, it should be the entire list. He should run down there and sign the contract in his own blood before they have a chance to change their minds. Let’s hope this is just a negotiating ploy by his agent. If Fickett ends up turning this down to fight in some small show at a fairground somewhere, we’ll know it’s time for new management. No, not Mark Dion, either.

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Friday Link Dump


(Just one girl? Must have been a slow week for Chuck.)

- Chuck Liddell makes his case for a title shot after UFC 88. (MMA Weekly)

- Trying to make sense out of Elite XC’s crazy week. (MMA Rated Radio)

- Chris Horodecki-Dan Lauzon officially on for Affliction: Day of Reckoning (Sherdog)

- Evan Tanner is not a big fan of MMA, as this half-assed UFC 87 breakdown reveals. (Spike.com)

- Dana White and Anderson Silva nominated for “Top 49 Men of 2008″ (AskMen.com)

- How MMA saved JoJo Thompson’s life. (AZCentral.com)

- False blood work prompts fighter and trainer suspensions. (MMA Opinion)

- The most marketable names in sports. (Wall Street Fighter)

- Frat boy movie review of “Death Race.” (Screen Junkies)

- A harrowing tale of the days before internet porn, and how Kate Moss almost ruined everything. (Holy Taco)

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Quick Hits: IFL’s Wagnney Fabiano Headed to WEC, Noons/Diaz Officially Scrapped

Perhaps the most talented of the unsigned IFL fighters out there — featherweight champ Wagnney Fabiano — may have finally found a new home. Tatame reports that the Brazilian has signed with the WEC, supposedly to fight in the bantamweight division. That already seems a little fishy, and then you add in this garbled quote from Fabiano that mentions WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber, and it seems like there might be a slight mistranslation problem:

“My objectives is to grown in the event and get the title. Let’s start with a tough and focused work. It won’t chance anything in my life, I’m always serious and go to any event to win. My goal is to fight for the belt and do my best”, said the athlete, that analyzed the champion, Urijah Faber.

“Faber is the best of the world now. To beat him, I think you have to be in a good shape. He’s an expert fighter and he has a good gas, it’s complicated to beat a guy like him. You have to set a good game plan and be calm and watch the elbows, because if you hits you can change a whole fight.”

Well, I’m officially confused. Either Fabiano is planning to drop down to 135 pounds and the remarks about Faber were just for kicks, or Tatame has it wrong and he’s really signing on as a featherweight. With the WEC hurting for challengers to Faber’s throne, the latter seems more likely.

- In other news, MMA Rated reports that the KJ Noons-Nick Diaz bout that Elite XC had hoped to add to their October 4 event on CBS is now officially off. Elite XC VP Jared Shaw said the organization was unable to come to terms with Noons’ agent, Mark Dion, and added that throughout the entire process no one from Elite XC was able to personally speak with Noons. Shaw said they wouldn’t be stripping Noons of the lightweight title just yet, but expressed hope that he would “wake up and smell the Hawaiian coffee.” That’s the kind of remark that should convince him to come around.

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