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October, 2008

More Tales From the Stank(ie)


(The infamous “he’s going to eat that spit” speech. Inspiring.)

The last time we devoted blog space to Ultimate Fighter coach Al “Stankie” Stankiewicz, some of you complained that we were applying a double-standard by encouraging his drunken antics and denouncing those of Jesse Taylor and Junie Browning. Fair enough, but what you have to remember is this: when a young, strong professional fighter gets drunk and violent, it’s called assault. When a crazy old man who goes by the name “Stankie” does it, it’s hilarious. Why? Because he’s old. The rules are different for old people. The rest of us just have to accept that.

It’s kind of like when you go to a family Thanksgiving and your racist grandfather makes a remark about “those thieving, hot-blooded Latins.” There’s no point in getting upset, and you know he’s just talking about Desi Arnaz anyway. So you do what any minimally functioning family does. You pass the potatoes and pretend it didn’t happen.

Today’s Stankie story comes yet again from Ryan Bader, who seems way more interested in telling these tales than any other cast member, God bless him. This time, it was our very own blogger, Efrain Escudero, who found himself pulled into the mysterious world that Stankie seems to inhabit all by himself:

Stanky had this thing with Efrian Escudero. He liked Efrian a lot but really wanted to spar him. Stanky always told him that he would kick his ass if they boxed. So one day we told Stanky his dreams were going to come true. Nogueira told him he could spar Efrian in straight boxing if he wore the chest/rib protector. They would spar in the ring, with full walkouts and the whole hooray. I would corner Efrian and the rest of the team would be behind Stanky. This made his day, if not year — well, probably decade.

Kyle overheard Stanky while he was hitting the speed bag warming up talking to himself. Stanky was muttering out loud to himself, “Stanky, one last hoorah. This is it, old chap! You’re back in the game! Back in the fire! Do this and you can finally put down the gloves.”

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HDNet Buys What’s Left of the IFL


(These fond memories now belong to HDNet.)

In an apparent attempt to bolster their MMA content, HDNet has purchased the IFL’s remains for $650,000. The purchase includes the IFL’s video library, their brand name, intellectual property, as well as some of their liabilities. Since the IFL hasn’t put on a show since May, and since much of their 2008 season was broadcast on HDNet anyway, the question we have to ask regarding this purchase is, now what?

Not that the IFL didn’t put on some good fights, but how much is old fight footage really worth? With the exception of the really good bouts, watching old fights can be a lot like watching old college football games on ESPN Classic, which is to say it appeals to a very select audience, mostly the unemployed and the very, very drunk, either of whom are likely to think they’re watching live TV.

But HDNet seems too savvy to pay that much for a bunch of old fights that have already been aired on Fox Sports Net and MyNetwork, not to mention spread around the internet. So what do you have up your sleeve, HDNet? Don’t tell me you paid more than half a million dollars just to air Chris Horodecki highlights in between old episodes of Hogan’s Heroes. All right, I admit I’d watch that.

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Videos: Randy vs. Brock Preview, Tracy Talks Kimbo + More


(Props: MMA Scraps)

Joe Rogan and Dana White mark out hard about Brock Lesnar’s athleticism and Randy Couture’s unquantifiable champion essence in this in-depth look at UFC 91′s marquee matchup. One of the talking points is that Lesnar’s strength and wrestling ability will negate Couture’s natural advantages — though that could easily work the other way. As of now, Couture is a very slight betting underdog against Lesnar. Betting against him, historically speaking, is not a great idea.

Below: Tracy Morgan actually name-checked Kimbo Slice on Late Night With Conan O’Brien last night. Conan had no idea who he was referring to, and Morgan explained that they’re actually related. Who knew? After the jump: “The Passion.”


(Props: BloodyElbow)

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Hot Potato: Amber Nichole Miller (II)

Amber Nichole Miller model UFC

Props to MMA Fight Girls for alerting us to this Skeletal Metal photo shoot featuring former UFC Octagon Girl Amber Nichole Miller. More from the shoot is below, as well as a small sampling of what’s been added to her MySpace page since we last gave Amber the Hot Potato treatment. Enjoy…

Amber Nichole Miller 1Amber Nichole Miller 2Amber Nichole Miller 3Amber Nichole Miller 4Amber Nichole Miller 5Amber Nichole Miller 6Amber Nichole Miller 7Amber Nichole Miller 8Amber Nichole Miller 9

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Affliction is Mad, Randy Couture is Confused


(When you’re a jerk to the guy with the cute puppy, you always come out looking like the bad guy.)

You’d think Affliction wouldn’t take Randy Couture‘s return to the UFC personally. For one, they never signed him. For another, it had gotten to the point where it looked like Couture’s choices were between making up with Dana White or spending what little remains of his fighting shelf life in legal battles. But apparently there are those in Affliction, namely co-owner Todd Beard, who are pretty pissed off about the whole scenario.

Appearing on the Scott Ferrall radio show (you remember him, the “crackhead-looking motherfucker” Dana White used to pay to cover UFC events?) Beard reportedly said, “Randy, if you’re listening right now, I hope (expletive) Lesnar kills you.”

Which seems, you know, uncalled for. Even Couture can’t make much sense of the outburst:

“I really don’t understand where Todd Beard’s coming from in his attack to me, my wife, and my attorney, and now the Ferttitas and Lorenzo specifically, and Dana White. I don’t understand it,” stated Couture. “He feels there’s this adversarial relationship created and I just don’t get it. It’s gone beyond kind of the antics of being a promoter, so we’ll see how all that unfolds, and where the relationship stands, and where we end up with that down the road.”

So Affliction really wants Couture to rep them with his Xtreme Couture gear, so much so that they had talks with the UFC about it, which also ended with Todd Beard swearing at someone, but antics like this certainly aren’t helping things. Looks like Affliction needs to get their boy under control, or we may have seen the last of Couture sporting the skulls and chains.

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After the TUF Fight: Vinny Wants Arianny’s Number, Jules Just Wants to Know What Happened


(Big Nog puts it as gently as he can.)

Watching The Ultimate Fighter, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s all clever editing that makes some people/teams look like the bad guys. But this extra footage from last night’s show has me thinking that no, Team Mir really is the evil team.

After the fight we see Jules Bruchez looking downtrodden while Vinny Magalhaes is asking, with regards to Octagon girl Arianny Celeste, “Can anybody get her number?” No, Vinny. Not anybody. Then we go inside each team’s locker room after the fight. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira tries to help Jules understand what the hell just happened to him, while Frank Mir jokes with Vinny and the gang about breaking Jules’ arm. You know, just for laughs.

I’m not saying that Team Mir are all bad people, but if this were an 80′s teen movie, I think we all know which team would be the mean-spirited bunch who gets their comeuppance in the end, and which would be the lovable losers with the hearts of gold who persevere despite the long odds. And can’t you just imagine Nogueira smiling and laughing his way through the training montage while a Bonnie Tyler song blares?

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Junie Browning Turning His Life Around at Xtreme Couture?

Junie Browning grenade tattoo UFC MMA Ultimate Fighter
(Does that look infected to you? Photo courtesy of myspace.com/allen_browning)

Following in the footsteps of fighters like Mac Danzig and Amir Sadollah, Junie Browning is the latest Ultimate Fighter notable to re-focus his training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. MMA Weekly has confirmed that Browning started training with the camp about a week and a half ago, and so far he hasn’t tried to throw training equipment into the hot tub or jump off the roof:

“He’s been very quiet in the gym, there’s been no antics, there’s been no nothing,” [Randy] Couture said. “He shows up everyday and straps his gloves on and gets his work done.”

In other words, he’s functioning like a normal person, which is quite an achievement for the Kentucky native. At any rate, he’ll be whipped into shape by the team at XC, which includes UFC lightweights Tyson Griffin and Gray Maynard — who hopefully haven’t taken Junie’s “boring fucking wrestlers” comments too personally.

Related: Junie’s latest TUF blog for UFC.com is up, where he discusses the wave of interviews he had to do last week, Team Nog’s family-vibe, and the Jules/Vinny scrap (“To be honest, I don’t think Jules could have won a fight at 155″).

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Efrain Escudero’s TUF 8 Blog: Episode 7

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira TUF 8 UFC MMA Ultimate Fighter

During this week of The Ultimate Fighter, we start off with the Junie fight recap. This guy ran his mouth and couldn’t finish Rolando. In my eyes Rolando could have beat Junie if he would have kept behind his jab. I really wanted to jump the cage and ask him how it feels!!! I had to stop myself because knowing Junie he would have gone absolutely crazy, but oh well, I’ll just have to wait and see what the semi-finals have in store for me.

We started having some fun in practice, even though our practices were always different. We played some games on couple of the days which made me forget about fighting for a while. It reminded me that I was there to enjoy my time there and train hard; there is a time to have fun and a time to work. I really needed it at the time. Meanwhile the other team continued to get upset at us because we were enjoying ourselves and they were miserable.

Then we have Coach Nogueira’s birthday. He could have gone out and had a great time — after all, it is Las Vegas — but he decided to come to the house and hang out with us. We cooked dinner and baked him a cake which was a pretty good time I was glad I could be a part of it, and you see that it really meant a lot to him. Once again the blue team hated on us for this. Let’s face it, that’s all they know how to do at this point. In the house guys talk, that’s a given, but then Vinny started saying that he was better on the ground than Coach Nogueria!!! Word got out to Nogueira, and he didn’t take to it kindly. Coach confronted Vinny, which caused a big scene around the house. Me personally, I would never say that about any of my coaches because I think that my coach is there to help me; not for me to prove anything.

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The Depressing Personal Side of the EliteXC Collapse


(‘Oh, the bruises? It’s not her fault. I just make her so mad sometimes. She’s really very sweet. You don’t know the things she says to me when we’re alone’.)

You think the death of Pro Elite was a great day for MMA, Dana White? There are those who would disagree with you. For example, the newly unemployed Scott Smith who puts a very, very sad human face on the whole thing:

“I’ve been in camp for over eight weeks and I’ve been pushing myself hard. It’s one thing if [it happens] two months out from a fight, but two weeks? It’s devastating. Even if I lost, worst case scenario, (including sponsorship money) I would still be out close to $40,000. Until all the paperwork and everything is done I’m not going to be cleared to fight somewhere else before the end of the year. It’s close to the holidays, I got a mortgage to pay, I’ve got two kids, it’s tough.”

Damn, Scott. Now I just feel terrible. There may have been a lot of small failures and a few colossal ones behind EliteXC’s demise, but you sure as hell can’t put any of it on Smith, whose clashes with Robbie Lawler were among the most memorable (for the right reasons) bouts in EliteXC’s brief history.

So if it ain’t Scott Smith’s fault, dammit, whose fault is it? Former Pro Elite VP of Home Entertainment Turi Altavilla doesn’t explicitly say it was Jared Shaw’s fuck-ups that did them in, but he certainly doesn’t absolve $kala from responsibility either. Apparently after Jared’s father, Gary Shaw, left the company under the condition that his son would stay on, things took a turn for the stupid:

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Mazzagatti Claims Not to Be Offended by Brock Lesnar’s “Anyone But Mazzagatti” Ref Request


Steve Mazzagatti responds to Brock Lesnar’s request – Watch more free videos
(Props: MMA Scraps)

Referee Steve Mazzagatti is playing it cool regarding Brock Lesnar‘s very specific request that he not be allowed to ref the main event at UFC 91. Doesn’t bother him at all, or so he would have us believe. Personally, I’m not buying it. Maybe I’m just a sad, vindictive person, but if it was me Lesnar was trying to blackball from the main event, I’d definitely want to see Randy Couture turn his big, square face into mush.

Not Steve “Love Thy Enemy” Mazzagatti, though. He says requesting a different ref is Lesnar’s right. He also says it’s “easy to get in the ring and walk around and look cool,” but it’s another thing to have to make the calls. Hold up, look cool? Steve, we need to talk about a few things, and yes, one of those things is your would-be catch phrase, “hook ‘em up.” It’s going to be a long and unpleasant talk for both of us, but it has to happen.

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