MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

October, 2008

Aleks Emelianenko Still Claims to Be Healthy, and He Doesn’t Care What You’ve Heard


(In his own words: “Tattoos are my hobby. That is that.” Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

While you’re trying to figure out what witty zingers might pass between Aleksander Emelianenko, Vladimir Putin, and Jean-Claude Van Damme in our latest caption contest, you might be wondering to yourself, what ever became of Aleks after he was kicked off the Affliction event amid rumors that he may or may not have Hepatitis B? Well don’t worry. According to Aleks, it was all just a paperwork issue, as he explains to The Fight Network:

“I came late, couldn’t get my Visa in time and I was not allowed to fight. I’m healthy.”

That’s weird, because just last week M-1′s Raimond Joost said you had “medical issues.” Granted, he also expressed optimism that they could be resolved, but he sure as hell didn’t try and chalk the whole thing up to Visa troubles. Not to mention, if it was just a paperwork snafu, why would the CSAC’s Bill Douglas say this:

“The one thing that I can absolutely say is that he (Emelianenko) was not and will not be cleared to fight in California. He is officially denied a license and that will stand for all of the United States of America.”

Aleks, I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that you are lying to us, and doing a really bad job of it. Couldn’t you at least think of something more plausible? The strangest comment of the interview, however, was this one:

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READY, FUCKERS?!?: Dana White’s UFC 90 Vid-Blog, Pt. 1

As we see in the latest installment of his video blog, Dana White was still in England yesterday, presiding over the London tryouts of The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K. 175 limey scrappers showed up (or “over 200,” depending on when you ask Dana), up from about 30 the last time they held open auditions there. This is actually the first TUF tryout footage I’ve ever seen, and it was an interesting behind-the-scenes look — particularly for Dana’s speech before the grappling portion, in which he told the guys that there’s no shame in tapping, but “no heel-hooks, no slams, no crazy shit.” It’s a safe, nurturing environment, in other words. Also, Michael Bisping stops by to show Dana his grody ear.

Related: MMA Weekly reports that the weight-classes featured on TUF 9 will actually be lightweights (again) and welterweights, not middleweights and welterweights as previously announced; no reason for the change has been given yet.

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Caption Contest: Win a Copy of ‘Fighter’

Forrest Griffin Fighter UFC MMA
Fighter book coverQuinton Rampage JacksonKenny Florian UFC
(Sample images courtesy of Viking Studio. Click thumbnails for larger versions.)

This month marks the release of Fighter: The Fighters of the UFC, a collection of black-and-white portraits of over 100 UFC fighters, shot by acclaimed photographer/Coach president Reed Krakoff. The book features a foreword by Sam Sheridan, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Yellow Ribbon Fund. According to the press release, “The striking images are juxtaposed with quotes from each fighter, whose candor will be surprising to even die-hard UFC fans.” And the best part is, we’re giving away three copies to you, our loyal readers. Just provide a clever caption to the photo that’s after the jump, and we’ll pick our favorites on Friday. Feel free to enter more than once; good luck…

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Sorting Through the Pro Elite Unemployment Line


(Will act coquettishly adorable and sexy for food?)

While none of us may be positively heartbroken or even surprised to see Pro Elite shut down its operation, the thing to keep in mind is that the MMA marketplace just got smaller. That means fewer opportunities for fighters and, at least for most, meager paychecks in the near future. Former Icon Sport promoter Patrick Freitas reminded us of this fact with a post to the UG that read, in part:

I Just wanted to say that as everyone here is dancing on the Elitexc’s grave, I think its important to remember that a shitload of good fighters (and great people) just saw their contracts disappear into the ether.

That’s the truth. Whatever you think of Pro Elite’s demise and the reasons behind it, one thing we can all agree on is it isn’t the fault of the fighters they employed. But now that those fighters find themselves without an organization to call home, where do they go? The answer, of course, depends on who they are. Most will end up in local promotions. But what about the big fish?

Jake Shields: If the UFC could only pick up one of the newly unemployed EliteXC fighters, Shields should be that one. He was probably the most talented guy on their roster, and something tells me Zuffa could scoop him up relatively cheaply. If he comes in and makes an impact on the UFC’s welterweight division right away, great. If he doesn’t, the UFC can claim it as proof that their fighters are far and away the best in the industry.

Kimbo Slice: The EliteXC collapse couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Ferg. Coming off an embarrassing loss and with a half a million dollar price tag, he does not look like a good investment right now. We know the UFC isn’t interested. Affliction has enough heavyweights to do something with him, but he’ll have to take a major pay cut. Even then his shelf life is a question, as is his desire to continue on as a pro fighter. Don’t be surprised if we’ve seen the last of Kimbo’s MMA days.

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Pride Vet Enson Inoue Busted For Weed


(Possession with intent to get groovy.)

First EliteXC shuts down and now this. Former Pride fighter and MMA veteran Enson Inoue was popped for marijuana possession in Tokyo this past weekend. The forty-one-year-old fighter was nailed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, and he admitted to getting the weed from an acquaintance and “inhaling three or four times in a month“:

According to reports at both Mainichi Daily News and Nikkan Sports, a policeman busted Inoue at 3 PM JST on the 18th (Saturday) at a coin-parking machine in (Ikebukuro) Toshima city (Tokyo). During a car inspection, the policeman discovered marijuana cigarettes (up to 16.9 grams of marijuana) in the car’s sunroof, door compartment, and pocket(s) of Inoue’s clothing.

Damn, Enson. In the sunroof? Really?

As you may or may not know, marijuana laws in Japan are pretty strict, as an unfortunate Russian sumo wrestler found out earlier this year, so this could go badly for Inoue. 16.9 grams is enough to get you in hot water lots of places, but especially in a country that’s been coming down hard on pot-smoking pro athletes lately. Ironic, considering it’s known to MMA fans as the home of rampant steroid use.

Best of luck, Enson. In trying times like these, who can blame a man for keeping a marijuana cigarette in his sunroof?

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BJ vs. GSP for Welterweight Strap + More UFC News

BJ Penn Georges St. Pierre UFC MMA
(Penn and St. Pierre during their first fight at UFC 58 in 2006, which GSP won by split decision. Photo courtesy of Brawl Sports.)

Though Dana White has previously stated that the UFC 94 superfight between BJ Penn and Georges St. Pierre would be a non-title bout, Dave Meltzer is reporting that the UFC has changed their mind, and GSP’s welterweight title will be on the line. This would give Penn the opportunity to be the first UFC fighter to hold championships in two different weight divisions at the same time. Of course, he’ll have to win a five-round fight against St. Pierre to do so, which ain’t gonna be easy. UFC 94 is slated to go down in Las Vegas on January 31st, and will also feature the much-anticipated light-heavyweight scrap between Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva. In other UFC news…

— If Anderson Silva makes it out of Saturday’s fight against Patrick Cote unscathed, he could possibly fight again at UFC 92 on December 27th, a card that’s already stacked with heavyweight and light-heavyweight title fights, as well as the match between Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva. Josh Koscheck may have a quick turnaround as well.

Brock Lesnar will be profiled in a segment on ESPN’s E:60 tonight at 7 p.m. ET., in which he discusses, among other things, his disappointment in not making it in the NFL and his minor addiction to booze and pills.

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Pro Elite/EliteXC Days Away From Folding; Nov. 8th Show Cancelled

$kala Shaw Kimbo Slice EliteXC MMA
(Well, it was fun while it lasted. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin.)

Multiple MMA news outlets are reporting that due to its insurmountable debt and failure to find a buyer or major funding, EliteXC will go out of business this week, and their Showtime event scheduled for next month has already been canceled. From Sherdog:

Joey Villasenor, who was slated to challenge Robbie Lawler for the EliteXC middleweight crown in Reno, was informed of the show’s cancellation Monday evening.

[Icon Sport founder] TJ Thompson, a Pro Elite executive, said he’d been informed Monday morning by the company that it was closing its doors for good this week and that bankruptcy paperwork had already been filed…

A notice posted Monday evening at graciefighter.com read, “We are confirming that EliteXC has folded. What this means for our fans and supporters is that there will not be a Nick Diaz vs. Eddie Alvarez fight on November 8th.”

In an interview with MMA Weekly, Thompson said that Showtime’s rumored deal to buy EliteXC was sunk by the controversy of their last event — and the controversy was more than warranted:

“I think (CBS) got cold feet watching. The way the Ken Shamrock pullout was handled, all the way from the beginning to the end with Seth Petruzelli. Watching Jared Shaw jumping up and down and screaming as a representative of the company, I think was disgusting and embarrassing…

I don’t have a smoking gun, (but) I’ve been around long enough, I’ve talked to enough people that were there, I won’t name names of executives in the company that I know — Seth was paid to stand up. I’m confident of that. If the commission wants to talk to me, I’ll tell them what I know.”

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Quick Hits: On Being Smarter Than a Twelve-Year-Old, Cote’s Contract & More


(Luis Cane’s pimp-slap, straight left combo. No one ever expects it. Props, UG.)

- Apparently the hip new trend for youngsters on the internet is to film themselves making UFC predictions and then throw it up on YouTube. Fightlinker spotted the very enthusiastic WishKid12 doing her thing, and decided to see how her picks matched up against those made by professionals like us. We’re proud to report that both Bens (weirdly, we made the exact same picks) soundly defeated this precocious prognosticator. While she went 2-3 on the night, we went 4-1 (curse you Cane, and your bitch-slapping awesomeness). The only one in this impromptu contest to beat us was Fightlinker, with a perfect 5-0. So basically we’re smarter than a twelve-year-old girl but dumber than drunk Canadians. That’s still better than either of our families ever expected.

- Patrick Cote tells MMA Mania that the UFC did not have him sign a contract extension prior to his title fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 90 this Saturday night. That’s notable since he’s at or near the end of his current contract, and typically the UFC makes sure they have a guy locked up before they take a chance on him becoming a belt-holder. At least, that’s what they do when they think the challenger has a chance in hell of winning.

- In case you were wondering, Dana White says he will reward Josh Koscheck with a shot at the welterweight title if he beats Thiago Alves this weekend. We all know how much White loves guys who are willing to step in on short notice, and Koscheck has a chance to turn Diego Sanchez’s misfortune into a big break for himself. Not that anyone’s really clamoring for GSP-Koscheck II at this point.

- MMA Payout takes issue with the UFC’s insinuation that Brandon Vera voluntarily sat out a year and then returned a different fighter. They point out that Vera was an early victim of the “Zuffa Freeze Out” and that by running around comparing the old Vera to the new one, Dana White may be unwittingly calling the wrong kind of attention to his own negotiation practices. Damn revisionist history.

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More UFC 89 Video: Samy Schiavo vs. Per Eklund

From the unaired preliminaries, Per Eklund (he’s the bald one with the peace tattoo) and Samy Schiavo go at it at UFC 89 while some Dutch dudes (or Swedish dudes, if you really give a shit) narrate. The fight has the frenetic pace that we’re accustomed to from the desperate prelim fighters, and it makes for a hell of a scrap that is absolutely worth watching.

It’s tough to tell from the lighting and the camera angle, but it would appear that in England people actually show up for the prelims. There’s a noticeable lack of the empty seats that we’re used to during these fights. Guess that’s what happens when you sell those cageside seats to individuals rather than casinos. Good to see people getting their money’s worth.

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UPDATED: Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller Retires — Temporarily, At Least

Jason Mayhem Miller MMA

From FightHype via MMA Mania:

“I got plenty of money. I don’t even care…I love fighting, but I’m just doing it for fun. I don’t feel like doing it right now, so I’m not going to do it….I might come out of retirement in a little while, but right now, I’m retired…There is no need for me to fight, so I’m just happy to have lived such a fun career inside of MMA, so if it ends now, it was fun…

Oh, I will be in the MMA world. I can’t really escape this land of tacky skull T-shirts and spics chicks with bad tattoos. (Ed. note: FightHype now says that “chicks” was originally misunderstood to be “spics” due to background noise.) I can’t get out of here that easily, but with that being said, I don’t need to fight…

I’d like to be remembered as a man who fought primarily for the fans. Regardless of the outcome of the fight, I always fought to put on a show.”

First off, I just want to give a thumbs down to FightHype and MMA Mania for presenting this story with no judgment whatsoever on Miller’s use of the word “spics.” Mayhem’s generally wacky persona shouldn’t give him a free pass to drop racial slurs at will. Is that too much to ask? I’d love to hear Miguel Torres and Roger Huerta’s take on the matter.

All that aside, it seems like a slightly premature retirement, in the vein of Melvin Manhoef’s. Miller lost his last bout — a decision against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at DREAM.4 in June — which snapped a four-fight win streak. His career was highlighted by wins against Denis Kang, Robbie Lawler, and Tim Kennedy, and he lost his sole UFC appearance to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 52 in April 2005. So, whatever. Shilling for Triumph United will have to pay the bills for now…

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