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December, 2008

More Dynamite 2008 Videos: Aoki-Alvarez, Mousasi-Musashi, Schilt-Siliga + More

Respect the tights, people.  If nothing else, this fight proves that Shinya Aoki knows how to stick to a game plan.  When his butt-scoot attack didn’t pan out, he used an Alvarez kick to turn this into a grappling match.  Alvarez’s hip toss was pretty sweet, but it might have been a mistake to think he was going to mount Aoki so easily.  That’s where things start to go wrong for him, and once they start they only get worse. 

Give him credit, Aoki is slick.  He’s also the first WAMMA lightweight champ, for what that’s worth.  They might as well etch onto the belt "Best Lightweight Not Currently in the UFC."  We all know that’s what it means, anyway.

Gegard Mousasi puts a serious hurting on Musashi, plus more after the jump.
 

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The 5 Best MMA Events of 2008

#5: Affliction: Banned, 7/19/08

(Photo courtesy of Sherdog)

Sure, the pacing was a little shaky, and the picture quality for the pay-per-view broadcast was kind of dark, and apparently some of you don’t think that Megadeth’s Rust in Peace is one of the most kickass records ever released. But you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Affliction’s debut MMA show gave us a supernova of heavyweight star power, featuring Fedor Emelianenko’s 36-second destruction of Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski’s beatdown of Ben Rothwell, and Josh Barnett’s redemptive KO of Pedro Rizzo; elsewhere on the card, we got to see Matt Lindland, Babalu Sobral, Vitor Belfort and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in action. The organization has since turned into a bit of a shit-show, but with Banned, they gave us nearly everything we could have hoped for.

#4: UFC 87: Seek and Destroy, 8/9/08

(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The UFC’s visit to Minneapolis proved the following…
Brock Lesnar is an absolute beast. His takedowns can’t be stopped, and his punches tend to break facial bones. He will mock you after he beats you.
Kenny Florian is a fantastic fighter, and worthy of a title shot; Roger Huerta maybe had a little more hype than substance.
— Demian Maia is one of the most talented submission specialists in MMA, in any organization, in any weight class. His choke-out of Jason MacDonald gave him his third-consecutive Submission of the Night bonus.
— Ben Saunders might actually be a contender one day.
— Jon Jones is athletic and explosive. I’m sorry, but the clichés are true sometimes.
Jon Fitch is one tough son-of-a-bitch.
— If you’re fighting Georges St. Pierre, tough ain’t enough.

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Fields Dynamite Videos: Manhoef-Hunt, Cro Cop-Choi, Overeem-Hari, + More

Wow.  Who would have thought that a) we’d ever see Mark Hunt get knocked out by something as simple as a left hook-straight right combo, b) in the opening seconds of a fight, and c) by a middleweight.  This is the guy who walked right through a Cro Cop high kick.  Hats off to Melvin Manhoef.  Maybe now he’ll get that fight with Kimbo Slice that he wants

More videos from Fields Dynamite 2008 after the jump.

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“Fields Dynamite!! 2008″ Quick Results; Sapp, Cro Cop, Mousasi, Overeem, Manhoef, Aoki Score Wins


(Shockingly, this wasn’t the best fight of the night. Photo courtesy of CageWriter.

Total Bummer Update: The fight between DREAM lightweight champion Joachim Hansen and Gesias Cavalcante was canceled. Hansen did not pass a pre-fight medical examination, reportedly due to a recent hospitalization for a head injury. So that sucks.

K-1 Youth Tournament
Reserve fight: Taishi Hiratsuka def. Daizo Sasaki via KO, 1:00 of round 2
Semi-final 1: Koya Urabe def. Tatsuya Kusakabe via TKO, 2:21 of round 3
Semi-final 2: Hiroya def. Shota Shimada via unanimous decision
Final: Hiroya def. Koya Urabe via unanimous decision

DREAM rules: Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa def. Errol Zimmerman via submission (toe-hold), 1:01 of round 1

K-1 rules: Artur Kyshenko def. Yoshihiro Sato via unanimous decision

DREAM rules: Daisuke Nakamura def. Hideo Tokoro via submission (armbar), 2:23 of round 1

DREAM rules: Andy Ologun def. Yukio Sakaguchi via KO, 3:52 of round 1

DREAM rules: Bob Sapp def. Akihito Tanaka (aka "Kinniku Mantaro") via TKO, 5:22 of round 1. Tanaka put Sapp in trouble early with takedowns and ground-and-pound, but Sapp was able to get to his feet and tag Kinnikuman with some of his big, wild punches against the ropes until the fight was stopped.

DREAM rules: Semmy Schilt def. Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga via submission (triangle choke), 5:31 of round 1

DREAM rules: Hayato Sakurai def. Katsuyori Shibata via TKO, 7:01 of round 1

K-1 rules: Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kozo Takeda via TKO, 2:37 of round 1. Kawajiri dropped Takeda twice with punches in the first round, then once more with a flying knee. It was the first in a series of dominant victories by MMA fighters in kickboxing matches at Dynamite!! 2008.

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The 5 Best Fights of 2008

5. Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le (3/29/08)

Someone had to shut Frank Shamrock up.  Thank God for Cung Le.  Shamrock stayed true to his promise to stand and trade with the San Shou sensation, though maybe it would have been a better idea if he didn’t.  He got kicked in ways he never imagined until a broken arm forced him to give in after three rounds of action, just when it was starting to get really good.  Watching these highlights just makes you mad at Cung Le for running off to be a movie star instead of sticking around in MMA for a while.  It also makes you wonder what would happen to Frank’s new braces if he got kicked in the face like that now.  Perhaps we’ll never know.

4. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin (7/5/08)

They don’t get much closer than this light heavyweight championship fight at UFC 86.  Simply mentioning who you think won the bout (cough*Griffin*cough) is enough to start a message board argument that will produce countless personal attacks and ultimately accomplish nothing, but that just proves what a close battle it was.  Five rounds of back-and-forth action led to a unanimous, though oddly scored decision victory for Griffin, and a few sleepless nights for Jackson.  “Rampage” says he’d like to run it back in ’09.  We’d rather see him fight Evans for the title, but we also wouldn’t complain about seeing a repeat of this scrap.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: K-1 Dynamite 2008


(Now that I think about it, Kinnikuman would fit in perfectly with the TapouT crew.  Somebody get Punk-Ass to bring the bus around and pick him up.)

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you really want to bet on K-1 Dynamite 2008 tonight, which you probably won’t get to watch until tomorrow and which may or may not turn out to be a total shitstorm.  First, you’re a crazy son of a bitch, you know that?  Second, we got you covered.  Here are the best odds on the ‘net, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:

Joachim Hansen (+150) vs. Gesias Cavalcante (-105)
Kazushi Sakuraba (-125) vs. Kiyoshi Tamura (+120)
Eddie Alvarez (-105) vs. Shinya Aoki (+120)
Semmy Schilt (-531) vs. Siala Siliga (+450)
Hong Man Choi (+160) vs Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (-155)
Daisuke Nakamura (-110) vs. Hideo Tokoro (+135)
Alistair Overeem (+270) vs. Badr Hari (-250)

Thoughts…

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Dynamite!! Blasts Off Tonight

JZ Gesias Calvancante MMA
Kazushi Sakuraba MMA
MMA Japan Kinnikuman Kinniku Mantaro
(Gesias Calvancante, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Kinnikuman dress to impress at the Dynamite!! 2008 press conference. Photos courtesy of Sherdog.)

Heads up: Fields Dynamite!! 2008 kicks off tomorrow evening in Saitama, Japan, which, because of the sizable time difference, means it’ll be going on late tonight if you’re in the U.S., beginning at 3 a.m. ET. Since the 18-fight card won’t be broadcast live in the U.S. on HDNet or internet pay-per-view, you may have to resort to more roundabout means if you want to watch it live. At any rate, we’ll have full results and videos for you tomorrow, so don’t go nuts. Kinniku Mantaro, get ready to shock the world…

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New Details Emerge in Justin Eilers Homicide

James Malec Justin Eilers mugshot
(James Malec’s booking photo, courtesy of canyonco.org)

Sherdog has a new update on last Friday’s report about the Christmas night shooting death of UFC/WEC/EliteXC vet Justin Eilers in Canyon County, Idaho. Here’s what we know now:

— Eilers was indeed shot by his stepfather, James Robert Malec, at a house owned by Malec and Eilers’s mother. Malec used a large caliber handgun to fire a single shot which punctured Eilers’s lung before exiting his back.

— Following an argument between Eilers and his girlfriend (the mother of his son), which culminated in his girlfriend leaving the house, Eilers reportedly got into a confrontation with Malec, and began "verbally challenging" him. Eilers apparently broke some glasses and other items, was asked to leave, but refused.

— Eilers’s son was in the house at the time of the shooting, but did not actually witness it, contrary to initial reports. Eilers’s girlfriend returned to the house shortly after the shooting and, along with Eilers’s mother (who did witness the shooting), attempted to apply pressure to the wound until paramedics arrived.

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Quick Hits: Manhoef to Face Hunt, Maia to Face Sonnen, Atencio to Face Someone, + More


(‘It’s not a skirt, you assholes.  The Romans wore these. Read a book.’)

The surprises just keep coming for the New Year’s Eve K-1 Dynamite show.  Jerome Le Banner is sick with the flu and has been forced to pull out of his fight with Mark Hunt, and Melvin Manhoef has agreed to take his place.  Despite the incredible weight difference between the heavyweight Hunt and the sort of middleweight Manhoef, the two will fight an MMA bout under “Dream rules” for three five-minute rounds.  

Is it a good idea for Manhoef, a vicious striker with an almost non-existent ground game to face a much heavier and damn near impossible to knock out fighter like Hunt, who also packs a serious wallop of his own?  Short answer: no.  No, it is probably not a good idea.  Especially on short notice.  But unlike many of the other bad ideas on the Dynamite NYE show, this one I’d actually love to see. 

Dammit, Japan.  Just when I want to curse your lack of rules and regulations, you go and do something like this to leave me more conflicted than ever.  I just can’t quit you.

In other news…

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“Mach” Sakurai: Amateur Porn Star?


(Props: URDirt.com)

The big news out of Japan today is that Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, who is scheduled to take on Katsuyori Shibata on the New Year’s Eve Dynamite card, has unwittingly become a porn star.  A Japanese website has screen shots from videos featuring Sakurai and as many as three women who are not his wife.  One of them is allegedly the yoga instructor from his gym.  One of them is also pretty hot.

We don’t want to jump to any conclusions (yes we do), but we would like to point out that this is exactly why you don’t make sex tapes if you’re even remotely famous.  It’s tempting, yes.  You’re just dying to see what your patented "Carpet Bomber" technique looks like on film (the answer is, inevitably, not as cool as you think) but if you make a sex tape and don’t immediately erase it, somehow, eventually, it will get leaked.  And odds are it will be a most inopportune time for you, such as a couple days before a big fight.  

But now that I think about it, maybe this all a calculated ploy by Sakurai.  Maybe he’s MMA’s Kim Kardashian.  This puts him back in the news and adds some new interest to a fight that has been largely ignored, what with the freak shows and the big fights and the other freak shows that are oddly meaningful.  Now, suddenly, here we are talking about Sakurai and who he’s banging.

God, I hope this doesn’t become a popular publicity stunt for fighters who want a fast ticket back to the spotlight.  The last thing any of us needs is a Houston Alexander sex tape.  We already know that once the action hits the ground he’s clueless. 

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