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Iconic Album Covers Replaced With Sloths

January, 2009

‘UFC Primetime’ Episode 3: Just the Important Stuff

The Penn/St. Pierre chapter of UFC Primetime came to an end last night, with both fighters wrapping up their training camps and leaving home for the neutral ground of Las Vegas. It was an impressive final episode, particularly for the music and editing — from Rashad Evans‘s epic pimp-entrance in the beginning, to the final montage of both fighters saying their goodbyes to to their families and moving on by themselves. If you didn’t tune in, check out the above highlight reel for a short recap. Running the rock? Awesome. Having Troy Mandaloniz as your main training partner? Not so awesome.

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Oh Yeah, Jon Fitch is on the UFC 94 Undercard

Watch Jon Fitch On His UFC 94 Bout on RawVegas.tv

This video from MMA Fix relates some of Jon Fitch’s experience on "Mythbusters" and his work on a documentary about his preparation for Georges St. Pierre, but what’s interesting is when the talk turns to Fitch’s spot on the dark portion of UFC 94 for his bout with Akihiro Gono.  

Naturally, he plays it down, says he’s only thinking about the fight and doesn’t harbor any ill feelings towards Dana White for the video game licensing debacle and this ensuing punishment.  You know, all the things he really has to say in this situation.  But we aren’t buying it.

No matter what he says, Fitch has to realize how absurd it is for him to be on the undercard here.  He was a title contender a few months back, and now he’s pushed to the untelevised portion of the event while Jon Jones-Stephan Bonnar makes the broadcast.  It’s insanity.  What’s more, it’s childish.  Didn’t the UFC get the point across when they fired him for a day?  

We’re hoping that this is just holdover anger from Dana White that has dissipated by now, and that after Lyoto Machida surprises everyone with a twenty-second knockout victory they’ll use some of that extra time to show Fitch-Gono.

Programming Reminder: The final episode of “UFC Primetime” airs tonight, so set your DVRs, tell your girlfriend you won’t make it over to watch “Top Chef," do whatever you gotta do.

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Videos: UFC 94 Danablog #3, Jerry Millen Cries Out for Attention, + More


Dana White’s UFC 94 video blog, episode 3 – Watch more free videos

Dana White handles some media obligations, gets covered in make-up, and divides his time between his “Irish mob TV show” and the build-up to UFC 94.  Just in case he didn’t have enough to worry about, his driver gets pulled over in NYC for talking on his cell phone.  Dana attempts to smooth things over with some fun little jokes about the guy’s national heritage.  Maybe not the best time for that.

Oh, Jerry Millen.  Is it not enough that you ripped off Dana White’s video blog?  Now you have to try and propel yourself into the limelight using some ill-advised, sorority girl-style text message campaign?  Who does that?

After the jump, B.J. Penn gets himself DQ’d at a grappling tournament.

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Video: Lyoto Machida’s Spirit Is Ready (And He Will Not Be Touched)


(Courtesy of BadBoy.com)

Does anybody else feel sorry for Thiago Silva after watching this video of Lyoto Machida preparing for their fight at UFC 94? Machida really is one of the most focused, technically sound fighters in the world, and if he can score the mount on Silva as easily as he does with his training partner at the video’s 0:42 mark, forget about it. Plus, he has that "spirit" thing going for him, which is nice.

As Machida’s brother Chinzo points out, Lyoto "will only attack an opponent when he knows that the strike will hit its mark." And of course there’s the matter of his confounding defense. FightMetric put together this comparison of Lyoto Machida and some of MMA’s current champions, based on the number of strikes they absorb per minute of fighting ("SApM"):

Fedor Emelianenko: 0.59 SApM
Lyoto Machida: 0.64 SApM
Anderson Silva: 0.71 SApM
Georges St. Pierre: 1.01 SApM
BJ Penn: 1.23 SApM
Rashad Evans: 1.39 SApM
Frank Mir: 2.7 SApM

It’s a very telling statistic, when you consider that many MMA fans would name Fedor/Anderson/Georges/BJ as the top four pound-for-pound fighters in the world, in that order. Does Machida deserve to be ranked among them? He certainly has the talent; maybe by the end of the year he’ll have the accomplishments as well.

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Vote to Legalize MMA in New York Postponed

Mandy Moore UFC
(Think of it this way, New York legislators: Every time you stall on the vote, you’re robbing Mandy Moore of her joy.)
 
MMA Mania passes along a bit of bad news regarding the fight to lift the ban on MMA in New York State:

MMA is currently unregulated in New York, and appeared to be on the verge of being sanctioned in 2008, but some eleventh-hour concerns from uneducated members of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development scuttled its passage.
 
Another session on the matter began in the state capital on January 7 and was expected to reconvene on February 11.
 
No longer.
 
“Budget issues” are expected to monopolize the entire schedule for the immediate future, effectively pushing non-critical items (like MMA sanctioning) to the legislative back burner…[W]ith an obstacle as broad and sweeping as “Budget issues,” who can even say when that vote will be.

If there’s a bright side to this unfortunate setback, it’s that it gives the MMA community more time to spread awareness of this issue to the uninformed. Please do your part by signing our "Lift the Ban on MMA in New York" petition (if you haven’t already), and sending the link to every MMA fan and New Yorker that you know. I’m sure we can get this thing to over 10,000 signatures before it’s time to present it to New York’s Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development. Thanks so much, everybody…

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My God, This MMA Romance Novel

Perhaps this is a sign that MMA has truly hit the mainstream, although it’s enough to make you wish it hadn’t.  Lori Foster is a best-selling romance novelist who is apparently also a huge MMA fan.  I guess it only makes sense that she would blend these two passions in her new novel My Man, Michael.  But wait, it gets better.  And by better I mean worse.  Just check out this plot synopsis:

Michael thinks an injury will keep him from fighting again until a woman shows up and promises to heal him. But, he must travel with her and teach a community of woman warriors to fight in return.  Imagine Michael’s surprise when she fulfills her end of the bargain and finds that, to fulfill his he must travel into the future!

Oh, good.  A romance novel about MMA that also includes time travel.  Nothing like a little half-assed science fiction to go with your clichéd plotlines and completely absurd dialogue.  What’s not to love?

I don’t point this book out to bash Lori Foster or the romance novel genre in general, since doing so is like pointing out the stupidity of romantic comedies.  Everyone knows they’re terrible, but they sell, so they’re allowed to continue.  Instead, I point it out as a way of asking, why can’t we get a real MMA novel, the way there used to be real, awesome boxing novels, like The Professional and The Knockout Artist?  Instead we get shit like this.  Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter, just to piss you off:

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Larry Merchant Attempts to Explain $5 Million Claim, Makes Himself Seem Kind of Pathetic


(‘Lying is such a negative word.  I prefer to call it efficient storytelling.’)

By all accounts, HBO boxing commentator Larry Merchant’s claim that Oscar De La Hoya was missing the Shane Mosley-Antonio Margarito bout on Saturday because Affliction paid him $5 million to attend their show is straight up false.  The question is, did Merchant know it was untrue when he said it?  According to what Golden Boy CEO Richard Shaefer told Sherdog, the answer is: kind of.

Schaefer says he told Merchant that De La Hoya would be helping to promote the Affliction show because “our partners at Affliction made an over $5 million commitment to the event.”  Merchant took that and twisted it to mean that Golden Boy was paid $5 million by Affliction, which is quite a leap, as even Merchant almost admits:

“The $5 million was the number thrown out,” Merchant told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. “There was not a discussion on how that precisely was allocated or how it was branded. Is it a little bit glib or short-handed to say that Golden Boy got $5 million and Oscar had to be there? Yeah. Yeah. I’m on television and I’m trying to tell a story as tightly as I can.”

That’s obviously a pretty sorry excuse.  Being on TV doesn’t give you license to distort a story just to make it shorter, as Merchant well knows.  The fact is he just doesn’t like MMA, as he freely admits without ever being asked.  Even tacked on to the end of his erroneous $5 million claim was this little zinger: “It would take that much to get me to go to one of those things.”  Now he says he’d go for a mere $100,000, despite the fact that no one in the MMA world wants or needs him there.

But the thing that’s frustrating about Merchant’s disdain for MMA is that it makes no sense coming from a guy whose life has been spent covering the fight game.  Just look at this quote from Merchant about the decline of boxing, taken from Joe Layden’s book about the Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas bout, The Last Great Fight:

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Jeff Monson Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Vandalism


(Photo courtesy of daniel-gillet.com.)

Despite damning visual evidence, Jeff Monson pled not guilty yesterday to a felony vandalism charge that arose from his spray-painting an anarchy symbol, a peace sign, and the phrases “No war” and “No poverty” on Washington State’s Capital building in November. Monson was forced to surrender his passport due to concerns that he might be a flight risk, but expects to get it back during a hearing set for tomorrow. If he doesn’t, his next two fights will be in jeopardy; Sherdog says that Monson is scheduled to fight Ibragim Magomedov in Russia next month and Roger Gracie in Japan in March.

Of course, those fights may have to be canceled anyway. A conviction on the spray-paint pinch would put Monson in jail for at least 60 days — and his recent assault/property damage arrest could open an entirely new can of punitive worms. But according to the Snowman, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet:

"There was no physical contact made with [girlfriend Stephanie Trapani]…I haven’t been in a fight since third grade, other than what my job entails. Some property on both sides was destroyed. She’s facing felony charges for identity theft, for fraudulent use of a credit card, for destroying my [old] passport, and larceny.”

Still, the five days spent cooling in a North Carolina jail waiting to be extradited to Washington forced Monson — who has been married for 16 years and has two children in Olympia — to reflect on how he got there:

“Some things with my relationships — with my wife and my loved ones — have suffered because of my choices. Having no one to talk to and no one to turn to and nowhere to run, you start to think about your life and some decisions you made. For the first time in years, I made a commitment to my wife Jen to be the husband and father I need to be. That’s the good thing that came out of this.”
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“Natural Born Killer” Moving to the UFC?

Carlos Condit WEC MMA

Multiple sources are reporting that the upcoming welterweight title match between WEC champ Carlos "Natural Born Killer" Condit and top contender Brock Larson — scheduled for WEC 39 on March 1st — has been canceled, with Condit on the verge of moving to the UFC. Though Five Ounces of Pain first reported the news, their claim that the Condit/Larson bout was scrapped due to an injury sustained by Larson is being refuted by MMA Weekly, who says that Condit was the one who first dropped out of the Corpus Christi WEC show due to a sprained wrist.

At any rate, it seems the UFC has decided that this might be a good time to bring Condit up to the big leagues; Condit is on an eight-fight win streak and hasn’t lost since June 2006. The current rumor is that he’ll be facing Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18 (April 1st, Nashville), and it’s been speculated that this is the first step towards the elimination of the WEC’s welterweight division; the WEC discontinued its middleweight and light-heavyweight classes late last year, with the UFC signing standout fighters Brian Stann, Steve Cantwell, and Chael Sonnen.

In other UFC news…

— Replacing the injured Amir Sadollah against Nick Catone at UFC Fight Night 17 (February 7th, Tampa) will be UFC newbie Derek "The Gentleman" Downey, a Utah-based fighter who has built up a 10-3 record fighting in regional promotions. Nine of his 10 wins have come by first-round stoppage.

— Houston Alexander is getting another chance to prove himself after taking his third-straight first-round loss to Eric Schafer last September. The Assassin will be returning at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas) against Andre Gusmao, the former IFL standout who dropped a decision to Jon Jones in his Octagon debut at UFC 87.

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“Lil’ Heathen” in For Franca at UFC Fight Night 17


(Watch out for the uppercut, Joe)

Give the UFC this much, they don’t wait until the last minute to secure a replacement when someone goes down with an injury.  Earlier today we told you about Hermes Franca pulling out of his main event bout with Joe Lauzon and then starting a bizarre internet rivalry.  This afternoon UFC.com announced that Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens would be taking Franca’s place on Feb. 7.

You might remember Stephens as the guy who was on his way to losing a decision against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 91 before he unfurled a murderous uppercut in the third round that knocked Dos Anjos out cold (see above).  It was an exciting finish that made us remember him and the totally sweet nickname "Lil’ Heathen" (even though it rhymes with his last name and we kind of hate that), but Stephens vs. Lauzon still feels like exactly what it is: a replacement bout.

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