(Mizuto Hirota vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida; props to MMA Scraps)
Shooto’s "Final Tradition" event, held yesterday in Tokyo, produced an action-packed card that was highlighted by Takanori Gomi snapping his two-fight losing streak. The Fireball Kid looked fit and focused in his non-title-fight against Shooto welterweight champ Takashi Nakakura, getting the better of Nakakura in striking exchanges en route to a knockout victory at the end of the second round. In the night’s main event, Rumina Sato pushed the pace against Shooto lightweight champ Takeshi Inoue with a creative arsenal of striking, rocking Inoue with punches near the end of the first round, but Inoue hung on and managed to stop Sato in a shocking turnaround.
Elsewhere on the card, Mitsuhiro Ishida suffered a surprising loss against Mizuto Hirota, who flattened Ishida with a left hook just 90 seconds into their bout and threw down more punches until he scored the victory; it was arguably an early stoppage, as Ishida was trying to tie up Hirota’s legs and get to his feet when the ref stopped the fight. In the night’s sole women’s feature, undefeated submission buzzsaw Megumi Fujii tore through kickboxer Won Bu Chu in less than a minute.
Full results and videos of the Gomi, Inoue, and Fujii fights (courtesy of NelsaoCB) after the jump…
(Sandals at the ballpark? Oh, you California kids.)
Behold, Urijah Faber throws out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game last Friday. We’re just busting his balls with the headline. His throwing motion is acceptable for a fighter, though the intense look of concentration on his face reminds me of a six year-old playing Nintendo, suggesting that Faber really did not want to screw this whole first pitch thing up and look stupid in front of literally dozens of people at the Stockton Ports game.
(Looks like someone forgot to put her shirt on under her jacket when she left the house this morning. Embarrassing! Props: The Garv)
The people at YRB Magazine sure know what they’re doing. First it was those Gina Carano pin-up shots. Now it’s former UFC Octagon girl and current TV host Rachelle Leah. Hey, remember when she was naked in Playboy? So do these guys (NSFW, obviously). This layout features far less skin, but it’s still worth a look.
Speaking of Gina Carano, MMA Fanhouse passes along the news that she’ll be featured in the top 20 of Maxim’s forthcoming "Hot 100." With all this media exposure just for being a hot chick, who needs fighting? A girl could mess up her pretty face that way.
A couple more Rachelle leah pictures are after the jump.
Unlike recent UFC events that have featured a horde of fresh talent, there’s only going to be one unfamiliar face at UFC 98 later this month: King of the Cage heavyweight champion Tim "The Thrashing Machine" Hague, who will be appearing on the "Evans vs. Machida" undercard against leg-kick-artist Pat Barry. A native of Edmonton, Hague has built up a 9-1 record, with seven wins by stoppage within the first two rounds, and notable victories over Ruben "Warpath" Villareal and Sherman Pendergarst. He most recently competed at a Raw Combat event last October, where he avenged his sole career loss to Miodrag Petkovic. He’s also strong as hell. But judging from the above highlight reel — which actually shows Hague getting his ass kicked for the first 48 seconds — could he be too unseasoned to make an impression in the UFC?
At least DREAMknows that their "Super Hulk Tournament" is a cartoonish freak show. Judging from the comic-book-style promotional clip shown above, they’re taking it about as seriously as we are. I don’t speak Japanese, but I was able to gather the following from context clues:
After the jump: In the latest installment of Matt Serra‘s UFC 98 video blog, Matty does a media day in New York on two hours of sleep; as usual, Ray Longo is dragged along for comic relief. Also, Sean Sherk‘s workout at API is so intense we threw up just watching it.
Bellator Fighting Championships‘ sixth installment went down Friday night in Robstown, Texas, featuring the two semi-final fights of their featherwight bracket — both of which produced shocking results. Undefeated tournament favorite Wilson Reis ate his first career loss in an upset against rising star Joe Soto, who stuffed Reis’ takedowns and kept the fight standing where he had the advantage. Soto outstruck Reis to a comfortable unanimous decision, earning the right to face the night’s other big winner, Yahir Reyes, in the tourney’s featherweight finals. Reyes withstood an aggressive showing early on by opponent Estevan Payan — who missed weight by over three pounds — before knocking him into last month with a brilliant spinning-backfist.
In which Santino calls B.S. on Michael Bisping‘s jet-lag excuse, shares some insight on Frank Lester (pictured above, with jacked-up teeth), and hints that we’ll soon be seeing one of the biggest turncoat-acts in TUF history.
I am not so sure Captain Britania had suffered the amount of jet lag as he would lead us to believe. I mean, seriously, we had been filming for two to three weeks by that point and all the other coaches of the land of the rising Brit had figured out their sleeping schedules just fine. Booze-lag would be my assumption, as we had heard of him being in bars/clubs quite frequently from reputable sources…our coaches! Not all of them, but a couple. The best part of hearing about the head UK "piss-artist" (look it up as it has a different meaning in the UK as what you are thinking) is all the run-ins he had with our Jiu Jitsu coach, Pancho. Pancho, or Pantcho as he would end up spelling it (he’s right off the boat and doesn’t exactly have the best understanding of our language) got into a verbal joust with "Michael Bitchbing," as Pantcho would say, and almost got into a bit of a fist-a-cuffs exchange one night at a club.
Here’s a preview of the segment ESPN’s "E:60" program put together on UFC president Dana White. DW told Steve Cofield he expected it to be a hatchet job that portrays him as "a foul-mouthed lunatic," and judging from this clip he decided to battle that perception by swearing and talking about what an idiot Tito Ortiz is. ESPN’s Tom Farrey tells MMA Fanhouse that it’s not intended as a Dana White takedown, even calling the UFC prez "fascinating." Of course, they also interviewed Ortiz, Pat Miletich, and Loretta Hunt for this story, so it’s not going to be all positive. As long as he gets out of there without calling the interviewer a pussy or questioning his sexual orientation, I’d say this has to be considered a success. The show is scheduled to air on Tuesday, May 12.
(Check out the high kick from Tom at the end. It sure freaked the cameraman out and shut his whole operation down. Props: MMA Videos.)
Yeah, that’s Tom Atencio in the camo trunks getting his scrap on against David Martinez back in 2005. You have to like the intensity and aggression from t-shirt guy. He is not afraid to come right after you, guns a-blazin’. He went on the win this fight via decision and it cemented his place as the rare fight promoter who actually has the grapefruits to get in and fight. But apparently the positive attention that’s been coming his way since he agreed to his second MMA fight has only emboldened him to get more proactive about painting Dana White as a total punk. First he suggested that maybe Dana should try being an actual tough guy, rather than just talking like one. And now he’s stopping just short of issuing a full-on challenge.
Yeah, we pretty much slept on this card since mentioning it once like two months ago — that’s our bad, and we’re just going to have to live with it — but Shooto Tradition is having its star-studded "Road to 20th Anniversary Final" show this Sunday in Tokyo, featuring lightweight PRIDE legend Takanori Gomi, unstoppable female fighter Megumi Fujii, and more big names. Unfortunately it won’t televised in the U.S., but we promise to get all the best fight vids up by Monday. Nightmare of Battle passes along the compete lineup, which is after the jump, and quite sick-looking…
Ah, fighting. When it’s done by highly-skilled mixed martial artists in a regulated environment (or by bearded old people, like in the photo above), it can be divine. But when it’s done via the keyboards of Internet trolls in our comments sections, particularly when it distracts our regular readers from intelligent discourse — and especally when it’s done in all caps — it can be really fucking annoying and counter-productive. That’s why CagePotato has taken the long-overdue step of requiring commenters to register.
As you’ll see when you try to add comments to this, or any other post, you’ll be prompted to "Login or register to post comments." The process takes about 15 seconds, and it’ll be worth it, we hope. No more of this anonymous-poster bullshit, and if we don’t like you anymore, we’ll just block you. We hate to put restrictions of any kind on your enjoyment of CagePotato, but it seems inevitable that when you have a popular website, the idiots will eventually find you. To everyone that’s been with us for a long time, thanks so much for your patience.
“Obviously, John Hackleman didn’t pay his house off yet. John Hackleman needs some money, because anybody who claims they care about Chuck Liddell even a little bit would not be making these f–king statements. …He’s never been a decision-maker in Chuck’s career. I can tell you this: He didn’t make Chuck Liddell. Chuck Liddell made John Hackleman. How many great, talented guys do you see coming out of John Hackleman’s place? He’s no Greg Jackson. He’s no Mark DellaGrotte. He’s no American Top Team. He’s not one of the great camps. Chuck Liddell made him.”
Matt Serra gives us even more Long Island flava with this lastest installment of his videoblog, in which the Terror is tapped for a random drug test ("testin’ positive for espresso and marinara sauce"). But before he pisses in a cup, Serra has to make sure his fade looks tight n’ right at his barber shop, where the proprietor predicts an eight-second tapout victory for the hometown boy: "I say we take that awm back to New Yawk widdus." Later, Matt makes some appearances at his jiu-jitsu schools and runs into Pete Sell wearing the same shirt as he is, despite Sell’s efforts to make sure that wouldn’t happen. Finally, Matt explains that the videoblogs don’t show all his training, because Hughes "might have a computer in that barn of his." It’s probably a good thing the cameras are following Serra for this match instead of Hughes; we’re assuming that Serra’s colorful interactions are more entertaining than a week of Bible studies and hog-slopping.
(Did you know that "MMA Fix" from RawVegas.tv is on actual TV in Canada via The Fight Network? Well you do now.)
UFC president Dana White joined Forrest Griffin and Kenny Florian on an episode of “Dr. Phil” that will air next Thursday, May 14. They were apparently there to talk to people about good types of MMA and bad types of MMA. For example, fighting in a sanctioned MMA event after diligent training at a respected gym: good. Superman-punching your little brother while he watches cartoons: bad (but hilarious). Dana White will presumably drive this point home by telling them to “knock it off, you fuckers.” Then Griffin and Florian will break down in tears and admit that all they’ve wanted was Dana’s approval. Group hug!
(15% off that creepy Chuck cut-out? Why, I’d be losing money if I didn’t buy it!)
Subtlety has never been something the UFC does particularly well, so I suppose it’s only fitting that they approach Chuck Liddell’s forced retirement with the same lack of sensitivity and tact. According to an email sent out by the UFC earlier today, just about everything in the UFC store with the words “Chuck” or “Liddell” or “Iceman” on it is hitting the clearance rack. Consider it their way of saying, ‘Thanks for the memories, Chuck. Now help us move all your shit into storage so we can make room for the new line of Amir Sadollah baby tees.’
Is it a little cold-hearted? Yeah, but that’s life in the UFC. One day you’re on top of the world, and the next they’re giving away your signature tank tops to bewildered villagers in Africa.
The best UFC highlight-reel of the week comes from BH, who has compiled some of the greatest Octagon moments of 2008-2009 (and Nick Diaz‘s 2007 PRIDE fight against Takanori Gomi, for some reason) — into this uplifting clip. Using Coldplay to soundtrack an MMA video is a risky move, but it actually works here, in a "Where the Hell Is Matt?" sort of way. From Akihiro Gono‘s legendary entrance at UFC 94 to the various disappointments of Chuck Liddell — it’s definitely worth a look.
After the jump: A Lyoto Machida-specific highlight reel from firelotus09. Just like Lyoto’s fights, the action doesn’t start right away; if you’re impatient, skip to the 1:43 mark and prepare to be Dragon’d.
MMA Fanhouse tips us that two new names will be added to the UFC Hall of Fame during the UFC Fan Expo on July 10th, the day before UFC 100 — meaning there’s only two months left before our t-shirt becomes outdated (at which point we’ll jack up the price and call it a "collector’s item," obviously). As the official announcement goes:
Join us on Friday, July 10, immediately following UFC President Dana White’s keynote address, as two worthy members of the UFC world will join the ranks of Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, and Royce Gracie when they are inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. You won’t want to miss this historical event happening right on the UFC Fan Expo show floor!
ESPN "First Take" brought Shaquille O’Neal’s personal trainer on so he could talk about the Diesel’s MMA training and mention the name of his gym and its website no less than a dozen times. The interviewer here seems oddly amused by her own ignorance of MMA, and really presses this guy to give her odds on the possibility of a Shaq vs. Chuck Liddell fight in the UFC. Let me put it to you this way, lady: there’s about as much chance of that fight happening in the UFC as there is of you taking over for Larry King when he finally retires/dies. Got it now?
When Michael Bispingwent AWOL during Dean Amasinger’s fight against Damarques Johnson, the nation wanted answers. Had he been in a car wreck? Was he holed up in a motel room with a crack pipe? Did he finally get picked up on his outstanding buggery warrants? Nah, the dude just overslept. He was badly jet-lagged, and was sawing logs while Dean was getting his ass kicked. Not exactly the cliffhanger we were hoping for, and the whole thing was resolved in about 20 seconds.
Other than that, last night’s episode was very satisfying, with two fights (I’m liking this trend) and some highly ironic tooth-loss thrown in at the end. To begin at the beginning…
“I fought it; it’s a label. If you are going to label me, label me as Gina Carano. Right now, I am just going to keep doing my thing, and if you want to call me this or that it’s fine. I know I am recognized, and I feel confident about the things I have done in the sport so far. I could stop today and show my kids someday, ‘Look at what I did.’ I’m not going to buy into the pressure…you’re like something one second and nothing the next second. I can’t put my value or weight in any of it.” — Gina Carano on being called "the face of women’s MMA." Check out the rest of YRB Magazine‘s new profile on Gina here.
Man, all this talk about boxers doing MMA is almost enough to make a fella forget about the ground game. We’ve got the cure for that problem: a bunch of goddamn grappling videos. Up first, Fedor Emelianenko flings Gegard Mousasi around just for fun. After the jump, Demian Maia‘s jiu-jitsu highlights are an indispensable part of any grappling examination, Shinya Aoki has a quick one against Marcelo Garcia, plus more.
(And still…the undisputed king…of the pre-fight mean-mug!)
Here’s some good news for those of you who can’t get enough of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s antics: Spike TV may very well agree with you. Fighters Only is passing along a rumor that Rampage is being seriously considered as a coach for season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” mainly because he was “a big hit with Spike TV executives thanks to his charismatic and extrovert nature.” Obviously, this is still in the early planning stages, but it does present a couple logistical challenges for season ten, which is set to begin filming around a month or so from now.
The UFC might be where the finest mixed martial artists in the world compete, but Strikeforce is cool with their role as the wild-ass cousin who just brings the ruckus. Since they signed their new Showtime contract, Coker and Co. have dispensed with silly limitations like weight classes (see: Diaz/Shamrock, Lawler/Shields, Diaz/Smith, all at unconventional catchweights), and they’re the only major American fight club currently featuring women’s MMA. Plus, unlike Dana "Crabbypants" White, they don’t think putting a legendary boxer against an MMA fighter is below them or bad for the sport. As GracieFighter.com informs us:
(Always bringing his cock out at the most inappropriate moments.)
Here’s how badly Roy Jones Jr. wants to fight UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva: he’s willing to do it as an MMA bout, where his chances of losing are very, very good. This, according to a new CBS Sports article in which UFC president Dana White admits that Jones has offered to fight Silva in the UFC Octagon under MMA rules, but White flatly refused:
"I could do it, make it huge, make money, but I could have done a fight like this when we were bleeding money [in the early 2000s]," White said. "The fight would make some money, but it hurts MMA in the long term. We don’t do that because we love the sport. That’s a Pride or K-1 matchup. It’s not what we do."
Honorable, right? The UFC could make a ton of money on a Jones/Silva bout (regardless of what you think of Jones’ current appeal as a boxing pay-per-view draw, the sheer novelty of this fight alone would guarantee a better buy-rate than any other Anderson Silva bout in recent memory), but say they’re opting not to because it would be bad for the sport. But how, exactly, does this hurt MMA as a whole?