We should have known there would be trouble after Hayato "Mach" Sakuraineeded seven and a half extra hours to make weight for today’s DREAM’s welterweight GP finals. The tournament favorite might have been fighting through exhaustion when he met Marius Zaromskis in the semis, in a bout marked by wild striking exchanges. Sakurai absorbed the more damaging blows, and the fight was halted about four minutes in so that doctors could check on a spurting gash under Mach’s left eye. When it was finally restarted after a long break, Zaromskis measured up Sakurai then threw a high left kick that put his lights out. A few more punches on the ground, and it was game over.
On the other side of the bracket, Jason High scored an upset of his own, handing jiu-jitsu juggernaut Andre Galvao his first MMA loss in a very close decision fight; one judge gave it to Galvao for his submission attempts in the first round, while the other two saw it for High due to his superior striking in the second. But the thrill of victory wouldn’t last long for High, as Zaromskis scored another head kick knockout — this time with the right leg — in their finals match.
In non-tournament action, Shinya Aoki outpointed Vitor Ribeiro in a disappointingly dull 15-minute bout, Dong Sik Yoon had to quit just a minute into his fight against Jesse Taylor after suffering a foot injury, and Paulo Filho survived a brutal striking assault from Melvin Manhoef and won the fight via armbar in what might be the leading contender for comeback fight of 2009. Complete results and more DREAM.10 fight videos are after the jump.
Coming off a painful loss against Rashad Evans in December, you’d think that Forrest Griffin would want a tune-up match before stepping into a another dangerous fight. Yet Griffin sees his meeting with Anderson Silva at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia) as "an opportunity to really test yourself, just as a person, as a man, as anything." Griffin’s gameplan will rely on some pace-pushing and "intelligent aggression." As for his chances against the Spider, Forrest is reliably humble: "Am I the guy to beat Anderson Silva? Why not? Somebody’s gotta do it. Might as well be me."
After the jump:BJ Penn discusses coming back after his own devastating loss, and says he should have poisoned Kenny Florian‘s food when he had the chance.
(Try as he might, the referee could not focus on the fight as long as he was haunted by his dying mother’s wish that he do whatever he wanted with his life, as long as it did not bring upon his family the shame of the bow tie.)
The finals of Dream’s welterweight tournament goes down in Japan on Monday, and if there’s anything we’ve learned over the years it’s that betting on Japanese MMA is like buying heroin in a strange neighborhood. You never know for sure what you’re getting, or whether it’s even halfway legitimate, but damn if it isn’t a rush. Dream.10 betting odds come to us courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:
Shinya Aoki (-200) vs. Vitor Ribeiro (+175) Hayato Sakurai (-600) vs. Marius Zaromskis (+475) Andre Galvao (-360) vs. Jason High (+300) Melvin Manhoef (+105) vs. Paulo Filho (-130) Andre Amade (+145) vs. Katsunori Kikuno (-160) Dong Sik Yoon (-225) vs. Jesse Taylor (+190) Seichi Ikemoto (-150) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (+125)
At the risk of giving too much love to the sport that frustrated white dudes so much they had to invent something entirely new in order to make themselves feel better, we thought we’d go ahead and mention that HBO will be airing the trilogy of fights between Mickey Ward and the late Arturo Gatti tonight, with an encore performance on Saturday. If you are a consumer of news, you probably heard that Gatti was found dead last weekend under circumstances that were, let’s just say, suspicious. A damn shame. If you haven’t seen his battles with Ward and if you have HBO, do yourself a favor.
Now, to make amends for all this boxing news, allow us to offer the following.
"It takes true skills to be in the sport of boxing, and mixed martial arts is for beer-drinkers. Boxing is for everybody. I mean, you can’t take my shoes off and take my shirt off and just throw me in a cage. You do that with animals, you don’t do that with humans…In boxing, we know who’s dominating. Black fighters and Hispanic fighers is dominating in this sport. And this is not a racial statement but [Ed. note: Here comes the racial statement] there’s no white fighters in boxing that’s dominating, so they had to go to something else and start something new." — Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
What’s ironic is that even in MMA, the two best fighters in the world are Quinton Jackson and King Mo. Also in the interview, Money Mayweather says that his duckery of Manny Pacquiao is due to the fact that Pac-Man isn’t his own boss, and that the recent murders of Steve McNair and Arturo Gatti have scared him off women for a while.
As for Money’s criticisms of MMA, what can you say, really? There’s some people who will never appreciate our sport because it’s done by shoeless people in a cage, and because an MMA match has less rounds than boxing, and because the only thing in the world that requires skill is punching, and because MMA was invented by frustrated white boxers, apparently. When the criticisms are lobbed by boxers themselves, or people who discuss boxing for a living, you can’t really take it too personally.
Two comments in particular made us LOFL this week, earning their authors Hall of Fame shirts from our dwindling supply. (Get ‘em while they’re still outdated!) Coincidentally, they were both Cris Cyborg-related…
PurplePickle on "Kit Cope Says He Has a Gina Carano Sex Tape, Continues to Be a Total Asshole": I don’t know about this Gina sex tape shit, but I had one of Cyborg Santos on Tivo. It showed Cyborg totally raping the shit out of this little Japanese girl for like nine whole minutes. If you look closely in the background you could see Josh Barnett yelling and cheering. It was fucking sick I tell you. I can’t believe they showed that shit on Showtime. Sad times we live in, sad times.
If you won, please send your name, address, and shirt size to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be passing along your addresses to Mrs. Santos, because she told us she’d really like to visit you guys sometime. How exciting!
ALSO: "Ben vs. Ben" hits the airwaves later today for an encore performance on SIRIUS Fight Club (channel 127, or 104 for XM subscribers), beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Join us as we discuss the major themes coming out of UFC 100′s aftermath, as well as how much Gina Carano’s aforementioned sex tape would be worth to us, hypothetically speaking.
“Most of the guys that fought Lyoto… found a problem with patience, with finding the right moment to attack, or to counter-strike him. Some guys try to rush it too much; some guys try to stay too patient, (and) they start to get nervous because of that. …I think the key is the timing of the fight, to get the feeling of when to engage and when to counter-strike him. This is likely the key, to find the pace and the rhythm, mostly the timing of the strikes to be able to connect and to make it a fight. For sure, I’m going to concentrate on that and develop a good strategy.”
Cut the bullshit, Shogun. You have no idea what you’re going to do against this guy, do you?
Here’s a newsflash for you: online sportsbooks favor Fedor Emelianenko to beat Brock Lesnar in a dream match that may never actually happen. They’re even giving you the opportunity to lay some money down on it now, despite the fact that you don’t know anything about the conditions of this fight or the fighters at the time of the bout, and if it doesn’t happen by October 3, 2010, you get your money back. Of course, you could just wait until the bout is actually scheduled to take place (if ever) and bet then, but that’s not as fun, is it? This is like betting on who’s going to win the Super Bowl next year, and choosing between two expansion teams that haven’t been accepted into the NFL yet.