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

January, 2010

The 10 Worst Mismatches in MMA History

#10: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben, UFC Fight Night 5 (6/28/06) If you didn’t follow his pre-UFC career, you probably figured that Anderson Silva’s Octagon debut would be relatively competitive. Chris Leben was a dangerous brawler who had won five straight in the Octagon against solid competition, while Silva was…some sort of Brazilian from Japan, [...]

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Bob Shamrock, Adoptive Father of Ken and Frank Shamrock, Dead at 68

Bob Shamrock Ken Shamrock MMA
(Bob and Ken Shamrock, circa 1983. Photo courtesy of Knucklepit.)

Bob Shamrock, who helped raise hundreds of troubled boys at his Shamrock Ranch group home in Susanville, California, passed away yesterday at age 68 from complications due to diabetes; Shamrock had been in poor health since suffering a heart attack in September 2008. To MMA fans, Bob is best known as the man who provided Kenneth Wayne Nance (later Ken Shamrock) and Frank Alisio Juarez III (later Frank Shamrock) with stable homes, eventually adopting them as his sons.

Unhappy with a new stepfather that entered his life at age 10, Ken Nance ran away from home and immediately began getting into trouble, committing robberies to support himself and bouncing between group homes before landing at the Shamrock Ranch at age 13. Frank Juarez’s background was remarkably similar: His own experiences with an abusive stepfather spurred behavioral issues that would place him in the juvenile state system beginning at the age of 11; he also entered the Shamrock Ranch at 13. With Bob, they found the sense of order that their lives had been missing. From a press release posted last night on KenShamrock.com:

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Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve to Square Off in a Battle of Wildly Different Body Types


(Just to complete the visual hilarity, can we get a midget to ref this fight?)

UFC Fight Night 21 on Versus in March just became a little more of a must-see, as Fighters Only is reporting that "Ultimate Fighter" season ten winner Roy Nelson is expected to take on Dutch beanpole Stefan Struve in his first post-TUF outing.  Struve has won three straight in the UFC since losing his debut fight against Junior Dos Santos, and that makes this perhaps a little tougher of a bout than many TUF winners get right off the bat, though who didn’t expect that? 

For one thing, Nelson has been in the game for years, fighting veterans like Andrei Arlovski and Jeff Monson, so it would be a little ridiculous to give him some total novice.  For another, Dana White is no fan of "Big Country," and probably doesn’t have any desire to build him up with a couple of easy wins.  Struve’s brand of lanky jiu-jitsu is responsible for most of his victories, but most of those wins were in the minor leagues and not against guys with Nelson’s grappling credentials.

This fight further bolsters a card that already features Jon Jones-Brandon Vera, Anthony Johnson-John Howard, and Junior Dos Santos-Gabriel Gonzaga.  Since my cable company yanked Versus out from under me, guess that means I’ll be watching this one with the charming gentlemen at the sports bar down the street.  Should be fun.  It’s been too long since I’ve heard anyone loudly suggest that one man kick another in the balls.  Plus there’s free Chex Mix!

Edit: Our bad, looks like this bout is slated for Fight Night 21 on March 31 in North Carolina, while UFC on Versus is headlined by Jones-Vera on March 21 in Colorado.  In our defense, this is why you should number all your events instead of just identifying some of them by the cable network they’re on, but whatever.

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Another Lesnar Surrogate Says Brock Will Rise Again

With all the people popping up to assure us that UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar is feeling better and getting back in the gym, we’re forced to conclude that one of two things is going on: 1) Lesnar has been dead for several months now and there is a vast conspiracy to keep the world from learning the truth, or 2) his health situation is really not as bad as once feared.  We can’t rule out option #1 yet, just like we can’t say with any degree of certainty that "Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" isn’t the best movie ever made, since we haven’t seen it for ourselves.  But what we can do is ask the people who would know better than us, and the more of them who come forward to say that Brock will be back soon, the more we tend to think it’s true. 

This still leaves us wondering why Lesnar has insisted on keeping quiet for so long, as well as why he asked Dana White not to say anything but apparently made no such request of his own coaches.  Or who knows, maybe he did.  Maybe they’re just smart enough to know that since Lesnar doesn’t have the internet, he won’t ever find out that they put his name in the streets on "MMA Live."  If does find out, though, oh man.  His reaction will make this seem tame by comparison…

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Abu Dhabi Update: Vitor Belfort’s Manager Confirms Silva/Belfort; Grove vs. Munoz Rumored

Anderson Silva Vitor Belfort UFC 112 MMA
(They’re both Brazilian, and they both like to wear t-shirts and hats. On paper, this one’s impossible to call. Image courtesy of Tatame.)

According to Vitor Belfort’s manager Fabiano Farah, the Phenom will indeed be getting his shot at Anderson Silva‘s middleweight title at UFC 112 (April 10th, Abu Dhabi). Though Silva’s manager Ed Soares wouldn’t confirm the booking yet, he did mention that Silva is training hard and is "very fired up" to face Belfort, who most recently scored a TKO over Rich Franklin at UFC 103

Farah’s confirmation follows the earlier report that Belfort and Silva are slated to train at Emirates Jiu-Jitsu in the days leading up to the fight. Strangely, Emirates Jiu Jitsu head instructor Carlos Santos has also been saying that the fight could be held outdoors: "I told them both they should come early because it will be an outdoor event, not indoors like they are used to, and that many factors and conditions will be different for them." Though that option may have been floated in the early planning stages of UFC 112, Dana White is now under the impression that Sheikh Tahnoon and the gang will be building an arena for him.

In other #112 news, a middleweight match between TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove and Mark Munoz appears to be in the works. Grove is coming off his first-round submission win over Jake Rosholt at UFC 106, while Munoz has won his last two UFC fights against Nick Catone and Ryan Jensen.

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Gray Maynard’s Website Points Out That Nate Diaz Did Get Tagged Once or Twice


(Nate Diaz never gets tired of doing his impression of that scene in "Conan the Barbarian" where Thulsa Doom turns into a snake.)

Though Nate Diaz would have us believe that he hardly even got touched in three dominant rounds against Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 20, Maynard’s website features a few photos that tell a different story.  He has several nice shots of him laying hands upon Diaz, though strangely enough, not a single one of him getting hit.  There’s some of him dodging blows, or slipping and countering, but none of him actually taking a shot.  If only there were a more impartial photo source that could set the record straight…

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The Stakes at UFC 109: Randy Couture Just Likes to Compete, But Mark Coleman Needs to Win or Retire

We’ve been waiting for the UFC to tell us what the importance of the Randy Couture-Mark Coleman main event at UFC 109 really is.  Finally, the wait is over.  To the untrained eye it might just look like two MMA dinosaurs going at it because neither of them has anything better to do, but that’s far too simplistic.  Really, this fight is happening now because it didn’t happen back when both guys had hair and you could still become a UFC champ by beating up fat dudes who wore shirts into the Octagon.  But beyond that, Dana White explains that Couture wants to win because he’s a competitor and winning is better than losing, as a rule, but "as far as livelihood and career, Mark Coleman needs this win a lot worse than Randy Couture does."

Translation?  Couture has a little money saved, as well as some other sources of income, but Coleman is broke as a joke and needs this paycheck bad.  Cue the close-up of Coleman looking old and haggard, juxtapose it with clips from his dominant, extremely well-muscled youth, and then close with DW suggesting that Coleman’s fourteen-year career has all been preamble to this fight, intoning, "if he can go in there and beat Randy Couture, wow, holy [expletive], Mark Coleman’s back."

And scene.  That’s how you cut a promo, people.  And, just in case you’re curious, this is how you deal with a frustrating loss…

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Just How Crazy Is Herschel Walker?

The above clip from an old episode of The George Michael Sports Machine (R.I.P.) shows Herschel Walker calling out heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson, for pretty much the same reasons he’s trying MMA these days: Because it’s there, and because he’s a little bit nuts. Dissociative Identity Disorder aside, Walker is one of the most eccentric characters in pro sports. While plugging his upcoming Strikeforce: Miami fight against Greg Nagy during an appearance on the Howard Stern Show yesterday morning, Walker revealed the following:

— For over 20 years, he’s only been eating one meal a day, which he takes at night. He doesn’t eat meat, which is ironic because he owns a very successful chicken-distribution company.

— He sleeps three or four hours a night.

— He has played Russian Roulette over six times; he thought of it as a "competition."

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Guy Who Originally Banned MMA in New York Now Cool With It

George Pataki New York Governor MMA
("Helen, I need you to track down this ‘Nate Diaz‘ fellow. I believe this young man may have some interesting ideas on how to address the state’s growing hater problem.")

On Monday, we gleefully high-fived each other at the news that New York Governor David Paterson was coming out publicly in favor of MMA regulation in the Empire State. But new support is coming from a surprising — and just as significant — source. Via the New York Daily News:

ALBANY – Former Gov. George Pataki, who once called ultimate fighting barbaric and had it banned in 2001 in New York, now supports its legalization.
 
"With more rigorous oversight, training and medical requirements – mixed martial arts has made considerable strides to ensure the safety of participants," said Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo.
 
"With these measures in mind, Gov. Pataki would be supportive of allowing the sport in New York in today," he told the Daily News.

Kickass. We now have two governors on our side, while the opposition’s most prominent voice in New York is still crackpot Assemblyman Bob Reilly, aided by a few ill-informed, progress-resisting editorial columnists who still refer to mixed martial arts as "ultimate fighting" (no offense to the guy who wrote the above article). Pataki’s change-of-heart will be an incredibly valuable talking point in the battle to come: If the dude who banned MMA can inform himself on the sport’s progress over the last ten years and change his opinion, those opposition voices should be able to do the same.

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Nate Diaz Cites His Own Immaculate Face as Proof That He Beat Gray Maynard


(Via Nate Diaz’s Twitter)

Say you lost a decision in a close fight that you feel you deserved to win.  You really have only two possible ways to respond: 1) Shrug, say you did your best, and remind everyone that this is why you don’t leave it in the hands of the judges, or 2) make a video of yourself in the parking lot of a 24-Hour Fitness showing off the remarkable lack of facial damage that you sustained in the fight, proving unequivocally that you got straight-up screwed, homey.

If you know anything at all about Nate Diaz, you know which option he decided to go with.  Nate posted this video to his Twitter today, following an earlier message stating that he’s watched the fight three times since Monday and has come to the conclusion that he won — get this — all three rounds.  Added Diaz: "fuck the haters…"

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