We love Jorge Rivera, but given how much time the dude has invested leading up to UFC 127 making goofy videos that poke fun at opponent Michael Bisping, well, Rivera better damn well win this fight. In the latest installment it’s clear Rivera has saved the best (read: weirdest) for last. We don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say it includes a song-and-dance number, a felt pilgrim hat and a coconut brassiere. Also, the video makes the claim that Bisping requested that Rivera chum Matt Phinney (who we guess plays “Brave Count Bisping” in earlier vids) be barred from the event’s official weigh-in in order to avoid more mockery. If that’s true, we gotta say: Pretty weak, Bisping, pretty weak.
Even though the decision seemed justified at the time, deep down Evans might wish he could take that one back. At least publicly however, he’s holding the line. As the great poet Coolio once said, wishing is for suckers, and Rashad? Well, a few weeks after seeing his next chance at that 205-pound strap evaporate when he got his knee rolled up during a freak accident in the training room, he still says he wouldn’t change a thing …
Franklin lost the fight by unanimous decision, and we quickly forgot about this silly business — except Franklin didn’t. An MMAFighting report came out Friday claiming that Ace had actually visited a tattoo shop to honor the bet that nobody thought was real. Responding to the news, Griffin said:
(“Is there any way you can hold those poses until the summer?”)
It struck us as blindly optimistic when Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the second leg of his heavyweight tournament quarterfinals would take place on April 9th, even before he had a venue (or a host country) locked down. If it was just a matter of finding an arena with an open date on its schedule, it wouldn’t be a problem, but Josh Barnett‘s licensing issues made the task a lot more challenging.
So it’s really no surprise to read this new Sherdog report, which claims that Strikeforce’s remaining heavyweight tournament quarterfinals — Barnett vs. Brett Rogers, and Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum — won’t be happening on April 9th after all. Sources close to the promotion tell Sherdog that Strikeforce will host their 4/9 event in California (a forbidden zone for the Babyface Assassin), but with no tournament fights on the card. Instead, the event will feature a lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri — a rematch of their bout at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 — and possibly another welterweight title defense from Nick Diaz (opponent TBA, though Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley are options).
Anyway, that’s what some sources are saying. Other sources hear it differently…
As Japanese MMA seems to slowly dwindle away from the glory days of the sport, hardcore fans like myself shed a tear for our great loss. It wasn’t just knowing those obscure 135-pounders whose names had syllables our gaijin tongues could barely pronounce, or the fact that it was the land where stomping and soccer-kicking a human being in the face was perfected into a sweet science. More than that, it was the stars that were produced that we came to know and love, whether they were fighting someone on their level or tearing open a tomato can — and that is where this list begins.
Blatant mismatches aside, JMMA gave us so many beautiful fights with men like Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic (go tell your favorite TUF noob that his last name is not Crocop and relish in their confusion), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ikuhisa Minowa and Kazushi Sakuraba. For every epic bout that went into the history books for their unbelievable drama, we had other fights that we remember for less than pleasant reasons. Yes, the freak show fights! What would a JMMA event be without a match worthy of a 1930′s carnival? The big question here was how do I rank something that is mediocre to begin with? Well, I’m as clueless as you are, so let’s get started on this journey down “Freak Show Lane,” across the street from “What Were They Thinking? Boulevard”…
10. Daiju Takase vs. Emmanuel Yarbrough
Pride 3, 6/24/98
This was the first freak show fight in Pride history, and earns a place on this list for that merit alone. It pit 169 lb. Daiju Takase against 600 lb. Emmanuel Yarbrough, who most fans will recall was clobbered into submission by Keith Hackney and his broken hand at UFC 3 (Yarbrough has no luck in any event associated with the number three). The sumo plodded around the ring tossing his hamhock arms at Takase, while the smaller Japanese fighter fled and slowly wore down Yarbrough.
Takase makes the mistake of going for a lazy single leg on Yarbrough, which results in the large fighter flopping onto his belly and absorbing Takase into his flesh. As Stephen Quadros lamented, “This is horrible! This is like “Jaws!” Eventually, Takase slid out from the greasy underside of Manny, and in an ending eerily similiar to his UFC 3 fight, Takase went to town with clubbing hands to his exhausted opponent’s face, leading to a tapout in the middle of the second round.
(Before you criticize Torres for fighting smart against Banuelos, take a moment to refer back to that picture where you can see his freaking skull, would you please? PicProps: ESPN)
Remember back in 2004, when Nelly and Tim McGraw recorded that terrible duet and then made a video utilizing the magic of split-screen technology to show us that – while they might look and sound very different – they were actually leading surprisingly similar parallel lives? Man, if only we could do the same thing with Miguel Torres and Fedor Emelianenko right now. This situation practically screams for a buddy comedy: One is a wise-cracking former bantamweight champion from Chicago who tweets like a madman and lives life in the fast lane. The other is a stoic Russian former heavyweight champion who prefers the quiet surroundings of Stary Oskol over the city and likely considers the internet a form of witchcraft. Oh brother, these two will never get along, right? Wrong.
Torres and Emelianenko are actually more alike than you might think, as Torres himself points out to MMA Fighting.com this week. Both guys were once the undisputed kings of their respective weight classes, but in recent times both have been cast into adversity by a pair of high profile defeats. It just so happens that Torres is a little bit further along the path to redemption than Emelanenko is, so he has some friendly professional advice for his unlikely spirit brother. Oh, also it kind of sounds like he’s totally pissed about the recent (unwarranted) criticism of his (winning) performance in his UFC debut. It’s all after the jump.
Big, big congratulations to Potato Nation member Jeff “karmaatemycat” Watts, who increased his amateur MMA record to 2-1 on Saturday night, scoring a dominant decision victory over Rusty Dafoe at the LCO Cage Fights event in Hayward, Wisconsin. And as promised, he came out wearing his CagePotato Devil Horns t-shirt, like a boss. You did us proud, buddy. Video of the fight is after the jump, along with some play-by-play…
Props to MMA Mania for giving us the heads-up about Carol Dias, a Brazilian MMA ring girl who is currently campaigning to be a part of the UFC Rio show in August. According to this interview with Terra Magazine, Dias is a 24-year-old model and journalism student, and wants to hold round-cards for the UFC when they visit her home country so that she can meet her favorite fighters, including Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua, and (of course) Georges St. Pierre. On the topic of beauty’s advantages in the corporate world, Dias says: “A beleza ajuda sim. Mas com certeza o que faz você crescer é aquilo que você pode oferecer intelectualmente. Afinal a beleza acaba, não? O que você aprende, você não esquece. Beleza ajuda mas não é o mais importante como muitas pessoas acreditam.”
How true. Check out more lovely pics of Carol after the jump, and follow her life on Twitter.
What are you trying to say? Trouble at the old mill? Someone fall through the ice? Bobcat?
It’s yet to be confirmed by the UFC, but it would appear that former lightweight contender Kenny Florian will be fighting Diego Nunes when he makes his featherweight debut at UFC 131. The Vancouver card will be headlined by a heavyweight number one contender’s match between Junior Dos Santos and Brock Lesnar. Oh yeah, Shane Carwin is on board for this one, too.
KenFlo said that he wanted to fight a top contender, and Diego Nunes certainly fits the criteria. “The Gun” has gone 5-1 under the Zuffa banner and is currently riding a three fight win streak. His most recent outing was a split decision victory over former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown back at UFC 125 in January. As for Florian, since losing his most recent title fight to BJ Penn back at UFC 101, KenFlo has gone 2-1, notching victories over Clay Cuida and Takanori Gomi before losing a decision to Gray Maynard at UFC 118.
It used to be that you could count on Tito Ortiz to show up on fight night, come up short, then cite an outrageous injury as the reason for his loss. Well, it looks like someone has taken our little ban to heart, as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” disclosed yesterday via Twitter that he has suffered a serious concussion and received some 22 stitches, forcing him out of his bout with Lil’ Nog next month at UFC Fight Night 24.
First off, some serious questions. What the hell could have done such damage to that magnificent dome? Did the boys at NASA discover some new super-alloy? No, not likely. The clear answer here is that Tito contracted some sort of communicable skull-softening disease, likely from close contact with a known carrier. While Tito’s fellow scientists race for a cure, Dana White wasted no time in naming his replacement for the bout.