Pic unrelated to Road FC, but hey, Pride was pretty sick
I’m not usually one to understate the obvious, but damn, Denis Kang has had a bizarre run since being released by the UFC in 2009. Aside from picking up a first round arm-triangle victory over Dae Won Kim, Kang has fought Paulo Filho to a very questionable draw at Impact FC, which was quite the spectacle in its own right. Kang returned to action last night at Road Fighting Championship 2 (Road? Okay, the “word + FC” formula is just messing with us now…) in Seoul, South Korea against Eun Soo Lee.
The bout was a pretty odd concept from the get-go. Despite both fighters being natural middleweights, the fight was held at light heavyweight. Also, Eun Soo Lee, who I won’t even pretend you remember from his lone appearance in Pride, last fought at M-1 Challenge 8 back in 2008.
It looks like he punched him out, woke him up, and then punched him out again, all inside of two seconds. Damn, playa.
Well kids, it’s another lazy Sunday, and another look back on Bellator’s last card, conceived and executed for maximum entertainment. Bjorn Rebney and company pour their hearts and souls into each season, and if something goes wrong, there’s only one party to blame: the terrorists. Bellator 41 popped off under the desert sun in Yuma, Arizona yesterday, and we’re tempted to call this a mistake — an outdoor event in the harsh late afternoon sun, where it’s 99 degrees in April? Sure, it sounds harsh and perhaps cruel to the fighters who spent Thursday and Friday purging any spare liquids out of their bodies, but anyone believing that just can’t grasp the next-level meta-thinking that goes on inside Bellator HQ. There’s a higher purpose here, and we’re just too pedestrian in our thinking to follow it.
Something else we cannot always understand is the logic that MMA judges apply when filling out their cute little “official scorecards”, which are apparently legally binding even when no one on the planet agrees with them. We’ve seen this phenomenon before at all levels in every promotion, but it still never fails to incite much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the common MMA fan, including calls for the promotion’s owner to fire the judges involved. For the last time, guy at the bar who tranes UFC: the judges are not employed by the organization, they are meant to be fair and impartial employees of the state’s athletic commission. That judges occasionally seem to be drunker than a cricket in a hubcap cannot be blamed on Scott, Dana, and Bjorn. You blame that on stupid.
Come on in past the jump and we’ll fill you in on last night’s televised card, and discuss the latest “worst decision EVAR”.
Brock Lesnar sat down recently with HDNet’s Mike Straka for the latest episode of Fighting Words and as always, the former UFC heavyweight champ had a lot to say.
We won’t spoil the rare experience of hearing Brock speak candidly and honestly about his life by revealing all of the topics he covered, but we will say that Gus Johnson’s make-up artist made Brock and Straka look remarkably like Zac Effron and Justin Bieber.
There are many things we’d love to see in Rio. A 52 year old in manties is not one of them.
Well this just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Ever since Royce Gracie announced his intentions to compete at UFC Rio, we’ve been wondering exactly who the UFC could possibly find for him to fight. Naturally, Art Jimmerson answered, with zero implications of sarcasm, that he would like to fight Royce Gracie. Now, presumably before Tito Ortiz could get around to it, UFC legend Dan Severn has decided to call out Royce Gracie. Highlights from a press release from Dan Severn’s camp available after the jump.
(“Bones is like a brother to me — dangerous brother with crazy elbows and knees.”)
If you were holding your breath for an eventual Anderson Silva-Jon Jones showdown, you might want to stop before you pass out because it isn’t going to happen.
In a recent interview with the Brazilian website esportes.r7, “The Spider” said that he wouldn’t fight Jones and all but refuted the recent claim by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira that Silva would likely jump up to 205 after his fight with Yushin Okami in Rio in August.
“No way. [Jones] is in another weight class,” Silva explained. “We’re friends and we will not face each other.”
(“Give me your fired, your poor, your troubled Diazes yearning for THC, blacklisted fighters you don’t want any more…”)
When the news dropped last month that the UFC had bought Strikeforce, one of the least talked about stories was where would the move leave Strikeforce’s contracted female fighters, should Zuffa decide to cease promoting women’s MMA. UFC president Dana White has long been a vocal opponent of having women fight for him as there aren’t, in his opinion, enough top female fighters to make it a worthwhile endeavor.
In spite of White’s proclamation that both companies would be running “business as usual,” after the purchase, there have already been a significant number of changes to the company that have fans, fighters and pundits are left wondering if Strikeforce’s fighting females have a secure future with their new employer.
“We were talking about Vargas, but the thing is, I just came under some information that Vargas apparently has some kind of medical issue where he’s not able to pass the test any more, and he could be retiring. Vargas was very interested, but unfortunately, if he can’t pass the test, he can’t pass the test.”
The Gracie camp is now trying to set up a match with Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, a 33-year-old former IBF super middleweight champion who has lost three out of his last four outings. Meanwhile, boxing promoter Lou DiBella is jockeying for a match between Diaz and Sergio Martinez, the Ring World Middleweight Champion who’s considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. Like Diaz, Martinez has more talent than credible opponents at the moment — but it’s hard to imagine that fight being sanctioned anywhere outside of Poland.
If you’ve ever trained in an MMA gym, you know that much like Fight Club, the first rule of sparring, is you don’t talk about sparring. Talking about how you tapped out or knocked out a sparring partner in practice is considered bad etiquette and in some cases, it could get your ass beat.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Josh Gross, UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones touched on the taboo subject of who handled whom when he and former training partner Rashad Evans rolled and sparred at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque.
When we first heard that one and done boxer-turned-MMA fighter Art Jimmerson was campaigning for a rematch with Royce Gracie at UFC Rio in August, we were skeptical, considering what happened to the single glove-wearing fighter at UFC 1. It didn’t help that the so-called “proof” that the fight was in the works was the fact that Jimmerson’s profile had inexplicably appeared on the UFC’s website. Harold Howard and Joe Son also have profiles on the site, and it’s unlikely they’ll get a weekend pass from prison to compete on the card, so the story seemed like it might be bullshit.
Well, it appears the rumors are true — at least that Jimmerson is pushing for the fight.
(Imanari and Aoki: The [lady-]boys are back in town.)
While Sengoku’s tail-spin has been widely publicized, news about DREAM has been almost non-existent since Dynamite!! 2010 on New Year’s Eve. The silence was broken today at a press conference in Japan, where DREAM organizers announced a May 29th event at the Saitama Super Arena — the promotion’s first show of 2011.
DREAM.17 will feature the quarterfinals and semifinals of their Japan Bantamweight tournament, which will feature the following native competitors: Hideo Tokoro, Masakazu Imanari, Kenji Osawa, Darren Uyenoyama, Keisuke Fujiwara, Atsushi Yamamoto, Takafumi Otsuka, and Yoshiro Maeda.
According to Nightmare of Battle, the finals and third-place fight (between the losing semi-finalists) will take place at a subsequent event in July. The winner and loser of the final match and the winner of the third-place fight will advance to the DREAM World Bantamweight Tournament (date TBA). N.o.B passes along even more details…
Thanks everybody for your responses. Anybody who has followed my career knows that I’ve always loved interacting with my fans. This blog gives me a chance to keep in the game, at least mentally. I’ve had a few hits to the head and I suffer from some memory loss but I hope that this column helps to dispel some myths and educate you about the things I’ve learned throughout my life. Some of your questions had me cracking up, and most of you clearly have way too much time on your hands. It’s good to be half man, half amazing and black by popular demand…
‘MyDonkeyPunch’ asks: What was the craziest thing a fighter whispered to you when fighting?
Usually I was the one trash-talking during the fights so I’ll tell you about one of the coolest things that anybody ever whispered to me outside of the ring. After I won one of my K-1 fights in Las Vegas, I got the opportunity to meet Muhammad Ali who was there to present a trophy to the GP winner. Ali had always been my hero growing up so meeting him was a dream come true. When I shook Muhammad Ali’s hand, he pulled me in a close embrace and whispered, “You’re one tough nigger.” I was so honored and excited and it was hard to describe how much that experience meant to me.
‘bgoldstein’ asks: Fill in the blank: __% of fighters use steroids.
Let me answer this question by making an analogy. What percentages of race car drivers use high-quality gasoline? The reason why I ask that is because when you’re running a high-performance vehicle you want to use the fuel that will give you the greatest edge in winning. If you are not using the same quality of fuel as all of the other top drivers, you will start to fall behind no matter how good your engine is.
(“My suit? No, it’s not Mr. Big and Tall, it’s Brooks Brothers. I got a Zuffa corporate card now.”)
The California State Athletic Commission today revealed the salaries from last weekend’s Diaz vs. Daly event in Stockton, and for the most part the fighters from the card were pretty well compensated.
The top money-earner of the night was welterweight champ Nick Diaz who netted $175,000 for his beatdown of Paul Daley. For his effort, Daley took home $65,000. Tied for second place in the night’s salary rankings are Strikeforce lightweight kingpin Gilbert Melendez and former light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi who both took home $150,000 for their efforts. The disparity between the take-home pay of Melendez and Mousasi’s opponents was interesting. Tatsuya Kawajiri picked up $97,612.50 for eating a handful of Melendez’s “hellbows” while Keith Jardine made just $25,000 for taking Mousasi the distance.
In an interview he did this week with Kenny Rice from HDNet’s Inside MMA, Nick Diaz’s longtime trainer and manager Cesar Gracie says that the next time the scrappy Stockton California fighter competes, it will be in a boxing ring against Fernando Vargas.
“I’d love Vargas to get in there with him. Fernando Vargas. I know they’ve contacted him and he’s very interested. We’ve actually signed on the dotted line for that fight ourselves and we’re waiting on him now,” Diaz revealed in the clip from the interview that aird Friday. “It’s on already. We’ve already signed for it. We’re looking at September or October for something like that. We’re just waiting on their camp now.”
Two weeks from now, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will look to defend his title for the sixth time, squaring off against Jake Shields at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The fight will headline the stacked UFC 129, which will also feature names such as Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida, Jose Aldo and Ben Henderson on the main card.
Many fans see St. Pierre’s fight against Jake Shields as only a hurdle before “the real thing” — an encounter with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, which has been labeled a “Superfight”, and potentially the biggest bout in Mixed Martial Arts history. Yes, there’s no doubt about how huge a fight between St. Pierre and Silva would be, but it definitely wouldn’t be the first “Superfight” in the French-Canadian’s career…
In case you’re new here, the instructions are simple: Cast a vote for your favorite MMA hottie in each of the four polls, with the help of the photographic evidence we’ve provided. Hit the “next page” link when you’re done with each poll. If you don’t see the poll widget under each pairing of girls, please refresh your browser or try a different one. Any questions, let us know in the comments section. We’ll collect the results and announce the winners next Thursday.
If you missed the premiere episode of UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields last night, don’t be scared, homies, we got you.
The show was as good as it predecessors, giving us a glimpse inside the camps of the main event fighters from UFC 129 April 30.
Not surprisingly, the the producers played up the respectful sportsmanship of St-Pierre who gave props to Shields’ ground game and politely pointed out that he chooses to test himself against opponents by beating them at their own games.
“Ee ‘as one area that ee is vary, vary good at and it’s ‘is grapping. All da guy dat he has fought in da past were afraid to go on the floor wit ‘im and dat is something dat I am not afraid to do. I always wanted to test myself wit the best fighter at ‘der best game. I like Jake Shield. He’s just at da wrong place at da wrong time. I train harder den I ever train,” GSP asserted throwing in a tired cliche for good measure. “I’m de best Georges St-Pierre dat I ever been. The fight dat I been waiting for for four years is gonna happen in front of fifty thousand people. It’s gonna be incredible.”
Among them, DW expresses his belief that the UFC didn’t really have any competition in the MMA marketplace, even before the acquisition of Strikeforce. Now, we’re not totally sure how that jives with his claims last month that the UFC is not a monopoly, but whatevs. Moving on … Non also becomes (as far as we know) the first “mainstream” reporter to personally ask White about his company’s denial of media credentials to several high-profile MMA reporters during last weekend’s Strikeforce event. White responds by saying those people he’s banned are “dirty, dirty, dirty” and they’ll never be credentialed until somebody pries the UFC from his cold, dead hands. Throughout it all White lists back and forth between sounding totally likable (which kind of kills us to admit, but it’s true) and sounding a little like Tony Montana from Scarface.
If we had to pick one quote to serve as a microcosm for the whole interview – which we present here admittedly totally out of context – it would be this one: “Listen, I own the fucking thing,” Dana says. “At some point, you’ve got to get over it, you know what I mean?”
(If only all of Jake Shields fights were sped up and accompanied with Benny Hill theme-like music. Video courtesy of YouTube/JayCosta7)
The UFC announced last night that Jake Ellenberger will step in for Brian Foster against Sean Pierson at UFC 129 later this month in Toronto and that fellow welterweight Diego “The Dream” Sanchez has been added to a four-man grappling tournament at the weekend’s UFC Expo.
Like many of us, Team Lesnar newbie Chuck O’Neil is weirded out by the “chicken shit into chicken salad” thing. “Is that [*expletive, meaning Brock*] calling me chicken shit?” he asks. “What the hell?” He’s not the only one. Len Bentley has also been carrying around an attitude lately, and Tony Ferguson makes it very clear that he ain’t no chicken shit. Dudes, it’s just a redneck figure of speech, okay? Brock calls for a team meeting. “I need to clarify this ‘chicken shit to chicken salad’ issue…” he says. Of course, it sounds less graceful when you have to explain it, but the sentiment is a positive one — you were nothing when you came here, and you have an opportunity to be something. So seize the damn moment.
The Pittsburgh card will also feature a welterweight meeting between Martin Kampmann and John Howard — the guy who Anthony Johnson called out after his win over Hardy. Kampmann will be trying to right the ship after two very disheartening decision losses to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez. John Howard is also on a two-fight skid, coming off losses to Jake Ellenberger (via TKO) and Thiago Alves (via decision).
If you haven’t heard the news, Anderson Silva has a new documentary called, “Like Water,” which set for release later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan. The name of the film is taken from a famous Bruce Lee quote as an homage to the world’s most famous martial artist who was a huge influence to The Spider’s MMA career.
When Dan Henderson tweeted a link to the above video interview with his boys at Clinch Gear Radio earlier today and promised it contained the “real deal” about his potential fight with Fedor Emelianenko, we didn’t exactly expect a bombshell. Didn’t get one, either, as Hendo and Co. spend most of the 10:45 talking about the Zuffa, LLC acquisition of Strikeforce and his light heavyweight title victory over Rafael Feijao. When the topic does finally turn to the rumored superfight with Emelianenko, Henderson says he’d be all for it, with one sort of surprising caveat: He says he wouldn’t take the fight if it is offered to him at 220-pounds.
Nope, as if to confirm his status as an all-around badass, Hendo sounds like he wants no part of such made-up nonsense, he’ll take Fedor at heavyweight or not at all. Watch the vid if you don’t believe us. “It would be an honor to fight him and if I did fight him, there would be no catchweight,” Henderson says. “I don’t do those at all. If I’m going to fight him at his weight, I’m going to fight him at his weight … I wouldn’t take the fight if it was at a catchweight.”
Phil and Rog each bang a shot of the red stuff at the 4:04 mark, and Baroni immediately follows it up with shot #2 . “How the fuck did you do that shit,” asks a visibly-shaken Huerta. “How did you do two?” Says Baroni, like a boss: “I’m gangsta.” Later, he eats the snake’s penis, which is somewhat less gangster in my opinion.
(“Thank you Jesus for letting me punch people asleep. bro.”)
Tatame.com recently caught up with Vitor Belfort to talk to him about what’s coming down the pipe and the UFC middleweight touched on a few interesting topics including the fact that an agreed upon match-up with Wanderlei Silva fell through for unknown reasons and his desire to make it on the UFC Rio card.
According to “The Phenom,” who says he has recovered from his UFC 127 loss to Anderson Silva and is in a “good state of mind,” in spite of UFC president Dana White’s recent assertion that “The Axe Murderer” accepted the bout, he says Silva decided that a fight with Chris Leben would be an easier test for himself.
(A few more fights and Melendez will finally realize his dream of owning matching gloves. Pic: ESPN)
In the weeks since the UFC seized control of Strikeforce, there has understandably been a ton of talk about the potential for cross-promotional superfights. Even as honchos from both companies hold firm that it these dream fights won’t happen right away, the fanboy in all of us can’t help but titter a bit over the thought of Overeem vs. Velasquez, Diaz vs. St. Pierre or Fedor vs. Couture. Fine, maybe that last one would’ve been better had it gone down back in the ’70s, but you see our point. With apologies to the abovementioned dudes however, in the wake of last weekend’s “Diaz vs. Daley” show we can’t help but feel the most valuable commodity the UFC acquired with Strikeforce may well be Gilbert Melendez.
And we mean, like, right now. Immediately. As long as we can all agree that Strikeforce is just beginning its trudge toward the slow, painful death of the dinosaur, dodo and WEC (which we do, right?) there is simply no reason to confine Melendez to a terminally ill roster where he is essentially the only legitimate lightweight. Especially when the UFC lightweight division – arguably the best, most competitive weight class on the planet – has so many current problems. Problems that the abrupt addition of Melendez might solve right away. We explain, after the jump …
During a recent interview with the Russian sports news website MixFight.ru, M-1 Global president and the manager of Fedor Emelianenko, Vadim Finkelstein spoke a bit more about his thoughts on the recent acquisition of Strikeforce by Forza LLC, an offshoot of the UFC’s parent company Zuffa LLC. According to the man often referred to by Dana White as one of the “crazy Russian,” he is one of a growing number of people who aren’t buying the UFC president’s claims that in spite of the purchase, things will be business as usual for both promotions.
“The news of the acquisition of Strikeforce by Zuffa caught me so off guard that I initially did not believe it when I got the call from our partners telling us about it, but the next day the deal was reported on both of their official websites. What are my impressions? First of all, I do not believe that Strikeforce will somehow maintains its independence from the UFC and the organizations will continue to work as they did before. I do not believe that they will fight for the fighters’ best interests. I think that the fate of Strikeforce is quite predictable and will be a repeat the fate of other organizations that the UFC purchased.”
“(UFC Rio) would be the perfect place to do my last fight. I never fought in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn’t be more psyched. We are negotiating (the fight deal), but we should have it finalized in two weeks. We only had an initial contact and I don’t even have an opponent yet, but we should have that finalized soon…My weight is the same as it was twenty years ago [80kg], I am still training, keeping the blade sharp. I follow a very strict diet. I never drank, never party, Carnaval, none of that… I’m ready to fight.”
Of course, this contradicts earlier reports claiming that the 44-year-old legend’s participation was unlikely. And to be honest, it still sounds like bullshit. For the hundredth time, who is the UFC going to find for Royce to fight? Who?? If it’s not an old-schooler like Sakuraba or one of the Shamrocks, this would be a very bad idea. But then why would Gracie publicly state that he was two weeks away from finalizing a deal, unless it’s legit? We’ll find out soon enough…
After the jump: Royce Gracie’s last MMA victory that wasn’t immediately followed by a positive steroid test.