(MMA Judging: So easy you can do it with your back turned.)
In a move designed to improve judging by giving officials a better view of the in-Octagon action, the Vancouver Athletic Commission has approved the use of cageside video monitors by its appointed judges at UFC 131.
According to VAC Correspondance Officer Jonathan Tweedale, the decision to allow judges to utilize close circuit television screens to better observe what’s going on in the cage while their views are obstructed was made to help eliminate questionable judging disparities.
“Hopefully this small step, along with mandatory education for all officials, will enhance the fairness and consistency of judges’ decisions if other jurisdictions follow suit,” Tweedale told MMAJunkie today. “The fighters deserve as much.”
(“Wait, you’re giving this to me for *free*? My goodness, I’ve stumbled onto the perfect crime!”)
Much like myself, Dana White pretty much lives in t-shirts. It’s his trademark, like Don King’s hair, or Mark Pavelich’s eyebrows. The difference is, DW usually gets paid to wear his t-shirts. Like I said last week, Dana’s torso is the best viral advertising platform on basic cable. So, in honor of our unhealthy fascination with this man, here are 24 noteworthy Dana-in-a-t-shirt photos, along with some brief analysis.
(Wearing a t-shirt that references a local sports team is one of the easiest ways to be liked by strangers. In the pro-wrestling world, they refer to this sort of thing as a “cheap pop.”)
(“Please understand when I type ‘Go Fuk Urself’ it’s just part of a carefully orchestrated corporate branding campaign.” Pic: Dub)
If you’ve noticed the ridiculous crush of Twitter messages that have flooded the social networking site during the current Zuffa, LLC. fighter summit in Las Vegas, this may be the reason why: UFC President Dana White announced on Wednesday that the fight promotion will begin offering bonuses to fighters for Twitter use, essentially paying them to tweet. Bonuses will be available to fighters who add the most Twitter followers and write the most creative tweets, according to a report from MMA Fighting. Jesus, this oughta be good. No word yet on whether the UFC Octagon girls will get bonuses for incessantlytweetingabouttheirdailyagendas.
Those of you who have been paying attention know it is no accident that the UFC has quickly evolved into a major player in the social media world during the last couple of years. As one of its primary PR objectives, the promotion recently partnered with a marketing firm called The Digital Royalty, which specializes in teaching celebrities and organizations how to maximize their presence on Twitter. Turns out, Dana doesn’t just tweet because he likes it. And here we thought one of Twitter’s only redeeming qualities was that it seemed halfway organic and spontaneous. Guess not. Anyway, exactly how these bonuses will work is after the jump.
(Jim Miller viciously gnaws on Mac Danzig’s nipple at UFC 100.)
Following his seventh-straight Octagon victory — a third-round TKO over Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128 — Jim Miller will continue his arduous climb up the lightweight ladder at UFC on Versus 5 (August 14th, Milwaukee), where he’ll meet former WEC champ Ben Henderson. Henderson had his Octagon debut last month at UFC 129, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Mark Bocek, which helped wash away some of the shame from being one of MMA’s all-time greatest highlight-reel victims.
Fun fact: No fighter in the UFC has ever won eight fights in a row without earning a title shot. That would be an encouraging statistic for Miller, but the lightweight division is so clogged at the top right now — especially considering the delayed rematch between Edgar and Maynard, and Anthony Pettis being set up for a title shot if he beats Clay Guida in June — that Miller might have to keep winning for another full year before he gets the call.
Now, before you jump to conclusions and say that Matt is only saying that Georges stunk the joint up in his UFC 129 fight against Jake Shields at Rogers Centre because he’s still sore that “Rush” laid a beating on him in their last two bouts, Hughes did say that he likes St-Pierre just fine.
Check out what the former UFC welterweight champ had to say in a recent blog post he wrote about the Shields-St-Pierre bout after the jump.
You know you’re dealing with a messed up situation when even the hardened gossip mavens at TMZ deploy the phrase, “Here’s where things get CRAZY.” Frankly, we’re not even sure how to adequately put this into words, but here goes: The sister of deceased Tapout founder Charles “Mask” Lewis has filed a lawsuit in California accusing his partners in the MMA apparel company of stealing and illegally distributing her brother’s ashes as party favors during his 2009 memorial service. She further charges that the partners – Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Tim “SkySkrape” Katz – still have the urn containing Lewis’ ashes and refuse to give it back, according to the report from TMZ.
UFC welterweight Charlie Brenneman decided to video blog from the Zuffa Fighter Summit the past couple of days to give us mortals a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors at this yearly meeting of extraordinary gentlemen and gentlewomen.
In the clip above UFC president Dana White opines about his bitter nemeses — the much maligned “so called MMA media,” offers suggestions on how to make money after retirement and recommends that his employees embrace social media as a free tool to increase their star power.
Even though Chael Sonnencompleted his six-month suspension from the California State Athletic Commission back in March, the CSAC isn’t quite ready to forgive and forget. MMA Weekly reported yesterday that Sonnen has been placed on an indefinite administrative suspension, pending a special hearing on May 18th. And why is California continuing to persecute America’s Greatest Hero? Says CSAC executive director George Dodd, “It’s based off two things. One, his pleading guilty to his felony conviction up in Oregon, as well as possibly providing false testimony during his hearing back in December.”
“All of the reports are talking about my ribs, it’s actually my back. My back’s been bothering me for quite some time. A few weeks ago I had to take a week off so that my back could calm down and I was trying to fight through it,” Edgar explains. “I got through it and it kept blowing out on me here and there but then I ended up blowing out a rib last week. My rib kept popping in and out and then last week my back went out on me really bad, so I went to see a doctor and he said I’ve got bulging discs and now I’m going to go see a specialist to see what he can do about it.”
(Chael Sonnen will be skipping the 9:25 lecture to play blackjack)
An interesting tidbit to come out of this week’s UFC Fighter Summit is that former Strikeforce president and CEO Scott Coker has been quietly demoted to the role of executive vice president and general manager of the recently Zuffa-purchased promotion.
Riding high on a two-fight win streak against Krzysztof Soszynski and Igor Pokrajac, Stephan Bonnar will likely take on yet another dude with a weird European name in his next appearance. Multiple sources reported today that the American Psycho will face aggressive Czech prospect Karlos “The Terminator” Vemola at UFC on Versus 5, August 14th in Milwaukee.
Vemola (8-1, all wins by first-round stoppage) made his name competing in England as a heavyweight, Donkey Kong-ing most of his terrified opponents in under two minutes. He suffered his first defeat in his Octagon debut at UFC 116, getting slept on by Jon Madsen for three rounds. Wisely, the 6-foot fireplug immediately dropped to light-heavyweight, and beat the living crap out of Seth Petruzelli, picking up a Knockout of the Night bonus in the process. Vemola was slated to return against Luis Cane at UFC 128, but had to withdraw due to a mouth infection.
Killer matchup, if you ask me. Battle-tested vet vs. young juggernaut — who ya got?
Holy crap. If you’re interested in watching Bellator ring girl Jade Bryce rub herself down for two minutes, you came to the right place today. My God, this chick. Video not safe for work, unless you don’t mind embarassing yourself at the office.
After the jump: For those who like their women taller and lankier (but equally blonde), please watch this video of Strikeforce ring girl Kelli Hutcherson‘s photoshoot for Maxim‘s Hot 100 special. In her first appearance, she landed at #93.
Any time you watch a 47-year-old man get kicked in the face by a levitating karate master – man, if we only had a nickel for every time that happens, right? – you have to wonder how the elder statesman is going to bounce back from it. In the case of Randy Couture, he appears to be recovering nicely. Aside from a small bruise under his eye, the newly retired “Natural” seems in great spirits when he meets up with MMA30’s Dave Fara at a gala event for the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation, which seeks to raise money for wounded vets. Couture also looks fully in control of his faculties, as evidenced when he correctly uses the word “assimilate” in casual conversation.
The teeth however, were more of a problem. In the above vid, listen to Couture discuss the five-plus hours he spent at the dentist getting his pearly-white Hollywood-level choppers realigned. All that, and he even has to go back for more. Nonetheless, The Old Man is taking it in stride, relating to Fara that Lyoto Machida put in a personal phone call to him a couple of days after the fight to make sure he was OK. Couture laughs off the Steven Seagal angle, keeps right on using the word “cat” as much as possible (which is only slightly less annoying than when guys in MMA insist on calling everyone “kid”) and even comments on rumors he personally took out Osama bin Laden. “It was a long plane ride,” says Couture. So you know, (if you’ll excuse the phrase) business as usual. Now if we could just do something about the epaulets on his dress blazer …
The rest of Couture’s quotes are after the jump, followed by a bevy of other Las Vegas-based fighters making appearances to pay homage to the 14-year vet. And damn, check out the jacket on Ray Sefo at 4:15. Looking good.
Urijah Faber was on Steve Cofield’s ESPN radio show last week and he revealed an interesting nugget that shed some light on the tumultuous relationship between Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz and UFC president Dana White.
According to the former WEC featherweight champ, the UFC tried valiantly years ago to convince Diaz to join fellow UFC fighters Tiki Ghosn, Pete Spratt and Tim Sylvia as contestants on Blind Date, but the Stockton native had no interest in making an appearance on the dating reality show.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic responded yesterday to recent comments Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s boxing coach Luis Dorea made in which the Brazilian trainer called for a rematch between his fighter and the Croatian PRIDE veteran.
Dorea told Tatame last week that he would love to see the two former PRIDE legends square off one more time before they retire and that the match-up would be a perfect first bout back for Nogueira, who has been sidelined several months after undergoing double-knee surgery in 2010.
The UFC is holding its annual Fighter Summit this week in Las Vegas, bringing together the entire UFC and Strikeforce rosters for the purposes of education and camaraderie — pretty boring stuff, judging from Gegard Mousasi’s amazingly child-like doodles. But it did provide opportunities for old rivals to rub shoulders. Josh Barnett posted this photo yesterday evening with the note, “Pigs have now flown. Watch for Hell to freeze over next. Me and @danawhite together again.”
Barnett has publicly criticized the UFC and Dana White in the past, but when Zuffa bought Strikeforce in March, all of a sudden DW was a pretty fucking metal dude in Josh’s opinion. (That’s a compliment.) Barnett is scheduled to face Brett Rogers at Strikeforce’s “Overeem vs. Werdum” event on June 18th in Dallas. Whether he has a future in the company after that is still anybody’s guess, no matter how friendly he and Dana appear to be when somebody’s pointing a camera-phone at them.
(…so Tiny choked his ass…I know. Can you believe he had the nerve to ask ME for ID?)
On the heels of his latest criminal charges — a pair of misdemeanor harassment counts filed against him last week in Las Vegas, NV, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is at the center of new lawsuit.
The suit, filed by a Las Vegas strip club bouncer, alleges that one of the boxing champ’s bodyguards choked the complainant outside of his place of work, Drai’s at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon after he asked Mayweather and his entourage for identification before they were allowed entry into the club. According to court documents obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the plaintiff, Clay Gerling is seeking $10,000 in damages.
The TUF 6 vet is gearing up for his final few months behind bars in county jail, and as such, has brushing up on his current events in the news. According to the beleaguered fighter, everything that he’s read lately, from Barry Bonds’ steroid trial to Bin Laden’s alleged death is carefully propagated government bullshit.
Check out the latest instalment of Deep Thoughts with War Machine after the jump.
UFC.com has confirmed that UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and #1 contender Gray Maynard have both suffered injuries in their training camps, and will not be able to face each other in their scheduled main event trilogy fight at UFC 130 (May 28th, Las Vegas). According to MMAFighting’s sources, Edgar picked up two broken ribs, while Maynard suffered a knee injury — especially unfortunate, considering that the UFC is planning to cover these sorts of injuries starting next month.
(Compared to some of the things he’s experienced in boxing, Jeff Lacy (right) is excited to work with a serious, sober professional like Nick Diaz.)
Credit Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, his camp and promoter for continuing to act like this proposed boxing match with Nick Diaz is a done deal, even though our suspicion is that Diaz and Cesar Gracie are just using Lacy and Co. to turn up the heat on Zuffa, LLC. Don’t get us wrong, we totally believe that Diaz is down to fight the former super middleweight champion … but likely only if the UFC can’t or won’t make a bout with Georges St. Pierre happen in the near future. Whatever the case, Lacy and his people are getting a nice publicity rub off this.
Case-in-point, Lacy got himself invited on ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas with Steve Cofield this week, where he sounded pretty dumbfounded that Diaz would want to “step into his ring,” but said he was totally willing to take advantage of the situation. In fairness, Lacy was actually somewhat complementary of MMA, saying he’s become a big fan, but then went on to compare the striking in our sport to glorified Toughman competitions. Lacy’s quotes are after the jump.
(“This is a fantastic day for the UFC in general, and for Tito Ortiz specifically.”)
In a significant step forward for the care of its athletes, the UFC announced today that it will begin providing out-of-competition accident coverage for its roster of fighters, effective June 1st. While the UFC has always provided insurance policies to cover injuries sustained during fights, fighters were generally on their own for injuries suffered during training. The UFC’s new policy — underwritten by Houston Casualty Insurance Company — will cover those kinds of injuries, as well as non-training incidents such as automobile accidents. Zuffa will pay 100 percent of the premiums.
As Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo! Sports: “We looked at this as a necessity for the sport and something that needed to happen. We have talked about this for a long time and we have always had the same position when asked how fighters could have insurance outside of the fights. Like we said, it’s tough enough to get insurance just as a business, in and of itself, with how expensive it is…
(A sign outside MFC headquarters reads: “Champions Wanted: Apply Within”)
MMAWeekly is reporting that Maximum Fighting Championships welterweight champion Douglas Lima (18-4) will reportedly vacate his MFC title to sign on for Bellator’s season 5 welterweight tournament. If he does, the Edmonton, Alberta promotion will be left with no contracted champions on its roster.
Earlier this month the organization unceremoniously and inexplicably stripped lightweight champion Antonio McKee (25-4-2) of his belt when it announced that Drew Fickett and Hermes Franca would be fighting for the vacant strap at MFC 30 on June 10. The problem is, nobody told McKee that he was no longer the MFC champ. He had to read the news online that Fickett and Franca were to fight for his belt.
(Life: It’s more about the journey than whether you actually beat Travis Pastrana in arm wrestling. Pic: Zimbio)
Ah, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. At this point, we honestly don’t know if we should applaud the guy for his honesty or criticize him for continuing to waste everybody’s time. After conducting a lengthy interview with the former UFC light heavyweight champion recently wherein it becomes painfully apparent that the guy just can’t bring himself to be terribly dedicated to fighting anymore, maybe Five Knuckles says it best. As the MMA website quips in the very first line of its resulting story about Jackson: “You can call Quinton “Rampage” Jackson a lot of things, but dedicated isn’t necessarily one of them.”
Dude, ouch. Then again, that seems like a pretty apt description anymore. Heading into his upcoming bout with Matt Hamill at UFC 130, Rampage claims he’s training hard, but says he hasn’t bothered to chase down any film on Hamill and even admits he “doesn’t know a whole lot” about the guy. Really? You don’t know a whole lot about Matt Hamill? Interesting. Anyway, a bit later on Jackson flat out admits he’s just biding his time until he can find another movie role that will compensate him as much or more than his current UFC contract.
If you missed Manny Pacquiao‘s latest performance on Saturday night, well, you didn’t miss much. The boxing megastar defended his WBO welterweight title by unanimous decision against “Sugar” Shane Mosley, in a bout that was marked by a disappointing lack of action. It’s not suprising that this CBS Sports highlight reel starts at the end of the 10th round. The only notable moments before that were a knockdown that Pacquiao scored in the 3rd frame — which seemed to convince Mosley to quit engaging altogether — and a trip/shove by Mosley earlier in the tenth that the referee decided to rule a knockdown, just to keep things interesting. Nevertheless, two of the judges ignored the ref’s bad call and gave every round to Pacquiao.
As we told y’all on Friday, the Pacquaio/Mosley match was Gus Johnson’s final play-by-play gig for Showtime, and he made sure to trot out his diverse range of knowledge. At the 0:52 mark: “He kinda throws, in the MMA world, it’s a version of the ‘Superman’ punch.” GuJo‘s just keeping the chops sharp until the UFC comes calling, I guess.
After every mechanical victory by Pacquiao over an outmatched opponent, our thoughts always turn to Floyd Mayweather Jr., and what he might be up to right now. Well, get a load of this…
Bellator action returned to Newkirk, Oklahoma, last night, and Byran Baker continued his campaign to steal the hearts and minds of pretty much everyone. The welterweight final was the main event for the evening, matching up Olympic judoka Rick Hawn and Jay “The Brooklyn-Born Thoroughbred Long Islander” Hieron (still nothing on Horwich). A bantamweight season five qualifier featuring Chase Beebe and Jose Vega was also on the menu, which illustrates the depth that Bellator is developing at 135. Follow us in past the jump for spoilers, and before we forget – your mom said for you to call her.
“Good morning, parents. My name is Chris, and I’ll be watching over your children.”
In between putting out fires and collecting bonus checks, fan-favorite Chris Lytle has been working with the Indianapolis Police Department to establish an MMA Training program for at-risk youth and veterans suffering from PTSD. Their “Police Athletic League” is seeking a $50,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Everything project.
Programs like this give children self-esteem and support through positive mentoring and can have a huge impact on a child’s life, but more importantly they make it less likely that we’d have to suffer through piss poor YouTube scraps in the near future. Give “Lights Out” some support- you can vote for his program online or by texting 106352 to “Pepsi” (73774) daily now through the end of the month. Lytle’s PAL program is falling behind many others, including an initiative to buy a youth photography club more cameras—BORING!–so do your part and vote.