(“Tell me you aren’t going to miss this shit, bro.”)
Our friends at Kimura.se caught up with Jake Shields ahead of his UFC 144 fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama Saturday in Japan and they asked the Team Cesar Gracie fighter whether or not he thinks his teammate Nick Diaz will follow through on his plan to retire.
If your cable provider doesn’t offer Fuel and you missed the UFC 144 countdown show last night, not to worry, we got you covered again.
It’s been a quiet week media-wise for the event, mostly because the majority of the fighters on the card and the few reporters planning on attending the show have been travelling to Japan. It seems like more focus of MMA news this week has been on the upcoming Strikeforce card, which is curious considering Saturday night’s event is a decent one.
Enjoy it. After this event and UFC: Alves vs. Kampmann on March 2, there won’t be another show until UFC: Sweden on April 14. That’s a six week stretch without a UFC show. At least our wives will be happy.
Anyway, this countdown show was a decent one. It’s interesting to hear guys like ‘Rampage’ and Akiyama talk about the difference between the North American and Japanese crowds, especially when it was like comparing apples to oranges between PRIDE and the UFC. Now we’ll finally get to see the disparity first hand.
I think I was most impressed with the level of respect Akiyama showed his opponent, Jake Shields, whom he praised for his skill level and fight smarts. It’s rare to see that in a pre-fight interview. He even found a way to make boring and conservative sound better by saying that Jake “isn’t explosive.” ’Sexyama’ could sell a Kia to a BMW enthusiast.
The rise of New Yorks Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has not come without a bit of racially motivated backlash amongst the sports world, for reasons that have yet to be determined. After using the phrase “chink in the armor” to describe the Knicks loss to the New Orleans Hornets, a remark that appeared to be aimed at Lin, ESPN fired the writer responsible and suspended MMA Live host Max Bretos for using the phrase during a live broadcast. Sports media personality Stephen A. Smith recently discussed the issue alongside Skip Bayless, and if you have an extra 10 minutes on your hand, we recommend you check out his take on everything from over-sensitivity to racism in general, as it really puts the whole debate into perspective.
Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.
Aside from drawing the backlash of his fans, the remark caught the attention of UFC President Dana White, who tore Floyd a new one during a recent episode of FUELTV’s “UFC Tonight,” the video of which awaits you after the jump.
Eight months after being fired by the UFC for elevated testosterone levels before a scheduled match with Rick Story, Nate Marquardt is back under the Zuffa umbrella. The former UFC middleweight contender has signed with Strikeforce, where he is expected to make his long-delayed welterweight debut later this year. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight on FUEL.
MMA Junkie adds that Marquardt’s first opponent in Strikeforce could be undefeated (though occasionally boring) 170-pound contender Tyron Woodley, who holds victories over Jordan Mein, Paul Daley, and Andre Galvao; verbal agreements are reportedly in place for the matchup. With the Strikeforce welterweight title still vacant, a Marquardt vs. Woodley match could have great significance to the promotion. Could this be Nate’s first step back to the Octagon? Or does Woodley pull a Chael and out-wrestle Marquardt for three rounds?
With the news today that Derek Brunson has failed his medicals and as a result has been forced out of his March 3 main card bout with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at the upcoming Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey show in Columbus, OH, it appears that one prime candidate for the bout is very interested in stepping up on just over two weeks notice: Tim Kennedy.
(Big stakes for both fighters if this one happens.)
We’ll preface this story with the disclaimer that it’s simply a rumor at this point, but word on the street is that Todd Duffee may be the next opponent in line for Fedor Emelianenko.
According to a post on Fedor’s official website, “The Last Emperor” has been taking some time off to nurse a thigh injury and likely won’t fight until the summer against a “former UFC legend.” Sure it’s a stretch to say that Duffee is a UFC legend, but remember that these are those Crazy Russians talking and what else are they going to advertise him as, the ripped dude that got knocked out by that flabby Mike Russow guy?
Or perhaps by way of Slayer. In either case, check out these brutiful photos from last Saturday’s Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 45 card, which went down at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town, North London, England. In a middleweight match-up between Cage Rage veteran Brett Bassett and 5-1 Brett Sizeland, a brilliantly placed elbow in the second round cut Bassett wide open, resulting in one of the bloodiest cuts this side of Struve/Stojnic that we’ve ever seen. Check out the rest of the photos below.
(You might look at this picture and see a black guy and a white rabbit. But all I see is two cool friends, hanging out. / Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Weinberg)
It was recently announced that UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones would be participating as an honorary race official for the 2012 Daytona 500, which goes down this Sunday, February 26th, at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and will be broadcast on FOX. “I am thrilled to be able to serve as honorary race official at this year’s Daytona 500, NASCAR’s premier event,” Jones said in a press release. “Like the UFC, NASCAR has a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and I am honored that I will get to share this experience with them.”
It’s funny…when you think of who the UFC might want to represent them at a high-profile NASCAR race, you’d probably assume it would be a woodsy outdoorsman, or an outspoken right-wing patriot. A white guy, is what I’m saying. Then again, Jones is hands-down one of the UFC’s biggest stars, and he adds some racial diversity to a sporting event that desperately needs it. And I mean desperately.
(“Please tell me he didn’t call anyone the C word.”)
It didn’t take long for UFC color commentator Joe Rogan to acknowledge the recent criticisms aimed at him by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. And despite being called a “fake ass” and a “girly, high-ass voiced rusty trombone player” (loosely translated), Rogan decided not to start a war of words with Rampage, and in fact was rather complimentary when discussing the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion on his video podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience:
I love Rampage. I don’t mean to be rude when I assess things. I’m just trying to objectively try to figure out how this guy could be doing better than he’s doing. When I look at a guy Rampage, first of all, [he's] one of the most exciting fighters of all time. You go back to his fights in PRIDE like the Ricardo Arona fight or the Kevin Randleman knockout…he had a lot of great, great fucking fights in PRIDE. You know, I like [Rampage] a lot. I like him as a person. I enjoyed hanging out with him.