(MMA H.E.A.T’s Karyn Bryant talks with Rose Namajunas, Pat Barry, and former Roufusport training partner L-Dogg.)
The death of kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr. in March was a horrific, completely avoidable tragedy, and one that has spurned several former students of Duke Roufus to speak out against the allegedly abusive and negligent training methods employed by the Roufusport fight club. Chief among the dissenters has been TUF 20 contestant Rose Namajunas, a Milwaukee native and former UFC fighter Eric Schafer, who referred to Roufus as “one of the worst people I have ever met” on a recent UG post in support of Rose. The hard numbers haven’t helped either — Roufusport was recently determined to be the most injury-prone camp in MMA, with fighters withdrawing due to injury in 16.6% of their scheduled fights.
But so it goes, there are always two sides to a story. In an interview with MMAJunkie last night, Roufus — along with former UFC/Roufusport fighter Danny Downes — responded to Namajunas’ allegations.
You know, when I see Rose and (former UFC fighter) Pat Barry, they don’t seem disgruntled. They’re very nice to me. Pat asked me advice at the last Glory (kickboxing) event. Rose came and trained at our gym in spring. Eric Schafer, I know we’ve had some issues. I’ve tried to reach out ever since he left Roufusport, and he didn’t want to ever sit down and chat with me. It’s tough.
I think they left in 2010. It’s 2014. If you look at the results of what the kids are doing right now, and just the evolution of MMA, things have changed. Back then, I don’t think we embraced strength and conditioning as much. We were trying to spar ourselves into shape. My philosophy now, four short years later, is completely opposite of that.
On Saturday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a long, must-read feature on the death of Dennis Munson Jr., who collapsed and died following his kickboxing debut in Milwaukee in March 28th. The article sheds light on the “cascade of errors by fight officials” during the match, including a lack of regulatory oversight, an inept ringside physician — who was busy staring at his phone while Munson was showing signs of physical distress — and the use of same-day weigh-ins as an apparent cost-saving measure.
The person who arguably comes off looking the worst is Roufusport striking coach Scott Cushman, who cornered Munson that night and could be seen physically propping the fighter up between the second and third rounds, sending him back into battle despite the obvious red flags that Munson was in no shape to continue (You may recognize Cushman as the burly, bearded assistant coach for Team Pettis on TUF 20.) It’s difficult to watch, but footage of the entire fight and Munson’s collapse is above. As the video explains, the footage originally submitted to police by Roufusport was missing 32 seconds showing Munson’s actual collapse. The restored footage shows Cushman slapping Munson and holding him upright for a while until the fighter dropped to the canvas. Munson was pronounced dead later than night.
According to the MJS article, “The state says it has no authority to investigate the death or the actions of those in charge that night because it was an unregulated event,” which has only compounded the tragedy for Munson’s family. But yesterday, UFC strawweight Rose Namajunas — who formerly trained at Roufusport — spoke out with a series of social media posts, blasting Roufusport’s abusive coaching methods, and the gym’s hostile environment in which experienced fighters were regularly encouraged to beat up newbies, and coaches physically brutalized female students.
“Crazy that I finally speak out against the people that are responsible for this tragedy and now other people are coming out too it’s sad it takes someone’s life to bring awareness,” Namajunas wrote on Squor. She then passed along several stories of terrible experiences that former students have had at Roufusport, which we’ve reprinted below…
Ryan Bader (9-0, 2-0 UFC) vs. Eric Schafer (11-3-2, 3-2-0 UFC):TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader, who most recently won a unanimous decision over Carmelo Marrero at Condit vs. Kampmann, will try to take another step up the light-heavyweight ladder against tough ground specialist Eric Schafer, who’s coming off back-to-back first-round stoppages of Houston Alexander and Antonio Mendes. Seems like a perfect next step in Bader’s development, as well as an opportunity for Schafer to prove that he’s a legitimate contender.
Antoni Hardonk (8-5, 4-3 UFC) vs. Pat Barry (4-1, 1-1 UFC): It might be win-or-go-home time for these two leg-kick specialists, who will both be trying to bounce back from losses. Hardonk most recently suffered a second-round TKO against Cheick Kongo at UFC 97, while Barry was quickly choked out by Tim Hague at UFC 98. It’s too bad that Barry didn’t take the Hague loss as a sign that he should drop to light-heavy, because Hardonk’s reach advantage is going to be frightening.
Other preliminary bouts could air during the broadcast, if time allows. UFC 104′s compelete lineup is after the jump.
Guillard choking, in every sense of the word. (Photo: UFC.com)
While the ‘UFC on FX’ debut may have lacked the big names of UFC 142, the fights themselves packed just as much fire-power. For the second straight week, six fighters were able to put away their opponent and double their earnings in less than a round. Punches, chokes, and a torrent of brutal hellbows were all used to send grown men into la-la land, and we’ve got the GIF’s to prove it.
(Hey, if it can happen to Joe Lauzon, it can happen to anyone, right?)
Featuring special appearances by Arianny Celeste and Bruce Buffer, the most recent “Web Redemption” on Tuesday’s episode of Tosh.0was probably the most star studded redemption to date. That’s not saying much for a show whose “celebrity” guest list has included the Cobra Kai Sensei, Carrot Top, and whoever David Archuleta is, but still, you get what we’re saying.
Starring Brandon “Bitch Boy” Han a.k.a the wuss who got choked out by a girl, and Courtnie Korpela a.k.a the woman who will haunt his dreams forever, this web rematch carried the fate of the male sex on its shoulders. With Ronda Rousey already making bold claims that she could beat up most of the male fighters in her weight division, we needed to suppress this notion of “equality in the cage” once and for all.
Join us after the jump to see how the rematch played out.
(I got blood on my hands and there’s no remorse, I got blood on my…well, you get the point.)
We’ll be completely honest, folks, it has been awhile since the official CagePotato Parlay has shown us a return worth getting excited about, or any return for that matter. Bill collectors were ignored, drugs were peddled, and we even had to turn a trick or two to solve our gambling debts, but as they say, it is always darkest before the dawn. Last week, we actually managed to end up in the green, so what better opportunity to keep the ball rolling than the UFC’s debut on FX tomorrow? Check out the betting lines, courtesy of BestFightOdds, along with our advice below.
Nick Denis (-240) vs. Joseph Sandoval (+200)
Daniel Pineda (-120) vs. Pat Schilling (EV)
Fabricio Camoes (-325) vs. Tom Hayden (+265)
Kamal Shalorus (-135) vs. Habib Nurmagomedov (+115) Charlie Brenneman (-300) vs. Daniel Roberts (+250)
Eric Schafer (-155) vs. Jorge Rivera (+135)
I think it was midway through the second round of Paulo Thiago‘s bout with Gasan Umalatov on the TUF Brazil 3 Finale undercard that I began to feel a heavy, sinking feeling in my stomach. I thought it was just fight fatigue at first, my body’s way of telling me to step away from the television and do something, anything to negate the effects caused by a (by that point) six hour binge of manure ads, Linkin Park-dubbed promos, and the occasional MMA fight.
It wasn’t until the Thiago-Umalatov decision was handed down, however, that I was able to identify the cause of my discomfort. Paulo Thiago, real-life superhero and a fighter I have unapologetically rooted for since watching him knock out Josh Koscheck in his promotional debut at UFC 95, is likely on his way out of the UFC.Old Dad best summed up my feelings about Thiago, tweeting after the decision “Is it time for me to admit that Paulo Thiago is probably never going to be as awesome as I want him to be? Maybe, yeah.”
The fact is, Thiago has consistently underwhelmed since scoring violent finishes over Koscheck and Mike Swick early in his UFC career, dropping six of his past eight fights and only scoring decision wins over IDon’t and GiveaFuck. While I won’t go as far as to call his upset wins “flukes,” it’s safe to say that Thiago has unfortunately fallen into the category of UFC fighters who were never able to exceed the hype generated by their UFC debuts. Fighters like…
MMA fans knew knew less than nothing about Houston Alexander before he was matched up with Keith Jardine at UFC 71. Sure, he looked like something out of a Scared Straight program, but at just 7-1 as a pro, he seemed well out of his league against “The Dean of Mean.” Even Jardine, fresh off the biggest win of his career over Forrest Griffin, was baffled by the matchmaking, all but dismissing Alexander in some uncharacteristic pre-fight trash-talk.
But as Raymond Atkins once wrote, “Hubris is when God screws you over for being a smartass.” And screw over Jardine he did. In less than a minute’s time, the TUF alum found himself lying face down on the canvas thanks to a barrage of uppercuts so vicious that even his mouthguard was forced to flee for its life.
The UFC’s first live event on FX goes down tonight in Nashville, headlined by a lightweight battle between crowd-pleasing contenders Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller — both of whom are trying to rebound from high-profilelosses. We’ll be liveblogging the main card broadcast beginning at 9 p.m. ET. (FUEL TV will carry the preliminary card fights starting at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.) All fighters made weight for the event yesterday, although Fabricio Camoes needed two attempts to make it happen. The full weigh-in results are below.
Main Card (FX, 9 p.m. ET/PT)
Melvin Guillard (156) vs. Jim Miller (155)
Duane Ludwig (170.5) vs. Josh Neer (171)
Mike Easton (135) vs. Jared Papazian (135.5)
Pat Barry (242) vs. Christian Morecraft (256)
(This is where we’d normally make some sort of Geico Caveman reference, but those jokes, like the commercials, have been played out to the point of eye-gouging redundancy. So, uh…beauty and the beast?)
Though they may not get your engine revving, a couple of sure-to-be-undercard bouts have been booked for the UFC’s debut on FUEL TV, the first of which being a featherweight match-up between grappling wizards Jonathan Brookins and Rani Yahya. After lateral dropping his way through season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter, Brookins recently saw a four fight win streak snapped at the hands of featherweight contender Eric Koch in a three rounder reminiscent of Couture vs. Vera that saw Brookins unable to get Koch to the mat.
Yahya, on the other hand, is likely fighting for his future in the UFC. Just 1-3 in his past four, with the lone win coming against a struggling (and last minute replacement) Mike Brown, we last saw Yahya on the losing end of a unanimous decision to Jose Aldo‘s next challenger, Chad Mendes. Prior to the Brown win, Yahya was outclassed by Takeya Mizugaki in another decision at WEC 48 and TKO’ed by future flyweight champ Joseph Benavidez at WEC 45.