Now that we all know who Marius Zaromskis is, it’s time for fanboys around the world to crown him "the next Anderson Silva" — and this new AC/DC-soundtracked highlight reel makes a pretty strong case for that claim. The UFC needs to sign this dude so he can start head-kicking some of the weak links straight out of their welterweight division. The Whitemare is balls-out excitement, 150% of the time. Believe that.
After the jump: Another highlight reel, for another "next Anderson Silva," and a strange little fight from DREAM.10 that you may not have seen yet, but really should.
Believe it or not, Vitor Belfort‘s trainer Shawn Tompkins says that he and Vitor had been pushing for a fight against Fedor Emelianenko three months ago — and now the opportunity may have dropped in their laps. "It’s Vitor’s way of proving that he is the best pound-for-pound champion," says Tompkins of Belfort’s desire to face the Last Emperor. The Xtreme Couture striking coach tries to convince Steve Cofield that going from Jorge Santiago to Fedor Emelianenko isn’t that big of a stylistic change for Vitor, but acknowledges that Fedor probably isn’t too nervous about the last-minute opponent-switch.
Also, fighting Emelianenko is far from a lost cause: "[Fedor's fight against Andrei Arlovski] really showed a lot of the kink in Fedor’s armor. Whether Fedor believes it or not, he doesn’t deal well with speed, and he doesn’t deal well with getting hit…it’s going to be hard to keep up to Vitor’s pace." And as for their previous refusal to take on Gegard Mousasi at light-heavyweight? Tompkins drops some real-talk on us: "What does Mousasi do for us in America? If Affliction sticks around, we’d like to renew our contract with them, but if they don’t, we want to go to the UFC. Beating Mousasi does nothing for us, getting beat by Mousasi…it’s not good for us at all."
We’ll level with you, Potato Nation. We’re a little bummed about this Vitor Belfort vs. Fedor Emelianenko business. Not that it’s a bad fight. But it’s also not Fedor vs. Josh Barnett, which was Affliction: Trilogy’s main selling point and which we were genuinely pumped up about. Now instead we get Fedor taking on a middleweight, and at the same time we get robbed of Belfort vs. Jorge Santiago. It’s like Oscar Wilde said, “You can take lemons and make lemonade, but unless you throw some vodka in that bitch it ain’t gonna be no party, dog.”
But we digress. If Belfort-Fedor is the fight we’re getting, then we’ll just have to come to terms with it the only way we know how: by watching a bunch of videos of Belfort kicking ass. Won’t you join us after the jump?
It’s a small comfort in light of the canceled main event, but at least Affliction: Trilogy (if it is indeed still happening) will feature an important light-heavyweight bout between Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Gegard Mousasi. The above video promo paints the two fighters as polar opposites: Sobral is the hardy veteran who’s fought everybody and seen it all; the dangerous grappler who’s just as interesting outside of the ring. Mousasi is the young and confident striker who responds to every interview question with a deadpan shrug. It’s a clash of styles that will either solidify Sobral’s status as one of the best 205-pounders in the world, or prove that Mousasi can be dominant in a new weight class. "I’m the guy who wants to hurt him," Mousasi says, "[Sobral] only wants to submit me." Babalu responds with some of his trademark craziness: "If he talks shit, he gonna pee in the ring. If he doesn’t, he’s gonna pee anyway." Yikes. Gegard’s Bladder, you’ve just been put on notice…
I guess the question here is, should we see it as a positive sign of increased awareness in the mainstream that a legitimate story on the UFC gets mentioned on a highly-rated, non-sports, fake cable news show? Or does the fact that it came on just after a bit about a taekwondo fighter who opened a brothel in New Zealand suggest that maybe this isn’t such a huge step forward?
The WEC’s next title bout will go down August 9th in Las Vegas, with undisputed bantamweight ruler Miguel Torres (37-1 confirmed record, 5-0 WEC) making his fourth belt defense against exciting contender Brian Bowles (7-0, 4-0 WEC). Despite the large difference in experience, the above promo video does its best to convince you that Bowles is a serious threat. "If I have to pick anybody out there, if I was Miguel Torres’s manager, who I would want to avoid, it would have been Brian Bowles," says WEC analyst Frank Mir, proving why he’s paid to fight and do color commentary, not manage careers. "To beat me you have to kill me," Torres says. "To beat me, you gotta take my heart out of my chest, and stab me with a knife." Luckily, Bowles has been training with MMA legend Mola Ram.
Coming off a painful loss against Rashad Evans in December, you’d think that Forrest Griffin would want a tune-up match before stepping into a another dangerous fight. Yet Griffin sees his meeting with Anderson Silva at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia) as "an opportunity to really test yourself, just as a person, as a man, as anything." Griffin’s gameplan will rely on some pace-pushing and "intelligent aggression." As for his chances against the Spider, Forrest is reliably humble: "Am I the guy to beat Anderson Silva? Why not? Somebody’s gotta do it. Might as well be me."
After the jump:BJ Penn discusses coming back after his own devastating loss, and says he should have poisoned Kenny Florian‘s food when he had the chance.
"It takes true skills to be in the sport of boxing, and mixed martial arts is for beer-drinkers. Boxing is for everybody. I mean, you can’t take my shoes off and take my shirt off and just throw me in a cage. You do that with animals, you don’t do that with humans…In boxing, we know who’s dominating. Black fighters and Hispanic fighers is dominating in this sport. And this is not a racial statement but [Ed. note: Here comes the racial statement] there’s no white fighters in boxing that’s dominating, so they had to go to something else and start something new." — Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
What’s ironic is that even in MMA, the two best fighters in the world are Quinton Jackson and King Mo. Also in the interview, Money Mayweather says that his duckery of Manny Pacquiao is due to the fact that Pac-Man isn’t his own boss, and that the recent murders of Steve McNair and Arturo Gatti have scared him off women for a while.
As for Money’s criticisms of MMA, what can you say, really? There’s some people who will never appreciate our sport because it’s done by shoeless people in a cage, and because an MMA match has less rounds than boxing, and because the only thing in the world that requires skill is punching, and because MMA was invented by frustrated white boxers, apparently. When the criticisms are lobbed by boxers themselves, or people who discuss boxing for a living, you can’t really take it too personally.
FightLaunch has just updated their YouTube page with about 20 different videos of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal talking shit to each other in a van on the way to an autograph signing at last weekend’s UFC Fan Expo. I don’t expect anybody to sift through all of this stuff so I’ll just start with the first one I came across (see above), which gives you a decent sense of what the feud is about.
Basically, Rampage said he was the best fighter in the world, and King Mo implied that it was in fact he who was the best fighter in the world — both completely valid points of view, by the way. Anyway, this angered Rampage, who points out that Mo hasn’t fought anybody of note. Mo says that Rampage used to bump gums when he was an up-and-comer too, and Rampage denies that he ever bumped gums to this extent. Rampage observes that "King Mo" is a fitting nickname, as royal families tend to be inbred. Then this Caucasian in the backseat starts singing "Kumbaya" like an idiot, and Rampage tells him to shut his white ass up. The white guy says something about being in the hood, and Rampage replies: "Yeah, your ass probably been in a hood, ya fuckin’ KKK-lookin’ motherfucka." Meanwhile, Bobby Lashley is sitting there smiling politely, just itching to get away from these psychos.
After the jump: King Mo first enters the van, and gets insulted about 30 times in 60 seconds. If you want to see more, go for it.