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Tito Ortiz Looking to Build Fighter-Businessmen on ‘TUF 11′

The eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter is set to kick off on March 31st, and Tito Ortiz doesn’t plan on sleepwalking through his second tour of coaching duty like some people we know. As we see on this recent Inside MMA appearance, Ortiz vows to train his guys hard — not just as fighters, but as businessmen:

"This season ain’t gonna be about guys partying, guys making jokes on each other. This is gonna be about making legends, making champions, making the future Tito Ortizes, Chuck Liddells, Randy Coutures…TUF 3 was mostly about smearing [Ken] Shamrock and beating his guys. This one, I want to make superstars…I don’t want to teach them just the way to train, just the way to be fighters, but to be businessmen. To be behind the mic, PR, you know, really understanding the business side of it and not just being ‘the fighters.’ And this is what I’m going to bring to the table when it comes to doing this year of The Ultimate Fighter."

So will Ortiz be giving seminars on personal branding in between the sparring sessions? ("Nobody leaves this gym until they give me three new t-shirt designs!") Will he make his guys watch old tapes of him on Celebrity Apprentice? As Bruce Buffer points out, Chuck Liddell will probably just show up and be Chuck, so maybe there is an advantage for the TUF 11 hopefuls to work under a master self-promoter like Ortiz. And maybe Tito’s personal attention to his team will make him the surprise good guy of the season…


Headkick KO of the Day: Gary Goodridge vs. Don Frye

(Goodridge vs. Frye, Pride Shockwave, 12/31/03)

So you watched Gary Goodridge’s poor showing against Gegard Mousasi on New Year’s Eve and thought to yourself, why do they keep bringing this guy back?  The answer is a) he’ll fight just about anybody with a few hours notice, and b) there was a time when he thrilled the Japanese fans with his standing and banging.  His final fight in Pride against legendary hard-ass and recent retiree Don Frye was just one such time. 

It was only six years ago, and yet it feels like another lifetime.  All those young bucks who felt like they were on top of the world with their New Year’s Eve victories at Dynamite!! might want to take note.  The good times are good, but they do not last.


Video: Dana White Appears to Be Seriously Considering James Toney’s Offer

(Props: Uppercut Magazine, via CP contributor Elias Cepeda.)

I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.  Here’s UFC president Dana White sitting down and having what appears to be a serious conversation about James Toney fighting in the UFC.  I realize that’s what he said he was going to do after Toney ambushed him at the UFC 108 post-fight press conference, but I guess I just assumed that it would be one of those meetings where he professes a vague interest and then never calls Toney back.  Sort of like what the people at Paramount keep doing to me when I pitch them my script about the dog who learns to fly a plane so he can go find the family that left him for dead in the animal shelter, and then murder them all in their sleep.  It’s a fun summer romp.

DW is asking all the right questions here — can Toney wrestle? does he have any takedown defense aside from an unshakable conviction that he won’t ever end up on the ground? is he familiar with what getting kicked in the leg feels like?  Call me crazy, but when Toney says he knows all about the "front kick, back kick, side check kick, all of that," I’m not 100% convinced.


Video: The Women, They Love the GSP

(Props: afflictionvideos)

You know, just once I’d like to be referred to as "God" by a long line of hot chicks. Anyway, here’s Georges St. Pierre signing some of his new 2010 calendars last weekend at the Affliction store at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. To quote Todd Duffee, the ladies want to romance him, and the boys want to bromance him. This video is particularly worth watching because it reveals Tom Atencio’s new role at Affliction — awkwardly stumbling through interviews with UFC stars. (It’s cool, because he says he’s drunk!) Later, Randy Couture shows up to tell Tom about his upcoming "Advil and Viagra" fight with Mark Coleman. Semi-related: According to Randy, reports of GSP’s Olympic wrestling bid have been blown way out of proportion.

Bonus, after the jump: The badass new trailer for Spike’s Best of PRIDE.


I Guess It’s Good That Junie Browning Can Joke About This Stuff Now?

Yesterday we showed you a Randy Couture spoof video from last weekend’s MMA Awards that depicted the former UFC champ as having an admirable/slightly insensitive ability to joke about his many marital failures.  That seemed all in good fun, and then we saw this one, starring Junie Browning as the world’s worst life coach.  It’s one of those things that’s funny because it’s true — Junie really has managed to screw his life up with impressive speed and efficiency, despite several second chances.  It’s also one of those things that’s uncomfortable because it’s true, and true as of really recently.

It was less than three months ago that Browning was fired from the UFC after being charged with assaulting and threatening to rape the staff of a hospital where he was brought after what appeared to be a suicide attempt.  Now he’s doing funny voices, pretending to be on drugs (that was pretending, right? guys?), and joking about his bi-polar disorder in a video featuring a cameo by would-be local weatherman Dave Farra?  And here we thought things had gotten just about as bad as they could get for "The Lunatic." 

There’s a point at which self-deprecation becomes self-mockery.  It’s hard to say exactly where the line is, but when you are making light of criminal cases that are still pending against you while wearing an ironic D.A.R.E. t-shirt, it’s very possible that you’ve crossed it.


King Mo: Still Talkin’

(Props: FightersOnlyMagazine)

"I’m hoping in April I get a chance to fight Mousasi next. That’s the fight I want…I know I’ll put on a show and I’ll win that fight…Anything can happen in MMA when you’re dealing with two guys that train hard and want it. So, I’m not worried about the fans [doubting me] ’cause the fans ain’t fighters. They’re fans, they just watch. So they should just sit back and watch in April and see what happens. King Coker, I hope he can give me that fight…I don’t know if I deserve it yet, but if the fight makes sense, let’s make it happen…

When I had the opportunity to fight Travis Wiuff, I watched his footage twice and I was like ‘got him.’ And I have that feeling right now. I’ve watched Mousasi’s fights, a lot of his fights, and he’s been fighting for a while, and I think he’s hit his peak. He won’t improve too much…I think he’s been winning off of just being a smart fighter and more technical than other fighters. I want it ’cause I know I’mma win it."

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal invites the haters to keep hating in this recent video interview, where he makes his intentions known regarding Gegard Mousasi‘s Strikeforce light-heavyweight strap. With a record of 6-0 over mostly uninspiring competition, it seems like Mo should have to complete an intermediate step between fighting Mike Whitehead and fighting the Last Gypsy. But with Strikeforce’s 205-pound class as thin as it is, Mo’s personality could make him marketable enough to sell the fight. Still, I wonder what Lawal could have possibly seen in Mousasi’s fight tapes that would make him think "got him." For the record, Mo’s Wikipedia page currently lists his division as "Moneyweight."


Fight of the Day: Daisuke Nakamura vs. The Man Who Will Not be Submitted

(Props: The TrainWreck)

If you thought Benson Henderson’s performance against Donald Cerrone was the craziest display of submission defense/pain tolerance in recent MMA history, you need to watch the above video, which shows the second and final round of Bogdan Cristea‘s decision loss to Daisuke Nakamura at M-1 Challenge 5 (7/17/08). Nakamura, God bless him, does everything he can to finish this fight. He bends Cristea’s leg in a kneebar, then transitions to an equally nasty-looking heel-hook. He tries one armbar, then another, then a kimura. Cristea shakes them off, and when the fight goes back to the feet, he actually puts Nakamura in trouble with strikes.

At the 3:31 mark, Nakamura tries a flying armbar to get the fight back to the ground. Cristea escapes (obviously), so Nakamura transitions into a straight armbar that would have finished any other opponent. Cristea shakes his finger "no." As the fight ends, we learn that Cristea was previously hit by a car and left for dead, and nearly had his arm amputated. And if he didn’t let a car rip off his arm, he certainly isn’t going to let some little punk in a black Speedo do it. Bogdan Cristea’s enormous balls: We salute you.


Videos: Randy Couture Divorce Attorney, + Another Shinya Aoki Arm-Break Video

(Props: MMA Scraps)

As if to prove that he has an excellent sense of humor about his inability to stay in a long-term monogamous relationship, Randy Couture jumped into the role of a fictitious divorce attorney for our amusement.  The acting isn’t great, but it is funny.  At least, it’s funny as long as you aren’t one of Couture’s ex-wives or children, and that’s such a small audience anyway so who cares if traumatic events in their lives are mined for a cheap laugh?  Certainly not us.  The day we value individual feelings over humor is the day we hang it up for good.

After the jump, proof that Dynamite!! 2009 was not Shinya Aoki‘s first time snapping a dude’s arm and generally not giving a fuck afterwards.


Dynamite!! 2009 Fight Videos: Aoki, Overeem, Mousasi, Minowa + More

From today’s epic New Year’s Eve card. Props to Watch Kalib Run.

(Shinya Aoki vs. Mizuto Hirota)

(Alistair Overeem vs. Kazuyuki Fujita)


K-1 Classics: Lesnar vs. Kim, Sakuraba vs. Gracie + More

(Props: via MMA Fighting)

K-1 recently uploaded some choice highlights from their MMA library onto their YouTube page, featuring early fights from current superstars like Brock Lesnar, BJ Penn, and Lyoto Machida. Above is Lesnar’s pro MMA debut against Min Soo Kim, which went down at Dynamite!! USA in June ’07. Odds are, you’ve watched this fight before — though it’s still worth a look if you’ve never seen the head-clashing faceoff and the fight’s aftermath, in which Lesnar triumphantly stalked around the cage while Kim was slowly brought back to life.

After the jump: Kazushi Sakuraba‘s rematch with Royce Gracie at Dynamite!! USA, BJ Penn’s grudge match with Renzo Gracie at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Hawaii, and Lyoto Machida’s fourth pro fight against Michael McDonald at K-1 Beast 2004.