You know you’re a big deal when Frank Shamrock is handling color commentary for your striking drills. Herschel Walker‘s MMA debut is slated for next month, and even though his opponent is still TBA, Strikeforce decided to shoot some footage of the former football star working out at American Kickboxing Academy to prove that he can hit pads without injuring himself. Of course, this tells us nothing about the ground skills that he may or may not be picking up, but hey, those roundhouse kicks look pretty sharp for a 47-year-old. Tickets for Strikeforce: Miami go on sale to the general public tomorrow at Ticketmaster; as of now, no matchups have been officially announced, so purchase at your own risk.
Jon Fitch spoke to Fight Magazine in advance of his bout with Mike Pierce at UFC 107 this weekend, and he’s got news for all you haters out there: Fitch doesn’t like it when fights go to a decision, either. That might seem counterintuitive, since his last five fights have ended in decisions. In fact, you have to go all the way back to his 2007 fight against Roan Carneiro to see Fitch finish a fight. But as he points out in his own defense, finishing dudes in the UFC isn’t easy. Being a wrestler without KO power or a high-level submissions game probably doesn’t help any, but still.
After the jump, Diego Sanchez is as pumped as ever in his latest video blog, while B.J. Penn is already in Memphis and sounding like he might be coming down with something. Quick B.J., do one of Diego’s foot detox baths! It’s your only hope!!!!
At the post-fight press conference following the TUF 10 Finale, Kimbo Slice was as pleased as you could reasonably expect considering he’d just narrowly scratched out a victory against a guy who all but refused to fight him. Though fans and pundits expected Slice and Houston Alexander to put on a one-round war — a backyard brawl brought to the Octagon — we instead got Minowaman vs. Zuluzinho part 2. "We were prepared for somewhat of his attacks, but I wasn’t prepared for the ring-riding that he did," Kimbo said. Still, he wasn’t going to let Alexander bait him into making a mistake:
"If I would have ran in there foolishly, I would have gotten knocked out. It wasn’t difficult to stay patient…A few times, I just called him out. I had to call him by his name, I had to say some things in the ring, like, ‘Let’s do this,’ in so many words. I reverted back to the streets a little bit, verbally. He didn’t engage. He stuck to his plan, so I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to be foolish and run up on him.’ I wanted to be a smart fighter as well…
It’s hard. It’s not an easy thing because I first was a street fighter, and being a street fighter there was no training in my style of fighting. I just went in there based on my instincts, watching the guy’s movement, and countering him. But at this level of the game, as a professional fighter in the UFC, you have to be like almost genius-type smart because you have all these dimensions you have to bottle in one, and you just gotta know when to counter, and when to not hit, when to not engage, and try to wait it out. There’s a lot [that] guys gotta go through."
K-1 legend Semmy Schilt made history today in Yokohama, picking up his fourth K-1 World Grand Prix title — tying him with Ernesto Hoost, who was also a four-time champ — and doing it faster than any other kickboxer before him. Schilt needed just 5:52 of combined fight time to tear apart Jerome Le Banner, defending World GP champion Remy Bonjasky, and Badr Hari; not exactly an easy draw for the 6’11" Dutchman. The final-round victory over Hari avenged a 45-second knockout loss to the Golden Boy that Schilt suffered earlier this year at It’s Showtime 2009 Amsterdam.
Despite all the horsemeat, Alistair Overeem only made it to the semi-finals of today’s tournament. The Demolition Man came out in ferocious fashion, putting Ewerton Teixeira to sleep with a thunderous knee in the quarterfinals. But his semi-final match against old nemesis Badr Hari didn’t go so well. After throwing Hari to the mat on two separate occasions, Overeem was dropped with a right hook to the ear. Forty-five seconds later, Hari landed a left head kick that wobbled Overeem into the turnbuckle, forcing the ref to jump in and stop the fight. Full results and lots more videos after the jump…
While there is no official word on whether this event succeeded in halting all crime in Serbia, it could not have helped that this fight turned into a lawless shit-show less than thirty seconds in. Rusu was eventually ruled the loser via leg injury, but his opponent was reluctant to let him off that easily, chasing him around the cage and shoving the ref down in order to continue fighting a man who clearly wanted out. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, since Golubovic appears to be a pretty famous criminal in his home country. He also has an awesomely obnoxious website.
Let this be a lesson to all you kids out there. There’s nothing cool about failing to chill when asked properly.
We told you Diego Sanchez was a little bit weird, but you just wouldn’t believe us. Maybe you’ll change your mind once you see his pre-UFC 107 video blog, in which he plays with an iguana to help his reflexes. Not that we don’t respect his positive attitude. I mean, the guy’s car breaks down on the side of the road and he breaks into song. Although it’s still unclear how he turned that particular negative into a positive. From what we can tell, it was pretty much all negative. Sure, he got a ride in someone else’s Toyota Yaris, but those of us who have driven a Yaris know damn well that it’s basically one step up from those Flintstones cars, if that. At least those things looked heavy enough that you didn’t have to worry about a strong wind sweeping you off the road.
After the jump, we give equal time to some of B.J. Penn‘s annoying thirty second videos. Because editing stuff together is for haoles, bra.
In his recent fights UFC lightweight champ B.J. Penn has fallen into a pattern of making it personal with his opponents before the bout, then embracing them like old friends once he’s beaten them up. In this video he says he wanted to feed Kenny Florian some extra elbow strikes for making him look like a fool and a liar in the media, because "that’s what I felt he deserved." This assertion casts Penn as not only the dominant lightweight champ, but also as a sort of avenging angel of justice in his fights. He’s not just thinking about winning in there; that’s a foregone conclusion. He’s taking into account your past deeds and considering how much punishment you deserve, which is kind of disturbing and also kind of awesome.
As for Diego Sanchez, Penn may let him off with just a loss. He can’t think of anything bad to say about the guy, except that he’s a little strange, which Diego will tell you himself. The real question here is whether Penn will be in the kind of shape to go five rounds with a human perpetual motion machine like "The Nightmare." He says it won’t be a problem. He also says his work ethic has never been an issue. There’s reason to doubt at least one of those claims.
The UFC hits Memphis for the first time on December 12th, and even though the card is short an Alves and a Duffee, it’s still going to be an enjoyable night of fights. Headlining the card is BJ Penn’s latest lightweight title defense against Diego Sanchez, who Joe Rogan describes as "crazy in the best way possible." Sanchez already believes that he’s the best 155-pounder in the world, and looks forward to proving it to the rest of us. Penn is only looking to have some fun out there, and live his dream for one more night. "I’m going to race you to the center of that ring, player," Sanchez says. "Feel your legs burning in the third round. Feel your lungs gasping for air, but you don’t get no oxygen. That’s what BJ Penn’s gonna feel come 12/12."
But wait, there’s more. Frank Mir wants Cheick Kongo to know that "he’ll never be the same human being when I get out of that cage with him…when I get a hold of him, it could be the last time he ever gets to compete as an athlete. You’re going to see the difference between a well-rounded martial artist versus a guy who never expanded upon his abilities." Kongo, whose feelings are clearly hurt, warns Mir about his big mouth. And finally, Kenny Florian and Clay Guida look to get back to lightweight contendership following recent high-profile losses. The complete UFC 107 lineup is after the jump; your predictions are appreciated.
This Wednesday’s season finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights will be a two-hour mega-episode featuring four fights — the last two quarterfinal bouts and both semifinal matches — along with some heated emotions courtesy of Marcus "Big Baby" Jones. As you can see in the above preview, the eye-pokes that Scott Junk sustained in his fight against Matt Mitrione turn out to be career-threatening. When Jones hears the bad news about his friend, he gets way up in the face of the meatheaded culprit and promises him death. Mitrione figures if he keeps quiet and doesn’t make eye contact, the Babystorm will eventually drift away. Does it work, or does Matt catch a beating that knocks them both out of the competition? And how anti-climactic will this "final twist" be? Only three more days until all the questions are answered and we can finally put this awful season behind us.
After the jump: Speaking of finales, DWtS had theirs on Tuesday, and they brought Chuck Liddell back for a martial arts-themed dance showdown with Mark Dacascos. It was everything we hoped it wouldn’t be, and so much more…
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: "Rampage" Jackson will be back. If this clip from his performance in "Death Warrior" is any indicator — and how could it not be? — the dude just doesn’t have the acting chops to build a real future in the film business. If we’re being honest, he doesn’t have the chops to hang in a community college production of "A Raisin in the Sun." There’s a reason fighting and acting are two fields that generally do not compete for the same talent, and Jackson is a good example of why.
Maybe he’s gotten some formal instruction since then and his "A-Team" performance will be much more polished, prompting a torrent of serious movie offers followed by a really awkward red carpet interview at Cannes that later leads to sexual assault charges. It’s possible. Then again, it’s also possible that Alexsander Emelianenko will be named executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, but we aren’t holding our breath.