It’s great to see ESPN getting more serious about their MMA coverage. And since I am also in Vegas for the event, and since I want to help them out, I will now paint a Brock Lesnar penis sword on my chest and go down to scream in Franklin McNeil’s ear as a show of support. Also I will be drunk.
MMA Rated brings us this video from yesterday’s UFC 91 press conference, in which Dana White announces that the winner of the Kenny Florian/Joe Stevenson fight will earn a shot at BJ Penn’s lightweight title. Florian, Stevenson, Brock Lesnar, and Randy Couture also take the podium to say a few words. Fun fact: 15 of Randy’s 18 UFC fights have been for a championship belt.
Below: In the latest installment of Dana White’s video blog, Dana gets his balls thoroughly busted before an ESPN appearance, checks in with Brock Lesnar (who’s currently walking at a fit 273 pounds), and has a heart-to-heart with Sable. Kinda boring, but the life of a UFC president isn’t all skate parks and meetings with 50 Cent. After the jump: A teaser video for Fields Dynamite!! 2008, which features some of the most amazing moments from past Dynamite!! shows including Bob Sapp calling out Mike Tyson, Heath Herring’s post-smooch knockout of Yoshihiro Nakao, and Fedor armbarring Hong Man Choi. These people know how to ring in the new year. Props to Nightmare of Battle.
Believe it or not, Rashad Evans used to be a cocky son-of-a-bitch. Finding no challenge from an outmatched Tom Murphy on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, Sugar entertained himself during the fight by popping, locking, and striking poses until the judges awarded him the victory. The performance also earned him some serious scorn from opposing coach Matt Hughes, but the two eventually put aside their differences and learned to love each other. Now when Rashad dances in the ring, it’s only to pay tribute to the late, great, Redd Foxx.
#9: “Mayhem” Miller mixes clown-and-smile with ground-and-pound
What do you do when Dream gives you a guy who’s nowhere near your level? If you’re “Mayhem” Miller, you have a little fun with it. You start the fight with some kung fu posing, get him down, move to the mount, flash a peace sign for the camera (1:55), then resume punching. Maybe even throw in a double-chop, Sakuraba-style. Why not? The fans love it. What they don’t love is Miller’s faux-retirement. Isn’t it time he dropped that charade? The MMA world is running dangerously low on antics these days.
Though Cote continues to tell himself that Silva was simply “lost” and “confused” in this fight, this moment serves as evidence to the contrary. Late in the second round (10:04 in the video) Silva decided to pay homage to his favorite kung fu movies, exhibiting a little Wing Chun action to show his defensive hand skills. At least Silva seemed to be entertaining himself at this point, even if he was the only one who really got a kick out of it. Too bad the fight ended early with Cote’s knee injury. The Dim Mak couldn’t have been far away.
(Josh Hendricks steamrolls Rick McChristian at GFS: Caged Vengeance in February 2006; the destruction begins at the 1:47 mark.)
Amir Sadollah’s leg infection means we won’t get to see what this Nick Catone dude’s all about, but there will still be two Octagon first-timers trying their luck in Las Vegas on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know in order to sound smart around your friends…
JOSH “HEAVY” HENDRICKS (HW) Experience: 15-4 record in various midwestern promotions, with 13 wins by 1st-round stoppage. Has gone 10-0 with one no-contest in his last 11 fights. Will be facing: Gabriel Gonzaga (9-3, 5-2 UFC) Lowdown: Randy Couture hand-picked this former two-time All-American wrestler to help him prepare for his bout against Brock Lesnar (you might have caught a glimpse of him in the Countdown to UFC 91 special on Spike). At 6’2″, 246 pounds, Hendricks isn’t quite as big as Lesnar, but he’s got plenty of speed and power, and very few opponents have made it out of the first round against him. Ring rust may be an issue, however; his last fight — a 50-second submission-by-strikes victory over Braden Bice — took place a year ago.
RAFAEL DOS ANJOS (LW) Experience: 11-2 record with multiple appearances in the Brazilian fight clubs Fury FC and XFC. He has won his last nine fights, and has never lost by stoppage. Will be facing: Jeremy Stephens (13-3, 2-2 UFC) Lowdown: The reigning lightweight champ of Fury FC, UFC 91 marks Dos Anjos’s first appearance in North America. Most of his wins come via submission, which is no surprise considering he’s a student of BJJ greats Aldo “Caveirinha” Januário and Roberto “Gordo” Correa. He’s also a member of the Gracie Fusion fight team, and used to train under the late Ryan Gracie. Two of his fights are after the jump…
In this edition of Dana White‘s video blog he prepares for UFC 91 by going to the THQ headquarters to get a look at the upcoming “UFC 2009: Undisputed” video game. Does it look totally sweet? It does. The designers attempt to explain some of their revolutionary methods in creating this game, but Dana doesn’t care. He just wants to play as Brock Lesnar. And if you’re going to try and tell me that the THQ dudes didn’t let him win, don’t bother.
This video blog also has the strangest ending we’ve seen yet. After Dana gets done swearing his way through an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he responds to a critic on YouTube who wondered why a rich guy like the UFC prez would listen to music on regular earphones like the rest of us plebes. Well, problem solved, because now he’s got the Dr. Dre Beats headphones, bitch! You happy now?! Well, probably not, no.
Seriously, is Dana White going through and reading the YouTube comments on his video blogs? Because that is not the best use of his time.
Randy Couture‘s son, Ryan, was successful in his amateur debut this past weekend, submitting Ricky Perez in the first round. The reaction from Ryan’s friends in the crowd is, let’s just say, enthusiastic.
I always have mixed feelings watching the children of famous people attempt to do what their famous parents do. On one hand, Couture’s son probably has great genetics and excellent training to help him along. On the other, he’s always going to be known as Randy Couture’s son.
Just think about what he’d have to do in order to get out from under that cloud as an MMA fighter. If he became the greatest fighter in the history of the sport, if he defeated the children of Fedor Emelianenko and Chuck Liddell on the same night and then beat up Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson‘s love child on his way back to the locker room (naturally I assume that the Ortiz/Jameson offspring will be a screaming drunk in the audience) that might do it.
Who knows, sometimes the child eclipses the father, and that is one hell of a triangle choke. But for every Peyton Manning there’s a Gloria Hemingway. Best of luck in avoiding that fate, little Couture.
It’s the week leading up to another UFC event, which means we get to see Dana White on hustle-mode once again. He kicks off this installment of the vlog at Tony Hawk’s Stand Up for Skateparks benefit/festival/whatever, where he wrings out Randy vs. Brock fight predictions from Anthony Kiedis (Randy via experience), Urijah Faber (Lesnar via beastly genetics) and Wanderlei Silva, who claims Randy will put Brock on the ground and do something to his face with the elbows. Skater/radio host Jason Ellis agrees wholeheartedly. (“And he’s got a dick on his chest, too,” Ellis says.)
Driving away from the event, we are introduced to Dana’s shy sons, Friction and Fractalgeometry — “Fric” and “Frac” for short — who aren’t as excited about going to Johnny’s Rockets as their father is (kids today). Fric demands a “dwink,” which earns him endless mockery from Dana. We also learn that shopping is the only thing their mother does.
Dana is dropped off at Jimmy Iovine‘s house to meet 50 Cent and discuss the relationship between fighting and music. 50 is sporting a t-shirt with a picture of Kate Moss. As he explains it, “black president, it’s time for interracial relationships.”
“Countdown to UFC 91″ airs tonight on Spike TV at 11 pm EST/PST. In this brief taste we get an idea of what the storyline between Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar is going to be, but somehow it still feels like less than an all-out promotional blitz for an event Dana White predicted would top one million pay-per-view buys. Maybe they think this one sells itself. Maybe they think the wrestling fans will come out in droves to buy this one like they never have before. Maybe they finally realized that the undercard is caught somewhere between mediocre and painfully weak, and they’re already thinking about hyping UFC 92.
After the jump, Matt Lindland stops by to give his analysis of the Couture-Lesnar matchup.
UFC welterweight Jon Fitch stopped by Mythbusters last week to help the gang test the idea that a person could realistically escape a live burial Kill Bill-style by punching their way out of the coffin then crawling upwards through six feet of dirt. You can check out the full episode here. Spoiler alert: This myth is quite busted.
And here’s 30 seconds of hype for “Ultimate 2008,” which goes down December 27th in Las Vegas — only on pay-per-vyoooooo.