Former American League Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova has been a consistent fixture in Dana White’s UFC 93 video blogs this week, and we have no idea why. At first it was just him hanging around in the background, playing with his hair and trying to appear unbothered by Dana’s harassment. Now he takes center stage to determine who can run a faster mile. When video blog historians look back on this decades from now, they will probably pinpoint this as the exact moment that Dana White’s video blog jumped the shark. No MMA at all in this one. Just Dana berating an ex-pro baseball player as they both run on treadmills.
Over at Xtreme Couture Jay Hieron and Chris Horodecki are getting set for their Affliction bouts next weekend. Watch as Horodecki auditions for a job in the organization’s front office by calling this “the biggest show ever” in his interview with Raw Vegas. Riiight. And tickets are selling like hot cakes. Delicious, fluffy, motherfucking hot cakes.
After the jump, a prediction for UFC 93’s main event, as told by "Undisputed."
We finally get a look at Dana White’s video blogger at the start of episode four in the UFC 93 series, and while the task of following the UFC prez around with a video camera may not sound so difficult, it seems like where you really earn your money is when it comes time to absorb some verbal abuse. Other highlights include a lengthy conversation with Irish boxer Barry McGuigan, and then we end with a rant as Dana realizes he was swindled by 82-year-old PR Director Jim Burn during their bet to see who could navigate the streets of NYC faster. Riveting stuff, in other words.
In a preview of the upcoming episode of "Inside MMA" we’re talking drummer greats with Josh Barnett, Gilbert Yvel, and author of Blood in the Cage, L. Jon Wertheim, who also happens to be a friend of the Potato. Everybody seems willing to have a good time and mention their favorite rock drummer, except that Gilbert. Does anything interest that dude besides weird tattoos and poking people in the eyes?
According to our current poll, about 75% of you think Fedor Emelianenko is going to beat Andrei Arlovski during their "Day of Reckoning" main event fight on January 24th. (Also, more of you think the fight will end with a no contest due to accidental cut than a submission win for Arlovski.) That pretty much reflects the general vibe of the latest Affliction promo clip, which focuses on the matchup between the Last Emperor and the Pitbull. While Arlovski certainly has a legitimate chance at winning, few people expect a loss for the Michael Jordan/Tiger Woods of MMA, who is either "unhuman" or "just a human," depending on who you ask. It’s too bad that Affliction doesn’t have access to the PRIDE and UFC video libraries, because the only visual evidence of Fedor’s dominance in the clip is his laughable walk-throughs against Tim Sylvia and Hong Man Choi, and when Arlovski’s past setbacks are mentioned, we don’t see any of the abuse he took at the hands of Timmy. Ah well — they can’t all be $1.7 million productions.
Nutrition Fedor does not have a cook or a specific diet, but sticks to eating three meals a day. While he strives to eat healthily, he does not go out of his way to limit himself. Mostly, Fedor’s diet consists of meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. He also takes in as much liquid as he can, such as fresh juices and herbal teas. Fedor tries to stay away from soda, french fries and candy—some of his favorites when not training. He also refrains from drinking alcohol when he is training.
What is your relationship with Vladimir Putin? “We do not talk on a regular basis. It is just that he had seen one of my fights on TV and took an interest. Vladimir Putin has always been very kind to me and I have always appreciated his interest in my career and the sport of MMA. We have in common our love for Sambo, the National sport in Russia as well as MMA. Vladimir Putin is a black belt in Judo and a master in Sambo. I have promised him that I would always participate in Sambo if I was able to, so that I could be a role model for young people in Russia and continue the rich tradition of the sport."
What countries do you like to visit? “Japan and the United States and any place that has scary roller coasters.
Dana White’s latest video-blogging effort is very long but not very interesting. He pumps a little iron, tries to convert kilograms to pounds, wanders around Dublin, and strikes up conversations with a few fighters. Yawn. Just goes to show that the tedium of anyone’s daily life is still boring, even if they’re the head of the UFC.
Alan Belcher seems to think he’s gotten a good deal for himself in securing a bout with Denis Kang, who’s making his UFC debut this Saturday. Oddsmakers certainly don’t agree, but as Belcher points out, the vibe from the crowd in the UFC is very different from Japan. Just how much that will affect Kang, who’s been around in this sport for a while now, that remains to be seen.
After the jump, Affliction hypes Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral with some help from Loretta Hunt and Josh Gross.
If the purpose of Arlovski 360 is to get fans to relate to Andrei on a personal level, he loses a little bit of ground in the latest episode, as we’re introduced to the Pitbull’s personal chef, jeweler, flag-maker, and club-owner homeboys. One of his friends even delivers the line "Guys wanna be like Andrei, and girls wanna be with Andrei." Must be nice. Meanwhile, Fedor is probably making his own borscht, sewing his own flags, and sleeping with his wife exclusively. [*shudders*] Careful of that rock-star lifestyle, Andrei — you saw what it did to Chuck.
Below: Gilbert Yvel — generously described here as "a fairly controversial fighter with a bit of a checkered past" — is going to rely on his unpredictability to beat Josh Barnett at "Day of Reckoning," and the general consensus is that Barnett will try to stand and bang with him. Sounds like a crowd-pleasing strategy, as long as it doesn’t blow up in his face…
Even though it never made it onto the broadcast of WEC 36 — a gross oversight that actually led to people getting demoted — the lightweight war between "Razor" Rob McCullough and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone still managed to make it onto many MMA pundits’ fights-of-the-year lists. But unless you caught the WEC’s "Best of 2008" special last month, this may be the first time you’ll see it in its entirety. Part one is above, and part two is after the jump; major props to MMA Scraps.
The tone is set in the first round round as McCullough drops the much-taller Cerrone with punches twice, but Cowboy manages to keep his shit together, score a knockdown of his own, then pounce on Razor and nail him with some heavy ground-and-pound. A bloodied and mouthpiece-less McCullough reverses the position, but finds himself knocked to the mat two more times before the bell rings. And that’s just the first five minutes. Enjoy…
If you’re watching this preview of "UFC Primetime" — the 24/7 type show that the UFC has put together to hype the Georges St. Pierre-B.J. Penn fight — and thinking that it looks like the best piece of MMA promo you’ve ever seen, you’re probably right. Our good buddy Ariel Helwani has been working on it and he swears we’ll like what we see when the first episode premieres this Wednesday night, so don’t miss it.
Here’s the next installment in Dana White’s UFC 93 video blog, where the UFC prez and Rich Franklin commiserate over England’s shitty food, Dana confronts Dan Henderson on his perceived shit-talking, and more fun with the British TUF 9 tryouts. Man, that Dana White sure loves his Guitar Hero, doesn’t he? Guess you need something to do when you spend so much time traveling, and it’s either that or read fucking books.
Though it won’t be televised in the U.S. for some inexplicable reason, the UFC taped a "Countdown" special for #93 that is airing in the U.K. on Setanta Sports and on UFC.com. Here’s part one, which covers the long-awaited meeting of Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson. 8:56-9:33 is pretty priceless; Ace seems to be taking interview cues from the Forrest Griffin school of deadpan humor. You can check out parts 2-5 on the UFC Direct Videos YouTube channel for more pre-fight trash-talk, as well as the origin story of Mauricio Rua and the improbable comeback story of Mark Coleman.
Even though TUF 9 still hasn’t locked down their Team U.S. coach, Dana White reveals in his new video blog that taping of the first two episodes is already kicking off at Wolfslair Academy. Also, this Wednesday will see the premiere of UFC Primetime, the hype-show for St. Pierre vs. Penn 2. (Also known as "The Baddest Motherfucking Countdown Show You Will Ever See.") Now that that’s out of the way, we can focus on the action — a wild, driving vs. walking race through the streets of Manhattan, Dana making an appearance at a SpikeTV conference (notice how unamused he looks when he’s introduced to the crowd with a highlight reel of him dropping F-bombs), editing of the aforementioned Primetime special, a visit to Pinkberry, and a glimpse inside Wolfslair before the elimination fights.
Bonus, after the jump: Mike Tyson’s ill-fated appearance as an MMA ref at a World Cage Fighting Championships event in March 2006. I have to say, that first stand-up due to inactivity on the ground might have been a little premature…
“Who knew that not sleeping and not eating could mess with your mental state?” says “Rampage” Jackson in this post-guilty plea interview with the OC Register.
If you had asked me that question before this incident, my answer would have been: everybody. Everybody on the face of the earth knows that not sleeping and not eating will cause you both physical and mental problems, up to and including death. After seeing this video, however, I realize I would have been wrong to say that, because at least one person had to find out the hard way.
In this video from Bad Boy, "Shogun" Rua gets his train on in preparation for his bout with Mark Coleman at UFC 93 next weekend. At least in the gym, this looks more like the old Shogun we all knew and loved, the Grand Theft Title-era Shogun, if you will. Now we just have to wait and see if that transfers into the Octagon after so much time off.
Yep, Arlovski and Penn are still getting their Internet self-promotion on. Episode three of Arlovski 360: On the Road to Reckoning focuses on the Pitbull’s mental game, though the clip is really just a collection of people talking about how awesome Andrei is. Which is kind of ironic considering Loretta Hunt’s speech about how surrounding yourself with people who tell you how awesome you are is actually bad for your development. (The next episode is titled "The Entourage," which also doesn’t bode well.) Interesting fact: The Morgan Freeman-esque narrator in the Arlovski 360 series is Greg Hollimon, best known for his role as Principal Onyx Blackman in Strangers With Candy. Well, it was interesting to me, anyway.
Below: The intro to the sixth installment of The BJPenn.com Show, which kicks off with a recap of the first three fights in the Beatdown Challenge, visits the Prodigy in training, features the last Beatdown quarterfinal matchup between Chris "Red Bull" Willems and "Dirty" Dave Moreno, and introduces us to another "Pretty Wahine." Segments 2-5 of this episode can be found here. Is it annoying that you have to watch the episode in five separate clips? Yes it is. But BJPenn.com doesn’t play by your rules.