ESPN’s MMA Live talks UFC 91 (which they’ll be broadcasting from live, with three shows next week) among other recent topics in the world of mixed martial arts. As much as I enjoy this show, Stephan Bonnar looks so uncomfortable. At times he seems like a robot that has learned about human emotions and expression solely by watching daytime TV. If bringing him in was a ploy to make us miss Kenny Florian while he’s locked away in a gym somewhere, mission accomplished.
After the jump, something that is not MMA but is still both fighting-related and awesome.
“I don’t intend to do any more business with Todd or Affliction in any way, and whether or not they still manufacture [Xtreme Couture clothing] down the road or not is still yet to be seen. But, you know, guys with drinking problems, I mean, is what it boils down to. I’ve seen it at several different professional meetings where he’s ordering shots and just out of control. And it’s not really something that I want be associated with.”
OH, SNAP. Beard sounds almost as bad as Mauro Ranallo. The UFC still won’t allow Randy to wear Xtreme Couture gear during UFC appearances as long as Affliction is a competitor, and his return to the Octagon has Beard’s panties in a twist — so basically, Affliction’s attempt to be a fight promoter may wind up spiking Couture’s clothing line altogether. I ask you: Hasn’t his man suffered enough?
Urijah Faber wasn’t kidding when he said he was a happy person who loved life. Even as he admits that he doesn’t really remember what happened in his loss to Mike Brown on account of all the punches to his head, he still seems to be in a pretty pleasant mood in the post-fight press conference, captured here by ESPN.
Chael Sonnen, however, describes his fight with Paulo Filho as “like being in a dance with a partner who doesn’t know how to dance.” He also says he hasn’t received Filho’s belt, as promised, and he’s absolutely not above accepting it should they offer it, despite the weird circumstances.
Fight of the Night: Donald Cerrone and Rob McCullough for their three-round undercard war that some are calling a fight-of-the-year candidate; too bad we had to see the Filho/Sonnen debacle instead. Cerrone took home the unanimous decision win.
Knockout of the Night: Mike Brown for his beating of Urijah Faber. Which was nice and all, though Aaron Simpson kinda got robbed.
Submission of the Night: Rani Yahya for his first-round guillotine choke of Yoshiro Maeda, also from the undercard.
TKO of the Night?: Leonard Garcia reportedly got an extra $7,500 for steamrolling Jens Pulver.
Full results can be found here. More videos after the jump…
Watching this NBC Sports video preview of tonight’s Jens Pulver-Leonard Garcia bout, I am officially psyched. You have to love Pulver’s ‘I’m getting too old for this shit’ attitude when it comes to fighting these young whipper-snappers, just as you also have to love that he arrives at the event looking like he stopped to fight in several bar parking lots on the way. I’ve never seen a guy so content in the role of gatekeeper or so compelling in it.
With Urijah Faber facing another tough, though probably doomed opponent, and with Paulo Filho showing up too fat to put his title on the line, Pulver-Garcia is looking like it could easily turn out to be the fight of the night. In fact, I’m so confident this bout will deliver, if it turns out to be anything other than a thriller I’ll eat my hat.*
MMA Scraps dug up the above video of Randy Couture‘s first-ever UFC fight, which took place at UFC 13 (5/30/97; Augusta, Georgia) against Tony “The Viking” Halme, a former pro-wrestler who made a completely unsuccessful run at being a mixed martial artist. This was Halme’s fourth and final pro MMA fight after three losing appearances in Rings. After Couture made short work of Halme, he went on to score a TKO over Steven Graham the same night, winning the event’s heavyweight bracket.
Below: I don’t want to call BJ Penn a bitch, because clearly he isn’t — I mean, his record speaks for itself. I’m just saying that the sounds he makes while putting up 150 pounds in the gym are somewhat bitch-like. He’s like the Maria Sharapova of free-weights. But I do like the GSP-directed dig his wrestling coach gets in at the end: “You don’t have Hollywood agents reprensentin’ ya, man. We’re just normal guys that like to beat somebody up.” Bonus: Our pal Dewey at Yardbarker filmed a ten-part MMA tutorial video series with cage-legend Frank Shamrock. Part 8 (“Leg Locks 101″) is after the jump; the rest can be seen here.
(Filho declares: “The Americans’ method of cutting weight is much better than ours.” No shit. Video courtesy of Sherdog.)
Paulo Filho apparently takes some of Chael Sonnen’s post-fight and pre-rematch remarks very personally. What’s ironic is that he talks in this video about what a difficult time he had cutting weight for their first fight, which resulted in him being somewhat off his game, but says he is in much better shape this time around. That’s an unfortunate choice of words, considering the way things worked out.
It’s also ironic that while Filho criticizes Sonnen for not acting like a professional after their first bout, he shows up seven pounds overweight for a title defense. As talented as Filho is, how does he expect to be taken seriously if he can’t make weight to defend his own belt? It’s piss-poor timing, considering the WEC middleweight division is set to be absorbed into the UFC soon. And what’s Dana White’s stated position on guys who can’t make weight, especially for title fights? He’s against it. Really against it.
Besides the embarrassment of the whole charade, there’s also the financial cost to Filho, who’ll be giving up 25% of his purse to Sonnen. He isn’t happy about that either, telling Tatame:
“That guy (Sonnen) will pay dearly my 25% (purse) inside that octagon on those three rounds: 10% on the first, 10% on the second and the rest at the third.”
Sounds like Filho’s got it all figured out, mathematically speaking. But what if the fight ends in the first? Then Sonnen gets away with that last 15% for nothing. Didn’t think of that, did you Paulo?
I’m not a “gamer,” let alone a Gears of War fanatic, so it took me a few viewings to understand what in the hell was happening in this video. But here’s what I’ve gathered: Tomorrow night on Spike, there will be a half-hour special where a quintet of hardcore video game nerds do a little competitive cosplay, with the winner getting a chance to play Gears of War 2 before it’s released in stores. And this is being presented as something that you might want to spend your time watching. Oh, and, UFC heavyweight/TUF 8 coach Frank Mir shows up as a celebrity trainer, though he uses his role mainly to shoot his team in the head and laugh at them.
You know, if Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was brought in as a trainer, he’d probably invite some guest coaches who actually knew a few things about combat strategy, do his best to help his team achieve their goals, then organize a family-style dinner. But hey, different people have different coaching styles. Anyway, the concept’s pretty ‘tarded. Maybe not ‘tarded on the level of what movies would be like if the characters had cell phones, but ‘tarded nonetheless.
In this video Carlos Arias of the OC Register manages to get former EliteXC VP Gary Shaw talking about the company’s collapse. Shaw says he is “not ashamed” of what he did in his time with EliteXC, and bemoans the “haters” who have been taking shots at he and his son. Speaking of his son, now that EliteXC is done and $kala has lost whatever vague job he held with them, this means he’s out of the MMA biz for good, right? Oh, if only it were that easy.
“We really truly haven’t spoken about what career path he wants to do. I know he truly loves MMA, so there’s a chance that he’ll want to stay in it. …If it wasn’t for Jared I wouldn’t have gotten into MMA.”
Is that statement supposed to somehow make us hate him less?
In the latest episode of Inside MMA, the gang discusses UFC 91 with Randy Couture. Based on his comments here, as well as the video of his training, Couture seems to think all there is to beating Lesnar is getting used to dealing with a big, heavy guy. Maybe he’s right. Then again, maybe the reason there’s only one Brock Lesnar is because few human beings are that big and also that athletic. I suppose we’ll find out.