What you’re about to witness is the MMA equivalent of a walk-off home run. Chris “Red Bull” Willems gets a leg-kick checked at the start of this fight, but then reloads and goes upstairs — hard. The sound of foot impacting with face can be heard all the way in the cheap seats, and Akoni Nakila is comatose before he even hits the canvas. We’ve seen some gnarly head-kick KOs in our time, but this one is a freakin’ masterpiece; Cro Cop himself couldn’t have painted it better.
Hey, look who’s on "MMA Live." Why, it’s Mike Chiapetta, who you might remember from those NBCSports.com segments on MMA before NBC threw up their hands and gave up on the sport altogether. Now he’s writing for ESPN.com and filling in for Franklin McNeil alongside Kenny Florian. Looks like NBC’s loss is ESPN’s gain. In this episode the crew talks through the upcoming Fight Night event and touches on all the other pressing subjects of the moment.
You know what I like about this show? It seems like they’re always talking about what we’re talking about it. And by ‘we’ I mean the internet. Maybe that’s because they’re an internet show, but they’ve really got their finger on the pulse of the online MMA community, which is probably meaningless to everyone but me.
Well, this is far less awkward than Wanderlei Silva’s advertisement/guided tour of his own gym, because this time around we have a native English speaker to help us make sense of what the hell’s happening. Dave Farra is also crafty enough to use the tour of the facility as a ruse to ask Silva the hard questions, like, does he think GSP cheated? ("He dominate the fight, he don’t need this, no?") Does he want another shot at “Rampage” Jackson? ("Of course.") ‘Sup with the playground? ("The kids need to have fun too, you know?")
I’m satisfied with those answers. Although I am surprised to hear that Silva had a six-month training camp before the Jackson fight. On one hand, that can’t be a good idea. On the other hand, if only you could put Silva’s work ethic in B.J. Penn‘s body.
After the jump, Dana White talks more about the death of TapouT’s “Mask” and explains why the news hit Chuck Liddell especially hard.
(Props: Spike.com. Click the image to see the video.)
Spike TV has released a new preview clip for The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom (premiering April 1st at 10 p.m. ET/PT), in which UFC prez Dana White arrives at Wolfslair to check out the British hopefuls during the elimination round. We learn that before their fight at UFC 93, Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson both had to fly to England to assess the talent, just in case, and we get a taste of the first indecipherable British accent when Gary Kelly pronounces "my record" as "me lachoad." Unsurprisingly, Gary is the brother of Paul Kelly, who has already become infamous for his post-fight interviews. Where the hell are these two from, anyway? Mushmouth-upon-Tyne?
Three years after his embarrassing 11-second destruction at the hands of Fedor’s younger brother, James Thompson managed to shave one second off of his personal getting-knocked-out record during this Cage Rage match against 2-0 rookie Neil Grove. Following a very brief feeling-out process, Grove starts swinging his big meathooks around until one of them connects squarely on Thompson’s glass chin, sending the Colossus facedown onto the mat for a lil’ nap. The announcer immediately calls the stoppage “UN-BA-LAY-VA-BOWL,” but honestly, what did you expect to see in a fight between two British heavyweights — a flying gogoplata?
In part one of a new video feature from the WEC, bantamweight king Miguel Torres gives us a look at his fight preparation, his family (including his father, the true originator of the Torres Mexi-Mullet), and the sacrifices he makes to guide the next generation of martial artists. Torres will make his next belt defense at WEC 40 (April 5th, Chicago), where he’ll be welcoming Shooto/GCM standout Takeya Mizugaki to the U.S.
Below: On a recent episode of Sports Science, Fedor Emelianenko out-choked a python, then choked-out the show’s host. ("You’ll be okay, don’t worry," says Fedor, trying in vain to console the human test dummy.) It’s an interesting look at the mechanincs behind how fighters get choked out, and how little effort it really takes to make that happen. For the beginning of Fedor’s segment click here. Sorry for the video quality; please turn up your sound.
Beginning with one of the greatest face-offs in MMA history — which pitted Thompson’s theatrical fury against Aleks’s nose-picking stoicism — it was clear that this fight was going to provide an entertaining clash of styles. Thompson’s ridiculous “gong-and-dash” routine actually succeeds in catching Emelianenko off-guard, but as soon as the Grim Reaper springs back to his feet, reality sets in. Thompson proceeds to eat punch after punch until his legs give out, thus proving a very important lesson: It doesn’t matter how big you are, or how angry you look — real power comes from having tons of Russian prison tattoos.
Lots to point your eyeballs at today. First, there’s the above extended trailer for the UFC’s next pay-per-view event, #97 in Montreal on April 18th. The theme, of course, is "Redemption" — Anderson Silva wants to make up for his unsatisfying last performance against Patrick Cote, while Mauricio Rua and Chuck Liddell battle to regain their relevence. The best moment comes at the 4:41 mark, where Thales Leites says "He has to kill me, you know, or I will take this belt," and Silva gives the camera a look that says it all: Which do you think is more likely to happen?
Below: The best MMA-related video remix we’ve seen all year. In this take on the much-parodied "Hitler blowup" scene from Downfall, Adolf’s underlings have to explain to him why Fedor Emelianenko won’t be fighting in the UFC. It doesn’t go well.
The unspoken first rule of Chute Boxe seems to be, “When you’ve got a guy hurt, hurt him worse.” Representing the notoriously aggressive Brazilian camp at PRIDE’s 2005 lightweight tournament was Luiz “The Joker” Azeredo, who may as well have taken a baseball bat to the ring with him during his quarterfinal match against Naoyuki Kotani. Azeredo wastes no time in dazing the Japanese fighter with a dead-on right straight, then place-kicks Kotani’s melon like he’s aiming for a set of goalposts 40 yards downfield. The knees to the head that came directly after might have been a bit unnecessary, but the Joker was too consumed by bloodlust at that point to stop. Despite his intimidating opening-round performance, Azeredo went on to lose a decision to Takanori Gomi later that night. As for Kotani, he has finally regained the use of his lower body, though he still pronounces his “th”s as “f”s.
(Mayhem discusses his opus with the KTLA morning news jackasses.)
I want to hate Jason "Mayhem" Miller’s “Bully Beatdown.” I really do. Not only is it an incredibly stupid idea that bastardizes and trivializes MMA and bullying (both of which are close to my heart), it also features Mayhem acting the fool for MTV. And yet, after watching episode one (which doesn’t work when I embed it for some reason), I was actually somewhat entertained.
Miller brings in Tony “The Gun” Bonello (who was bullied pretty bad by “Ninja” Rua in his last outing) to rough up a guy who’s been bullying his older brother while also paradoxically sporting a tattoo that reads “Family First.” What follows isn’t even close to MMA (one round of grappling followed by one round of kickboxing is obviously some bullshit), but it is oddly satisfying in the way that seeing a bully get bullied always is. Think of it as "Pros vs. Joes" with more personal acrimony and less time wasted on soccer and swimming and other nonsense.
After the jump, something only kind of related to MMA, but close enough.