Our boy Matt S./"Facey" just sent us the second installment of his brilliant MMA highlight reel project, where he complies the best moments from each month into a single, convenient video. January ’09 had more than its share of killer moments, from Jose Aldo‘s knee-knockout and people’s-champ celebration at WEC 38, to the string of near-lethal KOs at "Day of Reckoning," to Jon Jones’s utter tooling of Stephan Bonnar, to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal’s call-and-response bit at Sengoku 7. You can check out more of Matt’s work at FightFace.blogspot.com.
Below: A fan-shot video of Akihiro "Oh No" Gono‘s legendary ring-entrance at UFC 94. After the jump: The latest video trailer for UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson. Man, they’re really playing up the "London is rainy" angle…
Originally scheduled for the undercard of Affliction’s Day of Reckoning show last Saturday, the welterweight bout between IFL/UFC vet Jay Hieron and 6-0 prospect Jason High had to be postponed to the very end of the lineup due to time constraints — as in, directly after Fedor vs. Andrei, when 80% of the audience was out the door, the pay-per-view broadcast had cut out, and nearly everybody with a videocamera had already moved over to the post-event press conference. Fortunately, Inside MMA was able to show the fight on their Friday episode. And it looks like Emelianenko’s mid-air knockout of Arlovski wasn’t the only KO from Day of Reckoning that you’ll eventually be seeing on "Best of 2009" lists. After about a minute of settling in, Hieron dashed in with a crushing right hook which floored High, then landed three or four uppercuts while High was already dead asleep. The Thoroughbred lets out a battle cry after being pulled off his opponent, which we’d imagine is partly joy over the highlight-reel victory, and partly relief that he finally gets to go home.
Other moments worth seeing here: Dana consoles a distraught Stephan Bonnar, Joe Rogan and Eddie Bravo gush over Jon Jones, and Dana watches Akihiro Gono and his camp rehearse their elaborate Octagon entrance, which was truly a thing to behold. When Gono and his boys walked out in those matching evening gowns, pausing every few steps to get their dance on, you could feel the crowd going through a range of emotions. First came shock, then slight amusement, then genuine appreciation. Honestly, it was the best entrance in the history of MMA.
In the post-fight press conference a reporter asked Dana what he thought of a guy who came out in drag and got his ass kicked. Dana pointed out that a) a lot of people are going to get their ass kicked against Jon Fitch, and b) he loves Gono and what he brings to a UFC event. Then he conceded: “But if you’re going to wear a dress you probably better win.”
I know some people will make the argument that Gono would have been better served focusing more time and energy on his preparation for the fight than on his entrance, but let’s be real. Gono was going to get beat up with or without the awesome, cross-dressing entrance. Might as well have some fun before the pain begins.
Upon first hearing this story of the genesis of the best intro ritual in all of MMA – I speak now, of course, of the Buffer Turn – and learning that it came about by accident, I admit I was stunned. That’s like learning that the invention of the telephone was all just a screw-up, or that For Whom The Bell Tolls was written on cocktail napkins during a three-day drinking bender. How can something so beautiful be the product of mere happenstance?
But it’s true, fight fans. The Buffer Turn (and please, can’t we all call it that? Buffer 180 sounds like a skateboard trick) may have been an accident, but it’s part of our lives now. And thank God for that.
All this, and more, in Raw Vegas‘s talk with the man behind the microphone. You may be asking yourself: does he ever take off that suit? To which he would reply: does Superman take off his cape? Not while he’s working. And as long as he’s talking, Buffer is working, son.
This is a Pepsi commercial that will air during the Super Bowl. From the looks of it, the goal is to show that each generation continues doing things that previous generations before them did, like drinking Pepsi!
Gina Carano comes in around the 0:18 mark, right after Bruce Lee. Before you get too worked up about the comparison, remember that this fun little SAT analogy game started by going from Bob Dylan to will.i.am, as if to prove that this generation is more superficial than every other one. Still, MMA fighter in a Super Bowl ad. Hooray.
You know, it’s nice that even as hard as Dana White works he still finds time for a little fun, mainly by busting the balls of subordinates and playing office pranks on co-workers. Whatever gets you through the day, right? Although you can’t help but feel that Dana might not be as fun-loving were he on the business end of these pranks (remember the shock pen?). But I guess that’s one advantage of being the boss. The video blog cameraman aptly sums up his situation at the end of this installment, saying: “It’s like National Geographic. They don’t stop the lions from eating the gazelles; they just film it.”
In other UFC 94 news, many of you have noticed that there’s no official Cage Potato Pick-em Contest for this event, mainly because we’ve been giving away so much stuff we’re pretty tapped at the moment. That doesn’t mean you can’t still play for pride though, as the more enterprising among you have discovered.
Head on over to our forums right now and enter your picks for a chance to win…a swift kick in the balls? Dammit, you guys aren’t using our forums to try and turn this into one of your weirdo fetish sites again, are you? Either way, best of luck to you all in the informal UFC 94 Pick-em Contest.
Hey look, it’s another demo trailer for UFC Undisputed, which now has a 6/2/09 release date. I’m still not sold on the way faces look in this thing, particularly when Penn’s slapping himself in the mug or when Edith is blowing a kiss to the camera. But the gameplay looks solid, and we can only hope that the real action on Saturday night is as crazy as what we see here. Still, if this is all just a little too high-tech for you…
After the jump:Nate Diaz explains why he stormed out of the press conference after UFC Fight Night 15 — like everything he says, it makes a lot of sense — and he and Clay Guida discuss pace and height difference for their matchup on Saturday. Also, complete footage of yesterday’s UFC press conference at the MGM’s Hollywood Theatre in Las Vegas, featuring Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, Lyoto Machida, and Thiago Silva.
The Penn/St. Pierre chapter of UFC Primetime came to an end last night, with both fighters wrapping up their training camps and leaving home for the neutral ground of Las Vegas. It was an impressive final episode, particularly for the music and editing — from Rashad Evans‘s epic pimp-entrance in the beginning, to the final montage of both fighters saying their goodbyes to to their families and moving on by themselves. If you didn’t tune in, check out the above highlight reel for a short recap. Running the rock? Awesome. Having Troy Mandaloniz as your main training partner? Not so awesome.
Dana White handles some media obligations, gets covered in make-up, and divides his time between his “Irish mob TV show” and the build-up to UFC 94. Just in case he didn’t have enough to worry about, his driver gets pulled over in NYC for talking on his cell phone. Dana attempts to smooth things over with some fun little jokes about the guy’s national heritage. Maybe not the best time for that.
Oh, Jerry Millen. Is it not enough that you ripped off Dana White’s video blog? Now you have to try and propel yourself into the limelight using some ill-advised, sorority girl-style text message campaign? Who does that?
After the jump, B.J. Penn gets himself DQ’d at a grappling tournament.
Does anybody else feel sorry for Thiago Silva after watching this video of Lyoto Machida preparing for their fight at UFC 94? Machida really is one of the most focused, technically sound fighters in the world, and if he can score the mount on Silva as easily as he does with his training partner at the video’s 0:42 mark, forget about it. Plus, he has that "spirit" thing going for him, which is nice.
As Machida’s brother Chinzo points out, Lyoto "will only attack an opponent when he knows that the strike will hit its mark." And of course there’s the matter of his confounding defense. FightMetric put together this comparison of Lyoto Machida and some of MMA’s current champions, based on the number of strikes they absorb per minute of fighting ("SApM"):
Anderson Silva: 0.71 SApM Georges St. Pierre: 1.01 SApM
BJ Penn: 1.23 SApM Rashad Evans: 1.39 SApM
Frank Mir: 2.7 SApM
It’s a very telling statistic, when you consider that many MMA fans would name Fedor/Anderson/Georges/BJ as the top four pound-for-pound fighters in the world, in that order. Does Machida deserve to be ranked among them? He certainly has the talent; maybe by the end of the year he’ll have the accomplishments as well.