This video of BJ Penn’s experience at UFC 87 (courtesy of BJPenn.com, via Yahoo!) confirms a few things that I’ve long suspected: 1) BJ Penn has more fun than I do, 2) Jesse Ventura (seen sitting stone-faced next to Penn at one point) does not, and 3) everyone in the world — including “Rampage” Jackson — thinks they do a good Hulk Hogan impression, but most of them are wrong.
Where things really start to get interesting here is when Penn enters the Octagon to confront Georges St. Pierre about their superfight. You can hear Dana White asking Penn to let GSP “have his moment here real quick,” and you can also hear the boos from the crowd when Penn steps up to the mic. No matter, Nick Swardson thinks he’s the best fighter in the world, and that’s enough for me.
Below, check out BJ hitting the town with Bruce Buffer, who declares Jon Fitch to be “a tough son of a bitch.” You gotta love the Buff.
Some classic MMA goodness from the ’90s: First off is Andrei Arlovski’s unsuccessful pro MMA debut against Viacheslav Datsik (above), which went down in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the M-1 MFC World Championship on 4/9/1999; props to MMA Fight Girls for digging up the video. Fight starts at the 2:11 mark, and the Pitbull gets put to sleep about six minutes later. Arlovski would return to the cage a year later at the M-1 MFC European Championship, where he smoked Michael Tielrooy and Roman Zentsoz in a four-man bracket and caught the attention of the UFC.
Below is an absolutely insane video of Absolute Fighting Championship 1, a one-day, 32-man vale tudo tournament — yes, 32-man tournament — that took place in Moscow on 9/25/1995. Enormous future PRIDE fighter Ricardo “The Mutant” Morais made his MMA debut that day, stopping four opponents via strikes (all in less than two minutes apiece), before choking out Mikhail Illoukhine in the final. I guarantee it’ll be the most hardcore thing you see all week.
In this video from RawVegas.tv, Russian stoic philosopher Fedor Emelianenko drops some knowledge regarding the issues of the day, including his thoughts on Randy Couture and his somewhat surprising admission that he is impressed by Brock Lesnar. My personal favorite is when he responds to Dana White’s earlier criticism of him by remarking that the UFC president’s comments are on his own conscience and he’s the one who will have to live with them. These are the moments that make me wonder if Fedor isn’t some being sent from another world in order to teach us all to be kinder to one another. Then I rewatch his bout with Tim Sylvia and I am forced to abandon that theory.
The most unsung performance from UFC 87 was that of Jon Jones, the Octagon newbie who began fighting professionally in April. Though Jones’s decision win against Andre Gusmao didn’t make the pay-per-view broadcast, those who saw it were treated to one of the wildest offensive displays in recent memory. Check out the video above, where Jones pulls out every trick in his whoopass bag, including the sick takedown at the video’s 2:14 mark, a spinning elbow at 7:11, a spinning backfist at 7:17, more backfists at 11:54 and 13:05, and the switch-leg flying knee at 16:46. (And of course all those knees to the groin.) Sloppy? Absolutely. But with his wrestling prowess, aggressiveness, and creativity, he could eventually develop into a truly scary fighter.
And also, the opening Mike Goldberg/Joe Rogan exchange at 0:21-0:34? Instant classic.
Nobody likes to lose, but there’s losing like a man and there’s losing like a six-year-old. In the above video from NBC Sports Jon Fitch ups his stock by taking his loss to Georges St. Pierre as well as can be expected. Not only did he prove his toughness by hanging in against GSP for five rounds, he also showed up to the press conference even though his face looked like he’d just made out with a wolverine. That’s an honorable competitor, right there.
For fighting his heart out and for this display of gentlemanly sportsmanship, we extend to Jon Fitch our rarely-awarded Cage Potato ‘Atta Boy (award has no implied or actual monetary value). We’d like to also give one to Dana White for trying to subtly replace Fitch’s beer with a bottle of water while he’s answering questions from reporters, but we only have so many of these fake awards lying around.
In the interest of finishing what we’ve started in regards to this whole Dana White UFC 87 video blog business, here’s the closing entry. We get to see some of White’s fight night routine, which includes a fair amount of smokin’ and jokin’ (no actual smoking occurs) backstage with Rampage Jackson. We also hear once more about White’s enthusiasm for the city of Minneapolis, also known as “no bullshit, America’s best-kept secret.” And here I thought our best-kept secret was The Trail of Tears.
In case you’re sitting there all weepy-eyed over this little experiment in “vlogging” having come to an end, have no fear. Dana White vows that they’re going to start doing this before every event. Looks like someone has been won over by the power of the internets.
(Eric “Butterbean” Esch vs. Wesley “Cabbage” Correira)
The K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 went down Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, with Turkish kickboxer Gokhan Saki cruising through the event’s eight-man tournament thanks to three consecutive knockouts of Deutsch Puu, Rick Cheek, and Randy Kim. The GP’s quarterfinal round featured a match between Eric “Butterbean” Esch and Wesley “Cabbage” Correira, who previously fought in an MMA bout at Rumble on the Rock 8, where Butterbean won a doctor’s stoppage victory after two rounds. This time the ‘Bean wasn’t so lucky, as he suffered a head-kick knockout in the second round, which dropped his K-1 record to 2-4.
Another fighter who didn’t make it to the semis was American Gladiator/kickboxer Justice Smith, who lost a hard-fought decision to Mighty Mo Siligia — Mo was unable to continue to the GP’s second round, and was replaced by alternate Randy Kim, who knocked out Correira in the semis before being put down by Saki in the finals.
In the non-tourney superfights, K-1 World Heavyweight Champion Badr Hari needed all of seven seconds to knock out Domagoj Ostojic, and Min Soo Kim outlasted one-time UFC fighter Scott Junk to a unanimous decision win. Full results and video of the Hari/Ostojic knockout are after the jump. Props to MMA Mania and Bloody Elbow.
Things are improving in the fourth edition of Dana White’s UFC 87 Vlog. It helps that stuff is actually happening now, and it also helps that the Rampage Jackson dosage has been significantly upped. The more Rampage and less Dana White talking about his day that we see, the better this video blog gets. I realize that’s not really the point, but why not go with what works?
Dana White’s video blog is back, and it picks up steam around the 3:34 mark when he sits down to dinner with Rampage Jackson, who is totally “not crazy”. Just suffering from some “delirium”, as it turns out, but otherwise seems to be back to his old self. But don’t worry, the Dana White news update doesn’t stop there.
White appeared on a radio show recently (download the full version here, via Bloody Elbow) in which he has some sharp words for Roger Huerta. As you might have guessed, he is not pleased with Huerta’s comments bashing the organization’s treatment of him, and White responds by painting Huerta as an overhyped prima dona. And who overhyped him? The UFC, of course. But that doesn’t mean he should believe it, according to White:
“Roger Huerta’s a guy who’s been reading the headlines a little too much. You get out there and promote the guy and he’s like, “Look at all the papers I’m in, look at all the promotion I’m getting, I want a lot more money.’ Well he hasn’t fought anybody to get the money yet. He beats Kenny Florian, that’s a whole different ballgame.”
“Roger Huerta has contract problems? What’s his contract problem? He signed a contract, he’s under contract, when his contract is up he’ll renegotiate a new one. …What he was bitching about was doing PR. In his thing he said, ‘They got me out there doing PR.’ Yeah, moron. How do you think you make money? You don’t make money unless people know who you are and want to see you fight. Am I supposed to pay Roger Huerta to go out and do PR? Is that how it works?”
“That’s not how it works. When Oscar De La Hoya fights, he’s on Leno and Letterman. The night before his fight, he weighs in in Las Vegas, and then flies to Los Angeles to do PR for the fight. Because he makes more money. Because he becomes more popular and more people want to see him fight. …What happens is these guys turn into pussies, is what happens.”