Matt Hamill will be welcoming Rich Franklin back to the light heavyweight division at UFC 88 on September 6th, and he expects some fearsome striking from the former middleweight champ. But he trusts in his always-improving game, and knows he needs to face the best opponents available to earn his respect. Props to ESPN via FiveOuncesofPain.
Joe Rogan gives us a glimpse of the average UFC fight weekend for him, which generally includes a standup comedy performance on Friday night. A clip from his gig at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis starts at the 2:23 mark of this video, in which Joe does a solid Jim Brown impression and discusses his infamous “rape choke” commentary blunder at UFC Fight Night 13. Props to MMA Mania.
From ESPN: The Iceman discusses the hamstring injury that has sidelined him since April, and shares his thoughts on Rashad Evans, who he’ll face at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta). He also says he expects to get the next light-heavyweight title shot after the fight. Sorry, buddy — Thiago’s already called dibs.
If there’s one thing I love in fighter interviews it’s passive-aggressive remarks. Anybody can go out there and talk smack about an opponent or openly question his heart and his skills. But subtlety is a lost art in this business, and it can go a long way. For a great example, check out “Sugar” Rashad Evans’ remark about Liddell’s torn hamstring in this ESPN video. Says Evans, “at his age, injuries like that become harder to heal.”
Then he follows that up by saying he doesn’t expect it to be a big deal in the fight because Liddell is such a great fighter. I just really wish he would have added, “because, you know, Chuck’s sooooo experienced and has been fighting for soooo long, he can hobble his way through a fight with the best of them.”
After the jump check out Rich Franklin’s breakdown of his upcoming fight with Matt Hamill. Does he expect to be able to avoid Hamill’s takedowns all night? He does not. At least he’s being realistic.
I only have one thought looking at this photo from yesterday’s UFC 90 press conference in Chicago: Anderson, you’re wearing a pink-and-white polo shirt — would it kill you to pop that collar?
Even in his fey-frat-boy gear, the Spider still cuts quite an imposing figure, and Patrick Cote knows that no matter how the fight ends, he’ll be looking pretty messed up afterwards. He makes peace with that idea in the AOL Fanhouse video below, and also states that he wants to fight Silva at his healthiest. Which works out well, because Anderson Silva doesn’t get sick — sick gets Anderson Silva.
10. Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
(UFC 74, 8/25/07)
At 44 years of age, Randy Couture was the one who was supposed to look busted up after his heavyweight championship match with 29-year-old Brazilian wrecking ball Gabriel Gonzaga. But in one of the greatest triumphs of his career, Couture broke down the bigger, younger fighter with his wrestling and dirty boxing. About three minutes into the first round, blood began to pour out of Gonzaga’s shattered nose, giving Randy’s back a nice, red coat. The steady flow interrupts the challenger’s breathing and vision, leading to a brutal ground-and-pound finish in the third.
9. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith
(EliteXC: Unfinished Business, 7/26/08)
In the second round of their EliteXC middleweight championship do-over, Scott Smith nailed Robbie Lawler with a series of standing elbows that opened up an ugly gash on the top of Lawler’s head. With blood pouring out of the wound, Lawler turned up the intensity, doing his best to finish Smith before a doctor could stop the fight. About 90 seconds later, he succeeded — but not before a spray of “plasma” fell into commentator Mauro Ranallo’s lap. The video doesn’t really do it justice; you should also check out this photo from the fight, and this photo of the aftermath.
8. Chase Beebe vs. Eddie Wineland
(WEC 26, 3/24/07)
It may have been the most grisly demolition of a cauliflower ear in MMA history. Midway through a five-round bantamweight title match, challenger Chase Beebe dropped an elbow from the top that burst Eddie Wineland’s overripe right ear, causing it to spray blood several feet across the mat. Wineland, who had already suffered multiple cuts near his eyes from Beebe’s precision striking, soldiered on to the fifth-round bell with what appeared to be a gaping hole in the side of his head. Beebe took home the belt and Wineland hasn’t fought in the WEC since.
After the jump: Things really start to get disgusting.
HDNet brings us an absolute war between Jesse Forbes and Chris Camozzi for the “Fight of the Week.” If you like a bout that gets bloody early and only becomes more so before a surprise finish, then you are going to love this one. If you don’t like that, maybe you should check out a sport more your speed. How about women’s team handball?
In other HDNet news, Strikeforce’s October 3 event in Denver will air live on the cable network, MMA Weekly reported today. This is in addition to their late-night offering on NBC, which means Strikeforce is very quietly becoming one of the most visible MMA organizations on TV. No word yet as to whether their September event from the Playboy Mansion will make it on to TV, but we sure hope so. Purely because of the fights, of course.
SpikeTV just sent out the first cast shot of the Ultimate Fighter 8 gang, in which it appears that Big Nog has intimidated some of his guys into wearing socks on the mat.
You may also be interested in Ryan “Darth” Bader’s Ultimate Fighter audition video, which we’ve posted below. Not only is Bader a promising fighter, he also enjoys keg stands, naked pool-lounging, bro’ing out with CB Dollaway, and having sex with women. He also has some incredibly unoriginal taste in highlight-reel music. I already hate this person.
As mentioned on Saturday, Jared Hamman avenged his questionable-stoppage loss to Po’ai Suganuma in the main event of Friday night’s ShoXC card. For those of you who missed the fight, it was a wild one, with Suganuma “all over Jared Hamman like a bad rash” in the fight’s opening minutes before Hamman chopped the Hawaiian down with a series of punches midway through the first round; the video is above.
Related: We’d previously wondered what was up with Pro Elite’s recent strange behavior; though they’ve canceled two upcoming events, Sam Caplan at FiveOuncesofPain reports that the company is not on the verge of collapse. If you’re interested in Pro Elite’s current financial situation and how they might improve their condition in the future (and if you have some time to kill), we suggest you read Caplan’s full analysis here.
In part one of Nike’s new commercial series “Train Like LT,” San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson goes to what’s supposed to be Kimbo Slice’s broke-ass backyard and does some training “the old-school way,” which involves bench-pressing air conditioners and leg-pressing a compact car. If part two doesn’t begin with him running the gauntlet that’s at end of this clip, we’re going to be very disappointed. Speaking of Kimbo, he also makes a split-second appearance in this new commercial for Madden NFL ’09.
Also, Rich “Ace” Franklin talks us through his UFC 88 matchup with Matt Hamill in the above clip, acknowledging that he’ll probably be on his back a couple times during the fight. Regarding his permanently blackened eye, Franklin said “Jorge Gurgel only hits me when I deserve it.” That poor, poor man…
Stephanie Lum of Honolulu’s NBC affiliate KHNL 8 got a lot more than she bargained for when she made a visit to BJ Penn’s gym in Hilo for a segment called “Job Swap.” Penn greeted Lum by slamming her into the cage then taking her to the mat. Later, she was arm-barred into submission by a young boy who just wanted to “see what she was like.” (Or was that “feel what she was like”? Either way, awesome.) As local news fluff pieces go, it’s a success. Though technically, if they were really swapping jobs, wouldn’t BJ be trading puns back in the studio with Howard Dashefsky?