Well, we must have cursed him, because the Bad Boy Era has ended as quickly as it began. Garcia was defeated in his first attempted title defense at Legacy FC 33 on Friday night, tapping out to an arm-triangle choke against 25-year-old Texas native Damon “The Leech” Jackson at the 1:32 mark of round 1. Jackson increases his undefeated record to 9-0, with all wins via stoppage within the first two rounds. So maybe we should keep an eye on this guy.
While kidnapping princesses in Japan last month, UFC president Dana White spent some time with MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba (and a translator, and another Japanese dude who was apparently just there to hang out), and talked to Saku about his days in PRIDE. The resulting video is above, although as Dana tells us, there was a lot that Sakuraba asked him not to include. Some thoughts and observations, in no particular order…
- Is it me, or does DW seem really jet-lagged in the intro? Dude is running on fumes.
- The sociopathic matchmakers at PRIDE wanted Sakuraba to fight Fedor Emelianenko at one point; that was the only fight he ever turned down. And no, Sakuraba wasn’t paid extra money whenever he fought a 205-pounder or a heavyweight.
- White can’t help crapping on PRIDE a bit for their handling of Sakuraba. “Imagine if they promoted fights the right way, and did it the way it should have been done,” White says. “Sakuraba is a fighter and an attraction that they could have took all over the world…if Sakuraba was at 170 and, at that time we’re talking the 170-pound division was Matt Hughes, Carlos Newton, Pat Miletich. All those guys that competed at 170 at that time, imagine Sakuraba coming into Las Vegas to take on one of those guys. They could have done big things.”
We’ve all lost someone to cancer. It is a perpetual, all-encompassing disease that practically embodies our perception of Death, and one that has taken the lives of countless human beings and affected the lives of countless more. But if ALF’s ass-whipping of Lymphoma has shown us anything, it’s that nothing, not even cancer, can triumph over the power of human will.
Legendary sports personality and Sportscenter anchor Stuart Scott received the heartbreaking diagnosis seven years ago. Seven years. And last night, he received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, named after college basketball coach and broadcaster Jimmy Valvano, at the 2014 ESPYs.
His speech was nothing short of beautiful, the kind of speech that I can do no justice in describing with simple adjectives, no matter how monosyllabic and pretentious they would be. You could almost feel the Nokia Center settle with the gravitas of Scott’s trademark voice as he sang the praises of his co-workers, his friends and family — everyone who helped him when he needed it most. Having spent 7 of the past 10 days laid up in the hospital with kidney failure and liver complications (among other ailments), undergoing 4 surgeries in the process, Stuart was unsure if he’d even be able to make it to the ESPYs to accept his award.
“I couldn’t fight,” Stuart lamented. “But the doctors and nurses could. The people that I loved…they could fight.”
But Scott did make it. He persevered and will surely continue to persevere because that’s just the kind of guy he is. He won’t be defeated by his greatest foe. He’ll go down, sure, but not out. In the words of Valvano, Scott will never give up. And his words will surely pull at the heartstrings of anyone who has ever done the same, or seen someone who has. Because in the end, cancer may defeat you, but it will never win.
“When you die, it doesn’t mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” – Stuart Scott
Headliner Donald Cerrone became the fifth UFC fighter in history to earn ten performance bonuses, thanks to his second-round knockout of Jim Miller, which netted him a $50,000 bump for Performance of the Night. Fun fact: Cerrone has earned $610,000 in bonus money during his three-and-a-half-year UFC career…and counting. Check out highlights from Cerrone vs. Miller in the video above. At the 0:38-0:41 mark, Jim Miller tries to recreate Scott Smith vs. Pete Sell and fails. But man, that would have been awesome.
Fight of the Night went to the John Lineker vs. Alptekin Ozkilic flyweight feature, which Lineker won by TKO with nine seconds remaining in the fight. Highlights from that match are after the jump, along with footage from Edson Barboza‘s body-kick TKO of Evan Dunham, Joe Proctor’s gritty win over Justin Salas, and Rick Story‘s squash match submission against Leonardo Mafra.
It’ll be a brisk 11-week turnaround for Johnson, who successfully made his fourth title-defense against Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174 last month, in spite of Bagautinov loading up on EPO during his training camp. [Ed. note: Mighty Mouse deserves some extra cash for that. Can the UFC institute a "Sorry We Made You Fight a Juicer" bonus?] Fun fact, via Iole: “Given that UFC 176 was canceled, Johnson will appear in two of the last three pay-per-view shows when he steps into the cage on Aug. 30.” And of course, Dillashaw and Barao will appear in two of the last four, since they previously got it on at UFC 173.
Chris Cariaso is just 4-2 as a flyweight, but has won his last three bouts against Iliarde Santos (0-3 UFC record), Danny Martinez (0-2 UFC record), and Louis Smolka (1-1 UFC record) — not exactly a murderer’s row of top competition. Fun fact, via me: The split-decision that Cariaso notched against Smolka represented the first time that Cariaso has ever appeared on a UFC main card, back in May at UFC Fight Night 40. And this guy is getting a title shot, because the UFC is struggling to fill out this pay-per-view card. Times are getting hard, boys.
And so, UFC 177′s buyrate has shot up from an estimated 95,000 buys to a solid 110,000 with the addition of Johnson/Cariaso. I kid the flyweights. Sort of. I mean, they’re awesome and everything, but good luck convincing paying customers of that.
With some of the promotion’s most crowd-pleasing stars returning to action in the near future, the UFC has released a bunch of classic fights to hype up their appearances.
First up: Donald Cerrone‘s comeback knockout of Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 in August 2012, in which Cowboy gets battered around the cage for a minute before stunning Guillard with a head-kick and finishing the job with a right cross. The 76-second performance earned Cerrone an extra $120,000 in Fight of the Night/Knockout of the Night bonuses. He returns to the cage this Wednesday against Jim Miller at UFC Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City. Set your DVRs, folks.
Now we’re busy with another magic, top secret project that likely won’t surface for a few weeks at the very earliest. But rest assured, we have our top men working on it…Top. Men.
As a result, we haven’t really had the time to delve through YouTube’s dearth of martial arts vids and expose hilarious frauds and fails. Thankfully, a Twitter-friend (@BurritoBrosShit) tipped us off to the video we’re presenting you today: A Korean Systema instructor showing how much of a bad-ass he is by beating up compliant training partners dressed as bikers. One of them is dressed as Marty McFly from Back to the Future.
Proving that the MMA shin-break bug can strike at any time, Russian heavyweight Magomed Malikov snapped his leg earlier today while kicking Brett “Da Grim” Rogers at Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow 16. Rogers didn’t even check the kick, Destruction-style — Malikov’s leg just kind of fell apart on impact. Horrible. Anyway, good night everybody!
If you’re not familiar with MMA reporter/occasional UFC employee Ariel Helwani by now, all you need to know is that he loves to instigate shit between MMA fighters more than MMAMania’s Jesse Holland loves to eye-rape Brittney Palmer. The shots, they have been fired.
Helwani has been rightfully punked for talking noise on several occasions in the past, most notably by sirs Diaz, Page and Ortiz, but has never ceased in his quest to poke bee nests from afar while simultaneously acting as if he isn’t the one holding the honey-covered stick. His shit-stirring skills were on full display at the unveiling of the TUF 20 cast last week, where he sat down (sort of) with each member of the cast to ask hard-hitting questions like:
-”Is there anyone you saw while moving into the house that you were like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to live with this person?’”
-”Is there anyone that you’re annoyed that you have to live with for the next six weeks?”