(Rich Franklin looks at this poster to cure his hiccups)
Anderson Silva puts the UFC’s middleweight class on notice 5 years ago at UFN 5
(Video courtesy of Thisis50/TonyScorpio)
Why it matters:
For those who didn’t know who Anderson Silva was prior to his UFC debut against Chris Leben at Ultimate Fight Night 5 back on June 28, 2006, they knew who he was after the fight. Silva was the slight favorite to win the bout (at – 170 to Leben’s +200), but if oddsmakers knew then what we know now, they would be kicking themselves for giving Leben a shot in hell at beating “The Spider.” It took Silva just 49 seconds to dismantle the previously thought un-KO’able TUF 1 veteran whose head was (and is) often described in the same vein as a fire hydrant. Those in the know from witnessing Silva leave a pile of PRIDE and Cage Rage opponents in his wake were not surprised that he beat “The Crippler,” but rather how quickly he did it and the devastating fashion he did it in.
Leben still wakes some nights in a cold sweat, screaming, from the recurring nightmare of Silva turning him into a human bobble-head with his pinpoint jabs.
Okay, so it’s not the next UFC event on the docket — that would be this Sunday’s UFC Live: Marquardt vs. Story show — but we might as well start getting hyped for the next pay-per-view card. UFC 132 goes down July 2nd in Las Vegas, featuring a bantamweight title fight, a fan-friendly matchup of sluggers, and Tito Ortiz‘s ongoing quest for redemption. The extended video preview does a decent job of explaining why you should care, but as is usually the case with these things, the hype is based on a series of well-worn fight cliches. Lets run ‘em down…
“I’m not the same fighter I was then. Things are just different. It’s not the same anymore.” (Dominick Cruz)
When Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber first met in March 2007, the California Kid was the WEC’s reigning featherweight champ and the promotion’s first home-grown star. Cruz was a promising contender, but he was still a little green, and wound up getting choked out in under two minutes.
Cruz hasn’t lost a fight since, and now the roles are reversed; he’s the reigning champion (now at 135 pounds), looking to stave off a title challenge by his old rival. Admittedly, Cruz is a much better fighter in 2011 than he was four years ago. His footwork has developed into a dynamic, utterly unique style of controlled chaos; his integration of boxing and wrestling has become seamless, and maddening for his opponents.
The reason that “I’m not the same fighter” is a lame cliche, even when Cruz says it, is that it implies your opponent is the same fighter. Which he’s not, obviously.
Yeah, if you’re looking for warm fuzzies, you can stop reading now. These two aren’t on the list. (Pic: MMAConvert.com)
Being a father must be one of the most thankless jobs on Earth. I say this not as a dad, but as a son who can only imagine what I put my father through. Sure, there are probably some happy times, like watching your son get his first hit on the baseball court, but largely it’s a never ending torrent of putting up with your son’s immature bullshit, and for that you get thought of one day a year at which time you’re rewarded with an ugly ass tie and a “Free Oil Change” coupon for the truck your son smashed up.
On this special occasion, take a few minutes to grab your old man, have a seat, and enjoy some good old fashioned shadenfreude with some of our sport’s less celebrated father-son moments. You may laugh, you may cry, but hopefully you’ll both realize that things could be a lot worse. Who knows, after a beer or two you may even decide to celebrate your strengthened bond by taking a class together.
To all the dads out there, keep fighting the good fight.
(Leg kicks, why have you forsaken me? / Photo courtesy of allelbows.com)
Today, as you know, is Easter — a day in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, three days after his crucifixion. To commemorate the holiday, we’d like to take this time to remember notable resurrections in the sport of mixed martial arts. (Because we’re respectful like that.) There’s nothing more incredible than watching a dude get the living crap beaten out of him for minutes at a time, and then somehow, miraculously, finding the strength to knock his opponent dead before the last bell. So without further ado, here are 11 of our favorite “Back From the Dead” MMA fights of all time…
Thanks everybody for your responses. Anybody who has followed my career knows that I’ve always loved interacting with my fans. This blog gives me a chance to keep in the game, at least mentally. I’ve had a few hits to the head and I suffer from some memory loss but I hope that this column helps to dispel some myths and educate you about the things I’ve learned throughout my life. Some of your questions had me cracking up, and most of you clearly have way too much time on your hands. It’s good to be half man, half amazing and black by popular demand…
‘MyDonkeyPunch’ asks: What was the craziest thing a fighter whispered to you when fighting?
Usually I was the one trash-talking during the fights so I’ll tell you about one of the coolest things that anybody ever whispered to me outside of the ring. After I won one of my K-1 fights in Las Vegas, I got the opportunity to meet Muhammad Ali who was there to present a trophy to the GP winner. Ali had always been my hero growing up so meeting him was a dream come true. When I shook Muhammad Ali’s hand, he pulled me in a close embrace and whispered, “You’re one tough nigger.” I was so honored and excited and it was hard to describe how much that experience meant to me.
‘bgoldstein’ asks: Fill in the blank: __% of fighters use steroids.
Let me answer this question by making an analogy. What percentages of race car drivers use high-quality gasoline? The reason why I ask that is because when you’re running a high-performance vehicle you want to use the fuel that will give you the greatest edge in winning. If you are not using the same quality of fuel as all of the other top drivers, you will start to fall behind no matter how good your engine is.
Sometimes it feels like nearly every middleweight fighter not crippled, crazy or comatose has gone on record in the last few months expressing a desire to fight Wanderlei Silva. At the risk of turning this post into a glorified game of MMA telephone, the reconstructed timeline looks something like this … buckle up, because this is going to get complicated …
This week Leben reiterated his desire to fight Wanderlei and then Wanderlei supporters allegedly launched a Twitter revolution directed at Dana White, urging him to make the fight between the two sluggers. Guess what, though? White ain’t even trying to hear that, see. He wants Wanderlei to fight Belfort, maybe in a big money fight at UFC Rio later this year. But NOW guess who may not want to fight Vitor? That’s right, Wanderlei. Wait, what? An attempt to make sense of it all after the jump …