(I guess someone forgot to tell the design team at FUEL that Struve is the taller one.)
Just a friendly reminder that we’ll have the live video stream for the UFC On FUEL: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger weigh-ins for you and your Valentine to watch at 5:00 pm ET tonight. If you’re at home and you’re one of the 17 people who subscribe to FUEL TV, you can watch it on your flat screen.
Will Diego Sanchez spit on Jake Ellenberger’s forehead while he shouts “yes” during the staredown? Will anyone mistake Dave Herman for Macho Man? Will he slam Stefan Struve? Does anyone plan on tuning into the prelims?
These questions and more will be answered after the jump (or in the comment section).
(Believe me when I tell you that I take each and every fight with 100% seriousness.)
On the heels of his second round Fight of the Night earning performance over John Olav Einemo at UFC 131, Dave Herman had a bit of momentum going for him. The Team Quest boldly claimed that “Jiu Jitsu doesn’t work” and then proceeded to handily defeat an ADCC champion in his UFC debut. But Herman’s hype train was nearly derailed in September, when he tested positive for marijuana and steroids in the aftermath of his aforementioned win over Einemo. The details surrounding his testing were sketchy to say the least, but in light of the circumstances he was pulled out of his UFC 136 bout with Mike Russow nonetheless. Well it seems “Peewee’s” pee is now clean, as he has been booked for a fight with Dutch submission specialist Stefan Struve for the UFC’s debut on FuelTV this February.
(You know who had that look in his eyes? Chris Benoit.)
Dave Herman’s recent failed pre-fight drug test and subsequent removal from his bout with Mike Russow has sparked debate across the web in regards to marijuana’s power (or lack thereof) as a performance enhancing drug. Some are saying Herman should have been pulled from the fight based on the illegality of the drug alone, a tough issue to deny. However, several studies have shown that certain strands of marijuana can provide a healing effect to the nervous system and could dramatically expedite the healing process of inflamed joints, which could prove incredibly beneficial to someone in the fight game.
Annie Appleseed Project, an alternative treatment foundation, has furthered research on the healing effect of marijuana, particularly to that of damaged nerves. They concluded that marijuana, in fact, can aid the nervous system beyond that of even morphine. Andrew Rice, a senior lecturer in pain at London’s Imperial College, had the following to say about marijuana’s ability to rehabilitate:
“I went in to get in my drug test (on Sept. 15), and a week later, they called me and told me they lost my urine specimen. I had to come in and redo it. That was last week. I went back in that day. And [on Wednesday], they told me I failed. I said, ‘That’s impossible.’…[now,] Texas said they never lost it and the first one [tested positive] for drugs and the second was for steroids. I don’t even smoke…I haven’t even had a beer in two months.”
If you’ve ever wondered how Cage Potato sneaks into UFC events, let’s just say it involves matching black baseball hats. Props: MMAConnected.com
Look, I get it. Vancouver fans are extremely excited about their Canucks winning 1-0 at home on Friday, putting the team one win away from taking the Stanley Cup. I’m more than willing to forgive those in attendance for being less than excited about UFC 131, an MMA event absent of title fights, or even some fellow Canadians on the main card. I’ll forgive the chants of “Go Canucks Go” and “We Want The Cup” that broke out throughout the evening. I’ll even forgive them for being won over by Jon Olav Einemo’s Canucks flag. But not watching the fights you’re supposed to be judging? That’s unacceptable.
There were some downright awful decisions made by the judges last night, causing some to wonder if they even watched the fights. Fortunately for Junior Dos Santos, his beating of Shane Carwin was too lopsided to possibly mess up. No doubt, Dos Santos looked impressive against Shane Carwin. Not only did he survive some of Shane’s hardest punches, but he also displayed some improved wrestling. He even managed to make Carwin look gun-shy, which seemed unthinkable. There were numerous times throughout the fight where it seemed crazy that Junior Dos Santos was fighting the same guy that almost dethroned Brock Lesnar. Before we get too excited though, remember that Shane Carwin managed to survive all three rounds, despite being a late replacement coming off of surgery. Time will tell how Dos Santos holds up against Cain Valesquez.
“Hands of Stone”? Yup, that sounds about right. (Pic: UFC.com)
There is so much to love about the UFC’s Fight Night Bonuses. Often times one of these rewards can double, triple, or even quadruple a fighter’s take home pay for the evening. They also serve as bounties for action, encouraging the knockouts, submissions, and exciting fights that we all enjoy. But I love them best for another reason altogether. They give Dana White the opportunity to do what he does best: wield his godlike power with impunity. That sword has two edges of course, one of which has cut us frequently, but when dolling out these bonuses we get to see the best of Dana White. There’s Dana the Vindictive, who snubbed Mir’s poor performance against Cro Cop by denying the night’s only KO a bonus; Dana the Fight Fan, who loves action packed bouts so much that sometimes he can’t bring himself to award only one “Fight of the Night” bonus; and Dana the Merciful, who sets right the grave injustices cast down from the judges table. It was this last Dana who reared his head last night, giving an “unofficial” bonus to Michihiro Omigawa, who lost a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins in the prelims. White felt that Omigawa clearly deserved the victory and awarded him his win bonus for his performance. This fight, particularly one judge scoring it 30-27 for Elkins, is sure to add more fuel to the firestorm that is MMA judging. And now, on to the $70k bonuses…
At that exact moment, as he stepped on the scales, he was haunted by the thought that he’d left his oven on. And that was the beginning of the end for Shane Carwin. (Pic: UFC.com)
This card was dealt a serious blow when PPV kingpin Brock Lesnar dropped out due to his ongoing battle with diverticulitis, and the hits just keptcoming. Despite the constant deck shuffling, Joe Silva’s cooked up a decent batch of chicken salad, setting up a headlining bout that in many ways is more compelling than the original and a few match-ups that pose some interesting questions. How will a Jenny Craig’d Carwin perform in his first fight back after undergoing surgery? Will Florian finally find a stable home at 145lbs? Can you even call it “ring rust” after a five year layoff?
A lot of tonight’s fights are tough to call, but we’ll call them just the same. If you tuned in to YouTube or Facebook for the pre-prelims, you were treated to copious amounts of leather (and some questionable judging). We’ll hold off on the results of those fights and the Spike undercard in case they make it to the PPV broadcast. As always, your witty and insightful comments are more than welcome. Your shitty ones, not so much.
To those in the know, however, Einemo is a tough challenge, no matter how long he’s been away from MMA.
Einemo’s only MMA loss came by unanimous decision to Fabricio Werdum at PRIDE 31. For most, not being submitted by the decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt would be an accomplishment in itself considering he tapped out Alistair Overeem and Aleksander Emelianenko just a few months later. But Einemo was an ADCC champ who won the revered submission grappling tournament in 2003, (and would later lose to Roger Gracie on points in 2009 in the same tournament) so it was unlikely he’d be submitted, even by Werdum.
Fast forward five years and the 35-year-old Norwegian heavyweight, who has remained busy training with his new Team Golden Glory teammates in Holland and competing in grappling tournaments since stepping away from MMA to focus on his family, is stepping back in the cage to take on UFC newcomer Dave Herman, who replaced Shane Carwin in the match (who stepped in to face Junior dos Santos in the main event when Brock Lesnar was forced off the card due to a diverticulitis flare-up) this weekend in Vancouver at UFC 131 this weekend. Most think that ring rust and Herman’s proven stand-up may play a factor in the bout, but considering Einemo is a main training partner of Strikeforce and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem and according to his coaches has had “many wars in sparring” with “The Reem,” it seems doubtful that the 6′ 6″ fighter (Herman is no slouch himself at 6′ 5″) will be unprepared in any areas of the fight.
After the jump: Rounds two and three of Einemo’s fight with Werdum and his ADCC match with Roger Gracie.
A pair of UFC fight bookings were reported today by MMAJunkie. Heavyweight Octagon newcomers Jon Olaf Einemo and Dave Herman will meet at UFC 131 next month in Vancouver, BC and Vladimir Matyushenko and Alexander Gustafsson will square off at UFC 133 in August in Philidelphia, PA.
It looks like the UFC scooped up its second Sengoku Raiden Championship fighter in a week.
As we reported last week, the promotion’s middleweight champion Jorge Santiago walked away from the promotion in the hopes of signing with either the UFC or Strikeforce. Although the Amercian Top Team fighter says he has not inked a deal with either promotion, several sources have confirmed that he has signed with the UFC and will face Brian Stann in his first outing at UFC 130 May 28 in Las Vegas.
Now reports have surfaced that Dave Herman has also received a requested release by the struggling Japanese organization. Although his manager, Shu Hirata confirmed today that his client had parted ways with the promotion, he would not commit to substantiating a handful of anonymously sourced reports that “Pee-Wee” has signed with the UFC.