Check out that bout, where they apparently love each other too much to throw hands, after the jump. Make sure to pay close attention to how both men use the handshake as an opportunity to jump their opponent at different points in the match. The Russian crowd just can’t get enough of that gag.
Five months after hacking through Marcin Najman in his MMA debut, five-time World’s Strongest Man winner Mariusz Pudzianowski will return to the cage at KSW 13 (May 7th, Warsaw), likely against 40-year-old Polish fighter Robert Paczków. A former Greco-Roman wrestling competitor and Sumo champion, Paczków’s only MMA fight took place at a Cage Rage event in December 2007 against TUF 10 vet James McSweeney, who was 1-0 at the time. As you can see in the video above, McSweeney was taken down and smothered by the 300+ pound Pole in short order. At the vid’s 2:10 mark, McSweeney is forced to tap to what the ring announcer calls an "arm choke," but what looked more like a reverse mooboplata from our angle. Though Pudzianowski will still enjoy a strength advantage against Paczków, it’ll be interesting to see if Paczków’s sheer girth and grappling prowess will pose problems for the 33-year-old strongman. If you can read Polish, you’ll find more info on KSW 13 right here.
After the jump: A rockin’ music video from Mariusz and his brother Krystian (aka Pudzian Band). Plus, Mariusz shows off his pad on the Polish version of MTV Cribs.
Hashi is primarily known as a grappler, and is backed by some impressive credentials. She placed third in her weight class at the 2007 ADCC’s, and picked up the title of "Grappling Queen" in Smackgirl’s open-weight division. In a recent interview, Hashi had some strong words for her opponent:
"I am fully aware that she is very strong and dangerous. She is aggressive and she doesn’t back pedal, and strikes hard. She has got a stamina too, so I think she is a very tough fighter. As you can see from her professional record, she is a tough fighter to beat, but that also became my motivation because I am always looking forward to face a strong fighter. I imagine, overall, it’s going to be a striking battle. If she has got a pride in her striking ability then I would like to crush that pride by striking against her. If this fight hits the ground, then I will show my pride in the ground game. In all aspect of this fight, I will not back off. So, for sure, this is going to be an extremely tough fight. Just as like my other fights, my approach is to break my opponent’s heart."
Videos of three of Takayo’s fights are after the jump…
(Aoki vs. Sotiropoulos, Shooto: Champion Carnival, 10/14/06. Props: MiddleEasy. Fight starts at the 4:00 mark.)
Before he was a rising lightweight star in the UFC, George Sotiropoulos was just another Australian prospect trying to make a name for himself. In October 2006, Sotiropoulos found himself in the ring with Shinya Aoki, who had become the 170-pound boss of Shooto earlier that year. As you’ll see, Georgie spent the entire first round desperately defending leg-lock attempts. Clearly outmatched in the grappling department, he tried a different strategy as soon as round two started — he punted Aoki directly in the groin. The Tobikan Judan couldn’t continue, and the fight was ruled a DQ loss for Sotiropoulos. It wasn’t the first time that Aoki was stopped due to a foul, and it wouldn’t be the last. In 2005, Aoki earned a DQ victory over Shigetoshi Iwase thanks to a low blow, and his first meeting with Gesias Cavalcante ended in a no-contest due to some illegal elbows to the back of the head. Bad luck or overacting? And speaking of nasty nut shots…
After the jump: Former American Gladiator/"MMA fighter" Justice Smith kicks a man in the balls as hard as he can, in the name of science.
(Skip to the 2:35 mark for the good stuff. Props: MMA Share)
A spinning backfist knockout is a lot like an open container of alcohol. It’s really great in the places where it’s allowed, but a good way to have your night ruined in the places where it isn’t. Unfortunately for "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, the "It’s Showtime" event in Prague is the kind of place that frowns upon such displays of 360-degree backfistedness, even if the Czechs don’t exactly have their own word for it. Guess we’ll have to add it to our list.
The sad thing is, to us it’s a highlight reel knockout. To them, it’s cause for a disqualification. Much like gun laws in the U.S., the legality of various strikes can change just as soon as you cross the border into a new place. That’s why you always call ahead first. I learned that lesson the hard way after my soccer kicks and head stomps did not go over well at my cousin’s wedding in Arizona. I’m just saying, why even have an open bar if you don’t want to have any fun?
Closing out the preliminary card of UFC 110 this Saturday will be a light-heavyweight bout between Elvis Sinosic and Chris Haseman, which will make minor history as the first UFC fight contested between two Australians. While the local Sydney crowd will surely mark out for the scrap, it’s a shame that the competitors have to be so unworthy. Sinosic (8-11-2, 1-6 UFC) has dropped his last two fights, and hasn’t won a match in over three years. The semi-retired Haseman (20-16, 0-1 UFC) last competed in November 2008 when he knocked out Yuji "The Pink Typhoon" Hisamatsu, breaking a four-fight losing streak that dated back to 2002. Basically, neither of these guys would be getting another shot in the UFC if they weren’t both Australian, and available on the day of the show. (It says a lot about the state of Australian MMA that these are the two biggest/best stars they could pull for their Aussie vs. Aussie feature.)
But there is one hook to hang the fight on: The King of Rock ‘n’ Rumble and the Hammer met once before, way back in March 1997, at an eight-man Caged Combat: Australian Ultimate Fighting tournament that was won by Brazilian Top Team co-founder Mario Sperry. Haseman’s performance in the tourney was notable because he scored two wins via chin-to-eye submission. The video above shows the semi-final match between Sinosic and Haseman; Haseman chins Elvis out at the 4:00 mark. Though the technique is currently outlawed by the Unified Rules under the "no gouging" clause, it would be a fitting tribute to Australia’s colorful MMA history if the refs could look the other way this weekend. Do you really think those descendants of criminals will give a shit?
There’s nothing we love more than unregulated MMA shows held in parking lots. This lost classic comes from a "Rumble at the River" event that went down somewhere in Minnesota in August 2007. We don’t know who the competitors are; we just know that one is a welterweight and the other is a bantamweight with a peace-sign tattoo on his arm and shaky striking defense. (Try to guess which one is snoozing on the mat nine seconds after the fight starts.) By the way, it took the paramedic so long to get over to the downed fighter because she had to change out of her ring girl uniform first.
After the jump:Quinton "Rampage" Jackson makes an appearance in a slick new Nike commercial that will be running this evening during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Okay, so maybe his scene has an unfortunate pro-wrestling vibe to it. (What exactly was his opponent doing when Quinton was stretched out on the canvas? Blowing kisses from the turnbuckle?) But goddamnit if ‘Page didn’t get up and deliver the death-blow to that generically tattooed cage-fighter. Cheesy or not, you gotta be psyched to see something like this in a high-profile mainstream ad…
After his loss on Saturday night it now seems like Coleman is done, or at least done in the UFC. At the very real risk of eulogizing Coleman’s career too soon, as we did with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s – Christ, doesn’t anyone quit this sport when they should? – we’d like to pay tribute to the monster Coleman used to be by looking back at some of his finest MMA moments.
If you didn’t follow his pre-UFC career, you probably figured that Anderson Silva’s Octagon debut would be relatively competitive. Chris Leben was a dangerous brawler who had won five straight in the Octagon against solid competition, while Silva was…some sort of Brazilian from Japan, I guess? In actuality, the Spider was quickly becoming the most lethal striker in the business, and had spent the previous two years brutalizing guys like Lee Murray, Jorge Rivera, and Tony Fryklund as the middleweight champion of Cage Rage. So all that stuff the Crippler said about pressing the action against Silva, rough-neckin’ him, throwing him around, blasting him in the face, breaking his jaw, then sending him back to Japan where the competition’s a little easier? Oh my God, player. He might as well have been talking about how he was bringing the karate aspect back into jiu-jitsu — that’s how out of touch with reality he seemed, in retrospect.
Chances are, you’ve watched this clip a hundred times by now, so you know what happens next: Anderson Silva makes his name in the U.S. with one of the most flawless victories in MMA history and earns an immediate title shot against Rich Franklin, while Leben begins his slow drift out of relevance. And these days, all of Silva’s fights look like mismatches.
It was a classic matchup of skill vs. morbid obesity. The comically large son of legendary Brazilian scrapper Rei Zulu, Wagner da Conceicao Martins (aka "Zuluzinho") managed to build up a sizable undefeated record in vale tudo matches before joining PRIDE in 2005, where he mauled sumo wrestler Henry "Sentoryu" Miller in his debut. But things like size, pedigree, and professional record mean very little when you’re fighting Fedor Emelianenko. To the untouchable PRIDE heavyweight champion, Zuluzinho was nothing more than a giant punching bag.
In just 26 seconds, Fedor put ‘Zinho on his ass with an inhumanly fast left hook, abused him on the ground a bit, knocked him back down with a right as soon as the giant got to his feet, then went into beastmode until Zuluzinho tapped from the onslaught. This fight proved once and for all that "big and slow" is not the best combination for beating Fedor. If only Hong-Man Choi and Tim Sylvia got the message in time.
Feel like being entertained for about 24 minutes? Then check out this K-1 knockout compilation, which features kickboxing legends like Ernesto Hoost, Andy Hug, Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner, and Mark Hunt leaving their opponents with permanent neurological damage. Part 2 is after the jump. You will not be disappointed.
It took their lazy asses two full months, but Strikeforce has finally released the video of Marloes Coenen‘s rematch with Roxanne Modafferi, which was part of the unaired preliminary card at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers. Though Modafferi was able to grind out a split-decision victory when she first fought Coenen in the finals of an eight-woman K-Grace tournament in May 2007, their last meeting was a 65-second pwnage by Marloes, who used razor-sharp striking to drop Modafferi before methodically setting up an armbar. With her Strikeforce debut an unqualified success and her reputation growing in the States, the good-lookin’ Golden Glory product will now challenge for Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos‘s 145-pound belt on January 30th. Any predictions?
If you thought Benson Henderson’s performance against Donald Cerrone was the craziest display of submission defense/pain tolerance in recent MMA history, you need to watch the above video, which shows the second and final round of Bogdan Cristea‘s decision loss to Daisuke Nakamura at M-1 Challenge 5 (7/17/08). Nakamura, God bless him, does everything he can to finish this fight. He bends Cristea’s leg in a kneebar, then transitions to an equally nasty-looking heel-hook. He tries one armbar, then another, then a kimura. Cristea shakes them off, and when the fight goes back to the feet, he actually puts Nakamura in trouble with strikes.
At the 3:31 mark, Nakamura tries a flying armbar to get the fight back to the ground. Cristea escapes (obviously), so Nakamura transitions into a straight armbar that would have finished any other opponent. Cristea shakes his finger "no." As the fight ends, we learn that Cristea was previously hit by a car and left for dead, and nearly had his arm amputated. And if he didn’t let a car rip off his arm, he certainly isn’t going to let some little punk in a black Speedo do it. Bogdan Cristea’s enormous balls: We salute you.
Tom Lawlor was a 2-1 underdog in his bout with C.B. Dollaway at UFC 100. Conventional wisdom said that he’d be an entertaining guy to have on the card prior to the opening horn, but wouldn’t stand much of a chance against Dollaway’s dominant wrestling and smirking self-assurance. The entertaining part turned out to be true. Lawlor painted himself in homage to the infamous Just Bleed Guy for the weigh-in, and then used man-dog Seth Petruzelli as a prop in his entrance. That’s where the fun was supposed to stop, but just seconds into the first round he locked up an arm-in guillotine choke off a Dollaway takedown attempt and held on to it until his opponent’s lip uncurled and his eyes rolled back in his head. Maybe it wasn’t the most technically brilliant move, but he did choke C.B. Dollaway unconscious, which meant we didn’t have to listen to him talk for a little while. That ought to be worth something.
9. Jake Rosholt ruins Chris Leben’s hometown party
(UFC 102, 8/29/09)
UFC 102 in Portland, Oregon was supposed to be Chris Leben’s homecoming. Coming off a long steroid suspension following his loss against Michael Bisping, he drew the relatively inexperienced Jake Rosholt in his return. But early on in the fight it became apparent that Leben came to throw wild, looping bombs, while Rosholt came to fight a mixed martial arts bout. After trading on the feet for a little while Rosholt finally got smart and put Leben on his back long enough to lock up an arm-triangle choke. Leben considered tapping, but didn’t get around to it before his brain called it quits. Somehow, Rosholt got cut after losing his next bout, while Leben still has a job with the UFC. This crazy world.
Whenever Masakazu Imanari steps into a ring, there’s always a good chance that something crazy will go down. Case in point: His fight against Justin Cruz at Deep’s latest event in Tokyo on Saturday. After getting the crowd in the right spirit by walking out to Sade’s "No Ordinary Love," Imanari stalked Cruz around the cage until he had an opportunity to pull guard. Once on the ground, he quickly set up an omoplata, then climbed around to Cruz’s back and cranked his neck, stretching out his opponent’s body in a very unpleasant-looking way. Imanari then hooked an arm under Cruz’s neck and immediately forced the tap. Boom — add it to the Ashikan Judan‘s highlight reel.
Imanari then accepted his trophy from a schoolgirl who looked like she was randomly pulled from the audience (see the 7:25 mark), and pretended that it was enormous penis, turning to each side of the arena so that everyone could see how clever he was. If a fighter did that in the UFC, it would be considered extremely offensive. But with Imanari — well, it’s a Japanese thing, and you just wouldn’t understand.
Since Cung Le came to MMA in 2006 via the untraditional route of San Shou, many fight fans are still unfamiliar with his early work. Well, that ends right here and now. As part of our attempt to get hyped for Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Evolution event (which we’ll be liveblogging, natch) we’re taking a look back at some of Le’s finest moments in the cage.
We begin with his MMA debut against Mike Altman in a 2006 Strikeforce event. Take note of color commentator Ken Shamrock‘s stunned disbelief at Altman’s game plan. Shammy is blown away that Altman decides to stand and trade with Le, and his concern proves to be well founded. Le picks Altman apart with ease before putting him to sleep late in the first round, proving once and for all that in all matters not related to finance, workout "supplements," and appropriate expressions of rage, you should probably listen to Ken Shamrock’s advice. Hope you’re paying attention, Scott Smith.
The Cung Le knockout-apalooza continues after the jump.
(Lister vs. Leites, 12/4/09. The video appears to have some problems midway through, but you aren’t missing much.)
Dean Lister got back in action this weekend for the first time since the dismal performance against Yushin Okami that prompted his dismissal from the UFC. As you may recall, after that painfully boring fight Lister took to the internet to offer a pseudo-apology (or, if you prefer, a fauxpology) to fans before then challenging those fans to come down to his gym and fight him if they’re so freaking tough. Oddly, this did not seem to win people over.
On Friday Lister squared off against fellow UFC castoff Thales Leites at MFC 23 and the result was sadly predictable. Leites did everything he could to press the action, but once again Lister reverted to pulling guard and settling for a stalemate once his ineffectual takedowns failed him. He lost the decision, further alienated whatever fans he may have had left, and, from the sound of it, even pissed off his cornermen:
I hope that not everyone is too abusive to me in this forum cause I would like to apoligize for my fight against Leites. Even my own corner let me know that this is an abomination of a fight and my worst performance ever, so what can I say??? the first kick landed by Leites set the tone of the fight. While he absolutely beat me fair and square and I have no excuses, this is the blow (kick) that set the pace. This is my bad leg, my knee that I have always had problems with. This I guess is similar to saying in another fight for instance "he broke my eye socket" and I lost, lol so yes my leg was damaged in the first damm round, like I said, not an excuse but the reason I was so immobile and not able to do anything… well from my point of view. I must give my opponent credit and he has improved his striking to an incredible extent.
K-1 legend Semmy Schilt made history today in Yokohama, picking up his fourth K-1 World Grand Prix title — tying him with Ernesto Hoost, who was also a four-time champ — and doing it faster than any other kickboxer before him. Schilt needed just 5:52 of combined fight time to tear apart Jerome Le Banner, defending World GP champion Remy Bonjasky, and Badr Hari; not exactly an easy draw for the 6’11" Dutchman. The final-round victory over Hari avenged a 45-second knockout loss to the Golden Boy that Schilt suffered earlier this year at It’s Showtime 2009 Amsterdam.
Despite all the horsemeat, Alistair Overeem only made it to the semi-finals of today’s tournament. The Demolition Man came out in ferocious fashion, putting Ewerton Teixeira to sleep with a thunderous knee in the quarterfinals. But his semi-final match against old nemesis Badr Hari didn’t go so well. After throwing Hari to the mat on two separate occasions, Overeem was dropped with a right hook to the ear. Forty-five seconds later, Hari landed a left head kick that wobbled Overeem into the turnbuckle, forcing the ref to jump in and stop the fight. Full results and lots more videos after the jump…
You know, it’s easy to dismiss San Do as a crackpot gimmick created by mentally handicapped people. (See also: Xtreme Arm Wrestling, Kung Fu Football) But watching this promo trailer for a new three-man MMA league, I can’t help but wonder if "Triple Warrior Combat" could be the future of the sport. Think about it: MMA is popular because human beings — particularly dudes in the 18-34 age range — have a weird compulsion to watch people fight. (Remember Dana White’s four corners analogy?) And fight promoters have always assumed that one guy vs. one guy is the smartest way to do things — and it is, without question. But is a fight between two people inherently more interesting than fights involving three or more people?
In other words, which would you rather see: This Saturday’s lightweight tilt between Frank Edgar and Matt Veach, or an out-of-control Russian supermarket brawl? To me, San Do seems like an attempt to regulate street fights and present them to paying audiences. People love street fights. Who knows what the combat sports landscape will look like in another 20 years, but I won’t be surprised if a multiple-combatant league becomes a legitimate option for fight fans. All I know is, one day there will be an undefeated heavyweight champion of beating-two-guys-at-the-same-time, and you will not want to fuck with this man.
The Dana White video blog has once again reared its head to give us a glimpse of the fight night happenings surrounding UFC 106. Mostly it’s a lot of DW wandering around, shaking hands, going back to the locker room and asking fighters if they’re ready to go (there’s only one right answer to that question), then congratulating the winners and consoling the losers afterwards. At the 6:55 mark Dana has an uncomfortable encounter with Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson, who insists, "He got robbed," even as White tries to avoid looking at her as best as he can. The whole conversation proves once again that Ortiz’s bitching and complaining never stops — it never even takes a breather. Josh Koscheck, as you might imagine, is less than sympathetic.
If all this bores you, just skip to the end to see Ariel Helwani get some extended camera time, this time wisely wearing a shirt not made out of bathrobe material. Chris Horodecki speaking up, plus an entertaining little fight, await you after the jump.
(Aldo vs. Brown. Props: MMA Linker. If the video doesn’t load for you, click here.)
Last night at WEC 44 in Las Vegas, Jose "Junior" Aldo went from exciting prospect to King of the Featherweight Mountain. The 23-year-old Nova Uniao standout picked up his sixth-straight TKO victory in the WEC — as well as his first major title — by shutting down incumbent champion Mike Brown‘s advantages in strength and wrestling while unleashing his own fearsome finishing ability as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
The first round of their main event battle saw both men trade heavy strikes, with Aldo impressively defending Brown’s takedown efforts. Aldo found his moment early in the second frame, rattling the champ with a flying knee and punches, then shoving his off-balance opponent to the canvas when Brown came in with a left hook. Aldo quickly transitioned to back-mount on the ground, and began firing punches to the side of Brown’s head. Brown tried to roll out of danger, but found himself caught in a mousetrap-like body lock that kept him pinned on his stomach. Eventually he turtled, and "Worst Referee in the History of Fighting" Steve Mazzagatti had to step in and do his job.
By now, you probably know that Manny Pacquiao dominated Miguel Cotto on Saturday night en route to a 12th-round TKO victory, becoming the first boxer to win world titles in seven different weight classes, and solidifying his position as best pound-for-pound pugilist on the planet. Cotto was as game as advertised, and kept the contest competitive early on. But the knockdowns that Pacquiao scored in the third round (right hook) and fourth round (left uppercut) turned the tide of the fight for good, and Cotto spent most of the remainder of the match playing defense.
Cotto’s camp nearly threw in the towel after a demoralizing 11th frame, but the fight was allowed to continue to the last round, in which referee Kenny Bayless seized on the first opportunity to stop the fight; the official time was 0:55 of round 12. Immediately after the fight, the MGM Grand Garden Arena began to chant "We want Floyd!" Ah, but does Money Mayweather want Manny? The video is above; watch and be inspired.
From last night’s show at the SaveMart Center in Fresno, California…
MAIN CARD - Billy Evangelista def. Jorge Gurgel via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28) - Shane del Rosario def. Brandon Cash via submission (omoplata), 2:57 of round 1 - Luke Rockhold def. Jesse Taylor via submission (rear-naked choke), 3:42 of round 1 - Merrit Warren def. Ousmane Thomas Diagne via submission (heel hook), 3:49 of round 1 - Zoila Frausto def. Elisha Helsper via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
PRELIMINARY CARD - Ben Holscher def. Johnny Goh via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3) - Casey Olson def. Chris Culley via TKO, 2:32 of round 1 - Cole Escovedo def. Maurice Eazel via TKO, 1:47 of round 1 - Rico Altamirano def. Alex Trevino via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
(Sudo vs. Damacio Page, Premium 2006 Dynamite!!, 12/31/06)
Genki Sudo’s brilliance didn’t end with his unforgettable ring entrances; he was also one of the most skilled submission specialists to ever heel-hook a fat guy. The Neo-Samurai was innovative even when it came to retirement: At the height of his popularity, following a first-round triangle-choke victory over Damacio Page at Premium 2006 Dynamite!!, Sudo announced to the shocked Tokyo Dome crowd that his days as a fighter were over. At that point, he’d won eight of his last nine matches — including victories over Mike Brown, Royler Gracie, and Hiroyuki Takaya — making him one of the only MMA fighters to ever retire in his prime. Sudo now spends his time as a wrestling coach, author, and J-pop star. You know, normal retiree stuff.
It takes about fifty seconds for this Sambo match to get started, but once it gets underway it isn’t long before someone catches the old head kick express bound straight for Concussionville.Once there he’ll be greeted by Mayor Memory Loss and the fine gentleman from the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Brainbleeding.Come, let them take you on a tour of the town, from the Vertigo River to the Migraine district.Okay, this flight of fancy has officially gone too far, but I could only stare at the computer screen trying to come up with a Yakov Smirnoff Soviet Russia joke for so long before something in me just snapped.
The point is, they don’t play around in Sambo.Not only do you get dropped on a hard surface after your brutal head kick KO, you wake up to the sound of polite applause while some guy holds your feet in the air.I think I’ll stick with grappling tournaments, thanks.
Before he was a spinach-eating heavyweight wrecking machine, Alistair Overeem was just a wiry kid with a dream. Here’s the video of his MMA debut at the age of 19 against the very insane-looking Ricardo Fyeet, at the first "It’s Showtime" event in the Netherlands in October 1999. It’s amazing to see how far Overeem has come in the last ten years. Check out his broke-ass gong-and-dash when the fight starts at the 1:45 mark, and that sad attempt at a guard-pull at 3:01. In what would later become a recurringtheme, the Demolition Man manages to finish his opponent by guillotine choke. Overeem didn’t have long to savor the victory; he fought again just four days later at a Rings event in Tokyo, losing to Iouri Kotchkine by majority decision.
(Overeem vs. Thompson. Props to DreamCageFights. And special props to Michael Schiavello for predicting that this fight wouldn’t last long. How the hell did he see that one coming?!?)
- Alistair Overeem def. James Thompson via submission (guillotine choke), 0:33 of round 1 - Eddie Alvarez def. Katsunori Kikuno via submission (arm-triangle choke), 3:42 of round 2 - Marius Zaromskis def. Myeon Ho Bae via KO (head kick), 0:19 of round 1 - Kazushi Sakuraba def. Zelg Galesic via submission (kneebar), 1:40 of round 1 - Katsuyori Shibata def. Tokimitsu Ishizawa via TKO, 4:52 of round 1 - Dong Sik Yoon def. Tarec Saffiedine via split decision - Yoshiro Maeda def. Chase Beebe via submission (rear-naked choke), 3:36 of round 1 - Kuniyoshi Hironaka def. Won Sik Park via TKO (eye injury), 5:00 of round 1 - Tomoya Miyashita def. Keisuke Fujiwara via unanimous decision