Not sure who these dudes are, but good Lord, check out the expression on the loser’s face after eating that kick. All he needs is some cartoon birds chirping around his head to complete the scene. Seriously, he’s lucky the winner didn’t run over and draw dicks on his face.
After the jump:Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson get a first look at the tricked-out Range Rovers they’ll be getting as rewards for coaching TUF 9. Both fighters say that they’re having great training camps in advance of their meeting at UFC 100, and are ready to get after it. Bisping actually feels like he could take on anyone in the world right now. He’ll need that confidence next month when Henderson is on top of him, covering his mouth and nose with one hand and punching him with the other.
American Top Team boxing coach and Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr. spoke with me about his work with Chuck Liddell prior to his UFC 97 loss against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Contrary to what some people believe, Davis said he really did work with Liddell for about two and a half months, and while he didn’t change his style he did try to add a couple tools to Liddell’s game. Here Davis talks about what Liddell’s recent loss means for his career, and whether he thinks the former UFC champ should call it quits like Dana White is insisting he do. He also touches on the addictive “drug” of being a world champion fighter, and why he thinks Liddell has seemed more vulnerable in recent bouts – and it’s not because he’s getting old.
(Fence grab is at 10:18, the alleged illegal blow comes at 17:25. Props: MMA Share.)
Benji Radach has filed a formal appeal with the California State Athletic Commission through his agent, Ken Pavia, challenging his TKO loss to Scott Smith on the April 11 Strikeforce show in San Jose, California. We contacted Radach earlier today to get him to explain, in his own words, why he’s appealing the loss and what he hopes to accomplish. Here’s what he had to say.
CagePotato.com: If you could Benji, sum up for me the main points outlined in your appeal.
Benji Radach: There are two main points. One, in the second round I had him in a guillotine, choking the piss out of him, and I thought I was just going to choke him unconscious. But he grabbed the fence and used it to pull us into a scramble and get out of the choke, which is illegal.
B.J. Penn shows us how he’s preparing to whip Kenny Florian’s text message-denying ass this summer – in some dude’s garage. Okay, it doesn’t look all that impressive, but you should know that Marv Marinovich is the father of former USC quarterback and NFL washout Todd Marinovich, who just happened to be profiled in Esquire magazine last month (see, we read stuff). In the article Marv is portrayed as a revolutionary in the field of sports training and also as a complete nutjob who tried to make his son into a football cyborg and wound up at least partially helping to make him into a drug addict. Now he’s got his hands on B.J. Penn. Look out, world.
(The universal sign for: ‘I’m weighin’ in ova here!’)
I’ll admit that when Matt Serra told his then-protégé, Joe Scarola, that he’d basically disown him if he walked away from “The Ultimate Fighter” after losing to Mac Danzig early on in season six, I suspected it might be an empty threat. But judging from Serra’s comments in an interview with MMA Fanhouse, “The Terra” don’t make empty threats. When he tells you that you’re about to ruin the beautiful friendship the two of you share, he’s being totally cereal.
There was also a little bit of an issue with your friend Joe Scarola. You brought him on the show and then he quit during it. Are you still friends with him?
All that hype, and it only came down to six minutes of utter domination. If you caught the light-welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton last night, you saw more proof that Pac-Man is one of the best boxers to have ever lived. The video is above; watch as Pacquiao opens with a 10-7 first round on the strength of two knockdowns, then delivers the finishing blow at the end of the second. Pac’s trainer Freddie Roach had predicted a third-round knockout via left hook, explaining later that Hatton tends to leave himself open when he throws his jab. Turns out, Pacquiao is even better than he thought. Could Money Mayweather be next?
(This was going to be part of a new tourism campaign for the nation of Japan, but even they thought Okami was too boring.)
It’s not enough that Yushin Okami keeps getting overlooked in the UFC’s middleweight title picture. Now an injury has forced him out his UFC 98 bout with Dan Miller, further pushing him into the land of the also-rans. So who will replace Okami against the larger of the two Miller boys? How about Ed Herman, who absolutely no one brings up when the conversation turns to guys who deserve a shot at Anderson Silva. And the most telling part is, Herman vs. Miller feels like a fight that makes perfect sense.
"I stick up for him a lot because we put so much weight on his shoulders because we had to, we needed a face. No, we didn’t expect him to be the world champion. We knew if he fought the kind of fighters that were at that level that his chances of winning were probably slimmer," said Shaw. "But you’ve got to throw somebody up there as the best in the world, because you’ve got to put a face on the company. And that’s not to say he can’t become one of the best fighters in the world, cause he’s an athlete, he has talent, but that was the situation we were up against."
“I’m not sure what that was. Maybe it was a miscommunication, after what I had said about Roger Huerta. Maybe it was head games on his part. Maybe he genuinely believes that. I don’t really know. But I have a lot of respect for B.J. I think he’s a proud champion. I think he worked hard for that fight against Georges, and he just wasn’t able to deliver. That can be hard to deal with. I think that loss hurt him.”
It takes a special kind of cojones to stare down permanent injury and say "Eff it, I ain’t tappin’." Inspired by the DVD we’ve been plugging lately, we decided to pay tribute to the technical submission — that thrilling moment when a fighter is caught in a health-threatening submission hold, but is too stupid much of a warrior to concede defeat, so the referee has to do it for him. Because as a wise man once said, "Tapping out is for bitches." Enjoy…
After their first chaotic mess of a bout was ruled a “Technical Draw,” Gracie and Sims met again in the IFL for another technical ending. Though Sims has always had a hazy understanding of the rules in any given MMA bout, he got taken down too quickly to launch any illegal stomps in this one, and had to settle for giving up his back and then trying to grab on to the ropes (thankfully Stephen Quadros reminds him that he can’t do that) as Gracie stayed on him like a backpack and choked him unconscious. There’s nothing quite like seeing a 6’10” guy drop to the canvas like somebody just pulled his plug. Sleep well, buddy.
Thanks to Shammy’s pioneering work in video trash talk, this fight was epic before it even began. Strikeforce’s first middleweight title fight paired two loud-mouthed badasses who would never admit defeat — but unfortunately, there could be only one champion. After battering the NYBA with punches for almost two full rounds, Shamrock took Baroni’s back, wrapped an arm around his neck, and squeezed. While most men would tap to the hold, Baroni went out like a warrior, throwing punches into Frank’s mug until he lost consciousness. Shamrock celebrated his win by shoving Baroni’s lifeless body then kicking him in the ass, proving that he wasn’t just the better fighter that night, he was also the bigger asshole.
You’re wondering, ‘Say I go to UFC 98, what am I supposed to do in this Las Vegas place to entertain myself before and after the fights?’ Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. We asked the guys from RawVegas.tv and MMA Fix what out-of-town MMA fans like you might be interested in, and then we combined their advice with some of our own personal favorites. Enjoy.
(When he told her it was time to retire and give up the game for good, a tearful Paris Hilton told Dana: "But I am the game!" Only then did he fully understand the devils of fame and the ransom they demand. True story.)
- UFC president Dana White talked with Inside Fighting about the disappointing main event at UFC 97, and he also reiterated his commitment to keeping Chuck Liddell firmly in retirement, saying, “Believe me, it will be a fucking war if he tries not to retire, believe me.” When pressed on other rapidly aging fighters who might need to be nudged into retirement, White admitted that Wanderlei Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira “are right there too and yes, I will pull the trigger on them too.” Dear God, he’s not going to kill them, is he?!
- A crazy rumor on the information superhighway says that Fedor Emelianenko and Shinya Aoki will square off against each other in a special grappling match at the “Deep M-1 Challenge 3rd Edition” in Japan on April 29th. I’ll pause a moment and let that one sink in. If true this would be completely insane, but to deny that we would totally want to see it would be to deny the very curiosity of the spirit that makes us human, and we aren’t about to do that.
Is there any fighter who more closely resembles the animal for which he is nicknamed than Thiago "The Pitbull" Alves? Just looking at his face makes me want to lock the door and call Animal Control. He says in this video that he’s been working out at Wanderlei Silva’s new gym/daycare center in Las Vegas, and plans to return there the week before his title fight with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100 to get his weight right. Alves has had some weight issues in the past, and with a title fight he won’t get that extra pound allowance so he’d better be on point. Something tells me that screwing up a title fight at UFC 100 would be a murderable offense in Dana White’s eyes.
Raw Vegas went by Xtreme Couture to talk with Kim Couture about her upcoming bout. Am I the only one not buying it at all when she claims to be blissfully unaware of the criticism that suggests she’s only getting these opportunities because of who she’s married to? Even if she doesn’t "go on the computer," the idea must have occurred to her that it’s not solely her 1-1 pro record that’s landing her on Strikeforce cards. Whatever you think of Couture though, it’s nice to see a woman fighter slam "Cyborg" Santos’ woman trouble excuse. It just doesn’t have the same force when we do it, for some reason.
After the jump, American Top Team boxing coach Howard Davis Jr. takes it to the gloves and shows us the hand speed.
(He’s not kidding, Dana — tap or nap. Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)
He might be a "t-shirt guy," but Affliction VP Tom Atencio has enough balls to actually compete in the sport that he promotes. According to MMA Fanhouse, Atencio will be fighting on the supporting card of the June 27th MMA event at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi that will be headlined by Bobby Lashley vs. Bob Sapp. Another heavyweight match between Pedro Rizzo and Gilbert Yvel has also been booked. Said Atencio on his decision to get out from behind his desk and strap on the gloves:
"I love this sport and I am not a wannabe. I’ve fought before and I have respect for anyone who steps into the ring win, lose or draw. They’re doing something that most of the world will never do."
No, Atencio’s fight won’t be a celebrity MMA bout against arch-nemesis Dana White (who could smash Ricardo Arona, by the way). He’ll be taking on a yet-unnamed lightweight, probably at a weight of 160 pounds: "Not sure I can make 155 at 42 years old."
While we give huge props to Tom for the effort, we can’t help reading into what this means for Affliction as an MMA promotion. It can’t be a great sign when their main promoter and two of their heavyweights are planning on keeping busy with other endeavors for the month of June. When asked why he wouldn’t be fighting under the Affliction banner, all Atencio would say is "They don’t think it’s right for me to fight for my own event." (They?) Still no word on when/where Affliction’s third event will be held, if they are indeed having one, but we’ll keep you posted.
A while back we told you that Kyle Maynard, the congenital amputee who wrestled at the University of Georgia, was planning to make his pro MMA debut at a small show in Alabama. Well, that’s happening this weekend, and not everyone is happy about it. Columnist Brad Zimanek for the Montgomery Advertiser refers to Maynard’s impending debut as “a freak show,” insisting that MMA fights are “basically no-holds barred combat” and the only people buying tickets to this thing are those who want to see “how badly Maynard gets beat up.”
Clearly, anyone who thinks Maynard’s fight is a freak show needs to watch Bob Sapp fight cartoon characters and learn what a real freak show looks like. Maynard may get beat up on Saturday night. That’s a possibility, given that this is a fight he’s going into. But isn’t that his choice to make? There probably weren’t a lot of people who thought he could wrestle at the college level, but that didn’t mean college wrestling became a freak show the moment Maynard got on the mat.
Since Anderson Silva doesn’t seem terribly interested in defending his UFC 97 performance against critics, and because his lack of English skills makes that difficult anyway, his manager, Ed Soares, has been doing it for him. Soares said in a recent interview that he didn’t think Silva’s fight with Leites was “a bad fight,” and even partially blamed the UFC for putting a “one-dimensional” fighter against the champ. He also made the case for Silva’s dominance by pointing out the lack of damage he took in the fight:
"After watching the fight on TV, I thought [Silva] fought a good fight. He didn’t finish him, but I thought he fought a good fight. Technically, I really didn’t see anything wrong with the way he fought. Who goes in there and fights five rounds with somebody and doesn’t even have a mark on his face? Not too many people can do that."
"I don’t know. People have to look at it that way instead of always thinking that Anderson is going to go in there and knock people out or submit them really quick. It just doesn’t happen sometimes."
Soares is right. It is unrealistic to think that even Silva is going to finish everyone in spectacular fashion, especially if he’s facing an opponent who doesn’t want to engage with him. But that’s only part of the problem.
A little less than three months out from his rematch with Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, and Frank Mir is already starting in on the trash talk and mind games in this Raw Vegas interview. He’s decided to go the self-deprecating route, which means Forrest Griffin has a royalty check coming. Mir also isn’t afraid to toss a few little burns in there just for the hell of it, even commenting at one point on the "penis" tattooed on Lesnar’s chest. You can thank Dave Farra for bringing that up. Hey, we were all thinking it.
Aside from the Lesnar talk, Mir offers the best response yet to the inevitable Fedor questions. Instead of doubting his credentials and just refusing to talk about the guy, Mir says it’s "not fair" that other heavyweights have gotten a chance to feel how hard Fedor hits and he might never get that opportunity. You have to admit he has a point. It’s about time somebody called Fedor out on his discriminatory punching practices.
“I used the same diet that I used to fight Shayana and I made 140lbs, much less than this time. But I had a little problem that all women suffer every month. I had the menstrual period three days before the weigh-in and it put me in trouble.”
Oh, that pesky menstrual period. Here’s the thing, I’ll admit to not knowing much about woman problems, but I did a little asking around in my social circle and what I learned is 1) women know we menfolk don’t know much about it, and on occasion they’ve been known to take advantage of our ignorance, and 2) they can look at the freaking calendar and know when it’s coming.
Does that mean that Diaz was jerking our collective chain about smoking weed up until the fight and using “herbal cleansers” to remove any trace from his system before the test, or does it just mean that Diaz has the hookup on the best herbal cleansers around? If we had to speculate (and we don’t, but we will, because that’s the kind of thing we do), we’d say it’s the latter. The world where Nick Diaz lies about his weed consumption is just not a world we want to live in.
So now who feels like a little bitch? Answer: the CSAC. Diaz beat them and Frank Shamrock all in one weekend. That’s a moral victory for potheads everywhere. It’s also enough to make you wonder about how effective the drug-testing system is in catching users of actual performance-enhancers. If they can’t nail Diaz, who laid out his plan for beating the test beforehand, can they reliably catch steroid-users?
(A tough night in so many different ways. Photo courtesy of SI.com)
Even our supercomputer had trouble dealing with the data from a bizarre main event at UFC 97. We had to hit it with a broomstick a couple times just to keep it chugging. Not a great Saturday night for the UFC, but at least it’s over now. Let’s see who’s up and who’s down. Anderson Silva -129 Against Cote, the computer was willing to cut him some slack based on past performances. But two lackluster showings in a row, followed by an inability or unwillingness to comprehend why fans might have been unsatisfied, that equals a big drop. Is this the Silva we can look forward to from now on? Thales Leites -176 You get the opportunity of your lifetime and spend most of it flopping onto your back? We think you’re going to regret that decision. How Leites thought this strategy might yield a victory is a real mystery. What the UFC can do with him now is another.
Anderson Silva seems to be getting too used to disappointing fans. Check the look on his face when a reporter takes him to task for not doing more to try and finish Thales Leites. He seems more bored than anything else. His manager and Chuck Liddell both get angry for him, but it’s as if Silva himself can’t be bothered with it.
Dana White will continue to defend Silva’s status as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, and he has a lot of good points, particularly about Fedor being “at a buffet in Russia,” and not at all interested in proving himself against the best in the world. But at the same time, if the world’s best fighter can’t entertain anybody but himself, what’s the point?
This is the second straight time Silva has left us bored and confused with his performance. He’s so concerned with fighting a “perfect” fight, he doesn’t care whether anyone actually wants to see it. That’s a problem. The UFC set a North American attendance record with 21,451 people packed into the Bell Centre last night, and yet the organization’s best fighter may have spent five rounds proving to the audience in the venue and at home that he isn’t concerned in the least with giving them their money’s worth.
Liddell didn’t make any declarations that were quite so final, but he seemed resigned to the fact, admitting it was "probably the case" that he is now retired. Man, what a downer. Thanks a lot, Shogun.
The other $70,000 bonuses went to Matt Wiman and Sam Stout for Fight of the Night (really?), and Krzystof Soszynski for Submission of the Night. Anderson Silva did not receive a bonus. We imagine that when he asked Dana White why, Dana looked at him with disappointment in his eyes and said, ‘You know why.’
Want to know how Chuck Liddell’s going to beat “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97? Simple: keep his eyes open and avoid right hands. That’s essentially what Olympic gold medalist boxer Howard Davis Jr., who helped train Liddell for this fight, told MMANews.com. Davis said he spent a lot of time working with Liddell on “avoiding the right hand, slipping and blocking the right.”
That sounds almost so basic as to be stupid, but then you remember Liddell’s recent knockout losses to both Rashad Evans and “Rampage” Jackson. The right hand counter did him in both times. Now he’s got Davis helping him, so, problem solved?
In the interest of trying to make UFC 97’s main event seem a little more competitive than the oddsmakers think it is, here’s our best attempt at making the very difficult case for Thales Leites.
1. Aside From His UFC Debut, He’s Never Lost an MMA Bout Losing your Octagon debut is almost a rite of passage for young fighters, like getting screwed by a sponsor or doing something so cool it makes Joe Silva leap out of his chair. Leites lost his first UFC bout via decision to the very credible Martin Kampmann in 2006. Since then, dude’s been hanging nothing but W’s. Okay, his win over Nate Marquardt was highly suspect, but his quick submission over Drew McFedries wasn’t. (Sidenote: how did he go from a win over Marquardt to a bout with McFedries, anyway? Not exactly a step up in competition there.)
(After he was so excited about finally meeting Kevin Federline, Chuck was extremely disappointed to find out that K-Fed had a better picture pose than he did.)
The Gambling Addiction Enabler had a somewhat rough go at Strikeforce thanks to Frank Shamrock deciding to go ahead and get old out of nowhere (okay fine, in retrospect, probably should have seen that one coming), but he managed to cut his losses by picking Scott Smith to pull off the minor upset against Benji Radach. With underdogs proving profitable, maybe your favorite compulsive gambler will have to take a long look at some of the major ones on the UFC 97 lineup. Maybe put down a big bet on a certain middleweight challenger who nobody thinks has a chance in hell…
According to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s manager, they’re planning on a fight “for the title” at Dream.9 on May 26. Nothing is confirmed yet, Jacare’s manager told Tatame, but right now it looks like it will be a rematch between Jacare and “Mayhem” Miller for Gegard Mousasi’s vacated middleweight belt. If true that would make for a tight turnaround for Miller, who’s slated to take on Kala Hose in Hawaii at Kingdom MMA on April 18. Call it making up for lost time. Or maybe he’s just assuming that it won’t take much out of him to whup on Hose in front of his Hawaiian peeps.
– Spike TV sent out another ‘in your face!’ press release today to announce that Saturday night’s replay of UFC 94 was the “#1 program among Men 18-34 in all of television (cable and broadcast) during its time period.” The replay peaked at 2.4 million viewers for the main event and averaged 1.9 million over the three-hour broadcast, which, as Spike is kind enough to point out, bested HBO’s Winky Wright/Paul Williams bout, which drew a measly 1.5 million viewers. What you’re wondering is, did they mention how it compared to Strikeforce’s viewership? They did not. But they know you’re thinking about it anyway.
– Remember the rumored bout between Mark Coleman and Stephan Bonnar? The UFC made it official for UFC 100 today, but relegated it to the “may not be broadcast” prelims. On one hand, that’s a hell of a place to end up after such a great career (talking about Coleman, obviously. I said great career, not one great fight). On the other hand, if there’s one UFC card where you can feel okay about being pushed to the prelims, it’s that one.