Once upon a time, you were terrified of Wanderlei Silva. He did scary things to people. He did it a lot. You kind of wondered if he was legitimately crazy. He intimidated opponents during his walk to the ring while the un-toughest techno you’ve ever heard played in the background — to the point that “Sandstorm” is now universally recognized as Badass. We didn’t even know that Badass had a transitive property, so we thank Wanderlei for teaching us that, as well.
The Axe Murderer returns to action this weekend, perhaps on the downside of his career. The Octagon has never been kind to Wandy — he’s got a 3-5 career record for the UFC– and he’s not getting any younger. If MMA does have a nine-year rule, then this 15+ year veteran should be ready to hang it up.
Is there such thing as elusive judo? We may get to find out if this video is any indication of where Japanese judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii is learning the MMA game from. He even pulls a nice little fireman’s carry on Lyoto Machida at 2:53 in. You know it’s slick when Machida is smiling even as he hits the mat.
Say this for Ishii, he’s taking his entrance into MMA very seriously and is getting some of the best training he can find. First he worked out with Randy Couture, and now Machida. Next maybe he goes to Greg Jackson’s and starts flipping people on their heads. Better soak it up while everyone still thinks of you as that harmless, nice Japanese guy from the Olympics.
After the jump, a study in how YouTube’s “Related Videos” feature gets weird in a hurry.
Okay, this is pretty sweet. Video highlight-maker KingAtRock1 has put together a look at the five best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA. Sure, you could say he whitewashes Urijah Faber’s recent history in the cage, but overall it’s a solid list and I had a good time watching it. Just good, clean fun.
I was just flipping through this month’s copy of Fight! Magazine, which features a photo spread on the UFC’s newest Octagon girl, Logan Stanton, and then lo and behold here’s Yahoo’s Steve Cofield doing a video interview with her at the Arnold Classic. You have to admit Logan’s pretty damn adorable, and her dorky, "Revenge of the Nerds" laugh somehow only makes her more so. Leave it to that classy son of a bitch Cofield to ask her if she’s going to get a boob job. Nice, Steve.
After the jump, Frank Trigg remembers TapouT’s "Mask."
Here’s the latest monthly MMA video summary from FightFace, featuring the greatest hits from UFC Fight Night 17, UFC 95, MFC 20 and more; big ups for the Jeff Buckley soundtrack. Anybody know who was responsible for that insane upkick KO at the 1:25 mark? (Update, from Facey himself: "That was Dustin Kempf from the North American Allied Fight Series, although he ended up winning by RNC.") For more great MMA highlights, check out fightface.blogspot.com.
But as Markham admits in this exclusive interview, that’s just not his style, as anyone who saw his devastating head-kick KO of Brodie Farber in his UFC debut knows by now. At UFC 95 next Saturday night Markham takes on England’s Dan Hardy in London. Chances are, things will get ugly fast.
CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Rory. Now that you’re in the UFC, how have things changed for you?
You know, I’ve been putting in a lot of time, trying to hone my skills since October. I found that I was weak in certain areas and I knew I needed to improve. Being in the UFC now, it’s improve or die.
What areas do you feel you needed to improve in?
I don’t want to touch on bad instances, but there was one moment in the Brett Cooper fight where I really felt like if he hadn’t gotten the takedown and I could have kept it on the feet, there would have been a drastically different finish to that fight. Since then I’ve been really trying to hone my wrestling skills. I see what wrestling has done for guys like Georges St. Pierre and even, I think people overlook what it did for B.J. Penn. When he went out with Randy [Couture] and Matt Lindland, that’s when he really hit his stride. That’s something I noticed that I needed to work on. Definitely in the long run, maybe not in this fight or even the next one, I think it’s going to add to the longevity of my career.
I talked to Jon Jones for this week’s SI.com column, in which he discusses what it was like growing up with two brothers who both now play defensive line at Syracuse (with the eldest headed soon to the NFL) and how he learned to strike by watching YouTube videos:
The gym I train at is a really small gym, a lot of wrestlers, so I didn’t have a striking coach until this last fight. I had to teach myself how to strike. I would study a lot of videos on YouTube, or go to different websites where I could watch old Pride fights. I just became obsessed with MMA and watched videos over and over again. I learned the moves and took them to practice and started using them. Before I knew it I was considered a pretty good striker.
YouTube videos can really teach you a lot. It depends how you search for them. If you look really hard, you can find videos of seminars from some of the best fighters in the world. It’s just a matter of taking them seriously. You have the Bas Rutten’s and the Anderson Silva DVD’s, but you can find most of that stuff on the internet for free, so that’s what I was doing. I was basically teaching myself with them. Now I can honestly say I’ve been taught by some of the best teachers in the world because I’ve watched some of the greatest seminars online.
Obviously, Jones is a freakish athlete who can simply do things other people can’t, such as watch YouTube videos and then beat up UFC veterans. But what struck me was his humility and obsession with improving as a fighter. Check this quote, for example, on what went through his mind after the UFC offered him the fight with Bonnar:
In the year I’ve been writing this site, I’ve watched millions, perhaps billions of MMA videos — everything from fights to highlight reels to documentaries to Chuck Liddell wasted on a morning show. Most of them I’ve forgotten as soon as they were over. Some of them may stay with me forever. The ten videos below represent the best overview of this crazy sport that I can possibly present. And I won’t degrade their brilliance by ranking them. Think of this as my personal mixtape to you…
Aleksander Emelianenko vs. James Thompson, PRIDE 28, 10/31/04
Thompson’s unbridled rage and Aleks’s sleepy stoicism combine for my favorite face-off ever — and the 11-second knockout ain’t bad either. Seriously, this never gets old.
“Sakuraba: Beautiful Day”
Maybe the most inspiring single-fighter highlight video of all time. Though Kazushi Sakuraba’s gory losses to guys like Wanderlei Silva, Ricardo Arona, and Antonio Schembri are just as memorable as his wins, Saku at his best was MMA at its best — inventive, thrilling, and joyous.
Absolute Fighting Championship 1 Highlights
Moscow, 1995. A 32-man one-day bareknuckle tournament. A 6’8″ Brazilian beast named Ricardo Morais. Four submissions via strikes (all in under two minutes) and one rear-naked choke after a ten-minute battle with Mikhail Illoukhine. Even if the rest of Morais’s career didn’t quite live up to the promise of his fearsome debut, he was legendary that night.
In this UFC 90 hype video Rich “No Love” Clementi claims that he was the only lightweight willing to step up and fight Gray Maynard, and he did so because he’s the type who “looks for challenges and adversity.” No disrespect to Maynard here, but since when did he become the guy who makes all other UFC lightweights run and hide? What, he holds Frankie Edgar down for three rounds and now we’re supposed to believe that the UFC has trouble finding an opponent for him?
This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder if matchmaker Joe Silva isn’t feeding all the fighters the same lines, like an unimaginative pick-up artist. Either he tells you that they’re offering you this fight because you’re the only one with the balls to take it, or else he says the winner gets a title shot. What’s weird is that those are the same pick-up lines I use. The results so far have been…mixed.
Check out the heavily edited and still kind of lame highlight clips of both Clementi and Maynard during this video. Notice how they include Maynard’s submission-inducing slam of Rob Emerson, but cut it before you have a chance to realize that he knocked himself out in the process. Clever. Also, is it just me, or are most of Clementi’s highlights not really so highlight-y?
They say if you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it will beat up Brock Lesnar. If it doesn’t, it will be tied up in court battles for the rest of its viable career. At least I think that’s what they say. I don’t listen very well. Regardless, today’s announcement that Randy Couture will return to the UFC to defend his heavyweight title in November has us all a little amped. So amped, in fact, that it’s hard to focus on any other MMA-related stories right now. So let’s just enjoy a look at some of Captain America’s greatest moments and consider what the future might hold. After the jump, a nice training montage with a soundtrack that will really get your heart pumping. Turn up the volume now and thank us later.
CagePotato reader “Facey” put together this highlight video featuring MMA’s biggest stars showing little regard for the health of their opponents. From Wanderlei Silva knocking Sakuraba and Jardine dead, to Yves Edwards’s ninja-kick KO of Josh Thomson, to Chuck Liddell beating down Tito Ortiz, to “the Randleplex” — it’s pretty much the only knockout compilation you’ll ever need. If you dig it, let him know in the comments section below or at its original home on Break.com
Break got a cease and desist letter for this one! So here’s another just as good knockout comp from Facey, that for now is living comfortably on YouTube. Enjoy.