(Inside Your Soul: It’s where Hioki is looking and the name of his t-shirt company.)
Hatsu Hioki was born 28 years ago in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan.
Why he matters:
Hioki (24-4-2) is one of Japan’s most decorated fighters, having won titles under the Shooto, Sengoku and TKO Championship Fighting banners. The recent UFC signee has beaten a glut of the world’s top 25 featherweights including Mark Hominick, Marlon Sandro, Ronnie Mann, Takeshi “Lion” Inoue and Masanori Kanehara and now he will finally get the opportunity to test his skills against more of the world’s best in the Octagon.
(So does the "FC" stand for "Financially Challenged," "Financial Crisis" or "Fighters Cheated?")
If you were one of the many people who had serious doubts that both of the upstart Impact Fighting Championships promotion’s two scheduled July MMA events would go off without a hitch and the issue would somehow relate back to Paulo Filho, you were right, except for the fact that the beleaguered Brazilian is not at all to blame for the controversy surrounding the shows.
The issue that has affected not only Filho, but also the majority of the fighters who competed on the pair of Australian cards, is that none of them have been paid by the promotion.
We learned of the situation Wednesday from one of the affected fighters who wished to remain anonymous, but have since been able to confirm the story with more than a dozen others, including Karo Parisyan, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Jesse Taylor and Brian Ebersole, that none of the cards’ participants have received their complete fight purses .
(Is the 10-point must system suitable for use in MMA?)
After re-watching the Impact FC bout between Denis Kang and Paulo Filho that ended in a split draw – the second notable MMA bout to do so in a month with the other being the WEC 49 bout between Jamie Varner and Kamal Shalorus – I couldn’t help but wonder why MMA continues to rely on a scoring system created and tailored for boxing judging.
When the majority of mixed martial arts organizations adopted the Unified Rules in 2000, along with the governing principles, each organization adopted the system known as the 10-point must system.
Under the guidelines of the 10-point must system, judges score each frame based on their accumulative points tally for the round. The winner of each round receives a score between seven and 10 depending on who won the round. If a round is deemed a tie, both combatants are assessed 10 points each by the judge who perceived the frame to be even. The problem with the system is, when used to score a three-round MMA bout, the likelihood of a fight ending in a draw is exponentially higher than in a 10-round boxing match.
If you can imagine a fight card populated by has-beens and no-accounts, filmed by the blind and narrated by the guys from “Flight of the Conchords” (except without the genuinely funny parts), then you have a pretty good idea what it was like to watch Impact FC’s first-ever pay-per-view on Saturday night. “The Uprising” was filled with plenty of the awkward pauses, even more awkward announcing, terrible camera work and retro graphics that we’ve come to expect from fledgling MMA promotions. As for the actual fighting? It played out about like you might have predicted, too.
Indeed when, just a few moments into the broadcast, nattily attired but totally incompetent ring announcer James White forgot his lines midway through his introductory remarks and had to stop cold to confess he’d drawn a blank, you knew it was going to be a long night. Despite how many times we were informed by the play-by-play team that the action in the cage was “thunderous” or “amazing” the show – filmed around noon local time in Sydney, Australia in a partially filled arena — felt so flat that the fighters themselves would’ve been hard-pressed to break the monotony. Luckily for them, it didn’t seem like they were trying too hard.
As if you needed any reminder. For whatever reason – probably psychologically rooted in our inability to look away from the scene of a car crash – the MMA media has covered the shit out of Impact FC’s rapid fire debuts in Australia during the last couple of weeks. Last Friday’s show – in which Josh Barnett crushed some can named Geronimo Something-or-other — was just a subtle aperitif before tonight’s main course, which is available on pay-per-view for all to see, beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.
(Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with Paulo Filho’s next tattoo)?
When the upstart Impact Fighting Championships organization announced it would be putting on a series of events in Australia anchored by a cast of controversial WEC, PRIDE and UFC castaways like Karo Parisyan, Ricco Rodriguez, Paulo Filho, Ken Shamrock, Paul Daley and Jesse Taylor, Ben and I figuratively high-fived each other in anticipation of the sheer amount of material for the site the event would undoubtedly produce.??
The fact that the first show basically went off without a hitch would have lost us both money if we trusted our predictions enough to bet that there would be problems with the show.??
With such a volatile lineup, it was only a matter of time before names started dropping off Impact FC’s event in Sydney this weekend (which takes place Sunday afternoon local time, Saturday evening if you’re in North America). The first casualty is Bob Sapp, whose fight against Aussie UFC vet Soa Palelei has been canceled. So what the hell happened? Well…
Bob’s side of the story (via MMA Junkie): Sapp, who is currently in Bulgaria shooting that Conan the Barbarian remake, received an e-mail from Impact yesterday informing him that they wouldn’t fly him out to Sydney because the plane ticket would be too expensive. "Just like that," Sapp said. "We had all the paperwork completed." The Beast claims he had assembled a training camp in Bulgaria for the bout, and spent at least $10,000 on coaches, training partners, and living expenses. Sapp’s team plans to draft a formal letter to Impact FC asking for reimbursement of those expenses. If they don’t pay up, he’ll file a lawsuit. "I’m not going to allow anybody to screw me over," Sapp said.
This week’s MMA FightPicker pool question list is after the jump. If you have any other ideas for FP questions related to the Impact show, please let us know in the comments section. Who knows, we may toss your question in as a bonus on Friday..
(“Of course I wore me sunglasses to the press conference. I didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of all these people, now did I?”)
As part of an on-going effort to be all things to all people, the omnipresent BJPenn.com published a report this week citing “undisclosed sources” saying British firebrand/sucker-puncher Paul Daley had inked a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships. In response to this report, please allow CagePotato.com to extend its sweaty, frail hand in friendship to BJPenn.com and say: Welcome to the wild world of journalism, pal, where the pay is terrible, the food is worse, nearly everybody hates your guts and the entire world sits poised over its keyboards, waiting for the slightest provocation to tell you you’re totally full of shit, even when you’re not.
Case in point: Bellator says it hasn’t signed Daley. At least not yet. Contract negotiations are apparently top secret over at the BFC – almost as secret as where to actually find the company’s programming on your TV dial – so an unnamed source (assumedly different from Penn’s “undisclosed” one) was only willing to issue the briefest of contradictory statements to MMAFighting.com on Saturday.
("I’m sorry, what was your name again?" PicProps: Sherdog)
Thank God that Josh Barnett only did a couple of the things he threatened to do to Geronimo dos Santos at Impact FC in Brisbane last night. Despite his threats to the contrary, reports from Sherdog’s Jordan Breen – who was cageside for the event — indicate that Barnett’s short-and-sweet win over dos Santos in the main event of the upstart Australian promotion went strictly according to the unified rules. And no, that is not a euphemism.
The former UFC heavyweight champion took his enormo Brazilian opponent down and achieved full mount twice during the 2 minute, 45 second contest and eventually used a barrage of strikes from behind dos Santos to force John McCarthy to call the fight. Dos Santos attempted to protest the stoppage, but reportedly failed the “What the fuck is your problem?” test with his unsure, rubbery legs.
Fellow UFC castoffs Karo Parisyan, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Jeff Monson also recorded wins, while former champion Carlos Newton lost an ugly fight to Brian Ebersole.
It wasn’t until we saw the opening of this bizarre promo — with Ken Shamrock mock-selling his match against Pedro Rizzo at next Sunday’s Impact event — that it finally hit us. Jesus Christ, this dude is headlining another show? If you don’t count fights in which he tested positive for steroids, against opponents who died shortly afterwards due to poor health, you have to go back all the way to June 2004 to find Shamrock’s last victory. After that, he suffered five consecutive first-round TKO losses; to say he phoned in those performances would be an insult to phones. And Ken does sound a little punchy these days, to be honest. He seems to think Pedro Rizzo is 6’4" or 6’5" (even though Rizzo is generally listed at 6’1"), so, you know, he’s "got a lot of heighth to deal with."
At the end, Ken gets a little too honest: "Right now, where we are at this stage of the game, where we started so early, that we kind of play it from here depending on how I feel, if we’re gonna go hard or if we’re just gonna kinda go through some of the motions." Huh? That’s not the sort of thing I’d include in a promo clip, guys. As for Rizzo, the three-time UFC heavyweight title contender has scored wins over Jeff Monson and Gary Goodridge since being laid flat by Gilbert Yvel in June 2009. I’ll go out on a limb and say he takes this one by first-round TKO…
(Ironically, this is the most non-crazy tattoo Paulo has.)
Realizing that chronically unreliable personal demon chaser Paulo Filho will do well to make it to one of his scheduled July Impact Fighting Championship bouts, the Australia Athletic Commission has disallowed the Brazilian from competing on both the July 10 and July 18 cards as planned.
Graciemag announced the news we have all been predicting today.
Filho (20-1), who was originally also slated to fight at Impact FC’s scrapped July 3 event in Perth, takes on K-1 Heroes, PRIDE and UFC veteran Denis Kang (32-12-1, 2 NC) on July 18 in Sydney if he makes it to the show.
Barnett is on a five-fight win streak, and most recently submitted Mighty Mo at DREAM.13. Dos Santos snapped a two-fight losing skid in May when he knocked out Fabio Jamantha at a Combat Fight event in Brazil. This weekend’s Impact event marks the first time that Mondragon will compete outside of his home country. The current lineup of "Impact FC: The Uprising – Brisbane" is below:
Josh Barnett vs. Geronimo Dos Santos Karo Parisyan vs. Luis "Besouro" Dutra Jr Carlos Newton vs. Brian Ebersole Joaquim Ferreira vs. Sokoudjou Jeff Monson vs. Brad Morris Bira Lima vs. Felise Leniu Jai Bradney vs. Thiago "Minu" Meller
After the jump: Three videos of Geronimo Dos Santos in action, including his beat-down of Zuluzinho…