(Main-eventers Ronnie Mann and Hatsu Hioki. Image courtesy of allelbows.)
Attention insomniacs and members of the undead: HDNet is hooking you up tonight with a live broadcast of "Sengoku Eighth Battle," which kicks off at 3 a.m. ET/midnight PT. Though the card lacks big names, it will feature the quarterfinals of their ongoing featherweight grand prix — and if the fights are as entertaining as the FWGP’s first round, we’ll be in for a treat, so DVR this bitch at the very least. Here’s what the matchups will look like…
Fedor was basically playing with Aoki. He allowed him to get sub attempts like a flying armbar, a leg lock attempt, and even takedowns like the double leg and a nice seoi-nage. Watching it though, you could very much tell that Fedor was allowing Aoki [to] catch stuff for the sake of the fans. It didn’t stop him from picking him up and slamming him all around the place though, locking up subs of his own before letting go to stand back up. There was one instance where Fedor pounded the ground with a huge fist, right next to Aoki’s head — kind of a sign that, “hey, I can stop this at any moment, kiddo.”
Brock Lesnar is giddy as a school girl after stalking around the woods (okay, more like lumbering around the woods) in pursuit of a whitetail deer. What can you say, the big man loves to hunt. His claim that the whitetail deer is one of the most difficult animals to hunt is severely undermined, however, when he misses his first shot at the buck and it is kind enough to prance out in the open to give him a better one. Ernest Hemingway hunted lions, Brock. And he was just some sissy writer.
After the jump: some Kung Fu Football, and how they hype a fight in Japan.
(The hoax match-up the world has been talking about since never.)
It’s a crazy rumor no more. Now Fedor Emelianenko vs. Shinya Aoki is a crazy fact, according to press release sent out today by M-1 Global. The two will square off in a "five-minute special sparring exhibition" at the "M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction" on April 29 in Tokyo. So what will the lightweight and the heavyweight try to do to each other over the course of the most bizarre and pointless five minutes in MMA history? According to the press release:
Complete rules of the Fedor vs. Aoki sparring exhibition are still being negotiated, but it will be presented as a special attraction during a 19-bout event scheduled to feature head-to-head M-1 Challenge matchups between host country Japan vs. England, Team USA West vs. South Korea, and Spain vs. France.
Well, that’s appropriately vague. I guess this is what happens when you start to run out of credible opponents (who won’t ask for a lot money to fight you) but you still want to get out of the house and break a sweat: you spar with a skinny guy in tights. Sounds reasonable. Oh, wait. No, it’s completely insane. But what do we expect at this point?
(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.
Masanori Kanehara thinks you can, and at his open workout in Tokyo he told media members that that’s how he intends to beat Chan Sung Jung, also known as “The Korean Zombie,” (that’s who he’s supposedly preparing for in the above photo, but man what a cheap zombie mask) in the Sengoku featherweight Grand Prix. Conventional wisdom has always held that the best way to deal with a zombie is by destroying the brain or removing the head, preferably by doing something awesome/gruesome.
But the rear naked choke? I guess that could work, though your risk of getting bitten while sinking in the choke seems pretty high. Still better than an armbar or guillotine choke, though. And don’t even think about trying to heelhook one of those suckers.
Basically, to sum up: if there is a zombie attack and you are forced to choose which MMA fighter to team up with until the whole thing blows over, Demian Maia is probably not your safest pick. Your first instinct might be to go with Fedor Emelianenko, but lest you forget, he’s lived with some fear issues when it comes to darkness. Something to think about.
On a related note, the zombie embodies man’s fear of the crushing force of society and conformity. Discuss.
(‘And what is deal with airline food? Is no good, am I right?’)
Want to hear something totally insane and probably not true? That was a rhetorical question. Of course you want to hear this. According to a Croatian newspaper article translated for us by Robert of betwwx.com, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s next bout will be this July in an Affliction/Dream co-promotional event full of all kinds of fights that only sort of make sense.
The article quotes Cro Cop as saying that he’d like to fight four times this year (he knows it’s already mid-April and he’s fought zero times so far this year, right?) and five times in 2010, so the credibility of this report seems strained to begin with. But then the article declares that the “only certainty” is a Cro Cop-Alistair Overeem rematch on a July 20 Affliction/Dream co-promotion in Japan. Also on that card, according to this report, will be Fedor Emelianenko taking on Jeff Monson and Josh Barnett facing off against Andrei Arlovski.
Whoa, let’s back up a second, Croatian newspaper. Now who’s this Fedor guy anyway and what has he done to deserve a shot at "The Snowman"?
(Hayato Sakurai vs. Shinya Aoki. Listen for the Japanese version of Frank Trigg calling the action at the 1:20-1:27 mark of the video.)
The opening round of DREAM’s 2009 welterweight grand prix went down today at DREAM.8 in Nagoya, Japan, with Hayato Sakurai and Andre Galvao establishing themselves as early favorites to go all the way. In the evening’s main event, Sakurai was able to defeat Shinya Aoki for the second time in his career, reversing position after a slick takedown from Aoki, then unleashing a brutal series of knees to the head and punches that forced a stop to the action just 27 seconds into the fight. Aoki, who didn’t bother putting on weight for the match, hopefully learned that he’s better off at lightweight.
Elsewhere in the welterweight GP, Andre Galvao looked impressive yet again, taking out UFC/WEC vet John Alessio by armbar at 7:34 of the first round; the powerful jiu-jitsu ace increases his record to 3-0, with all wins by armbar. Jason High was able to bounce back to the W column with a quick choke-out of Yuya Shirai, while Marius Zaromskis edged out Seichi Ikemoto by decision after a 15-minute slugfest.
In the non-tournament bouts, Jeff Monson won for the third time in three weeks (!), using his significant grappling advantage over Sergei Kharitonov to sink in a north-south choke early in the first round. Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro was also victorious in his return to competition, controlling Katsuhiko Nagata for most of the first round of their match until a series of knee-strikes from Ribeiro opened up a nasty gash on Nagata’s head; doctors immediately went in to check the wound, and decided to stop the fight. And in a minor upset, Riki Fukuda — a late replacement for Dong Sik Yoon — was able to score a very close decision over Murilo Rua after a 15-minute standup battle.