Any sentiment related to the UFC and how they take care of their fighters (whether it’s about pay, insurance, or what have you) is bound to be controversial. Leben’s tweet suggesting the UFC discards their fighters once they’ve outlived their usefulness and leaves them as empty, “broken” husks was no exception. A firestorm erupted on twitter and otherInternet locales, with many fans insulting Leben and bashing the TUF Season 1 veteran. Their argument: Leben made more money than me, so fuck him. His drug issues are not my problem. Harsh words for a man who risked his mind and body to entertain so many.
Bellator’s eighth season ended much like it began — with featherweight champion Pat Curran putting his belt on the line and emerging victorious. His opponent in the main event of last night’s Bellator 95 card in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was Shahbulat Shamhalaev, the Dagestan-bred knockout artist who clinched his title shot with his KO of Rad Martinez in February. Unlike his 25-minute squeaker against Patricio Freire in January, Curran only needed half a round to take Shamhalaev down and put him to sleep with an arm-in guillotine, earning his second successful title defense.
Depending on availability, Curran’s next opponent could be Season 6 winner Daniel Straus — who was forced to withdraw from Bellator 95 due to a broken hand — or Bellator’s latest featherweight tournament winner, Magomedrasul “Frodo” Khasbulaev, who defeated Mike Richman in a 15-minute dogfight last night. Though Richman was game through all three rounds, opening up some cuts on the Russian’s face in round two, Frodo clearly had the advantages in striking, takedowns, and overall aggression. Khasbulaev was awarded 30-27 scores from all three judges, and a $100,000 check from his employer.
In the night’s other Season 8 tournament final, middleweight Doug “The Rhino” Marshall continued his improbable career comeback by knocking out Brett Cooper in the first round. Cooper had some success early in putting Marshall on his back, but once Marshall regained his footing, it was Rhino Time. A hard right hand from Marshall sent Cooper to the canvas, and some follow-up bombs sealed the deal. The win increased Marshall’s Bellator record to 4-0, with three of those wins by first-round KO/TKO.
“Man, I hope he’s OK,” Marshall said afterwards. “I was trying to knock his beard off, but it didn’t come off. Maybe next time.”
It may be a long time before we see Karo Parisyan competing in a top level promotion again, but he took one step closer by utterly destroying Anonymous Tatted-up Opponent #237 (known professionally as, we shit you not, Tiger Bonds) at Gladiator Challenge: King of the Mountain over the weekend. It was Parisyan’s second victory in his past three contests, which is only made less than impressive when you consider that his other win came over Thomas Denny. And that he had dropped four of his past five before that. But hey, we’re taking the optimistic approach today, so all you haters can suck a bag of dicks.
It’s easy- perhaps even a bit lazy- to compare the embattled MMA fighter Drew Fickett to the similarly troubled Scott Hall. In their primes, both men performed on their respective sport’s biggest stages against recognizable names. In Fickett’s case, this meant a run in the UFC and notable victories over Dennis Hallman, Kenny Florian, Josh Neer, Josh Koscheck and Kurt Pellegrino.
Yet it’s arguable that both men are more famous for their self-destructive, chaotic lifestyles outside of sport than they are for their accomplishments. Both men have well documented struggles with addiction, have been fired from major promotions over their drunkenantics and have attempted to stay relevant in their respective sports with increasingly tragic results.
Notably stacked for a regional card, Worldwide Mixed Martial Arts‘ debut event went down Saturday night in El Paso, Texas, and was highlighted by an upset in the main event and a handful of UFC vets smashing their way into the win column.
At this point, when Sean McCorkle gets booked against a smaller, doughier opponent with a journeyman’s record, we just assume that “Big Sexy” will bully his way to a first-round stoppage without much difficulty. But WMMA 1′s super-heavyweight main event didn’t go down like that. Though McCorkle (who tipped the scales at 312 pounds) came very close to finishing the 287-pound Brian Heden near the end of the first round, he blew his cardio wad in the process. With McCorkle barely able to lift his arms in round two, Heden was able to reverse a takedown, trap McCorkle’s left arm, and slug his way to a TKO victory. According to Danga, the announcer referred to the win as “the upset of the century.” (Somewhere, Gus Johnson is masturbating.) In a follow-up post on the UG, McCorkle lamented the cardio problems that have plagued his entire athletic career, credited Heden for showing up in “decent shape”* and vowed to retire if his cardio ever contributed to another loss.
The promotion put together the pretty slick looking promo above for its McCorkle vs. Heden: Fighting For A Better World event that will see a portion of the proceeds from the show donated to the Wounded Warriors project.
In the main and co-main event of the evening, former UFC heavyweight Sean McCorkle will take on a somewhat unknown fighter by the name of Brian Heden and onetime UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan will face King of the Cage, EliteXC and MFC vet Thomas “Wildman” Denny. The event will be available for rent via pay-per-view.
During the promo, clips were shown of Parisyan’s first fight — a bare-knuckle scrap he had in Mexico when he was 14 against a 20-something local champion.
Check out the entire impressive fight by young Karo and the complete WMMA fight card after the jump.
(These two bouts alone beat most Strikeforce Challengers events.)
CagePotato.com has learned that a trio of bouts featuring UFC veterans has been added to Worldwide MMA’s debut card in El Paso, Texas.
Karo Parisyan (19-8-4 1 NC) versus Dave Menne (45-16-2), Lyle Beerbohm (16-2) versus Jamie Varner (18-6-1 2 NC) as well as Drew Fickett (41-16) versus Kevin Knabjian (12-6) will all take place at the March 31 event.
(Before she became MMA’s sweetheart, Ronda battled through some tough personal bouts growing up.)
We’ve all read stories about how Ronda Rousey became a beast on the mats training with the tough Armenians like Karo Parisyan and Manny Gamburyan as a girl at Gokor Chivichyan’s gym, but few actually know the real battles the bubbly Strikeforce number one bantamweight contender has gone through in her life.
Of any fighter, it’s fitting that Rousey knows the value of making her voice be heard — she couldn’t put together coherent sentences until the age of six.
Rousey was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck; her body was blue and she wasn’t breathing. She was revived in the delivery room, but when her communicative skills quickly fell behind the norm, the doctors thought she’d suffered brain damage or that she might be deaf.
When she began to talk, Rousey’s words were jumbled and she was sent to speech therapy classes. Frustration was a daily occurrence, as nobody could understand her.