Today many people agreed to fight many other people for money at a later date, and as tedious as it is to run through all the fights that you’ll eventually learn about one way or another anyway, we might as well drag ourselves through it one more time:
– Josh Koscheck announced via Twitter today that he will fight Paul "Semtex" Daley in a "co main event" bout at UFC 113 on May 1st. Daley has been grumbling about wanting a crack at Koscheck lately, and Koscheck responded by tweeting, "[t]his kid is going 2 get what he’s asking 4. XOXO" Wait a minute, are we sure Koscheck’s Twitter wasn’t hacked by a fourteen year-old girl?
With his one-year steroid suspension coming to an end next month, UFC Hall-of-Famer/Juggalo wrestlerKen Shamrock is ready to get back out there and prove that he can still circle the cage for a few minutes, fall dead to the mat after getting punched, and collect his paycheck. And get this: Some attention-hungry new promotion is actually giving him a shot at a championship belt.
MMA Fighting passes along the news that International Unlimited Fighting‘s debut event (March 6; Cancun, Mexico) will feature a five-round light-heavyweight title bout between Shammy and Seth Petruzelli. If you’ll recall, Shamrock was originally supposed to face Kimbo Slice at EliteXC: Heat in October ’08, but pulled out at the last minute due to a cut over his eye, and was replaced by Petruzelli, who went on to knock Slice out in 14 seconds. It’s unclear how the IUF will be able to spin that bit of shared history into the inevitable grudge-match angle. If anything, Petruzelli is probably thankful to Shamrock for providing him with the opportunity to make his name off of Kimbo on network television. We can only hope that Shamrock calls Petruzelli a pink-haired fruitcake and threatens to beat him into a living death.
Petruzelli — who will win this fight in the first round, assuming there’s no pre-fight drug test that would bar Shamrock from competing in the first place, and since it’s being held in Mexico I’m assuming we’re all good — last competed in August, when he scored a first-round TKO over Chris Baten.
At the beginning of every year there are always nuggets of conventional wisdom that seem absolutely unassailable in January and are laughable by December. This has always been the case, and not just in the world of MMA. For instance, in January of 1941 Pearl Harbor was a nice, calm, wonderfully exotic place for U.S. servicemen to be stationed. By December it was fodder for a horrible Michael Bay movie. Just goes to show that we never know as much as we think we do, though it doesn’t stop us from making definitive statements that will later seem totally ridiculous. Here now are some of the MMA truths that became lies in 2009…
At the start of 2009 Machida had finished just two of his last seven fights (one of them a TKO due to exhaustion), and had cemented his reputation as the fighter who was too "elusive" to be interesting. The UFC seemed intent on keeping him away from a title shot, but inked him for a showdown of undefeated Brazilians against Thiago Silva at UFC 94. That’s when "The Dragon" showed his fangs or claws or whatever it is that dragons have, and after knocking out Rashad Evans to claim the light heavyweight title in similarly ferocious fashion a few months later, we were forced to abandon our belief that Machida would forever be MMA’s version of Ambien. Too bad that our revised position didn’t fare much better…
Lyoto Machida is damn near unbeatable
The “Machida Era” was supposed to be a reign as dominant and prolific as that of middleweight champ Anderson Silva, which left many of us scratching our heads when “Shogun” Rua got the nod as his first challenger. Rua was 2-1 in the UFC at that point and he hadn’t beaten anyone even near their prime since leaving Pride. Despite coming in as a heavy underdog, Rua gave Machida all he could handle for five rounds and seemed to be on his way to a decision victory before the judges decided to discount leg kicks altogether. Machida survived with the belt, but not with his aura of invincibility.
MMA had more than its share of unforgettable moments this year — though many of them were unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. With 2009 drawing to a close, we’ve collected and ranked the year’s lowlights. Now let’s never speak of these things ever again…
#9: The "Hello Japan!" incident at DREAM.7 (3/8/09)
Fighting in the Saitama Super Arena must be an incredible experience. There you are, surrounded by 20,000 eerily quiet Japanese people who all seem to appreciate the intricacies of the sport. During his match against submission wizard Shinya Aoki at DREAM.7, American journeyman David Gardner tried to honor the occasion by waving to the crowd and saying "Hello Japan!" The problem was, Aoki had his back at the time, and as soon as Gardner’s hand went up, Aoki whipped his arm under Gardner’s neck and sunk in a rear-naked choke. "Oh my God it is so dumb," Bas Rutten lamented in the broadcast booth. Dumb is an understatement. Even "Wouldn’t Get Up From Butt Scoot" is a more respectable way to lose a fight. Way to represent the Red, White & Blue, Dave.
Saturday night’s Spike Video Game Awards crowned UFC Undisputed 2009 as the year’s Best Individual Sports Game, beating out such notable titles as Fight Night Round 4 and Wii Sports Resort. And while that’s not a huge accomplishment considering that the UFC and Spike are in bed together and the whole broadcast was basically just one big advertisement, the ceremony did offer a first look at next year’s installment of Undisputed.
We begin with a montage of UFC stars telling us what being a fighter does and doesn’t require. To be honest, it sounds like a very demanding profession. Tito Ortiz tries so hard to sell his line, God bless him. Though there isn’t much actual game-footage to judge, some minor improvements are on display: Anderson Silva switches from southpaw to orthodox stance. Frank Mir is held against the fence. And of course, Kimbo Slice joins the cast, swinging some wide-ass punches at a faceless opponent. UFC Undisputed 2010 is slated to hit stores on May 25th — what improvements would you like to see in the updated version?
We knew this was coming. Talking with Fanhouse’s Ariel Helwani, UFC president Dana White confirms that Houston Alexander does not have a future in the UFC after his dismal performance against Kimbo Slice at last weekend’s TUF 10 Finale. Hardly surprising, right? Alexander had already been run out of the UFC once, and was only brought back because he seemed like a beatable opponent for Kimbo (which he was) with a modicum of name value. He lost, he looked bad doing it, and so he’s fired again. Everything here is going according to script.
But remember when Roy Nelson jokingly referred to himself as the UFC’s official suckmeter? Remember when he said that he was going to be the guy who, if you couldn’t beat him, it meant you didn’t belong in the UFC? You thinking what I’m thinking here, dog?
(Jon Jones doesn’t know what to tell you. Sometimes you eat the bear and, well, sometimes you get disqualified for hitting him with illegal elbows. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle’s after-party set.)
A bizarre night in Las Vegas brought the latest heavyweight experiment of “The Ultimate Fighter” to an end, and not a moment too soon. Now we break down the results to see who’s up and who’s down according to the patent-pending technology of the Potato Index’s arbitrary numerical rankings. Roy Nelson +87 We get it, his physique is unimpressive. But a KO win showed he can fight on the feet and on the mat. Funny that Burger King doesn’t seem more pleased with a free endorsement from an athlete who’s known for his unappealing body.
Brendan Schaub -21 As we’ve seen in the past, losing in the TUF Finale isn’t any more a condemnation than winning is a guarantee of future success. Once he gets some experience under his belt, he could turn out to be an exciting fighter to watch. Why not give him Kimbo next, just for fun?
At the post-fight press conference following the TUF 10 Finale, Kimbo Slice was as pleased as you could reasonably expect considering he’d just narrowly scratched out a victory against a guy who all but refused to fight him. Though fans and pundits expected Slice and Houston Alexander to put on a one-round war — a backyard brawl brought to the Octagon — we instead got Minowaman vs. Zuluzinho part 2. "We were prepared for somewhat of his attacks, but I wasn’t prepared for the ring-riding that he did," Kimbo said. Still, he wasn’t going to let Alexander bait him into making a mistake:
"If I would have ran in there foolishly, I would have gotten knocked out. It wasn’t difficult to stay patient…A few times, I just called him out. I had to call him by his name, I had to say some things in the ring, like, ‘Let’s do this,’ in so many words. I reverted back to the streets a little bit, verbally. He didn’t engage. He stuck to his plan, so I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to be foolish and run up on him.’ I wanted to be a smart fighter as well…
It’s hard. It’s not an easy thing because I first was a street fighter, and being a street fighter there was no training in my style of fighting. I just went in there based on my instincts, watching the guy’s movement, and countering him. But at this level of the game, as a professional fighter in the UFC, you have to be like almost genius-type smart because you have all these dimensions you have to bottle in one, and you just gotta know when to counter, and when to not hit, when to not engage, and try to wait it out. There’s a lot [that] guys gotta go through."