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Tag: Maximo Blanco

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Refereeing — And Why Nevada Needs “Big” John McCarthy

(We’re going to have a clean, fair fight. Obey my commands at all times. If you don’t, I’mma jam this mic so deep in your eye socket you can hear yourself think. / Pic Props: The Fight Network)

By: Jason Moles

There are only three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and dreadful refereeing in mixed martial arts. With tax day behind us and a clean bill of health from the doc, the only thing left to avoid is blunders like those that occurred this past Saturday night at The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The offenses ranged from unrepentant fence-grabbing to controversial stoppages. (Surprisingly, we’re not talking about Steve Mazagatti this time.) Sadly, this might have been prevented if Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer would squash his beef with the godfather of MMA referees, “Big” John McCarthy.

What’s the beef about, you ask? To hear McCarthy tell it, Kizer got upset and took his ball home when UFC’s first head referee said the same thing the fans have been saying for years. Via MMAFighting:

“I thought he was putting some people in positions to judge fights that didn’t understand actually what the fighters were doing, and that’s wrong,” McCarthy explained. “I said that and I stood by it. He got mad, and from that, he has never licensed me again. And that’s okay. That’s his choice. I’m not going to cry about it and worry about it.”

McCarthy apologized publicly to Kizer and three years ago resubmitted his application for licensure. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t heard back, other than an ominous note stating that his “application will stay on file.”

That’s funny; Dana White told CagePotato the same thing about my press credentials. Fast forward to this Saturday, and instead of sitting on press row in sunny California for UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez, I’ll be sitting in Ben’s living room with a bunch of boxercisers. [Ed. note: How. Dare. You.] Where was I? Oh yeah, most MMA refs are incompetent and terrible at their job.

Case in point: Maximo Blanco vs. Sam Sicilia


Gilbert Melendez Finally Booked to Fight Someone Other Than Josh Thompson on September 29th

(And to think, if I hadn’t accidentally called Dana “Baldfather” during that interview, I’d be fighting Ben Henderson right about now.) 

When we first heard word that Strikeforce was considering booking a completely unnecessary fourth match between lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thompson, we more or less saw it as a sign that Strikeforce’s lightweight division, not unlike their heavyweight, welterweight, and pretty much every other division, was simply biding its time until the UFC inevitably absorbed it. We were elated to find out shortly thereafter that Thompson was making the whole thing up, possibly under the belief that if the rumor gained enough steam, Scott Coker would sit idly by and let the match happen again and again until Thompson finally emerged victorious.

Fortunately, someone had good enough sense to book Melendez a fight against top contender Pat Healy on September 29th instead, which will make for Melendez’s fifth title defense should he be successful. Although Healy can’t hold a candle to Thompson as far as turning in exciting performances goes (Thompson’s snoozer against K.J. Noons outstanding), it will be nice to see Melendez finally face off against the only other lightweight in the division who stands at least a snowball’s chance in Hell of beating him.

More details after the jump. 


Maximo Blanco Loses Strikeforce Debut, Gets Called Up to UFC Anyway

VidProps: RandomCoolStuffHD/YouTube

If you missed the Strikeforce preliminary matchup between Maximo “Little Wanderlei” Blanco and Pat “The Spoiler” Healy, what the hell is wrong with you? Blanco is the highly entertaining prospect who’s been handing out brain damage in Japan for a hot minute, and news of his American debut against Josh Thomson was enough to make my nipples hard. Then Thomson pulled out, and Healy was announced as the replacement, which I was kinda bummed about. Then I cheered up, because I still was getting to watch Maxi go all Beast Mode on a dude. It’s Maxi Time, bitches!

Well, long story short: The Max Murderer lost his North American debut, tapping out to a rear naked choke at the end of the second round.

Not the end of the world, though — Blanco could string a few wins together in the minors, and all would be right with the world, while tearing through Strikeforce’s lesser-known lightweights in highlight-reel fashion. Then I hear news that Little Wanderlei — but not Healy — was on his way to the UFC.

Uh…… huh?


‘Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov’ Aftermath: UFC Auditions, Sans Mansion

King Mo, during the UFC application process post-fight interview. Props: Showtime Sports

Last night, the real story behind “Barnet vs. Kharitonov had nothing to do with the heavyweight grand prix. It had nothing to do with the middleweight championship of a sinking organization. Last night, as with every other Strikeforce show since the promotion was purchased by Zuffa, was little more than an audition. It was about who will get a UFC contract when Strikeforce goes under, and who will have to go through TUF. The fans knew it, the announcers knew it, going as far as confirming the Belfort vs. Le rumor, and the fighters definitely knew it.

Despite Strikeforce’s best efforts to hype Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov as a potentially close fight, we all knew what to expect: A repeat of Kharitonov vs. Monson, except with a far superior version of Jeff Monson. Because of this, it’s hard to be impressed with anything that Josh Barnett does at this point. The tournament’s biggest names and most intriguing matchups for Barnett- Fedor, Werdum and Overeem- were all removed well before last night. Barnett has become such an overwhelming favorite to win that when he wins, he’s simply living up to expectations. He was paired up against an opponent with weak grappling credentials, knew he would dominate the fight once Kharitonov was on the ground, and fought accordingly. At least the tournament was set up so that he would get to face a competent grappler in the finals.


The Next Strikeforce Card is Coming Together, And It’s Kinda Awesome

VidProps: BloodstreamMMA100/YouTube

Strikeforce is forging ahead with this crazy “Grand Prix” gimmick — no telling how they came up with a concept like that, but props to them — and the semifinals could go down in September. If everything goes according to plan, the event should be packed with good matchups. Let’s take a look.

The heavyweight GP will continue with Alistair Overeem squaring off with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, and “War Master” Josh Barnett against “The Russian Concussion” Sergei Kharitonov. Those two fights alone would be enough to carry a card, but Coker and company want to make it worth your while to watch, so they’ve continued to put together bouts with an eye on producing a blockbuster.

Every other bout currently rumored for the show features a current or former champion for the Strikeforce banner, including a title match for current middleweight champ “Jacare” Souza.


Maximo Blanco: ‘My Name Is Maxi, and I’ll Do My Talking in the Octagon’

Maximo Blanco MMA fighter sengoku

By Ryan Ventura

“The Max Murderer” Maximo Blanco is a star in the world of Japanese Mixed Martial Arts. The 27-year-old Venezuelan first made his name in the world of Combat Sports as a freestyle wrestler. He won a bronze medal in the 60kg division at the 2007 Pan American games and earned a scholarship to wrestle at the college level in Japan.

After failing to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic games, Blanco made the jump into Mixed Martial Arts by being recruited by Sengoku, and began training at the legendary Yoshida Dojo in Japan. He became an instant star and has won over fans worldwide with his brutal and exciting brand of fighting, which has produced five knockout victories in his last six fights. Maximo Blanco was able to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk exclusively to our readers about his wrestling background, life in Japan, and career aspirations…

Continue reading on


Sengoku Death Watch: Primary Sponsor Pulls Out, Promotion Circling Down Drain

Sengoku ring girls Japanese MMA photos
(Sadly, the Sengoku Girls have already been disassembled and sold for scrap.)

Well, it’s not like we expected something miraculous to happen after Sengoku started granting releases to their biggest stars. The Japanese promotion posted an “urgent report” on its website yesterday, saying that primary sponsor Don Quijote has pulled all of their financial support from the company, and if they can’t find another sponsor to replace DQ, Sengoku’s collapse will be unavoidable. More details via FightOpinion:

The note says that Don Quijote was backing the company fully, including office headquarters. The note says that a lot of money was lost and that rather than stay in the ball game, Don Quijote left and that the ‘heartless mass media’ comments made about them didn’t help matters. Sengoku’s note claims that Don Quijote will continue sponsoring other MMA organizations but that everything is under further review.


The Other Japanese New Year’s Show: Sengoku ‘Soul of Fight’ Lineup and Rundown

Marlon Sandro Sengoku MMA Japan
(Marlon Sandro shows off a kick he’s been working on called the ‘Flying Photoshop Material.’ Props: Sherdog)

Tomorrow’s year-ending Sengoku event in Tokyo may be short on gross mismatches, public executions, gender/rule-bending stunt fights, and Bob Sapp, but the card makes up for it in matches that are actually competitive and relevant. "Soul of Fight" will present a staggering 28 bouts of MMA and kickboxing; you can check out the full lineup at the end of this post. HDNet will be airing the bouts in a two-part series on January 14th and 21st, but we’ll try to post videos of the best fights as soon as we can. Here’s a few you might be seeing…  

Marlon Sandro vs. Hatsu Hioki (for Sengoku Featherweight Championship)
Soul of Fight’s main event is easily the most important featherweight bout possible outside of the WEC. Since debuting in Sengoku last March, reigning champion Marlon Sandro has become one of the most vicious knockout artists in all of MMA, dispatching his last three opponents in a combined fight time of 3:20. In his last fight, the Nova Uniao standout starched Masanori Kanehara in 38 seconds to win World Victory Road’s featherweight strap. Hioki, who is the reigning 143-pound champ of Shooto, might be the last elite-level challenge that Sandro will find in Japan, and brings an Aoki-esque grappling style that’s as creative as it is aggressive.


Video Evidence: Maximo Blanco Zombifies Kiumu Kunioku at Sengoku 15

(The whole fight is worth watching, but if you’re in a hurry just go ahead and start at 6:30 for the good stuff. VidProps: MegaVideo)

When you have a name as epic as Maximo Blanco I guess you really have no choice but to be the kind of fighter who throws hands with reckless abandon and racks up highlight reel knockouts like they’re going out of style. If you fight primarily in Japan, it’s also OK to have your nickname be “Maxi” and your fighting exploits described as “Maxi Time!” despite what we in the west might see as the uncomfortably close proximity of that name to a certain brand of feminine hygiene products. Regardless, Blanco’s blockbuster knockout of Kiumu Kunioku from Sengoku 15 over the weekend is definitely a worth a watch.

The fight moves along at a pretty good clip for the first six-and-a-half minutes, until Blanco abruptly decides that it’s fuckin’ MAXI TIME. The current lightweight King of Pancrase drops Kunioku with a punch and follows it with a soccer kick that causes the Japanese veteran to snatch desperately for a single leg. Blanco spins free of it (doing sort of an atomic butt drop on Kunioku in the process) and then absolutely crushes him with an uppercut as he tries to stand. You know the rest: Strikes on the ground until the ref stops it while Michael Schiavello yells, “He almost decapitated him! It’s good night freaking Irene!” For once, the play-by-play shouter’s histrionics seem to fit the situation nicely.