Cro Cop‘s head kicks. The Gracie Train. The double-knockout. The Randleplex. The flying inverse triangle choke. Severn‘s suplexes. Inoki’s slaps. Coleman‘s daughters. The entrance. The face-off. The blood. The towel. The destroyed limbs. The shaving gel endorsement. The agony and the ecstasy. The subtitle of this film is "MMA Is Just a Sport." We know better than that. Two more GY PRODUCTION films are after the jump. Happy Monday.
Now that Nogueira is currently without an opponent, the UFC might match him up against the winner of Velasquez/Rothwell to determine the next heavyweight title contender — or they can just give him a shot after Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin settle their grudge in November. And of course if Junior Dos Santos runs through Gonzaga, he’ll be another legitimate candidate for a title shot. Wait a minute, is the UFC’s heavyweight class the new "shark tank" division, like 205 used to be? Right now, it seems be the only weight-class with a deep bullpen of strong, fresh contenders who could realistically challenge for the title. How the hell did that happen?
Fighting for a living is a lot like teasing a really mean dog: you can’t do it forever without something bad happening to you.Even the great ones get to a point where their drive becomes sluggish and their bellies are too full for them to stay hungry, and that’s usually when a particularly bad beating takes what remaining fire they have and douses it with the fury of a God pissing on your dreams.It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll quit right then, even if they should, but it does mean that they’ll never be the same again.Here now, in chronological order, are the most notorious breaking points in MMA history.
It’s hard to say that Igor Zinoviev was really on his way to being a legend of the sport, because he got stopped almost before he really got started.The former Soviet Army commando was one of the first fighters in the early days of MMA to beat a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt when he TKO’d Mario Sperry, and he took out Enson Inoue the next year.All this came after years of fighting underground brawls in Brooklyn warehouses following the fall of the Soviet Union, so his toughness was never in question.
When he joined the UFC the future was, as they say, wide open.Then he came up against Frank Shamrock, who wasted no time in scooping him up and slamming him down so viciously that it shattered his collarbone and knocked him out cold.It was Zinoviev’s first career loss, and he would never fight again after that.We’re not saying the devastating finish served as the catalyst for Shamrock’s out of control ego over the next 10+ years, but we’re not saying it helped, either.
After Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic‘s ugly loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103 on Saturday, it was clear that his will to win has eroded even more than his skills as a fighter. For two-and-a-half rounds, we saw a backpedaling, hesitant, shadow of Cro Cop’s former self get outstruck by someone he would have murdered three years ago. It was obviously the end of the line for Filipovic as a relevant competitor — and nobody sees that as clearly as Mirko himself. As he told jutarnji.hr (translated by Robert K. at bigoddsmike.com):
I fucked up and that’s all there is to it. Maybe the ones who I’ve said that I’m done are right. Obviously I can’t break my mental block in the Octagon. Besides, I’ve been training like a spartan for 20 years now, my body is worn out. The years caught up to me, I’ve been worn out…I want a normal life. I’m entering a cage and thinking about fishing in Privlaka. You can’t win that way.
— During the post-event press-conference, Dana White made his intentions known about Belfort’s place in the UFC middleweight division: "To be honest with you, the way the last two fights happened with Marquardt and Henderson against Anderson Silva, I think it would be better to see them fight each other, and the winner of that become the next contender. I think Vitor is ready to fight Anderson Silva (now)…I love the fact that we have Vitor at that weight class." Belfort credited his win to a new focus on karate: "It’s just something that I want to use right now. I was taking my time. I was feeling the fight. As soon as I see something, I make sure I have the zip code, the address and the social security number…Sometimes I take my time; sometimes I’m aggressive. But as soon as I start, I make sure I fight. That’s what people want to see."
I kind of figured Tiki Ghosn was dead weight on Team Rampage’s staff, but in this clip from next week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, he proves himself to be a very patient and encouraging teacher. Kimbo Slice is a sponge during his extra lessons on the ground-game, and you have to admit, his reversal at the -0:50 mark is as smooth as Country Crock. Rampage says he sees himself in Kimbo, and wants to show him a few things that worked in his own fights. Hopefully the extra attention proves useful, because his housemates are gunning for him in episode 2. As the narrator intones at the end, "is it time for Kimbo Slice to finally step into the Octagon?" No, probably not yet, but why else would you tune in?
Some must-see vids to get you through the rest of the afternoon: First up, a fantastic Miguel Torres highlight reel that reminds us why he’s one of the most entertaining fighters in the world. After the jump, the UFC 103 extended trailer re-introduces Vitor Belfort to all the TUF noobs out there, sets up Cro Cop vs. Dos Santos as a meeting between an MMA legend and a dangerous up-and-comer, and plugs the #1 welterweight contender match between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann. "If Swick’s looking at the GSP fight before me, he’s gonna make a big mistake, ’cause I’m gonna fuck him right up," says Kampmann. Also, the Octagon Girls are not quite ready for prime time.
"I must point out that his victory is a defeat for the sport as such. Don’t get me wrong, Lesnar is a fearsome and very dangerous opponent, but I am old school, I prefer skill and technique. This win was a defeat of martial skills. Much of what he achieved in the fight is a result of pure power… Of course, Lesnar has quality sparring partners, is an experienced wrestler and a man who learns very quickly. But he is yet to have a real struggle. He does not have many fights in his career and I would love to see how he would react to two or three good low kicks."