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Tag: MMA books

BookPotato: Art Davie’s “Is This Legal” and the UFC’s Old School Age of Insanity


(Photo via Ascend Books)

By Matt Saccaro

My father was an avid martial arts enthusiast. I remember treading into the basement where he had set up a heavy bag, a speed bag, and free weights. There was also a television, and on that television was usually boxing…but sometimes there’d be mixed martial arts—specifically the UFC.

I knew about the UFC throughout most of my childhood, and sometimes I’d even watch the cards with my father. However, I didn’t start getting deep into the TapouT-clad rabbit hole until high school. When I first got my driver’s license, my friends and I headed to the mall. Our objective: Pick up as many old-school UFC DVDs as we could find. We bought one of each they had in stock (I think our first haul was UFCs 1, 3, and 8).

We decided to watch in order. We popped the DVD in, and hit play.

“Hello, I’m Bill Wallace and welcome to McNichols are-*BELCH*”

We died laughing. But Wallace’s infamous burp in the first 15 seconds of the broadcast wasn’t the only bizarre and insane thing to happen during the first UFC event. By the end of UFC 1, I asked myself “What lunacy was going on behind the scenes?” because clearly, things were chaotic behind the curtain.

It’s been a decade since then, and in that decade I’ve read several books that elucidated the circumstances around the UFC’s birth—Clyde Gentry’s No Holds Barred and Jonathan Snowden’s Total MMA being chief among them. These books, while fantastic, don’t offer the same level of insight into the primordial UFC scene than Is This Legal: The Inside Story of The First UFC From the Man Who Created It by UFC co-creator Art Davie.

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UFC 168 Tweet-Sized Stats & Facts: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Image via @spideranderson. Click to view full-size.)

By Reed Kuhn

Note: Reed’s book ‘Fightnomics’ is available now on Amazon (in Kindle and paperback versions), featuring 336 pages of statistical analysis on UFC fighters and the “hidden science” behind their fights. If you’ve been a fan of his Databomb columns, pick up a copy today. A full description of the book is at the end of this post.

While cranking through some statistical analysis of fighters competing at next weekend’s UFC 168 event, I came across a few tidbits that fit the character limit for tweetability. Tweet ‘em all you want, I’ll make more.

The Good:
Anderson Silva has the highest Knockdown Rate of any fighter at #UFC168. 16% of his landed power head strikes cause a knockdown.

• In terms of Knockdown Rate, #UFC168 fighters Robert Peralta (14%) and Travis Browne (12%) are also way above average.

• Tibau vs Johnson at #UFC168 will be a rare Southpaw vs Southpaw matchup, or what I call a “Cyclone fight” due to the clockwise spin.

• Mostly likely to attempt takedowns at #UFC168 is Ronda Rousey who attempts 4 TDs per 5 min. round. Not that her rounds ever last that long.

• The most active standup striker at #UFC168 is Dennis Siver, who outworks his opponents by 59% in volume while standing.

• Hardest fighter to hit at #UFC168 is Anderson Silva, who avoids 82% of all head strikes thrown at him. Still, Weidman may only need one.

• Highest takedown defense at #UFC168 are Weidman & Browne, both 100%. Neither have been taken down despite each facing 7 attempts.

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UFC on FX 8 Fight-Picking Contest: And the Winners Are…

Thanks to everybody who entered our UFC on FX 8 fight-picking contest, brought to you by It’s Time! My 360° View of the UFC. Though nobody specifically predicted that Belfort vs. Rockhold would be decided by a spinning hook kick halfway through the first round, there were a bunch of CP fight-pickers who correctly guessed that Vitor Belfort would make short work of the the former Strikeforce champ. The two closest entries were…

fulltimekilla: Belfort via TKO at 3:12 of Round 1 (40 seconds away from actual time of stoppage)
kuckleup101.2: Belfort def. Rockhold via TKO, 3:31 of round 1 (59 seconds away from actual time of stoppage)

If your name has been called, please send your real names and mailing addresses to contest@cagepotato.com, and we’ll send out your autographed copies of Bruce Buffer’s new book right away. As for the rest of you, feel free to actually buy a copy of the book right here.

And hey, we also have some other contest business to discuss. Last week, we promised a t-shirt to the person who could come up with the best fake rule for Nick Diaz’s new MMA promotion. The competition was fast and furious, and after sifting through the entries, we’ve decided to hand out CagePotato t-shirts to three winners. They are…

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Alpha Male on the Mic: Bruce Buffer’s Autobiography ‘It’s Time’ Tells the Story of ‘Big Cheers and No Fears’


(Why there’s no Hallmark card-esque recording of Buffer shouting his trademarked catchphrase when you open the front cover is beyond me.)

By Jason Moles

From prologue to epilogue, It’s Time! My 360° View of the UFC is a highly entertaining story of BSC: Balls, Skill, and Confidence. From his early childhood in Pennsylvania to his global fame as “The Veteran Voice of the Octagon,” Bruce Buffer‘s success is a direct result of those three things. Without that braggadocious trifecta, I can’t imagine we’d enjoy the same high-octane fighter introductions we do now. Between the hardback covers, you’re treated to an inside look at how Buffer was first introduced to the UFC, what happened when he realized he had a long, lost half-brother who turned out to be famed boxing announcer Michael Buffer, and the brawls that happened outside of the Octagon.

Most fight fans will pick up a copy of this book for one of two reasons, either because they’re a huge Bruce Buffer fan, or they have a particular fondness for any and all backstage dirt and behind-the-scenes access they can get, such as the time Bruce threatened to “beat the living hell” out of a fan. (That’s on page 183, by the way.) If you happen to fit into both categories, boy are you in luck. Buffer’s storytelling style, combined with the fact that you can’t help but read every word in his famous voice, is reminiscent of throwing back a few cold ones with an old friend as you catch up on the highlights of life since you last saw one another.

Of the two dozen chapters, five are dedicated to fighters, one to UFC President Dana White, and one to all the girls he’s loved before. The rest of the autobiography covers his family, early career, what it’s like to be the VVotO™ in general. While I can appreciate Buffer’s desire to communicate his deep love for his family and close friends, I was more excited to hear about the infamous brawl involving Tito Ortiz and Lee Murray and what it was like to find kickboxer Pat Smith “on his knees, tearing up and making sounds like a wounded banshee” after being cold-cocked upon exiting the elevator by one of Tank Abbott’s goons cornermen.

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The Way of Avoiding the Fight: Four Things You Won’t Find in GSP’s New Book

By: Brian J. D’Souza

Georges St-Pierre’s new book The Way of the Fight is a smashing success as a representation of all of St-Pierre’s ideals, both as a fighter and as a human being. Meshing the genres of biography, philosophy, and self-help, the resulting story yields an enjoyable read that is greater than the sum of its parts. Even more remarkable — the book is devoid of any trace of a bitter or vindictive tone that could taint what is essentially a book about one man overcoming adversity at every turn.

Still, this book is not a comprehensive biography of St-Pierre. As Jacob McArthur Mooney of The National Post notes, “The Way of the Fight is an account of the GSP brand…and the book’s occasional head-feints to the ‘real Georges’ are never more than teases.”

There are critical reasons why any UFC fighter should tread carefully when publishing a book. Look no further than the debacle that ensued between BJ Penn and UFC president Dana White when Penn released his own autobiography Why I Fight in 2010. Or Anderson Silva’s autobiography being pulled off the shelves in Brazil after his former manager Chute Boxe founder Rudimar Fedrigo engaged him in legal action.

But what was so controversial that it was left out of The Way of the Fight? Here’s a primer with four aspects of St-Pierre’s life and career that weren’t touched upon.

PAST MANAGERS

The Way of the Fight is divided into five sections, each focusing on a critical figure in GSP’s development. The last section is called “Conscience” and is centered on Rodolphe Beaulieu, St-Pierre’s current manager, with his other co-manager Philippe Lepage being given a brief mention.

Two names that never come up in this book are Stephane Patry, St-Pierre’s first manager and the promoter of the (now defunct) Quebec-based promotion TKO, and Shari Spencer, St-Pierre’s second manager. Why omit the two most critical people to St-Pierre’s business relationships who played a role in bringing him to superstardom?

Said GSP to YA Magazine of the time period when Patry was managing him, “In my entourage and my management, I got screwed. A lot of people were stealing money from me.”

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Serious Question: Would Any of You Actually Read Bruce Buffer’s Autobiography?


(Already, Bruce? But you have so much more living to do…)

From Chuck Liddell to Matt Hughes to Forrest Griffin, we’ve seen plenty of UFC legends share their life stories in published autobiographies. But for the first time, one of the UFC’s peripheral characters is releasing a tell-all. Unfortunately, it’s not Joe Rogan, who definitely should write an autobiography someday, or Burt Watson, who probably knows more inside-dirt than anybody. No, it’s actually Veteran Voice of the Octagon™ Bruce Buffer, whose book — It’s Time!: My 360-Degree View of the UFC — will be released on May 14th. So, is anyone interested in hearing the rags-to-riches story of the guy who introduces UFC fights? Allow Bruce to give you the hard sell (book description via Amazon.com):

If you’re reading these words, chances are that you, like me, are a fan of the great sport we call MMA.*

And if you’re a fan, then you probably recognize my face.

Yeah, that’s right — I’m that guy you see at every UFC match, spinning around and roaring into the microphone and getting up in fighters’ grills.

Okay, so I might not be the most subtle or refined announcer in the business. But I hope I communicate my passion for the sport in a way no other announcer does.

I’ll say it again: Passion. Because that’s what this book is about.

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Book Excerpt: ‘Pound for Pound’ Goes Deep Into the Lives of GSP, Fedor, Anderson Silva + More


(Official book trailer via poundforpoundmma)

CagePotato contributor Brian J. D’Souza has spent years covering MMA around the world, interviewing some of the most compelling personalities in the sport. His new book Pound for Pound: The Modern Gladiators of Mixed Martial Arts focuses on five MMA legends — Georges St-Pierre, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua, and Fedor Emelianenko — taking readers through their humble origins, rise to fame, and the daily agonies that fans never get to see. It’s a fascinating first-hand look behind the curtain, from a journalist who completely immersed himself in the sport in order to return with some never-before-told stories. We’re thrilled that our good friend Brian was able to pull this thing off, and we highly recommend that you check it out for yourself.

We’ve excerpted the intro and first two chapters of Pound for Pound after the jump, which cover Georges St. Pierre’s unlikely emergence as an MMA contender, and how Wagnney Fabiano and Victor Vargotsky became critical to his early development. Take a look, and if you want more, please buy a copy at one of the links below.

Paperback:
www.amazon.com/Pound-Modern-Gladiators-Mixed-Martial/dp/0988149303
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pound-for-pound-brian-dsouza/1114013524

eBook:
www.amazon.com/Pound-Modern-Gladiators-Martial-ebook/dp/B00AQPZGE4
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pound-for-pound-brian-dsouza/1114013524
www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Pound-Pound-The-Modern-Gladiators/book-N7TYdIt2qUinoo4aMGe0qA/page1.html
www.smashwords.com/books/view/266927

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Literary Sensation Alert: Tank Abbott’s ‘Bar Brawler’ Is the Greatest Debut Novel Ever Published by a Former UFC Fighter


(Actual un-spellchecked book cover, via Amazon.)

Gunslinger of the bars, where a duel was a fist-fight without weapons or you backed down by calling the bouncers. It was just kicking ass or getting your ass kicked. The gunslinger didn’t care if he won or lost, but only about his personal integrity and being satisfied when he woke up in the morning that he had delivered justice to a deserving cockroach.”

Those are the first lines from the prologue of Bar Brawler, a 306-page semi-autobiographical novel by personal CP hero David “Tank” Abbott. We first heard about this writing project way back in January 2008, when Tank casually mentioned it during an EliteXC press conference before his fight against Kimbo Slice. Bar Brawler was finally published this June, but it flew under our radars until yesterday, when this Sherdog article revealed that the book did in fact exist, and that it’s actually the first in an already-completed trilogy.

So believe it or not, Tank Abbott is already the most prolific novelist in UFC history. But is the book any good? We’ll get to that in a minute. First, here’s the description from Bar Brawler’s Amazon page, which doesn’t inspire much confidence in the quality of the work:

Walter Foxx, Happening* Beach, California’s most feared bar brawler, works at Sea Lion Beach Liquor at night, attends Wong Beach State College in the day, and dishes out street justice in his spare time to the scumbags, posers, wannabes, and bullies of the world who violate his personal code of honor. Driving a 1987 Chevy Sprint with his faithful pit bull Adolf** riding shotgun, Walter and his twisted crew of Poppa Chulo, Rolando, Big Cal, and Gonzo hold court at the Dead Grunion bar where they take on all comers…

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Chael Sonnen ‘Voice of Reason’ Caption Contest: The Winners!


(These voices, these voices, I hear them, and when they talk I follow, I follow, I follow…”)

Nothing like a good caption contest to remind us what a funny bunch of sons-of-bitches y’all are. After sifting through nearly 200 submissions, we’ve selected the two winners who will be receiving copies of Chael Sonnen‘s new life-manual, The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment a month before it goes on sale to the general public. But first, some runners-up…

LOKI: Chael struggled to hold back the guilt in his face; he never realized that wishing cancer on Ed Soares would actually work.

tdpwent: Chael and random guy #2 show what a certain brazilian BJJ expert will be doing every night after his failed pick-up attempt.

mcw89138: Chael and Ronda drove 2,000 miles to an undisclosed Starbucks to see for themselves the Internet freak and phenomenon known as “perfect circle head” guy.

BigBalluh: The new season of Two and a Half Men is gonna suck.

Kid Clam Curtains: Not pictured: The knee-high rubber boots they’re wearing for all the bullshit.

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Caption Contest: Win an Advance Copy of Chael Sonnen’s New Book ‘The Voice of Reason’!

Last month, we warned you that Chael Sonnen will soon be dominating your local bookstore, having already conquered the worlds of professional fighting, politics, and athletic commission hearings. His new book is called The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment, and will be available to the general public on May 15th. Amazon.com describes the content in these humble terms:

Sonnen’s commentary and tales of heroic adventure will initiate you into the world of superhuman greatness. Allow him to carry you like a frail damsel through the world of professional mixed martial arts as he cuts weight, deals with moronic cornermen, expresses his disdain for focus mitts and punching in general, gets his face rearranged, and finds support and encouragement from fans. Permit him to cleanse your mind’s palate and teach you the truth about history, politics, endangered species, cinema, terrorists, music, particle accelerators, and his plans for creating a Chaelocracy, which translates as “a Better Earth.” Shower him with praise as he takes you into his manly mitts like a lump of clay and reshapes you in his own likeness. 

Like all men of myth and legend, Sonnen strives for the betterment of the human race. Prometheus brought us fire; Dana White brought us the modern-day gladiator; and Chael P. Sonnen now brings us the step-by-step guide to being a great human being and patriot…There is no better day to stop being you and start trying to be Chael P. Sonnen.

So…who wants to get a copy a month before it comes out?

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