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Awesome Story of the Day: UFC Lightweight Reza Madadi Saves Infant AND Father From Drowning in Sweden

(Just off camera, The Grim Reaper stared on in shock as Madadi told him right where he could stick his scythe.) 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know by now that, while most of us are content to booze or sleep away most of our lives, MMA fighters opt to spend their leisure time foiling robberies, saving women from knife-wielding psychopaths, and teaching Canadian hoodlums a lesson in male dominance…I mean respect.

For some reason, the rule goes double for MMA fighters from foreign countries. We all remember the tale of Goran Reljic saving two men from drowning by smashing through their submerged vehicle’s windshield and pulling them to safety WHILE suffering from a back injury. Or how Kid Yamamoto dove onto a subway track in Japan to help lift a man to safety. Seriously, it’s like the rest of the world operates under Article 223-7 of the Latham County Penal Code or something.

In either case, one name you can add to the list of heroic MMA fighters is UFC lightweight Reza Madadi, who recently saved an infant toddler when the child fell from a pier near Hornsberg in his home country of Sweden.

Full story after the jump.


Outrageous News of the Day: Former ‘MMA Fighter’ Lights Self on Fire

(You see? People were doing this WAY before MMA was ever popular.)


Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently a former MMA fighter named Harold Finger III (seriously) viciously assaulted a woman before setting himself on fire, nearly taking a six year old child with him in the process. This bizarre story comes to us courtesy of out of Anchorage, Alaska, whose “report” is so shockingly inept that we feel the need to post it verbatim:

A former mixed martial arts fighter set himself on fire on Tuesday night and faces assault charges for striking a woman, according to Anchorage Police.

Police said 28-year-old Harold Finger III lit himself on fire during a disturbance around 8:33 p.m. Tuesday. Officers found him badly burned at an apartment on the 200 block of N. Klevin Street.

According to witnesses, APD said Finger became angry while speaking on the phone with an acquaintance after getting out of jail for one week.

Police allege Finger then punched and kicked a 34-year-old woman in the face and head while wearing leather gloves with hard plastic knuckles. The victim and two other women living at the apartment took refuge in a bedroom with one of the women holding her 6-year-old son.

Finger said he was not going back to jail and took a can of Prestone starting fluid and doused the door frame and his upper body and then grabbed the child. The women were able to free the boy before Finger used a lighter to ignite himself, bursting into flames. One of the women extinguished the flames with a jacket.

Finger was taken to a local hospital for severe burns on his upper torso, face, and head. He faces charges of assault in the first and second degree and reckless endangerment with a no-bail warrant.

Anchorage Police said Finger will be served when he is physically able to be taken into custody.


Roger Huerta Signs On to Compete in Bellator’s Lightweight Tourney, Acting World Responds By Asking, ‘Who?’

(Not to criticize Bellator’s matchmaking, but we haven’t seen a first round tournament draw this easy since Wandelei Silva’s Pride days.)

Since his acting career didn’t quite pan out like he expected and his relationship with the UFC was still somewhat frosty, Roger Huerta has opted to go in a new direction and announced today that he’d be competing in Bellator’s upcoming 155-pound tournament. The first round kicks off on April 8, but there’s no word yet on who Huerta will face. If he wins his first fight he then moves on to fight in May, and a victory there puts him in the finals in June. That’s a busy schedule for a guy who fought just twice in the last two years, but according to Huerta that’s part of what drew him to Bellator in the first place:

"The main thing for me was I wanted to fight constantly," he said. "Since I was out so long, this is the best way for me to fight constantly and it’s up to me to continue to fight. It’s going to be grueling. I’ll fight in April, then on to May and June. But I want to continue to fight. I went from fighting five times in one year in ’07, then once in ’08 and ’09. Now I can fight four times in 2010."

Huerta insists that he’s coming back “with a chip on my shoulder” and is fully focused on MMA these days. His joint-grinding loss against Gray Maynard proved that toughness is never an issue, and we don’t want to sound like a clingy girlfriend here, but is “El Matador” ready to make a serious commitment to this sport? If not, the Bellator tournament’s grueling schedule will probably find him out.


Paulo Thiago’s Next Challenge: The Hitman @ UFC 115

Paulo Thiago UFC
("See? I am friend. Now get in van, please." Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Four months after he put Mike Swick to sleep at UFC 109 — thereby going up 2-1 in his one-man assault on the American Kickboxing Academy — welterweight rising star Paulo Thiago will step into the cage at UFC 115 (June 12th, tentatively in Vancouver) against highly regarded contender Martin Kampmann. "The Hitman" is coming off a first-round submission victory over Jacob Volkmann in January, and was slated to take on Ben Saunders at UFC 111, but lost a large piece of his face during training. Coincidentally, Thiago also holds a win over Volkmann, who has been absolutely thrown to the wolves during his brief time with the UFC. (FYI, "Christmas" Volkmann will have his win-or-GTFO match against Ronnys Torres at UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi on March 31st.)

UFC 115 will be headlined by Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz, and is expected to feature Mirko Cro Cop vs. Pat Barry, Ben Rothwell vs. Gilbert Yvel, Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham, and Mac Danzig continuing his slow road back to contendership against Matt Wiman.


WEC 47 Payouts: Joseph Benavidez Leads the Pack, Pulver Takes a Major Pay Cut

Joseph Benavidez Miguel Torres WEC 47 MMA
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

The WEC paid out $276,500 in disclosed salaries and bonuses for their WEC 47 card on Saturday, with bantamweight contender Joseph Benavidez taking home the biggest cut. Benavidez’s $39,000 haul — including his win bonus and submission bonus — made him one of just three fighters to earn over $20,000 from the event. The numbers are below; keep in mind that they don’t include income from sponsorships or undisclosed "locker-room bonuses," or deductions for taxes, insurance, and licensing fees.

Dominick Cruz: $18,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
Brian Bowles: $12,000

Joseph Benavidez: $39,000 (includes $14,500 win bonus, $10,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
Miguel Torres: $26,000

Javier Vazquez: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
Jens Pulver: $14,000*

L.C. Davis: $18,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
Deividas Taurosevicius: $9,000


Strikeforce Confirms April Show in Nashville; Hendo/Shields In, Fedor Out

Fedor Emelianenko Scott Coker Strikeforce
("These barbarian Americans," Fedor thought to himself. "Worshipping laminated rectangles with names on them.")

Strikeforce has been laying suspiciously low lately, leading some to wonder if they’re having behind-the-scenes problems with Fedor Emelianenko or their broadcast partners; Gegard Mousasi‘s departure from M-1 two weeks ago added another wrinkle to the mystery. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker tried to shed what light he could yesterday, telling reporters that the organization would hold an event in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 17th, and that more announcements would come next week. No, it’s not much to work on. But recent reports have also clued us in on the following…

— The middleweight title fight between Jake Shields and Dan Henderson is a done deal for April. Said Shields: "I have a date (and) venue, but they told me to hold that back. Hopefully CBS. I think it’s CBS. There’s a slight possibility of Showtime because they’re still (working it out). I don’t know the rest of the card or any of that yet. But me and Dan’s on, and I’m hoping it’s on CBS."


Report: Wanderlei Silva vs. Michael Bisping in Australia

Wanderlei Silva Keith Jardine
("Damn it…what did I just come down here for?")

Contradicting previous reports that Wanderlei Silva‘s next opponent will be Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 110 (February 21st; Sydney, Australia), Fighters Only UK says that the Axe Murderer will instead be taking on Michael Bisping:

Verbal agreements for the clash have been given, although Fighters Only understands that bout agreements are not yet drawn up. The fight will not be official until these are signed and returned by both men…
Silva and Bisping were due to fight at UFC 105 but the Brazilian legend had surgery on his face to remove scar tissue that had built up around his eyes. He was unable to make the November 14th date with Bisping and Denis Kang was drafted in instead…Silva had been rumoured to be facing Yoshihiro Akiyama at the UFC Australia event, but UFC president Dana White commented offhand after UFC 106 that the fight was most likely off. Today’s news explains that remark.

Report: Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman to Headline UFC 109

Mark Coleman UFC MMA
(Whaddya say, old-timer? One last job, for all the Lipitor?)

According to Sherdog, UFC hall-of-famers Randy Couture and Mark Coleman have verbally agreed to a light-heavyweight headlining match at UFC 109 (February 6th, Las Vegas). Combined age for the fight: 90. At 46 years and five months old at the time of his decision win over Brandon Vera last weekend, Couture is the oldest person to score a victory in the UFC. (If only Ron van Clief had pulled off the upset.) Coleman, who made his Octagon debut at UFC 10 in July 1996, has had the longest career of any fighter currently under contract with Zuffa.

The pairing tells us two things. First, that the UFC realizes a razor-thin decision over Brandon Vera isn’t enough to throw Couture directly into a 205-pound title fight; he’ll need at least one more win over somebody he can beat, preferably by stoppage. And second, that the UFC is absolutely desperate for headlining bouts. Couture vs. Coleman may turn out to be a #1 light-heavyweight contender’s match, but it certainly doesn’t deserve to be. Unfortunately, there are no bigger fights available to main-event the card. Though a middleweight title match between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort was previously expected to headline UFC 109, Belfort says he may be fighting someone else at the February show.

Fun fact: In 1989, Couture and Coleman met in a freestyle wrestling match at the 1989 Olympic Festival at Oklahoma State; Coleman won by one point. So you can expect the UFC to start referring to this fight as a "MAIN EVENT GRUDGE MATCH."


Rebound Alert: Sean Sherk Draws Rafaello Oliveira for UFC 108

Rafaello Tractor Oliveira

From Georges St. Pierre to BJ Penn to Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk has fought nothing but champions and top contenders during his current run in the UFC. But after his loss to Frank Edgar at UFC 98, the Muscle Shark may no longer be a top contender himself. And so, it’s time to rebuild. In an interview with, Sherk revealed that he’ll be returning to the Octagon at UFC 108 (January 2, Las Vegas) against Rafaello "Tractor" Oliveira, the 9-2 BJ Penn training partner who lost his UFC debut to Nik Lentz at UFC 103. Coincidentally, Lentz is a training partner of Sherk at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. "He’s been able to give me some good advice on him," Sherk said.

For the former UFC lightweight champion, this is one of those matchups where you just have to swallow your pride and get the job done. Yes, Oliveira is "below" him; he’s 0-1 in the UFC, and has never beaten anybody with a name. On the other hand, Sherk looked completely ineffective in his last match — the fearsome wrestler has become a middling kickboxer — and he hasn’t finished a fight inside the Octagon since 2002. "Tractor" is obviously being set up to lose here. If Sherk wants to make a comeback, he’ll have to hold up his end of the deal, and do so in impressive fashion.


Strikeforce News Roundup: Fedor’s Injury Update, Jerry Millen Violates CagePotato Ban + More

Fedor Emelianenko Brett Rogers Strikeforce
("I’m gettin’ too calm and emotionless for this shit." Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

— Though it was initially rumored that Fedor Emelianenko could be out-of-action for 4-6 months due to a jacked-up left thumb he suffered in the first round of his fight against Brett Rogers, his condition has been upgraded. Sherdog reports that the Last Emperor underwent surgery yesterday to fix his injury, and will have a half-cast removed in just 4-6 weeks:

[T]he fighter’s reps said two pins were placed in Emelianenko’s hand to correct the dislocation, and that the bone had not fractured… Emelianenko also said that his nose was not fractured, as was earlier suspected…Emelianenko said he planned to return to training, sans striking, upon his return to Russia later this week. M-1 officials said Emelianenko could headline his second co-promoted Strikeforce card in the first quarter of 2010.

— Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos is expected to make her first Strikeforce title defense against Marloes Coenen on January 30th in Miami, according to MMA Weekly. Santos was originally slated to compete on last Saturday’s "Fedor vs. Rogers" card, but her return was pushed back after she suffered an injury during the 2009 ADCC‘s in September.