Now that we all know who Marius Zaromskis is, it’s time for fanboys around the world to crown him "the next Anderson Silva" — and this new AC/DC-soundtracked highlight reel makes a pretty strong case for that claim. The UFC needs to sign this dude so he can start head-kicking some of the weak links straight out of their welterweight division. The Whitemare is balls-out excitement, 150% of the time. Believe that.
After the jump: Another highlight reel, for another "next Anderson Silva," and a strange little fight from DREAM.10 that you may not have seen yet, but really should.
Believe it or not, Vitor Belfort‘s trainer Shawn Tompkins says that he and Vitor had been pushing for a fight against Fedor Emelianenko three months ago — and now the opportunity may have dropped in their laps. "It’s Vitor’s way of proving that he is the best pound-for-pound champion," says Tompkins of Belfort’s desire to face the Last Emperor. The Xtreme Couture striking coach tries to convince Steve Cofield that going from Jorge Santiago to Fedor Emelianenko isn’t that big of a stylistic change for Vitor, but acknowledges that Fedor probably isn’t too nervous about the last-minute opponent-switch.
Also, fighting Emelianenko is far from a lost cause: "[Fedor's fight against Andrei Arlovski] really showed a lot of the kink in Fedor’s armor. Whether Fedor believes it or not, he doesn’t deal well with speed, and he doesn’t deal well with getting hit…it’s going to be hard to keep up to Vitor’s pace." And as for their previous refusal to take on Gegard Mousasi at light-heavyweight? Tompkins drops some real-talk on us: "What does Mousasi do for us in America? If Affliction sticks around, we’d like to renew our contract with them, but if they don’t, we want to go to the UFC. Beating Mousasi does nothing for us, getting beat by Mousasi…it’s not good for us at all."
We should have known there would be trouble after Hayato "Mach" Sakuraineeded seven and a half extra hours to make weight for today’s DREAM’s welterweight GP finals. The tournament favorite might have been fighting through exhaustion when he met Marius Zaromskis in the semis, in a bout marked by wild striking exchanges. Sakurai absorbed the more damaging blows, and the fight was halted about four minutes in so that doctors could check on a spurting gash under Mach’s left eye. When it was finally restarted after a long break, Zaromskis measured up Sakurai then threw a high left kick that put his lights out. A few more punches on the ground, and it was game over.
On the other side of the bracket, Jason High scored an upset of his own, handing jiu-jitsu juggernaut Andre Galvao his first MMA loss in a very close decision fight; one judge gave it to Galvao for his submission attempts in the first round, while the other two saw it for High due to his superior striking in the second. But the thrill of victory wouldn’t last long for High, as Zaromskis scored another head kick knockout — this time with the right leg — in their finals match.
In non-tournament action, Shinya Aoki outpointed Vitor Ribeiro in a disappointingly dull 15-minute bout, Dong Sik Yoon had to quit just a minute into his fight against Jesse Taylor after suffering a foot injury, and Paulo Filho survived a brutal striking assault from Melvin Manhoef and won the fight via armbar in what might be the leading contender for comeback fight of 2009. Complete results and more DREAM.10 fight videos are after the jump.
At the risk of giving too much love to the sport that frustrated white dudes so much they had to invent something entirely new in order to make themselves feel better, we thought we’d go ahead and mention that HBO will be airing the trilogy of fights between Mickey Ward and the late Arturo Gatti tonight, with an encore performance on Saturday. If you are a consumer of news, you probably heard that Gatti was found dead last weekend under circumstances that were, let’s just say, suspicious. A damn shame. If you haven’t seen his battles with Ward and if you have HBO, do yourself a favor.
Now, to make amends for all this boxing news, allow us to offer the following.
FightLaunch has just updated their YouTube page with about 20 different videos of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal talking shit to each other in a van on the way to an autograph signing at last weekend’s UFC Fan Expo. I don’t expect anybody to sift through all of this stuff so I’ll just start with the first one I came across (see above), which gives you a decent sense of what the feud is about.
Basically, Rampage said he was the best fighter in the world, and King Mo implied that it was in fact he who was the best fighter in the world — both completely valid points of view, by the way. Anyway, this angered Rampage, who points out that Mo hasn’t fought anybody of note. Mo says that Rampage used to bump gums when he was an up-and-comer too, and Rampage denies that he ever bumped gums to this extent. Rampage observes that "King Mo" is a fitting nickname, as royal families tend to be inbred. Then this Caucasian in the backseat starts singing "Kumbaya" like an idiot, and Rampage tells him to shut his white ass up. The white guy says something about being in the hood, and Rampage replies: "Yeah, your ass probably been in a hood, ya fuckin’ KKK-lookin’ motherfucka." Meanwhile, Bobby Lashley is sitting there smiling politely, just itching to get away from these psychos.
After the jump: King Mo first enters the van, and gets insulted about 30 times in 60 seconds. If you want to see more, go for it.
0:00-1:34:Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg are introduced and brought on stage. Cris gives Gina the cold shoulder when she tries to make eye contact.
1:35-3:09: Gina makes some opening remarks and talks about having Randy Couture as a mentor.
3:10-5:13: Cyborg makes some opening remarks, thanks her husband Evangelista for helping her train, and talks about what she expects in the fight.
5:14-5:51: Responding to a question about how the fight is being marketed with Gina’s beauty, Cyborg acknowledges that MMA writers have been referring to this fight as "Beauty and the Beast," but that doesn’t bother her because it won’t matter during the fight. Ouch. Sorry, Cris.
The UFC heavyweight champion, upset about a cheap chair and having to talk to a group of strangers, tried to exit the building after being introduced at a UFC 100 press conference held yesterday. Luckily, Dana White was there to chill him out. As DW later told Versus.com, "I’m telling you, nobody wants my job. Everybody thinks it looks good; it’s no fun. Try telling a 400-pound guy to sit down."
Note to Brock’s cornermen: You’d better invest in a quality stool, or Lesnar just might forfeit between the first and second rounds.
"This is our time. This is our sport. And we’re just getting started." — So intones the narrator of this official tribute to the UFC’s evolution. Maybe it doesn’t rock as hard as the Bowie-soundtracked fan-made compilation we showed you earlier, but with three days left until UFC 100, it’ll help get you in the proper reflective mood.
Allow us to translate for those who don’t speak jive:
Computer: Hey everybody, it’s Computer. You may remember me as the personal assistant from Three Six Mafia’s old reality show, Adventures in Hollyhood. I’m here with my friend Quinton Jackson. Quinton, would you like to say a few words?
Jackson: Hey guys, Rampage here. My friend Computer and I are from the Southern United States; you should already know what that implies. By the way, I punch people in their mouths. I know, it’s not really relevant to the conversation at hand, but I’m a little intoxicated, and it’s what I do.
(Props: ‘SmashedAceHole’ on the UG. Fight starts at the 3:03 mark.)
Before he was the UFC’s #1 welterweight contender and a Fight! magazine cover-boy, Thiago Alves was just a young scrapper whose last name was consistently butchered by announcers and commentators. Alvs’sAlvarez’s Pitbull’s eighth pro MMA match took place at a King of the Cage event in Cleveland back in February 2005, where he faced then-undefeated Jeff Cox, who entered the cage sporting maroon Aokipants and a hairstyle that might be described as a "nohawk." After missing a head kick, Alves grabbed a Thai clinch and found Cox’s snooze-button with a knee to the chin. He then fired punches into Cox’s grill until Herb Dean dove on to stop the abuse. Alves caught the attention of the UFC with the 15-second KO win, and would make his Octagon debut eight months later. All Cox got was the shame of waking up in Cleveland wearing red tights.
The UFC’s first 132 events have given us over 15 years worth of legendary battles, shocking finishes, and historic debuts. With UFC 100 coming up on July 11th, we decided to do some digging and pick out the 10 most monumental events of all time. So join us as we step into the way-back machine…
Notable fights:Tito Ortiz vs. Wes Albritton, Randy Couture vs. Tony Halme, Randy Couture vs. Steven Graham, Vitor Belfort vs. Tank Abbott Lowdown: It may have seemed like just another night of cage-fighting at the time, but we now look back on "Ultimate Force" as the event that gave us the debuts of three enduring legends: Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Joe Rogan. In addition to the main-event slugfest between Vitor Belfort and Tank Abbott (which the Phenom won by TKO in 53 seconds), Lucky #13 featured a four-man "lightweight" tournament for fighters below 200 pounds, and a heavyweight bracket for 200+ pounders
Just 22 years old at the time, Tito Ortiz made it to the lightweight finals after crushing Wes Albritton with ground-and-pound in a show-opening alternate bout; unfortunately, he later succumbed to a guillotine choke by tournament winner Guy Mezger. Randy Couture was more successful. The former collegiate wrestling standout and U.S. Olympic team alternate swept the heavyweight tourney by choking out Tony Halme and stopping Steven Graham via strikes. And yes, the dude from NewsRadio was handling backstage interview duty — who knew he’d turn out to be the most insightful and entertaining commentator in the sport?
In this installment of the Tito Ortiz Talks About All the Cool Stuff He’s Got Planned, None of Which Will Actually Happen Show, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy discusses the fight league he’s not starting with Strikeforce called Punishment Fighting Championship, and his not close-to-finalized fight deal with Strikeforce. Honestly, we hate posting these Tito-related non-stories, but maybe some of you are interested in his continuing plunge into irrelevance. Anybody?
Recently Fight Magazine launched a contest on their website where they choose an amateur or low-level pro fighter and send him off to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas for some personal training time with Shawn Tompkins (naturally the lucky winner will live in Shawn’s “fighter house” while he’s there, presumably playing a lot of Xbox with Chris Horodecki). They’ve narrowed it down to four finalists and are opening it up for a reader vote to choose the winner.
Looking at the video entries and the resumes, it seems like there’s one guy who could probably do the most with a week at Xtreme Couture, and it’s Drew Dober. Dude is 6-0 as a pro and is 20 years old, which only serves to remind us that a) our lives are wasting away, and b) this sport is going to change drastically when kids who have been doing MMA since they were fourteen begin to take over.
Man, don’t you hate it when you’re partying at Rehab, just minding your own business, and you see your next opponent by the pool and you need a bunch of hot bikini models to hold you back? Such is the concept behind one of the photoshoots in the UFC’s new magazine (on newsstands now), and we have a feeling that Georges St. Pierre and Thiago Alves won’t be complaining about this particular promotional assignment. To be honest, GSP doesn’t seem too worked up during his staged run-in with Alves — he remains seated in his deck chair, and only requires one model to kind of half-heartedly restrain him — but the brief nipple tweak at 0:48-0:50 tells the real story: It’s time for war, mon ami.
Speaking of the UFC’s welterweight champ and #1 contender, these guys are seriously huge right now. During a UFC media conference call yesterday, Alves said he’s walking around at 191-192 pounds, and could be as much as 195 pounds when he steps into the Octagon on July 11th. GSP currently weighs about 188-190 pounds, and expects to weigh the same on fight day. Said St. Pierre: "I truly believe that in our sport, skill and technique always beat strength and size, so the guy who will win the fight is the better fighter, not the bigger guy."
After the jump: Michael "GQ Smoov" Bisping and Dan "They Made Me Put On This Sweater" Henderson have a tense staredown of their own.
What:UFC 100 When/Where: July 11th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Why: Because it’s one of the most stacked UFC cards ever. In the above trailer, Joe Rogan calls the event "fucking insane," then implies that Steve Mazzagatti screwed up Brock Lesnar‘s first fight against Frank Mir. For Brock, this fight is all about revenge. Mir thinks that if Big Nog couldn’t last two rounds with him, Brock’s chances aren’t very good.
In the night’s other title fight, Georges St. Pierre battles for his legacy against the biggest, strongest, toughest test of his career — Thiago Alves, who wants to knock out GSP, take his belt, and become "the man." Also, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping move out of the reality show set and into the Octagon. Hendo wants to beat Bisping up and shut his mouth a little bit; Bisping wants to be responsible for the first KO loss on Dan’s record. Only on pay-per-viewwww…
Bellator’s inaugural season came to a close on Friday night, with the finals of their middleweight and lightweight brackets. In the 185-pound title fight, Hector Lombard used his striking and ground-and-pound to open up some nasty cuts on the head of his opponent, Jared Hess; the fight was eventually stopped in the fourth round after Hess lost a few gallons of blood. Directly after, 155-pound favorite Eddie Alvarez completed his sweep of the lightweight tourney by knocking Toby Imada out of his jock with a big right hook early in the second round, then sinking in a rear-naked choke. Lombard and Alvarez collected $100,000 checks for their efforts.
In non-tournament action, Jorge Masvidal submitted Eric Reynolds via third-round rear-naked choke, Bodog/ShoXC vet Rosi Sexton submitted Valerie Coolbaugh via first-round armbar, and Stephanie Guimaraes became Bellator’s latest YouTube star with her 49-second knee-knockout of Yvonne Reis. The Guimaraes knockout is above; highlights from the Lombard/Hess and Alvarez/Imada fights are after the jump.
Last Saturday, Nick Felix won the ALLSTARMMA welterweight title at an event in Springdale, Arkansas, by Cro Cop’ing the crap out of Jeffrey Escobar. Escobar had come into the fight with a 3-0 record, with all wins by first-round stoppage; unfortunately, he didn’t even last 10 seconds that night. Just as impressive as Felix’s head kick knockout was the diving tackle the ref made to get him to stop whaling on his unconscious opponent. One more performance like that and he’ll be able to break into the top 5. For more ALLSTARMMA fight videos, click here.
We couldn’t tell you how Forrest Griffin‘s physical preparation is coming along for his fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia) — but at least his head’s in the right place. Here are some highlights from a recent interview he did with RawVegas.tv:
On the Silva fight: "People keep telling me that I’m a big guy and they think I’ll do pretty well. I don’t believe ‘em, I think they’re out of their minds…I’m planning on getting beat up by Anderson Silva…Yeah, he’ll probably beat me up. But I could still win the fight. Even fights I win I get beat up in. That’s just how I roll."
On his book, Got Fight?: "It’s just an insane sense of flattery that people would not only read your random thoughts, but maybe even pay money to read nonsense that you have to say…It’s a very short book. It’s not gonna take you a whole lot of time to get through, so I think you can pick it up and pretty much read the whole thing [at the bookstore] in two or three cups of coffee…and maybe a little piece of brownie or something, and you don’t have to buy the book. But if you would, try not to get brownie on the book because somebody may actually buy it for some misguided reason."
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is a passionate, passionate woman. In fact, she’s so passionate that when the interviewer in the above video asks an innocent question about how long it would take her to choke out Gina Carano (skip to the 4:13 mark), Cyborg sinks in a rear-naked and squeezes until her male training partners have to drag her off. The interviewer eventually comes to, and when he sort of figures out what happened ("I was sleeping?"), he’s so terrified that he goes on record saying that Santos will beat Carano on August 15th. This is what Cris Cyborg does to non-biased journalists — she fucking ruins them.
Lyman Good became Bellator‘s first welterweight champion on Friday night, scoring a quick TKO victory over Omar De La Cruz at Bellator XI in Uncasille, Connecticut. The Tiger Schulmann MMA product needed just 1:23 to take De La Cruz down and slug his way to a referee stoppage, collecting a $100,000 check in the process.
But the event’s real star was Good’s rookie teammate Nick Pace, who KTFO’d Collin Tebo with a flying knee to the jaw, then knocked his mouthpiece out with a follow-up right hand; the video is above. Not sure how we feel about his weird hip-grinding at the end, but Pace could be a fighter to watch. Full results from the card are here. Video of the Good/De La Cruz stoppage is after the jump.
Jens was right — Ray Mercer still knows how to thump, and Tim Sylvia shouldn’t have messed with a real boxer. After weighing in at a worrisome 310.6 pounds for his boxing MMA match against Mercer at "Adrenaline III: Bragging Rights" in Birmingham, Alabama, Sylvia only had a chance to throw one leg kick before eating a massive overhand right and dropping like a felled redwood. (The video above doesn’t show the kick, but you can hear the cameraman’s buddy say "Aw see, they agreed to not do that.") After the fight, Mercer said “Wow, I didn’t get a chance to warm up," and called out Butterbean. Meanwhile, the Maine-iac’s career prospects just went from bad to worse. He’d better hope DREAM organizes another Super Hulk tournament — or maybe Strikeforce can set up a "Loser Has to Drink Ipecac" rematch between him and Andrei Arlovski.
MMA highlight film whiz Genghis Con is back with a two-part tribute to Randy Couture called "The Father of Time." The first installment, shown above, covers Couture’s UFC career from his debut choke-out of Tony Halme at UFC 13 to his "retirement" after losing to Chuck Liddell for the second time at UFC 57; we’ll let you know when part two hits the ‘net.
After the jump: The second segment from Spike’s "Countdown to UFC 99" sepcial, which gives us a closer at the beast that is Cain Velasquez, and Cheick Kongo‘s scrappy path to contender status. Could this heavyweight brawl be a dark horse for Fight of the Night? Parts 1 and 3 are here.
Recession? What fuckin’ recession? Even in this economy, Zuffa has enough disposable income to buy an almost 100% intact sabretooth tiger skull, freshly pulled out of La Brea. It’s so beautiful that you can tell the fossil salesman, deep down, would rather have it displayed in polished glass and soft lighting in his personal study, and not on a table in the UFC offices where Rampage can put his face up against it and make bad breath jokes. But that’s the life of a bone dealer — heartbreak, scattered with moments of unbearable ecstasy.
Also in this installment of the UFC 99 Danavlog, DW takes in Sunday’s WEC show (where some horrible drunk bitch keeps demanding one more picture), drools over Marty Cordoba‘s hot bod, and reviews the sick televised card for Saturday’s show. FYI, the pay-per-view for #99 starts at 3 p.m. ET / noon PT, with a replay at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Gash of the year, right there; props to Bloody Elbow for the tip. Video of the Jose Aldo flying knee that gave him that cut is below, and some more WEC 41 fights are after the jump in case you missed the show on Sunday.
I wanted to get this stuff up yesterday but technical issues got in the way; better late than never, right? Anyway, here are some highlights from the Strikeforce press conference following "Lawler vs. Shields" on Saturday night. Above, Brett Rogers takes the mic to discuss his victory over Andrei Arlovski, shake his head about the Kimbo Slice/Ultimate Fighter situation, and call out Alistair Overeem. ("I was planning on picking [Overeem's championship belt] up today," he says. "Hopefully he’s keeping it good and clean for me.") Later, Grim says he’d be open to a big-money fight with Fedor, shouts out his new gym, and of course, promises to keep on doin’ work.
Also on the card, WEC vet Bryan Baker won a unanimous decision over IFL/UFC vet Matt Horwich, and Wilson Reis snuck off with a split decision victory over Roberto Vargas. Full results from the event can be found here; Bellator heads to Uncasville, Connecticut this Friday for their welterweight finals. The Soto/Reyes beating is after the jump.