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Tag: MMA

And So It Begins…

Frank Shamrock Nick Diaz MMA Strikeforce middle finger
(Signaling the arrival of spring, Nick Diaz throws out the first "Stockton Heybuddy" of the year. Photo courtesy of Strikeforce.)

“Someone asked me the other day how my comeback was going so I guess I’ve come back. I love fighting. I love this art. I want to thank Nick Diaz for the opportunity and just warn him that when I punch his head and he lands in the second row he’ll need someone to catch him." — Frank Shamrock

“Frank can talk all he wants, but I’m going to beat him up. Let’s see how much he fights back.’’ — Nick Diaz

The fighters on Strikeforce’s April 11th Showtime card had their first public face-offs yesterday, with Shamrock, Diaz, Josh Thomson, Gilbert Melendez, Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields, Scott Smith, and Benji Radach exchanging words during a press conference. Among the suits in attendance were Ken Hershman — Showtime’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sports and Event Programming — who announced that the commentary team for their upcoming series of MMA broadcasts would include Gus Johnson (lead play-by-play announcer and host), Mauro Ranallo (play-by-play duties for the "up-and-comers’ series"), Stephen Quadros, Frank Shamrock,  and Pat Miletich. More pics from the press conference are below, and footage of the presser is after the jump, courtesy of Esther Lin via Fightlinker.

Josh Thomson Gilbert Melendez MMA Strikeforce Robbie Lawler Jake Shields MMA Strikeforce Frank Shamrock Nick Diaz MMA Strikeforce Strikeforce MMA Shamrock Diaz fighters

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New Details on Crash That Killed TapouT’s “Mask”

The L.A. Times provides some new information about the car accident that left TapouT’s Charles “Mask” Lewis dead, his fiancée in the hospital, and the other driver in police custody, and at the moment all signs point to street racing as the cause of the accident:

Police said the two cars appeared to have been traveling side by side at a high rate of speed at 12:57 a.m. on Jamboree Road near the Upper Newport Bay when they collided. Officers said they are investigating whether the drivers were racing.
The Porsche driver, identified as Jeffrey David Kirby, 51, of Costa Mesa, was arrested after allegedly abandoning his car on a side street near the collision and taking off on foot with his female passenger. Kirby is being held on suspicion of felony drunk driving and driving under the influence. Bail is set at $2 million.

It’s still too early to say if it was really an ill-advised street race that killed the TapouT co-founder, but when two high-performing sports cars traveling side-by-side on a long, straight road at 1 a.m. ends with a high-speed fatal accident, that’s often the cause.  That, or maybe some type of road rage incident, which isn’t any better.  From the sounds of things the driver of the Porsche, Jeffrey David Kirby, has had his share of vehicular problems:

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Video: Satoshi Ishii Works Out with Lyoto Machida


(Props: MMA Videos)

Is there such thing as elusive judo?  We may get to find out if this video is any indication of where Japanese judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii is learning the MMA game from.  He even pulls a nice little fireman’s carry on Lyoto Machida at 2:53 in.  You know it’s slick when Machida is smiling even as he hits the mat.

Say this for Ishii, he’s taking his entrance into MMA very seriously and is getting some of the best training he can find.  First he worked out with Randy Couture, and now Machida.  Next maybe he goes to Greg Jackson’s and starts flipping people on their heads.  Better soak it up while everyone still thinks of you as that harmless, nice Japanese guy from the Olympics.  

After the jump, a study in how YouTube’s “Related Videos” feature gets weird in a hurry.

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UPDATED: Shields/Riggs Bout Bumped From Shamrock vs. Diaz Lineup, Shields/Lawler in May

Jake Shields Gilbert Melendez MMA Strikeforce
(Jake Shields, pictured here with his son Gilbert Melendez.)

Multiple sources have informed FiveOuncesofPain that a welterweight matchup between Jake Shields and Joe Riggs, which was slated to go down at Strikeforce’s "Shamrock vs. Diaz" event on April 11th, has been scrapped. Writes 5oz:

Neither Riggs or Shields is injured and one source indicated that Shields is being saved for a possible headlining slot against Robbie Lawler during a tentative Strikeforce event scheduled for May in Seattle. Additional sources have confirmed that the possible Lawler vs. Shields matchup could be officially announced by Strikeforce officials during a Thursday press conference in Los Angeles as early as today.

While he was the 170-pound champ of EliteXC, Shields had entertained the notion of going up in weight to challenge Robbie Lawler, due to the lack of challenges at welterweight. We thought the new bodies at Strikeforce would keep Shields entertained at 170 for a while longer, but it sounds like he’s more interested in big fights than welterweight tune-ups, and we respect that. Besides, weight classes are more of a suggestion than a rule at Strikeforce anyway.

Update, 5:30 p.m. ET: Shields vs. Lawler has officially been announced for Strikeforce’s May event, which will take place somewhere in Washington state. It will be a non-title fight, contested at middleweight.

In other Strikeforce news, former UFC heavyweight champ and PRIDE vet Kevin Randleman has reportedly signed a deal to return to MMA competition under the Strikeforce banner. Randleman last competed at Sengoku II last May, where he won a unanimous decision over Ryo Kawamura. Though "The Monster" was terrifying in hs prime, he has lost seven of his last ten fights. The date of his next match and his opponent have yet to be announced.

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UFC Fight-Booking News: Coleman vs. Bonnar, Tibau Replaces Escudero + More

Mark Coleman UFC MMA ass grab
(Mark Coleman — master of kino escalation. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

— An oddly appropriate light-heavyweight matchup may be in the works for UFC 100 (July 11th, Las Vegas). According to MMA Mania, bout agreements have been offered for Mark Coleman to face Stephan Bonnar at the milestone event. That’s right: The UFC’s first official heavyweight champion and early star of the SEG era will likely be taking on the man who helped take the UFC mainstream in the Zuffa era with his epic TUF 1 finale battle against Forrest Griffin.

Kind of an interesting way to pay tribute to the Octagon’s history. But for the fighters themselves, the matchup will be all business. Coleman most recently put in a shambling wreck of a performance against Mauricio Rua at UFC 93, eventually losing by TKO in the third round, while Stephan Bonnar was out-hustled by Jon Jones at UFC 94, losing by unanimous decision. Both men need a win here to remain relevant. UFC 100 will also reportedly feature fights between Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar (for the unified heavyweight title), Georges St. Pierre and Thiago Alves (for the welterweight title), and Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson (for the right to get their ass kicked by Anderson Silva at some point in the future).

TUF 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero has fallen prey to the Amir Sadollah curse. Due to a rib injury suffered in training, he has been forced to pull out of his first post-TUF fight, which was scheduled to be against Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 18 (April 1st, Nashville). Taking Escudero’s place will be Gleison Tibau, the American Top Team fighter who snapped a two-fight losing streak at last month’s UFC Fight Night 17 card with his first-round submission of Rich Clementi. Unfortunately for Stephens, his bout may now be relegated to the undercard in favor of the Tyson Griffin/Rafael Dos Anjos match.

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Videos: Top Five Pound-For-Pound, Logan’s Dorky Laugh, + More


(Props: KingAtRock1)

Okay, this is pretty sweet.  Video highlight-maker KingAtRock1 has put together a look at the five best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA.  Sure, you could say he whitewashes Urijah Faber’s recent history in the cage, but overall it’s a solid list and I had a good time watching it.  Just good, clean fun.

I was just flipping through this month’s copy of Fight! Magazine, which features a photo spread on the UFC’s newest Octagon girl, Logan Stanton, and then lo and behold here’s Yahoo’s Steve Cofield doing a video interview with her at the Arnold Classic.  You have to admit Logan’s pretty damn adorable, and her dorky, "Revenge of the Nerds" laugh somehow only makes her more so.  Leave it to that classy son of a bitch Cofield to ask her if she’s going to get a boob job.  Nice, Steve.

After the jump, Frank Trigg remembers TapouT’s "Mask."

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Videos: “Bully Beatdown” Trailer, Mask’s Final Interview

What better way to introduce MMA to the tweenage MTV generation than by having Jason Miller‘s crazy ass host a show where bullies get their asses kicked by professional fighters? Premiering Sunday, March 22nd, at 9:30 p.m., MTV’s Bully Beatdown is being produced by Mark Burnett Productions (Survivor, The Apprentice, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?). Basically, pencil-necked geeks come crying to Miller about the people who have been picking on them, and Mayhem gives the bullies a chance to "pick on someone their own size." If the bullies win, they get to pocket $10,000, though it’s very unlikely that any of them will actually be able to collect. If they lose, their victims get the ten grand — which will most likely be bullied away from them as soon as the Bully Beatdown crew leaves town.

Below: One day before he was killed in a car accident, TapouT’s Charles "Mask" Lewis did an interview and photo shoot for DUB Magazine. The footage is below. Above everything else, let’s remember Lewis for the endless passion he had for the sport of mixed martial arts.


(Props: CageWriter)

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Ken Shamrock Slapped With One-Year Suspension After Positive Steroid Test

Such is the sad life of Ken Shamrock — even when he manages to snap a five-fight losing streak by submitting a morbidly obese man with no submission defense or the ability to get to his feet after he’s fallen to the mat, he still had to cheat in order to do it. Kevin Iole passes along the bad (though fairly unsurprising) news:

The [California State Athletic] commission announced Shamrock’s suspension and $2,500 fine on Wednesday for testing positive for 19-Norandrosterone, 19- Noretiocholanolone and Stanozolol following his first-round victory over Ross Clifton.
 
Shamrock is slated to fight ex-World Wrestling Entertainment star Bobby Lashley in the co-main event of a March 21 MMA/boxing card in Pensacola, Fla. That fight is almost certainly now not going to happen as a result of Shamrock’s suspension. States are required to honor each other’s suspensions, which means that Florida would not allow Shamrock to fight while under suspension in Calfornia…
 
Shamrock’s suspension runs through Feb. 1, 2010, at which point he would be 10 days shy of his 46th birthday and would not have fought in almost a year.

Well hey, it looks like his brother Frank was right all along. But of course, nobody in this sport actually takes steroids — they simply take legal supplements that happen to secretly have steroids in them. And Ken is hoping that this dependable defense will keep him out of hot water:

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Cage Potato Is Officially “Hype-Worthy”


(This is the point where we become so proud of ourselves as to be intolerable.)

The good (and obviously brilliant) people over at AskMen.com have compiled a list of the top ten hype-worthy websites that will blow up in 2009.  And wouldn’t you know it, Cage Potato clocked in at number six.  It’s about time we made a top ten list that wasn’t created by our parents as a ruse to cheer us up when we’re sick.

And #6 is not bad, though it does contradict the “We’re #1!” t-shirts we had made at the mall.  The good news is that we came in ahead of sites like Fanhouse.com (#10, so take that, MDS), and Consumerist.com (#8), while getting edged out by noteworthy competitors like TheDailyBeast.com (#5) and TheOnion.com (#2).  We can live with that result…for now. 

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Evans vs. Machida Official for UFC 98


(Dana White tries to convince Quinton Jackson to fight Rashad Evans at UFC 98, following Rampage’s decision win over Keith Jardine last Saturday. Video courtesy of WatchKalibRun via TheGarv.)

SportsIllustrated has confirmed that former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has turned down the opportunity to challenge Rashad Evans for the 205-pound title at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas), due to the short turnaround and his lingering injuries. Taking his place will be Lyoto Machida, the undefeated — and virtually untouchable — Brazilian contender who most recently knocked out Thiago Silva at UFC 94 in January. Evans vs. Machida is the official main-event replacement for Mir vs. Lesnar, which was scrapped from the card thanks to Mir’s bum knee.

"Sugar" and "The Dragon" are very similar on paper. Both are undefeated in 14 professional fights — Evans is 13-0-1, while Machida is 14-0. Both have gone the distance in the majority of their UFC appearances, but are coming off of dramatic stoppage victories. And they have three opponents in common: Tito Ortiz (who Machida beat by unanimous decision last May and Evans drew with in 2007), Stephan Bonnar (who Machida won a cut-stoppage TKO over in 2003 and Evans beat via majority decision in 2006) and Sam Hoger (who Machida defeated by unanimous decision in 2007 and Evans took a split decision over in 2006).

Evans/Machida may not turn out to be Fight of the Year — we’re expecting more of a cautious and technical match than a thrilling one — but it’s also not the easiest fight to predict, which makes it compelling. Will Evans and the Team Jackson camp be able to come up with a gameplan that solves the confounding riddle of Lyoto Machida? Will Machida still look invincible against a true top-of-the-food chain light-heavyweight? 

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