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Tag: Oleg Taktarov

MMA Bracketology: Re-Imagining the UFC 2, UFC 3, And UFC 6 Tournaments

(And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why history must be re-written.)

By Matt Saccaro

Tournaments seem like a great way to determine the best competitor from a group of athletes. You have 8 (or 16 or 32 or whatever the number) fighters, put them in a bracket, and then let them fight it out. The last dude standing clearly must be the best because he survived the tournament, right?

At first, that logic seems OK. But upon closer scrutiny, it starts to sound like something Master Shake would try to argue.

Tournaments — like the ones the UFC used to run — are heavily dependent on how the bracket is organized. Some fighters get an easy run, others get a gauntlet.

This got us at Cage Potato thinking: What if some of the early UFC tournament brackets were re-organized or even shuffled just a little bit? Who would end up becoming the “Ultimate Fighters” of the 1990s? Let’s find out!


UFC 2 was the first and only 16-man tournament run by the UFC. The first round of the tournament — save for Royce Gracie’s fight (of course)—didn’t air on the PPV and aren’t on the DVD either.  These “lost fights” from UFC 2 have quite a few interesting characters such as the enigmatic Pencak Silat master Alberto Cerro Leon and the chubby, sweatpants-clad Robert Lucarelli.

Look at the complete bracket and see how many names you recognize. Most of these guys from the UFC 2 dark matches had no chance in the tournament, save for a man named Freek (or Frank) Hamaker.  We’re going to stick with Freek because it rhymes with Reek. A fighter like Hamaker was a rarity in the early days. He wasn’t a hapless striker fated to be embarrassed.  He was a sambo practitioner who trained under legendary European grappler Chris Dolman.

Hamaker’s first (and only) fight was at UFC 2 against the mysterious San Soo Kung Fu man Thaddeus Luster. The fight went like the typical early UFC fight. The guy with grappling immediately took down the guy without grappling and won shortly afterwards. Hamaker withdrew from the tournament after defeating Luster and disappeared to the pornography theater from whence he came.


Watch Oleg Taktarov Act His Ass Off in The New “Predators” Movie

More Predators Videos

Our friends at Screen Junkies recently tracked down this trailer for the newest installment in the “Predator” film series (they apparently gave up and just called this one “Predators”), and the trailer features every MMA fan’s favorite old school Russian bad-ass, Oleg Taktarov. He plays Nikolai, a name which is second only to Boris as the most popular character name over the course of Taktarov’s film career. His brand of menacing stoicism will bring some much-needed street cred to an action film where we’re supposed to buy Adrian Brody as the forceful male lead. A quick plot synopsis for your approval:

Brody plays Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet… as prey. With the exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers – mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members – human "predators" that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien Predators.

Okay, so it’s a bit of a stretch. The part where we’re supposed to believe that Brody is a stone cold mercenary, that is. The part where aliens abduct elite warriors to hunt them for sport is pretty believable by comparison. But hey, at least there’s Oleg to utter some sweet one-liners before he inevitably gets aced by a Predator. Get a preview of what that might look like after the jump.


The Don Frye YAMMA Promos You Never Saw

As The Fight Nerd reminds us, this weekend marks one year since the MMAbortion known as YAMMA Pit Fighting was forced upon the world.  In honor of this YAMMAversary, our nerdy friend has dug up some promo material that never saw the light of day.  Remember when Don Frye was originally scheduled to take on Oleg Taktarov in the "Master’s Division" (read: old guys), and then had to pull out with an injury?  It proved to be Frye’s smartest career move, but fortunately for us he had time to film some promos for YAMMA first. 

Say what you will about "The Predator," but he is the master of totally sweet burns that sound like something you’d hear down at the hardware store.  Plus, his delivery is second to none.  Today’s fighters just don’t compare their opponents’ heads to a "five-gallon bucket full of buttholes" quite the way Don used to.

After the jump, relive the awful shitshow that was YAMMA, and then be glad that it went away forever.


YAMMA 1 Results: Wiuff Wins Three; Butterbean Cries Mercy

(The slim-n-trim Butterbean fell victim to a G-n-P at YAMMA’s debut event.)

Well it finally happened…and without much of a hitch. YAMMA Bowl Fighting went down last night, but apparently it’s still too much to ask for the organization to update their website. Shit, guys, it’s just the click of a few buttons. Anyway, the main story was Travis Wiuff taking his record to 52-11 by winning three fights in the heavyweight tourney to pick up the title. He did so by using the leverage of the bowl’s incline to take his opponents to the ground — which is exactly what Meyrowitz said wouldn’t happen with his ground-breaking new surface.

In other fights, Oleg Taktarov kneebarred Mark Kerr for the win and Butterbean verbally submitted due to a GnP from the fresh-outta-jail Patrick Smith. Overall, really boring night. Out of the eleven battles, seven went to boring decisions and three were less-than-thrilling submissions. There was only one KO — a TKO to be precise. We’ll see where YAMMA goes from here. Our guess is it’ll slip into oblivion.

Here are the full results:

– Oleg Taktarov over Mark Kerr – submission via kneebar
– Patrick Smith over Eric Esch – submission via strikes
– Travis Wiuff over Chris Tuscherer – unanimous decision
– Travis Wiuff over Ricco Rodriguez – unanimous decision
– Chris Tuscherer over Alexey Oleinik – unanimous decision
– Alexey Oleinik over Sherman Pendergarst – submission via choke
– Chris Tuscherer over Tony Sylvester – unanimous decision
– Travis Wiuff over Marcelo Pereira – unanimous decision
– Ricco Rodriguez over George Bush – unanimous decision
– Bryan Vetell over Antwain Britt – unanimous decision
– Lamont Lister over Oleg Savitsky – TKO on strikes


“Smashing Machine” Back in @ YAMMA 1


I know, I know: At this point it’s like “who fucking cares,” right? But for those of you who enjoy following the YAMMA saga on a schadenfreudic level, Mark Kerr has reportedly been taken off the suspended list in Connecticut, which allows the New Jersey Athletic Control Board to give him the go-ahead to compete at YAMMA‘s debut card this Friday, in a “Master’s Superfight” against Oleg Taktarov. Well, assuming he passes final medical exams, that is — no foregone conclusion, considering how much abuse Kerr’s body has endured over the years, both inside and outside the cage. The YAMMA bout would come just two weeks after his last fight; Kerr defeated Chuck Huus by keylock submission at a CCCF event in Oklahoma on March 29th, bringing his career record to 15-6.

FiveOunces also reports that Ron Waterman has been submitted and approved (pending final medicals) as an alternate for YAMMA’s eight-man heavyweight tournament. If you want to see pictures of what the YAMMA pit will actually look like, click here. An empty kiddie-pool with a fence around it? Revolutionary.

Previously: Goodridge Out of YAMMA; For Real This Time?


Good God, YAMMA Strikes Again

(Image search result for “f***ed up.”)

Who could have seen this coming? We’re getting just as sick of this as you are, but we’re here to report another change. It was ri-fuckin-diculous the first four or five times they lost fighters, then picked them up again, then lost them yet again. It’s now obvious Bob Meyrowitz and crew are putting together their own version of “The Producers” by creating a new MMA organization that is doomed to fail — on purpose. I almost don’t even have the strength, but here it goes:

Butterbean lost his opponent, Gary Goodridge (again), because GG got KTFO on March 30th. Now YAMMA Pit Fighting has announced Goodridge’s replacement via their myspace page. You’ll never guess who is replacing Big Daddy Goodridge.

YAMMA Pit Fighting has announced that Pat Smith will replace Gary Goodridge in the YAMMA Pit Fighting “Masters Superfight” against Eric “Butterbean” Esch in Atlantic City on April 11, 2008. Goodridge was forced to withdraw from the event after losing a fight in South Korea on March 30, 2008 in what has been determined a knockout. This rendered Goodridge ineligible to fight on April 11 by the New Jersey Athletic Commission, which requires 30 days of inactivity following a KO.

Yeah. That Pat Smith. The one who was supposed to fight Oleg Taktarov in the other “Masters Superfight” of the night, then was out due to his arrest, but who was resubmitted to fight Oleg when Maurice Smith ditched the fight. Mark Kerr is allegedly now taking on Oleg and Pat Smith is allegedly fighting Butterbean. As far as we know, the heavyweight tournament hasn’t changed since the last time we checked.

I can’t think of an event in history that defines “clusterfuck” like YAMMA. Next thing you know they’ll fire the ring bowl girls and hire ring dudes. Until then, if you want a sneak of the YAMMA Girls practicing the YAMMA YAMMA dance, go here.

On a side note, YAMMA has over 2700 friends on myspace so join up if you’re looking for a relationship, a friend, or just want to network.


Goodridge Out of YAMMA; For Real This Time?

(We may never get to witness this historic matchup.)

When we first reported that Gary Goodridge wouldn’t be able to fight Eric Esch at YAMMA 1 because he was focusing on his MFC fight against Eric Pele next month, his crew came out in full force to correct us; Big Daddy was up for it, and was ready to “KICK SOME UGLY ASS.”

Well, we had no idea that Goodridge had another fight booked to go down just two weeks before his scheduled appearance in YAMMA’s Death Bowl. Apparently, he fought Mu Bae Choi in Seoul last Sunday and was knocked out in the second round. (Video can be seen here.) Subsequently, the New Jersey Athletic Control Board informed FiveOuncesOfPain that Goodridge would not be approved for his YAMMA fight due to health and safety concerns.

And it gets better: Yesterday we passed along YAMMA’s official announcement that Mark Kerr will be filling in for Don Frye Patrick Smith against Oleg Taktarov in one of the event’s “Masters Superfights,” but the Kerr/Taktarov match hasn’t been approved either due to Kerr’s previous suspension in the state of Connecticut.

So, unless Bob Meyrowitz can successfully bribe the NJACB to allow Goodridge to fight on April 11th, both of YAMMA’s headlining superfights are now in limbo. Our suggestion to Bob Meyrowitz? Save yourself the headaches and do what Strikeforce did — make the two guys who lost their opponents fight each other. Butterbean vs. Oleg Taktarov isn’t a bad main event, in a county fair sort of way. Or, let Oleg slice his way through the eight-man heavyweight tournament and pull up Ricco Rodriguez to battle Butterbean in New Jersey’s own version of the Megaton. Look, your fighting surface is a freakin’ bowl — don’t act like your credibility is at risk.


Behold “The YAMMA”

Ricco Rodriguez
(Ricco is about to get his YAMMA on)

YAMMA Pit Fighting just won’t give up. They’ve added former UFC champ and Celebrity Rehab star Ricco Rodriguez to their eight-man tournament, and they’ve also announced that Mark Kerr will take on Oleg Taktarov in a “Masters Superfight”. Exactly what Kerr and Taktarov are masters of is still unclear, though indications are that “Masters” is a kinder synonym for “old”.

But wait, it gets better. Details are emerging regarding the mysterious new surface upon which the fights will take place. The good news is, it’s every bit as ridiculous as we’d hoped:

The YPF surface, known as “The Yamma,” is an evolution of the traditional fighting structure and is designed to keep the fighting more explosive and continuous. In today’s MMA matches, fighters rush their opponents in the quest for a takedown, and the fight often ends up on the ground and pushed up against the fence. The action often stalls there, and must be stopped and moved back into the center of the ring. The Yamma’s design is specifically aimed at stopping this break in the action. The Yamma is a circular pit, shaped almost like a bowl, with a circular flat bottom that rises up around the edge. In this ring, if a fighter is pushed backwards towards the fence, he moves up the lip, gaining both a height and leverage advantage over his opponent. From this position, the fighter on the lip can use gravity and leverage to reverse his opponent, and take the fight back into the center without a break in the action.

If this is all a clever ruse by YAMMA founder Bob Meyrowitz to put on an event that is so strange and obviously ill-fated that people are too distracted to notice while he skips town with the fighters’ purses, then I think we can declare it a success. If the goal is anything else, then no.

Ignoring, for the moment, that “The YAMMA” sounds suspiciously like the surface in Chuck Norris’ World Combat League, I also have to doubt that it will work the way Meyrowitz thinks it will. The fact that he refers to fights that go to the ground and end up against the cage as ‘stalling’ is troubling in itself. That makes me think that he is not a man with a real appreciation of MMA.

If you like fights that never go to the ground or end up against the cage, Mr. Meyrowitz, you should really check out boxing. I think you’ll love it.

But beyond that, haven’t we reached a point where we can effectively declare that the possible “surfaces” for MMA competition are settled? You can have a cage, preferably with eight sides and an even, flat floor, or you can have a ring. Meyrowitz says The YAMMA is “about the evolution of a sport”, but if the intent is to limit groundfighting, how can that be considered evolution? Does anyone out there believe that what’s holding MMA back is the lack of a big, sloped bowl for guys to fight in?

Apparently, yes, someone does. That someone is Bob Meyrowitz, and he seems pretty confident that your mind will be blown when you see Butterbean and Gary Goodridge square off inside The YAMMA. My question is, does it really count as “evolution” if the newly-evolved organism dies almost immediately?


Oleg Taktarov May Need a New Opponent


If there’s one lesson that can be taken from the recent arrest of MMA veteran Patrick Smith, it’s this: Always bring along your prescriptions if you plan on leading police on a wild high-speed chase while taking your crotch rocket out for a spin.

As previously reported, 45-year-old Smith agreed to face Oleg Taktarov at next month’s YAMMA Pit Fighting debut after Don Frye backed out of the match due to a shoulder injury. But, according to MMAJunkie:

[J]ust hours after the announcement, KXII TV 12 in Sherman, Texas, reported that Smith had been arrested after a high-speed police chase. Smith was clocked at speeds of up 130 mph while fleeing on his sports motorcyle, police said. He’s been charged with felony attempting to elude, possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription, and reckless driving.

It’s not yet clear whether Smith will still be able to compete in the YAMMA event, but in case Bob Meyrowitz needs to find another replacement, Teila Tuli, Ron van Clief and He-Man Gipson are available and ready to work.

Bonus: Patrick Smith pounds Scott Morris’s face into burger at UFC 2. Fight starts at the video’s 3:30 mark and ends shortly after.


YAMMA Parties Like It’s 1996!

(I’ll kick your ass in 1996!)

We recently chatted to UFC founder Bob Meyrowitz about his newly-formed YAMMA Pit Fighting organization, but couldn’t bribe him to give up the names of fighters he was close to signing for the debut event. Well, jump in your time machine and set it for the mid-1990′s. Don “The Predator” Frye was interviewed by TAGG Radio and has revealed he has signed on the dotted line to fight none other than Oleg “The Russian Bear” Taktarov.

As posted by MMA Junkie:

“I hope (YAMMA) made the announcement because I just signed to fight Oleg Taktarov,” Frye said.

The alleged old-timers ball is supposed to be for the April 11th Trump Taj Mahal show and will be one of the “Masters SuperFights” that YAMMA has planned to go with their eight-man tournament that evening. The report is that the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has tentatively approved it with shorter rounds and medical examinations sandwiched by fights.