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Tag: PRIDE

Arona Negotiating for UFC Debut, Report Says


("So, do you chicks party?")

Here’s one for the Pride nerds out there: A report from MMAFighting.com on Saturday says the UFC may have softened its stance on Ricardo Arona enough to slide a contract his way some time in the near future.  This news comes after a report by Tatame.com last year quoted company president Dana White saying some not-so-complimentary things about the streaky light heavyweight.  Now Arona says he hopes to make his Octagon debut by October or November.

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Exclusive: Frank Trigg Still Holds a Grudge Against “That Fool” Jerry Millen

PRIDE Trigg Millen Ranallo Rutten announcers MMA
(Three out of four former PRIDE announcers agree: Jerry Millen is an opportunistic douchebag.)

By Cagepotato.com contributor Mike Russell

Nearly two years have passed since the collapse of PRIDE Fighting Championships and although the future of the organization most assumed to be dead is somewhat foggy, one fact that has been made crystal clear is that a growing number of ex-employees of the beloved Japanese promotion despise the show’s former American producer, Jerry Millen.

If you recall, Bas Rutten was the first to open up about Millen’s lack of professionalism and knowledge of mixed martial arts as well as his abusive treatment of former commentators Stephen Quadros and Mauro Ranallo. Here’s the quote from Bas’ original post from the Sherdog forums:

“He went out with me and Stephen Quadros the first night, we went to see some Pancrase fights. I realized that he didn’t like Stephen at all. [I] don’t know why. He would ask me what I wanted to drink, and while Stephen was standing next to me, he wouldn’t ask him anything and gave me only a drink. I asked Stephen afterwards if he did something to piss him off. Stephen had no clue. But I knew that there was something going on. Next thing I [know] is that they fired Stephen a show later. Now I guess that Jerry now needed a new victim that he could push around, and Mauro Ranallo was that victim. Why? Again, I have no clue, but he started to mess with him. I believe because he saw that Mauro was unbelievably talented and maybe he was jealous?

Ranallo, who like Rutten worked for the promotion prior to Millen being hired, quit PRIDE in 2006 citing his differences with Millen as his primary reason for leaving:

I felt it was an untenable environment to work in. It was commonly known since day one that I’ve had difficulties with the American producer, Jerry Millen. Apart from Millen, I loved working with all of my colleagues at PRIDE, especially the Japanese staff. They treated me very well, but I think my future as a broadcaster lies elsewhere.

Now Ranallo’s former broadcast partner Frank Trigg has entered the fray to add his account of Millen’s evil ways in an exclusive and candid interview with Cagepotato.com.

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Report: Takanori Gomi Signs With the UFC


(Takanori Gomi wins the PRIDE lightweight title by knocking out Hayato Sakurai at Shockwave 2005.)

This would have been incredible if it happened three or four years ago, but hey, better late than never, right? According to MMA Fighting, lightweight legend Takanori Gomi has signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC; no word yet on the date of his debut or who his first opponent will be. Gomi visited the States last month to meet with the UFC and Strikeforce, and take in a training session at American Kickboxing Academy.

Holding a record of 31-5, Gomi is best known for his dominant run in PRIDE from 2004-2006, where he won the organization’s lightweight belt and took out such notable fighters as Jens Pulver, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hayato Sakurai, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. However, his last PRIDE appearance was a shock gogoplata loss to Nick Diaz in February ’07, and he then went 2-2 in Sengoku, dropping matches to Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitoka; after the Kitaoka loss, Gomi began to question his training and motivation. Though Gomi has won his last two bouts, he hasn’t been facing the kind of top-level competition that he regularly enjoyed at his peak. Will the UFC’s talent-rich lightweight class re-ignite the Fireball Kid, or will he join Mirko Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva in the PRIDE Curse Club?

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Greatest MMA Highlight Video of the Year: “Courage”


(Massive props: GYVIDEOS, The Killers)

Cro Cop‘s head kicks. The Gracie Train. The double-knockout. The Randleplex. The flying inverse triangle choke. Severn‘s suplexes. Inoki’s slaps. Coleman‘s daughters. The entrance. The face-off. The blood. The towel. The destroyed limbs. The shaving gel endorsement. The agony and the ecstasy. The subtitle of this film is "MMA Is Just a Sport." We know better than that. Two more GY PRODUCTION films are after the jump. Happy Monday.

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The 10 Most Notorious Breaking Points in MMA History

Chuck Liddell Rashad Evans UFC MMA

Fighting for a living is a lot like teasing a really mean dog: you can’t do it forever without something bad happening to you.  Even the great ones get to a point where their drive becomes sluggish and their bellies are too full for them to stay hungry, and that’s usually when a particularly bad beating takes what remaining fire they have and douses it with the fury of a God pissing on your dreams.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll quit right then, even if they should, but it does mean that they’ll never be the same again.  Here now, in chronological order, are the most notorious breaking points in MMA history.

IGOR ZINOVIEV vs. FRANK SHAMROCK at UFC 16, 3/13/98

It’s hard to say that Igor Zinoviev was really on his way to being a legend of the sport, because he got stopped almost before he really got started.  The former Soviet Army commando was one of the first fighters in the early days of MMA to beat a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt when he TKO’d Mario Sperry, and he took out Enson Inoue the next year.  All this came after years of fighting underground brawls in Brooklyn warehouses following the fall of the Soviet Union, so his toughness was never in question.

When he joined the UFC the future was, as they say, wide open.  Then he came up against Frank Shamrock, who wasted no time in scooping him up and slamming him down so viciously that it shattered his collarbone and knocked him out cold.  It was Zinoviev’s first career loss, and he would never fight again after that.  We’re not saying the devastating finish served as the catalyst for Shamrock’s out of control ego over the next 10+ years, but we’re not saying it helped, either.

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If Only Pride and the UFC Could Have Gotten Along…

Internet video savant Lookoutawhale has done it again.  Here we get a chance to see what it might have looked like if the production teams from both Pride and the UFC had gotten drunk together and engaged in an orgy of fight hype.  The result is a beautiful and slightly comical love child.  It really makes you grateful for the wonders of technology and the things it can be used for when people have too much time and not enough of a social life.  The special appearance by Bruce Lee at the end is what takes this from mere tomfoolery and carries it into the realm of genius.  Bravo, Mr. Whale.

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Ricardo Arona to Make Glorious Return in Strikeforce?

Ricardo Arona
(Don’t fear Arona.  Fear his freaking cat-like reflexes.)

Hey there, people who have been following MMA for more than just the last six months, remember Ricardo Arona?  Muscular Brazilian guy, had a rivalry with Wanderlei Silva, got knocked out by Sokoudjou…any of this ringing any bells?  Well now that Dana White has more or less ruled out any possibility of signing Arona to the UFC because, hell, even Dana thinks he can beat Arona, the big man is looking at making a return to action soon, possibly in Strikeforce.

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Never Surrender: The Eight Greatest Technical Submissions of All Time

It takes a special kind of cojones to stare down permanent injury and say "Eff it, I ain’t tappin’." Inspired by the DVD we’ve been plugging lately, we decided to pay tribute to the technical submission — that thrilling moment when a fighter is caught in a health-threatening submission hold, but is too stupid much of a warrior to concede defeat, so the referee has to do it for him. Because as a wise man once said, "Tapping out is for bitches." Enjoy…

***

#8: Daniel Gracie vs. Wes Sims
IFL Championships 2006, 6/3/06

After their first chaotic mess of a bout was ruled a “Technical Draw,” Gracie and Sims met again in the IFL for another technical ending.  Though Sims has always had a hazy understanding of the rules in any given MMA bout, he got taken down too quickly to launch any illegal stomps in this one, and had to settle for giving up his back and then trying to grab on to the ropes (thankfully Stephen Quadros reminds him that he can’t do that) as Gracie stayed on him like a backpack and choked him unconscious.  There’s nothing quite like seeing a 6’10” guy drop to the canvas like somebody just pulled his plug.  Sleep well, buddy.

#7. Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni
Strikeforce/EliteXC: Shamrock vs. Baroni, 6/22/07

(Choke starts at the 8:35 mark.)

Thanks to Shammy’s pioneering work in video trash talk, this fight was epic before it even began. Strikeforce’s first middleweight title fight paired two loud-mouthed badasses who would never admit defeat — but unfortunately, there could be only one champion. After battering the NYBA with punches for almost two full rounds, Shamrock took Baroni’s back, wrapped an arm around his neck, and squeezed. While most men would tap to the hold, Baroni went out like a warrior, throwing punches into Frank’s mug until he lost consciousness. Shamrock celebrated his win by shoving Baroni’s lifeless body then kicking him in the ass, proving that he wasn’t just the better fighter that night, he was also the bigger asshole.

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The 10 Fastest & Most Furious Knockouts of All Time: Gomi vs. Gracie

Fast & Furious MMA knockouts Takanori Gomi Ralph Gracie

#4: Takanori Gomi vs. Ralph Gracie @ PRIDE Bushido 3 (5/23/04), 6 seconds

Known for his very un-Gracie-like hard-charging style, Ralph Gracie racked up five-straight first-round stoppages in vale tudo matches during the ‘90s before re-entering competition in 2003 to test himself against modern mixed martial artists. But his PRIDE debut against Dokonjonosuke Mishima at Bushido 1 didn’t go so well — he only won by decision — and he returned to the ring seven months later ready to murder somebody. And that babyfaced little Japanese dude in the red corner, who Ralph’s student BJ Penn had choked out the year before? Yeah, he’d do. But Gracie was a little too anxious to get out there and kick ass (as evidenced by his refusal to touch gloves), and when he shot in right after the bell, his jaw ricocheted off Gomi’s knee; the Fireball Kid took over from there. This was the fight that officially put Gomi on the map — and served as the final six seconds in Ralph Gracie’s MMA career.

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO…

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The 10 Fastest & Most Furious Knockouts of All Time: Emelianenko vs. Thompson

MMA knockouts Fast Furious videos

#9: Aleksander Emelianenko vs. James Thompson @ PRIDE 28 (10/31/04), 11 seconds

Beginning with one of the greatest face-offs in MMA history — which pitted Thompson’s theatrical fury against Aleks’s nose-picking stoicism — it was clear that this fight was going to provide an entertaining clash of styles. Thompson’s ridiculous “gong-and-dash” routine actually succeeds in catching Emelianenko off-guard, but as soon as the Grim Reaper springs back to his feet, reality sets in. Thompson proceeds to eat punch after punch until his legs give out, thus proving a very important lesson: It doesn’t matter how big you are, or how angry you look — real power comes from having tons of Russian prison tattoos.

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO…

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