Steroids in MMA
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The 10 Fastest & Most Furious Knockouts of All Time: Azeredo vs. Kotani

MMA Knockouts Fast & Furious UFC videos

#10: Luiz Azeredo vs. Naoyuki Kotani @ PRIDE Bushido 9 (9/25/05), 11 seconds

The unspoken first rule of Chute Boxe seems to be, “When you’ve got a guy hurt, hurt him worse.” Representing the notoriously aggressive Brazilian camp at PRIDE’s 2005 lightweight tournament was Luiz “The Joker” Azeredo, who may as well have taken a baseball bat to the ring with him during his quarterfinal match against Naoyuki Kotani. Azeredo wastes no time in dazing the Japanese fighter with a dead-on right straight, then place-kicks Kotani’s melon like he’s aiming for a set of goalposts 40 yards downfield. The knees to the head that came directly after might have been a bit unnecessary, but the Joker was too consumed by bloodlust at that point to stop. Despite his intimidating opening-round performance, Azeredo went on to lose a decision to Takanori Gomi later that night. As for Kotani, he has finally regained the use of his lower body, though he still pronounces his “th”s as “f”s.



Gomi Is Depressed

(Sometimes you have only one friend, and he’s somewhere at the bottom of that next mug of beer.)

In a recent interview with Sportsnavi (via Suki) Takanori Gomi talks about his fall from the top of the lightweight division and his loss to Satoru Kitaoka (video here, and it doesn’t take long) in the Sengoku lightweight Grand Prix.  Give him credit for owning up to his poor performance, as Gomi more or less says that he has sucked lately and doesn’t seem entirely hopeful that things will get better.

As you saw, I couldn’t do anything. I suppose fans who knew me since PRIDE considered that I looked like a totally different person. I don’t even know why. I didn’t feel any energy in the ring. After the fight, I felt like I was free. I thought I fulfilled my duty.
- Do you mean that you resigned from a representer of the top lightweight fighter?
I suppose so. I hadn’t proven myself in the last few fights. I was training, yet everything was fall in apart. I couldn’t put together because my training wasn’t enough. My skills went down in the last 2 years. I experienced a lot in the last 2 years. I quit Kiguchi dojo without thinking well, and started my gym. I felt responsibility to take care of my students, and I was passive about my fight. I was just waiting and see who I fought with.
- The title of the tournament was “road to Gomi”
I have no excuse about my performance and my loss. Kitaoka was entirely better than me. I I hope he becomes a great champion and defends his title.

The 10 Greatest One-Night Tournament Performances in MMA History

#10: Kaitlin Young @ HOOKnSHOOT 2007 Women’s Grand Prix (11/24/07)

Defeated: Suzi Smith (KO, 0:22 of R1); Miesha Tate (KO, 0:30 of R1, shown above); Patti Lee (KO, 0:53 of R1)

Though HOOKnSHOOT has been putting on high-caliber women’s MMA bouts since 2001, the organization’s most infamous moment was the eight-woman tournament it held last year, where an unknown Minnesotan named Kaitlin axe-murdered her way through three opponents in less than two minutes of combined fight time. Young would go on to face Gina Carano in the first women’s MMA match to be broadcast on network TV, at EliteXC: Primetime in May of this year. Even if she never wraps her wrists again, Young’s MMA legacy is secured.

#9: Gegard Mousasi @ DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix Final (9/23/08)

Defeated: Melvin Manhoef (sub. due to triangle choke, 1:28 of R1, shown above); Ronaldo Souza (KO, 2:15 of R1)

Unless you caught him in his PRIDE Bushido appearances in 2006, you probably had no idea who Gegard Mousasi was when he entered DREAM’s middleweight tournament earlier this year. But after choking out the highly-regarded Denis Kang in the opening round in April, and beating Dong Sik Yoon to a decision in June, he proved that he had a right to be there. And after the finals in September, he proved that he was one of the most talented middleweights in the world.

The event was almost anti-climactic in the way that it played out. These were not epic battles — this was Gegard Mousasi simply outclassing Melvin Manhoef (who had famously massacred Kazushi Sakuraba in the quarterfinals), then upkicking the daylights out of “Jacare” (who had torn through Zelg Galesic and Jason Miller in the tourney’s previous rounds). When the dust settled, Mousasi had picked up his 10th and 11th straight victories as well as a DREAM championship belt — a perfect ending to a breakout year.

#8: Don Frye @ UFC Ultimate Ultimate 1996 (12/7/96)

Defeated: Gary Goodride (sub. due to fatigue, 11:19); Mark Hall (sub. due to achilles hold, 0:20); Tank Abbott (sub. due to rear-naked choke, 1:23, shown above)

You have to remember — beating Gary Goodridge and Tank Abbott used to mean something. Both men were responsible for some of the most gruesome finishes in the UFC’s early history, from Goodridge’s crucifix/elbow-smashing of Paul Herrera to Tank’s starching/mocking of Jon Matua. The Ultimate Ultimate ’96 was just about the toughest eight-man field that the UFC could throw together in those days — it also included Ken Shamrock, Kimo Leopoldo, and Paul Varelans — and Don Frye notched his second UFC tournament win by cruising through it.

Frye pushed Goodridge past the breaking point in the quarterfinals (back before there were those cushy one-minute breaks between rounds that our spoiled fighters have today). After eleven-and-a-half minutes of back-and-forth brawling, Big Daddy found himself underneath Big Mustache and decided to tap before he suffered permanent damage. Frye’s semi-final match was a breeze — he’d already defeated tournament alternate Mark Hall twice in his career, and the third time was no different — but the Frye/Abbott final was a true superfight. Tank had just finished nelmarking Steve Nelmark in the semis, and his intimidation quotient was at an all-time high. Though the Predator got clocked with some big punches early, he was able to capitalize on a Tank Abbott slip, quickly sinking in a rear-naked choke. Don Frye — the toughest S.O.B. alive — collected his big-ass check and strolled out, never to fight in the UFC again.


Knockout of the Week: Wanderlei Silva vs. Yuki Kondo

From PRIDE Final Conflict (8/15/04), here’s one of Wanderlei Silva‘s nastiest finishes of all time. Soon after the fight’s one-minute mark, a sharp left-hook from Wandy knocks poor Yuki out, and the Axe-Murderer throws in six point-blank head-stomps just to make sure. Yeesh. Guest commentator Quinton Jackson got his wish to take another crack at Silva two months later — though we all know how that went. Will the third time be a charm at UFC 92 (December 27th, Las Vegas)? 


Videos: Jackson vs. Silva (Then and Now)

Hey, welcome back! Did you have a nice holiday? Well, you didn’t come here to talk about your mom’s stuffing. Let’s start the work-week off right with some Rampage vs. Wandy video-hype. Above is an original HL by MMA Scraps, which shows how their first two meetings went down in PRIDE — including some great behind-the-scenes footage of ‘Page dropping multiple MF-bombs — and what the two fighters have been up to since then (i.e., destroying people). As you’ll see, Jackson blames his first loss against Silva on not being able to breathe because of a cold; similarly, he now blames his first PRIDE loss against Kazushi Sakuraba on being poisoned.

But in the Telegraph UK interview video below, Jackson acknowledges that his past defeats at the hands of the Axe-Murderer were only due to him being "a terrible fighter." Of course he believes that he’s improved a great deal since those two ugly losses — though we already know how Wandy thinks the third fight will end. Silva/Jackson III co-headlines UFC 92 (December 27th, Las Vegas).


Wanderlei Hits the Monkey Bars

(Wanderlei Silva makes the most of his recess time.  Check out the full gallery from "The Axe Murderer’s" training session at Combat Lifestyle.)

Ricky Hatton’s conditioning coach says "Rampage" Jackson will be in the best shape of his life for UFC 92, but get a look at Wanderlei Silva, who also seems to have upped his game since relocating to Las Vegas.  Could the third meeting between these two old foes be the best one yet?

Well, some of that will depend on whether Rampage decides to fast before the fight or not (personally, I recommend eating food), and whether Silva still has his number in the Thai clinch.  But seeing both these guys revolutionize their training and diet before their third fight just goes to show how far the sport has come in the last few years: from guys known only to hardcore fans, training at obscure gyms, to TMZ-caliber celebrities and world class athletes with the best coaches and playground equipment money can buy.

Rampage had better be training just as hard as Silva is.  Beyond just showing up in good shape, he’ll need some extra help to get over the psychological hurdles if he’s going to beat the man who put him face-first through the ropes four years ago.  Something tells me "The Secret" just ain’t gonna do it.


Videos: The Matt Lindland Story, UFC Stars Shot for ESPN + More

Above is the trailer for Fighting Politics, a new documentary about Matt Lindland‘s path from collegiate wrestler to mixed martial artist, his questionable dismissal from the UFC over an unapproved sponsor, and his life’s second act as a politician in his home state of Oregon. Notable MMA journalists Loretta Hunt and Josh Gross appear in interviews, suggesting that Lindland was actually fired to make room for poster-boy Rich Franklin as middleweight champion, while Keith Evans (formerly of the UFC and IFL) says “Dana White is not the same guy that I knew back then.” The release date is still TBA, but I think it’s safe to say that Dana won’t be there on opening night.

Speaking of the Baldfather, Dana White was recently shot for ESPN: The Magazine, along with everyone’s favorite Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste and fighters Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, and Stephan Bonnar. Watch as the ESPN photo editor becomes visibly freaked out by Randy’s ear, Stephan is brought in just so Arianny can have something to sit on, and Dana has to keep his t-shirt on while entering the pool. After the jump: A fairly sick highlight video of PRIDE’s 2006 Open-Weight GP; props to CREzja1.


Denis Kang to Debut in UFC Against Alan Belcher in Dublin?

(Anyone else have a sudden hankering for soccer kicks and head stomps?)

Newly acquired ATT fighter and former Pride bad-ass Denis Kang could make his UFC debut in front of a different foreign audience, as rumor has it he may take on Alan “The Talent” Belcher at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland on January 17. Bout agreements have reportedly been sent to both camps, and while it’s not yet official Belcher says he’s accepting and is waiting to hear from Kang.

Starting Kang off with Belcher, who’s coming off a very narrow decision win over Ed Herman at Ultimate Fight Night 15, may be a sign that the UFC is perfectly willing to bring him along slowly rather than try to fast-track Kang for a title shot. Not that Belcher’s a punk, but he’s also not quite as explosive or experienced as Kang.

If this fight gets added to the card along with Franklin-Henderson and Coleman-Rua, the UFC will have every reason to expect a successful debut in Dublin. Then again, the event is already sold out, so maybe they aren’t too concerned.


The 10 Greatest MMA Videos I’ve Ever Seen

In the year I’ve been writing this site, I’ve watched millions, perhaps billions of MMA videos — everything from fights to highlight reels to documentaries to Chuck Liddell wasted on a morning show. Most of them I’ve forgotten as soon as they were over. Some of them may stay with me forever. The ten videos below represent the best overview of this crazy sport that I can possibly present. And I won’t degrade their brilliance by ranking them. Think of this as my personal mixtape to you…

Aleksander Emelianenko vs. James Thompson, PRIDE 28, 10/31/04

Thompson’s unbridled rage and Aleks’s sleepy stoicism combine for my favorite face-off ever — and the 11-second knockout ain’t bad either. Seriously, this never gets old.

“Sakuraba: Beautiful Day”

Maybe the most inspiring single-fighter highlight video of all time. Though Kazushi Sakuraba’s gory losses to guys like Wanderlei Silva, Ricardo Arona, and Antonio Schembri are just as memorable as his wins, Saku at his best was MMA at its best — inventive, thrilling, and joyous.

Absolute Fighting Championship 1 Highlights

Moscow, 1995. A 32-man one-day bareknuckle tournament. A 6’8″ Brazilian beast named Ricardo Morais. Four submissions via strikes (all in under two minutes) and one rear-naked choke after a ten-minute battle with Mikhail Illoukhine. Even if the rest of Morais’s career didn’t quite live up to the promise of his fearsome debut, he was legendary that night.


Pride Vet Enson Inoue Busted For Weed

(Possession with intent to get groovy.)

First EliteXC shuts down and now this. Former Pride fighter and MMA veteran Enson Inoue was popped for marijuana possession in Tokyo this past weekend. The forty-one-year-old fighter was nailed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, and he admitted to getting the weed from an acquaintance and “inhaling three or four times in a month“:

According to reports at both Mainichi Daily News and Nikkan Sports, a policeman busted Inoue at 3 PM JST on the 18th (Saturday) at a coin-parking machine in (Ikebukuro) Toshima city (Tokyo). During a car inspection, the policeman discovered marijuana cigarettes (up to 16.9 grams of marijuana) in the car’s sunroof, door compartment, and pocket(s) of Inoue’s clothing.

Damn, Enson. In the sunroof? Really?

As you may or may not know, marijuana laws in Japan are pretty strict, as an unfortunate Russian sumo wrestler found out earlier this year, so this could go badly for Inoue. 16.9 grams is enough to get you in hot water lots of places, but especially in a country that’s been coming down hard on pot-smoking pro athletes lately. Ironic, considering it’s known to MMA fans as the home of rampant steroid use.

Best of luck, Enson. In trying times like these, who can blame a man for keeping a marijuana cigarette in his sunroof?