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Tag: Ray Mercer

Top Ten American Freak Show Fights That Were Actually Good


(UFC 3′s Emmanuel Yarborough and Miley Cyrus: They may seem like a strange pairing at first, but then you spend some time with them together and you’re like “okay, I totally get it now.”)

By Matthew “The Fight Nerd” Kaplowitz

Japan has brought us so many great imports, be it giant robots, cartoons about ninja children dressed in bright colors (which sort of defeats the purpose of being a stealthy ninja), tentacle rape, and Pocky. Truly, their greatest offering to America has been the freak show fight. As we discussed last time, Japan was the country that legitimized the art of pitting two mismatched opponents in a ring and convincing us that this was the greatest thing since Steven Seagal invented the front kick.

If there’s one thing we Americans don’t like, it’s being shown up by a foreign land. So it was just a matter of time before an American promoter stood up and said, “You know what? I want to see a man that weighs a quarter of a ton fight a dwarf!” And that was how our first freak show fight was born. Well, not really, since we have better athletic commissions in America, but after reading this list of the “Top Ten American Freak Show Fights That Were Actually Good,” you might think otherwise. Let’s get it on!

10. Tim Sylvia vs. Wes Sims
Superbrawl 38, 12/12/04



In a rare battle between two giants, 6’ 8” Tim Sylvia stood almost eye to eye with Wes Sims, who had a two-inch height advantage over “The Maine-iac”.  Sylvia had fought another tall man, Gan McGee, the previous year at UFC 44, but this fight is far more entertaining. You would probably expect an evenly contested bout between these two, due to the height and their similarly aggressive tactics (both guys even used the same song for their entrance, go figure). For some reason that will never be known, Sims decided that he was the smaller man in this fight and would fight accordingly.

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CagePotato Stats: The MMA Weigh-In Failure Leaderboard


(The moral of the story? When Gina Carano does it, it’s awesome. When Paulo Filho does it, it’s terrible. / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com
)

Anybody can be forgiven for missing weight by a half-pound — as long as it doesn’t become a habit. But when an MMA fighter comes in a full four pounds heavy, as Efrain Escudero did this week for his doomed UFC Fight Night 22 bout against Charles Oliveira, it tends to raise some eyebrows. As we’ve done previously with steroid busts, we decided to catalog the worst scale-fails in MMA history, arranged by number of pounds over the limit. When the information was available, we also listed the punishments the fighters were given, along with their excuses for missing weight, which range from injuries to salt water to the dreaded “menstrual period.” This is by no means a definitive list — but we’d like it be, eventually. So if you know of any other occasions where fighters missed weight by four pounds or more, or missed weight for multiple fights, please let us know in the comments section.

* Note: We’ve eliminated the “Repeat Offenders” section. In the instances where fighters has notably missed weight on more than one occasion (see: A. Johnson, P. Daley, T. Alves), we’ve ranked them in the leaderboard by their greatest weigh-in failure.

Lew Polley @ World Series of Fighting 4
Weigh-in date: 8/9/13
Weight: 237 pounds, 32 over the light-heavyweight limit
WTF?? No idea. We’ll let you know when we find out.
Result: Polley was immediately removed from his scheduled bout against Hans Stringer, and will likely be released from the promotion. Stringer was paid his show-money.

Karl Knothe @ Shark Fights 17
Weigh-in date: 7/14/11
Weight: 253.75 pounds, 23.75 over the 230-pound catchweight limit
How is that even possible? Due to some miscommunication between Knothe and his management, Knothe was never informed that his scheduled bout against Ricco Rodriguez was supposed to be at a catchweight, instead of at heavyweight.
Result: The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation disallowed Knothe from competing due to the large weight-gap and concerns over excessive weight-cutting. Knothe was paid a portion of his salary anyway, while Ricco Rodriguez instead faced 5-12 replacement Doug Williams. Rodriguez won via rear-naked choke in the first round.

Ricardo Mayorga @ Omega MMA: Battle of the Americas
Weigh-in date: 5/2/13
Weight: 175.9 pounds, 20.9 pounds over the limit for his contracted lightweight match against Wesley Tiffer, who came in at 153. Needlessly to say, shoving ensued.
How was this fight even allowed to happen?: The match took place in Managua, Nicaragua — which is Mayorga’s hometown, by the way — and the Nicaraguan combat sports commission that was overseeing the event didn’t seem to have a problem with the ludicrous weight discrepancy. (I hear they’re much more stringent when it comes to cock-fighting.)
Result: Mayorga by TKO after two rounds, aided by a fairly illegal knee to the spine. Stay classy, Ricardo.
Update: The result was overturned to a no-contest the following week due to the illegal blow, and Mayorga was suspended from MMA for three months. Mayorga was last seen smoking an entire pack of cigarettes and giving less than half a fuck.

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Ray Mercer is Missing, Without a Trace


("King of the Cage? I thought you said ‘King of the Players Ball.’ My bad.")

When Ray Mercer didn’t show up for a scheduled appearance on MMA Live last week, everyone figured that the boxer-turned-mixed martial artist, who is in the thick of training for a scheduled King of the Cage fight this coming Friday night must have mixed up his schedule.

Now it seems, there may be more to the story.

King of the Cage east coast representative Keith Creed revealed to usacombatsports.com that Mercer has not been in contact with anyone from his management team or his family since last Tuesday morning when he left his North Carolina home to complete the last leg of his training camp for his September 17 bout with Ron Sparks at "King of the Cage – No Mercy," in Mashantucket, CT.

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The ‘Boxing vs. MMA’ Freak Show: A Video Timeline

When James Toney meets Randy Couture at UFC 118 next Saturday, he’ll be attempting to prove the dominance of the "sweet science" over that weird stuff that gay skinheads do. Of course, he won’t be the first pugilist to try to beat an MMA fighter at their own game — boxing vs. martial arts challenge matches have been around since before "Lights Out" was born. Join us as we take a look back at the brave boxers who preceded Toney…and what became of them.

MILO SAVAGE vs. "JUDO" GENE LeBELL
December 2, 1963

Arguably the first sanctioned MMA match in American history, Savage vs. LeBell came together when legendary judoka/actor Gene LeBell answered a challenge from boxer Jim Beck, who claimed that a professional boxer could beat any martial artist. (Yep, they’ve been making the same boast for almost 50 years.) According to LeBell, he was expecting to fight Beck himself in the televised match, but his opponent was switched at the last minute to Milo Savage, a top-5-ranked light-heavyweight who was allegedly wearing brass knuckles under his fingerless speed-bag gloves, and was greased from head to toe. Despite the disadvantages, Gene sunk a lapel choke in the 4th round and put Savage to sleep. But as with most stories involving Judo Gene, the details are somewhat debatable; this Jonathan Snowden article debunks several aspects of LeBell’s version. Still, LeBell vs. Savage deserves credit as the first MMA-style fight on television, and set up a rivalry between boxing and martial arts that’s somehow still relevant today.

MUHAMMAD ALI vs. ANTONIO INOKI
June 26, 1976

It sounded like good, harmless fun — the greatest boxer of all time taking on Japanese pro-wrestling kingpin Antonio Inoki in an exhibition match in Tokyo. But in the days leading up to the show, bizarre rules were added that restricted certain attacks. Most notably, Inoki could only kick if he had one knee on the ground. So, he scooted around the ring kicking Ali’s legs for the entire 15-round duration. Ali only landed six punches the entire fight and went home with two blood clots and an infection. The bout was ruled a draw, and has garnered a reputation as one of the ugliest fiascos in the history of combat sports. Fun fact: The referee of this match? None other than mixed-fighting pioneer Gene LeBell.

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Ray Mercer Returning to MMA Next Month Against Undefeated Ron Sparks

Ray Mercer MMA
(The beginning of the boxers-in-MMA epidemic. Thanks again, Tim. / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

After he humiliated Tim Sylvia last June, we were worried that former boxing champ Ray Mercer would ride off into the sunset for good, having proved himself a master at two different combat sports. But you have to give the dude credit — he hasn’t given up on MMA competition, and he won’t be fighting scrubs just to collect a paycheck. MMAFighting.com passes along the news that Mercer will be appearing at a King of the Cage event on April 16th in Detroit, against Ron "The Monster" Sparks, a 6’5", 300-pound bruiser with a 5-0 record. Granted, Sparks’s first four opponents were making their pro debuts, and his last one has a losing record. Still, considering that Mercer is just 1-0 himself (not including his exhibition bout against Kimbo Slice in 2007), it’s a matchup that makes sense. Will Mercer continue to find success as a mixed martial artist? How long will it take until he’s ready for a UFC heavyweight title shot against James Toney? KOTC’s 4/16 show will be headlined by Jeremy Horn vs. Jake Rosholt, and will be broadcast live on HDNet.

Speaking of boxers crossing over into MMA, Shine Fights has signed undefeated NABO cruiserweight champion B.J. Flores (24-0-1, 15 KOs) to a non-exclusive fight contract. Shine Fights previously drew attention with their signing of former junior middleweight boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga — who will face Din Thomas on May 15th — but their new acquisition is even more notable because Flores is a current boxing champion who’s basically in his prime. Flores’s debut-date and first opponent have not yet been named.

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Video: Ray Mercer Not a Fan of Head Kicks


(Props: MMA Scraps)

Before Ray Mercer became known as the unstoppable heavyweight juggernaut who wrecked Tim Sylvia in 8 seconds, Mercer had a two-fight kickboxing stint in K-1, losing his debut to Musashi by unanimous decision in June 2004. His second bout against Remy Bonjasky at the K-1 World GP 2005 in Seoul was even less successful. We won’t spoil the suprise for you, but the fight (if you can call it that) starts at the 3:53 mark of the above video and ends very shortly afterwards. It’s pretty sad when losing a match to Kimbo Slice by submission still isn’t the low point in your fight career.

Speaking of Merciless, the former WBO boxing champ and Olympic gold medalist may have his next MMA bout booked. American Top Team boxing coach Howard Davis Jr. is in negotiations to put Mercer against old-schooler Marcus "Conan" Silveira in the main event of a December 12th MMA card called "U.S. vs. Brazil," put on by Davis’s new Fight Time Promotions company.

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Videos: Kenny Florian Talks BJ Penn Fight, Unsportsmanlike KO of the Day + More

(Props: BloodyElbow)

According to Kenny Florian, his October 2006 loss to Sean Sherk transformed him from a fighter who wanted to compete with his opponents to a fighter who wants to destroy his opponents — and he’ll be bringing his renewed intensity to the cage with him against BJ Penn at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia). In this recent interview with Inside MMA, Florian also discusses training with Georges St. Pierre, getting his named botched by Dr. Phil, and his four-letter prediction for the Penn scrap. By the way, if BJ bitches out between now and August and drops out of the fight, Diego Sanchez is totally cool to step in.

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Tim Sylvia: This Is What 310.6 Pounds Looks Like

Tim Sylvia fat MMA
Tim Sylvia Ray Mercer MMA Ray Mercer Tim Sylvia MMA Ray Mercer Tim Sylvia MMA
Ray Mercer knockout Tim Sylvia MMA Ray Mercer Tim Sylvia MMA Adrenaline MOAR CAKE
(Photos courtesy of Sherdog.)

If you want an idea of how not-seriously Tim Sylvia was taking his fight against Ray Mercer, check out the above photos, which show Timmy entering the cage looking like Jamie Varner‘s fat uncle. He’s as bloated as the Montauk Monster, and clearly hadn’t shaved his face or stomach in over a week. And goddamn did Ray make him pay for it. Sylvia now has the unenviable task of losing 45 pounds in a month-and-a-half for a scheduled "Affliction: Trilogy" bout against Paul Buentello on August 1st — though Buentello now wonders if the fight will even happen. Way to go, tubby.

UPDATE, 3:12 p.m. ET: Tim Sylvia has officially been taken off the 8/1 Affliction card.

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Ray Mercer Knocks Out Tim Sylvia in Nine Seconds at Adrenaline III


(Props: MMA Scraps)

Jens was rightRay 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.

Full results from the Adrenaline card are here.

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Tim Sylvia vs. Ray Mercer Boxing Match Returns to MMA Rules After Being Deemed Illegal by ABC

In an interview done with Steve Cofield yesterday, Jens Pulver warned his longtime friend and Miletich teammate Tim Sylvia that boxing is a different world from MMA, and he might be setting himself up for another career setback if he’s not taking Ray Mercer seriously. "I love [Sylvia] on a personal scale," Pulver said, "[but] professionally, sometimes you gotta step back and say ‘damn Tim, what are you doing?’"

Thankfully, it’s become a moot point, as the Sylvia vs. Mercer boxing match scheduled to headline Adrenaline III this Saturday has been declared "unwarranted and illegal" by the Association of Boxing Commissions. As Fightnews reports:

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