("Yeah, the sushi did taste a little funny. Why do you ask?" Photo courtesy of theLas Vegas Sun.)
Some choice quotes from recent interviews promoting The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights, which premieres September 16th…
Kimbo Slice on piss-soaked fruit trays: "(If someone pulls a prank on him similar to stunts from past shows) there’s gonna be gun play, but fortunately for them I couldn’t bring my pistol. That’s a whole another level. Silver bracelets (handcuffs) if you feel me."
Zak Jensen – standout wrestler at Augsburg College Marcus Jones – former 1st round NFL draft pick who had a six-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Scott Junk – Division II All-American football player at Southwest Oklahoma State and fought in UFC 76. James McSweeney – former international kickboxing and Muay Thai champion John Madsen – defeated Brock Lesnar in a high school wrestling match Matt Mitrione – played for New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings Roy Nelson – former IFL Heavyweight Champion Demico Rogers – high school football and wrestling star Brendan Schaub – played for Buffalo Bills and Arena Football’s Utah Blaze Darrill Schoonover – decorated Army veteran Wes Shivers – former member of the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons Wes Sims – fought two heated battles with former UFC champ Frank Mir at UFC 43 and UFC 46 Kimbo Slice – former EliteXC heavyweight contender and YouTube sensation Abe Wagner – played linebacker at Michigan Tech and has a degree in mechanical engineering Mike Wessel – UFC veteran and former strength and conditioning coach at University of Arkansas Justin Wren – All-American high school wrestler
MMA matches: Jeff Monson def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3) Bobby Lashley def. Jason Guida via unanimous decision (30-27 x3) Din Thomas def. Gabe Lemley via TKO, 4:13 of round 1 Dennis Hallman def. Danny Ruiz via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:50 of round 1 James Freeman def. John Mowry via KO, 2:38 of round 1
Boxing matches: Roy Jones Jr. defeated Omar Sheika via TKO, 1:45 of round 5 B.J. Flores def. Jose Luis Herrera via unanimous decision Eric Clinton def. Richmond Dalphone via unanimous decision Kieyon Bussey def. Robert DaLuz via majority decision Kelvin Price def. Kevin Howard via majority decision
— The Lashley/Guida bout didn’t live up to the pre-fight trash-talk, and Lashley proved that he’s not quite ready for prime time. The first round was spent mostly in a clinch against the ropes after Guida was able to stuff Lashley’s takedown attempts. The next two rounds saw Lashley on top of Guida and working some ground-and-pound, but Guida never took much damage. In fact, a guillotine choke attempt that Guida put on Lashley in the third round was the closest that the fight came to being finished. It was a moral victory for Guida — though his record now drops to 17-20, while Lash increases to 2-0.
— Roy Nelson got straight-up robbed by the judges. Though Jeff Monson did win the third round via striking exchanges, the first two were controlled by Nelson, who scored takedowns and was able to achieve mount in both rounds. But it seemed that all three judges credited the second frame to Monson due to some knees he threw in the clinch. After the fight, Monson admitted that the fight "could have gone either way," while Nelson immediately stormed off in anger.
— After beating Gabe Lemley with a ferocious punches-and-knee combo that put Lemley out cold, Din Thomas told the crowd that it’s not cool to put hands on a lady, and if Rihanna needs someone to kick Chris Brown’s ass for her, she should holla.
More videos from "March Badness" are after the jump…
But does he really have a shot? Of course not. Lashley may be a newcomer to MMA, but he was a national wrestling champion in college. In addition to that, he’s also a superb athlete and is not really old, slow, and suffering visible effects from years of beatings. In other words, he has several crucial advantages over Shamrock.
Former greatest pound-for-pound boxer in the world Roy Jones Jr. is testing the waters of MMA promotion with a hybrid boxing/MMA card to be held March 21st in Pensacola, Florida. Jones’s company Square Ring Promotions, Inc. is hosting "March Badness" at the Pensacola Civic Center, featuring RJJ himself boxing in the main event against Palestinian-American journeyman Omar Sheika. Jones, who has held titles in four different weight classes during his career, is coming off a high-profile decision loss to Joe Calzaghe in November. Of greater interest to MMA fans is the event’s supporting card, which will feature three fairly compelling MMA matches.
I have to say this for AOL Fanhouse’s Michael David Smith, when he sinks his teeth into something he doesn’t let go until he gets what he wants. While the rest of us have been stuck on this Seth Petruzelli situation, he was focused on a different aspect of Saturday’s EliteXC event. Seems that the odd stand-up in the Andrei Arlovski-Roy Nelson bout (see above, the stand-up comes at around the 4:27 mark) bothered Smith. So he kept after referee Jorge Ortiz until he got an answer:
“When I’m working a fight, they’re told in the locker room before the fight to keep working, continue the action moving,” Ortiz said. “Nelson did attempt the kimura. When he lost the kimura, at that point they had spent a good part of the round on the ground and I felt there wasn’t a reasonable attempt at a submission, at a finish. At that point I decided: Let’s get them up. Let’s see if he can improve the position, because in my opinion there wasn’t a reasonable attempt at finishing the fight.”
“In my opinion he wasn’t active enough,” Ortiz said. “I thought he needed to be more aggressive on the ground to attempt to finish the fight, and when I feel the action is at a point where it’s stale and it’s not going anywhere, at that point is where I decide to change it up and get something going here.”
Of course, what he “got going” was a stand-up fight that was most definitely more in Arlovski’s favor than Nelson’s. That’s not to say that Nelson would have won without the stand-up, but he had achieved a dominant position on the mat with plenty of time left in the round.
“Big Country”, as you might imagine, was also none too pleased with the stand-up when I called him earlier this week to ask what he was thinking when Ortiz brought the fighters back to their feet.
(At least some people still do work for their half a mill, son.)
Before his bout with Andrei Arlovski on Saturday night, Roy Nelson said he wasn’t completely sure who was signing his check. Now we not only know it was Affliction, but we also know that “Big Country” and Arlovski made a combined $580,000 to represent the clotheir-turned-promoter on CBS. The bulk of that money — $500,000 with no win bonus — went to Arlovski for his impressive knockout victory. Even for Affliction, who likes throwing around money almost as much as they love skulls and chains, that’s a hefty price to pay to put one fight on someone else’s show. So was it worth it?
Aside from the exposure for their fighters, Affliction got their ban lifted long enough to throw their logos on the cage and get a few commercials in during the broadcast. As MMA Payout pointed out, that might say more about CBS’ ad sales for this show than it does for Affliction’s arrangement with Elite XC, but either way now there are a few million more people in the world who know about the Andrei Arlovski signature t-shirt line, and every little bit helps.
There’s also the matter of the aggressively vague “Fedor Will Return” ads (was anyone else reminded of the “Gabbo is coming!” ads from The Simpsons?). Beyond heaping more indignity on Tim Sylvia’s loss by pointing out that almost the entire fight can fit in one network TV spot, it does help get the word out to casual fight fans. The only problem is that when you don’t have a date or event to hype, you have to wonder what that’s really worth.
Affliction had a great opportunity with those ads to really advance public knowledge of their MMA organization. Instead they hyped their shirts and failed to tell us when and how we could pay them money to see their marquee fighter perform. I suppose you have to know that information yourself before you can pass it on to others, but isn’t that just one more reason for them to get moving on this January event?
Now we know why Kimbo Slice didn’t seem too bothered by his fourteen-second loss at Elite XC: Heat. Turns out he made half a million dollars for his brief night of work. That works out to $35,714.29 per second of cage time for Kimbo, which is an even better per second salary than Tim Sylvia received for his thirty-six-second loss to Fedor Emelianenko ($22,222.22, in case you’re curious).
It’s an especially impressive take when you consider that the live gate from Elite XC’s Ft. Lauderdale show was only $826,000. The only other fighter on the night to match Kimbo’s total was Andrei Arlovski, who was also paid $500,000 for his victory over Roy Nelson, though Affliction picked up the tab for both of them.
The full disclosed payout from Elite XC: Heat looks like this:
Kimbo Slice: $500,000
Seth Petruzelli: $50,000 (including a $15,000 win bonus)
Jake Shields: $50,000 (including $10,000 win bonus)
Paul Daley: $12,000
Andrei Arlvoski: $500,000
Roy Nelson: $80,000
Gina Carano: $25,000 (including $10,000 win bonus)
Kelly Kobald: $6,000
Benji Radach: $30,000 (including $15,000 win bonus)
“Ninja” Rua: $35,000
Elite XC’s Jared Shaw takes a little shot at yours truly in this MMA Rated interview, calling me Ben “UFC” Fowlkes, which I suppose is an implication that I’m pro-UFC and anti-Elite XC, although I like to think that my record as an equal opportunity critic speaks for itself. If an organization does dumb things, it’s my job to point it out. If one organization does more dumb things than others, they’re going to receive more criticism. That’s just how it works. If it makes me a hater, I can live with that. But since when do we all have to like everything?
$kala says he just wants some love for his fighters, not himself. Fair enough, Jared. You do have some good fighters in your organization. Guys like Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, Wilson Reis, Nick Diaz, and “Ninja” Rua, just to name a few. These are all fighters that I enjoy watching. But your fighters aren’t what you’ve been criticized for, and I think you know it.
Let’s take the event you’ve got this Saturday, for example. On the undercard you’ve got a few interesting scraps between guys like Paul Daley and Jake Shields, Benji Radach and “Ninja” Rua, and a sweet little co-promotional joint between Affliction fighters Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson (nice work scoring that, by the way, whether you had anything to do with it or not).
But your main event features a 3-0 fighter in Kimbo Slice, who has yet to face an opponent coming off a win, taking on a forty-four-year-old legend of the sport who hasn’t won a fight or even made it out of the first round in over four years. And that’s your main event.