Start sharpening your razors, folks: We’re just eight days away from the official start of Movember! To help get you in the moustache-growing spirit, we’ve put together a photo gallery of our favorite facial hair arrangements in MMA history, which you can check out after the jump.
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!
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.
(Too old for this shit vs. Too fat for this shit.)
It was the fight that needed to happen. Well, maybe needed is too strong a word, but vodka bottles and turkey legs don’t grow on trees, and it’s either this or substitute teaching. That’s right, freak-fight-fans: UFC pioneer Tank Abbott (10-14) and beach-ball-shaped knockout artist Eric "Butterbean" Esch (13-7-1 MMA, 77-7-4 boxing) will be getting it on at a Thunder Promotions MMA event called "Alabama Pride," which will go down December 12th at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham. Amazingly, both men are coming off wins. Abbott snapped a four-fight losing streak in February with his KO via rabbit punches of Mike Bourke. Butterbean last competed ten days ago, defeating Tom Howard by RNC in a fight that looked like it might have been a work; either that, or Tom Howard really is a belly-flopping pussy (no offense).
Now, Butterbean and Tank will finally get to see who has the better haymakers. But don’t be surprised if Bean tools Tank on the ground; he’s honed his grappling at American Top Team, and his last four wins have come by submission. "Alabama Pride" also promises a celebrity fight between rapper DMX and Eric Martinez, who’s so famous that Wikipedia has never heard of him. If anybody can shed some light, please do so in the comments section.
After the jump: The event poster, and why Tank vs. Bean probably won’t be decided by leg kicks.
Ah, the freak show: Where honest competition meets the insatiable human desire to see something weird, typically in Japan. We thought we’d take a look back and count down the ten craziest, most outlandish freak show fights in MMA history. Some are bizarre enough to be fun. Some are just horrible. At least one is [...]
In celebration of UFC 100, Spike TV will present a 5-part special, highlighting the best 100 bouts in UFC history, as voted on by the fans. Voting will begin on May 1 on Spike.com (Ultimate100.spike.com) where fans can choose their top 100 fights from an extensive list of bouts selected by the UFC and Spike TV.
Our boy Michael David Smith over at MMA Fanhouse conducted an interview with Ken Shamrock that can most charitably be described as ‘contentious.’ Give MDS credit, he doesn’t shy away from the tough questions, and neither does Shamrock. After making vague remarks about why CBS refuses to work with him, Shamrock admits he is a fighter, “not a mastermind,” which naturally is news to us all.
But where things get interesting is when MDS presses Shamrock on his most recent sad display of something resembling fighting against 380-pound Ross Clifton. Shamrock admitted that he only took that fight because he didn’t want to fight someone who might have reasonable chance of actually beating him, since this was just a ploy to set up a fight with Tank Abott, which, get this, may be on PAY-PER-VIEW. Leave it to MDS to ask the questions you’re thinking:
But you think it is possible that you fighting Tank is something that could do well on pay-per-view? I would absolutely say yeah. Especially since I fought some fat guy, out of shape, no good, and it got over 300,000 hits on YouTube, OK? So tell me. Some big, fat, out of shape, fat guy, is going to do bigger numbers than somebody fighting a main event fighter, like [Ken's adopted brother] Frank Shamrock and Nick Diaz, who probably won’t even get those numbers. And you’re saying that your opinion — which I didn’t know writers had one, I thought you were just supposed to write the story — is that because I did that, we got those numbers, we shouldn’t be going out there and having those fans watch that, even though they’re turning on the tube and they’re pushing in the numbers on the computer to watch that thing happen?
As strange as it sounds, there was a time when Tank Abbott could demand $126,000 to fight for less than a minute. Unfortunately, his market value has slightly decreased since then. MMA Junkie reports that the veteran brawler received $20,000 for his 29-second completely-illegal knockout of Mike Bourke at last Friday’s Wargods: Valentine’s Eve Massacre — putting him second on the event’s salary list after Ken Shamrock’s $25,000. Abbott’s opponent Mike Bourke earned $5,000, while Shamrock’s opponent Ross Clifton collected $4,000, which he plans on donating to a good cause. If anybody cares, the rest of the numbers are after the jump. The show drew 2,805 attendees for a $90,745 live gate, $82,150 of which was paid out to the fighters. In other words, the promoters earned less than half of what Tank Abbott did. Slim profit margins of the MMA biz, people…
We’ve already shown you the epic Ken Shamrock/Shamu the Whale match from last Friday’s Wargods event, and at long last, here’s the night’s other headlining bout, Tank Abbott vs. Mike Bourke. The comedy starts even before the bell rings. Even though Bourke was 8-11-1 coming into the fight, the ring announcer, perhaps thinking that what he was seeing on his notecards was a typo, declared The Rhino’s record to be 18-11-1. And you gotta love the lady-commentator’s mock-enthusiasm at the 4:00 mark: "I wanna see it go the distance! I wanna see it go the distance! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" The fight itself ends after just 29 seconds, following two point-blank rabbit punches from Tank. Awesome. Speaking of which, here’s how Ken Shamrock‘s weaselly little brother Frank described the Wargods show on his Yardbarker.com blog:
Wargods was terrible
i just finished watching the wargods show online. thanks sherdog. can i just say that it was so sad to see Ken Shamrock fighting on a c level show. i wish the best for him but think its time to hang it up.
What, and rob us of the Ken/Tank superfight we’ve been waiting for since 1995?
After the jump:FranklyWashedUp on the UG unearthed this enlightening 2006 video of Chael Sonnen’s training and his life outside the cage, which includes real estate, a proud mother, and a hot girlfriend. Money line: "Even if I thought I could get a submission, I’m not laying underneath a grown man with my legs spread on worldwide TV. Some guys subscribe to that theory, but I’m a Republican, and we don’t do that." Hear that you jiu-jitsu faggots?!