26 May 2008 12:01:41 PM
26 May 2008 12:01:41 PM
24 May 2008 00:05:13 AM
Forgive the G’n'R reference, but I’m really that excited. Click the “more” link and refresh your browser every few minutes for live updates from the “Ill Will” pay-per-view broadcast, beginning at 7 p.m. PT. Good luck to the fighters, the betters, the pickers, and the soon-to-be pukers.Read More DIGG THIS
22 May 2008 12:05:33 PM
Here’s the second episode of ESPN’s new online series, MMA Live, co-hosted again by Kenny Florian. In this installment, the panel breaks down UFC 84′s main event, Tito Ortiz’s career, Mike Tyson’s rumored jump to MMA, and Rich Franklin’s rumored jump to 205. In the “MMA for Dummies” segment, Bas Rutten runs us through “The Exorcist,” a neck crank sub perfect for when your opponent just ain’t givin’ up that rear-naked choke. If you missed the first episode, it’s after the jump.Read More DIGG THIS
21 May 2008 15:00:59 PM
Fowlkes and I spend a lot of time pondering and writing about MMA. Often, we disagree. With that in mind, we’d like to present the first installment of a new feature where we argue about the topics of the day — in this case, all the major themes coming out of Saturday’s UFC 84. This one’s actually a two-parter; come back tomorrow for spirited debate on Wanderlei Silva’s future, the necessity of ring girls, and the intensity of BJ Penn and Sean Sherk’s personal relationship.
QUESTION: What will be the best fight of UFC 84?
Goldstein: The best fight of a given event generally starts with a large dose of drama and ends with a decisive finish. Penn/Sherk has drama out its ass — these guys hate each other — and Ortiz/Machida has it too, as it’s Ortiz’s last fight, and one that Dana White desperately wants him to lose. But I wouldn’t bank on Ortiz/Machida to be a particularly exciting match. Both fighters are questionable finishers (five of Machida’s last seven matches have gone to a decision, compared to four of Ortiz’s last seven) and before his punking of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Machida was widely thought to be a boring fighter. The UFC set this match up to make Ortiz look less marketable, and it isn’t likely to be a barn-burner.
As for Penn and Sherk — how can this be anything less than legendary? Penn tends to make any fight exciting, and both guys will be looking to finish. Penn has to exploit his striking advantage and avoid being laid on by Sherk; a dull fight is not in Penn’s best interest, strategically speaking. I think Sherk is too tough to get stopped earlier than the third round, and if the fight goes into the championship rounds, his conditioning advantage will kick in. So Penn has this sweet spot of the third round where he’s most likely to win, and as the minutes and rounds tick by, anticipation will amp up the drama even further. If BJ wins, he’ll be the UFC’s undisputed lightweight ruler, and his reaction could be just as memorable as the fight itself.
Fowlkes: While I agree with your preconditions for what makes a great fight, I don’t necessarily think it will be Penn-Sherk that turns in the best performance of the night. Seems to me that you’re forgetting about Wanderlei Silva/Keith Jardine. That has plenty of drama — Silva needs a win badly and Jardine needs something to force the UFC to stop overlooking him — and it features two guys who like to stand and bang, which always yields great potential for a decisive finish.
On top of that, when’s the last time you saw Wanderlei in a boring fight? Tell me. I demand to know. I think Sherk-Penn will be worth the pay-per-view price alone, but Silva-Jardine is going to produce some fireworks either way, my friend.Read More DIGG THIS
21 May 2008 13:33:10 PM
Here’s the latest video of Tito Ortiz talking and talking and talking. Along the way, he calls Dana White a “money hungry, tryin’ to be superstar,” a “wannabe gangster,” and a “jazzercise trainer,” calls Chuck Liddell a “puppet,” and denies that he’s a moron and a retard. You’ll have to judge for yourself.Read More DIGG THIS
20 May 2008 18:29:55 PM
As promised yesterday — here are the final picks I’m making for my ipecac bet with Ryan of Fightlinker. Will they be enough for me to avoid vomity humiliation? Well, Ryan has mentioned that he’s predicting Wanderlei Silva and Tito Ortiz will win their bouts, and I don’t see the rest of his choices being any less duhtarded. We’ll be scoring this on the three-point system: one point for calling the winning fighter, and additional points for correctly calling the method of victory (one point) and round (one point). How fun! My picks are below; feel free to debate them in the comments section. — Ben G.
B.J. Penn def. Sean Sherk via submission, 3rd round : I went over this in my UFC 84 gambling guide. Fowlkes made some good points yesterday, but I still think Sherk is going out like Joe Stevenson, with a bloody face and an arm around his neck. Just because Sherk’s two losses didn’t come via submission doesn’t mean that he’s unsubmittable, especially against someone as talented as Penn.
Keith Jardine def. Wanderlei Silva via decision: I also went over this in the gambling guide. (By the way, if you want to see a short video version of me making those exact same points, check out this clip from CombatWire.com.) Jardine was able to outsmart Chuck Liddell when they fought, and Wanderlei Silva is basically a dumber version of Chuck. I think the most logical pick is another decision win for Jardine.
Wilson Gouveia def. Goran Reljic via KO/TKO, 2nd round: I don’t like to pick against guys with undefeated records, but that rule shouldn’t apply when a fighter has less than eight pro fights, and Reljic (7-0) has beaten absolutely nobody you’ve ever heard of. I wouldn’t assume that Gouveia’s ground skills are necessarily better than Reljic’s, but I can see him catching the Croatian with a heavy shot, Lambert-style. Also, betting against the American Top Team is generally a bad move.
Lyoto Machida def. Tito Ortiz via decision: Machida isn’t a fight-finisher, and unless he’s in the cage with Ken Shamrock, Tito really isn’t either. But Machida is far more well-rounded, and his tendency to take his opponents out of their rhythm is well-documented. I’m very confident that Machida will win, and he could easily do it via TKO or submission, but given the recent fight histories of these two, a decision feels likely.
Thiago Silva def. Antonio Mendes via KO/TKO, 2nd round: Undefeated record + UFC experience + ATT = a total lock. Eight of Thiago Silva’s 12 wins have come via first-round stoppage; ten come via KO/TKO. The only advantage that Brazilian UFC newcomer Antonio Mendes has is that he’s 3-0 against guys named Silva. He is a hard-ass, though, and I don’t foresee a steamrolling. I say Mendes gets through round one, shaken but not quite out.
As for the undercard…Read More DIGG THIS
18 May 2008 12:17:11 PM
— Chuck Liddell’s hamstring injury, which forced him to pull out of a match against Rashad Evans at UFC 85, isn’t looking good. “He can barely bend over and tie his shoe,” Dana White said. “He tore his leg real bad. It’s pretty nasty.” As of now, there’s no official estimate on how long it will take for the Iceman to recover and return to the Octagon.
— A welterweight bout between Tamdan “AFC” McCrory and Luke Cummo is expected to go down at UFC 87. Both men are coming off losses — to Akihiro Gono and Luigi Fioravanti, respectively — and if this isn’t a “win or get fired” match, we don’t know what is. (Update: Cheick Kongo and BodogFight/Gladiator Challenge vet Dan Evensen are also expected to meet at UFC 87.) In other fight-booking news, a lightweight match between Spencer Fisher (who most recently lost to Frankie Edgar by decision at UFC 78) and Jeremy Stephens (who most recently TKO’d Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 12) has been added to the Ultimate Fighter 7 finale (June 21st, Las Vegas).
— Remember that two-day seminar that Anderson Silva was supposed to do this weekend at Miletich Fighting Systems Houston? Well, he backed out at the last minute, citing “personal family health issues.” Turns out Silva was in Miami doing a two-day seminar at the grand opening of his own school. Said Alex Lopera of MFS Houston, “If this is true then we have been completely mislead and as you can imagine we are furious at this. We are doing our due diligence to confirm that this is really happening. If this is true we will take all legal recourse possible.” Busted!
— Tito Ortiz predicts that at UFC 84 there will be “about 16,000, probably 15,999 [fans] that will be screaming about Tito and there will be that one person that’s hating on me.” Sure, but he’ll be hating on you so loud that it’ll seem like thousands of people, all over the arena. That son-of-a-bitch and his voice-throwing…Read More DIGG THIS
12 May 2008 18:27:43 PM
BJ Penn (favorite) vs. Sean Sherk (underdog)
Our buds at BetUS have Penn as a -230 favorite (you’d have to bet $230 to win $100 back) with Sherk riding the +180 underdog line (a $100 bet would score you $180). Setting aside BJ’s current hype as one of the most talented fighters in the world, he really does hold an advantage over Sherk in every aspect other than conditioning; his standup is better, his submissions are much better, and he’s not going to let Sherk lie on top of him the entire fight. But Sherk’s undeniable talent and accomplishments are preventing oddsmakers from calling this any wider than it already is. If you want to make a high-percentage wager on the Prodigy, do so at BetUS. If you’re going for the longshot, throw down a bill on Sherk at PinnacleSports, where they’re giving the Muscle Shark a juicy +232 line.
Lyoto Machida (favorite) vs. Tito Ortiz (underdog)
BetUS says -220 for Machida and +175 for Ortiz, a slightly closer line than Penn/Sherk, owing partly to the fact that Machida still doesn’t have a win against a top-10 light heavyweight under his belt — not that Ortiz is top 10 anymore, but he could easily be Machida’s toughest challenge to date. Will the Dragon still stomp Ortiz? Yeah, pretty much. Ortiz may be a better wrestler, but that’s about it. Lyoto seems to come from the Anderson Silva school of well-rounded badasses with very few holes in their game, and he’s probably a lot more focused than the stretched-in-all-directions Ortiz, who can hopefully schedule some workouts between reality show appearances, t-shirt company management, sex with Jenna Jameson, and bitching about Dana White whenever there’s a microphone in the room. Pinnacle has Machida at a far more attractive -185, while Ortiz nut-huggers can squeeze a tiny bit more value out of their misguided bet at BetCris, where he’s +180.
Wanderlei Silva (favorite) vs. Keith Jardine (underdog)
Here, folks, is the only smart underdog bet of the lot. BetUs has Wandy as a -185 favorite with Jardine the ‘dog at +145. Look, we know the Axe Murderer was a killer in PRIDE — but he needs to win a couple in the Octagon to convince me that he’s just as fearsome over here. Take away the use of soccer kicks and knees to the head on the ground, biased refs and judges, matchmaking that had him go up against opponents that were tailor-made for his style, (*cough*steroids*cough*), and the confidence that comes from never losing, and we’re not even talking about the same guy anymore. Silva won’t be doing any axe-murdering at UFC 84 — he’s going to be fighting not to lose, and will come out a much more cautious, tentative version of himself. Meanwhile, Jardine is surely working on another great game-plan with Greg Jackson, knowing that if he pulls off another big win his title shot will be waiting. Great risk, great reward, etc. Pinnacle and Sportsbook have Jardine at a solid +150. I don’t think there’s enough value in a bet on Wanderlei, but if you disagree, Pinnacle and Bodog have him at a more reasonable -160.
(BG)Read More DIGG THIS
22 Apr 2008 20:36:57 PM
(We couldn’t find a picture of Tito posing with a 40 oz. bottle of Mickey’s malt liquor, but this is pretty close.)
If you needed more proof that Tito Ortiz is truly, madly, deeply done with the UFC after fighting Lyoto Machida at UFC 84, here goes: The Huntington Beach Bad Boy has just inked a major sponsorship with Mickey’s, which will see the “Fine Malt Liquor” developing promotions, events and packaging featuring Ortiz. Mickey’s will also be involved in cross-promotion with Ortiz’s Team Punishment clothing brand.
Unless you’ve sustained trauma to your hippocampus recently, you’ll recall that Mickey’s was the official beer sponsor of the Octagon until the UFC found greener pastures with Anheuser-Busch/Bud Light, and that Tito Ortiz was one of the UFC’s franchise-carrying fighters until he shifted his focus to acting, dating a porn star, and being a general pain in Dana White’s ass. And now they’ll be together, grumbling about how they never needed the stupid UFC anyway. Wonderful.
Still, this Mickey’s sponsorship could be pretty cool, depending on what Tito does with it. As long as he doesn’t demand a “Mickey’s Replay” every time he’s done banging Jenna…Read More DIGG THIS
22 Apr 2008 13:30:10 PM
BJ Penn, God bless him, has not given up on the blood-licking thing — and he vows to do it again when he fights Sean Sherk. Check out the pre-fight hype in these new UFC 84 promo videos, which run down the matchups between Penn and Sherk, as well as Silva vs. Jardine and Oritz vs. Machida.
(Dana White: “BJ Penn is a fucking *fighter*.”)
(Dana White on Wanderlei Silva: “This guy, loves, to fucking, *fight*.”)
(Dana White on Tito Ortiz: “I think he has the will and desire to be successful. He doesn’t have the will and desire to be the best fighter in the world.”)
(Props: BloodyElbow)Read More DIGG THIS