Truly great works of art often take multiple views to fully understand, and a few more to fully appreciate. In that way, this video is kind of like a forgotten masterpiece. Except that it’s absolutely nothing like art in any way, shape or form, and more like an argument I don’t fully understand.
From what I’ve managed to gather, Rampage Jackson isn’t the only light heavyweight in the UFC with snitching issues. Rashad Evans was apparently the only person on Earth to know about “fuckin’ Melissa”, and now people are butt hurt that everyone knows. For what it’s worth, my totally uninformed opinion is leading me to believe that Rashad is as guilty as former Executive Vice President of MusclePharm Leonard Amenta was (i.e. not at all). Come on, you tell only one person about Melissa and chose to pick Rashad Evans? But I digress. There’s a much needed break in the action at the 1:13 mark before the argument resumes at the 3:20 mark.
Before you even ask, yes, Anthony Johnson did make weight, and he seemed about as excited to do so as any fighter I’ve ever seen. Joe Rogan informed us that the Struve/Barry fight is “the biggest height discrepancy for a UFC fight ever.” If there was a category for stare-down of the year, I’m pretty sure theirs would be the front runner.
All fighters made weight except for Byron Bloodworth, who weighed in at 138 lbs. and was originally given 2 hours to drop the necessary 2 pounds for his bout with Mike Easton. The decision was quickly reversed and Byron was allowed to keep the additional weight without penalty for coming in as such a late replacement. Check out the full weigh in results after the jump.
Liverkick recently posted an interview that Alistair Overeem cut with a Polish reporter. The interview starts off slow, with Overeem forgetting the names of the cities he visited, giving the mandatory compliments to Polish fans and just generally playing it safe with his analyses of upcoming Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix fights. At the 4 minute mark, things really get interesting. Alistair is asked about what he will do if he wins the Grand Prix, thus cleaning out Strikeforce’s heavyweight division. Aside from fighting in the UFC, Overeem expresses interest in pursuing a boxing match against current IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine world heavyweight champion (as well as WBA super heavyweight champion) Vitali Klitschko.
Sure, Alistair is more than capable of winning in K-1. But there’s a reason Jerome Le Banner has fought no one you’ve heard of in his boxing career: Good kickboxers aren’t always good boxers. Plus, after watching the 42-2 champion dismantle Shannon Briggs and Odlanier Solis, there is no way that this wouldn’t end badly for someone who recently was exhausted from watching Fabricio Werdum flop for three rounds.
Pat Barry goes on to talk about a guy who actually whispered into Pat’s ear that he thought Pat Barry threw the fight against Cro Cop. I’m not sure if we should count that as bravery, stupidity or attempted suicide. He also talks about Cheick Kongo’s improved wrestling, some comments attributed to him before the fight and his time training with DeathClutch in preparation for this fight. Well worth a quick viewing, even if it’s just for the facial expressions that Pat Barry makes.
ESPN "First Take" brought Shaquille O’Neal’s personal trainer on so he could talk about the Diesel’s MMA training and mention the name of his gym and its website no less than a dozen times. The interviewer here seems oddly amused by her own ignorance of MMA, and really presses this guy to give her odds on the possibility of a Shaq vs. Chuck Liddell fight in the UFC. Let me put it to you this way, lady: there’s about as much chance of that fight happening in the UFC as there is of you taking over for Larry King when he finally retires/dies. Got it now?
American Top Team boxing coach and Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr. spoke with me about his work with Chuck Liddell prior to his UFC 97 loss against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Contrary to what some people believe, Davis said he really did work with Liddell for about two and a half months, and while he didn’t change his style he did try to add a couple tools to Liddell’s game. Here Davis talks about what Liddell’s recent loss means for his career, and whether he thinks the former UFC champ should call it quits like Dana White is insisting he do. He also touches on the addictive “drug” of being a world champion fighter, and why he thinks Liddell has seemed more vulnerable in recent bouts – and it’s not because he’s getting old.
(Fence grab is at 10:18, the alleged illegal blow comes at 17:25. Props: MMA Share.)
Benji Radach has filed a formal appeal with the California State Athletic Commission through his agent, Ken Pavia, challenging his TKO loss to Scott Smith on the April 11 Strikeforce show in San Jose, California. We contacted Radach earlier today to get him to explain, in his own words, why he’s appealing the loss and what he hopes to accomplish. Here’s what he had to say.
CagePotato.com: If you could Benji, sum up for me the main points outlined in your appeal.
Benji Radach: There are two main points. One, in the second round I had him in a guillotine, choking the piss out of him, and I thought I was just going to choke him unconscious. But he grabbed the fence and used it to pull us into a scramble and get out of the choke, which is illegal.
After spending a few days at American Top Team in Florida last week, I came away with a real appreciation for how hard Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante works in the gym. From a grueling session with his strength and conditioning coach to his intense sparring matches with WEC champ Mike Brown and others from the ATT stable, JZ is putting in serious work to get ready for Tatsuya Kawajiri at Dream.9 later this month. In this video he talks about the important psychological benefits of his training, whether he’d get in the ring with Fedor Emelianenko like Shinya Aoki did, and one of the stranger things that’s happened to him while fighting in Japan.
B.J. Penn shows us how he’s preparing to whip Kenny Florian’s text message-denying ass this summer – in some dude’s garage. Okay, it doesn’t look all that impressive, but you should know that Marv Marinovich is the father of former USC quarterback and NFL washout Todd Marinovich, who just happened to be profiled in Esquire magazine last month (see, we read stuff). In the article Marv is portrayed as a revolutionary in the field of sports training and also as a complete nutjob who tried to make his son into a football cyborg and wound up at least partially helping to make him into a drug addict. Now he’s got his hands on B.J. Penn. Look out, world.
All that hype, and it only came down to six minutes of utter domination. If you caught the light-welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton last night, you saw more proof that Pac-Man is one of the best boxers to have ever lived. The video is above; watch as Pacquiao opens with a 10-7 first round on the strength of two knockdowns, then delivers the finishing blow at the end of the second. Pac’s trainer Freddie Roach had predicted a third-round knockout via left hook, explaining later that Hatton tends to leave himself open when he throws his jab. Turns out, Pacquiao is even better than he thought. Could Money Mayweather be next?
Bruce Buffer may be the last sure thing left in the UFC. Here’s footage of him introducing Anderson Silva at UFC 97 and making it into an event all its own. Check out the hops on the Buff. Who knew? It used to be that Silva was guaranteed to give you your money’s worth. With him not wanting to "risk" his belt, those days may be over. At least Buffer still knows how to deliver.
After the jump, Ken Shamrock prepares to make his UFC comeback against an opponent who’s just his style.
A little less than three months out from his rematch with Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, and Frank Mir is already starting in on the trash talk and mind games in this Raw Vegas interview. He’s decided to go the self-deprecating route, which means Forrest Griffin has a royalty check coming. Mir also isn’t afraid to toss a few little burns in there just for the hell of it, even commenting at one point on the "penis" tattooed on Lesnar’s chest. You can thank Dave Farra for bringing that up. Hey, we were all thinking it.
Aside from the Lesnar talk, Mir offers the best response yet to the inevitable Fedor questions. Instead of doubting his credentials and just refusing to talk about the guy, Mir says it’s "not fair" that other heavyweights have gotten a chance to feel how hard Fedor hits and he might never get that opportunity. You have to admit he has a point. It’s about time somebody called Fedor out on his discriminatory punching practices.
Anderson Silva seems to be getting too used to disappointing fans. Check the look on his face when a reporter takes him to task for not doing more to try and finish Thales Leites. He seems more bored than anything else. His manager and Chuck Liddell both get angry for him, but it’s as if Silva himself can’t be bothered with it.
Dana White will continue to defend Silva’s status as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, and he has a lot of good points, particularly about Fedor being “at a buffet in Russia,” and not at all interested in proving himself against the best in the world. But at the same time, if the world’s best fighter can’t entertain anybody but himself, what’s the point?
This is the second straight time Silva has left us bored and confused with his performance. He’s so concerned with fighting a “perfect” fight, he doesn’t care whether anyone actually wants to see it. That’s a problem. The UFC set a North American attendance record with 21,451 people packed into the Bell Centre last night, and yet the organization’s best fighter may have spent five rounds proving to the audience in the venue and at home that he isn’t concerned in the least with giving them their money’s worth.
Liddell didn’t make any declarations that were quite so final, but he seemed resigned to the fact, admitting it was "probably the case" that he is now retired. Man, what a downer. Thanks a lot, Shogun.
The other $70,000 bonuses went to Matt Wiman and Sam Stout for Fight of the Night (really?), and Krzystof Soszynski for Submission of the Night. Anderson Silva did not receive a bonus. We imagine that when he asked Dana White why, Dana looked at him with disappointment in his eyes and said, ‘You know why.’
In the interest of trying to make UFC 97’s main event seem a little more competitive than the oddsmakers think it is, here’s our best attempt at making the very difficult case for Thales Leites.
1. Aside From His UFC Debut, He’s Never Lost an MMA Bout Losing your Octagon debut is almost a rite of passage for young fighters, like getting screwed by a sponsor or doing something so cool it makes Joe Silva leap out of his chair. Leites lost his first UFC bout via decision to the very credible Martin Kampmann in 2006. Since then, dude’s been hanging nothing but W’s. Okay, his win over Nate Marquardt was highly suspect, but his quick submission over Drew McFedries wasn’t. (Sidenote: how did he go from a win over Marquardt to a bout with McFedries, anyway? Not exactly a step up in competition there.)
(Miss, your fly is…uh, you know what? Forget I said anything.)
You might remember a while back when we linked to a very strange/insipid video by porn star Jayden Jaymes in which she played up all the awesome partying she did in Mexico with what appeared to be a still-engaged Chuck Liddell and Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny. Even if you don’t remember it, it doesn’t really matter because Liddell says a) his engagement was already broken off by then due to other reasons, and b) that chick was just using “The Iceman” for cheap publicity. Damn, it’s self-promoting porn stars like Jaymes (who can be seen on a porn-focused episode of MTV’s "True Life" asking her parents if they’re proud of her and receiving blank stares in response) who give the rest of them a bad name.
While much has been made about the ‘dazzle me or hang ‘em up’ ultimatum that Dana White issued Chuck Liddell in the press, the man across from him in the Octagon is also in an obviously dire situation. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is 1-1 in the UFC and has yet to look like he belongs in a light heavyweight division thick with talented fighters. But unlike Liddell, Rua’s problem isn’t that he’s slowing down as a natural side effect of age. Instead he seems to have lost his explosiveness while at the same time developing the cardio of a toddler.
There are two commonly offered explanations for why this happened to the man who looked like Pride’s best 205-pounder just a couple years ago.
1) Knee injuries, followed by surgeries and rehab, have left him with too little time to train hard, resulting in him fighting at far less than 100%.
2) Now fighting in the UFC and subject to actual drug tests, he has to perform without the oft-rumored pharmaceutical assistance that was said to be rampant in Pride.
As The Fight Nerd reminds us, this weekend marks one year since the MMAbortion known as YAMMA Pit Fighting was forced upon the world. In honor of this YAMMAversary, our nerdy friend has dug up some promo material that never saw the light of day. Remember when Don Frye was originally scheduled to take on Oleg Taktarov in the "Master’s Division" (read: old guys), and then had to pull out with an injury? It proved to be Frye’s smartest career move, but fortunately for us he had time to film some promos for YAMMA first.
Say what you will about "The Predator," but he is the master of totally sweet burns that sound like something you’d hear down at the hardware store. Plus, his delivery is second to none. Today’s fighters just don’t compare their opponents’ heads to a "five-gallon bucket full of buttholes" quite the way Don used to.
After the jump, relive the awful shitshow that was YAMMA, and then be glad that it went away forever.
Skip to the 0:56 mark for this personal statement:
“There’s certain things I can’t do, I’m not going to do. If someone tells me to do it I’m not going to do it. I’m going to do what I want to do and that’s why I fight. I want to do what I want to do. I want to fight. That’s what I want to do. They’d say, ‘Hey, why didn’t you do your work, Nick?’ in class or school or whatever. ‘Why don’t you do your homework?’ And I’m like, I don’t wanna. I couldn’t figure out why, I just can tell you right now I don’t wanna. I’m not going to. And then when I found out what I wanted to do was I wanted to train jiu-jitsu. That’s what I want to do. I wanted to tap people out and train jiu-jitsu. ‘What do you want to do?’ I want to fight. That’s what I want to do so that’s what I’m going to do.”
A rare moment of lucidity from Nick Diaz in this old Showtime promo for one of his ShoXC fights gives us the clearest insight yet into his motivations. I feel like I went to school with a few Nick Diaz’s. Only instead of becoming famous pro fighters they ended up working at Chili’s, and not the good Chili’s by the movie theater where the girls from the community college all worked. I’m talking about the bad Chili’s by the freeway where the used car salesmen drank on their lunch breaks. Not pretty. If only they’d done their homework.
After the jump, a little something to prepare you for the enthusiasm-over-substance approach of announcer Gus Johnson, who’ll be on the mic for Showtime on Saturday.
(Excellent use of the ‘Rogers, you a hater!’ sample here.)
After sitting out for nearly a year following the collapse of Pro Elite and the ensuing sticky contract situation, Brett “The Grimm” Rogers finally gets back into action this weekend as he takes on Ron “Abongo” Humphrey in Strikeforce. Despite his undefeated record, Rogers may be best known for his feud with EliteXC poster boy Kimbo Slice (see also: this awesome video). In this exclusive interview, Rogers talks about that bad blood, his frustration with Elite XC, and his plans for taking over the Strikeforce heavyweight class.
Your last fight was in May of 2008, and since then you’ve been waiting around for another fight, first with EliteXC, and now with Strikeforce. Are you concerned that all the time off, all the contract stress, may have made you rusty or affected your timing?
I’m more eager than anything. I’ve had a lot of time to think about things, and now I’m just ready to go. It’s time for me to go out there and show off, once again. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who bumped into contract conflicts over it. But everything’s squared away now. I’m just trying to focus on what I have to do this weekend and go out and get a win.
(Diaz’s finest hour. The post-fight drug test…somewhat less so.)
With the Nick Diaz/Frank Shamrock Strikeforce bout just a few days away, now seems like as good a time as any to look back on some of the notable moments from the career of each man and then speculate irresponsibly as to who will take this one. Above, you see Nick Diaz’s crowning achievement – his victory over Takanori Gomi. What a shame that those facists at the athletic commission insisted on drug testing him afterwards and then changing the result to a no contest because of a little shitload of weed in his system.
Nonetheless, we know what happened. Diaz proved two important things in this fight: 1) he can take a beating, and 2) he’s always a threat to submit you, especially in transition and off his back. However, in this fight we also see the patented Diaz striking style. His hands out in front, his head a stationary target, coming forward and wearing you down with accumulation of strikes more than with power.
Now let’s take a look at something recent from Shamrock’s portfolio.
Joe Rogan swigs Diet Coke and waxes philosophical about the Chuck Liddell of old and the old Chuck Liddell of the present ("the guy’s thirty-nine years old, cut him some slack"). Honestly, it’s a pretty candid assessment of where Liddell and Shogun Rua are at this point in their respective careers, if perhaps a little too apologetic on Shogun’s behalf. Rogan didn’t seem as willing to make excuses for Rua’s poor conditioning back when he was burying him from the broadcast table at UFC 93.
After the jump, something extremely disturbing, and at the same time boring.
(It gets a little heated at the 1:30 mark, and believe it or not it’s Cole Miller who escalates things.)
Those of you who were looking forward to the Steve Steinbeiss/Ryan Jensen fight that you probably weren’t going to see aired on Spike TV anyway are sure going to be…disappointed, I guess? According to Cage Writer, the fight was scrapped when Jensen tested positive for Adderall, the ADHD drug also known to help fighters who are trying to cut weight or cram for that biology midterm. So that explains that.
In other Fight Night 18 weigh-in news, check Cole Miller getting all up in Junie Browning‘s business. It looks like Miller’s mouth is working hard too, though we can only guess what he was saying (something about Junie setting a bad example for the impressionable youth of Kentucky, we assume). Oddly, Browning is the one who appears to remain calm throughout the encounter. He even gives Miller a friendly, go-get-em butt slap. Such a nice boy he turned out to be. So supportive.
The brilliant video-remixer/voice-mimic responsible for the Tito Ortiz music video in the #1 spot of today’s Worst Commentary Moments list dropped us a line this afternoon to let us know that his latest work has just been posted to YouTube. (Good lookin’ out, Chaplin!) "The Douchebag" makes fun of everything that BJ Penn can possibly be made fun of for, including (but not limited to) his lazy training habits, his mother fighting his legal battles for him, his failed appeal to The Rock for a movie role, and how his former jiu-jitsu teacher hates him now. Plus, we learn that when BJ’s voice is slowed down, he sounds basically retarded. (Coincidentally, Jeff Goldblum suffers from the same condition.) Chaplin also has a couple of non-MMA-related videos that you also need to check out. If you can make it through this voice-dubbed scene from last season’s Celebrity Apprentice without pissing yourself laughing…well, good for you. Must be nice having dry pants.
Apparently Cole Miller’s mother never told him that if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, you shouldn’t say anything at all. Talking to Steve Cofield (it doesn’t get remotely interesting until a little after the six-minute mark), Miller responds to a question about what he thinks of Junie Browning on a technical level by saying: “Nothing. I don’t think he’s technical at all.”
Miller then goes on to point out that Browning has never tapped out or knocked out anyone who matters, before then comparing him to past opponents like Andy Wang and concluding that Browning is the worst fighter he’s faced in the UFC, next to Allen Berube (ouch!).
So is Miller right about Browning? Maybe. We don’t really know for sure, since all we’ve really seen of him comes from his “Ultimate Fighter” antics and his submission victory over Dave Kaplan, who’s not exactly top-level competition. But even if he is right, I’m not sure it’s such a great idea to go around talking about how almost-comically bad your next opponent is. If you manage to get people to believe that he’s one of the worst fighters ever to step into the Octagon, then it’s not enough to just beat him. You have to beat him quickly and effortlessly, otherwise you look like a punk.
We don’t know if Joey Villasenor had been studying tape on Hank Weiss, but Good Lord did Smokin’ Joe have his number. As soon as Weiss makes the grave mistake of dropping his hands while setting up his first attack, Villasenor is right there with the left hook (perfectly directed at Weiss’s knockout button) and the follow-up right straight (which missed, likely saving his life). And just like that, another beautiful one-punch KO was bestowed on the world. Weiss has lost 10 of his last 12 fights, but only one of those losses has been by knockout, so maybe he’s learned his lesson about keeping the mitts up and the chin down.
All right, I’m done trying to force myself not to like “Bully Beatdown.” The moment Michael Westbrook showed up to unleash a whipping on a guy who seems like a genuine jackass, that’s the moment I became a fan. Not surprisingly, the less scripted “Mayhem” Miller is, the better he gets. In this one he actually has a little bit of trouble convincing the bully in question to agree to certain doom, but manages to push the guy over the edge when he says, “You got one ball, please tell me you got two.”
Did I mention the bully was holding a basketball at the time? Because it’s kind of crucial to this particular burn.
Again, this isn’t really MMA, and it probably isn’t especially helpful to the sport’s overall image (though I also can’t see how it’s all that harmful), but dammit, it’s fun.
Emelianenko gets rocked by a good right hand at the end of an exchange and is clearly wobbled, but he’s savvy enough to clinch and hold on until he can get his mind unscrambled. By that time, however, the referee has noticed that Magomedov is cut, and the fight gets stopped before it really had a chance to get going and Aleks is awarded the TKO victory.
A disappointing outcome? Yeah, but you can’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to be in there with Aleks if I had an open wound on my face either. Come on. We were all thinking it.