Urijah Faber wasn’t kidding when he said he was a happy person who loved life. Even as he admits that he doesn’t really remember what happened in his loss to Mike Brown on account of all the punches to his head, he still seems to be in a pretty pleasant mood in the post-fight press conference, captured here by ESPN.
Chael Sonnen, however, describes his fight with Paulo Filho as “like being in a dance with a partner who doesn’t know how to dance.” He also says he hasn’t received Filho’s belt, as promised, and he’s absolutely not above accepting it should they offer it, despite the weird circumstances.
(Filho declares: “The Americans’ method of cutting weight is much better than ours.” No shit. Video courtesy of Sherdog.)
Paulo Filho apparently takes some of Chael Sonnen’s post-fight and pre-rematch remarks very personally. What’s ironic is that he talks in this video about what a difficult time he had cutting weight for their first fight, which resulted in him being somewhat off his game, but says he is in much better shape this time around. That’s an unfortunate choice of words, considering the way things worked out.
It’s also ironic that while Filho criticizes Sonnen for not acting like a professional after their first bout, he shows up seven pounds overweight for a title defense. As talented as Filho is, how does he expect to be taken seriously if he can’t make weight to defend his own belt? It’s piss-poor timing, considering the WEC middleweight division is set to be absorbed into the UFC soon. And what’s Dana White’s stated position on guys who can’t make weight, especially for title fights? He’s against it. Really against it.
Besides the embarrassment of the whole charade, there’s also the financial cost to Filho, who’ll be giving up 25% of his purse to Sonnen. He isn’t happy about that either, telling Tatame:
“That guy (Sonnen) will pay dearly my 25% (purse) inside that octagon on those three rounds: 10% on the first, 10% on the second and the rest at the third.”
Sounds like Filho’s got it all figured out, mathematically speaking. But what if the fight ends in the first? Then Sonnen gets away with that last 15% for nothing. Didn’t think of that, did you Paulo?
In preparation for his bout with Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on Nov. 15, Randy Couture is doing just about the only thing you can: tussling with big wrestler-types. He looks to be handling them pretty well in this video. Then again, none of these dudes is Brock Lesnar. Just saying.
Below, Chael Sonnen absolutely refuses to complain about his somewhat controversial loss to Paulo Filho and talks about his plan for this Wednesday’s WEC rematch.
It was a rough night for Takanori Gomi, as “The Fireball Kid” dropped a split decision to Russian Sergey Golyaev at Sengoku 6 (video is above). Kind of makes you wonder what happened to the guy who used to dominate in Pride. His last victory was a lackluster decision win over the relatively inexperienced Seung Hwan Bang, and now this fairly uninspired performance. You can’t really say he fought poorly, but you also can’t say he looks like the same guy he was two years ago.
Jorge Santiago and Satoru Kitaoka were the big winners on the night, each notching two victories in their respective tournaments. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira also picked up a unanimous decision win over Moise Rimbon.
Sometimes mainstream pop culture is just a tad slow when it comes to keeping up with trends. A little less than a month after his image-shattering loss to Seth Petruzelli, which was followed by the demise of EliteXC, and this week Kimbo Slice‘s name is on everybody’s lips. First it was Tracy Morgan on Conan O’Brien, then Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and then PTI’s Michael Wilbon dressed up as him for Halloween.
Oh, the cruel irony of it all. Has Kimbo been elevated to true celebrity status due to his mainstream exposure, or is he merely the pop culture joke of the week? At this rate he’s nearing Joe the Plumber status, or that ‘Leave Britney Alone’ guy (that was a guy, right?). Kimbo better hope it lasts long enough to sign a new contract.
Referee Steve Mazzagatti is playing it cool regarding Brock Lesnar‘s very specific request that he not be allowed to ref the main event at UFC 91. Doesn’t bother him at all, or so he would have us believe. Personally, I’m not buying it. Maybe I’m just a sad, vindictive person, but if it was me Lesnar was trying to blackball from the main event, I’d definitely want to see Randy Couture turn his big, square face into mush.
Not Steve “Love Thy Enemy” Mazzagatti, though. He says requesting a different ref is Lesnar’s right. He also says it’s “easy to get in the ring and walk around and look cool,” but it’s another thing to have to make the calls. Hold up, look cool? Steve, we need to talk about a few things, and yes, one of those things is your would-be catch phrase, “hook ‘em up.” It’s going to be a long and unpleasant talk for both of us, but it has to happen.
This episode of Inside MMA is worth watching purely to get to the point where Renzo Gracie begins talking about the perils of being a pro fighter with daughters. He tells a story that’s so awesome, I don’t even care whether or not it’s true. I’m not going to ruin the story by recapping it for you, but you can skip to around the 26:40 mark to see it for yourself.
If you’re curious, you can also see a scene from the “Renzo Gracie: Legacy” documentary at the 24:30 mark. I almost forgot about what Renzo did to poor Oleg Taktarov. Now I remember though, even if Oleg doesn’t.
Dana White‘s not such a bad guy. Despite heaping scorn upon the legend of Kimbo Slice at every opportunity, he’s still willing to give him a job. Or at least he’s willing to give him the chance to prove himself worthy of a job, though he sounds less than optimistic about the bearded one’s chances:
“He can be on The Ultimate Fighter. What’s he done other than get 10 million hits on YouTube, what’s he done to deserve to be in the UFC? Nothing. I don’t consider him a real athlete. He won’t win The Ultimate Fighter. The offer’s out there if he wants to take it, but he won’t win it.”
Nothing like an offer that contains within it a prediction that you will fail should you accept said offer. That’s a great negotiating point to start from.
From the unaired preliminaries, Per Eklund (he’s the bald one with the peace tattoo) and Samy Schiavo go at it at UFC 89 while some Dutch dudes (or Swedish dudes, if you really give a shit) narrate. The fight has the frenetic pace that we’re accustomed to from the desperate prelim fighters, and it makes for a hell of a scrap that is absolutely worth watching.
It’s tough to tell from the lighting and the camera angle, but it would appear that in England people actually show up for the prelims. There’s a noticeable lack of the empty seats that we’re used to during these fights. Guess that’s what happens when you sell those cageside seats to individuals rather than casinos. Good to see people getting their money’s worth.
Here’s Michael Bisping‘s UFC 89 video blog from yesterday, following him through the weigh-ins and the aftermath. Since much of this video is just Bisping sitting around and talking with his British friends, I understood very little of what was going on. Still it seems interesting that Bisping does his own video blog for this event, is basically the impetus for the whole card and its location, and has already been named as the next TUF coach regardless of his performance tonight.
Inside MMA welcomes “Sugar” Rashad Evans, Bobby Lashley, and Dave Meltzer. Here’s a quick taste in this preview video. Right off we’re talking about “evisceration,” which is a fun start, and Bas Rutten asks Kenny Rice, “Did you see that movie Braveheart?” This prompted me to ask, is there anyone on earth who hasn’t seen it by now? It’s more ubiquitous on TV than Remember the Titans.
Below we’ve got Brandon Vera basking in the glory of his fame in the Phillipines. Looks like Dana White wasn’t joking when he said that the UFC was even more mainstream there than they are in the U.S. Props to MMA Payout.
After the jump, Nevada State Athletic Commissioner Keith Kizer gives his thoughts of the EliteXC controversy.
Gina Carano does her best to play down the various EliteXC controversies in this interview with Steve Cofield. They cover everything from her naked weigh-in (where maybe Jared Shaw tried to sneak a peek) to her very meager pay to the impending investigation into the Seth Petruzelli bonus fiasco to…wait a minute. Is that the national anthem playing in the background? Gina, did you carry on with the interview through the national fucking anthem? The goddamn Star-Spangled Banner!? Jesus, that’s worse than wearing a hat during it! And you call yourself an American Gladiator.
But on a serious note, where I get confused is where Carano says she’s actually happy that people know how little she made (1/20 of Kimbo’s purse, as Cofield points out) because now they’ll know she doesn’t do this for money. Now, I’m no high-powered sports agent, but I have to think that maybe it’s this attitude that’s the problem. It’s one thing to say you’re not only in this for the money, but this is your career. It’s not just about what you want; it’s about what’s fair. I’m sure there are plenty of up-and-coming women fighters who wish that you’d make this point to your employers a little more forcefully. Plus, maybe if you made more to fight you wouldn’t have to do all this other shit on the side. Just saying.
Below, check out a clip from Randy Couture‘s perfectly coiffured days as a wrestler. An extra special bonus surprise awaits you after the jump. Props to MMA Scraps for the find(s).
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.
Finland took on South Korea in the third installment of the M-1 Challenge on HDNet, and the one who really shines in this highlight video recap is the announcer who’s tasked with pronouncing the plethora of difficult names. That guy is a pro. Finland turns out to have some tough bastards on their team from the looks of it. South Korea, on the other hand, has one totally awesome and very happy ass-kicker in the form of Hyun-Gyu Lim. That one guy might not be enough to win the M-1 Challenge for them, but dammit, his enthusiasm is downright infectious.
After the jump check out Inside MMA from Strikeforce: Payback in Colorado. A little after the ten-minute mark they talk with Frank Trigg. I dare you to watch it and pay attention to anything other than his ear. No, fuck that. I double dare you.
(P.S. Bas Rutten also interviews Kimbo Slice before his fight with Ken Shamrock, or so he thought. Ever the seer, Kimbo advises us not to blink. Oh, irony. You cruel bitch.)
Kimbo Slice faces light heavyweight Seth Petruzelli, the man with the devastating front kick/jab combo. Relive the magic again and again. Things to take note of:
1) Kimbo’s tough guy act when he refuses to touch gloves.
2) Kimbo going face first onto the canvas a few seconds later.
3) At about the 0:57 mark, if you’re quick you can see Elite XC VP Jared Shaw at cageside screaming his head off at the referee, like any impartial promoter would surely do in that situation.
What a night. After the event Shaw spoke about that moment with MMA Rated, and even mentioned the possibility of a protest stemming from blows to the back of the head. That sounds fun. Videos of the evening’s other bouts are after the jump, courtesy of MMA-Core.
MMA Rated’s Ariel Helwani is live on the scene of Elite XC: Heat and managed to score interviews with some of the principle players in Saturday night’s event. Above, Kimbo Slice explains why he had to turn his phone off so he could fully focus on battering his senior citizen opponent.
Once more Kimbo makes his case as a populist fighter based on shopping at the same stores normal people shop at. Of course, he shops there with the hundreds of thousands of dollars he made for beating up substandard opponents, and he may or may not be wearing shoes with his picture on them. So there is that minor difference.
Ariel also spoke with Kelly Kobald — who very politely explains her desire to make Gina Carano the “broken, bruised, and bloody face of women’s MMA,” — as well as Gina Carano herself, who seems to genuinely like Ariel for some bizarre reason. Just proves she has poor taste in men. First Kit Cope, now Ariel Helwani? Gina, why do you do this to yourself?
Things that you have to love about this Ken Shamrock video:
1) He doesn’t blame you for thinking he’s washed up based on his last few fights.
2) He continually refers to the sport as “the MMA,” just like your father might.
3) He apparently trains exclusively in slow motion with a piano tinkling in the background.
All kidding aside, this video makes me both excited and sad for Shamrock’s fight with Kimbo Slice on Saturday. The man’s will is still there but the flesh is, well, not. He’s doing a great job of crafting a narrative (around the 11:00 mark he starts talking about Kimbo, and at 14:15 he explains that Kimbo “is walking into my sport, and he hasn’t earned the right to be there.”), which has always been one of the things Shamrock does well.
But after what we’ve seen from him in recent years there’s just no reason to think he’s going to go out there and beat Kimbo. There is every reason to think that one of the sport’s pioneers is going to go out there and lose badly and it’s going to be a damn shame to see.
Who knows, though. He seems acutely aware of why Elite XC brought him in, and maybe he will indeed “completely blow up their party” on Saturday night. If he does I hope the CBS cameramen have the good sense to pan to Jared Shaw immediately afterwards. That look on his face? It will be the ‘That son of a bitch just blew up my party,’ look.
(‘This is my hammer. I call her Sheila. You do not want to make Sheila angry.’)
Knees to the groin aside, Alistair Overeem isn’t buying Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic‘s claims that he could not continue during last night’s Dream.6 bout. Cro Cop’s anguish looked pretty genuine, and Overeem’s knees seemed intent on finding his testicles, but Fighters Only reports that the Dutchman thinks dude was faking it in order to get out of a beating:
“Tonight I was kicking his ass, I destroyed him. …The first knee was in the crotch but the second was not. CroCop just didn’t want to fight anymore.”
“I think he underestimated me, but if he wants to fight again, I’ll fight him again. I’d like to finish him.”
Overeem was dominating the fight. That much seems apparent, though Cro Cop would have us believe that he was just biding his time and waiting for the right moment to stop getting his ass kicked.
But whatever you think of Cro Cop and his ethical code, that knee strike was clearly in the groin neighborhood. A cursory examination of the video evidence proves that much. Even if Overeem feels that he didn’t get him right on the buttons, as it were, he’s got to concede that Cro Cop might have been just a little extra sensitive in the testicular region at that point in the fight, seeing as how he’d already been nailed there. Nobody likes to see a fight end like that, especially the guy who leaves the ring with one of his testicles inside his body, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.
(Make an offer, but ring announcer Tim Hughes comes as part of the set.)
Even though the IFL has filed for bankruptcy and their best fighters have all signed on with other organizations, they are apparently still looking for a buyer who wants their video library badly enough to pay for it. Jay Larkin told Sherdog that when the UFC used some of their footage to hype former IFL fighters who had signed on with Zuffa, it wasn’t because the UFC had paid for the video, it was because the IFL was just “helping out.” It’s the least they could do, after all the help the UFC did for them.
But check Jay Larkin’s sales pitch when it comes to the IFL:
“You don’t always know what you got till it’s gone. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned,” said Larkin, a longtime boxing programming executive with Showtime. “One of the things I tried to do was do it in a more professional manner. The bottom line is, I feel MMA is a one-organization industry. I think UFC has done a spectacular job of branding, and UFC has become synonymous with MMA. And there’s a couple of hangers-on now. Wall Street’s having a hard time right now. I’d like to see MMA flourish but I’m very skeptical.”
In other words, please buy this stuff, but if you’re anyone other than the UFC, you’ll just be wasting your money.
I once went to Sears to buy a power drill and the stoned college kid working there responded to every one of my questions about various drills by telling me all the bad things about them, finally concluding that the one they had on sale “just generally kind of sucks.” I did not buy a drill that day. As sales strategies go, pessimism and ennui rank somewhere near the bottom. Larkin would do well to keep that in mind.
We just had to go and complain that Elite XC and CBS weren’t doing enough to hype their Oct. 4 event. Then came “Hits & Chicks.” Now it’s “the greatest mixed martial arts show in Florida history” featuring “undefeated Miami street fighting legend” Kimbo Slice. Oh, and just in case you were worried that his street fighting days weren’t being well-represented enough, they made sure to include plenty of clips. I don’t know if they’re referring to him as undefeated in MMA, which is true, or undefeated in street fighting, which is not (Sean Gannon, anyone?), but either way you get the point. They stop just short of showing Kimbo working out with the Milf Hunter, presumably because they had to give Ken Shamrock his obligatory three seconds of screen time.
When it comes to selling tickets, I guess you hype whatever you got, however you can.
This, believe it or not, is an actual ad for Elite XC and Showtime boxing put together by the clever jerks over at Showtime Sports. I like to think that the moment the song “Hits & Chicks” was written, somewhere Glenn Danzig suddenly felt like killing himself, even more than usual, and he didn’t know why. I also like to think that after the song was set to this video montage of both hits and chicks, one of the advertising executives at Showtime watched it and said, “I don’t know, you think it’s too subtle?”
That’s when they added the phrase “Jugs and Pugs.” Just because they wanted to make sure that they were reaching the all-important ‘morons aged 14-54′ demographic. And here we were thinking that Elite XC wasn’t doing enough to promote this event.
Is it too much to hope that “Busted Ears, Bodacious Boobs” will become Elite XC’s new tagline?
This Saturday, September 13 Spike TV is airing a TUF 1 marathon and special reunion show. As you can see from the clip, some of those old rivalries haven’t been forgotten. Give Joe Rogan some credit, he doesn’t shy away from asking Bobby Southworth whether he felt bad about the whole ‘fatherless bastard’ remark. We don’t get to see his answer in this clip, but let’s hope it’s yes.
Check out Dana White’s closing video blog entry for UFC 88 after the jump. They’ve apparently decided to go with quantity over quality, as this is the longest one yet. For some real fun, skip to the 9:00 mark to see Chuck Liddell‘s pre-fight preparations, which tells you a lot about what kind of fight he was expecting. Afterwards Dana has to corral Rashad Evans‘ wife while simultaneously stopping Chuck Liddell and John Hackleman from jetting out of the Octagon. That’s a hard-working man, right there.
Just some wacky guys having fun, flying on airplanes, screwing around in hotel rooms. Now that’s entertainment! The best segment this time around is the brief look at some of the UFC brass sitting around listening to potential walk-out music. I especially like the idea that Dana White has to honor whatever terrible music fighters ask for, even though I realize that’s probably not how it works.
Anyway, this video blog series appears to have flatlined. Maybe that’s because you can’t really screw with Randy Couture on camera the way you can with “Rampage” Jackson. He just smiles and says nothing while secretly resenting you. By you, I mean Dana White.
Dana White’s newest UFC 88 vlog details his travels with Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture to do media work, son. They head to ESPN headquarters so Lesnar’s enormous head can get airbrushed, then they take that nice Kenny Florian boy to see the “Entourage” premiere. See? That’s almost as good as a title shot. Plus Marky Mark is there!
Let’s hope this video blog — like the last one — gets better as we get closer to the event. Any time I’m watching what’s supposed to be an interesting inside look at someone’s life and I see a guy in the background who looks kind of like Pauly Shore and then find myself thinking, ‘You know what would be better than this? A Pauly Shore video blog.’ That’s not a good sign.
Oftentimes it’s easy, not to mention fun, to bash mainstream media coverage of MMA. They mispronounce oma plata or some such nonsense and the hardcore fans are all over them. But you have to hand it to ESPN, they did their homework on this Randy Couture-UFC situation. They don’t just give in to the media blitz for UFC 91, they hit Randy with his own words regarding his original gripe with the organization and go right after the real story: did anything get resolved between Couture and the UFC, or did he just cave?
Couture does the same delicate dance around this question that he did in yesterday’s media call, which is to say he makes vague assurances that his concerns have been addressed, while also insinuating that he just wants to fight again before he’s too old and poor from protracted legal battles.
They say if you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it will beat up Brock Lesnar. If it doesn’t, it will be tied up in court battles for the rest of its viable career. At least I think that’s what they say. I don’t listen very well. Regardless, today’s announcement that Randy Couture will return to the UFC to defend his heavyweight title in November has us all a little amped. So amped, in fact, that it’s hard to focus on any other MMA-related stories right now. So let’s just enjoy a look at some of Captain America’s greatest moments and consider what the future might hold. After the jump, a nice training montage with a soundtrack that will really get your heart pumping. Turn up the volume now and thank us later.