It was the beginning of the Axe-Murderer’s current career-slide, and one of the greatest beat-downs in recent MMA history. In this open-weight match at PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute 2006, Mirko Cro Cop swarms Wanderlei Silva like a rabid bear until he sets up a signature head kick at the end of the first round, leaving Silva in a mental haze that followed him through his subsequent matches against Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell. We highly recommend you skip past 2:17-5:45, which has to be the longest mid-fight medical clearance of all time.
Chute Boxe, the legendary Brazilian muay thai/jiu-jitsu camp that has produced MMA stars including Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, and brothers Mauricio and Murilo Rua, is finishing up negotiations to launch a satellite school in Los Angeles, according to MMA Weekly. Says Chute Boxe head coach Rafael Cordeiro:
“The plans are to make a two way road between L.A. and Curitiba and to maintain this high level training in Curitiba and in L.A. We want to put our boys to fight and train in both camps, Brazilian guys in L.A. and Americans going to Brazil to spend some time in our camp. This will elevate our athletes performance and at the same time we will recruit an excellent amount of new American and Latin athletes that are popping up in the U.S.A.”
Exact location and opening date for the school haven’t been announced yet.
It’s too bad this hasn’t happened sooner — how incredible would it be to have Chute Boxe go up against Xtreme Couture and Miletich Fighting Systems during the IFL’s 2008 season? I guess we’ll just have to wait until 2009 (assuming the IFL isn’t tits-up by then).
The L.A.-expansion announcement is the first bit of good news for Chute Boxe following a year that was marked by the departure of its most famous students, Wanderlei Silva and the Rua brothers among them. Speaking of whom…
MMA Madness gets all mathematical ‘n shit with UFC 79′s Liddell/Silva fight, analyzing the data from Fightmetric, the world’s first comprehensive MMA statistics system. The most interesting part is the round-by-round chart at the bottom of the page which shows how many of each type of strike the fighters landed to each section of their opponent’s body, but the breakdown is fairly insightful on its own. Some of the observations:
— “…it took Silva longer to throw his first punch (45 seconds) than it did for him to earn five of his 31 career victories.
— Although two judges scored the fight 30-27, “FightMetric clearly gives [the second] round to Silva by a score of 158-87, even after Liddell’s score is bolstered for the damage inflicted in the round that opened a cut on Silva’s right eyebrow.”
— “Silva’s jab-to-power strike ratio is absurd. Based on FightMetric’s database of statistics, the average fighter throws about 1.5 jabs for every power strike at distance, a ratio of three-to-two. Silva threw more than 2.5 power strikes for every jab thrown, a five-to-two ratio that is at odds with most fighters’ striking styles.”
Overall, Liddell wins the fight by a Fightmetric total score of 340-265. If you want to kill your productivity at work today, go to Fightmetric and start clicking around. Particularly notable is the insanely-detailed breakdown of the Michael Bisping/Matt Hamill match at UFC 75, which argues that Bisping did sneak off with rounds 2 and 3, though the first round was so lopsided that he would have lost if the fight was judged on total scoring, and not the outdated-for-MMA 10-point must system.
[Hey Guys and Gals, welcome to Cage Potato's liveblog for UFC 79: Nemesis. Make sure to refresh the page every couple of minutes to get the latest updates and read my random - yet wise - thoughts throughout the night. So kick back and enjoy after the jump!]
So, here’s something I’ve noticed while going through the massive pile-up of previews and miscellaneous hype for tomorrow’s UFC 79: Both Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva are convinced that they’re going to win. Which is totally strange, right? Because technically one of them has to lose. But it’s like…ah fuck, I just lost my train of thought.
Anyway, here are two more “Nemesis”-related videos, because you should be thinking about nothing else until tomorrow night. First off, Chuck Liddell’s appearance on ESPN’s Hot List yesterday: There’s nothing you haven’t heard him say before, but it’s worth it just for the moment at the 4:58-remaining mark where Chuck is clearly struggling to remember where he is and why the man in the suit is asking him questions. Still, it’s nowhere near the worst interview that the Iceman has done; whatever the cough syrup equivalent to methadone is, it seems to be working.
And then we have a segment from RawVegasTV, where Stephan Bonnar, Arianny Celeste, and professional BMX rider T.J. Lavin discuss their predictions for UFC 79 — or as the screen graphic calls them, “FIGTH PICKS.” (Speaking of typos, MMAFightline has an awesome one today.) Not sure what makes Lavin qualified to be on the panel — it surely isn’t the energy he brings to the discussion — but the gang gives a unanimous nod to Liddell and St. Pierre, and splits on Sokoudjou/Machida.
Just because every MMA blog has to make an official prediction, we’ll stand by our earlier claim and say that Sokoudjou, Silva and (the long-shot pick) Hughes are going home with victories tomorrow night. That’s right — the option we picked in the current CagePotato poll is sitting comfortably in last place. But we’re prepared to go 0-3, because honestly, who knows?
Not that we need to do shit to keep you pumped about UFC 79: Nemesis, we’re going to anyway. The holidays might have tore you away from the MMA universe for a couple of days, so we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss Chuck and Wandy waxing eloquent and chatting about strategy.
Liddell ‘splaining that he has long arms.
Silva revealing that he’s going to use his elbows.
More importantly, we’ve watched as the octagon has inched closer to the mainstream and it’s cool to see peeps like ESPN giving MMA more and more web space every month – even if they are looking at it through Dana White-colored glasses. Stay tuned for our full preview of the night later this week where we’ll break it down all proper for you.
8. Fedor Emelianenko vs Josh Barnett
As Emelianenko climbed to the top of the PRIDE heavyweight ranks, the only fighter who eluded one of his signature ass-whippings was the one big name he never fought: the Baby Faced Assassin, Josh Barnett. When his name came up as a possible opponent for Fedor at Yarennoka!, our heart skipped a beat. Then, reality set in. Fedor would most likely do to Barnett what he does to everyone else — turn him into a human punching-bag for 2-15 minutes depending on how hard his skull is — but Barnett is an A-level fighter and it wouldn’t be fair to count him out against anybody (even though we just did).
7. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Andrei Arlovski
While every other heavyweight match the UFC books seems to feature Tim “Xanax” Sylvia, the organization’s two most exciting stars are sitting on the bench. Anytime you put two offensive powerhouses — neither of whom has much of a chin — in a cage together, you’re guaranteed to see fireworks. It doesn’t matter that Cro Cop is coming off of back-to-back losses and there really wouldn’t be anything on the line; fans would kill to see these guys bash it out.
Right now, as you go about the normal activities of your day, Quinton Jackson is praying his ass off that Chuck Liddell beats Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79. Because if Silva wins, he’ll probably be next in line after Forrest Griffin to challenge Rampage for the light-heavyweight title, and if that happens, there might be a repeat of the brutality that befell the current UFC light-heavy champ at the Pride “Final Conflict” Grand Prix in November 2003. If you have the stomach for it, watch the video below (and turn down your speakers now, because the soundtrack is dreadful):
Their re-match a year later ended the exact same way. Now we know why Rampage occasionally sounds developmentally disabled…
What do you think about Fedor Emelianenko’s choice not to fight in the UFC?
WS: He’s crazy. I don’t know why the guy doesn’t want to fight here. These are the best events. This is the biggest promotion. The guy could be a symbol here. He could have money for the rest of his life. He could do well with the promotion, with sponsors, with commercials, and many other possibilities…He needs to come to the UFC.
Silva went on to say, “Dana White is an intelligent, virile, beautiful man who definitely does not keep me in a cage at night and beat me with hoses. Well, sometimes he beats me with hoses, but they’re thin hoses, and it’s only because I’m so clumsy and ungrateful.”
But seriously, you should read the rest of the interview, in which Wandy gives major props to Forrest Griffin and addresses the rumor that he could be a coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter:
I’d love to coach or even be a fighter on it. What I think they should [do] some day is have a program with major professional fighters. For me, I’d want to do it. It’s a great show.
Having pro fighters compete on The Ultimate Fighter is a fantastic idea, but it might be a little tough to pull off. For now, I think the UFC should just hold a one-off TUF special where Silva fights Richie Hightower to the death. Winner gets a Xyience sponsorship!