Photographic proof that ReX tried to end Jason’s baby making days.
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson goes down tomorrow night at the Sears Centre just outside of Chicago. To help get you in the proper spirit, Doug “ReX13” Richardson and Jason Moles have returned to eloquently debate some of the more important storylines surrounding this historic event. Will Fedor go 0 for 3? If so, will the internets asplode? Are we nearing the end of women’s MMA on the big stage? Who gives worse gambling advice, ReX or Jason? Do us a favor and slog through this painfully long column, then let us know your own thoughts in the comments section.
“Shhhh…don’t cry, I’m sorry! I thought you were into that.”
There is news coming out of Brazil that multiple time BJJ & ADCC champion Kyra Gracie is working her way toward the cage. Given the Gracie legacy in MMA, the move is not entirely surprising, but what is nice to hear is that Strikeforce is still trying to build their female ranks.
“Ive been training boxing and Judo. It’s something that can happen, too. I already received some proposals and I know MMA is becoming bigger. They (Strikeforce) contacted me, invited me. I also received a proposal from Japan. We’re negotiating, setting some things with them (Strikeforce). Let’s say that, if I already had a contract, I’d be ready to fight today.”
For those of you not fully familiar with Kyra, we’ve taken the liberty to include a complete biography shameless pictorial after the jump.
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup draws to a close on Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany, as the United States meets Japan in the finals. (Kickoff is at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN, by the way.) This marks the first time since 1999 that Americans have been psyched about women’s soccer — but we admit, we’re getting caught up in the hype as well.
In honor of our ladies getting ready to run shop on the Japanese, we decided to hold our own international competition, choosing the best female MMA fighter from 10 different countries and ranking them against each other. The first few names will be very familiar — but who’s carrying the flag for Russia, South Korea, and Germany? Read on and find out…
#1. Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos (Brazil) Record: 10-1 Last fight: Third-round TKO of Jan Finney, 6/26/10
Santos’s inability to find a fight over the last year says a lot about the still-developing state of women’s MMA in this country, as well as her own undisputed position in the 145-pound division. She’s so far ahead of her peers, that no logical challengers even exist.
At 24 years old, Rousey is a very interesting prospect. She became the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo, winning a Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She celebrated this by becoming a vegan. Seriously. She is currently 2-0 as a professional MMA fighter, with both fights ending in under a minute by armbar. For that matter, all of her amateur fights ended that way as well. To say the least, the odds are pretty good that her fight against Sarah D’Alelio won’t last too long.
Video of her June 17 fight against Charmaine Tweet after the jump.
Dana White was interviewed by Forbes $ports Money while he was in Toronto for UFC 129 last month and as always the UFC president had a lot to say.
Among other items, The Baldfather touched on some hot button topics like the UFC’s plans for Strikeforce, whether or not women’s MMA will survive the merger and what prompted the minority stake sale of 10 percent of the company to Flash Entertainment.
Check out the transcription of some of the key quotes from the show after the jump.
Hi My dear fans, want to fight too soon, but not dependent on me. This very difficult to renegotiate with scott. They’re not appreciating all I did for the event. I am very sad, but I will not give up. God has another purpose in my life…Maybe I fight the world jiujtsu not going to be the way you like with many punches…but I will give my best to make you guys like it.
XFO 39 goes down tonight at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, featuring Jeff Curran’s “win or retire” match against Billy Vaughn, Jamie Varner‘s first post-WEC match against Tyler Combs, and a women’s bout between the lovely Felice Herrig and 7-4 Tulsa-based scrapper Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc. At yesterday’s weigh-ins, Felice and Nicdali produced one of the greatest staredown photos in recent memory. (Whether you prefer this one or Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort pretty much depends on if you prefer chicks or dudes. Sorry. That’s the deal.) XFO 39 will be streamed live on alienwarearena.com/mma; the card kicks off at 7 p.m.
(So, who wants to be the first one to tell her the name “The Honky Tonk Man” is already taken? Pic: ESPN)
Our amigos at Tatame dropped an under-the-radar, single paragraph report on us yesterday afternoon alleging that current Strikeforce women’s middleweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos is currently in talks with – oh, God, no — World Wrestling Entertainment. The website cites the ever-present “sources close to the fighter” saying that Santos is negotiating with the professional wrestling company and indicated that she’s joined a seemingly growing chorus of fighters disgruntled that the Strikeforce isn’t giving them enough fights.
“Without fighting since June of 2010, Cyborg is getting tired of the lack of fights in the MMA organization,” the website writes. “This proposal would change her future in fighting – and get bigger paychecks.”
Tatame reports that both Mr. and Mrs. Cyborg attended a WWE event in California two weeks ago and the rasslin’ company offered her a contract on the spot. If true, this news means the world of pro wrestling is essentially planning to acquire one of MMA’s top up and coming stars, while trading us one of it’s biggest malcontents, since MMA Weekly reports Dave Bautista could debut for BAMMA in England in May. Yeah, just another enormous dude, another conspicuously overseas MMA appearance. Anyway, we digress, more on the Cyborg situation after the jump.
Bros, you thought Lina Kvokov put in the saddest performance in women’s MMA history? Well, maybe you’re right. But this one is at least equally bad. In February 2007, notable ladykiller Tonya Evinger faced off against Brittany Pullen at the first Fatal Femmes Fighting event in Los Angeles. Even though Tonya only had a few amateur fights under her belt, her skills were in another league compared to Pullen’s, who had maybe — maybe — watched a cardio kickboxing class before stepping into the cage that night.
As Pullen swings her little arms and falls on the mat for no reason, you just know it’s not going to end well for her. And it doesn’t. Fifteen seconds into the fight, Evinger fires off a 1-2 that would make Wanderlei Silva proud, and Pullen is dead to the world. The commentators make references to bags of peat moss. Brittany never competed again, thank God.
Those of you who were waiting to see how many outfits Miesha Tate would bring to Strikeforce: Columbus on March 5 are going to be very disappointed by this news. Unfortunately, Tate is out of her scheduled 135-pound title match with Marloes Coenen after injuring her knee in training, the promotion announced via press release on Wednesday. Instead, undefeated prospect Liz Carmouche will step in as Coenen’s first championship challenger on just 11 days notice.
(One night, two wins, two different outfits. How are the men supposed to compete with that? PicProps: Strikeforce)
In theory, I was in favor of Strikeforce’s 135-pound women’s tournament on Friday night. At this point in MMA’s development, tournaments feel like a nostalgic throwback to our wild, misspent youth. They’re like that one friend we all have who just turned 30 and now insists on drinking two beers and talking about how crazy he was back in college. More specifically, I was hopeful that this particular tourney would brings some much-needed forward momentum and excitement to SF’s female welterweight division, where right now even the champ doesn’t especially want to be there. In practice however, not so much.
In reality, the truncated fights, overall lack of sizzle and a field that felt from the start like Miesha Tate and three also-rans all conspired to make the tournament a bit of a nonevent. Tate won the whole thing in a little less than two hours, Strikeforce strapped a belt on her (Really? A belt? For that?) and then we all went off and did other things. It all happened so fast that play-by-play shouter Mauro Ranallo looked like he didn’t even bother to shave before he went on the air. That alone should tell you something.
Joe Riggs on tomorrow night’s Strikeforce women’s tournament, as quoted in a Strikeforce press release sent out last night: “It’s great. They are always exciting. I saw Miesha (Tate) fight up in Minnesota when I was up there fighting last year and she’s very exciting…That tournament style is hard. I’ve done it and it’s no picnic. You come out with just an hour’s rest a little banged up and you feel injuries you didn’t even know you had during the fight. My hat’s off to them."
Joe Riggs on women’s MMA, as quoted in an SB Nation interview published yesterday: "I don’t know what that girl [Sarah Kaufman] is talking about. She’s lucky to even be on TV…As long as they don’t say things like they don’t want to be on the Challengers card and they want to be main events than they’re good. We’re the show. The men are what people are here to see."
(Click above for larger version. Four competitors, representing four continents. Miesha enjoys cake decorating. Maiju’s turn-ons include the right hook and rear-naked choke. Image courtesy of Strikeforce.)
MMA Junkie passes along word that the format for the 135-pound women’s tournament at Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers event has been tweaked by the Arizona State Boxing Commission, a longtime enemy of epicness. First off, the two first-round matchups — which, again, won’t be determined until tomorrow — will only consist of two 3-minute rounds, rather than the three 3′s that were originally announced. The ASBC has also nixed the idea of a "sudden victory" round, so to prevent the inevitable 19-19 draws, the judges will just call the fight for whoever they think won it, PRIDE-style. (Okay, so that part’s not so bad.) The final match will still consist of three 3-minute rounds.
Two of the tourney’s four participants have previous multi-fight GP experience. Miesha Tate made her pro debut at that infamous 2007 HOOKnSHOOT women’s tournament, where she spent 12 minutes winning a decision over Jan Finney before getting blasted out by Kaitlin Young in 30 seconds. Maiju Kujala last competed at an Upcoming Glory tourney in the Netherlands in March, where she submitted Akvile Vitkauskaite and outpointed Titiana van Polanen, in over 19 minutes of total fight time.
He did it again: Between rounds in his fight against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 117, Clay Guida unleashed his trademark Carpenter Burp. Notice how Guida does his best to ensure that the cutman is spared the rancid yogurt-and-Red Bull scent that is surely blasting out of his g.i. tract. That’s a courteous man right there. The definitive compilation of Clay’s UFC-era burps is above; if you enjoy this sort of thing, then enjoy. It’s definitely more fun than watching Kendall Grovepull strips of flesh out of a staph wound, Cabin Fever-style.
After the jump:Jenny Yum ruins Lindsay "Amazon Barbie" Jones’s night with a spinning backfist, at a Tuff-N-Uff event on Friday.
It seems we expect female fighters to fall into one of a few archetypes, and we want to know what we’re dealing with as soon as we hear her name announced. “The Karate Hottie.” “Crazy Bitch.” “Beauty but the Beast.” “Cyborg.” But what happens when you meet a fighter who doesn’t fit neatly into these pre-formed notions? How do you reconcile the image of a fighter who dotes on her Staffordshire terrier and professes love for the movies Labyrinth and Stardust with the image of a professional kicker of asses and taker of names? Stalking could lead to some interesting revelations about a person’s habits and character, but it could also land you in traction. Easier route: call her and ask her a bunch of questions. Meet Jessica Pene, a participant in Bellator’s upcoming 115-pound women’s tournament who enjoys working with children, long walks on the beach, and subbing dudes forty pounds heavier than she is.
Ask Jessica Pene about her favorite fighter, and she’ll mention a handful of names. She expresses interest in “old school” fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, members of the new wave of MMA like Gegard Mousasi, and female division standouts like Megumi Fujii. One name, though, comes up repeatedly: “I love watching BJ Penn fight,” she says, perhaps unaware of the parallels between them.
Like Penn, Pene doesn’t have to fight to pay the bills. Born to a white collar family in southern California, Pene could have cruised through life, gotten a degree at a university and moved on to a cushy job. With her good looks and quiet charm, Jessica Pene could have made good money in advertising or public relations, and never once had to worry about making weight, defending a takedown, or getting punched in the face. Pene wakes and trains when most of us are still asleep, not because she needs to put food on the table, but because she is and always has been athletically inclined. Like Penn, she doesn’t compete because she needs a big payday. Jessica Pene fights because, deep down, she’s a fighter.
(Carano and Cyborg: Godmothers of the game. / Photo courtesy of SI.com)
By CagePotato.com contributor Jim Genia
First there was the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which empowered the women of the United States with the right to vote. The Sexual Revolution of the 1960s followed, providing them with birth control and shifting values, and liberating them from the social constraints of a rigid society. Then came Gina Carano vs. Cris “Cyborg” Santos, which showed that when you put two well-trained ladies in a cage and pay them to fight, they can really beat the crap out of each other (or at least one can thoroughly whoop the other).
Yes, great strides have been made in equality for the fairer sex, and thanks to the likes of Carano and Cyborg, this equality has stretched into the realm of mixed martial arts. Now, there are impending all-female tournaments scheduled for Strikeforce and Bellator, and Sarah Kaufman’s recent violent KO over Roxanne Modafferimade ESPN’s “SportCenter”. Whether you love it or hate it, the female version of limited-rules combat is here to stay. So here’s a look back at some of the greatest moments in MMA herstory. (Get it? “His-story”, “her-story”? Yuk-yuk.)
On May 31, 2008, EliteXC broke the live network-television seal with “Primetime”, a CBS-broadcast event that saw Kimbo Slice smash James Thompson’s ear, Robbie Lawler poke Scott Smith in the eye, and an overweight Carano batter a smaller Kaitlin Young. Overweight? That’s right, for the first-ever female bout on free TV, ultra-popular fighter and former American Gladiator Carano failed to make the contracted 140-pound weight limit, coming in instead at 144.5 pounds. This wasn’t the first time the “Face of Women’s MMA” had failed to make weight. In fact, EliteXC had tailor-made the 140-pound division for her because making the standard 135-pound limit would’ve required too much cardio and crystal meth. To ensure that she didn’t miss weight at her next fight, which was a pairing in Miami against Kelly Kobold, Carano stepped on the scale buck naked. Thankfully, the towel held up by her father to conceal her nude form from the crowd only slipped once.
Because it’s Monday morning and you’re all still half-asleep and three-quarters hungover, we’d like to present the latest epic highlight reel from Caposa, which presents 2010′s best MMA knockouts from around the world. It’s been a damn good year for head trauma, apparently. But wait, there’s more…
(Best finish of the night: Luke Rockhold vs. Paul Bradley)
Takayo Hashi may have been touted as the second-best 135-pound female fighter in the world coming into her title fight against Sarah Kaufman at last night’s Strikeforce Challengers event in San Jose, but for most of the five-round contest she looked woefully outmatched. Kaufman’s superior standup ruled the night, as the undefeated Canadian — and new "welterweight" women’s champion of Strikeforce — dropped Hashi twice in the first round, and spent the rest of the fight chasing the Japanese grappling specialist around the cage, landing punches whenever she was in range.
Kaufman successfully avoided the occasional takedown and submission attempts from her opponent, and outside of a teep kick that found its mark on her face in the final frame, she made it through all 25 minutes relatively untouched. After the fight’s conclusion — a 50-45 decision on all three judges’ scorecards — Kaufman apologized to the fans for her inability to finish Hashi, and generously credited Hashi’s constant movement: "It was really hard to get a lot of clean shots on her consecutively,” Kaufman said. “I would have loved to have finished the fight, but I couldn’t have done any more than I did.”
Hashi is primarily known as a grappler, and is backed by some impressive credentials. She placed third in her weight class at the 2007 ADCC’s, and picked up the title of "Grappling Queen" in Smackgirl’s open-weight division. In a recent interview, Hashi had some strong words for her opponent:
"I am fully aware that she is very strong and dangerous. She is aggressive and she doesn’t back pedal, and strikes hard. She has got a stamina too, so I think she is a very tough fighter. As you can see from her professional record, she is a tough fighter to beat, but that also became my motivation because I am always looking forward to face a strong fighter. I imagine, overall, it’s going to be a striking battle. If she has got a pride in her striking ability then I would like to crush that pride by striking against her. If this fight hits the ground, then I will show my pride in the ground game. In all aspect of this fight, I will not back off. So, for sure, this is going to be an extremely tough fight. Just as like my other fights, my approach is to break my opponent’s heart."
Videos of three of Takayo’s fights are after the jump…
With a perfect record of 10-0 (eight via TKO), the hard-hitting Kaufman is one of the world’s best female fighters, and has been gaining recognition in Strikeforce thanks to the dominant decision victories she scored over Miesha Tate and Shayna Baszler in 2009. Takayo Hashi (12-1; 4 wins by submission, 8 by unanimous decision) has competed primarily in Japan, where she was one of the standouts of the SmackGirl promotion. Hashi most recently choked out Chisa Yonezawa at a GCM Valkyrie event last April, and avenged her only loss to Hitomi Akano in 2007. She’s known primarily as a grappler, while Kaufman is known primarily for beating the crap out of grapplers.
It took their lazy asses two full months, but Strikeforce has finally released the video of Marloes Coenen‘s rematch with Roxanne Modafferi, which was part of the unaired preliminary card at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers. Though Modafferi was able to grind out a split-decision victory when she first fought Coenen in the finals of an eight-woman K-Grace tournament in May 2007, their last meeting was a 65-second pwnage by Marloes, who used razor-sharp striking to drop Modafferi before methodically setting up an armbar. With her Strikeforce debut an unqualified success and her reputation growing in the States, the good-lookin’ Golden Glory product will now challenge for Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos‘s 145-pound belt on January 30th. Any predictions?
Out of sheer idle curiosity, we went to check it out. What we learned is that Toughill is totally right. As unintentionally hilarious bio pages go, this one is pretty great. For example, after describing how Kim “took the ‘Bull by the Horns,’ so to speak” by attending public school as a child, the biography offers this description of her early work life:
According to MiddleEasy, Houston-based kickboxer/model Sarah “Sugar Foot” Ponce may be tapped as a competitor for the 135-pound women’s tournament that Strikeforce is planning for next year. Though Ponce has never competed in MMA, she’s a fairly seasoned kickboxer, with a 12-1 pro record and appearances in the World Combat League and the Wushu Tournament Beijing 2008. When she’s not modeling swimwear, Ponce hones her craft at Houston’s Kickboxing Gym with trainer Mike Altman. Could we be looking at Strikeforce’s next breakout female star? More photos of Sarah await you after the jump, courtesy of UjENA/UjENANetwork.
(Submission savant Megumi Fujii. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
When "Carano vs. Cyborg"pulled in 856,000 viewers on Showtime, it proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there could be a market for women’s MMA outside of Japanese all-girl leagues and one-off fights in the U.S. Strikeforce and Bellator are both planning high-profile women’s tournaments, and 2010 could be the year that women finally gain some measure of equality in the sport. In honor of the coming revolution, we’ve launched a top 5 women’s pound-for-pound list in our Power Rankings section; get to know these warriors below, and let us know what you think.
1: Megumi Fujii (18-0) Armed with grappling credentials that include two BJJ championships at the Pan American Games and nine All-Japan Sambo titles, Fujii has tapped 15 of her 18 opponents during her five-year MMA career, and outpointed the other three. Her relentless, inventive ground attack is reminiscent of Kazushi Sakuraba in his prime, and at just 115 pounds, the 35-year-old packs more talent per ounce than any other woman in the world. In a sport where retiring undefeated is a mythical feat, Fujii just might pull it off. Watch this: Fujii’s "Alive" and "Hurt" highlight reels.
(Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos tosses around her 200-pound husband during a Showtime photoshoot. Click all images for larger versions. Photos courtesy of sports.sho.com via Fightlinker.)
MMA Junkie passes along some details on the August 15th Strikeforce title fight between Gina Carano (7-0) and Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos (7-1), informing us that the match is scheduled for five three-minute rounds, and will be contested at a weight of 145 pounds. So in other words, women can fight for 15 minutes just like the boys, as long as it’s in the context of a blockbuster title fight. (Yay, equality!)
(Kerry’s muay thai fight in Thailand for the Oxygen network’s "Fight Girls" show. Check out Brandon being all supportive. Awww.)
As we told you earlier, Kerry Vera, the wife of UFC fighter Brandon Vera, is making her MMA debut at tonight’s Bellator event. We decided to find out if this is just some Kim Couture situation or if Vera is really serious about kicking ass and possibly even taking names. Here’s how the conversation went.
This is your first MMA fight, but you’ve done some kickboxing in the past. What made you decide to do MMA now?
I just wanted to do something more. I figured, I’m probably not going to be fighting for too much longer so I wanted to try MMA and see what would happen. It’s fun. It’s a whole new challenge for me.