Sengoku Gets TUF with "Project: Gold Rush"
At a press conference yesterday, World Victory Road announced that Sengoku is currently developing "Project Gold Rush," a new Ultimate Fighter-style portion of their SENGOKU-G TV series which will see new and debuting fighters from gyms like GRABAKA, Yoshida Dojo and PANCRASEism competing for spots on the Sengoku roster.
(Although, unlike the mother of all MMA reality shows, "P:GR" will presumably focus more on the prospects' training and less on bodily fluids / beverage hurling.)
There will be 4-5 fighters from each gym spread across the bantamweight (60kg / 132 lbs), featherweight (65kg / 143 lbs) and lightweight (70kg / 154 lbs) divisions. Beginning later this month.
Liborio named National Coach for USA Grappling
USA Wrestling is excited to announce a new alliance to provide leadership for USA Grappling, its national program in the sport of Grappling.
International respected coach Ricardo Liborio of Coconut Creek, Fla. has been named the National Coach for USA Grappling.
“Ricardo Liborio brings credibility to our Grappling program,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. “We are confident that we will not only sustain our competitive excellence but will take it to a new level with Ricardo on our team. USA Wrestling is committed to maintaining our dominant position in international Grappling.”
(Over?)Analyzing Omigawa: A Success Story for Japanese MMA
Four years ago, I was in an MMA pick 'em pool with four acquaintances. UFC and Pride cards, $20 buy-in, points for winner-method-round, and the total points winner took the pot.
It was May 2005, and Pride's Bushido 7 was on the slate. I could already feel the 100 bones making the act of sitting down near impossible, almost Costanza-like. Being a massive MMA nerd and with Dream Stage Entertainment having retooled the Bushido program to heavily feature lightweights and homegrown talents, I figured I had a natural leg-up on my pool contemporaries who didn't feel the need to maniacally obsess over the sport.
Naturally, I lost the Pride Bushido 7 pool. Actually, I didn't "lose" per se; I came in second place, by one point -- a fate infinitely more excruciating.
Within the pick 'em pool, I was the only person who took the debuting Michihiro Omigawa over Aaron Riley. None too surprisingly either. I still consider it one of the worst fight picks I've ever made (maybe this is a column idea in and of itself), not just because of the fact that it robbed me of $100 but because it's as classic an example of overanalysis as you can get.
Here was my idiotic rationale, as best I can recall: Omigawa's debut was coming on the heels of his teammate Makoto Takimoto getting a generous decision over sumo Henry "Sentoryu" Miller on New Year's Eve. As another pupil of Hidehiko Yoshida, one of DSE's few major domestic stars whom they wanted to keep happy, I expected Omigawa to be given considerable latitude for the officials. I anticipated that he would avoid mucking about on the feet with Riley, a battle-hardened brawler, and instead would quickly get some takedowns, at which point he would attempt to smother him with his gi and be given a gift decision by the judges due to the politics of the fight game.
Anyone with a scintilla of common sense would've looked at the fact that Omigawa was a debuting judoka and that Riley was one of the sport's toughest customers, then would’ve commented it was a good thing Omigawa brought his pajamas with him: He was going to be put to bed -- which he was at six minutes even of the first round.
However, with his recent underdog run halfway through Sengoku's featherweight grand prix, Omigawa now strikes different thoughts in my head.
Renzo Gracie: Don’t sleep on Matt Serra
People take Matt Serra lightly … In our sport things don’t happen by chance. Luck has nothing to do with it … He’s one of the best fighters I have ever seen in my life. He has huge heart, never quits, he can win a fight at any moment. His jiu-jitsu is unbelievable and his punching power is very strong. He’s a guy that can always surprise someone. It will be a very action-packed fight. I can’t wait to watch.
Frank Mir: ''I Would Like To Coach Brock''
Frank Mir is not bothered much by Brock Lesnar’s trash talk. The UFC heavyweight champion is just a garden variety bully, he says.
“It’s like when you go to school and you’re not comfortable with yourself, you tend to pick on other people to take the attention away from yourself,” the interim UFC heavyweight champion told MMAWeekly.com.
Lesnar challenged the validity of Mir’s belt, and the rescheduling of their second bout from UFC 98 to UFC 100 in an interview with Inside MMA.
“In my mind, is it, is Frank really hurt, or is he scared?” Lesnar told Ron Kruck.
UFC Looking at Entering the Magazine Market?
As MMA has seen an explosion in popularity one of the market segments that has been lifted with this tide has been the MMA magazine industry. The magazine publishing field as a whole is seeing a general weeding out of titles (once popular titles like Blender are being shuttered), MMA-specific titles like Fight! Magazine are reaching new sales heights, while other titles like Fighters Only are expanding into the US and new titles like MMA Cage are being planned and launched. With the newsstands bulging with MMA material, the 800lb gorilla may be making their move to enter the market.
Paulo Filho Declines Offer To Join Chute Box
Paulo Filho says he turned down a recent invitation to train with Chute Boxe because he is a "pure" jiu jitsu fighter.
The former WEC middleweight champion was invited to join Chute Boxe by the team's founder Rudimar Fedrigo.
“I feel myself flattered because the Chute Boxe school is very sturdy and has produced athletes like Wanderlei, Anderson Silva, Mauricio Shogun, Murilo Ninja and Rafael Cordeiro among others, so what can I say about a man like [Fedrigo]?" said Filho.
Bellator returns to Connecticut and Florida for Week 11 and Week 12 shows
Bellator Fighting Championships will wrap up its debut season when it returns to Connecticut and Florida for its final Week 11 and Week 12 events.
During Friday's Week 5 event at Hara Arena in Dayton Ohio, Bellator officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) its season-ending shows, which will likely feature the finales of all four of its eight-man tournaments, will be held in familiar venues.
Week 11 will be held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida (home of Week 1), and the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut (home of Week 2) will host the season-ending Week 12 show.
The events take place June 13 and June 20, respectively.
IT IS ALL OVER ... Chuck Liddell Retires!!
DANA WHITE has confirmed Chuck Liddell will never fight in the UFC again.
The former light heavyweight champion suffered his fourth loss in five fights against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 97.
That defeat followed hot on the heels of his brutal UFC 88 knockout loss to Rashad Evans, and UFC president White insists The Iceman’s Octagon career is now over.
Robbie Lawler Will Let His Fists Do The Talking
Never being known as a trash talker is just the reputation that former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler looks to have when getting ready for a fight. He simply lets his fists and feet do the talking for him come fight time.
Much like his match-up in ICON against Frank Trigg when his opponent had a few words for him before the fight, Lawler answered back by winning the fight emphatically with a vicious knockout.
Chris Horodecki to put past behind while preparing for "Fight Force"
For nine-time IFL veteran Chris Horodecki (12-1), the past year has been a series of unfortunate incidents.
His former employer folded. An injury then forced him out of a scheduled bout with Dan Lauzon at January's "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" at the last possible second.
But as "The Polish Hammer" now prepares for a June bout with William Sriyapai (12-4) at "Fight Force: Ultimate Chaos" in Biloxi, Miss., the 21-year-old looks to move on from those setbacks.
Strikeforce: "Diesel" confident against Baroni, but Shields ultimate target
Still one month out from his June 6 Strikeforce showdown with Phil Baroni (13-10) in St. Louis, Joe Riggs (29-10) is ready.
He's ready for Baroni. He's ready to perform. And he's ready for a chance to shut Jake Shields' (22-4-1) mouth.
"I wouldn't be starting this stuff, but as a professional fighter, you get offered to fight someone, you fight them regardless," Riggs recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Unless you have a legitimate reason you don't want to fight them. Then [Shields] is going to say that I'm beneath him? [Expletive] that mother[expletive]."
Randy Couture files for divorce
Yesterday [Apr. 28] Randy Couture served his wife of over two years, Kim Couture, with divorce papers. The news was a shock to those close to the couple and even more to Kim, who pulled out of her televised main event fight due to the devastating news. This marks Randy's third divorce.
Anderson Silva's UFC title contenders stuck in the middle
The fallout of Anderson Silva's (24-4 MMA, 9-0 UFC) two recent dull middleweight title defenses – with the UFC feeling the need to "challenge" him with Forrest Griffin (16-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC), a former light-heavyweight champion with a reputation for exciting fights – has left a slew of viable challengers spinning their wheels.
Right now there are five viable middleweight title contenders, although that number will likely be whittled to three at the end of the summer. With Silva fighting Griffin on Aug. 8, whomever emerges is likely to get a title shot in the fall or winter.