Boxing In MMA's Shadow
Observers would scoff at MMA's chances of succeeding boxing only a few years ago. The masses, they said, would never tolerate the ground game. Boxing would remain our premier combat sport, and fighters like Toney and Mayweather would never bother to even comment on the variation.
That scenario is changing rapidly, thanks in large part to the free-fight industry refusing to let people wander around with bovine complacency in the matter. National television exposure has altered everything. At the height of the UFC's old-school popularity, a quarter-million pay-per-views were sold; today, that number can exceed one million, despite the increased distractions available via the iPod, the Internet, and a 500-channel cable universe.
THE LONG-AWAITED RETURN OF JAKE SHIELDS
2006 was a bittersweet year for Jake Shields. After winning the Rumble on the Rock 175-pound tournament in April, Jake only fought one other time the rest of the year, mired in fight cancellations and promotions falling through.
After the frustrations Shields faced last year, things appear to be headed upwards for him after signing a deal with EliteXC and participating in Season 3 of BodogFight on ION Television, which debuted this past Tuesday night.
“The fight went pretty well for me,” said Jake of his 90-second win over tough Ray Stienbeiss. “I just came in, threw a kick, shot in, took a single [leg], passed guard and went to mount. I landed a few punches and somehow he rolled out of mount, so I just hopped right to a headlock and jumped to a guillotine and finished it.”
For Shields, fighting in BodogFight presented its own unique conundrum with the reality television format the show uses, meaning Jake had to wait months before being able to talk about the win.
“It’s hard because you go out and fight, you come back and all your friends want to know about it, but you’re not supposed to talk about it,” explained Shields. “So that’s really weird, and then they show it two months later and everyone’s congratulating you. [Laughs] So it’s kind of unusual, but not too bad.”
PANCRASE 2007 RISING TOUR
Event date: Friday, April 27th, 2007
Doors Open: 18:00, fights start at 19:00
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo Japan
Featherweight: Yoshiro Maeda (Japan/Pancrase Inagaki-gumi) vs. Danny Batten (U.K./Bodog)
Welterweight: Koji Oishi (Japan/Pancrase-ism) vs. Katsuya Inoue (Japan/WK Tokyo)
Middleweight: Hikaru Sato (Japan/Pancrase-ism) vs. Bryan Rafiq (France/Team Jucao/Bodog)
Middleweight: Izuru Takeuchi (Japan/SK Absolute/BodogFIGHT) vs. Daisuke Watanabe (Japan/Pancrase-ism)
Middleweight: Yuji Hisamatsu (Japan/Wajiu-tsu Keishu-kai Tiger Place) vs. Fabio Nascimento (Brazil/No Limits/Team Oyama/Bodog)
Featherweight: Miki Shida (Japan/Pancrase P's LAB) vs. Manabu Inoue (Japan/U.W.F. Snake Pit Japan)
Welterweight: Takuya Wada (Japan/SK Absolute/Bodog) vs. Keitaro Yamada (Japan/Team Junkiey)
Welterweight: Yukio Sakaguchi (Japan/Team Sakaguchi) vs. Choi Hyungsuk (Korea/Team Tackle)
Lightweight: Kenji Takeshige (Japan/Pancrase Inagaki-gumi) vs. Shoji (Japan/K.I.B.A.)
Has the Pitbull lost his bite?
I miss the old Andrei Arlovski.
You know the guy. He was the one who dropped and submitted Tim Sylvia, knocked the snot out of Paul Buentello and destroyed Justin Eilers, Ian Freeman and Vladimir Matyushenko in less time than it takes to down a cup of coffee. That Arlovski, complete with fang-enhanced mouthpiece, his own theme song and a coat of hair that would make a polar bear proud, embodied what's compelling about MMA and was a dude worth watching.
BUDWEISER EVENTS CENTER ANNOUNCES KICK DOWN 37: "LIGHTS OUT
Loveland, CO - Ultimate style fighting will return to the Budweiser Events Center on Saturday, May 12th at 7:30 p.m. Colorado based promoter, Kick Down will present the 37th installment, Lights Out. The event will feature mixed martial arts and up to16 action packed bouts.
White: Let's Make TUF: UK Edition
UFC President Dana White wants a U.K. version of "The Ultimate Fighter," reports UFC Junkie.
"I’m talking with [Bravo channel honcho] David Clarke about TUF U.K. right now," White told a post-UFC 70 press conference. "I’ve been talking to him all night about it. Hear that David Clarke? Let’s close this deal and quit screwing around."
Bravo, which broadcasts UFC programming to the U.K., isn't related to the American cable channel of the same name.
In past seasons, British fighters like Michael Bisping have flown to America to appear on the show.
The sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter starts taping next month and will air this fall.
Kenny Florian presents: MMA Summit 2007
Fresh of his impressive victory over Dokonjonosuke Mishima, UFC Fighter Kenny Florian and his coaching team will present the MMA Summit, a full day of MMA instruction, inspiration and fun on Saturday, April 28th at United States Mixed Martial Arts (USMMA) located in Bellingham, MA.
Jefferson Tank signed for three fight with Elite XC
Living in Rio de Janeiro for the last three months, the Brazilian Top Team reinforcement has already faced Ernesto Hoost, at K-1 Saitama GP, in 2003 (lost by knockout), and has been overjoyed with his new habitat and his MMA preparations for his Elite XC debut, on June 2.
Ninja and Shogun in Germany
Satisfied with his win over Alex Reid at Cage Rage 21, last Saturday, Murilo Ninja will show a bit of what he knows to those that show up on Sunday, the 29th, at a seminar he will give alongside his brother Mauricio Shogun at the Akxebjj Munich gym, in Munich, Germany.
The seminar marks the inauguration of one of the biggest and best structured training centers in Europe and the biggest in Germany. The price for those interested is 60 Euros and more information can be attained from Marcelo Cutback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doctor analyses Cro Cop’s fall
To the director of the department of medicine and physiotherapy of CBLA, Fabio Périssé, who watched the fight live on television, the UFC fighter could end up on ice from three to six months. “I would like to have seen the way he walked away from the octagon, or the way he stood up. I can't say with 100% surety, but I don’t think anything too serious happened with his leg, maybe just a slight twist of the ankle. The main problem I took note of was his right knee. From the way he fell, there is a great risk that he injured his ACL and meniscus,” said Fabio.
“There is a chance, of course, that he is gifted with great flexibility, but I believe he actually tore those ligaments. If he truly suffered a tear to the ACL and decides to operate, which would be the ideal treatment, he will not fight for six months,” said the physiotherapist in his verdict. “If he decides not to operate and to take the conservative approach, which would be less advisable, he could end up not fighting for three to four months."
Potential GSP vs. Koscheck bout gaining steam
UFCJunkie.com was the first to report last week on the likelihood of a future welterweight bout between Josh Koscheck vs. Georges St. Pierre. The initial report is gaining steam, as a new article on The Fight Network has a quote from Dana White saying the match is likely.
Here's what The Fight Network said:
"White announced that Serra will join Matt Hughes as a competing coach on the next season of Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series – which begins shooting this Spring for a Fall broadcast - and predicted that St. Pierre would likely face Josh Koscheck in the interim. TUF 6 will culminate with the two coaches squaring off against each other in a title fight some time near the end of the year."
You can check out the entire column, "The Great Fight North" at:
Possible changes to next WEC card
According to the rumors section of MMAWeekly.com, it appears there could be some changes to the WEC's next card on May 12.
The original main event was lightweight champion "Razor" Rob McCullough vs. Rich Crunkilton for the title. The new listed main event on MMAWeekly.com is Crunkilton vs. UFC fighter Jamie Varner (Varner is also scheduled to face Jorge Gurgel at UFC 72 in June, but that could be scrapped).
Also, MMAWeekly.com lists Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Hiromitsu Miura for the May 12 WEC card. While the WEC has not confirmed the addition of Miller to their roster, the Wrestling Observer also reported that Miller will be fighting for the WEC 5/12.
Miller is without question one of the top fighters in the world not fighting in a major organization right now. He's fought once in the UFC, losing to Georges St. Pierre. In addition to being an exciting fighter, Miller is charismatic and has the potential to be a huge star. He already has a large cult following, but he has what it takes to become big time with the mainstream.
Five Ounces of Pain: Parity in MMA is good for growth
Many diehard MMA fans around the world have suddenly been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following upsets at UFC 69 and UFC 70.
The upsets have also created heated debate within the MMA community as to whether parity is good for the sport, or if the lack of dynasties could cause MMA's popularity growth to plateau.
My initial reaction while perusing Internet message boards following Cro Cop's loss was, why is this even an argument?
Parity in MMA is good.
No, scratch that.
Parity in MMA is great!
statement by gonzaga
I choose the Editor-in-Chief of PuroresuPower.com (Zach Arnold) and the Brazilian Correspondent of ADCC News (Denis Martins) to publish my letter, because they are the people who looked deeply into the problems I had prior to my UFC 56 fight. They knew that I wasn’t 100% going into the fight, so they gave me the support to translate this letter from Portuguese to English and explain the situation.
I would like to say that debuting in an event such as the great UFC 56 show isn’t an easy task for a fighter, even fighters who have lots of experience in other organizations. The pressure of debuting in an event that is considered by many to be one of the best in the world is huge. It is always good to debut with a victory, and better with a KO like the one I delivered to Kevin “The Shaman” Jordan.
My lack of stamina in the fight against Jordan is something that I want to discuss further and give you an explanation about. People who know me and have seen my previous 5 MMA fights recognize me as a fighter who doesn’t like to stall. I like to trade blows or go for submissions for an entire fight. My only defeat in a fight was against PRIDE fighter Fabricio Werdum at Jungle FC 1. It was a three-round war that the crowd applauded us for. I always do a lot of strong pre-fight training for upcoming matches and I never expect to face a tomato can in fights. I always intend on showing my best game, no matter who the opponent is. I always will dash against who is in front of me with all of my strength.
When my fight partner Marcio showed me the UFC contract, I didn’t hesitate in signing it because UFC was always a dream for me, a dream to participate in this premiere American MMA organization. I signed it and I had two months to prepare, which is enough time to provide an excellent showing for the UFC fans. I moved from my residence of Sao Paulo, Brazil to Massachusetts to participate at the training center where all of my preparation was done for the UFC 56 fight against Jordan. However, destiny conspired against me and gave me some unpleasant surprises which totally put me down. My wife was five months pregnant with twins and these would be our first two kids. We discovered that one of the children nearly died and that the other child was at risk of dying, putting my wife’s life at risk as well. We moved immediately to Rio de Janeiro, where we would have more hospital support and the support of my wife’s parents. The situation was growing more desparate and I couldn’t let my wife be alone in this tough moment. With seven months of pregnancy gone by, we had to make an emergency child birth. God reserved a place on his side to one of my daughters (Leticia) and he gave us the gift of a beautiful girl named Isabela (who stayed in the incubator for a month and five days to gain some weight). Now she is at home with my wife and I thank God for it.
With all of this taking place, I arrived in Massachusetts 12 days prior to the UFC 56 fight and I didn’t have the time to prepare properly. I couldn’t tell the organizers and promoters of UFC (who trusted my potential) that I would have to cancel 10 days before the show. I couldn’t let this opportunity of showing my talent to the UFC fans slip away.
I went into the fight against Jordan that night thinking that I had a good first round because I took him down, got the mount, and nearly submitted him by choke. Plus, I had some hits that landed and connected. However, I really gassed out in the second and third rounds, but I ended the fight with a beautiful KO.
I would like to thank all of you who supported me and gave me enough strength after the fight. To those who criticized me during and after the fight, I can tell you all that I am not displeased with that. All the fans have their reasons for criticism because they expected more from me and I didn’t show it. I will talk from the bottom of my heart and the next opportunity I get, I will show 100% of my technique and will-power to erase the bad image that I showed from the UFC 56 fight. I am sure that the UFC fans will applaud me after I provide them a show that they deserve to see. I will show technique on the ground and on the feet. And a lot of heart!
I will be prepared for a war the next time and fight with my strength, whether it is 3 rounds or 5 rounds if necessary. I do not have any fear of talking about my desire to win a UFC belt and I will show it for the fans in my next fight. Be sure of my words above — you can see it in me the next time I fight.
Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga
Revisiting PRIDE vs. UFC
There used to be a line of thinking considered conventional wisdom among hardcore fans of mixed martial arts, which went something like this:
PRIDE is the greatest fighting force known to mankind. The worst heavyweight in PRIDE could wear a blindfold and beat the best UFC heavyweight. Anyone who disagrees with this clearly just started watching the sport and doesn't know what they're talking about.
These lines were repeated with a level of obsession usually only found at Star Trek conventions, and were uttered so often they were almost universally accepted as true.
And they even might have been true, as recently as a couple years ago. But not today.
Matches between fighters traditionally associated with PRIDE against fighters traditionally associated with UFC have been ongoing for several months, and, well, the results haven't been pretty:
5 Questions with Calvin Ayre (Bodog owner)
1. What does BodogFight offer fans of mixed martial arts that the competitors - UFC, PRIDE, Elite XC, IFL - does not?
Our ultimate goal is to raise the profile of the sport in every geographic region around the world. One of the ways we are going about that is by utilizing exotic locations, which sets us apart from what other organizations are doing. Costa Rica and St. Petersburg, for example, not only provided us with beautiful backdrops for filming, they also provided our fighters with a unique experience they just cannot get with any other MMA promotion. Certainly, the success of these two shoots reinforces our view that we should continue to make use of such exotic locations in the future. We see this as a critical component of how Bodog Fight will differentiate itself. Stay tuned, because you never know where we are going to be next!
2. Can you explain what you intend to accomplish with your partnership with Elite XC, Strikeforce, Cage Rage and Spirit MC?
Our mandate is to try and grow the sport and build the MMA community, so we're open to working with anyone who shares this vision.
3. Can you tell us more about season 3 of BodogFight?
I believe our third season marks another gigantic leap in both the quality of our production and the quality of the fights themselves. It was no small task, though, shooting more than thirty fights in just three days. No one has ever really tried that before, and it's a testament to our talented crew that we were not only able to pull it off, but able to really raise the bar in doing so. As mentioned, the fights were all outstanding, as was the commentary team, which includes the legendary Royce Gracie.
4. BodogFight has been one of the few promotions outside of Japan to feature female fights. Do you think America is ready for that?
Bringing female MMA to the world audience is something which certainly differentiates Bodog Fight from other organizations and is something we take great pride in. Our female roster includes several of the world's top ranked athletes, such as Amanda Buckner and Tara LaRosa. Whether America is ready for Female mixed martial arts is a topic of considerable debate; what I can say is that ratings for our female Bodog Fight episodes have been some of our highest yet, and rightly so, as their bouts have been among our most entertaining and action packed. There's no question that there's tremendous potential for growth in the women's fight game right now, and we are very proud to be leading the way.
5. When can those of us with DirecTV expect to watch BodogFight on PPV?
Soon I hope. We are constantly negotiating with television networks and international carriers to air the Bodog Fight series and new outlets are consistently being added. DirecTV is certainly on the list of carriers we wish to associate with in the future.
More on Bodog Season 3 cast members
When I interviewed Mike Brown I asked him who is the best pure wrestler in MMA. Did he say Lindland? Couture? Brock Lesnar? None of the above. His choice was Brad "One Punch" Pickett. And courtesy a press release from Bodog, we learn more about that standout wrestler and other members of this very talented cast