Unsafe Amateurs: The Need for a Federal Overhaul
The mark of any mainstream sport is the bifurcation of its amateur and professional ranks. How many of us remember Adrian Peterson rushing for almost 2,000 yards as a true freshman at the University of Oklahoma, a feat he is currently on track to complete for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings? Tiger Woods cleaned up on golf’s amateur circuit before hitting a record under par at his first major championship victory at the Masters in 1997. Amateur sports allow fans to see the growth and maturation of their favorite athletes. It is a rich tradition that in theory allows athletes to hone their skills absent the economic minutia of professional sports.
Mixed martial arts wants to be considered a mainstream sport. Even its combat sports sibling, boxing, has lauded amateur competitions such as the Golden Gloves and the Olympics. Because of this, many think amateur MMA is a worthy endeavor. The view of amateur MMA is that it affords up-and-coming fighters the same benefits of typical amateur competition: more rules, greater margin for error, increased parity and an overall better environment to hone one’s craft. Closer examination of the rules and how the events are in practice, however, reveals that amateur MMA is a costly endeavor for the fighters involved.
Like professional MMA, there is no nationwide governing body that regulates amateur MMA. Unlike professional MMA, however, a unified rules system for amateur events has not gained major traction. Individual state athletic commissions are the arbiters on how MMA is run within their jurisdictions. Some states have their own rules, some states have adopted the Association of Boxing Commissions’ amateur MMA rules and some states have exercised zero oversight.
Evans explains accepting Lil' Nog fight at UFC 156
It's been a while since we last saw Rashad Evans, a crushing unanimous decision loss to his former teammate and training partner Jon Jones back in April at UFC 145. The loss was such that fans wondered what would be next for the former 205-pound champion. A drop to middleweight perhaps?
Instead, "Suga" accepted a bout against the always game Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 on Feb. 2, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada. That seems like a risky fight against a guy with little name value but Evans told MMACanadaTV it made sense to him.
"Little Nog is trying to break into the top echelon of fighters and deservedly so. He's a tough competitor, he has a lot of experience, and he's been doing this for a long time. The UFC came to my manager and they wanted to put the fight together. I haven't fought in a long time and I'm coming off a loss, so this made sense to me.
"He's a really good boxer, a good counter boxer. But I'm faster. I'm quick. I think (speed will be my big advantage). Besides, I think I'm better looking too.
"He has good stand up. His boxing is pretty good, one of the best in the weight class. Also his ground, he has a really good ground game so I gotta be aware of the ground."
Pic: Forrest Griffin's knee that knocked him out of UFC 155 Phil Davis fight
Well this is disgusting.
Forrest Griffin was all set to return to action at the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) annual year-end event, UFC 155: "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2" on Sat., Dec. 29, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Then, he hurt his knee in training and was forced to pull out.
These things happen in MMA but normally we aren't privy to the gruesome images of it. And this one is nasty, coming by way of Forrest's Twitter account with the following message:
"This is what you get for Christmas when your (sic) naughty."
Kazuo Misaki goes out swinging, Kazuyuki Miyata dominates at DEEP 'Haleo Impact'
TOKYO -- After 12 years and nearly 40 fights, Japanese fan-favorite Kazuo Misaki said farewell to the ring Saturday in front of a packed Korakuen Hall at Deep “Haleo Impact.”
In his final appearance, Misaki took on teammate and close friend Akihiro Gono in an exhibition kickboxing match. The bout began with shin-guards, but Misaki removed his before the second round and directed Gono to do the same. The two friends brawled for two rounds and embraced one another in tears after the final bell.
“I fought 40 fights over 12 years. What I learned from all of that was two important things: the terms ‘thank you’ and ‘challenge,’” Misaki told the crowd before giving thanks to his teammates, family and fans, bowing out with tear-filled eyes.
Misaki’s career saw him win the 2006 Pride Welterweight Grand Prix and includes notable wins over Dan Henderson, Denis Kang and most recently, Paul Daley.
Victory over Okami Is Alan Belcher's Next Step Towards a Title Shot
Over the past few years the UFC middleweight picture has become chaotic. With reigning king Anderson Silva still holding court, the race to become next in line has been a storm of trash-talk, hype, and public posturing, as the weight class' best fighters have jockeyed for divisional position.
The formula has provided short-term gains for some, but success for none, as no contender has been able to dethrone the champion.
As these various scenarios have played out, Alan Belcher has simply been handling his business and dispatching of everything thrown his way.
Eddie Wineland looks to be in title contention if he can beat man in mirror
Although nobody is saying anything, if you look at an overview of the UFC's bantamweight division, Eddie Wineland may be one step away from a shot at gold for the second time.
But unlike the first time he was champion, if he gets there this time, people will know about it.
Wineland (19-8-1), the first-ever WEC bantamweight champion, faces Brad "One Punch" Pickett (22-6) on the FX prelims at UFC 155 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
UFC 157's Dan Henderson 'perfectly fine' with women taking top billing
Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is "perfectly fine" playing second fiddle at UFC 157.
The veteran fighter and de facto top light-heavyweight contender meets former champ Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in the co-headliner of the February event.
In the headlining spot is the UFC's first-ever women's fight: newly crowned bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Liz Carmouche (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
Bellator 87 official for Michigan on Jan. 31, features lightweight tourney
Bellator Fighting Championships' Season 8 lightweight tournament kicks off Jan. 31, as the promotion returns to Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., for Bellator 87.
Bellator executives today officially announced the event, and tickets – which range from just $20 to $65 – are on sale now. Bellator first visited the venue this past November for Bellator 82.
Nova Uniao boss talks 'dream come true,' predicts Jose Aldo to lightweight
The crown jewel of the camp right now is unquestionably Aldo, who is considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and currently boasts an impressive 14-fight win streak. Just 26 years old, Aldo fights again in February, when he takes on former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 156 in Las Vegas. It will be Aldo's first fight in nearly 13 months after injury forced him to the sidelines for much of 2012. During that time, Aldo has continued to grow, and while he'll look for a fourth defense of his 145-pound title in the bout with Edgar, Pederneiras said his fighter is intent on a move to 155 pounds.
Tim Kennedy: Are you guys fighters, or are you just a bunch of little vaginas?
Stephie Daniels: You recently tweeted your irritation about the mass exodus of fighters from this card. What's your take on the whole situation? Do you think the injuries are real?
Tim Kennedy: Well, I don't know. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. It's pathetic and convenient for every single marquee fighter in all of Strikeforce, that we all know to be going over to the UFC, are pulling out of their fights, two weeks before the final card. It's like, are you guys fighters, or are you just a bunch of little vaginas?
Joey Beltran wants to fight at UFC 157 in Anaheim, calls out Forrest Griffin
Just days after his latest victory, Joey Beltran is already hoping to hurry up and get back inside the Octagon at UFC 157. And he's got a former champion in mind for his next opponent.
Despite the fact that he competed on the UFC on FX 6: "Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson" card that took place on Fri., Dec. 14, 2012, in Gold Coast, Australia, Joey Beltran is hoping to get back inside the Octagon in just a two months.
"The Mexicutioner" told Bloody Elbow he's hoping to fight at UFC 157: "Rousey vs. Carmouche" on Feb. 23, 2013, in Anaheim, California, and he's got a big name in mind.
"At this point, I don't care who I fight, but I want to be on that Anaheim card in February. I know it's a quick turn around, but I don't have a scratch on me. I'm ready to rock and I want to fight on that show. I'll fight Ronda Rousey right now [laughs]. I would have to go on the website, because I don't even know who's available. Is Maldonado available? I think that would be a great fight. Forrest Griffin, meet me in Anaheim. You heard it here first [laughs]. Meet me in Anaheim, brother! Honestly, I'll have to figure something out. It's only two months away, but I'm ready right now. I'll be ready to rock."
Strikeforce lightweight Bobby Green meets Jacob Volkmann at UFC 156
Five-time Strikeforce veteran Bobby Green (19-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his octagon debut at February's UFC 156 event against nine-time UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann (15-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC).
USA TODAY Sports today learned from sources close to the fighters that both athletes have verbally agreed to the matchup and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Fuel TV to be re-branded as Fox Sports 2, How will UFC programming be affected?
Fuel TV, which regularly hosts UFC programming and events, will be making a drastic change in 2013. They haven't been available to many households, but as part of the Fox network, Fuel will soon be re-branded as "Fox Sports 2". Here's Dave Meltzer over at F4WOnline.com talking about the change:
"In what has not been announced but will affect the future of UFC on television, it is believed that Fuel TV will be rebranded as Fox Sports 2. Fox Sports 1 will be the rebranding of what is now The Speed Channel. Sports Business Journal reported that an announcement of the new name for Fuel should come early next year, with a target date of the actual change being in August."
Strikeforce import Caros Fodor meets Sam Stout at UFC 157
Yet another Strikeforce fighter has been booked for his UFC debut as six-time Strikeforce veteran Caros Fodor (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Sam Stout (18-8-1 MMA, 7-7 UFC) at UFC 157.
The bout was first reported by The Canadian Press' Neil Davidson and later confirmed by UFC officials.
UFC 157 takes place Feb. 23 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and features a main event women's bantamweight title fight between champ Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Fodor vs. Stout is expected to take place in the evening's preliminary card.