Georges St. Pierre Named One of the Most Overhyped Athletes of 2011
Georges St. Pierre may be one of the top draws in the UFC, but he has not been immune from criticism as of late for his risk-averse style while Anderson Silva and Jon Jones continue to finish opponents with flash. Now, sidelined for the rest of 2011 and much (if not all) of 2012, it appears that St. Pierre's time being thought of as one of the two most elite fighters in the sport may be over.
St. Pierre's 2011 campaign and inability to get a stoppage win since early 2008 has him on Perry Lefko's list of the most overhyped athletes of 2011 at Sportsnet.ca:
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said in December 2011 that St-Pierre is still the most popular athlete in Canada in terms of his international recognition -- we're not so sure about that -- but the welterweight champion is sidelined indefinitely with damaged knee ligaments. And even before his injury, St-Pierre was taking verbal shots from the public, the media and fighters for his inability to put away opponents.
He grabbed the international spotlight in April for headlining the first UFC card in Toronto, producing GSP mania. A record UFC crowd of more than 55,000 packed the Rogers Centre to finally see the conquering Canadian hero and he went the full five rounds with Jake Shields in what was more of a clinic on how not to lose a fight than actually win it.
Yes, GSP had problems seeing out of one eye because of a shot in the fight, but we've seen fighters with far bigger issues turn it up a notch. It was boring at best and continued a pattern of St-Pierre going the full distance without delivering the knockout blow or submission. Heck, the fight before it on the card was way more entertaining than the main event.
Following risky move, Chicago MMA fighter paralyzed in amateur bout
This past Saturday at an MMA event in Joliet, Ill., 20-year-old amateur fighter Jeff Dunbar was stuck in a bad way.
In the ninth of 11 scheduled fights at a Dec. 17 Fight Card Entertainment event, fellow fighter Rudy Bahena clung to Dunbar's back, torqued a standing rear-naked choke, and had his opponent desperate enough to try the unthinkable.
Believing to be out of better options, Dunbar dove forward, hoping he could spike Bahena into the canvas. It was an ill-fated decision – one that's now cost Dunbar the use of his limbs and forever changed his life.
Jon Jones Receives No AP Athlete of the Year Votes
Despite having what many (including myself) feel is, without a doubt, the greatest year in the history of mixed martial arts, Jon Jones did not receive a single vote in the AP vote for Athlete of the Year. To Mike Chiapetta of MMA Fighting, this was proof that it is the mainstream that needs to catch up to MMA, not vice versa.
From the article:
I'm not arguing that Jones should have won the award. The winner, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, had an amazing calendar year. He won the Super Bowl, led his team to a 19-game win streak and has them in position to possibly repeat. Runner-up Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won both the American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards, the first pitcher to do that in 27 years. Third-place went to tennis star Novak Djokovic, who won 10 tournaments -- including three majors -- and finished the year with an exceptional 70-6 record.
Jones, MMA Fighting's Fighter of the Year, had arguably the best calendar year in MMA history, winning four matches overall, defeating three former UFC champions and becoming the youngest title holder in UFC history. He wasn't exactly invisible doing it, either. He was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and on the day of his title win, helped thwart a robbery, an act that resulted in major national attention.
If a boxer like Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather put together a year like that, you better believe that they would have earned votes.
But because Jones fights in a cage instead of a ring, his accomplishments go unappreciated and unrecognized. It's not like this was a small sample size; 212 alleged experts in sports cast ballots for the award.
The problem with saying this is an example of a larger ignorance of MMA is that to vote for Jones meant that the voters would have had to have not voted for who they truly felt was deserving of the award. Yes, maybe some (most) of the voters are ignorant of MMA, but would more information have caused them to vote for Jones over Rogers? Is a courtesy vote really that important?
Man Dies After Online Sparring Challenge
If you spend time at MMA forums for any length of time you'll see people challenging others to get together and spar or even looking for people to spar with just "for practice." While most of these are just guys spouting nonsense because that's half of the reason the internet exists, there are times where the people involved are serious and it can lead to dangerous situations.
Investigators are looking into the death of a Chicago man who died after a two-day series of sparring matches with a Vancouver man he met in an online chat room.
Salvador Flamenco, 38, came to Vancouver on Dec. 15 after arranging the fights with the unidentified Vancouver resident through a website, www.allfighters.com, said Sgt. Scott Creager of the Vancouver Police Department. The pair decided to spar at the Vancouver man's home.
The two men fought that day and the next, but after the second day of boxing, Flamenco started complaining of dizziness and nausea, Creager said. The symptoms became more severe and by the time paramedics arrived, Flamenco had begun losing consciousness.
After an autopsy, the Clark County Medical Examiner's Office said Flamenco died of blunt-force injuries and ruled the death a homicide, prompting an investigation by police.
Chael Sonnen 'Done With Anderson Silva', Wants GSP, Jon Jones, dos Santos Next
On Friday, Chael Sonnen returns to the program he walked off last month, claiming he is done with Anderson Silva and after his fight on January 28th with Mark Munoz, he wants either Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones or Junior dos Santos in a title match next.
Sonnen will appear on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg at 5 PM EST and a preview clip released today has the top middleweight claiming his pursuit of the current UFC Middleweight Champion is over.
"I'm done with the guy. He and I have no business. He's cold product. He's like jheri curls and Pepsi Clear. He's yesterday's news. I destroyed this guy back when he was tough. That was years ago. He's so far over the hill and so far past his prime that it's not worth talking about.
I'm going to become the No. 1 contender on January 28th and despite what you may think, I'm not going to use that voucher to fight Anderson Silva. I'll be looking at (Jon) Jones, (Junior) dos Santos and possibly (Georges) St. Pierre. I will take that voucher to Dana White and pick one of those three guys. My time with Anderson is done."
Glover Teixeira visa issues fixed
Glover Teixeira finally got a visa to fight in the U.S.. After months of waiting, the light heavyweight granted permission to enter the country and its destination should be the UFC.
"I knew that the visa should leave, but the interview was scheduled for today. All went well and my passport arrives 10 days with a visa, "he said," I'm very close to signing with the UFC. In fact they called me to fight in the UFC against Fabio Maldonado Rio, but I'm a hand injury and did not have time to train. Ed Smith talked to Joe Silva, who told me to rest assured that my place in the UFC would be guaranteed. In the coming weeks, I will meet with them and sign, everything is well underway. "
Glover explained his injury and revealed that hopes to fight in the first quarter of 2012.
"I hope my next fight is already in the UFC in February or March," he said, "I hurt in the fight against Ricco Rodriguez. My hand injury is not serious, it is only in cartilage, but bothers. So I'm trying not to be always bothering me about it. I think here about 20 days I can train, but I'm doing physical conditioning and everything else. I just can not punch, because it is precisely the part that bothers."
Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope slated for UFC 143 in Las Vegas
A welterweight bout between Matt Brown (12-11 MMA, 5-5 UFC) and Chris Cope (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been added to February's UFC 143 event.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC 143 takes place on the eve of the NFL's Super Bowl, Feb. 4, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The night's main card airs on pay-per-view. However, Brown vs. Cope is expected to be part of the preliminary card, which is expected to air on FX.
Nogueira explains why he didn’t knock Mir out.
After having the wino n his hands and wasting it trying to choke Frank Mira t UFC 140, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had to pay a high price, since he was submitted with a kimura and broke his arm. The defeat might have been one of the most painful ones on the legend’s career, due to the way it happened, since Mir was the first one to ever knock the Brazilian out, and now the first to submit Rodrigo. On his official website, the tough guy talked about what happened and tried to explain it to his fans.
UFC on FOX 2's Munoz: Cancel security detail, Sonnen won't be fighting in Brazil.
It should have happened. It hasn't happened. It'll eventually happen.
The rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen is fait accompli in the eyes of many fans and pundits, and Mark Munoz knows it.
But if he has anything to say about it, Brazil's public enemy No. 1 will never get the opportunity to travel south of the equator to fight Silva on his home turf, where a mid-2012 event is possible for his return.
Rankings: Jones’ stunning rise in 2011.
At this time last year, Jon Jones was considered a bright prospect, but one who still had a ways to go before he could be considered a truly elite fighter. In the December 2010 Yahoo! Sports pound-for-pound Top 10 poll, Jones fell squarely in the “votes for others” category, with just four points.
‘Tractor’ Oliveira Injured, Out of UFC on FX 1
Despite originally receiving clearance to compete at UFC on FX 1, it appears Rafaello Oliveira has withdrawn from his bout with Reza Madadi due to a nagging hand injury.
Oliveira revealed his situation via Twitter Thursday, announcing that he will not compete Jan. 20 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
“Guys, unhappily I won't be able to fight [in] Nashville,” Oliveira wrote. “My hand still hurts a lot. I was really looking forward to [fighting in] my state.”
Dan Hardy wants to 'smash' Matt Hughes
The Brit currently does not have an opponent nor date, but he is targeting late Spring for his next fight. Top of his list of opponents would be the legendary Matt Hughes, and Hardy revealed he has already alerted the UFC to the potential fight.
"I've mentioned Matt Hughes to Lorenzo [Fertitta]," Hardy told ESPN. "He's been on a rough streak as well recently, he'll look at me and see I've lost four fights and think he can outwrestle me.
"I also genuinely don't like him. I need a fight to get up for and I'd take great pleasure in smashing him in the face. I won't talk about why I don't like him, it's some knowledge I have about him away from the sport. Even students around where he lives bet against him."
UFC signs undefeated Azamat Gashimov
MMADieHards.com has learned that russian prospect Azamat Gashimov to the UFC
Azamat has a record of 7-0 with six impressive finishes with his latest being an armbar submission victory over Azay Mamedov at Tsumada Fighting Championships 5.
Samuel Kardan, a V.P at MVC Sports Management who is also the President of KDojo MMA told MMADieHards.com, “I am very proud to work with Michael Constantino to continue to bring Russian talent to the UFC & Strikeforce.”
'Superior Cage Combat 4: Grove vs. Silva' set for Feb. 16 in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas-based Superior Cage Combat promotion returns to action in February, and UFC veterans Kendall Grove (13-9) and Jay Silva (7-4) headline the event.
Promotion officials recently announced that "SCC 4: Grove vs. Silva" takes place Feb. 16 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Additionally, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that verbal agreements are in place for a handful of other bouts including Justin Buchholz (12-6) vs. John Gunderson (32-12-2), Jamie Yager (5-2) vs. Danny Davis Jr. (6-5-1) and Jimmy Jones (3-0) vs. Joao Victor (2-0).
Grove, the 2006 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 3,"was released from the UFC following a UFC 130 loss to Tim Boetsch, dropping "Da Spyder's" octagon record to 8-6. The 6-foot-6 middleweight has since submitted Joe Riggs at ProElite 1 is also scheduled to face Ikuhisa Minowa at ProElite 3 on Jan. 21.
Think Brock Lesnar Can't Take a Punch? He Begs to Differ
As isolated as Brock Lesnar is in his Minnesota training camp, and as successfully as he manages to avoid the internet most of the time, some criticisms still find their way out of the petri dish of MMA and into the former UFC champ's world. But as he told me when I spoke to him for a Sports Illustrated story this week, the key is not so much in avoiding those criticisms entirely, but rather in knowing what to make of them once they get there.
For instance, take the oft-repeated claim that Lesnar can't take a punch.
"I think it's a bunch of bulls---," Lesnar said. "The fights that I've gotten hit, I've stood and banged with Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Frank Mir -- I've taken a lot of shots. I mean, Shane Carwin. And I've yet to be knocked out. I had refs stop a fight for a submission and a TKO, which is a referee stoppage. I've never been knocked out cold."
Ishii, Monson Fights Represent the Last Phase of Fedor's Career
The best heavyweight in MMA history will make his return to the ring on New Year's Eve in Japan, when Fedor Emelianenko faces the former Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii, and the fan reaction to that fight has been decidedly mixed.
On one hand, you have fans who loved seeing Fedor's glory days in Pride who figure that there's nothing wrong with seeing him back in Japan on New Year's Eve, which was once an annual tradition. On the other hand, you have fans who are disappointed that Fedor won't be facing a high-level opponent, as Ishii is just 4-1-1 in his MMA career and doesn't have anything close to the kind of MMA resume that Fedor has.