'Cowboy’ up: Donald Cerrone talks Ben Henderson, TapouT House, and of course, Jamie Varner
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has a few choice words for another World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight … and it isn’t his upcoming opponent, Ben Henderson, who he fights for the WEC interim lightweight strap five weeks from now.
As the featured guest on MMAmania.com’s exclusive presentation of Pro MMA Radio, “Cowboy” spent most of his time talking about the only fighter he’s ever lost to — and the man holding the “other” WEC lightweight belt — Jamie Varner.
The Anderson Silva Problem
As Randy Couture might say, Anderson Silva poses some interesting problems. Those problems, however, won't be solved by another fighter in the cage. They'll have to be solved by UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva.
We have quite a few variables at play. One, Silva probably will retire from MMA following the last 3 fights on his contract. At the very least, he will want to explore a boxing match with Roy Jones Jr. Two, he seems to only want big fights. Three, he will not fight Lyoto Machida (or other Black House partners). Four, he wants to take some time off to heal his body.
Sean Salmon Admits to Taking a Dive
In his latest "Full-Time Fighter" column for MMA Junkie, former UFC light heavyweight (and eternal star of Rashad Evans' highlight reel) Sean Salmon makes a rather startling admission regarding his last fight, which took place in Ohio back in June.
Salmon says that he was training with members of the Wolfslair Academy in Cheshire, England, when he flew back to Ohio on June 3rd for a match against WEC veteran Allan Weickert (then with a record of 5-6 to Salmon's 16-7) on June 6th. He was set to return to England on June 7th, provided he emerged from the Weickert bout unscathed.
Bellator Season 2 Delayed, Champs Maybe To Fight Elsewhere
Following the delay of its second season, Bellator Fighting Championships is trying to secure a fight for each of its four champions “in different markets around the world” before the start of 2010. Last month, word leaked that the promotion was pushing back the expected start date of its second season from October to the first quarter of 2010. They claim this is due to scheduling of venues for the promotion's 12 consecutive weeks. Bellator's CEO said he was open to any promotion that offered “the right opportunity,” though he anticipated the champions – featherweight Joe Soto, lightweight Eddie Alvarez, welterweight Lyman Good, and middleweight Hector Lombard – would fight above their natural class if they moonlighted elsewhere.
Neer Replaces Sherk at UFC 104
Josh Neer will replace an injured Sean Sherk in a lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau at UFC 104 on Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, according to a source close to the matchup.
Sherk, 36, suffered a shoulder injury in training that will keep him out of the gym for approximately four weeks, according to his manager Monte Cox. The injury is a setback for the former lightweight champion, who is 1-1 in his last two Octagon appearances since failing to recapture the crown from B.J. Penn at UFC 84 in May 2008.
MMA, Lies and Videotape
by Jordan Breen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In his epic strategy-and-swordsmanship treatise “The Book of Five Rings,” Musashi Miyamoto writes, "You can become a master of strategy by training alone with a sword, so that you can understand the enemy's stratagems, his strength and resources, and come to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies. And you should always watch videotape."
Clearly, Nate Marquardt and Thiago Silva know the martial way.
Although I may have fabricated one of the sentences above, the point remains. No matter how you view MMA -- as pure martial arts, as sport or even as business -- these are all realms where the adage of "know thy enemy" are foundational. Yet, it's only in the very recent past that the concepts of actual strategy and planning have crept into this sport. This is why I am so ecstatic for Marquardt and Silva to have dominated Saturday night. More importantly, it's not that they won but rather how they won.
It took Marquardt just 21 seconds to completely nuke Demian Maia, as he countered an ill-conceived Maia kick with a flush right cross. Instead of tucking his head and keeping his left hand up to protect his chin, Maia's head was rigid and upright, and his left hand aimlessly drifted toward Marquardt's face. The counter was reflexive and instantaneous, because it had already become muscle memory.
"I had watched tape on him and had kind of noticed how he telegraphs when he kicks," Marquardt said at the post-fight presser. "I have a lot of counters for kicks and stuff … . It's crazy how it worked so easily."
It's not that the counter itself was special. It is that Marquardt focused on a specific technical flaw in his opponent, and the instant it appeared, he sent him flying at the canvas forehead-first. Yet for as obvious and effective as this kind of hyper-specific stratagem seems, it is a rarity in this game. Even with major money now at stake, MMA is still a sport where lines like "It's a fight" and "We'll see where it goes" are familiar phraseology.
Just a few months back, Josh Koscheck commented that he never watches his opponents before he fights them and almost seemed to brag that he had no idea what Paulo Thiago looked like. I imagine he might have liked to have at least a gander at some fight tape now. Likewise, talented middleweight Dan Miller admits to not watching his opponents beforehand, but after being completely dominated by a one-dimensional Chael Sonnen for 15 minutes, hopefully he realizes that a bit of time watching tape may have helped him find an opening for a submission against a fighter far less skilled in that department than himself.
Part of the reason these attitudes persist is that MMA is still reliant on crippling generalities. We still discuss the sport in terms of "strikers" and "grapplers" and throw out adjectives like "unorthodox" and "world-class" without much thought to individual skills and technique. However, it isn't 1999 anymore, and fighters have become generally, if not perfectly, well rounded. In 2009, these oversimplifications are lies, as fights are more often won and lost on the very specific and unique wrinkles -- both positive and negative -- in a fighter's game...
Former Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia ready to return to the UFC
Former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia wants to return to the place where he first found major success.
The former two-time title-holder, who left the UFC in early 2008 after mutually agreeing with the organization to terminate his contract, has lost three straight fights, which included an embarrassing nine-second knockout loss to 48-year-old boxer Ray Mercer in June.
UFC Quick Quote: Ben Rothwell hasn’t done nothing … yet
“I embrace the challenge. They offered me the opportunity to be a co-main event against Cain, who’s established himself in the UFC, and I was all for it. I feel like I’ve been paying my dues for a long time, and this is my time…. I’ve been doing this for ten years, and all along, it’s always been about being in the UFC. In ten years, I really feel like I’ve had no accomplishments. It sounds like I’ve done some things, but to me, it’s all been training to come here to the UFC. I know it’s gonna be a great fight because I have a tough opponent like Cain, but I’m gonna show you what you all came to see.”
Demian Maia will train (not complain) following his KO loss to Nate Marquardt
I knew the first loss would come one day because I intend to fight for many years. As a matter of fact, though, it happened in a pretty unexpected manner because I was a little bit casual in the stand-up fight. I repeated two kicks. He got my timing down, and, the third time, he came with a straight punch and knocked me down. At the beginning of the fight, everyone is really strong, and I think the referee was right to stop the fight. I stood up well. I had no damage, and that’s most important … But a punch to the chin, like the one I took at the beginning of the fight, is probably the only defeat you cannot make comments about. I cannot complain about anything. Now, I just have to stand up, train hard and be ready for the next challenge.
Former undefeated submission deity Demian (10-1) gathers himself after a first round knockout loss to middleweight contender Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 on August 29 in Portland. The Brazilian was headed for a possible title shot opposite Anderson Silva until a "Great" knockout punch floored him — and any immediate title opportunities. Fortunately Maia isn’t making any excuses and will use the loss as motivation to come back better than ever.
Time for Leben to go?
The UFC is not a charitable organization. While I'm sure it brings joy to millions of people, the UFC is foremost a business.
But not everyone sees it that way.
A recent article by Cagewriter editor Steve Cofield talks about the recent problems of Chris Leben, saying, "Here's hoping they don't axe him because if he's struggling with some of the demons of the past it might be the worst time ever for UFC to dump him."
Despite some hardcore fans' resistance, Miller declares "Bully Beatdown" a success
This past week saw the second season of "Bully Beatdown," with host Jason "Mayhem" Miller, debut on MTV.
"I was definitely looking forward to – if the show went the way I thought it was going to – to doing a second season," Miller said. "I think the first season kind of came out the way we thought it would, but we saw the room for improvement."
The second season's first episode featured top lightweight fighter Eddie Alvarez and a bully named Brandon. While the format was familiar to anyone who watched an episode of the original season, Miller said he was deeply involved in some of the changes that were made.
"My big thing was we came in and I said, 'Look, man – this beginning part is ridiculous,'" Miller said. "'It's way too crazy because the guy has time. They know that I'm coming, so they have time to make up something ridiculous to say, and it always comes out contrived and fake. It would be better if I just interviewed them with the understood fact that he's already agreed to this. It's way easier that way.'
While DirecTV dropping Versus, DISH Network offering three free months to all subscribers
Not all satellite television users will find themselves without the Versus network.
In fact, DISH Network customers – including existing users and new subscribers – will get Versus, home to World Extreme Cagefighting, for free through Dec. 2.
In an apparent reaction to rival satellite television provider DirecTV's decision to discontinue the broadcast of Versus programming, DISH Network officials today announced the new deal.
Interview With UFC Lightweight Phillipe Nover
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with MMABay and answer a few of our questions:
MMABay - Firstly, you have a big fight coming up in just a few weeks, how’s the preparation going, and how are you feeling in the run up to the fight?
Nover - I feel fantastic. I was notified only 4 weeks out but I'm always in shape and have been training. It is just a matter of tailoring my training for Sam's style. My overall preparation has been almost perfect. Weight is good, no major injuries, lots of team support, and I'm totally focused!
Carwin: Fedor is going to become irrelevant at Strikeforce
UFC heavyweight number one contender, Shane Carwin gave his thoughts on Fedor Emelianenko recently signing with Strikeforce, saying the Russian could have gone down as the greatest of all time but he chose to seek protection, just as he has done in recent years.
When asked about the recent comments made that Strikeforce offers Fedor a better challenge at heavyweight, Carwin scoffed:
Free agent Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal reminds the haters he's just getting started
Less than a year since his professional debut in Sengoku, multi-division prospect Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal is tired of defending his path in the world of MMA.
After a 25-second win over longtime-MMA-veteran Mark Kerr this past Saturday at "M-1 Global presents Breakthrough," Lawal raised his record to 5-0 with four TKO's.
But the 28-year-old told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that it just doesn't seem to be enough for many people he talks to – and Lawal said the UFC's hype machine is partly to blame.
"I guess people think I'm a veteran," Lawal said. "I'm not going to lie. Mark Kerr wasn't top competition. But my knee wasn't 100 percent. I told everybody I was 100 percent. Every fighter says they're 100 percent. I wasn't 100 percent, but I took the fight.