From the cozy confines of the Abe-Ani Combat Club, on the top floor of Gold’s Gym South Tokyo Annex in Tokyo’s Ota ward, Hiroyuki Abe and company are busy at work raising a formidable -- albeit adorable -- army of little grapplers, ages 4 to 14.
It is truly a thing of wonder to have a 5-year-old shoot in on you for a double-leg takedown, and then doggedly switch to dragging you down with the single when you prove too heavy. The next surprise comes when scrambling to all fours, said 5-year-old quickly breaks you down limb by limb until it’s easier to roll you for the pin.
That a majority of these youngsters have honed these particular skills to the point of reflexivity, regardless of their opponent’s size or age, speaks to the fact that Abe has successfully bred Japan’s next generation of wrestlers, some of whom are already national champions looking to take over the combat sports world in just a few years.
Take a break from the all the stress of looking at Dana white, fighter pay, Tito, and just take a second to appreciate the beauty of this sport. This article really does make you proud to be a mixed martial arts fan.
Brandon Vera: No More Talking, No More Questioning
Brandon Vera is tired of all the talking. It is very easy to imagine the typical Vera training sessions as intense mental battles where talking, save light colloquialisms with teammates, is a punishment. Be clear, Vera loves the MMA public. Had it not been for you, me and the world, his highlight reels wouldn’t be celebrated nor his progress considered a beacon for MMA’s bright future. Still when the talking constantly revolves around doubt on his abilities as an athlete and whether he still has that ‘thing’ that made the fans ooze star struck at his very mention, Vera is not much of a conversationalist with the media these days.
Strikeforce's 205 Pound Problem
When I watched Gegard Mousasi blow through Babalu Sobral on the Strikeforce show I was relieved to see that the promotion was getting another star created on what amounted to a huge show. Now with the news that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is on his way to the UFC the realization is setting in for me that Mousasi has nobody to fight. There is talk that Showtime is going to be running 12 MMA cards in 2010 which means that Strikeforce needs their champions to headline cards with some regularity.
Spike TV offers Saturday block of UFC programming
Apparently just for the hell of it, Spike TV and the UFC offer a daylong block of UFC-related programming this Saturday, Aug. 22.
A marathon of past events kicks off at 1 p.m. ET/PT with a replay of UFC Fight Night 4 and concludes with the "Ultimate Iceman: Chuck Liddell" special at 2:30 a.m. PT/ET.
Other events airing include UFC 75, UFC 89 and UFC Fight Night 16.
Show Brett Rogers the Money
A lot of MMA fighters can learn a thing or two from Brett Rogers. Yes, the 10-0 Rogers who only has three years of experience under his belt. Rogers simply knows how to keep his name in the news at all times. From stealing the spotlight from Kimbo Slice after the first EliteXC on CBS show in May 2008 to just hanging around Saturday's Strikeforce post-fight conference, Rogers always seems to be around. It also doesn't hurt that Fedor Emelianenko requested to fight him after Josh Barnett could not get licensed for their Affliction.
DAMARQUES JOHNSON VS PETER SOBOTTA AT UFC 105
A welterweight contest between DaMarques Johnson (9-7) and Peter Sobotta (8-2) is set for UFC 105 on Nov. 14 in Manchester, England.
Sources close to the fight informed MMAWeekly.com of the match-up on Tuesday evening. The event has yet to be announced by the UFC, and is expected to take place at the Manchester Evening News Arena.
JAMES THOMPSON KEEN ON MOVE TO STRIKEFORCE
Things have been quiet for heavyweight behemoth James Thompson, but he wouldn't have had it any other way, the break has given him a rare opportunity for introspection.
"I had some time off after the last fight to get my head together, personal problems if you will, and I feel that now things are in place in myself and I can really push forward. Making the full-time move to London Shootfighters for training is really paying dividends," he explained to MMAWeekly.com.
Forrest Griffin Already Back In The Gym
"If the worst thing that happens to Gina (Carano) or Forrest (Griffin) is they lose a fight, they're doing pretty damn good."
Such are the words of the namesake of Carano and Griffin's training gym, Xtreme Couture, former UFC champion Randy Couture.
UFC 103 vs Floyd Mayweather and HBO
September 19 is a big day for both boxing and MMA. Jim Lampley may be shaking in his boots. The HBO announcer has trashed MMA saying it will never compete with the biggest names in boxing. Well, it's put up or shutup time as a Floyd Mayweather pay-per-view card in Las Vegas is pitted against UFC 103 in Dallas. According to Lampley, the biggest stars in boxing will eat the UFC alive.
Michael Bisping: Wanderlei Silva Will NOT Be My Opponent at UFC 105
Quick update on the potential Wanderlei Silva fight. Unfortunately thats not gonna happen. He's undergone facial surgery, so obviously won't be fighting in the near future. Rumours are he's actually out for the rest of the year.
So as of right now, Im still unaware of who I'll be facing at UFC 105. Obviously as stated before, when I know, you know.
Dana White Meeting Resistance on Teammate vs Teammate Fights in the UFC
Dana White talked to CBS Sports and touched on the controversial teammate vs teammate point, Anderson Silva disagrees:
"It has nothing to do with friendship," White said. "It's about seeing who's the best."
Silva has been ultra-successful in his two forays to the 205-pound weight class. Neither of his two opponents -- Forrest Griffin or James Irvin -- made it past the opening round. To White, Silva's winning streak makes the fight inevitable.
IS ZELG GALESIC U.S. BOUND?
“I am currently without a contract,” exclaims devastating Croatian born striker Zelg Galesic (9-4).
A Dream veteran and former Cage Rage middleweight champion, he is confident that this brief spell of unemployment is only a temporary thing, “At the moment, it is likely that I will re-sign with Dream, but some other options have come to light this week and I am looking at them closely.”
Nick Thompson suffers cut in training, scratched from "M-1 Breakthrough"
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the fighter that UFC, Strikeforce and EliteXC veteran Nick Thompson (38-11-1) has suffered a cut in training and has been forced to drop out of "M-1 Global present Breakthrough." The loss of the co-main event contestant comes after the card was relocated from Los Angeles to Kansas City, Kan., and after main-event competitor Don Frye withdrew from the event due to the venue change.
UFC 100 replay outdraws MLB, PGA and ‘Carano vs Cyborg’
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) once again countered live programming from a competing mixed martial arts promotion when it aired selected fights from UFC 100 on Spike TV last Saturday (Aug. 15 at 10 p.m. ET) — directly opposite the Strikeforce: “Carano vs Cyborg” event that aired live on Showtime.
The replay, headlined by the UFC heavyweight championship unification bout between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, drew a whopping two million viewers for a 1.8 rating in men 18-34, a 1.7 rating in men 18-49 and a 1.5 household rating.
The Showtime broadcast of Strikeforce: “Carano vs. Cyborg,” in comparison, averaged 576,000 viewers, with 856,000 tuning in for the night’s main event.
However, it isn’t exactly a level playing field, as Spike TV is a basic cable station available in approximately 98 million homes. Showtime, on the other hand, is a subscription-based premium cable channel that has approximately 21 million subscribers.
Diaz Eyes Oct. Dream, Rep Meets With CSAC
While his re-licensure in California remains a work in progress, Nick Diaz is in talks to fight for Dream in October. Gracie said Sasahara expressed an interest in the outspoken 28-year-old facing Japanese legend Hayato Sakurai, but that talks were in the preliminary stages.
SF 8/15 Fighter Payouts
The CSAC has released the official fighter payouts form Saturday's Strikeforce event. The total disclosed payouts were $468,500 with the biggest share-$125,000-going to main event loser Gina Carano. And no, it's not a typo-Gegard Mousasi really did get only $2,000 for his title win. That'll go up. Real soon.