MMA Myths Debunked Again
In the mid-’90s, politicians looking to score easy points succeeded in pressuring cable television executives to boot the fledgling sport off cable television. Instead of killing off MMA, it simply went underground
When MMA returned to cable in 2001, it was portrayed as a sign of the decline of American civilization. Somehow, the republic survived.
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s popularity exploded in 2005, it was dismissed as a fad that would soon go away. Three years later, the company is on the hottest sustained pay-per-view business streak in its history.
EliteXC: If It's on TV, It Must Be Good!
Well, this is it, folks. After years of government and media backlash, countless steps back and some memorably disastrous runs at the mainstream, MMA finally makes its major network debut with none other than Gary Shaw leading the way.
Hard to believe but EliteXC has made its mainstream push behind an odd assortment like reformed YouTube brawler Kimbo Slice and female MMA superstar Gina Carano. Both will be present and accounted for come 9 p.m. Saturday night on CBS and so should you if for no other reason than to see if John McCain shows up and tries to call the whole thing off. Gotta admit, it would be good for a few laughs.
Karo Parisyan added to UFC 87
MMAJunkie.com is reporting that Karo "The Heat" Parisyan has been added to UFC 87: Seek and Destroy. Parisyan informed Junkie himself yesterday that he will be part of the card. An opponent for the top ranked welterweight has not been announced. Parisyan will be looking to come back after a tough loss at the hands of Thiago Alves in April during UFN 13. George Sotiropoulos was scheduled to be Parisyan's opponent but was forced out of the bout due to injury.
Kimbo Slice = Hulk Hogan
I keep hearing people harp on the fact that Kimbo Slice is main eventing the first ever major network MMA broadcast despite a somewhat dubious background and questionable current skill set. I don't think that the fans who are down on the idea have their hearts in the wrong place. But I am positive that the same can not be said for their heads.
Is Kimbo the Next Butterbean?
In the late 1990s, the boxing community unveiled a cartoonish giant named Eric Esch - "Butterbean." A big galoot with no formal training, he got his break via the old bar-brawl contest known as the Toughman series. He was The Next Big Thing.
Except he wasn't, and the farce played a large role in boxing's decline.
Inevitability Works Until It Doesn't
UFC's entire PR strategy regarding Elite XC on CBS, Affliction, and all other companies is to dismiss them as irrelevent. Dana seems to believe that by calling UFC the equivalent of Nascar, it makes it true:
"It's like us sitting on my couch on a Saturday afternoon watching NASCAR, okay? We're watching NASCAR and I'm like, "Holy ****, look at all the people that are at that race. They must be making a lot of money. They've got a network deal with Fox, too. You know what we should do? We should get a couple of their drivers and go out and start our own race league, and we'll compete head to head with NASCAR."
WWE's Bobby Lashley signs with American Fight League
Former World Wrestling Entertainment performer and decorated amateur wrestler Bobby Lashley is the latest signing for the Kentucky-based American Fight League.
A source close to the 31-year-old told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Lashley will be introduced as an AFL signee -- perhaps the organization's biggest to date -- during tonight's "Bulletproof" show at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
Rumors of Lashley's possible transition into MMA heated up over the past month, but few expected such a high-profile figure to sign with an organization so new to the national scene.
AFL officials declined to comment today, but one executive said some "major signings" will be announced at tonight's show, which features a main event between AFL lightweight champ and former UFC fighter Diego Saraiva.
Terms of Lashley's contract aren't known, but it's expected to be a non-exclusive deal.
Lashley, a two-time NAIA national wrestling champion while at Missouri Valley College, also won two armed-forces titles while serving in the U.S. Army. He signed with the WWE in 2003 and debuted with the organization in 2005. His character won titles in both the WWE and Extreme Championship Wrestling organizations.
"EliteXC: PRIMETIME" weigh-in results
NEWARK, N.J. - MMAjunkie.com is on scene for today's "EliteXC: PRIMETIME" weigh-ins, which are being held at the Prudential Center in Newark. N.J.
The same venue hosts Saturday's nationally televised CBS event, which features a main event of Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson vs. James Thompson, as well as an EliteXC middleweight title fight between champ Robbie Lawler and challenger Scott Smith.
Weigh-in results will be posted live beginning at approximately 2 p.m. ET.
Also, stay tuned later today for a photo gallery of the day's events.
MAIN CARD (TELEVISED)
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (235.5) vs. James Thompson (257)
EliteXC champ Robbie Lawler (184.5) vs. Scott Smith (184.5)
Gina Carano (144.5) * vs. Kaitlin Young (140.5)
Jon Murphy (260.5) vs. Brett Rogers (263.5)
Phil Baroni (185) vs. Joey Villasenor (184.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (INTERNET)
Carlton Haselrig (263) vs. Carlos Moreno (261)
Jim Bova (160.5) vs. Chris Liguori (161)
Matt Makowski (171) vs. Nick Serra (167)
Wilson Reis (140.5) vs. Justin Robbins (140.5)
James "Binky" Jones (154.5) vs. Calvin Kattar (155.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (UN-AIRED)
Zach Makovsky (135) vs. Andre Soares (134)
Mike Groves (154) vs. Joe Sampieri (155)
* - New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Nick Lembo told MMAjunkie
Kimbo the next Tyson? Yeah, that's the idea
Calif. - For those of a certain age, those who can still recall the ancient analogue ways, the image seems incongruent: Kimbo Slice, a gold-toothed former bodyguard for street pornographers, appearing at an interview podium with Bill Paley's seal of approval.
Another reporter telling it how it is about CBS/EliteXC/Kimbo.
Many differences, one goal
The classical music blasting over the phone as I waited on hold for a World Extreme Cagefighting conference call was a real disconnect.
And the swapping of compliments from one fighter to the other was another, given that they plan to annihilate each other in a cage over the weekend.
But even given all that, Jens Pulver and reigning champion Urijah Faber made it clear that WEC 34 will be anything but a waltz. The June 1 battle for the featherweight title has consumed their lives, and rightly so. Heading into the biggest bout of both fighters' careers, neither are denying the case and both are out to prove just why.
"I don't see the fight going 25 minutes," said Pulver. "At 145, I've knocked everybody out except for one submission. I think I've been in the third round once at 145. At the end of the day, I'm looking to win this fight by knockout. I'm taking the belt home. Period."
CBS-ELITEXC: Industry chimes in on Kimbo Slice
Kevin Ferguson, better known as "Kimbo Slice," has emerged as one of mixed martial arts' highest profile athletes and most controversial figures. His quick rise to MMA stardom from street fighter to main event status has been received with varying results within the MMA community.
One of the biggest critics of marketing Kimbo Slice to a mainstream audience by having him headline an MMA event has been UFC president Dana White.
"To have CBS, a big network like that, move forward with a guy like Kimbo Slice headlining it, I mean there's no secret, that's what I tried to stay away from," said the outspoken UFC figurehead. "Kimbo Slice isn't a mixed martial artist. This guy was fighting in your backyard three months ago, and now he's going to be headlining on CBS. Personally I think it sucks."
Former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk shares White's opinion. "To be honest with you, I wasn't crazy about the idea," said the nine-year professional mixed martial artist.
"I think if you're going to headline a main event, a mainstream thing like that, you should have the credentials to follow it. You know? I would have liked to have seen a more established fighter, somebody who maybe would represent the sport a little better, because if you're tuning into CBS for the first time and you catch this street fighter guy on television, I think that's going to give us a bad name. And I think it sets us back a couple of steps."
UFC confirms Herring vs Lesnar for UFC 87
Directly from UFC.COM Heath "The Texas Crazy Horse" Herring will compete against UFC newcomer Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 in Minnesota on Saturday, August 9th 2008. Herring (28-13, 1 no contest) replaces UFC hall of famer Mark Coleman, who was forced to withdraw from the UFC 87 bout due to a knee injury.
UFC 87 is headlined by the UFC Welterweight Championship bout between Georges St-Pierre and Jon Fitch, and the highly-anticipated lightweight showdown between Kenny Florian and Minnesota’s own Roger Huerta.
Cung Le Comments On A Potential Matchup Against Anderson Silva
Cung Le is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a victory over MMA legend Frank Shamrock. Le recently sat down with our friends over atMMAFrenzy to discuss the win, and his future.
Of note, was Le's thoughts on fighting UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva:
I feel my promoter is open to do a co-promotion, but I know the UFC isn’t willing to do one, but I am sure that Dana White can come in and borrow me for one fight, but of course he has to pay my promoter something.
I’m sure something can be worked out, if the fans really want that fight, and if Dana could make it happen I am sure my promoter Scott Coker would be open to it.
When asked how Le thinks he would fair in a fight with Silva, Le was humble as always.
I am going to answer you like if I was asked if I would beat Frank, I don’t know. I didn’t know if I was going to beat Frank, I don’t know if I would beat Anderson if I fought him. The only way I would find out if I could beat him is to fight him.
To all my opponents, doesn’t matter if it is Mike Altman my first MMA fight, to an Anderson Silva, who is pound for pound the best in the world, I respect them all the same. They are martial artists and they train, they live the martial arts lifestyle. I have respect for all my martial arts brothers out there, and then if we step into the cage, then we step in the cage, which then is do our best to win.
Sokoudjou Explains Why He Called Out ‘Shogun’ Rua
“I would love to fight that guy. I’ve tried to fight him ever since I fought in Pride and he’s been ducking me. Shogun has been ducking me since the Pride days. Shogun’s camp told me that to fight him, I had to fight [Evangelista] Cyborg [Santos] first. I told them I want to fight Shogun, not Cyborg, and then Pride went away and now he’s in the UFC and he hasn’t fought for a minute. I know he got injured for his last fight, but I think by the time I’m ready to fight again hopefully he should be ready and will take the fight.”
Well, now he’s gone and done it. It was one thing to subtly call out “Shogun” on the UFC broadcast, but if the storied history of Chute Boxe in Pride has taught us anything it’s that accusing a Brazilian of ducking you is the quickest way to send him into a murderous rage. Who knows, it might just the motivation that the oft-injured Rua needs to get back in the Octagon. No way can he let this slide.
Hughes brothers set for UFC reunion
It has been more than eight years since former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes and twin brother Mark have competed in mixed martial arts at the same event. That era, however, may soon come to an end.
Matt, in a pre-fight media conference call for UFC 85 on Thursday, was posed a question he didn’t expect, that being about the possibility of his brother returning to the Octagon.
“This is an unexpected question,” said Matt, the elder brother – by five minutes – of the Hughes twins. “I do know that Mark is going to sign a contract with the UFC where he won't compete for anybody else. And that'd be right here coming up. That's all I can really tell you. That's all I can really comment on,”
Mark sports a 6-2 professional record in MMA, including a win at UFC 28, but hasn’t competed in nearly five years. Apparently poised for a return, Matt says that Mark doesn’t have a fight lined up yet, but is adamant about his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a place Matt has called home for several years.
“There's no fight scheduled (for Mark), but he is going to sign a contract with the UFC to fight for them and nobody else."
Gina Carano wants to be fighter first, star later
LAS VEGAS – There was a loud knock on the door and Gina Carano peered outside.
Police officers were there.
Suddenly, she got a queasy feeling in her stomach. Her heart sank. She was expecting the worst news possible.
Her older sister, Casey, had been missing for six months, the direct result of a losing battle with the drugs Ecstasy and methamphetamine. She was anorexic, had drug-induced schizophrenia and was living her life on the edge.
When Gina saw the officers at the door, she nearly got ill, because she expected to hear the words she didn't want to hear: We're sorry, but your sister is dead.
Casey Carano had long been the most influential person in her sister's life.
"When I was younger, I ordered everything she ordered," Gina Carano said. "I did everything she did. I couldn't go anywhere without her. I dressed the way she dressed. She introduced me to music. She introduced me to concerts, to life, really. A lot of my style, a lot of who I am, is because of Casey. She was my role model."
Out of rehab, Paulo Filho could return this year
World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight champion Paulo Filho (16-0) has completed his substance-abuse recovery program, and the WEC is hoping the Brazilian will return to action later this year, according to WEC vice president Peter Dropick.
Dropick shared the developments during Wednesday's media conference call to promote Sunday night's "WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver" event.
"Last I heard out of Brazil is that Paulo is out of rehab, and he's doing well, and he's just getting back in shape to fight," Dropick said.
Josh Neer vs. Nate Diaz in works for UFC Fight Night 14
Josh Neer (24-6-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and "The Ultimate Fighter 6" winner Nate Diaz (9-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) will likely meet at UFC Fight Night 14 in September.
A source close to one of the fighters told MMAjunkie.com about the lightweight fight and said bout agreements are expected to be signed shortly. The fight has been rumored for the better part of a month.
UFC Fight Night 14, which airs on Spike TV, takes place Sept. 17 and serves as a lead-in for the eighth season of "The Ultimate Fighter."