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.
Junie Browning turns himself in to Phuket police
Junie Allen Browning visited a police station on Phuket late today in the latest twist to the American fugitive fighter's battle to tell his side of a brawl that started in a bar and continued at a local hospital.
Browning's surprise appearance with his wife Louna and a lawyer came at the Chalong Police Station in southern Phuket.
At the police station at the same time were others who participated in a now-notorious Phuket brawl.
The wounds inflicted in Browning's fight with tourists and staff 10 days ago at a bar on Phuket and in Patong Hospital, where the injured were all taken, were real. However, the varying accounts of what actually took place and who was the aggressor leave the facts yet to be decided.
The Outlaw and The Losing Streak
If Dan Hardy had his way he would have shaved the mohawk by now. Five minutes with some clippers, one quick swoop down the middle of his head, and the signature hairstyle that makes him so recognizable to fight fans could be gone. Maybe then he could blend in. Maybe then he could get a moment to be alone with himself and figure out just what in the hell is going on.
He'd do it if he had it his way. But he doesn't.
It's a UFC fight week in Toronto and Hardy has come at the request of Xyience, a sponsor of his that has him scheduled for autograph signings and fan meet-and-greets all week. And Xyience? You better believe Xyience wants the mohawk. That's because the fans want the mohawk. They expect it. You book Dan Hardy and he shows up with a shaved head, it's like having Carrot Top show up as a blonde.
The fans want the guy they've seen on TV. They want the brash, cocky Brit with the punk rock swagger. But after a rough stretch of four straight losses in the UFC -- a 17-month span that dropped him from top contender to just barely employed -- he's not even sure where that guy went, or if he's ever coming back.
"I don't feel like myself right now," Hardy says.
You look in his eyes and you know he means it. He sits slumped in a plush leather chair in the lobby of a posh downtown Toronto hotel. He speaks so softly you have to lean in close just to hear him. The last thing he wants to do these days is draw attention to himself. He knows what people are thinking. And even if they aren't thinking it, they might as well be, since he hears their accusations in the wordless glances from across the room. It's not just the fans, either.
"I start to feel like other fighters are looking at me like, why is he still in the UFC? And I don't want people looking at me like that."
MMA - An Acquired Taste
this is a very well written, objective, article about experiencing a live UFC event for the first time...maybe the first MMA event he ever watched. this is written by Michael Grange from Sportsnet, who is slowly becoming one of my favourite sports journalists to read. its a little long but well worth the read. Grange may still not be a fan of the sport afterwards, but this may be one of the most unbiased and objective articles from a non-MMA fan you will ever read.
Punkass Details Forthcoming Tapout TV Show Revival with MMA@Work (powered by MMAPlayground)
If you've been a fan of the sport for any lengthy amount of time, you probably remember the Tapout TV Series that aired on Versus for 2 seasons from 2007 to 2008.
The series followed Mask, Punkass and SkySkrape as they traveled the country in search of up-and-coming fighters to sponsor.
Punkass joined hosts Josh Webb and Tim Herb on the weekly MMA@Work (powered by MMAPlayground) podcast this past Thursday and provided some details on the revival of the show.
Carlos Newton retires from MMA
According to Mike Russell on CagePotato, MMA legend Carlos Newton has quietly retired in a dignified manner, and has changed his priorities in life and the sport.
“I’m retired,” Newton explained. “The sport just isn’t as competitive as it used to be,” Newton said in an interview with CP. “I’m just concentrating on helping to improve the regulation of the sport and I’m looking into becoming a judge. I think that as fighters we have a lot more knowledge and insight into the intricacies of what’s going on in a fight than someone who has never competed. MMA judging needs fixing and I’m hoping I can help do it.”
Newton had a storied career in MMA, with his most shining moment when he submitted Pat Miletich at UFC 31 by bulldog choke in a dramatic welterweight title match. Matt Hughes would beat Newton for it at UFC 34 via a controversial powerbomb, another highlight reel moment for both men. Newton also fought in Pride FC, and coached and fought in the IFL.
Newton, who ended his career with a record of 16-4, will continue teaching MMA, while he attends architecture school simultaneously. “I’ll always be involved with the sport,” he said. “Definitely.” We wish Newton good luck in his future endeavors, no matter what they may be.
MTV announces new MMA 'docu-series'
MTV will broadcast a new mixed martial arts-themed program beginning early in 2012, the network announced on Thursday.
"Caged," a docu-series which chronicles the lives of four young adults in small-town Louisiana, will premiere beginning on Jan. 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV. The show will also air internationally on MTV channels around the world starting in May 2012.
Mariusz Pudzianowski's KSW 17 win over James Thompson changed to no-contest
Mariusz Pudzianowski's controversial majority-decision win over James Thompson in this past weekend's KSW 17 co-headliner has been changed to a no-contest.
Company officials today cited a judge's error for the change.
Following the announcement of Pudzianowski's contentious win in his home country of Poland, an irate Thompson stole the mic from the ring announcer and admonished the organization.
James Thompson Goes On Tirade After Disputed KSW 17 Loss to Mariusz Pudzianowsk
James Thompson, who is most famous for his fight with Kimbo Slice in EliteXC, just cut one of the craziest post-fight interviews you'll ever see after his loss to Mariusz Pudzianowski today. Pudzian was granted a majority decision win after two rounds, despite Thompson controlling the first round quite easily. KSW fights generally only go two rounds, but if the rounds are split, they go to an overtime round. Everyone expected that to be the case here, but apparently not.
After Pudzianowski spoke to the crowd, Thompson took the mic and went off on a profanity-laced tirade against the promotion, which ended with Thompson actually cornering the promoter and yelling at him. The camera cut away before he was done, but he actually ended up tossing the mic at him.
Maiquel Falcao Suffers Heart Attack, Hospitalized in Brazil
Former UFC fighter Maiquel Falcao, who is just 30 years old, has suffered a heart attack and remains hospitalized in Brazil, according to Tatame. Falcao apparently suffered the heart attack while training in Santa Catarina, Brazil. His manager made the following statement:
"Maiquel is still on the Intensive Care Unit and might stay there for few more days, when he’ll go through a catheterization. He’s lucid and improving fast", his manager Marcelo Brigadeiro told TATAME on Wednesday
Dean: Officiating Needs to Match MMA’s Growth
There’s no shortage of complaints when it comes to the judging and refereeing of MMA.
Herb Dean is widely considered one of the best officials, though, and he’s trying to improve the situation through his referee school.
“I think the sport has grown tremendously, and the officiating needs to keep up,” Dean told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “There’s a lot of things in officiating that we can change, and the best thing that we can do is first of all, make sure we’re all on the same page. I think that’s what these training courses do. The other guys who do training courses, we talk about it. We make sure we’re on the same page. So then when people go through training, now there’s mechanics that are accepted and there’s the right way to do things and the wrong way to do things. Now people are learning that.”
Dean is one of the Association of Boxing Commissions’ approved trainers for referees and judges. He teaches two eight-hour courses, MMA Official 1 and MMA Official 2, which involve coverage of rules and criteria, mock judging, referee mechanics and more. Aspiring officials can register for the courses at HerbDean.com.
ProElite 3 scheduled for Jan. 21 at Blaisdell Arena; Grove vs. Minowa targeted
The promotion has targeted Jan. 21 for an event to take place at Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii, sources today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). HDNet is expected to broadcast the event's main card.
Additionally, ProElite 3 is expected to feature a middleweight contest between promotional veteran Kendall Grove (13-9) and Ikuhisa Minowa (51-32). Bout agreements have been signed
FX airs first UFC event in January with Neer vs. Ludwig, Barry vs. Morecraft
The first official UFC-FOX event takes place in January (exact date TBA) when the organization makes its debut on FX.
Officials today announced the event, though its name and venue weren't revealed.
Two fights are official for the card: welterweights Josh Neer (32-10-1 MMA, 5-6 UFC) vs. Duane "Bang" Ludwig (22-11 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and heavyweights Pat Barry (6-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) vs. Christian Morecraft (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC).
Additional event details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Spike TV to premiere 'MMA Junkie Live' news-magazine show in 2012
Spike TV will debut its first-ever primetime mixed-martial-arts news magazine show, "MMA Junkie Live," in January 2012, it was announced today by Jon Slusser, senior vice president, sports and multi-platform programming, Spike TV.
Broadcast live from the iconic MTV Studios in Times Square, the heart of New York City, this half-hour, multi-platform show will feature a look ahead at the weekend’s big mixed-martial-arts fights, and a look back at the action from recent bouts.
Partnering with the award-winning MMA news website, MMAjunkie.com (part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group), the half-hour show will be hosted by an all-star team of MMA experts and journalists who will engage in discussion and debate regarding the latest news from the sport.
"MMA Junkie Live" will also feature live in-studio interviews with many of the world’s top fighters, in-depth features, action-packed highlights, as well as viewer interaction via Twitter, Facebook and other social-media channels.
USA TODAY Sports Media Group acquires MMAjunkie.com
USA TODAY Sports Media Group announced today the acquisition of leading mixed-martial-arts site, MMAjunkie.com and its related editorial assets across all platforms, including its daily radio show.
The site's editor-in-chief, Dann Stupp, and its entire editorial staff, including award-winning lead staff reporter John Morgan, will remain in place and will report to Dave Morgan, the USA TODAY Sports Media Group's senior vice president of content and editor-in-chief.
"This is an exciting acquisition for us, and one that greatly enhances the editorial capabilities of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group in covering mixed martial arts across all platforms," said Tom Beusse, president of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. "Since its inception, MMAjunkie.com has established itself by breaking stories on a regular basis and providing fans with the most relevant and complete coverage available for this evolving and fast-growing sport, and we will continue to strengthen and expand that coverage for our fans."
With more than one million unique visitors per month, MMAjunkie.com is one of the leading online news destinations for the sport, as well as a content partner for several print, online and TV outlets. It also produces the daily podcast/radio show "MMAjunkie.com Radio," with a TV simulcast syndicated through Fight Now TV...
SB Nation announces acquisition of MMAFighting.com
Great news for mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.
MMAmania.com parent company, SB Nation, today (Nov. 7, 2011) announced that it has expanded its MMA portfolio by acquiring MMAFighting.com.
SB Nation Chairman and CEO Jim Bankoff made the announcement on today's edition of The MMA Hour.
"SB Nation, unlike a lot of other sports sites, from the beginning, put our emphasis on coverage of MMA. We have a lot of big sites in our portfolio like MMA Mania and Bloody Elbow. Those sites will continue to exist as they do exist now and its not really our plan to merge those sites whatsoever."
While it's impossible to say this without drawing a humorous comparison to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), you can expect it to be "business as usual" around these parts.
Fighters in L.A. for BJJ tournament stop a robbery at hotel
Two mixed martial artists from Oregon were in Los Angeles for a grappling tournament, but they ended up using their skills to do much more than win a match. They subdued an armed robber who was holding up the clerk at their hotel. Watch the security video in this report from KCAL-TV.
Brent Alvarez runs Twisted Web MMA in Eugene, Ore., and Billy Denney is his student. They were walking through the hotel lobby when they saw the robber, who had gone behind the hotel's counter, pulled out a gun, and demanded money. The clerk handed over the cash, but yelled for help. Alvarez and Denney jumped on the robber, and while Denney controlled his wrists, Alvarez sunk in a rear naked choke. They held him in place until police arrived.
Alvarez is 2-2 in amateur bouts, while Denney is 7-2. According to the Twisted Web Facebook page, Denney took third at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation no-gi worlds. (In no-gi, participants wear a rash guard or no shirt instead of the traditional martial arts uniform of a gi.) Alvarez went 1-1 in his fights.
No matter their results, I have a feeling that Denney and Alvarez will remember this trip to L.A. for something other than the tournament. Kudos to them both for being brave and using martial arts to do more than win a match