Eddie Alvarez Issues Obligatory Criticism of UFC Fighters
And then there was one. It’s been almost three weeks since the news broke that Zuffa, LLC. had purchased Strikeforce – this week Our Octagon Overlords allegedly began signing SF fighters to their own airtight contractual arrangements – and it just now dawns on us what this means for Eddie Alvarez. Put simply, the continued Dana-fication of the MMA landscape means Alvarez is the only US-based 155-pound fighter anywhere near the Top 10 (or, hell, Top 20) not currently owned in a roundabout way by Big DW and the Fertitta Bros. God, that must be lonely.
Alvarez: Rankings ‘Nonsense’
Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez doesn't think much of the MMA media's top-10 rankings. According to the fighter, they help little when he steps into the cage. In the negotiating room, however, it's a different story.
“I understand that in order to get in the rankings, you have to first gain popularity. And I’ve been saying this over and over. There are going to be guys in the next couple of years from Bellator who are going to be ranked in the top-10, and that's not necessarily because they are better than the UFC guys,” said Alvarez during Wednesday's media conference call.
“[The rankings] are very subjective and very political. I think it's more of a popularity contest than a talent contest. Rankings, to me, are just a way to negotiate my money with a promotion. Other than that, they hold no bearing. It's all nonsense. A No. 1 guy can lose to a No. 10 guy any day of the week.”
That statement may hold special significance for Alvarez, who currently ranks as the fifth-best lightweight in the world. On Saturday, the Philadelphia Fight Factory standout will defend his lightweight title against the unranked Pat Curran at Bellator 39 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Despite the perceived disparity in ability, Alvarez asserts that he has studied Curran's tendencies closely in preparation for their bout, which will air live on MTV2.
“I'm very fortunate to have the support that I have from my wife, my family and my fans. They allow me to be very selfish and just focus on the guy I have in front of me,” said Alvarez. “That's what makes me quite dangerous. I get crazy with watching tape, studying moves, going over things. It gets monotonous, but when I get sick of it, that's when I know I’m ready.”
Both accomplished grapplers in high school, some have questioned which fighter holds the advantage in the pure wrestling department. But for the champion, the answer to that question -- much like his opinion on divisional rankings -- means little when it comes to the fight.
“Pure wrestling doesn't really mean anything to me anymore. It's really about the ability to transition from one art to another seamlessly,” said Alvarez. “If Pat does have good wrestling, I don't feel like he uses it. I don't think that he is good at transitioning from his stand-up to his wrestling. I’ve been watching a lot of his tapes, and it looks like he gives it away. He makes it look like it's coming.”
While the champion did not explicitly give a prediction as to how his main event confrontation with Curran would end, he did elaborate on the respect he holds for his foe, who won Bellator's second-season tournament to earn a shot at the strap. That said, Alvarez is hoping that the underdog Curran holds nothing back when they go nose-to-nose inside Bellator's circular cage.
“I actually look up to Pat. It's something I did in 2008. Nobody knew who I was, and I put myself in a pit of fire in the Dream tournament. I think a lot of people are counting this kid out as well, but I’m praying that Pat comes to fight me and doesn't come to quit on me. I want him to fight me like he wants to win so we can put on a great show for all these people watching.
Phil Baroni, Frank Trigg targeted for BAMMA 6 appearances, but contracts not yet signed
UFC and PRIDE veterans Phil Baroni and Frank Trigg have each been targeted for an appearance at May's BAMMA 6 event, but neither has committed to the fight card.
The potential bookings were first reported by MMA Fighting.com, but MMAjunkie.com has subsequently confirmed with sources close to the fighters that neither has signed a bout agreement for the event.
BAMMA 6, which is expected to feature a middleweight title fight between current BAMMA champ Tom "Kong" Watson and Murilo "Ninja" Rua, is scheduled for May 21 at London's Wembley Arena.
Karo Parisyan not fighting at Shark Fights 15
Recent rumors that Karo Parisyan is returning to action at an upcoming Shark Fights event are untrue, the former UFC welterweight today told MMAjunkie.com.
Parisyan was rumored to meet Strikeforce veteran Paul Bradley, and while the matchup was originally targeted for Shark Fights 15, it has since fallen by the wayside.
"There was some contractual stuff for us to go to California that we decided to pass on," Shark Fights president Brent Medley added.
YouTube shuts down Gracie channel for use of copyrighted UFC video
Rener Gracie was both shocked and confused when YouTube shut down the channel of his father's academy and cited a third claim of copyright infringement.
But UFC president Dana White said there's a simple reason for the action, and it's the same one that's prompted the promotion to heavily invest in the protection of its product: the unauthorized use of copyrighted content.
"When you go out and you get on a YouTube or one of these huge portals where you can download content and show content – if you use copyrighted material, we've spent lots of money to make sure there are people out there that take that stuff down," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Gracie, the son of UFC co-creator Rorian Gracie, produced a series of videos for YouTube with his brother Ryron that he said were meant to educate and entice MMA fans by demonstrating techniques used in the UFC. The videos, which he said drew between 50,000 and 100,000 views per episode, often included snippets of footage from UFC fights.
White, who was traveling to Chicago on Tuesday and caught wind of the situation when Gracie sent him a message on Twitter, appreciates the intention behind the videos, but he said the brothers erred in not gaining permission to use the footage.
"I've got nothing against these kids," he said. "I don't even know these kids. I reached out to [Rener] on Twitter and said, 'Give me your number and I'll give you a buzz. Maybe there's something we can work out.' But you can't just go use people's footage and make your own videos."
Although White said the UFC's Las Vegas office had no part in it, YouTube on Monday shut down the Gracie Academy channel as part of its policy on users with multiple copyright infringement claims against them. The channel had previously drawn two claims from 20th Century Fox for copyrighted music.
Gracie believed the length of the UFC clips used – no more than seven seconds – put them in the category of "fair use" in U.S. copyright law, which allows for limited use of copyrighted material in certain circumstances without prior permission from its owners.
What's more, Gracie said he'd received ample praise from UFC employees on the videos, and said several of them subscribed to the academy's channel. The shutdown, he felt, was a "contradiction."
"I was under the impression that it was OK and not a problem," Gracie said. "If I knew it was a problem with them, I would have never done it. I would have just shown clean breakdowns with nothing in it."
White, however, said the brothers should have known better. He said they only needed to look at their father to provide an example of how business gets done when using copyrighted footage.
"We just did a documentary called 'Ultimate Royce Gracie,' and we paid a lot of money to license that footage from Rorion," White said. "And he was very aggressive and very stern in how he wanted his footage to be used. 'You can show it X amount of times, and then you owe me more money. And if you do this, you owe me money for that, too.' Their father does the same exact thing with his footage of the Gracies.
"When you look at what's going on with Justin.tv and all these other sites, the responsible sites like a YouTube go through and police what's on their website. They're not going to let people go in there and infringe. It's not the UFC calling up and going, '[Expletive] the Gracies. Pull that [expletive] down.'"
Following his Twitter exchange with White, Gracie told MMAjunkie.com that he was working with a UFC staffer to reverse the claim so that the academy's channel could be reinstated. He was also re-editing a video breakdown of Chan Sung Jung's recent twister submission over Leonard Garcia to be released free of UFC footage on a separate "GracieBreakdown" channel.
But White balked at the idea that his staff had made any such deal and said he planned to directly address the issue with the young Gracie.
"They used the UFC footage and just like anybody does, it gets taken down," he said. "And believe me when I tell you I find it hard to believe that somebody from this office called and started trying to work out a deal with Rener without me knowing. I find that very hard to believe.
"This whole thing is ridiculous. It's a bunch of Internet goofballs on those [expletive] chat rooms saying, 'Oh God, look what they did,' and all this stupid talk of how we're policing everything we do. Of course we do. We're a major sports league just like any other sports league."
The UFC began an aggressive anti-piracy campaign in January 2010 and has pursued legal action against several individuals and websites alleged to have stolen its broadcasts using the Web.
The promotion very recently got some help from the federal government in its crackdown. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit arrested the operator of Channelsurfing.net, a website which the agencies said hosted several illegal streams of the UFC, NFL, NBA, WWE and other sports programming. The operator faces five years in jail.
As MMAjunkie.com reported in mid-2010, UFC officials announced they had reached "confidential settlements" with more than 500 businesses and individuals as a result of illegal broadcasts and viewing of UFC events.
The UFC's general legal counsel Lawrence Epstein said all cases involving the question of fair use are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The fan who posts a highlight reel shouldn't be too worried. Unfortunately, though, issues such as the Gracie videos are a byproduct of the promotion's plight.
"If people weren't ripping us off all the time, a lot of these issues wouldn't pop up," Epstein said.
MMA Top 10 Rankings: Phil Davis Finally Breaks Through
The updated MMAWeekly.com World MMA Rankings were released on Wednesday, March 30. This system ranks the Top 10 MMA fighters from all across the world in each of the seven most widely accepted weight classes.
Taken into consideration are a fighter’s performance in addition to win-loss record, head-to-head and common opponents, difficulty of opponents, and numerous other factors in what is the most comprehensive rankings system in the sport.
Fighters who are currently serving drug-related suspensions are not eligible for Top 10 consideration until they have fought one time after the completion of their suspension.
Fighters must also have competed within the past 12 months in order to be eligible for Top 10 consideration unless they have a bout scheduled within a reasonable time frame.
Below are the current MMAWeekly.com World MMA Rankings:
HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (over 205 pounds)
1. Cain Velasquez
2. Fabricio Werdum
3. Brock Lesnar
4. Junior Dos Santos
5. Alistair Overeem
6. Antonio Silva
7. Fedor Emelianenko
8. Shane Carwin
9. Frank Mir
10. Sergei Kharitonov
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205-pound limit)
1. Jon Jones
2. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
3. Rashad Evans
4. Quinton Jackson
5. Lyoto Machida
6. Forrest Griffin
7. Thiago Silva
8. Ryan Bader
9. Dan Henderson
10. Phil Davis
MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185-pound limit)
1. Anderson Silva
2. Yushin Okami
3. Nathan Marquardt
4. Demian Maia
5. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
6. Jorge Santiago
7. Michael Bisping
8. Robbie Lawler
9. Hector Lombard
10. Vitor Belfort
WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170-pound limit)
1. Georges St-Pierre
2. Jon Fitch
3. Jake Shields
4. Thiago Alves
5. Josh Koscheck
6. Nick Diaz
7. Paul Daley
8. Carlos Condit
9. B.J. Penn
10. Diego Sanchez
LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (160-pound limit)
1. Frankie Edgar
2. Gilbert Melendez
3. Gray Maynard
4. Shinya Aoki
5. Eddie Alvarez
6. Jim Miller
7. Tatsuya Kawajiri
8. Kenny Florian
9. Anthony Pettis
10. Melvin Guillard
FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 pound-limit)
1. Jose Aldo
2. Chad Mendes
3. Manny Gamburyan
4. Diego Nunes
5. Hatsu Hioki
6. Dustin Poirier
7. Mark Hominick
8. Erik Koch
9. Michihiro Omigawa
10. Josh Grispi
BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 pounds or less)
1. Dominick Cruz
2. Brian Bowles
3. Joseph Benavidez
4. Scott Jorgensen
5. Urijah Faber
6. Miguel Torres
7. Brad Pickett
8. Demetrious Johnson
9. Masakatsu Ueda
10. Michael McDonald
Training Updates: Fedor Heads to Holland to Train with Ernesto Hoost and Chael Sonnen Adds Some Swagger to the 209 Where He’s Helping Jake Shields Prepare for GSP
Jake Shields mentioned in an interview he did with Joe Rogan during Saturday’s Ultimate Fight Night 24 broadcast that he was planning on bringing in Chael Sonnen to help him prepare for his April 30 UFC 129 match-up with UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
According to MiddleEasy, he wasn’t just blowing smoke up our asses as the beleaguered UFC middleweight contender has offically arrived in the 209 with his Team Quest mate Matt Lindland in tow to help Shields prepare for GSP.
Here’s the photo of the unlikely pairing of the fighting Republicans and the Skrap Pack:
In other news, former PRIDE heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko has made good on his promise that he would shake up his training by traveling to the Netherlands to prepare for his next bout. “The Last Emperor” is spending the next two weeks at Ernesto Hoost’s Dutch kickboxing gym.
Here is some footage of Fedor training with Mr. Perfect in the land of tulips and wooden shoes.
This isn’t Fedor’s first training trip to Holland. Check out this vid of the once-thought invincible Russian training a few years back with Alistair Overeem and Gilbert Yvel at Team Golden Glory.
Keith Kizer: NSAC may have to take drug testing procedures a step further
It won't be pretty, but changes soon may be in store for the Nevada State Athletic Commission's drug-testing protocols.
Shortly after the discovery of an allegedly bogus urine sample submitted by UFC 125 competitor Thiago Silva, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer informed his commission inspectors that they might have to, well, take a closer look in the locker room.
If allegations against Silva prove true, Kizer said, the adjustments made following the NSAC's first case of sample tampering – which came in 2006 – may need to be revised again.
Prior to Bellator 38, Richard Hale never even practiced an inverted triangle
Richard Hale drilled for months and months on the inverted-triangle choke, set up a game plan to use it, and then executed with precision the submission hold to put Nike Fekete to sleep this past Saturday at Bellator 38.
Actually, that's a lie. He saw the move the night before weigh-ins on YouTube and thought it would be cool to give it a go. (Watch Hale's inverted-triangle choke.)
"I've never even thrown an inverted triangle before," Hale (16-3 MMA, 1-0 BFC) today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Ironically, he's now in the company of the fighter he scoped that night, Toby Imada, as the video clip of his stunning submission makes Internet rounds.
To top it off, he gets a ticket to the semifinals of Bellator's season-four light heavyweight tournament, where he'll meet D.J. Linderman at Bellator 42.
Dream champ Takaya vs Peralta added to Strikeforce: Diaz vs Daley
A bout between DREAM featherweight champ Hiroyuki Takaya (15-8-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) and Robert Peralta (13-3 MMA, 0-0 SF) has been added to the preliminary card of next month's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley" event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the matchup with Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Afromowitz. Sherdog.com first reported the fight.
"Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley" takes place April 9 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, and the main card airs live on Showtime. The event is headlined by a welterweight title fight between reigning champ Nick Diaz and Paul Daley.
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
MMA Access: Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Great Audio Interview with Jesse Finney -
The Official Radio Partner of PunchDrunkGamer, Takedown Wrestling Media’s Scott Casber talked to Jesse Finney, owner of Finney’s MMA about his recent acquisition of Matt Hughes H.I.T. Squad gym in Granite City, Illinois.
Representatives from H.I.T. Squad, one of the most recognized and respected mixed martial arts training facilities in the industry, announced that they are under new ownership. The Granite City, Illinois MMA training facility is now officially known as "Finney's HIT Squad."
According to gym representatives, Jesse Finney now owns the facility. Finney also owns Finney's MMA; another St. Louis based mixed martial arts gym known for producing top-level contenders. As a result of the strategic change in ownership, the HIT Squad has emerged stronger than ever.
Jesse Finney had this to say, ""We are very excited about working with Matt Hughes, Marc Fiore, and Kyle Watson. The H.I.T. Squad (now Finney's HIT Squad) is already considered one of the top MMA gyms in the world. Our goal is to make it THE top MMA gym. We have already begun making improvements to both training facilities, improvements that will ultimately generate bigger and better opportunities for our fighters as we evolve."
A full size competition cage has been installed in Finney's HIT Squad facility as a result of the new ownership, and they have already begun implementing the Shamrock Fighter Development System (SDS). The system mirrors that of Major League Baseball, where players start out in a development league and work their way up based on their skills and performance.
Amateur fighters start out competing for credible local promotions such as Shamrock MMA. If you're a top-level professional fighter, Finney's has affiliations with nationally recognized promotions such as Shark Fights, Bellator, Strikeforce and the UFC.
Although ownership has changed hands, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes will continue to train at the facility and the gyms well-established coaching staff will remain intact. According to H.I.T. Squad coach Marc Fiore, "I fully support the change in ownership and look forward to working with Finney and his team. This is a positive change that will generate new opportunities for the gym and make the HIT Squad brand even stronger. The new build out has added value to the facility and our stable of fighters has already increased from 40 to 80. We are all very excited about the direction the gym is going."
Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad collectively offer one of the most comprehensive, well-rounded, training programs in the industry. Fighters at both amateur and professional levels have access to everything they need to advance their careers, from top-of-the-line equipment and unparalleled training, to housing and fight management. Both facilities offer on-site and off -site housing for members of the fight team, a highly sought after amenity that most MMA gyms do not offer. Fighters associated with the gyms also receive top-level representation through Elite MMA Management.
Both 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art facilities cater to professional fighters, as well as the general public. The superior instructors, all experts in their respective disciplines, teach men, women and children of all skill levels. The combined coaching staff has more name recognition and experience than any other team assembled in the Midwest. Classes are offered in boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, wrestling, and sports conditioning. Whether a member joins to increase their fitness level, learn self-defense, or to hone their fighting skills, both Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad offer superior instruction.
West Virginia becomes 45th U.S. state to regulate MMA
With overwhelming votes in favor of the move, West Virginia is now the 45th U.S. state to regulate mixed martial arts.
After it recently passed the West Virginia legislation, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently signed the bill into effect.
Only three state athletic commissions (New York, Connecticut and Vermont) currently don't regulate MMA, and two states (Alaska and Wyoming) lack regulatory bodies to do so.
GSP Talks Shields, UFC 129, Strikeforce & Super-Fights
GSP Talks Shields, UFC 129, Strikeforce & Super-Fights
I don't usually post audio interview links but this is good. GSP is very confident but also very respectful of Jones & Silva.
The undisputed world welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre was recently a guest on PDG’s official radio partner Takedown Wrestling Radio with Scott Casber. GSP talks about training for Jake Shields, UFC 129 in Toronto, Jon Jones performance at UFC 128, Zuffa’s recent purchase of Strikeforce and the opportunities that will bring, trash talking in mixed martial arts and the regulation of MMA in New York.[
Rashad Evans and Jon Jones Head Up Paradise Warrior Retreat Seminar in N.Y.
The Paradise Warrior Retreat will be holding its next training camp at New York’s The Wat Gym. The training camp will feature five top MMA fighters and coaches in the world as instructors.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion and “The Ultimate Fighter” winner Rashad Evans is one of the fighter-instructors at the camp. The other is new UFC light heavyweight champion and 205-pound phenom Jon Jones (13-1).
NFL Lockout closes one door, opens another for UFC and MMA
Greed will imprison us all.
No one knows that better than the legions of National Football League (NFL) fans that are being held hostage right now by the owners and players inability to come to terms on an agreement regarding how to split the massive amount of revenue the league brings in each year.
They're also bickering over potential rule changes, whether or not to add a few games to each season, a rookie pay scale and many other labor disputes. All of these issues that have gone unresolved for far too long have led to the possibility of a work stoppage.
In short, by the time August rolls around this year, there may not be any professional football. But where one door closes, another one opens and there is always someone standing on the other side, waiting to walk through it.
Enter Dana White and his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).