Neil Melanson chooses MMA over body part
LAS VEGAS -- Rest in peace, Neil Melanson’s second toe on his left foot. You’re in a better place.
After enduring more abuse than any toe should, Melanson’s is officially gone. The head jiu-jitsu trainer at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, best known for his work with Randy Couture, had it removed last week after it became arthritic due to a severely damaged joint.
Had he been willing to stay off the mats for approximately one year, Melanson likely could have avoided amputation. But when given a choice between 365 days away from training or forfeiting the Little Piggy who Stayed Home, he chose the latter.
“I broke it in the first tournament I ever competed in,” Melanson told ESPN.com. “Then over the years I broke it again and two years ago it snapped. It just didn’t want to live I guess.
“It’s really not a big deal to me. It’s just a toe. I guess when you love the sport and you’re committed to it, you don’t let little things like toes get in the way.”
CSAC overturns Tachi Palace 9's DeJesus vs. Miura to no-decision
The California State Athletic Commission has overturned Isaac DeJesus' Tachi Palace Fights 9 win over Russ Miura to a no-decision.
DeJesus scored a first-round TKO at the May event but was flagged for marijuana in a post-fight drug test.
The decision to overturn the victory was made at Monday's CSAC hearing in Van Nuys, Calif.
Jake Rosholt's DQ loss to John Ott at Titan Fighting 18 oveturned to no-contest
The Kansas Athletic Commission has changed Jake Rosholt's disqualification loss to John Ott to a no-contest after a short review of their fight, which took place May 27 at Titan Fighting Championships 18.
KAC Boxing Commissioner Troye Blackmon confirmed the change today with MMAjunkie.com and said the decision had been made "a few weeks ago."
Blackmon declined to discuss the basis for his decision. Rosholt's manager said it is a just outcome considering the circumstances of the fight.
Lawmakers Possibly Cutting Military Sponsorship of MMA Events
One of the biggest stories heading into last weekend's Strikeforce: Overeem vs.Werdum event was Zuffa implementing the "sponsorship tax" on companies wishing to sponsor a fighter. This led to some fans being very upset about money coming out of fighter pockets. Now it looks like there may be a move taking place at the political level which may see fighters impacted again.
Via The Hill:
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) is readying her next move in a months-long effort to slash Pentagon spending for NASCAR and other sports sponsorships.
McCollum questions whether the U.S. military should be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sponsorship deals for sports including stock car racing, professional fishing and pro wrestling at a time when the nation is running large deficits. Military officials and congressional supporters say the sponsorships help with recruitment.
The House recently "voted to eliminate funding for homeless veterans, slash community health centers serving low-income families and pass a fiscal year 2011 budget that would force 800,000 Americans to lose their jobs," McCollum said recently. "Yet taxpayer-funded sponsorship of NASCAR racing teams was protected. I find this absurd."
McCollum has failed twice to advance proposals that would have changed the way the military awards contracts and doles out funds for those events, as well as for ultimate-fighting sponsorships.
Following committee hurdle, no MMA legislation in New York in 2011
MMA legislation won't be coming to New York state in 2011.
A years-long fight to get the sport sanctioned in one of the most potentially lucrative markets again has hit a roadblock in the New York State Assembly.
For the third straight year, the bill – A04146 – stalled in the assembly's Ways and Means Committee, which holds its final 2011 legislation session today.
Nevada to Increase Out-of-Competition Drug Testing
The state of Nevada will ramp up random, out-of-competition drug testing for combat sports athletes after Gov. Brian Sandoval on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will increase the amount of money available for screenings.
Senate Bill No. 498 amended the current Nevada state athletic commission regulations, which used promoter taxes from professional events to award grants to amateur organizations. Now, some of the money will be placed into a fund for drug testing fighters.
The language of the bill states that testing will be for "amateur and professional unarmed combatants at any time, including, without limitation, during any period of training."
Bustamante’s Return Tops Slew of Brazilian Fights
Brazilian MMA icon and former UFC middleweight champion Murilo Bustamante will fight again.
Bustamante, 44, this week told Sherdog.com that he will return to the ring to headline a July 20 card from Rio de Janeiro-based promotion Clube da Luta (Fight Club) at Rio’s Via Show nightclub. The bout will be only Bustamante’s second since 2007, and his first since being stopped by Jesse Taylor last July in Australia.
Standing opposite the Brazilian Top Team leader will be Yuya Shirai, a Dream veteran and current welterweight champion of Japanese promotion Deep. The 170-pound bout will be one of two super-fights on the night, with the second pitting Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno against Luis “Besouro” Dutra Jr. at lightweight.
Also slated for the July 20 card are two four-man tournaments with a bevy of recognizable names. The 154-pound bracket includes former UFC lightweight Ronys Torres, resurgent veteran Carlo Prater, Diego Braga and Igor “Chatubinha” Fernandes, while the 170-pound field hosts Octagon vet Edilberto “Crocota” de Oliveira, Daniel Acacio, Hernani Perpetuo and prospect “Zezao Trator,” Jose Gomes de Ribamar.
Bustamante’s return to action was just one in a slew of notable matches made by Brazilian promoters in June. Top Brazilian 205-pounder Glover Teixeira and former UFC fighter Antonio “Samuray” Mendes will vie for the vacant Shooto South America heavyweight strap Aug. 5 in the national capital of Brasilia. Less than three weeks later, Teixeira will compete again at Shooto’s private “Fight for BOPE” show in Rio, likely against Houston Alexander or Marvin Eastman.
MFC 30 results and review
MFC 30: Cobb catches Fickett with first-round finish, Davis, Westcott, Lima among other winners at M
Brian Cobb survived a series of serious submission threats, turned the tide of his fight in a quick flash, and scored a surprising TKO victory over Drew Fickett in the co-main event of the Maximum Fighting Championship’s MFC 30: Up Close & Personal on Friday night.
The event aired live on HDNet Fights before a packed house at the Mayfield Convention Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
Cobb (19-6), who was making his MFC debut, was in deep trouble after being taken down in the corner with Fickett eyeing a fast submission victory. Fickett (41-14) looked to have the win sewn up as he took Cobb’s back, secured a body lock, and went for a rear-naked choke followed by a neck crank. But “The Bandit” eventually slithered out of harm’s way and turned into Fickett’s guard to begin raining down right hands. When Fickett’s head bounced off the mat for the second time, referee Vern Gorman stepped in to halt Cobb’s attack with just 16 seconds left in the first round.
“Without a doubt, the biggest win of my career,” said Cobb, the Bakersfield, California, product who racked up his fourth straight victory. “It was a true honor to fight Drew Fickett and I am extremely happy with this win.”
Mandate for Mixed Martial Arts in New York
Last Monday the Parks, Tourism, and Sports Development Committee of the New York State Assembly voted in favor of the bill (A04146) to decriminalize and sanction mixed martial arts (MMA) by an overwhelming vote of 16-3. But, as if the fourteen year fight for legal MMA has not been long enough, on the eve of possible regulation in New York, debate continues full steam creating a virtual race for the finish line. The finish line is June 20th, the end of the 2011 legislative calendar.
For legislation to become law in New York it must pass successfully through both the State Assembly and the Senate, at which point Governor Andrew Cuomo must sign the bill into law. Cuomo, who has long been silent on the issue of MMA, has now stated that when the bill reaches his desk, he will sign it.
Like the Senate before it, which passed companion legislation in support of MMA last May by a staggering 42-18 vote (as compared to the 32-26 vote in 2010), the Assembly Parks, Tourism, and Sports Development Committee has created a clear mandate for its fellow Assemblypersons: New Yorkers want MMA and they want it now!
New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Effectively Kills 2011 MMA Bill
With a few words from arguably the most powerful man in New York state politics, it appears that mixed martial arts in the Empire State will once again die in its 2011 bid for sanctioning.
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat and 34-year veteran of the Assembly who has held the most pivotal role in New York's legislature since 1994, effectively sealed the sport's fate with a single sentence.
"There does not appear to be widespread support in the Assembly for this legislation," Silver said on Tuesday, according to The New York Daily News.
To say the least, his words come as a curious statement just days after the bill to regulate the sport had easily sailed through the Assembly's Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development committee by a 16-3 vote. The bill had already been passed through the state senate as well, in a 42-18 vote.
MMA Regulation Passes Another Hurdle In New York Vote
Mixed martial arts passed another hurdle in its quest to gain sanctioning in New York, as a bill to regulate the sport sailed through a vote in the state assembly's Tourism, Arts, Parks and Sport Development committee on Monday.
The vote overwhelmingly passed by a 16-3 margin, with two members absent.
Several obstacles, however, still stand in the way of regulated MMA coming to New York.
MMA bill passes tourism committee in New York, hurdles remain to vote
One down, three to go.
The New York State Assembly's Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development committee today passed a bill to regulate the sport of MMA in the Empire State.
The bill, titled A04146A, passed by a vote of 16-3, according to a representative from the office of its sponsor, New York Assemblyman Steven Englebright. However, several hurdles remain before the bill becomes law.
Ringside 11 Weigh-In Results
Here are the weigh-in results:
Todd Brown (188.8) vs. Patrick Côté (189.0)
Stéphane Pelletier (134.2) vs. Dimitri Waardenburg (133.6)
*** for Ringside Bantamweight title
Donald Brashear (238.4) vs. Mathieu Bergeron (262.6) vs.
David Lafond (155.4) vs. Kevin Morin (154.8)
Marcus Hicks (205.4) vs. Yan Pellerin (205.8)
Justin Doyon (155.0) vs. Dany Laflamme (154.6)
Maxime Léger (145.0) vs. Keven Tremblay (141.6)
Tommy Côté (150.0) vs. Jérôme Martin (149.0)
Brashear ready to fight for own sake
For 16 years, Donald Brashear fought for the sake of others. On Saturday, it will be all about him.
The former National Hockey League enforcer, who was best known for dropping the gloves when the situation called for it, will don the four-ounce gloves on Saturday night when he makes his mixed martial arts debut at Ringside 11 at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City
K-1 Heavily in Debt to Fighters; It's Showtime Planning to Take Legal Action
K-1 made news last week with the announcement that they would finally be returning to action on June 25. It was great news for kickboxing fans, and seemed to momentarily erase the past 6 months of frustration and questions of mismanagement.
Enter It's Showtime.
The Dutch kickboxing organization had a very important question in the wake of this announcement - how can K-1 announce a new show when they haven't paid everyone from last year's shows? It's Showtime, who also has a talent management division, pointed out that their fighters are owed over $400,000 in back pay for previous K-1 events. After six months, It's Showtime has had enough, and have announced their plan to take legal action against K-1 and parent company FEG:
For more than half a year K-1 owes us more than 400.000 US dollars in total because several fighters which we represent have not been paid. Every time we were asked to have more patience because a potential investor would be interested to take over K-1.
Until now, we have never contacted a lawyer to claim our credits because we granted K-1 the time they need to financially recover. However, we were very surprised to hear that DREAM and K-1 want to organize a number of smaller events. In our opinion that isn't possible before K-1 first pays its debts to fighters which already have fought. Therefore, now is the time for us to hire a lawyer.
Search Underway for Missing Arizona MMA Fighter Todd Whitzel
Search is currently underway for 27-year-old Arizona professional mixed martial arts fighter and Rage in the Cage veteran Todd M. Whitzel, who has been missing for 12 days.
Whitzel was last seen at a little neighborhood bar called “The Wagon Wheel” in Picture Rocks, Ariz., a subdivision on the outskirts of Tucson, late Thursday evening, May 12, 2011.
Whitzel’s aunt, Michelle Estala, contacted ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) with the news over the weekend in order to get the word out to the MMA community, hoping someone may come forward with information regarding Whitzel’s whereabouts.
According to Estala, Whitzel was involved in an altercation against two men outside the bar when a group of men from inside came out and joined in. At this point, apparently a gun was pulled by a friend of Whitzel’s to keep the crowd at bay, giving Whitzel time enough to escape on his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his friend on the back.
Estala stated, according to the friend, Whitzel dropped him off at his home about four minutes away. He asked Whitzel to stay but he declined and said he needed to go. That was the last anyone has seen or heard from Todd Whitzel.
Whitzel’s aunt said his girlfriend made a call to his mobile phone at 3:01 a.m. early Friday morning, May 13. The phone was answered and she stayed on the call for 23 minutes calling out for Whitzel but all she could hear was the motorcycle, until finally, the bike shut off and she heard a dog bark but there was still no response.
She hung up and repeatedly tried to call back to no avail until around 5:30 a.m. when either Whitzel’s phone was shut off or the battery went dead.
Estala said Whitzel is not the type of person to just take off somewhere and not let anyone know. Aside from being close with his family he is also the single father of two young sons, ages four and two. The two-year-old lives with his mother, but Magnus, the four-year-old, lives with Whitzel.
ProMMAnow.com spoke with Whitzel’s mother, Glenda Whitzel, this morning via phone while she was in the desert searching for any signs of her son, or his motorcycle which is still missing. This is something she has been doing for the last ten days.
“We’re in the desert looking for buzzards to see where they’re landing, to see if we can find his body,” said Ms. Whitzel.
She said the Marana and Pima County police were currently attempting to get a court order to find the location of the tower where her son’s mobile phone was last used, a process that could still take another day or two.
There have been complaints from the family regarding the local law enforcement’s seeming unwillingness to get involved. Our call to the Marana Police Department regarding the case has not been returned.
Todd Whitzel never won a UFC title. Most of you have never heard of Todd. But the fact he was a professional mixed martial arts fighter means he was still part of this family, and the fact he was willing to get inside that cage and stand toe-to-toe with another man gives us at least an inkling of the type of person he is.
Todd’s last professional fight on record took place at Rage in the Cage 119 in Nov. 2008 at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Ariz. He defeated Joshua Bossardet via kimura submission in the third round.
If anyone has any information relating to Todd Whitzel’s location or this case please contact Sgt. Alvarez at the Marana Police Department in Marana, Ariz., at 520-382-2000.
Name: Todd M. Whitzel
Height: 5' 10?
Weight: 165 lbs.
Recognizable features: Has an Ace of Spades tattoo on the back of head
Last seen: 5-11-11 on a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle near Tucson, Ariz.