The Learning Curve
"The author of “The Tipping Point,” self-help guru Malcolm Gladwell, stirred up lots of press last year when he proclaimed that anyone who wants to get good at anything needs to put at least 10,000 hours of effort into it.
“You can’t become a chess grand master unless you spend 10,000 hours on practice,” Gladwell told an assembly in 2008. “The tennis prodigy who starts playing at six is playing in Wimbledon at 16 or 17 [like] Boris Becker. The classical musician who starts playing the violin at four is debuting at Carnegie Hall at 15 or so.”'
Versus Denies Report It Engaged in Preliminary Talks With Bellator
Yesterday in an article about the WEC, I linked to a report by Jonathan Snowden at Heavy.com. In that report, Snowden claimed the following:
The Versus network, home to the WEC, was so worried that the promotion was leaving that they opened up tentative talks with Bellator, the Latino friendly group looking for a home after leaving ESPN Deportes earlier this year. As unhappy as WEC fighters are, it's nothing compared to Bellator's woebegone warriors. The promotion will be in a holding pattern through March at the earliest and in the meantime many fighters are desperate to make ends meet.
Lisa Marie Varon, Former WWE Diva, Ready to Become 'Next Brock Lesnar'
Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley have already proven that pro wrestlers, or at least a select few, can hang in mixed martial arts. Now Lisa Marie Varon, known as "Victoria" during her nine-year run in World Wrestling Entertainment, is poised to prove that WWE Divas can compete with the best female mixed martial artists as well.
Varon, who currently works for Total Nonstop Action wrestling as "Tara," recently announced her intention to make her MMA debut in the near future. And while she has not set a date, the 38-year-old told FanHouse that she would love to fight before the end of the year.
'Big' John McCarthy "not surprised" at not getting NSAC license
Veteran referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy has revealed that he is not surprised that the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has not yet awarded him a licence to officiate in Nevada. McCarthy applied for a license recently but the application has apparently been put on ice by the commission as part of a backlog of applications.
“I knew that was going to happen. I am not surprised at all,” said McCarthy today. He spoke to Fighters Only at Macau in China, where he is refereeing this weekend’s Art of War 14 event.
Frank Mir, Miguel Torres training at Sityodtong
Mark Dellagrotte’s MMA and Muay Thai school Sityodtong has picked up two big names in recent weeks, Fighters Only has learned.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres are both heading to the Boston gym to work with the man regarded as having one of the best ‘Muay Thai for MMA’ systems in the sport.
"Lighting Strikes": Lee Murray Movie Gets Big Time Director
Darren Aronofsky is developing a gritty heist thriller based on “the daring robbery of the Securitas Depot in Tonbridge, a £53 Million Sterling score (around $86 million US) thought to be masterminded by former mixed martial arts fighter and UFC star ‘Lightning’ Lee Murray.” Screenwriter Kerry Williamson (who also adapted Denis Hamill’s novel Fork in the Road for Alexander Payne) is adapting the script, which Aronofsky is eyeing as a directing vehicle. Details after the jump.
The underlying rights package that includes an article from an April 14th 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine titled Breaking the Bank by Jon Wertheim, and the non-fiction book Heist: The Inside Story of the World’s Biggest Robbery by Howard Sounes. The Tonbridge Securitas heist, which took place outside of London in February 2006, is valued at over $85M USD – dwarfing previous cash hauls including the infamous 1963 Great Train Robbery and 1978 JFK Lufthansa heist
Antonio Silva Made Offers for Stateside Return
TOKYO – Antonio Silva’s exile to Japan is all but over, he says.
Silva, who faces Jim York on Sept. 22 at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku Tenth Battle” at the Super Saitama Arena, said his steroid suspension in California expired on July 27, and that he is in negotiations with several promotions to return to stateside action.
Municipal AC in Canada suspends MMA for six months
Local mixed martial arts fans will have to travel further to watch live bouts.
The Moncton Boxing and Wrestling Commission has ruled there will be no mixed martial arts cards in Moncton for the next six months. There have been seven MMA events here in the past three years and the sport has enjoyed a growing fan base locally.
Bas Rutten responds to Kimbo
With the premier of The Ultimate Fighter 10 season coming this week, all eyes have been on Kimbo Slice. The internet sensation turned mixed martial artist will try his luck in the UFC reality series after a notorious stint with EliteXC.
Nate "The Rock" Quarry is Left 4 Dead
PDG: Ok we need to talk about some video gaming. Have you had any down time after your training to play any games?
Nate Quarry: Oh yeah, I was actually able to play the UFC Undisputed 2009 game for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I got a chance to be a guest online and play some of the mixed martial arts fans that were online. It was a great time! The game I am looking forward to the most though is Left 4 Dead 2. The creators of the game did a photo shoot with me and I am going to be one of the Zombies that you fight in the game. I'm really excited to be involved in the project.
Coture Vs. Vera to Headline UFC 105
RANDY COUTURE will make a quick-fire return to Octagon action against Brandon Vera at UFC 105.
The 46-year-old former heavyweight champion will take on The Truth in a light heavyweight clash in the main event at the MEN Arena on November 14.
Not bad for the UK fans we get the legend that is Randy facing the Over-hyped Vera. I think this could be the end of the road for Vera if he doesn't beat Coture and I don't think he will.
Ortiz: ‘Cyborg’ Santos Slammed Me
"If there is one woman who insists on ignoring gender roles in society, it’s Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos: after throttling Gina Carano like a hungry wolverine beheading a hummingbird, Santos’ training doesn’t appear to be slacking.
Posted on Tito Ortiz’s vlog and first noticed by Michael David Smith of Fanhouse, Ortiz can be seen discussing a sparring session with Santos that apparently involved her slamming her way out of a triangle attempt."
Gegard Mousasi: 'Paulo Filho is a little donkey on steroids'
“What happened when [Filho] came to America, he got beat up really bad. Now he’s back in Japan and he feels like a kid in a candy story. He can use all kinds of steroids and I think the steroids have gone to his head. He didn’t perform the same as he does in Japan as he does in America and now he suddenly has a big mouth again. I would say that he’s a little donkey on steroids. He thinks he’s a running horse but he’s more like a little pony. I really believe that he used steroids. He also backed out a couple of times when he had to fight Chael Sonnen. He said he was crazy. Maybe he is crazy, I don’t know. I think he wasn’t feeling very good mentally because he cannot use his magic stuff. I also fight in Japan and I don’t use anything. If there’s an athletic commission test, he can fight me everywhere, everywhere he wants.”
Ohio Commission Responds to Sean Salmon
Sean Salmon’s self-imposed troubles continue: after the fighter admitted in an MMAJunkie.com essay that he purposely fell into an armbar submission during a June 3 bout against Allan Weickert, Ohio State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato told Sherdog.com/ESPN.com Thursday that Salmon was putting himself in danger of exile.
MMA, Lies and Videotape
by Jordan Breen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In his epic strategy-and-swordsmanship treatise “The Book of Five Rings,” Musashi Miyamoto writes, "You can become a master of strategy by training alone with a sword, so that you can understand the enemy's stratagems, his strength and resources, and come to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies. And you should always watch videotape."
Clearly, Nate Marquardt and Thiago Silva know the martial way.
Although I may have fabricated one of the sentences above, the point remains. No matter how you view MMA -- as pure martial arts, as sport or even as business -- these are all realms where the adage of "know thy enemy" are foundational. Yet, it's only in the very recent past that the concepts of actual strategy and planning have crept into this sport. This is why I am so ecstatic for Marquardt and Silva to have dominated Saturday night. More importantly, it's not that they won but rather how they won.
It took Marquardt just 21 seconds to completely nuke Demian Maia, as he countered an ill-conceived Maia kick with a flush right cross. Instead of tucking his head and keeping his left hand up to protect his chin, Maia's head was rigid and upright, and his left hand aimlessly drifted toward Marquardt's face. The counter was reflexive and instantaneous, because it had already become muscle memory.
"I had watched tape on him and had kind of noticed how he telegraphs when he kicks," Marquardt said at the post-fight presser. "I have a lot of counters for kicks and stuff … . It's crazy how it worked so easily."
It's not that the counter itself was special. It is that Marquardt focused on a specific technical flaw in his opponent, and the instant it appeared, he sent him flying at the canvas forehead-first. Yet for as obvious and effective as this kind of hyper-specific stratagem seems, it is a rarity in this game. Even with major money now at stake, MMA is still a sport where lines like "It's a fight" and "We'll see where it goes" are familiar phraseology.
Just a few months back, Josh Koscheck commented that he never watches his opponents before he fights them and almost seemed to brag that he had no idea what Paulo Thiago looked like. I imagine he might have liked to have at least a gander at some fight tape now. Likewise, talented middleweight Dan Miller admits to not watching his opponents beforehand, but after being completely dominated by a one-dimensional Chael Sonnen for 15 minutes, hopefully he realizes that a bit of time watching tape may have helped him find an opening for a submission against a fighter far less skilled in that department than himself.
Part of the reason these attitudes persist is that MMA is still reliant on crippling generalities. We still discuss the sport in terms of "strikers" and "grapplers" and throw out adjectives like "unorthodox" and "world-class" without much thought to individual skills and technique. However, it isn't 1999 anymore, and fighters have become generally, if not perfectly, well rounded. In 2009, these oversimplifications are lies, as fights are more often won and lost on the very specific and unique wrinkles -- both positive and negative -- in a fighter's game...