Gomi Visits AKA
Takanori Gomi joined training practice with the fight team at American Kickboxing Academy on Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., Sherdog.com has learned.
Bob Cook, one of AKA’s head trainers, said the Japanese striker “mostly grappled” with UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch, Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, Justin Wilcox, as well as with middleweight Trevor Prangley and UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez.
The former Pride lightweight champion is in the U.S. reportedly to take meetings with both the UFC and Strikeforce. Cook is a consultant for Strikeforce.
Gomi also attended the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto boxing match last Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
One of Japan’s biggest attractions during the Pride era, Gomi dropped back-to back losses against Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitaoka in Sengoku, but rebounded in the last half of 2009 with victories over Takashi Nakakura in Shooto and Tony Hervey in Vale Tudo Japan 2009 in late October. Gomi carries a third-round submission loss to UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn from October 2003.
Eiler's Killer Sentenced
CALDWELL -- A Nampa man accused of killing his stepson last Christmas will spend up to 15 years in prison.
Back in September, a Canyon County jury convicted 48-year-old James Malec of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 30-year-old Justin Eilers.
Eilers was a pro mixed-martial arts fighter and former Nampa High School wrestler.
Deputies say Malec shot Eilers in a disturbance that escalated during a family gathering on Christmas night 2008.
Nogueira vs. Velasquez Now Set For UFC 108
A heavyweight showdown between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez has been confirmed for UFC 108 in Las Vegas.
The possibility of the bout arose last week when Nogueira’s manager talked about the fight to SportTV. MMAWeekly.com has since been able to confirm the bout with multiple sources, who say it will happen on Jan. 2. ...
The gogoplata guy: Even if retirement sticks, Brad Imes left his mark on MMA
When Brad Imes graduated high school, it would've been ridiculous for someone to suggest he would one day be known as a nimble heavyweight who would pull off one of the most unique and fascinating feats in all of mixed-martial-arts.
At the time, in June 1995, Imes was a 5-foot-10, 165-pound reserve football player in Columbia, Mo.
Within two years, Imes would be 6-feet-7 and 290 pounds. Even more, by the time he was a year out of the University of Missouri, where he walked on the school's football team before earning a scholarship as an offensive lineman, he cut his 40-yard dash time to 4.85 seconds and increased his vertical jump from 24 inches to 33 inches.
If you're looking for a reason why Imes recently pulled off two gogoplata submissions in consecutive fights — a seemingly impossible task, particularly in the heavyweight division of MMA — consider his growth. He was a flexible, quick football player who needed to grow into his body to be comfortable.
Because of it, Imes has become famous in the MMA world, almost like Bigfoot.
Fighters Convene in Las Vegas for UFC/WEC Summit
While crossing paths with a Mixed Martial Artist in Las Vegas may not be an overly infrequent occurrence, the odds are certainly up for any fans visiting Sin City this week thanks to a Zuffa summit involving numerous fighters from both the UFC and WEC.
Representatives from the dual promotions included, but were not limited to, notable names such as Mauricio Rua, Yoshihiro Akiyama, “Minotauro” Nogueira, Rogerio Nogueira, Frank Edgar, Miguel Torres, Nate Diaz, Urijah Faber, Demian Maia, Tom Lawlor, Joe Lauzon, Mark Coleman, Mike Swick, Danny Castillo, Matt Serra, Muhsin Corbbrey, Frank Trigg, Junior dos Santos, Ben Henderson, and head-honchos Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta.
The MMA Bad Boy: Charles Bennett wants you to meet a kinder, gengtler "Kid Kaos"
There was a lot of noise in the background.
"What was the question?" said Charles Bennett, the man better know in the mixed-martial-arts world as Krazy Horse, even though he would now prefer to be known as Kid Kaos.
Bennett was getting his hair done. He was in Oklahoma to attend his roommate's fight, and he wanted to make sure that he continued what he considers his new image – cleaner (or, as he put it, "cuter, funnier, funner") and a role model for younger fighters and kids.
So, he can't have his hair being crazy. He got it braided, nice and neat. Like he wants to be now.
The question was on that line, kind of. After all that he's been through – the drug sales, arrests, move to MMA, theatrics, back flips, crazy hair, gold teeth – what does he think about his future in MMA? He is, after all, a 10-year veteran now at 30 years old.
Pedro Rizzo reflects on career turning point
Pedro Rizzo was a big name in the early years of mixed martial arts, feared by opponents and loved by fans for his hard-hitting style and savage leg kicks that used to crumple his opponents to the mat. He hols wins over the likes of Mark Coleman, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski, yet is an unknown to some of the newer MMA fans.
He was 11-1 in his career before meeting Randy Couture twice in back-to-back fights and suffering losses changed his life and derailed his career. In a recent talk with Brazilian MMA television show Sensei SporTV, he reflected on his decision loss in the first of his fights with Couture.
Is the MMA Talent Pool Drying Up?
There were 190 middleweights and 81 light heavyweights who showed up cauliflower ears and all in hopes of becoming the next "Ultimate Fighter."
UFC president Dana White called it a low turnout and said he was looking to recruit three or four fighters that day. After season nine's tryouts drew 700 welterweight and lightweights, he was perplexed by the drop-off.
"It's very weird," he said. "You would think right now in these hard economic times... I thought this would be the biggest turnout we ever had."
Randy Couture wants Ricky Hatton to make the jump to MMA
UFC Hall of Famer, Randy Couture talked about wanting British boxing superstar, Ricky Hatton to make the jump to MMA. If interested, Randy says he's willing to help the former boxing world champion with the transition:
"I am a big fan of Ricky Hatton. He is a fantastic fighter. I could get him up to speed on the ground wrestling part of it, while he could take advantage of his boxing talent."
Lift The Ban Watch: MMA Now Very Close To Legal In Massachusetts
In a move that could soon bring the Ultimate Fighting Championship to Boston, Massachusetts state representatives passed a bill earlier this week that calls for the regulation of mixed martial arts. The bill calls for the Massachusetts State Boxing Commission to expand to a general athletic commission and oversee MMA events. It passed 144-10, and because the state senate already approved it the bill just needs the signature of Gov. Deval Patrick.
Pat Barry Really Needed That UFC104 Bonus Money Bad.
It’s nice to see the prelim fighters win the UFC pay-per-view bonus money. They need it a lot more than many of the guys on the main card who are making well into the five, six and seven-figures per fight.
That’s why it was awesome to see Pat Barry — who would have only made $14,000 for his impressive striking display in the second round against Antoni Hardonk — take home an additional $120,000 for winning Knockout and Fight of the Night honors.
Bas, Miletich & More talk Shogun v Machida
Bas Rutten – “Its going to be a great fight! Shogun is the better striker (hands), kicking wise I think he has the same skills as Machida he might kick harder though plus he has those crazy knees. Shogun is wilder than Machida, Machida is great at staying outside the opponents distance and countering the attacks that are thrown at him. The trick to beating Machida is to let him attack you and counter him, since he's a counter fighter you will take that away from him. Machida is more accurate then Shogun with his strikes but Shogun has a wider arsenal of strikes. Difficult one to predict, from what I hear from EVERYBODY who trains with Machida, they can't touch him. If he plays that game (thank God for 5 rounds) and counters the strikes from Shogun, he wins the fight. If one of those crazy combinations from Shogun comes through though, he will win. No prediction from me, I just break down the fights, I suck at predictions! Godspeed and party on!”
Wren thinks Jackson is not a coach
5. It sure looked like Rampage and his coaches gave little support to their fighters after they lost. What was your impression?
Justin Wren – “I absolutely have to agree with you. I heard Rampage saying it was the editing but even though his fighters liked him; look at the last TUF he was on and his record was 1-7. From the day I got there I knew I didn’t want to be on his team and I don’t think it has anything to do with the editing. He really did just ditch his fighters and to be honest he is no coach. I was really fortunate to be on Rashad’s Team.”
Roger Huerta's new trainer.....Mickey Rourke
Roger Huerta is getting some choice instruction in his new life as a fighter/actor.
Almost a month after losing a hard-fought battle with Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 19, Huerta is studying acting with movie star Mickey Rourke and Rourke’s personal acting coach.
Huerta’s manager, Jeff Clark, said his fighter recently flew to New York at Rourke’s request.
“Mickey took him under his wing,” said Clark.
The Pension for Punishment
"The ultimate fighter at 25 has a body with a good temperament for training. He can take repeated abuse and repair himself. He can fight four times a year -- or five, or seven -- if he wishes. If he suffers a significant dent (broken bones, damaged eyes, muscles torn from their adhesive) he’ll be ambulatory before long.
And he gets attention. Lots of attention. From sponsors, from fans who admire his abilities and from women. He can close a nightclub the week of a fight and not suffer the consequences. He makes a decent wage, gets his training subsidized by sponsor money and splurges when bonuses crop up. He’s not a champion, so he can’t afford to buy the Escalade outright, but he can make the lease payments."
Great and much needed read
Vince McMahon says WWE a "more sophisticated" product than MMA
During the peak of what the company refers to as its "attitude era" a decade ago, the WWE's audience was dominated by young men. While its popularity has waned, the fan base has simultaneously grown older and younger with new constituencies, according to audience research. A little more than a third of its audience is female. The audience is ethnically more diverse that most shows: 62 percent of audience is white; 20 percent of the viewership is black and 23 percent is Hispanic — Hispanics were counted as both white and Hispanic. It's the most-watched English-language show on cable among Hispanics, the company said.
With the Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts becoming more popular as competitors, it made little sense for the WWE to ramp up the attitude with violence and sexuality, McMahon said.
"You really can't compete with that," he said. "Why not deliver a more sophisticated product and not go to those extremes? If the audience wants those extremes, they know where to go and how to get it."
Going PG has helped the company draw advertisers who might have looked away before. Pepsi, 7-Eleven stores, Mattel toys and the Army National Guard are among the sponsors that have signed up since the shift, the company said.
Comedian John Heffron to host 2009 World MMA Awards ceremony
John Heffron has been tapped as host of the Dec. 30 ceremony for the 2009 World MMA Awards, the comedian today announced via Twitter.
Heffron, a Michigan native who won the second season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" reality-show competition, has been featured in many televised comedy specials and a guest star on a variety of TV shows. He's also toured with UFC broadcaster and fellow comedian Joe Rogan.
The 2009 World MMA Awards, a Dec. 30 red-carpet event, takes place at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and airs on Versus.
A live broadcast streams on Versus.com, and a taped version of the ceremony airs on the regular Versus cable station throughout January.