Rising from the Slums
In Brazil, where an estimated 50 million people live in favelas, or slums, it’s common for a child to dream of changing his or her life through sports.
In years past, kids have aspired to follow in the footsteps of soccer idols like Romário and Ronaldo, both of whom were born in the Rio de Janeiro favelas. Nowadays, the popularity of mixed martial arts in Brazil and the growth of its international market have attracted more athletes from these poor communities who aim to become the next Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Anderson Silva.
*one of the best reads in a long time*
Cung Le Not Ready To Ditch Real Fighting
Cung Le may be on his way to movie stardom, but he still wants to get in the cage.
This year, the Strikeforce middleweight champion will have four movies in the can. Fighting, with Channing Tatum, was released last month. Pandorum, with co-star Dennis Quaid, is due Sept. 4. Video game adaptation Tekken is undergoing final touches. True Legend, with legendary fight coordinator Woo Ping, is in production.
Between takes, he sneaks in workouts, trying to stay in shape for an eventual return to the cage.
Gabe Ruediger Returns, Leaving Past Behind
Heading into 2009, former WEC lightweight champion Gabe “Godzilla” Ruediger was on a downslide.
After a controversial stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” bad tidings with his former team and a neck injury forced him on a rollercoaster ride of wins and losses.
Shawn Thompkins Suggests Rift With Wanderlei
Xtreme Couture coach Shawn Tompkins appears to have had something of a fall-out with Wanderlei Silva, judging by recent comments.
"With Wanderlei and I, we've worked together before -- we worked together with the Keith Jardine fight," Tompkins told MMA FanHouse. "We're great friends, I just think we have different ideas on what a training schedule should be.
Tompkins suggested that Silva had a more relaxed approach to training than was required, prompting to the two to part ways.
Affliction's Tom Atencio on MMA fight with UFC's Dana White: "Let's do it"
On June 27, at an Ultimate Chaos event in Mississippi, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio (1-0) will make his second appearance as a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter.
During a recent press conference for the event, Atencio seemed to hint he wanted to fight UFC President Dana White sometime in the future.
On Friday's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), Atencio left no doubts. He's ready to fight White, and he thinks it would be "huge" for both fight executives.
Wanderlei Silva expresses surprising desire to train with former rival
A Brazilian rivalry dating back to 2005 may be nearing it’s end in the near future, at least according to one of the feud participants.
Wanderlei Silva and Ricardo Arona are age old enemies who first met up at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 in the semi-final of PRIDE’s middleweight grand prix. Arona surprised many when he handed the dominant middleweight champion his first defeat in over five years at the weight class by controlling Silva from the top position for the majority of the contest en route to a decision victory. Arona yelled in the face of the PRIDE champion from the top position at the bout’s conclusion to add insult to injury, and add fuel to the fire of the rivalry.
Lift The Ban Watch: South Carolina Votes Today
Currently MMA is legal in 37 states, but as soon as today that number could grow to 38. South Carolina could be next in line, and a vote on legalizing MMA in the state is set for a vote in the state legislature today. The state currently bans MMA in the state with the exception of the US Marines Training Facility at Parris Island.
A Blood Called Shooto
Nearly 25 years ago, Japanese professional wrestler Satoru Sayama -- better known as the original Tiger Mask -- had an idea about fighting, the seed of Shooto.
The first-ever amateur Shooto event was held in 1986, while 1989 marked the first-ever occasion of “professional Shooting.” All mixed martial arts observers know of Greek Pankration -- and the more modern tradition of Brazilian vale tudo -- but Shooto has the longest lineage of any single combat sports entity in contemporary MMA. Fittingly, that lineage will be celebrated this Sunday in Tokyo, when leading Shooto promoter Sustain stages its 20th anniversary event.
“Shooto” is an intriguing concept, its definition varying depending on who you ask. Although Sayama left the world of Shooto in 1986, his original vision is adhered to by authorities who view Shooto not as an organization but as an international sport unto itself, with its own system and rules, taking place from Japan to Australia to Brazil to Belgium and beyond.
For some MMA fans, following Shooto is proof of fanaticism about the sport and, for others, an unfathomable hobby for MMA elitists. One thing that is readily clear, however, is that those who are passionate about Shooto have an intensity about it that is completely incongruous with how most people celebrate other MMA entities. Even in the heyday of UFC-versus-Pride debacles, debates raged over extrinsic qualities of aesthetic production values, roster quality and fighter purses.
Paul Buentello's next fight still uncertain, Tim Sylvia possible
When Paul Buentello (27-10) earned a third-round TKO stoppage over Kirill Sidelnikov at January's "Affliction: Day of Reckoning," "The Headhunter" felt he whad put himself in a good spot.
Three-and-a-half months later, and without a signed bout in his immediate future, the heavyweight is not so sure.
"I have no freaking idea right now," Buentello recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I feel like I'm Cung Le right now and not paying attention to the MMA world – like I've just kind of fallen off the face of the world."
Robert Drysdale Misses Out On TUF Due To Brain Aneurysm
ADCC 2007 openweight champion, Robert Drysdale was training hard for the 2009 edition of the tournament and trying to participate at The Ultimate Fighter reality show, but, when he was doing the medical exams, a surprise. “I was trying to enter the reality show, but I found out I’m with a brain aneurysm”, revealed Drysdale, to TATAME.com.
10 Great Freak Matches: Part 1
Here’s something wonderful about disavowing any responsibility to your fellow man: You can throw any two people in a ring, instruct them to smack each other in the head until one falls down and then count the gate receipts. (Toughman’s Art Dore -- your patron saint.)
(Over?)Analyzing Omigawa: A Success Story for Japanese MMA
Four years ago, I was in an MMA pick 'em pool with four acquaintances. UFC and Pride cards, $20 buy-in, points for winner-method-round, and the total points winner took the pot.
It was May 2005, and Pride's Bushido 7 was on the slate. I could already feel the 100 bones making the act of sitting down near impossible, almost Costanza-like. Being a massive MMA nerd and with Dream Stage Entertainment having retooled the Bushido program to heavily feature lightweights and homegrown talents, I figured I had a natural leg-up on my pool contemporaries who didn't feel the need to maniacally obsess over the sport.
Naturally, I lost the Pride Bushido 7 pool. Actually, I didn't "lose" per se; I came in second place, by one point -- a fate infinitely more excruciating.
Within the pick 'em pool, I was the only person who took the debuting Michihiro Omigawa over Aaron Riley. None too surprisingly either. I still consider it one of the worst fight picks I've ever made (maybe this is a column idea in and of itself), not just because of the fact that it robbed me of $100 but because it's as classic an example of overanalysis as you can get.
Here was my idiotic rationale, as best I can recall: Omigawa's debut was coming on the heels of his teammate Makoto Takimoto getting a generous decision over sumo Henry "Sentoryu" Miller on New Year's Eve. As another pupil of Hidehiko Yoshida, one of DSE's few major domestic stars whom they wanted to keep happy, I expected Omigawa to be given considerable latitude for the officials. I anticipated that he would avoid mucking about on the feet with Riley, a battle-hardened brawler, and instead would quickly get some takedowns, at which point he would attempt to smother him with his gi and be given a gift decision by the judges due to the politics of the fight game.
Anyone with a scintilla of common sense would've looked at the fact that Omigawa was a debuting judoka and that Riley was one of the sport's toughest customers, then would’ve commented it was a good thing Omigawa brought his pajamas with him: He was going to be put to bed -- which he was at six minutes even of the first round.
However, with his recent underdog run halfway through Sengoku's featherweight grand prix, Omigawa now strikes different thoughts in my head.
Paulo Filho Declines Offer To Join Chute Box
Paulo Filho says he turned down a recent invitation to train with Chute Boxe because he is a "pure" jiu jitsu fighter.
The former WEC middleweight champion was invited to join Chute Boxe by the team's founder Rudimar Fedrigo.
“I feel myself flattered because the Chute Boxe school is very sturdy and has produced athletes like Wanderlei, Anderson Silva, Mauricio Shogun, Murilo Ninja and Rafael Cordeiro among others, so what can I say about a man like [Fedrigo]?" said Filho.
FDA issues warning about America's top supplement line
"The FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure has been reported to the FDA. Other health problems reported include seizures; cardiovascular disorders; and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure." – U.S. Food and Drug Administration