Barnett & Babalu Talk Affliction---
Josh Barnett & Renato 'Babalu' Sobral Leading up to Affliction 'Day of Reckoning'
PDG: So much to lose by taking this fight and not much to win. Why did you as a top 3 Heavyweight in the world take this fight? Barnett: Because it’s a fight; Plain and simple. I can wait around to fight one guy and let my career pass me by or I can get in there and do what I love to do: commit murder.
For the rest:
Pros Pick: Emelianenko vs Arlovski
John Hackleman: Fedor by overhand right.
Cung Le: Fedor by decision.
Patrick Cote: I’ll go with Fedor by submission in the second round.
Pros that picked Fedor to win: 26
Pros that picked Arlovski to win: 4
Arlovski set to move into boxing after fight with Fedor
According to trainer Freddie Roach, Andrei Arlovski will move into boxing following his match-up with Fedor Emelianenko at the Affliction: Day of Reckoning PPV. Roach already knows who he wants Arlovski to face.
“Andrei’s going into boxing after this,” said Roach. “After we knockout Fedor, I’d like for him to challenge for the heavyweight championship against (WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay) Valuev.”
Interview With Melvin Manhoef
Hi there, Melvin!
Brasil Combate in association with Fighline.com is very glad to interview you.
You were the Cage Rage Champion for almost two years. Tell us about that experience.
It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed that time. It was the start of bigger things and it prepared me for the K1. I won my first big title there. The atmosphere, the fans and the events were great !
Jeff Monson Arrested, But Not For Graffiti
Things just got worse for MMA’s favorite anarchist, Jeff Monson. He was arrested this weekend in North Carolina on a charge unrelated to his malicious mischief trouble in Olympia, Washington. Now he’s in jail on suspicion of “assault on a female and injury to real property.” Girl troubles gone terribly wrong, in other words. How disappointing.
Live Video Chat with Fedor Today!
Fightline.com will be hosting a live video chat with Affliction superstar Fedor Emelianenko today starting at 8:00p EST. This will be followed directly by the premier of the Affliction "Day of Reckoning" countdown show.
Emelianenko will be squaring off against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski for the cards main event.
Mainstream Appeal of MMA Becomes Apparent At CES
The long hard road that leads to the mainstream acceptance of mixed martial arts has seemingly been becoming much easier of late, whether it be a Microsoft commercial featuring Rashad Evans or video game’s featuring Randy Couture and Gina Carrano, the sport is fast becoming acceptable where before it was once dismissed as just another extreme sport fad. While the use of MMA personalities to promote products and services is not as common as it is for other professional athletes, its acceptance has grown almost in lock step with the popularity of the sport itself, nowhere was this more apparent then 2009’s installment of the Consumer Electronics Trade show in Las Vegas this past weekend.
Fun and Games Part of the Plan for ‘King Mo'
He comes out to the ring with his four queens. He dances and tries to get the referee involved in his routine before his fights. He might be called arrogant, cocky and maybe even disrespectful. But if you ask him, that’s just who Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is.
Ken Shamrock Vs Bo Cantrell @ Valentine's Day Massacre
TheGARV.com: Hey, Ken. This is quite a thrill for me. I’ve been following your career since UFC 1. I know you have a fight coming up next month. Who are you fighting?
Ken Shamrock: I’m fighting Bo Cantrell. The original plan was to fight John Marsh but he couldn’t get ready in time. So Bo Cantrell was another opponent that we also thought would be a good fight and he stepped up to the plate. So we’re going to step up and fight Bo Cantrell on February 13th in Fresno, California. And it’s going the Valentine’s Day massacre, Friday the 13th.
TheGARV.com: Sounds like a horror movie title
Ken Shamrock: (Laughs) Yep.
Silva Sues CSAC
Suspended fighter Antonio Silva filed a civil action against the California State Athletic Commission on Jan. 7 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the first known case in which a mixed martial artist has legally contested a CSAC decision outside the state regulatory body.
Silva is asking for a “writ of mandate,” or a ruling from the court that will supersede the CSAC’s decision to suspend the fighter for one year for alleged steroid use and possibly allow Silva another hearing to try and prove his innocence.
End of an Era: Fighter-Manager Handshake Deals Die as MMA Grows
Widely regarded as the dean of MMA managers, Monte Cox has always relied on handshake deals with his fighters.
That just might change in the near future.
As MMA continues to grow, so does the money in the sport, attracting a new breed of fighter representatives -- agents, as opposed to managers -- from outside the game. These agents attempt to jump on the MMA gravy train, Cox and others contend, by poaching fighters from their existing managers with inflated promises of bigger paydays.
Cox, a 13-year MMA veteran who boasts the biggest stable of name fighters in the game, of late has lost a couple of those handshake clients to other managers or agents.
And thus, he said he is seriously considering switching to written contracts.
“It’s becoming more of a business than a sport,” said the Bettendorf, Iowa-based Cox, whose 60 some fighters include Matt Hughes, Tim Sylvia, Rich Franklin, Jens Pulver and Robbie Lawler.
“I’m an odd character in that I don’t do contracts,” he said. “For 13 years, I’ve gone on a handshake. But now, it’s become a little different in that you take somebody that you’ve developed and you’ve built and they’re making a lot of money and then they jump to somebody else. And it leaves you holding the bag.
“So now I’m definitely thinking about” going with written contracts, said Cox, who is also a veteran promoter with Extreme Challenge, which he owns, and other promotions.
While Cox does not believe that the few fighters he lost, most notably Roger Huerta, were actually poached, he said he hears poaching horror stories from smaller managers all the time.
“All the smaller guys tell me how bad it is,” he said.
Chad Bergmeier, based in Waterloo, Iowa, is one of them. Like Cox, he too has lost some fighters, including Kevin Burns, with whom he had handshake deals. Bergmeier said he also is going to start instituting written contracts with his fighters.
“It’s so strange,” said Bergmeier, who manages about 30 fighters -- including Rob Kimmons, Ryan Thomas and Travis Fulton -- though none with quite the star power of Cox’s A-listers. “I’ve been involved in this sport for about 11 years now and it definitely has changed a lot, gotten bigger. And naturally, as that happens, you do have more of the poacher-type people showing up.”
Another smaller fighter rep is Mike Camp of F1 Management in Akron, Ohio, whose biggest name client is Dave Herman.
“I’d like to do all my business with a handshake,” Camp said. “But in this climate, you just can’t do that. The sport has changed where you gotta be more guarded with your clients...
UFC Life Size Stand Up Cardboard Cut Outs: Brock, Georges St Pierre, Liddell, Randy, Forrest
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Ask the Doc: Dr. Benjamin on MMA, concussions and mental illness
In the wake up the recent deaths of MMA fighters Evan Tanner, Justin Levens and Justin Eilers, many fans are struggling to find a correlation.
While there may be none, some people, including researcher Chris Nowinski, see combat sports (and concussions) going hand-in-hand with depression and mental illness in later life.
In his latest “Ask the Doc” column, combat-sports specialist Dr. Johnny Benjamin discusses the topic, specifically as it relates to MMA, and why there’s so little relevant information available on it. He also gives two reasons why there’s so much controversy about trying to connect the two.
Q. Dave Meltzer recently wrote an article discussing three unrelated deaths of former UFC fighters; two of the fallen fighters were known to suffer from depression. Metzler notes Chris Nowinski’s studies correlating boxing to mental illness later in life. Many fans and fighters feel MMA is safer than boxing. MMA fighters are more likely to suffer a few concussive blows (i.e. knockouts) as opposed to a myriad of “padded” shots as in boxing. Many fights end without any substantial head shots. Is it fair to assume the same long-term consequences in MMA? Steve in Los Angeles
A. Steve, you are asking the million-dollar question.
Also, my hat is off to Dave Meltzer for even attempting to intelligently discuss this difficult subject. This and apparently many other topics are difficult for the MMA faithful to discuss reasonably without deteriorating into emotional outbursts, personal attacks and worse. Good articles are written to make intelligent readers think not to defame anyone or anything.
Do repeated blows to the head make MMA participants more likely to suffer with depression or other forms of mental illness later in life? It’s a great question and one that needs to be investigated and researched now rather than adopting a wait-and-see approach.
The current form of MMA is relatively early in its life cycle. We are talking less than 20 years. As major sports go, MMA is still in its infancy. Therefore, I would assume nothing with respect to the potential long-term health consequences. But as you’ve implied, I would learn a few things from the collective experience of other, more mature (older) contact and combat sports. It is also prudent to be proactive when it comes to fighter safety, since it is very difficult, if not impossible, to fully restore competitors’ mental health once it has traumatically been taken from them.
Retrospective (looking back after the deed is done) studies of professional athletes involved in boxing, football, soccer, hockey and rugby seem to suggest a link between repetitive blows to the head, concussions (MTBI, which is minor traumatic brain injury) and depression or dementia. This is a very controversial statement for at least two major reasons.
First, it is very difficult to prove a direct causal relationship. Did the accumulation of blows to the head directly cause permanent brain injury that led to depression or dementia? Or are the athletes that participate in these sports on the professional level more prone to depression to begin with? Do their inherent, aggressive, possibly somewhat antisocial personality traits allow them to achieve in these sports at a high level? Simply put, they may be a little crazy or unstable to begin with. That’s why they do so well in these contact and combat sports. (Absolutely no disrespect is intended to those that suffer with mental illness.)
Second, the powers that govern these major sports fear the cost associated with acknowledging a relationship between participation in these sports and subsequent dementia and/or depression. Simply put, if the sport caused it, somebody is going to have to pay for it. Forget lawsuits and punitive damages (which will most certainly come); just the cost of long-term care would be staggering. No one is prepared to pay that without a serious fight.
Professional MMA fighters should assume nothing and be prepared for everything. When your favorite fighters’ careers are over and no one is any longer screaming their names, paying them sponsorship fees and buying their pay-per-view appearances, who is going to pay their medical expenses and provide assistance to their often forgotten caregivers? Your heroes have families too.
Again, Steve, it’s a great question but not one anyone can answer definitively at this time.
Dr. Johnny Benjamin is MMAjunkie.com’s medical columnist and consultant and a noted combat-sports specialist. He was also recently appointed to the ABC’s medical advisory team and will help review and refine the unified rules of MMA. Dr. Benjamin writes an “Ask the Doc” column every two weeks for MMAjunkie.com. To submit a question for a future column, email him at askthedoc [AT] mmajunkie.com, or share your questions and thoughts in the comments section below. You can find Dr. Benjamin online at www.drjohnnybenjamin.com, and you can read his other sports-related articles at blog.drjohnnybenjamin.com.
Check out more UFC News at MMAjunkie.com. This story originally appeared on MMAjunkie.com and is syndicated on Yahoo! Sports as part of a content-partnership deal between the two sites.
Referee Steve Mazzagatti insists all is well despite recent criticism
Judging by the fall-out from December's "UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008," longtime referee Steve Mazzagatti did not have his best performance.
A perceived slow response to end both the Cheick Kongo vs. Mostapha al Turk and Rashad Evans vs. Forrest Griffin bouts led UFC President Dana White to say Mazzagatti was "a nice guy, but he's not a referee," at the post-event press conference.