Thanksgiving: the holiday best celebrated by abusing your arteries and securing central obesity’s graduation from “health concern” to “full-blown epidemic.”
In between trips to the apple pie trough, you might feel compelled to mumble some gratitude toward family, friends or -- may God forgive these words -- the fight promoters.
Mindful that excessive carbohydrate consumption might render your brain as useful as a bowl of congealed Quaker oatmeal, here’s a handy holiday reminder of things any MMA fan should be grateful for.
Jake Shields Officially A Free Agent, As Of Today
Former EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields (22-4-1) has officially reached free agent status after the collapse of his former organization.
Now 30 days after filing a breach of contract against his former employer, Shields told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the company is in breach of contract and that he's excited to test the open market in search of a new home.
"My 30 days is up today," Shields said on Thursday. "Today I consider myself a free agent. EliteXC still has no reply, but as far as the contract goes, I'm a free agent today."
With recent wins over world-class competition in Paul Daley, Nick Thompson, Mike Pyle, Carlos Condit and Yushin Okami, among others, to his credit, Shields will certainly be in immediate demand.
Dana White: Anderson Silva Is Far Above Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn
Asked whether the winner of the fight between B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre could vault to the top of the pound-for-pound rankings, White said no.
"I don't think they change at all," White said. "Anderson Silva is far and above the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. The fighter who wins this fight between B.J. and St. Pierre is on their way. They've got to do a couple more big things in their career to challenge Anderson Silva, or something happens to Anderson. But Anderson Silva is way above pound-for-pound the best fighter."
Fedor own words on Couture and Lesnar
WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko has a message for Randy Couture following his loss to Brock Lesnar at last Saturday’s UFC 91, keep your chin up.
MMAWeekly.com spoke with Emelianenko via telephone as he finished watching the first round of the fight on a nearby television. The top ranked heavyweight is currently in Thailand, filming an action movie starring Rutger Hauer and Michael Madsen.
“It’s a very interesting fight,” Emelianenko said of the bout’s first round through his interpreter. “So far, it looks like Randy – he’s more active in the ring.”
Asked who the winner of the first round was, he paused.
“The first round, I thought Randy had the round,” he continued after a beat. “He certainly showed more skills. He was quite interesting in the first round.”
If Emelianenko knew how the fight ended in advance, he didn’t make it known. But after witnessing Lesnar’s fight-ending hammerfists, he warmed to the former pro wrestler.
“He’s a very good fighter,” he remarked. “He’s a very strong fighter. I’m very impressed with his speed.”
Emelianenko said it was too early to say how he would have approached the fight differently. Not what you’d expect, seeing as he knows a thing or two about facing monsters. In his last three years of MMA competition, Emelianenko has faced an equal amount of giants – Tim Sylvia, Hong Man Choi, and Wagner da Conceicao Martins. Lesnar’s speed clearly set him apart from those Emelianenko had laid waste to in the rings outside the UFC.
“I would certainly take a different tactic to the fight, although I do believe that Randy had a smart game plan, but it appears that he wasn’t able to control the top position, which is what I believe he was trying to do,” Emelianenko offered.
Jerry Millen, M-1 Global’s American Vice President, issued a statement following the interview that welcomed an Emelianenko vs. Lesnar fight, however grim the chances of its fruition are at the moment.
“We would welcome a Fedor vs. Lesnar matchup, but to act in a preemptive fashion to address the possibility that UFC officials will try and position Lesnar as the No. 1 heavyweight in the world, much like they have tried to use a marketing ploy to brand Anderson Silva as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” the statement read. “In a match between Fedor and Lesnar, we do not feel that at this stage Lesnar would be able to make it out of the first round.”
Emelianenko has certainly resigned himself to the fact that a fight with Couture may never happen. Despite his affinity for the legend, he says it suits him fine if he never gets the chance to participate in the dream match-up.
“Nothing is ever certain,” Emelianenko said. “This is something that the managers and the organizers need to resolve. But I understand that in all likelihood if Randy stays with the UFC, that the chances of us fighting are much less, and hopefully our fans will be able to overcome that. We both have our history in the sport and if a fight between Randy and I was not to materialize in the future, there will still be other fights. I’m not going to be angry or upset about it in any way.”
In his usual understated way, Emelianenko stopped short of calling Lesnar out in his critique. That’s for the managers.
As for a message to his friend and colleague, another pause.
“I would tell Randy that – I’m sure he already knows – he’s already in the history books, that he’s a legendary fighter, and regardless of the outcome of this fight, things just didn’t go his way,” Emelianenko said.
I'm not sure I thought the first round was pretty close.
Mixed Martial Arts Makes Its Way to High School
WINCHESTER, Mass. — At the high school in this small, pretty and proper-looking town near Boston, a student was being choked by another student — with the school’s permission. Marcelo Siqueira, left, is a world-class competitor in martial arts who has been a guest instructor for Winchester High School's mixed martial arts club.
Just another meeting of the Winchester High mixed martial arts club, which may be the only of its kind in the country.
Fighting Father Time
America’s athletic battlefields are littered with good-intentioned men who stuck around too long in their chosen sport, their eroding physical skills rendering them incapable of recapturing the glory of day’s gone by. Remember Michael Jordan in a Washington Wizards uniform? Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield also spring to mind.
Though his legacy and place in the mixed martial arts pantheon are secure, Randy Couture does not want his name added to the list.
Sherdog.com's Guide to TUF 8
“Why is this happening?”
Not sure exactly who said it, but this week one of the contestants finally vocalized what all of America is thinking about this season of TUF. I’ll get to what brought us to this point in just a minute. Last week Dave Kaplan took the wrong approach and got dismantled by Phillipe Nover. This week it was time for the light heavyweight bracket to be set as Kyle Kingsbury and Krzysztof Soszynski were the last two to fight.
“You’d be surprised at how many people and who I’ve made tap on my table,” said the doctor as he worked on Soszynski’s injured hand.
Kaplan and Tom Lawlor decided to get some drinking in for the ubiquitous post-loss celebration. Kaplan and his freshly blackened eye took down shot after shot until shot until statements like, “UFC, keep having me back because I cannot be knocked out,” began to emerge. Kaplan and company kept drinking until things escalated to the point that they were drinking each other’s urine...
Medical Beat: The truth about MMA supplements and energy potions
Do you ever wonder about some of the claims made by all of these advertisement s on TV and the Internet – specifically these "potions" that claim "significant weight loss and "explosive performance," as well as energy boosters/shots/drinks and the like.
My grandmother (may God rest her soul) used to think that information could not be printed in the newspaper if it weren't true. She believed that someone must be checking these "facts" before they were loosed on the far-too-trusting public.
A Brief Reflection on 15 Years of the UFC
by Jordan Breen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Hello ladies and gentlemen. You are about to see something you have never seen before ... the Ultimate Fighting Challenge."
Uttered 15 years ago to this day, the introduction for the promotion that would bring mixed martial arts to the masses wasn't even competent, let alone stirring. More like taking forceps to the eyeball during delivery.
"Hello, I'm Bill Wallace, and welcome to McNichols Ar ... "
The birth moment went from awkwardly inept to outright ignominious as the man dubbed "Superfoot" quite literally belched through the foreword to fighting history. This was not "Call me Ishmael." More like dropping the newborn skull-first on the floor.
A difficult delivery, fortunately, didn't have any bearing on the spectacle of the evening's proceedings. With a thunderous kick to the face in less than 30 seconds, Gerard Gordeau liberated the teeth of hapless sumo Teila Tuli, freeing them to explore the thin Denver air. And that was just a prelude to the skinny Brazilian fellow in his pajamas.
Yes, every ardent MMA fan, whether they were watching live on pay-per-view from day one thanks to a Black Belt magazine subscription or whether they became smitten with the sport one Saturday night on Spike TV, can appreciate the milestone, the magic and the mockability of the first Ultimate Fighting Championship. By now, it is nothing short of cultural fact that Royce Gracie revolutionized fightsport with his early UFC dominance and fully held up his end of the bargain to his big brother Rorion in what began as an infomercial for Gracie jiu-jitsu. Today, the magnitude of that moment is a mandate to the point where it becomes almost drained and dull.
Hector Lombard Joins ATT
Cuban Judoka and former Australian resident Hector Lombard has relocated to the U.S. and joined the growing roster of American Top Team.
MMAjunkie.com was able to confirm Lombard's switch with American Top Team general manger Richie Guerrero.
A four-year veteran of MMA, Lombard has fought in some of the world's biggest organizations -- including PRIDE, DEEP and Spirit MC -- but has not yet competed in the U.S.
Sean Sherk on Armando Garcia resignation
“I knew some stuff about him throughout the entire appeal process that I was going through. You know, I was doing my homework, I was doing my research and I knew the guy had some issues. I mean, I knew that just by the way he treated me during my case. I knew that it was just a matter of time…and I am glad to see that is finally taking place. I think that you don’t really deserve a position of power if you are going to take advantage of it like that. So, hopefully, they get a good commissioner in there and hopefully things can get fixed up…. The UFC was actually there when I was going through my appeal. They saw the way my case was handled and they were sickened by it. You know it’s not right that you treat somebody’s life like that. You know, this is my life. They should at least give me a fair opportunity to defend myself and they didn’t do that. They treated my case like complete garbage.”
Former Chute Box Coach Muredered
Former Chute Boxe coach Osmar Dias Fernandes, 38, has been shot dead in Brazil after resisting a robbery attempt.
Dias was with his girlfriend in the Reboucas district of Curitiba early on Tuesday morning when he was approached by two armed men, the Curitiba Journal reports.
When he resisted their efforts to take his vehicle, they shot him three times. The fatal shot entering his skull and he died at the scene before an ambulance could arrive.
Dias was a key part of the Chute Boxe coaching staff in the 1990s and his students included Wanderlei Silva and the Rua brothers, Shogun and Ninja.
UFC Fight Night 16 broadcast set for three hours, minimum five fights
December's "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops," a nationally televised event that serves as a fundraiser for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, will feature a full evening of fights.
The broadcast, which airs on Spike TV, will run three hours and feature a minimum of five fights, Spike TV officials have confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The Dec. 13 event takes place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayeteville, N.C., in conjunction with the Fort Bragg military installation.
As Spike TV announced on Monday, Josh Koscheck will return from his recent unanimous-decision loss to Thiago Alves to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the UFC Fight Night 16 main event.
Also on tap for the TV portion of the card is a welterweight bout between Jonathan Goulet vs. Mike Swick, WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell's WEC debut against UFC newcomer Razak Al-Hussan, "The Ultimate Fighter 7" semifinalist Tim Credeur vs. Nate Loughran, and lightweight contenders Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Wiman.
Free tickets will be given to active military personnel, though 30 tickets will be put up for auction for the general public. The sales benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Additionally, fans will be able to call in and make donations throughout the night's broadcast. (Donations can also be made now at fallenheroesfund.ufc.com).
The full UFC Fight Night 16 fight card includes:
* Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
* Jonathan Goulet vs. Mike Swick
* Razak Al-Hussan vs. Steve Cantwell
* Tim Credeur vs. Nate Loughran
* Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Wiman
* Brodie Farber vs. Luigi Fioravanti
* Steve Bruno vs. Johnny Rees
* Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff
* Dale Hartt vs. Corey Hill
* Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully
Can KOTC Rise Above EXC's Demise ?
Lately, it’s been all doom and gloom for ProElite, Inc. Sacked by bad debt, nearly every interest under the company’s umbrella has been pounding at its door in recent weeks, looking for answers about the future when few exist.
Terri Trebilcock, president of King of the Cage, a longstanding promotion acquired by ProElite in September of 2007, has been in communication with EliteXC CEO Chuck Champion and thinks reports of the company’s demise are premature.
“My gut feeling is that all the talk out there will turn into things that never ended up happening,” Trebilcock said.
On Oct. 21, Trebilcock released a statement vowing to continue his promotion shortly after ProElite declared it was ceasing fight operations. Since then, he and his legal team have worked to ensure KOTC’s five remaining shows in 2008 will go off without a hitch. The promotion held its last show on Friday in Michigan.
STUDY SHOWS UFC IS POISED TO CONTRIBUTE MILLIONS TO NY ECONOMY
NEW YORK, NY – A study released today showed that Ultimate Fighting Championship® events in New York City and Buffalo would have a significant impact on state and local economies by generating tax revenues, creating jobs and boosting tourism industries.
Professional mixed martial arts is one of the highest grossing arena sports in the country, drawing sell-out crowds and bringing in millions of dollars in ticket and concession sales. One of the fastest growing sports in America, MMA is regulated in 36 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. Legislators in Albany will consider regulating the sport in New York State when the legislative session begins in January.
Mike Pyle content to let others sing his praises
In compiling a list of top welterweights not cashing checks from the UFC, Mike Pyle has to be one of the first few names on the page.
The 31-year-old native of Tennessee has steadily risen up the ranks and even earned a crack at a belt, losing to EliteXC champion Jake Shields a year ago by rear-naked choke.
Since that bitter first-round defeat to Shields, Pyle has reeled off four straight victories and has lived up to his "Quicksand" moniker in the process. He's submitted each of his four opponents inside of 10 minutes, including a first-frame sub of Brian Gassaway last month at A Night of Combat II in Las Vegas.
Arona To Affliction ?
There are indications that Ricardo Arona, once considered a consensus top ten light heavyweight, could be on the verge of ending his extended hiatus from competitive mixed martial arts.
Arona has not competed since April 8, 2007, when he suffered an upset loss against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou during PRIDE’s final show after being knocked out at just 1:59 of round 1.
Considered one of the best pure grapplers in MMA at 205 pounds, Arona is believed to be drawing interest from Affliction Entertainment.
According to a recent article at GracieMag.com, interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is quoted as saying that Affliction has sent out feelers for Arona.