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.
UK Fighter Looking For A Home
The U.K. has long been overlooked when it comes to top flight warriors in the lighter weight categories. As a nation we can lay claim to some of the top featherweights in Europe and Robbie “The Flame” Olivier is running right at the sharp end of the division.
Olivier has only dropped one bout at featherweight in two and a half years since becoming British Champion of the now defunct Cage Rage promotion; that match was a submission loss to kamikaze fighter Masakazu Imanari when he was granted the opportunity to challenge for the promotion’s world title. Olivier has kept himself busy facing all challengers at featherweight and even dabbling with the lightweight division against Abdul Mohammed – so where does he go now?
Audio of Lloyd Irvin's Chilling 911 Call (after those 2 robbers broke into his house)
In the wake of reporting that Lloyd Irvin, his family, Brandon Vera and others were robbed at gun point in Irvin's home on October 4th, the story was doubted publicly and privately by random forum posters, readers of this site and even members of new and traditional media. In an effort to combat the notion that either this site or Irvin himself fabricated a story - a story that's already been corroborated - Lloyd Irvin has decided to release the audio of the 911 call from the night of the incident as incontrovertible truth the incident occurred.
I encourage every to listen to the absolutely frightening call
Garcia Resigns from CSAC
The California State Athletic Commission will formally accept the resignation of Executive Officer Armando Garcia at a commission meeting on Nov. 18 in Los Angeles, according to a notice posted on the CSAC Web site. Garcia left the position he held for over three years this week, Sherdog.com has learned.
The commission will also name an interim executive officer and appoint a search committee to review candidates for Garcia’s replacement on Nov. 18, according to the agenda notes.
Numerous commission-hired employees who asked not to be identified confirmed to Sherdog.com on Saturday that Garcia had left the post, but were not given details of his exit. Sherdog.com corresponded with Garcia via email as late as Thursday to discuss the CSAC’s decision to suspend the promoter licenses of Pro Elite and King of the Cage last Wednesday.
Commission representatives declined to comment on Garcia’s departure at a state-regulated MMA event on Saturday in Fresno, Calif. Representatives said an official statement from the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the commission, would be issued shortly.
With nearly 20 years of experience as a boxing referee and judge, Garcia was appointed as executive officer for the CSAC in mid 2005. In his tenure, he was instrumental in the passage of MMA regulations in California in late 2005 and oversaw the first regulated event in March 2006 with Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Gracie,” which held the North American attendance record for one year with 18,265 spectators.
Garcia was also at the center of the controversial steroid suspensions of former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, Strikeforce participant Phil Baroni, and most recently, in the one-year suspension of EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva.
In an interview with BoxingInsider.com in August 2008, Garcia said he had regulated over 500 boxing and MMA events in California during his three-year tenure.
“Commission revenue the year before I took over the job was at about $441K,” Garcia told BoxingInsider.com. “In my first year we went to $1.3 million, the next one $1.6 million and then this tremendous $2 million plus year.”
Tito Ortiz Close to Signing Contract...Again
When last we saw Ortiz, he was at the October 4 EliteXC show announcing that he was going to sign a contract with the organization soon. EliteXC is now finished, but Ortiz isn't finished saying he's close to signing a deal.
In an appearance at last weekend's Rumble in the Park in Fresno (broadcast today on HDNet's Inside MMA), Ortiz said, "It's either going to be with the UFC or it's going to be with Affliction, but guaranteed, you guys will see me fight -- no matter what -- by July."
Ortiz also mentioned that he had back surgery last month, which he deemed successful. He also said it was the same surgery that Nate Quarry had, and Quarry was out of action for 15 months after his back surgery. So Ortiz is very optimistic if he thinks he can guarantee that he'll return just seven months after the surgery.
Gina Carano And Cris Cyborg Will Sign Together
Former EliteXC fighters Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg are in negotiations to make sure that their next fight is with each other, we can exclusively reveal.
Speaking to Fighters Only correspondent Stash Capar this week, Carano said the match “is a dream fight”.
“I want to make that happen,” she said. “My people are in touch with her, so we’re going to make sure we sign together for the same promotion.”
However, Xtreme Couture athlete Carano hinted that wherever her and Cyborg end up signing, fledgling Affliction promotion could be out of the running thanks to the recent fallout between Todd Beard and Randy Couture.
“There’s a bit of a barrier between me and Affliction,” she revealed. “You know, with Randy and that whole thing. But if they approach me with an offer, who knows?”
Carano’s more immediate concern is the imminent auction of EliteXC assets, announced shortly after the promotion ceased operations.
“I don’t really know what’s happening. I think Elite XC’s gonna sell all of the fighters contracts, mine included. It’s a standstill,” she sighed.
“But when one door closes, another one opens. I’m sure we’ll find a new platform for female fights. It’s definitely proven to be popular.”
BJJ Phenom Robert Drysdale Leaving BJJ, Submission Wrestling for MMA
I had the pleasure of talking to Robert Drysdale yesterday. He's more than just the grappling coach for Frank Mir's team on this season of TUF. He's won a ton of BJJ titles and beat Marcelo Garcia at last year's ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship to take the Open Division title.
The buzz around Drysdale has been building all year. First he joined Xtreme Couture as part of their pro team and jiu jitsu coach. Then Robert made his amateur mma debut in October against the previously undefeated Josh Musick (8-0) in the main event of "TUFF-N-UFF", winning by submission.
He looked good in the match, using a punch to set up his takedown and not getting flustered when his first submission attempt didn't finish the fight.
One of the reasons I'm most excited about Drysdale entering MMA is that he's one of the grapplers who are one the cutting edge of the sport. Along with Eddie Bravo and Marcelo Garcia, Drysdale is one of the grapplers making major conceptual leaps in his approach to BJJ. His Nth Dimension of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu DVDs are highly recommended by our own Luke Thomas. This introductory segment is worth a viewing -- he explains how he has abandoned the traditional BJJ approach of using position to set up submissions and instead focuses on using submission threats to achieve dominant postion. And his bodylock family of submissions is something totally new to me -- I can't wait to see him bust it out in an MMA match.
Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal making immediate impact in Sengoku
I can make 185 (pounds)," Lawal said. "I can make 205 (pounds). I can make heavyweight. Let's put it like this: I'm trying to fight where I can get the most cash."
And while "King Mo" has enjoyed the flashy style of Japanese MMA, he would also enjoy fighting in front of his native country when the time is right.
"I'd fight in the UFC if I was ready to go," Lawal said. "I could probably go there (now) and beat some people there, but I just feel like I need to hone my skills. When I'm ready to make a run for a title, I'll go to the UFC or go to Affliction. Go to whatever big organization is around.
CroCop on Ishii, Fedor, Kimbo and More
Cro Cop on Ishii
Q: We've just got news that Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii may want to fight you? What do you think about that match-up?
"To be honest this is the first time I've heard of his name. This is the first thing I've heard of this. Well, its embarrassing to find out about my upcoming opponents via this online chat rather than my management team however yes its interesting. It's a major thing to fight any Olympic gold medalist. So why not, I'm interested."
Shamrock Inc: Frank Talks Business and Brand Building
Despite having only six fights in the past nine years – all of them outside the UFC - Frank Shamrock has kept his name recognition high and built a multi-faceted business with almost 30 full-time employees. In a recent interview with MMAPayout.com, Shamrock described his keys to success, while offering some advice to anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps.
“I’m no closet genius,” said Shamrock. “I learned through trial and error. It took me 7-8 years to build my business and it was a good time for me because the sport was small then. I was blessed in that way.”
But times have obviously changed. “The days of gun slinging and hanging out in this business are gone,” he says. “The dollars are bigger and the sport of MMA keeps moving closer to the mainstream. Everyone’s rushing to the sport because it’s very popular and cool, but your brand needs to be consistent.”
Ask the Doc: Should rounds be extended to five minutes for female MMA fights?
In this week's edition of "Ask the Doc," I want to respond to the many questions I get about extending the length of rounds for women's MMA bouts.
As most of you know, standard practice has been for women to compete with three, three-minute rounds (rather than the five-minute rounds found in men's MMA).
Should women be treated equally in this sense? I'm going to discuss the topic from the perspective of a doctor -- and a fan.
Let's start by dealing with any potential bias that I may have. I am not a huge fan of the current level of televised women's MMA.
But I truly believe that anyone who wants to compete should be afforded the opportunity. I just don't enjoy a bout that lacks a high level of skill. Man or woman, it makes no difference to me. If you suck, you suck, bottom line. Over time, you may improve -- and when you do, let me know, and I'll watch enthusiastically.
But not until then.
Hector Lombard under consideration for new MMA series on ESPN Deportes
Former Cuban Olympic Judo competitor and Cage Fighting Championship middleweight champion Hector Lombard is one of a handful of MMA competitors being considered for a new MMA series that will air on ESPN Deportes in the spring of 2009.
Sources close to the series, which is still in development, told MMAjunkie.com of Lombard's possible inclusion in the program on Tuesday.
The show, which is expected to be a combination reality and event series, will likely debut in April or May of 2009 with a formal announcement of the show's launch likely to take place on Nov. 17.