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.
Ishii Calls Out CroCop, Hong Man Choi
After Satoshi Ishii won the Olympic judo gold medal, he promptly said he'd like to fight Fedor Emelianenko in a mixed martial arts match.
That doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon, but Ishii is ready to try MMA, and he has his sights set on a couple of well-known opponents, the former Pride star Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and the Korean giant Hong Man Choi.
Ishii is quoted in an article at dnevnik.hr saying that he knows he's starting from scratch in MMA, but he would like to fight a big name like Cro Cop, who is back to fighting in Japan after an unsuccessful stint in UFC, or Choi, the 7-foot-2 kickboxer who took on Fedor last New Year's Eve.
CSAC Changes Testing Procedures
The California State Athletic Commission has taken steps to strengthen its drug-testing process for combat sports.
The CSAC has signed a contract with UCLA for the processing of fighter drug-testing samples through the university's laboratory, which is certified by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Even though they refuse to admit that there was anything wrong with their previous testing facility and procedures, they are clearly sensitive to the criticism they recieved in the aftermath of the Sean Sherk case:
"The process was always good. We followed everything that we were instructed and how we were trained by the personnel from the lab," Douglas said. "I think the challenges that have been issued to us, and that we have faced, have made us better and stronger, because as situations have risen up, it's allowed us to open up and expand our thought process on how this needs to be tightened up. I believe we get better and better with each passing month."
A key part of that improvement is the commission moving its testing program to the WADA-certified facility at UCLA. If a fighter's A sample comes up positive for anabolic steroids at the UCLA lab, the B sample will be tested at another WADA-certified facility elsewhere in North America.
In the future, the commission will utilize only WADA labs for the processing of samples.
Daley Targeting January Return
With the Oct. 20 demise of EliteXC parent company, Pro Elite Inc., one of the league’s brightest European fighters in Paul Daley has hit the market once again.
The man known as "Semtex" for his powerful hands went 3-1 in Pro Elite-run events, with his only loss coming to EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields via second-round armbar submission during its Oct. 4 event on CBS.
The 25-year-old Daley (18-7-1) had three fights remaining on his EliteXC contract, and though he is unsure of the logistics that agreement might hold for him, the Nottingham native has started to pursue opportunities with other organizations.
Women's MMA Finding New Life in Japan?
GCM's Valkyrie, which will hold its first card on Nov. 8, will not be the only all-female fight promotion in Japan, as from the ashes of Smackgirl, newly formed parent company Marvelous Japan has announced its own upstart organization, Jewels.
Yuichi Ozono, an executive from Japanese event production company Archery Inc. will lead Marvelous Japan. After learning of the languishing Smackgirl and its business woes, Ozono formed Marvelous Japan and acquired the assets and rights formerly belonging to Smackgirl parent company Kilgore.
"I always liked the martial arts, especially Smackgirl, and when I read that they were in trouble, I wanted to find out the truth," Ozono said. "I met with [former Smackgirl President Motoki] Shino and heard that it was impossible for the promotion to continue, so I proposed to him to let me take over the promotion. After several discussions, we reached an agreement, and he gave me the management team of Smackgirl."
Chris Horodecki heads to Japan for 'S-Cup'
Chris Horodecki will enter the Shootboxing “S-Cup 2008” same-night eight-man tournament on November 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Horodecki will take on Shoot boxing-trained Hiroki Shishido in the quarterfinals of the biennial tournament, which will also feature PRIDE Bushido veteran Luiz Azeredo – the first man to beat Anderson Silva-- and 2-time K-1 MAX and 2-time S-Cup champion Andy Souwer.
Shoot boxing, also referred to as standing vale tudo, is similar to kickboxing except that throws and standing submissions are allowed.
After this fight Horodecki will fight on January 24, 2009 at Affliction 2 “Day of Reckoning” in Anaheim, California.
Murilo “Ninja” Rua heading back to Japan
Fighting for five years in Japan, at Pride and Shooto, Murilo “Ninja” Rua now can be back to the Rising Sun Land, after EliteXC’s bankrupt. Training hard and looking for another show to fight, Ninja spoke to TATAMA about his future. “I don’t have anything set yet, I had two more fights to do at Elite and now I’ll see what I’m gonna do. I’ll speak with my manager and look for another event, maybe in Japan. I don’t have anything right yet, but I believe Japan is a good opportunity”, said Rua, who was surprised with EliteXC’s end.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio Believes Station Casinos Will Go out of Business Early Next Year
Interestingly enough, Affliction co-founder Todd Beard has recently surfaced to voice his displeasure with the UFC, most notably on a recent appearance on "The Scott Ferrall Show."
"They threaten us personally, which is hilarious," Beard said. "Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, they are tough guys. They're old school mafia guys, or wannabe old school mafia guys that their grandfather built their business and they are nothing. They’re nothing."
When asked about Beard's comments, Atencio seemingly shrugged them off.
"I will always do my fighting in the ring but my partner has just had it with them," Atencio said.
During his interview with Ferrall, Beard mentioned that Zuffa co-founders, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, are experiencing some financial trouble with their Palace Station Casino properties.
"They put their business five billion dollars in debt," Beard said in the interview."They’re in big touble right now. They are going to go out of business in February. Guaranteed. Station Casinos will go out of business in February for sure."
Atencio did not refute this claim.
"They want to talk about us being done by January," Atencio said. "Well, I will guarantee you that their Statino Casinos will be out of business by February...I have all the proof I need."
Of course, there are two sides to every story but an effort to get a response from someone at Zuffa was unsuccessful.
Women’s MMA has earned its place
In an industry that really only has a few truly proven marketable top stars – and right now, only one stable major league operation – the folding of Elite XC last week has raised questions about the future of women’s mixed martial arts and its biggest star, Gina Carano.
The two main organizations over the past two years who promoted women’s fights, Elite XC and Bodog, are now both out of business, leaving women searching for a place to ply their trade.
Affliction, hardly stable but at least still in the game, has never promoted women’s matches, but is open to the idea. UFC, at least as of the weekend, was not.
“I think that Gina Carano is a real star,” UFC president Dana White said on Thursday. “She’s beautiful, talented and she’s a real fighter. I just don’t think there are enough good women fighters that you can start a division around them.”
Pancrase ‘Shining 9' results and quick recap
Here are the Pancrase ‘Shining 9' complete results:
Kenji Arai (13-12-3) fought Tashiro Akai (9-5-8) to a draw
Takuya Wada (17-8-9) fought Masahiro Toryu (6-3-4) to a draw
Yukio Sakaguchi (3-3) defeated Yuichi Ikari (10-5-4) via KO (0:21-R1)
Takafumi Ito (34-26-11) defeated Takaichi Hirayama (7-11-6) by unanimous decision
Takuya Eizumi (3-1) defeated Takayuki Hirayasu (1-3) by TKO (1:55-R2)
Wataru Takahashi (6-10-4) fought Hiroshi Tomita (0-0-1) to a draw
Featherweight King of Pancrase:
Marlon Sandro (12-0) defeated Masaya Takita (9-10-2) by unanimous decision
Welterweight Tournament SemiFinals:
Hiroyuki Nozawa (6-3-2) defeated Asaki Honda (4-3-1) by unanimous decision
Tomoyoshi Iwamiya (5-7) defeated Kiichi Kunimoto (5-3-2) by unanimous decision
Friends Fighting Friends
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in the world of mixed martial arts, the lines are a bit more blurry. Promoters often pit teammate against teammate, friend against friend, in their pursuit of financial success. Some fighters refuse those advances, no matter the lure.
“We won’t fight each other,” says famed mixed martial arts trainer Greg Jackson when asked about a potential fight between two of his top protégés, Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine.
Former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have pledged never to fight unless the money was “right.” Other competitors seem to have no trouble putting relationships on the back burner and going toe-to-toe with their friends. Karl James Noons and Yves Edwards come to mind.
Few dynamics can match friend-versus-friend in terms of piquing interest. One needs only to look at the clashes between Ortiz and Chuck Liddell to understand the hype such fights can generate. In the case of James Irvin and Scott Smith or Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, mixing it up inside the cage can forge even stronger bonds and lead today’s modern-day gladiators to hone their games inside the same gym as their former opponents.
Here are some past, scheduled and potential bouts with thick plotlines...
DAN LAUZON FIGHTS FOR WCF BEFORE HORODECKI
Before Dan Lauzon debuts for Affliction against Chris Horodecki on Jan. 24, he will first get the chance to stay sharp in his game as he returns to World Championship Fighting on Nov. 14 to fight Justin Hammertrum in a lightweight contest on their upcoming card.
Lauzon was slated to face Horodecki at the Affliction: Day of Reckoning show when it had been slated for earlier this month, but the show was postponed. Opposed to sitting out for several months before stepping into his next fight, the youngest fighter to ever compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship will instead get a tune-up fight first.