Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2008 (VOTE: including Dana and Spider)
Who have been the most influential men in 2008? Over the past 12 months, which guys have had the biggest impact on the way other men behave, buy and think? We at AM have a good enough idea to have assembled the shortlist of candidates youll find below. Now we need your help in determining the final 49. Follow the steps outlined below to build and submit your own Top 49 list. Your picks will be combined with those of other AM readers and our staff to produce the final list: the Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2008.
Fedor's New Year's Eve Freak Show Fight
Satoshi Ishii, the 21 year old judoka who just took home the gold medal in Judo is calling out Fedor Emelianenko. From Dave Meltzer:
In Beijing, China, after winning the gold medal in the superheavyweight division in judo this past week, Japan’s Satoshi Ishii said he wanted to fight "Emelianenko Fedor," as the legendary Russian fighter is known in Japan.
Ishii, 21, has never fought MMA style. The idea of the match may sound laughable to MMA aficionados, but New Year’s Eve in Japan is traditional for gimmick performers, whether they be Japanese entertainment personalities, giants, or athletes who were successful in other sports, doing fights. With Ishii becoming a national hero in Japan and the sport fading in popularity, such a match would draw the kind of interest that Emelianenko against a top fighter could never do.
What does the future hold for MMA?
Modern mixed martial arts is not quite 15 years old, so it’s still a relatively young sport in terms of its development.
That may seem like a long time to someone who fits into the sport’s leading demographic age of 18-34, so it requires a little perspective to understand that MMA is really still in its infancy.
Fifteen years after the 1920 founding of the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins were each less than three years old. The Chicago Bears’ Bronko Nagurski was the sport’s biggest star and Vince Lombardi was still a college student, more two decades before he became Green Bay Packers coach.
The game has changed dramatically in the 74 years since.
Mikey Gomez Florida's #1 unsigned Mixed Martial Artist
Check out all the Interviews by Penny Buffington on
Here is just part of the Interview from Mikey Gomez who was voted #1 unsigned Fighter in Florida!!!!!!!
"Gomez is fighting Charley Blanchard for the welterweight title. On Thursday August 15, 2008 I spoke with a happy Mikey. He told me, “I am really excited to fight for the Cage Warriors belt. I’m fighting a really tough aponant named Charley Blanchard from American Top Team. I’ve been training really hard for this upcoming belt and now I’m just tweaking up my game in preparation for it.” - Mikey Gomez
Check out the Full interview by Penny Buffington on
Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential'
Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential'
By Dave Carpinello
UFC Lightweight contender Hermes Franca took some time to talk with PDG after his trip to New York about his comeback, future opponents and his upcoming fight with Gleison Tibau at UFC 90 in Chicago.
PDG: All right, let's talk just a little bit about the past; did it bother you at all that you served a full one-year suspension and Sean Sherk only had to sit out six months?
Franca: It doesn't bother me because it was my problem and my fault. I told the commission the truth and it doesn't matter to me what Sherk told them. It is just great to be back and the commission has a lot of great guys that came up to me at my last fight and told me they were glad to have me back. They told me I was the man and I had balls because I told the truth which apparently a lot of people don't.
OZZY OSBOURNE GOES MMA
Las Vegas – Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne will perform live at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Presented by Roy Englebrecht Events, Donald J. Trump, Affliction Entertainment in association with Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the mixed martial arts event will be the first Affliction show in the Las Vegas area.
“To bring the ‘Godfather of Heavy Metal’ to our event is a dream come true,” said Tom Atencio, vice president of Affliction Entertainment. “An incredible fight card combined with Ozzy’s live performance, our fight in Las Vegas will be an unforgettable event.”
With a career spanning for more than 37 years, Ozzy has entertained in front of millions worldwide. The Grammy Award-winning rocker has released more than 20 solo albums including his first solo record, the multi-platinum Blizzard of Ozz to 2007’s success of Black Rain. Ozzy has continuously released chart-topping hits including “Dreamer,” “No More Tears” and “Mamma I’m Coming Home.” In 2002, Ozzy and his family gained national appeal with their record-breaking reality show “The Osbournes” on MTV. From singing sensation to reality star, Ozzy Osbourne epitomizes the free artistic expression that transcends true rock culture around the globe.
Tito Ortiz: The Barry Bonds of MMA?
Steve Cofield makes the argument:
Barry Bonds is desperate to get back on the baseball field. So much so that his $15-18 million asking price is now down to the major league minimum. His agent Jeff Borris told Ryen Russillo of ESPNRadio that Bonds would play this year for the minimum salary. Borris said, "What other option does he have?"
Is fighter Tito Ortiz going to face a similar fate in the MMA world? This is not to say Ortiz has been involved in a drug scandal like Bonds but the slugger is out of baseball as much for his attitude as the steroid mess. Ortiz may be developing the reputation that he's a guy who is impossible to work with.
Cofield also brings up recent remarks by Affliction COO Michael D. Cohen about Tito's asking price being "more than ANY league could afford."
Tito has clearly wildly over-estimated his current market value. I expect the UFC will re-sign a sadder but wiser Tito when it's all said and done.
Without Zuffa’s aggression, nobody has momentum
Have you noticed the compete lack of heat going into the second Affliction show on October 11th? You’re not the only one.
The promotion will headline their second big show (this time at the Thomas & Mack Center) with a main event of Josh Barnett vs. Andrei Arlovski. On paper, it’s an excellent bout. In reality, however, it’s going to be hard to see the fight moving the needle as far as casual fan interest is concerned. Affliction spent so much energy promoting Fedor on their debut show that the theme for the second show is, “Which heavyweight will end up facing Fedor down the road?” Call it the “Kimbo Slice effect,” but Affliction’s second show could turn out in similar fashion in terms of crowd heat as Elite XC’s second show on CBS did when they didn’t have Kimbo Slice on the card as opposed to their initial showing on broadcast TV.
The great irony in Fedor not appearing for the second Affliction show is that he claims he wants to fight on New Year’s Eve for DREAM in Japan. DREAM is another promotion that is teetering on the edge of collapse and given Fedor’s track record of headlining promotions that have gone out of business, it would be a sad but fitting end to K-1 & DSE’s bastard child of an MMA project gone horribly stale.
5 Fighters You Need to Watch
While some of you may see the brief reprieve we’re enjoying from a whirlwind last few weeks of high-profile throwdowns as a bit of welcome rest for the weary, you’re all wrong. Yes, every last one of you.
Now is the time to discover the fighters you’ve been ignoring, parked in front of your screen researching the next generation while selling your less-than-essential organs for rare fight tapes.
Luckily, I’ve done most of the work for you, finding five of the most pugilistically inclined superstars in the making of whom you’ve probably never heard. In the event you’re familiar with these guys, just smile and nod for the sake of everyone else.
Tito Ortiz back on the open market
Despite proclaiming earlier this month that he had signed a “record breaking” contract with Affliction Entertainment, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is once again negotiating with multiple MMA promotions, reports MMAjunkie.com’s Dann Stupp in his latest column for the Dayton Daily News.
Stupp reports that Ortiz is talking to the usual suspects such as Affliction and EliteXC but also adds that the Kentucky-based American Fight League is making a play for his services and that even talks are taking place between Ortiz and the UFC.
Why WAMMA Won't Work
"Big" John McCarthy explains:
First, if a titleholder from the UFC fights either in the UFC or in another promotion and loses to a fighter not under contract to the UFC, then the UFC just devalued itself and its championship belt. They will not have control of the person who is now considered the top fighter in the world and their belt will be viewed by many people as just another promotional belt instead of the belt that signifies the best fighter in the world at that weight class. People will realize that maybe not all of the greatest fighters in the world fight for the UFC, but that there are other promotions out there that have very good fighters who can fight as good or better than the more popular fighters under contract to Zuffa.
None of this helps the UFC so you can see why they will not be jumping on the WAMMA bandwagon. I can't blame Zuffa at all for looking at this the way it does. They have worked very hard to get where they are. They have their matchmaker in Joe Silva who sets up the matches that Dana White, the president of the UFC, wants to promote. They are a very successful self-contained promotion that has no outside influences telling them what to do. Why would they want to let someone in that can now influence their promotion in anyway?
This is the problem that confronts Dave Szade and Michael Lynch, the chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively, of WAMMA. They have a pretty good idea, and I want to see the best fighters in the world fighting each other no matter what promotion they are signed to. Politics and money have a huge influence over all of the combative sports and since that is not going to change, it is going to take a "hell freezing over" moment or a shift in the political power of the sport before you see the UFC and WAMMA working together.
ATT Loses Top Trainer Andre Benkei
André Benkei has decided to leave one of MMA's most prestigious fight camps, American Top Team, due to ideological differences. Benkei informed Brazilian site Tatame.com of his decision this earlier this afternoon.
“I left the team because of some idealogical disagreements with ATT head coach, Ricardo Libório. I had no trouble with the Dan Lambert or Conan Silveira”, said Benkei told Tatame.
Benkei stated many of the fighters at ATT will continue to work with him at Prime Time.
John Alessio: I'm not facing Jake Shields at Sept. 20 EliteXC event
Despite recent reports of EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields (21-4-1) defending his title on EliteXC's Sept. 20 card against John Alessio (23-11), the potential challenger today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he will not be ready in time for the Albuquerque, N.M. event.
Alessio was recently forced to take time off from training after suffering a broken arm in a June victory over veteran Pete Spratt. Now the Xtreme Couture fighter feels it imperative to allow ample time for a full recovery
The Olympic Crossover
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games and their vast commercial reach could serve as a launching pad for the next mixed martial arts superstar.
With NBC, MSNBC, the USA Network and various Internet outlets providing more than 3,600 hours of Olympic coverage, a medal-winning athlete with a compelling story could be in perfect position to crossover to MMA. After all, it has happened before.
Many Olympic wrestlers and judokas from various countries have gone on to give MMA a try. Some enjoyed more success than others.
Jackson Arraignment Postponed
The arraignment of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictures) has been postponed Friday pending further investigation into his July 15 arrest in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Jackson was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, reckless driving and hit-and-run charges following a chase by authorities that saw elite fighter’s Ford pick-up truck bounce off other vehicles, jump street medians and swerve onto sidewalks, which “caused pedestrians to flee in terror,” according to a Costa Mesa police department report.
Sincaid, Von Flue Return at PureCombat
One-time “Ultimate Fighter” cast members Lodune Sincaid and Jason Von Flue will both return to action tomorrow night at PureCombat’s scheduled “Hardcore” event at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia, California.
Sincaid, who has won four out of his last six bouts, will be taking on Emanuel Newton, who brings an eight-fight undefeated streak into the bout. Sincaid most recently submitted Rafael Real at a Palace Fighting Championships event in May while Newton last competed at an IFL show last year, submitting Jeff Quinlan.
Von Flue will attempt to snap a four-fight losing streak against Hawaii native Bryson Kamaka. Both fighters have struggled greatly as of late. Von Flue has racked up a 1-4 record since being released from the UFC two years ago while Kamaka hasn’t won consecutive bouts since 2005.
Kimbo Slice inspiring gridiron greatness?
In the old days, folks wanted to “Be like Mike”.
Never in a million years did I think they’d want to “Be like Kimbo”.
But an article with the Washington Times shows Santana Moss, a fan of the EliteXC heavyweight and star wide-receiver for the Washington Redskins, injecting a little fire into his off-season workout by turning to mixed martial arts training for a much needed shot in the arm.
That decision was inspired by his interest in the aforementioned brawler and has apparently caught on with teammates like Antwaan Randle El.
From the starting wideout:
“If it was just run, run, run - that’s something I could do, but I was losing some of my muscle mass. But I’m not losing as much this year. I think the grappling [helps]. When you are on the ground wrestling with a guy - that’s how it is when you catch a ball and you’re tussling with a guy and trying to get out.”