Five Greatest Career Turnarounds in MMA
Nothing gets boring faster than perfection, except for perhaps mediocrity. In the realm of fight sport, the sight of an athlete slipping from one into the other is often the fuel for the theater of the unexpected that MMA has become.
While seeing our favorites cast aside after one beating too many is all too common an occurrence, we do occasionally get to see the most moribund of fighters get in touch with their inner "Cinderella Man."
With both James Braddock and a certain "TUF" product in mind, we cast our sights on chronicling the five greatest career turnarounds this young sport has ever seen. So load up for a trip down memory lane and don't forget the Kleenex -- this place is gonna be Niagara Falls in a bit.
IFL’s impact greater than some realize
In my weekly article for CBSSports.com, this week I decided to take a look at all the former IFL talent that has migrated into the UFC.
Between Mike Dolce, Gerald Harris, and Dante Rivera on TUF 7; from Rory Markham, Brad Blackburn, and Reese Andy on the card for UFN 14; and Andre Gusmao debuting at UFC 87, the UFC has done some pretty big reaching into the IFL well.
ABC Passes Revised Unified Rules
MONTREAL -- A revised edition of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts was passed Thursday by the Association of Boxing Commissions via a majority vote at the ABC's annual conference.
Does Mike Whitehead deserve your respect?
At first glance, he appeared to be out of place.
In Affliction's first media conference call for its July 19 "Banned" event, the participants were Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio, former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, middleweight/light heavyweight/heavyweight/politician Matt Lindland and -- oh yeah -- Mike Whitehead.
Scheduled to fight Renato "Babalu" Sobral on the evening's first pay-per-view bout, "The Ultimate Fighter 2" cast member certainly commanded the least attention from the participating media. The 27-year-old didn't even receive the courtesy of having his correct name used at all times, as he was addressed as "Mark" by at least one reporter.
So what was Whitehead doing on the call?
Well for starters, the Xtreme Couture-trained fighter hasn't lost in more than two years, and he will take a 12-fight win streak into his bout with "Babalu." But how did a guy whose last fight was a main-event gig against a 2-2 fighter at the world famous "4 Bears Casino & Lodge" in New Town, N.D., end up on arguably the most-talent-laden card in MMA history?
"Just working hard and keeping my [head] down and keeping my nose to the grinding stone," Whitehead said.
Dana White Talks Donald Trump
We stumbled upon the oddest interview with a multi-millionaire we've ever seen. You may not like UFC president Dana White but the guy has a lot of patience. He's willing to sell his sport even in the most strange settings.
Now you have to be willing to deal with the weird video quality. White morphs into a robotic, alien character a few times. Think Alien Nation. And there are plenty of fine shots of the walls, the floor and UFC's public relations escorts, Jen and Loren.
Fighter Salaries: Minimum Fighter Payouts
The first problem to be addressed is that of the minimum payouts for UFC fighters. I believe the lowest payout figures to be released this year were a few $3000 show/win contracts like the one given to Goran Reljic at UFC 84. Many have been quick to criticize the UFC for these payouts as they question a fighter's ability to make ends meet on such low income.
Following yesterday's introduction, the interests of both parties are fairly obvious. A major interest of the fighters is to be able to provide for themselves and their families. And from a business perspective, it's probably within the UFC's interest to provide top-notch fights while also not having to pay anything more than it has to.
This article is a MUST READ imo. Very insightful piece.
Wrestling Icon Dan Gable Teaching "Wrestling for Mixed Martial Arts"
Olympic wrestling legend Dan Gable and United States Olympic wrestling coach Mike Duroe will be holding a “Wrestling for Mixed Martial Arts” seminar Saturday, July 26 in Moorhead.
The Seminar will be held at Minnesota State Moorhead‘s Alex Nemzek Hall from 9 a.m. to noon.
The event is open to wrestlers and martial artists of all ages. The seminar teaches wrestling applications for use in mixed martial arts.
Joachim Hansen added to DREAM.5
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned through an unnamed source that Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen is expected to fight at DREAM.5 on Monday, July 21 in a Lightweight Grand Prix tournament reserve match.
While an opponent has not been confirmed for Hansen, sources have also indicated that he is likely to face Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill.
DREAM.5 is scheduled to emanate from Osaka, Japan at Osakajo Hall and will feature the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Semifinals and Finals.
Fighter Salaries: Addressing The Problems
As a follow-up to Fighter Salaries: The Problems With Revenue Linking, in the coming days I will be examining potential suggestions that could help to improve the hotly contested MMA issue that is fighter pay. For the sake of convenience - and also because they are the "800 lbs. gorilla in the room" - most of this discussion will focus on the UFC. While I certainly do not believe that the UFC and MMA are interchangeable, the sport's biggest organization is almost always at the forefront of every debate regarding the sport and the industry.
Yamamoto Talks Faber and Love
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto was the star attraction at the "Asakasa Fight Festival" Monday at TBS headquarters in Asakasa, Tokyo. The Japanese wrestler's appearance kicked off a promotional week leading into Fighting & Entertainment Group's K-1 World MAX tournament on July 7 and July 21's Dream 5 lightweight grand prix final.
After introducing his training partners and coaches, Kid jumped off the sidelines and put on a wrestling demonstration with his son after a sparring session with Kotetsu Boku
Fighter websites: The way to communicate with your audience in the 21st century
Did you know that MMA fighter Cole Miller picked BJ Penn to win by TKO over Sean Sherk at UFC 84? How about the fact that he also thought Tito Ortiz would defeat Lyoto Machida by decision?
Actually, this is the better question. Where’s the proof that he made those picks? How about at www.ColeMiller.com?
Whereas Miller seems to enjoy giving his take on upcoming UFC events at his website, Kurt Pellegrino seems to enjoy tee shirt giveaways. Namely, he recently gave free Pellegrino tees to the first five people that correctly guessed an entrance song to any of his 20 fights at www.KurtPellegrino.com. The contest netted 33 comments in blog format.
Arlovski, Rothwell Ready To Brawl At Affliction “Banned”
There are a number of reasons not to miss the mega mixed martial arts extravaganza, “Affliction Banned,” this July 19th at Honda Center in Anaheim, California — not least of which is the unbelievable main event — a dream match-up between heavyweight champs Fedor Emilianenko and Tim Sylvia. But the list of transcendent fight talent doesn’t end there. In one of the biggest cards in the history of the sport, the inaugural fight event of Affliction Entertainment will feature an unprecedented line-up of the best MMA combatants competing against each other, including a brutal, full contact bout between the two heavyweight powerhouses, Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski and “Big” Ben Rothwell.
Breaking down Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Bring up Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in conversation with hardcore MMA fans, and you'll get bombarded with passionate debate from two radical extremes: either he is the undisputed king of the heavyweight rankings and trains by arm-barring bears in the wilderness, or he's the most overrated fighter in history and would be handily defeated by the best of the UFC's heavyweights.
The topic of Emelianenko's greatness -- or any perceived lack thereof -- has proven a popular discussion topic for years primarily because Emelianenko has rarely faced top competition.
Tennessee to begin regulating MMA
The state of Tennessee has passed legislation that calls for the sanctioning of mixed martial arts, which opens the door for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and other major organizations to host events in Memphis, Nashville and other cities.
In fact, it was the UFC that led the charge to get the sport sanctioned in Tennessee, the home of UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson.
Gov. Phil Bredesen will put the legislation into effect today.
Quote of the Day: Mixed Martial Arts' Changing Crowds
"I hear MMA’s opposition speak out as much as anybody. My wife and my mother cringe every time I bring up an MMA issue — heck, I can’t help but occasionally look away while watching a lopsided exchange from ringside.
But fight fans are packing it in, whether it’s in a UFC venue in downtown Las Vegas, at a midsized arena like the MetroCentre or in a small corner of Loves Park, like during Saturday night’s show at All Starz. And though cynics will still say it’s just a bunch of savages promoting violence, there are now plenty of men and women, doctors and teachers, who will stick up for their MMA brethren."
The 10 Most Important Fighters to the Business of Mixed Martial Arts Part II
The mixed martial arts business has seen its ups and downs during its short history. This list is intended to capture the fighters who had the biggest influence in creating interest in the sport and drawing money.
This list is not intended to be a simple listing of the fighters who drew the most money. If that were the sole criterion, the list would look significantly different. Rather, this list is designed to capture the fighters who were most important in shaping the business. Fighters who sparked increases in business and paved the way for bigger things are given additional weight even if they drew less money at the time.
MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ WINS TWICE IN TWO DAYS
International Fight League star Mike Ciesnolevicz had quite a weekend. He fought main events in two different states and in two different weight classes saying, “If I can fight two times this weekend, I’ll be happy. That’s how they used to do it back in the day.”
On Friday, he earned the Courage Fighting Championships 205-pound title by submitting Andrew Force in Decatur, Ill. Then, he was off to Iowa to headline the Extreme Challenge 100 event in Davenport, defeating Matt Andersen as a heavyweight. He tipped the scales at 206 pounds.
All Female Fight League Set for TV Debut
PRLog (Press Release) – Jun 26, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA - A new reality series featuring Amanda Lucas and eleven other female Mixed Martial Artists is being produced by Los Angeles based production company One Giant Leap Media. Promoter Belinda Dunne brought together two teams (USA vs Australasia) for the continental ‘Princesses of Pain’ Championship and the cameras were there to capture all of the drama, including Lucas’ mixed martial arts debut in Auckland on May 31st.