EA Sports MMA taps out at retail
The numbers are in, and they are not pretty: EA Sports' first entry into the world of mixed martial arts videogames, EA Sports MMA, has failed to make an impact on the market despite decent reviews and excellent word-of-mouth.
The game sold just 45,000 units in its release month, according to an article at GameIndustry.biz that references a report by analyst Cowen & Company. To put this in perspective, the original UFC Undisputed 2009 sold over 1 million copies across PS3 and Xbox 360 in its first month of release according to market research firm NPD , and even the rather lukewarmly received 2010 edition managed 413,000. The poor sales do not seem to be limited to North America, either, as Chart Track numbers for PAL territories show the game failing to crack the top 20 in its debut week.
Strikeforce's Frank Shamrock joins charge against bullying
A former UFC, WEC and Strikeforce champion – not to mention a former interim King of Pancrase – MMA legend Frank Shamrock admits he hasn't had to worry too much about being bullied throughout his life.
That said, it's becoming very clear to him that he's in the minority.
"I didn't know there was this bullying going on because nobody has ever really bullied me," Shamrock told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It turns out everybody is getting bullied."
Shamrock officially announced his retirement from fighting earlier this year, but the 15-year veteran of the sport remains on with Strikeforce as a commentator and spokesperson for the promotion.
With his days of competition behind him, Shamrock said he believes it's now his responsibility to give back to the sport and community that have given so much to him.
"Martial arts saved my life and made me who I am," Shamrock said. "For me not to do spread that message would be wrong. That's my job.
Jonathan Goulet Decides To Hang Up His Gloves
French Canadian mixed martial artist Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet has announced his decision to call it quits on his career. Goulet entered the UFC octagon nine times in his career and recorded a 4-5 record. On his career, Goulet earned himself a 23-12 record.
Nearing 50, Renaissance jock Herschel Walker breaks fitness rules
(CNN) -- Javier Mendez, a mixed martial arts trainer for 32 years, scoffed when he heard that retired NFL star Herschel Walker, who's nearing 50, wanted to compete in ultimate fighting. "Yeah, I didn't think he could do it," Mendez said. "I thought it was a joke." Walker had been out of football for 12 years. Aging football players tend to get flabby, play golf or relive the spotlight under "Dancing With the Stars."
Nevada Athletic Commission Modifies Drug Testing Policy, Joins Brain Study
The Nevada state athletic commission on Tuesday slightly modified its drug testing policy, requiring additional analysis to blood tests that may indicate use of performance-enhancing drugs.
During a meeting on the subject, NSAC moved to require hemoglobin and hematocrit tests, which can indicate blood doping or PED use. Fighters are already required to submit to annual blood tests for licensing with a focus on infectious diseases.
The hemoglobin and hematocrit tests would essentially test blood for for unusual levels of red blood cell percentages. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's National Institute of Health, a normal test for men is between 40.7 and 50.3 percent while for women it's 36.1 to 44.3 percent.
EA MMA Video Game Review
I sat down and played the EA MMA demo for Xbox 360 for about an hour today. The demo comes with four playable characters - Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, Bobby Lashley, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and Jake Shields, a Fight Now mode, and an "MMA 101" tutorial. My thoughts below.
The character models are excellent. The four playable characters (Overeem, Lashley, Miller, and Shields) and two non-playable characters ("Big" John McCarthy and Jimmy Lennon Jr.) look fantastic. All the faces are recognizable, the body types are correct, and the textures have a lot of detail.
Basic striking with the right stick is fluid. I played a fair bit of the Fight Night series, so this wasn't completely jarring for me. Kicks are performed by using the left trigger as a modifier. Putting together combos felt natural. Everything felt intuitive, so while I by no means have mastered the striking system, I feel comfortable with it.
Grappling still sucks. Another MMA game, another disappointing grappling engine. The grappling system is simple: press "A" to improve position, press "B" to prevent your opponent from improving, press "X" to attempt a submission, and press "Y" to try disengage. While THQ's series uses the right stick for positional advancement, grappling ends up as the same back-and-forth improve/deny position game in EA MMA as well. Never mind that this isn't an accurate representation of real-life grappling, it just feels clunky and disjointed. I'm beginning to worry that a fun, fluid, and simple grappling system is out of reach.
Shaq Wants Hong Man Choi, Tito Ortiz For Televised MMA Fights
After NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal made his his first public appearance as a newly signed Boston Celtic at this past weekend's UFC Fan Expo Boston 2010 at the Hynes Convention Center in "Shaqachussetts," could the "Big Shamrock" soon become the "Big Octagon?" If it's up to O'Neal, fantasy could become reality. While O'Neal told ESPN on Saturday that he would like to take a fight against Korean striker and fellow 7-footer Hong Man Choi, the future NBA Hall of Famer told fans at a special Q&A session earlier in the day that not only is he serious about the challenge, but he'd like to turn the opportunity into a television special. "I would train here for a month," O'Neal said. "Then I would go to Korea to train for a month, and then we fight. The name of the show would be called 'Pick on Somebody Your Own Size.' Hong Man Choi, I'm coming for you." Of course, if Choi's not game, O'Neal could wind up featuring MMA in a future episode of his ABC-broadcast series "Shaq Vs." Namely Shaq and one Tito Ortiz.
MM-Eh! Ontario Legalizes MMA
Canadian fight fans may have reason to celebrate this weekend after Showdown Joe Ferraro brings word from up north that mixed martial arts is finally set to be legalized in Ontario, Canada. The UFC recently hired Tom Wright as the new head of UFC Canada and opened a Toronto office to help increase the promotion's presence in Ontario. The strategy apparently worked, according to Canadian UFC lawyer Noble Chummar, who shared the good news with our friends at MMACanada.net earlier today: "Mixed Martial Arts is now regulated in the province of Ontario! Two years ago we have been working around the clock, in meetings with Dana White to get this done. The UFC has been in Ontario 5-10 times which has indicated that Premier Dalton McGuinty is in touch with what the people want. It's a great day for MMA fans and a great day for the UFC!" Ontario likely will use the Unified MMA Rules and will probably hold their first regulated MMA event in 2011.
Did TMZ Mislead Everyone with the Roger Huerta Streetfight Video and Story?
MMA journalists are accused all the time of being "TMZ-like" reporters -- sensationalistic rumor-mongers who report on stories devoid of any real facts. Calling a reporter that is just as bad as saying "you have no integrity and have no right to be in your chosen profession."
edit: i know this was a hot topic yesterday..so hopefully this quite the storm down a bit...
Mariusz Pudzianowski to Fight Butterbean at KSW 14
What seemed like simply a publicity stunt has evolved into a main event fight between Eric "Butterbean" Esch and "World's Strongest Man" Mariusz Pudzianowski at KSW 14 on Sept. 18 in Poland.
KSW announced Tuesday the headlining bout as well as the inclusion of UFC veteran Per Eklund, undefeated newcomer Michal Mankiewicz, Sengoku 13 competitor Kazuki Tokudome and M-1 Challenger veteran Niko Puhakka into the promotion's upcoming lightweight tournament, joining the previously announced participants Artur Sowinski and Maciej Gorski.
MC Hammer gets into the MMA business
Stanley Burrell, also known as MC Hammer, announced today that he's getting into the MMA business with Alchemist Management, a new management and "brand-building" firm based out of Los Angeles.
The firm has amassed several high-profile MMA names, including former UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt and veterans Vladimir Matyushenko, Jorge Rivera, Jared Hamman, Antoni Hardonk and James McSweeney. Current Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy has also signed on.
MMA's 10 Funniest Moments
For all the brutal KOs, all out wars, and sublime submission finishes that the glorious sport of MMA provides its fans, there are more than a few funny moments as well.
So here are my top 10 funniest moments in MMA.
What are yours? I can always use a laugh!
Massachusetts Eliminates Double Weigh-In Policy For MMA
A recent change in mixed martial arts regulation in the state of Massachusetts has eliminated the need for double weigh-ins. The change is the latest adjustment to regulation of MMA in Massachusetts, which also recently implemented the regulation of amateur MMA in the state. Massachusetts' previous double weigh-in policy, which will remain in place for boxing contests held within the state, called for fighters to weigh no more than 1.0625 times their maximum contract weight at the time of a fight. For instance, a 155-pound fighter could weigh no more than 164.7 pounds prior to fighting, while a light heavyweight's limit would top out at 217.8 pounds. The policy had been in place since the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission's inception in March. The policy would've affected UFC 118 had it still been in place.
Fistic Medicine: The Sweet Science of Hand Protection
Before we knew how good Royce Gracie was, we knew Art Jimmerson was in trouble.
As Jimmerson strode to the Octagon to test his boxer’s skill against an unknown underweight Brazilian at UFC 1, he wore a boxing glove on one hand and athletic tape on the other. His fight was lost before it began. In a sport with stiff penalties for uncertainty, fighters deserve to know the pros and cons of modern fighting gloves.
The original boxing gloves were thin strips of leather that Grecian fighters bound about their clenched fists to protect the small bones of the hand against fracture. The Romans added metal spikes and studs, converting the protective devices into weapons, and irreparably linking boxing with brutality and barbarism in the Western mind. When boxing returned to fringe acceptability, fighters quickly learned that bare-knuckle strikers had short careers and painful retirements.
Interesting article on fightsport gloves.
Dana: Proper Regulation Saves Lives
The death of Michael Kirkham on June 26, the second mixed martial arts death in a sanctioned event in U.S. history, has been a wake up call to the dangers of insufficient regulation, the ramifications of combatants not being forthcoming on licensing applications and the landscape of the sport where new states are approving and local promoters promoting when maybe neither fully understand the tragic consequences of cutting corners. But UFC president Dana White insists mixed martial arts is not only safe, but the safest sport in the world when correctly regulated. “This is the safest sport in the world when done properly,” White said when asked about the unfortunate passing of Kirkham. Michael Kirkham died following his professional mixed martial arts debut on June 26 at the Dash Entertainment and King MMA co-promoted “Confrontation at the Convocation Center” event at the USC Aiken Convocation Center in Aiken, South Carolina. An autopsy determined that he died from subarachnoid hemorrhage of the brain.
Following Death Of Michael Kirkham, Opponent's Trainer Says Nothing Seemed Afoul
Mark Greubel said Carlos Iraburo's knockout of Michael Kirkham at this past Saturday's "Confrontation at the Convocation Center" wasn't unlike thousands of fights he'd seen before. Greubel, who trained Iraburo and was in his corner during the fight, also said that the event, which took place at the USC Aiken Convocation Center in Aiken, S.C., was well-managed by its promoters and athletic commission officials. Greubel said Iraburo usually fights at 145 pounds and came up in weight to fight Kirkham. However, the 6-foot-9 Kirkham did not look he had cut weight for the 150-pound catchweight contest. "I saw him at the weigh-ins, and he looked skinny then," Greubel said. "But he looked exactly the same the next day. He didn't look like gained very much weight at all. I think that was just the way the guy was built." The knockout came after a "very short fight." "This wasn't a brutal beating," Greubel said. "Carlos shot in (and) took [Kirkham] down. They were scrambling on the ground. Kirkham was trying to get back up by wall-walking up the cage; he had his right hand on the ground. Carlos hit him with a few left hands in a row, and that was it. Michael was knocked out.
"The referee jumped in when he should have. Carlos immediately stopped. There were no punches after the referee stoppage. We figured for sure the guy would come to in a few seconds, and he just never did." Greubel said Kirkham was taken out of the cage in a gurney and did not see him afterward.
The South Carolina State Athletic Commission issued a press release today that stated it plans to launch an internal review of the incident, though it confirmed that Kirkham carried a professional fight license going into the event. "Because it is under investigation, the commission cannot release any further information at this time," the statement read. Greubel plans hold a fundraiser and set up a Paypal account to accept donations, which will go to Kirkham's family. He said Kirkham did not have life insurance and has five children. Greubel said Iraburo, who also works for a supplement company that caters to MMA fighters, is taking time off.
Tuesday Autopsy Scheduled For MMA Fighter Who Died After Pro Debut
MMA fighter Michael Kirkham, who made his pro debut this past weekend after 4 amateur fights, today became the second MMA fighter to die as a result of injuries sustained in a pro MMA bout. Kirkham died this morning as a result of injuries sustained from a professional bout this past Saturday at the USC Aiken Convocation Center in South Carolina. Kirkham, 30, suffered repeated blows to the head during an MMA event dubbed "Confrontation at Convocation Center" and collapsed afterward. He was taken unconscious to the Aiken Regional Medical Center, where he died from brain hemorrhaging. An autopsy is expected Tuesday morning.