The Offense of ‘Intelligent Defense’
It didn't deserve a MacArthur fellowship, but I don't see anything defensively dull or dimwitted about Josh Koscheck turning his hips and extending his arm to shield Paulo Thiago from pouncing on him Saturday at UFC 95.
Brian Cobb butt scooting and attempting a weak double-leg doesn't warrant a Nobel Prize in defense either, but I would hardly call it brainless or idiotic.
Unfortunately, it seems they still weren't "intelligent" enough.
Let me be clear about what this is, or more pertinently, what it isn't. This is not an assertion that any of the evening's contentious proceedings would've wound up with a different victor if allowed to continue. This is not a criticism of any of the stoppages at UFC 95, nor is it an indictment of officials Dan Miragliotta, Kevin Mulhall, Leon Roberts and Marc Goddard.
In fact, given the current climate of refereeing in MMA, all of the event's referees did their jobs to the letter and their stoppages were just.
Instead, this is an inquiry into whether the refereeing standards in MMA are appropriate. UFC 95 was not an assortment of irresponsible stoppages but an illustration of the intensifying issue of what constitutes a justifiable end to a fight, as the margin between winning and losing in MMA has become hideously deformed.
Great editorial by Jordan Breen
Hermes Franca Update!
Hermes Franca Update
After having to pull out of UFC Ultimate Fight Night 18, Hermes Franca informed PDG that he will be having surgery in the next two weeks to repair a torn ACL on his knee and when he expects to return to the cage.
On how long he expects to be out of the UFC cage:
“I have to make sure that I take care of my injury and fully heal. I don’t care how long it takes as long as I am 100% when I return. Whether it takes eight months or one year, I want to recuperate to full health.”
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UFC 94 Preview w/PRO PICKS!
UFC 94 ‘GSP vs. PENN II’ Preview and LIVE Coverage! w/PRO Fighter Picks!
Hermes Franca – “Both guys are A+ level fighters and it is really hard to pick a winner for this fight. In my opinion the fans are going to be the biggest winners when this fight is over. In their first fight two years ago BJ came into the fight very strong and was able to push him around at the beginning but Georges St. Pierre won the second round and the third round was very close which lead to the split decision. I am going to stick with my pick that the fans are going to be the biggest winners.”
Rob Kaman –“This is a very tough fight to call. I think that BJ is the more animalistic fighter and that Georges St. Pierre is the more athletic fighter. Georges is always ready to go the distance and BJ’s conditioning has come into question throughout his career. This fight could end up being a fast win for BJ or decision win for GSP. They are both great fighters and like I said earlier, BJ is more animalistic in the sense that he enjoys punishing his opponents. Where as Georges St. Pierre is the more technical fighter, a pure athlete with the ability to knock out his opponents. I also think that GSP is going to have an advantage with his reach and it will be interesting to see how BJ counters that. If the fight ends in the first 3 rounds then I think it will be BJ. If the fight makes it into the championship rounds then I would have to take Georges St. Pierre.”
Silver Star Making Moves In The MMA Field
Georges St. Pierre, Rashad ‘Suga’ Evans, Karo Parisyan, Jeremy Horn, Rob Emerson and David Loiseau will have their signature line of shirts debuted at the Silver Star Clothing booth #22148, at the MAGIC trade-show in the Las Vegas Convention Center, February 17- 19, 2009.
Silver Star’s MMA collaboration includes: Rashad “Suga” Evans, who is known for defeating Forrest Griffin, the winner of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV show, and remains undefeated; UFC welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre; one of the best welterweights in the world, Karo Parisyan; knockout master Rob Emerson; Jeremy Horn who have proved victorious against Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell; and David “The Crow” Loiseau. These fighters all have signature Silver Star tees honoring their athleticism and brute force, and more will be added to the Silver Star roster in the near future.
Silver Star is very excited to be working with these great fighters, and is presently in negotiations with Sean Sherk [one-time UFC lightweight champion] to bring him into the Silver Star fold.” said owner, Luke Burrett. “We have Rashad coming to sign autographs for fans and support the line at MAGIC, and I think this venture is going to be a very positive experience for all of us.”
Each high quality graphic tee made of 100% distressed cotton, and and includes foil accenting, with water-based dyes responsible for the powerful colors and no-hand-feel on the graphics. The art for these signature shirts is designed exclusively for the fighters, by Silver Star’s art team.
UFC Prime Time Episode 3 Ratings
MMAPayout.com has learned that the third episode of UFC Primetime (10-10:30P) delivered a 0.6 household rating — a .64 among Men 18-49, a .44 among People 18-49, a .60 among Men 18-34 and had an average audience of 662,000 viewers.
The overall average for the three week run for UFC Prime Time was 789,000 viewers.
The three week run for Prime Time has to be judged a success. The usual one week lead in to a PPV often seems a bit abrupt, and wanting at times. The multi-week format gives a sustained, staggered build that should pay off at the PPV box office. This isn’t a concept that the UFC and Spike should drag out for every PPV but hopefully the format will return to periodically to hype their bigger cards
Collegiate Wrestling Standout Makes MMA Debut February 7
A trend that Brock Lesnar and others started is about to continue. Collegiate wrestler Ben Askren, a 2-time NCAA Division 1 National Champion who went 87-0 over his last 2 years, will make his pro MMA debut on February 7 for the Headhunters Fight League in Missouri in an event headlined by former UFC fighter Din Thomas.
Meet Jon Jones - 'Bones'
Meet Jon Jones a.k.a. ‘Bones’
At the young age of 21, Jon Jones has made the most of his opportunities so far in the mixed martial arts world. Compiling a 7 – 0 record, he will be making his second appearance in the UFC on January 31st, 2009 against Stephan Bonnar. Jon took some time recently to talk with PDG about his rise to the UFC, his background and what drives him to be the best.
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Ricardo Arona eyes return to Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) in 2009
“I’ve got news, I want to fight at ADCC 2009. My idea is to talk to the organizers and see if there’s a possibility of my being invited, for all the titles I’ve won at the event. I don’t really want to go through the trials in Rio, especially since it’s already too close to the event to be able to train properly. That’s why my idea is to go straight into the main tournament, to go right up against all the toughest from around the world. I even called up Paulo [Filho] to see if he’d get motivated about participating, but he says he doesn’t want to. So I came up with the organizers’ Email, and I’ll be contacting them to see about an invite. I’m excited.”
N.Y. State Legislator Speaks Out Against MMA
The New York State Assembly’s Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development Committee begins its session on Tuesday, and among several pieces of legislature up for vote is bill 1-11458-A, designed to regulate the sport of MMA in New York. While the bill will not be voted on before next week at the earliest, Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a democratic member of the committee who represents the 109th district of New York, opposes the legislation and recently spoke to MMAWeekly.com about his feelings on the sport and attempts to bring it to the Empire State.
Ask the Doc: Dr. Benjamin on MMA, concussions and mental illness
In the wake up the recent deaths of MMA fighters Evan Tanner, Justin Levens and Justin Eilers, many fans are struggling to find a correlation.
While there may be none, some people, including researcher Chris Nowinski, see combat sports (and concussions) going hand-in-hand with depression and mental illness in later life.
In his latest “Ask the Doc” column, combat-sports specialist Dr. Johnny Benjamin discusses the topic, specifically as it relates to MMA, and why there’s so little relevant information available on it. He also gives two reasons why there’s so much controversy about trying to connect the two.
Q. Dave Meltzer recently wrote an article discussing three unrelated deaths of former UFC fighters; two of the fallen fighters were known to suffer from depression. Metzler notes Chris Nowinski’s studies correlating boxing to mental illness later in life. Many fans and fighters feel MMA is safer than boxing. MMA fighters are more likely to suffer a few concussive blows (i.e. knockouts) as opposed to a myriad of “padded” shots as in boxing. Many fights end without any substantial head shots. Is it fair to assume the same long-term consequences in MMA? Steve in Los Angeles
A. Steve, you are asking the million-dollar question.
Also, my hat is off to Dave Meltzer for even attempting to intelligently discuss this difficult subject. This and apparently many other topics are difficult for the MMA faithful to discuss reasonably without deteriorating into emotional outbursts, personal attacks and worse. Good articles are written to make intelligent readers think not to defame anyone or anything.
Do repeated blows to the head make MMA participants more likely to suffer with depression or other forms of mental illness later in life? It’s a great question and one that needs to be investigated and researched now rather than adopting a wait-and-see approach.
The current form of MMA is relatively early in its life cycle. We are talking less than 20 years. As major sports go, MMA is still in its infancy. Therefore, I would assume nothing with respect to the potential long-term health consequences. But as you’ve implied, I would learn a few things from the collective experience of other, more mature (older) contact and combat sports. It is also prudent to be proactive when it comes to fighter safety, since it is very difficult, if not impossible, to fully restore competitors’ mental health once it has traumatically been taken from them.
Retrospective (looking back after the deed is done) studies of professional athletes involved in boxing, football, soccer, hockey and rugby seem to suggest a link between repetitive blows to the head, concussions (MTBI, which is minor traumatic brain injury) and depression or dementia. This is a very controversial statement for at least two major reasons.
First, it is very difficult to prove a direct causal relationship. Did the accumulation of blows to the head directly cause permanent brain injury that led to depression or dementia? Or are the athletes that participate in these sports on the professional level more prone to depression to begin with? Do their inherent, aggressive, possibly somewhat antisocial personality traits allow them to achieve in these sports at a high level? Simply put, they may be a little crazy or unstable to begin with. That’s why they do so well in these contact and combat sports. (Absolutely no disrespect is intended to those that suffer with mental illness.)
Second, the powers that govern these major sports fear the cost associated with acknowledging a relationship between participation in these sports and subsequent dementia and/or depression. Simply put, if the sport caused it, somebody is going to have to pay for it. Forget lawsuits and punitive damages (which will most certainly come); just the cost of long-term care would be staggering. No one is prepared to pay that without a serious fight.
Professional MMA fighters should assume nothing and be prepared for everything. When your favorite fighters’ careers are over and no one is any longer screaming their names, paying them sponsorship fees and buying their pay-per-view appearances, who is going to pay their medical expenses and provide assistance to their often forgotten caregivers? Your heroes have families too.
Again, Steve, it’s a great question but not one anyone can answer definitively at this time.
Dr. Johnny Benjamin is MMAjunkie.com’s medical columnist and consultant and a noted combat-sports specialist. He was also recently appointed to the ABC’s medical advisory team and will help review and refine the unified rules of MMA. Dr. Benjamin writes an “Ask the Doc” column every two weeks for MMAjunkie.com. To submit a question for a future column, email him at askthedoc [AT] mmajunkie.com, or share your questions and thoughts in the comments section below. You can find Dr. Benjamin online at www.drjohnnybenjamin.com, and you can read his other sports-related articles at blog.drjohnnybenjamin.com.
Check out more UFC News at MMAjunkie.com. This story originally appeared on MMAjunkie.com and is syndicated on Yahoo! Sports as part of a content-partnership deal between the two sites.
Naked man arrested at Wal-mart looking for a MMA fight
Officers with the Covington Police Department arrested a nude man looking for a fight Sunday at the Wal-Mart on Industrial Boulevard.
According to the incident report, Jeffrey Pickett said he wanted to be a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and was looking for someone to battle. Pickett, who undressed in parking lot, said he knew he could find someone to fight with if he were nude.
The ’09 Wish List
Pre-“Ultimate Fighter,” pre-Affliction, pre-state sanctioning, fans will remember the UFC’s modest promotional resolution for 1999: run nine shows. (The campaign was dubbed “9 in ’99,” which is what happens when you can’t afford a marketing department.)
A sad testament to the state of the sport at the time: They could only manage six.
Ten years on, and the UFC is likely to meet or exceed the 20 programs it ran in ’08. Wishes have become largely extraneous, since most requested matches wind up happening sooner or later. The sport’s devotees have everything they could possibly ask for -- free shows, top talent, capable management.
This space, though, works tirelessly to find something to complain about. Some hoped-for events for the New Year: