A Brief Reflection on 15 Years of the UFC
by Jordan Breen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Hello ladies and gentlemen. You are about to see something you have never seen before ... the Ultimate Fighting Challenge."
Uttered 15 years ago to this day, the introduction for the promotion that would bring mixed martial arts to the masses wasn't even competent, let alone stirring. More like taking forceps to the eyeball during delivery.
"Hello, I'm Bill Wallace, and welcome to McNichols Ar ... "
The birth moment went from awkwardly inept to outright ignominious as the man dubbed "Superfoot" quite literally belched through the foreword to fighting history. This was not "Call me Ishmael." More like dropping the newborn skull-first on the floor.
A difficult delivery, fortunately, didn't have any bearing on the spectacle of the evening's proceedings. With a thunderous kick to the face in less than 30 seconds, Gerard Gordeau liberated the teeth of hapless sumo Teila Tuli, freeing them to explore the thin Denver air. And that was just a prelude to the skinny Brazilian fellow in his pajamas.
Yes, every ardent MMA fan, whether they were watching live on pay-per-view from day one thanks to a Black Belt magazine subscription or whether they became smitten with the sport one Saturday night on Spike TV, can appreciate the milestone, the magic and the mockability of the first Ultimate Fighting Championship. By now, it is nothing short of cultural fact that Royce Gracie revolutionized fightsport with his early UFC dominance and fully held up his end of the bargain to his big brother Rorion in what began as an infomercial for Gracie jiu-jitsu. Today, the magnitude of that moment is a mandate to the point where it becomes almost drained and dull.
Armando Garcia’s Top Ten Greatest Misses
Word broke over the weekend that Armando Garcia had tendered his resignation as executive director of the California State Athletic Commission and his resignation is scheduled to be accepted when the CSAC convenes on Nov. 17.
Many people responded to the news by hailing the development as good for MMA and ripping Garcia. However, most people neglected to say what was bad about Garcia and seemingly were just repeating someone else’s ideology rather than having formed their own opinion.
But there was a site that actually took the time to lay out the case of why Garcia’s departure is a good thing. Fightlinker.com listed a myriad of links outlining all of the controversies that Garcia had been involved in during his three-year tenure as CSAC’s executive director. The article was much more than a simple proclamation that Garcia was bad for the sport; it served as a detailed outline of just exactly why he is bad.
Even though I covered most of those controversies, I was still overwhelmed by the sheer volume of them. Being that I like to be organized, I decided to compile a top ten list of Garcia’s greatest misses in honor of his impending departure
STUDY SHOWS UFC IS POISED TO CONTRIBUTE MILLIONS TO NY ECONOMY
NEW YORK, NY – A study released today showed that Ultimate Fighting Championship® events in New York City and Buffalo would have a significant impact on state and local economies by generating tax revenues, creating jobs and boosting tourism industries.
Professional mixed martial arts is one of the highest grossing arena sports in the country, drawing sell-out crowds and bringing in millions of dollars in ticket and concession sales. One of the fastest growing sports in America, MMA is regulated in 36 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. Legislators in Albany will consider regulating the sport in New York State when the legislative session begins in January.
Garcia Resigns from CSAC
The California State Athletic Commission will formally accept the resignation of Executive Officer Armando Garcia at a commission meeting on Nov. 18 in Los Angeles, according to a notice posted on the CSAC Web site. Garcia left the position he held for over three years this week, Sherdog.com has learned.
The commission will also name an interim executive officer and appoint a search committee to review candidates for Garcia’s replacement on Nov. 18, according to the agenda notes.
Numerous commission-hired employees who asked not to be identified confirmed to Sherdog.com on Saturday that Garcia had left the post, but were not given details of his exit. Sherdog.com corresponded with Garcia via email as late as Thursday to discuss the CSAC’s decision to suspend the promoter licenses of Pro Elite and King of the Cage last Wednesday.
Commission representatives declined to comment on Garcia’s departure at a state-regulated MMA event on Saturday in Fresno, Calif. Representatives said an official statement from the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the commission, would be issued shortly.
With nearly 20 years of experience as a boxing referee and judge, Garcia was appointed as executive officer for the CSAC in mid 2005. In his tenure, he was instrumental in the passage of MMA regulations in California in late 2005 and oversaw the first regulated event in March 2006 with Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Gracie,” which held the North American attendance record for one year with 18,265 spectators.
Garcia was also at the center of the controversial steroid suspensions of former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, Strikeforce participant Phil Baroni, and most recently, in the one-year suspension of EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva.
In an interview with BoxingInsider.com in August 2008, Garcia said he had regulated over 500 boxing and MMA events in California during his three-year tenure.
“Commission revenue the year before I took over the job was at about $441K,” Garcia told BoxingInsider.com. “In my first year we went to $1.3 million, the next one $1.6 million and then this tremendous $2 million plus year.”
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...
Spike TV: UFC 89 Draws 2.6 Million Viewers
Anchored by a middleweight bout between Michael Bisping and Chris Leben, UFC 89 on Saturday drew an average of 2.6 million viewers, according to Spike TV representatives. The telecast -- which aired on tape delay from the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England -- peaked with 3.4 million viewers during the 11:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. quarter hour.
Despite stiff competition from Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on TBS and regional college football coverage on ESPN and ESPN2, the UFC 89 telecast ranked second with 18- to 49-year-old males, 18- to 34-year-old males and 25- to 34-year-old males among ad-supported cable for its time period.
Bisping (17-1) defeated Leben by unanimous decision in a competitive main event, as the UFC made its final stop in the UK this year. The popular 29-year-old Brit extended his winning streak to three fights and continued his rapid ascent up the 185-pound ladder. Scheduled to coach on the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, Bisping will face the winner of the UFC 93 match pairing Rich Franklin with Dan Henderson sometime in 2009.
Joe Son Arrested on 1990 Gang Rape Charge
Joseph Hyungmin Son -- better known as UFC veteran Joe Son to diehard MMA fans -- was arrested Oct. 7 in Huntington Beach, Calif., on charges related to a 1990 Christmas Eve gang rape. Son, who was already in custody for an unrelated vandalism charge, was linked to the 1990 crime when he gave a DNA sample to authorities following a probation violation. A second assailant tied to the 1990 crime is still at large.
TMZ.com and the Orange County Register were the first to report Son’s arrest.
Son has been charged with five felony counts of forcible rape, two felony counts of forcible sodomy, two felony counts of sodomy in concert by force, seven felony counts of forcible oral copulations, one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, and sentencing enhancements for kidnapping to commit sexual assault, personal use of a firearm, use of a firearm during a sex offense, and great bodily injury to sexual assault victim.
Say it ain't so, Joe!
Russian Prime Minister Putin, releases judo instructional video
Vladimir Putin is out on video as a judo master. Russian state-controlled media already have shown the powerful prime minister at the wheel of massive racing truck, shirtless on a fishing excursion, and tracking a tiger through the Siberian forest — just a few of the he-man presentations designed to boost his public image.
On Tuesday, he presented an instructional judo DVD that bears his name and shows him throwing an opponent to the mat.
"Let's Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin" is the product of collaboration between Putin — a black belt — and other judo enthusiasts, including former World and Olympic judo champion Yasuhiro Yamashita. It apparently was privately made and intended mainly for Russians studying judo.
I heard this on the AM radio yesterday and thought it was interesting.
Eddie Bravo: "The Game Has Changed"
"A lot of fighters wanted to sit in half guard and pound them and rain elbows, but never try and pass the guard.
When you have that kind of attitude, you're only going to get so far. Your game is going to be so limited and
you're going to win some and lose some; you're going to bat .500 and not get very far."
St. Pierre Joins Beckham, Jeter In Mainstream
Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has signed with CAA Sports, a division of Creative Arts Agency, one of the largest entertainment and sports agencies in the world.
CAA Sports will work with St. Pierre, alongside manager Shari Spencer, to help build new marketing and endorsement opportunities along with using the agency’s resources to create new endeavors in movies, television, licensing and digital media.
“Beyond being a fierce competitor and a tremendously skilled fighter, Georges St. Pierre’s class, integrity and humility also make him a terrific ambassador for the sport,” said Howard Nuchow, co-head, CAA Sports. “We look forward to creating opportunities for Georges that cross international borders and build upon his widespread appeal.”
CAA Sports is a world famous agency currently representing over 400 professional athletes, including the last five NFL MVP’s, and other sports superstars such as New York Yankee’s captain Derek Jeter, and international soccer player and celebrity David Beckham.
“CAA Sports is the best talent agency in the world and an ideal partner to guide the professional growth of the world’s best fighter,” Spencer commented. “Georges’ appeal transcends the Octagon and I am confident that together we can introduce Georges, and the entire sport of MMA, to a wider audience.”
The addition of St. Pierre to the growing roster of athletes at CAA Sports is a huge move for both the fighter and the entire MMA industry. CAA is an extremely recognizable company worldwide and their reach will expand St. Pierre’s marketability in many different areas that MMA hasn’t seen yet.
The significance of the signing of St. Pierre with CAA may not be seen on the surface to the average MMA fan, but in the long run the deal could be huge for both the fighter and the industry.
Ask the Doc: Dr. Benjamin on foot stomps and good chins vs. bad chins
Q. I have a serious question that I would like to ask you, and I hope that you find the time to respond. First off, I love your column and enjoy reading it. I only wish you posted more than you do. My question is: How do you feel about foot stomps? In my opinion, I think this is really a brutal technique that could cause severe mobility injuries, especially to lightweights who are, of course, smaller framed and highly rely on their mobility as part of their offensive and defensive game plans. It amazes me that I haven't personally heard of any severe injuries coming from this, but I can't help but feel when I see it being implemented against the cage that intense pain is right around the corner for one of the two combatants. (from reader "Purplejitz08")
A. "I think this is a brutal technique." I think you're being far too kind to refer to a foot stomp as a "technique." I refer to it as a desperate measure employed by a desperate fighter. If your go-to move is to stomp on an athlete's foot while in a clinch, I have some advice for you: practice more. Dirty boxing, Muay Thai, judo throws and sweeps are "techniques." Stomping on a foot is a muffled cry for help. Please, please someone recognize my deficiencies and teach me honorable legitimate techniques.
A foot and ankle surgeon once told me that people never think about their feet until they don't work correctly. Let someone stomp your foot and break it, and watch how miserable your next few months (if not more) become. Every step hurts. The foot is an architectural masterpiece. Destroy its integrity and get ready for a potential lifetime of pain.
Ask people with simple foot disorders such as flat feet or plantar fasciits (not to mention a tarsal or metatarsal bone fracture) how happy they are. Ask them how many miles can they run for their cardio or how training is going. And if you were the troll who stomped their foot and caused an injury, I pray that he or she (politically correct) pokes you in the eye and knees you in the groin.
I consider a foot stomp nothing more than a nuisance foul -- like fish hooking, but with potentially far greater consequences. Foot stomps have no place in MMA.
THUMBPLAY jumps in the Octagon With UFC
NEW YORK – September 23, 2008 – Thumbplay® (www.thumbplay.com), the #1 mobile entertainment content service in the U.S.*, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), the world’s premiere mixed martial arts sports organization, today announced the launch of a wide array of mobile content through the Thumbplay service. Effective immediately, UFC fans can hear from their favorite UFC fighters, replay videos of the most intense matchups and view the stunning Octagon Girls™ through the convenience of Thumbplay’s online and mobile content retrieval service.
Thumbplay, available on more than 2,000 mobile devices across all major U.S. carriers, will now showcase some of the most exciting throw-downs in fight history and other riveting content, including:
• Fighters: Download videos and wall papers from various UFC fighters
• Octagon Girls: Arianny Celeste, Edith Labelle and Rachelle Leah heat up your background
• Events: Video Clips and stills from the biggest battles in UFC history
• Sound Effects: All the sounds of the Octagon in one convenient spot
Eddie Bravo: Formless Wisdom Pt. 1
lengthy article, but a decent read
In this interview we have an in depth look at Eddies journey to becoming a jiu jitsu innovator, and how he has used jiu jitsu to further his true passion in life- music.
Kharitonov To Face Ambriz @ DREAM.6
Jimmy 'The Titan' Ambriz will replace Mighty MO at DREAM. 6 & Face Sergei Kharitonov
Ken Pavia frm MMA Agents informed PDG today that he will be flying to Japan tomorrow and his fighter Jimmy "The Titan" Ambriz will be replacing Mighty MO at DREAM. 6 against Sergei Kharitonov on Tuesday Sept. 23rd. No word yet on why Mighty MO had to withdraw but an announcement is expected soon.
Bad news for MO fans but great that Sergei is still going to be on the card!!
Showtime Enters Talks to Purchase Pro Elite
Showtime Networks filed public notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday announcing its intention to enter preliminary negotiations for the purchase of Pro Elite Inc.
Showtime, a subsidiary of the parent conglomerate CBS Corporation, already enjoys broadcasting deals with the Los Angeles-based company on both its premium cable channel and CBS. Showtime also has a 20% ownership stake in Pro Elite
Tanner, According to Those Who Knew Him Best
MMA will never have another Evan Tanner.
To chronicle his compelling life, Sherdog.com turned to some of the people who knew him best, including those who grew up with him and watched him wrestle in high school before he began his fight career inside a rowdy rodeo coliseum in Amarillo, Texas.
A Self-Taught Texan
Deana Epperson grew up across the street from Tanner in Amarillo and kept in touch with him throughout the years: He was a good kid. He really didn’t mess with anybody. He didn’t even wrestle -- he pole-vaulted in junior high. He didn’t even start wrestling until our sophomore year in high school, and we were a big school. We were 5A. By our junior and senior year, he was a back-to-back state champion in wrestling. Texas is no joke with wrestling and for him to have never wrestled till 10th grade and then been a state champion in 11th and 12th grade -- that’s just incredible.
He was such a renaissance man on the most basic level. He didn’t really like to admit this to people, but Evan had a photographic memory, and that’s how the big legend of Evan Tanner was true. He was a big wrestler in high school and he got the Gracie jiu-jitsu videos, and whatever he would watch somebody do, he could instantly put that into his repertoire. He was genetically gifted, he was amazingly smart, and he remembered everything he read and saw. That really explains how a guy who never really went to a dojo till he was 21 was able to do what he did.
He was the first one I ever saw grab wrists to reign down elbows. And later on I saw Tito Ortiz in the corner with one of his fighters yelling, “Tanner elbows! Tanner elbows!” That’s when you know you’re the s---, is when someone is referencing you when they’re cornering someone else.
Top 5 Breakthroughs In MMA
Great fighters are remembered for a collection of moments within a vast library of sights and sounds -- a record of unforgettable victories and their most stinging defeats.
But no moment stands out more than when a fighter distinguishes himself as a true force with which to be reckoned, having blossomed beyond the world of contenders and prospects.
you know this is just a list someone did in there opinion. i like it but if any of you have ones that you think should have made the list feel free to post
Ontario Canada says no to amauter mma
On May 3, 2006, the Ontario Mixed Martial Arts Association (OMMAA) received a letter from the Ministry of Government Services explaining why professional MMA was not permitted in the province of Ontario in Canada. In that letter they stated the following:
“You may wish to contact the ministry of Health Promotions (MHP) so that you can explore having MMA recognized and sanctioned through the amateur sporting process. Steps in this direction may enable you to establish a safety track record in Ontario…”
It wasn’t until August 2008 that OMMAA finally received a response from the MHP denying the application on the basis of three concerns. Firstly, the MHP was uncomfortable with OMMAA’s coaching certification program stating the following: