MMA Hotbed Shut Down, Start Of Trend?
A recent hotbed of mixed martial arts talent, Arizona State University on Tuesday announced the discontinuation of its wrestling program due primarily to budget constraints. Cain Velasquez, C.B. Dollaway, Ryan Bader, and Aaron Simpson are all ASU alums. They all emerged from the university’s wrestling program. This could be the start of a trend among educational institutions, potentially a future detriment to MMA.
Redbelt movie review: One part anti-hollywood, one part MMA
I once said of Syriana — labeled as one of the smartest films of the last decade — “Just because it’s hard to follow, doesn’t mean it’s smart.”
Something similar can be said of David Mamet’s Redbelt. Just because it’s vague, doesn’t mean it’s Zen.
Redbelt follows jiu-jitsu master Mike Terry (Chiwetel Eliofor), who is down on his luck financially and forced — because of a strange series of events — to enter a mixed martial arts tournament run by manipulative, crooked promoters. Fighting for competition goes against Terry’s philosophy and integrity, but he must do it to save his dojo, as well as to satisfy several other debts he incurs during the course of the film.
Writer/director David Mamet (best known for writing the stage and screenplays for the brilliant Glengarry Glen Ross) spins a complex web of plot points — probably too complex for the length of the film. But Eliofor is outstanding as the lead actor, which makes the film interesting until the end.
It costars Tim Allen (who is surprisingly good as an aging action film star and boozehound), Alice Braga (Terry’s hardnosed, opportunistic wife), Max Martini (Terry’s prize pupil/police officer), Emily Mortimer (a frazzled lawyer whose inability to deal with a recent tragedy launches this entire series of events), Rodrigo Santoro (Terry’s corrupt brother-in-law), Joe Mantegna (a crooked Hollywood producer) and Ricky Jay (a crooked fight promoter).
ProElite.com Introduces MMA Video On Demand
ProElite.com, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) social networking and entertainment Web site, today unveiled its online offering of video-on-demand (VOD). Leveraging their industry-leading library of MMA events, ProElite.com’s VOD features high-quality streaming, top-notch competition, and world-class fight brands.
MMA fans will be able to purchase VOD at ProElite.com on a fight-by-fight and full-event basis starting as low as 99 cents and $4.95, respectively. Fighters include Kimbo Slice, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Gina Carano, Jake Shields and more going toe-to-toe in events produced by EliteXC, ShoXC, Cage Rage, ICON Sport and Rumble on the Rock. ShoXC’s undercard footage, featuring the up and comers of MMA, will be offered free of charge.
Additionally, ProElite is introducing the “ProElite Fight Pass,” which provides unlimited access to the entire VOD library and any future PPV event streams for an introductory price of $7.95 per month. Fight Pass is regularly priced at $12.95 per month.
Galavisión And UFC® Partner To Present El Octágono Del UFC™
Galavisión announced today it has partnered with Ultimate Fighting Championship® ( UFC® ) organization to present El Octágono del UFC™ ( The UFC®’s Octagon™ ), a weekly program that features highlights of the best showcases the UFC’s most compelling fighters, thrilling battles and over-the-top mixed martial arts action. El Octágono del UFC™ will launch Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 8pm ET/PT ( 7pm central ) on Galavisión.
El Octágono del UFC™ will highlight matches from some of the biggest names in the sport and Hispanics' favorite fighters, including, Diego Sánchez ( Winner of the original The Ultimate Fighter® season ), Kenny Florian ( top lightweight contender ), and highly popular Roger "El Matador" Huerta who is 6-0 in the UFC. The show’s first episode features Huerta vs. Leonard García, in one of the most thrilling matches in the organization’s history.
“We are very excited to bring our viewers this one-of-a-kind show which highlights the best of the sport;” said Joanne Lynch, Senior Vice President General Manager, Galavisión. “Partnering with organizations like UFC allows us to offer our viewers more of the diverse programming they want to see, making Galavisión the perfect choice in Spanish-language cable.”
Hermes Franca eyeing return to MMA
With former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk preparing for his return to active mixed martial arts competition having fulfilled his suspension after a positive drug test stemming from his successful title defense over Hermes Franca last July, it harkens wonder to what the other half of that title match is doing.
Franca, who is still currently on suspension until early July, had built up tremendous momentum heading into the fight with Sherk, having won eight fights in a row prior to the title showdown.
It appeared he could have more than a chance to fulfill his goal of Ultimate Fighting Championship champion, but was denied, losing a five-round unanimous decision to Sherk.
Shortly after the fight it was revealed that both Franca and Sherk had tested positive for steroids. Unlike Sherk, however, Franca did not deny his usage of performance enhancing drugs, thus inciting a year-long suspension.
Since then Franca has left the team he was with prior to that fight, The Armory, and has kept busy with other things in anticipation of a return to action within the coming months.
“I’ve been teaching seminars,” said the Brazilian born fighter. “I’m the head coach at Premier Martial Arts, which is all over the United States, like 50 or 60 academies, and some in Canada.
“I’m doing the jiu-jitsu program over there. So I’ve been really busy doing a seminar almost every week for two or three months.”
Tracking the progress of The Ultimate Fighter 1 contestants - Part I
There is no question that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality series - better known as ‘TUF’ - has been the most influential vehicle for promoting the success of UFC, and to a lesser extent MMA in general, in North America. The careers of most contestants have been boosted like they could have never imagined. Even the ones who never came close to winning were still given a chance to prove their worth in the UFC, and many of the fighters released from the UFC were instantly picked up by smaller organizations simply because of the newly acquired name recognition.
With the show now in it’s seventh season, let’s take a look back at where it all started. The first season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ took place in 2005, and featured 8 middleweights and 8 lightheavyweights competing for two ’six figure’ contracts with the UFC. Most of the contestants were virtually unknown in the MMA world at the time, yet all are now very familiar names for most fans...
Arizona Officially Regulating MMA
The state of Arizona recently passed legislation that will allow the state boxing commission to regulate MMA within the state. This new law will allow the boxing commission to use the regulations first introduced by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission that are widely know throughout MMA as the “unified rules” to sanction and regulate professional MMA.
Epic Fail: Hong Man Choi
A couple of weeks ago, we lamented the fact that Hong Man Choi’s mandatory army service would take him out of the fight game for three years. The good news is, he failed a physical and will be sent back home. According to the report (which is translated here):
Choi submitted medical records indicating that his pituitary adenoma may compress his optic nerve and cause visual problems. His condition was deemed problematic for basic training and was discharged. It is likely that he was determined to be unfit for the next three months.
Choi will likely get a re-examination in which case he will “re-start” his duties, get an exemption, or be sent home for yet another physical at a later date, depending on the results…
As of now, it is quite likely that Choi may get an exemption since he has a clear reason and has all the necessary documents. Also, it has been reported that his vision has been deteriorating since last year. In an interview with My Daily, Choi was quoted as saying “I couldn’t see the right hook when I fought Mighty Mo.”
Choi’s pituitary adenoma was revealed to the media in June of last year through the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) right before Dynamite! USA. The CSAC deemed Choi unfit to compete and refused to issue him a fighter’s license.
Vindication, Canadian Style
Canada's golden boy, Georges St. Pierre (Pictures), recently and emphatically claimed vindication amid much fanfare in Montreal. Another Canadian will be looking to do the same Tuesday in the Dream middleweight grand prix in Japan.
At last, Clementi gets his just due
No cuts on the face, check. No broken bones, check. Legs 100%, check.
Rich Clementi’s ready to go.
young guns in Sam Stout at UFC 83 on April 19th? When the call came for him to replace injured Rob Emerson against Terry Etim on May 24th in Las Vegas, Clementi didn’t hesitate to accept the bout, not when he’s in the groove he’s experiencing right now.
“From September to December of last year, I fought four times,” said Clementi, who won all four of those bouts, either by submission or TKO. “When I get in that groove and things start clicking and working right, that’s when I perform best.”
George St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva - Who is the Better Fighter?
Welcome back to the Double Leg Breakdown. It was another great UFC card last weekend (short of one miserable fight that I hope never to think about again; I'm looking at you Starnes). I was really happy to see Michael Bisping in good form, but man, did he look skinny! I thought the bar where I watched the fight ordered it in 16:9 format but projected it in 4:3 format. Nice to see that he cut the weight right with diet and not just cutting waterweight.
MMA Couple's Split Gets Ugly
Very ugly. Female MMA fighter Erin Toughill and her husband, fighter Clark Bevans, have been going through an ugly divorce battle that has gotten uglier thanks to the TMZ website revealing details claiming she beat him up during drug-induced rages and made other allegations against him. The couple came into the spotlight through the MSNBC documentary series "Warrior Nation".
Remembering Eric Armington
Growing up in unforgiving South Boston, Eric Armington knew something about being an underdog in life. Fortunately, he never let that status define him and never let it get in the way of what he wanted to get out of life, a life that was tragically cut short last Saturday in a motorcycle accident in Canton, Massachusetts.
MMA Submission: The MMA/College Wrestling Pipeline
Check out about 30 seconds of any Phil Davis match , and it's obvious why the kid is college wrestling's latest hot MMA prospect. He's a four-time All-American who just won his first national title as a senior. The Penn Stater is an athletic freak, with gi-enormous arms and surprising power for his lanky 197-pound frame. Throw in plenty of personality (he swears he's a sewing addict) and it's obvious why Team Takedown, a year-old organization that "hires" former wrestlers and pays them a salary and living expenses, is after Davis hard. "He's probably our No. 1 target," says TT founder Ted Ehrhardt. "He could be a really good one."
Davis may be the top target, but he's not the only one. Here are two more prospects, according to an informal poll of college wrestling coaches, MMA trainers and fighters with a wrestling background.
J.D. Bergman, Ohio State: He just lost in the NCAA finals. But he's a long, lean heavyweight who moves well for a big guy. Here's a clip of him defeating Davis last year at 197 pounds . Plus, if you saw the NCAA championships this year, he does an amazing Governator. "He would do well," says one coach of a top-five program. "You gotta be mean to make it in MMA. He looks and sounds nice, but I have no doubt he'd be good at punching people in the face."
UFC Referee Dan Miragliotta Recounts Run-In With Fan At UFC 83
Many outlets have erroneously reported that a crazed fan attacked 6-4, 296 pound UFC referee Dan Miragliotta who promptly put the fan in a rear naked choke before other authorities arrived to make the arrest.
Miragliotta recounted his side of the story about his run-in with the fan in an email to Mr. Sunshine:
The only thing, is that he wasn’t going after me he was charging either GSP or the ring. I just happened to be in between him and his targets. I was asked by the UFC to help with security when the 2 fighters entered the ring area. They where more worried about Matt then GSP.
Calvin Ayre Retires, BodogFight Done
Officially putting the presumptive final nail in the coffin of BodogFight, Bodog head mogul Calvin Ayre announced his retirement yesterday. Sources indicate that although the Bodog empire will continue on, likely focusing on gaming, BodogFight-the MMA arm of the group-is now defunct.