One Round Too Many - An in depth look at rematches
The holidays are full of repetition. Turkey on Thanksgiving, turkey on Christmas; socks from mom, socks from grandma; Charlie Brown learning, for the 53rd consecutive time, that he needs a more supportive group of friends.
Increasingly, things aren’t looking too different in the cage. After beefing up its roster with international talent and surprisingly adept “Ultimate Fighter”-bred participants, the UFC has returned to the photocopy machine, signing or reportedly considering matches that have already been definitively decided on multiple occasions.
I guess the writer from Sherdog seems to think a little different than me when it comes to the opinion that Wandy Rampage, Chuck Randy, and even Faber Pulver would make a good rematch.
Do Heavyweights Need 2 Weight Classes?
That's a question that has been posed to some Athletic Commission heads in the wake of the massive weight differences in the Brock Lesnar-Randy Couture fight, where Brock weighed in 45 pounds heavier than Randy. While the heads of the NSAC and New Jersey Athletic Commission have differeing views, recent research says that, on a regular basis, David is going to beat Goliath more often than the other way around.
10 Fights That Could Have Been
Mixed martial arts remains a very young sport. Despite a short history that dates back less than 20 years, it has produced some remarkable fights -- bouts like Royce Gracie against Dan Severn, Frank Shamrock versus Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira against Fedor Emelianenko.
Every longstanding promoter will admit that for every “superfight” made, another fails to materialize because of injury, a contract dispute or promoters failing to cooperate with one another.
Sherdog.com’s Tim Leidecker has compiled a list of the top 10 fights that could have been during the last 15 years.
CSAC Appoints Interim Leaders To Replace Garcia
While the search to find a permanent replacement for fformer executive Armando Garcia goes on, the CSAC today appointed staff analyst Bill Douglas to oversee administrative functions of the state office and assist chief inspector Dean Lohuis, who will now oversee its field operations. A new executive director is to be appointed in March.
Chuck Liddell drops out of USO tour. Rumored to be kicked off.
The abrupt end to Chuck Liddell's participation in an international USO tour to support American troops has raised a few eyebrows.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion was part of a contingent of five celebrities joining a U.S. Marine general on an eight-day, five-country USO tour this week.
Liddell made the first part of the trek on Monday to Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska, with rap duo the Ying Yang Twins, model and singer Mayra Veronica and comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Edwin San Juan. However, Liddell pulled out of the tour on Tuesday due to what both the USO and his management team, Zinkin Entertainment, deemed to be an unspecified illness.
However, unconfirmed reports quickly surfaced following Liddell's decision to bow out, including one that he was asked to leave by the USO after members of his entourage were found partying with minors............
Hansen talks DREAM, Alvarez & More!
Joachim Hansen ‘The Hellboy Returns on NYE’
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Champion Joachim Hansen took some time out of training to talk with PDG about his tournament victory, Eddie Alvarez, training and fighting on NYE.
PDG: You replaced Eddie Alvarez, who beat you earlier in the GP; how did that affect the way you fought in the finals?
Hansen: Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki are two totally different fighters. I knew a little about Aoki’s style because I fought him in PRIDE in 2006. I knew I had to be very careful with Aoki when on the ground and to not make any big moves that could leave me open to his submission game. If you could clone Alvarez and Aoki into one person you would be close to having the total mixed martial arts fighter!
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