Smiling fighters are more likely to lose (study)
The day before mixed martial artists compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), they pose with each other in a staged face-off. A new study has analysed photographs taken at dozens of these pre-fight encounters and found that competitors who smile are more likely to lose the match the next day (pdf via author website).
Michael Kraus and Teh-Way David Chen recruited four coders (blind to the aims of the study) to assess the presence of smiles, and smile intensity, in photographs taken of 152 fighters in 76 face-offs. Fighter smiles were mostly "non-Duchenne", with little or no crinkling around the eyes. Data on the fights was then obtained from official UFC statistics. The researchers wanted to test the idea that in this context, smiles are an involuntary signal of submission and lack of aggression, just as teeth baring is in the animal kingdom.
Consistent with the researchers' predictions, fighters who smiled more intensely prior to a fight were more likely to lose, to be knocked down in the clash, to be hit more times, and to be wrestled to the ground by their opponent (statistically speaking, the effect sizes here were small to medium). On the other hand, fighters with neutral facial expressions pre-match were more likely to excel and dominate in the fight the next day, including being more likely to win by knock-out or submission.
Hayabusa apologizes for St-Pierre 'Rising Sun' gi in wake of Jung complaint
If nothing else, Chan Sung Jung may have helped teach the MMA world a history lesson.
"The Korean Zombie" on Sunday took to his official Facebook page to issue a challenge of sorts to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The featherweight contender didn't want to fight GSP, of course. He wanted him to stop wearing his walkout gi.
St-Pierre's walkout attire, made by apparel company Hayabusa Fightwear Inc., for his UFC 158 win over Nick Diaz earlier this month was a white gi adorned on the left side with a red sun-like symbol. To most, that might seem innocent enough. The Japaense theme has long been a part of St-Pierre's walkout gear, including a white headband with a red circle on the front to resemble the current flag of Japan...
Urijah Faber and Phil Davis Launch Promotional Platform for Amateur Fighters
UFC fighters Urijah Faber and Phil Davis announced the official launch of MMADraft.com on Monday, a platform created for martial artists by martial artists to generate opportunities and exposure for combat sports athletes at the amateur level. Backed by pros that know what it takes to get ahead in the competitive world of mixed martial arts, MMADraft.com provides amateur athletes with valuable tools and resources to help them excel in every aspect of their fight career...
Transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox faces licensing problems
Fallon Fox is bracing herself for controversy, and as the first on-record transgender female fighter in mixed martial arts, she's going to get plenty of it.
On Monday, the 37-year-old Fox (2-0) revealed exclusively to SI.com that she's a transgender fighter -- the first on record, male or female, to compete in the combat sport. Fox won her second professional bout with a 39-second knockout (via knee) last Saturday at Championship Fighting Alliance 10 in Coral Gables, Fla.
Fox, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006 along with the supplemental hormonal therapy, is scheduled to fight again for the CFA on April 20 in the semifinals of its eight-woman featherweight tournament. However, Fox's license approval is now under investigation with Florida's Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation...
Diaz petition for judicial review of Nevada suspension, fine denied
A Nevada Court has denied Nick Diaz’s request for a judicial review of his drug suspension. Diaz was seeking review of his drug suspension for not disclosing his marijuana use and fine fo $79,500.
The order which recites the Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law found substantial evidence that Diaz used marijuana, a banned substance per the NAC, after testing positive following his post-UFC143 urine test. The use was a violation. The Court concluded that Diaz understood that his use of marijuana should have been disclosed to the Commission and on its pre-fight questionnaire...
Rampage Jackson: UFC lies about its pay-per-view numbers
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson was unhappy with the way he was being treated leading up to what may have been his final fight inside the Octagon, a unanimous decision loss to Glover Teixeira at the UFC on FOX 6 event last weekend in Chicago (see it here).
But you knew that.
What you may not have known, are some of the specifics of his complaint against the Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, which "Rampage" tells MMA HEAT is "taking advantage of its fighters" while "cleaning house" in the pay-per-view sales...
PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2012 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards
PunchDrunkGamer’s Best of 2012 – Mixed Martial Arts Awards
2012 was quite the year for fans of mixed martial arts and combat sports. The UFC saw its chokehold on the sport increase greatly in conjunction with their network deal with FOX. Glory Sports International revived DREAM and with Strikeforce closing it’s doors, Bellator MMA has secured their standing as the number two MMA organization on the planet. Women’s MMA also crashed the party with the emergence of Invicta FC and the first female fighter to join the UFC. Despite many injuries and fight card fuck-ups, mixed martial arts fans were still treated to some amazing fights, knockouts, submissions, and the rise of new fighters both male and female. Below are the best of 2012 Mixed Martial Arts Awards presented by PunchDrunkGamer.
Knapp: "If you're truly a fan of mixed martial arts, you can't be gender biased"
"If you're truly a fan of mixed martial arts, you can't be gender biased," Invicta Fighting Championship president Shannon Knapp said in a recent telephone interview. "If MMA is about fighters competing in actual weight divisions and having competitive fights, that's what we have. If you don't like that, you're not a true fan of the sport. You can't be gender biased and be a true fan."
"(The UFC is) only going with one division. We've got an entire roster of fighters in five weight classes. Even with the one division where we overlap, I mean, look at it like this: look where Liz was in her career a year ago. She lost to Coenen and Kaufman back-to-back. Then she came here, she looked good in winning her fights, and she started to assert herself and market herself. I'm not going to take the credit for it because it's all on Liz, but she had the opportunity here and she took it. That's the sort of thing we can still help with."
Bellator reality show soon enters production with 'wickedly' good cast of fighters
Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney still isn't ready to divulge all the details about his company's new reality show, which begins filming in late January or early February, but he's dropping some big hints.
On Friday MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) caught up with the fight executive to discuss the new venture.
While he said the show will include plenty of storytelling, he said it'll also involve a group of fighters who surpass the talent level of any previous MMA-related reality series.
"There are some wickedly good pros on this show," he told MMAjunkie.com. "I think we have the greatest collection of talent that's ever been on a reality show in this genre."
The "genre," of course, includes "The Ultimate Fighter," the UFC's long-running and ground-breaking reality series. The show, currently in its 16th season, began on Spike TV in 2005 before a move to FX this year as part of the mega UFC-FOX deal...
Stephan and Andrea Bonnar contemplating naming unborn son after former foe Forrest Griffin
UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar will become a first-time father sometime in October. There is a chance his new son will enter this world as he's fighting Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 153 on Oct. 13 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
But whenever he comes, he might have a pretty catchy name.
Bonnar and his wife, Andrea, haven't decided definitively upon a name for their unborn son, but one name they've kicked around is Griffin.
As in, Griffin Bonnar. For those who aren't long-time mixed martial arts fans, those words have significant meaning in the sport...
UFC's Diaz challenges suspension
Nick Diaz never has been one to go down without a fight.
An attorney representing the Ultimate Fighting Championship star filed a motion Wednesday in a Las Vegas courtroom seeking a review of a disciplinary order made against Diaz by the Nevada Athletic Commission after a hearing in May.
Keith Kizer, executive director of the NAC, said he thinks this is the first time a fighter has challenged an NAC disciplinary ruling in a courtroom in his nearly 15 years with the commission...
Dana White: (Spike TV) Is the Worst Channel in the History of the World
Divorce is always hard and while both parties involved try to remain amicable, it happens quite often that things break down and end up in a shouting match between the two parties.
It’s no different in the world of sports and television because when relationships are going well, there’s nothing but smiles and handshakes all around. But when things break down, and the mud starts slinging, it’s open season on any and all comments made towards each other in the press.
For months after leaving Spike TV in favor of a new 7-year deal with Fox, UFC President Dana White remained on fairly solid ground with his former television partner.
He wasn’t likely going to send much business their way, but still White stayed fairly friendly towards his competitors at Spike TV after their long relationship helped build the UFC and the network to new heights.
Now, the gloves are off and both seem ready to aim and fire at one another whenever the gun is loaded, and following UFC 152 on Saturday night, White blasted off a few shots at his former television home...
Georges St-Pierre Signs Endorsement Deal with NOS Energy, Part of the Coca-Cola Family
The discussion of MMA going ‘mainstream’ can cover a varied list of ideas in any given arena.
Sometimes it’s just getting more outlets like ESPN to cover MMA on television, while in other avenues it has to do with more major brands getting involved with the fight business.
Thus far companies like Nike, Under Armour and Gatorade have been some of the biggest to dip their feet into the MMA waters, and now you can add the Coca-Cola family to that list as well.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has signed a multi-year agreement to become the face of NOS Energy Drinks, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola, as they enter the fray of mixed martial arts for the first time...
Dan Miller’s Son Doing Well After Kidney Transplant
UFC fighters Dan and Jim Miller may be the ones in the family that get most of the attention due to their prowess in the Octagon, but there is another Miller that has proven himself more than worthy of the title “the toughest Miller of them all.”
Danny Jr., Dan’s son, was so dubbed by his uncle, and on Thursday he proved why, fighting his way through a kidney transplant operation made necessary by a condition called polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
“In March of 2010, he lost all kidney function. Today, September 6, 2012, Danny is now peeing again! Words can’t describe the emotion that we are feeling right now,” wrote his ecstatic mother, Kristen Miller, on Facebook on Thursday.
“He’s still in the OR (operating room) but will be headed to his PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) room shortly. His new kidney function will be monitored extremely closely...
The Agony of the Injury: UFC's 2012 Badly Slowed by Health Woes
It doesn't take a statistical analysis to innately understand that injury woes have ravaged the UFC schedule in 2012. Still, with two-thirds of the year completed, a look at the numbers makes it clear exactly just how bad it has been.
So far this year, the UFC has had no fewer than 78 fights canceled due to injury, an MMA Fighting examination of records shows. To put that into perspective, that number of injuries is just two less than the total number of fights produced by the UFC in all of 2005...