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...
Crunching Numbers: How Fairly Are Fight Bonuses Awarded?
The UFC's stated fight bonus system is a noteworthy form of incentivization. For extraordinary performance, UFC fighters are able to considerably augment their pay with a Submission of the Night (SOTN), Knockout of the Night (KOTN) or Fight of the Night (FOTN) bonus. Sometimes the same fighter can win two of those bonuses on the same night. Best of all, any fighter on the card can win any of the awards. You don't have to be a world champion at the top of the card to take home extra cash on a UFC fight night.
Or do you?
After going over the data, it appears you do. Or, at least, it helps quite a bit. The truth of the UFC's stated fight bonus system is that while everyone at every level can and has won, the most dramatic impact on your likelihood of earning bonus money has little to do with performance.
Before we get into which factor is the biggest determinant in being awarded bonuses, let's take a look at the kind of fighter who wins UFC fight bonuses. The numbers below are some of the statistics based on the top 20 bonus earners in UFC history:
Deadmau5 and Gerard Way Face Off in Ultimate Fighting
When it came time to debut the video for his high-octane single "Professional Griefers," Deadmau5 knew where to turn: the equally aggressive world of ultimate fighting.
On September 1st, Deadmau5 will unveil his clip during the UFC Jones vs. Henderson pay-per-view match. It features the recent Rolling Stone cover star locked in a futuristic gladiatorial bout with his guest vocalist, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. True to form, both combatants control oversized, CGI "mau5" robots.
The video won't be released online until August 29th, but you can check out some exclusive promo posters of the would-be UFC warriors here.
The Fighting Life: The Fire and the Darkness of Brian Foster
Any one who has followed this series regularly is used to being knee deep in a wordy introduction. The purpose is meant to build up anticipation and hopefully lay the groundwork for an emotional connection to the article which follows. My motive behind this is due to the fact I want these articles to give you more than you are used to reading. I want the readers to walk away from each installment, feeling a bit of what I felt not only writing, but obtaining the information. My passion in the sport of MMA is to highlight a portion of a fighter's journey and thus far I believe I've been somewhat successful in my ability to do so.
I tell you these things because this installment is going to be much different. Typically in this sport, journalists are kept at a distance for good reason. Breaking news and the race for website clicks make this a competitive environment, but based on my niche only writing fighter features, I've walked somewhat of a different path than most of my peers. I'm far from being the only media member to develop friendships in this business, but where other writers have to remain objective, I dwell in a grey area. While the following details are personal, I felt it was long overdue and this story needed be shared...
A guide to playing a complex blame game in the wake of UFC 151's cancellation
First it was an unfortunate situation, then a terrible one. Now it's just plain weird.
To recap: Dan Henderson gets hurt and can't fight Jon Jones at UFC 151. Jones won't accept a fight with Chael Sonnen as a replacement, which led UFC President Dana White to shift Jones into a fight with Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 and cancel UFC 151 altogether, an executive decision for which White blamed not only Jones but also his trainer, Greg Jackson. But then, hold on, Machida won't take that fight after all, so now it's middleweight Vitor Belfort stepping up a division to fight Jones in the title fight that fans have been begging for since never.
If you're not confused yet, you probably should be. I know I am. I'm confused about how Jones and Jackson came to be blamed for what was ultimately the UFC's decision. I'm confused about how Jones and Jackson couldn't see the upside of taking the fight in the first place. I'm confused about what must be going through Machida's mind to make him think he's in a position to pick and choose. I'm really confused as to how Belfort got the offer at all, unless the UFC was calling every fighter in the company directory and doing it alphabetically by last name.
Mostly I'm confused about what it all means, not just for Jones and Jackson and Sonnen and Machida, but also for the UFC and MMA in general. How did we get to a point where a 41-year-old man's injured knee could set off a chain of events that would derail an entire event, leaving both fans and undercard fighters with nothing to do and nowhere to go on what was supposed to be a big Saturday night? Who's to blame for all this? And, in the rush to point fingers, how do we know we're pointing them in the right direction?
Ken Shamrock Roughs Up a Woman (Thought She Was a Man)
UFC hall-of-famer Ken Shamrock -- one of the greatest MMA fighters ever -- has been accused of battering a woman at a California mall ... but Ken claims it was an honest mistake ... 'cause he thought she was a he.
Shamrock -- whose nickname is "The World's Most Dangerous Man" -- was hangin' out at a mall in Modesto, CA last month when he saw two women fighting each other in front of the Coach store ... surrounded by a group of lookie loos filming the whole thing...
Rulon Gardner Declined $1 Million Offer to Fight Fedor Emelianenko
Much is made of the transition for those elite collegiate and Olympic wrestlers who wish to try mixed martial arts as a post-wrestling career option. On the heels of the 2012 London Olympic Games - which saw Americans Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner bring home gold medals in freestyle competition - the question about who is next to move from the amateur wrestling ranks to the professional MMA divisions is hotter than ever.
For one Greco-Roman Olympic champion, however, the move wasn't as easy or fun as he thought it would be.
LL Cool J Hospitalizes Would-be Burgular
Ladies Love Cool James. Home invaders? Not so much.
Just like the slack-jawed yokels who kicked down the door of a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym in San Antonio -- only to find it populated with a bunch of cage fighters -- a would-be burglar got more than he bargained for after stumbling upon the longtime rapper in his home on Wednesday (Aug. 22, 2012).
Phil Baldacci fighting to aid recovery of Team Alpha Male's Devin Johnson
When the body has nothing more to offer, the spirit still fights.
At its peak form, that is what MMA and combat sports offer spectators: the illustration of mind, heart and spirit to the masses.
In enduring tragedy, that is what Devin Johnson contributes to MMA. The Team Alpha Male representative was injured while sparring in May at Sacramento's Ultimate Fitness. On Saturday night, Phil Baldacci is donating his fight purse to the fighter's recovery fund.
Randy Couture Not Coming Back to Fighting ‘Unless Steven Seagal Wants to Sign Up’
One of the most common questions has to be ‘is there any fight that would draw you back into the Octagon?’.
Well, leave it to Randy Couture to spice things up and throw out another action star’s name, who isn’t in The Expendables, but happens to be swirling around his old stomping ground in the UFC.
“Not unless (Steven) Seagal wants to sign up,” Couture answered with a smile and a laugh...
UFC 150 ratings: FX prelims fall below 1 million viewers
The roller-coaster ratings for FX's UFC preliminary-card broadcasts continue.
The most recent two-hour broadcast, which coincided with this past weekend's UFC 150 event, fell below 1 million viewers.
Of FX's nine preliminary-card broadcasts to date, it ranked seventh.
Overall, the Aug. 11 broadcast averaged 974,000 viewers, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with event sources.
UFC 150 took place at Denver's Pepsi Center. The night's main card, including lightweight champion Benson Henderson's narrow split-decision victory over Frankie Edgar, aired on pay-per-view. Dennis Bermudez, Michael Kuiper, Erik Perez and Chico Camus picked up victories on the FX broadcast, which followed a one-bout stream on Facebook.
The most-recent UFC-FX prelims broadcast, UFC 149, averaged 1 million viewers. Prior to that, UFC 148 set a new high watermark with 1.8 million viewers...