From the cozy confines of the Abe-Ani Combat Club, on the top floor of Gold’s Gym South Tokyo Annex in Tokyo’s Ota ward, Hiroyuki Abe and company are busy at work raising a formidable -- albeit adorable -- army of little grapplers, ages 4 to 14.
It is truly a thing of wonder to have a 5-year-old shoot in on you for a double-leg takedown, and then doggedly switch to dragging you down with the single when you prove too heavy. The next surprise comes when scrambling to all fours, said 5-year-old quickly breaks you down limb by limb until it’s easier to roll you for the pin.
That a majority of these youngsters have honed these particular skills to the point of reflexivity, regardless of their opponent’s size or age, speaks to the fact that Abe has successfully bred Japan’s next generation of wrestlers, some of whom are already national champions looking to take over the combat sports world in just a few years.
Take a break from the all the stress of looking at Dana white, fighter pay, Tito, and just take a second to appreciate the beauty of this sport. This article really does make you proud to be a mixed martial arts fan.
Show Brett Rogers the Money
A lot of MMA fighters can learn a thing or two from Brett Rogers. Yes, the 10-0 Rogers who only has three years of experience under his belt. Rogers simply knows how to keep his name in the news at all times. From stealing the spotlight from Kimbo Slice after the first EliteXC on CBS show in May 2008 to just hanging around Saturday's Strikeforce post-fight conference, Rogers always seems to be around. It also doesn't hurt that Fedor Emelianenko requested to fight him after Josh Barnett could not get licensed for their Affliction.
JAMES THOMPSON KEEN ON MOVE TO STRIKEFORCE
Things have been quiet for heavyweight behemoth James Thompson, but he wouldn't have had it any other way, the break has given him a rare opportunity for introspection.
"I had some time off after the last fight to get my head together, personal problems if you will, and I feel that now things are in place in myself and I can really push forward. Making the full-time move to London Shootfighters for training is really paying dividends," he explained to MMAWeekly.com.
IS ZELG GALESIC U.S. BOUND?
“I am currently without a contract,” exclaims devastating Croatian born striker Zelg Galesic (9-4).
A Dream veteran and former Cage Rage middleweight champion, he is confident that this brief spell of unemployment is only a temporary thing, “At the moment, it is likely that I will re-sign with Dream, but some other options have come to light this week and I am looking at them closely.”
UFC Legend Matt Hughes’s Manager: It’s Time For Matt Serra To Move On
“There has not been discussion on [a rematch between former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes (41-7) and "Terror” Matt Serra (9-6)]. I really thought all the talking was over after the fight,” Hughes’s manager Brian Patton told Fighters.com Monday night in response to an interview Serra gave to MMA Weekly Monday in which Serra called for a rematch.
Baroni knew he would return to the UFC
Lost in the buzz surrounding the Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg women's title fight was the news that veteran Phil Baroni signed a new deal with the UFC.
Baroni made his UFC debut at UFC 30 in February 2001, defeating Curtis Stout via unanimous decision. He went 3-5 inside the Octagon, and was released from the organization following his loss to Pete Sell at UFC 51. FanHouse spoke to Baroni via e-mail recently about his surprising return to the UFC. The full interview is below.
As comeback fight nears, Seth Petruzelli determined to shed "Kimboslayer" label
Mention the greatest night of his professional life, and Seth Petruzelli won't give you that here-we-go-again stare, even though he's heard it all before, at least 1,001 times.
As you know – and he knows well – Petruzelli was a UFC failure 10 months ago, buried on the preliminary card of "EliteXC: Heat" and set to face Aaron Rosa before Ken Shamrock suffered a cut over his eye and was forced to back out of the main event against Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson.
Gabe Ruediger wins fourth straight, headliner Thomas Denny victorious at CalledOut MMA
Gabe Ruediger, a former cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 5" still trying to improve his image after disastrously failing to make weight on the reality show, picked up his fourth consecutive win over the weekend.
Ruediger (15-5) submitted the previously unbeaten Wander Braga (10-1) via second-round guillotine choke at this past Saturday's CalledOut MMA event at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.
Toughill explains absence
With women’s MMA about to take its biggest step forward, one of the original pioneers of the movement will be sitting on the sidelines watching, but not by her choice.
Earlier this year Erin Toughill had been announced to participate on the undercard to Saturday night’s Strikeforce card, with the belief that she would step into the evening’s main event featuring Gina Carano and Cris “Cyborg” Santos should one of them be forced to withdraw.
Alas, it never came to fruition.
MMA conditioning expert Billy Rush in hospital
Police: Man shoots own leg, crashes his pickup
A Germantown man who apparently shot himself in the leg was flown to an area hospital Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 12, after crashing his pickup truck into two vehicles before striking a utility pole.
Billy Rush, 35, of Germantown, drove his Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck into a utility pole at 12:26 p.m. in front of 1270 E. Second St., minutes after he drove eastward out of a Shell gas station, crossing three lanes before he was struck by a Chevrolet Impala, said Franklin police Chief Gordon Ellis. The pickup then traveled into a parking lot and struck a parked car, then headed back onto the road and struck the pole, he said.
Randy Couture expresses interest in a possible fight with current UFC Middleweight Champion
Chad Dukes: Would you ever consider [dropping to light heavyweight] and facing [Silva]?
Randy Couture: Yeah, are you kidding? I think he's one of the best fighters in the world. Those are the kinds of guys I want to fight. That would be an interesting fight.
I think the guy with a wrestling background that can get their hands on him, tie him up and smother him is definitely a guy that's going to give him fits and make him have a rough night.
Le Hints at CBS Return
It’s gone past passé to say that Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le has been conspicuously absent from the promotion’s expanding rotation.
Le (6-0) earned the title after defeating Frank Shamrock almost a year and a half ago but has yet to defend it. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has even relented in announcing that he’ll put an interim title up for grabs before the end of the year. Hopefully, the splintered lineage will be unified sooner than later.
Le, 37, said he’s spent his time away from the cage nursing injuries and surgeries, as well as acting in five films (including a co-starring turn with Dennis Quaid in the sci-fi flick “Pandorum” due out Sept. 18). Le hinted the promotion has bigger plans for him anyway.
Jake Shields: ‘Frank Shamrock always has some [expletive] excuse not to fight me’
Jake Shields could easily make the claim as being the most talented fighter currently competing in the sport that gets the least amount of respect and recognition for his caliber of skill level.
The thirty year old Cesar Gracie trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has gone undefeated in the past four years, racking up a dozen consecutive victories over the likes of Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit and Paul Daley.
Anderson Silva Set to Draw Big on His "Final Run"
Throughout his dominant UFC career, the knock on Anderson Silva has been his drawing ability, or lack thereof. His two fights with Rich Frankin did buyrates in the 300,000 range, and his fight with Dan Henderson did only slightly better. Then in July 2008, the UFC put together a monster campaign on his behalf leading into his fight with James Irvin, and Silva came through with a memorable highlight knockout. The show did a big rating for Spike TV, and everyone thought Silva was on the path to being a big draw. Then Patrick Cote happened.
Chuck Liddell: 'Hard for an Athlete to Quit What He's Done His Whole Life'
Four months after his most recent fight, a loss to Shogun Rua at UFC 97, Chuck Liddell is relaxing and enjoying life. But he's not ready to say he's retired.
In an interview Wednesday with FanHouse, Liddell said that he doesn't know if he'll fight again, and he doesn't know when he'll be ready to retire. Liddell wants to determine the future of his career on his own schedule, and he's only going to decide for sure after he gets back in the gym and tests himself again.
Liddell also talked about connecting with the fans, dealing with a Twitter imposter, and his acting career. The full interview is below.
KURT PELLEGRINO SCORES A UFC TRIFECTA
Over a brief period of time it looked like UFC lightweight Kurt Pellegrino may be on his way down the 155-pound ladder, or worse yet, out of the company.
Losses in two out of three fights, to Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz, had Pellegrino reeling, looking for a way to rebound and get his career back on track.
Enter fellow UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian.
After moving back to his native New Jersey and making a decision to join Florian’s camp in Boston, Pellegrino has flourished, winning three straight fights, including this past Saturday’s win at UFC 101 over Josh Neer.
UFC 1 COMMENTATOR KATHY LONG MAKES MMA DEBUT
The breakout mainstream success that has been achieved by Gina Carano may seem like a new phenomenon, but in truth she is simply the latest in a line of women to achieve such things.
In the 90’s it was Kathy “The Punisher” Long who parlayed her success in the kickboxing and boxing ring to movie roles in such films as Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and Tim Burton's Batman Returns to even making an appearance as a commentator at UFC 1.