Brain behind it all: MMAmania.com exclusive sit down with Marc Laimon
Coaches are literally a dime a dozen in mixed martial arts, but one stands quietly among the handful of elite teachers in the sport: Brazilian jiu-jitsu guru Marc Laimon.
Laimon has proven himself to be one of the more intelligent coaches in the sport of MMA. Laimon’s been in the sport for more than 12 years, when he went to his first jiu-jitsu class at the Gracie Academy. His desire to fight got Laimon interested in learning more about the discipline … the rest is history.
“I always wanted to know how to fight and I didn’t really know what was the best,” Laimon told MMAmania.com. Laimon saw his first MMA event (UFC 4), which featured Royce Gracie defeating Dan Severn in the finals to win his third tournament.
Laimon was impressed and knew that jiu-jitsu was what he wanted to do.
“I saw UFC 4 and I saw Royce fight and I was like wow,” Laimon said. “What he did made sense to me.”
At the time, Laimon was going to college and looking to be a chiropractor, but he dropped out to practice jiu-jitsu full time. Laimon had a 3.87 GPA when he dropped out.
“I immersed myself in college and I wanted to succeed in that,” Laimon said. “I pretty much did the same jiu-jitsu. I immersed myself in trying to be successful and understanding as much of it as possible.”
Laimon views jiu-jitsu as much more than fighting. He views it more as a science.
a lot more to read & a small video @ the end of the article
Bisping ready to take on any opponent
Michael Bisping, the biggest British name in the UFC, will now face Canadian submission expert Jason Day at the UFC 85 super show at London's O2 Arena, June 7.
Middleweight striker Michael Bisping is ready for any opponent
UK's best: Michael Bisping will be tested by submission expert Jason Day
Middleweight striker Bisping was due to face Chris Leben, but on Thursday the American was handed a 35-day prison term for violating the terms of a 2005 probation order. Leben was expected to be fined for no-showing several mandated drink education classes three years ago but, instead, he was sentenced to 35 days in jail by Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon.
Bisping, 16-1, told me on Friday evening: "Obviously I had heard about Chris's legal issues and knew there was a chance the court would want to make an example of him. I know he must be gutted to miss out on this fight, as am I, but I've already switched my focus to Jason Day.
Alvarez Earns International Recognition in Japan
Eddie Alvarez (Pictures)'s gutsy victory in the inaugural Dream lightweight grand prix left an indelible impression on fight fans around the world. But ask the kid from Philly if it was a breakthrough performance and he'll curtly reply, "No. Not really."
It's neither hubris nor modesty that motivates this response; rather, it's quiet confidence in his abilities.
"Going into the tournament, I had to convince myself that I was among the top and elite lightweights in the world, and I'm already past that point. I'm above and beyond that point," Alvarez said. "I know I belong in the tournament. Not only do I belong, but I want to prove to people that I'm the best in this tournament."
He proved his point all right -- by bludgeoning Andre "Dida" Amade, a tough striker from Chute Boxe who had made it to the finals of the K-1 Hero's lightweight tournament last year.
"Inside MMA" video: Bas Rutten on MMA's most essential discipline
Earlier this week we passed along the results of our most recent MMAjunkie.com/"Inside MMA" poll: "Which discipline is the most essential foundation in modern mixed martial arts?"
As you may remember, jiu jitsu got 43 percent of the votes, wrestling got 42 percent, and striking came a distant third at 15 percent.
"Inside MMA" host and longtime MMA fighter Bas Rutten was surprised by the results and explains his choice in this discussion clip.
As it turns out, Rutten thinks wrestling would be the most essential discipline when it comes to success in MMA.......
After freak hand injury, John Kolosci returns to action
A freak hand injury has kept him sidelined for nearly half a year, but "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Serra vs. Team Hughes" semifinal fighter John Kolosci is ready to return to action.
Kolosci (8-5), who stepped up to replace injured "TUF" semifinalist Matt Arroyo when no one else would, next fights Steve Reyna (4-3-1) at the May 31 Duneland Classic.
It'll be Kolosci's first fight since a December 2007 loss to Arroyo at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale, and he told MMAjunkie.com he's just happy to be healthy again.
Kit Cope chosen for second "MTV True Life" show
MTV will feature Kit Cope, a champion Muay Thai veteran and one-time UFC fighter, for a second time as part of its "MTV True Life" documentary series.
Cope was featured in "True Life: I'm a Muay Thai Fighter" four years ago, and the program was one of the most popular episodes in series history.
Cope's management, KO Dynasty, recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Cope has been filming for the new episode, "MTV True Life: I'm an MMA Fighter," and cameras will catch his World Fighting Championships debut, which takes place May 30 in Atlantic City.
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.”
UFC roster-trimming Policy?
Travis Lutter shares his thoughts on being released by the UFC in an interview with FightHype. Lutter believes Matt Serra will be the next fighter released if he loses his upcoming fight with Matt Hughes based on how they treated Serra while he was treated recently in Canada. During UFC 83, Serra, Lutter, Kalib Starnes and, "five other guys" were cramped into one locker room. Usually the main eventers get their own space, but not Serra. It appeared to Lutter the UFC was hoping and praying that St. Pierre would win because he´s more marketable.
Another thing that irks Lutter is that Kendall Grove, who has suffered back-to-back knockout losses, is headlining the next Ultimate Fight Night card. Lutter loses to two top middleweight fighters; puts up very, very good fights, gains full mount on Anderson Silva and nearly snaps Franklin´s arm but ends up losing both bouts and is released. Grove on the other hand, gets knocked out by Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera…and is handed a main even bout on Spike TV. Why?
It is clear and apparent the UFC has no ranking system and is releasing fighters based on other factors. If all it takes is two losses in a row, current Lightweight Champion BJ Penn should have been tossed after UFC 63. As well, Wanderlei Silva has now lost three bouts in a row (albeit two of those losses occurred in Pride). Same goes for Dan Henderson and Mirko CroCop. CroCop actually asked for a temporary leave after his second loss and the UFC granted it to him. Tim Sylvia loses one fight and the UFC grants him his release. There´s no rhyme or reason based on win-loss records.
However, if you look closer, their roster cutting methods tend to make a little more sense.
An indie filmmaker may become king of the (MMA) screen
Hollywood has hijacked mixed martial arts. Think Karate Kid meets Bring it On (you know, that cheerleading movie).
According to Never Back Down, the world of underground fighting works a little something like this: boy (and likely Calvin Klein underwear model) moves to a new town. Boy lusts after innocent, cute girl. Boy encounters bully. Boy works his butt off to beat up bully. Boy becomes hero.
"That stuff just doesn't happen in real life," says Bobby Razak. "The guys in the movie are not fighters, the whole story is cheesy, and in my 13, 14 years in MMA, I've never seen any story like that."
For dedicated MMA followers, the film is a double-edged sword, cheaply, and inaccurately, promoting a sport that's growing but still struggling for acceptance. And Razak understands first-hand the battles the sport has endured -- in and out of the cage.
As a former MMA fighter, he not only admires the sport, but also has beared the sport's die-hard regimen. Judo, boxing, martial arts, ultimate fighting -- he's done it all and probably seen it all. And as an independent filmmaker, he's also put it all on screen.
His first documentary, Rites of Passage, which was screened at the Sundance Festival, follows the lives of multiple fighters, combining personal drama with in-the-ring action. Delving into the technique and tactics of MMA, his next film, Pit Fight, was the first to capture bare-knuckle fighting live on 35 mm film. Follow-ups Invincible Warrior and Underground NHB earned him recognition among many in the MMA circle as he followed star Chuck Liddell and John Lewis on their quest for the best techniques and bare-knuckle brawls in Holland.
Warning: there's nothing comparable to "the Iceman" in Never Back Down. Yes, Hollywood's take is, well, tacky, but it's also a big-screen advertisement for the sport. Capturing the real stuff, the hard-core fights and psychological unrest is a task Razak has taken on himself. And so far, his popularity is growing almost as fast the sport itself.
Razak recently inked a deal with Time Warner, the parent company of SI.com, to put his latest mixed martial arts reality series Underground Kings of MMA on the media megacorp's video-on-demand channel. Starting in May, the series will be carried on six cable networks and syndicated across broadband and mobile. That's 22 episodes of complete 24/7 access to the training routines, unseen brawls, mental breakdowns, fighter-manager clashes, legal conflicts and high-profile matchups of many of the MMA's best: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Frank Shamrock, Riddick Bowe and Lewis.
While the UFC dodges worry, EliteXC isn't as lucky
Having quickly overcome Chuck Liddell's badly torn hamstring and the second lost main event for June 7 in London, the Ultimate Fighting Championship can sit back and await its next pay-per-view attraction, UFC 84, in Las Vegas, knowing it's booked solid back-to-back cards.
Other mixed martial arts promotions, however, are not as fortunate or able to plug in Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves on short notice when things go awry.
Last week it was revealed Drew Fickett, who was set to fight Jake Shields for the vacant EliteXC welterweight belt, had been forced out of the June 14 Showtime-televised clash with a badly injured knee. The question now for the Kimbo Slice-led promotion is what to do with Shields, who is coming off an injury that prevented a bout with Fickett on March 29.
Step one starts Monday, when Shields plans to test his bad back for the first time with hard training and sparring. If healthy, Shields said he'd like to remain on the upcoming Hawaii EliteXC card, even if it's not a title bout.
"I'm pretty sure I'll be fine," the 29-year-old Shields said. "I'm hoping they'll get me a fight in June. If not, they said September, and I don't want to go that long without fighting. That's just way too much ring rust."
According to EliteXC promoter Gary Shaw, the fighter's June wish has been noted.
"My plan right now, as you and I speak, is to fight him on June 14," Shaw said. "The question is, can we get him the right opponent?"
UFC Cuts Three More Fighters
The UFC continues to trim it's roster. According to Dave Meltzer, the promotion dropped three more fighters; Din Thomas, Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Tommy Speer. All three are coming off of losses in the organization and Speer and Hironaka are a combined 1-5 in the UFC. Din Thomas is considering a move down to 145 but may retire according to the report.
ESPN to Feature Carano
The "face of women's MMA" is getting a whole lot more familiar.
Gina Carano , the raven-haired heroine of EliteXC events on Showtime, will be featured on ESPN's "E:60" newsmagazine on Tuesday, May 13, at 7 p.m. ET. The segment will focus on the 26-year-old's preparations for her sixth career bout against Minnesota Martial Arts' Kaitlin Young (4-1) at EliteXC "Primetime," on Saturday, May 31, in Newark, N.J.
The bout will be broadcast on CBS at 9 p.m. ET, a first run for the sport on mainstream television. Both ladies boast backgrounds in muay Thai.
The photogenic Carano is currently in Los Angeles shooting episodes of the second season of NBC's "American Gladiators," which debuts Sunday, May 12, at 8 p.m. ET.
More money than meets the eye in the UFC
One of my passions in life is technology. I’m obsessed with gizmos and gadgets and am all but in love with my iPhone.
A friend who knows about my obsession had a computer he wanted to sell on eBay and asked me what I felt it was worth. He went to a Web site that showed an estimated street value, one I felt was considerably too high.
He argued that his asking price was justified because this web site was made up of experts and they agreed with him.
True, I said, but something is only worth what someone else will pay for it. And when we went to eBay and looked at completed listings for a computer with specs similar to his, he was shocked. People were only paying about half of what he thought he could get.
And that same analogy is true when it comes to fighter compensation. There is a lot of debate in the mixed martial arts media over what the UFC pays its fighters. It’s easy to take the stance that the fighters deserve more pay.
The 10 most embarrassing MMA performances
Immortality was granted to Kalib Starnes at UFC 83, but for all the wrong reasons.
In front of a career-record audience of more than 20,000, Starnes looked more cyclist than fighter, backpedaling against Nate Quarry and doing the equivalent of a day's roadwork on the canvas. The apathy to engage was so severe that the normally stoic Quarry began mocking him in the closing moments, faux-sprinting around the ring and shrugging his shoulders to an inflamed crowd.
(You thought the $44.95 was a sting for that fight? Try a couple of grand for a 10th-row seat.)
In a sport in which self-preservation is understood to mean tapping or ducking, Starnes' performance is likely to earn him the title of MMA's Roberto Duran, a fighter forever reviled for what is perceived to be a gutless display of inaction. Like Duran, it's unlikely he knew how much he was soiling his reputation until it was too late.
The same goes for these other athletes, who for whatever reason -- injury, illness or just plain cage fright -- saw their stock plummet after hollow displays of valor.
In ascending order of audience ipecac:
Quarry Talks Starnes And The Rock-Hammer
Nate "Rock" Quarry won a unanimous decision over Canadian fighter Kalib Starnes at UFC 83. He also won over a lot of fans for his performance and in-Octagon antics during what turned out to be one of the most bizarre fights in Ultimate Fighting Championship history.
Following his bout with Rich Franklin at UFC 56, Quarry underwent back surgery to repair disc damage from a degenerative condition that resulted in having several vertebra fused together. Many thought his fighting career was over. Defying the odds, he returned nearly two years later at UFC Fight Night 11 with a knockout victory over Pete Sell.
Following his successful comeback, Quarry requested a bout with Kalib Starnes. The bout was turned down by Starnes’ camp. “When I called Joe Silva at first to make my comeback in the UFC, I just thought (Starnes’) style would be perfect for mine and it would be a good warm-up fight for me," Quarry told MMAWeekly.
"(Silva) contacted his camp and the response was, ‘No. We don't want that fight. He just lost. We just won, so he doesn't deserve to fight us.’ At that moment I just kind of made a mental note that some day I'm going to give you a beating if at all possible."
Head Of The Class: ASU Wrestlers Take On MMA
Wrestlers have always had a special place in the world of mixed martial arts. One particular group of wrestlers from Arizona State University have made a mark lately, positioning themselves as the new breed of athletes competing in MMA.
While Arizona State has always been a top school for collegiate wrestling, it has also produced many top MMA fighters including Dan Severn, Dan Henderson, and Don Frye. Now, a new group of grapplers from Arizona State has proven the team still knows how to produce great fighters.
C.B. Dollaway, Ryan Bader, and Cain Velasquez were all a part of the Arizona State wrestling team. Recently, all three have made successful transitions into MMA.
“Basically, when I came to Arizona State, it put me in a great position to be a great collegiate wrestler. I came in with Ryan Bader and Cain Velasquez, it was kind of like a 1-2-3 punch,” said Dollaway about his teammates. “So we all worked out together and my coach Aaron Simpson, who’s a two time All-American who was trying to make the Olympics. Just a bunch of great guys to workout with.”
The work ethic displayed showed on the wrestling mat as all three were All-American wrestlers in their time at Arizona State and it’s that commitment that helped them transition to MMA as well.
St. Pierre epitomizes lightning-fast evolution of MMA
The perfect mixed martial artist used to be a skinny Brazilian with little ability to punch, kick or wrestle. Which means he wasn't perfect at all. All Royce Gracie could do was take his opponent to the ground and twist him into taffy, but that was enough to dominate the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. That was in the mid-1990s. Not so long ago.
Georges St. Pierre is the perfect amalgam of every MMA fighting style. (AP)
Georges St. Pierre is the perfect amalgam of every MMA fighting style. (AP)
Since then the sport has become unrecognizable. Royce Gracie in his prime, with his exact skill set from the mid-'90s, couldn't survive today. What was perfect in 1995 has become outdated in 2008. On an individual level, mixed martial artists are growing as fast as their once-underground sport. Maybe faster. Which makes MMA startling and even exhilarating for a traditional sports fan such as myself. And maybe such as yourself.
Fedor Must Repay 1.5 Mil signing bonus before being officially released
Despite “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko’s (27-1) official website claim that he has signed a contract to fight heavyweight “Maine-iac” Tim Sylvia (24-4), the fight is not yet official.
Emelianenko must repay the $1.5 million signing bonus to the group that formed M-1 Global in October 2007 before he is officially released from the agreement he made with M-1 Global
That M-1 Global group has since formed Adrenaline MMA. Andrenaline MMA’s Vice-President Brian Patton said today, “[Emelianenko and his management] have only paid part of [the debt] and are not released yet.”