The Machida Chronicles
5:30 AM. An ungodly hour for most, even for Lyoto Machida. But without fail he rises, like he has for almost 30 years, and he faces the man who will always be his toughest opponent: his teacher, his hero, his father – Yoshizo.
MMAmania.com Exclusive Interview with Dustin Hazelett
Now that I’m fully rested from my Canada trip (and then some), I got back in touch with UFC welterweight fighter, Dustin “McLovin” Hazelett.
I had spoken several times with Hazelett over the last few weeks, trying to get him to comment on his upcoming fight with Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman. As instructed by the UFC, Hazelett wouldn’t comment on his next opponent until the fight was made official.
But this didn’t stop Burkman from throwing in his two cents in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. You can find those comments here.
Now that the fight is official, Hazelett opened up about the upcoming fight, responded to Burkman’s “I’ll even retire if it does go to a decision” comments, and even addressed his new nickname. The following interview is a conglomerate of our three previous conversations.
Dustin Hazelett faces Josh Burkman at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7 Finale on June 21.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): I’ve been trying to get you to comment on your upcoming fight with Josh Burkman at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on June 21, but you wouldn’t budge. This didn’t stop Burkman from talking about it, though, including saying that he would retire if the fight goes to a decision. Do you find this disrespectful?
Dustin Hazelett: Yeah, I found it pretty insulting. I think it shows a lack of respect for myself. But also, he might be concerned with the UFC cutting so many people. With his last five fights going to decision, he might be worried about getting cut if he loses or goes to a decision. So I think that might be why he said that.
To me, I don’t think it matters if a fight goes to a decision, as long as it’s an exciting fight. Of course everybody wants to finish, but if it’s an exciting decision, I don’t think the UFC cares about that. So I think it was still a pretty insulting comment.
Chris Leben ‘wont be getting the right nutrition and workouts’ for UFC 85 fight
“Its not a fun thing and it sucks for anybody to be in jail but it’s not like he’s afraid. He won’t be getting the right nutrition and workouts in but that’s his only concern…. Yes, we knew [Leben staying in jail longer than expected] was always a possibility and it still is. We won’t know until his hearing on the 8th. We are talking to attorneys and we are confident that it will be ok but there are no guarantees.”
T. Jay Thompson — Icon Sport Academy owner where middleweight fighter Chris Leben now trains in Hawaii — shares some concerns about the recent stint in an Oregon jail that “The Crippler” is currently serving while he awaits a probation violation hearing on May 8 to (hopefully) resolve an old Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. Of course, it’s not an ideal situation for Leben, who had to take a break from training for his UFC 85: “Bedlam” fight against Michael Bisping in London, England, on June 7 to tend to the legal matters. Even if he is released on May 8 it really only gives him three weeks of hard training to prepare for the bout (traveling, media obligations, “tapering” and other commitments often consume the last one or two weeks of fighter time before a fight). Leben is a gamer and more than likely was in good shape prior to the incarceration, but will it be enough?
Nogueira to Return at UFC 87 in August
It appears that Nog and Mir won't be the TUF8 coaches (if they were it would be an 11 month layoff for both of them)
Perhaps Arlovski will re-sign and get a title shot vs. Big Nog. Otherwise I see him fighting Mir or the Vera/Werdum winner.
Tito Ortiz: “I Feel Like a Slave”
to Ortiz has been a vocal critic of both Dana White and the UFC payscale for much of his MMA career, so it only makes sense that he would combine his two favorite topics as the last fight on his current contract draws near. A recent video from Throwdown features Ortiz with some incendiary rhetoric and fuzzy logic as he rails against the UFC and his former manager:
“Back then [Dana White] used to fight for things that I believe in. He fought for me to get paid more money…He was the guy battling for me. Now I’m battling against him. I’m not asking the fans for more money. I’m not asking you guys for more money. I’m asking the company that you guys pay for more money.
We’re the modern day gladiators, and we’re getting treated like gladiators…those guys were slaves. I feel like a slave. Yeah, I get paid a little money, but these guys are keeping the big revenue.” .
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.
Tracking the progress of The Ultimate Fighter 1 contestants - Part I
There is no question that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality series - better known as ‘TUF’ - has been the most influential vehicle for promoting the success of UFC, and to a lesser extent MMA in general, in North America. The careers of most contestants have been boosted like they could have never imagined. Even the ones who never came close to winning were still given a chance to prove their worth in the UFC, and many of the fighters released from the UFC were instantly picked up by smaller organizations simply because of the newly acquired name recognition.
With the show now in it’s seventh season, let’s take a look back at where it all started. The first season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ took place in 2005, and featured 8 middleweights and 8 lightheavyweights competing for two ’six figure’ contracts with the UFC. Most of the contestants were virtually unknown in the MMA world at the time, yet all are now very familiar names for most fans...
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.
UFC Champions Nogueira & Silva To Open New Training Center
UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and middleweight champ Anderson Silva will soon open a new mixed-martial-arts academy, Nogueira and Silva Mixed Martial Arts Academy, in Miami. In addition to teaching others, the two title-holders will train together at the center, which officially opens May 16.
Taylor vs. Liaudin part of new UFC 85 card
Despite the loss of its Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua main event -- and then the loss of a new main event between Liddell and Rashad Evans -- UFC 85 isn't lacking in overall quantity of fights.
Over the weekend the UFC confirmed a previously rumored bout between Paul Taylor (8-3-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Jess Liaudin (12-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC), bringing the total number of rumored bouts for the June 7 event to 13 (with 12 now official).
IMO, another solid matchup made by the ufc. WAR JOE SILVA!
Sherk Talks Steroid Test, Beats Up Some Poor Schmuck
ean Sherk gets a very specific type of look on his face whenever anyone mentions his failed steroid test. I don’t know whether it’s restrained rage or just the last of his patience draining away, but it’s definitely not good. You can see it in this video from FHM, which does its best to clear Sherk of all charges by asserting that the failed test was “pretty obviously a mistake.” I suppose you’ve got to play nice to get footage like this.
Even after that, Sherk still punches the guy in the face a bunch of times. Flattery will get you nowhere with “The Muscle Shark.”
HUERTA PLANS TO WORK AT TEAM JACKSON
The list of fighters who have sought out training and gameplan master Greg Jackson continues to grow as Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight contender, Roger Huerta, is expected to travel to the camp’s home in New Mexico to help him prepare for his August match-up against Kenny Florian.
Pitbull unafraid of Hughes
Even so, Pitbull is not intimidated, and in a talk with GRACIEMAG.com affirms that he is the perfect adversary to take him to his objective: the belt.
“I’m training like mad and I’m really strong with a lot of wind. MMA demands a lot of effort and training to not leave anything to chance. We brought in some wrestlers to train and we’re putting together the right strategy for the fight. To me, experience is what counts. Hughes is already in the UFC Hall of Fame and has only lost to Saint-Pierre. But I’ve been doing this since I was 15 in muay thai and MMA. I can’t be satisfied being just another one, I want to be the best and I’ll only leave dead. They were giving me ever tougher opponents each time and now they send in Matt, but the name doesn’t matter, I’m taking this win for the ATT,” Thiago guaranteed
Joe Lauzon rolls with punches
“I think I won the first round,” the East Bridgewater native said. “If it was at sea level, I think I would have been able to push that pace for all three rounds, but being in Colorado, I couldn’t do it. I came out for the second round and I felt like my legs weighed 1,000 pounds each. I thought I had a good first round, but cardio killed me and a couple of other things just didn’t go my way.”
Quarry discusses new camp, Starnes fight, future challenges
Earlier this month at UFC 83, Nathan "Rock" Quarry (10-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) used everything from Muay-Thai strikes to a playground taunt en route to earning one of the most lopsided decisions in UFC history. His opponent, "The Ultimate Fighter 3" cast member Kalib Starnes (8-3-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC), has since been released from the UFC, and Quarry is anxious to return to the octagon for an opportunity to again prove himself as a top middleweight contender.
UFC tackles long-term growth issues
he success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship over the past three years has always carried with it one major question: Is this a long-term sport or a short-term fad?
After all, when what was essentially an underground sport suddenly becomes popular based largely on a reality show on a cable station, it’s easy to question its longevity.
Roger Huerta – Leaving ‘Normal’ Behind
For much of his young life, Roger Huerta just wanted to be normal. He wanted to have two parents sitting around the dinner table at night, a white picket fence around a house with a yard, and the type of stability that could be dubbed by some as boring.