Spiders and Outsiders
by Jordan Breen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anderson Silva fascinates me. He fascinates me now more than ever.
Since his metamorphosis into the human weapon in 2005, Silva has been largely a counterstriker whose penchant for brutality is only coaxed out through fighters who attempt to draw first blood, such as Chris Leben, Rich Franklin, Travis Lutter and so on. At this point, Silva's reputation is almost cancerous. Fighters are too hesitant to engage him without the most meticulous planning of every single body movement, which results in long periods of nothingness in the cage.
So, if I have a logical explanation for Silva’s last two throne defenses, why do I have a sense of wonder about Silva that hadn't existed for the better part of a decade I’ve been watching him? It isn't just his sudden turn from beloved MMA hero to enigmatic public enemy. It is the fact that this unfortunate transformation has coincided with his Roy Jones Jr. obsession.
Never mind the fact that Silva is obsessed with boxing a fighter who, however faded, is still a serious pugilist -- a fact that can't be trivialized (ask celebrated striker K.J. Noons, who was handled in a recent six-round boxing match against anonymous competition). Silva's fixation on Jones is an anachronism: Jones is nearly seven years past his prime, not a great draw outside of his faithful Floridian fans and the boxing world generally wants the former pound-for-pound king to bow out rather than embarrass himself by fighting onward. Silva's angling for Jones is clearly not based on prestige, unless Silva is akin to Hiroo Onoda in his avoidance of boxing news over the last six years.
Given Silva's opportunity to feasibly wipe out every serious challenger at middleweight, and take on challenges at 205 pounds, I find his desire to fight Jones truly fascinating. I don't find it fascinating for the potential fight itself, where I would expect Silva to be simply and soundly outboxed, out of his depth in the vastly different waters of the sweet science. It engrosses me partially because I can't rationalize it: With prestige not part of the equation, what is it about RJJ that is so magnetic and enchanting for Silva? That question has led me to fixate on the parallels between the two fighters and has left me wondering if Silva sees Jones as more of an idol than an opponent.
The similarities between their careers are arresting. Since Silva's reemergence following the Chonan debacle, his lone loss was a maligned disqualification to Yushin Okami for an illegal upkick. During Jones' rapid climb to pound-for-pound preeminence, his only loss came at the hands of Montell Griffin, a bout in which he was disqualified for indiscreetly hitting Griffin after having knocked him down.
Eric Schafer vs Tomasz Drwal for TUF 9 Finale
Light heavyweights Eric Schafer and Tomasz Drawl have signed contracts to fight at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20th in Las Vegas.
MMAFrenzy.com learned of the 205-pound matchup on Sunday from a source close to one of the fighters.
Despite Recent Losses, UFC Not Likely To Cut MacDonald
Normally a stretch like 3 losses in your last 4 fights gets you cut from UFC. But Jason MacDonald, who is in such a stretch after losing ot Nate Quarry at UFC 97, may be spared Das Boot. Dana White said good things about MacDonald after the event, which suggest he'll probably stick around a bit longer despite this stretch and only being 5-5 in UFC.
White apologizes for Silva, still believes "The Spider" is world's best
The Bell Centre crowd let UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (24-4 MMA, 9-0 UFC) know what it thought of his performance in his UFC 97 main-event victory over Thales Leites (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) with a chorus of boos and obscenities.
UFC President Dana White let the champion know how he felt in the evening's post-event press conference.
"I personally apologize for what happened tonight," White said. "You guys know this is not what the UFC was built on. This is not the way fights usually go."
When pressed as to whether the blame for the 25-minute snoozer lied with Silva or his opponent, White declined to speculate.
"I'm personally unhappy with the whole fight," White said. "I did not like the fight at all, period, on either side."
Ed Herman saved career with UFC 97 win; David Loiseau's future uncertain
Veteran UFC fighter Ed Herman, who entered the UFC after emerging as the middleweight runner-up on "The Ultimate Fighter 3," likely saved his UFC career with a win over David Loiseau at Saturday's UFC 97 event.
Herman topped Loiseau, who returned to the UFC for the first time in two-and-a-half years, with a dominant unanimous-decision victory.
According to UFC President Dana White, Herman would have likely been released from the organization with a loss.
Catone Vs Munoz @ UFC 102
As UFC 102 continues to fill up, a middleweight bout has been added as New Jersey fighter, Nick Catone, returns to action to face former NCAA champion wrestler, Mark Munoz, in an undercard match-up.
The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday by sources close to the fight.
Dana White: Chuck Liddell is retired
MONTREAL – One of the most storied careers in mixed martial arts has come to a close.
According to UFC President Dana White, longtime UFC fighter Chuck Liddell, who suffered a first-round TKO loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the co-main event of Saturday's UFC 97 event, is retired from fighting.
"He's a huge superstar, and we could still sell lots of tickets (with Liddell)," White said. "But I don't care about that. I care about him. I care about his health, and it's over, man. It's over."
Dana White ‘embarassed’ with UFC 97 main event
“I can honestly tell you that I’ve never put on an event that I was embarrassed to be at until tonight. I want to publicly apologize to all the fans…. I apologize. I personally apologize for what happened tonight. You guys know, this isn’t what the UFC was built on and this isn’t the way the fights usually go. Listen, any night you can have an off-night. When a guy is that talented and can literally end a fight whenever he wants to, wow.”
Silva not winning over fans or boss
Silva won a unanimous decision over Thales Leites in the main event of UFC 97 on Saturday night at the Bell Centre, but it was such a mystifying and dreadful performance that it left UFC president Dana White angry and embarrassed.
“I can honestly tell you that I’ve never put on an event that I was embarrassed to be at until tonight,” White said. “I want to publicly apologize to all the fans.”
UFC 97 sets new North American MMA attendance record
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's sophomore event in Montreal set a new North American MMA attendance record with 21,451 attendees, who combined for a staggering $4.9 million gate.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the numbers from UFC President Dana White in the post-UFC 97 press conference.
If the numbers are made official by the Quebec Athletic Commission, UFC 97 will have outdrawn Montreal's first record-breaking event, UFC 83, by just 61 people.
UFC 97 Results
Main Card Bouts (live on pay-per-view):
-Anderson Silva def. Thales Leites by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 50-46), R5
-Sam Stout def. Matt Wiman by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Mauricio "Shogun" Rua def. Chuck Liddell by TKO (Strikes) at 4:28, R1
-Krzysztof Soszynski def. Brian Stann by Submission (Kimura) at 3:53, R1
-Cheick Kongo def. Antoni Hardonk by TKO (Strikes) at 2:29, R2
-Luiz Cane def. Steve Cantwell by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27), R3
Preliminary Card Bouts:
-Denis Kang def. Xavier Fouka-Pokum by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-Nate Quarry def. Jason MacDonald by TKO (Strikes) at 2:27, R1
-Ed Herman def. David Loiseau by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-Mark Bocek def. David Bielkheden by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:57, R1
-T.J. Grant def. Ryo Chonan by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28), R3
-Eliot Marshall def. Vinny Magalhaes by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27), R3
UFC 97 bonuses: Rua, Soszynski, Stout and Wiman each earn $70K awards
MONTREAL - Sam Stout, Matt Wiman, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Krzysztof Soszynski each earned $70,000 "fight night" bonuses for their performances at "UFC 97: Redemption."
UFC 97 took place Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal and aired live on pay-per-view. The bonus amounts were up significantly from the $60,000 awards issued at UFC 96 in March but down slightly from the $75,000 issued at UFC 83, the organization's first trip to Canada.
The UFC announced the bonuses at the UFC 97 post-fight press conference and were confirmed by MMAjunkie.com
Bob Cook steps in as match-up consultant for Strikeforce
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has received a report that another AKA trainer has stepped up to assist with the matchmaking duties at Strikeforce.
Crazy Bob Cook has just confirmed via telephone to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that he has been enlisted as a match-up consultant for the organization.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com recently first reported the news that American Kickboxing Academy trainer Javier Mendez had decided to step down from his position as the matchmaker for Strikeforce.
Doing His Job At 185, Silva Again Has Eyes On 205
On the eve of a possible record-breaking win streak against a heavy underdog, talk of Anderson Silva’s next move is already in the air.
He’s a big enough middleweight to make the jump up to light heavyweight – he’ll probably walk into the Octagon tomorrow at around 200 pounds – but equally important, Georges St. Pierre is big enough to make the jump to middleweight.
Flanked by two of the light heavyweight division’s biggest stars at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 97 – Chuck Liddell and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua – it was clear Silva had options, both big for the UFC.
“The experience fighting at 205 was a good experience for us,” Silva said via translator Ed Soares. “It’s in our plan to fight more at 205 pounds.”
Wanderlei Silva Declares War on Anderson Silva
“He is too cocky. I hope he can read this. … I never talked anything bad about him; I always respected him. He has always been my friend, always respected me, but now he came with that statement. I can’t understand that. I didn’t come down to 185 to face him. Actually I didn’t have that intention. …