Da Riddum, Da Rebel, and Da UFC Welterweight Championship
Good morning, afternoon, evening, or whatever in-between time it is that your eyes have found their way to the Punch Drunk Hangover! I'm here with another one-stop shop for catching up on last week's Mixed Martial Arts news. As always, it's a pleasure bringing you Monday's reaction to a UFC Pay Per View event and I don't think I'm alone in my feeling UFC 83 delivered everything a fan could have hoped for and maybe even a little more. The crowd was perhaps the best in promotional history, though I also give a ton of credit to the Ohioans at UFC 68 who showed up in full force to support Randy Couture and Rich Franklin. The Montreal fans were loud from start to finish, whether raining down their adulation, disproval, or chants of "G-S-P", "Gou-let", "OLE! OLE OLE OLE!", or any of the other en masse, sometimes R-Rated, choruses of raucous cheering. Their enthusiasm, whether positive or negative, added to my enjoyment of an event featuring great action, incredible technique, highlight-reel moments, and a few laughs to boot.
I thought "Ken-Flo" did a solid job acting as Joe Rogan's replacement, though I will admit, I found myself wishing Randy Couture was still in the good graces of the UFC, and vice-versa, as he would have almost certainly been acting in Florian's role were we in that alternate dimension. Ken did a nice job on color commentary and it was hard not to smile at his post-fight exchange with Rich Franklin regarding the Middleweight's resemblance to Jim Carrey. If the Canadian comedian decided to smash his nose into a wall a few times I might tend to agree with Florian's assessment (which was also made by 411's Adam Tool in his latest column). Personally, I think Matt Lindland looks like he and the LotR's Gollum were separated at birth but that's a subject for a future PDH. And, again, sorry for any delay in load times but UFC 83 had too many memorable moments to not share with the world via animated GIF file.
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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.
GSP answers all the questions
MONTREAL - Georges St. Pierre answered the questions about his ability to handle pressure with a dominant win over Matt Serra to become the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
The match drew more interest throughout the country of Canada than any match in UFC history. There were more than 120 credentialed media for the fight, and more than 1,000 bars and restaurants across the country ordered the fight, believed to break a record set in 2002 by the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson boxing match.
A crowd of 21,390 fans paid in excess of $5 million USD, selling the building out to almost exclusively UFC Fight Club fans, with virtually no tickets put on sale to the general public. The few that were put on sale sold out in one minute.
Tanner vs. Grove tapped for TUF7 Finale main event
Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner (32-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) and "The Ultimate Fighter 3" middleweight winner Kendall Grove (8-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), two fighters coming off disappointing losses, will meet in the main event of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Jackson's" live finale.
The event takes place June 21 at The Palms Las Vegas and airs on Spike TV.
The UFC confirmed the Tanner vs. Grove fight over the weekend. The news conflicts an earlier report that a Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti fight would headline the event.
Kenny Florian vs. Roger Huerta UFC 87 fight possible
As expected, top lightweight contenders Kenny Florian (9-3) and Roger Huerta (20-1-1) are penciled in to tussle at UFC 87 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9, according to MMAWeekly.com.
The winner of the 155-pound tilt will more than likely earn a shot at the title against either UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn or Sean Sherk — the two are expected to face off at UFC 84: “Ill Will” on May 24.
Franklin retains welterweight crown with TKO of Lutter at UFC 83
Georges St. Pierre reclaimed his welterweight title Saturday night, dominating Matt Serra in a second-round TKO before a hometown crowd at UFC 83.
The 26-year-old St. Pierre was greeted by a deafening roar from the crowd of 21,390 at Bell Centre, filled with Canadian flags, fervour and more than a little testosterone. He wore black trunks with a fleur-de-lys, matching the tattoo on his right calf.
The boos started before the stocky Serra, from Long Island, N.Y., even started his entrance.
St. Pierre took Serra down right off the bat in the mixed martial arts bout.
The crowd sang "Ole, Ole Ole" as St. Pierre went about his business looking to improve his position on the ground. It took Serra four minutes to get back up and then St. Pierre took him down again.
It was more of the same in the second, with two takedowns and a standup exchange that St. Pierre won. The end came when referee Yves Lavigne moved in to stop a turtled Serra from absorbing any more knees to the body at 4:45 of the second round.
St. Pierre (16-2) did a backflip in the middle of the ring. A dazed Serra (16-5) regrouped and then the two fighters hugged.
Goulet, Hironaka, MacDonald and Maia earn UFC 83 bonuses
Jonathan Goulet, Kuniyoshi Hironaka, Jason MacDonald and Demian Maia each earned $75,000 "fight night" bonuses stemming from Saturday's UFC 83 event at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The winners and the bonus amounts were announced in a post-event press conference and confirmed by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The three fights represented by the four winners all appeared on the night's preliminary card.
Goulet and Hironaka split fight of the night honors. Hironaka nearly earned the TKO victory in the waning seconds of the first round before Goulet stormed back for a knockout in the second round. The bout kicked off Saturday's 11-fight event.
MacDonald earned the KO of the night for his victory over Joe Doerksen. MacDonald nearly ended it with an early guillotine choke. Although, Doerksen survived the first round, he didn't last even a minute in the second as MacDonald ended it with a ground-and-pound onslaught just 56 seconds into the round.
Maia picked up the submission of the night bonus for his triangle choke of Ed Herman. After locking in the submission, Herman rolled to his back and ate a series of punches before finally losing consciousness from the choke.
UFC 83 Post-Fight Press Conference
--The bonuses were 75,000. Maia won best submission, the Goulet fight got fight of the night, and KO of the night went to Jason Macdonald.
--Matt Serra v. Matt Hughes is probably next for Serra.
--Dana was "amazed" by Jason Day, suggesting he has landed himself a UFC gig.
--Asked about the Quarry / Starnes fight, Dana said “It takes 2 to fight and only Nate came to fight. Starnes is gonna wake up tommorow and wish he’d fought that fight differently.
--Dana said it’s “not a bad idea” for GSP to move up to face Anderson Silva. Asked if GSP could move up to fight Silva but still keep his belt, Dana said he’d have to talk to GSP about it. This is at the same time GSP walks into the room.
--Dana again says Fitch is #1 contender.
--GSP said that getting into an exchange with Serra was the worst thing he could do. Said that a slugfest is like flipping a coin, whoever connects first is going to win. So he never wants to fight like that.
--GSP says he has a lot of jobs to do at 170 before considering a move up in weight. Plus he says he has lots of training partners at 185 and never wants to fight a friend.
--Dana gave props to Demian Maia, said he was impressed.
--Dana said Hughes/Serra was supposed to happen and didn’t happen, so they’ll try to make it happen.
--Quarry talks about getting back into the sport after career ending back surgery. Said he called Kalib out when he first came back and Kalib’s camp refused it because Quarry ‘wasn’t worthy’ so it was something of a grunge match.
UFC 84 site live!!
The full site for UFC 84 is up. Looks pretty damn good too.
One interesting note: Rogan calls Penn/Sherk a dream match. What does everyone think bout that?
GSP Quick Quote: "I'm Scared"
During the final pre-UFC 83 press conference, Georges St. Pierre was very open & honest about his feelings going into tonight's fight against Matt Serra. While such feelings are generally normal pre-fight, GSP has all the pressure in the world and then some on him because he's fighting in his hometown in one of his biggest fights yet.
UFC 83 Preview
We are set for the biggest grudge match since last October, when middleweight champion Anderson Silva knocked out Rich Franklin for the second time in a year, this time in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati. Matt Serra shocked the world last year with his monumental upset via first round knockout of Georges St. Pierre, an extremely athletic fighter that seemed almost unbeatable at welterweight at the time. Here we are a year later, and St. Pierre again looks unbeatable, coming off of his lopsided win over welterweight legend Matt Hughes last December. Serra is relishing the underdog role, and it looks like we are in line for yet another great fight to unify the welterweight championship of the world.
Joe Rogan Not Going Anywhere
One of the more annoying things on the internet is when people make stuff up and report it as news because it's possible that it could happen
A good example is a recent article by nutcase Rich Bergeron suggesting that Rogan was leaving the UFC:
.However, chatter coming into the Fight News Unlimited offices point to more than just "unspecified previous obligations" preventing Rogan from lending his comic voice to the Pay-Per-View broadcast, and his absence may not be temporary.
Fight News Unlimited received information from a reliable source recently pointing to a possible Carlos Mencia-esque rift between Rogan and UFC President Dana White. No, Dana White's not stealing Rogan's jokes, but rumor has it that White recently mandated that there be absolutely no mention of Randy Couture's name in any future UFC broadcasts. Rogan has been outspoken about Couture and the impact of Captain America's departure on the UFC and the sport of MMA.
Joe Rogan posted today at The Underground that the rumors are "bullshit," and went into more detail on his blog.
There's been a lot of goofy articles written on the internet lately about me missing the UFC card in Montreal this weekend, speculating all sorts of silly reasons why I'm not going to be there, so I figured it would be a good idea if I cleared it up here. The only reason I'm not going to be there is because of a family obligation.
I'm certainly not upset at the UFC, and I'm not quitting to start doing commentary for a rival organization. I've also heard some ridiculous shit about me having massive fallout with the UFC president Dana White, which couldn't be further from the truth. Dana is a very good friend of mine, and in the 7 years I've known him we've never even had a single disagreement.
Paul Bradley discusses "TUF" departure
For Paul Bradley, everything was going along perfectly.
He was invited to compete on the seventh season of "The Ultimate Fighter," he won an elimination bout to earn a spot in the house, and he did it in convincing fashion. He was then drafted by UFC light heavyweight Quinton Jackson to be part of "Team Rampage" -- as a respectable third-round pick.
good read, the guy sounds like a real class act, hope he makes a name for himself in elitexc
Ortiz tried to hire Belfort for his trains to face Lyoto
Carlson Gracie’s black belt, Vitor Belfort, that is training at Minotauro team and at Nova Geração, bet at Lyoto Machida, his ex-train mate, in his next bout at UFC 84 in May, against Tito Ortiz. “Lyoto has the skills to win, but is a tough fight. Two famous athletes, but I believe that Lyoto has more chances, he is at fight rhythm and Tito is star”, tell Belfort that reveal that Toto Ortiz tried to hire him to help at train to the fight.
“Tito wanted to hire me with a lot of money, but I said no. I said that money can’t buy everything.