Thursday, July 31, 2008
Belfort looked solid in his win over Terry Martin. Once he turned it on in the second round, it was over. Lindland, on the other hand, was not as sharp. He looked flabby and could barely move late in the fight. He will need to be in top form to beat Belfort, though. That guy is a warrior.
True or False - Georges St. Pierre will dominate Jon Fitch with wrestling like he did to Matt Serra and Matt Hughes.
False - Fitch will be able to hold off most of GSP's takedown attempts and even when he does go down, he'll get back up. He is the best wrestler GSP has faced and will give him tons of problems on the ground. I look for GSP to try for takedowns early before giving in to a stand-up battle.
True or False - EliteXC will rebound from their dismal second show to challenge Affliction for the #2 spot behind the UFC.
True - EliteXC has learned their lesson. They do not have enough depth to put on a CBS event without their top fighters. From now on they will stock the fight card with their top performers and not try to pass off a middlecard fighters as a headliners (Robbie Lawler/Scott Smith). The technical aspects of the show still need some work (too much time dead time between fights and get rid of Mauro Ranallo), but they are moving in the right direction. The thing EliteXC has that Affliction doesn't is access to non-traditional MMA fans. It is a huge market that will eventually be tapped. I believe EliteXC will find a way to market itself as the MMA organization for the casual fan.
True or False - Andrei Arlovski will go more than 1 round with Fedor Emelianenko.
True - In fact, I think Arlovski will make it into the 3rd or 4th. His boxing skills looked almost perfect in his Affliction debut and they are only going to get better with the help of Freddie Roach. The only chance Arlovski has to beat Fedor is by keeping him on the outside with solid strikes and footwork. I do not think he is disciplined enough to do this the entire fight. After a couple rounds he will get tired and suckered into trading with Fedor. From there the fight gets ugly for Arlovski.
True or False - BJ Penn's next bout will be with the winner of Georges St. Pierre vs Jon Fitch.
False - Penn still has some work to do as a lightweight. He will take on the winner of Kenny Florian vs Roger Huerta. If Florian comes out on top and Penn ducks him, it would shock me. There is already a bit of history there, as Florian took down Penn student Joe Lauzon in April. I think BJ will have one last fight at Lightweight before he moves up to face whoever is the Welterweight Champion at the time.
True or False - Chuck Liddell will knockout Rashad Evans.
True - It might even be an ugly highlight film knockout. I really think Evans is a perfect candidate to get KO'd by Liddell. His striking game is limited, so Chuck can swing as hard as he wants without fear of getting repeatedly hit. Evans only chance in this fight is to keep it on the ground and I do not see him being able to keep Liddell down each round. He will take him down, but as others have learned, Chuck gets back up.
True or False - Randy Couture will never fight again.
False - The Fedor fight will get done in 2009. Couture and the UFC will come to an agreement after a few more months of legal wrangling. The fight is too big not to happen. The UFC knew from the start they could not keep him out of a ring forever. Their main tactic has been to stall and hope Couture's age catches up with him. Reports are that is not happening at all. Couture is working out daily and remains in his usual pre-fight shape. Give him 3 months and he'll be ready for Fedor.
Even more unbelievable is that the highest paid fighter was Antonio Silva ($200,000), who did not even appear on the main CBS card. Who is running this organization Kim Kardashian?
- Bye Bye Jesse Taylor. The earlier rumors are true. He has been let go by the UFC because of his "loss", which really means he called Rampage an idiot. Hopefully you can get back together with The Rippers.
- Roger Huerta thinks the UFC is cheap. The article appears in the actual magazine. Basically he's upset with how little fighters get paid in relation to what the UFC makes off of their efforts in the Octagon. Expect Kenny Florian to win a controversial decision.
- Brock Lesnar needs to realize he isn't on Monday Night Raw anymore and it isn't cool to talk in the third person.
- It's hard to judge who will get the Oscar when you have acting giants like Hulk Hogan and Kimbo Slice in the same movie.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Artie Lange sells more tickets than that for his comedy shows. EliteXC should call their next event, "Finished Business" because that's where they're headed.
-Would like to fight Chuck Liddell again and thinks he'd fare better in the rematch because now he has acclimated to the United States. He said it was very difficult to train for the first fight due to the transition.
-He told a funny story about fighting Mauricio "Shogun" Rua over a pit bull. Shogun had a pit bull who had puppies and he gave one to Wanderlei. A week later he asked him for $100 and Wanderlei said, "No, it was a present." Another week went by and Shogun asked him again for the money. Wanderlei refused and instead offered a way to work it out. They would fight. If Wanderlei knocked Shogun down, he got to keep the pit bull for free. If Shogun knocked Wanderlei down, he had to pay him $100. Wanderlei won.
-Talked about the difficulty in fighting at 205 lbs. He said it was tough because it forces you to fight bigger fighters. Said he planned on talking to Dana White this week about forming a new weight class lower than 205.
-Thinks Randy Couture would give Fedor Emelianenko a lot of problems if they fought because Couture is such a complete fighter.
-Had high praise for Forrest Griffin, who he has been training with lately. Said he was a very serious fighter who trains at a high level every single day.
-Called Rickson Gracie a snob.
Towards the end of the article, Gross mentions that if things continue to go well for Rampage, the UFC wants him to fight Wanderlei Silva in November. Whhhhhhaaaaaaat?
Yes, the UFC wants to put him in the ring with Wanderlei Silva four months after his mental breakdown. I'm hoping for Rampage's sake that Gross got this part wrong because if it is true, we might not see Rampage alive after that fight. He has fought Silva twice and been brutally beaten each time. Putting him in the ring with a bum that soon is a bad idea, let alone Wanderlei. But as we saw with the James Irvin situation, the UFC is willing to put their fighters into dangerous situations. All that seems to matter to them are PPV buys and TV ratings.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Irvin was coming off of a broken foot injury in May that caused him to miss a scheduled bout with Rashad Evans (who later got injured himself). If I had to guess, I'd say Irvin was taking the oxymorphone following the foot injury, got slightly addicted, took the Silva bout on short notice (never mentioning he was still taking pain medication to the UFC), then tried to use the methadone to wean himself off before the urine test. Methadone is not prescribed all that often anymore for pain, but it remains in use for opioid withdrawal. Methadone, which itself is an opioid, has a longer shelf life within the body. This results in milder withdrawal symptoms than opioids like heroin, which leaves the body quickly. When an opioid addict wants to get better, the treatment specialists basically switch them over to methadone then eventually taper it off. Irvin probably never got to the point, though, because the oxymorphone was still in his system.
In a sport where fighters put their bodies through hell, I find it hard to criticize someone taking pain medication. He had a legitiment injury and then took a bout on short notice. If anyone is at fault here it is the UFC for not properly checking him out before booking the fight.
- Brandon "The Ultimate Fighting Turtle" Vera still won't stop whining about losing to Fabricio Werdum. It's a simple concept, Turtle. If you cover your head and don't fight back, the ref stops the fight. I wish there was a way for a ref to stop his whining.
- Speaking of Werdum, he gave an interview in Portugese where he said he would likely be fighting Junior "Cigano" Dos Santos at UFC 90 and if he wins will get a shot at the winner of Nogueira/Mir for the UFC Heavyweight Title. I don't speak Portugese, so it's also possible he was just giving his review of Heath Ledger's performance in the new Batman movie.
This Sunday night he will make his first title defense against Marcus Hicks at WEC 35 (9pm Versus). Hicks is a burly former professional boxer who has yet to lose a fight. He is 3-0 in the WEC with all three victories coming by submission. Most lightweight fighters have a difficult time dealing with his strength in the cage. Varner will need to a find a way to counter Hicks' power and not get caught up in a wrestling match. This will be a great chance for Varner to prove that he has fully turned the corner and become a complete MMA fighter. Rear Naked News caught up with Jamie last week to see how his preparation was going for his first title defense.
What is the biggest difference between fighting for the title and defending it?
Once you have the belt you are the one everyone wants to beat. They are all coming for my belt. I think defending the belt defines the champion.
Do you have any strengths in your fight game now that started as weaknesses? I know they all sorta start as weaknesses, but anything stand out as something you were terrible at that is now a strength?
I have boxed and wrestled most of my life so those two aspects come second nature. I enjoy working on my submissions.
Before I ask this, let me first say I'm not a tall guy either, so the question isn't making fun of you, I'm just curious. One of the perks of being a professional MMA fighter is there are lots of gorgeous women happy to talk to you. What's the tallest woman you've been with?
Haha. Is that one of the perks? I have been training too damn much then. I have dated some tall women in my time but I am used to putting the one I am with on a pedestal.
Do you have any concerns about matching up with Marcus Hicks' power?
None at all. I bang with some great stand up guys. Marcus should be worried now that you told me being an MMA fighter can get me hot girls, I think I am going to try to stay on top.
A big debate in MMA fighting is whether winning a match is enough. A lot of people think you must win in an exciting way to be considered a top fighter. Do you agree with that?
No not really. Mma fans are unique and this sport will not have a undefeated fighter. Anything can happen and that is what makes MMA so great. I think fighters should be defined by toughness of opponents and the willingness to fight anyone at any time. A fighter that strives to fight the best is doing what it takes to be the best.
Was there a point in your career when you knew you had the talent to compete with the best fighters?
2nd round of my UFC fight with Hermes Franca. Here I was a guy brought in to lose and I was winning that fight. He caught me in the third but I knew I belonged. I knew I had what it would take to reach the top.
Monday, July 28, 2008
- Josh Koscheck continues to be full of himself.
- Quinton "Grand Theft Auto" Jackson does not drink...Except in clubs with his shirt off.
- Hopefully the WEC does not throw 19 year old Josh Grispi into the ring with Uriah Faber before he is ready.
Who do you think is the best P4P fighter right now? It has to be Fedor, in my mind. He took out Sylvia in thirty seconds. Couture needed a decision.
Fedor gets my vote too. The guy has never lost a fight and has fought just about every heavyweight that matters. Anderson Silva has been superb during his run with the UFC, but I don't think his competition is on par with Fedor's.
Affliction put on an awesome first show. How did they manage to get Fedor when the UFC didn't?
Basically it comes down to control. The UFC likes to keep a tight grip on their fighters. When someone steps into a UFC cage, they become UFC property. Fedor and his managers did not want to give up control of his image. Affliction allowed him to retain the fights to his fight footage in several European countries, which means if an Affliction event is ever held there or shown, they will have to pay him for using any of his footage. His managers take a global view of the Fedor brand (he's more popular than vodka in Russia). They would rather retain certain global rights than have him make more money up front with the UFC.
Gimme the name of one underrated fighter who will be a champion in the next 3 years. I wanna impress my friends.
I'll go with Michael Bisping. I believe he will be the man to take down Anderson Silva. He's got the power and the chin to end Silva's Middleweight dominance. A lesser known name to keep an eye on is Jim Miller. He's a lightweight from IFL that recently signed with the UFC. If BJ Penn is serious about fighting Georges St. Pierre, it could open up the opportunity for new blood to takeover the Lightweight division.
What do you think will happen first? Rampage ends up dead or Rampage ends up on Celebrity Rehab?
It would be pretty weak if Dr Drew let in celebrities with Energy Drink addictions. Does it bother any one else that the only explanation the UFC gave for "Grand Theft Auto" Jackson's troubles is he stopped eating and drank a bunch of Red Bulls? If doing that caused people to go nuts, we'd have about thirty million cases of 17 year old girls getting into police chases.
Dana White needs to stop worryin about all the other promotions and just worry about his. The UFC is getting full of themselves. Why is he so paranoid?
He has a massive Vince McMahon complex. I think he is the best promoter for UFC and also its worst enemy. His pettiness gets in the way of the business at times and MMA fans have to pay for it. Eventually he needs to step aside and let the product speak for itself. That said, there are not enough MMA fighters who are recognizable enough to grab headlines. Dana White's loud voice is needed for now.
How many months will it take before you sell out like the other MMA sites and put ads on every inch of the site?
I have an idea about a way to revive the heavyweight division. They should ban all non-choke submissions. Is there a bigger buzzkill than watching a heavyweight fight end with a knee bar or a toe hold? Get rid of that crap and people will start caring about heavyweights again.
Affliction won't last. Did you see how much they paid out? They remind me of a new MLB owner with deep pockets. The first year they sign some aging free agents for way more than their worth. Then three years later they start crying about losing money and hold a fire sale. You watch. Affliction will be the same way.
And that brings a close to the first ever Rear Naked News Mailbag. If you have a question or comment, please email me. I hope to be able to do one of these every couple of weeks, but it depends on how many emails come in and if they suck or not.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
It is no surprise people did not watch. The fight card did not feature any of EliteXC's top fighters and there was little promotion for the event (CBS.com did not even have it in their search results). Another thing that no one mentioned was the logic of putting this event on the same night as the Margarito/Cotto fight. That had to eat into the ratings too. EliteXC did their best to lower expectations prior to the broadcast by pointing out summer is a difficult time to draw viewers. America's Most Wanted did not get the memo because they brought in 4.73 million last night.
Do not be fooled. This is a big blow for EliteXC. They did not pull in average viewers who are not usually watching MMA events. For their deal with CBS to work, they need to find a way to appeal to a broader audience. My advice to them is to spread out their biggest draws so that every event features recognizable fighters.
The least they could have done is have an announcement or two about future big matches. Nick Diaz vs KJ Noons? Frank Shamrock vs Robbie Lawler? Instead they told us, "Kimbo and Gina Carano will be on the October card." Wow, I'm pumped.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
October will be an amazing month for MMA fans. In addition to the EliteXC card, there is the rumored Affliction Pay-Per-View on October 11 and two big events from the UFC.
Tickets go on sale August 19.
Wilson Reis vs Bryan Caraway
Following some early stand-up in Caraway's favor, Reis works Caraway to the ground and is quickly into side control. Reis mounts him and throws some punches. Caraway escapes following an attempt for the arm by Reis. On the feet Caraway controlling things with his reach. Reis gets him down again. Following mount goes for his back and Caraway escapes back to his feet. Caraway again landing, but Reis takes him down to end the round.
Fight goes quickly to the ground with Caraway landing shots. Reis sweeps him and works to side control. Caraway scrambles back to his feet. Fight again goes back to the ground. Caraway lands on top and goes for an arm, but does not get it. Reis back on top now. Works to the back but can't get anything going other than a knee.
Caraway again winning the stand-up exchanges. Reis smothers him and gets things to the ground where he is in half-guard. A couple of back and forth couters until they are back on their feet. Caraway landing shots. Reis works him to the ground (again). With little time left they are on their feet and Caraway continues to land. Reis ties him up as the fight ends. Crowd is not pleased with this bout at all. Reis needs to work on his stand-up big time. As I mentioned in the Preview, his ability to get out of trouble on the ground is tremendous. He sweeped Caraway 4-5 times in this match.
Reis Wins via Unanimous Decision
-Showtime begins action with a clip of the crazy Canadian announcer who looks like a serial killer giving a tease of the action to come.
-Justin Eilers shown backstage debating with his manager whether he should lose by headkick or submission. Manager does not seem to care, as long as the EliteXC check clears. Eilers agrees.
Rafael Feijao vs Travis Galbraith
-Mauro Ranallo in regards to Feijao, "He must be butter because he's on a roll, gentlemen." You could actually hear Shamrock's teeth gritting after that one.
Feijao comes out and lands some knees from the clinch. Both fighters hitting from the clinch. Feijao trips Galbraith and ends up on top. Galbraith gets up fast. Back in the clinch Feijao lands a strong right hand and follows it up with some knees. After a brief Galbraith spurt, Feijao knocks him down with a series of knees from the clinch and ends the fight from the top. Galbraith looks awful. He's gasping like a dying goldfish. Here comes the stretcher, but Galbraith ends up leaving on his feet. Feijao's rise continues with another great performance. Feijao's clinch is strong. The announcers kept comparing it to Anderson Silva's, but it looked like Wanderlei's to me.
Feijao Wins via First Round KO
Antonio Silva vs Justin Eilers (for the Heavyweight Title)
-Frank Shamrock talking about Eilers "Chi".
-Eilers boxing coach is a fat black man who is wearing a cowboy hat tonight. Yeah, he's gonna get killed.
Both fighters going back and forth to start things out. Nothing big landing. Silva makes first move and takes Eilers down. Landing some shots, a couple hard right hands. A punch to the back of Eilers' head causes Herb Dean to deduct a point from Silva. After the restart Silva takes him down, but Eilers finds his way back to his feet quickly. Silva presses Eilers into the cage and both throwing from close range. Eilers begins landing the bigger shots.
Even Round with the Deduction
Silva immediately pummels Eilers. Once down he rifles him with punches until Herb Dean stops it. Wow, that was kinda impressive for the big ugly. Silva is the EliteXC Heavyweight Champion.
Silva Wins via 2nd Round KO
-Karyn Bryant is doing backstage interviews. I swear she's bald and has a wig on tonight. Either that or her hairline starts behind her ears. They need to lower the camera and shoot up with the Tom Cruise Angle.
-All right, the CBS portion of the show has started. The lead-in was a montage with a bunch of EliteXC superstars that will not fight tonight. Great way to get the viewers pumped. Right now 3 million people are wondering why Kimbo Slice isn't fighting tonight.
-Mauro Ranallo refers to Lawler as "Silent but Violent". Coincidentally that's what Gus Johnson's farts are too.
Shayna Baszler vs Christiane Cyborg
-Baszler claims she can pull submissions out of her butt. No word on what she can put in it.
-Baszler introduced as a "Submission Wizard". I would have went with Submission Sorceress, but whatever.
Baszler immediately goes for quick submission on the ground. Cyborg gets on top. Neither doing anything, just kinda hugging each other. Terrible first match. All Baszler does is grab legs and lay on the ground. Cyborg looks like she wants to throw, but she can't get an opportunity to. The fans are being polite and not booing. It's like when parents watch their five year olds play little league.
Cyborg throwing punches. Nothing landing. Baszler is breathing hard. Huge knee in the clinch by Cyborg. Cyborg drops Baszler and thinks the fight is over. She climbs to the top of the cage and yells to the fans. Finally ref gets her down and fight continues. Cyborg goes back to work with more punches. Baszler looks terrible. She has no stand-up at all. Cyborg drops her again and it's over. That was like watching a fat girl fight a pretty cheerleader. Baszler never had a chance.
Cyborg Wins via 2nd Round KO
-Karyn Bryant's receding hairline is back!
Jake Shields vs Nick Thompson (Welterweight Title)
-Nick Thompson makes entrance in Zubaz Pants.
-Shields has a cut on his cheek from sparring. Shamrock told him to put Preparation-H on it.
Shields takes him down right away and mounts him. Thompson pushes off cage with feet and a scramble ensues. Shields regains top position and ends it with a guillotine. Shields absolutely dominated. I'd love to see him in the UFC against some better competition because he has the skills to beat just about anyone.
Shields Wins via 1st Round Submission
-Following fight Shields says he wants winner of Georges St. Pierre vs Jon Fitch.
-Kimbo Slice talking with Receding Hairline. Kimbo doesn't know who he will fight next. He's EliteXC's biggest draw and they can't even find him an opponent. Ridiculous. This guy should be fighting on every card. The fans don't care if it's against a no name. We just want to see him knock the crap out of someone and look mean.
Nick Diaz vs Thomas Denny
-Thomas Denny looks really trashy. Reminds me of a meth addict.
-They have not done any promotion for a possible fight between Diaz and KJ Noons. EliteXC is really messing up tonight. First, they give us a mediocre card. Then they don't even promote a fight that would draw tons of interest. Really bad move.
-Nick Diaz is 24, by the way. Every time I see his age it boggles my mind.
Denny comes out throwing. Nothing landing. Diaz doing his usual light punching. They fall to the ground after a tie-up. Diaz goes for an arm bar, but Denny slides it off. Back to their feet and tied up. Denny has a good spurt and lands a solid knee from the clinch. Diaz fights back with some harder punches. Denny looks tired. He's getting hit a lot. Diaz methodically stalking him. Big shots from Diaz drop Denny. He's teeing off on him, but Denny hanging in there. Diaz lands 10-15 solid shots as the round ends. Denny can take a punch, I'll give him that much. Fight probably should have been stopped already.
Diaz continues where he left off. After a series of shots, Denny goes down. Diaz punches from the top until the ref stops the fight.
Diaz Wins via 2nd Round TKO
-Crowd goes nuts for Diaz. Great performance by Diaz. Denny deserves credit for taking a beating. After that I don't see how Diaz doesn't get Noons next.
-Diaz dedicates fight to some friends who passed away then goes on a rant about Stockton being the place for real fighters. Gus Johnson didn't get one question in.
-Lackluster card so far. It all comes down to the main event. If Lawler and Smith have a great fight, it could save things for EliteXC.
-Fight card way ahead of schedule. Last time they went over. Probably tried to keep things flowing this time just in case. Right now they are stalling before the main event. Rematches tend to start out slow. The promoters have to be putting pressure on them to produce. This is their chance to become household names. It's make or break time for them and EliteXC.
-And another commercial break! CBS should bring in a pacing expert before the next event. Why not show a fight from earlier right now? Or just start the main event early. Instead we get a good fight from Diaz and Denny followed by 25 minutes of filler.
Scott Smith vs Robbie Lawler (Middleweight Title)
-Anderson Silva in attendance for the main event.
-Announcers talking up the possibility of Shamrock fighting the winner.
-Scott Smith doesn't look to be in great shape.
Lawler backing away. Both fighters measuring each other. Smith is more active. Lawler throwing some kicks. Smith lands a decent head kick that was partially blocked. Tied up, some knees from both. Lawler pushes him into cage. High kick by Smith is blocked. Good thing because it looked nasty. Smith hurt from a body kick. Lawler backing him up now. Scott Smith ends the round with a twenty second flurry that might have stole the round. Landed a couple solid punches that stunned Lawler.
Smith lands 3-4 nice elbows. Lawler is cut, but regains control and throws hard shots to head and body. Blood is all over both. Lawler keeping it close and working from the clinch. Lawler connects with a knee that drops Smith. Lawler throwing punches, but Smith gets up. Lawler drops him with another knee and finishes him on the ground with strikes.
Lawler Wins via 2nd Round TKO
-Smith claims he let up when Lawler got cut and it cost him the fight. I don't know about that. Once Lawler got cut he got serious and took over. Smith didn't have a chance to let up.
Overall a poor second showing for EliteXC. None of the fights were all that competitive, which is not a great sign when three titles are on the line. I'll never understand putting together a show on network TV that doesn't feature your top fighters.
I want to thank all the people who were on tonight for the Live Results. This site continues to grow each and every day. If you have any questions or comments, send me an email. I'm getting a Mailbag Post together now and need a few more questions/comments. They can be about anything you like.
- The Sun has a long excerpt from "Tito Ortiz: This Is Gonna Hurt".
- Randy Couture is hosting a celebrity golf tournament on September 25. It will be held at Rhodes Ranch Gold Course in Las Vegas. Money raised at the event will go towards helping wounded soldiers and their families.
- Tapout is now the exclusive apparel sponsor of Kimbo Slice. They will be unveiling a joint apparel line under the Tapout brand in the near future.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Has the ground stop shaking yet?!!!
Personally, I'll be watching EliteXC the whole time.
Actually, now that I think about it. He has a striking resemblance to Nikolai Volkoff (and Bill Murray, of course).
- Brian Stann likes killing terrorists.
- Top 10 MMA Staredowns. If you've never seen a Don Frye staredown, you have to click on that link.
- Chuck Liddell is a hopeless romantic.
- Say hello to the bad guy, Nick Diaz.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wilson Reis vs Bryan Caraway (Showtime)
-For anyone who enjoys jiu-jitsu, this is the fight for you. Both fighters specialize in submissions and we should see a technical fight on the ground. I've watched Wilson Reis in Philly at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United and he is the real deal. He gets out of trouble on the ground better than any young fighter in the sport. I expect Wilson Reis to continue his rise with a win by submission.
Rafael Feijao vs Travis Galbraith (Showtime)
-This will be a decent test for Feijao. Despite being the younger fighter, Galbraith has much more experience as an MMA professional fighter. He should not be overcome by the hype surrounding Feijao, who trains with UFC Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Galbraith's only hope is to get the fight on the ground. Even there I do not see him having a big advantage. Feijao is the more dynamic fighter and he will win this fight. I mean, he can't lose to a guy whose first name is misspelled on the EliteXC website, can he? Feijao by strikes in the second round.
Antonio Silva vs Justin Eilers for the EliteXC HW Title (Showtime)
-You would think EliteXC could have found a better opponent for Silva than Justin Eilers, who once lost three straight UFC bouts by knockout. If I was a little bit taller, maybe they would have offered this match to me. Silva is a legitiment talent and will probably knock Eilers head off. Be careful if you are sitting in the first few rows. You might get clocked in the chest with Eilers' head when you're sipping your beer. Silva by knockout.
Jake Shields vs Nick Thompson for the EliteXC WW Title (CBS)
-Shields went on a tear in 2007 defeating four opponents all in the first round. Since November 2007, though, he has not fought. Personally, I do not think the layoff will bother him. Once he gets his timing set, Thompson will be in trouble. I do not see Thompson being able to defend Shields' takedowns. On the ground Thompson has the better jiu-jitsu, however, it'll be difficult for him to do much from the bottom. Shields knows how to finish opponents when he gets them down, which is a skill only the top fighters possess. Shields will not get his fifth straight first round stoppage, but he will walk out of the ring the EliteXC Welterweight Champion. Shields wins via 2nd Round TKO.
Nick Diaz vs Thomas Denny (CBS)
-The only thing on the mind of Nick Diaz is a rematch with KJ Noons. If he has to fight every month until it happens, that is fine with him. Thomas Denny is his unfortunate opponent this Saturday night. Denny has been around for a long time and does have some notable fights against Joe Stevenson (loss) and Georges St. Pierre (loss). His experience will not help him much against a motivated Diaz. The fight will follow the normal Nick Diaz outline of throwing light punches early, tiring his opponent out, then finishing him. I think we will get to see some of his ground skills in this fight, which is always fun to watch. KJ Noons vs Nick Diaz at the next CBS show, it'll be a war. Diaz wins via submission in the second round.
Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith for the EliteXC MW Title (CBS)
-Their first fight in May was a bloody stand-up battle that ended in controversy when Smith got poked in the eye and the fight was ruled a No Contest. This time the fight is the main event and EliteXC is counting on both fighters to bring the same intensity. Neither fighter has ever been a headliner, so it will be interesting to see how it affects them. Lawler is one of the best boxers in MMA. He hits hard and his punches are accurate. Scott Smith is a gutsy fighter who has no trouble taking punishment and giving it out (check out his fight with Pete Sell). Smith's striking game is not as technically sound as Lawler's. He counterpunches very well and all his strikes are forceful. If this fight goes three rounds or more, it will be in the discussion for Fight of the Year. I'm confident enough in these guys to say that. In the end I think Lawler will be a little bit smarter with his strikes and retain the EliteXC Middleweight Title. Lawler wins it with a TKO in the fourth round.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The significance of holding their second event in Las Vegas, or as Dana White calls it "His City", sends a clear message to the UFC that the MMA landscape is changing before their eyes. No word yet on any other matches.
The potential match-up is intriguing because both fighters need redemption. Jardine looked to be on his way to a shot at the Light Heavyweight Title until Wanderlei Silva disemboweled him in half a minute at UFC 84. Brandon "The Ultimate Fighting Turtle" Vera, on the other hand, is coming off a terribly boring performance against Reese Andy at UFC Fight Night this past Saturday night. It was supposed to be Vera's big debut as a Light Heavyweight, but instead he spent most of the fight in his shell being defensive against an opponent with little knockout power.
With the addition of Jardine/Vera, it seems unlikely the rumored bout between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote will occur at this event. Still, for a free card on Spike TV, it is a dynamic group of matches. Events like this are what made the UFC the top MMA organization in the world. I am glad they have not forgot that.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
In the end Affliction exceeded expectations, and the UFC met them. There is now a worthy opponent for the top MMA organization and with plans for a November PPV, they are not planning on going away any time soon. This is great news for MMA fans, MMA fighters, and the two promotions. Rivalry will always draw interest. Affliction's continued rise will force the UFC to put out a better product, and vice versa. I, for one, cannot wait to see what happens next.
“I don’t think Anderson Silva will be able to win the light heavyweight gold and defend the middleweight title at the same time. You’ve got to pick a weight class and stick to it. You can’t move up and down all the time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible - it could be done - but it would be very, very hard and I can’t see him doing it. Anderson Silva is an amazing fighter but I don’t think he’s going to do that. He’s on a run at the moment and he’s doing the right things but he’s not going to be unstoppable forever. People thought Chuck Liddell was unstoppable. Fighters have good runs and build up their confidence and that’s great and it’s what you need to do but Anderson’s run is not going to go on forever. Dan Henderson gave him a run for his money in the opening round of their fight but then Anderson came out in the second session and took him out in style. The guy’s doing what he needs to do and is doing it fantastically but he’s not unbeatable. His winning streak isn’t going to last forever.”
Monday, July 21, 2008
At stake in this legal war is a potential match-up with MMA superstar Fedor Emelianenko. The fight would be the biggest heavyweight clash in the history of the sport and bring in a tremendous amount of money for whatever promotion can bring the two fighters together.
(Check out the sweet haircut on the guy interviewing Couture)
Despite the very public courtship of Ortiz by EliteXC, he still remains unsigned and following the success of Affliction's first Pay-Per-View it makes perfect sense for him to sign on for a match with Babalu at Affliction's second PPV event (Tom Atencio said it could be as early as November). At the event on Saturday night, Tito sat next to Donald Trump and earned a loud ovation from the fans in attendance. Even though his record in the ring has fallen short recently, he remains a huge star in the world of MMA and would be a major addition to the Affliction lineup.
- Frankie Edgar, C.B. Dolloway, Rory Markham, and Hermes Franca earned $25,000 bonuses for their performances at UFC Fight Night.
- Dana White claims a "crazy fasting thing" is to blame for "GTA" (Grand Theft Auto) Jackson's crazy actions this past week.
- UFC Undisputed is scheduled to be released in Spring 2009 for Playstation 3 and XBox 360. Rumor has it they're also working on a spinoff called, "Rampage Racing".
Sunday, July 20, 2008
-Fedor's performance was unreal to watch. Any one that ever saw a young Mike Tyson fight live will know what I'm talking about. When he lunged at Sylvia, it was like a lion going at a water buffalo. Big Tim had no chance.
-As impressive as Anderson Silva's win was, it was not against the caliber of opponent Fedor fought, which is why I have this second on the list. I'm still not sure if I'm sold on Silva being a LHW contender. We didn't see him long enough in the ring to know if he can take the punishment from bigger opponents and if his conditioning will play a factor with the added weight. All that said, he was dominant.
-Andrei Arlovski's boxing looked amazing. When he's motivated, he's a pleasure to watch.
-The Fedor/Couture Staredown. Reminded me of watching the closing minutes of Monday Night Raw with Stone Cold staring down The Rock. Only thing missing was Jim Ross screaming out of the side of his mouth, "Fedor, Couture, Good God Almighty!!!!!!!!" Fade to black then Old Spice commercial.
-Reese Andy came out to "Mama Said Knock You Out" then spent fifteen minutes doing the exact opposite of what the song said.
-Brandon Vera at 205 lbs. After the first round, he tightened up and became overly cautious. The announcers talked up the weight cut, but to me it was more about the fact he was coming off of two straight losses and did not want to get caught with a lucky punch. This was one of the worst fights I have ever watched.
-The Affliction announcing crew needs work. Big John McCarthy started to get into a groove as the night progressed. He gave some interesting insight. The other two were horrible. They talked about Frank Trigg 80% of the time. Whenever a fighter was mentioned, Trigg told a story about training with them. Every single time. He must be the biggest training whore in the sport.
-Tim Sylvia's night was about as ugly as it gets. At least Irvin threw a kick before he got pummeled. All Sylvia did was stand there like a tree while Fedor sawed through him. Before the fight, he said he saw himself fighting for the UFC in the future. I'm not so sure about that, Tim. Good luck fighting Kimbo Slice in EliteXC, though.
-The cut under James Irvin's right eye looked brutal. It's a good thing chicks dig guys with facial scars.
-Mike Goldberg knew Brandon Vera's entrance music was the Black Eyed Peas two seconds into the song. Hopefully Joe Rogan made fun of him off the air.
-Mark Hominick's hot pants were absolutely ridiculous. I swear he got them from a late 90s rap video.
Just to give you an idea of how well things went. If you type "Affliction Live Results" into Google, Rear Naked News is the first result. That's simply incredible to me. Never would I have thought something like that would have been possible two weeks into this.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Dana White will do every thing in his power to stop this fight from happening, but I think somehow it will get done. It has to.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Vitor Belfort vs Terry Martin
-Back and forth round. Belfort landed a solid kick to the body. Other than that both fighters moving around a lot and cautious. Between rounds Randy Couture and the rest of Belfort's corner are yelling at him to take it up a notch and let his fists fly.
-Belfort opens up. Putting lots of pressure on Martin. Belfort lands a big flying knee. Martin stumbles, but grabs a hold of his leg. Once free Belfort lands a flush uppercut followed by a straight left that drops Martin in between the ropes.
Belfort wins by 2 Round KO
Pay-Per-View Has Started
-Megadeth is opening things up. Fans in attendance must be wondering what year it is.
Mike Pyle vs JJ Ambrose
-Fight Introductions by Michael Buffer. How many groupies do you think Michael Buffer has had in his day? It's gotta be in the thousands.
-Crowd very quiet. Not sure how full it is because the lights are turned way down. Pyle already has Ambrose's back. Peppered him with shots, locked in the hooks, then finished him with a rear naked choke.
Mike Pyle wins by 1st Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Edwin Dewees
-Introductions taking place.
-Dewees throwing a ton of leg kicks. Nothing landing too hard yet. Nogueira on top in Dewees' full guard. Throwing some quick punches. Back to feet and Nogueira has him in the clinch. Hitting Dewees with knees to the chest and head. Lets the clinch go and begins pounding him with lefts and rights. An overhand left drops Dewees. Nogueira hits him a few times from the top and the ref steps in.
Nogueira wins by First Round KO
-The announcing and interviews stink. Sound isn't good and all they keep talking about is Frank Trigg. Apparently Trigg has trained with every fighter on the card at one time or another. Like we really care.
Matt Lindland vs Fabio Negao
-They keep changing the card around. Introductions taking place for this fight. Negao looks uneasy.
-Lindland lands a left and drops Negao. Sinks in a guillotine right away. It's kind of tight. Negao gets out. Lindland on top. Back to the feet and Negao already looks tired. Hands are dropping to sides.
-Tons of action off the bat. Negao backing up Lindland. Hitting him with good shots. Lindland is throwing back, but Negao is clearly getting the better of it. Lindland weathers the storm. Scramble and Lindland is on top. Throwing hard elbows. Nothing hitting perfectly, though. Round ends with Lindland on top.
-No one landing anything. Both on feet trading shots. Negao looks tired. Lindland lands a solid knee to Negao's head. Lindland pushes him into corner as the round ends.
Lindland wins via Unanimous Decision
Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs Mike Whitehead
-Apparently Mike Whitehead began training at over 270 lbs and ended up at 206 lbs. Yikes, I don't feel so good about picking him this fight. A ridiculous amount of filler before the fight. Whitehead is wearing shorts with slits in the sides. Makes it look like a skirt. Another bad sign for my prediction. And guess what? Frank Trigg has worked out with Mike Whitehead before!!!
-Feeling each other out. Babalu lands a leg kick. Fans chanting B-A-B-A-L-U. Boring fight so far.
-Whitehead gets him down. Babalu has full guard and looks comfortable on his back. Referee stands them up. They clinch and Babalu landing some knees. More knees in the clinch. Whitehead had the round until the end. Babalu's last surge probably got him the round.
-Babalu has him in a guillotine, but Whitehead pushes him into the ropes. These ropes stink. Any time they get into the ropes the ref has to move them out and it totally kills the momentum. Another guillotine that ends with Whitehead driving him into the ropes. Babalu sinks in a third guillotine, this one deeper than the first two. Whitehead powers out of it somehow. Spinning Back Kick by Babalu grazes the face of Whitehead. Exciting final round.
Sobral wins via Unanimous Decision
-That last fight stunk. So far this has not been all that great. The most entertaining fight was Belfort vs Martin and that was on FSN for free.
Mark Hominick vs Savant Young
-Hominick sporting some short hot pants. I feel weird watching this. Hopefully no one walks into my room and sees this on my computer. Seriously, his butt cheeks are almost showing out the back. Anyway, back and forth first round. Could go either way.
-Young gets him down and is working from top. Hominick with an insane counter. Ends up with a triangle on Young. It's tight, but Young slams Hominick to get out of it. Young back on top. Hominick going for submissions from bottom. After a few triangle attempts, he hooks in an arm bar and finishes the fight.
Hominick wins by 2nd Round Submission (Arm Bar)
-Megadeth playing again. Fans look totally out of it. Maybe scheduling a mildly famous 80s metal band wasn't the best idea.
Josh Barnett vs Pedro Rizzo
-This one should be more exciting. I'm a big Barnett fan. He puts on a good show. An exciting finish here could solidify a fight with Fedor at the next Affliction event. You're never gonna believe it...Frank Trigg has been worked on by Josh Barnett's cut man! This guy is the Forrest Gump of MMA.
-Stand-up fight so far. Nothing of consequence landing. Spinning body kick by Barnett. Rizzo defending well.
-Back and forth, again nothing landing. Barnett clips the top of Rizzo's head with a punch. Out of no where Barnett connects with a left and knocks Rizzo completely out. Wow.
Barnett wins by 2nd Round KO
Andrei Arlovski vs Ben Rothwell
-Big John McCarthy is getting better at announcing as the night goes on. The other two continue to suck big time. Can't wait to hear how Trigg connects to these fighters, "Back in 1997, I caught herpes from Rothwell's aunt."
-Good boxing from Arlovski to open things up. Rothwell trying to tie him up and control the action. Arlovski trips him and lands on top. Quickly gets Rothwell into a heel hook. Rothwell breaks free after 7-10 seconds. Looked tight too. Back on their feet and Arlovski's boxing skills continue to look superb. Lands 3-4 good lefts and rights that stagger Rothwell. As the round comes to a close, Rothwell lands a huge right.
-Rothwell comes out swinging. Lands a couple punches, but Arlovski counters and staggers Rothwell again. Hitting him with multiple punches with both hands. Rothwell ties him up and Arlovski takes him down. Arlovski on top. Some ground and pound by Andrei. He goes for another heel hook. Rothwell scrambles out of it and gets on top. Landing solid elbows to Arlovski's head. Rothwell's nose bleeding a bit. The referee stands them up and Arlovski immediately pounds him with punches. A solid left kick lands. Rothwell about to go down. Arlovski pushes him into corner and lands a knee to the head as the bell rings.
-Tie up to start the round as both fighters look winded. Arlovski lands a couple solid shots and then a vicious overhand right ends the fight.
Arlovski wins by 3rd Round KO
-Incredible job by Arlovski. His stand-up was just about perfect.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Tim Sylvia
-For some reason Michael Buffer is announcing all the celebrities in attendance. Odd thing to do just prior to the main event. The list includes Steve Austin, Michael Strahan, The Deal or No Deal Girls, Tito Ortiz (sitting next to Trump), and The Undertaker. And now another performance by Megadeth! This is the most drawn out PPV I have ever seen.
-Tim Sylvia's physique is looking spectacular as usual. I'm sure that layer of flab hanging over his trunks is sending shivers down Fedor's spine.
-Still doing introductions. Fedor looks mean as usual.
-Fedor lunges in to start out and lands 4-5 punches. Drops Sylvia after connecting with uppercuts and a left right combo. Fedor immediately got on top and pounded him with shots. Grabs Sylvia's back, levels him out, and makes him tap with a rear naked choke. 36 SECONDS! Total Domination.
Fedor Emelianenko win by 1st Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
-After the fight, Fedor says he wants Randy Couture next. Couture enters the ring and they are two feet from each other. Couture says hopefully he can settle his business with UFC and fight Fedor. Donald Trump was salivating in the background. It's gonna happen.
All right, that's it. Come back tomorrow and see my recap of both the UFC and Affliction cards. Thank you everyone for coming to the site.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans
Dan Henderson vs Rousimar Palhares
Rich Franklin vs Matt Hamill
Karo Parisyan vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Tim Boetsch vs James Lee
Roan Carneiro vs Ryo Chonan
Matt Brown vs Dong Hyun Kim
Jesse Taylor vs C.B. Dolloway
In one of the more interesting matches on the card, two cast members from The Ultimate Fighter 7 face off in a battle that could derail one of their careers. Jesse Taylor is coming back from being kicked out of the Ultimate Fighter Finals because of his drunken antics, which now seem tame compared to Rampage's afternoon in Newport Beach. Than there is C.B. Dolloway, who will try to get his blossoming career back on track following a second loss to Amir Sadollah.
The fight itself features two former collegiate wrestlers that like to work from the top and overpower their opponents. I think we will see early stand-up action, but as soon as either fighter gets hurt their wrestling instincts will take over and it'll become a ground war. Dolloway has the better jiu-jitsu (I'm 99% sure Taylor has no idea how to do an arm bar, so he'll be safe), which should allow him to finish the fight. Dolloway wins by Guillotine Choke.
Anthony Johnson vs Kevin Burns
Anthony Johnson is coming off a dominating KO victory over Tommy Speer in April and looks to keep the momentum going against Kevin Burns. Burns burst onto the MMA scene at UFC 85 with an upset win over Roan Carneiro. He still has not quit his day job at Wells Fargo (now working part-time, 20 hours per week), which makes me wary to pick him in this fight. Johnson seems like the more motivated fighter at this point and I believe that will make a difference on Saturday night. With each fighter promising to stand and bang, I like Johnson to win by TKO.
Cain Velasquez Vs. Jake O'Brien
This one should not be too close. Cain Velasquez is the superior fighter in just about every area, other than stalling. The only reason the UFC invited Jake O'Brien back after his embarassing match with Andrei Arlovski is because they needed a stepping stone for Velasquez. Velasquez wins by Unanimous Decision
Hermes Franca Vs. Frankie Edgar
Franca is a difficult fighter to figure out. In the ring he has been uneven. Some times he looks unbeatable, other times he seems bored. Throw in the positive steroid test last July following his loss to Sean Sherk (who also tested positive for steroids) and it's questionable whether he will be able to get his career back on track against Frankie Edgar. Despite the problems he has had with training camps (left both American Top Team and Armory), I just have a feeling he will show up for this fight. Edgar, on the other hand, was rolling towards a future title shot until his decision loss to Gray Maynard. Many critics have pointed out that Edgar was overpowered in that match. That's true, but you have to remember Maynard does that to a lot of opponents. I do not think one match is an indictment on Edgar's ability to handle stronger opponents. In this fight he has the better wrestling and should be able to take Franca down. Once on the ground, though, Franca is the better submission artist. I think most of the damage in this fight will come from stand-up and in that regard I can not go against Franca. He's got too much power in those hands. Franca wins by Decision.
Brandon Vera Vs. Reese Andy
For years we have heard about Vera's future as a Light Heavyweight at 205 lbs. Every fight he had at Heavyweight the announcers made sure to mention how he could be a Light Heavyweight down the road. Well, the time has arrived and the UFC must think favorable on his future in the new weight class because they have lined him up an easy first opponent. Reese Andy is a respectable wrestler, but not much else. He's the perfect opponent for Vera to look good against and bolster his stock in the already crowded Light Heavyweight Division. I think Vera's jiu-jitsu will carry him through this fight and put a quick end to it. Vera wins by Submission.
Anderson Silva Vs. James Irvin
Is any one else tired of hearing Dana White talk up Anderson Silva? I feel like the UFC had a meeting and they all agreed they need to build up Silva because Affliction has more bigger fighters. The best way to counter the heavyweight dominated Affliction card, is to give viewers a clear alternative. The UFC is doing that by featuring Silva. The big question is whether Silva's unique striking speed will be with him at the higher weight. When fighters go up in weight, their strikes are a little slower and they cause a little less damage on the bigger opponent. Most do not think it will matter for Silva, but there is no way to know for sure until he throws in the ring with Light Heavyweights. Irvin will be a solid first test. He should control the action with his power whenever he chooses and be able to take Silva down. But does he really want a ground battle with a dangerous submission fighter like Silva? I doubt it, and if he finds himself on top he better be careful with how much he opens up. To me Irvin needs to keep this fight standing to win. If he does that, his strength will play a bigger role and not give Silva the chance for a sneaky submission. That said, I believe Silva will find a way to win. At some point the fight will go to the ground (probably after Silva lands a solid shot and Irvin goes for a takedown to counter it) and a submission will end the fight. Silva wins a tough fight via Submission.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I told you he was nuts.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
UFC 89 Headliner Michael Bisping (looking more like Bill Murray every day) claims he will knockout Chris Leben in their upcoming bout on October 18. In an interview with The Sun, Bisping says he has fought many fighters with similar styles to Leben, so he will be comfortable brawling with his American counterpart. There is also a bunch of British slang in the article that I don't understand. It probably has something to do with wearing tight jeans, being pale, and having the dental hygiene of a Rottweiler.
- Kimbo Slice is set to return to action this fall. Brett Rogers has been named as a possible opponent.
- The UFC 89 Fight Card is shaping up nicely. It seemed like a lame card when the Bisping/Leben main event was announced, but the rest of the lineup is solid for a free event.
10/18/08 on Spike TV
Michael Bisping vs Chris Leben (MW)
Lyoto Machida vs Thiago Silva (LHW)
Rameau Sokoudjou vs Luiz Cane (LHW)
Marcus Davis vs Paul Kelly (WW)
Chris Lytle vs Paul Taylor (WW)
Sam Stout vs Terry Etim (LW)
Shane Carwin vs Neil Wain (HW)
Akihiro Gono vs Dan Hardy (WW)
David Bielkheden vs Jess Liaudin (WW)
Per Eklund vs Samy Schiavo (LW)
(Correction: Diego Sanchez vs Thiago Alves was reported to be on the card, but has since been taken off, following the announcement of Machida vs Silva.)
A Motor Officer was monitoring traffic at the intersection of
This has gotta be one of the dumbest celebrity crimes in recent memory. He led police on a chase in a truck that had a giant picture of himself on it. It's not like the Costa Mesa Police Department would have needed to fly in Dr. Gil Grissom and the CSI crew to crack the case.
The earlier rumor that Dana White came to bail him out of jail has been confirmed. I would have loved to be in the car on the ride home.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Personally, I'd suspend him for a year just for driving that truck.