Tuesday, September 30, 2008

09/30/08 News

  • Dana White thinks the bad economy helps the UFC. I totally disagree with his assessment. It might not hurt PPV numbers too much, but I guarantee it lowers the live gates. Don't get me wrong. The UFC will still sell out their shows. The thing that will change is how many high end tickets they can sell and the overall demand for tickets. Shows outside of Vegas will be affected a lot more.
  • Affliction wants Gegard Mousasi to face Vitor Belfort at their January event. Mousasi also reveals that his training partner Fedor Emelianenko is rumored to fight Josh Barnett. I find it hard to believe that Affliction will not put Arlovski against Fedor, if he has a good showing on CBS. It would make Arlovski more of a draw than Barnett, who is not well known to American fans.

That's Odd

A story on Yahoo Sports UK is eerily similar to one I wrote a couple days ago. They managed to list the same potential bouts I did, which wouldn't be all that odd seeing how I have my information from a reliable UFC source. The thing that makes me suspicious is how they never mention where their information comes from. Mine came from Tatame and a source within the UFC. I am betting their's came from Rear Naked News and a source within the O2 Arena. Especially since Rear Naked News was featured on the front page of Yahoo's US MMA page all weekend. It seems some one in the UK office thought it's ok to take a story from a blog and not credit it. There is a growing pattern of this type of behavior from the supposedly "credible media". They hardly ever cite a blog as a source, but they have no problem taking stories from them, rewording them a bit, and claiming them as their own.

I have emailed Yahoo UK and am awaiting a response I surely will never get. At the bottom of Yahoo UK page, there is a comments section. If you think some thing is suspicious about this, let them know.

Update - Still no response from Yahoo. I have sent two emails. The comments are all messed up. All I can say is keep trying, if you feel strongly about this. A few have gotten them to work, and I thank them for their support. Also, thank you to all the readers who have emailed me. I'm glad others see my side of this and I haven't gone completely paranoid yet.

Since the comments are awful, here is a feedback form where you can tell Yahoo about the situation. The two links to include are:

http://rearnaked.blogspot.com/2008/09/ufc-returns-to-ireland-on-jan-17.html
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/30092008/58/ufc-close-dublin-bout.html


Monday, September 29, 2008

09/29/08 News

  • Good article about Affliction's leadership problems. They definitely need some one to step up and become the face of the MMA promotion.
  • Roan Carneiro is quite bitter about his loss to Ryo Chonan. Best part of the article is when he claims "five American websites" gave him the decision on their play-by-plays. Wow, the evidence is overwhelming. Some one call Congress. We need an investigation.
  • Brock Lesnar is not injured. Stop emailing me about it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

UFC Returns to Ireland on Jan 17

According to Tatame, Antonio Mendes will return to action inside the Octagon on January 17 in Dublin, Ireland. This will be the UFC's second trip to Ireland and will kick off a year that will take the number one MMA promotion to multiple international sites. Plans have been made for events in England, Canada, and even the Philippines. It is likely the Dublin event will be UFC 93 and air on

The UFC's first trip to Ireland occurred on June 16, 2007. Following the successful PPV, there were immediate rumors of a return in 2008. The show featured a main event between Rich Franklin and Yushin Okami. Originally Martin Kampmann was Franklin's opponent, but he was forced to withdraw due to injury. The card also featured Forrest Griffin, Tyson Griffin, and Clay Guida.

At this point no other details are known about the Dublin event. With many of the UFC's top fighters already committed to fights, it is difficult to know who will be available. UFC 89 is the promotion's next event and it features quite a few European fighters. A three month turn around time for their next fight on January 17 would not be out of the question, especially if it means fighting in front of European fans.

One name I do not expect to be on the card is Michael Bisping. He is a win away from a spot on The Ultimate Fighter 9, as the coach of the United Kingdom Team. MMA is a difficult sport to predict and it would not be a total surprise if Chris Leben pulled off the upset. In which case, it would seem logical for Bisping to be a candidate for the Dublin show. Other possibilities include Chuck Liddell vs Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra. Both are bouts being talked about for future events and would provide a viable main event for the Dublin audience.

Friday, September 26, 2008

09/26/08 News

  • WEC makes it official. No more Light Heavyweight and Middleweight Divisions. A distraught Brian Stann was seen wandering around the parking lot saluting SUVs.
  • The fight between Jake Shields and Paul Daley will not be for both their titles. Only the EliteXC Welterweight Title will be on the line.
  • Brian Stann and Steve Cantwell will face each other for the third time at UFC Fight for the Troops on December 10. If Stann can't beat Cantwell with the support of his fellow soldiers, he might want to think about a new career.

Machida vs Silva Rescheduled

When Thiago Silva pulled out of UFC 89 with a back injury, it seemed the bout with Lyoto Machida was in danger of never happening. Machida did not want to wait around for Silva to recover. His shot at the Light Heavyweight Title was one win away and he did not care if it came against Silva or any one else the UFC put in front of him. The UFC offered a bout with Machida to several prominent fighters, but no one was interested. I should mention the initial offers were for a fight at UFC 89, which would mean taking a bout with one of the most difficult fighters to prepare for on short notice.

Without an opponent, the UFC scrapped the possibility of Machida competing at UFC 89 and moved on to future events. There were brief talks with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua that did not get very far (Shogun is trying to break the record for most rumored fights in a single year). There was even a brief time when Machida was considered as the first opponent for Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin. Rashad Evans changed all that when he knocked Chuck Liddell's head off.

It appears the UFC's search has been solved because Thiago Silva has once again agreed to face Lyoto Machida. This time the fight is to take place at UFC 93 on January 31. Silva is recovering at a faster rate than originally thought and believes he will be ready for the Super Bowl weekend fight. A fight between Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva was believed to be in the works for UFC 93, but with the addition of Machida/Silva, it appears unlikely both will be featured on the same card. Recently Jackson told UK based Setanta Sports' News that he was fighting on December 27 (UFC 92) and it would be against Wanderlei Silva, as long as he accepts the fight.

It remains to be seen how this plays out. I would not put it passed the UFC to have both fights on the UFC 93 card, along with BJ Penn vs Georges St-Pierre. The event will happen a couple of weeks after Affliction's rescheduled second show. A UFC card of that magnitude would overshadow any thing Affliction could put together. It would drowned out their media coverage and make even a solid show seem lackluster. If Dana White and the UFC brass wants to send a message, we might get to see the greatest MMA fight card ever put together.

Affliction Reveals Structure of January MMA/Boxing Event

Five Ounces has confirmed the setup for Affliction's hybrid January event. It will feature four MMA fights and one boxing match. No word on what type of bout the main event will be. I think it would be very weak to have a boxing match be the main event at a show with primarily MMA fights. Having it be the co-main event and occur prior to the final MMA bout seems like the best fit in this awkward situation. I wish Affliction luck, but it would not surprise me if this blows up in their face. Boxing and MMA fans are different animals. There is less crossover than most believe. One way that might work is concentrating on getting boxing fans interested in MMA. Throw a MMA fight onto a boxing card and see how the people respond. I'm sure the two hundred people who arrive for the mid card fights will really love it.

(A reader sent me this link with some more comments by Atencio about the structure of the event. It appears they are leaning towards the boxing match being the main event. Putting on an 80% MMA show that ends with a boxing main event cheapens the sport, in my view. It's like saying, "MMA fights are ok for mid cards, but they shouldn't be the main events." I'll completely change my mind on this if they somehow get Larry Merchant on the announce team. Watching him pontificate about Mixed Martial Arts would be an instant classic.)

Why Hardcore MMA Fans Matter

Steve Cofield gave Rear Naked News a mention on his blog. Here is the original story he quoted. I disagree with his thoughts on hardcore fans, so here is a brief rebuttal.

The basic problem with Cofield's argument is he fails to realize the influence of hardcore fans. Simply because there are more casual fans, it does not mean hardcore fans are not important to MMA promotions. Without the dialogue of diehard MMA fans, the sport would grind to a halt between each event. They fill the dead air and it is their conversations which ultimately influence others. When a casual MMA fan goes online for content, they cannot go to ESPN for the latest news. They have to go to sites run by hardcore fans. Their main source of news comes from them. These sites feed the casual fan and make it possible for them to ultimately become more interested in the sport.

It is not just news sites and blogs, either. The message boards serve the same purpose. Diehards talk about the sport and new fans feed upon it. They learn about its past and why certain things matter and others do not. They relate to the guy who hates EliteXC or the poster who loves Fedor. It supplies their newfound addiction.

So do not tell me hardcore fans mean nothing to EliteXC and Affliction. If that is the case, they are even more clueless than I thought.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

09/25/08 News

  • Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns will meet for a second time on December 13 at The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale. Their first bout ended in controversy when Burns took home a TKO by tearing out Johnson's eye ball and eating it. In other news, Steve Mazzagatti is set to become the new spokesman for Diet Pepsi, "You got the right one, baby. Uhhhh huuh!"
  • DREAM's latest event did not do too well with the ratings.
  • Georges St-Pierre, Quinton Jackson, and Anderson Silva to appear in the new film, "Death Warrior". The early word is this might battle Jean-Claude Van Damme's "The Quest" for the worst fight movie ever made.

UFC Fight for the Troops

There have been a slew of fights added to the card in recent days, so I wanted to give you the rundown. These fights have not been confirmed by the UFC yet. It is always possible a late change can happen. At this point the Koscheck/Yoshida bout is the main event. I have heard there is another fight lined up for the main event, but it is not a done deal. Hopefully it gets finalized, because it will be a good one, especially for a Spike show.

Josh Koscheck vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Frankie Edgar vs Matt Wiman
Mike Swick vs Jonathan Goulet
Luigi Fioravanti vs Brodie Farber
Eddie Sanchez vs Justin McCully
Tim Credeur vs Nate Loughran
Ben Saunders vs Brandon Wolff
Dale Hartt vs Corey Hill

EliteXC Doesn't Get It

"Oct. 4 is a huge event for mixed martial arts. With this card and this line-up, we hit the mainstream, we hit the hardcore [fans], and we hit Dana White hard." - EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw

I know EliteXC is thrilled to have a positive story to promote, but they need to ease off the accelerator. Getting Andrei Arlovski and Roy Nelson from Affliction is a major move for the troubled promotion. It gives them a legitimate fight to promote alongside the novelty acts of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. Arlovski is a good fighter who usually produces in the cage. He is by no means a headliner on his own. He will not pull in hardcore fans, as Shaw seems to think. The only way EliteXC will ever win over hardcore fans is by putting their best fighters in the lead roles. Just because Arlovski and Nelson are fighting on the card, it does not mean hardcore fans will overlook the fact the entire show is based around Slice's star power. They need to transition into being a real MMA promotion, who wins over fans with the talent and performances of their best fighters.

From every thing I have heard, Kimbo Slice has a real desire to continue training in Mixed Martial Arts. He is not happy being considered a side-show by long time MMA fans. He wants to be a true title contender. I think his enthusiasm for the sport is great. He understands he is inexperienced and has a lot to learn. EliteXC should use his humility to their advantage. Instead of placing the full spotlight on him, use his star power to bring in casual fans, while focusing on your top fighters. Kimbo should not be fighting in main events. If he was the lead-in for the main event, it would get your top fighters more exposure. People need to see Jake Shields and Murilo Rua. They need to watch Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler. Let Kimbo's popularity carry over into their fights. You will not only get more eyes on your best fighters, you will also begin to win over hardcore fans who think of your promotion as a joke.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Arlovski to Fight for EliteXC

EliteXC has announced Andrei Arlovski will fight Roy Nelson on October 4 on EliteXC-CBS Saturday Night Fights (how are they still using this terrible name?). For a change, the news is good for EliteXC, who have had a difficult time of late thanks to money losses and fighter disputes. Affliction has agreed to loan Arlovski and Nelson to EliteXC for this fight. The full details of the agreement have not been made public. With all the money troubles EliteXC has, I find it difficult to believe they are paying the salaries of the two fighters, especially Arlovski's. More than likely, the deal will bring Affliction some promotion on a nationally televised event, in exchange for paying for all or a portion of the salaries.

No word on how Arlovski's participation on October 4 could affect his future with Affliction. It seemed likely he would face Fedor Emelianenko at the next Affliction show in January. However, with the possibility of a loss to Nelson, it seems the Fedor fight could be jeopardy. In which case, Josh Barnett would become the likely opponent.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rampage vs Silva Pushed Back

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Wanderlei Silva will fight for a third time, but it does not seem like it will occur in 2008. Initially the bout was being talked about for UFC 91 in November. It would have added to what should be the highest selling PPV in MMA history. Unfortunately, it is not looking like a possibility any more. The new proposed date is January 31, which is Super Bowl weekend. Also rumored to be on the card is the long awaited rematch between BJ Penn and Georges St-Pierre.

With Affliction planning on holding their rescheduled second event some time in January, it does not surprise me the UFC would hold back the Jackson/Silva match-up. As we have seen, the UFC is not bashful about going head to head with their competitors. By putting on a stacked event a couple weeks after Affliction's, the UFC wants to show the MMA world how big the gap is between the two promotions.

Frankie Edgar vs Matt Wiman Proposed for UFC Fight for the Troops

MMAMania has learned a fight between Lightweights Frankie Edgar and Matt Wiman is in the works for UFC Fight for the Troops. The proposed match-up would feature two of the UFC's best young Lightweights in a fight that could put the winner on the fast track to a title shot in 2009. Edgar is coming off an impressive win over Hermes Franca at UFC Fight Night 14. Many believed Franca was the favorite coming into the fight, but Edgar controlled the action most of the time. Wiman is also coming off a big win over Thiago Tavares at UFC 85. He delivered one of the ugliest knockouts of the year when he blasted Tavares with a right hand that knocked the young Brazilian completely out.

The December 10th card is beginning to take shape. Along with this proposed bout, it will feature Josh Koscheck vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida and Mike Swick vs Jonathan Goulet. Look for a main event to be announced shortly. Other fights being discussed include: Luigi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber, Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully, and Corey Hill vs Dale Hartt.

Cain Velasquez Injured

Cain Velasquez sustained a knee injury and has had surgery to correct the problems in his meniscus. The proposed fight against Mustapha Al-Turk on December 10 at UFC: Fight for the Troops has been canceled. Instead, Al-Turk will face Cheick Kongo seventeen days later at UFC 92. As you might remember, Kongo initially was set to fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 91. Kongo sustained a shoulder injury, Randy Couture returned, and suddenly the biggest MMA PPV ever was set to go. That left Kongo without an opponent. In the meantime he switched camps and joined his friend Quinton Jackson at Wolfslair.

Now Kongo finds himself the beneficiary of Velasquez's injury. He will get a chance to prove to the UFC he is a legitmate Heavyweight contender. His opponent is no joke. Al-Turk could very well control Kongo with his grappling and take this bout. It will be a solid proving match for both fighters.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Matt Hamill Is Not a Fighter

Matt Hamill responded to the questions about why he chose to stand against Rich Franklin for most of their fight at UFC 88.
"I don't follow what people say in the media," said Hamill. "All I can say is I didn't follow the game plan that we put together. Duff wants me to perform at the level he knows I'm capable of. I'm glad I have a trainer that won't accept that performance and I respect him for speaking the truth. Duff didn't do anything wrong. I don't know why I didn't take him down more. That's the one thing I have been thinking about over and over. I should have taken him down more like in the first round. That was the game plan. My weapon is ground and pound. I guess people are right to say that I was too nice and I let our friendship take my killer instinct away."
I have been outspoken about my belief that Hamill does not have the mental makeup of a fighter. He does not possess the killer instinct needed to be a championship contender. The Franklin fight was not the first time Hamill left fans confused. When he fought Michael Bisping at UFC 75, many thought he had won the fight. Bisping won the controversial decision and there were more than a few who disagreed with the judges. I was not one of them because in the fight Hamill again showed his lack of a killer instinct. He repeatedly had Bisping down and never inflicted any punishment. It was a wrestling match for Hamill and I believe this is why Bisping rightfully was declared the winner. You cannot be a top contender in Mixed Martial Arts unless you have a mean streak. Matt Hamill better find one or look for a new profession, because in the UFC all he will be is a gatekeeper for mid-card fighters to prove themselves against.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Anderson Silva Ponders Retirement

Anderson Silva recently told a Brazilian cable channel SporTV he is pondering retirement within the next year. The full interview has not been released, but a source from the cable channel claims Silva talked about retirement multiple times during the interview. Fighters are known to say crazy things at times. I would not put much stock into this story. I do not dispute he said it. I just think it's a hypothetical situation and not some thing he is realistically planning for. As long as there are big fights for him, his manager will get him to fight.

Update - Silva's manager, Ed Soares, has put to rest the retirement talk. According to him, Silva has six fights left on his UFC contract. He also said they have an incredible relationship with UFC President Dana White. MMA news has been ridiculously light the past couple weeks and it is at those times when dumb stories like this tend to come out. All you Silva diehards can stop worrying now.

09/21/08 News

  • Chuck Liddell and the UFC invade the Philippines. Here is a video of the event.
  • Randy Couture and Gina Carano to appear on Red Alert 3 trading cards. Both are characters in the upcoming Xbox 360 video game.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cain Velasquez vs Mustapha Al-Turk In The Works

Fighters Only Magazine is reporting that a possible fight between Cain Velasquez and Mustapha Al-Turk is in the works for UFC 92 on December 27. Al-Turk recently signed a four fight contract with the UFC. He is a former Cage Rage British Heavyweight Champion whose grappling skills could give Velasquez his toughest test to date in the UFC. Velasquez has been dominated inside the Octagon and has many fans proclaiming him a future UFC Heavyweight Champion. Facing Al-Turk would be a step up in competition that would give the MMA world a better idea of Velasquez's talent.

One potential stumbling block for Al-Turk is he plans on training in Britain for his UFC fights. Personally, I think this is a mistake, especially for his first fight. The bout with Velasquez is rumored to take place at UFC 92, which is the end of the year show in Las Vegas. Having to fly 15+ hours, acclimate to a new country, and make your UFC debut at one of the biggest shows of the year against a fighter like Velasquez seems like a suicide mission to me. I hope his trainers know what they are doing.

Update - MMA Bay is reporting the fight between Cain Velasquez and Mustapha Al-Turk will take place at UFC Fights for the Troops on December 10. This would be a good bout for the show, which as of today has not announced any thing of significance.

Georges St-Pierre Is A Busy Man

In his latest blog entry at Yardbarker.com, St-Pierre talks about his first experience being a cut man, hanging out with hot chicks, and inner city kids turning to MMA instead of gangs.
This past weekend it was very special for me, not only because I had two friends from Brazil who came up from Rio de Janeiro, but because also I was working as a cornerman at the Xtreme MMA event. I was cornering Aloizo Barros & Steve Claveau, who are two of my good friends and training partners. Aloizo started the fight very well, but unfortunately got disqualified because he kneed his opponent to the head when he was on the ground (which is illegal in North America). I personally think that the referee made a huge mistake by disqualifying him and not giving him any warning.

Another of my good friends, Steve Claveau, fought a UFC veteran, Aaron Riley, who's a true gentleman, by the way. It was a great fight, back and forth, but in the end, Aaron Riley was the victor. After the first round, Steve had a huge cut on his forehead, and it was the first time in my life that I was working in the corner and I had to work on a cut. It was pretty disgusting, but I think I did a good job because I stopped the bleeding.

Then at the end, of the night during the main event my good friend and training partner, David Loiseau, fought for the middleweight title. Even though he dislocated his shoulder during the fight, he knocked out his opponent in the fifth round. It shows how big heart is and how persistent he is. I just hope the UFC has some looks at what happened that night in Montreal, because it might open the door not just for David, but also for many guys - there was a lot of talent on the card that night.

Sunday night I finally had the time to hand out with some of my friends who had gone to Beijing to represent Canada in wrestling. We went to the Club Opera all together and we had a great time (a lot of beautiful women hahaha). I flew to L.A. Monday afternoon after a very hardcore training with my strength & conditioning coach. Jonathan was so devastated that I have to leave for 1 week, that it seems to me that he put all of the training that I do in 1 month into a day's session. I was so tired at the end that I could barely stand on my feet and I almost needed someone to drag me to the airport to catch my flight. I finally arrived in L.A. at night and went to eat on Sunset Boulevard at one of the best Thai food restaurants that I've eaten at in my life.

I have a very busy schedule this week with a lot of meetings, but I try to find 2 hours in my day to go train somewhere so I don't go crazy. One of the highlights of my week was Tuesday night, when I was invited to go to a little town close to L.A. & meet some kids and teenagers who are training MMA in a garage. A lot of these kids didn't have any resources or any person who can help them, so sometimes their only choice is to turn to a gang. I'm really impressed with Coach Koon for taking care of all these young men. Even though I went to talk to them & encourage them to stay on the right path, in the end, I think this experience actually benefited me more than them. They reminded me of myself when I was younger, when it would have been very easy for me to choose a different road in my life. I want to thank Scott Casber who invite me to join him and giving me this experience, this group inspired me and now I'm even more motivated me to win my fight and to do well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

KJ Noons Stripped of Title

EliteXC has announced via their website that EliteXC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons has been stripped of his title for refusing to defend it against Nick Diaz. EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen said, "We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz. It’s a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders. We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace.That’s the mentality all champions should have."

In late August, the news broke that EliteXC had offered Noons a spot on their October 4 CBS fight card against Nick Diaz.Noons turned the fight down, claiming Diaz was not the number one contender. Later he released this statement, which outlined all of his reasons for refusing the fight. It turned out the bigger issue was KJ's belief he was not compensated as well as he should.

It is unfortunate the fight never materialized because it would have been a solid addition to the event. EliteXC needs all the help they can get and losing out on a fight that would have had diehard MMA fans tuning in is yet another strike against the promotion. The thing most do not understand about Mixed Martial Arts is the casual fans are not the people you need to hook. Casual fans are fickle and tune out when the events are not full of recognizable superstars, which happened with the last EliteXC CBS event. Diehard MMA fans are the backbone of the sport. When they get behind a promotion, they watch regardless of who is on the card. The trade-off is the promotion must occasionally give the diehards fights they want to see. Noons/Diaz would have been one of those fights. It would not influence casual fans to turn on CBS, but a whole host of diehards would have at least watched that fight.

For Noons, being stripped of the EliteXC Lightweight Title is a major setback. He is a relatively young fighter without mainstream name recognition, who is still under contract with EliteXC. By defying the promotion, he has stalled his own career. His options are to finish out his contract with EliteXC, which would relegate him to mid-card status. Or, he could seek his release through legal action. He has mentioned that EliteXC did not promote or book him boxing matches, which he believes is outlined in his contract. This could be the legal issue his lawyer uses to gain his release. EliteXC is in financial turmoil and it would surprise me if they spent much money on lawyers to keep Noons under contract. At this point the money could be used for many other things, which would benefit the promotion much more than a whiney 160 lbs fighter who refuses to fight top competition.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

09/18/08 News

  • Houston Alexander claims he could not hear his corner yelling out the time, so he tapped. Such a lousy excuse. They were directly in front of his corner and Eric Schafer told Joe Rogan after the fight that he heard them yelling out the time.
  • The Ultimate Fighter 9 will pit fighters from the USA and the United Kingdom facing off against each other. Middleweights and Welterweights will be included for the show. The coaches have not been announced yet, but I have heard from a source that Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson are probable candidates. This could change if Bisping loses his upcoming fight with Chris Leben.
  • Nate Diaz and Josh Neer earned $30,000 bonuses for "Fight of the Night". Alessio Sakara and Wilson Gouveia also earned $30,000 bonuses for "KO of the Night" and "Submission of the Night".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

UFC Fight Night 15 Live Results

Live Blog has started.

Dan Miller vs Rob Kimmons
Round 1
Early feeling out process with some punches thrown by each. They tangle up in the clinch and Miller quickly takes his back. He wraps a rear naked choke on and it's over.
Dan Miller wins by 1st Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

-Miller embarrassed Kimmons.

Mike Massenzio vs Drew McFedries
Round 1
Massenzio immediately takes McFedries down. He is in his guard. Massenzio does not waste time. He gets free from the guard. Grabs McFedries arm and works into a kimura. McFedries taps out.
Mike Massenzio wins by 1st Round Submission (Kimura)

-Huge win for Massenzio. He has some talent.

Jason Brilz vs Brad Morris
Round 1
A big slam by Brilz to open things up. He carried Morris around pretty easily before throwing him down. Brilz takes his back. Throwing short punches from the back. A scramble and Brilz now has side control. He is raining down punches and elbows to the head and body of Morris. Morris doing absolutely nothing. Brilz goes for an arm bar, but the bell ends the round.
Brilz 10-8

Round 2
Morris begins the second round on the offensive by landing some punches. Brilz must not have liked the feel of that, so he took him down. He is back into side control. More elbows from Brilz. He is dominating. He secures a full mount. Morris rolls and gives up his back. Brilz continues throwing and the ref stops the fight.
Jason Brilz Wins by 2nd Round TKO

Joe Lauzon vs Kyle Bradley
Round 1
Bradley controlling the early stand-up with an uppercut that lands flush. After a tie-up, they are back to stand-up. Bradley continuing to hit Lauzon. Lauzon seems out of sorts early on. Gets things going towards the end with a series of shots that land.
Bradley 10-9

Round 2
Bradley starts the round like the first by landing shots. Lauzon has had enough of the striking game and takes Bradley down. Excellent move to full mount by Lauzon. He is throwing bombs from the top. Bradley scrambles and gives up his back. Lauzon doesn't stop throwing and the ref stops the fight.
Joe Lauzon Wins by 2nd Round TKO

-This show is flying by. Lauzon had a gut check moment in the first round where he put things into another gear and took over.


Wilson Gouveia vs Ryan Jensen
Round 1
Jensen throwing punches and kicks early. Nothing landing too much. Gouveia connects with a combination before Jensen takes him down. As Jensen throws from the top, Gouveia goes for a triangle. Jensen is able to fight it off. Gouveia goes for an arm bar and again Jensen gets out. Still throwing from the top. Gouveia forces a scramble and has Jensen mounted. Jensen gets out of it, though. Round ends with elbows by Jensen.
Jensen 10-9

Round 2
Jensen kicks Gouveia in the nuts to start the second round. Things are stopped so Gouveia can make sure his balls are still attached to his body. Things get going again with both throwing light punches that are mostly missing. Jensen lands a kick to the head and goes for a takedown. The kick did not land fully. On the ground, Gouveia calmly takes Jensen's back. Jensen looking an escape gets caught in an arm bar. Gouveia has it deep. Fight over.
Wilson Gouveia Wins by 2nd Round Submission (Arm Bar)

-We've now had submissions by Rear Naked Choke, Kimura, and Arm Bar. Maybe Diaz will whip out some thing exotic for the main event. Hopefully it's a Ric Flair Figure-Four. With no ropes, the move would be unstoppable!

Alessio Sakara vs Joe Vedepo
Round 1
Sakara coming out with lots of kicks. Vedepo trying for takedowns. The second fails, but he lands a strike that dazes Sakara. Vedepo comes after him and gets caught with a head kick that knocks him completely out. Huge KO by Sakara! He nearly decapitated Vedepo. Wow. You will be seeing this one on the televised card for sure.
Alessio Sakara Wins By 1st Round KO

-Nothing happening yet. Intros by Rogan and Goldberg.

Houston Alexander vs Eric Schafer
-Alexander claims there is no pressure on him. Yeah, sure.
-Schafer has a 4 inch reach advantage. I don't see him using it much. The more he's on his feet, the less chance he has of walking out a winner.
-Schafer looks like a buff version of Bobby Flay.
Round 1
Alexander comes out strong with some violent knees in the clinch. Schafer falls down and Alexander is on top throwing. They are back to their feet and it is more of the same. Schafer going for takedowns and Alexander landing knees to head and body. Schafer is doing a better job now. He is holding on to Alexander and neutralizing his knees. Schafer finally gets the takedown and is in side control. Alexander moving around and Schafer sinks in a guillotine choke. Alexander escapes, but Schafer gets the mount. Alexander is getting hit with some big elbows. Now Schafer is throwing punches and landing most of them. With sixteen seconds left in the round, Schafer hooks an arm triangle. Alexander taps with seven seconds left! Are you kidding me?
Eric Schafer Wins by First Round Submission (Arm Triangle)

-Goodbye, Houston Alexander. Maybe EliteXC is hiring. For any one who defends Alexander and says he didn't know how much time was left, Schafer said after the fight that he heard Alexander's corner call out the time. With his UFC career possibly on the line, Houston Alexander tapped out with seven seconds left while in a choke. Would you want him back if you were the UFC? I know I wouldn't.

-We now have had the following submissions: Rear Naked Choke, Kimura, Arm Bar, and Arm Triangle.

Ed Herman vs Alan Belcher
-Ed Herman kinda looks like Bobby Flay too.
-Belcher has on what appear to be red boxer shorts. I'm pretty sure his balls will be seen during this fight

Round 1
Belcher lands a nice kick to the leg. Fighters tied up against the cage, following an early scramble. Belcher is very active. Moving around on his toes. Lands another big leg kick. Fighters tie up against the cage again. Ref breaks them up. Herman lands a hook. A punch stuns Belcher, who quickly recovers. Herman gets a takedown and is in Belcher's full guard. Belcher gets back to his feet, but Herman slams him back down. Belcher gets back to feet as round ends.
Herman 10-9

Round 2
Belcher lands a solid left hook that rocks Herman. He must have a head of steel because that thing would have dropped most fighters. Herman connects with a left hook and elbow combination. Some body shots following by a big overhand right sends Herman back into the cage. He is still fighting back and lands a right hook. Belcher has rocked him twice this round, but has nothing to show for it. Very hard leg kick from Belcher connects with Herman's thigh. Another kick hits the body. Herman shoots and takes him down. Belcher does a great job and gets back to his feet. Herman connects with a knee as they stand back up. The round comes to a close with both throwing landing grazing shots.
Belcher 10-9

Round 3
Herman shoots, but can't get the takedown. Belcher throwing the jab much more. Belcher's corner yelling at him to stop throwing kicks. Herman's takedowns have almost all come following kicks by Belcher. A quick right lands for Belcher. Herman responds and lands a shot of his own. Two minutes to go and it's anyone's fight. Herman gets a takedown and is in half guard. Belcher needs to get back up. Big left hand lands from the top for Herman. Belcher gets back to his feet and connects with a leg kick and a right. Another takedown for Herman. He has Belcher's back for a second. Now into full mount. Throwing short punches to the head. Herman closes the round with lefts and rights to the head.
Herman 10-9
Alan Belcher Wins by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

-I have no idea how Belcher got that decision. I guess they didn't think much of Herman's submission attempts in round one. Tough loss for Herman. I thought he definitely had the decision.

-They are doing a preview of The Ultimate Fighter. Jose Aguilar just said he belongs with people like Alexander and Hitler. Every fighter should take a common sense class where they teach them how not to sound like a total idiot.

Clay Guida vs Mac Danzig
-Mac Danzig kinda looks like...Forget it.

Round 1
Danzig backs him down with a series of punches. Nothing landing yet. Guida throwing single strikes to counter. Leg kick by Guida. Danzig controlling the movement of the fight. Good jab lands for Mac. Another leg kick for Guida. Danzig defends a takedown perfectly. Straight right lands for Danzig. Big time right by Danzig. He pushes forward with strikes, but Guida ducks and takes Danzig down. Danzig quickly gets back to his feet. Guida lands a knee in the clinch then picks Mac up and slams him down hard. Danzig gets up again then gets slammed again (not as hard). Guida throwing short punches from the top to the body and head. Round comes to a close with Danzig inching back up to his feet.
Danzig 10-9

-Could have easily been an even round or given to Guida. Depends how you look at it. For me, Danzig got up each time Guida took him down and he landed the more damaging shots.

Round 2
Guida comes out moving forward with punches and kicks. Danzig connects with a straight kick to the head, but Guida basically runs through it and gets a takedown. It doesn't last long. They are back up circling. Straight rights and looping lefts from Danzig. He's missing by a tiny bit on each. Another takedown by Guida and as usual Mac gets out. Both landing light strikes. Nice knee by Danzig hits Guida in the head. Guida grabs hold of him and takes his back. He suplexes Danzig to the mat (total Steiner Brothers move). Still with his back and he almost has a choke. Round is over and that one was not nearly as close as the first.
Guida 10-9

Round 3
Leg kick by Guida. Knees to the thigh land for Guida, as they wrestle against the cage. Danzig begins to land. Connects with a leg kick and then takes Guida down with a nice slam. Danzig goes for a kimura. Guida gets out and has his back, but not for long. Lots of wrestling on the ground with very little punching. Has his back again. Back to their feet and Guida peppers him with knees before taking him down for about the millionth time. Danzig looks tired. He can't get away from Guida's hold. On their feet and more knees from Guida. The fight comes to a close on the ground with Guida throwing a flurry of punches.
Guida 10-9
Clay Guida Wins by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

-Guida could not have fought a better fight. He did exactly what I said and pressured Danzig the entire fight. There wasn't room for Mac to do much of any thing. By the last round he had nothing left and you could see it. How about Huerta/Guida II?

-Dana White announces December 10 event, which will be called "Fight for the Troops". It will be held at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and televised on Spike. The point of the event is to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. So far the only match on the table is Corey Hill vs Dale Hartt.

Nate Diaz vs Josh Neer
-Joe Rogan has said Neer has fought in over a hundred fights at least 14 times in the last two minutes.
-Jens Pulver, who was Nate Diaz's coach on The Ultimate Fighter, is in Neer's corner for the fight.
-4 inch reach advantage for Diaz.

Round 1
Leg kick by Neer to start things. Neer takes him down. Diaz gets back up, but Neer throws him down again. Diaz up again. Neer has his back and is holding on. Diaz turns and throws some punches. Neer lands a solid punch. Combination of 10-12 punches to the head and body by Diaz, in the usual light Nick Diaz-like manner. Beautiful judo throw and Diaz is on top in Neer's half guard. Diaz stands and lands a heavy right to his grounded opponent. Back down Diaz spins and grabs his back, but doesn't do any thing with it before the round ends.
Diaz 10-9

-Same as the first round of the Guida/Danzig fight. It was very difficult to score.

Round 2
Diaz comes out fast, throwing combos. Diaz gets Neer down and is in full guard. Up kick lands for Neer. Diaz gets his arm caught for a bit. There's a scramble and Neer takes Diaz down then takes his back. He sinks in a choke. Diaz somehow escapes. Neer on top. He's having a hard time landing through Nate's defense. Lots of grappling in this round. Back to their feet, Diaz throwing combos and knees. A last second right lands for Diaz.
Neer 10-9

-Most of the round was fought on the ground or scrambling.

-Nick Diaz yelling and cursing at Nate between rounds. Wants him to step it up.

Round 3
Some more grappling to start. Neer gets his back, but Diaz swings around and takes Neer down. Diaz standing and throwing at Neer on the mat. Neer back to his feet. A scramble and Diaz has his back. He has both hooks in and turns into a mount. Neer does a good job and gets out of it. Diaz standing again and dropping down with punches after throwing Neer's legs out of the way. Standing now, both wrestling for position and possibly a final takedown. Neer lands a couple body shots. Diaz executes another judo throw. Round over.
Diaz 10-9
Nate Diaz Wins by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

-For some reason Neer decided he didn't want to fight on his feet too much against Diaz. It was a wrestling match with lots of jiu-jitsu defense, which worked in Nate's favor.

-During the post-fight interview, Nate took a small shot at KJ Noons.

Roger Huerta Still Bitter

It has been a month and a half since Roger Huerta lost to Kenny Florian and he still has not gotten over it. His latest comments to Fighters Only Magazine show a bitter fighter who is desperate for a rematch he will in all likelihood not get any time soon. Huerta's main points of contention are that his training was not up to par and Florian coaxed him into a fight he was not comfortable with. He claims, "Kenny was very professional, he fought on a points system and he did that really well. He wanted to win that way and he did it well." Huerta claims he would fight differently in a rematch. I guess that means he would not stand in front of Florian for three rounds getting hit, go down multiple times, and give up his back without much of a fight.

Any one who watched their fight knows Florian did not simply fight on a points system. He rocked Huerta a couple times and came close to finishing him on the ground in the first round. If he was fighting for a decision, he probably would have lost the fight because Huerta connected on his fair share of shots too. It was a good fight between two top level fighters. Huerta should leave it at that and concentrate on winning his next fight.

To me his biggest worry right now should be signing a new contract with the UFC. He has one fight left on his deal. The UFC is adamant that fighters with one fight left on their contract will not get top bouts. Huerta needs to get a new deal done and get back to fighting. The longer he stays on the sidelines, the less of a contender he is at 155 lbs. Florian, Sherk, Griffin, Stevenson, and BJ Penn all have fights lined up in the coming months. Who is left for Huerta to fight? If he acted quicker he probably could have had the Stevenson fight, but instead he is still talking about his last fight and sitting on the bench.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Live Results Wed for Fight Night

Click Here for the Live Results Thread

Just a reminder that tomorrow night Rear Naked News will have Live Results as they happen for UFC Fight Night 15. The Live Blog will kick off for the preliminary bouts, which are not aired. Check back tomorrow afternoon for the start of another fun Live Blog. Here are some previous Live Blogs, so you can get a feel for what makes this place different from all the rest.

UFC 88 Breakthrough Live Results
UFC 87 Seek and Destroy Live Results

09/16/08 News

  • Nevada State Athletic Commission might change some rules to deal with MMA appeals.
  • A look back at all The Ultimate Fighter winners. Poor Travis Lutter.
  • Juanito Ibarra finally speaks. I've never met the man, but he seems annoying. Maybe it's the hat.

UFC Fight Night 15 Preview

This event has flown under the radar thanks to Randy Couture's return, Rashad's knockout victory, and Affliction's rescheduling. It is certainly not one of the stronger televised cards in recent memory. It does have some excitement attached to it because Clay Guida will be fighting. They could put him on every card and I would not complain. Over than that, it is a pedestrian offering. I'm looking to bounce back with a solid set of predictions. I went 6-3 at UFC 88, but missed the main event, which in my opinion made it a bad night. My record coming into this event is 27-9.

(As always, Rear Naked News will have a Live Blog during the event with Live Results of all the action. I will begin posting before the televised card with results from the preliminary fights. Check back Wednesday afternoon for the Live Blog.)

Joe Lauzon vs Kyle Bradley
-I wonder if the UFC will put Roger Huerta on the tail end of a mediocre televised card following his loss to Kenny Florian? Lauzon cannot be happy about this fight or its placement on the card. I think the slight will give Lauzon extra motivation. He is known as a hard worker and until Florian took him down, seemed poised to become a contender. Kyle Bradley is not a well-known fighter to most. He's lone appearance in the UFC resulted in a first round knockout loss to Chris Lytle at UFC 81. Bradley trains out of Louisiana and with all the hurricane activity this season, I gotta wonder how it affected him. Training for a fight is hard enough. You do not need other distractions like water damage to worry about. I think Lauzon rebounds and controls the fight from the opening bell. He is still a dominant fighter and will prove it with a first round victory by strikes.

Wilson Gouveia vs Ryan Jensen
-Gouveia was on a roll until he ran into Goran Reljic at UFC 84. He had won 4 straight inside the Octagon, including three PPV victories. Jensen does not present much of a challenge for Gouveia. Jensen has only been out of the first round once in his professional career, which spans 11 years and 17 fights. I expect this one to end early. Gouveia wins in the first round by submission.

Houston Alexander vs Eric Schafer
-Odd bout. Alexander is never easy to figure out. He has the talent to win any fight. The problem has been consistency. For whatever reasons, he has not taken the next step and become a proven winner. At the age of 36, it is now or never for Houston Alexander. His opponent is looking for better results in his second stint with the UFC. Following back to back TKO losses to Michael Bisping and Stephan Bonnar, Eric Schafer left the UFC and won two fights with GFS (Gladiator Fighting Series). You absolutely have to check out their website. It's like they took a time machine back to 1998, kidnapped a website designer, and made him create their site. I can't pick a guy who spent the last year fighting for them. I just can't. Didn't he look at their website before signing with them? Houston Alexander gets things rolling again with a first round knock-out. If Keith Jardine loses to Brandon Vera, expect a rematch with Alexander some time in early 2009.

Ed Herman vs Alan Belcher
-Another match-up featuring two fighters looking to rebound from recent defeats. It seems like these "rebound fights" make up 75% of UFC events. Herman and Belcher are UFC veterans, despite being 27 and 24 years old. Neither has had a huge victory that put them over the top, but each has had a nice run of success. Herman seemed to be in a groove with two straight victories that netted him "Submission and Fight of the Night" honors. Then he fought Demian Maia and was brought back to Earth. Neither fighter is exceptional in any one area. Herman has the advantage on the ground by a slight margin. Belcher is a little better at stand-up. Wrestling would be Herman, again by a little bit. Some say this sort of setup makes for an exciting fight. I tend to disagree. When neither fighter has a clear advantage, it usually plays out in a decision, unless some one connects on a lucky punch. I see Herman winning the fight by unanimous decision.

Clay Guida vs Mac Danzig
-As I mentioned earlier, this is the fight I am most looking forward to. Clay Guida is fun to watch against any one. First, he fights top competitors regularly. Second, he forces every one he faces to fight an exciting style that leads to memorable matches. And third, he has cool hair. Combine those traits and I cannot see why any one would not be a fan of his. In this fight he is facing the moody vegan, Mac Danzig, who won the 6th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Danzig is an all-around talent who combines exceptional balance with a mean streak that few can match. He also possesses technical skills to go along with his natural gifts. Guida needs to pressure Danzig from the opening bell. The moment the fight slows down in a clinch, he is at risk. We all know how the Huerta fight ended and hopefully it made an impression on Clay. He has the ability to defeat top fighters, but he needs to limit his mistakes. Danzig has better submissions than Huerta and will look to use them every chance he gets. I am going against the grain here and picking Guida to win. I think if he can get through the first round, he will win the fight. Guida wins by split decision.

Nate Diaz vs Josh Neer
-Nate Diaz is standing on the edge of stardom. He is one win away from a PPV bout against a top lightweight contender. All he needs to do is defeat Josh Neer. Easier said than done. Neer is no pushover, in fact he has a great chance to win this match-up. Diaz did not look comfortable in his last fight against Kurt Pellegrino. He faced his first adversity in the UFC and managed to overcome it. There is some thing to be said for that. Neer needs to use his experience to stay off the ground. He cannot be coaxed into Diaz's game. Keep the fight standing. If he hurts Diaz, he has to be careful and not throw all caution to the wind. Back at UFC 62 in 2006, Nate's older brother Nick defeated Neer by submission. Nate is actually better on the ground than Nick, so there is a good chance this one ends with another submission for The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner. I think Neer will avoid his submission attempts, but Diaz will score points from the top. The problem with fighting a skilled submission fighter like Diaz, is even if you get top position, you run the risk of not scoring points because Diaz is active from the bottom. He constantly goes for submissions and judges reward the activity. Neer will have his moments on top, but he will not do enough damage. Diaz wins a close one by split decision.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Affliction's Gamble

When I first heard the announcement that Affliction and Golden Boy would promote hybrid events featuring boxing and MMA fights, I shook my head in disbelief. It did not surprise me. Companies in trouble often grasp for straws. Affliction could not sell a thousand tickets for their second event. A fatal miscalculation led to their predicament and now the solution is a collage of boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. I just do not get it and neither do most other Mixed Martial Arts fans.

The concept sounds intriguing at first. Combine the two sports and create a mega-event. The problem is the two sports are not as closely linked as people think. Both feature fighting and a referee. The similarities end there. MMA has succeeded because it is not boxing. Boxing events are built around one huge fight and a series of lesser match-ups. MMA uses the pro wrestling formula and builds a strong card from top to bottom. It lives off of the concept that any fighter can win and some day become a star. It is the polar opposite of boxing.

The details of the hybrid events have not been revealed yet. I sincerely hope they think it through and go with moderation. A fight card split between boxing and MMA would be a disaster. The only way I could see this working is if the events feature a series of MMA fights and one boxing match. The boxing match would need to be a huge draw and feature top talent. The one big boxing match would draw PPV buys without annoying diehard MMA fans. Any more than one boxing match and you run the risk of alienating MMA fans, who are usually not boxing fans to begin with.

I am not sure when or where the misconception began, but it grows with each passing year. For some reason, people think MMA fans are also interested in boxing. They think MMA fans are simply disgruntled boxing fans. While there are some who fit this description, the majority of MMA fans could care less about boxing. To me it is like Wimbledon deciding to hold ping pong tournaments at Centre Court.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Appeals Never Work

Anthony Johnson's appeal has been rejected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. At UFC Fight Night 14, Johnson suffered a TKO loss to Kevin Burns when the fight was stopped following an eye poke that referee Steve Mazzagatti failed to see. Johnson's appeal sought to have the result changed from a loss to a no contest. The Nevada State Athletic Commission claimed in an email to MMAFrenzy.com that there was not a sufficient remedy for the appeal.

This case shows the problem with the appeal process in MMA and sports in general. No matter how obvious the fault, appeals almost never win. For them to say there was not a remedy for the appeal is complete garbage. The result should have been overturned and declared a no contest. Johnson received inadequate attention from the state licensed referee. He also suffered serious injury in the form of a detached retina, which required surgery and left him inactive for weeks. The least they could do is take the loss of his record.

Through all of this Johnson has appeared mature about the situation. I hope the UFC rewards him for this in the future with more high profile bouts. He has showed in and out of the Octagon that he is ready to take the next step.

Site News

As you have probably noticed, the updates have been sporadic the last few days. My computer went haywire and has been slowly dying the past week. I tried to fix it, but to no avail. Today I went out and bought a new laptop, so things will be getting back to normal around here. You should see even more posts than usual because now I can post when I'm not at home. Well, unless Vista craps out like everyone has told me it will.

GSP on Yardbarker

Georges St-Pierre answers some fan mail. Also, check out this awful song a fan made for GSP. This isn't as bad as posting videos on YouTube with your thoughts on MMA, but it still ranks up there on the pathetic meter.
Thanks to everybody for leaving comments on my blog entries - I'm really glad to know I have such support! I want to answer a few questions from fans who have e-mailed me, but I decided to answer here so I could share with everybody (these questions are from jhb1994).

How important is high school wrestling in MMA?

Wrestling is a very important sport and it's probably the sport that helps me the most in MMA. But I didn't start wrestling in high school - I started when I was 19 years old with some of the best wrestlers in the world and one of the best coaches as well. Wrestling is not a sport where you're going to learn how to hurt someone or how to finish him - it's a sport that allows you to control the fight - and that's why it's so important and not enough people give wrestling credit.

What is your favorite sport other than MMA?

I am a fan of every kind of sport, but I really love ice hockey, basketball & chess.

Who is your favorite fighter?

My favorite fighter to watch was Kazushi Sakuraba when he was at his best because he had a very unorthodox style and he was very unpredictable.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Affliction and Golden Boy Join Forces

Affliction and Golden Boy Promotions have entered into a partnership. They will co-promote a boxing and MMA event on January 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Vice-President of Affliction Tom Atencio also claims the two companies are in talks with HBO about airing future events. It remains to be seen how this partnership pans out and how the public takes to events featuring boxing and MMA fights.

In some ways I see the potential of it, but in others it makes me worried. The assumption I hope they do not make is that MMA fans will tune into any boxing match they stage. The sports are vastly different in how events are put together. Boxing relies on the main event to entertain the viewers, while MMA goes for a solid series of fights with a popular main event. I do not see MMA fans embracing events featuring non-mainstream boxers. The partnership will help Affliction stay in business, as they now have another set of deep pockets at their disposal. However, any one thinking a hybrid event of boxing and MMA is a sure thing should get their brain scanned for damage.

The only detail they shared is Fedor Emelianenko will be in action on January 17. His opponent will likely be Andrei Arlovski or Josh Barnett.

Friday, September 12, 2008

09/12/08 News

  • Affliction "Day of Reckoning" will be on Pay-Per-View, if they are still in business in January.
  • Rachelle Leah will appear in the November issue of Playboy. Get your tissues ready, fanboys.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Randy Couture TAGG Radio Highlights

UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture appeared today on TAGG Radio and talked about a variety of topics. He was his usual candid self. Outside of Frank Trigg trying to draw comparisons between himself and Randy every three minutes (they both got divorced!), it was good to hear Couture talk for an extended period of time about what is going on in his life. Here are some of the highlights.

-Hopes to fight Fedor after Lesnar. Talked about this twice. It seems like he doesn't see it as the long shot almost every one else does.

-Told a funny story about how he and Dana White started talking again. One day Randy sent Dana a text message saying he saw some people talking bad about him on the underground (I think that's his old man way of saying the Internet). The people were saying Dana White eats dick sandwiches. Randy stuck up for him and said, "Dana would never eat a dick sandwich. He doesn't like bread." Dana thought it was funny and asked Randy to come by and they could eat some dick sandwiches and talk about things.

-The hand drawn picture of Georges St-Pierre on the wall of the TAGG studio looks exactly like Barack Obama. I spent five minutes looking at it and wondering why someone sent in a picture of Obama's head next to a Maple Leaf.

-Detailed a program for fighters that would help with medical expenses. Said the UFC already takes care of most things, but he feels it should be a set program with rules and regulations. This would help fighters pay for injuries and ailments their insurance does not cover and fighters who do not have insurance.

-Said it was great that Lorenzo Fertitta was now a more active part of the UFC. Called Dana the face of the company. This goes back to an earlier report I made in August. In it I spoke about how top officials within Zuffa were at the forefront of bringing Randy back. Lorenzo played a key role in seeing past the petty stuff and keeping his eye on the business side of things. It was obvious from Randy's comments about him that he feels a debt of gratitude to Lorenzo for ending the months of legal fighting.

-He is bringing in Shane Carwain and Josh Hendricks to train with him for the Brock Lesnar fight. Feels they are both big enough for him to get a good idea of what it will be like to be in the ring with Lesnar.

-When people call in to TAGG, the fat host (who is a WAMMA Fighter Ranking "expert" by the way), says, "TAGG! You're It!!!" Whoever came up with this should be fired.

-He defended the fight with Lesnar by saying the UFC wants the biggest fight. It was apparent Couture felt the same way because he refused to say the number one contender should always get the title shot. He gets a percentage of the PPV money, depending upon how many buys it gets, so it is not surprising that he would have no problem with a fight against Lesnar.

-Believes he can take Lesnar down. Said just because he is big, it does not mean he cannot be taken down. He will put pressure on him and make Lesnar fear the takedown.

-Thinks Lesnar has never been hit and things will change once he lands a punch.

-Weighs 225 lbs right now, which is what he plans on fighting at in November. Said when he weighs more for fights it makes him sluggish and he loses his center of gravity.

-Described Lesnar as overaggressive, like all wrestlers who compete in Mixed Martial Arts.

-Told a long story about a bar fight in Atlanta in 1995. He was out celebrating with the other members of the wrestling team, including Dan Henderson. He stopped to tie his shoe and leaned on a car. Four bouncers came out, one with a bat, and yelled at him for touching the car. The rest of the wrestling team looked back and saw him arguing, so they went back. Randy grabbed the bat from the bouncer then chased him through the bar. The other bouncers and the wrestlers began fighting outside. Randy never caught the bouncer, but when he went back out the wrestlers had the bouncers in various holds. And for some reason Dan Henderson's shirt was off.

GSP Training In Brazil

Georges St-Pierre's latest Yardbarker post deals with his trip to Brazil to train at the Gracie Barra Academy.
MORE TRAVEL WOES: I was going to Brazil, but unfortunately my plane was delayed until the next morning and I had to spend the night in Toronto. So I called my friend Steven Wong, who is the craziest Asian guy that I know, by the way. He came to pick me up & we went to eat at The Keg, which is one of my favorite steakhouses because their quality/price is good and their waitresses are normally beautiful. So after another of my friends came to meet us at the restaurant - he's a club promoter and I asked him where was the best places to go out on a Tuesday night in Toronto. We finally ended up somewhere pretty good. I also called my friend and BJJ instructor from Montreal who now lives in Toronto, Bruno Hernandez, to come reach me. I had a very fun night and I came back in my hotel not too late because I didn't want to be tired the next morning when I catch my flight to Brazil. The next morning, I woke up at 6am and I went to the airport. I really looked like a zombie that morning. Because the flight was carrying many of the passengers from the previous night's cancelled flight, the plane was packed. So unfortunately, I spent 10 hours on a plane stuck between 2 Canadian heavyweights it was probably the longest & most boring flight of my life. However, my flight from Sao Paolo to Rio was a bit more interesting, as the Brazilian Olympic team was also on the plane and I made new friends.

IRON SHARPENS IRON - PART A: I started training immediately the next day, because that's the purpose of my trip - training. The classes at Gracie Barra Academy were under the supervision of Jefferson, a former world champion in BJJ, who is an excellent instructor, by the way. Jefferson taught me a lot of new tricks and he helped me change a lot of bad habits that I was doing in the past on the ground. It was my 2nd time at Gracie Barra & my 2nd visit to Brazil - this time I came alone with no friends from Canada - it was actually very good for my Portugese because I was forced to speak the language of the country. I was training also with my friend Gustavo Machado and Aloiso Barros, who is supposed to fight 9/13 in Montreal. I also had the chance one of my friends from my last trip to Brazil, Master Roberto Leiton, who came from a background of luta livre. Luta Livre is a martial art similar to jiu jitsu, but without the gi/kimono. I met with Mr. Leiton one night and for a couple of hours, he showed me some really great grappling techniques that will make me a better fighter, without a doubt. He told me he's coming out with a book that has all this stuff in it, and I plan to buy a copy when it's available. This trip was definitely worthwhile - I had an amazing time once again and I look forward to getting back there soon. I apologize to everybody for not being able to blog on my trip - thank you for understanding.

IRON SHARPENS IRON - PART B: Before I finish, I just want to mention the three great performances of my good friends and training partners, who all won their fights by first-round knockouts - Denis Kang, Nathan Marquardt, and Rashad Evans. I'm very blessed and honored to be training with those kinds of fighters, who are not only elite athletes, but they are great human beings as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fedor Expected to Fight at Affliction's January PPV Event

The best news to come out of Affliction's second event shuffling, is Fedor Emelianenko will fight on the January card. Originally, Fedor was scheduled to fight Andrei Arlovski at the October 11th event. A hand injury forced the WAMMA Heavyweight Champion out of the fight and Josh Barnett was chosen as the replacement opponent for Arlovski. The new date for the event will allow Fedor time to heal and be ready to face whoever Affliction lines up for him.

Affliction COO Michael Cohen did not elaborate on who would face Fedor or about any of the other possible fights for the January card. He did say, "We are considering changing the combatants. We have not finalized that at this time. That is as a result of the issues to be revealed at the announcement.” That sounds like they will produce a different fight card for the rescheduled event. It would not make sense to match-up Fedor with an opponent other than Arlovski. The logical thing would be Fedor/Arlovski in the main event and Josh Barnett vs Tim Sylvia on the undercard. This gives Affliction two high profile heavyweight fights and a main event for their third event between the two winners.

Another intriguing rumor being floated around is Affliction is close to signing Tito Ortiz (yes, for the millionth time). Ortiz would have never been ready to fight on the October card, but by January he will be set to go. A pay-per-view featuring Fedor and Ortiz would be a major success for Affliction. It is sure to sell-out and the PPV numbers could be even better than their first show, which ended up selling approximately 100,000 buys. Last month I wrote about their need to make the second event better than the first. It seems the message took awhile, but eventually Affliction realized going through with a subpar sequel was not in their best interest.

Affliction "Day of Reckoning" Rescheduled to January

In an odd twist of events, Affliction has postponed their second Pay-Per-View, "Day of Reckoning", scheduled for October 11 and rescheduled it for January 2009. The event will also change locations and be held in Anaheim, CA at the site of their first event, the Honda Center. They did not give any definitive answers why, but did imply the UFC could be to blame. It is widely believed the UFC and Zuffa have been doing every thing in their power to disrupt Affliction's second event, which was originally to be held in Las Vegas, the UFC's de facto home base. Affliction Vice-President Tom Atencio addressed the reports by saying, "They've been messing with me every step of the way. There have been issues that I've been dealing with. So I can't say it's them, but there's been things we've been dealing with that have never happened before, so I guess that's why."

Affliction was largely silent about the reason for the rescheduled show, but did mention that they want to make sure it is a success. A source who works for the Thomas and Mack Center, where the event was to be held, informed me ticket sales were slow. I do not think they would cancel the event a month away simply because of low ticket sales. It appears some thing else is at play. The only details Affliction revealed was that they had a huge announcement coming in the next couple of weeks. Affliction COO Michael Cohen said, "Unlike others who call for a press conference for groundbreaking MMA news, the Affliction announcement will truly change the sport, and not through a toy deal.” The obvious jab was aimed at Dana White, who has a tendency to call every announcement he makes "huge".

An announcement that will "change the sport" makes me think Affliction will partner with another MMA promotion, most likely EliteXC. Unless they have 3-4 big names ready to sign, I cannot see any other sort of announcement being large enough to warrant that statement. Other than Tito Ortiz, there are not any big free agents out there, either. My guess is the announcement will be that Affliction and EliteXC have joined forces to overthrow Dana White's evil empire.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

09/10/08 News

  • Lyoto Machida will not fight at UFC 89. There continues to be talk of a bout with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in December or January.
  • Renato "Babalu" Sobral injured and out of Strikeforce fight with Anthony Ruiz.
  • No one knows why Matt Hamill fought a stand-up battle with Rich Franklin at UFC 88. Even his trainer is confused.

The Road Less Traveled

There was a feeling at the post-fight press conference for UFC 88 "Breakthrough" that we had seen the last glimpse of an icon. Gone were the nights of blistering knockouts and savage yells to the crowd. Instead, we had a beaten and bruised fighter refusing to say he was thinking about retirement. Rashad Evans' knockout victory over Chuck Liddell not only changed the Light Heavyweight Championship picture, it also ended the story of a MMA legend...For now.

In September of 2002, 39 year old Randy Couture lost to Ricco Rodriguez. It was his second straight loss, both coming by stoppages. After the fight, there was a sentiment Couture was finished as a top contender. It was clear the younger fighters had surpassed him. The only person who did not feel this way was Couture himself. He knew he still had the will and determination to continue fighting at the top level. All he needed was a chance to prove it. Eight months after his loss to Rodriguez, Couture stunned the MMA world by stopping Chuck Liddell and capturing the interim Light Heavyweight Title. He was the first UFC fighter to win titles in more than one weight class. A feat that has only been accomplished once since that time.

In September of 2008, 38 year old Chuck Liddell faces the same questions Couture did six years ago. He is too old and the younger competition has caught up to him. MMA fighting has changed, while Liddell has stayed the same. He is not in the same condition he once was. His gut is bigger and his determination smaller. In the second before the bell rang, hardly any one questioned his status as a top contender. Less than ten minutes later, just about every one believed his time was up.

When Liddell got knocked out by Quinton Jackson, he was defiant after the fight. He blamed himself for making a mistake. His next time out against Keith Jardine it was again his fault because he was not mentally ready. Even Dana White said Liddell did not look right before the fight. This past Saturday night, there were no excuses. Liddell was ready and came out swinging. He took the first round with an aggressive style that brought back memories of his greatest triumphs. Then he missed an uppercut and got caught with an overhand right. His only excuse this time was being too eager to end the fight.

In the coming days, Liddell will return to The Pit with his long time trainer John Hackleman and assess the situation. There are no signs the pair will give up, but it appears Liddell could be ready to make a change. He cannot run through his opponents like he once did. A new mindset must be instilled in Liddell, which makes him a more patient fighter. His hands are still quick enough to connect, as seen in the first round against Evans when he repeatedly hit the quicker fighter with single shots and combinations. The turning point will come when Liddell realizes he can win fights without knocking people out. Three rounds of punishment is just as good as a three minute knockout.

Meanwhile, 45 year old Randy Couture is spending his time preparing for yet another comeback and the chance to once again prove the Mixed Martial Arts world wrong. If there is one thing MMA fans love, it is fighters who overcome obstacles and do what is thought to be impossible. Chuck Liddell faces just that in his attempt to resurrect his career and take the road less traveled. The story of "The Iceman" is far from over.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Evan Tanner Confirmed Dead

After an extensive search conducted by the Police, Marines, and Border Patrol, the body of Evan Tanner has been found in the mountain area of Palo Verde, CA. Late last week Tanner's friends became worried when he did not answer repeated text messages sent to his phone. They informed the police he went camping alone in the area and was now missing. A search commenced over the weekend to find the former UFC fighter. On Sunday the rescuers located his campsite and motorcycle, but there was no sign of Tanner. Earlier today a Marine helicopter pilot, who was helping with the search, spotted the body several miles from the campsite.

Tanner has been keeping a blog of his life for Spike.com this summer. An entry on August 16 included this sentence, which is bound to live on forever, if he is in fact dead.

"I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life."

(The news has been confirmed by Tanner's manager John Hayner.)

Exclusive Interview with Elaina Maxwell

A few years ago the idea of women competing in professional Mixed Martial Arts seemed unlikely. The sport was in the midst of growing rapidly, but there did not seem to be any demand for female fighters. They were a novelty for small promotions to attract a curious crowd who had never seen two women fight. Some thing changed in the mindset of fans and promoters since then. Female fighters are no longer novelties. They stepped into the ring and proved to the world they are excellent athletes and fighters, just like their male counterparts. In many cases the female fights turned out to be more exciting than the male bouts.

One of the pioneers of women's MMA is Elaina Maxwell. Already a highly decorated San Shou veteran, Maxwell has fought in five MMA bouts, including a highly publicized battle with Gina Carano in December of 2006 for Strikeforce. She trains with Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le at the Universal Strength Headquarters in Milpitas, California. In addition to her Mixed Martial Arts fights, she competes in San Shou, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu events. She is regarded as one of the best San Shou fighters in the sport. In 2003, she became the first American (male or female) to win a gold medal at the World Wushu Games in Macau, China.

I am a big supporter of female fighters because I believe it is vital for the growth of the sport of MMA as a whole. The best way to attract new fans, fighters, and trainers is to appeal to different audiences. Since its inception, Mixed Martial Arts has been a male dominated sport and industry. Obviously, a sport run by men and supported by the performances of male athletes is going to attract a largely male audience. For MMA to continue on its current course, it needs to find ways to get women interested. In my opinion, the promotion of female fights is the answer. The UFC is still holding out, but hopefully in the near future they will see the possible financial opportunities and create a female division.

I know from past interviews you train primarily with male fighters/trainers. Do you think there will come a time when female fighters form their own training circles without men every where? Or, do you think there is an advantage to it and women would be nuts to lose the opportunity to primarily train with male fighters?

Females have already formed their own training circles, but men are more than welcome in these circles. I think it is smart to train with both genders and all levels. It makes you a better competitor to be able to train at all levels and with different body types.

When the UFC began, its purpose was to pit different fighting schools against each other to see which was the best. Right now the majority of MMA pro fighters use Muay Thai and BJJ. You practice San Shou and BJJ. What are the advantages to learning San Shou for pro MMA bouts over some thing more popular with the mainstream like Muay Thai?

I think Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing are winning fights. Kickboxing makes you susceptible for a takedown. When I was coming up in the ranks of San Shou, my style would always beat Muay Thai because I think San Shou is more versatile. However, since I intrinsically know both styles now, I can appreciate them while knowing the advantages and disadvantages of both.

What are some of the biggest obstacles women's MMA has to overcome?

I think the biggest obstacle is society's perception of women's MMA and women in general. Women are changing this [perception] every day in all industries. Bottom line, it's hard being a woman in a man's world, and I say this because there will always be roadblocks. It's what you do to avoid those roadblocks and how you react to them that helps you through the obstacles.

What's the worst injury you ever sustained in a fight?

I partially tore my meniscus.

How is the jiu-jitsu training going?

I am working towards my purple belt.

What upcoming fights/tournaments do you have?

I have a professional San Shou fight coming up on November 8th in Atlanta, GA at Art of War VII. I'm fighting for a title and I'm the co-main event. For more info, you can check out my calendar of events on my website at ElainaMaxwell.com.

Other than your training partners, are there any fighters you look up to and try to emulate?


Anderson Silva and Muhammad Ali. They are my favorite fighters. Anderson Silva is pound for pound the best fighter out there. He impresses me more every time I see him fight. I like his honor, respect, integrity, and humbleness in all that he does. In addition, I love Ali's confidence. It permeated in all his fights.

What's the most important thing Cung Le has taught you over the years?

USH! (Unlimited Strength and Honor)

You've said in the past you would never fight a man in an MMA bout, but if Dana White challenged you to fight with the stipulation that if you won, the UFC would form a women's division, would you kick the crap out of him?

No, it's a no-win situation.

Is it possible to ever get fighting and training off your mind?


No.

Since you started in the fighting world, has it become easier for female fighters to get sponsors? For awhile, it seemed quite difficult.

Yes, it is easier. But, that's more my manager's job, not mine.

What would be more satisfying...Knocking out an opponent with one punch or submitting them from guard?

I've done both, so I would have to say a KO is much more exhilarating.


(For more information on Elaina, check out her website at ElainaMaxwell.com)

UFC 88 Breakthrough True or False

UFC 88 Breakthrough is in the books and now it is time to take a look back and see what the event taught us.

Chuck Liddell is no longer a Light Heavyweight Title contender.
-False. Liddell remains a contender because he is still one of the top draws in the UFC. His knockout loss to Evans was devastating. It sets him back at least a year in his quest to regain the Light Heavyweight Championship. However, he is really only two wins away from serious contender status. His star power will keep him in a big fight the next time out. As we learned Saturday night, one big overhand right can change a lot of perceptions about a fighter. The early word I have heard is Liddell hopes to be back for the December show. Possible opponents include Mauricio Rua and Rich Franklin.

Rashad Evans is worthy of a title shot.
-True. Some will argue Quinton Jackson deserves the first crack at Forrest Griffin. If Jackson was not facing two felonies, I'd agree with you. His legal problems cloud things for me. I can't justify putting a fighter who might go to jail in the next year in a title fight. Evans is the best challenger at this time. He has defeated every one put in his way, and at UFC 88 provided the MMA world with the biggest knockout of 2008. Having two Ultimate Fighter winners fight for the Light Heavyweight Title will be a signature moment for the UFC. It marks the end of one era and the beginning of another.

Rich Franklin is a serious threat at 205 lbs.
-True. Franklin proved against Hamill that he can face bigger opponents with strong wrestling backgrounds and not get overpowered. He is still a couple wins away from a possible title shot, but the rest of this already stacked division now has another dangerous striker to fear.

Dana White would have rather seen Chuck Liddell knockout Rashad Evans.
-False.The best outcome for the UFC's future happened on Saturday night. Liddell's time in the sport is limited. The UFC rode on his back for years and now it is time to embrace the younger fighters. It reminds me a lot of when the WCW was killing the WWF in the ratings with a lineup of old wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, and Ric Flair. The WWF's response was to get younger and more athletic. They spent a couple years losing in the ratings, but over time their product got better and people noticed. The time has come for the UFC to embrace their younger fighters. Dana White is a smart guy and knows that better than any one else.

Greg Jackson is the best trainer in Mixed Martial Arts.
-False. Jackson is without a doubt one of the top trainers in the sport. His fighters always come prepared and with a well-crafted gameplan. The success his fighters have had against Chuck Liddell is scary to say the least. That said, the best trainer in MMA resides across the country in Somerville, Massachusetts. In my opinion, Mark DellaGrote gets more out of his fighters than any other trainer in the business. Jackson has more accomplishments, but he also gets some remarkable athletes like Rashad Evans and Georges St-Pierre. DellaGrote transforms regular fighters into animals. To me that is the true indicator of who is the best trainer in MMA.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

UFC 88 Breakthrough Live Results

Pay-Per-View has started.

Roan Carneiro vs Ryo Chonan
Round 1
Chonan connects with a body kick and after a scramble gets Carneiro down. Carneiro working from the bottom and going for triangles. Carneiro makes some moves and gets into side mount. Chonan ties him up and works out of it. Chonan lands 1-2 elbows after Carneiro's attempt at a takedown. Carneiro follows it with a solid right.
Carneiro 10-9

Round 2
Chonan gets Carneiro down with a trip and immediately goes to work with a good series of punches. Chonan keeps standing and throwing punches and leg kicks while Carneiro remains on his back. Chonan back on top and landing punches and some elbows. Carneiro trying to throw from the bottom. Nothing doing any damage, though. Round ends with Chonan unleashing another series of punches.
Chonan 10-9

Round 3
Carneiro goes for a quick takedown. Chonan defends well and ends up in Carneiro's full guard. The fighters go back to their feet after a brief scramble. Carneiro blocks a kick and pushes Chonan down. Carneiro working from the top. Not much happens until Chonan gets out and back to his feet. Chonan connects with a left. A takedown is stopped by Chonan who then throws Carneiro down. Very slow round for both. Neither doing any thing worth noting. Round ends with Chonan throwing a lot, but nothing major.
Chonan 10-9
Chonan Wins By Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

-Chonan did more to win. Not the fight I was hoping for, but still an outstanding opening for the show.

Jason Lambert vs Jason MacDonald
Round 1
MacDonald comes out swinging and staggers Lambert a bit. He takes him right down and is working from the top. Lambert sinks in a guillotine and holds it for about a minute. MacDonald eventually gets out of it. He lands some body shots. Lambert defends most. MacDonald continues working from the top and begins finding his range with a series of heavy elbows. He connects with some lighter body blows. Lambert somehow gets the guillotine again, just as deep as the first time. Round ends with MacDonald still in it.
MacDonald 10-9

Round 2
Fast pace to start the second round. MacDonald throws Lambert to the mat and is on top. He moves fast and gets Lambert's back. A rear naked choke ends it.
MacDonald Wins By Second Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

-Very impressive win by MacDonald. He dominated the first round and ended it quickly in the second. For any one wondering, I predicted the outcome just like it happened. 2 for 2 on the night. My bookie better watch out.

Tim Boetsch vs Mike Patt
Round 1
Crazy action to begin things. Patt looks anxious. He tries a takedown that goes no where. Boetsch knocks Patt down with a hard right. From there he jumps on him and ends it with a series of punches from the top.
Boetsch Wins By First Round TKO

-Lame fight with a good ending. Patt looked lost. It was just a matter of time before Boetsch knocked him out.

Thiago Tavares vs Kurt Pellegrino
-Tavares reminds me of a guy in a frat who lifts weights all the time and dominates flag football. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

-They're killing time right now.

Round 1
Slow start before Pellegrino almost knocks Tavares out. He recovers and gets back to his feet. Pellegrino wastes little time and has him down again. This time he moves to full mount and begins throwing elbows and punches. These are big shots too. Pellegrino stands up and sends a perfect shot straight down onto Tavares' head. Tavares takes some more shots, but finds a way back to his feet. It does not last long, as Pellegrino takes him back down. Round ends with Pellegrino working from half guard.
Pellegrino 10-8

Round 2
Tavares pokes Pellegrino in the eye as the second round gets going. A dubious beginning, if I ever saw one. Ref giving Pellegrino time to recover. Tavares' face is all mashed up. His eyes are swelling shut. One good shot should open him up. Fight gets going again and Tavares is showing better stand-up. He isn't landing a ton. Definitely more aggressive this round. Pellegrino lands a knee to the body following a takedown attempt by Tavares. Tavares ties him up and trips Pellegrino down. Working from the top with punches and quick elbows. Pellegrino goes for an arm bar that never gets fully locked in. Round 2 comes to an end with Tavares connecting on more shots from the top. This is an outstanding fight.
Tavares 10-9

Round 3
Both fighters circling and waiting for chance to open things up. They look a lot more cautious. Tavares lands a kick to the body. They get tied up and jockey for position. Nothing really happening. Tavares drives Pellegrino into the cage, but cannot take him down. Pellegrino gets Tavares down after defending a takedown. Pellegrino ends the round on top with light punches to Tavares. Terrible round for both. No one did any thing significant.
Pellegrino 10-9
Pellegrino Wins By Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)

-That is it for the preliminary fights. I liked them all, even Boetsch's easy win over Patt had a nice ending. Now watch, the Brown/Kim fight will stink. It always happens.

-Ten minutes away from the start of the PPV.


-Rogan and Goldberg doing the intro for the event.

Matt Brown vs Dong Hyun Kim
-According to the pre-fight video, Matt Brown is tough and Dong Hyun Kim is foreign.

-Rogan gives a two minute speech about how big MMA has gotten in Korea.

-Kim sporting some serious booty shorts.

Round 1
Brown comes out aggressive. Does not land any thing flush. Kim calmly defends. From the clinch both throw knees that sorta land. After a scramble, Kim grabs his back and sinks in a rear naked choke. Brown escapes after 20 seconds. Kim goes for another choke, this one not as deep. Brown again escapes. A scramble and Brown ends up on top. Throws some light shots. Back on their feet and Brown connects with a high kick. Brown throwing all sorts of things, including a spinning backfist that almost landed. They go to the ground and Brown has a choke, but it is not deep. Kim escapes and grabs Brown's back yet again. Can't finish it, though.
Kim 10-9

Round 2
Kim breathing hard to start things. Brown throwing lots of kicks. Nothing landing. Brown pressuring him all over the Octagon. From the clinch, he lands 2-3 knees that connect. Kim falls back into the cage. Kim continuing to move away, as Brown gives chase. He looks very tired. Brown gets Kim down and is in his full guard. Throwing solid punches from the top. Back on his feet and gets hit with an upkick. Brown is not phased by it and continues throwing punches from the top. Kim gets back to his feet. They grapple on their feet and hold for a bit. Brown gets him down again and ends the round with a big punch to the body and some punches to the head.
Brown 10-9

-Could have been a 10-8 round. I didn't think so because Kim never looked hurt, but a generous judge might give it to him.

Round 3
Fans cheer Brown as the round begins. Fight has to be stopped after half a minute because Brown does not have his mouthpiece in. Kim shoots and gets a takedown. He is into side control. Tried to mount and Brown escapes. Back to their feet and they are wrestling near the cage. Brown throwing knees in close. Kim is holding on and looks dead tired. Body punches by Brown. Kim lands a left as Brown backs away. Kim presses him and gets his second takedown of the round. Throwing light punches from the top. Solid elbows land and open up Brown. His face is covered with blood. Round ends with Kim working from the top.
Kim 10-9
Kim Wins By Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

-Announcers were gushing about Brown the entire fight. If you watched with the sound off, Kim won the fight. The first round he almost finished it twice. The second was all Brown. Kim took the third with the two takedowns and then landed two big elbows that cut Brown.

-Rogan tells Brown while interviewing him that he had him winning the fight. Brown says he doesn't fight for judges.

-81% of fans think Liddell will win, according to some dumb text messaging poll. Any one who sends in a text message vote should have their fingers cut off. Only thing worse is text message sex. I hate technology.

Martin Kampmann vs Nate Marquardt
-Marquardt coming out to tough sounding opera music.

-Kampmann goes with "Till I Collapse" by Eminem. I give the entrance song edge to Kampmann. Marquardt's was too dramatic.

Round 1
Cautious start by both fighters. Marquardt lands a brutal kick to the head that stuns Kampmann. He begins pouring it on. A couple of huge uppercuts daze Kampmann. Marquardt steps up the action and connects with just about every thing. Kampmann slouches to the ground and the ref steps in to end it.
Marquardt Wins By First Round TKO

-Marquardt killed him. The big head kick was setup by a slow jab that distracted Kampmann. It was a cool move that probably works 1 out of 75 times.

Dan Henderson vs Rousimar Palhares
-Dan Henderson has the exact same voice as Brock Lesnar.

-According to Goldberg, Palhares entrance song is from LL Cool J's new album. I wonder how much it cost LL to get his song mentioned on the PPV.

-Palhares is only 5'8. He looks like a Beefcake from the 1980s.

Round 1
Palhares went for a takedown and Henderson rocked him with a right. Follows it up with some wild punches. Palhares grabs a leg and Henderson backs away. He got out of trouble there because the first right had him hurt. Palhares connects with a body kick. Henderson responds with another right hand. Henderson is crouched over like Randy Couture and just waiting to land the big right. Henderson lands an uppercut that drops Palhares. He goes in for the kill, but again backs away as Palhares goes for a leg. Palhares gets up and throws a series of kicks that narrowly miss. A scramble and Palhares is on top. Henderson holding on. Great defense by Henderson. Palhares sinks in a knee bar just as the bell rings.
Henderson 10-9

Round 2
Palhares goes for multiple takedowns and finally gets one. Sends Henderson down to the mat with a huge slam. Palhares sinks in a knee bar and has it for 20 seconds or so. Henderson calmly escapes and lands a big right while still sitting on the mat. He is limping a little, though. Palhares is like a python on the ground. He gets a limb and goes for it every time. Palhares goes for a takedown. Henderson sprawls and ends up on top. Lands a big right from the top. Henderson not working, just staying on top. Ref stands them up, which might have been Henderson's plan. Yet another right hand lands for Henderson.
Palhares 10-9

Round 3
Following a sprawl by Henderson, Palhares lands a knee to the head. Henderson defending multiple takedown attempts. A right hand lands for Henderson. Fans booing, as action has slowed. Henderson lands a few punches. He refuses to be taken down. Every time he sprawls out of the way of the takedowns and quickly gets back to his feet. Henderson ends the round with a right hand that sends Palhares falling backward to the mat. He follows it up with a huge looping punch from Palhares' guard.
Henderson 10-9
Henderson Wins By Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

-Started out as a great fight. Once Henderson got caught in the knee bar in the second round, he became very cautious. His sprawl was world-class the entire fight and was the reason he walked away victorious.

-That was Dan Henderson's first non-title fight since 2005.

-Rogan talking with Randy Couture. Couture has on a ridiculous suit. He looks like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. Rogan asks nothing worth hearing the answer to. I have little doubt he went backstage after the interview and stroked it into a toilet.

-They are showing the Boetsch/Patt fight from the preliminary card.

-The time wasting is over. They are building up the Franklin/Hamill fight now with a video.

Rich Franklin vs Matt Hamill
-Hamill coming out to "Truck Drivin Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Do you think he picked it out?

-Rich Franklin goes with the reliable "For Those About to Rock" by AC/DC. Terrible choices by both fighters. AC/DC has a dozen better songs to use as entrance music. "Thunderstruck" comes to mind first.

-Big ovations for both fighters, as they are announced.

Round 1
Two minutes in and neither has landed any thing. Franklin ends the stand-off with a jab. Hamill wakes up and begins throwing. Lands a couple punches and one of them opens up Franklin. Doesn't look like a bad cut. Franklin lands two leg kicks. A takedown by Hamill. He works from the top. Nothing of significance landing. Franklin gets back up and lands a knee.
Franklin 10-9

Round 2
Franklin laughing as the second round begins. Solid leg kick by Franklin. Combination of kicks and punches lands for Franklin. Mario halts the action to take a look at Franklin's cut. It isn't bleeding bad. Looks like he is missing a large chunk of skin. Hamill ducked down and Franklin caught him a kick to the head. A kick to the balls by Franklin halts the action again. Both fighters throwing and landing. Franklin getting the better of it. From the clinch he lands a couple knees. Another inside leg kick by Franklin. Hamill not going for takedowns. It's very odd. Franklin connects with solid leg kick. A flying knee backs up Hamill as the round ends.
Franklin 10-9

Round 3
Body kick opens things up for Franklin. He is doing whatever he wants in there. Hamill gets caught with a brutal kick to the liver and goes down. Franklin gives chase and the referee stops the fight.
Franklin Wins By Third Round TKO

-Boring fight. Hamill walked around and got hit with whatever Franklin threw. The ending was odd. It appeared Hamill might have tapped while on the ground. I said it in the UFC 88 Preview, Hamill does not have the killer instinct of top fighters. It just isn't in him. He never took the fight to Franklin and was happy to go through the motions until a big shot dropped him.

Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans
-Liddell coming out to DMX as usual. He looks nuts tonight. Evans dancing along to Liddell's music.

-Muhammad from The Real World San Francisco is the referee for the main event.

Round 1
Right hand by Liddell. Evans connects. Lots of circling. A big right lands for Liddell and sends Evans into the cage. Leg kick by Evans. Liddell begins landing towards the end. His jab connected throughout the round. A nice uppercut stunned Evans for a second. Evans landed something that cut Liddell and puffed up his eye. Slow start for both. Evans just moved around the whole round and played defense.
Liddell 10-9

Round 2
Both fighters trading punches by the cage. Liddell lands first, but Evans connects with the better shots. Evans connecting with the left hook on each exchange. Liddell is a second off this round. An enormous overhand right by Evans knocks Liddell out. Both were throwing punches and Evans connected first. Liddell still has not gotten up.
Evans Wins By Second Round KO

-Liddell did not look comfortable in the second round. He was getting hit and could not find his range. It was odd because he seemed on-point in the first round. On the flip side, Evans looked totally off in the first. Even the second, he didn't look great or anything until the knockout shot landed.

-Forrest Griffin was shown after the fight and it appears very likely Evans will get the title shot.

-Evans' wife was screaming so loud when he won. You could hear her over every one else. I'm glad I'm not married to her.

-Okay, that's it for tonight. Thanks to every one who followed along. We broke records tonight without a doubt. I'll be back tomorrow with some recap posts about the event. I hope everyone had a good time.