Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tito Still Talking

It always amazes me how he can talk for so long without stopping.

Notice the sleazeball doing the interview. He'd be better off staying behind the camera next time. He also asks one of the worst phrased questions I've ever heard...

Sleazeball: Is it possible that you would ever, if if, the respect was there, if the dollars was there, whatever, under the circumstances all together, is it possible we could ever see the legacy of Tito Ortiz have another fight, uh, with UFC, ever, you think?

(My favorite part is how he gets upset with his bumbling opening and says "whatever" halfway through. Subconsciously he knows he's an idiot.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Atencio's Priorities

In case you forgot, Tom Atencio fights tomorrow night on the ridiculous "Ultimate Chaos" PPV. Honestly, what are they hoping to do? 1,500 buys? I might order it just so I can call my friends and hear their reaction when I say, "Hey, I ordered "Ultimate Chaos"! Bring the wings!"

Maybe Atencio should spend a little more time in the office because while he was pretending to be a fighter, Dana White swooped in and stole Vitor Belfort.

(This picture confirms my belief that even fighters look like idiots when they hold their fist up for a photo.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

UFC 100 Odds

With UFC 100 around the corner, it's time to get into betting mode and review the odds. Like all sports betting, MMA odds change over time, so it's important to keep an eye on them from when the bout is announced all the way till fight night. You want to maximize the line to your advantage whenever possible.

UFC 100 Odds

Lesnar -240
Mir +190

St-Pierre -300
Alves +220

Henderson -230
Bisping +180

Fitch -450
Thiago +325

Akiyama -300
Belcher +220

Bonnar -350
Coleman +250

Miller -200
Danzig +160

Jones -450
O'Brien +325

As of tonight, I like Bonnar, Fitch, and Bisping.

A lot has been made of Mark Coleman's newfound dedication to cardio training. The fact he just discovered the need for cardio shows me all I need to know. You can't undo decades of neglect with one proper training camp.

Fitch will not fall into the trap Koscheck did. He'll grind his way to a victory over Thiago, instead of standing and trading with him.

And I like Bisping, even though no one else does. I think it's a close fight either way. Henderson's inability to finish fights will come back to haunt him. Bisping has the technical striking game to outscore Henderson like Rich Franklin did. He'll avoid enough takedowns, keep it standing, and win a decision.

Rampage Sued for Death of Fetus

Holli Griggs, the pregnant woman whose SUV Rampage Jackson rammed into with his monster truck, has filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the incident. TMZ quotes the figure at "more than $25,000". Griggs had a miscarriage following the accident, but it was ruled the monster truck ramming into her SUV did not cause it. It's possible to have a miscarriage because of stress, so I'm unsure how they determined his ramjob could not have caused it.

Anyways, this one will settle out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. It'll be significant.

Perhaps Rampage took the coaching job on Ultimate Fighter 10 because of the impending lawsuit. Make a nice salary coaching and fight an easier opponent or take on Machida for the title. From an economic standpoint, it's not a difficult decision.

Gonzaga On The Brink

UFC 66 - WIN Marrero (Preliminary Card)
UFC 70 - WIN Cro Cop (Main Event)
UFC 74 - LOSS Couture (Main Event)
UFC 80 - LOSS Werdum (Main Card)
UFC 86 - WIN McCully (Preliminary Card)
UFC 91 - WIN Hendricks (Main Card)
UFC 96 - LOSS Carwin (Main Card)
UFC 102 - Tuchscherer (Preliminary Card)

The first time you fall off the main card is not a huge deal. As long as you were previously a name, you're not in danger of being cut. The second time you fall to the preliminary card, you're in trouble. Notice the talent difference between his first trip to the prelims and his second. Tuchscherer is the guy who tried out for TUF 10 and they thought he was too good, so they signed him to a contract instead. This is a whole different ballgame than fighting McCully/Hendricks. The UFC hoped for Gonzaga to get back on track by placing him in those fights. There is no hope for the Tuchscherer fight. Gonzaga needs to win or he might be looking for a new employer.

MMA is a strange sport. Your opportunities don't last long. It's like when you're at a bar talking to a pretty girl. Unless you've found the Holy Grail of bars, the ratio of pretty girls to guys is always working against you (kind of like the ratio of championship belts to fighters). You need to capitalize on the conversation or else you might not get another opportunity. Gonzaga stumbled over his words, the pretty girl is talking to someone else now, and he's stuck with a fat chick who thinks too highly of her boobs.

Good luck, Gabe. You're gonna need it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Carwin vs Velasquez

Inside Fights is reporting that Shane Carwin will face Cain Velasquez at UFC 103 in Dallas, TX. The fight makes sense on a variety of levels. They've reached the point where they can't put off sorting out the future of the Heavyweight Division any longer. I still say the winner of Couture/Nogueira is assured a title shot, but after them it's without a doubt the winner of Carwin/Velasquez (if it pans out and they both agree to the fight).

Velasquez's Mexican roots also won't hurt ticket sales.

The other bout mentioned is Matt Hughes vs Mike Swick. Hughes desperately needs a big win to stay relevant and Swick desperately wants recognition. It's not the type of fight that gets me pumped, but it's solid.

Inside Fights also mentions the longshot of Chuck Liddell vs Rich Franklin. Dana White's commercial interview with Amir Sadollah seemed to open the door for Liddell's return. Does a fight with Franklin make any sense? Well, actually, yes. Franklin is in a strange limbo. He's good enough to decision most of the 205 pounders in the UFC. He's not good enough to finish the top guys. They could put him in a fight with a rising star like Luis Cane, but you run the risk of Franklin decisioning him and ruining Cane's potential. The solution is to let Franklin fight the aging veterans who aren't in the title picture anymore. Henderson (not in the 205 title picture), Silva (not in any title picture), Liddell (only picture he is in is at some random bar with a porn star strapped to his side).

Book it. I'll watch Liddell chase him around for three rounds and lose a split. At least we won't have to see him get knocked out again.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bellator's Solid First Season

-Bellator will have live English language broadcasts for Season 2, which kicks off in the fall. In many ways, their debut season without live English television was a blessing. They were able to build without expectations. Fans tuned in to see the highlight knockouts and submissions, but they weren't pouring over every minute of the broadcasts with a critical eye. When Season 2 begins, Bellator will have the experience of twelve shows to draw on and an ever growing list of exciting fighters.

-I can't say I'm a huge fan of the tournament structure as a foundation for an MMA organization. As a viewer, there are certain fights I want to see and I don't feel like waiting around for a tournament to shake out for them to happen. For fighters, though, the tournament structure is very enticing. Eddie Alvarez fought three times in a little over two months. He took home $175,000 in reported pay for his three victories. It's not only tournament winners who thrive financially. Since Bellator puts on one show a week, there are more opportunities for all their fighters to compete. In other promotions, fights are stretched out over months. Three fights in a year is considered a lot. Bellator turned this notion on its head. I'll guarantee we see some bigger names make their way to Bellator for the increased fighting opportunities.

-Going along with that thought, it'll be interesting to see how aggressive Bellator is with free agents. Eddie Alvarez and Hector Lombard (MW Winner) are legit top level fighters. They won their tournaments and need opponents during Season 2. Apparently, they plan on holding more tournaments and the winners will face the champions from Season 1. A nice idea on paper, but you better fill out the Season 2 tournaments with more well-known commodities, if you expect to sell the Season 1 Champs vs Season 2 Champs as a PPV event (see Sherdog link in final point for more info on their PPV plan).

-Overall, a solid start. Bellator managed to get fans interested despite their abundance of unknown fighters. Moving forward, Bellator needs to prove their economics work. I'm a little dubious about how they intend to make money. A broadcast deal with one of ESPN's English stations would go a long way to convincing me. According to Sherdog, they might not land on ESPN or ESPN2, though. It might not even be a channel within the ABC/ESPN family. They also plan on doing PPV events, which seems premature to me. Alvarez is their biggest draw and I'd say 50% of the mainstream MMA audience doesn't have any idea who he is. That's a bad sign when you're talking PPV buy rates and such.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eddie Alvarez vs JZ Cavalcante

According to, Eddie Alvarez and JZ Cavalcante will do battle at DREAM 11 on September 23rd. This will be Alvarez's biggest test since his loss to Shinya Aoki. The Bellator wins were nice, but they weren't against top talent.

For all those fans who don't bother with Japanese MMA, you're missing out, especially on the Lightweights. DREAM's stable of 155 pounders is the best in the sport. Plus, they almost always put on exciting fights. These guys go out to kill each other. I highly recommend you tune in for this fight.

Also on the card, the semifinals of the Super Hulk tournament with Choi/Minowa and Mousasi/Sokoudjou.

Vitor Belfort and The UFC

During a commercial break, Spike gave us another segment with Amir Sadollah. Usually these are pointless, but last night we got some interesting news. Apparently Dana White is fishing for Middleweights to challenge Anderson Silva. He named Vitor Belfort as someone he believed could give the enigmatic champ a fight. The reason this is interesting is because Belfort is under contract with Affliction. In recent weeks, White has teased fans with the promise of signing a Middleweight who would "blow our minds." Is Belfort that Middleweight?

I'm gonna say definitely.

While my mind remains in tact, it would be a significant addition to the division.

(By the way, has anyone ever parlayed their TUF win into a better situation than Sadollah? He hasn't even fought in the UFC since winning the show a year ago yet he's interviewing Dana White on Spike TV. It pays to be a likeable fighter these days.)

TUF Finale Thoughts

-Clay Guida returned to his brawling roots last night and it cost him the fight. He came out wild and took some of the worst Round 1 punishment I've ever seen. He's gotta be killing himself for not using his strength advantage to put Sanchez on his back from the start of the fight. He still managed to get a split decision, which proves to me that he's actually a title contender and not just some guy who puts on entertaining fights. What he needs is a trainer he respects enough to listen to. Someone who will all but force him to fight his game the entire time. He could Couture his way through the Lightweight Division, if he just stopped trading with guys for more than 2-3 strikes at a time. As soon as he gets hit, he needs to tie-up and push his opponent around. I hope he finds that guy soon because taking punishment adds up quickly in MMA.

-I can't remember the last time I was that psyched during a UFC staredown.

-James Wilks' beatdown of Damarques Johnson delighted me. I'm sure he's a nice enough dude in real life, but Johnson came off as the Ultimate Douche on the show.

-Ross Pearson's pre-fight video was more entertaining than his win over Andre Winner. "Here's me girlfriend. She's called Jenny." I'm definitely introducing my girlfriend that way from now on.

-Kevin Burns might as well embrace his illegal tactics and become a full blown heel. I say he shows up to his next fight with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan in his corner and spits green mist into his opponent's eyes like The Great Muta.

-I'm not jumping off the Nate Diaz bandwagon yet. He's very young. His brother went through a similar patch of decision losses before realizing how to put it all together. Nate's dealing with that now. Give him a year of mid-level fights and he'll be back. One thing he needs to solve immediately is his over-reliance on fighting from his back. He's a great jiu-jitsu guy, but fighting from your back makes it almost impossible to win a decision in the UFC. A lot of fighters fall into this trap. When a fight goes to the ground, judges score based on control. They rarely factor in submission attempts from the bottom. Diaz needs to forget about submissions at times and just work on reverses or getting up. I'm confident he will figure this out, combine it with better striking, and be a top five Lightweight before he's 27.

-Sanchez vs the winner of Penn/Florian. I'm cool with it. With Sherk out of the way, there isn't anyone else deserving of a title shot. Plus, Diego puts on great fights. I hope the layoff isn't too long, though. He mentioned he had trouble with the cut and I'd rather not see him balloon up in weight before having to lose it all.

-And finally, shut the hell up with the Twitter crap. My God, I thought I was watching a Jonas Brothers concert or something.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Is The UFC Serious?

The UFC makes a hundred good decisions for every bad decision, but putting Lytle/Burns on the televised Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale is one of their worst in quite some time. It's even worse when you consider Lester/Osipczak and Dent/Dollar are on the non-televised portion of the show. Lester was involved in multiple memorable fights, Osipczak is one of the few guys on the show with talent, and Dent/Dollar hate each other. How could you pass up either of those fights for Lytle/Burns?

I don't get it, especially the Lester snub. The guy made the season interesting. He at least deserves his final few minutes of fame on live TV.

(According to Lester's UFC bio, he's 5'1 170 lbs. Guy really is a tank.)

Cro Cop On DREAM 10 Card

Josh Gross is reporting that Mirko Cro Cop will face Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga on July 20th at DREAM 10. There has been considerable Mirko bashing since he fled the UFC after EPKOing Al Turk. I'm just as pissed as everyone else, but lets remember this is not Pride Cro Cop. In the UFC, he'd have all kinds of trouble with the top guys (the ones he claims he wanted to fight). Whenever the UFC put him into the cage with Lesnar/Mir/Couture/Carwin/Velasquez, he was losing. It was inevitable and in a way I'm happy to see it end this way. I don't want to watch anymore former Pride greats get dominated.

In Japan, he can end his career against mediocre competition and hold onto the last shred of his past dominance. Kick dudes in the head, cash your checks, and ride off into the sunset, Mirko. I'm fine with it.

Davis Isn't Getting A Rematch

I've been a vocal supporter of Marcus Davis, but he needs to forget about a rematch with Dan Hardy. He lost. Whenever fighters let things go to the judges, you run the risk of losing a decision. MMA scoring is suspect at best. I don't think it's corrupt. It's just a difficult sport to score. The only way around it is finishing the fight. Davis had his chances and could not put Hardy away.

A rematch does not make sense for anyone other than Davis. Hardy and the UFC have nothing to gain from it. The UFC has gone out of their way to market itself to England and Hardy's rise into relevance bolsters their thin lineup of UK fighters. There's no need to throw him back into the cage with Davis.

Monday, June 15, 2009

UFC 99 Final Thoughts

-One of the stranger nights of fights in recent memory. Off the top of my head...Saunders and Swick trash talking during the fight and you could clearly hear it, an eye poke, a river sized gash, two questionable decisions on the main card (Franklin/Silva and Fisher/Uno), one coin flip decision (Hardy/Davis), Bruce Buffer didn't give the scores for Fisher/Uno or Franklin/Silva, Miragliotta strikes again, and Velasquez almost got knocked out twice yet won every round convincingly.

-After rewatching the Franklin/Silva fight, I still think Wandy took it. To me it's not enough to control the action like Franklin did. You need to do something with the control. Silva inflicted more serious damage. If a fighter takes his opponent down in the first ten seconds, lays on top throwing light punches for four minutes, then gets dropped with a strike in the last ten seconds of the round, I don't think his 4+ minutes of control should win the round.

-Cro Cop vs Overeem. Cro Cop vs Fedor. I like either of those fights a lot more than Cro Cop vs Couture or Cro Cop vs Nogueira. And, yes, Fedor will be in Japan before the year ends.

-Time to get Mike Swick a top opponent. The possibility of a fight with Matt Hughes intrigues me, although I don't know why.

-Cain Velasquez's win was not impressive. We all knew Kongo couldn't wrestle to save his life. Velasquez could not put him away, despite landing hundreds of strikes. I give him credit for working through the punches he ate on his feet, but he's no longer a sure thing in my book. A decent wrestler with powerful strikes will beat him (Lesnar and Carwin come to mind). Lets see how Velasquez evolves now that Kongo poked a couple holes in his aura.

-Where does Wanderlei Silva go from here? He's 2-5 in his last 7 fights stretching back to 2006. More troubling was the news he cut 12 lbs the day before weigh-ins. He looked spent after one round with Franklin. It wasn't like Franklin tired him out with grappling, either. If the UFC really believes in him and his future, they'll set him up with an easy opponent for his Middleweight debut. Someone he can knock out early would be best. If it goes deeper than a round, he's in trouble.

-Seriously, what the hell was Buffer's deal? Did he decide on his own not to read the scores? Did he forget (um, twice)?

-Rich Franklin is quietly adding to his Hall of Fame legacy. Even though I thought he lost the fight, he got the decision. Fight long enough and you end up on both sides of strange decisions. Franklin's last time out, he lost a split decision to Dan Henderson, a fight many fans believe Franklin won. I want to see Franklin fight again at 195 lbs. Give him a rematch with Henderson (if he loses to Bisping) at the catchweight.

Sylvia Off Affliction Card

His career meltdown is entering legendary territory. All he's missing is a run-in with the law. Lets recap.

-After winning the first two rounds, gets submitted by Big Nog.
-Leaves UFC and signs enormous contract with Affliction.
-Promptly gets annihilated by Fedor.
-Disappears off the face of the Earth.
-Lets Monte Cox talk him into fighting 600 year old Ray Mercer in a boxing match.
-Scores a perfect ten on the unintentional comedy scale.
-Doesn't train for fight and weighs in at 310 lbs (picture!).
-Gets annihilated by Mercer.
-Dropped from Affliction's third event.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mercer KOs Sylvia

Monte Cox has all but sewn up the 2009 Worst Manager award. The loss can't be blamed on him, but putting Sylvia into the position can. Managers are supposed to look out for their clients and steer their career into the right directions. A former UFC Heavyweight Champion should never be in Alabama fighting a 48 year old boxer. Sylvia had nothing to gain from it.

(The real loser in all of this is Affliction. If Sylvia isn't injured and can still fight on August 1st against Paul Buentello, they will be paying an obscene amount of money to a fighter who just got knocked out by Ray Mercer. How do you hype a fight like that? I don't even know if Sylvia can be medically suspended since Alabama does not have an Athletic Commission. God, what a mess.)

All right, one last time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fedor Needs Time Off?

"Fedor’s record is proven. It’s unmatched. A 30-1 record, and the one was on a stoppage due to a cut. But Fedor, he needs some time off too. We can’t just keep bringing Fedor back [event after event].” - Tom Atencio via Fight Line

Since 2007, he's fought four times. Four. He's had 6 months between each of his Affliction bouts. Yeah, Tom, better slow him down. Don't want him burning himself out with that crazy schedule.

Cro Cop Leaves UFC

The UFC's experiment with a one fight deal did not go so well. Mirko Cro Cop has signed a three fight deal with DREAM and totally burned his bridge with the UFC. It's an unexpected move, as Cro Cop seemed genuine about his return to the Octagon. Before the fight, Dana White talked openly about how he never gives one fight deals and this is why. Cro Cop promised to sign on for two additional bouts after the fight, but for some reason had a change of heart (DREAM officials saw him win a fight on a UFC PPV and offered crazy money).

It's unfortunate because Cro Cop remains a very popular fighter. I think he's at the tail end of his career and wants to make the most money while he's still a draw. DREAM gives more upfront money, while the UFC gives you the chance to make huge money, as long as you win. Cro Cop took the easy money and financially it's probably his best option.

Still sucks for fans who wanted to see him matched up with the best the UFC has to offer.

UFC 99 Live Results

(If you like the Live Results, please support our sponsors. A click here and there allows me to occasionally eat.)

-A better name for this event would have been "Ramifications". The winner of Kongo/Velasquez becomes an instant title contender and if Silva defeats Franklin, he's probably getting a shot at the Middleweight Title in the latter half of 2009. There's also the return of Cro Cop, which could set up a huge fight with Couture/Nogueira, if he can keep it together and take out Al Turk. I can't think of another PPV in a while with so many Ramifications. See, it works much better than "Comeback".

Preliminary Card
John Hathaway vs Rick Story
-Hathaway Wins by Unanimous Decision
Denis Stojnic vs Stefan Struve
-Struve Wins by 2nd Rd Submission (RNC)
Paul Kelly vs Rolando Delgado
-Kelly Wins by Unanimous Decision
Paul Taylor vs Peter Sobotta
-Taylor Wins by Unanimous Decision
Dennis Siver vs Dale Hartt
-Siver Wins by 1st Rd Submission (RNC)
Terry Etim vs Justin Buchholz
-Etim Wins by 2nd Rd Submission (D'arce)

Marcus Davis vs Dan Hardy
-The "bad blood" between Marcus Davis and Dan Hardy is comical to say the least. I enjoy seeing the UFC stoop to this. The feud is based on Davis saying he's Irish and Hardy saying he's not. That's dumber than a mid 90s WWF angle.
-Davis wearing an Irish kilt and an ugly sponsor t-shirt. Probably the strangest clothing combo in the history of fashion.

Round 1
Leg kick by Hardy. Body kick by Davis. A takedown attempt by Davis is initially stuffed by Hardy. Davis still working for it. He finally drags Hardy down. Davis quickly into full mount and throwing punches. Hardy works back to full guard. Davis has his back with Hardy on his knees. Punches to the side of the head by Davis. Back to their feet and Hardy lands a big right elbow. RNN Scores it 10-9 Davis.

Round 2
Solid leg kick lands for Hardy. Davis lands a left. Both connect lefts at the same time. Another left by Davis. Action picking up. Another exchange with both landing, but Hardy gets the better of it. Hardy connects with a big knee. He follows Davis to the ground. Davis regains composure and seems to be all right. Hardy working from full guard. Davis goes for an arm bar, but can't totally hook it in. Elbow from Hardy. Davis working like crazy from the bottom. Lots of elbows. Referee stands them up. Davis mauls him into the cage. Hardy lands a knee to the body from the clinch. A big left lands for Davis. He takes Hardy down. Throwing lefts from Hardy's full guard. RNN Scores it 10-9 Hardy.

Round 3
Davis lands a left and Hardy goes down. It looked like somewhat of a slip. It landed, though, and will score points with the judges. Davis passes to half guard. Not throwing much. Davis rolls and grabs Hardy's foot. They scramble for a bit with Davis trying to sink in the submission. Looked bad for a second, but Hardy gets out. Back to their feet. From a tie-up, Hardy takes Davis down. Hardy connects with an elbow and some punches. Davis is cut. Referee stops it to check the cut. Fight restarted. Bad break for Hardy. Davis was wobbly when he stood up. That gave him 15 seconds or so to recover. Weird cut check, to say the least. Referee stands them back up. Blood all over Davis. Davis lands a left and Hardy a leg kick. Fight ends in a tie-up along the cage. RNN Scores it 10-9 Hardy.

Dan Hardy Wins by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

-Nightmare to score. Davis controlled the fight, but Hardy did the most damage. After they announced the decision, Hardy tried to shake hands and Davis waved him off.

Spencer Fisher vs Caol Uno

Round 1
Uno shoots and is stuffed. Knees to the side by Fisher. Still tied-up and on their feet. Knees to the body by Fisher. Referee finally splits them after two minutes of nothing but partially connecting knees. Fishers lands a left. Solid leg kick by Fisher. A short right hook connects for Fisher. Uno shoots again, but another nice sprawl by Fisher. Fans whistling and saying angry things in German. Rounds mercifully ends to a chorus of boos. Fisher frustrated by the crowd's reaction. RNN Scores it 10-9 Fisher.

Round 2
Fisher connects with a left. Uno grabs him and takes him down. Fisher gets up quickly. Uno goes for takedown and Fisher sprawls perfectly, again. Good leg kick by Fisher. Then a better leg kick by Uno. Another by Uno. He shoots and Fisher sprawls. They scramble and Uno ends up on top in Fisher's full guard. Very cool escape by Fisher. When Uno stood in his guard, Fisher grabbed his foot and tripped him to the ground. Back to their feet and another tie-up. Fisher goes for a sweep, but Uno ends up on top. Back to their feet. Rogan trying to explain why this fight doesn't suck (basically it's a fight only high brow MMA fans can enjoy). Whatever, dude. RNN Scores it 10-9 Uno.

Round 3
Tie-up with Uno driving Fisher into the cage. Uppercut lands for Fisher. A big left slaps against Uno's head. Uno is unfazed and grabs a leg. Yet another tie-up along the cage. Yamasaki finally wakes up from his coma and breaks them apart. A solid leg kick by Uno. Fisher lands a right hook and then takes Uno down. Fisher passes to side. Uno whips him off and drives Fisher into the cage. Fisher lands a good combo, but Uno comes in and takes him down. Uno into mount. Throwing nice punches and elbows from the top. Uno doing some damage. RNN Scores it 10-9 Uno.

Spencer Fisher Wins by Unanimous Decision

-Another tough one to score. I gave it to Uno, but it doesn't surprise me the judges didn't.

-Boring fight. Rogan can defend it all he wants, but that fight sucked.

Ben Saunders vs Mike Swick
-Make or break time for Saunders.
-"He's confident, but not an ass." Rogan on Swick.
-Bruce Buffer looking more and more like Vince McMahon with every passing event. By UFC 105, the transformation should be complete.

Round 1
Saunders grabs Swick, but ends up on the bottom. He sorta pulled guard. Swick staying active on top. Saunders holding on. Swick landing body shots. Some trash talk between Saunders and Swick. Referee stands them up after over three minutes on the ground without anything happening. Good exchange with both landing. Tie-up with Saunders pushing Swick into the cage. Knee to the head by Saunders. It partially landed. Swick reverses him into the cage. RNN Scores it 10-9 Swick.

Round 2
Swick charges in with a punch and lands a couple knees from the clinch. Swick takes him down and moves right into the mount. Saunders fights him back to guard. Swick throwing light stuff from the top. Crowd groaning. Referee stands them up in less than two minutes! He's learning! I don't know who he is, but I think his first name is Leon. He's white too. You don't hear of too many white guys named Leon anymore. As you can tell, this fight isn't too exciting. Anyways, Swick opens things up with a punching charge. He's landing. Saunder's backing away. Rights are getting through. He nails him on the temple and Saunders is down. Referee stops it.

Swick Wins by 2nd Rd TKO

-That could have been a great fight, if Leon would have stood them up quicker. You can't let things stagnate on the ground. Once the action stops for thirty seconds, stand them up. Big John is the best at knowing when exactly to stand fights up.

Mirko Cro Cop vs Mostapha Al Turk
-In the pre-fight video, Al Turk tries to use the Rocky IV "He's a man!" defense.
-Oh no...Dan Miragliotta.

Round 1
Turk lands a right. He goes for a takedown and Cro Cop throws him off. Leg kick by Turk. Straight left by Cro Cop. Cro Cop charges in with a right left combo. He drops him with a left. Then lets Turk back up. Cro Cop pokes him in the eye (Miragliotta misses it on cue). Turk covering up. Cro Cop attacking. Turk eats a big strike. It's over.

Cro Cop Wins by 1st Rd TKO

-First, Cro Cop was gonna TKO this guy at some point. Turk was throwing wild punches and Cro Cop had already dropped him. But...the eye poke led to the finish. Miragliotta totally missed it. He never disappoints.

Cain Velasquez vs Cheick Kongo
-Miragliotta on the scene again. I guess they don't think he can screw up twice in one night. It would be impressive if he managed to do it in back to back fights.
-5 inch reach advantage for Kongo.

Round 1
Kongo catches him. Big strike. Another one. Two huge rights. Velasquez still somehow gets a takedown. Great recovery. Kongo pushes him off. Scramble and Velasquez is back on top. Side control for Velasquez. Elbow from the bottom by Kongo. Mount by Velasquez. Going for a choke. Kongo rolls out of it. Back up, but Velasquez takes him right back down. He's in side control. Right hands landing for Velasquez. Kongo back up for a second before Velasquez takes him down again. More ground and pound. RNN Scores it 10-9 Velasquez

Round 2
Kongo connects again at the start with a right. He clinches, though, and it allows Velasquez to recover. Velasquez takes him down. He hurt him again. He just can't follow it up. Velasquez into mount. He has his back. Punches to the side of the head of Kongo. Kongo stands and gets taken down again. Velasquez into side control. Elbow from the bottom by Kongo. More punches from the top by Velasquez. Knees to the body. Kongo is bleeding from his nose. RNN Scores it 10-9 Velasquez.

Round 3
Kongo connects again at the start. This time not as flush. Kongo takes Velasquez down. Velasquez pivots out of trouble and has Kongo's back. Throwing rights to the head. Kongo back up. He's landing knees to the body. Kongo landing punches. Velasquez hurt a bit. Kongo comes in too quickly and gets taken down...again. Another mount by Velasquez. More punches from the top. RNN Scores it 10-9 Velasquez.

Cain Velasquez Wins by Unanimous Decision

-Kongo made the same mistake three times. He connected with big punches then moved forward. Every time he walked into a takedown. Once down, it was like watching a heavyweight college wrestler taking on a lightweight high schooler.

Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei Silva
-Silva is so cool he makes "Sandstorm" seem like a manly entrance song.
-Rogan calls Silva the most exciting fighter in MMA history. That's probably true. Least exciting fighter in MMA history? Reese Andy, of course.
-Am I the only one who doesn't believe Silva is really 32 years old? I'm not being sarcastic. I think his actual age was altered at some point. He's probably 35-36.
-Silva starting to look like Mark Coleman.

Round 1
Slow start with both tentative. Silva comes forward, Franklin counters. Neither landed solid. Body kick by Franklin. Silva throwing high kicks. Silva catches a body kick and takes Franklin down. Silva in Franklin's full guard. Silva throwing and missing from top. Body punches mixed in with strikes to the head. Nothing major landing yet. Franklin gets up and has Silva down. Franklin connecting with punches to the head. RNN Scores it 10-9 Franklin

-"I think I broke his nose" says Franklin.

Round 2
Body kick by Silva. Franklin counters. Good exchange with both landing. Silva misses with a big right. Silva breathing heavy. Maybe the cut was too much for him. He's swinging hard. Franklin drops him, but doesn't go in for the kill. Silva back up. Silva throwing hard again. He lands and Franklin is hurt. Silva throwing, but he can't end it. Franklin seems ok. Exchange and both landing. RNN Scores it 10-9 Silva

Round 3
Silva looks very tired. Franklin lands a left. Silva lands a right. Franklin tags him with a left. Franklin is doing whatever he wants. Loops a punch in that connects. Low blow. Franklin kicked Silva in the nuts. Quick restart. Both fighters land. Silva coming forward. A knee to the head by Silva. Silva raises hands and pumps up crowd. Franklin lands a combo. Silva charges in and has Franklin somewhat hurt. Franklin weathers the storm and takes Silva down. Silva kicks him off and gets up. Round ends in a tie-up. Franklin the the back throwing punches and Silva throwing elbows. RNN Scores it 10-9 Silva

Rich Franklin Wins by Unanimous Decision

-Kind of a weird one. It goes with the theme of the night. One fighter controls the fight, the other does more damage.

It Just Gets Better

Tim Sylvia weighed in at 310 lbs for his fight with Ray Mercer.

Do you think he'll wear a shirt in the cage like a fat kid at the pool? Do you think they'll both wear shirts? Imagine them fighting in shirts. It's hilarious. I'm more excited for this than UFC 99. Admit it. You are too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

UFC 99 Predictions

Wanderlei Silva vs Rich Franklin
-Silva by 1st Rd TKO
Cain Velasquez vs Cheick Kongo
-Kongo by 1st Rd TKO
Dan Hardy vs Marcus Davis
-Davis by Unanimous Decision
Ben Saunders vs Mike Swick
-Swick by Unanimous Decision
Mirko Cro Cop vs Mostapha Al-Turk
-Cro Cop by 2nd Rd TKO

(I can't decide if my sentimental nature messes up the Silva pick or not. Since he's facing Franklin, I think you could make the argument that picking either has an element of sentimentality to it. They're both fan favorites who are in the later stages of their careers. Picking a winner based on logic is out of the question. Feelings come into play on this one no matter which way you go. Maybe the MMA Gods will intervene and allow Silva to have one last run. They owe it to all the fans who did not see his Pride dominance as it happened. It would also make up for bringing Kimbo Slice back into our lives.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sylvia/Mercer Back On!

The saga continues...

Earlier today the boxing match between Tim Sylvia and Ray Mercer was canceled over sanctioning issues by the Association of Boxing Commissions (whatever the hell that is).

Here's a transcript of their meeting.

Corrupt Boxing Commissioner #1: That fat MMA dude Tim Sylvia is boxing Ray Mercer this weekend in Alabama?
Corrupt Boxing Commissioner #2: Ray Mercer is still alive?!

Anyways, they freaked out, put pressure on the right people, and the boxing match was canceled. Promoter Monte Cox did not take the hint. Instead of scrapping the main event, he got Sylvia and more importantly Mercer to agree to contest the fight under MMA rules. This gets the ABC out of the picture.

I know everyone was pumped for the six round boxing war, but don't worry. Apparently Sylvia has agreed to fight Mercer in a boxing match in the future. Yup, that's right...Rematch, baby.

I've always heard rumors Cox plans on releasing a tell-all book about his struggles promoting this epic bout. It's tentatively titled "A Work of Staggering Stupidity".

(And of course, it's still hilarious the 50th time you see it)

Xtreme Couture Supplements

Xtreme Couture now has a line of supplements. It's about time a fighter poked their nose into this world. It's been sitting there waiting for a couple years. This is one reason I think MMA managers are horrible. You have a perfect match between fighters and supplements. Everyone is enamored with MMA training at the moment. It's the new Tae Bo. All you really need is a popular fighter to be the spokesman for the products and some investors. Why has it taken this long for someone to do it? Even a moderately successful operation could turn out millions a year. Instead MMA managers cash their 10% checks, wait for calls from promoters, and line up ugly sponsor t-shirts for their fighters to wear.

Supposedly (probably not), this is Randy Couture's supplement schedule. Not surprisingly, he takes every product they offer. What are the odds?!

Check out this stock photo of the Xtreme Couture research lab. Looks like they're working on a new Orange Julius shake of some sort.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The 1 to Tito Scale

On a scale of 1 to Tito, how bad was Kenny Florian's commentary last night?

It surprised me because in the past I've found him less annoying than most announcers. I figured his work on MMA Live would have made him even better.


Get back to the gym, Kenny. You're sitting in Pulver's seat.

Faber's Hand Steals The Show

Nothing was settled last night. Mike Brown slid by an injured Urijah Faber. An amazing performance by Faber, even in defeat. He resorted to throwing elbows instead of punches. He couldn't grasp Brown in the clinch or any time they wrestled. It was spectacular to watch and at the same time frustrating, because this rematch had the makings of a back and forth classic. Without his right hand, Faber was a shell of himself, and Brown took advantage often enough to get the decision.

I hope Brown makes it through Jose Aldo and Faber heals up, because a third fight between these two is the best thing WEC has going.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm Sensing A Pattern

Strikeforce "Lawler vs Shields" Recap

-Did you see Mike Kyle's improbable TKO victory over Rafael Feijao? Yeah, me either. I did get to see Kevin Randleman gas in a minute and a half, though.

-Kevin Randleman's striking technique reminds me of a T-Rex trying to bat coconuts from a tree.

-"Catchweight fights can also open a door to Pandora's box." Oh, that explains it. Thanks for the insight, Shamrock.

-Phil Baroni kept asking for more water before the fight. Never a good sign.

-"World renowned Cage Master" - Jimmy Lennon Jr. in reference to Nick Diaz.

-I hope Scott Smith invests his money well, because he's gonna be a mess as an old man. You could actually hear his brain weeping with each passing shot. Strikeforce needs to sideline him for at least six months and let his head heal.

-Big John is the best. I love his confidence. Most refs are afraid to break up stalled clinches, but not Big John. He doesn't mess around.

-Has Nick Diaz entered the upper echelon? I think he needs one more big win before he's fully made the leap, but he's well on his way. His evolution into a top fighter has been one of the best stories of 2009. I hope Strikeforce finds him some quality opponents at 170 lbs, which is where he belongs.

-"Some great Heavyweights in attendance...Fedor, Josh Barnett." - Gus Johnson snubs Tim Sylvia.

-As soon as I saw Michael Moore in Arlovski's corner, I knew my prediction was spot on. Arlovski needs to make a decision. Is he a boxer or a Mixed Martial Artist?

-I don't want to see Rogers get murdered against Overeem. Let him develop more, please.

-"Andrei chose the wrong tactic." - Fedor sums it up.

-How bad was Ranallo's interview with Fedor? With all the softballs flying around, I thought I was watching a Rock n' Jock.

-Lawler's pre-fight dance routine was more entertaining than the main event. He did realize there were cameras on him the entire time, right?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Strikeforce "Lawler vs Shields" Preview

Kevin Randleman vs Mike Whitehead
I'm indifferent towards this fight because it bumped Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante off the main card. He should walk through Mike Kyle, but it still bothers me that Strikeforce would lower him on the card for Randleman/Whitehead. Neither of these two is making a title run anytime soon. Feijao, on the other hand, is one of the best young fighters in the sport. You gotta showcase him, even if it's against a replacement fighter.

That said, I'm favoring Whitehead. Randleman is one of those guys who gets more credit than he deserves. His record is a pedestrian 17-12. You might say, "Well, Couture doesn't have a great record, either." The difference is Couture has lots of big wins. Randleman has very few.

I also tend to stay away from fighters who recently had a kid, got engaged, got married, are planning a wedding, or had knee surgery. Randleman got married like a month ago. Combine this with Randleman's sketchy submission defense and I think Whitehead takes it by 1st Round Submission.

Joe Riggs vs Phil Baroni
Baroni makes me laugh and I wish I could pick him, but Riggs seems motivated and barring a random punch, wins this one rather easily. Riggs by 1st Round TKO.

Nick Diaz vs Scott Smith
Smith puts on entertaining fights, is as tough as they come, and has elite level knockout power. With that out of the way, he's overrated. His stock is artificially high. In the first fight with Lawler, he was getting smoked and would have eventually been knocked out. In the second fight, he was outclassed. Against Radach, he was being pummeled for three rounds before connecting. I don't buy his status as a title contender. Diaz should have his way with Smith. He's smart enough to win without putting himself into danger. Diaz by 2nd Round Submission.

Andrei Arlovski vs Brett Rogers
This is a difficult fight to predict. Arlovski is coming off a truly horrific knockout loss to Fedor. Historically, fighters do not rebound well from those. There is also the late booking. This fight was announced two and half weeks ago. Arlovski was supposed to be preparing for a six round boxing match on June 27th. It's weird to say the least. I'm not sure if Arlovski is crazy or stupid. For Rogers, the decision to take the fight was a no-brainer. It's an excellent opportunity for a power puncher to knock out a big name opponent who often goes down hard.

Let me explain a little bit about why the timing of the fight perplexes me. Arlovski is training for a boxing match. His mindset is completely on stand-up. No wrestling, grappling, etc. He might be in great shape for a boxing match, but I find it hard to believe his body is ready for wrestling. It's a different conditioning. This isn't to say Rogers is a wrestling powerhouse and will wear down Arlovski. He is good in close, though. He also outweighs Arlovski by twenty pounds. If Rogers leans on Arlovski a bit early, we might see a tired fighter as the fight goes on. I just don't get why he and his camp would ever agree to the fight on two and half weeks notice.

I'm going with the underdog. He will probably lose the 1st Round, but I think Arlovski will tire a bit in the 2nd and leave himself open for a big strike. Rogers by 2nd Round KO.

Jake Shields vs Robbie Lawler
Shields is one of the best MMA jiu-jitsu guys out there. He's also one of the worst strikers among top fighters. The best comparison is to Matt Hughes. Both are great fighters, elite fighters even, but their striking is comically below average. It's going to be an enormous mismatch on the feet. Lawler is a brutally effective striker. If I had to name the five best strikers (pure striking on its own), Lawler makes the list.

Shields needs to survive on his feet and somehow get the the fight to the mat. The problem will be getting a bigger opponent down without getting knocked senseless in the process. I don't think he can wrestle Lawler down. I also don't think he knocks him down with a strike. That leaves the third option, which is getting hit. Shields will need to capitalize on Lawler's aggressiveness. He needs him to follow him to the ground and I think he has a good shot at getting it to happen. This is where the fight will be won or lost. Either Shields pulls a crazy submission or Lawler finishes it from the top with strikes. I'm going with the latter. Lawler by 2nd Round TKO.

I Guess Creed Was Busy

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wanderlei Is Awkward

Wanderlei Silva, the King of the Uncomfortable Conversation.

(Pay attention at 1:41 for the strangest hug you will see today.)

Viewer's Guide to TUF 10

Why would the UFC want Kimbo Slice on The Ultimate Fighter?

The UFC has been very successful by drawing hardcore message board posting fanatics alongside mainstream casual fans. They walk the line carefully and it has paid off for them. Kimbo represents a portion of the public the UFC has yet to capture. They are spectacle fans. The type of people who want to see something for the sake of seeing it. They don't necessarily care about MMA all that much. There are a lot of them and Kimbo brings them in.

The Ultimate Fighter operates as a giant advertisement for the UFC's PPVs. During commercial breaks they almost always run a PPV promo. The more people watching the show, the more who see the promos. Kimbo's presence increases promo viewership. It's all about the money.

How much is Kimbo being paid to be on the show?

According to Dana White, it is a standard Ultimate Fighter contestant agreement. He will get paid the same amount as the rest of the cast. The difference is what happens after the show. Kimbo and the UFC have an agreement in place for a lucrative contract, if he ends up fighting in the UFC (White's words were, "If he makes it into the UFC, his contract is different.")

Why would Kimbo want to be on the show?

I think in some ways Kimbo resents the way EliteXC used him. They rushed him into the spotlight and never gave him a chance to develop. He went along with it because they paid him obscene amounts of money. It's not like he was a victim, but I definitely believe he was relieved when the ride ended with the loss to Seth Petruzelli.

Being on The Ultimate Fighter is a chance to salvage his career. EliteXC Kimbo was an artificial bubble. We all knew it was a matter of time before it popped. UFC Kimbo has the opportunity to put a solid foundation under his stardom. All he really needs to do is train hard and win a fight. Do that and he's fighting for the UFC following the season.

Wasn't Kimbo getting offers elsewhere?

Yes, but nothing close to the UFC's offer. Think about it like this...The UFC offers you a chance to be on TV, work with top notch trainers, and a large contract if you make it to the UFC. He doesn't have to win the whole thing to get the contract. Most of the contestants on previous seasons of The Ultimate Fighter end up fighting in the UFC. It's really a tremendous offer.

Kimbo's other options were Strikeforce, Japan, or boxing. Strikeforce did not offer a big contract. They operate under a strict budget (one of the reasons I respect the hell out of them) and they did not plan on using Kimbo as a main event fighter. The Japanese promotions were in the mix, however, Kimbo would have had to be a cartoon character the rest of his career. The last option was boxing with Gary Shaw as his manager. A noose and a ledge is a better option than having Gary Shaw manage your career.

Does Kimbo have a chance at winning the show?

Probably not. Despite being in main events on network TV, Kimbo is inexperienced. The TUF casts usually have a couple terrible guys, mostly mediocre guys, and 1-2 studs. Kimbo falls in the mediocre category. Good enough to win a fight, but not a contender.

His concentration needs to be on training hard. One of the best reasons for going on TUF is getting noticed by training camps. If a fighter like Junie Browning can end up with Xtreme Couture, I see no reason why Kimbo won't get a similar opportunity.

Enough Kimbo stuff. Who else is on the show?

At this point the full list is not out. We do know there will be four guys who could sorta be called former NFL players. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. At least two of them should be solid - Marcus Jones and Brendan Schaub. I'm pegging Schaub as the early favorite until I see the rest of the list.

When does the season begin?

They began filming this week. It will premiere September 16th on Spike TV.

I still hate Kimbo. Do you?

Nope. I can't help but be interested in how this pans out. He's taking a chance and it'll be fun to watch. If he fails, I'll enjoy it. If he succeeds, I'll enjoy it. Seeing people attempt to perform under pressure is one of my favorite things to watch on TV. No one has ever had this sort of pressure on them in the Ultimate Fighter house. We've seen fighters crack over trivial issues like missing their girlfriend. Imagine what Kimbo will be going through. It's fascinating no matter how you look at it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kimbo Slice on TUF 10

Kimbo Slice will be a contestant on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. The show is shaping up to be a circus with Rampage and Evans as coaches and Slice now added to the cast. Obviously there will be a fair amount of outrage over Slice's addition, but in some ways I respect the decision on his part. It's a last ditch effort to salvage his career. I enjoy watching stuff like that.

For the UFC, it's all about ratings. With Slice on board, the show will break records. More ratings equals more exposure for their PPV ads, which appear during almost every commercial break.

Does he have a chance at winning?

He can definitely win his first fight. I don't see them matching him up with any of the better fighters. There are always guys at the bottom of the cast who stink (Gabe Ruediger). This will be especially true with the Heavyweights featured. It's a very shallow division. After the first round, it's probably lights out on his TUF run.

Odds of Rampage using his "Black on black crime" joke in the first episode?


Monday, June 1, 2009

Mousasi vs Babalu

The Mousasi/Belfort weight impasse could not be worked out. It's probably for the best. Belfort's career has been reborn at Middleweight and a move up in weight to face a younger top prospect would have been a dubious decision. The answer to the dilemma turned out not to be Matt Lindland, as I thought, but instead Renato "Babalu" Sobral. Mousasi and Babalu will most likely fight at 205 lbs, where Sobral currently holds the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Title.

Babalu does not get the credit he deserves. There are two reasons for this. First, the Liddell highlight reel losses are what everyone remembers. No way to erase those from the public's consciousness. Second, he beats who he's supposed to. It's kind of a backhanded compliment. Meaning, when he faces top competition, he loses. Maybe this will be Babalu's moment to get a huge win. Okay, maybe not. Mousasi is a beast. He's better on his feet and can match Babalu on the ground. It's a very solid fight, though. I'm glad Affliction did not go with Lindland and possibly derail Mousasi's career with a boring split decision loss.

Affliction: Trilogy
Josh Barnett vs Fedor Emelianenko
Gegard Mousasi vs Renato Sobral
Dan Lauzon vs Chris Horodecki
Jay Hieron vs Paul Daley
Tim Sylvia vs Paul Buentello

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tim Sylvia Not Too Bright

"Its something I've always wanted to pursue and if it works out like I'd like for it too, I can switch over. I don't want to be done with MMA, but the money is a lot better in boxing. Plus its a lot easier on your body and its a lot easier to train for a boxing match than it is an MMA match." - Tim Sylvia via Fighters Only

Money and easier training. Wow, Sylvia didn't hold back. Most guys would have said to test themselves.

His idea of boxing paydays is way off. Yes, there are 3-5 boxers who make millions a fight. No, Sylvia does not have any chance of ever being one of them. He's fighting Ray Goddamn Mercer in Alafrigginbama. Probably not the best way to launch your multi-million dollar boxing career. There is also the problem of Sylvia not being a draw. In MMA, the fans barely cared about him. Crossing over to boxing makes him even less interesting. I think we will eventually see an MMA fighter make a ton of money on a boxing PPV, but it isn't gonna be Sylvia.

(Never gets old)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Affliction's Poster Is Crap

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that a company who designs ugly t-shirts would also make ugly event posters. Somehow, it still does. Look at this load of crap. The cheesy flags in the background, the goofy pictures of them holding their arms up (Fedor's doesn't even look real), the two-tone Affliction logo, the dual theme for an event called "Trilogy", and of course Ben Rothwell getting his name on the poster. As usual, Affliction does not disappoint.

(Click on image for a bigger version of a load of crap)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Need To Sugarcoat It

Rampage is ducking Machida.

The UFC offered him a title shot and he turned it down in favor of fighting Rashad Evans. This has nothing to do with whether the UFC wanted Evans on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Rampage. He even said it himself, "They told me I could fight whoever and I had my mind set I would fight Evans."

An offer was made and he declined. If he accepted, the UFC would have reached out to Machida and asked him to coach. Or, they would have taken Rampage off the show. A title bout trumps it. After all, the major function of The Ultimate Fighter is to serve as an advertising vehicle for UFC PPVs.

In MMA, opportunities are fleeting. I think this is a huge mistake. While Rampage is wallowing in Ultimate Fighter Limbo, the guy who took his title will be facing Anderson Silva. A win by Forrest Griffin would bump Rampage from the number one contender spot. Coupled with a loss to Evans and Rampage won't sniff a title shot in 2010.

If his goal is to get "his belt" back, he's going about it the wrong way.

Rampage and Evans on TUF 10

All right, at this point it seems like the following scenario played out...

Dana White: Hey Quinton!
Rampage: Please don't make me fight Machida.
Dana White: Sure thing, pal.
Rampage: How 'bout some black on...
Dana White: If you say that stupid joke one more time, I'm making you fight Machida.
Rampage: Sorry.

Rampage and Rashad Evans will coach the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Rampage was given the choice between fighting for the title or taking on Evans. Since Rampage is too scared to face Machida, it appears Mauricio Rua will get the title shot. Is this how the Machida era will go? Clear cut number one contenders turning down title shots? I sure hope not.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mousasi Can't Make 185 lbs

"I cannot make the weight, otherwise I would have continued to fight at 185 and not given up my DREAM middleweight title," Mousasi responded. "I cannot make 185 anymore and that is final."

Told ya.

If Belfort doesn't want to fight above 185 lbs, look for Matt Lindland to take his place. Although, I believe Belfort will ultimately accept the catchweight bout.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who Can Beat Machida?

Quinton Jackson
Why He Can Win: Jackson punches as hard as anyone in the Light Heavyweight division. All it takes is one shot to end a fight (Silva, Liddell). We still haven't seen what happens when Machida gets hit with a clean strike.
Why He Can't Win: I can't see him getting through the fight without his lead leg breaking. If the fight goes on for longer than a round, he's in trouble.
Likelihood of Fighting: Barring an injury, Jackson will get the first crack at the new champion, probably in November or December.

Mauricio Rua
Why He Can Win: A healthy Shogun has the all-around game to match Machida stride for stride. He's quick, has power, good in the clinch, can sub you on the ground. The only hole is, well, you know.
Why He Can't Win: Although he won the Liddell fight, you can't help but wonder about his conditioning. In a five round fight, it's tough to feel confident he won't gas.
Likelihood of Fighting: Rua needs another big win before he can be considered a title contender.

Forrest Griffin
Why He Can Win: Griffin might just be crazy enough to forget about the Machida aura and take the fight to him. How will Machida respond to adversity in the cage? We don't know yet and it'll continue to be a mystery until someone pressures him. Griffin's submissions are also very underrated. We saw Machida get caught in a triangle against Tito Ortiz, so it's not far fetched to think it can happen again.
Why He Can't Win: He takes too many strikes. Griffin gets hit against everyone he fights. The other problem is Griffin is not a finisher. To defeat Machida, he'd need to win a decision, which means getting through five rounds without getting beheaded. In a three round fight, I'd like his chances a lot better.
Likelihood of Fighting: With a win over Anderson Silva at UFC 101, Griffin would position himself as next in line to face the winner of Machida/Jackson.

Randy Couture
Why He Can Win: As much as they want to build Machida up as a superb wrestler, I think it's actually his one weakness. The problem is getting in without getting hit. Couture still has the wrestling ability to overpower opponents.
Why He Can't Win: When you get older, your reactions slow down. It's not dramatic, but the extra hundredth of a second it takes could be the difference between Machida's straight left hitting you on the chin or partially landing. Couture is just too old for this sort of opponent.
Likelihood of Fighting: It's a long shot. There are better fights for him at Heavyweight (with a win he gets Lesnar/Mir, with a loss he gets Cro Cop). Either way, I think Couture finishes his career at Heavyweight.

Dan Henderson
Why He Can Win: Like Couture, Henderson has the blend of wrestling and toughness I believe it will take to defeat Machida. He can take a strike and keep coming forward.
Why He Can't Win: Henderson and Griffin have the same problem. They do not finish fights.
Likelihood of Fighting: Slim. Henderson's future depends on his fight with Michael Bisping. If he wins, he's getting a Middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva. If he loses, well, then things get interesting. Henderson would probably make the move to Light Heavyweight for good, since he'd fall behind Bisping and Marquardt/Maia on the list of contenders. At 205 lbs, he'd still have some viability as a contender. Personally, I want to see him and Wanderlei Silva fight again.

Belfort vs Mousasi Affliction 3

Affliction has made their fair share of mistakes, but when it comes to booking interesting fights, they usually get it right. The latest news is Gegard Mousasi will face Vitor Belfort at Affliction's third event on August 3rd. My guess is a catchweight of 195 lbs, as Mousasi has no plans to compete at 185 lbs anymore.

I'll save everyone the time. Tom Atencio will say, "Well, ya know, I don't like to say anything until the contracts are signed. Um, we, um, uhm, nothing is set. When things are, uhm, we will say, uhm...."

Affliction 3
Fedor Emelianenko vs Josh Barnett
Vitor Belfort vs Gegard Mousasi
Tim Sylvia vs Paul Buentello
Dan Lauzon vs Chris Horodecki
Paul Daley vs Jay Hieron

Sunday, May 24, 2009

UFC 98 Recap

-Enough cannot be said about how easily Lyoto Machida defeated Rashad Evans. The thing that stood out to me was how much damage he inflicted without ever being in danger. When Chuck Liddell fought Evans, every time he threw a punch, I was thinking, "Oh man, he's leaving himself out there." Same thing with Forrest Griffin. Machida was the polar opposite. The Light Heavyweight division has been a knockout division for a long time and I don't know if you can beat Machida like that. As crazy as it sounds, I think a wrestler would have the best chance. Striking with him is the wrong way to go.

-I didn't touch on this during the Live Results, however, it needs to be said. Matt Serra kind of got screwed by the judges. He also screwed himself. Let me explain. In the 1st Round, Hughes walked into Serra's head. It was an accidental headbutt and it almost knocked Hughes completely out. Serra capitalized with a barrage of punches. It was a totally one-sided round until Hughes made a Hulk Hogan comeback and slammed Serra to the ground. The takedown changed the round from a possible 10-8 to 10-9 Serra. The only person Serra can blame for the lost point is himself. He had Hughes dead on his feet and let him survive. In the 2nd Round Hughes controlled the action and took it 10-9. The 3rd Round is where I think the judges might have screwed Serra a little bit. Both fighters scored takedowns, although I'd say Serra's was more impressive considering he is 5'4 and Hughes looked like Mark McGwire last night. Serra also worked offensively from the bottom. Hughes did almost nothing from the top. I scored the round 10-9 Hughes, but after watching it again, I think Serra won it. All three judges scored it 10-9 Hughes.

-Sean Sherk needs to see a psychologist. You're facing a smaller fighter. Go for takedowns the entire fight. Wear him out. The only way he beats you is by standing. The term "complete fighter" is to blame for Sherk's odd strategies of late. No one wants to be known as one-dimensional anymore. Wrestlers want to be strikers and strikers want to be submission experts. It doesn't make sense to me. Use your strengths to your advantage and let the other guy adapt to them.

-Phillipe Nover's career is turning into one of those new shows TV networks hype like crazy then by mid season they're cancelled.

-Overall it was a good PPV. The Sherk/Edgar and Sonnen/Miller fights were awful. The rest of the main card was great. It'll be interesting to see how many PPV buys it does. The recent media blitz by Dana White to promote the video game will help. Without it, I think you'd be looking at a 350K event. With it, I'm gonna guess 450K.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

UFC 98 Live Results

(If you like the Live Results, please support the sponsors on the right. A click here and there really helps.)

Preliminary Card
Dave Kaplan vs George Roop
-Roop Wins by Split Decision (29-28, 27-30, 30-27)
Brandon Wolff vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida
-Yoshida Wins by 1st Rd Submission (Guillotine)
Krzysztof Soszynski vs Andre Gusmao
-Soszynski Wins by 1st Rd TKO
Phillipe Nover vs Kyle Bradley
-Bradley Wins by 1st Rd TKO
Pat Barry vs Tim Hague
-Hague Wins by 1st Rd Submission (Guillotine)
Brock Larson vs Mike Pyle
-Larson Wins by 1st Rd Submission (Arm Triangle)

-I'm putting the Over/Under at 9.5 for how many times Goldberg describes Machida as elusive.

Frankie Edgar vs Sean Sherk

Round 1
Neither landing anything early. They tie-up briefly. Edgar throwing some leg kicks. Edgar lands a combo. Another left/right combo for Edgar. Sherk is walking right into them. Edgar shoots for a single, but Sherk brushes him off. Sherk tries a leg kick and Edgar goes in and gets a takedown. He's working for a guillotine. Sherk gets out of it and they're back to standing. Sherk moving forward. He's a step slow on the exchanges so far. A left lands for Sherk. A kick and a combo by Sherk. RNN Scores it 10-9 Edgar.

Round 2
Edgar moving around constantly. Sherk is more active to start the round. A left lands for Sherk. Another left. Solid body kick for Edgar. Tie-up and a knee to the body sends Sherk down. He's right back up, kind of a slip from being off-balanced. Edgar connects with a left followed by a right. Another combo for Edgar. He's just too quick for Sherk thus far. He's connecting and getting out of the way. By the time Sherk throws, Edgar is two steps away. Edgar tries a takedown that goes nowhere. RNN Scores it 10-9 Edgar.

Round 3
Sherk looks frustrated to start the final round. Sherk shoots hard and gets a sweet takedown. Edgar gets up quickly, though. I have no idea why Sherk isn't shooting constantly. It's like he wants to prove he can fight on his feet, but it's not working. Tie-up, Sherk tries for a clinch, Edgar gets free. Sherk misses on a takedown. Edgar connects during the scramble as they break. Inside leg kick by Edgar. Edgar counters perfectly with a combination. Sherk shoots with ten seconds left. Edgar defends and sinks in a guillotine. Sherk doesn't tap, but it scored points. RNN Scores it 10-9 Edgar.

Edgar Wins by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

-I have no idea why Sherk refuses to take people down. I don't get it at all. Play to your strengths. Make your opponent adapt to you. Trying to win stand-up battles with alligator arms just doesn't make sense to me.

Dan Miller vs Chael Sonnen
-Miller sporting chest hair. All things equal, the guy with chest hair wins.

Round 1
Miller lands a right. Sonnen shoots for a takedown. Miller has a guillotine. Sonnen takes his time and gets out. That didn't look good. Sonnen on top throwing some strikes. Miller using a high guard. Strikes are landing for Sonnen. Miller turns for a kneebar. Sonnen defends and scrambles to side control. Miller gets back to half guard. Sonnen stands and rains down a couple solid punches. Elbow lands for Sonnen. RNN Scores it 10-9 Sonnen.

Round 2
Tie-up, Sonnen pushes him into the cage. Miller has another guillotine. He lets go. Sonnen in full Miller's full guard. Sonnen throwing good shots from the top. Miller throwing legs up and getting close to a triangle. He's gotta be exhausted by now, though. Miller turns and goes for an arm bar. Sonnen gets out before Miller can get it going. Sonnen throws a huge left that misses from the top. Other than that, the last minute was very light stuff from Sonnen. RNN Scores it 10-9 Sonnen.

Round 3
Jab lands for Miller. A right then a left connects for Miller. Sonnen has enough of getting hit and takes Miller down. Sonnen not doing much from the top. Elbow lands for Sonnen. Nothing really happening. Sonnen laying on top throwing light stuff. RNN Scores it 10-9 Sonnen.

Sonnen Wins by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

-"Not the most exciting fight." Rogan said it best.

-Thank God that's over.

-I obtained an exclusive picture of Lyoto Machida and Ed Soares going over the gameplan for tonight's fight.

Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs Drew McFedries
-Prior to the fight Goldberg told us, "This fight is brought to you by Burger King...Have it your way late at night!" I'm pretty sure that's the ad for Condom Depot too.

Round 1
McFedries catches him with a big right. Prof X stumbles down. McFedries all over him. Prof X moving around on the ground and avoiding the stoppage. More shots. Prof X gets up and gets nailed again. Referee stops it.

McFedries Wins by 1st Round TKO

Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra
-I still can't believe this fight is actually gonna happen. I'm waiting for a last minute injury or maybe Serra will choke on a meatball. Seriously, how does a 5'4 fighter almost miss weight at 170 lbs?
-Serra coming out to the Rocky theme song.
-Hughes looks enormous.

Round 1
A slow start with both circling. They go in for an exchange and a headbutt wobbles Hughes (he sort of walked into it). He's rocked. Serra lands some punches (one to back of head) and Hughes is hurt. Referee is watching closely. He didn't see the headbutt, so there was no timeout. Hughes grabs a leg and is holding on. I'm shocked this is still going on. Hughes back up and wrestles Serra in close. He seems recovered now. Back to circling. Hughes grabs Serra trips him to the ground. He shifts to side control and now has his back. Serra eating strikes, as Hughes looks to sink in a Rear Naked Choke. Serra turns and gets out of trouble. They're back to standing. RNN Scores it 10-10 (because of the headbutt).

Round 2
Jab by Hughes. Hughes wrestles Serra into the cage and throws him to the ground. Hughes looking to pass. Serra defending well and not letting Hughes into side control. Hughes landing some punches to the head. Punches to the body now. Serra playing to the crowd and acting like the strikes don't hurt. They probably don't, but he's losing the round. Referee stands them up with ten seconds left. RNN Scores it 10-9 Hughes.

Round 3
A right lands for Hughes. He dives in after it and gets the takedown. Serra immediately working for a shoulder lock. Hughes pulls his arm out. Full guard for Serra. Now Serra is working for a shoulder lock on the other arm. Hughes gets out again. Serra holding on and looking for the referee to stand them up. The referee listens and we're back to standing. Serra comes in with a right that partially lands. Hughes counters, though, with a couple strikes of his own. Tie-up, Hughes looks for a trip. Serra counters and throws Hughes to the ground. Serra working from the top. He lands a nice punch. Hughes gets basically back to his feet. RNN Scores it 10-9 Hughes.

Matt Hughes Wins by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

-Wow. It was sort of a boring fight with Hughes laying on top mostly. However, the 1st Round headbutt made it very dramatic. Hughes was pretty much out. The guy's recovery skills are unmatched by anyone. I'd put this on par with his comeback against Trigg. He got hit with a headbutt, a punch to the back of the head, a bunch of punches while he was staggered, then he came back and took Serra down. Amazing.

Lyoto Machida vs Rashad Evans (LHW Title)
-They really need Machida to be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. The way he talks is hilarious. It's straight out of a Kung Fu movie.
-The UFC should pay Sean Salmon every time they show the clip of his head colliding with Rashad Evans' foot. It just seems like the right thing to do.
-Evans going crazy on the way to the cage.
-No sign of Evans' boyfriend Keith Jardine.

Round 1
Minute in, no strikes. Minute and a half, nothing. Fans are being very patient. Machida is stalking. A head kick brushes Evans back and into the cage. There was some force, but it didn't fully land. A big kick lands for Machida into Evans' body. Machida lands body kick and a left hand that drops Evans. He's on top throwing. Evans weathers the storm and gets back to his feet. It seemed like he caught him off-balanced and it was a flash knockdown. Evans wasn't hurt, really. RNN Scores it 10-9 Machida.

-"He's gonna have to come to you, Lyoto."

Round 2
Leg kick by Machida. A "MACHID-A!" chant has broken out. A body kick by Machida. Machida charges in with rights and lefts. Evans answers and actually hits Machida in the face. It didn't hurt him, but still, he landed a strike. Machida lands a big straight left that hurts Evans. He's all over him. Evans is taking strikes from every angle. He's down. He's up! Machida is relentless. A big right. A huge left drops Evans and it's over. Holy crap!

Machida Wins by 2nd Round KO

-First, Machida gave one the best post-fight speeches ever. He did the entire thing in his Kung Fu movie voice. The fans ate it up and were cheering throughout the whole thing. He sort of has an Andre the Giant thing going where everything he says is kinda funny because his voice is so deep.

-Second, the finish was classic. Evans deserves credit for all the strikes he took without dying. The last left dropped him to his knees then he fell backwards and for a second it looked like he might have broken his neck.

-Who the hell is gonna beat this guy?

UFC 98 Picks will have UFC 98 Live Results beginning tonight at 8pm ET.

Phillipe Nover vs Kyle Bradley L
-Nover by 1st Rd TKO
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs Brandon Wolff W
-Yoshida by 2nd Rd TKO
Chael Sonnen vs Dan Miller
-Miller by 2nd Rd Submission
Sean Sherk vs Frankie Edgar
-Sherk by Unanimous Decision
Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra
-Hughes by 2nd Rd TKO
Rashad Evans vs Lyoto Machida
-Machida by Unanimous Decision

Memo to UFC

Next time you have a weigh-in, don't put your hottest ring girl directly behind the scale. This stuff isn't complicated, guys.

(More pictures here, perverts.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Super-Manager Ed Soares

Chael Sonnen, Krzysztof Soszynski, and Ed Soares were on Pro MMA Radio this week. Whoever is in charge of booking guests for this show needs to be fired. Even funnier is MMAMania's description of Ed Soares as a "super-manager". What exactly makes him super? Was it the time Paulo Filho missed weight for a title fight? Was it the time Big Nog fought with a knee injury and coming off a staph infection? Was it the two times Anderson Silva danced his way through PPV main events? Or maybe it's how Soares mistranslates what his fighters say?

Maybe a better description of Soares would be "super-opportunist".

I'm Back

Where have you been?

This semester killed me. The end of it was particularly devastating. I'm still not sure how I wrote all the papers I did without a constant drip of meth pumping into my arm.

How excited are you for Cro Cop's return to the UFC?

I'd give it a 5 on the Give A Crap Meter. His best days are over and at this point he's a sideshow fighter. It's a brilliant move by the UFC, though. The Euro fans will go crazy when he kicks Al-Turk's head into the cheap seats.

I should explain what a "sideshow fighter" means. It's not someone like Hong Man Choi or Kimbo Slice. To me a sideshow fighter is anyone who can still draw interest, but isn't a legit title contender. The most notable are Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva.

Will Evans/Machida bore the hell out of everyone watching?

I think we're in for a five rounder and at least 3 and a half of those rounds will be entertaining. The 1st round will probably draw boos, but things will get better as it goes deeper. I'm looking forward to seeing Greg Jackson's gameplan. If he comes up with a way to beat Machida, I'll give in and call him a genius from now on. I really hope Goldberg shuts the hell up between rounds and lets us hear what Jackson tells Evans.

Why is Strikeforce putting one of their best younger fighters against Andrei Arlovski?

Because they're smart and realize MMA fans want to see compelling fights. Brett Rogers does not need anymore build-up fights. You can only protect a guy for so long.

Is BJ Penn really training with Todd Marinovich's dad?

Imagine what Penn will be like when he nears the end of his career. He's slowly going crazy, I think. Here's my list of things that will probably happen at some point in the future.

3. Huge argument with Dana White, quits UFC, starts a rival promotion with himself as the biggest name.
2. Starts dressing like Jesper Parnevik.
1. Brings back the afro/mustache combo.

I'd be shocked if at least two of those did not happen in the next ten years.

Does the winner of Velasquez/Kongo get a title shot?

Velasquez, definitely not. Kongo, probably not. I think we will see the winners of Lesnar/Mir and Couture/Nogueira fight in the winter (almost certainly if Lesnar and Couture win). The winner of Kongo/Velasquez should fight Shane Carwin. Then the winner of that would be a clear number one contender and face the champion in late winter or early spring of 2010.

What did you think of the Lost finale?

The opening scene was perfect. My only issue was the ending. No way Juliet survives the fall and even if she does, no way she's able to move. And how did she miss all those metal objects? Didn't anyone think, "Hmmm, maybe we're taking the drama of her death a little far. How about she just falls down the giant hole and dies?" Other than that, I'm pumped for the final season.

Will you be doing UFC 98 Live Results?


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lashley Wins Again

I like Lashley's approach to MMA. He's staying active instead of hoping for his name to carry him. If he beats Bob Sapp, he'll have the bigger promotions craving his attention. The UFC might step up just to keep him out of Strikeforce.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dana White ESPN Chat

Tuesday at 2pm ET, Dana White will be given the live chat treatment on Most of these are tame and don't feature any Earth shattering questions. However, White has an uncanny talent for saying more than he should. Even with softball questions, I have a feeling this will be worth following.

(By the way, semester is over, finally. Back to a regular posting schedule for RNN.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Little Nog a Top 5 LHW?

Over the weekend, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira fought for the first time in his native country of Brazil, winning by submission over Dion Staring. It's the fifth straight victory for the smaller of the Nogueira brothers. He rarely gets mentioned as a top Light Heavyweight, but maybe it's time he gets some respect. He's lost three times in 20 fights and two were by decision (Shogun, Matyushenko). The other was a 23 second knockout loss to Sokoudjou. The Sokoudjou loss is inexcuseable, but the other two are solid. Even the Sokoudjou loss could be given the Liddell logic of "He just got caught."

In 05-06 he defeated Alistair Overeem twice and Dan Henderson, which are his biggest wins to date. The Henderson submission win was especially impressive because in 2005 he was a tank. 09 UFC Hendo is a photocopy of a shadow of 05 Henderson. The death of Pride hurt Nogueira's ascent to the top of the Light Heavyweights. Since then he hasn't faced the same level of competition.

At this point I'd place him firmly in the Top Ten. He's a big win away from being in the same conversation with Evans, Machida, Rampage. I'd like to say I'm confident Affliction will find him a quality opponent for their summer show. However, the last two Affliction shows he's been relegated to the preliminary card. My guess is we'll see him facing Sokoudjou whenever Affliction decides to book their next event. Although we can all hope for Gegard Mousasi. That fight would make even the most hardened MMA fan pee a little in his TapouT parachute pants.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dana White E:60

It does not air until Tuesday night, but the guy who interviewed Dana White could use a little MMA refresher course. He told MMA Fanhouse, "He's [White] clearly lifted the sport, he's done a number of brilliant things to lift the sport to where it is. But one of the things we ask in the piece is, Is he too volatile to get the sport to the next level?"

Dana White does not represent the entire sport anymore than Mark Cuban represents the entire NBA. It is not White's job to do anything but get the UFC to the next level. If the reporter meant the latter, I still don't agree with him. In eight years White and Zuffa have turned a $2 million shack into a multi-billion dollar behemoth. In the past six months, they have had two PPVs do over a million buys (UFC 92 and 94). Neither of those PPVs were headlined by anyone named Liddell or Ortiz, either. The UFC has transitioned to a new lineup of stars, during a severe worldwide economic downturn, and they are making more money than ever. The success is astounding, but apparently since Dana White curses he must not be capable of reaching the "next level".

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Damn The Internet

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shaq Training MMA

Silva vs Jones Jr.

A year ago I was enamored with everything Anderson Silva did. He could have taken a crap in the center of the cage and I would have thought, "Did you see the size of it? Wow." Since then he has become one of the most annoying fighters to follow. I think having Ed Soares as his spokesman doesn't help, either. There is something sleazy about him. I'm sure he's a great manager and makes his fighters huge amounts of money, but as a voice, he sucks.

The latest Silva development is he wants to fight Roy Jones Jr. in the UFC under MMA rules. Dana White immediately shot it down, comparing the proposed fight to something Pride or K-1 would do. I gotta agree with him. There is zero need to ever have such a fight in the UFC. White and the other executives have done a masterful job of positioning the UFC between entertainment and sport. A Silva/Jones fight would firmly place them on the pro wrestling side of the equation.

There is also the business side to think about. How much money would it take to sign Roy Jones Jr.? My guess is millions. Would Silva/Jones bring in enough PPV buys to offset such a salary? My guess is no f'n way. Silva is a terrible PPV draw and Jones Jr. has not been relevant for years. Now if it was Floyd Mayweather Jr., you might have something, but again, I do not think it is worth it. MMA is thriving and does not need to become a sideshow to survive.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Affliction Sucks" - Bellator

"We paid attention like crazy to what they were doing incorrectly and have tried desperately to shy away from it," Rebney said. "(We) tried desperately to not find ourselves in that spot and to not make similar mistakes to those made by the IFL, Elite, and obviously Affliction, I don't know what their current status is, but they're not in a growth curve. Let's put it that way." - Bjorn Rebney, Bellator CEO

It's pretty bad when you get mentioned last in a sentence with the IFL and EliteXC. Poor Affliction. They deserve equal parts credit and disbelief for their foray into MMA promotion. I'll miss them when they're gone.

I'm still not sure what to make of Bellator. In many ways, I think this first season of events has been about proving to ESPN it can work. Once live events begin airing on ESPN2, it'll be easier to tell if this thing has legs or not. At this point, it is a niche product for Spanish speaking and hardcore MMA fans.

(Quote courtesy of MMA Fanhouse)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Worst MMA Announcer Ever

Give it 12 seconds and you'll be laughing. A minute in, you'll be screaming "Oh My Gosh!".

And at the 6:25 mark, keep an eye on the left arm of the "".

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ed Herman Is Awesome

Earlier today the UFC's Twitter page announced Yushin Okami suffered an injury and would not be able to face Dan Miller at UFC 98. Then they got themselves in trouble by stating, "Dan Miller will fight an awesome replacement challenger." This of course sent fans into hysterics as they pondered the choices. Well, it turns out the "awesome replacement challenger" is Ed Herman. Yes, the same Ed Herman who was a loss away from getting cut at UFC 97. I actually am a Herman fan, but to categorize him as "awesome" is a huge stretch.

Here are some other huge stretches I came up with...

Georges St-Pierre doesn't shave his legs.
Marcus Davis is Irish.
Ed Soares is a trustworthy translator.
Mauro Ranallo doesn't try too hard.
UFC gyms will be popular.
Dan Miragliotta makes sound decisions.

(The UFC must be monitoring this site because now Herman has been replaced by Chael Sonnen, who I guess they feel is more awesome. By the time UFC 98 gets here, Dan Miller might be fighting Jose Canseco.)

I Need Your Help

No, this is not some lame attempt to make me money. All I'm asking for is access to your MMA memory. Email me any fights you remember with questionable stoppages. I don't need videos, just a list will do.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Phil Baroni Wins

He easily had the hottest date at Kevin Randleman's wedding. There really wasn't much competition, other than Pepsi Carano and her Tuxedo T-Shirt Dress, but a win is a win.

(How high does this dude score on the "Uneasiness About My Date Hooking Up With Someone Else Tonight" Scale? I say a 9.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Forrest Griffin vs Anderson Silva

The rumors are true. Forrest Griffin will face Anderson Silva at UFC 101. As usual, when Dana White and the UFC are backed into a corner, they come out firing. The negative publicity following Silva's lackluster victory over Thales Leites definitely forced their hand. They needed to get Silva back into the cage and against a talented opponent. Griffin is a perfect choice. His fights are almost always entertaining and he's popular enough to sell the match-up to a large audience, something Silva has not been able to do yet.

The biggest winner in all of this is probably BJ Penn. With Griffin/Silva on the card, UFC 101 becomes a major PPV. He'll make quite a lot more off of PPV buys than he would have with Griffin fighting Thiago Silva. Penn seems pretty smart now for passing on UFC 99 (destined to tank at the box office).

From a style standpoint, I can see arguments for Griffin or Silva having the advantage. Griffin is a big Light Heavyweight. As St-Pierre/Penn II showed, size (and Vaseline) matters. It's difficult to imagine Silva being able to use much clinch work without Griffin tackling the hell out of him. On the pro-Silva side, you have Griffin's ability to get hit in the face by just about everyone he fights. He always reminds me of Rocky Balboa the first time he faces Apollo Creed. It's like he's purposely leaving his head out there to get hit. Do that against Silva and this thing won't last long.