Saturday, February 28, 2009

How Did I Miss This?

Krzysztof Soszynski's nickname is "The Polish Experiment". Seriously, how didn't I make fun of this by now? Maybe it's because I blame him for turning The Ultimate Fighter 8 into a Punk'd knockoff. Or, it could be how he acted like he was better than everyone else than got schooled by Vinny. Or, it might even be because I'm lazy and hate trying to spell his name correctly.

Anyways, "The Polish Experiment" is an early contender for 2009 Worst Nickname. It sounds like something the Nazis did in World War II.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Major Injury for Lauzon

Joe Lauzon needs major knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and a lingering problem with his meniscus. He's facing a very long and painful rehab. Best case scenario has him back in 12-14 months, but you never know with these types of things. It's not uncommon for athletes to suffer setbacks during the rehabilitation phase. It's unfortunate because he looked very good in his win over Jeremy Stephens. Hopefully he can get through this and return to form some time in 2010.

GSP Releases a Video


GSP's camp has decided to release a video in defense of their breathing technique. This doesn't help matters. In the Sherk clip the cornerman doing the rubdown isn't the guy with the Vaseline, so it doesn't make any sense. They might as well have put a clip of a giraffe taking a crap because it would have had the same significance. I guess their goal is to save face and at least try to get people to think the cheating was not malicious.

I hope Penn's camp releases another video and this turns into one of those celebrity YouTube feuds.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Couture vs Nogueira UFC 101

Randy Couture will face Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 101. The bout will take place in August and Portland, Oregon could be the destination. Maybe the UFC is paying back Portland for moving UFC 91 "Couture/Lesnar" to Las Vegas.

Originally it was hoped they could headline UFC 96, however, Couture's bone spur surgery ended the discussion. Thankfully, the UFC remained patient and now they have a historic fight on their hands. It also sets the stage for the winner to face whoever comes out on top in the Mir/Lesnar unification bout.

A year ago at this time, the UFC's Heavyweight Division was a mess. It still is not the strongest, but at least it's improved.

GSP's Corner Responds to NSAC

This letter boils down to, "No way, dude!".

One interesting part is where they claim Kenny Florian denied telling BJ Penn's camp about St-Pierre's greasing techniques. As I've pointed out, the only thing Florian has denied is knowing Penn's email address. He's avoided answering the real question.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UFC 99 Slipping Away

UFC 99 started out with the ridiculous rumor it would be headlined by Chuck Liddell vs Randy Couture. My crap detector immediately kicked in when I heard that one. My main point was it makes little sense to hold a tape delayed main event of such magnitude. It would cost the UFC and the fighters millions (Couture and Liddell get a portion of PPV buys).

The latest casualty of the German card is BJ Penn. He was rumored to defend the Lightweight Title against Kenny Florian, but now claims he wants to spend time with his family. Some have suggested it's simply a matter of money. Think about it from Penn's standpoint. He's coming off headlining the most watched UFC PPV in history. Why would he want to fight on a tape-delay PPV which will do 250-400k buys? It does not make economic sense. There is also the insane travel time he would deal with getting from Hawaii to Germany.

With Penn/Florian off, the UFC is left without too many choices. Most of their biggest names are booked too close to the event to make them viable headliners. One option would be to make Franklin/Silva the main event, which would not be a stretch. Both have international name recognition and the fight would draw viewers.

Another option would be to match up Forrest Griffin with either Rampage Jackson or Keith Jardine. If Rampage wins at UFC 96, he is getting Rashad Evans at UFC 100. If he loses, a fight with Griffin makes sense. Even if Rampage wins, the UFC might still turn to Griffin. Matching him with Jardine would work too.

The larger point is the UFC must find ways to make fighting on international cards more appealing to their biggest stars. They cannot keep watering down events with "co-main events" like Dan Hardy vs Rory Markham.

I'm Huge In Canada

I'm starting the rumor this is Bret "The Hitman" Hart's daughter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

WEC 39 Sunday Night

WEC 39 will take place this Sunday night and air on Versus. The main event features Featherweight Champion Mike Brown defending his title against Leonard Garcia.

As always, if you're planning on placing any wagers, I recommend you check out BetUS.com. It's the Sportsbook I use for all my MMA Betting, plus they're a sponsor of this site, so they help me have the ability to entertain you all day at work. Don't forget to mention RearNakedNews.com when you sign up.

A Box of Disappointment

Unintended comedy at its finest.

Monday, February 23, 2009

PA Finally Accepts MMA

Although it was a foregone conclusion, it still took way too long for Pennsylvania to decide to sanction Mixed Martial Arts. It took them over a year and half to review the proposal and agree on it. It's not like they were actively working on it. The thing sat around for months then they finally got around to it.

So when will the UFC be coming to town? Late summer or early fall would make the most sense because they wouldn't have to worry about basketball or hockey scheduling concerns in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. If New York continues dragging their feet on MMA regulation, Philadelphia could be a goldmine for the UFC. It's an untapped area, which is accessible for fans from multiple states. The only drawback is finding a way to conceal the booing when fights stall on the ground. I suggest they pump in dance music. Philly guidos love that crap.

Fedor Wins Sambo Championship


Fedor won the Russian Sambo Championships over the weekend. I don't know too much about Sambo, other than I love the outfits. It's kinda what you'd expect a lifeguard to wear on an unseasonably cold summer day.

Conspiracy Against Marcus Davis

Dan Hardy wants to fight Marcus Davis. I'm about 100% sure this fight will happen, since Joe Silva seems perfectly happy to match Davis up with anyone who asks. Instead of giving Davis a shot at being a title contender, the UFC has treated him like a lesser fighter. They have no problem using his entertaining style, while keeping him out of the title picture. It's time for him to face a top Welterweight and get his chance to be a contender. No more Chris Lytles or British fighters. Give him the winner of Hughes/Serra.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

9:47

Start watching at the 9:40 mark. Seven seconds later you'll laugh.

Welterweight Is the Weakest Division

I was about to make a post about how idiotic it was for people to refer to Josh Koscheck as a "Top Five Welterweight" then I had a moment of clarity. It's the weakest weight class in MMA and he actually is (was) in the Top 5. In no particular order after GSP, you have Thiago Alves, Jake Shields, and Jon Fitch. After them you're left with Matt Hughes, Koscheck, Carlos Condit, and Mike Swick for the fifth spot. BJ Penn and Diego Sanchez are not apart of the conversation.

To give you an idea of how the Welterweights compare to other divisions, here are some names from the top of the Middleweight division: Anderson Silva, Gegard Mousasi, Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, Yushin Okami, Demian Maia, Nate Marquardt, Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, Ronaldo Souza, and Jorge Santiago. And that's just some of them. I could also mention about 5-7 more.

When did this happen? Even the awful Heavyweight division is deeper with Fedor, Lesnar, Mir, Couture, Nogueira, Barnett, Overeem, Velasquez, and Gonzaga.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

UFC 95 Live Results



Picks
Sanchez over Stevenson W
Gouveia over Marquardt L
Maia over Sonnen W
Koscheck over Thiago L
Dos Santos over Struve W
Markham over Hardy L

(If you're planning on making any picks today, please head over to BetUS.com. In addition to being one of our sponsors, it is also the Sportsbook I use for all my MMA Betting. Please mention RearNakedNews.com in the referral section.)

Preliminary Card
Paul Kelly vs Troy Mandaloniz
-Kelly Wins by Unanimous Decision
Neil Grove vs Mike Ciesnolevicz
-Ciesnolevicz Wins by 1st Rd Submission (Heel Hook)
Evan Dunham vs Per Eklund
-Dunham Wins by 1st Rd TKO
Junior Dos Santos vs Stefan Struve
-Dos Santos Wins by 1st Rd TKO (54 Seconds)
Brian Cobb vs Terry Etim
-Etim Wins by 2nd Rd TKO

Josh Koscheck vs Paulo Thiago
-Thiago looks like a big-eared version of Lyoto Machida.
-Rogan making excuses for Koscheck's loss to Alves.

Round 1
Overhand right by Koscheck grazes Thiago. Leg kick by Thiago. A big overhand right connects for Koscheck. It was at an insane angle. I'm surprised Thiago didn't go down. Another overhand right lands. Head kick partially blocked by Thiago. Koscheck throws a left and walks into an uppercut-left hook combo. Referee immediately stops it. Koscheck went down hard, but he got up and protested the stoppage.

Thiago Wins by 1st Rd KO

-I'm not sure if it was a quick stoppage or not. He got rocked. Koscheck was pissed afterwards, but he probably would have taken some major shots from the top, if the referee didn't end it. Either way, wow. Koscheck was landing big punches at will. Rogan was making fun of Thiago's stand-up for a good minute then boom, fight over.

-During the fight, in reference to Koscheck's "improving" stand-up Rogan said, "Koscheck is becoming like a Chuck Liddell." I agree. He got assaulted by kicks against an opponent, came back strong in his next fight, then got viciously knocked out. He's exactly like him.

Chael Sonnen vs Demian Maia
-Wanderlei Silva in Maia's corner.
-Apparently Frank Mir trained with Maia and said, "I don't feel like a black belt when I train with him."
-Uh oh, Dan Miragliotta is the referee. Get ready for something nutty.

Round 1
Sonnen throwing light punches. Maia lands a left. Maia goes for a takedown then pulls guard. Sonnen fought him off, but then went back into his guard. Odd move. Sonnen stands and they're back to their feet. After a brief tie-up, Maia executes an absurd throw and positions immediately to full mount. He moves into a triangle position (from the top) then rolls him over to get the full lock sinked in. Sonnen taps.

Maia Wins by 1st Rd Submission (Triangle)

-After the fight Maia says he wants a title shot.

-I'm amazed by this guy. His jiu-jitsu is three steps above anything else in MMA. It reminds me of when Royce Gracie was schooling guys in the early days of the UFC. In some ways it's more impressive what Maia is doing because now everyone knows about jiu-jitsu. Back then you had fighters who were clueless about how to defend things.

Wilson Gouveia vs Nate Marquardt
-Gouveia enters to "Another Brick in the Wall".

Round 1
Neither doing anything. Marquardt dives in with a Superman punch and follows it with a leg kick. A right-left combo lands for Gouveia. Gouveia pushes forward with another combo. He's coming right at him. Marquardt lands another leg kick. Takedown by Marquardt. Gouveia has a guillotine briefly. Elbows from the top for Marquardt. Gouveia rolls and eats a big knee to the body. RNN Scores it 10-9 Marquardt

Round 2
Leg kick by Marquardt. Solid leg kick by Gouveia. A right hand lands for Gouveia. Marquardt answers with a knee. A right for Marquardt. A big right sends Marquardt into the cage. Another strike lands. Marquardt pivots and has his back. Very nice counter by Marquardt because he got hit pretty hard with the first right. He's trying to get a rear naked choke, but Gouveia gets out of it. Marquardt now on top in his full guard. Throwing elbows, some landing. Gouveia stands back up. He's briefly in a guillotine, but gets his head out. Back to standing. A counter right hand lands for Marquardt. A right hand hurts Gouveia. Marquardt comes in with knees to the head. They're landing. This doesn't look good. He survives the round. RNN Scores it 10-9 Marquardt

Round 3
Gouveia lands a nice combination. Stiff left jab lands for Gouveia. Tie-up near the cage. Marquardt working for a takedown. They break free. A huge flying knee to the head hurts Gouveia. A series of kicks by Marquardt. He barely misses a spinning backfist. Gouveia leans over and eats another knee. He goes down. Referee ends it.

Marquardt Wins by 3rd Rd TKO

-Marquardt did a great job of getting out of trouble. He got hit a few times with strikes, but he was able to regain his composure and counter. The end of the fight probably had more to do with Gouveia being out of gas than anything else. He was being lazy with his defense in the final round and it was only a matter of time before he was hit with something.

Dan Hardy vs Rory Markham
-Funny line by Hardy, "At the end of the fight, people are gonna look at his face and say, 'That guy needs some time off.'" If Chuck Liddell gets knocked out again, someone needs to make a t-shirt with his face that reads "That guy needs some time off."

Round 1
Kind of a slow start. Markham comes in with a big right that misses. Hardy counters with a left and Markham is done. His knee kinda did a "Cro Cop" when he went down. An excellent counter to a sloppy punch.

Hardy Wins by 1st Rd TKO

Diego Sanchez vs Joe Stevenson
-Stevenson's hairline is gorillalike.
-Sanchez enters to "We Will Rock You". He's yelling "YES!" and looks like he's about to kill someone or crap his pants.
-Another Miragliotta sighting!!! They're daring fate.

Round 1
Sanchez throws a combo. Most of it was blocked. Stevenson connects with a straight right. A very nice right to the body followed by an uppercut lands for Sanchez. Sanchez goes for a knee then throws a right over the top. A right connects for Sanchez. He's coming forward with multiple strikes and most of them landing, including another uppercut that was solid. A straight left lands for Sanchez. He works the body then follows it with yet another uppercut. A counter left hook connects for Stevenson. Another uppercut. RNN Scores it 10-9 Sanchez

Round 2
A counter right lands flush for Sanchez. Stevenson wobbled. Knee to the head. Down to the ground and an entertaining scramble. Sanchez basically did a handstand during it. Back to their feet. Tie-up, Sanchez pushes him into the cage. Stevenson goes for a guillotine, but Sanchez makes an intense groaning noise then slams him down. Another cool scramble with both fighters countering. Standing again. Sanchez peppering him with punches. Head kick glances off Stevenson's head/arm. Stevenson is throwing one punch at a time, while Sanchez is always coming with 2-4 at a time. A left hook lands for Sanchez. Stevenson replies with an uppercut. Both fighters throwing in close. Stevenson got the better of the exchange. RNN Scores it 10-9 Sanchez

Round 3
Sanchez throwing more combos. He doesn't even look a little tired. Stevenson hasn't pressed him enough. A right-left combo by Sanchez followed by a knee to the lower chest. Stevenson lands a right. Sanchez goes for a takedown, but Stevenson defends perfectly. Stevenson throws a combo, finishes it with an uppercut that partially connects. Left hook connects for Stevenson. Sanchez eats an uppercut in close. Both men standing and trading to end the fight. RNN Scores it 10-9 Stevenson

Sanchez Wins by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

-Stevenson had a terrible gameplan. He never pressured him. Sanchez didn't have to wrestle or extend himself. It might have been a different fight, if he did.

-Sanchez says his move to Lightweight is "permanent for now".

Friday, February 20, 2009

Diego Looks Chemo-y

Diego looks like post-pancreatic cancer Patrick Swayze.

Aoki at DREAM.7

Shinya Aoki will be back in action at DREAM.7 on March 6. His opponent is David Gardner, who is best known for defeating Rich Clementi in 2004. That's about all you need to know.

It's an odd fight because Aoki is supposed to compete in the following month's DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix. As I mentioned previously, I don't see him trying to bulk up for the tournament. Fighting a month out as a Lightweight further solidifies my belief.

Fedor vs Barnett in June

In my opinion, this fight should have happened at Affliction's first event in July. Instead they went with Tim Sylvia because they wanted to make a splash and felt like he was the bigger name in the States. Barnett will be a very difficult test for Fedor. Unlike Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, Barnett uses his size. Everyone has become accustomed to Fedor knocking guys out, but this fight should be more of a ground war than anything else. Either way, I'm glad Barnett will finally get his shot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Strikeforce Isn't Messin Around

One of my major complaints with EliteXC was they purposely avoided putting their best fighters in the cage together. It was like they took the "Kimbo Doctrine" and applied it to everyone, in an effort to keep the biggest names from losing a fight. In MMA, everyone loses at some point. It's foolish and a waste of time to protect fighters from a loss. Many times a loss helps someone turn a corner, like in the case of Georges St-Pierre. When he lost to Matt Hughes, he rededicated himself and came back a much better fighter. We wouldn't have the current ridiculous version of GSP without that loss.

Strikeforce has thrown out the "Kimbo Doctrine". Their best fighters are going to face quality competition. The latest news is the second event in May will feature Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs Renato "Babalu" Sobral for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Title. Nothing has been signed yet, but I don't see Babalu pulling a KJ Noons and ducking the fight. With Affliction out of action until the summer, he needs a fight. The event is likely to be headlined by Robbie Lawler and could see the Strikeforce debut of Gina Carano. Sounds good to me.

It was hoped Carano would be in action at the April event, either against Cyborg Santos or at least against someone. It appears they've hit a snag. Personally, I don't think Santos or Carano need another fight before they meet. This one has been built up for way too long. Schedule the fight for May and make it the main event. Yes, the main event. I believe it could have a Griffin/Bonnar-like influence on the sport. People need to see the fight and understand its importance. Placing it last on the card will do that. It's not like it would be hard to sell, either.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Franklin vs Silva at UFC 99

According to MMAWeekly, Rich Franklin will face Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99 in Germany. The bout will be at a catch weight of 195 lbs. I love everything about this fight, especially the catch weight. No need to make either drop to 185 lbs. Wanderlei wants to eventually make the full move to Middleweight, but this will give him an in-between fight to get his body used to it.

It also presents an extremely intriguing match-up. Will we see vintage overpowering Wanderlei at the lighter weight? Will Franklin exorcise his clinch demons? Does a convincing win immediately put Wanderlei into the Middleweight Title picture? How much will Franklin bleed?

They have a legit main event on their hands.

You Can't Escape Violence

MMA gets a bum rap for being violent, but at least none of the matches feature someone ripping the other guy's face off and eating it.

"Hurry, please! He ripped her face off," the ape's frantic owner, Sandy Herold, 70, is heard telling the dispatcher on the tapes released Tuesday night.

And that's why I'll never buy a chimpanzee.

No Foot Stomps

Cooler heads prevailed. UFC 97 will take place in Quebec.

The rule I mentioned they were arguing over? Foot stomps. Yes, foot stomps. Imagine being in a meeting with millions of dollars on the line for both sides and you're arguing about the legality of foot stomps. Elbows and knees will be permitted. It probably would have been cool to see Anderson Silva fight without using his knees. At least the line would have dropped a little bit.

These Athletic Commissions (or whatever the Canadian version is) really are sometin.

Don't Look


Mayhem Miller on MTV

Jason "Mayhem" Miller will be hosting a new show on MTV called "Bully Beat Down". The idea is for bullies to go into the ring with a professional MMA fighter and see how tough they really are. It sounds pretty terrible, but having Mayhem hosting is a stroke of genius. The guy should have a camera on him 24 hours a day.

Here's the casting call, in case anyone wants to get beat up by a professional fighter.

Dana White Talks Strikeforce

"I'm sure they're going to put on some good shows, and hopefully, they can make that business model work for them," White says. "I've got nothing negative to say about them whatsoever."

The Strikeforce guys must have something on him. I bet Scott Coker has sleazy pictures of White in a hotel room with a 13 year old Japanese boy or something.

UFC 97 Moved to Vegas?

Maybe it's a giant Dana White orchestrated leak, but I have two reliable sources telling me a deal could not be reached and UFC 97 is being moved to Vegas. Hopefully when the sun rises, people will have a last minute change of heart because it would suck to have this moved.

Updates as I get them...

-Meetings taking place. Still trying to save it.

-They're arguing over the dumbest rules possible. I'd rip my eyes out and throw them across the table if I was a UFC representative.

Jake Shields vs Joe Riggs

According to AroundtheOctagon.com, Jake Shields will fight Joe Riggs on April 11th at Strikeforce's first event of 2009. The card is headlined by Frank Shamrock vs Nick Diaz and could really use a fancy nickname so I don't have to keep referring to it as "Strikeforce's first event of 2009".

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Henderson/Bisping at UFC 100

Dan Henderson has been granted a license to fight in Nevada, which makes it almost a certainty he will face Michael Bisping at UFC 100 in Las Vegas (TUF 9 filming ends in June). Henderson/Bisping will fit perfectly on the card because it's assumed there will be two five round title bouts. The UFC needs some high quality non-title fights to round out the card because of time constraints. Having millions of eyes watching Henderson/Bisping will also help market the follow-up fight between the winner and the Middleweight Champion, which needs to headline a PPV in the latter half of 2009.

Respect

Fighters Only: Arlovski got $1.5 million for that fight with Fedor. That is many times more than he was paid by the UFC when he was their heavyweight champion. Why are Affliction purses so high compared to the rest of the MMA industry?

Atencio: I can honestly say that’s a mistake we made in the beginning and it will never repeat itself. I like to pride myself on, if I make a mistake once I won't make it twice and if I do make it twice then I absolutely make sure it doesn’t happen a third time.

But what happened was that, it was just a situation that’s in the past and it will never happen again. But at the same time I don’t have regrets either. We came out and we made a splash in the industry and that is what we are continuing to do, so it’s a moot point.

I give Tom Atencio a hard time for being the most unreliable source in the business, but I gotta give him credit for admitting they were wrong to pay out such insane salaries off the bat. In a business where promoters never say anything negative about themselves, it's refreshing to hear him admit a mistake.

New UFC Action Figures

Rampage doing the Electric Slide. Also, I think the only
way a kid could actually "play" with this cage is if they
were suspended over it like Tom Cruise in Mission
Impossible. Seriously, kids are gonna get scoliosis
from hunching over this thing. You watch.

Meet FrankenNog.

No collection would be complete without Heisman Griffin.

By the way, this might be the nerdiest message board on the Internet.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Florian Still Dancing Around It

More lawyer talk from Kenny Florian. He still has not denied it.

Gina Carano's Maxim Pictures

Ordinary stuff until I saw the last picture and had a flashback to MTV True Life "I Need Anger Management". She looks exactly like Johnny. It's uncanny. Do you think "Johnny from MTV True Life 'I Need Anger Management'" is too long to be her new nickname?

Steve Guttenberg Beats Couture

I'm always dubious when fighters try their hand at acting. It reminds me of someone like Wild Bill Hickok. He was one of the best gunfighters in the west. Everyone was terrified of the guy, except when he sat down at a poker table. For some reason, he believed he could be a successful gambler. His gunfighting mystique should help him at the tables, but you only get one calling and poker was not his. In the end, he was shot in the back of the head...while playing poker.

You might be thinking this post is nothing more than another opportunity for me to pimp Deadwood, which in some ways it is. In others it's about the ridiculousness of fighters acting. Lets take the case of Randy Couture. Along with Chuck Liddell, he's the most recognizable MMA fighter alive. You would think his in-cage presence could translate well to the big screen, much like Wild Bill's gunfighting mystique should translate to the poker table. Like Wild Bill, he believes he has a second calling. And like Wild Bill, he is completely wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, Randy Couture has less Hollywood bankability than Steve Guttenberg. Yes, the Steve Guttenberg from the Police Academy movies. Yes, the Steve Guttenberg who hasn't been seen in a major film for the last forty-six years. Yes, that Steve Guttenberg. But, wait. There's more.

Other people with more bankability than Randy Couture:

Tara Reid
Beverly D'Angelo
Billy Dee Williams
Stephen Baldwin
Daniel Baldwin

Actually, Couture did not get one single vote from any of the members of the "global entertainment industry". Think about that. Not one vote.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

GSP at UFC 100

According to Dana White, Georges St-Pierre will be fighting at UFC 100 this July. Unless something major happens with the Nevada State Athletic Commission's investigation of St-Pierre/Penn II (fight ruled a "No Contest"), he'll defend the Welterweight Title against Thiago Alves. I'd be shocked if this is the main event. If Rampage beats Jardine, his title shot becomes the obvious choice. There is also the possibilty of Couture/Nogueira.

You can pretty much forget the "all five titles on the line" nonsense. Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir are fighting at UFC 98 on May 23. No shot they make a 6-7 week turnaround for UFC 100.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

RIP Reese Andy

The UFC has cut Reese Andy, who is best remembered for taking home the RearNakedNews Best of 2008 awards for "Worst Fight of the Year" and "Least True Entrance Song". He was also up for "Worst Fighter of the Year" and "Worst Nickname". Pretty impressive stuff.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bellator Will Have English Crew

Other than "U suck!!! GSP RuleZ!", my inbox seems to get an unusually high number of questions about Bellator Fighting Championships. For whatever reasons, it has capture the imagination of RNN readers. I contacted Bellator to sort out some of the things you've been asking me.

Will there be an English version?

Yes, there will be an English announcing crew at each event in addition to the Spanish crew. At this point, the outlet for the English version has not been named, but it seems like a sure thing.

Has Sergio Moraes signed with Bellator?

Not yet.

Will there be other fights at the events besides the tournament bouts?

Yes, in addition to any tournament bouts to be contested, each event will feature non-tournament fights. They are shooting for 10-12 fights at each show.

Can the fighters compete for other organizations while under contract with Bellator?

All fighters are signed to an exclusive deal with Bellator. This includes fighters who are not competing in the tournaments.

What if a fighter gets injured?

There will be events every Friday night for 12 weeks beginning on April 3rd (fights will air the following day). To win the tournament, a fighter would have to step into the cage 3 times during the 12 weeks. Injuries and medical suspensions will be taken into consideration when setting the schedule. This means there is not a hard schedule. It can be reworked to allow an advancing fighter a fair chance to adequately recover from injuries. I'm still a little dubious about it, though. 3 fights in 12 weeks can be messy when you have Athletic Commissions involved.

I Don't Believe You

"I've never felt better in my life."

According to Diego Sanchez, he started the year at 190 lbs and is now at 166 lbs. That's 24 lbs in a month and a half. Plus, he still has the last 10 lbs to lose. I didn't have many questions about his ability to demolish Joe Stevenson, but I'd be lying if doubt isn't starting to creep in. There's no way a fighter can go from 190 to 155 in two months and be normal. He better end it early or else the 2nd and 3rd rounds are gonna be hellish.

Penn Explains It

"Kenny if you're going to call me a liar on stuff I'm going to call you out. You're right it was not an email, you texted someone in the camp and told them that GSP is a big roider and big greaser to watch out for him. Kenny, I'm just calling a spade a spade."

This is the exact scenario I laid out. Florian chose to deny a piece of the accusation, instead of the actual accusation.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Please Be Serious

SportsAgentBlog

Wimsett:
How’s WAMMA going to make money? What’s your revenue stream?

Miletich: It comes down to, you know when you watch all the bowl games on TV, and you see the FedEx Sugarbowl for example, the WAMMA belt will be co-branded with sponsors so it’ll be the, for example, the Gatorade/WAMMA heavyweight world title. That’s the model.

May I suggest the "Condom Depot WAMMA Heavyweight Title"?

It's almost too easy sometimes.

(Feel free to suggest names for the WAMMA titles in the comments)

Aoki to Fight at Welterweight

Everyone's favorite hot pants wearing Lightweight has decided to jump up a weight class and compete in DREAM's Welterweight Grand Prix, which begins on April 5. There are two reasons this is intriguing. First, Aoki weighs like 86 lbs. I see no way he tries to bulk up to 170 lbs for the tournament. This makes for the always entertaining "small guy fights a big guy". The Japanese eat that up. Second, didn't WAMMA justify giving the title to the winner of Aoki/Alvarez because BJ Penn was taking a Welterweight fight against Georges St-Pierre? Do you think they'll strip Aoki of the title?

Of course they won't because they're self-serving hypocrites.

Stitch Can Talk



At the end he gives a demonstration to show how much Vaseline is left on a cutman's hand after applying it to the face. I'm shocked he can talk. I always thought he was a mute.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Florian Sorta Denies It

Kenny Florian has sorta denied giving BJ Penn information prior to UFC 94 about Georges St-Pierre greasing. However, his wording is a little lawyerish for me. I'm waiting to hear back from him in order to clear up the language and get a total denial. At this point, all we know is he does not know BJ Penn's email address.

"I don't even know BJ's email. How or why would I send that information?"

UPDATE: Here is the official response I received, "The last time Kenny communicated with BJ Penn was before he fought Joe Stevenson at UFC 91, where they exchanged pleasantries. Kenny is thrilled to hear that he will have the opportunity to test himself against the world's number one 155lber, UFC Lightweight Champion, BJ Penn."

It's a little weird Florian has chosen to avoid saying, "I did not in any way tell BJ Penn or his camp that GSP is a greaser." Even if he did, it's not that big of a deal. He's already on record saying Roger Huerta (a Greg Jackson fighter) was abnormally slippery. Would it be much of a stretch for him or someone in his circle to mention to BJ or his camp to be wary of GSP's slickness? Until I hear a flat denial, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.

BJ's First Interview

It turned out to be an interesting interview. He talked about just about everything you'd want him to. The most shocking moment was when Penn revealed it was Kenny Florian who told his camp prior to the fight about Georges St-Pierre greasing. I didn't see that one coming at all. It was widely assumed to be Matt Serra's camp, but Florian sorta makes sense. He had a lot to gain if Penn won the fight, because he would have probably been next in line to face the only man to ever hold two UFC titles at once. Facing the Lightweight Champion is a big deal. Facing the Lightweight and Welterweight Champion is a whole different level. An opportunity like that doesn't come along all that often.

-Angry at the commission for not informing his corner during the fight about the greasing. "Why didn't they tell us during the fight to make a decision on how to continue the fight?"

-"We wish we had a heads-up during the fight."

-Prior to the fight, his boxing coach, Jason Parillo, told the Commission to be on watch for St-Pierre greasing.

-Did he feel slippery? "I did feel, Mayhem actually stated that, you can't grab the back of GSP's head. You can't hold the back of GSP's head."

-Was in touch with Eddie Bravo prior to the fight about using the rubber guard.

-"Greg Jackson probably has a scientific way to grease. I'm not a professional greaser. I don't know how to do all that stuff."

-"Of course it makes a difference. Any jiu-jitsu black belt, brown belt, purple belt...Any will tell you that."

-"We're the fighters who gotta enter the ring. We're the ones who are gonna get hurt. All we're trying to do is make sure it's fair. We deserve that much."

-"If Georges is found out to be guilty, I lose respect after that."

-"I'd love the rematch. I'll fight him immediately. I'll take an immediate rematch with Georges."

-"I'm glad I could be the guy to take a thousand punches to make that rule."

-Currently in negotiations to fight Kenny Florian.

-"I wouldn't mind watching Machida knock Rashad Evans the f' out."

Which Is Worse?

UFC 95 or 96?

UFC 95 features a decent card headlined by Sanchez/Stevenson. UFC 96 has the lineup from hell and a solid main event, mostly because it'll be fun to root for Jardine to screw up the Light Heavyweight title picture. I'm leaning towards UFC 96 being worse for a few reasons.

1. At least UFC 95 is on Spike. You actually gotta pay to see UFC 96. If they do over 225K PPV Buys, Dana White's new title should be "Genius". Seriously, who is gonna buy this?

2. Matt Hamill, Brandon Vera, and Gray Maynard on the same card. They should hook up a live feed to Karo Parisyan during the broadcast. I guarantee he can't take two out of three of his painkillers and get through the show without falling asleep.

3. UFC 95 has Demian Maia. UFC 96 has Gabriel Gonzaga. Even Gonzaga's parents would rather watch Maia.

If I lived in Columbus, I'd leave the area a week prior just so people wouldn't associate me with it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wanderlei Sells It

This is either the best promotional video ever or the worst. I can't decide. All I know is Wanderlei's new gym will quickly become the hangout of all the top notch Vegas strippers who want to work on their "head technique" (3:45).

Some other things...

-Is it a parrot or a baby who keeps making those screeching noises (:45)? I'm fine with parrots being around when I'm working on my submissions, but babies creep me out.
-I'll only train there if they play the catchy background music (3:00) at all times.

Hughes on GSP


Matt Hughes has some more to say about Georges St-Pierre's slick demeanor.
I usually don’t do this, but I will this time. When I talk about a topic one week, it usually doesn’t get brought up again. I think a lot of people need to go back and reread last week’s blog, including GSP. At no point did I accuse Georges of putting grease on himself. All I said was that he felt slick. I’ve wrestled over a thousand matches, fought 50 opponents, all I’ve ever done in life is wrestle and compete with other people. With all that experience, do you think I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between sweat and something else? Last week when I got to Florida, I was in the elevator with Robbie, I said “Robbie did you hear about GSP?” He said, “No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I then said that BJ accused him of being slippery, Robbie looked right up at me and said, “That’s what you said after Anaheim.” Also, I’ve had several people close to me around my town who have come up to me and said the same thing. I’ve nothing against GSP, I even think he’s somewhat a likable guy. Some people are trying to say that I’m making this personal and that’s just not true at all. The reason I didn’t bring this up before was because I didn’t know there was anything to him being slick. With all the other guys coming out and saying the same thing, I just wanted to be true to myself, and to everybody else, and say that there could be some validity there.

Karo Failed His Drug Test

Karo Parisyan failed his drug test. He had three painkillers in his system - Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, and Oxymorphone.

Apparently, he's a horse and needs all three.

Here's something I wrote a million years ago after James Irvin failed a drug test. I think it's a matter major MMA promotions don't wanna deal with, but eventually they're gonna have to. Trying to pass off the responsibility onto testing is the wrong way to go. What needs to happen is fighters should be monitored by doctors during training. The promotions need to keep a better eye on them, instead of letting injuries go unnoticed. Catching the fighters doing something against the rules is good for headlines. I'd rather see them prevent the problems from ever happening.

I'm not making excuses for Karo, because there isn't any defense for having three painkillers in your system. My point is larger and has to do with the overall health of all fighters. It's time a step is taken to look out for these guys, because most times they are too stubborn and full of pride to do it themselves.

(For any gamblers wondering, this will almost certainly overturn his decision win over Dong Hyun Kim and make it a No Contest. Most sportsbooks do not honor overturned results. If you won with Karo, you should be safe. If you lost on Kim, you're still a loser.)

Latest UFC Cuts

Luigi Fioravanti
Rich Clementi
Eddie Sanchez
Derek Downey
Christian Wellisch

Fioravanti and Clementi will probably fight their way back onto the UFC roster. I think in this case the UFC is saying to them, "Look, you two need to regain some confidence on smaller shows. Win a couple fights and lets talk." It sucks to be cut from anything, but it is a business and in this case it may help them to take a step down in competition for a bit.

The other guys are probably gone for good.

Shamrock vs Diaz April 11

Frank Shamrock and Nick Diaz will meet on April 11 at Strikeforce's first event of 2009. The only thing left to find out is what the weight limit will be. Shamrock last fought at 185 lbs and Diaz at 160 lbs. This leaves a decent sized gap between the two fighters. Diaz did look a little heavy, though, during his brother's last fight against Clay Guida. He's also fought at 170lbs before, so he can probably add the extra weight to move up to 185 lbs. I'm not saying he'll be a normal sized Middleweight. I'm just saying he'll be somewhere between 180-182 lbs for the weigh-in.

Personally, I'd rather see Diaz face Eddie Alvarez. Too bad he signed on with Bellator.

UPDATE: Fight will be at a catch weight of 179 lbs. Scott Coker confirmed it on today's conference call.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Todd Beard Still At It

It seemed like we had heard the last of Todd Beard when he resigned, following the Kim Couture restraining order business. Well, Todd is back to his old self, despite the fact he, ya know, supposedly resigned. MMAPayout has the news that Luke Burrett, the CEO of Silver Star, has filed a restraining order against Beard.

For anyone who doesn't follow MMA clothing apparel drama (me and hopefully 100% of RNN readers)...Silver Star and Affliction were once friends, but now they aren't because Silver Star has signed on with the UFC. For Silver Star, it is a no-brainer. Either feature your products on 1-3 Affliction shows, if they even get that far. Or, go with the unbelievably popular UFC, who sells out everything and is breaking PPV records at will.

Beard needs to tone his act down. Each time this happens, he and Affliction look amateurs.

Veni Vidi Chuck

Chuck Liddell has quit fighting and joined The Hives.

(Credit goes to MMAMania for the find)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm Amazed

For some reason, this video of Matt Hughes fixing a light amazes the hell out of me.

Say What?

There are two things about MMA that really bother me. The first is how the UFC uses the phrase "co-main event", which is a total contradiction of the original term's meaning. The second is how quickly and haphazardly people throw around "Fight of the Year" to describe any bout that was exciting.

You can thank Steve Cofield for this rant, because he somehow thought Neer/Danzig was an "early Fight of the Year candidate". Since when is a one-sided clinic Fight of the Year material? I realize Cofield is a UFC company man, but even for him this is a stretch.

In general, people lose their minds when they see an action packed fight. They need to validate what they saw by claiming it was beyond exciting. It's perfectly fine to say, "Wow, that was an exciting fight." In fact, your friends will probably like you a lot more, if you're not the guy calling everything "the best".

With that in mind, I am hereby instituting the following "Fight of the Year" rules.

1. The fight has to have something large at stake. It can be a championship, a shot at a championship, a grudge match, a tournament bout, or even two older fighters going nuts for fifteen minutes because they know the loser is getting cut. The point is, something large has to be at stake.

2. During the bout, you must feel like both fighters are in imminent danger. There should be times when each is close to finishing the other.

Oh, and the UFC gave Cain Velasquez the "Knock-Out of the Night" bonus, despite the fact he did the exact opposite to Denis Stojnic.


"The world is upside-down and somebody's gotta turn it right-side up."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Prediction Record

It now stands at 71-32 (69%). I had a rough December going 7-8, but I chalk that up to almost dying. Since my miraculous recovery, I've gotten back to normal with a 19-7 record.

Here's how I've fared since November.

Fight Night 17: 5-2
UFC 94: 5-2
Reckoning: 5-2
UFC 93: 4-1
UFC 92: 2-3
TUF: 2-3
Troops: 3-2
UFC 91: 4-1

Total: 30-16 (65%)

UFC Fight Night 17 Live Results

Preliminary Card
Matt Riddle vs Steve Bruno
-Riddle Wins by Unanimous Decision
Nick Catone vs Derek Downey
-Catone Wins by 2nd Rd Submission (Keylock)
Rich Clementi vs Gleison Tibau
-Tibau Wins by 1st Rd Submission (Guillotine)
Matt Grice vs Matt Veach
-Veach Wins by 1st Rd TKO
Dan Miller vs Jake Rosholt
-Millers Wins by 1st Rd Submission (Guillotine)
Kurt Pellegrino vs Rob Emerson
-Pellegrino Wins by 2nd Rd Submission (Rear Naked)

-I'm 3 for 3 heading into the Main Card. Pellegrino at -225 was the easiest money I've ever made.

-Rogan and Goldberg doing their usual introductions. Somehow Goldberg managed to mention BJ Penn without bringing up "Grease". I bet his friends dared him to do it. If he gets through the entire broadcast without mentioning it, he gets a free lap dance. If he doesn't, he has to grow a mustache.

Luigi Fioravanti vs Anthony Johnson
-Johnson has an 8 inch reach advantage. I'd love to see footage of how he cuts weight for fights. I imagine he walks around at 240 lbs.

Round 1
Luigi tries a kick from six feet away and misses by five feet. I swear that happened. Johnson lands a solid leg kick. He's faking a lot of kicks early on. Another leg kick for Johnson. Luigi barely misses an overhand right. Jab lands for Luigi, but he eats a leg kick as it connects. Johnson stuffs a takedown attempt. He's pinned into the cage, though. Johnson gets knee'd in the balls. A right hand staggers Luigi. Another strike drops him. Johnson on top raining down punches. Ref stops it.

Johnson Wins by 1st Rd TKO

-Johnson did something really smart. I'm not sure if it was by design or not. He spent the first four minutes throwing almost all kicks then switched it up and went to punches towards the end of the round. Luigi walked right into them because he was tired of getting kicked in the legs.

-He's gotta get a big fight after this. They'll probably make him fight Chris Lytle, though. My choice? Karo Parisyan.

Josh Neer vs Mac Danzig
-Neer is only 25. That's shocking. I thought he was at least 46.

Round 1
Danzig went for a head kick and got caught with right that momentarily dropped him. It was sort of a slip. Neer hit him with a couple shots following the fall. Neer keeping the pressure on. Both fighting in close. Danzig catches him with a solid combo. Things have slowed down, as both work for standing position near the cage. Danzig lands a right hand over the top. He's throwing sweet combos. It's leaving him open, but they look nice. Leg kick by Danzig. A right hand sends Neer down. It was another "sorta knockdown". Danzig on top. Neer hooks in a triangle, but Danzig escapes. Neer works right into an omoplata. Danzig stands and is on the defensive. Neer landing body kicks and punches. Danzig makes it to the bell. RNN Scores it 10-9 Neer.

Round 2
Good jab by Danzig. Neer defends a takedown and ends up on top. He's throwing serious elbows. Punches mixed in now. Danzig is in trouble. Neer positions to his back after a scramble. He's too high and slips over. Danzig on top in full guard. He's not doing much work. Neer is controlling his hands and posture very well so far. Danzig begins to work. Neer has a triangle. Danzig tries to stand out of it. Neer rolls him over. Danzig taps.

Neer Wins by 2nd Rd Submission (Triangle)

-Danzig got dominated. He looked like an amateur.

-Neer very defensive after the fight, saying "Love me or hate me, I don't care." I'm not sure where that came from. The fans were cheering the whole fight.

-We're an hour in and there's been a little over 13 minutes of actual fights. That's not a good ratio. It's nonstop commercials and other stupid crap I don't care about like sneak peeks of "Street Fighter 4" and "Friday the 13th".

Cain Velasquez vs Denis Stojnic
-Stojnic has the physique of an adolescent hippo.
-Velasquez looks like Big Nog with better sculpted eyebrows.
-"This fight is presented by "Street Fighter 4"...Let's do this!!!" - Buffer

Round 1
Cain connects with a right. Stojnic comes out throwing a few kicks. Cain throwing some bombs early. They tie-up briefly and Cain drives him into the cage. Knees by Cain. He clinches Stojnic and lands a couple knees to the head. He lands some punches then goes back to the clinch and knees. Stojnic ate 7-8 knees during the sequence. A barrage of rights and lefts to the body and head by Cain. Stojnic's arms are too short to connect with any regularity. More knees to the head mixed in with punches. A right staggers Stojnic. Cain coming on strong in the final minute. He clinches Stojnic then fires off multiple kicks to the leg. Stojnic visibly tired to end the round. RNN Scores it 10-8 Velasquez.

Round 2
Leg kick by Cain. A left to the body followed by a right to the head by Cain. They scramble to the ground and Cain is on top. He moves to the side and lands 5-7 short elbows to the head. Raining down rights now. Stojnic is bleeding. Stojnic is covering up and doing nothing. Cain continues throwing rights from the side. Referee ends it.

Velasquez Wins by 2nd Rd TKO

-Ending was about as awkward as MMA can be. Stojnic wasn't hurt badly, he just didn't have any way to escape the situation. Mercifully, the referee ended it.

-Not seeing the entrances really lowers the drama. I wish they'd change that.

Joe Lauzon vs Jeremy Stephens
-Stephens lets loose a "BOOM!" as he's announced. It was really gay.
-Why would anyone want to be known as "J-Lau"?

Round 1
Lauzon drops down after ducking a punch. He's working from the bottom. They're back standing. Lauzon pressing him into the cage. He appears to be using the Guida approach. Stephens can't get him off. Lauzon drops down for a leg lock, but can't get it hooked. Back up briefly and he takes Stephens down. He's in side control. Now back to full guard. Lauzon lands a few punches from the top. Working for a mount and he has it. He goes for an arm bar. Stephens pulls his arm out and is on top now. Stephens throwing big strikes from the top. Most were blocked. A couple got through. Lauzon up, but Stephens slams him down and is back on top. RNN Scores it 10-9 Lauzon.

Round 2
Stephens throwing wild bombs. Most missing. Lauzon throwing back, same thing...most miss. Lauzon drops down and uses a fireman's carry to get Stephen's down. He's on top and now in side control. He's not throwing strikes. He gets the mount. He switches to the back, as Stephens tries to scramble. Stephens counters and is on top. Lauzon screwed up there. Elbows from the top by Stephens. Lauzon is bleeding. He reverses and is now on top of Stephens in side contol, then mount. A crazy move to get the mount. He switches instantly to an arm bar. Stephens defends for a little, but then taps.

Lauzon Wins by 2nd Rd Submission (Arm Bar)

-Lauzon was impressive. His movement on the ground was about as good as you'll see in an MMA fight. The final transition from side control to mount to arm bar was a thing of beauty.

Arianny Is Mortal

I know this will fill my inbox with lots of "uR RetaRded!!" messages, but for the first time in years, Arianny is starting to look mortal. It could be her relative shortness to the other two. Or maybe she's pregnant and bloated. Either way, she's no longer the clear cut choice of the UFC Ring Girls, unless you're Joe Silva and can't deal with a taller chick like Logan.

UFC Fight Night 17 Picks

Lauzon over Stephens
Velasquez over Stojnic
Danzig over Neer
Fioravanti over Johnson
Pellegrino over Emerson
Miller over Rosholt
Riddle over Bruno

I'll begin posting results from the preliminary card starting around 7:00pm ET. The Live Blog for the Spike broadcast begins at 9:00pm ET.

(RearNakedNews.com would like to remind you that if you're planning on wagering on any of the fights, check out BetUS.com. For UFC betting, it's tough to find any place better. Most sites make sports betting a hassle, but BetUS.com is really easy to use. Of course, if you stink at picking winners, it probably isn't too much fun.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Arlovski to Box April 11

Andrei Arlovski will make his boxing debut on April 11 on HBO. No opponent has been named yet. The card will be headlined by Winky Wright vs Paul Williams. Interestingly enough, this also happens to be the date of a Strikeforce event. Another stroke of genius by those brainiacs at Golden Boy.

BJ Wants Summer Rematch

"For the past several days I have been reading statements made by St. Pierre and Greg Jackson about our fight on January 31. St. Pierre claims that he is “not a cheater” and that he and Greg Jackson will have “no problem with a rematch in the summer of 2009.” To the untrained eye the grease might not look like much, but every grappler knows the effect that it has. Being able to apply your submissions and sweeps or just being able to hold on to your opponent to defend yourself from being hit is absolutely critical! There is a reason why you are not allowed to put grease anywhere on your body except for the area around your eyes. Because of the grease applied to St.Pierre’s Body the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s executive director, Keith Kizer has stated that the Penn-St. Pierre fight “definitely wasn’t fair”. I hereby accept George St. Pierre and Greg Jackson’s challenge for a fight in the summer 2009. Lets call Dana now and set it up."

With the business UFC 94 did (probably the most PPV buys in UFC history, by a decent amount), it's difficult to imagine there will not be a third fight. We'll see GSP/Alves and Penn/Florian first then it'll be GSP/Penn III some time in the early fall. Anyone thinking this won't happen should consider the UFC put Brock Lesnar into a title fight with Randy Couture because they knew it would make loads of money. If that fight could be rationalized, a third between GSP and Penn shouldn't be a problem. It's gonna happen. It's just a matter of when.

(Quote is from BJPenn.com. Unfortunately BJ continues to require registration, so it's not possible to link to stuff directly.)

Good News for Affliction

In a weird way, Strikeforce's agreement to purchase ProElite's assets actually benefits Affliction more than anyone else. When EliteXC dropped dead following the Kimbo nightmare, it was a huge blow to Affliction. They had recently partnered with EliteXC to feature the Arlovski/Nelson fight on the October 4th card. They also had eight hundred Fedor commercials during the telecast. It was great exposure for a promotion who needed a way into the mainstream. Then ProElite collapsed.

Well, now Strikeforce has emerged from the wreckage with a TV deal and Affliction has a new path to a mainstream audience. It makes perfect sense. Affliction gives them two of their fighters (also agrees to advertise during the show) and Strikeforce gives them exposure via their Showtime/CBS deal. For Strikeforce it's a no-brainer. They don't even have to foot the bill for Affliction's expensive fighters.

It also opens the door to a possible fight between Tito Ortiz and Frank Shamrock, which would do well on TV or PPV.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Strikeforce Buys ProElite

After months of waiting around like a fat girl looking for a prom date, it appears ProElite has finally found a suitor. According to Josh Gross, a deal for Strikeforce to purchase ProElite's assets is being hammered out and should be finalized by the end of the week. Of course, we have heard this sort of thing before. Remember when Mark Ecko was supposed to be in the mix?

I really like Strikeforce and I hope they don't overpay.

UPDATE: It's officially done.

The deal is still mostly under wraps, but I can report some things. First, this does not mean every EliteXC fighter is now under contract with Strikeforce. They did not purchase all of the contracts. From what I've heard, they got the important ones and intend to lock them up to new Strikeforce deals, but don't be surprised if a couple fighters end up elsewhere. It's not as simple as "Okay, we bought you from ProElite. Go fight." MMA does not have an overall contract structure in place like other major sports. Each contract is with a specific promoter, so Strikeforce's legal department will be working overtime trying to get new contracts drawn up. This doesn't mean the fighters are essentially free agents. It just means there is some work to be done before everyone can start jerking off.

The fighters are actually only a small part of the deal. The main piece is a television deal with CBS and Showtime to air live events. Strikeforce has long been rumored to be working on a deal with NBC to air live shows, but for whatever reasons it has never come together. EliteXC's implosion this fall probably didn't help matters. Network TV views MMA as a house of cards and when things went down, it made NBC think twice about agreeing to air live shows.

I'll again state, I really like Strikeforce. I think they're the best run MMA promotion other than the UFC. I just hope they didn't pay too much for all this.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Overdrive

The UFC is kicking their promotion machine into overdrive this Friday with a free Q&A Session with........Ben Saunders!!!

If I were Ben and the UFC said to me, "We're thinking about doing a Q&A with you and the fans", I'd immediately respond, "You actually think people will show up to see me? What if only like eight dudes show up? Do you realize how embarrassing that will be? Don't. Please!"

Penn's Formal Request

I obtained a copy of BJ Penn's formal request to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and it includes some interesting language. I've typed up the essential parts, but if anyone wants to read the entire thing, email me. The last line is very dramatic. I bet BJ read their first draft and said, "Oh hey, one more thing to add, hey."

"While this letter is not a formal Complaint to the Nevada Athletic Commission, it shall serve as a formal request to the Commission that it engage in a comprehensive investigation and review of the activities involving and relating to Georges St-Pierre prior to and during the Bout."

"In order for Mr. Penn (or any other licensed fighter of the Nevada Athletic Commission) to properly execute Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or many other grappling techniques which are an essential part of MMA, it is necessary that an environment exists without any illegally applied lubricants, oils, or other substances that cause or result in slippery surfaces on the combatants."

"Simply put, by lubricating GSP's body a highly slippery surface was created that completely neutralized an innocent participant's abilities and strategy to the advantage of GSP. Mr. Penn's most critical offensive and defensive strategies, his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, were rendered useless as he was unable to effectively control GSP and engage his submission techniques due to Mr. Penn's legs and arms slipping out of the attempted holds/locks and GSP's ability to readily slip out of the holds/locks due to the highly slippery surfaces on GSP's body."

"This illegal situation made it impossible for Mr. Penn to defend himself and unfairly exposed Mr. Penn to GSP's "ground and pound" strategy, which Mr. Penn extensively trained for and was fully prepared to perform against. More importantly, by neutralizing Mr. Penn's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through the use of illegal and improper means, Mr. Penn was subjected to a life threatening and career ending environment; an environment that the Commission was formed to protect against."

"Because of Mr. Penn's prior experience and information provided to him before his participation in the Bout, a member of Mr. Penn's team informed Commission members prior to the Bout of the possibility of GSP being "greased up" during the Bout or engaging in activities that may cause him to be/become slippery during the Bout. While this discussion occurred, Mr. Penn and his team believed that the Commission would be on heightened alert to guard against such illegal activities and would take every precaution to ensure Mr. Penn's safety and a proper and fair contest. Additionally, during the Bout, statements were made that GSP was "too slippery" and that Mr. Penn could not grab or hold GSP because of "how slippery" he was during the Bout."

"In closing, all Mr. Penn wanted to have on January 31 is a fair and just bout and he continues to seek a fair and just encounter against Georges St-Pierre."

Arlovski Signs with Golden Boy

Honestly, I don't think this will work out well for them. They're probably thinking, "All those MMA fans are gonna tune in to see how Andrei does in boxing. It'll be a smash!" Then they high-five and rub each other's nuts.

The reality is few MMA fans give a crap about boxing or Arlovski. When you combine the two, you end up with three guys from Chicago who will go out of their way to watch him be a boxer. For some reason, Golden Boy can't get it out of their mind that the vast majority of MMA fans were never boxing fans. Most of us grew up watching stuff like Bloodsport, Best of the Best, and Pro Wrestling. We weren't sitting around the lunch table in 8th grade arguing about whether Ike Quartey was better than James McGirt.

The other thing they keep missing is how young the MMA audience is compared to other sports. There really isn't an older segment of any significance. If you mentioned MMA to a hundred random 65 year olds, 80% will think you're asking them about Health Care and the other 19% will stare blankly. MMA's younger audience never attached itself to boxing because most of it never had a chance. They took to MMA and did not have room for another combat sport, especially with the advent of the UFC on Spike. When you also factor in all the awesome fights available online, fans reach a saturation point. The last thing they need or want is another combat sport, which isn't marketed as well and has all sorts of problems. In my opinion, MMA grew out of the infected ashes of boxing. Without boxing as a contrast, you'd never have MMA as it is today.

I do think Arlovski's glass jaw will hold up a lot better with the pillows boxers wear on their fists, though.

Corner Footage Surrendered

According to a source within the UFC, the corner footage from St-Pierre/Penn II has been surrendered to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. While we only saw brief clips during the fight, the UFC actually has a camera on each corner the entire break. This will allow the NSAC to assess whether Phil Nurse acted maliciously or idiotically.

My best guess is he will never work a corner in the UFC, or with any major promotion, ever again. Greg Jackson also might end up seeing a fine out of this. I think he deserves more blame than he's getting, but it seems like everyone is happy enough to crucify Nurse and be done with it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Case You're Wondering

The alternative to all the "Grease" talk is I post about UFC Fight Night 17. I'm not sure if "Danzig Likes Broccoli" would interest you guys as much. But hey, if that's what you want, just say so.

(I've decided to do a Live Blog for this show, despite its awful lineup. My thinking is I'll have plenty of material to make fun of between the awful lineup of fights and the fact there is a high likelihood Hulk Hogan will be in attendance.)

UFC Fight Night 17
February 7, 2009
Tampa, FL

Joe Lauzon vs Jeremy Stephens
Cain Velasquez vs Denis Stojnic
Mac Danzig vs Josh Neer
Anthony Johnson vs Luigi Fioravanti
Dan Miller vs Jake Rosholt
Kurt Pellegrino vs Rob Emerson
Rich Clementi vs Gleison Tibau
Nick Catone vs Derek Downey
Matt Riddle vs Steve Bruno
Matt Grice vs Matt Veach

What Say You, Hughes?

I'm kinda surprised it took Matt Hughes this long to weigh in on "Grease".
"I’m not the only one who has said that GSP felt greasy during a fight. I know Matt Serra has mentioned it and, even in their first fight, I think BJ said something. I’m not saying GSP did something wrong and I’m not saying that it would have changed any outcomes of any fights; but what I am saying is, for my last two fights against Georges, he felt greasy."

Penn's Power Play

First, I do not believe for a second BJ Penn plans on retiring. "Grease" has been too much of a hit for him to walk away at this point. Right now the UFC is freaking out because one of their biggest stars is getting hit with allegations from all directions. They need this story to die as quickly as possible. The only question is how much is it worth to them?

On the other side, you have BJ Penn. He's sitting in the perfect bargaining situation. He could very easily kill the story by saying, "The Vaseline was such a small amount, it had nothing to do with my loss." Instead, he's been largely silent, as his lawyers debate the best way to file the complaint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I do not think he is choosing to let the story simmer because of anything to do with his legacy. This comes down to dollars, as always. Penn is too smart to let an opportunity like this pass him by. He has the UFC in a corner and can hold them for ransom. His retirement talk is all part of the plan.

Don't be surprised if Penn suddenly emerges with a contract extension and a renewed spirit to fight.

Monday, February 2, 2009

NSAC Speaks

Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, doesn't seem to be messing around.

"I found out this morning -- I talked with another inspector of mine -- he said that apparently B.J. Penn had complained to the inspector in his corner after either the first or second round that he thought maybe Georges was a little slippery."

"The first round, one of the inspectors that was on the outside of the cage came over to me and said it looked to him that when the cornerman, who I think in that case was Phil Nurse, put the Vaseline on Georges' face then rubbed his shoulders -- which you see the guys rubbing the other guy's shoulders to help him out -- he didn't wipe off his hands between doing that. I said, 'Well, I'm going to watch very closely after this round.'"
-----This bothers me. Why didn't the officials step in immediately when they saw it? Why wait until after the 2nd Round to see it happen again? If they see an infraction, step in and do something. I think BJ Penn has a right to be more than annoyed about this. The officials saw it in between the 1st and 2nd Rounds and chose not confront the situation. As I've discussed previously, the 2nd Round changed the entire fight. It doesn't mean Penn would have won the fight. It just means he took punishment he might not have normally taken.

"At the end of the second round I watched, and then another cornerman who I believe was Greg Jackson, he put the Vaseline on Georges' face, and then he put his hand on his back to do the breathing thing they always do," Kizer said. "As soon as I saw that, it looked like there was still some Vaseline on his hand. Not a lot, but still some. Tony Liano and I immediately yelled at him, and I don't think he heard us because of the noise. So I actually went into the octagon, and I said, 'Take your hand off of his back. What are you doing?' We wiped it down. We made sure it was wiped down after the third round as well. This was after the second when I was in there. I was very upset. I don't know if they were doing it intentionally or not. Either way, they shouldn't have done it."

"It wasn't necessary. It definitely wasn't fair to Mr. Penn. I don't think it was even fair to Mr. St. Pierre. His cornerman should have been more careful if it was an accident. If it was intentional, that's even worse. Just very, very disturbing."

"We took the action we did after the second and third round."

"The example I give is Gaylord Perry of the (San Diego) Padres back in the day was known for putting Vaseline on the ball. The umpires did their best. Let's say it's the eighth inning and his team is up 10-0, he's throwing a shutout, and they find out on some pitch that he put Vaseline on the ball. They take action against him, but that wouldn't invalidate the rest of the game, although you could argue maybe he used it on every pitch and got this 10-run lead."
-----Awful comparision. Not even close. St-Pierre entered the 2nd Round in an even fight following a toss-up first five minutes. It was not a one-sided fight at that point. The officials did not act on the infraction until after the 2nd Round, which was five minutes and a dozen strikes to the head too late.

"The fans can make their own conclusions on what they felt from their aspect. They saw what I saw for the most part based on some of the .gifs (small video clips) out there showing what happened.'
-----I guess the UFC hasn't released the corner footage to them. That's the stuff they need to be watching.

"This may have tainted [St. Pierre's] victory in the eyes of many fans, and it's his cornerman's fault for that. It doesn't take away his victory, but it does take away from his victory in the eyes of many fans, I believe."

Dana Knows What's Up

Start watching at the 9 minute mark. You'll see Chuck Liddell deliver the Vaseline news to Dana White and Frank Mir. Then Dana tells Rashad Evans, "Georges is in trouble." Great video. These video blogs have gotten boring, but this one delivers.

Another Accuser

I completely forgot about this one. Back in April of 2005 at UFC 52, Georges St-Pierre defeated Jason Miller. He's never specifically stated this blog entry was about St-Pierre, but you'd have to be brain dead not to figure it out yourself. I'm sure this is just a coincidence and another example of a losing fighter having sour grapes.
While locked in my tight guard, I noticed that for some reason I was have trouble keeping my opponent's head down. I practiced shirtless with my great training partners, and never had this much trouble keeping a guy from punching me. Was this guy uber strong or something? No(t) exactly. After a couple more stiff elbows to my grillpiece, I felt the familiar slick that I would get every day at kickboxing practice on my nose and eyes, only it was on my opponents neck, now up 2 rounds, Vaseline!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Vaseline Q and A

Can you explain what exactly happened?

Between the 1st and 2nd rounds, St-Pierre's cornerman, Phil Nurse, rubbed Vaseline on his face then his body. Between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, he did it again and the State Athletic officials freaked out. Between the 3rd and 4th rounds he did it again. Guards then made a horrible attempt to towel St-Pierre off as he stood up.

What's the big deal about some Vaseline being on St-Pierre's shoulders, back, and chest?

It makes it easier to fend off submission attempts and work through your opponent's guard. You could see Penn trying to raise his legs up onto St-Pierre's back multiple times (2nd round especially), but they'd get to St-Pierre's shoulders then slide down to his lower back. St-Pierre isn't posturing up when this happens, so it's not a matter of his movement disrupting things.

The 1st Round was basically even. The 2nd Round doesn't get bad for Penn until about the 3 minute mark. Following Penn's attempts to position his legs high on St-Pierre's back, he loses his guard and gives up side control. Joe Rogan makes a big deal about this because it's extremely rare for anyone to get through Penn's guard. Perhaps Penn's legs were a little slippery following the multiple encounters with St-Pierre's back and shoulders a minute earlier. After this point, Penn begins to take strikes. The fight is never the same. Penn looks out of it in the corner from the strikes and the amount of energy he used to defend from the bottom.

Will the Nevada State Athletic Commission do anything about this?

If the fight was overturned and ruled a No Contest, I'd be shocked. My guess is they will at least fine and suspend St-Pierre's cornerman. It would not be out of the question for him to be banned. This is a serious matter. It happened in one of the biggest fights in years, on Super Bowl weekend, and in Vegas. There are a lot of people who lost money on this fight wondering if the State Athletic Commission did their job correctly.

St-Pierre himself will escape without any official reprimands, although this makes his win a little less sweet.

GSP Cheated

-This is the last thing the UFC or MMA needs right now. Apparently St-Pierre's cornerman, Phil Nurse, rubbed Vaseline on his back and shoulders in between rounds. The Nevada State Athletic Commission freaked out when they saw it and took the Vaseline from St-Pierre's corner. Following the fight, Penn's camp filed a formal complaint. There are still a lot of loose ends right now, but there definitely seems to be some tricky tactics going on. It should also be noted, this is not the first time an opponent has accused St-Pierre of being extra slippery (Sean Sherk and Matt Hughes have also questioned GSP's slick demeanor and possibly Matt Serra, if my memory is working today).

-Does this change the outcome of the fight? I know that's the question most are thinking about. It's impossible to know. Penn tried more than a few times to position his legs high on GSP's back, but they kept slipping back down. It's entirely possible the Vaseline impaired his ability to defend from his back and position to a submission attempt. That does not mean he would have magically sinked in a submission and won the fight. It just means Penn was at a disadvantage he should not have been at. It is the job of the State Athletic Commission to make sure each fighter is safe from undue harm. In this case, they failed. Penn took serious punishment on the ground and has a right to be a little upset about this.

-Here are Rudy Valentino's thoughts on it.

-I've received some emails from readers who were there telling me that while this was going on Chuck Liddell was flipping out at cageside. Supposedly he saw what was going on and made a scene. One reader wrote, "I thought someone spit on Chuck. He was going nuts."

(The gif above is not the only instance or even a full clip of what happened. This is later in the fight (I think between rounds 3 and 4) when the Commission had two guards try to towel GSP off, although they do about as horrible a job as you can possibly do. Between rounds 2 and 3, the camera was not on GSP's corner until the very end of the break. All they showed was the two guards flipping out and arguing with GSP's corner about the Vaseline, so I'm guessing they watched them do it again, then finally stepped in.)

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