Posts from — December 2009
Akihiro Gono’s super-slick second-round armbar submission of Hayato “Mach” Sakurai:
Ikuhisa Minowa’s third-round KO of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, which comes after the two stood and stared at each other for two hours, earning both of them yellow cards for inactivity:
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Michihiro Omigawa:
Ray Sefo vs. Yosuke Nishijima:
December 31, 2009 No Comments
Thanks to Watchkalibrun for providing the video of Diego Sanchez accepting his World MMA Awards Fight of the Year trophy for his bout with Clay Guida. Seriously, it’s hilarious, in a sloppy drunk kind of way.
December 31, 2009 No Comments
No real surprises at yesterday’s Fighters Only World MMA Awards. UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre picks up Fighter of the Year, beating out Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva, Mike Brown and Brock Lesnar.
Good call. GSP went 2-0 in dominant fashion. Machida also went 2-0, including a title win, but his chances were likely squashed by his “win in name only” against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua even thought that fight fell outside the September-to-September judging period. Silva’s Matrix performance against Forrest Griffin couldn’t erase the memory of the flop-fest that was the Thales Leites fight. Brown went 3-0, including winning the WEC featherweight title and defending it twice, but he lost the belt to Jose Aldo in November (again, outside the judging year but still, this award should go to a fighter still at the top of their game, or so the thinking likely goes). And then there’s Brock Lesnar. He’s just too new to the sport and too disliked by fans to give him Fighter of the Year, especially when GSP can put a polite, pretty face on the event.
Of course, that didn’t stop Lesnar from winning the Breakthrough Fighter award over Shane Carwin, Dan Hardy, Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez. Can’t argue with that – he’s the UFC heavyweight champ, after all.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos took home Female Fighter of the Year over Gina Carano, Megumi Fujii, Sarah Kaufman and Rosi Sexton. It’s another choice that’s hard to argue with, although I’d hedge that Kaufman would’ve been a fair – of lesser-known – choice. She won three fights in 57 days to start the year but has been waiting for Strikeforce to gets its act together and get her another bout ever since.
I could care less about the different gear-related categories, which probably exist only to bring in sponsors, but I find it very strange that there’s a European Fighter of the Year category yet no Brazilian or Japanese category.
Here are the rest of the nominees and winners:
Gym of the Year
Nominees: American Top Team, Black House MMA, Xtreme Couture, Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting, Wolfslair
Winner: Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting
Coach of the Year
Nominees: Mark Dellagrotte, Greg Jackson, Ricardo Liborio, Greg Nelson, Shawn Tompkins
Winner: Greg Jackson
KO of the Year
Nominees: Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell at UFC 88, Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping at UFC 100, Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans at UFC 98, Nate Marquart vs. Demian Maia at UFC 102, Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin at UFC 101
Winner: Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping at UFC 100
Submission of the Year
Nominees: B.J. Penn vs. Kenny Florian at UFC 101, Terry Etim vs. Justin Buchholz at UFC 99, Dustin Hazelett vs. Tamdan McCrory at UFC 91, Toby Imada vs. Jorge Masvidal at Bellator 5, Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen at UFC 95
Winner: Toby Imada vs. Jorge Masvidal at Bellator 5
European Fighter of the Year
Nominees: Mike Bisping, Fedor Emelianenko, Terry Etim, Dan Hardy, Gegard Mousasi
Winner: Gegard Mousasi
Fight of the Year
Nominees: Mike Brown vs. Urijah Faber at WEC 41, Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99, Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir at UFC 100, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Randy Couture at UFC 102
Winner: Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale
Nominees: UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM, WEC, Bellator
Leading Man of the Year
Nominees: Dana White, UFC president; Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC CEO; Scott Coker, Strikeforce founder and CEO; Charles “Mask” Lewis, TapouT co-founder; Joe Silva, UFC VP of talent relations
Winner: Dana White, UFC president
Ring Girl of the Year
Nominees: Arianny Celeste, Edith LaBelle, Holly Madison, Natasha Wicks
Winner: Arianny Celeste
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Charles “Mask” Lewis
Best MMA Gloves Manufacturer
Nominees: Everlast MMA, Fairtex, Hayabusa, Triumph United, UFC
Best MMA Shorts Manufacturer
Nominees: ADX, Hayabusa, Sprawl, Tapout, Warrior
Best MMA Clothing Manufacturer
Nominees: Affliction, One More Round, Silverstar, TapouT, Toe2Toe
Best MMA Brand
Nominees: Bad Boy, Hayabusa, Silverstar, TapouT, UFC
Best Media Source
Nominees: MMAjunkie.com, “Inside MMA” on HDNet, “MMA Connected” on Sportsnet, MMAWeekly.com, Sherdog.com
Best MMA Journalist
Nominees: John Morgan, MMAjunkie.com/Dallas Morning News; Gareth A. Davies, Telegraph.com; Joe Ferraro, MMA Connected; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Dave Meltzer, Yahoo! Sports/Wrestling Observer
Winner: John Morgan, MMAjunkie.com/Dallas Morning News
December 31, 2009 No Comments
This doesn’t quite live up to the “most brutal submission in MMA history” tag that I’d read it was, but it’s definitely top-three. Shinya Aoki and his magic grappling pants literally turns Mizuto Hirota into a pretzel before mangling his right arm during their Dynamite!! bout. Hirota’s left arm was also pinned, preventing him from tapping leaving it to the horrified referee to stop the fight. Check out the ref’s expression when he sees the wrecked arm flopping on the mat. Anybody have any idea what to call that submission? It’s not something I’ve ever been taught in BJJ.
Oh, and a note to Shinya: You just pulled off an amazing, brutal submission win that will make all the highlight reels – why show such lack of class by giving everybody the finger? Please leave those antics to Brock Lesnar.
December 31, 2009 No Comments
New Year’s Eve comes early in Japan, meaning Dynamite!! 2009, the year-ending DREAM/Sengoku/K-1 event, is already in the books as of a few hours ago. And if you want to forget the year that was, I suggest you step into the ring with Alistair Overeem. I’m pretty sure Kazuyuki Fujita, who took on the Strikeforce heavyweight wrecking ball, has no memory of anything after taking a knee to the skull that dropped him through the ropes and led to him being carried out of the ring on a stretcher. Simply brutal.
Seemed like a bit of an early stoppage as Dutch sandman Melvin Manhoef dropped former PRIDE Welteweight Grand Prix Champion Kazuo Misaki with a pair of left hooks that sent him to the mat and had the referee jumping in to prevent a crime scene. It was obvious, though, that Misaki was still game – and capable – of fighting on (although I’m sure Manhoef would’ve ended it a punch or two later anyway). No matter, Manhoef, who recently inked a contract with Strikeforce, picks up the biggest win of his career thus far.
Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi made short work of Gary Goodridge with a first-round TKO via ground-and-pound. A boring fight, really, with Mousasi just packing his lunch box and going to work.
And I would love to track down video of DREAM lightweight champion (and newly signed Strikeforce fighter) Shinya Aoki ripping Mizuto Hirota’s arm out of its socket in their match-up. From all written accounts I’ve seen, it’s one of the most-horrifying, hard-to-watch submissions in MMA history. I’m sure it will pop up on Youtube shortly and when it does I’ll be sure to post it here.
Here are the full results:
* Masaaki Noiri def.Hiroya via decision (K-1)
* Shota Shimada def Katsuki Ishida via decision (K-1)
* Ikuhisa Minowa def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via TKO R3 (MMA/Super Hulk finale)
* Ray Sefo def. Yosuke Nishijima via decision (K-1)
* Masaaki Noiri def. Shota Shimada via decision (K-1)
* Hiroshi Izumi def. Katsuyori Shibata decision (MMA)
* Michihiro Omigawa def Hiroyuki Takaya via TKO(MMA)
* Akihiro Gono def. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai via armbar 3:56 R2 (MMA)
* Melvin Manhoef def Kazuo Misaki via TKO (MMA)
* Hideo Tokoro def. Jong Man Kim via decision (MMA)
* Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kazunori Yokota via decision (MMA)
* Masanori Kanehara def. Norofumi “Kid” Yamamoto via decision (MMA)
* Alistair Overeem def. Kazuyuki Fujita TKO knee R1 (MMA)
* Gegard Mousasi def. Gary Goodridge via TKO R1 (MMA)
* Shinya Aoki def. Mizuto Hirota via TKO/sub broken arm (MMA)
* Hidehiko Yoshida def. Satoshi Ishii via decision (MMA)
* Masato def. Andy Souwer via decision (K-1)
December 31, 2009 2 Comments
UFC 108, the card that just won’t die, is a couple of days away. And given that expectations for the cursed event – there have been no fewer than eight bout changes due to illness and injury, including the loss of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort, Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – are lower than for a Gladiator Challenge undercard, there’s actually a decent chance this thing will be surprisingly entertaining, especially when you have stylistic and skill-level mismatches like submission monkey Dustin Hazelett vs. knockout gorilla Paul Daley, past-his-prime psycho Gilbert Yvel vs. up-and-comer Junior dos Santos and scrappy kickboxer Sam Stout vs. scrappy grappler Joe Lauzon.
And of course, there’s always the headliner between light heavyweights Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva, each of whom have one loss on their records to champ Lyoto Machida. So sure, that fight is an important rung in the ladder back into title contention, but with Machida out of action until May, when he rematches Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Evans-Silva seems barely relevant to anyone but Evans and Silva. And for the record, I’m calling Silva by decision – he’s got solid, tight dirty boxing, which will beat Evans’ looping blows to the punch and his jiu-jitsu is under-rated.
So my suggestion for getting the most out of UFC 108? Continue the New Year’s festivities with drink and friends, hope for some fireworks, and wake up the next morning promising things will be different next year.
December 30, 2009 No Comments
It ain’t New Year’s Eve without a crazy Japanese super-card. Thursday’s Dynamite!! 2009: DREAM vs. WVR (note the twin exclamation points!) promises eighteen K-1 and MMA bouts with fighters from DREAM and World Victory Road’s Sengoku series.
I’m not sure what the hell Gegard Mousasi is thinking taking on Gary Goodridge in the night’s co-headliner. Not that the Dutch fighter should have much trouble with a past-his-prime GG, I’d just rather he focus on being Strikeforce light heavyweight champ. Likewise, I’d rather Alistair Overeem get back to defending his Strikeforce heavyweight title instead of fighting Kazuyuki Fujita.
The other headliner is a K-1 match-up between Andy Souwer and Masato, which is supposed to be Masato’s career swansong. Other notables include Shinya Aoki vs. Mizuto Hirota, Yosuke Nishijima vs. Ray Sefo, Melvin Manhoef vs. Kazuo Misaki, Masanori Kanehara vs. Norofumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Akihiro Gono vs. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai and DREAM’s Super Hulk open-weight tournament finale between Ikuhisa Minowa and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou.
December 30, 2009 No Comments
Ever want all the excitement of MMA in a manner the whole family can take part in? Ever want to flying armbar the wife or ground-and-pound the brat but don’t want to spend the next few years sleeping on a state-issued pillow? Now you can with the MMA board game Extreme Fight Game, which uses “Fight Dice” to simulate real MMA action.
The game is the creation of Brett Sicilliano, who was once roommate of MMA legend Kimo. In the game, two players get to choose between four fictional characters that fight each other. That the characters are fictional is awesome because it will save me hours of arguing with the wife about who gets to be GSP.
Don’t worry, even though the fighters are fictional, the sponsors are real with Tapout and LA Boxing adverting inside the game. I know what I’ll be asking Santa for this Christmas.
December 22, 2009 No Comments
Fertittas whine and dine: two more multi-millionaires bitching about protecting intellectual property
UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta spoke before the House Judiciary Committee on piracy on Wednesday. The Fertitta brothers are 90-percent owners of the UFC and they are concerned with streaming video sites like justin.tv, which offers live albeit illegal streaming of UFC events, thus bypassing the lucrative pay-per-view structure.
Relatively speaking, things are tough for Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. They own close to 25-percent of the Station Casinos. The casinos recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and were granted an extension by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge until March 25, 2010 to come up with a restructuring plan.
But before you lose too much sleep over the brothers’ economic woes, UFC president and pal Dana White recently stated in an interview:
“Trust me, don’t worry about the Fertittas being in any soup lines any time soon, Okay? They’re doing just fine (and Station Casinos) has nothing to do with the UFC. And all of the people who think the UFC is going to get sold and I’m going to get fired – keep dreaming.”
The Fertittas are Vegas entrepreneurial royalty. And as with many multi-millionaire/billionaires, this is not their first run in with hard times. In 2004, the brothers were $34 million deep into the UFC and pulled that around. I’m optimistic they will continue to be fabulously wealthy beyond any of our wildest dreams.
I have little sympathy for the Fertitta brothers’ “money problems.” According to Forbes Magazine’s billionaire list, last year the Fertitta brothers where No. 897, each having a net worth of $1.3 billion. Hard times have hit the brothers and they are now just multi-millionaires instead of billionaires. The brothers bought the UFC in 2001 for $2 million, it is now estimated at more than $1 billion. The UFC is protected against the Station Casino economic woes because the UFC is incorporated separately as Zuffa LLC. It does not seem likely that the Fertitta brothers will sell off shares of the UFC to help subsidize the casinos.
Whether it is Metallica or Zuffa, I find it excruciating to listen to the ultra-rich whine about protecting intellectual property.
Furthermore, the intellectual property being sold, as of late, is some less-than-stellar product. Admittedly, no one is forcing me to buy UFC 108 but Dana could meet us half way and reduce the price. I know it is a cursed card but it is still called Zuffa Entertainment not “Zuffa Our Fighters Are All Fucked Up Right Now And This Is The Best We Could Come Up With.” It is their responsibly to bring me exciting cards.
So, back to justin.tv. When viewed full-screen justin.tv is pixilated, it is not the HDTV PPV Zuffa is offering at home or at the bar. Most fight fans would never watch a stacked card on justin.tv – the quality is just too poor. However, when the quality of the fight card is equal to the quality of justin.tv, I can see where problems could arise.
These are hard economic times. Even the once billionaires are complaining. After, stifling daycare costs, a crippling mortgage, and taxes, the UFC get a substantial amount of what is left of my paycheck. I’m not sure if the brothers have had to sell their matching 200-foot Dutch yachts but I’m not losing sleep about the piracy of their intellectual property.
December 21, 2009 3 Comments
Former Strikeforce middleweight champ-turned-action star Cung Le stepped into the cage at Strikeforce: Evolution on Saturday for the first time in 22 months and it was like he was still on a Hollywood movie set, throwing the kind of flashy kicks – spinning back kicks, in particular – that are usually reserved for the big screen.
Le had his fight with Scott Smith locked up by the third round with a truly dominating striking game that included knocking Smith down a couple of times with those crazy spinning kicks to the midsection, although each time Le showed his inability to finish fights on the ground – he looked awkward, out of his element as he dropped hammerfists on Smith’s granite skull. And give it up for Smith’s ability to absorb punishment. But with less than two minutes remaining in the headliner the scriptwriter gave it a true Rocky finish as Smith caught Le with a left hook that rocked him and he pounced, finishing him with a barrage of punches until ref “Big” John McCarthy stepped in.
The lightweight title unification bout was a Fight of the Year contender as interim champ Gilbert Melendez played rock ‘em sock em robots with champ Josh Thompson for five rounds. Fists were definitely flying. Afterward, Thompson was total class, made no excuses, said no excuses would be forthcoming, that Melendez was the better fighter all the way. Finally, a fighter gracious in defeat.
Jiu-jitsu guru Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza submitted Matt Lindland in the opening round of their middleweight bout while he also looked dominating on his feet. Can’t wait to see Jacare try to sub Jason “Mayhem” Miller or Jake Shields. Meanwhile, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal opened the main card with a first-round knockout of Mike Whitehead in a heavyweight match-up.
December 20, 2009 No Comments