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Posts from — December 2009

Videos: Dynamite!! 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

Video: Maybe BJ Penn hit Diego Sanchez harder than we thought

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

Ho-hum World MMA Awards

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

Best Promotion
Nominees: UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM, WEC, Bellator
Winner: UFC

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
Logan Stanton
Winner: Arianny Celeste

Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Charles “Mask” Lewis

Best MMA Gloves Manufacturer
Nominees: Everlast MMA, Fairtex, Hayabusa, Triumph United, UFC
Winner: UFC

Best MMA Shorts Manufacturer
Nominees: ADX, Hayabusa, Sprawl, Tapout, Warrior
Winner: TapouT

Best MMA Clothing Manufacturer
Nominees: Affliction, One More Round, Silverstar, TapouT, Toe2Toe
Winner: TapouT

Best MMA Brand
Nominees: Bad Boy, Hayabusa, Silverstar, TapouT, UFC
Winner: TapouT

Best Media Source
Nominees: MMAjunkie.com, “Inside MMA” on HDNet, “MMA Connected” on Sportsnet, MMAWeekly.com, Sherdog.com
Winner: MMAjunkie.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

Video: Shinya Aoki’s brutal submission win

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

Dynamite!! results

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 should offer some New Year’s fireworks

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

A Dynamite way to start 2010!!

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

A new UFC ringcard girl? Sounds good to me

A bit outside the realm of fighting, but we’re nearing the holidays, so… It appears that UFC octagon girls Logan Stanton and Natasha Wicks are out of work. According to several reports, both card carriers have been let go – Stanton did not have her just-ended contract renewed and Wicks was just plain booted. That’s three this year (remember Edith Labelle was axed last summer).

The reason for the layoffs/firings is pure fanboy speculation, ranging from backstage catfighting with lead octagon girl Arianny Celeste to MMA ignorance (since when was fight knowledge a pre-requisite for holding up a numbered card? An ability to count to five and not fall down seems all that’s really needed in the skills department). Regardless, they’re gone and rumour has it that Playboy playmate Chandella Powell will step into their heels and booty shorts. Looks good to me. I wondered why there wasn’t a little more colour in the mix back when the So Cal-looking Wicks was hired in August.

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December 18, 2009   2 Comments

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” at the UFC 107 weigh-ins

Weigh-ins are usually pretty tame affairs, but there does seem to be some energy in the air at yesterday’s UFC 107 event. Whether it’s Cheick Kongo turning his back on Frank Mir and refusing to do the requisite photo op stare-down or the audience spontaneously chanting “Yes!” as Diego Sanchez took the stage or the intense face-to-face between Sanchez and lightweight champ BJ Penn. BTW, Penn looked really lean while Mir tipped the scales at 264.5 pounds, or 21.5 pounds heavier than he did against Brock Lesnar.

December 12, 2009   1 Comment

Cung Le and Donnie Yen throwdown in Hong Kong kung fu flick

I’m getting a little tired of all the post-Matrix/post-Crouching Tiger chop-socky wire fu in films. It’s getting stale. But I’ll cut Bodyguards & Assassins some slack because it stars the super bad-ass Donnie Yen. Here’s an extended clip from the film, a fight scene with Strikeforce middleweight Cung Le, who is my excuse for posting this video.

December 12, 2009   No Comments

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