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Posts from — May 2010

Badr Hari channels his inner Paul Daley

Here’s a quick hit, er, kick: Dutch kickboxing giant Badr Hari soccer kicks his downed opponent, Hedsy Gerges, at the It’s Showtime event on the weekend. Hari has since apologized and has announced he’ll be taking a break from fighting for a while. Might I suggest he roll a fat one and chill the fuck out?

May 31, 2010   2 Comments

UFC 114 feels like money down the drain

UFC 114 has been in the books for a couple of days and I’m no closer to deciding if it was a satisfying card or not. I’m leaning toward not. Again.

Yes, Rashad Evans’ decision win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had its moments, especially when Evans was tagged early in the third and visions of Evans-Machida danced in my head. That the most-hyped grudge match in UFC history even made it to the final frame was a bit of a surprise – everyone, myself included, was predicting an explosive early finish – but not nearly as surprising as the ease with which Evans took Rampage down.

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May 31, 2010   1 Comment

Rashad, Rampage and Dana White’s plans for global domination are wearing me out

Two days out and my enthusiasm for UFC 114 is in second gear. I don’t blame the card, which actually looks pretty solid on paper (Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Todd Duffee, Diego Sanchez, etc).

But the somewhat long-awaited, extremely over-hyped main event between Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson doesn’t have quite the pop it would’ve if it had taken place following their Ultimate Fighter stint like it was supposed to. And all the “Rampage and Rashad hate each other” rivalry feels a bit too premeditated, manufactured, theatrical, like Hulk Hogan’s mutual hate-on for Randy “Macho Man” Savage. I know they’ve butted heads since back in their pre-UFC days but tell me some TV cameras and a few million viewers isn’t adding fuel to the fire. I guess this is what qualifies as “the biggest grudge match in UFC history.”

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May 27, 2010   No Comments

A UFC office in Toronto and little else to talk about

Tuesday’s big announcement in Toronto was pretty much a formality by the time UFC president Dana White confirmed what everybody already knew – that the UFC would open its first Canadian office in Toronto in the next few weeks. Former Canadian Football League commissioner and one-time Adidas Canadian president Tom Wright was named the division’s new head.

And really, that’s all that came out of the press conference. That and hints of a possible UFC Fan Expo somewhere in Canada and that welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck could square off in Canada. Just chatter from White, really, with no basis in reality (yet). Hence my delay in reporting.

May 25, 2010   1 Comment

Tim Sylvia is back? Seriously?

So, World’s Strongest Man Marius Pudzianowski tapped out to strikes in his Friday bout with Tim Sylvia. And what do the commentators make of the performance – apparently Tim Sylvia, the former UFC heavyweight champ, is back. Umm, really? He beats a strongman in his third MMA fight in a second-rate promotion and suddenly Sylvia is back? Hi-larious.

May 24, 2010   No Comments

MMA Day’s rally of hopeless

My enthusiasm for writing about Saturday’s MMA Day rally in Toronto matches the enthusiasm of Toronto MMA fans, who showed up by the tens to demonstrate their support for sanctioning in Ontario. Maybe my malaise is due to the Victoria Day long weekend, the idea that there’s more to life than standing in front of Queen’s Park (that’s the provincial capital to all you nontarians) with an Greenlight MMA placard. Maybe it’s because the whole thing stunk of bad marketing.

For the record, I was there and it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t much of anything, really.

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May 24, 2010   1 Comment

Video: Dan Hornbuckle’s textbook kimura

This is one sweet submission. On Thursday, Dan Hornbuckle locked in a kimura from the bottom, dropped a leg across Steve Carl’s neck to hold the position, swept to top position and finished it off to earn himself a berth in the Bellator welterweight final against Ben Askren. Textbook.

May 21, 2010   No Comments

Alistair Overeem passed the piss test, proves nothing

Is anybody surprised that Alistair Overeem passed his drug test? It doesn’t prove that the Strikeforce heavyweight champ doesn’t or hasn’t used performance-enhancing drugs. I’m not saying he uses, but a lot of people are suspicious. Very suspicious. Very, very suspicious. Just saying.

May 21, 2010   No Comments

The UFC booking Toronto’s Rogers Centre in March 2011 is simply a political pressure tactic, not a guarantee of an actual event

It appears that the UFC’s “major announcement” expected Tuesday in Toronto is that the promotion will indeed open a Canadian office, giving it an important beach head in the Great White North. At least, that’s the conventional wisdom.

Joe Ferraro over at Sportsnet.ca has added a new knot with news that the UFC has booked the Rogers Centre for March 26, 2011.

I’m not one to doubt Ferraro – if his sources say this is happening, then it’s probably happening. Although who would actually pony up hundreds of dollars to sit in the 65,000-seat stadium to watch two sweaty specks roll around on a tiny cage a football field away is beyond me. Sitting in the 200-level seats at Montreal’s 20,000-seat Bell Centre is bad enough. You have a bad seat in the old Skydome, or even a moderately okay one, and you’d be better off watching the action through the glass floor of the CN Tower.

Now, you can take the news of a March 2011 UFC event as good news, a clear sign that UFC prez Dana White is confident that the sport will be sanctioned in the province sometime in the next 10 months. Or not. And I’m leaning toward not.

Now, hear me out. All the UFC has done is make a reservation at the roomiest hotel in town. That’s it. Doesn’t mean they’re actually going to spend the night. Doesn’t mean they even think they’re going to spend the night. In fact, there’s a very good chance that planting their flag on a specific date is intended solely to put the heat on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Suddenly every MMA fan in the province is expecting to see a card in Toronto come May 26. They want it, demand it, beg for it, plead for it. And if it doesn’t happen, it’ll be like not getting that air rifle they always wanted for Christmas. And McGuinty becomes the Grinch.

It’s a brilliant tactical move by a promotion thus far stymied and frustrated by the snail-like progress to get the sport sanctioned in its (potentially) biggest marketplace. But it doesn’t mean the UFC is actually coming to town. Right now, that possibility is as real a Santa Claus.

May 21, 2010   7 Comments

GSP turns to Freddie Roach to improve his boxing while also grappling with NHL veterans

Josh Koscheck says UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre doesn’t have knockout power. I have to agree that we certainly haven’t seen it yet in 22 fights. It seems GSP has been listening as he’s heading to Los Angeles to train with famed boxing coach Freddie Roach, who has worked with seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao as well as a slew of MMA fighters, such as Anderson Silva and Gegard Mousasi. Meanwhile, GSP isn’t done showing off his wrestling prowess – he’s agreed to a friendly grappling match with former Montreal Canadien Georges Laraque, which will air on Off the Record on Friday at 6 pm EST.

May 20, 2010   1 Comment

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