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Posts from — January 2011

Amanda Nunes shows some serious striking ability in 14-second TKO

I forgot to post this after it happened but it’s too impressive not to post. Amanda Nunes needed just 14 seconds to pummel Julia Budd to win her 145-pound bout at Strikeforce Challengers 13. Doesn’t mean she’s ready for champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos but wow.

January 11, 2011   No Comments

Would you prefer Brock Lesnar or Junior Dos Santos as your coach?

Looks like Brock Lesnar will have a new chapter to write in his autobiography (in addition to the one about his epic beard).The former UFC heavyweight champ isn’t scurrying from the octagon for the relative safety of a WWE ring, as some have (heavily and seriously) speculated.

Instead, he will join Junior Dos Santos as opposing coaches on the 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which will focus on welterweights. UFC boss Dana White made the announcement on Wednesday, squashing the rumoured coaches, lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.

Lesnar and Dos Santos will then square off for yet another interim heavyweight belt, which has been contended for more times than the unified strap the last couple of years (an entirely unnecessary interim belt, I’ll add, considering that champ Cain Velasquez is expected to be out just 6-8 months with the shoulder injury, meaning he could be back in action in time for the UFC’s annual July 4 weekend event).

The Lesnar vs. Santos bout would likely take place at UFC 131 in Vancouver on June 14. The locker rooms at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver could get a little crowded – Shane Carwin confirmed on his blog that he will face a yet-to-be-determined opponent on the card after a UFC 130 bout with Roy Nelson was scrapped so Nelson could face Frank Mir. (Presumably, Nelson’s legal woes have been resolved to the UFC’s satisfaction.)

So who could Carwin face? Well, scratch Brendan Schaub and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic off your list. Those two will slug it out at UFC 128, headlined by a light heavyweight title tilt between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rashad Evans.

Okay, back to The Ultimate Fighter. While I think it’ll be entertaining for viewers to watch Lesnar and Dos Santos as coaches (imagine how many doors Lesnar will rip apart), I wouldn’t want to have Lesnar as a coach. Not just because of his personality. I just have to wonder, after just seven fights, Lesnar could possibly teach his proteges?

January 11, 2011   No Comments

UFC’s hypocritical suspension of Chael Sonnen

I’m a bit puzzled by Chael Sonnen’s suspension by the UFC. Yes, he pleaded guilty to money laundering charges and I’m not saying that the UFC shouldn’t take action. But it’s not as though Sonnen led police on a reckless high-speed chase through heavily populated neighbourhoods that resulted in multiple vehicles being smashed up and a SWAT team takedown in the middle of the street. It’s not as though he has DUI convictions like Chris Leben or Josh Neer (hell, Leben was busted for drunk driving in October 2010 and he fought in the UFC just last week). It seems very hypocritical.

Now, I’m not sure what the solution is. Sonnen is just coming off a bizarre suspension by the California State Athletic Commission (bizarre because of how it was handled by the CSAC), had spent weeks Twitter-taunting Wanderlei Silva with language that some deemed racist and xenophobic in the hopes of getting a fight and then agreeing to face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128. Akiyama will now face Nate Marquardt instead).

Is the UFC simply trying to distance itself from the controversial fighter (something it didn’t do with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Leben or Neer) and will welcome him back into the fold in a few months? In other words, a smoke-and-mirrors job that makes the UFC appear to be respectable. After all, Sonnen’s suspension has no time limits and other than the loss of the Akiyama bout, really won’t have much of an impact on Sonnen’s career, at least not in the short term.  Or is the promotion genuinely fed up with Sonnen’s antics? Maybe the UFC is really trying to clean up its own act in in the hopes of gaining greater mainstream acceptance, as  E. Spencer Kyte suggests:

By scrapping Sonnen’s scheduled fight with Akiyama and putting him on the sidelines for an indefinite period, the UFC is following in the footsteps of the other major professional sports organizations and showing that legal penalties are not the only consequences fighters need to be concerned about in these types of situations. In taking this course of action with Sonnen, Dana White and company are setting an important precedent for the organization and its athlete: that your ability to earn a living in the UFC doesn’t rely solely on what you do inside the cage and your personal conduct will be taken into consideration.

That’s all well and good. But whether genuine or not, the end result is the same: denying me (and doubtless many other fight fans) an opportunity to see Sonnen in a rematch with middleweight champ Anderson Silva. Because when it comes right down to it, it’s the fights that matter.

January 7, 2011   No Comments

Video: Steven Seagal adds to silly Friday

I’ll get back to serious MMA talk soon enough, but for now, after a long first week back at the office, I could use a laugh or two. First, there was U.S. President Barack Obama’s smackdown of UFC nitwit Jacob Volkmann; now, the zen-aikido-CIA agent turned actor turned MMA trainer Steven Seagal adds to the the mirth.

January 7, 2011   No Comments

Sign Obama to a UFC contract

January 7, 2011   No Comments

Chael Sonnen pleads guilty to money laundering, faces 20 years behind bars

Just when I was starting to warm back up to Chael Sonnen. I kind of dig the vigour with which he trash talks and he’s a persuasive politico with a tinge of Bill Clinton about him – he says he didn’t do anything wrong with regards to his positive test for elevated levels of testosterone in the same way Clinton claimed he didn’t have sex with Monica Lewinsky. Seriously. Check out the video below.

But then there’s things like him pleading guilty to money laundering as the result of some shady real estate deal and I realize that maybe he’s a bit more Tricky Dick Nixon than Wild Bill. Sonnen will be sentenced on March 28, roughly three weeks after his six-month drug suspension ends, and could face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Chances are good, though, that the Justice Department will recommend two years probation for Sonnen, who will agree to give up his realtor’s license and pay a $10,000 fine.

Still, he’s awfully amusing…

January 3, 2011   No Comments

I no longer feel bad for Phil Baroni

Seems Phil Baroni is no stranger to shedding a few tears. Hit the 2:30 mark of this press conference following his EliteXC loss to Joey Villasenor. What a softy.

Phil Baroni at EliteXC press conference (1/2) – Watch more Funny Videos

January 3, 2011   No Comments

Who knows what goes on in Thiago Silva’s head?

As nasty as the beating Thiago Silva laid on Brandon Vera at UFC 125 was, something about it just doesn’t sit right. I’m not talking about Vera’s nose being remodeled like it was made of Play-Doh, or Silva bitch-slapping Vera, although that plays into it (and has really pissed off Jon Jones). I’m referring to the fact that Silva so easily mangled and broke Vera – to the point that he was semi-playfully playing the bongos on Vera’s back – yet he couldn’t put him away and had to settle for a decision.

Credit to Vera for surviving, I guess, but Silva should have ended that fight – or at least kept pounding on Vera until the referee ended it. Regardless, Silva looks back in fierce form and is again someone to worry about in the 205-pound division, while Vera, who suffered his third straight loss, will likely get his UFC walking papers while his nose mends.

January 3, 2011   No Comments

I hate to admit it but I feel bad for Phil Baroni

How can you not feel for Phil Baroni, even just a little bit? He knows his UFC career is over after his knockout loss to Brad Tavares at UFC 125. The loss leveled his pro record to 13-13. But doesn’t your heart go out to a guy who’s been beaten by some of the best in the game – Matt Lindland, Evan Tanner, Frank Shamrock, Amir Sadollah?

January 3, 2011   No Comments

UFC 125 unresolved

UFC 125 is a couple of days old and folks are still talking about the main event, a post-New Year’s MMA buzz supplied by Frankie Edgar’s near-miraculous recovery after one of the worst first rounds since David met Goliath, Gray Maynard’s ineffective head-hunting and takedown attempts, and the eventual inconclusive conclusion that will see the pair square off for a third time, putting the entire lightweight division on hold indefinitely.

Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing. Firstly, many – myself included – were predicting the lightweight title bout between defending champ Edgar and Maynard would deliver all the excitement of two socks in a dryer. Everyone knew it would go to the judges; none of us could’ve predicted how it would get there. That it was a fireworks-filled five-rounder that stayed primarily on the feet, except when Edgar was getting leveled by hooks and uppercuts in the first frame or when Maynard was picked up and slammed onto his back in the second, was a surprise (especially considering the wrestling-based Maynard took Edgar down close to a dozen times during their first three-round encounter). That the fight was declared a draw, the second in UFC title bout history (BJ Penn vs. Caol Uno, which was also a rematch, was the first), was really no surprise.

So in a few months, Edgar and Maynard will do it all over again. In the meantime, it’ll give WEC champ and number one contender Anthony Pettis a chance to work on his wrestling with Ben Askren. It’ll give Clay Guida, who annoyed the fuck out of me and Takanori Gomi with his incessant dance-rave head-bobbing like he was playing lead guitar for Slayer, a chance to face another top competitor – might I suggest the equally energetic and hair-endowed Ben Henderson? And the rest of the division – Jim Miller, George Sotiropoulos, etc – will have to be content with contending for a shot at title contention. It’ll be that kind of year.

January 3, 2011   No Comments

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