Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is this legal?

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has decided joined Wolfslair. Jackson joining a gym/team is a good sign of him getting things back on track.

There's just one problem: Wolfslair is located in England and Jackson is currently facing multiple felony charges. I don't mean to imply that Jackson is trying to pull an Ira Einhorn and permanently flee the country, but aren't you not allowed to leave the country while on trial, or between arraignment and trail.

Are there any lawyers out there, who read this blog, that can explain the situation? Most of my knowledge of the US legal system comes from Jack McCoy and the oh so lovely Angie Harmon so I'm far from an expert.

Monday, August 25, 2008

World's Most Overrated Man

He hasn't won a MMA fight in 4 years.

He's an ex-professional wrestler.

He lost his last 5 MMA fights.

He turns his fights into embarrassing personal feuds.

He lost 8 of his last 10 fights.

If you complain after he cuts in front of you in line, he starts yelling about how you need to respect him.

He once tried to hide the fact that he tapped out after his opponent released the hold.

He hasn't made it out of the first round in 6 years.

He is Kimbo Slice's next opponent.

He is the World's Most Overrated Man.

"I don't always lose my fights, but when I do, I prefer referee stoppage followed by my complaining."

Olympic MMA?

As the Bejing Olympics ended on Sunday, people started speculating about the 2012 Olympics in London.

Could England top China's Opening Ceremony and event sites?

Could England spend anywere near the $40 billion that China supposed spent on the olympics?

Would England sentence any of its citizens to hard labor if they asked to protest?

Would softball and baseball be back for the 2012 games or would they be dropped from the Olympics?

What other sports are on the chopping block?

Will any sports be added, and if so which ones?

Could MMA become an Olympic sport? The Olympics have a long history of popular sports. Beach volleyball became an Olympic sport after the AVP established the sport's broad appeal. Snowboarding was added to the Olympics after the X-Games started being televised on network TV. BMX, another "extreme sport" just road the rising tide of the X-Games to Olympic exclusion.

There's no arguing that MMA is experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity ( or that Olympic MMA would help the medal counts of Brazil & Japan. And, many MMA elements are already in the Olympics (wrestling, boxing, Judo, etc.). The big question is whether or not MMA can be made Olympic friendly.

Can MMA be Olympic-ified, like boxing, so athletes can fight 5 - 6 times in a fortnight? I don't think it can be.Olympic-ifing striking disciplines like boxing and tae-kwon-do involves throwing on a bunch of pads/protective gear. Problem is you can't wrestle or use jui-jitsu if you and your opponent are covered in pads.

I'd love to see the additional free MMA of Olympic MMA in 2012, but we're more likely to get stuck with Olympic skateboarding than Olympic MMA.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where to go, Tito?

Tito Ortiz's UFC contract has officially expired (there was a 60 day no compete clause in his contract that took effect after his fight with Machida).

Tito recently claimed to have signed a "ground breaking contract" with Affliction. But he hasn't he's still in negotiations with Affliction, and with almost every other MMA promotion in existence (except for Strikeforce oddly enough).

Since, Tito's still on the market, let's take a look at his options:

Affliction is the biggest MMA promotion that isn't the UFC.

Tito loves the spotlight Affliction is a big organization and can provide that.

Tito is still has name recognition with casual fans in the US. He'll bring in some extra PPV buys. Affliction needs those casual fans to buy their PPV's & see Fedor.

Affliction has already gotten weary of giving out incredibly lucrative contracts and has already asked some fighters to take a pay cut.

Who would Tito fight? Affliction doesn't have much in terms of light heavyweight talent besides Sobral. Tito is no longer a top talent, and whoever signs him will have to be very "selective" in picking his opponents. So far, Affliciton hasn't given anyone easy fights.

EliteXC is built around an ex-street fighter & an American Gladiator. Having an ex-UFC champion will help EliteXC look more like a serious MMA promotion and less like a circus side show.

Tito's possibly more interested in being a celebrity than a fighter. EliteXC is the ONLY MMA promotion that can put him on network TV live in prime time. Tito signs with EliteXC had he's a main event on network TV. He signs with Affliction or the UFC and he's a main card fight on a PPV.

EliteXC has already shown that they're willing to give favorable match ups to their big names.

Word on the internet is EliteXC is done. EliteXC's October show on CBS is supposed to be a make-or-break event. EliteXC can't setup it's most legit fight (Noons vs Diaz) because Noons won't return EliteXC's calls EliteXC is considering pulling a Great White Hype with Kimbo by having him fight one of the guys that beat him as an "amateur" even though the guy isn't a MMA fighter. If Tito signs with EliteXC and EliteXC survives, Titos' the man that saved EliteXC. If Tito signs with EliteXC and EliteXC still fold, EliteXC was dead anyway, but Tito got to fight (and win, based on how EliteXC picks opponents) on network TV.


Tito still has enough name recognition to function as a gatekeeper. Put him in one or two fights against favorable competition. Then, put him in against an upcoming talent that needs a big name win to get some name recognition (ex. Thiago Silva).

Tito & Dana White dislike each other.

Doubtful that Tito would settle for that role.

Ortiz vs Machida - Tito was supposed to be a big name win to give Machida some recognition with casual fans. The recognition Machida got was being the guy who won a boring fight against Tito.

Tito can be the main event.

Having Tito will slightly raise the profile of the organization.


No spotlight/publicity for Tito.

I've been waiting for Tito to sign with EliteXC ever since his last fight with the UFC. Its the perfect fit for Tito. Unfortunately, I doubt Tito will sign with EliteXC.

EliteXC and Affliction are the only two promotions that it makes sense for Tito. So, if Tito won't sign with EliteXC, Affliction is really his only other option.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

UFC 90 Poster & Proposed Title

There's the official poster for UFC 90. Based on the picture of Silva & Cote, I'm guessing this will be "UFC 90: Please, don't hurt me Mr. Silva."

Nothing gay about this..

nope, nothing at all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cheick Kongo is delusional

After TKO'ing UFC debutant Dan Evensen [who?], Kongo proclaimed:

“Everybody knows I deserve a title fight.”

Really, Kongo? I know the UFC's heavyweight devision is paper thin at best, but really? Everyone know you deserve a title shot? Let's look at your UFC career.

You started your UFC career with 2 impressive TKO wins against decent competition. After those 2 wins, a bunch of people (myself included) thought that you were the next big thing at heavyweight.

Then, you became a decision machine. And, not an entertaining lightweight decision machine. A big, slow, very little action, heavyweight decision machine.

You dropped a majority decision to decent competition.

Then, one of the lesser Silva's (Assuerio) exposed your complete and total lack of a ground game in a decision that you managed to win. I can still hear Rogan going on for 2 rounds about how you needed to be kidnapped and just work on your wrestling for a few months.

To your credit, you took Rogan's advice and developed a ground game, sort of. You spent your next 2 fights laying on top of ghost of Cro Cop that recently appeared in the UFC & Herring. Actually, you only layed on top of Cro Cop's ghost for 3 rounds, Herring did enough to beat you.

And, you finally got another TKO on Saturday.

Let's look at the numbers
5-2 UFC record (22-4-1 overall)
3-1 against decent competition
2-1 against mid-level competition (calling Assuerrio Silva, the Cro Cop that recently showed up in the UFC, and the current Herring, mid-level competition might be generous)
3 TKO's
4 painful decisions
Zero top 10 rankings that I know of. Not being able to crack the top 10 at heavyweight is brutal since Sylvia keeps managing to do it based solely on size and Cro Cop keeps doing it based on name recognition.

Who exactly is "everyone" that thinks you deserve a title shot?

Monday, August 11, 2008

UFC 87 Thoughts featuring Geto Boys

I didn't watch UFC 87, but that's not going to stop me from talking about the event.

I'm using the Geto Boys timeless "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta" to help me comment on the event. Geto Boys & "Damn if Feels Good to be a Gangsta" are best known to MMA fans (ie. white people) for their appearance on the soundtrack to Office Space.

A real gangsta-ass nigga plays his cards right
A real gangsta-ass nigga never runs his fuckin mouth
Cuz real gangsta-ass niggas don't start fights
Jason MacDonald - You never hear him running his mouth and he keeps overachieving. Yeah, he lost, but who thought he'd be able to fight off some of Maia's submissions & get Maia in trouble.

And niggas always gotta high cap
Showin' all his boys how he shot em
But real gangsta-ass niggas don't flex nuts
Cuz real gangsta-ass niggas know they got em
Brock Lesnar - Even Tito Ortiz thought your post fight (and end of fight) clowning in the Octagon was excessive. Act like you've been here before. You didn't win a title or pull off a major upset. You beat a perennial also ran in a fight were you were a 2-1 to 3-1 favorite.

And everythings cool in the mind of a gangsta
Cuz gangsta-ass niggas think deep
Up three-sixty-five a year 24/7
Cuz real gangsta ass niggas don't sleep
GSP - He's not quite as active as Silva (but who is?), but moments after his win against the 2nd highest rated 170 lb in the UFC, and a consensus top 10 170 lb in the world, he acepted a challenge from BJ Penn.

And all I gotta say to you
Wannabe, gonnabe, cocksuckin', pussy-eatin' prankstas
Cuz when the fry dies down what the fuck you gonna do
Damn it feels good to be a gangsta
Jon Fitch - This is harsh because I like Fitch, and his loss came against the best 170 lb in the world and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in he world. But,what can he do when he can't out wrestle his opponent?

Although I was born in Jamaica
Now I'm in the US makin' deals
Damn it feels good to be a gangsta
I mean one that you don't really know
Demain Maia - He's not from Jamaica, but he's 8-0 (3-0 in the UFC) and looks like a serious contender to be the 2nd best middleweight in the UFC (no one's a contender to over take Silva as the best middleweight for at least a year and a half)

Real gangsta-ass niggas don't talk much
All ya hear is the black from the gun blast
Rob Emerson - You didn't hear him talking before UFC 87, partly because no one could figure out how his fight was on the main card, but damn people are now talking about his KO of Gamburyan.

Now when you in the free world talkin' shit do the shit
Hit the pen and let the mothafuckas shank ya
Heath Herring & Roger Huerta - Before getting in the cage, Herring was complaining about Mir fighting for the title instead of him & that he shouldn't have to fight Lesnar. Before getting in the cage, Huerta was bitching about his contract and asking for a Chuck Liddel level contract that pays a guaranteed 6 figures plus points on the pay-per-view. In the cage, both Herring and Huerta got stopped. Both men lost unanimous decisions with neither one winning a round.

Sadly, none of the lyrics can live up to Kongo's insane post fight comments which deserve their own post, that post is coming later this week.

Full lyrics:
Full UFC 87 results:

Friday, August 8, 2008

The WAMMA Problem

WAMMA, World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts, is a relatively new company that formed with the noble intention of crowning undisputed champions via the highly scientific and never controversial method of a media poll, a system that works fantastically for college football.

WAMMA has put together a ranking committee composed almost entirely of MMA reporters, and every month this committee comes up with the top 10 fighters in each weight class. The fighters voted #1 in their weight classes do not automatically become WAMMA Champions. WAMMA champions are crowned when the top ranked fighter in a weight class takes on a highly ranked opponent, in a fight that WAMMA approves.

Sounds like an interesting idea, right? There's just one major problem. WAMMA is not an MMA promotion, it has put on exactly zero fights, and it never plans on putting on a single fight. Instead, WAMMA tries to "partner" with MMA promotions where by the "partner" puts together the fight card & event, but WAMMA gets to give out the belt.

Oddly enough, Zuffa, which owns the UFC and WEC, told WAMMA to fuck off when WAMMA approached Zuffa. This was a smart move for the UFC. The UFC has developed into the best known MMA promotion/brand, and the UFC can promote Jackson vs. Griffin for the UFC light heavyweight championship just fine on its own without trying to explain to people that its WAMMA's top ranked light heavyweight versus WAMMA's #3 ranked light heavyweight for the WAMMA belt.

Since Affliction was a start up that hadn't put on a single event when WAMMA approached them, Affliction decided to "partner" with WAMMA. Hey, when you're a new promotion, you need all the additional publicity you can get.

So, Affliction was able to hype Affliction:Banned's main event as the battle for WAMMA's undisputed heavyweight championship. Which helped make Affliction: Banned look like a bigger event than it was and gave the event some added publicity.

We all know what happened. Fedor, WAMMA's #1, beat Sylvia, WAMMA's #4, and won the first ever WAMMA belt. Hooray, Affliction got to give out a belt at its first event and could have Fedor in a title defense in its second event, Affliction: Day of Reckoning against either WAMMA's #3 heavyweight, Barnett, or its #4, Arlovksi.

Unfortunately, Fedor can't/won't compete in Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Instead, the main event will be Barnett vs Arlovski in what WAMMA has decided will be Heavyweight Elimination Bout. That's fine and dandy because Affliction was planning on having the winner fight Fedor at its next event, right?

Wrong, there's a difference between having a plan as to how you'll run your promotion and having someone tell you how to run it. WAMMA just said that Fedor can only defend his belt against the winner of Barnett vs Arlovski. Think of the problems.

What if the winner ends up on a medical suspension and can't fight for a few months/until after Affliction 3? Too bad, that title defense will have to wait until then. If Affliciton wants Fedor to fight someone at Affliction 3, it'll have to be a non-title fight. That's always an easy sell, "come see the champion, fight someone in a non-title fight. No, he's not moving up a weight class or anything unique. We just can't call this a title fight because the champ isn't fighting the right guy."

The Barnett vs Arlovski winner could demand a new contract/crazy (make that crazier, I forgot how much Affliction is already paying them) money to fight Fedor, and Affliction will have to fold or there cannot be a title fight. For the first time ever, the contender will be as important to the title fight as the champ. The champ used to be way more important than the challenger because the champ was the only fighter you needed for a title fight. You could always grab a new challenger if the current one wanted too much money, and it would still be a title fight. Now, the champ and challenger are equally important to the title fight. I'm sure Affliction is pleased knowing that it'll have to appease 2 fighters in order to have a title fight.

Assuming there's no medical suspension problems or contract complaints and Affliction manages to have Fedor defend his belt against the winner of Barnett vs Arlovski at Affliction 3. And assume that Fedor wins, when can Fedor defend his belt again? If Fedor's opponent has to be ranked in the top 5 for it to be a title defense, Affliction is dependent on WAMMA's rankings for title defenses. Those WAMMA rankings will probably look something like this after that fight:

Champ: Fedor
#1: Noguiera (assuming he beats Mir, if he doesn't its even worse for Affliction because both Noguiera and Mir could potentially be in the top 5)
#2: Couture (if WAMMA was going to drop him for inactivitely/being retired it would have done so by now)
#3: Werdum (he's currently #5, and who's he going to lose to between now and January since he won't be fighting either Noguiera or Mir?)
#4: Barnett vs Arlovksi winner (the winner would have just lost to Fedor and I doubt WAMMA would drop them out of the top 5 for that loss)
#5: Sylvia (he's currently #6 & will probably leapfrog with loser of Barnett vs Arlovski due to his not fighting at Affliction: Day of Reckoning)

So, Affliction's options for a title defense could easily be either Sylvia, the guy Fedor walked through at Affliction: Banned, or the guy Fedor beat in Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Does either recycled main event sound like something that'll drive PPV buys?

WAMMA is bad news to any promotion. The little bit of added hype/publicity doesn't make up for losing control of your promotion, your fighters, and your championship belts.

Also, I wonder what would happen if a WAMMA champ lost in a fight that WAMMA didn't consider a title fight. Would WAMMA drop his ranking and strip him of his belt?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

WEC: Kings of Free MMA

The WEC is a funny promotion.

Zuffa, the parent company of the WEC & UFC, treats the WEC's lightweight through heavyweight divisions as the UFC's minor league.

The WEC has two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world (Faber & Torres) in two weight classes that the UFC doesn't even carry, 135 and 145.

WEC events are broadcast on Versus, the extended, extended cable network best known for airing the NLL & NHL.

The WEC has arguably the best commentary team in MMA. Mir has grown into the best color commentator in the game, and he keeps getting better.

The WEC is the most consistently entertaining brand in MMA. Their most recent event on the 3rd was no exception. It featured 4 free fights, all of which were extremely entertaining with a lot of action standing and on the ground.

The WEC's success/entertainment value comes from how incredibly well it uses its roster. The WEC seems to embrace the saying, "you don't need 2 great fighters for a great fight, you need 2 evenly matched fighters." The WEC keeps its fights balanced. You rarely get a fight where there's a heavy favorite that walks through his opponent.

The WEC's next event is on Sept 10th, I highly recommend setting your DVR's. Heck, set your DVR's now for reruns of early WEC events. You'll be glad you did.

Note: I'm not saying that any of the WEC's lightweight to heavyweight fighters couldn't compete in the UFC. Some clearly could, ex. Condit, but on the whole the WEC's lightweight to heavyweight classes aren't as talented as the UFC's.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Worst Tattoo in MMA

Hands down Lesnar's chest tattoo. The worst is when the handle of the knife/sword isn't in the picture.

Monday, August 4, 2008

August PPV Battle: UFC 87 vs $55

There's only one big PPV this month, UFC 87. So, instead of deciding which PPV is more worth your money, I'm going to try and decide if UFC 87 is worth your $55.

Main Event:

GSP vs Fitch

GSP is typically a very entertaining fighter. He fights at a fast pace and is talented enough to not only take the fighter anywhere, but to also finish the fight anywhere, unlike, oh say, Forrest Griffin.

Fitch is a decision machine.

GSP is out to cement his place as the top 170 lb fighter in the world and try to get his name thrown back into the best pound-for-pound fighter debate.

Fitch wants to show the UFC how big a mistake they made cutting him from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter at the last minute (Note: He was dropped for Diego Sanchez).

As much as I like Fitch, I don't see this fight being close. I think Vegas listing GSP as -325 is an understatement. Fitch is pretty much a one-dimensional wrestler who can't finish, and GSP can finish a fight anywhere.

I can't call this one an entertaining fight because GSP's one-sided victories aren't as captivating as Silva's. When watching Silva walk-through an opponent, you feel as though you're watching one of the greatest ever. Right now, GSP doesn't give off that historically great vibe.

This main event doesn't kill the card and can easily be saved by a good main card. Let's look at the main card.

Main Card:

Lesnar vs Herring

It is the UFC's sideshow versus a perennial also-ran.

Herring's good enough to always be in the mix at heavyweight, but he's not good enough to be anything more than in the mix. Also, since coming to the UFC, he's proved incapable of finishing a fight.

Do you think Lesnar is jealous of Kimbo Slice? Slice gets to main event EliteXC while fighting Thompson & Abbott, while Lesnar gets thrown in against ex-champ, and possibly future champ, Mir and the solid Herring. It is a great strategy on Dana White's part. Either Lesnar proves himself to be an elite heavyweight or by the time his UFC contract is up he's useless to any other promotion (crappy record and no longer a novelty).

This will probably play out like Lesnar's 2 previous fights. He'll come charging out, get the take down, and flail away from full-guard. Only this time he'll probably get the stoppage because Herring's ground game has looked like crap lately (he got dominated on the ground by O'Brien and struggled on the ground against Kongo).

Entertaining? No, Herring's UFC fights have been crap. I've seen Lesnar's shtick before, and the novelty factor has already worn off.

Florian vs Huerta

Fuck and yes.

These 2 guys are arguably the 2nd and 3rd best lightweights in the UFC (I put both of them ahead of lay-and-pray Sherk, largely because I hate watching Sherk, and you can make an argument for putting them ahead of Stevenson) and both are either top 10 or top 15 lightweights in the world.

I can't recommend this fight highly enough. It has 2 extremely talented lightweights both of whom fight at a fast pace and can actually finish fights.

Entertaining: Absolutely.

Gamburyan vs Emerson

What exactly has Emerson done to deserve main card status? Gamburyan has ditched the lay-and-pray style that he used so effectively on whichever season of TUF he was on and has become a bit of a submission dynamo. Emerson lucked his way into a no contest when Maynard put his head too far forward on a slam KO'ing himself and won a bad spilt decision in an incredibly forgettable fight. And, that's after losing twice while on TUF. How does that translate into the main card of a PPV?

Entertaining: Neither fighter makes you groan, but I can't help wondering how this made its way onto the main card.

MacDonald vs Maia

This is a battle of 2 very good middleweights.

Right now, MacDonald is a gatekeeper for elite middleweights. He'll finish average to good middleweights, but will be overwhelmed by elite middleweights (see his fight against Franklin). But, he is always fun to watch.

This fight will let everyone know how good Maia is. He's looked very good finishing his 2 UFC fights against solid competition.

This fight has as much talent as Cote vs Almeida, but styles that should make for a more entertaining fight, of course, waiting in line at the DMV is more entertaining than Cote vs Almeida was.

Entertaining: Yes

In total, we have a lackluster main event, a novelty act, a fantastic fight, why is this a main card fight, and a solid fight. Does that make UFC 87 worth your $55? I'd say no.

But wait, my cable company is running a promotion where I can order this PPV for $45. Is this worth $45? Depends on your opinion of GSP vs Fitch & the Lesnar side show. $45 is right on the edge of whether or not I think this one is worth it (it is worth $40, but not worth $50).

Best news about this PPV? Kongo has finally been demoted to the undercard. I so thought this guy was a serious heavyweight contender after he started his UFC career with 2 TKO's. Then, he became a decision machine without knock-out power and no ground game. Then, he became unwatchable when he developed enough of a ground game to lay on top of Cro Cop and Herring. Be very, very glad you won't have to watch him. If you have tickets to the event, use his fight as a good time to run to the bar and/or bathroom.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thought on EliteXC: Unfinished Business

Yeah, I'm really late in talking about EliteXC: Unfinished Business, but that doesn't change the fact that the show was embarrassing from top to bottom.

Cyborg vs Baszler started out as a good fight. Baszler had some solid submission attempts in round 1 and controlled the round. Then, Cyborg started hitting Baszler in round 2, and Cyborg completely and totally dominated the stand-up. That's where things turned embarrassing. Cyborg dropped Baszler, Mazigatti (probably, not spelled right) half steps in, Cyborg thinks Mazigatti's stopping the fight because Baszler's fucked, Cyborg starts celebrating, Cyborg jumps on the cage, and Mazigatti instead of stopping the fight channels his best Shang Tsung starts telling Cyborg to finish her.

Guess what happens? Cyborg comes down off the cage and beats the tar out of Baszler who's covering up & not fighting back for about a minute and then finally KO's Baszler. Then, we have the post fight interview with the victorious Cyborg to talk about the strange end of the fight, right? Wrong, the post fight interview is an interview with Gina Carano who EliteXC constantly reminds us is the face/future of women's MMA.

After that, EliteXC trotted out 2 fights that were completely and totally unbalanced. Jack Shields walks through Nick Thompson, and then Thomas Denny shows that even if everything goes his way, he can only make it to the second round against Nick Diaz. Yeah, neither of these fights were remotely competitive. Shields vs Thompson was a legit fight, but what the hell was Thomas "Overwhelmed" Denny doing in the cage against Nick Diaz?

Then, before the main event. EliteXC shows highlights of the heavyweight championship fight that took place before the telecast. EliteXC effectively made its heavyweight championship a preliminary fight. Who decided to make a championship fight that features the highest paid fighter on the card a preliminary fight?

My final beef with the event is the unlistenable commentary. I've no beef with Gus Johnson, but Shamrock and the idiot that is "the voice of EliteXC" are painful to listen to. Here's the play-by-play commentary you get from "the voice of EliteXC," 'DOUBLES UP THE JAB!, TRIPLES IT UP!" All this guy does is yell that over and over and over. He's bad enough that I miss Mike Goldburg.

Other examples of great commentary:

"The women wish this fight was just as long as the men's" [10 seconds later] "Baszler's completely gassed"

"Some people refer to Denny as the Crash Davis because he's a career minor league fighter" So, this fight features a career minor leaguer versus a Diaz, why the hell should I be watching it?

"During the replay, you can really see Gina Carano jumping up and down and getting into it. Can we mention Carano a few more times?"