Thursday, June 28, 2007

What about Josh Barnett?

I started to think about the Heavyweights in MMA, and it struck me that we haven't heard a thing about Josh Barnett, former UFC Heavyweight champ. His own site, has precious little info. It does have a lot of pics of Josh. Anyone have any tips?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

TapouT on versus

You know, during the WEC event recently, they were heavily hyping promos of the show TapouT, featuring the people who run the eponymous clothing store travelling and interacting with fighters while running their business. The premise is they're looking for fighters to sponsor, tho I'm not too sure how that works out in practice, as so far two of the three episodes I've seen feature fighters from established camps and with relatively decent records. My first reaction was "Wow, that looks ridiculous", mainly because of the three hosts, "Mask" "Sky Scrape" and "Punkass". Mask wears face paint. All the time. Anyways, the show looked like a joke. But then I read Sam Caplan's rundown on 5 oz. of Pain and thought I'd give it another shot.
I'm going to spoil episodes so don't read any further if you don't want to know. I watch most MMA on DVR except UFC events, so I assume I'm behind everyone.
The episodes featuring Damacio Page and Matt Major have some interesting items, some feeling more staged than others. The staged bits feel like mini-infomercials, as much of the show does. Everything possible has a tapout logo on it, including the crotches of the models Mask shoots some catalog pics of in the first episode. The crew does some business, running a warehouse and acting confused by where things are. Then Mask calls Greg Jackson, one of the most well-known MMA trainers in the country, and asks if he has a fighter in one of the light classes who's "tatted up" and hispanic. Wouldn't you know, he does! There's a funny moment where Mask is going on and on about what he's looking for, then realized the call got disonnected. When he gets Jackson back on he tells him he's got just the guy.
The interesting part is when they show up at the gym, and You see the fighters working, with their coach instructing. At one point Diego Sanchez is chatting about his personal philosophy, which is kind of a lame and uninspired "Kill or be killed", as if that's some revelation. Page himself is smaller, tatted up hispanic guy. They decide he's driving with the Tapout kids from New Mexico, where Jackson's gym is, to Iowa, where the promotion is being held (It's Extreme Challenge 74, by the way. It looks like it was a regular card mixed in with a four-man tournament). Page's opponent's nickname is "The Mexicutioner", which makes me giggle. Page utterly destroys this kid, with a KO coming by way of elbow from the mount after nearly breaking his arm with an armbar. The other guy is a hometown boy, and Page is greeted with near silence up entering and leaving the cage. The real reward for Page is watching his opponent get helped gingerly making his way down the stairs, his cornermen saying "One at a time, one at a time". Like he's going to go skipping down stairs after getting his head nearly clean plucked from his body by a completely viscious elbow.
The last episode I watched featured Chuck Liddell's personal assistant Antonio Banuelos, the Iceman himself, John Hackelman (Chuck's trainer and longtime MMA legend, proprietor of The Pit), and a number of smokin' hot ladies. Chuck Liddell has a stripper pole in his house. And the base is all scuffed up from use. I'm going to pray it's chicks, because the thought of Chuck on that pole makes me a little woozy with dismay. This kid Banuelos is really endearing, he speaks earnestly and gets super-hyped for his bout. They show him talking about his past, training, doing his work ("I'm basically Chuck Liddell's bitch"), cleaning jocks ( don't need to see that again, by the way, TapouT crew), etc. They also show him going through cutting weight, which is intense. The fight itself is a tough one, and he gets caught by a wild uppercut in the scramble and flash-KO'd by Valencia, who all the people on the show say is "Really tough". Banuelos runs to the locker room and is quite emotional. Not quite "pulling a Wang" emotional, but close. To me it looked like he got hurt by Valencia's power and never really recovered. The KO came after Banuelos nearly secured a choke. Watching Chuck trying to console a fighter was fascinating, frankly. You never see the losers on most MMA shows outside "The Smashing Machine" and The Ultimate Fighter, and then it's pretty short. "That little bastard" crybaby Matt Wiman comes to mind. The TapouT crew is kind of silly too, with too many "Bro"s thrown in for my comfort. That's the emotionally skurred word to use when you're dealing with a man who's hurting but you're terrified of sounding like you have or understand feelings. "Bro, it's cool" "I was like bro, bro" "Brobrobro". Bro?
The thing is, even the obnoxiousness of the hosts in some cases doesn't take away from the fact that we're getting a look at the regimen and dedication these fighters need to prepare for a fight. The one exception was the Matt Major episode. This kid looks like an idiot. He was basically fighting a large brown marshmallow and was dead set to show off how well he could do spinning kicks. So instead of listening to his corner and finishing the guy, he lets it go to the cards. He wins, but seems to be more concerned with his own coolness than with winning. Add to that a near brawl after he gets in a much smaller man's face in the dressing room (kudos to the smaller guy for not backing down), yelling "Do you know who I am?!" Who cares, jerk. Frankly, guys like that piss me off, and they usually end up in jail. Or getting K'd the FO.
Overall, I'd recommend watching an ep or two, give it a shot. If you've got the DVR grab it. Try to get past the foolishiness of the opening credits and get to the actual fighters. That's where the meat in this sandwich is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

San Caplan has not one...

but TWO MMA interviews up.
Phil Baroni Sherdog, who's fighting Frank Shamrock this Friday, and Manny Gamburyan Sherdog, who's fighting Nate Diaz for the Ultimate Fighter 5 title this Saturday. I'm rooting for Manny.

Here's Baroni on Shamrock, from Sam's Five Ounces of Pain blog on

As a person, he's not a good guy -- I think he's a scumbag, and I think he's an idiot. I really don't respect him as a person. I think he's a horrible businessman who f---s with a lot of people. He tries to play by his own rules. He's not honorable at all. I think he's a hypocrite in what he says.

Phil droppin' the f-bombs. The funny part is right before that he mentions how he respects Shamrock as a fighter.

I recommend reading and also following Sam's blog. Good stuff with sources, like, you know, and actual journalist!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dean o' Mean

While his most recent result, against Houston Alexander, was...uh...less than impressive, Keith Jardine had three fights in a row which were very impressive. He lost via decision to Stephen Bonnar, which I still cannot fathom how that came about, as Jardine whipped his ass for all but about 2 minutes of that fight, and had a win over Wilson Gouveia which impressed the heck out of me, and a picture-perfect devastation of Forest Griffin, ending it with what my friends and I called the "Hand of God"...reaching his hand up as far as he could and dropping it like massive thunderbolts on Griffin's helplessly-flopping melon. Of course, he came out and got his keister handed to him by a little-heralded 4-1 underdog who was a late replacement and a man who impressed the heck out of me.
So where does that leave Jardine? he's in the light heavyweight division, currently stocked with pretty much the best fighters in the world. Rampage, Shogun, Chuck, and Hendo to name the best four light heavies in the game today. Add to that guys like Wanderlei Sliva, Rashad Evans, Stephen Bonnar, Forest Griffin, and Tito Ortiz...and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping, Ricardo Arona, Jason Lambert, Babalu Sobral, and Jeremy Horn, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Little Nog)....whew. Jardine's place also depends on whether Brandon Vera decides to fight in light heavy permanently. When's that guy going to fight again anyways?
Jardine's shown heart in his fights, great takedown defense, and technical expertise with an unortodox style. His fight against Gouveia had a great example of strategic adjustment mid-round, after losing the first round Jardine switched up and took the dude apart with pinpoint strikes and his bread-and-butter viscious leg kicks. Of course, Gouveia's rumored crap cardio comes into play here too... As I mentioned before, I feel like he absolutely destroyed Bonnar, that's one of the worst judges' calls I've ever seen. True, Bonnar nearly knocked him out, but still, that doesn't count more than 13 minutes of total domination. Bonnar could barely walk!
Ah well. My personal top light heavies would go like this:
1) Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
2) Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
3) Dan "Hollywood" Henderson
4) Chuck Liddell
5) Wanderlei Silva
6) Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
7) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
8) Ricardo Arona
9) Kazuhiro Nakamura
10) Tito "If I couldn't talk shit, I'd be silent" Ortiz

There's a lot of caveats in there, and a few fights coming up that will change things. I put Shogun on top because he beat Jackson badly. Jackson did a good job on Chuck, but I thought it was an a-typical result. Of course, if you beat a guy twice, the typical result for your sample size is you beat that guy. I had a hard time not putting The Pride of Murrieta higher, with no head-to-head showdown with Shogun. Dan holds two belts. He beat the living hell out of Wanderlei. He beats people up. He has shown inconsistency in the past.

But that's my top ten and I'll live with it. If Tito loses to Rashad he's off, but I don't know who I put up there in his place...I mean, what, Rashad? Not proven in a lot of ways. It's a hard thing for me to figure, since I don't have the long experience of other commenters. I'll ask for anyone who happens by to give me their list, and I dig feedback. As for Jardine, the point of this whole thing, I'd say he's somewhere down around 13-14th right now, maybe a notch lower after getting whupped. But every fighter gets whupped. That's what fighting is all about: getting your ass kicked, and coming back strong. We all get beat up, every day. These guys just do it with fists, and knees, and bad-ass flying guard passes.

an idea

why not, for the ultimate fighter, let the coaches bring two fighters they recruit in to the comeptition?

that would be interesting, and we'd likely have fewer Berube's, Geraghty's, and Noah's.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Bodog on ION

whatching the Bodog show on ION from Costa Rica, they've shown Nick "The Goat" Thompson vs. a guy named Denes who doesn't show up on Sherdog, and Eddie Alvarez vs. Henze. Nick and Eddie dominated, and they're going to show the pay-per-view from the Fedor-Lindland event from a couple months ago that I watched with my brother. Alvarez is a pretty interesting fighter...I'd like to see him in the UFC some day. He got dominated by Thompson in that fight tho, and Thompson won the "belt" for Bodog's Welterweight division. rewatching this bout, there's no damn way Thompson should be a welterweight...he's 6'1" and Alvarez looks like a midget...I guess if a guy cuts weight...
The first round on a second viewing was closer than I remembered. But still, I'd like to see Thompson as a middleweight. He's got great standup and he's a crafty fighter...Thompson vs. Spider Silva might be a good fight.


The Pride "sale" is just a big old cluster-fornication. They're also leaving some of the best fighters in limbo, like "Hellboy" Hansen, and quite a few others. Mach Sakurai, Wand, Fedor (Fedor insists he's a free agent), Aleks, also. Many sources are saying Pride is finished for good...I'd hate to see that, Pride serviced a unique niche, and some of the fights, and fighters, it produced were and are legend. Shogun!
Of course, most of these guys will fight where the money is, and were probably only in Japan because they were offering more cash...but still, I'm a fan, and have a simplistic view of life, mainly drawn in crayon. Pride's fate puts a big steamer right in the middle of my construction paper.

Monday, June 4, 2007

funny K-1 recap

Jake Rossen's Minute-by-Minute feature at is hilarious.

11:18 p.m. Yoon contains Manhoef in his guard, but only briefly. The ring ropes appear to be made of silly string, with far too much give to them. In other words, even the inanimate objects are screwing up.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

WEC on Versus

Watching WEC's debut right now, the mix show (think UFC Unleashed) called "Wrekcage" before they show the live WEC Event. I'm jacked up, it feels almost like a UFC Night at my bro's except there's fewer drunken fools destroying recreational vehicles. I have to do it myself.
All UFC refs, Chuck and Kendall Grove made an appearance, Tito too. Interesting.
I'll chat some more later.
Don't read more if you don't want spoilers.

Brian Stann is an impressive fighter, but in the previews he's piling on the "fallen brothers" stuff a bit. I've seen two of his fights tonight and both times he's told us how he's fighting for his fallen Marine brothers, or the other guy is fighting all of the Marines or something. OK already. He's fighting Craig Zellner. They're doing intros. Uneventful brief staredown. The WEC cage seems smaller than the UFC cage. Stann is throwing hard knees and staggering Zellner...Z looks stunned....zellner keeps trying to shoot and getting stuffed, ending on his back eating punches. Zellner landed a punch, but he's bleeding from a cut on his cheek. Throwing sub attempts but Stann is stopping them. Stann throws hard nkees...KO is coming says the color guy...goes to the ground. massive punches on the ground...ref stoppage with 5 seconds left. Could have been stopped earlier, the ref (Shorley?) let it go a little long, Zellner ate about ten punches with his arms flailing. Impressive work from Stann. He looks like the real deal, but I don't know what his opponent's level has been thus far...he beat up Eric Cantwell with a number of sharp punches and one pinpoint strike to the ear that put him out long enough to stop the fight.
Versus is promoing "Tapout", a new MMA reality show that will debut after the fights. Boobies right on the homepage...
Okay, Stann did his postfight interview in a...flak vest I oh man. I understand you are a loyal Marine. Lay it on thicker. I hate the fact that I come off anti-Marine when I say stuff like that, I couldn't be farther. I guess it's like religion for me...keep it to yourself. You're fighting for money, not for the Corps.

Alex Karalexis vs Josh Smith...smith looks nervous coming out. throws a variety of strikes that miss after getting tagged with the ol overhand right from fighting munchkin karalexis...alex has him on the ground and is throwing leather through upkicks from smith...good first round, lots of energy. Karalexis has a big mouse under his left eye, it looks swollen shut. second round...superman punch from smith connects and a follow up solid...knees from alex...alex's eye is even worse now, massive mouse...on the ground, smith is tying him up and taking some body blows. triangle! karalexis picks the kid up and is looking to slam...there it is, alex busts out of the triangle with the slam. neat. side control for karalexis. cross side..... still on top, smith is fighting from his back, lots of scrambling. good fight! some nice grappling and scrambling going on. karalexis ends the round standing kicking smith in the ass. he caught one solid-looking upkick but so far i give karalexis both rounds.

round three...karalexis gets him on the ground and beats him for a long time. throws what apparently is an illegal stomp with about .5 seconds remaining and Big John McCarthy stops the fight and takes a point...are stomps illegal in WEC? don't know. horn blows immediately after big John restarts and he turns around saying "what'd you do that for, i called time!" weird ending. decent fight. Karalexis won. He used the interesting techinque of punching Smith right on the asshole when he had him against the fence. i've never even considered punching someone in the asshole. here's the judge's call. probably going to piss me off. I want more asshole-punching. Couldn't be more heterosexual.
one judge had a draw because of the point taken, he must have had one round for smith...the other two had it for karalexis. he looks like a crazy cartoon character with that swollen-up eye. his cornerman apparently got in an accident and he did a shout-out for him. Don't drink and drive. I don't know if that's what happened, but still, don't freakin do it. I had it 30-27 karalexis, minus a point.

only comment on larson-knabjian (because i'm getting bored liveblogging and no one reads this anyways): It's a fight for the most dominant nose-style. Larson's nose goes straight down like some feeding proboscis on an insect, and knabjian's goes upwards, like the cubert, the professor's kid on Futurama.
Let the best nose win!

pointy-down nose wins. wow! first punch. also a big knee. Brock Larson calls out Condit, who he was supposed to fight before Condit got hurt or something.

Rani Yahya chokes out Hominick without even knowing it, apparently..."That was spontanus! I don't even remember it!" says Yahya, watching the replay of him chasing Hominick all over the ring getting punched and eventually taking his man's back.
That's gotta feel great if you're Hominick. That guy just beat you in your sleep. Funniest fight of the night for sure.

Impressive grappling display from Farrar-Faber...rear naked from Faber ends it 3 minutes in, good fight. Frank Mir almost spontaneously aborted he was so happy. He also has a head shaped like an ice cream cone.

Excellent event all things considered. I liked most of the fights, and Faber is an interesting fighter. Stann should be worth watching as well. Brock Larson was impressive and should win the KO of the Night. I'll definitely be watching WEC again.

Friday, June 1, 2007

onion UFC article

it's jokes man. They take down articles pretty regularly, so i'll copy it below. Trademarkcopyrightblahblahblah don't sue!

May 31, 2007 | Onion Sports
Ultimate Fighting Championship's Popularity
As Ultimate Fighting continues its phenomenal rise, Onion Sports runs down the most commonly cited reasons for the sport's popularity:

America's deep abiding interest in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Professional wrestling fans like to relax and watch it after long hard days of suspending their disbelief

The fact that this shit is actually legal

Accidentally TiVo'd by people hoping to watch the Ultimate Frisbee Championship

Are heterosexual males; nothing more heterosexual than watching a well-muscled man force himself between another man's legs, mount him, and pound away at him until he submits

Because the ability to escape an arm bar isn't merely a fighting technique but a metaphor for how, in these difficult times, all Americans are trying their best to escape

Unlike many sports, has useful applications in one's home and workplace

Nice to see someone else getting their ass kicked for once

Easy touchstone for doomsayers decrying the degradation of American culture

Although detractors decry it as a brutal, bloody form of human cockfighting, aficionados know it is a brutal, bloody, totally fucking awesome form of human cockfighting

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