Monday, January 31, 2011
George, a 20-3 fighter out of Team Quest in Oregon, is a former IFL competitor, and rides a six fight win streak into the tournament. He will be returning after a lengthy layoff, as his last fight took place in October of 2009.
"I've wanted to fight for Bellator for a while now," said George. "It's an exciting weight class and Bellator has a bunch of really talented fighters with records similar to mine. They're hungry guys looking for their shot and they all want to go out there to beat some people up and make some money. I'm really excited about it."
"It's going to mean the world to me 'when' I win this tournament," George said. "There is no 'if' in my mind. I wouldn't enter this thing if I didn't know that I was going to go out there and stomp on some guys. I'm going to go out there and put on some exciting fights, beat these guys up, and make a living while I'm at it."
"Zac George finishes fights and often finishes them early. Anyone he faces in our Featherweight tournament this March will need to be at the very top of their game to hope to get out with a victory," said Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney of George's inclusion in the tournament.
Bellator's fourth season airs on MTV2 beginning this March.
(It's a Nor-Cal thing. Or something. VidProps: MMA Fighting)
In successfully defending his welterweight title on Saturday night, Nick Diaz underscored exactly why he is Strikeforce’s most compelling and valuable property. Diaz possesses the total promotional package -- the stand-up, the grappling, the trash talk, the antisocial personality disorder – and at this point it’s clear that Scott Coker needs his blend of credibility, charisma and troubled-foster-kid charm more than almost anyone else on the SF roster. We give him a lot of shit on this website (almost all of which he richly deserves) but after his command performance against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in this weekend’s main event, it was impossible not to come away with a greater appreciation for the wonderful train wreck that is Diaz.
From his recent conference call outburst to his shellacking of a game Cyborg to the fact that when the fight was over Diaz couldn’t wait to walk to the side of the cage, flip off some random hecklers in the crowd and call them “fucking bitches,” it was a pleasure to watch him work. There’s just something about this guy: We can’t take our eyes off him and yet as the video at top proves, it would be totally insufferable to actually be around him for longer than five minutes. In that way he’s kind of like a bizarre, badass Milla Jovovich.
Saturday's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" event, which featured a championship doubleheader and the return of former NFL great Herschel Walker, took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The event, which aired on Showtime, scored 9,059 attendees.
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He began his fighting career as a novelty act and after trying mixed martial arts for three years, it looks like Kimbo Slice is returning to the novelty side of things. Plenty of MMA promoters have been asked about Kimbo as an MMA fighter, but no one has bitten. Now he's headed to the world of fake fighting. Kimbo has signed on for a pro wrestling event in Japan on Feb. 5.
Kimbo will be part of an eight-man pro wrestling tournament and will face Wakakirin Shinichi. He is the smaller of the two sumo wrestlers in the match below. Even in the fake stuff, Kimbo better keep his chin tucked and watch out for those vicious slaps. Wakakirin beat this guy silly with his slaps. The big guy could hardly stand at the end of the fight.
Wakakirin, 27, is a bit of a villain in Japan. He turned to pro wrestling after being banned from the world of sumo for marijuana possession. He pled guilty and received a suspended sentence of three years. Wakakirin also forfeited his pension of $5.3 million Yen per year. The Japanese take that ban very seriously. Wakakirin was scheduled to fight Bob Sapp at Dynamite!! 2010. The Japanese were not going to show the bout on free television.
[Related: Brock Lesnar's next big challenge]
Wakakirin's entry into pro wrestling was marked by a little controversy as well. He faced former UFC and PRIDE fighter Mark Coleman at IGF 13 in December. He defeated the MMA fighter, but Coleman's camp accused Wakakirin of straying from the script.
Kimbo hasn't fought since his UFC loss to Matt Mitrione back in May. After building his name through street-fighting videos on YouTube, Kimbo made the transition to MMA in 2007. He posted a 4-2 record, but there were questions about his dedication to training. He was 1-1 with the UFC, but also failed badly on the promotion's reality show "The Ultimate Fighter."
[Related: Is MMA too violent for kids?]
There were reports that the soon-to-be 37-year-old Kimbo was going into professional boxing, but he's yet to make his debut in the squared circle. Slice was going to work on the boxing side with the Shaws, Gary and son, Jared. That's been tabled for now.
"[Slice left the boxing training camp] due to some various injuries and to go film The Scorpion King. Upon his return, he didn’t show me any interest in boxing, so we just decided for right now to put it to the side," Slice’s former promoter Jared Shaw told FanHouse.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The UFC's big press conference at Madison Square Garden unveiled a nice show of support. Scott O'Neil, President of Madison Square Garden Sports, is squarely behind the effort as was N.Y. assemblyman Dean Murray. There was little opposition in the room. As a result, no debate ensued.
There was one interesting moment when Megan Paznik asked this:
"If you're adding kicking and punching to mixed martial arts, how can you regulate it so that there isn't serious injuries?"
Dana White was so thrown off he had a tough time answering the question. He turned to referencing the fact that there hasn't been a death in the history of the UFC. The easiest approach would've been to mention that boxing, football and hockey are all contact sports to a certain degree and there really is no way to guarantee a sport is free of injuries. It's also worth noting that elements of MMA like Judo, karate, boxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling are all legal in New York. Why would a combination of those disciplines be illegal?
Paznik went on to voice this video. Yes, there is a dogfighting comparison and the producer of the video made sure to include plenty of violent looking images.
According to Josh Gross at ESPN.com, Strikeforce will bring the Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Brett Rogers vs. Josh Barnett bouts on that date, though no venue is yet set.
However, while locations in the U.S., Canada and Brazil are in play, Gross says Japan is the front runner for the event. The April card will also mark the return of Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, likely against Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Link to Original Source Article
Penick's Analysis: If Strikeforce pulls off the event in Japan, especially with Barnett on the card, their commitment to drug testing their own event will be heavily scrutinized. Regardless of whether or not he tests clean, it's not going to look good for the organization supposedly conducting their own testing when they're running an event not under the control of a commission. That goes doubly so if the CSAC rules not to re-license Barnett in California. That said, if they can pull it off it will make for a unique Strikeforce event, and will get the Japan card out of their system so they can bring the semifinals and the finals to their main crowd in the U.S.
Per the report, Rodriguez will meet UFC vet and Ultimate Fighter alum James McSweeney on the card, which will be headlined by welterweights Paul Daley and Yuya Shirai.
Rodriguez is riding a ten fight win streak over the last eighteen months. His last fight took place in November, when he defeated Daniel Tabera at the first ever event in Israel.
McSweeney will fight for the first time since getting cut by the UFC. He went 1-2 in the organization after his stint on TUF 10, and has lost four of his last five fights.
Link to Original Source Article
Penick's Analysis: Well, considering it's an event taking place in the U.K. I suppose McSweeney makes sense as an opponent for Rodriguez, but losing four of his last five fights doesn't make for much of a compelling case as his opponent. Rodriguez continues to win fights, but he's not facing a high level of competition for the most part. He may still get himself into a bigger organization, but for right now he continues to bounce around all over the world for fights.
Welterweight champion Nick Diaz takes on hard-hitting Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, and middleweight titleholder Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza meets veteran Robbie Lawler in the co-headliners.
In our latest MMAjunkie.com/"Inside MMA" poll, we wanted to know which titles will change hands at the event.
The Inoki Genome Federation, Antonio Inoki's pro wrestling organization in Japan, announced this week that Slice will take part in their eight man tournament on February 5. He will be taking on former Sumo wrestler Shinichi "Wakakirin" Suzukawa, who was supposed to face Bob Sapp on New Year's Eve before Sapp pulled out the day of the show.
But when he's done with that, don't expect a return to combat sports from the 36-year-old Slice. In an interview with Ariel Helwani at MMAFighting.com, Slice's former promoter Jared Shaw explained that Slice had already put his boxing pursuit aside, and didn't expect to see him fight.
"[Slice left the boxing training camp] due to some various injuries and to go film The Scorpion King," Shaw explained. "Upon his return, he didn't show me any interest in boxing, so we just decided for right now to put it to the side."
"In boxing, in order to be amongst the best in the world, he was going to have to put in double the work he was accustomed to. Due to the wear and tear on his body, he wasn't able to perform up to the standard we wanted him to... I think Kimbo Slice's days as a fighter are close to an end"
Penick's Analysis: It's not really all that surprising to see this move for Slice. His knees were messed up on The Ultimate Fighter, and after his two fights and subsequent release from the UFC, boxing made sense only to use his striking. But he still needed to put in a lot of work to have any success in that field, and that clearly wasn't going to come together in the time he wanted it to. Heading to Japan for a pro wrestling gig works as a spectacle and a pay day, but I don't know what his next pursuit will be in that area. He could continue to be an attraction in Japan, he could attempt to move to pro wrestling in the U.S., or he could simply call it quits on those endeavors and move on to something else.
Football fans know that on Sunday, the Bears will play the Packers for a shot at the Super Bowl. It's kind of a big deal here in Chicago (you can read all my Bears-related blogging here, and all of Yahoo! Sports' awesome NFL coverage here), but the Bears might not have reached the NFC Championship game without Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher. It turns out that Brian Urlacher might not be where he is without the kindness of MMA legend Bas Rutten.
So on behalf of all Bears fans, thank you, Bas, and thank you to the bouncers who stepped in and prevented Urlacher from getting the liver shot that Bas would have definitely delivered.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Sylvia weighed in fully clothed on Thursday in Kansas City, tipping the scales at 311 lbs. By contrast, Wagner was only .2 lbs. over the 265 lb. weight limit the heavyweight division employs. Sylvia's 311 lb. weight was his highest weigh-in ever, as the previous high for him was 310 lbs. prior to his infamous bout with boxer Ray Mercer.
In that fight, a very out of shape Sylvia was cracked with an overhand right and tumbled to the canvas like a tree in the forest just seconds into the fight. Still hoping to make a return to a big show, Sylvia will attempt to keep on track in this fight, but to get the call back he'll need to start proving he can make the heavyweight limit on a regular basis.
Penick's Analysis: I don't think Sylvia will be getting a call from a big show soon if he's showing up like this to fights. He did step up on shorter notice for this one and did just fight last month, but 45 lbs. over the heavyweight limit is not a good sign for him. Especially when the last time he weighed-in at a similar weight resulted in his most embarrassing career loss. This is another fight he should win, and it would mean five straight, but he's going to need to show up in better shape the next time he takes a fight.
Saturday May 28
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, NV
Airing on PPV
* Frankie Edgar (#1 Ranked Lightweight) vs. Gray Maynard (#2 Ranked Lightweight) for UFC Lightweight Championship
* Quinton Jackson (#3 Ranked Light Heavyweight) vs. Thiago Silva
* Frank Mir (#8 Ranked Heavyweight) vs. Roy Nelson
* Thiago Alves (#5 Ranked Welterweight) vs. Rick Story
* Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne
Herschel Walker on MMA – “You just better be ready” is a post from: MMA Interplay UFC News
Officials today announced the former soccer player and season-two tourney fighter as the latest entrant into the Bellator season-four tourney.
He's the fourth confirmed participant for the eight-man tourney, which kicks off in March on MTV2. The tourney winner gets $100,000 in total pay and a guaranteed title shot.
Julie Stenz, WWE’s Director of Partner Marketing, said a ten-week competition would be held during the company’s “regularly scheduled” programming and that sponsorship opportunities would be available.
An official start date for the upcoming competition has not been disclosed.
Organization officials have auditioned prospective female talent in recent months, some of whom are expected to participate in the Diva Search.
E Wrestling News
He can now open and close it, and more importantly, make a fist.
The newly minted UFC bantamweight champion underwent surgery two weeks ago to repair a severed tendon in his left hand and anticipates a summer return to action, likely against the winner of an upcoming UFC 128 fight between former WEC champs Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Garcia joins Ranallo to discuss the latest MMA happenings, including this weekend's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" event.
Catch the segment at 2:15 p.m. ET (11:15 a.m. PT) on The Score, which is available on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 98 or online at Radio.TheScore.com.
-UFC President Dana White talks about his thoughts on one-night tournaments in MMA during a Q&A session with troops last week ahead of UFC Fight for the Troops 2 (quotes transcribed by Ariel Helwani at MMAFighting.com).
Penick's Analysis: I'm with White on this as far as today's MMA is concerned. Though the one-night tournament was the basis for the beginning of this sport, in practice there are a lot of things that can go wrong, and like White said, it's not always the best guy at the end of the night. Some fighters get easier draws and blast through the early stages, while other fighters get a more even fight early on that drags out and has him in the cage longer than someone he could face in the finals. It's a nice nostalgic thing to look back upon, but with the evolution of the sport and the fighters, it's just not a a concept that really works in 2011.
[Dana White art by Travis Beaven (c) MMATorch.com]
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer</B><BR><BR>
The Ultimate Fighting Championships ?Fight For the Troops 2? event proved to be a stellar card top to bottom. Jam packed with competitive wars, brutal finishes and even an upset or so, the fireworks were on full display, and the military crowd was not oblivious to this fact.<BR><BR>
The fighter reception was warm, and the energy in the place damn near seeped from my television screen. A handful of hopeful, but heart wrenching stories filled the down time, and there?s no complaint from me; just as was the case with the first ?Fight For the Troops? card, there was knowledge to be gained, and awareness that went rightfully exposed to the consumer.<BR><BR>
Our military fights for us day and night, a little gratitude, and adequate health care shouldn?t need much contemplation; it should be in our faces on a daily basis.<BR><BR>
But back to the evening?s fights, which far exceeded my personal expectations.<BR><BR>
Underdog Matt Wiman took to the cage to face the rangy favorite, Cole Miller. Miller, a rangy lightweight at 6?1? was believed to have more tools at his disposal heading into the bout. But someone forgot to tell Matt Wiman, who began the match with his best Tasmanian Devil impression. Unfortunately for Cole Miller, Matt Wiman kept the whirlwind alive for fifteen and absolutely pummeled Miller, who was never in the fight. This win certainly raised a few eyebrows; expect Wiman to clash with significantly more dangerous opposition in his next outing.<BR><BR>
Heavyweights Pat Barry and Joey Beltran took to the cage in the evening?s first collision of big men. What ensued was a fantastic (I?ll be it a bit sloppy at times) back-and-forth war that saw both men rocked by big punches and knees. Given the striking pedigree of both fighters, grappling was all but extinct for this meeting, and after three rounds of savage exchanges it was the heavy leg kicks of Barry that took their toll on Beltran.<BR><BR><!--more-break-->
As the third round unraveled, Barry?s early leg assault became visibly evident, as Beltran battled just to remain standing. As the final bell sounded Beltran lay on the canvas, heavily damaged from the abuse sustained for fifteen minutes. Ultimately Barry took the decision (though Beltran did land some impressive combinations throughout the fight), and upon post fight interview took to the emotional side when speaking on his father, who had himself served time in the military.<BR><BR>
What can top a true war of attrition? How about a dynamic first round knockout by one of the most precise punchers in the game? Mark Hominick staked his claim as rightful challenger to Jose Aldo?s featherweight title when he obliterated George Roop with precise punches that left the rangy Roop a half unconscious confused individual slumped against the cage. Hominick needed less than 90 seconds to prove his striking acumen is amongst the best in the game.<BR><BR>
Former TUF heel Matt Mitrione is building up quite the fanbase. Three consecutive UFC victories have helped in that feat, and tonight a fourth only added to the rising stock of this former NFL player. Mitrione?s striking looked great, his movement looked much improved, and the returning Tim Hague seemed to have zero answers to any of the proposed physical equations.<BR><BR>
For three minutes Mitrione picked his shot, and dropped Hague on multiple occasions before finally pouncing on a fallen Hague and reigning down enough punches to warrant a referee stoppage. A step up in competition for Mitrione is beginning to feel inevitable. A clash with Ben Rothwell sounds extremely compelling.<BR><BR><!--more-break-->
Melvin Guillard and Evan Dunham took to the cage to provide the headlining fight, and boy was it a doozie?while it lasted. Few (myself) included gave Guillard much of a chance of putting the dangerous Dunham away. But Guillard came out loose, and ready to let those sledgehammers go; that?s exactly what he did. Multiple times Melvin landed with big power shots on the chin of Dunham, who desperately sought the takedown, too avail. Eventually the punishment was too much, and a series of violent knees against the cage put Evan Dunham away just over midway through the first round.<BR><BR>
If you?re a betting man, it was a good night to make some profit. If you?re just a pure-blooded fan of the sport, it was an outstanding night that provided for more than a single noteworthy moment.<BR><BR>
Questions were answered, contenders emerged, and every moment of it went down in the name of a fantastic cause.<BR><BR>
UFC NEWS: Debuting Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto thinks UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz is "nothing special"
But while the 33-year-old is entering a talent rich division inside the Octagon for the first time against Demetrious Johnson, he doesn't believe he's got much of a challenge in the weight class.
"It's all right, there aren't really any guys at my level," Yamamoto said in an interview with Japanese publication Daily Sports (translated by Daniel Herbertson at MMAFighting.com)
And when he says there aren't any fighters at his level, he means the entire division from top to bottom. When asked about division Champion Dominick Cruz, he said "[He's] nothing special... not at all. I'll bring him down."
Kid needs to get past a very tough and scrappy young fighter in Johnson, but if he does, there's a definite possibility he'll be on a fast track toward a title shot in the organization. He'll need to win a couple of fights, but if he believes he's a level above everyone else at 135 lbs., he's going to get an opportunity to prove that.
Penick's Analysis: Yamamoto had troubles with injuries that kept him out of action for all of 2008, and when he returned and lost to Joe Warren, who had one career fight prior to that meeting, the talk of his decline in the sport began. When he followed that up with a disappointing decision loss in his next fight, that talk of declination continued to gain steam. His win over Federico Lopez last year was a positive step, but he brings with him a lot of questions into his UFC debut, and he's got to get past a very tough test in Johnson. If he doesn't think Johnson's on his level and takes him lightly, he could be in for a rude awakening in his first ever fight in the U.S.
The event would feature Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers opening round matchups, as well as the return of lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez
STRIKEFORCE NEWS: M-1 CEO Vadim Finkelchtein to request "strict drug testing" throughout Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix
"Two out of eight fighters in the tournament previously failed a drug test," Finkelchtein stated (translated by LowKick.com). "Obviously, I'm talking about Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva. We want fair competition for everyone, so that's why I will ask the commission to perform a strict drug testing."
"Fedor is not using any kind of substance to enhance his performance, and will be ready for any kind of testing. So if the commission decides to follow our suggestion, we'll be ready."
After their first hand experience with Josh Barnett, in which a lucrative fight on Affliction's third card never came to fruition due to Barnett's third failed steroid test, Finkelchtein says he doesn't want to have to go through that again.
"Our organization paid a heavy price after the cancelation of the fight between Josh Barnett and Fedor. We did a lot of promotion for this fight, which in the end did not take place. That's why as a promoter and manager, I don't want this to happen ever again."
The tournament kicks off with two quarterfinal bouts on February 12 in New Jersey, as Andrei Arlovski and Sergei Kharitionov square off in addition to Fedor vs. Silva.
Penick's Analysis: If it's going to entail the same testing procedures for each fighter and it's going to be uniformly applied throughout the tournament, it's not unreasonable to want to see strict testing done. But, if Strikeforce were to run in Japan as Scott Coker has stated he wants to do, or another commission that doesn't test, such as Texas, they'd have to take care of it all on their own. Again, provided it gets applied widely, and for each fight, then they should go for it, but they can't single fighters out and hold things up for testing if the other fights aren't being subject to the same thing.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
The 35-year-old Kongo (15-6-2) had suffered through back problems for several months, even canceling a scheduled UFC 116 bout with Roy Nelson before taking an October UFC 120 fight with Travis Browne that ended in a draw.
While Spike and the UFC teamed in 2010 to bring ten such specials to the network, 2011 will see an additional two events get the Prelims Live treatment, as 12 total specials will air ahead of UFC pay-per-view events.
The hour long broadcasts have run on Spike since September of 2009, and the hour long broadcasts have garnered between 1.1 and 1.7 million viewers on Spike.
The UFC 126 Prelims Live broadcast takes place on February 5, and will feature Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly and Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa. That night's pay-per-view broadcast is headlined by a Middleweight Championship bout between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, live in Las Vegas.
Penick's Analysis: This means that all but three or four pay-per-view cards in 2011 will feature a guaranteed seven fights on TV and pay-per-view. With the UFC experimenting with the Facebook stream this past Saturday, they could be bringing even more fights online throughout the year as well. It's going to be a great thing for fans and fighters, as more fighters will be able to get sponsorships for their fights being on TV, and fans will get more free fights to go along with the pay-per-view events. This will be great throughout the year.