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Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

Cyborg, Mousasi Shine at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg

Posted by Gene Morris on August 16, 2009

Gina Carano may (emphasize may, especially after the beating she took tonight) have the prettiest face in all of women’s MMA, but there is no doubt who the best fighter in the world is.

Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos was too much for Carano in the main event of the Strikeforce show Saturday night in San Jose.  Carano showed guts and heart in surviving as long as she did, but she was overwhelmed by Santos’ attacking, push forward style.  Carano’s counter striking looked good at times, but it was Santos who dictated the pace.

The crowd was rabid and loud during the entire 4:59 of the fight.  The atmosphere surrounding the slug fest was impressive, but it remains to be seen if Strikeforce can market a legitimate women’s fight without Carano’s face plastered all over the posters.

Mousasi destroys Sobral

The most impressive fighter on the card may have been Gegard Mousasi.  The much hyped 24-year old Armenian was making his debut in the United States and he did not disappoint in winning the Strikeforce light-heavyweight championship.

Sobral, a former UFC light-heavyweight contender known for his slick jui-jitsu was supposed to be the biggest test of Mousasi’s career.  But within a minute of the opening bell Mousasi became a household name in the MMA world.  He knocked Sobral out cold with a barrage of punches with Sobral on his back.  And in a show of sportsmanship, Mousasi let up when he saw Sobral’s eyes roll into the back of his head, even though referee John McCarthy was slow to jump in.

Mousasi put himself on the map with the hardcore fans after winning the DREAM middle-weight grand prix tournament in 2008, but knocking Sobral out and winning the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title should increase his exposure exponentially.

Mousasi now faces the same question as Cyborg; who are they going to fight next?  He proved himself to be the best light-heavyweight in the entire organization, and a move to the UFC may be in his future.

Melendez beats one-dimensional Ishida, Werdum submits Kyle

Gilbert Melendez won a fight for the Strikeforce interim lightweight title against Mitsuhiro Ishida in the first of three title fights on the card.  Champion Josh Thompson is still on the shelf with an ankle injury, and there was never much doubt that Melendez would win this fight.

His striking was superior, and he nullified Ishida’s wrestling, which was really the only thing the Japanese fighter had in his arsenal.

Former UFC contender Fabricio Werdum, who was originally scheduled to fight Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, easily submitted journeyman Mike Kyle in the nights opening bout.  The only surprising thing about this fight was that it took the jui-jitsu black belt 1:24 to submit Kyle.  I thought it would be over before that.

Werdum, who was dropped from the UFC after being knocked out by Junior Dos Santos in his previous fight, will now most likely be in the mix for a match with Fedor Emelianenko.

Overeem has not defended his title since winning it nearly two years ago.  His last two scheduled fights have been postponed do to injuries he suffered in a bar room brawl earlier this year.

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Anderson Silva Shows Why He’s the Best in the World After Destroying Forrest Griffin

Posted by Gene Morris on August 9, 2009

Forrest Griffin emerged from the locker room and strolled towards the ring with cheers and support being rained down upon him by the packed house in the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

Anderson Silva slowly strolled down to the cage to his normal “Ain’t No Sunshine” by DMX, bobbing to the beat, forshadowing what was to come.  The crowd booed and jeered Silva, upset over his two pervious lackluster performances while defending his middle weight title against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites.

After the introductions both men danced around the center of the cage, going through the normal feeling out process.

But then Silva flipped the switch.  He dropped his hands, brazenly taunting Griffin to throw his best shot.  No matter how hard Griffin tried, Silva ducked all of Griffin’s shots with his head movement, an unloaded on the former light heavyweight champion after each missed barrage.

It quickly became apparent that Griffin was no match for Silva’s advanced striking, and the Brazillian knocked Griffin down twice, before finally ending the fight with a step back jab that put Griffin to sleep.

The question coming into the fight was whether Silva would show his old skills and engage and destroy like he had in previous fights.  That was quickly answered as Griffin became the 5th opponent in the UFC that Silva has finished in the first round.

As Griffin sprinted from the cage and back to the locker room right after the fight ended, the next question involving Silva emerged.  Who is going to stop him?

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Affliction: Trilogy Event Canceled

Posted by Gene Morris on July 24, 2009

Just days after the positive drug test of main event fighter Josh Barnett sent Affliction into a frenzy looking for an opponent for heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, the company has confirmed reports earlier today that the event was canceled, according to MMAjunke.com

Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio told MMAjunkie the event was scrapped in large part due to the loss of Barnett.  Altough there were reports yesterday that middleweight Vitor Belfort had verbally agreed to step in a face the much larger Fedor, no contracts were ever signed.

What was looking to be an amazing three week stretch for the MMA world, with Affliction: Trilogy on August 1st, UFC 101 featuring a lightweight title fight between BJ Penn and Kenny Florian on August 8th, and a Strikeforce event headlined by the long awaited Gina Carano-Cyborg fight, has been tarnished.

The Strikeforce event was supposed to feature four titile fights, but over the last few weeks the heavyweight title fight featuring Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum was scrapped due to injury, and today a welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Joe Riggs was canceled as well.

What does this once again prove?

The UFC is king, and it will be extremely difficult for any other promotion to put even a dent in their armor.

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Josh Barnett Tests Positive; Fight With Fedor Off

Posted by Gene Morris on July 22, 2009

Josh Barnett's career faces another bump in his career with a positive test forcing him to withdraw from a heavyweight championship match against Fedor Emelianenko

Josh Barnett's career faces another bump in his career with a positive test forcing him to withdraw from a heavyweight championship match against Fedor Emelianenko

First reported by Sherdog this morning, Affliction’s third ever MMA event is in peril after Josh Barnett tested positive for a banned substance and will not be granted a license by the California State Athletic Commission.

Vitor Belfort, who was already on the card fighting Jorge Santiago in a middleweight bout, has agreed to move up to replace Barnett and fight Fedor.

That in itself is an absolute joke.  But the biggest joke is Barnett, who is already well known for failing drug tests.  After winning the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 36 in a fight against Randy Couture, Barnett was stripped of the title after testing positive for steroids.  He then continued his career in Japan, where there is no drug testing.

With just 10 days before the fight, Affliction lacked a viable option to salvage its main event.  The fate of the promotion rested upon the success of this event, and with the two most interesting main card fights now off it would be shocking if Affliction ever put on another event.

Fedor needs to take this as a sign that the UFC is where he needs to fight.  Brock Lesnar is waiting, and with the UFC hype machine behind it, that would be the biggest fight in the history of MMA.

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Michael Bisping Video

Posted by Gene Morris on July 16, 2009

This is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while, and just adds to the point that rivalries make any contact sport, especially combat sports like MMA, so much more interesting.

Glad to see that Bisping got knocked off, hopefully I don’t have to hear him run his mouth for a while.

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Shane Carwin Not Happy With Brock Lesnar’s Antics

Posted by Gene Morris on July 14, 2009

Shane Carwin, one of the few heavyweights in the UFC who can match Brock Lesnar’s size and power, was not at all pleased with Brock’s antics after the UFC 100 main event.

Carwin wrote on his blog , Shane-Carwin.com, about the overall event Saturday, and had some harsh words for the champ.

The flipping off of the fans that just lined your pocket with millions of dollars is just LAME. He may be a Champion but he has a long ways to go before he earns the respect of a Champion. The fans are why we do this Brock, this sport is not about fat paychecks and drama it is about hard work and sacrifice for a shot to do what you did last night. It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you can’t earn your peers respect and the respect and love of the greatest sporting fans in the world. We have no scripts in this sport, no pre-determined earning amount and no pre-determined outcomes. It doesn’t matter if you win or loose it matters how you win or loose. (sic)

Just reading that and imagining Brock’s reaction makes me excited.  No offense to Cain Velasquez, another impressive contender that will meet Carwin at UFC 104 in October to determine the #1 contender to Lesnar’s belt, but I REALLY hope Carwin wins and these two monsters can square off in the cage.

So yes, it’s refreshing to see St.-Pierre show his opponents tons of respect, wreck them for five rounds, then respect them after, this trash talking thing is a lot of fun.

You can also see White discussing his reactions to Lesnar’s antics with ESPN’s first take here.

Below is Lesnar’s apology at the press conference after the event.  Notice the bottle of Bud Light sitting in front of him.

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Where Does UFC Go From Here?

Posted by Gene Morris on July 14, 2009

As referee Herb Dean jumped in to save Frank Mir from the vicious ground and pound of heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, the UFC wrapped up its most highly anticipated event in the organization’s history.

Two belts were successfully defended, a long standing grudge was resolved in another fight, and this event came with the main stream media coverage the company needed to really land it front and center of the sporting world.

Although the company gained momentum going into the weekend by hosting a fan expo and bringing back a lot of older fighters to celebrate the history of the event, one of the larger stories picked up after the event was the post-fight actions of Lesnar.

After finishing Mir, Lesnar walked towards his opponent’s corner as he struggled to get up, got in his face and taunted him.  After the crowd began to rain down boo’s on the champ, he turned towards them and flipped the middle finger.

He got on the microphone for his post fight interview with Joe Rogan, directly called out the UFC’s biggest corporate sponsor, the one who’s logo was plastered on the middle of the mat, and proceeded to rile up the crowd again, before telling them all, “hell, I might even get on top of my wife tonight.”

Of course this caught the attention of the “main stream” media.

The 6:00 PM edition of Sportscenter Monday night teased a debate with the PTI guys on whether Lesnar is good for the sport or not.

Not having the slightest idea of what the next move might be for Lesnar in his division, or even whether it’s a good thing to have a physically dominant monster roll over opponents, you got Bob Ryan lamenting the fact that the UFC is full of bad guys, like Brock, and even worse guys.  He obviously only saw the clip of Lesnar, and not the post fight clip of welterweight champion Georges St.-Pierre, a man who dominated a tough opponent but was as gracious as could be on the microphone afterwards.

It’s sad that fighters like Lesnar are the ones who get the entire spot light all to themselves.  Granted, Lesnar is a phenomenal wrestler, and has greatly improved in each of his four fights in the UFC, but on Saturday his ability was over staged by his antics.

It seems rather hypocritical that UFC president Dana White is attempting to build the sport on the backs of talented and humble fighters like GSP, middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida when he himself conducts business unlike any other president of a company valued at over $1 billion.

White claims the sport will one day be bigger globally than soccer.  Having fighters like Lesnar filling the “bad guy” role should bring short term interest to the sport, and hopefully these new fans will get hooked watching GSP ground and pound another opponent, or Silva unleash his violent, yet beautiful mauy thai striking.

The rate at which the UFC has grown under White’s guidance is unsustainable in the long run.  How much growth is left is dependent on whether the fans want to see fighters like Lesnar or GSP, two polar opposites in terms of personality, but two guys who are at the top of their respective weight classes.  It’s a delicate balance, but if anybody can figure out how to make it work, it would be Dana White

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Weekend Wrap

Posted by yankeesin2008 on October 27, 2008

MLB:

The Phillies took a commanding 3-1 lead in the Series last night behind that bats of Ryan Howard and… Joe Blanton?

Howard hit two bombs and drove in five runs, and Blanton became the first pitcher in 35 years to homer in the fall classic. He picked up the win with six solid innings of work.

But the Phils look to close it out tonight, and they have the right guy on the mound in Cole Hamels. Guy’s been lights out. He’s trying to become the first pitcher to win five postseason starts in one year.

Don’t be surprised if Tampa pulls it out though, they didn’t get this far just to roll over and die, as the Red Sox can surely attest too. Scott Kazmir is just as likely to throw a complete game shutout as he is to not make it out of the first inning.

It’s going to be interesting to see if the Rays can get it back to St. Pete, or if the Philly bats will pound their way to the cities first championship in 25 years.

NHL:

Crazy night in the NHL on Saturday. For only the second time ever – the other being opening night in 2005 after the lockout – all 30 teams were on the schedule.

The Devils and Flyers carried over some bad blood from Friday night into a Saturday matinee. Four fights broke out in the second period, including two at once when Pierre-Luc Letourneau battled Riley Cote while Mike Rupp fought Aaron Asham.

Philly took four points over the weekend, just in time to save its season from totally going down the drain.

Saturday night also saw a great comeback in New York City. Trailing 2-0 going into the third period, the Rangers rallied to beat the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout

Nikolai Zherdev tied the game with 8.1 seconds left, and Fred Sjostrom scored his second shootout winner in eight days for the Rangers.

Henrik Lundqvist stoned Sidney Crosby on the Pen’s final attempt to wrap up the win.

NFL:

The New York football Giants showed the world just why they are the team to beat this year. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest game you’ll ever see, but on the road against a very good Pittsburgh Steelers team it was the perfect game.

Good speical teams play, and limiting the number of mistakes were key for the G-Men. Roethlisberger (spelled that right the first time) tossing four interceptions and a long snap through the back of the end zone sure helped as well.

But all the other NFC East teams picked up victories as well. The Cowboys squeaked by the Bucs, again without Tony Romo – and who knows exactly when he’ll be back – and the Eagles and Redskins took out the Falcons and Lions respectively.

With the difficulty of the Giants schedule the rest of the season, this division race is going to come right down to the wire.

NBA:

The big New York NBA story of the weekend involved Isiah Thomas. Just when you thought this guy was out of the spotlight he finds his way back in.

So Police were called to Isiah’s house in Rye because he overdosed on sleeping pills.

But Isiah told the New York Post that it was his daughter who had the medical issue.

David Hall, police chief for the town of Harrison, disputed Thomas’ claim about his daughter.

“I understand that this person claims it was his daughter; he is lying,” Hall told The New York Times. “It was definitely not his daughter, it was a male. We know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female.”

Isiah, Isiah. No matter what is going on there, something is very wrong. He was a terrible coach and made millions ruining a once proud basketball organization, but one can’t wish harm on him or his family.

UFC:

In the bizzare main event of UFC 90, reigning middle weight champion and the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter defeated challenger Patrick Cote in the third round via TKO.

But it was not the usual stoppage for Silva, who remains undefeated in his UFC career. At no point did he unleash his trademark explosive Muay Thai offense consisting of knees, elbows, kicks, punches flying every which direction. Once nicknamed “A ballet of violence” by UFC commentator Joe Rogan, Silva’s game plan was just strange.

When Cote tore up knee apart midway through the third round and could no longer compete, Silva was declared the winner.

The real losers were the fans, who relish every chance they get to see the best in the world do what he does. And he didn’t bring it on Saturday night.

The big winner of the night was Junior dos Santos, a Brazilian heavyweight who came in as an big underdog against title contender Fabricio Werdum.

As was written in a post on MMA Junkie earlier in the week, dos Santos was no joke and a great bet as the huge under dog. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of this guy in the future.

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