Sunday, December 12, 2010

UFC 124 Round Up

- St. Pierre in Another Snoozer -

GSP is afraid to take chances
   In the build up to this fight much ado was made of a supposed “fiery and passionate” Georges St. Pierre. Multiple articles on Sherdog and Yahoo Sports were written on it, and commentators like Joe Rogan and Kevin Iole even pointed out how this was allegedly the angriest St. Pierre we had seen, and it would surely translate into a monstrous performance driven by a desire to punish the trash talking Josh Koscheck.

   Well, surprise surprise, all of that turned out to be nothing more than the standard pre-event hypebole from the usual suspects of Zuffa shillery. What the fans saw during UFC 124’s main event was the lamentable sight of what was once an exciting MMA fighter that has since been gelded by Greg Jackson’s style of decision based game planning.

   Fans around the world sat with folded arms, patiently waiting for the champion Georges St. Pierre to boldly defend his title from the trash talking challenger who had disrespected his French-Canadian ethnicity during pre fight build up, but nothing significant ever materialized. Instead the fight unfolded as a twenty five minute jab-a-thon with all the urgency of a dark match on a regional card. This did not feel like a championship fight between two elite fighters. Koscheck couldn’t do anything and St. Pierre had no interest in doing anything. Even in fighting a half blinded opponent after Koscheck’s eye swelled up almost immediately, St. Pierre refused to turn up the heat. When any other fighter would have pounced on his opponent’s weakness, St. Pierre, in classic Greg Jackson style, simply stayed the course and rode out a steady as she goes decision, disappointing fans around the world in the process.

   The old Georges St. Pierre who mauled Sean Sherk, trashed Jay Heiron, and pounded Travis Galbraith is gone, replaced by a meek imposter. The once wild boar with its aggressive instinct, razor tusks, and fiery eyes has become a bloated pink bellied pig, fat and lazy off the slop of farmer Jackson. If a steady pay check is what St. Pierre wants, perhaps a nine to five desk job may be more appropriate, and a lot safer for a man seemingly terrified to take a risk in a sport that is supposed to be inherently risky.

- UFC Heavyweight Roster Proven A Joke... Again -

34 year old Internet Troll Sean McCorkle
   As if bringing in Sean Gannon based off of a youtube fight video wasn't bad enough, the UFC stooped even lower by signing internet troll Sean McCorkle, and now that he has been thoroughly spanked by Stefan Struve, a fighter who struggles against even sub-par opposition, as demonstrated in his knockout defeat to Roy Nelson, lets see if Zuffa will send him back to internet forum flaming where he belongs.

   The UFC heavyweight division is in a miserable state, and what an admission of this fact the co-main event of UFC 124 was. A clash between thirty four year old internet troll Sean McCorkle and Stefan Struve, whose notable victories are over no names like Christian Mooecraft and Chase Gormley, is what passes as a co-main event in the UFC nowadays? How absurd that these are the kinds of heavyweights that are being tailored for a title shot while simultaneously UFC president Dana White is verbally attacking rival organization Strikeforce as a “minor league promotion.” I guess a stable which includes MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, MMA and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem, and Fabricio Werdum is of lesser renown than one consisting of a hodgepodge of WWE wrestlers, untested paper tigers, aging internet trolls, and obese pro wrestling wannabes.

   By now it is abundantly clear that any heavyweight MMA fighter who wishes to prove himself great must do so by fighting competition outside of the UFC, as it is impossible to prove anything of significance against the likes of the current UFC heavyweight roster.

- Matchmaker Joe Silva Again Plays the Fool -

Joe Silva's Incompetence Sabotaged Oliveira's Career
   UFC match maker Joe Silva has once again proven himself a fool entirely incapable of properly grooming a potential star. Just as he threw the rising prospect John Hathaway to be torn apart by the crafty Mike Pyle, he again repeated this lunacy by prematurely matching a young prospect with loads of potential against a grizzled veteran fighter. Charles Oliveira in his two previous UFC fights demonstrated a unique dynamism that the majority of fighters simply don’t have, a mixture of seamless striking and grappling which is as appealing to the fans as it is effective in the cage. So what does Joe Silva do with this potential star? He matches him up against the worst possible opponent for him at this point in his career.

   Jim Miller is a top tier grappler, both offensively and defensively, with a strong wrestling base and competent striking. While Oliveira had much hype surrounding him coming in, he had not faced anyone with even close to the skill set of Jim Miller. This fight really could not have gone any other way. At this point in his career Oliveira does not have the power to knockout Jim Miller, he does not have the grappling to submit him, nor does he have the wrestling to dictate where the fight happens, so how did Joe Silva think this fight would be competitive? This is not how you treat a young prospect with potential star qualities, this is how you treat a one-and-done body brought in as a showcase opponent. So because Joe Silva is an incompetent matchmaker, Oliveira must now attempt to bounce back from being dominated by an established veteran at such a pivotal point in his young career.

- Enough of TUF -

TUF continues to ruin the sport
   Danzig’s knockout of Stevenson was an awkward back pedaling jab that seemed it would have struggled with the cracking of an egg, but it was enough to win this fight which epitomized what so many UFC fights are nowadays, a clash between two TUF alumni with names bigger than their abilities. Joe Stevenson and Mac Danzig are regional show quality fighters who get opportunities on the main card because the common fan is familiar with them, and this name recognition may help to push a few more pay-per-view sales. This is fine if you are a Zuffa big wig that gets a cut of the PPV cash, but to the MMA fan who pays to see high level fighters, its an outrage that this is what gets pushed by the self proclaimed “super bowl of MMA.”

   It raises an important question: How many times can an organization promote c-level fighters before that organization becomes a c-level promotion?

- In Summary -

Strikeforce is gunning for the UFC
   Overall, UFC 124 was yet another paint by numbers event. The majority of the UFC has become staler than week old bread. Too many events, too many TUF’ers, too much hesitation, too much decision based game planning, simply put: Just too much. It is vital at this point in time for Zuffa to scale back operations and have events only once a month, although this seems unlikely with the WEC merger, and instead fans will probably be subjected to more filler and a whole new division for TUF losers to water down.

   In order to maintain some level of relevance, Zuffa must weed out sub par TUF fighters and totally rework their abysmal heavyweight roster. If they want to bill themselves as the world’s elite MMA organization, then they had better start proving the title, and a stable full of TUF rejects is not going to cut it. The fact is that TUF has proven itself a complete failure in terms of producing high level talent, instead generating gatekeepers at best, and utter wash outs at worst.

   Strikeforce has long since surpassed the UFC in the heavyweight division, and now is making tremendous gains in other divisions as well. The passed five UFC’s combined could not match the excitement generated by Strikeforce’s latest event, and with the next UFC card scheduled to be headlined by a twenty five minute fight between perennial snoozers Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, its hard to see anything but further disappointment in the UFC’s future. The hardcore fans have long since known this, but one has to wonder what will happen when the casual fan discovers it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekend Roundup: UFC Plods as Strikeforce Shines

- The UFC -

Rock Em Sock Em is a child's game on par with Garcia's technique
   Zuffa loves to pass low level brawlers off as elite mixed martial artists, and continuously gives sub-par fighters like Leonard Garcia the spotlight to showcase their utter lack of technique. Tonight saw the poster boy for this flailing style put on a cringe inducing performance as he winged wild punches at his opponent, each one loopier than the next. In response, Nam Phan would cover up and circle, peppering Garcia with the occasional jab. Undeterred Garcia kept trudging forward looking like a windmill in fight shorts. At one point the fight became so absurd that UFC color commentator Joe Rogan opined that Garcia appeared to be throwing rocks rather than punches, his flailing style being so wild and devoid of any semblance of technique. It wouldn’t be such an egregious act if this were a rarity in Zuffa’s promotions, but more and more it is becoming the rule rather than the exception. And the truly unfortunate aspect of this, the rotten cherry atop this embarrassing display by Garcia, was that he was actually rewarded with the decision victory. This must be discouraging to fighters of actual skill, to see these school yard brawlers not only continuously brought back by Zuffa even after losing, when others like Gerald Harris and so many more have been cut immediately after a single loss, but to now have to watch these flailers routinely garner blatantly unjust decisions. Lets hope it does not drive talented fighters to windmill tactics.

   Yet another lamentable aspect of the flailing fighter is in how the common fan has been force fed by Zuffa into accepting them as exciting examples of mixed martial artists. The UFC has provided two options, if you want excitement, you must turn to flailers such as Leonard Garcia, Forrest Griffin, Chris Leben, or any number of the irrelevant no names they bring in for short stints, and if you want technique, you must look to snoozers like Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, Frankie Edgar, or any number of the lay-n-pray blankets they bring in from collegiate wrestling gyms across America.

Meet some of the UFC Windmills

   And that’s what the UFC has become, you want some sorry excuse for excitement? You get Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan. You want technique without fire? Here’s a couple of fighters in Demian Maia and Kendall Grove who can’t utilize their talents in an appealing or effective manner. You want some mundane mixture of the two? Grab a pillow and watch Rick Story and Johnny Hendricks. You want two irrelevant neophytes more fitted for a regional show‘s under card? Here’s Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson. How outrageous that this is what passes as elite level mixed martial arts in the minds of so many. On this particular UFC it was especially abhorrent how the televised card was filled with tedium as the dark matches contained two fine examples of both technique and killer instinct, with both Nick Pace and Pablo Garza finishing their opponents in dominantly exciting fashion. Ninety-nine percent of the casual fan base, however, will never see their efforts because the UFC insists on pushing the predictable brawlers. Thankfully, however, Strikeforce is providing an excellent alternative for the true MMA fan.

- Strikeforce -

   As the UFC drunks were yelling for body bags while watching human windmills, Strikeforce’s audience was privileged with an amazing night of dynamism and excitement, packaged in the wrappings of beautiful fistic technique. Paul Daley is what Leonard Garcia wishes he was. If Daley had demonstrated the skill level of a Leonard Garcia he would have embarrassed himself for fifteen minutes and been deservedly showered with boos after the final bell. But that didn't happen, and instead, Daley, with his shockingly brutal knock out of Scott Smith, showed what powerful and exciting combative ability executed in an effective manner can do. How very refreshing it is to see a talented fighter confidently using the cage as a platform to showcase the fruits of the hard work he puts in day after day in the gym. Daley trained for the fight as a knock out artist, and when given the opportunity to prove himself, he rose to the occasion in spectacular fashion.

   As devastating as Daley’s knockout victory was, it certainly has competition in how Robbie Lawler dispatched of former UFC #1 contender Matt Lindland. Lawler initially dropped Lindland with a beautifully placed counter right hand, and without a moment’s hesitation followed it up with a powerful punch to his dazed and grounded opponent, leaving him unconcious for several minutes. Not a single fighter on the UFC’s televised card even hinted at such an ability. This is yet another example of how an emphasis on technique and the focused willingness to utilize it is what produces truly memorable moments in MMA. As if the two previous knockouts weren’t enough, Strikeforce came through with an incredible main event between two relevant fighters which ended in yet another amazing knockout as former two division Pride champion Dan Henderson put to sleep former UFC #1 contender Babalu Sobral with a shattering ground and pound barrage. What better way to end an event than with three contenders for knockout of the year, and all from elite fighters, rather than irrelevant journeymen.

   It must be acknowledged that these three marvelous knockouts were all the result of focused determination and skill, and the capacity to implement them in the cage. There was no flailing. There were no loops. There were no windmills. And there was certainly no impotence in imposing one‘s will on the opponent. Only deliberately placed strikes by high caliber fighters. Perhaps Dana White should think twice next time he goes head to head with rival promotion Strikeforce, and consider making an effort to promote high level mixed martial arts of quality. What a contrast between the UFC’s offering of an awkward mixture of plodding decisions, vapid technique, and nugatory fighters, and Strikeforce’s brilliant showcase of high energy relevant fighters demonstrating technique as effective as it was explosive.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

UFC 123 Wrap Up

-The BJ Boy's Rejoice -

For Many: The Prodigy, the Legend, the False Idol
   Perhaps the most rabid fans in MMA belong to BJ Penn. The devotion they show towards their anointed legend often borders on blind, so even a deaf ear can hear their shouts of “BJ is back!” when the truth is he never really went anywhere. BJ has been consistent in his inconsistency throughout his entire career. He will win some here and lose some there, never truly fulfilling what so many perceive to be his legendary potential.

   Had this been a systematic domination of a relevant fighter it may have held some merit, but this wasn’t that. This was an unnecessary rubber match against a post-prime recognizable name that really had no point other than to get Penn back on the winning track after his two clear defeats by the natural 145 lbs. Frankie Edgar. It wasn’t a new or improved Penn that fought tonight, it was the same BJ Penn that was outclassed by Edgar, its just that he wasn’t facing a capable fighter.

   A quick twenty-one second flurry of a few punches resulting in a flash knockout of a fighter who even in his prime had D-level striking looks nice on a highlight reel, but as far as any real relevance goes, this was a fluff fight that proves nothing in regards to a Championship title.

   BJ Penn will beat a Caol Uno, then lose to a Jens Pulver. Beat a Sean Sherk, then lose to a Georges St. Pierre. Beat a Diego Sanchez, then lose to a Frankie Edgar. This is what Penn is as a fighter, and his career from start to current supports it. So rather than letting his record speak for itself while naturally attaining legendary status through proven achievements, such as a Fedor Emelianenko, the legendary tag has been placed upon him by fan’s who only perceive possible accomplishments. This is simply not how true legends maintain the prestigious title, and time will surely strip BJ of the prefix.

- Machida Refuses to Evolve -

Expand your game or become irrelevant
   How rare it is when judges actually score a close fight accurately. Rampage didn’t do much, and the fight was only a couple notches above last weeks main event snoozer at UFC 122, but the fact is that he fought to win, whereas Machida fought in his typical point karate style which values avoidance over engagement.

   This fight really highlighted the two lines of thought in regards to judging criteria, and in a way was a battle between Pride-style aggression and UFC-style stalling. Some believe a fighter wins when he dictates pace and avoids damage, even if retreating is his means of doing so. Others believe a fighter wins by pressuring his opponent and actively making an attempt to engage. Well in recent years the more cautious approach has typically earned the judge’s nod, and Rampage’s shocked reaction to his victory illustrates how deeply this passive fight approach has engrained itself into the MMA conscious. But after tonight it seems the judges have issued a rebuke to at least Machida’s taking advantage of this, and if a trend forms, it will benefit MMA as a whole. Although its worth noting that Machida’s jab-n-stall style is not exactly equivalent to a wrestler’s lay-n-pray.

   Machida must now rethink his entire fight game, and should feel some level of embarrassment for his stubborn refusal to mix things up after his previous defeat. Its perplexing to think he actually believed his point karate style had become anything but obsolete. Shogun shattered it in knockout fashion, and now Rampage has demonstrated that its effectiveness is gone for even the play-it-safe decision oriented game planning that Machida has so thoroughly relied on for the majority of his career. Rampage, on the other hand, took a step in the right direction, but still needs to fully realize that he is fighting MMA, and not boxing.

- Snuffaluffagus One Step Closer to Gold -

The Aussie had an impressive 2010, potential FOTY
   With his spanking of Lauzon, Sotiropoulos has emerged from dark horse to true contender status. What is most impressive and telling about Sotiropoulos’ recent run is how he has beaten fighters relevant to what he will be facing as he makes a grab for the Championship belt. Lauzon really had nothing of interest to offer Sotiropoulos, so the victory, while nice, is not exactly blockbuster. But with past victories over Pellegrino and Stevenson, both excellent wrestlers with solid grappling, he has shown the capacity to defeat fighters with skill sets very similar to the current lightweight Champion and contender.

   A rumored fight with Dennis Siver at UFC 127 presents a stylistic challenge he has not really faced before, a striker with proven and consistent knockout ability. Although Siver has basically only seen guys who want to strike with him and Sotiropoulos certainly wont do this, so a title shot seems very possible for the Australian.

   What’s next for Joe Lauzon is probably another undeserved fight in the UFC. Maybe they’ll bring in another Reinhardt, Bradley, or Ruediger type of fighter for him to play with. At this point, those are really the only kind of wins he can collect.

- Davis Continues to Impress -

Jackson style fighters could learn a lot from a guy like Davis
   How refreshing to see a wrestler who expresses a disdain for lay-n-pray tactics and backs it up with his in-fight actions. Phil Davis is the kind of fighter many in Greg Jackson’s stable could be if only they ditched the anchor they call coach. A strong wrestling base does not have to be boring, it is a powerful tool to dictate a fight’s position and pace, and sets up many opportunities for definitive finishes. Whereas the likes of Rashad Evans, Georges St. Pierre, or Nate Marquardt would have certainly stayed true to the mantra “position before submission,” Davis showed that he was skilled enough to do both and ended the fight with a very uniquely applied kimura.

   Compare this performance to the similarly styled Nate Marquardt from UFC 122. There was no hesitation or meekness in Phil Davis, he embraced his role as a fighter and fought as one. That’s how champions are determined. Maybe he’ll win, maybe he’ll lose, but at least at the end of the night he knows where his true potential lies, and the majority of the time a person with such a mentality will find greatness in himself. Nate Marquardt doesn’t know if he is capable of beating Yushin Okami because he didn’t try to beat Yushin Okami. Rather than forcing his own will onto his opponent and proving to reality that he is the superior fighter, Marquardt tried to convince three people sitting ringside that he won through passive control. Phil Davis has the mentality and perspective that fighter’s like Marquardt probably can’t even fathom, its just not in the Greg Jackson lexicon.

- In Summary -

   As a whole, the event was fairly typical of what the UFC is producing nowadays. Generally uninteresting matchmaking and too many fighters not willing to fight. Most of them just don’t seem to be of enough skill to warrant a ticket to the so called big show. But then again, at what point after continually pushing these types of fighter does it create the reality that this is indeed the level of skill required to gain access to the UFC? After all, with Sean Gannon, Kimbo Slice, and now Sean McCorkle, Zuffa has a history of recruiting fighters based solely on internet acclaim rather than fighting ability, so its not really a surprise that their cards are so often filled with meager talent.

   On the positive side of things, George Sotiropoulos and Phil Davis share the spotlight as the real stand outs of the night. Edson Barboza showed some strong striking, but needs to prove he’s capable of executing it against better competition before any buzz is warranted.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reader Feedback with Hank

The MMA Haus’ Hank responds to reader comments, suggestions, and various other forms of feedback.

   Lets kick things off with an email we received which is as intriguing as it is brief. A person identifying himself only as “The Artist X” has sent in an amazing piece of hand drawn art with the accompanying text, “No Masters. Solidarity.” It is very exciting to see true art being produced within the MMA community, as our ranks have heretofore consisted only of showy tracers and finger painters. History has proven ink the quintessential courier of truth, and “The Artist X” beautifully upholds this tradition with his illustrative piece we are now privileged to share with you....

   Should any other art of quality find its way to our mail bin, you can rest assured that we will share it. Now to the reader's correspondence...

“To be brief, I have stated often that I hate the nickname "The Mastermind" and if Sherdog is a shill for the UFC why doesn't Sherdog have press credentials?" - Jordan “The Mustard-Mind” Breen in response to our article.

   You hate the nickname, huh? False modesty if I’ve ever seen it, and I have proof.

   Why don’t you tell our reading audience what song you chose as your pod cast’s original theme music… go on, tell ‘em….

   Alright, I will. For the first hundred or so pod casts, Mr. Modesty here chose as his personal theme music a song by Deltron 3030 entitled “Mastermind.” So on top of being a proven shill, you are a liar, good to know. You are no longer welcome on The MMA Haus blog, your IP has been logged, consider yourself barred. To be clear, we do not support the suppression of free speech, but we also do not tolerate chicanery. And don’t let me find you sneaking on here trying to bolster false support for yourself under the guise of one of your pseudonyms like you’ve pathetically done on various forums in the past. What petty, arrogant deceit.

"MySexIsArtsy," one of the many online monikers Jordan Breen uses to anonymously talk about himself on message boards...

“And who are you? You think what you say matters? Any douche bag can start a blog and act like his opinion means anything.” - Beezle

   The classic coward’s approach form a spineless sack of skin cells. So the likes of Tomas Rios and Kevin Iole are legit MMA arbiters in your mushy mind? Jake Rossen, Luke Thomas, Ariel Helwani, these are the people you consider to be your superiors in regards to MMA analysis? Well if that’s true, I feel sorry for you. Meek and embracing of your passive state as a mental consumer.

   Not us at The MMA Haus, we are dynamic thinkers. You see, there is not a single fight that any of the previously mentioned names have seen which we have not seen as well, and I'd be willing to wager we've actually seen many more, as have most longtime fans. So where does their magical insight come from? Surely its not just that you sheepishly believe their shiny websites and hefty financial backing somehow imparts them with some kind of special knowledge, is it? This isn’t the NFL, MLB, or some other ball sport where an expensive suit and a microphone christen you a scholar. MMA belongs to the fans. Its narrative and historical record are ours. We as a collective of fans set them in response to what the fighters demonstrate, not some compromised schmucks who will happily push any promoter’s agenda with dollar signs in their eyes. How can they be trusted? They’re motivations are not pure, are not of love, they are of financial gain. MMA is the people’s sport as long as the people are willing to fight for it. The level of shillery MMA will suffer is the exact level that we as fans allow. You must know that MMA’s past, present, and future has always been, and will always be, in the care of its community of informed fans.

   So while the whorish pundits are fluffier than a goose-feathered pillow, we at The MMA Haus are a sharpened broadsword of MMA knowledge, forged in the fires of truth and hardened upon an anvil of integrity. Unflinching, uncompromising. That’s who we are. Who the hell are you?

“You’re an idiot, you make fun of Brock’s pro wrestling but what about guys like Saku?” - delfon00

   This is what happens when babies try to eat grown up food, they choke on it. Your mind has not matured to the point where you are able to intellectually digest complex cognition. So for your own good, please return yourself to the spoon fed pap of sites like Bloody Elbow and Sherdog, and come back once you‘ve expanded your mental faculties. We‘ll still be here. But until then, enjoy the airplane noises.

    Look, we used Brock’s pro wrestling experience to draw parallels with Bob Sapp. This combined with the other similarities we highlighted created a broader picture which proved our thesis that Brock Lesnar is a fighter without much skill. Other fighters with pro wrestling experience had nothing to do with the topic. If a fighter has skill, his background is irrelevant in terms of using it to critically scrutinize his current abilities. Brock has very little fighting ability, so his background in pro wrestling is relevant, and particular so for the purposes of comparison with another faux fighter. Brock is an entertainer, a side show, a novelty, not a fighter, and our article proved that.

   - theMMAhaus (at) gmail (dot) com

Sunday, November 14, 2010

UFC Disappoints as Pacquiao KO’s MMA

Manny Pacquiao's superior performance dwarfed the UFC's efforts

   The comparison is inevitable whenever a UFC event goes head to head with a same day broadcast as a high profile boxing pay-per-view. Debating which was the premier display of combative sporting is a topic fans always end up discussing after such a night, and upon the completion of both events on this day, it is abundantly clear that Manny Pacquiao has KO’ed the UFC.

   From the opening bell both Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito showed stubborn hard-nosed determination to fight to the absolute pinnacle of their abilities, and in doing so pridefully represented their sport as two elite combative athletes brimming with passion and a palpable internal fire which infectiously translated to an audience of millions around the world. For thirty-six minutes all eyes watching were treated to two clashing champions as they put every ounce of themselves on the line in hopes of securing the victory.

Pac-Man devoured the UFC's offering
   Boxing provided this while the UFC represented MMA with a fight between Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt, billing it as a contest to determine #1 contendership status in the middleweight division. This highly touted fight turned out to be a shameful display of indecisiveness from two impotent fighters who seemed downright scared to risk anything during their plodding fifteen minutes of stale Mixed Martial Arts. In between rounds one and two a member of Nate Marquardt’s corner, Trevor Wittman, could even be heard chastising the fighter for what he perceived was Marquradt’s eagerness to finish the fight with a guillotine submission, saying "I don't want to see any of that submission bullshit, just get on top." His advice to Marquardt was to abandon all hopes of going for a definitive stoppage and instead, in typical Greg Jackson style, ride out a positional based decision win, which ultimately did not happen, as Okami received the judge’s nod.

UFC 122 lacked the fighting spirit
which Margarito displayed
   This abysmal coaching advice actively sought to extinguish what little fire may have been inside of Nate Marquardt. Such a combative handcuffing of either Pacquiao or Margarito would never have taken place, which is why they were able to put on an amazing performance, while all the UFC’s Marquardt and Okami could do was to serve as a hefty dose of sleep inducing zolpidem. If either of them had showed even a fraction of the tenacity of Margarito, or the technical mastery of Pacquiao, they would have simply steamrolled their opponent en route to a performance of a lifetime, boosting the crowd’s excitement and ending the card with a bold exclamation point. But the opposite happened, and the event’s curtains fell with less than a whimper.

“I’m not going to go in there and try to put on the most exciting fight and lose the fight.” Nate Marquardt speaks on his game plan for Okami in a pre-fight interview.

   During the post fight interviews of Pacquiao vs. Margarito, boxing pundit Max Kellerman asked the defeated Margarito’s trainer, Robert Garcia, if he ever thought about throwing in the towel on his fighter, as Margarito suffered a severe beating at the hands of Manny Pacquiao, Garcia’s answer was a firm “No,” as he went on to explain that he knew Margarito’s warrior spirit would never have allowed for such a disgrace. This is the type of raw fire that simply did not exist in the UFC's less than mediocre main event.

   Mixed Martial Arts is a sport capable of so much more than what was put on display at UFC 122, but it seems the folks at Zuffa are content to continue to push sub-standard cards which ultimately drive interest away from the sport. The German fans in attendance, all 8,000 of them, simply did not care about what they were watching, and not a single person should blame them for it. The fighters themselves were either unwilling or unable to perform with any sense of urgency, to convey any sense that what was being witnessed was of importance. Tonight, Boxing reaffirmed its position as king of combat sports, as the UFC yet again let down the fans of Mixed Martial Arts by promoting a disappointing night of fights capped by a dull and uninspired main event.

UFC 122 did no favors in representing MMA as the premier combat sport

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Media Spotlight: Jordan "The Megalomaniac" Breen Mocks Fedor

Speaking in riddles, or just a windbag?
   On November 8th’s edition of KnoqOut Radio Shilldogger Jordan Breen was interviewed and asked to justify ranking the 5-2 Brock Lesnar at number two in the world of heavyweight MMA, above Fabricio Werdum, despite the former coming off an abysmal performance and defeat, while the latter is fresh off submitting MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko. His response to the straight forward question was a rambling whirl of semi-coherent babble. But somewhere in the fog of his answer was mentioned that Werdum’s victory held little weight as Fedor “hasn’t really done anything in a long time.” The “Mastermind,” as he often so humbly refers to himself, then went on to mock Fedor’s resumé of recent wins by blasting Tim Sylvia as a scrub and mere “leftovers of Randy Couture.” The odd thing is how in his very next breath he would praise Brock Lesnar for defeating Randy Couture, and actually used Tim Sylvia as proof of Randy’s greatness, and by association, justification for Lesnar’s rank.

   So, who did Randy get his belt from? Tim Sylvia. How did he defeat him? A 25 minute positionally based decision. Now, what did Fedor do to Tim Sylvia? He utterly demolished him in 36 seconds, treating him exactly as the world’s greatest fighter should have treated him. If Brock beating Couture who decisioned Sylvia is impressive, then how is Werdum beating Fedor who demolished Sylvia a joke? Here we have Jordan Breen shilling his Zuffa-bought rankings by praising a victory over Tim Sylvia on the one hand, yet with his other is deriding a non-Zuffa fighter for his much more devastating defeat of that same Tim Sylvia. Pure Orwellian doublethink from a phony mastermind, picking and choosing with selective history that which suits his deceitful agenda.

Two 800-pound Gorillas in the room as Shilldog Staffers finalize rankings

   It is interesting to note a recent Jordan Breen “Fight Week” video editorial in which he spoke of his distaste for disingenuous speech…


“I despise false narratives in MMA… and irresponsible traffic hungry pandering”


   Harsh words from a man who’s livelihood relies on traffic generation, and who hypes a world famous WWE wrestler while mocking the likes of the lesser known but more accomplished Fedor Emelianenko and Fabricio Werdum. Ask yourself who is more often searched for online, the UFC and WWE megastar Brock Lesnar, or Strikeforce’s Fabricio Werdum and M-1’s Fedor Emelianenko? If a man’s motivations were of web hits, would he not push the much more popular commodity, and discount the lesser known names?

   So who’s really the one pushing a false narrative for the purpose of self-gain? The people who believe Fedor’s decade long reign of pure domination and Werdum’s recent submission of him are what carry prestige, or those who run websites selling ad space and merchandise while claiming a 5-2 Brock Lesnar is an elite fighter, ignoring the fact that every second of his recent fight shows the exact opposite.

The Head Hog at Shilldog has made millions by pandering to the lowest common denominator

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brock Sapp, Meet Bob Lesnar

   Anyone who was hoping that the fantasies of “Brock the Warrior” would disperse after his public flogging by Cain Velasquez have been sadly mistaken. Still he is ranked among the top five by the bought and paid for media, and still the forums are abuzz with fan boy love. Sure, a certain segment has turned on their former crush in favor of the new passing flavor de jour, but it was only a short time ago that these fair-weather flaksters were pushing Brock as an unstoppable force to be feared. And extending beyond the fan base into the realm of the influential media, there were even a special few “professionals” who have been claiming Brock a beast since his debut against Min-Soo Kim...

“You can see just by the way he controlled Kim from mount, the power he brought, that he is a special kind of fighter, one that heavyweight MMA really hasn’t seen before.”

   Those were the fanboyish words of then Sherdog editor-in-chief Josh Gross after Lesnar‘s first fight, and I’d wager he now feels a fool for having said them.

   Unlike Josh Gross, truly knowledgeable enthusiasts of the sport have been shouting their faces blue about Brock the paper tiger ever since he first disgraced MMA with his presence. But leave it to the throngs of morons that make up MMA’s current fan base to jock this novelty act non-fighter. Like real sheepish whores they accept whatever is jammed into their throats by their pimp-daddy Zuffa.

   Brock Lesnar is a phony, a white Bob Sapp. They both come from a pro-wrestling background which enables them to play up the extracurricular theatrics to draw the attention of the casual couch dwellers which account for the majority of Zuffa’s pay-per-view buys. They both have experience as NFL linemen, giving them that meat-headed muscle freak body type which the closet-case TUF crowd cream their shorts over, ignorantly thinking that’s what a fighter looks like. And finally, they both take punches about as well as a blind folded puppy dog, twirling and flailing the moment an ounce of heat is put on them. Visit any gym during novice hours and you’ll see beginners with more fight composure than what they show when put under pressure.

Twirl technique by Bob the Beast
Twirl technique by Brock the Ballerina

   There would be no issue if Brock would just go away and stop embarrassing the sport, hopefully taking the entire WWE crowd with him. This isn’t the case though as he is still ranked as an elite fighter on the lists of hack media outlets such as Sherdog and MMA Weekly, even as high as #2 in the case of the former. Brock deserves laughter, mockery, and contempt, not praise and glory he’s done nothing to earn. The truth is that the self-proclaimed big dogs of the MMA media have sunk to the swampy depths of shillery, and upon delving into such muddied waters there is no return, as green greed quickly asphyxiates journalistic integrity.

   And so it is, if the masses of uninformed fans cry out for more Brock, the media skunks will gleefully comply, pumping in more smoke and placing more mirrors, prolonging the illusion that is Brock Lesnar. After all, an ignorant fan’s money is just as green as an informed one‘s, and he’s a lot more willing to part with it.

The Fertitta mobsters with their lackey Dana White

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Media Spotlight: Sherdog's Zuffa Centric Bias Exposed

   The latest Sherdog rankings have been released, and what a smorgasbord of buffoonery they are. If the source were of lesser renown, unwarranted as it may be, it'd be tempting to write these awful rankings off as sheer ignorance. This cannot be the case though, and instead must be chalked up to Sherdog’s documented predilection towards Zuffa bias, in all likelihood stemming from their desperate desire for UFC media credentials.

   So exactly how absurd are their most recently released top ten lists? Well, lets have a look and highlight some of the low lights….

Sherdog’s Heavyweight Top 10:

1- Cain Velasquez
2- Brock Lesnar
3- Fabricio Werdum
4- Fedor Emelianenko
5- Junior Dos Santos
6- Shane Carwin
7- Frank Mir
8- Alistair Overeem
9- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
10- Antonio Silva

- The Cain/Lesnar Deception -

Of Killers and Cubs
   Are the mobsters at Zuffa threatening the McRib connections of the famously fat Sherhog staffers? Why else but under some kind of coercion would any supposed MMA journalists rank WWE wrestler and MMA wannabe Brock Lesnar at #2, and current flavor of the month Cain Velasquez at #1? The former having never had a UFC contest without blatantly displaying his lack of fighting ability in embarrassing fashion, and the latter being an untested prospect at best, and an outright paper tiger at worst. With Lesnar, even in his victories he has demonstrated a shocking lack of skill, from Frank Mir smacking him around on the feet in their rematch, to Shane Carwin utterly dominating him until gassing in the second round of their title fight. Brock Lesnar has proven time after time that he is truly a faux fighter who searches for an escape as soon as he is hit. And this is this man who current UFC belt holder Velasquez defeated to attain his illegitimate throne. To rank these cubs above grizzlies such as sporting legend Fedor Emelianenko and the man who recently handed him his first defeat, Fabricio Werdum, is categorically outrageous, absurd beyond any logical rationalization. The phony MMA journalists behind such an atrocity to equitable reasoning should be ashamed at this blatant Zuffa whoring.

- Overeem Under Ranked -

Overeem before Swine
    Strikeforce champion and K-1 standout Alistair Overeem is the prime example of a duel combat sport fighter. Yet despite having proven himself at the highest levels of both MMA and kickboxing, he is still maligned by the hacks of the mainstream media cartel. Today’s most feared striker in all of MMA has been relegated to the lower half of the top ten, among the likes of Frank Mir and federally investigated steroid fiend Shane Carwin. Again, such blatant dismissal of fighting facts must point to a malicious design on behalf of the Sherhog pundits. Any objective analysis of combative ability and accomplishments will lead one to acknowledge reality, and in accordance with this discovered truth, rank Strikeforce Champion Alistair Overeem amongst the top three heavyweights in the world of MMA fighting.

- Aleksander M.I.A. -

The media cartel's dark little secret
   Calling Aleksander Emelianenko the Rodney Dangerfield of MMA may be apt in many regards, but while Mr. Dangerfield only suffered from the absence of respect, Aleksander is actually subjected to the presence of severe disrespect. Despite being bombarded for the last two years with slanderous rumors in relation to his medical standings, all of which have since been documented by top medical doctors to be unsubstantiated lies (here and here), Aleksander has quietly put together an impressive eight fight win streak. Although you certainly wouldn’t know this by visiting the Sherhog Squad, as they have ignored the very existence of Aleksander Emelianenko ever since the hepatitis scandal they reported on in the summer of 2008 turned out to be pure unadulterated bologna. Aleksander has turned into somewhat of a skeleton in the closet of those media dopes which attempted to defame his career, but despite the campaign of misinformation and consorted effort to erase him from the pulse of current MMA, he remains one of the best strikers in the game, and has proven to be a shoe in for any heavyweight top ten list with even an ounce of integrity.

For the real inside scoop on today's MMA fighter rankings, check out our conclusive top ten lists here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

MMA Fight Video

   Veteran fighter Yoshiki Takahashi picked up his first win in over five years with a clever scarf hold armlock submission over Lee Chang Seob at Sengoku 15.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cold Truths and Hot Realities

   Welcome to the premier issue of Cold Truths and Hot Realities, where we burn heathenous hacks with icy facts. With this initial salvo we will explore the difference between a Champion and a belt holder, and examine the current man atop each weight division in both the UFC and Strikeforce to determine which are truly deserving of the prestigious title of Champion, and which are just occupying space.

UFC: Cain Velasquez

Cain Velasquez recently defeated former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar to become the UFC heavyweight king, defeating this fledgling MMA wannabe inside of the first round. Such a win holds no glory, as it was more of a father-son disciplinary spanking than it was an MMA fight. Before this, Velasquez’s victories were a KO win over the once proud Nogueira, who has long since been a shell of himself, a premature stoppage against mid-west brawler Ben Rothwell, and a controversial decision eeked out over black Frenchman Cheick Kongo. This is not what creates Champions, this is what creates belt holders.

Verdict: Belt Holder

Strickforce: Alistair Overeem

Nightmarish strikers like this are a rare breed in MMA. Also rare is a dominant two sport fighter. In a time where the likes of KJ Noons are being labeled as the “most successful two sport fighter” by media dopes, despite his enormously underwhelming achievements in both MMA and boxing, it is refreshing to see someone as real as Alistair Overeem succeeding at the high levels of both MMA and K-1. With Overeem the night may end in punches, kicks, knees, or submissions, you just cannot know for sure. Exciting, dynamic, dominant, this man is a Champion.

Verdict: Champion

Light Heavyweight:
UFC: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

Shogun initially defeated Lyoto Machida by decision to win the UFC light heavyweight strap, but due to incompetent judging it never became official. Such a thing is of no concern to a Champion such as Shogun, who rebounded in their immediate rematch to violently knock out the point karate stylist Machida to become officially recognized as the UFC’s light heavyweight Champion.

Verdict: Champion

Strickforce: Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante

It was not long ago, June of 2009 to be exact, that Cavalcante embarrassed himself by showing up in abysmal shape to fight Mike Kyle. Feijao got what he earned in that fight when bad boy Kyle knocked him out with strikes in the second round. Three fights later over relatively tame competition and Cavalcante is wearing Strikeforce light heavyweight gold. A solid fighter? For sure. A Champion? Not quite.

Verdict: Belt Holder

UFC: Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva has shown flashes of both sides of this coin. The Silva who made a mockery out of the fight game in his contests with Thales Leites, Patrick Cote, and Demian Maia is no Champion. However, the Silva who dismantled the likes of Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, and Nate Marquardt shows that somewhere inside his body lies the strength of more than a mere belt holder. There can be no doubt that he is arrogant, seems delusional in regards to his actual level of fighting ability, and enjoys mocking both his opponents and the sport in general, but he has done enough to earn the title of Champion. Lets just hope he remembers all of his arrogant mockery when Vitor Belfort strips him of that title.

Verdict: Champion

Strickforce: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

Recently crowned Strikeforce middleweight king after winning a mundane decision over Tim Kennedy, Jacare is one of the elite BJJ players in the MMA game today. He is one of those fighters who will excel against certain types of fighters, namely other grapplers and jack-of-all-trades master of none types, but fail spectacularly against others, namely guys who can strike. It is for this reason he cannot be labeled a Champion. A Champion stares down any opponent, in any form, and devours him. The fact that he has proven himself so vulnerable on the feet is a major kink in the armor of Jacare. He is a high level fighter, but he has not yet shown Championship MMA skill.

Verdict: Belt Holder

UFC: Georges St Pierre

St Pierre has quite the luxury fighting in a division filled with GSP-prototypes, all of which are clones of himself minus a few skill points in each combative attribute. Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, and now we can add Jake Shields to that mix. All of these guys are to an extent, some more than others, just lesser version of Georges St Pierre. Oh sure, you can throw in the occasional one dimensional striker like a Dan Hardy or a Thiago Alves, but even then St Pierre can’t finish the fight. Georges St Pierre must be pretty grateful that there are no fully dynamic killers in the UFC‘s welterweight stable, otherwise he wouldn’t be holding on to that belt for as long as he has.

Verdict: Belt Holder

Strickforce: Nick Diaz

One of the most interesting fighters in the game today, both inside and outside of the cage, Nick Diaz claimed Strikeforce’s 170 lbs. belt after knocking out Marius Zaromskis, the head kicking monster who went into the Diaz fight with three vicious head kick KO wins in a row. This didn’t bother Diaz in the least, and that’s no surprise as he has never shown an inkling towards fear. The Zaromskis fight is exactly the kind of fight which forges a Champion. When Diaz walked into the cage that night in January of 2010, he was in there with a beast, a proven killer of fighters, and Diaz prevailed in spectacular fashion. Nick Diaz is a Champion.

Verdict: Champion

UFC: Frankie Edgar

Edgar is the archetypal American wrestler in MMA. Yes, he’ll keep a high pace, the fight will probably be filled with some scramble action, but with guys like Edgar, its never the sort of scrambling which has you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of an immanent submission or knockout. In this regard he’s not like an Eddie Alvarez, a Diego Sanchez, or even a Hideo Tokoro. All of Edgar’s fights have the air of high paced excitement, but lack the substance. Champions own their opponents, not necessarily through every moment of the fight, but by the end of the fight a challenger will look up to the Champion, even if the challenger is the physically taller man. Edgar does not leave his opponents like this, Edgar leaves his opponents wondering if they’ve even been in a full contact fight.

Verdict: Belt Holder

Strickforce: Gilbert Melendez

Melendez is somewhat of a jack of all trades, but not in the typical sense in which that would usually be followed by the phrase “but master of none.” He’s a stand out in wrestling with high level grappling and solid striking. There aren’t really any glaring deficiencies in his game, and he’s taken the two losses of his career and bounced back to avenge both of them. Its hard to see anyone in the lightweight division, regardless of promotion, that can defeat him right now. Gilbert Melendez is the lightweight Champion of MMA.

Verdict: Champion

UFC: Jose Aldo

A true killer. Dominates his opposition, destroys, demolishes, decimates, dismantles, devastates, dispatches, and decapitates. You can get as hyperbolistic as you wish with Jose Aldo, it all applies. The man is a killer, the man is a Champion.

Verdict: Champion