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.