Sunday, January 13, 2008

MMA Weekly Wrap Up for week of 1/14/08




UFC 80 NEWS
The big news this week revolves around UFC 80 which finally happens next Saturday, February 19th in Newcastle, England at 3pm Eastern Timezone. The fights will be tape delayed for Pay-per-view at 10pm ET. You can find some great pre-fight interviews to pump you up for the Penn vs Stevenson and Gonzaga vs. Werdum fights at 80.UFC.com.

MMAMania.com has the entire card and will provide up-to-the-minute fight results starting at 3:00pm.

The fight card is as follows:


Main Event:

  • BJ Penn (11-4-1) vs. Joe Stevenson (28-7) for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship

 

Broadcast Fights:

  • Gabriel Gonzaga (8-2) vs. Fabricio Werdum (9-3-1) - Heavyweight Division
  • Marcus Davis (13-3) vs. Jess Liaudin (12-8) - 170 lbs Weightclass
  • Jason Lambert (23-6) vs. Wilson Gouveia (9-4) - 205 lbs Weightclass
  • Kendall Grove (8-4) vs. Jorge Rivera (14-6) - 185 lbs Weightclass

Also on the Card (But not set for Broadcast):

  • Antoni Hardonk (5-4) vs. Colin Robinson (8-3) - Heavyweight Division
  • Paul Taylor (8-2-1) vs. Paul Kelly (6-0) - 170 lbs Weightclass
  • Alessio Sakara (11-6) vs. James Lee (12-2) - 205 Weightclass
  • Sam Stout (12-3-1) vs. Per Eklund (12-2-1) - 155 lbs Weightclass

So, before you head out to Vegas to but this month's mortgage on a winner, what do the 'experts' predict?

One of my favorite sites, UFC Results, is picking B.J. Penn. I'll agree that B.J. has great flexibility and incredible ground skills. No one can tie up an opponent better than Penn. However, I believe that Stevenson is more focused, in better condition, and more hungry to win this fight; and that counts for something. I'm going to go against the grain and predict an upset... I think Joe Stevenson will walk away with the UFC Lightweight Championship Belt.


However, I do agree with UFC Results in picking Gonzaga to beat Werdum.

Fabricio beat Gonzaga in an earlier fight in Brazil, however I believe that Gabriel Gonzaga now everything it takes to win this Saturday.

Check out UFC Results for more UFC 80 fight predictions.

What's that? You don't agree with my predictions???

Well, okay hotshot, here's a chance to prove just how smart you are...

MMAPlayground.com is a Fantasy Mixed Martial Arts site that allows you to play along either by scoring points from picking fight winners, or going Vegas style and wagering fantasy bets on upcoming fights. It's really a nice MMA website with a forum, videos, rankings, and even a section where you can even create you own Fantasy Fight Camp and compete against others. (I haven't set up an account because the last thing I need is ANOTHER reason to spend even more time on the computer doing martial arts stuff... but then again, knowing me, I'll probably set up an account anyway. And I better hurry; UFC 80 is the first chance to start earning points for the 2008 season!)



'KIMBO' JUST WON'T GO AWAY


Even with the UFC 80 hype going full blast, the one fight that EVERYONE is talking about is Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson vs. Tank Abbott.

Why is it that a Youtube.com Nobody and a MMA Has-Been are getting so much attention. Is it hype? Or is it something in the psyche of fight fans that just attracts them like moths to a flame (or flies to...). Sure, 'Slice' is now training with Bas Rutten, but c'mon, he's still hardly more than an amateur. And Abbott should have hung up the gloves a while ago; he's obviously just shaking this out for another quick payday before a well deserved retirement.

Anyway, Ferguson is set to fight Abbott on February 16th in Maimi, in a contest televised by Showtime.

Here's a YouTube.com interview with Ferguson at his training camp. I'll give him this much; The guy is entertaining.



And the Award Goes Too...

And while we're on the subject of entertainment, Cung Le (a personal favorite) has a movie coming out soon.

As Cagepotato.com reports that Le with star in the movie Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter with action movie stand-bys: David Carradine, Bolo Leung, Gary Takawa, and (can you believe it) Gary Busey. This movie promises to be so low budget that it might not even make it to my local theaters, but I'll have to search, 'cause hey it's Cung Le AND Gary Busey.

Check out the trailer;




This movie has everything; fights, drama, fights, suspense, fights, comedy, fights, and, oh yeah, the obligatory naked girl being used as a salad bar... I'm thinking Oscar worthy material here.

Lucky for le, if this acting thing doesn't pan out, he's still got a daytime job. According to FiveOuncesofPain.com, He's scheduled to fight MMA Legend Frank Shamrock on March 29th. Should be good fight. I'm expecting Le to give Shamrock some flying lessons.

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OF MMA

As the saying always goes, "There's good news and there's bad news." The good news is that the UFC is doing great. Cagepotato.com and MMAPayout.com report that the in addition to recently signing an advertising deal with Harley Davidson motorcycles, the UFC is about to break into the big-time by securing a deal with Budweiser beer company. The addition of mainstream advertising dollars is a sure sign that Mixed Martial Arts is a growing and legitimate sport. How long will it be before small time companies like Xyience and Mickey’s Malt Liquor are pushed out of the Octagon?

Maybe this information can be tied to another report by Cagepotato.com which shows the UFC shows made up over half of PayPerView's top 15 events for the year. Although the De La Hoya/Floyd Mayweather fight took first place, the Mayweather/Ricky Hatton fight took second, and Wrestlemania took third; the UFC took positions 4th through 10th and 14th. Those numbers aren't bad numbers at all.

1st. Boxing: Oscar De La Hoya/Floyd Mayweather, May 5: 2,400,000
2nd. Boxing: Mayweather/Ricky Hatton, December 8: 850,000
3rd. WWE: Wrestlemania, April 1: 760,000
4th. UFC: Chuck Liddell/Quinton Jackson, May 26: 675,000
5th. UFC: Tim Sylvia/Randy Couture, March 3: 540,000
6th. UFC: Couture/Gabriel Gonzaga, August 24: 520,000
7th. UFC: Liddell/Keith Jardine, September 22: 475,000
8th. UFC: Tito Ortiz/Rashad Evans, July 7: 425,000
9th. UFC: Anderson Silva/Travis Lutter, Feb. 2: 400,000
10th. UFC: Georges St. Pierre/Matt Serra, April 7: 400,000
11th. Boxing: Manny Pacquiao/Marco Antonio Barrera, October 6: 350,000
12th. WWE: Summerslam, August 26: 344,000
13th. Boxing: Miguel Cotto/Shane Mosley, November 10: 340,000
14th. UFC: Anderson Silva/Rich Franklin, October 20: 325,000
15th. WWE: Royal Rumble, January. 28: 314,000

However, not everything is going as well in the world of Combat Sport. The World Cagefighting Organization's Saturday night fight was canceled after the California State Athletic Commission learned that not enough money had been secured to pay the fighters. According to Sherdog.com, the event which was to feature Mark Kerr and K1 Champ Rick Roufus (Is he MMA now?), was stopped when the promoter of record, Rick Bassman, learned of weak ticket sales and feared that there might not be enough money to pay all 18 fighters on the card. The State Athletic Commission was informed and the event was shut down.

This is a serious blow to everything MMA that isn't UFC. While the UFC continues to make money hand-over-fist, it's competitors are still struggling simply to exist. While it's great to know the UFC is earning respect for Sport Combat, it's also important that the other organizations do well to ensure competition. This creates motivation for all of the fight organizations to provide better events, to compensate fighters fairly, and to make improvements to the way they present themselves to the public.

It's sad to see an organization like the WCO make such a ridiculous mistake.


WEEKLY WRAP UP'S POLITICAL CORNER

What? You didn't think you could escape political news just by coming here did you? Hey, it's Primary Season and EVERYTHING is politics now.

CagePotato.com is reporting that in a thread left on a MMA forum, that Presidential Hopeful, Barrack Obama states, “although he disagrees with steroid use in any sport, he really enjoys and supports MMA” (This was reported on the Internet - So you know it has to be true!)

It should be noted that this post may be somewhat biased as is written in the Senator's hometown of Chicago, Illinois (The Land of Oprah... err. Lincoln).

But compared to Arizona Senator, John McCain, who called the sport "human cockfighting" and wrote letters to condemn it, it's refreshing to know that a politician can see beyond the media hype and support this type competition.

It should be noted that according to National Public Radio, McCain has softened his rhetoric against MMA, now saying; "They have cleaned up the sport to the point, at least in my view, where it is not human cockfighting any more. I think they've made significant progress. They haven't made me a fan, but they have made progress."

Gee Senator, nice of you to jump on the bandwagon now that MMA popularity is at an all time high and you happen to be running for office.

As a Vietnam Veteran and former POW, you have my whole-hearted respect and gratitude; just not my vote.


NEWSFLASH: TUF COACHES NOT EXACTLY 'BRAIN SURGEONS'


This may come as a surprise to some of our readers, but according to this season's The Ultimate Fighter coach, Quinton Jackson; his opposing coach, Forrest Griffin, "ain't that bright." Jackson is however quick to point out that he "ain't much smarter."

Let's face it folks, BOTH of these guys are a couple of fruit loops short of a box, and that's what will probably make this the most entertaining season of TUF yet! After all of the mind games and strategy of Serra vs Hughes, it'll be nice to watch these guys resort to good, old fashioned 'trash talk' and fists.



AND FINALLY, FORMER PRO WRESTLER TURNED 'REAL' FIGHTER BROCK LESNER MAKES COVER OF MUSCLE & FITNESS MAGAZINE

The former WWE Superstar turned K-1 Fighter and now training for the UFC, Brock Lesner, graces the cover of this month's Muscle and Fitness magazine.

Now, personally, I'm no fan of Professional Wrestling, and I hate to see Brock get all the glory when it seems there are a lot of other guys more deserving in the sport. Also, Brock has had difficulties with the law over possession of steroids (or hormones, or something), so I don't think he's the best role model for physical fitness.

But, like him or not - steroids or not, you've got to admire his workout routine. Even if he was on the juice, it's pretty damn impressive.



Well, that wraps up Wrap Up for this week.

See you again soon,


Respectfully,


Rick

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barb michelen said...
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