Monday, March 31, 2008

MMA Weekly Wrap-Up for the Week of 3/31/08


Hello again, and welcome to another edition of the MMA Weekly Wrap-Up. All apologies for the delay in running this issue. My entire family came down with the flu this week, so I'm running a little late while trying to take care of them and myself at the same time.

My doctor has me taking an antibiotic and some really strong cough medicine with Codeine in it. It's good stuff but the Codeine is making meeeee a biT Looopy, so pleaze iGnore any miztakes in this post!

CUNG LE, LEGEND - OR A LEGEND IN THE MAKING?


They say that "styles make fights," well if that's true then nobody has more style then the new Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Cung Le.

Le won the title Saturday in a very anticipated bout with Mixed Martial Art legend, Frank Shamrock. Prior to the match, many fight fans predicted that Shamrock would take Le to the ground and grapple/ground-n-pound for an easy victory.

But, unfortunately for Shamrock, Le isn't so easy to take down. Cung punished Shamrock for three rounds with vicious kicks coming in at all angles. His roundhouse and side kicks landed repeatedly landed to the legs, body, and face of Shamrock.

Shamrock attempted a couple of half-hearted takedowns, but was unable to penetrate beyond the leg attacks and was forced to spend the night trading blows. To his credit, Shamrock stunned Le several times; with a knee kick in the first round and several good punch/hook combinations.

However, it was those blistering, fast kicks that kept Shamrock on the defensive and helped Le win each of the first three rounds of the fight. Le's speed and outstanding conditioning continued to press Shamrock throughout the brutal fight.

Near the end of the third round, Frank again rocked Cung with a hard punch combination that sent him into the fence, but Le was able to recover and strike back with a couple of roundhouses... the last one partially blocked, but still finding it's mark on Shamrock's head.

As round three ended, it was clear that Shamrock was injured. His corner called for the fight Doctor, who determined that his arm was broken and his wrist displaced. (The arm was already noticeably red and swollen from punishment suffered in the earlier rounds.) Shamrock was unable to continue the fight and Le became the new Strikeforce Middleweight Champ.

None of this has silenced Le critics who still complain that he "can't" grapple.

My answer is 'how do we know?'

Le hasn't really been forced to yet, and so far nobody has been able to get past those incredibly fast legs to find out.

I was following the fight over at the MMAOverdrive message boards where some of the fans took exception to Cung Le being called a "Legend" since he doesn't have much MMA experience.

While I do see they're point, it's still no longer possible to simply dismiss Le as just a 'kickboxer'.

The man has wrestling experience and, knowing his devotion to competition and martial arts, I find it had to imagine that he would enter the MMA cage without complete confidence in his ground game. As time goes by, I'm sure we'll see plenty of Cung Le the "Grappler."



THE EARLY SHOW COVERS CHILDREN'S MMA COMPETITION

This week, The Early Show on CBS covered a story about children training for MMA competition. They did a pretty fair job of covering both sides of the controversy.

As an avid fan of combat sports , a martial artist, and a father, I have conflicting views on children competing in this sport. While I have no problem with kids training and practicing MMA techniques, I do have serious reservations about actual competition.

Although it isn't mentioned in this clip, I really worry about the psychological harm that could come to youngsters who feel pressure to fight and win in a combat sport environment. It's one thing for overzealous parents to push their kids to excel at little league or soccer, but MMA takes the over-competition thing to a whole new level.

I used to often go to Muay Thai fights up in Milwaukee where they would occasionally feature kids as young as 10 or 12 years old fighting. I always found it very hard to watch.

I understand that most competitive boxers begin about this age (as well as gymnastics, Pop Warner Football, and other dangerous sports) but I still tend to think that this sort of competition is a bit too much exposure for a youngster.

What do you think?



IRON RING A HIT FOR BET

MMAPayout.com reports that BET's new MMA reality series, Iron Ring has the fourth highest rating in the channel's history. Although it was initially placed in a post-prime time slot, the show gained a 20% increase over it's lead in.

BET has now moved the show to Friday's at 10:30 (ET) and follows it's highest rated series, College Hill.

Although, I was too ill to watch the second show, I was able to catch the debut episodes.

The show definitely caught my attention, but I was very disappointed by it's focus on the celebrity team owners. I couldn't care less what Nelly has to say about MMA training... if he has some advice about making it big in the recording industry or fashion, then I might pay listen, but he has absolutely no credentials in the fight world.

The show's coaches didn't really impress me much either. Most of them seem to talk a good game, but I didn't really see any fight strategy or technique in the first couple of episodes.

Mostly everyone just tells the fighters to "man up" (whatever that means) and show "heart." IMO you can have all the heart in the world, but if you don't know how to get out of a triangle choke, your still going to get beat.

Still, if the series ever gets around to focusing on it's real stars, the fighters, it could really be interesting. The second episode shows one fighter throwing a fit when he isn't picked for a team and challenges the coaches by claiming he'll beat anyone they choose. They take him up on his offer and a fight is set. (Apparently, he wins in the fight in the episode that I missed.) In my world, that's good television.

I hope the series lays off the celebrity thing a bit and focuses more on the fighters and fighting. Right now however, it's just 'Amature Hour.'




TUF RETURNS TO SPIKE TV APRIL 2ND

Spike TV's hit MMA series The Ultimate fighter returns this week for it's 7th season. Lead by coaches Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin, a group of middleweight fighters will once again match against one another in pursuit of a UFC contract.

Unlike past seasons that started out a bit slow for the first week, this season promises to immediately pit the contestants against one another for the chance to continue onto the show. It should be exciting.

And just before the debut episode at 10:00pm (ET), Spike is presenting a new Fight Night special at 7:00pm (ET), with fights that include: Kenny Florian vs Joe Lauzon, Tim Boetsch vs Matt Hamill, Kurt Pellegrino vs Nate Diaz, and (the one I'm waiting for) Thiago Alves vs Karo Parisyan.

To get you in the mood, I was able to find an interview with Q. Jackson that's appropriate for this PG-13 site. (He usually lets the "F" bomb slip in most of his interviews, but in this case he was on a morning news show for New York's WPIX Television, so he was a bit more gentleman-like.)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy. As usual, Jackson's pretty funny.

Well, that does it for another episode of the MMA Weekly Wrap-Up. Check back next week as week keep you up to date on all the latest MMA happenings and events.


Respectfully,


Rick

1 comment:

Nathan Teodoro said...

Dojo Rat also posted on the kids doing MMA. I am not comfortable with it at all. I have to give it more thought, then may post on it.