Archive for September, 2008

Nelson advances on Ultimate Fighter

September 25th, 2008
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Hilo’s “Sugar” Shane Nelson made quite a splash on the Ultimate Fighter reality show last night, winning a spot in the house with a victory over Charles Diaz.

His performance was so good that UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira called Nelson one of the best lightweights on the show. Diaz has won all three of his professional fights.

DREAM 6 recap

September 22nd, 2008
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Gegard Mousasi wins the DREAM middleweight title and the fight between Allistar Overeem and Mirko “Cro Cop” Flipovic ends in a no contest. Here is the LIVE recap from last night’s event in Tokyo, Japan.

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Live from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan on HDNET is Dream 6, headlined by the semifinals and finals of the middleweight Grand Prix tournament. It’s nice to have a live show to watch on a night other than Friday or Saturday when I usually am covering high school or UH sports.

Kenny Rice and “El Guapo” Bas Rutten are doing the announcing.

Another awesome opening. You can’t argue with the production value of these shows in Japan. Nothing can compare.

Up first is a middleweight tournament reserve bout. If someone can’t continue after the semifinals of the tourney, then the winner of this bout will step in. If that doesn’t seem likely, ask Joachim Hansen, who at the last DREAM show, turned winning a reserve bout into becoming the first DREAM lightweight champion.

Andrews Nakahara (0-1) vs. Dong Sik Yoon (4-5)

The 25-year-old Nakahara lost in his professional debut against Sakuraba while Yoon has won four of his last five fights. Nakahara looks like he wants to stand while Yoon is looking for takedowns. Yoon spends a lot of the first round on top of Nakahara, but did minimal damage. Nakahara ends the first round with knees and then opens the second round with a flurry of strikes to end the fight 30 seconds in.

Winner – Andrews Nakahara by TKO (strikes) at :30 of Round 2.

Grand Prix Semifinal #1
Melvin Manhoef (22-4-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (22-2-1)

K-1 champion Badr Hari is in Manhoef’s corner. Mousasi came close to fighting here in Icon. Manhoef doesn’t get a chance to explode as Mousasi takes him down right away. Triangle choke by Mousasi, but Manhoef lifts him up and tries to powerslam him. Doesn’t slam him hard enough and Mousasi holds onto the choke. Manhoef taps.

Winner – Gegard Mousasi by submission (triangle choke) at 1:28 of Round 1.

Grand Prix Semifinal #2
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (9-1) vs. Zelg Galesic (9-3)

Jacare beat former Icon champ Jason “Mayhem” Miller to get to the semis. While Miller took him the distance, Galesic barely lasted a minute as Jacare caught him in a slick armbar for the win. No chance for Nakahara to be a replacement as both semifinal bouts ended quickly. Mousasi and Jacare are going to be fresh for what should be a heck of a final.

Winner – Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by submission (armbar).

Adriano Martins (9-3) vs. Keita Nakamura (14-3-2)

All three of Nakamura’s losses were by decision in the UFC. Martins has never been in a fight outside of his home country, Brazil. Nakamura took Martins down, but ate a shot from the bottom that opened a cut under his left eye. Fight stays on the feet and goes the distance with Nakamura putting on an impressive boxing display, tagging Martins with repeated jabs to earn the decision victory.

Winner – Keita Nakamua by split decision

Jimmy Ambriz (13-9-1) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (15-3)

Ambriz took the fight on 72 hours notice after Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga pulled out with an injury. I’m excited to see Kharitonov, who I wish would have made it to the UFC. Very exciting heavyweight. Good to see Fedor Emelianenko in the crowd. Kharitonov doesn’t look like he’s in the greatest of shape. Kharitonov dropped Ambriz with a straight left immediately, but Ambriz quickly got back up. Kharitonov gets a yellow card for holding the ropes. Kharitonov peppers away at Ambriz and stops him with strikes after a ferocious beating.

Winner – Sergei Kharitonov by TKO (strikes)

Atsushi Yamamoto (11-5-1) vs. Hideo Tokoro (22-13-1)

Good matchup of lightweights. Kid Yamamoto is in Atsushi’s corner. Tokoro is on record saying he wants to fight Kid after beating Atsushi. Tokoro gets rocked by a right hand and falls back into the ropes and on the ground. Yamamoto tries to finish but Tokoro uses rubber guard to escape further damage. Yamamoto owns the fight on the feet, busting up Tokoro’s noise with a right. Fight makes it to round 2 where Tokoro opens up a cut on Yamamoto’s forehead with a forward summersault kick. Tokoro looks like he has an armbar with a minute left, but Yamamoto fights it off as the bell sounds. Tokoro needed it to win.

Winner – Atsushi Yamamoto by unanimous decision

Ikuhisa Minowa (40-28-8) vs. Masakatsu Funaki (38-13-1)

Funaki hasn’t won a fight in nine years and Minowa has been in the ring against Butterbean. Both guys go straight to the ground and grab each other’s legs. Funaki ends it with a heel hook in under 2 minutes.

Winner – Masakatsu Funaki by submission (heel hook)

Backstage reporter Ron Kruk says Fedor is there because he will fight the Cro Cop/Overeem winner on New Year’s Eve. Fedor’s music plays and out walks the most dominant heavyweight fighter in the world. Doesn’t say much, but sounds like he will be on the New Year’s Eve show.

Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (32-8-2) vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (12-5)

Sakurai was here in August at the Icon show. Hironaka has been in both Icon and Rumble on the Rock events and has wins over Charuto Verissimo and Mark Moreno. Sakurai tries to end it with leg kicks. Hironaka illegally kicks Sakurai in the face while he’s on the ground. Fight restarts and Sakurai works combos to the head, body and leg. Early takedown by Hironaka in Round 2 but Sakurai gets back up and dominates the fight standings, nearly ending it with strikes at the end as Hironaka is saved by the bell.

Winner – Hayato “Mach” Sakurai by unanimous decision

Yoshihiro Akiyama (11-1) vs. Masanori Tonooda (1-1)

Akiyama was the guy busted for covering himself in lotion before fighting Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba. Tonooda is young and being thrown to the wolves. Akiyama takes it to the ground and works over Tonooda. Give Tonooda credit for taking it past the 5-minute mark but Akiyama eventually secures the win via armbar. Interesting to note, all 12 of his victories have come by KO or submission.

Winner – Yoshihiro Akiyama by submission (armbar)

Shinya Aoki (17-3) vs. Todd Moore (9-2)

JZ Calvacante and Yves Edwards in the corner of Moore, who is a 10:1 underdog. It shows as Aoki wins by rear naked choke in no time. Seriously, this card is already 4 hours long, why make it longer with this completely useless, meaningless fight. Aoki calls out Akiyama after the fight.

Winner – Shinya Aoki by submission (rear naked choke ) at 1:10 of Round 1.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Flipovic (23-6-2) vs. Allistar Overeem (28-11)

The most anticipated fight of the night for me. If Cro Cop regains the form he couldn’t show in the UFC and takes out Overeem, Cro Cop/Fedor 2 would be one of the biggest fights of the year. It was a major bummer seeing Cro Cop struggle in the UFC against Gabriel Gonzaga and Kongo, but I’m not one of those counting him out just yet. Overeem will be a huge test and as fellow countryman Zelg Galesic said earlier in the evening, Overeem is getting ripped to shreds in Croatia for talking trash to their beloved fighter. But he’s coming off a huge submission win over Mark Hunt.

DREAM officials made Fedor give flowers to both fighters before the fight. Maybe the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Overeem throws Cro Cop to the mat and does some damage from Mirko’s guard, causing a cut above Cro Cop’s left eye. Fight is stopped after Overeem hits Cro Cop with a knee to the groin, but is clearly beating up Mirko. Fight restarts and Overeem goes back to work but hits Cro Cop with a second knee below the belt. Fight is eventually called. Horrible move by Overeem. Looked like he was game to beat Cro Cop tonight, but you can’t knee an opponent in the groin over and over again.

Winner – No contest.

I stayed up until 2 am for THAT?!?! Now who’s Fedor going to fight? UFC President Dana White must be having a good laugh right now. If he’s awake…

Middleweight Grand Prix Final
Gegard Mousasi (23-2-1) vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (10-1)

In my opinion, winner should fight EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler on CBS, but it’ll never happen. After Anderson Silva, I think Lawler, Mousasi and Jacare are all better than any other middleweight in the UFC.

Jacare slams Mousasi early and is in control on top. Jacare jumps to his feet and tries to throw a punch on a grounded Mousasi, but Mousasi catches him with an upkick on his way in and knocks him out cold. Mousasi wins in under 2 minutes.

Winner and new DREAM middleweight champion - Gegard Mousasi by KO (kick)

Imagine if Mousasi had been able to fight in Icon. Bummer ending to the Cro Cop/Overeem fight, but DREAM once again puts on a very entertaining show.

Sugar on hold

September 18th, 2008
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If you tuned in to the debut episode of the new season of the Ultimate Fighter reality show to see “Sugar” Shane Nelson, you’re probably bummed out.

Only half of the 16 fights to earn a spot in the house were aired this week. Nelson will be a part of the other half that will air next Wednesday at the same time.

From the Fight Night card that aired before it, Nate Diaz earned a split-decision win over Josh Neer and Clay Guida was victorious by decision over Mac Danzing. Most of the big-time knockouts were on the undercard, but the televised fights had plenty of action. You can check out the UFC’s website HERE to see some of the undercard fights for free.

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Ultimate Fight Night 15 tomorrow

September 16th, 2008
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Free MMA on TV is never a bad thing right?

The UFC is back on Spike TV with a live event tomorrow, headlined by two lightweight fights.

Nate Diaz, the brother of controversial EliteXC welterweight Nick Diaz, takes on Josh Neer and Clay Guida fights Mac Danzing in bouts that will move the winner up the ladder towards a chance at BJ Penn and the 155-pound title.

Also on the televised portion of the card is a middleweight fight between two guys that have lost to Maui’s Kendall Grove in the Octagon. Ed Herman, who fought Grove in the finale of the Ultimate Fighter reality show awhile back, faces Alan Belcher. The card is expected to begin with a light heavyweight fight between Houston Alexander, who has lost back-to-back fights after exploding onto the MMA scene with wins over Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara, taking on Eric Schafer.

Sakara, Joe Lauzon and Wilson Gouveia are some of the fighters competing in fights that may not be televised.

The event will be shown at 5 p.m. in Hawaii on a delayed basis. After the two-hour broadcast, the premiere of the new Ultimate Fighter reality show begins, featuring Interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir as coaches. The big news for local fight fans is Hilo’s “Sugar” Shane Nelson is one of the participants, so check him out on the premiere of the Ultimate Fighter, beginning at 7 p.m.

End of the road for Liddell?

September 8th, 2008
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Going 3-2 in my predictions for UFC 88 isn’t bad, but once again, I completely underestimated Rashad Evans.

Showing off a greatly improving striking game, Evans earned himself a light heavyweight title shot against Forrest Griffin with a wicked knockout of Chuck Liddell in the main event Saturday night in Atlanta, Ga.

I was out covering the UH football game and didn’t get to see the event live, but I did catch the knockout blow by Evans and the word devastating would be an understatement. The right hook put Liddell out on the canvas for a good five minutes and ends any label of Evans as purely a wrestler. His high-kick KO of Sean Salmon was one thing, but to KO the former champion the way he did cements Evans as one of the best fighters at 205 pounds.

We know what Evans’ future holds, a date with Griffin for the title that UFC President Dana White confirmed after the show.  But where does the 38-year-old Liddell go from here? He already beat Wanderlei Silva and I’m sure he doesn’t want a third crack at Rampage Jackson. Could this be the end for Liddell? He’s already faced just about everyone at the top of the division, and not everyone can compete into their mid-40′s like Randy Couture. Would he take a big-money fight at 205 against Anderson Silva? Maybe. But after Saturday night, I don’t know if he’d be the favorite.

Whether or not it’s the end for Liddell, one thing I do know is that he has been a pioneer for the sport and one of the UFC’s all-time greats.

Final results for UFC 88:

Rashad Evans def. Chuck Liddell by KO in the second round.
Rich Franklin def. Matt Hamill by TKO in the third round.
Dan Henderson def. Rousimar Palhares by unanimous decision
Nate Marquardt def. Martin Kampmann by TKO in round 1.
Dong Hyun Kim def. Matt Brown by split decision.
Kurt Pellegrino def. Thiago Tavares by unanimous decision.
Tim Boetsch def. Michael Patt by first-round TKO.
Jason MacDonald def. Jason Lambert by submission in round 2.
Ryo Chonan def. Roan Carneiro by split decision