Archive for March, 2009

Don’t expect brotherly love

March 28th, 2009
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The City of Brotherly Love, aka Philadelphia, will be the site for B.J. Penn’s next fight.

Penn and No. 1 contender Kenny Florian will meet at UFC 101 on Aug. 8 for the UFC lightweight title. It’ll be 15 months between title defenses by the time Penn and Florian meet, which is a heck of a long time to wait.

That’s unfortunately the drawback when you have a guy like Penn trying to fight in multiple weight classes, although it seems like those days are over for the time being. (Although I think there’s a big audience for a third Matt Hughes/Penn fight if Hughes beats Matt Serra in May).

Whatever the case, the date has been set. I would have personally liked to see Penn fight at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, which is rumored to be the most decorated fight card in the history of mixed martial arts, but I’m sure Penn is more than fine with being the main event and getting a cut of PPV revenues that come with it.

It’s more than 4 months away, but what’s everyone’s early take? What do you guys think the betting lines will be for this? Will a lot of people give Florian a better chance because of Penn’s performance against GSP? Keep in mind, it’s been seven years since Penn has lost a fight at 155 pounds.

No penalties for St-Pierre

March 17th, 2009
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Georges St-Pierre and his camp avoided any sanctions handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at today’s hearing in Las Vegas.

It’s basically up to the Commission if any action will be taken. St-Pierre’s trainer, Greg Jackson and cornerman Phil Nurse, who applied the illegal Vaseline to St-Pierre’s neck and back during the fight, were questioned as was B.J. Penn. St-Pierre was not in attendance at the hearings.

It seems very unlikely that any sanctions will be handed down against St-Pierre’s camp. The only changes that could come from these proceedings is that appointed persons from the Commission will now be in charge of wiping down fighters between rounds, and corners may not be allowed to touch their fighters during fights. But none of that is official yet.

Back home

March 16th, 2009
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First off, my apologies for letting this blog go over a week without being updated. I was out in Reno covering the WAC basketball tournament and had very limited time online.

But enough about basketball, this is a place for MMA.

Tomorrow is the B.J. Penn hearing in Las Vegas where we we will get the other side of the greasing incident story from St-Pierre and his camp. A lot of you have come on here and said Penn is just whining, but he does have a point. I’m sure almost everyone has seen the video and yes, I am of the belief that it had no real significance on the outcome of the fight. St-Pierre beat Penn at every aspect. But the fact remains that it did happen, it is illegal, and a message needs to be sent to St-Pierre, and everyone else in the UFC, that applying Vaseline in places other then the face is illegal.

With that said, Penn has a lot of work to do if he wants to win back a lot of his fans. First, his attitude on the Countdown show got a lot of people upset. Then, this whole GSP greasing incident has a lot of people thinking he’s just whining about losing. Now comes the fact that he turned down a main event spot at UFC 99 against Kenny Florian in Germany. The reason? A lot of Penn’s pay comes from PPV revenues and it’s a fact PPV’s in foreign countries do not draw a large buy rate in the United States.

Does it make sense financially for Penn? Yes. Does it give doubters more reason to dislike Penn? Sure. It’s easy for fans to take the angle that Penn is greedy and doesn’t want to fight Florian based on turing down a fight.

Whatever you believe, it’s pretty clear Penn has work to do if he wants to gain back the popularity he had heading into the GSP fight. What to do? Pretty simple. Get past this hearing in Las Vegas, hit the gym, set the Florian fight up ASAP and then go out and do what he’s been unstoppable at, and that’s wrecking people at 155 pounds.

All kinds of stuff

March 6th, 2009
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So much MMA related news to talk about, I don’t even know where to begin.

First, in case anyone missed it, X-1 got a good crowd (3,000+) packed into War Memorial Stadium for its event last week. Unfortunately, it didn’t get a Niko Vitale main event. His opponent, Jon Kirk, who accepted the fight on short notice after Shannon Ritch backed out, never made it on his flight out to Hawaii. Instead, Maui fans were treated to a main event between heavyweight Scott Junk and Lolohea Mahe. The bout ended in a draw, setting up a possible rematch later this year on Oahu.

We’ve got local boys fighting all over the world this weekend. At UFC 96, Hilo’s Shane Nelson and Maui’s Kendall Grove are both in action. Both are underdogs according to Las Vegas odds as Nelson fights Aaron Riley and Grove takes on Jason Day. Not to make things any easier on Grove, UFC President Dana White came out this week and said Grove could be the first TUF champion to be released by the company if he loses to Day. Kind of surprising considering Grove’s last fight was a victory over Evan Tanner, who was a former UFC middleweight champion.

With Mandaloniz recently being cut after suffering his first UFC loss and now Grove possibly on the verge of the same fate, you have to wonder if this has anything to do with the relationship between White and B.J. Penn.

Speaking of Penn, he will be back on Oahu for an autograph session at Nordstrom’s in Ala Moana on March 14 from 12-2 p.m. Also, UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will be joined by Grove, Egan Inoue and others for a meet-and-greet session at Windward Mall on March 21 from 1-4 p.m.

In case you haven’t heard, the debut show for KINGDOM MMA, featuring Jason “Mayhem” Miller against Kala Kolohe Hose, has been pushed back to April 18 after a mix-up in paperwork. We’ll have more on this on the blog for sure, but one of the big hangups was the DCCA’s new rule that all fighters competing in Hawaii must be medically cleared by a doctor in Hawaii. Imagine if that was the case in Germany for this week’s UFC 96 and the company had to fly everyone all the way to Germany a month before the event just for medicals, fly them back, and then do the same again a month later. Makes zero sense to me.

And finally, DREAM 7 in Japan this weekend features a fight between Hilo’s Ross Ebanez and Tatsuya Kawajiri, considered by many a top-10 lightweight fighter in the world. You won’t be able to see the fight in USA until next Friday on HDNet, but this is a huge opportunity for Ebanez. I remember watching him fight Eddie Alvarez in a ShoXC main event over a year ago and have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Ebanez. If he can beat Kawajiri in Japan, it’ll set him up for a quite a few nice paydays overseas, so good luck to Ross.