Archive for July, 2009

Questions for Penn, Grove, Nelson?

July 28th, 2009

In advance of UFC 101 coming up next weekend, I will be talking to all three Hawaii guys fighting on the show. We’ll have our advance come out next week, but if anyone has any questions they would like me to ask either B.J. Penn, Kendall Grove or Shane Nelson, feel free to leave them in the comment box or e-mail them to me and I will try to ask as many as I can.

Barnett tests positive

July 22nd, 2009

Here’s the story from the Associated Press on Josh Barnett testing positive for steroids. This is a huge blow for Affliction as we were just over a week away from what I thought would be one of the three biggest MMA fights of the year…

AP Sports Writer
Former heavyweight champion Josh Barnett tested positive for steroids and was scrapped from the main event of the “Affliction: Trilogy” show on Wednesday, less than two weeks before he was scheduled to fight Fedor Emelianenko in Anaheim, Calif.
The California State Athletic Commission denied Barnett a license to fight on the mixed marital arts card after a drug test taken June 25 came back positive for anabolic steroids. The commission learned of the results Tuesday and immediately denied Barnett a license.
“Our primary concern is for the health and safety of fighters,” David Thornton, interim executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, said in a statement. “Anabolic agents and other banned substances put the users of those agents at risk, as well as their opponents. The commission simply will not tolerate their use.”
A message left with Affliction vice president Tom Atencio was not returned.
The commission said Barnett’s sample was tested at the World Anti-Doping Agency facility at UCLA. Barnett has the right to appeal the denial of his license.
The 31-year-old Barnett was expected to fight Emelianenko in the main event at the Honda Center on Aug. 1, on a card promoted by Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Donald Trump.
It was unclear whether Emelianenko (30-1) would remain on the card.
Barnett (24-5) also failed a post-fight drug test in 2002, after he defeated Randy Couture to win the UFC’s heavyweight title. Barnett’s license to fight was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after a hearing in which he denied having used performance-enhancing drugs.
The former wrestler spent some time fighting in Japan, where he beat Emelianenko’s brother Aleksander during the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix, before returning to the United States.
He fought in the inaugural Affliction show last July, knocking out Pedro Rizzo in the second round to avenge his first career loss. In January, Barnett stopped Gilbert Yvel in the third round of the second Affliction show before 13,228 fans at the Honda Center.
Other fights scheduled for “Affliction: Trilogy” included Renato Sobral against Gegard Mousasi, Vitor Belfort against Jorge Santiago and Yvel against Paul Buentello.

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UFC 100 recap

July 12th, 2009

Photos courtesy Ultimate Fighting Championship




Three things I learned after watching UFC 100:

1) Brock Lesnar is going to be UFC heavyweight champion for a long time. For the first time, the UFC has absolutely dominant champions in pretty much every weight division now that Lesnar is clearly the cream of the crop in the UFC HW division. Frank Mir never had a chance. Lesnar is such an incredible mix of power and speed and strength that I haven’t seen from any other heavyweight ever. It’s unfortunate we’ll probably never get to see Lesnar fight Fedor Emelinanenko, because I was so impressed with how much better Lesnar looked last night that I think he not only has the best shot at beating Fedor, but that I’d predict a Lesnar win if the two ever were to fight.

2) It’s time for Georges St-Pierre to step up to middleweight. After dominating the one clear-cut contender in the welterweight division in Thiago Alves, consider the 170-pound weight class cleaned out. Right now, i think the winner of Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann is the guy in line for the next title shot. Yikes. Neither one of those guys has a prayer against St-Pierre, leaving absolutely nothing left to gain at 170. It’s time for St-Pierre to move up and fight Anderson Silva in the single biggest fight the UFC is capable of putting on right now.

3) Dan Henderson is simply the man. One of the nicest, most humble, classy guys I’ve ever met in MMA, and yet, he is responsible for a couple of the most brutal knockouts I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think he’d ever be able to top his KO of Wanderlei Silva in PRIDE, but he did exactly that with his trademark overhand right that put Michael Bisping to sleep. Bisping was clearly out before Henderson followed up with another huge punch on the ground and had no idea what happened when he regained consciousness. I know I just called for St-Pierre to step up and fight Anderson Silva for the middleweight title, but Henderson now clearly deserves a rematch after impressive wins over Rich Franklin and Bisping back-to-back. Bisping hopefully learned a lesson in humility because after talking all the trash he did during the Ultimate Fighter reality show, he wound up becoming a poster boy for the next installment of UFC’s Ultimate Knockouts.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a very interesting question. I’ll have an answer for you guys in a couple of days, and it might not be the answer anyone wants to hear.

Question of the day: Who will be the first of the five UFC champions to lose his belt first? B.J. Penn (lightweight), Georges St-Pierre (welterweight), Anderson Silva (middleweight), Lyoto Machida (light heavyweight), or Brock Lesnar (heavyweight)?

UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir

July 10th, 2009

Photo: Ultimate Fighting Championship

 Photo: Ultimate Fighting Championship

Name: Brock Lesnar
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 265 pounds
Age: 31
Record: 3-1 (2-1 UFC)
Key wins: Heath Herring, Randy Couture
Key defeats: Frank Mir

Name: Frank Mir
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 245 pounds
Age: 30
Record: 12-3 (10-3 UFC)
Key wins: Brock Lesnar, Tim Sylvia, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Key defeats: Marcio Cruz, Brandon Vera

Betting odds:
Brock Lesnar (-170) vs. Frank Mir (+200)

Breakdown: First of all, it surprises me a lot that Mir is considered a 2:1 underdog after the way he completely destroed Nogueira in December. Nogueira had never been stopped in an MMA fight, and that includes fights against almost everybody in the heavyweight division, including twice against Fedor Emelianenko.

This is a great fight to show people the true spirit of MMA. Brute strength and power against a skilled technician who can break your arm any number of ways. Mir came in at a chizzled 245 pounds for Friday’s weigh-in, looking the best I think I have ever seen him before a fight. Everything Mir has said and done leading up to the fight has me thinking he couldn’t be any more ready for this as he looks to unify the UFC heavyweight title.

As for Lesnar, you know what you’re going to get from him. Freakish strength and freakish wrestling skills. He’s going to want (and be able) to take Mir down at will and try to pound out a victory. The question is going to be if it’s like the first time these two faced off. Will Mir be able to catch a submission off the ground and has Lesnar trained enough to be able to counter Mir’s submission attempts? Lesnar only has four fights in his professional career, and in his two UFC wins over Herring and Couture, he never really had to worry about submissions.

I’ve seen it too many times in MMA to be fooled again. Lesnar has to show he can avoid Mir’s slick submission skills on the ground, and my gut is telling me it won’t. I think this fight will go a lot like the first one. Lesnar shows off his power early and takes Mir down with ease, but from there, I think Mir manages to maneuver his way into a submission that Lesnar can’t stop. Mir pulls off the upset (according to the betting lines) and becomes the unified UFC heavyweight champion in the biggest moment of his career.

Prediction: Frank Mir by submission in the first round

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UFC 100 LIVE Weigh-Ins

July 10th, 2009

Looks like we’re all set to go. Be sure to check out some of the other UFC videos by scrolling through the options at the top of the player.

UFC 100 weigh-ins are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Hawaii time.

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