Archive for June, 2010

UFC 116 is here

June 29th, 2010

Photo courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

A week after the No. 1 fighter in the world went down, another top heavyweight will do the same when UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar faces interim champion Shane Carwin in the main event of UFC 116 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

The co-main event was scheduled to be Yoshihiro Akiyama against Wanderlei Silva before Silva had to pull out early last week after breaking ribs in training. Chris Leben, who runs the Ultimate Fight School on University Ave., has stepped in after beating Aaron Simpson just over a week ago to take Silva’s place. He now finds himself in one of the two biggest fights he’s had in his career.

Maui’s Kendall Grove is also on the card and will fight Goran Reljic in a bout that was supposed to be televised on Spike leading up to the PPV. However, after some questionable comments concerning the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter finale show broadcast on the same channel, the UFC decided to pull Grove’s fight from TV.

A  lightweight bout between Kurt Pellegrino and George Sotiropoulos that could have future title shot implications is also on the PPV.

But make no mistake about it, this card is about one fight, and one fight only. Lesnar, who hasn’t fought in over a year after battling diverticulitis (google it), squares off with Carwin, who is 12-0 as a professional and has never been taken out of the first round.

The winner likely becomes the top heavyweight fighter in the world, but for now, it seems a large majority of people can’t decide who is No. 1. Lesnar? Carwin? Werdum? Cain Velasquez?

My current HW rankings look like this:

1. Shane Carwin; 2. Cain Velasquez; 3. Fabricio Werdum; 4. Fedor Emelianenko; 5. Brock Lesnar; 6. Junior Dos Santos; 7. Alistair Overeem; 8. Frank Mir; 9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira; 10. Antonio Silva

I know most people will want to start screaming about Lesnar at 5, but who has the guy beat? He’s 1-1 against Frank Mir, beat some nobody in K-1, beat Heath Herring, who isn’t a top-15 heavyweight, and an over-the-hill Randy Couture, who the UFC can now only put in the cage against fellow washed-up fighters Mark Coleman and James freakin Toney, which is another issue for another time.

Carwin DESTROYED Mir in his last fight and Velasquez DESTROYED Nogueira in his most recent fight. Both are undefeated and deserve all the credit in the world for never tasting defeat. Werdum beat the man, to move him ahead of Fedor, who still despite the loss has as impressive of a resume as anybody.

Now comes Lesnar, who can make the jump all the way to No. 1 if he beats Carwin on Saturday night. Will he? Won’t he? Who really IS the No. 1 heavyweight in the world right now?

You guys tell me.

Posted in Fights | 5 Comments »

StrikeForce results

June 26th, 2010

Photo by Esther Lin, StrikeForce

Well, that happened.

Fabricio Werdum (14-4) did what nobody else has been able to do in over nine years, defeating Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of tonight’s StrikeForce card in San Jose, Calif.

Werdum hit the mat early after an onslaught of punches from Emelianenko. Fedor charged in and tried to put Werdum away, but Werdum wrapped his legs around Emelianenko and eventually worked an armbar to pull off one of the bigger upsets in recent memory.

In a preliminary bout, Waianae’s Yancy Medeiros remained undefeated in his professional career with a TKO victory over Gareth Joseph.

Medeiros (5-0) stopped Joseph (4-3) in the second round with a right hook that dropped Joseph against the cage. Medeiros followed up with a series of punches to force the referee to end the fight at the 1:19 mark.

Josh Thomson opened the televised card with a submission victory over Pat Healy. Thomson forced Healy to tap out to a rear-naked choke in the final minute of the fight.

Christine “Cyborg” Santos retained her women’s middleweight title with a second-round TKO victory over Jan Finney.

Cung Le defeated Scott Smith by second-round TKO.

Posted in Fights | 2 Comments »

The greatness of Fedor

June 25th, 2010

photo by Esther Lin, StrikeForce

As an ‘Iolani graduate, I can’t help but to think of Derrick Low, three-time Star-Bulletin Mr. Basketball, when trying to explain the greatness of Fedor Emelianenko.

Just a year after I graduated, Low played against Kalaheo in the state tournament final and scored 33 points in a 58-57 win… a sophomore.


By the time he led ‘Iolani to its third straight state as a senior, it wasn’t big news to me. When anyone talked about ‘Iolani basketball, it was more, “Did you see what D. Low did against top-10 nationally ranked Fairfax in the ‘Iolani Classic?”

When it came to prep basketball, especially after ‘Iolani crushed Saint Louis 61-37 for Low’s second state title, the bigger news his senior year would have been if the Raiders DIDN’T win the state tourney.

Point is, even greatness gets boring.

Fedor Emelianenko is the most polarizing figure in mixed martial arts. In a sport that only became popular once the Ultimate Fighter reality show hit SpikeTV, you have a major split in fan base.

For the ones that followed the sport from Day 1, Emelianenko is the premiere MMA fighter. His 27-win, 9-year undefeated streak isn’t lost on those that remember Emelianenko’s rise in PRIDE. They will argue that the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Crop Cop you see today is nothing compared to those fighters 5 years ago when they were at the top in their prime.

On the other hand, you have the new MMA fan. The one that only knows the UFC and what they see every week on the Ultimate Fighter. To them, Fedor is this mysterious Russian guy that they’ve sort of heard of in recent years. They are the ones that think UFC = MMA and everything (and everyone) else is the minor leagues. They are the ones quick to point out when Fedor finally came to the states that it doesn’t matter he knocked out former UFC heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. The same Cro Cop/Nogueira argument applies here for UFC fans.

Whether new or old, UFC or not, any fan of the sport should appreciate Fedor.

The UFC likes to counter the Fedor argument with its claim that Anderson Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today. Well, when Silva was getting submitted by Ryo Chonan, Emelianenko fought on that same card and defeated Nogueira for the second time.

Nogueira’s record against the rest of PRIDE at that time? 12-0.

Sure, Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rodgers, Hong-Man Choi and an undersized Matt Lindland aren’t the first names that come to mind of opponents you want to see Emelianenko fight, but the lack of competition doesn’t make up for the fact that he was on top of the MMA world when Silva was losing to guys that have been cut by the UFC in the last year.

When Fedor suffered his last, and only, professional loss, Silva had fought a total of three pro bouts.

Since then, Silva has built up quite a resume, but he has still been disqualified once (here in Hawaii to Yushin Okami at a Rumble on the Rock show), and submitted twice (by two guys with a combined record of 26-24-2) in the span Fedor has gone undefeated.

When Emelianenko steps into the cage Saturday night against Fabricio Werdum, the people that tune in will be split. For the PRIDE fans, it will be to see the ‘Last Emperor’ continue his reign as the best fighter in the world. For UFC fans, it will be to hope for Fedor to suffer that one loss, so they can say turn to the PRIDE fan next to them and say, “I told you so.”

If Fedor wins, I’ll get up and continue on with the rest of my evening.

If Fedor loses, I’ll have to find the closest laptop and immediately log on to post something breaking on this blog.

Because that will be big news.

And that’s why Fedor is the best in the world today.

Medeiros’ opponent finalized

June 24th, 2010

Photo by Esther Lin, StrikeForce

It’s the third different opponent Yancy Medeiros has had in a week, but it looks Gareth Joseph (4-2) will oppose the undefeated fighter from Waianae in the prelims of Saturday night’s StrikeForce card in San Jose, Calif.

StrikeForce has partnered with M-1 Global in order to get Fedor Emelianenko to fight on the card, and part of the agreement was that M-1 got to put a lot of its Russian fighters on the undercard. However, various Visa problems kept some of them from getting to the states in time, so Medeiros’ opponent has been changed twice in the last week.

It’ll be the second fight for Medeiros (4-0) in StrikeForce. He earned a unanimous decision win over Raul Castillo earlier this year, but has never been on a card as big as this one, featuring top names in the sport like Fedor, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Thomson, Cung Lee, Scott Smith and Christine “Cyborg” Santos.

I’ve been told StrikeForce will be streaming the undercard fights online, but I am not exactly sure where yet. I will post a link as soon as I find one.

The Showtime portion of the card gets underway at 4 p.m. Hawaii time and is live to the East Coast. Hawaii will get it on a 3-hour tape delay at 7 p.m. if you have Oceanic, or live at 4 p.m. if you subscribe to DirecTV.

WEIGH-IN UPDATE: HDNet (Ch. 306 on DirecTV) will show the weigh-ins live beginning at 2 p.m. Hawaii time on Friday.

StrikeForce: Fedor vs. Werdum
Saturday, June 26
HP Pavilion
San Jose, Calif.
Fedor Emelianenko (32-1-1) vs. Fabricio Werdum (13-4)
Christine “Cyborg” Santos (9-1) vs. Jan Finney (8-7)
Cung Le (6-1) vs. Scott Smith (17-6)
Josh Thomson (16-3) vs. Pat Healy (23-15)
Yancy Medeiros (4-0) vs. Gareth Joseph (4-2)
Bobby Stack (6-1) vs. Derrick Burnsed (5-0)
Chris Cope (3-1) vs. Ron Keslar (5-1)
Brett Bergmark (5-1-1) vs. Vagner Rocha (5-0)

And we’re back!

June 24th, 2010

What better time than just two days before the world’s No. 1 mixed martial arts fighter, Fedor Emelianenko, steps into the cage to bring back the Fighting Words blog for the new Star-Advertiser.

Tons of fights are on the horizon featuring local fighters. Waianae’s Yancy Medeiros fights on the undercard of StrikeForce’s event on Saturday night on Showtime as he looks to remain undefeated in his professional career. Emelianenko faces Fabricio Werdum in the main event and Christine “Cyborg” Santos fights Jan Finney, plus Scott Smith vs. Cung Le and Josh Thomson vs. Pat Healy.

Then on July 3, Chris Leben, who just beat Aaron Simpson last Saturday, steps in for an injured Wanderlei Silva to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama in the co-main event of UFC 116, featuring the return of Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin for the undisputed UFC heavyweight title. Plus, in a prelim fight that will be shown on SpikeTV, Maui’s Kendall Grove faces Goran Reljic.

Another Maui fighter, Lolohea Mahe, will headline a StrikeForce Challengers event on Showtime later in July and August is the much-hyped rematch between Hilo’s B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight championship.

In the boxing world, Brian Viloria will get back in the ring after losing his IBF light flyweight title to face Omar Soto on July 10 in the Philippines.

Tons of stuff coming up and this will be the home for everything MMA and boxing related. I’m glad to have the blog back up and running and am looking forward to discussing/debating any and all topics.