Archive for September, 2010

Better weekend card: DREAM or UFC

September 23rd, 2010
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Two weekend MMA cards coming up, beginning with DREAM 16 on Friday night live on HDNet at 8 p.m. Hawaii time. The UFC follows with a PPV Saturday at 4 p.m.

As a big time PRIDE fan, you’d think UFC 119 would excite me as Mirko Crop Cop and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira are in the top two fights of the card. However, if I had to choose between the two, I think I’m going with DREAM on Friday night.

Yes, it helps that local favorite Jason “Mayhem” Miller is fighting against Kazushi Sakuraba. As washed up as Sakuraba is, it’s intriguing to me because Miller has been talking about submitting the Japanese legend in the first round. I have no doubt that Mayhem could go in there, beat up Saku, and end it pretty quickly. But to submit the guy in his own country? That I would like to see.

Marcus Aurelio vs. Shinya Aoki, Hideo Tokoro vs. Joachim Hansen and Gegard Mousasi vs. Tatsuya Mizuno are three other very intriguing fights I want to see. You know what you’re going to get with the DREAM production value and there are four or five other fights that could turn out to be good as well.

Cro Cop vs. Mir would be exciting if both men are in shape, but what are the odds? Mir’s weight has been all over the place recently and Cro Cop suffered an eye injury in training that almost forced him out of the fight. At the pre-fight workout on Wednesday, his eye still looked pretty bad, so you wonder how much of an effect that will have on Cro Cop.

If you do check out the UFC PPV, don’t miss the beginning. Melvin Guillard and Jeremy Stephens are my pick for fight of the night.

Penn/Hughes III is official

September 14th, 2010
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Photo by Josh Hedges, UFC.

B.J. Penn will take exactly three months off in between fights.

Penn is set to return to the Octagon Nov. 20 against Matt Hughes in the co-main event of UFC 123, featuring Lyoto Machida vs. Rampage Jackson in the main event, the company confirmed this afternoon.

The card is being held in Detroit, Mich.

It’s a fight that makes the most sense to me and falls in line with what a lot of people are saying regarding Penn’s desire to move back to 170 pounds. It’ll be his first welterweight fight since losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 94 in January of 2009.

We’re only about 9 weeks out from the fight, so chances are we won’t see Penn make any kind of change in his fight camp. I was highly critical of how he looked in his second fight against Frankie Edgar, but maybe Edgar simply has his number. A change in weight and a chance to settle the score with Hughes once and for all might be what Penn needs. Penn originally beat Hughes in 2004 to win the UFC welterweight title, but Hughes came back two years later to beat Penn in a rematch to retain the same belt.

The welterweight division also features a lot of bigger names to fight than does lightweight, where Penn was probably looking at a rematch with Takanori Gomi as the only legitimate big-time fight. St-Pierre, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Thiago Alves all present exciting matchups at 170 pounds.

°°°°°°°°

The UFC just sent out a press release confirming that the fight is happening Nov. 20 in Detroit.

“We’re bringing the best UFC fighters here on November 20th,” UFC President Dana White, who is heading to Detroit on Thursday, September 16th, to meet with the media and officially announce UFC 123, said in the release. “Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida are two of the top light heavyweights in the world. I expect this fight to be a war, as both of these guys want to get back in the title run. The co-main event is Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn, two of the best fighters in UFC history. They have both beat each other and jumped at the opportunity to fight a third time.”

X-1 at the Blaisdell results (UPDATED)

September 11th, 2010
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It felt like 2006 all over again.

Kala Kolohe Hose and Niko Vitale delivered one of the best main events of all time in Hawaii tonight, putting on show for 15+ minutes before Vitale finally went to his strength, choking out Hose in the fourth round of the main event of X-1: Heroes at the Blaisdell Arena.

Working on the recap for tomorrow’s paper, but know this, don’t expect a rematch. Neither guy wants to fight a local again.

**************

Sitting here ringside. No power, so I can’t update continually, but big thanks to X-1. Very impressed with the setup tonight. The entrance ramp is the best setup I’ve seen for an MMA show at the Blaisdell and the undercard fights have delivered.

Really unfortunate situation in the 135-pound womens fight between Raquel Paaluhi and Sarah De’Alelio. D’Alelio had Paaluhi in an armbar and Paaluhi looked to have taped twice. However, referee Kolo Koka let the fight continue and Paaluhi suffered what looked to be a very bad arm, maybe elbow injury. She was in a world of pain when she finally exited the cage.

Paaluhi got by far the biggest pop of the night from a crowd that looks to have hit the 2,000 mark. It’s intermission right now so a lot of people are out hitting the concession stands, but definitely a much bigger crowd than the last MMA fight here at the Blaisdell.

The Black Hawaiian, who hosts the Whats the Scrap radio show Sunday nights from 9-10 on 101.5 FM is sitting next to me and said the Paaluhi/D’Alelio winner could fight Miehsa Tate, who is here in attendance, in StrikeForce.

Also here is StrikeForce women’s welterweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos.

X-1: Heroes
Saturday night, Blaisdell Arena
Main event
185: Niko Vitale def. Kala Kolohe Hose by submission (Ezekiel choke) at 2:26 of R4
205: Poai Suganuma def. Vitaly Sheemetov by KO at 1:08 of R1
205: Sang Soo Lee def. Roy Boughton by decision
145: Ricky Wallace def. Alvin Cacdac by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:40 of R3
135: Russell Doane def. Bryson Hanson by submission (triangle) at 2:59 of R1
155: Max Halloway def. Duke Saragosa by decision (unanimous)
Undercard
135: Sarah D’Alelio def. Raquel Paaluhi by submission (armbar) at 2:13 of R1
160: (Kickboxing) Danilio Zanollini def. Kaleo Kwan by decision (unanimous)
135: Mark Tajon def. Eddie Perrells by submission (armbar) at 3:22 of R1
145: Dustin Kimura def. Chris Willems by submission (arm triangle) at 2:55 of R1
185: Collin Mansanas def. Caleb Price by decision (split)
135: Timothy Meeks def. Van Shiroma by decision (unanimous)

Niko and Kala at the Blaisdell

September 10th, 2010
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X-1: Heroes
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Blaisdell Arena
Main Event
Falaniko Vitale (27-9) vs. Kala Kolohe Hose (7-3)
Light heavyweight grand prix
Poai Suganuma (10-3) vs. Vitaly Shemetov (7-7)
Sang Soo Lee (14-9) vs. Roy Boughton (4-0)
X-1 flyweight title fight
Ricky Wallace vs. Alvin Cacdac
X-1 bantamweight title fight
Bryson Hanson vs. Russell Doane
Plus
7 undercard bouts

If you have a chance, get on over to the X-1 weigh-ins today at 2 p.m. at the Blaisdell Arena as fighters from all around the world try to make weight for Saturday night’s exciting X-1 card.

Locally, all the talk is of Kala Kolohe Hose and Niko Vitale. We’ve rarely seen a main event this big pitting two of Hawaii’s best fighters against each other. I sensed some hesitation from both guys at the press conference about the fight. I’m sure both would choose to fight other guys, especially fighters from the mainland, instead. But this is the fight business and they will have no choice but to tee off on each other come Saturday night.

A couple of the X-1 title fights should be interesting, but I always choose to get excited about the unknown. I haven’t seen South Korea’s Sang Soo Lee and Russia’s Vitaly Shemetov fight before, so how they do in the light heavyweight grand prix will be fun to watch. Shemetov has a very tough opponent in Poai Suganuma, one of the nicest guys you will ever meet in this sport. Suganuma showed a lot of potential before a couple of loses to Jared Hamman and Yancy Medeiros derailed his MMA career. A victory in this tournament should no doubt give him the opportunity to get into an organization like StrikeForce.

13 fights in all, and for those of you on the outer islands, you can watch live on Oceanic PPV on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

Posted in Fights | 6 Comments »

UFC 118 fighter salaries

September 3rd, 2010
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Here are the numbers released by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission:

Main card fighters:

Frankie Edgar: $96,000 (includes $48,000 win bonus) def. B.J. Penn: $150,000

Randy Couture: $250,000 (no win bonus) def. James Toney: $500,000

Demian Maia: $68,000 (includes $34,000 win bonus) def. Mario Miranda: $8,000

Gray Maynard: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus) def. Kenny Florian: $65,000

Nate Diaz: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus) def. Marcus Davis: $31,000

Preliminary card fighters:

Joe Lauzon: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus) def. Gabe Ruediger: $8,000

Nik Lentz: $22,000 (includes $11,000 win bonus) def. Andre Winner: $10,000

Dan Miller: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. John Salter: $8,000

Greg Soto: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus) def. Nick Osipczak: $10,000

Mike Pierce: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus) def. Amilcar Alves: $6,000

UFC 118 total fighter payroll: $1,428,000

Yes, Toney got paid twice as much as Couture, more than three times as much as Penn, and five times as much as Frankie Edgar, the champion.

Posted in Fights | 3 Comments »