Monday, March 30, 2009

February Month in Review.

First of all, many many major apologies for the lack of update in this blog. Shortly, before UFC 94, I finally managed to land a full-time job at a production company and due to the hectic and unpredictable nature of my work, I had not much time to update the blog and bring in as much news as I can.

To make up for it, this will be the first of two Month in Review updates looking at the happenings and on-goings in the MMA world throughout the two months. The March Month in Review will happen once I'm done watching the recent K-1 WORLD GP 2009 in YOKOHAMA event. Let's take a look at some of the more notable happenings in the month of February:

UFC 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn 2
- UFC 94 took place on January 31st and thus deserves to be talked about for a bit in this entry. In the semi-main event, Lyoto Machida proved to be the better undefeated Brazilian fighter, surprisingly knocking out a tougher Brazilian fighter in his opponent, Thiago Silva, right at the buzzer at the end of the first round! With the win, Machida's record improves to a perfect 14-0.
- The main event of UFC 94 saw Georges St-Pierre make a successful defense of his UFC Welterweight Title by defeating UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn in what was a one-sided affair as Penn had trouble getting in offense throughout the later rounds. Penn's exhaustion and what seemed like an unwillingness to continue forced the doctor and his team to call off the fight, awarding the victory to St-Pierre!
- A huge fight like that isn't one without controversy. Several days after losing to Georges St-Pierre, B.J. Penn immediately filed a complaint to the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding St-Pierre's body being somewhat greasy. This was due to one of St-Pierre's cornermen rubbing vaseline on his face and his shoulders as part of a routine breathing technique St-Pierre uses in his fights during intervals to calm him down in tensed situation. St-Pierre had mentioned that he would never cheat to gain any unfair advantage over his opponent, although he did admit in regards to the vaseline being used. Despite that, many critics, analysts and even UFC President Dana White himself said that with or without vaseline on St-Pierre's body, it would have no effect on the outcome of the fight.

UFC signs two top Japanese fighters!
- Making his return to the UFC in close to six years is none other than popular HERO'S and DREAM lightweight Caol Uno! Uno will be making his return to the Octagon when he faces Spencer Fisher at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany. It will be his first appearance in the Octagon since his loss to Hermes Franca back at UFC 44 in 2003. Uno's last fight was a loss against current WAMMA Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki during the semi-final of the DREAM Lightweight GP at DREAM.5 last year.
- While one fighter returns, another fighter debuts and boy is it a big one! In what many considered quite a surprise, the 2006 HERO'S Light Heavyweight Champion Yoshihiro Akiyama has signed with the UFC! The controversial, yet popular Zainichi fighter who fought for HERO'S and DREAM is set to make his Octagon debut at the huge UFC 100 event in Las Vegas, Nevada when he faces middleweight contender Alan Belcher! Belcher had defeated another former HERO'S and DREAM fighter, Denis Kang, who made his debut in the UFC at UFC 93 in Ireland. The question is would the outcoe be the same for the man many netizens dub Sexyama?

K-1 WORLD MAX 2009 JAPAN Tournament!
- This year's K-1 WORLD MAX JAPAN Tournament took place at the Yoyogi Gymnasium in Tokyo with an interesting mix of fighters, including K-1 WORLD MAX newcomer, NKJF Super Welterweight Champion Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, known for being a crossplayer (a person who cosplay's anime/manga/video game characters of the opposite sex). However, the outcome was truly surprising as Taishin Kohiruimaki, the 2004 and 2005 WORLD MAX JAPAN Champion whom not many predicted to win, took the tournament win and became the first ever three-time WORLD MAX JAPAN Champion, defeating Yuya Yamamoto in the finals! With the victory, Kohiruimaki will be one of 16 fighters from around the world competing for the chance to become this year's K-1 WORLD MAX Champion when the FINAL 16 Tournament emanates from the Marine Messe in Fukuoka this coming April.

UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson
- UFC 95 emanated from the O2 arena in London, England and the main event saw welterweight fighter Diego Sanchez make his debut at lightweight against veteran Joe Stevenson. Sanchez put on an impressive performance in his lightweight debut, defeating Stevenson via unanimous decision to take the victory and proving himself to be a force in the lightweight division!
- Other results from the main card saw British welterweight Dan Hardy knocking out Rory Markham with a devastating KO, Nate Marquadt defeating Wilson Gouveia via TKO and both Demian Maia and Paulo Thiago earning Submission of the Night and Knockout of the Night honors respectively when they defeated Chael Sonnen and Josh Koscheck in their fights.

Ken Shamrock's ups and downs.
- UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock competed at the WarGods: Valentine's Eve Massacre event where he defeated Ross Clifton via armbar submission. Shamrock's victory allowed him to gain momentum in his upcoming proposed bout against a fellow WWE alumni in Bobby Lashley at the boxing and MMA hybrid PPV event promoted by Roy Jones Jr. in March.
- Unfortunately for the former UFC Superfight and WWE Intercontinental Champion, Shamrock tested positive for three banned substances following his fight against Clifton. The appeal is still in pending, but Shamrock was unable to compete in his fight against Lashley. More on Lashley's fight in the next update.

That's it for the month of February. If there is ever any significant happenings in that month which I had missed out on, do lemme know and I'll add them in.

Sources: Sherdog,, and Nightmare of Battle

Saturday, January 31, 2009

UFC 94 main event preview!


Throughout the years, the biggest fight cards in the world were those of world championship boxing fights which features some of the greatest boxers to grace the planet. Matches such as Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Oscar De La Hoya were fights that not only whet the appetite of boxing fans and also the mass public, but also the appetite of promoters, sponsors, TV networks and PPV companies. Yes there is no doubt that fights like these generate a lot of revenue and buyrates are usually very high when the results of the event's success finally make its way not only to the promoters, but to the public.

The world of mixed martial arts also have had major superfights of their own, many of which have been headlines for several big MMA events. Matches such as Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie, Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock, Masakatsu Funaki vs. Rickson Gracie, Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture and most recently, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski have all proven that MMA possess strong drawing power of their own, especially with fights like those mentioned being spotlighted on the marquee.

January has been the month where MMA fans were spoiled for choice. Big matches such as Jorge Santiago vs. Kazuo Misaki and Satoru Kitaoka vs. Takanori Gomi at WVR Sengoku no Ran 2009, Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 93 and Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Day of Reckoning were the ones that headline these events. Even with a strong undercard as seen at Affliction's recent event and also at UFC 93, it is usually the main events that will carry the weight of the show as they are the ones that most fans would mainly tune in to watch. The main events are usually the main course, while the undercard serves as the entree and in the UFC's case, the extra matches being shown on PPV after the conclusion of the main event in the event of quick stoppages in the PPV bouts leaving more PPV time remaining are the desserts.

Then we have UFC 94.

It doesn't get any more bigger than what fans will bear witness to on Superbowl weekend, a superfight that has been almost three years in the making and quite possibly, the biggest rematch in the MMA world for a very long time. Without further ado, it is time to look at a match which the world will be watching very very soon.

UFC Welterweight Title: Georges St-Pierre (c) (17-2) vs. B.J. Penn (13-4)

Georges St-Pierre maybe the Number One welterweight fighter in the world, but despite that, is a very humble and modest fighter who would rather do his talking in the ring. Much like several other MMA fighters, St-Pierre has had a pretty tough childhood dating back to when he was still a young child with bullies stealing his clothes and money. His life took a turn when he was seven as he started picking up Kyokushin karate, quite possibly recognized as the most brutal art in the popular martial art and from there, he was able to defend himself with ease. St-Pierre also took up wrestling, boxing and also Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after his karate teacher passed away and at that point, it seemed like the legend of the man known as Rush would begin. After watching Royce Gracie win the first UFC Tournament in 1993, St-Pierre realized that he would love to become an MMA fighter. His first amateur fight came when he was only 16 and he defeated a boxer who was 25, using his Kyokushin karate skills to win the fight. He would then make his professional debut against fellow Canadian and former HERO'S contender, Ivan Menjivar. When he came to the UFC, he made a statement, defeating Karo Parisyan at UFC 46, then beating Jay Hieron at UFC 48. He would then compete against grizzled UFC veteran Matt Hughes for the vacant UFC Welterweight Title which Hughes wounded up winning, giving St-Pierre his first loss. St-Pierre admittedly regretted that he did not give it his all against Hughes as he had idolized Hughes up till that point and was awestruck by having to face one of his heroes in MMA. The loss didn't deter from his quest to become UFC Welterweight Champion as he then pulled a string of victories against the likes of Jason Miller, Frank Trigg and Sean Sherk. Eventually, he would have a rematch against the man who gave him his first loss, Matt Hughes, for the UFC Welterweight Title at UFC 65. This time around, a high left kick followed by a barrage of punches and elbows in the second round were enough to stop Hughes, thus giving St-Pierre his first UFC Welterweight Title reign. Unable to focus due to personal problems and later, stating that his opponent was the better fighter, St-Pierre would then lose his title to Matt Serra at UFC 69. After defeating Josh Koscheck at UFC 74, St-Pierre would be the next fighter in line after Matt Hughes to get another shot at the UFC Welterweight Title. Unfortunately, the champion Matt Serra was injured during a training session and was thus replaced by St-Pierre, who at UFC 79, made the best out of the opportunity and submitted Hughes with a kimura followed by an armbar to become the UFC Interim Welterweight Champion. St-Pierre would then use the momentum to head on to his challenge for the title when he would face Matt Serra at UFC 83. As if the title being on the line wasn't enough, the event would take place for the very first time in Canada at the Bell Center in St-Pierre's hometown of Montreal, Quebec Canada. A brutal TKO victory over Serra only solidified St-Pierre further, not only as a hometown hero, but also as one of the greatest MMA fighters of this era as he would become the UFC Welterweight Champion for the second time in his career. Another brutal, yet grueling win followed when St-Pierre defended his title against Jon Fitch at UFC 87, winning the match via unanimous decision. Despite only having two fights in 2008, the world had their eyes' on St-Pierre and would only look forward to more action from the popular French-Canadian fighter.

On the other side of the Octagon is B.J. Penn. Penn is pretty much the opposite of St-Pierre. While St-Pierre is humble, modest and gracious, Penn is arrogant, brash and outspoken. Penn's biggest strength is his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background, training in the art when he was 17 and becoming the first non-Brazilian to win the black belt division of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2000. Penn's illustrious BJJ career and fighting style caught the attention of the UFC, who later signed him to a UFC contract. Wins over the likes of Din Thomas and Caol Uno made Penn a tough contender and he would then challenge Jens Pulver for the UFC Lightweight Title, but would unfortunately lose to the champion. Penn then started putting on weight and compete as a welterweight, defeating the former Number One ranked welterweight fighter in the world, Takanori Gomi, at Rumble on the Rocks in his native Hawaii, an MMA event promoted by Penn's brother. At UFC 46, Penn used his newly-acquired welterweight bulk to challenge for the UFC Welterweight Title, at that time held by Matt Hughes. Penn became successful, submitting Hughes with a rear naked choke to win his first UFC Title in the welterweight division. Tension suddenly arose when Penn decided to sign with FEG to which the UFC would then strip him off the UFC Welterweight Title due to a breach in his contract. Penn would later sue the UFC by saying that his contract had already expired by then and filed a motion to prevent from a new Welterweight Champion being crowned, but the motion was dropped. Penn would only fight four fights under FEG, defeating Duane Ludwig at the ill-fated K-1 ROMANEX event, going over to Rumble in the Rocks and move up to the middleweight division by defeating Rodrigo Gracie, suffering a loss to eventual UFC light heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida at the inaugural HERO'S event in 2005 and defeating Renzo Grace at the K-1 WORLD GP 2005 in HONOLULU event. Penn would then return to the UFC after the fight and was then placed as a top contender for the UFC Welterweight Title. He was given another shot at Matt Hughes, who by then had already regained his title and at UFC 63, the two men fought, only this time it was Penn who lost to Hughes via TKO, a loss which Penn attributed to his lack of stamina. Penn would later serve as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 5 and would later compete against the opposing coach, Jens Pulver, in a rematch of their subsequent bout back in 2002. This time around, Penn won by making Pulver submit to a rear naked choke. After this bout, Penn would then drop to the lightweight division. While originally scheduled to face UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk, Sherk was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission after testing positive for several performance-enhancing drugs. With Sherk eventually being stripped off his title, Penn would then have to wait until January 2008 to challenge for the title when the UFC make their way over to the UK. It was at UFC 80 where Penn would make history by defeating Joe Stevenson for the UFC Lightweight Title in a brutal showing and become the second fighter after Randy Couture to win two UFC Titles in different weight classes. Like his opponent, Georges St-Pierre, Penn also fought in only two matches in 2008, his second fight being a defense of the UFC Lightweight Title at UFC 84 against the former champion, Sean Sherk. This was another brutal showing by the champion, who was relentless against Sherk and rendered him being unable to continue before the fourth round, allowing Penn to retain his UFC Lightweight Title.

A rematch that transcends the history and legacy of mixed martial arts for a very long time to come.

The first time both of these legendary fighters met was way back in UFC 58 back in 2006. The theme of the event was the best of the USA going up against Canada's finest. This would be B.J. Penn's first match since coming back to the UFC after an unmemorable stint under FEG in Japan. At stake was a title shot against the UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes and Georges St-Pierre would end up winning a hard-fought battle via a close split decision, which till this day, have been debated over and over again over the way the match went. Despite that, fans were clamoring for more and crossed their fingers, hoping that someday both of these amazing fighters would meet again in an epic rematch.

At the conclusion of his UFC Lightweight Title defense against Sean Sherk, Penn asked the fans if they would like to see a rematch between Penn and St-Pierre. A resounding ovation from the fans in attendance clearly signaled that a rematch between the two would take place sometime in the future. After St-Pierre defeated Jon Fitch in his UFC Welterweight Title defense, he officially challenged Penn to a future bout, to which Penn, who was in attendance that evening, came into the Octagon, shook his rival's hand and formally accepted the challenge, much to the delight of the UFC President Dana White who was also present in the Octagon at that time. The fight was officially made and the two will now clash at UFC 94 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This fight is quite possibly the most important fight in MMA today. More often than not, most big MMA events have always been promoted by using big heavyweights as drawing power. Such is the case with Brock Lesnar and Kimbo Slice being two of the biggest MMA draws in 2008 due to their sheer size and charisma alone. The problem with fighters like them is that no matter how marketable they were, they were never the most technically sound fighters in the ring. Japan as of late have been using middleweight and lightweight fighters to be their drawing power not only due to charisma and presence, but also taking into account their amazing skills as fighters with the likes of Yoshihiro Akiyama, Shinya Aoki, Kazushi Sakuraba and even flyweight Norifumi Yamamoto headlining huge New Year's Eve shows in the last few years. Smaller fighters such as St-Pierre and Penn have been known to be overlooked and not be considered major draws due to their size alone, yet they have both garnered major support from fans due to their technical skills and their class act.

This rematch could not have taken place at a better time. St-Pierre is 28, Penn is 30, both fighters are still young and at the top of their game. St-Pierre is the Number One ranked welterweight fighter in the world, Penn is the Number One ranked lightweight fighter in the world. St-Pierre is the UFC Welterweight Champion, Penn is the UFC Lightweight Champion. Both men know what is at stake in this match. For St-Pierre, he would want to hold on to the UFC Welterweight Title so he could defend it against Thiago Alves and possibly, face Anderson Silva in a dream openweight bout in the near future. For Penn, he could take the history he had made when he became the UFC Lightweight Champion and rewrite it all over again by becoming the first UFC fighter to ever hold two UFC Titles in different weight classes at the same time.

For MMA as a whole, this is a fight that would make every fighter, fan and promoter be glued to their TV sets or attend UFC 94 in person to witness history being made. Many would say that the future of MMA lie in the hands of both St-Pierre and Penn as both are to showcase the power of MMA to the world through this rematch. UFC 94 is widely tipped to be the UFC's biggest PPV event yet and with two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world headlining the event, it doesn't get anymore bigger than that.

On January 31st, the world will soon bear witness to one of the greatest rematches to ever take place in the history of fight sports. The UFC Welterweight Title will be on the line, but only one man will walk away as the champion. Will it be Georges St-Pierre or will it be B.J. Penn? History will be made at UFC 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn 2!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Affliction: Day of Reckoning quick results, plus Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer passes away and Yoshihiro Akiyama getting his wish?

Affliction: Day of Reckoning quick results!

Here are quick results from the recent Affliction: Day of Reckoning event. When I have the time, I'll definitely post up my review of the show, which I found to be really really good and highly recommend it to MMA fans no matter where you're from.

Affliction 2: Day of Reckoning
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Honda Center in Anaheim, CA

1. Brett Cooper def. Patrick Speight via TKO (punches) - R2 (4:10)
2. Albert Rios def. Antonio Duarte via unanimous decision
3. LC Davis def. Bao Quach via unanimous decision
4. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO (knee) - R2 (4:26)
5. Dan Lauzon def. Bobby Green via submission (RNC) - R1 (4:55)
6. Paul Buentello def. Kiril Sidelnikov via TKO (referee stoppage) - R3 (4:18)
7. Renato Sobral def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via sub (D'arce choke) - R1 (2:36)
8. Vitor Belfort def. Matt Lindland via KO - R1 (0:37)
9. Josh Barnett def. Gilbert Yvel via submission (strikes) - R3 (3:05)
10. WAMMA Heavyweight Title: Fedor Emelianenko (c) def. Andrei Arlovski via KO - R1 (3:14)
11. Jay Hieron def. Jason High via KO (punch) - R1 (1:04)

Helio Gracie passes away.

Helio Gracie, the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the patriarch of the famous Gracie family, passed away in his sleep Thursday morning at his home in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He was 95 and at the moment, the cause of his death is still not known.

Adapting elements from traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Grace developed his own techniques and refined them to suit smaller fighters like himself in order to defeat fighters bigger than him. His teachings were then passed down to his children, most notably Rickson, Royler, Relson, Royce and Rorion, all established and well-known MMA fighters themselves. His teachings was instrumental in the formation of what would years later become the number one MMA promotion in the world today, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Rorion Gracie, who was one of the co-founders of the UFC, believed it as the one organization to showcase the power of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His vision became a reality as his brother, Royce Gracie, used the teachings to win the first, second and fourth UFC Tournaments during the promotion's beginnings and from there on, started a legacy of its own with many MMA prospects picking up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and using it as a staple martial art when training for MMA fights.

Helio Gracie's last major appearance was at the ill-fated Dynamite!! USA event where he witnessed his son, Royce, defeat Kazushi Sakuraba in a highly anticipated rematch in Los Angeles, California back in June 2007 via unanimous decision.

Yoshihiro Akiyama to finally get his wish in July?

At DREAM.6 after his victory over Masanori Tonooka, the 2006 HERO'S Light Heavyweight Champion Yoshihiro Akiyama stated his desire to fight Hidehiko Yoshida at Dynamite!! 2008. Obviously with Yoshida being contracted under WVR and Akiyama pulling out of the New Year's Eve bash mere weeks before the event, not to mention his DREAM contract, that fight did not take place.

But that could all change in July.

Recently, there has been a report on the Sponichi website in which both Akiyama and Yoshida will indeed be facing each other at Sengoku IX. WVR PR Kokuho has showed interest in the article and did not deny anything in regards to the fight. Another fighter showing interest in Akiyama is Kazuo Misaki, who fought Akiyama at Yarennoka! back in 2007 in a controversial bout. Misaki was quoted in the latest Gonkaku magazine as saying, "If Akiyama signs I will welcome him. I want to hold a boiling-like fight."

There have been rumors swirling around that this could possibly be Akiyama's last fight as he might retire from MMA after this fight. To make things more interesting, Yoshida himself stated after the recent Sengoku event that he is also contemplating on retiring depending on what the future holds out for him. If this ends up being both men's last match, expect the match to be one of the most highly anticipated matches of all time if it does take place.

Source: and Nightmare Of Battle

Friday, January 23, 2009

Affliction: Day of Reckoning main event preview!


On Saturday, January 24th, Affliction MMA will be running their second-ever MMA event at the very same venue where they hosted their first, the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. For a promotion that is slowly and steadily gaining ground and with ties to many prominent names in business, sports and entertainment such as Donald Trump and Golden Boy Promotions headed by boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya, Affliction has become known as more than just "those t-shirt guys" as UFC President Dana White infamously refers to them as.

Nothing could be more evident than a main event worthy of just about any MMA event in the world, an epic battle for the WAMMA Heavyweight Championship. It will be the champion Fedor Emelianenko, quite possibly the greatest fighter in the world today taking on the challenger Andrei Arlovski, a match only made possible thanks to the matchmakers at Affliction MMA. Here's a look at what could possibly be one of the biggest matches of the year!

WAMMA Heavyweight Title: Fedor Emelianenko (c) (28-1-1) vs. Andrei Arlovski (15-5)

Fedor Emelianenko. Just that name alone can bring attention to any MMA enthusiast from any different background. Fedor Emelianenko is synonymous to MMA much like Wayne Gretzky is to hockey, Tiger Woods is to golf, Michael Schumacher is to F-1, Zinedine Zidane is to soccer, Ernesto Hoost is to K-1 and Michael Jordan is to basketball. Despite being quite possibly the greatest MMA fighter in the world today, Emelianenko comes from a humble background. Born to a father who worked as a steel worker and a mother who worked as a teacher, Fedor is the second of four children in his family, with two of his younger brothers, Aleksander and Ivan both being MMA fighters, Aleksander being a professional MMA fighter while Ivan currently training in MMA. A master in the arts of sambo and judo, Emelianenko brought along his wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to Japan where MMA was beginning to take shape as THE sport to watch. Despite losing in controversial fashion in a RINGS event against Tsuyoshi Kosaka, Emelianenko bounced back from the loss when he ventured into PRIDE after winning the RINGS King of Kings 2002 Tournament and that's where his star shone. Emelianenko went up against the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira after defeating Heath Herring to become number one contender for the title. The title match took place at PRIDE 25 back in March 2003 and after a hard fought battle, Emelianenko was able to wrest the title away from Nogueira and in the process, became the second PRIDE Heavyweight Champion in history. Facing the likes of Kazuyuki Fujita, Naoya Ogawa, Mirko Filipovic, Mark Hunt and Mark Coleman, Emelianenko went undefeated in PRIDE and after the promotion folded, carried on the streak by defeating Matt Lindland in BodogFIGHT, Hong Man Choi at Yarennoka! and Tim Sylvia at the inaugural Affliction event, Banned, where he also became the first-ever WAMMA Heavyweight Champion.

Andrei Arlovski is another fighter who is also similar to his opponent, Fedor Emelianenko. Like Emelianenko, Arlovski also came from a humble background, is strong-willed and patient and most importantly, is an accomplished sambo wrestler as well. Unlike Emelianenko though, Arlovski decided not to go to Japan to become a well-known MMA fighter, but traveled to the United States instead and competed for the UFC. Early on in his UFC career, Arlovski was fed to top competitors, such as Ricco Rodriguez and Pedro Rizzo and had to take tough losses from both men, but several key wins after thrust the Belarus native into the spotlight. When UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir was injured due to a devastating motorcycle accident, the UFC decided to crown an Interim Heavyweight Champion and two of the fighters who would compete for the title were Tim Sylvia and Arlovski himself. At UFC 51: Super Saturday, Arlovski put his submission skills to the test, making the Maine-iac tap out to an ankle lock to become the UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion. After several title defenses against the late Justin Eilers and Paul Buntello, the UFC would then recognize Arlovski as the official UFC Heavyweight Champion after Frank Mir was still unable to recover from his injuries and had not been able to defend his title for a very long time. After a great run in the UFC, culminating in a fight against Jake O'Brien at UFC 82, Arlovski left the UFC and is now contracted to Affliction. At Affliction's inaugural event Banned, Arlovski was able to put an end to former IFL heavyweight stand-out Ben Rothwell's 13 fight win streak when he defeated Rothwell via TKO. After a match between Arlovski and Josh Barnett was postponed to another future Affliction event, Arlovski ventured into EliteXC: Heat where he defeated Roy Nelson, becoming the only fighter to ever finish Nelson in his MMA career.

PRIDE Heavyweight Champion vs. UFC Heavyweight Champion!

Another dream offering from Affliction and ironically enough, it involves Fedor Emelianenko, who headlined Affliction: Banned and is now headlining this upcoming Affliction event. There has been a lot of media hype surrounding this event, in particular the main event between Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski as many are considering this event (especially Oscar De La Hoya) to be as big of a match as heavyweight boxing fights of bygone days. Aside from being former heavyweight champions of their previous promotions, both Emelianenko and Arlovski also have the distinction of beating two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia in record time, Emelianenko defeating Sylvia in 36 seconds while Arlovski defeated Sylvia in 47 seconds. This is also a dream match as both of these men are two of the best sambo wrestlers in the world of MMA today and this match will showcase the power of sambo and also the power of MMA in the heavyweight division of just about any MMA promotion in the world today. Add to the fact that Arlovski's boxing has gotten better after being trained under legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach and this could possibly be Emelianenko's toughest fight to date just yet.


To many fans of Japanese manga and anime, the line above is a signature phrase from Hokuto no Ken or Fist of the North Star, which literally means "You are already dead!" To many fans of MMA, it is the signature Japanese phrase of Josh Barnett, a devoted fan of the series himself. Seeing as to how Barnett was originally supposed to face Arlvoski and his desire to fight Emelianenko, Barnett, who has a fight against Gilbert Yvel the same evening, will be watching this hugely anticipated main event intently as it is certain that he will be the next in line to compete for the WAMMA Heavyweight Championship. If anything, both Emelianenko and Arlovski will have to study Barnett well as one of these two men could be facing the Baby-Faced Assassin in a future bout for Affliction someday.

As the event draws near, one thing can be certain and that is the fans will be treated to quite possibly one of the biggest MMA fights in recent years. Will The Last Emperor retain the title that further immortalizes him or will The Pitbull be the one to end an undefeated streak and be crowned the new champion?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

UFC 93 results, Overeem meets UFC President, KID Yamamoto out of the DREAM Featherweight GP and boxing legend endorses Affliction: Day of Reckoning.

UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson results!

An action-packed UFC 93 was an amazing way to kick start the new year with a bang! Held at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland, the main event saw a dominating performance by former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson as he defeated former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin by what most considered a surprise split decision as many felt that Henderson deserved a unanimous decision victory over Franklin. Elsewhere, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was able to avenge his gruesome stoppage from PRIDE 31 back in 2006 by defeating Mark Coleman via TKO. After the event, it was announced by UFC President Dana White that Rua's next match will be against the legendary Chuck Liddell at UFC 97 in April. Denis Kang's first venture into the Octagon didn't go too well for the Korean-Canadian veteran. The former PRIDE, HERO'S and DREAM fighter was unable to defeat rising middleweight star Alan Belcher as he was submitted in the second round.

UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson
Saturday, January 17, 2009
The 02 in Dublin, Ireland

Fight #1 - Lightweights
Dennis Siver def. Nate Mohr via TKO (punches) - R3 (3:27)

Fight #2 - Welterweights
Tomasz Drwal def. Ivan Serati via TKO (punches) - R1 (2:02)

Fight #3 - Middleweights
Eric "Red" Schafer def. Antonio Mendes via TKO (punches) - R1 (3:35)

Fight #4 - Welterweights
Martin Kampmann def. Alexandre Barros via TKO (punches) - R2 (3:07)

Fight #5 - Welterweights
John Hathaway def. Tom Egan via TKO (strikes) - R1 (4:36)

Fight #6 - Welterweights
Marcus Davis def. Chris Lytle via split decision

Fight #7 - Middleweights
Alan Belcher def. Denis Kang via submission (guillotine choke) - R2 (4:36)

Fight #8 - Middleweights
Rousimar Palhares def. Jeremy Horn via unanimous decision

Fight #9 - Light Heavyweights
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua def. Mark Coleman via TKO (punches) - R3 (4:36)

Fight #10 - Light Heavyweights
Dan Henderson def. Rich Franklin via split decision

Alistair Overeem meets Dana White!

In a bizarre piece of news, Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion and DREAM fighter Alistair Overeem was said to have met up with UFC President Dana White at UFC 93. In his video blog, White asked Overeem twice on different occasions if he wanted to compete in the UFC, which Overeem replied that he would if his management could come to terms with the controversial UFC President.

Overeem remarked that the reason he is hoping to compete in the UFC is due to the fact that he believes a lot of fighters were ducking him and not wanting to fight him, using Mirko Filipovic as a concrete example. He is also looking for new opponents to compete against with White reassuring Overeem that if he does sign with the UFC, he will be able to find opponents for the hulking Dutchman.

White has also toyed with the idea of bringing in former King of Pancrase and three-time K-1 WORLD GP Champion Semmy Schilt over to the UFC as well. If he does sign with the UFC, it will mark Schilt's return to the UFC since his 2001 loss against Josh Barnett at UFC 32.

Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto out of the DREAM Featherweight GP.

Unfortunately for fans of the dynamic Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto, the popular Japanese fighter will be pulling out of the DREAM Featherweight GP to crown the promotion's first-ever Featherweight Champion. Yamamoto is currently recuperating from a knee injury he suffered back in July, causing him to miss out on his DREAM debut at DREAM.5 against Joseph Benavidez. He went for surgery in August and according to the 2005 HERO'S Middleweight Champion, his doctor advised Yamamoto to recuperate from his injury for eight months, meaning that he won't be able to recover in time for the Featherweight GP, which begins in March at DREAM.7.

Oscar De La Hoya endorses Affliction: Day of Reckoning!

Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya was present during the recent press conference hosted by Donald Trump at Trump Tower to hype Affliction: Day of Reckoning and why shouldn't he be? De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions is working together with the upstart MMA promotion based on the popular Affliction Clothing line to extensively help promote Affliction's MMA events and considered the upcoming WAMMA Heavyweight Title bout between champion Fedor Emelianankeo and challenger Andrei Arlovski to be one of the most historical MMA fights that is comparable to some of the most legendary heavyweight boxing fights.

De La Hoya mentioned his desire to help promote Affliction and provide healthy competition to the UFC. "In what we accomplished in this short amount of time in boxing, our intention is the same in the MMA world. The expertise in what we have, in what Affliction, Trump have, we can beat one of the premier promoters in the MMA world. A little competition doesn’t hurt."

In related news, Affliction Vice-President Tom Atencio has planned to put on four Affliction pay-per-views this year with ten events based around the M-1 Challenge series, bringing a total of fourteen events this year. Atencio remarked that he will look at each event as it comes in order for him to put on four Affliction PPVs. M-1 Challenge is also said to be a "feeder system" for Affliction and will be running the second season of the popular MMA team challenge this year.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Quinton Jackson: Guilty! Plus, Denis Kang to debut at UFC 93 and Satoshi Ishii makes a bizarre challenge!

Quinton Jackson pleads guilty to felony, to be sentenced on January 7th, 2010.

Roughly a week after losing his UFC Light Heavyweight Title to Forrest Griffin in July 2008, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson found himself in a rampage truly befitting of his nickname when he led the police on a car chase and drove recklessly on a grim night in Southern California.

While Jackson had pleaded not guilty during the first few hearings, it was during a recent hearing where he pleaded guilty and thus accepted a deal with the Orange County District Attorney's office. According to the agreement, Jackson will have to "pay restitution for his crime, undergo mental health evaluations and perform 200 hours of community service." Jackson however could face the possibility of being sentenced up to six months in jail and probation if he does not fulfill his terms before the sentencing date, which falls on January 7th, 2010. Had he not accepted the deal, Jackson could face up to three years in prison if he was convicted.

According to toxicology reports, Jackson was not under the influence of any substances on the night of the incident. Medical professionals however have determined that Jackson was suffering from delirium (a form of mental issue) while he was driving, which led to the road rage. Jackson was reported to have driven recklessly through Cosa Mesa to Newport Beach while leading the police on an out of control car chase. Driving with a blown tire and talking on the cellphone, Jackson ignored the police's plea to pull over, ramming into several cars and also endangering the safety of pedestrians when he drove on the sidewalk. After running through several red lights, Jackson finally pulled over for the police before being subsequently charged for his actions.

In his first interview since the incident last August, Jackson explained that he "was trying to save his friend's life," in regards to the reason behind his actions.

Denis Kang to debut at UFC 93!

Popular Korean-Canadian fighter, Denis Kang, will finally be making his UFC debut since signing with the company last month when he takes on Alan Belcher at UFC 93 to be held in Dublin, Ireland. Kang had previously fought for PRIDE, HERO'S and DREAM while he was in Japan and felt that the UFC was in his radar, which he had mentioned in a recent interview regarding his impending UFC debut against Belcher with the Between Rounds Radio Show.

Kang has had several problems leading to him signing with the UFC. While he did not go into specific details, Kang mentioned that he "wanted to experience a new level of professionalism", something which he seemed to not have been able to experience while he was competing in Japan. He also has problems securing a visa and that caused many problems for Kang to be able to train with his team, American Top Team, over in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Aside from Belcher, Kang is looking forward to facing other exciting middleweights over in the UFC, including Demian Maia, Thales Leities, Rousimar Palhares and Drew McFedries. He is also very interested in one day challenging Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title, noting that The Spider has holes and weaknesses in his game, but has yet to have any of them be exploited by his opponents. Kang is also determined to work his way up the ladder into becoming a top contender for the title, not "do a Brock Lesnar and get two fights and get a title shot right away."

Satoshi Ishii makes a bizarre challenge!

In an incident that would make FEG squirm, Olympic Gold Medalist and potential UFC competitor Satoshi Ishii made an appearance at WVR's recent event, Sengoku no Ran 2009, when he delivered a promo right before the Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Sanae Kikuta match. Ishii introduced himself as an MMA fighter, then made a challenge to controversial Yokozuna, Asashoryu, to face him in a future Sengoku event! WVR PR Takahiro Kuniyasu is interested in signing Ishii to a deal once he is done competing in the UFC.

It was truly an incident which proved unflattering for FEG as they were strongly hoping for Ishii to make an appearance at Dynamite!! 2008 in order to announce that he would someday make his MMA debut for the promotion. Ishii then revealed last month that he had planned on heading to America to compete in the UFC instead in order to fulfill his dream as an MMA fighter. While Ishii was also reportedly in talks with WVR, nothing ever came out of it and thus, his appearance and subsequent challenge proved to be quite a shocker to the MMA community in Japan.

Asashoryu however has never competed in MMA. His brothers, Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar and Dolgorsuren Serjbudee have both competed in MMA bouts with Serjbudee also competed as a former pro-wrestler with New Japan Pro-Wrestling under the ring name Blue Wolf. Thus far, nothing has come out of Asashoryu's camp regarding the challenge, even though both the Yokozuna and Ishii were seen having a small chat after the challenge was made.

Newly crowned Sengoku Lightweight Champion Satoru Kitaoka was strongly negative on Ishii's advance into MMA, stating during the press conference the day after Sengoku no Ran 2009 that "Ishii is not good enough to survive in MMA. I don't think he can achieve success in MMA. Everybody will understand that I deserved to be here." This came into light when the Olympic Gold Medalist was said to have been getting even wider coverage of his surprise appearance at the event over Kitaoka's historic title win that same evening.

Source: and Sportsnavi

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Quick results from UFC 92, Dynamite!! 2008 and also WVR: Sengoku no Ran 2009!

Happy New Year everyone!

Many apologies for the late update. Due to terrible internet connection throughout Malaysia over the last few weeks, it has been really tough for me to provide updates and also, in the case of UFC 92, be able to watch the event. Now that I have completed viewing them, I'm able to post quick results of both events.

First up is UFC 92, where fans were treated to a night filled with unexpected results and stunning upsets. Quinton Jackson was able to avenge his two losses with a devastating left hook that sent his opponent, Wanderlei Silva, to the mat real hard! Now training in the Wolfslair MMA Academy over in Widnes, England, Rampage is now invigorated and is looking to once again become a top player in the light heavyweight division. Over in the heavyweight division, Frank Mir scored a huge upset and possibly the biggest win of his career thus far when he made history by becoming the first man to stop the ever-so durable Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to capture the UFC Interim Heavyweight Title and a date with the UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar in a future bout sometime this year! Not even some of the more top-tier fighters like Mirko Filipovic, Josh Barnett and even Fedor Emelianenko were able to accomplish this feat, thus making Mir a strong force in the heavyweight division. Finally, a new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion was crown as Rashad Evans closed out what has been an amazing year for the Detroit native when he knocked out champion Forrest Griffin in a thrilling fight to capture the UFC Light Heavyweight Title and remain undefeated! The UFC closed out the year with a huge bang, delivering an event that was well worth the watch and an event worth having in your UFC DVD collection. Highly recommend viewing.

Another fight that was quite an eye-opener was the opening bout on the PPV broadcast between heavyweight contenders Cheick Kongo and UFC newcomer Mustafa Al-Turk. After accidental low blows to one another during the fight, Kongo was able to pick up the win after a highly vicious and relentless ground and pound that left the Lebanese a bloody mess. I personally have never seen such a brutal TKO such as that since UFC 2 when Patrick Smith used a very brutal ground and pound on Scott Morris and that was before new rules were implemented and before the UFC was ever governed by an athletic state commission.

UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

Preliminary Bouts:

1. Heavyweight Bout
Pat Barry def. Dan Evensen via TKO (low kicks) - R1 (2:36)

2. Middleweight Bout
Brad Blackburn def. Ryo Chonan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

3. Light Heavyweight Bout
Matt Hamill def. Reese Andy via TKO (punches) - R2 (2:19)

4. Heavyweight Bout
Antoni Hardonk def. Mike Wessel via TKO (punches) - R2 (2:09)

5. Middleweight Bout
Yushin Okami def. Dean Lister via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Pay-Per-View Bouts:

6. Heavyweight Bout
Cheick Kongo def. Mustafa Al-Turk via TKO - R1 (4:37)

7. Light Heavyweight Bout
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson def. Wanderlei Silva via KO (left hook) - R1 (3:21)

8. Middleweight Bout
CB Dollaway def. Mike Massenzio via TKO (punches) - R1 (3:01)

9. UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship Bout
Frank Mir def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via TKO (strikes) - R2 (1:54)

10. UFC Light Heavyweight Championship Bout
Rashad Evans def. Forrest Griffin via TKO (punches) - R3 (2:46)

Up next was the New Year's Eve extravaganza, Dynamite!! 2008 produced by FEG! With a total of 17 bouts, the event had the makings of a classic and it did not disappoint. The main event saw two legendary Japanese fighters, Kazushi Sakuraba and Kiyoshi Tamura, finally clashing for the very first time in their illustrious MMA career. A hard-fought battle between both men resulted in Tamura taking the unanimous decision win and in the process, succeeding his senior back in their UWF-I days! Elsewhere, Shinya Aoki made history by becoming the very first WAMMA Lightweight Champion with his submission victory over Eddie Alvarez, HIROYA taking home the K-1 KOSHIEN Title and the majority of DREAM fighters who participated in K-1 Rules fights picking up huge wins, including Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem and Tatsuya Kawajiri, proving that despite being MMA fighters, they can mix it up against even the best K-1 fighters out there.

FieLDS Dynamite!! 2008
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan

1. K-1 Koshien Reserve Bout (136.7 pounds)
Taishi Hiratsuka def. Daizo Sasaki via KO - R2

2. DREAM Open-Weight Bout
Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa def. Errol Zimmerman via submission (toehold) - R1

3. K-1 Koshien Semifinal Bout (136.7 pounds)
Koya Urabe def. Tatsuya Kusakabe via TKO - R3

4. K-1 Koshien Semifinal Bout (136.7 pounds)
Hiroya def. Shota Shimada via unanimous decision

5. K-1 (156.5 pounds)
Artur Kyshenko def. Yoshihiro Sato via majority decision

6. DREAM (150 pounds)
Daisuke Nakamura def. Hideo Tokoro via submission (armbar) - R1

7. DREAM (165.3 pounds)
Andy Ologun def. Yukio Sakaguchi via KO - R1

8. K-1 Koshien Final (136.7 pounds)
Hiroya def. Koya Urabe via unanimous decision

9. DREAM Heavyweight Bout (DJ OZMA Produced Fight featuring Yudetamago)
Bob Sapp def. Kid Muscle via TKO - R1

10. DREAM Heavyweight Bout
Semmy Schilt def. Mighty Mo via submission (triangle choke) - R1

11. DREAM (176.4 pounds)
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai def. Katsuyori Shibata via TKO - R1

12. K-1 (154.3 pounds)
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kozo Takeda via TKO - R1

13. K-1 Heavyweight
Alistair Overeem def. Badr Hari via TKO - R1

14. DREAM Heavyweight
Mirko "Cro Cop" def. Hong Man Choi via TKO - R1

15. K-1
Gegard Mousasi def. Musashi via TKO - R1

16. DREAM Heavyweight
Melvin Manhoef def. Mark Hunt via KO - R1

17. DREAM Lightweight Bout/WAMMA Championship Bout
Shinya Aoki def. Eddie Alvarez via submission (heel hook) - R1

Kiyoshi Tamura def. Kazushi Sakuraba via unanimous decision

Finally, we take a look at the very first major MMA event of the year, WVR's Sengoku no Ran 2009! Two new champions were crowned that night in matches to determine the first-ever Sengoku Middleweight and Sengoku Lightweight Champions. The Sengoku Middleweight Title was decided between Jorge Santiago and the controversial GRABAKA Hitman, Kazuo Misaki. Santiago proved to be the better fighter despite Misaki coming in as the huge favorite when Santiago made Misaki tap out with a rear naked choke. The Sengoku Lightweight Title was then decided between Satoru Kitaoka and former Number One ranked lightweight in the world, Takanori Gomi. Gomi's recent slump continued and the former PRIDE Welterweight Champion lost the match via submission to Kitaoka, who is now the top fighter in WVR at 155 lbs. Elsewhere, Hidehiko Yoshida lost a tough battle against Sanae Kikuta, which made Yoshida contemplate going into retirement in the near future, while former EliteXC Heavyweight Champion Antonio Silva made his return to Japan by defeating Yoshihiro "KISS" Nakao by TKO.

World Victory Road: Sengoku No Ran 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan

1. Hidetaka Irie def. Minoru Kato via TKO (strikes) - R2 (4:21)
2. Maximo Blanco def. Seigo Inoue via KO - R1 (0:38)
3. Choi Mu Bae def. Dave "Pee Wee" Herman via TKO (strikes) - R2 (2:22)
4. Eiji Mitsuoka def. Sergey Golyaev via submission (armbar) - R1 (4:22)
5. Antonio Silva def. Yoshihiro "KISS" Nakao via TKO (injury) - R1 (1:42)
6. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawel def. Yukiya Naito via TKO (strikes) - R1 (3:54)
7. Sanae Kikuta def. Hidehiko Yoshida via split decision
8. Sengoku Middleweight Title: Jorge Santiago def. Kazuo Misaki via submission (RNC) - R5 (3:26)
9. Sengoku Lightweight Title: Satoru Kitaoka def. Takanori Gomi via submission (achilles lock) - R1 (1:41)