It’s been three days since Nick Diaz lost to Carlos Condit for the interim UFC welterweight title. Three days of controversy, outrage and suffering…Well, for me it was suffering. I wanted Nick to win. I wanted Nick to fight Georges St. Pierre and to beat him. I wanted the fearless, scrappy kid from Stockton to overthrow the Canadian golden boy and bring some excitement and “fuck you” attitude back to MMA.
However, unlike most Nick Diaz fans, I couldn’t find solace in thinking that the loss was a “robbery” or that Condit just “ran away” the whole fight because both of those sentiments are ridiculous. I’m blessed and cursed with having the ability to see things from a lot of different angles and perspectives and not just the ones that fit into my desired reality. So, it’s not so easy for me to come to terms with certain things without that ability to just ignore certain facts. But after days of absorbing everything that I saw Saturday night as I sat in my awesome seats at Mandalay Bay like a pimp and all the different points of view that fans have shared via that beautiful yet diseased harlot I like to call “the internet”, I’ve got some things worked out. I suffer, struggle, and come up with answers and now share them with you so that you may be saved. Kinda like Jesus… okay, exactly like Jesus.
“The Titan” Lew Polley (10-4) is a name that, up until just a couple of months ago, may not have been particularly well known among many MMA fans. The ability to fly under the radar certainly changed for Polley once he accepted the role as wrestling coach for Team Dos Santos on the most recent installment of Spike TV and Zuffa’s hit reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. An otherwise relatively mellow season has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows for “The Titan”, whose own experience on TUF 13 left much to be desired; ultimately, after several weeks of back-and-forth conflict and escalating tension levels between Polley and “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1), Polley was asked by the Black House fighter to leave the show. It was a first for The Ultimate Fighter.
Following the controversial dismissal, MMA Gospel Editor-in-Chief Mallory Mejia spent 120 minutes talking to Lew and getting his take on The Ultimate Fighter 13. This two-part interview explores Polley’s own credentials in respect to MMA, his favorite previous seasons and coaches of The Ultimate Fighter, changes he would make to the TUF program, who he found to be the most viable contenders among the Season 13 fighters, his response to both the shit talkers and the supporters, and of course, a whole lot about the highly publicized feud between himself and his friend, TUF 13 head coach opposite Brock Lesnar (5-2), Junior Dos Santos.
San Diego, California gets its latest taste of MMA action when Strikeforce comes rolling in this Saturday night. The main card offers enough action to entertain even the more casual mixed martial arts fans, covering the full gamut with young up-and-comers, seasoned veterans, aspiring champions, and game competitors. Submission specialist Shinya Aoki (19-5) battles the always dangerous Lyle Beerbohm (15-1). Japanese wonder “Crusher” Tatsuya Kawajiri (26-5-2) comes onto US soil with the goal of taking the lightweight title from “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (18-2). In the main event, “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2) challenges current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) in a five-round battle. Within the chaos going on, former UFC superstar “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (15-9-1) replaces an injured “MAK” Mike Kyle (14-8-1) to take on 205lbs. contender “The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi (24-3-1). For Mousasi, every win gets him closer to regaining the light heavyweight title. With Jardine on the opposite end of him, Mousasi better tread carefully lest he wants to become a stepping stone to Jardine’s second change at glory.
What do you get when you combine elite wrestling perfectly adapted for MMA, unpredictability and creativity that you really can’t game plan for and a freakishly long reach unmatched in MMA? The new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon “Bones” Jones. It amazes me that there are still people who are saying the hype isn’t deserved. The dude walked through “Shogun” Rua. Even coming off an injury or not in top form or whatever other excuses you want to make, to effortlessly dismantle and destroy “Shogun” is an unbelievably impressive feat. And we’re not talking about an isolated incident here. Great wrestlers, veterans, brawlers, Muay Thai dudes, and motherfucking “Shogun”: nothing has been able to stymie this kid – even for a round. No one’s unbeatable, no doubt, but if you don’t think the “Bones” hype is justified, you’re a hater. Hey, I get it. I love “Shogun”. What kinda dickface doesn’t love “Shogun”? And it wasn’t easy to watch his get his ass handed to him… but the facts is the facts, son. The Jon “Bones” Jones hype train pulled into Newark last Saturday night and unfortunately, “Shogun” was under it.
It seems that the UFC has outdone itself again with another solid night of fights planned out at UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones. In the main event, “Bones” Jon Jones (12-1) hopes to add the UFC light heavyweight title to his resume when he faces the champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (19-4). WEC bantamweights light up at the co-main event when both “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (24-4) and Eddie Wineland (17-6-1) make their UFC debuts. “The Great” Nate Marquardt (30-10-2) takes on a very game late replacement Dan Miller (13-4) in a middleweight showcase. One of New Jersey’s favorite sons, and also the younger brother of Dan Miller, “The Mongoose” Jim Miller is set to engage with former WEC lightweight “The Prince of Persia” Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2). If this card were not stacked enough, kicking the main card off: rising heavyweight “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (6-1) hopes to add lethal kickboxer and PRIDE Grand Prix winner “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipović (27-9-2) to his trophy case of victims. Between the veteran who still has plenty of fight left in him and the upcoming star who seeks to advance towards glory at his expense, this match-up promises fireworks. Duck out of work early, fake sick from the family outing, make any excuse needed. “The Hybrid” and “Cro Cop” is a fight that is not one to miss.
Tonight the UFC comes to the hometown of boxing legend “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali to host its third installment of UFC on Versus at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, bringing with it a main card full of heavy hitters and wrestling stand-outs. Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Brian Bowles (8-1) makes his long awaited return as he takes on WEC veteran “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (10-6), Italian striker “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-7) squares off with UFC newcomer Chris Weidman (4-0), The Ultimate Fighter 7 finalist “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (11-2) looks to gain revenge for teammate “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-2) as he takes on “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2) in a bout that will most likely be a wrestling barn burner, and the main event pits “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-4) against “The Dream” Diego Sanchez (22-4) in search for redemption in the welterweight division. The two marquis fighters, Diego and Martin, have a need to reassert their position in the division and a return to form at UFC on Versus 3 is the perfect stage to do so.
Saturday, February 12. The night was chilly as usual but even another freezing night could not damper my mood as I drove towards East Rutherford, New Jersey and the start of the unprecedented (in the US at least) Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament being put together by Strikeforce. With so much emphasis put on the UFC, fans really had to be surprised to see the wealth of heavyweight talent amassed for this tournament. That I was witnessing the launch of such an historic MMA event left me quite gleeful. Of course events that unfolded would show that for Strikeforce no good deed goes unpunished. But we’ll get to that.
As I drove toward Lot 26 which is designated for the press and employees I stopped to ask every parking attendant where the lot was located and was instructed to just keep driving. When I finally circled the entire IZOD Center and came to my designated lot I made an ill advised, on-the-fly decision to not stop by the parking person manning this lot and a few seconds later felt like Billy Hayes in Midnight Express as my car was surrounded by several guys who looked as if they were competing in the evening’s Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament or at least a local tough man contest. After the some venting of steam by guys whose mood was not enhanced by the freezing temps, I was finally able to spit out my name and ultimately allowed to proceed and park. So began my first sojourn as a credentialed press dignitary. I almost ended up buried with Jimmy Hoffa and other luminaries in the nearby meadowland swamps courtesy of Mo and the guys.
Superbowl Sunday is undoubtedly one of the biggest sports day of the year, and to conclude the NFL 2010-2011 season the Pittsburgh Steelers will meet the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, February 6 in Dallas, Texas. However, on the eve of the big game, the UFC will be hosting one of the biggest mixed martial arts shows of the year live from its hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada in the form of UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort. The event is considered to boast the most stacked card since UFC 100, with former WEC bad boy “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (12-4) facing Wolfslair Academy graduate Paul Kelly (11-3), fan favorite Miguel Torres (37-3) making his UFC debut against fellow former WEC bantamweight Antonio Banuelos (18-6), a collision between former champions with Forrest Griffin (17-6) facing “Ace” Rich Franklin (27-5), and in the main event, top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world and current UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (27-4) defending his belt for a record eighth time against dangerous striker “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-8). Another bout on this star studded fight card features a match-up between arguably two of the premier young light heavyweights in the world, when Jackson’s Submission Fighting trained “Bones” Jon Jones (11-1) meets undefeated The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-0). The lone blemish on Jones’ record came via disqualification due to some illegal elbows in a fight he was dominating against “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (9-2). The winner of this fight will most certainly be considered a top five light heavyweight in the UFC, if not the world.
Happy New Year, kids. And here we are with the very first column of the new year. The pressure, man… the goddamn pressure! So, back last year we had the DREAM: Dynamite!! 2010 card that had about thirty-eight fights. Holy shit, just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap. Granted, most things make me want to take a nap and it may also be the fact that the card started at like 1am and was almost three days long. Luckily, the place I was staying in Vegas had Direct TV and HDNet so, I didn’t have to watch it hunched over a laptop for three days. I didn’t make it through the whole card in one sitting but I did make it to daybreak and I didn’t have to kill anything for food or drink my own urine but it did test my dedication to MMA.
Nemesis Fighting’s inaugural event “MMA Global Invasion” has had its fair share of problems. Originally slated for November 13 in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, the show was postponed a full month due to an impending tropical storm. After yet another rescheduling as well as a venue change, the card finally took place this past weekend and was slated to air last night on Pay-Per-View. That didn’t happen, either. According to the promotion’s website, the event has been “rescheduled” with the “date to be announced soon”. If only this were what all the current fuss is about.
MMAWeekly.com confirmed with at least eight of the fighters on the card that they were not paid by Nemesis Fighting – or rather, the checks were distributed but bounced due to insufficient funds in promotion’s bank account. Every single one of them bounced.
This Saturday at UFC 124 the welterweight championship belt will be up for grabs again when “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (20-2) faces off against Josh Koscheck (15-4). This match-up will be an attempt to extend a seven fight winning streak for 170lb. division king GSP which includes and would lengthen his current count of consecutive title defenses from four to five. Much of the The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 was marked by Koscheck attempting to get under GSP’s skin and GSP ignoring him completely. All of St. Pierre’s animosity for Koscheck has been channeled into his training, creating one of the most dangerous weapons on the planet – a motivated Georges St. Pierre.
“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” — Bob Dylan
So after last week’s exciting showdown between Josh Koscheck and MMA’s most famous male nurse, Brad Tate, this weeks’ TUF had nary a glimpse of Brad. Talk about loose ends. That’s just bad storytelling. Was Brad asked to leave? Did he leave on his own? Was he there but they chose to cut him out as to not take focus away from the two fights on the show? Whatever, but you can’t just build your story up to such a dramatic showdown as TUF did last week and then just drop it like it never happened.