So, here it is. Monday. I sit down to write a “Spilled Bag of Fights”. Black coffee, Black Sabbath and my pup by my side. Deep breath. Man, what a roller coaster of a weekend for MMA… for me at least.
First off, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay condolences to coach Shawn Tompkins. I didn’t know him personally but he’s obviously had a great impact on his students and the sport and his death comes way too young. Sad for his friends, family, and MMA.
Let’s start with Friday when I was unexpectedly given a ticket to Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs. Duarte. When I showed up I was surprised to be sitting next to MMA Valor’s own Dylan Horner. I also went to UFC 125: Edgar vs. Maynard with him. For some reason whenever I sit next to Dylan there’s a drunken moron yelling really dumb shit. Last time it was the guy who was yelling “Flip ‘em over!”, “Don’t take that bullshit!” and insisting that Asians can fly and that Clay Guida looks like Dog the Bounty Hunter. This time it was a guy who looked like John Denver with a mustache. He looked like he stepped out of his time machine from 1978 and sat down in front of us. Some of his gems included: “Kick ‘em in the balls!”, “You hit like a girl!” and as soon as the fight went to the ground, “C’mon ref, Stand ‘em up!” and “Kick ‘em in the head!”. Clearly, this gentleman that people in our section dubbed “Shaggy” had a less-than-educated understanding of the rules of mixed martial arts.
So, my Twitter homeboy and friend of the site, Dan “Dannyboy” Downes fought a tune-up fight outside the UFC this Friday. Regarding his opponent, I’m not gonna give this chump any more press by mentioning his name but he has a name that sounds like a supplement you’d get at GNC. Anyway, before this fight I was curious if this dude had a Twitter account. We all know Dannyboy is the tweet zen master so I was curious if this guy had a Twitter and would mention anything about the fight. Well, he did mention it… he also seemed to have no idea how to use Twitter. Seems he had some sort of weird beef with Jens Pulver and kept calling Jens out -but not by using the @Jens_Pulver that would allow Jens to see it but rather just tweeting and, I guess, hoping that one of his dozen or so followers would pass it on. What a goof!
Yet another installment of UFC Fight Night slams the Pacific Northwest and hits hard in the Key Arena of Seattle, Washington this Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis. The main event has veteran of the game “Lil’ Nog” Antônio Rogério Nogueira (18-4) taking on uprising star, “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (7-0). “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (8-3) steps back in the cage after a lengthy lay-off with the hopes of making former top welterweight contender “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-8) another victim of his knockout power. In a welterweight showcase, fan favorites and The Ultimate Fighter alumni meet when “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-8) and Amir Sadollah (4-2) step into the Octagon. In a repeat of 2010’s “Fight of the Year”, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (10-3) steps up on short notice, replacing Nam Phan (18-9), to challenge WEC transplant “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-6-1) in a featherweight match-up. With Garcia getting the Split Decision victory in the first duel, will the “Zombie” rise from the dead to even the score or will Garcia prove he has Jung figured out? Come March 26, any doubts of their first fight will be answered only to have new questions asked. With the card free on Spike TV, there is no excuse to not tune in.
Feast or Famine. Such is life. Such is MMA. I think over the last week there were about 738 fights. UFC on Versus: Kampmann vs. Sanchez, Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson, Bellator 35 aka The Welterweight Tournament, Chicago Cagefighting Championship with lovable Twitter Smartass/Badass Felice Herrig and the venerable legend and fan favorite Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver headlining. GASP! That’s too much, Billy!! ( From Buffalo 66 http://twitpic.com/4784p3 ) See, now you’re all in on my references. And yes, for the record, I shot that from my TV & uploaded it, just so you would get the reference. I love you that much… Well, either that or I was just procrastinating. Tomato – Tomahto.
So what do I do? Do I focus on a few key fights and ignore everything else or do quick thoughts on everything? Decisions, decisions. Damn, the new season of The Ultimate Fighter is coming up soon and I’ll have that to add to everything else to write about. I need a nap.
Last Saturday, MMA Gospel was in attendance for Xtreme Fighting Organization’s (XFO) most recent effort in XFO 38, which featured the highly anticipated return to the cage for former UFC Lightweight Champion “Lil’ Evil” Jens Pulver (23-14-1) as well as 23 other mixed martial arts contests. In addition to the 20 amateur bouts featuring fighters from local camps large and small, the XFO gave fans four professional offerings featuring some of the area’s favorite young pros and the professional debut of two men eager to turn their amateur success into thriving MMA careers. The Woodstock Harley Davidson was packed with eager MMA fans who showed the level of respect for fighters that one finds at only the local level and they were not disappointed with the show.
So, it’s been a while. Well, actually there was a “Spilled Bag of Chat” with Team MeatBerry last week. Here’s the link if you missed it.
Thankfully, we had UFC Fight for the Troops 2 on Saturday so I have something to write about… aside from my leaking ceiling, which was fixed supposedly, thanks for asking. We’ll see next time it rains.
So, right… Should I go in order or just wing it? Freestyle. Well, we live in an era of short attention spans, right? I think I read that somewhere on the Internet. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the micro-information, multi-tasking, Attention Deficit Disorder epidemic. Well, obviously you guys read, right? But still… I better keep it moving to hold your attention. I hear weed is good for that. Nick Diaz told me. Or maybe I read it online. I dunno, I can’t concentrate. I think I need some medical marijuana. Are any of you guys stoned right now? Like you. Yes, YOU. Am I freaking you out, man? Okay, my short attention span has expired on this joke… but how about this one. I was wondering why Matt Mitrione did not have his much ballyhooed “Meatstache” for the fight. After all, there was so much talk of it taking over the world (listen to the “Spilled Bag of Chat”!) and it was seen looking ready for war at the weigh-ins the day before the fights. In fact, at the face-off between Tim Hague and Matt, Meatstache looked like it was ready to throw down with Tim’s beard right then and there. And yet, when Matt walked into the Octagon on Saturday night, his face was conspicuously clean-shaven. What happened?! I sure don’t know. I asked Matt on Twitter and have not gotten a reply yet. So, I can only imagine what happened. And when I imagine what happened, it goes a little something like this:
Former UFC Lightweight Champion and WEC veteran “Lil’ Evil” Jens Pulver (23-14-1) returned to the cage for the first time in over a year at last night’s Xtreme Fighting Organization (XFO) 38 event in Woodstock, Illinois. Pulver faced top-ranked regional featherweight “The Assassin” Mike Lindquist (19-21), defeating him via Rear Naked Choke just 49 seconds into the opening stanza and snapping a six fight losing streak. Here is the main event bout in its entirety:
(Video courtesy of ChicagosMMA.com)
Love or hate him, “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0) is “here to break your will”.
He bears an attitude befitting of his nickname, “The Bully”, and a wrestling pedigree which virtually renders his opponent’s takedown defense futile and asserts that their ground game had better be developed. However in terms of the UFC’s lightweight division what holds Maynard to the highest degree as the number one contender is not his honor of earning one of the fastest knockouts in the promotion’s history or wins over notable fighters such as fellow TUF 5 alum Nate Diaz (12-6), “KenFlo” Kenny Florian (13-5), “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (19-2) or “El Matador” Roger Huerta (21-5-1). It is the fact he is the only person who holds a victory, unanimous no less, against reigning Lightweight Champion “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1). With a challenger bearing a perfect record seeking the title and the champion who seeks to avenge the only loss on his record, UFC 125 on New Year’s Day has set the stage for these two lightweight titans to compete.