Five for Fighting: Georgetown Hoyas Brawl Needed these 5 People

The Big East is represented in China at the moment by none other than the Georgetown Hoyas. The supposed goodwill tour recently included a bench clearing brawl. This leaves a black mark for the moment on the university, but as usual John Thompson III has a measured response in not hastily cancelling future contests.

Some more muscle could have assisted the Hoyas in achieving greater success in the melee.

Iron Mike Tyson is a prime example of someone who could have taken care of business on the court with the frenzy. He does have a softer side now as a supposed family man, but he still has to be all kinds of crazy to have that kind of affection for pigeons. If I had that hobby, the last thing in the world that I would be looking to do is broadcast it to the world.

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Minnesota Twins are in Total Free Fall

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The Minnesota Twins have been plummeting in the American League Central standings. There win percentage may be lower than Adam Dunn’s batting average by the end of September. The Scott Baker injury recently put the icing on the cake of a disastrous season. Fans looking for a bargain in the Twin Cities should look to purchase tickets secondhand during an NFL Sunday. They could pick up the seats for next to nothing.

In analyzing the struggles of the ball club, the most glaring shortcoming is the lack of RBI production from those who should have provided more impressive numbers. Delmon Young, Jason Kubel, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer were all expected to have substantially more runs batted in. Usually the team can weather the storm if one of its players falls off, but when it’s almost everyone, good luck.

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Shaq Lists top 5 NBA Players He’d Fight MMA Style (Video)

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Shaq gives his top 5 countdown on HDNet’s “Inside the MMA” this Friday, August 12th at 10pmET. But we have the list already. Watch the video after the jump
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Get Your MMA On! Our Resident Ultimate Fighter Enters the Ring Wed Night

The Pre-fight Mindset with MMA Fighter Jason Moe

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Ever wonder what an MMA fighter goes through during the final days,minutes and moments? Alexia Krause has an exclusive with brawler Jason Moe, and brings us these insights.

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Inside the Mind and Body of a MMA Fighter

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A few weeks back I was introduced to a young man named Jason Moe who was eagerly embarking upon his MMA career. After speaking with him and seeing the spark and passion he has for mixed martial arts, I decided it would be a great topic to share with my readers. Hopefully, this interview with Moe will give an insight to one of the lesser known- but equally as important- aspects of the MMA universe.

By Alexia Krause

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Mixed Martial Arts May be Key to Saving New York State Budget

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With the New York state deficit hitting $8 billion, steps need to be taken in order to right the ship that is the state’s budget. Recently New York Gov. David Paterson stated that the projected deficit for the upcoming fiscal year has grown by an additional $750 million. There’s no doubting that the Empire State is in dire straits trying to fix their deficit.  It is extremely difficult trying to balance a state budget at a time when the country as a whole is going through some of its most difficult economic hurdles in recent history.

This forces us to take a fresh look at which programs will continue to receive funding. As a result, the state has been forced to cut, reject, and outright shut down many state programs and projects in order to make some type of movement out of the red and back into the black. Many of these budget cuts (like closing down state parks and cutting funding to public schools) were rampant and have cast an unfavorable light on politicians in Albany in the eyes of many New Yorkers. However, something must be done in order to fight the ailing state economy. As coincidence has it, a good fight might just be the answer to the budget problems.

By Alexia Krause

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Patchwork UFC 106 sees Griffin defeat Ortiz

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By Chad Wuttke

When the event was announced, we were looking at Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin in the main event.  An illness to Lesnar postponed the match and we were given Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin as the new main event.  A fight with two big names, but also two losing streaks.

Ortiz returned to the UFC after 18 months of bickering with Dana White, impregnating his pornstar wife Jenna Jameson, back surgery, a failed stint on The Apprentice, and an embarrassing showing as an commentator for Affliction. (search youtube for “Tito + mic =”)

Forrest Griffin returned to the octagon following losses to Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva and was desperate for a victory.  The former champion was tooled around the cage in his last performance against Silva and needed a fight to boost his confidence.MMA UFC 106 Ortiz Forrest 20091119

Enter Tito Ortiz.

The Huntington Beach Bad Boy, who made his UFC debut in 1997 at UFC 13, has always been known for selling a fight and he did his best despite apparently having a fractured skull (if you saw the event, you saw his black eye).  Although his legacy will someday be cemented in the UFC Hall of Fame, Ortiz hasn’t tasted victory inside the cage in over three years.  Time has caught up to Ortiz’s trademark takedown, and without top level standup, Ortiz has become a one-trick-pony.  Many in the business feel the 2009 version of Ortiz is outdated and irrelevant.

These two met once before at UFC 59 where Ortiz grinded out a controversial split decision victory.  The rematch would be eerily similar some three and a half years later.

Ortiz’s only way to win this fight was to utilize his wrestling skills and deliver some vintage ground and pound and that’s just what he did for the better part of the first two rounds.  Ortiz didn’t do much damage until the second round when he landed some brutal elbow strikes which gave us all a chance to  see Griffin’s trademark, blood.

After two hotly contested rounds, Griffin turned it up in the third round by stuffing a sluggish takedown attempt from Ortiz and unleashing some solid punching combinations of his own.  Ortiz threw maybe three punches in the third round and seemed content with dragging it to a decision.  Seeing Ortiz offer nothing in the third, it was disappointing to see Forrest not finish Ortiz in the fashion he did against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.   Still, the fight went to the judges and Griffin was awarded a split decision victory.

That’s two fights and two split decision victories for each.  It looks like we may see Ortiz-Griffin 3 in the future and if Ortiz had his wish, we might see these two as coaches on the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter.

The night’s co-main event saw two young guns with title aspirations lock horns in what turned out to be a battle of eye pokes and illegal strikes.  Josh Koschek and his annoying smugness faced off against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and his 220 pound frame in a welterweight contender match.

Rumble started the fight by utilizing his reach advantage by landing a number of stinging leg kicks.  Koschek, who has faced a who’s who in the division, remained patient and was able to avoid any sizable damage.  The fight changed however following an illegal knee from Johnson to a downed Koschek and Rumble was deducted a point for the infraction.  Koschek returned with two accidental eye pokes of his own in the second round and followed with his bread and butter, ground and pound.  Koschek dropped a series of elbows and when Johnson gave him his back, Koschek locked in a rear naked choke for the victory.

Following the fight, Koschek called out UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre, a man he lost to at UFC 74.  With GSP already locked into a fight with Dan Hardy, Koschek will perhaps be looking at another rematch against a fighter who was also victorious at UFC 106, Paulo Thiago.

Another fight with title implications saw Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (known as Lil Nog in the forums) face off against blue chip prospect Luis Arthur Cane.  It was Nogueira’s night as the younger brother of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira used his boxing skills to knockout Cane with a vicious left hand.

With such a devastating knockout in his UFC debut, Lil Nog now thrusts himself into title contention.  Fights with Rashad Evans, Rich Franklin, or Thiago Silva could be in his future.

Boxing Incapable of Competing With MMA Powerhouse

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By Vlad Kaganovsky

Whether using Pay-Per-View buys (PPV hereafter) or TV ratings and mainstream hype as the litmus test, MMA has unquestionably surpassed boxing as the most popular fight sport. In a short span of about 10 years, the UFC, as the global ambassador of MMA, transformed itself from a bankrupt company into an organization that sells more PPVs than boxing and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) combined. Yet, this does not surprise many in the fight game. Both the structure and marketing of boxing have been heavily criticized in the past, to the point that Dana White, president of the UFC, has stated that the UFC was built upon the mistakes that boxing promoters have made over the years.

From a fan’s perspective, boxing is disgracefully impotent in a very key aspect; namely, showcasing matches that feature the best fighters fighting each other. Whether due to quarreling promoters or the multitude of weight classes and divisions, marquee boxing matches rarely feature the best fighters fighting against each other. Instead, as evidenced most recently in past Saturday’s Mayweather vs. Marquez match, promoters ultimately settle on matches that have the most perceived drawing power but little competitiveness. The Mayweather vs. Marquez fight was completely one-sided, and although official PPV stats aren’t yet known, boxing’s chase for PPV sales coupled with a disregard for the fans’ desire to see the best fighters fight each other, have and will continue to lead to declines in sales for boxing.

MMA in general, and the UFC in particular, attempts to feature the best fighters fighting against each other, creating an incessant desire from the fans to always see the “best of the best” compete against each other. In order to achieve this, the UFC has been able to successfully bring together most of the best fighters in the world. Once contractually bound to the UFC, promoters, agents, and other factors that influence the cards and fights in boxing are removed. When a fan orders a UFC event and witnesses a title fight, they can be sure that the fighters involved are among the top three fighters in that weight class in the world. muay_thai_10

Another glaring problem with boxing, and one that makes it incredibly difficult to promote standout athletes and fights, is the abundance of weight classes and title-granting organizations. Four major sanctioning bodies exist in boxing, each with its own title for every weight.

Furthermore, there are numerous (between 11 for the Olympics and 16 elsewhere) and often-inconsistent weight classes in boxing, compared to the five simple weight classes in MMA. Between all the weight classes and sanctioning bodies, it is extremely challenging for boxing to gain a following from casual fans and inhibits boxing’s ability to attract new fans. Fans need to be able to follow a sport’s key figures and champions without having to diagram a permutations matrix. The simple structure of MMA weight classes (only 5) and the governing body (the UFC or the whichever organization it may be) allows for effective marketing that quickly generates fans.

Whether due to the intrinsic structural flaws in the sport of boxing or the raw mass appeal of mixed martial arts, the numbers show that boxing’s fall from preeminence has arrived and is here to stay. While Mayweather’s last fight against Ricky Hatton generated around 1.5 million PPV buys, UFC 100 generated 1.72 million buys. Yet, comparing event vs. event doesn’t even begin to tell the story of MMA’s dominance over boxing.

Boxing and its promoters can barely muster up one or two shows that are even worthy of a PPV slot per year. Even if their numbers are great for these shows, the UFC has managed to air 10-12 PPV shows for the past two years, with no sign of slowing down. In fact, UFC management is only planning to increase the frequency of UFC PPVs.

Regardless of how epic a boxing match can be, boxing simply can’t compete with the output of MMA with one or two shows a year and they don’t have the ability to promote more shows because their simply isn’t a PPV market, or any market for that matter, to see no-name fighters from so-and-so league with so-and-so title facing off against each other. One can simply argue that an MMA fight is simply more interesting and entertaining than a boxing match due to the various styles and techniques that can be employed, but at this point one need not even make this argument since boxing’s inability to consistently showcase fights that fans want to see has and will continue to lead to boxing’s demise.

Belfort, Franklin set to meet at UFC 103

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By Chad Wuttke

Now that we’ve all recovered from the comedy-turned-bloodbath debut of The Ultimate Fighter 10, we can focus on UFC 103. While this main event fight doesn’t jump off the screen, it is an intriguing bout that could provide a defining moment in the careers of two legendary fighters, Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort.

Rich Franklin enters this catch-weight bout as a man without a weight division. Following his decision victory over Wanderlei Silva, Franklin still remains a main event fighter with title aspirations. The question is, what weight class?

Having lost twice to middleweight champion Anderson Silva and subsequently moving up to the light heavyweight division with mixed results, Franklin now fights his second fight in a row at a catch-weight of 195 pounds. There is no 195 pound division, so unless one is created, Franklin will have to face the daunting task of moving up to the stacked light heavyweight division where he will surely face both strength and size disadvantages. efrain

Until his hand is forced, Franklin will continue to be fed top 10 ranked opponents and his next opponent is as dangerous as they come.

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort returns to the UFC after two spectacular knockout victories over Matt Lindland and Terry Martin in the now defunct Affliction promotion. Riding that momentum, Belfort now seeks to reestablish himself as a contender in the UFC’s middleweight division.

With his career once again rejuvenated, “The Phenom” is looking to capture the magic he once had when he debuted at UFC 12 over a decade ago. Then only 19, Belfort brought skills to the UFC that fans had never seen before. A black belt in jiu-jitsu with hand speed comparable to Roy Jones Jr., Belfort seemed to be on a path to super-stardom.

Inconsistency inside and outside of the ring have derailed the Belfort train over the years. Performances like the 44 second destruction of Wanderlei Silva and the one-sided loss to Kazushi Sakuraba have left fans asking; “What Vitor will show up?” Now training at Xtreme Couture, Belfort seems to have overcome many of those questions. Still, Belfort has a history of coming up short against top competition and Franklin is definitely a top tier fighter.

In the night’s co-main event, former Pride headhunter Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic takes on the UFC’s latest blue chip prospect, Junior dos Santos. Cro Cop returns to the UFC with a new three fight contract after a controversial victory over Mostapha Al-Turk at UFC ’99 in Germany. In the fight, Cro Cop used an accidental double eye poke to eventually overwhelm Al-Turk for a TKO victory. Cro Cop needs a better performance if he wants to get back in the fan’s good graces. His devastating knockouts in the Pride organization seem like a distant memory.

Junior dos Santos enters the cage riding a wave of momentum. His colossal uppercut knockout of Fabricio Werdum put Dos Santos on the map and after another win at UFC 95 over Steven Struve, dos Santos now looks to move from prospect to contender. A win over a legend like Cro Cop would do just that.

Originally slated as a number one contender match, Martin Kampmann now faces British striker Paul Daley in just a “contender” match after Mike Swick was forced to drop out due to injury. Kampmann holds a robust 15-2 record with a good mixture of knockouts and submissions to his credit while Daley is making his first appearance in the UFC following numerous contests in promotions such as Cage Rage, Strikeforce, and Elite-XC.

Also featured on the main card is a bout between standout wrestlers, Frank Trigg and Josh Koscheck. The 37 year old Trigg, who owns the worst nickname in MMA, Twinkle Toes, makes his return to the UFC after a 4 year hiatus.

Josh Koscheck will be looking to bounce back after being upset by Paulo Thiago at UFC 95. The four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler has attempted to become more of a standup fighter recently with mixed results.

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In what sets up to be the fight of the night, Tyson Griffin takes on Hermes Franca in an entertaining lightweight tussle. The Xtreme Couture trained Griffin has won five “fight of the night” awards in his last 7 fights.

Also known as an entertaining fighter, Franca brings both exciting Jiu-Jitsu and an awkwardly efficient overhand right to the cage. Following a win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90, Franca tore his ACL and had to pull out of a fight with Joe Lauzon. A fight with Griffin will be a solid test for Franca and his rehabilitated knee and will also be a telling sign of where these two fighters stand in a talent rich lightweight division.

UFC Media Coverage Rules- Dana’s World

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By Chad Wuttke

The growth of MMA has brought the sport ever closer to the mainstream, and at this critical time, the relationship between MMA promotions and the media is increasingly important.  Exposure through the internet has taken a back seat to more traditional forms of media thanks to some procedural, and sometimes political, changes. Recent moves by UFC President Dana White appear to have catered to the print media, or what he calls, “real media”.  As a result, the internet is often left with only table scraps.  The question is, when will Dana warm up to the internet?

A recent article titled “Dana White vs. Internet Media” (see: WatchKalibRun.com) urges Dana White to allow more internet media coverage and also let internet reporters be credentialed at UFC events.  The problem lies with that fact that the article is the same type of self-serving content that Dana White is talking about.  There are literally dozens and possibly hundreds of goofy-titled websites dedicated to MMA.  Is everyone entitled to a piece of the UFC pie?

First, a general question:  How do you become a “member of the media?”  Can anyone start a website to air their thoughts on MMA and call themselves “media?”  We’re now talking about potentially thousands of bloggers out there who claim to be media and feel entitled to access that the general public isn’t given.

Sure, consumers need content, and the masses will go to reliable and credible content before they go to biased providers.  White has stated before that he reads the forums and realizes there are some intelligent things being written, and some things that are utterly insane.  Point is, those are fans being fans, not fans being reporters.

Dana White isn’t stupid.  The UFC was bought for 2 million dollars in 2001 and is now worth over a billion.  He has a track record of being one step ahead of everyone else in the MMA realm.  Let’s not forget, he is the CEO of a business.  He’s got the UFC’s best interests in mind and will do whatever it takes to protect its image and its future.  We’ve all learned that when you burn a bridge with Dana White, you don’t build it back.  The website Sherdog.com knows that all too well and an episode not so long ago may be the best demonstration of why White is skittish when it comes to the internet.

Dana White has long maintained a Chris Brown/Rihanna style relationship with the internet media; particularly with Sherdog.  White says it’s because of numerous backstabbing moments by Sherdog, including one time in which they outright threatened to cover more Pride than UFC.

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The issue hit its peak when Dana White unleashed a tirade against Loretta Hunt and Sherdog after Hunt wrote an article depicting Dana White driving a wedge between fighters and their managers and/or agents.  The controversial rant included 42 f-bombs and a certain gay slur that Dana White was forced to apologize for.  The video went viral and it led to hundreds of “Is Dana White bad for the UFC?” write-ups in both print and online.  Soon after, UFC 100 broke every MMA pay-per-view record there was, proving Dana’s antics left no lasting impression.

So, when will Dana White warm up to the internet?  Bottom line:  He doesn’t have to.
Dana White owns the younger demographic.  With aspirations of being the biggest sport in the world, Dana White needs to appeal to the older audience.  What better way to do that than by pandering to sportswriters.  The UFC hasn’t crossed into mainstream media like the NFL or MLB have.  It isn’t a day-to-day topic of conversation on Sportscenter.  Highly regarded sportswriters like Woody Paige, Bob Ryan and Rick Reilly probably don’t even know what MMA stands for, let alone have a roundtable discussion about who the best heavyweight fighter in the world is.  Clearly, the UFC still has many hills to climb, but some sports TV and radio staples like Jim Rome and Jay Glazer are already welcoming MMA as an equal among more traditional sports.  danawhite_boxing

Changes are happening everyday in regards to how we receive our news.  Local TV stations, radio outlets and newspapers are all seeing their profits dwindle as more and more people get their information from the net.  These days everyone seems to have a blog or website.  It’s an issue that will continue to be bounced around the blogs for years.  Dana White has to remember where his bread is buttered and everyone knows the internet is eventually going to be king.  So, by ignoring the internet audience now, he may be risking a serious backlash later.  But for now, it’s Dana’s world, and we’re all just going to have to live in it.

UFC 102: Nogueria, Couture put on a show

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By Chad Wuttke

Heavy leather and broken records were on tap at UFC 102 in Portland, Oregon.  Now that the Rose Garden roof is repaired, after being blown off by Saturday night’s main event, we can take a deep breath and look at what it means for some of these fighters.

In the main event, a highly motivated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira put his UFC 92 performance against Frank Mir behind him to beat fan favorite, Randy “The Natural” Couture, in convincing fashion.

Nogueira’s granite chin was on display as he took numerous stiff shots from Couture without even a flinch.  The 46 year old Couture looked great physically, but perhaps his chin is aging faster than his frame as Nogueira floored him in both the first and third rounds.

Nogueira’s legendary submission skills were also on display as we saw Couture forced to defend a rarely seen brabo choke, as well as an arm triangle.  The fight looked to be over about 6 or 7 different times, but to Couture’s credit, the wily veteran was able to survive.

Surviving wasn’t enough though for Couture.  Nogueira won what could be the fight of the year by unanimous decision and now has the Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar in his crosshairs.  Couture, who signed a new six-fight contract just before the fight, may be heading to the light heavyweight division, unless a bout with former Pride standout, Mirco Cro Cop intrigues him enough.

The night’s co-main event featured two fighters coming off losses to two standouts in the light heavyweight division.  Keith Jardine lost to top contender Rampage Jackson in the main event of UFC 96, while Thiago Silva was looking to rebound from a devastating knock out at the hands of current champion Lyoto Machida.

Silva would prove to be the better man on this night.  After withstanding a few early punching combinations, Silva caught Jardine with a left hook counter and finished him soon after on the ground.

It’s clear Thiago Sliva belongs near the top of the division and a possible fight with former champion Forrest Griffin could be on the horizon.   The inconsistent Jardine has now lost four of his last six fights and any dreams of a title shot seem almost unreachable at this point in a stacked division.mma_nogueira_300

In what was possibly the most compelling matchup of the night, Nate “The Great” Marquardt faced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Damian Maia.  Both fighters had title aspirations coming into the fight but only one would leave as a true contender.

In Maia’s previous five UFC fights, he rolled up five submission victories.  He wouldn’t get his sixth as Marquardt took all of Maia’s hype and planted it into the ground with one punch.  Maia’s chin hadn’t been tested and the well-rounded Marquardt showed you can’t be one-dimensional if you’re going to tread the waters of the middleweight division.

Marquardt now looks to be in line for a title show against Anderson Silva but Dan Henderson may have something to say about that.  A fight to determine Silva may be in their future.

Maia now must reinvent himself.  It’s clear his boxing and kickboxing skills must improve before he sees himself in title contention again.

In a very entertaining fight, 4-time wrestling All-American Jake Rosholt and heavy hitting Chris Leben waged war for… almost the entire three rounds.

Showing good patience and new standup skills Rosholt waited for the right moment and sunk in a fight-ending arm triangle choke midway through he third round.

Although he could still use some more seasoning, Rosholt proves he belongs in the UFC and may look to avenge his prior loss to Dan Miller.  Leben, who’s fought alcoholism for much of his life, may have some soul searching to do after reportedly falling off the wagon a few times leading up to the fight.

In the night’s opening bout, Brandon Vera provided us with another lackluster decision victory that continues his career, but doesn’t sit well in the eyes of most fans.

The talented fighter who once talked about winning titles in multiple weight classes looked to have his opponent Krzysztof Soszynski in trouble numerous times, but instead of moving in for the kill, stayed on the outside and grinded out a decision.  couture_mma_oly

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva may need to put Vera into matches with someone who will get in his face and push the action.  Someone like Stephon Bonner or even Thiago Silva may fit the bill.

The undercard was filled with plenty of fights that proved notable.   Todd Duffee set a new UFC record with a seven second knockout of Tim Hague.  Aaron Simpson looked to be on his way to defeating his opponent Ed Herman before Herman blew out his knee.  Gabriel Gonzaga took a step towards his return to title contention by defeating Chris Tuchscherer in convincing fashion, albeit after a low blow that clearly had an effect on Tuchscherer’s performance.

Great performances had by all, but the night belonged to two legends, Randy Couture and “Minotauro” Nogueira.  If you could ever look good in losing, Couture’s performance did just that. Nogueira proved his bout with staph infection is behind him. He now looks to figure out the man-beast that is Brock Lesnar, in what could be the superfight of the year!