MMA Stop has just received UFC 102 walkout tees for Thiago Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The shirts can be purchased for $39.95 today!
MMA Stop has just received UFC 102 walkout tees for Thiago Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The shirts can be purchased for $39.95 today!
In the end, “Beauty” was no match for “the Beast”.
The history-making fight between Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos more than lived up to its billing, with both fighters delivering a non-stop slugfest which ended with Santos scoring a TKO victory over Carano at the very end of the first round. Santos becomes the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion and puts an emphatic end to Carano’s undefeated record.
Cyborg starts the fight throwing bombs. Carano clinches and tries to fall into mount, but Cyborg reverses and tries to ground-and-pound. Carano stands back up, but Cyborg rolls into a heel hook. Carano squirms and eventually gets out of it. The fighters both stand and start trading punches and kicks, with a Cyborg clinch getting turned into a Carano takedown. Carano gets mount, but curiously gives it up, preferring to make Cyborg stand back up. Once up, Cyborg throws huge punches, backing up Carano. Cyborg gets a trip takedown and tries for a kimura but fails. With time running out, Cyborg stands up in Carano’s guard and smashes Carano with fists. The assault continues until Carano can take no more, and the referee stops the fight at 4:59 in round one, a split second before the horn went off.
It was not the victory that the Strikeforce marketing machine was probably hoping for, but Cyborg’s pure aggression let her dictate the pace and run Carano over. Carano could not match Cyborgs power and seemed rattled by Cyborg’s early push forward. Nobody knows who the next legitimate challenger for the new Woman’s title will be, as no other female fighter besides Carano and Santos has gotten much TV airtime, but the first woman’s MMA main event on national TV was a success, as Santos and Carano delivered a fight as exciting as any other MMA main event we’ve seen this year. Whether or not a Woman’s MMA division can sustain itself in the long term, however, is an entirely different question, as tonight’s fight wasn’t exactly a demonstration of high-level technique.
In a match for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title, Gegard Mousasi introduced himself to American fans in brutal fashion, smashing Renato Sobral in the first round and claiming the title.
The first round starts with Mousasi getting the takedown out of a clinch on the BJJ expert Sobral. Mousasi presses into Sobral from side control, but as Sobral tries to push off and pop out, Mousasi moves Sobral against the cage wall and brutalizes Sobral with vicious fists. Sobral’s eyes roll as “Big” John McCarthy jumps in to save Sobral after only about one minute of action.
Mousasi, the former DREAM Middleweight champ, gave American fans a taste of what Japanese MMA fans had known all along, that he is going to be a force in MMA for the next decade and beyond. Well-rounded in every aspect of his game, Mousasi made quick work of Sobral, who was simply overwhelmed by an opponent who was on a different level than anyone Sobral had faced recently.
In a lightweight fight for the Strikeforce interim Lightweight title, Gilbert Melendez avenged his first career defeat, winning the rematch against Mitsuhiro Ishida and successfully defending his interim title.
The first round opens with Melendez pawing his jab and stinging punches to keep the wrestler Ishida at bay. Ishida shoots for takedowns, and after a few failed attempts, finally gets it. Ishida tries to spin to back control, but Melendez bucks him over and gets a takedown of his own. He holds Ishida down as the first round ends.
Melendez continues to work the jab, with Ishida still trying to takedown. Melendez uses his reach advantage to stumble and pop Ishida, who is cut on the ear. Melendez pins Ishida against the cage and unleashes punches and knees and bodyshots. Ishida finally breaks free of the clinch, but the damage has been done as the round ends.
Knowing he’s in trouble, Ishida tries to box more to start round three. A Melendez shot is this time stopped by Ishida. Melendez goes back to his long jab, and after stuffing another Ishida shot, Melendez cracks Ishida and floors him. Ishida grabs Melendez on the neck to save himself from more punishment. Ishida gives up his back, however, and Melendez, after trying a rear naked choke but not locking it, pounds on Ishida from back control until the referee stops the contest.
It was a nice dose of vengeance for Melendez, a former world-ranked top five lightweight who hit a rough patch in 2008 and slipped down the ladder. Melendez went back to doing what he does best, which was using his manic wrestling to set up his ground-and-pound. For Ishida, his one-dimensional game was too predictable, and without the strength advantage he would usually enjoy against Japanese opposition, Ishida was simply overwhelmed.
When the popular clothing brand Affliction, which markets itself to fighters and fans of “extreme” sports, launched Affliction Entertainment in June of 2008, the MMA world was very optimistic. It was the makings of what could potentially be the next major promotional organization. One that would gather up all the great fighters not signed under the UFC. However, many remained apprehensive as it was unclear if Affliction was poised for greatness or destined for bankruptcy.
Affliction: Banned, took place a month later in Anaheim, California at the Honda Center. The fight card was stacked, and would include a fight between former Pride FC heavyweight champion Fedor Emeliankenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. It also featured two other heavyweight and one light heavyweight fight, each including a former UFC champion.
With an exciting fight card, free to watch undercard, live performance from the band Megadeath, and famed ring announcer Michael Buffer, it seemed that Affliction had the ability to achieve all the fan’s expectations.
The event had a total attendance of 14,832, grossing $2,085,510 at the gate and well over 100 thousand pay-per-view buys which generated somewhere in the ball park of another $2.1 million. This made their total revenue from the event around $4.2 million.
Banned was considered a mini success; nearly selling out the Honda Center and experiencing record high pay-per-view purchases, more than any MMA promotional company other than the UFC.
However, everything hadn’t played out as well as things seemed. Behind the facade of a packed Honda Center and solid pay-per-view numbers, Affliction Entertainment had taken a hard financial hit. What seemed like a healthy growth in the company; was in reality the beginnings of a bloody financial ulcer.
Affliction had purchased nearly one quarter of total gate earnings themselves and total fighter payroll for the event was $3,332,100; more than three quarters of estimated revenue. After fighter salaries, many expenses were still unpaid. With less than a million dollars left to do so, Affliction was bleeding profusely.
In January of this year, six months after Banned, Affliction: Day of Reckoning was scheduled to take place. Another stacked fight card featuring Emelianenko defending his title against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, and former light heavyweight UFC champion Vitor Belfort in a 195 pound catchweight fight; meant another stacked payroll.
The event which once again took place at the Honda Center, had 13,255 in attendance with a total gate of $1,512,750, and was projected to have between 150,000 and 200,000 PPV buys. But with a reported payroll of $3,318,660 plus bonuses, the financial hemorrhage was only made more profuse.
Affliction: Trilogy was scheduled to take place on the first of this month, nearly seven months since their last event. The main card was destined to be an MMA classic, featuring the much anticipated match up between Emelianenko and former UFC & Pride sensation, Josh Barnett.
To the shock of the MMA world, Barnett was forced to pull out of the fight 10 days prior to the event due to positive steroid tests. The fight that was supposed to pull Affliction Entertainment out of bankruptcy was now the final nail in the coffin for the company.
Ridiculous payrolls, long periods of time between events, and lack of hype and advertisement had all taken their toll and on July 24, Affliction Entertainment declared bankruptcy.
Although Affliction Entertainment is no more, Affliction Clothing was a separate entity and is still a vibrant company. They once again have a deal with the UFC to sponsor fighters. It was a falling out between the two companies in January of last year that had lead to the formation of the now defunct Affliction Entertainment.
The fate of the fighters signed with Affliction is uncertain. However, it is suspected that the UFC will pick up the contracts of some 22 or so fighters left out in the cold by the cancelation of Trilogy. But for right now, their fate is largely uncertain. What we can be certain about is that when the UFC decides to sign some of the best fighters in the world, it can only mean exciting things for MMA fans.
The Good Fight will hold Battle at Virginia Beach at the Bayside Recreation Center on Saturday, August 29, 2009 with divisions for kids, teens, men and women in single elimination and consolation match format with both Gi and No-Gi divisions. Ticket prices for spectators start at $15 if purchased the day of the fight, or $10 if pre-ordering in advance. Registration and weigh-ins begin at 8 a.m., with fights beginning at 10 a.m., with all first place winners receiving a samurai sword. Fighters looking to participate in the event can still register online.
For more information, Jim Fortunato can be contacted at (856) 343-4722.
The day after one pound-for-pound king reaffirmed his claim to the throne, another P4P contender was sent crashing down to earth.
In the main event of WEC 42, undefeated challenger Brian Bowles chose to strike with champion Miguel Torres and was handsomely rewarded; Bowles floored Torres and finished him with strikes on the ground, ending the 17-fight win streak of Torres and becoming the new WEC Bantamweight Champion.
The fighters measure each other in the first minute of the fight, but Bowles draws the first hit by landing a right punch on Torres. They clinch against the cage and Bowles trips Torres and takes him down, then uses elbows to hit Torres. Torres pushes off and sends a trio of upkicks flying at the face of Bowles. Bowles elects to stand back up. Torres rattles Bowles with a punch combo and charges in for the kill, but Bowles smashes Torres with a right hook which floors Torres. Torres tries to posture up, but Bowles cracks him in the face with more rights. Torres tries to pull guard, but one last straight right from Bowles knocks Torres out cold for the shock knockout.
It was certainly a shock to see one of the world’s top 10 P4P fighters get finished in the first round. Bowles pushed the fight from the get go, initiating the action while Torres reacted to it. Torres has a tendency to pounce when he scores a hit, and Bowles used that to his advantage by landing the huge counter-hook which put Torres down. Whether it was just a bad night for Torres or not remains to be seen, but as of today the king of the WEC 135 pound division is now the undefeated champion Bowles.
In the fight to determine who is next in line for a WEC Bantamweight title shot, Dominick Cruz won a fantastic scrap of a battle against Joseph Benavidez，taking a UD victory and handing Benavidez his first career loss.
Cruz, who towers over Benavidez in terms of size, engages Benavidez in some run-and-gun striking to start the fight, then throws Benavidez to the ground. Benavidez pops back up and immediately goes back to strike with Cruz. The clinch, then Cruz switches and gets a double-leg takedown. Benavidez gets up and throws a shin kick towards Cruz’s face for good measure. Benavidez is swinging for the fences, but falls into a takedown. Both men engage in a furious scramble where Benavidez is caught in back mount but does a Gilbert Melendez-like spin to get out of trouble. Both men stand as the round ends.
The pace doesn’t slow in round two, with Benavidez doing his best Takeya Mizugaki impression and rushing forward, looking for a brawl. Cruz waits to counter, and when Benavidez slips trying to high kick, Cruz tees off with strikes, chases down Benavidez, and drags him to the ground. Again, Benavidez refuses to stay down and gets back up. Cruz continues to be evasive, ducking and weaving while loading up high kicks which keep Benavidez at bay. A lightning-quick takedown by Cruz finally gets Benavidez down in guard as the round ends.
Benavidez goes for a jumping roundhouse to start round three, but whiffs. Cruz slips on a kick but gets back up before Benavidez can land anything. Benavidez continues to plow forward, throwing toward the body, but Cruz lands a big leg kick. Cruz leg trips Benavidez and lands in side control, but Benavidez gets up again. Both men throw hard, and Benavidez spins out of a Cruz throw. Both men kick but Cruz gets the takedown and scrambles all over Benavidez as the battle ends. The fans voice their approval as Cruz takes the hard-fought UD victory.
Cruz, who is undefeated at bantamweight, utilized his size and reach well to defend against Benavidez and his go-for-broke striking style, but the real difference in this fight was the speed of Cruz. Cruz got the takedown at will, and while he wasn’t able to hold Benavidez down much, he was more than able to match Benavidez in the striking department. Cruz, with his combination of size and speed, presents an interesting challenge to whomever comes out of WEC 42 with the WEC Bantamweight belt. Benavidez didn’t hurt his own stock much with the loss, and a fight with someone like Mizugaki or Manny Tapia would vault Benavidez right back into the title picture.
In a bout to determine which fighter would stay relevant in the WEC Bantamweight title picture, former featherweight contender Jeff Curran’s losing streak was extended to four fights as Takeya Mizugaki won his first WEC victory with a split decision win.
Curran starts off by catching a low kick, but Mizugaki sprawls and fights off the single-leg attempt while Curran refuses to let it go. Curran has the single-leg for over two minutes, but Mizugaki will not go down, and eventually switches Currans back against the cage before tripping Curran down. Mizugaki throws big punches and elbows, but Curran explodes off an armbar attempt and sweeps Mizugaki. Curran has the back briefly, but Mizugaki turns into Currans guard and throws strikes as the round ends.
Curran stings Mizugaki with a punch to start round two, and Mizugaki responds by throwing hard leg kicks. Curran throws high kicks, but Mizugaki plows forward and clinches. Mizugaki muscles Curran to the ground. Mizugaki postures up to strike while Curran tries to push off Mizugaki’s thighs, but ends up back in guard. Curran cranks Mizugaki in a one-arm guillotine when Mizugaki was pushing them toward the cage. The round ends with Mizugaki waiting out the choke.
Both men throw to start the final round before Mizugaki once again gets the takedown. Curran fishes for guillotines and triangles, but Mizugaki slips them all. Currans constant activity doesn’t give Mizugaki time to tee off with ground-and-pound. In the final 30 seconds, Curran finally hits the sweep and gets his legs up, locking in a tight triangle. Mizugaki desperately pulls, but Curran rolls on top, working both the arm and the triangle. Mizugaki rolls again, and despite the triangle being locked in, somehow is able to survive until the bell. The last flurry by Curran is unable to seal the deal however, as Mizugaki’s dominance in the first two rounds gives him the split decision victory. The crowd unexpectedly voices their approval of the decision.
The bout was another firm example of the scoring standards of the UFC and the WEC. Before the final minute of round three, Mizugaki was clearly winning the fight, but Currans final moves came the closest to producing a finish to the fight. Much like the Uno-Fisher fight at UFC 99, the final-minute explosion by one fighter wasn’t enough to overcome the relative monotony of the first two rounds. While this finish wasn’t nearly as controversial as Uno-Fisher, the importance of takedowns in the eyes of American judges has just been reinforced.
Valley Fight League in association with Squared Circle Promotions presents VFL 20 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., Saturday August 22nd.
The event features an ISCF title fight and 9 other MMA fights.
Tickets are available at VFLMMA.com or by calling 304-283-3053/304-283-2941. General admission is $35, rows 2-4 are $50, front row is $65, and cageside is $100.
Doors open at 6 PM and the action, sponsored by Hooters, begins at 7 PM.
Carlton Haselrig (3-2) vs. TBD
Binky “Binky” Jones (7-8) vs. TBD
Robert Conner (2-2) vs. Brad Wright (1-0)
Dan Root (0-1) vs. Wade Drake (0-1)
Richard Desper (0-2) vs TBD
Jacob Kirwan (2-1) vs. Duke Koblinsky (0-0)
Krissy Barrett (5-1) vs. Nicole Hess (1-0)
Thad Benton (3-0) vs. Brent Hess (0-1)
Corey Popanz (1-0) vs. Caleb Ball (3-5)
Roy Miller (0-1) vs. TBD