Hatsu Hioki's Blogs

  • To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media’s Effect on MMA Judging By: Jordan Breen




    It's been a few days since poor Hatsu Hioki got robbed blind in Chicago against local favorite Clay Guida. Certainly, much was made on Saturday night about judge Gabriel Sabaitis' 30-27 scorecard for Guida. Hometown cooking at its finest? You don't know the half of it.

    First, Bleacher Report's Matt Molgaard uncovered that Mr. Sabaitis, an Illinois local, is Facebook friends with Guida. No big deal in this age of social media networking blah blah, right? Well, it at least shows that Sabaitis doesn't understand the appearance of impropriety.

    Following that article, Sabaitis took to the infamous Underground to try to defend himself. Mixedmartialarts.com and UG founder Kirik Jenness collected the judge's attempted self-defense over here.

    Frankly, the response is staggering and embarrassing. Sabaitis' response reads like a well-intended newjack fan defending his personal scorecard on an MMA forum. He equivocates constantly ("But this fight was so close it could've been 29-28 Hioki, no doubt. I respect everyone who believes Hioki won!"), blames the "MMA judging criteria" and demonstrates he doesn't have a basic grasp on the system itself.

    "I felt his aggression and TD out weighed (barely) Hioki's effective striking in the 1st," Sabaitis wrote. Nevermind stuff like "out weighted," he already conceded Hioki's striking was effective. Here is a link to the bizarre, backwoods version of MMA judging that the Illinois commission abides by. The first criterion? "Clean blows, not otherwise prohibited by this Part, in proportion to their damaging effects." In the first round, Hioki landed 26 of 56 significant strikes to Guida's 16 of 63 by FightMetric count. In total strikes, he outlanded Guida 31 to 16. Most galling is the fact that Guida landed virtually no clean, hard strikes in top position. This is why the word "effective" should never be removed from "aggression" in any MMA scoring paradigm, not that it would've actually helped poor Hatsu Hioki it would seem.

    This dilemma is not unique to Sabaitis or the state of Illinois, of course. It's mostly just another disappointing drop in the bucket. However, since there is a natural tendency for these agencies to stick together and do their best to deflect flak, trying to turn the light on their shortcomings is the best I can offer. That and to stay off of Facebook.

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  • Saturday MMA: A TV Viewer’s Guide By: Jeff Sherwood



    Saturday



    3:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Tonight
    Preview all the official news, views, and action for FOX 6: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson.

    3:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Overeem; Koch; Evans; Pettis Behind the scenes at Alistair Overeem's photo shoot; 24 year old Erik Koch; Rashad Evans defines the warrior code; Anthony Pettis shows off his signatures moves.

    3:30 a.m. ET Sportsnet Pacific: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen
    Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen - Enter the Octagon Twenty-eight middleweights arrive in Las Vegas for a shot at a UFC contract; coaches Chael Sonnen and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones evaluate the winners of 14 elimination fights.

    3:30 a.m. ET Sportsnet West: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen
    Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen - Enter the Octagon Twenty-eight middleweights arrive in Las Vegas for a shot at a UFC contract; coaches Chael Sonnen and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones evaluate the winners of 14 elimination fights.

    4:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: Inside MMA
    EPISODE: 276 Preview of the UFC and Lion Fight Muay Thai events; interviews with Dana White and Quinton Jackson.

    5:00 a.m. ET Sportsnet ONE: UFC Wired
    Joe Rogan hosts this UFC highlight show featuring some of the best bouts from years past.

    6:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC on FX 7: Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping
    Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping; C.B. Dollaway vs. Daniel Sarafian; Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell; Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov. From Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    8:00 a.m. ET fuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Belfort the Blackzilian; Faber Family Holiday; TUF17 Riff Vitor Belfort gained a 2nd one in the Blackzilians; Urijah Faber celebrates Christmas; Joe Rogan riffs on the upcoming season; Anthony Pettis watches Octagonside.

    8:30 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Ultimate Insider
    Overeem; Koch; Evans; Pettis Behind the scenes at Alistair Overeem's photo shoot; 24 year old Erik Koch; Rashad Evans defines the warrior code; Anthony Pettis shows off his signatures moves.

    9:00 a.m. ET FuelTV: UFC on FOX 6: Road to the Octagon
    UFC's main event fighters train for their upcoming bout inside the Octagon on January 26th.

    12:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Best of 2012: The Year in Review
    Relive the thrilling action of the best bouts, the greatest knockouts and submissions.

    3:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC on FOX 6: Road to the Octagon
    UFC's main event fighters train for their upcoming bout inside the Octagon on January 26th.

    4:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson Weigh-in
    From United Center in Chicago.

    5:00 p.m. ET Sportsnet ONE: UFC Preliminary Fights: UFC Live Prelims
    Pascal Krauss vs. Mike Stumpf; Shawn Jordan vs. Mike Russow; Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Ryan Bader; Josh Janousek vs. Michael Kuiper; Hatsu Hioki vs. Clay Guida; Matt Wiman vs. T.J. Grant. From Chicago.

    5:00 p.m. ET UFC: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson Preliminaries
    Pascal Krauss vs. Mike Stumpf; Shawn Jordan vs. Mike Russow; Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Ryan Bader; Josh Janousek vs. Michael Kuiper; Hatsu Hioki vs. Clay Guida; Matt Wiman vs. TJ Grant. From Chicago.

    8:00 p.m. ET Sportsnet ONE: UFC Live Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson


    10:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Post-Fight Show
    UFC: Postfight show for FOX 6: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson, featuring Jay Glazer and top MMA analysts.

    11:00 p.m. ET FuelTV: UFC Post-Fight Show
    Postfight show for FOX 6: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson, featuring Jay Glazer and top MMA analysts.

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  • Hominick on Hioki: I’d Fight That Guy in a Backyard By: Sherdog.com Staff

    Mark Hominick, on “Beatdown,” discussing whether he’d like to fight Hatsu Hioki (Pictured) a third time:

    “For sure. I’d fight that guy in a backyard. That’s one guy who really gets my blood going. It’s in a competitive way. He’s got two wins over me. There’s no way I wouldn’t want to erase those wins. He’s an amazing competitor with an amazing skill set. I’m just thrilled that he’s in the UFC. … I’ve just got a lot more confidence on the ground [since their previous fights]. I’ve continually improved my wrestling, continually worked on my jiu-jitsu. I’m just a lot more confident down there [on the ground]. I’d be confident to go anywhere with him and put him away.”

    Follow the jump for reader comments.

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  • Radio: Jorgensen, Roop, Curran By: Luca Fury

    Live radio was in full effect Monday on The Sherdog Radio Network with new episodes of "Beatdown" and "The Savage Dog Show." Joining them were UFC fighters Scott Jorgensen, George Roop and Jeff Curran.

    TJ De Santis and Jon Luther were joined by UFC bantemweight Scott Jorgensen. "Young Guns" went in depth on his upcoming fight against Jeff Curran at next week's UFC 137 card.

    On Monday's "Savage Dog Show" Greg Savage and Jeff Sherwood welcomed George Roop and Jeff Curran. Roop discussed his fight with Hatsu Hioki at UFC 137, while Curran talked about his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and his fight against Scott Jorgensen.

    Check out the shows and our archives by clicking here.

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  • Taking Stock of Sengoku’s Lament By: Tony Loiseleur






    MMA fans woke up to a startling surprise from Sengoku Raiden Championship’s official website Tuesday morning. Filed under the news section of their site, SRC promoter World Victory Road had posted a long treatise criticizing an interview with SRC featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki by Manabu Takashima in the March 2011 issue of Gong Kakutogi, one of Japan’s most respected combat sports magazines.

    The news came during an otherwise slow period for Japanese MMA. With no clear schedule for major events in the first quarter of 2011, stories from the region have primarily dealt with the impending UFC debut of Norifumi Yamamoto and the Octagon return of Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 126. Given no small degree of hand-wringing and speculation over the health and future of Japanese MMA of late, however, WVR’s sudden rebuke of Takashima and Gong magazine only added more fuel to that fire.

    That a promoter would single out and attack what they found to be an unfavorable article was strange to begin with. As pointed out by FightOpinion.com’s Zach Arnold, resolution to grievances over coverage in Japan typically take place out of the public view. Even stranger was the fact that SRC used the article as a reason to put the brakes on April 23’s SRC 17 card at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, citing that the unfavorable coverage from media had driven away longtime sponsor, Don Quijote.

    According to SRC’s statement, their specific contention with Takashima boils down to one particular passage nestled within the article:

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  • Primer: New Year’s in Japan By: Jake Rossen



    Kazushi Sakuraba | Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com



    If Ryan Seacrest happened to be a major celebrity in Japan, he would eventually be offered a substantial sum to be beaten severely in any number of the country’s traditional New Year’s Eve fighting events. The Japanese watch television in huge numbers that night, and promotions have hired everyone from actors to pro wrestlers to fighters dressed in costumes in order to draw attention away from the standard music and variety programming.

    Does it work? For a long time, it did: any combination of Sumo, Bob Sapp, or Olympic champions would usually produce tremendous ratings. But the decline of real fighters and the increasing reluctance (possibly related to the shrinking pay stubs) of the “special attractions” has taken its toll.

    It’s a real sign of MMA’s erosion in Japan that only one event -- K-1’s Dynamite -- is actually airing New Year’s Eve; the more serious Sengoku takes place Dec. 30. In both cases, fans can see a series of competitive fights. But in K-1’s arena, the need for ratings will prompt the usual stunt work: Shinya Aoki will be facing Yuichiro Nagashima in a fight that alternates kickboxing rounds with MMA rules and Bob Sapp will be wrestling Sumo great Shinichi Suzukawa in an orchestrated entertainment-only intermission. Both are likely to dwarf the night’s most legitimate bout, a lightweight meeting between Strikeforce’s Josh Thomson and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

    Stateside, most of the attention has been directed at Todd Duffee taking a late-notice bout against Alistair Overeem. Duffee was touted as a UFC prospect before a shock KO at the hands of Mike Russow; reported head-butting with UFC management led to his release. But Duffee can strike, and he’s a few levels above the kind of competition you’d expect Overeem to accept only three weeks after a grueling K-1 tournament. Too good to believe, actually. Like most of the Japanese product, it’s subject to change.

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  • Fine Tuning the WEC after ‘Cruz vs. Benavidez 2’



    Joseph Benavidez file photo: Jeff Sherwood | Sherdog.com


    World Extreme Cagefighting is pound-for-pound the illest of all mixed martial arts promotions. A lean, mean violence machine, it does nothing but crank out high-quality fights, and just about all of them air on basic cable.

    However, even a perfect machine needs some fine tuning every now and then. With that in mind, here are some moves our boys at the WEC need to focus their grind on.

    Flyweights. Now. Please.

    In one fell swoop, the WEC could easily put together the best flyweight division in the world. It already has Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson with which to start, and something tells me guys like Pat Runez, John Dodson and Alexis Vila will not be hard to land since they are all stuck fighting in regional promotions.

    As for Shooto’s considerable contingent of outstanding 125-pound fighters, it’s well known that top-ranked flyweight Jussier “Formiga” da Silva is desperate to fight in America. On Thursday, he signed a multi-fight deal with Tachi Palace Fights in California. Assuming the likes of Shinichi “BJ” Kojima, Mamoru Yamaguchi and Yasuhiro Urushitani are also willing to leave the comforts of home, they could jump to the States for a pay raise. Even the WEC’s modest contracts would be a worthwhile hike over Shooto’s notoriously stingy payroll.

    When the WEC tried to make featherweight and bantamweight money-making divisions, it took it a long time to get all of the world’s best talent under one roof. Replicating that feat in the flyweight division would be much easier, and it sets up another move that seems long overdue.

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