Don Frye: passing the old guardBy Jake Rossen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, 11:15 p.m. ET: First Ken Shamrock and "Tank" Abbott, now Don Frye. The last of the bad-asses has taken a feeder show fight for the Shark Fight promotion, a May 2 descent into obscurity against former National and Pan American judo champion Rich Moss in Lubbock, Texas.
Stats aren’t handy -- actually, none exist -- but I’m fairly confident Frye has absorbed more punches to the face than any human being in the history of civilization. (See: fights with James Thompson, Mark Coleman and Jerome LeBanner.) He’ll be 44 this year. Unless someone cares to put together a revisionist UFC tournament with his peers -- Coleman, Shamrock, Moses -- I fail to see the point in going out on the ol’ shield. Is there much glory to be had on an Internet broadcast?
Ancillary shame on the UFC for not booking at least one old-school fight for UFC 100, particularly since Frye would be barker show gold.
On why Dana White gets so awfully upset on a semi-daily basisBy Jake Rossen (email@example.com)
Thursday, 10:55 p.m. ET: It’s not easy being Dana White. Not only are you called out on your misogynistic, homophobic comments en masse, but a press tour means you have to deal with something even more upsetting than political correctness: dopey media outlets.
Via BloodyElbow.com comes discovery of something called a “Carmichael Dave Show,” wherein White is interrogated to the point of near-insanity by an interviewer obsessed with numero-uno heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.
Carmichael Dave: Neither of you “need” each other; you’re both doing just fine. But you always say you want what the fans want. Why not at least a one-fight deal …. Fedor vs. the current UFC heavyweight champion?
Dana White: Because that would be stupid business! Is that what the fans want? If everyone thinks he’s “so great,” why would they only want to see him fight once?
Carmichael Dave: Because once is better that not at all, bottom line.
Now, look. Emelianenko is an epic talent. He would be a tremendous addition to the UFC. There’s a surplus of tough fights for him there, and it would be gratifying to watch him ply his trade against a genetic freak that can fight (Brock Lesnar) as opposed to one who can’t (that Zulu guy). As a free agent in the MMA scene, his one intriguing fight -- vs. Josh Barnett -- appears to be mired in contractual preamble and some misguided belief that it’s The Biggest Fight of All Time. I’d love to see his hands get a little dirtier.
But to imagine White signing Emelianenko to one fight -- with the highly feasible possibility of the Russian coming in and punching a hole through the current champion’s head, only to raise the stock of whichever company he runs to next -- reeks of an absentee brain. Why produce a three-hour commercial for Emelianenko and not profit from it in the long term? Why bend reason to the point of company damage for a guy who looked ridiculously human against Andrei Arlovski? Why set a precedent for every other Next Big Thing to come along that the UFC will sing you to sleep if you’re “special”?
Emelianenko is a great fighter. But if he continues to fight elite competition, he will eventually lose. White recognizes how frail that veneer of invincibility can be: We saw it evaporate on Chuck Liddell, Antonio Nogueira and dozens of others.
If he feels Emelianenko is just not worth the trouble, I’m sad to say he’s probably right.
Kyle Maynard’s webcamBy Jake Rossen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. ET: You’ll be hearing plenty of commentary leading up to armless, legless Kyle Maynard’s MMA debut on April 25 in Auburn, Ala., an event simultaneously hailed as both an inspiration and a black eye on our fine sport of sanctioned assault. Adding fuel is the recent announcement that the bout will be aired via Internet stream, a technology that still appears to be using tin cans on a string to transmit data.
I’ve yet to make up my mind on Maynard. Anyone who appears of sound mind and is over the age of 18 should be granted the freedom to participate in any non-illegal activity he or she chooses. But that contrasts my stance on athletic commissions needing to do more to protect the safety of its athletes, even if that means overruling personal motivation.
But is Maynard being punched in the face inherently different from a full-limbed participant dropping his hands and eating glove? In either case, an unanswered attack would result in a referee intervention; Maynard just may not be granted the leeway of someone who can use his forearms as a shield.
Collective debate will gain momentum as the date draws closer. Until then, I can safely say I’m appalled only by the “special guest” for that evening, Junie Allen Browning. Was Puck not returning phone calls?
Arlovski’s summer plansBy Jake Rossen (email@example.com)
Thursday, 6:15 p.m. ET: Despite being a rumored participant in the hypothetical Dream/Affliction event -- possibly headlined by Josh Barnett vs. a guy in a Stormtrooper outfit -- Affliction heavyweight Andrei Arlovski is concerned instead with June 27. That’s the date when Arlovski intends to make his professional boxing debut on a Golden Boy card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (four rounds, opponent TBA.)
It’s a coin toss for Arlovski: On the plus side, he has some of the best boxing skills in MMA, and was making Fedor Emelianenko look a touch silly in their January fight. On the other hand, his jaw appears to be made out of paper mache. Maybe 16-ounce gloves will help squelch that handicap.
Dream and Affliction: snuggle partners?By Jake Rossen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, 5:55 p.m. ET: The Croatian press -- as frightening a phrase as any I’ve come across this week -- has circulated word that Japanese promotion Dream and part-time money-flushers Affliction might be planning a card in collusion with one another this summer. (Money + sadistic matchmaking = instant snuff movie.)
Most rumors with any kind of Japanese tether tend to be outlandish at best, bald-faced fairy tales at worst: Matt Hughes being advertised for a Japanese tournament at the same time he was fixing a tractor engine in Illinois, or Mike Tyson announced as a participant when he wouldn’t even be legally able to enter Japan because of his criminal convictions.
Skepticism in place, it’s worth noting Affliction Veep Tom Atencio is said to be meeting with both Dream and M-1 officials next week in Japan.
If it happens, I hope Atencio is prepared to take an even bigger bath than he’s used to: tape-delayed events from foreign countries have the buy rate appeal of a test pattern.
Foot-in-mouth disease dept: Machida on Anderson-FedorBy Jake Rossen (email@example.com)
Thursday, 3:25 p.m. ET: Lyoto Machida spoke to Sherdog’s Marcelo Alonso Wednesday to analyze Saturday’s pending fight between associate Anderson Silva and Thales Leites. (Spoiler: He thinks Anderson will win.)
On a fantasy matchup between Silva and reigning lightning rod for controversy Fedor Emelianenko, Machida said that he believes Silva would emerge victorious via “being way superior technically.” He also cites only a mild weight differential between Emelianenko and Silva when the latter isn’t cutting weight.
Silva is no doubt a big piece of real estate, but there’s a very large gulf between an offseason bulk and the Russian’s natural size. And while he may indeed be more technically proficient standing, Silva’s takedown defense sometimes resembles that of someone standing in an ice rink. If the fight ended in any way other than Emelianenko using his head to paint an abstract on the mat, I’d be shocked.
Then again, I’m shocked that Machida is successfully applying karate in MMA.
Diaz: busiest fighter ever?By Jake Rossen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, 2:45 p.m. ET: Who says marijuana makes you lazy? From CompuStrike and first reported by AOL Fanhouse: In the second round of Saturday’s near-felony against Frank Shamrock, Nick Diaz recorded one of the busiest rounds in recent MMA memory, logging 181 strikes in the second round. (79 landed, 62 of which hit Shamrock directly on his ego.)
CompuStrike is still a nascent organization, logging less than 200 fights since beginning operations in 2007, so there’s no telling which fighter might have exceeded that total in the 14-odd years prior.
‘Shogun’ on Chute Boxe, Former TeammatesBy Marcelo Alonso (email@example.com)
Thursday, 3:05 a.m. ET: Marcelo Alonso and Eduardo Ferreira featured Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on Wednesday on the front page of Sherdog.com. Here’s some bonus material that didn’t make the story:
Sherdog.com: What do you miss most about the time you spent at Chute Boxe?
Rua: Chute Boxe was a great team. It’s still one of the biggest in the world, but I don’t think the team evolved the way MMA did. I miss the guys we had there, the sparring; there were only tough guys.
Sherdog.com Why do you think Chute Boxe has not evolved?
Rua: I don’t think they evolved in everything: technique, good coaches in every area. In the muay Thai and vale tudo part, they’re great, but I don’t think they have a wrestling and jiu-jitsu part. Nobody’s perfect. I spoke with master Rafael Cordeiro about that when I was leaving. Everybody knows what’s best for them. I appreciate what they did for me.
Continue Reading » ‘Shogun’ bonus: Wand-Franklin, Silva-Leites, Chute Boxe
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