MM-Eh: News and Notes from Canada

By Andy Cotterill Nov 24, 2006
Welcome everyone, to Sherdog’s sophomore column covering the Canadian MMA scene. As you should have noticed right off the bat, we now have a column name: MM-Eh.

If you don’t know what “eh” means, you’ve obviously never met a Canadian. It’s a well-known fact that every single one of us uses that word at the end of every sentence.

I originally planned to print the name of the person who suggested the winning entry, but MM-Eh was a popular choice, submitted by roughly 30 Sherdog readers. I’m actually a little chagrined that it didn’t occur to me.

There were many other great suggestions, including: MMAple Leaf; The Great Fight North; Northern Touch; Red & White Spotlight; Rear Naked Canuck; North South Position; Northern Fights; and a nostalgic favourite, Strange Brew.

I’d like to thank the over 300 fans from around the world who sent me e-mails with name suggestions, questions for the column, or just plain old hellos.

Those responses revealed several things to me, which I’d like to share with you:

1) If you ask Sherdog readers to e-mail you, they will. My fingers are still sore from replying to them all.

2) The most asked about Canadian fighters were, in order, David Loiseau (Pictures), Jonathan Goulet (Pictures), Jason MacDonald (Pictures) and Georges St. Pierre (Pictures). “The Crow” was asked about more than the others by a factor of 10.

3) The fighter who most fans thought was unknown and that they were revealing to me is Jeff Joslin (Pictures). Have no fear my friends: I know exactly who he is. I’ve met Jeff on two occasions when he cornered Bryan Edge at a local MMA promotion, Extreme Cage Combat. Keep your eyes peeled to Sherdog for my profile on him prior to his December 13th UFC debut against Josh Koscheck (Pictures).

4) There are many Canadians who live in the U.S.A.

5) After this column is published, I’ll receive about 50 e-mails whose sole purpose is to tell me that not every Canadian says “eh.” To those fans I say go to www.dictionary.com and look up the word “satire.”

I’m confident that with your help I’ll be learning much more in the time to come. My fingers are ready so keep those e-mails coming my way.

UFC 65 Aftermath

I’m sure that by this point you’ve watched the fight and read a dozen accounts of Georges St. Pierre (Pictures)’s victory over Matt Hughes (Pictures) to claim the UFC welterweight title, but maybe not yet from a Canadian’s point of view.

Usually during UFC pay-per-views I hit up a local sports bar, but for UFC 65 I did something a little different and watched it at a friend’s house. There were both guys and girls there, but there were only two or three of us who recognized PRIDE standouts Josh Barnett (Pictures) and Denis Kang (Pictures) when they came into camera view.

Looking at the weigh-in pictures of GSP from the night before, it was evident to me that he had a fire in his eyes that had not been there for the previous Hughes fight. I saw the same fire when he entered the Octagon on Saturday.

When the fight started I noticed immediately that neither fighter made any attempt to touch gloves, something that usually points to an intense fight. Then came the groin kick.

There was a collective gasp in the room when it happened for the first time, but I wasn’t especially worried. Then it happened the second time. Oh no. This could be trouble.

Now you have to understand that groin kicks happen all the time in MMA. Usually they’re unintentional, so there’s not any real reason to worry about it — unless you’re the guy who got tagged that is.

But this was different. I was confident, I’m sure that we were all confident, that GSP was going to win this fight. The kicks to the groin could potentially tarnish his eventual victory, or at the minimum cause some controversy.

Thankfully, at the post-fight news conference Matt admitted that the second kick actually hit a nerve on his leg.

I’m not sure if any of you thought the same thing as me at the end of the first round, but it was so loud in the room I was in that I never heard the bell sound. I actually thought that that GSP had won. C’est incroyable! It was a bit of a letdown when I found out that the fight was to continue.

I’m going to take this opportunity to confess to the world that although I predicted GSP would win, I was completely unprepared for the complete and utter domination he displayed over the most dominating fighter in UFC history.

Roughly seven and a half minutes after it started, Georges St. Pierre (Pictures) fell to his knees in joy, and claimed the belt that fellow Canadian Carlos Newton (Pictures) gave up to Hughes five years and 16 days previously.

Inside the Octagon celebrations had a few nice touches, including GSP having his mother there, and “The Crow” David Loiseau (Pictures) wearing a t-shirt stating “GSP — The new UFC welterweight World Champion.”

Several people have asked me if the small African-American man celebrating in the Octagon was related to the Crow. Nope. That was Kru Phil Nurse, who runs the WAT Muay Thai school in New York City. If you looked closely at the towel on GSP’s shoulder when he approached the Octagon, you would have seen the WAT name.

Nurse has an incredible reputation amongst Muay Thai practitioners, and I hadn’t been aware that GSP was training with him. I knew that he goes down to NYC every three weeks to train his jiu-jitsu with Renzo Gracie (Pictures), so I’m assuming that someone down there turned him on to WAT. The word on the playground is that if you were given the option of a cardio workout with Phil, or a painful death, the decision wouldn’t be as easy as you may think.

I’m wondering how much of GSP’s decision to seek Muay Thai instruction came after Anderson Silva (Anderson Silva' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) showed how effective a Muay Thai clinch could be against Rich Franklin (Pictures)? If that’s the case, Georges seems to be intelligently preparing himself for any eventual opponent. He is truly building an arsenal that should serve him well in the years to come.

Courtesy of the Fight Network, to which I subscribed last week, the post-fight press conference was a new experience for me to watch, and it had a few nice tidbits of info.

GSP revealed that Matt actually hurt him at one point in the first round. I tried to recall when that might have been, but I’ll have to re-watch the fight to see. Georges was very gracious in victory, and Matt was just as gracious in defeat.

UFC President Dana White confirmed that GSP’s first title defence would come against TUF 4 winner Matt Serra (Pictures) on Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 3 2007. I think that like the rest of us, White is assuming that St. Pierre will defeat Serra, because he stated that he’d like to see George’s next fight in his hometown of Montreal.

One last note about GSP: He has very kindly donated his fight shorts to the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund, and they are now up for auction on eBay. When last I checked they were up to $2,500.

PRIDE News

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that “The Savage Dog Show” joined “Beatdown” on the Sherdog Radio Network earlier this week.

In its inaugural episode on Wednesday, fight promoter and manager Monte Cox, gave Greg Savage and Jeff Sherwood the news that he had just signed three of his fighters to the PRIDE organization, including Winnipeg, Manitoba’s own Joe Doerksen (Pictures).

Although only 29, “El Dirte” is one of those guys who seem to have been around forever. He has fought and defeated a plethora of well-known competitors including Lee Murray (Pictures), John Alessio (Pictures), Denis Kang (Pictures), Chris Leben (Pictures), Ed Herman (Pictures) and Patrick Cote (Pictures).

PRIDE signed Monte’s fighters with the plan to use them on North American cards. This is a great opportunity for Joe, who always seems to be on the verge of fame, only to slip back into obscurity. I wish him the best.

Final Note

Pedigree means a lot to some people. Graduating from McGill University is generally looked at as being more prestigious than graduating from the University of Tuktoyaktuk (Took U). The same can be said about Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

On Wednesday, Nov. 22 2006, Nova Scotia native Shane Rice (Pictures) received the ultimate reward for hard work, dedication and accomplishment, when he received his BJJ Black Belt from Rickson Gracie.

In the world of BJJ, and even amongst the famous Gracie clan, no name garners such awe and reverence as that of Rickson. Shane has taught at Rickson’s International Jiu-Jitsu Center in Los Angeles for some time now, and I applaud his dedication.

That’s it for this week folks

Next week I have a gym-bag full of stuff to share with you, so as always, keep those e-mails coming.
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