And your new “The Ultimate Fighter” coaches are…

Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson.

Intriguing choices, particularly the latter. Dana White has always had a contentious relationship with Nelson and has been critical of his weight, attitude, regiment, and general philosophy to not only the fight game but how a fighter should train and prepare for fights.

One moment immediately comes to mind. After Nelson won the Heavyweights season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” he and Dana White were doing a sit-down interview and Nelson was asked why he didn’t train at a more complete, higher profile camp. In his response, he hemmed and hawed that going into a gym like Extreme Couture, he’d be asked to train guys and that he was reticent to do so. To which Dana scoffed and replied “what’re you going to teach Randy Couture?” (paraphrased)

For what it’s worth, Nelson has seemed to put a little more focus on his cardio and slimmed down slightly over the last year, but still has no direct affiliation with a high profile gym. He’s also still the same old Roy Nelson, which will make for intriguing TV and set up conflicts I’m sure between not only the coaches but Nelson and his own students. Especially since this season will focus on the Welterweight division, which has a tendency of attracting fighters with a hard-nosed work ethic. Perfect choice.

Nelson and Cormier will meet on the televised live finale on FX. This season, they’ll be foregoing the weekly live fights format, which turned out to be an absolute disaster for ratings. Being on Friday nights certainly didn’t help, and I’m hoping they  end up back on Wednesdays or Thursdays for their own sake.

Joe Silva Goes all Heel GM and Makes Quinton Jackson fight Glover Texeira

The final fight on Quinton Jackson’s UFC contract will be against none other than Glover Teixeira at UFC 153 in Brazil.

Teixeira, you may remember, is the dangerous rising Light Heavyweight who was offered to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as a replacement for Thiago Silva. Rua infamously declined the fight by telling Dana White that he would rather quit the UFC than fight Teixeira.

The difficulty in booking Teixeira is that he has a reputation as a killer, but is entering a UFC Light Heavyweight division filled with skilled veterans who are not keen on the idea of fighting a young, dangerous fighter with no name recognition. If you beat him, you get a victory over a tough fighter very few people have heard of; lose and you lose to somebody who could be a star down the line but right now is a nobody.

Enter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Jackson has been trying for the last six months to talk his way out of his UFC contract, airing his grievances despite the fact that it’s the same company that somehow managed to protect him and keep him from becoming a social pariah after an extended manic episode a couple years back that concluded with a vehicular rampage (no pun intended).

For his ingratitude, Joe Silva went all heel WWE General Manager on him and is making him fight Teixeira. If Jackson has or had any objections, he hasn’t let them be known. However, Dave Meltzer recently stated that Jackson literally isn’t following the sport at all and likely doesn’t even know who Teixeira is or why he should have any reservations about the fight, so take that for what you will.

Teixeira holds a record of 18-2 with 16 wins coming by knockout or submission. His current win streak goes all the way back to March of 2005, but has yet to face a Top 10 fighter in his career. Jackson is coming off back to back losses to Jon Jones and Ryan Bader, and likely has already mentally checked out of the fight game.

Part of me is wondering if Jackson will even bother showing up for this fight. I say that figuratively, but I wouldn’t exactly fall out of my chair if that literally went down either.


Trainer’s Comments Fuel Speculation That Chael Sonnen is Retiring from MMA

Tito Ortiz might not be the only fighter done after Saturday night.

Speculation is mounting that Chael Sonnen could be making a hasty exit from the fight game following his second loss to Anderson Silva.

The ballyhoo that Sonnen spit out last year regarding his exit from the sport if he lost a second time may have been an unintentionally self-fulfilling prophecy, if one of Sonnen’s grappling coaches is to be believed:

“I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fight,” Melanson said (thanks to for transcribing). “I don’t know. I’ve just got a feeling he’s done. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he was serious when he said, ‘If you beat me, I will leave forever,’ and there’s a very good chance of that.”

A lot of sites are running with this, but I’m a bit skeptical. It seems strange that Sonnen would just walk away from what could be some very lucrative paydays at 205. Hell, even a rematch with Bisping at 185 would put some handsome digits into his checking account.

On the other hand, he was roided the fuck out for that fight with Silva and the best he could manage was a first round that Silva looked like he was literally giving to him, with the champion flying at him recklessly and literally laying under him for the rest of the round with his eyes closed. There’s also the issue that I don’t see a lot of other people talking about, which is that the bullshitty Therapeutic Use Exemption granted to him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission is only good for that state. Were he to fight elsewhere, say New Jersey or California, he’d have to go through the whole process over again and in the case of Jersey I don’t think they’d give him the green light for it. That limits the UFC’s options in terms of booking him if he were to continue with this pathetic charade.

Keep your ears to the ground on this one.

Chael’s Fake Modesty and Real Racism

Chael Sonnen recently told Ariel Helwani that he had dialed down his rhetoric after receiving a clandestine call from Renzo Gracie. Sonnen refused to divulge what was said, only saying that when you get a call from a Gracie or a guy like Randy Couture, you “just shut up and listen.”

The video is below.


I believe this much: he did receive a phone call from Renzo Gracie. I believe it because in one form or another, a ton of fighters – not just Brazilian – have reached out to him over the course of the past year to state unequivocally that he had gone way too far in his comments about Brazilians.

There are a myriad ways to hype a fight, and Sonnen has engaged in just about every form of it. There’s plenty to be said for hyperbole. But what Sonnen says about Brazilians at times borders on racism, and at other times runs right over that line.

Sadly, not enough people seem to be calling him out on it. Fighters prefer to say it in person, giving Sonnen the benefit of the doubt that he’s just getting carried away in the moment. Some MMA journalists have mentioned it, but not enough, because many of them either don’t have a backbone or do it to get a press pass and a good seat.

But then, just when he appears to be humbly regretting his racism, he’s right back at it on the largest sports network in the country, telling Dan LaBatard:

“The only resentment or confusion that I have is the implication is that they’ve got dentists on every other block in Brazil, you know. There’s something wrong with your tooth in Brazil, some doctor waves a fishbone in front of your face and hopes your mouth feels better.”

Despicable. It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t want make me want to see him get beat up, it makes me want to see him just disappear completely.

[VIDEO] UFC Primetime: Silva vs. Sonnen

Intriguing and well-done. Whoever’s responsible for these can’t be paid enough by the UFC, and I’m surprised that more focus isn’t put on them.

Also, if you haven’t seen it already, my new contribution for Spike’s MMA Uncensored blog is up – Chael Sonnen & Anderson Silva: Are These Guys for Real?

New MMA Uncensored Live Blog Post: Bellator Courts Controversy

Paul Daley (

New blog post for’s MMA Uncensored Live blog about the recent Bellator signings of Brett Rogers and Paul Daley:

There’s another card tonight that features the return to the spotlight of a fighter who once competed in a main event on broadcast television, a claim that can be made by only a handful of fighters. Yet in the last year he has found himself in a jail cell, delivering newspapers to make ends meet, and tearfully begging for a job with a promotion.

He’s Brett Rogers, and he comes with a lot of baggage.


Also: all posts on MMA Uncensored Live

Also also: all posts by ME

Fedor Emelianenko is Officially Done Fighting

After an easy first round knockout of Pedro Rizzo, Fedor Emelianenko announced his retirement from MMA.

Video courtesy

In attendance were Fedor’s entire family and Vladimir Putin. Because I’ve mentioned him, I’m bound by international law to reproduce this very real undoctored photo of him from a shoot with a Russian magazine:

Sassy, thy name is Putin.

Fight fans who came into the game late can never, ever understand why so many people – including myself – consider him the greatest heavyweight, if not the greatest fighter, of all time. If you only saw the shell that had trouble with Brett Rogers and lost to the likes of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, you missed out on one of the most dominant runs in all of combat sports.

Fedor refused to sign with the UFC, making ridiculous demands (or at least his management did) that prompted Dana White and the Fertittas to walk away from the table in disgust and, to this day, bury him and his legacy.

Even at that time, though, he was past what should be considered his prime. During that time period – I’d say between 2000 and 2007 – Fedor beat the best heavyweights in the world. To say he never fought a UFC-level heavyweight is a misnomer, because during that time period the UFC’s Heavyweight division wasn’t much to brag about. Well, okay, let’s not mince words: it. Fucking. SUCKED. Tim Sylvia was its champion, and let’s be frank, he’s gone downhill but isn’t a Hell of a lot worse than he was. Better heavyweights finally came along with the onslaught of new blood and veterans that migrated from the implosion and subsequent purchase of Pride Fighting Championships.

By the time serious talks had begun with Fedor, the man had little if anything left to prove. Anyone who deigns to suggest otherwise doesn’t know anything outside the revisionism of newer fans and jaded promoters.

On a sadder note, poor Pedro Rizzo. Fedor runs through him in a little over a minute and still decides “I don’t want to do this anymore.” How crushing must that be?

You know who else pulled guard? Jesus.

This has to be one of the stranger things I’ve seen: a Christian ministry predicated on Mixed Martial Arts and punching guys in the face and kicking their legs and throwing them to the ground, hallelujah?

I will say that there is or at least can be a strange sort of camaraderie that comes from fighting in a cage. The idea that the people who get in cages and rings and fight – whether it be for intrigue, thrill, or for a living – are mindless angry animals is so off the mark it’s not even funny. There is no hard and fast rule to who a fighter is and how he acts, but those who are willfully ignorant of combat sports and the lifestyle of fighters would probably be surprised if they observed them in their environment.

Other than that, obviously as an Atheist I have an inherent problem with some of the rationale surrounding this, particularly and especially “there’s an enemy out there, and he’s trying to destroy us” and using that as an allegory to real life. I think that’s the sort of thing that encourages conspiratorial and paranoid thoughts, actions, and behavior, and it’s one of my major problems with organized religion. So I’ll just say that much and leave it at that.

Except, hey, there’s a Christian church where parishioners beat the holy Hell (HAR HAR) out of each other in a cage.

Trust Me, Alistair Overeem Will Not Fight Anytime in 2012

Alistair Overeem decided for some weird reason to say that he’s fighting in December:

There’s no use in mincing words: this is unmitigated bullshit. The suspension levied by the NSAC ends on December 27th and, similar to the conditional license that was granted for his last fight against Lesnar, he’ll have to submit and pass a drug test when he re-applies.

The UFC is not going to make the mistake of booking him without 100% confidence that he’ll be granted a license, so the idea that he’ll compete on the New Year’s Eve card is hogwash. Lorenzo Fertitta even confirmed as much to ESPN:

That’s speculation. It’s in the NSAC’s hands. (The UFC) can’t be presumptuous.

So I’m not sure why he or any of his people would be under the impression that he’d be able to fight anytime in 2012. The NSAC is not going to give him an early reprieve; they’ve already given in to him too much already. The only thing I can gather is that maybe this gigantic dutchmen who gained something in the neighborhood of fifty pounds of muscle mass in just a few years’ time on top of an already muscular frame and expected us to believe that he did it just by eating horsemeat and who, by the way, decided that getting punched and kicked in the face for a living was a good life decision, is maybe – just maybe – kind of a delusional weirdo.

ARES Fight Night IX coverage for Knick Ledger; new Spike piece on Commissions Killing MMA & Boxing

Two new articles up.

First, for the Knick Ledger:

 Capital Region fighters were successful, though narrowly, at Ares Promotion’s “Fight Night IX” at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center Saturday night. The event was hampered by some last minute changes that took two of its major stars off the card, but still provided some of the most closely contested local bouts in recent memory.

read more:
Near Sweep for Capital Region Fighters as Miller, Kuhn, Williams Victorious at ARES Fight Night IX

And for more thought, see my blog post from late Saturday evening.



And my latest for Spike MMA & Sports on how the previous weekend’s two major fight cards, UFC on FX 3 and Pacquiao vs. Bradley, were indicative of a larger problem in combat sports: Athletic Commission incompetence.

As if the scores weren’t maddening enough, one of [the judges of Pacquiao vs. Bradley] actually tried to redefine what “aggression” means; in short, that it can actually be when a guy is running away. That’s either some very deep Eastern philosophy or, as Inigo Montoya once said, “you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

But the problems with judging isn’t just limited to boxing, and the issue is bigger than just the judging itself.

read more:

Athletic Commission Ineptitude Is Killing Boxing And MMA

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