ARES Fight Night IX Results: Night of Close Fights; Locals Williams, Miller, and Kuhn Victorious

Omar Artis reels from a right hook from Schenectady, NY’s Markus Williams during the main event of ARES Promotion’s Fight Night IX at The Egg Convention Center.

Really interesting night of fights at ARES Promotions’ Fight Night IX. I filed with the Knick Ledger and the article should be up on their site tomorrow morning. I’ll let you all know when it’s posted.

Crowd was about 3/4ths capacity. Mike Faragon was supposed to headline, but injured his ankle. From what I’ve heard he’s going in next week to find out if he’ll need surgery on it (which would be a real bummer). Javi Martinez was a late scratch from the card when his opponent pulled out for unspecified reasons.

Miller’s opponent was a replacement for an 8-0 undefeated 168 pound prospect. They had contracted to meet at a catch weight, but the New York State Athletic Commission wouldn’t approve it, even though the guy in question has routinely fought fighters who have come in between 170-175 pounds. Very strange turn of events.



Jr. Welterweight bout, 4 rounds: Gabriel Diaz (1-1-1) def. Ray Velez (2-2, 1 KO) by Split Decision (39-36, 37-39, 39-36)
My card: 38-38 Draw
It quickly turned into a fast-paced technical affair and a very, very close fight. There was a bit of controversy in the first when Velez tripped and fell during an exchange. Referee Paul Brown immediately started an eight count, which drew boos from the audience. Brown, though, was literally right next to the fighters when it happened, so from his vantage point Velez got hit and went down. We could see the trip at ringside, but Brown literally would have had to have been staring directly down at Velez’s feet to know he had tripped.

Heavyweight bout, 6 rounds: Kimdo Bethel-Boykin def. Raymond Lopez by TKO (1:28 of Round 6)
Weird change of pace considering what we had just seen. Kimdo just owned him the entire fight and really laid into him. Lopez didn’t seem to know what to do. He made a Hell of a comeback in the fourth, but it was short-lived. Lopez protested when referee Ken Ezzo waved it off, but he was taking a bad beating.

Welterweight bout, 6 rounds: Sarah Kuhn (5-2-1, 1 KO) def. Adelita Irizarry (8-6-0, 2 KO) by Majority Decision (58-56, 58-56, 57-57)
My card: 57-57 Draw
Another really close one. I think Kuhn got it here because her punching was crisper and technically much more sound. But man, Irizarry was just relentless. Just when I thought she was fading and Kuhn was about to start dominating, she got this second wind out of nowhere in the 4th and stole the round. Fight of the night, IMO.


Light Heavyweight bout, 6 rounds: Shawn Miller (8-1-1, 4 KO) def. Richard Starnino (9-9-2, 1 KO) by Unanimous Decision (60-54 x 3)
My card: 60-54 for Miller
Only fight that went to a decision that wasn’t close. Starnino, to his credit, is a very aggressive fighter who overcomes a smaller height with a bullish (his nickname is “Bobo the Bull”) style. And he hits hard. But Miller was just too damn good with utilizing his reach tonight, and didn’t let Starnino’s head movements and fakes frustrate him too much.

Middleweight bout, 8 rounds: Markus Williams (10-2-0, 1 KO) def. Omar Artis (3-4-1, 2 KO) by Unanimous Decision (78-74, 77-75, 77-75)
My card: 76-76 Draw
Williams took a few rounds to really get started; hence why I had it scored a draw with Artis taking the first two. But man, once he got started, it was a war. The last two rounds in particular were great.


Judge Decides Floyd Mayweather Isn’t Supposed to Have a Good Time in Jail

So Floyd Mayweather was all “oh my God I hate it here in jail! It is the worst!” And the judge was all like “well, uh…well yeah.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s request that he be released from jail because the low-quality food and water have threatened his health was denied by a Las Vegas judge who says he should eat and drink what is being given to him behind bars.


Read more (Sports Illustrated)

“But judge,” the argument goes, “he’s going to not be in peak physical condition and likely won’t be in any condition to fight immediately after being released from prison! It is unfair, as well as unprecedented, for a person upon release from jail to not just immediately resume their lives as if they were never in jail at all.”

“Well,” the judge would reply, “then he shouldn’t have beat up his ex-girlfriend in front of their kids.”

To which the prosecutor added “seriously, Floyd, what the fuck?”

Prosecutor Lisa Luzaich scoffed at the complaints during a court hearing Tuesday.


“It’s jail,” Luzaich told the court. “Where did he think he was going? The Four Seasons?”

Serious answer? No. Here’s what I bet he expected: to be treated like mob bosses you see in movies that just hold court over everyone in jail and are served fine dining and never EVER would introduce their lips to things water unless it was in a bottle. He didn’t expect to be treated like a convicted criminal and be given things like tap water and prison food, just like he didn’t expect his ex to press charges and for someone to put him on trial and convict him for his crime.

The problem isn’t that, as his lawyers noted in their plea, that all he’s ever known is boxing. The problem is that for the last fifteen years (give or take), Floyd has not known the word “no.” He hasn’t wanted for anything or faced consequences. He crafted a persona around an artificially inflated ego, but at some point he stopped letting the people around him in on the persona and, eventually, he forgot that it was all a lie. A precarious, spectacular, and unsustainable lie.


More on the Pacquaio/Bradley Decision: No Rematch, Investigation Possible, Precedents, and its Impact on MMA

I woke up on Saturday morning assuming I’d spend much of the next week talking about the need to provide more competent reffing and judging in MMA. Okay, I’m being a bit facetious, since I don’t wake up in the morning and think “what will I blog about in reference to my sports interests/secondary pursuits?” Only losers do that. Losers like you.

Wait, where was I? Oh, yeah. Saturday night came and all Hell broke loose with Pacquiao/Bradley, which will likely dominate all combat sports coverage this week.

For those still interested in MMA’s own problems and issues, Mike Chiapetta has that covered over at MMAfighting. Give it a read. Quite a few boxing aficionados and people involved more directly in boxing have made the comment to me that this doesn’t just signal the end of boxing and tip fans towards MMA, it knocks the scale off the fulcrum. But MMA has its own problems, and it’s for the most part these very same judges. More on that later.

But first, more fallout from Saturday.

Bob Arum is doing what he can to make sure he’s not included in any conspiracy theories by demanding an investigation into the judging. It would certainly be apt given the severity of the situation and will likely show up on the docket for Thursday’s meeting of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, barring insurmountable ineptitude. Then again, this is NSAC we’re talking about here. The last time there was judging this bad in boxing the judges were immediately suspended. But that was in New Jersey, which has the historically more competent and reputable Athletic Commission (the same one that also literally wrote the rules for MMA).

Arum also said that the case for Pacquiao is so convincing that there isn’t likely to be a rematch until an investigation is conducted (same article as above). So much for Bradley and his people hyping that November 10th date, which he actually started doing before the fight even started in anticipation of losing a contested decision against a distracted Pacquiao. What’s that they say about best laid plans?

And for those of you who haven’t separated your shoulders from throwing your hands up in the air over the course of the last two days, judge Duane Ford, who gave the fight to Bradley, gave an equally absurd defense of his scoring to Kevin Iole:

“If this were ‘American Idol’, without a doubt, Manny Pacquiao would have won. But it was not. I gave an honest opinion. I had Pacquiao up 4-2, I think, at the end of six rounds.  I thought he hurt Bradley a couple of times early in the fight. But when the bell rang to end that round, it was over and what happens in one round doesn’t carry over to the next round. They’re separate units. In the second half of the fight, Pacquiao picked off a lot of punches to the head, but Bradley landed some hard body shots. That hurt Pacquiao. I don’t mean it hurt him in the sense of it physically hurting him, but in terms of scoring and piling up points. Bradley did an excellent job standing his ground as a boxer. Remember, it’s a boxing match and Bradley demonstrated his ability to box expertly.”

It needs to be pointed out, again, that CompuStrike stats show that Bradley was literally outpunched in all but one round in terms of both volume and power. So what Ford is basically saying is that he isolated some moments Bradley had and chose to ignore everything else, which is certainly possible but also betrays a certain level of ineptness.

Taking this argument further, Bradley was not the more aggressive fighter. Nor was he the better ring general; Pacquiao dictated the course and direction of that entire fight. Nice enough guys have made the argument (which I won’t link to because I don’t want to embarrass them) that Bradley might have won on defense for blocking some of Manny’s shots. Which is to say that he should be given rounds for not getting his ass kicked more than he already was.

Oh, but then there’s this, again, from Ford:

“In pro boxing, you look for damage, and if the punches are equal and the damage is equal, you are looking for effective aggression, and that does not necessarily mean the guy going forward,” Ford said. “Effective aggression can be a guy going back. And then you look at ring generalship, and that’s all about control.”

…wow. Well, there you go.

I’m not trying to be dismissively cynical when I say that it’s bad everywhere you look. I just say that to accentuate the point that this is a problem in all of combat sports.

It’s not just something where we should just shrug and say “well, them’s the breaks,” because there are very specific peoples, places, and organizations one can point to and say that there needs to be reform and education. NSAC and its executive director Keith Kizer, for starters, and also Florida as shown on Friday’s UFC on FX 3 card.

There are also common denominators in both sports, particularly when it comes to judging, which in MMA often employs the same boxing judges who don’t seem to be able to accurately and consistently judge their own sport.

For MMA it might actually be easier, in that some of it could be remedied by tweaking the defined scoring criteria and evaluating the application of the ten-point must system. For example, arguments could be made that going with strict 10-9s may not be the right way to go in a sport with fewer and longer rounds. In boxing, however, it seems to be a more complicated issue of widespread incompetence.

I don’t have any answers, but those in positions to make changes have to start asking questions.

Fallout of the Absurd Pacquaio/Bradley Decision

The judges at ringside: dumber than Jim Lampley's Ridiculous Glasses.

Making the performance of Florida officials on Friday night’s UFC on FX 3 card look competent would be a tall order for any Commission, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission was apparently up for the challenge.

In case you don’t know already, last night’s bout between Manny Pacquaio and Tim Bradley ended in a controversial split decision. And by controversial, I mean batshit crazy. After doing everything but taking out a gun and shooting Bradley point blank in the head for twelve rounds, two of the three judges gave it to the fighter that was outstruck in every round in regards to both volume and power.

The tempered reactions I’ve read have almost exclusively come from people who didn’t see that fight. If you didn’t see it, I don’t think you can appreciate exactly how bad this decision was.

The official scorecards (Sports Illustrated)

Let me put this into a personal context: anyone who knows me and is a fan of combat sports knows that I’m not one to launch into hyperbole after a close decision. Quite the opposite, in fact, as I’ve gotten into some disagreements with people who have labeled a decision they did not agree with a robbery.

But in this instance, there’s no question. I have only two of the twelve rounds to Bradley, and I was being generous. The other ten weren’t even close.

I have never, ever, seen a worse decision, and I don’t think I ever will.

After the fight, Bob Arum dumped some dirt onto the fire by speaking out against the decision and announcing that the rematch in November wouldn’t take place in Nevada but would instead occur in a “non-tax” state. Likely Texas, as Kevin Iole speculated.

Iole also states that the controversy will only help, not hurt, boxing. I have to respectfully disagree. Particularly with fighters like Pacquaio and Mayweather who are likely to go the distance in their fights. If fans know they won’t see a finish by KO, they’re less likely to drop sixty dollars on a fight that they know will be better off left to the flip of a coin than in the hands of judges. It particularly hurts other cards, which were already suffering from a dwindling hardcore fanbase.

Between this and the absolutely ludicrous Therapeutic Use Exemptions being granted so fighters like Chael Sonnen can compete while using steroids, it’s been an embarrassing year for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Their spectacular ineptness and speculated corruption is unprecedented. Something has to give here.

Fight Opinion has a collection of some of the reaction. The outrage here is warranted, folks.

ARES Fight Night IX Card Change; Cage Wars 13 will be the Capital Region’s 1st Ever MMA Event

Five Guys Fighting announced on its Facebook page that it will be putting on a full MMA event in August, the first of its kind in the Capital Region.

They’re taking advantage of a loophole that New York State unveiled last January after it was sued by the UFC that allows amateur MMA bouts.

Cage Wars 13 is currently scheduled to go down August 11th. The time, venue, and ticket information has not yet been released.


And on a boxing note, don’t forget that next Saturday, June 16th is ARES Fight Night IX at The Egg. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are $40.

The card includes:

  • Markus Williams (9-2, 1KO) vs. Wilkins Santiago (6-0, 1KO)
  • Sarah Kuhn (4-2-1, 1 KO) vs. Adelita Irizarry (8-5, 2 KOs)
  • Javy Martinez (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Jeff Lentz (2-0)
  • Shawn Miller (7-1-1, 4KO) vs. TBA


Shawn Miller has an opponent but I didn’t get the name. The Commission wouldn’t approve his original opponent, undefeated Super Middleweight Lane Staal (8-0). The move surprised both camps, who had agreed to a catchweight bout. What makes the decision even stranger and more infuriating for both fighters is that Staal has fought and defeated two other fighters above that weight, including making his pro debut against a fighter who weighed in at 172.

Sarah Kuhn‘s opponent has a really, really impressive resume. Should be a good fight.

Mikey Faragon was scheduled to be on this card but had to pull out due to an injury.

Wallid Ismail: Extreme Translator [Video]

In the video below, Ariel Helwani speaks to Erick Silva about his bout tonight with Charlie Brenneman on UFC on FX 3 through coach Wallid Ismail, who in turns provides the most intense. Translation. Ever. Seriously, I thought I was watching an old 80s wrestling show. It’s amazing.


BJ Penn Un-retires to Fight Rory McDonald at UFC 152

Well, that didn’t take very long, did it?

Just days after I included BJ Penn in my list of Fighters Who Are (Probably Not) Retired for Spike MMA & Sports, the consensus best Lightweight in UFC history is coming out of retirement in response to a public challenge from Rory Macdonald.

Macdonald claims he wanted the opportunity to fight Penn before he retired…even though Penn actually was already retired, or at least he claimed to be and reiterated it several weeks ago when asked about a potential fight with Josh Koscheck.

The fight will likely go down at Welterweight, which I’m sure will unleash an avalanche of trolls online griping about BJ ducking Koscheck but fighting Macdonald. But you have to remember that Penn’s walking weight when he’s active is actually below 170, and Macdonald is also on the smaller end of the weight class. Koscheck, on the other hand, is a strong wrestler (Penn’s kryptonite at 170) who could conceivably fight at 185.

Is that ducking? No, or at least not when you’ve accomplished as much as BJ Penn has. The guy may not be “retired” anymore, but he is at the twilight of his fighting career and it’s at a higher weight class than his optimal 155.

Just because he’s fighting again doesn’t mean another run at a championship at any weight is a realistic possibility, nor should it be an expectation. There was and is nothing in it for him to fight Josh Koscheck. Macdonald, on the other hand, is a fight he can conceivably win and would be an entertaining bout for fans. Koscheck would be a fight he’d likely lose and, stylistically, would be a bore to watch.

Anyway, welcome back, Baby Jay.


Semi-related but with less enthusiasm: Fedor is backing off recent hints that he’s retiring. That’s too bad.

Bad News for Pacquaio Fans, Good News for Mosley Fans

As I’ve said many times before, the credit I give to Floyd Mayweather for his boxing I always grant begrudgingly because I find the guy beyond irritating. But the fight with Manny Pacquaio would have already gone down if Pacquaio would have submitted to Olympic style drug testing. And now, there’s documents to prove it.

From Kevin Iole:

A contract sent on Dec. 11, 2009, by Golden Boy Promotions on behalf of Mayweather to Top Rank on behalf of Pacquiao proposed a 50-50 financial split between the sides for a fight that would have been held March 13, 2010.


The eight-page agreement is so detailed that it indicates which of the two fighters would step onto the scale first at the weigh-in (Pacquiao), who would walk to the ring first (Pacquiao), who would be introduced first (Mayweather) and who had first choice of the locker room (Mayweather).



Pacquiao’s side declined the 2009 contract offer because Pacquiao objected to Mayweather’s request for the drug testing. Though Pacquiao has subsequently agreed to Mayweather’s demands for random blood and urine testing, the sides have not been able to reach agreement on a deal.

Not mentioned in Iole’s piece but reported by numerous journalists including Dave Meltzer is that Pacquaio’s side claimed at the time that he wouldn’t submit to the testing because he was “scared of needles.”

In the years since, there’s been more BS that has gotten in the way, including but not limited to politics, money, and Mayweather’s legal troubles. Well, what do you expect? That’s boxing for you.

But it’s time for fans to face facts: you may like Pacquaio more than Mayweather, but he ducked legitimate drug testing.


Ring TV reported over the weekend that Shane Mosley has announced his retirement.

Mosley ends his career with a 46-8-1 record (dropping five of his last seven) and titles in three different weight divisions. It’s a little late, but not too late to preserve his legacy. It’s always better to go out on top, but that didn’t happen. At least now he will and should go down as one of the better fighters of the last few decades.

Future Endeavor Friday: Kenny Florian Retires, Floyd Mayweather Goes to Jail, Randy Orton Suspended

Kenny Florian has officially announced his retirement from the sport, citing a lingering back injury.

Florian, as I mention in today’s article for Spike MMA & Sports (coming later today), is one of those fighters who has plenty of reasons not to get punched in the face for a living. He’s a smart guy, a coach, and has found quite a bit of success in the broadcast booth, which is where he’ll likely stay.

A nine year career and being the only fighter to win in four different weight classes in the UFC is nothing to sniff at. In my mind, he’s the best fighter to never win a championship. It’s a dubious distinction that I’m sure people will scoff at, but considering who was in his way (GSP at Welterweight, BJ Penn at Lightweight, Jose Aldo at Featherweight), there’s absolutely no shame in it.


Also, today is the day Floyd Mayweather starts his 87 day jail sentence for domestic abuse. He’ll likely be out at the end of August, pending good behavior.

Mayweather maintains his innocence, but his personal history doesn’t make anyone doubt the veracity of the charges and he didn’t exactly put up a fight in court.


And earlier this week, WWE announced that Randy Orton was suspended for sixty days effective immediately due to his second Wellness Policy violation. They specifically cited a drug test failure. The first time it was marijuana metabolites, so speculation is that it’s likely the same this time. It’s unlikely to be steroids, particularly since if anything Orton’s been noticeably smaller the last couple years. Certainly possible, mind you. Just not likely.

Unlike legitimate sports, the WWE performs its own drug testing. While guys have been suspended in the past for weed, I’m skeptical that they automatically suspend a guy every time he pops a positive for it, since it’s really not a problem unless the guy shows up high and in no condition to perform (i.e. Jeff Hardy some time ago at that TNA pay-per-view).

This couldn’t come at a worse time for him. He was on the verge of being given another major push in the company. And just recently, he was replaced by The Miz as the star of the next installment of WWE films’ “The Marine” franchise due to the military’s refusal to cooperate with the project; Orton had been given a bad conduct discharge from the Marine Corps and served thirty-eight days in a military jail for going AWOL.

His troubled past and propensity for self-destruction is a regular obstacle for the WWE to overcome, which is why he’s been pushed near the top but never been given the ball to run with. And he likely never will. Even if he does stay on the straight and narrow the next two to three years, he’ll never be given the level of exposure that John Cena has because of the dirt that would eventually be dug up.


UFC 146 Fat Boy Fallout – JDS Retains, Varner is Back, What Mayhem Did(n’t) Do Backstage, Lesnar Meets with White, and more

What a card to miss. I was at a friend’s apartment for his birthday and, because I’m not an anti-social creep, didn’t deign to suggest that all forty people who weren’t fight fans chip in to order a pay-per-view.

I read the results on Twitter, though, and throughout the night would be alternately gasping, exclaiming, and groaning at the fact that I was missing all the unexpected and exciting stoppages.

All told, the five fights on the pay-per-view broadcast ran a grand total of 21:50.


As expected, Junior Dos Santos ran all over Frank Mir and ended it in the second. Also expected was a Cain Velasquez victory, but what I didn’t expect was to read how quickly he completely annihilated and bloodied up Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Either he (Bigfoot) needs to re-evaluate his strategies, or Cain is even better than we thought and JDS is in a lot of trouble when that rematch happens. That’ll probably happen sometime in September, but given how easily Cain and JDS disposed of their opponents, I wouldn’t be surprised if it bumped Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar as the main event of UFC 150 on August 11th.

The most shocking (and pleasantly surprising) moment of the night, for me, was Jamie Varner‘s upset of Edson Barboza. Someone – I want to say it was Kevin Iole but I might be mistaken – tweeted that the entire press room gasped when Varner finished Barboza. I was always a huge fan of Varner and was legit saddened to see him fall as far as he did in the waning days of the WEC and post-merger. From all accounts he’s back to form, though, and could be on a major comeback trail. What a boon it would be, too, to a Lightweight division that is long on talent but short on marketable personalities.

Also very, very happy to see Dan Hardy win again. From all accounts, he’s a legit good guy. And I suspect he’s a fan of The Smiths. Which is always a plus in my book.


  • Junior dos Santos (c) def. Frank Mir via TKO (punches) R2 3:04 to retain the UFC Heavyweight Championship
  • Cain Velasquez def. Antonio Silva via TKO (punches) R1 3:36
  • Roy Nelson def. Dave Herman via KO (punch) R1 0:51
  • Stipe Miočić def. Shane del Rosario TKO (elbows) R2 3:14
  • Stefan Struve def. Lavar Johnson via Submission (armbar) R1 1:05
  • Darren Elkins def. Diego Brandao via Unanimous Decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)
  • Jamie Varner def. Edson Barboza via TKO (punches) R1 3:23
  • C.B. Dollaway def. Jason Miller via Unanimous Decision (29–28, 30–26, 29–28)
  • Dan Hardy def. Duane Ludwig via KO (punch and elbows) R1 3:51
  • Paul Sass def. Jacob Volkmann via Submission (triangle armbar) R1 1:54
  • Glover Teixeira def. Kyle Kingsbury via Submission (arm-triangle choke) R1 1:53
  • Mike Brown def. Daniel Pineda via Unanimous Decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)



Dave Meltzer reports that Dana White did meet with Brock Lesnar after UFC 146. Lesnar became a topic of discussion at the post-fight press conference when Ariel Helwani asked what his presence meant and if it meant he was looking to return. Dana seemed to strongly hint at it as a possibility. For what it’s worth, however, Meltzer says the meeting did not go well. He didn’t go into specifics, but I’d guess either White figured out he was being played or basically told Lesnar there was no way he was going to buy out of Lesnar’s current contract with WWE. Regardless of which went down (I think the former is more likely), expect Lesnar to be at Summerslam.

Speaking of Dana, that “bullshit” backstage that he alluded to with Jason “Mayhem” Miller was an alleged altercation Miller had with an MGM employee where he yelled at him and a report that Miller threw something at opponent C.B. Dollaway while the latter was receiving his post-fight medicals. But’s Ben Fowlkes tweeted that Miller told him “I didn’t do what [Dana] says. Bless my heart.” I assume he meant “cross” and not “bless.” For what it’s worth, there are other sources that also say this either didn’t happen or at least didn’t go down as was conveyed to and by Dana White. Whatever did or didn’t go down, Miller’s done with the UFC. I think it’s a shame, but I also think the time for Miller to make the jump to this level of competition was about four or five years ago. The timing just wasn’t right.

It was announced at the event that Vitor Belfort hurt his hand training and had to have surgery, so his fight with Wanderlei Silva for UFC 147 in Brazil is off. Boy, they just can’t catch a break on that card.

I did awful in my picks and should have known better. Stefan Struve is just the wrong type of fighter for a guy like Lavar Johnson to take on a three week turnaround. Too skilled and too wily. I expected a Dave Herman upset and still don’t know what I was thinking, other than that I keep underestimating Roy Nelson based on his more recent outings. But that guy’s still dangerous.


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