UFC Strikeforce

Pat Barry somehow convinced Mirko Crocop to sing California Dreaming with him, and you'd think that nothing could top that, but Pat wants more.  Now he's looking to get Cain Velasquez to tap dance.  Watch as he explains his goal of getting "these badass dudes to do ridiculous, silly stuff."  And speak of silly, this whole interview is just that.  Check it out.

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(Press release)
LOS ANGELES, CA. (January 17, 2012) – ProElite MMA (PK:PELE) and DREAM, the largest Japanese MMA organization, have initiated a promotional partnership and fighter exchange program, jointly announced today.  The alliance will foster co-promoted events, both in the United States and in Japan with fighter exchanges featured on the cards of both fight promotions, respectively.

“Our partnership with DREAM forms a promotional bond with the most prominent Japanese MMA organization,” said Billy Kelly, President of ProElite and COO of Stratus Media Group Inc. (SMDI:OTCBB) -- parent company of ProElite. “Dream has developed a stable of great fighters on their roster and a strong team behind the scenes. With this exchange, the two organizations are building a cultural and fight-event bridge that our fans are sure to welcome.

The initial fighter exchange debuts this Saturday, January 21, in Hawaii when DREAM star and Japanese fan favorite Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa takes on Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove in the ProElite main event at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

“I’m really honored to join the partnership with ProElite,” said DREAM Event Producer Keiichi Sasahara.  “It is important for us to exploit Asian or Pan-pacific markets by improving relationships with foreign organizations like ProElite. We would like to make this fighter exchange program a first step to generate synergistic success for both organizations.”

DREAM Light heavyweight tournament runner-up Tatsuya Mizuno will take on Ilima Maiava, also on the Honolulu fight card while the always exciting voice of Japanese MMA, Lenne Hardt, will be joining the shows as the fighter walk out announcer.   The ProElite main fight card will be televised live on HDNet at 10:00 P.M. EST.  Tickets are on sale at the Neal Blaisdell Center box office, all Ticketmaster locations (800-745-3000), www.ticketmaster.com, and www.proelite.com.

 

Bisping_Sonnen

Hold onto your hats, folks, there are some big changes to the UFC on Fox 2 card, and they are actually changes for the better, in my opinion.  Chael Sonnen was supposed to be fighting Mark Munoz on the upcoming UFC on Fox 2 card, with Michael Bisping taking on Demian Maia.  But Munoz sustained an injury in training, forcing him off the card, which prompted the UFC to put Sonnen in with Bisping in a fight that will determine the number 1 contender for Anderson Silva's title.  On the undercard, Demian Maia will now face rising star Chris Weidman, the undefeated Long Islander.

Originally, Dana White wanted Maia to fight Rusimar Palhares, but Palhares turned the fight down.  I guess he's not quite as crazy as he seems, because Maia is a very dangerous opponent with unmatched BJJ skills.  Weidman, however, in his macho "Strong Island" way, did not hesitate before taking this fight.  It's a big step up for Chris, but it's a fight that I think he can and will win.  And it will definitely raise his profile in the UFC.

The main event between Sonnen and Bisping is a trash-talking dream fight.  These two guys are never at a loss for words, and the next couple of weeks should be very entertaining.  The only drawback is that we'll only have weeks of their smack talk rather than months, what with the fight being made on such short notice and all.

Still, the new matchups are outstanding and I think this card looks better now than it did before Munoz got hurt.  Sucks to be him right now, but that's the fight game.  I'll have more on the fights in the coming days.

Sonnen vs. Bisping: Let the shit talking begin!

On the heels of Cris Cyborg's steroid bust comes more bad news.  King Mo Lawal, who looked very impressive against Lorenzo Larkin 10 days ago, was busted for an illegal substance in the post fight testing.  Keith Kizer of the Nevada Athletic Commission released a statement saying:

"The following athletes were tested:  Luke Rockhold, Keith Jardine, Robbie Lawler, Muhammed Lawal, Tyron Woodley, Tarec Saffiedine, Tyler Stinson, Nah-Shon Burrell, James Terry, Gian Villante, Trevor Smith, Ricky Legere, Chris Spang, Estevan Payan and Alonzo Martinez.

All athletes tested negative for prohibited substances, except Mr. Lawal who tested positive for Drostanolone."

In the past, King Mo has used canned oxygen to give him an edge in the fight, but this stuff is a bit more powerful.  Dostranolone is an anabolic steroid.  It is prohibited under the rules, and it taints his victory in a big way.  The win will probably be overturned and Mo will be fined and suspended.  Right now it's unknown what his punishment will be, but we'll let you know the minute the information is released.

 

Whoa!  The Twitter war between Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg is heating up big time.  These two top female fighters were on a collision course inside the cage, but of course Cyborg's steroid bust has put a stop to all that.  Not so with thier Twitter battle, however.  Yesterday, Cyborg posted a pic of a busted up Gina Carano, and that set Ronda off.  Rousey tweeted to Cyborg:

"You don't just have a dick, you are a dick for posting that picture of Gina, you cheater."

Yowser!  Them's fighting words!  Ronday credits Gina with inspiring her to enter mixed martial arts, and she does not tolerate any perceived disrespect towards the "face of women's MMA."

But this tweet hits below the belt, literally, and it may not lead to a fight between Rousey and Cyborg, but their cyber-battle sure is fun to watch.  You go, girls!

 

jones_Erick

Erick Silva made a splash in his UFC debut at UFC 134 back in August when he TKO's his opponent in just 40 seconds.  He followed up that outstanding performance with what appeared to be an even quicker knockout of Carlo Prater this past weekend at UFC 142.  Everyone watching at home thought that referee Mario Yamasaki had stopped the bout in Silva's favor, but then realized that Mario had actually ruled that Silva had hit Prater in the back of the head illegally.  The fight was awarded to Prater, which prompted an incredulous Joe Rogan to interrogate Mario in the Octagon afterwards.  Dana White too thought that the blows were legal and he paid Silva his win bonus anyway.  Slo-mo replays seem to agree with Dana and Joe.  One or two may have been to the back of the head, and totally accidental.  Time will tell if the fight ruling gets overturned later on.

In addition to the support shown him by the UFC in this fight, Silva also discovered that he has a big admirer in UFC LHW champ Jon "Bones" Jones, who called him "the future of the sport."

Jones told Tatame Magazine:

"Erick is a great talent of the UFC. It is the future of the sport. He needs to know that tonight (UFC 142) will forever live in his life. It was a watershed for Erick and he has a great future ahead in the franchise. I made the invitation to Erick. I want to see him working with me at any time in the United States."

Silva was very flattered by Jones' remarks, and might take him up on his offer to train together.  We'll have more on the Silva ruling when information becomes available.


(Whittier resident Gene Pace, 78, receives his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the Gracie Barra studio in Costa Mesa on Thursday night. He studied for 15 years before receiving the recognition. (DON LEACH, Daily Pilot)

Big congratulations to 78 year old Gene Pace who, after training for 15 years, earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.  It's an amazing feat, and it's nice that the Daily Pilot, owned by the LA Times, sought fit to write an article about Pace's accomplishment. Here is the article:

By Sarah Peters

January 13, 2012 | 7:56 p.m.

COSTA MESA — It's pretty impressive whenever a student of the Gracie Barra school of Brazilian jiu-jitsu gets a black belt.

Even more impressive is when one of those students is 78.

Gene Pace was awarded his black belt Thursday night during a ceremony after his regular twice-weekly class and sparring session at the Costa Mesa studio.

More than 100 of Pace's friends and supporters showed up to see his milestone.

"It was overwhelming. And last night..." Pace started with a pause, then laughed. "Well, it was a little emotional."

The Whittier resident has been training under the Costa Mesa school's founder and instructor, Mike Buckels, for more than 15 years.

"He's Mr. Consistency. He never misses a class, not ever," said Buckels, who holds a black belt in jiu-jitsu, as well as kru in Muay Thai kickboxing.

In those 15 years, before Pace, Buckels had only awarded one other jiu-jitsu black belt, and it was to another instructor.

"The best way to describe Gene is that he just executes what you teach him to do," Buckels said. "If you show him a move, he will go after that move."

Although Buckels admits that he is careful whom he pairs with Pace, as an older student Pace is not one to underestimate.

"Gene can still pick me up — and I'm a 180-pound man — and toss me to the ground," Buckels said. "He practices with people as much as 55 years younger than him."

Pace fell into the Brazilian practice after signing up for a martial arts course for fitness — and to humor his grandchildren.

"I thought to myself, 'Well, OK, they can't kill me, and besides, maybe I'll learn something,'" Pace said, laughing.

"Once I got started, I had to think, 'Do you just walk away [and] embarrass your grandkids?'" Pace continued. "Nah, you can't be disrespectful like that. And everyone just stuck with it."

Pace's interest in martial arts transferred to jiu-jitsu after meeting Buckles and liking his style of teaching.

A lot of that style resonated with Pace's finish-what-you-start attitude.

"The things learn you here are discipline and techniques, which you apply to situations, but you never walk around like a peacock," Pace said. "But, as Mike says, if someone won't back down, you finish it."

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Twitter: @speters01

 

(Gabriel Gonzaga, turning heads with his fists)

Gabriel (Napao) Gonzaga is a world class BJJ player with big striking power, and in his earlier UFC career, he seemed to get away from his grappling roots while going for the knockout against opponents.  This led to a couple of key losses that jettisoned him from the UFC.  But he's back now, and in his fight at UFC 142 with Ednaldo Oliveira he put on a BJJ clinic, taking his man down and finishing him with a rear naked choke.

It's great to Gabe back in the big leagues.  He's a very good fighter, and once again has his sights set on the UFC HW title.  He has a long road ahead of him on that score, obviously, but it's always fun to watch him perform in the Octagon, and he's sure to give some HWs fits in there.  Here's hoping to see him in the top ten again.

Just a few days ago, Rumble Johnson was sitting pretty in the UFC.  He'd struggled to make the 170 pound weight limit in the welterweight division earlier in his career, but now was moving up to middleweight, where everyone expected him to be stronger, and have an easy time making weight.  Things didn't turn out that way, however, and now Johnson finds himself not only on the losing end of a fight with Vitor Belfort, but out of a job as well.

Dana White handed Johnson his walking papers after the Belfort fight.  Fighters missing weight is a real problem in the UFC--it almost scuttled last night's co-main event--and by firing Johnson, White sends a powerful message to the fighters--make weight or make haste out of the UFC.

There are a few good fights for Johnson outside of the UFC, but it's still sad to see him go.  He was an exciting fighter, but he really needs to get his weight problems under control.  We wish him all the best in his post-UFC career.

 

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