Weekly News Round-Up With JB

In the news this week,

Strikeforce gives us all one big What the hell?! moment by not only failing to put on and promote a fight between Welterweight champ Nick Diaz and Middleweight contender Jason “Mayhem” Miller, AKA the fight that hypes itself, after the two have been calling each other out online and even having a god damned brawl on live network television; now they’ve somehow let Heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem slip back into K-1 and leave their long awaited Fedor/Overeem match that seemed derailed out in the rain. What’s frustrating is that this time the Russian’s camp for once came out as the instigators and suggested the match-up for later this year only to be denied by Overeem who claims that, since Fedor is now on the losing track (Ed note: by “losing track” he’s are referring to that one loss in his last 30) he’d rather wait until Werdum recovers and instead spend his time competing for the title in K-1.
     To be fair to Overeem, he really wants that K-1 title and it’s something he’s aspired to all his life so of course the entire division should take a break while he’s away realizing his dream; the UFC did the same for Couture and “Rampage” Jackson in regards to their acting aspirations and I think we can all agree that went over just swell.

Of course there are inevitably going to be some miserable cynics out there claiming that this is just a put-on by Overeem in an attempt to duck Fedor and instead fight the, on paper, less dangerous Werdum but those people probably don’t even think John Edward can speak to the dead.

Speaking of “Mayhem” Miller the brash fighter has recently been slated to fight the aging Kazushi Sakuraba at DREAM.16, this according to a twitter post (I refuse to refer to them as “tweets” due to fears that I might develop a sudden fondness for Meg Ryan movies and praising child performers for “at least trying”) by HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon.
“DREAM 16 breaking news- Mayhem v Sakuraba, Joe Warren v Omigawa &Gegard v Mizuno for title. HDNet kick ass card. News from me & @hdnetfights”

This is where I get slightly more serious than is warranted and wonder just when the hell enough is enough for Sakuraba. His last fight against Ralek Gracie saw the Brazilian avenging his family’s honour… well, avenging really is a pretty strong term for a young buck beating up an old man, isn’t it? Especially since you’d think they’d be over this guy by now. What I’m trying to say is that despite Sakuraba being one of my favourite fighters of all time he’s so far past his prime that it’s a bit sad. Miller is younger, more well rounded and I can’t see Saku putting up much resistance here.
Due to the controversy surrounding their last fight it has been confirmed that Chael Sonnen will get an immediate rematch against Middleweight champ Anderson Silva. For those of you who might have missed it the controversy in question was that Sonnen seemed to be winning until he lost, something the fragile minds of the fans just couldn’t bear.
      Because of this the man who was originally slated to fight Silva, Vitor Belfort, had been sidelined yet again. Not one to rest on his laurels however Belfort requested another fight this year and will be taking on Japanese wrestler Yushin Okami, the only man in the UFC to hold a win over Anderson.
Sure, he beat him by getting kicked in the head but as Josh Barnett would say: a win is a win is a win is a win is a win, unless you’re on roids in which case it’s a no contest and a one-way ticket to the puroresu circuit.

The fight will go down as the main event on UFC 122 in Oberhausen, Germany and will air for free on Spike TV on the 13th of November.
UFC 118 has come and gone, the dust has settled and it’s time for the aftermath.

While the card was pretty damn entertaining overall there are three things in particular that need to be adressed, the first of which being Kenny Florian.
I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for this guy; he’s entertaining, eloquent and a great ambassador for the sport. He does have a pretty significant handicap that his later fights have given light to: he tends to wilt in high profile fights. Both against Penn and now against Maynard Florian looked off, a little flat on his feet and even confused. The Florian we saw fight Maynard last night frustrated me because he can do better than that and we’ve all seen him do it.
This isn’t taking anything away from Grey Maynard, the guy’s a stud and anyone who expects to have an easy night against him is sorely mistaken, but the Kenny Florian we saw yesterday didn’t give it his all. I guess this just goes to prove that the mental game is just as, if not more, important than the physical.

I have no joke for this paragraph so here’s a picture of Frank Trigg and Tom Cruise.

"Trigg is way too deadpan for this image"

 

 The second thing would be the embarassing way in which James Toney entered and exited MMA. Can we drop the whole debate now? Will Bob Arum let the white man continue to lube up and dry hump in cages without ridicule? I’d love to say yes to this but despite the painful results of Toney’s first match boxers and boxing promoters are always going to criticize MMA because boxing is kind of, sort of on it’s way out. It’s not going away, it’s just going to be eclipsed by MMA at some point when more and more young boxers go to MMA instead of boxing for a pay day.
These men will also never really accept MMA because it has grappling and like all alpha males they’re insecure about their sexuality and once they see those tight shorts on GSP they fly off into a confused, frightened and strangely aroused rage. I’m here to tell you guys: it’s ok! Just like you’ve suspected all MMA fans are extremely camp but hide it very well behind skulls, swords, barbed wire and slogans like “TapOut” or “Deathclutch” or “Xtreme I’mma Kick Your Ass”. All this grappling nonsense is, just like you’ve said from the start, just thinly veiled gay-porn though I guess since you recognized it as such you must already be more than familiar with that subject.

"De La Hoya working on his Jiu Jitsu

 

At least we have the guts to watch men get bummed in public!
The third issue is of course BJ Penn. Some of our readers might recall me heralding this year as the potential downfall of the current greats and the new generation rising up to take the throne. So… yeah. That happened. As it stands the only fighter left right now is GSP and I hope he isn’t a supersticious man looking around at all the other pound for pound greats who suddenly aren’t looking that hot anymore.

Penn’s sudden implosion could possibly be linked to the fact that he still trains with basically the same people. Sure, he brings in new guys to train with occasionally but the camp and corner has been the same for a while now and I get the feeling he’s the top dog around there. As has been said before iron sharpens iron and I feel like Penn might need to go travelling for a bit to find someone to not only push him but to assess his skills objectively and help him improve his game further. Either that or be stubbornly left behind as the sport moves forward.

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