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In this video, Courtnie Korpela of Red Schafer Mixed Martial Arts chokes out her male opponent with...


In this video, Courtnie Korpela of Red Schafer Mixed Martial Arts chokes out her male opponent with a rear naked choke which renders him unconscious at the Waukesha Open 4 at Waukesha MMA in Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 10, 2011.

Saturday Night’s Alright for Secret MMA Fight Club


Sen. John McCain thinks of mixed martial arts as "human cockfighting." Former New York Gov. George Pataki once described it as "barbaric." But MMA lured more than 100 people this past Saturday night to a downtown Manhattan gym. They came to watch men slug it out in a secret mixed martial arts cage fight. The rules are simple: No biting. No kicks to the groin. The fighters wear no pads, no helmets and only wrap their hands in thin, four-ounce gloves to protect against broken fingers — caused by brutal hits to the face and head. The goal is to punch and kick your opponent into submission. Yes, chokeholds are permitted. New York is the only state in the nation where MMA fighting remains illegal. But that hasn’t stopped promoters from organizing about six underground MMA fights a year throughout the metropolitan region, according to Jim Genia, who chronicles the underground world of MMA in his book "Raw Combat." The fights are often held in the outer boroughs — at a boxing gym in Brooklyn, or warehouses in the Bronx and once even at a mosque. Every year New York state legislators mull the idea of sanctioning the sport, possibly as a lucrative source of tax revenue. But many in Albany continue to dismiss MMA as too violent. "The politicians are idiots," said Josh James, a New Yorker who took in Saturday night’s fight. "It’s a sport. If it wasn’t, you’d just watch a couple guys go fight behind a bar." Fans like James defend MMA as far safer than boxing. Fighters can "tap out" if they feel defeated, as one did Saturday night, or a referee can call the fight if a fighter is badly injured. The next fight is in December and you’re welcome to watch — if you can find out where.

Who Will Bare All In The New 'Body Issue' Of ESPN The Magazine?

Jon Jones. He won the UFC light-heavyweight title in March with a TKO win against Mauricio Rua.

Manager Says Shogun is Not Injured, Ready to go at UFC Rio


The clock is ticking, 10 days left to a historical night at Rio de Janeiro, but Brazilian fans heard some bad news today: Mauricio Shogun, the co-headliner against Forrest Griffin, injured his knee and was out of the show. Fans at Twitter sent him and his manager, Eduardo Alonso, tons of messages during the day, but it turns out that the rumors aren’t true. "His knees are absolutely perfect, there’s no injury… I don’t know where people take that from," Alonso told TATAME this Wednesday. "He’s training hard, following the training scheduled with Rafael Cordeiro, Renato Babalu (Sobral) and all the team... He’s very excited or this fight".

MMARanked's Top 50 Prospects of 2011


MMARanked lists their top 50 prospects of 2011, with undefeated UFC middleweight Chris Weidman ranked as number 1.

Fertitta on NY: 'It's clear we have the votes'


The UFC will remain committed to the fight to legalize the sport of mixed martial arts in the state of New York to the bitter end. According to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, officials from the promotion are still on the ground in New York putting forth a final effort to get bill A04146A, which would regulate the sport within the state, on the Assembly floor for a vote. Despite a recent comment by New York State Assemby Speaker Sheldon Silver that the bill lacks "widespread support in the Assembly for this legislation," Ferititta remains confident it would pass if put to a vote. The bill has already passed through the New York State Assembly’s Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Department, Codes Committee and New York State Senate with overwhelming support. "I’m sure [Silver] knows his constituents very well," Fertitta told "But when we count heads and walk up and down the legislature, it’s pretty clear we believe we have the votes. Usually, these bills get out of committees by a one-vote margin. "I would like to see the democratic process play out. If we don’t have the votes we don’t have the votes. Put it on the floor, everybody says ‘Yay’ or ‘Nay’ and let’s move on." "There’s only so much we can do," Fertitta said. "We have an impeccable track record. We educate people in the sport and on the healthy and safety issues. What is it exactly they are trying to protect the citizens from? You can buy it on TV; why can’t you buy a ticket to watch it live? "All of the arguments are in our favor other than the fact there is politics being played." The promotion firmly suspects the Culinary Union and its parent company Unite Here, which holds lobbying powers in New York, are the primary reason the sport’s met so much resistance. Fertitta, who also owns Station Casinos in Nevada, has been at odds with the Culinary Union for years. "Unfortunately, we’ve got a viable opponent on the other side in the Culinary Union," Fertitta said. "They have made it their mission to do whatever they can to be the stalwart and a pain in me and [brother and UFC co-owner] Frank’s side. "At the end of the day, it is what it is. We can live without New York although it’s better to have it. But if they’re going to play those games, we’ve got to play those games."

Munoz Ready to Accept Showdown with Brian Stann


Mark Munoz's manager has revealed the middleweight is ready to accept a hard-hitting fight with Brian Stann. With reigning champion Anderson Silva fighting Yushin Okami at UFC 134, the middleweight division does not have a clear contender for the next 185lb title fight. Michael Bisping has delayed his title run to coach on TUF 14 against Jason Miller, while Chael Sonnen remains suspended from MMA. Vitor Belfort has already had his shot, so a Stann v Munoz fight could determine the next contender. "After coming off a big win over Damien Maia, Mark would welcome any fight that brings him closer to a title shot," manager Mike Roberts told MMAWeekly. "If that fighter is Brian Stann then so be it. If that's the fight the fans want to see, Mark would welcome that challenge. Brian Stann is a great guy, so it would be Good Guy vs. Good Guy. That can be compelling in itself."

N.Y., Stop Fighting MMA -- it's Safe -- and Our Economy Needs the Kick


This article was "written" by Dana White and published in the NY Daily News this Monday, June 13th, 2011.

MMA Legislation Not Going To Happen in New York, Silver Says


Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver yesterday appeared to KO the latest bid to legalize ultimate fighting in New York, despite its mounting momentum in the state Capitol. "There does not appear to be widespread support in the Assembly for this legislation," Silver said when asked if the proposal would be approved before the June 20 end of the legislative session. The bill to legalize and regulate the popular but controversial sport overwhelmingly cleared the Assembly Tourism Committee this week. It already passed the Senate. It's expected to zip through the Assembly Codes Committee next week and appears to have growing support in the chamber. "Every other state seems to think this is a good idea," said Codes Committee Chairman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn). New York is one of just three states out of the 48 with athletic commissions that does not sanction mixed martial arts. Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) called it "illogical and irrational" that the state would turn its back on the revenue the sport would generate during a fiscal crisis. Critics like Assemblyman Robert Reilly (D-Albany) call the sport barbaric. But others say it's dramatically changed from its no-holds barred days in the 1990s.

California Commission Corrects Chael Sonnen's Suspension


Two days after indefinitely suspending Chael Sonnen's license through May 18, 2012, the California State Athletic Commission corrected an application of a rule regarding the date the UFC middleweight contender could reapply in the state, thus freeing him to fight anywhere. The regulator body admitted "an error" regarding Rule 399, which states revocation or denial of a license included a one-year prohibition on reapplying. "Since the commission did not revoke or deny Mr. Sonnen's license, the rule does not apply," read the statement. "Given that Mr. Sonnen's license will expire on June 29, 2011, the suspension imposed upon the license will be extinguished by operation of law. Therefore, Mr. Sonnen may reapply for a license at any time following that date. He will, however, be required to appear at a commission meeting to have his application considered. If the commission denies his application, Mr. Sonnen will have to wait one year from the date of the denial." CSAC executive officer George Dodd said that while the state continues to consider the suspension "indefinite," it will cease to apply once Sonnen's license has lapsed. Sonnen is technically allowed to apply anywhere even as he serves his suspension in California. It's up to individual regulatory bodies to allow him a license or not, though most choose to honor fellow commission's rulings. Sonnen did not respond to a request for comment about California's correction.

Hermes Franca Arrested in Oregon on Sexual Abuse Charges


Veteran lightweight and former Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor Hermes Franca has been arrested in Oregon on alleged charges of sexual abuse. Franca, 36, previously resided in the state and operated Team Hermes Franca Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Clackamas, Ore. The fighter allegedly flew to Oregon on Monday from Florida, where he now resides, and turned himself in to Clackamas County Jail on seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and two counts of unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree. The news was first reported by on Thursday; confirmed the news with the Clackamas County Jail and a source close to Franca shortly thereafter. According to a Clackamas County Jail official, Franca’s bail has been set at $250,000, and a trial is scheduled for July 12 at 9 a.m. in the Clackamas County Courthouse in Oregon City, Ore. A nine-year veteran of the sport, Franca’s career highlight came in 2007 when he challenged Sean Sherk for the UFC lightweight title. Franca has won three of his last four bouts and is currently scheduled to face Drew Fickett for the Maximum Fighting Championship lightweight strap on June 10.

TapouT Honchos -- Yes, We Distributed Mask's Ashes


The two men who run the MMA clothing line TapouT admit they DID distribute a "very small amount" of Charles "Mask" Lewis' cremated remains to his close friends ... and they stand by their actions. TMZ spoke to the attorney representing Punkass and SkySkrape ... who tells us the men feel there is "nothing wrong with dividing up a loved one's ashes" and giving them to loved ones ... despite the fact Mask's sister claims they had no legal right to do so. We broke the story, Carla Lewis filed a lawsuit against Punkass and SkySkrape saying they gave away 50 to 100 vials containing Mask's ashes at a public memorial service in 2009. Carla -- who claims she is the only person with the legal power to control the ashes -- alleges the men have kept a significant amount of Mask's ashes in their possession for years, and have refused to give them back to Mask's estate. Now, in light of the lawsuit, Punkass and SkySkrape have agreed to RETURN the remaining ashes ... but they are adamant they have done NOTHING wrong. In fact, the men say Mask was estranged from his sister when he died in 2009 and "his close circle of friends had become his family." The men both insist the lawsuit is purely about money -- but they're happy to give the ashes back to the estate so Mask's two young children can eventually inherit their father's remains.

Fedor vs. Henderson Not About Weight, UFC Owner Lorenzo Fertitta Enters Negotiations


Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson are still negotiating a deal that would see the pair face off in Strikeforce on a July fight card, but the snags have nothing to do with weight. Several sources have indicated when speaking to, that both Emelianenko and Henderson have agreed to meet at any weight Strikeforce feels comfortable. Originally, rumors surfaced that Henderson was asking for a heavyweight fight, while Fedor’s side was looking for a catchweight fight at 220 pounds. It now appears that both fighters are on board for a bout at any weight, but other issues still exist. Those issues revolve around money and where the show will take place. It appears that both sides are trying to come to a final number for pay for the fighters, as well as whether the fight would appear on Showtime or a pay-per-view broadcast. Strikeforce has been feeling out the process to put together a pay-per-view in July, but nothing has been set in stone. At this point, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta has entered the fray to hopefully help make Fedor vs. Henderson a reality instead of just a rumor. UFC president Dana White confirmed Fertitta’s involvement, while also stating he would not be getting personally involved. "Lorenzo’s in it; Lorenzo’s in it right now," White told "He’s working on it. Me getting anywhere near that thing, you’ll never see that fight. "The great thing about this company and the way we do things, there’s a lot of people I butt heads with or whatever, Lorenzo can handle it, I can handle stuff, Joe Silva handles stuff, there’s a lot of people. We don’t have to be friends for you to fight in the UFC. We don’t have to get along. It’s business." Sources close to Emelianenko’s camp have indicated that he has to take the fight, and is ready to step back in the cage in July, but until a few of the details are resolved, the fight remains a fantasy and not yet a reality.

Scott Coker, on Sherdog's "The Savage Dog Show," joked about which changes not to expect from him...


Scott Coker, on Sherdog's "The Savage Dog Show," joked about which changes not to expect from him after the sale of Strikeforce: "I’m not going to change just because I work for Zuffa now. People say I’m going to start dropping F bombs and yelling at people. That’s not going to change. I’m still the same guy and I love what I do. It’s been a great thing for me too."

Couture Pushes for More Rights for Fighters


The question of whether or not a fighter’s union is needed in mixed martial arts has been prevalent for some time now and was further highlighted earlier this year by the news that Zuffa, parent company to the UFC, purchased Strikeforce, its top competitor. For Randy Couture, the answer isn’t a simple "yes" or "no." Couture isn’t interested in spearheading a war for fighters’ rights, but he said there are issues that absolutely need to be addressed. His hope is that Zuffa and the fighters will come together with open minds before a war is the only option left. "There’s going to be a battle," Couture told "I’d rather sit down with the UFC, [president] Dana White and [CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta and figure out a way to implement some things with their blessing." On Monday, Couture, 47, announced on his intention to retire from the sport following a light heavyweight bout against Lyoto Machida later this month at UFC 129. The former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion has seen the sport take tremendous strides in terms of acceptance, regulation and popularity during his time of competition. According to Couture, fighters are still being deprived of a few fundamental rights, which if rectified would only help the legitimacy of the sport. "Health insurance for fighters when they’re not competing is a huge issue," Couture said. "There are a few fighters who could call up the UFC and say, ‘Look, I need some help, I blew out my knee in practice,’ and the UFC is going to help them. They’ve been generous but they can’t do that with everyone. There are over 200 fighters. "How about a retirement plan of some sort? Or at least educate these guys on how to take care of their money. How many MMA stars, five or six years from now, are going to be broke and destitute? We’ve seen that in boxing, and it’s a shame. An absolute shame." Couture has had his own grievances with the UFC during a 14-year professional fighting career, but said he doesn’t blame Zuffa for the fighters’ issues still present in the sport, nor does he necessarily look at the formation of a fighters union as an end-all, be-all solution. He said he would hate to see the UFC ever endure a saga like the NFL currently is, with fighters threatening a work stoppage. "There’s a whole bunch of issues when you start unionizing," Couture said. "Look at football. The players are looking at a lockout because they might have to play two more games in a season and not increase their pay. I mean, why are you in the sport? Because you love to play the game, right? "There’s a give and take there. [Unions] can sometimes get carried away." That is why Couture is hopeful the question of a fighters union becomes an irrelevant one and the issues are resolved in a way that suits both sides. "It would be great to sit down and figure out a way to take care of the guys in this company so that everybody feels good about it and no one is in a position to have too much power or for a fighter to take advantage of a union and hold out," he said. "There’s got to be a way to come together and meet on ground that everyone can live with."

Silva Makes Splash in 'Like Water': A Review


If there’s one topic in MMA that never fails to fuel the speculation of media and fans, it’s this: What’s going on in Anderson Silva’s head? The language barrier doesn’t help with North Americans, and the translations are loose (and usually boring). There are the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde antics in the cage. There are interconnected associations with such things as Steven Seagal and paintball and Big Macs. Yet above all else, there’s the long-tenured, record-breaking champion with a captivating -- if unintentional -- sense of mystery. A new film entitled "Like Water" will premiere April 21 in Manhattan at the Tribeca Film Festival, and it pulls the curtain back to reveal (in cussword-included subtitles) Anderson Silva in a context you wouldn’t expect. How? Filmmaker Pablo Croce centers on travail. Rather than dog-earring the illustrious side of Silva’s MMA career, Croce captures scrutiny and derision in painstaking detail within a three-month window that begins post-Demian Maia at UFC 112 and ends with Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. There are glimpses into other aspects (his family life, training, idling, interacting with fans), but the gravity of the film is based on a walls-closing-in sense of situation. Silva spends a lot of time negating the negative. It’s not that we see Dana White peeved and telling Jim Rome he’ll cut the champion if he made a mockery of the Octagon again; it’s what you get out of Silva watching it, absorbing his own bizarre behavior. It’s that you see him lament to Lyoto Machida-san that "everybody wants a brawl." We see self-reflective Silva, dealing in issues of esteem. It’s not long before things shift to the montages of Chael Sonnen, who became (what he thought was) the mouthpiece of public sentiment in bashing Silva at every turn. Through the entire lead-up to the epic battle at UFC 117, Silva takes things in while maintaining an opiate calm. Yet there are glimpses into moods, caught when Silva hangs Soares out to dry with one-word answers during an interview. Or when he tells his friend/teammate, "You’re screwed until I forget you’re screwed" out of frustration with his fight. You see him in ordinary situations (like at the airport) doing extraordinary things (like putting his belt through security). What you don’t see is Silva cracking under surmounting pressure, but the pressure is real and ends up being the star of the film. And that becomes the documentary’s merit; it not only depicts the mettle of Silva on multiple levels, but it peers into the fight game in general through the back door. As much as we are shown Silva in intimate situations, you also see Sonnen intimately. We see the wirework beneath the surface and, as cliché as it seems, a human side to the fighters all too commonly regarded as products. In other words, you empathize with Silva, which has long been something foreign to us.

Crime Victim Uses Submission Hold, Alleged Burglar Dies From Injuries


Martial arts choke holds are no joke. We've talked about that repeatedly after watching television and radio hosts asking MMA fighters to slap on the holds for a photo opportunity. The rear-naked or guillotine choke is a potentially lethal move if not treated with care. Just ask Alex Montalvo, who's in the center of a firestorm in New Jersey. Back in July of 2010, Montalvo fought off a burglar, slapped on a submission hold and left Douglas Uhler unconscious on the street. Uhler never fully recovered and died yesterday at 19 years old. On July 31 at 3:39 a.m. in Bridgewater, N.J., Montalvo and his wife heard their car alarm go off. The 42-year-old ran to the street, identified two suspects and chased them to the next block. With one punch, he knocked out Brian Johnston, 18. That's when Uhler emerged: Uhler ran out from nearby bushes and shouted: "You want a piece of me, (expletive)?!" Uhler jumped on Montalvo, who put him in a submission hold, Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano said. The move blocked the teen's oxygen flow, causing a brain injury, Soriano said. Uhler was taken to Somerset Medical Center and later treated at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center. He never fully recovered from the injuries: A once-strapping high school football player, Uhler spent his days in bed or in a wheelchair. He had to be fed through a tube, according to court records. He was non-vocal and unable to walk, sit or roll. He also had poor head control. Uhler had been in and out of several hospitals, including the Children's Specialized Hospital and the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. Back in December, a grand jury indicted Uhler and Johnston on third-degree burglary charges. Johnson pleaded guilty and is awaiting charges. The Uhler family wants Montalvo in a courtroom next, claiming he used excessive force to subdue their son. "New Jersey law allows you to defend your physical self as well as your property," said Jenny Carroll, an associate professor at Seton Hall Law School. "You're allowed to kill people under certain circumstances, particularly self-defense. If I jump on you, you're allowed to do what is required to make me stop hurting you. But if I pause, you can't just start kicking me in the head." Carroll said there are no clear-cut answers. "Here's the trick in this case — did the homeowner exceed the need to protect his property?" she said. "If the kids are still in the process of taking the homeowner's property, then he has a right to defend his property and to use force. The prosecutor must decide whether the homeowner used justifiable force, and whether it was reasonable. "Even in the heat of passion, if you're trying to subdue someone, it isn't reasonable to kill them," Carroll said. The Uhler family said their son had plans of attending William Patterson University, where he was looking to study sports medicine.

Sonnen Offered to Fight Rampage at UFC 130


Chael Sonnen offered to step in for Thiago Silva and fight Rampage Jackson at UFC 130, according to the middleweight's manager. Silva was pulled from the event due to delivering a positive drug test at UFC 125, and Jackson was eventually matched with former TUF participant Matt Hamill. However, according to Mike Roberts, Sonnen put his name forward to step up from 185lbs to light-heavyweight, for what would have been a blockbuster encounter. "The thing about Chael is when he does all these interviews, and he sounds crazy when he says 'I'll fight any man God ever created', he's telling the truth," Roberts told MMAWeekly Radio. "When Rampage's initial opponent went down before all this fiasco was going on, before Hamill stepped in to take the fight, when that went down I was with Chael and he was like 'I'd love to fight Rampage.' And I was like, 'but you're a 185-pounder' and he was like, 'I'd fight him in a heartbeat,'" Roberts said. Sonnen had hoped to be back fighting by UFC 130 following a suspension for abnormal levels of testosterone, but he is currently without a fight licence. That remains his immediate goal before an expected fight with Michael Bisping, but Roberts insists he would not be surprised if the American was seen in the 205lb division in the future. "Fighting big fights at 205 would not be a problem for him," Roberts commented. "[Chael said] whoever they think is the toughest guy, that's the guy I want."

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones Saves The Day… Again


While on a business trip to Florida this week, Jones observed a young woman along with her child involved in a somewhat loud conversation over a cell phone while he was checking into his hotel. Jones overheard the young woman crying because she had apparently flown to Florida to be with her boyfriend, and after an argument ensued, he left her and her child to fend for themselves with no place to stay and an airline ticket for a flight that didn’t depart for two days. Jones took it upon himself to offer to put the young lady and her child up in the hotel for the time she needed until her flight could take her back home. It wasn’t until much later that the young woman was told that she wasn’t just helped out by a young man trying to do a good deed, he just happened to be one of the best fighters in the world. "It’s just a good testament to his character," Jones’ manager Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management, who was with Jones at the hotel, told "I mean the guy walks into a hotel on South Beach, expecting maybe to go to bed or maybe go to dinner, and he sees a young lady that he’s got absolutely no responsibility to, and a young boy that’s absolutely not his responsibility, and just being a good citizen overheard a conversation and felt it was important that he handled their situation for that night. Just being the good guy that he is, helped a fellow citizen in need." Jones graciously paid for the room and went about his business, after making sure the woman and her child were safe and taken care of until they could make it back home. The UFC light heavyweight champion might soon have to take on a second job as full-time life saver.

Referee Mike Beltran's mustache in action.


Referee Mike Beltran's mustache in action.

It Only Looks Dangerous - Op Ed from NY Times on MMA


Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. Yet for years the New York State Legislature has refused to sanction M.M.A. — making New York one of the last states holding out against the sport’s expansion. (Connecticut is a holdout, too.) After helping to block a clause in last year’s budget that would have legalized M.M.A., Bob Reilly, a state assemblyman, called it "a violent sport not worthy of our society." As the editor in chief of Men’s Health, I’d been a de facto supporter of New York’s ban by refusing to put a mixed-martial artist on the magazine’s cover — despite the entreaties of several editors and even my own brother, Eric, who trained in M.M.A. I edit a health magazine, after all, and this is a sport in which men use nearly every means available to beat one another into submission, from jujitsu to kickboxing to simply slugging one another in the face with nothing but lightly padded gloves on their hands. But I’ve come to believe that, in fact, the New York Legislature is wrong. Mr. Reilly is wrong. And more to the point, I was wrong (an admission my brother will hold over my head as long as I live). Mixed martial arts may be a violent sport, but it is much safer than other, supposedly more civilized competitions, and New York and its fellow holdouts should finally sanction it. We think of more traditional violent sports like boxing and football as safer in part because of the helmets and padded gloves their athletes wear, and that supposedly protect them from harm. These are, in fact, more like the equivalent of poorly designed sunscreen — "protection" that allows athletes to submit to even greater levels of punishment. For instance, studies show that up to 40 percent of former boxers have symptoms of chronic brain injury, the result of repeated, if padded, blows to the head. And recent studies have demonstrated that most professional boxers, including the majority who show no outward signs of impairment, have some degree of brain damage. In comparison, a 2006 Johns Hopkins study noted "a reduced risk of traumatic brain injury in M.M.A. competitions when compared to other events involving striking." The reason is simple: Boxing’s "protective" padding, coupled with its 12-round bouts and rest periods, means the boxer is subject to dozens of brain-jostling head blows in each fight. In M.M.A., most bouts end in a wrestling match, with one opponent forcing the other into submission; only 28 percent of all M.M.A. bouts are decided by a blow to the head, according to a study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine. As a result, M.M.A. fighters have not only a lower risk of cognitive impairment, but of death. There have been only three fatalities in the 17-year history of American M.M.A. But we average almost that many in a single year in boxing: 129 fighters have died in American rings since 1960. Some might argue that such statistics only make the case that boxing, too, should be banned. But what about hockey or football? Men’s Health has proudly and without controversy featured Drew Brees, Tom Brady and other N.F.L. stars on our cover — despite the fact that football and hockey combined sent 55,000 Americans to the emergency room for head injuries in 2009 alone. Hall of Famers like Harry Carson, a former linebacker for the Giants, and Pat LaFontaine, who played center for the Islanders and the Rangers, have talked publicly, even courageously, about the physical and emotional toll of their multiple concussions. And watching 41-year-old Brett Favre dragging his swollen body onto the field week after week last season was an exercise in spectator-sport sadism. Compare that to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the premier M.M.A. league, where 23-year-old Jon Jones recently won the light heavyweight championship but injured his hand in the process; as a result, he is barred from competition until doctors say he has healed. In fact, fighters who suffer knockouts are suspended and barred even from sparring for three months; in the N.F.L. and N.H.L., we cheer when a player leaves the game on a stretcher and returns the next week — and even louder if he comes back the next period. The New York State Assembly and Senate both have bills in committee that would allow M.M.A. into the state, and it only makes sense to push them through. In the meantime, I’ve changed my policy: This month Men’s Health features the U.F.C.’s reigning welterweight titleholder, Georges St-Pierre, on its cover. Sometimes the more raw and visceral a sport appears, the more humane it may actually be.

Bisping Made to Wait as Sonnen Hearing is Delayed


Chael Sonnen's absence from the Octagon will continue after his hearing for a money laundering case was postponed on Monday. Sonnen must now wait until April 8 to have his case heard, so his contract with the UFC will remain frozen for the foreseeable future. The middleweight fighter has pleaded guilty to the charge, which relates to mortgage fraud. The government has recommended two years' probation rather than a prison sentence, with Sonnen also giving up his Realtor's license in addition to paying a $10,000 fine. Public information officer Gerri Badden offered no reason for the postponement of the hearing, only commenting that delays were "quite common", according to MMA Fighting. Sonnen has been linked to a fight with Michael Bisping later this year.

Shayna Baszler Wins By Twister... in 2008


Shayna Baszler used the twister submission three years ago at the third ShoXC event against Keiko Tamai. The linked videos (below) show Baszler get the win against Tamai with a twister early in the first round of their fight. Watch the fight here or at Gal's Guide to MMA Via Gal's Guide to MMA

Jean-Claude Van Damme Reality Show Available for Pre-Order on Amazon


A-list action movie hero, Jean-Claude Van Damme, the iconic "Muscles from Brussels": a massive box office hit in movies such as Universal Soldier and Timecop, now throws open the doors to his private world, allowing cameras access behind the scenes–at home and on set. In this observational documentary you’ll join JCVD and his family and discover the man behind the macho image. Experience the roller coaster life of the Van Damme family who have homes in Vancouver, LA and Brussels. But the cameras won’t only be in the domestic setting. You’ll also see JCVD on movie sets in Europe, USA and Canada as he performs in his latest productions, including Universal Soldier III. Jean-Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors

Coker Not Keen on Emelianenko-Henderson Clash


MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko is unlikely to fight current Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, according to CEO Scott Coker. Henderson got his hands on the light-heavyweight belt after knocking out Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante. He has made repeated calls to take on Emelianenko, but Strikeforce chief Coker feels Henderson might be "a little bit small" to face the heavyweight. Emelianenko weighed in at 230 pounds for his last fight against Antonio Silva, while Henderson cuts hardly any weight to make his 205-pound divisional limit. "I'm thinking the weight difference might be too much," Coker told MMA Fighting. "Can that gap be bridged? I'm not sure. But I know Dan will fight anybody. He'll fight anybody in a fight booth. It doesn't matter to him." Emelianenko will return in the summer, when he will attempt to bounce back from two straight defeats. Coker said: "Fedor will fight in July or August at some point. They'll get everything that's promised to them. Nothing's really changed. Those promotions will happen. Fedor will fight."

"The Salamander Key," featuring Fedor Emelianenko, opens March 25 in Moscow


Fedor Emelianenko (31-3 MMA, 1-2 SF) may not be the world's top heavyweight anymore, but there's another place for his icy demeanor. The silver screen. Emelianenko co-stars in "The Salamander Key" alongside Michael Madsen and Rutger Hauer. The film debuts Friday in Moscow, the same day Emelianenko's management team, M-1 Global, holds its first Showtime-televised event, "M-1 Challenge 24: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa," in Norfolk, Va. The heavyweight shot the movie way back in October 2008 as a prepared for a bout against Andrei Arlovski at "Affliction: Day of Reckoning." Gegard Mousasi and others were flown out to help him prepare on the movie's set in Thailand. The action flick centers on group of international scientists who disappear on a remote island in Southeastern Asia while conducting advanced medical research. Emelianenko plays a member of a team sent to rescue the scientists, who have uncovered an evil plot that could destroy the world. Emelianenko's manager and M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein is a co-producer on the movie, as well as M-1 executive Sergei Matvienko. There's no word on whether the film will be released outside of Russia, though its inevitable that copies will leak on the Internet. As for the heavyweight's fighting career, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker recently told HDNet that a return is likely for July or August. A Russian-language trailer for the movie can be viewed here.

Anderson Silva Film to Premiere in April


A film about the Ultimate Fighting Championship's middleweight champion will have its debut next month. This year's ESPN/Tribeca Sports Film Festival will include the worldwide premiere of Like Water, a documentary about Anderson Silva, according to a list released Monday. The festival runs from April 20 through May 1 in New York. Filmmakers followed Silva last year as he prepared for his Aug. 7 fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. During that training, Silva injured his ribs, an incident addressed by the documentary, according to UFC President Dana White. The Sonnen fight proved to be the most difficult bout of Silva's UFC career. The challenger controlled the action on the ground for most of five rounds before succumbing to Silva's triangle choke with less than two minutes remaining. Specific movie times haven't been released yet.

Werdum: "The UFC is the best of the world"


Fabricio Werdum tapped Fedor Emelianenko to get the biggest win of his career at Strikeforce’s cage, but he didn’t hide the excitement when he heard the news about Zuffa purchasing Strikeforce. "Strikeforce was doing well, growing strongly, but let’s face the facts, the UFC is the best of the world, a stronger brand… You have to unite with the best", the black belt said, revealing that the UFC tried to sign him after he defeated Emelianenko, back in 2010. "Now I can say, right? (laughs) Joe Silva told me to call him as soon as I was ‘free’, to call him to negotiate, but now we’re at the same home again (laughs)", Werdum told TATAME.

UFC: Let the Fans Choose the Fighters for UFC Rio Card


UFC will return to Brazil on August 27th, and you can help Joe Silva and the promoters to set up the card of your dreams for HSBC Arena, in Rio de Janeiro. In the UFC official website in Brazil, you can choose 12 Brazilian fighters you’d like to watch on the show. Check the options below and vote: Bantamweight: Diego Nunes - Caxias do Sul (RS) Rany Yahya - Brasília (DF) Renan Barão - Rio Grande do Norte (RN) Featherweight: José Aldo - Manaus (AM) Raphael Assumpção - Fortaleza (CE) Lightweight: Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveira - São Paulo (SP) Edson Barboza - Nova Friburgo (RJ) Gleison Tibau - Tibau (RN) Rafael dos Anjos - Rio de Janeiro (RJ) Thiago Tavares - Florianópolis (SC) Yuri Alcântara - Ilha de Marajó (PA) Welterweight: Carlos Eduardo "Tá Danado" Rocha - Cabedelo (PB) Paulo Thiago - Brasília (DF) Renzo Gracie - Rio de Janeiro (RJ) Thiago "Pitbull" Alves - Fortaleza (CE) Middleweight: Alexandre Ferreira "Cacareco" - Rio de Janeiro (RJ) Anderson Silva - São Paulo (SP) Demian Maia - São Paulo (SP) Jorge Santiago - Angra dos Reis (RJ) Mário Miranda - Niterói (RJ) Rafael "Sapo" Natal - Belo Horizonte (MG) Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares - Dores do Indaiá (MG) Thiago Silva - São Paulo (SP) Vitor Belfort - Rio de Janeiro (RJ) Wanderlei Silva - Curitiba (PR Light Heavyweight: Fabio Maldonado - Sorocaba (SP) Luiz "Banha" Cané - São Paulo (SP) Lyoto Machida - Salvador (BA) Maiquel Falcão - Pelotas (RS) Mauricio "Shogun" Rua - Curitiba (PR) Rogério "Minotouro" - Salvador (BA) Heavyweight: Junior "Cigano" dos Santos - Caçador (SC) Rodrigo "Minotauro" - Salvador (BA)

Minotouro Says Shogun’s Heavy Hands Will Defeat Jones


One of the most expected fights of 2011 will be the first title defense of the UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, who’ll face the newcomer Jon Jones on UFC 128, which happens on March 19th. The American is been cheered by the local media and pointed out as the favorite, but the ones who are aware of the power of Shogun’s hands know well the difficulties Jones will go through. That’s the case of Rogerio "Minotouro" Nogueira, who fought the current champion back on Pride’s GP, in 2005. The athletes had one of the greatest battles in all history and each knock the other down once, but Shogun was declared the winner on a unanimous decision of the judges. Having met him closely, Minotouro revealed to TATAME that he considers the Brazilian the favorite and believe the belt shall remain here, in Brazil. "It’ll be a pretty tough fight, there’re no doubts. Jon Jones is the guy now, people are creating great expectations about him, but particularly disagree. In my opinion, Shogun has a sharper Boxing than Jones, and he has got more game. Jon Jones is talented, has a great reach, but he hasn’t confronted a guy like Shogun. I believe Shogun will win this one, I’d bet on him, because I believe he has got more game than Jones. But every fight is unique, right?", commented the fighter, who’ll fight Phil Davis on UFC Fight Night 24, on March 26th.

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