Still banned in New York State, mixed martial arts will make a heavyweight splash at the Izod Center in Newark on Saturday when Strikeforce stages two quarterfinal matchups of its eight-man World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament. Retired 38-year-old MMA great Frank Shamrock spoke with amNY ahead of the event he will help broadcast on Showtime. How did MMA go from spectacle to sport? [In the late ’90s] we just sat down and really made it a sport — wrote the rules out, redefined the weight classes and, I guess, really gave what the politicians were looking for at the time to make it a sport. ... Now ... it’s one of the most regulated sports in the world, with the drug testing and steroid testing. ... We’ve still got that stigma dragging around with us as a bunch of Wild West cage-fighting weirdos. So we’re just constantly trying to re-educate and sort of redefine that. Why is the sport growing so quickly? I get why people are flocking to MMA. You know, it’s: "Whoa, oh, ho, hey! Oh, wait a minute. Oh, oh, oh! Okay. Tell me more. Who’s that guy?" I don’t know how I’m going to transcribe that. [Laughs] What’s the difference between the UFC — the dominant MMA league — and Strikeforce? [The UFC’s] presentation is, the UFC is the most important thing — the brand itself, uch like the WWE is. We’re more interested in trying to find that guy: the next Muhammed Ali guy, the next guy that can beat everybody, the guy that I was at one time. ... We have to have a very global business idea. We have to put some of our business requirements aside to create a bigger dream. What can people expect from the main event: Antonio Silva versus Fedor Emelianenko? I see this fight as size and attrition against speed and accuracy. ... Fedor has amazing accuracy. He just throws his body behind punches, and he’s just destroying these guys.
Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua has reiterated his desire to step into the Octagon with Anderson Silva, but is refusing to look beyond his next opponent Jon Jones. Rua defends his light heavyweight crown against the highly-rated youngster 'Bones' Jones at UFC 128 in New Jersey, but he admits he would jump at the chance to fight the middleweight champion. "Now I'm focused on Jon Jones," Rua told Brazil's Tatame. "It's a sin to speak about my next fight when I'm thinking about a man like Jon Jones. So I'm focused on him, but I already answered. "It's obvious I'd fight Anderson. I respect him as a friend and a professional, but I also am a professional. Yes, I'd fight him." However, a potential all-Brazilian showdown may be some way off. With Silva having recently dispatched compatriot Vitor Belfort at UFC 126, he awaits welterweight champion Georges St Pierre, should the Canadian see off challenger Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto, with 'Rush' expected to relinquish his title and move up to the middleweight division.
I touched on this subject a little bit last week, but today I'd like to fully explore who set up the 'I Hate Michael Bisping' fan club and why. It seems that whenever I fight anywhere but in England, I'm watched by thousands of fans praying I get my butt kicked in the most humiliating fashion possible. For starters, I'd just like reassure everybody that the reaction of the crowd never affects the way I prepare for a fight or the way I fight. For all those fans that may be attempting to unsettle or fluster me by shouting abuse, give your voice box a rest because it won't work. I can guarantee you that. I'm great at blanking it all out and just focusing on the task at hand. You can't get caught up emotionally in things like that, otherwise you'll just go crazy and your head will be a mess of mixed signals and negative thoughts. Actually, the only time the crowd affects me is when I fight at home in England. When I fight in England, I know the place is going to go absolutely nuts when I enter the octagon. So, in that instance, the crowd affects me in a good way. I get a buzz off the energy of the crowd and raise my game to the next level. When I fight in the US or Australia and get heavily booed, it's a different kind of atmosphere, but I love it all the same. Obviously I'd prefer it if everybody liked and respected me, but I also realise that won't always be the case. You've got to take your lumps in this sport, both inside and outside the octagon. I know that not everybody will like me or want me to win. I don't mind being booed and having to play the bad guy. To be honest, I quite like the idea of proving the majority wrong and sticking it to them with a big victory. I don't laud it up or show off around my hometown and I don't cause trouble anywhere. I don't crash Ferraris, cause fights in nightclubs, throw money around like Floyd Mayweather, I don't attend all the UFC events and the after-parties and make big demands. I've had three Fights of the Nights so I'm giving the fans entertainment and am not boring in the octagon. **Article link from Gals Guide to MMA
How did it feel to watch so closely one of the most expected fights in all history? To me it was wonderful, great, not only because of the repercussion the fight had in Brazil, but around the world. The whole world was expecting this fight. Vitor was one of the last hopes to defeat Anderson, and you saw what happened... Were you surprised with a knockout on the first round? Did you think it’d last longer? Of course. Until that moment Vitor was winning the fight, he had attacked and taken Anderson down. I thought it’d be an interesting fight, but the kick Anderson did caught everybody by surprise, including Vitor. UFC’s coming to Rio in August. Do you hope to be invited to judge some bout? I’m cheering for them to call me for UFC Rio, and I think they will. It’d be stupid if they didn’t (laughs). The whole world is waiting for this event to happen.
Critics of MMA have claimed different reasons for opposing regulation. But as our millions of fans and anyone who has been paying attention knows, these claims don't hold up. First they said it wasn't a real sport. But MMA is the fastest-growing sport in the world, sets event gate and concession records, and millions watch fights on pay-per-view TV. We are highly trained athletes, Olympians and All-American college wrestlers. MMA has gone mainstream. Fighters appear in ads for Microsoft, and UFC sponsors include the Marines, Harley Davidson and Anheuser-Busch. And it's hard to argue with dollar figures. A recent study found New York regulation would generate $23 million in economic activity and create hundreds of local jobs. Then detractors said it wasn't safe. But we have some of the most rigorous safety standards, drug testing and officiating in professional sports. All that our critics have left to say is MMA is barbaric. It is full of strategy, fluidity. Highly conditioned athletes look for momentary points of leverage and advantage — combining karate, jiu jitsu, wrestling and kickboxing, which can take decades to master. MMA isn't for everyone. But to call it brutal is to misunderstand the sport, its athletes and its fans. We're not masochists, we're college graduates, role models, Olympic champions. We have a greater safety record than the NFL and boxing, and with millions of fans, we are not going away.
Jon Jones has been hailed as the new generation of fighter by Marshall Zelaznik, who cannot wait to see the light-heavyweight take on Ryan Bader at UFC 126. "I remember watching Jon Jones toss Stephen Bonnar around the Octagon and I turned to my son and said 'my God, look at this guy'," Zelaznik told ESPN. "Jones is like the MMA fighter 3.0. "If 1.0 was the Chuck Liddell era, and GSP was the 2.0, Jon Jones might be fighter 3.0. His strength, his technique, his enthusiasm... this guy needs to be watched. Not only that, he makes it his priority to improve. Often you see talent like that go to waste. Not Jon Jones. "This fight, if it was boxing, they wouldn't be meeting for another five years," said Zelaznik. "You would keep them on separate paths, you would build their records and feed them opponents. But we're going to see where the cream rises."
"Despite just a 6-6 record in UFC competition, he’s done enough with his legendary fights, his charismatic personality, his quick wit and his television work to merit an induction into the UFC Hall of Fame one day. A Hall of Fame is meant to honor those whose accomplishments and contributions to a sport far exceed the average and no doubt, Bonnar has done that. Most of his fights have been highly memorable slugfests that have left the crowd roaring its approval. He hasn’t won all of them, but the UFC brings him back because management knows it can count on him to deliver a pulsating match. He’s an eloquent public speaker and one of the wittiest fighters in the game. He’s doing a terrific job as a part-time analyst on ESPN’s studio show, "MMA Live," as well as doing color analysis on World Extreme Cagefighting broadcasts. He’s given back to the sport and the fans who support it in so many ways. For that, he deserves to be honored by being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame one day."
"Newport Beach reserve police officer Jonathan Sunshine had been on the force for less than a year when he witnessed one of that city's most horrific car crashes. Sunshine was driving a prisoner in a police van to the Orange County Jail shortly before 1 a.m. on March 11, 2009, on Jamboree Road when he saw two sets of headlights approaching fast from the opposite lanes. "I noticed that they were driving in a close proximity," Sunshine later testified, "then I observed ... a cloud of dust and debris... "I saw a vehicle collide with a fixed object. It split into two pieces," he told a judge last year. "There was a lot of debris that went everywhere. I later realized that it had struck a light pole. "Once I stopped," Sunshine added, "I noticed it was a red Ferrari." Charles Lewis Jr., 45, the driver of the expensive, high-performance Ferrari, was killed on impact. He was better known as "Mask," a charismatic entrepreneur who turned a side job selling t-shirts promoting mixed-martial arts out of a van into a multimillion dollar company. His death shocked the mixed-martial arts community and came at a time when his clothing company, TapouT, was projected to post $225 million in annual sales. After his death, Lewis was posthumously inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July 2009, the only non-fighter ever inducted. Twenty months after the crash, Jeffrey David Kirby, the repeat drunk-driver who was driving the 1977 Porsche that provided the second set of headlights witnessed by Officer Sunshine, will go on trial on vehicular manslaughter and other charges. Jury selection before Judge Richard F. Toohey should begin later this month. Kirby, 53, could be sentenced to 18 years in state prison if convicted. He has been held in custody on $500,000 bail since the night of the crash. Defense attorney Mark Fredrick is expected to try to place the blame for the collision on Lewis, who -- according to official reports -- was driving at speeds far in excess of the limit as he jousted in his Ferrari with Kirby and his Porsche.
"A cage-fighter jailed in Morocco for his part in a cash raid at a depot in Kent - the UK's biggest - has had his sentence increased from 10 to 25 years. Lee Murray, originally from south London, was named during the trial of other gang members as the "mastermind" of the £53m Securitas raid. Murray, who has Moroccan nationality, fled there after the raid in 2006. Kent Police said his sentence was increased at a hearing in Rabat after the prosecution appealed. A police spokeswoman said lawyers had argued that Murray's sentence was too lenient. An appeal by Murray against the length of his sentence was dismissed at Tuesday's hearing. The Moroccan authorities refused to extradite Murray to the UK for trial but worked with Kent Police on his prosecution in the north African country."
In case anyone misses this, this is a really great article from mmapayout.com. Long, but great.
The Osmond Brothers have revealed that Chuck Norris once gave them lessons on how to make their dance moves less girly. Singer Alan Osmond said that Norris taught the 1970s boyband some martial arts moves to incorporate into their dance routines. In a post on the band's official website, Alan explained: "[I said,] 'Chuck, we need to toughen up our dance. Can you help us?' "And he said, 'Well let's learn some karate, and you can apply the moves, 'cos there's stomps, and hoo, yeah!' You know, it was very boyish, and that's what we wanted." The Osmonds are best known for tracks such as 'Crazy Horses' and 'Love Me for a Reason', and have previously been honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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