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Where in the Brilz did Forrest go for UFC 114?

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Jason Brilz fighting Eliot Marshall, now against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

What's the bigger story? Brilz getting the fight or the ass on this guy?!

Ever since Forrest Griffin scooted out of the Octagon like Anderson Silva owed him money, the man who practically put the modern-day UFC on the map has been an enigma.

MMA Lifers know he has trained. We know he will make his comeback. We know he has been saying his prayers and taking his viter… wrong sport. Sorry.

Anywhoo, Forrest Griffin’s return to balls-out bashing has been long-awaited by many. And now, thanks to the news today (I saw the first tweet about it from Bleacher Report), we will be waiting even longer.

An injured shoulder has forced the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion to pull out of his match with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

I’m fairly certain air quotes should be inferred with injured shoulder because waiting on Forrest to come back at full strength has been a plight to say the least – and I’m a fan of his scrappy, tenacious attitude. Like he said, “I’m a dog. I fight. That’s what I do.”

I’m down, but where in the hell is he?

Ever since Rashad twisted his nipples and pounded Griffin from inside his guard, things have been a little shaky on Planet Forrest. And now he is plagued with a shoulder injury against what many believe to be the last shot for him to get back in title contention and in good graces with MMA fans.

So, while we all wait for Forrest’s triumphant return to the Octagon, I have one question: Who the hell is Jason Brilz?!

According to Sherdog.com, this cat has a stout 18-2-1 record with 5 TKOs and 9 submissions. Seems well-grounded but um, you sure that was the only dude who would take Lil’ Nog on short notice? I believe Cagewriter Steve Cofield summarizes the MMA Nation’s confusion with this choice:

Griffin has wins over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and losses to Anderson Silva and Rashad Evans. Brilz has wins over Tim Boetsch and Eric Schafer, and his only UFC loss is to Eliot Marshall.

In other words, who the hell is Jason Brilz and why does he get a co-main event?

Jon Jones and Ryan Bader seem to be popular suggestions from the cheap seats, but no, we get stuck with a guy who needs a milk carton for recognition. Even a return to title contention match for Thiago Alves would have been welcomed, but bring on the Brilz.

I suppose something should be said for “What’s his fart” getting in the cage with Lil’ Nog, but anything is good if the fans get a first-round TKO, right?

Meanwhile, among the smattering of boos when Bruce Buffer introduces the “TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME” and brings on Mr. Brilz, there will be a few million people pondering, “Where is Forrest running now?”

For the sake of his career, the LHW division in UFC and my personal affinity, I hope not that far.

TIME: What does it take to be “influential” anyway?

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Dana White snubbed on Time 100 list at #96

Come on, Time. Tell him what influential means. (Courtesy: Esquire)

Every year, Time magazine puts out this much ballyhooed list of the “100 most influential people in the world.”

For the most part, it accurately provides a dazzling introspective on the people on this planet who are considered “movers and shakers.” Only this year, the magazine showed its colors.

Typically, they hide the list behind an array of tech geeks, politicians, athletes who created more trends than signatures, Hollywood celebs who are big philanthropists and the obligatory misanthrope that no one can explain but everyone admires.

This year, this list of douchebaggery included the likes of:

  • #1 Lady Gaga – Heads up the list with fashion that smacks of dumpster diving or shopping at Goodwill
  • #6 James Cameron – Just beat the #1 movie of all time with another one of his own flicks
  • #25 Neil Patrick Harris – For a funny show and bad show tunes?!
  • #28 Mo’Nique – She deserve every bit of love she gets lately (See? I’m not all heartless)
  • #32 Taylor Swift – No, I still don’t know why. In the studio, nice. On the stage, where’s the flying tomatoes
  • #40 Jon Stewart – If you catch the greatness of “The Daily Show,” you know why
  • #55 Billy Graham – Now, THIS is influential!
  • #84 Bristol Palin – Really? She gets knocked up and has her mama talk trash about it. Yeah, great stick she wields.

So, you would think if there is anyone in life to be more “influential” than Lady effin’ Gaga, who would it be?

Don’t hold your breath, MMA lifers. Our betrothed Dana White is cleaning up the gutters at #96. Seriously?! Here’s the write-up:

The sport White champions is officially called mixed martial arts, but he and his partners successfully branded it Ultimate Fighting, the name of their outfit, and that’s how it’s almost universally known — to the chagrin of other MMA organizers. By doing so, he has revived a spectacle that had fallen into such disrepute that it was once described as “human cockfighting.” Now professional boxing wishes it were Ultimate Fighting. White is the UFC’s public face, most pugnacious booster, No. 1 tweeter and most irrepressible fan — the ruler of Fight Club.

The guy doesn’t record music with a nice hook. He doesn’t drown policy in red tape (and gag other politicians with it). He doesn’t even minister to the world’s leaders. He has only taken a once-considered circus act into one of the top money earning sports in the country, in terms of brand loyalty, exposure and oh yeah, influence.

ESPN has put MMA in the crawl, for crying out loud. Yet, there’s Dana, scrubbing the bottom along with pond scum and those nasty bed mites you read about in investigative hotel reporting.

Pugilism used to be the great uniter of this country. Consider the glory days of boxing with Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano. Or more recent, in the PPV heyday with Sugar Ray, Marvelous and Iron Mike.

And now, fans of the fisticuffs have come back together – a little more rowdy, shredded with HGH (allegedly) and draped in an Affliction tee they bought in the Juniors section at JCPenney.

And for that, Dana gets #96 for his trouble. Ah well, where’s that birdcage? Polly needs a cage liner.

Written by MMAniac

May 1, 2010 at 8:43 am

What could Henderson do to UFC lightweights?

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Smooth Ben waxing a flow against Jamie Varner

The song "Ring my Bell" comes to mind. You?

WEC 48 was a great card full of solid matches, two zombies and one big juicy turkey leg ready for the holiday UFC… er, that other organization’s celebration.

One of the most pleasant surprises was the sheer domination of “Smooth” Ben Henderson and his slinky, flexy self against Donald Cerrone who tapped out in less than two minutes – that or go to sleep and use Smooth as a Snuggie.

The guy has a game that’s off the chain – sleek enough to avoid Gilbert Melendez, strong enough to force Frankie Edgar into a sprawling fit and tough enough to take a Ken-Flo elbow to his medulla and keep on ticking.

But would he tap to B.J. Penn? I realize Frankie is the champ, and rightly so, but Baby Jay is an icon in this weight class. The frustrating thing is Dana White is running UFC and WEC concurrently, so we will ever find out?

Dana thinks it is not out of the realm of possibility, according to MMAJunkie.com:

How do you manage two separate 155-pound divisions? UFC president Dana White recently said that the promotions will likely one day merge the two divisions into the UFC, but for now, he’s got another idea for his top WEC lightweights: send them to Japan.

I would be so down with that. These amazing athletes tear it up in the House of the Rising Sun and come back to the states and create an eclipse. Folk in the lightweight divisions wouldn’t know what hit them.

It makes sense because where do you rank the dude? He has plowed through every lightweight in the WEC like the stomach flu through a G.I. tract – nice, fast and easy. (Hey, you understood it, didn’t you? All right then.)

The aforementioned duo – Melendez and Aoki – just got down on the Strikeforce debacle with Gilbert getting down on the man sans tights. As soon as Ben completed the match, MMA aficionados began their fantasy MMA teams and the mêlée began for the lightweight draft:

“When I look at the rankings of many of you in here, it drives me [expletive] nuts,” White said. “Henderson, because he’s in the WEC, and we own the WEC, where’s he ranked right now with most of you guys? But if he was in [expletive] Japan or some other place, you guys would have him ranked No. 2. It drives me crazy.”

Contrary to what some may believe, the WEC is not the UFC “farm system.”

It is run independently of the UFC, but if people yell loud enough, there could be the same anomaly like what happened to the 170s – they are no longer in WEC and GSP has a home in the UFC of which he will probably never get evicted.

So, stand down, folks. So far, Smooth Ben is going nowhere but perhaps the deft troika of pound-for-pound champs need to shipped overseas to fulfill their destinies? Maybe then we could answer the question, “Could Smooth Ben best the works of B.J. Penn.”

I know. I know. Frankie is the champ, and rightly so but face it, Penn is an icon in the weight class. Who would you rather fight? Maybe Dana knows that answer as well. Time will certainly tell.

Written by MMAniac

April 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm

UFC Fight for the Troops going to Afghanistan soon

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Josh Koscheck versus Yoshiyuki Yoshida

From 2008 - The first. Certainly not the last. (Courtesy: UFC)

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Dana White is getting the camouflaged band back together for the third edition of “Fight for the Troops.”

He believes the biggest problem to date is how to take the equipment to a dangerous war zone – possibly fly everything in by helicopter the same day as the event, put on a show and get out as quickly as possible.

“We’re going to chopper in at night. There are a lot of people who are scared. (Announcer Joe Rogan) said, ‘Oh (expletive), we’re going to do what?’ We’re going to fly in, set this thing up as fast as we can and get the (expletive) out of there.”

And don’t sleep. This is the USO Tour in large doses of beef roids.

What Dana does with the machine he runs is how it should be. You know how many soldiers are die-hard MMA fans?

Here’s a hint: they hunt, protect and kill for a living. You would think horse racing may not stroke their flag past half-mast, if you know what I’m saying.

Before this show in Afghanistan (card still undetermined), there was:

  • 2006, Diego Sánchez V. Joe Riggs show from the USMC base in Miramar.
  • 2008, “Fight for the Troops” in Fayetteville, NC at Ft. Bragg, raising more than $4 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. (Anyone remember that vicious standing KO that Koscheck delivered to Yoshida?)

Some think it’s genius. Other think it smacks of insanity. I say it is both, but as the proud son of a retired Vietnam Veteran, I say it is friggin’ patriotic and UFC should be commended. Ooh-rah!

Written by MMAniac

April 27, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Jake Shields about to strike in the UFC

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Some say that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, aside from the 998 that must be trolling through the methodical and splendid mind of Dana White, I can imagine two that he is thinking when it comes to Strikeforce, “Suck it!”

Take this picture from the Aldo V. Faber broadcast:

Jake and Dana sitting in a tree...

If Dana looked any happier to be sitting next to this guy, I would say... well, never mind

What other conclusion can you make to this chess move other than if Anderson Silva plows through Chael Sonnen (which will be no cake walk, rest assured, as he is already talking smack), Jake Shields will be first to stick his Knight 3 right up the Rook of the Spider?

That or have tea with the Queen of GSP? Either way, you get the point. UFC – here he comes and so is a superfight to make our MMA pants go crazy!

According to MMAFighting.com, Dana is “very confident” about MMA’s hottest free agent joining the UFC roster.

“The deal with Shields, is that there’s some discrepancy as to whether it’s 45 or 60 days he has left on his contract,” White told a group of reporters after the press conference. “So he can work that out with the knuckleheads (Strikeforce), and when he does, we’ll jump in there.”

As the former Strikeforce champ is feeling froggy, he believes there is some business when he does jump into UFC, according to FightLine.com:

“I just want to fight the best in the world,” Shields stated. “I wanna fight the best. I mean, it doesn’t mean I’m going to the UFC, but I would like to fight guys like Anderson [Silva] and GSP. That doesn’t mean I’ll get them for sure but those are some guys that I’d love to fight one day.”

So, if that adage is true and a picture does say a 1,000 words, imagine the fully involved and introspective conversation that first check Dana cuts will have with Jake. Either way, let’s get this on!

Written by MMAniac

April 26, 2010 at 2:56 am