Five Quick Rounds 10.29.13: Bellator PPV In Memoriam, More
Posted by Evan Zivin on 10.29.2013
From Tito Ortiz's injury and the cancellation of the Bellator PPV to Chael Sonnen coaching on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil and event results from UFC, Bellator, and WSOF, 411's Evan Zivin examines these stories and more in Five Quick Rounds!
Hey hey, fight fans, and welcome back to Five Quick Rounds! I am your host, Evan Zivin, and I am happier than Miguel Torres's shorts to be here once again!
So former WEC Bantamweight Champion, social media guru, and occasional marijuana possessor Miguel Torres fought on Saturday night. He also lost on Saturday night. I have fun and sexy results from the show below but something I found interesting was the excuse Miguel used for why he lost to Pablo Alfonso at WSOF 6. So he came to the cage wearing spats, a.k.a. those nut-hugging compression shorts you see guys like Georges St-Pierre wear regularly. When Miguel was already in the cage ready for the fight to start, he was told by referee Troy Waugh that he needed to change into shorts. So Miguel had to sprint to the back to grab some shorts and sprint back out and it threw him off mentally and that's why he got destroyed by Alfonso in three minutes. This definitely presents an interesting problem because Miguel said the commission cleared his gear so why did the referee say he couldn't compete in spats, especially considering he's competed in spats plenty of times before? It doesn't make a lot of sense. Also doesn't make a lot of sense: the fact that Miguel couldn't go more than three minutes against a guy who's last fight was against a guy named Shah Bobonis. Seriously. Shah Bobonis. Sounds like the scientific name of some new strand of plague or something. No offense. Oh well. Hopefully this kind of oversight and miscommunication with referees going over the commission doesn't become a regular thing. We don't want fighters being put at disadvantages over nonsense like this. Well, at least they learned something, just I learned those shorts are called spats. That's fun. That also hurts my balls.
All right, so with fighter introductions out of the way, I have five more rounds of MMA news and opinions to throw at you. This week we look at The Bellator Payperview getting canceled, the announcement of Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva as coaches of The Ultimate Fight Brazil, and the results of Fight Night 30, WSOF 6, and Bellator 105. Let's to it do it.
FIGHTER YOU READY!!!!
FIGHTER YOU READY!!!!
Round One: Tito Ortiz Injured and Out of Bellator 106 Main Event, Bjorn Rebney Takes Payperview Back Behind the Shed
Oh Tito. Tito, Tito, Tito. You couldn't leave well enough alone. When you retired last year, you were far from being the dominant fighter that allowed you to become one of the greatest light heavyweight champions of all time. Sure, you may have possibly been screwed in your last UFC fight against Forrest Griffin. Sure, your last moments in the Octagon involved Forrest being a jackass and stealing the post-fight interview away from you, but when you walked away, you really had nothing to be ashamed of. You are a Hall of Famer who proved until the end how tough you are. You even managed to win the crowd over after spending so many years being the bad guy. You had the audacity to nickname yourself "The People's Champion," but by the end of your career, you kinda were. The fans recognized your contribution to the growth and development of what has become modern mixed martial arts and they appreciated you for it. You had a great career and the fight at UFC 148 was a great way to go out. Too bad you had to go and crap on that by agreeing to fight Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on Bellator's first Payperview. Ignoring how awful your appearances in TNA Wrestling were a few months ago, and they were (seriously, you made Frank Trigg look like Ric Flair), it was a rather silly match-up to make. No one wants to see two aging fighters, neither of whom have won a fight in over two years, compete on Payperview in a promotion very few people care about for no reason other than because they just can't stop fighting and also because screw Dana White. Now, I'm not saying no one wanted to see the fight but I can't imagine there were too many people who were willing to throw down $45 to see these two go at it. Maybe if the fight happened seven years ago but not today. Almost seems like it wasn't worth having the fight in the first place.
Well, if that's how you felt about the match-up, then good news! The fight has been canceled because Tito injured his neck in training. Rumors of the injury being caused by Tito's neck collapsing under the weight of his giant head are unfounded but hilarious. The result of the injury led Bellator to cancel the Payperview and move the rest of the fights to a Saturday night card on Spike. It's unfortunate that the fight was canceled but, honestly, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to Bellator. The interest level for the Payperview was really low, even among hardcore MMA fans. You can get an idea of how uninterested fans were based off the ticket sales for the show as, only about 20 days out, Bellator had managed to sell about 1,700 tickets for an arena that seats 13,000. Yikes. If that few people wanted to see the show in person, how many would have been willing to watch the show from home? Maybe if the card was 10 or 15 bucks but 45? I know that there are some good fights on the card (Chandler-Alvarez II and Curran-Straus) but most fans aren't familiar with those fighters so good luck trying to convince them to put down $45 just to see two men attempt to not break a hip. Seriously, the buys for the show were likely to be really low, which could have been a disaster for Bellator. A poor Payperview showing could have caused irreparable damage to Bellator's relationship with owner Viacom and their chances of staying on TV and continuing to grow at the rate they have been. Canceling the Payperview may work out really well because we'll get to see all the great fights that were scheduled for the show and we'll get to see them for free. I wasn't willing to plunk down the money to see these fights on Payperview, because I's poor, but you bet I'll be checking them out on Spike. It's even better because, with Tito's giant head not blocking my view anymore, I'll actually get to see the fights. See you Saturday! Also, in a few weeks when TNA tries to take advantage by putting Tito and Rampage in a Relevance on a Pole Match. Sweet!
Round Two: Dana White Condemns Chael Sonnen to Death by Naming Him Coach of Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3
***TOUCH OF GLOVES***
I think it's safe to say that Chael Sonnen has a very...what's the word...hostile relationship with the Brazilian people. In the course of building up both of his fights against Anderson Silva, one of the best fighters of all time and a very proud representative of Brazil, Chael may have said some not nice things about Brazil. Y'know. Stuff about Brazilian kids playing in the mud or how the Nogueira brothers, Silva's trainers and also proud Brazilians, received their black belts in McDonald's Happy Meals and mistake buses for horses. You know how people can be sometimes when they're promoting a fight. Or maybe it's just Chael. Most Americans learned quickly that what Chael was saying was just an act to get people talking about him and his fights (if there's one thing we know well, it's a good troll) but Chael really riled up Brazil. Even though I think it's foolish to take everything he's says so seriously, especially when most of it was already said 30 years ago inside a pro wrestling ring, I would probably get upset too if some American schlub was insulting my country and my people and my intelligence. He doesn't understand what I've been through! I'm great once you get to know me (ladies.....men....?). This sentiment was shared when Dana brought Chael down to Brazil to promote the second Anderson fight and Chael barely made it out alive. There were shock pens and everything. It was a nightmare. Dana would have to be some sort of sadist to send Chael down to Brazil again.
Well, it's time to pack the chains and whips because Dana announced last week that Chael will be returning to Brazil to be a coach on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil opposite another of Chael's Brazilian rivals, Wanderlei Silva. The Pride legend and the gangster from West Linn, Oregon have had a tenuous relationship since the first Anderson fight, when Wanderlei confronted Chael about his behavior and lack of hespect toward Brazil. There has been talks of booking these two in a fight for years with the talk picking up after Chael's loss to Jon Jones last April and again after Chael defeated Wanderlei's teammate Mauricio Rua at UFC on Fox Sports 1 in August. Wanderlei responded by calling Chael a little girl and confronting him with a camera crew at the Olympia Expo. Well played, you murderer of axes. The fight was a possibility for UFC 167 but it never materialized due to an injury to Wandy. Chael is set to fight Rashad Evans at the event and, win or lose, it looks like we're getting the Wanderlei match-up next, to take place some time next year. Wanderlei had suggested making the season a USA vs. Brazil season, which might be a good idea. Can you imagine what will happen when there's a room full of Brazilians and how hard it will be to keep them from attempting to rip Chael to pieces? It will be more uncomfortable than when BJ Penn got every cast member to admit they didn't want Jens Pulver to be their coach. I remember more about this show than I should. Dana said there will be plenty of security down there. He better make sure of that because it could get nasty. Seriously. The second season of the Brazil show involved one of the coaches getting kidnapped, tied to a tree, forced to wear makeup, and pelted with eggs and fireworks. I am not making that up. I hope Chael knows what he's getting himself into and I hope Dana doesn't end up regretting the decision. Either way, it should make for good TV. Plus, at least half the dialogue won't need subtitles so that will be nice.
Round Three: Fight Night 30 Quick Thoughts, Lyoto Machida's Malnourished Body Still Strong Enough to Knock Out Mark Munoz
***TOUCH OF GLOVES***
Guys, I hope you all like poorly-written fight summaries because there was a lot of action this weekend. All the major US promotions held events and I managed to watch them all (well, as far as you know). UFC had their first event on the former Fuel TV, Fox Sports 2, airing live from Manchester, England, England. This means that most you weren't able to see it, either because the card was on at 3 in the afternoon or because it's on Fox Sports 2 and no one gets that channel. C'mon, Comcast! You carry every other worthless channel that no one watches. How hard is it to add one more? You're forcing loyal MMA fans to miss out on decent cards like the one that took place on Saturday. The main event was former Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida's first foray into the middleweight division. Machida looked a little thinner at the weigh-ins than he normally does but he made 185 and he still looked good doing it, that handsome, Brazilian devil. His opponent was a man who he's trained with before at the infamous Black House gym, Mark Munoz. The fight was about what you'd expect from a Machida fight: Machida being hesitant to throw anything in the hopes that his opponent throws something first and he can counter it, and his opponent being hesitant to throw anything because he's afraid that Machida will counter it. It's a strategy that can make Machida extremely boring and even cost him fights but it's always forgiven if it leads to a brutal knockout. Luckily for Machida, that is what happened here, as the first significant strike he threw was a head kick that knocked Munoz out. There wasn't a need for follow-up punches or anything. Machida hit the mark and validated his move to 185 with a fight that showed the same speed and power he had at 205 that he won inside the first round against a top 5 ranked middleweight. As much as Machida adores and respects former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, I'm sure he's aware that if Chris Weidman wins the rematch at UFC 168, there's a good chance Machida could get fast-tracked to a title shot in his new weight class. Better get used to not eating, Lyoto. This is your home now. Soon you will understand why Anderson is cranky all the time.
There were definitely some interesting fights on this card, both good and bad. The co-main event between Melvin "Lil' Randleman" Guillard against Ross Pearson was expected to be a decent scrap. It was. That is, up until the fight got stopped two minutes in because Guillard threw two knees to Pearson's head while he was against the cage. The referee ruled that Pearson was a grounded opponent and stopped the fight, declaring the fight a no contest. The first knee was close but was probably legal while the second knee was probably illegal but was close. Either way, it sucks to see the fight end like that, but then again, the cut that was opened on Pearson's forehead may have ended the fight later on. Either way, everyone loses! Yay! Also a loser: anyone who has to fight Jimi Manuwa. This is the second fight in a row that ended in his opponent suffering a leg injury. He might have an Egyptian curse on him. Or it could be karma due to all of Ryan Jimmo's stalling. It's hard to say. Still, I'm gonna have my kids dress up as Jimi Manuwa for Halloween, as that is the scariest creature in existence right now. Wait, do I have kids? I should probably check on that. Norman Parke, the winner of a season of The Ultimate Fighter that no one in this country watched so who cares, got a decent unanimous decision over Jon Tuck. Alessio Sakara proved that it makes no sense for UFC to fire middleweights like Yushin Okami while he still gets to be employed by getting armbared by the Swedish newcomer who wasn't even supposed to be here today Nicholas Musoke. Jon Lineker beat up Phil Harris with some hard head and body shots in a 128 lbs. catchweight. He should try fighting at flyweight sometime. Also, Al Iaquinta didn't have too much trouble getting a unanimous decision over Piotr Hallman, Luke Barnatt got a little too anxious to celebrate but still managed to choke out Andrew Craig, Jessica Andrade brutalized Rosi Sexton over three rounds, Cole Miller fought off a very game Andy Ogle to take a unanimous decision, Jimy Hettes welcomed the first Scottish fighter in UFC history by choking Rob Whiteford unconscious, and Brad Scott caught Michael Kuiper in a front choke. It was one of those chokes that looks like you're trying to pop a giant zit but having no luck. We've all been there.
And that was Fight Night 30. Up next is Fight for the Troops 3 on November 6 from Fort Campbell Kentucky. Congrats, troops. For all your service, you have earned some Rafael Natal. You can blame Michael Bisping for it.
Round Four: WSOF 6 Quick Thoughts, Steve Carl Ruins the Fun by Defeating Josh Burkman, At Least There's Still Marlon Moraes
***TOUCH OF GLOVES***
If there was a World Series of Fighting Hall of Fame, which would be silly to have after only 6 events, there are two names that would definitely be first balloters: Josh Burkman and Marlon Moraes. Both men have had very successful careers in the promotion's first year of life to the point of becoming the first major stars of the promotion (I use the term "star" loosely since a lot of the MMA world doesn't even realize the company exists). Burkman, who is a former Ultimate Fighter competitor that was submitting Melvin Guillard before it was cool, has had people clamoring for him to be named champion since his submission victory over Jon Fitch at WSOF 3 in June. Well, he got the chance to claim the title that everyone felt was rightly his when he competed for the inaugural WSOF Welterweight Championship against Steve Carl, a man who has also impressed in his WSOF career. Everything was set for Burkman to finally become an MMA champion. Too bad Carl didn't get the memo. The fight was a very good back-and-forth affair that saw both men trying for submission attempts. The first round saw Burkman take Carl down but Carl threatened with an armbar and a toe hold. The second round saw Carl take Burkman down and try another armbar. The third round saw Carl go for a rear naked choke before Burkman escaped and attempted a guillotine. The fourth round saw an end to the craziness as, after a guillotine attempt of his own, Carl sunk in a triangle choke that put Burkman to sleep. It was a tough fight but Steve Carl stood tall over "The People's Warrior" to become the first champion in WSOF's history. Something tells me the people aren't going to be too happy about that. Neither will WSOF. I mean, it's not like Burkman as champion would have increased TV ratings or anything but he had crafted a nice story for himself and his career resurgence and it's a little disheartening to see it end this way. Oh well. Guess that means it'll be time for revenge in a few months. Hell hath no fury like a Burkman scorned.
At least Ray Sefo and company can still rely on Marlon Moraes, the bantamweight boy wonder. Well, for now anyway. Moraes extended his WSOF record to 4-0 with a blistering knockout of Carson "Don't Call Me Chase" Beebe in just 32 seconds. In that half-minute Moraes stuffed a takedown attempt and then crushed Beebe with some shots that knocked him off balance and then knocked him unconscious. It was Moraes's most devastating win so far and it definitely puts him in line for a title shot whenever WSOF feels like making a belt for him. So I look forward to his eventual title shot and defeat because sometimes the world just likes to screw with you. Also on the card, Jon Fitch returned and ended up getting into a fight with Marcelo Alfaya. Weird how that happens in MMA. Alfaya got a takedown on Fitch early and spent most of the first round fishing for a rear naked choke on the former UFC title challenger. Fitch started to get things going in the second and third rounds, brushing off and escaping a lot of Alfaya's grappling attempts while scoring points with his striking. Alfaya still managed to keep things close, though, pressing Fitch against the cage and going for takedowns all the way until the final bell. The fight ended in a split decision with two of the judges giving Fitch the much-needed victory. It's not a victory that will get him back to the UFC but at least it wasn't boring. Well, too boring. The opening fight on the main card saw Justin Gaethje score another impressive TKO victory, this time against former UFC fighter Dan Lauzon. Both guys came into this one extremely aggressive, with Gaethje just battering Lauzon's leg with one kick after another. The end came in the second round when Gaethje threw a right hook and uppercut that put Lauzon out. I'm sure J-Lau won't be too pleased with his brother's performance. Does anyone call him D-Lau? They should.
And that was WSOF 6. WSOF 7 will take place on December 7 from Vancouver, BC. It will feature Mike Kyle getting wrecked by the guy he was supposed to get wrecked by last time, Anthony Johnson. Let's get it right this time, people!
Round Five: Bellator 105 Quick Thoughts, Will Brooks Succeeds Despite Tito's Giant Head Getting in the Way
***TOUCH OF GLOVES***
It's not Bellator 105's fault that the news about Tito Ortiz injuring his neck and killing the Bellator Payperview had to happen on the same day as the show. It is unfortunate that it had to overshadow it, though. I mean, it didn't have much in the way of star power, assuming Bellator has any, but it produced some good fights and it set up a Lightweight Tournament Final that actually makes for an intriguing match-up. That's coming from a guy who watched most of the card while simultaneously playing Candy Crush. THOSE DAMN BOMBS! The main event of the show was a semi-final fight between Saad Awad and Will Brooks. I like Awad because he has decent striking and because you can go up to people and ask "Do you like Awad?" and they'll be all like "a wad of what?" and then you can giggle. I recognize the previous sentence as a very poor attempt at humor. Let's learn from it and move forward together. Anyway, this was a rematch of a Season 8 semi-final fight from February that Awad won by knockout in 43 seconds. The rematch went quite differently. Much like Cain Velasquez's rematch with Junior dos Santos, Brooks dominated the rematch. The fight was much more even than Cain-JDS, as Awad showed good defense and threatened with a ton of submissiosn, but Brooks was able to use his wrestling to score takedowns repeatedly throughout the fight with some punches and kicks peppered in. Awad was never out of the fight but Brooks proved that he learned from the first fight and was able to successfully play to his strengths while avoiding any dangerous striking exchanges with Awad. Brooks had a gameplan and followed it really well and took home a unanimous decision victory and a spot in the Season 9 Lightweight Tournament Final to go along with it. Good for Brooks, especially because he's from the Chicago area. I'm from Chicago too. Well, kinda. Saying I'm from Chicago is the same as saying Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson took place in Chicago. Either way, woot!
It's looking like things won't be getting any easier for Brooks in the finals. His opponent will be the Russian grappler they call "Tiger," Alexander Sarnavskiy. Sarnavskiy had a pretty easy time running through Marcus Davis in his quarterfinal fight at Bellator 101 and his semifinal fight against Ricardo Tirloni went almost as smoothly. Almost immediately after the fight started, Sarnavskiy dropped Tirloni with a spinning back fist and jumped onto him with a barrage of punches. Tirloni did a good job of pushing off and avoiding damage, and he managed to get up and take Sarnavskiy down. Unfortunately, putting a Tiger on his back doesn't make him any less dangerous (I think they taught that lesson on an episode of Man vs. Wild), as Sarnavskiy immediately cinched up a triangle choke. Tirloni threatened to slam him but it was too late at that point and he had to tap out at 1:08 of the first round. Two decidedly different, yet very strong, performances will make for a good lightweight final. Also on the card, the man named Siala-Mou Siliga but known as Mighty Mo had an easy time against former tournament semi-finalist Ron Sparks, putting him on his back and submitting him with a keylock in under three minutes. It seemed like the only people surprised with that outcome were the announcers because, while Sparks is good compared to the other worthless heavyweights Bellator has had under contract, he still kinda sucks. I know it doesn't compare to getting to knee Josh Barnett in the balls, but two wins in a month has got to feel pretty good for Mighty Mo. Also, Eugene Fadiora bloodied up Keith Barry, put him in a crucifix, and pounded on him until the ref decided to show mercy four minutes into the second round. I don't think that's the proper way to kill a vampire but I'll admit I'm not as up-to-date on what the literature says. I should probably get HBO or something.
And that was Bellator 105. Get yourselves ready for Saturday when the Not-Ready-For-Payperview Players take the stage for Bellator 106: Rampage vs. Crippling Disappointment. It won't be pretty but at least the fights should be good.
That's it for Five Quick Rounds. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, and it is always appreciated when you do, leave them in the comments section. I will be back in 7 for another Five Quick Rounds. Until then, remember to fight clean, fight hard, fight fair, and never leave it in the hands of the judges...