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UFC 140 Highlights the Gentrification of Mixed Martial Arts

  • Published in News

Over the weekend at UFC 140 the two featured bouts of the evening saw exciting finishes by two of UFC’s bigger stars. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir took the fight to another former [Interim] UFC Heavyweight Champion in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, surviving being knocked out by quickly reversing a choke and applying an armlock and promptly breaking Big Nog’s arm. Current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones put on an equally as impressive finish after recovering from being outpointed on his feet to working the challenger Lyoto Machida over with elbows on the ground before he was able to corner the challenger and apply a neck chancre that rendered Machida unconscious.

As a fan, it is hard to complain about fights at this level being finished in thrilling fashion. So, while it may be hard to complain about the fights being finished in a dramatic, decisive fashion, there are some other, much more troubling trends in both of these fights that have gone largely unnoticed amidst the excitement. Behavior of fighters has changed, as fans have noticed over the past few years, with both of the featured fights this weekend making light of this. Big Nog suffered a broken arm at the hands of Frank Mir, Nog still laying on the mat while Mir quickly pulled on the gear from his sponsors and celebrated. Jon Jones claimed that he “knew” Lyoto Machida was out cold, but quickly let go to strut off while Machida fell head-first to the mat in a heap.

It is a matter of respect and concern for the opponent’s well-being that seemingly melted away over the past few years, being flaunted on-air at UFC 140. It is a paradigm shift that has occured in the rush to help “legitimize” MMA as a “real sport” in the United States.

Continue reading about "Bushido."

 

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Alistair Overeem in Trouble Again From a Club Incident

  • Published in K-1

For some people, going out to clubs is a lifestyle and serves as an integral part of their lives, and Alistair Overeem is one of those people. The former DREAM Heavyweight Champion, Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion and K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Champion (as well as possible UFC Heavyweight Champion) Alistair Overeem is once again in trouble again. Overeem first stumbled into a world of trouble a few years ago when his big brother, Valentijn Overeem, got into a scuffle in a bathroom in Amsterdam. This resulted in the Overeem bothers dispatching a number of bouncers in short order while Alistair broke his thumb in the process, putting him on the shelf for a while.

The latest incident sounds pretty fishy to me. This morning the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Alistair Overeem was involved in an incident on January 2nd at a night club in Las Vegas. The alleged incident revolves around a 3am shove that one woman claims caused her to stagger backwards. Alistair could face a possible six months in prison or a hefty $1,000 fine in this case if found guilty, but has maintained his innocence in the matter. The woman claims that he "shoved her face" which caused her to stagger backwards, and quite honestly, in the case of Alistair Overeem even a gentle tap could send a full grown man staggering backwards. If Ubereem wanted to legitimately shove someone they'd do a whole lot more than simply stagger backwards.

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Overeem a Favorite on UFC 141

  • Published in K-1

UFC 141 kicks off on Friday, December 30th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  In a fight that will setup the #1 contender for Junior Dos Santos's heavyweight title, Brock Lesnar takes on Alistair Overeem in the main event of the evening.  Several online sites, including Ladbrokes Poker, have released odds on this fight for those looking to place a few wagers on the fights.

Lesnar is coming into this fight as a huge underdog.  Overeem has two inches in height and nearly seven times the fight experience of his opponent.  Overeem is almost a more well rounded fighter.  Bookmakers are taking this into consideration as all of them betting on Overeem.  Bodog currently has the best odds out of the three coat -190 for Overeem and +155 for Lesnar.  

The only other fight to receive any line action on the card is the light heavyweight battle between 26-5 Valdimir Matyushenko and 12-1 Alexander Gustaffson.  Gustaffson has 5 inches on his opponent and is much stronger in his submission game.  While not as experienced a fighter as Matyushenko, odds makers are giving Gustaffson the advantage.  Online poker room Ladbrokes Poker has him at 1/3 to win with Matyushenko at 12/5.  Gustaffson is -290 on BetOnline vs Matyushenko at +245.  

While the lines may not have much action on the other fights, the undercard on this one has some solid match-ups.  Lightweights Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone battle in an attempt to jockey for position to face Frankie Edgar for his lightweight title.  Johnny Hendricks puts his 11-1 record on the line against 26-3-1 JonFitch.  Nam Phan broke a three loss losing streak in October and looks to improve his 17-10 record against undefeated Jimy Hettes.

On December 30th, Junior Dos Santos will find out whether he will defend his title against Brock Lesnar or if Alistair Overeem will get his shot at heavyweight gold.  Don't miss this one. It should be a helluva night of fights.

{jcomments off}

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Alistair Overeem's Failed Drug Test and the Word Maybe

  • Published in K-1

Badr/Overeem

When news broke earlier today that UFC Heavyweight Alistair Overeem failed a random drug test administered by the NSAC, there was a swell of mixed emotions from the fans and media. The usual suspects were quick to harp on how they "knew" that Overeem was going to get caught eventually. Others were in shock that one of the UFC's banner main events for the year 2012 was potentially crumbling into pieces right before their eyes. Nothing is final yet, and there are a lot of "maybes" hanging in the air.

Maybe Overeem's "B" sample will come up clean.

Maybe the fight will be called off.

Maybe Frank Mir will step in.

Maybe Dana White will fire Alistair Overeem on the spot for putting the main event in jeopardy.

As of right now, everything is simply speculation, with the only facts being that Alistair Overeem turned up a test with a 10:1 T/E ratio, where 6:1 is considered NSAC's legal limit. The UFC 146 main event against UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos is indeed in danger, but simply put, no one knows until there is a verdict from NSAC on this matter.

What is interesting to note is that kickboxing fans are already looking to the future. If Alistair Overeem would be let go from the UFC, since his ties with Golden Glory have been more than severed, the only logical place for him to go would be K-1. With K-1 under new management and looking to make a big splash on European and American markets, a fighter like Overeem who is already the most recent K-1 World Grand Prix Champion who has also risen to be a top contender within the UFC, would be huge for them. The "stigma" of PED abuse with U.S. fans does not seem to stick for fighters, as the UFC houses multiple offenders, with some like Chael Sonnen even receiving title fights.

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Bas Rutten's Take on Overeem's Fallout with Golden Glory

  • Published in K-1

Bas RuttenBas Rutten is on a different level, and has been for a very, very long time. Not only a legendary Dutch Kickboxer and Mixed Martial Artist, or a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Bas Rutten has cemented himself as one of the premier commenters on the world of combat sports. He has deep connections all across the world, including connections with the Dutch team Golden Glory. He has made it clear that he is good friends with many inside of Golden Glory, including Alistair Overeem himself. He has been pretty quiet on the recent and very public argument between Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory. That is, until now. This recent interview is from PaulLazenby.com and he does not hold back. Bas talks about what Golden Glory has done for Overeem over the past few years.

It's a money thing. He simply doesn't want to pay the people who made him. When he lost three fights in a row...well, like pretty much 5, I mean, he lost, won, lost three times in a row, won, and lost again...and nobody wanted to have him.

But his management kept pushing and using the power that they have because they have other great fighters. Like, for example [they would say]: "If you want Semmy Schilt to fight, then you have to take Alistair as well."

This is not far fetched if you understand how the Dutch do business. Golden Glory is known for using strong arm tactics for their fighters, using their more popular, desirable fighters for leverage for their struggling fighters. Golden Glory is in business to make money, and when they see a fighter who could be marketable they do their best to get them out into the public and take care of them. Rutten talks about how sudden the split was, and looks at some of the reasons that prompted it.

I KNOW what Golden Glory did for him. He couldn't punch or kick when he came to them, and I mean, HE COULDN'T PUNCH OR KICK! Some fighters get big and then forget who was fighting for them when they were losing. Two months ago, he wanted to make a belt for the Golden Glory team with "FOR CHAMPION MANAGEMENT" engraved on it. Those were HIS words after they made this huge contract for him, and now he says they are morons? He used them to negotiate the best deal and when they did it, now suddenly they are morons? Explain that to me. It's unreal.

Also, a few months ago, when they started to get close to a good deal with the UFC, he realized that he could make a lot of money. The first thing he did was go to Cor Hemmers, his striking coach, and tried to renegotiate the 10% trainer's fee.

If you don't know, Golden Glory's contracts are usually in the 30% range, which includes 20% for management and 10% for the trainers and for use of the training facilities. This was where the problems started, when Alistair wanted to instead negotiate a flat rate for the trainers. Rutten goes on to explain how Martijn de Jong and Cor Hemmers stuck by Overeem and gave him the skills that he needed, building up a long-lasting twelve year relationship.

So anyway, [Hemmers and de Jong] put him back on track, they GAVE him all those skills, they were there from the beginning, and they build him to become the fighter he is now. So for a fighter to go in and trying to renegotiate the 10% trainer's fee is just absurd.

The last part I'm going to include is what Rutten claims Overeem told Martijn de Jong when Martijn told Alistair that they were friends and that he had helped contribute to Alistair's success.

But Alistair said: "Yeah, if we have to talk about people who contributed to my success, then I also have to mention my cleaning lady who cleans my house for eleven and a half Euros an hour."

If true, it is a bit harsh and probably emotionally-driven. Many in the Golden Glory camp feel the same way as Rutten and feel like success, money and the promise of fame have gotten into Alistair's head and altered the way he views his professional relationships. Of course, Overeem's side of the coin is that he is on the verge of becoming a very famous fighter in the United States and has seen how business is done here and feels like it is more fair than how the Dutch do business. If you want to hear more from El Guapo check out the rest of the interview. [source]

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Alistair Overeem Liverkicks Brock Lesnar Into Retirement at UFC 141

  • Published in K-1

It has been a tough year for K-1 fans in 2011. I feel as though I've typed this out over a dozen times in articles for this website now, but as there is hope for the future of K-1 with Ishii's FIKA kicking into gear next year, Alistair Overeem made his UFC debut tonight at UFC 141 against Brock Lesnar. For many, it was a pick 'em fight, with Lesnar's wrestling, size and strength being a deciding factor for them. For Kickboxing fans, Alistair Overeem was entering UFC 141 as a representative of the sport, having a unique skillset within both sports.

The fight started off with Lesnar seeming to not be respecting Alistair's stand up skills, landing a leg kick early and then trying to throw his hands at Alistair. He waited for Alistair to get close and looked to take him down, but the Reem was able to keep the fight standing. After trying out a few things, Overeem scored big with a knee to the midsection of Lesnar. Brock immediately looked hurt and did not seem to understand how to defend it. For a skilled striker like Alistair Overeem, this just meant he was a shark who smelled blood and knew exactly how to attack. Overeem continually assaulted Brock with knees to the mid section and let his hands go a bit while Lesnar fumbled around the ring.

The blow that sent Lesnar to his knee at the end of the fight? None other than a liverkick. It connected clean and as usual, Brock was fine for a split second until the pain finally hit him and he fell to one knee where Overeem quickly swarmed until he was pulled off of Lesnar and his hand was raised. This sets up the UFC for Alistair Overeem vs. Junior Dos Santos for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, which Alistair immediately hyped up post-fight while Lesnar was quick to announce his retirement from MMA.

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Alistair Overeem at UFC 141: The Linear Champ is Here

  • Published in K-1

This Friday night at UFC 141 history will be made. Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem provides not only an interesting clash of styles, but an interesting clash of championships and ideologies. Brock Lesnar’s background is of course American wrestling, but he is most well-known for his tenure as a professional wrestler. Lesnar brings an unprecedented amount of personality, intensity and fanfare to his fights compared to other fighters in the UFC. On the other hand, Alistair Overeem represents Dutch Kickboxing and is one of the few holdouts in the world of International MMA who has been considered “the best” without being under a UFC contract.

In a way, for a lot of fans it seems to be a classic case of the pro wrestling dichotomy of “heel” against “face,” or bad guy against good guy. What is funny is, for different fans there seems to be differing opinions as to who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. For many, Brock Lesnar, whose professional careers have been marred by indecision and lack of passion, Lesnar is ironically a symbol of modern MMA. He is a company man and a representative for the modern UFC fighter. Lesnar went to the UFC as soon as he could in his career and has been facing competition that is without a doubt considered the very best in the world. These people view Alistair Overeem as another Fedor Emelianenko figure; a fighter who many fans believe to be one of the best in the world, but chose to compete outside of the UFC for as long as possible, thus he remained unchallenged against UFC’s crop of fighters.

The other side of the fence tends to view Lesnar as the professional wrestler who invaded MMA and has brought along his antics, attitude and pro wrestling fans. Alistair Overeem, on the other hand, is the two-sport champion who has seen success not only in Mixed Martial Arts but within K-1. Alistair Overeem in 2010 won the K-1 World Grand Prix, one of the striking world’s most prestigious tournaments, then went ahead and won the DREAM Heavyweight Champion. All the while, he was the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. What decorates Overeem even more is when he defeated Fabricio Werdum in Strikeforce this year he won the mythical Linear Heavyweight Championship. The Linear Championship is not sanctioned by anyone or recognized, but for fans it dates back to when UFC first established a Heavyweight Championship. Randy Couture lost this title to Enson Inoue in 1998, and since then the title has been outside of the UFC. Overeem’s first fight in the UFC will bring back that Linear Heavyweight Championship, and the winner of this fight will possibly unite that championship with the current UFC Heavyweight Championship.

The point here is that Overeem has accomplished as much as he possibly could outside of the UFC, and him joining the UFC signifies his willingness to take that next step. For many, Alistair Overeem is a symbol. Overeem existed outside of the societal norm that was the UFC and began stacking up accolades and crushing everyone that was set before him. Alistair Overeem is literally one of the last heroes in the Mixed Martial Arts world who has yet to be tested within the UFC.

Not only will this fight have serious ramifications on the current UFC Heavyweight title picture, but for history it pits the former pro-wrestler-turned-UFC Champion against the man who conquered the world of Kickboxing as well as the non-UFC world of MMA. This fight brings the Linear Heavyweight Championship back to the UFC for the first time since 1998 and also will be the only time in history that the current K-1 World Grand Prix Champion has stepped into a UFC ring.

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Alistair Overeem Fights Friday at UFC 141, Watch This Preview

  • Published in K-1

Let's be honest, the year is finally beginning to wind down. For Kickboxing fans it has been an up and down year, the lack of the K-1 World Grand Prix is indeed a loss for 2011, but the promise of a re-organized K-1 system in 2012 shows a lot of promise and hope for fans. The MMA world will see something quite unique this Friday as Alistair Overeem, the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, step into the UFC ring as the "reigning" K-1 WGP Champion. Overeem fights Brock Lesnar, the former WWE star and college wrestling standout in a classic clash of styles. This is also the first time since 1998 where the Linear Heavyweight Championship returns to the UFC with Alistair Overeem fighting. That title dates back to the early UFCs and left when Randy Couture lost in Japan. For years Fedor was considered the Linear Heavyweight Champion, but his loss to Werdum changed that in a hurry. Well, Overeem then beat Werdum and captured that title (there is no physical belt if you don't know this already). So eventually, the UFC Heavyweight title will be "whole again." Wow.

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Brock Lesnar Wants Pat Barry to Retire

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

Recently fans got to witness Pat Barry make his way back into professional Kickboxing at GLORY 16 where he was brutally knocked out by African slugger Zack Mwekassa. If we are honest with ourselves, we saw it coming from a mile away after Barry's last few UFC fights, but it still came as a shock. In a way it was brutal. Just brutal. To the point where I'm not sure that I want to see Pat Barry step into the ring again if it is going to end like this. His UFC career didn't get tough because of wrestling and submissions, it got tough because he started getting knocked out.

Pat Barry has some friends, though, scary friends. Who could be scarier than former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar? Brock Lesnar, apparently, considers Pat to be a close friend of his and strongly wants Pat Barry to retire, so much so that he reached out to Dana White for help in getting Pat Barry to retire. Dana White, of course, felt he had no place in the matter as Pat isn't one of the UFC's famed "millionaires" that they've made, nor does he have a strong relationship with Dana White, plus he's moved on to work for GLORY. Dana White implied that it was up to Pat's friends, family and for State Athletic Commissions to make Pat Barry retire.

Kind of a sticky spot for GLORY right now, huh? [source]

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