UFC and “God’s Street Soldier” are keeping MMA blogs and websites buzzing
Tons to talk about this week. I suppose the best way to tackle things is in chronological order. UFC Fight Night 19 took place last Wednesday. Here’s a rundown of the show:
· Ryan Jensen def. Steve Steinbeiss via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:56
· Mike Pierce def. Brock Larson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
· Jeremy Stephens def. Justin Buchholz via TKO (doctor's stoppage – cut) – Round 1, 3:23
· C.B. Dollaway def. Jay Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
· Mike Pyle def. Chris Wilson via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3, 2:15
· Brian Stann def. Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Phillipe Nover vs Sam Stout didn’t take place due to Nover suffering a seizure in the locker room before the bout.
· Nate Quarry via unanimous decision over Tim Credeur (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
· Carlos Condit via split decision over Jake Ellenberger (29-28 Condit, 29-28 Ellenberger, 29-28 Condit)
· Gray Maynard via split decision over Roger Huerta (29-28 Huerta, 30-27 Maynard, 30-27 Maynard)
· Nate Diaz via submission over Melvin Guillard (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:13
A few notes on this show. All the fights shown on the main card were highly entertaining. Nate Quarry and Tim Credeur pretty much beat the hell out of each other. Credeur showed he has a chin made of granite and Quarry proved he can give out an a** kicking just was well as he can take one. Condit and Ellenberger had a very close fight. Ellenberger dominated the first round. Dropping “The Natural Born Killer” twice and nearly finishing the fight. The 2nd round was back and forth while the 3rd was highlighted by a late Condit surge. Gray Maynard and Roger Huerta had a solid match up. Maynard’s size and strength played a large factor in his controlling of the fight. This was planned to be Huerta’s last fight before “El Matador” moved on to acting full time. Apparently after 13 months off Roger got his fire back. According to a few of my “inside sources” he’ll be putting his actor career on hold to get back in the octagon. As for Melvin Guillard and Nate Diaz, anyone familiar with these two fighters knew their strategies going in. Guillard’s best chance to win would come with striking and Diaz’s goal was to control the fight on the mat. Melvin looked great in the first round. Dropping Nate and controlling the round with his strikes. No one has ever questioned Guillard’s athleticism but his decision making has caused many to wonder. For some reason I’ll never understand, young Melvin chose to take this fight to the ground. No less than 10 seconds later he was tapping to a guillotine choke. Diaz your winner by . . . . wait for it . . . 2ND ROUND SUBMISSION
Following Fight Night was the premiere of the 10th installment of The Ultimate Fighter. Everyone knew coming in this would be the most highly publicized season thus far because of such names as Rampage, Rashad, and Kimbo Slice. Rampage is apparently a big fan of Kimbo’s work because he immediately declared his interest in picking the bearded street fighter. Here’s how the teams turned out:
Rashad: James McSweeney, Brendan Schaub, Justin Wren, Jon Madsen, Roy Nelson, Darrill Schoonover, Matt Mitrione, Mike Wessel
Rampage: Kimbo Slice, Abe Wagner, Dimico, Wes Sims, Scott Junk, Wes Shivers, Marcus Jones, Zak Jensen
These picks didn’t go on without a fair of share comedy. When it came down to Rampage making the final pick of the night Zak Jensen was left standing alone. Instead of making this embarrassing moment less embarrassing Rampage decide to have some fun. He looked at this lonely man standing by himself and did his best to hold in his laughter, unsuccessfully. He then slowly said “I will take . . . (looking around the room) . . . the camera man over there”. Everyone burst out laughing and Jensen walked over to join the team. Good ol’ Rampage. The first fight of the tournament pitted Jon Madsen from Team Rashad against Team Rampage’s Abe Wagner. This fight didn’t have a lot of action but a lot of blood. I mean A LOT OF BLOOD. Wagner caught Madsen with an elbow in the first round literally split his forehead open. By the end of the contest the mat was covered in blood and Abe’s head looked like something out of a Saw movie. Team Rashad 1, Team Rampage 0
UFC 103 closed out the week of events. “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort took on Rich “Ace” Franklin in the main event of this show. Not much to say here. They circled for a couple minutes with Rich throwing a few punches and kicks. Belfort came forward landing a series of punches which dropped Franklin. Three punches on the ground and it was all over for Ace. Belfort made a triumphant UFC return and is now believed to receive the next title shot against Anderson Silva. Hey Dana, Joe Silva, and Fertitas I’ll save you the trouble, Belfort ain’t ready for The Spider. The co-main event featured Mirco Cro Cop taking on Junior dos Santos. My friends this certainly wasn’t the head kicking machine Cro Cop that we used to see in Pride. This man is long gone. Dos Santos had his way into the 3rd round leading to Mirco verbally submitting due to strikes. Below are the remaining fight results:
· Rafael dos Anjos over Rob Emerson by Unanimous Decision (30-27 across)
· Nik Lentz over Rafaello Oliveira by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
· Thomasz Drwal over Drew McFedries by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Rd. 2, 1:03
· Rick Story over Brian Foster by Submission (Arm Triangle) – Rd. 2, 1:09
· Efrain Escudero over Cole Miller by KO – Rd. 1, 3:36
· Jim Miller over Steve Lopez by TKO (Injury) – Rd. 2, :48
· Tyson Griffin over Hermes Franca by KO – Rd. 2, 3:26
· Josh Koscheck over Frank Trigg by TKO – Rd. 1, 1:25
· Paul Daley over Martin Kampmann by TKO – Rd. 1, 2:31
As you can see from the results many of these fights didn’t make it to a decision. Tyson Griffin looked great in his victory over Hermes Franca. His striking looked much improved, leading to him becoming the first man to leave Franca KO’ed. Josh Koscheck ran through the returning Frank Trigg. Trigg wasn’t pleased with the stoppage but it was very evident that this was the right decision. Paul Daley pulled off the upset of the night by defeated Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann. This will likely lead to a number one contender fight against he and Mike Swick. Another surprise came when TUF champion Efrain Escudero defeated Cole Miller. At 101 I overheard Cole telling another fighter how he felt Efrain was training with people inferior to his skill level. While that may have been the case in this sport all the training in the world can go out the window with one punch.
Now for the biggest story of the week. In my last 2 blogs I’ve discussed Quinton Rampage Jackson and his casting in the A-Team movie. Due to filming his scheduled bout with Rashad Evans was going to be delayed. Well fight fans this match up is not going to happen, that is if Jackson has his way. On Tuesday Rampage posted on his website that he is DONE fighting. Here are his exact words from his website:
“The UFC has done a lot for me but I think I have done more for them. The UFC bought WFA to get my contract & they saved my life, so I felt loyal to them. They pushed me into a fight with Chuck Liddel even when I clearly stated I wasn't ready to fight for the belt because the American fans didn't know me but I took the fight and didn't complain & after I won the American fans booed me for the first time which changed the way I saw them & it hurt me deeply.
Then before I can even get out of the cage they announced that I was fighting Dan Henderson without even asking me. After I beat Dan Henderson, I made history in becoming the first undisputed champion in MMA but was never even given the pride belt in the cage & I was never promoted as the undisputed champ. Later Anderson Silva was.
Then they had me coach TUF season 7 and fight Forrest and the fight was very controversial & normally when a fight is that close & controversial there is normally an instant replay. I can name a couple of instances. Instead they offered me the Vanderlei Silva fight which I gladly accepted even though I know it was a very risky fight for me to take because of all the drama that was happening to me at the time. I fought that fight with a jaw injury and then a couple weeks later Dana called me and asked me to fight Rashad. For the first time I said no, I didn't want to fight because it was such short notice & I wouldn't have had a long break between camp. Dana talked me into fighting Rashad anyway but Rashad refused the fight and so I had to fight Jardine as a favor to the UFC instead of getting my belt back (which wasn't even worth it to me financially).
Then I reinjured my jaw in the fight with Vanderlei & Jardine. Frank Mir gets hurt so they wanted to switch my fight from UFC 100 to the fight Frank couldn't make it to but I couldn't fight cause I needed jaw surgury. So they give Machida the fight against Rashad & they told me they want me to coach TUF season 10 against Rashad. That's why I wanted Rashad to win so bad but when Rashad got knocked out I told them I wanted to fight Machida for the belt but Dana told me if I coach TUF against Rashad that I could fight Machida afterwards cause this was a different type of ultimate fighter show they were doing. After I signed the contract Dana then changes his mind & says I have to fight Rashad & even told me what to say in the press & so my fans think I was scared to fight Machida. After all that I still never complained & I did it all.
Then this movie role came about that I have been trying to get for over a year & as soon as I found out I was close to getting it, I called Dana right away & asked to push the Memphis fight back just a month or so. I told him what this movie role meant to me. I told him that I used to bond with my father watching the tv show as a kid when my parents where still married & it represents the memories I had with my father when we lived together. My dad became an alcohalic & addicted to drugs & we grew apart. But after my dad got his life back together, I was so proud of my dad & I told him I would always take care of him in the future & make him proud of me. My dad & I are still very big fans of the show & I am basically doing this for the childhood memories I had spending time in front of the tv with my dad. Dana went on the internet & mocked me because of that & I still did nothing. Dana & I finally talked & we made up & then after that he went back on the internet & said some bullshit & he was talking bad about the movie when information is not even supposed to be released & talking about payments which is not even true could really hurt my future acting career, which could very well last longer than my fighting career. I'm not like Randy Couture. My body has been getting so many different injuries that I wont be able to fight until my forties & neither do I want to fight that long. So I feel like my second career could be in jeopardy.. so I'm done fighting. I've been getting negative reviews from the dumb ass fans that don't pay my bills or put my kids though college. So I'm hanging it up. I'm gonna miss all my loyal fans but hopefully they'll follow me to my new career & I will gain more loyal fans along the way. & all you hater fans out there can kiss my big black hairy ass! & anybody that don't like what I just said can come try to kick my ass!
I still feel the UFC is a great organization and I felt like I was very loyal to them but they didn't respect my loyalty but I wish the UFC the best. I did a lot of things for them. I wish no bad blood between us but I have kids & a family back in Memphis to provide for & that’s all that matters to me!”
This was a shocking announcement. I’ll preface everything I’m about to say with this, I’m a huge Rampage fan. I’d go as far to say he’s my favorite athlete. I’ve followed Jackson since his days fighting in Pride, then to WFA, and on to the UFC. Those of you who know me well have heard this story before. Bare with me, hearing it again won’t kill you.
The first UFC event my sister and I attended was UFC 86, Jackson vs Griffin for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. Plain and simple we went to see Rampage kick a** and retain his title. All of you know by now Jackson lost to Forrest by a controversial decision. Needless to say Leia and I were highly pissed at this outcome. Through the weekend we met and took pictures with just about every UFC competitor there was. You name a fighter and we probably have a picture with them. Both of us felt like our weekend wouldn’t be complete until we got one with the howling champion we came to see. After the fights we managed to maneuver (otherwise known as sneaking or trespassing) to outside the press conference area. We tried to blend in with the media members but I’m sure we stood out like sore thumbs with our cameras out and Rampage shirts on. The press conference concluded and fighters started passing us on their way out. First Forrest passed with his entourage, then Lorenzo Fertita and Joe Silva. Then Leia had a mini freak out and said “Oh my god it’s Rampage!!!” I tried to play it cool but I was excited as a 7 year old arriving at Disney World. So out came Rampage with a few of his people and before I could even ask him for a picture he looks at us and said “I like y’all shirts”. So we each took pictures and talked to him for a little while. He apologized for losing (clearly we didnt care and this point) and told us to come his after party at Prive in Planet Hollywood. Eventually we made it over to the party only to find a herd of people standing in line. We looked around and noticed a large, dangerous looking black man. It was friend and training partner of Jackson, Cheick Kongo. Being the line skipping pros that we are we followed behind the big man to the front of the line. Standing next to the bouncer we saw Juanito Ibarra, Quinton’s trainer at the time. Apparently he recognized us from our earlier encounter with Rampage because he got us in free with their group. We were pumped. We got in the club and decided its best to follow Juanito and see how far it would get us. We ended up at the VIP area and were stopped by the bouncer. He asked us if we were supposed to be up there and I calmly said “Yeah were with Rampage and Juanito”. Not only had we weaseled our way into a restricted press conference area, a $50 party for free, but now into VIP in Prive. At this point we were in disbelief we pulled this off. At one point while standing on the wall of the VIP stage I had a moment. I looked to my right to see Leia having a grand ol’ time, looked behind me and saw Tito Ortiz with Jenna Jameson, turn to my front and saw Reggie Bush, then looked to left and I was standing next to Rampage who was passing out drinks to everyone. I’m never going to forget this moment. Nor will my sister. I could be on my death bed in an elderly state. If my great grandkids asked me about the time I partied with Rampage I could tell them this story like it was yesterday. What was the point of this lengthy story you ask? No, it wasn’t to point out how skilled Leia and I are at snaking our way into places we shouldn’t be at UFC events it’s simply to get across the when it comes to Quinton Jackson fans, I’m up there.
Quinton has seen his career and life reach some highs and lows over the last few years. We’re talking about a guy who has lost 1 fight in the last 5 years (decision to Forrest). He came into the UFC and in his first fight avenged an earlier loss by knocking out Marvin Eastman. In his next fight he made quick work of the nearly invincible Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Next he defeated Pride Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson to become the undisputed title holder, the first in the organization. He then lost the title to Forrest Griffin in a close decision. Following this fight Rampage went on his . . . well . . .rampage for lack of a better word. He was arrested on charges of evading, reckless driving, and hit and run. At the time it was said that Quinton hadn’t been eating or sleeping and stayed awake off energy drinks. This was believed to be a result of stress that came with losing the championship. Jackson avoided jail time and received probation. To rebound from his loss and legal troubles he defeated his rival from Pride Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer Silva” Silva by vicious knockout then gained a decision win over Keith Jardine.
I’m sure many are asking at this point why is Jackson stepping away from fighting. Currently he’s starring on The Ultimate Fighter and has a fight on the horizon against Rashad Evans. With a win next up would be a title fight to gain his belt back. In his website post Rampage gave his reasons. Everyone can have their opinions but I’ll hold off on judgment. As I stated in my debut blog, only a select few know what its like to compete as a professional fighter. The physical strain can only be outweighed by the mental. People see fighters like Randy Couture and think that stepping into the octagon in your 40s is common place. This is far from the norm. Several premiere fighters of the last few years have fallen off quickly. Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Andrei Arlovski. All former champions who we’ve seen lose their skills fight by fight. If Rampage isn’t going out at the top of his game then he’s damn close. Look at the guys he’s fought, guys he’s defeated, and the name he’s made for himself. After becoming a star in Japan he brought his chain, slams, howl, and aggressive fighting style to the states. Now when you talk about UFC stars Quinton Jackson is near the top of the list. Who knows if Jackson is really done with fighting for good. Hopefully in the future we’ll all get to see the Memphis, TN native step into the octagon, mean mug for the camera, knock someone out, and cut another great post fight interview. If not we’ll have to settle for Quinton coming to a theater near you. So if this is indeed the end I’m glad I was in attendance to witness his last fight. Boo him, cheer him, love him, loathe him. Rampage kept me and millions of others entertained. “You feel me”?
Rampage Jackson kimura on Rocko Henderson
About the Author
Written by Martin Foster
Martin H. Foster is the author of "The 2nd Round Submission" and host of "Verbal Submission Radio" Follow him at www.twitter.com/MHMFoster