The MMA legend Royce Gracie will be at SENI 2010, next weekend, just one of the many reasons to reach this spectacular fighting arts expo.
UFC & MMA blog by Duane Farr
The MMA legend Royce Gracie will be at SENI 2010, next weekend, just one of the many reasons to reach this spectacular fighting arts expo.
UFC & MMA blog by Duane Farr
The Christmas shopping season is upon us, no doubt you will be looking for recommendations to add to your own Christmas present list. To get you started here is the first of many UFC DVD releases from fightdvd.co.uk to be reviewed here at BluRayMMA.com. If you are an MMA enthusiast I’m sure you will want to get your mitts on these DVD delights.
First off is UFC 98 – Evans vs Machida.
There are 2 main reasons to add this DVD to your collection, the first is to see how the Machida era began, when Lyoto challenged Rashad Evans for the light-heavyweight championship, secondly the grudge match between Matt Serra and Matt Hughes.
Entering this title fight challenge Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida was undefeated, as was champion and current Ultimate Fighter coach ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans. Having 2 undefeated octagon combatants battle it out for the belt was a first at UFC 98. Clearly the defending title holder – Evans was not viewed as the crowd favourite since defeating fan favourite and original Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin. Machida on the other hand was seen as the cool Karate fighter that most fanatics wanted to see kick some butt and grab the gold.
As Joe Rogan states this is the first time a traditional martial artist has reached the pinnacle of MMA. Machida is true martial artist in the Bruce Lee sense, trained in the ways of the warrior under the guidance of his Japanese father growing up in Brazil. Machida being at the top of the MMA world with that exposure is a huge moment, he can potentially influence a whole generation of young males what being a martial artist is about, discipline, honour, respect, ideals to live your life by, not just beating someone up.
Machida’s post fight speech is something to behold, proclaiming Karate is back and announcing proudly if you have a dream you can do it, truly inspiring stuff. It’s fair to say this a direct contrast to Rashad Evans, a showman who has been know to display some level of arrogance.
The co main event of UFC 98 features the grudge fight of Matt ‘The Terror’ Serra and Matt Hughes. Both fighters have held the welter-weight title in the past but there is no belt on the line here, this is a clear grudge match, these guys do not like each other, no matter how much they respect each others MMA abilities.
Their history dates back to 2005, Serra saw Hughes on the Ultimate Fighter and didn’t like him then as the opposite coach to top UFC ace-face Rich Franklin. A year later Serra took part as a contestant on the cage fighting reality TV show, with Hughes guesting to coach. Serra’s disgust of the farmer’s boy grew from there on. UFC management paired the 2 Matts as the coaches for TUF 6, using weekly TV episodes to build up to their big showdown planned to follow at UFC 79, December 2007. The fight wasn’t to be due to Serra’s injury received during training. Lots of bad mouthing followed in the mean time, both fighters still wanted to beat each other up.
The battle of the Matts is interesting stylistically, Serra is a Jiu Jitsu expert with great boxing, with Hughes’ main strengths rooted in his wrestling ability. On top of that they are contrasting characters, Serra the Italian-American street-wise New Yorker, where as Hughes is the mid-western farmers’ boy.
UFC 98 2 disc DVD release boasts superb presentation complete with all the preliminary bouts, many not aired on the live broadcast along with the weigh-ins, behind the scenes and what I feel really adds enjoyment to the main event fight the countdown show. Watch the countdown to see Lyoto preparing for the title fight in his native Brazil, training and meditating to clear his mind in preparation. You’ll also see what led to his arrival in the UFC fighting on cards in Japan for pro wrestling icon Antonio Inoki and being on the receiving end Inoki’s initiation wallop to the face.
UFC 98 is out now on DVD, available direct from www.fightdvd.co.uk and all good retailers.
UFC DVD review by Duane Farr
In November 1995, while the Ultimate Fighting Championship was still in it’s infancy, a new mixed martial arts promotion held their first show. The company, known as Extreme Fighting, only held four events. With the popularity of MMA growing in the last few years, the four volumes that were previously released on VHS were later released in a one disc DVD set, at a very reasonable price. So, having had this for quite a while now, and having recently looked back at a couple of old UFC shows, I thought it would be a good idea to finally give this a look-see.
EXTREME FIGHTING VOLUME 1
The show begins with one of the many Gracie brothers, Ralph, taking on Makoto Muraoko (although there’s actually no introduction for him). This was a quick one. It quickly went to the ground, where Gracie quickly took control, taking Muraoko’s back, and synching in a rear naked choke. The Japanese fighter didn’t tap, and the referee stopped the fight when he saw that Muraoko was unconscious. Well, it’s the sort of thing you expect from the Gracies, isn’t it?
Next up was Igor Zinoviev against Harold German. Another quick fight saw Zinoviev knock German down early, going in for the kill first with a knee bar attempt, which German managed to escape from, and then with a relentless ground and pound, which German soon tapped out to. So far there’s been just eighty-six seconds of fight action.
Then it was on to Gary Myers against Tom Glanville. This one lasted longer than the first two fights combined, and saw a dominating performance from Myers. After escaping from a triangle attempt early on, Myers quickly got back on top, putting his elbow on the side of Glanville’s head. That particular move almost won him the match, but it was only when Myers rained in a few head butts that Glanville tapped out. A very good performance from Myers.
Gracie student Mario Sperry was next, facing Rudyard Moncayo. You could see that Sperry was a Gracie student from the opening bell, as he quickly used a leg trip to take Moncayo down to the mat. He immediately went for an arm lock, but it wasn’t long before Moncayo reversed positions and took Sperry’s guard – for about three seconds. Sperry was soon back on top, and after a brief flurry of punches Moncayo was tapping. Nice stuff by Perry, but I had the feeling that as soon as they said he was a Gracie student that he was going to win.
The next fight saw Conan Silveira facing Russian fighter Victor Tatarkin, also in this unknown tournament. More Brazilian domination saw Silveira take Tatarkin down early on, and from there he transitioned at will, almost getting a rear naked choke, before taking the back again and unleashing with the ground and pound, with the Russian’s corner throwing the towel in to end the onslaught. This one looked absolutely brutal.
Silveira then made a quick return, facing Gary Myers, making me think that this was actually a part of a tournament, which wasn’t actually announced on this DVD. This was the most even fight on the show so far. It soon went to the ground, and for the first time a Brazilian was on the defensive with Myers taking the guard and going to work. The fight was stopped briefly so the doctors could check on the cuts that the fighters had sustained. This gave Conan the chance he needed to recover, as he soon locked in a standing guillotine choke, with Myers quickly tapping out. We then saw an official give Silveira a title belt, so I guess this was a tournament after all.
And as it turns out, there were actually two tournaments in this show, with Igor Zinoviev and Mario Sperry returning to action in a middleweight final. The Brazilian dominance of the show ended with this fight. Sperry did well again here, and looked great in the mount, but Zinoviev did what nobody expected he would do, and escaped Sperry’s mount. The Russian was soon back on his back, but this time he went for a guillotine choke, which ultimately was unsuccessful. Sperry regained control, and once again looked like he was going to dominate again, until Zinoviev reversed the positions again. Both fighters then got to their feet, with Zinoviev holding on to the cage while Sperry tried to work. After a few moments of this, the fight went back to the ground, and a Zinoviev knee opened up a nasty cut above Sperry’s left eye. The doctor had no choice but to stop the fight, giving the fight and title to the Russian. Definitely the best fight of the first show.
EXTREME FIGHTING VOLUME 2
This one began with Jean Riviere facing future UFC star Carlos Newton. Newton was giving away a massive seventy five pound weight advantage, fighting at 205, a lot more than his title winning weight in the UFC. Newton actually did very well here, but in the end Riviere’s weight advantage was too much. While Newton showed some good jiu-jitsu moves, Riviere spent much of the time on top of Newton’s back, firing in the occasional knee. Then, about seven minutes in, Newton had had enough. Fatigue set in, and he tapped out. Good stuff here, very interesting.
Then it was on to the Heavyweight title fight, with Conan Silveira taking on Carl Franks. This one exploded into life after a minute or so, when Conan unleashed with a torrent of blows that rocked Franks, with the referee quickly stepping in and stopping the bout, much to the annoyance of Franks, although I could see why the referee stepped in. Quick stuff, and another example of how the jiu-jitsu guys were kind of dominant back then.
Next up, we skip forward to Extreme Fighting’s third show, with Eric Paulson against Matt Hume. By this time all fights were contested over three five minute rounds, or “phases” as they were called, instead of a straight fifteen minute fight. A very good and enjoyable fight. The first phase was fought mainly on the ground, with both men having opportunities to finish it via submission. The second phase saw both fighters using the stand up game, with both fighters getting in some good shots. The third phase lasted just over a minute. Paulson quickly sustained a deep cut right in the middle of his forehead, with the doctor stopping the fight. A very good fight, but a shame it had to stop in the way it did.
The next fight saw Ali Mihoubi challenging Lightweight Champion Ralph Gracie. As is the Gracie custom, this one went to the ground early. Gracie quickly went for the ground and pound, before locking in the ground and pound. Another dominating performance, and I couldn’t help but feel that Mihoubi didn’t really stand a chance.
After that quick fight, it was on to Anthony Macias against Allan Goes. Goes was unable to keep up the Brazilian tradition of instant take downs, although he was able to get past Macias’ defence soon afterwards. Goes then went for the ground and pound, and he would have probably got the win had he not gone for a head butt or a fish hook, both of which had been outlawed after the first show. Goes soon reasserted his control, taking Macias down again, but then we got a somewhat confusing ending. After Goes used another head butt, Macias verbally submitted just as the referee was about to warn Goes again. Macias thought the referee had disqualified Goes, and those in attendance weren’t exactly too happy with Goes’ conduct, and I can see why, especially as Goes and his entourage celebrated like he’d won a world title.
EXTREME FIGHTING VOLUME 3
Only three fights on this particular volume, all from their third show, beginning with John Lober challenging Igor Zinoviev for the Middleweight Championship. The first fight on the collection to go the distance saw a very good first two rounds, with both guys looking good, but as the fight went on Zinoviev showed his superior ground game, simply smothering Lober, using a tactic that would have seen the referee stand the fighters up a few years later. By the time the third round started both fighters looked exhausted, and they spent the last five minutes exchanging combinations, although they spent a great deal of time just squaring up to each other. So with no judges, the fight was declared a draw, which meant that Zinoviev retained his title. A very solid technical fight, and very enjoyable as well.
Next up, Murakami Kazunari against Bart Vale. Vale had a near thirty pound weight advantage in this one, but it didn’t count for much as Kazunari dominated for the most part. Vale’s only real offence was a straight armbar attempt, countering Kazunari’s standing rear waist lock. The Japanese fighter soon took the fight to the ground, taking Vale’s back, going for a rear naked choke, as well as getting off a few strikes. Vale was soon able to stand up though, and got off a couple of blows before Kazunari exploded with some shots of his own, knocking Vale down with a big left, and following him down for the ground and pound, and with Vale unable to defend himself, the referee stepped in. A very impressive performance from Kazunari here.
Then it was on to Maurice Smith challenging Conan Silviera for the Heavyweight Championship. Conan had had it pretty much his own way in his previous two fights, but came up against a very strong opponent in Smith here. The first round saw Conan on top on the ground, but Smith was soon able to reverse things, taking the mount and putting in some good work, although he received a warning from the referee for head butting. Smith’s kick boxing pedigree came out in the second as he out punched and out kicked Conan, although the Brazilian did manage to tie him up in a clinch against the cage a couple of times. Round three didn’t last that long. After another brief clinch against the cage, Smith rolled off a couple of leg kicks, but a high right kick hit Conan hard on the side of his head. The Brazilian staggered, and the referee quickly stepped in and stopped the fight, revealing a few seconds later that Conan was virtually unconscious. Smith was awarded the knockout win, and the Heavyweight title in a very good fight.
EXTREME FIGHTING VOLUME 4
As with Volume 3, this features just three fights, beginning with Todd Bjornthun going up against Allan Goes. The proverbial blink and you’ll miss it affair. Bjornthun went for a left jab, the fight went down to the mat, and Goes quickly locked in a triangle choke for the submission win. Definitely a lot better than Goes’ last performance, and he certainly got a better reception from the crowd here.
Next up, Paul Jones versus Erik Paulson. A very good fight between two evenly matched men, a back and forth affair. Jones began the fight strongly, using a suplex to take Paulson down, and spending the remainder of the first round in the guard. The second round was a little more even. Jones again showed some good grappling while controlling the fight on the ground, although Paulson went for a couple of submissions, and looked like he was going to succeed a couple of times as well. It was the same in the third round as it was in the second, only with the roles reversed as Paulson seemed to have the edge as far as submission attempts were concerned. But with the fight going the distance, and no judges, the fight was declared a draw. If it had been held today, then Jones may have just edged it.
The final fight of the collection saw John Lober taking on Kevin Jackson. They definitely saved the best for last here. Jackson, the former Olympic wrestler making his MMA debut, took Lober down early and dominated him throughout the round. In fact he punched Lober so hard that he damaged his right glove, so there was an even longer gap between the rounds while his corner men went back to the dressing room to get a replacement. The extra rest didn’t do Lober any good. Jackson began the second round in the way that he’d begun the first, taking Lober down to the ground, and locking in an arm choke for the submission win a minute or so later. An outstanding performance from Jackson here, and as I said this was definitely the best fight on the DVD.
In conclusion – this certainly is a very interesting release. Fight wise it really can’t be faulted. There’s some good action on this DVD, and it’s also a good way to see just how much the sport has changed in the fourteen years since Extreme Fighting had their short run.
Production wise, it’s more polished than the old UFC shows I reviewed recently. From the beginning the announcers knew what they were talking about, unlike their counterparts in UFC 1. However, some of the editing was awful. For instance, in Volume 1 there were a couple of fights where the introductions were cut completely. I actually had to look in the results section of Clyde Gentry’s No Holds Barred book to find out who some of these guys were. I also found out from his book that there actually was a four man tournament to crown the first heavyweight champion, but it was difficult to tell this, given the way that Volume 1 was edited. Also, in Volume 2, there’s an interview with a fighter whose fight isn’t even shown. Thankfully, the editing gets a lot better with Volumes 3 and 4.
So in all, if you’re willing to put up with these problems, then you may want to get a copy of this release. It’s available from most of the online stores such as Amazon and Play, and for a very reasonable price. It’s a valuable piece of MMA history from an all but forgotten promotion, and who knows, perhaps one day they’ll eventually release these shows unedited. I’d definitely be interested in getting them!
Review written by Twosheds.
Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida became the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion at UFC 98 dazzling Rashad Evans with his elusive hybrid Karate MMA style for the win. Going back to the old school of Ultimate Fighting in the pre Zuffa era the battle of the two warriors locked in the cage were seeking to prove their martial art the supreme fighting style as Jiu Jitsu expert fought Taekwon Do master and shoot wrestlers fought boxers. As time has gone on and the sport has evolved out of the human cockfighting stage to be renamed Mixed Martial Arts establishing itself fully fledged sport with rules instead of no holds barred, plus it had been developed into a complete fighting discipline combining elements of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, boxing and kick boxing. So to have Lyoto Machida emerge from a background as a traditional Karate practioner is very refreshing and interesting for the development of MMA.
Of course we have already had UFC fan favorite Georges St Pierre entering the octagon garbed in his Gi and Danny Larusso style head band but GSP is a fighter who incorporates huge elements of wrestling thanks to his trainer Greg Jackson. The main significance about Machida’s style is that he brings something new and fresh, a style that hasn’t been done yet up to now. Lyoto utilises a stance and foot movement enabling the light heavyweight champion to dash in and out again, hitting his target without taking punishment himself. That is what is so unique about the way he fights, he rarely gets hit. A mixed martial artist able to avoid taking punishment is a fighter likely to a have a long and successful career.
As a master of Machida Karate as taught to him by his father Lyoto adapated to the cage by learning the ground grappling necassary. Since his win over Rashad the UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (15-0) is now confirmed his first title defense against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (18-3). The fight will happen at UFC 104. Shogun not long ago was seen as the best lightheavyweight in the world as a competitor in former Japanese promotion PRIDE FC. Shogun was seen as THE man to topple the then UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell off his throne. Unfortunately for Rua since signing with the UFC the Brazilian fighter has not been on top form until recently it appears he has got his form back.
The light heavyweight title clash could be a test for Machida on the ground versus Rua but with his defence the bout may not make it to the canvas or on the other hand it could a chance to see Machida’s ground skills in action. Most are predicting a long reign at the top for Lyoto much like the present reign of Anderson Silva, let’s just hope he keeps it exciting with Dana White and Joe Silva pairing The Dragon with the right opponent. One thing is for certain as Joe Rogan said
Karate clubs all over will have booming business just like the impact the Gracies made on Jiu Jitsu.
UFC & MMA blog by Duane Farr
This time around I decided to do something a little different by sharing some of the many MMA gems available to view for free on the net. All of the videos can be viewed at youtube.com or google video.
First off we go back in time to 1995, going behind the curtains following Rickson Gracie’s story as he took part in the Vale Tudo tournament in Japan. A time before MMA had made it mainstream with an established set of rules. This was the No Holds Barred era of fighting. Just two years previous the first ever UFC took place dominated by Rickson’s brother Royce in 1993. Rickson is a true legend of fights sports and a master of Jiu Jitsu. I don’t wish to take anything away from his abilities and achievements but the power the Gracies seem to exert in altering rules make you appreciate how successful Dana White has been in making MMA a fair contest. The main appeal of the early contests were to see which martial art style was superior. Much has changed, now every fighter must be confident in all areas.
The documentary is around 90 minutes long and is a great incite into the world of the Gracies and a chance to see what MMA used to be.
Choke – a Rickson Gracie Documentary
Next a few short videos featuring MMA fighter Gina “Conviction” Carano one of the most well known female fighters. Gina crossed over as mainstream star in the US following her stint on American Gladiators as Gladiator Crush.
The first part also features former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy ‘The Natural’
Couture along with Pancrase legend Bas Rutten. They discuss women competing in the cage. Some male fighters namely Karo Parisian do not feel comfortable with an attractive woman like Carano competing in the cage. If she were not so easy on the eye would his be different? Carano is one tough cookie do not be fooled! She trains with Randy Couture and his wife Kim Couture.
In part 2 the panel discuss American Gladiators and her role as Crush. Other items include Laila Ali daughter of boxing icon Mohammed Ali and the co presenter alongside Hulk Hogan on the show.
Inside MMA – Gina Carano (1 of 2)
Inside MMA – Gina Carano (2 of 2)
Here’s another video of Gina from America Sports channel Sho Time 2007.
EliteXC: Meet Gina Carano
Gina Carano Tribute
Since the demise of EliteXC Gina’s contract is now with Strikeforce, we will be looking more closely at the promotion very soon here at bluraymma.com
MMA blog by Dynamite Duane