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  #91  
Old 07-27-2014, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
You lost me at calling Chavez Jr. halfway interesting but Golovkin is def. a beast
he is not in himself interesting but the prospect of GGG launching his head into the cheap seats would be good for a chuckle I think.
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  #92  
Old 07-27-2014, 09:04 AM
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Rickson Gracie tells the Yoji Anjo story. For those of you who aren't total fight nerds, a reminder of who Yoji Anjo is:

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Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
PRIDE got its start because Nobuhiko Takada was trying to book the UWFi to be bigger than pro wrestling (because they'd lost their shirts in a disastrous copromotion deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling and needed to find a new audience) and so did a bunch of gimmick challenges of legit combat athletes around the world

This blew up in his face when he challenged Rickson "Two Time Vale Tudo Japan Champion" Gracie to a fight and Rickson said "get fucked I don't do fake fights against fake fighters"

This made Takada look like a large-type bitch in front of the people he was trying to impress, so he sent Yoji Anjoh (his #2 man) to California to challenge Rickson "Beat Rei Zulu Like He Stole Something" Gracie to his face

Here's a picture of Yoji



SO FIERCE

Here's a picture of Rickson


Hi there I'm Brazilian

(Please note how one of these guys looks like a retired boys volleyball coach and the other looks like a professional athlete)

Yoji showed up at Rickson's dojo with a camera crew and announced he was "200% sure" that he would kick Rickson's ass. Rickson dragged him behind closed doors and put a beating on him that literally hospitalized Mr. Anjoh

Now UWFi is in shit two ways: Their top guy got called a bitch and their #2 guy got beat half into the grave by a 170lb man who fights by flopping on his ass and hooking his ankles around your back

Nobuhiko Takada and his yakuza money men decide its time to double down and promise Rickson Gracie the sun the moon and the stars to come fight Takada at the Tokyo Dome. This is the Japanese equivalent of Hulk Hogan fighting Mike Tyson - people weren't sure if they should reserve a ticket for Jesus because the thought was that if He was coming back for anything, it would be this

Not being total idiots, they realize that Nobuhiko Takada's vast martial arts experience consists of pretending to fight men in purple panties and that if the event isnt going to consist entirely of 50,000 japanese watching their local hero beaten into mochi they need to have a full event

So they hired a bunch of karateka, fat people, tall people and even a couple of real mma fighters to fill out the card and called the two-headed flipper baby of a show that resulted PRIDE (because it was a fight for the pride of pro wrestling you see)

PRIDE was never about sports, martial arts, whatever

It was always about making money by leveraging the japanese public's bottomless capacity to believe that the Brave Sons of Nippon could use PRORESU and FIGHTING SPIRITU~ to overcome meaningless things like "experience" and "knowing how to fight"

e: What I am saying is that PRIDE was built from the ground up to be spectacle, not sport, and that was the reason it succeeded and that was the reason its fall was totally inevitable

MMA isn't PRIDE and PRIDE was never MMA. MMA is a sport. PRIDE was half sports anime half pro wrestling
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  #93  
Old 07-27-2014, 09:35 AM
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Years later Anjo would attempt to "get revenge" against Ryan Gracie at Otoko Matsuri 2004 and again only succeeded in making an ass of himself, this time in front of like 50,000 people.

there is a great historical irony in the fact that Kazushi Sakuraba, who was booked as a scrawny little umpteenth banana to dudes like Anjo and Takada in UWFi, became the one who could do what they never could in an MMA ring.

on the other hand Takada is retired and filthy rich and in command of all his faculties while Saku may already have difficulty feeding himself, so...
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  #94  
Old 07-27-2014, 09:50 AM
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Fwiw I'm sure that joe silva would build Sakuraba a shining castle in the sky if he but said the word
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  #95  
Old 07-28-2014, 02:29 AM
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Years later Anjo would attempt to "get revenge" against Ryan Gracie at Otoko Matsuri 2004 and again only succeeded in making an ass of himself, this time in front of like 50,000 people.
All told, Anjo laughed last on that one.
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  #96  
Old 07-28-2014, 07:49 AM
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meanwhile Wallid Ismail sheds manly tears at the thought of what might have been.

I'm trying to remember at what point it became clear that Ryan was never going to survive himself. It was pretty far back I think.
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  #97  
Old 07-28-2014, 12:43 PM
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A death worthy of the Hardy Boyz.

On the Anjo being a hilarious wuss tip:
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  #98  
Old 07-28-2014, 01:18 PM
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hey look it's Rumina Sato surfing in a Tiger Mask mask

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  #99  
Old 07-29-2014, 03:23 PM
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Nick Diaz is fighting Anderson Silva and evilclown is on cloud nine

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Best ways for Nick Diaz to promote fight: 1. Complain about stuff. 2. A lot. 3. Develop a tic. 4. Slap Ariel Helwani just because.
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  #100  
Old 07-29-2014, 04:06 PM
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Keven was inspired when he said Nick would be knocked flat on his face, then yell BITCH so loud "that he flies upright like a dracula sleeping face down"
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  #101  
Old 07-29-2014, 11:19 PM
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on the other hand Takada is retired and filthy rich and in command of all his faculties while Saku may already have difficulty feeding himself, so...
You guys know about Sakuraba's pro wrestling feud with the Gracies right?

Because if not I can spin a tale, in what would probably be my first and last contribution of any note to this thread.
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  #102  
Old 08-01-2014, 02:07 PM
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You guys know about Sakuraba's pro wrestling feud with the Gracies right?

Because if not I can spin a tale, in what would probably be my first and last contribution of any note to this thread.
KING OF SPORTS
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  #103  
Old 08-01-2014, 06:13 PM
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Last time on Ultimate Fighter’s Challenge




The Strongest Style!



Hello John Hess. Your quite good at. Turning. Me. On.





And now: THE WORLD SUPERFIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP AT

UFC 6

MMA Title history lesson: Shooto had contested belts going back to 1990, there may or may not have been vale tudo belts worth a shit before that point, and fuck it we’ll even allow for the King of Pancrase belt because it looks cool



Fights: Fake

Swag: All too real


But there had not been a legitimate a-league MMA/NHB title awarded in North America in modern history (if you want to be pedantic, sport sambo had been an official AAU event since the 70s and the first Sabaki Challenge ran in 1989, but since we’re being pedantic I’ll point out that sport sambo outlaws strikes and Sabaki doesn’t allow grappling beyond takedowns). And a good champion will elevate any sport in the eyes of the public. Boxing was huge when Jack Dempsey took the title from Jess Willard, but his dominance, personality and skill for self-promotion made him - and the sport - bigger than life. Paul Anderson put weightlifting in the newsreels. Tiger Woods introduced golf to a new generation.

If the UFC was going to play the long game, they needed a champion - a marketable champion. Royce Gracie had beaten everyone he’d fought, but his association with ex-UFC backer Rorion meant SEG would have had better luck trying to sign the Pope to a contract. Ken Shamrock had been the obvious choice for a figurehead (SEG would drop some serious coin into repackaging his old Pancrase matches as a new source of PPV money) but the only thing he did more of than Winstrol was losing, and his recent 36-minute slog of a match with Royce Gracie had done nothing to turn his streak around. Dan Severn had rolled through two consecutive tournaments like a mustachioed juggernaut, but at 37 he was on the far side of his physical peak. Some new fringe contenders like Oleg Taktarov and Dave Beneteau had emerged recently, and new Gracies (legit and otherwise*) were starting to filter up from the farm leagues, but it was way too early to know if they would have any kind of staying power.

Of the three top guys in the sport, one was a spindly egomaniac who didn’t get out of bed for less than mid five figures, one was a fragile pro wrestler whose record was as inflated as his muscles, and the last was rapidly approaching middle age. SEG did the safe thing and threw the two white guys into a title match.

Still unable to get sanctioning from any state with a boxing commission worth a shit, the UFC decided this titanic matchup would be held in Casper, Wyoming. This would mark the only time in living memory anyone went to Casper, Wyoming on purpose.

Mad Dog Anthony Macias, who would go on to become a mainstay in the midwestern MMA z-leagues, won his alternate bout against He-Man Ali Gipson. I will legit buy dinner for anyone able to find me video of the full match.

The other prelim bout was notable only because neither of its contestants were healthy enough to continue afterwards, so Ken Shamrock barked at SEG until Guy Mezger was named as a tournament alternate. One of the best (and only) benefits of fighting for the Lion’s Den was having Ken Shamrock scream at promoters for you. His name and ruthlessness were great things to have on your side.



WARNING
WARNING

KEN SHAMROCK STORY APPROACHING

B-league cautionary tale EliteXC rolled the dice hard on youtube freakshow Kimbo Slice, a half-crippled bodybuilder who fought bareknuckle matches in backyards and did set security for porno shoots. They protected the shit out of Slice, matching him with has-beens and never-weres in fights as shady as they were terrible. Slice spent two rounds mashed to the canvas against heavybag to the stars James Thompson before landing a wobbly hook that exploded Thompson’s ear like a blood-filled water balloon. The ref waved the fight off while Thompson stared at him in disbelief.



Not pictured: The Jaffa Cakes that are the source of James’ power

The payoff to this shitshow was supposed to be at EliteXC: Heat, broadcast live on CBS. The biggest television audience in the history of MMA had watched Slice against Thompson, and EliteXC needed to keep momentum in their favor if they were going to maintain their CBS contract. The solution was simple: Ken Shamrock.

Slice/Shamrock was the ultimate sucker fight. No one who had watched MMA in the last ten years had any interest in watching these two immobile gasbags slam against each other like 1/1 scale GI Joes in the hands of some gargantuan toddler, but the general public couldn’t wait to see these titans of the prize ring face off IN THE CAGE. There was only one problem: Ken Shamrock.

On fight night, Ken Shamrock went into the promoter’s office and laid out his demands. Accounts differ, but the story I believe is that Ken demanded more money in exchange for making Slice look like a world-beater, then cut himself with a razor blade when EliteXC refused. The cut meant Ken couldn’t be cleared to fight, so EliteXC had to go with a last-second replacement who was unclear on the “lose to Kimbo” memo they handed him and knocked Slice out almost before the cageside bell had stopped ringing.



Kimbo Slice eventually got into the UFC, btw

EliteXC never ran another fight on CBS. They were out of business in a matter of weeks. Ken Shamrock.)

Raider mentioned that UFC 5 marked the end of the Gracie Informercial era and the first steps towards athletic legitimacy. I pointed out how Severn/Beneteau represented a huge change in the sport, pitting two Olympic-level athletes against one another in a display of strength and technique that no one could have called “human cockfighting”. UFC 6 was a perfect opportunity to double down on this progress and show the world the sport at the heart of the spectacle.

If you think this is what the UFC actually did, you haven’t read a single fucking post this thread, have you

*You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a “Gracie” in the early days of MMA in the US. Startups like WCC shat ruinous quantities of money (for the time) to bring relative unknowns like Renzo Gracie and Vitor “Victor Gracie” Belfort up from Brazil to give their tournament brackets some show ponies.
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  #104  
Old 08-01-2014, 06:19 PM
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We return to ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP

THE OCTAGON BECKONS

WHITE KNUCKLE... BARE KNUCKLE

FLAT TOPS AND BUTT FLOPS

ANGRY CHANTS AND SILKY PANTS


Bruce Beck welcomes us back to the only real martial arts championship in the world, in this: Wyoming's second largest city. Jeff Blatnick is back and touts the merciless qualities of THE OCTAGON. (You'll note that THE OCTAGON was one of UFC's few early branding successes, and has endured much longer than any single fighter, promoter, or company. Not bad for something they threw together on the fly after Rorion's original plan for flames and a shark-filled moat fell through.)

Jim Brown is back and "[P]umped! I'm in Wyoming."


Yes, Jim. Yes you are.


Notes: This was the first UFC in which John McCarthy was given authority to stand up competitors if he felt there was a lack of action on the ground.


FIGHT ONE
You know this guy

Ladies and gentlemen, David L. "Tank" Abbott. Raider wrote at length about the Tank in the old thread, so I will just touch on the highlights. Tank hails from Huntington Beach and claims to be a pitfighter. Now, because you are all smarter than the average bear and remember never to believe anything early UFC fighters say, you know better. What Tank has, besides egomania, is a decent wrestling background, journeyman boxing skills, and cock diesel stremph. This, and the inability to realize that life is not a pro wrestling promo, will make him the face of the early UFC. God help us all.

Jeff Blatnick notes that Tank comes to the ring with wrapped fists and gloves. What no one knows at the time is that Tank is part of a group of fighters in Huntington Beach who are something of a West Coast Lion's Den. There's a teenager named Tito Ortiz training with him, and you'll hear that name again.

John Matua can't even do a convincing armbar in his hype video. I'm done with him.

This match quickly passes into legend when Tank shucks off Matua's amateurish clinch attempts and delivers clubbing hooks that send the big man straight into unconsciousness. Because Tank Abbott is a huge asshole, he mocks Matua's mummy-walk arms (an sign that Matua's suffered a high-grade concussion).


FIGHT TWO
Polar Bear vs. Rex Kwon Do


Ex-Marine TKD instructor Cal Worsham took this fight on nine days' notice. Paul "Polar Bear" Varelans is the white Bob Sapp. Both men display gloriously sharp flattops. They just don't make 'em like that anymore.

This fight's actually kind of interesting for a number of reasons:

1. Cal Worsham is easily 20 pounds over fighting trim, and in the modern sport would probably be a middleweight. Varelans claims 300 pounds and would easily be a heavyweight nowadays.

2. Worsham claims Tae Kwon Do, but clearly did some boxing in his Marine Corps days. He falls back on uppercuts from the clinch and sloppy overhands when Varelans powers through his side kick.

3. Varelans gets the almighty shit beaten out of him, size difference and all, because he has no idea what the hell he's doing in there. Mostly he leans on Worsham and eats punch after punch until he lands a thudding elbow to Worsham's brainstem and ends the fight.


FIGHT THREE
The Fight Man's Burden


Rudyard Moncayo, Kenpo Stylist, clearly spends most of his free time bench pressing and applying hair product.

Pat Smith has the best product endorsement of the night and comes to the cage in an official Street Fighter II gi. You'll remember him from the first two UFCs, where he fell to pieces against anyone with a submission game.

Smith opens with a front kick that sends Moncayo ass over teakettle then snaps on an arm-in guillotine choke, which is one of the easiest chokes to escape and possibly the single hardest to finish. Lucky for Smith this is 1995, so Moncayo spends most of his time trying to find new and interesting ways to force his head deeper into Smith's armpit.

Finally they go to the ground and Pat Smith ends things with a sleeper hold. Thank you for getting Rudyard Moncayo off my screen, Pat.

FIGHT FOUR
Benny and the Bear

Dave Beneteau is back, and has rounded out his wrestling game by focusing on his boxing. Cross training was still novel at this point, especially for guys outside the Lion's Den. Beneteau, even with his sweet gig as a union EMT, took the sport very seriously. Definitely the prototype of the new generation of athletes the UFC was trying to attract.

Oleg Taktarov, SAMBO champion, has been working with the Lion's Den to round out his game. Notably, he's skipped the gi this time out. A smart move for a man about to face a judo player.

Beneteau takes an almost lazy double leg and puts Taktarov on his back. Taktarov moves into the guard, then sits out and takes it back to the feet. Beneteau unloads with huge punches, forcing Taktarov to cover up. The size and power difference is obvious here.

Oleg winds up with Big Dave in his guard again after a scramble and sneaks a guillotine choke in. Again, because it's 1995 Dave can only tap out and curse his luck.

It's hard to imagine now with BJJ schools everywhere, but 20 years ago most guys were learning submission fighting from mail order VHS. A guy like Taktarov, with years of experience, was light years ahead of what even dedicated fighters like Beneteau could cope with after copying a GRACIES IN ACTION tape on gym mats in their garage.

FIGHT FIVE
KEEP WORKING LET'S GO

Paul Varelans, whom you'll recall had the twin talents of being very large and very clumsy, meets Tank Abbott. Who can actually fight.

Tank wins after literally mashing his knee into Paul's head for so long that John McCarthy stops the fight in disgust. It's not even fun to watch.

FIGHT SIX
Say it ain't so, Oleg

I've talked at length in the past about how the UFC manages to be the cleanest game in fight sports. This is the one exception in its long history. Patrick Macias throws his fight against stablemate Taktarov, and does it so obviously that the crowd about loses its shit.

Up next: The Superfight Championship and Abbott-Taktarov

BE THERE
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  #105  
Old 08-02-2014, 06:55 PM
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Last time on Ultimate Fighter's Challenge



The face of the future!



Trapfighting!



These guys!

Still deep in its infancy, the UFC had only tried to force a marquee matchup between two of its stars once before in the original Superfight. Those who watched a befuddled Ken Shamrock defend the Ezekiel choke for nearly 40 minutes did not come away unchanged, but the outcome had left the promotion without a champion who could carry the sport forward.

Clearly it was time for Superfight II: Bigger, badder and whiter than before.

THE CHALLENGERS



Get as intense as possible. Now become even MORE intense. Just like that.

Ken Shamrock's perfectly coiffed hair and rentboy abs sold a lot of PPV buys back in the 90s. I can't overstate how important it was that he looked the way the public thought a cage fighter should. That overcame many of his faults, like his fragile joints, lack of a standup game, and insufferable personality. (Even now Ken Shamrock is one of the two biggest carnies ever to fight in the prize ring, and you can be certain that everything he says or does is intended to get him closer to his next meal ticket.)

Truthfully, he was a complete X factor at this point. He'd run rampant over the dojo kings and freakshows who'd populated the first tournament draws, but come up short against Gracie twice (which was no great failing). Who knew what would happen when he was put up against an elite competitor without Royce's mastery of the smothering guard?


The highest form of praise

Dan Severn had competed at the highest levels of combat sports since the 70s. Two time NCAA All-American, 13 time AAU champion, national SAMBO champion, NWA champion. The UFC existed for guys like Severn to take their thirst for competition to the next level. His greatest weakness, though, was age. Severn had simply been born too early, and his physical gifts and ability to learn new, drastically different skillsets at the elite level had begun to desert him by the time the UFC came about. This had shown clearly at UFC 4, when Dan's feeble striking skills had given a much weaker Royce Gracie the time to counter him and win a fight that by rights he should have lost.

Time was against The Beast, and who knew if UFC 6 would mark the night that Dan showed up too old and slow to stay in the game?

Let's get it on!


Ken marches to the ring flanked by flags for Japan, the Lion's Den, and the USA. Bruce Beck is kind enough to define the word "shamrock" for our benefit.

Dan the Beast marches to the ring with his NWA belt in the lead. As always, when Big John asks him if he has any questions, he responds with an algebra quiz. That's not a joke. He did it every time he fought.

We have a 30-minute time limit with a single overtime period. Let's get ready to rumble!

Damn their pants are so silky. So, so silky.

Ken opens with an amateurish shot from six miles out, which Dan counters with an effortless snapdown. The two men tie up and begin pummeling for position. Jeff Blatnick conceals his orgasmic joy long enough to explain what's going on for the folks at home.

It's impressive as hell how well Shamrock deals with the 40 pound weight difference between him and Severn. There's no obvious strength differential between them, as there was in Severn-Beneteau. Shit, did I just praise Ken Shamrock?

They break their tie-up and reset. Again they tie up, pummeling for superior position. Severn shoots for a deep single leg takedown, trying to use his superior wrestling skills to win the stalemate. Shamrock takes advantage of Severn's relative inexperience with submission attacks to counter with a guillotine choke, forcing Severn to pull back.

The Guillotine involves using one's elbow as a lever, using both the radius and the bicep as weapons to pinch off the flow of blood to the brain. It is, against an untrained opponent, the great counter to the tackle or the wrestler's shoot. Against a trained opponent, it's a low-percentage attack and best used to jockey for position. Again, it's 1995 and there are probably less than 100 people in all of North America who can do a passable Guillotine, so Severn's chances of countering are pitifully low.

Forced back into the clinch, Severn goes for another takedown. Shamrock works his arm in place for another Guillotine. Severn goes for broke, throwing a punch into Shamrock's groin and doubling down on his double leg. Finally, Severn is forced into the worst possible position (flat on his ass, with the choke turning into a neck crank) and taps out.

Ken Shamrock is now the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first Superfight Champion. This championship only recently became unified with the UFC Heavyweight Championship for reasons that will be explained later.
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  #106  
Old 08-03-2014, 12:19 AM
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Ah, been a while since I read you guys recounting tales of the early days. I don't know how much of what you say is factual, AV, as it sounds more like a story than a history you're telling. But I'll be damned if I don't enjoy your writing style.
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  #107  
Old 08-03-2014, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir Sly Ry View Post
Ah, been a while since I read you guys recounting tales of the early days. I don't know how much of what you say is factual, AV, as it sounds more like a story than a history you're telling. But I'll be damned if I don't enjoy your writing style.

There's no need to make shit up when you're talking about early MMA.
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  #108  
Old 08-03-2014, 01:05 PM
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I clicked on this thread because I kickbox at the UFC Gym but don't watch MMA; it's cool to get a sense of the (professional) sport in this thread. Thanks dudes!
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  #109  
Old 08-03-2014, 01:45 PM
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I clicked on this thread because I kickbox at the UFC Gym but don't watch MMA; it's cool to get a sense of the (professional) sport in this thread. Thanks dudes!
Anytime!
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  #110  
Old 08-03-2014, 06:50 PM
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Dear Mr. Vigour,

Please post more, in this thread, about MMA. In fact, never stop posting.

Sincerely,
Wolf
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  #111  
Old 08-03-2014, 07:48 PM
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The Thrilling Conclusion to UFC 6: Stayin Alive In '95


Like a trust fall, but sweatier


Oleg Taktarov and David L Abbott had walked through the competition to reach this, the most anticlimactic finals since UFC 3. Tank's half of the bracket had been freakshows and wannabes, while Oleg had benefited from the one fixed fight in UFC history. While the tournament draw was dire in the extreme, the finals gave the crowd the sort of contest that had sold the UFC as a concept: The caveman brawler from the streets of Huntington Beach against the master of the KGB's killing arts (nevermind that what we really had was an overweight junior college wrestler against a national-level judoka, the boys at SEG had bills to pay).

Oleg had countered Beneteau's strength advantage with his submission attacks, and Abbott was even rawer on the ground. Abbott, for his part, still had a 70 pound advantage and legit knockout power. Neither man had spent enough time in the ring for fatigue to be a limiting factor.

Match Eight: Leglocks vs Ham Hocks

Oleg gets it on with a sloppy single leg that Tank counters with a bear hug takedown. Tank shows his inexperience with no-holds-barred grappling, mashing his bulk into Taktarov's chest and squeezing with his arms. In the NCAA this would win him Riding Time points. In the UFC, it keeps pressure off Taktarov's hips long enough for him to swivel his body and lock in half guard. Tank's forced to back off and the fight restarts on the feet.

Sloppy exchanges on the feet quickly show Taktarov he wants no part of Abbott's power. (If you watch this fight, note how Abbott turns an attempted guillotine/front facelock into a near takedown. Technique does not always beat raw power.) Oleg's porous boxing defense allows Tank's sloppy hooks through, and he's rocked multiple times by glancing shots.

Lucky for Taktarov, Tank has all the staying power of a nitro-injected funnycar and his wobbly assault ends about two minutes into the fight. Now Oleg can take the initiative.

Tank leans against Taktarov, mostly immobile, and Taktarov snaps on the guillotine. Tank uses the only defensive move left to him and falls forward, breaking the hold.

Now we enter the longest part of the night. Taktarov holds Tank in an open guard, tapping his opponent with light punches and chops while John McCarthy bellows at the both of them. This goes on for a long, long time.

Tank finally breaks loose and stands up, launching everything he has in a sloppy right hand that wakes the crowd up and bloodies Oleg's face. Both men shove one another for a moment before ending up back where they started, with Oleg's pitty-pat punches ruling the day. This, too, goes on for a long, long time.

Finally, McCarthy has had enough and stands up the fighters. Abbott takes advantage with a couple of hooks before his body completely gives out. Oleg hits another guillotine, which he uses to bring Tank down to the turtle position. Finally he locks in a rear naked choke and ends the fight.

Great, but what does it all mean?


Taktarov and Shamrock might have gotten big fancy belts, but the real winners that night were the UFC's promoters. They'd gone into UFC 6 needing marketable stars outside the Gracie stable, and they'd come away with four. Rookie Abbott had especially great appeal with his beer gut and big punches.

Overall it was a good night for the UFC and a good night for MMA - in the short term.
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  #112  
Old 08-03-2014, 08:46 PM
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historical note: submitting Severn is the last meaningful win of Ken Shamrock's career.

this is also arguably the peak of Oleg Taktarov's career, at least until he defeated Mark Kerr in the YAMMA Pit. Oleg would later fight punchers with something resembling conditioning and nearly die.
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  #113  
Old 08-04-2014, 07:41 AM
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other historical note that occurs to me this morning: for his kindness in throwing his bout with Taktarov in the semis, Anthony Macias would allegedly get the mortal shit beat out of him by Tank's entourage of lumpy white trash goons in the hotel after the show.

Macias then went on to become one of the sport's early journeyman fighters, amassing a 26-18 record through a decade of bouts in moderately to severely sketchy promotions all across the American south. He was also one of the not-quite-no-names PRIDE signed on in the early days of building up Kazushi Sakuraba.
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  #114  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:46 AM
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The collection of bikers and hobos in orbit around David Abbott ambushed more than one fighter in his years with the UFC, so I'd believe it.
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  #115  
Old 08-04-2014, 11:59 AM
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Ample's revival of the Rickson/Anjo issue has me running off at the brain.



CARNY VS. CARNY IN A BATTLE TO THE DEATH

In case you hadn't heard yet, pro wrestling is fake.

This is widely understood pretty much everywhere. In America, Vince McMahon gets most of the credit for wiping out what they call kayfabe, the old omerta-like code of silence between pro graps performers and the fans in the audience. In Japan, that honor largely goes to Satoru Sayama, better known as high-flying '80s star Tiger Mask, who in a fit of pique quit New Japan Pro Wrestling and published a tell-all that smartened up Japanese wrestling fans in one fell swoop.

What happened next is kind of interesting, though. Kayfabe died in American pro wrestling so it could become even more "fake," pulling away from simulated athletic competition and toward more soap-opera dramatics. Sayama and the men who killed kayfabe in Japan had more or less the opposite ambition -- they told traditional pro wrestling to fuck off because they wanted to create something that was supposedly even more "real."

Depending on how you look at it, after they'd torn the old walls of kayfabe down, Sayama and the rest of the enfants terribles of the 80s Japanese wrestling scene just built those walls back up even higher. Promotions like Sayama's UWF (and Akira Maeda's RINGS, and Nobuhiko Takada's UWFi) went to incredibly goofy lengths approximating the trappings of real athletic competition -- fake rounds, fake timekeepers, fake cornermen, fake points systems, fake judging, the whole bit.

Ironically it now makes the shootstyle promotions look even more preposterous than Hulk Hogan playing steroid bumper cars with the Ultimate Warrior. In those days, though, for at least a good while there, Japanese crowds took the whole mess seriously.

This, by a long and twisted trail, is what led to Yoji Anjo getting his face crushed in an L.A. dojo. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship, and shortly afterward the first Japan Vale Tudo tournament, showed the world what real live actual no-holds-barred fighting looked like, and it didn't look the least little bit like the UWFi. Nobuhiko Takada, who had for a while been selling out legit five-figure houses behind his rep as a legitimate badass, suddenly found himself falling into a big fucking credibility gap.

Because both sides of the issue are some of the carniest motherfuckers to ever walk the earth, though, exactly what was going on in Takada and Anjo's heads will probably remain one of those great mysteries of the universe.

- Did Takada assume the Gracies were as full of shit as he was, and that Anjo stood a chance against Rickson in a real fight?

- Did Takada know his boy was going to get his nose hammered flat, and just figured he'd find a way to draw money out of the ensuing media circus anyway?

- Did Takada and Anjo believe so much of their own shit that they saw themselves at legitimate tough guys on Rickson's level?

- Or did they think that they were somehow going to get Rickson to play ball on a worked exhibition, maybe long enough to set him up for a double-cross?

The world may never know.

Last edited by The Raider Dr. Jones; 08-04-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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  #116  
Old 08-05-2014, 03:25 PM
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That was great, dude.
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  #117  
Old 08-05-2014, 06:21 PM
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Takada was the guy who shot on some poor fool near the end of a match, right? I think I remember that from the last thread.
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  #118  
Old 08-05-2014, 07:02 PM
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yeah, in his UWFi bout with Koji Kitao. They told Kitao the match would go to a draw, then Takada sucker-kicked him.

Like I say, that seems like it could have been one potential planned outcome for Takada v. Rickson. (taking a page from Inoki vs. Ali) Or maybe I'm just conspiracizing. It just seems weird to me that they would have booked PRIDE 1 knowing that the most likely outcome was the one that actually resulted -- i.e., Takada getting spanked inside of five minutes.
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  #119  
Old 08-05-2014, 07:12 PM
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The latest issue of the New Yorker has a piece on Ronda Rousey. It's a solid profile I suppose, but the fun part is reading about the material that Vigour's covered in a slightly more staid tone.
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  #120  
Old 08-05-2014, 07:13 PM
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I decided I want to like a sport. I decided a good choice for that sport would be MMA. I will be reading these posts.
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