baltimoresun.com

« November 2007 | Main | January 2008 »

December 29, 2007

UFC 79 Postcard: It's gameday!

Well, folks. The day has arrived. The best card this year in UFC (and very competitive with PRIDE 33 earlier this year) takes place tonight.  Before I discuss tonight's card, let me tell you that this is my third UFC event this year and I think I finally did it right.

Arriving a couple of days early and sharing the experience with my wife was a good call. It's my wife's first UFC event and she has really been soaking it all in, and has been amazed at how many fighters she's seen throughout the course of the last couple of days. We had breakfast at the same restaurant as John Hackleman (Chuck Liddell's trainer) Friday morning. We saw Quinton Jackson walking around the hotel lobby yesterday evening. We saw Tim Sylvia at the club we went to last night (LAX at the Luxor). And, this morning we saw Roger Huerta at breakfast. I know I've skipped over a number of fighters, but you get the point. These guys are very accessible. I hope that aspect of MMA never changes.

By the way, another tip -- we ate at the Red Square restaurant last night, a Russian-themed spot located in the Mandalay Bay. While the food was pricey (more expensive than Mon Ami Gabi), it was quite good. And, don't forget to try one of their martinis while you're there. In addition, we checked out club Mix at the top of the hotel after leaving LAX and I highly recommend this club just for its view over all of Vegas. It's reminiscent of the type of view you get at the thirteenth floor of the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore.

Now, back to tonight's card. Over at SI.com, my UFC 79 preview is up. Check it out by clicking here. I break down and predict the Matt Hughes-Georges St. Pierre interim title bout, the Liddell-Wanderlei Silva dream fight, and the Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou-Lyoto Machida light heavyweight duel.

In addition to those fights, I'll also be interested in the other two main card fights. One fight features the debut of Soa Palelei against Eddie Sanchez in a heavyweight matchup. Sanchez may be best remembered for being a victim of Mirko Cro Cop's left high kick in Cro Cop's UFC debut, but he is a solid fighter with a very good MMA record. Palelei is aptly nicknamed "The Hulk" and hails from Australia. This promises to be yet another stand-up war in a card full of them

The other main card fight pits Melvin Guillard against Rich Clementi in a lightweight fight that both really need to win. Guillard comes in with two UFC losses, including a quick loss due to guillotine choke against Joe Stevenson at his last fight in April. Guillard tested positive for cocaine at that event and this is his first fight since returning from his suspension. Clementi has three losses in the UFC. Another loss for either fighter will be tough to take in a very competitive weight class.

For the full UFC 79 fight card, go to UFC.com.

Also, for video of yesterday's weigh-ins, including what happened between Liddell and Silva, click here.

Posted by at 3:20 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 28, 2007

UFC 79: Weigh-in hijinx

Just got back from the UFC 79 weigh-ins. Most importantly, all the fighters made weight. Here are some other interesting things I noticed throughout the day:

- The Chuck Liddell-Wanderlei Silva fight is clearly the fight everyone is here to see. The weigh-in crowd stood when the two fighters were introduced and cheered loudly. Liddell received the largest ovation of the weigh-ins, but Silva got his share of cheers as well. While the betting line is close for this fight, Liddell appears to be the heavy sentimental favorite.

- When Liddell and Silva posed after weighing in, Silva was very intense and seemed agitated by something Liddell did or said because he had to be held back as Liddell walked away. Was it just one last attempt to sell the fight or is there some real bad blood between the two? Both fighters are confident going into the fight, but I hadn't heard anything to indicate there was some sort of deep hatred between the two.

- In the interim welterweight title match, Matt Hughes drew loud boos from the crowd. Georges St. Pierre is the fan favorite in this match. GSP and Hughes shook hands after the weigh-ins and appear to deeply respect each other even as they prepare to go to battle for a third time.

- Fans love their UFC. I would say the seats were 90 percent full for the weigh-ins and earlier in the afternoon there was a fairly long line for an autograph signing session by Tim Sylvia, Quinton Jackson and Mac Danzig.

- It's not unusual to see fighters and their camps walking around and eating in Mandalay Bay. It's that sort of fan-friendly approach by the UFC and its fighters that has helped the promotion and the sport grow.

 

 

Posted by at 7:39 PM | | Comments (4)
        

UFC 79 postcard from Vegas

Folks,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note. I'm out here in Las Vegas for UFC 79, which I'll be covering for SI.com. I arrived mid-afternoon yesterday with my wife and it's been a great trip so far. And, as those of you who have been to Vegas before know, there's much more to the city than just gambling and MMA.

First of all, we're staying at the Mandalay Bay, which had surprisingly low rates for this time of the year. It's obviously a great hotel and really more of a resort than just a hotel. But, what's up with charging $27 per person per day to use their gym? And, $12.99 per laptop for Internet access in our room?

It may have all been worth it, though, for some MMA fans who ran into Chuck Liddell in the lobby and were able to take pics with "The Iceman."

In the evening, my wife and I saw Ka at the Ka Theater in the MGM Grand Hotel (there's a convenient tram from the Mandalay Bay to the Excalibur and two walkways later you're at the MGM Grand.) I'd never been to a Cirque du Soleil show before and I was absolutely blown away by Ka. The level of athleticism displayed by the performers was remarkable. There were even a couple of segments in the show in which both my wife and I actually worried about the safety of the performers. I highly recommend this show. It definitely got me pumped for some great MMA action Saturday night.

Afterward, we headed over to the Paris Hotel for dinner at Mon Ami Gabi, a very reputable French restaurant. As with many restaurants here, you can't go wrong at Mon Ami Gabi. Another highly recommended spot for your next visit.

Today, we're going to chill. Weigh-ins are at 4:00 p.m. PST. So, of course, we'll be there. UFC 79 is only a day and a half away ...

Editor's note: Check out a photo gallery of UFC 79 fighters here.

Posted by at 1:48 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 20, 2007

Year-end rankings and looking to 2008

Folks, it's a tough time of the year to be consistent with my blog posts and I apologize for that. I won't really be posting frequently again until the new year begins.

However, my latest article is up at SI.com. And, given that this is the time for year-end rankings, I went ahead and ranked the top five upsets in the UFC in 2007. Click here for the article.

Next week look for my preview of UFC 79 over at SI.com and my recap of UFC 79 (from Vegas) at SI.com the week after.

I will return to my regular blogging schedule here at The Sun January 2, 2008. I have some new things planned for this blog in 2008 and I will share them with you when I return.

Enjoy the holidays, be safe, and get ready for an even bigger year for MMA in 2008.

Posted by at 6:54 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 18, 2007

UFC 79 conference call audio

Folks, UFC held a UFC 79 teleconference for the media today and Steve Cofield of Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas has all the audio up on his blog. He has the call broken down by fighter. Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Chuck Liddell, and Wanderlei Silva were all on the call.

These media conference calls are a great opportunity to ask fighters questions and hope they don't answer with the standard fare. Most of the time, they respond predictably. However, take a listen to Hughes. He doesn't really sound like he wants to be there, does he? A lot of his answers are short and he sounds a bit irritated.

As a sportswriter, I love the Hughes audio. If I was his PR team (does he even have one?) I wouldn't be too thrilled with it. But, this is Hughes raw and pretty much the way we all saw him on TUF 6. This audio is a good illustration of why fans either love Hughes or hate him. Either way, I don't think he particularly cares.

Again, click here for all of the audio.

Posted by at 8:43 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 15, 2007

HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon takes place tonight

If you've got the dish, you probably get HDNet. If you're an MMA fan, tonight HDNet is airing HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon, live from Dallas. The card has some familiar names including the hilarious Jason "Mayhem" Miller as well as Frank Trigg in two middleweight fights. Other fighters include lightweight Yves Edwards and welterweight Pete Spratt.

Mark Cuban appears serious about his foray into MMA, so check out the event tonight if you have a chance.

For more details go to HDNet Fights' Web site.

Posted by at 3:07 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 12, 2007

WEC holds promising card tonight

A few days after Zuffa's crown jewel UFC held an entertaining TUF 6 finale card, the company's younger sibling promotion, WEC, holds what looks to be a very promising card of its own tonight. The main card features three title fights and the WEC debut of former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver. MMA fans will also be happy to know that the event is being televised live on the basic cable network Versus beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

MMA Madness has the card covered from every angle. Associate Editor Brad McCray has a preview of the event here. McCray also conducted an interview with featherweight champ Urijah Faber (read here) as well as his challenger, Jeff Curran (read here.) In addition, McCray interviewed Chael Sonnen (click here for the story), who will be challenging champ Paulo Filho for the WEC middleweight title.

MMA Madness Senior Writer Jeff Hamlin has a piece on Pulver's WEC debut and BJ Penn's role in his fresh start, which you can read here

For the full card, go to WEC's Web site.

Posted by at 8:13 AM | | Comments (0)
        

December 11, 2007

Sherk stripped of UFC lightweight title

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) reduced UFC lightweight champ Sean Sherk's suspension for a positive Nandrolone test to six months last week. However, because the ruling maintained Sherk's guilt, the UFC has decided to strip Sherk of his title, according to UFC.com.

The UFC 80 match up between BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will now be for the lightweight title and Sherk will face the winner of that bout, according to the report.

Sherk's suspension ends January 2008.

The UFC's announcement brings closure to a matter that has lingered for five months now and has tied up the lightweight belt during that time. UFC president Dana White appears to have been patient and fair and the decision to strip the title from his friend, Sherk, is the right one. It will be nice to start the new year without the cloud that has hung over the division for the second half of 2007. It will also be nice to have the ownership of the belt once again decided inside the Octagon, rather than inside a boardroom.

From Sherk's perspective, the positive test result is now essentially behind him. After January he will have served his punishment and he too can move on. Given the fact that White continues to maintain that he believes Sherk's side of the story and the fact that he is giving Sherk a title shot so soon, there doesn't appear to be much long-term damage to Sherk's image within the company. The real question is how will fans react to Sherk when he enters the Octagon for his next match? And, will the "Muscle Shark" consider adopting a new nickname?

Posted by at 9:05 AM | | Comments (4)
        

December 10, 2007

Quinton Jackson, Forrest Griffin confirmed as TUF 7 coaches

As expected, UFC president Dana White announced on the 2007 Spike VGA show last night that Quinton Jackson will join Forrest Griffin as a coach of TUF 7. The two will then fight for Jackson's light heavyweight crown at the conclusion of the TUF 7 season.

As I stated yesterday, this is great news for TUF.

However, this announcement also continues a disturbing trend whereby title matches in the UFC are becoming less and less frequent. Jackson last defended the belt in September at UFC 75. Based on what we know, the title defense against Griffin probably won't occur until June 2008 or so. This means a nine-month lag between title defenses.

By my count, there were two scheduled heavyweight defenses this year; two scheduled light heavyweight defenses; three scheduled middleweight defenses (one of which ended up being a non-title fight because Travis Lutter couldn't make weight); two scheduled welterweight defenses (one of which won't happen because of Matt Serra's injury); and one scheduled lightweight defense (hampered by Sean Sherk's steroid controversy.)

In other words, each division had on average two defenses. This is not enough. Three defenses per weight class is ideal. But, it looks like UFC is moving more and more toward a boxing model in terms of the frequency of title fights. Subsequently, fewer and fewer cards will have title matches on them.

Combine that with more and more UFC cards on the schedule and the percentage of fights that are title fights is going down dramatically. Maybe the UFC has enough depth to sustain this trend. We'll have to see.

This announcement also marks the second straight season in which the show is being used to build up a title fight. I can understand that UFC is eager to use its popular basic cable show as a vehicle to build up marquee fighters and fights. However, it also artificially pushes out the title schedule as mentioned above. 

What would be really nice to see would be a "24/7"-type one-month buildup for marquee UFC fights, similar to HBO's buildups for boxing matches.

Posted by at 3:42 PM | | Comments (7)
        

December 9, 2007

TUF 6 Recap: Will Quinton Jackson be the other TUF 7 coach?

At the end of last night's TUF 6 Finale telecast, Dana White announced that Forrest Griffin will be one of the coaches on TUF 7. He also dropped some knowledge on us by stating that Griffin is the number one contender in the light heavyweight division. And, White said that Griffin will be fighting the opposing coach at the end of TUF 7.

Combine that information with a promo for tonight's 2007 Video Game Awards on Spike TV (where the other coach will be announced) that showed Quinton Jackson at that show and I believe the logical conclusion is that Rampage will be announced as the other TUF 7 coach tonight.

If so, it's a great choice. Both coaches are great choices, in fact. Both have personality and both have proven themselves as fighters in the best sense of the term. I'd tune in just to watch them. It looks like Griffin's star continues to rise. While I'm not sure if he's ready for a title shot, at this point, what's the harm in giving him one? We know that he'll put on a good show and with his heart, I wouldn't count him out.

TUF 6 Finale Recap

Last night, Mac Danzig claimed what many thought would be his all along -- the TUF 6 crown. He schooled Tommy Speer much the same way he schooled all his other opponents. Danzig then announced he'll be dropping down to lightweight. He brings an impressive array of skills to the Octagon and defeated fighters who were bigger than him on the show. Look for him to be a force in the lightweight division.

In the main event, Roger Huerta impressed me with his courage in gutting out a rear naked choke victory over Clay Guida. Guida had dominated the first two rounds by dominating the ground game and had almost finished the fight at the end of the second round. Somehow, Huerta survived the onslaught and came back strong in the third round, placing a knee to Guida's chin that pretty much spelled defeat for "The Carpenter." Huerta continues to win very entertaining fights and this was a tremendous victory for him.

In some of the other fights, George Sotiropoulos won by rear naked choke over Billy Miles and Matt Arroyo was impressive in defeating John Kolosci by armbar.

Also, John Koppenhaver won a battle over Jared Rollins in a fight that was similar in intensity and action to the main event fight. Moments before Koppenhaver ended it by TKO, it looked as though Rollins was about to win by TKO himself.

Odds and ends

- With the conclusion of TUF 6, here's how I rank the top 4 for the season:

1) Mac Danzig

2) George Sotiropoulos

3) Matt Arroyo

4) Tommy Speer

- I went 2-1 with my predictions last night, bringing my total count over the last couple of months to 13-4.

- Check out Spike TV tonight at 9 PM ET to find out who the other TUF 7 coach really is.

Posted by at 12:01 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 8, 2007

MMA (and some boxing) news from this week

- Sean Sherk's suspension for testing positive for steroids in his UFC 73 title defense against Hermes Franca was reduced to six months this past week. Sherk will be eligible to return from his suspension in January. Sherk was still found guilty by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for the positive test. No word from UFC as to what happens to Sherk's title or if the UFC 81 fight between BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will remain an interim title matchup.

- Legendary MMA referee "Big" John McCarthy announced his retirement from refereeing yesterday at a press conference. McCarthy will now be in a full-time role as an analyst with The Fight Network.

- Tonight, Spike TV will be airing The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale starting at 9 p.m. The main event is a fight featuring lightweights Roger Huerta and Clay Guida. Huerta is getting most of the hype, but I like Guida in this one.

The other featured fight will be the one to determine the winner of TUF 6 and pits Mac Danzig against Tommy Speer. This is a matchup of Danzig's all-around skill against Speer's strength. I'm picking Danzig to win. 

A third fight I'm keen on is George Sotiropoulos vs. Billy Miles. I thought Sotiropoulos would be fighting Danzig for the TUF 6 title so I'm curious to see how he comes back from his semifinal loss to Speer against a fighter, Miles, who presents a lot of the same matchup issues. I like Sotiropoulos to come out victorious. He was affected by the eye poke against Speer and I think he's had time to formulate a game plan against Miles.

Click here for the entire TUF 6 Finale card.

- Also, many of you are aware of the big boxing match tonight between the two undefeated fighters, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ricky Hatton, which will be broadcast on HBO pay-per-view. I was hooked on the Mayweather-Hatton 24/7 reality series on HBO leading up to this fight, but I won't be watching the fight tonight. Why? As much as I loved the pre-fight buildup (which is something I think MMA can learn from), I just have a jaded outlook on boxing. I don't trust that the fight itself will deliver the way a MMA fight can. And, I don't even know who else is on the card, which makes it main event or bust. I'm not willing to pay at least $55 for that...

Posted by at 12:25 PM | | Comments (1)
        

December 6, 2007

TUF 6: Final match is set

By now you probably know that this Saturday's TUF 6 final match has been set. Mac Danzig will face Tommy Speer for the crown and the guaranteed UFC contract.

Wednesday night's final TUF 6 episode offered viewers a nice respite from the usual TUF house hijinx since both semifinal matches aired on the same show. The only real controversy involved Danzig's original opponent, Matt Arroyo, who decided to pull out because of a cracked rib.

I've never suffered a rib injury, but from everything I've heard and read, it's extremely painful and very difficult to ignore. If Arroyo felt as discomforted as he says he did, I certainly can't blame him for making the right long-term choice. He had already earned a spot as one of the top four TUF contestants for the season and while a victory over Danzig would have been huge, the likelihood of that happening with the injury and without 100% confidence in himself would have been slim.

Richie Hightower continued through the end to make me wonder why he was even on the show. I don't know if he was a victim of selective Spike editing, but his image was battered by the narrative told throughout the season. The last episode was no exception. Presented with an opportunity to make a name for himself and step in for Arroyo, Hightower balked.

Hightower claimed that cutting weight was his main concern, but if he had prepared the entire six weeks as if a fight was always potentially around the corner (instead of taking upper deckers), he wouldn't have found himself in that position. It's also possible he wanted nothing to do with Danzig.

Either way, John Kolosci stepped in and at least tried his best. Kolosci, of course, ended up losing to Danzig for a second time by rear naked choke.

The other semifinal fight wasn't without a little controversy either. Tommy Speer caught George Sotiropoulos with a finger to his left eye. Soon after returning to action, Speer caught Sotiropoulos with a couple of right hands and the second one floored the Australian. Speer finished the job on the ground to earn the first-round TKO victory.

Speer's victory was an upset for sure. Did the eye poke affect the outcome? It's definitely possible -- after all, the punches that rocked Sotiropoulos came on his affected side. Still, Speer's strength can't be discounted and even before the eye poke, he was holding his own.

The final fight between Danzig and Speer should be a good one. It's power vs. skill and interestingly enough Team Hughes vs. Team Hughes. Unfortunately for Matt Serra, that means December will be a month to forget.

Posted by at 6:34 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 4, 2007

What Sammy Vasquez's death means to MMA

Why the mainstream media got this one right

By now, many of you are probably aware of the death of 35-year-old Sammy Vasquez. As reported by The Fight Network on Saturday, Vasquez succumbed after having spent about a month-and-a-half in the hospital following an Oct. 20 knockout loss in a Renegades Extremes Fighting bout in Houston.

Vasquez's death is the first documented MMA death in a sanctioned event in this country. And, interestingly enough, the only real reaction to it has come from the MMA blogosphere.

In mainstream circles, the AP put out a piece on Vasquez's death yesterday. The UPI and the Houston Chronicle also did stories. But, if you type "Sammy Vasquez" or "MMA death" in Google News, there are surprisingly few mainstream media stories that come up.

Luke O'Brien of SI.com (who I also write for, as a matter of full disclosure) did a well-balanced piece about the death in which he asked a number of questions. Some of the questions are fair ones, but it is safe to say -- now three days after Vasquez's death -- that some of his gloom-and-doom predictions, along with others made throughout the blogosphere, appear to have not materialized.

Which is why I say: The mainstream media got this story right.

From everything I have read about the fight, the events leading up to it seem to have followed standard operating procedures for a sanctioned MMA event. From eyewitnesses who have recounted their stories in other articles, the fight itself didn't seem extraordinary in brutality or otherwise. There are also no accounts claiming the ref waited too long to stop the fight.

There is also no evidence on the table that suggests there was inadequate medical attention at the arena or subsequent to that.

In other words, Vasquez's death is a tremendous tragedy -- but, from all the information available in the public realm, it appears to be a tremendous personal tragedy and not an indictment on the sport of MMA.

So the mainstream media got it right. For one thing, there haven't been any fresh calls for banning the sport. In fact, I would have to say the coverage has been a little too muted. Has the education of the mainstream casual fan been so good that they not only expected a death to eventually occur, but they were able to brush it off as simply one of the hazards of the job?

Possibly, but maybe a better explanation is that as far as MMA deaths go, this one was the best-case scenario for not hurting the credibility of the sport. Why? There are two reasons: 1) The fighter involved was not a UFC fighter, the event was not a UFC event and therefore the event itself hardly even registered in the mainstream consciousness; and 2) The death not only occurred outside the cage, it occurred almost two months after the fight.

In other words, had this been Tito Ortiz dying in the middle of the Octagon, the cries from mainstream media and casual fans may have been much harsher and much louder (and possibly hypocritical when compared to the reaction toward Vasquez's death). But, would they be any more justified? Maybe, depending on the circumstances of that hypothetical death.

The reality, however, is that death is a hazard in any athletic (really, any life) event. Sports fans remember the death of Hank Gathers, the college basketball player, and the paralysis of Mike Utley, the Detroit Lions football player. There are numerous instances of boxers dying after boxing matches. And, hockey fans remember goalie Clint Malarchuk's throat being slit by a skate during an NHL game in 1989.

In fact, running is a dangerous endeavor too. Top marathoner Ryan Shay, only 28, died just a month ago today in the U.S. Olympic trials.

The bottom line is that even when all intentions are proper and procedures are as tightly monitored as possible, people can die or suffer serious injury in competition. Sometimes these deaths occur due to pre-existing medical conditions. And, sometimes they occur as a byproduct of the sport.

Why should MMA be treated any differently than these other sports? The only real difference lies in perception and in the fact that we've grown up with boxing, football, hockey, basketball, and even marathon running. On the other hand, for many adults, MMA is new and something that for a long time has been considered "low brow" in polite circles.

Still, MMA must deal with relevant issues that have come out of this tragedy. A big one is appropriate health insurance for fighters. Another one is appropriate life insurance for families of those who die in the cage. But, these are not issues special to MMA -- all sports deal with them, including the NFL, which has received criticism for its treatment of retired players.

If there is a silver lining to Vasquez's death, it may be that even with the increased mainstream exposure and increased scrutiny of MMA by the public, there hasn't been an avalanche of condemnation toward the sport since his death. It appears that mainstream circles get it -- there are no deep indictments to be made against MMA based on this now-singular occurrence.

And, the good thing about that is we can focus on the more important story here -- the celebration of the life of Vasquez, who apparently died pursuing a dream.

Posted by at 7:11 PM | | Comments (4)
        

December 2, 2007

Did Randy Couture lose the PR war against UFC?

As many of you may recall, on October 11, Randy Couture abruptly "resigned" from his contract with the UFC via a faxed letter. Initially, it appeared that Couture felt that since the UFC had been unable to procure the services of Fedor Emelianenko, there were no longer any challenges left for him inside the Octagon.

Two weeks later (on October 25), however, Couture conducted a press conference in which it became evident that his real reason for leaving was a perceived lack of respect from the UFC, especially in the financial department. Couture made a number of claims about his signing bonus when he returned to the UFC this year as well as his pay-per-view cuts from his two fights in 2007. Couture, a popular figure among MMA fans, was widely backed by a fan base that is also skeptical of UFC President Dana White.

Five days after Couture's press conference, the UFC responded. UFC trotted out not only White, but co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and CFO John Mulkey as well. The promotion refuted almost everything Couture alleged and did the most damage by providing hard evidence to back its claims. And from what has happened since, it appears the UFC delivered the knockout blow in the court of public opinion.

Since then, Couture has gone silent. There was no response to the UFC's press conference. Public sentiment quickly changed in favor of the UFC. Recently, in fact, we've heard from White that he and Couture will be discussing bringing the heavyweight champ back into the fold.

Without a doubt, this entire sequence of events was a PR disaster for Couture. His silence since the press conference is all the evidence one needs to understand this. What's unfortunate is that everything that happened was of Couture's own doing. This maelstrom was started by him and done in a very public manner. It was an elective procedure on his part. And, apparently, not very well thought out.

I don't know who, if anyone, in the Couture camp OK'ed his initial moves, but Couture desperately needs better PR advice. While the UFC gained credibility, Couture ended up looking very silly.

In the end, this was less of a war and more of a skirmish. The UFC brought out the big guns in its October 30 press conference. But, that may not have been necessary because it turns out Couture had very little ammunition of his own.

Posted by at 12:51 PM | | Comments (0)
        

December 1, 2007

Top 5 TUF light heavyweight rankings

Over at SI.com, I have a new article where I take a look at the top 5 light heavyweights to come out of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. So far, more than any other division, the light heavyweight division has benefited the most from the show. I count at least six former TUF light heavyweight fighters who are doing pretty well in the UFC.

To find out which fighters made my top 5 and how I ranked them, click here.

Posted by at 11:39 AM | | Comments (2)
        
Keep reading
Recent entries
Archives
Categories
About the blogger
Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Poll
Sign up for FREE local sports alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local sports text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Categories
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected