Getting started ahead of UFC 84
My name is Mark Chalifoux and I have been covering fighting since its inception (Adam vs. Eve, Battle of the Sexes 1. Adam won by TKO strikes at :34 in the first round). OK, so I just lied in my first sentence on this blog.
Instead of lame jokes, I will try to give you the bare essentials. The first mixed martial arts fight I actually covered was UFC 68 in Columbus, Ohio (I’m based in Cincinnati). I had some experience in MMA before that night but it was that event that got me hooked. I’ve been in the sports media business for a number of years and have written for The Athens News, ESPN.com, SI.com, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Chalifoux Family Christmas Newsletter.
My goal for this blog is to keep you updated on the world of mixed martial arts through a variety of different features, many of which will be works in progress. In addition to staying on top of MMA news, I hope to have a number of colorful and entertaining Q&As and cover some of the more unique aspects of the sport, all without being overly pretentious (and scaring away the newer fans to the sport). If there are any stories you want me to look into or fighters you want me to add to the interview queue, drop me an email at email@example.com.
We will get rolling more in-depth next week, but in the meantime, a few things to keep an eye on.
UFC 84 is this Saturday. It’s a stacked card with three huge fights: B.J. Penn vs. Sean Sherk, Tito Ortiz vs. Lyoto Machida, and Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a nice panel discussion on the three big fights.
For the money (I think they give out money for random fight predictions, right?), go with Penn, Machida and Silva. The story lines in a nutshell are as follows:
Mark Coleman is out of UFC 87. He was slated to fight Brock Lesnar but a knee injury forced the UFC to find Lesnar a new opponent. The card was upgraded with a main event title fight though, as UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre will take on Jon Fitch. Read more here from UFC.com.
EliteXC is scrambling to keep the spotlight this weekend. The UFC has a stacked card so any real MMA fan will be fully focused on UFC 84 but EliteXC is doing a fine job of keeping its May 31 event in the headlines. We’ll get to some of the comments made at the news conference next week, but for now, check out Dan LeBatard’s profile of Kimbo Slice.
Affliction is on the scene with a big fight coming up July 19, with former Pride heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia headlining its debut show.
People have tried to tell me Emelianenko is the best fighter in the world. He used to be but isn’t anymore. Fedor hasn’t fought a worthy opponent in a long time and Sylvia will beat him in July.