Weekend At Jarry’s

When it comes to the world of combat sports weekend is king. In other words, promoters usually book their big matches/fights on the weekend. Makes sense.

Boxing/MMA usually happen on Saturday nights while wrestling holds their monthly extravaganzas on Sunday nights.

However, just once, JUST ONCE, I would love to see them flip-flop so we can watch Wrestlemania, for example, on a Saturday night. How cool would that be? (What? You couldn’t care less? Bullocks.)

So, what is the point of this post, you ask? Well, every Monday we’ll recap the weekend that was in the world of combat sports. Think of it as the cliff notes version of everything that went down in our world. Now YOU will rule the watercooler.

I know we are not a news site and have no aspirations to become one but I think this weekly post just makes sense.

Ok, enough chatter, let’s get right to it:

Boxing:

* Undefeated WBO Super Featherweight champ, Joan Guzman (28-0, 17 KOs), defeated hard-hitting Humberto Soto (43-6-2) via unanimous decision at The Borgata on Saturday night. The loss marked Soto’s first in five years or 22 fights. Whichever way you want to look at it…that’s a long time. Could Manny Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Marquez be next for Guzman? One should hope so.

* NABO Bantamweight champion, Abner Mares (15-0, 9 KOs) looked dominant in a victory over Damian Marchiano (14-3-1, 5 KOs). Mares, a 2004 Mexican Olympian, should be in line for a world title shot sooner rather than later.

* In Germany, Alexander Dimitrenko (27-0, 17 KOs) won via TKO in the 12th round over Timo Hoffman (36-6-1, 20 KOs) to retain his WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight title in a fight (according to those who saw it) which was the best of the weekend.

* Mayweather-Hatton 24/7 debuted last night on HBO and, boy, was it amazing. I strongly feel that this one will be better than the last. Hatton and Mayweather are such polar opposites it just makes for great television.

MMA:

* UFC 78 made their first appearance at the Prudential Center in New Jersey and, well, it wasn’t a strong first impression. Rashad Evans won a split decision over Michael Bisping, Thiago Silva schooled Houston Alexander and Karo Parisyan did just enough to get past Ryo Chonan. Elsewhere, Joe Lauzon and Frankie Edgar continued to look great.

* Dana White announced that Dan Henderson will finally move down to 185 lbs to challenge Anderson Silva for his Middleweight title at UFC 82 in March. Can’t wait for that one.

* Strikeforce held a four-man Middleweight tournament won by Jorge Santiago. What this means for Mr. Santiago I’m not quite sure.

* Sean Salmon appears to be doing just fine after suffering an apparent seizure after getting knocked out by Santiago with a flying knee less than a minute into their bout.

*Following Cung Le’s victory over Sammy Morgan Mr. Friday Night, Frank Shamrock, pretty much challenged him to a fight although who knows if that will ever see the light of day.

Wrestling:

* While not what it used to be, WWE Survivor Series was still a great event. The big news was that Randy Orton retained his title against HBK and Batista, thanks to a returning Edge, defeated the Undertaker to keep his Heavyweight title. The lone “traditional Survivor Series match” had HHH and Jeff Hardy remain as the sole survivors.

* Chris Jericho returned from his two year wrestling hiatus on Monday Night Raw. Welcome back Y2J.

* “Rowdy” Roddy Piper disappeared from an Indy Show in Marion, IN. Piper was supposed to host an edition of “Piper’s Pit.” How great were those back in the day? Let’s take a trip down memory by looking at one of the greatest moments in “Piper’s Pit” history: The day jobber Frankie Williams went toe-to-toe with Hot Rod.

And now you are officially caught up. Please tell us what you thought of the weekend in the comments section below.

Miss anything big? Want us to cover your event? Drop us a line at tips@jarrypark.com.

Sorting Out UFC 78

Despite the fact that I was left a little underwhelmed with UFC 78 there was still tons of news to discuss. Such as:

* Is Rashad Evans ready for a shot at Rampage Jackson?

* Should Michael Bisping listen to everyone and move down to 185 lbs?

* How fast can Houston Alexander learn some Jiu Jitsu?

* Why is Karo Parisyan so annoying? (Just kidding…I love Karo)

To answer these questions I invited our good friend bloodyelbow.com‘s Editor-in-Chief, Luke Thomas, to help sort everything out from the weekend that was.

In addition to discussing the Nightmare in Newark (stretch?), Thomas and I discussed the this weekend’s Strikeforce event, Hendo vs. Silva and who should really Fedor fight next (hint: it’s not Hong-Man Choi)


Luke Thomas – 11/19/07

This Week’s Probables

A look at the week to come at Jarry Park…

– We teased this last week and for a while things looked bleak but, yes, legendary boxing trainer, Manny Steward, will join us to clear the air on his departure from Team Taylor. This one should be interesting.

– Bloodyelbow.com Editor-in-Chief, Luke Thomas, will stop by to break down UFC 78, where the main fighters go from here and Dana White’s announcement that Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva will defend his title against Dan Henderson in March. (I wonder if that fight will be billed as a unification bout or has Pride officially been erased for good?)

– Ring of Honor star, Larry Sweeney, will grace us with his Sweet ‘n Sour presence to discuss life on the Indy wrestling scene and if he has any aspirations of becoming the next ROH star to defect to WWE or TNA.

– Oscar De La Hoya will join Team Mayweather (Roger Mayweather & Leonard Ellerbe) and Team Hatton (Billy Graham & Kerry Kayes) on a conference call to hype Mayweather vs. Hatton on 12/8 and The Park will be there to cover it.

– MMA superagent, Ken Pavia, will talk about how he got into the fight game, his growing list of clients and whether Sean Salmon (a client of his) should ever fight again. (Salmon suffered an apparent seizure following a knockout by Yuki Sasaki at the Strikeforce show on Friday but appears to be fine.)

– A lot more is in the works but that’s all I want to announce for now…cool?

Finally, I am very excited to report that I will be a guest on the Fight Network radio program on Sirius Channel 186 this Thursday at approximately 3:10 p.m. EST. This is a tremendous honor for me as I am a huge admirer of all things Fight Network (including the great Live Audio Wrestling show). Truth be told, absolutely no one covers the combat sports world like they do and I can’t think of any better way of spending Thanksgiving than with Mauro Ranallo and John Pollock.

UFC 78 Validated Nothing

A couple of days ago I proclaimed that “UFC 78 Is Really Not That Bad.” I would now like to retract that statement.

Remember after Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock put up a stinker at UFC 61 and Dana White ran around telling anyone that he was embarrassed and wanted to reward his fans with a free rematch? Well, I wonder what kind of present he will offer his fans this time around.

However, nothing short of Fedor vs. Randy will be enough to repay those that dropped $40 to watch this card.

Listen, I am the first to admit that the UFC should not be faulted when fights don’t live up to the hype. The problem was this card had no hype surrounding it and it still came out flat. A lot of fans thought that there were some potential candidates for MOY on the undercard and that was their only saving grace. Sadly, those failed to deliver too.

So, what can be learned from UFC 78? Here’s a nice little list:

– Akihiro Gono represented the late, great Pride FC quiet well. While his opponent, Tamdan McCrory, had way less experience than him Gono proved that he will soon be a force to be reckoned in the Welterweight division.

– Joe Lauzon + BJ Penn = One spectacular fighter. I love watching J-Lau fight and his decision to move to Hawaii to train under Penn will only make him that much better. However, seeing them together got me thinking: If Penn defeats Stevenson in January and Lauzon continues to roll what will happen when they ultimately have to face each other?

– Maybe Bas Rutten is right. Maybe elbows should be illegal after all. This is the second week in a row that a great fight was stopped due elbows. It’s a real shame since Chris Lytle and Thiago Silva were having a wonderful battle.

– Edgar vs. Fisher didn’t live up to the hype. It was one of the most exciting fight of the night (not saying much) but I was expecting a hell of a lot more. That said, Edgar’s takedowns were tremendous and Fisher proved to be no match for the hometown kid.

– Ed Herman and Joe Doerksen did have the match of the night. Great KO by Herman and much respect to Doerksen for taking the fight on short notice. Herman should be thanking his lucky little stars he survived that triangle choke at the end of second round.

– Karo Parisyan booooores me. He can’t finish fights and seems to do just enough to win them. That certainly takes talent but I am sick of the monotony of his bouts. Plus, I simply can’t root for someone who says things like “I ain’t losing to a Japanese guy.”

– Thiago Silva exposed Houston Alexander. Obviously, that is understatement of the year but, damn, who would have thought Alexander’s ground skills were so weak. The cheers for Alexander when he first walked out were as loud as anyones so here’s hoping the Nebaraska-native comes back stronger than ever…and learns some Jiu Jitsu.

– Evans vs. Bisping proved absolutely nothing (except for the fact that they should only be headlining Spike TV events for the time being). Both guys fought hard but the fight simply didn’t feel like a main event. Anyone who thinks Evans is one of the top 5 Light Heavyweights in the world is insane and Bisping needs to drop down to 185 lbs. When the fight was over part of me didn’t want to leave the arena because I felt like the real main event was coming up. But, alas, it was not meant to be.

– On a positive note, the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ was really nice and until MMA is sanctioned in New York I expect the UFC to return quite frequently.

I hate to be so negative. I really do. But I can’t help it this time around – UFC 78 was a major letdown.

Plenty more UFC 78 coverage tomorrow on JarryPark.com as we invite bloodyelbow.com‘s, Luke Thomas, to break it all down like only he can.

Remembering The Greatness That Was The Survivor Series


This Sunday, World Wrestling Entertainment presents the 21st Survivor Series. When WWE (then known as WWF) only ran four pay-per-views a year this one used to be my favorite. Something about it being held on a Thursday, the Thanksgiving theme and team format always made it fun to watch.

Sadly, the event has completely lost its luster simply because there are usually only a couple traditional Survivor Series elimination matches on the card (right now there is only one). Wasn’t that the whole appeal of the event to begin with! WWE runs 12-14 PPVs a year so why not make one a little different?

Anyhow, since Jarry Park specializes in bringing you enlightening combat sports interviews I thought it would be interesting to showcase some classic SS interviews. These are all great because they feature some of the best talkers in the business.

So, enjoy Jarry Park’s top three Survivor Series promos (also known as the best three I could find videos for)…just for old time’s sake:

3. 1993 Survivor Series – Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart before their ‘Family Feud’ Match (watch out for the late Ray Combs):

2. 1988 Survivor Series – Andre The Giant and Jake “the Snake” Roberts. No doubt Roberts is a troubled soul but his work on the mic is legendary (gotta love Andre referring to Tito Santana as “Frito”):

1. 1993 Survivor Series – Jim Cornette explaining how his team, The Foreign Fanatics (Quebecer Jacques, Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga and Crush), will destroy their opponents, The All-Americans (Lex Luger, The Steiner Bros. and The Undertaker). Cornette is still one of the greatest in the game:

Bernard Hopkins Is Pissed Off

Days before the UFC makes its return to New Jersey for the first time in over two years, the New Jersey Athletic Control Board rocked the combat sports world in announcing the firing of well-respected commissioner, Larry Hazard, effective immediately.

The 62-year-old Hazzard, who has worked as commissioner since 1985, was let go by Attorney General Anne Milgrim late Wednesday night. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Hazzard claims he was fired because he decided to write a letter to New Jersey Governor, Joe Corzine, complaining about some of the people working under him. He was upset over someone on the Board sanctioning MMA mismatches, clearing a fighter that had not proved he was HIV negative and allowing promoters to look for doctors who would clear questionable fighters. I guess his “complaints” (the nerve, eh?) pissed off Attorney General Milgrim.

Speaking of pissed off, Golden Boy Promotions East president, Bernard Hopkins is just that. Moments ago he released this letter to the press:

I am shocked and appalled at the decision by the New Jersey States Attorney General Anne Milgram and her office to dismiss Larry Hazzard from his services as longstanding head of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission. I am standing up to renounce this decision and I encourage all members of the boxing community—fighters, trainers, judges, promoters, commissioners, television networks, and the media—to join me in protesting this decision.

What’s most disturbing is that they not only did they do this the same day he buried his 41-year old nephew, but they also admitted that “Commissioner Hazzard did nothing wrong. It was just time for a change.” (Atlantic City Press, Nov. 16.) This might be a change that they needed but it is certainly not a change that boxing needs. We were just fine with Larry Hazzard as a leader in our sport.

Larry Hazzard for the past 22 years has run one of, if not the most, efficient and ethical Commissions in boxing. From a fighter’s viewpoint, he championed safety and welfare for all of us, whether we were champions or just four-round fighter. He was always looking to improve the sport and never feared speaking his mind for the greater good of boxing.

The bigger question here, and as far as I know, Ms. Milgram did not consult anyone within the boxing community to get opinions to base her decision on. Boxing is a difficult sport anyway and how are they going to be able to replace Larry Hazzard with someone who is as competent as he is? I have to use the old saying here, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Please join me in expressing your outrage by contacting the State’s Attorney General’s office. You can write to 25 Market Street, Trenton, NJ, 08625-0080 or call 609-292-4925 or send an email to http://www.nj.gov/oag/offices.htm .

Thank you,
Bernard Hopkins
Light Heavyweight Champion of the World

It’s going to be very interesting to see how many other big names from the worlds of boxing and MMA speak up against Hazzard’s firing. Hazzard was very instrumental in breathing new life into the UFC after Zuffa purchased the dying promotion in 2001 and I wonder if Dana & Co. will have anything to say about his dismisal since they are, you know, in New Jersey right now for UFC 78. Thus far, I have heard nothing.

Will HDNet Fights Soon Become A Force To Be Reckoned With?

HDNet Fights‘ first foray into the world of Mixed Martial Arts was, well, a mixed bag.

Their 10/13 card was put together on very short notice (described as a “trial run”) and while some of the fights were certainly entertaining it is believed that their upcoming show on December 15 will be the true test as to how good this promotion can and will be.

Needless to say, this card is a major improvement from their last one. The promotion, which is owned by Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, held a conference call to announce the entire 12/15 card and introduce some of their newest acquisitions – Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Sean Salmon, Frank Trigg and Edwin Dewees.

The main fights on the card include:

Middleweight:
Jason “Mayhem” Miller (19-5-0) vs. Sean Salmon (14-4-0)

Middleweight:
Frank Trigg (15-6-0) vs. Edwin Dewees (34-10-0)

Lightweight:
Yves Edwards (30-13-1) vs. Alonzo Martinez (20-8-0)

Welterweight:
Pete Spratt (16-10-0) vs. Tristan Yunker (11-6-0)

Some notes from the call:

– There will be 22-24 shows in 2008; three in Dallas and the rest will be held throughout the country.

– Recent signees Jason Miller and Frank Trigg have both signed a three-fight non-exclusive contract with the promotion.

– They are working very hard to getting HDNet on as many major cable platforms as possible.

– They are interested in signing guys like Ken Shamrock but are very cautious as to how the spend their money.

– No plans to crown any champions…yet. Commissioner Guy Mezger is not a fan of all the belts in MMA and you know what? Neither am I.

– No word on why they chose such a horrible name for the promotion, though.

In any event, I am really looking forward to this card. “Mayhem” Miller is one of the most entertaining fighters in the game and it will be interesting to see how much “Twinkle Toes” Trigg has left in the tank.

While the jury is still out on how good HDNet Fights will be I have a weird feeling that of all the new promotions out there these guys may be in the best position. Why? Two words. Mark. Cuban.

Below is the audio of conference call.


HDNet Fights Press Conference

Between Rounds With…Ania

ania4.jpgWe interrupt your reading to bring you Ania – our latest guest on Between Rounds.

Each week, we’ll interview one of The Platinum Agency‘s models about the fight game to give our readers a different perspective on the world we love so much.

Be sure to visit The Platinum Agency for all your modeling needs. They are the best in the business.

Check out Between Rounds with Ania.

John Kolosci Doesn’t Fear Mac (The Knife)

Despite his loss to Mac Danzig on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs Team Serra, John Kolosci deserves all the credit in the world.

Clearly, Danzig is the best and most experienced fighter in the house. However, his past MMA triumphs didn’t faze the Indiana-native as Kolosci requested to fight Danzig.

Unfortunately for Kolosci, the fight didn’t go as planned and while he appears to have a bright MMA future ahead of him he hopes to someday get another shot at Danzig.

In the meantime, Kolosci will continue working at his job as a Supervisor of Enterprise Computing Services (Microsoft & Citrix Server Team) for a large health care organization while focusing on his goal to someday get signed by the UFC. Apparently, Luke Cummo and Joe Lauzon have created a computer-geek MMA revolution and I’m all for it.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Kolosci about his loss to Danzig, his experience on the show and his MMA future.


John Kolosci – 11/15/07

Kurt Angle Is Coming To HDNet’s ‘Inside MMA’

Friend of JarryPark.com, TNA Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle, will appear on HDNet’s Inside MMA, this Friday, November 16 at 9:30 p.m. & 1:30 a.m ET only on HDNet.

Inside MMA is a new weekly series covering the latest news, rankings, stats and highlights from the world of Mixed Martial Arts. If you haven’t checked out the show you must do so pronto. Great discussions, great guests and Bas Rutten. What more can MMA fan ask for?

Angle will discuss the week that was in the world of MMA as well as his future in the sport.

Angle was a guest on JarryPark.com in an interview that seemingly rocked the wrestling world. He spoke candidly on his MMA future, TNA and a whole host of other subjects.

In case you missed it, here it is again:


Kurt Angle – 10/22/07