JarryPark’s 15 Moments Of ’07 – #12: Here Comes The Pain

For the next couple of weeks, JarryPark.com will countdown the 15 most memorable combat sports moments of 2007. Some will be positive while others will be negative. Some will have happened in a ring or cage while others on the outside. Every day, we’ll feature a single moment as we bid adieu to ‘07. As we present each moment, feel free to agree or disagree with any of our selections in the comments section below.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we chose fifteen the answer is quite simple: You take the “7″ from ‘07 and the “8″ from ‘08, add them together and you get 15. Duh. To see the rest of the countdown click here.

#12: Here Comes the Pain
What: Former WWE champion Brock Lesnar makes his MMA debut
Where: Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA
When: June 2, 2007

What a sight it was for pro wrestling fans to finally see the man once dubbed as “The Next Big Thing” in World Wrestling Entertainment make his MMA debut. Sure, he fought on the K1 Hero’s Dynamite!! USA show which will go down as one of the most flawed MMA cards in history. Sure, his opponent, Min Soo Kim, took the fight on one week’s notice and showed no real interest in putting up a fight against the former NCAA champion. But, regardless, on June 2, 2007, Lesnar officially became the first major North American wrestling star to make the transition into MMA (Ken Shamrock went from MMA to wrestling then back to MMA) and has since been signed by the UFC.

Lesnar will make his Octagon debut against former UFC Heavyweight champion, Frank Mir, at UFC 81 on 2/2/08. A curious matchup simply because Mir is an accomplished MMA fighter and Lesnar, well, not-so-much. That said, I think it’s brilliant match-making on the part of the UFC. If Lesnar wins, well then, he just beat a former UFC champ. And if he loses the promotion can always say there is no shame in losing to a former title-holder. Heaven forbid he would lose to a no-name fighter. Then the UFC’s million dollar gamble would prove to be a million dollar bust. One thing’s for sure: We can expect his match against Mir to last longer than the minute and nine seconds it took for him to dismantle Kim. But we have several weeks to dissect Lesnar vs. Mir. For now, let us remember 2007 as the year “The Next Big Thing” arrived in “The Next Big Sport.”

Further Enlightenment:
The MMA Education Of Brock Lesnar [Sherdog]
The Big Debut [Yahoo! Sport]
The Day After: Brock Lesnar’s MMA Debut [411 Mania]

JarryPark’s 15 Moments Of ’07 – #13: Mark Cuban Joins The Party

For the next couple of weeks, JarryPark.com will countdown the 15 most memorable combat sports moments of 2007. Some will be positive while others will be negative. Some will have happened in a ring or cage while others on the outside. Every day, we’ll feature a single moment as we bid adieu to ’07. As we present each moment, feel free to agree or disagree with any of our selections in the comments section below.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we chose fifteen the answer is quite simple: You take the “7” from ’07 and the “8” from ’08, add them together and you get 15. Duh. To see the rest of the countdown click here.

#14: Mark Cuban Joins The Party
What: Mark Cuban’s HDNet starts covering and broadcasting whole lot of MMA
When: September 2007
Where: Dallas, TX

I know HDNet Fights has been getting a lot of coverage around these parts lately but it’s with good reason. When it comes to MMA in 2008, we honestly feel as though Cuban’s presence in the sport will be the story to watch. With two shows under their belt, I think they are doing everything right and for anyone who thinks that Cuban alone can not make a promotion successful just look at what he did with the Dallas Mavericks. Before he bought the franchise they were universally regarded as one of the biggest laughing stocks in sports. Now, they are a perennial favorite to win the NBA title every single year.

He currently has the combat sports world buzzing over the news that he is trying to lure Floyd Mayweather to MMA (NOTE: Cuban first told us about this earlier in the week but I guess some people out there chose to ignore it). The best part about Cuban is that he doesn’t come from the world of combat sports. He comes from the media/business world and it’s skills in those departments that many promoters lack nowadays. In addition to starting his own promotion, Cuban’s network, HDNet, broadcasts the only hour-long weekly MMA news show in North America and is showing more live MMA events this month than any network this side of the globe has every done before.

Further Enlightenment:
Cuban Sees Bright Future For MMA [ESPN]
Cuban’s Slow Brew [Yahoo!]
Mark Cuban Looks To The Future [JarryPark]

JarryPark’s 15 Moments Of ’07 – #14: The Ghost Of Youngstown

For the next couple of weeks, JarryPark.com will countdown the 15 most memorable combat sports moments of 2007. Some will be positive while others will be negative. Some will have happened in a ring or cage while others on the outside. Every day, we’ll feature a single moment as we bid adieu to ’07. As we present each moment, feel free to agree or disagree with any of our selections in the comments section below.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we chose fifteen the answer is quite simple: You take the “7” from ’07 and the “8” from ’08, add them together and you get 15. Duh.

#14: The Ghost Of Youngstown
What: Kelly Pavlik defeats Jermain Taylor to capture the WBC and WBO Welterweight title
When: September 29, 2007
Where: Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ

You know it was a busy twelve months in combat sports when arguably the best boxing fight of the year comes in at number fourteen. What a fight! Few fans had Kelly Pavlik on their radar going into 2007 but he is now one of the brightest young stars in the sport. The 25-year-old dismantled Taylor in this particular bout but will have to do it again in just a couple of months as both men will face each other in Las Vegas. Strangely enough, their rematch won’t be for the 160-lbs Middleweight titles Pavlik snatched away from Taylor in September but at a catch-weight of 166-lbs (this is Taylor’s doing, by the way). How the mighty boxing title has fallen. That said, if their February 16th, 2008 bout can offer half the excitement their first showdown did we have an early candidate for fight of the year.

Further Enlightenment:
With Upset Of Taylor, Pavlik Sheds Years Of Obscurity [USA Today]
Pavlik’s Win Kicks Off Exciting Fights This Fall [ESPN]
The Unfriendly Ghost [No Mas]

JarryPark’s 15 Moments Of ’07 – #15: The Bald Billionaire

For the next couple of weeks, JarryPark.com will countdown the 15 most memorable combat sports moments of 2007. Some will be positive while others will be negative. Some will have happened in a ring or cage while others on the outside. Every day, we’ll feature a single moment as we bid adieu to ’07. As we present each moment, feel free to agree or disagree with any of our selections in the comments section below.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we chose fifteen the answer is quite simple: You take the “7” from ’07 and the “8” from ’08, add them together and you get 15. Duh.

#15: The Bald Billionare
What: Donald Trump shaves Vince McMahon’s head at Wrestlemania 23
When: April 1, 2007
Where: Ford Field in Detroit, MI

Sure, we’re starting off with a pretty ridiculous moment but let’s be real: Did anyone ever think you would see Donald Trump shave Vince McMahon’s head in the middle of a WWE ring? I sure as hell didn’t. I thought this year’s Wrestlemania was one of the most lackluster of all-time but the site of a bald McMahon running around is one I will surely never forget. McMahon’s facials throughout the ordeal were tremendous.

Further Enlightenment:
Donald Trump Keeps Hair By Winning Billionaire Wrestling Match With Vince McMahon [FOX News]
Trump Gives McMahon A Britney [TMZ]
Bald Debut on ‘Today [WWE]