Contest: Guess Dana White’s Huge Announcement

The MMA world is buzzing in anticipation over Dana White’s huge, gigantic and, don’t forget, mind-blowing announcement. For the uninformed, here is what the UFC president said in a recent interview with ESPN the Magazine with regards to said announcement:

“You have no idea some of the stuff that we have planned. I’m going to make an announcement next week that is going to blow people’s minds. That deal is done, but my employees don’t even know yet. I’m renting out a place next Thursday and I’m going to tell them. Then we’ll make the announcement later that day. It’s an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years.”

MMARated.com has been scratching its collective brain trying to guess what the announcement will be. UFC on FOX? Maybe. The return of Randy Couture? Yeah, right. Kimbo vs. Brock? Keep dreaming.

Truth be told, we have our suspicions (TUF going live?) but we would like to hand this one over the people. So, here’s the deal:

The person who correctly guesses Dana White’s announcement (or comes the closest) in the comments section will win a 5TH Round Randy Couture action figure signed by “The Natural” himself.

Don’t you just love the synergy involved in this contest? Dana and Randy together again.

Anyways, guess away and may the best predictor win.

CLICK HERE TO SEND IN YOUR PREDICTION

George Lucas’ Daughter Fails In MMA Debut

(The following post originally appeared at MMARated.com)

I guess all that time hanging out on the set of “Star Wars” films must have lit a fire under young Amanda Lucas (left) as the daughter of legendary filmmaker, George Lucas, made her MMA debut in Auckland, New Zealand, this past weekend.

You read that correctly. George Lucas’ daughter is an MMA fighter.

First, Michael Jackson attends UFC 84 and now this? Who said MMA wasn’t mainstream?

Lucas, who actually appeared in three “Star Wars” films, was part of an all-female US team that took on an Aussie side for the Princesses of Pain MMA event held at the Auckland Boxing Association Stadium. She faced Kiwi kickboxer, Nicole Kavanagh, in a 73kg (161 lbs) bout.

In case you are pissed off that you chose to watch Kimbo vs. Thompson on CBS instead of trying to catch a bootleg telecast of this card on the Internet, fear not, as ABC’s “20/20” was in the house filming it for a future story.

Now, if you’re a “Star Wars” freak and that photo of her doesn’t look all that familiar, I can tell you that she played the role of dancer “Diva Funquita” and the voice of Trade Federation battleship communications officer “Tey How” in “Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” Outlander Club patron “Adnama” in “Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” and “Senator Terr Taneel” in “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.”

I have no clue as to what I just wrote.

Sadly, Lucas came out on the losing end in her MMA debut but she’s no one-hit wonder as she’ll be back in action quicker than a lightsaber can cut through flesh. Ok, no more “Star Wars” references for the rest of the day.

Props: Deadspin.com by way of FanIQ.com by way of Stuff (NZ)

Get Your Radio Show Here!

Welcome, Ladies and Germophobes (that would be me), to the inaugural edition of “THE MMARated Radio Show.”

I have always struggled with the notion of whether I should put together an online show. The main strike against the idea was that I hated 99.99% of the shows out there because I thought most of them sounded way too campy and amateurish. Since I would never want to be viewed in that light I thought it would be better to just stick to the interviews.

Well, after experiencing UFC 84 weekend in Las Vegas, I had way too much on my mind so I thought, “hey, this might be a good time to record those thoughts.” The result is what you are listening to right now.

I’ll tell you this much, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to myself for 40 minutes. Reminded me of my college days.

Hope you enjoy the show and, as always, thanks for any and all feedback.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Merci GSP, You’ve Saved The Day Again

By now you’ve heard the news that Mark Coleman has been forced to pull out of his UFC 87 fight against Brock Lesnar due to a torn MCL. I guess that’s the risk in promoting a fight featuring a 43-year-old five months in advance.

While Coleman’s injury is certainly a bummer, the UFC did help turn our frowns upside down by announcing today that Georges St. Pierre will defend his newly-won welterweight title against Jon Fitch at UFC 87. I have a feeling this fight was going to take place on this card anyways but it certainly softens the Coleman injury blow by announcing both items on the same day.

This is the second-time in six months that GSP has been used to “save” a card. Of course, he recently stepped in to replace an injured Matt Serra at UFC 79 against Matt Hughes. It’s safe to say that he has officially paid the UFC back for pulling out of two major fights in the past; A September 2006 rematch against Hughes and a February 2007 fight against Serra.

Meanwhile, UFC 87 is shaping up to be the battle of the really nice guys and that might seem a little strange to us after a string of intense grudge matches. We’ve had GSP-Serra II, Penn-Sherk, Tito-Dana and, coming up, Jackson-Griffin. UFC 87 features St. Pierre, Fitch, Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian – four of the nicest fighters in the sport. Don’t expect a ton of trash-talking coming from these candidates (although, I must say that Huerta and Florian have been showing signs of fire as of late).

More

MMARated Radio: Where Have You Gone, Elvis Sinosic?

“The King of Rock ‘n Rumble” wants to mix it up again

732461543_l.jpgThe last time we saw Elvis Sinosic compete was in December 2007 for Cage Rage. An eleven-year veteran of the sport, Sinosic has fought all over the world, including in his home-country of Australia.

So, where has he been? Well, that’s a good question, I was wondering the same thing.

“The King of Rock ‘n Rumble” has been looking for a good fight and may be on the verge of finding one too. He’s mixed it up with the likes of Tito Ortiz, Frank Shamrock, Forrest Griffin and Michael Bisping and is now itching to get back in there.

Thanks to our friends at Lojak Fightwear, we caught up with Sinosic to talk about his career and other topics:

* His stalker fan page

* His loyal fan base in Australia

* When is he looking to fight next?

* Which major promotions has he talked to recently?

* Does living in Australia make him less attractive to bookers?

* How popular is MMA in Australia?

* A look at some of his memorable opponents

All that and much more from the veteran fighter.

LISTEN TO THE ELVIS SINOSIC INTERVIEW HERE 

Who’s The Sexiest MMA WAG Of ‘Em All?

1399639974_l.jpgWe’re doing some hard-hitting journalism over MMARated.com today while taking a look at the best MMA WAG’s around.

The good folks over at The Sun (UK) ran an interesting feature recently on the sexiest WAGs in MMA.
For the uninformed, “WAG” is an acronym for “Wives And Girlfriends.” It’s a popular term used to describe the countless number of beautiful soccer wives and girlfriends floating around Europe.

The paper’s website ran down their favorite MMA WAGs so I thought I would recreate the magic by posting their picks. As you can see, they, expectedly, made a plethora of mistakes along the way.

Take a look…

MMARated Radio: Patrick Schultz Reflects On His TUF Chances

The TUF 7 cast member talks about his experiences on the show

patrick_schultz-025.jpgEvery season of the “The Ultimate Fighter” always seems to have a happy-go-lucky guy who comes off as just feeling blessed to be on the show. There’s also usually a guy who gets a second chance to chase his dream due to an injury or some kind of controversy.

Just so happens that Patrick Schultz played the role of both those guys on TUF 7. The Massachusetts-native lost a prelim bout to Luke Zachrich but after Paul Bradley’s herpes epidemic, he was quickly brought back because no one wanted to see Rampage get the “heeby jeebies.”

So, there was Schultz with a golden opportunity to advance to the quarter-finals with only Cale Yarborough standing in his way. That was also his biggest problem; Cale Yarborough was in standing in his way.

Schultz lost a tough two-round affair via decision with some even thinking the bout should have gone three rounds (I, on the other hand, thought the judges made the right call).

MMARated Radio spoke to the new father (his wife gave birth to a baby girl an hour before the interview!) about his experience on the show and a few other issues:

* Finding out that he had to fight his way into the house

* What happened after the loss to Zachrich?

* How did he find out that he was back on the show?

* The reception he received from his teammates when he returned

* Training with Rampage

* What went wrong against Yarborough

* The injury he sustained in the bout

Nice to hear how genuinely happy and excited Schultz was to be on the show.

LISTEN TO THE PATRICK SCHULTZ INTERVIEW HERE 

Gus & Mauro: A Match Made In Heaven

gusjohnson.jpg(The following entry appeared first at MMARated.com)

Anyone who’s listened to my appearances on Fight Network Radio knows that I am an unabashed Mauro Ranallo supporter. I have no problems saying that I think he’s the best play-by-play man in the combat sports world. Just my opinion, don’t get all worked up.

So, today’s news that Mauro has been (finally!) tabbed to call the 5/31 Elite XC on CBS card alongside longtime CBS Sports announcer, Gus Johnson, is probably the best thing I have heard all month.

Johnson gets his feet wet in the MMA world while the rest of the world is exposed to Ranallo. Sounds like a good deal. Johnson will handle the play-by-play duties alongside Ranallo, Frank Shamrock and Showtime boxing reporter Karyn Bryant.

As a longtime New York Knicks supporter (please hold the comments), I am well aware of Johnson’s wizardry on the mic. Someway, somehow he’s always calling the most exciting games and his reactions throughout said games are always tremendous.

Ranallo and Johnson might be two of the most easily-excited broadcasters in sports so this pairing will probably end up being the ultimate match or a colossal clash. I’m thinking, given the talent we’re dealing with here, it will be the former.

One thing to watch out for is how Ranallo handles being in the Stephen Quadros analyst role. This is certainly new territory for him.

For those who are somehow unaware of Johnson’s fantastic abilities, please take a look at the following video and then join me in getting really excited.


Update: I contacted Ranallo to get his thoughts on the announcement and this is what he had to say:

“Gus Johnson is doing the play by play, Frank Shamrock is doing the x and o’s. I will be humanizing the fighters with anecdotes and Ranallo flair. I’m the Max Kellerman of the crew, just better looking. Ha ha!”

Oh that Mauro, always a jokester. Of course, he was kidding about the whole Kellerman thing. Everyone knows Max is the fairest of them all.

MMARated.com: Dueling Penn & Sherk Interviews

The UFC 84 main eventers go head-to-head

It’s a busy morning at MMARated.com (and FOXSports.com too) because we’ve got dueling BJ Penn and Sean Sherk interviews.

Some of the highlights include:

Ariel Helwani: Penn has been very outspoken when the topic of your suspension, your appeals and steroids in MMA has come up. Basically, he’s not very happy with you right now. What do you think about all the stuff he has said leading up to the fight?

Sean Sherk: To be honest with you, I don’t even know what he’s talking about. I don’t really read up or follow any interviews online or anything, so I don’t know what kind of comments he’s made as far as him having a beef with the way I handled my situation. I didn’t take Nandrolone so I mean everything I did was pretty much all innocent. I’ve passed three lie detectors tests and then explaining all the mistakes that the California (State Athletic) Commission made in the process and the testing facility, I felt like there was plenty of evidence there to prove that I hadn’t taken anything. To be honest with you, I think BJ wants to keep bringing up that steroid stuff because maybe he feels like that’s what brings legitimacy to the belt that he’s got. I don’t think he deserves it. I think that if you want to be the champion, you’ve got to beat the champ. (That) belt was taken from me for something that I didn’t do. He wants to keep sticking the steroid stuff in my face, but for him to be talking about me like that, it’s kind of a hypocritical because I know he’s got some habits, some professional habits that professional fighters shouldn’t have. And he knows it just as well as I do, so he should maybe take a look in the mirror and think before he speaks.

AND

Ariel Helwani: I recently spoke to Sean Sherk and he’s still very adamant that everything he did was kosher. Obviously, you don’t believe him, right?

BJ Penn: Well, I asked him (on a conference call last week), ‘did you do steroids?’ He said no. I said, ‘did you do growth hormone?’ he didn’t answer. I said, ‘did you blood dope?’ He didn’t answer. Then somebody asked me, ‘so do you think he did steroids when he fought Hermes (Franca)? I said ‘well, if he didn’t do steroids then his test should come out the same way with his Nandrolone and testosterone level.’ The same thing because I’m sure he trained just as hard for this fight as he did for the Hermes fight. So, if he didn’t do anything, he should be exactly the same as last time. So, we’ll see. We know there’s more people than just him on performance enhancement drugs in the UFC. (But) you know what? It’s time to just focus on myself. A lot of smack talk has been going back and forth but come Saturday it’s all going to end the next time I get in the ring.

Pretty solid stuff from both combatants. Check out the Penn interview here and the Sherk interview here.

The Evolution Of The Iceman Should Not Be Televised


(The following post also appeared on MMARated.com)

As a long-time boxing enthusiast, I’m well aware of the ugly side of the sport. Mainly what happens to the guys who stick around a little too long. Brain damage, impaired speech…that kind of thing.

One of the worst examples of this is what has become of former Olympic Gold Medalist and welterweight champion, Meldrick Taylor. Take a look at the following clip courtesy of HBO Sports’ “Legendary Nights” series (fast forward to 4:42 of the clip):

Since MMA is fairly new to the sports scene (especially compared to boxing) we have yet to witness such effects on the sports’ top stars. However, that might be changing sooner rather than later.

I recently came across a startling interview featuring Chuck Liddell on “Last Call with Carson Daly” from 2004. Listen closely to how he sounds:

So, what’s so special about that? He sounds normal, right? Right. Now, take a listen to this recent interview with the UK’s “Daily Telegraph”:

Continue reading “The Evolution Of The Iceman Should Not Be Televised”