David “The HayeMMAker” Haye?

by Matthew Blankenship, JarryPark.com contributor

Current WBA, WBC, and WBO World Cruiserweight title holder, David “Hayemaker” Haye, recently told the Southwark News (UK) that he wants to try his hand at mixed martial arts after the age of 30. The 27-year-old Haye, who recently beat Enzo Maccarinelli in a title unification bout at the O2 Arena in London, England, has already stated his intention to move up to boxing’s heavyweight ranks to “clean up that disgraceful division.”

Furthermore, he also said that he would like to retire from boxing at the age of 31. That’s when he would like to make the move to MMA.

If Haye stays true to his word (and we all know how that goes) this could be huge for MMA and, more specifically, the UFC.

Sure, it’s a few years away but it’s certainly a step in the right direction in the ongoing MMA vs. boxing argument. Haye is a promoter’s dream: A savvy trash talker, a KO artist, and a fighter who possesses a marketable look. No one David Haye’s caliber in the boxing world has every entertained the thought of competing in MMA.

Haye believes that he would only need a year of solid MMA training before he has ready to fight on the big stage. And you know what? I believe him. Here’s why:



WAMMA’s President And Executive VP Discuss The Future Of The Sport


The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts was founded in November 2007. But, really now, what are they all about? What are they trying to accomplish?

Many MMA fans have asked these questions in the last five months and now its time to seek some answers.

So, MMARated Radio invited WAMMA’s President and CEO, David Szady, and its COO and Executive Vice President, Michael B. Lynch, to talk about WAMMA’s goals and what they have accomplished thus far. We even found out about an MMA legend that is now on board with WAMMA (hint: he’s quite the Natural).

Some other talking points:

* What was the impetus behind WAMMA
* What kind of reception have they received thus far
* Is the UFC on board?
* What kind of discussions have they had with Zuffa?
* Why should the UFC work with WAMMA?
* Is there really a need for an organization such as WAMMA?
* What are WAMMA’s goals?
* What have they been able to accomplish thus far
* Which big name fighter is now affiliated with WAMMA
* How will they help protect the health and safety of the fighters
* What kind of uniformity will they look to bring to the sport.

All that and, trust me, much more. A very interesting interview.


Talkin’ Sylvia-Fedor, RAW and Mike Knox’s (Alleged) Blunder

As I mentioned earlier, I was a guest on Fight Network Radio yesterday afternoon. Host Mauro Ranallo and I spoke about some interesting MMA and wrestling topics including:

* The rumored Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia bout

* The post-Wrestlemania WWE landscape

* The HBK-Batista storyline

* The story involving steroids being found in the former home of WWE wrestlers 

(By the way, the above photo of Kelly Kelly has nothing to do with any of these issues but she was Knox’s “girlfriend” for a while on ECW so I thought it would be a propos and more interesting than a photo of Mr. Ole Anderson Jr. What a weird pairing that was. Sort of like Lita with Essa Rios way back when.)

Ariel Helwani – 04/08/08

Listen to Mauro Ranallo and John Pollock weekdays from 3-4 p.m. EST on Fight Network Radio on Sirius channel 186 or via Hardcoresportsradio.com.

MMARated.com: Heath Herring Wants Another Crack At Minotauro

“The Texas Crazy Horse” Weighs In On The UFC’s Heavyweight Landscape

It’s a great time to be a heavyweight in the UFC as that particular division is as wide open as ever. Randy Couture? Gone. Tim Sylvia? Gone. Mirko Cro Cop? Gone. Andrei Arlovski? Maybe gone. Fedor Emelianenko? No Chance. Josh Barnett? You must be kidding.

So, that pretty much leaves champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and everyone else fighting for second place. One of those fighters is Heath Herring, however, he’s already lost to Minotauro three times, most recently in July at UFC 73. Nevertheless, should “The Texas Crazy Horse” continue to build on his most recent victory against Cheick Kongo at UFC 82, one has to wonder if he’ll receive a fourth crack at Nogueira. Herring certainly hopes so.

MMARated Radio spoke to Herring about the topic of facing Nogueira again and much more:

* His victory over Kongo

* His thoughts on his UFC career thus far

* Is he happy in the UFC?

* How many fights are left on his contract?

* Should he receive a fourth shot against Minotauro?

* The infamous Yoshihiro Nakao kissing incident

* Does he regret it?

* His thoughts on Spike using the kiss footage to sell his UFC debut

All that and much more from a very candid Herring.

MMARated.com’s Cultural & Media Rankings – 04/08/08

Welcome to week one of the MMARated.com’s cultural and media rankings. Each week we’ll weigh in on who’s hot and who’s not in the world of mixed martial arts. Take a look…


1. Fedor Emelianenko DOWN One fight in the last twelve months and he’s still the most coveted free agent in the sport. Don’t think he’s worth two million dollars a fight, though.
Update: Sherdog.com reports Fedor will be facing Tim Syliva in July.
2. Cung Le DOWN Just over a week removed from his spectacular victory over Frank Shamrock. He still deserves a little more time to boast.
3. TUF 7 UP Even if all the fights are boring this edition of TUF is looking like it will be the most entertaining yet.
4. Montreal UP The MMA world will be focused on Montreal in eleven days and it’s time for Canada to prove how much they love and respect this sport.
5. Kenny Florian STATUS QUO The man just keeps finishing fights.
6. ShoXC UP Forget the name, if you want to see exciting, up-and-coming fighters this is the show to watch.
7. Wagnney Fabiano UP Is he the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world? Not yet…


MMARated.com: Catching Up On Some MMA Storylines

Sam Caplan discusses YAMMA, ShoXC, Fedor’s Future and More

yamma.pngMMARated Radio featured an interview with one of the best writers on the MMA beat, Sam Caplan of fiveouncesofpain.com and CBSSports.com. Caplan and I discussed a whole host of MMA topics ranging from YAMMA Pit Fighting’s debut show this weekend to Fedor’s future:

* Is there any reason to watch YAMMA?

* What is YAMMA’s plan for the future?

* Was the Suganuma-Hamman ShoXC fight stopped too soon?

* Marveling at the beauty that was Baszler-Tamai

* Elite XC’s identity crisis

* What does the IFL need to do to get noticed?

* Will they survive 2008?

* Where will Fedor fight next?

* Is there any chance of him ever signing with the UFC?


Your Weekend MMA Report Card

The string of exciting televised MMA events continued this weekend with two action-packed offerings from the IFL and Elite XC. Missed any of it? Here’s who scored well on our report card:

Jared Shaw: No one did anything bad enough to fail but I was none too pleased with Elite XC Live Events Vice President Jared Shaw. I am fully aware that promoters (or in this case their son) like to jump in the cage or ring after a fight but Shaw was way too visible after each ShoXC bout on Saturday night. At first it didn’t bug me too much, but after he gave the referee a look of discontent following the Hamman-Suganama main event it really pissed me off. Who the hell is Jared Shaw to intimidate a licensed MMA referee after a semi-controversial stoppage? Well, he is the Elite XC Live Events Vice President damn it! Doesn’t matter. Those in Shaw’s position need to support the referees while this sport continues to grow. It’s a very difficult gig and they deserve that much. While I didn’t agree with the stoppage, I had no problems with it. One can strongly make a case for the decision and the bottom line is that if the ref thought Hamman could no longer intelligently defend himself it was the right move to make. That should be enough for Shaw too. One last note on Shaw: I’m a young guy, I hate to wear suits and shave every morning. But if I held a job with as much visibility as the one Shaw holds I would make a little more effort to clean up before events. On Saturday night, Shaw was the face of Elite XC and instead of looking like a respectable adult he looked like a punk. The mohawk, sweatshirt and gold chains look so unprofessional it’s not even funny. Shaw is lucky to be fathered by a “successful” boxing promoter. He’s been handed a great opportunity and, from where I sit, he isn’t making the most of it.

Honorable Mention: The Table Mountain Casino crowd. I know most of them came to see Jared Hamman win but there is no excuse for booing Poai Suganuma as much as they did.

Chris Horodecki: No disrespect to Nate Lamotte but I expected a hell of a lot more from Chris Horodecki on Friday night. I thought he would have come out with guns blazing but, alas, that wasn’t the case. Either Lamotte was just too tough or Horodecki hasn’t gotten over his loss to Ryan Schultz last December. I am going with the former as he’s way too young to let a loss like that affect his psyche. That said, another effort like this one may prove that “The Polish Hammer” wasn’t quite as good as we once thought.

Honorable Mention: Jamal Patterson. A solid effort against a much more experienced fighter in Vladimir Matyushenko.


MMARated.com & JarryPark.com Are WAMMA-Approved

I thought I would share this exciting piece of information with all the loyal residents of The Park…

MMARated.com is proud to announce that it’s editor-in-chief, Ariel Helwani, has been added as a new pollster on the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) Rankings Committee. WAMMA’s Ranking Committee Chair, Sam Caplan, publisher of Fiveouncesofpain.com and contributing writer for CBSSports.com, extended an invitation to Helwani late last week.

Established in November 2007, WAMMA’s main goal is to rank MMA fighters by weight division, establish unified rules, ensure the safety and welfare of fighters, and sanction world championship bouts. According to its website, WAMMA will attempt to create a unified legitimacy to the sport as well as increase it’s integrity.

WAMMA does not promote fights, rather, it hopes that its rankings will help MMA promoters decide who the top contenders are in each weight class and, hopefully, have them work together to provide MMA fans with the best fights possible. Helwani joins the likes of The Houston Chronicle‘s Steve Sievert, MMAJunkie.com’s Dan Stupp and The Fight Network’s Mauro Ranallo on the 16-person committee. Each month, the committee will rank the top ten fighters in the heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight division.


Say It Ain’t So, Anderson

You know what really pisses me off? All this boxing vs. MMA talk. So, you can imagine how I feel about the prospects of UFC Middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, fighting former pound-for-pound boxing king, Roy Jones Jr. Why are we so obsessed with answering this “debate” anyways? I don’t see hockey and figure skating fans arguing over which one of their athletes is more talented than the other and that’s the best comparison I can make as to how idiotic these discussions are. Just because MMA fighters and boxers punch doesn’t mean they should be compared to one another. End of story. Now can we please talk about Silva-Okami II instead?

That said I can understand why everyone is so anxious to pit a boxer against a mixed martial artist. It’s the same reason why Kobayashi once ate hot dogs against a bear on national television and Michael Jordan was (briefly) accepted as a baseball player. We applaud athletes who compete out of their comfort zone and, even more so, encourage it.

But if you REALLY want to see Silva and Jones get it on let me save you the 50 bucks and explain what will happen:


The UFC On The Pages Of Playboy?

Word on the street, according Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, is that “Rachelle Leah of UFC All Access will be doing a Playboy cover.”

The moment I read this little nugget of testosterone I instantly thought: “What a strange choice.”

Now, we all figured it was only a matter time before the UFC and Playboy got in bed together (get it?). Both cater to the same demo and being associated with the likes of Playboy will only further solidify the fact that the UFC has gone mainstream. The bunny has certainly worked wonders for the World Wrestling Entertainment divas so it all makes sense from a business and exposure standpoint.

However, I find it strange that Playboy would choose Leah over, say, current Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste (and, by the way, since we are on the topic of Octagon Girls, why is everyone getting all heated and emotional about these lovely ladies on the Internet? Look around, there appears to be an abundance of weird commentary being written on this topic in the MMA blogosphere).