Tag Archive for Mike

Fight Prediction: Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton

Ivan “The Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar (24-8-0) vs. Mike “The Hulk” Easton (12-1-0) The bantamweight division is wide open for contenders to make a move. With the injury of the division’s current champion two top contenders will have to face off for an interim title between Uriah Faber and Renan Barao. Beyond that there …

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The MMA Hour – Episode 138 – Mike Tyson

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Mike Tyson Adamant Fighters Should Be Paid More, But Warns of Predatory ‘Scumbags’

Rick Stewart, Getty Images

Mike Tyson is a cautionary tale for athletes everywhere for many reasons, not least of which is the story of his accumulated wealth (an estimated career earnings around $ 300 million) that was badly mismanaged and nearly left him destitute. Still, if Tyson is sure of anything about today’s mixed martial arts fighters – a group of athletes he admires just as much as their sport – is that they’re underpaid and MMA won’t change until fighters earn more.

“Nothing personal to nobody, they gotta be f—ing millionaires,” Tyson angrily insisted to Ariel Helwani Tuesday on The MMA Hour. “They gotta get the f—ing money they deserve. How is [MMA] going to be bigger than boxing if they don’t have cash? These guys need to be multi-multimillionaires. They need to have their big f—ing mansions, their big cars and if not, they should be able to take care of their family. They should be able to live without fighting no more.”

In Tyson’s mind, an admittedly difficult place to navigate, the modern-day warrior in the form of a mixed martial artist still faces the same occupational hazards in terms of health and safety. And if those risks and realities are still part of a fighter’s life, why shouldn’t they be financially rewarded as a means to offset loss of quality of life?

“They’re still getting brain damage,” Tyson continued. “They’re still getting knocked out. They’re still going to the hospital every night, win, lose or draw,” he noted. “They know something bad’s going to happen eventually. Why can’t we live a good life until that happens?”

“I’m just saying ultimate fighting fighters are not getting paid what they deserve,” Tyson concluded. He even pointed at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva as an example of his argument, although the boxing great is likely unaware Silva is one of the sport’s most highly-paid athletes to the tune of the figures he suggest Silva deserves. “A guy with his record and his performance with how easy he beats opponents, he should be a multi-multi-millionaire.”

It’s not that Tyson is arguing a Bentley or mansion is they key to happiness. Rather, it’s that access to those prizes as well as long-term financial stability should be available to fighters who sacrifice as much as they do. “That don’t mean nothing, but he should have the security,” said Tyson. “That’s the main thing. He should have the security if he wants to do that.”

Tyson sees fighters making blockbuster paydays as a benefit for them personally, but not just for reasons of compensating them for what’s owed or sacrified. The former boxing heavyweight champion of the world also maintains extravagant lifestyles, even when they’re headed in the wrong direction, are good press for the entire sport. “Even though they f— their money up with the cars and the strippers, that’s headlines,” Tyson agued. “That makes them superstars. That makes them legends.”

There’s a flip side to Tyson’s theory and one he readily acknowledges. It’s one he believes is a consequence of the paydays he says are absent among today’s MMA fighters, namely, the arrival of ‘scumbags’ with predatory interests.

On the one hand, Tyson wants fighters to earn more and for the world to know about their earnings. On the other, he also believes that will attract the unscrupulous to the sport where they’ll leech off fighters and negatively impact their finances or lives.

“They ain’t get the scumbags yet,” Tyson said. “Let their purses be in the paper like my purses were in the paper and Floyd [Mayweather]‘s. Wait until the scumbags get in that sport.”

To be sure, Tyson never once personally suggested UFC President Dana White or UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta were those personally responsible for MMA fighters not earning enough. In fact, Tyson and Zuffa brass have a longstanding positive relationship. White later joined Helwani’s interview with Tyson on Tuesday and argued UFC keeps fighter pay private to avoid the very scumbags Tyson was alluding to. Tyson seemed to find White’s response acceptable.

Nevertheless, he sees a day where huge, publicly-announced paydays in the tens of millions of dollars for MMA are inevitable. And when that moment arrives, the boxing hall of famer believes we may all rue the day.

“Wait until they come out,” Tyson warned. “The devil will show up here.”

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The MMA Hour With Mike Tyson, Dana White, Demian Maia, Matt Mitrione, Chad Mendes

Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images

The MMA Hour is back in your life, and boy, do we have a loaded show lined up for you on this special Tuesday episode. Note the 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT start time. Below is a rundown of who will be stopping by:

12 p.m. ET — MMAFighting.com’s Luke Thomas will preview all things UFC 148.

12:25 p.m. — Chad Mendes will talk about his UFC 148 fight against Cody McKenzie.

12:40 p.m. — UFC president Dana White will stop by to preview UFC 148.

1:00 p.m. — Mike Tyson will share his thoughts on Anderson Silva’s reign and discuss his love of MMA.

1:20 p.m. – Demian Maia will discuss his 170-pound debut against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 148.

1:40 — Matt Mitrione returns for another “Mitrione Minute.”

Got a question or comment? Give us a call at 1-888-418-4074.

Watch the show live below beginning at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT / 5 p.m. GMT. Subscribe to The MMA Hour on iTunes: audio feed here; video feed here. Download previous episodes here. Listen to the show via Stitcher here or via TuneIn here.

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And Now He’s Fired: Carlos Eduardo Rocha Released Following “Bullshit” Loss to Mike Pierce at UFC on FX 3

(Gentlemen, no need to show me the door, because THERE IT IS RIGHT THERE!) 

There aren’t many fighters in the UFC who have had longer layoffs in between fights than Carlos Eduardo Rocha. Well, maybe before this summer began, that is. Fighting just three times between November of 2010 and June of 2012, Rocha’s 1-2 UFC record included a submission via kneebar win over Kris McCray and a pair of close decision losses to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 126 and most recently, Mike Pierce at UFC on FX 3. The latter fight, which you may recall was originally scored a split decision victory for Pierce rather than a UD thanks to the general incompetency of Floridians, was a relatively lackluster affair that was dominated by Pierce’s clinch and wrestling game ala Couture vs. Vera.

It might surprise you to learn that Rocha, an incredibly decorated BJJ practitioner whose only trips to the scorecards have come in the UFC, was let go following the loss. As one might understand, Rocha was none too happy to learn of this news, and quickly vented his frustrations (mainly, those relating to Pierce’s performance) when interviewed by Tatame:

I went there to fight MMA and he wants to win by points. There were 15 minutes of pure stalling This is bullshit. And UFC fires me after a fight where the guy just stood there stalling. I had good performances and even so I was cut off. I didn’t expect this.

Ah, the Nick Diaz defense. Classy move, Mr. Rocha.

Rocha stated that his main frustration with Pierce’s gameplan was a result of the ridiculous amount of Sonnen-esque shit-talking Pierce was dropping on the nation of Brazil beforehand.

Wasn’t he the one who said he’d fight any Brazilian because it’s an easy fight? I thought he could come for me but he didn’t. He didn’t attack me on the clinch, he didn’t hit me nor let me hit him. That’s not MMA.
There was one promotion (that made him an offer), but the guy didn’t wanna fight me. Now let’s move on, keep my head up. I never give up. I know I’ll get better next time so I can have another chance in the UFC.

As much as we tend to crucify (or at least condescend) fighters who bitch about their opponent’s gameplan in hindsight, Rocha kind of has a point here. Aside from the aforementioned trash talk Pierce was spouting leading up to the fight, his past two losses have come as the result of close split decisions. One could even argue that he deserved the nod in his loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 143, so the fact that Pierce seemed all too content to ride out another decision against a relatively low-level guy like Rocha seems like kind of a weak move on his part. Plus, when the BJJ guy is complaining about not being hit enough, you know the fight must have sucked.

Then again, it takes two to tango, so if Rocha really wanted to do something to negate Pierce’s wall-n-stall tactics, perhaps he should have trained takedown defense and clinch work just a bit more in the months before the fight. In either case, at least he’s looking to the future and not dwelling on this loss for too long.

And hey, there’s always Strikeforce. They still have a welterweight division, right?

-J. Jones


Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow Fight Video Highlights

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If you didn’t catch UFC 147 the first time around, rewind with Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow fight highlights, via FOX Sports.

UFC 147 was held June 23, 2012, at Brazil’s Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte. Top heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1) took on red-hot Mike Russow (15-2, 1 NC), who entered the night’s pay-per-view riding an eleven-fight win streak. Check out the video highlights below.

For more on Werdum’s decisive win, catch the play-by-play from MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle.

Round 1: Herb Dean is the referee for this heavyweight bout. Werdum goes straight for the clinch, doesn’t quite connect, but he lands a big right hand which pushes Russow back. Another combo by Werdum, a clinch, and a miss with a big knee. Werdum connects on a low kick. Russow seems to be flirting with danger, rushing in and out. Werdum hits a big right uppercut to the jaw, which drops Russow to his hands and knees. Werdum follows up with a series of big right hands and Dean stops the fight as the crowd explodes.

UFC 147 results: Fabricio Werdum def. Mike Russow via TKO (strikes) at 2:28 of round one.

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UFC 147 fight card: Fabricio Werdum gets his showcase against Mike Russow

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.

Tonight’s (Sat., June 23, 2012) UFC 147: “Silva vs. Franklin 2″ event going down at the Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will feature a showcase fight for Fabricio Werdum.

Indeed, when discussions of potential title challengers to Junior dos Santos arise, “Vai Cavalo” isn’t a name that comes up often. Perhaps that’s because of how badly the UFC heavyweight champion knocked him out back at UFC 90 in Oct. 2008.

But should that really count against him when considering his resume since then?

Werdum rebounded from that loss by submitting Mike Kyle, winning a decision over Antonio Silva, and becoming the first man to (legitimately) defeat Fedor Emelianenko. And he did so in just over one minute.

A bizarre outing against Alistair Overeem followed and perhaps that’s also the culprit for his lack of respect at present time. We all know he’s good, sure, but putting in stinker performances against some of the world’s best doesn’t inspire confidence that he should be given another shot at them.

That’s why tonight is so important.

Mike Russow isn’t an altogether impressive opponent, despite his 11 fight winning streak, including victories in all four of his Octagon sojourns.

But he’s largely unheralded because he has yet to test his mettle against the upper echelon of his division. Everything before tonight, while significant, hardly matters in comparison. If he loses to Werdum, he’ll drop like a stone all the way back down to the lowest rung of the divisional ladder.

And that’s why tonight is so hugely important to him.

Really, though, this feels like a showcase for Werdum. He’s fighting with a sort of home field advantage and he’s eager to show he deserves to move back up the ranks at 265-pounds. His path is clear and it starts with an impressive performance against Russow, an opponent who is seemingly tailor made to bring out the best in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert.

Werdum has his showcase tonight. Can he take advantage? Or will Russow continue his improbable run and score yet another huge upset?

We’re just hours away from finding out.


Mike Russow Ready to Become Unlikely Contender With UFC 147 Win

Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

Given the relatively shallow talent pool among the world’s MMA heavyweight division, it’s hard to be good and also under the radar, yet that’s where Mike Russow is despite a four-fight UFC win streak and only one career loss.

That could all change on Saturday. That night at UFC 147, the American fighter gets his highest-profile matchup, a date against top five opponent Fabricio Werdum. To be frank, it’s a fight that the Brazilian is expected to win. He’s a massive favorite, at around 5-to-1, in a bout that will take place on his home soil. But for Russow, that only means that if he wins, no longer can he be taken lightly. No longer can he be ignored. A win over Werdum will erase any lingering doubts about the abilities of the full-time police officer and full-time fighter.

“I believe I’m right up there with the top,” he said. “You know, since i signed with the UFC, I’ve had some injuries and just been averaging one fight a year. I’m excited this year to have two fights already. So, I just want to keep going, and hopefully this will be a good sign.”

Finding anyone picking Russow (15-1, 1 no contest) to win may be a challenge, but he certainly has a style that could cause Werdum problems. Russow is a grinder, a former collegiate wrestler at Eastern Illinois and three-time national qualifier who can take opponents out of their offensive rhythm by limiting their options to fighting from their back. That wrestling acumen will certainly factor into this fight, as Werdum has only stopped 33 percent of takedowns against him, according to FightMetric numbers.

Part of the reason Werdum’s numbers are so low is because he doesn’t mind fighting off of his back. A decorated international grappler who has twice won gold medals at the ADCC Submission world championships, Werdum is believed by many to be the top submission artist among MMA’s big men.

So it’s certainly possible that the scheduled three-rounder could come down to a fight where Werdum is forced to tap Russow; it might come down to submission or else.

If that’s the way it goes, that’s just fine with Russow, who noted this week that he has been training with respected jiu-jitsu trainer Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros for over five years. Comprido was the same coach who helped guide Brock Lesnar to the UFC heavyweight title with precious little MMA experience, and prepped him for his rematch with submission artist Frank Mir. His instruction kept Lesnar out of dangerous situations, leading to a second-round TKO win.

“So I feel really confident in my jiu-jitsu,” Russow said. “I just want to stick to our game plan and go out there and put on a great fight.

For this bout, Russow says the biggest leap he’s made in his training is to his conditioning, knowing that Werdum will challenge him in ways he’s never been pushed.

In addition, he has the very recent experience of facing Jon Olav Einemo in his last fight. Like Werdum, Einemo is a decorated grappler and a former ADCC champion, yet he found no success against Russow, who scored six takedowns and passed Einemo’s guard twice in earning a unanimous decision at January’s UFC on FOX 2.

“I think it really boosted my confidence going against such a good guy like John Einemo in January,” he said. “He’s a world champion, a very good submission guy himself. I know Fabricio is a lot more active and he’s very good, but I definitely think it helped my confidence.”

Werdum has shown improved striking ability in his recent bouts, making Russow’s ground success even more crucial than it otherwise might have been. Given the Brazilian’s well-rounded skill set, Russow has much to be concerned with. Yet given what he’s accomplished himself, he acknowledged that he’s sometimes allowed himself to ponder his place in the UFC heavyweight title picture.

The thought of a moonlighting, active policeman reaching those heights might seem improbable, but Russow has the opportunity to change that perception in just 15 minutes of work on Saturday night.

“It’s been kind of a real slow [career] pace, but I’m really just focused on this fight,” he said. “I don’t want to look past anything. I just want to get through Saturday and shock everybody.”

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Fight Prediction: Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow

Fabricio “Via Cavalo” Werdum (15-5-1) vs. Mike Russow (15-1-1) This fight has a lot riding on it as the winner could be the next one to get a crack at the heavyweight title. With all the speculation and uncertainty about Alistair Overeem, the winner of this fight could be proposed as a viable contender. Fabricio …

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Rafael Cavalcante vs Mike Kyle result changed to ‘no contest’ after ‘Feijao’ returns positive for stanozolol

May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Rafael Cavalcante (left) defeats Mike Kyle (right) during the light heavyweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion.  Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The results are in … and they don’t look very promising.

Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael Cavalcante, who was recently suspended for one year and fined $ 2500 for failing a post-fight drug test, will also have his recent win over Mike Kyle changed to a “no contest,” according to MMA Weekly.

“Feijao,” who submitted “MAK” last month on the main card of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final event on Showtime, tested positive for stanozolol metabolites according to commissioner George Dodd of the California State Athletic Commisssion (CSAC).

It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for ex-Strikeforce champions.

Newly-signed Bellator attraction Muhammed Lawal was taken offline following his failed pee exam last January, not long after Cristiane Santos burned a hole through the bottom of her cup after slamming the lid on Hiroko Yamanaka’s six-sided coffin.

Strikeforce hat trick.

Cavalcante is expected to appeal the finding and you can bet your bottom dollar we here at MMAmania.com will keep you abreast of all the future updates to this still-developing story. See how it all got started right here.