Tag Archive for Olympics

Ronda Rousey: UFC Return ‘As Likely As Me Going Back to Another Olympics for Judo’

Ronda Rousey has never officially announced her retirement from mixed martial arts, but she came pretty close during a recent appearance on “The Ellen Degeneres Show.”
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Live Chat: UFC 202 preparation, Olympics discussion, MMA news and notes

This is the Promotional Malpractice Live Chat.

There are mercifully no fights this weekend, but that means there’s less craziness around the sport. What discussion does appear to be heating up is that around UFC 202. Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor are back in the headlines, each for different reasons. Diaz is proclaiming how much he’s going to get paid and detailing his promotional battles to be in a position to do so. McGregor is keeping relatively quiet if you don’t count his recent dust up with the professional wrestling world. Both, however, seem intently focused on the task at hand and the build up to this as it gets closer should be quite the show.

The Olympics are here and while I can’t speak for anyone else, they’ve been a blast…

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UFC Fight Night 92 does 863,000 viewers against the Olympics

While well down from the year average, Saturday’s UFC show from Salt Lake City did well considering the lack of star power on the show.

The card, on a huge sports night that included the Olympics, did 863,000 viewers for a main card headlined by Yair Rodriguez winning a five-round decision over Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres. The card was a showcase for the Mexico-born Rodriguez, a flashy featherweight, but it was more an attempt to make him a star by building a show around him, as opposed to him coming in as a star and being expected to draw a big number.

The show featured no well known drawing cards, as the biggest names on the main card were Dennis Bermudez and Thales Leites.

The big competition was the Olympics, which did 20,633,000 viewers on NBC, a number that was considered a major disappointment since four years ago, from London, with the events all on tape delay, the first Saturday of the Olympics did 28,715,000 viewers.

UFC is averaging 966,000 viewers for prime time Fight Nights on FOX Sports 1 over the past seven months.

The show’s peak rating was 1,023,000 viewers for the Thales Leites vs. Chris Camozzi fight.

The prelims was 8-10 p.m. did 662,000 viewers, just slightly below the 685,000 average from February through August for prime time prelims on FS 1.

Other Saturday night sports competition included more Olympic coverage on NBC Sports doing 1,857,000 viewers, the NFL Hall of Fame ceremonies that did 839,000 viewers on ESPN and another 448,000 on the NFL Network, and Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand’s boxing match on HBO which peaked at 742,000 viewers for the main event.

The pre-fight show on FS 1 did 184,000 viewers and the post-fight show, which didn’t start until 1:27 a.m., did 229,000 viewers.

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UFC’s Giovani Decker sees stacked UFC 198 ‘only a bit behind’ 2016 Olympics

CURITIBA, Brazil — The UFC is about to stage its biggest event ever in Brazil, and the company is excited with the feedback.

With 45,000 tickets sold in only nine hours, UFC 198 is already a big success, and UFC general manager in Brazil, Giovani Decker, compares it to the upcoming Olympic Games, scheduled for August in Rio de Janeiro. Not even the cancelation of a main card bout between Brazilian star Anderson Silva and Uriah Hall changes their expectations.

“Anderson is a legend, one of the most important athletes in the history of sports in general in Brazil,” Decker said during a media scrum. “Of course that losing him would impact the event, but this card has also transcended MMA already. It’s one of the biggest events this year in Brazil, only a bit behind the Olympics. It’s a success already. It’s sold out, we have high expectations. We expect it to continue to be a success.”

Sources close to the situation told MMA Fighting that Hall was offered a new opponent for UFC 198, but turned down a new fight. According to Decker, the decision to remove Hall from the fight after Silva was hospitalized came from the promotion.

“The UFC cancelled the fight,” Decker said. “We considered (a new opponent), but the UFC discussed with Hall’s team and we thought it would be better to cancel the fight. Uriah didn’t turn down anyone. The final decision came from us.”

Silva will be sidelined from training for four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on Wednesday, and Decker didn’t sound optimistic about booking “The Spider” vs. Hall for UFC 200 on July 9.

“Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta] can answer that,” he said. “I think it’s a bit unlikely because it’s too hard [for Silva], it takes a while for him to be able to properly eat again. I think it’s complicated, but it’s something to discuss with the fighter, his managers, Dana and Lorenzo.”

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Bellator’s Aaron Pico comes as close to Olympics as possible without qualifying

Aaron Pico, who was announced as having signed with Bellator in late 2014 with the idea he would debut after making an attempt for the Olympic team in wrestling, came as close as could be without making it.

Pico went down to the wire in the 65 kilogram tournament final, losing the third match in a best-of-three series via criteria decision to former NCAA champion Frank Molinaro on Saturday.

Pico, who is 19, was attempting to become the first teenager to make the U.S. freestyle Olympic team since Jimmie Jackson in 1976. He had split the first two matches in the best-of-three finals with Molinaro. A four-point takedown with momentary back exposure in the first round was the difference in Molinaro getting his hand raised when the two tied 4-4 in the third match. Under international freestyle rules, in the case of a tie, the wrestler who had the highest scoring move during the match is the first tie breaking criterion.

Pico was the aggressor in all three matches, but Molinaro countered effectively, particularly scoring on a Pico takedown attempt in the second match that was the difference. Neither Pico nor Molinaro were favored to reach the finals in what was considered the most loaded weight class in the tournament.

Molinaro had an amazing tournament, beating two of the best U.S. college wrestlers of the past decade, former Hodge Trophy winners Brent Metcalf and Logan Steiber, before facing Pico in the finals in a loaded division.

Molinaro first beat tournament favorite and multi-time national team member Brent Metcalf via criteria decision after the two went to a 3-3 score. He followed beating four-time NCAA champion Steiber, considered the best wrestler in Ohio State University history, due to having the highest scoring move after the two finished at 5-5 in their semifinal match.

Pico had one of the most amazing matches of the tournament, falling behind Dylan Ness 9-0, coming one point from losing his shot at making the Olympic team since a ten-point differential in amateur freestyle is a tech fall. Pico came back to score 20 unanswered points and tech fall Ness. Pico followed beating two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver.

In the first match between Pico and Molinaro, Pico scored a takedown with 23 seconds left to win 4-2.

The second bout saw two key moves lead to Molinaro winning. He had the switch in a scramble off a Pico takedown attempt, as well as, after a restart, Molinaro took a shot right at the whistle, which seemed quick and Pico appeared not to be set. That made the difference in an eventual 4-3 win.

Molinaro, the No. 9 seed, who wrestled for Cael Sanderson at Penn State, winning the 2012 NCAA title, didn’t automatically qualify for the Olympics. The U.S. hasn’t qualified the weight class yet. Molinaro would have to qualify by placing in tournaments either on  April 22-24 in Mongolia or May 6-8 in Turkey.

Pico was called by longtime MMA trainer “Crazy” Bob Cook as the single greatest prospect he’d seen in the sport. While growing up, Pico had won tournaments in both boxing and Pankration, and was the cadet world champion (17-and-under) in wrestling. He decided against competing in scholastic wrestling after being considered arguably the best high school wrestler in the country while only a freshman in winning the state title in California. From that point, instead of competing in high school or college, his goal was the 2016 and 2020 Olympic team.

But when signing with Bellator, the indication was he would start in MMA starting in 2016, either after the Olympics or failing to make the team.

Also winning the tournaments on Saturday, before 11,066 fans in Iowa City, were Tervel Diagnev at 125 kilos in freestyle; Kelsy Campbell (58 kilograms), Elena Pirozkhova (63 kilograms) and Tamyra Mensah (69 kilograms) in women’s freestyle; and Jesse Thielke (59 kilograms), RaVaughn Perkins (66 kilograms), Ben Proviser (85 kilograms) and Josef Rau (98 kilograms) in Greco-Roman wrestling.

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Manager: Anderson Silva won’t try out for the 2016 Olympics

Looks like Anderson Silva won’t try out for next year’s Olympic Games after all.

The former UFC middleweight champion, and 5th dan black belt in taekwondo, announced in April his desire to represent Brazil in taekwondo at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but his manager Jorge Guimaraes told PVT that Silva has changed his plans.

“This Olympic thing has been discarded. Anderson won’t participate in the Olympics,” Guimaraes said. “He’s now waiting for the Athletic Commission’s verdict, which should come soon. We are waiting, we’ll see if there’s going to be a punishment and how long it will be. He’s training, Anderson never stops training. He’s staying active.”

Silva returned from a brutal leg break and defeated Nick Diaz in January, but failed a pair of drug tests before and right after his UFC 183 win, testing positive for drostanolone, androstane, oxazepam and temazepam.

On April 13, “The Spider” petitioned to be part of the Brazilian Olympic team. Nine days later, the UFC star held a press conference in Rio de Janeiro to announce that he was willing to go through the official tryouts to earn a spot at the Olympics.

“I stopped training taekwondo when I was 17 so it’s going to be tough, because taekwondo is very different today,” Silva said at the press conference. “I’m not worried about being embarrassed by the other athletes. For everything sport gave to me, I will try to give it back. I don’t have anything to prove. I’m here to help the sport and make it stronger.

“I never stopped training and watching the sport. I always used taekwondo kicks in my MMA fights, but now I have to train taekwondo only and adapt myself. It’s another challenge I have to face, and I’m willing to get embarrassed for it.”

Silva is expected to appear in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission on Aug. 7 for his official hearing. The former UFC middleweight champion is currently suspended by the commission.

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UFC champ Ronda Rousey: ‘I still believe I would be able to win the Olympics’

No Edmund, not in boxing.

Will Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champion (and Michael Phelps hater) Ronda Rousey slide back into her judo gi and make another run at Olympic gold?

Pfffft … fat chance.

But that doesn’t mean “Rowdy” — who took bronze in 2008 — would get smoked by the international competition after several years away from the grappling circuit. In fact, the mixed martial arts (MMA) phenom believes she could go all the way, if she devoted 100-percent of herself to the upcoming games.

“I have always wanted to go as a spectator,” Rousey told NBC Sports. “I still believe I would be able to win the Olympics. That takes 100-percent of your energy. It has to be the No. 1 priority in your life.”

It also pays borscht.

Rousey is now a millionaire, thanks to her undefeated run through the world’s largest combat sports promotion. In addition, the part-time movie star is also a blossoming fashion model who can be seen representing high-end fashion clients (like this one).

Maybe judo does pay, after all.

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History in the Making: UFC 170′s Ronda Rousey becomes America’s first official female Judo medalist at 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing

Little more than five years ago, UFC 170 headliner, Ronda Rousey, defeated Annett Böhm at the 2008 summer Olympic games in Beijing, China, to secure a bronze medal for United States in women’s Judo. The unprecedented achievement paved the way for her mixed martial arts (MMA) transition, which has led to a women’s Bantamweight championship. It’s a world title that she will once again attempt to defend tonight (Sat., Feb. 22, 2014) against another decorated Olympian, Sara McMann. Here’s a look back at Rousey’s historic run …

It’s safe to say that Ronda Rousey is pretty successful.

Not only has the 27-year-old become the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion, headlined pay-per-views (PPV) events, been called “the biggest star we’ve ever had” by Dana White, and is currently ranked as a Top 10-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, but she’s accomplished it all within her first 10 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts.

There’s also that whole “getting women into the UFC” thing that might be worth mentioning.

At the moment, Rousey’s rise has shown no signs of stopping. Later this evening (Sat., Feb. 22, 2014), she’ll headline her third PPV, UFC 170, in promotion’s home base of Las Vegas, Nevada. What’s more, she recently signed onto lead roles in Hollywood franchises.

Not bad for the “Rowdy” Californian.

The root of her success is undoubtedly her Judo skills, which allowed Rousey to eventually make Olympic history as the first American woman to ever medal in the Olympics. Following in the footsteps of her mother, a gifted judo competitor, and 1988 demonstration medalists like Margaret Casto and Lynn Roethke, an adolescent Ronda began training Judo and was soon recognized as one of the best young talents in the sport.

Looking back at her 2008 performance that earned her a medal, a slightly pudgier (153 lbs) 21-year old in a blue gi steps onto the mat. Her face wears bruises received from earlier matches, but her constant look of supreme confidence, which she is now known for, remains.

Her opponent, German-born Annett Böhm, is a bit taller, a common theme of Rousey’s opponent’s at this weight class, and is wrapped inside a crisp white gi. After shaking hands, the two women stand at opposite ends of a large mat. The match begins, so the judokas move forward looking for grips and slapping away hands.

Soon, the two gain grips on their opponent’s gi. Rousey, controlling a sleeve and lapel, drags Böhm to the side and attempts an inside trip. Böhm scoots her foot out of the way and wrenches on Rousey’s gi, dragging her down to the mat into a turtle position.

With a yell of “Matte!” the ref breaks the action and the match resets in the middle with no score.

Rousey quickly grips a lapel and steps in, getting her hip across her opponent. From there, she throws her opponent over her shoulder, where the two roll and reroll, ending with Rousey on top.

Rousey has scored a yuko.

In Olympic Judo, there are three calls a referee can make regarding throws. A full throw, or ipon, automatically equals a victory. If a judoka scores two wazari, or half throws, it equals an ipon. Finally, there are yukos, which are basically advantages. Should neither grapplers score any wazari or both score one, the amount of yukos decides the winner.

Basically, Rousey has a slight edge at the start of the match.

After a moment of hand fighting, Rousey again attempts a similar hip throw. Böhm is wary of it and hops back, only to nearly get swept off her feet by Rousey’s inside trip. Though it didn’t work, and the two are soon reset in the middle, a hip throw to inside trip is signature “Rowdy” technique inside the cage.

The next time they engage, Böhm drops to her back with her feet in Rousey’s hips, attempting to roll her. She successfully elevates her, and Rousey’s back does briefly touch the mat, but the American is able to spin before Böhm can get top position.

Once again, the referee resets them.

The two both attempt a couple trips, although Rousey has become the more patient fighter. In fact, even her coach tells her to wait on her opponent to make a move. Rousey does just that and attempts to capitalize on Böhm’s failed throw, but her efforts earn her no points.

Her opponent attempts to sit and sweep once more, and Rousey attempts a few tosses of her own, accompanied by a strained scream, but neither manage to score any more points with a minute left on the clock. Thirty more seconds pass without anything noteworthy happening, other than the referee screeching “Matte!” for the umpteenth time.

Böhm needs to make something happen or Rousey will take the victory.

And to her credit, she does try. But, Rousey is in defense mode and is successfully shutting down all of Böhm’s attempts. When the match ends, an ecstatic Rousey jumps off of Böhm’s back and cries into her hands.

Though her upcoming match is hardly as historic as this one, Rousey will still have to face an elite opponent and deal with her carefully. Additionally, should things go badly late, Rousey may need to stall in the championship rounds to preserve her victory.

Of course, the possibility of a first round arm bar should never be discounted either.

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Don’t Worry, You Guys, Steven Seagal Says That The Sochi Olympics Will Be Fine [VIDEO]

I think something in my brain broke, you guys.

You see, where I’d typically be filled with blood-boiling rage and simultaneous “Holier than thou” frustration with all the things wrong in the world while watching something like the above video of Steven Seagal pretending to be a security expert on the Sochi Olympics (previously: inventor of the front kickschool shooting task force specialistactormusician, etc.) I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I hated every word that Seagal said, and I really, truly wanted to hate him for saying them, but I’m just too…bewildered, I guess. Apathetic even. Seagal’s self-servicing arrogance has reached a level so unbelievably high that it almost transcends him as an individual. The portrait he has painted of himself and his standing in our society as a source of wisdom is so out of touch with reality that it borders on an Always Sunny episode. How can you make a joke about a joke, you know? You’re not going to “reach” Seagal, because if you looked behind his firing range goggles you’d probably see something like this. He’s just a vessel, a skin suit in which the entity of madness has been contained for the good of the many, until he dies and passes it on to the next generation.

You can’t get mad at Steven Seagal. It would be like screaming at a rain cloud.

The real question is: Which of these facts is makes you the saddest?
a) STEVEN SEAGAL has a better relationship with Vladimir Putin than our President
b) STEVEN SEAGAL is asked to give foreign policy advice to the President in the above video (and does), or
c) There are people out there who might actually find comfort in the words of STEVEN SEAGAL, the same guy who once threatened to “cut off the head and piss down the throat” of that chicken-shit pussy asshole Richie?


-J. Jones


Ronda Rousey: UFC is ‘more pure’ than the Olympics


BURBANK, Calif. — Although she doesn’t turn 26 until February, Ronda Rousey has already accomplished more as an athlete that most people can dream.

A child prodigy in judo who went to her first Olympics at 17, the Santa Monica, Calif. native has transitioned from Olympic judo bronze medalist to UFC champion and pay-per-view headliner with breathtaking speed.

And as Rousey looks back on the past several years, she’s drawn the conclusion that one of her chosen athletic pursuits is pure, and the other isn’t.

“The UFC and MMA stuff is so much more pure compared to all that to me,” Rousey said. “No one is going to change the rules of MMA because they prefer European style over Japanese style. It’s never going to be like that. It will be as close to a real fight as possible and whoever wins, wins.

“I like that there’s a lot of money involved, that there isn’t going to be people who are selling out for nothing. You can’t predict people like that. There are people [in judo] called sellouts, and stabbing you on the back so they can get on some committee that pays you nothing.”

Rousey soured on her Olympic experience after coming home from Beijing, where she won the bronze medal at 70 kilograms, and realizing that not only did years of effort do nothing to pay her bills, but there was a clique of people living high off her work.

“The Olympians in our country are pretty much useless,” she said. “You spend your whole life trying to get this medal and you don’t do it to make money, you do it for your country, for your pride, for your family, and there’s nothing set in place for what happens afterwards. They used to have a program where I’d work at Home Depot 20 hours a week and they’d pay me full-time, that was the only Olympic job program I have. There’s nothing afterwards. There’s no scholarship program, there’s no job placement, after you won an Olympic medal and you’ve spent $ 100,000, you get 10 grand, which they tax you on. You get 10K for a bronze, 15K for silver, 25K for gold, which you get taxed on, and a handshake. I couldn’t even buy a 2005 used Honda Accord LX with that.”

Rousey’s worst suspicions of the nature of the international amateur sports scene were confirmed on a trip across the world.

“We had the 2005 judo world championships in Cairo, Egypt,” she said. “Me and like one other person got their way fully paid, three other athletes got partially paid. They sent 11 officials, first class, five-star hotels, all their meals paid. … they’d spend a ridiculous amount of money on entertainment. I was like, ‘entertainment, for the referees?’ I’m starving over here, I can’t buy a car. It’s all spent the wrong way and it’s super shady.”

Of course, that’s all changed now. Rousey is undefeated as a mixed martial artist, has ditched her Accord in favor of a new BMW, and, as you all know by now, will compete in the first women’s fight in UFC history when she defends her bantamweight tile against Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif. on Feb. 23.

As an added bonus, Rousey says, as a mixed martial arts fighter, she has plenty more room to be herself than she did in the staid world of Olympic judo.

“With the Olympics, you’re representing your country, so you can’t speak your mind,” Rouey said. “Your answer to everything is “What do you want? World peace, world peace!” I like having that freedom now especially because people are used to it, I have a margin of error. I don’t have to pretend to be anything else like I did before. I’m just being what I am. I like that I have room for error, the whole bad girl thing. I can mess up, I’m not walking around saying, ‘I’m a virgin, I never touch alcohol,’ when here I am with a bottle of Jack in a brothel. I can be myself. I kind of like that, its cool.”

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