Friday, January 30, 2009


PETROPOLIS, Brazil -- There was no tribute, no tears and no speech.

Helio Gracie’s last will was respected by his sons and wife, who buried him on Thursday in his homeland, less than 10 hours after the Brazilian jiu-jitsu founder died at the age of 95 at Beficência Portuguesa Hospital.

“He was sick for a while, and he got caught by a pneumonia the last 10 days,” son Royler said by phone. “Even being so healthy, he was 95 years old and ended up not resisting.”

Four of the Gracie patriarch’s children -- Royler, Rorion, Rickson and Robin -- were unable to reach Brazil in time to participate in the funeral. Like thousands of jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts fans, they planned to pay a final tribute to Gracie on Friday, had the decision been made to bury him then. Instead, his last wishes were granted.

A simple ceremony was witnessed by some 70 relatives, close friends and students. Sons Royce and Rolker led the procession, a kilometer in length, from the chapel to the tomb where Gracie was buried. At the tomb, Royce asked for a round of applause for his father and placed a black belt over his coffin. Afterward, the UFC 1 and UFC 2 tournament champion revealed that his mother called Monday to tell him his father was weak and in the hospital.

“She thought he wouldn’t last long and told me to come to Rio,” Royce said. “I immediately bought the ticket and came. He was just expecting me to arrive. This morning, he passed away.”

Following the funeral, Royce, Rolker and Gracie’s wife, Vera, made the 20-minute trip to Itaipava to receive family and friends. Among them was Mario Aielo, who spoke on Rickson’s behalf.

“Thanks to this man, there are thousands of teachers around the world making a living from jiu-jitsu and thousands of fighters making a living from MMA,” Aielo said. “Without Helio Gracie, Rorion could not have brought Vale Tudo to the US and MMA would not exist, giving jobs to many fighters, promoters and managers and fun to millions of fans around the world.”

Rorion’s daughter, Rose, reflected on her grandfather’s life.

“My grandfather was an amazing man,” she said via phone in the U.S. “He was like a father to us. He never got out of the Gracie diet, never got out of the lifestyle he told others to live. Nowadays kids don’t have the same respect for their parents and grandparents. My grandfather not only had our respect, but he earned it. He would drive far away to come pick us up, and he would honk his horn like a crazy man. We would get in the car, and it was full of fruit and other goods from the Gracie diet. He made breakfast every morning for us and told stories at night.”

One story, in particular, stood out for Rose.

“One time, he said, ‘One day I was swimming in shark-infested water. I had to get through them somehow, so I grabbed one shark and put him in an arm lock. I grabbed another and put him in a Mata Leon,” she said. “I was young, but I believed him.”

Pedro Valente, one of Gracie’s best known disciples, was a third-generation student. He now runs the 600-student Valente’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy in Miami, Fla.

“My grandfather was his student, my father was a student and I took lessons since I was 2 years old,” Valente said. “He was a father figure to me. He taught us a way of life, a life of perfection and efficiency -- and not just in jiu-jitsu but everyday life.

“He practiced what he preached,” he continued. “His diet was perfect. That’s why he never got old and never got sick. He was amazing. He was here [at the academy] last year, and he did a pull up.”

Thursday, January 29, 2009
by Marcelo Alonso (

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have reportedly agreed to meet for a third time, this time in Abu Dhabi in October.

According to Hydra Properties CEO Sulaiman Al Fahim, the bout, which is likely to be staged in Zayed Sports City Stadium, will be confirmed on February 1.

“We have agreement from everyone needed and will make the official announcement next week,” he told

”The idea is to stage the biggest ever fight in boxing history and to do it in Abu Dhabi, which would be a great global event for the UAE capital.”

However, Holyfield has already expressed his doubts over whether Tyson, who is rumoured to be currently walking around at 270lbs, is capable of fighting – even if he wants to.

Meanwhile, Holyfield’s manager, Ken Saunders, is also of the opinion that the bout is unlikely to ahead.

Holyfield and Tyson first met in November, 1996 with The Real Deal sensationally stopping Iron Mike in the 11th round of a lucrative WBA title clash.

Their rematch was an infamous encounter, with Tyson being disqualified in the third round for biting Holyfield’s ear.

A rubber match has long been mooted but while Holyfield is still active, and recently failed in his attempt to become a heavyweight titleholder for the fifth time when he was controversially outpointed by WBA champion Nikolai Valuev, Tyson has not fought since being stopped by Kevin McBride in June, 2005.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


"I just think he made a mistake," Emelianenko said. "I saw on opening and my automatic reaction was to throw the right hand."

The opening was a result of a reckless flying knee attempt by Arlovski, and the automatic reaction by Emelianenko left his opponent unconscious on the mat.

"For that [flying knee] of Arlovski's, we didn't really train or prepare for that particular move," Emelianenko said. "But there are certain scenarios that we prepare for based on what's going on in the ring. In that situation it was basically an automatic response.

"There are certain situations that we do train for, and that was my automatic response to the counter."

Emelianenko has now won an astounding 26-straight bouts. The knockout marked his second-straight destruction of a former UFC champion, and the result cements Emelianenko's position as the world's best heavyweight fighter.

And while some observers point to Arlovski's defeat as a moral victory of sorts, proof that the Russian does have some small strain of vulnerability, Emelianenko believes he was never behind on his path to a convincing -- and impressive -- WAMMA heavyweight title defense victory.

"Honestly I haven't seen the fight yet, but I felt based on just feeling myself in the ring, I felt it was an even fight -- up until the point I knocked him out."


Arlovski was knocked out within the first round of the heavyweight title bout scheduled for five rounds. Fedor capitalized on Arlovski’s mistake as Arlovski attempted a flying knee from the distance allowing Fedor to throw a monstrous right hand putting “The Pitbull” to sleep.

Arlovski blamed his lack of discipline and self-control for his loss to Fedor. Although he said there is nothing wrong with the flying-knee, he did acknowledge that it was a mistake to throw it from such a distance.


An emperor is defined as the sovereign ruler of a region. He is the monarch who dominates a particular domain. Perhaps no fighter's nickname has ever felt more appropriate than that of Fedor Emelianenko's moniker "The Last Emperor". Fedor has once again proved his dominance of not only the Heavyweight division of the world, but most assuredly his status as the pound for pound greatest after defeating fellow Eastern European native Andre Arlovski.. Much debate swirls around the pudgy seemingly almost naïve looking, certainly not imposing figure of Emelianenko, as to whether he really is as good as some like to claim. Tonight, he lays to rest any nay sayers with his one punch knock out of Arlovski. Andre's striking looked sharp in the first round as frustrated the shorter Fedor with sharp jabs and occasional straight rights. Andre, coached in boxing by 8count friend Freddie Roach, seemingly was in control of the up game early on. At around the 3 minute mark of the first round Arlovski landed a push kick that drove Fedor toward the corner of the ring. At this backpedaling of Fedor, Arlovski lunged forward with a flying knee attempt only to meet Fedor's looping right hand with his chin. Fedor's trademark right crashed into Arlovski's face and dropped him to the canvas at 3:14 in the first round where he was immediately saved by the referee with a KO stoppage.

Josh Barnett staked his claim for the next WAMMA title shot verses Fedor with his impressive dominating win over Gilbert Yvel , who tapped due to strikes at the 3:05 mark in the third round. At 185 pounds, Vitor Belfort had a destructive knockout win over Matt Linland, that left "the Law" eerily creeping around the ring on all fours for several minutes, while doctors and coaches tried to restrain him. Renato Sobral had a submission win over UFC castoff Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Paul Buentello man handled Fedor's 20 year old protégé Kirill Sidelnikov with a stiff consistent left jab and Dan Lauzon submitted last minute replacement Bobby Green with a rear naked choke in the events only other televised bout.

Friday, January 23, 2009


During the HDNet broadcast of today's Affliction: Day of Reckoning weigh-in, the retired MMA star turned announcer Bas Rutten had some choice words for M-1 Global executive Jerry Millen.

After Millen introduced Fedor Emelianenko, the camera lingered on him, and Rutten (who may or may not have known that his microphone was on) could be heard saying, "That's the a**hole. Oh, did I just say this on TV?"

Rutten and Millen worked together in Pride and have a long history of animosity, with Rutten claiming, among other things, that Millen knows nothing about MMA. If there's any down time during Saturday night's show, I'd love to see Rutten and Millen step into the ring together.

Saturday, January 17, 2009



* John Hathway def. Tom Egan via TKO (strikes) -- Round 1, 4:36
* Martin Kampmann def. Alexandre Barros via TKO (strikes) -- Round 2, 3:09
* Eric Schafer def. Antonio Mendes via TKO (punches) -- Round 1, 3:35
* Thomasz Drwal def. Ivan Serati via TKO (punches) -- Round 1, 2:02
* Dennis Siver def. Nate Mohr via TKO (strikes) -- Round 3, 3:47


* Dan Henderson def. Rich Franklin via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
* Mauricio "Shogun" Rua def. Mark Coleman via TKO (strikes) -- Round 3, 4:36
* Rousimar Palhares def. Jeremy Horn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
* Alan Belcher def. Denis Kang via submission (guillotine choke) -- Round 2, 4:36
* Marcus Davis def. Chris Lytle via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
* John Hathway def. Tom Egan via TKO (strikes) -- Round 1, 4:36
* Martin Kampmann def. Alexandre Barros via TKO (strikes) -- Round 2, 3:09
* Eric Schafer def. Antonio Mendes via TKO (punches) -- Round 1, 3:35
* Thomasz Drwal def. Ivan Serati via TKO (punches) -- Round 1, 2:02
* Dennis Siver def. Nate Mohr via TKO (strikes) -- Round 3, 3:47

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Posted Jan 2nd 2009 8:46AM by Michael David Smith Filed under: UFC

On New Year's Eve, UFC lightweight fighter Josh Neer was arrested in Iowa and charged with drunk driving and leading police on a high-speed chase.

But while Neer is facing felony charges, his manager, Mickey Dubberly, claims that it's the police who were in the wrong in their handling of the situation. Dubberly claims that Neer was bruised from being kicked by the arresting officers.

From Sherdog:

According to Dubberly, Neer said he struck a stopped car, got out to check it for damage, and continued on his way when he saw none. Dubberly said Neer panicked when an officer began to pursue his car.

After attempting (to bump Neer's car), police reportedly deployed spike strips in an attempt to bring the pursuit to an end. Neer was arrested after blowing a tire.

Dubberly contends the arresting officers used unnecessary force during Neer's apprehension. Dubberly said the athlete sustained bruises to his stomach, thighs, and head after officers kicked him repeatedly.

"Obviously he did something wrong, but they crossed the line severely in handling the situation," said Dubberly.

The claim of excsessive force should be investigated, and if it's true, the officers should be charged as well. But it's hard to muster a lot of sympathy after Neer drove some 20 miles while police were trying to stop him, at 100 mph, and then was found to be legally drunk.

Dubberly said Neer will be physically able to compete in his next scheduled fight, at UFC Fight Night 17 on February 7 in Tampa. It's not yet known whether the UFC will allow him to fight.