Posted on: May 15, 2010 11:13 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2010 11:39 pm
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei "Pitbull" Arlovski has lost his last two fights via KO or TKO in Round 1. He tries to bounce back here against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, who looks to rebound from his loss to Fabricio Werdum last November.
Round 1: Inside leg kick by Arlovski. Outside leg kick by Silva. Silva counters a leg kick with a right hand. Arlovski misses with a combo up the middle. Silva with another outside leg kick, then he grazes Arlovski with a jab. Arlovski with a double jab.
Silva connects with a left hook. Arlovski misses a left hook and ends up in close range, so Silva throws a four-punch combo. Arlovski takes a hard right hand and a pair of follow-up strikes without going down. Silva ties him up at the cage wall briefly, then they separate.
Silva with a flurry of fists, a few of them landing, and then he takes Arlovski down. Arlovski is seated against the cage wall with Silva holding on, but no real action happening. Arlovski gets to his feet at the end of the round. 10-9 Silva.
Round 2: Arlovski misses with a combo and eats a countering jab from Silva. Silva with an uppercut and right hook combo as Arlovski moves in. Silva unloads with a combo, tagging Arlovski good with a right hook, then clinching him at the cage wall. Arlovski reverses position on him and throws knees to Silva's thighs.
Both fighters lands some short uppercuts, but there isn't much happening so referee "Big" John McCarthy separates them. More light striking, more clinching, and one more separation by McCarthy. Arlovski with a head kick that Silva blocks. Inside leg kick by Arlovski. They trade jabs, then Arlovski whiffs on an overhand right. Silva misses a combo and they end up clinching again briefly.
Arlovski with more leg kicks before Silva ties him up again, running out the clock on the round. 10-9 Silva.
Round 3: Right hook by Silva. Silva with a leg kick into a boxing combo, into a tie-up at the fence. Both fighters trade knees to the thigh. McCarthy separates them. Arlovski throws combos and repeatedly eats a strong counterpunch up the middle from Silva. Silva with a Muay Thai clinch. Arlovski throws weak uppercuts from within the tie-up. McCarthy breaks it up. Silva misses a right cross.
Arlovski with leg kicks. Silva takes him down and ends up in full closed guard. Nothing much happens, and Arlovski makes it to his feet before the end of the round. With a few seconds remaining, Silva decides to shuck and jive, and clown Arlovski, daring him to punch him. You're A. Silva, but not THAT A. Silva. 10-9 Silva, so I have it 30-27 for "Bigfoot."
Winner: Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva defeats Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds.
Posted on: June 6, 2009 11:46 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2009 11:53 pm
Here come the big boys: Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski tries to put a blemish on Brett Rogers' undefeated record.
Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. plugs the Affliction: Trilogy PPV and lists the major fights, before announcing the fighters. Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett are in attendance in St. Louis.
Round 1: WOW. Rogers counters an Arlovski leg kick with a right-left combo, and the left hand sends Arlovski packing. Rogers rushes in and another left hand puts Arlovski on the canvas as Big John McCarthy quickly stops the bout. Unbelievable. Arlovski may want to reconsider that pro boxing career.
Winner: Brett Rogers defeats Andrei Arlovski via KO at 22 seconds of Round 1.
"That's what happens when you work hard," Rogers said.
That last left hand stunned Arlovski, but on the replay, you could see that he took a hard left-right-left sequence without blocking any of the three.
Posted on: June 2, 2009 8:48 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2009 8:58 pm
Last week, Affliction and M-1 Global issued a string of press releases alerting the media to a pair of press conferences -- one to be held Wednesday in New York, and another on Thursday in Los Angeles -- "to announce 'Trilogy,' Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett , on August 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA; Live on Pay-Per-View."
That quote is taken directly from one of the press releases, which begs the question: What's left to announce?
Beans-spilling press releases aside, the story here is that Emelianenko vs. Barnett is finally going to happen, not that Affliction is flying people all over the country to reveal that which has already been revealed.
Barnett (24-5-0) has been the second-best heavyweight on the Affliction roster since virtually day one. But due to a number of circumstances -- Tim Sylvia being available to fight Fedor last summer, Andrei Arlovski getting the honors for Affliction 2 -- he has never fought "The Last Emperor." Not even in Pride, where both men enjoyed lots of career success. At last, Barnett will get his shot at the man widely considered the best heavyweight MMA fighter on this planet.
For Fedor Emelianenko (30-1-0, 1 NC), Barnett not only represents the stiffest challenge possible among guys he hasn't fought yet, but he also may be his final worthwhile opponent outside of the UFC roster. Simply put: If Emelianenko beats Barnett on Aug. 1, there will be no more credible opponents for him in any promotion other than the UFC. And that's where things get truly interesting. Consider the following:
1) After Affliction's second PPV in January, speculation swirled that the company would only promote one more show -- tentatively scheduled for the summer, as "Affliction: Trilogy" is -- before bowing out of the MMA promotion business for good. But in a recent interview with MMA FanHouse's Ariel Helwani, Affliction COO Michael Cohen not only insisted that Affliction: Trilogy would not be the last event, but he promised a fourth, fifth and sixth show.
The trouble is, Emelianenko vs. Barnett is believed to be the last remaining fight on Emelianenko's Affliction contract. If that's the case, and if Emelianenko ends up running the table on Affliction's main event-worthy heavyweights, would it be financially viable for Affliction to re-up Emelianenko if the quality of his PPV opponents will go south? Spending big for a superstar fighter is only worthwhile if the profit outweighs the expenditure, and all indications are that Affliction hasn't yet figured out how to come out of its investments with a profit.
2) If Affliction does try to re-sign Emelianenko, there's a good chance it would be for a lot less money. In this economy, the decision may not even be up to Affliction anymore. They could be willing to pay him $1 million per fight -- hypothetically, of course -- but if they can't secure the financing to pull it off, will they be willing to pay Fedor out of pocket? If the UFC can match or beat Affliction's financial offer to Emelianenko, then the only remaining roadblock to him signing with the UFC would be the exclusivity issue. Which remains a potential deal-breaker for sure, but with Emelianenko running out of options and the UFC still wanting to book him, one or both sides could budge on their demands enough to meet somewhere close to the middle. The state of the MMA business and the world economy in general means that an Emelianenko-UFC negotiation might go a little differently today than it did in 2007 or 2008.
3) While it would take several major pieces falling into place for it to happen, an Emelianenko deal with the UFC might not be as far-fetched as some think. In a February interview with DreamFighters.com , Fedor said "Me and my management hope to get a chance to talk to Dana White in person in June to discuss a possible fight between me and Brock [Lesnar] ." Sure enough, on Sunday -- the last day of May -- Dana White was Twittering about having a "HUGE" meeting in Los Angeles the next day. "Insane for UFC fans if we get this done," he tweeted.
Then, in a video blog posted on YouTube on Tuesday, White mentioned the Kimbo Slice participation on The Ultimate Fighter , and followed up with this:
"Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I had a killer, killer meeting in Los Angeles today, and I was hoping I would be able to tell you about it today, but the way deals go, they take time," White said in the video. "So I can't tell you today, but I can tell you it was a great meeting and I'm feeling very confident that we're gonna get this deal done, and it's gonna literally change the UFC forever."
We know Emelianenko is in the U.S. this week. Could it be?
Wait -- let me rephrase that.
Who else could it possibly be?
Posted on: May 20, 2009 4:26 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2009 2:42 am
Strikeforce announced on Tuesday that a heavyweight bout between Brett "The Grim" Rogers and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski has been added to the card for the promotion's June 6 card in St. Louis, Mo.
The show will be the third Strikeforce event to air live in the U.S. on premium cable network Showtime.
Considered one of the top heavyweights in the world, Arlovski (15-6-0) last fought on Jan. 24, when he lost to Fedor Emelianenko via KO in the first round on Affliction and M-1's Day of Reckoning pay-per-view. Prior to the loss to Emelianenko, Arlovski had won five straight fights spanning from the end of his UFC stint to his signing on with Affliction.
Undefeated in his MMA career, Rogers (9-0-0) gained attention in 2008 with a pair of decisive knockout victories in EliteXC. He finished off James Thompson in 2:24 in February 2008, and followed that performance with a 1:01 KO over Jon Murphy in the first fight ever broadcast on live network television, during the first CBS Saturday Night Fights event on May 31, 2008.
Making the jump to Strikeforce this year, Rogers defeated Ron "Abongo" Humphrey via TKO due to knees in 1:38 of Round 2, marking the first time in Rogers' career that he had been taken beyond the first round by an opponent.
Arlovski vs. Rogers will air on the undercard of the Strikeforce show headlined by Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith at a catchweight of 180 pounds. The show airs June 6 on Showtime, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
Posted on: October 4, 2008 10:11 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2008 10:22 pm
Coming up next is a potential show-stealer: Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski vs. IFL heavyweight champion Roy "Big Country" Nelson.
On a side note, I've struggled to follow some of the action because Mask (of TapouT fame) is seated right in front of me, and is wearing a big floppy hat. But it could be worse -- Skyscrape took a seat in front of the Sherdog guys.
Round 1: Nelson locks Arlovski against the fence. He takes Arlovski to the mat and works from side control. Arlovski pushes off with his feet and almost pops up, but Nelson doesn't allow it. Nelson back in side control, and the live crowd is getting upset. The ref stands them up. They exchange shots without much success, and Nelson clinches Arlovski against the cage one more time. Arlovski cracks Nelson with a knee to the jaw. Nelson is getting tired. The ref separates them again. Arlovski unloads with kicks and a nice punch to the jaw. Nelson forces Andrei to the fence again and the round ends. Nelson wasn't able to capitalize on superior positioning, and Arlovski landed better strikes, so I give the round 10-9 to Arlovski.
Round 2: Nelson throws some haymakers and then gets right back to pushing Arlovski against the fence. Arlovski with a nice right hand. Arlovski clinches and lands a knee, then a combo of strikes. Nelson fires one back. Arlovski advances forward and lands a straight right that puts Nelson face down on the canvas for the stoppage.
Winner: Andrei Arlovski defeats Roy Nelson via KO at 3:14 of Round 2.
Posted on: October 3, 2008 6:55 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2008 9:14 pm
The weigh-ins for CBS Saturday Night Fights took place Friday afternoon, and as weigh-ins go, this one was pretty eventful. Some highlights:
-- Gina Carano initially weighed in for her 140-pound bout with Kelly Kobold at 142.75 pounds -- which, due to the one-pound allowance, is actually 1.75 pounds over the limit. She was white as a ghost, walking very slowly and completely straight-faced. I would compare it to how someone looks when they are in the middle of a serious case of the flu. Clearly, Carano is still having issues getting down to 140, and it's getting to the point where you have to wonder if it's safe for her to continue cutting that much for a fight. At the very least, her method of cutting needs to be reevaluated.
This is where it gets a little bizarre. Rather than try to go cut more weight, Carano -- for the first time I can recall -- opted to weigh in again with no clothes on. Several officials shielded her from onlookers with a large towels. She removed her clothing, stepped back on the scale... and came in at 142.50 this time. Clearly upset and not feeling well, there was a few seconds of discussion on the stage, before Carano stepped onto the scale a third time. Although she didn't appear to remove any further clothing (she was already nude, as far as anyone knew), she came in at 141.0 on the third attempt. There was definitely plenty of confusion among the press and other onlookers in the room, who couldn't figure out what happened in that 10-20 seconds between weigh-in attempts that caused a 1.5 pound difference in Carano. I did not see anything personally, and I think very few people did. One theory kicked around on my side of the room was that some of the clothing Carano removed may have been sitting on the scale during the second attempt, causing the second failure, but I wasn't in a position to see her feet, so I can't confirm that.
It was definitely a curious scene. I'll try to get an official answer about what happened between the second and third nude weigh-ins that made such a difference, but a lot of people were scratching their heads after that one.
-- After Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice weighed in, a wild pull-apart shoving match took place. Before the fighters did the customary staredown photo op, Kimbo turned to walk away. Shamrock got angry and yelled at Kimbo for turning his back. Kimbo didn't respond, so Shamrock shoved him -- hard -- in the back. Both camps immediately jumped into the fray, with EliteXC's Jared Shaw and Jeremy Lappen in the middle, trying to regain order. Kimbo's people seemed legitimately upset and were yelling at officials about Shamrock's behavior. The curtain backdrop in the weigh-in stage was rocking back and forth in the melee, to the point that Andrei Arlovski -- who had weighed in moments earlier -- peeked out from behind the curtain, trying to see what the commotion was.
-- This one will get the rumor mill going in a hurry: "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" himself, Tito Ortiz, was in the house and openly mingling with the fighters and other officials. He was wearing an Affliction shirt, but no word on whether that bears any significance. Keep in mind that Affliction's deal with EliteXC is what got Arlovski vs. Roy Nelson onto this CBS show, and with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions now working with Affliction, the group might now have the financial backing to sign a guy like Ortiz. Especially if Ortiz has come down to earth a little on his asking price. Keep in mind, few in the history of MMA have been better self-promoters than Tito Ortiz, and Ortiz clearly understands the value of being seen on a CBS broadcast. Hmm....
No word on how Tito's presence affected Shamrock, who was beaten by Ortiz three times, all by TKO, in the UFC.
-- Also in attendance: Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, Roan Carneiro, Bas Rutten, and current cast member of UFC's The Ultimate Fighter 8 (and CBSSports.com blogger!), Tom Lawlor.
-- Pro wrestling fans from years past will be happy to know that former WWE star The Warlord is currently working as part of Kimbo Slice's entourage. It's not clear how many people in attendance made that connection, but I do know Tom Lawlor was very excited, and actually seemed to startle the big man by yelling out "WARLORD!" as he walked past.
-- The only fighter to miss weight was Nicolae "Curry" Sinicio. Jorge Boechat agreed to accept the bout anyway, so it did not affect the card.
Official weigh-in results:
Posted on: March 20, 2008 10:17 pm
On May 31 from 9-11 p.m. ET, CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights will break new ground -- not just for MMA, but for major network television.
There are multiple factors surrounding the May 31 event that could help steer the course for MMA's future. Among them:
• Exposure to new eyeballs. The key word here is "new." The MMA diehards are tuning in for this show no matter what. You had them at hello. But with the scope of the CBS audience, EliteXC and its fighters will likely be seen by plenty of people who haven't given MMA a chance until now. They don't subscribe to Showtime, they don't flip over to Spike TV for The Ultimate Fighter, and they have yet to purchase a PPV. They might not even know who Chuck Liddell is.
EliteXC is in a position to create a new horde of MMA fans. On the flipside, if EliteXC makes a lackluster showing before a bunch of first-time viewers, they could turn those people off to ever watching MMA again.
This new audience represents a huge growth opportunity, so long as EliteXC avoids making costly mistakes. I'll get to that topic in a minute.
• Name recognition. EliteXC stands to have greater name value with CBS exposure. More importantly, the fighters on the card can significantly raise their profiles by appearing on network TV. A no-name fighter, even if he loses, could become a star if his performance is memorable.
For a UFC parallel, look no further than Clay Guida. He's become a massive crowd favorite, despite an unimpressive 2-3 record in the UFC. Why? Because people remember him for his look, his personality, and his gutsy performances in the cage. Fans respect Guida as a warrior and as a person they like to cheer for. If an EliteXC fighter puts that kind of effort into his CBS debut, the sport -- and that fighter's career -- will benefit.
• Business model. Right now, both EliteXC and the UFC are set up to make most of their profit from PPV buys. While the UFC does fine on Spike TV and has sponsors like Budweiser to help pay the bills, the financial success of the UFC largely depends on PPV profit. If EliteXC finds success on network TV, that could change the game for everyone.
Big ratings, in theory, yields big advertising dollars. If the ad sales pick up -- and granted, that's a big "if," since many advertisers are still ignorant to MMA or altogether put off by it -- it could result in the first ray of hope for a fight promotion (including boxing) to succeed financially without putting all of its eggs in the PPV basket.
It's not as far-fetched as it might sound. The UFC has attracted sponsors like Burger King for its Spike TV broadcasts. If that's possible on cable, it will be interesting to see the caliber of advertiser EliteXC could attract with the promise of prime time network exposure for their brand.
• Fighter pay. Virtually all fighters supplement their income by selling logo space on their attire and acting as a walking billboard for a company. The idea is to make MMA fans aware of a product. With CBS having the potential to reach a bunch of new customers (who didn't just blow $50 to see the show in the first place), surely it ought to be worth a bit more to have their logos seen on the network, right?
For UFC fighters like Josh Koscheck or Andrei Arlovski, EliteXC now gives them a true alternative if they don't get the offer they're looking for from Zuffa. Even if EliteXC doesn't match or beat the UFC's dollar figure, a number in the same ballpark -- coupled with the chance to get themselves over as star on national television -- might ease their worries about leaving the UFC. And you can bet that any UFC fighter with a name will get TV time if they jump to EliteXC.
Those are some of the positives that could come out of EliteXC's CBS debut. But the benefits are almost completely dependent on EliteXC making a respectable showing of itself, and that is not a lock by any means.
EliteXC needs to put its absolute best foot forward on May 31. Everything from the production to the commentary to the fights themselves need to be superior quality, if they are to convince first-time viewers to come back for more.
Things that may need fixing, based on EliteXC's past efforts:
• Ditch the dancers. There are enough MMA skeptics out there who claim the sport appeals to the lowest common denominator. Don't give the naysayers another thing to criticize. The dancers are over-the-top eye candy at best, and it's hard to imagine any harm done by their absence that couldn't be solved by flipping over to Cinemax once the EliteXC broadcast is over.
• And the DJ, too. Seldom do I listen to a postfight interview and think "Man, this really needs sound effects added." I also think it would be helpful if Jimmy Lennon Jr. didn't have to compete with the DJ to be heard during fighter introductions. The DJ is annoying, it's unnecessary, and it threatens to narrow EliteXC's demographic at a time when they really ought to work on expanding it.
• The commentary. This is a tricky one, because they need a play-by-play man who knows the sport well. Mauro Ranallo and Stephen Quadros both fit that bill perfectly. First-time viewers may not grasp the strategies the fighters use and they won't know the name of every hold, but they need to trust that the commentators do. If a fighter uses a D'Arce choke or a gogoplata, the move needs to be called properly. You can't just shoehorn a generic sportscaster into an MMA broadcast. Unless they've been a closet fan of MMA, they won't get it. And then, neither will the new viewers. If the viewers don't get it, they probably won't watch it anymore.
If Ranallo and Quadros are not on the CBS broadcast, their replacement needs to be just as knowledgeable, or the first-time viewers may not be convinced that there is strategy involved in MMA. And if that happens, they're just one snap judgment away from mislabeling the sport as a glorified street fight, as so many critics have done.
That said, Ranallo and Quadros should be careful with overhyping fighters and forced delivery of one-liners. Hype is a slippery slope. The right amount helps fans to fully appreciate a fighter. Too much hype, and viewers will recognize the sell job for what it is, and reject it on principle. Once they do that, you've lost their trust as a broadcaster. When they see you as a carnival barker, your credibility is shot.
I'm actually not as bothered about Bill Goldberg on color commentary as some critics are. But I do agree that he's a little too green as a broadcaster to be featured heavily on CBS. Again, they need to put their absolute best foot forward this time. Goldberg still flubs the occasional line and hasn't perfected the art of the subtle wisecrack enough to use it as frequently as he does.
There is a lot on the line on May 31. A strong CBS debut could strengthen the fan base of the entire sport, including the UFC.
Here's hoping the fighters leave it all in the cage, the production is the tightest it can possibly be, and EliteXC gives the DJ the rest of the year off.
Posted on: March 1, 2008 10:00 pm
That'll be a big help to Andrei in contract negotiations, I bet.
Back in a few with detailed blogging of the main card...