Depending on what you look for in an interview with an MMA fighter, this could either be the worst interview you’ve ever seen or the best 10 minutes of television you’ll watch this year. Chael Sonnen, who last month called out Anderson Silva and demanded a rematch after defeating Brian Stann, recently appeared on TSN in Canada. Sonnen was not compensated for his interview with Off the Record host Michael Landsberg — as you’ll see — but that doesn’t make the interview any less entertaining. Simply put, Sonnen just refuses to cooperate with anything Landsberg said or asked. The video is long but trust me, it’s very difficult to turn off when you’re wondering what Sonnen could possibly say next. Check out this Chael Sonnen TSN interview that Awful Announcing and Fight Opinion passed along:
I didn’t think Junior dos Santos could top his 64-second KO of Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Championship on FOX Saturday, but the latest twist suggests he may have. Dos Santos won the fight despite being hobbled by a torn meniscus in his knee that reportedly had him on crutches 10 days prior to the bout. The injury is so bad dos Santos reportedly will have surgery.
According to fightline.com, “Brazilian journalist Marcelo Alonso appeared on The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo and revealed that dos Santos has confirmed that he will go under the knife.”
Dos Santos’ doctor also said after the UFC on FOX show that his fighter would undergo surgery. Dos Santos wasn’t planning on going a full five rounds with Cain Velasquez because of the knee, and that could be a big reason why he went after Cain so hard early in the fight.
Additionally, it’s been far less reported that Cain Velasquez also fought with a knee injury. UFC commentator Joe Rogan says Velasquez hurt his knee in training and required a cortisone shot before the fight. Both men could have considered pulling out of the fight, but neither one wanted to give up such a huge opportunity.
As long as dos Santos recovers in time, he should be on schedule to face the Alistair Overeem-Brock Lesnar winner for the Heavyweight Championship.
This Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will make its FOX network television debut with Cain Velasquez (9-0, 7-0 UFC) putting his heavyweight title on the line against the challenger, Junior Dos Santos (13-1, 7-0 UFC). It’s going to be a great night for fight fans as this event will finish an hour before Manny Pacquiao is set to square off against Juan Manuel Marquez.
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect match-up for the first fight in the historic, seven-year partnership between FOX and the UFC, as these are two very special fighters entering the primes of their careers. I will break the action down in terms of each fighters’ strengths, the unknowns heading into the fight and the match-up, specific to one another. Finally, I will predict a winner.
Velasquez has made a name for himself through his world-class wrestling ability, his other-worldly work ethic and cardio, and a developing, technically-sound kickboxing game. He is well above-average in his quickness wrestling and an above-average athlete for a heavyweight. He has finished eight out of the nine fights in his career through ground and pound and striking.
Velasquez was a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State University and in the Octagon, he has man-handled the heavyweight division, demonstrating relentless take-downs, top control and ground and pound. His wrestling, in combination with his cardio, make him a bad match-up for any style of fighter because he can control whether the fight remains standing or on the ground. If he chooses to take the fight to the ground, he has almost no equal. He has used his wrestling to dominate Ben Rothwell and Cheick Kongo on the ground, and when he won the title against Brock Lesnar, he did so by keeping the fight standing.
Two years ago, boxing promoter Bob Arum ripped MMA during an interview with Ariel Helwani.
“MMA is garbage. It is not a sport that shows great talent,” Arum said. “Guys rolling around like homosexuals on the ground. UFC are a bunch of skinhead white guys, watching people in the ring, who also look like skinhead white guys. I would think that the majority of people in my generation would feel the same.”
The UFC remembered that disparaging interview and decided to make it the focus of a video promoting their first ever network television appearance:
The UFC makes its network TV debut on FOX Saturday with Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos headlining the event. More people will watch that MMA card than have watched any boxing card in the last several years. But that shouldn’t be a surprise — our Danny Lee wrote about that topic in May. Arum really should be worrying about what he’s going to do once Manny Pacquiao retires. Boxing will be in bad shape when it loses him and Floyd Mayweather Jr. How many other superstars do they have?
Fist pound to Bloody Elbow, via LBS contributor Alan
“Georges, Georges” Diaz yelled as he stomped around the cage.
He was looking for Georges St-Pierre who was at the Mandalay Bay for the fights.
“I don’t think Georges is hurt. I think he’s scared,” Diaz said after his win. “He’s scared to fight everyone right now.”
Diaz was initially scheduled to fight GSP at UFC 137, but he got taken off the main event after missing back-to-back press conferences. He lost the title shot but was booked to fight Penn the next day. Carlos Condit was supposed to sub in for Diaz and face St. Pierre, but GSP pulled out of the fight with a knee injury.
There is little doubt that Diaz and GSP will be booked to fight at some point in 2012 once GSP is ready. And let’s not forget that Diaz needs time to heal from his fight against Penn. Even though he battered B.J. more than anyone had before, he took several punches and ended the night with a bloody face.
After that impressive win, it’s impossible not to be excited for a Diaz-St. Pierre title fight.
“This is probably the last time you’re ever going to see me in [the octagon],” a beat up Penn said. “I want to perform at the top level.
“I got a daughter, I’ve got another daughter on the way … I don’t want to go home looking like this.”
Penn was bloodied and bruised more than ever. His left eye and surrounding area was discolored and swollen, and he was bleeding around his nose and the rest of his face.
But we’ve learned not to take fighters for their word after they lose. They’re generally beat up, feeling like crap, and discouraged. They’re also disappointed to see their hard work go for nothing. Once they begin to recover, the inspiration comes back and they often want to return to fighting.
Penn is only 32 years old so it would be a big surprise if he retired. However, he’s now 1-3-1 since 2010, and maybe he’s not performing at the top level the way he used to. Before he makes a decision, he should note that this was a difficult matchup; he was facing a taller man who had a six-inch reach advantage. That was one of the big differences in the fight.
Speaking with Joe Rogan after the win, Roy expressed his unhappiness with being called “fat” by Rogan. Then he said he was going to pull a Chael Sonnen by hijacking the mic and demanding a fight.
“Who’s fighting in two weeks? Velasquez and Dos Santos? That’s who I want,” Nelson said. “I’m getting too old for this s***. I need to kind of hurry this s*** up. That’s who I want.
“Bring it on guys,” were his final words.
It was a nice attempt at pulling a Sonnen, but a title shot isn’t coming. The Brock Lesnar-Alistair Overeem winner is likely to face the Cain Velasquez-Dos Santos winner, so don’t expect something big to happen for Nelson too soon. But we will give him credit: he and Cro Cop put on an excellent show.
Their fight was a true slug fest that was dominated by either fighter at various points. In the second round, Cro Cop nailed Nelson with several blows to the head. Later that round, Big Country scored a takedown and laid on top of Mirko for the final minute, nearly scoring a stoppage. He finally got the TKO in the third. Cro Cop will probably retire now after his legendary career.