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MMA Thread (UFC, Pride, K-1, etc)
Since there seems to be enough interest and since this worked with the WWE thread in the television forum, I thought we should have a single thread to discuss the UFC, Pride, K-1, Shooto, Rumble on the Rock, King of the Cage, and anything else related to Mixed Martial Arts.

UFC 56 is tonight. The big news is that Joe Riggs failed to make weight three times yesterday for his fight with Matt Hughes. He actually gained weight between weigh-ins. That fight will now only be 3 rounds and will not be for the title. No one else had problems making weight. The fact that Riggs-Hughes isn't for the title kind of takes a little bit of the shine off of this card. It sucks seeing your champ not defending his belt.

Besides Riggs-Hughes, there are 7 other fights on the card, with 3 that look like they will be really good. Rich Franklin vs. Nate Quarry for the Middleweight title, Jeremy Horn vs. Trevor Prangley, and George St. Pierre vs. Sean Sherk are all fights that could steal the show. Also, this Russian fighter Ansar Chalangov seems to be the real deal. He is 7-0 and has stoppage wins over UFC vets Dennis Halman and David Strasser.
Yeah, sad to see Riggs not making weight. I wonder what's up with that?

Didn't he used to weigh around 300 pounds? He may have trouble sticking where he is.

But, for a title fight. C'mon, drop the weight!

Looking forward to tonight's fights. Franklin-Quarry could be a really good one.
Yeah, I guess Riggs fought his first MMA fight at 300 pounds. He was pretty cut at 205 and just kept dropping. He made 170 for his last fight, but I hear he walks around at just under 200 pounds. Cutting that much weight has got to be tough. I still think his fight will be pretty good if Riggs can keep it on the feet.

Franklin will probably get the TKO on Quarry in the 2nd round. Quarry will definitely test Rich's chin tonight though. I think Franklin and Quarry are pretty similar fighters, but Rich is just a little bit better at everything.

GSP-Sherk is the fight I'm looking forward to the most. Both guys are for real. Both have only one loss and both were to Matt Hughes. Sherk is only 5'6" and may have a hard time getting inside on GSP, who has pretty good stand-up. Even if he does get GSP down, even Hughes couldn't effectively do ground-and-pound on GSP and GSP stood up twice on Hughes. I call GSP by decision in this one after three good rounds.
Yeah, Riggs could surprise Hughes now that Matt is more relaxed about the fight. He's says the only thing he's disappointed about is that he trained for 5 rounds and now it's only three.
Some results and thoughts from last night's UFC card for those who didn't see it:

Rich Franklin had one of the most spectacular knockouts I've ever seen in the UFC against Nate Quarry last night. He absolutely dominated the stand-up. Franklin had Quarry out on his feet a few times before landing a straight left that sent Nate crashing to the canvas. The Crow is probably up next for Franklin. Barring a freak cut with one of the Crow's elbows, Franklin will be really tough to beat at 185.

Hughes overpowered Riggs, taking him to the ground and getting the tapout with the Kimura (armlock) in the first round.

Jeremy Horn got a controversial decision over Trevor Prangley after three lackluster rounds. While Prangley spent the whole fight on top in Horn's guard, he seemed content to try and lay-and-pray his way to victory. While Horn did less damage than Prangley, the judges rewarded him for being more active and making several submission attempts.

The most boring fight of the night was the swing bout between Kevin Jordan and Brazilian Gabriel Gonzaga. The two heavyweights gassed in the first round, leading to two rounds where the they just danced around each other. Late in the third, with the crowd booing and the announcers ripping on the fighters, Gonzaga landed a flying punch out of nowhere to get the knockout. Needless to say, neither one of these guys will be invited back anytime soon.

George St.-Pierre absolutely destroyed Sean Sherk, getting the TKO midway through the second round. Sherk was 34-1-1 going into this fight and GSP made him look like a rookie. GSP stuffed Sherk's takedown attempts every time, landed lots of punches, hit the spinning back kick he landed against Hughes, and took the wrestler down at will. When GSP got Sherk down in the second round, he pounded Sherk with forearms, breaking Sherk's nose and getting the stoppage win. After the fight, GSP got down on his knees and begged for another title fight.

GSP might have to wait in line because of one of the many big announcements made by Dana White last night. First, he announced that Randy Couture will face Chuck Liddell for the third time in February at UFC 57. Second, he announced that Former Heavyweight Champ Frank Mir has been cleared to fight and will face current champ Andrei Arlovski early next year. Third, he announced that the two coaches for the third season of The Ultimate Fighter are Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz. Tito has reportedly signed a three fight deal with the UFC. One of those fights will likely be against Shamrock, as the two got right in each other's faces last night. Finally, Dana announced the return of BJ Penn, the last man to beat Matt Hughes in the Octagon. It was surreal seeing Couture, Liddell, Mir, Arlovski, Shamrock, Tito, and Penn all standing in the Octogan together.
An update on Tito Ortiz from His three fight deal includes a return match in April against Forrest Griffin. His second fight will be against Ken Shamrock at the end of The Ultimate Fighter Season 3. If he gets past those two fights, he is guaranteed a shot at the Light Heavyweight title for his third fight.
I heard that they had a new tv announcer last night and he was awful. Any truth to that?

I glad to see Tito and Ken back in the UFC. I can't wait to see that Ortiz-Giffith fight. We'll see if Forrest can continue his winning streak. Should be a great fight.
The announcer was a retarded prick (no offence meant to retards).

He had fucking strange facial hair and a weird bald spot on the end of his chin (I assume that's where his boyfriend’s balls are hitting). He actually managed to stun Joe Rogan to silence more than once, which is stunning in itself.

Overall, a great night though. This is the first time I watched the PPV and it was well worth it even though Hughes didn't defend his title. I was actually worried about Nate when he got knocked out; I thought he might have popped his clogs.

And GSP did exactly what I thought he would do, and is quickly becoming my favorite fighter in the UFC. I knew it was over when I heard Sherk scream when he got elbowed in the face, GSP dominated the fight and was even more impressive than his fight with Frank Trigg.
I'm confused with the UFC's Riggs love affair as I have not been impressed with him at any weight. They keep a guy like Riggs and boot Salaverri who was fun as hell to watch.

Franklin freaking killed Quarry. Broke his nose and left him twitching. His leg spasming in the air was crazy.

Did you hear Sherk cry out after GSP broke his nose? I've never heard that before in a fight. Pure handling. I still don't know if GSP can beat Hughes though. Hughes just has freakish strength and is tough as nails. Canada is putting out some great fighters though between him and David Loiseau.

Great to see BJ Penn but I don't know if he can realistically fight at 170. From what I understand, he's been fighting at around 205 lately. Don't think 170 is a manageable goal for him.

I'm psyched about Ortiz being back. Zuffa and Dana finally pull their head out and realizes people love to watch him, win or lose. He's also fighting for what's right and that's getting the fighters more money. They deserve it. So bizarre too given the latest Ortiz interviews at Sherdog and his discussions with Don King. He'll destroy Shamrock, IMO.

Arlovsky will kill FM. It's a shame the UFC has not signed more quality heavies. Speaking of, the 2 guys that fought before Franklin should be banned forever.

Regarding the announcer, the new guy was brutal. I hesitate to say he was worse than Goldberg, who I despise, but he was. I enjoy Rogan because he's knowledgeable and funny. I think they need to bring in an older, more legitimate announcer to offset him.

***edited to add that a Rogan vs. Wesley Snipes fight is a legitimate possibility. There is actually a contract out there waiting for Snipes approval.
Due to Vince McMahon's wonderful contract with Foxtel in Australia (ie - "you can have ALL my increasingly horrible shows, even the ones WE don't even watch, at a reduced rate as long as you don't show anything that can be considered "competition to us"Wink, it is with great moral instability that I thank eMule once again for providing me with a surprisingly clear copy of UFC 56 (as well as season two of TUF and everything that we will discuss henceforth on this thread).

56 was an interesting show for a few reasons. I'll do the bullet-point thing due to laziness (off to training soon, gotta conserve energy) -

* Horn VS Prangley. Funny how the crowd was cheering Horn's submission attempts from the bottom, and all-round keeping busy while Prangley does nothing but lay & pray, yet they boo the decision going to Horn at the end. The two things this makes me aware of is that the general audience is becoming alot more savvy as to how MMA works and aren't just looking for stand-up KO's anymore, which is always a good thing. And secondly, are we seeing a change of direction in the UFC judge's scoring criteria? They've always had a tendency to blindly just score for the guy on top (ie - favouring straight wrestling), despite the fighter's activity. I hope this isn't just a one-off thing.

* Announcements. Glad to see Mir back as I really like the guy, but I certainly don't rate his chances against Arlovski, who I consider the ONLY HW in the UFC that would even stand a chance in Pride. Esepecially after Mir's accident, and if the rumours of him having toruble changing levels are true, he's a sitting duck. Still, a 75% Mir is, arguably, better than a 100% Buentello, Eilers, Kyle, Jordan, Gonzaga . . . erm . . . shit. Let's face it, Arlovski and Mir *ARE* the UFC Heavyweight Division. Oh, there's Sylvia . . . I guess . . .

* Ortiz & Shamrock as coaches for TUF 3. Well I guess they've given up on trying to create new talent for their promotion and figure those 13 weeks of TV are better off building up a rematch to a feud that came and went 4 years ago. I have all the respect in the world for Ken, but the man is a dinosaur who didn't evolve with the sport, in my opinion. Not as well as he could have, anyway. Sure, he's been unlucky lately (that fiight with Kaz was stopped early, I don't care what argument you have - Pride's ref stoppages are more wildly inconsistent than the UFC's), but the bottom line is that half the guys that they pick to be on the show will probably be able to beat Ken! Ortiz, on the other hand, has proven he's a B-Level fighter who can't step it up against the cream of the crop, but maintain's an A-List Actor's ego. It's all about Tito so I don't see him being the best choice to coach a group of incoming talent.
Problem is, I can't think off the top of my head who two better suggestions would be, so fuck it. They need ratings, and they're doing pro-wrestling better than WWE right now, so it's all good, I guess.

* BJ Penn is back. Yay. And man, is he walking around at 190 now or something?! Jesus! Didn't he step up a weight to fight Hughes in the first place? Now it looks like he'll have to take two steps DOWN. Either way, couldn't care less. Talented fighter, can't argue that, but so is Matt "The Bore" Lindland and he doesn't stop me from hitting the FF button, either.

* Hughes & Riggs. Well, it was rather anti-climactic after Riggs failed to make weight, but did anyone seriously give Riggs a chance in the first place? There's a reason why he wasn't the first choice to begin with, and no one I know or train with even rated the guy that highly, myself included. I was expecting a 1st or 2nd round loss, 5 rounds or not. Was NOT expecting a kimura, though. Nice work by Hughes, who didn't seem to gain any heel heat off the crowd after TUF2. I dunno what Riggs is doing at such a low weight - he looks fantastic at that size, but he's obviously losing alot of strength or conditioning to do it. Hell, if I drop 5kg I lose a tonne of strength, let alone 10-15!

* St Pierre VS Sherk. Seemed like a good match-up on paper, didn't it? Yeesh. St Pierre is brilliant. I love this guy. I dare anyone here to NOT love the guy. How can you not? You can't, that's how! He's just the man. Awesome promo post-match, too. He's got character, and that's exactly what this sport needs - characters and personalities to put the asses in seats. Once the asses are in the seats, THEN let the in-cage abilities take care of the rest. The US audience would love someone like "Rampage", all swagger and badmouthing, but can get the job done. The whole "he's a great fighter, it's an honour to face him" thing is great and it's also wonderful that they MEAN it when they say it, but too much of it doesn't sell tickets. People want to see conflict. Biggest gates UFC ever took? The ones with personal grudges to settle - Ortiz/Shamrock, Ortiz/Liddell . . . it's not rocket science.
One of those grey areas for me, personally, as I do have resepct for anyone I fight in MMA and honestly believe in all those things all those fighters say about one another. but having also spent the past 5-6 years doing pro-wrestling as well, I also know the value and power of markeitng to an audience and manipulating their emotions. It's a fine line, walking between the vaudeville theatrics of WWE-style match-up hype & the traditional customs and respect of a legitimate combative sport, but I think it's one that MMA has to tread to get the exposure they want.

* Heavyweight Match. Dud. Pure & simple. I hope Gonzaga didn't earn himself another chance with that last-second KO, because that really doesn't justify such a poor performance. The commentators just ripping into these two guys was the ebst thing the UFC could've possibly done to salvage such a piss-poor showing. Too many times in the past (in all promotions) I've seen horrible fights try to get covered up with comments about skill and difficulty etc etc to try and make it look better than it is. Only problem is, if you're a first-time viewer to the sport, and the "experts" are telling you this is the best MMA has to offer you, you're not likely to come back for more. I'm glad the UFC have finally realised this and are letting the guys call it how they see it.

* Quarry VS Franklin. Flat out ugliest KO I've seen in years. It's weird how watching something like this both ramps up the adrenaline to unbelievable heightsd, but also makes you feel pretty damn nauseous as well. Quarry was a mess. The contracted muscles and stiff leg were just . . . shit, poor bastard. Hmmm, Zuffa better start looking for some talented middleweights, cos I can't see anyone on the near horizon giving Rich too much trouble. Just so well-rounded, and like Randy, he's a fantastic ambassador for the sport. Talented, well-spoken, educated, respectful - it's just impossible to not like the guy.

Bah, most people probably gave up reading all this somewhere around the St Pierre/Sherk paragraph, anyway. I'm off to training - take care guys!

PS - New announcer guy made me LOL legit a couple of times, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not. Take that for what you will.
Thanks for your thoughts NZ. I read them all the way through.

TUF3 will definitely be about Ortiz and Shamrock. That's why people are going to watch. They will be hoping that something will happen in the house or in the ring or out of the ring.

I can't wait.
Yeah, about Nate Quarry, why end his push so early? The UFC always seems to think they have more guys than they actually do.

Originally Posted by Agent Back Smith

Yeah, about Nate Quarry, why end his push so early? The UFC always seems to think they have more guys than they actually do.

Well, Quarry was on a 3-0 run in the UFC with three quick and convincing knockouts. It was probably about time to give somebody from TUF a shot at a big match. Quarry will still get some big fights. I could see matches with Jorge Rivera, Chris Leben, or Joe Riggs (now that he realizes 170 is not the right weight for him) in the near future.

Now for my dissertation on the UFC's MW division:

The 185 division went from being ultracompetitive to empty in two short months. With Matt Linland and Ivan Salaverry cut, Lee Murry cut up, Nathan Marquart on the sidelines for a positive drug test, and all the quality TUF MWs cutting down to 170, the UFC doesn't have a lot of solid 185 pounders left to challenge Franklin. Jeremy Horn won't fight his friend Franklin. No one wants to see Evan Tanner get pounded a third time. David Terrell is MIA. Robbie Lawler turned down a 3 fight deal with the UFC. Jorge Rivera already lost convincingly to Franklin. Trevor Prangley would try to lay-and-pray for 5 rounds. I'm not sure Dave Menne is still alive. Phil Baroni might come back, but doesn't present much of a challenge to Ace. Mike Swick and Chris Leben aren't in Quarry's league, let alone Franklin's.

That pretty much leaves David Loiseau. The Crow is on a great win streak and made Tanner look bad in his last fight. He should be next in line. Otherwise, the UFC should look to sign Dean Lister or some of Pride's 183 lb fighters. Maybe Team Quest's Dan Henderson or Brazilian Top Team's Murilo Bustamante would like to come challenge for the UFC belt if they don't win the Grand Prix on New Year's Eve. Maybe Ken Shamrock could get his brother or Jerry Bohlander out of retirement? Or maybe Ace will hold the belt till he retires.
Thanks Del. And couldn't agree more, Mr Car.

Pride (or it's "Bushido" off-shoot) is absolutely crawling with world-class middleweights. If you haven't seen the past two Bushido PPV's, I highly recommend them - awesome stuff, I really can't praise it highly enough. That's where Baroni is currently, and doing alright for himself, too. I'm not a HUGE Baroni fan, but I hate the UFC's "what have you done for me lately?" approach to booking fighters the minute they hit a stumbling block and take a loss or two, even to top-shelf competition.

Poor guy really got ripped off, I feel. And he was money if they used him properly. If Prince Naseem did nothing else in the short time he made the boxing world interesting, he taught us that the entire world will tune in to see a smartarse get a fist in the mouth. Baroni was the UFC's Golden Smartarse, and they dropped the ball with it, I feel.
Anybody planning on getting Pride's New Year's Eve show? So far, here are the announced match-ups:

Wanderlei Silva v. Ricardo Arona for the MW (205 lb) Title
Mirko "Crocop" Filopovic v. Mark Hunt
Fedor Emelianenko v. Zuluzinho (390 lb Brazilian)
Dan Henderson v. Murilo Bustamante for the new 183 lb Title
Takanori Gomi v. Hayato Sakurai for the new lightweight Title
Yuki Kondo v. Kazuhiro Nakamura
Naoya Ogawa v. Hidehiko Yoshida
Sanae Kikuta v. Makoto Takimoto

They will probably add a few more fights over the next two weeks. They really go all out with this show as they compete with K-1 in Japan for NYE ratings. It already looks like a pretty good card with Gomi-Sakurai and Henderson-Bustamante looking like the best matchups.
#16 has updated their card for UFC 57, its Superbowl Weekend show on Feb 4. Here is the card so far:

Chuck Liddell v. Randy Couture for the LHW Title
Renato "Babalu" Sobral v. Mike Van Arsdale
Alessio Sakara v. Elvis Sinosic
Frank Mir v. Marcio "Pe De Pano" Cruz
Brandon Vera v. Justin Eilers*

More fights will obviously be announced in the future. It's good to see Mir getting at least one warm-up fight before he takes on Arlovski. Cruz is a BJJ guy who will try to get the fight to the ground pretty quickly. That should be good for Mir, as his strength is his ground game.

Babalu-Van Arsdale should be a #1 contender's match, with the winner facing the winner of Liddell-Couture 3 by early summer. At least Babalu should be next in line. Sakara looked impressive in his last fight till Faircloth kicked him in groin. Sinosic will be a real test for the Italian Legionnaire. Should be a slugfest with these two.

*Edited to add this fight.
Don't forget that Ulitimate Fight Night 3 is airing on Spike Monday, January 16 at 10:00. You've got to love free live MMA. Here's the card:

Tim Sylvia v. Assuerio Silva
Stephan Bonnar v. James Irvin
Spencer Fisher v. Aaron Riley
Josh Burkman v. Drew Fickett
Chris Leben v. Jorge Rivera
Alex Karalexis v. Jason von Flue
Jonathan Goulet v. Duane Ludwig
Melvin Guillard v. Josh Neer

The winner of Sylvia-Silva might be next in line for a shot at Arlovski's HW belt. I could see the winner of Leben-Rivera fighting Nathan Marquardt, with the winner of that getting a shot at at the MW belt after the Franklin-Crow fight. Bonnar-Irvin should be a slugfest. Burkman-Fickett will probably be the fight of the night. Good to see Spencer Fisher getting another shot. And if you haven't seen "Bang" Ludwig fight before, you are in for a treat. This show is a pretty good mix for both hardcore and newer MMA fans.
There's a bunch of guys from the The Ultimate Fighter in this one, isn't there?

Originally Posted by Martianman

There's a bunch of guys from the The Ultimate Fighter in this one, isn't there?

Yeah. Bonnar, Leben, and Karalexis are from season 1. Burkman, Guillard, and von Flue are from Season 2.
Wow, that card looks remarkably like the card listed 3 posts above yours. Oh wait, it is the same.

And if you don't know who Chuck Liddell is, you don't need to be shilling for UFC, dumbass.
Couture is gonna win that title again, and then retire I think. The card after that is shaping up to be pretty good as well.
I've been sour on Ludwig since he ripped off Genki Sudo by decision a couple of years back. Not Ludwig's fault as such, I know, but I'm bitter so fuck anyone who tries to talk sense to me. Tongue

57 and 58 are both shaping up to be interesting cards at least. Nice to see them throwing Mir a can to come back with.
Holy crap...ROYCE GRACIE vs. Matt Hughes? I'll be buying the PPV in May. They've got me roped in.
Royce v. Matt Hughes = PPV buy for me too. Royce is nowhere near his prime, but Matt didn't do too well the last time he fought a world-class BJJ guy. He'll overpower Royce, but Royce is still dangerous working from his back.

How about Josh Burkman? This kid is legit. He looks like a poor man's George St. Pierre. His physical dominance of Fickett was impressive. Burkman-Sanchez has to happen.

Bang Ludwig will definitely be back in the UFC after a 4 second, one punch knockout of Goulet. (Sorry UFC timekeepers. It was not 11 seconds).

Bonnar gets his first big win. Irvin is no slouch and Bonnar handled him on the ground with ease. That's where Bonnar needs to be fighting. I understand he is a 2-time Golden Gloves champ, but he's a better grappler than he is a boxer. Unfortunately for the UFC, a win for Irvin would have created another LHW title contender. It's still too early for Bonnar.

Leben definitely deserves credit for doing what Franklin couldn't do in finishing Rivera early. Rivera even beat the Crow. I don't like Leben, but I can't deny that he put on an exciting fight last night.
Leben is impressive, his chin is rock fucking solid. The stoppage might've been a little early, but Rivera wasn't exactly trying to get up either.

Burkman was impressive too. He's strong as hell.

Bonner continues to impress. He doesn't look the part, but he gets it done.

The main event was pretty much shit. Sylvia isn't that good, his size just gives guys match up problems. Arlovski is going to run through him again.

I found it amusing that Leben and Burkman called out the champs in their weight classes. Self-confidence is great, but they would both get railroaded against Franklin & Hughes respectively. And Arlovski's face during the main event was great. He was just sitting back thinking, "These guys will be just another day at the office for me."

The "historic" anouncement, didn't live up to the billing. It should be an entertaining fight, but while I think Gracie is still dangerous. Hughes is going to blow him out in that fight I think. Assuming he beats Parysian, which I think he will.

Originally Posted by sin-eater

The main event was pretty much shit. Sylvia isn't that good, his size just gives guys match up problems. Arlovski is going to run through him again.

I thought that decision was kind of crappy. To me, Sylvia really didn't do anything in the fight. Silva worked more and got better shots in as the fight went on. Sylvia stopped him from going to the ground, but even the crowd started booing him towards the end.

Originally Posted by Martianman

I thought that decision was kind of crappy. To me, Sylvia really didn't do anything in the fight. Silva worked more and got better shots in as the fight went on. Sylvia stopped him from going to the ground, but even the crowd started booing him towards the end.

Sylvia landed more shots, which was the difference maker, but neither guy seemed to hurt the other. Sylvia just kept Silva away with that long jab of his. When Silva did get inside, he couldn't take Sylvia down. Silva did have one good flurry in the second that opened a small cut on Sylvia. Neither fighter ever seemed to be in trouble. It seemed like Sylvia was just content to cruise through this one on his jab to lock up a rematch with Arlovski. It was basically a standing version of the lay-and-pray strategy. I don't think Arlovski has anything to worry about.
Maybe I'm trying to add some more discussion to this thread or maybe I'm just bored, but I was wondering what some other people thought about this: Yesterday I ordered PrideFC's Hardcore Knockouts Vol. 2. I've always loved Pride much better than the UFC, in part because of the quality of fighter and the fact that they're not as restricted in the ring as the UFC guys are. Anyway, it's been a while since I've watched any MMA PPVs with any regularity (my cash flow isn't exactly what I'd like) and you can only gleam so much reading reports of the fights in magazines or on the net. It's nice that the UFC and Pride are finally on cable, so at least I can catch some of the fights I miss, even though it might be a while after it happens.

Anyway, as I watched I actually cringed a couple of times. I've seen plenty of fights on TV and I own my share of tapes, but damn, some of that was a little uncalled for. Do you think that the knees to the head and the soccer kicks to a downed opponent really add anything to a fight? Some of the fighters (I'm looking at you, Chute Boxe Academy) really seem to take delight in stomping on a man's face. The refs aren't afraid to let some of the fights go a little longer than they should, either. CroCop caught Dos Caras with a left roundhouse kick to the head. Caras slumped forward, into a kind of crouch position. It was obvious that he was out. Mirko hesitated for a second and then gave him a left hook to the head just for the hell of it. Anyway, what do you think? Do the less restrictive rules make the fights more exciting or just more barbaric? I'm sure someone else here has seen the Mark Coleman vs. Allan Goes fight. I don't like Goes, but Coleman threw three, maybe even four knees to the head that were unnecessary. Somebody's gonna get seriously hurt with shit like that going on.

F.T.W. Kid
That stuff, to me, is the referee's responsibility. When you fight, you're trained to go until the bell rings or the ref stops you. One of my trainers fought in a K-1 Rules kickboxing fight about a month ago, and 57 seconds into the fight, he caught the guy turning back around from a spin kick and hit him right in the ribs with his own kick. The guy began to drop to one knee, but the ref didn't do anything, so my trainer followed with another kick to his chest. The ref then jumped in and pushed back my trainer, and counted the guy out. My trainer is a really nice guy, but he's really intense in the ring, and that's just how he fights--go until the bell rings or the ref stops you. He even apologized to the ref and the other fighter for the 2nd kick, and was happy to not be DQ'd for it.

Hell, in the UFC Fight Night just a few weeks back, that guy got caught with a short right hook to the jaw, dropped to his knees, and the ref stopped the fight. The guy that got clocked was fine, and he even shook his head after the ref stopped the fight. But he agreed that the ref was right in stepping in right after the knockdown. I do notice those Pride/K-1 fights are a bit more brutal than the UFC, and that the refs tend to wait a bit longer before they stop a fight, unless there's a tap-out.

I saw this 6' 11" kickboxer run through a bunch of guys in a tourney, then he fought the final guy, and he lost after getting kicked in the quad (!). You just never know what's going to take someone down, or when that one shot hits the other guy just right.
The rules are a little different between Pride and the UFC. I don't like stomps and soccer kicks to downed opponents, which are both allowed in Pride. It's a little too brutal for my tastes. I don't know how I feel about the knees to the head of a downed opponent. Knees can cause a lot of damage, which is good and bad.

In the UFC, they don't allow any of that stuff, but they allow elbows and forearms, so long as you don't strike down with the point of your elbow. That leads to a lot of fights ending prematurely due to cuts. David Loiseau and Kenny Florian are using this to their advantage by trying to open cuts with their elbows in every fight.

It does seem like the smaller Japanese refs in Pride are a little bit slower in stopping a fight when an oppenent is clearly down and out. The UFC's refs are usually pretty big and will manhandle or tackle the fighters in a heartbeat to stop a fight. Also, most of them train MMA and at least one, Herb Dean, has fought MMA a few times before. They are not afraid to get physical with the fighters. For a fighter who smells blood in the water, having a small guy waiving his arms at you doesn't do as much as having a 6'5" guy tackle you to get you to stop raining down blows. The UFC refs just seem more willing and/or able to protect fighters (which often leads to premature stoppages).

The other thing is that in MMA a fight might not be over, even though a fighter appears to be knocked out. If it's a flash knockout and the fighter has time to recover and come to before a ref can call it, the fight goes on. I think that is why a lot of fighters will keep up the punishment until the ref tells them to stop. Of course some fighters just like to hurt people.
If the UFC could allow stomps and such on the ground they probably would, but I believe they have a much more stringent set of rules they need to abide by because they are governed by the Nevada State of Athletics. So they're just happy to have their license. That's also why the judging tends to be terrible in UFC events, because they get stuck with boxing judges a lot.
Yeah, wasn't that why they changed the rules from truly being "No Holds Barred" to having some actual rules like what's been mentioned for the UFC? Because I remember at the very beginning of the UFC, they struggled to find venues to have their fights, as most places "outlawed" what they were doing. I think they even had a PPV fight at a tiny place in Mobile, AL, because it was one of the few places that would let them fight.
Yeah, Japan has no such thing as state athletic commisions. The UFC has to answer to authorities like that which is the reason for the stricter rules. At first their appeal was that NHB atmosphere, but as soon as people started tuning out (and they were dropped from PPV because the state athletic commissions wouldn't authorize their fights) they finally crawled out of the hole they dug themselves when the Fertitta's and Dana White took over. I think a big part of it is the refs, some of them are a bit slow to jump in and stop a fight, but that shouldn't give fighters free reign to be assholes. You can tell when a guy is done. Yet, some fighters keep pounding away anyway. I'm not saying any names, Gomi...............

F.T.W. Kid
The UFC was forced to move from spectacle to sport in order to survive. That's actually turned out to be a great thing. I remember when the early UFC named Ron Van Clief (the 51 year-old who fought Royce in UFC 4) to be the Commissioner or something. He said at UFC 6 or 7 that he could see the UFC putting on UFC 100 at some point in future. I didn't think that would be possible at the time because it was just sort of a brutal spectacle without mainstream appeal. I was actually surprised when they made it to UFC 10.

Fast forward to 2005 and the UFC is surging in popularity and putting on UFC 57, with 58 and 59 already announced. Counting 3 Ultimate Fight Nights, 2 TUF live finales, 2 Ultimate Ultimate Tournaments, Ultimate Brazil, Ultimate Japan, and UFC 37.5, the UFC has already held 66 live events. You can now see taped UFC fights every Monday on national tv and the third season of TUF reality show is starting soon. The UFC is poised to someday take over from boxing as the most popular combat sport. It's probably just a matter of time before ESPN starts covering MMA in the same way they cover boxing. I remember growing up watching boxing on tv every week with my dad. I loved watching Sugar Ray, Hagler, Hearns, and Holmes. My son will probably grow up with memories of watching Franklin, Hughes, St. Pierre, and Arlovski with me.

This is all thanks to Dana White and the Fertitta brothers for getting NSAC sanctioning and marketing the hell out the UFC as a legit sport to young males.
Ref's and their stoppages (in both Pride & UFC) depend solely on who's image needs protecting. I hate to say it, but it's true. Let's run down a few examples off the top of my head . . .

* I'm not saying Forrest didn't rock Sinosic with that punch, but comparing it to how badly Trigg was allowed to pound the crap out of Hughes after felling him with the low blow in their rematch, and considering Elvis' strength has always been from working off his back, I don't see how they can justify stopping it before Forrest could even follow him down to the canvas.

* Cast your mind back to the Baroni/Lindland fight. Back when Baroni was their trash-talking, ripped-to-shreds poster boy with the drawing power of 20-second KO's. Is it just me, or did the round that ended with Baroni whaling on Lindland's ribs while he was turtled up on the ground seem to go for an extra 8-10 seconds, almost as if they were hoping the ref would stop the fight?

* I know the Sakuraba/Shamrock match is cause for much debate, as it was indeed a flash KO, but the ref had leapt in before Ken even hit the ground, and yet in the Bushido tournament, heavy favourites not only hit the ground, but received 4-6 undefended curb stomps to the head before the refs decide to step in and end it.

I could go on for hours. The bottom line, however, is that they defend whoever needs defending, or whoever's image needs to be built up or rebuilt. It's pretty fucking annoying, but I just accepted it as part of the sport a long time ago.

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