Dana White’s back at the vloggin’ for UFC 160, which of course means we’re setting the DeLorean for backstage at UFC 159. Highlights include: Joe Silva tells Dana the origin story of eye poke versus groin shot recovery time; Bryan Caraway does indeed appear to be friends with Pat Healy; Bisping is even more affable just before a fight than usual; security goons block even the official vlog cameraman from filming Chael Sonnen during post-fight medicals; and Bisping declares he’s getting drunk as Sonnen greets some fans.
Unlike those throwaway cards on free cable, Zuffa actually makes commercials and such for its PPV events. Apropos, I invite you to enjoy the “Countdown to UFC 160″ show in three parts. Above is “Act I: Finding Bigfoot”, in which we’re basically told there’s a good chance that Bigfoot Silva’s rematch against Cain Velasquez will somehow go differently than the first. It’s not like they made this fight because Overeem shat the bed and there’s currently no better options for challengers. No, nothing like that.
After the jump, “Act II: Have You Seen
Mike Mark Hunt?” He’s kinda fat, but godDAMN does he hit hard.
You could easily be forgiven for not realizing that UFC On FX 8 is coming up this Saturday, since Zuffa hasn’t even bothered to cut a promo video for it. So enjoy this fan-sourced one instead, though it now illustrates one of many injury shufflings this card suffered, as TUF 11 also-ran Chris Camozzi has replaced Costa Philippou in the co-main against Jacare Souza. Camozzi may be on a 4-fight win streak himself, but let’s be honest, he looks like a much easier match for Jacare than the surging Philippou.
In the main event, this is Vitor Belfort’s second fight in Brazil in a row (and third in the last four), where the lack of athletic commissions is awful convenient for his crippling testosterone deficiency. Dana White vowed to crack down on bullshitty TRT after Belfort showed up last time looking like a superhero, so I guess we’ll know Dana’s full of shit if we get a repeat performance. While other Strikeforce champs were offered immediate title shots upon entering the UFC, Belfort’s opponent Luke Rockhold was apparently told to go beat a contender or two first. I guess that’s the difference that hype and popularity make. Still, the scarcity of better options implies that the winner here will likely become the next challenger, especially if Weidman beats Silva in July.
The rest of the card is the typical mix of middling and local dudes that you’d expect from a foreign UFC event airing on FX, as shown below. But hey, it’s free… so quit yer bitchin and remember those poor starving kids in Africa who don’t get any UFC.
MAIN CARD (9 PM EST):
Middleweight: Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold
Middleweight: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Chris Camozzi
Lightweight: Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham
Middleweight: Rafael Natal vs. Joao Zeferino
FUEL TV PRELIMS (6 PM EST):
Featherweight: Hacran Dias vs. Nik Lentz
Lightweight: Francisco Trinaldo vs. Mike Rio
Lightweight: Gleison Tibau vs. John Cholish
Welterweight: Paulo Thiago vs. Michel Prazeres
Bantamweight: Yuri Alcantara vs. Iliarde Santos
Light Heavyweight: Fabio Maldonado vs. Roger Hollett
FACEBOOK PRELIMS (4:30 PM EST):
Flyweight: John Lineker vs. Azamat Gashimov
Flyweight: Jussier “Formiga” da Silva vs. Chris Cariaso
Lightweight: Lucas Martins vs. Jeremy Larsen
MMA promotions that refuse to include female fights are clearly haters. They also may be guilty of a human rights violation.
In a recent interview with Bloody Elbow, Maximum Fighting Championship prez Mark Pavelich (aka The Canadian Poor Man’s Dana White) stated in no uncertain terms that the only women we’ll ever see in the MFC ring will be holding signs with numbers on them. Erik Magraken over at Canadian MMA Law Blog points out that such a policy is discriminatory and very likely illegal:
Now, we are all entitled to our views and not everyone is a fan of MMA or WMMA. That said, can an Alberta fighting organization take such a stance? Likely not given Section 7 of the Alberta Human Rights Act which stipulates that:
7(1) No employer shall
(a) refuse to employ or refuse to continue to employ any person…because of gender
But can’t it be argued that the MFC is not an employer but instead an organization which obtains the services of independent contractors? Probably not given the “broad, liberal and purposive interpretation” that Canadian Courts give to Human Rights legislation. The Alberta Human Rights Commission provides the following expansive summary of “employment” situations in the Human Rights context:
Alberta courts have considered the definition of employment in human rights legislation in a number of cases including those cited below. In Cormier, the court defined an employment relationship as “any contract in which one person agrees to execute any work or labour for another.” In Bugis, the court stated that to employ is “to utilize.” Under human rights law, courts and human rights tribunals have found employment relationships in situations which are broader than conventional ideas of what is “employment.” Independent contractors, subcontractors, taxi drivers, army cadets and volunteers have all been found to be in employment relationships under human rights legislation and therefore protected against discrimination.
Human rights/labour laws aren’t super liberal here (the Alberta government notoriously tried to block federal gay marriage legislation, for example), so I assume an equivalent argument could be made in most jurisdictions. Still, it’s a bit hard to imagine someone actually slapping a promotion with such a lawsuit, unless it’s just to prove a point and there’s no real intent to fight for them, since suing or threatening to sue a prospective employer presumably makes for a terribly awkward workplace. Frankly, I’m sure most women would rather sign with Invicta or the UFC anyway, but for local Alberta fightin’ chicks looking to cut their teeth, the MFC is by far the biggest show in town.
Tyrone Spong is riding fairly high these days. His current 5-fight win streak includes crushing KO’s of legends Peter Aerts and Remy Bonjasky that have nudged him up to #4 in the GLORY rankings, and sandwiched in, between he smashed Some Guy in his MMA debut at World Series Of Fighting 1.
Spong had ambitious plans to continue this run by co-headlining WSOF 3 and apparently fighting someone at GLORY’s big event in NYC only 8 days later, but it now seems at least one of those ain’t happening. As first reported by The Nose last week and now backed up by Sherdog, Spong won’t have a new visa in time to allow a proper MMA camp with the Blackzillians, and so must postpone his second appearance with the little gloves. I guess WSOF will have to fall back on the guaranteed barnburner* of Volkmann vs Fancy Pants as a co-main event, and well… good luck with that. Anyway, Spong could still make the GLORY show since he can train at home in Holland for that one, but with Daniel Ghita already set to face #13 ranked Brice Guidon, we sadly won’t get the #3 vs #4 match I’d have hoped for. Can’t blame Ghita for taking an easier opponent as a rebound from the ass whuppin’ that Gokhan Saki just gave him. Enter Errol Zimmerman, perhaps?
Spong’s fought in one-day tournaments more than once before, but I can’t help but think that his plan says something about how he viewed his prospective WSOF opponent. Sporting a record of 11-2, Angel DeAnda isn’t exactly a can, but considering all but one of his fights ended by (T)KO, he’s also not the guy to test if Spong can actually mix his martial arts. Throwing an MMA slugger in against an elite kickboxer with six times as many fights under his belt sure looks like a gimme match for Spong… as long as he doesn’t get Overeem’d, that is.
* Not a guarantee.
[Pic via MMAWeekly.com]
Gokhan Saki needed a 4-round decision to beat Daniel Ghita back in 2010, but it sure didn’t go that long today. The first round was fairly even, though the smaller Saki’s speed advantage was readily apparent. He began landing heavy shots early in the second round, and knocked Ghita down at the 2-minute mark with a 12-punch flurry, then instantly re-dropped him with only two more. When Ghita regained his feet again, Saki pounced and quickly landed enough leather to make the ref step in and rescue Ghita.
With such an impressive win, Saki now seems the top contender for Semmy Schilt’s title, and will likely get that shot before Tyrone Spong, despite having lost a decision to Schilt only one fight ago. But that was in a grand prix tourney, so I guess it doesn’t count. As for Ghita, I notice he and Spong have never fought before…
Updated with new vid link, sorry about the audio.