From the weigh-ins to the event to the afterparties and beyond, there’s always tons of great photos being taken over fight weekends. Here’s a little tale of UFC 106 as told through some of the pictures from All Elbows, Sherdog, Combat Lifestyles, Fight! Magazine, and various other nooks and crannies of the internet.
Yes, that IS Lil’ Jon.
There was a press conference in Japan today to announce the combination of DREAM and Sengoku’s New Years Eve show. Although we didn’t have a reporter there, we had something nearly as good: our man Supercrap, who drank down a Peyote Big Gulp and sent his astral form there to cover all the action!
The room is quiet, various members of the press fondle each others’ zoom lenses.
Bob Sapp enters wearing a loin cloth carrying a giant gong with a banana in his mouth.
He bashes the gong seven times with what looks like a femur bone. This causes the journalists in the room to wince and cower in fright. Sapp peels the banana and shoves it into his ear then hoots like a gorilla. He looks ashamed and uncomfortable.
The old Pride music starts pumping out of the speakers so loud that my shoes melt and the guy next to me faints. The warbly voiced lady starts announcing the members of the press conference. Sapp beats his chest and does forward roll to exit stage left.
Tanigawa backflips onto the stage wearing a pink robot / maid costume, an in-joke based on an obscure Japanese animation that causes the Japanese journalists (and Jordan Breen) to go into fits of convulsive laughter. I clear my throat and think about Bob Sapp in the jungle.
Some bad hip hop begins playing and a lot of Japanese fighters amble on stage.
Sakuraba flies in on some kind of suspended rope/pulley system wearing a red robot / maid outfit and a lucha libre mask. He lands on stage and does an attack pose from the animation “Ultraman”. Tanigawa (and Tokoro in the background) do the complementary defense pose causing the entire room to giggle approvingly.
Some people talk and Masato sings a song then high kicks the air. The room is silent. A goat is brought on stage. Giant Silva shuffles on with his arms and legs shackled. He is instructed to eat the goat via sign language. He does and everyone cheers (except the goat.)
Shinya Aoki and Masakazu Imanari come on stage wearing schoolgirls outfits. They pose for the cameras, do a short grappling demonstration, and then begin having hardcore anal intercourse. Imanari jizzes all over the reporters at the front.
“Wild Boys” begins playing and a giant robot version of Mirko Cro Cop crashes through the back of the conference room, killing Yoshihiro “Kiss” Nakao under a pile of rubble. Everyone gasps including you but not me because I took a sip of Calpis Water at that time.
The robotic Cro Cop turns to the audience and says something in Japanese. Then Minowaman enters on a jetpack. It is far too powerful for the small room and he bumps his head on the ceiling a few times before doing a somersault and heel-hooking the Robot Cro Cop which fizzes and sparks then explodes. Minowaman unclips himself from his rocket pack, bows to the assembled reporters, and then tears off his skin to reveal that he is a half-lizard half-trout from the future. He bows again, does a backflip and sits down next to Yamamoto Kid.
Ishii vs. Yoshida is announced as the main battle of the NYE card. Ishii talks via satellite uplink and he and Yoshida, who is live at the press conference, play rock scissors paper with a rather awkward delay. Yoshida loses and someone comes on stage to hand him a trophy in the shape of a robotic dildo. He smiles sheepishly and bashes Kazuo Misaki over the head with it.
Some schoolgirls can-can on stage and high kick everyone in the face including the reporters (and me.) Antoni Inoki comes out and slaps you pretty hard but there’s nothing you can do about it.
An elephant is led on stage and trumpets out most of the words to “Time to Say Goodbye”, takes a huge steaming dump, and is led off stage. A video of Fedor is played in the background for no apparent reason.
Questions are opened up to the floor. Someone asks whether the entire second series of Neon Genesis Evangelion will be released on Blu Ray or not. Someone else asks if he can purchase the underwear of the schoolgirls who came on earlier. Someone else asks if he can smell Bob Sapp’s loin cloth.
Everyone is thanked for attending then sprayed directly in the face with a giant hose dispensing ultra-slime. The entire room breaks down into a slime-covered free for all with everyone scrambling for the exit as J-Pop begins to play.
In this fashion, a typical Japanese MMA press conference.
May 1st is looking like it might be a busy day. First Dana White mentions that the plan is return to Montreal for that date, and then Lyoto Machida mentions that May 1st will be the day he’ll be rematching Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. But there’s a potential problem for everything that’s been set up: a boxing superfight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could be happening on the same day.
Now this isn’t some dick move by boxing to go head to head with MMA (that’s the UFC’s shtick), but I’m sure after the UFC lost both the UFC 103 vs Mayweather / Marquez and UFC 105 vs Pacquiao / Cotto battles, fans of the sweet science would love for May 1st to mark a 30-27 route even MMA judges couldn’t misinterpret.
The meeting of Pacquiao and Mayweather will be the biggest fight for at least a decade, and could overhaul many revenue records, with May 1 2010 the projected date of the contest, most likely in Las Vegas.
The all-time pay-per-view record is the 2.44 million buys generated by Mayweather’s 2007 win against Oscar De La Hoya. It is expected that a meeting of Pacquiao and Mayweather could sell over 2.5 million pay per view buys, and gross over $100 million.
So what do you think? Will Dana and the UFC hold on stubbornly to their May 1st plans even if Mayweather vs Pacquiao is solidified? Or are you betting on petty boxing politics to kill this superfight or at least delay it?
More great fucking news about the fucking wonderful fucking time that has been the last fucking half of 2000 and fucking 9:
Sources with the UFC confirmed that Gabriel Gonzaga is off the  card because of staph infection.
Is there some kind of super staph that only lives in Brazil/affects Brazilians that train in Massachusetts that I’m unaware of? I still think an interim belt is stupid, seeing as how Lesnar may be able to compete within a year of his last defense if he can get healthy by July. Carwin seems to prefer waiting until Brock is healthy – and who can blame him? – and Cain has been talking and acting hungry since the moment he got done dominating Ben Rothwell.
Easy solution here – Cofield and I concur on this one: JDS has lost an opponent to staph. So too has Cain (Big Nog apparently decided not to hobble his unready-to-perform ass into a big fight two straight years). It’s not as if the loser of this fight goes to the back of the line – rather, you set the loser (cough Dos Santos cough) up against Napao when he’s healthy. It’s a shame that the wounded roster of UFC heavyweights (Lesnar, Carwin, Nog, Gonzaga, Duffee) compares with the healthy one (Mir, Cain, JDS, Kongo, Struve), but really, who else for these two? It’s an excellent fight, and if an interim title does have to be awarded, then the winner of this fight vs. Carwin should fit the bill sometime next year. Meanwhile, I’m hopping on a plane to Brasilia and applying for mat-mopping jobs. Clearly, there is a dearth of that skill in that particular market.
While I’d rather see Ben Saunders take on Anthony Rumble Johnson in a ‘Godzillas of the Welterweight Division’ showdown before Rumble’s kidneys shut down, I also wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch between Saunders and Mike Swick sometime down the road. So would Saunders, who called Swick out for being a sore winner the last time they fought:
“After the fight, (Swick) ended up coming to the back and talking for a bit,” he said. “I was kind of feeling out if he was just trying to gloat or just trying to rub it in my face. What’s going on here? I went with it. He seemed like it may have been he was more excited than gloating and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool man.’”
But then Saunders ran into Swick and the camp again later, he said.
“I went up to Bob Cook after, I was looking for my corner Paul Rodriguez and I said, ‘Hey Bob, have you seen Paul?’ said Saunders. “And he was like, ‘Man, you’re still smiling, huh?’ I had nothing to be ashamed of. I got TKO’ed by Mike Swick and I’m fighting in the UFC living my dream and then they said something. Then as I was walking away his entire corner and Mike Swick were more like, ‘Got knocked the f— out,’ or something like that. And I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I thought that was ridiculous, arrogant and uncalled for.”
The welterweight fighter said he couldn’t believe the fighter now in front of him was the same one that had visited him backstage earlier.
“Mike Swick just was in the back with me trying to be cool with me and then you’re going to act like that because you’re with your crew and all laughing in my face as I’m walking away?” asked Saunders.
Yeah, this is total high school stuff, but isn’t it part of the fun of MMA that shit like this gets to be settled in the cage?