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Sean Salmon dropped by MMAJunkie to say happy new years to all the peeps there, and to say he’d be taking a break from active competition for a while:

On that note, I have re-evaluated my approach (and then re-evaluated it again and again) and will be taking off until I believe that I am a new fighter. I got in this game 25 months ago and fought 19 times, but I never gave myself a chance to improve. Honesty, I thought I was the next world champion. I have been humbled and can admit when things need to be fixed, and that is what we are doing here. I am taking the time to fix everything — even the things that I always believed I was best at. The next time you see me in a cage, I will be the best version of me that I can present. And for the people that really care, my health will always come first, so relax.

Here’s hoping Salmon doesn’t do any wrestling training for a few months and ends up in Thailand or something. There seems to be so many guys who get stuck training the same shit all the time instead of working on new skills or integrating new skills into their existing skillsets. Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin come to mind. On the other end of the spectrum is Jens Pulver, who worked his ass off to develop his submission skills and applied a killer standing anaconda choke against Cub Swanson in his last fight.

Also on Sean’s to do list should be some lessons on how not to look like you’ve died every time you lose. I dunno where they train you in stuff like that, but it certainly would be useful for him.

Remember a little while ago, we mentioned the fact that Quinton Jackson was getting sued by White Chocolate Management, a company that was working to secure sponsorships, appearances, and other money making opportunities for Rampage? Well, I have to admit at the time that I wasn’t really expecting White Chocolate to do much more other than put out press releases regarding this and blow a lot of smoke up people’s asses.

Well, here’s all the documents filed by WCM regarding the lawsuit, and after reading through them I think they might actually have a decent case. Basically it comes down to this: after Rampage knocked out Chuck, Rampage’s trainer and manager Juanito Ibarra started rejecting all of the deals WCM was sending their way. Furthermore, he also started telling people WCM put in touch with him that WCM had nothing to do with representing Rampage. There’s also claims that Ibarra also tried to sneak WCM deals through the backdoor to avoid commissions, but I didn’t see any evidence of that laid out in the legal docs.

All in all, I can see why WCM would be pissed. It’s one thing to reject deals that are being offered, but to make WCM look like lying posers and then stealing deals …. Yeah. If all this is true, it wouldn’t surprise me. Ibarra is from the boxing world after all, and you haven’t really made it in that scene till you’ve stabbed a dozen people in the back.

MMA Magazine Review: Fighters Only
Issue Reviewed: December 2007
Rating: 8/10

We’re starting off with this one because the editor Hywel Teague is a regular reader and commentator so I thought I’d get his magazine done first to avoid harassment and any attempts at bribery. As it stands, he wouldn’t have had to bribe me very much because I’d place Fighers Only as one of the best magazines out there.

Overall the magazine looks pretty sharp, with decent graphic design and layout that reminds me of FHM. The magazine is 100 pages long with 34 pages of advertising, mainly from UK fight supply and supplement stores. Barely any ‘meathead ads’ (bodybuilding freaks doing retarded flexes to sell SUPERZOMG POWDER) which was nice.

There’s 9 main articles of various quality… a good general piece on white collar workers who train and fight in MMA, the history of Japanese MMA, a review of UFC78 and the Strikeforce show, plus a breakdown of Toronto ‘from an MMA point of view’. Overall the quality was high … the Japanese scene article was written from a general perspective but included a lot of facts that I didn’t know before, and the white collar article was entertaining and had a list of fighters and their past/current day jobs (for instance, gay Rory Singer was a lab technician with murse aspirations).

Interview / article pieces included Roger Huerta, Gary Shaw, Glibert Melendez and UK fighter Dan Hardy. I was a bit dissapointed that the cover photo of Anderson Silva only related to the UFC78 review and not an actual article on him. The Huerta and Shaw articles didn’t really break any new ground, but the Melendez and Hardy interviews were solid.

The real strength of the magazine comes from all the stuff in between … they condense all the big MMA news for the month into six pages for easy reading, and have a number of good editorial columns, an MMA gadgets section, hot girl of the month, and UK fight roundup. Last but not least they leave the ass end of the magazine for a bunch of training info.

The submissions section is pretty basic, but I guess there’s not much of a point to put a lot of the more complicated stuff into a magazine like this. The articles on rest, cardio training, and circuit training were useful … sure the internet is full of this stuff but I put more stock into what Fighters Only tells me rather than the thousands of websites just cut and pasting god knows what into their shitty banner revenue sites.

All in all, this mag is a great read from front to back. While the more hardcore fans probably won’t learn anything new from most of the pieces, the whole thing is well written and puts all the facts together in one entertaining place. My only real gripe with it is the weird shape of the magazine itself. At 9.5 x 12 inches, it’s too big to sit on the back of my toilet, which is where I get the majority of my reading done.

Pros: Good read, slick look, smart mag, useful training section.
Cons: No ‘scoops’ or breaking news, a bit harder to find / more expensive since it’s a UK publication. Doesn’t fit on the back of my toilet!!!

Final Conclusion: Fuck buying this magazine … I recommend you subscribe to it, although god knows how you’re supposed to. While all the other mags came crammed full of subscription cards, I couldn’t find any info on subscribing anywhere in the magazine and on the site. So unless Hywel gives us a heads up, you’re probably stuck having to keep an eye open when you’re in bookstores. It’s definately worth doing that though.

From Kevin’s latest mailbag:

Matt Lindland was on an HDNet Fights broadcast recently and told the interviewer that he’s signed on with them.

Yes, the news was delivered via someone mailing Kevin, and it’s apparently repeated news from an HDNet broadcast. But you know how it is with MMA news: it’s not really news until it’s on the web. Then the person who put it up first gets bragging rights. So how the hell did MMA Junkie, Five Ounces, Bloody Elbow, et all miss this news? Just last week I spent a good page or two worth of writing lambasting the mainstream MMA media for never being the first to report anything, and now Kevin Iole of all people breaks this Lindland shit.

Of course, the other possibility is that Kevin Iole printed this without fact checking it and he’s wrong. Anyone know for sure?

While down in the States over holidays, I hit up a few different bookstores and bought all the magazines I could get my mitts on related to mixed martial arts. I passed on the kung fu rags with token articles on UFC fighters, but past that I think I got a decent representation of the shit you should be able to find yourself wherever you live (provided you live in a city with a Barnes & Noble or Chapters).

Over the next week I’ll be starting off every day with a review of one magazine. Here’s the ones I’ll be covering:

  • Fighters Only
  • MMA Worldwide
  • Fight!
  • Ultimate Grappling
  • Real Fighter
  • Elite Fighter

I’m sure there are magazines I’m missing … add the names of any others into the comments section and I’ll try and get a hold of them. As I get new mags I’ll do new reviews, and compile all of them into a (gasp!) resource so you’ll have an easy way of knowing which magazines suck or rock and why.

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