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There’s no doubt that K1’s first American show was about as close to a total disaster as it could have been without being cancelled outright. While Japanese tv money probably kept it out of the black, K1 will have a hard time convincing MMA fans in America to throw a dime their way any time soon.

But dispite the fact that Japan has been stripped of it’s title as the fight mecca of the world, there’s still a ton of money and opportunity there for K1 to take advantage of. With PRIDE gone and over half it’s Japanese fighters cut loose, this is the perfect time for K1’s MMA branch HERO’s to get it’s shit together and fill the void.

Of course, it’s a huge question mark as to if HERO’s can do this. For a company that’s been around for two and a half years, they haven’t been able to get much going. That’s dispite having K1’s financial backing and tons of star power on their roster. Even by Japanese standards, their fight booking is completely inconsistant and nonsensical. They put way too much importance on tournaments, and no importance on title belts.

All in all, there’s a huge opportunity for HERO’s right now. PRIDE is gone. The UFC certainly isn’t looking like they’re about to magically appear in Japan. While I don’t expect HERO’s to magically step up to the plate and compete with the UFC on a global level, I don’t see why they can’t sort their shit out enough to fill the void for mixed martial arts in Japan. At the moment they’re just phoning it in and collecting paychecks from Japanese TV stations. Let’s hope they take it to the next level soon.

Here’s a video of Mirko Crocop after his loss to Cheik Kongo. In case you don’t understand Croatian, here’s the translation thanks to his official forum Nokaut. Although the video is still worth watching to see the sadness and pain on Crocop’s face.

“What can I say, I’m very disappointed. I broke a rib already in the first round, so I was breathing heavily, I also got two knees in the groin, which hurt my stamina. I feel bad, I fought bad, maybe I’m getting older,” he tried to make a joke. “My rib hurts, don’t be mad, we’re gonna continue. I just want to go home right now and take a rest. We’ll see. Thanks to everyone who came to London to support me, thanks!”

**UPDATE** Just to clarify, the title of this post is kinda a joke … we do that from time to time around here. Honestly, a broken rib in the first and four cock-shots are enough to take the wind out of even the most determined eastern european fighter’s sails. So while I’m not gonna defend the loss, this fact does explain some things.

MMAWeekly’s Ivan Trembow is the shit. Even his comments on other people’s blogs are better than half the crap being spewed on the front pages of MMA sites across the net. Here’s what he has to say about the bullshit judging for Bisping/Hamill, and it perfectly explains the anatomy of a bad decision:

The UFC, specifically Marc Ratner, is responsible for bringing in the judges, officials, inspectors, etc. and essentially acting as the athletic commission when they run shows in unregulated places like the United Kingdom.

Two people that watched the event with me are now pretty sour on the whole sport in general, saying that it’s corrupt and full of crap. I had to try to convince them that it was just incompetence and gutlessness on the part of the judges, and not corruption.

Again, when making the argument to my pissed off friends that the judges were simply incompetent and gutless as opposed to corrupt, I basically had to say never mind the fact that the judges on these unregulated UFC shows are hired by the UFC, paid for by the UFC, chosen by the UFC, flown in by the UFC, etc. In the case of that particular fight, I think it was just a case of the judges being gutless in not wanting to have the fight scored 2 rounds to 0 headed into the final round, which is unfortunately not that uncommon to see, and then giving the final round to Bisping, which at that point would give him 2 rounds to 1.

  • Houston Alexander is officially the hottest shit in the UFC right now. If you thought he was overhyped before, prepare yourselves: internet forums around the world will be heralding him like the second coming of Jesus Christ. Of course, logic states you can’t take two wins over tepid opponents to mean all that much. It’s time to put this guy in the ring with some real competition. It’s too bad they fired Babalu because he would have been the perfect litmus test.
  • Jess Liaudin displayed some pretty awesome striking for the second fight in a row. Him and Marcus Davis should be on a collision course to determine who deserves a shot to crack into the crowded welterweight contender picture. And as much as I respect Davis after he managed to come back in his fight against Paul Taylor, I think Liaudin will wreck him.
  • Quinton Jackson really impressed me with his careful and methodical win over Dan Henderson. I remember all the questions people were asking about Jackson last year … right after he found God he lost a lot of fights. Fortunately God doesn’t like being repped by a loser, so he sent Juanito Ibarra to sort his soldier out. Now Jackson is a new man, and you could see it in this fight. While Rampage could have let his hands go a bit more, I can’t criticize him because his gameplan worked and he clearly beat Henderson from start to finish.

No one cares if you punch a guy to the back of the head. It’s a fight, it’s gonna happen. Especially when guys are tangled up in the ground with their faces buried in each other’s chests. Pretty much the only exposed bit is the back of the head! While warnings for punches to the back of the head make perfect fodder for UFC drinking games, I think it’s a damn stupid rule that needs to be tossed out or at least modified.

I can’t say for sure why strikes to the back of the head are illegal. Last I checked, you got a whole bunch of skull back there which generally protects you from things. The neck I can understand. But back of the head? On the other hand, while I’ve done some gynological work, I’m not really a doctor. So I’ll just play along and say the ‘back of the head rule’ makes sense. But wouldn’t it make *more* sense to have it implemented in the same way elbows are? Elbows are allowed but not downward elbows. So why not allow those sideways punches to the back of the head, but not downward punches from the mount – the kind most likely to really fuck a dude up?

Anyways, my opinion on this comes solely from being sick of hearing ‘Watch the back of the head’ repeated over and over like a Hari Krishna chanting his prayers. If someone has to get brain damage so I don’t have to put up with that, I’ll consider it a fair trade.

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