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Well, it didn’t take long for the internet to go from stunned disbelief to angry accusation regarding Akiyama’s knockout of Denis Kang at HEROs this weekend.

For those of you who don’t know, Akiyama is probably the most controversial fighter in Asia. Last year he was suspended for using lubricant on his body during a fight with Sakuraba … some even accuse him of using steel knuckles in the fight. The above video documents the whole shebang and is worth watching, although remember: the Japanese hate Koreans, so take it with a grain of salt.

This wasn’t even Akiyama’s first brush with infamy … apparently he has a history of greasing. But who knows what’s real and false in the land of the rising sun : it wouldn’t surprise me if Akiyama’s admission was the result of some weird honor-triangle or other weird backstage politics. Whatever the case is, you’ll never hear of Akiyama winning without people reminding you he’s a cheating son of a bitch.

There’s a new Fedor interview out, and like most Fedor interviews it practically shines with the exuberance this jolly Russian puts off. I often say that Fedor’s demeanor reminds me of Jim Carey back in his standup days … so wacky and physically emotive. Oh wait, no that’s not Fedor at all. That’s Anti-Fedor, who lives in reverse land. This interview shows off just how bland and boring Fedor is:

correspondent: Do you have dreams that yet to come true?

FE: I do, I want to take a break from the ongoing training process…and go to a beach where it is warm and you can see fish in water like in an auqarium.

correspondent: What kind of rest do you prefer? Is it more of an acitve kind or is it the kind where you get to jsut lie down and get some suntan?

FE: I prefer the active type of rest, I enjoy swimming very much, anything but not just lieing down.

correspondent: How is building of your new house coming along?

FE: it is not finished yet.

Fucking goddamn. This guy needs to get out and have some fun or something. There was one bit of interesting information in all of that soul sucking monotony, and that was the date of the first M-1 show:

correspondent: Do you know where the first fight is taking place? and who you are going to fight in the ring?

FE: The first fight will take place in USA Chicago on the 15 of February. The opponent is not known as for now, but we are in the process of negotioation with a number of fighters.

No word yet on if this semi-official announcement has put the Eye of Mordor (also known as the UFC’s crack team of lawyer assassins) onto this event. Word has it that Chicago’s MMA legislation doesn’t come into effect until the middle of 2008. Would it be considered ‘tinfoil hat’ to think the UFC could try to mess with M-1’s debut event by pushing for the date to be moved up?

Matt Lindland has long been known as the fighter martyred by the UFC for being boring as fuck. Lately he’s known more for moving up in weight class and dropping bouts to Quinton Jackson and Fedor. Not the smartest move match-up wise, but hey … a man’s gotta get paid and when the money’s in another weight class…

Every single time anyone writes a hamfisted article on how the UFC can fix it’s middleweight division, Lindland’s name always comes up. Which is stupid, because you might as well wish for Peter Pan or the reanimated corpse of Eddie Guerrero to come into the UFC. It ain’t gonna fucking happen. So why bother talking about it???

Why isn’t it going to happen? Because Matt Lindland won’t sign an exclusive contract, and he won’t stop working with competing organizations. He made this policy very clear during a recent radio interview with MMAWeekly, and he doesn’t seem interested in changing his mind dispite his recent issues getting fights.

The UFC has a lot of bonehead policies in place, but forcing exclusivity is not one of them. I have no idea what’s up with guys like Matt Lindland who think it’s a sane request to have an open contract. What makes me shake my head even more is that Matt’s not even getting more fights because of his free agent status. The way things look, he’s gonna end 2007 with 2 fights, both of which happened at the beginning of the year. He’s also having to take matches against bigger guys which are to his obvious disadvantage, hurting his reputation. As a result, he’s been sliding down the rankings lists of many fanboys.

Anyways, I always find it interesting when fighters rage against the machine. The Shamrock brothers, Josh Barnett, Matt Lindland, and now Randy Couture are always entertaining to listen to, and it is very clear that SOMEONE has to speak out against the evil empire that is the UFC. Their pay is shit, their ‘when we feel like it’ locker room bonuses are shady, and their contract terms are often overly restrictive.

But Lindland keeps on going after the wrong aspects of business. No one cares that Dana White is trying to crush the IFL … that’s standard business practices and to be expected. And no one cares that a UFC contract won’t let you fight in Bodog. That’s a common sense clause as well. I’m all for Lindland saying that’s why he won’t sign and then shutting the fuck up. But I’m sick of everyone putting the onus on the UFC to do something and sign Lindland. It’s Lindland’s decision not to be in the UFC, and that’s all there is to it.

Over at Sherdog, Jake Rossen has moved on from telling fighters to retire and is now trying his hand at telling fighters to change weight classes. Although I don’t agree with all of his picks, I am glad to see someone else talking about fighters being in the wrong weight classes. Fightlinker has been talking about this issue since Pride fighters started getting whupped in the octagon : it’s not a PRIDE curse, it’s just smaller fighters getting beaten by bigger fighters.

Size advantage is a huge boon, and there’s nowhere you’ll see this more than in the UFC over the past few months. As Rossen points out, Mirko Crocop looked tiny against monsters like Cheick Kongo and Gabriel Gonzaga. Shogun Rua also seemed out muscled compared to Forrest Griffin, and when you see Wanderlei Silva alongside UFC guys I bet you’ll notice a strength difference there too.

It’s not surprising that most fighters in the UFC have already shifted into the best weight class for their body type. The UFC is a crucible which chews up and spits out fighters who haven’t done all the cutting they can. I’ve lost count of the number of fighters who have dropped one or even two weight classes in the UFC. Because if you’re not cutting like a motherfucker in the UFC, you’re gonna get tooled by someone who is.

On the other hand, Pride never really did give a shit about weight classes. With open weight fights and open weight tournaments, a guy was just as likely to fight someone 100 pounds heavier as they were to fight someone 20 pounds heavier. Different fighters jumped between weight classes from fight to fight, and you often didn’t know who you were fighting until a week before the event, let alone what weight you were supposed to be.

So it really doesn’t surprise me that Pride guys are having a hard time adjusting to this new system. If you ask me, I think the majority of the Pride superstars need to drop a weight class: Mirko, Wanderlei, Hendo, and Shogun being at the forefront of that statement. I dunno if other incoming fighters have noticed this, but at least some guys are thinking smart. Ryo Chonan, who is better known as a tubby middleweight, is making the cut to welterweight so as not to give up any size.

Long story short: if you’re not cutting, you’re not winning. Or if you are winning, just wait till you fight someone in the top ranks who is cutting. Then you’ll lose.

This is turning out to be quite the unpredictable year, and things are only getting weirder and weirder. At times, things are so strange you have to wonder if something is going on with time and space itself … if the threads making up the fabric of the universe are being twisted by some unknown Ta’avern. What’s making me think the end of the world is night?

Brad fucking Imes just pulled off his second gogoplata finish in a fucking row.

At first i thought this was a mistake … that the website I had read this from was just reposting results from Brad’s last match. But it’s true … Brad Imes defeated Bo Cantrell 55 seconds into the first round with one of MMA’s rarest submissions. I can count the number of times on my toes that the gogoplata has been used successfully in MMA, and never mind you the extra 3 toes I have … that’s between me and the makers of Thalidomide to sort out.

I have to wonder if this news will make a rumored match between Imes and Brock Lesnar any more or less likely. Me, I’d imagine the UFC wouldn’t want to throw Lensar in the ring with someone who’s been jiu-jitsuing like the second coming of Carlson. On the other hand, I think Brock Lesnar’s arms and shoulders are probably so big it would be impossible to gogoplata him.

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