Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Q&A With Steve Mazzagatti
I know you have been getting criticized of late due to the controversial decision in the Johnson/Burns fight. Can you tell me what you saw in the third round when Johnson fell to the ground and turned his back screaming?
I did not see the eye poke as I was on the other side of the action. After he got hit, it looked like he went down from a punch, so I called it the way I saw it. Remember, we only have one or two seconds to make a call, and without any form of replay. I agree...it was a bullshit call but that's what I saw.
Do you think there should be instant replay in MMA?
It would be nice, but it could also be a problem. How far would it go? The place for the replay would be in the protest phase with the commission.
What do you have to say to all the fans out there who are ripping you for your call in that fight?
I would have loved to call the fight while sipping a cold one on my La-Z-Boy watching the replay over and over. Good work Guys.
How do you deal with the backlash? Does it ever get to you?
I can understand why the fans are bummed out. It bums me out also. I can only call it the way I see it and I didn't see it. My bad.
Is it true that you apologized to Johnson after the fight?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
To view D Wizzle's interview with Caraway, click here -
Hey Miesha, how's it going today? Congratulations on your win over Elaina Maxwell at Strikeforce!
Thanks, it was a big win for me!
Yes, I would because I feel like I learned a lot from that loss. I've developed a much better and more aggressive style of fighting, and I believe I would win a rematch!
My best friend Sharon and I decided to join the wrestling team together, because we both love sports. I just don't like basketball. We decided to wrestle since there was no other sports offered during that season and we both grew to love wrestling immensely.
Is that how you met your boyfriend, Bryan Caraway?
I actually met him at college. He and Tommy Truex started a basic jui-jitsu club, and I decided to try it out and thought it was way cool, I was encouraged by the guys to commute with them to Yakima and train more seriously up there.
Well pretty much... yea, he is the reason besides me having a wrestling background. If he hadn't started that club, I wouldn't be where I am today that's for sure.
I originally trained out of Yakima MMA under Rich Guerin, and that's where I learned all of my basics and most of what I know today, but I now train out of Victory Athletics with Dennis Hallman and it's a great gym!
Probably more nervous for his fight... not because I doubt his ability in any way, but because I know how much he despises losing, and that's a risk we all take when we get in the cage.
How do you think you would do against Gina Carano?
Obviously, my boyfriend Bryan is my number one because he is so talented, a good person, and he helps me a lot with my fight career, but I also like GSP because he's an amazing athlete and he's not cocky. I also like Shayna Baszler because she's a total badass!
What are some of the things you like to do when you are not training?
I like to watch a lot of movies. I also like camping and anything that has to do with the water!
I'd like to fight Liz Posener because she was my first amateur fight and my only amateur loss.
Well, I'm not afraid to stand but that's probably where I need the most work!
I walk around at about 145, and I prefer to fight at 135 because I'm used to cutting weight and that is a comfortable cut for me.
(Laughs) Well, he would probably let me beat up on him for a while and work my game a little, and then at the end, he'd kick my butt and probably sub me out in like two seconds!! (laughs)
Well the nickname I came out to was "TakeDown" Tate, but who knows about that one! I guess I do need a real nickname because no one's givin me one that's stuck yet!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I can't wait to see you fight again. Do you have any final words for the fans out there?
Just a big thank you for all the support and I can't wait to fight again!
EliteXC had their second prime time show last Saturday night and the main event was a middleweight title bout between champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler against challenger Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith.
The show was held at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California.
The main event was a rematch between Lawler and Smith as these fighters fought to a no- contest decision a few months ago due to an accidental eye poke by Lawler which affected Smith's eyesight in the third round.
Saturday's show was thusly titled "Unfinished Business" and CBS showed four of the fights on the card.
All four of the fights ended without any controversy as all the winning fighters finished their business.
The winners of the fights shown on CBS were Lawler, Cris Cyborg, Jake Shields, and Nick Diaz.
Lawler, Diaz, and Cyborg defeated their opponents in the second round by TKO, while Shields easily defeated Nick "The Goat" Thompson early in the first round with a guillotine choke to become EliteXC's first welterweight champion.
Lawler showed why he is the EliteXC middleweight champion by delivering a series of knees to Smith's stomach in the second round to win by TKO. The first round was a feeling out process by both fighters but there were fireworks in the second round.
Both fighters were bloodied up in the second round, and Smith looked like he had the advantage until Lawler started to connect with his punches and knees to end the fight.
Although there were a lot of impressive performances on the show, the fighter that opened up the most eyes was Cris Cyborg. Cyborg defeated the heralded Shayna Baszler in the only women's fight of the evening.
Baszler is known for her submissions but Cyborg avoided all her submission attempts in the first round. In the second round, it appeared that Baszler was tired from all her previously unsuccessful submission attempts.
After Cyborg got Baszler in the Muay Thai clinch and landed some knees in the second round, she proceeded to hit Baszler with a flurry of punches which knocked Baszler down.
In the unintentionally funny moment of the night, Cyborg thought the fight was over and jumped onto the top of the cage to celebrate with the fans. She raised her arms in victory while having her back to Baszler and the referee, Steve Mazzagatti. Unbeknownst to her, Mazzagatti had not called off the fight.
This gave Baszler the chance to recover from the damage inflicted by Cyborg's right hand and knees, but Mazzagatti finally had to call a stoppage to the fight about a minute later after another Cyborg right hand knocked down Baszler for the second time in round two.
Cyborg will possibly challenge Gina Carano in the future. If she doesn't fight Carano next, I could see her having a fight with someone like Kaitlin Young.
Carano was in attendance at ringside along with another EliteXC superstar, Kimbo Slice.
Diaz, a Stockton native, received the loudest ovation of the night. He defeated Thomas "Wildman" Denny in a slugfest.
All four fights on CBS were wildly entertaining and exciting. Unlike many of UFC's shows and broadcasts, the fights were action-packed and the announcers were very professional and articulate.
Gus Johnson, Mauro Ranallo, and Frank Shamrock all did a nice job calling the action, and Karyn Byrant did a good job asking questions while interviewing the fighters.
The only problem I had with the show was that their was a lull after Diaz's fight and leading up to the main event.
MMA fans could not ask for a better night of fights. The winning fighters all won decisively and did not leave their fights to the hands of the judges.
Wilson Reis, Rafael Feijao, and Antonio Silva were all winners in fights that were seen on the cable network, Showtime, right before the CBS show aired.
Reis defeated the very tough Bryan Caraway by unanimous decision after three rounds. Caraway got the better of Reis standing up, but Reis was able to take down Caraway multiple times in the fight.
Caraway did do a very nice job scrambling and getting up from the takedowns.
Caraway reportedly suffered a dislocated kneecap while training for the fight and his knee probably affected him during the fight.
Feijao won by TKO over Canadian Travis Galbraith in the first round. Feijao was very impressive and looks to be a force in the light heavyweight division.
Silva defeated Justin Eilers by TKO in the second round to become the first ever EliteXC heavyweight champion.
Overall, MMA fans have to be pleased with the show.
It was a very successful night for EliteXC and CBS as the show came off very well on television, and the fans got to see hard-hitting action and decisive clear-cut victories without any controversy.
The next CBS broadcast of EliteXC's Saturday Night Fights will be on October 4 and will feature Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Johnson's surgery was successful and he wishes to thank all his fans for their continued support.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
UFC shows never seem to live up to its hype anymore. UFC Fight Night 14 was just another example of a terrible show with too many mismatches or lethargic performances from the fighters.
It was a good thing that I had the Affliction show on at the same time so I would not fall asleep. There were a lot of exciting matches on the Affliction show, and I was watching that show more than I was watching the UFC broadcast.
CB Dolloway had a nice submission win over Jesse Taylor to start the UFC broadcast on Spike TV but the Kevin Burns fight against Anthony "Rumble" Johnson made fans very angry.
Burns established himself as one of the most feared and dangerous fighters in the planet after the fight, and I don't think many fighters will want to sign to fight him in the very near future. He might be more dangerous than fighters like Fedor or Anderson Silva right now. Sure, you might get knocked out by those two fighters but you could lose your eyesight fighting Burns.
Burns' fingers poked and scratched Johnson's eye about four or five times in the match. Burns showed no class and sportsmanship when he tried to go for the kill and attack a fallen Johnson after another eye poke in the final round. Burns pretended he didn't know what had just happened and even deceived the referee who stopped the fight and awarded the TKO victory to Burns.
Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca had an uninspiring three-round fight which ended in a decision and the other three matches on the main card were all mismatches or lethargic.
Brandon Vera was supposed to defeat Reese Andy and he did but it was one of the worst fights of the night. Andy reminds me of former UFC fighter, Sean Salmon, for some reason. I guess it is because they are both wrestlers and short.
Heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez easily defeated UFC veteran Jake O' Brien in the first round, and Silva quickly dismantled the overmatched James "The Sandman" Irvin.
I was really glad the Affliction show was on because the show was way more exciting than the UFC's show.
Vitor Belfort, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, and Fedor Emelianenko all had great fights that got fans really excited on Saturday night.
Affliction's show had way more action and excitement than any of the UFC shows in the past few months.
There is more MMA action this weekend as EliteXC has their second big show on CBS and Showtime on Saturday night. This show should be very exciting and the fights should be way more competitive and intriguing than the fights on UFC Fight Night 14.
There will be three title fights and also a women's match as well.
If the UFC continues to have bad shows with boring fights and questionable judging and officiating by the judges and referees, MMA fans will tune in instead to shows by their competitors such as Affliction and EliteXC if they haven't already.
You can count me as one of those fans.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Here is D Wizzle's interview with MMA fighter Bryan "KidLightning" Caraway. Caraway is a featherweight fighter from the state of Washington. He has a 10-2 professional record and is coming off a big win against Alvin Cacdac at the last Strikeforce show in June. Nine of his wins have been by submission.
This interview was done before it was announced that Caraway's next fight would be against the highly touted Wilson Reis at EliteXC's next big show on July 26 in Stockton, California.
Hey Bryan, how's it going? Congratulations on your win at Strikeforce!
Thanks! I was stoked to be fighting for Strikeforce.
Your style of fighting was listed as "Cowboy Karate" at Strikeforce. Can you give me a definition of that?
Yea, we are from the Northwest so we're a bunch of tough country dudes with technique! It's really just supposed to be funny and it keeps everyone guessing.
You looked really good against Alvin Cacdac. You were on him from the start and eventually forced him to tap from the rear naked choke. Did you expect to have such an easy fight?
I never expect to have an easy fight but I trained really hard for it, and I knew he was a stand-up guy so I figured he couldn't hang with me on the ground. It actually went EXACTLY how we planned it.
Your girlfriend Miesha Tate fought on the card and won also. Is that the first time you guys were on the same card together?
Yea, it was pretty cool!
Were you more nervous about your fight or her fight?
A different kind of nervous for her. I always throw up before my fights because I'm so competitive, and I hate losing more than anything. But for her, I'm worried about her getting hurt or jacked up!!
The crowd booed when you won since Cacdac was from San Jose. How did it feel to win against the hometown fighter with the crowd booing you?
Well, winning always feels awesome, but that adds a little zing to it! (laughs)
Do you have a nickname?
Yea, it was "The Kid" for a long time because I started fighting when I was only 19 so Dennis Hallman nicknamed me "The Kid" but everybody I trained with said I'm lightning fast so now its "KidLightning."
How is the MMA scene in Washington?
The amatuer MMA scene has blown up huge and the pro scene is growing as well with Strike Force coming here. As far as the Northwest, MMA is huge in general and I believe we produce the toughest fighters around.
Where do you train at and who are some of your trainers and training partners?
Well I trained at Yakima MMA with Rich Guerin while I was in college for about three years so he was really influential in who I am today as a fighter. I originally started with Hallman for a little while, and then he introduced me to Rich because he was a lot closer to where i went to school. But now, I moved back over to the Olympia area a few months ago and I'm training with Dennis Hallman again. I have some good training partners like Eddy Ellis, Matt Lininger, Wesley Welch, Cory Devela, and just recently Mike Joy. I also go and train with Lyle Beerbohm, Sterling Ford, and Cody McKenzie. We make trip up to Ivan Salaverry's gym, and drive down to Team Quest a lot and I train with some real tough guys there like Matt Lindland, Chael Sonnen, Ryan Shultz, Ian Loveland, Zack George, Dave Jansen, Nathan Coy, and Ed Herman. All the Quest guys are cool.
Of all your wins so far in your career, which one was the most satisfying?
Uh, I don't know... probably the Strikeforce show is up there when I dominated Noah Thomas. Noah was supposed to fight Josh Thomson, but Josh got cut so they called me up on short notice, and I was supposed to get beat up but it was totally the opposite. He then got on TUF 5 so that makes it even better that i beat him.
Are there any opponents that you would like to fight next?
I just wanna fight who ever is gonna get me to that next level and noticed that much more!
What part of your game do you think you need to work on the most?
I like to think I'm pretty well rounded but probably if I had to pick, it would be stand-up.
How is your stand-up?
My stand-up's actually pretty slick so I'm told, but being a wrestler forever, I'm more comfortable on the ground. I just need to get more confidence in my skill on my feet.
Thanks a lot for your time Bryan. Congrats on the win again and I hope to see you fight again soon. Do you have any final words for the fans out there?
Just watch out for me! I'm gonna be coming up for sure. I live, eat, and sleep fighting. Training is all I do. I'm focusing my whole life on fighting so you better believe I'm gonna be the champ!! Thanks for the interview! Stay up.
FRIDAY AUGUST 1 UPDATE - SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED!!!
For more information and tickets to this event, click here http://sanfrancisco.going.com/event-343770;SCION_Battleground_-_MMA_Massive
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco was host to Gladiator Challenge's "Summer Showdown" event last Friday night. There were ten fights in total, and only three of the fights ended in a decision.
Most of the fights were hard hitting and exciting. The most exciting fight was a fight that ended up in a split decision.
Zak Bucia was awarded a split decision after a three round war. The match was a back and forth tussle but the match stalled in the third round as both fighters were gassed.
The crowd was really into this fight and it was the fight of the night.
The decision could have gone either way as the fight was very competitive and even. They both had their moments offensively landing kicks and punches. Bucia was caught in a triangle but was saved by the bell in the first round.
The main event was between Kurt Osiander and Nate Moore. Osiander is a black belt instructor at the Ralph Gracie Academy in San Francisco. Moore fights out of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose.
90% of the crowd was on the side of Osiander as it appeared that all of his students were in attendance.
Believe it or not, the main event ended faster than the main events at the UFC and Affliction shows over the weekend.
Much to the displeasure of the crowd, Moore knocked Osiander down with a flurry of punches and the referee had to stop the fight after only six seconds.
Osiander never had the opportunity to try to take down Moore, and attempt to submit him.
UFC welterweight fighter, Jon Fitch, was in Moore's corner. Fitch also cornered for another AKA teammate, Wayne Phillips, who lost a unanimous decision to Joey Armstrong.
The Ralph Gracie Academy students left Kezar Pavilion stunned and disappointed.
Another fan favorite, Justin "The Hero" Hoglund, also lost as his fight was stopped in the second round due to a cut. Hoglund, who trains at Ralph Gracie's Academy, had a cut that was opened up by his opponent, 19-year-old Gabriel Solorio in the first round.
Solorio was booed heavily and the ending didn't help endear him to the pro-Hoglund crowd. Solorio told me after the fight that he didn't let the boos get to him.
"There was a lot of hate there. I didn't let the crowd get to me. I knew what I was trying to do and I did it," said Solorio."I wanted to stand up and trade some punches, but he wanted to go against the cage and clinch. It started working good for me so I beat him at his own game."
In a battle of heavyweights, John Devine defeated Richard Blake by TKO due to strikes. Blake protested the stoppage by the referee to no avail. The fans were not pleased with what they thought was an early stop to the fight, and some of them started to throw t-shirts into the cage.
The t-shirts the fans were throwing into the cage were the shirts thrown into the crowd by the ring card girls in between rounds.
A fighter that really impressed me was a middlewight named Raul Castillo. Castillo mounted his opponent, Josh Neal, and delivered some vicious punches to end the fight at the 1:36 mark of round one.
Castillo is now 5-0 with four of the wins via TKO. He is definitely one fighter to keep an eye on.
The other winners from Friday night were Ryan Bastianelli, Matt Greene, Larry Mays, and Mike Fazzino.
Mays won his fight over Will Davis due to a verbal tapout at the end of round two.
Fazzino defeated San Francisco police officer, Bryan Lujan, by TKO due to strikes at the 2:18 mark of the first round. Fazzino took him down and then started to rain down repeated punches which forced the referee to end the fight.
It was a chilly and cold night, but the women in the building were very hot. There were lots of beautiful women dressed in short tube tops, dresses, and miniskirts.
The crowd was very lively and raucous throughout the course of the evening.
Although none of the fighters on the card are household names, most of them fought valiantly and impressively. The fights were mostly entertaining and the atmosphere inside Kezar Pavilion was electric.
The Bay Area MMA fans who watched "Summer Showdown" all seemed to have a good time even though a lot of them left disappointed due to some of the fan favorites losing.
Overall, the night was a huge success for Gladiator Challenge and the promoters, Full Contact Promotions, as the fans enjoyed over three hours of entertaining MMA fights.