Remember when Dana White relieved judge Howard Hughes from his duties after the second fight in UFC Macau : Bisping vs Le? The UFC president could exercise such authority in Macau because it lacked an athletic commission. Though the political governments of Macau and Mainland China are independent of each other, MMA promoters in China share the same absolute power that Dana White had in Macau. And as they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
As mentioned on the first part of this series China have been notorious within the Asian MMA community as plain dirty. A fighter commented “Not a 100% dirty but too dirty to be taken seriously” on my facebook wall post So what exactly is “too dirty”?
in 2014 alone, there were 57 split decisions in the UFC. The most recent controversy coming from Robbie Lawler’s decision win over Johnny Hendricks at UFC 181. Fans and fighters who were siding with Hendricks questioned the competency of the judges scoring MMA bouts which have been a recurring theme in the MMA world. According to some of the fighters I have interviewed, China have taken a notch up in “incompetency”.
Pacific Xtreme Combat Welterweight Champion Zebaztian Kadestam recalls his bad experience fighting in China.
“The last time I fought in China my opponent was 4kg over weight even though i went up one weight class from 77kg to 84kg just to fight him on 2 weeks notice. Motherfucker came in just under 88kg. I beat him but they still gave him the win. Fuck China’s MMA scene, I would never recommend anyone to go there unless u want to waste your time”
I had a few other fighters who shared similar experiences and views as the 170lbs champion and interestingly, all of them pointed out the most highest profile incident in allegations to biased officials in China. On a fight that wasn’t updated on Sherdog, current UFC Chinese fighter Jumabieke Tuerxun faced Marcus Waters, a well known BJJ black belt in the Asian scene. A number of fighters who witnessed the bout stated that Marcus locked Jumabieke on an armbar twice but the ref on hand called a reset on both occasions as the judges proceeded to give the hometown fighter the decision win.
Jumabieke manager, Bill Eng who was also interviewed on part 1 of this series begged to differ.
“It was on the side of ring and pushed outside thus it was deemed dangerous so the ref pulled them apart. Marcus did not have it on tight, kind of a triangle”
I didn’t get a reply from Marcus Waters so I consulted two BJJ brown belts, an MMA fighter who declined to be named and 10th Planet Melbourne Jiujitsu instructor Frank Barca to examine the picture. Both agreed that the armbar could finish the fight.
Zebaztian also claimed that illegal moves such as head stomps and soccer kicks are illegal in China but estimated that 90% of the times it would be legal for a local. A well known head coach who vowed to never send his fighters to China again had this to say.
“They explained the rules in Chinese and English as UFC rules; no soccer kicks. His Chinese opponent soccer kicked him and was awarded the KO win for it. The promoter later apologized saying he forgot about that rule”
Below video seen on a similar article by Fightsportasia in 2012
Boxing had the infamous Margarito tampered handwraps saga in 2009 and China had their fair share of controversies as well. Most of the fighters I had interviewed had the opinion that loaded gloves are a norm in the unregulated country. Ramsey Dewey was hit with a punch that broke his skull in two places. His frontal bone caved suffering a compound depression fracture with a 6 inch crack up the side of the cranium on RUFF 1 in the August of 2011
The fighter in questioned Guan Wang and his manager Bill Eng flatly denied the accusations that the gloves have been illegally tampered with. Silas Maynard, a well known figure in the Chinese MMA scene claimed he was present in both corners and stated that none of the gloves was loaded.
I consulted MMA Latest resident doctor, Dr Miria Soedarsono and she said that it is highly unlikely that a punch could result in an injury suffered by Ramsey Dewey. She stated that such injury is usually suffered if the skull hits a weapon or a very hard object at sufficient speed. A close source with extensive cutman experience within the region said that the red tape and the thickness of the wraps on the palms looks highly suspicious though he could only determine if he could get a close up look on the knuckles. He continued that the unified rules state that the gauze provided have to be evenly spread across the knuckles and the wrist and claimed that he had seen some fighters being wrapped with a 3:1 ratio; thicker on the knuckles. The illegal wraps can then be soaked in water and once it gets dry will be as hard as stone.
All of the accusations and accounts that I had were events occurring a few years back with the most recent case in 2013. So to really figure if there have been a positive progress on the MMA scene, Part 3 will feature two fighters that will be fighting this weekend on the 18th of January 2015 in China.
Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”
MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.
Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.
Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?
I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.
Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?
I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened. They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.
Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?
I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.
It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 15, 2017
Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?
I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 16, 2017
I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.
Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!
2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures
After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.
Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.
Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.
At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.
For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.
Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.
Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:
- Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan 125 lbs
- Anna Astvik vs. Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
- Chamia Chabbi vs. Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
- C. McCrudden vs. Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
- Gase Sanita vs. Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
- Yernaz Mussabek vs. Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
- Gamzat Magomedov vs. O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
- Joel Arolainen vs. Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
- V. Andruhovich vs. Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
- Sola Axel vs. Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
- B. Haraldsson vs. Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
- Pavel Pahomenko vs. Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
- Irman Smajic vs. Lev Vins 265 lbs
- Atanas Krastanov vs. Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate
Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.
But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.
After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.
The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.
Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.
He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.
In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.
Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.
It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.
Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.
The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.
Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.
Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.
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