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MMA: Past Fight Discussion

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Yeh, he used to pop up on a few of the old DVD's i bought back in the day, he had an infamous couple of fights with a guy called Danny Bennett (i had to google that, id forgotten the name). Palmer was popular in that old Hawaii MMA scene, he was a nasty fucker.

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Like Wand, I had no clue who he was. That was, until this morning. I was searching for some stuff on Sakuraba and stumbled across these P4P lists from the 90s. Apparently, Palmer was Fight Matrix's P4P kingpin between 1996 and 1997:

Quote

1996 - July 1 - Fight Matrix (v 2.0/retrospective)
1 . Jay R. Palmer ( 9-0-0 ) 294
2 . Bas Rutten ( 18-4-0 ) 257
3 . Kiuma Kunioku ( 2-1-2 ) 150
4 . Rickson Gracie ( 8-0-0 ) 126
5 . Guy Mezger ( 8-3-2 ) 89
6 . Dan Severn ( 9-2-0 ) 85
7 . Noboru Asahi ( 17-1-3 ) 75
8 . Kazuhiro Sakamoto ( 13-4-0 ) 67
9 . Frank Shamrock ( 10-4-1 ) 65
10 . Wander Braga ( 7-0-0 ) 64

1996 - Oct 1 - Fight Matrix (v 2.0/retrospective)
1 . Jay R. Palmer ( 9-0-0 ) 295
2 . Bas Rutten ( 19-4-0 ) 206
3 . Yuki Kondo ( 7-0-1 ) 79
4 . Manabu Yamada ( 19-11-3 ) 77
5 . Dan Severn ( 11-2-0 ) 64
6 . Erik Paulson ( 7-1-1 ) 63
7 . Kazuhiro Sakamoto ( 13-4-0 ) 60
8 . Ken Shamrock ( 22-5-2 ) 42
9 . Ricardo Morais ( 6-0-0 ) 40
10 . Jose Coelho ( 3-0-0 ) 32


1997 - Jan 1 - Fight Matrix (v 2.0/retrospective)
1 . Jay R. Palmer ( 11-0-0 ) 294
2 . Pat Miletich ( 12-0-0 ) 152
3 . Bas Rutten ( 20-4-0 ) 151
4 . Masakatsu Funaki ( 26-6-0 ) 89
5 . Dan Severn ( 14-2-0 ) 58
6 . Minoru Suzuki ( 18-11-0 ) 57
7 . Kiuma Kunioku ( 6-3-2 ) 39
8 . Guy Mezger ( 10-4-2 ) 38
9 . Ken Shamrock ( 23-5-2 ) 36
10 . Jose Landi Jons ( 6-0-0 ) 36

Here is a link to other P4P lists from the 1990s and early 2000s in case anyone is interested - http://forum.mmajunkie.com/forum/threads/past-p4p-rankings.41756/

Some of the lists make perfect sense. Others are a bit odd. Keep in mind, that the Fight Matrix ones are computer generated, whereas the rest are decided by humans. 

 

Edited by jimufctna24

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Yeh Palmer was a bit like Pele Landi Jons to me. I was learning about MMA through the sherdog boards and from whatever DVD's i could get my hands on. Pele was a guy who leaped out on them like Palmer, Pele's fights with Macaco were like the holy grail of MMA fights, you had to try and track them down. Palmers fights with Bennett were similar. 

They were the kind of fighters you wanted to see back then, just vicious.

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I finally got round to watching Rickson vs Funaki the other week. Full video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXgE2SZBaUE

The fight itself isn't anything special. It's quite clear that Funaki is banged up and way past his best. Moreover, given that Rickson almost succumbed to knee strikes from Takada only 18 months earlier - a fighter who used to get submitted by amateurs at Bas Rutten's gym - it makes you wonder how good Rickson really was at this point as well.

Yet, the fight still has great historic value. It drew massive TV numbers in Japan and Brazil. With 30-40 million watching in each country. In turn, it inspired many Japanese youngsters to join MMA gyms across the country. The fight has also been the subject of wild conspiracy theories on MMA forums. Some still believe that Funaki took a dive. and support their theory by claiming that someone posted the result of the fight, including the time of stoppage, on the internet only hours before the fight took place. 

It was also the fight that led to one of the biggest "what ifs" in MMA history. Namely, what would have happened had Sakuraba fought Rickson in late 2000 or early 2001? I believe Rickson and DSE President Morishita Naoto negotiated with one another in the summer of 2000. They initially could not come to an agreement on money, and "the environment and rules of the fight". In October of that year Naoto publicly stated that he wanted Rickson to fight Mike Tyson instead of Sakuraba. Nevertheless, there has been speculation that the two parties later came to terms for Rickson to fight Sakurba. Sadly, the fight was cancelled due to the death of Rickson's son in December of 2000. Rickson subsequently retired. 

Personally, I think Sakuraba would have beaten Rickson had they fought. Sakuraba was all wrong for the Gracie style of fighting and had the skills to make the Gracie clan fight on his terms. I.E - in positions where the Gracie could not use their BJJ. Sakuraba was also in his prime in 2000, and in my view, had been the best fighter in the sport since 1998. By contrast, Rickson was pushing 40, and as mentioned above, was showing signs of decline. 

Whatever your view, it makes for a fun debate. 

saku.jpg

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great post.

The Gracies insistence on messing with the rules back then was always frustrating.

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3 hours ago, TibBo said:

Aren't all of Takada's fights works?

I think he had a couple of legit fights. He had 10 fights altogether and his¬†record finished¬†up as 2-6-2. If they were all works he‚Äôd no doubt be 10-0. I think it‚Äôs pretty common knowledge that both his wins were fixed. When I was doing my Pride reviews (should really get back on that), I think Jim posted some stuff in there on the¬†Kyle Sturgeon ‚Äėfight‚Äô. Definitely looked iffy. And nobody¬†can tell me the Mark Coleman fight was legit. Looked well dodgy and Coleman was doing some proper hammy selling at the end.¬†

I doubt the two Rickson fights were works. Although I suspect Rickson may have been told to carry him a bit to give the spectators their money’s worth. 

Mark Kerr pissed through him. No work there. And Igor Vovchanchyn stopped him. I don’t think the Japanese fans would’ve bought Takada beating Kerr or Igor by that point anyway so no point fixing it. 

The fights with Royce Gracie and Mirko Cro Cop were fucking abysmal. Complete arse, the pair of them. He only got a draw with Mirko because it was a weird hybrid rules match and Takada wouldn’t engage and just kept flopping to his back. I doubt these were works. The whole point of working a fight is that someone comes out of it looking good. Nobody did. 

Didn’t see the Mike Bernardo fight on that Inoki show. 

His final fight was with Kiyoshi Tamura in Pride in late 2002. And I highly doubt that was a work. Tamura just kicked the absolute shite out of his legs for the entire first round then sparked him out a minute into round 2. 

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So yeah, basically, if Takada won it was probably a work. But the rest were probably legitimate fights, albeit a couple had wonky rules to try to give him more of a chance. And a draw was still the best he could do. 

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Aye, the Coleman and Sturgeon fights were both works. Those being the only 2 wins on his record. All of his losses were legitimate. Although Pride officials apparently did ask Mark Kerr to have a striking battle with him. 

Takada wasn't really made to be a MMA fighter. He was very inexperienced and in his mid-30s when he took up MMA. 

 

 

 

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I bet Kerr would’ve still wrecked him in a standup fight. Did they not see him kneeing Hugo Duarte into crumbs in the UFC? 

The whole way the Japanese MMA scene worked was weird. They’d take their young up and comers who had some potential like Daijiro Matsui and Akira Shoji and just feed them to monsters in their first 10 fights. Then they’d have a big name from pro wrestling like Yuji Nagata crossover and they’d immediately get him killed by Fedor and Cro Cop. No wonder the scene died off a few years later and they had such a hard time creating new stars. 

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Indeed.

Sakuraba would have been a welterweight today. Yet, he was booked to tangle with heavyweights and light-heavyweights for much of the early 2000s. I have no idea how he managed to fight Igor, a top heavyweight at the time, for 15 minutes. on the same night he fought for 90 minutes with Royce. Especially considering he was a smoker. 

Tamura was another they threw to the dogs. His first two fights in Pride came against Wanderlei Silva and Bob Sapp. 

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For such an awful fighter Takada didnt mind booking himself against some monsters. Japanese pro wrestlers obsession to try and always prove their legitimacy is fascinating to me.

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There is no way that the Rickson fights aren't fixed.  If you watch Rickson's transitions on the ground, he doesn't even have his bodyweight on Takada, and there is literally no way that Takada could buck-out of Rickson's full mount if it was 100% legit.

Apparently Takada admitted that all his fights were fake in some way in his biography, but I'm going off third-party info on that.  Enson's comments over the years certainly back it up though. 

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What would be the point of working Rickson vs Takada if you‚Äôre having¬†Rickson go over though? He was never losing to Takada in a legit fight anyway so why even bother?¬†It‚Äôd be like fixing a fight between me and Khabib. No point. I think it‚Äôs more likely that Rickson was told¬†‚ÄúYou‚Äôre gonna tap him anyway, just don‚Äôt tap him too quick. Give¬†the fans a show‚ÄĚ. Still an element of working, I guess. But I think it‚Äôs just a case of Rickson being asked to¬†carry him for a bit rather than them actually cooperating to work a fight, UWFI style. I think Takada was legit¬†trying to win those fights. Rickson just played with him and let him live for a bit. Then...he didn‚Äôt.¬†

And if anyone watched Tamura taking Takada apart from the legs up and then knocking him out and thought it was fake I don’t know what to tell them. And the Kerr fight. And the Igor fight. Takada was a huge star in Japan. If they were going to fix his fights you’d kind of think they’d have him win more than lose. Or at least look good in defeat. He never did. He either got smashed or bored everyone senseless. There’s no way all his fights were fake. Some of them, sure, but not all of them. Not even most of them. I think he’s probably claiming they were all works now so he can act like he never really lost an actual fight. 

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The reason I don't believe the second Takada vs Rickson fight was fixed is that Takada actually winded Rickson with a knee to the body. You can hear Rickson wheezing. It's possible that the fight appeared fake because both Takada was essentially an amateur and Rickson either took him lightly, was asked to carry him, or wasn't the killer that some think he was at that stage of his life. 

A reason I don't think the Rickson vs Funaki fight was a fix, as some claim, is that Rickson went out of his to dictate the rules. He ensured that elbow and knee strikes were outlawed. If the fix was in, surely Rickson wouldn't have cared so much about the rules. He would have just asked Funaki to ease up on the knees strikes, which he probably feared after the Takada rematch. 

Edited by jimufctna24

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UFC Howlers (2003 Edition Part 1)

white_3.jpg

Do you love MMA, but hate Dana White? If so, then you will probably enjoy my next two posts. There was a time where the UFC was far from the powerhouse it is today. Indeed, it seemed back then that everything the promotion touched, whether by virtue of misfortune or incompetence, transformed into raw sewage. That time was 2003. 

28 February, 2003: The promotion began the year with UFC 41. An event that, on paper, was headlined by Ricco Rodriguez defending his heavyweight title against undefeated lummox Tim Sylvia. However, the main attraction on the card was the return of MMA folk hero Tank Abbott after a 4 year hiatus from the promotion. The UFC had hoped to entice lapsed fans who had watched Abbott in the 1990s to purchase the show. It seemed like a sound strategy in theory as the UFC had, and would continue to have, occasional success through promoting nostalgia acts during this timeframe. The previous November had seen the UFC set a company record for PPV buys with an event headlined by 90s MMA legend Ken Shamrock and young upstart Tito Ortiz. 

The nostalgia effect seemed to be in full force on fight night. Documentary makers for the Bravo Channel in the UK interviewed fans outside of the venue, who claimed that this was the first UFC event they had attended since Abbott left the promotion. Sadly, all the hype surrounding Abbot was an illusion. Inside the cage, he was submitted by young prospect Frank Mir in less than a minute. Abbott didn't deliver at the box office either. The event drew a mediocre 60k buys, which was more or less the same as most UFC cards drew throughout 2001 and 2002.

Elsewhere on the bill, hyped middleweight prospect Phil Baroni lost his unbeaten record against unmarketable wrestler Matt Lindland, and the promotion's lightweight division continued to be stuck in limbo as BJ Penn fought to a split draw with Caol Uni in a bout that was meant to crown a new champion. The UFC had started the year on a sour note and it was only going to get worse for them. 

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April 25, 2003: On this date, the promotion hosted its second event of the year, UFC 42. The card showcased some of the promotions' brightest prospects, such as newcomer Rich Franklin, and most notably, unbeaten puncher Robbie Lawler. The Miletch prospect had been heavily hyped by the promotion throughout the previous year. There were well-produced hype packages for Lawler on the UFC's DVD releases, and highlights of his fights were featured heavily on the promotion's god-awful music videos. 

Lawler was matched against journeyman Pete Spratt, in what I presume was meant to be a showcase bout for the Iowa native. Unfortunately for Lawler and the UFC, things didn't go to script. Spratt peppered Lawler's with lethal low-kicks throughout the first round and was clearly causing damage to the Miletch prospect's right leg. Spratt continued to launch low-kicks in the second frame, one of which landed when Lawler had his foot planted, resulting in a dislocated hip. Lawler was barely able to stand and was forced to retire from the bout. He later had to be carried away from the cage. The UFC's most hyped prospect had lost his undefeated record. To add further insult to injury for the promotion, the show drew a pitiful 35k buys, which remains one of the worst buyrates for a MMA event in North America. 

June 6, 2003: The UFC kicked off the summer with its third event of the year, UFC 43. This show was headlined by a Light-Heavyweight title tilt between the ageing Randy Couture and heavy striker Chuck Liddell. It was clear that the UFC expected this to be Liddell's coming out party. He was given an elaborate entrance, with tons of pyro, dark lights, and a video introduction from Mask of Tapout fame. However, Liddell had yet to take MMA training seriously, something that was admitted to on air by the UFC's colour commentator Joe Rogan the following year. Whereas Couture, despite losing his previous two bouts at heavyweight, was not the spent force that many considered him to be and was investing in all sorts of training and dieting methods to stay competitive at the top-end of the sport. Couture dominated the action and grinded Liddell down to force a third round stoppage. For the third event in succession, the UFC's best laid plans had gone up in smoke.

Elsewhere on the card, Ken Shamrock was scheduled to fight Ian "Lee Evans" Freeman, but had to withdraw with an ACL injury. Whereas Abbott was submitted by fellow 90s relic Kimo. The show drew a miserable 49k buys, which was down on events that Couture had headlined in 01 and 02. 

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August 10, 2003: Pride Fighting Championship, the world's premier MMA promotion at the time. hosted Total Elimination 2003. The show was marked by three UFC vs Pride cross-promotional bouts. The first of which featured Liddell squaring off against Dutch up-and-comer Alistair Overeem in the first round of Pride's MW GP. After 3 minutes of action, Liddell landed a clubbing overhand right on a tiring Overeem, and proceeded to force the stoppage with barrage of strikes.The UFC was officially 1-0 up and Liddell had advanced to the semi-final stage of Pride's MW GP.

The next cross promotional match-up pitted Quinton Jackson against UFC Middleweight Champion Murilo Bustamante, in which was another first round bout in Pride's MW GP. Bustamate technically did not enter the cage as a UFC fighter. He had already vacated the middleweight and chosen to cast aside the American promotion for a more lucrative contract with Pride. However, the Japanese promotion still presented Bustamante as an outsider, by placing a UFC logo beside his image pre-fight video packages. The Brazilian, taking the fight on 5 days notice, dropped a close decision to Jackson. To many of those watching at home, who had no idea that Bustamante was now a Pride fighter, the scoreline now read 1-1.  

The final cross-promotional bout of the evening saw former UFC Heavyweight Champion¬†Ricco Rodriguez take on former Pride Heavyweight title holder¬†Ant√īnio Rodrigo Nogueira. Rodriguez had lost his title to Sylvia only¬†6 months earlier at UFC 41 and was still considered to be one of the UFC's top heavyweights. Whereas Nogueria had been considered to be Pride's beat heavyweight¬†until his loss to Fedor Emelianenko earlier in the year. There was thus plenty of bragging rights on the line here. Many who viewed the bout felt Rodriguez got the better of the action, and that the judges, who all scored the bout to Nogueria, had robbed the American fighter¬†of a well-earned victory. However,¬†Pride had a very¬†specific judging criteria, and this criteria¬†was made known to the combatants before the fought. As Matt Hume, who was a judge that evening, explains here, in accordance with this¬†criteria it becomes clear that¬†Nogueria actually deserved the decision -¬†https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/PRIDE-Judge-Matt-Hume-Defends-Nog-vs-Ricco-Decision-1157¬†................................therefore,¬†the night ended with Pride as the victor in the cross-promotional head-to-head, by a score of 2-1.¬†

...............................................................................................

In part 2, I will cover the events of UFC 44, Pride Final Conflict 2003, and UFC 45.

Trust me, it's no wonder that Dana's completely hair fell out during this period. 

 

 

Edited by jimufctna24

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