***This week, two World Champion fighters admit OCD behavioural sickness, and a UFC fighter joins Floyd Mayweather’s team.
Bas sits down for a revealing interview with Georges St. Pierre including his original inspiration to fight, and factors in a potential superfight with Anderson Silva.
Eddie Alvarez explains his battle with Bellator and what he’s prepared to do, and the one-armed fighter is stripped of his title!
All this and much more, all this week on Inside MMA! ***
Inside MMA Live on AXS.TV report by Steve Te Tai
Originally aired LIVE Friday, May 10 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV
Eddie Alvarez LIVE
The former Bellator lightweight champion joins us in the big screen from his gym in Delray Beach, FL. Alvarez says he is no longer a part of Bellator, but he is fighting with Bellator over that in court. He has a good team supporting him to fight for what he believes in and for what is right, to be free from Bellator and the Viacom corporation. Bas wonders if there is a personal issue from Bellator as to why they won’t just let him go. Eddie doesn’t disagree with that. He says he is a very honest person and when he says his contract says he should be free, then he is being honest about that.
Kenny reads a contract that reads that on October 30, 2012, Bellator would match the “material terms” of whatever offer he receives. Alvarez did not sign that sheet. He did sign a paper on November 1 that said Bellator would match the “terms” of the offer. That appears to be the primary difference of opinion between the two sides and Alvarez feels by signing one and not the other he is free.
At one time he wouldn’t have known the difference between these two slightly differing contracts and would’ve just trusted Bellator and signed either one, (which he didn’t), but since then every lawyer he’s spoken with has informed him there is a significant difference between “terms” and “material terms”. He’s glad he didn’t sign that one. The “material terms” contract was sent to his house, and the “terms” only-contract was sent to his manager, seemingly in a sneaky move hoping he would sign the contract that would give the leverage to Bellator in his haste to get his release. Thankfully this discrepancy was caught by his management team and he only signed the correct contract.
Eddie says “material terms” means Bellator would only have to match what’s “important” in the contract which can be a vague definition. (So in this case Bellator might only feel obligated to match a straight purse offering under the label of “material terms” as “important”, when in actuality the UFC is offering PPV bonuses, FOX TV money, etc. which they would have a very hard time finding a way to match, legally.) If Alvarez were to lose this and be stuck with Bellator he would be missing out on huge UFC money way more than a simple winner’s purse.
He recently had to sell an investment property that he hoped to have for retirement, just so he can stay afloat while this is being battled in court before he can be free to fight for the UFC. He would like to fight in 2013, but he is prepared for the possibility that it won’t happen, as he’s been advised to be patient while in litigation.
Out with the old, in with the new
The UFC cut Leonard Garcia this week, and since then he signed a 3-year deal with Legacy Fighting Championships and is expected to face Ray Trujillo on July 19. Along with his standard training at Greg Jackson MMA, Garcia is spending time with Urijah Faber’s Alpha Male to work on his wrestling.
The UFC signed Brandon Thatch, a fighter who trains out of “Grudge” in Colorado (Shane Carwin, Brendan Schaub) and is so strong at standup, GSP even brought him to help him train for his fights with Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz.
One armed fighter stripped of title
Nick Newell was stripped of the XFC belt when he refused to defend his title against Scotty “Hot Sauce” Holtzman. The reason was because Nick Newell is shopping himself around to other promotions before taking another fight. Holtzman will fight for the vacated title on AXS.TV on June 14 LIVE against an opponent TBA.
Valentijn Overeem is out of the main event for the upcoming CFA 11 show due to injury. Mike Kyle will instead face Travis Wiuff in that slot. This is the show featuring transgender fighter Fallon Fox, which will be on AXS.TV live on May 24. (I don’t know why they aren’t promoting this show harder. Could be a record rating show for AXS.TV?)
Shane Carwin retires
While he started later in life, he had a great career going 12-2 and winning the UFC interim title. He spoke with IMMA on the phone and said the past 3-4 years he’s been battling a lot of various injuries, particularly his back. In the end it was following his back surgeon’s recommendation to no longer participate in contact sports or MMA. He has six bulging discs, three ruptured discs, stenosis in his neck and back, plus arthritis as well. (I’m surprised he can walk upright with all that.)
Roy Nelson LIVE
Shane Carwin’s last scheduled opponent (the hot feud with no payoff) joins us live on the big screen from Las Vegas in front of a giant picture of his face. Since going on a win streak, he took that money earned, to build a good team around him to improve his entire game and put on a good show for the fans.
Bas compliments his improved hands. James Johnson, Jeff Mayweather, King Mo, Ryan Martinez, and an all around good bunch of guys is who he credits for his improvements. By going to Floyd Mayweather’s team, this was the biggest change for him, and he’s very high on that group.
There’s rumors that Mark Hunt might have some trouble getting into the country, so Bas wonders if Roy Nelson would step in to fight Junior Dos Santos if that happened. Roy says JDS wasn’t on his radar unless he had the title, but Daniel Cormier said he was interested in fighting him, so he would too, but his biggest focus is the Cain Velasquez-Bigfoot winner, whom he wants bad.
Bas Rutten vs. Georges St. Pierre Part 1
Bas sits down with the UFC Welterweight Champion in a special big time interview. The hairy-headed GSP says he is scared before his fights and doubts himself. He tries to be confident but he is afraid to be knocked out and humiliated. He’s afraid that all of that time and energy devoted to training for this fight for nothing and not be as good as people expect him to be. It’s not about being afraid of an opponent, but afraid of not performing as good as he should be. It keeps him sharp that fear.
His biggest mentor and influence in MMA was Royce Gracie. He used to be bullied at school as a kid, and when he saw Royce it inspired him since he was a small guy who wasn’t stronger or faster, yet was still able to succeed. He saw that in himself when he saw Royce so he wanted to be like him.
His concern about a superfight with Anderson Silva is that he weighs 190 usually and Silva weighs between 220 and 235 so he’s pretty big in comparison. It would depend on the weight they would fight. If the opportunity and timing is good anything is possible, but they’d have to figure out a weight. However he doesn’t think Chris Weidman should be overlooked. He knows Chris Weidman very well and they are friends, and he is actually quite confident that Weidman will beat Silva anyway. (Forget about GSP-Silva, how about GSP against Ben Henderson in a superfight?)
Another factor to a potential superfight with GSP is that if he goes up in weight, he will stay at that weight permanently and would not fight at welterweight again. He feels when Roy Jones Jr. did that, that messed him up and affected his career after that. (If that ain’t a sign he don’t want to fight Anderson Silva I don’t know what is.)
GSP’s book “The Way of the Fight” debuted at #30 on the New York Times bestseller book this week.
--Glory Deep 62 from Tokyo had Daiki Hata over Yoshiro Maeda via TKO (135)
--Road FC 11 from Seoul, South Korea had Joachim Hansen over Doo Won Seo (145) in his first MMA fight in 2 years
Glory World Series
Ron Kruck covered this kickboxing event from Tokyo. He says for 20 years K-1 was the premier kickboxing organization, but Glory is the new home for the sport. Glory 8 was highlighted by the returns of Peter Aerts and Jerome LaBanner and the Tokyo 8 Featherweight tournament.
--Despite being floored in the first round, Peter Aerts came back to pummel Jamal Ben Saddik for a technical knockout in the 2nd round for his 103rd victory.
--Meanwhile Jerome LaBanner gave Koichi a rematch, and instead of squeaking out a close victory like their last fight, the Frenchman dominated Koichi and won the decision.
Tokyo Featherweight Slam tournament:
--Mosav Amrani beat Marcus Vinsicus
--Utah Kubo beat Chee Vin Lim
--Masaki Noiri (8th seed) beat Liam Harrison (3rd seed)
--Gabriel Varga beat Abdillah Ezribi
--Masaki Noiri (8th seed) beat Mosav Amrani (1st seed)
--Utah Kubo beat Gabriel Varga
--Utah Kubo gave a spinning back-kick to Masaki Noiri’s groin en route to a decision victory, ending Noiri’s Cinderella story.
Glory is set to invade America targeting the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 22
UFC: Dangerous Activities
Recently the UFC added elements to their contracts prohibiting “dangerous activities” outside of the Octagon. Donald Cerrone tells how he fell from rock climbing when several of his anchors broke. He fell 40 feet and was just barely saved by one anchor, in what could’ve been a disastrous accident. Jose Aldo also missed significant time due to motorcycle accident.
Marc Ratner says they added a “Code of Conduct” to their fight agreement contracts which includes “dangerous activities” like motorcycle racing, mountain climbing, rodeo, or basically anything that might get you hurt. This clause only comes from the fight agreement, so if you don’t have a fight upcoming you can technically do what you want.
Ben Henderson says UFC doesn’t have a problem with his jiu-jitsu tournaments as long as it doesn’t come too close to a fight. Faber says he’s not a risky guy out of fighting but it’s good to remind guys to be careful of that sort of thing. For folks like Donald Cerrone it’s a lifestyle change, but he says he promised Dana he will limit his activities when he has fights coming. Dana White says it was Cerrone who did it for him, as he saw some stuff he was doing on the internet, and he calls up Cerrone and is like “come on” and to cut that shit out, but Cerrone just laughed at him. But then when that rock climbing accident happened, Cerrone immediately told Dana you’re right, I’m wrong, I’m done.
If they do break this clause, they’ll have to talk to Dana, they’ll likely start out with warnings, but figures if it comes down to guys getting hurt, it can be cause for termination. Dana talks how this isn’t a sport you can do forever, so when you retire climb all the rocks you want, jump out of planes, do whatever you want, but do it when you retire.
Bas says he used to do dirtbiking and stopped doing that while fighting. He also thought he was an expert snowboarder because he could flip around until he crashed and broke ribs and knees, so he understands what this is about.
Bas Rutten vs. Georges St. Pierre Part 2
Bas brings up how GSP had psoriasis skin condition as a child, since Bas had eczema. They both had asthma. GSP was in the hospital for his kidneys and Bas was in the hospital for rheumatic fever. He also read in the book that he had a compulsion of licking his lips all the time. Bas says he was OCD too by always touching everything. He adds that OCD actually helped him in training because he would do 15 rounds since he felt something bad would happen if he only did 14 like a true compulsion. GSP looked at pictures as a kid, and noticed how red his face was a kid from licking his lips in the cold Canadian winter and laughed as he said he got mad at his parents for letting him do that for so long.
GSP laughs saying he might credit OCD for training too. He remembers fighting at Mandalay Bay and seeing a black line and he would avoid stepping on it or he felt he’d lose the fight. It helped him train to do a certain number of something no matter how sick or tired he was, but his OCD fueled him. Bas explains more of his compulsions and GSP cracks up because he’s exactly the same.
They show a clip from the “Watch Out Combat” show in Rio, where they used superglue to fix a cut but accidentally glue the guys’ eye shut. And they actually tried to free his eye open with a giant pair of scissors!!! (I think that’s the real WTF moment from that clip) Thankfully they stopped with the scissors, and he still won the decision.
Upcoming AXS TV shows
--May 24 CFA 11 (Fallon Fox and Travis Wiuff vs. Mike Kyle)
--May 31 Legacy FC
So like Bas always says, Godspeed and party on!
If you don’t get AXS.TV or missed the show, you can watch a replay on Tuesdays at 1am or you can see extended video highlights. You can also follow Inside MMA on Twitter and Facebook.