***This week, Renzo Gracie claims he could’ve gotten MMA legal in New York by now, Rampage talks TNA wrestling, and a UFC champion gets his black belt in jiu-jitsu. Al Bundy explains how he got into jiu-jitsu and talks Shinya Aoki. Plus Daniel Cormier decides on a weight class and a Pride/UFC legend wants to fight again. All this and much more, this week on Inside MMA Live! ***
Inside MMA Live on AXS.TV report by Steve Te Tai
Originally aired LIVE Friday, June 7 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV
Kenny is in New York this week via satellite investigating the legalization of MMA, while Bas Rutten stays at the main studio in Los Angeles to hold it down.
UFC on Fuel: Nogueira vs. Werdum II
They preview the rematch between the two Brazilian veterans, who last fought in Pride years ago where Big Nog won the first decision. As they talk, they show clips from their first Pride fight. Bas says normally when two really good ground fighters are matched up, it ends up taking place on their feet.
The keys to victory for Big Nog, is he needs to use his dramatically improved hands. His boxing has improved so much he needs to smother Werdum and can’t let Fabricio get any kicks, which are even better now training with Cro-Cop. If it goes to the ground, make sure you are on top.
For Werdum, use your kicks and stay on the outside. If it goes to the ground make sure you are on top as well. Bas doesn’t see anyone submitting, but perhaps someone will get rocked for a TKO. Nog’s hands get better and better, so it’s about who improved the most on their feet will be the winner.
UFC on Fuel is the 7th show of 2013 fought outside the US (Brazil). While the international shows started to pick up in 2009, so far 2013 has the highest amount of non-American UFC events. (and also the highest number of TRT exemptions! Coincidence???!!! Yeah, it probably is coincidence to be honest …)
They show a graphic:
--2013. 7 of 14 were foreign or 50%
--2012. 11 of 30 were foreign or 37%
--2011. 6 of 25 were foreign or 24%
--2010. 7 of 23 were foreign or 30%
--2009. 5 of 20 were foreign or 25%
--2001-2008. 7 of 88 shows were foreign or 8%.
Kenny wonders where UFC will hit first, China or New York? (Macau don’t count) They talk about Manny Pacquiao trying to make inroads there already as something to keep an eye on.
Phil Davis LIVE
“Mr. Wonderful” joins us on the big screen live from his gym in Chula Vista. He fights Lyoto Machida on August 3 at UFC 163 (underneath Aldo-Pettis.) He says he’s having a great camp so far and is working with Yushin Okami, a great fighter, wrestler, and southpaw. Bas points out since Lyoto didn’t secure a title shot with his win over Henderson, so he absolutely can’t afford to lose. Phil says there is no pressure on him so he can do what he does, where Lyoto has the title pressure, plus the pressure of fighting in his hometown of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Phil doesn’t assume he would get a title shot from this win but figure it puts him in the picture. What he learned from his Rashad Evans, is that this fight was 4 years after he began and Evans had more time in the gym and was a veteran fighter. Sicne then he’s learned his own style and is ready to tear it up. (I hated that fight for Davis. He went in ready to lose and seemingly approached that fight as a “learning experience” and was way too happy to lose and didn’t even try to win at any point. And he’s still spewing out the same garbage.)
Coming back from an injury is a hard thing and that knee injury really affected him. He calls it a mental battle against your own body to convince yourself you’ll be better when you return. He is 2-1-1 since his injury, and was 9-0 before that.
The last 4-5 weeks he’s doing a lot of rounds of sparring and mitt work with his coaches. A lot of sprinting and intense training in weeks 3-5.
Machida brings weapons that no one has ever faced. With every fight he pulls things out you simply haven’t seen from anyone else. He’s one of those guys, he’s a ninja.
Ben Henderson: Black Belt
While Ben Henderson prepares to face TJ Grant for the Lightweight title in Milwaukee on August 31, along with Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett. (Unfortunately Barnett and Mir aren’t opposing coaches on TUF. How awesome would that be?) Ben Henderson was just awarded his black belt in jiu-jitsu on Monday, from the MMA Lab in Arizona from coach John Crouch. Ben said getting his black belt was an amazing experience and made it something very special and spectacular. (I think that’s the trend for the 2010’s decade, high calibre wrestlers who get BJJ black belts.) He says the TJ Grant fight will be exciting and fun, and he does well against guys who are aggressive and come after him.
Bas says years ago that Henderson’s coach Crouch on video told Henderson that one day he would be a household name for MMA and to remember that he said it first, and they played that video as part of the ceremony for Bendo’s black belt presentation, since it all came true!
Rampage Jackson in TNA
Quinton Jackson is officially signed with Spike TV’s Bellator Fighting and TNA Impact Wrestling, plus a reality show. Kenny mocked the wrestling aspect of course, and Quinton spoke about this in Bellator t-shirt. He was super happy in the UFC, but did a lot of favors for them, but felt those favors weren’t returned. Like trying to make out with your girlfriend and all you get is a kiss on the cheek. But he and Bellator are tongue kissing right now. He says this deal allows him to have fun and be like a kid.
Kenny starts moaning about Rampage in wrestling, just like with Mo Lawal, that if you wrestle at the same time you might forget how to actually hit people. (I won’t go out on an entire list for how ridiculous that statement is by Kenny, but Brock Lesnar seemed to adjust fine and the UFC’s newest heavyweight Josh Barnett wrestled and fought at the same time and didn’t have any issues. Heck he sometimes spontaneously switched back and forth in the middle of a fight like at that one workout!)
Bas, who always understood pro-wrestling, points out that despite the lines about how wrestling is supposedly so “fake”, there is a lot of impact in wrestling, plus the bumps which is real, and there are a lot more shows and matches, so generally more opportunity for injury. Bas explains he did four pro-wrestling matches and from those he has a permanently ruptured ear drum, a broken disc in his back, a ruptured eyeball, and a torn muscle. Bas explains that in wrestling you “allow” people to hit you, where in fighting you are blocking all those punches. (Good ol’ Bas, a great defender for wrestling from a neutral perspective.)
In this week’s mic close-up of the fight action, we hear the exchange between the referee and Manuellos from Legacy Fighting last Friday night, where the ref explains to him he was knocked out.
Irish fighter, Cathal Pendred, after his 8th straight victory in Ireland, begged Dana White to sign him to fight on the August Boston UFC show. He’s beaten two UFC veterans so far and one of his teammates is scheduled for a UFC show. Bas thinks it’s not very cool to ask to go to the UFC on a competitor show, however.
Renzo Gracie LIVE
Kenny recaps the MMA battles in Canada, New York, and all over, and now Connecticut. This makes New York state as the last place in North America to not legalize MMA. Renzo Gracie joins us at the New York set with Kenny Rice. Renzo’s gym is right across the street from MSG, which is ironic considering no MMA bouts ever took place there.
Kenny boils this down to the Union vs. Fertitta which Renzo echoes as the main reason for this. Renzo doesn’t think the UFC did the right path to get things legalized by suing the state, etc. and that it’s taken too long. Renzo has been in New York for 18 years so he knows everybody, so he’d be able to get things set up quick. One of the best friends he has in New York also happens to be part of the Culinary Union (which is feuding with the Zuffa Boys), and he says they’d be ready to get this done, which is another reason why he’d be able to get this done when the Feritittas and Dana White have not.
Renzo has been at home bored, so he wants to come back and fight. He sees himself at age 58 fighting for $200 bucks! He still considers himself a UFC fighter and says the only way they get rid of him is say they don’t want to see him smile anymore. This is where he wants his next fight to be. He doesn’t have an opponent in mind. He says he don’t want to fight Matt Hughes since he kicked his butt the last time. He would like to drop to 155 and is training and moving well. When he fought Hughes it was 3 years without even doing a push-up. He wasn’t motivated to train, after his brother’s death. After making the deal with Dana and Lorenzo he dropped 40 pounds in 6 months, but he wasn’t 100% in shape.
He works with so many guys like GSP and Rashad Evans, so it motivates him. Renzo’s son, Ruran, is 18 now and is training hard. He could make a fight by December. He doesn’t even need to be in the main card, just put him in the way back. He sees MMA in New York as just a matter of time.
Bas Rutten with Ed O’Neil (Al Bundy)
They start out with a clip from Modern Family where O’Neil RNC’s the character Mitchell and references the Gracie Brothers. O’Neil joins Bas outside the Nokia Plaza for his interview.
O’Neil says the humor of Al Bundy was one he could relate to and understood and that’s why it worked.
Growing up in Youngstown, OH, he knew Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and was in a recent documentary. He would visit that gym as a kid when his dad would take him. Ed says it was the kind of town that you had to learn to fight early on or you couldn’t get the football, baseball, etc. You had to stick up for yourself.
Bas points out that his friend, John Milius, (Director of Conan the Barbarian) is who introduced Bundy to jiu-jitsu. Ed explains that John was with his son in Torrance, CA, and was trying to convince Ed to see these Gracie guys. Ed had no interest he just saw guys in pajamas and was more into boxing. Two years later Ed finally met him out there, and Rorion gave him a free lesson for 15 minutes and couldn’t get him off him and he wanted to learn it ever since. He earned his black belt in 2007 and recently helped congratulate Benson Henderson. He is a good friend of John Crouch and was trained by him in Torrance before Crouch left for Colorado.
At Metamoris II on Jun 9 from Los Angeles, is a BJJ event where Shinya Aoki takes on Kron Gracie, Braulio Estima faces Rodolfo Vieira, and Brendan Schaub takes on Roberto Abreu. Bundy says he’s seen both guys and Aoki is no joke, but Kron is so aggressive and strong so he thinks he’ll win. He is looking forward to all the fights and is familiar with the other matches on his show too.
He has a 14 year old daughter who isn’t interested in BJJ, but his 7 year old daughter wants to fight badly.
Bas asks about a rumor that he has an uncredited part in the classic “Deliverance”. Ed says he is dogged by this his entire career, and apparently there is an actor in that film that resembles him, but it is definitely not him, but wishes he was in it, since it is one of his favorite films.
Ron Kruck with Daniel Cormier
Cormier figures there has to be something positive to beating a 2-time UFC champ in Frank Mir. He didn’t expect Mir to be in that great a shape so he credits him for that. And while he didn’t perform like he would’ve hoped he did train to fight that sort of fight.
He thought his athletic career as a whole prepared him for the “bright lights” of the UFC, but his adrenaline raced from the weigh-ins to all day, and by the time the fight came on he was on a down slope, which isn’t the way he’d like to do it.
His ultimate goal is to be UFC champion, and he won’t fight Cain Velasquez (his friend and training partner) so he is working on dropping to 205. He’s looking for a “legacy fight”, the one that defines you. There’s a guy down there he thinks he can do that with. The idea of cutting to that weight is a scary idea he admits, but the commitment of becoming champion is better than that.
Jones is as good as they come and he loves everything about being the champion, with all the fame so he’s not going to give that up, so you really need to take it to beat Jon Jones. There’s no real animosity to Jones, he just doesn’t care. He’s lived for 34 years without being friends with Jon Jones so there’s no reason to change that. He has enough friends so he don’t care if Jones likes him or not.
Daniel lived in Oklahoma for ten years so that’s a second home to him, so anything he can do to help the tornado victims he’ll do it. He is working with his sponsor, Cagefighter, on a campaign #pray4OK, which is selling t-shirts with proceeds to go there, plus he’s making his own donation. www.CFathletic.com or www.alliseeisgold.com. If you send your photo, Cagefighter will try to get you tickets.
Bas Rutten updates us that in the past week Roy Nelson said that Cormier refused to fight him, so Cormier stopped the dieting and called Dana White and said he wants to fight Roy Nelson, so that is apparently on.
Upcoming AXS TV shows
--June 14 XFC 24
--June 21 RFA 8 (Sergio Pettis-Jeff Curran)
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.