Thursday, May 13, 2010

UFC Is Safer Than Football And Boxing: Dana White

UFC President, Dana White talks about why he’s not overjoyed at his son wanting to pursue a career in football, explaining he considers mixed martial arts to be safer than that and boxing. “The misconception is, these guys can kick, knee, punch, elbow, slam to the ground, this has to be more violent and dangerous. It's not true,” says UFC President Dana White of the sport of mixed martial arts.

"What's more violent than boxing? You and I stand in front of each other for 12 rounds, and my goal is to hit you so hard in the face that I knock you unconscious. In the UFC you and I can fight, and I can beat you and win, and never punch you in the head once. We can go right to the ground, start grappling, and pull off a submission. It's not 25, 30 minutes of blows to the head non-stop.” UFC President Dana White said.

As well, he adds, “the difference with the tap out is that if I get you into a submission and you're in a bad place - you can tap out with honour. It's acceptable in this sport.”

White further points out that there’s never been a UFC injury more serious than a broken arm. However, he says, "At the end of the day it's a contact sport and anything can happen."

On the new HBO deal, Dana White says he believes UFC events are going to be a great addition to HBO’s lineup. HBO has said they won’t include people from their current boxing coverage team on the UFC productions, which seems to please White.

I love the sport of boxing, let me tell you. That’s where I came from, and I used to live, eat, breathe, sleep boxing. Unfortunately, all the guys who were involved in boxing, all had a hand in helping kill that great sport. And the thing that scares me is, all the sleazy, slithering, creepy guys from boxing all are starting to work their way over to MMA now. And hopefully, the UFC can position themselves right now to keep all the creeps out of the sport.”

I absolutely agree with Dana White’s assertions… I actually wrote a research paper that compared injury rates of different sports. In a nutshell, football players tend to suffer from chronic debilitating injuries over the course of their career. 
If you compare rugby to NFL, you find much less chronic injuries because ruggers don’t wear pads. In boxing, boxers are at an extremely high risk for brain trauma (and disease), since their sport basically consists of being hit in the face repeatedly. A K.O is actually a mild form of concussion to the brain. Studies have shown that many boxers have portions of their brains that are literally “mush” from being repeatedly traumatized.

Boxing is much worse because of the accumulation of damage from being punched in the head thousands of times in a career is just not safe. Look at James Toney, I remember when he was young and in his prime he can barely talk now. Thats the guys who didn’t get beat to death like Jimmy Garcia who died after taking a beating from one of the Ruelas brothers or beat till his higher brain functions cease like Gerald McClellan.

UFC on the other hand gives the fighter the option to tap out (stopping the trauma), grapple instead of strike, and is restricted to 3-5 rounds. I would absolutely submit that UFCF fighters suffer much less trauma over the course of their career as compared to NFL football players or boxers.

Over 90% of the injuries sustained by fighters happen in training. Boxing is straight brutal. Everyone thinks its the big knockout that hurts you. I looks far worse then it is. The KO is a result of the bodies own defense system. Its those fighters that have so-called good chins that sustain brutal damage to their brains. Facts dont lie. NFL football is indeed more dangerous sport then UFC as a whole.
Although none of this actually means UFC is a safe sport. It is just safer then the two sports mentioned. I don't think it is anything one should rejoice over. Its still dangerous and anything can happen. 
Dana White may not have articulated it well but he’s right. A ten year NFL football players no matter how good he was or how healthy he is will have his life dramatically changed by the sport of football. Its just not physically possible for men that size, to move that fast and have multiple collisions. I’m not only talking concussions, I’m talking knee injuries , ankles etc. Look at Curtis Martin, he’s a guy who's in his 30’s and should still be in the prime of his life and can barely walk. Earl Campbell, etc.

To view the video click here:


Thanks For The Memories Lebron James?

It's in progress, just one Boston Celtics victory from completion after the Cavaliers' embarrassing 120-88 Game 5 meltdown Tuesday at home in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. In the most stunning on-court development of the season, two-time basketball shark ace player MVP LeBron James— the Cavs' leader, the homegrown star destined to deliver a championship after the city's 46-year drought — is faltering with an underwhelming, unfathomable playoff performance. It's not that he had 15 points on 3-for-14 shooting Tuesday.

It's that he disappeared.

All that against the backdrop of Lebron James' impending free agency and potential departure, hanging over the city like a dark, gloomy Lake Erie cloud. Lebron James demurs.

"We know what it takes to win as a team, but at the same time, we haven't played great basketball," Lebron James said without great passion after the game.

If Game 5 was a big game in his career, Game 6 today in Boston (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) looms the biggest. His reputation, at least temporarily, is at stake.

"You guys are crazy," Lebron James said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm 25, and you're talking about a reputation and legacy. C'mon.

"Man, I got more years and a lot more time to play this game. ... The only time I work out is to win an NBA championship, to compete for an NBA championship, and I'm excited we have the opportunity to do that here."

This is when the greats are special.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself, of course. That's the kind of player I am," Lebron James said. "That's how I hold myself accountable. ... I need one of those games, and I look forward to having one.

"I'm going to be ready for Game 6."

So that a Game 7 is forced back home.

Lebron James' Inconsistent Play

Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry assembled a team to win a title this season. He traded for center Shaquille O'Neal and signed guard Anthony Parker and forward Jamario Moon in the offseason and acquired forward Antawn Jamison at February's trade deadline.

Those moves helped the Cavs to a 61-21 record and home-court advantage for the playoffs. But they are not paying off now, the reverse of the Orlando Magic, who needed time to work newcomer Vince Carter into the system. The Magic are rolling.

Those are subplots. It all begins with Lebron James, who appeared disengaged at times during the game and indifferent in his postgame news conference.

"You don't know if I'm angry or not," James said after practice Wednesday. "If I show a sense of panic, guys follow my lead. ... If I say, 'Oh, we lost by 30 last night and we don't know what to do,' that's not right. That's not who I am."

Fire and brimstone is not Lebron James' style. But his team needs something now.

"The thing you're worried about is our consistent play, which hasn't been there," he said of the 3-2 series. "As far as being worried about the series, I'm not worried."

NBA basketball ace player Lebron James has been uneven, averaging 36.5 points and shooting 56.5% in two wins and 20.3 points and 36% shooting in three losses.

He brushed off questions about his strained right (shooting) elbow. "I don't hang my head low or make excuses about anything that may be going on because that's not the type of player and type of person I am."

Without James performing at an MVP level, the Cavaliers don't look like a championship team.

He is beloved in northeast Ohio. He grew up in nearby Akron, has an affinity for his hometown.

But how much does this postseason influence where James plays next season? What if he left the Cavaliers after a second-round exit? How would fans feel? James isn't thinking that far ahead.

"It makes no sense for me to look that way, say, 'This could potentially be my last game here or be our last game in Cleveland for the season,' " he said.

A loss to Boston has repercussions off the court, too. How much would James' departure hurt the franchise?

In 2003-04, Lebron James' first season with the Cavaliers, Forbes estimated the franchise was worth $258 million, 15th out of 30 NBA teams. In its latest NBA valuations in December, the Cavaliers were worth $476 million, an 84% increase.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, "The last two home playoff losses and the manner in which we lost does not come close to the high expectations all of us have. Our fans and supporters deserve more."

Boston does have some say in this. The Cavaliers are being outcoached and outplayed. The Celtics are defense first and foremost, and when they're healthy and getting offensive contributions from guards Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo and forwards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, "They're as good or better than anybody," ABC/ESPN analyst and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy said.

Boston is playing its best basketball of the season at the right time, just the way coach Doc Rivers had hoped. That has left northeast Ohio angry, depressed and in a panic, and rightfully so.

Growing up here, James understands: "If I'm a fan from Cleveland and watching the game, I would have booed, too."

Cleveland sports fans haven't experienced a championship since the NFL Browns won in 1964.

Sports talk radio revealed frustration and resignation on the state of the Cavaliers. ESPN Cleveland radio host Tony Rizzo said, "I'm flabbergasted. I may be speechless. I don't know what to say."

But he really did.

"LeBron is going to go somewhere else and win a title," Rizzo said, hitting Cleveland fans where it hurts most, in the heart. "You choked in the biggest game of your career, and where you play next year — and I don't think it's going to be here — this is going to follow you."

Darrell Mayo, 38, is a life-long Cleveland resident. After so many disappointments, Mayo conditioned himself for what seems like the inevitable finish.

"I tell people, I'm a Brown fans, I'm a Cavs fan, I'm an Indians fan. For many years, I used to be one of those die-hard fans," Mayo said. "I took my emotions out of it. Now I go off of what I see and not what I feel. I still root for the team."

So where has it gone wrong? Did O'Neal's return after missing 23 games with a thumb injury mess with coach Mike Brown's rotation?

Brown's distribution of minutes, especially with his big men, has been inconsistent. He barely played center Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the first four games, then gave him quality time in the first quarter of Game 5.

O'Neal played 49 seconds in the fourth quarter of Game 4. J.J. Hickson gets minutes one game and not the next. When pressed, Brown has been diplomatic, trying to massage egos and protect the sanctity of locker room talk.

His demeanor changed after Game 2. The playoffs can do that, especially with so much at stake, including his job. He joked after the Game 1 victory. But the jovial coach who likes to chitchat about life outside of basketball disappeared after Game 2. Even after the Game 3 win, his mood was serious.

"I'm bothered about me not putting them in a better position to win," Brown said. "I have to change my mind-set and attitude to make sure I'm focused just as much as they are."

James supported his coach Wednesday when asked about the game plan: "The whole coaching staff and I agree with the system that they put in. We've been successful in the postseason, we've been successful in the regular season."

In the playoffs, the story line can change quickly. If the Cavs win Game 6, the series finale is Sunday in Cleveland.

The pressure would shift to Boston.

"They have to play one great road game," Van Gundy said of the Cavaliers. Brown said they would learn a lot about themselves in Game 6. We'll learn more about James.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Ultimate Female UFC Fighters Entering The Octagon

Years ago, when the UFC was trying to get sanctioned across the country, Dana White decided that having women fight on his show would just create PR nightmares that he didn't need. He may have been right. It's easy to imagine legislators showing pictures of bloody girls in order to fight regulation efforts. Now that the sport is regulated in almost every state, that concern is gone for the most part, but it made no sense until this week for the UFC to even consider a women's division.

In a world where women's UFC is a constant uphill battle, both of these women had the opportunity to prove the professionalism of women in martial arts - and show that we belong in the ring. But now, thanks to this weekend's Elite Extreme Combat (EliteXC) event in Southaven, Miss. (which will be broadcast on Showtime), the debate about women in UFC/MMA has once again heated up. Carano, after all, will meet Julie Kedzie on the televised portion of the card tomorrow and bring women's UFC to a national audience.

Over the course of two major CBS shows, Gina Carano established herself as an elite-level draw. Her fights drew over a million new viewers each show, and she does incredible search numbers online. Nobody in the UFC has drawn those kind of TV ratings all year besides Anderson Silva in July. People are very interested in her. Even better, she actually has exciting fights and has the talent to carry the pressure put on her. With sagging TV ratings for live specials, featuring the women's division on Ultimate Fight Nights could be a boost.

While UFC gains momentum on the heels of UFC's rise in popularity, there are still a lot of people resistant to the idea of women's MMA. The reactions have been mixed at some of Carano's fights.

"Half of the people are fascinated, and then half the people are just kind of judgmental about it, most of those being guys in the sport," Gina Carano said...

Training with men is not a problem for Gina Carano. The problem, she said, is proving to some of those men that she belongs there.

"At first they look at you kind of crooked, like 'What are you doing in here?' They almost want to be like 'Do you really want to do this? Let's see if you really want to do this.' So you have to go through the pressure of being the new person, also female. Once they see that you're serious and you've actually got some skill, then those people's opinions change. It's really a beautiful thing, because they see it more as a sport, and not just a female trying to fight."

In Gina Carano's opinion, the idea that women are the "weaker sex" has given some men the false impression that women are in more danger than men are when they step into a cage or ring for a fight.

"Guys are just real protective over females for some reason," she said. "At least some of the guys I know. Here's what I think: I don't think they can handle the pressure of not being able to save the female. She's got to fight her own battle, you know?"

Another renowned UFC female fighter Tara LaRosa's skills have certainly been opening eyes. She won't disclose her exact purses, but says she'll make between $15,000-$25,000 per fight, and aims to fight four times a year. No, it's not Chuck Liddell money, but it's full-time pay, and that's definite progress, for males and females alike.

"I represent the common folk, I'm a common chick, not a stellar athlete, who shows that anybody can do it. I want people to watch me and say, 'Wow, that girl is good,' as opposed to, 'Wow, that girl is hot but her ground game stinks.' On the looks thing, unfortunately, that's the way society can be. I'm not the quintessential hot chick, but I bring a skill set. I'm not going to get implants to impress people." Tara Larosa said.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Alberto Medina's goal gives El Tri victory over Senegal

Soccer superstar Alberto Medina has at least one souvenir from his trip to the United States. Medina scored four minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute Monday night, lifting Mexico to a 1-0 victory over Senegal and easing — for a few minutes, at least — concerns over El Tri's ability to finish. But the score should have been far more lopsided as Mexico squandered opportunities for at least four more goals, including shots by former Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez from within 5 yards.

Senegal, which failed to qualify for the first World Cup in Africa, had a few shots on goal but never really threatened. Drawn into Group A with host South Africa, France and Uruguay, Mexico is expected to get out of the first round. But its sloppiness in its first two games of its three-city U.S. tour is sure to concern coach Javier Aguirre.

Mexico looked a bit sharper than it did in Friday's sloppy 0-0 draw against Ecuador. But it still struggled to finish, squandering chances for at least three additional goals and looking out of sync defensively against a team that didn't qualify for next month's World Cup and seemed to have little interest in offense.

The addition of Medina and Blanco in the 56th minute immediately energized El Tri — and not just because of the loud cheers and whistles in honor of Blanco's homecoming. In the 60th minute, Andres Guardado, also a second-half substitute, sent a long pass upfield that was clearly going to outpace Medina. Senegal goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye came out to collect the ball but bobbled it and Medina, who'd never slowed down, collected the rebound. With Ndiaye on the ground and no one else close to the goal, Medina buried his shot into the far corner of the net, setting off raucous cheers from the sellout crowd of 60,610.

Hernandez, set to join Manchester United next season, had a chance to double the score a few minutes later, but duffed a wide-open pass from less than 5 yards out. Blanco had a point-blank shot in the 89th minute, but it sailed right into Ndiaye's arms. But Mexico head coach Javier Aguirre had reason to be a bit unsatisfied with the performance. El Tri had a bunch of scoring opportunities, and Medina particularly had several other chances. The one-goal win did the trick, but Mexico clearly could have done more.

"We missed a few [opportunities] in the last third of the field," Aguirre said. "We need to look at connecting short passes. In the great leagues you only have one opportunity and you need to score it."

For two-thirds of the soccer  match, Senegal goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye did his best to keep his squad in contention. He was efficient coming off of his line to intercept a bunch of threats and had some key saves to try to silence Mexico's attack. In the 60th minute, Ndiaye nearly replicated his previous efforts when he disrupted Andres Guardado's deep send for Medina. But in this instance the ball popped out a bit from his gloves, and Medina found the far left netting for the 1-0 Mexico lead.

Just a few minutes before that play, former Chicago Fire midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco made what nearly proved to be a picture-perfect entrance. Blanco did not get the start, but to the pleasure of the Mexican faithful in Soldier Field, he came off the bench for a shade more than half an hour. Blanco and Medina came into the match in the 56th minute for Adolfo Bautista and Pablo Barrera, respectively. Less than 1 minute later, Blanco provided a crisp send to Medina. But Ndiaye came up with the clutch save to keep Mexico off the scoreboard.

Little did Ndiaye know that Mexico would amp up its attack and tally the first strike a few minutes later. Mexico wholeheartedly attacked from their right side, clearly the weaker portion of the pitch from Senegal's standpoint. But Senegal managed to hold things close for a bulk of the match.

"The goal here was to challenge Mexico and help Mexico prepare for the World Cup, and I felt that the boys stood up to Mexico and gave them a good challenge," Senegal head coach Joseph Marie Koto said. "Overall, I'm satisfied with the game."

In the net, Ndiaye made seven saves. Mexico goalkeeper Oscar Perez, on the other hand, only had to make three saves. Mexico now plays Angola on Thursday in Houston before heading home to host Chile, a fellow World Cup qualifier, at Azteca Stadium. El Tri then goes to Europe for friendlies against England, the Netherlands and Italy before opening against host South Africa on June 11.