Posts Tagged ‘MMA



27
Nov
12

The same old song …

The same old song …

One would think that HollyThe Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (31-2-3, 9-KOs), the current IBA & WBF lightweight welterweight champion, who is set to fight a world title defense on December 7, 2012 against Diana Prazak (11-1, 7-KOs) on a much ballyhooed card called “Fire and Ice” would command the attention of the boxing world enough to land the fight on HBO Boxing, Showtime, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sport, PPV — heck ANY sports network that broadcasts boxing.

But no …

This much-anticipated bout, following on the heals of Holm’s two tough, hard-fought contests against France’s own Anne Sophie Mathis which should have promoters beating down the door at Fresquez Productions will not be aired.

And this AFTER the Olympics when women kicked serious butt and the US women’s team brought home not one, but two medals courtesy of Marlen Esparza (Bronze) and Claressa Shields (Gold).

So what gives?  What’s a “girl” got to do to get some friggin’ air time in the United States?

If fighters of the caliber and quite frankly fame of Holly Holm can’t get a fight broadcast, up-and-coming fighters don’t have a “prayer” to gain any visibility beyond a loyal crowd of followers and the potential for a local cable station to broadcast the fight card and/or video streaming of the event with the hope that it gets loaded on to YouTube.

No one’s talking either.

Meanwhile when it comes to MMA, women routinely fight on nationally broadcast fightcards such as Strikeforce — and even UFC is planning on adding women to their PPV fight cards in 2013. UFC in particular is readying to promote Ronda Rousey, who won acclaim and a lot of fans when she captured her women’s bantamweight championship belt on Strikeforce.  Rousey’s championship fight in August of 2012 also drew big numbers to Strikeforce, no doubt playing an important part in the calculus of UFC’s decision to bring her over as a UFC fighter on a PPV fight card. (See Dave Meltzer’s excellent piece here.)

But not so with boxing.

Is it that the sport itself is too stale and out of ideas on how to creatively promote itself in a way that can include the talent, heart and boxing savvy that women bring to the ring?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of answers — mainly just frustration and disappointment that yet again, a fabulous outing will be lost to viewers aching to watch it unless they can manage to glean a video stream.

23
Nov
12

And now the rush …

And now the rush …

I’m off to work today where I shall relish the quiet when most people are off.  I’ll be able to get through the pile of tasks that always seems to make their way to the bottom, have the chance to catch up on correspondence and the little things like reorganizing file folders on the shared drive that always get in a tangle when I’m in a rush.

My day will be the opposite of the usual hustle of the work-a-day world where the mindset is to operate at a constant double-time pace and even meals are gulped down as afterthoughts to emails, drafting reports and in the minutes between meetings.

For those with four days off this holiday week, today, so-called “Black Friday,” will bring on a rush of a different kind.  Armed with circulars, coupons and for the tech-savvy, Smartphone enabled electronic badges, folks fortified by turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie will elbow their way through crowds to grab whatever “doorbuster” prize they can snag with a “beat the clock” mindset as minutes wind down till the sales items switch on and off as if they were nothing more innocuous then the periods of a school day.

Yep it’s 6:00 AM Barbie followed by 7:00 AM Nintendo and so on and I suppose if one has 14 nieces between the ages of say 5 and 7, snagging Barbie at $2.99 a pop versus the usual $9.99 might be worth getting up at 3:30 in the morning to make one’s way to Toys-R-Us or Target or wherever to push through the crowds (yep, crowds of crowds) to grab just the right Barbie in that magic hour between 6:00 and 7:00.

I suppose when it comes to saving $1,000 on a washer/dryer unit that exactly matches the model one has been pining for a 5:00 AM quick run to Lowes makes sense, but otherwise, I’m not so sure.

And then there are the Black Friday shopping tips that one can read up on that give advise on what to avoid:

Among the most common occurs when a consumer is drawn in to the store by the possibility of an amazing door-buster deal. Usually, these deals are available in very short supply. When shoppers are shut out of such deals, sometimes they go ahead and buy a similar item—for a much more expensive price. (Time Magazine)

This year’s permutation has included earlier start times cutting into family Thanksgiving celebrations for shoppers—not to mention “no holiday” celebration for the many workers who need to show up hours earlier.

What it brings to mind is that all of this rush for the supposed start to the “holiday” season has an opposite effect if rather than thinking through finding the perfect gift for a loved one is reduced to a cage-fight reminiscent of an MMA bout.

And I guess that’s my point. This crazy rush to buy things has little or nothing to do with why we exchange gifts or of the notion that we honor those we love by putting thought and care and even a dose of mindfulness into how we go about that process.

Sure, I know that folks have monetary issues and that holiday gifts are often ways of delivering the things that folks need—especially when it comes to clothing for kids who by the New Year period have started to grow out of their Fall clothes. So yep, the arena that is 5:00 AM at Walmart may be a necessary evil for some people. What I would question is why those sales can’t happen anyway and whether our “buy-in” to this annual slugfest hasn’t compromised us to the point of throwing away the meaning behind our gift giving.

The question is, if we all said no to the frenzy, wouldn’t retailers find another way to sell us their wares? I think the answer is yes and for prices that are just as attractive. For my money, I’d rather fight in the ring.

Happy Friday …

05
Mar
12

Smackdowning down the boundaries of the ring: Women’s Boxing and MMA!

Smackdowning down the boundaries of the ring: Women’s Boxing and MMA!

Ronda Rousey vs. Miescha Tate, March 3, 2012, Credit: Greg Bartram/US Presswire

Saturday night, Strikeforce aired a fabulous night of MMA bouts on Showtime that included Ronda Rousey’s (5-0) stunning take down of women’s bantamweight title holder Miesha Tate (12-2) with an armbar submission 4:27 into the first round.  In Rousey’s crowning as the new MMA bantamweight champion, heads are turning because of the high caliber of the effort both of these women put into the fight, but the “chops” they brought with them.  Rousey is a an Olympic Bronze Medalist in Judo, and Tate has been a sure-fire crowd pleaser since entering the ring.  Sarah Kaufman’s efforts against Alexis Davis were also hailed as “good” MMA.

So here’s the question: Where is women’s boxing in all of this?

Don’t get me wrong, it is FABULOUS to see MMA being promoted and aired as part of Showtime’s Strikeforce franchise and equally fabulous to read the positive press. David Casitlllo’s piece in The Bloody Elbow.com is a case in point, entitled Strikeforce Tate vs. Rousey Results: Why Women’s MMA Belongs In The Ring, includes the statement, “Rousey just “gets” MMA. There’s a brilliance to her game that reveals itself in the way she transitions. In understanding that each shift from one phase to the next is an opportunity. And that a takedown can be a sequence rather than a precession.”

What we are not seeing is the willingness of Showtime, HBO and ESPN to air these elite female fighters on their boxing shows.  It’s not as if the caliber of fighting isn’t there!  Flash back to the incredible displays of boxing prowess at the women’s Olympic Team Trials for one, but more importantly, take a look at the professional women who box their hearts out for a pittance, grateful for the opportunity to box at all nevermind a chance at a video stream.

Amanda "The Real Deal" Serrano and Ela "Bam Bam" Nunez after "fight of the year" contender

And if you’re looking for a case in point, look no further than undefeated IBF female super featherweight title holder Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano’s (14-0-1, 9-KOs) February 17th effort against Ela ‘Bam Bam’ Nunez (11-13-2) in an eight round co-main event non-title bout in Chicago. Boxing websites such as Philboxing.com are calling the battle an early contender for “fight of the year” status, but otherwise, it’s not as if the offers are pouring in to Serrano who puts on that caliber of fight EVERY TIME she enters the ring.

The fight was streamed live and for free on 360boxing.com, and for those lucky enough to watch the fight, it was a boxing treat albeit, within the parameters of a video stream with lagging images and breakups.  Imagine how much better and more exciting it would have been if it had also been promoted on Showtime?

So again, what’s the deal?  How about putting women’s MMA and Women’s Boxing on the airways!  And P. S., female boxers are VERY capable of fighting three-minute rounds!

In case you missed it, here’s the Serrano v. Nunez February 17, 2012 fight.  You be the judge.

25
Aug
11

Holly Holm returning to the “cage” for her second MMA bout on 9/9/2011

>>>UPDATE>>>

Holly Holm picked up her second MMA win with her third round TKO over Jan Finney last night at the Route 66 Casino Hotel.  The welterweight bout was featured as a co-main event on the Fresquez Productions MMA fight card.

Clash in the cage. ©2011 photo by Jose Leon Castillo III

Holly Holm returning to the “cage” for her second MMA bout on 9/9/2011.

Holly Holm (right) in her MMA debut, Photo: D. Archuleta

Pound-for-pound Women’s Boxing great, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (30-1-3, 9-KO and 1-0, MMA) is set to return to the cage for her second MMA bout on September 9th against Strikeforce denizen Jan “Cuddles” Finney (8-9, MMA) at the Legends Theater, Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Jan "Cuddles" Finney

Billed as the Clash in the Cage card by promoter Fresquez Productions, the fight card will also include a semi-main event featuring Rio Rancho’s Travis “T-Train” Marx (17-3, MMA) and Mikey “Burque Bulldog” Lovato (10-2, MMA), plus a pro-debut and a full card of amateur bouts featuring local area MMA talent.

Holly’s first MMA outing was against Christina Domke (4-2, MMA) on March 4th 2011 and in true Holly Holm’s style defeated Domke in the second round by TKO.  In the run-up to the bout, Holly is quoted as having said, ”I’m passionate about wanting to learn and do this …” True to her kick-boxing roots she proved successful in her debut.

Holm has also been active in the boxing world having won her 30th boxing victory by unanimous decision against Victoria Cisneros in a much anticipated rematch broadcast as Televisio’s main event on June 10th.

All eyes are on her second MMA battle, however, which is slated to give Holm the opportunity to fight a seasoned veteran Jan Finney who not only brings cage experience, but a tough no-nonsense MMA style and allowed Jan to fight the best that women’s MMA has to offer.

As is usual for Holly, she is hard at work in the gym perfecting her growing repertoire of kicks, punches and good old-fashioned, rolling-on-the-floor scrapping for what should be an exciting showdown on September 9th.

For ticket information, please contact Route 66 Casino  or Fresquez Productions. You may also call 505-884-7484.

02
Aug
11

Women’s Boxing/Women’s MMA

Women’s Boxing/Women’s MMA

NBC sports has a piece on their website by Rick Chandler entitled The Beatdown: The Future of Women’s MMA that’s plain old got me down.  I admit that I’m new to MMA — and while I’ve done the odd piece about it, I haven’t got much experience with the sport and only watch it occasionally on television when there’s no boxing on.  That’s usually meant catching part of a Strikeforce fight card on Showtime.

What had struck me about Strikeforce was the fact that there is always at least one women’s bout on the card, not to mention the seeming popularity of the women’s bouts.  Just this weekend I watched the Women’s Welterweight Championship bout between Marloes “Rumina” Coenen and Miesha “Takedown” Tate. Tate pulled out a convincing upset win over Coenen — and again, as a novice to watching the sport with about zero understanding of the politics of Strikeforce, et al, found it to be quite an interesting addition to the world of women’s sports in general.

With Chandler’s piece, however, come all sorts of questions as to whether women’s participation in the sport of MMA will continue at all — or as Chandler writes will “the answer … be found by simply looking at women’s boxing. Wait is there still women’s boxing?”

Ugh!  What!?!  Is there still women’s boxing? Pa-lease!

Chandler’s thesis is that with Strikeforce’s recent sale to Zuffa (the UFC’s parent company), a situation may have been set up whereby the Strikeforce roster will be swallowed up by the UFC and the women’s roster jettisoned in the process. Chandler further opines that the UFC doesn’t have the same interest in the women’s side of the sport as Strikeforce because there aren’t enough “stars” if you will, with the name recognition to draw in the crowds.

So what it boils down to (I think) is this:

a. Strikeforce found it to be “good” business to develop male and female talent and as such has found success and a growing *interest* in women’s MMA bouts and the fighters who compete in them.  (I’ll add that I’ve been applauding them all along and — how sad is this — tauting them as a model of inclusion because they televise women’s bouts!)

b. Along comes UFC and the potential for jettisoning the women’s roster of the “old” Strikeforce and a repositioning of the brand towards a more exclusively male roster.  Hmm… no longer good business???

c.  It’s the fault of women’s MMA (women’s boxing … and women’s sports in general) for not engendering (pun intended) enough interest in women’s athletics, because (1) women fighters are not attractive when they beat the crap out of each other and (2) to quote Chandler again, “the appeal for the best female fight is not as high as for just an average male fight in the sport. If you’re not attracting eyeballs, it’s harder to stay in business. Being included with a primarily male organization was a huge bonus for the women.”

So back to the contradiction again.  If women’s MMA was so horrible why buy Strikeforce in the first place?!?

I don’t know about you, but I find this logic to be very twisted indeed.  And P.S. — in watching the Tate-Coenen fight I didn’t think about gender, I thought about fighting!  Was it interesting?  Were they skilled?  Weaknesses/strengths and so on.

Enough already.

If a fighter has the courage to put herself in the ring why should it matter how big her breasts are or whether she has a cute booty!   A fight is a fight.  Put Torres-Nava I or II up against any fight card from over this past weekend and what will you come up with in terms of skills, heart, stamina and to use the word again pure courage.  I can tell you the answer, none.

All I can say at this point is GRRRRRRR.

And please, feel free to opine away!

23
Mar
11

MMA & Boxing: Taking a look!

MMA & Boxing: Taking a look!

I’m still trying to grapple with the sport of MMA (no pun intended).  It is certainly fast, exciting and tough.  With a growing fan base and movements to legalize MMA bouts in more states including, New York, I  thought it might be fun to post a few videos, courtesy of YouTube to see the great New Mexico fighter, Holly Holm in her first MMA bout as compared to Holly’s performance in a boxing match with Brooklyn’s own Belinda Laraquente.

From Holly Holm’s recent MMA debut bout vs. Christina Domke:

Classic Holly Holm vs. Belinda Laraquente in the ring from 2009:

Your thoughts will be appreciated!

 

05
Mar
11

Women’s Boxing and Women’s MMA

Women’s Boxing and Women’s MMA

 

Holly Holm (right) in her MMA debut, Photo: D. Archuleta

 

I’ll admit to being fairly new to the MMA concept, but boxer Holly Holm’s announcement that she would switch gears from fierce women’s boxing competitor to MMA has been fairly stunning.  Well last night in her MMA debut, Holly proved herself more that able as she dismantled her opponent, Christina “Machine Gun” Domke, in the second round by TKO.

In the preamble to her debut contest New Mexico’s own fighter Holly said, “I’m passionate about wanting to learn and do this …”  And learn she did, applying her super-charged southpaw boxing power to her kickboxing roots to become a winner, ending the fight with just that, a disabling kick to her opponent’s leg.

The bout has drawn a fair amount of buzz, especially in the MMA community as Holm considered by many to be pound-for-pound the best women’s boxer out there may well be the type of fighter to help galvanize the women’s MMA sport.

As I am really new to MMA — I’ll appreciate reader feedback on the sport, as well as some education.

For some video footage of last night’s fight click here and here.




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