OMG OUR NEW EPISODE IS UP! OMGOMGOMG!
We KINDA talk about the New York Knicks (as much as we can stomach), we DEFINITELY review Schoolboy Q and Beck, and we PRACTICALLY beg Bud Light to sponsor us.
This week we are joined by NOBODY, so get ready for a healthy dose of James and Brad. Will we have other guests in the future? PROBABLY.
by Dr. Octagon J.D.
UFC Fight Night Macao started at the ungodly hour of 6am, but I did roll out of bed in time to catch the main card.
In the main event, Dong Hyun Kim scored a highlight-reel stoppage of John Hathaway in the third round. Kim has the early striking advantage and landed at will on Hathaway, who didn’t seem to have any interest in putting his hands up. In the third round, Hathaway went in for an elbow, while Kim dodged and landed a cracking spinning elbow to Hathaway’s head. The shot ended the fight without any question, as Hathaway lay motionless on the mat.
Stun Gun used to use judo to stifle opponents, until his last fight against Erick Silva. Kim’s much improved striking and excellent grappling now make him a tough test for anyone in the UFC. He hasn’t had a definitive loss in the Octagon since he was knocked out by Carlos Condit. He also lost to Demian Maia, but it was more of a freak injury than anything else.
For his part, Silva needed just 51 seconds to stop Takenori Sato with a massive left hand KO.
In The Ultimate Fighter China finale, Zhang Lipang “defeated” Wang Sai by split decision. We had it 29-28 for Sai.
In other action, Matt Mitrione defeated Shawn Jordan by KO with a last minute flurry at the end of round one. Hatsu Hioki defeated Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision, it was 29-28 on all the cards.
by Anna John
Is it already Friday? So it is. Here’s what we’re reading at Stiff Jab headquarters:
1) This story about the first “cutwoman” in The UFC is well-worth a read. After eight years of preparation, research, and unpaid practice, Swayze Valentine participated in UFC 170 in Las Vegas. Her journey to the octagon hasn’t been easy:
"Then there were the struggles of being a woman in a man’s sport. Valentine said she has been physically assaulted by a manager, not let in the cage by security guards and banished from dressing rooms by fighters."
2) Many fight fans and boxers are on Twitter, and most wish for the magic blue check mark. The latest to be verified? None other than Muhammad Ali, who chose the 50th anniversary of his fight with Sonny Liston to tweet:
"I shook up the world against Liston, now 50 years later I’m taking it to Twitter."
Note: any tweet hashtagged “#AliTweet” is from the man himself. What are you waiting for— follow him already!
3) The Nevada Athletic Commission voted Thursday to ban testosterone replacement therapy, commonly known as “TRT”. Many in the sport (including Doc Octagon) felt that fighters were getting over by claiming they needed TRT due to their low testosterone levels.
"There is also a prevailing opinion in the medical world, testified to by commission doctors at Thursday’s meeting, that many cases of low testosterone in fighters were caused by prior use of performance-enhancing drugs."
Bernard Hopkins photo by Hogan Photos for Golden Boy
by Gautham Nagesh
If there was any doubt that Washington, D.C. is a fight town once again, Golden Boy Promotions has put it firmly to rest. Legendary Philadelphia light heavyweight Bernard Hopkins announced recently that he will fight in Washington for the first time in 15 years on April 19th at D.C. Armory. The main event will feature Hopkins against Kazakh contender Beibut Shumenov and will be televised on Showtime.
A partner in Golden Boy, the 49-year-old Hopkins will be the brightest star to fight in Washington since a faded Mike Tyson lost his final bout to Kevin McBride at the then-MCI Center in 2005. The co-feature could feature Peter Quillin or local featherweight Gary Russell Jr. in his biggest fight to date against Jhonny Gonzalez. Either fight would make this the biggest card in Washington since Lamont Peterson vs. Amir Khan in December 2011.
BHop has history in the DMV; he lost to Roy Jones Jr. at RFK Stadium in 1993 and later defended his middleweight title in the area three times, the last against Robert Allen in 1999 at Washington Convention Center. Hopkins told ESPN’s Dan Rafael that it was the reception he received in D.C. while promoting Peterson’s win over Dierry Jean last month (below) that convinced him to bring his next fight down I-95.
Photo by Tom Casino for Showtime
"When I was in Washington (on Jan. 25) promoting the Lamont Peterson (junior welterweight title) fight at the Armory, the people there showed me a lot of love and respect," Hopkins told ESPN. "I got mad respect for the fans there and they got mad respect for me in D.C. Fighting in D.C. is like fighting in Philly as far as I’m concerned. It will definitely be a Bernard Hopkins house and I will give them something to cheer about."
by Raquel Ruiz
LAS VEGAS—It wasn’t love at the first sight.
UFC 170 at the Mandalay Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night was a disappointing first date. The best thing I can say about my inaugural experience covering mixed martial arts: I’m open to giving my new lover a second chance.
To me, Vegas is the most plastic representation of the society lost in consumerism, addiction and ostentation. But in love and war, anything goes. I came to this insufferable city to cover a spectacle that has intrigued me for a long time. I came with a purpose, and a love for contact sports. How could I not be intrigued? Since The UFC began staging women’s fights last year, it has quickly become the biggest platform for female combat sports.
Unfortunately, my opening night was not charming. It’s like kissing an attractive man for the first time and not feeling the butterflies in your tummy as expected. Still, you usually arrange a second date, just to see if the “galan” was just really nervous and can do better the second time. So, to be fair, I will give UFC a second date.
UFC 170 promised to be a solid card, with the stellar fight being the women’s bantamweight championship in the main event. So real responsibility weighed on the shoulders of the Queen on the Octagon, Ronda Rousey(top), on Saturday night. She delivered, stopping Sara McMann in the first round with strikes to win by TKO.
Vyacheslav Glazkov photo by Main Events
by Sarah Deming
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—How do you sell the quiet skill of a Ukrainian heavyweight to American fight fans?
The anxiety of this question seemed to hang in the air of Underground Boxing as Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov began his media workout. Everything about the 29-year-old, from his crewcut to his trunks to his musculature, bespoke function over flash.
On March 15, Glazkov will face former world champion Tomasz Adamek at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Glazkov and team hope this will be the final hurdle before a shot at heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. It is an intriguing match. The 37-year-old Adamek is post-peak, but he only has two losses. Glazkov, a 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, is bigger and fresher, but he looked less than stellar in a disputed draw last year with Malik Scott.
The misleadingly named Underground Boxing occupies the sunny third floor of a storefront in Sheepshead Bay. Its floors are covered with rubber tiles that mandate the removal of high heeled shoes. All the ladies in stocking feet contributed to the feeling of being at some kind of intimate Russian family party rather than a press event. The affable proprietor Ilya Mesishchev circulated among the guests, making introductions and pointing out his wall of trophies.
Glazkov bullied the heavy bag for a while then went in the ring to work pads with trainer Eduard Menchakov. The two men have known each other for 20 years.
“He started boxing when he was ten,” Menchakov told me through an interpreter. “His father was with him everywhere.”
Photo by Joel Richardson for The Washington Post
by Aaron Tallent special to Stiff Jab
Let’s face it: the Fight Game walks the fine line between goodness and corruption.
The good is that young men have an opportunity to learn discipline they would often not find elsewhere. For that to work, the people providing the chance need to have their heart in the right place. They need to be people like Jim Finley. Sadly, we have already forgotten just how special Finley and his boxing gym truly were.
Finley, who died of congestive heart failure on January 28, ran the legendary Finley’s Boxing Gym from 1960 to 2001. The gym was over his auto repair shop on 518 10th Street, which sat in an alley running between 9th and 10th Streets in Northeast D.C. So low key was the gym that I lived at the entrance of that alley for two years after it closed, yet had no idea it ever existed.
Floyd Mayweather photo by Anna John for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
On Monday Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions made official what we had long expected: Floyd Mayweather Jr. will return on May 3rd against Argentine knockout artist Marcos Maidana on Showtime Pay Per View. The 12-round unification bout marks Mayweather’s return to the welterweight division, after earning the true junior middleweight championship of the world by dominating Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in his last fight.
The fight will most likely take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but their remains the tantalizing possibility of a late push from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s unlikely the bout will generate the same excitement as Mayweather-Alvarez, because Maidana is mostly a known quantity, and not in the same class as Floyd. But the Argentine has showed new life of late, and might be the hardest-punching welterweight Floyd has fought to date.
As such, Maidana has at least a puncher’s chance, though we wouldn’t be lining up to bet for anyone but Floyd in this fight.
“Marcos Maidana’s last performance immediately brought him to my attention,” Mayweather said on Monday, his 37th birthday. “He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring. I think this is a great fight for me and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can do what 45 others have tried to do before him – beat me.”
This week the boys welcome back NFL and NBA guru Steve “Beve” Guijarro to talk Knicks at the trade deadline and Giants at the combine.
During the Grab Bag (Skip to 40:44). James and Brad talk True Detective, HBO’s Girls, St. Vincent, Guided by Voices, and much, much more.
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Photos by Tom Casino for Showtime
by Gautham Nagesh
Philadelphia lightweight Hammerin’ Hank Lundy gave Cuban import Angelo Santana a boxing lesson in the main event of a strong edition of ShoBox from Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. Lundy’s win was the most notable on an excellent Friday Night for fight fans, including the debut of an intriguing tournament from ESPN.
Santana hadn’t fought since losing to Baha Mamadjonov last April by ninth-round stoppage. Many questioned his decision to come back against Lundy, a battle-tested veteran from the City of Brotherly Love. Philly fighters are always tough and Lundy is no exception. He stood his ground throughout the fight and traded with Santana, despite the Cuban’s reputation as a fearsome puncher. Unfortunately for Santana, his power and his will both seemed to evaporate after the first two rounds.
by Anna John
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Members of the press studied the candied bacon and chicken wings from Founding Farmers, just across Pennsylvania Avenue. P.R. pros confidently wove through the small crowd, shaking hands and offering guests Starbucks coffee.
At the front of a glass conference room here in Northwest D.C., 2012 Stiff Jab Prospect of the Year Dusty Hernandez-Harrison stood silently, uncharacteristically alone. Dusty used the time to collect his thoughts before addressing the reporters who had gathered to hear about his next bout against Michael Balasi (10-3, 7 KOs) on March 7th in San Diego on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
If there was one overarching theme from today’s press conference, it’s that DUSTY LOVES THE DMV. I’m surprised there aren’t already shirts bearing that slogan, printed and circulating among the thousands of local fight fans who are down for Dusty. From All-In Entertainment President Jeff Fried to Dusty’s father Buddy Harrison to the young boxer himself, every person who spoke wanted to emphasize that Dusty’s favorite aspect of being a local star is the “local”, not the “star”.
We’ve got an EXTRA THICK episode of The Fourth Judge this week as we welcome guest Jeff Petriello to talk about his role running the Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram accounts for Mashable. We also talk Knicks, Under Armour, poop, and more.
For those of you who want to skip the sports talk (Philistines!), the Grab Bag starts at 37:19.
by Dr. Octagon, J.D.
We were in attendance at UFC 169, which set the record for most decisions on a Pay Per View. That card was way better than UFC Fight Night 36 in Jaragua, Brazil.
I never thought it would come to this, but I am about to complain that the five hours of free no-holds-barred cage fighting were boring, and that such events are being held too often. Welcome to The UFC’s era of over-saturation. Nothing unexpected or exciting happened on this card. For the most part, the favorites won and there were a ton of decisions.
Also, Mario Yamasaki is making a strong case for the title of worst ref in MMA. Yamasaki deducted a point from Maximo Blanco on the undercard for his first accidental kick to the junk. That’s the first time I can recall seeing that happen. The deduction didn’t end up mattering, but there should be some sort of consistency for accidental fouls. A one point deduction in a three round fight is a pretty harsh penalty.
Speaking of consistency, in the main event Lyoto Machida was clearly on his knees when Gegard Mousasi hit him with an illegal upkick to the face. Yamasaki apparently didn’t notice it was a foul until Machida looked at him as if to ask, “What the fuck man” or the Portuguese equivalent. No point was deducted. That’s right. A kick to the groin is a point deduction. An illegal kick to the face? Yamasaki doesn’t even really notice.