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Dana White's Ethical Quandary of Rape Jokes

  • Published in K-1

Of late, Mixed Martial Artists have found themselves under extreme scrutiny for some of their public statements. The UFC has grown leaps in bounds in the past twenty years, becoming a household name with a television deal on Fox Sports. To say that the UFC came up hard would be an understatement. Over the years they have faced opposition from the government, from local sanctioning bodies and anyone and everyone who likes to talk about “decency.” Over the past few months, though, problems have been coming from within, in a bit of an odd form. Rape jokes.

For some reason rape jokes have become the gold standard for distasteful jokes made by UFC fighters. Forrest Griffin began the trend on his twitter account through a series of rape jokes that span months, only one of which really raised the ire of the media enough to report on it and make a big deal about it. Forrest Griffin, the winner of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter has a rather good relationship with UFC head Dana White and the issue was quickly swept under a rung in a coordinated PR move of Forrest doing a photo-op at a rape clinic, discussing how terrible rape is.

Forrest made a mistake, and a pretty weighty one that irked a lot of people. There was no punishment handed down, though, as Dana White was quick to defend the fighter’s actions by saying that he meant nothing by it and quickly made amends for his distasteful joke. The irony, of course, is that Forrest won a “Twitter Bonus” from the UFC for his “creative use” of Twitter.

This week things heated up again, as Rashad Evans at a UFC on Fox press conference made a joke about rape and PSU. If you have been out of the loop, a sex scandal has rocked Penn State recently after a few key players were found to be involved with or had knowledge of child molestation and rape. Rashad, another former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, has apparently been reprimanded by UFC boss Dana White, but not in any official or public manner. White has only gone as far as to call it “stupid.”

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Tyrone Spong Hype Video

  • Published in K-1

We've documented that Tyrone Spong has been spending his time working with UFC fighter Rashad Evans, but it looks like Tyrone is working with Rashad's management, Authentic Sports Management and that they have big plans for him in 2012. What these plans are exactly is unclear, but the hype video says that Tyrone Spong is "coming" in 2012. One can only assume to the United States to fight, but then you have to ask the question of if this could possibly be in Mixed Martial Arts.

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Tyrone Spong Wins GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight Tournament

  • Published in Glory

Spong

In what was a matchup between the best fighters at Light Heavyweight under the GLORY banner we saw Tyrone Spong square off against Danyo Ilunga in the Light Heavyweight Slam Finals. Both men were worn down from fighting twice earlier in the night, with Ilunga fighting two harder bouts for sure. Both men were primed and ready for action when Spong landed a barrage of strikes that Ilunga was covering up.

In what was a rather confusing turn of events, Ilunga, who was still standing, still covering up and aware of what was happening, was pushed aside by the ref who called the bout in what was one of the worst stoppages that we've seen in a very, very long time. It makes some of the Joop Ubeda stoppages of the last few years look competent. We'll hopefully have footage of the stoppage in a bit up on the site, but if you somehow missed it, trust us, Spong was looking good, but Ilunga was not down and out by any stretch of the imagination.

Congratulations go out to Tyrone Spong, though, as he won the GLORY Light Heavyweight Slam in New York, which is a feather in his cap no matter what.

GIF from ZombieProphet.

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UFC 133 Makes One Clear Point: K-1 Kickboxers Are in Demand

  • Published in K-1

Spong/Rashad/AlexandreIt was a peculiar sight to behold at UFC 133, and no, I don't mean Dennis Hallaman's poor choice of costume or Brian Ebersole's arrow made of chest hair. Instead, I mean the amount of times we got to hear about K-1 level striking on a UFC broadcast and that it was hard to argue. No, sadly it did not coincide with the action in the cage, but instead the choice of trainers that the elite MMA fighters of the world have been choosing to help round out their game.

We've already seen Kenny Florian working with Cosmo Alexandre, Jose Aldo working with Andy Souwer, Jake Shields prepared for his fight with GSP by training with the legendary Rob Kaman and more. Tonight at UFC 133, though, the two feature attraction fights also featured two elite kickboxers in a corner, as "Sugar" Ray Sefo, a K-1 legend and the 2000 K-1 World Grand Prix runner-up cornering Vitor Belfort. Belfort is known for his top notch hands, for his speed, precision and power, but bringing on Ray Sefo has helped him to round out his full spectrum of striking after a quick loss to Anderson Silva. Without a doubt having a legend like Ray Sefo helping him prepare will give him some helpful tips and pointers, both in offense and defense and the results looked promising with Belfort picking up a win tonight.

In the main event, Rashad Evans brought a younger K-1 fighter to the ring with him, as he came to the ring with Tyrone Spong. Spong has been an integral part of Rashad's training camp to prepare for his fight, originally against Phil Davis before Davis had to pull out, and now against Tito Ortiz. The fight turned into more of a grapple-heavy contest, but some of the techniques that Rashad picked up along the way and the sparring with a fighter like Spong who is known for his strong clinch game and heavy kicks were apparent in the way Rashad moved and how he responded to situations. One of the clearest examples of him working on his clinch striking more came with the finish of the fight, where Tito Ortiz was on his knees covering his head up and Rashad landed what was a picture perfect knee strike to the midsection that dropped Ortiz and led to the finish.

A technique like that is often overlooked in the MMA world because one false move and the knee becomes an illegal strike to the head and can cause a point deduction, disqualification or a no contest if the opponent cannot continue. It takes a great deal of confidence and dedication to drill moves like that for a fighter to be comfortable throwing them, and Rashad timed it perfectly and it landed exactly where it should have.

If UFC 133 was any sort of indicator, the chances are that more and more UFC fighters will be turning to high level kickboxers and muay thai fighters to help them prepare for their fights. The days of fighters preparing with noted MMA striking trainers without much real combat experience might be coming to a close, or at least be supplemented by having modern professional fighters at the top of their game helping to spar and round out a fighter. Right now Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is preparing in his camp with American kickboxing sensation Mark "Fightshark" Miller, who has notably trained with Rampage's upcoming opponent, Jon "Bones" Jones in the past and can only help Rampage out more and more as he prepares for his title fight.

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Photo of the Day: Alistair Overeem Trains with Tyrone Spong

  • Published in Kickboxing

It is just a week away until Tyrone Spong will step into the ring at It's Showtime 58 against the legend Peter Aerts. The bout is slated to be Mr. K-1's retirement in the Benelux region of Europe, originally his full retirement, before Glory stepped in with an offer that he couldn't refuse. As we are all very aware of, Spong is training in Florida alongside the Blackzilian camp, which includes UFC Heavyweight contender and former K-1 World Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem. This means that Spong and Overeem train together, and for Spong, who better to train with than the man that narrowly defeated him in K-1? The team behind the Reem was there to photograph their training and share it with the world.

Don't forget to go ahead and purchase the PPV for It's Showtime 57 and 58, which means access to the full card!

Spong/Reem

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Watch Tyrone Spong and Peter Aerts Staredown

It's Showtime is tomorrow, coming at us with one of the biggest fights of the year so far in Peter Aerts taking on Tyrone Spong live from Brussels. For Americans, the second half of the card will air on HDnet (soon to be AXS) at 3pm Eastern, for anyone who wants to watch the full card or is in an area where it won't be aired on television, head to ShowtimeFights.com and order the PPV now (clicking that link supports LiverKick!).

This video is courtesy of our friends at Staredown.NL, who will without a doubt be posting some more awesome content over the weekend.

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Photo of the Day: Rashad Evans in Brussels to Corner Tyrone Spong

This weekend It's Showtime has a huge event coming up, including the "Benelux retirement" of Peter Aerts against internationally-acclaimed Tyrone Spong. The twenty-six year old Spong is possibly looking to make the transition to MMA, but not before settling his debts in the Kickboxing world and making his way to the top. Fighting Peter Aerts in one of his retirement fights is a huge honor for Spong, and would be one of his biggest wins at Heavyweight to date, which he very much needs. Spong has been training in Florida with Rashad Evan's "Blackzilian" camp, including fighters like former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Alistair Overeem, so he will without a doubt be in good shape and will have had a decent sparring partner, to say the least.

It's Showtime 58 will air live on HDnet this Saturday at 3pm Eastern time, or if you are not in the United States or wish to view the entire card, purchase the event from ShowtimeFights.com.

Rashad Evans

“I came all the way out here 2 Brussels, Belgium to corner @Tyrone_Spong & he got me out here like The Notorious Bum! I'm not trying 2 be high maintenance but could a brutha at least get a bed?! Lol” [source]

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Go Ahead and Watch Tyrone Spong's MMA Debut

  • Published in Video

So Tyrone Spong finally made his MMA debut this weekend at the World Series of Fighting's inaugural event. WSoF is headed up by Ray Sefo, whom you should all know, so there is no surprise that this is where Kickboxing and Muay Thai fighter Tyrone Spong decided to make his debut. Spong fought, well, some dude named Travis Bartlett that we give all of the credit in the world to for stepping into the ring with Tyrone, but yeah. This was what it was. Watch it and marvel at why Tyrone hasn't been super active in Kickboxing.

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