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Copyright © Jonathan Snowden and Kendall Shields, 2010
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library and archives canada cataloguing in publication Snowden, Jonathan, 1975- The MMA encyclopedia / Jonathan Snowden and Kendall Shields.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Mixed martial arts--Encyclopedias. i. Shields, Kendall ii. Title.
gv1102.7.m59s65 2010 796.81503 c2010-901256-9 Developing Editor: Michael Holmes Cover Design: Dave Gee Text Design: Tania Craan Color Section Design: Rachel Ironstone Typesetting: Gail Nina Photos copyright © Peter Lockley, 2010 Printing: Solisco Tri-Graphic 1 2 3 4 5 The publication of The MMA Encyclopedia has been generously supported by the Government of Ontario through Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit, by the OMDC Book Fund, an initiative of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and by the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund.
printed and bound in canada Contents Introduction v A: Abbott–Arona 1 M: Machida–Muay Thai 267 B: Bader–Bustamante 21 N: Nakamura–North-south 301 C: Cage Force–Cummo 49 O: Ogawa–Overeem 313 D: Danzig–Dream 81 P: Pancrase–Pulver 325 E: Edgar–Ezequiel choke 95 Q: Quadros 349 F: Faber–Funaki 111 R: Randleman–Rutten 351 G: Garcia–Guillotine choke 129 S: Sakuraba–Sylvia 373 H: Hackney–Hunt 163 T: Tadeu–TUF 457 I: IFL–International Vale Tudo
Appendix I: Ultimate Fighting Championship Results 525 Appendix II: Other Major MMA Results 561 Notes on the Photos 583 Acknowledgments 585 Introduction On its surface, mixed martial arts is a simple game. There’s something universal about fighting, after all. And when two combatants square off inside a cage in a brutal contest that leaves one man standing and the other unwilling or unable to continue, audiences connect on a visceral, primal level, not an intellectual one. So why, you might ask, is this book necessary?
Because, as simple as the concept of mixed martial arts may be, the execution is infinitely complex. Take the fistic repertoire of traditional western boxing and add to that the precise savagery of Muay Thai kickboxing, the explosive athleticism of collegiate and international wrestling, the dynamic grappling techniques of judo and sambo, and the methodical submission fighting of the world’s top Brazilian Jiu-jitsu stylists. These diverse disciplines, each one complex enough to warrant a lifetime of study on its own, now regularly collide, with fascinating results, at mma events the world over.
With The MMA Encyclopedia we hope to provide some insight into the techniques, styles, and tactics on display in the cage, as well as shed light upon the fighters and promotions that have helped make mma one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Along the way, many of the sport’s luminaries tell their own stories under the heading “In Their Own Words.” The entries are arranged alphabetically, and when we make reference to a topic addressed elsewhere in the encyclopedia, the subject appears in bold type. As you’ll see, the world of mixed martial arts is deeply interconnected.
Peter Lockley has provided some of his top notch photography to illustrate the book, and Chris “Mookie” Harrington helped put together the appendices: a complete look at the results from every major fight show in both America and Japan as well as a collection of interesting miscellany. We hope you’ll agree that these combined efforts have yielded the best overall picture of the mixed martial arts industry ever put to press.
It wasn’t the brutal knockout of the 400-pound John Matua that made David “Tank” Abbott stand out in a crowded mma landscape. It was the dance — just a little shimmy mimicking Matua’s scary convulsions as he lay unconscious on the mat — that immediately made Abbott one of the UFC’s biggest stars.
Before Abbott burst onto the scene in 1995 at ufc 6, the ufc was filled with respectful athletes, martial artists who conducted themselves with class and dignity. With his crass interviews, often mocking his opponents and making light of the trauma he had just inflicted on their brains with his hammering fists, Abbott was a breath of fresh air. He was the anti–martial artist, a welcoming and familiar figure for fans who still weren’t sure what to make of Gracie Jiu-jitsu and the ground game. This was a fighter they could feel comfortable with: a bar fighter with a bald head, barrel chest, and long beard. This was what a fighter was supposed to look like.
“I just got out of jail for beating somebody up — in fact, a cop’s son,” Abbott said. His background gave ufc promoters reason to worry. But Abbott had a solid case for his inclusion in the event. “Isn’t this supposed to be about fighting? And they said, ‘Yeah, but you’ve got to have some kind of a black belt or something.’ And I said, ‘That’s not what I’m about. I’m about fighting in the streets.’ They called me a couple days later and said, ‘We came up with this thing called Tank Abbott. It’s from the Every Which Way But Loose movie from Clint Eastwood.’ That’s where the Tank came from.” It was a brilliant marketing ploy, not just by Semaphore Entertainment Group, but by Abbott himself. The Tank may have looked like an ignorant thug, but that was for show. He was a legitimately tough guy, but he was also a college graduate and a junior college wrestling star. This wasn’t part of the ufc’s pitch, though. Fans preferred to think of Abbott as a menacing street fighter and that was what seg gave them.
Unfortunately for Abbott, the martial artists he professed to hate so much were more than a match for him. Abbott’s career is filled with devastating knockouts of journeymen and tomato cans, but every time he stood in the cage with a legitimate martial artist, he lost and lost convincingly. Even in defeat, Tank was still able to convince fans he was the tougher guy. He was famous for heading to the bar while his conqueror headed to the hospital.
It was an act that seemed to age poorly. If tapping out to a sneering Frank Mir’s toe hold didn’t kill the Abbott myth, a first round knockout in just 43 seconds at the hands of street fighter Kimbo Slice surely did. Despite these convincing losses, Abbott will continue to fight on. As long as there are promoters who are willing to pay big bucks for the nostalgia of having Tank Abbott on their cards, the Tank will be there, lacing up his gloves and ready to fall down for old time’s sake.
n Tank Abbott: Wrestling Star During his UFC run, Tank Abbott’s biggest nemesis was the promotion’s pretty boy Ken Shamrock. One SEG insider thought of Shamrock’s Lion’s Den and Abbott’s crew as the Sharks and the Jets. Like the gangs in West Side Story, the two crews seemed destined to rumble. Instead, the fireworks were all verbal, especially after Shamrock left fighting for professional wrestling. Abbott mocked him mercilessly, but as the UFC paychecks got smaller, Abbott’s opposition to pro wrestling shrank as well. In 1999, Abbott took the leap with Time Warner’s World Championship Wrestling.
He joined the promotion in a tumultuous time. WCW had peaked with an evil Hulk Hogan leading his New World Order stable against aging good guys like Sting and Ric Flair. They were desperate for the next big thing and were tossing ideas against the wall with reckless abandon. Abbott was far from the only experiment; WCW also brought in KISS to help christen a KISS Demon character and signed the rapper Master P to headline a rap versus country music feud.
In this creative chasm, Abbott’s wrestling persona changed by the day. He was a tough guy with one-punch-knockout power during a “Colors on a Pole” match with Big Al at one pay-per-view and the goofy dancing bodyguard for the boy-band knockoff “3 Count” at another show.
“The powers that be in WCW were changing every day; you never knew who was in charge. They just came up with new ideas and things for me to do. I think they were hoping it wouldn’t go well for me,” Abbott said. “I thought it was actually kind of funny to go out and dance with those guys. What the hell — let’s go have some fun.”
Achilles hold: see Leg locks
ADCC The Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship — more often referred to as adcc, or simply Abu Dhabi — is the most prestigious competition in the world of no-gi submission grappling. Founded by mma enthusiast Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Brazilian Jiujitsu instructor Nelson Monteiro in 1998, the adcc’s mandate is to bring grapplers from various disciplines together to compete under rules agreeable to competitors from all styles — though adcc rules resemble those of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu more closely than those of any other art or sport. And indeed, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioners have enjoyed far more success at adcc than representatives of sambo, judo, or wrestling. Aside from Mark Kerr and Sanae Kikuta, representing wrestling and judo respectively, all adcc champions have been top Brazilian Jiu-jitsu exponents. This is no doubt due to at least two factors: the undeniable, inherent quality of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as the premier submission discipline of its era, and the fact that the adcc is simply not on the radar of active elite wrestlers and judo players. Perhaps one day Sheik Tahnoon’s dream of top athletes from every major grappling discipline competing under a common rule set will be fully realized. Until then, it is
3 In Their Own Words: Matt Hume on ADCC
“Sheik Tahnoon saw me defeat Kenny Monday in the first world submission wrestling championship called ‘The Contenders.’ At the time, he was training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu with Nelson Montero. He had seen Gracie Jiu-jitsu defeat all comers in the early UFCs, but started to see wrestlers come in and have success over some of the good jiu-jitsu practitioners. Then he saw me defeat the most decorated wrestler in only 45 seconds! He had his assistant contact me and I went to Abu Dhabi to train him and his combat team. Shortly after I taught him, he decided to hold the first Abu Dhabi submission championships and the rest is history.
“Training Sheik Tahnoon and his combat team was a great experience. He is a true martial artist and always seeks to improve his technique and ability.
Everyone that I met in Abu Dhabi was very nice and had a true interest in learning what I taught them. I went back on several occasions and it was always like a reunion with good friends and family. I feel very fortunate to have had that opportunity and to have them as friends today.” what it is: a slightly dry but intriguing tournament featuring many of the biggest names in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and mma.
Affliction It might be best to think of the Affliction clothing company’s foray into the world of mixed martial arts as a noble failure. Backed, at least nominally, by Donald Trump, and partnered with Oscar De La Hoya’s powerhouse Golden Boy Promotions, Affliction Entertainment put together two stacked, genuinely entertaining shows before falling apart days before their much anticipated Trilogy event in the summer of 2009. The premise was simple, and almost irresistible: take the Affliction brand, which enjoyed enormous success among the demographic that underpinned the popularity of mixed martial arts, partner it with the best heavyweight fighter on the planet, Fedor Emelianenko, and watch the money pile up. It didn’t quite work out that way, in part because of a lack of proven draws on the top of the card and in part because of the hefty salaries paid out to the likes of Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Matt Lindland, and Vitor Belfort — all admirable and accomplished fighters, but none of them capable of pulling in the kind of pay-per-view numbers needed to keep things viable.
By the summer of 2009, there were rumors and rumblings that the end might be in sight, and once Barnett failed a pre-fight drug test — the third positive test for a banned steroid of his career — Affliction’s third event collapsed, and the promotion itself followed suit not long thereafter. A partnership with Strikeforce was considered but never consolidated, forcing Affliction to turn to Dana White. The UFC, which had banned Affliction clothing when word first began to spread that the company was considering running its own events, absorbed several fighters’ contracts and welcomed the clothing company back as a sponsor. In the end, the Affliction affair showed that while there are some intriguing synergies between mixed martial arts and elaborately goony sportswear, success in one doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the other.
The Japanese sumo fans were more disappointed than angry when it turned out Chad Rowan just didn’t get it. They had embraced Rowan as “Akebono,” the first foreigner ever promoted to the exalted rank of yokozuna. He was among the most successful sumo of his era, winning 11 top division championships, and the notoriously xenophobic Japanese adopted him as one of their own. He even represented his new homeland at the 1998 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies in Nagano.