Posted by Jonathan Snowden on June 15th, 2008
The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived
Nick Diaz is the greatest man who’s ever lived. He once beat up Joe Riggs in the hospital after a tough fight. He got high and still beat the shit out of PRIDE pretty boy Takanori Gomi. He stormed out of the ring after the doctor stopped his fight with KJ Noons. He’s just angry and a little crazy. So what happened after KJ Noons stopped Yves Edwards via hate crime should have been no surprise.
Diaz hit the cage in pure heel mode. Noons was fresh off the best win of his career and in front of his home fans. When he flashed the double finger salute to Noons, things got a little out of hand. Even KJ’s old man got into the action. “I’m kind of disappointed that those antics overshadowed a great athlete like Yves Edwards,” Noons said after the fight. “You train so hard for a title fight and then you’ve got this low class person coming in and talking trash.”
When the dust settled, Elite XC had just hyped a new main event match. Diaz is the kind of fighter that draws a natural reaction, with a painted on sneer and a bad attitude. Noons is like the prototypical 70’s wrestling babyface. He’s probably got a great dropkick to go along with that pretty right hand. It’s the perfect matchup.
So, of course, the MMA media hated it. Diaz interrupted one of those shows of mutual respect hardcore fans find so loveable and regular fans turn the channel on. It just kind of underscores an ever pertinent point: if MMA writers ran MMA companies, MMA companies would be run out of business. Heated feuds draw money. Scary and seemingly invincible champions draw money. It looks like Gary Shaw is serious about drawing money.
Shinya Aoki is called “Tobikan Judan,” meaning “tenth degree black belt in jumping locks.” He’s the best fighter in the world in his weight class and he showed it against former Olympic Silver Medalist Katsuhiko Nagata. Aoki dominated Nagata, even bodylocking him and tossing the Greco-Roman wrestler to the mat. He got the submission with a gogoplata from the top which was so wacky that even Blue Panther shook his head and called bullshit. Aoki has beaten JZ, Joachim Hansen, and Akira Kikuchi. He’ll get his chance against a true legend when he fights Caol Uno in the semifinals of DREAM’s Lightweight Grand Prix. The other matchup is equally good as Eddie Alvarez will face Tatsuya Kawajiri.
While one Japanese saw his star rising, another was approaching the end of a storied career. Fearsome striker Melvin Manhoef absolutely blitzed Kazushi Sakuraba in the main event. SAKU was knocked down by a high kick and took so much punishment on the ground that I had to do a double take to see if DREAM had brought in Steve Mazzagatti to ref the fight. If Sakuraba isn’t going to retire, he needs to stay in the legends division where he can grapple around with other washed up stars of yesteryear like Kiyoshi Tamura. A young and quick striker is beyond his ability these days.
I won’t go into detail about all the fights here. There was a liveblog last night at Total MMA.
Must See Fights From Last Night:
1. Jason Miller v. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza: Strong performance by both men. Jacare is living up to the hype and Miller continues to look unsubmittable.
2. Hideo Tokoro v. Darren Uyenoyama: Great first round.
3. KJ Noons v. Yves Edwards: Noons looks for real. If they want to promote him as one of their top stars, just make sure to keep him away from wrestlers.
4. Gegard Mousasi v. Yoon Dong-Sik: Another great first round.
5. Rafael Feijao’s v.Wayne Cole: Cole, more than ever, wants to make sure you don’t mistake him with Devin Cole.