Sunday, April 5, 2009

Anheuser-Busch's Response to Dana White's Rant

The story has been circulating the mma and sports world for the passed few days, so there is no need to rehash the original story about Dana White's rant. Many were and are still curious to see if there will be any repercussions for the UFC president's comments. He has gone on the record and apologized to the gay and lesbian community, but insists his tirade was solely intended for Sherdog writer, Loretta Hunt, who he has not apologized to. The apology seems to have satisfied the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD). The owners of the UFC, the Fertitta brothers most likely reprimanded him, but probably nothing more. Who else could possibly provide any repercussions to Dana White and the UFC?

You could argue some fans will be turned off by it, but Dana White has shown his brash and shoot from the hip commenting style to be welcomed amongst his young and boisterous fight fans. Another possible backlash can come from the media, which has definitely occured, but the most vocal criticisms coming from outside the mma community. That only leaves the very valuable sponsors of the events. The guys who help make the UFC's bottom line much more profitable. The main sponsors, having recently been partnered only last year, are Harley-Davidson and Anheuser-Busch.

If either reneged on their sponsorship deals due to Dana White's comments, it would have a huge impact on the organization. Not only would it add fuel to a fire the UFC want to extinguish and forget about, but it could have a deterring effect on any new potential sponsors, who may shy away from being associated with the organization. Either way, the comments have left an indelible mark, it's just a matter of how well the UFC does damage control in the public realm and behind closed doors with their sponsors and partners. Clinch or Die contacted Anheuser-Busch, as they are one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sponsors the UFC has had and probably the biggest sponsors in all of major sports. Their official response about Dana White and his comments...

Thanks for contacting Anheuser-Busch.

The comments by Dana White were inappropriate, insensitive and out-of-line. We have spoken to Dana about the gravity of this issue and communicated that our company maintains a corporate commitment to zero tolerance for discrimination. Anheuser-Busch is guided by the belief, ‘Making Friends Is Our Business,’ and that every consumer is important, regardless of race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity national origin, age, disability or veteran’s status.

It is our understanding that Dana has posted an apology for his inappropriate comments. We thank you for contacting Anheuser-Busch and allowing us an opportunity to respond. Please let us know if you have additional comments or questions.

Your Friends at Anheuser-Busch

1-800-DIAL-BUD (1-800-342-5283)


We haven't gotten in contact with Harley-Davidson, but Anheuser-Busch's comments lead us to believe they find Dana White's apology sufficient. Even though they themselves state there is "zero tolerance for discrimination," it doesn't look like Dana White's rant will harm the affiliation between the UFC and Anheuser-Busch. I would say this is a big bullet dodged by the UFC and should be a lesson learned for the president of the UFC. If you want the UFC and mma in general to become main stream, the face and representative of said groups must be careful in what they say and how they say it.

This isn't the first time Dana White has made controversial comments and he will be watched closely by many due to this recent incident. I guess this is why the UFC have stated Dana White will be taking a less public role for the foreseeable future. It'll be interesting to see how the leaves settle after all of this or if they will be ruffled again. Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Golden Glory Photoshoot

As most of you should know, Team Golden Glory is one of the best fight camps in the world today. Based out of Holland and equipped with some of the best trainers in Bas Boon and Cor Hemmers, they produce some of the best fighters in the world. They have produced K-1 Grand Prix Champion in Semmy Schilt and currently have two fighters in Gokhan Saki and Errol Zimmerman within this year's K-1 Grand Prix Final in Japan. They have mma stars like the current Strikeforce HW Champ and Top 10 ranked Alistair Overeem and Sergei Kharitonov, who has become active in the Japanese mma scene once again. There are plenty of fighters within Team Golden Glory to keep an eye on and mma photo journalist/photographer Leo Van Kuilenburg did just that, when he visited their camp recently. Here are a few of the great photos from the photoshoot...

Photos credited to Leo Van Kuilenburg/

If you would like to view the entire set of photos, please visit

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wilson Reis Interview

Wilson Reis, born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the current EliteXC Bantamweight Champion. He is a black belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioner and has started his mma career undefeated at 6-0. His latest victory was for the EliteXC Bantamweight title, against KOTC champion, Abel Cullam. He and Abel went the distance in the 5 round battle, which Wilson dominated, mainly showcasing his great ground skill. With the future of ProElite looking very bleak and fighters trying to get out of their contracts, expect Wilson Reis to emerge once again eary next year for one of the bigger organizations out there, most likely scenarios being with Strikeforce or WEC. A young and very good spirited fighter, expect to see more accomplishments from Wilson in the not so distant future.

Darrick Patrick recently had an interview with this fighter, here is that interview...

Darrick: What was the journey that led you to professional mixed martial arts competition?

Wilson: A few years ago, I saw all of my friends from Brazil and really good Jiu-Jitsu fighters take the next step and get into MMA. I talked to my friends about doing MMA and it was Brad Daddis who pushed me for my first fight, and of course myself because I was really excited to take this sport to the next level.

Darrick: Do you have any words of advice for other individuals looking to compete in MMA?

Wilson: I think that if a person has a goal or a dream, then they should definitely go for it. When I was a kid, I had a dream and I followed it. With the right gym and coach, I made my dream happen. And the same thing can happen for anyone who wants to compete in MMA.

Darrick: Who are some of the people that greatly influenced you while growing up?

Wilson: A lot of fighters that I know personally, the coach that was coaching me as a teenager, Roberto Godói, and Jorge Macaco. Also, my family played an important role as well.

Darrick: What brings you the most fulfillment out of martial arts?

Wilson: I love the whole process of training and getting ready for a fight or even a Jiu-Jitsu match. Also, the whole lifestyle of the sport and being able to make my family back home and teammates happy and proud of me.

Darrick: Who are a few of the people in the sport that you highly respect?

Wilson: I respect Minotauro because as a person he is a great individual and as an athlete he is just all-around amazing. I also like Kenny Florian, Eddie Alvarez, Anderson Silva, and B.J. Penn. Really though, there are so many good fighters out there.

Darrick: What does a typical training session for you consist of?

Wilson: Two workouts a day and teaching classes. Conditioning in the morning, boxing or MMA in the afternoon, and class at night. Every day is different though, so it really depends on the day.

Darrick: Outside of MMA, what are your other interests?

Wilson: I love going for coffee, and catching up with my family and friends. And I can't get enough of Jiu-Jitsu.

Darrick: Tell us something about you that most people don't know.

Wilson: People don't know that I'm not good with spicy food and I like Hip Hop music.

Darrick: If you had superpowers, what would they be?

Wilson: I would be able to point my finger at people and make them happy and full of life. Especially the poor people.

Darrick: What is your oldest memory?

Wilson: When I was two years old, my grandfather threw a rock at a rooster so that it would move out of my playing area - he missed and hit me on accident. I now have a scar above my lip to show for this past event. Also, in closing I would like to thank my coaches, family, and sponsors (Bad Boy,, P90X, and

For more interviews by Darrick Patrick, please visit his site here...

More exclusive Darrick Patrick interviews

Tamdan "The Barn Cat" McCrory Interview

Tamdan "The Barn Cat" McCrory, is a 21 year old American mixed martial artist, who is currently preparing for his upcoming fight with Dustin Hazelett at UFC 91 on November 15th. Coming of a decision victory over Luke Cummo, Tamdan wants to continue on his winning ways within the UFC. Having his first and only loss to Akihiro Gono within the UFC, The Barn Cat is 2-1 in the UFC and 9-1 overall. Another victory will keep Tamdan on the path to elite level opponents within the UFC's welterweight division. The CNY fighter, has been officially slotted to appear on the preliminary card, with a chance he may make the undercard of what will most likely be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, PPV of the year for the UFC, when Brock Lesnar challenges Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight title. This youngster has a very promising future ahead of him in the mma scene and already off to a delightful start to his career. He is definitely one fighter to keep track of.

Here's more from Tamdan, who recently had an interview with Darrick Patrick...

Darrick: What was the road that led you to professional mixed martial arts competition?

Tamdan: I am quite a misanthrope and through a series of coincidences I met my trainer and now good friend Erik Charles. I hated the world for a while and wanted to kick everyone's ass. I kept training hard and getting my ass kicked, but eventually I became good and went on a tear winning my first ten fights along with signing with the UFC.

Darrick: Any words of advice for other individuals looking to train in MMA?

Tamdan: Just keep your head up and keep training hard. If you're doing the right things with the right people, eventually everything will fall into place.

Darrick: Who are a few of the people in the sport that you highly respect?

Tamdan: Obviously my coaches who have put up with me for forever to make me the athlete and fighter that I am today.

Darrick: Your next scheduled fight is against Dustin Hazelett on November 15th. What are your thoughts about this upcoming match?

Tamdan: He's obviously good on the ground and has been around the block a few times. It'll be an exciting fight and hopefully it'll make the broadcast.

Darrick: What personally brings you the most fulfillment out of martial arts?

Tamdan: I guess the most fulfillment I get out of martial arts is seeing those that I coach succeed and excel. When you take someone who came from nothing and mold them into a monster that then challenges you, it's a very rewarding feeling. I look forward to seeing the guys that I train and train with succeed in the next couple of years.

Darrick: Who are some of the people that greatly influenced you while growing up?

Tamdan: Everyone that hated on me, all the people that pushed me around, and my coaches and friends now that brought me back up and made me a monster.

Darrick: Outside of MMA, what are your other interests?

Tamdan: Playing video games (Zelda of course and other fantasy titles), boozin' out on the town, chasing women, throwin' a good chaw in here and there - all the usual things a 21-year-old likes, I guess. I plan on spending a lot of time doing all of those things after I gain another W with this fight.

Darrick: Tell us something about you that most people don't know.

Tamdan: If I told you, then everyone would know, right? Then there'd be no secrets. Really, I can't think of anything at the moment. Try back in a couple weeks. (Laughs)

Darrick: What is your oldest memory?

Tamdan: I remember when I was about two and first learned how to climb out of my crib. Well, I made it over the side and I fell off it and smacked the ground in the middle of the night while trying to go jump in my parent's bed.

Darrick: If you had superpowers, what would they be?

Tamdan: The ability to live a stress-free life.

For more interviews by Darrick Patrick, please visit his site here...

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Fedor Emelianenko Interview

Fedor Emelianenko recently made an appearance in Japan, at DREAM 6. There has been a lot of speculation on whether or not the World Alliance HW champ would participate at the DREAM NYE show. Although this would be DREAM's first NYE show, it has become tradition for Fedor to appear on NYE events in Japan. If he fights on DREAM's NYE event, it would be his 6th straight NYE appearance. Three of his five NYE appearances have been for Pride FC, while one was for Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye and the other for Yarennoka. He has a total of 7 appearances at year ending shows for promotions, as he made 2 year end show appearances for Rings as well.

This is usually when TV networks in Japan are eager to put on their best shows, as the viewers are usually flocking to their television screens. DREAM is looking to improve immensely on their relatively poor ratings thus far and they could really use the likes of a Fedor on their year end show. The rumors of opponents have been circulating for weeks now and one that is brought up most often is that of Olympic gold medalist in Judo, Satoshi Ishii of Japan. Although utilizing the fame of his recent performance at the Olympics in Beijing, it would be a huge mismatch for a new comer to mma. That said, NYE shows are not marketed to the harecore fans, but more to the casual fans, who watch to see big names in action, not necessarily competitive bouts.

Although the rumors have been rampent and the hopes of seeing Fedor in action again in Japan are high, it doesn't look likely to happen. One of the primary reasons for this pessimistic view is due to Fedor's contract with Affliction and specifically the timing of their 2nd event, which is to take place late January. Affliction is very concerned about Fedor suffering an injury at the event and would rather him sit out NYE and be fully ready for a bout with either Andrei Arlovski or Josh Barnett. They simply don't want to risk Fedor missing another bout, due to injury. They can ill afford to be without Fedor in a big title bout, when they are trying to rebound from a canceled/postponed event that was to take place next month in Las Vegas. Fedor recently had an interview with DREAM addressing whether or not he will fight on NYE and about potential opponent, Satoshi Ishii.

Here is the full interview by DREAM, translated by Suki (Suki MMA)...

DREAM: What was the main purpose of your current visit [to Japan]?

Fedor: I came to Japan to watch DREAM and to meet Satoshi Ishii, who is a Judo gold medalist from the Beijing Olympics.

DREAM: You couldn't see Ishii unfortunately...

Fedor: Unfortunately not, I had been excited to train with him. I'm looking forward to meeting him next time.

DREAM: Did you watch his performance at the Beijing Olympics?

Fedor: No, I was in the U.S. during the Olympics games. The U.S. network [NBC] televised a swimming race, instead of Judo.

DREAM: Did you know Ishii stated he wanted to fight you?

Fedor: Yes, I know. I think it's too early in his career to fight me. I'd be very happy to train with him, whenever he comes to Russia. I heard he said he has a desire to be the best fighter in the world. I think his ambitions are too unrealistic to attain now. He is young, so it's important for him to take his time to gain technique, knowledge and experience.

DREAM: You said you came here to watch DREAM. Have you watched DREAM before?

Fedor: I have only watched a fight of [Gegard] Mousasi's, because I often train with him. I have DVDs of previous events and I will watch all of them eventually.

DREAM: Tell me about your schedule.

Fedor: I'm always ready to fight. I'm going to participate in a Sambo tournament in November.

DREAM: Who are you fighting next in mma?

Fedor: I have been told my opponent will be either Andrei Arlovski or Josh Barnett, on the next Affliction event [in late January]. They are both former UFC champions and I'm sure they will be very strong opponents.

DREAM: Japanese fans are expecting to see you fight on NYE in Japan again.

Fedor: I want to fight in Japan again, however, I can't control everything. God knows what will happen. Whether I fight or not on NYE depends on negotiations between my manager and DREAM.
It doesn't sound like he'll be fighting Ishii or anyone else for that matter on NYE, but he doesn't completely rule it out. A work around that might allow Fedor to take on Ishii and eliminate most of the risk of injury, would be to have Fedor and Ishii face off at DREAM under a submissions grappling match. The idea might be welcomed by DREAM, who had set up a grappling match between Mirko CroCop and Ralek Gracie at DREAM 4. That fight was canceled due to an injury to Mirko, but it shows that DREAM would be open to such an idea. Affliction might give the green light, considering there would be far less risk of Fedor injuring himself, considering his injuries are usually due to breaking his hands on strikes. In any event, we'll most likely be seeing Fedor in at least one event within the next few months and possibly two.

Our thanks to Suki (Suki MMA) for the initial translation of the interview from DREAM. For more coverage of Japanese mma, please visit

Monday, September 22, 2008

Roger Gracie Off Sengoku 5 Card...

World Victory Road posted a press release on their website today, explaining why Roger Gracie will not be participating on the Sengoku 5 card. According to WVR officials, Roger Gracie relayed messages to them about not being able to participate due to injury. WVR subsequently wanted medical reports to back up the claim and supposedly haven't been given such reports and plans to issue a punishment for the 26 year old, Gracie Barra UK fighter, who is undefeated at 2-0.

Here is the press release from WVR, translated by Suki (Suki MMA)...

We regret to announce that Roger Gracie, who was supposed to fight Travis Wiuff on Sep. 28, will not be a participant at Sengoku 5. Here are the details of how this came about.

On Sep. 17, Kevin Liddle, who is Roger Gracie's doctor, emailed us and presented Roger's condition. In the email, he described that he ordered Roger complete bed rest for 4 weeks, because of damage to the intercostal muscles. Roger's manager actually contacted us a week ago and mentioned the possibility of Roger having an injury. We ordered him to submit a formal medical report of his injury from his doctor.

A WVR official doctor read the email and considered Roger's condition wasn't serious enough to cancel his fight. WVR asked Roger to submit additional information, such as an official medical report by his doctor, the result of CT scan and other related examinations he took. However, we didn't hear from Roger.

On Sep. 19, Roger contacted us and requested to have a phone meeting between Dr. Liddle and our doctor. Our doctor, translators and WVR staff were ready for the meeting, however, we couldn't reach Dr. Liddle. When Roger asked for a meeting, he agreed to let Dr. Liddle respond to our questions within 3 hours, but we didn't hear back from Dr. Liddle.

On Sep. 20, Dr. Liddle emailed us and reported that Roger didn't break nor fracture any bones and that he hasn't even taken any examinations.

WVR ordered Roger several times to arrive in Japan by Sep 22 and take an examination. He refused to come to Japan, stating he expected to have difficulty in breathing during the long flight. We haven't seen him in Japan yet and haven't heard anything from him. So, WVR decided to make this announcement today.

We apologize to Travis [Wiuff] and our fans for delivering this news at the last minute. As for Roger Gracie, we are considering issuing a severe punishment for the incident. We will find an opponent for Travis [Wiuff] as soon as we can.
No word on what the punishment will entail, but it'll be interesting to see how WVR deals with one of their up and coming and potentially very marketable, young fighter. On one hand, you would expect them not to burn any bridges with the youngster, but you would also expect them take effective action, so such incidents do not become common place within the organization. Roger Gracie and his management haven't made any replies to today's press release by WVR.

We would like to thank Suki (Suki MMA) for the initial translation of the WVR press release. For more coverage of Japanese mma, please visit

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cyrille "The Snake" Diabate Interview

Cyrille Diabate, the 34 year old French mixed martial artist, recently made his U.S. debut for ProElite's ShoXC branded event. He garnered a 3 round unanimous decision victory of American Jaime Fletcher. He hopes to work his way up the ProElite ranks and get featured on the EliteXC brand. The contenders in the light heavyweight division is developing nicely for EliteXC, with the likes Rajael "Feijao" Cavalcante, Jared Hamman, Paoi Sugunuma and possibly Justin Eilers, who may go down to light heavyweight. He's amassed a record of 12-6-1, predominately fighting in Europe and Japan. At 6'6, he has the height advantage against most of his opponents, but the great height advantage hasn't translated to big wins against the bigger names of the sport. Originally developed as a kickboxer and shootboxer, he now tries to establish himself as one of the premiere light heavyweights in ProElite's stable of fighters.

He recently had an interview with Darrick Patrick, here is that interview...

Darrick: What was the road that led you to competing in professional mixed martial arts?

Cyrille: Long story! In short, like a lot of my fellow fighters, it started with a tough childhood. I had a lot of anger and energy to express. I started to train and fight in Muay Thai, kickboxing, and Savate - and I fell in love with those arts. MMA was the next logical step.

Darrick: Any words of advice for other individuals looking to train in MMA?

Cyrille: Take your time and choose wisely who your trainer is going to be. They will have a great impact on what kind of martial artist you become.

Darrick: What personally brings you the most fulfillment out of martial arts?

Cyrille: A sense of achievement and the feeling that I've become a better person.

Darrick: Who are some of the people that greatly influenced you while growing up?

Cyrille: My mother and grandfather. They both passed away when I was young and both stayed strong until the end, never complaining.

Darrick: What does a typical training session for you consist of?

Cyrille: There's not really a typical training session anymore. I've been training and fighting for seventeen years and if I get bored, I don't train as well! The length, content, and intensity varies a lot depending on my schedule and needs. I rely a lot more on experience and steady training than before.

Darrick: Who are a few of the people in the sport that you highly respect?

Cyrille: There are a lot and for different reasons. Fedor is one of them. When I see him fight and read his interviews, I am as equally impressed by both. He's down-to-earth, effective, and humble. He has those qualities in large proportions! I also respect Genki Sudo - I saw a great documentary on him once. He's a great fighter and showman, and is a really interesting person.

Darrick: Outside of competitive fighting, what are your other interests?

Cyrille: Movies, reading, video games, traveling, and nice restaurants.

Darrick: What moment in your life have you been proudest of so far?

Cyrille: My first major win in an international tournament. I was twenty-three and I had won my three fights by knockout to win the tournament. It felt great!

Darrick: Tell us something about you that most people don't know.

Cyrille: I draw well and take good pictures.

Darrick: What is your oldest memory?

Cyrille: Riding my bike as a kid.

For more interviews by Darrick Patrick, please visit his site here...

More exclusive Darrick Patrick interviews