Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Strikeforce’s Tim Kennedy Talks A Lot; Luke At The Bat; Big Country’s Coaches Spark Drama
By Joshua Molina
First Chris Weidman calls out Anderson Silva. Then Silva calls out George St. Pierre. Then Nick Diaz calls out Silva. KJ Noons just wants to fight anybody in San Diego.
In an era of UFC overload in the mixed martial arts world, fighters are increasingly turning to Twitter, Facebook and the media to book and promote their own fights – and get attention.
One of the latest example of fighters hustling for a match comes from Tim Kennedy, the U.S. Army Ranger who competes in Strikeforce.
Kennedy on July 23 tweeted: “I read @cokersf said @rogergracie was the best grappler in @Strikeforce. I would love to prove that is not the case.”
It’s interesting to see Kennedy, a former Army sniper who has participated in secret missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, call out Gracie, a submission a specialist.
Gracie is 5-1, and was knocked out by Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal a year ago. Kennedy is 14-5. He has fought for the Strikeforce middleweight championship twice – and lost both times – against Jacare Souza and Luke Rockhold. In both of those fights, the former sniper fought cautiously and carefully, and never pulled the trigger when he needed a big moment to turn the tide of the fight.
But Kennedy apparently fashions himself as a better grappler than Gracie.
In response to Kennedy challenge, Gracie told a Brazilian MMA website
tatame.com: “I guess it can be an interesting fight. Anyone in Strikeforce would do an interesting fight with me.”
Kennedy yesterday tweeted a response of “I AM SO IN!!!” (the all-caps apparently to illustrate how SO IN, he really is).
Not sure how many tickets that fight would sell, but it’s good money that the fight would likely end in a three-round unanimous decision, one way or another.
Speaking of Rockhold, the Santa Cruz, California surfer will throw out the first pitch tonight at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum at the Oakland A’s-Tampa Devil Rays game.
Rockhold tweeted that he’s “bringing the heat” and has been practicing all weekend.
All the cards might be lining up for Rockhold. Anderson Silva’s management team recently said that they would also have interest in a fight with Rockhold. It’s always good when a champ calls another champ out. Rockhold responded through Twitter: “I accept ur challenge @SpiderAnderson let’s do it.”
WWE legend “Classy” Freddie Blassie used to say about ripped fighters who couldn’t wrestle that they had a “million-dollar body and a 10-cent brain.” In the case of Roy “Big Country” Nelson, it’s quite the opposite.
Nelson, a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, has been knocking out seemingly more chiseled and athletic fighters for years now. And now he’s going to become a coach on the show that he once won.
Nelson created a bit of drama by pushing for some non-UFC talent to appear as coaches on the upcoming show. UFC nixed some of them from appearing on camera.
Here’s how Nelson responded on Sunday through his Facebook page.
“COACHES: Here are my Assistant/Guest Coaches the non-ufc coaches will be helping but not on the set because they are black, criminals, white, Olympian, Great TV … (disclaimer I have know idea, just opinion) NON-UFC ALLOWED Muhammed Lawal Kurt Angle Victor Conte UFC ALLOWED Royce Gracie James Johnson Jeff Mayweather George St. Pierre Nick Diaz Nate Diaz Rashad Evans Forrest Griffin Chael Sonnen Jake Shields Gilbert Melendez Martin Kampmann Amir Sadollah Mike Pyle Gray Maynard Ron Frazier Anthony Brown, I am a student first, teacher second. Let give theses kids an opportunity of a life time. A UFC SUPER CAMP.”
King Mo and Angle, an Olympic Gold Medalist who reportedly had his way with Brock Lesnar years ago backstage at a WWE event, are out simply because they perform for Bellator and TNA respectively, both of which air on SpikeTV, the UFC’s former home.
The Ultimate Fighter has lost much of its luster since its heyday, but watching the tubby, 250-pound athlete coach on the show will probably make for decent television.
Have a comment or question? Contact reporter Joshua Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org.