From the desk of laziest columnist on the net:.
Hey, it's not entirely my fault! If you've been waiting for some of our great report from tournaments from LAST year (the US Open of Judo, the US Open of Jiu-Jitsu, Grappler's Quest, and the World Grappling Games) your wait is almost over. I suffered an equipment failure over here that impaired my ability to digitize video, but after picking my gear up this weekend I should be back in business! Yee-ha!
I spent last weekend in North Carolina at the Budweiser Cup (yet another report I've got to get online). This tournament ran so much more smoothly than the previous year, the promoters really deserve to be commended for hanging in their and turning out a high quality event. About 250 competitors competed in BJJ and submission grappling. Jeff Monson, Marcel Ferreira and Pedro Brandao won their respective professional divisions and Team Alliance took the over all awards.
Later on I got to visit Team R.O.C. out in the Raliegh area. Great group of guys out there, headed up by Royce Gracie brown belt Greg Thompson. Check them out if you're in the area!
Rumor time: Looks like we're going to have a lot of reason to follow Pride closely in the next couple of months. First off, our good friend Dean Lister is set to make his Pride debut in the beginning of February. He's coming off of a tough loss to the vastly underrated Jeremy Horn in King of the Cage (underrated by who, Jeremy is someone who deserves to be in the big show!) However those that know their history know Dean always puts on spectacular performances after a loss (Abu Dhabi, anyone?) Then a week later in Pride Bushido, Ralph Gracie returns to the ring. Everyone seemed to be surprised by his performance against top 10 lightweight Donojusuke Mishima except for us (as students of Ralph's for the last seven years, we could give you MANY first hand stories as to what an monster this guy is.) Scary thought: Ralph is now free of ring rust and is even more well prepared for this match than he was his last! As of right now his opponent is still unknown (to us anyway) but I almost feel sorry for them already.
And the rumors of Pride coming to the Las Vegas in March? And the rumors that a TOP Japanese star is coming to headline the show against a TOP American star, who has signed a deal worth over a million dollars? Hey, until your hear an official announcement it's just a rumor, right, -not to say that we don't see and hear thingsâ€¦..
The UFC at the end of this month should ROCK, but I'll deal with that in a separate column.
In addition to hear, you'll often see me on a variety of internet forums. While I don't post or even view them nearly as often as people think (I'm too busy NOT updating this site to always be online), here's at least a partial list where you'll see me on:
MMA.tv- The granddaddy of all the internet forums, MMA.tv is the largest and most well known of the mixed martial arts forums out there and attracts the largest number of professional fighters and personalities. It's pretty easy to get sucked unto the Otherground, the cyberspace equivalent of Cheers, where the alternately entertaining and annoying patrons could suck you into a hundred thread discussion on the merits of ball waxing (it helps when picking up a 7-10 split) They've recently upgraded the software to boot.
Fightsport.com- If you concentrate on the actual news here this place is awesome (it's a particularly good source of information on the scene in Japan) with a startlingly high (but by no means perfect) track of rumors and scoops. Mind you, however, that fightsport prides itself on being the "free speech" monster and some folks have taken this as license to spew out all kinds of junk, so proceed with caution. Still, may be the most talked about board behind the scenes.
JiuJitsu Gear- Hopefully by the time you read this, the Jiu-Jitsu Gear forum will be back online. It's heavily concentrated on either the West Coast or the East Coast (it originally started off as the Yamasaki academy message board), and filled with actual practitioners and competitors on the jiu-jitsu and submission grappling circuits. Home to two of my favorite posters on the internet: Groundhog and Dave Jacobs, both of whom I've grown to like a ratty old sweat shirt and a pair of sneakers, respectively.
SFUK.net- You want info on the scene in Europe? This is where you HAVE to go.
Matfighting.com- This site is brand new. I'm giving my good buddies Scott and Jeremy props tho, so you should visit it.
We're still debating on whether or not the next iteration of Onthemat (coming sometime this year) will include a forum of our own.
Tonight I'm off to the WEC in Lemoore. So much good material to put up on the site, so little time to do it (plus I am the laziest columnist on the net). Uhg! Until next timeâ€¦.