We return to San Jose to talk about the joys and damage of fighting with coach Javier Mendez and UFC stars Daniel Cormier, Gray Maynard, Mike Swick, and others at the American Kickboxing Academy. Watch Here
AKA - Part 1 of 2
In San Jose, California, Javier Mendez and “Crazy” Bob Cook have built one of the most innovative and successful MMA fight teams in the world, home to Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, and other UFC stars.
MY WALKOUT SONG - R.A. THE RUGGED MAN
Rapper R.A. the Rugged Man, née Richard Andrew Thorburn, current Harlem resident, former Suffolk County habitué, one-time Jive Records artist, is one of the best kinds of badasses there is in that he has no real idea how much of a badass he is. Or to put it another way: he has a pretty good idea of exactly what kind of a badass he is. Not in any traditional measure that would matter to anyone who fights for a living but in the very general way that true men of measure make their way through space: He says what he means, he tries to mean what he says, and if Floyd Mayweather, one of the aforementioned people who fight for a living, wants to engage in another 22-minute verbal throwdown with R.A., well, he’s invited to step up. So whether it’s been his time in the cage with MMA great Shonie Carter, his feuding with Mayweather, or the dumb shit he’s done in the holy name of the sacred art of self-sabotage (supporting McCain-Palin, trying to fuck his label and in return getting fucked by his label, hard), R.A.’s been there, done it, and lived to tell about.
MY WALKOUT SONG - SCROOBIUS PIP
Scroobius Pip, one half of hip hop/electronic duo dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip, has long been a favourite on the UK music festival scene. Mr. Pip, or David Peter Meads if you want to be a pedant, hails from the London border county of Essex – a place that has had its reputation somewhat tarnished recently by the creatures spawned from the television series TOWIE.
But, forget the perma-tan ladies and the dodgy “fusey” haircuts that have made Essex infamous; with his straggly beard and penchant for trucker caps, Scroobius Pip couldn’t be further from that self-indulgent image. He has, however, appeared on TV himself – as a pundit on Fighting Talk, one of the UK’s first dedicated MMA talk shows, on the ill-fated Setanta Sports platform. After years of championing mixed martial arts, the rapper sat down with Fightland to talk about the sport he loves and the music he thinks should go with it.
ALEX KARALEXIS AND THE ART OF THE WEIGHT CUT
Alex Karalexis: How do you gain almost 30 pounds just from fluid and baby food? Scientifically, I have no idea. It makes absolutely no sense. All I can tell you is I did it 12 times.
I’ve never walked into a cage or been in a fight and not been the stronger guy—I’ve never locked up with somebody and been like, “Oh shit,” you know? Some guys can jump high, some guys can run fast. Genetically, I’m strong. I used to bench 405 and never touched anything other than protein and stuff like that. So for me, cutting weight was more about the reach advantage.
FIGHTLAND TALKS TO: THE DOCTOR WHO SET JON JONES’ TOE
Last Saturday in Newark, New Jersey, Jon “Bones” Jones successfully defended his UFC light heavyweight title against Chael Sonnen in a lopsided fight that ended with a TKO late in round one. At first it looked like Jones had barely broken a sweat. It wasn’t until color-man Joe Rogan entered the Octagon to interview him after the fight that the champion realized he had actually broken his toe. Badly. “Let’s get a doctor over here to deal with this,” Rogan said into the microphone when he saw Jones getting woozy, ”and we’ll sit Jon down on a stool.”
[Ed. note: Check out Jones’ fractured toe here. Warning: Not for the squeamish, nauseous, or faint of heart.]
Enter Fightland’s own Fight Doctor, Michael Kelly, who was the first doctor inside the Octagon after the main event. It was Kelly who cleaned the wound and set Jones’ toe before the champion walked back to his dressing room and then into the post-fight press conference. Only then did Jones head to the hospital, a sequence of events that inspired some on Twitter, including a few doctors themselves, to question whether Jones had been given the best care available. We decided to call Kelly and ask him about the injury, whet effect it would have had on the fight if Sonnen had survived to the second round, and how he felt about the bizarre Internet debate his medical decision inspired.
FIGHTLAND MEETS OTTAVIA BOURDAIN
Ottavia Bourdain—writer, MMA lover, and dedicated Brazilian jiu-jitsu student—and her husband, Anthony, show us what life is like when you’ve got a fighter in the family.
THE UP-AND-COMER: A KID IN ALBUQUERQUE
[Ed. note: 21-year-old wrestler Landon Vannata is currently 1-0 as a professional mixed martial artist. Raised in small-town Florida, he now resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he trains at Jackson’s-Winkeljohn’s MMA. We asked Landon to update us every once in a while on what life is like as an MMA rookie — talented and dedicated but still the new guy at a gym, and in a sport, filled with superstars and killers.]
They say the key ingredients in the recipe for success are an indomitable desire to achieve greatness and surrounding yourself with the experts in your field. For me, the desire was always there—nobody questioned my work ethic or my obsession with MMA. And now, as I made my way to Jackson’s/Winkeljohn’s MMA, I knew that I was well on my way to surrounding myself with the best in the game.
AS UNCENSORED AS IT GETS
The UFC benefits from social media by embracing its dangers. Read Here
THE RESTLESSNESS OF THE (MARTIAL) ARTIST
The first time I partnered with Aaron Hauck in a Muay Thai class, I held my breath for nearly the entire duration of the two-minute set. He cycled through sequences of punches at a more rapid speed than anyone else in the class, yet each one landed on the pad with a consistent strength that gradually pushed me backwards until I slammed against the wall. His ferocity and concentration intimidated and fascinated me at the same time.