Will Chael Sonnen Get Eddie Bravo’d at Metamoris 4?

Eddie Bravo & Royler Gracie at Metamoris 3. Photo via Metamoris

Eddie Bravo & Royler Gracie at Metamoris 3. Photo via Metamoris

Bloody Elbow has an interview with Dana White that covers everything from the shakeup of the UFC: Macau card with Tyron Woodley filling in for an injured Hector Lombard against Dong Hyun-Kim to the UFC’s expansion into the Philippines.

One of the more interesting notes is that White and UFC don’t have an issue with recently retired Chael Sonnen headlining a submission grappling match against Andre Galvao at Metamoris 4 in August.  In fact, White goes on to say that, just like Invicta FC, Metamoris is just the type of combat sports content that the UFC would like to see become an addition to its subscription-only network, UFC: Fightpass.

In March, Metamoris 3 saw Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie grapple to a draw in a rematch of their 2003 Abu Dhabi match, where Bravo triangle choked Gracie. After the draw, which most fight pundits actually scored for Eddie Bravo, UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie confronted an exhausted Bravo backstage. Royce Gracie felt compelled to approach Bravo as Bravo was in mid-vomit and harangue Bravo as Jean Jacques Machado rushed to intervene and keep both parties at bay.

Later, Royce Gracie not only confirmed the incident took place, but clarified why he took the opportunity to admonish Bravo.  “My issue with him is simple. I don’t like because he endorses. It’s nothing to do with jiu jitsu he uses, gi no gi, it’s because of what he endorses. We teach kids. His message out there is ‘it’s ok for you to do drugs’.” Gracie later explained to Submission Radio.

Royce Gracie - photo via Peter Gordon

Royce Gracie – photo via Peter Gordon

Gracie, in addition to being an MMA legend and UFC hall of famer hasn’t fought an MMA match since his win over Kazushi Sakuraba in 2007. After the Sakuraba win, Gracie’s license to fight was suspended by the Nevada state Athletic Commission when it was revealed that Gracie had used an anabolic steroid Nandrolone during his win over Sakuraba.

No word on whether Chael Sonnen can expect the same hypocritical finger-wagging from Royce Gracie in a post-fight reprimand should the match between Sonnen and Galavo come to fruition, and no word on whether or not Sonnen will continue his TRT use going into the matchup.

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WAR OF THE WORDS: BEST MMA QUOTES – DAY 4

“All I guarantee is violence.” Wanderlei Silva

"I once caught a fish this big."

“I once caught a fish this big.” Photo via TeamRKS

Wanderlei Silva is/was one of the most beloved fighters in MMA with one of the most dedicated fan bases.  And then he fell victim to the bad guy.  After years of waiting for a showdown with Chael Sonnen (and vice versa), Silva decided he couldn’t wait any longer and jumped the gun… and Chael Sonnen.

It’s not too shocking to imagine that this would happen given Silva’s roots in luta livre and bare-knuckled fighting in Brazil. The guy is a vet who has been fighting before there were rules.  So, when a fighter with the nickname the Axe Murderer says the only thing fans and opponents can count on is violence, it comes off like Jules Winfield quoting the gospel.  It should be no shock then that Wanderlei Silva threw down in an on-set brawl with Chael Sonnen during the taping of Ultimate fighter: Brazil. What ended up surprising everyone was the reaction to the brawl. Fans, Brazilian fans in particular, began to disavow Wanderlei.

Silva blames the reaction on the editing of the TV show for the public’s negative perception of him; however, Silva’s actions, much like his words, speak for themselves. Despite the events of the last few months and the goings-on in the Ultimate Fighter set, Wandy is still a fan favorite among die-hard MMA fans.

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What the impromptu fight showed fans more than anything is that the dichotomy between Silva and Sonnen is so tiny, if you squint hard enough, something comes into clear focus: Silva and Sonnen may as well be brothers from another mother.  For Silva, there may be honor in defending his country’s reputation against the “mean words” used by Sonnen, but his valor is doing double duty and helping to sell their fight.  As for Sonnen, he’s never been shy about the fact that what he does is take advantage of opportunities, and in the case of the on-set tussle, he gets the chance to re-brand himself as the fan-favorite and sell the fight and himself.  It’s no different a tactic than when Wanderlei says things like “All I guarantee is violence.” It sounds “like some coldblooded sh*t to say” to an opponent that sells one’s self and the fight.

Wanderlei may be offended to hear it, and Sonnen will never admit it, but Wanderlei Silva is the original Chael Sonnen.

War of the Words: Best MMA Quotes – Day 1

“Even if I thought I could get a submission I’m not lying underneath a grown man with my legs spread on worldwide TV. Some guys subscribe to that theory but I am a Republican and we don’t do that.”

—Chael Sonnen

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Chael Sonnen is a quote machine.   Should you ask him a question, you had better be prepared for his response. And Sonnen is never off the record.

To pull any quote from the American Gangster is to be entertained and educated.  Whether he’s calling out Anderson Silva’s wife to cook him a steak or whether it’s calling out the country of Brazil for “playing in the mud,” Sonnen’s incendiary comments dig and dig and dig until his opponents and fans are swallowed in a sinkhole.  And just when you think you can ignore him and his comments as bloviations, he does something like choking out MMA legend Shogun Rua in a weight class one step above his normal division.  He makes his comments tangible or he owns up to them.

To short change Sonnen by looking into his encyclopedia of quotes and pull just one seems like a disservice.  However, among everything that he’s said in his tenure as a competitor in the sport, one of the most revealing and rewarding quotes is when he said, “Even if I thought I could get a submission I’m not lying underneath a grown man with my legs spread on worldwide TV. Some guys subscribe to that theory but I am a Republican and we don’t do that.” However, even Sonnen won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

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Whether or not the man in the pictured above is in fact Chael Sonnen and not Tony Clifton or Bigfoot, it’s still a win over Shogun Rua on Sonnen’s ledger. Chalk another one up for the bad guy.

Nothing encapsulates Sonnen’s bluster, hypocrisy, and moxie, as well as the above-mentioned quote.  It rings of something that promoter Dana White would say, so nothing would surprise me less once Sonnen hangs up his gloves if he were to take the reigns of UFC promoter from Dana White once White is ready to ride off into the sunset.

MMA Accolades: The Face-Palm D’or Award – Week of May 2nd 2014

When MMA athletes, managers, promoters, journalists, and fans assemble online, inevitably, they all say or do something ridiculous. When they do, we at The Donnybrook Report prefer to poke the bear and not leave well enough alone.  To that end, every Friday, we honor the best of the worst offenders that, consciously or unconsciously, make average MMA fans rub their heads in frustration and exhaustion.  It is the weekly Face-Palm D’or Award. And, without further ado, the best of the worst this week:

2nd Runner Up – Ali Abdel -Aziz

He’s mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore! Maybe.

Earlier this week, World Series of Fighting matchmaker Abdel-Aziz reached out to Ariel Helwani to vent about being taken advantage of by the fighters in his organization.

After having to scrap plans for a Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch match in July because of Palhares having to pull out of the fight, Abdel -Aziz was on the warpath, saying, “I have to put WSOF first and everyone else second. No more Mr. Nice Guy.” Abdel-Aziz then went to Twitter to further the airing of grievances and mimic a scorned teenager with the most passive of aggressive tweets:

Of course when it later came out that Palhares withdrew from his fight with Fitch to care for his ailing mother, Abdel-Aziz walked back his earlier tweet to clarify he wasn’t really talking about Palhares.  He even tried to sound magnanimous in his well wishes to Palhares and his mother.

This isn’t the first time that Abdel-Aziz has taken to twitter to fight for the virtues of the promotion he represents.  Earlier this year, he engaged a disgruntled Josh Burkman and Vinny Magalhaes online when Burkman asked to be released from his WSOF contract. While Abdel-Aziz’s heart is in the right place, he’s going to continue to lose these fights online until the WSOF gets its communication and PR team to issue a standards and practices guide about dealing with the media and social media as a while.  Bottom line, take a tip from Joe Silva. Avoid Twitter.

1st Runner-Up – Wanderlei Silva

I stopped watching this season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil after the episode of the on-set fight between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva took place.  It wasn’t because of the accusations that the fight was a “work”. Really, I just couldn’t take the Brazilian “celebrities” the production team shoe-horned in as coaching assistants.

Apparently, things aren’t working out nearly as well for Wanderlei Silva as he thought they would when he signed on to do the show.  In fact, this popularity among Brazilian fans has tanked as a result of his actions on the show, which culminated in the on-set fight.  Dave Meltzer captures Wanderlei’s shock in a recent article for MMA Fighting.  Says Silva, “Behind what happened there is the motives and the reason why I was mad that day. Beside the absurd (things) that he has said about all of us, he had been provoking me and disrespecting me. Right on the first episode, he called me stupid. Not at any moment did I go down to his level.”

Actually, Silva went below Sonnen’s level, spitting at Sonnen, attacking him, and allowing his own assistant coach to tee-off on a grounded and exposed Sonnen.  After all of his actions, Silva refiuses to take responsibility and now blames the editing room as the culprit for his sudden lack of likability when if he had simply owned up to the fact that Chael Sonnen sonned him, got under his skin, and he lost control, he probably would have been received with a bit more empathy.

Instead, Chael Sonnen has taken one of the most beloved fighters in MMA history with the strongest of fan bases and turned said fan base against Wanderlei by simply allowing Wanderlei to be himself.  Andy Kaufman and Jerry the King Lawler, eat your heart out.

1st Place & Hand-Palm D’or Winner for May 2, 2014: Jonny Bones Jones

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After his complete domination of Glover Teixeira in Baltimore, Jones was being heralded by fans and journalists as the best to ever put on 4 oz. gloves.  Despite his less-than glowing personality, it seemed that he had finally won over fans resistant to give the champ the love he absolutely needs to have to feel complete.  During the UFC 172 post-fight press conference Jones went on to say, “It was great to have the crowd on my side again. It has been a long time since I’ve had cheers. I figured it would be that way so I said let me really embrace this, let me really give this audience some entertainment.”

Instead of taking the tidings of comfort and joy and goodwill and basking in the afterglow of the earned admiration, Jones decided to be himself.  Since he simply cannot get all of the fans to love him, he focused his attention on those easy targets that loathe him.  Whether it was teasing Phil Davis who suffered a loss on the same night (an act that many would argue was simply Davis’s comeuppance for smack-talking Jones instead of taking his own opponent Anthony Johnson seriously) or whether it was poking fun at former champ Chuck Liddell for taking his friend and training partner’s loss to Jones so personally, Jones wasn’t content to let his work in the cage say “I told you so!” He was ready to hand out metaphorical (and in many cases, justifiable) middle fingers to anyone who dared to question his abilities leading up to his decimation of Teixeria.

And then the cries of cheater came from the peanut gallery.  Jones was accused of intentionally poking his opponent’s eye during the fight.  While his imitation of Moe Howard was simply an accident and a by-product of the hand fighting technique used to measure distance, Jones’s response to the accusations was anything but an accident.  When the complaints and criticisms of his hand fighting technique began to drown out the praise, Jones decided to respond in very Jon Jones-like fashion:

Jon Jones being Jon Jones, he immediately took the video down from his Instagram account, just not fast enough before it started making the rounds.  It’s not unusual to spike the football after getting over on your opponent.  It’s classless, if not entertaining.  But there’s nothing wrong with it.  However, to upload a video poking fun at your detractors and then take it down immediately for fear of the public rebuke just shows a lack of commitment of character.  That and that Malki Kawa should really revoke Jones’s social media privileges.  Who knows? Perhaps his phone was hacked again or it was lost again or whatever pathetic line of spin his management team will issue to try and move past it.  At the end of the day, his team needs to let Jon Jones be Jon Jones. He going to do it any way.  Better for you all to be in front of it than behind it regarding PR. Of course every time he opens his mouth to insert his foot, rest assured that the reactions of fans, those that love him and hate him will be the same.

Breakfast Battle Royale (With Cheese)

In non-MMA news, but still fight news, Taco Bell fired shots at McDonald’s, specifically, McDonald’s breakfast menu:

The restaurant (and I use that term in the loosest sense) will take on the breakfast market and McDonald’s breakfast menu specifically.  In Chael Sonnen-like fashion, the innovators of the Doritos Loco Tacos and the Draino of the human digestive system began airing ads over the last few days poking the bear by including testimonies of random people named Ronald McDonald, praising the breakfast menu at Taco Bell as greater than McDonald’s.

When asked for comment, my wife, an avid breakfast fan responded, “I don’t know what we as Americans did to deserve a Taco Bell breakfast menu, but I’m sure we can take it back.”

Much like Alien vs. Predator, whichever company wins in the breakfast one-on-one, we lose.