Adam\’s Stream of Consciousness

If you blog it, they will come

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Archive for December, 2006

UFC 66 – thoughts and results

Posted by Adam on December 31, 2006

It’s been the talk of the fight sports world for the last month, and last night it came and went with a bang.  The most hyped event in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC 66 featured a main event of Chuck Liddell, one of the two most dominant men in the sport (the other being Pride’s Heavyweight champ, Fedor Emelianenko) taking on perhaps the biggest cross-over name in MMA, Tito Ortiz, in a battle for Lidell’s light heavyweight title.  I am happy to say that the event lived up to the build.  For quick results, the winners are listed in bold.

The opening bout of the evening featured The Ultimate Fighter season 3 winner Michael “The Count” Bisping beating Ed Schafer by TKO in the first with a flury of viscious bombs (a trend throughout the night).  Bisping, an undefeated MMA fighter out of England, withstood a shaky opening few minutes before taking control of the bout and showcase some dominant striking ability.  The Count will be a major player sooner rather than later in the light heavyweight division.

The second fight feature Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovsky returning from injury to defeat Marcio Cruz in similar fashion to Bisping’s previous victory.  I have seen highlights of Arlovsky’s past fights with him being dominant and agressive, but the only full fight I had seen of his was the b-r-utally boring third fight he had with Tim Sylvia, where he evidently injured his leg in the opening round and couldn’t do a thing on it for the rest of the fight (which thankfully explains the suckitude of the fight).  Arlovksy looks like a bad ass, with wild hair a full beard, and fangs.  If indeed he is completely healed up, and it seemed that way from this fight, he should be headling the heavyweight divsion by the early summer.

Jason McDonald continued to make a name for himself as he scored a minor upset over Chris Leben via choke out.  McDonald has now submitted two Ultimate Fighter competitors in a row in fairly impressive fashion.  I am interested to see how he will do against a higher class of fighter going forward.

In the second upset of the evening, Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine pummeled Forrest Griffin to tears (literally), continuing the early TKO trend of the fight card.  Jardine looked really impressive hear against a legitimate second tier fighter in Griffin.  If he is able to get one more impressive win he may be in line for a light heavyweight title shot by the summer.

With the action moving at a quick pace we had time to see a fight from earlier in the evening before the event went live on pay-per-view.  In another entertaining, action-filled fight, it was was Thiago Alves (a Brazilian fighting for American Top Team, go figure) KOing Tony DeSouza with a brutal knee.  DeSouza looked like a homeless man entering the fight with a scruffy beard and thick hair, and he ended up leaving the fight looking like the loser of a bum fight.

Brucer Buffer then informed us it was time for “our maaaaaaaaiiiiiiiinnnnn event of the evening.”  Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell successfully and dominatly defended his light heavyweight title by stopping “The Huntington Beach Badboy” Tito Ortiz with a flurry of clubbing shots in the 3rd round.  Liddell actually was raining shots down on a prone Ortiz in the first round as well, but the referee must have felt that Ortiz was defending the blows well enough to keep the fight going.  The second round saw Ortiz look better, but there was never a moment when Liddell seemed like he was in any serious trouble.  The Iceman has dominated the sport of MMA for the last few years, and I would sit here and speculate as to who could possibly beat him, but the answer may have been sitting at ringside during last night’s event.

In what is nothing short of major news for the UFC, they announced officially during the pay-per-view that both top heavyweight talent Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and light heavyweight talent Quintin “Rampage” Jackson have signed deals with the UFC and will be making their Ultimate Fighting Championship debuts at UFC 67.

Rampage fought and defeated Liddell in Pride a few years back, and evidently is the only man to defeat the Iceman and not have the favor returned.  Rampage Jackson is one of the most entertaining fighters out there and I am giddy about him signing with the UFC.  If you are not familiar with him, check this out:  Rampage Bomb.

Cro Cop is one of the top all around talents in MMA, and instantly becomes the top contender (savior?) to take the heavyweight title off of Sylvia.  Check out his impressive win over Wanderlei Silva here, via the Cro Cop Kick, in the Pride Open Weight Tournament.

So as we await the seemingly inevitable title fight between Liddell and Jackson, here is the video of their first encounter back in November 2003:  Pride Final Conflict.

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Saddam Hussein uncut, uncensored

Posted by Adam on December 31, 2006

In case you haven’t seen this elsewhere, consider it my pandering to the masses.  It’s not gory or gruesome, but when he actually drops it is a little jarring.  You’ve been alerted.

The Hanging Dictator

Also an interesting user made powerpoint type video set to “Thanks for the Memories” detailing Saddam’s life of international relations.

Thanks for the Memories – Saddam

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“Vintage” Amare

Posted by Adam on December 30, 2006

So I’m watching the Mavericks-Suns game Thursday night, and really what a fantastic basketball game it was, and I can’t help but be taken back by some of the things coming out of the mouths of commentating duo Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins.  Now I know that inane soundbites from announcers shouldn’t take me back, after all Al Michaels is single-handedly responsible for diminishing injuries down to single words (a player is no longer out with a strained MCL, he’s simply out with a knee, etc), a trend which it unfortunately seems that 75% of the announcing fraternity has adopted.    The thing that irked me about the other night though was how they were talking about Amare Stoudemire’s play.

For those not up to speed on the situation, Stoudemire burst onto the NBA scene straight out of high school (yeah, he’s one of them) in 2002.  As a 20 year old that season, and with his only prior competition being overmatched high schoolers, Stoudemire averaged 13.5 points and almost 9 rebounds a game.  He went on to narrowly edge out Yao Ming (who had eerily similar stats that season) for Rookie of the Year honors.  Amare’s numbers improved the following season, but it was the addition of currently reigning two-time MVP Steve Nash in the 2004-2005 season that things got ridiculous.  That year Stoudemire averaged 26 points and 9 rebounds a game in the Suns new ultra paced offense, but the hype went beyond the gaudy stats.  What couldn’t translate to paper was the speed and energy that Amare played with, traits that aren’t very commonplace for 6’10” centers.

Last season, Stoudemire severely injured his knee in just his third game and underwent microfracture surgery.  Needless to say he did not play again that year, but he was able to return to the Suns at the beginning of this year.  That fact that he has been playing from game one this season is a remarkable feat in and of itself, but factor in that the hop is back in his step and the explosion has returned and what you have is an amazing accomplishment of physical perseverence.  Amare is averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds in 31+ minutes a night during the month of December.  I think it is safe to say he is back.   Which more or less brings us back full circle to Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins.

I enjoy listening to Collins and Harlan call games.  They aren’t my favorite duo for NBA games (that would be Marv Albert and anybody, recently it has been Steve Kerr who has done admirably holding his own), but I’d put them at a solid number two (better than any pairing on the ESPN/ABC games).  I swear they don’t listen to what they are saying sometimes though.  Stoudemire turned 24 last month.  I think we can all agree that he is still a young man by any measure.  However Harlan and Collins were calling his play on Thursday a “vintage Amare” performance.  Can something from two years ago really be dubbed vintage?  They also went on to say that he reminded them of the way he was playing “back in his prime”.  What!?  Wouldn’t that insinuate that at the ripe old age of 24, Stoudemire would be past his prime?  I don’t know that he’s even reached the prime of his career yet.  The guy missed one season with a gruesome injury, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves people!

The thing that does worry me though, is that supposedly the doctor who performed the microfracture surgery on Stoudemire said that in three or four years Amare will have to undergo the same surgery.  This news, coupled with an aging Steve Nash, whose own back is starting to become problematic (perhaps in part for carrying the team on his back),  gives the Suns this season and next season to win a championship.  I don’t think their window goes beyond that, and if in fact the news about Stoudemire needing a second surgery (and perhaps a third or fourth if he keeps playing) is indeed true, I would consider trading him once Nash retires.

Oh, and in case you were wondering.

Yeah, I’m back.

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