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Shooting From The Hip: Sean Salmon, B.A. Baracus & The Green Power Ranger

sean salmonDuring this past week Sean Salmon joined an exclusive club previously only inhabited by men such as Kalib Starnes, Josh Barnett, and a few select others; The MMA Hall of Shame. It’s a young sport, and as such, this club is rather limited at this point, but there’s no question that Mr. Salmon became an honorary member after recently admitting in a blog he penned for that he threw his last bout because he was worried about being injured and rendered unable to hold a new coaching stint at the Wolf’s Lair. Here it is, right from the horse’s mouth:

In the second round, I took him down again. He went for an armbar, I defended it (only to prove to myself that he couldn’t get it), and then I put my arm back in to give him the win so that I could return to England, healthy. Just so you all know, that is the most embarrassing thing that I have ever admitted out loud.

What really stinks about this whole deal is not only did he disrespect the sport as a whole, but he seriously disrespected his opponent Allan Weickert. Salmon basically went way out of his way to try to discredit the biggest win in the guys career. The disgraced fighter stated in the blog that he was worried that if he got cut in the bout he would lose his precious coaching gig, but the whole thing stinks of,”I was getting my lunch money taken from me and I wanted out. I was scared of the possibility of suffering serious injury because I had a real fight on my hands, and I wanted out”. Whether Salmon gave the arm up or not, he was getting handled and wanted out. A lot of guys have tapped out during moments when they shouldn’t have, which is basically what Salmon did, but don’t come out and say afterwords,”I could’ve whupped him. I let him beat me.” Even a five year old can see through that water thin excuse that reeks of disillusion.

What makes things worse is the way Sean tried to completely tuck in a follow up interview he did with where he stated,”It is being 100% misinterpreted. It’s my fault. I write those columns for Junkie — they’ve given me the freedom, anytime I have something going on, to write what I’m thinking. And that’s exactly how I do it. I sit down at the computer and start typing. I don’t proofread it. I don’t re-read it. I don’t want to start second-guessing myself.”

100% misinterpreted? Didn’t proofread it? Are you kidding me? It’s not like you made a typo man, or slipped and hit the wrong key a couple of times. I do a good amount of writing myself and I’ve never accidentally written three or four paragraphs I didn’t mean to. I’d imagine you’re a relatively intelligent guy, and saying that you didn’t re-read it because you didn’t want to start second-guessing yourself just sounds absolutely ridiculous.

So Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was reported to be playing B.A. Baracus in the upcoming A-Team movie, then he wasn’t, and now he is again…. sigh. Don’t even get me started on the report on Yahoo‘s main page that Tim Sylvia is starring as Jason Vorhees in the Friday the 13th sequel. A report that was already squashed yesterday by the producer of the upcoming project himself.

Any of those familiar with my work will know that I’ve never been a huge fan of fighters entering show business while still active in the sport. I understand that you have to take opportunities when they present themselves, but they’re such a thing called loyalty to your employer in this world. Obviously when you’re a champion, as in Cung Le’s case, you have an obligation to your promotion, and perhaps more importantly, to the challengers that make up your respected division. In Jackson’s case he was fully aware of his perceived duties following the taping of the most highly anticipated season of The Ultimate Fighter in show history.

I’m sure most of you remember that Jackson was in position to challenge for the light-heavyweight title just before it was announced that he would be a TUF 10 coach. A move many questioned due to Quinton’s position in the UFC 205 pound rankings, but a move many could justify by assuming it would be a good move for Rampage in a financial sense. Now here we are and Jackson won’t be returning to action until sometime during early 2010.

My main beef with this is that the coaches fighting at the end of the season has traditionally been something that follows shortly after the conclusion of the show. It just seems like pushing that fight back three months would really take a lot of steam from the publicity generated by the show. It’s not as if Jackson had no idea he would be facing Rashad in December.

Former Power Ranger, Jason David Frank, made news this past week by announcing his plan to compete professionally in mixed martial arts in the near future. He’s going to be getting a late start in the game at thirty-six years of age so it remains to be seen how much success he will be able to reap in the sport when it’s all said and done. Jason has been training in martial arts since the age of four. He is the founder of Toso Kune Do, and also a sixth degree black belt in the art. He has been training in both MMA and Muay Thai since 2006.He has a long, decorated career in traditional martial arts and it will be interesting to see how it crosses over.

Kevin Iole made an interesting statement recently during a guest appearance on ESPN Radio in regards to Chris Leben‘s recent submission loss at the hands of Jake Rosholt, revealing,”A prominent fighter came over to me tonight and told me he’d made a bet on Rosholt. I was a little surprised by that. He said he knew that Leben hadn’t trained at all.”

If this is true, it’s really a tragedy that a fighter with as much raw talent that Leben has just can’t get his act together. Of course the bout with Rosholt was Leben’s first back since the steroid suspension he fell under following his decision loss to Michael Bisping back in October of 2008.

Now, obviously Leben was juicing before the bout with Bisping so he was likely to look a little more ripped in that match-up, but if Leben hadn’t been training like he should have for his bout with Rosholt, his body sure showed it. The physical contrasts between the Leben that showed up to fight Bisping and the one that showed up at UFC 102 were like night and day. Of course many probably wrote it off as the obvious effects performance enhancing drugs can have on one’s body, but Iole’s recent comments have led many to believe there’s a bit more to this story. If Leben hadn’t been training properly, the third round submission attempt sure would have been a lot more difficult to fight off.

With two consecutive losses in the Octagon it seems that Leben’s career in the UFC is on extremely thin ice at this point. Perhaps re-inventing himself at 170 pounds would be the best move he could make in his career at this point being that there aren’t many middleweight match-ups for him left in the UFC that fans are going to get excited about.

Former four-time boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga recently announced that he will be making the transition to mixed martial arts, and is currently expected to compete for the first time later this year. Anyone familiar with the sport of boxing is fully aware of the controversial Nicaraguan’s reputation in the sport. As brash and outspoken as they come, Ricardo is known for smoking up to 60 cigarettes in a day while washing it back with generous amounts of tequila while preparing for bouts. With a record of 29-7 and 23 knockouts to his credit it’s hard to argue with the training regimen of the former champion. While never the most technical boxer in his weight class, the success Mayorga found in the sport of boxing is a true testament to his grit and toughness. Ricardo is a real fighter, there’s no sugar coating him. He has that certain something you just can’t teach, and with the proper development the 35 year old fight veteran still has time to make a serious impact in MMA.

While many fans are already salivating at the prospect of a Dan Henderson vs. Nate Marquardt showdown, Hendo recently went on record to that Anderson Silva was the only bout that interested him at middleweight, period. He further went on to state that if the bout against Marquardt was offered to him, he would flat out turn it down to pursue a career at light-heavyweight. It’s hard to decide whether or not this is just tough talk on Henderson’s end to insure himself the next title shot at 185 pounds, with the recent news of Silva’s elbow surgery that is expected to put him on the shelves until early 2010, it seems like Dan may have a choice to make. If they offer him the Marquardt fight and he doesn’t take it, it seems like an immediate title shot upon his return to the division would be unlikely.

I say if Henderson doesn’t want to fight Marquardt, that’s fine, set up Marquardt vs. Okami, winner’s got next.

Brett Rogers came under a lot of fire recently after an interview with 5 Oz’s where he revealed that he has never actually watched an entire Fedor Emelianenko fight. Many fans feel like “The Grim” should be pouring over Fedor’s fights in anticipation for this highly anticipated match-up, but honestly, how much is Brett going to learn in a couple months of watching Emelianenko tapes. Trying to play catch-up in a couple months on Fedor tapes is equivalent to watching MMA/BJJ/& Muay Thai instructionals for a couple of months and debuting in the UFC; it’s kind of pointless. There’s nothing Rogers is going to see in watching past Emelianenko bouts that is going to reveal the secret to upsetting “The Last Emperor”. If anything watching tape on a guy like Fedor would have a negative effect on your performance. Watching him batter opponent after opponent could do nothing for your confidence in my estimation. The way I see it, Brett has the right game plan; treat this like any other fight, and view Fedor like any other man. It’s worked out good for him so far, why switch up now?

In other news, while Rogers is far from immune to being taken down, keeping him there is another issue. He’s obviously a big, strong guy but I think his sense of balance and ability to get right back up upon being taken down aren’t being given enough credit. With that being said, he’s obviously never faced a man like Fedor.

The possibility of teammate vs. teammate bouts in the UFC have garnered a lot of attention lately, with many fighters going as far as to say there would be no way they would fight a teammate under any circumstances, but UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon recently told MMAJunkie Radio that he would throw down with his own brother in the Octagon if that’s what the job called for. That’s what I’m talking about, Joe vs. Dan, Joe Silva make it happen! I have to admit I respect Lauzon’s way of thinking; handle your business and have a beer afterwords, no hard feelings. I wish more fighters in MMA were more liberal in regards to who they chose to compete against. It’s not personal when most guys compete in mixed martial arts, so why would it be between friends. It’s just that, competition, right?

There are probably a lot of people out there that will be happy to know that the driver that killed Charles “Mask” Lewis recently had his plea deal shot down by the judge during the preliminary phase of his trial. Jeffrey David Kirby, 51, of Costa Mesa attempted to negotiate a deal for a lesser sentence on his charges that include vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run in exchange for a guilty plea. However, Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson rejected the plea and recommended for the case to go to trial. Bad news for Kirby, good news for those interested in justice for the late Charles “Mask” Lewis.

BELIEVE!! Although Evan Tanner‘s death is thought to have occurred on either the fourth or fifth of September, it wasn’t officially announced until the eighth of last year. Just a reminder for everyone to take a few seconds out of there day at some point tomorrow to reflect on the tragic loss of a mixed martial arts legend known to those around him as one of the most genuine and kind souls they had ever met. R.I.P. Evan, you will not be forgotten.

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