The new Mortal Kombat X trailer featuring Kitana vs. Kung Lao is raw as hell. This game is probably going to be a massive hit among adolescent sociopaths and their elders.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr Is the Champ Boxing Deserves

Photos by Esther Lin for Showtime

by Sarah Deming

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. knew what he was doing when he ditched the name “Pretty Boy.” Beauty is hard to grasp. Just look at the general wave of meh sweeping the Internets after his latest masterful performance.

Mike Tyson tweeted, “We waited 5 years for that… #underwhelmed #MayPac”

Everyone’s a critic. The publicity surrounding this overdue welterweight showdown swept up writers and fans who normally ignore the sport. Pundits professed hope that a dynamic contest – the word “welter” means “to writhe or toss” – would convince the visitors to stay awhile. But anyone who knows Money knew the odds of that were impossibly long.

“Welter” also means “to wallow, to become deeply sunk, soaked, or involved.” Those of us who wallow daily in boxing’s grime understand that Mayweather does not make art for the masses. The 24/7 tackiness of his extra-ring persona obscures this.

Hoping that Mayweather’s deconstruction of an autumnal Pacquiao will thrill casual viewers is like hoping the Wiz Khalifa fan club will start lining up to hear avant-garde jazz.*

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Donovan Dennis KOs Razvan Cojanu on ESPN2. #boxing

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Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier got into a fight during their media day. Uncle Dana is probably going to act pissed, but this is going to make the fight really easy to promote. 

The Wage Gap Exists (in the UFC)

Cat Zingano photo by Esther Lin for Invicta

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

When President Obama talks about the wage gap (the concept that men are paid more than women for equal work) I usually just try to ignore him, because he’s a liar that pretends to be all chill, but in reality is spying on all of us.  

So anyway, Barry puts the wage gap at 77% and because he’s a big fucking liar he’s using a number that’s different than the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which goes with 81% or 86% depending on how you calculate it. To make things even more hilarious, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is in the Labor Department, which is part of the Executive Branch (for those of you not following me here, the BLS is a bunch of guys who ultimately answer to the President and whose job it is to calculate shit like this.)

So basically, there is a wage gap between the sexes that liberals say is gigantic and due to persistent discrimination and conservatives say it is due to women taking themselves out of the workforce to make babies or going into jobs that require less of the particularly remunerative specializations such as maths and sciences that men statistically excel at. This esteemed publication tries not to be political, so we’re not going to tell you where our sympathies lie.

Like Barack Obama, UFC boss Dana White also is known spin the truth every now and again, most recently calling out the venerable MMA journalist Dave Meltzer for something that he did not say. Unlike Barack Obama, Dana White is not concerned with the wage gap whatsoever.  

Manvel Gamburyan is a male fighter who is not currently ranked in the UFC’s Top 15 (but you could argue could be included in the top 10) and had the first fight of the night at UFC 178, which was not even broadcast on the televised undercard. The only way to see it was on UFC Fightpass. How much would you say he was paid to show (what he would have made if he did not win)?

He made $25,000. Now I am barely scraping the bottom of the barrel with this blogging gig (and rightly so, I really don’t work that much), but that doesn’t seem to be a lot of money to train for a fight and get into a cage with a man trying to punch my face in. You know, he has to have a full training camp, travel to the fight with all his coaches, pay his coaches, pay Mike Dolce, etc. In the interest of transparency, Manny also made an additional $25,000 because he won. 

On the other hand we have Cat Zingano, who is the best female fighter in the UFC other than Ronda Rousey (according to the UFC’s rankings), who fought on the main card, that people paid around sixty bucks each to watch. How much do you think she made to show up? It must have been at least a little bit more than Manny Gamburyan, right? Nope. $9,000 to fight (another $9,000 to win). That’s right. Not exactly five figures, but almost there.  

So Cat Zingano, who was on the Pay Per View Card and is the second-best female fighter in the entire UFC got paid 36% of the amount that Manny Gamburyan made to fight on teh internets.  But let’s compare apples to apples. Dominick Cruz also fought on the Pay Per View card and is similarly ranked to Zingano. He got paid 50k to show up. He’s a former champ, so there’s that, but she’s still only making 18% of what he is.  

This is pretty common for sports, due to things like the laws of supply and demand and the invisible hand of the market and shit like that, which is why Carmelo Anthony makes more money than the entire WNBA roster. But there aren’t a lot of other sports where men’s and women’s competitions are on the same show.

Also, it’s sort of hard to argue that there’s no demand to see Zingano fight, when the UFC is sticking her on the portion of the card that you have to pay for. You’d think the wage gap would be a little lower.  

So there you go: MMA fighters aren’t making money. But female fighters in particular are getting screwed.

Juan Manuel Marquez KOs Manny Pacquiao

by Gautham Nagesh

Juan Manuel Marquez knocked welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao out cold with a right hand on Saturday night in the 6th round of the fourth edition of their rivalry at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

The emphatic win by Marquez terminates Pacquiao’s decade-long run atop the sport, and avenges the Mexican junior welterweight champion’s two losses in their three previous fights. Marquez also fulfilled his vow to finish the fight by knockout, therefore avoiding the possibility of another controversial decision favoring the Filipino fan favorite.

Marquez scored his first knockdown against Pacquiao in the 3rd round, after a cautious start had him down two rounds on our card. A looping right connected squarely with Pacquiao’s chin and sent the Filipino down, though he sprang up and fought back gamely for the rest of the round. Pacquiao steadied himself in the 4th and came back to score a knockdown of his own in the 5th with a lead left hand. The punch sent JMM off-balance, and the Mexican was forced to touch a glove to the canvas to steady himself.

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Top Rank & Golden Boy Sign Multi-Fight Deal Around Mayweather-Pacquiao

Photo by Ethan Miller for Getty Images

by Gautham Nagesh 

A tumultuous month for boxing was punctuated late Sunday night, when promoters Bob Arum of Top Rank and Oscar de la Hoya of Golden Boy announced an end to years of hostilities.

The pair will collaborate on a series of cards in the coming months matching their top fighters in every division. The cards will take place at major stadiums and coliseums throughout the country. The first show will feature Top Rank cash cow Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at Cowboys Stadium on Cinco de Mayo; the last wil be headlined by the long-awaited showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather at the Superdome in New Orleans in August.

Most stunning is the news the shows will air not on Pay Per View, but over broadcast television to maximize the potential audience. Several networks have already begun bidding on the rights; the promoters are also counting on strong revenue from both tickets and advertising.

“We know it’s a risk, but we’re confident that if we put out the best product, the fans will come back to boxing,” Arum told reporters at a press conference in New York.

“We’re trying to look beyond the short-term in hopes of growing the sport’s overall audience,” added de la Hoya.

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goodbyepeople123-deactivated201  asked:

Hi, do you know the process of turning into a professional boxer? I mean how do you find a “good” promoter and convince them you’re worth their time? Thanks!

Dusty Hernandez-Harrison photo by Anna John for

Thanks for the question, sorry it has taken me so long to get around to publishing a few of these letters to the editor.

The process of turning into a professional boxer is relatively straightforward. You must first learn to fight, preferably as an amateur in a gym filled with aspiring professionals. After training and fighting amateur for several years, and presumably doing well, you turn professional and gradually increase your level of competition. 

Of course this is the ideal scenario. In reality, becoming a professional fighter is mostly an issue of obtaining a license from a state or tribal Athletic Commission, then convincing a matchmaker to put you on a card. Unfortunately both of these tasks are far easier than they should be. 

For example, I’m sure if I were willing I could find my way onto a local card, where I would no doubt be paid less than $1000 to take a (very short) beating from a DMV fighter for the amusement of his friends and family. Certain places specialize in producing such fighters, also known as opponents or tomato cans. They include Akron, Ohio; Wilson, N.C.; and sadly, my hometown.

Commissions are supposed to vet these fighters to ensure the matches are sporting, but different states vary greatly in enforcement. Almost anyone with a pulse, a clean bill of health, and an out-of-town address can get approved to fight in D.C. or Maryland.

As for convincing a good promoter or manager to sign you, one that can advance your career, that is another tricky question. A long and decorated amateur career is the best answer, and even that is no guarantee, as reflected in the fact local prospects such as Kevin Rivers Jr. and Jerry Odom remain unsigned despite their amateur exploits. Only making the U.S. Olympic team is a sure ticket to stardom, as evidenced by Al Haymon’s signing of six out of the eight members of the London 2012 squad.

In other countries such as Mexico, fighters turns professional much sooner and do much of their learning in the paid ranks. There are advantages to this system, especially since amateur boxing is meaningfully distinct from the professional game. Stiff Jab 2012 Prospect of the Year Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (above)turned professional at age 16 and appears ahead of the game as a result. So the jury is still out on whether the U.S. approach is the best.

But that’s pretty much the gist of it. If you want to know more about the gritty details of the professional fight game, I highly recommend Thomas Hauser’s excellent book, The Black Lights: Inside The World of Professional Boxing


Sylvester Stallone Says New Rocky Movie On The Way

Sylvester Stallone photo via The Guardian

by Anna John

This weekend in London, lucky fans were treated to “An Evening with Sylvester Stallone”. The boxing Hall of Famer and superstar of the Rocky- and Rambo-franchises sat down for a 90-minute conversation with his host, Jonathan Ross, at the London Palladium.

Stallone was candid and self-aware during the event, and admitted that Rocky’s success changed him– but not in a good way. Stallone told Ross that almost 40 years ago, he was “insufferable” and he thought he was “an authority on everything” back then:

“I read some of the interviews I gave now and wish I could go back and punch myself in the face,”

One of Stallone’s anecdotes about Rocky was quite surprising:

Stallone revealed he had been offered up to $300,000 - “a million dollars today” - to let the film be made with another lead. The Italian-American said it had been a “crossroads moment” in his life, but that he knew he would have “hated” himself had he not stuck to his guns.

Stallone is so indelibly associated with the film that it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else playing the humble debt collector who wanted to be heavyweight champion of the world. Rocky won three Oscars before spawning five sequels.

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Benson Henderson vs Gilbert Melendez

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Round 1: Leg kick from Gilbert Melendez. Leg kick from Benson Henderson. Gilbert lands a right. Henderson lands a left on a Melendez leg kick. Gilbert catches a kick, pops Benson in the face and climbs into Benson’s guard. Benson is sitting up against the fence.  

Henderson stands up and takes a knee to the face. Henderson throws a punch that goes over Gilbert’s curly head. Gilbert catches another kick and goes for a flying knee, but the champ grabs him and pushes him against the fence. Benson working the knees from the clinch. Melendez gets separation and lands a punch on the break.  

Head kick from Benson blocked. Head kick from Benson misses. Henderson with a leg kick. Leg kick from Gilbert. Leg kick from Melendez. Body kick by Benson, Gilbert catches it and throws him down. Leg kick from Benson is checked. Benson comes in and Gilbert lands. Gilbert catches a kick and lands another right as the round ends.  

10-9 Gilbert Melendez.

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Problematic: Adrien Broner Wins But Fails To Impress Against Paulie Malignaggi

Photos by Tom Casino for Showtime

by Sarah Deming

BROOKLYN, N.Y.–Boxers are typically taught that winning is enough. Any night that ends with getting your hand raised is considered a success. 

By that measure, Adrien Broner’s performance here at the Barclays Center on Saturday night against Paulie Malignaggi passes muster. Broner was clearly the better man, walking through his opponent’s flurries and moving Paulie’s head with hard punches in almost every round. Broner clearly won the fight, despite the lone scorecard from judge Tom Miller in favor of Malignaggi. But if the goal is future Pay Per View stardom, just winning is not always enough.

Professional boxing lacks the structure of other sports, so every fighter is in essence a franchise unto themselves. They must not only win, but do so in an appealing enough fashion to ensure fans will pay to see them fight again. Broner has been tabbed by many, including this site, as someone with the potential to eventually rule the sport. Reaching that point will require more heart and less complacency than Broner showed during his cakewalk against Malignaggi.

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UFC 159 Recap: Jon Jones Stops Chael Sonnen in Newark

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Strange night of fights.  Here’s what went down:

Jon Jones, as expected, mauled Chael Sonnen in the first round. Jones managed to horrifically break his toe in the process; he looked like he was going to barf after the fight. If Chael was able to hang on another thirty seconds, he would have been the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

Alan Belcher did not seem to want any part of Michael Bisping, and just hung out outside without putting up much offense while getting picked apart. The fight was ended early on a vicious eyepoke from Bisping to Belcher’s surgically repaired eye. Bisping won on the scorecards.

Roy Nelson demolished Cheick Kongo with an overhand right in the first round, as expected.

I know I keep saying it, but the fights went according to script. Vinny Magalhaes was unable to get the fight to the ground, instead getting picked apart by Phil Davis’ halfway-decent striking.  

Pat Healy and Jim Miller fought for the title of best lightweight in the UFC with a ginger beard and a shaved head. Healy looked like a beast and was able to submit Miller in the third. Miller refused to tap and ended up unconscious.  

For those of you keeping score at home, that was two fights that ended due to eyepokes and two fights with brutal injuries to the small digits. Jones was lucky that the fight ended when it did, because there’s no fucking way a doctor would have let him start the second with his toe perpendicular. 

UFC Recap: Matt Brown Defeats Erick Silva by TKO in Best Fight Ever

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Erick Silva crumpled Matt Brown in the first round with a vicious body kick just above the belt-line, then got his back and was threatening with a nasty neck crank.  

Somehow, Matt Brown got up and proceeded to put the most savage beating on Erick that I’ve ever seen, to win the round on our card. The second round was all Brown, who looked like he was trying to set a record for most head strikes in a round. Can’t wait to see fightmetric.

The third round was more of the same. Give Silva some credit, the kid took a shitload of punishment, but Matt Brown showed an inhuman amount of toughness and cardio. Amazing fight. Matt Brown is so fucking hard. 

Update: Silva was taken out on a stretcher. We hope he is alright.  

In the co-main, Costa Philippou got back on track, starching Lorenz Larkin in the first round.  

Detroit Superstar Daron Cruickshank made short work of Roufusport product Erik Koch with a left head-kick in the first round. 

Neil Magny won a unanimous decision over Tim “Dirty Bird” Means.

Soa Palelei thankfully finished the fight early with some slick groundwork against South African judoka Ruan Potts, managing to avoid the submissions and get into full mount where he ended it with ground and pound.  

Chris Cariaso defeated Louis Smolka with a unanimous decision. 

Benson Henderson vs Anthony Pettis

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Time for the UFC 164 main event. Can’t wait for this fight. You’ll see when they get in the cage, but UFC Lightweight champ Benson Henderson (left) is going to come into the cage way bigger than Anthony Pettis.

I’ve probably seen the showtime kick a thousand times today, and each time I see it, I get more and more psyched for it. Time to see if Benson can get the stain off his soul. He better finish it this time, because these judges are among the most terrible I’ve seen. I can’t wait to find out who the clown is that gave all three rounds to Chico Camus.They’re also giving out a ton of 10-8 scores for what didn’t look to me like particularly dominant rounds. We could see some really strange scores over the course of a five round fight unless these rounds are really clear cut.  

Benson has his hair braided tonight, so he won’t have any problem with it getting in his eyes. Looks like they took the toothpick out before he got in the cage. Extra toothpick check from the official just in case. The champ is getting booed. No touching of the gloves. Live updates after the jump:

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UFC on Fox Recap: Mighty Mouse Retains Belt

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga: Demetrious Johnson outclassed Moraga throughout the fight. Moraga only landed one good punch, but it was a doozy, hitting Johnson straight in the nose as he was coming in. Still, Johnson recovered, and won the fight with an armbar late in the fifth. 

Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger: I can’t believe what a snoozer this fight was. Jake Ellenberger apparently didn’t like being jabbed in the face, and didn’t push the action at all as the crowd booed throughout the entire fight. I hate it when fighters give away two rounds in a three-round fight. Rory jabbed and backed up any time the shorter fighter came at him, but cruised to an easy victory.  

Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voelker: Robbie Lawler put a savage beating on Bobby Voelker. Lawler finished it with a kick to the head and two coffin nails on the ground. Great fight.

Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade: Andrade looked good in the first, but Carmouche got on top of her on the second and went Gorlilla on her. I believe this is the first time that two openly gay fighters have faced off in the Octagon, which went almost unnoticed in the lead-up to the fight.  

UFC 162: Facebook Undercard

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Two good fights on tonight’s Facebook undercard: 

David Mitchell vs. Mike Pierce: Pierce is massively underrated. He hasn’t lost in the UFC except for bullshit decisions against tough competition like Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck. I thought he probably won both of those fights. But he’s on Facebook because he’s a fucking grinder.  

Round 1 looked like it was going to be some classic Mike Pierce cageside slowdance, but in Round 2, Pierce got some separation and unloaded a short left that staggered Mitchell. Pierce then bashed Mitchell’s skull like a drum until the fight was stopped.

Seth Baczynksi vs. Brian Melancon: Melancon staggered Seth with a big left early in the first round. At the very end of the round, Melancon pushed the foot with Seth on his back and fell into Seth’s guard, Fedor-style, landing a huge punch. Melancon followed it up with a few more shots and the ref waved it off after the horn sounded.