Title fight turns sour at UWC 7
The bout, a five-round title fight for Easton's Ultimate Warrior Challenge bantamweight belt, was an untimely reminder that no matter how much mixed martial artists progress, American regulators have a long way to go.
Watching live, I scored it a convincing 49-46 for Beebe, who did enough to take Rounds 1, 3, 4 and 5. At worst, the former WEC 135-pound champion secured the last three periods with suffocating ground control. It may not have been explosive, but it certainly was effective. Or so I thought. Yet, to a chorus of boos from an audience near his hometown of Washington, D.C., Easton (8-1) was named the winner after 25 minutes.
The split-decision -- judges
Beebe (12-5), fighting out of Chicago in the same camp as
Here's hoping for two things: First, Beebe opts not to walk away from the sport with a loss, as he told me he was considering doing Thursday; and second, the he come out healthy enough to make his next bout in Osaka, Japan, against
Beyond that, the decision -- the kind that has driven people away from boxing (which is also in purview of the state-run agencies) -- overshadowed what turned out to be a great bout for the UWC 125-pound title between
Beebe plans on filing a formal complaint with the Virginia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Program.
• Veteran UFC middleweights
Traveling internationally for titles and recognition is a way of life for American
Tuesday in Yokohama, Japan, Warren joins a Brazilian and two Japanese 139-pound fighters in the ring for the conclusion of Dream's featherweight tournament (airing live on HDNet at 7 a.m. ET), which began in March in Tokyo.
Of the four remaining competitors, Warren's road was easily the most interesting. In his first professional MMA fight, the confident 32-year-old slung a knee that that opened a gash on Chase Beebe's face and forced a doctor's stoppage. Five months later, Warren met the anointed non-American king of the 135-145-pound sphere,
It's no wonder most fans are expecting Warren to walk through his toughest grappling challenge to date, against
Like Warren, Fernandes captured the Pan-Ams and World Championships in 2006, though his accomplishments came in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The 29-year-old Fernandes has lost twice in seven MMA fights, but considering he nearly submitted
I'm a big fan of Warren's effort and style. He was a violent wrestler and he's a violent mixed martial artist. And his experience running through five wrestling matches in one night to win a world championship won't hurt since he'll need two wins Tuesday.
When I asked
We'll know tomorrow how smart that sounds.
One win will be enough for
Aoki (21-4) drew first blood when he ushered in 2007 with a gogoplata of Hansen (19-7). Last summer, "Hellboy" returned the favor against one of the most dynamic submission fighters in MMA with a first-round stoppage, a win that earned him the Dream belt.
Hansen hasn't fought since, and returns to the ring following a 15-month hiatus. Assuming ring rust doesn't play a factor, Hansen possesses some obvious advantages besides the mental edge that comes with knocking an opponent silly: He's the better striker and is far more physical than Aoki. Still, Hansen is 6-4 since 2006 and Aoki is now entering his prime.
I'll take Hansen in a tight, well-fought contest.