The Fight Nerd

July 31, 2014

Michael Chandler wants Brooks rematch, not Alvarez

Filed under: Interviews,Lead Story,Videos — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:23 PM

“Losing the close split-decision to Alvarez doesn’t sting as bad as losing to Will Brooks.” – Michael Chandler

The Fight Nerd had a chance to interview Bellator MMA lightweight contender, Michael Chandler, at a recent press event in NYC, where we talked about fighting, fighting, and more fighting!

Chandler updates us on his back injury and when fans will see him back in the cage again, and tells us that he wants to fight Will Brooks again under better circumstances for another shot at the belt. The former champ also talks about if Brooks surprised him at all in their title fight, and if he watched the fight again yet.

The big news from this interview is that Chandler is not as interested in fighting Eddie Alvarez as much right now, and wants the rematch with Brooks more! Chandler says he still wants Eddie, but since no one knows what is up with his contract – including Chandler.

Quinton Jackson: “Bellator didn’t pay for my knee surgery, I did”, + King Mo & Tito Ortiz

Filed under: Interviews,Lead Story,Videos — Tags: , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 8:28 PM

The Fight Nerd caught up with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at a recent Bellator MMA event, and he had plenty to say about current events in the combat sports world. In the first part of this interview,we talked a bit about his fight with King Mo and if he wants a rematch, as well as if the two could ever bury the hatchet once and for all. We also discuss whether a fight with Tito Ortiz is still in the cards for Bellator fans, and if he has his eyes set on any other opponents in the promotion.

Rampage also talks about how he heard about the news that Bjorn Rebney was done with Bellator and was replaced with former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, and reveals that Bjorn did not live up to his end of the bargain when it came to certain big things, and what Rampage hopes Coker can accomplish in his new role in the company.

July 27, 2014

Art Davie on how Chuck Norris almost worked for the UFC

In 1993, the UFC held their first event in Denver, Colorado, planting the seeds for an entire sport to begin growing out of this barely legal event. The mastermind behind the concept was Art Davie, who held onto an idea for years until he was finally able to turn it into a reality. Davie has just released a book explaining the history of the first UFC and all of the tumultuous events leading up to it, and I had a chance to chat with him about damn near everything!

In the second episode of this two-part series, Davie discusses some of the fighters that he was trying to get to compete at UFC 1, including Tae Kwon Do Olympian Herb Perez, Shoot fighter Bart Vale, K-1 kickboxer Peter Aerts, and many others that will surely shock and surprise you (hint – pro wrestlers and more Olympians).

Davie also reminisces on how UFC commentators Jeff Blatnick and Don “The Dragon” WIlson were looking to fight in the UFC and why it never happened (even though Wilson talked extensively about it during many old UFC events), and the tale of Chuck Norris and how he almost became involved with the very first UFC event, and what went wrong.

If you want to check out Art Davie’s new autobiography and uncensored tell-all about the first UFC event, head over to this link here to pick up “Is This Legal?: The Inside Story of The First UFC from the Man Who Created It”. It comes with The Fight Nerd seal of approval as a must-have for MMA history fans!

July 26, 2014

Art Davie explains why Rickson Gracie never fought in the UFC

In 1993, the UFC held their first event in Denver, Colorado, planting the seeds for an entire sport to begin growing out of this barely legal event. The mastermind behind the concept was Art Davie, who held onto an idea for years until he was finally able to turn it into a reality. Davie has just released a book explaining the history of the first UFC and all of the tumultuous events leading up to it, and I had a chance to chat with him about damn near everything!

In the first installment of this six-part series, Davie discusses the early origins of how the UFC began, which go back much further than the 90′s, and into an idea he had a decade earlier that took years to come together. We also discussed Davie’s early relationship with the Gracie family, including Rorion Gracie who became business partners with Davie in the first UFC, and the all-important question – why Rickson Gracie, arguably the best fighter the family had at the time, did not compete in the first UFC or in any UFC events. Lastly, we learn why Rorion and his family pulled out of the company after UFC 5 and what led up to the departure that resulted in no Gracies ever competing in a UFC event again until Royce Gracie returned at UFC 60.

If you want to check out Art Davie’s new autobiography and uncensored tell-all about the first UFC event, head over to this link here to pick up “Is This Legal?: The Inside Story of The First UFC from the Man Who Created It”. It comes with The Fight Nerd seal of approval as a must-have for MMA history fans!

July 17, 2014

Art Davie explains UFC history in “Is This Legal?” – Book Review

Filed under: Product Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 3:36 PM

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Old School MMA is kind of our thing here on TheFightNerd.com. I was not a TUF bandwagon fan, but I was also not one of the people who was watching the first event when it aired in 1993. With that said, my fandom began with the debut event of “The Ultimate Fighting Championship” on VHS, and 90 minutes later I was hooked. Many years later and I am doing a video series all about the old SEG UFC events from a historical and comical perspective. There is a ton of info out there, but finding it all in one spot has always been tough, as well as being able to read between the lines and find the truth of hearing the same story told from different people. Today, we are checking out a book about the origins of the biggest MMA promotion in the world from the man that was responsible for making that happen.

Written by Art Davie (with help from Sean Wheelock), “Is This Legal?” tells the inside story of how the first no-holds-barred martial arts fighting show made it to pay-per-view, and all of the struggles along the way. It’s hard to review this book without giving away too many spoilers that make the experience so enjoyable and informative, and that sentence right there should give you an idea of where this review is headed.

Davie holds nothing back, whether it is about himself, the Gracie family, the business side of setting up this event and who he worked with, and the fighters themselves. Some of these are stories we have heard tidbits of before, such as the tumultuous rules meeting at the first event and how the structure of the fighting surface was initially formed, but now we have the deeper stories behind them from the man that witnessed and influenced these things. There is little time spent on autobiographical details preceding the first spark that set Davie on the path to the UFC, but it’s not all a behind the scenes of UFC 1 book, but a real origin story that sets the pace for the future of the sport.

Did you ever wonder why Royce fought in the first UFC and not Rickson? How movie director John Milius first met Davie and became involved in creating what would eventually become the familiar octagon shape that we all know and love? Or how Bob Meyrowitz and SEG came in, and all of the drama between Davie’s company, WOW, and Bob’s SEG? There are so many stories in this book, many of which I never even knew about until after reading it, that even the most hardcore know-it-all fans will learn something new by the time they finish it. Learning about how Davie recruited fighters and advertised the show was extremely interesting, as well as the contract negotiations between WOW and SEG that cut it close to the time of the actual pay-per-view airing live. Seeing all of the rejection letters that Davie received while trying to sell the event was also pretty amazing, when you consider how many of these people passed up on the sport that years later, they would cover or be interested in exploiting in some way or another.

This is a book that I want to discuss with people, but much like reading “Game of Thrones”, you can not talk about it until the other person has read it. There are few books about MMA history that I can say that about, but this is one of them. Much like the old UFC slogan, “Seeing is Believing”, this book is very much the same. I thought I knew a lot about the first UFC event, and this book taught me far more than I ever expected to know about it. Fight fans and history buffs need to pick this up right away!

You can order Is This Legal?: The Inside Story of The First UFC from the Man Who Created It as a hardcover book from Amazon.com for under $20, and is a 100% must buy for knowledge-seeking MMA fans. The worst thing about this book is that it ends, so Art Davie – if you ever see this review – make a sequel! I want to hear more about the good ole’ days of NHB fighting and would definitely buy another book like this one.

July 16, 2014

Fighters Source “Kings of New York” Amateur MMA Returns for National Championship

Filed under: News — The Fight Nerd @ 10:59 AM

Fighters Source, an International Amateur MMA League, announced today that their US National Competition will be the main event of the 5th Annual MMA World Expo at the Javits Center on Saturday, July 26th at 6:00 p.m.

Amateur fighters from New York City and across the country are currently competing for a chance to fight at the Fighters Source Nationals in which the victors will advance to represent Team USA at the Amateur MMA World Challenge in London, England.

“This is an exciting time for all these athletes,” said Anthony Medina, CEO of Fighters Source. “New York City will be the city to determine their fate and whether or not they will have the opportunity to represent the US in the World Challenge.”

These 8 bouts will determine the six men and two women who will earn their chance to represent the USA in the World Challenge. This tournament has brought the best male fighters at 135lbs, 145lbs, 155lbs, 170lbs, 185lbs, 205lbs and females fighters at 125lbs, 135lbs from across the county to lay it all out on the line and show why they are the best in their weight class.

This tournament will be commentated by former UFC fighter Seth “Silverback” Petruzelli, and MC’d by combat sports announcer Chris Geraghty.

Tickets are available at http://mmaworldexpo.com/fighterssource/. Ticket prices start at $45. Additional facility fees and taxes may apply.

These athletes’ journeys as Amateur MMA fighters have been documented for the United Fight Alliance (UFA) Network which airs in 100+ million homes nationally alone, and a combined 130 million homes, nationally and internationally. This is the first time an amateur sports league will be broadcast into homes worldwide.

Fighters Source plans to produce and broadcast amateur Mixed Martial Arts events from around the country, giving fans an opportunity to watch this major step for amateur fighters as they prepare themselves for the pros.

July 15, 2014

Fight Nerd Cinema: “The Tournament” Movie Review

Filed under: Features,Movie Reviews — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:58 AM

Continuing down our reviews of the six films featured in The Angela Mao Ying Collection from Shout Factory, today we look at 1974′s “The Tournament”. Starring Angela Mao Ying, this film from Golden Harvest also features Whang In-Sik, Sammo Hung, Wilson Tong, and Carter Huang, with the action scenes directed by Jackie Chan.

When local mobsters increase their protection fee to unreasonable amounts, a family of Kung Fu fighters (including Angela Mao and Carter Huang, who plays her brother) head to Thailand to fight against Muay Thai fighters for money. After Carter Huang’s character gets defeated badly, her Father’s name is disgraced and the Hong Kong Kung Fu Association kicks him out of the group. With all of his students gone due to the embarrassment and the Association turning their back on him, her father commits suicide. With a fire lit in her belly, Angela announces that she and her brother are leaving the Kung Fu association and will go to Thailand to learn Muay Thai to make herself stronger and avenge her father and restore the honor of her family.

One of the most interesting things about this movie is the discussion of adapting and evolving your martial art. The Kung Fu Association is firmly rooted in their belief that the Chinese must only practice Kung Fu and their style is the best, while Angela disagrees and says that they need to change to new ways to grow and not get stifled. Much of the movie is about learning and accepting change, and not getting stuck in old forms that may not be as relevant. There is also talk of the differences between traditional martial arts that are meant for self-defense versus combat sports like muay thai that are about competition and why both are relevant (an argument that continues to this day in MMA circles). Often times, we get a Kung Fu movie that is about Nationalism, which American fans can relate to but not necessarily to Chinese nationalist pride. With this film, all audiences can agree that nations are not as important as philosophies, and that turns this into a much more timeless story with values that still matter to modern martial artists.

This particular movie is less a mindless fight movie, and more of a drama with fighting, which is something I love about it. It’s a very serious Kung Fu movie, with no slapstick or physical comedy like other Kung Fu movies will often have (which does not translate too well in most cases). While it can get slow at times, the fights are our reward for patience and plot. With that said, the fight scenes are great and show off a lot of style and flair. Seeing Angela adapt her skills to Muay Thai is exciting to watch, and having a ring adds dynamism to the choreography and filming of the bouts, something that you do not get as much in other HK action movies because they typically battle in very wide, open spaces. And yes, Angela does fight men in the Muay Thai ring (something that is not normally allowed, but movie magic lets it be).

A quick sidenote, I watched this movie with the english dub side-by-side with the english subtitles, and if you want to get the closest and most dramatic translation for this film, read the subs. If you want some laughs, enjoy the dub, but frankly, the story is much easier to follow with the subtitles (as it typically is with these movies).

This is a great vehicle to showcase Angela Mao’s talents, and features her at her best. She is as skilled of an actress as she is a martial artist, and “The Tournament” is a great way to see both of those abilities, as well as action that modern fight fans might find more relevant than the average Kung Fu movie. With both traditional Kung Fu sequences and Muay Thai fights, this movie offers a different look and feel than a lot of other action flicks from that era. A smart movie with a good cast and story, as well as a relevant discussion similar to the talks of TMA VS MMA, this is a must-see for all martial arts movie enthusiasts.

You can get this movie, along with five other Angela Mao movies with The Angela Mao Ying Collection from Shout Factory, and I definitely recommend getting this set for some very high-quality martial-arts action classics that beats the old grainy VHS tapes that we are used to seeing these on.

July 5, 2014

Fight Nerd Cinema: “The Himalayan” Movie Review

Filed under: Features,Movie Reviews — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:53 AM

Golden Harvest put out high quality martial arts movies at a steady rate during the 1970′s, with many classics and a few duds scattered through their timeline. Today, we look at a forgotten classic from 1976 titled “The Himalayan”, which is now available on Shout Factory’s The Angela Mao Ying Collection , a three-disc six-movie set with five other great movies starring Angela Mao. This movie features the tag team of Angela Mao and Delon Tan, taking a typical Kung Fu movie story and throwing it into a different location.

Taking place in Tibet, the story follows the treacherous Kao family, who have an arranged marriage with Lin, the daughter (Angela Mao) of the Tseng family that ends up taking a turn when her father decides he wants his daughter to marry the younger brother ran the elder, Kao Chu. Chu kills his younger brother after he refuses to go through the marriage, and hires a look-a-like to take his place, and thus get a foothold into the Tseng family fortune. Meanwhile, longtime friend Chin-Kang (Delon Tan) wishes that he could marry Lin, but is too poor to ever have that dream become a reality. The Kao family begins their plan to take over, which includes framing Chin-Kang and Lin for having an affair that led to Chin-Kang’s murder at the hands of Lin (in reality, Kao used his “tiger claw” technique to render him unconscious). Chin-Kang and Lin manage to escape together and head to the Buddhist temple run by the Eagle Lamma (played by the director of the film, Huang Feng), who is the only man who can teach them the technique to defeat Kao Chu.

This is a fast-paced movie with some very good fight scenes that come hard and fast. The authentic locations used make the fight scenes extra good, including a Buddhist temple with more steps than a human should ever have to climb, and some nice outdoors spots. It makes me wish that there were more of those sites used than just studios with sets since this movie still has a lot of those, but I will take what I can get. Delon Tan stands out in the action sequences, with some of the crispest kicks you will ever see in one of these older movies, so much that he could give Bruce Lee a run for his money. He has a great fight with Sammo Hung in the finale, and any time he hits the screen and starts kicking people is pretty awesome.

Overall, this movie has your average Kung Fu movie story with some very good fights and a few twists along the way, with action choreographed by Sammo Hung and Han Ying-Chieh. The pair utilized a talented team of stuntmen and performers to put on convincing fights with exciting direction that will keep you watching the well-paced events that unfurl. Plus, if you pay attention, you can also see Jackie Chan as an extra in one of the last fights in the movie! It’s a hidden treasure that is worth unearthing, mainly to see Angela Mao and Delon Tan side-by-side kicking butt, and they kick a lot of that in “The Himalayan”.

You can get this movie, along with five other Angela Mao movies with The Angela Mao Ying Collection from Shout Factory, and I definitely recommend getting this set for some very high-quality martial-arts action classics that beats the old grainy VHS tapes that we are used to seeing these on.

June 29, 2014

Bell’O Digital BDH821 Headphones Review

Filed under: Product Reviews — Tags: , — The Fight Nerd @ 6:22 PM

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As someone who does a lot of video editing, one of the biggest concerns I always have is not necessarily my video quality, but is often my audio. The quality of the sound during videos is almost more important than a video clip, especially if it has voices or other important sounds. Without the right audio, you can have the most well-shot and put together video that is just meaningless. I go through a good amount of headphones, looking for the right pair to work with, and today, I am looking at a pair from Bell’O Digital, their blue BDH821 high-performance headphones to be exact.

Available in white, black, grey, and blue, these headphones were made for all-purposes including music, sound production, and are usable with your cell phones as well. These attractive devices feature a 24 Karat gold-plated 3.5 mm plug to get you the best connectivity to whatever you are using while listening, and feature a system of oxygen-free copper wires wrapped in a reinforced fabric to give you optimal sound. This fabric wrap around the cables keeps them virtually tangle free, and the headphones themselves can be folded flat by rotating the earphones in towards the center for easy storage. They do not collapse entirely, since they have a solid padded headphone that allows you to adjust the length of the earphones.

The earpieces are very comfortable to wear, with very little ear fatigue after extended use (as in once you take them off, you won’t feel like you just lost 10 lbs). Neodymium magnets are used to optimize reaction time of the speaker drivers, which is fancy tech talk for that they sound better than your average headphones. The headphones also come with a microfiber bag to carry them in, which you can also use to clean them off.

In terms of music, these have a crystal clear richness to them with a solid bass that does not overpower your tunes. You don’t lose the integrity of the sound, with one piece of audio taking priority over the other. Instead, you get the full audio experience of each independent instrument, beat, or whatever, all coming together to form a song. The best way I can describe the sound is that they make it feel like you are not wearing headphones, with the sensation that the music is not just coming out of your ears but is all around you (a built-in surround sound system for your head).

The same goes for voices and editing for video, as you get the full range of sounds and the sense of depth and placement for where the sounds are coming from. I like using the phrase “true sound” when I listened to these, because I felt like I was not watching a video but actually there while it was happening in front of me. With that said, the sound is not augmented in any way nor is there any control for you to do so on these headphones, but they are a very good experience that will envelop you in whatever audio you are listening to.

The integrated microphone and one-touch button controller is very easy to use. I tested it on my iPhone 4S, and operates during phone calls and music listening. For phone mode, you simply click the button once to answer a call, and when you are done, click it once more. When music is on, you can press play with one click, double click it to move to the next track, and triple click to go backwards to the beginning of a track, or play the last track. It also works with Siri, by simply holding down the button until she activates. It took some getting used to when it came to the multi-clicks, as it felt a bit stiff at first (it’s not a button that you press, but a clicker), but once you do it enough you will get the hang of the speed and weight you need to activate it. The best part about this feature is that the phone can have the screen locked and I can still cycle through my music without having to open the screen up.

You can order the Bell’O Digital Over-Ear High Performance Headphones from Amazon.com for $35-45, depending on the color you purchase. This is a surprisingly cheap price for such high-quality headphones, and makes the phrase, “You get what you pay for” completely moot. It’s a set of headphones that I would easily pay double for, and the best part is that the company does have higher grades of headphones coming out soon that will cost more. I got to try those out at CE Week, and my initial impressions were very positive, so I can not wait until the new ones come out so I can put them under some longterm use and abuse to see how they hold up.

Overall, they are an extremely well-made set of headphones with amazing quality for the price, and it makes you really wonder what is going on in their engineering as opposed to other companies who do charge more for equal quality. I don’t want to call these budget headphones because of the price tag, but they are the perfect set for someone who wants a good pair of headphones that look nice and do not cost an arm and a leg. For me, the biggest selling point is not how much they are, but how good they sound and how shocked you are once you find out the price. It’s rare to find headphones that sound great and are inexpensive, and Bell’O Digital somehow managed to do both, making these one of the strongest headphones in the consumer market. Definitely give these a try if you are in the market for a new pair and let me know what you think!

Mimoco’s “Mimo Power Tube” Review

Filed under: Product Reviews — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 3:38 PM

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I am a collector of the Mimoco USB flash drive devices, with about 10 that I currently use for various things. The company is known for their high-quality licensed flash drives that function as good as they look. Fast transfers, sturdy and reliable, Mimoco has now dipped their toes into another growing market, charging devices for people on the go.

Smart phones often have pretty awful lifespans, especially if you use them for your gaming, social media, and everything else they do. Transportable battery chargers have come to the rescue, and they are without a doubt one of the hottest tech items in the consumer electronics world. Not wanting to be left behind, Mimoco jumped in and has produced their own version of the chargers with their stylish Mimo Power Tube. Taking the design elements that Mimo fans have come to love, along with their great technology, Mimoco has big plans for these chargers, and today we take a look to see if they are any good.

First, a few tech notes to get out of the way – The Mimo Power Tube 2600 uses a single cell Li-ion battery to power your devices, and while you might think the 2600 is a clever nod to Atari, it conveniently is also the mAh in the device. About the same height as a 1980′s GI Joe action figure, this thin tube has almost the same width as a roll of “Life Savers”. The overall charging life of this item should be about 500 charges total, which means it should last a pretty long time.

I got the Pill Power tube, which is in the photo at the top of this post, but you can also get one that looks like the aforementioned Life Savers candy, a zombie finger, crayons, a cheeseburger or hot dog, or a doobie (first time I ever wrote that word on this website, and surprisingly it’s for a tech review), among other designs.

Outside of the box, the Mimo Power Tube comes with a small instruction manual (basically one small piece of paper folded in half) that explains how to use the charger, as well as giving you a one-year warranty on the item. Aside from the manual and the Power Tube itself, it comes with a USB charging cable that includes five tips and a black pouch to carry and protect the power tube.

The five tips represent compatibility for various devices, and include a Micro USB for Blackberry and Samsung Galaxy phones and whatever else uses this (it is also the main cord to charge the tube itself), a mini USB, Nokia mini, Apple 30 pin, and Apple Lightning. All you have to do is attach the easily swappable tips into the USB cable, plug it into your computer, and let it charge. Beyond smartphones, you can also use this charger for digital cameras, other MP3 players (like my little Cowon MP3 player that I use every now and then), and anything else that you need to plug in with USB ports.

A pet peeve of mine has always been when something is charging and I have no idea of it’s progress, or when it even finishes. I have spent big money on products that come with chargers like that, and it boggles the mind how anyone can still sell anything like that these days. Mimoco’s Power Tubes all have an LED indicator which glows red while it is charging, and once it reaches 80% it will turn green. It does not stop glowing once it hits 100%, so it is recommended to let it keep charging for another 30 to 60 minutes once it hits the green zone to make sure it reaches its maximum internal charge. From start to finish, it should take you less than four hours to completely power up the Mimo Tube.

Once it is charged, it’s ready to use on any compatible devices. I tested it on my iPhone 4S as well as my iPod, and it worked very well, offering a steady and consistent charge. The tube claims it can offer 1.5 full charges to devices before it needs to be charged again, and I can confirm that number, although a lot of that depends on how much power you had to begin with on your devices. For example, if your phone is not totally dead, then it will definitely last longer. Otherwise, the charger delivers as promised and was definitely a boon to my dying devices.

Other chargers on the market often mimic the shape of smartphones – flat rectangles that get wider depending on how strong they become. I like the Mimo Power Tube because it is not shaped like that, and is a much more comfortable and stylish cylinder. If I want to put it in my pocket, it fits a lot nicer than a boxy charger, and is lightweight enough to not weigh down my pocket. If you put it in your bag, the shape is unmistakable and instantly recognizable.

Overall, I really love the Mimo Power Tube and highly recommend it. Shaped for people on the go with enough juice to keep your phone alive for a long time, it combines form with function to make a very fun battery charger. Costing only $30, this is a super affordable and very useful battery charger that is too good to pass up. The power tube currently comes in eleven different designs, which you can see on their website, and I can confirm that I got a sneak peek at some future designs that will add another dozen gorgeous illustrations from a line-up of amazing artists, so keep your eyes peeled for that release coming up in the fall (I was sworn to secrecy about this product so that is all I can say)!

The company is also coming out with a Battery Bot later this year, a larger battery charger that offers double the power with 5200 mAh at the tip of your fingers, and currently come in Star Wars and Adventure Time designs, as well as their own in-house designs. You can currently pre-order these on their site before their October release, as well as get $10 off the normal price, so make sure to check those out as well.

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