The Fight Nerd

January 16, 2015

Hasbro says “No New GI Joe’s at Toy Fair 2015″

Filed under: Nerd Stuff — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 8:46 PM

With recent news about G.I. Joe getting a new brand manager for 2015 in the form of Mark Weber, who comes from Hasbro’s Transformers brand team, Toy News International reached out to the folks at Hasbro to see if they had plans to debut any new Joe’s at the upcoming New York Toy Fair in February. Here is what they said.

“With Toy Fair approaching and Hasbro’s annual Entertainment Brand Preview Day scheduled for Saturday, February 14th, we wanted to reach out and clarify that G.I. Joe will not be part of Hasbro’s presence at this year’s show.”

They did clarify, however, that there will be something planned for the annual GI Joe convention, “JoeCon”, which will be held this year in Springfield, Illinois from April 9-12.

gi joe

Last year, Hasbro was not present at JoeCon, so for GI Joe fans, it is great news to hear they are coming to their big show. Even better for them is that they have something planned (Toy News I believes it may be related to a third movie). The bad news is that there will be nothing new in 2015 on mainstream shelves, marking the first time in a long time that there are no new Joe’s in brick-and-mortar stores. We will be at the Hasbro event at NY Toy Fair 2015 and will see what the company has to say (or perhaps if they have a secret tease for us that may not be a physical item but some concrete news).

As a child of the ’80’s, GI Joe was a big part of my youth and I have collected these figures casually on and off. Even though I may not be part of the fanbase, I support the line and hope that it makes a comeback, but with no cartoon on TV and a new movie still a year away, it is unfortunate that there is no new product. I personally hope Hasbro teams up with IDW to do new figures based on that “GI Joe VS Transformers” comic, AKA my favorite comic of 2014 that is not named “Ms Marvel”, but that is sadly a pipe dream.

Yo Joe!

January 15, 2015

Josh Barnett on Jon Jones cocaine story, analyzes Werdum vs. Velasquez

Filed under: Interviews,Lead Story,Videos — Tags: , , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:38 AM

While interviewing Josh Barnett to promote his role as commentator alongside Mauro Ranallo on the “New Japan Pro Wrestling” show for AXS TV (that premieres on January 16), the topic of MMA was bound to come up eventually.

Barnett did not have much to say in terms of news when it came to what is next for his fighting career, but we did discuss whether or not Bellator MMA under Scott Coker could be seen as an equal in the industry, or even surpass the UFC, as well as some awesome fight analysis of the potential Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum heavyweight title fight that is bound to happen soon.

While Barnett was not ready to necessarily predict a winner of the fight, he did offer some big insight on the key points to what could affect the outcome of the bout. “Werdum is known to be quite good on the ground and I don’t know, I actually don’t believe he would have any hesitation in throwing big knees and kicks,” Barnett stated. “It’s the usual sort of thing where he might say, well, you know, ‘I don’t want that guy to have the opportunity to punch me so I will let him take me down,’ don’t think he would even be concerned in the least by being taken down by Cain. And that, potentially, could be his downfall.”

“You don’t let a wrestler like that control you, hit you, stifle you. I mean, as good as Werdum is, Cain is just as strong, a bit faster, and if all he is doing is shutting down any hand control, just keeping hand control… and just establishing good posture and stays in his face, just keeps chipping away on him, back up on the feet, hits him on top, puts him on the cage, hangs on him, punches on him a bit, they break, gets back in again and just keeps controlling, controlling, controlling… eventually, Werdum is going to get a bit too tired to get any offense on. So if I am Werdum… do throw knees, do try to lure him into that shot on purpose so you can fire something off up the middle… if you can’t find what you want, don’t hang out, get moving. But we got to get those guys in the ring and see what happens.”

Barnett also had some thoughts in regards to the big story of Jon Jones testing positive for cocaine use before his fight at UFC 182 against Daniel Cormier, and gave us one of the best versions of a “no comment” answer that MMA has ever had. “I am neither the disciplinarian for the UFC or the NSAC so I will let them do what they see best. Even so, my opinion wont really make any difference. As far as Jones doing coke, i heard once from a very wise man that is was a hell of a drug. So, I am likely to believe him, especially since he wrote some really classic songs like “Super Freak” and he also created the Mary Jane girls, and anybody that has that kind of talent is well worth listening to. I hope it was off of a very righteous rack of tits. I suppose what’s done is done and there is no going back on it now, and the firestorm that will come from it still perhaps has not even reached its peak.”

January 14, 2015

Josh Barnett: “MMA in Japan is not Dead”, talks new role with NJPW

If there is one American fighter with his pulse on the Japanese combat sports beat, it would be Josh Barnett. I spoke with “The Warmaster” recently to discuss his new role as an english-speaking commentator alongside Mauro Ranallo on AXS TV’s “New Japan Pro Wrestling” show, which debuts January 16, and the topic quickly went into whether or not Japanese MMA was completely dead, and if it could ever attain the same status that Pride FC once held as top promotion in the country.

Barnett was adamant that the sport has not seen its last days, and that pro wrestling is currently enjoying a huge boost in popularity, which could be leveraged to help push MMA back into the limelight. “It’s tough, every country that you go to, culturally, is not going to respond to everything in the same way,” Barnett said. “What may barely register in one culture will completely set an industry back in another, and that’s just really the way of the world. But I think that Japanese MMA is making somewhat of a resurgence and I think that pro wrestling can be a big help to that, especially if some of those wrestlers are potential fighters as well, and that is actually very tough to come by. But it can be great for cross-over work. Also, the fight industry is always, whether they want to admit it or not, has always had some reliance on the professional wrestling industry, and the pro wrestling industry has been hurting and the fight industry has been hurting even more so.”

He continued, “There is a potential to bring back a big company but it’s not so easy to say well, we are just going to reach out to these guys and they’re just going to love it, not necessarily. It’s not so easy to say we are going to put in these foreign heavyweights and they are going to batter each other and we are going to love it. That is not so easy either. Part of that I think is because Japanese fans, or the ones that you are trying to reach to immediately, they’ve already seen pretty much everything that you can throw at them, so it’s tough to bring MMA back into the status that it was, but it isn’t dead. Far from dead. And pro wrestling being great right now is fantastic for the bis overall, it’s great not just for NJPW but for every pro wrestling company out there. I personally am an IGF guy, and I am working with them right now… I want to see all of those companies be successful because in the end, it’s just going to help everybody.”

Josh also discussed his excitement to be part of this commentary team for the NJPW show, and broke down his performance at this year’s Inoki Bom Ba Ye, where he tag-teamed with Naoya Ogawa to take on Kazuyuki Fujita and Ikuhiza Minowa, who had just returned to action after a rough leg injury in this pro wrestling bout of former Pride FC veterans.

Originally posted on Bloodyelbow.com

January 11, 2015

Royce Gracie talks CM Punk, ‘Rampage’ Jackson & Old School UFC

Royce Gracie is one of the men that built MMA, and has a very zen-like approach when it comes to discussing the sport. In the second part of this two-part interview (the first installment being where Royce said “acting is harder than fighting”), Gracie talks about some current events in the sport, as well as some old school history.

As a brand ambassador for Bellator MMA, Royce told us he was looking forward to seeing Georgi Karakhyan fighting soon, as well as the entire upcoming “British Invasion card” in Connecticut at Mohegan Sun. On the topic of Bellator, Royce felt that Quinton Jackson may have jumped the gun too quick when he recently signed with the UFC while also still having a deal with Bellator. “I’m not sure about his contract deal… but he has two fights left in Bellator. He should finish that, get rid of your contract and then move on.”

When it came to the topic of CM Punk in the UFC, Royce has a wait and see mentality about the former WWE champion. “Well, we will find out, we will find out. I mean, it’s a little different, i mean he is going to get punched in the face for real now, i know those guys they connect with each other when they slap with open hands, but this one is for real. We are going to see. He might come in and beat everybody up, not even take a punch. But if he comes in and takes a beating, we will see where his heart is at, if he wants to continue in that or just go back to the WWE.”

Gracie also gave us his thoughts on the UFC’s new deal with Reebok, and told us who his toughest opponent was in the early days of the SEG-era UFC (this answer might surprise a lot of you, and make others groan), and explained what happened during the time he left the UFC in 1995 and before he went to Pride FC to enter the Pride FC Grand Prix.

Originally posted on bloodyelbow.com

January 10, 2015

Mauro Ranallo frustrated with Jon Jones & drugs in MMA + Pro Wrestling Dream Matches

Mauro Ranallo has been present first-hand for some of the greatest times in MMA and continues to be a top commentator and analyst in the sport. However, that does not mean that someone so deeply immersed in the professional side of the sport can not be as angry and confused like us fans are when they heard about Jon Jones’ positive drug test for Cocaine.

While discussing Ranallo’s new job as one-half of the English-speaking commentary team on AXS TV’s “New Japan Pro Wrestling” alongside Josh Barnett (which premieres January 16) we meandered over to the topic of MMA and Jon Jones, which Ranallo had plenty to say about:

“It’s devastating, it’s shocking and it’s obviously not a great way to kick off the year in MMA. MMA, a sport that I have been involved in for over a decade, I love MMA… it doesn’t matter if its a local show or Pride FC or the UFC, I have covered it at every level, I have called matches at ever level and every time i start commentating a match, I realize just how incredible these people are that are putting their lives on the lines and showcasing their skills. And to see one of the best ever, a guy at the age of 27… Jones has had a history of making these kinds of mistakes.

We all make mistakes, we all do idiotic things but he is a guy with plenty of responsibility. As the old saying goes, with plenty of power comes plenty of responsibilities. He has brands to worry about… he is the UFC light heavyweight champion, and for him to test positive for metabolites and cocaine, which don’t even get me started on what the commission and how the UFC has handled this because, frankly, I am very confused and very frustrated, and I have had conversations in the past with the NSAC about how they deal with certain things, and you know, when you follow the WADA code where other competitions drug testing, they don’t test for recreational drugs like cocaine or marijuana, so the fact that now the commission is saying it was an anomaly or an oversight, there has to be hell to pay here in many ways.

And while the UFC code of conduct covers substance abuse and all this stuff that is detrimental to the PR and reputation of the company, I know a lot of people are frustrated that Dana White, when Jon Jones pulled out of UFC 152… Dana White railed against him, and now here he tests positive for cocaine and stands firmly in support of him and so at the end of the day, i am no one to judge… but because of the profile and because of who he is, I wish him the best… but there does have to be some repercussions regardless of what the rules are going.

The commission and the UFC had to have known December fourth when the results came out… and a guy who was already a very polarizing personality… now I wonder what the future holds and whether this is going to be all but forgotten and soon enough, we continue, because there seems to be some double standards when you look at the marijuana tests, when you look at the people that have been fired for far less egregious situations… when you look at it from the way it is now, it was out of competition drug test, out of competition is 12 hours, or 12 days before the fight, and hours after the fight, so it’s a mess… I really love the sport of MMA but boy, does this sport really do a good job of shooting itself in the foot and when it comes to performance enhancing drugs and drugs of any type, it needs to be eradicated and the commissions need to be overhauled and everyone has got to be on the same page or what’s the point? It’s not good.”

Ranallo had plenty more to say on the topic as you will hear in the video above, which he discusses after we do some fantasy booking for pro wrestling dream matches.

For those readers that are also fans of Pro Wrestling, especially Japanese Pro Wrestling, I urge you to listen to the other parts of this interview I conducted with Mauro, such as this one below where he discusses his roots in pro wrestling, explains the big storyline between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, and tells us why MMA fans should watch NJPW, why they will love it, and how it is nothing like the product that WWE produces:

In this part below, Mauro and I review Wrestle Kingdom 9, which is the NJPW equivalent of “Wrestlemania” and already considered one of the best NJPW shows ever:

Hot Toys teases new Ultron sixth-scale figure, we drool a lot

Filed under: Nerd Stuff — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 5:06 PM

Hot Toys, makers of gorgeous 12-inch figures that cost you an arm, leg, and a mortgage on your home, sent out an e-mail with the cryptic message of “”There are no strings on me.”The Age of Ultron is coming!” They also sent along the picture that you see below in an oversized pic, which is one of our first clear looks at the titular villain of the next Avengers flick.

hot toys ultron tease

While it is early to say much about it, I believe we can all collectively let out a nerdgasm over this one.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is slated for theatres later this Summer, and I am sure we will hear more about this figure well before that movie is out.

Mezco unveils details for “One: 12 Collective – Judge Dredd” figure

Filed under: Nerd Stuff — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 11:41 AM

Ripped from Rebellion’s award winning comic is Mega-City One’s most notorious Street Judge, Judge Dredd. Some time in the near future Mega City One is part of what is left of a dystopian society and the law is upheld by Judges. Charged with the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner Street Judges are on the front line of maintaining order in a post apocalyptic world.

Working closely with Rebellion and comic book artist Ben Willsher to design the most accurate figure possible based on the characters current look the One:12 Collective has crafted a finely detailed figure with some truly amazing features. The Judge Dredd figure has a comic accurate, digitally sculpted likeness, a specially silkscreened spandex uniform with a real working zipper to create a realism at this scale not seen before and numerous accessories as well as interchangeable parts.

judge_dredd one12 mezco

The One:12 Collective Judge Dredd features:

– Iconic helmet with translucent visor

– Real leather-like fabric uniform

– Equipment belt with working compartments for grenades and ammo magazine

– Boots with holster and knife sheath

– Boot knife

-Handcuffs

– Lawgiver pistol

– Lawgiver ammo magazine

– Daystick

– Two grenades

– One set of fists

– One gun/holding hand

– One open hand

– One pointing hand

– One choking hand

– Display base and posing post

Each figure is packaged in a deluxe, fifth panel window box with translucent acetate slipcover. Designed for collector convenience, the packaging allows for both maximum protection as well as ease of removal for display.

Judge Dredd brings law to stores in 2015 and is available for pre-order at this link here

January 9, 2015

Mauro Ranallo & The Fight Nerd review NJPW’s “Wrestle Kingdom 9″

The Fight Nerd caught up with one of the busiest men in MMA, Mauro Ranallo, who was a commentator for Pride FC, Elite XC, and Strikeforce, and currently commentates for Glory Kickboxing and Invicta FC, as well as being part of the english commentary team for AXS TV’s New Japan Pro Wrestling show, premiering January 16.

In part two of this three part interview, Mauro and I break down and review NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9, by running through the show and the great matches there, and discuss why we think Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kota Ibushi stole the show. We also discuss what is next for Hiroshi Tanahashi now that he has retained the IWGP title and the threat that AJ Styles poses for that championship, and more on the differences between Japanese pro wrestling (puroresu) against the American product.

NJPW photos courtesy of AXS TV and TV Asahi Corporation

Moraes defends bantamweight title against Hill at WSOF 18

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:33 AM

Reigning World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) world bantamweight (135 pounds) champion Marlon Moraes (13-4-1) of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. via Nova Friburgo, Brazil will put his coveted Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) title on the line for the first time against undefeated rival Josh Hill (10-0) of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in the main event of a stacked, four-fight, live NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) telecast from the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Thursday, February 12.

“This is an incredible matchup between two of the world’s top 135 pound fighters that we have been looking to put together for the last several months and, now that it is finally here, we will see who the superior fighter is on February 13,” said WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

In the featherweight (145 pounds) co-main event, a red-hot Chris “Gritz” Gruetzemacher (12-1) of Scottsdale, Ariz. will square off with hard-hitting puncher Antonio “Pato” Carvalho (15-6) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
World-class striker Shane “Shaolin” Campbell (10-2) of Edmonton will make his debut in the WSOF cage against brutal finisher Brandt Dewsbery (13-3-1) of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada in a welterweight (170 pounds) tilt, and unbeaten prospect Hakeem Dawodu (3-0) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada will battle Tristan Johnson (9-5) of Jordantown, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Marlon Moraes vs. Josh Hill

The 26-year-old Moraes, quickly becoming recognized as the top bantamweight fighter in the world, will enter the WSOF cage with eight consecutive victories under his belt, including a split decision over former world champion Miguel Torres, and devastating KO finishes of fellow stars Tyson Nam and Carson Beebe.

In his last effort, Moraes turned in another dominant performance – a second round (1:35) submission (rear-naked choke) of Cody Bollinger in a 140-pound catchweight contest at WSOF 13 on September 13, 2014. Moraes’ win streak dates back to December 2, 2011, when he earned a unanimous decision over Chris Manuel.

The versatile Moraes will attempt to become the first to solve the puzzle that is the 28-year-old Hill, unbeaten since he made his professional debut with a second round (1:42) TKO (punches) of Vito Attanasi on October 10, 2009.
After a 22-month hiatus, Hill, known for his superior wrestling base, made a thunderous return to action on June 7, 2014 at WSOF Canada 2, scoring a first-round (4:20) KO (punch) on Mike Adams.

Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Antonio Carvalho

The 28-year-old Gruetzemacher is riding a spectacular 11-fight win streak that began with his split decision win over Josh Gaskins on April 11, 2009. A power striker with considerable ground skills, Gruetzemacher has, to date, claimed 6 of his 12 career wins by (T)KO and 3 by way of submission.

On March 29, 2014, Gruetzemacher made his WSOF debut, earning a unanimous decision over renowned submission expert John Gunderson. The bout represented the first time in over four years that Gruetzemacher was taken the distance of a fight.

Carvalho will make his much-anticipated debut in the WSOF cage after an extended layoff from competition that began after the 35-year-old suffered a first round (3:06) TKO (punches) at the hands of Darren Elkins, as a result of what many believe was a controversial stoppage by the referee, on March 16, 2013. To date, 10 of Carvalho’s 15 career wins have come by way of (T)KO or submission.

Prior to the defeat, Carvalho reeled off back-to-back victories in the UFC over Daniel Pineda and Rodrigo Damm on July 21, 2012 and November 17, 2012, respectively.

moraes vs hill

Shane Campbell vs. Brandt Dewsbery

Over the course of the last nine years, the 26-year-old Campbell has distinguished himself as a force in both the MMA world and the kickboxing ring while competing all over the world.

In 2013, Campbell did damage amongst the ranks of kickboxers in three of the world’s top promotions, including K-1, winning five consecutive bouts. In both of his MMA starts in 2014, Campbell dominated with his superior striking, scoring a second round (:43) TKO (punches) on Jerrid Burke on May 9 and a second round (:29) TKO (punches) on Marcus Edwards on October 3.

With a proven ability to finish opponents both on his feet and on the ground, the 24-year-old Dewsbery arguably represents Campbell’s toughest challenge in the cage, yet. The 6-year veteran of professional MMA has, thus far, earned 6 of his 13-career wins by way of (T)KO and another 6 wins by way of submission.
Dewsbery will enter the WSOF cage for the second time in his career, in the midst of a three fight win streak that he began on February 21, 2014 with a first round (4:31) submission (rear-naked choke) of Mark Drummond. Dewsbery continued making a statement through the remainder of the year, scoring a fifth round (4:34) KO (flying knee strike) on Chase Maxwell on May 23, and a stunning, 38-second TKO (punches) on Tyler O’Brien on October 18.

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Tristan Johnson

Dawodu made his professional debut at the inaugural WSOF event in Canada on Feb. 21, 2014, scoring a thunderous first round (1:07) KO (punch) on Behrang Yousefi. The protégé of Muay Thai guru Mike Miles has since extended his unbeaten streak with two more dramatic victories, finishing Jake MacDonald by second round (:18) KO (punches) at the second WSOF Canada event on June 7, stopping Mike Malott by way of first round (4:13) TKO (punches and elbow strikes) at WSOF 14 on Oct. 11.

The hard-punching Johnson finished 2014 on a strong note, KO’ing Keven Morin with a punch in the first round (3:59) of their June 7 matchup. The 31-year-old is an eight-year veteran of the professional fight game, who ran to five consecutive victories in his first five starts before suffering his first defeat three years later, in 2010.

January 8, 2015

Glory 19 to feature welterweight tournament, Verhoeven VS Zimmerman

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 9:37 AM

GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, today announced the co-headline bout and finalized the Welterweight Contender Tournament participants for GLORY 19, completing the card set to air live on SPIKE TV at 9/8c from Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia on Friday, February 6.

The co-headline bout for GLORY 19 features an explosive clash between two top-10 kickboxers, as knockout artist and #1 ranked middleweight Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling (18-6-0, 11 KOs) takes on 21-year-old Canadian prodigy Robert “White Dragon” Thomas (7-2-0, 5 KOs), ranked #9.

Announced last week on gloryworldseries.com, Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (84-11-0, 44 KOs) returns to GLORY as a participant in the one-night, four-man Welterweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 19. Initially slated to face Murthel Groenhart, Holzen now meets relentless Russian striker Aleksandr Stetcurenko (49-8-0, 24 KOs) in the tournament’s first semifinal match-up.

Due to a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for the first half of 2014, Holzken’s most recent appearance for the organization came while conquering the Welterweight World Championship Tournament field at GLORY 13: TOKYO in December of 2013.

Also announced last week, the second tournament semifinal match-up pits American karate world champion and human highlight reel Raymond “The Real Deal” Daniels (25-1-0, 15 KOs), currently #7 in the division, up against Brazilian prospect, #6 ranked Jonatan Oliveira (20-3-0, 11 KOs).

The winners of each semifinal bout will then face off, fighting for the second and final time that evening, to earn the right to compete against reigning GLORY Welterweight World Champion “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini at a later date.

GLORY 19 is headlined by Rico Verhoeven (44-9-0, 10 KOs), defending the GLORY Heavyweight World Title against bitter rival and hard hitting veteran Errol “The Bonecrusher” Zimmerman (103-11-1, 44 KOs) in the rubber match of a trilogy that dates back to January of 2012.

glory 19

In association Veteran Operation Wellness (VOW), GLORY will host its first armed forces exhibition featuring one member of the US Navy competing against one member of the US Air Force under GLORY Rules.

VOW is a Spike campaign created to inspire veterans to make the same commitment to their health and wellness that they made to their country.

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