Last weekend, UFC middleweight title contender Chris Weidman was in Toronto. I did an interview with him for CagePotato.com viewable below.
You can read more quotes from the interview at CagePotato.com.
Just wrote a well-received (100 Facebook likes so far!) piece for CagePotato.com, Enter the McDojo: My Experience With the Bullshit Culture of ‘Traditional’ Martial Arts:
A revolution is something that changes the system in a radical way. It’s an advancement that brings new ideas to the forefront. In many ways, this was what UFC 1 was. Organized by Rorian Gracie, Art Davie, and Bob Meyrowitz of Semaphore Entertainment Group, martial artists from a variety of styles were called upon to prove the superiority of their art by entering an eight-man elimination tournament at a November 12, 1993, event hosted in Denver, Colorado.
Many MMA fans know about the legend of Royce Gracie defeating professional boxer Art Jimmerson, Pancrase fighter Ken Shamrock and Savate champion Gerard Gordeau in one night to be crowned the first ever UFC tournament champion. But now, nearly 20 years after that historic event occurred, how much “truth” about how to effectively train and prepare for fights has trickled down to martial artists across the globe?
Sure, there are growing numbers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools and a resurgence of interest in Muay Thai or other stand-up styles suited for MMA across North America. But the same old “McDojo” styles consisting of impractical or untested methods are just as prevalent today as they were decades ago before the inception of the UFC…
Read the full article here
Many thanks to Chris Leslie of MMAFrenzy.com for giving Pound for Pound a great review:
The book’s opening section on UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre seems particularly relevant in the wake of his recent title defense at UFC 158 and the attacks on the champ’s persona by opponent Nick Diaz.
If you recall the lead-up to UFC 158, Nick Diaz made assertions that St-Pierre had an easy life, saying that he was “pampered,” etc. This, of course, could not be further from the truth regarding Georges St-Pierre’s true beginnings.
Also worth reading, is a great interview that I did with Leslie, made all the better by his educated questions:
MMAFrenzy.com: One of the most fascinating personalities in the book, to me, was that of Fedor Emelianenko’s former manager Miro Mijatovic. What was it like hearing this story?
Brian D’Souza: Miro Mijatovic appeared on the debut episode of the Spike TV show MMA Uncensored that aired on February 23, 2012. This was the first time he really talked to the public about what had gone on in Japan regarding his management of Fedor, Cro Cop and the fall of PRIDE. My own personal takeaway was that Mijatovic had remarkable business acumen, not only in securing the best financial deals possible for his clients, but also in working to increase the amount of leverage and security the fighters he promoted would have well into the future. Like “Tall Poppy Syndrome,” sometimes your reward for high achievement is for people to come at you and try to destroy you, which is what happened to Mijatovic. The Al Capone character in The Untouchables has his famous line, “When you got an all-out prizefight, you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing. That’s how you know who won.” PRIDE is dead, but despite the contracts that were put on his life, Miro Mijatovic is still alive.
Many thanks to Matt Kaplowitz from TheFightNerd.com for not only doing a Q & A with me about the making of Pound for Pound: The Modern Gladiators of Mixed Martial Arts, but also in giving the book a stellar review.
I enjoyed the section on BJ Penn, as he has been part of the sport from a very early time, and became a major player quickly. Here, we learn about the meteoric rise of the Hawaiian native and get some insight on some of his biggest fights and moments in the UFC. GSP’s section is also very revealing, and shows readers the different emotional states that the current UFC welterweight champ has gone through before he became the dominant fighter he is now. Fans who have heard other fighters call St. Pierre a “mental midget” or other names will now understand just why he was insulted like that, and how he has matured and grown since then (which I found more interesting than reading about his fights). The chapter that I think all fans will love (and must read) is the part on Fedor Emelianenko, which was meticulously researched and will shock fans with some of the stories not about “The Last Emperor”, but about the final days of Pride FC. I would love to tell you more, but they would be huge spoilers, so you need to read it for yourself!
Read the entire review at TheFightNerd.com here: http://www.thefightnerd.com/pound-for-pound-the-modern-gladiators-of-mixed-martial-arts-book-review/
Television, radio and internet personality “Showdown” Joe Ferraro had a chat with me that appeared on his radio show. I did the second and third segments of the show after UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s current head trainer Firas Zahabi.
The book and part of the radio interview were aired on the Sportsnet television program UFC Connected. This can be heard at 4:48 in the video here: http://www.sportsnet.ca/mma/ufc/ufc-central-mar-25-part-i/
Thanks to Kid Nate from BloodyElbow.com for this stellar review of the book:
I just finished reading Brian J. D’Souza’s Pound for Pound: The Modern Gladiators of Mixed Martial Arts and have to strongly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about what goes on backstage in the lives and careers of MMA’s top athletes.
The book focuses on five of the greatest martial artists in the sport’s history including UFC champs B.J. Penn, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as well as Pride legend Fedor Emelianenko. I consider myself someone who follows the sport extremely closely and has since its inception in the early 1990s but this book had a TON of new facts, new stories and new insights into what really happens in the MMA business…
Read the full review at BloodyElbow.com here.
Also check out the MMA Tete-a-tete that I did with Kid Nate in the video below discussing the sorry state of MMA management, which fighters will end up broke and other topics:
FightOpinion.com transcribed part of the interview here:
NATE WILCOX: “Do you think we’ve seen the end of BJ Penn?”
BRIAN J. D’SOUZA: “He’s got some kind of surgery for his cataracts or something and apparently there is something put into his eye. He probably can’t spar safely or he’s taking a risk, he’ll be out a year or two while he’s having this surgery done. Fighters don’t want to retire. In the back of his mind, he’s looking at these new Lightweights and he’s saying to himself, “I can kick every one of their asses.” That’s the dialogue I think he’s having in his head. You hear Larry Holmes say this all the time, “the new Heavyweights ain’t shit, I can kick this guy’s ass.” Larry Holmes comes back when he’s old to beat up Butterbean and he does it. He does it. I wouldn’t count a comeback like that out of BJ. So, within a couple of years maybe, yeah, we’ll probably see it. I really believe it, surgery or not.”
NATE WILCOX: “BJ’s done pretty well for himself financially in his MMA career. He’s also got some inherited wealth. What’s your bet for the Joe Louis %, any chance, what’s the odds BJ Penn ends up in the men’s room handing out mints?”
BRIAN J. D’SOUZA: “Zero percent, zero percent, and the reason this is is because his Dad is a smart man and his brothers are smart men. BJ has his own web site. When you read BJ Penn’s book, OK, I remember when I met Georges (St. Pierre) I started talking about Larry Holmes but when I met Jon Jones I think I mentioned BJ’s book and, “hey, have you read his book, do you know what’s in there?” because BJ really is a smart guy, OK? He has got some good net wealth. He even has a deal with the UFC for the UFC gyms, so he’s making money from them with the UFC gym in Hawaii and this came about after Weintraub was thrown over the boat. So, you see, BJ’s not… whatever you think of his fighting, he’s the winner in my mind because I believe behind the scenes he’s done all the right things. Zero percent chance he’s broke. *laughs*”
Listen to me talk with host Greg DeLong on his show Inside the Cage Radio discussing why I selected the five fighters for Pound for Pound, how I got into writing about MMA, shady dealings in Japan and more. Link to the podcast is available here.
Wrote a new article for CagePotato.com on the subject of how mixed martial arts is (or isn’t) covered by the MMA media:
There are many contentious subjects in mixed martial arts, from the use of performance enhancing drugs to the corruption and ineptitude of various athletic commissions. Before the issues come into focus, they are often filtered by the entity that draws an epic amount of criticism within the sport itself — the so-called “MMA media.”
Yet far from being a homogonous group of “bloggers,” “hacks,” or “shills,” the public would be surprised to learn that there are actually different individuals that comprise the MMA media. Some were drawn to MMA because they love the sport, others were assigned to cover the UFC by their editors, but whether they’re writing as a hobby or as part of the special entourage of writers who get the best seats at shows and special events, the MMA media operates under circumstances that directly impedes their ability to report accurate and truthful stories.
Read more here
The team at MMATorch.com invited me on their radio show this evening to chat about the most compelling subject of Pound for Pound, the potential for a GSP-Anderson Silva fight, my views on the emergence of the lighter-weight divisions and find out what I’ve been up to lately:
Join MMATorch.com editor Jamie Penick, columnist Rich Hansen, and columnist Matt Pelkey for a weekly 90-minute conversation on the latest news in the world of mixed martial arts. On today’s episode, they review UFC 156, and welcome Brian D’Souza, MMA writer and author of “Pound for Pound: The Modern Gladiators of Mixed Martial Arts.”
Listen to the show here (Brian J. D’Souza interview starts at 29:00)
Words that few can say, outside several amateur boxers, highly decorated pros like James “Buster” Douglas, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, and journeymen like Danny Williams, or in this specific case, Kevin McBride.
A new 12-minute documentary by Joshua Z. Weinstein uncovers the legacy (or lack thereof) of Irishman Kevin McBride:
Said Weinstein to ESPN, “It’s a film about a man whose greatest achievements are behind him…But boxing, the only thing McBride ever learned to do well, is how he defines himself. These polarizing ideas are what the film seeks to explore.”
As sadly as the story ends for Kevin McBride, it doesn’t seem much better for Mike Tyson, who ended his career with both his finances and reputation in serious states of disrepair.
The short documentary is a touching reminder of what’s at stake each and every day that we live. That great opportunities don’t come around often, and when they do, we can’t always make it to the next level.