Monday, February 1, 2010

Santos Defends Strikeforce Women's Title - Wins By 3rd Round TKO

Monday, February 01, 2010
Article By Michael Hess

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos steam rolled through Marloes Coenen like an 18 wheeler enroute to a 3rd round TKO victory, and her first successful defense of the Strikeforce Women's Championship on Saturday night.

Expectations were high for both the Santos and Coenen camps heading into Saturday night's title fight in Sunrise, Florida, as Strikeforce featured the ladies in the co-main event from the BankAtlantic Center. Marloes Coenen, the submission grappling and kickboxing standout from the Netherlands, was to be Cris Santos' toughest test to date. Cris Santos, the Chute Boxe Academy slugger / Muay Thai head-hunter from Brazil, was looking to continue her 8 fight winning streak and further cement her place as the women's # 1 fighter at 145 pounds.

The first round started off as everyone who has ever viewed a Santos fight thought it would. An incredible pace and power were on display from the opening bell, as Coenen started off with a right kick to the body, while Santos moved forward and landed a right hand punch to the dome of Marloes. The crowd in Florida rose to their feet as Santos clinched up with her opponent, and landed several knees to the body of Coenen. Marloes, however, was not going to just sit back and get overwhelmed by the Champion, as she threw a snapping right hand punch to Santos' face, which she took without hesitation. Santos then used the opportunity to take Coenen down to the ground, and postured up out of the Marloes' guard to land numerous right hand strikes to her opponent's face. Coenen again attempted to control Santos by locking down the "Cyborg," but was unsuccessful as Santos stood up and out of her guard to drop a few more right hand punches. Coenen then used this separation to land a nice upkick, which Santos took, and then smiled at her opponent. Santos did step out of the guard, and referee Jorge Ortiz stepped between the two ladies to restart the fight on the feet. Immediately both women swung for the fences with right hands, although Santos seemed to land the more significant punch. Both women continued the exchanges, with aggressive intent, although the actual contact was glancing. "Cyborg" ended the round by landing a spinning back kick as the horn sounded.

At the start of the second round, Marloes Coenen had to know that she lost the first stanza, and she opened up with a nice left hand jab that caught Cristiane's face, although Santos fired back with a vicious right / left / right hand combination which sent Coenen scooting to the ground. Marloes then upkicked Santos again, which seemed to only irritate the Champion. "Cyborg" got inside the guard, and stacked the challenger up to land repeated right and left hand punches to the cranium. Santos showed power, and strength, as she chunked Coenen back several feet. Santos then dropped a right hand, however Coenen seemed to handle this well, as her ground defense from the guard was solid. The fast pace did not slow down, and Cris wisely stepped back to force the standup after failing to land anything worthwhile on the ground. As the match restarted, Coenen threw a lunging right, which did not land, although the two ladies continued to exchange, with Santos getting the best of it. Another punching combo from Santos caused Marloes to switch levels and attempt a takedown, which was stuffed, and the "Cyborg" then took her opponent down again. A pattern started to appear, as Santos landed some ground and pound strikes, while Coenen threw her legs up in an effort to get some sort of a submission going. Santos powered out and dropped more right hands, as well as some meaningful body strikes to end the second frame. Upon returning to her corner, Coenen's left eye showed signs of swelling and bruising, most likely from the regular dose of right hand punches from Santos.

The third round kicked off with a wonderful grappling exchange, as Coenen attempted a takedown, which Santos defended, but shortly after the Champ was driven backwards into the cage by the re-energized challenger. Cris Santos, who looked calm with her back against the cage, was able to separate from the clinch and land yet another right / left / right combo. Coenen, sensing that she needed to mount some sort of offense, went for an ill-advised takedown which saw Santos end up on top again. It was at this moment that Cris "Cyborg" Santos seemed to smell the blood in the water, and she quickly landed between 3 and 5 right hand punches to the body and mid-section of Coenen. Santos postured up in her opponent's guard, and landed numerous right hand shots to Coenen's head, although Marloes spun out after the strikes, and nicely tripped a standing Santos with a right kick to escape. Coenen threw her best punch of the night, a right hand haymaker that found it's mark, but Santos just took it and charged forward. Marloes went for another takedown, probably to control the pace, but unfortunately for her, the attempt was stuffed by Santos and the Champion ended up on top again. Santos then ended the fight with several solid right hand strikes to the head and body of her grounded opponent, and Coenen was not able to intelligently defend herself, as Jorge Ortiz called a halt to the bout at 3:40 of the 3rd round. "Cyborg" then stood up only to flop face first into the mat to celebrate her first defense of the Strikeforce Women's Championship.

All in all, Cris "Cyborg" Santos showed that she is the strongest and most ferocious female fighter on the planet with a dominating victory over her toughest test in Marloes Coenen. Santos could face Erin Toughill next, although no official announcement has been made. The fans of female MMA certainly must make note of their first Champion, who leads one to believe that a lengthy title run is in her future.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Judas Priest - Concert Review

A week or two ago Jerry asked me if I wanted to go to see Judas Priest with him. I said "they are playing the same night as the first Cowboys pre-season game!" Looking back on that statement I freaking laugh, because what I saw tonight was the pioneers of metal, and what I missed in the Cowboys game was basically nothing. Thank you Jerry for "making" me go.

This tour for Judas Priest represents the 30th anniversary of their breakthrough album British Steel, which includes their hit song "Breaking The Law." Even Beavis and Butthead know that song. The band played the entire album, front to back, to start the show, and oh my goodness what a way to begin.

I am astounded at how current the songs on this album sound, and the guitar players (Kenneth "K.K." Downing - age 57, and Glenn Tipton - age 61) must have downtuned since this 1980 release, because it sounded heavy as f*ck. There is also no doubt that they have influenced every single thrash metal band that has come out after them, because the hard driving, chugging riffs sound very familiar to me. Certain songs, like "Living After Midnight," have been completely stolen (listen to Motley Crue's "She's Got Looks That Kill" and tell me they didn't rip Priest off), while the general sound of the band has become the format for everyone from Metallica to Quiet Riot.

I would also say that the band is not just a one hit wonder, because their new(er) songs sound relevant and hard. Even the lead singer, Rob Halford, now 57, delivered an extremely entertaining show, while the dualing guitar players are clearly the backbone to this dynasty. I barely even drank during the show because I was too focused on head-nodding, and that is saying something.

One minute after entering Nokia Theater, and at our first beer stand, a woman with zebra pants is standing in front of us. Nothing says 80s metal more than that.

Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas, holds a maximum of 6,000 people. I would guess that the crowd was around 4,000. Jerry and I paid $15.00 each, plus Ticketmaster (rape) surcharges, but I managed to find a way to get us to the $60 seats without a problem.

The entire show was full throttle, including the sound (my ears were cloudy at the end), and the stage theatrics. Clearly bands like Slipknot and Marilyn Manson have borrowed a thing or two from these guys.

As always, the classy ladies of metal decided to wear their skimpiest. This picture was taken as I was walking back from the restroom, and all I asked was "ladies, could you pose for a picture?" It was like no one had already asked them this question.

Near the end, after they already told us "goodnight," yet failed to turn the lights on, Rob Halford rolled out on a cruiser to play the last few songs.

All in all, I would give this show at least an 8 out of 10. It really was awesome.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Messing Around At Work

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I occasionally pull pranks on my friend and co-worker Ken while at the office. I was recently introduced to an idea involving a toilet paper roll and a person’s office by a friend, so I have stolen this concept and put it in action at my place of employment.

Attack # 1

Ken is sitting at his desk and watching a video of his arch rival Nancy Pelosi while a roll of toilet paper sits on his shelf in the upper left hand corner of this picture. He did not notice the roll of TP for at least a week when another co-worker decided to put a toner cartridge up there that got his attention and ended the prank.

Attack # 2

Haha! Number two. Get it? Anyway, this is on the other side of Ken's office, where the toilet paper roll again sat for another week without Ken noticing. This is on a different set of shelves where Ken stores his books that he never reads, but likes to have on a shelf to make him feel smart. The only books I have at work are more commonly referred to as magazines, and they are stored below the sink in the restroom.

Attack # 3

I think this one was the best so far, as the roll of toilet paper is now sitting behind a picture of Ken's friends / customers from Norway. He literally had to walk right past this every single time he went in and out of his office, although again he did not notice it for at least a week. I finally sent him the following picture via e-mail with the subject line "I Am Watching You" and he finally discovered it. Credit to fellow co-worker Kim for the idea of putting the Geico eyes on top of it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Cyborg" Santos Dominates Akano - Carano Is Next

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is the most impressive female MMA striker I have ever seen, and she dominated Hitomi Akano in a 3rd round TKO victory on the return of female MMA to national TV on Showtime's Strikeforce on Saturday, April 11th, 2009. "Cyborg" showed combination punching power, and Akano displayed an incredible chin, which also means that she got hit a lot.

The opening seconds of the fight confirmed everything that I thought about "Cyborg" Santos. She is the most powerful, strongest, and devastating, striker that I have seen in female MMA. Santos came in 7 pounds overweight at the weigh-ins on Friday, but she claimed after the fight that she had a "girl problem," and this night would be the first, and last, time that she came in overweight to a fight. In spite of the weight differential, Santos actually looked 30 pounds stronger than Akano, and nothing would change that throughout the fight.

Seconds into the first round, "Cyborg" landed kicks and punches on Akano's face that snapped her head back, and caused Akano's bob-cut hairdo to fly like a cement truck just hit a salon. Santos literally threw Akano around, and then suplexed her to the mat for side control. Akano used this opportunity to go for an armbar, her signature submission move, but Santos was just too strong, as she got out of danger and then dropped bombs from both hands after posturing up in Akano's guard. Santos then forced Akano to stand up, where Akano attempted a kick, which was caught by Santos and followed by a strong right hand punch that landed right on Akano's mouth. After the round, a winded Akano slowly walked over to her corner where Josh Barnett did as much as he could during the break.

The start of the second round had Santos stalking Hitomi, landing a nice high right kick and some punches. Akano attempted a double leg takedown, but "Cyborg" shoved it off like Akano was a kid. Santos did use the situation to land a few snapping punches to the grounded Akano's head. After the two fighters were back on their feet, Akano landed a nice left jab, which angered Santos and caused a flurry of punches, followed by a Muay Thai clinch and several knees to the body. These appeared to take the rest of whatever wind was left in Akano, as she backed toward the cage with her arms down. Cristiane stepped to her, and Akano went for a jumping armbar attempt, which was met with a blistering left hand to the grill. This desperate move left "Cyborg" in Akano's guard, and the final 1:15 of the second round were all punches landed on Akano's face, which was pinned up against the cage. I must give Akano credit, after all that punishment, she got up and walked to her corner like it was just another day at the office.

Round three kicked off with another desperate submission attempt by Akano, as she went for a rolling leg lock, but missed Santos' leg. The crowd at the HP Pavilion, also known as the Shark Tank to hockey fans, booed loudly as the move looked a little silly as Akano was left laying on her back while Santos backed up and waited for her to stand up. When she did, it was all over. Santos rushed in with punches flying from all directions, and 4 vicious right hand punches, including a nasty uppercut, dropped Akano to the mat and the referee stopped the bout while "Cyborg" climbed the cage to celebrate.

Before, during, and after the fight the ringside cameras showed Gina Carano, and after the match Santos was asked if she wanted to fight her. Santos said that she wants the belt, and if Carano is who Strikeforce wants her to face, she will "take her down." I am a big fan of Carano for more than one reason, and the crowd at the HP Pavilion went nuts every time she appeared on the jumbotron, but I fear that she will get mauled by Santos. However, it will be the biggest fight in female MMA history, and the rumor is that this bout will take place in August.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Best Case Scenario

A few months ago a local junior high school girls basketball team made the news when they routed another school 100-0. Dallas Covenant were the winners, and their coach was eventually fired because he refused to apologize for running up the score. The Hardline, which is the flagship (and highest rated) show on the Ticket (3 PM - 7 PM on 1310 AM The Ticket ), challenged this team to a game because they wanted to teach these ladies, as well as their coach, a lesson. The school, obviously trying to keep a low profile after the bad press, politely declined the exhibition match. Now, the most arrogant member of the Ticket, Corby Davidson, has called out every high school in the Dallas area, and another team has accepted. It has basically turned into a real life hypothetical question: could a group of mostly middle-aged men with 3 practices under their belts beat a high school women's team?


Lake Highlands Lady Wildcats contacted the Hardline, formally accepted the challenge, and the game is March 25th at Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU. Lake Highlands Highschool is 5A (largest ranking in Texas), they were a 2003 Women's Basketball Regional Finalist, and everyone believes that the Lady Wildcats will destroy Team Ticket.


From oldest to youngest, all of which will be starters.

Michael "Grubes" Gruber - 5' 3" - 23ish years old - Unathletic early 20s board operator with significant parental financial backing who uses the computer to play drops, or short pieces of audio (usually quotes from Ticket hosts or celebrities), as well as commercials and promotional clips. His voice usually sounds meek, and he is not known to be an active baller.

Ty Walker - 6' 4" - 28ish years old - Decent athletic ability, though he is slightly overweight, but could be a serviceable big man in this exhibition game. Conditioning could be a major factor with this guy, as his active workout schedule could be nonexistent.

Corby "The Snake" Davidson - 5' 11" - 38 years old - Easily the most athletic member of the Hardline, and co-host, as well as being the driving force behind this entire idea. His original comment, "we could dominate Dallas Covenant," is what got the ball rolling, and he still is the most confident / borderline sexist player on the Team Hardline. He has repeatedly stated that they have the advantage because they are men, and their physical makeup will lead them to victory.

Danny "The Afternoon Cloud" Balis - 6' 3" - 39 years old - Possibly a somewhat former athlete, he is now a skinny producer for the Hardline, Orphanage co-host (Saturday morning comedy show 10 AM - 12 PM), and bass player for the alt-country local band the King Bucks, with a borderline alcohol problem. Not that I am judging. He does own a Texas State Championship Football ring from Knox City where they play 7 on 7 football, and he was probably not a starter. He is the most negative person on the air, and his optimism regarding this game is undetectable to even the most observant listener.

Mike "The Old Gray Wolf" Rhyner - 6' 0" - 58 years old - Founding member of the Ticket, as well as the show's co-host, his best athletic days never occurred, and he will be the single biggest liability in this entire situation. He has a gut, runs with a very short stride that suggests he does not have the motor skills capable of running up or down the court. Doing both is not even a possibility. He is the second least confident player on Team Hardline, and the closest to dying on the court.

COACH / PLAYER - George "Jub Jub" Dunham - 6' 4" - 40 years old - Morning show co-host with above average athletic skills, although he is carrying extra weight. The big man is light on his feet, and has coached the team on basic in-bounds plays. There is no doubt that he will be able to dribble and pass well, as he has shown good fundamentals in previous sports-related Ticket events. In spite of the extra pounds, the Jubinator is easily the second most athletic person who has been connected with this team. His main contribution to the team so far has been confident comments regarding defense alignments and vocal support.


The game will be broadcast on the Ticket starting at 5:30, with Rich Philips and Gordon Keith calling the game, and I will be eagerly listening from the comfort of my home. I think the best case scenario for everyone involved is a tight game, with all the members of the Ticket showing their skills. The Ticket has recently announced that they will be allowed to have the other show hosts as subs, so add the proven skills of Bob Sturm and Craig Miller, and the Ticket should have enough fire power to balance out the scrubs like Grubes and Rhyner. I think if this game is close late, look for the Ticket to put in all their big guns, like Sturm, Walker, Balis, Davidson, and Miller. While that lineup only features 2/5 of the Hardline, it is also a squad that should stomp a girl's high school basketball team. Give me the Ticket winning a close one late 45-40.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Music Tuesday

Tuesday is an underrated day of the week, because it is the day that CDs and DVDs are released. The "street date" if you are in the know, or nerdy enough to care about music industry terms. This Tuesday the world is blessed by a new album from Lamb Of God, next Tuesday is The Prodigy's release date, and these two bands have a lot more in common (fighting band members, substance abuse problems) than you might think.


Lamb Of God are ranked # 3 on my Best Active Metal Bands list, and they are releasing their first album in almost 3 years, the highly anticipated Wrath. With the band's inner turmoil over, and lead vocalist Randy Blythe now clean and sober, the technical thrash metal titans had an advantage over their old selves while recording this new studio album. I *spoke* with their drummer, Chris Adler, and he told me "this album is going to surprise a lot of people. Typically bands that get to where we are in our career begin to slack off, smell the roses and regurgitate. We chose a different path. No one wants to hear another band member hyping a new record. ‘Wrath’ needs no hype. We have topped ourselves and on February 24 you will feel it." Oh indeed.

I have to agree with my buddy Chris, as this new album is incredible, and surprising. The opening track is an instrumental featuring acoustic guitars, and the final track is almost 7 minutes long with more acoustic guitars and audible ocean waves. Between the two are a bunch of thrash metal gifts wrapped in barbed wire and thumbtacks, especially "The Contractor" and the new catchphrase lyric "guaran-f*ckin'-teed, someone will bleed!" This album is rough and brutal, but for the metal fan, those descriptions are a good thing. It is even being called "career-defining" by the AV Club . If I were you, I would go out and buy this album today! I *aquired* the album 2 weeks ago, and I got my actual hard copy during lunch.

Chris Adler, John Campbell, Randy Blythe, Willie Adler, and Mark Morton


The Prodigy are another band that through the years has had to fight in order to remain alive. Their last album, the oft-dissed yet much listened to by this reporter, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, featured only mastermind Liam Howlett out of the group members. Now, with the bickering done and rehab completed, Maxim Reality and Keith Flint make their return to complete The Prodigy, and Invaders Must Die is set for release on March 3rd, 2009.

The album gets off to an impressive start with the title track, as a 30 second buildup starts, followed by the Speak-And-Spell voice announcing that "we are The Prodigy." Then the big beat techno kicks in, and everyone with a pulse is car-dancing, seat-dancing, or actual real dancing, like in the privacy of their kitchen with their shoes off so you can slide around in your socks with the linoleum floor. I'm just saying. Anyway, the next couple of songs continue what the guys do best, hard techno beats with the occasional short samples and vocals by Keith Flint and Maxim Reality. Even Dave Grohl makes a guest appearance on Run With The Wolves, playing the drums while Keith Flint sneers. Damn near every song is a standout, and they range from the rave techno style, to hard techno meets electro clash rock, to the finisher which is basically rap techno with a deadly horn riff that will stay in your head for a couple of days. I freaking love it. Go buy it next Tuesday!

Maxim reality, Keith Flint, and Liam Howlett

The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Hate Cold Weather

Today is Tuesday, January 27th, 2009, and it is actually somewhat cold here in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex, as the high temperature today was 32f (proof global cooling exists!) and it sort of sprinkled. Of course, this is relative, because in most of North America this weather would be a mild winter day. However, the weather projections last night on the news were "ice storms," but I have not seen any ice. Actually I can count on one hand the number of times there has been ice on the ground in DFW since I moved here over 12 years ago. Sidebar: one New Year's Eve it iced really bad, and I spent the night at Kurt's house. Things "worked out" for me in his hot tub with a young lady named Gabriella or something. Anyway. Last Friday the high was 77f (proof global warming exists!), so we don't really suffer much during the winter months, but I still complain.

The complaint is about the other people in the DFW area. They overreact like we have just been hit by a blizzard, when really, nothing has happened. Less than a year after I moved here, it snowed about 1/4 of an inch, and they closed schools all over the metroplex. People came in late to work because they "couldn't even get out of their driveway," which was a lie because I lived in an apartment, and my car was uncovered. I barely turned the defroster on and the snow melted away so quickly that I loudly accused the flakes of being imposters.

The meteorologists in the area predicted "ice storms," and we got mist. That did not stop 200+ organizations from closing or postponing after school activities for fear of the ice. Tomorrow is really supposed to be bad, because "ice threatens DFW," or that is at least what Jennifer Lopez of NBC claims. Check out the current forecast:

NBC 5 Forecast Ice Threatens DFW.
Updated 7:18 AM CST, Tue, Jan 27, 2009

An Ice Storm Warning is in effect for the Metroplex and all of North TX through Wednesday morning. Temperatures will be falling into the upper 20's by the afternoon. Moisture will move in from the south and west throughout the day and night and come up & over these 20's readings and freezing rain is expected to fall. This could cause ice to build up on power lines, roads, overpasses, etc.
TUESDAY: PM Freezing Rain Likely . 4pm:28 Winds: N 15-25mph
TUESDAY NIGHT: Freezing Rain expected. Low:25
WEDNESDAY: AM Freezing Rain, turning drier by the afternoon. . Low: 25. High 44.

Liar, sensationalist, fear monger

High of 44f?! I guess why I hate the cold is not really because it inconveniences me, but because it becomes the number one story in the area, when really the bad weather barely even exists. I WANT BAD WEATHER. I WANT TO STAY HOME FROM WORK AND PLAY VIDEO GAMES. It just sucks when they promise doom and gloom, and all we get is gloom. Come on clouds, ice this bitch!

This was a really bad weather day back on Thursday, November 30th, 2006. It snowed half an inch.