Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whitlock’s logic on “NBA prison culture” doesn’t apply to Shaq’s rap?

Jason Whitlock appeared this week on Best Damn Sports Show…Period and attempted to make the case that Shaquille O’Neal’s recent freestyle rap blasting Kobe Bryant was “funny,” a “joke” and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Whitlock on Shaq, Imus
Whitlock on Shaq, Imus

I agree, the rap was funny. But it was also entirely inappropriate, if we apply Whitlock’s own logic for how an NBA player ought to be conducting himself.

In his April 2, 2008 column “Am I supposed to be mad about LeBron?”, Whitlock was more concerned about LeBron James “prison” ink than how Vogue magazine supposedly captured him looking like “King Kong clutching Fay Wray” on its cover. Whitlock has repeatedly taken LeBron to task for not meeting all of his potential, not as an athlete, but as a role model.

"You know, when he covered his body in tatts years ago, mimicking a death-row inmate, LeBron invited people to jump to the conclusion that he’s dangerous. Yeah, that’s the way the image-is-everything game is played. Ink is a prison and gang thing. Don’t act like you don’t know the origin of the current fad … Showing up to work in a white T and iced-out (heavy jewelry) was their way of showing loyalty to their boys in the ‘hood, a shout-out to the corner boys and girls."

His point was further elaborated in his May 29, 2008 column “In NBA playoffs, less ink means more viewers.” Here, Whitlock speculates that one very important (yet not discussed) reason for the resurgence in TV ratings for the NBA playoffs is because of the lack of ink displayed by the majority of players left in the conference playoffs:

"Part of the reason more people are watching these playoffs is because the average fan isn’t constantly repulsed by the appearance of most of the players on the court. Most of the key players left in the playoffs don’t look like recent prison parolees …

"No one wants to watch Delonte West or Larry Hughes play basketball. It’s uncomfortable and disconcerting. You don’t want your kids to see it. You don’t want your kids to think they should decorate their neck, arms, hands, chest and legs in paint. You don’t want to waste time explaining to your kids that some millionaire athletes have so little genuine self-confidence that they find it necessary to cover themselves in tattoos as a way to mask their insecurities."

Personally, when I think of tattoos, I don’t think of prison. At least, that’s not the first thing I think of. I think of S&M calendar pin-up girls in a dirty mechanic’s body shop. I think of grease monkeys in general. I also think of biker gangs like the Hell’s Angels (not too far away from prison inmates, I suppose). I think of dirty rock-n-rollers like Guns N’ Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and all the countless emo bands clogging up the airwaves. I think of frat boys with generic barbed wire wrap-around tattoos on their biceps. Sometimes I even think of aboriginal tribes.

But yes, eventually, I do admit that I think of prison inmates. I absolutely do. However, given their depth on my list, I wouldn’t necessarily say that they have sparked “the current fad”—at least not in the white community, which is not nearly as affected as the black community by the disproportional targeting of its youth by the criminal justice system.

White people, generally, do not get tattoos so they can look tough like prison inmates. They get tattoos so they can look tough like rockstars … or tough like athletes … who may or may not, in turn, be mimicking prison inmates, I don’t know.

But my point is this: If Whitlock were David Stern, he would (in his own words) “commission Nike and/or Under Armor to create a basketball jersey with long sleeves, all the way down to the wrists. I’d make Iverson wear a turtleneck jersey with sleeves. I’d cover the tats.”

This so that the league does not continue to perpetuate the “prison inmate” ideal.

So what about Shaq’s rap?

In his freestyle, Shaq says two things that he should be held accountable for—even by Whitlock’s own standards—1. “That’s like a white boy trying to be more ni**a than me”; and 2. “Kobe, ni**a, tell me how my ass tastes.”

At best, such language is thuggish. No one wants their kids watching a bunch of grown men walk around calling each other the N-word. Parents in both the white and the black community do not want this for their children.

But at worst, Shaq’s language is reminiscent of the same prison inmate culture that Whitlock derides.

“Hey Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes” is about power—power derived from emasculating a man in a public forum and leaving him open to ridicule. Consequently, it’s the same sort of power that’s leveraged by prison inmates when they rape other prison inmates.

Shaq is not saying, “Hey everyone, Kobe just licked my ass because he wanted to.” Shaq is saying, “Hey everyone, I just made Kobe like my ass.”

There’s not a lot of settings in today’s culture where one can get away with saying something like that without either a physical or a legal confrontation. In fact, I can only think of one setting—and here only if you have the numbers stacked heavily in your favor: prison.

I liked Shaq’s rap. I also like tattoos, despite the fact that they are trashy. And I also wouldn’t blame the NBA for asking players to cover theirs up.

If Whitlock is going to encourage the NBA to cover players’ tats, he should at least recognize how his same logic should be applied to Shaq’s recent emasculation of his former teammate as a perpetuation of the prison inmate culture. Whitlock should call for the NBA to fine Shaq … or else stop complaining about the tats.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chris Cooley is Better, Drunker than You

Wherein I breakdown this this "blog post" by Chris Cooley:

Chris Cooley is a big drunk:

Past fashionably late, she had given me way too much time to sit and drink, and I knew it would be hard not to make an ass out of myself...

...Maybe her dad brainwashed me one of the nights I passed out at her house, because no matter what happened, I was crazy about her. More likely it was her mom, since I was usually trying to impress the old man by drinking him under the table.

Chris Cooley's fiancee is a gold digger.
It was a Saturday night in the summertime and Christy was thinking about me. I would have never known what she had on her mind, but I couldn't keep my eyes off her. She confessed that it wasn't coincidence that brought her to the house and she was prepared. If looks were bait then I was hooked. She dressed to make men panic, but beyond that she was beautiful...Christy was fired from cheerleading two weeks after we started dating. Since her big paycheck ($75 a game) had come to an end, at least the sneaking around was over.

Chris Cooley's fiancee is also a tight end.

Some people are hating on Chris Cooley for having a hot NFL cheerleader fiancee, and he can't understand why, but in case things go wrong, he has a backup plan: Christy's mom.
While I can't wait to put the ring on I've had some resoundingly bad conversations over the last couple of months. Golf may have an uncountable list of ethics, though bothering a complete stranger about getting married is not one of them. First of all, I'm excited for the big day, so please don't feel sorry for me because marriage sucks for you. No, I'm not nervous, I don't want any marriage advice, and yes Christy's mom is still hot.

Based on the above evidence, and if Christy's mom won't have him, Chris Cooley can always pimp out his wife, as if he isn't already:

P.S. I think she's barely 21.

Dan Snyder may not be invited to the wedding.
It should at least be an interesting night. I've had calls from numerous wedding guests, most recently Dan Snyder's assistant asking what table they could find their seats. Obviously my easiest seating solution, anywhere you can find a chair.

(Translation: we'll send you the wedding DVD, Dan, that you can masturbate to in your barcalounger at home.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bar Fighting 101 with Bas Rutten

Mixed martial arts legend and commentator Bas Rutten is hysterical. He's also a bar fight expert.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Draft Stealers

The Steelers, with huge draft needs at offensive guard and tackle, as well as defensive line, and picking at 1.23, a slot where you are just as likely to pick a bust as a boom player, let the draft come to them and found 2 first round talents in the first and second round: Rashard Mendenhall, widely considered to be the 2nd best running back in the draft behind Darren McFadden, and Limas Sweed, a big, tall receiver who can run and is a hard worker. However, he has suffered from a nagging wrist injury that wiped out half his senior year.

Day 2, with the Steelers having 4 picks (no 7th round pick), was a day that we fans hboped would address the OL and more importantly, the DL. The Steelers have a fine starting 3some at DL, but when Aaron Smith went down, lack of depth became a huge concern. The Steelers D went from allowing 3.4 yards per carry to 4.8.

In Round 3, two excellent 3-4 DL prospects were available, Dre Moore of Maryland and Red Bryand of Texas A&M. However, the Steelers went for a DE/OLB tweener, Bruce Davis of UCLA. Those two DL prospects were taken before the Steelers picked in the 4th round, so the Steelers traded down, added another 6th round pick, and selected a talented offensive tackle, Tony Hills, who also has a significant injury history.

The Steelers last 3 picks were an injured QB (Dennis Dixon of Oregon), a thumper ILB (Mike Humpal of Iowa) and a cerebral FS (Ryan Mundy of WVU). NOne of these picks resides in the trenches, which is unfortunate.

The Steelers are still very thin on the DL (Will Ryan McBean step up and be injury free? Can Keisel hold up the point and not wear down? Will Aaron Smith be the old Aaron Smith, and will Hampton be less fat and lazy?), and lack proven starters at the interior offensive line (will Kemoatu step up? Will Colon be moved to right guard? Will Hartwig be less of a turnstile than Mahan? Will Starks and his $7 million salary start? )

The Steelers added talent and depth at major positions, and look to be better on special teams. However, they still have the same holes they did pre-draft, which is a major concern, given that they don't do much in free agency. Here's hoping some players come through for us this year--Kemo, McBean, it's time to shine.

Monday, March 31, 2008

MMAmania Interview with Kurt Pellegrino just published my recent interview with UFC Lightweight contender Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino. You can find it here.

Kurt was mighty cool to talk with. He shed some light on his upcoming fight with Nate Diaz, his "Batman" nickname and his skillz in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu.

Pellegrino/Diaz takes place this Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 13 and is free on Spike TV. It is also the lead in for the debut of The Ultimate Fighter 7 with coaches Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin.

Should be a great match-up for fans of BJJ. Both guys are incredible in the submission game.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SteelSkins UFC Power Rankings - 10th Edition

Wow, I’ve been gone for a while, spending more and more of my time over at, but wouldn’t you know it’s time to update those SteelSkins UFC Power Rankings! While it seems like forever ago since we last updated the Top 15, there has actually only been one UFC event in that time—UFC 82, which I was fortunate enough to attend live in Columbus, OH.

SteelSkins picks for UFC 82 were a good 6 – 3, but it was an easy card to score. This moves our overall record to 24 – 10. Not too shabby.

Now let’s see those Power Rankings.


Heath Herring upset Cheick Kongo to win via split decision. Herring looked great and has significantly improved his conditioning, losing a few extra pounds along the way. While we didn’t pick it, we’re happy with the upset and felt Kongo was a bit overrated due to his win over a fading Cro Cop.

In the night’s only other HW bout, Andrei Arlovski fulfilled the last fight on his contract, earning a 2nd round victory (TKO due to strikes) over the young Jake O’Brien. This was the most disappointing fight of the night. Without a contract, Arlovski had every incentive to pummel O’Brien, thereby making the case he was worth every dollar to keep. But Arlovski looked conservative in the first round and earned the occasional boo from the Columbus crowd.

I saw Jake O’Brien the night before the fight at the bar in the lobby of the hotel he was staying in. At first I thought he was drinking the night before a fight with the former HW Champion. I was shocked as he kept coming up and ordering more and more drinks for him and his entourage. Then I realized it was Jake’s twin brother ordering the drinks, and while Jake was present, he wasn’t drinking. Still, I was amazed at how young this kid is. His wrestling is very good, but his critics are right: he’s a one-trick pony who lays and prays. He’ll need to develop better striking and submissions if he ever wants to contend in the UFC.

Unfortunately, there’s really no one who deserves the #1 Contender spot in this division, and the occasionally boring Arlovski will have to do.

Only Frank Mir, Eddie Sanchez and Christian Wellisch have back-to-back wins inside the Octagon; while Arlovski has bettered that by one and is on a 3-fight win streak. He’s beaten Werdum and, more importantly, he hasn’t lost to a fighter who wasn’t named Tim Sylvia since March 2002.

Here’s to hoping the UFC resigns Arlovski, especially since Cro Cop has moved on to greener pastures in Japan, leaving the HW division thin to say the least.

In the meantime, the return of newly inducted Hall of Famer Mark “The Hammer” Coleman will have to do. We’ll see how the 43 year old does against the beast, Brock Lesnar, at UFC 87 in Minneapolis this August.

SteelSkins’ picks for Heavyweights this last month were 1-1, brining our HW total to 2-4:

  • Heath Herring def. Cheick Kongo (split decision) at UFC 82 – Our pick: Kongo (TKO – strikes, Rnd3)
  • Andrei Arlovski def. Jake O’Brien (TKO – strikes, Rnd 2) at UFC 82 – Our pick: Arlovski (TKO – strikes, Rnd1)

Upcoming Heavyweight fights currently scheduled and/or rumored include:

  • The double Octagon debut of #17 Brad Morris vs. #18 Cain Velasquez at UFC 83 (April 19) – Although he’s just 2-0, Velasquez has been lauded by his teammates as a future contender. That’s good enough for us. We’ll take Velasquez via TKO (strikes) in Rnd2
  • Christian Wellisch vs. Shane Carwin at UFC 84 (May 24) – Carwin’s debut is going to be a good one, as the 3-time NCAA Division II All-American and national wrestling champ is going to cruise to a 1st Round TKO (strikes).
  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Brandon Vera at UFC 85 (June 7) – I’d love to see Vera take this, but Werdum is for real. Werdum by decision.
  • Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Coleman at UFC 87 (August 9) – I like both these guys, and if Coleman can weather the initial storm, this could prove to be a battle. That said, we have to pick Lesnar (TKO – strikes) Rnd1

Your Top 15 Contenders are:

Light Heavyweights

There were no LHW fights since our last update, but there’s a shit ton coming up in the months ahead. We’re still 2-0 in picking fights in the division, for now.

The biggest news is Shogun Rua pulled out of his UFC 85 headliner with Chuck Liddell due to injury, and has been replaced by Rashad Evans (which temporarily left Thiago Silva without an opponent). Similarly, Stephan Bonner withdrew from his fight with Matt Hamill, and the explosive newcomer Tim Boetsch has stepped in. Oh yeah, and Wanderlei Silva is set to fight Keith Jardine. Holy shit, this is a great division!

Upcoming Light Heavyweight fights currently scheduled and/or rumored include:

  • Houston Alexander vs. #17 James Irvin at Fight Night 13 (April 2) – We’ll take Alexander (TKO – strikes) Rnd1
  • Matt Hamill vs. #18 Tim Boetsch at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Hamill (submission) Rnd2
  • Keith Jardine vs. Wanderlei Silva at UFC 84 (May 24) – We’ll take Silva (TKO – strikes) Rnd3
  • Tito Ortiz vs. Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 – We’ll take Machida (decision)
  • Thiago Silva vs. #19 Antonio Mendes at UFC 84 – We’ll take Silva (submission) Rnd1
  • Wilson Gouveia vs. #25 Goran Reljic at UFC 84 – We’ll take Reljic (submission) Rnd2
  • Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. #16 Kazuhiro Nakamura at UFC 84 – We’ll take Sokoudjou (TKO – strikes) Rnd1
  • Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans at UFC 85 (June 7) – We’ll take Liddell (decision)
  • Jason Lambert vs. #20 Luis Arthur Cane at UFC 85 – We’ll take Lambert (KO) Rnd2
  • Champion Rampage Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 (July 5) – We’ll take Griffin (decision)

Your Top 15 Contenders are:


Middleweight Champion (and pound-for-pound greatest fighter in the world) Anderson Silva defeated a game Dan Henderson in the UFC 82 main event. While we expected this to happen, we didn’t expect it to end in the second round. Hendo seemed to have won the first round with a solid game plan, but either stamina or Silva’s aggressive stand-up was too much for Hendo to take in the second, leading to his eventual submission via rear naked choke.

UFC 82 also saw the return of former MW Champ Evan Tanner to action against the always tough Yushin Okami. While we picked Tanner to win this fight, we admit it was just wishful thinking. Okami is too strong an opponent to try to shake two years worth of cage rush off against, but we’re glad to see Tanner back in the cage regardless.

Rounding out UFC 82’s MW card, Chris “The Crippler” Leben slugged it out with Alessio Sakara and came out the victory. Hate to say we told ya so, but…

Martin Kampmann was rescued from being dropped from the SteelSkins Top 15 (is there a worse fate?) and is slated to return at UFC 85 vs. Jorge Rivera. His prolonged knee injury is apparently on the up-and-up, which is a good thing because he hasn’t fought since March 2007. He now gets to shake the cage rust off against Rivera, who’s coming off an explosive 1st Round TKO victory over TUF3 Champion Kendall Grove.

Our record for picking Middleweight fights this past month was 2-1, moving our MW total to 4-3. Here are the recent fights, along with our picks:

  • Champ Anderson Silva def. Dan Henderson (submission, Rnd2) at UFC 82 to unify the UFC and PRIDE MW titles – Our pick: Silva (TKO – strikes) Rnd4
  • Yushin Okami def. Evan Tanner via KO in Rnd2 at UFC 82 – Our pick: Tanner (submission) Rnd3
  • Chris Leben def. #23 Alessio Sakara via TKO (strikes) in Rnd1 at UFC 82 – Our pick: Leben (TKO – strikes) Rnd2
Upcoming Middleweight fights currently scheduled and/or rumored include:
  • Former Champ Rich Franklin vs. Travis Lutter at UFC 83 (Apr. 19) – We’ll take Franklin (decision)
  • Jason MacDonald vs. #28 Joe Doerksen at UFC 83 – This is a rematch from 2005 when MacDonald won via rear naked choke. We’ll take MacDonald (submission) Rnd2
  • Michael Bisping vs. #31 Charles McCarthy at UFC 83 – We’ll take Bisping (KO) Rnd2
  • Nate Quarry vs. #30 Kalib Starnes at UFC 83 – We’ll take Quarry (TKO – strikes) Rnd3
  • Ed Herman vs. #18 Demian Maia at UFC 83 – We’ll take Herman (submission) Rnd1
  • #22 Alan Belcher vs. #35 Jason Day at UFC 83 – We’ll take Belcher (submission) Rnd2
  • #24 UFC newcomer Rousimar Palhares vs. #27 Ivan Salaverry at UFC 84 (May 24) – We’ll take Salaverry (submission) Rnd2
  • Nate Marquardt vs. #16 Thales Leites at UFC 85 (June 7) – We’ll take Marquardt (submission) Rnd2
  • Martin Kampmann vs. #23 Jorge Rivera at UFC 85 – We’ll take Kampmann (KO) Rnd2
  • TUF 7 Finale, featuring Middleweights (June 21)
  • Ricardo Almeida vs. Patrick Cote at UFC 86 (July 5) – We’ll take Cote (decision)

Your Top 15 Contenders are:


UFC 82 saw four Welterweight battles, including Jon Fitch welcoming Chris Wilson to the Octagon with a unanimous decision victory for the future title contender (big surprise); Diego Sanchez welcoming David Bielkheden to the Octagon with a first round submission (big surprise); Josh Koscheck bettering the young gun Dustin Hazelett is a fantastic slugfest; and Luigi Fioravanti out-pointing Luke Cummo (this last one surprised us).

For the second time in a row, our record for picking Welterweight fights was 3 – 1, pushing our record to 6 – 2. Here are the recent fights, along with our picks:

  • Jon Fitch def. #27 Chris Wilson (unanimous decision) at UFC 82 (March 1) – Our pick: Fitch (submission) Rnd2
  • Josh Koscheck def. Dustin Hazelett (TKO – strikes, Rnd2) at UFC 82 – Our pick: Kos (submission) Rnd3
  • Diego Sanchez def. #33 David Bielkheden (submission, Rnd1) at UFC 82 – Our pick: Sanchez (TKO – strikes) Rnd1
  • #17 Luigi Fioravanti def. Luke Cummo (unanimous decision) at UFC 82 – Our pick: Cummo (guillotine choke) Rnd2

Upcoming Welterweight fights currently scheduled and/or rumored include:

  • Karo Parisyan vs. Thiago Alves at Fight Night 13 (April 2) – We’ll take Alves (split decision)
  • #16 Tommy Spear vs. #40 Anthony Johnson at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Spear (TKO – strikes) Rnd2
  • #17 George Sotiropoulos vs. #36 Roman Mitichyan at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Sotiropoulos (submission) Rnd2
  • Champ Matt Serra vs. GSP at UFC 83 (April 19) – We’ll take GSP (TKO – strikes) Rnd3
  • #22 Jonathan Goulet vs. #34 Kuniyoshi Hironaka at UFC 83 – We’ll take Goulet (submission) Rnd2
  • #19 Jon Koppenhaver vs. #23 Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 84 (May 24) – We’ll take Koppenhaver (TKO – strikes) Rnd3
  • #38 Dong Hyun Kim makes his UFC debut vs. #41 Jason Tan at UFC 84 – We’ll take Kim (KO) Rnd2
  • The extremely dangerous BJJ black belt (but low ranked because of his 5 – 3 record and history of backing out of fights due to training injuries) #43 Jeff Joslin vs. TBD at UFC 84.
  • Marcus Davis vs. Mike Swick at UFC 85 (June 7) – We’ll take Davis (submission) Rnd2
  • #28 Jess Liaudin vs. #29 Paul Taylor at UFC 85 – We’ll take Liaudin (TKO – strikes) Rnd2
  • Ryo Chonan vs. Roan Carneiro at UFC 85 – This is a rematch from a 2005 DEEP event, where Chonan won via 3rd Round TKO due to a cut. We’ll take Chonan (submission) Rnd3
  • Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti at TUF7 Finale (June 21) – We’ll take Sanchez (decision)
  • Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett at TUF7 Finale – We’ll take Hazelett (submission) Rnd3
  • Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle at UFC 86 (July 5) – This one is still in the rumor stage, but we’d love to see it happen. Would Kos risk standing with the former boxer? We’ll take Lytle (KO) Rnd2
  • #30 Ben Saunders vs. TBD at UFC 86

Your Top 15 Contenders are:


There was one Lightweight fight at UFC 82, which we picked correctly, pushing our overall record for the division to a stellar 11 – 1. Here are the recent fights, along with our picks:

  • #23 Jorge Gurgel def. #35 John Halverson (unanimous decision) at UFC 82 (Mar. 1) – Our pick: Gurgel (submission) Rnd3

Upcoming Lightweight fights currently scheduled and/or rumored include:

  • Kenny Florian vs. Joe Lauzon at Fight Night 13 (April 2) – We’ll take Florian (submission) Rnd2
  • Frankie Edgar vs. #24 Gray Maynard at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Edgar (TKO – strikes) Rnd2
  • Din Thomas vs. #21 Josh Neer at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Thomas (TKO – strikes) Rnd2
  • Clay Guida vs. #38 Samy Schiavo at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Guida (submission) Rnd3
  • Kurt Pellegrino vs. Nate Diaz at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Diaz (submission) Rnd2
  • Marcus Aurelio vs. #35 Ryan Roberts at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Aurelio (submission) Rnd1
  • #23 Manny Gamburyan vs. #50 Jeff Cox at Fight Night 13 – We’ll take Gamburyan (decision)
  • #16 Mac Danzig vs. #34 Mark Bocek at UFC 83 (April 19) – We’ll take Danzig (submission) Rnd2
  • #19 Sam Stout vs. #22 Rich Clementi at UFC 83 – We’ll take Clementi (TKO – strikes) Rnd3
  • Champion B.J. Penn vs. former Champ Sean Sherk at UFC 84 (May 24) – We’ll take Penn (submission) Rnd3
  • #18 Jeremy Stephens vs. #31 Terry Etim at UFC 84 – We’ll take Stephens (decision)
  • Thiago Tavares vs. #26 Matt Wiman at UFC 85 (June 7) – We’ll take Tavares (TKO –strikes) Rnd1
  • Joe Stevenson vs. #17 Gleison Tibau at UFC 86 (July 5) – We’ll take Stevenson (submission) Rnd2
  • #29 Cole Miller vs. TBD at UFC 86
  • #36 Corey Hill vs. #41 Justin Buchholz at UFC 86 – We’ll take Hill (decision)
  • #52 Steve Bruno vs. TBD at UFC 86

Your Top 15 Contenders are:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Interview with Karo "The Heat" Parisyan

Yo yo yo, so yesterday, I talked with Karo Parisyan on the phone. I got a chance to ask him how he's been preparing for his upcoming fight with slugger Thiago Alves (it takes place Wednesday, April 2 at UFC Fight Night 13).

I also asked him how he felt about the title picture, now that top contender Jon Fitch is cramping his style, moving in on that title shot that Karo feels should belong to him.

I also asked him about the Diaz brothers and if there's any bad blood between them and him. Because, let's face it, no Karo interview would be complete without that.

Anyway, check it out at