Friday, November 14, 2014

Missing Weight

Missing Weight

WOW!!! Melvin Guillard missed weight for a title fight. Really? How often are you granted a title shot that you can just miss weight? How are you supposed to impress your current employer, the World Series of Fighting or the employer you want back, the UFC when you miss weight for arguably the biggest fight of your career?


As a professional fighter, your job consists of showing up ready to make weight and then go fight. Pretty simply isn't it? Make weight, beat someone up. 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Busy Fight Weekend Wish List

So with all the numerous fights this weekend, here are the few fights I truly care about and who I hope wins.


Let's start with the Legacy Fights. The only fight on this card that I truly care about is Garcia vs Pineda. It's a battle of journeymen who have similar not-so-good records. But Leonard Garcia's rock
'em sock 'em still of fighting is always entertaining. Hope Garcia pulls off the victory.


Next up, the World Series of Fighting. There are a couple of fights here that intrigue me. First is Branch vs Okami for the middleweight title. Two former UFC vets with tons of top level experience battling for a world title. I hope Yushin Okami can pull of the victory here.

The second fight on this card that excites me is the lightweight title fight between Gaethje and
Guillard. First of all, I have never liked Melvin Guillard. I always saw him as a cocky, one dimensional fighter that bought into his own hype. He is fighting Justin Gaethje who is a young, undefeated, up-and-coming fighter. Gaethje is a killer but this will be his first true test. I hope Gaethje passes with the victory.

Finally on this card is a women's strawweight title fight. Two amazing fighters with huge winning streaks going. Jessica Aguilar is on a 9 fight win streak and her opponent, Kalindra Faria is riding an 11 fight win streak. This figures to be an exciting fight. I'd like to see Jessica Aguilar win this fight.


Also this weekend is a Bellator card that I actually care about. Multiple fights on this card have me
tuning in. First up is Nam Phan making his promotional debut againt Mike Richman. Both fighters have recently run into some tough losses and but have rebounded. But both men are definitely in transition. Whoever wins this fight I believe will move on to better things and whoever loses will likely be on their way to a new career. I'll be rooting for Nam Phan

Next on the card is Melvin Manhoef a fighter with 40 professional fights facing competition all over the world. Manhoef will be fighting a completely unknown fighter, hardly any mma experience (although he does have a moderately successful kickboxing career) and a losing (1-3) record. I mean, come on Bellator. The Ortiz vs Bonnar freak show is enough for one card, right? But I'll be watching. I hope the unknown Joe Schilling shocks the world.

This card also features King Mo Lawal looking to get back into the title hunt facing a tough Joe
Vedepo. Because of the name, I'll watch, but I expect to be bored during this fight. King Mo's lay-and-pray style is hard to sit through sometimes. I hope Joe Vedepo finds a way to shut down King Mo and steal the victory.

The co-main event is a good one. Michael Chandler vs Will Brooks for the lightweight title. This is an immediate rematch of their May battle which ended in a split decision victory for Brooks. I believe Brooks caught Chandler sleeping in the first fight and Chandler will look for redemption. I expect Michael Chandler to win in spectacular fashion over Brooks.

Finally on this card is the UFC Hall of Fame castaways, Tito Ortiz vs Stephan Bonnar. I truly don't like Tito Ortiz. Bonnar on the other hand was a favorite of mine until he got popped not once, but twice for steroids and then "fake" retired. I used to like Bonnar so I guess I hope he wins, but honestly, can I get a double KO here? Maybe they can remake this gem.

UFC 180

Speaking of the UFC, we have a PPV card this weekend. The first fight that gets me excited is Dennis Bermudez vs Ricardo Lamas. Two men with identical 14-3 records and tons of hunger. Lamas is a recent loser for the title, while Bermudez is chomping at the bit for a title shot. This fight should be an exciting technical battle. Bermudez I believe has improved more throughout his career and here is the big test in Lamas to prove it. I hope he can prove to himself and everyone else that he's a top level featherweight.

The co-main event is Jake Ellenberger vs Kelvin Gastelum. Ellenberger should be a huge favorite in
this fight. He has tons of elite level experience against a who's who in the division. Gastelum is undefeated at 9-0 but this is a major step up in competition for him. I like both fighters but with Ellenberger riding a 2 fight losing streak, I hope that Ellenberger rights the ship in a pretty decisive victory of the young up-and-comer, because if he loses his third in a row, the UFC will probably cut him loose.

Finally the main event, Mark Hunt vs Fabricio Werdum for the interim heavyweight title. Now I was indifferent to Velasquez vs Werdum, probably because I saw Cain just running through another opponent. But Hunt vs Werdum for the interim title is intriguing. Hunt has the whole almost force retired with a losing record to now fighting for the heavyweight title. That's a pretty amazing turnaround. Also, he's just an interesting guy to listen to. Since I've never really cared about Werdum, it's easy to see why I want Mark Hunt to leave as the champion.


So there you have it. Way too many fights to watch and never enough time. Let's hope for good fights and exciting finishes!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Busy Weekend

Busy Weekend

So this weekend will cause me to watch a lot of MMA. My Wife is generally pretty cool and watches some fights with me. But I may stretch her limits this weekend.

First on deck is the WSOF. It will get DVR'd but I can't miss 3 title fights. Dave Branch vs Yushin Okami for the middleweight title, Gaethje vs Guillard for the lightweight title and finally Aguilar vs Faria for the women's strawweight title.

3 title fights and all 3 have people I actually care about. It's not every fight card that there are this many fights I care about.

Next on deck, Bellator. I'm more interested in Will Brooks vs Michael Chandler than the circus of Tito Ortiz vs Stephan Bonnar. But I will admit, the Ortiz/Bonnar fight is a guilty pleasure. Also on this card is Nam Phan and King Mo is trying to right the ship after losing to Rampage. Another good card with fighters I actually care about.

Finally the UFC has decided to put K1 Mark Hunt in a title fight with Fabricio Werdum. I'm truly excited about this fight. The heavyweight division may actually move forward if we can get a champion that isn't so fragile. Cain Velasquez is a great fighter. But seriously, get healthy already.

This card also has Jake Ellenberger vs Kelvin Gastelum and Dennis Bermudez vs Ricardo Lamas. Good card and the UFC will pull my money for this night.

So, who else is planning on dropping 8-12 hours watching MMA this weekend?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fighter Themes

Fighter Themes

I appreciate when a fighter sticks with a theme. A particular walkout song or a particular look. I was thinking of Michael Bisping and his Song Two from Blur and was amazed that more fighters don't stick with a theme.

At the mid-point of Forrest Griffin's career he came out for several fights to Shipping Off to Boston from the Dropkick Murphy's and he had all the lights in the arena go green. It was very cool and made his entrance easily identifiable to him.

Various fighters have stuck with a song. But I would like a fighter to not only stick with a song, but a lighting concept as well. Can you imagine if the UFC would actually show more fighter entrances. It would be almost a throwback to Pride FC and would add to a fighter's mystique.

Friday, August 24, 2012

UFC 151 Cancellation - My Opinion

UFC 151 just got cancelled. Several things come to mind when I heard this. First, Jon Jones refusing to fight the only man who stepped up is ludicrous. Second, the UFC has stretched itself thin enough that the rest of the card was so weak that no other fight could be moved up to the main event. Third, Chael Sonnen just increased his status by actually not being a douche. Fourth, I was once a strong Jones supporter, now I am officially jumping off the bandwagon.

The man was already in training and had only to re-gameplan for a new opponent. Chael Sonnen is a man, who in all reality is a one-dimensional fighter. He lacks the knockout power of his previous opponent Dan Henderson and Sonnen's gameplan in every fight is to take you down and ground and pound you. Jones has never been taken down in his career. So he refused a fight with a fighter who lacks a real threat to him. He screwed the UFC, the other fighters on the card and most importantly, the FANS.

The one thing being overlooked by most of the media is the fact that this card was weak. Dana White and company have stretched themselves so thin that no other fight on the UFC 151 card was good enough to be elevated to the main event. The fact that the event was cancelled is not all on Jones. The UFC is as much to blame for putting together a terrible fight card. The fact that Jon Jones already isn't a popular champion who does poor pay-per-view numbers would make you think that the UFC would try to stack the card to help the pay-per-view numbers. The fact that they didn't and now the event is cancelled is at a minimum 50% the UFC's fault, probably more.

Early in Jones' career he fought multiple times in rapid succession. His first 4 fights were in less than a month. He fought 7 times in 2008. And he took his initial title shot on just over 5 weeks notice. So it's not unheard of for Jon Jones to take fights on short notice. The fact that he is in shape and currently training makes no sense to me to hurt his company, peers and fan base the way he has done.

Now, the argument can be made that Greg Jackson is right and that taking a new opponent in a title fight is not the smart move. I am able to understand the mindset that they don't have enough time to prepare for a new opponent. It doesn't however, make sense to me that all he would have to do would be to watch some tape of Sonnen, and come up with a new gameplan. That can be done easily in the 8 days before the fight.

Now, Chael Sonnen in this who think comes out smelling like roses. He was according to Dana White, the ONLY man to step up and accept the fight. The fact that he is now being screwed out of it kind of sucks. Yes, he's coming off a loss to Anderson Silva and hasn't earned his title shot at light heavyweight yet, but the fact that he was willing to fight on 8 days notice says a lot about him as a man. I wish the UFC would have allowed him to face Jones at UFC 152 which now has Vitor Belfort moving up in weight to fight Jones. Chael Sonnen, I'm officially a fan now.
So in my opinion, Jon Jones wussed out. He refused to fight a man who poses no real threat to beat him, screwed the UFC, his fellow fighters and all the fans who bought fight tickets, paid for lodging and plane tickets. And with in my opinion was a weak, lame excuse. Jon Jones, I no longer will be a fan.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

dos Santos vs Mir Prediction

Since I'm in Las Vegas to see Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir fight, I figured I should do a quick breakdown and prediction. I would like to start this article by stating that I like both men. I will be happy no matter the outcome of this fight. I do not believe this fight will make it out of the 2nd round. Both men put away opponents quickly and efficiently. Whether it is a knockout or a broken limb, this fight will end in spectacular fashion.

Now, as we all know, Junior will look to utilize his boxing and knock out Mir. Mir will obviously want to get his fight into his realm, the ground. However, I don't believe Mir has the wrestling/takedown prowess to force this fight to the ground. So with that said, the question arises. Is Frank Mir's standup game good enough to hang with Junior? I just don't think it is. He has shocked a few in the past, such as Big Nog in their first fight and Kongo. But, Junior is a better striker than both of those men.

Now, if Mir does somehow get this fight to the ground, Junior is in a world of hurt. Frank rarely gets a fight to the ground (in top position) in which he doesn't finish the fight. With all the trash talk going around, I'm shocked that Big Nog is bashing Mir's jiu jitsu as simple. If it was so simple, then why did the greatest jiu jitsu heavyweight at the time (because Mir is now the greatest heavyweight jiu jitsu practitioner) get his arm broken and submitted? I understand if you don't like the guy for beating you, but don't try to diminish his accomplishments because you were too stupid to tap.

Now, if I'm a betting man, my money would be on Junior dos Santos. However, I rarely bet so I have to go with my gut on this one. I predict Frank Mir will shock the world and submit Junior dos Santos in the very first round.  I've said it already, whether it is a knockout or a broken limb, this fight will end in spectacular fashion.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Awesome Fights This Weekend on UFC on FOX 3

I wasn't expecting much from UFC on FOX 3 until I actually looked at the main card. There are some badass fights this weekend. (Commercials do suck, but at least they're produced better than the hour's worth of house ad filler we are forced to sit through during a typical $60 pay-per-view broadcast.) Here are the three fights I'm most enthused about:

(Note: though I fail to mention Pat Barry here, it's no disrespect and quite the opposite in fact...the guy brings it every fight, win, lose or double-KO. If Barry's on the card, entertainment is a foregone conclusion.)

1. Jim Miller vs. Nate DiazUntil he ran into the neutralizing energy vortex that is Benson Henderson, Jim Miller was on the fast track to a title shot. Miller is a stud at lightweight; he seems stronger than average in the class, has a solid foundation in wrestling, throws bombs, and most importantly fights a smart game. Like most victims of natural disasters, he simply had no way of preparing for Benson Henderson until it was too late. 

Nate Diaz is the perfect test to see if Miller is still a champion simply waiting to happen. Diaz is experienced, fearless, creative and simply does not fatigue. He also sports a big reach advantage over Miller which, like his older brother Nick, he can put to great use landing accurate shots in volume. If Jim Miller's going to survive Diaz' "rock-em-sock-em-robot" routine he'll have to start fast and put him away early (or otherwise suplex him for three rounds, a la Rory McDonald.)

2. Josh Koscheck vs. Johnny Hendricks
Koscheck and Hendricks have something in common: neither have any interest in wrestling Jon Fitch for three rounds inside the Octagon. Hendricks took the fight anyway, though, which became an instant classic when Hendricks one-punch KO'd the notoriously durable Fitch in just under 12 seconds. Though Hendricks' historic win brought him many new fans overnight, his MMA career is still young and there's no question he still feels he has a lot to prove.

Meanwhile, Fitch's close friend and former training partner Koscheck has proven nearly unbeatable, acting almost as a proverbial filter between the UFC's potential and bonafide welterweight contenders. Outside of current champ George St. Pierre, no fighter seems able to match Koscheck's wrestling ability, a fact which seems to have given him the confidence to assume his role of the UFC's token headhunter. While the resilient Mike Pierce gave him fits in their split decision slugfest back in February, Koscheck's veteran composure and superior wrestling secured him the victory. For Johnny Hendricks to get the upset victory, he'll have overcome a considerable experience gap while also contending with (arguably) the most aggressive striker he has faced to date in Josh Koscheck

3. Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares
Of the possible guest stars currently being considered for future episodes of "The Anderson Silva Show," Alan Belcher is probably the most intriguing. A promising middleweight whose career was nearly ended by eye surgery, Belcher is an exciting, dynamic and incredibly well-rounded whose UFC highlight reel includes dumping Patrick Cote upside his head in a picture-perfect pile driver. 

If Belcher normally throws a lot of leg kicks, we shouldn't be surprised if he alters his game plan on Saturday night when he faces the infamous leg-mangler known as Rousimar Palhares. Short, stock and powerful, Rousimar has become known for his unique mastery of offensive Brazilian jiu-jitsu, having won 4 of his last 5 victories by way of leg lock. So effective are Palhares' submissions that Belcher will undoubtedly have to account for it or risk being ensnared in the Brazilian's iron grip.

Historically, I've often found that cards and match-ups which look only mildly entertaining on paper usually play out that way. Conversely, cards which look like they'll be exciting nearly always deliver. I don't know why that is, or what it means. Maybe the UFC matchmakers just know what they're doing. 

Anyway, be sure tune in Saturday night. These look like good fights, and I'll be surprised if I'm wrong.