Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

Don’t sleep on Jake Shields (26-4-1). You can bet your ass GSP (21-2) is not. He is up at Tristar right now working his dick off (Do robot aliens have dicks?). Shields has 4 titles to his credit and his resume is littered with former and current champions that have fallen to him.

Jake-Shields pierre006

Quick rundown of some of Jake Shields’ marquee wins on his resume.

  • UD over Japanese legend “Mach” Sakurai (35-12-2) in ’02
  • MD over UFC’s current “#1 MW Contender” Yushin Okami (26-5) in ’06
  • UD over Carlos Condit (26-5) same night as the Okami fight.
  • Subbed Mike Pyle (20-7-1) in ’07
  • Subbed Paul Daley (26-9-2) in ’08
  • Subbed Robbie Lawler (18-7[1]) in ’09
  • UD over current Dream MW champ Jason Miller (24-7[1]) in ’09
  • UD over former PRIDE MW (205lb) Champ and current SF LHW #1 contender Dan Henderson (26-8) last year.

Not that GSP’s  record needs pointing out but here are a few of his.

  • UD over Karo Parisyan (19-6[1]) in ’04
  • UD over Jason Miller (24-7[1]) in ’05
  • Subbed Frank Trigg (20-8) in ’05
  • TKOd Sean Sherk in (36-4-1) ’05
  • SD over BJ Penn (16-7-1) in ’06T
  • KOd Matt Hughes (45-8) in ’06 [avenging his first loss]
  • UD over Josh Koscheck (15-5) in ’07
  • Subbed Matt Hughes in ’07 for interim UFC WW belt [closing the trilogy]
  • TKOd then UFC WW Champ Matt Serra (11-7) in ’08 [avenging only other loss]

Since the Serra fight, when he regained the title, GSP has successfully defended it 5 times against Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, and Josh Koscheck with 4 of those 5 wins coming via UD. I mention this because between Shields and St. Pierre I expect to see either one of the most boring staring contests ever or one of the most (relatively) exciting chess matches ever and it  going to judges’ decision. I don’t see anyone out-pointing GSP but don’t sleep on Shields.

If Georges does indeed go on to defeat Shields, he is supposedly set to make a permanent move to the Middleweight division where a “super fight” between himself and current MW Champ and fellow P4P constant Anderson Silva. GSP has many times stated that if he makes the move up in weight class it will be permanent and only when he feels there is nothing left for him at Welterweight.  Having already defeated all of the top competition (BJ Penn, John Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Dan Hardy, etc.) in the division at least once and many of them multiple times, beating Shields seems like the last thing to do before setting sail for the new world. Shields plans to wipe his ass with GSP and D-Dubya’s plans and force St. Pierre to hang out at Welterweight just a bit longer. Current #1 contender Yushin Okami, the last man to “defeat” Anderson Silva, is likely rooting very hard for Shields to pull off the upset as a GSP win would most certainly wreck his title shot. So in a fight with title implications in two divisions, directly affecting no less than 6 fighters’ future fight plans, there is certainly a lot on the line. Jake Shields just might shake the world with a win but Vegas, the MMA community, and history all say that the Canadian Alien will do his regular thing  and pull off another win over a quality opponent. I’m sure Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Jon Fitch,  and many many fans are rooting for a GSP victory. I’m also certain that Jake Shields’ friends in the “Scrap Pack” and the 209 and a few upset loving fans are probably the only people, aside from Yushin Okami and Jake himself, rooting for the Belt Collector to add more hardware to his trophy case.

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Dynamite!! 2009 Was an insanely awesome card and culminated with Aoki snapping Hirota’s humerus in half…

ept_sports_mma_experts-797868878-1262321045

the best part is that Aoki was Dream’s lightweight champ and Hirota was Sengoku’s lightweight champ. Just the idea of the two promotions coming together for such a monumental card is astounding.  There was a SRC HW title fight, a Dream HW fight, the finale for the Dream Super Hulk (open weight) Grand Prix, and several K-1 bouts but the fights between Dream and Sengoku’s guys alone would make up a robust and sizeable card.

  • LW bout: Aoki (Dream LW champ) vs. Hirota (SRC LW champ)
  • HW bout: Overeem vs. Fujita
  • FW bout: “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Kanehara (SRC FW champ)
  • LW bout: Kawajiri vs. Yokota
  • FW bout: Tokoro vs. Man Kim
  • MW bout: Manhoef vs. Misaki
  • WW bout: Sakurai vs. Gono
  • FW bout: Takaya vs. Omigawa
  • HW bout: Shibata vs. Izumi

Please, step into my FANTASY world where time and contracts and money mean nothing. The only thing that matters is the fans getting to see what they want. Let’s put together a PPV card worth $100, the greatest MMA card ever held.

Season’s Beatings 2011

Saturday December 24th 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

The UFC and Strikeforce execs have signed off to put a card together and each has agreed to send at least two champions each to the face-off. We have been asked to help assemble this card and as such I’ll get the conversation started. I’ll throw some names into the hat from each division of each promotion and list the champions from all the divisions. We’ll try to get 11 bouts. Nine UFC vs. Strikeforce (7 bouts with non title holders 2 bouts UFC Champ vs. SF Champ)bouts,  a title bout or super fight(i.e. Silva vs. GSP) for the UFC, and a Strikeforce title match or big ticket fight (i.e. Jason Miller vs. Nick Diaz), maybe the HW GP Final. I have left off the Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions of the UFC since Strikeforce doesn’t have those divisions. However, either division could be the division the UFC uses for a title fight. Let’s take a look at some of the guys listed here and start the debate… I’ll add some of your good cards to the post as well.

UFC

Champs

ufc-belt

  • Heavyweight – Cain Velasquez
  • Light-Heavyweight – Mauricio Rua
  • Middleweight – Anderson Silva
  • Welterweight – Georges St. Pierre
  • Lightweight – Frankie Edgar
  • Featherweight – Jose Aldo
  • Bantamweight – Dominic Cruz

Heavyweights

  • Junior dos Santos
  • Roy Nelson
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Shane Carwin
  • Frank Mir
  • Big Nog’

Light-Heavyweights

  • Rashad Evans
  • Rampage Jackson
  • Jon Jones
  • Lyoto Machida
  • Ryan Bader
  • Lil’ Nog’

Middleweights

  • Chael Sonnen
  • Michael Bisping
  • Chris Leben
  • Wanderlei Silva
  • Yushin Okami
  • Nate Marquardt

Welterweights

  • Josh Koscheck
  • Jon Fitch
  • Thiago Alves
  • Dan Hardy
  • BJ Penn
  • Diego Sanchez

Lightweights

  • Gray Maynard
  • Kenny Florian
  • BJ Penn
  • George Sotiropoulos
  • Jeremy Stephens
  • Clay Guida

Strikeforce

Champs

Strikeforce Belt

  • Heavyweight – Alistair Overeem
  • Light-heavyweight – Rafael Calvacante
  • Middleweight – Ronaldo Souza
  • Welterweight – Nick Diaz
  • Lightweight – Gilbert Melendez

Heavyweights

  • Fedor Emelianenko
  • Fabricio Werdum
  • Antonio Silva
  • Andrei Arlovski
  • Sergei Kharitonov
  • Brett Rogers

Light-Heavyweights

  • Dan Henderson
  • Gegard Mousasi
  • Muhammed Lawal
  • Renato Sobral
  • Roger Gracie

Middleweights

  • Cung Le
  • Jason Miller
  • Tim Kennedy

Welterweights

  • Paul Daley
  • Marius Zaromskis
  • Scott Smith
  • KJ Noons
  • ….

Lightweights

  • JZ Calvan
  • KJ Noons
  • (if they can get off their ass and pull him up) Eddie Alvarez
  • Lyle Beerbohm
  • Billy Evangelista
  • Justin Wilcox
  • Ryan “The Natural Light” Couture

If you’ve been following this season of TUF then you have no doubt seen Jonathan Brookins shine. He is an experienced fighter and my pick to win the contract at the end of the season. With the WEC folding into the UFC, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brookins drop down for another run at Jose Aldo. Aldo dominated Brookins at WEC 63 a few years ago, but as you see here the take down he set to set up Josh Koscheck’s #2 and 3 picks even worked on Aldo, and I don’t see any of these guys stopping it.

(props to NHB USA of the MixedMartialArts.com forums for the find)

Watch the whole fight here if you wish to see the excellence that is Jose Aldo.

As a child I took Karate and Taekwondo and loved professional wrestling. Around age 12 I found a VHS cassette in my grandparent’s living room. I slid the cassette into the VCR prepared to watch this new wrestling organization, unaware that it would eventual dictate my college major and projected career path. The video was entitled “UFC 1: The Beginning”. It became immediately apparent that this was anything but the WWF when the first bout ended after a 215 pound savate (french* kickboxing) fighter kicked a downed 400+ pound sumo wrestler in the face and followed it with upper cuts ending the fight in under 30 seconds. Intrigued, I watched as a 170 pound Brazilian won this tournament without throwing a single punch. I was hooked and had to see more. Since that summer day in 1997 I have watched 119 UFC pay-per-view events and countless events from other promotions watching as the sport has evolved from videos rented out of the “backroom” of niche video stores into nationally televised events taking place the world over.
*France is not a proper place, therefore it does not deserve the treatment of a proper noun, and is only capitalized here because it begins the sentence.
With its rapid ascension from the underground to the mainstream, MMA has sparked much debate over its viability as a legitimate sport. On one end of the spectrum you have those who view MMA as a barbaric blood sport akin to the coliseums of Rome. On the other end you have people who recognize it as an athletic, competitive sport that incorporates many of the values of any other recognized sport. I subscribe to the latter school of thought.
Arguing that MMA is too violent or dangerous to be an accepted sport in American society is hypocrisy at best. Arguably the most beloved sport in the US is American football, a dangerous, violent game. The obvious comparison sport would be the time honored, traditional combat sport, boxing. Even in comparison to boxing the argument is void as boxing is a far more dangerous sport. Only looking at the years since the inaugural UFC event, in 1993, and only in the United States there have been 19 boxing fatalities. One boxing fatality took place during a 2001 fight in New York, a state that still has yet to legalize MMA, based on it being too dangerous. In Boxing when a combatant is knocked down by a strike and dazed he is allotted 10 seconds to get up and regain his composure. The 10 count and standing 8 count directly contribute to massive head traumas for the fighters. In MMA bouts when a fighter is knocked down the fight is usually stopped immediately to prevent long term injuries. More over, with 15 three minute rounds in a boxing match the athletes trade tremendous amounts of blows to the head and body; whereas, in a five minute five round MMA bout there are less strikes due to the complex nature of the fight. With the usage of takedowns leading to extended periods of grappling fighters spend less time open to injury.
In addition to arguing against MMA as a dangerous undertaking, detractors claim it to be an ultra violent modern day version of the gladiators of the Roman Empire, a depiction brought onto the sport by its biggest organization. In its infancy the Ultimate Fighting Championship first was not much more than a sanctioned street fight. The competitors wore no gloves and the only rules were no shots to the groin, no biting, and no eye gouging. There are even rumors that the original owners contemplated surrounding the cage with an alligator filed moat. The videos I watched as a teenager had to be rented by my uncle cause they were kept with the pornography and one had to be 18 to rent them. The gladiatorial bloodsport image is one that many still hold of MMA, although it has evolved into a highly regulated, safe, competitive sport since the sell of the UFC. There is now a litany of rules and safety protocols. The fighters now undergo extensive anti-doping tests and post fight medical examinations. The progression of the sport was necessary to negate the arguments of brutality.
Since the restructuring of the organization and its subsequent gain of state athletic sanctions the UFC has lunged into the mainstream. Much of the success is directly related to the success of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), the UFC’s cable television reality show/competition. The first season’s finale was a milestone moment not only for the UFC but for MMA as a whole in the US. The last fight was for a six figure 1 year contract to fight in the UFC and resulted in, arguably, one of the best fights in MMA history. The Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight was such a tightly contested bout that although Griffin won both fighters were awarded a contract and it instantly brought the sport to people who had previously dismissed it as a fad. Now in its eleventh season, TUF has all but silenced most general attacks against the sport and its opponents have resorted to attacking the organizations and fighters themselves.
When the facts are examined ad compared to relative mainstream contact sports, it is hard to make a compelling argument against MMA based upon violence and/or danger to the athletes. Looking back at the rise of contact sports in America there are glaring similarities between MMA and football or boxing. All of these sports underwent a period of social rejection but ultimately have become staples of the American sports landscape. With the technology and knowledge today’s sports, from auto racing to football, are safer than ever. Strict regulations within MMA have been made in order to conform to the social standard and have, for the most part, helped not only the national viewpoint of the sport but the athletes involved as well. Having watched MMA evolve from the bare knuckle, style vs. style cage fights I watched in the 90s to the regulated, technical game that requires athletes to master multiple forms of martial arts and establish high levels of strength and conditioning, I must continue to argue for tits acceptance as an American sporting mainstay. Perhaps someday the majority will see the sport for what it is, a sport.

If you ask an astrophysicist how stars are made he’ll likely tell you that all stars are formed from nebulae. The great molecular clouds of gas collapse and increase in density generating heat which helps to burn hydrogen into helium. Even in astrophysics not all stars are created equal, however. When the protostar is formed it may not be large enough to create the high temperatures and pressure needed for hydrogen fusion into helium. These brown dwarfs may never become a full fledged star. On the other hand you have the average to large sized protostars that can achieve the required temperatures through different means of fusion. The really big stars, those much larger than our Sun, eventually become supernovas while the smaller stars become white dwarfs.

What does any of this have to do with anything I would normally write about?

Well…

Ask a sports fan, or a film, stage, or music critic what it takes to create a star? How can they tell when a superstar is born? I’m sure the answers will be relatively close.  For instance, You can be a very talented basketball player. Be a damn good player at a premiere college (protostar). Once you have increased your recognition (density) enough to grab the scouts’ attention, you have to be able to create the magic on the court (heat) to really make them commit and want to not only hire you but pay you liberally. If you can handle the pressure and heat on you to become the next Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, or Ervin Johnson then you may become a superstar (supernova).

What’s the reason behind all this blabbering about a person undergoing the professional equivalent of a carbon-nitrogen-oxygen cycle to convert hydrogen to helium? Well I’d like to talk about a few fighters on the rise that have the minerals, so to speak, to become superstars. If they can achieve the level of a BJ Penn, Fedor Emilianenko, or a Royce Gracie then they will truly be seen as stars.

[side note: Why is Royce Graycie pronounced Hoyce Gracie and not Hoyce Ghacie? Just be consistent is all I ask, Portuguese]

Of course I’m talking about two of the newest and brightest young protostars in the ever stacked UFC light-heavyweight division and a young Heavyweight title contender. We may well be witnessing the birth of a few new supernovas of the MMA world in the 23-year-old New Yorker from Greg Jackson’ camp, Jon “Bones” Jones, and a pair of 27-year-old ASU wrestlers, Ryan “Darth” Bader and Cain “I don’t need no stinking nickname” Velasquez.

The Reno, Nevada native, Ryan “Darth” Bader, was a talented high school wrestler who won 2 state championships and was ranked 4th in the nation. The guy with one of the coolest nicknames in the business went on to be a 2-time Div. 1 All-American at Arizona State alongside fellow BAMF Cain Velasquez and good friend C.B. Dollaway. After winning his first 7 professional fights, six in 2007 alone, he took the now commonplace route to the UFC  by competing and winning the 8th season of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). When he made his post-TUF UFC debut he was at 8-0 and scheduled to roll the 8-sided die against Carmello Marrero. He took the fight by unanimous decision then defeated Eric Schaffer at UFC 104 leaving him at 10-0 professionally (3-0 in the Octagon) in only 2 years. With two decision victories and a submission via strikes victory under his belt it was time for the big show. Uncle Dana called on Darth Bader to fight Kieth Jardine at UFC 110. Jardine’s awkward but often effective fighting style proved too little for Bader’s striking and wrestling. Bader dominated Jardine and finished him with a left hook in the 3rd round that turned the lights off on, both Jardine’s night and his UFC career. This left him at 11-0 and scheduled to fight PRIDE veteran and “little” twin brother of his former TUF coach, Antonio Rogerio Noguiera at UFC 119: Mir vs Noguiera II on Sept. 25th.

On that same UFC 110 card Ryan Bader’s former ASU teammate delivered a loud message to the UFC heavyweight division in the card’s main event as Cain Velasquez’s counter right hand connected dropping Big Nog’ to the mat and the multiple vicious, if not unnecessary, punches that followed reverberated throughout the entire division. Cain Velasquez is definitely a name even the most pedestrian of MMA fans knows by now. He is the 8-0 Heavyweight wrestler out of ASU that has ripped a hole through the heavyweight division dismantling a few  top names along the way.  His first pro fight was in the Strikeforce promotion back in 2006. He then went to St. Petersburg for a Bodog fight later that same year before coming to the UFC with a 2-0 record in April of 2008. The 16 month lay off apparently had little effect on his game as he ripped though his first opponent at UFC 83: Serra vs St. Pierre II and exactly 3 months later he knocked out his 5th straight victim, Jake O’Brien, none of whom had survived to see the end of the opening round. Cain had began to show why he was also a 2-time Division 1 All-American at ASU by out wrestling any and everyone, displaying vicious takedowns and uncanny takedown defense, and tremendous striking to a  5-0 record following a 2nd round TKO of Dennis Stojnik. Next up was to be his coming out party or his rude awakening as he was set to  meet renowned kickboxer and entrenched Heavyweight contender Chiek Kongo who was at the time sporting a 7-2 UFC record with losses on split decisions to Heath Herring and Carmelo Merrero. They would meet as the co-main event at UFC 99: The Comeback. Cain was once again dominant landing 251 of 309 head strikes (262 strikes all together) and scoring 7 takedowns on 10 attempts, 6 of 8 from the clinch and 1 of 2 shots. He even showcased his strength lifting the larger Kongo and slamming him multiple times in route to a uninamous decison victory. The absolutely demonic display of bad assery led him to a main event bout with Big Nog’ on the first card of 2010 and as Cain Velasquez’s counter right hand connected dropping Big Nog’ to the mat and the multiple vicious, if not unnecessary, punches that followed reverberated throughout the entire division and sent a very clear message to Joe Silva and Dana White. He is scheduled to be the next challenger for the crown that sits atop heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s head on October 23rd at UFC 121 in Anaheim, CA.

If Jon “Bones” Jones isn’t already in your list of fighters not to miss then please close this window and shoot yourself. His road to the UFC was a bullet train. He took his first ever professional fight on April 12, 2008 and exactly 3 months later on July 12, 2008 he was 6-0 and set to make his UFC debut on August 9, 2008. As one of the most exciting and youngest fighters currently in the UFC, he has dominated each of his opponents more and more impressively each time out. In his debut on the prelims of the GSP v Jon Fitch card at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy he defeated Andre Gusmao by unanimous decision at just 21 years old. He then went on to fight on the main card at UFC 94:  GSP vs Penn II, where he  throughly dominated veteran punching bag Stephan Bonnar for the first 8 or 9 minutes of the fight. He put on a clinic of how to execute unorthodox striking and grappling that included lessons in the spinning back kick, the suplex, and spinning back elbow. Bonnar was knocked or taken down again and again but held on for 15 minutes to lose by unanimous decision. Now, keep in mind that this is Stephan Bonnar in 2008 when he had only 3 losses in the Octagon and they were to Forrest Griffin (x2) and Rashad Evans, both who became Light-heavyweight Champions. In his next showcase on the preliminary card of the star studded UFC 100 card, he defeated Jake O’Brien with a 2nd round guillotine choke.  Uncle Dana then gave the kid a shot at his first main event on TUF season 10 finale where after utter beating Matt Hamill to a pulp for 4:14 before the ref stopped the fight, seemingly to announce Jones as the winner. After his celebratory cartwheel the Referee announced that Jones was disqualified for illegal 12-6 elbows to the head of Matt Hamill. The DQ was very controversial but stuck and left Jones with a blemish on his then perfect record. Dana White, having been present to see the beating Jones was putting on Hamill didn’t let the DQ derail the kid’s future and gave him another main card shot on the promotion’s newest venture. UFC Live on Versus 1 was headlined by Brandon “The Truth” Vera (7-4 in the UFC) vs Jon “Bones” Jones (3-1 in the UFC). Jones came in and immediately showed that Brandon Vera, who was billed as his biggest test yet, was no match as he repeatedly took him down before eventually landing a left elbow to the cheek from Vera’s closed guard. The ref came in and stopped it upon realizing Vera was in serious pain and had gone fetal. The pain was caused when the elbow strike landed and broke Vera’s face in 3 places. Today at just 23 years old, Jones has racked up an impressive 10-1-0 record, 4-1-0 in the Octagon. He’s scheduled to fight Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko in the main event of UFC Live on Versus 2 this Sunday night.

Frank Mir,

All my friends and family seem to worry about my state mentally.

, did a recent interview with MMA Fix in Vegas, in which he talks some more trash about Brock Lesnar. He then says that the “death threats” he made toward Brock were purely PR to help hype the potential fight against Brock in a attempt to keep from being leap frogged due to injury by Cain Velasquez. He relates Brock to Moby Dick, “He’s big, he’s white, he is a dick.” While communicating how he would love to fight Fedor, crediting him with best HW of all time, but is falling by the waste side by not fighting in the UFC:

If I told you that, right now, Brock Lesnar was on the south side of town signing on autographs and Fedor was on the north side, trust me there would be no traffic jams on the north side of town.

The interviewer quickly responded with this gem:

What if I told you there was an Octagon on the north side of town that Brock Lesnar was in and the south side of town Fedor was down there, and both of them wanted to fight. Which one would YOU drive to?

You can see Frank’s response as well as the entire interview here:

Watch Frank Mir Focused On Carwin For UFC 111 But Lesnar Is His Moby Dick on RawVegas.tv

Strikeforce’s second round with CBS primetime network exposure is set to happen a short, 3 hour drive away from Memphis in Nashville, TN on April 17TH, 2010.  Just looking at this shaping fight card makes me so happy I could kick a baby into a fire and still smile.  The Headlining bout will be the Middleweight title fight between current champ Jake Shields and former UFC and PRIDE star Dan Henderson . Co-main event honors are shaping up to be Light Heavyweight title match between Gegard Mousasi and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. The cherry on top will be another title fight, this one in the Lightweight division, between Gilbert Melendez and SHINYA AOKI!!!! That’s right, you read it correctly. Shinya is finally going to fight in the States, and its a 200 mile drive from my house!! To make things even better it is rumored that (#7 HW**) Andrei Arlovski, who just signed with Strikeforce, could be fighting “Bigfoot” (I’m guessing [#19 HW] Antonio “Junior”) Silva on the same card! Junior is the only Silva I know of on the Strikeforce roster in the HW division. I really hope nothing falls through on this card. I also hope that the rumor mill gets one thing wrong… Herschel Walker is rumored to fight some random ock named TBA. I wonder if this TBA is one of the 4 random ocks Mike Valley beat up. Either way I can’t wait to trek to Nashvegas and watch Shinya, Mousasi, and Hendo do work.

If you don’t know some of these names, I’d like to take this moment to issue my condolences for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family as you go through this truly trying time. The loss of one’s manhood can be a truly debilitating experience, and can leave you feeling worthless. As a courtesy and a supplement to prayer I cordially invite you to partake in some videos of the aforementioned world ranked fighters. Not a single person tagged in this post is ranked worse than 20th in the world in his respective division.

MAIN EVENT – MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE

JAKE SHIELDS, 8-0-0 #6 Middleweight in the world**

(note: you damn well better mute this video before pressing play!!!)

DAN HENDERSON, 25-7-0 #3 MW

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

GEGARD MOUSASI, 28-2-1 #2 LHW

MUHAMMED “KING MO” LAWAL, 6-0-0 #12 LHW

LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE

SHINYA AOKI, 23-4-0-1NC #2 LW

GILBERT MELENDEZ, 17-2-0 #8 LW

(note: crank the volume on this one or be forever labeled a bitch!)

** world rankings according to FIGHT! Magazine