UFC 197 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

Millions of words must have been spilled about the return of the Light Heavyweight king, Jon “Bones” Jones. What can I add? Only my excitement and anticipation. What shape is Jon in? What state of mind? How big of a challenge will OSP be? Saint Preux has already shown us that he’s not to be looked down at. This isn’t a walk in the park for Jones. Continue reading

A Fan’s UFC 200 Conspiracy theory

Hello MMA fans and everyone else!

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen updates from UFC regarding the card of their upcoming seminal event – UFC 200 scheduled for July 9th, 2016. To sum up fan reactions (including this fan right here) in a word, it feels – Underwhelming.

So far, three fights were announced:

  • Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Derek Brunson
  • Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a card featuring these great fighters any day of the week and twice on a Sunday. But we’re not talking about “just” a PPV. We’re talking about the 200th!

Just a reminder – UFC 100 featured both bestselling fighters at the time – George St. Pierre and Brock Lesnar, in addition to other good fights. This is 100 PPVs later and I just don’t see the stakes being raised just yet…

I’ve heard the idea that the announced fights may be prelim fights and that makes perfect sense.

Unless we consider the current schedule for the various UFC biggest stars and Champions:

  • Daniel Cormier (LHW champ) vs. Jon Jones (Technically never dethroned LHW champ) – UFC 197
  • Mighty Mouse (Flyweight champ) vs. Henry CejudoUFC 197
  • Fabricio Verdum (Heavyweight champ) Vs. Stipe MiocicUFC 198
  • Luke Rockhold (Middleweight champ) Vs. Chris WeidmanUFC 199
  • Dominick Cruz (Bantamweight champ) Vs. Urijah FaberUFC 199
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Strawweight champ) Vs.Claudia GadelhaTUF finale

Unscheduled:

Conor McGregor (Featherweight champ) rumored to fight Nate Diazno Featherweight title fight available for UFC #200

Rafael Dos Anios at LW – a phenomenal fighter. Not such a big seller compared to some of the already booked champions.

Robbie Lawler at WW – Another fantastic fighter, who is popular but with less sales power than other champs.

Next on the PPV sales chart? I guess that’s still Ronda Rousey. Who is she fighting? The champion Miesha Tate? Or a rematch with Holly Holm? Either one will be a great fight and well deserving on being on UFC 200 Main card. But what else?

Here is where the conspiratorial speculation begins…

Imagine this card.

  • Frankie Edgar vs. Max Holloway (or perhaps Renan Barao if he goes up a weight class)
  • Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
  • Co-Co-Main event: Rafael Dos Anios Vs. (Winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson)
  • Co-main event: Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey or Holly Holm

Now you might be saying, so you took care of every unscheduled champion, “bestseller” except for Robbie Lawler (Who I admit, is popular but not a major seller)… So who’s in the main event?

A-ha!

Another person, from whom we’ve been getting steadily increasing updates and news is no other than…

George St. Pierre!

Ever, the diplomat, GSP claims again and again that he’s not returning. Yet.

But what could possibly be a better tie back to UFC 100? What other fight could the UFC possibly dream for champion Robbie Lawler other than the greatest WW alive? We know that Rory Madonald is occupied with Stephen Thompson. I suspect that following that controversial decision win, UFC may not be in a rush to put Robbie in the cage with Carlos Condit right away. But GSP? Are you kidding me? It is the one and only fight I can see at this point, worthy enough to headline UFC 200.

It could be strictly as advertised – a fan’s conspiracy theory.

But… what if?

ManPraying

By all means, I’d be happy to hear your opinions. Your suggested fight cards. Drop us a line.


There’s A Lesson In There Somewhere

Good morning folks.

Somewhere, Ronda Rousey sat last night muttering “Unbelievable… I lost the title just so… Miesha Tate will now hold it?

If you did not enjoy UFC 196, I seriously don’t know what else they can offer. It’s not about who you were behind on the fights, if you had a favorite. It’s about the beauty of this sport. The hype leads up to an event and on that event – excuse the cliché but it’s true – anything can happen. The hype can get a boost, it can die down in a silent whimper, or, as in the case of last night – it can live up to its build-up in a pretty unexpected way.

I do, however, see a few lessons coming off of last night’s drama.

The first lesson is for Conor McGregor. Some people may be gloating. Thinking that something terrible happened to him. But Conor should keep going full speed ahead. This guy is all about testing the limits of his skills and abilities. Last night he met a fighter who is clearly a far better grappler than he is. A fighter who is a better boxer than he is. And Conor went into his wheel house willingly, electing to box with him instead of kick-box and ultimately initiating the ground game, where he ended up being submitted. And did we mention that this fight was at 170, where Nate has fought plenty and Conor did not? That’s ok. Conor’s still young and has time to think about his mistakes in this fight. Both guys deserve a lot of respect for jumping at the chance to fight each other. Conor’s lesson is – at least for the time being – In order to fight at 170 at a title threatening capacity, there’s a lot of work to be done. Nate is a great fighter, but he’s not even Rory, Tyron, Demian, Carlos or Robbie… I’m sure Conor will fight next back at 145 or 155. I for one, will continue to enjoy watching him push his limits. And Nate? Well, the checks are coming to the 209. You can take that to the bank.

The second lesson is for Dana White. If the last few months should have demonstrated anything, it is that, no matter how strong or dominant your golden goose may seem, there’s always a bigger, stronger, better one in the making. Things change, shit happens, upsets happen. If that wasn’t clear enough when Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva, it sure as hell crystallized when Holly Holm demolished Ronda at the peak of her prime and when Conor sent Aldo home in 13 seconds. It was fairly clear when Jon Jones fought the law and the law won… I am still absolutely stunned at the gap between Holly Holm’s payday to Miesha Tate’s…. how can one fighter get paid so much and the other so little in comparison – for the same fight? Did someone completely write Miesha off? Was that fight scheduled as a “filler” until the “real” challenger decided she’s ready to step into the octagon? How come Nate Diaz gets paid on par with a main event participant, and Miesha who fought for a title (and won, may I add) doesn’t? The lesson for Dana, therefore is – stop playing favorites. Leave that to the Vegas clowns and pay your fighters fairly.

The last lesson is for us fans. The hype is ok, It sells PPV and tickets and gets us all excited for an event. But let’s take it for what it is – a tried and tested marketing tool. It is, in the end of the day – a sport. We all saw that Conor does not, in fact hate Nate and Nate – wait for it – respects Conor after all. To use the words of Diaz – Not surprised mo#@$#ers. It’s a sport. It’s ok to have favorites (I do), the key is to enjoy the fights and appreciate the effort, enjoy the ride. Every fight I watch is a whole new case study. We all just got two very interesting cases last night.

I will definitely like to hear what you learned from UFC196, so leave a comment right here if you’d like.

As for my predictions

  1. Nunes Vs. Shevchenko – Well, I was impressed with the Russian last time I saw her. She sure can hit you. Hard. But I also was impressed with Nunes, who I’ve seen on more occasions and believed her to be more diverse in her skills. It was closer than I thought, but Amanda clinched it. 1 for 1.
  2. Lawlor Vs. Anderson – Sometimes the judges mess up my predictions, and sometimes they make it work. Yesterday it was the latter. I do believe that Filthy Tom won that fight on the first two rounds. It seemed like every shot he threw at Corey stung or wobbled him. The late effort from Anderson wasn’t enough in my book to overturn this fight. The judges thought otherwise. 2 for 2.
  3. Villante Vs. Latifi – I had it wrong. This fight wasn’t very exciting. It was a test of strength more than anything and in that department, Ilir won. 2 for 3.
  4. Holm Vs. Tate – I love Miesha Tate. Always have. Since I watched her on Strikeforce, she represented for me the potential in women MMA. Before Dana admitted that women can fight, before Ronda Rousey came over. Miesha is the OG. The most well-rounded WMMA fighter. Watching Holly Vs. Rousey, and seeing how easily Holm stood back up after Ronda flipped her to the ground, I thought she could negate Miesha’s TDs and win this standing. Though I honestly have nothing against Holm, I am truly happy to be wrong on this prediction. No one deserve the success and recognition of a belt more than Miesha and last night she got it!. 2 for 4.
  5. McGregor Vs. Diaz – I’ve said it all up there, but to re-iterate, Conor made a couple of mistakes, not the least of which was relying on his hands too much, when we all know how effective he can be with kicks. A barrage of low kicks would’ve definitely further his cause better. Of course, easier said than done. Just ask the Cowboy. Diaz out-boxed him and ultimately defeated him on the feet, forcing Conor to take him down – unthinkable when you’re facing someone with as good a BJJ as Nate’s. 2 for 5

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?

See you soon with more predictions and thoughts about our beloved sport of MMA.

UFC 196 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

2016 Started with a bang and then a PPV that turned into a free card. But that’s ok, because once more, it’s a title fight between two of my favorite WMMA fighters – Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. And if that’s not enough, There’s that Mystic Mac fighting Nate Diaz. Need more?

Didn’t think so.

So with no further ado, let the predicting of UFC 196 coming up this Saturday, March 5th on PPV commence. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.)

We ride!

NunesShevchenko

Amanda Nunes by TKO

AndersonLawlor

Corey Anderson by TKO

VillanteLatifi

Gian Villante by UD

HolmTate

Holly Holm by TKO

and now! the moment millions of MMA fans have been waiting for, from Las Vegas, Nevada! This is the main event of the evening (Even though there’s a championship bout on the co-main…)!

McGregorDiaz

Conor McGregor by TKO

Don’t forget to get back here by Monday morning for the after MMAth!

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 196 on PPV – This Saturday, March 5th!

If you’re pondering what to do with the time between now and Saturday night, may I suggest you read my post about Cornering in MMA.

Before you go, here’s a shout out to Flyin Brian and his YouTube channel, check it out. I happen to agree with the below assessment and prediction:

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!


What’s In A Corner?

Well, Hello there.

Welcome back to this humble spot, where today, we will talk about one of the cornerstones of MMA. That is, quite literally – Cornering a fighter.

Keep in mind that I am no fighter, but a fight fan and as such I have an opinion based on extensive viewing on the one hand, and somewhat intelligent guess-work on the other.This is not a “How to” or a tutorial. Simply my take on the subject.

I like a good fight. I prefer it when a fight goes on for more than a round or two. I like a finish like the next one, but let’s have it in the third round. Or if it’s a main event – even better. Let’s have it in the fifth. I like a back and forth battle with lots of heart and technique. For me, that’s MMA. A respectful test of skills and strength and the ride is half the fun.

I do my best to pay attention (when the broadcast team allows it) to listen to the corner-men during the breaks between rounds as well as during the rounds in progress. What fascinates me, are the different kinds of cornering. You can see different styles between fight camps, and sometimes, if you pay attention, different flavors even when it’s the same corner-men but a different fighter.

Allow me please to divide the corner-men into 2 big groups. The optimistic and the realistic. That’s where it starts for me. You hear the people in the optimistic group telling the fighter “Good work, you’re ahead, keep going.” and the others may tell the fighter “Not sure how the judges have it, you better push forward on the next round. Take the center.” and so forth.

During the rounds, one can hear the regular calls “Get up!” (Easier said than don I would think), or the ever so popular “Knees!” (Which always sound like a sound advice). I prefer to hear instructions as to HOW to perform these acts, such as “Under hooks!” or “Wizard!“.

I assume that there are fighters who need to hear that they’re doing fine, and that’s ok. I would love to believe that – if I was a fighter – I’d prefer to hear more specific directions.

And that’s what brings me to the action around the fighter during the breaks.

Some of my favorite corner-men are Firas Zahabi and the master of the corner Greg Jackson. It appears to me, that these guys know who they are cornering at any given fight and the instructions, and just as important, the way they are delivered are tailor-made.

Some fighters need the “come on! let’s do this or that! you’re slacking off!” and others need a calm, measured tone and some long deep breaths. Both are ok, because both Zahabi and Jackson don’t throw out buzz-words to fill the silence. They will ask the fighter to start circling left, or right, to finish every combination with a low kick, or perhaps set up his or her takedown attempts with some strikes. I love it when the corner-man gives the fighter the same advice I would – because ego.

I find it counter productive to lie to a fighter. One can see this happening time and time again when a fighter is clearly behind on points, and the corner blatantly tells them their ahead. Either they lie, or they don’t have a handle on what’s going on – which is perhaps the worse possibility… I do believe a fighter should be aware of where he stands realistically. There’s always a positive spin to keep his/her spirits up.

There’s a camp leading up to the fight and that’s very important. But once the fighter is locked inside the cage, I find that sound cornering can make a huge difference. Ask George St. Pierre how important this was for him during his record WW title defense run. Greg Jackson came with a master plan, which he made sure to keep on track on every break. Slowly, calmly, snappy when necessary (“I don’t care George! Hit him with it!” – go ahead, google it), but always concise, always pointing towards success.

What’s your take on cornering? What did I miss here?

And don’t forget to check back here again towards the end of the week, as there will be a UFC196 prediction post, and the fights are going to be awesome!

Don’t blink!

Who Needs Who? (The Case Of UFC And Conor McGregor)

Hello people,

Before I dive into the important question posed in the title, allow me to clarify a few things:

This is NOT a hate post.

I have nothing against Conor McGregor.

In fact, I absolutely LOVE Conor, and happen to agree with a few things he had to say (precision beats power etc.).

This post will aim to examine the UFC/Conor relationships as it appears to this MMA fan right here. It’s based on communications made public by Conor himself, the UFC and reports coming from well-respected MMA news outlets. Alright? Alright then.

Many people fell in love with the fighting Irish phenom during his rise to stardom, and make no mistake, he is the very definition of a star. Climbing the rungs of the featherweight division, finishing one after great one of his opponents until he destroyed the long reigning champ with a devastating knockout.

His ability to produce gems every time he opens his mouth, raising the stakes at a second’s notice and most importantly – his ability to back his talk up with in-cage action (at least so far), has made him not only the charismatic young man he is, but also undeniable. Fighters simply cannot find answers to his taunts and speeches.

Many of Conor’s fans would posit that he is indeed the UFC’s biggest star, especially following Ronda Rousey’s defeat, and thus – The UFC needs Conor more than he does them. This also seems to be Conor’s view of these relationships, judging by a few recent interactions in which his head seems to have expanded quite a bit…

I would argue the opposite. It all boils down to the fact that a King needs a kingdom to reign over.

So far, Conor appears to be calling all the shots. Who to fight, who not to fight (Frankie Edgar anyone?), When to fight, and at what price.

And I have to ask – why?

I don’t ask this in spite. I don’t ask this because I don’t think Conor is worthy of fighting for one title or another. I ask this because I think the UFC is making decisions based on misunderstanding the relationships.

Would I like to see Conor fight Aldo, followed by Dos Anjos, followed by Robbie Lawler in three consecutive events? Absolutely. Line them up! Would that be a smart move for the UFC? I think not.

Let’s say Conor fights Dos Anjos and wins. What’s next? How do you sell a fight with someone other than the reigning champ as an escalation after that? See, the build up to the Aldo fight was perfect exactly because Conor plowed through a weight class, making us fans salivate at the prospect of a title fight.

Would it not make perfect sense to have Conor fight a few contenders first? I’m talking only top 5 guys here folks. I don’t expect him to start from square one. Let’s say – Nate Diaz, Cowboy Cerrone, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis. You just sold out 4 venues. in fact, 5 because after that – assuming he wins them all – the title fight will be off the charts. Not to mention that, holding two titles may keep a whole weight class on hold until his business is done with the other one… And if he loses to RDA on the first shot, it may just be the last thing the UFC wants happening to the golden boy, so early in his career…

But it seems like the UFC doesn’t want to wait. They want to pound on the iron while it’s hot. Which is perfectly understandable. You may not want to run the risk of Conor being sidelined due to any of these prospective fights etc.

But that is exactly why I think the UFC misjudge that balance between – arguably – their biggest star and themselves.

Ronda Rousey is still around. There’s still a story to be told there. Jon Jones is coming back. There are a few stories to be told there. Lawler becomes a story in his own rights. Now, granted. They may not be as a big as Conor, in terms of popularity and interest, but they hold their own and provide the UFC the ability to play Conor’s story out in a way that would better benefit everyone.

It’s like this – If Conor decides to call it quits today, the UFC will continue moving forward with the smallest of dents on their potential cards. If the UFC cuts Conor (hopefully never), Conor may be the king of another promotion, but it will simply NOT be the same status he holds today.

For all of our sake, I hope both parties will continue to collaborate and be happy, but I hope that critical decisions will not be made, based on a whim. The ignoring of the Frankie Edgar no-brainer fight is not a good indication in my book.

I’m not about to boycott the RDA fight. I may have opinions, but I love MMA too much to be silly. Hell, I’ll watch Conor fight an Ox if they schedule this. I just want to see his story told a little differently is all I’m saying.

There. I said it, I meant it, I’m here to represent it.

As usual, feel free to comment, share and like.

Until next time,

MMA Evolution Is Not Independent (Decisions, Decisions…)

Welcome back everyone,

I sure am glad I opened 2016 with a positive post because this post is a rant of sorts. Well, I will try not to be whiny, though this morning – it may prove very difficult indeed, and instead try to put together some thoughts that may explain what it is that’s behind the growing frustration I feel with regards to this great sport of MMA.

MMA is a relatively young sport and it is always evolving, inside the cage as well as on the outside. Rules and regulations have standardized, weight classes were put in place and don’t get me started on training methods and philosophies.

I think it’s safe to say that what evolved more than anything are – the fighters themselves. From specialized martial artists, they have become – the better ones at least – well-rounded fighters with well-defined emphasis on their natural advantages (and disadvantages).

For the most part, I’m happy with the direction the sport went to. I do not share the misguided nostalgic view of some fans who wish we’d go back to some “olden times” when fighters were paid peanuts to get into a potentially unsafe environment to fight someone twice their size.

No, I like the standardization, I like the professional outlook and I like that big money comes into the picture – to an extent.

Now, so far so good right? So why am I so frustrated?

Well, like anything really, MMA cannot keep evolving into a household mainstream sport as long as – what is supposed to be – supporting personnel and organizations don’t evolve along with it.

I will try to break it down point by point, so it makes some kind of sense:

  • Weight Classes and fighter safety – I’ve written about this topic in the past, and in light of recent events I think it demands immediate attention. The last thing an organization like the UFC needs is a fighter dying, or severely injured due to an irresponsible weight cut. People may not like this, but additional weight classes (I’m looking at the gaps between 170/185 and 185/205 especially) may greatly help on two fronts.
    • Weight cut risks – Fighters won’t need to cut so much weight prior to fights (a MW may be walking around at 205 lbs+ and a WW may be almost 205 himself), thus significantly reducing the risk of adverse reaction.
    • Help the in-betweeners – There are fighters who may be small for their weight class, and the existence of a closer weight may provide them the opportunity to achieve more, without putting their health at such a great risk. Want some examples? Think Kelvin Gastelum, Johnny Hendricks or Nate Marquardt. something between MW and WW would be a perfect fit for them.
  • Big Money/That Reebok Deal – On the one hand, that makes perfect sense. We want a sport that doesn’t look like a backyard production. A sport that the people viewing, won’t look down on. Great. But as it currently stands, it is unfairly tipped in the promoter/product’s favor. That, ladies and gents, is not how you treat fighters who quite literally risk their well-being for said promoter. Big money is good. But more money should be directed at the people taking the risk. Otherwise, the organization runs the risk of bleeding talent in the long run. Just my 2 cents on the big bucks.
  • Rules adaptations – While I’m pleased with how well-rounded fighters are these days, it seems like there’s a place for some rules changes. The first one – in my most humble opinion – is scoring for TD defense. A takedown will count in the scorecards, but when a fighter prevents such attempt, it is ignored. I see no reason why. It’s a simple example of how rules may need to be adjusted in light of the progress that is made by fighters.
  • PEDs – Sure, progress was made and I can’t be happier. Well, for the sake of the sport, and mostly the fighters themselves – I hope that this envelope would be pushed to the max. We do not want fighters ending their careers and lives due to drug use. See WWE for possible traumatic results.
  • Judging – If there is one thing that can be solved fairly easily – again, in my humble opinion – it’s that painful issue of judging. How many times, for GSP’s sake, have we been outraged by judges calls? Seriously, this has to stop. Now, I know how Dana says “Don’t leave it to the judges” and to some extent I’m on board with this, but when you watch a fight like Lawler Vs. Condit you have to ask yourself – “What more do you want?”. We’re way past the street fight mentality of the early days – and for a damn good reason. We’re supposed to be watching a professional sport here. And when two fighters go at it for 5 rounds and do not get a finish, a decision needs to be made. No excuses. And the people making it need to be on the ball. Now, granted – I’m a regular Condit fangirl – and you may (if so inclined) blame me for having a case of butthurt, but regardless, it is my absolutely unbiased opinion that the judges messed up yet another key fight, with huge implications. This is just one example of so many botched decisions and my opinion on the whole is not based only on one of my favorite’s loss. Joe Rogan ranted today about the topic, and while I don’t sign on each and every word he said, I agree that there are things that could be done today, right now, to improve on this front. The idea of having 5 judges (instead of 3) score big fights – at the very least title fights – makes so much sense it actually baffles me how it wasn’t implemented years ago. This is not only needed so fans like me won’t get their panties in a bunch. It is a need of the UFC as an organization that wants to be taken seriously. If decisions are jokes, it makes a joke of the sport and the organization.

Well, this is the end of today’s rant. As for my UFC195 predictions… I went 3 for 5 (though I totally disagree with the decisions on the 2 I missed… but that’s besides the point).

I would love your feedback on the points above so don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. As long as it’s not violent or racist, I’m not one to censor. If you think I’m wrong – be my guest and explain why. I’m known to change my mind from time to time (when the argument makes sense).

Check out THIS POST by P-GreatWhite_J for more opinions regarding judging and other MMA topics!


Thank you for stopping by folks,

The 5 Most Likable UFC Fighters

Hello everyone and welcome to the year 2016!

I wanted to start the year off with something positive. You know I like the occasional rant, but on the whole, I prefer to focus on the positive and uniting. With that in mind, I decided to write a few words about some of the most likable UFC fighters. You know, these guys who no matter what their fight record is (and it’s pretty impressive), you just cannot NOT like them. That statement alone just cost every respective champion his/her spot in this list, because let’s face it… the minute a fighter succeeds, s/he attracts almost as much hate as s/he does adoration.

No, these guys are not perfect (no one is). They have lost a few times. Experienced some big disappointments. But when most of us MMA fans see their names on an upcoming fight card, we immediately smile, knowing at least one fight is sure to be a good one. In addition to that, personality does come into the picture. There are plenty of good UFC fighters who fight well. But some guys generate something that makes it virtually impossible to dislike. Definition of Charisma?

These guys are the 5 most likable UFC fighters. You might say that if you do NOT like these guys, you should probably ask yourself “Why am I following MMA?”:

One more caveat – There are a few relatively new fighters who may enter this list, but I’d like to give them some more time. So no Conor for you!

The 5 most likable UFC fighters:

Jim Miller

Jmiller

Record: 25-6-0, 1NC
Notable Wins: Joe Lauzon, Melvin Guillard, Charles Oliveira, Gleison Tibau, Duane Ludwig
Why we love him: When you think about the fight game and the reason we love it, one thing seems to be common among most MMA fans (well, educated MMA fans at least) – It’s about respect. You’d be hard pressed to find a guy who fights like a lion inside the cage and shows respect outside of it, more than Jim. No nonsense, let’s fight now and be friends when this is over. Nothing personal. Jim is a true and gritty scrapper and with skills up the wazoo. He’s been involved in some of the most entertaining fights in UFC history and still manages to stay relevant without resorting to shticks. It’s true that PPV sales need some “shenanigans” but the sport needs the Jim Millers to maintain credibility and respect. Jim Miller is a true Mixed Martial Artist.

Carlos Condit

Ccondit

Record: 30-8-0
Notable Wins: Nick Diaz, Thiago Alves, Martin Kampman, Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy
Why we love him: One of my personal favorites, Carlos Condit is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game. 28 (TWENTY EIGHT) finishes inside the cage, WEC Welterweight champion, UFC interim Welterweight champion. The credits roll can run all night. He’s a natural alright… When Condit fights, it’s to finish and make a statement (and I will not be dragged into the Nick Diaz debate, Carlos won. Move along). Again, respectful and limits the “trash talk” to the bare minimum, and even when he needs to do some “promoting” it looks awkward which shows how unnatural this is for him. I personally hope to see him with the belt tomorrow. But even if that doesn’t happen, Carlos is one of these guys you simply have to like.

Diego Sanchez

Dsanchez

Record: 27-8-0
Notable Wins: Nick Diaz, Takanori Gomi, Paulo Thiago, Clay Guida, Kenny Florian
Why we love him: The first ultimate fighter winner insists on being an ultimate fighter. In his head, Diego is the best there was/is/ever-will-be and he goes into every fight with this mentality. Diego took some punishment in his fights but there is simply no quit in him. Another one who’s not a big trash talker. Promotion work, sure, but mostly about himself and not his opponent. He may never win a belt, but he won our hearts.

Joe Lauzon

Jlauzon

Record: 24-12-0
Notable Wins: Jeremy Stephens, Melvin Guillard, Michael Chiesa, Takanori Gomi, Jens Pulver
Why we love him: When you look at Joe for the first time, it’s deceiving.  This scrawny kid is a fighter??? are you kidding me? When you watch him actually fight, you understand why Joe’s the UFC Bonus recipients leader. As with everyone in this list, he doesn’t win ’em all. But he’s always there to entertain, to fight his heart out and (quite literally) to bleed it out for the fans and for his legacy. I doubt that Joe thinks titles. I think Joe is one of these true-at-heart Mixed Martial Artists. A purist if you’d like. A guy you just have to like.

Donald Cerrone

DCerrone

Record: 28-6-0, 1NC
Notable Wins: Jamie Varner, Charles Oliveira, Dennis Siver, Melvin Guillard, Evan Dunham, Edson Barboza, Jim Miller
Why we love him: Donald is likely the odd man out in this group. But then again, Donald is the odd man out period. Yeah, Cerrone likes the occasional verbal confrontation, but it always look like it’s tongue in cheek. With a smile. Inside the cage, Cerrone is as tough as they come. With 20 finishes, some of which are real highlight reel material, and a very impressive list of “victims”, Cerrone is one of UFC’s best ever LWs. Outside the cage, Cerrone manages to combine being a very hard worker with constantly looking for challenges. Always ready to fight (both mentally as well as physically), The Cowboy will (and has more than once) take on opponents on the fly. Donald Cerrone is one of these guys who combine a very deep well of skills with a just enough of a colorful personality. My favorite UFC fighter and likely one of the most revered member of the UFC.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post as much as you enjoy watching these guys at their trade. If you think I left someone out (and I most likely did), feel free to leave a comment. and of course…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

May all your wishes come true.

For More MMA on this blog

‘Till next time,


UFC 195 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

2016 is starting where 2015 left off with a card that promises a lot. It’s not a 3 events weekend, but hey, it’s a title fight between two very skilled men, preceded by pretty much a HW #1 contender fight.

I’ve written many words in December 2015, so for this one, I will just shut up for a bit.

Let the predicting of UFC 195 coming up this Saturday, January 2nd on PPV commence. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

TrujilloVsSims

Abel Trujillo by TKO

BrandaoVsOrtega

Diego Brandao by TKO

LarkinVsTumenov

Albert Tumenov by TKO

MiocicVsArlovski

Stipe Miocic by TKO

and now! the moment millions of MMA fans have been waiting for, from Las Vegas, Nevada! This is the main event of the evening!

LawlerVsCondit

Carlos Condit by Submission

Don’t forget to get back here by Monday morning for the after MMAth!

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 195 on PPV – This Saturday, January 2nd!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!