Take THAT, UFC200!

Hello everyone, welcome back to another installment of UFC PPV AfterMMAth.

It seems like anyone with the ability to express themselves spoke of one thing and one thing only these past few weeks – UFC200. Continue reading

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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

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,

UFC 185 – Predictions

Hi there!

Did you guys settle down after Ronda Rousey’s latest title defense? Then saddle up! Cause we’re about to get a main event which includes a guy called “Showtime”, and another person who finished Ben Henderson. Just before this, in the co main, we will have another title fight with two talented ladies (and hopefully 184 showed you these ladies can rumble). Let’s start predicting the results of UFC 185 coming up this Saturday, March 14th on PPV. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

CariasoCejudo

 Chris Cariaso by UD

NelsonOvereem

Alistair Overeem by TKO

HendricksBrown

Johny Hendricks by TKO

EsparzaJedrzejczyk

Carla Esparza by UD

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

PettisDosAnjos

Anthony Pettis 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 185 on PPV – This Saturday, March 14th!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

The Morning After:

Oh boy was I WAY off target on this one 🙂 Let’s review how miserably I’ve done and say a few words about each of my shortcomings…

1. Ok, so I went with the known. Did not know Cejudo until last night and well… have been sleeping on a pretty solid fighter who will present a very big problem to any opponent he’ll face. Cejudo’s wrestling is WAY up there, above anyone in his weight class. He has the strength and seems to have enough stamina (well, duh… gold medalist wrestler) to go the distance if necessary. 0 for 1.

2. I was thinking TKO for Overeem and assumed (correctly) that he’d attack the body with vicious knees and kicks, which he executed perfectly. Any lesser man would have been broken after that first round. But this is Big Country we’re talking about, and the man has a heart of a lion! I’m giving myself the full point just because it’s Roy 🙂 1 for 2.

3. He was close twice. Two lefts have landed flush on Browns chin but with less power than we’re used to. Either way, it seems like Johny learned a thing or two from GSP (we will get back to that later), especially not to open himself up with reckless abandon. He completely nullified Brown’s striking and mauled him all over the cage. If Brown hadn’t grabbed the cage twice in key moments (once just before being rag-dolled) and Johny’s shorts on other occasions… Dana White was “not impressed”. Oh well. One does not simply finishes Matt Brown. 1.5 for 3.

4. Ok, no excuses. I do not know this division well enough. Picked Carla for her wrestling but man oh man, is Joanna a scary scary fighter. I’m tempted to say that with the TD defense we saw from her – and against arguably the best wrestler in that division – and striking that is nothing short of phenomenal… A 115 lb Rousey?… 1.5 for 4.

5. Please say it with me – FIGHT.OF.THE.YEAR! Wow. Wow and once again WOW! I gave it to Pettis because I thought his striking was superior. I knew that Dos Anjos had it in him to win though. But what I (or, I suspect, anyone other than RDA’s camp) did not expect was how one sided, decisive and impressive his win would be. Hats off to what I consider one of the most title wins in UFC history. No less. Let’s talk for a second about GSP. People criticized him for not going “all out” in title defenses. I used to respond to that with the argument that it’s up to the challenger to bring it to the champ. It’s the challenger’s fight to win and the champ’s to lose. Well, Rafael Dos Anjos, your NEW LW champion did exactly that. He brought the fight to Pettis. RDA is now only second to Cerrone as my favorite LW 🙂 1.5 for 5 😦

See you just before UFC 186 when I’d do my damnedest to predict over 50% 🙂

UFC 181 Predictions

I’m so looking forward to this one, I was getting ready to watch it last Saturday… You can imagine my face when I realized it wasn’t for another week. CAN’T WAIT!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? 2 title fights, 4 magnificent contenders. BRING IT ON!!! And of course, don’t forget to check back by Monday morning, for some after thoughts.
UFC181Pred

 

The Morning After:

1. What can I say about Tony Ferguson? That he has a granite chin, the heart of a lion? True, true. I was counting on his excellent movement and I have to admit I was worried in the first round, when Trujillo managed to catch him repeatedly (Kudos to that) and rocked him once really bad. But then, Ferguson pressed the “reset” button, adjusted (like a true mixed martial artist) and gave a technical clinic. Blocked the TDs, when he was temporarily taken town – he got up on pure skill, moved his head out of the way, and eventually sunk that sweet choke… I’m taking this point cause a finish is a finish 🙂 1 for 1.
2. This one had a KO written all over it. I went with the unknown to “upset”, but kudos Duffee on a triumphant return to the octagon! 1 for 2.
3. Travis Browne is one of my favorites. Definitely my favorite HW right after the injured true champ. Not much to say except great movement and great decision making, especially on the ground. Did not try to play the submission game with Schaub and elected to pound. 2 for 3.
4. When Pettis kicked Benson Henderson in that unforgettable fight in WEC, I told people not to think that this would be the highlight of his career. Pettis is the real deal. One of the best champions we have. Are you kidding me? submitting Melendez? The 155 was always a very entertaining weight class and title runs were very difficult to maintain. Barring serious surprises, I predict Pettis will have a good one. He’s far, far from over. Taking half a point for the win. 2.5 for 4.
5. Oh well, I’m not sure in which universe that decision is right… but I’ll take it. Henrdicks did everything right. in my books it was at the very least 48-47 Hendricks (2,3,4). I already saw the comparisons to GSP and they were in place, except… GSP never held on to a single leg for a full round like Johny did in the 5th… But other than that Johny had the fight in his pocket. 3.5 for 5.
If you happened to watch MMA for the first time last night, I allow myself to count you as new fans 🙂 1 decision (and a controversial one at that) and 4 nice finishes. Skills, heart, the whole package. This event ROCKED! See you on UFC182.

Highlights (Credit: MMA Weekly)

Wanna tell me something? Go ahead, right down here.

Anderson “The Spider” Silva A.K.A G.O.A.T

Hello everyone. Thanks for checking back, even though no one forced you (right? rrrrright? right!).

On December 16, 2010, two Lightweights fought for the WEC title for the last time. The fight ended with a unanimous decision but is much more known for “the kick heard around the world”. It was a thing of beauty. The innovation, the execution, so fitting of the final event of this promotion. For weeks after that, people argued whether Anthony Pettis was “for real” or just a guy who executed a nice kick. I think we all know the answer to that question. The UFC LW belt tells it all.

UFC 168 on Last Saturday night possibly marked another “last event” with another kick that was heard around the world. This one was checked by the Middle Weight champion Chris Weidman. I will give the champ all due respect at a later time. These next paragraphs are dedicated to the man who delivered the kick. The man who is the Greatest MMA fighter of all time. Anderson “The Spider” Silva.

I could fill this post by simply pasting all of his records and statistics, but mere numbers won’t do this man justice. It’s true that no other champion in the history of the sport has defended his title more than Silva. It’s also true that Anderson holds the record for most UFC wins in a row. But as I said, this is just a dry statistical overview of someone who is much more significant to MMA and UFC than data.

If you saw him in the octagon you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, go do it now.

I watch MMA fights since 2009 and have gone back and watched a significant number of fights dating way back. I’ve seen great fighters. I’ve seen some really fancy stuff. But I’ve never seen a fighter like Silva. A man who can “dodge bullets” if you will. Neo.

Perhaps it’s the Capoeira, or simply agility, or many other attributes. Whatever it is, until Chris Weidman capitalized on an open chin, no one could touch him. Fighters have thrown punches and kicks, only to be frustrated by his sneaky movement. Frustration led to recklessness, which in turn led to defeat. Silva didn’t need to exert too much energy it seemed. All he had to do was stand in front of his opponent, duck to the left, bend to the right, quick step back, punch, kick, knock out.

Anderson is class, inside the cage and out. Respects the sport and is respected by all. Silva doesn’t talk much. He just works, and last Saturday he came to do some work on the champion who took his title.

We don’t know whether that kick ended Silva’s career. At least according to some reports, he still – at the age of 38 – entertains the thought of going back to training following surgery. If you ask me, he shouldn’t. He has nothing to prove.

Regardless of what Silva does from now on, I look at the current roster of fighters in MMA’s biggest stage, UFC. I see a lot of talent. A lot of promise. I have a good feeling about the future in terms of competition and the evolution of the sport.

I know one thing though. With the exception of Jon Jones (we will talk about him in the near future), It’s very difficult to believe that anyone could show this kind of domination over a division the way The Spider did.

Thank you Anderson, A.K.A G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time)!