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.


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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.

December To Remember (UFC’s Greatest Month)

Ladies and gentlemen, we are liiiiiiiiive!

How many times did we hear that in the month of December, the year of 2015? On the second weekend of December alone, Bruce Buffer went all out on the microphone 3 times.

Indeed, it is a December to remember.

And for that reason, I decided to start with The Big UFC Prediction Extravaganza.

That was followed by 3 summary posts for these events:

Last night saw the last UFC event of 2015 and what can I say? It ended with a bang. I am a little disappointed at the score of last night’s main event, but it will pass. The reason we are here is to look at my predictions and say a few words to summarize this run of events which delivered.

We Roll:

Randa Markos Vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Another good display from the ladies. I don’t have much to say as I don’t know these ladies well enough. I can only say that both have a chance to shine in this division. Markos showed a lot of grit and physical strength. Along with training at Tri-Star, that pretty much guarantees a good future. Kowalkiewicz showed very technical striking and conditioning. She wasn’t scared to scuffle with Markos wherever the fight went. 1 for 1.

Michael Johnson Vs. Nate Diaz

I’ll be honest with you. Whenever a Diaz brother fights I have only one hope. The hope that the opponent would shut him up already… Alas, Nate showed up with a boxing presentation that was equaled only by his taunting and head games. A typical Diaz fight. But it worked. It worked wonders. Not only did Diaz put on a clinic on a very strong opponent, he was also able to get under Johnson’s skin very quickly, throwing him off-balance and securing the win very early. You can’t deny Diaz his skills, that much is obvious. I just wish – with all my heart – that he’d grow the hell up already so I can cheer for him… Calling Conor and walking out the wrong side of the cage was on par too. 1 for 2.

Junior Dos Santos Vs. Alistair Overeem

I truly believed Junior was going to circle, jab, close in once with a good punch and finish this early. Instead it was Overeem who did the circling, softening Junior a bit with leg kicks and eventually proving Conor McGregor right. Precision beats power. That was a beautifully placed touch which marked the end of the fight. Are we really going to see Reem fight for a title in 2016? 1 for 3

Donald Cerrone Vs. Rafael Dos Anjos

Oh, my heart still aches from this one… See, when it comes to Cerrone, I’m a regular fangirl…I will never pick against one of my all time favorites. I can’t. I won’t. Even when he’s facing someone who already beat him soundly. Even when that guy is a real champion who fights like a war machine. Rafael Dos Anjos just might be the first really dominant LW champion, in a division that has seen the belt change hands more often than it used to, up until Frankie Edgar dethroned BJ Penn. We will be watching as an underrated, under-appreciated champ plows through very tough competition in awe… and Cowboy? Well, Cowboy Cerrone will always be a people’s champion. One of the most fun fighters to watch and cheer for. A personification of MMA. Skills, Heart, Drive, Entertainment. The whole damn package. 1 for 4

Well, this was a terrible predictions night, clouded by my fan-hood, but when I look past that, I have to say that Joe Silva is indeed, a matchmaker extraordinaire. 4 events, very few misses. Title changes, title defenses, new forces emerging, a lot of entertainment. What can we ask more of this? and if you managed to forget, this all came only a month following the kick that was heard around the world!

Time for some wrapping up. We’ve had 4 cards with many fights, even the prelims were loaded with main card mainstay names. I will make a few picks and they will all come from main cards. Ready? Here goes:

FIGHT OF THE MONTH:

This one goes to the UFC Middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold. A fight that featured nonstop action in all aspects of MMA and ended with a new champion.

Honorable mention: Edson Barboza Vs. Tony Ferguson

KO OF THE MONTH:

You might all be picking the obvious – Conor’s 13 seconds one punch KO of Aldo, and you know what?… you’re probably right. The magnitude of this event overshadows my personal favorite – Frankie Edgar’s KO of Chad Mendes.

Honorable mention: Except for Frankie, Overeem landed a perfect punch which deserves a shout out.

SUBMISSION OF THE MONTH:

Charles Oliveira fought one fight before a main card started… so the submission of the month has to go to Tony Ferguson, with a nice D’arce choke on Edson Barboza. Not only was that executed so well, it also prevented a possible loss due to a point deducted earlier in the fight.

Honorable mention: Supersage Northcutt taking advantage of a reckless drive of his opponent to sink in a brutal guillotine.

Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Leave your comments below. Don’t be scared homie.

That’s all folks.

Before I leave you, I also wanted to share a few more external links to some interesting articles in the wake of this UFC tour de force:

Until next time, have yourself a merry little Christmas and a happy new year!

UFC Weekend Special – Part 3

Hello there people of the MMA universe and other internet dwellers. WHAT A WEEKEND! What a treat. Short preamble today, mostly to put things in context and since I have a bunch to say down the line.

The great prediction extravaganza starts right here with THIS post.

On Part 1 – we summarize Thursday’s UFC Fight night

On Part 2 – we summarize Friday night’s TUF Finale

On Part 3 (the one you’re currently reading) – we are summarizing UFC 194.

We Roll:

Max Holloway Vs Jeremy Stephens

It seems like this was a classic case of two good strikers respecting each other enough to avoid an all out war. Stephens went for multiple TD attempts – which seems to confirm this, and Max didn’t open up as he usually does. But don’t let this fool you. It wasn’t a bad/boring fight. Just not a slug fest. I picked up 1 for 1 with Holloway’s decision win.

Demain Maia Vs. Gunnar Nelson

Before this fight started I was wondering about one thing only. Will this be a BJJ contest, or would these two guys cancel each other out and opt to strike? Well, after a 15 minutes BJJ clinic by BJJ master Demian Maia, the answer was – neither. Maia just took over and dominated the fight with TD after TD and submission attempt after another. Nelson’s ability to weather this attack is testament to his ability and heart. 2 for 2. Seems like I’m well on my way to a 100% prediction night!

Ronaldo Souza Vs. Yoel Romero

Or am I?…

In my little world, there’s no way Romero knocks out Jacare, so this will either be a decision win for Souza, or a submission win. You know, I don’t like it when judging and refereeing gets in the way, but last night was a case where it just overshadowed the fight and it’s a damn shame. It’s a shame of a title contention magnitude. Leave aside the negligible spoiled prediction rate here. Three things just screamed to high heaven as wrong. One being the overall score. Jacare won rounds 2 and 3. Romero somehow got the decision win… Two, being that phantom 10-8 round… where? when did that happen?… the fact that Yoel dropped Jacare in the first (just a tumble, Jacare was a 100%) and controlled half of the round? Up until then, Jacare was out striking him… how does that translate into 10-8? I just don’t get it. and Three… that fence grab… Jacare – an excellent BJJ practitioner mind you – was well on his way to a beautiful TD when “Mr. No gay for Jesus” grabs the fence… Oh shame on you. What would Jesus do? immediately following that, Yoel drops Jacare for a TD of his own. Now, true, the ref stood them up immediately for the cheat, but come on man… that’s not enough. The judges completely ignored that. A point should have been deducted there. That really pissed me off… now Jacare has to reset his quest for a title shot. 2 for 3.

Chris Weidman Vs. Luke Rockhold

Well, while everyone were busy getting their panties in a bunch for Aldo and McGregor, mine were in a bunch for this one. My own main event of the evening. Having watched Rockhold close up, mauling Phillippou and following him ever since the Strikeforce days I knew he had it in him to beat anyone in MW. He is exactly as advertised. Strong, skilled in all disciplines, hard-working and training in AKA with elite fighters doesn’t hurt him one bit. First round was ok. I even tended to give it to Luke. Second one was definitely Rockhold’s with multiple kicks and strikes. Third started good for Weidman but then he tried a spinning kick and the fight spiraled out of control for him, with Rockhold in full mount and raining leather. Dear Herb, I normally like your reffing decisions. This should have been stopped right there and then. But I get it. A champ gets a chance to redeem himself. Not for long though. Luke picked up where he left off and finished the fight to win the belt. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the only way to win a belt off of a reigning champion. 3 for 4.

Jose Aldo Vs. Conor McGregor

It’s been quite a few hours since that moment in history – and make no mistake, that was historical in UFC terms – and still, It’s hard to find the right words to express the shock. Not that Conor won. I predicted (along with many) that he would. But damn… 13 seconds… I won’t bore you with too much verbiage here. Conor said it all – “Precision beats power and timing beats speed“. The man knows… ask Chad Mendes who’ve been a victim twice in his last fights to exactly that. Jose Aldo is a legend of the sport, and not even that can taint his status. Conor is a legend in the making. I honestly can’t say where his limits are… I’d like to see Frankie/Conor as soon as they’re ready. Regardless of the outcome of this one, I look at the list of LW UFC fighters and drool at the prospect of him going up a weight class… 4 for 5.

Thank you judges for spoiling what should’ve been a perfect prediction night… but it’s all good. 4 out of 5 following the previous night’s 6 out of 7 more than compensates for the miserable 1 out of 4 that started this prediction extravaganza

And it’s not over until Donald Cerrone sings folks!

The next MMA post can be expected following next Saturday’s event, in which we will summarize a December to remember!

We can finally rest a little…

Thank you,

 


UFC Weekend Special – Part 2

Hello there, had enough yet? Didn’t think so.

First thing’s first, let’s put you in perspective. UFC scheduled 3 events in 3 consecutive nights and at this time, after 2 of them, I’m summarizing my predictions as well as give a few of my thoughts about the fights.

It all starts on this magnificent prediction post (or is it?), then comes Part 1, annnnd noooow…. Part 2.

We Roll:

Oh, hold on please… It seems like I totally messed up the prediction post. I honestly don’t know how it came to be that fights from the prelims showed up as main card and visa versa… but you know what? I will take that in stride, just like Mr. Tony Ferguson (more on that later) and count my apparent blessings…

NOW We Roll:

Joby Sanchez Vs Geane Herrera

What a fun fight that was. Bombs launched, exchanged, momentum shifted once or twice. In the end, the revolutionary put a stop to Joby via a second round TKO. Woo Hoo. 1 for 1 in my prediction for the night.

Gabriel Gonzaga Vs. Konstantin Erokhin

After a fun night came one of the slowest, most sluggish and mainly – tentative HW fights in history, no less. For 2.5 rounds, they mostly circled, threw some shadow boxing punches and Gonzaga went for a late TD on both first rounds. In the third, Gonzaga decided to try the TD earlier and easily scored it – which only begged the question – Why? Why for the love of GSP haven’t you done that way earlier in the fight?… Oh well. If there ever was a boring decision victory, Gonzaga nailed it. On the bright side – 2 for 2!

Tatsuya Kawajiri Vs. Jason Knight

The commentators kept telling us how good Knight is, but I think we discovered a little hole in his game. Yes, TD defense is not his strong suit. Then again, it’s Kawajiri. Not the most exciting fight ever, but it worked. Also on the prediction side. 3 for 3.

Ryan LaFlare Vs. Mike Pierce

It was nice to see Pierce back with the UFC. I think he deserves another chance. Not everyone wins a belt, but Pierce is not a pushover either. Unfortunately for him, he met LaFlare who’s size and reach were just a little too much for him to solve. Mike did tag him a couple of times and all I can say is good luck for both these guys.  4 for 4.

Joe Lauzon Vs. Evan Dunham

When you have Joe Lauzon in a fight you know 2 things with the utmost certainty. One – There will be blood. Most likely Joe’s. Two – It will absolutely never be a disappointing fight. Check and Check. However, what we saw last night was a new and improved Evan Dunham. What a beautiful display of striking. Combination after combination, clinch work, distance, you name it – he nailed it. It seemed like he completely messed up Joe’s game plan and for the most part, with no answer. Great fight. I’m dropping the first prediction here… 4 for 5.

Tony Ferguson Vs. Edson Barboza

My personal main event of the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve learned my lesson. See, I picked against El Cucuy twice in the past and failed on both counts. No more. I won’t say much about the fight. Find it. Watch it. Instead, let me riddle you this – what happens if you give a guy skills on every facet of the game, striking, grappling, TD defense and then add a granite chin, a no quit mental attitude and a big gas tank to boot? Yeah, you have no choice but to call him El Cucuy. Ferguson is without a doubt – the best TUF winner ever. I see a title fight within 18 months. 5 for 6.

Frankie Edgar Vs. Chad Mendes

Frankie Edgar will forever be the most underrated, most disrespected, unappreciated phenomenon. It seems like it doesn’t matter who this guy beat or what he accomplishes, forever I will hear the same things about him. This is the guy who beat Hall of famer BJ Penn twice – while being half his size – and destroyed Gray Maynard. This is the fighter who gave Aldo his toughest title defense (at least until tonight), and if you consider the considerable size advantage Conor has, a case can be made that tonight’s main event won’t even contradict the above statement. Frankie Edgar, folks, is one of the best mixed martial artists ever. If he’d have been denied a shot at the FW title now, I think we could have closed up shop and call this boxing… Luckily, even Dana had only one answer. The right answer! more than that. Regardless of the result in the UFC194 main event, If Conor goes up to LW before facing Frankie, I will forever doubt his ability to beat him. This fight has to happen. 6 for 7 on my predictions tonight!

As the night progressed (with the exception of the weird TUF final) the fights improved and we finished strong with a shocking KO.

And on the prediction side? A resounding win! 6 for 7. I did have a good run of 100% nights, but none of them were based on a 7 fight night.

Hope you get some rest because… tonight’s the night! Aldo, McGregor, Weidman, Rockhold… and it goes on…

So, Don’t blink!


UFC 187 – Predictions (A.K.A The king is gone but he’s not forgotten)

Excuse my French people but – ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

DO you realize what a SICK card this is? Seriously, I can’t remember such a loaded card since… like… never.

Leave the fact that we WILL have a new LHW champion following a fight between Anthony Dynamite-In-His-Hand Johnson and Daniel Who-Hadn’t-He-Already-Beat-That-People-Said-He-Won’t Cormier. Leave the fact that this would be one of TWO title fights – the second being Chris Beat-Anderson-TWICE Weidman and Vitor Everyone-Thought-He-Was-Over-But-Hell-No Belfort, It also has a fight with Donald Most-Game-Fighter-In-The-UFC Cerrone and John I-Just-Fought-The-Other-Day Makdessi.

Not enough for ya’?

How about Travis Browne Vs. Andrei Arlovski? or the “curtain jerker” featuring Benavidez Vs. Moraga?

You gotta be shitting me! Who’s that on EARLY perlims? Why it’s the always exciting Mike Pyle. And in the perlims – One John Dodson! Dodson!

SICK SICK CARD!

Ok, I’ll stop before Joe Rogan has nothing left to hype 🙂 On to some predictions. Last time I came out with a whooping 4 out of 5. I’ll try to come close this time as there’s more than one fight that can go either way.

Let’s start predicting the results of UFC 187 coming up this Saturday, May 23rd on PPV. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

Benavidez

Joseph Benavidez by UD

browne

Travis Browne by TKO

cerrone

Donald Cerrone by Submission

weidman

Chris Weidman by UD

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

dc

Daniel Cormier by TKO

Do I really need to say more about this event? Nope.

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

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 187 on PPV – This Saturday, May 23rd!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

YOU DIDN’T REALLY THINK THIS POST WOULD BE OVER WITHOUT SOME JON JONES, DID YOU?

Well, I planned to write a whole post about it, but Kevin Lole over at Yahoo! sports already said it all in THIS GREAT COLUMN.

The Morning After:

You know, when you have a card, so stacked, so hyped like this one, there’s a natural concern that it won’t live up to its potential. Well this one didn’t. it SURPASSED it in flying colors! What a freaking card! In my humble opinion, this was the best fight card I’ve seen since I started watching the sport. We can sit here and reminisce about great fights and events, but I don’t really recall a card where every single fight can stake a claim for fight of the night. and two title fights that delivered to boot. Alright folks, let’s review my predictions:

1. This fight started as aggressively as they come. Definitely not an easy fight to pick. Benavidez was in momentary trouble to start but persevered. Then it was Morga’s turn to show character, which he did for almost 2 full rounds. The third brought us Moraga in desperation mode. Now THIS is how you fight when you know you’re down 2 in the books. I have a ton of respect for Moraga, but I thought Benavidez was more well rounded. Somehow, even though people don’t really talk bad about Joseph, he’s still one of those highly underrated fighters out there. 1 for 1.

2. Are you kidding me??? That was supposed to be the EASIEST fight to pick and it was a no-brainer. Travis Browne all day every day. By whatever way he chose. Please remind me never to doubt Arlovski. I can’t begin to give credit to this fighter. He found every hole in Browne’s striking defense ad capitalized with stunning power. When Browne, knees still visibly shaking, threw a really hard punch and stumbled Andrei he just shrugged it off and went back on the attack, this time to finish. Again – mad respect for this veteran (even though he fucked up a perfect prediction for tonight). Don’t get me wrong though, he has no business challenging Cain just yet, but… 1 for 2.

3. When it comes to Cowboy fighting – I’m a regular fan girl. I don’t pick against Cerrone. But holy hell, what a fight! First round, Donald uses his reach advantage better than Jon Jones. Second round he comes in, throwing combinations of 4, 5 punches and a kick or two for good measure. The fight ends on one of these vicious kicks. I have nothing but utmost respect for Makdessi who not only stepped up to fight less than a month after his recent one, but also significantly stepped up in competition. Kudos and get well soon Mr. Bull. 2 for 3.

4. If you thought Vitor really stood a chance against Weidman, I think you’re somewhat misguided. Aside from a fluke accident, there was really nothing he had to offer. Weidman is to MW what Cain is to HW. Rockhold, Jacare. Two fighters left to face with any kind of threat to his throne. Can’t wait to see these fights. 3 for 4.

5. It was a simple equation in my books. If Rumble can keep this standing and land a couple of times, the fight is his. If Cormier can impose his style of fight, Rumble really doesn’t stand a chance. Big props to DC for taking a mean blow to start the fight and find his equilibrium fast enough to get a hold of a limb. From there on, it was all DC with a Mixed Martial Arts clinic until the finish via RNC. Am I the only one who doesn’t want to see him fight Bader? I have to agree with DC there. Easiest title defense he can ask for. 4 for 5 😦

What a sick card, what a great night! See you just before UFC 188 people.

(Fighter) Safety first

Welcome everybody.

Normally on the Monday following a UFC event, you’d expect to find the “morning after” report in the same prediction post, but since I have more to say than just after thoughts about my picks, I decided to do it in a whole new post of its own. More fun for you, I guess.

Let’s start with the original purpose.

The Morning after:

  1. Much like Joe Rogan, I was watching out for Jordan Mein to show us again why he’s considered such a promising young man. And not that he didn’t. THe first round was his, and he was able to do more than Thiago. The second round brought us Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves. With a beautiful body kick (More on this later) he enabled Mein enough to allow him to swarm with a perfectly legal knee to the head and a couple of punches before earning the TKO. 0 for 1.
  2. Tim Boetsch always come to work. For the majority of the fight he showed why he’s called the Barbarian. Leites did continue to show improved striking skills and held his own for the most part, though the strength differences were pretty obvious in the strikes. Then, Thales was finally able to bring the fight to his world, on the ground and after Boestch did the unthinkable and escaped the first attempt of Leites’ arm triangle, he was locked in a second one and Leites earned the submission victory. 1 for 2.
  3. I was fairly confident in this prediction. Though Lauzon is by far, no pushover, I just believed in Iaquinta’s chin and strength. It was a fun fight like any of Lauzon’s and Iaquinta eventually found the openings he needed and just punched Joe all over the cage (more on that later). 2 for 3.
  4. The crowd booed for the majority of the fight and if you don’t understand MMA, you’d think they were right. What the Vegas douches need to understand are two things. First, when two fighters with knock out power meet, especially when both are knocking on contender-ship door, they are likely not going to stand in front of each other and risk getting knocked out for your entertainment. If they would, I’d seriously doubt their legitimacy. The second thing is that, as opposed to most of the booing “fans”, these two are willing to get into the cage and fight. Easier said than done. Not a great fight, but a fight non the less. Woodley by a hair. 2 for 4.
  5. In the main event, Anderson Silva came back from a horrible injury to prove to himself that he could still do this. Nick Diaz… well, I just don’t know. Never was a fan of Nick (more of Nate). The constant whining, the delusional speeches, the childish behavior… He calls for fights then comes in and spends half of the time taunting (time he could be using to score points), then he’s frustrated. I don’t know. Silva dominated for the vast majority of the fight and clearly won. 3 for 5.

You can watch highlights (Credit: mmaweekly.com) at the bottom of this post.

Now. Having said all that, I wanted to say a few things about fighter’s safety. These thoughts were always bouncing in my head, but I decided to write a little about it after this last week’s weigh in, as well as some of the recent fights.

We all like a good, action packed, aggression filled fight. We love us some knock outs and submission victories. Hell, there were quite a few fights that went the distance and were so full of action, we didn’t really want them to end. That’s why MMA is such a great sport. But what’s the price?

Fighters want to be champions. That is great and motivating. Without the competitive aspect, this sport would be WWE. But what’s the price?

I want to consider a couple of things, with your permission. Or without it, heck, it’s my blog.

Weight Cut

I view weight cut as the necessary evil to allow for a reasonable pairing. It’s not a n easy task for anyone, let alone those who cut a significant amount of weight in order to get to a lower weight class than they might seem to belong to. The motivation is clear. I might be a smaller Middleweight in frame, or height, or reach, so let me drop to 170 and be a big welterweight. Makes sense. Except it doesn’t.

Weight cut might seem trivial, but our bodies are not expecting this dramatic change, nor do they like it. Ask Kelvin Gastelum, or Jimy Hattes. You know what? Ask the new Light-Heavyweight challenger – Anthony “Rumble” Johnson who kept missing weight at Welterweight! A guy like Rumble who is a big LHW, trying to cut all the way down to 170. He’d gas out and not taken seriously. And that’s just the less significant aspect of standings in the organization.

My humble opinion is – if you can’t make weight with relative ease – seriously consider a heavier weight class. It would likely be better for both your health as well as your chances to succeed. And we won’t have to read about you being rushed to a hospital hours before a fight…

 Training Regime

Now I won’t go telling professional MMA fighters how to train. First, because I’m no expert on the matter, and second due to the fact tat the sport is relatively new and still evolving. It’s still somewhat a learning process and we can see new techniques being developed in different camps. Here, I only want to suggest that again, safety should come first. It’s frustrating for fans to see GSP, or Cain Valasquez, or Chris Weidman having to pull out of a an anticipated title fights. I’m sure it’s even more frustrating for the fighters themselves. After all that’s their livelihood.

So if I may use a TV term. Be safe out there!

Stoppages

Let’s talk about that touchy topic for a minute. Some fights end with a definite KO. The fighter is out, period. Some fights end with a tap-out. clear-cut. But what about those TKOs? And the submissions with no taps?

How many times did the referee stop a fight, only to spark the whole “Early stoppage or not?” argument? Or on the flip side – how many times did you wonder whether the referee should’ve stepped in earlier than he did?

Now, again, we want entertainment, but my humble opinion is – better if a fight is stopped a little earlier (to the best judgment of the ref) than too late. The safety of the fighter ensures that we’d be able to watch him fight again. It beats the alternative. We do not want unnecessary career risking injuries or god forbid death in the cage.

That’s it folks. Just wanted to get this out there and perhaps get your perspective on Fighter safety Vs. Fan entertainment Vs. Fighter’s goals and aspirations.

As usual, feel free to leave a comment, share, like and all that 🙂

Enjoy the highlights from UFC 183 below.

P.S. HERE IS an interesting article. Benson Henderson moving up to 170. Along the lines of what I said in the above, that may very well be a really good step for the champ.

P.S.S. LISTEN to what Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has to tell Kelvin Gastelum and John Lineker about weight management.

Thank you,