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.


Advertisements

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!


UFC Weekend Special – Part 1

Hello interwebs,

I just figured that, trying to sum this whole weekend up in one post would not only be too much for one post, it would also be too much to process.

So what you get instead, are small installments for each leg of this fight marathon.

Keep in mind, that these little tidbits all relate to this one prediction post.

We roll:

Elias Theodorou Vs. Thiago Santos

Yup, I was riding the hype train on this one. and I still have a lot of faith in Elias. He’s young and still have time to work on whatever needs improvement. To be frank, I thought the first round was perfect. Keeping the distance with an unusual volume of kicks, some of which hurt Santos, who looked tentative (to say the least). Second round rolls in and… surprise… Elias chooses to clinch against the cage and work for a TD (which he only gets temporarily and at the tail end of the round, after taking some good shots from Santos). The third is where I was a little disappointed… instead of trying something else, Elias went back to the same game plan which proved inefficient in the second and quite predictably – lost the round and the fight. Two of the judges scored the fight 29-27 Santos which implied he had a 10-8 round… As much criticism as I have for Elias last night, I did not see a complete domination on any of the rounds… Oh well… 0 for 1 on my predictions.

Sage Northcutt Vs. Cody Pfister

Yup, the hype train again. But this time with every reason to jump aboard. The first round was interesting, in that “Super Sage” was caught with a perfect TD and though Pfister was able to pass to half guard and even land one or two strikes, he didn’t do much from the top position. After the ref stood the fighters up (in what set the internet on fire, for some odd reason), Sage scored a TD of his own, easily passed guard, landed better Ground and Pound than Pfister could with his dominant position and even applied a submission attempt a few seconds before the horn. And off to the second we go. In which Sage simply took advantage of Pfister’s eagerness to derail his hype train. He grabbed a recklessly exposed neck and cranked on it to submit the hopeful opponent. Now interwebs, let’s ask – what did we learn? Yes, Super Sage can be taken down. He can also defend himself pretty damn well on his back. We learned that he can take a few strikes with stride and reverse the situation. Is he perfect? Far from it. Is he going to be the next big thing? I don’t know. What I do know is that he’s trained by Firas Zahabi. I know he’s young and has a really positive attitude. I guess we know that he has the potential to be a great fighter. Hype train on track. Next stop?… 1 for 2 for the evening.

Jim Miller Vs. Michael Chiesa

One of my sentimental picks. What can I say? I’m a sucker for old school scrappers, and Jim Miller is one of these guys. High skill on the mat, power in both hands and a heart of a lion. The fact that Chiesa was able to finish him, and with a submission to boot, speaks volumes to his credit (Chiesa’s). I only have good words to say about Chiesa and can’t wait to see him face top-level LWs next time around. 1 for 3… en route to a disastrous prediction night…

Paige Vanzant Vs. Rose Namajunas

The night was centered around this fight because, let’s face it. Paige is a very pretty girl who likes to fight. If Dana can only get her to wear a championship belt, he’d be able to overcome the devastation caused earlier this year by Holly Holm. Most of us (admit it folks) fell for this and for some odd reason, Paige came into this fight as the favorite, even though it was Rose who already fought for the belt. There’s no mincing words here gentlemen. Rose completely and thoroughly dominated every second of this fight on her way to a submission victory. I can sing her praise for an hour for a phenomenal performance, but the result speaks for itself. Instead, let’s ask ourselves again – hype train derailed? I say no. I say, the hype train took a detour and will be delayed indefinitely. Because, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that Paige showed us one thing, and this cannot be overstated. Paige has the heart, the physical and mental strength to be a great fighter. She also has time on her side. Very young. With the right coaching and positive attitude, perhaps we can jump aboard this train as it rolls back on the track. Rose, a pretty lady in her own rights will likely face Joanna next and I’m not sure yesterday’s fight is the right one to look at for an early indication. It’s a whole different can of worms. Especially on the striking department. 1 for 4

Oh my god… thank you Super Sage  for preventing a complete disaster (prediction-wise).

All in all it was a very interesting main card and an educating one.

Another card tonight! Don’t blink!


Did You Get A Kick Out of UFC 193?

Hello World,

Oh dear, were my predictions wrong… Not only did I pull a dismal 2 out of 5, but I was also wrong on so many levels, it justified this separate post to discuss the after MMath of UFC193.

Where to start? I guess we’ll take it fight by fight:

Stefan Struve Vs. Josh Rosholt: Not only did I pick the wrong winner, I made the same mistake of many and… actually watched the fight. If you can call it that. Two fighters entered the cage and simply refused to utilize their respective advantage to cause any significant damage… Struve seem to forget he’s about 6 feet taller than everybody else and does not utilize his reach to save his life. Rosholt wouldn’t commit to the ground game even though he took Struve down at will. Nothing happened for 15 min. Well, aside for a growing irritation among the 50K+ Aussies in attendance… 0 for 1.

Uriah Hall Vs. Robert Whittaker: I got a couple of things to say. One for each fighter. We’ll start with the loser. If Uriah Hall wants to be Chuck Lidell and become a great counter striker he needs to add 3 things to his game plan: movement, speed of said movement and some urgency. He can’t expect to have enough time to rack up points, or be effective enough to finish if he only starts engaging a round and a half into a fight. Especially when his opponent thanks him for the lack of movement by repeatedly tagging him and escaping to the safety of center cage. As for the winner. Whittaker came prepared and worked his game plan almost to perfection. That being said, he’s lucky his chin is made of granite and could withstand two lethal head kicks and some really good shots when Hall finally woke up from his slumber. It was a very entertaining fight though, no complaints there. 0 for 2.

Mark Hunt Vs. Antonio Silva: I had a feeling this would end fast and it did. In favor of the right fighter for a change. 1 for 3.

joanna jedrzejczyk (JJ from now on) Vs. Valerie Letourneau: Valerie did what no other could. Go 5 rounds with Joanna. 3 of them very competitive. I even game her round 1. On the other hand, when you have laser guided missiles for punches and elbows, the odds will be in your favor. Joanna is a striker of a different league than any of the ladies in the UFC (Yes, that includes Holm) and I’d argue that it’s among the best overall. That was one hell of a fight. Hardly time to breathe between shots. and the last time I was right for the night. 2 for 4.

NOW.

Let’s take a deep breath before we dive into the main event. The shocker. The kick heard around the world.

Here’s what I tweeted shortly before the fight:

See, like many around the world, it seemed logical to me that Holm could possibly catch Ronda coming in, but like the same many, I thought it very unlikely. I saw Ronda coming in, through Holm’s punches, grabbing a hold, take down, arm bar.

The fight started pretty much as expected. Ronda forcing her way through Holm’s reach. Getting tagged, true, but returning the favor.

The turning point in my book was seeing Holm stand up quickly after the takedown and the botched submission attempt. That’s when I understood this is anything but a standard Rousey title defense. And sho’ enough… it was lights out not long after that.

A lot has already been said about this. Comparisons made to Silva’s first loss to Weidman. To GSP’s loss to Serra. But one thing that I hardly saw reference to was one bearded man from Albuquerque, New Mexico and the man who – I believe – is responsible for this fantastic upset.

How many times did we see Greg Jackson lead a fighter into battle and come out on top? A lot, right? How many times were we witnesses to that man’s pretty awesome MMA strategic brain? Like sending GSP to jab Koscheck nearly to death? Or get in Thiago Alves’s face (“Coach, I think I tore my groin – I don’t care George, just take it and beat him with it!”)?

Ready for some conspiratorial speculations? Let me ask a couple of questions, and you may answer them right here in the comments section if you’re so inclined:

  • What if Greg directed Holm to choose the last time she saw Ronda before the fight to get under her skin?
  • What if Jackson wanted Rousey to come in super-aggressive?
  • What if… What if it was the plan all along to get to the title fight after what is perceived as a sleepy point racking enterprise?
  • What if Greg knew Ronda would sleep on Holm’s power and skill?
  • What if Greg knew that Holm can get up if taken down?
  • What if Jackson told Holm to take Rousey down the first chance she got, to further throw her off-balance?

Do these sound fantastic? Perhaps some of them do… but we’re talking about a man with a plan. A coach that stages a strategy per round, and knows how to adjust when necessary. We’re talking about arguably the best MMA coach in the world. A man who brought us 2 of the all time greatest champions, in addition to many more greatly talented fighters.

To sum this up. That kick shocked the world. But I bet you – Greg Jackson was not surprised. Not one little bit.

That is all for today folks. It was a great card with great entertaining fights. another event where the ladies outplayed the men.

See you just before UFC 194 with another attempt to predict a .500+


UFC 193 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

Here we go! one of two awesome cards (on paper) to close out 2015 is coming up this weekend and I for one, am super excited!

Pretty much all the events leading up to these two (193 and 194) served as appetizers, what with the never-ending UFC promo work during every break… I won’t lie, I’m sold. I especially look forward to one women fight. Oh yeah, a woman champion is involved. She’s a “bad-ass” fighter who looks to destroy her opponents, always moving forward, looking to cause damage and further her career and legacy. I am, of course, referring to… Joanna Jedrzejczyk!

Gotach! 🙂

Bet you were thinking Rousey like most of the population, but while I truly respect Ronda, I find Joanna’s fights more fun to watch. Something about her style perhaps, or the speed with which they take place.

These two women title fights are not all this PPV is about but they are the most hyped (and rightfully so). I will elaborate more when we review the results, but for the moment…

Let the predicting of UFC 193 coming up this Saturday, November 14th on PPV commence. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

StruveVsRosholt

Stefan Struve by TKO

HallVsWhittaker

Uriah Hall by UD

HuntVsSilva1

Mark Hunt by KO

JedrzejczykVsLetourneau

Joanna Jedrzejczyk by TKO

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

RouseyVsHolm

Ronda Rousey 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 193 on PPV – This Saturday, November 14th!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!


UFC 184 – Predictions

Wow, two posts in one day!, Lucky you 🙂

Let us not mince words here. We’re here to do one thing, and one thing only and that is to predict the results of the upcoming UFC 184 on PPV this Saturday, 2/28/15 at 10:00 PM ET (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

Tibaue

Gleison Tibau by UD

Jouban

Alan Jouban by UD

ellenberger

Jake Ellenberger by TKO

Holm

Holly Holm by TKO

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

Zingano

Cat Zingano 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 184 on PPV – This Saturday, February 28th!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

The Morning After:

1. I will NOT doubt Ferguson again! I thought Tibau would last the full 3 rounds and had the edge when it came to power. Wrong and wrong. So happy to be wrong :-). 0 for 1.

2. I was right on the direction of the fight, though Jouban did an excellent job finishing this. Way to go. 0.5 for 2.

3. Ellenberger does it! finishes Josh Koshcheck with a beautiful choke that I’m not so sure he planned or imagined pulling off. A finish is a finish though, so 1.5 for 3.

4. Well, I thought Holm would utilize her size advantage, her superior striking game and those kicks to finish, but I will pin this on nerves and wait to see her again in the Octagon. 2 for 4.

5. This was wishful thinking, and not because I dislike Ronda, I do not. I just thought a change would do the women’s division good. Ronda Rousey should ditch the “Rowdy” nickname and go with “Don’t Blink”. Her last fight lasted less than the highlights videos of said fight… People compare her to Mike Tyson. I say, Iron Mike should be happy with this compliment. She is THE most effective MMA fighter I’ve seen. Bar none. 2 for 5.

Dismal percentages this Saturday, but I’ll take it in stride. Great PPV all in all and hopefully that will shut people up already about women MMA.

,