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.

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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!


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,

 


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 186 – Predictions

Hi everybody!

3 posts this week. Lucky you!

If you were following the news – as they relate to UFC 186 – you know that this card had its ups and downs. Namely, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was forced to withdraw from his fight, then found himself back on it. That fight aside, we do have what should be a very good main event.

My track record (which at one point was close to a 100% accuracy over a 5 or six months run) was tarnished in recent history, but I will not back down.

Alright. Let the predicting of UFC 186 coming up this Saturday, April 25th on PPV commence. (All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.) We ride!

JabouinAlmeida

Thomas Almeida by TKO

MakdessiCampbell

John Makdessi by UD

BispingDollaway

Michael Bisping by UD

JacksonMaldonado

Fabio Maldonado by UD

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

JohnsonHoriguchi

Demetrious Johnson by UD

I hope to see more finishes, though not very optimistic here…

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

And of course, don’t forget to watch UFC 186 on PPV – This Saturday, April 25th!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

The Morning After:

I have to say it feels good doing this bit after a good night of predicting 🙂 Let’s break it down:

1. Judging by Almeida’s previous outing, I had to give him the edge over the – perhaps more experienced Jabouin. Almeida wasn’t fooled by Yves’s unique style and was able to penetrate and touch him enough to make him pause, then swarmed on him with a really impressive barrage. 1 for 1.

2. It wasn’t that Campbell wasn’t living up to his hype. He did. Using his reach advantage, especially his legs, to keep Makdessi out of reach and landing nicely. It was Makdessi being patient, trying (and at times succeeding) to catch these kicks and come back with a counter. The difference was that when Makdessi touched Campbell it was with more force. Big props to Campbell for surviving the initial flurry, but great job by Makdessi to go for the finish. 2 for 2.

3. I had a feeling Bisping was going to take it. I didn’t see any way he’d be finishing CB. Dollaway doesn’t get rocked easily, and Michael is more known for accuracy and volume. I like Bisping. He’s a hard working fighter who’s always ready for the fight. Used his movement very well, and pretty mush shut down CB’s TD attempts with his very good TD defense. 3 for 3.

4. I’m actually kind of disappointed with Maldonado here. I’m not going to sit here and dismiss Rampage’s game. It was spot on. But Fabio was so one dimensional and, like Rogan said many times, chose to close the distance instead of trying to get some space and throw more volume at Quinton. On the flip side I gotta say I’m impressed with Rampage. With all the ups and down leading up to his return, he was in pretty good shape, but more importantly – He reminded me why I liked him to begin with. Rampage that threatens with leg kicks. Rampage the mixes things up and being aggressive. Make no mistake here. He’s no threat to the title, nor should he aim at this. I’m just happy Rampage is back and can have a few more pay days, entertaining us in the cage and on the microphone. 3 for 4.

5. I gave this to Mighty Mouse via UD, knowing how tough Horiguchi is and was nearly right, except… except Johnson made two transitions – first from mounted crucifix mount, then from mount to a perfect Arm bar to finish the fight in under 5 seconds. Ending said fight at 24:59. Even Anderson’s triangle on Sonnen didn’t happen so close to the horn. Mighty Mouse to the Fly weight division is what GSP was to the WW – End of the line baby. 4 for 5 😦

See you just before UFC 187. It’s a big one!

MORE about UFC186 – Fortunes changed for five at UFC 186

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.

,

UFC 183 – Predictions

Hello everyone! New format for my predictions. All credits go to UFC/Zuffa for all photos.

So with no further ado, let’s get down to business. Here are my predictions for UFC 183 (On Monday morning we will revisit these so don’t forget to check back here for the “morning after”). We ride!

fight1

Jordan Mein by UD

fight2

Thales Leites by submission

fight3

Al Iaquinta by TKO

comain

Kelvin Gastelum by UD

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

main

Anderson Silva 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 183 on PPV – This Saturday, January 31st!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-t’s TIME!

SEE THE MORNING AFTER AND MORE ON THIS NEXT POST.