Subscribe

Author Archive

Top 20 MMA Fights Of 2013

January 02, 2014 By: Category: lists, Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

In honor of the UFC’s 20th anniversary this year, I figured it only appropriate that my year end fight countdown involved the top 20 fights from the calendar year 2013. Although not all of these fights took place in the UFC it’s hard to ignore the UFC’s place at the head of the class in terms of mixed martial arts promotions. Although there are a number of other promotions represented in the list including Bellator, Maximum Fighting Championship, ONE FC and Invicta. Enough rambling, let’s get to the year’s top fights.

#20 – ONE Fighting Championship: Moment of Truth – Featherweight Championship Bout: Honorio Banario vs. Koji Oishi – December 6, 2013

The opening round of this bout wasn’t the most exciting, but the second and third rounds really make up for it. In title bout rematches, this is often the case, especially in a fight between two proven power punchers like Banario and Oishi. The second and third rounds mainly featured a game of cat and mouse as Banario pressed forward with big punches, while Oishi coyly backed off and did his best to land the big power shot, eventually in the third round he found the shot and delivered a highlight reel knockout to retain his title.

#19 – Maximum Fighting Championship: True Grit – Bantamweight Bout: Anthony Birchak vs. Ryan Benoit – May 10, 2013

This fight was the debut of Maximum Fighting Championship’s Bantamweight division and granted the winner a future title shot. Both men carried winning streaks into the bout and put it all on the line in this bout. The result was a fast and furious scrap that had action both on the feet and on the mat. Each man had their chances to end the fight, either with submission attempts or ground and pound, but each man was able to hang tough. Eventually, the two warriors made it to the final bell and in the end it was Birchak that took home the Unanimous Decision victory.

#18 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC on FOX 7 – Lightweight Championship Bout: Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez – April 20, 2013

Entering into this contest, many people were intrigued to see how the fight would play out. The long-reigning and final Lightweight champion of the Strikeforce promotion crossing over to battle the UFC’s reigning Lightweight champion, this would had the feeling of a champion vs. champion bout. Melendez was fighting in front of his hometown crowd in San Jose and the fans backed him relentlessly throughout the fight as Melendez shrugged off numerous takedown attempts and used leg kicks and a steady jab to throw the UFC’s champion off balance. In the end, the result was a hotly contested Split Decision victory that went to Benson Henderson.

#17 – Bellator Fighting Championship: Bellator 85 – Featherweight Championship Bout: Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire – January 17, 2013

At Bellator 85 there were a number of title contests, one of which was a Featherweight Championship tilt between champion Pat Curran and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Despite both fighters coming off of long layoffs, the bout still delivered. Freire pushed the action early and often, which left Curran stumbling and reeling at times. But Curran seemed to get better and better as the fight wore on and began to take control of what was mostly a kickboxing contest. In the end Curran took home a very close Split Decision victory to retain his Featherweight title.

#16 – Invicta Fighting Championship: Invicta FC 4 – Women’s Strawweight Bout: Tecia Torres vs. Paige Van Zant – January 5, 2013

This was an entertaining women’s scrap that opened quickly. Torres showed an impressive striking acumen in the opening stanza, battering Van Zant’s face with a strong jab and several creative elbow strikes. The second round featured some exciting grappling as Van Zant took the bout to the mat to try and slow the striking prowess of Torres. With nearly four minutes remaining, Torres was able to reverse the position and took her opponent’s back, working for a choke finish but Van Zant was able to hang tough. The final few minutes of this fight was excellent as both women just turned it into a slugfest and let it all hang out in the middle of the cage. In the end Torres took a Unanimous decision victory.

#15 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC on Fuel TV 8 – Heavyweight Bout: Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve – March 3, 2013

This Heavyweight bout could have gone a number of ways, Hunt promised a slugfest, but most experts expected the grappling savvy Struve to take the bout to the ground quickly. In the first round, that’s exactly what happened, as Struve quickly pulled guard and did his best to work for a submission. In the second Hunt took over and kept the bout standing, where he tagged Struve with a number of big punches, while the massive Struve seemed to fade and gas out. In the third round, Hunt really took over. With Struve’s defensive striking wavering Hunt began to land power shots at will. A huge combination of punches put Struve down for good, and lead to a long layoff for Struve as he suffered significant damage to his jaw from the punches in the knockout loss.

#14 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 168 – Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout: Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate – December 28, 2013

There was a lot of hype heading into this bout, a full season’s worth of feuding on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. Not to mention the built in rivalry of this being a rematch from both ladies’ Strikeforce days. With all of that in mind, Miesha Tate was sold as a credible challenger to Rousey’s throne, but the odds makers in Vegas didn’t buy in, billing the challenger as a 7-to-1 underdog. In the end Tate put up a decent fight, and was able to hang tough, hanging in the Octagon with the champion longer than anyone else in history. At the end though, it was more domination from the champion and despite Tate’s ability to survive, she eventually succumbed to yet another Rousey arm bar.

#13 – Bellator Fighting Championship: Bellator 106 – Lightweight Championship Bout: Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler – November 2, 2013

It was the biggest rematch in the history of Bellator’s existence as undefeated Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler defended his title against former champion Eddie Alvarez. Their first scrap was a highly entertaining bout, which left big shoes to fill. I’d have a hard time describing the blow for blow coverage for this five round brawl, but it was a highly entertaining fight with tons of action on the ground and on the feet. While this fight failed to live up to the excitement that their first contest did, it was still an incredible fight that highlighted everything that MMA is about and despite the controversial Split Decision victory for Alvarez it remains the best fight in Bellator’s 2013 calendar year.

#12 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC on FOX 7 – Welterweight Bout: Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein – April 20, 2013

“The Immortal” Matt Brown made a career resurgence in 2013 and this bout was a big part of his statement year. Many expected the brawling style of Brown to struggle with the crisp and technical kickboxing of young Jordan Mein. The bout was contest mostly on the feet and Brown outworked his younger opponent with a stronger jaw and big power punches. After dropping Mein at the end of the first and having him saved by the bell, Brown continued to swarm the youngster in the second round. An onslaught of strikes against the cage and on the ground eventually led to Brown earning the TKO via referee stoppage.

#11 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC on Fuel TV 7 – Featherweight Bout: Cub Swanson vs. Dustin Poirier – February 16, 2013

Cub Swanson bouts tend to be highly entertaining contests, Dustin Poirier fights tend to be highly entertaining scraps, both of those statements remained true in this contest. Swanson used a plethora of kicks to keep Poirier off-balance and keep the fight standing. In the second round, Swanson began to show some of his underrated grappling skills as both men exchanged in some excellent transitions on the ground. The final round started with a number of exchanges on the feet, before both men went to the ground. Swanson dominated the final minutes on the ground, en-route to sealing the deal on a hard fought Unanimous decision victory.

#10 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 156 – Featherweight Championship Bout: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar – February 2, 2013

Fresh off of losing consecutive decisions to Lightweight champion Benson Henderson, both in somewhat controversial fashion, Frankie Edgar made the drop to the Featherweight division for an immediate title shot against reigning kingpin Jose Aldo. What followed was a highly entertaining scrap that went the full five rounds, with every minute being filled with action. Through the early rounds Aldo used thudding leg kicks and a stiff jab to keep the challenger at bay, but as the rounds went on, the challenger seemed to get stronger as the champion slowly faded. The final two rounds were highly entertaining as Edgar tried to battle his way back and began to swing the fight in his favor. In the end his comeback bid fell short, and Edgar lost yet another close decision in a title fight.

#9 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 160 – Heavyweight Bout: Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt – May 25, 2013

Junior dos Santos was a heavy favorite heading into this contest, and most expected JDS to show off his improved wrestling skills and exploit the subpar grappling skills of Mark Hunt. Instead he decided to slug it out with the heavy-handed former K-1 champion.  Early on JDS nearly cracked the iron jaw of Hunt and in the second round when he finally took the fight to the mat, he nearly stopped Hunt with a barrage of ground and pound. In the third, with the fight likely secure in his favor, JDS continued to pressure his highly dangerous opponent and the result was one of the best knockouts of the year. Dos Santos used a highlight reel spinning back kick to drop Hunt with under a minute left in the fight.

#8 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC on FOX 6 – Flyweight Championship Bout: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson

Despite the fact that the UFC’s Flyweight division has failed to catch on with the casual fan, it has continued to produce top quality contests. After steamrolling through a number of top fighters in both the Bantamweight and Flyweight divisions, most people wondered if anyone would be able to stop the Flyweight Champion. However, Dodson who’s speed would allow him to match up well with Johnson and who held big time knockout power. In the opening few rounds, the fight was quite close, with Dodson actually dropping the champion in the second round. But as the fight continued to wear on the champion seemed to get stronger and ran away for an eventual decision victory.

#7 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC Fight Night 33 – Heavyweight Bout: Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva – December 6, 2013

Are we sensing a theme yet? For a division not known for having a number of highly exciting fighters, Mark Hunt fights simply deliver. Win or lose, Mark Hunt puts on exciting fights, as he makes his third appearance on this top 20. This bout has recently come under a bit of scrutiny as Antonio Silva has since tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone from this contest, but the results remain impressive and the fight remains highly entertaining. Despite this being a slugfest between two men who weigh well over 250 pounds and possess fight ending knockout power in both their hands and feet, this contest managed to turn into a 25-minute brawl that no one knew either man had in them. Bloody, highly violent and highly sloppy at times, this is a fight that you can’t help but love.

#6 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale – Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Cat Zingano vs. Miesha Tate – April 13, 2013

If there’s another trend that this list seems to indicate it’s that exciting fights aren’t just for the men. The women of MMA have provided a number of highly entertaining bouts throughout the year, but this may be the most exciting of them all. This fight had it all. Technical striking exchanges, a few wild and sloppy striking exchanges and a number of impressive mat transitions. Tate used her grappling skills in the first round to control the action on the ground, using a steady stream of elbows and ground and pound to swarm her opponent. In the second it was more of the same, although Zingano showed a few signs of life. In the third, likely down two rounds to none and needing a stoppage for the victory, Zingano came out on fire. Pressuring Tate against the cage, Zingano delivered a number of brutal knee strikes that battered and bloodied Tate, before eventually earning her the stoppage and a comeback victory.

#5 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 166 – Lightweight Bout: Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez – October 19, 2013

Despite being two highly talented and technical Lightweight fighters, these two men seemed to disregard that for one night to engage in a brawl for the ages at UFC 166. This was one of the bloodiest bouts of the year, as Melendez left a cut on Sanchez’s face that probably still hasn’t completely healed. Melendez looked like the more technically refined striker and won a number of the striking exchanges, but even battered and bloodied, Sanchez never backed down. In the end Melendez took a hard fought decision victory in a bout that Joe Rogan called the “best he’d seen in all of his years of calling fights.”

#4 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 157 – Featherweight Bout: Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice – February 23, 2013

Despite being billed as a contest between two fighters with wrestling heavy styles, this fight ended up being highly entertaining and action packed. In the first round each man found a number of offensive openings, but Grice had the best of the round when he dropped Bermudez with a short left hook that dropped Bermudez. In the second round Grice continued to push forward and pressure Bermudez with big shots, but also ate a number of big punches, including one that bloodied his forehead. In the third round Bermudez came out firing on all cylinders. He dropped Grice with an uppercut and continued his assault with ground and pound. When Grice was finally able to regain his footing, Bermudez continued to swarm him against the fence, not allowing Grice to get free. In the final 45 seconds both men continued to just swing punches at one another searching for a stoppage that never came. In the end Bermudez took a hotly contested Split Decision victory.

#3 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 158 – Welterweight Bout: Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit – March 16, 2013

On his way to a Welterweight title shot, Hendricks had to clear a very tough hurdle in the form of former UFC title challenger Carlos Condit. This fight had everything that a good MMA fight should have highly technical and fast paced striking exchanges, fast and furious grappling and a number of close calls. Hendricks landed a number of big punches early, but Condit showed a strong chin and was able to withstand them. Hendricks used his wrestling well in the early rounds of the bout, following up big punches with takedown attempts, which Condit struggled to fend off. Condit as always, was highly active from his back and attempted a number of submissions, but Hendricks controlled from the top and was able to defend well. In the second round Condit nailed a huge flying knee that many thought might swing the tide, but Hendricks was able to eat the shot and continue fighting. In the third round, Hendricks slowed and Condit attempted to mount his comeback. Condit threw everything he had at Hendricks, but couldn’t earn a stoppage and couldn’t do enough to sway the judge’s decision and dropped the decision to Hendricks who parlayed the win to a shot at GSP’s Welterweight title.

#2 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC 165 – Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson – September 21, 2013

Immediately after this fight was over, Twitter was abuzz and calling this the best fight in the history of the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division and one of the best fights in MMA history. While some of that might be hyperbole, the fact remains that this was a highly entertaining scrap and definitely has its place as one of the most entertaining fights of the year. I had a hard time ranking this fight against the eventual first place on this list, and would consider them more of a 1A and 1B. Still I wouldn’t be doing this fight justice to describe it in detail, it is something that needs to be watched in full to be truly appreciated. Alexander Gustafsson gave Champion Jon Jones everything he could handle and more in the fight and the result was a highly entertaining scrap that must be seen.

#1 – Ultimate Fighting Championship: UFC on Fuel TV 8 – Light Heavyweight Bout: Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann – March 3, 2013

During my midyear assessment of the best fights of the year, and even with another six months there hasn’t been another to surpass it. This fight is a thing of beauty for anyone who loves a good old brawl. There was little in the way of grappling or beautiful combinations, but there was a lot of punches, a lot of knockdowns and a highly entertaining scrap. One that you should find on the Internet, and watch immediately.

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 168 Weidman Vs. Silva 2 Predictions and Preview

December 27, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

When it comes to the numerous UFC events held during the 2013 year; it’ll be 31 by the time this card rolls around, the promotion is definitely saving one of the best for last. To cap a highly active and highly entertaining 20th anniversary year of UFC action, the UFC has a card featuring two massive title fight rematches. In the main event of the evening the legendary Anderson “The Spider” Silva looks to reclaim his place at the top of the Middleweight division when he battles undefeated incumbent champion Chris Weidman. The co-main event of the evening features a long brewing grudge match between the two coaches from the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter as Miesha Tate challenges “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey for her Women’s Bantamweight title.

From the fight capital of the world UFC 168 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 28, 2013. With a top-loaded card the rest of the bouts may be somewhat lacking in big name value, but the card remains loaded with a number of intriguing bouts with plenty of potential for fireworks. In other main card action Heavyweights Josh Barnett and Travis Browne will brawl it out, Jim Miller will battle Brazilian Fabricio Camoes in a Lightweight tilt and Dustin Poirier will scrap with Diego Brandao in a Featherweight bout that has potential to take home the Fight of the Night Award.

Preliminary Card (Online): Featherweight Bout: Robbie Peralta vs. Estevan Payan

Robbie “Problems” Peralta is a 27-year-old fighter from Escondido, California. Peralta is a member of the Team Xplode MMA Gym in his hometown. Before joining the UFC he fought for a number of big time MMA promotions including Gladiator Challenge and Strikeforce. He holds a professional MMA record of 16-4 with 1 No Contest.
Estevan “El Terrible” Payan is a 31-year-old fighter from Tempe, Arizona. He is a member of the Arizona Combat Sports Gym. He like his opponent has fought for some other notable MMA promotions, including Rage in the Cage, Strikeforce, Shark Fights and Bellator. Payan holds a professional MMA record of 14-4 with 1 No Contest.

Quick Pick: Robbie Peralta via TKO in Round Three

Preliminary Card (Online): Welterweight Bout: William Macario vs. Bobby Voelker

William “Patolino” Macario is a 22-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Macario began training in Muay Thai as a teenager and at only 22 is one of the youngest fighters on the UFC’s roster. He was a cast-member of the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. He trains with the Pejor Fight Team in Rio de Janeiro. He holds a pro record of 6-1 with his lone pro loss coming in the finale of the Ultimate Fighter.

“Vicious” Bobby Voelker is a 34-year-old fighter from Kansas City, Kansas. He is an MMA veteran with over 30 professional fights in a number of promotions including Strikeforce, Titan FC and M-1 Challenge before making his way to the UFC. He is a member of Finney’s MMA Gym and holds a professional record of 24-10, with most victories coming by KO or TKO.

Quick Pick: William Macario via Submission in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1): Welterweight Bout: John Howard vs. Siyar Bahadurzada

John “Doomsday” Howard is a 30-year-old fighter from Boston, Massachusetts. Howard has fought at both Middleweight and Welterweight in the UFC, and recently made his UFC return as an injury replacement where he defeated highly touted Uriah Hall via Split Decision. He is a member of the Wai Kru MMA Gym in Boston and holds a professional MMA record of 21-8.

Siyar “The Great” Bahadurzada is a 29-year-old fighter from Kabul, Afghanistan. Before joining the UFC he was a prominent fighter in the Asian MMA scene where he fought for Shooto and World Victory Road. Bahadurzada is a prominent striker who trains with Golden Glory in the Netherlands, but also with the Blackzillians in Boca Raton, Florida. He holds a professional record of 21-5-1.

Quick Pick: Siyar Bahadurzada via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1): Featherweight Bout: Dennis Siver vs. Manvel Gamburyan

Dennis “The Menace” Siver is a 34-year-old fighter from Omsk, Russia in the former Soviet Union. Siver is a tough, well-rounded fighter who has reinvigorated his career since dropping to 145-pounds. Siver has a background in Tae-Kwan-Do and Judo as well as holding a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trains with the MMA-Spirit Gym in Mannheim, Germany. Siver’s professional record stands at 21-9.

Manvel “The Anvil” Gamburyan is a 32-year-old fighter from Gyumri, Armenia, but currently living in Hollywood, California. Gamburyan was a cast member on the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter and is notable for his Judo background. Gamburyan is a member of the Glendale Fighting Club in North Hollywood. Gamburyan holds black belts in both Judo and Kyokushin karate. His professional record is 13-7.

Quick Pick: Dennis Siver via Unanimous Decision.

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1): Lightweight Bout: Gleison Tibau vs. Michael Johnson

Gleison Tibau is a 30-year-old fighter from Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The Brazilian now resides and trains in the United States, training with the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. He is known as a mainstay in the UFC’s Lightweight division and for his massive frame, often cited as being one of the largest fighters in the 155-pound division. He holds a career record of 28-9.

Michael “The Menace” Johnson is a 27-year-old fighter from St. Louis, Missouri. He is a member of the Blackzillians, training at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Boca Raton, Florida. Johnson is perhaps best known as his stint on the twelfth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He currently holds a professional record of 13-8 and is riding high after an impressive victory over Joe Lauzon UFC Fight Night 26.

Quick Pick: Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1): Middleweight Bout: Chris Leben vs. Uriah Hall

Chris “The Crippler” Leben is a 33-year-old fighter from Portland, Oregon. One of the longest serving members of the UFC’s Middleweight division, he is a fan favorite from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. He is a member of the Alliance MMA Gym in Chula Vista, California who is best known for his strong chin and his propensity to brawl. He holds a professional MMA record of 22-10.

Uriah “Prime Time” Hall is a 29-year-old fighter from Spanish Town, Jamaica. He is best known as the runner-up on the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he delivered one of the show’s most memorable knockouts with a spinning wheel kick. He is a member of the Reign Training Center training under coach Mark Munoz. He holds a professional MMA record of 7-4.

Quick Pick: Chris Leben via Split Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Featherweight Bout: Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier is a 24-year-old fighter from Lafayette, Louisiana. Poirier is a member of the American Top Team Gym located in Louisiana, but also travels to their home base in Florida. Poirier is a talented grappler who holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He’s a highly entertaining fighter who is extremely well-rounded and has strong cardio. He holds a professional fight record of 14-3.

Diego “DB” Brandao is a 26-year-old fighter from Fortaleza, Brazil. Brandao is an extremely tough fighter who is best known as a cast member and the eventual winner of the fourteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He is a well-rounded fighter with strong grappling and Muay Thai credentials. He trains with Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His professional MMA record stands at 18-8.

Quick Pick: Dustin Poirier via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Lightweight Bout: Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes

Jim Miller is a 30-year-old fighter from Sparta Township, New Jersey. He has long been considered a top 10 Lightweight in the UFC’s stacked 155-pound division. He is one half of the fighting Miller brothers, as his older brother Dan is also a UFC fighter. Miller is a well-rounded fighter with a grinding style of ground based fighting. He is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler and also holds a black belt in BJJ. He trains with the AMA Fight Club in New Jersey. His MMA record is 22-4 with 1 No Contest.

Fabricio “Morango” Camoes is a 35-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is a top level grappler, being a 3rd degree black belt under Gracie family member Royler Gracie. Camoes represents Team Nogueira, but also splits time with his home gym of Gracie Humaita in San Diego, California. Despite a history in the UFC, he is likely taking on the toughest fight of his career against Miller. His current MMA record is 14-7-1.

Quick Pick: Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Heavyweight Bout: Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne

Josh “The Warmaster/The Baby-Faced Assassin”” Barnett is a 36-year-old fighter from Seattle, Washington. A veteran of MMA he is one of the sport’s Heavyweight pioneers, earning early success in the UFC before leaving the promotion early in his career. He has held numerous MMA titles including the UFC Heavyweight Championship, The King of Pancrase Openweight Championship and was a finalist in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He trains out of the CSW Catch Wrestling Gym in Fullerton, California. He holds a professional resume of nearly 40 fights, holding a record of 33-6.

Travis “Hapa” Browne is a 31-year-old fighter from Oahu, Hawaii. He is a massive Heavyweight, standing at 6’7” tall and weighing nearly 250 pounds. Browne is a veteran of many notable MMA promotions such as Bellator, Gladiator Fighting Challenge and King of the Cage before making his UFC debut. Browne is a member of Greg Jackson’s Camp in New Mexico. He holds a nearly perfect pro record of 15-1-1.

Quick Pick: Josh Barnett via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout: Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is a 26-year-old fighter from Riverside County, California. Rousey is a former Olympic judoka, and often uses her judo and grappling skills in her fights. She is a student of “Judo” Gene Lebell and was the first American women to win a medal in Olympic judo competition. Her MMA career has been filled with success as she is the reigning and defending UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and was a former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Rousey trains with the Glendale Fighting Club in Santa Monica, California but is also known to train with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team and the Diaz brothers in Stockton. She holds a perfect professional record of 7-0 with 7 victories via armbar submission in Round One.

Miesha “Cupcake” Tate is a 27-year-old fighter from Tacoma, Washington. Tate is a former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion and a FILA Grappling medalist. Tate is best known for her highly publicized feud and rivalry with Ronda Rousey and the two are fighting after a full season serving as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter. Tate is a well-rounded fighter but does her best work on the mat. She is a member of the Team Alpha Male Gym where she trains daily with top fighters like Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes and her boyfriend Bryan Caraway. She holds a professional MMA record of 13-4.

Quick Pick: Ronda Rousey via Submission in Round Two

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Championship Bout: Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva

Chris “The All-American” Weidman is a 29-year-old fighter from Baldwin, New York. Weidman is a former NCAA Division1 Wrestler from Hofstra University where he was a two-time Division 1 All-American. Despite being 29-years-old he is fairly new to the MMA game, but is one of the new-breed of fighters who excels in all areas of the fight game and is incredibly tough to game plan for. He holds a brown belt in BJJ but is also complimented as being one of the toughest natural grapplers on the planet in submission fighting. Weidman is the reigning and defending UFC Middleweight Champion, having won his title from long-dominating former champion Anderson Silva. Weidman is a representative of the Serra-Longo Fight Team in Garden City, New York who holds a perfect professional record of 10-0.

Anderson “The Spider” Silva is 38-year-old fighter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Silva is a former UFC Middleweight Champion, who dominated the division with 16 consecutive victories and ten straight title defenses before losing to Weidman earlier in 2013. Silva is a dynamic striker with extremely creative Muay Thai skills influenced heavily by a background in Capoeira. Despite his lethal striking skills, he also possesses strong grappling skills and is underrated as a ground fighter. Silva holds a number of accolades in martial arts, including black belts in BJJ, Judo and Tae Kwan Do. Silva is a member of the Black House Gym fighting and training out of Curitiba, Brazil. He holds a professional MMA record of 33-5.

Quick Pick: Chris Weidman via Submission in Round Four

UFC 168 Instant Video on Amazon.com

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 163 Aldo Vs. Jung Results and Wrap Up

August 06, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Apologies for the lateness of this wrap up everyone. Some plans from this weekend got in the way of me viewing UFC 163 live, so I was a day and a half behind before I was finally able to catch a replay of the event. Despite me taking the card to task a little bit beforehand for lack of big name recognition, the card mostly delivered. Although the main event failed to live up to the expected fireworks, it still provided a relatively entertaining scrap, there was also a Light Heavyweight robbery, a return to form from a Brazilian Middleweight as well as an exciting Flyweight scrap. Let’s take a look at what happened and what’s next in the fallout from UFC 163 from Rio de Janeiro.

Flyweight Bout: John Lineker defeated Jose Maria Tome via TKO (Punches) at 1:03 of Round Two

This fight was actually contested as a Catchweight bout after Lineker failed to make weight. This marks the second time that he’s failed to make weight at Flyweight and one has to wonder how long the UFC will allow it. Despite being marred by several low blows during the first round, the debuting Tome looked impressive, scoring a number of punches and combinations, especially from his takedown attempts. In the second round, Lineker punished Tome for being overly aggressive with his takedowns. Lineker landed a huge hook to the body that dropped his opponent, follow up punches from there and that was all she wrote.

What’s next for Lineker? He’s looked impressive in his Flyweight career, unfortunately he keeps missing weight. Still he’s an exciting fighter in a thin division talent-wise, so I think the UFC will give him a fair amount of rope on the weight issue. For his next contest he definitely deserves a step up in competition, and the proper opponent for him also fought on this card. “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall earned his first UFC win on the undercard and would prove an interesting challenge for the heavy-handed Lineker.

What’s next for Tome? He looked impressive during the first round and he’s surely not going to get cut after a loss where his opponent missed weight and he fought anyways. He’s also in the UFC’s thinnest division. If Lineker gets Ian McCall, then it would make sense to match Tome with the man who McCall defeated Iliarde Santos. Santos proved to be a handful for McCall and put on an entertaining scrap, so pair these two off and let’s have another exciting Flyweight tilt.

Middleweight Bout: Thales Leites defeated Tom Watson via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

Leites is best remembered by most fans for the stinker he put on in his title shot against Anderson Silva. Clearly he has made some improvements since leaving the UFC. His striking looked more crisp than it ever has and his takedowns were on point throughout the fight. Leites also showed improved ground and pound, as his shots looked like they actually had a good amount of force behind them as opposed to weak punches that we’ve seen in the past. He looked pretty fatigued by the end of the bout, so cardio might still be an issue, but he definitely dominated Watson from bell to bell and it was an impressive return to the world’s largest MMA promotion.

What’s next for Leites? It was an impressive return yes, but he’s still far from earning himself another shot at the UFC title. He’s going to have to take his career in baby steps this time, I think the next logical opponent for him is Tim Kennedy. Kennedy recently beat up Roger Gracie in a less than impressive showing by both men, but he’s a popular fighter who is a tough match up for anyone. A bout against Kennedy would be a solid measuring stick for where Leites stands in the division.

What’s next for Watson? It’s hard to say, because he didn’t look overly impressive in this fight and he hasn’t looked at all impressive during his stint in the UFC. Still he’s a Brit, and the UFC likes to keep them around for shows in the UK. I think that’s a smart plan for the UFC. One of the struggling Strikeforce imports would make sense Trevor Smith or Lorenz Larkin maybe.

Middleweight Bout: Cezar Ferreira defeated Thiago Santos via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:47 of Round One

Thiago Santos was moving up in weight for the first time and it proved to be a horrible idea. Ferreira stalked forward from the opening bell and his first flurry of punches had bad intentions. A high kick followed that wobbled Santos. Sensing opportunity he quickly latched on to the choke and rolled to the ground, earning a quick and impressive submission victory.

What’s next for Ferreira? It has to be Daniel Sarafian. Ferreira won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, but Sarafian was forced to withdraw from the tournament and that title of Brazil’s first Ultimate Fighter seems to have a permanent asterisk next to it. A bout between these two could settle the score and crown a true winner from the first season of TUF: Brazil.

What’s next for Santos? He definitely shouldn’t be staying at Middleweight as he definitely doesn’t have the size to hang with even the mid-tier fighters in that division. So what prospects are there at Welterweight for him?  Yuri Villefort on a Brazilian card? Maybe Neil Magny or Colton Smith in a battle of TUF champions.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Phil Davis defeated Lyoto Machida via Unanimous Decision

Robbery? Shenanigans? Incompetence? It’s hard to say exactly what the reason is that all three judges inexplicably awarded this fight to Phil Davis. It’s hard to complain too much, as the bout was a mostly action light affair. In the first round Machida controlled the distance for much of the round, and countered effectively. He also landed a nice flurry that sent Davis reeling towards the cage. A meaningless takedown at the end of the round was apparently enough to steal it. In the second Machida again controlled the pacing of the fight with his awkward striking style, and apparently once again Davis’ late takedown after a number of failed attempts stole him the round. The third round was Davis’ worst as he missed on a number of takedowns and was actually reversed by Machida and taken down. Still, one judge gave him the round. In the end Phil Davis took a Unanimous Decision that almost no one thought he deserved.

What’s next for Davis? A win is a win and it’s still going to move him up the Light Heavyweight rankings. He was a highly touted prospect expected to challenge Jon Jones when he first entered the UFC, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations quite yet. Still, he’ll likely be getting a top 5 opponent next, with a chance to springboard into the title conversation. Glover Teixeira is likely getting a title shot if he beats Ryan Bader in the next month, so that fight won’t produce an opponent unless Bader pulls off the upset. Another option could be Vitor Belfort who has openly campaigned that he won’t fight at Middleweight until he gets a title shot, but was willing to entertain bouts at 205 or even 265 pounds.

What’s next for Machida? Back to the drawing boards I guess? Machida does what he usually does and this time he wasn’t rewarded for his efforts. Despite the controversial decision, it’s still going to knock him a few pegs down the rankings. He could face the loser of the upcoming title bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. Another option might be to consider a cut to Middleweight if friend and training partner Anderson Silva comes up short in his second bout with Chris Weidman.

Featherweight Bout: Jose Aldo defeated Chan Sung Jung via TKO (Punches) at 2:00 of Round Four

This fight certainly didn’t end up with the fireworks and wild brawling that everyone suspected it may include, but it was a pretty entertaining scrap anyways. The best way I’ve heard the bout described so far was that Aldo was highly effective, yet wildly unspectacular when compared to his previous bodies of work (see demolitions of Cub Swanson or Urijah Faber’s leg.) During the first round of the bout, Aldo threw a kick to the legs, only for Jung to check it, the result ended up being a broken foot for Aldo and left him largely unable to throw kicks for the rest of the contest.

The result was a fairly measured offensive attack. The final results from Fight Metric were very close. With Aldo out landing The Korean Zombie 43-42 in total strikes, but 32-17 in significant strikes. The outing marks his lowest such output when you exclude fights where he knocked his opponents out in the first two rounds. Impressively, he also scored 5 takedowns in the bout, tying his personal best from his bout against Mark Hominick. It seems that whenever the champion gets in trouble, he does have a solid ground game to rely on. The ending will probably be one of the most notable things from the bout as Jung’s shoulder visibly popped out of place. He was unable to pop it back in, leading to Aldo attacking with a high kick to the shoulder which dropped Jung and follow up punches sealing the deal.

What’s next for Aldo? He’s teased moving up in weight to challenge in the Lightweight division, but after the bout Dana White seemed convinced that Aldo would stay at Featherweight. He’s run through many of the top contenders, but one name that has earned a shot is definitely Ricardo Lamas. Lamas has beaten a slew of top contenders including Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch. Lamas has also been calling for the title shot publicly and with no other suitable challengers waiting in the wings, it’s time for him to get a shot.

What’s next for Jung? This probably depends on how long he’s on the shelf from that nasty shoulder injury. It’s a similar injury that caused him to need surgery and miss over a year of action. At the press conference he said the shoulder popped back in and he feels fine. If he can return to action quickly a bout against Dennis Siver would make the most sense. Siver recently lost a top contender bout to Cub Swanson at the UFC’s last Pay Per View.

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 163 Aldo Vs. Jung Predictions and Analysis

August 02, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Last weekend was a bit of a downer for the UFC as an organization. Despite a highly entertaining main event featuring a championship bout which itself featured the champion defending the title in his home state, the event was widely considered a ratings flop. It did pretty awful numbers on Fox, ranking as dead-last to second-last in terms of ratings depending on the varying reports that are making rounds on the internet. With that said, I’m going to take the UFC to task a little bit more than I usually do. They are following up a free card on Fox that did poorly with underwhelming results in live attendance and live viewership on television with a Pay Per View offering, that in my opinion and the opinion of several others leaves a lot to be desired in terms of name value.

UFC 163 takes place this weekend live from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The main event features Brazil’s favorite Featherweight fighter as UFC Champion Jose Aldo defends his title against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. The co-main event features a possible title eliminator at 205-pounds as Lyoto Machida takes on American wrestling standout Phil Davis. Other main card action features a Middleweight bout between Cezar Ferreira taking on Thiago Santos, as well another Middleweight bout between the returning Thales Leites and Tom Watson. The opening bout of the Pay Per View card features Flyweight action as John Lineker takes on Jose Tome.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Light Heavyweight Bout: Ednaldo Oliveira vs. Francimar Barroso

Ednaldo “Lula Molusco” Oliveira is a 29-year-old fighter from Bahia, Brazil. At 6’7” he is absolutely massive for the Light Heavyweight division and has competed at Heavyweight in the past. He is a member of the Nordeste Jiu Jitsu Team who holds a professional MMA record of 13-1-1 with 1 No Contest, with the lone loss coming in his UFC debut against Gabriel Gonzaga. Francimar “Bodao” Barroso is a 33-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is a member of the Nova Uniao camp who is taking this bout on only a few weeks notice as an injury replacement for Robert Drysdale. He holds a professional MMA record of 15-3.

Quick Pick: Francimar Barroso via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Viscardi Andrade vs. Bristol Marunde

Viscardi Andrade is a 29-year-old fighter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was a competitor on the second season of TUF: Brazil. Andrade is a member of the Gracie Fusion Gym in Sao Paulo and holds a career record of 14-5, but is currently riding a 6-bout winning streak. Bristol Marunde is a 31-year-old fighter from Fairbanks, Alaska. He currently resides and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Throwdown Training Center. After an unsuccessful debut in Strikeforce he appeared as a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter, eventually losing in the quarterfinals. He holds a professional MMA record of 12-8.

Quick Pick: Viscardi Andrade via Submission in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Featherweight Bout: Rani Yahya vs. Josh Clopton

Rani Yahya is a 28-year-old fighter from Brasilia, Brazil. He is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who trains with the Constrictor Team in his hometown. He is a veteran of the WEC and the UFC who has international grappling experience. He holds a professional MMA record of 18-7. Josh “The Gentleman” Clopton is a 32-year-old fighter from San Francisco, California. Clopton was a competitor on the fourteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He trains with the Skrap Pack in California and holds a pro MMA record of 6-1-1.

Quick Pick: Rani Yahya via Submission in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Flyweight Bout: Ian McCall vs. Iliarde Santos

Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall is a 29-year-old fighter from Costa Mesa, California. Once considered the world’s number 1 Flyweight fighter, he has struggled against the top two competitors in the UFC’s Flyweight division going 0-2-1 against Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. He is a member of Team Oyama in California and holds a professional record of 11-4-1. Iliarde Santos is a 32-year-old fighter from Para, Brazil. He is a member of the Ulisses Pereira Team in his hometown. He recently made his UFC debut at Bantamweight as an injury replacement and is getting a shot in his more natural weight class. He holds a pro record of 27-7-1 with 1 No Contest.

Quick Pick: Ian McCall via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Welterweight Bout: Sergio Moraes vs. Neil Magny

Sergio “The Panther” Moraes is a 31-year-old fighter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Moraes is best known as a finalist from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, although his position as finalist was as an injury replacement. He is a BJJ black belt who has trained with a number of teams in Brazil including Alliance Jiu Jitsu, Team Nogueira and Universidade da luta. He holds a pro record of 7-2. Neil Magny is a 25-year-old fighter from Brooklyn, New York. Magny was a cast member on the sixteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Magny trains with Miguel Torres’ team in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a career record of 8-1.

Quick Pick: Neil Magny via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Amanda Nunes vs. Sheila Gaff

Amanda “The Lioness of the Ring” Nunes is a 25-year-old fighter from Bahia, Brazil. She is a solid striker who has won the majority of her fights via stoppage. Nunes trains with the AMA Fight Club in New Jersey, but also trains at the MMA Masters Gym in her hometown. She holds a career record of 7-3. Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff is a 23-year-old fighter from Bad Hersfeld, Germany. She is a striker who has never backed down from a brawl during her bouts. Gaff is a member of the Arena Aschaffenburg in Aschaffenburg, Germany. She holds a career record of 10-5-1.

Quick Pick: Amanda Nunes via TKO in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Light Heavyweight Bout: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh

Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes is a 29-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil although he now lives in Portland, Oregon. Magalhaes is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who is the BJJ coach at Team Quest in Oregon and Nevada. Magalhaes was a cast member from the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Magalhaes holds a career record of 10-6 with 1 No Contest. Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh is a 41-year-old fighter from New South Wales, Australia. Perosh is a former Heavyweight fighter who is a BJJ black belt who trains with the Sinosic Perosh Martial Arts Gym in Australia. He holds a pro MMA record of 13-7.

Quick Pick: Vinny Magalhaes via Submission in Round Two


Main Card (Pay Per View): Flyweight Bout: John Lineker vs. Jose Tome

John “Hands of Stone” Lineker is a 23-year-old fighter from Parana, Brazil. Lineker is a former Jungle Fight Bantamweight Champion but has also competed for a number of other promotions including Shooto Brazil, Gladiators Fighting Championship and Nitrix MMA. Lineker is a former Bantamweight fighter and is fairly large for the Flyweight division, which has affected his cardio in the past. Lineker is a member of the EMPORIUM Gym in Parana. He is an aggressive and powerful striker with knockout power and strong combinations. He holds a career record of 21-6 including 12 stoppage victories.

Jose “No Chance” Tome is a 31-year-old fighter from Ceara, Brazil. Tome has compiled an impressive record, mostly on the Brazilian regional scene. Tome is an aggressive brawler who is fairly well rounded despite his tendency to engage in brawls. Tome is a member of the Renovacao Fight Team in his hometown. He has a strong chin but has somewhat porous striking defense. Despite decent striking skills, Tome’s best bout in this contest might be to try and control the bout on the ground. Tome holds a career record of 33-3 but has not been defeated since July of 2008, a span of 17 fights.

Analysis and Prediction: Tome has an impressive record from the Brazilian regional circuit, but this is certainly going to be one of the toughest tests of his career. Lineker is an extremely aggressive striker who throws nasty combinations and attacks the body relentlessly, the results often taking a serious toll on his opponent’s cardiovascular endurance. Tome is going to need to be aware of this and is going to need to counter punch aggressively when Lineker winds up some of his bigger punches. Tome likely holds a small advantage on the ground, but Lineker is quite big and strong so taking the fight to the ground might be easier said than done. In the end I think Lineker lands a couple of big combinations that stun Tome and lure him into a brawl, from there it’s lights out in round two. John Lineker via KO in Round Two

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson

Thales Leites is a 31-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Leites is a former UFC Middleweight title challenger who has not fought in the UFC since UFC 101 in 2009. Leites is a talented grappler who holds a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. Leites trains with the Nova Uniao camp in Rio de Janeiro. Since being dropped from the UFC Leites has gone 6-1, with the lone loss coming to Matt Horwich, which he has since avenged. Leites holds a professional MMA record of 20-4.

Tom “Kong” Watson is a 31-year-old fighter from Southhampton, England. Watson trains with Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico but also spends time at the Reign Training Center in Orange County, California. Watson has fought for a number of major MMA promotions in Europe including Cage Rage, BAMMA as well as MFC in Canada. Watson is a talented striker who excels at close range, fighting from the clinch with knees and elbows effectively. Watson has shown a weakness against talented wrestlers and grapplers in the past and will hold a significant striking advantage in this bout if he can keep the bout standing. He holds a career record of 16-5.

Analysis and Prediction: Leites was less than impressive during his last go-round with the UFC but he has looked impressive on the regional scene since being released. His stand up is never going to be world beating but it looks like it has improved slightly since his first stint in the UFC. Watson however is a tough and durable striker who can absolutely batter Leites in the close quarters of a clinch. If Leites is going to move in for a takedown, he’ll need to be sure to set it up well, as Watson is physically strong and will be able to stuff long distance shots. This bout comes down to whether or not Leites can get Watson to the ground, I’ve never been overly impressed with Watson, so I think he eventually will. From there, he’ll find an opening and snag a submission late in the first, or sometime in the second. Thales Leites via Submission in Round Two

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos

Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira is a 28-year-old fighter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ferreira is best known from his appearances on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil where he was the eventual winner of the show. Ferreira is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who also excels in Capoeira. Despite being Brazilian, Ferreira now resides and trains in the USA with the Blackzillians at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Boca Raton, Florida. Ferreira was originally schedule to face Clint Hester on this card, but an injury forced him to withdraw. Ferreira is an aggressive striker who mixes his combinations well, but has also been known to be somewhat overly aggressive at times. He holds a career record of 5-2.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos is a 29-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Santos is a member of the Tata Fight Team in Rio. Santos was a cast member on the second season of TUF: Brazil but fell short to the tournament’s winner Leonardo Santos. Santos is taking this bout as a late injury replacement for Clint Hester. Santos uses leg kicks well and will need to attack the legs and body repeatedly if he’s going to keep the extremely aggressive Ferreira at bay. Santos holds a professional MMA record of 8-1.

Analysis and Prediction: Ferreira is a tough and aggressive southpaw striker who trains with a team of excellent kickboxers at the Blackzillians, he’s certainly going to want to keep this fight on the feet. Santos is going to need to keep Ferreira away from him, a steady stream of leg kicks and jabs should be on the menu from him. He’ll also need to choose his shots widely, because at times Ferreira does leave himself open to big counter shots. Still, he packs one hell of a punch and is going to hold a decided size advantage. I think ‘Mutante’ gets the job done. Cesar Ferreira via TKO in Round Two

Main Card (Pay Per View): Light Heavyweight Bout: Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida is a 35-year-old fighter from Salvador, Brazil. Machida is one of the top Light Heavyweight fighters in the world who is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Machida is a 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan Karate and a black belt in BJJ, he is also the most prominent karate practitioner in modern MMA. Machida is a member of the Black House and is one of the most prominent training partners of Anderson Silva along with the Nogueira brothers. Machida is often described as elusive by UFC commentator Joe Rogan, known for his excellent and fluid footwork and striking defense. He also has excellent timing and is one of the Light Heavyweight division’s best counter-strikers. He holds a career record of 19-3.

Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis is a 28-year-old fighter from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Davis is a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler from Penn State University. Since switching to MMA, Davis has reached the rank of purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has improved his striking considerably. Davis is a member of the Alliance MMA Gym in Chula Vista, California. Despite Davis’ improvements in his striking skills, he is still quite far behind the striking prowess of Machida. Davis is a smothering wrestler, but in his lone career loss against Rashad Evans, his takedowns were stuffed and his striking game devolved significantly. Despite his striking disadvantages he will own a five-inch reach advantage over Machida in this fight. Davis holds a career record of 11-1 with 1 No Contest.

Analysis and Prediction: Davis needs to get this fight to the ground and he needs to do it in a hurry. He stands fairly little chance of having nearly a remote chance of success in the striking game. So the question becomes, can Davis take Machida down? He’s going to struggle mightily. Machida has excellent footwork, he uses angles well and is very quick making him difficult to take down. Davis will have a reach advantage in the bout, but he’ll still have a problem getting the better of the striking. I imagine that Machida takes this bout relatively slow to start, feinting and jabbing, prodding with kicks before eventually turning up the volume as time goes on. He could find a stoppage if Davis pushes the envelope too much when he gets desperate, but it’s more likely that Machida takes this one on points. Lyoto Machida via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): UFC Featherweight Championship Bout: Jose Aldo vs. Chan Sung Jung

Jose “Scarface” Aldo is a 26-year-old fighter from Manus, Brazil. Aldo is the reigning and defending UFC Featherweight Champion and was the final WEC Featherweight champion. Aldo holds a black belt in BJJ, but he is better known for his Muay Thai striking abilities. Aldo is a member of the Nova Uniao Gym training in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Aldo was originally scheduled to fight Anthony Pettis in this bout before a knee-injury forced Pettis to withdraw. Aldo is a well-rounded striker who is very aggressive with his leg kicks, knees to the body and flashy head kicks. Aldo also has big time power in his hands and has won the majority of his bouts via TKO. Aldo holds a nearly perfect professional record of 22-1.

“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung is a 26-year-old fighter from Pohang, South Korea. Jung is a talented grappler who holds a green belt in Judo and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Despite these somewhat less than impressive belt credentials he is a creative and extremely talented grappler. Jung also holds a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and his striking style is very representative of that background. Before joining the WEC and UFC, Jung fought for a number of major Asian MMA promotions including Pancrase, KoreaFC, DEEP and Sengoku. Jung is a member of Korean Zombie MMA in his hometown and has also trained with the Korean Top Team in Seoul. He holds a career MMA record of 13-3.

Analysis and Prediction: This fight is a bit of a mismatch, but there are definitely a few ways for the upset to get pulled off. Aldo is the Featherweight division’s most devastating striker and is probably top five pound-for-pound in that category. Jung has decent striking, but he moves forward at a bit too much of a plodding pace to really challenge Aldo. Still, the Zombie is one of the more talented grapplers in the division and is extremely creative with his submission game, the problem for him will be getting Aldo to the floor. Aldo is massive and extremely strong, so much so that he’s been able to fend off talented wrestlers in his career. Jung will need to utilize trips and throws to take Aldo down.

Jung is also returning from a layoff of over a year. That kind of ring rust is going to be tough to shake off. It’s going to be even harder with an aggressive striker like Aldo throwing bombs and pressuring constantly. Jung has shown excellent cardio in the past, in fact in his bout against Poirier he seemed to get better as the fight wore on, Aldo is the exact opposite. He’s massive for the weight class and sometimes struggles to make weight, or oftentimes the cut just has negative effects on his cardio. The Aldo-Edgar bout is a clear example, as Edgar was able to come alive in the final few rounds to take advantage of a tiring Aldo. A similar game plan might be wise for the Zombie if he’s able to survive that long.

Jung has struggled against strikers that are far inferior to Aldo, including being knocked cold by George Roop. Jung has a strong chin and can take a fair amount of punishment, but Aldo is simply the heaviest hitter that he’s ever faced. I expect a beat down from the champion, culminating in quite possibly a knockout of the night bonus check. Jose Aldo via KO in Round Three

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga Results and Wrap Up

July 29, 2013 By: Category: UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

People can continue to rag on the UFC Flyweight division. Complaints about lack of depth in the division might have some truth to them, but complaints about the quality of fights that the division have put on need to be laid to rest. With the co-main event of this card filled with trash talking and bad blood, the UFC Flyweight Championship headliner took a back seat to the Welterweight grudge match. In the end, it was the Flyweights who turned in a Fight of the Night performance while the Welterweights stunk up the arena and were showered with boos for the majority of their fifteen minute dance-routine.

In the main event UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson put on a dominant display, outstriking, outhustling and straight up outworking the overmatched challenger John Moraga for four straight rounds. Clearly up on the scorecards, Johnson decided not to coast for a victory and continued to press on, his efforts were rewarded as he earned the first stoppage of his Flyweight career with a late submission via arm bar. In the co-main event the action was light and neither man looked overly interested in getting knocked out by an opponent who had talked so much trash. In the end Rory MacDonald used an excellent jab to badly outstrike Jake Ellenberger for the full fifteen minutes. Despite the dominant performance, MacDonald did nothing to up his stock in the division, as the action-light affair was showered with boos and even earned some rage from UFC President Dana White at the post-fight press conference.

As usual, it’s time to take a look at what’s next for the UFC main card winners and losers, and take a look at where they go from here.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Liz Carmouche defeated Jessica Andrade via TKO (Elbows and Punches) at 3:57 of Round Two

21-year old Brazilian newcomer Jessica Andrade looked fairly impressive in the first round. She was well composed and picked her spots wisely, but was often overmatched physically by Liz Carmouche. In the second round, Carmouche completely took over. Andrade rushed Carmouche but was slammed to the ground for her efforts. From there Carmouche mounted the Brazilian and began a vicious ground and pound onslaught. Andrade survived and rolled for a good three and a half minutes, but Carmouche was with her every step of the way, holding dominant positions and continuing to drop bombs. Eventually referee Herb Dean had seen enough and he stopped the fight with just over a minute left in round two.

What’s next for Carmouche? There’s a bit of a crowd forming at the top of the Women’s Bantamweight division, so Carmouche is going to need to win a few more bouts before she gets another crack at champion Ronda Rousey. Canadian grappler Alexis Davis recently made a successful UFC debut, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see these two ladies hook it up next.

What’s next for Andrade? She stepped up when the UFC needed her to, and at only 21-years-old she is still a solid prospect that will likely remain with the UFC. She’ll probably get a slight step down in competition for her next bout. Rosi Sexton is coming off of a loss, but I could also see the UFC pairing her up with an Invicta FC Fighter who might be making her UFC debut.

Welterweight Bout: Robbie Lawler defeated Bobby Voelker via KO (Head Kick) at 0:24 of Round Two

Joe Rogan was having a slight love affair with Lawler during the commentary for this bout, showering him with praise and compliments. Lawler for his part, deserved most of it. He looked relaxed, composed and in-shape for his two round destruction of Bobby Voelker. Voelker was a late replacement, but was coming off a slugfest with Patrick Cote where he showed an incredible chin. Didn’t matter to Lawler who beat him up for most of the first round with uppercuts, flying knees and solid combinations. In the early part of the second round a massive head kick landed for Lawler that dropped Voelker and a few follow up shots sealed the deal.

What’s next for Lawler? He was originally expected to face the final Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Tarec Saffiedine at this bout, before an injury changed the plans for that bout. That bout still makes sense, but Saffiedine doesn’t have a lot of name recognition and two straight knockouts for Lawler may move him past that bout. Still it’s probably the fight that makes the most sense.

What’s next for Voelker? He’s lost two straight bouts in the UFC, but he loves to stand and trade and was willing to take on a dangerous fighter on short notice, basically he’s the UFC’s favorite kind of fighter. I expect him to get a more favorable match up in his next bout. The loser of the upcoming bout between Jason High and James Head might make sense. They might also use him to rebuild Strikeforce imports Jordan Mein or Tyron Woodley after tough losses though.


Welterweight Bout: Rory MacDonald defeated Jake Ellenberger via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

Don’t watch this fight. Unless you’re a massive fan of the jab’s use in modern MMA and want to see just how terrible striking defense can be at the top level of the Welterweight division. Rory MacDonald used a strong, fast, accurate jab and not much else to defeat Jake Ellenberger handily for three rounds. For his part Ellenberger looked flat and frozen for much of the bout, unable to get anything going. He rarely shot for takedowns, he threw punches that weren’t even close and he chose not to utilize any head movement as he stalked forward. It was a dominant performance for MacDonald but his lack of urgency or aggression will likely due him no favors in the UFC’s and fan’s eyes.

What’s next for MacDonald? He’s clearly a top talent and he keeps calling out Carlos Condit wanting to avenge his only career loss. The bout makes sense as they are two of the top fighters at Welterweight. However, Condit is already set to square off against Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27 on Fox Sports 1. If Condit wins that bout he should fight MacDonald. If Kampmann scores the upset, then he should take the bout against MacDonald instead.

What’s next for Ellenberger? The loss is bad news for Ellenberger. He talked a ton of trash heading into this bout and then did nothing to back it up. Not only did he get beaten and beaten badly, he looked pretty bad doing it, in a fight that the fans booed non-stop. His stock has certainly tumbled. A bout with Nick Diaz would make sense if Diaz decides to fight in the UFC again. If not Josh Koscheck might make sense as would a bout against Thiago Alves if he can get back into the cage after multiple injuries over the past year.

UFC Flyweight Championship Bout: Demetrious Johnson defeated John Moraga via Submission (Armbar) at 3:43 of Round Five

The UFC’s Flyweight Champion turned in his most dominant championship performance to date. Johnson’s submission actually beat out Anderson Silva’s previous record for latest stoppage in UFC history. Johnson was 12 for 12 in his takedown attempts and passed guard for dominant positions a staggering 14 times during the contest. Moraga found brief success with a massive right hand in the fourth round, but that was about his only highlight from the bout as he spent the rest of his time trying to handle the offensive onslaught of Mighty Mouse.

What’s next for Johnson? He’s defeated all of the top contenders in the division and he’s talking about superfights with Bantamweights, which Dana seemed open to at the press conference. Unfortunately the UFC Bantamweight and Flyweight Champion doesn’t have the same allure as GSP-Silva or Silva-Jones, but it’s an option. Joseph Benavidez dropped a very close Split Decision to Johnson in the inaugural title bout, and he will have three straight wins if he defeats Jussier da Silva at UFC Fight Night 28. I’d expect Benavidez to get the next crack if Johnson doesn’t face Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao next.

What’s next for Moraga? He took this fight after two straight Facebook fights, so it’s likely it was a case of too much, too soon for him. Still he’s a promising fighter with a decent skillset. Heading into this bout, his lone loss was against John Dodson at a regional show in 2010. With both of them being the last men to lose to the Flyweight Champion a rematch makes some sense for both men. Plus it would be a highly entertaining scrap.

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga Predictions and Analysis

July 26, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since Chris Weidman shocked the world at UFC 162. The UFC is finally breaking from a couple of weeks of downtime and returning to action this weekend, this time on free network television. This Saturday night the UFC presents UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga from the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. Once again in the main event, the Flyweight title will take center stage in a free television show as UFC Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson takes on fast-rising contender John Moraga.

The co-main event of the evening features a Welterweight grudge match between GSP-lite Rory “The Waterboy” MacDonald and hard-hitting knockout artist Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger. Other main card bouts include a Women’s Bantamweight bout between Liz Carmouche and the debuting Jessica Andrade, as well as a potential slugfest between a pair of Strikeforce Welterweight imports; “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Bobby Voelker.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Bantamweight Bout: John Albert vs. Yaotzin Meza

John “Prince” Albert is a 26-year-old fighter from Reno, Nevada. He now resides in Puyallup, Washington where he trains with the Victory Athletics Team. Albert is a former cast member from The Ultimate Fighter season 14. He holds a professional MMA record of 7-4. Yaotzin Meza is a 32-year-old fighter from Santa Ana, California. He is a member of the MMA Lab training in Glendale, Arizona. He will be dropping to Bantamweight after making his UFC debut at 145-pounds. His professional record stands at 18-8.

Quick Pick: John Albert via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Lightweight Bout: Aaron Riley vs. Justin Salas

Aaron Riley is a 32-year-old fighter from Tell City, Indiana. He now resides and trains in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he is a member of the Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting Gym. Riley has fought for a number of major MMA promotions across his career including Bodog Fight, PRIDE, IFL and Shooto. He holds a professional MMA record of 30-13. Justin “J-Bomb” Salas is a 31-year-old fighter from Green River, Wyoming. He is a member of the Grudge Training Center, training in Denver, Colorado. Salas is a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler from the University of Wyoming. He holds a professional MMA record of 10-4.

Quick Pick: Justin Salas via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Julie Kedzie vs. Germaine de Randamie

Julie “Fireball” Kedzie is a 32-year-old fighter from Chicago, Illinois. She is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and also excels in submission grappling. She is a member of Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico, where she also helps Coach Jackson to run the day-to-day operations of the gym. Her professional MMA record is 16-11. Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie is a 29-year-old fighter from Utrecht, Netherlands. She is a former professional kick boxer who now trains in the United States with the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. She holds a professional MMA record of 3-2.

Quick Pick: Julie Kedzie via Submission in Round Two


Preliminary Card (FX): Middleweight Bout: Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith

Ed “Short Fuse” Herman is a 32-year-old fighter from Vancouver, Washington. Herman is a former cast member from the early seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. He now trains with Team Quest in Fort Collins, Colorado where he holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He holds a professional MMA record of 20-9 with 1 No Contest. Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith is a 32-year-old fighter also from Vancouver, Washington. He is a member of the Ring Demon Jiu Jitsu Gym in Tukwila, Washington. He is a former Strikeforce fighter who will be making his UFC debut. He holds a professional MMA record of 10-3.

Quick Pick: Ed Herman via Submission in Round Two

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Yves Edwards vs. Daron Cruickshank

Yves “The Thugjitsu Master” is a 36-year-old fighter from Nassau, Bahamas. He is an MMA veteran who has fought for the UFC, PRIDE, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator and Elite XC and has been fighting professionally since 1997. He is a member of the American Top Team in Woodlands, Texas. He holds an MMA record of 42-19-1. Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank is a 28-year-old fighter from Detroit, Michigan. He was a cast member on the The Ultimate Fighter: Live. He is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, but is also a former NCAA wrestler. He trains with the DC Prodigies Gym in Wayne, Michigan. His professional MMA record stands at 12-3.

Quick Pick: Daron Cruickshank via TKO in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Mac Danzig vs. Melvin Guillard

Mac Danzig is a 33-year-old fighter from Cleveland, Ohio. He is best known as the vegan winner of the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He trains with the PKG Gym in Los Angeles, California. Danzig holds a pro record of 21-10. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard is a 30-year-old fighter who debuted for the UFC on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter. He is one of the Lightweight division’s hardest punchers and most dangerous strikers, however, he is also well known for his propensity to make mistakes in the cage. He is a member of the Grudge Training Center, but has been bouncing from camp to camp during his recent struggles. He holds a professional record of 30-12-2 with 1 No Contest.

Quick Pick: Melvin Guillard via TKO in Round Two


Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Danny Castillo vs. Tim Means

Danny “Last Call” Castillo is a 33-year-old fighter from Sacramento, California. He is a member of Team Alpha Male training with Urijah Faber and company at the Ultimate Fitness Gym. Castillo was a stand out high school wrestler who also holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Castillo holds an MMA record of 15-5. Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means is a 29-year-old fighter from Wilburton, Oklahoma. He is a member of the Power MMA Gym in New Mexico. Means is a former King of the Cage Lightweight and Junior Welterweight Champion. He holds a professional record of 18-4-1.

Quick Pick: Tim Means via Split Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Michael Chiesa vs. Jorge Masvidal

Michael “Maverick” Chiesa is a 25-year-old fighter from Aurora, Colorado. He was a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter: Live and was the eventual winner of the show’s tournament. Chiesa is a member of Team Alpha Male, but resides and trains in Spokane, Washington. He holds a perfect pro record of 9-0. Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal is a 28-year-old fighter from Miami, Florida. Masvidal is a member of the American Top Team. Masvidal has fought for a number of major North American promotions including Bodog Fight, Strikeforce and Bellator. He holds a professional MMA record of 24-7.

Quick Pick: Jorge Masvidal via TKO in Round Three

Main Card (FOX): Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade

Liz “Girl-rilla” Carmouche is a 29-year-old fighter from Lafayette, Louisiana. Carmouche is most notable for being the second half of the first ever Women’s MMA bout in the UFC opposite champion Ronda Rousey. Carmouche is also notable as being the first openly gay fighter in the UFC and also for her time spent in the Marine Corps serving the United States. Despite her outside the cage accolades, she’s also a talented fighter inside the cage with solid grappling skills and serviceable boxing. She is a member of the Team Hurricane Awesome Gym in San Diego, California. She holds an MMA record of 8-3.

Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade is a 21-year-old fighter from Parana, Brazil. She will be making her UFC debut in this contest and will be taking a pretty big step up in competition. Andrade is a talented grappler who has finished all of her opponents either via TKO or Submission, but has choked out five of her last six opponents. Andrade is a member of the Parana Vale Tudo Gym in her hometown where she constantly works on her wrestling and grappling. This may be tough to accomplish against Carmouche who is very physically strong and often dominated the clinch game against her opponents. She holds a professional record of 9-2.

Analysis and Prediction: Andrade is a talented grappler, but it’s going to be very tough to get Carmouche to the ground. Carmouche is a tough and physically strong fighter with excellent takedown defense and is smothering in the clinch game. Many of Andrade’s takedowns come from trips or throws from the clinch, but that’s unlikely to work against Carmouche. The more likely result is that Carmouche earns the takedowns and forces Andrade to work from the bottom. I haven’t seen enough from the young Brazilian to think she can survive the ground and pound from there for long. Liz Carmouche via TKO in Round One

Main Card (FOX): Welterweight Bout: Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voelker

“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler is a 31-year-old MMA veteran from San Diego, California. Lawler has been competing in professional MMA since 2001. He is a former Middleweight fighter who has held titles in a number of promotions most notably ICON Sport. He is a member of the American Top Team but also trains at Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squad Gym where he is a part owner. Lawler is known for his brawling style and his iron chin, having been stopped only once in his entire career. He recently made a triumphant return to the UFC with a first round TKO over Josh Koscheck. He holds a professional record of 20-9 with 1 No Contest.

“Vicious” Bobby Voelker is a 34-year-old fighter from Kansas City, Kansas. Voelker is a member of the Finney’s MMA Gym. Voelker is a former Strikeforce fighter who came over when the promotion was closed. Voelker is primarily a striker who loves to get involved in brawls. He recently made his UFC debut, dropping a close decision to Patrick Cote. Voelker is a powerful striker who has earned 19 wins via stoppage. Voelker is best known for his trilogy of exciting fights against Roger Bowling in Strikeforce, a trilogy that he eventually went 2-1 in. Overall his professional record stands at 15-9.

Analysis and Prediction: As we saw in Voelker’s UFC debut against Cote, and as we’ve seen in the past, he doesn’t mind getting into brawls. That’s probably a bad strategy against a striker as capable as Lawler. At this point in his career, Lawler isn’t surprising anyone and he isn’t good enough for a run at the title, but his skillset is enough to tag Voelker a few times, and his power is enough that tagging Voelker a few times is all it will take. I think he eventually lands a big counter shot that turns Voelker’s lights out. Robbie Lawler via KO in Round Two

Main Card (FOX): Welterweight Bout: Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger

Rory “The Waterboy” MacDonald is a 24-year-old fighter from Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada. MacDonald is a tough and well-rounded young fighter who began training specifically in MMA without focusing on any one discipline. He is a talented grappler however, who holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. MacDonald is a member of the Tristar Gym where he trains regularly alongside UFC Welterweight Champion and close friend, Georges St. Pierre. MacDonald is a top prospect in the Welterweight division and holds a professional MMA record of 14-1, with the lone loss coming against top contender Carlos Condit.

Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger is a 28-year-old fighter from Omaha, Nebraska. He is a member of the Reign Training Center in Orange County, California. Ellenberger is a former NCAA Division 2 wrestler from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Despite his well-documented wrestling skills, Ellenberger is also known for his powerful striking. He is a tight and compact boxer who can generate a lot of power in his strikes. Ellenberger holds a professional MMA record of 29-6, with 18 knockouts.

Analysis and Prediction: MacDonald should have one glaring advantage heading into this contest and that is his cardio. Ellenberger has been prone to fading late in fights and he could be in trouble against MacDonald if he does. Rory is going to need to be careful during the first round, this is when Ellenberger is most dangerous. His shots pack the most power in round one and he’s willing to throw with bad intentions, as evidenced during his Knockout of the Night performance against Nate Marquardt. I like MacDonald, but he seems a bit too hittable to me, his striking defense has some flaws. If he can survive the first half of the fight, he should be able to take over in the late stages. But I think he gets clipped early. Jake Ellenberger via TKO in Round One

Main Card (FOX): UFC Flyweight Championship Bout: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is a 26-year-old fighter from Madisonville, Kentucky. He is the reigning and defending UFC Flyweight Champion. Johnson trains with the AMC Pankration Gym in Kirkland, Washington where he trains under famed coach Matt “The Wizard” Hume. Johnson is a cardio machine, who often outworks his opponents over the course of five rounds as they begin to fade from trying to keep up with his pace. Johnson is a talented and technical striking who is very defensively minded and is very difficult to hit with power shots. Johnson holds a professional MMA record of 14-2-1.

John Moraga is a 29-year-old fighter from Phoenix, Arizona. Moraga is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Arizona State University. Moraga is a member of the MMA Lab, training in his hometown of Phoenix. At almost 5’7” Moraga will hold a notable height and reach advantage in this bout. Moraga is undefeated in the UFC holding a 2-0 record and has a near perfect pro record of 13-1, with the lone loss coming against John Dodson.

Analysis and Prediction: No one has been able to solve the mystery of Mighty Mouse at Flyweight quite yet, but Moraga might have close to the style to do it. He’s taller and has excellent wrestling to control the smaller champion. Unfortunately, he’s also a bit slower and a bit more plodding in his movements, while Johnson on the other hand is extremely fluid and moves around the cage very well. Moraga also hasn’t shown me a striking skillset diversified enough to handle what Johnson brings into the octagon.

I expect a similar performance to those that we’ve seen from Johnson in the past. He’s going to force Moraga to work, he’s going to push the pace constantly. Moraga has never been to the championship rounds of a fight and that’s where Johnson excels, so I expect the champion’s punch output to continue to rise and rise with each passing round. In the end, I don’t think he’ll get a stoppage, but it could be a fairly one-sided decision. Demetrious Johnson via Unanimous Decision

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

MMA 2013 Half-Year Awards

July 09, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Alright guys, the summer holidays are all over now. Canadian fans, the fireworks and Canada Day celebrations are nearly a week past. For Americans the Fourth of July party has wrapped up. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look back at the half-year (January 1-July 1) that has been so far in the MMA world. These are my picks for the 2013 MMA Awards for the First Half-Year. For each category I’ll take a look at my choice in detail along with listing a couple of notable mentions. Let’s get right into it.

Submission of the Half-Year: Kenny Robertson applies a Suloev Stretch to Brock Jardine at UFC 157

This is simply put one of the most innovative submissions to have ever been applied in the UFC. Robertson transitions smoothly from back control and a possible Rear Naked Choke and stays with it, before turning to attack the leg. The reverse knee bar from the back control position, is just an impressive, impressive submission maneuver.

Honorable Mentions: Josh Burkman chokes out Jon Fitch with a Guillotine Choke in the World Series of Fighting, Rose Namajuna lands a Flying Armbar on Kathina Catron at Invicta FC 5.

Knockout of the Half-Year: Vitor Belfort knocks out Luke Rockhold with a Spinning Heel Kick at UFC on FX 8

Belfort actually attempted this kick a few times during the bout, but Rockhold was able to dodge it the first time or two. Belfort was rewarded for sticking with it. This was an absolutely highlight reel knockout that flattened Rockhold and directly lead to the finish of this bout. This is a highlight you need to search on YouTube.

Honorable Mentions: Mark Hunt destroys Stefan Struve’s jawbone at UFC on Fuel TV in Japan, Junior dos Santos flattens Mark Hunt with a Spinning Heel Kick at UFC 160, TJ Grant TKOs Gray Maynard at UFC 160 to earn a shot at the UFC Lightweight Title

Biggest Upset of the Half-Year: Antonio Silva storms back in the Third Round to demolish Alistair Overeem at UFC 156

For the first two rounds, this bout was going exactly like everyone expected that it would. Alistair Overeem one of the best Heavyweight strikers in the UFC was outworking Antonio Silva at a considerable pace. In the third round, likely needing a finish, Antonio Silva stormed out and did exactly what he needed to do. Overeem kept his hands low and in the third Silva landed a big shot that clipped Overeem on the chin and rocked him. Sensing opportunity, Silva swarmed Overeem and battered him with huge punches. Overeem was out on his feet before a huge uppercut sent him to the canvas for good.

Honorable Mentions: Stipe Miocic outboxes Roy Nelson for three full rounds at UFC 161, Kelvin Gastelum defeats Uriah Hall to steal the TUF 17 Middleweight Championship, Emanuel Newton clobbers King Mo Lawal at Bellator 90 as a 10-1 underdog

Best Event of the Half-Year: UFC on Fox 7 delivers with six undercard knockouts, a Welterweight war and two Lightweight scraps for the ages.

The main event of the evening featured an excellent back and forth technical striking battle between two of the Lightweight division’s best in Gilbert Melendez and Benson Henderson. In the co-main event Josh Thomson became the first man to stop a Diaz brother with strikes in the UFC as he knocked out Nate Diaz in the second round of their bout. Daniel Cormier made his UFC debut in successful fashion as he dominated Frank Mir and the main card opened with an excellent brawl between Welterweights Jordan Mein and Matt Brown. As mentioned the undercard featured six knockouts, with only one bout being considered somewhat of a disappointment.

Honorable Mentions: UFC on Fuel TV 10 sets a UFC record for most submissions in one card, Bellator FC makes it’s Spike TV debut with Bellator 85 featuring a pair of title fights

Fight of the Half-Year: Wanderlei Silva knocks out Brian Stann in Japan after 2 Rounds of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em MMA

Watch this fight. Now. Go on YouTube and watch. Both of these guys just left it all in the octagon in Japan. Each man scored a couple of knockdowns and there were a number of close calls. Finally, late in the second round Wanderlei Silva blasted Stann with a giant flurry and finally put Stann out cold for good.

Honorable Mentions: Johnny Hendricks earns a Welterweight title shot after winning a war against Carlos Condit, Pat Curran defeats Patricio Freire after five rounds of striking action at Bellator 85, Benson Henderson defends his Lightweight title against Gilbert Melendez in a back and forth scrap at UFC on Fox 7

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 162 Silva Vs. Weidman Results and Wrap Up

July 08, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Well that was shocking… After a stunning end that still has most members of the MMA world including fans, fighters and media personalities all equally shocked, UFC 162 is now in the books and one of the greatest title reigns in UFC history is over. Chris Weidman shocked the world Saturday night in Las Vegas as he did the unthinkable and knocked Anderson Silva out cold for the first time in “The Spider’s” career. The rest of the main card provided a ton of action and a lot of exciting bouts and the main event just capped a great night of fights, unfortunately for the UFC, many people are tossing around conspiracy theories and making excuses for the main event instead of celebrating a great night of fights. With all of that said, it’s time to look forward at what’s next for all of the main card fighters.

Featherweight Bout: Cub Swanson defeated Dennis Siver via TKO (Punches) at 2:24 of Round Three

For the first round of this bout, Cub Swanson faced a lot of adversity. His grappling skills are chronically underrated due to his penchant for brawling, but Dennis Siver put them to the test in the opening round. Siver used a ground-based attack to control the action on the mat and steal the first. In the second round, Swanson began to find his rhythm. Swanson shook off a few takedown attempts and actually ended up with an excellent reversal to finish the second round in a submission attempt. In the third round, both men finally met in the middle of the cage and began to trade blows in the pocket. Swanson got the better of these exchanges and dropped Siver. Follow up punches on the ground came fast and furious and Siver was quickly beaten into unconsciousness.

What’s next for Swanson? He deserves a top contender, but there’s not a whole lot of names available. He needs to move upwards towards a title shot so there is a short list of names that make sense. The first one is Ricardo Lamas, who like Swanson has been continually passed over for a title shot. The other hot name is Frankie Edgar, but I think it’s too quick to throw Frankie back into title contention. My favorite option is the winner of the upcoming bout at UFC 164 between Chad Mendes and Clay Guida, both of whom could test Swanson’s grappling.

What’s next for Siver? He wasn’t dominated at all and heading into the final round of this fight, it was even and extremely close. The loss won’t drop him too far down the rankings, but he’ll take a step back. I’d actually like to see Siver scrap against the loser of the upcoming Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier match. Another option would be fellow main card loser Charles Oliveira.

Middleweight Bout: Mark Munoz defeated Tim Boetsch via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

Mark Munoz made a successful return to the octagon after over a year away with injuries, and it was a bumpy ride to begin with. Boetsch was the aggressor early on, landing a couple of takedowns in the early part of the first round. Boetsch also managed to lock in a guillotine that was deep, but never close to finishing Munoz. In the second and third rounds, Munoz came storming back. The tide turned in the second as Munoz scored a takedown from the fence and transitioned to north-south position. From there he brought the ‘donkey kong’ as he likes to say, dropping huge hammer fists and punches to the body, to the legs and to the head. In the final round, Munoz continued to grind on Boetsch who began to look fatigued and continued to pound away at him on the ground. The final round was the most dominant of the fight as Munoz just blasted away at a battered and beaten Boetsch, but couldn’t find the finish.

What’s next for Munoz? At the post-event press conference he was happy to throw his name into the mix for a rematch with Chris Weidman, but that’s not going to happen. Munoz needs to be brought along slowly, against lower-level top ten fighters. Someone in the eight-ten space in the UFC’s rankings would be best. Francis Carmont seems like a fighter who would fit the bill. Although some might consider it a step-down in name value, Carmont is 5-0 in the Middleweight division and in need of a tough challenge, Munoz fits perfectly.
What’s next for Boetsch? That’s two straight losses for Boetsch, who looked impressive when he first made the drop to Middleweight. He’ll need to try and get back on track. Two possible outcomes are readily available here and both are recent Strikeforce imports. The first is fellow main card loser Roger Gracie who was dominated by Tim Kennedy. The more intriguing option however is Luke Rockhold. The former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion who lost his UFC debut to Vitor Belfort.

Middleweight Bout: Tim Kennedy defeated Roger Gracie via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

Heading into this fight, Gracie was hailed as one of the best pure grapplers in the UFC, but the questions continued to surround his still improving striking skills. Tim Kennedy showed that you need to be well rounded to compete at the highest levels of modern MMA in this bout. Despite being taken down early in the fight, Kennedy remained calm and showed excellent ability to avoid dangerous positions on the ground against a grappler as talented as Gracie. In the second round, Kennedy began to outstrike his Brazilian foe. Kennedy use leg kicks to slow the movement of Gracie and immediately began to punish Gracie with punches on the feet. The third round was the most one-sided of the fight as Kennedy continued to punish the slowing, plodding Gracie. Unable to earn a takedown in the final round, Gracie became desperate and left himself open to some big power shots from Kennedy. Despite taking the big punches, Kennedy was unable to earn a finish.

What’s next for Kennedy? This fight wasn’t exactly a barnburner, but he was given a tough task for his UFC debut and he came out with a win. After recently criticizing the UFC’s pay structure and being quickly whipped into shape by Zuffa, I don’t think it’s likely he gets an easy fight for his second UFC bout. A lot of the top UFC Middleweights are already booked in fights, but there are a few options. Michael Bisping is probably a bit too far up the ladder at this point, so someone like CB Dollaway or Andrew Craig are probably the best options.

Featherweight Bout: Frankie Edgar defeated Charles Oliveira via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

This one was supposed to be a squash match for Edgar. The chance for him to get some new footage for his highlight reels and get him back on the winning track after recent struggles. Apparently Oliveira didn’t get the memo, as he pressured Edgar from the opening bell and showed off some impressive new striking skills during the duration of the bout. It was an interesting styles clash to see the wrestle-boxer in Edgar facing the BJJ-Muay Thai approach of Oliveira. The first two rounds were close, but Edgar won both fairly clearly in my opinion. In the third, Edgar really did his best work. He used great footwork to tire Oliveira out and leave him chasing him around the octagon. Edgar came forward in spurts, landing big shots that hurt Oliveira, despite teeing off with a number of huge bombs, he couldn’t quite get the KO punch to make the Brazilian drop, but at the end Edgar took a well-deserved decision.

What’s next for Edgar? After his recent struggles in title fights, it’s much too early to start throwing Edgar right back into title contention. Still, he’s a huge name fighter, who is going to get big fights no matter what. I think the key for the UFC will be keeping him active, in important fights, but not letting him derail all of the fresh contenders to Jose Aldo’s crown. A lot of people think Edgar should fight Cub Swanson, and while I agree the fight is intriguing and I’d love to see it, it will take away an exciting top contender, so I think they will be separated. Edgar should fight the winner of upcoming bouts between Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier, or the winner of the upcoming bout between Chad Mendes and Clay Guida.

UFC Middleweight Championship Bout: Chris Weidman defeated Anderson Silva via KO (Punches) at 1:18 of Round Two

Many people, myself included, felt that Weidman could pull off the upset, but no one in their right mind could have predicted the way it would go down. In the first round, Weidman almost immediately shot for a takedown and was able to corral the champion on the mat. For his part Silva did a good job of avoiding too many damaging shots, and was able to control the posture of Weidman. In my opinion, Weidman next made a mistake by rolling for a kneebar and giving up top position. The rest of the first round was fairly lackluster as Silva egged on the challenger, but Weidman remained cautious.

In the second round, it was more of the arrogant Silva that we’ve seen in the past. Taunting and clowning around, daring Weidman to rush forward, trying to goad him into a mistake. Despite many people saying Weidman was playing into Silva’s hands, I think he actually was fine here, despite not shooting for takedowns, he remained patient with his strikes. He never over-committed to one single strike, despite the horrible advice of his coaches to “punch a fucking hole through Silva’s chest.” As Silva continued to clown around, he got tagged and the rest is history.

What’s next for Weidman? There are going to be calls for him to take a rematch against Silva and that’s probably the best course of action. It’s hard to say if he would be a favorite in the rematch, but for now Silva is claiming he doesn’t want a rematch. If Anderson won’t take his immediate rematch, I believe the only option for Weidman is Vitor Belfort. I hate watching Belfort go on and on in social media about deserving his shot and blah blah, but he’s the only logical challenger at this point.

What’s next for Silva? Anything and everything. From retirement to a bout with Roy Jones Jr. Anderson has always been an oddball, especially in the media, but his comments after the fight made absolutely no sense to me, it was hard to tell if he was trying to retire, or trying to not fight for the title or what. I honestly have no idea where they go with Silva from here. But I do know, the UFC’s best bet would be to put it on free television, because the one consensus I have heard from fans in the past two days, is that they will NEVER pay money to watch Silva fight again.

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 162: Silva Vs. Weidman Predictions and Analysis

July 05, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Well folks, it’s been a while, but it’s time for Dana White and company to invade your weekend plans once again. The UFC is back this Saturday night for their annual Fourth of July weekend show. Capping off another fan expo week in Las Vegas, UFC 162 comes to you live on Pay Per View from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event of the evening pound-for-pound kingpin Anderson “The Spider” Silva puts his Middleweight title on the line against undefeated challenger Chris Weidman.

In other main card action, Frankie Edgar looks to right the ship on his career, as he takes on Charles Oliveira in his first three round fight in over three years after a number of memorable title bouts. In Middleweight action Strikeforce imports Tim Kennedy and Roger Gracie will do battle. Also in Middleweight action Mark Munoz will return from a significant layoff due to injury, to battle Tim Boetsch in a battle of two fighters looking to get back into the Middleweight pecking order. To open the main PPV card a pair of Featherweight bangers will lock horns as strikers Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver will go to war in a potential Fight of the Night.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Mike Pierce vs. David Mitchell

Mike Pierce is a 32-year-old fighter from Portland, Oregon. A former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Portland State University, he is a pure grinder and is one of the toughest fighters in the Welterweight division. He is a member of the Sports Lab Fight Team training in Portland, Oregon. He holds a professional MMA record of 16-5 with his UFC losses coming against only the top fighters in the division including Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Johnny Hendricks. David “Daudi” Mitchell is a 33-year-old fighter from Windsor, California. He is a member of the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance training in Santa Rosa, California. Mitchell is a talented grappler, but struggled in the UFC until his most recent bout. He holds a career record of 12-2, with both losses coming in the UFC.

Quick Pick: Mike Pierce via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon

Seth “The Polish Pistola” Baczynski is a 31-year-old fighter from Honolulu, Hawaii. Baczynski was a competitor on the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, but struggled in his first go-round in the UFC, before earning his way back. He is a member of the Power MMA and Fitness Gym in Apache Junction, Arizona. He holds a career record of 17-7. Brian Melancon is a 31-year-old fighter from Port Neches, Texas. Melancon is making his UFC debut after going 1-1 under the Strikeforce banner. He trains with the Paradigm Training Center in Houston, Texas. He holds a professional MMA record of 6-2.

Quick Pick: Seth Baczynski via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Edson Barboza vs. Rafaello Oliveira

Edson “Junior” Barboza is a 27-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Barboza is a talented striker who holds a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and a black belt in Muay Thai kick boxing. He is a member of the Valor MMA Gym in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Barboza holds a professional MMA record of 11-1. Rafaello “ Tractor” Oliveira is a 31-year-old fighter from Recife, Brazil. He now resides and trains in the USA, training in Charleston, South Carolina with the AMA Fight Club. He is a talented grappler who holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He holds a career record of 15-5.

Quick Pick: Edson Barboza via TKO in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Heavyweight Bout: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Dave Herman

Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga is a 34-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gonzaga now resides and trains in the USA in Ludlow, Massachusetts. He is a black belt in BJJ who trains with Team Link in Massachusetts. Gonzaga is best known for his head kick knockout of Mirko Cro Cop all the way back at UFC 70. His MMA record now stands at 14-7. Dave “PeeWee” Herman is a 28-year-old fighter from Columbia City, Indiana. Herman trains with Team Quest in Temecula, California, although he has admitted in recent media that he has been training mostly alone for this bout after a string of failed drug tests for marijuana. He holds a professional MMA record of 21-5.

Quick Pick: Dave Herman via KO in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Norman Parke vs. Kazuki Tokudome

“Stormin’” Norman Parke is a 26-year-old fighter from Bushmills, Northern Ireland. Parke is a judo fighter who now trains Jiu Jitsu under Robert Drysdale at one of his gyms. He was a competitor on the lightweight portion of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes and was the show’s eventual winner. He holds a professional MMA record of 17-2. Kazuki Tokudome is a 26-year-old fighter from Tokyo, Japan. He is a member of the Paraestra Hachioji Dojo in Tokyo. Tokudome is a veteran of the Pancrase, DEEP and Sengoku promotions in Asia. He holds a career record of 12-3-1, and holds a 1-0 UFC record.

Quick Pick: Norman Parke via Submission in Round Two

Preliminary Card (FX): Middleweight Bout: Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig

Chris “The Crippler” Leben is a 32-year-old fighter from Portland, Oregon. One of the UFC’s most popular fighters, he was one of the cast members on the original season of The Ultimate Fighter. Leben is a brawler who trains with the Alliance MMA Gym in Chula Vista, California. Leben is probably safe from the UFC axe due to his popularity, but he has struggled lately and his professional record has dropped to 22-9. Andrew “Highlight” Craig is a 27-year-old fighter from Houston, Texas. Craig is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who trains with Team Tooke in Houston. Craig holds a professional MMA record of 8-1 with his lone pro loss coming to Ronny Markes in the UFC.

Quick Pick: Chris Leben via TKO in Round Three

Main Card (Pay Per View): Featherweight Bout: Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver

Cub Swanson is a 29-year-old fighter from Palm Springs, California. Swanson is a member of Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting Camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, although Swanson rarely uses it during his fights. Instead Swanson prefers to use his excellent Muay Thai skills and prefers to stand and trade with most of his opponents, he shouldn’t have a problem finding a willing dance partner in this bout as Siver himself is mostly a striker. Swanson is riding an impressive four-fight winning streak in the UFC’s Featherweight division and is looking to lay claim to a title shot with an impressive victory in this bout. He holds a professional record of 19-5.

Dennis “The Menace” Siver is a 34-year-old fighter who was born in Omsk, Russia in the former Soviet Union. Siver moved to Germany as a teenager, which is where he now resides and trains as a member of the MMA-Spirit Gym in Mannheim, Germany. Siver holds a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and also holds a purple belt in BJJ. Siver struggled during his first time in the UFC, but has improved since being called back and dropping to the Featherweight division. Siver competed as an amateur kick boxer, winning the WAKO Amateur Championship of Germany. He holds a career record of 21-8.

Analysis and Prediction: Siver and Swanson were originally scheduled to fight at UFC on Fuel TV, but Siver was forced to withdraw from the bout and Swanson instead beat up Dustin Poirier. Swanson is on quite the roll lately and he has been steamrolling a lot of his competition. Siver is a tough outing, but Swanson will likely hold the speed edge in the bout. He’ll be able to get his combinations of before Siver has the chance to return fire. I expect to see Swanson attack Siver aggressively to the body with kicks and punches, that onslaught should cause Siver to slow considerably in the later rounds of the bout. From there Swanson finds the knockout blow late. Cub Swanson via TKO in Round Three

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch

Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz is a 35-year-old fighter from Yokosuka, Japan born on a US Military base in the country. Munoz is a former Light Heavyweight and a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Oklahoma State University. Munoz is a member of the Reign Training Center in Lake Forest, California and also trains at the Kings MMA Gym in California. Munoz hasn’t fought in a year after suffering an injury during his last bout against Chris Weidman. In the lead up to this bout, Munoz has posted pictures in the media showing his transformation from nearly 250-pounds and soft to a shredded 185-pounds, showing that he is likely highly motivated for this bout. Munoz holds a career record of 12-3.

Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch is a 32-year-old fighter from Lincolnville, Maine. Boetsch is a black belt in Jeet Kune Do who trains under Matt “The Wizard” Hume. Boetsch is a member of the AMC Pankration Gym in Seattle, Washington. Boetsch was a standout wrestler in high school, but his skills never translated into a successful NCAA career. During his first run in the UFC, he struggled to fight as a Light Heavyweight, but he looked impressive during his time at Middleweight. Since making the cut to 185-pounds he has gone 4-1, with his lone loss coming against Costa Philippou under bizarre circumstances, after a head butt caused a large cut to open on Boetsch’s face and a broken hand. Boetsch’s professional MMA record currently stands at 16-5.

Analysis and Prediction: Boetsch has been far more active recently than Munoz and could easily be 5-0 heading into this fight. Munoz did not look impressive during his bout against Chris Weidman, but may hold a slight edge in wrestling against Boetsch. Still, Boetsch is very large for a Middleweight and is incredibly strong, it’s hard to imagine that Munoz will be able to bully him easily. Boetsch on the other hand will likely hold the edge in striking and could excel if he can fend off the takedowns from Munoz. Tim Boetsch via Split Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie

Tim Kennedy is a 33-year-old fighter from San Luis Obispo, California. Kennedy is a former Strikeforce fighter and two-time Strikeforce Middleweight Title challenger. Kennedy is notable for being a full-time member of the United States Army as well as being a professional fighter. He made headlines recently for his criticism of the UFC’s pay structure, although he was quick to offer an apology after stating he could make more money as a garbage collector. Kennedy is a member of Greg Jackson’s camp, but does most of his training in Austin, Texas. He holds a black belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu and is also a black belt in the Modern Army Combative Program. He holds a professional record of 15-4.

Roger Gracie is a 31-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He now resides and trains in London, England. Gracie is a member of the famed Gracie family of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners and holds a 2nd degree black belt in the art form. Gracie has long been one of the world’s top submission grapplers, winning a number of BJJ tournaments all over the world, including gold medals in the famous Abu Dhabi Combat Club tournament. Gracie trains with the Black House Gym and will be making his UFC debut in this bout. Gracie holds a career record of 6-1.

Analysis and Prediction: This should be an interesting clash of styles, as Kennedy holds the edge in striking, while Gracie will hold the edge in grappling. Gracie has rapidly been improving his striking skills, but he’s still a bit wooden and stiff with his strikes, which won’t be enough to outwork Kennedy on the feet. Kennedy is a talented grappler in his own right, but he’s simply not on the same level as Gracie on the mat, the problem for the Brazilian will be his ability to get the fight to the floor, as Kennedy is a better wrestler than Gracie. I think Kennedy has more ways to win this fight, and if he can keep it standing he should be able to use a well-rounded attack including a lot of leg kicks to keep Gracie off balance and earn himself a judge’s decision. Tim Kennedy via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Featherweight Bout: Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira

Frankie “The Answer” Edgar is a 31-year-old fighter from Toms River, New Jersey. Edgar is best known as a former UFC Lightweight champion and for his extremely entertaining fighting style. Edgar is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Edgar also holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but is more notable for his striking skills as of late. Edgar is a member of the Renzo Gracie Fight Team, training in New Jersey. He is a fluent boxer, with great footwork, excellent cardio and an incredible ability to take punishment and keep fighting. Edgar has fought mostly in title bouts for thepast several years, and this will be his first non-title fight since December 2009. He holds a professional record of 15-4-1.

Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira is a 23-year-old fighter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Oliveira holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but is a talented kick boxer in addition to his grappling skills. Oliveira trains with his own team, both in his hometown of Sao Paulo and also stateside in Houston, Texas. Oliveira is a former Lightweight fighter, who decided to make the cut to Featherweight after being outmuscled by much larger fighters at 155-pounds. However, he failed to make weight for his last bout, albeit by only a fraction of a pound. Since dropping to Featherweight he has gone 2-1, with the loss coming against surging Featherweight contender Cub Swanson in his last bout. Oliveir holds a professional MMA record of 16-3 with 1 No Contest.

Analysis and Prediction: Oliveira is a talented grappler and a decent kick boxer, but he’s likely going to be highly outgunned in this fight. Edgar is a cardio machine and is going to be firing on all cylinders for the full fifteen minutes. Oliveira has struggled against fighters who can keep a strong pace in the past and has also struggled against fighters who can outmuscle him. Edgar is deceptively strong and has outmuscled bigger fighters in the past. Combine that with Oliveira’s somewhat sloppy striking defense and Edgar’s ability to put combinations together well, it’s hard to see what a good strategy for Oliveira will be. He won’t be able to outwrestle Edgar, he’s unlikely to win a prolonged stand up battle, he just doesn’t have a lot of options. Edgar takes a dominant decision in this one. Frankie Edgar via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Championship Bout: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman

Anderson “The Spider” Silva is a 38-year-old fighter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Take a moment and let that sit in, it might become important pretty soon; Anderson Silva is nearly 40 years of age. Still he remains one of the UFC’s most popular fighters and is the most dominant Middleweight champion of all time. Silva is an accomplished martial artist with black belts in a number of different disciplines including Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Tae Kwan Do. Silva is a former member of the famed Chute Boxe camp in Brazil, he is now one of the top fighters in the Black House MMA Gym training with the Nogueira brothers as well as Lyoto Machida. Silva is one of the most accurate and devastating strikers to ever compete in MMA. Silva holds a professional MMA record of 33-4, including an outstanding 16-0 mark in the UFC.

Chris “The All-American” Weidman is a 29-year-old fighter from Baldwin, New York. He is a member of the Serra-Longo Fight Team training under former UFC champion Matt Serra and striking coach Ray Longo. Weidman is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Hofstra University and has translated those skills well to the cage, as he is one of the most dynamic submission grapplers in the world despite a lack of formal training. He currently holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but many black belt level grapplers including Roger Gracie have gone on the record to say that he is good enough to defeat black belts of all levels in a straight submission grappling contest. Weidman has made an impressive run through the UFC’s Middleweight division and currently holds a perfect professional record of 9-0, including a 5-0 mark in the UFC.

Analysis and Prediction: At the bargain price of only -225, these may be some of the shortest odds in Silva’s UFC career since he fought Rich Franklin for the title at UFC 64. Anderson has made some strange comments in the media these past few days, including an odd comment about not caring about winning or losing, but only getting out of the fight in one piece. He also continues to talk about boxing aging boxer Roy Jones Jr. over and over. All of this has to be somewhat unsettling for Silva supporters, but I doubt any of it means too much in the greater scheme of things.

The blue print to defeat Silva has long been considered a smothering top game with ground and pound and giving the champion very little space on the ground to work his underrated grappling skills for sweeps or submissions. Dan Henderson had some success with that strategy, Chael Sonnen nearly stole the belt with that strategy, hell even Travis Lutter enjoyed a round of success with that strategy, but eventually Silva got to all of them. It’s hard to argue that Weidman is a better wrestler than Dan Henderson or Chael Sonnen, but his style is very different and he’s a significantly better submission grappler than both men. Weidman also has some heavy ground and pound, significantly more dangerous than the pitter-patter punches Chael Sonnen throws on the ground. These are potential difference makers on the path to an upset.

In the striking department, it’s not even close. Weidman has shown significant improvements in his striking game, in fact in his most recent bout against Mark Munoz he wasn’t even hit with a significant strike, those skills are going to need to be fully polished for this fight. Any time this bout is standing is time that Weidman is in danger of going to sleep. Silva’s strikes hit hard, are deadly accurate and can come out of nowhere, Weidman needs to be aware of that and should never be standing still, using a quick 1-2 jab combination to get close enough to put his hands on the champion and drag him to the ground.

The obvious pick here is Silva to retain in impressive fashion once again. At the current betting odds though, I do like Weidman. At over 2-to-1 I think there is a clear path to victory for Weidman. Takedowns and ground control against Silva has worked in the past, it’s hard to imagine that it won’t work again. My only hope is that Weidman isn’t overly confident in his striking. He has made improvements, but his entire offense should come on the ground in this bout, with the strikes used only to close the distance. If he can do that well, I think he can stop the champion late. If not, it’s going to be a rough night. As it is, I think you’ll know within the first two minutes or so how this bout is going to play out. Chris Weidman via Submission in Round Four

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com