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UFC 175 Weidman vs. Machida: Five Lessons Learned

July 06, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

4th of July weekend means the UFC is in Las Vegas for International Fight Week. Two titles were up for grabs when Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman took on Lyoto Machida, who had the opportunity to become just the third fighter in UFC history to hold belts in two weight classes.  In the other title fight, Women’s Bantamweight Ronda Rousey put her title on the line against Alexis Davis.  In what was a great night of fights, here are my lessons learned from UFC 175.

Lesson 1: Still Champion

I never questioned the skill or toughness of Chris Weidman but there seemed to be a lot of chatter before the fight that he hasn’t truly earned the respect he deserves as champion.  Some believe that both wins against Anderson Silva were flukes.  I wasn’t one of them.  He did what no one else was able to do in the first fight, and he perfectly checked a kick that caused Anderson to break his leg in the second fight.  I see his first win as a clean knockout and it’s unfortunate, but injuries do happen in this sport.

On Saturday night, Weidman again was able to do something no one else has done.  As a wrestler, he controlled Lyoto Machida.  He did not get the finish as he predicted, but he was dominant in victory.  He implemented a very dangerous strategy but putting pressure on Machida worked.  For once, it looked as though Machida wasn’t sure what to do.  Weidman moved forward, threw a lot of kicks, landed combos and really took Machida out his game.  Things got very interesting in rounds 4 and 5.  Weidman clearly slowed down and it opened up opportunities for Machida.  Weidman took some big shots but was able to get a takedown late in the 5th round to pretty much seal the deal.  Weidman showed all the nonbelievers that he could take a shot and win a five round war.  No question in my mind that he a strong champion.  Do you respect him now?

Lesson 2: No Competition

Saturday night showed that there’s no competition for Ronda Rousey in the UFC.  When the challenger gets tougher, the fight gets easier.  She dismantled Alexis Davis in a matter of 16 seconds.  For the second fight in a row, Ronda showed that she has more than just an armbar.  Rousey blasted Davis with a big right hand, landed a big knee in the clinch, and hit one of her famous Judo throws.  From there, she pounded Davis out.  It was her fourth title defense in 16 months as she improved her record to a perfect 10-0.  Oh yeah, every one of her victories ended in a finish.

What could be next for the baddest women on the planet?  Really, there is only one fighter in the world I want to see her fight right now and it’s Cris Cyborg.  I used to think that Cyborg could be the one to defeat Rouser, but after Saturday night I am not sure anymore.  There’s no one in the UFC that will be able to hang with Ronda.  Cyborg is the only one who stands a chance and the fight MUST happen.  UFC needs to find a way to bring Cyborg into the UFC. 

Lesson 3: Big Heart

Uriah Hall proved a lot of the skeptics wrong on Saturday night.  Since coming up short on the Ultimate Fighter, questions have been asked about his heart.  He powered through a broken toe in the first round to earn a decision victory over Thiago Santos.  When the referee and doctor asked him if he’s good, he could have easily ducked out of the fight but he didn’t.  Instead, he decided to continue as he danced around the cage, throwing huge kicks with a broken toe in rounds two and three.  He showed flashes of the guy who landed the nastiest knockout in TUF history.  He’s ultra talented and the future is still bright for Uriah Hall.

Lesson 4: Thank God

It was very unfortunate but the Stefan Struve-Matt Mitrione fight was canceled.  It was reported that Struve almost blacked out while warming up for his fight with Mitrione.  It was supposed to be his first fight since suffering a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart back in August 2013.  All I can say is thank God this happened in the locker room and not inside the Octagon.  Struve and the UFC dodged a huge bullet and it shows a fighter’s safety is always the number one priority.

Other notes from the UFC 175:

There isn’t really much more Urijah Faber can do in the sport.  He remains undefeated in non-title fights and his training partner and protégée; T.J. Dillashaw holds the belt in his division.  I cant see him getting another title fight anytime soon, so might as well conclude the trilogy with Dominick Cruz.  Cruz should be back later this year.

Alex Caceres performed much better than I expected in his fight with Faber.  I thought Faber was going to roll through Bruce Leeroy like he was nothing, but that didn’t happen.  Faber did catch him with a choke in the 3rd round but I think Caceres is getting better and has a bright future at bantamweight.

Welcome to the UFC Rob Font.  Font earned himself a “Performance of the Night” bonus with his knockout win over George Roop.  Font is a guy we all need to keep our eyes on.

Steven Grossi is a digital video producer who likes to write a little. He’s a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, hardcore MMA fan and a total wrestling nerd. He usually has a strong opinion on anything combat sports related so give him a follow on twitter @GrossiMMA.

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UFC 168: Weidman Vs. Silva 2 Results: Weidman Wins, Silva Breaks Leg

December 29, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

If you were expecting the questions surrounding Chris Weidman’s KO win over Anderson Silva to be answered at UFC 168, well think again. Another controversial ending leaves doubts yet it is Weidman again who leaves the octagon as champion.

Silva and Weidman met at UFC 168 in what the most anticipated UFC championship rematch since Sonnen vs. Silva 2. Weidman’s win in the first fight brought more questions than answers. Was it a fluke? Has Silva regressed? Unfortunately it looks as if several of those remaining questions about Weidman’s win will remain in doubt thanks to one of the most bizarre finishes in a big fight that I can remember.

Weidman dominated the first round against Silva. Weidman rocked Silva hard with a punch while the two were clinching and wound up on top of the former champion. The replay actually showed Silva’s eyes closing for a moment. Weidman proceeded to smother Silva from the top although it was the champ who was ironically busted open at the end of the round. Silva rebounded from the hard punch and nailed Weidman with some vicious strikes from his back including a nasty elbow. At the end of the round it looked like Weidman had Silva’s number but there were still four more rounds to go.

Silva opened up the second round with some leg kicks, leg kicks which were absent from round 1. It looked like Silva was starting to finally get into a groove when the unthinkable happened. Silva’s leg snapped after Weidman checked the leg kick. Silva fell to the ground in tremendous pain as his leg lay separated in a gruesome scene. Silva’s broken leg stopped the fight and gave Weidman the win via TKO once again in round 2. The only finish that I can compare it to was a fight years ago in UFC where Corey Hill broke his leg in similar fashion. Silva left on a stretcher. That is a terrible way to go out if that was his last fight ever

Things like that happen but I can’t help feeling disappointed that we didn’t get to see a conclusion. Weidman clearly won the first round but so did Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen only to have the Spider bounce back. That said, I’ll be the first to admit that Silva didn’t look like himself. He looked older, a little slower, and above all lost that mystique. No matter how you slice it he just wasn’t the same fighter he once was.

Vitor Belfort will be up next for Weidman. I am highly intrigued by this fight. Belfort has looked unstoppable in his recent wins. If Weidman can’t take the fight to the ground, he is going to be in trouble. Yet at the same time I get the feeling that Belfort is a sucker’s bet. He has always been the kind of fighter that looks great as a contender but chokes in the big fights. He’s earned this one but I am still not completely convinced that he can win when it counts.

One thing that has to be mentioned is that no matter how you slice it this result is not good for the UFC. In a matter of a few weeks the UFC has had Georges St-Pierre retire and Anderson Silva stretchered out after breaking his leg. It is looking like neither will compete in the UFC in 2014 or maybe ever again. That leaves Jon Jones as the company’s top star and I am sure that thrills Dana White and the Fertittas. The UFC as a brand is not nearly as strong as it was domestically as it was a few years ago. The company needs stars desperately. I would be surprised if the UFC don’t make GSP an offer to sweet to refuse at this point to return at the end of the year. The company is in big trouble.

Ronda Rousey defeated Miesha Tate via submission to an arm bar in the third round to retain her UFC championship. The atmosphere for this fight was just unbelievable. Rousey dominated Tate for most of the fight but Tate just wouldn’t go away. Tate did get the better of Rousey a few times on their feet as evident by Rousey’s swollen face. Rousey was unstoppable and took Tate down at will. Her judo was quite frankly a thing of beauty. I can’t imagine anyone stopping Rousey at this point. Her judo is just that good. Which is why I have no idea why Tate would attempt to take Rousey down throughout the fight. It may have been the worst game plan I have ever seen from a challenger in a title fight. In the end it was a Rousey arm bar that did Tate in. The post-fight saw Rousey refuse to shake Tate’s hand which resulted in the champion getting booed out of the building.

Full UFC 168 Redemption winners and results…
Chris Weidman defeated Anderson Silva via second-round TKO (injury)
Ronda Rousey defeated Miesha Tate via submission (armbar)
Travis Browne defeated Josh Barnett via first-round KO
Jim Miller defeated Fabricio Camoes via submission (armbar)
Dustin Poirier defeated Diego Brandao via first-round TKO
Uriah Hall defeated Chris Leben via first-round TKO
Michael Johnson defeated Gleison Tibau via second-round TKO
Dennis Siver defeated Manvel Gamburyan via unanimous decision
John Howard defeated Siyar Bahadurzada via unanimous decision
William Macario defeated Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision
Robbie Peralta defeated Estevan Payan via third-round KO

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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

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Anderson Silva Blames Footwork On UFC 162 Loss

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

Anderson Silva is an interesting guy. Not only is he the greatest MMA fighter of our lifetime, he is certainly one of the most quotable. Silva has an interesting way of looking at things so his take on Chris Weidman KO’ing him shouldn’t be a big surprise.

Silva was stopped for the first time in his UFC career back at UFC 162 against the underdog Chris Weidman. Silva started clowning around and Weidman clocked him for the knockout while his hands were done, dethroning the middleweight champion. Silva though sees things differently.

Silva told Sport.TV that it was his footwork and not his hands being down which cost him the fight.

My mistakes in that fight, and that’s the first time I’m saying this, were basic mistakes,” Silva told Sportv. “I did everything I had to do except hit him. I didn’t counterattack. When I stopped with my feet parallel, I should have hit him and walked one step behind. I didn’t do that. I saw my mistakes and I’m working on that to train for this next fight.

Silva blames his feet here which is already causing a bit of outrage from MMA hardcore fans who believe Silva is just making excuses. One thing he does point out which I agree with his lack of counterattack. I am glad he is taking accountability here because his lack of counterattack was the difference here. Sure he goofs around in other fights but he always counters or at least tries. Here he just acted like a goof and instead of getting in Weidman’s head, he was out cold.

What this does tell me is that the second fight is going to be much different than the first. The biggest question coming out of 162 was whether it was a fluke or not. A win is a win whether it was fluky or not in my opinion. The general vibe I get from reading MMA social media content is that if you thought Weidman was going to win going in, it wasn’t a fluke. If you thought Silva was going to win, it was a fluke. I expect a much different Silva at 168. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he clowns around. I would be surprised if he isn’t more aggressive.

One thing that is bound to get you pumped is the trash talking coming from The Spider. I have only heard it a few times and it generally seems to work.

It’s going to be a tough fight,” he said, “and it won’t last too long if it stays standing.

I can’t wait!

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Anderson Silva Vs. Chris Weidman Rematch Set For UFC 168

July 13, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos

It hasn’t even been a week since Chris Weidman stunned Anderson Silva at UFC 162 and the UFC has wasted no time in signing a rematch. UFC president Dana White made it official on ESPN and announced Weidman vs. SIlva II is ready to go for UFC 168.

I have to give the UFC a lot of credit here as they wasted no time in capitalizing on the momentum of the fight. I can tell you as the owner of a MMA/WWE blog that my website has been on fire all week thanks to UFC 162 related traffic.

The rematch being signed is not exactly surprising as White insisted immediately after the fight that the rematch would be signed. It was a matter of when as there were all kinds of rumors about Super Bowl weekend but in the end the fight was added to UFC 168 in Las Vegas, NV.

Dana White made the announcement live on ESPN Sportscenter. I found it curious that ESPN got the scoop considering how much White has criticized ESPN over the years. On top of that the UFC has a partnership with Fox. I would have assumed that one of the Fox outlets would get the scoop over ESPN. It will be even more interesting to see how similar situations play out like this in the future once Fox Sports 1 is live.

I think this is a real true test to see exactly where the UFC is at in 2013. White is calling this the biggest rematch in UFC history but that honor currently belongs to Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir with 1.6 million. No fight has come close in recent years to eclipsing their pay per view numbers. I would think that anything under a million buys would have to be considered a huge disappointment while beating the UFC 100 buyrate would be an absolute game changer for the promotion.

Silva is already a favorite on the sports books going into the rematch. Opinions on the first fight are as mixed as you get depending upon who you were pulling for in the fight. Personally I think Weidman got lucky and was on his way to a rough night if he didn’t land the punch. Many others think that Weidman had Silva’s number at the bell. It is interesting to see that the gamblers aren’t buying Weidman and believe that Silva is still the better fighter.

The fight will co-headline along with Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey. Ironically there were rumblings that Silva and Rousey were going to co-headline UFC 162 with the idea that the UFC would sell it on the best male and female fighters in the world. I am still not fully on board the Rousey hype machine but together, the UFC is probably not going to have two bigger stars than Silva and Rousey on the same card for a long time. The numbers should be pretty good regardless.

I am very excited to see what kind of Silva shows up for the fight. Everyone expects a more serious Silva to show up at UFC 168 but it would not surprise me at all to see the same charades played by the former champion. As much as everyone loves to criticize him now for his plan that same game plan helped him successfully defend the UFC middleweight title ten times. The plan seemed to work at first and took Weidman out of his ground game. It will be really curious to see what kind of attack Silva is going to try and bring to Weidman at 168.

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UFC 162 Conspiracy Theories Are A Joke

July 11, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

I love a good conspiracy theory and as a pro wrestling fan, I really love a good work but the idea that anyone would call Chris Weidman’s UFC 162 win over Anderson Silva a fix or a work is about the most preposterous thing I’ve ever heard.

It wasn’t soon after Weidman stunned the MMA world with his second round knockout of the greatest fighter of all-time that skeptics started raising their voices or in this case running to the keyboard. MMA and sports forums immediately saw a barrage of fans telling the world that the win was nothing more than a big fix. Every post was dumber than the next.

What may have even been dumber than these posts was seeing major sports media outlets pick up the story and give it legs. The worst of the bunch may have been Sports Illustrated, a site which has been very generous in promoting my blog in the past gave this ridiculous idea three minutes on SI.com with a “debate” about whether it was a fix or not.

I don’t know what was worse. Realizing within about three seconds that most of these people never even watched the fight or hearing the moderator constantly refer to the new champion as Chris Weedman.

As I said above, I love a good work. There is still a part of me that believes the Montreal Screwjob was a work, although we can debate that another time. As much as I would love to see a conspiracy uncovered it just isn’t going to happen. Anyone that knows anything about MMA would never be foolish enough to suggest that anything about Silva’s loss was fixed. Dumb yes, fixed no.

Or as Dana White says, “Yeah, the fix is in, you (expletive) idiots.”

Let’s take a look at the big picture here. Why in the world would anyone pick to fix this Silva fight? He had huge money fights on the table with either Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre. Some say that the Chris Weidman rematch will be bigger but I completely disagree. To the casual fans, the general public, Silva vs. J.J. or GSP is much bigger. Taking a dive now not only delays those fights but even if they do make the matches, neither fight will be the same with Silva losing. They’ll be just as big but it won’t have that same zest.
The other question is why Weidman? Step back for a second and look at Silva’s last few fights. If Silva was ever going to take a dive in order to cash in on a rematch it would have been against either Chael Sonnen or Stephan Bonnar, with Bonnar being the obvious pick. A Bonnar-Silva rematch with Bonnar pulling the unthinkable upset would have been enormous money. A Sonnen-Silva third fight would have had a chance of beating UFC 100 numbers. If this was all about the money Weidman would be the last choice.

The argument in UFC’s case would be that Bonnar and Sonnen are at the end of their careers (Bonnar’s is over) and putting Weidman over creates a new star. Yeah, I am sure that is exactly what motivates Anderson Silva, creating the UFC’s next star. The motivation here would have been money and the bigger money was with Sonnen or Bonnar.

Speaking of money there are also those nice endorsements that Silva has outside of the UFC. Would Silva really risk taking a dive when he has deals with Burger King and Nike? If it ever came out that he faked a fight he’d be dropped immediately from them and anyone else. Silva is also looking to set up a movie career once he is done with the UFC. There is just way too much on the line.

Don’t get me wrong. As a pro wrestling fan and someone who worked in the business for a long time I have always wondered why a UFC champion wouldn’t take a dive for a big money rematch. Silva isn’t that guy and this isn’t that fight and any talk whatsoever giving this theory any credence is completely misguided and a little irresponsible.


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Anderson Silva Wants Chris Weidman UFC Rematch This Year

July 10, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Anderson Silva has never been known for his consistency. Just a few days after telling the UFC world that he wasn’t interested in fighting Chris Weidman not only does he want to Weidman, he wants to fight him…this year!

I think that there have been more rumors about this match in a few days than there have been about GSP vs. Silva in the last three years. First Silva didn’t want the fight, than reports indicated that the UFC was attempting to book the fight on Super Bowl weekend, than Dana White said UFC 168, and now one report is saying that Silva wanted to fight Weidman again the next day.

MMAFighting.com and UFC Tonight reporter Ariel Helwani reports that Silva wants the rematch this year. Helwani also reports that a source told him, “They have never seen Silva so motivated to fight someone, and that a little over 24 hours after the loss Silva was jokingly wishing the rematch could happen this week.”

Dave Meltzer reported immediately after the fight that the UFC president was looking at putting the fight on the Super Bowl weekend card which would be in Weidman’s market. Meltzer later reported that White had changed his mind thinking that while he would have all of the media in town, all of the media coverage would go to the Super Bowl.

There were also reports that White considered moving the Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate fight to the Super Bowl weekend show and replacing the UFC 168 headliner with Weidman vs. Silva II. My gut tells me that White wouldn’t want Rousey overshadowed by Silva and that he will do the best he can to stay away from putting them on the same card. There is certainly an advantage to exposing her to what could be the biggest audience in UFC history so who knows.

I think one thing is crystal clear here. The UFC and Silva’s team know that they are looking at one of the biggest fights in UFC history. I don’t know in this current climate of MMA if anything is going to break the records set by Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir at UFC 100. It’s just a different time and Silva and Weidman aren’t the talkers that Lesnar and Mir are. If any fight was going to break it Silva vs. Sonnen II would have but it didn’t even come close.

I like the fact that the UFC is keeping this fight alive with new rumors leaked daily about the rematch. Silva is suspended for 45-days from contact so it isn’t as if the fight will come before the end of the year. Silva’s desire to fight again so fast is certainly a far cry from the Silva who has taken a year between big fights in the past (other than the exception last year of the Bonnar fight) and I for one like it.

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Anderson Silva Vs. Chris Weidman Rematch Targeted For UFC 168

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

As the MMA world continues to talk about Chris Weidman KO’ing Anderson Silva at UFC 162 the UFC boss is looking ahead to a rematch. Dana White is not only guaranteeing a rematch but is reportedly targeting it for what could be the biggest UFC card of 2014.

Anderson Silva may be saying no but the UFC is saying yes. According to reports, the UFC is not only working hard to sign the rematch between Silva and Weidman, but they are targeting it for February 1, 2014 a day before Super Bowl XLVIII in the same city.

A UFC event on Super Bowl weekend has become an annual show but this year is much different. Rather than taking advantage of the betting traffic in Las Vegas the UFC is coming to the Super Bowl. The UFC will be holding its event just miles away from the Super Bowl one day earlier taking advantage of all of the media in town for the NFL event.

Having an event on that weekend in the same city is a great idea. Having an event on that weekend, in the same city, with what could be the biggest fight in the 20-year history of the UFC is a whole other ballgame. Putting that fight on in that city at that time could be the biggest promotional coup in the legacy of UFC president Dana White.

It seems like an easy plan except for one tiny snag. Anderson Silva doesn’t want a rematch…or at least that is what he is saying. Silva told the world after his knockout that he doesn’t want the burden of the title and has no interest in another reign or rematch. Is he sincere or is this just a brilliant negotiation from The Spider? Dana White thinks it’s neither and believes that the former champion will change his mind once he settles down from the loss.

Anderson Silva needs to go home, hang out with his family, take a week or two to shake this thing off,” White said following Saturday’s post-UFC 162 press conference. “There are times when guys will win a fight, and they don’t want to talk for three weeks. It’s really part of the process, it really is, and especially a big night like tonight. And when you lose the way that he lost, there’s a process for this.

White believes that Silva will want redemption.

Anderson plays a lot of things off publicly,” White said. “The guy went on this win streak because he’s an amazing competitor and is an amazing talent. He’s going to want to redeem himself.

It’s a dangerous game that the UFC president is playing here. He’s played this game before where he promises fights at the same time the fighters say they don’t want the fight and he seems to always come up short in the end. Insisting that this rematch is taking place in the face of Silva saying he doesn’t want it may be another case of egg on his face.

It’s bigger than the money for the UFC but don’t get me wrong, it’s about the money. This rematch is already predicted to be the biggest rematch in UFC history. Early estimates are 800,000 buys for the first fight. Most analysts predict that a Silva vs. Weidman rematch will break the 1,600,000 buyrate set at UFC 100. Until it does it cannot be considered the biggest rematch in UFC history no matter what anyone tells you.

I think it’s even bigger than that. There is a great majority of fans and media that believe Silva beat himself with his arrogance at UFC 162. The UFC needs Chris Weidman to beat Silva at his best to shake the monkey off of his back.

Until that happens there will always be this exclamation point of sorts on Weidman as UFC middleweight champion. It really is important for the legacy of the UFC and the title for this rematch to happen.

Update: Hours after publishing this story Lance Pugmire of the L.A. Times tweeted that Dana White told him that he is working on getting the rematch signed for UFC 168 on December 28. My hunch is that Dana has something else already in the works for the UFC Super Bowl weekend show because I have no idea why he wouldn’t want this fight there. The fight would co-headline with Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate. It should be pointed out that the original plan I saw reported for UFC 162 was for Rousey to fight underneath and promote the event as the best male and female MMA fighters in the world.

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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.

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Chris Weidman Proved Nothing With Anderson Silva KO

July 07, 2013 By: Category: Uncategorized

The combat sports world continues to buzz just hours after Chris Weidman dethroned Anderson Silva to become UFC middleweight champion at UFC 162. Fans and media have declared Weidman the better man but let’s not kid ourselves, Weidman proved nothing with the knockout.

Don’t misunderstand me. I think what Weidman pulled off was remarkable. He defeated the greatest fighter in MMA history with a knockout. It doesn’t get much better than that in terms of excitement. But the idea that Chris Weidman made a statement and is now the greatest fighter in the middleweight division is just flat out fiction.

Let’s break down that first round of the fight. Weidman was favored by some for his wrestling. Those same experts also said that Weidman was toast if he couldn’t do anything with Silva on the ground. Weidman scored a takedown immediately on the former champion. As soon as that happened I heard a lot of “I told you so” tweets. But those same people praising the greatness of Weidman today are quick to forget what happened from there.

On the ground Weidman dropped punches and elbows but appeared to do very little damage to the Spider. He certainly scored points but at no point did I think he was close to finishing. What very few people are mentioning is that Silva was continually working on the ground as Weidman was dropping those strikes. As a matter of a fact Silva looked close to getting Weidman exactly where he wanted him. The one thing most of Silva’s opponents don’t respect is his BJJ. It appeared that Weidman was falling into that same trap.

Weidman’s mistake here was going for a kneebar. He went for the knee and ankle and wound up giving up his position to Silva. The fight completely changed here. Silva started clowning around or as I like to call it, played mind games with the new champion. He took Weidman completely out of his game. Weidman was throwing punches and Silva was ducking and moving away from all of them. He made Weidman look very ordinary by the end of the round.

The second round of course is where the KO came. It was a fitting end to Silva’s reign as Silva has been toying with challengers the same way for years. You knew that at some point it was going to catch up with him and it did. Weidman threw a left hook and was mocked in the middle of the octagon by Silva. Unfortunately for Silva Weidman was done being mocked and connected with a winning series of punches to end the fight.

This was not in any way shape or form a case of a guy that outclassed Silva in any way throughout the fight. This was a case of a guy who was so arrogant and full of himself that he got caught by a guy that had better striking than he respected. Anderson Silva lost this fight, Chris Weidman did not beat him. You are kidding yourself if you think Silva was giving it his best and lost to the better man. Silva clowned Silva!

It was a nice win for Weidman but he showed me nothing in that fight. As a matter of a fact I’d take Vitor Belfort over Weidman in a second at this rate, maybe even Michael Bisping. I’d fly out to Vegas and put money on Silva in a second in a rematch because I can’t imagine Silva taking him lightly after this. Anderson Silva is an idiot but beating someone fighting like an idiot doesn’t necessarily make you the better man…it makes you the smarter man.

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UFC 162 Silva Vs. Weidman Results: Weidman KO’s Silva

July 07, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Chris Weidman has shocked the world! Anderson Silva and his arrogance finally caught up to him at UFC 162. Silva didn’t respect Weidman’s power and he paid for it with his UFC middleweight title at UFC 162.

I’ll admit it. I didn’t buy the hype. The UFC did its best hype job on Weidman coming into the fight putting out press releases with fighters picking Weidman in the upset. I just didn’t see it. Neither did Anderson Silva and a stunned live Vegas crowd.

Analysts picked Weidman because of his wrestling and while those same prognosticators were going with Weidman, most said if it went to a striking contest that Silva would win. I don’t think anyone predicted that Silva would clown around and show such little respect for Weidman’s punching, disrespect that has finally caught up to him.

Weidman opened up the fight with a takedown and looked like he was following the playbook. Weidman was in control on the ground but went for the leg and wound up giving up his position. Silva toyed with Weidman the rest of the round almost identical the way he played with Demian Maia. Silva danced around, had his hands down, and begged Weidman to bring it. The round ended with little action other than those opening moments.

At this point I thought Silva was brilliant. Silva’s psychology here took Weidman completely out of his game…or so I thought. Weidman didn’t go for any more takedowns so in my mind I thought Silva was purposely playing games here to bait Weidman into standing up, which he did. It didn’t turn out so brilliant after all.

As the round started I thought to myself that this whole charade of dancing around with his hands down was going to catch up to Silva, Weidman was just too dangerous for it. It happened and it happened quick. Weidman connected and put him to sleep with successive strikes and a left hook to dethrone Silva and become the new middleweight champion in round 2 at 1:18.

Is Silva done and past his prime? I don’t think so. I think this was a case of Silva being ignorant and just an outright idiot. The greatest fighters in any combat sport are going to get KO’d if they let their hands down enough time. I’d love to see a serious Silva take on Weidman in the rematch. Quite honestly it has been years since Silva has respected any of his opponents. I am really curious to see what he has

Dana White said before the fight that Silva would get an immediate rematch. The rematch should do blockbuster money. Unfortunately the super fight officially died tonight as there is no point in moving forward with any kind of a Silva vs. Jones or GSP fight. The UFC played too many games with those fights and instead of striking while the irons were hot, they stayed at the table too long.

Silva did say after the fight that he wasn’t interested in any rematches and that his legacy as champion is over. He said he has ten fights left on his contract and will fulfill them. I get where he is coming from as at this point he would prefer to pick fights based on money as opposed to being at the mercy of the number one contender. However, there is a ton of money in a Silva vs. Weidman rematch. I am also not sure what the motivation is for either GSP or Jones at this point to take a fight with the Spider. I can understand where Silva is coming from but I think the UFC would be left with a huge void and a lot of unanswered questions if they can’t sign a rematch.

Full UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman results & winners…
Chris Weidman defeated Anderson Silva via TKO in Round 2 to become UFC middleweight champion
Frankie Edgar defeated Charles Oliveira via unanimous decision
Tim Kennedy defeated Roger Gracie via unanimous decision
Mark Munoz defeated Tim Boetsch via unanimous decision
Cub Swanson defeated Dennis Siver via third-round TKO
Andrew Craig defeated Chris Leben via split decision
Norman Parke defeated Kazuki Tokudome via unanimous decision
Gabriel Gonzaga defeated Dave Herman via first-round TKO
Edson Barboza defeated Rafaello Oliveira via second-round TKO
Brian Melancon defeated Seth Baczynski via first-round KO
Mike Pierce defeated David Mitchell via second-round TKO

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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

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