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Top 40 Chael Sonnen Quotes

June 11, 2014 By: Category: lists, Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

UFC fighter Chael Sonnen has turned into arguably the greatest sound byte in all of sports.Today we celebrate Sonnen’s wit by looking back at his top 40 quotes. Why 40? Because anything less wouldn’t be enough!

Sonnen is an equal opportunity offender but appears to take more pleasure out of insulting his foreign peers. The bulk of his material has been directed to Anderson Silva yet Sonnen has had plenty of insults to toss the way of Michael Bisping, Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Cyborg Santos, Georges St-Pierre, and Lyoto Machida. In addition to the insults, Sonnen’s high opinion of Chael Sonnen also makes for fun fodder. Thanks to the wonderful archives of Twitter and You Tube, here is a look back at Chael’s greatest hits.

“I think everyone up here is grateful to be on Fox. They would probably say ‘Fox thanks’. Everybody but me. I would say ‘Fox, you’re welcome.’ You’ve been telling everybody for years you’ve got the American Idol, and now you finally do.”

“Greetings from Sao Paulo! I’m learning the language: breakdancing in the Special Olympics is called Capoiera and cocaine is called brunch.”

“(Anderson Silva’s) got a black belt under the Nogueiras. I think a black belt under the Nogueiras is saying, like, I got a free toy in my Happy Meal. I don’t really understand what the big deal is. One of em’s a punching bag, and the other one I just ignore; he’s really irrelevant.”

“My phone rings, they call me up and say, ‘Chael, your testosterone level is too high.’ I say, ‘Well, how high was it?’ They say, ‘0.7.’ I said, ‘What’s normal?’ They say, ‘0.6.’; I said, ‘One-tenth? You’re telling me I’m one-tenth higher than the average man? Re-test that – you must have caught me on a low day.'”

“Take Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong did a number of things and he gave himself cancer. He cheated, he did drugs, and he gave himself cancer. Well, instead of saying ‘Hey listen, I cheated and gave myself cancer, don’t be like me.’ He actually made himself the victim and then went out and profited something like $15 million dollars from this ‘Hey, poor me, let’s find a cure for cancer’ campaign instead of just coming clean and saying, ‘Look, here’s what I did, I screwed myself up, and I hope people learn from my mistakes.’ You just watch these guys and can’t help but think, God, what a fraud. You got the whole Michael Phelps being a pothead thing too. I’m just glad I’m in the business I’m in so I can get them in the cage and kick the crap out of them.”

“If Brock Lesnar was here right now, I’d take my boot off and throw it at him, and he’d better polish it up before he brings it back to me. Talking about he’s the baddest guy in the UFC? Brock, quit eating so many raw eggs and doing push-ups because it’s affecting your realm of reality. Are you kidding me? I’d slap you in your face, and you wouldn’t do anything. ‘I’m Brock Lesnar. I’ve got this $5 haircut and a knife tattooed on my chest.’ I’ll shove it up your face if you get in Chael Sonnen’s way.”

“Listen Wanderlei, I will do a home invasion on you. I will cut the power to your house and the next thing you’ll hear is me climbing up your stairs in a pair of night vision goggles I bought in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine. I’ll pick the lock to the master room door, take a picture of you in bed with the Nogueira brothers working on your ‘jiu-jitsu.’ I’ll take said quote unquote photograph, post it at dorksfrombrazil.com, password – not required, username – not required. That, Wanderlei, is how you threaten someone. Dummy.”

“Anderson Silva is as fake as Mike Tyson was. They called him the hardest, ‘the baddest man in the world’ but he wasn’t even the toughest guy in America and we had to sit through and listen to that over and over again as he fought lots of tomato cans. Anderson Silva has no interested (sic) in the fight with me and I don’t know what his deal is …”

“You’re looking at the reflection of perfection. You’re looking at the man who gets all your attention. You’re looking at the man with the biggest arm. At the man, with the greatest charm, the man in Chicago who will do harm to the guy three doors down.Whatcha gonna do, when you know who? Howya gonna deal, with the man of steel? How ya gonna react to Sonnen’s attack? Tune in on the 28th! 8 p.m. Eastern Time! You’ll find out who the real champion is.”

“I am going to knock the teeth out of this snot-nosed Brit who calls himself royalty, who calls himself a Count,” Sonnen wasted no time in declaring. “I am MMA royalty and America will tune into the Chael Sonnen show next Saturday on Fox.”

“I should be the reigning champion. I punch a guy 300 times, he punches me a couple and they call him the champion? In what parallel universe does that make you the winner? I am the champion. I’ve been the champion. Anderson’s ribs have the exact same problem that his hands and his feet have, they’re attached to a cowardly person. For Anderson to say that he wasn’t 100-percent, I completely believe him. Who cares? But yeah, do I think his ribs where hurt? Sure. Why would I think they weren’t? He’s the only one who could tell if they were hurt.”

“How do you, with a straight face, pretend that those ‘fights’ … and I’m of course holding up quotation signs … in Japan were real?”

“I’d suggest to him being a little careful about spitting on any of MY cornermen, since any one of them can beat him up as badly as I can. Thanks ever so much.”

“You tell Anderson Silva I’m coming over. I’m kicking in his back door and I’m pattin’ his old lady on the ass and I’m telling her to make me a steak, medium rare just how I like it.”

“Cyborg? I thought he was a middleweight.”

“Brock Lesnar actually is telling people that he wrote a book, when to the contrary there’s no evidence that he’s actually literate.”

“Hey Vitor, take my name out of your mouth until you show up for half as many fights as you pullout of.”

“Me taking on a mop and a garbage can would be a more interesting fight than those two (GSP and Anderson Silva).”

“You know, these guys are out there making man-love all the time, giving high-fives and huggin’ one another. You deserve to be knocked out if you’re trying to hug a man in the middle of a fistfight.”

“News flash, Lyoto: the spotlight is part and parcel for the gig. Go join a monastery if you want to pretend that fighting is about honor or integrity. And who are you to talk about being a big man? I don’t see you changing diapers on flipper babies in Chernoybl.”

“If I could read three books by Warren Buffett or one by Dana White , I’d read Dana’s.”

“Pipe down Mirko and let us just use you for oil like the rest of the dinosaurs.”

“When I was young they used to call me ‘The Foreman,’ not because I was in charge but because I did the work of four men.”

“Bisping, you make good points about deserving a title shot. After all you did beat, umm, well ahh … Hum and then there was … Ah … Wait, what!?”

“Okami is ready to go get that belt. Once he returns from Rio, we can truly say ‘he went to Hell and back’ to get it.”

“What are we even doing here, guys? This is insanity. He sits over here pretending he doesn’t speak English? Come on! That’s like pretending you’re the World Champion.”

“Anderson Silva, their big national hero, just put 2 million dollars down on a mansion in LOS ANGELES. Los Angeles is in America, for those of you that aren’t good at geography, it’s not in Brazil.”

“I’m a partner of the UFC and Anderson’s an employee. There’s a big difference. That’s why all the questions keep coming to me, because I give a coherent and clear answer that somebody wants to hear and he sits on a speakerphone on a car somewhere and says yes and no.”

“Machida is a gentleman. MMA is very cutthroat, and it’s sweet that Lyoto promised to never fight his girlfriend Anderson. That’s devotion.”

“…when I was a little kid, I’d go outside with my friends and we’d talk about the latest technology, in medicine, gaming, and American ingenuity, and Anderson and the Brazilian kids are sitting outside playing in the mud.”

“A black belt under the Nogueiras is like saying I got a free toy in my Happy Meal.”

“Anderson, think it through. There’s still a couple months left before they lock that cage behind me and you. Last time, they raised your hand, but it was plain to see. I took a lot more outta you than you took outta me. I broke the mirror and I blew away the smoke. It was me who tapped, but it was you who broke. So, Anderson … my friend, think it through. Who ya gonna send? Frankenstein Nogueira or your lap dog Ed Soares with a couple of rusty pistols and a beat up Ford Taurus? If they shoot like you fight, all they’re gonna do is bore us with your overrated standup and your takedown defense that’s porous. Karate boy Machida, will he show up with some fresh warm peepee in a Starbucks cup? Wanderlei, Vitor, Babalu himself, I’ll give ‘em all beatings and put ‘em back on the shelf. Come on trains, planes, or bikes, but here’s a little advice don’t send no one you like, cause you come to my home running your mouth you’re gonna be shakin’ hands with Jesus or the man further South. So get in the gym and work on your sprawl. I just talked to Uncle Dana and it’s winner take all. I’m gonna leave you with some string and a whole buncha welts. You’re gonna need it keep your pants up, Anderson, cause I’m taking your belt!”

“He thinks he’s gonna break my face? Tell him I’ve got two words for him: ‘medium rare’” Sonnen countered.

“I don’t like this guy,” and “I want to beat him up,” but it goes much further than that. Sonnen says that while he grew up talking about technology, medicine, and American ingenuity, Silva was outside in Brazil playing in the mud.”

“Spent months training to fight Munoz and now I have to fight a guy who sounds like Pip from South Park.”

“Brazil isn’t a bowing country. You bow in Brazil they’ll hit you over the head and take your wallet out of your pocket.”

“I am attempting to pick a FIGHT with some Brazilian fighters. Not fighters that care about you, Brazil. Fighters that have abandoned you. Fighters that claim they’re from Brazil, like Wanderlei Silva, but he lives in a gated community in Las Vegas. He drives an Aston Martin. Do you guys even know what that is? That’s what James Bond drove! It costs 200 grand. Wanderlei could have bought a fully-loaded Lexus, drove around in style for forty-one thousand, sent a hundred and fifty-nine grand back to your country, built two schools … but he didn’t.”

“I don’t do training camps. I don’t sleep in tents and I don’t roast marshmallows. Camps are for kids.”

“I want an easy fight. Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva. Either of the Silvas. Bigfoot Silva. They all suck. Gimme a Silva.”

“He (Wanderlei) has got the worst record in the history of the UFC and I can’t imagine how I could be demoted down to need to compete with him. And I don’t even say that to be a jerk. Those are the numbers.”

Originally published July 6, 2012


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UFC 159: Jones Vs. Sonnen Results and Wrap Up

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

The fight has come and gone, and at the end of the day it appears as though the Light Heavyweight title fight between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones was indeed the mismatch that so many people thought it would be. The rest of the card was a mixed bag, including some highly entertaining bouts, some thoroughly lackluster bouts and a few controversial stoppages mixed with borderline terrible officiating in some cases. Let’s take a look back at the card that was UFC 159 and see what’s next for the main card fighters involved.

Lightweight Bout: Pat Healy defeated Jim Miller via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:02 of Round Three

The opening round of this bout went almost exactly as most people (including the bookies) expected it to. Miller dominated much of the action both standing and on the ground, in fact he came close to stopping the fight at one point. Then in the second round, the tide began to turn. Healy continued to grind against Miller, not abandoning his wrestling for a second, using takedowns and top control to steal back a round and make it even heading into the third. In the final round, Healy continued to keep up the pressure while Miller began to fade slightly. Healy took advantage on the ground of a Miller mistake and was able to sink in a Rear Naked Choke and coax a tap with less than a minute remaining in the fight.

What’s next for Healy? He knocked off a top-ranked contender and the Strikeforce Lightweights are proving that they are every bit as talented as their UFC counterparts. There are a couple of big Lightweight contest coming up most notably Evan Dunham taking on Rafael dos Anjos, the winner of that fight would be a logical match up. As would recent Strikeforce import Josh Thomson who recently knocked off top Lightweight Nate Diaz.

What’s next for Miller? He’s doing nothing to shake his status as Lightweight gatekeeper. He’s a tough, well-rounded fighter but he struggled against Healy who seemed to dwarf him come fight time. This has some people speculating that a drop to Featherweight could be in Miller’s future. For now, we’ll assume he’s staying at Lightweight. He should take a fair step down in competition now that he’s lost 2 of his last 3. Brazilian Thiago Tavares could be a good match up for Miller when he’s done his suspension, or possibly former TUF winner Tony Ferguson.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Phil Davis defeated Vinny Magalhaes via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

Phil Davis continued to win in mostly unimpressive fashion this weekend. Despite the trash talk leading up to this fight, Davis never let it bother him and never showed a lot of emotion during the fight. In some ways, that has to be considered a good sign, but in other ways, one really wonders why Davis was so uninspired to go after a finish. Despite dominating the first two rounds and well on his way in the third, Davis never looked to get overly aggressive or search out a finish, instead he was content to cruise the final minutes of the fight and lock up a decision. While it is another win for Davis, many fans are left complaining about Davis and his fights, which isn’t going to earn him a shot against Jon Jones any faster.

What’s next for Davis? Even though he didn’t show us any killer instinct or finishing ability, he still showed that he’s a dominant wrestler who can absolutely smother anyone underneath him. He has one career loss and that was to top contender Rashad Evans, so Davis should be working his way back to the top of the Light Heavyweight pecking order. Ryan Bader is a wrestling standout with big power and has a top ten ranking, he’s the fighter that probably makes the most sense for Davis right now.

What’s next for Magalhaes? Back to the unaired preliminary card is my guess. He did his best to sell and hype this fight on social media by engaging in a war of words with Davis, but he wasn’t able to do much inside the octagon where it counts. If Ilir Latifi is getting another fight in the UFC for doing them a solid in Sweden, match him against Magalhaes and get rid of the loser. Put that fight in Europe or Brazil and it seems like a fine fit to me.

Heavyweight Bout: Roy Nelson defeated Cheick Kongo via KO (Punch) at 2:03 of Round One

Cheick Kongo had a massive reach advantage heading into this fight and that was what some people believed would be the difference. Instead, Nelson did what he does best. Relied on his iron chin to close the distance and crowd Kongo up on the inside. He landed a couple of big right hands on a referee break from against the cage and Kongo was down for the count.

What’s next for Nelson? He’s fought a lot of the top names in the Heavyweight division and seems to be quite good at separating the upper-tier fighters from the lower-level fighters. At the post-fight press conference Dana said he’d like to match Nelson up with Strikeforce import Daniel Cormier should he stay at Heavyweight. That fight makes a whole lot of sense. The other potential fighter for Nelson is Travis Browne.

What’s next for Kongo? Kongo showed low fight IQ and despite his past as a professional kick boxer he often chooses to wrestle instead of striking, which makes for sometimes boring fights. I think the UFC could match him up with Stefan Struve. They’re both European, so a spot on the next International show makes sense and the match up will prove which one of them deserves to stay in the UFC and which the UFC could part with.

Middleweight Bout: Michael Bisping defeated Alan Belcher via Unanimous Technical Decision at 4:29 of Round Three

This bout was marred by a bit of an ugly ending as an accidental eye-poke from Bisping cut open Belcher’s eye lid and caused a stream of blood to come from the eye in the third round. Since it was ruled an accidental foul the bout went to the scorecards and Bisping won a Technical decision. With all of the trash talking these two men did leading up to their fight, many thought that they would come out guns blazing, but instead the opposite was true as neither man wanted to make a mistake in the opening minutes which led to an action light striking battle in the first round. In the second, Bisping became more aggressive and the Brit was landing in combinations. Belcher returned fire on several occasions, but often missed as Bisping did an excellent job of getting his shots off before shuffling away from the counter punches of Belcher. The third round featured more of the same, for the four minutes that it lasted as Bisping continued to land better combinations and get the better of Belcher in the striking.

What’s next for Bisping? Well, he’s still a top contender at Middleweight and seems incredibly popular with the fans, (who either despise him or really love him.) The UFC would love to have him work his way to a title shot, but he always seems to falter on the way. If the UFC wants to get him to a Middleweight title shot, they need to give him a couple of match ups that benefit him while gaining name recognition on his resume. The winner of the upcoming bout between Mark Munoz and Tim Boetsch would be a good candidate. Some fans are calling for a bout against Yushin Okami, but I think that’s a bad match up for Bisping and one the UFC will likely avoid, despite it making a lot of sense.

What’s next for Belcher? With his history of eye injuries (he was nearly blinded by a detached retina from an eye poke in a previous bout) one has to hope that this injury won’t be too damaging to his career. Still he proved that he’s at best a mid-tier fighter that can’t hang with the top fighters of the Middleweight division. Still he has exciting fights when they pair him against strikers so possible match ups include Nick Ring or Brian Stann.

Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: Jon Jones defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO (Elbows and Punches) at 4:33 of Round One

Jon Jones shocked several fans when he went right after Chael Sonnen. Many people predicted that he would use his huge reach and kick boxing ability to fight at a distance and pick Sonnen apart from relative safety. Nonsense said coach Greg Jackson and Jon Jones who likely surprised Sonnen when he rushed him from the opening bell. He clinched with Sonnen and battled in close quarters for most part of the opening round. It was close for the first minute or so, but Jones used his size and strength advantage and began to overpower Sonnen. From there he got a takedown and swarmed with ground and pound. Delivering some big elbows that opened a cut on Sonnen’s face and then following it up with more punches and elbows until the referee stopped the fight. Although some people felt the stoppage was a bit premature it was unlikely that Sonnen would survive another 30 seconds and despite looking initially upset with the referee, when interviewed by Joe Rogan, Chael said that he had no problem with the stoppage. After the fight it was revealed that Jones had suffered a nasty toe injury, a likely dislocation at some point and needed doctor’s assistance as he completed his post-fight interview with Rogan.

What’s next for Jones? Likely some time off after that toe injury. It’s hard to pin point where the injury occurred, but it’s scary to think that if he didn’t finish Sonnen in the first, he likely would have lost the belt in between rounds, since no referee would let him fight with that gruesome toe. So people who hated the match to begin with, must certainly be happy that they’re not getting a rematch with Sonnen as champion right away. After the fight Jones called for Alexander Gustafsson which makes sense since the Swede is at the top of the division. Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is apparently also a possible contender as is former Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida.

What’s next for Sonnen? He seemed to tease retirement after the bout, but didn’t say much. If he does decide to hang it up, no one can blame him. He’s made a ton of money in his last few fights and surely has a job as a commentator on Fox for the foreseeable future. But if he does decide to fight and stay at Light Heavyweight, he should fight anyone who is Brazilian. Especially Wanderlei Silva or Lyoto Machida.

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UFC 159: Jones Vs. Sonnen Predictions and Analysis

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

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks with loads of free fights for fans to sink their teeth into. But all of those free shows come with the knowledge that eventually it’s back to the land of Pay Per View where the UFC saves the really big marquee matches. Things are no different this week as the UFC returns to the PPV airwaves with UFC 159 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. After spending a season coaching opposite one another on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, supposed rivals, but sometimes frenemies Chael Sonnen and Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will battle for the title in the main event.

The co-main event of the evening is a Middleweight slugfest between two fighters who really don’t like each other. There have been a number of proposed car and tattoo bets between Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping, as well as several hilarious videos on YouTube leading up to this fight. In Heavyweight action Roy Nelson battles Cheick Kongo. A Light Heavyweight fight between wrestling standout Phil Davis and grappling specialist Vinny Magalhaes is on the main card. Opening the main card is a Lightweight tilt between top Strikeforce Lightweight contender Pat Healy and one of the top UFC Lightweights over the past two years Jim Miller.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Featherweight Bout: Steven Siler vs. Kurt Holobaugh

“Super” Steven Siler is a 26-year-old fighter from Anaheim, California. He is a former The Ultimate Fighter cast member from the final season on Spike TV. He trains with the Pit Elevated Team in Orem, Utah. Siler holds a career record of 21-10. Kurt Holobaugh is a 26-year-old fighter from Independence, Louisiana. He is an import from Strikeforce who will be making his UFC debut. He trains with the Gracie Barra Northshore Gym in Louisiana and holds a professional MMA record of 9-1.

Quick Pick: Kurt Holobaugh via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Nick Catone vs. James Head

Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone is a 31-year-old fighter from Brick Township, New Jersey. He is a former Middleweight fighter, who has recently made the drop to 170 pounds. Catone is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler for Rutgers University. He trains at his own gym, the Nick Catone MMA Academy in New Jersey. His professional record stands at 9-4. James Head is a 29-year-old fighter from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Head is a grappler who trains at Lovaito’s School of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Oklahoma City. He holds a professional MMA record of 9-3.

Quick Pick: James Head via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Featherweight Bout: Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie

Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia is a 33-year-old fighter from Plainview, Texas. Best known for being a wild brawler with a strong chin, he has become a fan favorite for his style, more so than his Win-Loss record. He trains with Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico and holds a pro MMA record of 15-10. Cody “The AK Kid” McKenzie is a 25-year-old fighter from Cordova, Alaska. He is a former cast member of the twelfth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Best known for his string of wins with his ‘McKenzietine’ Choke, he trains at the Glendale Fighting Club in Spokane, Washington. He holds a professional record of 13-3.

Quick Pick: Leonard Garcia via TKO in Round Three
Preliminary Card (FX): Bantamweight Bout: Bryan Caraway vs. Johnny Bedford

Bryan “Kid Lightning” Caraway is a 28-year-old fighter from Yakima, Washington. He was a cast member on the final season of The Ultimate Fighter to air on Spike TV but has also fought for a number of MMA promotions including Strikeforce, Elite XC and the WEC. He is a member of the Team Alpha Male Gym in Sacramento, California holding a professional record of 17-6. “Brutal” Johnny Bedford is a 30-year-old fighter from Woodville, Ohio. Bedford was a cast member of the same season of The Ultimate Fighter as his opponent Caraway. He trains with the Fitness Fight Factory Gym in Fort Worth Texas and is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler. He holds a pro record of 19-9-1.

Quick Pick: Bryan Caraway via Submission in Round Three
Preliminary Card (FX): Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Sara McMann vs. Sheila Gaff

Sara McMann is a 32-year-old fighter from Takoma Park, Maryland. She is a former Olympic Wrestler and was the first American woman to win a Silver medal in Olympic Wrestling. McMann trains at the Revolution MMA Gym in Gaffney, South Carolina. McMann holds a perfect professional MMA record of 6-0. Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff is a 23-year-old fighter from Eschwege, Germany. She trains with the Energy Gym Fight Team in her hometown. This fight will be Gaff’s UFC debut but will also be her first fight in the USA. She holds a professional record of 10-4-1.

Quick Pick: Sara McMann via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Light Heavyweight Bout: Gian Villante vs. Ovince St. Preux

Gian Villante is a 27-year-old fighter from Wantagh, New York. Villante is a former NCAA football player and was once considered a top defensive prospect before leaving football to pursue MMA. Villante trains at the Bellmore Kickboxing Academy in Bellmore, New York but also spends time at Long Island MMA. He holds a professional record of 10-3. Ovince St. Preux is a 30-year-old fighter from Miami, Florida who is of Haitian descent. St. Preux was also a standout football player at the University of Tennessee but made the switch to MMA after failing to make the NFL. He trains with the Knoxville MMA Gym in Knoxville, Tennessee. He holds a professional record of 12-5.

Quick Pick: Gian Villante via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Rustam Khabilov vs. Yancy Medeiros

Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov is a 26-year-old Russian fighter from Makhachkala, Russia. Khabilov is a former Combat Sambo world champion and is an International Master of Sports in Sambo. Before making his UFC debut in his last fight he made the switch to Greg Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds record of 15-1, with the lone loss coming in the form of a controversial split decision. Yancy “Frisson” Medeiros is a 25-year-old fighter from Wai’Anae, Hawaii. He is a former state champion wrestler from Hawaii who will be making his UFC debut. Medeiros is a member of the Team Hakuilua Gym and has a perfect professional record currently standing at 9-0.

Quick Pick: Rustam Khabilov via Submission in Round Three

Main Card (Pay Per View): Lightweight Bout: Jim Miller vs. Pat Healy

Jim Miller is a 29-year-old fighter from Sparta Township, New Jersey. He is the younger brother of UFC Welterweight fighter, Dan Miller. Miller is one of the most talented grinders in the Lightweight division, with decent striking skills and a smothering top control game. Miller trains at the AMA Fight Club under head trainer Mike Constantino. Miller is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Virginia Tech and he also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Miller is quite possibly the very definition of Lightweight gatekeeper as every fighter that has ever defeated him has gone on to challenge for or hold the UFC Lightweight title. Miller’s professional record is 22-4, and he’s coming off of a Fight of the Year victory over Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 in December.

Pat “Bam Bam” Healy is a 29-year-old fighter from Salem, Oregon. Healy was one of the top Lightweight contenders in Strikeforce and will be making his return to the UFC after a 7 year absence in this bout. Before joining Strikeforce, he was the MFC Welterweight Champion, one of the top MMA titles in Canada. Healy trains with the Sports Lab in St. Louis, Missouri. Healy will be returning to the UFC on the strength of a six-fight winning streak in Strikeforce, leading up to a Lightweight title shot that he was never able to cash in on. Healy fights a very similar style to that of Miller, so it will be interesting to see how his wrestling and close range striking match up against a similarly talented grinder. Healy holds a professional MMA record of 29-16.

Analysis and Prediction: Healy had a successful run in Strikeforce, but that’s not gaining him any favors from the UFC. To put it bluntly this is a pretty bad stylistic match up for Healy. Both of these guys fight similar styles, but Miller is a bit better at everything. He’s a more accomplished amateur wrestler, his striking is more technical and solid than that of Healy and he’s got a BJJ black belt and is more adept at finding submissions and sweeps from bad positions or during scrambles. Healy is tough as hell and Miller isn’t exactly known as a finisher, but I expect this one could be somewhat one-sided. Miller busts up Healy on the feet across three rounds, sprinkled with some late takedowns and top control to seal a decision victory. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Light Heavyweight Bout: Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes

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 where he won an NCAA title in 2008. Davis trains as a member of Alliance MMA in San Diego, California. Davis has an excellent top control and is a tall and lanky fighter, although he is still developing his striking from a distance. He has however added a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Lloyd Irvin and has shown a strong awareness of potential submission opportunities during his fights. Davis holds a nearly perfect professional record of 10-1 with 1 No Contest, and the lone loss coming against Rashad Evans in a title eliminator bout.

Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes is a 28-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Magalhaes was a cast member and the runner up on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Magalhaes started his career in the UFC poorly and was subsequently released, which allowed him to reset his career and he has experienced a resurgence by winning the M-1 Global Light Heavyweight Championship. Magalhaes is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and one of the top Light Heavyweight grapplers in MMA. He is a member of the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas and also works as a BKJJ coach with Team Quest. Magalhaes has competed in and medalled in a number of major grappling and Jiu Jitsu competitions including the Abu Dhabi Combat Club and World Jiu Jitsu Championships. His professional MMA record is 10-5 with 1 No Contest.

Analysis and Prediction: Magalhaes asked for this fight by calling out Davis, so he must see something that he can take advantage of. With that said, if there is one thing we’ve learned in the modern era of mixed martial arts, it’s that the wrestler usually beats the Jiu Jitsu guy. I think that trend continues here. Neither man is an extremely talented striker, in fact they’re probably both subpar for their division, but Davis should be able to control the action on the ground. He’ll usually be the one on top, since his wrestling should be strong enough to fend off any of the Brazilian’s takedowns. If he’s smart, he should be avoiding the ground at all costs, since that’s the one area where Magalhaes can capitalize on his mistake. He should use a strong jab and work from range to bust Magalhaes up on the feet over three rounds. Phil Davis via TKO in Round Three

Main Card (Pay Per View): Heavyweight Bout: Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo

Roy “Big Country” Nelson is a 36-year-old fighter from Las Vegas, Nevada. Nelson was a contestant on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter that featured only Heavyweights and was the eventual winner of the show. Nelson is also notable as being the final International Fight League Heavyweight Champion. Nelson holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training under Renzo Gracie. Nelson trains with the Country Club Gym in Las Vegas. In addition to his strong grappling credentials Nelson is also known for his iron chin, his ability to absorb punishment, big time knockout power and one of the least impressive physiques in MMA. Nelson holds a professional record of 18-7, including 16 wins via stoppage.

Cheick Kongo is a 37-year-old fighter from Paris, France. Kongo is a member of the Wolfslair MMA Academy in England. Kongo is a former professional Savate Kick boxer and has also competed in Muay Thai in the past, all before making the switch to MMA. In addition to his technical stand up skills, Kongo has recently been improving his grappling skills. His takedowns and top control are much improved, so much so that he often resorts to taking his opponents down and using ground and pound to control them on the mat, rather than risk brawls on the feet. Kongo holds a professional record of 18-7 with 2 Draws.

Analysis and Prediction: Despite being a professional kick boxer in the past, Kongo has been blitzed by a number of strikers in the Heavyweight division. This is probably the reason for the improvement in his wrestling skills. Still, Nelson is a very talented grappler and is not easily taken down. Nelson is also relentlessly moving forward, even when he’s taking a beating, because of his iron chin. Kongo doesn’t do well against heavy handed strikers who crowd him up if he can’t take them down. Kongo should be using a lot of kicks and a strong jab to keep Nelson at bay, but I think Nelson will simply walk right through those shots and land a big overhand right of his own. Kongo’s chin can’t handle the fire power than Nelson has in his hands, and I expect a knockout for Big Country. Roy Nelson via KO in Round Two

Main Card (Pay Per View): Middleweight Bout: Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher

Michael “The Count” Bisping is a 34-year-old fighter from Manchester, England although he was originally born on a British military base in Cyprus. Bisping was a cast member and the eventual winner of the Light Heavyweight portion of The Ultimate Fighter 3. Bisping is also a former Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Champion, one of the top titles in the UK. Bisping is a member of the HB Ultimate Training Center in Manchester, England. Bisping is a solid technical boxer with strong takedown defense. Bisping has solid footwork, which he usually uses to his advantage (the lone exception being his knockout loss to Dan Henderson where he continuously circled into the overhand right.) Although not known as a knockout artist, Bisping has respectable power having won 14 bouts via KO or TKO during his career. He holds a professional record of 23-5.

Alan “The Talent” Belcher is a 28-year-old fighter from Jonesboro, Arkansas. Belcher is a tough, well-rounded fighter who holds black belts in a number of martial arts disciplines, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Tae Kwan Do and Judo. Belcher is a member of the Roufusport Gym in Biloxi, Mississippi training under famed kick boxer and MMA coach Duke Roufus. Belcher is a talented Muay Thai kick boxer with underrated grappling abilities. Belcher is going to be facing one of the best technical strikers that he’s ever faced so using leg kicks and body kicks to establish range is going to be extremely important for him in this bout. One of Belcher’s biggest weaknesses is his Fight IQ, which often leads to mistakes, especially in his last bout against Yushin Okami where he constantly put himself into bad positions, searching for a Guillotine Choke that was never really there. Belcher holds a professional record of 18-7.

Analysis and Prediction: Belcher has the ability to hang with Bisping, but he’s going to need to fight a perfect fight for him to win, and given his low Fight IQ and propensity to brawl, I just don’t think he has it in him. He’d be best off trying to emulate Vitor Belfort’s win over Bisping, but I doubt he’ll go that route. I expect Belcher to get out-boxed in the pocket, but he might be able to score effectively with kicks from the outside. Bisping’s wrestling is also somewhat underrated and I expect he might shoot for a takedown if things get hairy on the feet, or simply to steal a close round. The ability to steal those close rounds might be important, as this one is headed for the scorecards I think. Michael Bisping via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): UFC Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen

Jon “Bones” Jones is a 25-year-old fighter from Rochester, New York. He is the reigning and defending UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and is one of the most dominant fighters of all time. At 6’4” and with an 84.5 inch reach, he is one of the most physically and athletically gifted fighters in the UFC. Jones is a member of Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is definitely Coach Jackson and Coach Winkeljohn’s prized pupil. Jones is the youngest fighter to ever win and to ever defend a UFC title. Jones is a former JUCO national champion wrestler from Iowa Central Community College and uses his wrestling well during his bouts. Jones also holds the distinction of being the first fighter to be marketed globally by major clothing brand Nike. Jones holds a nearly perfect pro record of 16-1, with the lone loss coming via DQ for illegal elbows in a fight that he was well on his way to winning anyways.

Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen is a 36-year-old fighter from Milwaukie, Oregon. Sonnen is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from the University of Oregon where he earned All-American honors. Sonnen has also served as an Alternate to the US Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling team. Sonnen is one of the UFC’s most controversial fighters but is also one of the best at promoting fights, which is likely why he earned this bout, despite coming off of two losses at the Middleweight division to champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen knows what he is good at and isn’t ashamed to use his wrestling to smother opponents, it’s definitely his best asset. His willingness to blanket fighters nearly earned him a win over Anderson Silva in their first contest. Sonnen holds a professional record of 27-12-1.

Analysis and Prediction: Despite the number of complaints and criticisms this fight has endured, it could prove to be an entertaining and intriguing bout. Or it could also turn out to be the complete mismatch that everyone expects it to be. Sonnen really has only one chance to win this and it’s to smother Jon Jones for five rounds or at least three of five rounds and survive the other two. This is going to be tough for him for a number of reasons. Jones is a huge fighter, very lanky, very hard to get close to and is very athletic, I’m sure Jones is drilling takedown defense. The other issue is, Jones is a fairly capable grappler and Sonnen’s weakness is definitely submission defense.

For Jones the path to victory seems relatively simple. Pick Sonnen apart from the outside, use that ridiculously long reach to smash him up with jabs and leg kicks. Basically, avoid being taken down by Sonnen at all costs. Jackson is a smart coach and he’ll have Jones well prepared to fend off takedowns. I expect to see a measured pace from the champion, looking to time a big counter shot or knee as Sonnen rushes in for a takedown. The other possibility I could see is forcing a clinch with Sonnen and trying to earn a takedown himself. From there he should easily be able to ground and pound his way either to a stoppage or at least enough to create an opportunity to latch onto a submission.

We’ll probably be able to tell if this fight will be exciting or lopsided within the first minute. If Sonnen comes out and spams takedowns relentlessly he’s got a shot. If he tries to box, or goes for some spinning back fist like he did against Anderson he’s going to get pummeled. In fact, he might even get beat up anyways. I just hope that he makes it exciting either way and calls out Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez next, because hey why not take another title shot? Jon Jones via Submission in Round Two

Georges St-Pierre: The Way of the Fight Book

Anderson Silva: Like Water

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UFC On FX 7: Belfort Vs. Bisping Predictions and Analysis

January 18, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Last weekend was a very big day for the world of MMA. Despite the best of intentions for the final Strikeforce card last Saturday a rash of injuries, politics and bad luck the card wasn’t what was initially planned as a big sendoff for the promotion. Despite that the card was fairly entertaining. Despite that however, the ratings were absolutely terrible, drawing a mere 310,000 viewers for the event on Showtime. But, as always the runaway locomotive that is the UFC will continue to roll on this weekend.

The UFC returns to the birthplace of MMA for UFC on FX 7, as they host yet another event in Brazil. The event airs on FX from the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The main event features loud-mouthed British fighter Michael Bisping takes on Brazil’s own Vitor Belfort for a shot at the Middleweight title. Brazilian’s are featured in all of the other main card bouts on FX as the co-main event sees TUF: Brazil’s Daniel Sarafian takes on C.B. Dollaway. Heavyweights collide in another bout as Gabriel Gonzaga takes on Ben Rothwell and a Lightweight bout with high potential for violence as Thiago Tavares takes on Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Lightweight Bout: Francisco Trinaldo vs. C.J. Keith

Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo is a 34-year-old fighter from Amarante, Brazil. Trinaldo is a member of the Constrictor Team and Brazilian Top Team in his home country of Brazil. He was a cast member on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. He holds a professional record of 11-2. C.J. Keith is a 26-year-old fighter from Porterville, California. He is a member of the Pro Buhawe Gym in California. Keith holds a professional record of 8-1, with his lone loss coming in his UFC debut against Ramsey Nijem.

Quick Pick: Francisco Trinaldo via TKO in Round One

Preliminary Card (Fuel TV): Light Heavyweight Bout: Wagner Prado vs. Ildemar Alcantara

Wagner “Caldeirao” Prado is a 26-year-old fighter from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Prado is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who trains with Team Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prado holds a career record of 8-1 with 1 No Contest. Iledmar “Marajo” Alcantara is a fighter from Soure, Para, Brazil. He is the younger brother of fellow UFC fighter Yuri Alcantara who is taking this bout as a last minute replacement with only two weeks’ notice. He holds a career record of 17-5, with most of his fights coming in the Jungle Fight promotion.

Quick Pick: Wagner Prado via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Fuel TV): Bantamweight Bout: Yuri Alcantara vs. Pedro Nobre

Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara is a 32-year-old Brazilian fighter from the island of Marajo in Brazil. He is a member of the Pattaya Fight Team in Brazil. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who holds a career record of 27-4. Pedro “The Rock” Nobre is a 26-year-old from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He trains with the Brazilian Top Team and is another late notice replacement for this fight card. He was also a cast member from TUF: Brazil. The natural Flyweight will be moving up in weight for this bout, but holds a career record of 14-1-2 as a professional.

Quick Pick: Yuri Alcantara via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Fuel TV): Lightweight Bout: Edson Barboza vs. Lucas Martins

Edson “Junior” Barboza is a 26-year-old Brazilian fighter from Rio de Janeiro. A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, Barboza trains out of The Armory in Jupiter, Florida. Barboza is a former professional kick boxer, who holds a 10-1 record in his professional MMA career. Lucas “Mineiro” Martins is a 24-year-old Brazilian fighter from Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is a member of the Chute Boxe Academy who is taking this bout on short notice. He heads into his UFC debut with a perfect professional record of 12-0.

Quick Pick: Edson Barboza via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Fuel TV): Featherweight Bout: Diego Nunes vs. Nik Lentz

Diego “The Gun” Nunes is a 30-year-old Brazilian fighter from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Nunes is a member of the Nova Uniao Gym in Brazil who holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Nunes holds a professional record of 18-3. Nik “The Carny” Lentz is a 28-year-old from El Paso, Texas. He is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from the University of Minnesota who trains with the American Top Team. He has a professional MMA record of 22-5-2-1.

Quick Pick: Diego Nunes via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Fuel TV): Middleweight Bout: Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig

Ronny Markes is a 24-year-old Brazilian fighter from Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Markes is a member of the Nova Uniao Gym in Brazil. Markes is a talented grappler who is very large for the Middleweight division. He holds a professional record of 13-1. Andrew Craig is a 26-year-old from Houston, Texas. Training out of the Team Tooke Gym in his hometown, he is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He holds a perfect professional MMA record of 8-0.

Quick Pick: Ronny Markes via TKO in Round Three

Preliminary Card (Fuel TV): Featherweight Bout: Godofredo Castro vs. Milton Vieira

Godofredo “Pepey” Castro is a 25-year-old fighter from Fortaleza, Brazil. He is best known as a finalist on the first season of TUF: Brazil. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who trains at his own MG Pepey Gym in Brazil. He holds a professional record of 8-1. Milton “Miltinho” Vieira is a 34-year-old Brazilian fighter. A member of the Brazilian Top Team and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, he is widely acknowledged as the man who created the anaconda choke. He holds a professional fighting record of 13-7-2.

Quick Pick: Milton Vieira via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Thiago Tavares is a 28-year-old Brazilian fighter from Florianopolis, Brazil. Tavares is a talented grappler with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trains with the Brazilian Top Team and Ataque Duplo Gym in Santa Catarina. Tavares entered the UFC as a top undefeated prospect back in 2007. He has had twelve fights since then, going 7-4-1 in the promotion. His striking has been improving throughout his career to the point where it’s still not his best strength, but it’s not a glaring weakness either. Overall, his professional MMA record stands at 17-4-1.

Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov is a 24-year-old Russian fighter. He is a well-rounded fighter who holds a black belt in Judo and is an International Master of Sports (a top rank) in Combat Sambo. Nurmagomedov currently splits his training time between Russia and the USA. He trains with the Red Fury Fight Team in Russia and the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. He is one of the top Lightweight prospects to ever come out of Russia. He holds a perfect career record of 18-0, but is coming off of a fairly controversial decision victory over Gleison Tibau in his last bout.

Analysis and Prediction: This will likely be a close bout as Nurmagomedov takes another significant step up in competition. Tavares is tough and well rounded and has very impressive cardio, which is something that Nurmagomedov has struggled with in the past. Tavares does his best work on the ground, but so far in his UFC career the young Russian has defended all ten takedown attempts against him. If Nurmagomedov is able to stuff Tavares’ takedowns attempts and punish him as he shoots, if Tavares is able to work the bout to the floor, he’ll likely be able to earn a decision based on positional dominance and top control. I think the more likely outcome is that he struggles to work the fight to the floor and Nurmagomedov punishes him with kicks and punches from in close en-route to a decision victory. Khabib Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (FX): Heavyweight Bout: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell

Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga is a 33-year-old Brazilian fighter from Rio de Janeiro. Gonzaga now trains stateside in the USA with Team Link in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Gonzaga is a former member of the Chute Boxe Academy, who is best known for his highlight reel head kick knockout of Mirko Filipovic at UFC 70. Gonzaga has had numerous successes in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission grappling tournaments as well as the Mundials Grappling Tournament in Brazil. He holds a professional record of 13-6.

“Big” Ben Rothwell is a 31-year-old fighter from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rothwell is a former professional kick boxer who has trained under famed coaches Duke Roufus and Pat Miletich throughout his career. He now owns and fights out of his own gym in Kenosha, Wisconsin called Rothwell MMA/LCCT BJJ. Before making his debut in the UFC, Rothwell fought for a number of major MMA promotions including M-1 Global, King of the Cage, IFL and Affliction. Rothwell is a veteran of the sport who has over 40 career bouts on his ledger and holds a career record of 32-8.

Analysis and Prediction: Rothwell looked very impressive in his last outing against Brendan Schaub and appears to have gotten himself in better shape recently. After the bout he credited a new training regimen and lifestyle and dietary changes for the improvements. Rothwell does his best damage from in close using dirty boxing and clinch work to batter his opponents. This could present problems, as it will give Gonzaga ample opportunity to work the fight to the ground from in close. I don’t think that Gonzaga can keep up with Rothwell’s pace however, as he fades later in the fight and succumbs to strikes in the third. Ben Rothwell via TKO in Round Three

Main Card (FX): Middleweight Bout: Daniel Sarafian vs. C.B. Dollaway

Daniel Sarafian is a 30-year-old Brazilian fight from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was a competitor on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Sarafian has a background in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He was a favorite to win the show and made it to the finals, but an injury forced his withdrawal. Sarafian has fought for a number of promotions in Brazil, Philippines and USA. Sarafian holds a career record of 7-2.

C.B. “The Doberman” Dollaway is a 29-year-old fighter from Mount Gilead, Ohio. Dollaway is a member of the Power MMA Team training in Tempe, Arizona. Dollaway is best known as a finalist on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. Dollaway is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Arizona State University. Dollaway uses his wrestling throughout his bouts, but his striking is still somewhat raw. Due to this, he often struggles against fighters that he cannot easily takedown. He holds a professional MMA record of 12-4.

Analysis and Prediction: Daniel Sarafian was one of the top Middleweights on TUF: Brazil. He is very well rounded and packs big power in his punches. Dollaway is a talented wrestler, but that is basically the extent of his skills. Dollaway has struggled throughout his career against fighters that can stop his takedowns. Expect a sprawl-and-brawl heavy game plan for Sarafian, as he’ll try to punish Dollaway every time he shoots in. Dollaway has a pretty low fight IQ and isn’t talented enough to fight Sarafian in a striking contest, if he doesn’t take this one to the ground quickly, he’s probably going to sleep. Daniel Sarafian via TKO in Round Two

Main Card (FX): Middleweight Bout: Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort is a 35-year-old fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A veteran of the sport of MMA, he has been fighting professionally since 1996. Belfort won the UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament and is also a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Belfort holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a black belt in Judo and a purple belt in Shotokan Karate. Although originally from Brazil, Belfort now lives and trains in the United States, previously with the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada but for this bout he has switched his training to the Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Boca Raton, Florida with the Blackzillians. This will be Belfort’s return to Middleweight after a failed attempt against Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. Belfort holds a career record of 21-10.

Michael “The Count” Bisping is a 33-year-old fighter from Manchester, England. Bisping is best known as the winner of the Light Heavyweight portion of the third season of The Ultimate Fighter. Despite given a bad reputation as having “pillow fists” Bisping is one of the best technical strikers in the Middleweight division and his defensive boxing is usually sound (his knockout loss to Dan Henderson not withstanding.) Bisping is a member of the HB Ultimate Training Center in Huntington Beach, California. Bisping has excellent footwork and a strong jab, which are key components to his defensive boxing skills. He is also a well-rounded fighter who has been improving his wrestling and grappling skills. In his last bout against Brian Stann, Bisping used his defensive boxing skills, mixed with well-timed takedowns to take a Unanimous Decision. He holds a career record of 23-4.

Analysis and Prediction: Belfort does his best work in the opening rounds. Bisping certainly knows that and he’s not going to be putting himself at risk in the opening rounds. Bisping has solid defensive striking and is a talented counter-puncher. With the monumental error in judgment that he showcased against Dan Henderson withstanding, Bisping has never been stopped in his career. The backbone of his striking defense is his movement and footwork, he’s going to need to be moving constantly, as standing in front of Belfort is going to be a big mistake.

The key to beating Belfort in the past has been to use takedowns and to control him on the mat, Bisping doesn’t have the necessary skills to pull that off over five full rounds, so Belfort is going to have his chances in the striking. Belfort’s conditioning didn’t look great in his bout against Jon Jones, although it might not be a fair comparison since he spent most of that bout underneath Jones and trying to survive. He’s not likely to have that kind of problem against Bisping, unless the Brit has been stepping up his wrestling training significantly. He did manage to land some takedowns against Stann, but Belfort’s takedown defense is significantly better than Stann’s.

I think Belfort is going to come out flying in the first round, looking for the big Hail Mary punch. Bisping is going to be too wise for that. Bisping will spend most of the first two rounds playing a lot of defense and looking for a chance to work this fight to the ground. As the fight wears on, Belfort will slowly begin to fade, and that’s when I expect Bisping to come alive. He becomes more active and more aggressive as the fight wears on. I expect he takes a Unanimous Decision. Michael Bisping via Unanimous Decision

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

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10 Most Anticipated UFC 2013 Fights

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

2012 will go down as a mixed year in the UFC. Unable to deliver the big super fights, the UFC will attempt to rebound in 2013 with several highly anticipated fights both scheduled and in planning.

If there was one disappointment with the UFC in 2012 it was the inability to pull off big fights. Even realistic super fights in division like Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz failed to materialize for a variety of reasons. With an all-star roster on deck featuring new fighters from Strikeforce, the UFC has the potential to blow away 2012 with several big fights this year. Now whether the UFC can pull these off or not is another story altogether.

I sat down with the idea of writing about the 10 most anticipated UFC fights of 2013. Unfortunately I had a rough time coming up with anything past five. It isn’t as if the big fights aren’t available, it just appears that the biggest ones aren’t close to taking place. So in order to get to ten, I had to throw a lot of hypothetical matchups into the mix. I tried keeping it realistic and staying away from fights like GSP vs. Silva which while gigantic, doesn’t appear to be taking place in 2013. Of course the UFC is always full of surprises but on the first week of January, here is a look at what I think are the 10 most anticipated fights both signed and likely to happen in the next twelve months.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz UFC 158 - This one is signed but is far away from being sealed, and further away from being delivered. Diaz is still unlicensed so until he appears before the NSAC to get reinstated, this fight is far from a lock. However, if everything comes together as planned this is undoubtedly the biggest fight on the docket in 2013 now and for the rest of the year. Grudge fights sell in the UFC and I can’t think of a bigger grudge that will be settled in 2013 than this one.

Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones UFC 159 - If you are a hardcore fan and have followed Sonnen and Jones over the last few months, you are probably less excited about this fight than you were when it was announced. If you are a casual fan who peeks in and out, well then you are probably just as amped. So far the “grudge” between these two has turned into a bit of a love affair. I have to think that as the fight grows closer that Sonnen will go into his usual bag of promotional tricks and start talking. Regardless you have a fight between two stars with a title on the line. That will always draw to an extent.

Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping/Chris Weidman TBD - Anderson’s next move is as much of a mystery as anything else in the UFC. Dana White has said that Silva would fight Bisping if he wins his next fight but when is the last time Bisping hasn’t choked in this scenario? If it isn’t Bisping than Chris Weidman looks to be the next man up for the Spider. Regardless of the opponent, Anderson will always be a draw on pay per view. Unfortunately it isn’t likely to be the two opponents that would draw him the most money in either GSP or Bones Jones.

Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo UFC 156 - I am probably one of the few MMA fans incredibly psyched for this fight. I am a big fan of both and I think that this one has enormous potential to be fight of the year. Unfortunately neither are a draw on pay per view, yet I think the weak schedule puts this one at least in consideration for top 10 anticipated fights.

Cain Velasquez vs. Alistair Overeem TBD - Now is where we start diving into hypothetical fights. Have you seen Bigfoot Silva fight elite competition? He doesn’t fare so well. So I am going to presume that Overeem beats him. This one has the makings of a classic. Overeem has something that nobody else in the heavyweight division has had since Brock Lesnar left…charisma. That charisma equals money and that charisma matched up with Velasquez’s mystique will draw mega money here.

Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane Cyborg Santos TBD - Rousey and White can scream all that they want about Cyborg having to make 135 but at the end of the day I am still of the belief that this fight happens. Dave Meltzer recently reported that negotiations are very close to making this fight happen at 135. I think you have the makings of what could be the third or fourth biggest fight of 2013 in the UFC. I hate to say it but the fate of the women’s division rests on this fight.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks TBD - This one could come sooner than you think if Diaz can’t play ball in time for UFC 158. Hendricks is on an impressive winning streak in the division and by rights, should be the number one contender. Hendricks has one more hurdle to jump and I can’t imagine him stumbling at this point. Another Hendricks KO will bring some big money to this welterweight title fight. The KO artist vs. the supreme athlete is gold. Hendricks is already running his mouth about GSP. By the time this fight happens you’ll have yourself a nice grudge match. I smell a lot of green here.

Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson TBD - I’ll continue with the hypothetical fights here and go back to the light heavyweight division. Dana White has talked about Daniel Cormier getting the next title shot but I think a Hendo win over Machida seals the deal. Henderson continues to talk trash about Jones and as fickle as Jones is, I can see him demanding a fight to shut him up. Ticket sales weren’t strong for their first scheduled fight but I think this one is different. Henderson’s streak and list of victims will be a who’s who in the division and will make him a believable contender against Jones. This division desperately needs a credible contender. Continuing the circus with Cormier will do nobody any favors. I think Henderson gets the next shot and these guys do some better than expected business.

Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez TBD – There are grumblings that this first time battle of Strikeforce vs. UFC champions will take place at the UFC on FOX 7 broadcast, although those are just rumors right now. One thing is confirmed and that is that the UFC is working hard to make this fight happen. I think Henderson has now solidified himself as one of the faces of the UFC and the idea of someone with Melendez’s pedigree and winning streak coming in to challenge him is money. Additionally, there is always added intrigue when you have a battle of champions. I know this division has struggled for attention since BJ Penn lost the title but I think Henderson brings it back to relevance in 2013.

Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira TBD - I’ll close out the hypothetical schedule with a fight that I think could be absolutely huge. Unfortunately Teixeira did himself no favors in his fight with Fabio Maldonado. He won but I think a bit of the mystique was off. He’ll have the chance to snatch that back when he fights on network television against Rampage Jackson. If he can brutalize Jackson as most expect, he’ll make himself a star overnight. He will look like the unstoppable killing machine getting ready to end the reign of Jones. There is major money in this fight if Teixeira gets past Rampage convincingly. Maybe they go with Teixeira vs. Henderson, Gustaffson, or Cormier in an eliminator first, but I think Teixeira gets his crack at Jones by year’s end in what turns out to be a big time fight.

UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2012

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 2012-13 Winter Events Preview

December 28, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Happy Holidays, CamelClutchBlog faithful.  I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed whatever holiday they may or may not have celebrated this year.  I don’t think there is a politically incorrect way (and if there is, please tell me) for me to address the arrival of 2013 so I’d like to start by wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

Speaking of healthy, I think we’d all like to wish a healthier 2013 for so many fighters who’ve been injured.  Yes, there is the purely selfish part of all of us who wants them healthier so they can entertain through this sport we love so much, but they obviously suffer from the lack of a paycheck.  Is GSP’s “Camp For Only One Fighter Like In Boxing” approach the answer, as Dana White recently mentioned? I have no idea.  If I knew how to stop fighter injuries, I feel like that information would be very valuable to promoters, gyms and bookies and I’d probably have heard from somebody by now.

But alas, I digress.  With over 30 events between pay-per-view, cable and free TV this year, not to mention compilations and weekly T.U.F. episodes, the UFC has been busy.  With one heavyweight title fight to go and a 2013 that’s shaping up nicely, let’s take a 30,000 foot view of what’s coming up and key fights look for in the year ahead.  Honestly, I could speak at length about each and every one of the fights that’ll be mentioned (particularly the Super Bowl weekend card) but again, this is more of a snapshot.  I’ll leave the in-depth analysis to our very own Lee McGregor, who’ll paint you a detailed portrait, complete with flowers and shading and colors and happy little trees.

These are just my thoughts, mind you, so if there’s something you feel I missed or a grievance with anything I say, throw it in the comments. Just don’t immediately jump to trolling. Let’s talk. No big whup.

UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II

What a difference a year makes.  Last November, the UFC debuted on Fox with then-champ and “we’d-later-confirm-he-was-injured” Cain Velasquez getting KO’d in 64 seconds by Junior dos Santos.   This Saturday, the UFC rings in the New Year with the anticipated rematch.  Since then, JDS successfully defended the title against Frank Mir and Velasquez healed up, turning the Octagon into a crimson Jackson Pollack at UFC 146 (using Bigfoot Silva’s face as the palette) along the way.  A healthy Velasquez looking to avenge his only loss makes him even more dangerous so I don’t see JDS swinging for the fences and clubbing him into 2013, but either way, this is a great fight.  As for the rest of the card, losing Forrest Griffin/Phil Davis was a bit of a blow, but if anything, I am most pumped about Jim Miller/Joe Lauzon in the co-main event.  Other key fights on the undercard are Brad Pickett/Eddie Wineland, Melvin Guilliard/Jamie Varner and the return of Todd “Don’t Let the Mike Russow Punching Bag Punch You Back” Dufee to the heavyweight division against Phil De Fries.

UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping

Time to save your pennies with a PPV-less January since the UFC doubled up for February (more to come later).  No need to go into withdrawal, though, since there are back-to-back weekends of free fights, starting January 19th with Belfort vs. Bisping on FX.  The Brazilian returns home both in terms of geography (the fight is in Sao Paolo) and weight (his new home of 185) after moving up to LHW against champ Jon Jones.  Barring that near-upset armbar, Belfort spent most of the title fight getting beaten like a redheaded stepchild, but there’s no shame in that considering it was against Jonny Bones.  Bisping rebounded from a questionable decision loss to Chael Sonnen in January with a solid UD win over Brian Stann in September.  A win for either fighter should raise the question of a title shot, if only for the fact that the division is shallow and the idea of Silva vs. GSP or Jones super fights have subsided.  I’m prematurely picking Belfort, but Bisping’s surprising me lately so if he can survive the onslaught, I wouldn’t put it past him to get a tight decision.  Also, T.U.F: Brazil finalist Daniel Sarafian makes his UFC debut against C.B. Dolloway, Gabriel Gonzaga takes on Ben Rothwell in heavyweight action and undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on Thiago Tavares.  Finally, be sure to catch Edson Barboza against Justin Salas on the Fuel undercard.  His hype train got derailed a bit by Jamie Varner at UFC 146, but he’s an exciting fighter with lots of KO power and I see him getting back on track in a big way in his home country.

UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson

I like the UFC’s decision to put a flyweight title fight on free TV with some great support behind it.  “Mighty Mouse” and Dodson, the first T.U.F. finalist to get a title shot since season 5, will make viewers at home think they hit fast-forward with a breakneck pace that’ll hopefully get some lighter weight class fighters their dues.  Johnson has only one finish between his stint in WEC and now the UFC, but I for one didn’t expect him to hold off Joseph Benavidez to become the promotions first 125 lb champ.  I’ll give Dodson the power advantage so if he can frustrate Johnson by stuffing his takedowns and landing a few shots, I think he’ll pull off the win.  Much like a good sitcom with an excellent supporting lead, Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis has early “Fight of the Year” potential and puts the winner in LW title shot discussion (perhaps more so for Pettis than Cerrone given the story around a Pettis/Henderson rematch).  While it might not have direct title-shot implications, Glover Teixeira vs. Rampage is the kind of fight you invite your non-MMA friends to watch since there’s a good chance someone is getting knocked out.  On the undercard, Ryan Bader tries to stay relevant at 205 against Vladimir Matyushenko and hopefully Clay Guida does not employ his “punch and run” game plan like he did against Gray Maynard when he takes on Hatsu Hioki.

UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar

The first super card of 2013 is happening Super Bowl weekend on February 2nd.  It feels like we’ve been waiting forever now to get the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.  I personally blame motorcycle accidents and rematches.  After questionable back-to-back title losses at lightweight  (I know I’ve said questionable twice already, once when referring to Bisping/Sonnen, but really watch Henderson/Edgar 1 and 2 and tell me Edgar didn’t win at least one of those fights), Edgar moves down to 145, the weight class everyone keeps saying he belongs in.  Aldo has not lost since 2005 and is one of the most exciting fighters in all of MMA. Edgar is going to have to drag Aldo into deep water, where we saw shades of him fading against Mark Hominick. Again, another “Fight of the Year” potential before March.  Before you even get to the title fight, though, the main card has three other fights that could headline a Fox or FX event in Rashad Evans vs. Lil Nog, Alistair Overeem vs. Bigfoot Silva (should Overeem win, he’ll probably be given a shot at the winner of JDS/Cain) and Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia.  Oh, but my favorite fight on the undercard? Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall, who both came up short in the inaugural flyweight tournament, but this could be a #1 contender fight to face the winner of Johnson/Dodson.

UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald

Kudos yet again to the UFC for giving an interim title some legitimacy and not using it as a marketing ploy to be used for unification bouts! Renan Barao, fresh off handing Urijah Faber what seems like his 100th title-fight loss at UFC 149, will defend his interim bantamweight title against Michael McDonald.  No, not the guy from The Doobie Brothers.  The guy who knocked Miguel Torres out of the UFC at UFC 145 and hasn’t lost under the Zuffa banner. Yup. That guy. Add to that a main card with two swing-for-the-fences LHW fights in James Te Huna vs. Ryan “Greatest Robot/Split Celebration in Octagon History?” Jimmo and undefeated Jimi Manuwa vs. Cyrille Diabate. Oh, and Brock Lesnar’s German kickboxing mini-me (!) Denis Siver looks to extend his featherweight winning streak to 3 against Cub Swanson.  All in all, I love this card and how it’s booked.  The UFC is ever so slightly increasing exposure for up-and-coming fighters but minimizing their own risk of underperforming by putting it on Fuel.  Paul Sass, if you’re reading this, another “Sassangle” submission on Danny Castillo on the undercard would be just fine with me.

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche

Welcome to the “Rhonda Rousey Show,” ladies and gentlemen.  UFC’s first ever women’s champion Rhonda Rousey will have the first ever women’s MMA fight in the promotion against Liz Carmouche, who’s riding a two-fight winning streak coming out of Invicta FC.  Again, if we’re playing wheelchair matchmaker and the “business” around the card’s composition, the UFC is supporting this inaugural lady’s scrap very well with a potential #1 contender fight at 205 between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida, perennial contender Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar, two struggling but game HWs in Lavar Johnson and Brendan Schaub plus the return of Robbie Lawler both to the UFC and to welterweight to fight Josh Koscheck.  While I don’t necessarily agree with the timing since the UFC will be hot off a big card like 156 and I fear people might get tight with their wallets with two fights in one month, they’ve paired Rousey up with a tough fighter to build a story around and it should make for a solid landing.  No disrespect to Carmouche, but I, like many, anticipate another armbar victory for Rousey.

Quick Hits – March & Beyond…

– UFC on Fuel TV (March 3): Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann and Stefan Struve vs. Mark Hunt? The fans of Saitama Super Arena will go home happy.  One, if not two, of those fighters will need to be woken up by smelling salts.  Not sure if Siyar Bahadurzada will be able to match his 42 second KO of Paulo Thiago against a durable Kim Dong-Hyun, but it’ll be fun to see him try. Also, Diego “The Dream” (really, you have to chuckle) Sanchez returns yet again to 155 against Japanese legend Takanori Gomi. TONY ROBBINS. YES.

- UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz (March 16): GSP fighting in his hometown of Montreal again? I’m shocked.  Not sure I agree with Nick Diaz jumping Johnny Hendricks for a title shot after a loss/weed suspension, but it’s a bigger draw and GSP’s been very vocal about wanting to take out the “disrespectful” Diaz.  Speaking of Hendricks, he’s slated to fight Jake Ellenberger and Carlos Condit looks to rebound from his loss to the champ in a rematch against Rory Macdonald.  Lots of potential storylines for the UFC welterweight division hang in the balance.  Grab a Labatt Blue and enjoy.

– BEYOND: April 27 is when Chael Sonnen gets his shot at the LHW belt against fellow T.U.F. coach and current champion Jon Jones in NJ. In related news, Twitter and wit will get you title fights regardless of records in that particular weight class and this season of T.U.F. will actually be worth watching; Anderson Silva will return mid-late 2013 in a non-super fight.  If he wants Anderson Silva money, my bet is he’s hoping Bisping beats Belfort in January; for the love of God, will someone get Eddie Alvarez, Gilbert Melendez and Daniel Cormier in the UFC already?

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Johny Hendricks Demands A UFC Championship Shot

December 03, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos

UFC welterweight Johny Hendricks is laying down the gauntlet. Hendricks is demanding a title shot at Georges St-Pierre and won’t fight until he gets it. Unfortunately for Hendricks he has about zero leverage in this game of chicken with Dana White.

Hendricks is coming off one of the most impressive all-around wins of 2012 in the UFC. Hendricks knocked Martin Kampmann out cold in under a minute at UFC 154. Hendricks’ win over Kampmann marks three big wins in a row for the welterweight. This according to Hendricks should move him to the front of the line and he will wait as long as it takes to get there.

Hendricks put his cards on the table during a recent interview with MMA Junkie radio. Hendricks is upset after hearing GSP’s camp publicly declare Nick Diaz the top contender over Hendricks this past week. This comes at a time where the UFC is pushing the champ to take a fight with Anderson Silva as opposed to defending the title. Hendricks is mad that he isn’t in the mix and is not going to take it anymore.

I’m not going to fight unless it’s for a belt,” Hendricks told MMAjunkie.com Radio. “Nothing else matters but the belt. My last three fights were guys in the top five, and I finished two of those three fights. I stated my claim. My stock’s really high right now, and the only thing left is to get a shot at that belt.

Hendricks has even gone as far as to begin training for a five-round fight.

I really want a belt. They don’t come around that often, and I feel like I’ve done enough to earn a shot, and that’s pretty much all I’m thinking of right now. I’m training for a five-round fight, and that’s it.

Hendricks is just the latest fighter to speak out about the UFC allowing its champions to pick and choose fights regardless of win/loss records. Michael Bisping has gone public recently with his frustrations over middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s disinterest in defending the title and has gone as far as to demand an interim championship. While Bisping and Hendricks have very little leverage, it is hard to argue with their points of view.

I understand the UFC was in a bind with UFC 153 but they encouraged this practice by allowing Silva to take an easy fight with Stephan Bonnar at a time when Silva has ignored the top contenders in his division. Now you have a situation where the UFC are willing to take Silva and GSP out of their divisions, Silva possibly for the entire year and it really is not fair to the hard working UFC fighters who earned their opportunities at the titles.

The UFC expects these fighters to wait but the window can be incredibly short for a championship opportunity. If the idea is to win to get a title shot, what are these fighters in the welterweight and middleweight divisions even competing for at this rate? While you could argue whether Hendricks and Bisping deserve title shots, I can certainly empathize with their frustrations.

The problem with Hendricks is that he has zero leverage. He isn’t a draw and has done very little to cultivate a personality like Bisping or Chael Sonnen to market his fights. Who is he really hurting by sitting out and demanding a title shot? The UFC will move on with or without Hendricks. Hendricks is the one that needs to fight to pay his bills and feed his family. Does anyone in their right minds really believe that Hendricks is going to bully the UFC out of making money fights like Diaz vs. GSP or GSP vs. Silva, especially after you have GSP coming off a show that he didn’t sell out quickly nor draw the kind of buyrate experts predicted?

The Free Johny Hendricks movement begins!

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Time For UFC To Strip Anderson Silva Of TheTitle

November 14, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Anderson Silva is arguably the greatest champion in UFC history. Yet certain responsibilities come along with the title and if the champion isn’t meeting those obligations it is time for the UFC to strip him of his title and take their championship back.

As big of a fan as I am of Silva, his lack of respect for the UFC and its fighters as middleweight champion has grown out of control. I certainly understand that someone like Silva should have more flexibility and perks than almost any other UFC fighter sans GSP. I certainly understand that the UFC would feel obliged to give Silva as much of a vacation as he wants between fights. But at some point this is a business and Anderson Silva has taken this business hostage long enough.

The Spider revealed his next steps as a fighter in an interview with Tatame.com this week and it was at that point where I think the UFC was given the green light to take action. Silva was asked about his intentions of going to UFC 154 and when he planned to fight next. His answer was a bit surprising to everyone.

I’m on vacation for the fight. I think we just come back at the end of next year … I’m going to Los Angeles and then going to Canada for the fight of St. Pierre. I’m already going to be there to shoot a movie, a feature film that I’ll participate in with Lyoto (Machida). It’s not my character to up and challenge anyone. I think it will not happen. I think not, I’m sure (laughs).

This has already sent one of the UFC’s top middleweight contenders Michael Bisping into a rant with Bisping asking the UFC to strip Silva and determine an interim UFC middleweight title. Bisping sent a tweet to UFC president Dana White asking for the fight.

If Anderson wants to take time off to be a movie star make me and vitor for the interim title????

The UFC has come to a crossroads with Silva. Silva is now at a point in his career where he is interested more in big money fights and unfortunately they aren’t in the middleweight division. Silva and his camp have publicly criticized the top contenders for not being marketable names. Silva is targeting Georges St-Pierre along with a possible megafight against Jon Jones. At that point the championship would be put on hold for over a year if not more. It would be three fights since he defended the title if his master plan plays out, thus the time is now for the UFC to take action.

The biggest problem here is that Anderson Silva wants it both ways. He wants these bigger fights in lieu of them being out of the division while wanting to retire as undefeated UFC middleweight champion. Unfortunately that legacy doesn’t mean a whole lot if he is retiring undefeated as champion after not defending the belt in over a year, maybe two by that point. For the good of the sport Silva should voluntarily vacate the title. That doesn’t appear to be in the plans. The ball is now in the UFC’s court.

Of course the UFC risks creating a rift with its biggest star and the timing couldn’t be worse for the company. Silva has all of the cards right now. The UFC would love to book a Silva vs. Jones fight and they have to keep their champion happy until that happens. At the same time they have an entire division of fighters that are working their butts off with no chance of a title shot in sight. The shelf life of an elite fighter is small and keeping these fighters from their rightful title fights is wrong. Something has to give!

The catch here is that Anderson could play the UFC’s bluff. What if Dana threatens to strip Anderson of the title and Anderson agrees to defend the title. The UFC wins by getting their champion back in the division but loses millions of dollars by pulling him away from superfights against GSP and Jon Jones. It really is a no-win situation for the UFC. Yet for the good of the entire company they need to play hardball.

Dana White is anything but a coward. He owes it to his fighters to step up to Anderson Silva and help his champion understand that he would be doing more for his legacy by relinquishing the title as opposed to holding his title hostage. There is nothing wrong with wanting these superfights and Silva has certainly earned them. As a fan I’d much rather watch Silva vs. Jones than Silva vs. Weidman, but what is fair is fair, and there are plenty of fighters in the middleweight division that have earned their opportunity at the title.

It’s time to take the title back!

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Top Five UFC The Ultimate Fighter Coaches Of All-Time

October 29, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

To date there have been fifteen seasons of The Ultimate Fighter that have aired in the USA on Spike TV and FX, plus a sixteenth season that is currently airing on FX. Add to that a completed season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and a currently airing season of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes (UK vs. Australia) and there have been thirty professional fighters who have served time as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

With the recent announcement of Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as upcoming coaches for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, many people have seen through the UFC’s charade, and are criticizing the UFC’s decision to forego the sporting aspect of the UFC and instead focus solely on the business aspect of the UFC. Despite what fans may believe about the decision to use Sonnen and Jones as coaches on the next season of the UFC’s flagship reality show, they are still intriguing choices as coaches. Not only for the potential entertainment value of the trash talk and banter between the two, but also due to the wealth of MMA talent and knowledge that these two men can pass on to the future athletes of the UFC.

In honor of the potential that Jones and Sonnen bring to the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on FX, here is a look back at the history of The Ultimate Fighter. A look at the Top Five Coaches in The Ultimate Fighter history.

Honorable Mention – Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz

Record as a Coach: 16-11

Record in Coach’s Bouts: 1-0 (Victory over Ken Shamrock)

Winner’s Coached: Kendall Grove (Season 3), Michael Bisping (Season 3)

Tito Ortiz was one of the original stars of the UFC so it was no surprise that he was called on to coach one of the first seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Ortiz coached the third season opposite his nemesis Ken Shamrock in the third fight of their trilogy of fights. Creating high ratings and high entertainment because of the constant squabbling between the two coaches, the competition much like the fights between Ortiz and Shamrock were fairly one-sided. Ortiz was the coach of both the winners of the third season. Ortiz also fared well as a coach on his second stint during TUF 11 opposite Chuck Liddell. However, he wasn’t able to finish the season or participate in the coach’s bout due to a back injury that removed him from the show.

Honorable Mention – Georges “Rush” St. Pierre

Record as a Coach: 11-3

Record in Coach’s Bouts: 1-0 (Victory over Josh Koscheck)

Winner’s Coached: Jonathan Brookins (Season 12)

Despite being one of the biggest draws in the history of the UFC and a long-reigning Welterweight Champion, GSP has surprisingly appeared on The Ultimate Fighter as a head coach once. Coaching opposite Josh Koscheck for the twelfth season of the reality show, GSP’s team went 5-2 throughout the first round of the competition, and both of the finalists were from Team Rush. In addition to his impressive coaching performance, GSP also dominated Koscheck in the coach’s bout. GSP was responsible for coaching Jonathan Brookins to victory during his season as a coach. GSP also coached briefly during The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback, but during that season there were no head coaches, only fighters stopping by to help out.

#5 – Rich “Ace” Franklin (The Ultimate Fighter 2, The Ultimate Fighter 11)

Record as a Coach: 3-2

Record in Couch’s Bouts: 1-0 (Victory over Chuck Liddell)

Winner’s Coached: Rashad Evans (Season 2)

Franklin has always been known as the UFC’s company man for his willingness to step up on late notice and fight at different weights. Whatever his bosses needed. That was also the case for his second stint as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. During the eleventh season of the show an injury to coach Tito Ortiz caused the UFC to need a suitable replacement for the post-show coaches bout. In stepped Rich Franklin both as a replacement fighter and as a coach for the final episodes of the show, during that episode he managed to advance his only remaining fighter Kris McRay into the live finale. Franklin also served as a coach on the second season of the reality show, although he coached against his good friend Matt Hughes and there was no post-show coaches bout. Franklin’s fighters during the second season dominated the Heavyweight portion of the competition and he was the coach of eventual winner and future UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans. In his late replacement bout against Chuck Liddell, Franklin scored a victory by TKO over Chuck Liddell.

#4 – Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (The Ultimate Fighter 15/ TUF: Live)

Record as a Coach: 10-5

Record in Coach’s Bouts: 0-1 (Loss to Renan Barao)

Winner’s Coached: Michael Chiesa (Season 15)

Faber coached opposite his Bantamweight rival Dominick Cruz on the debut season of The Ultimate Fighter on FX. Adding a live twist to the show, it failed to produce a significant ratings hike. Faber brought in his Team Alpha Male teammates to help him coach and provided a lot of guidance to his fighters. A talented wrestle-boxer himself, Faber made a bit too much of an effort to shape his fighters into that mold. Still one can’t argue with his results as his team was able to take five of the eight first round bouts, and the two finalists of the show were from Team Faber. Despite his impressive record as a coach, a knee injury to Dominick Cruz scrapped the traditional coaches bout at the end of the show. Instead Faber faced off against replacement Renan Barao Pagado for the Interim Bantamweight Championship but was soundly outworked over five rounds and lost the bout.

#3 – Michael “The Count” Bisping

Record as a Coach: 15-13

Record in Coach’s Bouts: 1-1 (Loss to Dan Henderson, Victory over Jason Miller)
Winner’s Coached: Ross Pearson (Season 9), James Wilks (Season 9), Diego Brandao (Season 14)

Bisping is famous for not only being a Light Heavyweight winner from the third season of The Ultimate Fighter, but also for being extremely successful as a coach on the show. Bisping made his first appearance on the show coaching Team United Kingdom opposite Dan Henderson and Team USA on the UK vs. USA edition of The Ultimate Fighter. Bisping coached his UK brethren to victory in both the Lightweight and Welterweight divisions. Despite coaching both winners from this season of the show, he was posterized in highlight reel fashion at UFC 100 by an H-Bomb from Henderson in the second round. Bisping coached opposite Jason “Mayhem” Miller in the final season on Spike TV before transferring to FX. Despite a fairly even coaching gig against Miller, Bisping dominated him in the coach’s fight and coached another winner as Diego Brandao won the Featherweight division of the show.

#2 – Rashad “Suga” Evans

Record as a Coach: 13-1

Record in Coach’s Bouts: 1-0 (Win over Quinton Jackson)
Winner’s Coached: Roy Nelson (Season 10)

Rashad Evans is another one of the former winners of The Ultimate Fighter that eventually made his way to the other side of the table and served time as a coach on the Heavyweights only tenth season of TUF. Coaching opposite his arch-rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad’s season was filled with trash-talk and back and forth bickering between not just the coaches, but also the fighters. Rashad’s fighters dominated Jackson’s throughout the entire competition, including posting a 7-1 mark in the first round of the competition. Evans completely out-coached Jackson and then when the coach’s bout came up at UFC 114, Evans out-classed Jackson inside the octagon. Evans’ accomplishments are also most notable for having the highest ratings in the history of The Ultimate Fighter. Although the inclusion of internet sensation Kimbo Slice was definitely a major factor, the grudge between coaches was an important factor that helped the show gather a peak viewership of 7.25 million.

#1 – Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell

Record as a Coach: 12-6 (although the format for TUF 1 was different than following seasons)

Record in Coach’s Bouts: 1-1 (Victory over Randy Couture, Loss to Rich Franklin)

Winner’s Coached: Forrest Griffin (Season 1), Diego Sanchez (Season 1), Court McGee (Season 11)

Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell is not only one of the most popular fighters in the history of the UFC, perhaps even the most popular, but he was also one of the most successful coaches in the history of the show. Coaching the original season of the show opposite Randy Couture, Liddell’s team was extremely successful. The format of the show was significantly different to following versions, mainly because of the inclusion of team challenges, which eliminated fighters before they even fought. However, Liddell’s team excelled at challenges, winning nearly all of the team competitions for the season and eliminating many of Couture’s fighters before they even fought inside the octagon. When it came down to the finals of the show, Liddell’s fighters dominated as both Griffin and Sanchez won their respective divisions under Liddell’s tutelage. In the coach’s bout after the show, Liddell knocked out Couture to win the UFC Light Heavyweight title.

During his second coaching gig opposite Tito Ortiz, Liddell once again found his fighters dominating. An injury to Tito eventually led to an opponent switch, which opened the door for Rich Franklin to step in and take a bout against Liddell at UFC 115. Despite coaching another fighter to victory on this season of the show (Court McGee), Liddell was on the wrong end of a knockout in this coach’s bout, as Franklin flattened Liddell in the first round and sent the Iceman into retirement.

Despite his loss in his final coaches bout, Liddell remains a successful coach from the show and is responsible for launching the careers of several big names who are still in the UFC today. Names like Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez, Josh Koscheck, Kenny Florian, Court McGee, Brad Tavares and Kyle Noke.

The Ultimate Fighter: Season 3 – The Ultimate Grudge

UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2012 Edition

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Anderson Silva’s Manager Still Gunning For GSP Superfight

October 23, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos

The Anderson Silva rope-a-dope continues. Just a few days after softening his stance on fighting Jon Jones, the UFC champion’s manager is still gunning for a Georges St-Pierre Superfight. Apparently one of these guys did not the memo.

This whole obsession by Anderson Silva and his team to fight Georges St-Pierre has never made that much sense to me. Silva is a UFC champion and instead of doing what champions do which is defend the belt against the best, Silva would rather pick a fight with a guy in the lower division. It may be a fun fight to put together in UFC Undisputed, but the size mismatch here really doesn’t make sense. Especially to GSP who has said several times that he isn’t too keen on the fight.

Silva’s manager Ed Soares was a guest this week on Inside MMA. Soares is singing a bit a different tune than his main client sang last week. Silva downplayed the GSP fight and gave his first indication that he was at least open to fighting Jon Jones at catch weight. Soares on the other hand is still focused on getting his hands on a GSP vs. Silva pay day.

At the end of the day, GSP is the greatest welterweight of all time,” Soares said. “People argue back and forth who the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world is. Some people say it’s Anderson, some people say it’s Georges St-Pierre. So I think the way to settle it is to do a catch weight at 177 1/2, right down the middle, and see what happens.

I think it’ll be a fight that the fans want to see and it’ll be a great fight.”

It is certainly an interesting fight I’ll give him that. I am also intrigued with his offer to go down to 177 1/2, but I don’t know if that will be enough to get the fight signed. GSP has said numerous times that he doesn’t want to fight any heavier than 170. Silva has said that he would drop to 170 for the fight so this new 177 1/2 catch weight is maybe a last ditch effort to reel in their big fish.

I thought Soares’ answer for other future fights was interesting as well. Talk about a guy that is all over the place here.

Who knows what’s next. Maybe after (a possible fight with St-Pierre), who knows. A possibility it could be (Jon Jones), or maybe even Bisping,” Soares said. “There are so many different fighters out there that could potentially be big fights.

Am I the only one who finds the idea of throwing Michael Bisping and Jon Jones around in the same sentence humorous? I can certainly understand why they’d want the Bisping fight. He is not a dangerous opponent for Silva and will draw better than any other title match at middleweight. Interestingly enough he never mentions Chris Weidman or Tim Boetsch.

It sounds to me that the UFC and Silva are starting to prepare for life without a GSP vs. Silva Superfight. Silva’s manager has millions of obvious reasons to push for it and maybe he’ll get it at 177 1/2. I just wouldn’t count on it at this point.


UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2012 Edition

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

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Anderson Silva: Who’s Next?

October 18, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

I had made a gentlemen’s bet on UFC 153’s main event with a friend of mine. “Bonnar won’t make it out of the first round,” he said.   Based on Bonnar’s chin, size advantage and jiu-jitsu, I had confidence in Bonnar to at least make it out of the first round.  “I think he’ll lose, sure, but I think he’ll make it to at least the second round before he gets knocked out,” I said in reply.

…in related news, I hate losing a bet, even one without any money on the line.

Anderson Silva is the pound-for-pound best fighter in mixed martial arts, having left sixteen bodies in his wake without a loss since joining the UFC in 2006.  Okay, that might be a bit of hyperbole if “leaving bodies in his wake” means he finished everyone he’s faced in the company.  If we’re going by those standards, he’s left thirteen in his wake, one was spared due to a fluke injury and the other two were treated to a well-improvised clowning/dancing clinic.

THE POINT IS he’s undefeated and has become very vocal about who his next opponents should and should not be.

As our own Lee McGregor alluded to at the end of his always thorough and insightful UFC 153 wrap up, Silva’s next opponent is somewhat already determined, but playing wheelchair matchmaker is a fun game we MMA fans love to play so let’s boogie, shall we?

The “Price Better Be So Right That I Relent” Option

Chris Weidman is a good fighter.  He’s a big guy with good wrestling credentials and is undefeated at 9-0.  In the eyes of the Champ, however, he is too green to be worth risking the streak and the ol’ piggy bank.  Weidman will take on a surging Tim Boetsch in December to help increase his stock, but unless he enrolls in the “Chael Sonnen School of S*** Talk” and graduates with honors really quickly, I don’t foresee this fight happening for another year or more until he pads his resume to Silva’s liking.  Yes, I understand the UFC can undoubtedly make Silva an offer he can’t refuse if they want this fight to happen, but there are more intriguing prospects out there before Strong Island’s own gets a crack at The Spider.

The “Cash Across The Pond” Option

Oh, bloody hell.  I’ll admit it. I want to hate Michael Bisping, but the bloke has grown on me.  He may not be magnificent at any one particular discipline, but this is mixed martial arts.  The Count has become not only well rounded in the Octagon, but his brash personality and wit on camera and on the interwebs has gone past obnoxious to the point of being funny and even charming.   He is clearly the golden boy of the U.K. and a title fight in England, while still one that I think Silva wins handily, would be a fight Bisping could sell the heck out of and would make our British brethren very happy to be hosting a big name title fight.  If Silva’s potential next opponent (which we’ll get to in just a minute) is injured, I think this would be worth his while given the continued exposure and big money involved.

The “Dream Fight” Option

Let’s get this one over with: Jon Jones.  Both he and Silva have publicly stated they have no desire to fight one another.  However, this would be pay-per-view gold, my friends.  I’m open to differing analogies, but for sports fans who only dabble in watching MMA, this would be like watching a still-dominant-though-heading-toward-the-end-of-his-career Michael Jordan against Lebron James in Game 7 of the NBA Championship.

Given how prize fighting is structured (one-on-one competitions among differing weight classes) it is harder to determine who is truly best in the world.  I understand that there is a degree of subjectivity to “rankings” in this sport and, unlike conventional team sports where there are playoff systems and elimination rounds to determine a league champion, the best in any MMA weight class may not necessarily be declared the best in that league by the system at large.

When you have the consensus #1 and #2 fighters within reasonable weight and size limits of one another in the biggest promotion in the world, however, shouldn’t they duke it out to find out who really is THE best?  I have no doubt if the fans want it, Dana & Co. will make it happen come hell or high water, but I think we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer for it.  As the old saying goes, “good things come to those who wait (unless you’re Rashad Evans).”

The “Most Likely To Happen Next” Option

Georges St-Pierre, despite the long layoff, is still one of the best fighters in mixed martial arts and will go down in history as perhaps the greatest welterweight of all time.  The idea of GSP vs. Silva in a whatever-weight bout seemed to be the “Dream Fight” before GSP’s injury and Jon Jone’s meteoric rise over the past year and a half.  Is GSP vs. Silva still a fight that people want to see that’d do “boy band” numbers on PPV? Absolutely.  Has it fizzled a bit for the reasons I just described? Perhaps.  Silva has stated that he wants GSP next even if GSP loses his title unification bout with Carlos Condit on November 17th, but I do believe that if GSP rolls through Condit in impressive fashion, GSP vs. Silva earns back some of that sizzle and, barring injury, would make for an incredible spring event in 2013.

UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2012 Edition[/amazon_link]

Chael Sonnen: The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

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Jon Jones Fears Injury From Belfort’s Armbar

September 23, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

You can question a lot of things about Jon Jones. One thing you can’t question after his victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 is his heart. Jones fought through a severe arm injury to defeat Belfort but may suffer the price for his courage.

Belfort came within inches of defeating the UFC light heavyweight champion in the opening round of UFC 152. Belfort locked in an arm bar that probably would have finished most fighters. But Jon Jones is not most fighters. Jones heard the elbow pop but told reporters after the fight that he had no intention of quitting.

In there, I felt as if there was a point where I don’t think physically he could have extended it even more,Jones said. “I mean, it was popping, and I felt after 25 years that I’ve never felt that feeling before. I just came to terms with what was going to happen, just thinking, ‘Man, I can’t believe I’m getting ready to lose this way.

But Jones survived the early scare and continued to fight for three more rounds with the injured rounds. What is even more impressive is the way he dominated his challenger with only one arm to work with. As much as Belfort tried to attack his injured his arm going forward, Jones held him at bay. Unfortunately his guts may have cost him going forward.

We haven’t been able to get my arm x-rayed yet, but they’re saying there might be some nerve damage in the bicep.

Unfortunately that will likely put the champion on the shelf for quite awhile going forward. It is impossible to come up with an accurate timetable not knowing the severity of the injury, but I’d have to imagine that Jones is out until at least February if not all the way through April.

That is a big blow to the UFC as that leaves another title dormant for several months. I would guess that this opens up the opportunity for a Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida eliminator fight. Henderson is scheduled to be ready by December and Machida is just sitting idle waiting for his next fight. The UFC could book the fight for January thus giving Jones a credible challenger just in time for his scheduled recovery.

This could actually work out in the UFC and Jon Jones’ favor. No matter how Dana and the UFC want to spin it, the MMA world despises Jones. They aren’t into buying him, his fights, or his merchandise right now. If Jones can keep a low profile during the next several months, time away may be able to heal some wounds, and create interest in a return. The break between Jones and the fans could be the best thing for everyone.

No pun intended of course on the “break.”


Chael Sonnen – The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

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