Subscribe

Ronda Rousey Meets Ric Flair At WWE SummerSlam 2014

August 18, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

What happens when arguably the greatest pro wrestler of all-time meets his female counterpart in the MMA world? Ric Flair and Ronda Rousey met for the first time at WWE SummerSlam and Middle Easy cameras captured that magic moment for all of us to see.

This is a very cool video as Middle Easy took video of Rousey and her friends throughout the night at SummerSlam. What makes the meeting between Rousey and Flair so special is that Rousey and her friends travel in a group known as the 4 Horsewomen with Rousey of course known as the Ric Flair of her group.

I am not a big Ronda Rousey fan but I did come away with a more favorable opinion of her after watching this video. Rousey is a big WWE fan and it was great to see her having fun as a “person in the crowd” at SummerSlam, cheering her favorites and booing their opponents. It’s a very cool video and shows a real innocent side to Rousey that I have never seen in the UFC.

Rousey made her presence known throughout the night with several pictures and videos of her showing up in social media with other WWE stars including Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, and Stephanie McMahon. It had nothing to do with getting publicity or pushing the UFC as it was just Rousey enjoying a night off as a fan.

So Rousey was at SummerSlam after all. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the ring after her UFC career winds down, at least for one match and I think it will be huge.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

OMG Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier Delayed Until UFC 182

August 13, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

UFC fans will have to wait for the biggest fight of the year. An injury to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has delayed his upcoming grudge match with Daniel Cormier until January 2015 and take place at UFC 182.

News broke on Tuesday of the delay which comes a week after some pundits predicted blockbuster numbers for the fight coming off of a press conference brawl and a couple of verbal scraps on television. Tensions boiled over last week when Jones and Cormier got into it at a presser. A satellite feed of ESPN’s interview with the two showed a side of Jones none of us had ever seen where he mocked Cormier and called him “p*ssy” several times. By week’s end interest in this fight had grown to levels not seen since Sonnen vs. Silva 2.

Jones is pulling out of the first due to an injury suffered in training. A torn meniscus and a sprained ankle Jones suffered Monday wrestling is the cause of the postponement. While this may sound perfectly reasonable to most, MMA fans are seething at Jones for the delay. Fighters fight with these types of injuries often and Jones delaying the fight due to this is not sitting well with many…including Daniel Cormier.

“I said from the beginning that Jon Jones isn’t afraid of anyone,” Cormier said. “But if I can go in there with a partially torn ACL, I think he should have fought; tough it up and fight.

“I don’t know the extent of his injuries, and if it’s really bad, I’ll take it back. But on the surface, I heard he hurt himself. But people hear ACL, they think you’re out for a year. I’ve been hurt, and I’ve been training. I wish he would have just fought.

“I’m saying tough it out sometimes,” he added. “Sometimes you’ve got to go in there and tough it out and just fight.”

As upset as Cormier is, the postponement may work in his favor. The delay will allow him to seek care for his partially torn ACL, an injury Jones would have surely targeted in the fight. Cormier could likely seek arthroscopic surgery for the ACL and fight closer to 100%. The irony here is that many critics believed the reason Jones wanted to fight Cormier so badly was because he knew Cormier was hurt and wanted to get him before he had surgery.

At first glance this is terrible news on the business side for the UFC. However, Dave Meltzer reports that the UFC would like to stack the January 3 Las Vegas event with Jones vs. Cormier and Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano. According to Meltzer, Carano is still in play between Bellator and the UFC. Meltzer predicted a buyrate of anywhere between 1.1 and 1.8 million for that double main-event. I think he’s freaking nuts but I do think it would be a blockbuster.

I do wonder if the buzz will subside between Cormier and Jones by the time we get close to the event. By that point the press conference brawl and verbal spats would have already been several months old. Many of the casual fans will be knee-deep in football by that point. I still think it will do great business, but how long the shelf-life is on this buzz is the big question. Cormier is confident that won’t happen.

“I think people recognize that it’s a big fight,” he said. “I think by January, people will understand, and maybe people will stop thinking about us fighting on stage or getting caught cussing each other when the cameras were on.

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 175 Weidman vs. Machida: Five Lessons Learned

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

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

Lesson 1: Still Champion

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

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

Lesson 2: No Competition

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

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

Lesson 3: Big Heart

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

Lesson 4: Thank God

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

Other notes from the UFC 175:

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

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

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

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

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Gina Carano Vs. Ronda Rousey UFC Rumors Continue To Swirl

March 21, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

What does the UFC do when they have run out of opponents for their superstar? Well they go back in time and bring back a star from the past of course. According to reports Ronda Rousey may be in for a big payday and an easy fight.

Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer newsletter and MMAFighting.com reports that the UFC and Gina Carano are talking. The reports indicate that both sides are talking about a potential mega fight between Rousey and Carano this summer. The fight is not signed nor is there any indication that it is a done deal.

Rumors started heating up after UFC color commentator Joe Rogan teased a big announcement regarding Rousey’s next fight a few weeks back.

You might actually know, but I can’t tell you. I can say no more than I’ve already said. I will tell you this, and this is a KROQ exclusive, within the next probably week or so a huge announcement will come about women’s fighting and I’ll be back in [the studio] and we’ll talk some more. It’s going to be crazy. Madness. I wish I could [talk about it now], but I would betray the confidence of my friend and employer.

The UFC were in negotiations recently with undefeated boxing champion turned MMA fighter Holly Holm about a fight with Rousey. Holm’s management met recently with the UFC about a fight with Rousey. Those negotiations did not end well with Holm’s team wanting Rousey money and the UFC no longer interested in Holm.

The idea of the UFC billing a fight between Carano and Rousey as anything but a mismatch is a joke. Carano hasn’t fought in years and was brutalized in her last fight against Cyborg Santos (now Justino). This is the exact con the UFC perpetrated when they brought back Royce Gracie to fight Matt Hughes. We all know how that fight played out. I can’t see anything other than a repeat performance from the UFC champion here.

MMA analysts are hyped up on this fight predicting big numbers. I am not so sure that the number would be nearly as big as some are predicting. Carano was good but she was a novelty in Strikeforce. She also isn’t bringing in a “world’s greatest” reputation like Gracie brought into the Hughes fight. Plus, Carano isn’t a trash talker, Rousey respects Carano, thus there will be no trash talk to stir interest. I don’t think anyone thinks this will be competitive. I think it is pie in the sky to think that this will draw a million buys in 2014 without some kind of grudge.

The UFC has a problem on its hands with Rousey. She is in her prime as a draw and they have no opponents ready for her to do business with. Sure there is Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis but they aren’t rivals like Miesha Tate and Cristiane Cyborg Justino. They need to take advantage of her star power and the only way to do that is with a grudge fight.

Which brings me back to Justino. Rousey and the UFC continue to blow off the idea of Rousey moving up to 140 to fight Justino. I have believed all along that the UFC is deathly afraid of this fight because they know Rousey will get brutalized. There is no other explanation for the support Dana White has offered Rousey in not taking a big money fight. Rousey did herself no favors in my mind when she said she would move up to 140 to fight Carano. How the UFC can continue to back her up with a straight face is a mystery to me.

Unfortunately for MMA fans I don’t think you will get the Carano vs. Rousey fight. She has already been announced for a new movie to begin production next year according to IMDB.com. I can’t imagine a scenario where a producer would allow her time off to get her face beaten up before a big movie. All roads will eventually lead back to Cyborg and until they do, Rousey’s drawing power will continue to be underutilized by the UFC.

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Cyborg Santos Challenges UFC Champ Ronda Rousey To 135 Fight

February 22, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Ronda Rousey’s nightmare is not going away. Cris Cyborg Santos may be fighting in Invicta but she still has her eyes set on Rousey and the UFC. Dana White has said numerous times he’d consider the fight if Santos dropped weight. Well it’s time to start the negotiating.

Santos left the UFC last year after failing to secure a fight with Ronda Rousey. It amazed me then and it amazes me today that the UFC let that fight get away but they did. Rousey went to Invicta yet the war of words between Rousey and Santos haven’t stopped. Rousey has always said that Santos needs to drop to 135 to fight her. Santos has finally said she’d do it.

Santos released a statement to Inside MMA where she proclaims that she will drop to 135 for three fights. Santos wants one fight against Invicta’s 135 pound champion this summer and says she will remain at 135 for two fights with Rousey. According to Cyborg, there will be no more excuses not to make this fight.

You have fought 154 in the Olympics and 145 in MMA. You can meet me at 140 easier than for me to go down to 135. The only reason you want the fight at 135 is because you feel that is your only chance because you hope the weight cut will affect me. You guys say I’m irrelevant, yet watch my highlights. The true MMA fans not only know me, but know I’m the best. Sad that you give the true MMA fans no recognition by saying that they don’t matter.

I’m currently training to fight at 145 on March 28 and in early May. My team has hired a medical doctor to help me make 135. I plan to challenge and win the Invicta 135 Championship in the summer and challenge you, champion to champion, for your 135 belt in December.”

Of course the Rousey defenders will dismiss this challenge and accuse Santos of using PEDs. I always found that to be a bogus excuse because if she does use them, she’ll get popped. Santos is upping the ante on those critics and addressed that concern head on.

“You can even have me tested every week up to the fight. That way you will not have an excuse after I kick your ass.”

So there it is. I never understood how a guy like Dana White always calls out fighters for ducking fights yet continues to defend Rousey for not fighting Santos. To me the answer has always been obvious. He is afraid that Rousey will not only lose, but get pummeled, thus exposing his self-proclaimed “biggest star ever.” That’s the only reason in my mind that White could justify Rousey passing on a fight that could do the biggest buyrate of all-time.

I also think Rousey has gotten a free pass from most of the media and fans for ducking this fight. Rousey has always used the weight excuse. Yet, as Cyborg points out (and I have been pointing out for almost a year), Rousey has fought at higher weight. The UFC have desperately tried to make super fights with fighters in different classes meeting at a catchweight. Why 140 has never been an option is just mind boggling to me. Rousey has fought at 140 or higher so the idea that she refuses to come from 135 for a fight that would be gigantic doesn’t make much sense.

The ball will be in Ronda’s court and the pressure will be on her if Santos makes 135 and wins her fight. There are no excuses from that point forward. Rousey could use the undeserving challenger excuse but let’s face it. The UFC 135 pound belt was handed to her in the first place and Miesha Tate certainly wasn’t deserving of a shot. Ronda has done a lot of talking about Cyborg. I don’t see any way out if Cyborg makes weight.

I am pulling for Cyborg only to see how this story plays out. If Santos makes weight and wins her fight, the next move will be Ronda’s and it will be fascinating to see what she does. It will be even more fascinating to see what Dana White does if she says no.

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Big UFC Fights Missing In 2014

February 12, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

With Anderson Silva and GSP on the sidelines, the UFC will need to count on new stars to fill those big fight slots this year. Unfortunately an early look at 2014 exposes a dull year and one of the most turbulent periods of the Zuffa era.

While the UFC has become a watered down product over the last couple of years, there have always been a couple of big fights to get excited about. A 2014 doesn’t show much promise when it comes to these big fights. I looked up and down the list of scheduled fights and potential fights and there is absolutely nothing for a casual fan to get excited about.

Dana White has had a lucky run the last few years. His two biggest stars, Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre continued to carry the company while cards became watered down and stars became harder to make. Now White is left with Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey, both unproven and somewhat unstable in their positions. It may be time for the UFC president to press the panic button.

If there is a big fight to get excited about in 2014 I don’t see it. When I mean big fight I am talking a fight expected to draw 700,000+ buys. Sure there are some intriguing fights that will appeal to the hardcore fans and maybe even some casuals, but where is the can’t-miss event of 2014?

Let’s take a look at some of the pay-per-view headline fights already scheduled for 2014. Excuse me while I grab a pillow.

Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann UFC 170 – This is the test for Rousey. There are many who believe that Rousey is the biggest star in the UFC. She certainly had a hand in that impressive UFC 168 buyrate but what has she done on her own? If Rousey can break 500,000 here I will concede that she is the biggest star in the UFC. If she can’t, it is a real dose of reality for the UFC who have hyped her more than any fighter since Brock Lesnar. Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier in the semi is about as exciting as a sleeping pill. I would say thus far there is less buzz going into this Rousey fight than her previous two which isn’t a good sign.

Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler UFC 171 – I like the fight, like it a lot, but is it a draw? Hendricks drew a disappointing buyrate with GSP and let’s be clear, it was GSP drawing the number. I think a lot of casual fans still see Lawler as a Strikeforce castoff, which he certainly isn’t. I think it is going to be a fun fight but I can’t imagine many people scrambling to get together watch Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks.

Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixera UFC 172 – Again this is another fight I can’t wait to see. I am not the casual fan and casuals probably aren’t as hyped about Teixera as I am. Jones has not been the draw he should be given his star power (or lack thereof). His fight against Alexander Gusftafsson didn’t even break 400,000 buys! That is pathetic. The problem with Jones is Jones. The only time the guy draws is when his opponents like Rashad and Rampage do the talking. I don’t expect a lot of smack talk from Teixera here and thanks to Jones minimizing his opponent as he always does, I’d be hard pressed to expect anything more than 300,000 buys here.

Vitor Belfort vs. Chris Weidman UFC 173 – Of all the fights on paper this is the one I am most excited about. That said, how many times are fans going to get bit by Vitor Belfort’s championship chokes? Belfort is an exciting fighter whenever he is not challenging for a title. I think this is the most intriguing fight on the docket yet I don’t know how many fans are going to buy into Vitor. Add in the TRT controversy and Belfort is more of a turnoff in this situation. The saving grace here is Wanderlei vs. Chael which could push this event past 500,000 buys.

Quite honestly the more intriguing headliners to me are on the free shows. Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousassi, Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua, Michael Bisping vs. Tim Kennedy, Roy Nelson vs. Bog Nog, and Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum are better fights to me than most of the headliners.

Looking at the rest of the year there is nothing I can see that will fill the void left of by GSP in regards to pay-per-view buyrates. I don’t trust Jon Jones at all in selling the Gustafsson rematch. Teixera winning and a rematch with Jones could be a big one. Cain Velasquez will fight later this year but neither Fabricio nor Browne are opponents that anyone will get excited about. Machida vs. the Belfort vs. Weidman winner could be interesting but Machida has never been a big pay-per-view draw. Rousey vs. Cat Zingano is a fun fight but I don’t see either one doing the kind of promotion necessary to push it over the top. A miracle BJ Penn win over Frankie Edgar could make him an unlikely title challenger in what would be a huge fight. Any hope that GSP will come back and fight the Hendricks vs. Lawler winner seems to be dissipating with Dana White’s classless verbal attacks. If there is a big one I am missing let me know because all I am seeing is a bunch of okay fights lacking star power.

What is the UFC to do? There are no super fights available to solve this problem. The only super fight that is out there is Jones vs. Cain and according to Jones, he wouldn’t even entertain that until 2015. The UFC are going to have to work hard at creating new stars and using 2014 as something of a rebuilding year. Professional franchises do it all of the time. The UFC can still have a decent year while getting new faces and new stars ready for the future.

If not, 2015 is going to be an even uglier year for the UFC.

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UFC 168 Instant Video on Amazon.com

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC 168 Weidman Vs. Silva 2 Predictions and Preview

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

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

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Robbie Peralta via TKO in Round Three

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

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

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

Quick Pick: William Macario via Submission in Round Two

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Siyar Bahadurzada via TKO in Round Two

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Dennis Siver via Unanimous Decision.

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Chris Leben via Split Decision

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Dustin Poirier via Unanimous Decision

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Josh Barnett via Unanimous Decision

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Ronda Rousey via Submission in Round Two

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

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

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

Quick Pick: Chris Weidman via Submission in Round Four

UFC 168 Instant Video on Amazon.com

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

The Unraveling Of Ronda Rousey On UFC TUF 18

September 16, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The Ultimate Fighter season 18 is underway and it has started off with a bang. The coaching rivalry is delivering and the fights have been fantastic. Yet it is Ronda Rousey who is by far the most compelling dynamic of the show.

I have been off The Ultimate Fighter bandwagon for awhile. The last season that kept me hooked from beginning to end was the Chuck vs. Tito season. The UFC ran out of undiscovered gems and the coaching rivalries have greatly disappointed (although I was hooked on the Faber vs. Cruz rivalry before Cruz got hurt.) The addition of women fighters and women coaches was a gutsy yet brilliant move on behalf of Fox and the UFC.

When Dana White compared the Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate coaching rivalry to Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz he wasn’t overselling it. It is almost identical to that great season. Shamrock was the fan favorite going into the season with Ortiz as the company’s biggest heel. However once the season played out the roles reversed with Tito becoming the unlikely sympathetic fighter. Two episodes in that is exactly how this is playing out and I don’t know if that’s a good thing for the UFC.

The UFC have invested a lot of time and money into Rousey. She has become the face of the company in less than a year. They have carefully crafted this image of Rousey as a humble, shy, genuine athlete available to be your kid’s role model. In just two episodes that image has become unraveled and as fascinating as it is to watch, I can’t help but think that this is something that could blow up in their faces.

Not only is Rousey crazy, but she is extremely arrogant and unlikeable compared to Tate. Tate comes off almost exactly like Tito did as one of the few coaches there for the fighters. Tate not only seems to genuinely care for her fighters, she appears to be there to help them win. She also seems to dismiss Rousey as…well crazy, the same that Tito did to Ken. It is almost as if these girls watched the show and made a silent agreement to replicate it.

Rousey started off the show with a bang when she walked out after Tate entered. Now the story on that has surfaced and if viewers knew the story, Rousey may not have looked as bad. However, unless they are going out of their way to find out on the Internet all they saw was a spoiled brat walking off the set. I could be wrong but I don’t remember any coach in TUF history walking off the set after a coaching change.

The second episode showed Rousey at her worst. Rousey had the chance to pick the first fight. The idea behind picking the first fight is that coaches can pick a fight to give their fighters a competitive advantage. Pick what you think will be the easiest fight for your fighter so your fighter stays fresh and moves on to the next round. That is the whole idea behind the advantage. Rousey never got the memo.

Rousey instead went into business all for herself. Instead of picking an easy fight for her fighter or looking for a competitive advantage, she wanted to mess with Tate. She picked her best fighter to go against Tate’s best fighter to “take the heart of the team out.” It sounds great for television drama but it is probably one of the most selfish moves a coach can make.

Rousey is there to coach and one would suspect that she would come up with a competitive game plan because after all, her fighter is fighting the number one draft pick. Nope. Instead Rousey proudly says she did not give Shana a game plan. On the other side, Tate and her team are working on techniques and a strategy with Juliana. Tate is talking about Juliana while Rousey is consumed with Tate. This ranked right up there with Rampage’s “Get up Abe” strategy which I should point out, was at least a strategy.

The fight itself was a fantastic fight and Rousey’s fighter lost. Who could have guessed that a fighter would have lost a fight against the top pick without a game plan? Rousey then gets emotional and is upset at Tate for smiling at the victory. Keep in mind Tate didn’t mock Shana in any way and what coach wouldn’t be happy to see her fighter beat the best fighter in the house? Rousey then starts crying and cuts a random promo on Tate. Tate had the best retort of the show when she told Rousey that Shana was her friend, completely debunking Rousey’s wild imagination that Shana was being mocked.

It gets better! Tate now gets to pick the next fight in the house. Tate picks a fight against one of Rousey’s guys who has an injured hand. Rousey goes off about how much of a coward and bogus move it was on Tate’s part. Does she not understand the idea of a competitive advantage? This is also coming from the same woman who wanted to “take the heart out of the team.” She is insane and the idea she wouldn’t look for those advantages tells you all you need to know about how interests compared to Tate’s.

Needless to say I am hooked! It is impossible to look away from this train wreck. Unfortunately the carefully crafted image the UFC created for Rousey is being blown away to pieces every Wednesday night. That can’t be a good thing for anyone.

Well anyone except Miesha Tate who will now go into the fight with Rousey as one of the most popular fighters in the company. A win for Tate would make this gamble pay off for everyone. Unfortunately the chances of that happening aren’t very good.

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC TUF 18: Rousey Vs. Tate Trailer Doesn’t Live Up To The Hype

July 30, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos

The first trailer has hit YouTube for the UFC’s upcoming The Ultimate Fighter season. The Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate preview is pretty good but doesn’t come anywhere close to living up the hype and you can thank Dana White for that.

I watched the trailer and while it wasn’t a bad trailer, but I couldn’t help but think that it is hardly representative of the season currently being hyped by the UFC president. Dana White has called the season crazy and said that Miesha vs. Ronda was the best coaching rivalry in TUF history. Maybe it is but you’d never know from the trailer.

Dana White is the biggest problem with The Ultimate Fighter. Every season he comes out and talks about how great the season is, how much the coaches hate each other, the chaos, etc, etc and of the 17 seasons I can only remember two that actually lived up to any of his hype. I am still waiting for the fireworks he promised between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen.

In my opinion the most entertaining season from a coaching rivalry was the Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock season. Most of that credit goes to Ken and Tito who were working their angle from the start. White compared the upcoming season to the TUF 3 rivalry in a recent interview.

It’s Ken-Tito type stuff,” White said. “I don’t even know if some of the stuff will make TV. Those two do not like each other, and their camps do not like each other. And it’s just pure f—ing mayhem every day.

That is the kind of stuff I can’t stand about Dana White. He hypes everything and it’s always better than the best yet it rarely if ever lives up to any of his hype. I saw nothing in that trailer that reminded me of Ken vs. Tito. Rousey slapping something out of Tate’s hands is nothing compared to TUF 3 and the TUF 10 rivalry between Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson. Don’t get me wrong. If I had never read Dana’s quotes I would have thought the season looked really good. But I am now watching it and comparing it to TUF 3 and 10 and I just don’t see it.

Maybe I am wrong and the best is yet to come. I just find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t share even a shred of the best material on the first show preview. I’ll give the show a chance which is more than I did with the last few seasons (although I really did wind up enjoying the Cruz vs. Faber dynamic). I just think FOX really needs to pull Dana back a bit unless they really are confident that they can deliver the fireworks he’s promised.

At this point I’m just not seeing it.

UFC 162 Silva vs. Weidman DVD

Anderson Silva – MMA Instruction Manual

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com