Subscribe

Ronda Rousey Could Be Headlining WWE WrestleMania 32

March 30, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The worlds of WWE and the UFC have converged once again. This time these two juggernauts are spinning around the axis of Ronda Rousey. What’s next for the UFC champ after locking up the arm of the Billion Dollar Princess?

Rousey has been hanging around the WWE for several months now, so seeing Rousey at ringside cheering for her friends at WrestleMania 31 was expected. Seeing Rousey inside of the WWE ring judo-tossing one of the members of the Board of Directors was not. Where in the world is this going and how this story will end is what everyone is talking about today.

The latest reports coming out are that Rousey’s appearance inside of the ring at a WrestleMania will not be isolated to San Francisco. Most reports are putting Rousey back in a WrestleMania ring next year in Dallas, Texas at 32. While everything is just pure speculation at this point, Rousey headlining WrestleMania 32 would be Vince McMahon’s biggest coup since signing Mike Tyson in 1998.

Dave Meltzer reported on his F4WOnline.com podcast that Rousey is expected to be a part of WrestleMania 32. Dave reports that it is pure speculation right now but Rousey will either be in Rock’s corner vs. Triple H or teaming with Rock against Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Just having Ronda on the show will be huge, but actually getting her in a wrestling ring is a great start in making WrestleMania 32 the biggest ever.

The plan going into next year is to make WrestleMania 32 the biggest Mania of all-time. I wasn’t sure how you did that a week ago with the current roster. Yet the picture is much clearer today with Ronda in the mix and Brock re-signed. The WWE will have a lot of seats to fill in Jerry World and the intrigue of seeing the most popular UFC star teaming with the most popular pro wrestling star certainly doesn’t hurt.

The wild card here has always been Dana White. The UFC president has been adamant against his fighters doing pro wrestling. Even undercard guys like Tom Lawlor can’t wrestle in a pro wrestling ring. Vince McMahon has tried to make deals with White in the past. The most well-known was back when Brock was UFC champion and he wanted to book Brock vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania. White shut that down and even invitation from Vince for White to “fight” McMahon at Mania. Why has the UFC president shifted his position all of the sudden?

I think it benefits everyone. The UFC is at a place now where there will be no confusion with fans seeing one of its biggest stars doing pro wrestling. The UFC is also coming off of a disappointing year. While 2015 has been great thus far for the company, there aren’t a whole lot of big fights left on the horizon. Anderson Silva and GSP are probably done, at least in 2015. He already saw the kind of money Brock drew with pro wrestling fans. Bringing those same fans back to watch Ronda is a stroke of genius on his part.

The UFC has to be getting something here. It can’t be purely money or this deal would have been done years ago. My first thought was CM Punk. Punk hates the WWE and he isn’t coming back. However, maybe White uses the WWE to promote Punk’s UFC debut? Maybe the WWE offer up footage for the UFC to use to promote Punk? My hunch and it is only a hunch, is that somehow this is paid off with Punk. I wouldn’t expect to see Punk on WWE television promoting his fight but you never know. Stranger things have happened but that one would be really strange.

At the end of the day Vince McMahon got his man and his woman. He re-signed Brock and was able to do the unthinkable and that is get Ronda Rousey in a WWE ring at WrestleMania. It’s a win-win for everyone and it will only get better as we get closed to WrestleMania 32.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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

WWE WrestleMania 31 Results: Seth Rollins Cashes In, Ronda Rousey Appears

March 29, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Seth Rollins WrestleMania 31Expectations for WrestleMania 31 may have been low, yet the show will go down as one of the most exciting in recent years. This year’s event was packed with surprises ranging from surprise appearances and a new WWE world champion that wasn’t even scheduled in the match.

Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to become the new WWE world champion. Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns fought a grueling match for about fifteen minutes. A bloody Brock and beaten Reigns were down when Rollins cashed in to make it a Triple Threat Match. Rollins came in and curb stomped Brock but wound up getting Rollins up for the F5. Reigns speared Brock as he held Rollins. Rollins popped up, hit a curb stomp on Reigns and pinned Reigns to win the title.

The booking was excellent and while many predicted Rollins would cash in, nobody predicted it would go down in this fashion. Quite honestly I never knew you could cash in the briefcase during the match. I think it was the right move at the right time. Putting Reigns over would have been a mistake. He was booed more than any other babyface tonight including John Cena. The crowd just isn’t buying him right now. It was also time to take the title off of Lesnar. I don’t know what would marketable match would be next for him if he steamrolled another opponent. Now the WWE can go with Rollins vs. Reigns through August and Rollins vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam for the title.

But that may not be the biggest surprise of the event. The biggest surprise was getting UFC Ronda Rousey in the ring for what appears to be the start of her pro wrestling career. Rousey got physical with both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H to set up what looks like to be a mixed-tag team match with Rousey and the Rock vs. Hunter and Stephanie. Rock came out as a surprise and interrupted a promo with the Authority. Stephanie slapped him and challenged him to hit a woman. He went to ringside and got a woman who “would hit a woman.” Steph told Ronda to get out of her ring, Ronda wound up putting an arm bar on Steph and stood tall with Rock. Rousey was great and the fans absolutely loved her. They were chanting her name before she even got into the ring.

It does appear that Rock and Rousey will tag up against Hunter and Stephanie next year at WrestleMania 32. The WWE were looking for something big for AT&T Stadium and the dream team of Rousey and Rock may do it. They are already generating a ton of mainstream media buzz. I have to hand it to the WWE. They have wanted Rousey for a while now and they pulled off quite a coup to get her. UFC president Dana White has been adamant against fighters doing pro wrestling for years, including prohibiting Brock wrestling Undertaker when Brock was UFC champion. Obviously he has acquiesced and my bet is that the compromise will be WWE promoting CM Punk’s UFC debut. I have no idea whether that is the case or not, but Dana had to get something big in return for Rousey wrestling on WrestleMania.

Triple H defeated Sting in a pretty fun match. It wasn’t the best match on the card and really hurt following what I thought was a fantastic Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins match. But Sting looked great, the fans ate it up, and we got some fun surprises here. The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac came out to help Triple H and were countered by the n.W.o. group of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall. The match ended with Shawn Michaels coming out of nowhere to hit Sting with Sweet Chin Music. Triple H eventually got the pin after using the broken top of a sledgehammer. Everyone hugged after the match signifying the official end of the Monday Night War.

John Cena beat Rusev to win the US title. I am stunned by the decision here. I have no problem with Cena but I think Rusev should have remained unbeaten until he lost to the WWE champion. I think the WWE could have had something with Rusev against either Brock or the WWE champion and while those could still do business, it’s not the same. Rusev ran into Lana inadvertently at the end of the match. Lana was selling her ankle and Rusev yelled at her and walked out.

Undertaker beat Bray Wyatt. I’d say that Undertaker looked a lot better than last year. He moved much better and it was fun seeing him back in the ring. That said, the match was pretty mundane. That could be that I had already watched four hours of wrestling up to that point and just got out of what seemed like an hour-long segment with Rock and Rousey vs. the Authority. I should note that Undertaker was shown in the commercial promoting WrestleMania 32.

Other notes: Daniel Bryan won gold again at WrestleMania. Bryan won the intercontinental title in the Ladder Match. This was a real fun match and probably one of the better Mania openers. This was a pretty crazy match but it was Bryan and Dolph Ziggler who stole it in my opinion. Randy Orton pinned Seth Rollins in what I’d dare say was one of the best Mania matches on the card. I loved the match and it obviously sets up Orton challenging Rollins at some point coming off of the clean pin.

Overall I would call this one of the best Mania cards top to bottom in some time. The show had a ton of surprise and the pace was fast throughout the night. Five hours of wrestling is a lot of wrestling in one sitting but it really didn’t catch up until the Wyatt vs. Taker match at around 10 PM. I’d highly recommend checking out the show if you haven’t already. For a show with low expectations, this one could go down top to bottom as one of the all-time best in Mania history.

Full WWE WrestleMania 31 results and winners…
Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat Match to win the  WWE World Heavyweight Title
John Cena defeated Rusev to win the WWE United States Title
Daniel Bryan defeated Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper, Stardust, and Bad News Barrett in a Ladder Match to win the WWE Intercontinental Title
Triple H defeated Sting
AJ Lee and Paige defeated The Bella Twins
Randy Orton defeated Seth Rollins
The Undertaker defeated Bray Wyatt
The Big Show won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd  defeated The Usos, Los Matadores, and Big E and Kofi Kingston in a Fatal 4 Way to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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

UFC Must Make Ronda Rousey vs. Cyborg

March 03, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

It took a combined 60 seconds for Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg Justino to dominate their opponents this past weekend. The time for joking is over, it’s time for Rousey to either fight or face the consequences that come with avoiding her most devastating opponent.

UFC president Dana White gets credit for a lot of things but his biggest failure as promoter has been his inability to deliver big super fights. Promises are often made, yet fights are never delivered. White can turn this all around by pulling off the biggest fight in WMMA history. How he continues to let this one slip past his fingers is just simply mind boggling.

The UFC is faced with an unenviable dilemma. Does the organization sacrifice an entire division for one super fight? Those are the stakes of booking Ronda Rousey vs. Cris “Cyborg” Justino. The fight is arguably the biggest fight the promotion could pull off at this time yet the ramifications of a Rousey massacre could be devastating. Without Rousey there is no WMMA. While that may be a harsh statement to make it is a fact. Nobody else, including Cyborg is pulling the kind of mainstream attention that Rousey is. Knowing that the odds of Rousey winning a fight against Cyborg as the same as Rousey losing, this has become one tough fight for the UFC to make.

Many will give the UFC credit. Many will say that the UFC has been attempting to make this fight since Rousey debuted in 2013. That may be true but there is a catch. The UFC has been attempting to make this fight at 135. See, Cyborg fights at 145 and walks around much heavier. Rousey moved down in weight in 2011 to 135. White and Rousey have said repeatedly that they’d take the fight at 135, giving Rousey a distinct advantage. Yet Rousey has been adamant that she will not fight a pound heavier, when challenged to a catch weight fight of 140 pounds and yet she continues to use this 135 shield to avoid criticism from her promoter and MMA journalists.

Justino is not well liked and this has worked against her when it comes to critics. Many speculated that Justino was on performance enhancing drugs for years as an MMA fighter. Nobody ever gave Justino the full respect she probably deserved over this speculation. Justino has tested once for PEDs, back in 2011. Yes she has tested once in her 10-year WMMA career for PEDs and yet she has had to bare this cross before and after then. Rousey would have pressure to fight anyone else in this situation but Justino will never get that kind of support. Justino has fought three times since and has passed all PED tests.

After demolishing Cat Zingano in 14 seconds, Rousey is now being compared to Mike Tyson. I couldn’t think of a better analogy. I watched Tyson fight seemingly every three months as a kid. He was an animal! Yet even I remember back then many of Tyson’s critics pointing out that he was avoiding top-caliber opponents. Once Tyson got in the ring with guys like Holyfield and Lewis, his aura disappeared. Rousey, like Tyson is avoiding her toughest potential challenge. Her legacy will not be cemented until she climbs that mountain.

“She’s not in the UFC. If she wants to come to the UFC and fight at 135, then yes, I would,” Rousey told Ariel Helwani after winning at UFC 184. “(She won) against some chick that I beat on like my second pro-fight ever, in what, 40 seconds? Not really (impressed).”

Rousey’s not impressed? This comes from the same Rousey who stood inside the octagon on Saturday night issuing challenges to Bethe Correia and Holly Holm. With all due respect to both women, each are big mismatches next to Rousey. Yet Rousey shows no interest in fighting her rival who just obliterated her opponent in under a minute on Friday night. How anyone can take this seriously is beyond me?

Dana White has pressed many former champions to take super fights in the past. White however has no problem with Rousey’s 135 pound demand. It was okay to pressure GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and others to take super fights with catchweights for years. I can’t understand how he can defend this with a straight face.

Rousey likes to carry the banner for WMMA. The biggest thing she could do for WMMA is fight Cyborg. That fight would be the biggest WMMA fight in history and could potentially break one million buys. The media attention for a fight of that magnitude would be enormous for WMMA. Yet she is perfectly content letting Justino fight in Invicta while she challenges subpar competition and WMMA continues to struggle. That’s just the facts whether you like Rousey, hate Justino, or just don’t care.

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

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