Subscribe

UFC On FOX 7 Predictions and Analysis

April 19, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The UFC delivered an exciting finale, to one of the most exciting seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in recent memory last weekend. They’re not giving that event much time to simmer in our memories, as they move forward with another free event, this time on network television as the 7th UFC on Fox event goes off this weekend. The UFC returns to California, more specifically to San Jose, California, the home base of their former sister promotion Strikeforce.

It’s fitting that the UFC is hosting this event in San Jose and at the HP Pavilion the home of a number of Strikeforce shows in the past, since this card features a number of fighters that were prominent in Strikeforce’s success. In main card action former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson battles former Lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz. Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner and emerging star Daniel Cormier battles former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir in the co-main event. And in the main event of the evening UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson makes yet another appearance on the Fox Network as he battles the final Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez in a battle of two champions.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Middleweight Bout: Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero

Clifford Starks is a 31-year-old fighter from Pomona, California. Starks is a member of the Arizona Combat Sports Gym training in Tempe, Arizona. Starks is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Arizona State University. He holds a professional MMA record of 8-1. Yoel “Soldado de Dios” Romero is a 35-year-old fighter from Pinar del Rio, Cuba. He is a former member of the Cuban Olympic wrestling team. He now trains with the Kampfsport Althof Gym in Palmdale, California. He holds a professional MMA record of 4-1.

Quick Pick: Yoel Romero via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Lightweight Bout: Anthony Njokuani vs. Roger Bowling

Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani is a 33-year-oldfighter from Lagos, Nigeria. Njokuani is a talented striker who is a member of the Janjira Muay Thai Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada. Njokuani holds a professional MMA record of 15-7 with 1 No Contest. Roger “Relentless” Bowling is a 30-year-old fighter from Neville, Ohio. Bowling is making his UFC debut after his Strikeforce career. Bowling is a member of Team Vision training out of Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a professional record of 11-3.

Quick Pick: Anthony Njokuani via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Bantamweight Bout: TJ Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana

TJ “The Viper” Dillashaw is a 27-year-old fighter from Sonora, California. Dillashaw is a former cast member of The Ultimate Fighter and is also a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Cal State Fullerton. Dillashaw trains with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. He holds a career record of 7-1. Hugo “Wolverine” Viana is a 30-year-old Brazilian fighter from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Viana is a member of the Champion Fight Team in his hometown. Viana is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He holds a perfect professional record of 7-0.

Quick Pick: TJ Dillashaw via Submission in Round Two

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Tim Means vs. Jorge Masvidal

Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means is a 29-year-old fighter from Wilburton, Oklahoma. Means is a former King of the Cage Lightweight Champion. Means is a member of the Power MMA Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds a professional record of 18-3-1. Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal is a 28-year-old fighter from Miami, Florida. Masvidal is a member of the American Top Team training out of Miami. He is a former professional boxer, who will be making his UFC debut in this fight. He holds a professional record of 23-7.

Quick Pick: Tim Means via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Flyweight Bout: Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama

Joseph “Beefcake” Benavidez is a 28-year-old fighter from San Antonio, Texas. Benavidez was a State Wrestling Champion during his high-school wrestling career. Benavidez is a member of the Team Alpha Male Gym training in Sacramento, California. He holds a professional record of 17-3 with the losses coming against only current UFC Champions Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson. Darren “BC” Uyenoyama is a 33-year-old fighter from San Francisco, California. Uyenoyama has fought for a number of major MMA promotions including Strikeforce, Dream, Shooto and DEEP. He holds a professional MMA record of 8-3.

Quick Pick: Joseph Benavidez via TKO in Round One

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Ramsey Nijem vs. Myles Jury

Ramsey Nijem is a 25-year-old fighter from Concord, California. He is a former cast member of The Ultimate Fighter, where he made it to the finals of the show’s tournament. Nijem is a member of the Pit Elevated Gym, training in Orem, Utah with the likes of Court McGee and Steven Siler. Nijem holds a professional record of 7-2. Myles “The Fury” Jury is a 24-year-old fighter from Hazel Park, Michigan. Jury is a member of the Alliance MMA Gym in San Diego, California. Jury is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who holds a perfect professional record of 11-0.

Quick Pick: Myles Jury via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Middleweight Bout: Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin

Francis “Limitless” Carmont is a 31-year-old fighter from Sant-Tropez, France. Carmont is now a member of the Tristar Gym training out of Montreal, Quebec alongside fighters like Georges St. Pierre and Rory MacDonald. Carmont holds a professional MMA record of 20-7. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin is a 26-year-old fighter from Riverside, California. Larkin is a member of his own gym Team Monsoon in his hometown of Riverside. Larkin will be making his UFC debut after spending his recent career in Strikeforce. He holds a career record of 13-0 with 1 No Contest.

Quick Pick: Lorenz Larkin via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Featherweight Bout: Chad Mendes vs. Darren Elkins

Chad “Money” Mendes is a 27-year-old fighter from Hanford, California. Mendes is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from California Polytechnic State University. Mendes is a member of Team Alpha Male and is one of the top ranked Featherweight fighters in the UFC. He holds a professional record of 13-1, with the lone loss coming to UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. Darren “The Damage” Elkins is a 28-year-old fighter from Hobart, Indiana. Elkins is a member of the Duneland Vale Tudo Gym in his hometown of Hobart. Elkins is taking this bout as a late injury replacement for Clay Guida. Elkins holds a professional MMA record of 16-2.

Quick Pick: Chad Mendes via TKO in Round Two

Main Card (Fox): Welterweight Bout: Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein

Matt “The Immortal” Brown is a 32-year-old fighter from Xenia, Ohio. Brown was a cast member of the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. Brown is a member of Jorge Gurgel’s Gym in Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a brown belt in Judo and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Brown is known for his fan friendly style and his iron chin, having never been stopped via strikes in nearly 30 career bouts. He holds a professional MMA record of 16-11, but is currently on a bit of a career resurgence having won his last 4 bouts, 3 via stoppage.
Jordan “Young Gun” Mein is a 23-year-old Canadian fighter from Lethbridge, Alberta. Despite being only 23-years-old he has already accumulated 35 professional MMA bouts. Mein is a talented striker with amateur kickboxing experience, beginning his training very early in his childhood. Mein is taking this bout as an injury replacement for Dan Hardy, and recently made his UFC debut with an impressive first round stoppage of Dan Miller. Mein trains at the Canadian Martial Arts Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta. He holds a professional MMA record of 27-8.

Analysis and Prediction: Brown is a grinder with an iron chin, so he’s definitely not going to be overly scared of Mein’s striking credentials. We all saw what Brown did to heavily hyped striking prospect Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, as he basically put on a clinic on how to impose your will on a striker. That said, Mein is a far more talented mixed martial artist than Thompson. Although young he has been in the fight game for a long time, has a lot of cage experience and knows a lot of tricks. I expect Mein to come in with an intelligent game plan, he’ll use his strikes to work on a trip or a takedown from the clinch. From there his grappling is strong enough to control Brown or search for a submission in the scramble. Brown has the ability to make this fight interesting, but I think Mein is too talented as an all-around fighter. Jordan Mein via Submission in Round Two

Main Card (Fox): Lightweight Bout: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson

Nate Diaz is a 27-year-old fighter from Stockton, California. He is best known as a competitor and the eventual winner of the 5th season of The Ultimate Fighter. This will be Diaz’s first bout since losing his shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship against Benson Henderson. Diaz is a talented boxer, who employs a high-volume based boxing approach. Diaz is also a talented grappler with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Diaz trains with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team in Stockton, California, but has also been splitting his time with the Team Alpha Male Gym in Sacramento, California. He holds a professional MMA record of 16-8.

Josh “The Punk” Thomson is a 34-year-old fighter from San Jose, California. Thomson is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Thomson has fought for a number of major MMA promotions throughout his career, including a previous stint in the UFC, Pride FC in Japan and most recently Strikeforce. Thomson is a former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion who trains with the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. Thomson holds a professional MMA record of 19-5 with 1 No Contest.

Analysis and Prediction: Diaz should be well prepared for this fight, he is a training partner with Gilbert Melendez and Gilbert has spent 75 minutes in the cage with Thomson. The question will likely come down to Thomson and his well being entering the fight. He has had nagging injuries for the past few years of his career and they have often hindered his ability to compete. If he follows a smart, wrestling based game plan he has the ability to stifle Diaz. That said, if he tries to strike with Diaz, he’s probably going to get overwhelmed on the feet by Diaz’s high-volume, high-octane striking. In the end I’ll take a slight upset and think Thomson can pull it off, but it’ll be close. Josh Thomson via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Fox): Heavyweight Bout: Frank Mir vs. Daniel Cormier

Frank Mir is a 33-year-old fighter from Las Vegas, Nevada. Mir is a former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion. Mir holds a black belt in Kenpo Karate and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Mir is one of the most talented grapplers in the Heavyweight division and has won 9 bouts via Submission. Mir is a member of Greg Jackson’s camp training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mir holds a professional MMA record of 16-6, including being the only man to hold a submission victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Daniel “DC” Cormier is a 34-year-old fighter from Lafayette, Louisiana. Cormier is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler who wrestled at Oklahoma State University. Cormier is best known as the winner of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, after entering the event as a tournament alternate. Cormier is also a former member of the United States Freestyle Wrestling team. Cormier’s striking has been rapidly improving to compliment his wrestling ability. Cormier trains with the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California where he is a regular training partner of UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. Cormier has a perfect professional record of 11-0.

Analysis and Prediction: Frank Mir made the move to Greg Jackson’s camp for this fight and he said it has changed him as a fighter. Unfortunately, we’ve heard those words come from Mir a number of times, and it usually doesn’t end well for him. He’s one of the most talented grapplers in the Heavyweight division, but against Cormier, I don’t like the match up. Cormier is a technically sound striker with solid hand speed for a Heavyweight, he also moves well for a big man. Add to that Cormier’s rock-solid wrestling base and you know the fight isn’t hitting the ground unless Cormier wants it to. Cormier batters Mir on the feet and eventually pounds him out on the ground as Mir fades in the third. Daniel Cormier via TKO in Round Three

Main Card (Fox): UFC Lightweight Championship Bout: Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez

Benson “Smooth” Henderson is a 29-year-old fighter from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Henderson is the reigning and defending UFC Lightweight Champion. Henderson is a former NAIA All-American Wrestler from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. Henderson is now a member of the MMA Lab training in Glendale, Arizona. Henderson has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Henderson is also a former WEC Lightweight Champion. Like many collegiate wrestlers, Henderson has been improving his striking during his MMA training and is a formidable kick boxer. He holds a career record of 18-2.

Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez is a 31-year-old fighter from Santa Ana, California. Melendez was the final Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. Melendez is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who trains with the Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team in California. Melendez has fought for a number of major MMA promotions across the world including WEC, Rumble on the Rock, Shooto, Pride and Strikeforce. Melendez is a talented wrestler who uses top control and ground and pound to wear out his opponents and open them up for submission opportunities. Melendez holds a professional MMA record of 21-2 but has avenged both of his career losses.

Analysis and Prediction: I like Melendez a lot, but he’s had a long layoff, having not fought in nearly a year. Injuries and backstage drama with Strikeforce have kept him out of the cage since a less than impressive showing against Josh Thomson. After that fight Melendez said he found it hard to get motivated for a third fight with Thomson, but that sounds like a weak excuse for coming into a title fight against a dangerous opponent unprepared. Henderson on the other hand is coming off of a dominant performance against Melendez’s teammate Nate Diaz.

Melendez can definitely learn a few things from watching Diaz’s fight against Henderson, unfortunately he and Nate are fairly different fighters. I would expect to see a somewhat familiar game plan from the champion. I’d expect to see a heavy dose of thudding leg kicks from both the orthodox and southpaw stances, which should significantly slow down the shots of Melendez. Henderson is a technically sound striker and his stellar jab should be able to fend off the awkward striking advances of Melendez.
On the ground it’s likely a wash, with both men being excellent grapplers. However, the key will be which fighter is in top control and for that I give the edge to the champion, Henderson, who I believe has a more refined wrestling base than Melendez. In the end, top control and a solid jab carry the day for Henderson who I expect to retain the title via decision. Benson Henderson via Unanimous Decision

Georges St-Pierre: The Way of the Fight Book

Anderson Silva: Like Water

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Top 5 Nick Diaz Fight Memorable Fights

March 12, 2013 By: Category: lists, Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Nick Diaz may be the craziest fighter in MMA and that says a lot. Whether it is going toe to toe in a striking battle or fighting inside of a hospital room, there is never a dull moment in Diaz’s world. Here is a look back at his top five memorable fights in the cage.

Diaz is a very polarizing fighter. You either love him or hate him. I have always loved Diaz. He is fun, exciting, and probably is more honest than almost any other fighter in combat sports. Unfortunately that fire and honesty is what has both made and broke Nick Diaz yet also given fans some of the most exciting moments in MMA.

Diaz is just days away from the biggest fight of his career. Diaz will challenge UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in one of the most anticipated grudge matches in UFC history. Win, lose, or draw, Diaz is guaranteed to give you a show. Here is a look back at five of his greatest moments.

Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi: This was truly a make or break fight for Diaz. Diaz had just left the UFC after a brief return and many critics were questioning his motivations. Diaz came into the fight an underdog and was expected to be something of a sacrificial lamb for the lightweight champion. Instead, Diaz pulled off a huge upset.

Diaz showed his resilience by coming back from a poor start against Gomi. Diaz recovered and picked Gomi apart up top and once again put on a show with his hands. Gomi came back in round two and started to combat Diaz’s unorthodox standup attack. Gomi took the fight to the ground and wound up tapping to a Gogoplata.

The fight handed Gomi only his fourth loss of his career at a time where Gomi considered one of the hottest MMA stars in the world. Unfortunately for Nick the decision was later declared a no contest after Diaz tested positive for marijuana. Commission chairman Tony Alamo went on to accuse Diaz of fighting intoxicated, believing that the high made him numb to any pain.

Regardless of how it turned out, the win (at least on that night) was the biggest moment of Diaz’s career.

Nick Diaz vs. BJ Penn: Diaz returned to the UFC with intentions of meeting welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Instead, Diaz was pitted against a former training partner and friend in BJ Penn after Diaz no-showed several press conferences. As soon as the fight was signed the friendship was out the window and the trash talking began.

What makes this such a great moment for Diaz is that he had everything on the line that night. Diaz returned to the UFC a superstar and was given a title shot right off the bat. A loss here would have derailed his title aspirations, and a decisive loss could have ended Diaz’s UFC career after all of the turmoil behind the scenes. Just like the Diaz vs. Shamrock fight, Diaz once again put out a legend.

This was a great fight, much better than people give it credit for. Penn came out strong and had a fantastic first round. Then in true Diaz fashion, he rebounded and began to pick Penn apart in the striking game. By the end Diaz battered and beat Penn so badly that Penn went into semi-retirement. Diaz won a decisive decision and put the UFC and GSP on notice.

Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons 2: I was on the fence here with this and the Robbie Lawler fight but in the end I think this one is the way to go. Diaz tried for months to get a rematch with Noons, even going as far as to start a riot in Hawaii. He finally got his rematch and showed the world that he had really turned the corner as a fighter and went on to avenge a bitter loss.

Noons was no match for the quick hands and freakish reach of Diaz. The champion opened up early on Noons and dropped him inside of the first round. Diaz wasn’t able to finish his rival but he did earn a decisive decision. To me this really showed how far Diaz had turned the corner. To come back from such a bad loss in such a decisive way was truly impressive. It was at this point where Diaz looked simply untouchable.

Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley: I dare anyone to watch the first round of this fight and tell me that it isn’t one of the greatest rounds of fighting in MMA history. The round featured five minutes of high drama with both fighters knocking each other down due to repeated strikes to the face and head. The fight ended with seconds to go in the round as Diaz KO’d Daley for the win.

A look back at the Compustrike stats show that both fighters landed a combined 90 strikes in the first round with 164 strikes in total being thrown. Diaz hit on 61% while Daley hit on 47%. The win was beautiful as the two laid claim to an iconic fight. It didn’t have the same prestige as beating Shamrock or Gomi but it put Diaz at a different level in the eyes of fans and critics in my opinion.

Nick Diaz vs. Frank Shamrock: It was the trash talking Diaz vs. the elder statesman of MMA in what could be the biggest grudge fight in Strikeforce history. Diaz delivered more than some fighters offer in the octagon in just the press conference staredown alone. It wasn’t pretty if you were a Shamrock fan but it was a classic.

Just shortly after giving Shamrock the finger, Diaz went on to pepper Shamrock and give fans a clinic in standup striking. Diaz outclassed Shamrock for two rounds and let him know about it. Diaz kept talking trash while punching Shamrock in the face and the former UFC champion didn’t have an answer. It was truly a passing of the guard and a tremendous Strikeforce debut for Diaz.

Anderson Silva: Like Water Documentary

UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2012

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Ronda Rousey To UFC, Strikeforce MMA Closing

November 09, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

You knew it was coming! Strikeforce MMA is closing shop. The promotion’s January event will be the last. Fighters will begin to migrate over to the UFC starting with a brand new UFC champion.

TMZ was the first to break the news (amazing with hundreds of MMA reporters on the payroll that TMZ breaks the story) on Thursday that Zuffa and Showtime will be ending their relationship which will result in the end of Strikeforce. The first casualty of this is Ronda Rousey who didn’t even need to wait to find a new job. Rousey will be entering the UFC as the new UFC 135 pound women’s champion.

Dave Meltzer provided a detailed report on his F4Wonline.com podcast. According to Meltzer the move was seen as inevitable once Steven Espinoza took over as Showtime’s VP sports programming. Espinoza is a boxing guy and Meltzer speculates that rather than replace Strikeforce with a new MMA company, Espinoza could use the freed up money for boxing.

The writing has been on the wall for over a year, so much so that many in the MMA world were shocked when Showtime renewed their deal with Zuffa last year. Things really came to a head when Showtime cancelled a second consecutive event leaving many in the MMA world speculating when, not if the deal with Strikeforce would end.

The January 12 event is already shaping up to be one of the most stacked Strikeforce events in recent memory. Daniel Cormier is scheduled to fight on the show although no opponent has been named. Gilbert Melendez is scheduled to defend the Strikeforce lightweight title against Pat Healy. Luke Rockhold will defend his title against Lorenz Larkin, while Nate Marquardt and Tarec Saffiedine will fight for the vacated middleweight title.

Skeptics are pondering whether a mysterious illness or injury to the top fighters would pull them off the show, thus saving them for an upcoming UFC event. According to Meltzer’s report most of these fighters are desperate for a pay day and will likely show up to fight. It wouldn’t shock me to see Cormier not fight and be saved for a UFC event but I would expect everyone else to show up.

Strikeforce marks yet another promotional acquisition by the UFC’s parent company which ended with the company closing for good. Previous purchases of Pride FC and WEC ended the same, although WEC had a nice run after the acquisition. For all of the praise that the UFC gets for business, these have to go down as some of the worst business decisions in company history. The fact that they haven’t been able to keep any of these companies afloat is certainly a mark on the Fertittas and Dana White’s legacies.

So what’s next post-Strikeforce? I’d guess that all of the champions move over to the UFC. I think the window has closed on any real interest in Strikeforce vs. UFC fights which is a real shame. Those could have been some big events last year. A few notable names like Josh Barnett, Frank Shamrock, and Nate Marquardt are former UFC stars that all ended their relationships with the UFC on bad terms. My hunch is that Marquardt comes back, Shamrock does not, and Barnett makes a surprise return. Dana recently revealed how he tried to sign Fedor and Brock Lesnar. He needs star depth in the heavyweight division. I think he makes a play at least for Barnett, regardless of the past.

I just don’t see any real appeal in cross promotional fights right now. Luke Rockhold vs. Anderson Silva is an interesting fight because it presents a new challenger to Silva, but it isn’t anything that will excite casual fans. Melendez vs. Ben Henderson would be fun but it is unlikely he’d fight Nate Diaz, which begs to question whether Melendez changes divisions if Diaz wins the title. Marquardt/ Saffiedine vs. Georges St-Pierre or Carlos Condit isn’t thrilling anyone either. I think they really missed the boat last year by immediately signing  Dan Henderson vs. Jon Jones, Frankie Edgar vs. Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz vs. Georges St-Pierre, and Alistair Overeem vs. Cain Velasquez in champion vs. champion fights. Ironically three of those fights

Meltzer also speculated that they could promote Rousey as soon as the UFC on FOX 6 show in January. He speculated that they could shoot Rousey vs. Cyborg to the main-event which would be a great way to promote the brand new women’s division in the UFC. He also pondered the idea of both coaching The Ultimate Fighter. I love that idea. The biggest problem with finding fighters for TUF these days is that anyone decent is fighting somewhere else. It would be easy to find a cast of hungry female fighters who brought the same kind of win or nothing passion to the show that the early season contestants brought. It is certainly an interesting idea.

It is a sad day if you ask me as a former Strikeforce fan. Strikeforce certainly had its hits and misses but I always found their cards (pre-Zuffa) fun and entertaining. Some have pointed to the Fedor Emelianenko contract as the nail in the Strikeforce coffin. Up until that deal the company was reportedly profitable. Once Fedor was signed the pressure was on to move to pay per view and up the game and neither happened, thus forcing a sale to UFC parent company Zuffa LLC in 2011.

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

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Frank Mir Injured, Out Of Daniel Cormier Strikeforce Fight

September 19, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The injury bug has bitten Zuffa once again. The hit this time comes to Strikeforce as one of the most anticipated Strikeforce fights of the year will have to wait. Frank Mir has pulled out of his fight with Daniel Cormier due to injury, thus putting the fight on hold.

MMAJunkie.com broke the news earlier this week. “An undisclosed injury has forced the ex-UFC champ to withdraw from “Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir,” which takes place Nov. 3 at Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., and airs live on Showtime and Showtime Extreme.

Ouch!

This isn’t as easy of a fight to reschedule as something like the cancelled Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo UFC featherweight title match that was just pulled off of UFC 153. The issue here is that this was to be Daniel Cormier’s final fight in Strikeforce. Cormier was scheduled to move to the UFC win or lose after the fight. Depending upon the length of time that Mir needs to recover, the fight may have to be scrapped altogether in order to get Cormier his final fight so he can proceed to the UFC.

The fight can certainly be rescheduled in the UFC and it probably will be. But for Strikeforce, this is devastating. There is nothing left on the table for Strikeforce this year that would have brought the promotion as much attention as this fight. The crossover promotion for Strikeforce and Showtime would have been tremendous. The only fight period left in Strikeforce that will bring any interest is a Cyborg Santos vs. Ronda Rousey fight, and it is arguable whether a female MMA Super Fight will have any impact outside of hardcore MMA fans.

Cormier may be the most cursed fighter in Strikeforce. Cormier has had to deal with a number of cancelled and rescheduled fights over the last few years. Cormier was bitten badly by the injury bug himself but appears to be healthy and ready to go. There is no official word that I have seen regarding whether Cormier will still fight on November 9 or sit out and wait.

This adds to one of the worst periods in Zuffa history where a main-event has been cancelled due to injuries almost weekly. It is ironic in a sense if you look back at how this fight came together. Former UFC champion Tim Sylvia claimed he was contacted and agreed to fight Cormier on the 9th and was stunned when the announcement was made about Mir-Cormier. It would not shock me at all to see Dana White and company go back to square one and try and bring in the former champion to replace Mir.

The November 9 Strikeforce show will still feature Luke Rockhold’s second Middleweight title defense against and former Olympian Sara McMann will also make her Strikeforce debut.

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil)

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

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman Predictions & Analysis

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

Another weekend and another major MMA event for Zuffa. This time instead of the world-famous octagon of the UFC, action will be taking place inside the hexagonal cage of Strikeforce. Back once again in it’s home state of California the UFC’s sister promotion brings an event headlined by the new face of Women’s MMA Ronda Rousey. Live this Saturday from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California Strikeforce presents a five-bout main card on Showtime. Because we’re a little short on time this weekend, I’m going to skip the usual background information on the bouts and get right into analysis.

Preliminary Card (Showtime Extreme): Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Hiroko Yamanaka vs. Germaine de Randamie

Hiroko “The Incomplete Queen” Yamanaka is one of Japan’s top female fighters. She is a talented and well-rounded fighter who has decent striking skills and has a strong submission grappling game when she is able to ply her trade from the top position. Unfortunately she’s most notable for getting pasted by Christiane “Cyborg” Santos in her Strikeforce debut. Germanie “The Iron Lady” de Randamie is a Muay Thai striker from the Netherlands. She has very little experience and a modest 2-2 record. For me this bout is simply going to come down to experience, and the edge in that department goes to Yamanaka. I expect her to weather the early storm and eventually drag her opponent to the mat before finding a submission late in round one. Hiroko Yamanaka via Submission in Round One

Preliminary Card (Showtime Extreme): Middleweight Bout: Adlan Amagov vs. Keith Berry

Adlan “The Wolf” Amagov is a Russian fighter who now lives and trains stateside in Fairfield, New Jersey. Amagov has decent grappling skills and an aggressive striking game. At times he over relies on his big right hand, but he can also cause a lot of damage with big overhand rights if he doesn’t get caught over-committing like what happened to him against Robbie Lawler in his last bout. Keith “KO Kid” Berry is 0-2 in Strikeforce and has been dominated on the ground in both fights. Berry has an unimpressive record of 11-9 and has struggled against even mediocre fighters in the past. Amagov might make it interesting if he gets overly aggressive and takes a couple punches, but he’s the better fighter and he should stop Berry in the first or second. Adlan Amagov via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (Showtime Extreme): Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green vs. Matt Ricehouse

Bobby “King” Green is a former King of the Cage Lightweight Champion and is probably best known for appearing on an episode of Bully Beatdown. He is a talented grappler with a blue belt in BJJ, he owns fifteen stoppage victories in 18 career wins. Matt Ricehouse is an undefeated fighter from St. Louis and is one of Strikeforce’s top homegrown talents. He is a talented grappler who is the only man to defeat Ryan Couture. This is a match between two talented fighters and despite Green’s edge in experience I actually like Ricehouse in this bout. I think their striking is about even, perhaps a slight edge to Green and their ground games are close, with a slight edge to Ricehouse. In a fight like that, I favor the guy who will likely spend the most time in top control and in my opinion that’s going to be Ricehouse, who takes home a decision. Matt Ricehouse via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Showtime Extreme): Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie

Miesha “Takedown” Tate is the former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, a belt she lost to current champ Ronda Rousey. Tate is a member of the Team Alpha Male Gym and has shown some promise in her career so far. She has decent striking and excellent takedowns, she’s also extremely tough as her bout with Rousey proved. Julie “Fireball” Kedzie is a Tae Kwan DO and BJJ fighter. She is a member of Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico. Tate is probably the more talented fighter, but Kedzie has the kind of style to give anyone fights. It’ll be closer than most people expect, but I think Tate can still pull this one off, using takedowns and positional advantage to take a decision. Miesha Tate via Unanimous Decision

Check out the full Camel Clutch Blog Pro Wrestling and MMA store for videos, t-shirts, books, and more.

Main Card (Showtime): Light Heavyweight Bout: Ovince St. Preux vs. TJ Cook

Ovince “OSP” St. Preux is a Haitian-American fighter who is a former NCAA Football player, playing Linebacker for the University of Tennessee. He is a well-conditioned athlete, strong and agile for his size. He has also developed a strong striking game based mainly around his speed advantages and his ability to counterpunch effectively. TJ Cook is an aggressive striker who has looked less than impressive in the grappling department. Although Cook is a decent striker, he’ll be giving up 7.5-inches of reach against a talented counter-striker in OSP, which will be challenging for him to overcome. Add that to the fact that he was schooled on the ground in his Strikeforce debut against Trevor Smith and it’s hard to imagine him having a lot of success against OSP. St. Preux was a top prospect before he got fed to Gegard Mousasi, I think he rights the ship with an impressive KO victory. Ovince St. Preux via KO in Round Two

Main Card (Showtime): Middleweight Bout: Lumumba Sayers vs. Anthony Smith

Lumumba “Heavy Hands” Sayers is a talented striker from Denver, Colorado. He lost his promotional debut but has since rallied back with two stoppage victories over Antwain Britt (via KO) and Scott Smith (via Submission.) Sayers is well-rounded and isn’t afraid to back down from a brawl if the opportunity presents itself, so this bout might have some potential for fireworks. Anthony “Lion heart” Smith has very little big show experience, going 1-1 in his past Strikeforce fights. He is definitely a gamer who comes to fight, as he’s never been to a decision in his professional career. Sayers should have the edge basically wherever this fight goes and Smith hasn’t shown anything impressive except for a willingness to move forward and put on exciting fights, which is probably what earned him a spot on the main card. Unfortunately for him, he’s basically a sacrificial lamb for Sayers. Lumumba Sayers via KO in Round One

Main Card (Showtime): Welterweight Bout: Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling

Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine is a talented fighter from Belgium, who may actually be knocking on the door of being the next to challenge for Nate Marquardt’s Welterweight title. Saffiedine is a talented striker, although he looked somewhat shaky in his last bout against Tyler Stinson. That fight also showed his versatility however, as he switched to a wrestling heavy attack and won the bout after getting lit up in the first round. “Relentless” Roger Bowling is a well-rounded fighter who was once thought to be a top Welterweight prospect. After losing 2 out of 3 fights in a trilogy of bouts with Bobby Voelker, he’s rebounded a bit with 2 straight KO victories. Saffiedine is a serious step up in competition, but Saffiedine did look flat in the first round against Stinson. If he comes out like that, he’s going to get beat up. I think the more likely outcome though is that Saffiedine shakes off his last poor performance and brings the fight to Bowling. He stays at range and uses leg kicks and well-timed takedowns with top control to take a decision. Tarec Saffiedine via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Showtime): Middleweight Bout: Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is a former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion. He is one of the most dangerous submission grapplers on the planet with a number of Abu Dhabi Combat Club victories. Since joining the Black House alongside Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo black belt has added a technically sound striking attack to his regimen. Derek “The Human Blanket” Brunson is the owner of one of the least-flattering nicknames in the sport of MMA, but is a talented fighter none-the-less. He is a former NCAA Division 2 Wrestler who now splits his training time with Greg Jackson and Renzo Gracie. Brunson like his nickname might suggest prefers to use a wrestling heavy attack, utilizing takedowns and ground control to beat his opponents. It’s probably not going to be enough against Souza. Going to the ground with Souza is a surefire way to get submitted and the Brazilians striking is so much improved that he’s probably the favorite in a pure kickboxing contest. Brunson’s recent loss to Kendall Grove is also worrisome since Grove is not nearly as dangerous on the ground as Souza is. It could be a decision if the bout stays standing, because despite his improved striking, Souza still hasn’t shown any real knockout power, but if he can get on top of Brunson he’s probably going to choke him out. Ronaldo Souza via Submission in Round Three

Main Card (Showtime): Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout: Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is the reigning and defending Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She is undefeated as a professional and is the new face of Women’s MMA, who has exploded as a media darling heading into this bout. She is a former Olympian, who earned a bronze medal in Judo at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Rousey has spent a lot of time training for this bout with the Diaz brothers, which has surely improved her boxing skills. As it is, she is a tough fighter, with an aggressive style and a nasty arm bar, which she has used to defeat all of her career opponents, all of them in the first round. Sarah Kaufman is one of Canada’s top fighters of any gender, but is often overlooked due to her fairly un-fan-friendly style. Kaufman is a grinder who uses takedowns and top control to control her opponents on the mat and earn decisions. Kaufman has the wrestling to make this a tough fight for Rousey, but there is one glaring problem on Kaufman’s record. She was arm barred in 2010 by Marloes Connen, and while Connen is a talented grappler in her own right, she doesn’t have the background that Rousey brings to the table. If Rousey is focused on fighting and not being a media darling, she should be able to add another first round submission to her record, but if things don’t go her way, we’ll see how she handles the pressure of a real fight, as well as all of the pressure she’ll be feeling from outside the cage. With all that said, I still think the hype train continues to roll. Ronda Rousey via Submission in Round One

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil) Autobiopgrahy

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

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Former UFC Champion Signs With Strikeforce

July 21, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Former UFC champion Tim Sylvia has been on a crusade to return to the UFC. Sylvia is one step closer, but will have to make a pit stop in Strikeforce first. Unfortunately the former champ has a heck of a road block lying ahead on September 29.

MMAJunkie.com is reporting that the former heavyweight champion will fight recent Strikeforce heavyweight Grand-Prix tournament winner Daniel Cormier in a fight tentatively scheduled for September 29.

This is where Dana White is probably his worst enemy when it comes to promoting. When White holds a grudge he will take any chance he has at mocking a fighter. White has had a lot of fun taking shots at Sylvia since he left the UFC in 2008. Even just recently, White took an opportunity to poke fun at his former (and now returning) employee.

I don’t even know what Tim Sylvia’s done. The last Tim Sylvia fight I saw, he got knocked out by a boxer. What has he done since then?

This is one of the biggest problem critics have with White. White is honest to a fault. He pulled the same antics a few years back with Tito Ortiz when Ortiz was nearing the end of a deal. White would continually criticize Ortiz, while trying to promote him in an upcoming fight. I remember interviewing Ortiz around that time who was just stunned that White would be so vocally critical of anyone he was trying to promote. Welcome back Tim Sylvia.

The Tim Sylvia comeback is a fun story. Sylvia left the UFC and hit rock bottom after being KO’d in a video that went viral against boxer Ray Mercer in 9 seconds. Sylvia has since rebounded and has gone 3-0 in his last three fights. Sylvia recently took to Twitter and began campaigning to get back into the UFC. Sylvia even posted training videos online to prove that he was in shape, a criticism that Sylvia has heard (and with good reason) in recent years. While Strikeforce is not the UFC, it is nice to see the guy who was once the heavyweight UFC kingpin get another crack in a major promotion and probably his best pay day in years

Unfortunately that is where the fun ends. If you watched one Tim Sylvia fight you have watched one boring fight too many. Not all of Sylvia’s fights were boring, but quite frankly most were. Sylvia was the kind of a fighter that fans hated, but not in the money-drawing way. Sylvia will need to come out with an aggressive game plan against Cormier to silence the growing number of haters who have zero interest in watching Sylvia back in the UFC.

That said, I am incredibly intrigued by the Cormier vs. Sylvia fight. The fight is Cormier’s last on his Strikeforce contract before it is expected that he will move to the UFC. There is already talk of Cormier challenging either the UFC heavyweight or light heavyweight champion with his first fight. That is a ton of pressure for Cormier. Although as a highly decorated amateur wrestler, Cormier is used to high-pressure competition.

It is expected that Sylvia would rejoin the UFC if he defeats Cormier. There has been a ton of talk over the last week about Strikeforce fighters not being allowed to come to the UFC. So whether Sylvia would have to take a few more fights first or not is unknown. One way or another I would suspect that Sylvia winds up back in the UFC if he either wins or has at least an aggressive, impressive showing.

All are easier said than done against Cormier.

Urijah Faber: The Laws of the Ring

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

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Introducing the Official UFC Apparel of Jon Jones! Walkout Shirt & Performance Gear.

Fedor Emelianenko Retires From MMA

June 22, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The most polarizing heavyweight in MMA history has called it quits. Fedor Emelianenko officially announced his retirement from MMA on Thursday after earning his 34th win. The decision should officially end all rumors about Fedor in the UFC…at least in the interim.

Fedor’s 12-year career raised more questions than answers. From 2001 to 2006 Fedor was generally regarded as the best pound for pound fighter in all of MMA and the greatest heavyweight the sport had ever seen. Yet Fedor’s zero fights in the UFC as well as a recent losing streak have many questioning the strength of Fedor’s legacy.

Fedor ended his career the way all great athletes should. Fedor went out with a thundering win. Fedor defeated former UFC standout Pedro Rizzo on Thursday in what will go down as the last fight in his career. Fedor rocked Rizzo with a right hand and looked every bit as dangerous as the Fedor most remember from Pride FC. This will be the last memory the Last Emperor leaves before riding off into the sunset.

I think it is time I quit,” Emelianenko said (per Ria Novosti). “My family influenced my decision. My daughters are growing without me, that’s why it’s time to leave.”

Fedor dominated his competition in Pride FC for the majority of his career. Once Pride FC closed most assumed it was a given that Fedor would eventually sign with the UFC. There were several negotiations between Fedor and the UFC but it never happened. The closest Fedor came was in 2009 when Dana White was already working towards promoting Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor before Fedor shocked the MMA community and took a deal for less money with Strikeforce.

Brock vs. Fedor was held up by MMA fans as the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight of their sport. Like boxing’s golden ticket, the UFC was never able to deliver this mega dream fight to combat sports fans. It is easy to sit back and make predictions on a fight that never happened but one thing is clear. It would have been the biggest MMA fight in history. Ironically both have retired in the last twelve months.

Even after signing with Strikeforce, many still believed that Fedor would join the UFC once his deal ran out. It never happened. Fedor tapped out to Fabricio Werdum in his second Strikeforce fight, thus losing much of the mystique he would have brought to the UFC before the loss. Fedor went on to suffer two more losses thus killing whatever negotiating power he hoped to have at the end of his deal. Fedor only notched one win in Strikeforce against Brett Rogers. However, what most people don’t remember is that Rogers came within inches of beating Fedor in what would have went down as the biggest upset in MMA history after Matt Serra KO’d GSP. Nonetheless he went 1-3 and fueled the haters who always accused Fedor of having a padded record.

I have always been a huge Fedor fan. If you were an avid Pride FC fan the last decade, you watched Fedor dominate just about every challenger that came down the pike. It also wasn’t as if Fedor avoided competition in Pride FC. He took on all comers and fought all top contenders. Were the contenders not as good as we thought or did Fedor just peak in Pride before coming to the United States to fight? Nobody will ever know but what I do know is that for about six years, he was the baddest man on the planet.

Fedor will leave MMA after rebounding from his 0-3 skid. Fedor put together a three-fight winning streak, dominating his last two opponents. Fedor will finish his career with a 34-4-1 record with 10 knockouts and three submission wins.


UFC: The Ultimate 100 Greatest Fight Moments

UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

Introducing the Official UFC Apparel of Jon Jones! Walkout Shirt & Performance Gear.

Rumor: Alistair Overeem Out Of Grand Prix, Moving To UFC

May 20, 2011 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

As ambitious as it was to put together the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, it has been anything but smooth. The latest bump comes off of a rumor that if true, could practically kill the entire idea. Alistair Overeem may not only be pulling out of the tournament, but could be leaving Strikeforce altogether.

The latest MMA rumor spreading like wildfire says that Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is not only pulling out of the Grand Prix, but that he will relinquish his championship and sign an official UFC contract. The rumor was posted on a message board that posted news about the Lesnar UFC 131 cancelation before it was announced, thus giving this rumor a little more attention than usual.

When UFC president Dana White said that it would be “business as usual for Strikeforce”, he obviously meant the instability and frequent changes to matchups. There were many in the MMA world that believed the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix would either never see a final fight or wind up new participants similar to the Super Six before the tournament’s end. If these rumors are true, my prediction is that this tournament is finished and the UFC will slowly start to swallow the heavyweights for its division.

This is the post that has been buzzing throughout the MMA community. I am posting directly from the story so don’t blame me for the grammar and spelling.

“Allistar Overeem has had A rocky relationship with the coker regeime… Allistar was not happy with coker dicking him around with the fedor fight that was promised to him… Also Not happy with the long layoff between the rogers fight and some contractual matters… Coker extended an olive branch in obtaining Valentjn overeem to smooth t

Now the next part is rumor there have been rumblings and info changing daily on this… My sources are tight lipped… But the overeem vs werdum fight is not guaranteed… Ive asked about injury but zuffa has been coy with info being leaked…

Ive been told dont be surprised if overeem pulls out of the tournament and relinquishes the championship… Overeem could possibly be crossing over to the ufc… This would make the Tournament finals for the championship and makes a debut ppv more interesting… This as i said is rumor i know there have been talks and the fight is not cancelled and is still official but was told dont be surprised… This can change daily so I will try too keep updated with more info as I find out more but its not a guaranteed more to come.”

Check out the full Camel Clutch Blog Pro Wrestling and MMA store for videos, t-shirts, books, and more.

As crazy as the rumor may be, it actually does make a lot of sense. It is true that Alistair Overeem was frustrated with Strikeforce. There were flirtations in the past between Overeem and the UFC. Overeem’s international commitments were reportedly the biggest holdup in getting a deal done. With K1 & DREAM practically on life support, the international fights are not a priority anymore for Overeem. Cashing in now, while in his prime with the UFC makes a lot more sense than risking a potential big contract in the future by coming up short in the tournament.

Zuffa, LLC owns Strikeforce and the contracts. It wouldn’t take much for Zuffa to come in, void Overeem’s contract, and immediately sign him to a UFC deal. For Zuffa, it also makes all of the sense in the world. Dana White just watched his biggest draw in Brock Lesnar retreat to the sidelines for what appears to be at minimum a year. Without Lesnar, there are no potential big draws against Cain Velasquez. Why not move Overeem over to make up for the loss of Lesnar? Between his reputation and the Strikeforce and Pride FC library, the UFC could have a blockbuster with Overeem vs. Velasquez as well as other potential Overeeem fights.

Please understand that this is only a rumor. However, there have been rumors about Overeem pulling out of the Grand Prix for months now. At one point Shane Carwin was rumored to be taking his place. The rumor grew so fast that Carwin had to take to Twitter to deny it. With all of the people involved in training, fight camps, sponsorships, management, and marketing it is much easier to get leaked information early from the UFC than it is in most sports. I heard about Lesnar’s injury for a week prior to the announcement and even tweeted about it. This whole idea is certainly plausible.

I would guess that if Overeem pulls out of the tournament it is over. Maybe Strikeforce pits Brett Rogers vs. Fabricio Werdum for the vacated title in June (leaving the headaches of booking Josh Barnett behind them) or moves all of its heavyweights over to the UFC? Either way it would seem rather moot to continue with the Grand Prix without Fedor or Overeem.

Again this is all rumor, but it is certainly a rumor that has a lot of people talking.

Brock Lesnar’s autobiography – Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival

Death Clutch Brock Lesnar UFC 121 Walkout T-Shirt

UFC: Ultimate Royce Gracie DVD

 

EA Sports: MMA Video Game featuring Alistair Overeem, Randy Couture, and Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor’s Next Fight Could be back in the Grand Prix

February 21, 2011 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Fedor Emelianenko could be back in the Grand Prix tournamentIt didn’t take long for the retirement talk after Fedor Emelianenko lost to Antonio Silva and was eliminated from Strikeforce’s World Grand Prix. CEO Scott Coker isn’t ready to give up on Fedor just yet. As a matter of a fact, Coker is ready to stick him back in the Strikeforce tournament.

You read that right. As Strikeforce haters rejoiced in what some dramatically called the end of Strikeforce’s World Grand Prix tournament, Scott Coker was busy looking for loopholes. You see, in Strikeforce wins and losses really don’t mean a whole lot. Just ask Brett Rodgers who got a heavyweight title shot after being knocked out by Fedor. No in Strikeforce even after being brutally beaten for a round and losing his first round match, Fedor is still very much alive in the World Grand Prix tournament.

Fedor Emelianenko lost his second fight in a row in Strikeforce, losing via TKO in Round 2 to Antonio Silva due to a doctor’s stoppage. Fedor was dominated for about 4:50 of that round and was battered to the point that his right eye was closed shut. The doctor called off the fight after the second round thus giving Fedor a loss and theoretically eliminating him from Strikeforce’s heavyweight tournament.

Fedor even went ahead and announced his retirement following the fight. Depending upon which translation you believe, Fedor allegedly said after his fight that he was going to retire. His interpreter said differently live on the broadcast, although further translation seems to indicate he actually did announce his retirement.  Scott Coker apparently never got the correct translation as well because not long after the announcement was made, Coker started talking about getting Fedor back into the same tournament he was just eliminated from.

“There’s absolutely a possibility he could be a replacement,” MMAJunkie.com reports. “That’s the beauty of the tournament. You don’t know what could happen in the next leg of the tournament. As this tournament unwinds over the year, there could be an injury, and you could see Fedor back in the tournament.”

I can’t say I am surprised, yet I am surprised that Coker floated this idea out there not even a few hours after the event was over. The idea of putting someone like Fedor back into the tournament as an alternate or not would make the entire thing like a joke to some MMA observers. Any integrity that the winner of this tournament should get would be questioned by throwing Fedor back into the tournament after losing his first round fight. Even more preposterous is that the tournament actually does have alternates who had to win their fights to be alternates. Then again, it is theoretically just as ridiculous as rewarding Chael Sonnen with an immediate UFC title rematch after losing to Anderson Silva in the fifth round.

I know I sound a little harsh so let’s play devil’s advocate. Fedor wasn’t tapped, wasn’t knocked out, and didn’t lose a decision. Fedor lost because of a bad cut to his eye. Fedor finished the second round, popped up, and was ready to come out for the third round. Fedor has bounced back from these kinds of rounds in the past. Silva looked gassed by the end of the round and there is a real good possibility that Fedor would have finished him if they went to the final round. The circumstances are much different than his loss to Fabricio and rather than put an alternate in the tournament who isn’t a top heavyweight, bring back the guy who lost but never really lost.

Check out the full Camel Clutch Blog Pro Wrestling and MMA store for videos, t-shirts, books, and more.

As crazy as it sounds it isn’t a bad idea. I just think the bad idea here was dropping it immediately after the fight. Instead of celebrating the victory of Antonio Silva, Coker lessened the win by openly suggesting that Fedor could return to the tournament. I think if Coker waited until an opportunity presented itself in say six-eight months and then said it, enough time would pass where you would have more people wanting to see Fedor back in the tournament as opposed to critics who are already diminishing the tournament just based on the idea that Fedor could return.

From the business side I can’t see any other benefit of having Fedor under contract at this point if he isn’t going back into the tournament. Rematches with Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva are unavailable at present. There are no other viable heavyweights worth matching up with Fedor who aren’t in the tournament right now. With Fedor comes a big price tag and co-promotional rights to M-1. Is it even worth it to Scott Coker and Strikeforce to pay these ridiculous demands if he isn’t matched with a name heavyweight? Even with a name heavyweight matchup, is Fedor a draw going forward?

I guess we will find out soon enough.

Pre-order the UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort DVD

Fedor: The Fighting System of the World’s Undisputed King of MMA

Brock Lesnar UFC 116 Walkout T-shirt – Death Clutch

Order the UFC Undisputed 2010 video game for all consoles on Amazon.com.

Order the EA Sports: MMA Video Game featuring Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko by clicking here.

New Items Marked Down! Shop the UFC Sale at the UFC Store.

Fedor’s Trainer Accuses Silva’s team of Illegal Hypnosis – Updated

February 16, 2011 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Fedor Emelianenko could be back in the Grand Prix tournamentSo how did Antonio Big Foot Silva beat the legendary Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva? Fedor’s trainer has accused Silva of illegal psychological tactics. Yes hypnosis is the reason Fedor lost according to members of his team.

I have heard a lot of ridiculous things in my life but this one takes the cake. In an interview with a Russian website, Fedor’s trainer, Vladimir Voronov told a Russian website, “It seems to us that all isn’t simple and certain technologies have been used, – has declared Life Sports Ravens. – certainly, not such which it would be visible to an aided eye. It, most likely, were psychological technologies with which influenced on both fighters on distance from a hall. For this reason during fight Feodor simply wasn’t similar to itself. Feodor’s behavior very strange seemed to me. It left on a ring and has made all in accuracy to on the contrary that we fulfilled before fight. All of us were in shock! Feodor never so didn’t arrive earlier. Now the week will pass, all will settle, and we will understand, why all it has occurred.”

The quote in the story under Fedor’s picture says, “We consider that the forbidden psychological technologies have been used.” I can’t wait to read Dana White’s Twitter.

Critics of Fedor have pointed to Fedor’s relationship with M1-Global, his management team as a big reason for his decline. UFC president Dana White has called them among the worst management teams that he has ever seen. Even Antonio Silva’s manager questioned Fedor’s management after the fight for making the match coming off of a loss. Reading quotes like this helps me understand why Dana White refers to his team as “crazy Russians.”

The reason Fedor lost the fight was because he was out sized and literally left a lot of technique back in the dressing room. Fedor was swinging for the fences with his hands down, little movement, and was unable to prevent Silva from taking him down. The huge weight advantage made Fedor easy pickings on the ground. This isn’t to say that Fedor could have come back in Round 3 and pulled off a win. I think that was very possible. But crediting “hypnosis” as the reason Fedor loss is only going to make Fedor and M-1 look like bigger goofs than they already are in the MMA world which is a feat in itself.

Former UFC fighter Oleg Taktarov once said about Vladimir Voronov,  “Vladimir is naturally a gifted fighter, more gifted even than Fedor originally. He was born with better qualities, body and everything else. Just mentally he falls short.”

I think we can all agree.

Read the original article here – http://lifesports.ru/news/51518. You will need to drop the url into a translator.

Thanks to MMAFanhouse.com for the tip!

Update: Silva’s manager Alex Davis posted response  in a forum to the allegations. “Jeez!! I got cought! I will have to come out with the truth now! I hired a Macumbeiro ( Brazilian wicth dr) and we killed a black chicken on the cross roads. After this,over a few beers, I showed the witch Dr Fedors fights, and he was worried that a chicken wouldnt be anough, so we went out and killed a black goat , just to make sure! Very potent stuff! Realy messed Fedors brain waves up!”

I don’t know if that is definitely Silva’s manager but either way that is hilarious.

Pre-order the UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort DVD

Fedor: The Fighting System of the World’s Undisputed King of MMA

Brock Lesnar UFC 116 Walkout T-shirt – Death Clutch

Order the UFC Undisputed 2010 video game for all consoles on Amazon.com.

Order the EA Sports: MMA Video Game featuring Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko by clicking here.

New Items Marked Down! Shop the UFC Sale at the UFC Store.