Ronda Rousey’s UFC Debut May Have Gone Too Well

February 28, 2013 By: Category: Entertainment, Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Ronda Rousey’s UFC debut couldn’t have gone any better. As a matter of a fact, it may have gone to good. A new report says that Rousey could be following in the path of Gina Carano and head to Hollywood, leaving the UFC with a big hole to fill.

I will be the first to admit that I was dead wrong about Ronda Rousey’s impact on UFC 157. I thought she’d bomb and she did anything but. Early reports are that the show did somewhere in the 400-450,000 buyrate range which is phenomenal all things considered. Unfortunately for the UFC some of those 450,000 eyes came from Hollywood and they are already knocking on Rousey’s door.

Dave Meltzer reported on his podcast that Rousey has been offered a role in the third installment of the Hunger Games movie franchise. Rousey’s manager was recently asked about her flirtation with Hollywood and he is expecting to see more offers like the Hunger Games come his clien’ts way.

“We’ve gone to some pitch meetings for major motion pictures,” Rousey’s manager, Darin Harvey, said. “There are a lot of big Hollywood producers and directors that are very interested in Ronda. They’re paying very close attention to her. They see the star potential. When Steven Seagal came on the scene, one of the things that made him successful, besides having this cool persona, was how well his style of Aikido worked on camera. It looked different than anything we had seen in the movies before. Ronda’s judo—the throws can be spectacular. It can translate on to film very, very well.”

This is a problem. A real big problem for the UFC. The UFC just spent more money and time promoting her than any other fighter in recent memory. The promotion paid off and now you have fans expecting to see more. How much more they will see could be stifled by Rousey’s outside projects if filming movies takes her out of the fight game for most of the year.

UFC president Dana White is confident that his new superstar isn’t going anywhere. White said what may go down as one of the his dumbest all-time quotes on the UFC Tonight earlier this week regarding the possibility that Rousey could leave the UFC for a career in film.

“You know how I feel about the movie stuff. When Rampage did the movie, it was his dream to be a part of the A-Team. I don’t want to take away any opportunities from Ronda, but at the same time, her window of opportunity as a professional athlete is really narrow. She could make a zillion movies when she retires. Where she’s really going to get the money is here fighting. I don’t care if she’s the lead role in ‘The Hunger Games 2,’ she would not make anywhere near – I mean, not even in the universe – to the money she makes fighting.”

Brock Lesnar made more money than anyone in MMA and even he wasn’t making more fighting than his old rival The Rock was making in Hollywood. That is just an asinine comment. For Rousey to make more money fighting for the UFC over taking a lead in a major motion picture would be a miracle. WMMA just isn’t there yet and for Dana to say otherwise is just foolish.

Let’s just say for a second that Rousey would continue fighting while acting in movies. The UFC would be lucky to get her for one fight per year and that is barring any kind of injury during training. How can the UFC build an entire division around someone that isn’t even around? The upside is that less could be more and Rousey could become even bigger by fighting less. The downside is that you really couldn’t plan anything full-time with that kind of schedule.

So enjoy the Ronda Rousey ride while you can. It looks like this train could be pulling out of town for Hollywood before you can say Cyborg.

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UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche Results and Takeaways

February 25, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Do Women really deserve a place in the UFC? Can Ronda Rousey really deliver the goods and headline a major UFC Pay Per View event? The PPV numbers aren’t in yet, but the overwhelming answers to those first questions are emphatic yeses. UFC 157 took place last night from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and early gate figures are showing that Rousey and women’s MMA pulled over 15,500 people into the Honda Center and created a live gate of $1.4 million.

In the main event of the evening Rousey overcame a slight stumble early on in the fight and escaped the most dangerous moment of her fighting career to notch yet another first round victory via submission. In the co-main event of the evening Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida defeated Dan Henderson in a somewhat lackluster affair to claim another crack at the UFC Light Heavyweight title. Let’s recap what happened on the main card and what’s next for the fighters.

Welterweight Bout: Robbie Lawler defeated Josh Koscheck via TKO (Punches) at 3:57 of Round One

Koscheck’s goal was to take this fight to the ground and given his wrestling prowess and Lawler’s previous struggles against wrestlers it seemed like it was probably the winning strategy. Apparently Lawler learned how to sprawl and brawl as he put on an excellent display of fending off Koscheck’s takedown attempts during this fight. Lawler landed a couple of big punches to a crawling Koscheck and stunned his opponent. Koscheck turtled instead of fighting back and the referee stopped the fight. Some complained that the stoppage was early, but nonetheless Lawler pulled off a big upset.

What’s next for Lawler? Despite beating a former top contender in Koscheck, it’s most likely that the UFC decides to bring Lawler along somewhat slowly. A striker at heart, it’s probably most intriguing if the UFC matches him up with another striker for the most entertainment value. A bout against fellow main card fighter Court McGee could make sense, or a bout between the winner of the upcoming bout between Nate Marquardt and Jake Ellenberger.

What’s next for Koscheck? After his former AKA teammate Jon Fitch got cut last weekend, it’s hard to imagine that Koscheck is going to be able to survive this loss. Like Fitch he is expensive, in fact he makes more per fight than Fitch did and he’s fallen even further down the rankings. If he does somehow survive the next round of cuts then a bout with Erick Silva would make some sense as both men try to rebuild themselves.

Welterweight Bout: Court McGee defeated Josh Neer via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds

Court McGee looked mighty impressive in his Welterweight debut. Neer is a talented grinder, but McGee outworked him everywhere that the fight went. McGee out struck Neer all over the fight and dominated him on the ground, coming close to sinking in a couple of submissions but ultimately taking a clear-cut unanimous decision.

What’s next for McGee? He looked mighty impressive in his Welterweight debut. As I mentioned earlier he could be a good match for Robbie Lawler. British wrestler John Hathaway could also be an interesting match up to see how McGee handles another grinding wrestler.

What’s next for Neer? Likely unemployment. Neer has been bounced from the UFC before, but he always seems to make his way back due to his willingness to fight on short notice against almost anyone. I imagine his next fight comes outside the UFC.

Bantamweight Bout: Urijah Faber defeated Ivan Menjivar via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:34 of Round One

Urijah Faber dominated this fight the whole way. Faber is excellent with his takedowns and transitions, and his ability to gain dominant positions from scrambles. Faber’s transition to the back in this fight was very slick and he continues to prove that he can bounce back even after tough losses.

What’s next for Faber? He really needs to fight a top contender, but it’s getting annoying how poorly he’s doing against the champions but continues to knock the top contender’s off their perch and eliminating new title challengers. He’s got to fight another top contender though and give him a chance to knock someone else out of contention. Eddie Wineland is the only one that makes a whole lot of sense right now.

What’s next for Menjivar? A bout with Brian Bowles might make the most sense as they’re the two most recent fighters to lose to Faber. Should Brad Pickett lose to Mike Easton in their upcoming bout at UFC on Fuel TV, then that bout could also be highly entertaining.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Lyoto Machida defeated Dan Henderson via Split Decision after Three Rounds

This fight was light on action, but Machida did what he does best. He stuck and moved and avoided most of Henderson’s power shots while delivering several of his own. Although the crowd disliked a lot of this fight, it’s hard to discount the technical striking game that Machida brings to the table and his ability to avoid taking damage. Unfortunately for Machida, despite being promised a title shot, it could be up for grabs due to the nature of his unimpressive performance.

What’s next for Machida? Likely the winner between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones. However the split decision nature of this win could leave the door open for someone else to steal that title shot, namely Alexander Gustafsson who has an upcoming bout with Gegard Mousasi and was also promised a title shot with an impressive victory. Either way, Machida will remain close to title contention.

What’s next for Henderson? He already said he wasn’t retiring, so that’s out the window. A potential bout with Rashad Evans could prove to be entertaining but Evans wants a different opponent (Shogun) so the UFC could be going with that. A fan favorite bout between Henderson and Forrest Griffin could deliver an epic knockout.

Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout: Ronda Rousey defeated Liz Carmouche via Submission (Armbar) at 4:49 of Round One

Rousey had a lot to lose in this bout, as did the UFC, but luckily for them despite a scary moment at the beginning of the fight the fight went exactly as expected. Rousey overcame the most difficult test of her career so far and still snagged another first round armbar. Rousey set herself up for trouble by focusing too much on getting the armbar and not enough on winning the fight, it’s probably something she’ll have to work on going forward.

What’s next for Rousey? Cyborg Santos isn’t happening right now, so as much as Eric wishes it to happen, it’s probably not on the docket. The winner of the upcoming bout between Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate is the most likely candidate.

What’s next for Carmouche? Sara McMann is a former American wrestler who was scheduled to fight Liz Carmouche in Strikeforce in the past before the event was cancelled. With McMann recently signed to the UFC and without a first opponent, this bout still makes a lot of sense.

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What If Ronda Rousey Loses At UFC 157?

February 23, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The UFC has never invested more in a fighter than they have in Ronda Rousey and with good reason. Rousey has gotten the company more publicity in a shorter time than any fighter in UFC history. However, will it be all for nothing if Liz Carmouche can pull off the upset at UFC 157?

I will be the first one to admit that I don’t get the fascination with Rousey whatsoever. It isn’t as if Rousey is either the best or prettiest fighter to come along in WMMA. Yet for whatever reason the media have swarmed to Rousey and turned into the biggest star in the UFC. This is all great if Rousey lives up to the billing but what happens if this all comes crashing down quicker than you can say Cyborg?

A desperate fighter is a dangerous fighter and Liz Carmouche is a desperate fighter. Carmouche still holds down a part time job and doesn’t have the financial security that Rousey has. This is truly a Rocky story and if Carmouche can pull off the upset, her life would greatly change. But can she do it? You better believe she can.

What has Rousey proven? Rousey’s biggest win came over Miesha Tate and an impressive win it was. But we aren’t talking about an unstoppable machine are we? We are talking about a woman who thus far has proven to be a one-trick pony. I am not saying she doesn’t have more tricks up her sleeve, but thus far I have only seen one. One thing MMA history has shown me over the last two decades is that you can only get so far on one trick. Is UFC 157 the finale?

I believe the key to beating Rousey is to bring the attack to her. She has dominated offensively with her impressive judo skills and throws but what would happen if Carmouche turns it into a slugfest? Carmouche has only gone to two decisions in her entire MMA career. Five of her wins have come from TKO or KO. This is not a woman you want to underestimate. She is just as capable of landing a lucky punch as Emmanuel Newton.

I have also read a lot of people mock Carmouche’s record. “Who has she beaten?” Who in the world has Ronda Rousey beaten? Miesha Tate and Sarah Kaufman aren’t slouches, but it isn’t as if she went in there and beat Anderson Silva. Sure she has fought and won against better competition, but we are talking about a woman who has only fought top competition twice. I don’t think that makes her unbeatable.

So what if after all of this publicity Rousey loses to a fighter she is heavily favored to beat? Unfortunately the problem with Rousey is she has been shoved down the UFC fans’ throats so hard that there are plenty of people waiting for her to lose. In that case a loss could be a good thing. It makes her human. On the other hand you could have the backfire of Rousey being considered all hype and no substance which is something that is very hard to fight back from.

One problem is the yellow elephant in the room and that Cyborg. Nobody in the UFC would ever say it but the big payoff with Rousey is the eventual Cyborg vs. Rousey fight. That fight loses a lot of appeal if either one of the two loses before it happens. Quite honestly I don’t even know if it happens if one if them loses before then. Every UFC superstar needs a rivalry and this is one that will put more money in UFC’s pockets than any WMMA fight possible. A loss to Carmouche could greatly impact that fight from ever even happening.

The biggest problem I have here is that the UFC has put all of their eggs into one basket. Without Rousey there would be no WMMA in the UFC. If she is tarnished, what happens to the rest of the fighters? Would the UFC ever get this kind of media attention ever again for a WMMA fight? Would Dana White just completely give up on it altogether? These are all questions that nobody can answer.

As a sports fan I can tell you that there is more money in the rematch when it comes to upsets. Those fans that were turned off by the overexposure of Rousey may now find her a sympathetic character and get behind her as a challenger. She certainly loses her mystique but that is something she could get back with a convincing win, showing WMMA fans that the loss was merely an upset.

Or it can all blow up in everyone’s faces.

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UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche Predictions and Preview

February 22, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

The UFC delivered another successful free card last weekend on Fuel TV but it’s time for the UFC to head for the record books. The UFC returns to the land of Pay Per View this weekend with UFC 157 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. History will be made in the main event as the event is headlined by the first Women’s MMA bout in UFC history as UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey takes on the UFC’s first openly gay fighter in Liz Carmouche.

The co-main event of the evening features what could certainly be one of the most entertaining Light Heavyweight bouts of the year as Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida takes on Dan Henderson in a bout that could certainly determine the next contender for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. Former WEC poster boy Urijah Faber takes on Ivan Menjivar in Bantamweight action on the main card. Two Welterweight bouts will open the main card as Robbie Lawler returns to the UFC to take on Josh Koscheck in the opening bout. The other bout features Court McGee making his Welterweight debut against the always-tough Josh Neer.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Yuri Villefort

Nah-Shon “The Rock-n-Rolla” Burrell is a 23-year-old fighter who is making his UFC debut after a career in Strikeforce. He trains out of the Fight Firm Gym in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He holds a career record of 8-2. Yuri Villefort is a 21-year-old fighter coming over from Strikeforce. Villefort is a member of the Blackzillians, training at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Boca Raton, Florida. Villefort holds a career record of 6-1.

Quick Pick: Nah-Shon Burrell via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Jon Manley vs. Neil Magny

Jon Manley is a 26-year-old fighter from Adams, Massachusetts. Manley is a former cast member from the sixteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He now trains with Team Link in Ludlow, Massachusetts and holds a career record of 7-1. Neil Magny is a 25-year-old fighter from Brooklyn, New York. Like his opponent he fought on the sixteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He is a member of the Torres MMA Gym in Chicago, Illinois training under Miguel Torres. He holds a professional record of 7-1.

Quick Pick: Neil Magny via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Kenny Robertson vs. Brock Jardine

Kenny Robertson is a 29-year-old fighter from East Peoria, Illinois. He trains with the Central Illinois Combat Club in Spring Bay, Illinois. Robertson holds a career record of 11-2. Brock “The Machine” Jardine is a 27-year-old fighter from Fergus, Ontario, Canada. Jardine now resides and trains at the Pit Elevated Fight Team in Orem, Utah. He holds a professional record of 9-2.

Quick Pick: Brock Jardine via TKO in Round Two

Preliminary Card (FX): Featherweight Bout: Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice

Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez is a 26-year-old from Saugerties, New York. He is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler who was a cast member on the fourteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter where he was the runner up. He holds a career record of 9-3. Matt “The Real One” Grice is a 31-year-old fighter from Harrah, Oklahoma. Like his opponent he is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler. Grice trains with the Titan Martial Arts Gym in Oklahoma. He holds a career record of 15-4.

Quick Pick: Dennis Bermudez via Submission in Round Three

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Sam Stout vs. Caros Fodor

Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout is a 28-year-old fighter from London, Ontario, Canada. A UFC veteran and former professional kick boxer, he trains with the Team Tompkins Gym in his hometown. Stout holds a professional MMA record of 18-8-1. Caros “The Future” Fodor is a 29-year-old fighter from Kirkland, Washington. Fodor is a member of the AMC Pankration Gym in Washington training with UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson. He holds a career record of 7-2 and is making his UFC debut after an extended Strikeforce career.

Quick Pick: Sam Stout via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Lightweight Bout: Michael Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen

Michael “Maverick” Chiesa is a 25-year-old fighter from Aurora, Colorado. He is best known for his stint on the live season of The Ultimate Fighter where he was the eventual winner of the reality show. He now trains with the Sikjitsu Gym in Spokane, Washington. He holds a perfect professional record of 8-0. Anton Kuivanen is a 28-year-old fighter from Helsinki, Finland. He is a member of Team MMA Finland, but also trains in the USA with American Top Team. He holds a professional record of 17-5.

Quick Pick: Michael Chiesa via Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card (FX): Heavyweight Bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Lavar Johnson

Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub is a 29-year-old fighter from Aurora, Colorado. He was the runner-up on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter featuring only Heavyweights. He is a former NFL linebacker and now trains with the Grudge Training Center in Colorado. He holds a professional MMA record of 8-3. Lavar “Big” Johnson is a 35-year-old fighter from Madera, California. A former Strikeforce fighter he came to the UFC in 2012 and quickly racked up two impressive knockout victories. He is a member of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. He holds a professional MMA record of 17-6.

Quick Pick: Lavar Johnson via TKO in Round One

Main Card (Pay Per View): Welterweight Bout: Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler

Josh “Kos” Koscheck is a 35-year-old fighter from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. He is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Koscheck was a cast member on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and is a former UFC Welterweight title challenger. Koscheck now trains with the Dethrone Base Camp in Fresno, California. Koscheck’s wrestling is his bread and butter game but his striking has improved over his career. He holds a career record of 17-6.

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“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler is a 30-year-old fighter from Davenport, Iowa. Despite being only 30 he has a long and decorated history in the sport of MMA competing as a pro since 2001. He has fought for a number of major MMA promotions including the UFC, Strikeforce, Icon Sport, Pride, Elite XC and the IFL. Lawler is a striker with big power, who has spent the majority of his career at Middleweight, but is dropping to 170-pounds for his return to the UFC. He is a member of the H.I.T. Squad in Granite City, Illinois. He holds a professional record of 19-9 with 1 No Contest.

Analysis and Prediction: Koscheck doesn’t have the greatest chin or the greatest striking defense, as he’s been chin-checked in the past by lesser strikers than Lawler. With that said, Lawler has slowed significantly recently and is likely in the twilight of his career. Lawler is a decent wrestler, but he’s poor at fighting from his back, which is where Koscheck is most likely to put him. Koscheck will likely test his striking against Lawler, but I expect that if he struggles at all he’s going to shoot for a takedown. From there ground and pound will likely set up a submission. Josh Koscheck via Submission in Round One

Main Card (Pay Per View): Welterweight Bout: Court McGee vs. Josh Neer

Court “The Crusher” McGee is a 28-year-old fighter from Layton, Utah. He is best known as the eventual winner of the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. McGee is a true grinder and is well rounded mixing his striking and takedowns. McGee holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trains with The Pit Elevated Fight Team in Orem, Utah. He is making his Welterweight debut after a two fight losing streak in the UFC’s Middleweight division. McGee holds a professional record of 13-3.

Josh “The Dentist” Neer is a 29-year-old fighter from Des Moines, Iowa. He formerly trained under Pat Miletich but now trains with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team in California. Neer holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a tough, well-rounded fighter with strong takedowns and excellent top control. Despite not yet being 30 years old Neer has been fighting as a pro since 2003 and has over 45 career bouts. Neer holds a career record of 33-12-1, with 29 stoppage victories.

Analysis and Prediction: Both of these fighters are grinders, so this one is likely going to come down to who can impose their will on the other one. Neer has decent cardio, but he has slowed down in the third rounds of fights before, if the other fighter makes him work. Provided McGee doesn’t lose a ton of his cardio with the weight cut, he should be able to push the pace on Neer and wear him down. McGee uses takedowns and top control to take a decision. Court McGee via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Bantamweight Bout: Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar

Urijah “The California Kid” Faber is a 33-year-old fighter from Isla Vista, California. Faber is a former WEC Featherweight Champion, a title that he held for over two years in the WEC. Faber is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler from the University of California at Davis. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has continually improved his striking throughout his career. Faber is a member of and one of the founders of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. Faber holds a career record of 26-6.

Ivan “The Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar is a 30-year-old fighter from La Paz, El Salvador. He holds the distinction of being Georges St. Pierre’s first career opponent. Menjivar holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and now trains at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Menjivar is an aggressive grappler who continually seeks submissions on the ground and has 10 career submission victories. Still, as aggressive as his guard is, Menjivar does his best work from top control. Menjivar is a veteran fighter with this being his 35th career bout, he holds a professional record of 25-9.

Analysis and Prediction: This is actually a rematch from Canadian promotion TKO in 2006, which ended in controversy after Menjivar was DQ’ed for landing an illegal kick. Things have changed since then, and Menjivar is probably going to struggle mightily in this bout. There’s not really an area where Menjivar holds the edge over Faber. Faber struggled against Renan Barao in his last bout and was beaten to the punch multiple times, but he’s still technically sound enough to get the better of Menjivar and still packs decent power in his punches. On the ground Menjivar isn’t going to be able to confuse and outwork Faber, who excels in quick scrambles for position and is a smothering wrestler from the top. Faber batters Menjivar, but the El Salvadorian survives to drop a decision. Urijah Faber via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (Pay Per View): Light Heavyweight Bout: Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida is a 34-year-old Brazilian fighter from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Machida is one of the top fighters in the Light Heavyweight division and is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Machida is an excellent striker whose unorthodox style confuses and frustrates many of his opponents. Machida is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and also holds a 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan Karate. Machida is a member of the Black House Gym in Brazil training with longtime friends Anderson Silva and the Nogeuira brothers. He holds a professional record of 18-3.

Dan “Hollywood/Hendo” Henderson is a 42-year-old fighter from Downey, California. Henderson was the final Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion and is a former Welterweight and Middleweight Champion in Pride Fighting Championships and is the only fighter to ever hold two titles in two different weight classes at the same time. Henderson is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler who represented the USA in Greco-Roman Wrestling at the Olympics. Henderson is a head coach and one of the founding members of the Team Quest Gym. Henderson is best known for his wrestling prowess, his powerful right hand and his iron chin, having never been knocked out in 37 career fights. Henderson holds a career record of 29-8.

Analysis and Prediction: This is probably the most intriguing fight of the night and has the potential to be either a Fight of the Night contender or a snoozer, depending on how things play out. Machida is usually cautious and willing to wait for opportunities in the striking department, but Henderson is a patient striker himself. Henderson has also never been knocked out in his career, so he’s usually willing to take a few punches to look for an opening for the H-Bomb. Machida’s speed advantage is going to be extremely important if he wants to be successful.

One of the other big stories of this fight will be Machida’s willingness to engage. In his bout against Rampage he landed more punches and landed more accurately but he allowed Rampage to be the aggressor and it ended up costing him a decision. With Henderson’s strong Greco-Roman background a similar strategy could be disastrous if Henderson is able to get hold of him and pressure him against the cage. Machida will need to keep himself separated from Henderson and stay away from the power punch.

The likely outcome for this fight is that Machida uses his elusive style to slip and move and stays on his bicycle long enough to stay away from Henderson. The smart money says that Machida takes a decision. But I’ve never hidden my man-crush on Henderson, so I’m taking him via knockout via H-Bomb. WAR HENDO! Dan Henderson via KO in Round Three

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

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is a 26-year-old fighter from Riverside County, California. She is quickly becoming one of the sports most recognizable and popular fighters. She was the final Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion and is the reigning and defending UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Rousey is a talented grappler with a 4th dan black belt in Judo. She is one of the most accomplished Judo practitioners in US history winning a bronze medal in Judo at the 2008 Olympic games. Rousey is a talented grappler who now trains with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team in Santa Monica, California. Rousey holds a perfect professional record of 6-0, with all 6 of her victories coming via first round submissions from arm bars.

Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche is a 29-year-old fighter from Lafayette, Louisiana. Carmouche is a yellow belt in Kenpo Karate and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Carmouche is a former member of the United States Marine Corps and served time overseas. Carmouche is notable for being the UFC’s first openly gay fighter, although that should definitely not overshadow her in-ring accomplishments. Carmouche is a talented grappler who does his best work from top control, but also has been improving her striking. She holds a career record of 8-2.

Analysis and Prediction: Hopefully Carmouche has been doing a whole lot of arm bar defense during his training camp. That’s one of the dangerous things about fighting Rousey right now, while you’re busy making sure she doesn’t arm bar you, she’s training and getting better in every area of the fight game. Carmouche is a decent fighter, but I think she’s likely going to be a step behind no matter where this fight goes. If she’s tentative Rousey will become the aggressor and stalk her down. If Carmouche tries to be the aggressor she risks running into Rousey’s vaunted Judo game and being tossed to the mat where she enters the grappling domain of Rousey and opens her up for the arm bar.

No matter where this fight goes, I don’t think Carmouche stands too much of a chance. Rousey, first round, arm bar. Ronda Rousey via Submission in Round One

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Dan Henderson Is Underappreciated By The UFC

February 20, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

You wouldn’t know it but arguably the greatest American fighter in MMA history is fighting at UFC 157. If you listened to Dana White you’d probably think I meant Ronda Rousey. Nope, I am talking about Dan Henderson.

I can’t think of a more underappreciated fighter in recent years by the UFC than Dan Henderson. Henderson is truly at a point where he is a living legend. If you are going to use Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell as the barometer, than Dan Henderson is not only right there with them, he may be the greatest of all time.

There is nobody more poorly promoted in the UFC than Henderson. Henderson’s critics will say he is not a draw and that’s true, he doesn’t have a good track record at the box office. But is that Henderson’s fault or the UFC’s fault? If Hendo was promoted the way Couture and Liddell were promoted, maybe more fans would buy his fights? It is certainly a two-way street and the UFC has never held up their end of the bargain.

Some of you may be reading this and waiting to leave a comment telling me what an idiot I am. That’s fine but let’s look at the facts before you jump to those comments. Henderson has been a successful fighter through three generations of fighting. How many other fighters can say that? Generally the pattern of a good fighter is that either they decline due to age or not evolving with the sport. Henderson has beaten father time and has never had a problem shutting down the new flavor of the month. This man has been a winning fighter through three different decades! Who else can say that?

Dana White loves to promote Ronda Rousey as a former Olympic medalist. Heck he basically said her career was better than Tito Ortiz’s simply due to this alone. Henderson didn’t medal in the Olympics but he got their twice. That is a huge accomplishment! Who else has made that kind of successful transition from the Olympics to MMA? This is not only a great fighter, but one of the greatest athletes ever! Think about it. He has been competing at a high level since the early 1990s if you go back to the Olympic trials.

His achievements in MMA are remarkable. The man has been a dominant fighter in two different divisions. He is the only man to ever hold a belt in Strikeforce and Pride Fighting Championships. He has won tournaments in the UFC and RINGS. The man has also never lost more than two fights in a row. That is unbelievable when you look at the level of competition he has fought in his career.

In action he has consistently been one of the most exciting fighters in MMA. He is always going for the knockout and has pulled out some unbelievable come from behind wins in his career. He has had legendary fights that will be talked about forever by the MMA fans that witnessed them. Maybe even most impressive is that the guy never ran from competition. He has consistently fought the best and to be able to continue as a dominant fighter in his 40s after all of those fights is just simply remarkable.

In recent years he has done nothing but win. The guy has one loss in his last eight fights going back to 2008. He has wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Shogun Rua, Rafael Cavalcante, Michael Bisping, and Rich Franklin which again at his age is something that is truly an accomplishment. Not only does he have wins, but he has also had some of the most exciting fights in history during that time period. Once again, the man is simply remarkable.

Which brings me back to my original point and that is that Dan Henderson is underappreciated, dare I say disrespected by the UFC. Henderson has now had two championship fights which he more than earned taken away from him. Would it have killed the UFC to sit him out for another month and a half and match him up with Jones? Dana and the UFC have their favorites and the way they promote those favorites compared to fighters like Henderson is obvious.

There is no reason that the last man to hold the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, coming off of a KO of Fedor, should be fighting anyone but the UFC champion period. Dana has not guaranteed Hendo anything even with a win over Machida. The UFC 151 injury and the way it was handled turned into a debacle. I get that. But is this a sport or is this high school? The man earned a title shot and now it is two times that the UFC has taken away his opportunities.

It is time to recognize the greatness of Henderson and his legendary career. The UFC won’t do it but that won’t change my mind. Ronda Rousey may be headlining UFC 157 but I’ll be watching for Dan Henderson.

UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2012

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10 Most Anticipated UFC 2013 Fights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2012

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

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UFC 2012-13 Winter Events Preview

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

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

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

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

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

UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II

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

UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping

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

UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson

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

UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar

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

UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald

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

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche

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

Quick Hits – March & Beyond…

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

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

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

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

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

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Ronda Rousey Talks Armbars, Dating, & Getting Punched In the Face

December 27, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

I don’t think there is a fighter in the UFC that gets more mainstream publicity these days than Ronda Rousey. The UFC champion was recently interviewed for Esquire’s What I’ve Learned series and talked about a variety of topics including dating fighters, armbars, and getting punched in the face.

Rousey has certainly turned into the most media-friendly fighter in all of UFC. Quite frankly her notoriety still baffles me as there are plenty of pretty female MMA fighters yet none have gotten the attention that Rousey receives. Whether this results in any kind of backlash from UFC fans will be determined by the final numbers for her debut at UFC 157.

Rousey closes out her biggest year ever in MMA with a fun interview at I actually came away from this interview liking Rousey a bit more than her usual interviews. Typically I find her interviews to be obnoxious but I found her to be sincere, engaging, and candid with Esquire’s “What I learned” interview.

Rousey is asked about armbars and what it is like to be arm-barred.

I’ve been arm-barred and I let my arm be broken, and I didn’t tap, and I got out, and I still won that fight. F*ck ’em. I don’t care. An arm bar isn’t the end for me. The ligaments in both my elbows are so loose my arms just dislocate sometimes, just randomly. Because I’ve experienced it, I don’t fear it at all. It’s the people who haven’t been arm-barred who have that fear.

Rousey isn’t shy about sex and probably talks more about it in interviews than any other fighter. So you shouldn’t be surprised to hear her talk sex in regards to what she learned in 2012.

It’s really funny, actually. I either get men coming up to me like, “Oh, my God, baby, I love you!” or else they’re too shy to approach me. Can I get just a little in between?

Hell no, I ain’t gonna hook up with no fighter. I know these guys. They’re like a sewing circle and everyone tells everyone everything.”

Rousey also talks about her transition from judo to MMA, specifically getting punched in the face.

When I left judo and went into MMA, everyone was saying, “How’s she gonna react to getting punched in the face?” And I was thinking, You don’t understand. In judo, those girls would punch you straight in the face all the time. They’d pretend to go for a grip and just punch you. Grab you by the collar and hit you over and over again. If you watch the fight I lost at the Olympics, you’ll see that girl punched me in the face twenty times. I know what it’s like to get punched in the face. At this point, I’m conditioned to ignore it. I don’t skip a beat.

Check out the entire interview over at It’s a good one!

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

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

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Dan Henderson’s Coach Upset With Ronda Rousey Headlining UFC 157

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

The MMA world is still buzzing about Ronda Rousey headlining the upcoming UFC 157 card but not everyone is happy about it. Dan Henderson will be sharing the card that night and according to his camp, he and not Rousey should be the headliner.

You knew this was going to come at some point right? Quite frankly I am a little surprised that fighters in the UFC have kept quiet one way or the other on the topic. Rousey coming in, getting a title, and immediately being thrust into a pay per view main event is a big deal. Someone has to have an opinion one way or the other right?

Enter Gus Pugliese. Pugliese is Dan Henderson’s striking coach and a part of Team Quest. Gus took to Facebook to vent his frustrations and question why Rousey and not his athlete is headlining UFC 157.

Ronda is headlining UFC 157. Here is why I have a problem with that. Ronda is the champion of Strikeforce with 6 wins in less than 2 years of a mma professional career. That’s impressive regardless of who she has fought. However, she is not the UFC champion yet. She still has to win this fight to get that belt. On the other hand , we have Hendo, who has also been the Strikeforce champion (never lost the belt),Pride champion in 2 different weight classes; he has been ranked #1 contender for the UFC 205lbs, and #6 by many pound for pound best fighter. His resume is second to none, moreover, he is fighting a former champion, Lyoto Machida. Now why aren’t they main event? Is Ronda a better market value? I don’t know, but her fight could be quick as usual and we could be missing another historic 5 rds fight between 2 legends and possible hall of famers. I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve to headline an UFC event, but certainly not this one.

Well actually he is saying that she doesn’t deserve to headline a pay per view and it happens to be UFC 157. Gus makes some valid points here but loses a lot of credibility if you start reading some of his comments. Pugliese probably would have been better off ending his rant here. But instead we got this.

Whether Hendo can go 5 rds or not, its another discussion. The point is that Ronda shouldn’t be headlining this event. I don’t even think Hendo vs Machida would go to distance. This organization is slowly losing its credibility because its president seems not to keep an opinion. He changes his mind more than a woman changes her tampons.

And there you have it. A credible opinion immediately loses all credibility by making a dumb joke about tampons. It is a shame because he actually had a bit of a point up until he let poor judgment get the better of him.

We can argue whether it is fair or not for Rousey to headline a PPV but I question the business decision behind it. Everyone fighting on this show is now relying on a bonus that is tied to not only a female fight, but a fight that isn’t even very appealing to even casual female MMA fans. This experiment of Dana White’s is fun but at the end of the day there are a lot of fighters who could pay the price for this decision.

Would Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida in a five rounder been such a big draw? Maybe but at least you have an idea of what you are getting with that kind of a fight on top. Nobody has any idea what kind of business this will do with Rousey at the top.

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

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

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Ronda Rousey Signs First UFC Fight

December 07, 2012 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

MMA fans won’t have to wait much longer to watch Ronda Rousey’s UFC debut. The newly crowned 135 pound UFC champion will have her first title defense at UFC 157. The fight will headline the February event featuring Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida in support.

The UFC made the fight official on Thursday. Dana White confirmed that Rousey will defend the UFC 135lb. women’s championship against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. The fight is not just the first signed female fight in UFC history but the first female MMA fight to headline a pay-per-view event ever! In other words, this is a historic event.

The news comes 24 hours after the UFC’s own Brazilian website listed Rousey vs. Cristiane Cyborg Santos as the headliner for UFC 157. Lines were obviously crossed somewhere as Cyborg later told reporters that while they were negotiating, she wouldn’t be ready to make 135 pounds by February. Although I would not be shocked to see Cyborg fight on this show at 145 to move the rivalry forward.

According to Rousey and White, Carmouche was not the first choice to fight Rousey. White admitted to reporters that Carmouche was the lucky or unlucky third choice to take the fight. White said that two fighters turned down the fight, Cyborg and Miesha Tate. Although both sides disputed that claim, with Tate calling it a “straight up lieon Twitter and Cyborg’s manager Tito Ortiz denied also Dana’s claims.

I found it a bit ironic that some people in the social media world were criticizing the choice of Carmouche as challenger. Some questioned whether she deserved the title shot or not. In my opinion, Rousey is a made-up champion anyway. She never beat anyone in the UFC to earn the title. The UFC should have had at least one fight to determine a champion. I know Rousey was Strikeforce champion but so were Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem, and Nick Diaz when they came to the UFC. All I am saying is that anyone arguing over the credibility of the title is missing the big picture.

The UFC will be headlining UFC 157 with this fight. I think this is a huge gamble and a little bit of a disappointment considering that Henderson vs. Machida is underneath. I understand why, but it is a bit of a bummer not to see Hendo and Machida get five rounds. The UFC is taking a major risk here in headlining a pay per view event strictly off of Rousey’s name. This is certainly not a fight anyone is clamoring to see.

Since day one I think the UFC has played this deal all wrong with Rousey. Unless you were bringing her in to fight Santos right away, it’s got a big chance of failing. Rousey can get on talk shows but at the end of the day are fight fans going to pay $50 to watch her fight just anyone? What if the fight with her and Carmouche disappoints? Carmouche is also no joke and is very capable here of pulling off the upset and blowing up all of their plans to market Rousey.  I just think you need a deeper roster and the UFC should have at least made the division 140 pounds to open it up to more females.

I also still don’t understand why Rousey and the UFC are unwilling to move up a mere five pounds to fight Santos. There is something going on here and I can’t say I get it. Dana has no problem pressuring guys to fight outside of their weight classes when it is best for business. Asking Santos to drop ten pounds to fight Rousey while Rousey refuses to go up a mere five pounds seems a bit unfair. The whole idea that this big fight is being held up over five pounds is absurd.

I know it isn’t the popular opinion here but I see this as Rousey being afraid to fight Santos. Rousey likes to talk a lot of trash on Cyborg but at the end of the day she is unwilling to take this fight over five pounds. Her excuse is more or less principle and that if Santos wants to fight the champ that she should come down to her weight. That is all fine and good but at the end of the day she is costing herself and the UFC potentially millions of dollars over principle? Jon Jones was vilified by his peers in the MMA community for turning down a fight yet nobody says a word about this other than Cyborg’s camp? There is more to this than five pounds and the fact that the UFC backs her up on it really blows my mind. The UFC has done more to coddle this fighter than any other newly signed fighter that I can ever remember.

We’ll see what happens at UFC 157. If Rousey is not the big draw that the UFC is banking on her tune and/or Dana White’s may change pretty fast.

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

Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil

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