September 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
1. Greatest Heavyweight Fight of all Time
This December 29th at UFC 155, Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez will once again lock horns in Las Vegas in what is surely the biggest Heavyweight collision of all time.
In their previous encounter it was Dos Santos who emerged victorious with a quickfire KO to claim the title. The fight was chosen to be the UFC’s premiere event on FOX and was billed as the biggest fight in MMA history.
Since their first fight, the champion has gone on to defend his belt against UFC vet Frank Mir and Velasquez rebounded impressively by smashing former EliteXC champ Antonio Silva in one of the bloodiest MMA beatings ever.
The big question is: was Dos Santos’ flash knockout a fluke? If dragged into an extended battle, could ‘Cigano’ compete with the wrecking ball that is Velasquez?
2. Greatest Women’s Fight of all Time
Rhonda Rousey versus ‘Cyborg’ Santos: a truly gigantic fight for women’s MMA and one with enough commercial appeal to bounce the division into the big leagues.
Rhonda Rousey, the current poster girl of women’s MMA and arguably the biggest fighter on the Strikeforce roster. Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos, the disgraced former destroyer of a champ who, as the picture above shows, unleashed savage batterings to all who she faced.
Rousey remains unbeaten with a staggering 6 first round wins via armbar. Santos hasn’t lost since 2005 and was on a ten fight winning streak until her win over Hiroko Yamanaka was ruled a NC after a failed drugs test.
In many ways this is a battle of good versus evil, or at least it has a feel of it. Rousey is the olympic hero who has won through purely technique and ‘Cyborg’ is the drug cheat who’s wins were through unnatural, unwomanly and unfair means.
3. Greatest MMA Fight of all Time
It looks like it is finally upon us. If Georges St’ Pierre can defend his UFC welterweight title against interim champ Carlos Condit then it is believed that the super fight fans have been calling for may just finally come to fruition. Two of the most dominant champions of all time, who have cleared out their respective weight classes and then some, will hopefully square off in by far the biggest fight of all time.
Both fighters have reached a level in their careers where it is no longer about the money, the fame or the rankings- it’s about the legacy and the glory. Both fighters are now only interested in big fights, fights for the ages, fights that mean something more. After so many, what seem like routine title defences, both fighters look ready to cement their legend in the octagon.
The biggest fighters of a generation will battle atop the MMA mountain as the new-wave, new-breed MMA generation of fighters crash against the rocks below. Both fighters must know their reign of dominance is coming to an end and what a fitting final hurrah to bow out on. No one will lose in this fight.
April 13, 2012 § 2 Comments
1. Alexander Gustafsson
At UFC on FUEL TV 2, Alexander Gustafsson will face the returning Thiago Silva in Sweden. Many expect the young Swede to win on home turf and if that is how the fight goes, I can’t imagine it will be too long before Gustafsson gets a title shot. Right now he is not really viewed as a title contender but given the state of the light heavyweight division and his young age, by 2013 Gustafsson will be a force within the UFC.
2. Antonio Silva
Recently drafted over from Strikeforce after getting knocked out of the heavyweight tournament by Daniel Cormier, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva is set to make his UFC debut against Roy Nelson at UFC 146. With the current heavyweight division being as stacked as it is, I imagine “Big Foot” will be involved in a number of high-profile matches by 2013 and will have amassed a following based, if not on his success, purely on morbid fascination. His crushing victory over Fedor will live long in the memory and will grant him a certain longevity of credence.
3. Gilbert Melendez
Not many lightweight challengers remain for the Cesar Gracie fighter to face in Strikeforce. Although Dana White has spoken against it, it can’t be long before Melendez is in the UFC. There are so many big fights out there in the UFC’s most hectic division. The fans want to see a title unification fight and end this perpetual run of rematches that has congested this accordion of a division.
4. Daniel Cormier
Daniel Cormier has come out of nowhere and now he is just one fight away from perhaps being somewhere special. If he can maintain his 100% record and beat Josh Barnett in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Finale then he may well find himself filling an Overeem-shaped hole in the UFC.
5. Rhonda Rousey
Strikeforce womans champion Rhonda Rousey has garnered a pretty sizeable fan base already. Instantly marketable with her good looks, charismatic personality and not to mention her lethal fighting ability, she could be the figurehead of womans MMA for years to come. Her arm snapping finish of Meisha Tate continued her arm bar gimmick. There is something wholesome about Rousey, unlike with previous womans kingpin ‘Cyborg’ Santos (the female version of Overeem) there isn’t a stomach churning size disparagement between her and her opponents. If the UFC decides to finally create a womans division, Rousey will in turn become one of the most recognisable fighters in the world.
6. Renan Barao
Described by Joe Rogan as being the ‘best fighter in the world without a belt’, Renan Barao is ripping through the batamweight division like a merciless Brazilian tornado. A string of highlight reel knockouts and an Aldo-esque striking game has earned him a lot of fans.
7. Michael Bisping
Will Michael Bisping finally shake off his tag as the perennial nearly man? Once again the Brit was on the verge of a title shot only to lose a razor close decision to Chael Sonnen. Unlike the Henderson and Silva fights, this loss does not seem to have dropped him too far down the pecking order. Looking through the middleweight division it does appear that he is locked in a five way battle for a title shot (Munoz, Belfort, Weidman, Palhares and himself). A win over any one of these fighters could propel him into a title shot. Next up he is surprisingly fighting a resurgent Tim Boetsch at UFC 148.
8. Rory MacDonald
An extremely well-rounded Canadian welterweight who trains out of Tristar Gym in Montreal… seem familiar? Rory MacDonald is very much the protegé of UFC welterweight champ George St. Pierre. Described as one of the so-called ‘new breed’ of MMA fighter, MacDonald seems unstoppable in his rise to the top. The one blemish on his young record is a loss to current UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. There is a feel of the Jon Jones about him and his situation in relation to training partners and title aspirations. It must have crossed GSP’s mind that he is training a young killer who is gunning for his belt. With Nick Diaz out the picture, Fitch losing and BJ retiring, MacDonald may only be two wins away from a title shot. Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampman will decide the next number one contender and the Hendricks-Koscheck fight effectively knock one of them out of the race. A fight with Jake Shields or a rematch with Carlos Condit (should he lose to GSP) will have the young Canadian challenging for the title.
9. Chris Weidman
Chris Weidman, like Bisping, is on the cusp of a middleweight title shot. Young and unbeaten, Weidman is viewed by many as the next big thing in the middleweight division. In his last fight he beat former title challenger Damian Maia. He hasn’t been given his next opponent yet but all the would be title challengers are currently occupied so a contendership showdown fight is unlikely and probably unadvised. With the middleweight division being as deep as it is, a slow and steady stream of middle of the road middleweights may be lined up as the title picture gets pruned. A fight with Yushin Okami, Chris Leben or Ronny Markes may be next.
10. Edson Barboza
His wheel kick knock out of Terry Etim at UFC RIO extened this young Brazilians unbeaten streak to 10 fights. Lurking in the shadows of the crowded lightweight division, Barboza seems to be only one or two wins away from a title shot and if he continues with his current lethal form I can’t think of many fighters who can stop him. The winner of Miller and Diaz will likely face the winner of Henderson and Edgar but it’s reasonable to assume that the champion at the end of that will have to face ‘Junior’.
June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
Lacklustre showing from the much hyped Dutchman but he is through nonetheless
Alastair Overeem is through to the semi-final of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix despite a distinctly underwhelming performance against Fabricio Werdum. Although he has able to stuff Werdum’s takedown attempts with ease, a vengeful Overeem was unable to get the knockout the fans expected.
Going into the fight, the clashing of styles was very evident. A K-1 Grand Prix winner versus a jiu-jitsu world champion- this was the quintessential striker versus grappler. Cards on the table, Overeem wanted it standing, Werdum on the ground.
So perhaps it was no surprise to see Werdum immediately look for the takedowns. However, his reluctance to set them up with strikes meant that they were telegraphed and Overeem could simply ragdoll the Brazilian to the mat. I suppose Overeem’s excessive body strength was also a factor.
Werdum was overly fearful of Overeem on the feet and, after a series of failed takedown attempts, he resorted to baiting, daring Overeem to join him on the ground. You could say this blatant disclination to venture into specific areas of the fight highlights how one-dimensional both fighters are.
Was Werdum Robbed?
There is a whisper of an argument that Werdum was deserving of the win. The post-fight analysis suggests a closer fight than it had first appeared. Amazingly, Werdum landed more strikes, landed the same amount of takedowns and attempted submissions.
You could say Overeem landed more significant strikes and had knockdowns but Werdum wasn’t hurt and was merely pulling guard. Like in the Fedor fight, Werdum was trying to lure Overeem in with the false sense of an imminent stoppage. Another aspect in favour of the Dutchman was that he held the dominant position on the ground but it was a position that Werdum gave him and a position that Werdum wanted. Despite being on top, being in Werdum’s guard was not part of Overeem’s plan.
In the co-main event Josh Barnett showed Werdum how to do it by giving Brett Rogers a grappling clinic, finishing him with a second sound submission to earn his place in the semi-finals. The former UFC champ took Rogers down with ease and from there the result seemed inevitable. Smothering him on the ground, Barnett effortlessly transitioned up to mount an exhausted Rogers.
Rogers made it to the second round despite being mounted for the vast majority of the first. However the struggle had sapped his energy and, after attempting a takedown of his own, was countered and Barnett was once again on top position once again. Despite being able to avoid serious damage from strikes, “The Grim” was unable to stop a tight arm triangle from being cinched in and Rogers was added to Barnett’s long list of submission victims.
May 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
As Nick Diaz’s venture into boxing broke down, the next logical step appears to be a super fight with UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre. Boxing promoter Don Chargin had contracted Diaz to box Jeff Lacy but the fight has been put on the backburner to make way for a potential showdown with GSP.
The talk of the forums would suggest the unification fight will take place this December at UFC 140 in Montreal. Although this outcome is logical, it is far from being signed according to Dana White who says that there are “still a lot of hurdles”.
Nick Diaz is on a 10 fight win streak with his last loss coming against K.J Noons in EliteXC. In his most recent outing Diaz impressively stopped UFC outcast Paul Daley.
St. Pierre himself is on a 9 fight win streak but notably hasn’t managed to finish his last four opponents, despite being in control of the fight. This has led to a backlash from the fans who expect more from the man ranked #2 in the P4P list.
Since the Shields fight, fans have been crying out for Diaz to enter a division that has been thoroughly cleaned out by the champ.
Stylistically, they are fighters that match up really well. They are, in a way, opposites of each other in regards to their roots and skill backgrounds. Diaz, trained by Cesar Gracie, is a grappler with a lethal Jiu-jitsu game. From there he has worked on his striking to the point that he has knocked out Paul Daley and is challenging Jeff Lacey.
St. Pierre has a background in Kyokushin Karate and has a wide array of striking techniques. From there he has worked on his grappling to the point that he was asked to join the Canadian Olympic wrestling team.
GSP will undoubtedly be favourite for this fight, if it happens, but Diaz is a fighter on form and one who is perhaps underrated by UFC fans who only remember his three fight losing streak.
Both well rounded fighters but Georges may well just be a class above. Georges won’t be goaded into a brawl like Daley and Noons and he won’t be afraid to engage on the ground either. If the planets align and this fight comes to fruition, I see Diaz pushing St. Pierre hard but ultimately getting outclassed on the feet.
February 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
The second round started with Fedor throwing a reckless right hand straight off the bat which Silva dodged and scored an immediate takedown. From here the writing was on the wall. Silva quickly and effortlessly moved up to full mount where he scored brutal shots and hammer fists from hell. Fedor struggled switching between getting bombs landing on his face or giving up his back to a BJJ black belt. From here he could really only choose his poison. Silva then had Fedor’s arm trapped so he attempted a triangle choke which Fedor heroically escaped and recovered half guard. From there, with only seconds to go, Silva attempted a knee bar but it wasn’t quite at his groin. Fedor then went for a Sambo leg lock but Silva waved his finger to indicate its ineffectiveness.
The doctor stopped the fight between rounds as Fedor’s eye had swollen shut from the punishment he took on the ground.
Well it looks like he’s going to hang it up. After the fight he made that suggestion:
“I want to thank for you for your support,’’ said Fedor (31-3, 1 NC), a class act and sportsman win or lose. “Something was wrong from the beginning. I didn’t adjust. Maybe it is time to leave.’’
Where next for M-1 Global? Their most valuable asset has just lost two in a row and now his aura and mystique. He has lost his main selling point. Also this will now be the last co-promoted event so M-1 Global have lost that money spinner. Director of Operations for M-1, Evgeni Kogan, gave this message in the post-fight interviews:
Anyway, I did say this would happen. Silva was a 5-1 underdog but I told you he would be too big and powerful for an undersized Emelianenko. People underestimate Silva’s abilities and regard him as a bit of a gimmick but he has solid skills and that’s why I picked him as my choice, not only to beat Fedor but to win the whole tournament.
January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
Last nights win was his 9th straight and the Strikeforce welterweight division does not have the depth of talent to service such dominance. Many MMA forums have fans now speculating if Diaz is now better than Georges St.Pierre. Now- although Diaz’s achievements are impressive- he has not proven himself to be in the same class as GSP. That’s just fact. He hasn’t fought the same caliber of fighter and should not yet be talked about in such high esteem.
Now I know how MMA fans are. So before you start, I am not some UFC-fanboy who believes everything Dana White says. Strikeforce do have some of the best fighters in the world, the UFC does not have a monopoly over the talent pool. However it is ridiculous to suggest the Diaz is a better fighter than GSP.
Diaz would be a worthy member of UFC welterweight division and with St.Pierre cleaning it up, if Nick did make the move, it wouldn’t take long to earn a shot. Jon Fitch would surely deserve a shot if he beats BJ Penn next but his dull style, which has led to 10 of his 14 UFC fights going to decision, has led to Dana being reluctant to hand him a headlining title shot. The Kampman versus Sanchez fight on 3rd March may give us a fresh contender. Also Thiago Alves, who excited a lot of fans in his last outing against John Howard, may be catapulted into contention if he beats fast-rising Rick Story.
This is all hypothetical as Dana White has already said in the past that Nick would never make it in the UFC because he doesn’t “play the game”.
Sorry for wasting your time. Mayhem Miller time? No.