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July 29, 2010

MMA news roundup

Before I start, I would love if we could put James Toney and Chael Sonnen in a room to talk each other’s ears off or until one of them goes unconscious. I believe they both failed the class, Trash Talking 101.  Enough is enough, guys.

Speaking of TKO.

Vladimir Matyushenko is fighting in the UFC main event on Versus 2 Sunday night against one of MMA young stars, Jon Jones. At 39, Matyushenko told mmafighting.com that, "experienced" isn't just a kinder synonym for "old." It's a real asset, and one he plans to put to good use in this fight. He also said, "The biggest thing is that when you are experienced, you can get kicked in the leg or hit in the face and you don't go back to your wrestling and forget about your game plan. You just keep doing what you came to do.”

If I can quote Mike Tyson, “Everybody has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.”

On Sherdog.com they are also writing about Sunday’s match between Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko.

Sherdog.com said it’s no coincidence that Jones is preparing for his third consecutive fight on free television: the tube has created a venue for fighters to break free of both regional limitations and pay per view exclusivity. Tyson fought practically once a month in the 1980s, the majority of the time on cable or network stations. There were no hurdles for fans to follow the making of a monster.

Jones is hardly Tyson,  and for that, he should be thankful, but it’s clear the UFC is borrowing heavily from boxing’s playbook in packaging a talent that looks to pay dividends in the future.

Dana White who once wanted to become a boxing promoter prior to the Fertitta brothers acquiring the UFC is trying to introduce the MMA world to a young man who could be the next world champion. Jones speaks well, he had a great upbringing and he doesn’t have a foreign accent.

Speaking of boxing.

Cagedinsider.com reported White's opinion about the state of boxing. Notorious for making bold statements, White recently spoke with ESPN Radio and gave a dire prediction as to the fate of professional boxing. According to White, the lack of free televised fights is something that is making boxing all but obsolete. White noted that he was an avid boxing fan when it was on free television, but now that the majority of fights are on pay per view, it appears that “Nobody is going to stick their hand in their own pocket and spend their own money to save the sport of boxing.”

White later went on to say, “My honest opinion of boxing is that boxing will go away.”

To come to boxing's defense, it’s not going away, without a fight.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 6:27 PM | | Comments (1)
        

How well do you know Anderson Silva?

For the average mixed martial arts fan, Anderson Silva is a name you know well. Silva is considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

But how well do you know the UFC middleweight champion from Curitiba, Brazil?

Here are 10 questions about Silva.

1.  Who has Silva lost to? (Hint: 4 opponents)

2.  How old is Silva?

3.  What is his record?

4.  What was his job before he started fighting?

5.  What academy was Silva a member of?

6.  Does Silva have a brother or sister?

7.  Who is Silva's hero? (Hint: superhero)

8.  How long has Silva been the middleweight champion?

9.  How much money does Silva make per fight?

10.  What six fighting/martial arts styles does Anderson Silva train in?

Answers:

1. As of July 2010, Silva has lost just 4 fights in his career: Yushin Okami (2006), Ryo Chonan (2004), Daiju Takase (2003), and Luiz Azeredo (2000).

2. He is 35 years old.

3. Silva has an MMA record of 26-4 0.

4. He was an office clerk and he worked at McDonald’s.

5. Silva joined Brazil’s famed Chute Box Academy where he learned to become one of the most feared strikers in the game.

6. Anderson has an older brother, and their poverty stricken mother left them both with her sister's family when he was just 4 years old.

7. Spiderman

8. Silva has been the middleweight champion since 2006.

9. In addition to sponsorship earnings, Anderson Silva can make upwards of $200,000 per fight.

10. Silva’s official styles are Muay Thai, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo and Capoeira.

If you correctly answered 8 or more: You are an expert on Anderson Silva

6 to 7 correct: You know your MMA fighters

4 to 5 correct: You probably followed him since Pride FC

2 to 3 correct: You at less knew his name

1 correct: Anderson who?

Source: UFC.com, Sherdog.com, About.com and Ask.com

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 6:14 PM | | Comments (1)
        

July 19, 2010

Better MMA fighters: boxers or pro wrestlers?

The answer to this question depends on whom you ask. Of the many boxing fans that read this blog, they would tell you boxers are far superior athletes and many would destroy MMA fighters and pro wrestlers.

However, if you look at the history of MMA, you'll see that there is a huge list of pro wrestlers competing in it. To name a few, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Kazushi Sakuraba, Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, Kazuyuki Fujita, Giant Silva, Bob Sapp and the list goes on and on.

The lists of boxers are: Eric “Butterbean” Esch (77 wins, 8 loses, 4 draws), Ray Mercer (36-7-1), Marcus Davis (17-1-2), Chris Lytle (13-1-1), Anderson Silva (1-1-0), Don Frye (1-1-0), Alessio Sakara (6-1-0), Jens Pulver (4-0-0), Melvin Guillard (0-1-1), Mark Hunt (0-1-1), Yves Edwards (2-0-0) and Patrick Cote (0-1-0). This list consists of fighters that boxed before they fought in MMA.

I’m not including the list of MMA fighters that went into pro wrestling after or during their MMA careers: guys such as Josh Barnett and Tank Abbott. I believe many of them went into pro wrestling at the time because there was very little money to be made in UFC. Also, not included on the list are MMA fighters who boxed after and during their MMA careers  -- a guy such as Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who won a bronze medal in boxing in the 2007 Pan American Games, or Jorge Masvidal, who had one boxing match after a 6-1 record in MMA. Masvidal won a majority decision against a fighter with a 1-11-2 record.

When you look at the list of fighters you have two current champions, one from boxing in Anderson Silva and one from pro wrestling in Lesnar.

The pro wrestlers that are successful in MMA are guys that had collegiate wrestling backgrounds. Shamrock didn’t wrestle in college but he did train in catch wrestling (submission holds or hooks) before he fought in UFC. The only two that didn’t have a wrestling background were Sapp and Giant Silva, and both of them had disappointing MMA careers.

Many fans are discussing this matter because of the two latest additions to the MMA fighting world, professional boxer James Toney and ex-pro wrestler Batista. Some are wondering if either would make it in the octagon. I believe it’s really going to be hard for Batista because he doesn’t have a collegiate wrestling background and he’s not much of a brawler either. Batista got into a fistfight with another pro wrestler by the name of Booker T. in the locker room back in 2006.  Those that witnessed the fight said Booker T got the best of the much bigger Batista. Booker T told TMZ.com that he doesn't think Batista can "match up" with some of the big boys in Strikeforce.

Toney and Mercer aren't the only former champions to want to fight in the octagon. Back in 2007, former world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe was interested in training with Bas Rutten and trying his hand a MMA.

I think we can agree that an MMA fighter would have a difficult time boxing against a boxer in a ring, while a  boxer would last a lot longer against a MMA fighter in the octagon. As for pro wrestlers, it depends on their previous background in collegiate wrestling. In pro wrestling they use some of the same moves as MMA fighters. They just don't have the force behind the strikes and moves.

What are your thoughts on who would make the better MMA fighter, boxers or pro wrestlers?

Boxing records are from http://boxrec.com.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:48 AM | | Comments (5)
        

July 8, 2010

Really Dana White...James Toney?

Dana White calls the fight between Randy Couture and James Toney a "freak show". He just now realized that Toney doesn't belong in the octagon.

Remember back in September 2009, UFC President Dana White came down hard on Strikeforce and Showtime about signing Herschel Walker?

White told Mike Chiappetta on the Inside The Ultimate Fighter podcast, "People think we're anti-competition? We're anti-dumb competition. Doing stupid things like this, putting a 50-year-old (Walker was 47) guy in the Octagon for the first time, and then going out there putting out press releases like it's a big deal because you signed a 50-year-old Herschel Walker? Are you serious?" 

Dana White you cannot be serious?

Did you see the James Toney interview?

You were critical of Strikeforce, yet you are doing the same thing.  

Toney is a 41 year-old professional boxer that frequently enters the ring out of shape. Toney has been caught twice for using steroids before fights.

Walker is a former professional football player with a fifth-degree black belt in tae kwon do. He remains in great shape even at 48 years old.

 

Toney is often spotted smoking a cigar; he even has his own line of cigars called “Lights Out.”

 

Walker performs 2,500 sit-ups and 1,500 push-ups every morning and carries his self as an excellent athlete.

Strikeforce matched Walker with an opponent that matched his skill set. Toney is fighting Randy Couture a three-time former heavyweight champion and a two-time lightweight champion. Most fans see this circus act a mile away.

Herschel Walker was prepared to fight in the cage. James Toney is not ready; he should stick to boxing only.

In my opinion, this fight should have been fought on April 1, because this is a joke.

Dana White: It looks like you're setting out to give boxing a black eye.

I think BJ Penn put it best in his book, "Why I Fight," "while a fighter has to be talented and successful to earn the opportunities he gets, the UFC's matchmaking is not based on rankings, statistics, or who deserves a title shot. It's based on how much money a match will generate for the UFC. Nothing more, and nothing less."

Before you call out Strikeforce again for any match, remember the name James Toney!
Posted by Kevin Richardson at 9:12 PM | | Comments (16)
        

July 4, 2010

Brock Lesnar retains his UFC belt

Congratulations to UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar for retaining his belt and withstanding a tough first round against challenger Shane Carwin at UFC 116 in Las Vegas on Saturday. Carwin won the first round by displaying a ground and pound unlike anything Lesnar had seen in his previous five fights.

After Carwin connected on an uppercut in the first round, Lesnar looked unsure of himself while trying to box with Carwin.

After the fight went to the ground, referee Josh Rosenthal kept a close eye on the jabs and elbows that landed on Lesnar.

I have seen many referees stop fights with far less punishment, but I think Rosenthal made the right decision to let the fight continue past the first round.

Going into the fight, I thought Lesnar had to take it to the ground and Carwin had to keep the fight on his feet. But, after seeing the fight, I have to wonder if Lesnar’s game plan was to have Carwin punch himself out, and he would eventually win the match in the later rounds.

Lesnar and Carwin showed some flaw in their MMA fighting game. Clearly, Lesnar has to work on his standup and Carwin his cardio.

After the fight, Lesnar said, “I just had to weather the storm. He’s got some heavy shots. I just had to hang back. I knew he was getting tired. Each shot was less dramatic than the other, and I thought, ‘I’ll just let him go.’”

This fight was voted the “Submission of the Night.” I clearly disagree. I think the Chris Leben and Yoshihiro Akiyama fight should have won.

The co-main event of Leben and Akiyama was the biggest slug fest of any of the fights on the card. Leben has a chin of steel and a heart to match.

On several occasions after being hit with a punch, you thought Leben was out on his feet. Leben persevered and won by submission with a triangle choke in the third round. This fight was named the “Fight of the Night”.

Other fight results:

Chris Lyte submitted Matt Brown

Stephan Bonnar won by a TKO (punches) over Krzysztof Soszynski

George Sotiropoulos won by unanimous decision over Kurt Pellegrino

Brendan Schaub won by a TKO (punches) over Chris Tuchscherer

Ricardo Romero won by submission over Seth Petruzelli

Kendall Grove won by a split decision over Goran Reljic

Gerald Harris won by KO (slam) over Dave Branch

Daniel Roberts won by split decision over Forrest Petz

Jon Madsen won by unanimous decision over Karlos Vemola

Do you think they should have stopped the Lesnar vs. Carwin fight in the first round?

Does Cain Velasquez have a chance against Brock Lesnar?
Posted by Kevin Richardson at 2:39 AM | | Comments (6)
        

July 1, 2010

UFC 116 predictions

Fireworks are coming a day early when Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin step into the octagon at UFC 116 on July 3, in Las Vegas for the biggest fight in UFC history.

Will it live up to the hype?

Most fans have a favorite in this fight. Those predicting Carwin will win mainly do so because they dislike Lesnar and hope he gets knocked out.

Then we have the MMA fans who would love for Lesnar to make his comeback from a one-year layoff and retain his UFC championship belt.

Lesnar said on MMAfighting.com: “I brought in Peter Welch, and we changed my stance and switched it from traditional to southpaw. It’s really worked out, helped on wrestling and shooting. We changed a lot of things, and we’ll see if they work, I guess.”

You guess? Brock said later during the UFC news conference, “I messed up announcing that I’ve been training to fight southpaw."

If Lesnar is going to fight southpaw, he is abandoning his jab, and his game plan is to out-wrestle Carwin. He would become a one-dimensional fighter. This is to Carwin’s advantage because he would need to defend only the takedown and not Lesnar's big right hand.

My prediction is that Lesnar is going to have a lot of ring rust. If the fight goes past the second round, Lesnar will win. However, if it is over within two rounds, Carwin will win. So whom am I predicting?

Carwin will win by knockout in the second round.

UFC has announced that Cain Velasquez will fight the winner of the Lesnar/Carwin fight.

In the co-main event, Chris “The Crippler” Leben has replaced Wanderlei Silva, and his opponent will be Yoshihiro Akiyama. Leben last fought in the octagon June 19 at the "Ultimate Fighter" finale. I like Leben’s chin and his ability to take punishment and stand toe-to-toe with anyone. This will be a huge upset.

Leben wins by knockout in the third round.

Chris Lytle takes on Matt Brown in a match of welterweights. Lytle took the first meeting when they fought in 2007. I believe we will have a repeat. This should be the "Fight of the Night”.

Lytle wins by decision.

Krzysztof Soszynski and Stephan Bonnar is a rematch of a fight that ended with an accidental head butt. Bonnar is one half of the greatest UFC fight ever, when he fought Forrest Griffin in the first "The Ultimate Fighter" finale. He has not been able to recreate the magic from that fight. This will be the last time we will see him in the octagon as a fighter.

Krztysztop wins by unanimous decision.

George Sotiropoulos fights Kurt Pellegrino in a good matchup of lightweights. On The MMA Hour online radio show, Pellegrino was asked whether he would retire if he loses another fight. He said: “I told my wife and daughter, if there’s someone out there who can beat me, I have to start all over again. I’m at the bottom ... and I don’t know if I can do that.” Pellegrino is on a four-fight winning streak.

Sotiropoulos wins by submission.

Share your predictions.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 5:46 PM | | Comments (4)
        
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Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

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