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August 29, 2010

Ten things we learned from UFC 118

I’m sure that there were many other things we learned at UFC 118, but here is my top 10.

10. Talking trash only sells tickets. The last three trash-talking fighters all walked out of the cage with bruised egos, bruised faces and losses on their records. James "Your Lights Went Out" Toney, Chael Sonnen and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson went down.

9. Speaking of trash talking. Nate Diaz and Marcus Davis clearly had the “Fight of the Night.” Diaz usually backs up his trash-talking with his fists.

8. Lightweight contender Gray “The Bully” Maynard is for real. He is finally going to get a shot at  the lightweight belt.

7. BJ Penn and Kenny Florian should now be considered gatekeepers of the championship belts. They should become the guys you fight before you fight for the belt.

6. James Toney had no defense for the low, single-leg takedown. You don’t see that move very often in a professional MMA fight. That’s old-school wrestling, something a boxer would never have seen in his career.

5. UFC President Dana White talking about Kenny Florian: "He chokes in the big fights."

4. Shaquille O’Neal wants to fight Hong Man Choi in an MMA fight. Click to see video.

3. Joe Lauzon has won a post-fight award in his last three fights.

2. Dana White has learned a valuable lesson for the future of MMA. You can’t allow anybody with a big mouth and a few MMA lessons the chance to fight in the cage. Clearly, James Toney was overmatched in this fight and anyone that knew anything about MMA picked this outcome. We knew Randy Couture would have Toney on his back in 10 seconds and a submission in the first round.

1. False advertisement. What was the UFC thinking when they put up the picture, clearly airbrushed or manipulated, of James Toney on its website. Did they think we were not going to see his gut and love handles when he removed his shirt?

Results from UFC 118:

Mike Pierce won by submission (straight armbar) over Amilcar Alves             

Greg Soto won by decision (unanimous) over Nick Osipczak            

Dan Miller won by submission (anaconda  choke) over John Salter

Nik Lentz won by decision (unanimous) over Andre Winner            

Joe Lauzon won by submission (armbar) over Gabe Ruediger

Nate Diaz won by submission (guillotine choke) over Marcus Davis

Gray Maynard won by decision (unanimous) over Kenny Florian            

Demian Maia won by decision (unanimous) over Mario Miranda

Randy Couture won by submission (arm-triangle choke) over James Toney            

Frankie Edgar won by decision (unanimous) over B.J. Penn

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 7:53 AM | | Comments (5)
        

August 26, 2010

Candid interview with B.J. Penn

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani talked to B.J. Penn about his upcoming fight with Frankie Edgar at UFC 118 in Boston.

There was an uncomfortable moment when the interview first started, when Penn asked Helwani if he really liked him. Penn said, "Before I answer that question, I always felt that Ariel Helwani did not like me, and I want to know from a man to a man, do you like me?"

Check out the video here.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:14 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Video
        

August 25, 2010

Fedor Emelianenko: 'We want Overeem'

From an M-1 Global press release:

Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko has made it clear that he would like to fight the current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem as his next opponent later this year.


“This is an important match for me and something that I personally want to happen,” Fedor said through his management team, M1-Global. “There have been conversations about putting this matchup together in the past and now is the time to begin making this bout possible.”

 

Conversations have been taking place behind closed doors between M-1 Global and Strikeforce for some time. Injuries, timing and differences of opinion have been roadblocks to putting Overeem and Emelianenko together. “M-1 Global wants to make this fight happen,” says M-1’s Director of Operations, Evgeni Kogan. “As a global mixed martial arts company committed to driving the evolution of the sport and showcasing matchups that the fans deserve to see, we want to make this bout a reality in 2010.”

 

The roadblocks that once previously were preventing one of the most highly anticipated bouts this year seem to be disappearing.

 

Who are you picking, Emelianenko or Overeem?

 

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 2:20 PM | | Comments (4)
        

August 23, 2010

UFC 118: Previewing Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn

UFC 118 is all set for Saturday in Boston. In the main event, UFC lightweight champion Frankie

Thanks to boxing veteran James Toney's trash talking -- directed at UFC veteran Randy Couture, UFC President Dana White or anyone that thinks Toney isn’t going to win -- the Toney-Couture fight is getting all the hype.

I got a chance to talk to BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar about their upcoming fight.

“I’m ready for all areas in this thing," Penn said. "Whatever Frankie tries to bring, like any other fighter I’m going to try to be better. I don’t want to throw out my game plan or exactly what I’m going to do when I step inside the ring. But I’m definitely going to be ready for everything that happens.”

In their first fight, Frankie surprised Penn with his standup.

“I think when you fight BJ you have to be ready to stand just because his take down defense is so good," Edgar said. "So if the take downs aren’t there, I’m going to be ready to stand because that’s (what we’ll have going).”

Penn is preparing for Edgar to try and take him down and not have a standup war like the first fight.

In the first fight, Edgar seemed in awe of fighting Penn.

“I still hold BJ in high regard," Edgar said. "I mean, he’s a legend in this sport and he is still the greatest lightweight of all time. So that’s just great for me to fight him because like I said before, for the last fight it made me force myself to bring the best out of me and now I have to do that again. So I am sharp as iron and I think BJ is really bringing the best out of me.”

In talking to both guys, you get the sense that Penn is planning to go into the cage and prove that he is still the greatest lightweight ever.

Prediction: BJ Penn wins with a second-round rear-naked choke.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:24 PM | | Comments (0)
        

August 19, 2010

Old-school MMA tournament

Shine Fights Promotions are bringing back the eight-man, single-elimination tournament for one night.

Many of you can remember the early days of the UFC, when fighters like Royce Gracie, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock would fight in several matches on the same night.

“The Grand Prix format can be traced back to the grassroots of MMA,” said Jason Chambers, COO of Shine Fights. “Fans will be given the unique opportunity to witness some of the world’s most talented athletes go head to head, more than once, in a single evening. And they will see first-hand the intense conditioning, determination, and will that is needed to survive in such a demanding format.”

On the card will be former Pride FC and King of the Cage fighter Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett and Drew “The Master” Fickett, who has victories over UFC fighters Josh Koscheck, Kenny Florian and Kurt Pellegrino. Also in the tournament are several Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters: Marcus Aurelio, who has never been stopped in the cage, and BJJ blackbelt Hector Munoz, who is a 2x Grapplers Quest Champ and a Pan Am Bronze Medalists.

Each of the eight 155 lb fighters will be paired off in the tournament’s opening round, with the four winners moving on to round two. The two winners of round two will move on to the tournament’s final round and battle for the championship. The single-elimination format means that the tournament winner will need to win three bouts that evening.

The fights will take place at the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Virginia on Sept. 10.

I look forward to bringing you an interview with Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett and seeing how well he does in the tournament.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 5:19 AM | | Comments (0)
        

August 8, 2010

Anderson Silva & Chael Sonnen: An instant classic fight

Wow. Middleweight champion Anderson Silva had the fight of his life against challenger Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif. Sonnen kept his word, but lost the fight. From the opening bell, Sonnen dominated the fight. In the first round he landed a stiff jab that dropped Silva to the canvas. From there Sonnen grounded and pounded and controlled the fight from each opening bell to the end.

For four-and-a-half rounds, Sonnen did the same thing. He showed the world that Silva has a hard time on his back against a great wrestler. Every round was a repeat of the previous round.

It was just like pushing rewind and play on your DVR. Every round repeated the previous one.

If you were at ringside in Oakland, you are still feeling goose bumps. If you saw it on pay-per-view, you got a bargain. If you viewed it at a bar, you should have left a huge tip, because this one was worth the price of admission.

I was like some fight fans that disliked the trash talking by Sonnen. I guess it's not trash talking if you can back up your words. And tonight he did just that for 95 percent of the fight. It was the other 5 percent of the fight that he was submitted in.

Sonnen fans can only be happy with his performance. For Silva fans, this was a nail biter and a night to forget.

In the end, Silva won by a triangle armbar at 3:10 mark of the fifth round.

Georges St. Pierre is now on top of the pound-for-pound rankings.

Results from the card:

Dennis Hallman beat Ben Saunders by Unanimous Decision

Stefan Struve  beat Christian Morecraft by KO (Punches

Tim Boetsch beat Todd Brown by Unanimous Decision

Johny Hendricks beat Charlie Brenneman by TKO (Punches

Phil Davis beat Rodney Wallace by Unanimous Decision

Rick Story beat Dustin Hazelett by TKO (Punches)

Junior dos Santos beat Roy Nelson by Unanimous Decision

Matt Hughes beat Ricardo Almeida by Technical Submission

Clay Guida beat Rafael dos Anjos by Submission (Jaw Injury)

Jon Fitch beat Thiago Alves  by Unanimous Decision

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 2:18 AM | | Comments (8)
        

August 7, 2010

Anderson Silva will win easily tonight

On Saturday night, middleweight champion Anderson Silva takes on Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif.

For several months we have heard Sonnen talk about beating, humiliating and embarrassing Silva in their match.

After Saturday night, Sonnen will realize that talking trash has never won a fight in the octagon. And MMA fans will find out that Sonnen doesn’t belong in the same ring with Silva.

Sonnen said after winning his match with Nate Marquardt, “I’m here to be king of the mountain or I’ll move on in life and do something else.” Chael Sonnen, here’s a word of wisdom: after Saturday, it’s time to move on in life and do something else.

Here’s a comparison of some common opponents that Sonnen and Silva have fought.

* Sonnen lost three fights in two years to Jeremy Horn and Anderson Silva defeated Horn.

* Sonnen got triangle choked in the first round to Forrest Griffin and Silva destroyed Griffin in the first round.

* Sonnen could not make it out of the first round with Demian Maia, and Maia couldn’t touch Silva for five rounds.

* Sonnen's biggest win in the octagon was a tough three-round battle with Nate Marquardt. Silva win by TKO Marquardt in the first round.

Do you see a pattern here?

In his six UFC fights, Sonnen has not once had a KO or TKO of an opponent.  Every win has been by decision. So it's ridiculous when he gets on the microphone and says he is going to destroy Silva. He doesn’t have the punching power or the skills to stand toe-to-toe with Silva.

Sonnen's last TKO was against Kyacey Uscola, a fighter that competed on this year’s, The Ultimate Fighting reality TV show.

I think former American Idol judge Simon Cowell said it best, “If you've got a big mouth and you're controversial, you're going to get attention.”

Sonnen got attention and now comes the beat down.

My prediction: First-round knockout.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 4:40 PM | | Comments (4)
        

August 2, 2010

UFC: Jon Jones is the future of MMA

The UFC held Versus 2 on Sunday and light heavyweight Jon “Bones” Jones defeated Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko in 1:56 of the first round by TKO. Jones held Matyushenko in a mounted crucifix and delivered ten elbows to his head before referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the match.


In Jones' last two fights he has crushed Brandon “The Truth” Vera and took out the “Janitor” Matyushenko.

 

In every sport there comes along an athlete that changes the landscape of the sport. In basketball we are witnessing LeBron James, in boxing we saw Mike Tyson, in golf there’s Tiger Woods and some believe Stephen Strasburg is in baseball. I believe we are seeing the future of mixed martial arts in Jonathan “Bones” Jones.

 

I talked to Jon Jones' older brother Arthur Jones, who is a rookie defensive tackle with the Ravens. He said Jon told him that he had some new tricks for this fight. I don’t think he needed to pull out his bag of tricks for Matyushenko. This fight was over before the popcorn finished in the microwave.

 

After the bout Jones said, “My goal is to become one of the best in the world, if not the best in my weight class,” Jones said. “Whoever the UFC decides to give me, I’ll be ready for it."

Results from other bouts:

Rob Kimmons defeated Steve Steinbeiss by unanimous decision

Charles Oliveira defeated Darren Elkins by submission (armbar) in the 1st round

Brian Stann defeated Mike Massenzio by submission (triangle choke) in the 3rd rd.

Igor Pokrajac defeated James Irvin by submission (rear-naked choke) in the 1st rd.

Matt Riddle defeated DaMarques Johnson by TKO (punches) in the 2nd rd.

Jacob Volkmann defeated Paul Kelly by unanimous decision

Takanori Gomi defeated Tyson Griffin by KO (punch) in the 1st rd.

Jake Ellenberger defeated John Howard by TKO (Doctor stoppage) in the 3rd rd.

Yushin Okami defeated Mark Munoz by split decision
Posted by Kevin Richardson at 12:18 AM | | 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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