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October 28, 2010

UFC add two weight divisions in 2011

Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White announced the UFC is adding two new championship divisions, at bantamweight (135 lbs.) and featherweight (145 lbs.), while also announcing a new television deal with the VERSUS Network to air four UFC fights in 2011. 

“As the UFC continues to evolve and grow globally, we want to be able to give fans title fights in every weight division,” said White. “This is a big day for the sport and the athletes who will have the opportunity to fight on the biggest stage in the world.”

The two new divisions feature WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who will now be recognized as the reigning UFC featherweight champion, and WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. White confirmed that the winner of the Dec. 16 lightweight title fight between WEC champion Ben Henderson and top contender Anthony Pettis live on VERSUS will take on the winner of the UFC 125 main event title bout between champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. This upcoming fight will serve as a UFC lightweight title unification bout to be held next year.  

White also stated the UFC is expanding its presence on the VERSUS Network in 2011, and will increase its number of UFC events on the network from two to four per year.

What this mean for MMA fans is that we will get to see more exciting fights with the roster expanding. Now we could see fights between Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz or Clay Guida and Jamie Varner.

What are some of the match-ups you are looking forward to see?

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 3:55 PM | | Comments (2)

October 24, 2010

Cain was able to destroy Brock Lesnar

Cain Velasquez is the new UFC heavyweight champion. From the opening bell until referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight last night the undefeated Velasquez dominated former champion Brock Lesnar. He knew how to exploit Lesnar's weaknesses and he challenged Lesnar to stand and strike with him.

This is why it’s called mixed martial arts (MMA) and not just wrestling. Velasquez utilized his hands and feet to win by technical knockout at 4:12 in the first round.

Lesnar, known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet,” didn’t stand a chance on his feet. UFC heavyweight Junior Dos Santos on the fight: “Brock fought like a truck with no driver.”  In the past, Lesnar would set the pace of the fight by taking his opponent down. But Velasquez, also an accomplished wrestler, kept the fight standing. When it did go to the ground, he was able to get back to his feet.

UFC hall of famer Randy Couture said on MMA Live, “I think he’s (Velasquez) got the total package. The work ethic, the conditioning, he’s put a well-rounded game together."

Velasquez had such a very calm demeanor throughout the fight. On MMA Live after the fight he said, “The plan was to keep the distance and if he takes us down just get back up.” 

After the fight, UFC president Dana White placed the heavyweight belt around the champion's waist. From what I could observe, White didn’t look pleased with the outcome. I know Lesnar has been part of two of the most profitable pay-per-view events in the UFC. But there is a new sheriff in town, and his name is Cain Velasquez.

After the fight White talked about Lesnar: “He’s only fought five times in the UFC. We’ve seen fights where his stand-up looks good. He’s not going to win any boxing titles, but it looks good when he’s doing the punching. When he starts getting hit is when his hands start to fall apart. It’s not a matter of working on his hands enough. It’s a different ballgame when you’re getting punched in the face.”

As Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan 'til they get punched in the mouth.”

From what I saw from Lesnar, Fedor Emelianenko would have destroyed him in the cage. Emelianenko is the most well-rounded heavyweight in the world. And his price tag to bring him to the UFC, just got higher.

What’s your opinion?

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:08 AM | | Comments (11)

October 21, 2010

MMA/UFC fighter Chris Leben arrested for DUI


UFC middleweight fighter Chris "The Crippler" Leben, 30, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence following a crash. is reporting that Leben lost control of his pickup truck and crashed into a wall. He also is accused of driving without a license and proof of insurance.

Leben posted $1,000 bail and was released. 

Back in April 2008, Leben was arrest on a probation violation for a previous DUI charge in Oregon. Leben was then sentenced to 35 days in jail, causing him to reschedule a match against Michael Bisping at UFC 85.

Leben is scheduled to appear at a Honolulu court on November 22.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 3:30 PM | | Comments (1)

October 20, 2010

UFC 121 to be shown at two local theaters

I've received a few e-mails asking which Baltimore-area theaters are showing UFC 121.

There are two local theaters scheduled to show the event, and both start at 10 pm on Saturday.


AMC Columbia Mall 14

10300 Little Patuxent Parkway

Columbia, MD 21044


Cinemark Egyptian 24

7000 Arundel Mills Circle

Hanover, MD 21076

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 5:55 PM | | Comments (0)

October 14, 2010

MMA Stomping Grounds quiz

Come back each week to challenge your knowledge of mixed martial arts.

In February 2009, an MMA fighter legally changed his name to “War Machine.” What was his birth name?

Jonathan Koppenhaggen

Steve Marks

Raymond Lewis

None of the above


Which MMA fighter was the 2000 Pride Grand Prix champion?

Igor Vovchanchyn

Mark Coleman

Fedor Emelianenko

None of the above


Are World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) cages smaller than the UFC cages?




In PRIDE Total Elimination 2003 mixed martial arts tournament, what fighter did UFC fighter Chuck Liddell fight in a quarterfinal match?

Alistair Overeem

Quinton Jackson

Vernon White

None of the above


For answers to the quiz, click on continue reading “Stumping Ground Quiz”

Question #1

Answer: “None of the above” should have been your answer. MMA fighter “War Machine's” birth name was Jonathan Koppenhaver


Question #2

Answer: American fighter Mark Coleman won by submission over Igor Vovchanchyn and captured the 2000 Pride Grand Prix Championship.


Question #3

Answer: “True” should have been your answer. To accommodate the smaller fighters, the WEC's cage has a 25 ft. diameter, 5 ft. smaller than the UFC's.


Question #4

Answer: “Alistair Overeem” should have been your answer. American and UFC fighter Chuck Liddell knocked out Alistair Overeem in the first round in his quarterfinal match.


Thanks for playing. Come back next week to challenge your MMA knowledge.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 10:34 AM | | Comments (0)

October 6, 2010

MMA Stomping Grounds quiz

Come back each week to challenge your knowledge of mixed martial arts.

In Pride FC there was a Ukrainian MMA fighter who fought as a heavyweight & middleweight from 1998 to 2005. His last name was Vovchanchyn.

What was his first name?

  1. Ivan
  2. Igor
  3. Sergei
  4. None of the above



How many times have Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva fought in the cage/ring?

  1. One time
  2. Two times
  3. Three times
  4. None of the above



Many MMA fans know Fedor Emelianenko as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. Some fans know of his brother Aleksander Emelianenko as a good fighter as well. But do you know the name of his younger brother, who plans to begin a career in MMA?

  1. Andrei Emelianenko
  2. Volk Emelianenko
  3. Ivan Emelianenko
  4. None of the above



MMA fighter Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira started training in judo at the age of 4 and boxing at 14. At which games did he win a bronze medal?

  1. 2004 Olympic Games
  2. 2007 Pan American Games
  3. 2003 Pan American Games
  4. None of the above


For answers to the quiz, click on "Continue reading 'MMA Stomping Grounds quiz.' "

Question #1

Answer: The Ukrainian MMA fighter's first name is "Igor". At 5 feet 8 inches, Vovchanchyn fought much bigger opponents but held his own. He had a 32-fight unbeaten streak and also reached the final of the Pride Grand Prix 2000.


Question #2

Answer: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva have fought a total of three times. Once in the UFC, won by Jackson, and twice in Pride FC, both won by Silva.


Question #3

Answer: Fedor Emelianenko's younger brother name is "Ivan". He had hoped to make his MMA debut this year.


Question #4

Answer: "None of the above" should have been your answer. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira did not compete at the 2007 Pan American Games. His twin brother Antônio Rogério Noguéira did compete, and he won the bronze medal.


Thanks for playing. Come back next week to challenge your MMA knowledge.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 10:34 AM | | Comments (0)

October 5, 2010

Who is the best pound-for-pound fighter?

For so many years this wasn't a debate. One name was synonymous with the label of the "best pound-for-pound fighter in the world" -- Fedor Emelianenko.

Now, after every big fight there's a pound-for-pound best fighter in the world list that's published on MMA blogs.

And instead of me generating my own list, I want to hear what fans are saying.

Who is your vote for the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world?

Send a comment if you have another fighter you'd like to vote for that's not on the list.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 4:17 PM | | Comments (1)

October should be a month of great MMA bouts

Strikeforce comes to San Jose, Calif., on October 9, with an exciting card. Strikeforce lightweight champion Nick Diaz takes on K.J. Noons in a rematch from 2007. Noons is the last fighter to beat Diaz in his last thirteen bouts. He stopped Diaz by TKO on a doctor stoppage after the first round. Diaz was cut severely over both eyes and the bridge of his nose. This rematch could be the fight of the year.

Also on the card are Josh Thomson against “JZ” Cavalcante, Sarah Kaufman and Marloes Coenen for the women’s welterweight championship, and four other bouts.

UFC 120 is being held in London, England on October 16. The best MMA fighters in Great Britain will be fighting. England’s own Michael Bisping takes on Japanese fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama in a middleweight bout in the main event.

Also on the card is a welterweight bout between England’s Dan Hardy and American Carlos Condit. This looks like a really good card on paper. Heavyweights Cheick Kongo and Travis Browne should have the fight of the night. There are a total of 10 fights on the card.

Next up for Strikeforce is Challengers 11 on October 22, from Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The main event is a rematch between “Relentless” Roger Bowling and “Vicious” Bobby Voelker. Their first bout ended early due to an accidental poke in the eye.

Also on the card is hard-hitting heavyweight Lavar “Big” Johnson and a 165-pound catch weight bout between Billy Evangelista and Waachiim “Native Warrior” Spiritwolf.

The baddest man on the planet Brock Lesnar returns to the cage on October 23 at UFC 121 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. UFC heavyweight champion Lesnar will defend his title against the undefeated Cain Velasquez. There’s something in the air when Lesnar steps into the octagon. You want to be a witness to whatever transpires between him and his opponent.

UFC 121 looks to be a very competitive card with UFC newcomer and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shield taking on Martin Kampmann. Former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz steps back into the cage to take on hard-hitting Mark Hamill. Welterweight Diego Sanchez fights Paulo Thiago and Brendan Schaub takes on Gabriel Gonzaga in a matchup of heavyweights. There are 12 fights scheduled on the card.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 3:25 PM | | Comments (1)

October 4, 2010

Are fighting bonuses ruining MMA?

After watching UFC 119, I realize that some of the fighters had changed their style of fighting. I believe they do it to win one of several bonuses the UFC gives to fighters.

A fighter has a chance of winning one of several of the bonuses of the night -- "Submission of the Night", "Knockout of the Night", or "Fight of the Night".

Some times the bonuses are more than the fighters are making for the fight. For UFC 119, the bonus pay out was $70,000.

Should a fighter be rewarded for abandoning his style of fighting and deciding to stand toe-to-toe with his opponent? What if they do so not because it’s a better strategy, but because bonuses are paid out to fighters that are engaged in a back and forth war.

Shouldn’t he be fighting to win the fight with the skills he has displayed in getting him to this point in his career?

I understand if a fighter changes his plans because his strategy for the fight isn’t working. Most guys make adjustments throughout the fight. But if you are a ground guy and you decide to stand toe-to-toe and fight and you get beat for three rounds, what was the logic in that?

At UFC 116, welterweight Daniel Roberts almost lost trying to win a bonus check. Speaking to, Roberts said, "I’m definitely happy I won, but that by far wasn’t my best performance.

“I’m not going to beat myself up too bad, but there’s definitely a lot of stuff I did wrong. For one, I was kind of concentrating on a ‘Submission of the Night’ bonus. I was like, ‘I’ve got to take him down and submit him. Take him down and submit him.’ That’s normally not how I think when I fight. I usually have more rage in there.

“I could have definitely used [the money]. But I’m not going to worry about stuff like that anymore. I’m just going to stop my opponent any way possible. … I’m just thinking damage. The more damage I can do, that’s the way I usually fight, and I didn’t fight like that. So I’m a little upset with my performance.

“I had a one-track mind. ‘Take him down and submit him.’"

Matchmakers put bouts together based on contrasting fighting styles.

In my opinion, UFC 119 had its share of fighters changing their approach to fighting. A prime example was in the Matt Serra versus Chris Lytle fight.

When Serra and Lytle first fought in 2007 at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 4 finale, Serra won by taking Lytle to the ground and using his Jiu-Jitsu and submission game. It’s what he does best.

Serra won first place at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan American games in 1999 and he has competed in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, choking out Takanori Gomi. He took on a MMA fighter that was a former pro boxer with 15 professional boxing fights in Chris “Lights Out” Lytle.

Two fighters with contrasting styles should have been a perfect combination, right? No

Serra decided to stand toe-to-toe and fight Lytle and not take him to the ground. So we watched a boxing match. And now I know why I don’t watch boxing as much anymore.

It can be boring.

In Serra's previous two bouts, he had won one of the bonuses of the night. Against Frank Trigg at UFC 109 he earned “Knockout of the Night”, and against Matt Hughes at UFC 98 he won “Fight of the Night”. In the fight with Trigg he doubled his purse, from $75,000 to $150,000, and in the fight with Hughes he went from $75,000 to $135,000 by winning the bonus.

So you can see why a fighter would want to try and win one of the several bonuses of the night.

Lytle, in his last 10 bouts, has won a “bonus of the night” seven times.

I believe if you are going to give out bonuses, it should only be for winning your bout. If you win, you double your purse. Then only will a fighter look to win their match with the style that got them there in the first place.

UFC President Dana White saved some money by not giving out the “Knockout of the Night” bonus at UFC 119.

If only we could have saved some money and not gotten such a weak card.
Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:33 AM | | Comments (0)
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About the blogger
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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