Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Kenny "Kenflo" Florian is one of those fighter's who's definitely better every time he gets in the cage, not because the preview specials or commentators tell you so, but because you can visually tell the difference. Literally every time  he steps into the cage, you can see that he's once again sharpened up his already impressive Muay Thai and BJJ skills. He showed incredible stand up skills and footwork against Japanese phenom Takanori Gomi, and I was looking for him to display a comparable, if not much better performance against Gray "The Bully" Maynard.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Who honestly thought this was going to go any other way? In an industry first, current boxing champion James Toney fights UFC fighter Randy Couture in order to see if boxing really is better than MMA, and vice versa. Most people accurately predicted the outcome of this fight the moment it was announced.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Which side were you on when Frankie Edgar beat the man many proclaimed to be the best lightweight in the history of the sport? Did you believe that Edgar truly won that fight decisively or did BJ just have a very bad night? How did you react when Edgar wanted to fight Gray Maynard and avenge a previous loss rather than give BJ an immediate rematch?

Friday, August 27, 2010


Watching the August 20, 2010 episode of Inside MMA, I was hit with a rather interesting thought. Maximum Fighting Championship owner and president Mark Pavelich commented that the UFC 118 match between Randy Couture and James Toney, isn't nearly as good representation as it's supposed to be. This is because both fighters are already in their 40's (Couture is 47 and Toney is 41), which is the age range that many fighters retire at, if they actually make it that far. Pavelich proposed that younger, more relevant fighters of their respective sports be the representatives. He specifically names a Clay Guida / Manny Pacquiao fight. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Here are my predictions for UFC 118. As usual, I'll keep them short and sweet and leave my actual thoughts for my reviews of the fights.

Monday, August 23, 2010


As I mentioned in the first part of my review of WEC 50, a good majority of the fights in this organization of lighter-weight warriors are composed of wild, nonstop, brutal action for 3 or 5 rounds straight. This is true for the main event, and this is true for most of the main card as well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I actually only began watching WEC events less than a year ago, so I'm not nearly as familiar with the fighters as I am with the ones from the UFC. Seeing as the organization has reached the magic number 50, though, I feel that it's high time I threw in my own thoughts about this particular MMA organization.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Expectations. That’s what "The Expendables" is all about. It has an air of hype around it that just builds tremendous expectations in certain audience members. It has to, what with some of the “greatest action heroes of all time” all in the same movie. As such, I believe that this is the film’s greatest accomplishment, as well as its greatest failure.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


You’ve probably already read my general thoughts on the film, but if it not, please check it out first! This review is basically a continuation of the first one, but with added notes that the hardcore Tekken and fighting game fans might want to know. As such, this contains MASSIVE SPOILERS. You have been warned.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I recently had the chance to see “Tekken”, the live action adaptation of the very popular video game franchise. I am a huge fan of fighting games, and of course, I love Tekken as well. As one would expect, this is a martial arts movie. I have to stress, however, that this is a low budget effort, and what many would correctly term a “B Movie”. So, if you completely despise these types of flicks, then you know what to expect, and that’s pretty much all of the pieces of this review that you need to read. If, however, the thought of this being a low budget chop-socky affair doesn’t bother you in the least, then read on!

Friday, August 13, 2010



Stefan Struve has been known to be a very well rounded fighter in the heavyweight division, with excellent striking and grappling skills. But when he came up against Christian Morecraft, his skills seemed to be just a bit lacking. He clearly lost the first round to the UFC newcomer. “Dominated” would be an understatement. Morecraft quickly gets Struve on the ground and ground and pounds him for nearly 4 straight minutes. Struve has tremendous heart, though. He kept active the entire time by defending every chance he could and throwing submission attempts every once in a while. There were several times when referee Herb Dean seemed very close to stopping it, though, but Struve kept at it and survived until the end of the round.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Activity level. That’s pretty much what made this fight. During the weigh-in, Thiago Alves supposedly could not make the weight by half a pound and refused to cut it, choosing instead to lose 20% of his purse. With the money he’s currently making with the UFC, that’s a pretty huge sum, and something not a lot of people would agree worth losing over cutting only half a pound. But when you’re willing to lose a tremendous amount of cash just to avoid losing that little weight, you know something’s wrong.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Clay Guida. Wrestler. Striker. Engine with unlimited fuel. Wild man. Carpenter. Dude with extremely crazy hair. He actually reminds me a lot of Blanka from the Street Fighter series by the way he looks and acts, but I digress. Guida is primarily known as a dominant wrestler who likes to grind his opponents out until they have nothing left to give. He literally never runs out of gas. Never. And he goes full steam from the very first bell to the very last. Rafael Dos Anjos, on the other hand, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert who is also known to possess some incredible Muay Thai. So, he could knock Guida out or possibly submit him.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Alright, revenge match time! “You killed my master!” Or rather, “you defeated my master”. After Matt Hughes defeated legendary MMA fighter Renzo Gracie at UFC 112, Ricardo Almeida, one of Gracie’s top students, apparently targeted Hughes and asked specifically for this fight. He seriously wants to avenge the loss of his instructor. Hughes, on the other hand, doesn’t think the same way. He’s not Gracie hunting or bearing a grudge or anything. He just wants to fight and win impressively against whoever the UFC puts in front of him. Just another day in the office.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Roy “Big Country” Nelson” is not your average MMA fighter. He is an extraordinarily fat heavyweight that does not look the least bit athletic, yet he comes always fully prepared to fight, has a chin that can take a ton of punishment, has knock out power in both hands, can go three full rounds without seeming to get tired, has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and has years and years of experience in the sport. He was a former champion in a different organization and, after winning the tenth seasonof The Ultimate Fighter, is now steadily climbing the ranks of the UFC heavyweight division.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I've already written at length about the hype that culminated into this main event but what actually happened?

Anderson catches Chael very early on in with a straight right, but Chael remains composed, striking back at the champion. The two exchange punches and kicks for a while, and Sonnen does a very impressive roll escape after Silva catches one of his kicks. The crowd cheers for Silva.

Then, the near-unthinkable happens: Sonnen manages to sneak past Silva’s usually impenetrable stand-up defenses and dazes him with a clean left straight punch. Silva backs up, but strikes back at his charging opponent. Silva takes Sonnen to the ground, but the challenger quickly stands up and delivers several more clean punches to the champion’s chin. Oddly enough, Silva wasn’t defending any of them. In fact, he had his hands down.

Then, the story of pretty much the entire fight ensues. Champion wrestler Chael Sonnen manages to take down Anderson Silva and control him there for the rest of the fight, raining down punches and elbows from various positions, similar to what Jon Jones did to Vladimir Matyushenko at the very recent UFC Live 2. In fact, Sonnen seemed so impressive and so brutal with his strikes that I thought he would be able to finish Silva right there. But, man, Silva has a good chin and an incredible heart. He obviously got hurt plenty of time while Sonnen kept bashing his head in, but he never showed any signs of quitting. He kept active as much as possible, by adjusting his guard, throwing elbows, and attempting submissions, but he was never able to truly counter or reverse the challenger. The crowd cheers for Sonnen.

This would, in fact, occur throughout the entire length of the fight, even into the championship rounds. At the beginning of every round, Silva would come out very aggressive, attempting to perhaps finish Sonnen before he could take him down and control him again. Though still impressive with his striking, he was never able to evade Sonnen’s takedowns for long. Even after knocking Sonnen down with a solid right elbow to the face, Silva was still unable to finish him on his feet, and Sonnen still manages to wind up on top on the ground. It shows how extraordinarily impressive and resilient both of these top fighters are.

Then the fifth and final round begins, and Silva doesn’t seem tired at all. Many people doubted his endurance coming into this fight. It was widely speculated that the primary reason he chose to run away from Demian Maia for the last two rounds of his fight against him at the main event of UFC 112 was because his antics and clowning around for three rounds gassed him out. How then would he fare after having been controlled on the ground by Chael Sonnen for almost four entire rounds? Silva slips (he was initially thought to have once again be dazed by one of Sonnen’s punches) early in the round and Sonnen capitalizes by controlling him on the ground once more.

I had actually conceded Chael Sonnen’s victory in my head during the fourth round. Sonnen was on a roll and Silva looked as if he could not do anything about it. So, when the bell rang for the end of the fourth round, I assumed that it was simply going to be the same in the next one, and that Sonnen would win via unanimous decision. Miracle of miracles, Silva manages to submit Sonnen late into the fifth round with a triangle choke. After all those (what seemed like) dozens of submission attempts throughout the entire fight, he managed to land one cleanly.

Sonnen, however, is seen to be complaining to referee Josh Rosenthal for stopping the fight, but the replay clearly shows he tapped Silva’s leg once. Anderson “The Spider” Silva keeps his belt and finally, after perhaps three terribly lackluster defenses, earns it in the hearts and minds of fans all over the globe. Chael Sonnen, though defeated, should have nothing to be ashamed of, as he was clearly the more dominant fighter of the night until the final round. He performed his game plan perfectly, but was just a bit careless in the end. He performed wonderfully as a fighter tonight, and I will relish watching him again in the future. This was a spectacular main event!

Check out the rest of my UFC 117 reviews and drop on over the official UFC website for more amazing photos of the event!


Should Chael Sonnen win? Does Anderson Silva deserve to stay UFC middleweight champion? These thoughts flooded mixed martial arts fans from across the globe for months on end as Chael Sonnen, an extraordinary wrestler who has beaten a who’s who of champions and top contenders in various organizations throughout his professional MMA career began his epic series of verbal tirades against the current middleweight champion of the UFC.

Sonnen, part wrestler, part politician, and all mixed martial artist, had been talking some of the most extreme forms of trash against champion Anderson Silva for months and months on end, partly to hype up the main event, partly to deliver more confidence to himself, and partly because he actually believed the stuff he was spewing. In a recent interview with Ron Kruck on Inside MMA, Sonnen explains that he never once talked trash against Anderson Silva, simply because he defines “talking trash” as making stuff up just to make your opponent look bad. He says that he never once made any of the negative talk he shared with the various media sources up. He says he believes it all to be true, even when he says that Silva could never be taken down before because he was always soaked in baby oil. He even outright calls him a “cheater” for doing so.

Sonnen’s “trash talking” also included calling Anderson Silva a liar, since Silva had signed a contract months before committing to fight then-top contender Demian Maia, at the infamous main event of the very memorable UFC 112. Sonnen says Anderson did not go in there to fight, but to just clown around and waste the fans’ time and money. Though I did not take a lot of what Sonnen said over the past few months very seriously, including the aforementioned baby oil comment, and simply looked at them as comprising a massive hype machine for the much anticipated August event, this one rang a bell with me and many other fans throughout the world.

Dana has gone on record saying that UFC 112was the first time he ever walked out on a UFC main event. He was so disgusted at Silva’s performance that he seriously thought about immediately firing him, or at the very least, make his next fight an untelevised preliminary bout, and simply gave the belt to his manager and walked away. At the post-fight press conference, he promised to the fans that he would definitely make up for it somehow. Fans all over clamored to have Silva’s next bout be offered for free, but Dana and the rest of the UFC higher ups, instead went with the more business-friendly route: picking a top contender who would fight, and fight brutally.

Chael Sonnen is that contender, and he sold his position very well, dividing UFC fans from all over. Pretty much all of the fans agreed that Silva’s last bout was a major disappointment, but they still recognized his amazing fighting capabilities. A lot of Sonnen’s negative arguments were rather convincing, though, and some fans wanted Silva to suffer for his last performance, and maybe even loss his title. Should the title go to the trash-spewing villain or to the major disappointment? Who did you root for?

I was on the Silva camp, simply because, despite the fact that I was overwhelmingly impressed by Sonnen in his fight against Nate “The Great” Marquardt at UFC 109,and was familiar with his credentials, I was still highly confident that Silva’s highly touted skills, which gave him an 11-fight win streak and 7 title defenses in the UFC, and had many calling him the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, would somehow see him through yet again. Personally, I wished for an early knockout a la Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.

You can check out more great photos of UFC 117 over at the official UFC website.

The hype is all well and good, but what actually happened?

Friday, August 6, 2010



This match was an excellent start for the rest of the event, and, strangely enough, slightly mirrored the main event. Takanori Gomi has been professionally competing in MMA for some time now, and he is a legend over in Japan. His UFC debut, however, was under a slightly negative banner when he lost against one of the top lightweights in the organization, Kenny Florian, at UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi. Despite that, I predicted that The Fireball Kid would take the loss as another important lesson in MMA and use his vast experience to steadily climb the ranks of the UFC.

How right I was. Tyson Griffin is known as an extraordinary striker, and by all rights, he definitely is. Some people were thinking that he might initiate a similar strategy to Kenny Florian’s, when he out-boxed Gomi during their matchup. Griffin came out swinging almost as soon as the bell rang, and Gomi answered. After only a few exchanges, Gomi landed a clean right hook and face-planted Griffin only a minute into the first round. Griffin complains to referee Jason Herzog that it was an unfair early stoppage, but he was clearly knocked out.

The Fireball Kid lives up to his nickname by finishing the fight extremely quickly and explosively, and proudly earns his first UFC win. During the post-fight interview, he explains to Joe Rogan that his loss against Florian was mostly due to fighting in the US, particularly in a cage, for the first time in his career, but now he’s sure that he’s gotten used to it. Takanori Gomi is definitely a fighter to watch out for in the UFC lightweight division.


This fight is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, with Ellenberger known for being an excellent wrestler, and Howard for being a mean striker with instant KO power in any of his limbs. Howard predictably comes out actively striking as much as possible, but after trading with him a bit, Ellenberger takes him down rather easily and controls him for most of the entire first round. Ellenberger stays very active, however, by constantly delivering some insane ground and pound on his opponent. “Doomsday”, however, isn’t one to give up, and stays active on the bottom, though not very aggressive. He manages to stay alive, but fails to reserve the position or deal much damage to his opponent.

At the start of the second round, one could clearly see the damage that Ellenberger has wreaked upon Howard’s face. Howard’s left eye is extremely swollen that it looks almost completely deformed. He definitely cannot see with that eye, and the amount of swelling is most probably affecting the other eye as well.

The second round continues very similarly as the first. Howard strikes very aggressively and even rocks Ellenberger once or twice, but Ellenberger sticks to his wise game plan and takes Howard down and controls him on the ground with his superior wrestling abilities. Referee Herb Dean, at one point, stands them up and has the doctor check Howard’s eye. After the doctor determines that Howard cannot see because of the immense swelling, the referee stops the fight.

Not the most exciting finish (or fight, for that matter) of the evening, but it did show that Ellenberger had the best game plan against Howard and that he executed it perfectly. Though the fight isn’t one of the most exciting in UFC history, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at John Howard’s face. Probably not winning the fight as he originally intended, Ellenberger still proudly accepts the victory against a very tough opponent.


I picked Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz to win this fight since I thought his bread and butter, taking opponents down and performing vicious ground and pound, would work well against Okami, who is known primarily as a striker. Okami, apparently, thought the same as I did and trained extremely diligently at defending takedowns and combatting elite wrestlers. To this end, he apparently trained with one of the top wrestlers in the middleweight division; a man who had defeated him 10 months prior: Chael Sonnen, as mentioned by color commentator Joe Rogan.

The training was apparently extremely effective, as Okami managed to defend nearly all of Munoz’s takedowns, and when he did get taken down, he would immediately be able to get back to his feet. Okami would then manage to outstrike Munoz, using his range and crisp boxing. This occurred throughout the entire first round and clearly frustrated Munoz, who was never really able to implement his game plan properly.

In the second round, Munoz becomes more aggressive and creatively fakes several of his takedowns. Okami’s sprawls, however, were pretty impenetrable, and are some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen out of any UFC fighter. Munoz did manage to drop Okami with a left hook, but was still unable to follow up with any significant advantage.

The fight goes to a third round and, after all those takedown attempts, Munoz is clearly tired. Okami manages to drop him with a right hook, but Munoz’s tenacity allows him to survive. The match comes to an end with neither fighter able to finish, and Yushin “Thunder” Okami comes out the victor via a split decision.

I was honestly very blown away by how impenetrable Okami’s takedown defenses were, how quickly he managed to get back to his feet and gather distance all the time, and manage to have a full tank of gas until the very end of the fight, which is very surprising, seeing how he was resisting against an elite wrestler of Munoz’s caliber much of the time. As Joe Rogan mentioned, Okami became incredibly serious about training to fight against wrestlers after his loss to Sonnen, and the increase in his abilities is very apparent. Stuffing practically all of Mark Munoz’s takedowns is an incredibly difficult thing to do, but Okami pulled it off beautifully. If he continues to impress in his future fights, I’d love to see him get a title shot.


Alright, this isn’t a main card fight, but only one of the prelims was broadcast, and it’s pretty short, so no use creating a separate article for it.
Elkins manages to grab hold of Oliveira almost immediately and viciously slams him onto the ground. Oliveira, however, actually appreciates this by instantly locking a triangle choke on his opponent, and finishes him after only 41 seconds. See, told you it was pretty short.
But, man, those are some really serious BJJ skills right there! To be able to lock on a choke that quickly and tightly? That is really deadly. Charles Oliveira shows that his 12-0 record prior to this fight isn’t just for show, and that he is indeed a factor in the UFC lightweight division.


The main event, Jones vs. Matyushenko, for me, was the true crowning glory of the night, though Gomi’s finish comes in at a very close second. Check out my thoughts on the main event!

Now on to UFC 117! After all that talking, Sonnen better deliver on the action and give us the exciting Anderson Silva fight we’ve all been wanting!

Check out more great pictures of UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko over at the official UFC website!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Wow, just … wow. If I had to sum up this fight in only a handful of words, it would be “quick, clean and brutal”. Jon “Bones” Jones clearly does not mess around. Here’s a guy that everyone knew was going to be the next big thing. The question was, how big, and how long until he got there? Jones only had 11 pro fights under his belt before this one, and only 5 of those in the UFC. Regardless, all of them were extremely impressive, including even his only loss against Matt Hamill for the illegal elbows at the Ultimate Finale 10.He was clearly winning that fight until the disqualification occurred. Every time he stepped into the cage, it was a clear step up in competition, and every time, he exceeded all expectations.

Now, it’s time to face The Janitor. Vladimir Matyushenko is a serious veteran of the sport. He’s been fighting professionally since 1997, has 24 wins out of 29, and has fought a lot of talented competition over the years. Some, including myself, actually,  had given this fight too easily to Jones, saying that his youth and athleticism could be more than a match against Matyushenko’s experience.

And they were clearly correct. Jones opens up quickly with a spinning back kick, takes Matysuhenko down, traps him in a mounted crucifix position, rained machine gun elbows on him from the top, and ends the fight only 1:52 into the first round. You want to talk explosive, you talk Jon Jones.

What’s next for this kid? Well, sky’s the limit at this point. If he keeps up this pace, he will definitely get that title shot in the near future, and all eyes will still be on him.

Check out more amazing images from UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko over at the official UFC website!