Home First Blood

First Blood

by admin October 27, 2009

First Blood

by admin October 20, 2009

First Blood

by admin October 20, 2009

First Blood

by admin October 13, 2009

First Blood

by admin October 7, 2009

After Saturday night’s controversial and somewhat curious main event at Ultimate Fighting Championship 104, many people saw an undeserving Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida leave the octagon with a belt and undefeated record in tow.
Regardless of the judges’ scorecards, one thing was proven: Machida can lose.
Never before has Machida ever lost a round &- and in his 16 victories many have gone the distance.
With this in mind, let’s look to the future and see the possibilities for things to come in the light heavyweight division.
With many of the top contenders tied up with other fighters at present, some de facto tournaments could arise to find the next knight viable to slay The Dragon.
The two men whom Machida fought to get to the top before his first title defence, Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans, will be meeting in Las Vegas at UFC 108. Also, an injured Mark Coleman has allowed for a rematch between Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz at UFC 106.
Seeing the winner of these two bouts go head to head for the next-in-line would make for a worthy challenger. Although most bouts possible in this four-man tourney would be rematches.
Evans has faced both Griffin (defeated for the belt) and Ortiz (fought to a draw). In fact, all but Griffin have already faced Machida and personally, I feel he is the least likely of the three to end up facing Machida next.
Another possible mini-tournament could be a squaring off between the winners of Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera and Antonio Rogério Nogueira vs. Luis Arthur Cane.
Setting Couture up as the next viable contender after a defeat of Vera would be too obvious on the UFC’s part. Furthermore, if Couture and Nogueira were to win, it would make for an interesting affair as Couture is currently coming off a loss to his twin brother &- it seems Couture cannot escape his Minotaur regardless of his weight! As for a match between Vera and Cane, it would make for a highly technical striking battle sure to end in (T)KO fashion.
Others on the outside include Matt Hamill and John “Bones” Jones, who are set to square off at the live finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. Both fighters have been rising in the ranks; Hamill’s only two losses coming from a controversial split decision against Michael Bisping and a disappointing TKO from a liver kick delivered by Rich Franklin in a fight in which he was certainly winning on the scorecards, and Jones remains undefeated with impressive wins over Stephan Bonnar and Jake O’Brien.
Also, one cannot forget Quinton Jackson who will be first probably settling a score with Evans before looking for his belt back.
But before any of this can come to pass, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will probably be first in line for a much deserved rematch which, if he can take the decision out of the judge’s hands, will allow for a much anticipated light heavyweight title picture. What I am of course referring to is the meeting of Anderson Silva and Rua.
Many people have wanted to see Silva go for a second belt after his past two excursions into the upper weight class with wins against James Irvin and Forrest Griffin, and the only way this could happen is if Rua takes the belt because Silva and Machida are training partners and see each other as brother more than fellow fighters &- and more than the childish brotherly relationship that is seen between Ken and Frank Shamrock.
With Shogun winning we could see the Silva fight first, which would let for a more evolved contenders picture that would probably include the fast rising Ryan Bader and possibly a come back from Rich Franklin, who has recently inked his final contract with the UFC to end his career. Regardless of the outcome of the Machida vs. Rua rematch, the future of the UFC’s light heavyweight belt looks very intriguing.

Leave a Comment

For the matchmakers in Mixed Martial Arts, the formula is generally simple: you pit someone coming off of a win against someone else coming off of a win. Examples to the contrary do exist, such as the matching of one person coming off of a win against a champion who just lost their belt. Although it is a winner against a loser, the level of the loser-fighter is undeniable and it puts the other fighter on the championship contender radar. An example of this would be the tentative match up between recently dethroned Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans and Thiago Alves, who is coming off of a stunning first round knockout over Keith Jardine.
Yet despite the basic guidelines used by matchmakers, it doesn’t guarantee formidable opponents for those who deserve it, nor does it deny a promotions ability to sell bigger fights through the formula.
Recently at UFC 101, The Ultimate Fighter season seven winner, Amir Sadollah finally made his much anticipated debut at a main event, after being held back by injuries and complications. He was matched against the unknown and undefeated Johnny Hendricks. The affair lasted less than one minute with Sadollah foolishly chasing Hendricks, who was able to catch Sadollah clean on the chin causing him to fall to the mat where there was an arguably premature stoppage.
In the wake of this fight, both fighters have been given new opponents: Hendricks gets to test out UFC newcomer Ricardo Funch at UFC 107, while Sadollah gets a crack at the infamous UFC veteran Phil Baroni, who is making his return at UFC 106: Lesnar vs. Carwin.
Yes, the winner will fight a winner and the loser will fight a loser (Baroni lost his last contest to Joe “Diesel” Riggs at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields). But the connotations of the results are highly unfair.
Hendricks will be putting his unblemished record on the line against someone who has little to no reputation, but does have an undefeated record as well, which suggests Funch is better than he will be getting credit for &- especially from fans. And Sadollah, while fighting a fellow “loser,’ will have a much larger notch on his belt if he comes out victorious, since Baroni has a reputation and a history with the UFC going back to 2001.
Despite the outcome of Hendricks vs. Sadollah, Sadollah emerges with tentative match up that is sure to garner much more media buzz and fan appeal.
This manipulation of the matchmaking formula has been abused in the past as well, with a notable example being the pairing of Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture for the heavyweight championship. The UFC used the excuse of Lesnar’s win over Heath Herring to catapult him to the top of the division. This decision was business-minded and not an example of paying your dues in the division &- the only possible reasoning being their matching win-loss ratio of 2:1 at the time, although it was 2 to 1 for Lesnar and eighteen to 9 for Couture.
If the UFC wishes to remain as the premier MMA promotion in North America, they will need to legitimize their matchmaking as fans are growing in numbers and maturing in their MMA knowledge. So in the meantime we will have to rely on what I have said before: all politicking aside, if a fighter has to prove himself it will be in the cage, so for Johnny Hendricks, he’ll have to run through Funch before he gets his crack at top-tier fighters.

Leave a Comment

For the matchmakers in Mixed Martial Arts, the formula is generally simple: you pit someone coming off of a win against someone else coming off of a win. Examples to the contrary do exist, such as the matching of one person coming off of a win against a champion who just lost their belt. Although it is a winner against a loser, the level of the loser-fighter is undeniable and it puts the other fighter on the championship contender radar. An example of this would be the tentative match up between recently dethroned Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans and Thiago Alves, who is coming off of a stunning first round knockout over Keith Jardine.
Yet despite the basic guidelines used by matchmakers, it doesn’t guarantee formidable opponents for those who deserve it, nor does it deny a promotions ability to sell bigger fights through the formula.
Recently at UFC 101, The Ultimate Fighter season seven winner, Amir Sadollah finally made his much anticipated debut at a main event, after being held back by injuries and complications. He was matched against the unknown and undefeated Johnny Hendricks. The affair lasted less than one minute with Sadollah foolishly chasing Hendricks, who was able to catch Sadollah clean on the chin causing him to fall to the mat where there was an arguably premature stoppage.
In the wake of this fight, both fighters have been given new opponents: Hendricks gets to test out UFC newcomer Ricardo Funch at UFC 107, while Sadollah gets a crack at the infamous UFC veteran Phil Baroni, who is making his return at UFC 106: Lesnar vs. Carwin.
Yes, the winner will fight a winner and the loser will fight a loser (Baroni lost his last contest to Joe “Diesel” Riggs at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields). But the connotations of the results are highly unfair.
Hendricks will be putting his unblemished record on the line against someone who has little to no reputation, but does have an undefeated record as well, which suggests Funch is better than he will be getting credit for &- especially from fans. And Sadollah, while fighting a fellow “loser,’ will have a much larger notch on his belt if he comes out victorious, since Baroni has a reputation and a history with the UFC going back to 2001.
Despite the outcome of Hendricks vs. Sadollah, Sadollah emerges with tentative match up that is sure to garner much more media buzz and fan appeal.
This manipulation of the matchmaking formula has been abused in the past as well, with a notable example being the pairing of Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture for the heavyweight championship. The UFC used the excuse of Lesnar’s win over Heath Herring to catapult him to the top of the division. This decision was business-minded and not an example of paying your dues in the division &- the only possible reasoning being their matching win-loss ratio of 2:1 at the time, although it was 2 to 1 for Lesnar and eighteen to 9 for Couture.
If the UFC wishes to remain as the premier MMA promotion in North America, they will need to legitimize their matchmaking as fans are growing in numbers and maturing in their MMA knowledge. So in the meantime we will have to rely on what I have said before: all politicking aside, if a fighter has to prove himself it will be in the cage, so for Johnny Hendricks, he’ll have to run through Funch before he gets his crack at top-tier fighters.

Leave a Comment

The beauty of the rising interest in mixed martial arts is the increase in the number of regularly held events. So far, this month has already seen two large events: Dream 11 and World Extreme Cagefighting 34, which crowned the Brazilian (fighting out of Canada), Bibiano Fernandes in the featherweight tournament, as well as an interim lightweight champ for WEC, Benson Henderson. Henderson will later square off with the ailing Jamie Varner for the undisputed title. As for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, they have a tendency to hold at least one Pay-Per-View event per month, with this month’s being UFC 104, which will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Oct. 24.
Headlining the event will be a light heavyweight championship match between the undefeated defending champion, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Many people consider this match up to be the doing of UFC president Dana White instead of the UFC’s matchmaker Joe Silva, this match-up seems to be more about marketing rather than validity.
Although Rua has been, and is once again a top ten light heavyweight, his endurance and capabilities have recently been called into question.
After the buyout of PRIDE FC by the UFC &- along with many of their fighters’ contracts &- “Shogun” was touted as one of the best acquisitions. In his first UFC appearance, he fought a three round war with underdog Forrest Griffin, known to utilize and capitalize in underdog situations (which happened to be the case in this affair). Griffin ended the fight with a rear naked choke in the third round, giving Rua his third loss. This upset catapulted Griffin to the top of the heap, where he eventually bested Quinton Jackson in a five round unanimous decision for the light heavyweight belt.
In the fight with Griffin, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black-belt was widely criticized for his submission loss, which was caused by early fatigue from lacking cardio stamina &- the result of a nagging knee injury suffered during training.
Following this upsetting loss, Rua was put on the shelf after re-injuring his knee, costing him a two-year absence. For his comeback he squared off with Mark Coleman in a rematch to redeem his second loss (caused by TKO via a broken arm). The match which was highly touted as a rock “em sock “em affair, became perhaps the most lacklustre and embarrassing match on the entire card. Both Rua and Coleman &- who was 45 years old at the time &- were far from spring chickens, with their extended rest periods, and apparently forgot the cardio necessary for a three round battle. Ultimately Rua, being the younger of the two, managed to have some air left in his lungs in the third round to knockout the exhausted Coleman.
Despite another fight in the win column, Shogun needed to prove himself and found his test in Chuck Liddell at the Bell Centre. This fight was stopped near the end of the first round with Rua’s hand raised in victory.
Once again Rua was failing to impress with this win since Liddell was at the end of his rope, he officially retired after the fight. Rua defeated the name more than a man since Liddell was on his way out with his glass jaw in tow.
Despite these less than spectacular wins over Coleman and Liddell, one has to admit that he still beat both Coleman and Liddell. Granted the two men are fairly old and losing their abilities, but let’s face it – would you have the guts to square off with Liddell or Coleman, even when they’re in their fifties? I think not.
Looking at Rua’s past, we can see many notable victories over top contenders including: Jackson, the man believed to be the number one contender; Alistair Overeem (twice); Ricardo Arona, in a less than three minute affair for the PRIDE middleweight Grand Prix crown; Antônio Rogério Nogueira and Akihiro Gono.
Regardless of all the accusations, Rua is a worthy competitor for Machida’s 205 lbs. crown and just like any title fight the challenger will prove his validity in the cage.

Leave a Comment

Whether you love it or hate it, almost every MMA article will be graced by the UFC’s presence. In this article I hope to highlight organizations within North America besides the UFC, yet of course to speak of their opposite is to imply their presence. So there I said it: UFC. Enjoy.
While some may speak against the UFC and the level of talent their fighters possess, one must understand that the UFC is comprised of the elite fighters from smaller, regional promotions. These promotions cater to hardcore fans and launch the careers of many stars.
In fact, some smaller promotions, such as King of the Cage, have a marketing campaign geared towards highlighting UFC veterans who previously graced their bloody mats.
And of course, when fighters are released from the UFC for dismal performances and multiple losses, these smaller organizations are foaming at the mouths to purchase a big name for their next small event.
A case is point would be this past weekend’s MFC 22. The Alberta-based promotion was able to set up a headlining fight between Ultimate Fighter season four winner Travis Lutter (10-5) and Canadian standout Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald (21-12). Lutter being dropped by the UFC after failing to make weight for a title-fight against Anderson Silva( 25-4) and topped off by a second round TKO loss to Rich Franklin (26-5). As for MacDonald, he fell twice in a row against Wilson Gouveia (12-6) and Nate Quarry (12-3) after a going back-and-forth against several previous opponents, which led to his release from his UFC contract.
Also on the card were UFC veterans: Luigi Fioravanti (15-6), John Alessio (26-13), Marvin Eastman (16-11-1), Pete Spratt (20-15), Mike Nickels (8-2) and David Heath (13-6).
To understand the abilities fighters are coming in with as UFC ‘newcomers’ would be helped by looking at detailed retrospect of their career is smaller venues.
Remember Gerald Harris (13-2)? Probably not. He was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter’s seventh season’s middleweight tournament. Gerald Harris looked good, but certainly not the best in the house, and he would lose to the eventual winner, Amir Sadollah (1-1).
Harris was not even offered a spot on the shows live season finale, but last month he was able to win the Texas-based Shark Fights promotions middleweight title in a match against Nissen Osterneck (6-3), a UFC and WEC veteran.
Also, people did not warm up to the Miller brothers, Dan (11-2) and Jim (15-2) as quickly as their skills proved and records indicated.
Both brothers entered the UFC with two championship belts and one loss each.
Coincidentally both of their losses were in Reality Fighting against formidable opponents who as well became UFC fighters: Mike Massenzio (11-3) and Frankie Edgar (10-1) &- Edgar also managed to take Jim’s lightweight belt in that loss.
As for the belts, Dan had one in the International Fight League (IFL) and Jim in the aforementioned Reality Fighting, as well as both being reigning champions in Atlantic City’s Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC).
Interestingly, Jim’s final defence of his CFFC belt was at CCFC V, which also saw Kimbo Slice’s (4-1) first fight outside of Youtube. Granted it was an exhibition match, he defeated legendary boxer Ray Mercer via Guillotine choke. And also on that card was Matt Serra’s (9-6) brother Nick Serra’s (4-3) welterweight championship match.
So if you thought little of small organizations, you should take a look at the pool of talent the UFC has and find out where they came from. MMA is unlike other professional sports, people like Georges St. Pierre did not attend university on a scholarship to then be drafted into the UFC’s welterweight division. No, he had to make his way, coming into the UFC as the undefeated welterweight champion of Montreal’s TKO Major League MMA.
So go check out a small show, sure there will be some rough necks swinging for the fences, but yuo’ll also find some diamonds in the rough, waiting for their big break.

Leave a Comment