Home First Blood

First Blood

by admin January 26, 2010

First Blood

by admin January 26, 2010

First Blood

by admin January 19, 2010

First Blood

by admin January 12, 2010

As a part of Zuffa’s makeover of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC),which features lighter weight fighters (currently lightweight: 155 lbs, featherweight: 145 lbs, bantamweight: 135), the smaller promotion is creating a reality-based television show like The Ultimate Fighter, according to CEO Reed Harris. The show will help showcase and promote their fighters who are comparatively lesser known than the UFC’s stable. This begs the question: who wants to see guys who look like your friend’s younger brother battle it out every week?

I was once of this mindset myself. Two featherweights in the cage has hardly the epic quality of a heavyweight showdown. And let’s face it, why would I be at the edge of my seat for these guys if they don’t have any knockout power?
My opinion changed after attending an International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior featherweight (122 lbs) championship match in Rama, Ontario. When then champion, Steve “The Canadian Kid” Molitor, knocked out Ceferino Labarda in the tenth round, I ate every last word.

I was then aware of the fact that for every pound less a fighter weighs, he appears to gain that much in stamina and yes, they still have knockout power.
Especially in comparison with the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, which featured only heavyweights and lackluster performances. A season of agile and sprightly bantamweights would be a fresh of breath air; amateur heavyweights, who seem to have a propensity towards not worrying about conditioning whatsoever, are perhaps the antithesis of amateur bantamweights, who are in peak condition and ready to fight.
But fighting aside, the success of the reality-based program rests on the individuality presented by the fighters. What The Ultimate Fighter did for UFC was put a name and story to the men John McCain had so aptly dubbed “human cockfighters.”
Getting to know the fighters, the fans get to make more intimate connections with them. The UFC recognized this and expanded it to UFC Countdown, which features main and co-main event fighters in preparation for their upcoming bouts, generally airing a week or so before the event in order to build hype.

Of course the first step would be adding names to the list &- presumably coaches for the showcased fighters. The WEC already has a couple of well-known fighters, namely former featherweight champion Urijah Faber and former bantamweight champion Miguel Torres. The featherweight division has also been the home of former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver as of late, who was a coach for the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as a member of his team Manvel Gamburyan.
But one must keep in mind that Harris has insisted that they will try to separate from the UFC’s reality template. The expansion into the flyweight division (125lbs), for instance, is being formulated right now for the WEC. Creating a reality-based tournament featuring flyweight fighters would be an excellent way to introduce the new division as well as establish a legitimate, inaugural champion.

So for the WEC to go the way of reality TV, the biases held towards their lighter fighters, albeit different from the stereotypes the UFC hopefuls faced in the beginning, will nonetheless be cast aside and the WEC will soon have names for all of their faces. And with advantage of exciting, fast-paced match-ups guaranteed, the question is not will fight fans tune in, but how will The Ultimate Fighter be able to compete?

Leave a Comment

As a part of Zuffa’s makeover of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC),which features lighter weight fighters (currently lightweight: 155 lbs, featherweight: 145 lbs, bantamweight: 135), the smaller promotion is creating a reality-based television show like The Ultimate Fighter, according to CEO Reed Harris. The show will help showcase and promote their fighters who are comparatively lesser known than the UFC’s stable. This begs the question: who wants to see guys who look like your friend’s younger brother battle it out every week?

I was once of this mindset myself. Two featherweights in the cage has hardly the epic quality of a heavyweight showdown. And let’s face it, why would I be at the edge of my seat for these guys if they don’t have any knockout power?
My opinion changed after attending an International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior featherweight (122 lbs) championship match in Rama, Ontario. When then champion, Steve “The Canadian Kid” Molitor, knocked out Ceferino Labarda in the tenth round, I ate every last word.

I was then aware of the fact that for every pound less a fighter weighs, he appears to gain that much in stamina and yes, they still have knockout power.
Especially in comparison with the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, which featured only heavyweights and lackluster performances. A season of agile and sprightly bantamweights would be a fresh of breath air; amateur heavyweights, who seem to have a propensity towards not worrying about conditioning whatsoever, are perhaps the antithesis of amateur bantamweights, who are in peak condition and ready to fight.
But fighting aside, the success of the reality-based program rests on the individuality presented by the fighters. What The Ultimate Fighter did for UFC was put a name and story to the men John McCain had so aptly dubbed “human cockfighters.”
Getting to know the fighters, the fans get to make more intimate connections with them. The UFC recognized this and expanded it to UFC Countdown, which features main and co-main event fighters in preparation for their upcoming bouts, generally airing a week or so before the event in order to build hype.

Of course the first step would be adding names to the list &- presumably coaches for the showcased fighters. The WEC already has a couple of well-known fighters, namely former featherweight champion Urijah Faber and former bantamweight champion Miguel Torres. The featherweight division has also been the home of former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver as of late, who was a coach for the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as a member of his team Manvel Gamburyan.
But one must keep in mind that Harris has insisted that they will try to separate from the UFC’s reality template. The expansion into the flyweight division (125lbs), for instance, is being formulated right now for the WEC. Creating a reality-based tournament featuring flyweight fighters would be an excellent way to introduce the new division as well as establish a legitimate, inaugural champion.

So for the WEC to go the way of reality TV, the biases held towards their lighter fighters, albeit different from the stereotypes the UFC hopefuls faced in the beginning, will nonetheless be cast aside and the WEC will soon have names for all of their faces. And with advantage of exciting, fast-paced match-ups guaranteed, the question is not will fight fans tune in, but how will The Ultimate Fighter be able to compete?

Leave a Comment

After failing to come to an agreement with the UFC, Dan Henderson is going to join the ranks of Strikeforce’s roster and become the latest acquisition of CEO Scott Coker’s ongoing collection of top-tier fighters. Being an accomplished light heavyweight fighter, it appeared that Strikeforce’s sole light heavyweight champion, Gegard Mousasi, finally had someone to play with. But, according to Henderson, this was not the case.
During an interview on ESPN, Henderson said that he would debut for the promotion in a challenge for Jake Shields’ middleweight championship belt.

When the doors closed at Pride FC, Hendo was a champion at both the 185-lb (84 kg) and 205-lb (93 kg) class, but has since made a home for himself in the middleweight division after losing his Pride light heavyweight belt in a unification with the UFC’s then-champion Quinton Jackson. He did go on to lose his middleweight belt in a unification with Anderson Silva in 2008, but has remained undefeated since.
Yet, despite his recent success in the division, Strikeforce’s middleweight stable is already full with fighters. Robbie Lawler, Melvin Manhoef, Ronaldo Souza, Cung Le, Scott Smith, Matt Lindland, Jason Miller and Tim Kennedy are all on the roster. As for the light heavyweight roster, it is the smallest in the promotion, including former champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral (who hasn’t fought since losing his belt to Mousasi), Rafael Calvacante and rising-star Muhammed Lawal. Henderson’s presence in the division would certainly raise its stock and could perhaps attract other free agents to the division.
Strikeforce champs already have a history of moving up in weight: Jake Shields was the EliteXC welterweight champion and only moved to middleweight when he moved to Strikeforce, Gegard Mousasi vacated the Dream middleweight title and fought his first bout at light heavyweight against Babalu for the Strikeforce crown, and heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was previously a light heavyweight, and was a semi-finalist in Pride’s 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix.

There is still hope; while Henderson has made his intentions known, Shields’ camp has insisted that no agreement has been reached. All that has been made official by Coker is the inclusion of Henderson at their next CBS event, along with title-defence’s by both Jake Shields and Gegard Mousasi.
I implore Coker and Strikeforce’s matchmakers to reconsider Hendo’s wishes and allow one of the many middleweight fighters already in line for a title shot a chance. Gegard Mousasi is a formidable opponent and is only ranked outside of the top-five light heavyweights in world rankings due to a lack of worthy competition in his division. And at the age of 39, the weight-cut to 185 lb (84 kg) is more of a health risk for Hendo.

Leave a Comment

Georges St-Pierre’s stock has been on the rise for a while now. He won the Rogers Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year award in both 2008 and 2009, and he has been offered a position on the Canadian Wrestling team for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
This offer comes as no surprise. St-Pierre has displayed his superior wrestling abilities against opponents such as Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck, the perennial welterweight wrestlers who are both NCAA Division I All-American wrestlers. The Olympic offer has raised many questions regarding St-Pierre’s future in the UFC.
Knowing St-Pierre’s rigorous training schedule, it would be no surprise if he sacrificed his welterweight title in order to properly train for the 2012 Summer Games. While this may be considered an intention to throw UFC and MMA to the wayside, it is actually an example of St-Pierre’s commitment to sports in general. He refuses to half-ass anything, and representing his country at the Olympic Games requires no less attention than any of his title-fights.

Regarding his championship, the effects of his decision are pending his next defence in March, against Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy. If St-Pierre loses the belt, he will be able to take a break from MMA. But if he successfully defends his title and chooses to crossover into freestyle wrestling, what will happen to his belt?
St-Pierre has stated that he will need at least a year to train for the Summer Games. The title would then be vacated instead of two other righters battling for an interim title, awaiting St-Pierre’s return.
In this scenario, we will need to look at the list of contenders, which is longer than in most weight classes since all 10 fighters in multiple world rankings are contracted by the UFC. The list includes: Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, Josh Koscheck, Paulo Thiago, Mike Swick, Paul Daley, Martin Kampmann, Carlos Condit and of course, Dan Hardy.
Pitting these fighters together has its difficulties, including a dilemma UFC president Dana White is well aware of: Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick have been circling St-Pierre’s belt for some time, but in a vacated title scenario only one would be able to step up to the challenge since they are all members of American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and refuse to fight each other.

Behind the three AKA fighters is UFC newcomer Paul Daley, who has created a lot of buzz with his two recent performances in the octagon.
Tentatively scheduled right now are two bouts: Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves (II) and Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley. These match-ups will presumably coincide with St-Pierre’s decision and hopefully – hopefully – the winners will not be both AKA fighters, leaving a clear title picture to crown a new champion.
As for St-Pierre, his return to MMA will certainly be a main event somewhere down the road. For everyone who is upset with St-Pierre’s possible move to Olympic wrestling, remember that he won Canadian Athlete of the Year, and deserves to reach his goal – which is not to be the best 170-pound mixed martial artist in the world, or even the best mixed martial artist, but to simply be the best.

Leave a Comment