Whats wrong with Rory MacDonald?

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I don't know what it is about Rory MacDonald. There is just something about his demeanor. The way he carries himself is cold and calculating. He never says too much, but when he speaks, its deliberate and almost void of emotion.

Very Serial Killer-esque.

If you don't know what i'm talking about, take some time out and check the UFC Embedded series leading up to UFC 174, or the 174 Post Fight Presser. Sure, he has flashes of emotion, but for the most part, he's very stoic. While it might not seem odd to some, fighters live in a world where they face their strengths and weaknesses daily. That, in itself, breeds unique and interesting characters.

Some will push out an image of confidence bordering on cockiness. Some mask the pressure with humor and jest, and some take it all in with humility. But no-one really exudes indifference like MacDonald.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing. In fact, I think it adds a dynamic part to the recently revamped UFC Welterweight divison.

You've got your fighters pushing their way to the top with good old fashioned grit, determination and hard work, ala Matt Brown and Johny Hendricks. You've got seasoned veterans, just waiting to grab a hold of destiny that has thus far alluded them, such as Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler. There's the complete wildcard in Hector Lombard and (if he ever returns) Nick Diaz. And the always dangerous up and comers, like Gunnar Nelson and Kelvin Gastelum.

But then there's Rory MacDonald. UFC's Patrick Bateman. Rory appears to have zero interest in the landscape at 170 pounds. How other fighters are going about their business is of little importance. They aren't people, they are obstacles that need to be overcome to achieve the grand prize. He's not looking to amass a reputation by beating formidable opponents. He's looking to acquire trophies from a line of victims on his way to his ultimate goal.

The strange thing is... Should Rory make it to the top, the UFC may find one of it's most intriguing characters in a person that was thought to have little personality. His eerily complacent disposition could prove to be more fearful than the most intimidating fighters in UFC's history. Everything that seems off about Rory MacDonald could have a panicking effect on the rest of the division.

 

Bellator 120 PPV - Results and musings

Bellator's second shot at PPV glory

Bellator's second shot at PPV glory

Despite having two ex-UFC stars that most consider past their prime on the main bill and the Chandler/Alvarez rematch dropped, somehow, Bellator's doomed <s>first</s> second PPV attempt actually turned out to be a pretty decent affair.

The main card kicked off with British fighter Michael Page making short work of Rick Rainey by taking a KO in the first. Page was looking flashy, putting on an "Anderson Silva-esque" performance against Rainey before landing a huge right that put Rick out.

Page looked damn good, no denying it, and its not the first time he's put on a performance like that. Bellator would be wise to groom the kid before throwing him a title shot. Yes, he looked good and yes, he could probably do it again. But he'll need to get more exposure before he can be considered a solid contender. A flashy performance just looks like luck when the fighter is 6-0. He'll need to rack up a few more wins in order to convert the non-believers.

Second up was Alexander Volkov vs. Blagoi Ivanov. Volkov has been tearing through the Heavyweight Tourney in an effort to score a fight for the title, however Ivanov wasn't going down without a fight. Ivanov looked good in the first, dictating where the fight went and landing some solid punches. With Volkov unable to dominate the clinch, the round could have easily gone to Ivanov. A bad throw by Ivanov in the second allowed Volkov to take the back and sink in the rear naked choke for the win.

I'm keen to see how Volkov performs in the title rematch. With both Alexander Volkov and current Heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov having solid records in Bellator's heavyweight division, one would think that whoever holds the title at the end of their contract would have the UFC blowing up their agents mobile.

Former UFC veteran Tito Ortiz and Bellator Middleweight Champ Alexander Shlemenko squared off in a Light Heavyweight tilt. Ortiz's significant weight advantage had been the topic all week and it showed, with Tito beating Shlemenko by arm triangle in the first. Shlemenko was connecting quite well in the beginning of the round, but once Ortiz instigated the clinch and worked for the take-down, he couldn't be stopped.

Tito screamed that he's back, but realistically this fight did nothing in terms of ranking. Sure, the fight reinvigorated Ortiz and gave him the fire he needed to train and compete, but we still have no idea how he will perform against another Light Heavyweight. Luckily, the fight also did nothing for Shlemenko. He has been dominant in the Middleweight division ever since the departure of Hector Lombard, and some would consider that he could even make Welterweight if motivated. It'll be interesting to see who each fighter faces next.

The co-main event was scheduled to be a rubber match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, however Alvarez was unable to compete due to a concussion suffered in training. It was a major loss for the Bellator PPV, as previous affairs between the two were legendary (seriously, if you haven't seen them, do yourself a favor). Will Brooks, Season 9 Lightweight Tourney winner stepped up on short notice for what was most certainly the fight of his career, and he went out and fought for it.

Chandler took the first two using the takedown to dominate Brooks on the ground. In the third and fourth however, it was all Brooks. A combination of crisp striking and lighting fast takedowns allowed Brooks to get back in the fight. It all came down to the fifth. Brooks came out looking to repeat rounds 3 and 4. He was getting better of the exchanges, but Chandler managed to land a left hook and straight right that grounded the Season 9 Tourney winner. Chandler moved to full mount and tried to land an arm triangle, but bailed and ended the round on top. One would have thought that would have been enough to give the nod to Chandler, but the judges disagreed, giving the fight, and Interim Lightweight Championship to Brooks via split decision.

 I personally scored it for Chandler, but I could see how they gave it to Brooks. In the history of supposed "robberies", I doubt this would make a mark. Strange situation for Bellator though... On one hand, the Chandler/Alvarez fight would need to be pushed back, but at a time where the promotion is looking for stars, Brooks got himself noticed.

The main event saw ex Pride and UFC star Rampage Jackson take on ex Strikeforce Champ King Muhammed Lawal to determine the winner of the Light Heavyweight Tourney. The story of the fight was Rampage's boxing vs. King Mo's takedowns. Mo took out the first, avoiding the power of Rampage and bringing him to the mat. Rampage was much more successful in the second, landing solid shots and opening a cut on Mo's eye. In the third, one would think that Mo's ground dominance would have won him the fight, but all 3 judges gave it to Rampage.

There was a fair share of drama when the winner was announced. King Mo was obviously angry with the decision and I was inclined to agree with him. Mo called shenanigans on Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney (more specifically, calling him a "dick rider"). Pretty bold statement for one of the promotions starts to drop on their first pay per view. I dare say there will be an interesting fallout as a result.

Full results below.

Main card:
Rampage Jackson def. King Mo via unanimous decision
Will Brooks def. Michael Chandler via split decision
Tito Ortiz def. Alexander Shlemenko via submission (arm-triangle choke) (R1, 2:27)
Alexander Volkov def. Blagoi Ivanov via submission (rear-naked choke) (2nd, 1:08)
Michael Page def. Ricky Rainey via first-round KO (4:29)

Undercard: 
Cheick Kongo def. Eric Smith via second-round TKO (4:35)
Marcin Held def. Nate Jolly via submission (armbar) (R1, 4:20)
Fabricio Guerreiro def. Shahbulat Shamhalaev via submission (kimura) (R1, 3:29)
Goiti Yamauchi def. Mike Richman via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Austin Lyons def. Zach Underwood via technical unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Mike Wessel def. Justin Frazier via first-round TKO (4:28) 
Ben Brewer def. Andy Uhrich via second-round KO (2:40)
Codie Shuffield def. Anthony Lemon via submission (rear-naked choke) (2nd, 2:15)
Brian Hall def. Cortez Phelia via third-round KO (0:24)

 

UFN 40 - Results and Musings

Courtesy of UFC.com 

Courtesy of UFC.com 

I'd be lying if I said I was overly excited about this card, but boy was I wrong...

Matt Brown and Erick Silva went to war. A liver kick followed by a slick back mount from Silva almost had Brown out in the 1st, but Brown fought back and landed combination after combination on the Brazilian.

Despite "The Immortal's" unrelenting stand up, Silva just wouldn't go down. He looked like me might be able to change the momentum of the fight by attacking Brown's body with devastating liver kicks, but by half-way through round 3, Erick Silva couldn't take anymore of Brown's strikes and the fight was waved off. The fight was what he UFC needed to show that the lower tier cards still have there value, and that's exactly what was delivered.

The other fights on the card told the story of quiet achievers applying their craft. 

Costas Philippou brutally knocked out Lorenz Larkin in the 1st round in the co-main event. Both guys came out strong, looking to land bombs in a "rock-em sock-em" style affair. However Philippou come out on top in what was actually a pretty back and forth tilt. It puts Philippou back in the win column after successive losses to Luke Rockhold and Francis Carmont. Prior to which, he was riding a 5 fight win streak, albeit remaining fairly inactive throughout most of 2013.

Daron Cruickshank was also impressive with his TKO of Erik Koch. Cruickshank came in as the underdog versus a rising star in Koch, but was able to put out the favorite with a head kick followed by a flurry of punches in what was a rather late stoppage by the ref. This is Cruickshank's second destructive finish in 2014, and as time has shown, UFC fortune favors the impressive and active.

Soa Palelei put his inauspicious UFC debut further behind him with a KO of Ruan Potts. The Australian Heavyweight knocked out Ruan Potts from the guard, highlighting the power that has brought Palelei into the UFC ranks. It marks his 11 consecutive win via KO/TKO. 

Complete results from the card below.

Main Card
- Matt Brown def. Erick Silva via TKO (punches), 2:11 of round 3
- Costas Philippou def. Lorenz Larkin via KO (punch), 3:47 of round 1
- Daron Cruickshank def. Erik Koch via TKO (head kick and punches), 3:21 of round 1
- Neil Magny def. Tim Means via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Soa Palelei def. Ruan Potts via KO (punch), 2:20 of round 1
- Chris Cariaso def. Louis Smolka via unanimous decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Prelim Card
- Ed Herman def. Rafael Natal via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrell Montague via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Zak Cummings def. Yan Cabral via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Johnny Eduardo def. Eddie Wineland via TKO (punches), 4:37 of round 1
- Nik Lentz def. Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Justin Salas def. Ben Wall via KO (punches), 2:41 of round 1
- Albert Tumenov def. Anthony Lapsley via KO (punch), 3:56 of round 1

Why the Welterweight division needs Nick Diaz.

Props to @nickdiaz209 on Twitter

Props to @nickdiaz209 on Twitter

Nick Diaz made his intentions clear backstage at UFC 170 to anyone within ear shot. The always entertaining Welterweight will only be returning to the cage in a title fight scenario. The below quote from Diaz was captured by Fox Sports...


"I don't care, I'm talking about a title fight matchup," he said. "Bottom line, I'm the only draw here. Bottom line. We had like the third biggest [pay-per-view]. That wasn't just because of Georges St-Pierre. And these guys aren't doing that. People want to pay to see me fight, they want to see someone get knocked out or someone get tapped out, or they want to see me get my ass whooped like they've been waiting to see but they still don't get to see."

...

"I've been fighting for 11 years. I already did all those [contender] fights. I don't have to take a warmup fight. Why would I take a warmup fight? To help somebody out? To bring them to my level? I've already been through all that and you still didn't see me take an ass whipping."

 

Dana White soon followed up with comments indicating that Diaz wasn't even in the picture at 170 pounds, but is granting Nick Diaz that bad of an idea? (hint: a big Diaz "fuck you" if you think its a bad idea).

At UFC 171, we'll have a new Welterweight Champion in either Johny Hendricks or Robbie Lawler. It seems likely that Carlos Condit would be next in line should he get past Tyron Woodley on the same night. Following that, Rory MacDonald, Jake Shields, Hector Lombard and Jake Ellenberger all seem just a couple of fights away from contendership. Now that lineup has the potential for some amazing fights, but what it lacks is personality. 

Should any of the aforementioned fighters meet in the Octagon, we can be in for a civil lead-up, with very little trash talk and an emphasis on skill and ability. But, as we saw in Anderson Silva's run prior to the Chael Sonnen saga, its very hard to promote off the back of that. Chael gave the division what it needed. A feud. A beef. A reason to believe the Champion could be dethroned by a brash contender, or have that contender be completely destroyed at the hands of the divisions King.

Once a definitive Champion has been established in the Welterweight division, the UFC will need a fighter they can promote as the heel. The guy that will walk in, flip people off, run his mouth at will and make a scene in an environment that has just settled down after the GSP power vacuum.

Nick Diaz is that guy. 

 

UFC 170 - Rousey vs McMann - Results and Musings

Replace Evans with some random and we got ourselves a card!

Replace Evans with some random and we got ourselves a card!

Rowdy Ronda Rousey retains her Bantamweight strap after putting away Sara McMann in just over a minute.

Both girls looked strong as they went straight after it from the opening bell. Rousey moved straight into a clinch and copped a number of punches to the head for her trouble. But once the clinch was engaged, it was Rousey's fight. "Rowdy" landed elbows and knees against the fence before dropping her opponent with the last of successive knee's to the liver. Herb Dean jumped in and called a stop to the fight, just as McMann appeared to be recovering, but the deed was done. The stoppage will be debated, but McMann hit the ground hard after that liver shot and didn't look good. The right call was made if you ask me.

Patrick Cummins stepped in short notice to face Daniel Cormier for an injured Rashard Evans to make up the co-main event. The UFC hype train did a good job of flaring up the drama for this match, but in the end it went as expected, with Cormier making quick work of the UFC debutante.

Cummins didn't look to bad in the opening seconds, landing leg kicks, jabs and moving well around the ring. But it was short lived as Cormier found his range, landing a heavy straight right which spelled the beginning of the end. A jab/uppercut combo put Cummins on his back and a few seconds of ground and pound later saw Cormier's hand being raised just over a minute into the first.

Demian Maia was looking to recover from a split decision loss against Jake Shields in his last fight, but it was never going to be easy against Rory MacDonald. "Aries" was also looking to bounce back after losing his last outing to Welterweight contender Robbie Lawler.

Maia was the first to enact his game plan by hitting a takedown early in the first and maintaining top control for the majority of the round. While Maia was looking strong on the ground, MacDonald was never out of the fight and did a great job of defending and getting back to his feet. Rounds 2 and 3 painted a completely different picture, with Rory keeping the fight on the feet and landing shots at will against a tiring Maia. Rory looked to be in the position to finish the fight on multiple occasions in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds, but Maia was able to recover to finish the full 15. MacDonald walked away with the unanimous decision.

The Waldburger/Pyle fight looked like it was going to be violent on paper and didn't disappoint. Waldburger's striking was looking sharp and on-point against the veteran Pyle. But Pyle's take downs proved the be the decisive factor, as he took down and tired out T.J during the 1st and 2nd rounds. Both guys started throwing down in the 3rd. Pyle caught a kick by T.J and whiped him to the mat with a spinning elbow. Pyle didn't let up on the younger fighter and eventually caught him with a guillotine that he leveraged to move to mount. After what seemed like too long of a beating from the top, Herb Dean mercifully called and end to the fight as Pyle walked away with a TKO victory.

I can never not support an Aussie (even when we adopt them from New Zealand) and Robert Whittaker is no exemption. I really like the kid from the Ultimate Fighter to his last few outings in the UFC, but getting one over on Stephen Thompson was never going to be easy.

Both guys stepped out in round one looking comfortable with the striking. Whittaker was landing jabs, but couldn't put combinations together due to the speed of Thompson. "Wonderboy" was jumping in and out of range, picking his shots and landing hard. A straight right dropped the Aussie and a subsequent flurry prompted Mario Yamasaki to end to the fight.

Check out the full results below.

  • Ronda Rousey def. Sara McMann via first-round TKO
  • Daniel Cormier def. Patrick Cummins via first-round TKO
  • Rory MacDonald def. Demian Maia via unanimous decision
  • Mike Pyle def. TJ Waldburger via third-round TKO
  • Stephen Thompson def. Robert Whittaker via first-round TKO
  • Alexis Davis def. Jessica Eye via split decision
  • Raphael Assuncao def. Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision
  • Aljamain Sterling def. Cody Gibson via unanimous decision
  • Zach Makovsky def. Josh Sampo via unanimous decision
  • Erik Koch def. Rafaello Oliveira via first-round TKO
  • Ernest Chavez def. Yosdenis Cedeno via split decision

UFC Fight Night 36 - Results and Musings

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Middleweight long stood as the UFC's most stagnant division while under the dominating rule of Anderson Silva. Now, there is no shortage of contenders. 

Lyoto Machida put on a show against a great talent in Gegard Mousasi. The Dragon started slow, but picked up the pace in the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds to take the fight on all judges scorecards.

Mousasi didn't have a response to Machida's speed, who peppered the former StrikeForce Champion with all manner of strikes, while maintaining his trademark elusiveness. Obviously frustrated, you could see Mousasi start to walk more directly into striking distance, looking for an opportunity to land a game changer... but it wasn't to be. 

In the co-main event, Ronaldo Souza took on Francis Carmont in another fight for title contender-ship. Jacare looked strong in the first, pushing for a takedown, securing the back and threatening with a choke for the best part of the round. Carmont started to find his distance in the second, mixing up his striking and keeping the Brazilian honest. It was all for naught though, with Jacare getting another take down in the third and maintaining back mount to ride out a decision win.

Erick Silva made quick work of Takenori Sato, with a flush body kick spelling the beginning of the end for the UFC debutante. Obviously wounded, Sato shot in for a take down, only for Silva to throw unorthodox reverse heel strikes to Sato's head. The fight was called off shortly after a hailstorm of Silva hammer fists left the Japanese fighter slumped on the mat.

 

Full Results

  • Lyoto Machida defeated Gegard Mousasi by Unanimous Decision
  • Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza defeated Francis Carmont by Unanimous Decision
  • Erick Silva defeated Takenori Sato by TKO (Ref stoppage, 1st Round)
  • Nicholas Musoke defeated Viscardi Andrade by Unanimous Decision
  • Charles Oliveira defeated Andy Ogle by Submission (Triangle Choke, 3rd Round)
  • Joe Proctor defeated Cristiano Marcello by Unanimous Decision
  • Rodrigo Damm defeated Ivan “Batman” Jorge by Unanimous Decision 
  • Francisco Trinaldo defeated Jesse Ronson by Split Decision
  • Iuri Alcantara defeated Wilson Reis by Unanimous Decision
  • Felipe Arantes defeated Maximo Blanco by Unanimous Decision
  • Ildemar Alcantara defeated Albert Tumenov by Split Decision
  • Zubair Tukhugov defeated Douglas Silva by Unanimous Decision

 

UFC 169 - Results and Musings

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So UFC 169 has come and gone. With only two finishes on the card (one being marred with controversy), its hard to argue that the event was anything more than lackluster. But personally, I thought there were some great highlights.

 

Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo

Jamie Varner's story is amazing. From his successful run in WEC, to the downturn forcing him on local shows and resurgence against Edson Barboza at UFC 146, its the stuff stories are made of. Varner was 2-2 leading into 169 and a win against a dangerous opponent like Trujillo (on late notice) would surely warrant a top 15 opponent. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

Both guys came out of the gate looking to land hard shots. They exchange heavily on the feet and every shot looked like it had the potential to put someone out. Trujillo looked for a take down but Varner reversed and worked to the back. A scramble ensued and Varner tries to sink in a north-south choke. After adjusting, Varner gives in on the attempt and moved to mount. Trujillo takes the opportunity to get to his feet where the pair exchange until the close of the round.

The second round starts much like the first. Both exchange, Varner sprawls on a take down, tries to take the back, but Trujillo makes it back to his feet. There's a heavy exchange against the fence and Varner looked like he was moments from putting out Trujillo... You can call it heart, determination or pure grit, but just when he was counted out, Trujillo pulls out the mother of all right hook that puts Varner flat on his face. Trujillo KO's Varner midway through round 2.

Wow, what a fight. It was exactly what the event needed after a pretty poor showing in the prelims. The fight earns a well deserved FOTN and Trujillo takes another bonus for KO of the night.

For Trujillo, its puts him up on the main stage. But in a stacked lightweight division, who could you give him? Considering the guy loves a brawl, I think Diago Sanchez makes sense. But Diago is booked in against Myles Jury in March, it probably wont happen. Depending on how much time Trujillo wants off, taking on the winner of Sanchez/Myles could make for a really great fight. Although, the same could be said for Trujillo's original opponent in Bobby Green.

Varner took a fight on short notice with a dangerous contender. For that, and the performance that unfolded, Varner should be commended. But as far as rankings are concerned, the fight didn't do much to put him in contention in one of the UFCs deepest divisions. As a bit of a Varner fanboy, this sucks to say, but Varner has fallen to gatekeeper status. You'd think that Varner's next fight is a "loser leaves town" match. But at this stage, I have really no idea who Joe Silva should pair him up against.

 

Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lama

Aldo walks into this bout as a pound for pound superstar. Undefeated in 16 fights, he's a heavy favorite. I just don't think Lama has what it takes. Joe Rogan mentions something that really sticks with me during Aldo's walk-in. Apparently GSP's and Anderson Silva's fall from the top, reinvigorated Aldo's attitude to training. Interesting to see how that presents itself in this fight.

I could go into detail of every round of this fight. But realistically, you could probably predict it. Aldo put on a clinic. Laying back and measuring in round one, picking up the pace in two and three, ground dominance in round four and a late flurry by the contender in Aldo's fading last round.

Sorry I don't sound overly excited about this fight. Don't get me wrong, Aldo is a ridiculously skilled fighter. He holds a well deserved position as number two in the pound for pound rankings and every time he fights, you see something spectacular. But I share the same sentiments as Dana White in the post fight press conference. He just doesn't put an end to fights where he obviously can. I love to watch the guy fight, but I can't help but feel that "Anderson Silva" status is just a few finishes away for the Brazilian.

 

Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber

Renan Barao has only recently usurped the bantamweight throne from Dominic Cruz, after the American bowed out of their scheduled unification bout due to a groin injury. After sitting in interim titleholder limbo for almost 2 years, Barao needs this win to close the books on the last year and a half and declare himself the true bantamweight champion. Faber, on the other hand, needs this win to capture his first UFC title. A goal that has evaded him ever since the lighter weight classes were brought into the fold.

The fight opened up with a few measuring exchanges but nothing really landing. Faber's striking looked really good and it felt like we could really be in for a fight here. Barao floored Faber with a straight right and swarmed, Faber somehow made it back to his feet, albeit worse for wear. Barao dropped Faber again, Faber grabbed a leg while Barao rained down punches. Herb Dean stepped in and called the finish on a fight that looked far from over. Faber is in disbelief as he explains to Herb Dean that he was still in the fight, but it was too late, Barao by TKO in the First.

As mentioned above, both guys needed the win to put to bed doubts and questions. While Barao looked great, you cant help but feel as if we were all a little cheated on a definitive result. At the end of the day, Barao is a beast and deserves the divisions top slot. Faber will be back in the mix and regardless of the number of title shots he's had, wont be shy of another one for too long. Especially considering how much of a class act he was in defeat.

 

Full Results

  • Renan Barao def Urijah Faber by TKO Round 1, 3:42
  • Jose Aldo def Ricardo Lamas by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-26)
  • Alistair Overeem def Frank Mir by Unanimous Decision  (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ali Bagautinov def John Lineker by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Abel Trujillo def Jamie Varner by KO Round 2, 2:32
  • Alan Patrick def John Makdessi by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Chris Cariaso def Danny Martinez by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Nick Catone def Tom Watson by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Al Iaquinta def Kevin Lee by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)
  • Clint Hester def Andy Enz by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
  • Rashid Magomedov def Tony Martin by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Neil Magny def Gasan Umalatov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

 

 

UFC on FOX 10 - Results

Walt Harris vs Nikita Krylov

First round starts with Krylov walking down Harris, throwing heavy shots and not respecting the striking of the former Golden Gloves champ. Krylov throws a question mark quick that is partially blocked by Harris, but did little to protect him. Obviously hurt, Harris back peddled before crumpling against the cage. Krylov swarms and the fight is waved off shortly after.

Krylov looks great. Nothing like what was presented in the Palelei fight. Excited to see a lot more from him.

Nikita Krylov defeats Walt Harris by TKO at 0:25 in Round 1.

 

George Sullivan vs Mike Rhodes

Rhodes steps in at short notice to take a fight against the UFC debutante, Sullivan. All three rounds seem to follow the same pattern of measure, exchange, and clinch.

Ultimately, Sullivan appears to take rounds 1 and based on heavy hands and aggression. Rhodes looked like he started to find his range in the second, however was unable to unload the kind of volume to put pressure on Sullivan.

George Sullivan defeats Mike Rhodes by Unanimous Decision (29-28; 29-28; 29-28).

 

Daron Cruickshank vs Mike Rio

Cruickshank opens up quickly, throwing multiple combinations and really mixing up the striking. Rio stays confident and opens up a little himself. Unfortunately for Rio, Cruickshank is obviously the better striker. After dropping Rio in Round 1, Cruickshank finds victory towards the end of round 2 with a spinning heal kick followed by a cavalcade of punches. 

A great display of dynamic striking by Cruickshank.

Daron Cruickshank defeats Mike Rio by TKO at in 4:56 Round 2

 

Junior Hernandez vs Hugo Viana

Viana is a ball of energy from the get go. Getting in and out of range at will and throwing everything at full force. Hernandez continues to walk forward and wear all kinds of punishment without really throwing anything in return. Such is the flavor of the fight for the first two rounds. Hernandez senses urgency in the third and continues to plod forward against a slowing Viana, but too little to late as Viana takes the decision.

Hugo Viana defeats Junior Hernandez by Unanimous Decision (29-28; 29-28; 29-28).

 

Chico Camus vs Yaotzin Meza

While largely contested in the clinch and on the ground, Camus looks much better in the stand up and pushes for the take down. Both exchange top position, but Camus manages to ride the position better than Meza on route to a decision win.

Chico Camus defeats Yaotzin Meza by Unanimous Decision (30-27; 29-28; 29-28).

 

Eddie Wineland vs Yves Jabouin

Eddie steps in quick off the bell and looks for the exchange. Yves appears the more technically sound of the two, as Wineland struggles to land the hard shot he's looking for.It doesnt take long though, as he finds his mark with a straight right in the second and finished up with ground and pound.

Eddie Wineland defeats Yves Jabouin by TKO at 4:56 in Round 2.

 

Alex Caceres vs Sergio Pettis

Pettis warms up early and is picking his shots against Caceres throughout round 1. Caceres is much more comfortable in the second and drops Pettis early with a straight left. Pettis regains his faculties and continues to pick apart Caceres for the rest of the second round. The third opens up with the pair exchanging take downs and trading on the feet. Pettis looks on route to a decision win when he tries for a trip that lands himself on his back. Caceres easily works to take the back and finishes Pettis with a rear naked choke.

Alex Caceres defeats Sergio Pettis by Rear naked choke at 4:39 in Round 3.

 

Jeremy Stephens vs Darren Elkins

Stephens look great and is throwing bombs. Elkins is trying to fire back but Stephens is relaxed, parrying Elkins' shots and countering. Elkins starts to switch it up and shoot for take downs, but Stephens remains standing. The "Lil Heathen" is finding a home with his uppercut every time Elkins tries to get inside. Elkins looks to work for a guillotine late in the third, but Stephens pulls out the decision win.

Jeremy Stephens defeats Darren Elkins by Unanimous Decision (29-28; 30-27; 30-27).

 

Donald Cerrone vs Adriano Martins

Action kicks off in round one with a quick exchange before Cerrone starts to measure distance using outside leg kicks and teeps. Martins is looking to counter, but coming up short. BOOM! Cerrone fakes with a jab and goes up high with a kick, landing flush on Martins head and ending the fight.

Donald Cerrone defeats Adriano Martins by KO at 4:40 in Round 1.

 

Stipe Miocic vs Gabriel Gonzaga

Both guys are trading well and mixing up the striking. Gonzaga hits the only take down of round one, but Miocic quickly gets back to his feet. Stipe is looking the fresher of the two in the second and starts to open up a little more with the striking, pushing Gonzaga back. Gonzaga continues to tire in the third while Miocic steps up the volume on his striking. Miocic puts Gonzaga on his back late in the fight to take the decision.

Stipe Miocic defeats Gabriel Gonzaga by Unanimous Decision (30-27; 30-27; 29-28).

 

Benson Henderson vs Josh Thomson

Josh hits a take down early, immediately takes the back and secures a body triangle. Benson makes his way back to his feet, engages the clinch and works for a trip. Thomson jumps back up but gets caught in a standing arm triangle, but escapes after dropping to the ground. Thompson hits a take down to finish round one.

Benson looking more aggressive in the opening of round 2. He's engaging the clinch and looking to tire out Thompson. Josh looks for his own trip and hits it. In almost a mirror of round one, Josh is straight to the back, secures the body triangle and loses it after Benson gets to his feet. Henderson continues to engage the clinch until the end of the second.

Henderson pumps the jab and gets Thompson to the ground. Benson works to the back, but its shrugged off my Thompson. Josh made it quite clear in between rounds that his hand was broken and it starts to seem like its impacting his performance. Henderson is pushing the clinch to the change and breaking away on his terms. Benson hits a take down towards the end of round three.

Benson is still walking down Thompson in the forth. Thompson hits a trip and works to half guard. Benson gets mission control and works small punches from the guard. Benson gets top control in a scramble but its short lived as both fighters make it to their feet against the cage. They break and trade in the middle of the cage before Josh again gets the take down and body triangle on the back. Henderson carries Thompson on his back around the cage while both guys play to the crowd in the end of round 4.

Benson lands a heavy knee to the body and is walking down Josh to the side of the cage. Josh is trying to fire back but Henderson resets and throws. Thompson gets the back after catching a leg kick and throwing Henderson to the mat. Benson gets back to his feet and works for clinch control, throwing knees in the process.

Benson Henderson defeats Josh Thompson by Split Decision (47-48; 48-47; 49-46).

 

Mayhem looking for a return to the cage

Not saying Jason Miller took his nickname from this blog... just a coincidence is all...

Perennial troublemaker Jason Miller has been eyeing off a return to the cage.

In an exclusive interview with MMAInterviews.tv, Mayhem opened up on a number of issues since he announced his retirement, including dropping comments around offers being made on his return.

Miller has been training out of Rafael Cordeiro's "Kings MMA" gym for the past year, which is home to UFC contenders Wanderlei Silva and Fabricio Werdum. A camp that has appeared to have re-energised the middleweight's return to action.

He also touches on Nick Diaz, his state of mind since retirement and a potential fight with Stephen Hawking.

Check out the clip for some Mayhem Madness.

 

So let's talk about the elephant in the room...

Over the past few days, there have been more and more comments around the MMA culture in Australia, particularly as it pertains to violence on the streets

While its easy for most of the MMA community to brush this off as a freak occurrence and more-so a comment on an individuals character than the sport as a whole, misconceptions are still being propagated by the media. At this point, its important to really take a look at the whole picture before judgement can be passed.

Well, lets review the mainstream media's Modus operandi. The simplest coloration we can draw here is how news outlets have started looking at MMA as a source for violence, much like video games have been scapegoated as the cause for mass shootings, despite a lack of data supporting such a claim. But why? Why should we run straight to video games or MMA as the source of an issue whose cause is quite obviously a social issue?

  1. Because it takes a simple platform, which... 
  2. Sparks debate between opposing groups, which...
  3. Makes Money.

Lets face it, MMA is difficult to watch for someone who doesn't appreciate (or take the time to appreciate) the technique, determination and heart required to compete. Antics on shows such as "The Ultimate Fighter" do little to support the "Martial Arts" aspect. As a result, we immediately have people who want nothing to do with the sport and would be much happier knowing it didn't exist. It's an easy win for the media, as an article linking street violence and MMA garners support from these communities.

Based on this condition, you now have two opposing groups that would be happy to debate the point. Supporters and Opposers. Both will comment, write editorials and continue to read each and every article on the topic, which does nothing but increase revenue for these news outlets (FYI - The irony of this article on this isn't lost on me).

So does our media write these articles to raise awareness about the possible ties between MMA and street violence? Or to make a buck? I'd be leaning more towards the latter...

But we still have a story of a kid king-hitting people screaming "I'm an MMA fighter!", right? This is a dude that's a trained fighter beating up innocent people... Or is he?

There is very little evidence to support the fact that the alleged attacker ever fought professionally, or even trained in Mixed Martial Arts. It was a self-proclamation, overheard by a witness. Lets just make the assumption here that he probably isn't. So why say it? The alleged was in the realm of 120kg. If his size wasn't enough to deter anyone that might consider a retaliation, screaming out that you are a trained fighter would probably do the trick. 

But whether he is or isn't a fighter is beside the point. There have been several examples of boxers being involved in violence, however, where religion and social issues offer them selves up as reasons for violence, there is little room to blame boxing by the media.

Articles such as those published in the wake of NYE are far from impartial and serve to be little more than opinion pieces. I've seen some of the nicest, most civil people in the world wage war on each-other in an MMA gym. In a world of constant stress, combat sports serve as a perfectly safe outlet for pent up aggression. To use it as a Root Cause for escalating violence in Australia does nothing but distract from the key social issues plaguing the world today.

Lets put the focus back on where it needs to be.

 

UFC 168 - The "Snap" heard round the world.

UFC 168 bought a close to much more than just the fight calendar year.

If you were around a large group of people like I was for the Chris Weidman/Anderson Silva re-match, the collective groan really said it all. At 1:16 into the second round, Silva threw a typical low leg kick that was expected to have typical results. In response, Weidman utilized what was appropriately named "The Destruction" by his coaching staff, a kick check aimed at blocking the opponents shin using the area just below the knee. As Silva's foot grotesquely wrapped around Weidman's leg, it sounded the death knell for Anderson's title reclamation, as well as quite possibly, his career.

It would be hard to argue that Anderson looked like winning the fight prior to the injury. Weidman leveraged the same game plan that brought Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson their short lived success against Silva in previous bouts. Take him down, beat him up. In fact, Weidman looked much cleaner and faster than in their first fight. That being said, it wouldn't have been the first time Silva had been taken down and gone on to reclaim his title.

But the result is what it is. Chris Weidman prophetically told us all that he would be victorious not once, but twice. Undefeated in his entire career, I can't wait to see the Vitor Belfort fight and see what kind of legacy Weidman can carve out in the Middleweight division.  He deserves all the credit that comes with beating the absolute best the UFC has to offer, twice... But it's still hard to not be left wanting after the result. Probably the most unfulfilling thing about the rematch was that it leaves the same questions open that the first fight did. "What could have happened if Anderson wasn't so cocky" has been replaced with "What could have happened if that injury never happened".

The MMA world will need to wait and see what becomes of Silva. Personally (and call it denial if you wish), I cant see this being the closing chapter on the greatest Mixed Martial Artist of our era. Would it be smart for Silva to make a return to the cage after such an injury? Probably not... But that's the stuff legends are made of...