Wednesday, 30 November 2011
TONIGHT: MMATorch Tuesday Livecast - TUF 14 Finale preview, UFC lightweight Nik Lentz, and more on new edition of Internet call-in show with Penick and Hansen
-Tonight's show features a preview of The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale, a rundown of news from the last week, and an interview with UFC lightweight Nik Lentz ahead of his fight with Mark Bocek at UFC 140 next week.
Visit the following URL to listen:
BlogTalkRadio is customized for both the web and your mobile phone.
You can call to participate at (646) 716-8090. That's also the number you can call during the show listen without participating with a question or comment. So if you're not near the Internet but have your phone, you can listen live, also.
The show will be archived if you don't listen live. All of our previous episodes are available on demand on BlogTalkRadio.
You can subscribe to the Livecast to hear it on delay via iTunes here:
We also have an MMATorch Podcast in iTunes featuring our pre-recorded shows such as the weekly Audio Choke, PPV Previews, Interviews, PPV Roundtables, and more. Check that out here:
You can also simply search "MMATorch" on your phone or on your computer.
ASK THE TORCH: Amadi answers reader questions on theoretical Anderson Silva-Georges St-Pierre bout and wrestlers fighting off their backs
A: While Georges St-Pierre is certainly a special athlete, I don't think he offers anything in the way of offense that Anderson Silva hasn't seen throughout his career. GSP's path to victory in this fight would be the same as every other fighter Anderson Silva has faced in the UFC; he would need to take him down, control him on the ground, and take a submission if it's there, but mostly just put rounds in the bag. No one has been able to pull this off in the UFC, and I don't think GSP gets it done either.
The fact is, no one in MMA can set up a finish quite like Anderson Silva . He's just far more cerebral in his approach than any other active fighter. Against Forrest Griffin he was able to bait him into pressing forward and made him pay for it every time. Anderson Silva was able to break Yushin Okami mentally by staying in his bread and butter position and beating him there.
He doesn't get much credit for it, but Anderson Silva is also one of the sport's most effective ground fighters. Silva is often able to frame up submissions by doing crushing damage off of his back. He set up a triangle choke against Travis Lutter with an upkick and finished the submission by throwing arching elbows across Lutter's skull. Some chalk up Silva's comeback from behind victory against Chael Sonnen to dumb luck or Sonnen's porous submission defense, but the truth is that Sonnen was initially out of position for any submission. It was Anderson Silva reeling him into position with a perfectly placed right hand off his back that led to the triangle choke finish.
My breakdown may sound like it, but I don't expect a fight between St-Pierre and Silva to be some sort of one-sided domination in favor of "The Spider." On the contrary, I fully expect GSP do well on the feet, get takedowns and win rounds for as long as the fight lasts. However, I do think that Silva is the more dynamic fighter and would likely catch St-Pierre at some point in a five round fight, should the two ever meet. Silva just poses too many problems for GSP for me to be confident in his victory.
Matt writes: Help me out here.� Every time I watch an MMA fight involving a person with a wrestling background, the announcer always says "wrestlers aren't comfortable fighting on their backs."� Isn't that what wrestlers do all the time, though?� Roll around on the mat and try to get back up, off their back?
A: You can usually tell how long announcers have been calling the sport by the amount of stereotyped and trite ideas they can foist onto a listening audience in a single broadcast.
"Wrestlers don't like to be on their backs" was a popular phrase back in the days where guys were only really skilled in one facet of the game. At this point, it isn't really fair to single out wrestlers when the truth is that most of the guards being played in MMA suck.
However, back to your point, you have to remember that the comment isn't about wrestlers getting off their back, it's about what wrestlers tend to do once they're forced to fight there (which is usually nothing). This is part of the reason why Georges St-Pierre is so successful against wrestlers. Because GSP can put a wrestler onto his back and keep him there, he's able to exploit the fact that their skills in that area just aren't up to snuff.
It takes lots of time and drilling to develop really sophisticated skills off your back. If you look at a fighter like George Sotiropoulos, he can sweep, he can submit and if nothing else he can break down a fighter's posture and defend himself from mission control. The downside to being that type of fighter is that generally, if your ground skills are that slick, your takedowns are probably flimsy and your striking may not be all that great.
We may never see a fighter who's truly great in every aspect of the sport; time just doesn't allow for it. An athlete who's spent his whole life wrestling isn't going to be on the level of someone who's put in countless hours working on their striking or their jiu-jitsu.
As Eddie Bravo articulated on a recent edition of Joe Rogan's podcast (of which I'm a fan), most fighters tend to roll (or in other words spar) when it comes to jiu-jitsu, rather than drill techniques like they do with every other discipline. Part of it is due to time constraints and part of it is because rolling is too damn fun.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JasonAmadi. You've got questions and I'm willing to pretend I have answers.
Jackson, who co-headlines UFC 144, knows the lay of the land, and he could write a travel guide about competing in the fight-crazy country.
But Jackson admits some of his advice doesn't apply to UFC 144 headliner Frankie Edgar.
Miguel Torres was as exciting as they came. His go-for-broke style helped him roll up a 37-1 record and move as high as No. 4 on the pound-for-pound list back in early 2009.
His banging style eventually cost him and he ran into a couple of knockout punches. Now he's re-worked his game to essentially become a points fighter. Do you like it? Torres does.
"I fought my last fight against Demetriuous Johnson, he got the decosion and he ended getting the title shot. So a fight against me can make or break somebody," Torres told Cagewriter. "and I understand. I want to go out there and be very aggressive, finishing fights, but I have to be careful also."
Working with Georges St-Pierre's trainer Firas Zihabi, Torres is now working behind his jab and scoring points. Sound familiar? Will this get Torres an eventual title shot? Standing with less fighters like Nick Pace could also get him caught.
Without explosive wins, Torres (40-4, 2-1 UFC) is now stuck in the middle of the pack from No. 5-15 at bantamweight. Will he get a rematch against Joe Benavidez next or should the UFC throw him someone like Brad Pickett, Scott Jorgensen or Renan Barao?
Watch UFC 139 right here on Yahoo! Sports
Following the event’s poor advance, WWE only sold tickets facing the camera so the Huntington Center would appear full on television. SLAM! Wrestling columnist Matt Bishop, who attended the event, described the venue’s appearance: “Tuesday’s tapings of WWE Smackdown, Superstars and NXT wasn’t notable because of what happened in the ring, but rather because of what was happening outside the ringside area. Or more appropriately, ...
Don't forget that we're not just an App, we're also a full-featured Website. Here's some reasons to check out our website when you're near your laptop or desktop computer...
(TAP IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE OUR LAYOUT)
--You can view original UFC videos as part of our affiliation with USA Today's UFC Group including fight previews and press conference highlights.
--You can reply to articles directly in our reader comment area and also Like or Recommend or Tweet articles with a click of a button.
--You can browse our archives by category, digging deep into our nearly 20 years covering the sport of MMA and the emergence of UFC as the dominant brand.
--We also have a "Top Ten Recommended Articles" listing in case you missed out top stories of the last few weeks.
--The Website also features links to our weekly MMATorch Livecast, our Twitter page, our Facebook Fan page, and more.
--Just visit www.MMATorch.com anytime you are on your laptop or desktop computer to catch up on the latest MMATorch news and exclusive features.
--Also, LIKE us on our new official FACEBOOK FAN PAGE with MMATorch staff posting new topics daily: http://www.facebook.com/mmatorchfans
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
"I had to fight and complain and b**** to my manager [to get on this card]," Jackson said at a press conference in Japan for the event (via MMAFighting.com). "Now I think the representatives of UFC are upset with me a little bit... But ask me, do I care?"
Whether the UFC had other plans for him or not, Jackson convinced them to give him a fight - any fight - to get him on this card, and they obliged, giving him a matchup against Ryan Bader at UFC 144.
The excitement for Jackson is rising just being a part of the card. Come February, it will have been six years since he fought in that country, and he's anxious to get back in front of that audience.
"I'm all about putting on an exciting fight in Japan," Jackson said. "One thing I love about Japanese fans and why I love them the most is that they don't care if you win or lose. All they care is if you have samurai spirit, that you put on a good fight. That's why Japanese fans are my favorite. And American fans are jealous that I say that all the time."
"Back when I was fighting here, I had so much energy. I just wanted to put on a good show for the fans because all the energy they give. In America, you're under so much pressure to win at all costs because the fans talk s*** to you if you lose even if it's a good, exciting fight. In Japan, it's just a different energy. Who knows? Maybe I'll take more chances and not care because it's all about the crowd. I react to the crowd. I don't care about the people watching on TV."
Jackson has been a different fighter in the UFC than he was in Pride, turning his focus more to his boxing game than the vicious slams and ground and pound attack seen in the ring. Jackson attributes that to the energy he received from the Japanese crowd as opposed to what he gets in America. Because of that, he's not necessarily happy where his game has come along in the last six years.
"Actually my standup has evolved a lot since I last fought here, but at the same time that's what's gotten me in trouble a lot lately," he said. "Everyone sees me boxing a lot more, so they're creating great game plans to counter my boxing. In Japan, I used to slam a lot and put on more of a show because the energy from the fans gave me power and I don't feel the same energy in the US. So, I can't honestly say I improved or evolved in a good way since leaving Japan."
Penick's Analysis: Rampage has had periods of seeming disinterest in his MMA career, and has continued taking fights in the UFC primarily for the money. He looked in great shape against Jon Jones in his shot at the title in September, and despite the loss still did look like he belongs in the top of the rankings. With this return fight to Japan, maybe we'll see an invigorated Rampage; perhaps he'll truly be raised up for this fight to put on the type of performance that used to thrill his fans everywhere. Regardless, an engaged and interested Rampage Jackson is always immensely fun to watch, and because of that all fans will be interested in seeing his fight with Bader.
[Rampage Jackson art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
While this holiday week's MMA schedule was relatively tame in comparison to the rest of an extremely busy month, Bellator Fighting Championships did on Saturday night host its final season-five event, Marcin Held was awarded a hotly contested split-decision win on the evening's main card.
Our readers focused on a number of topics in this week's edition of The Sunday Junkie. But the winner of our weekly reader-feedback feature, Maryland's Bruce Hales, contends there should be no question as to why Held was given the win.
Natal lost his UFC debut by decision to Rich Attonito last September, and went to a draw with Jesse Bongfeldt at UFC 124 in December of last year. He finally got his first win in the organization in August, when he defeated Paul Bradley at UFC 133.
Kuiper brings a perfect 12-0 record into his UFC debut, with his entire career spent in Europe. Only one of his fights has gone to a decision.
Monday, 28 November 2011
No further details are known about the March 3 event, as the second UFC on Fox event is expected to take place on January 28 but has also not been made official.
Dunno why but that shit cracked me up.
Cung Le has waited for a long time to finally show off his dynamic striking game in the UFC. The moment arrives tomorrow night as a guy that was a star from 1997-2004 in the kickboxing world is introduced to the casual fans of MMA. Le admitted there may be some nerves as he steps into the Octagon.
"For my first MMA fight in San Jose, I threw up in the back. So I hope it doesn't happen this time, but I'm prepared for whatever," Le told Cagewriter. "I'm just excited. I think my first time, I was more like 'what about my joints? what about the small gloves? But now, hey it's go time."
Le faces the legendary Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139. Believe it or not, Le is actually four years older than Silva, but he's a minus-150 favorite. Silva, with 45 fights under his belt has absorbed a lot more punishment over the years. This is MMA fight No. 9 for Le, who knows Silva can still be vicious in spite of losing six of his last eight.
"You know Wanderlei is always going to be dangerous. He fights with a lot of heart and he's one of those fighters you have to put away because he's a going to keep coming all the way through. Kind of like a Scott Smith with more power."
Le suffered the only loss of his MMA career against Smith in 2009. The Vietnamese kickboxer was destroying Smith for twelve and a half minutes until the American landed one punch that changed the fight. Silva can do the same thing. That's what makes this fight so interesting. Le's kicking game may pick apart Silva, but the Brazilian always has that one-punch knockout power in his back pocket.
Watch UFC 139 right here on Yahoo! Sports
Denis Hernandez (3-3) vs. Nick Newell (4-0),
Corey Hill (4-4) vs. Charlie Rader (15-4),
John Kolosci (15-8) vs. Ryan Thomas (14-7),...
After Dan Henderson won the five-round classic over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, both fighters missed the post-fight press conference. Henderson took a few minutes to talk about his fight while being tended to by medical personnel.
Yeah, it's cool. He's just getting an IV while discussing that he thought he definitely won the first three rounds and possibly the fourth round, that he would like a title shot at light heavyweight, how Shogun tried to "Rocky Balboa" him, and how he thought he was one or two shots away from the bout being stopped early on.
What does a 41-year-old man look like after going five rounds in a classic MMA bout that you will tell your kids about? This:
With the adrenaline of the evening still pumping, it's easy to say that Dan Henderson's tight win over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was the best fight in UFC history. There's no quantitative way to gauge if this was better than every other fight to grace the Octagon.
But I know that this is a fight I will continue to talk about with friends, family, and complete strangers. �I know this is a fight that I feel lucky to have watched live. I know that this fight will sit on my DVR until the piece of machinery dies so that I can watch the bout again and again. I know that it covered both the canvas and Henderson's shorts in blood:
A fight like that will leave a mark on MMA fans, but it remains to be seen what Henderson's next step is. UFC president Dana White said in the post fight press conference that Henderson has secured a title shot, but timing will dictate if it's at middleweight or light heavyweight.
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Wonder if Hendo regrets beating Fedor like he did....
The end came when Prindle was kicked in the groin just 84 seconds into the fight.
The bizarre result provided an anticlimactic end to a fight card that also saw an in-cage retirement and the crowning of a bantamweight tournament winner.
All topics - including this week's Bellator 59 event - are open for discussion. The person who sends in the submission we deem the best (based on timeliness of subject, clarity and overall persuasiveness) will be invited onto MMAjunkie.com Radio to discuss the topic.
Each winner also receives a free year's subscription to "Fighters Only," the world's leading MMA and lifestyle magazine.
Peruvian anthropologist Renato Davila Riquelme discovered the remains of an unidentified creature...
If you wondered why the UFC was so eager to return to Brazil, just months after their jam-packed UFC 134 event, watch this video of Junior dos Santos returning home to Brazil after winning the heavyweight championship. You don't have to watch the whole thing to get the idea -- especially if you get seasick -- but catch the last 20 seconds to see "Cigano" celebrate atop a firetruck.
Who wouldn't want to be greeted by a brass band, hordes of cheering fans, media, cameras and a firetruck? That sort of passion for dos Santos speaks both to the love of MMA in Brazil and to his popularity.
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta today revealed to ESPN.com that the promotion has granted the former champion his request for a fight in Japan, and Ryan Bader will now oppose him at UFC 144.
UFC 144 is set for Feb. 26 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Broadcast plans for the event have yet to be announced.
COLUMN: The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts Criteria for Judging MMA (And Why They Are Laughably Silly)
To explain what a 10-8 round means to the Unified Rules, we first have to look at what the committee (including Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Officer Keith Kizer, New Jersey State Athletic Commision representative Nick Lembo, and Association of Boxing Commisions Disciplinary Chair Michael Mazzulli and other prominent athletic commission figures) presented to the aforementioned Association of Boxing Commissions in 2008 as the updated Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.
In the document, the committee broadens the scope of scoring from the UFC's traditional stance (effective striking, grappling, and Octagon control) to "effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense."
The committee goes on to define some of these criteria:
"Effective striking is determined by the amount of legal strikes landed by a contestant and the significance of such legal strikes.
Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.
Fighting area control is judged by determining who is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler's attempt at takedown by remaining standing and legally striking; taking down an opponent to force a ground fight; creating threatening submission attempts, passing the guard to achieve mount, and creating striking opportunities.
Effective aggressiveness means moving forward and landing a legal strike or takedown.
Effective defense means avoiding being struck, taken down or reversed while countering with offensive attacks."
As you can see there are several peculiar anomalies.
The criteria for judging striking is determined not by who strikes more, but by the overall effectiveness of the striking.
Grappling is not judged based on submissions at all, the considerations are made for takedowns, moving into advantageous positions, and having an active guard.
Passing guard is then also associated with fighting area control which is the area in which judges are supposed to be considering submissions (shouldn't submissions be included in grappling?).
Chasing an opponent and trying to initiate (think Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites) has no bearing on aggressiveness according to the rules unless you land a legal strike or a takedown.
Defense is then defined as avoiding attacks while attacking. So you have to provide offense to score points in the category of defense. (???)
After specifically defining how to judge the five criteria, the Unified Rules then go on to explain even more specifically how round scoring should be judged:
"The following objective scoring criteria shall be utilized by the judges when scoring a round;
1. A round is to be scored as a 10-10 Round when both contestants appear to be fighting
evenly and neither contestant shows dominance in a round;
2. A round is to be scored as a 10-9 Round when a contestant wins by a close margin,
landing the greater number of effective legal strikes, grappling and other maneuvers;
3. A round is to be scored as a 10-8 Round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates
by striking or grappling in a round.
4. A round is to be scored as a 10-7 Round when a contestant totally dominates by
striking or grappling in a round."
Again we have issues. According to the document, to avoid a 10-10 round "dominance" has to be exhibited by a fighter. Fans should expect to see many 10-10 rounds if that is the case, at least many more than we have seen.
Strangely, a 10-9 round specifically is to be scored if one fighter wins the round by a "close margin." Judges are supposed to only give 10-10 rounds unless one fighter shows dominance, but also score a 10-9 round if there is a close margin of victory.
Hmm. It gets better.
A 10-8 round is then defined as "overwhelmingly dominant" and a 10-7 round as "totally dominant." Yet there is no specific definition of what "overwhelmingly dominant" or "totally dominant" are at all.
Even more disturbing, the Unified Rules also state that "Training (for judges) should include comprehensive discussions surrounding what constitutes a 10-8 round while also noting that 10 10 rounds are available under the current scoring criteria." So, basically absolute definition isn't needed because the judges will all chat about it when they're being trained. Great.
We may never know if Shogun Rua was entitled to a 10-8 round in the fifth at UFC 139. No one can accurately define if he was "overwhelmingly dominant" or "totally dominant." Since nothing he threw was all that effective, we may never know if he only won by a "close margin," all three judges score cards seem to think so. One thing is clear; this document cannot continue to be retained as the rules in which MMA is governed by.
Until these rules are defined better, by experts, we should all expect to see the silliness and frustration continue because that's the way the rules are written.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
UFC middleweight Dan Miller's son Danny was born with a kidney disease that requires the child to get daily kidney dialysis. He can have a normal life with a kidney transplant, but insurance won't pay for the entire surgery. This is where the MMA family has stepped in, and they could use your help.
AMA Fight Club in Whippany, NJ, will host a fundraising seminar on Dec. 3. Jim Miller, Danny's uncle, will lead the day. He'll be helped out by UFC fighters Dan, Charlie Brenneman and Andy Main. Their coach, Mike Constantino, will also lend a hand. The cost of the seminar ranges from $100-$175, with all proceeds going to the Daniel James Miller Foundation.
If you can't make it to Whippany, which is about 45 minutes outside of New York City, for the seminar, you can still make a donation. If you can, spare a few dollars to help the baby who Uncle Jim called "the toughest Miller."