Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt)

The UFC returns to Auckland when two of the hardest hitting heavyweights on the planet go head to head in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski vs. Mizuto “Pugnus” Hirota

This fight was clearly put together to show the capabilities of Alexander Volkanovski. Mizuto Hirota is the biggest underdog on this main card in my book. If he somehow pulls off the upset then it will be insane. However, I see “The Great” getting the nod on this one. His 14-1 record speaks for itself. “Pugnus” is hard to finish though, only suffering one submission loss and no knockout losses. This fight should go to decision in Vokanovski’s favor.

Predicted winner: Alexander Volkanovski via Decision

Tim Elliott vs. Ben “10” Nguyen

This may be fight of the night with two of the most talented fighters on the card going head-to-head. Their speed and technique is going to make it a competitive one. Tim Elliott has been impressive but I saw him barely winning his last fight. Although I am a fan of him I see Ben Nguyen taking this one. With both flyweights being generally hard to finish, I see this fight going all three rounds.

Predicted winner: Ben Nguyen via Decision

Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba vs. Henrique “Frankenstein” da Silva

This is a bold prediction but I see this fight going the distance. Usually when two guys who have mostly knockout wins face eachother, I immediately think that someone is getting knocked out. But time and time again I have been proven wrong as both fighters would go on to slug it out until the final bell sounds. I see Henrique da Silva getting the victory, because of his impressive record, but don’t be surprised if nobody is put to sleep.

Predicted winner: Henrique da Silva via Decision

Dan “The Hangman” Hooker vs. Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson

This matchup is interesting. We have Dan Hooker who is a young and physically impressive fighter going up against elderly Ross Pearson who is a veteran in the sport. Hooker looks like the favorite and may have to use his speed to defeat Pearson but I see “The Real Deal” taking “The Hangman” to school on this one. Hooker has yet to beat anyone with the credentials such as Pearson and Pearson has defeated plenty of fighters such as Hooker. I could easily be proven wrong in this fight but I just see Pearson controlling the fight like a true veteran and getting the decision.

Predicted winner: Ross Pearson via Decision

Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly

Dan Kelly has been surprisingly on fire recently. He has taken ot some big names, such as Rashad Evans, and showed how skill can get him the win in all of his fights regardless of how strong or big his opponent is. Derek Brunson however is a knockout artist and just had an impressive showing against Anderson Silva. Kelly might put up a good fight but I see Brunson getting the KO with his immense power. I don’t see Kelly being able to use his skills to get out of this one but he may prove me wrong yet again. It will be fun to see.

Predicted winner: Derek Brunson via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt

This fight looks like it’s going to be a one round war. If it goes outside the first then expect the action to be significantly slower. As much as I love Derrick Lewis, I do not see he beating a power puncher such as Mark Hunt. The only time Hunt has been taken out due to punches while on the feet was in 2008. After that his only KO/TKO losses have came from kicks, knees, and ground and pound. Lewis is going to have a hard time putting him away especially in a five round fight. I expect Hunt to land his devistating right hand, but if its going to put “The Black Beast” away then it is going to have to be in the first round. Although I may not b picking him, I hope Lewis proves me wrong and gets the win here because I am a huge fan of him.

Predicted winner: Mark Hunt via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

They Said What?

They Said What? (April 21st – 27th, 2017)

Talking has become a staple in the mixed martial arts world with the colorful personalities that are now present. Here are some of the quotes and tweets that have been making headlines this week:

Michael Bisping talks about Georges St-Pierre’s new look

I don’t know what’s going on, to be quite frank, but he looks like he’s been impregnated by an alien. He’s in his typical GSP little spandex tiny shorts, but they’re black, not white. He’s got his shin pads and his MMA gloves on. And a gigantic belly sticking. I know he said he’s getting bigger. His belly is sticking out and he looks a little weird, so I think he’s having a little fun. I think he’s pushing his belly out.” – Michael “The Count” Bisping

I do have to agree with Michael Bisping here about Georges St-Pierre’s new look. The guy looks like he is going to give birth any moment. However, I can’t say this means he is going to perform poorly. Just look at guys like Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt who do not have the greatest physique but are still top ranked fighters. GSP could also be trolling Bisping like “The Count” suspects but what difference does it make. The fight is going to be tough for Bisping regardless of how he looks.

Chris Weidman says he would have dominated Gegard Mousasi

I think I would have gone on to dominate Mousasi and even finish him” – Chris “The All-American” Weidman on his controversial loss to Gegard Mousasi

Here is our typical nonsense said by a fighter this week. The fight is over with and Weidman got caught playing possom, plain and simple. Instead of making up excuses for his loss, he should better himself and learn from this. He has yet to do that for any of his fights. It would be a nice change of pace for him to take this loss like a man instead of crying like a little you-know-what.

Al Iaquinta goes crazy on twitter then deletes (almost) all of his tweets

Mitch Clarke is a little bitch” – Al Iaquinta

Just got off the phone with @Reebok trying to act cool with me, ether youbwoth me or against me” – Al Iaquinta

You choose little bitch sagenorth cut over me I’m the fucking man.. I’ll take your guy out @Reebok take away my sponsor money” – Al Iaquinta

Fucking dork*” – Al Iaquinta

Reebok has some nice gear though I’ll give t got them@” – Al Iaquinta

Bobby green can actually throw a punch but he’s a mental@sissy bag” – Al Iaquinta

All of them I fight for free” – Al Iaquinta

Kevin Lee responds

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTZbLHXj7yH/

This issue with Al Iaquinta has escalated very quickly. He has completely lost his mind with this whole performance bonus issue. He even called out Kevin Lee (the man I chose to fight him next) with which Lee has responded rightfully so. We need to invent a chill pill for him to take because this is going to cost him his job (not like he’d care). If he is so successful with his real estate profession then he should just stick with it because this seems like all he cares about is money. I’m not saying money is not something have as your main priority, but he seems to be losing a lot of people with this type of behavior. It’s not a good look. There are better ways to negotiate your pay then straight up saying “f**k you” to your employers.

TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt continue with war of words

I told him to go for it. Release it, because I, for one, don’t believe it and even if he did, I agree with Matt, I think it’s petty. I think they’re reaching. It’s something like, we put this time and sweat and tears into the gym, and he’s got this one clip of him doing good. What about the 70% of the time that I was doing awesome that [Justin] Buchholz has footage of? You know what, I could care less what happened then. I get to make, on pay-per-view, some film of me beating Cody’s ass that the world’s going to see and I’m going to make a lot more than selling it to TMZ. So iithey can do whatever they want with the practice room because we all know how it went down. So I could care less. Release the footage. The charity should be something for kids without fathers so they don’t grow up to act like Cody.” – TJ Dillashaw on UFC Bantanweight Champion, Cody Garbrandt

https://twitter.com/Cody_Nolove/status/857029002929688576

This is getting crazier than Al Iaquinta. Even though this is in poor taste to many people I still find the feud between Tj Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt as some good TV. Dillashaw’s exit from Team Alpha Male hasn’t been a pleasant one and both sides have had distain for the other. I have little comments about this because I’m a fan of both parties. I just hope that the fight can live up to all this build up.

Tony Ferguson uses Nate Diaz’s catchphrase against him

Nate, you’re not the last option. If you don’t want to fight, go hide in a hole. But you’ve got to admit on Twitter that you don’t want to fight me. You’re f**king scared homie. All that s**t’s gotta go out the f**king window. ‘Don’t be scared homie.’ People are gonna start throwing that s**t away and it’s gonna be crazy. You can wait for McNuggets but we all know if you wait for that fool, if he fights Mayweather and he doesn’t fight again, you might not get another chance for a big money fight besides this guy. So I’m giving you a shot. If you want it, it’s perfect. If you like it, sign on the dotted line.” – Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson to Nate Diaz

Tony Ferguson is really pushing for this Nate Diaz fight while Nate is pushing for a Conor McGregor rematch. This fight does interest me and I hope I get to see it happen soon. It just does not seem likely because of how hard it is to book a Diaz brother. If Nate Diaz does fight then expect me to root for him in this fight, but I’m not sure he will be the victor in the end. This could easily be a fight of the year candidate if it ever happens.

Other quotes:

Glover Teixeria says Jimi Manuwa should not revieve title shot

“Jimi Manuwa isn’t qualified to fight for the belt. He didn’t beat any top fighter yet.” – Glover Teixeria

Mike Perry criticizes Al Iaquinta

I was trying to offer this man some advice. The way I put it may have seemed disrespectful, but … you think you’re going to get a bonus when you just run around disrespecting somebody who’s paying your bills, things like that? You work hard for this, then conduct yourself properly. He said ‘f*ck you’ to the people who are setting this up for you. If you have a sour attitude towards these people who are giving you the opportunity people dream of, you need to fix your priorities.” – Mike Perry

Daniel Cormier delivers strong message to Jon Jones

Take the fight with me, Jon Jones. There’re no tune-up fights in the UFC. If you’re a guy that has dominated the division as he has, why not come back and try to get your title? Come meet your boy, D.C., come get this money. Let’s get money together and give the people in Anaheim a show. No tune up for Jon Jones. He gets to come and get beat by me this time. We’re fighting right now or he doesn’t get to fight me. It’s my rules, I’m the champ now. The guy we saw against Ovince Saint Preux is the new USADA-regulated Jon Jones. Yes, I will beat him up July 29.” – Daniel Cormier

Showtime executive spoke about Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather

It’s largely at a standstill. There hasn’t been a ton of progress and I think if they don’t move relatively quickly, people may move on. People may tire of it. But it really is something that needs to happen this year or it probably won’t happen. Floyd’s on 18 months, two solid years come September since he’s fought. He’s still in great shape, but at a certain point, he’s not gonna do it after a while.” – Chris

Diego Sanchez promises to return following KO loss to Al Iaquinta

View this post on Instagram

This is a heart felt message for all the supporters of what I do but more importantly what I stand for as a athlete a man and warrior of the octagon, after evaluating the situation with a clear mind I have two options? The first is to feel sorry for myself start doubting myself, god and everything that makes me a winner? Thinking negative like many people would and even are the people that are not in my shoes the people who have no clue and just are so fast to throw out retirement and this and that? YOUR NOT ME! So just shut your mouths right now before even saying it, ITS NOT YOURS TO SAY! I speak from the heart and do not sugar coat SHIT! so there's that path the quitters path? Or there is the DIEGO path what being a Lionheart is all about it's about picking your self up when you fall learning how you fell and how to prevent it from happening again? This was the first KO of my career some fighters experience it more than ounce in over a decade of fighting the very best UFC has put in front of a man. Loosing is a part of this sport, I choose to believe in my god given abilities and had work earned talent! I choose to believe in my dream! I am confident, I am experienced, i am still very healthy, young for my physical age and more driven and hungry for success than ever. So I choose to continue to roar like a lion for the lord Jesus and do what I do and that's fight ON! To all my fans and friends that believe in me I love you guys! To all my family that loves me and has there concerns let me assure you I have been tested at the best facilities In The world my cognitive health is the same if not better than it's ever been I'm sharp sober minded and extremely healthy so I know it hurts to see a warrior you love fall but it's part of it and when I am no longer able to compete with the best fighters in the world i will look to what is next! As for now I'm a beast that got caught with a perfect shot I'm all good and will be back with adjustments that will prevent that from ever happening again! So today I thank god I was not injured In The fight , I still have a iron jaw and a lion heart and a sober mind. You doubters you gonna doubt it's what do 🦁❤️💪

A post shared by Diego Sanchez (@diegonightmaresanchezufc) on

UFC 213 to be held in Edmonton, Canada (GSP vs Bisping?)

What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (March 19th – March 25th, 2017)

A whole new week means a whole new set of MMA news and events that needs to be discussed by yours truly. So let’s get right into it with some interesting topics for this week:

Ryan Bader and Lorenz Larkin leave UFC for Bellator

The UFC just lost two top ten fighters in Ryan Bader and Lorenz Larkin to business rival Bellator. Ryan Bader stated that he left due to Bellator giving him “one of the better contracts out there, outside of being a UFC champion with pay-per-view points and stuff like that.” He last fought against Ilir Latifi where he knocked out the Swede with a well placed knee. Lorenz Larkin said he decided to leave the UFC partly because he felt disrespected by the UFC when they did not immediately try to resign the welterweight after his contract ran out.

I had a deal on the table (from the UFC), and it just didn’t feel right. My whole reasoning for testing free agency was to see what I was worth and get somebody behind me. I want to feel like an asset to a promotion, and I want to feel like the promotion wants to really drive me and really use me. I’ve made this point a lot of times that I’m ready to work. Anything you can use me for, let me know. I’m here. And it just wasn’t happening for me (in the UFC), so I don’t know if it was just the timing or, just, there was no interest in that. But that’s a big thing that I was focused on.” – Lorenz Larkin

He was instead offered a contract by Bellator and the rest is history. This was a good move by Bader as he was a high level athlete who lost to only the elite in the business. He has come close to reaching the top of the mountain but always fell short when at the peak. Moving to Bellator not only gives him a better pay day but also a greater chance at capturing gold. Lorenz Larkin on the other hand has just made a make or break decision with his move to Bellator. He had won four of his last five fights in the UFC and now has to start over in a new promotion. If he fails and ends up losing then it might signal an early end to a once promising career. However, I believe he has the ability to capture the gold with the skillset he has and this may prove to be a wise financial choice for him if he continues to win fights in Bellator.

War Machine found guilty of assault

Dissapointing news as former UFC and Bellator competitor War Machine was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack, and Corey Thomas. The charges are very serious and include sexual assault, batter, and kidnapping. He had a record of fourteen wins and only five losses. A very talented athlete that wasted his life by performing such heinous acts. He is awaiting his sentence which could be life in prison. Hopefully others learn from his mistake and try to only use their fighting skills in the octagon instead of on innocent people.

Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather

The rivalry between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather is intensifying as the two continue to trade barbs back and forth. McGregor appeared at Madison Square Garden and shouted t boxing reporters that he was boxing and thet he would make the whole world eat their words by beating Mayweather ina boxing match. Money has told McGregor many times to clear things up with his boss before fighting him. UFC president, Dana White, did say he would not stop Mystic Mac from battling Mayweather ina boxing match but we all know he would like to be involved in the moneey being made there if he could. Then the (in my opinion) future UFC Lightweight Champion, Tony Ferguson, claimed that there is no way McGregor can beat Mayweather ina boxing match. He more than likely is right, I wrote a whole article that agrees with this, but the hype involved here is going to make this an must-see. Let’s just hope it doesn’t mean McGregor gets to keep that belt if he continues to be absent from the real party.

Bellator 180 in New York

The first ever Bellator event in New York is shaping up to rival UFC 205. Headling the card will be Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlei Silva in a grudge match that was supposed to happen in the UFC after they coached against eachother on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3. In the co-main event, Fedor Emelianenko will finally get to face Matt Mitrione in match that should have happened earlier this year but got cancelled last minute due to Mitrione feeling ill hours before the fight. It may have been for the best because now the card for Bellator in New York appears to be capable of becoming a PPV. This is going to be an exciting match full of legend in the sport and will rival and event that the UFC decides to put on this weeken if they decided to do so.

Nate Diaz rants about Dana White

Nate Diaz and Dana White’s rocky relationship is becoming more and more clearer as the Stockton native is voicing his displeasure at some of the things the UFC president is saying. Diaz last fought Conor McGregor in a five round war at UFC 202 which drew the highest buyrate in UFC history, more than UFC 205 which has Conor McGregor and three title fights. He is a huge draw and demands to be paid for the draw that he is similar to Conor McGregor. Dana White and him obviously have different ideas of how much Diaz so be paide and it is getting ugly between the two. This is evident for both Diaz brothers as Nate along with Nick Diaz are healthy and ready to fight for the right amount of money. I, lik many others, love to see the Diaz brothers fight and would pay for a PPV in a heartbeat if they were on it. But I also see the business side of things and why Dana White might not want to pay Diaz all that much. The two have had problems in the past when deciding on how much Diaz should make for a rematch with McGregor. Hopefully they get on the same page like they did then, even though Diaz felt he got screwed by the UFC after UFC 202. Here’s to hoping for better times for the Diaz brothers. They deserve a good payday after all.

Other news:

News

Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos 2 is official for UFC 211 in Dallas

The UFC Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic, will face off against a familiar foe in Junior Dos Santos at UFC 211 in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The decision to place Dos Santos in a title match when there are three other contenders that are ranked higher has sparked up a bit of controversy. Let’s discuss why “Cigano” was picked for the matchup over his competition. Alistair Overeem is ranked right above JDS and had recently failed in his opprtunity (although he was close) to capture the illustrious title. Overeem is set to face Mark Hunt at UFC 209 which would undoubtedly keep him from challenging for the title a second time for the time being. In additon to that, a fighter getting a rematch just after failing to secure the title does not make a whole lot of sense for a main event fight.

usatsi_9534700_168382968_lowres
Stipe Mioci disposed of Alistair Overeem in the second round to retain his UFC Heavyweight Championship.

Not even Chael Sonnen got an immediate rematch against Anderson Silva after almost handing “The Spider” his first loss in the UFC. Ranked number two on the heavyweight contenders list is Cain Velasquez who was set to face the number one ranked contender but had to withdraw due to injury. Velasquez’s leg injury may be too much for the former heavyweight champion to compete right now which is why he was not considered for the fight. Plus, the guy ranked above him is much more deserving of a title shot. Fabricio Werdum is the number one contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He lost the belt to Miocic back at UFC 198 in Brazil. After the loss Werdum would go on to win his next bout against Travis Browne at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio. A lot of times the UFC would give an immediate rematch to champions that lost their belts (such as Ronda Rousey). But more often than not, the UFC would have the former champion work his way to a rematch. This is evident by the fact that fighters like Jon Jones and Rafael Dos Anjos, who were dominant in their divisions, did not get immediate rematches. Werdum did go on to claim the number one contender spot and seemed like the most likely canidate to face Miocic in Dallas. However, the UFC loves to find the best matchup they can and would ignor the rankings for the biggest draw and most interesting fights. Most recently this happened when Cody Garbrandt skipped several ranked bantamweights to dethrone Dominick Cruz and claim the UFC Bantamweight Championship.

UFC 207: Cruz v Garbrandt
Cody Garbrant skipped several top bantamweight contenders to fight for and capture the UFC Bantamweight Championship.

Although it was ridiculous to see that occur, the fight was amazing and Cruz got the toughest fight of his life. The UFC probably thinks that this is the more exciting fight and would give a fresh matchup and challenge for the champion. The heavyweights usually put on a huge show and they say that everything is bigger in Texas. Dallas should get a treat when these two meet. Hopefully Dos Santos vs Miocic can bring us that same magic that Cruz vs Garbrandt brought. If it does then there will be no complaints from the MMA community (maybe).