Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Video of the Day - Smoldarev v. Tybura

Here is Marcin Tybura defending his title against Denis Smoldarev at M-1 Challenge 53 which took place on 11/25/14 in Beijing, China.

Tybura (12-0) and Smoldarev (9-0) are generally considered two of the top HW prospects in the world.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bobby Green on Bully Beatdown

Bobby Green is a colorful character in the MMA universe, once having come out dressed as Santa Claus for his fight with Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett. He also has lost a brother to gang violence, and organized an anti-violence march.

Here is one of the bigger beatdowns, and one of the only "matches" never to make it into the second round. His opponent was a pudgy white rapper named Evermont. Was Bully Beatdown an MMA show? Not really, the matches had one round of grappling, one of kickboxing. Were they hilarious? Almost 100% of the time.

Green, a King of the Cage champion, has pushed his MMA record to 23-5 after defeating Josh Thomson in a close split decision. He next fights Edson Barboza at UFN 57.

Video of the Day - Barboza v. Figueroa

Here is Edson Barboza Jr. fighting Jose Figueroa in a lightweight title fight for RMMA - Renaissance MMA 16 which took place on 3/5/10 in New Orleans, Louisiana. There is a bigtime finish around the 3:50 mark.

Barboza (14-2, 8-2 UFC) next fights Bobby Green (23-5, 4-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 57 this Saturday.

Video of the Day - Osiris v. Copeland

Here is Josh Copeland fighting Angel Osiris in RMBB Bad Boys which took place on 5/10/13 in Sheridan, Colorado.

Copeland (9-0) TKO'd former BYU football player Jan Jorgensen, then 7-0, at RFA 16 for the HW championship and punched a ticket to the UFC. Copeland will face Ruslan Magomedov (12-1) in his UFC debut.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Video of the Day - Oleinik v Cro Cop

Here is Alexey Oleinik or "Olesky Olynyk" fighting Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at Legend - Part 2 Invasion, which took place on 11/8/03 in Moscow, Russia.

Oleinik (49-9 or so) had a successful UFC debut over Anthony Hamilton (12-2) using this exact same choke. He next fights Jared Rosholt (11-1) next at UFN 57.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fifteen Potential HW Prospects for the UFC

Many MMA fans whine and cry about the lack of depth in the heavyweight division. Four legit promising HW's are currently on the Bellator roster, with Vitaly Minakov (14-0), Alexander Volkov (22-4), Augusto Sakai (7-0) and Blagoy Ivanov (11-1) starting to make some noise.

The UFC recently signed two promising undefeated fighters in Josh Copeland (9-0) and Alaskan Jared Cannonier (7-0). Copeland, who has shown a powerful brawling style, will fight fellow high level prospect Ruslan Magomedev (12-1) at UFC Fight Night 57. Cannonier, who recently won a split decision over Tony Lopez (34-16), will fight Shawn Jordan (16-6) at UFC 182.

 Here they are:

1. Marcin "Tybur" Tybura (11-0)- Tybura is a Polish heavyweight and BJJ black belt with 5 submissions and 4 TKO's on his resume. He seems to be at his best when he throws a few punches, backs his opponent against the fence and works a takedown. From there, Tybura has a solid submission game from top position and strong ground and pound.

Tybura has 5 straight wins in M-1, submitting Bellator veteran Damian Grabowski (19-1) with a 1st round north south choke in his last bout. In M-1, he has also TKO'd Maro Perak (23-4), submitted Konstantin Gluhov (26-13) and TKO'ing Chaban Ka (6-2), winning the M-1 Grand Prix in the process. The biggest obstacle at this point may be freeing Tybura from his M-1 contract. He next bout is against fellow prospect Denis Smoldarev (9-0). He needs to improve in the striking department and be ready for the powerful leg kicks of Smodarev.


2. Denis Smoldarev (9-0)- Listed between 6'5" and 6'7" the tall 250 pound Estonian can get his ticket punched to the UFC should he defeat Tybura in his next M-1 bout. Smoldarev began training judo at age 12, and also has combat sambo and kickboxing skills. He has 6 career M-1 wins, with a TKO over fellow 6'5" prospect Ante Delija (12-2) and decision win over Akhmed Sultanov (13-5).

Smoldarev likes to throw heavy leg kicks and power punches standing. From the bouts I've seen, he will look to isolate an arm for a submission when on the ground. Smoldarev is susceptible to the takedown, and his wrestling will have to improve as he prepares for Tybura.


3. Smealinho Rama (9-1)- The 22 year old Canadian recently won the WSOF Heavyweight Title in his second WSOF bout by TKO'ing Derrick Mehmen (18-6) in the first round. He has other career victories over UFC vet Tim Hague (19-9) via KO and a decision over Olympic wrestler Steve Mocco. His only loss was to UFC fighter Anthony Hamilton. Rama likely has 2 more bouts on his WSOF deal. Rama should be able transition faster on the ground with increased experience.  


4. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy (8-0)- The 6'3" Russian is coming off the biggest win of his career after he TKO'd Aleksander Emelianenko (23-7) in January. With solid grappling skills and plenty of power, foes will be afraid of his power double leg. He has five first round finishes, although the his other opponents are sub-par. His kickboxing needs a little improvement as he continues to face better competition.


5. Michal Wlodarek (6-0)- The Polish fighter has a split decision win over current UFC fighter Daniel Omielanczuk (15-3) and a TKO in his last bout over Michal Andryszak (12-5) in KSW. Wloderk is explosive, with the ability to brawl and work the ground game. Look for Wlodarek to get a couple more KSW bouts against other European prospect before moving to the big show.


6. Dale Sopi (6-0)- The Hawaiian has a little Mark Hunt in him at 5'11" 260 pounds. Since moving to Arizona to train at MMA Power and Fitness with CB Dollaway and Ryan Bader, he has claimed the Rage in the Cage Heavyweight Championship. He TKO'd former UFC middleweight Edwin DeWees (38-17) in his last bout and has TKO'd Bellator 205 pounder Dan Charles (9-2). He moves a little faster than he looks and has flattened opponents with head kicks and follow-up punches.


7. James Mulheron (6-0)- the English fighter has 3 TKO's and 3 decisions on his resume. He won a decision over one time UFC vet Neil Wain (12-4) and long time UK stallwart Stav Economou (15-4) in his last two bouts. With a little Big Country in him, he has plenty of power and is a little more nimble than he looks.


8. Konstantin Erokhin (8-1)- the Russian lost his pro debut via spinning backfist KO, but has rattled off 8 straight wins since including 7 KO's. In his most recent bout, he TKO'd Legacy/Pro Elite veteran Richard Odoms just 25 seconds into the first round. He has also TKO'd Sokodjou and won a decision over Brett Rogers. Erokhin next fights Dave Huckaba (21-6) at New Stream Fights in Russia. He will throw punches in bunches, but at 5'11" he may be more suited for 205.


9. Chris Barnett (11-1)- fighting mainly at super heavyweight well north of 300 pounds, the 28 year old Barnett has made a commitment to get under 265 pounds. The former football player at USF and Tae Kwon Do black belt has a decision win over UFC fighter Walt Harris, TKO over former UFC fighter Travis Wiuff (73-19) and TKO over Elite XC/Bodog vet Mario Rinaldi (13-5). With deceptive strength, power and agility, Barnett will look to defeat TUF 10 veteran Darril Schoonover at Square Ring 31 and punch a ticket to the big show.


10. Karol "Coco" Bedorf (12-2)- The 6'2" 260 pound Polish bruiser has five straight wins since a decision loss to Rogent Lloret. The KSW champ, he defended his belt by TKO'ing Rolles Gracie and won the title by TKO'ing Pawel Nastula. He's also won decisions over UFC vet Oli Thompson and midwest vet Karl Knothe (21-9). A BJJ blackbelt and ADCC competitor, his grappling is up to par for high level competition.


11. Cody East (9-1)- East won the Legacy HW title in his last bout, TKO'ing Vernon Davis in the first round. He has a decision over Bellator veteran Nick Rossborough (25-18) and TKO over brawler Lolohea Mahe in his career. A move to Jackson's camp and training with better competition should help East reach the next level.


12. Ion Cutelaba (7-1, DQ)- The 20 year old from Moldova moves very well for a heavyweight and has 6 T/KO's on his resume, with the one submission via omaplata. In his last fight he KO'd a debuting fighter in 7 seconds. His only loss was a DQ from strikes to the back of the head. His opponents have been less than stellar, with the best being Julian Chilikov (4-4).


13. Chris De La Rocha (3-0)- The HW from Washington state pulled off a TKO in his last bout over Bellator veteran DJ Linderman (15-9). He also has a submission of Richard Foster and TKO of Brandon Howell in his young career.


14. Dillon Cleckler (7-0)- The Florida based fighter has finished 6 of 7 fights in the first round. The problem, his best win is over longtime journeyman Jonathan Ivey (30-53). He'll next fight Richard White (16-16) at Square Ring 31.


15. Zelimkhan Umiev (5-0)- The 6'5" Russian from Team Berkut has weighed around 240 pounds for his fights. He has not faced legit competition thus far.


15.5 John Johnston (7-0)- At 44 years old, the CES HW champ can't really be called a prospect. Training under Mark DellaGrotte and coaching in his academy for over 10 years, Johnston didn't make his MMA debut until he was 40. His best career win is over Josh Hendricks (19-11).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Video of the Day - Hunt v. Le Banner

Here is Mark Hunt fighting Jerome Le Banner in K-1 Grand Prix 2001. This is the second round of the action packed fight. Hunt has concrete in his hands, and most say head as well.

Hunt (10-8) accepted a fight with Fabricio Werdum (18-5) for the interim UFC HW title this Saturday at UFC 180. Hunt is 5-1-1 over his last 7 fights with 4 KO's.