Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rizen Fighting World Grand Prix

The new upstart Rizen Fighting Championship is an interesting promotion which is stacking its inaugural event. The fights will take place at Saitama Super Arena in Japan, spanning two dates on December 29th and New Years Eve. A 205 pound world grand prix will kick off on the 29th featuring a diverse group of fighters, each hailing from a different country so far. The event is being broadcast on Spike TV.

Fedor Emelianenko (34-4) will return from a three and a half year retirement to headline the New Years Eve card. He was originally rumored to fight Jaideep Singh (2-0) but it does not appear to be happening. He next was rumored to fight Japanese MMA pioneer Tsuyoshi Kosaka (26-18), but he will instead fight British slugger James Thompson (20-15).

(Fedor at Rizen Press Event)

One FC champ Shinya Aoki (38-6) will fight Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba (26-16) will fight in the headliner of the 29th card. Participants in the World Grand Prix have been rumored as former Strikeforce champ Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal(16-4), UFC vet Goran Reljic(15-5), BAMMA champ Mark Godbeer(10-2), Brazilian Bruno Cappelozza(7-3) and Teodoras Aukstuolis(7-2).

(Sakuraba at Rizen Press Event)

New Years Eve will feature the tournament final and several high profile debuts. Kickboxing legend Andy Souwer will fight oddball striker Yuichiro Nagashima. BJJ legend and Gracie family member Kron Gracie (1-0) will fight against Japanese wrestling phenom Asen Yamamoto who is making his debut. Women's heavyweight BJJ player Gabi Garcia has been rumored to make her debut against pro wrestler Seini Draughn who will also make her debut. Shootboxing Rene Kubota and K-1 kickboxer Jleana Valentino will fight eachother in their debuts. Kaido Hoovelson, a former judo and sumo fighter, will make his debut.

(Kron Gracie Pictured)

December 29th

Shinya Aoki v. Kazushi Sakuraba
Yuki Motoya v. Nam Jin Jo
AJ Matthews v. Anatoly Tokov
World Grand Prix Opening Bouts

New Years Eve

Fedor v. TBA
World Grand Prix Championship
Hiroyuki Takaya v. Daiki Hata
Andy Souwer v. Yuichiro Nagashima
Kron Gracie v. Asen Yamamoto
Gabi Garcia v. Seini Draughn
Rene Kubota v. Jleana Valentino
Kaido Hoovelson v. TBA
World Grand Prix Final Four

(Gabi Garcia at Rizen Press Event)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Video of the Day - Sudo v. Oxley

This is MMA Legend Genki Sudo in his famous match against Craig Oxley from Pancrase - Trans 6 which took place in Tokyo, Japan on 10/31/00, Halloween. As you can see, Genki is rocking an epic mullet in this fight.

(Genki Sudo pictured)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Video of the Day - Fedor v. Rizzo

Here is Fedor Emelianenko fighting Pedro Rizzo in his last bout before a 3 and a half year retirement at M-1: Fedor v. Rizzo, which took place on 6/21/12 in Russa.

Fedor (34-4) returns on New Years Eve at Saitama Super Arena for Rizen FC. Fedor is currently rumored to fight Tsuyoshi Kosaka, though I wouldn't lock that in stone until early December.

Several high profile fighter debuts are planned for the event including kickboxing legend Andy Souwer, BJJ star Kron Gracie, 19 year old Japanese wrestling stand-out Asen Yamamoto, women's heavyweight BJJ player Gabi Garcia and pro wrestler Seini Draughn

Monday, November 9, 2015

Prospects For UFC's Women's Divisions

I was recently asked about the depth of the women's divisions in the UFC and whether or not there are any intriguing prospects existed outside the organization. Like the HW and flyweight divisions on the men's side, the women's divisions need more prospects. The key is to get fighters in the organization, give them fights, and find out if they are legit. Having fighters sit on the sidelines will only hurt the division.

Here is a look at some of the prospects currently being hyped by the UFC and some that are very close to getting the call:

UFC Hyped Prospects

Paige VanZant (6-1, 3-0 UFC) the 21 year old is the most hyped women's fighter by the UFC outside of Ronda Rousey. Using constant pressure when she fights, her transitioned to Team Alpha Male and has drastically improved her grappling game. In her 3 UFC bouts she has TKO'd Kailin Curran, decisioned Felice Herrig and submitted Alex Chambers. She'll next fight Joanne Calderwood(10-1, 2-1 UFC) in what will be her toughest fight to date.

Michelle Waterson (13-4, 1-0 UFC) the "Karate Hottie" holds a black belt in American freestyle karate and a blue belt in BJJ. She is the former 105 pound champ in Invicta where she defeated Jessica Penne(12-3) via armbar. In her UFC debut she submitted TUF 20's Angela Magana. Waterson will next fight TUF 20's Tecia Torres (6-0).

Aleksandra Albu (2-0, 1-0 UFC) has a 6-0 record on UFC.com, and defeated Izabela Badurek (5-3, 0-1 UFC) via 2nd round submission in her UFC debut in April. Fighting out of Red Fury Fight Team little is known about her other than holding a black belt in karate and claiming to be a former competitive bodybuilder.

135 Pound Prospects

Tonya Evinger (17-5) the 34 year old Evinger has been on the women's MMA scene since 2006. After coming up short at but recently has strung together 8 straight wins and capturing the Invicta title. A college wrestler, Evinger recently TKO'd Pannie Kinzaid, then 8-0, and has career victories over Julie Kedzie, Ediane Gomes and Carina Damm.

Taila Santos (12-0) the 22 year old has been tearing up Santa Catarina, Brazil fight scene. She has 8 T/KO's and 2 submission wins on her resume. Her best victory was probably over

Elina Kallionidou (4-0) the 16 year old Greek fighter has fought exclusively in Athens thus far in her career. In her last 2 bouts, she defeated Foteini Kromida, then 4-0, and Roxane Teixeira, then 4-2.

125 Pound Prospects

Barb Honchak (10-2)- the current Invicta flyweight champ has gone undefeated since 2 decision losses in 2010 to UFC fighers Cat Zingano and Angela Magana. She has wins over UFC veterans Leslie Smith, Aisling Daly and Roxanne Modafferi. At 36 years old, a cut to 115 would be difficult to say the least.

Vanessa Porto (18-6)- the Brazilian has been on fire lately with 3 straight quality wins after a decision loss to Barb Honchak. A little on the short side at 5'2" you would expect Porto could make the 115 pound limit. Porto has career wins over Tonya Evinger, Roxanne Modafferi, Germaine de Randamie, Tara LaRosa and former Bellator champ Zoila Frausto.

115 Pound Prospects

Deanna Bennett (8-0)- now 4-0 in Invicta, the 30 year old "Argentine Assassin" most recently defeated Katja Kankaanpaa (10-3) in her retirement fight. Bennett has also defeated Jennifer Maia (10-4) and Michelle Ould (7-4).

Alex Grasso (7-0)- the 22 year old Mexican fighter has won 3 straight in Invicta, most recently defeating Mizuki Inoue (9-3) via decision.

Livia Renata Souza (8-0)- the Brazilian submitted Katja Kankaanpaa via 4th round triangle choke handing the Finn her first loss. She is generally ranked in the 7-9 range in most publications top ten lists.

Viviane Pereira (9-0)- the Brazilian has dominated low level competition on Sao Paulo, Brazil fight circuit.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz (8-0)- The Polish fighter was recently signed to the UFC, the former KSW powerhouse has crisp striking. She is rumored to fight Randa Markos at UFC on Fox 17.

Video of the Day - Sexton v. Jedrzejczyk

Here is Joanna Jedrzejczyk fighting Rosi Sexton at Cage Warriors 69 which took place on 6/7/14 in London, England.

Jedrzejczyk (10-0, 4-0 UFC) next fights Valerie LeTourneau (8-3, 3-0 UFC) for the 115 pound title at UFC 193.

(Joanna Jedrejczyk pictured)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

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 (11-10) recently KO'd Bigfoot Silva at UFC 193 in devastating fashion.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Video of the Day - Teixeira v. Eastman

Here is Glover Teixeira fighting Marvin Eastman at Shooto Brazil - Fight for BOPE which took place on 8/25/11 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Glover (23-4, 6-2 UFC) next fights Patrick Cummins at UFN 77.