Monday, December 31, 2007

UFC 79 Recap

Thoughts by the MMA Blaster

UFC 79 was a decent show with mostly one-sided fights. It wasn't nearly as good as the TUF finale, but was far superior to UFC 78. Funny how sometimes free MMA is better than the ppv's. Anyway, here are the quick results.

Georges St. Pierre defeats Matt Hughes via sub (arm-bar) — R2, 4:54
Chuck Liddell defeats Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision
Eddie Sanchez defeats Soa Palelei via TKO (strikes) — R3, 3:24
Lyoto Machida defeats Rameau Sokoudjo via sub (arm-triangle choke) — R2, 4:20
Rich Clementi defeats Melvin Guillard via sub(rear-naked choke) — R1, 4:40
James Irvin defeats Luis Cane via DQ (illegal knee) — R1, 1:51
Manny Gamburyan defeats Nate Mohr via sub(ankle lock) — R1 — 1:31
Dean Lister defeats Jordan Radev via unanimous decision
Roan Carneiro defeats Tony DeSouza via TKO (strikes) — R2, 3:33
Mark Bocek defeats Doug Evans via unanimous decision

GSP v. Hughes- GSP may not have wrestled in college, but he looks like an absolute stud wrestling right now. He out wrestled Koscheck in his last fight, and completely out wrestled Hughes in this one. Every Hughes takedown was thwarted by GSP, and every GSP takedown attempt was successful. GSP owned Hughes up until the armbar.
**Poll Results- MMA Blaster fans voted 22-14 for GSP.

Liddell v. W. Silva- This was an exciting fight even though there were a couple slow spots. I definitely would have liked to see a couple more rounds to this one. The two brawlers exchanged time and time again, and Liddell edged him out in most of the exchanges. Liddell was wobbled, but so was Silva. What sealed the victory for Liddell was the two takedowns. Liddell is back, but I rank one guy slightly ahead of him.
**Poll results- MMA Blaster fans voted 21-20 for Liddell.

Machida v. Sokoudjo- After the one-sided beatdown Machida laid on Sokoudjo, you would have to put him in the title picture. Machida's unorthodox karate style seemed to have Soko off his game. Machida seemed to land anything at will, and also dominated Soko on the ground.
**Poll results- MMA Blaster fans voted 17-9 in favor of Soko, you Machida fans are smart.

Sanchez v. Palelei- This was an extremely boring fight, do not watch this one. Watching this fight made me think that the UFC has to do something to sign some top heavyweights. Coming to mind are BEN ROTHWELL (29-5) and Josh Barnett (21-5). Steal some IFL heavy's.

Clementi v. Guillard- This was a pretty exciting fight as both fighters were running on a hatred for one another. If you look at Clementi's fight record, it is obvious that all his big wins have been via submission or decision. Most of his KO/TKO's have been against lower tier fighters. When the fight went to the ground a couple times, I had a feeling Guillard may be in trouble. Sure enough when Clementi got his back, he was calm and rode it out until an eventual rear naked choke with a body triangle.

Melvin Guillard (left) and Rich Clementi
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*Sorry there hasn't been a post for awhile, I was up North for the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Elite XC Rumored to be Pulling a Tourney Together

Thoughts by the MMA Blaster

The website mmascoops.com is reporting that Elite XC is trying to stage a 4 man tournament. While there is no confirmation of this on Elite XC's website, it got me to thinking what the tourney would look like. It is rumored to be an open, no weight limit, tournament with Tank Abbott, Kimbo Slice, Butterbean, and Bob Sapp are supposed to be invited.

The odds of all these four accepting the invite to the rumored tournament is at tops 5%. Tourney's are fun, but I'd like to see Elite XC try to find some better fighters. The only one out of those four I'd expect to show up is Kimbo Slice (under contract). Here are some bio's on these four larger than life personalities:

Kevin Ferguson aka Kimbo Slice (1-0)- Legendary streetfighter turned mixed martial artist. Clips of him KO'ing fools is popular on Youtube. He TKO'd a scared looking Bo Cantrell (10-11) in his debut fight. Kimbo would be the lightest fighter of the group, have the best cardio, but the least experience.

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Bob Sapp (9-2)- Sapp was a former pro football player who ventured into MMA. His popularity has been the highest in Japan where he was a pro wrestler, K1 kickboxer, tv star(youtube), and MMA fighter in Pride then K1. Sapp put a beatdown on Bobby Ologun (2-2) overwelming him with huge punches in the first round in K-1 Dynamite. That was his first MMA fight in two years.

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Tank Abbott (9-13)- Tank Abbott was a crowd and fan favorite in the early UFC's. In UFC 6, he destroyed John Matua and Paul Varelens and lost an exciting final to Oleg Taktarov. Tank also made it to the final of UU96, where he destroyed Cal Worsham and Steve Nelmark before losing an exciting final against Don Frye. There are rumors that Tank is taking training seriously again, but that has been said before.

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Eric "Butterbean" Esch (10-4)- Butterbean was an exciting boxer in his day, having extremely heavy hands. He has fought in Cage Rage and Pride at around 400 pounds. He keylocked the massive Zuluzinho, had a controversial KO stoppage against James Thompson and a win over Cabbage Correia. Cardio is probably the biggest thorn in the side of Butterbean, also getting up from the canvas after a takedown.

Photobucket

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sherk Stripped of Title

Thoughts by the MMA Blaster

Recently, Sean "Muscle Shark" Sherk (32-2-1) was stripped of his lightweight belt after "sorta" losing his appeal to CSAC. While his suspension was reduced from one year to six months, the fine was upheld, and he wasn't absolved of responsibility for having elevated levels of the anabolic steroid Nandrolone in his body. Even though Sherk was stripped of his title, he will get an immediate title shot against the winner of Stevenson v. Penn.

Sherk blamed the test results on a tainted supplement he took. The supplement was supposedly from the Xyience brand, a brand which used to sponsor Sherk and many UFC fighters. Apparently he went to long lengths to disprove the test results, such as taking a lie detector, but he was not able to overturn the positive test. Apparently, Phil Baroni was confronted with a similar situation. Both fighters were taking an extreme amount of supplements per day.

The sport has to be known as one that is clean. A speculation that MMA fighters are steroid users will only hurt the sports image, and hurt the fighters in the long run. With side effects such as acne, anaphylactic shock, birth defects, kidney failure, blood clotting changes, cardiovascular disease, depression, stunted growth, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, headache, blood pressure changes, liver stress, prostate enlargement, lowering of life expectancy ect, ect, ect, something has to be done to keep the fighters safe.

Steroid use should be frowned upon more by the UFC, and the UFC should set its own penalties for use. The UFC must also take a long look at supplements. Especially ones, (cough-Xyience), that have been known to produce false positives. Maybe, supplements should be banned altogether, or maybe the UFC can produce their own supplement line. Regardless, I would like to see the UFC confront the issue and do their best to rectify the situation for the sake of the sport and the fighters health.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

HDNet Fight Reckless Abandon Results

Results HDNet Fights II - MMA Blaster

Marcus Lanier def Lee King via Sub (Armbar) R2, 2:58
Liam McCarty def Jason House TKO (Cut) R3, 3:00
Jay White def Patrick Castillo Sub (Armbar) R1, 0:50
Nissen Osterneck def Freddie Espiricueta Sub (Verbal) R1, 2:37
Corey Mahon def Chris Bowles Sub (Armbar) R2, 4:22
Pete Spratt def Tristan Yunker TKO (Cut) R1, 1:38
Krzysztof Soszynski def Robert Villegas DQ (Refusal to Fight) R2, 3:15
Yves Edwards def Alonzo Martinez Sub (Rear Naked Choke) R2, 3:04
Frank Trigg def Edwin Dewees Sub (Kimura) R1, 1:40
Jason Miller def Tim Kennedy Dec (Unanimous)

The results went squeaky clean for HDNet Fights. They were banking on being able to stage a Trigg v. Miller showdown, and lucky for them both won. Also, ex-UFC fighters Edwards and Spratt won, as well as IFL vet Sosynski. Sosynski was a ripped heavyweight in the IFL and apparently went to 205 for this fight. I'm still trying to track down most of the fights on the internet. Unfortunately, like many out there I don't have HDNet, but my girlfriend and her roommates have it. I covertly set a recording for it, but to my disappointment, it was deleted.

My guess for the HDNet plans
155 title- Yves Edwards (1-0 HDNET, 31-13) v. Corey Mahon (1-0 HDNET, 8-0)
170 title- Pete Spratt (2-0 HDNET, 17-10) v. Drew Fickett (1-0 HDNET, 31-5)
185 title- Frank Trigg (1-0 HDNET, 16-6) v. Mayhem Miller (1-0 HDNET, 20-5)
205 title- Soszynski (1-0 HDNET, 13-8) v. Liam McCarty (2-0 HDNET, 7-4)
HW title- Justin Eilers (1-0 HDNET, 18-6) v. Fedor Emelianenko (26-1) (Mark Cuban can get the deal done) (After Fedor wins he can fight Randy Couture for the belt)

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*Frank Trigg promo pic

Thursday, December 13, 2007

WEC 31 Results

Results WEC 31 - MMA Blaster

Urijah Faber defeats Jeff Curran - RD 2 Guillotine Choke
Jens Pulver defeats Cub Swanson - RD 1 Anaconda Choke
Paulo Filho defeats Chael Sonnen - RD 2 Armbar
Doug Marshal defeats Ariel Gandulla - RD 1 Armbar
Brian Bowles defeats Marcos Galvao - RD 2 TKO
Charlie Valencia defeats Ian McCall - RD 1 Choke
John Alessio defeats Todd Moore - UD
Brian Baker defeats Eric Schambari - SD
Ed "9MM" Ratcliff defeats Alex Karelexis - RD 2 TKO

Overall an exciting show. Faber was probably down until he wobbled Curran and secured the choke. Pulver dominated Swanson, looks like they will be squaring off for the FW title in a couple months.

Sonnen was dominating the fight until Filho he was able to get an armbar. Sonnen was screaming and yelling as the armbar was sunk, and the ref stopped the fight. If you do that, the ref will think you are in pain. Sonnen protested and insists he was saying "no" but his argument fell on deaf ears. The stoppage was not controversial.

I told everyone to watch out for the "9MM" Eric Ratcliff, he TKO'd former TUF contestant Alex Karelexis.

John Alessio (blue trunks) vs. Todd Moore
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Alessio v. Moore pic from Sherdog

Shad Lierley Out Of IFL GP

News by the MMA Blaster

Shad Lierley has posted the following in a bulletin on Myspace:

"If you haven't heard I will no longer be fighting Chris in the GP finals due to a broken toe. The toe broke off, and the bone was protruding through the skin. At first I thought I would still be able to fight with the injury, but sometimes it's more important to be a smart fighter than a tough fighter.

The doctor told me there's no amount of Lidocaine that would numb the excruciating pain that I would feel in the fight. He also informed me that no amount of tape could keep the sharp bone from protruding through the skin and tape. Furthermore he said that re-breaking the bone would be the least of my concerns, it would be the likely infections to follow that I'd have to worry about.

I'd like to apologize to everyone that has bought tickets to come see me fight. I'd also like to thank everyone for all their support."

Looks like Shad is out of the 155 pound IFL GP title fight against Chris Horodecki. That must be extreme disappointment to the IFL. Reading that bulletin post however would make me want Shad to err on the side of caution.

The IFL basically inserted Shad into the finals, despite Shad not competing in the first round of the tourney, to try to recapture the "fight of the year" magic. Shad and Horodecki fought in a bout on June 1st of 2007 that was action packed. Shad was 2-1 in the IFL this year and had a case to make the GP.

I wish the best for Shad and hope this injury isn't as nasty as it sounds. "The toe broke off, and the bone was protruding through the skin." That is harsh, get well soon.

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It appears that Ryan Schultz is replacing Lierley at the finals. John Gunderson was first rumored as the replacement. Schultz (17-9) lost previously to Horodecki by TKO in the second round on 11/2/06. Schultz is the lone person to hold a win over Roger Huerta (20-1-1).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

M1 Global Putting Out a Good Card

Preview by the MMA Blaster

M1 Global has been increasing the number of quality fights on their New Years Eve card. Apparently it will be broadcast on HDNet in the USA and be called "HDNet Fights: Fedor Returns". The event is going by the name "Yarennoka!" in Japan. Many of the old Pride staffers apparently are helping with the event. Here is what the card looks like so far. Asterisks are fights that are confirmed, others are more rumors.

*Tatsuya Kawajiri (19-4)(#4 LW) vs. Luiz Azeredo (11-6)
*Gilbert Melendez (13-0)(#3 LW)v. Mitsuhiro Ishida (14-3)
*Fedor (26-1)(#1 HW)(Pride HW Champ) v. Hong Man Choi (1-0)(I wouldn't be surprised if Choi was replaced)
*Murilo Bustamante (14-6)(ex-UFC MW Champ) v. Makoto Takimoto (3-3) (Olympic Gold Judo)
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (30-7)(#2 LW) v. Hidehiko Hasegawa (14-8)
Kazuo Misaki (18-8)(#8 MW) v. Yoshihiro Akiyama (10-1)(#10 MW)- Rumored back on card**.

*Shinja Aoki (11-2)(#5 LW) v. Gesias "JZ" Calvancante (#6 LW)-Now rumored off card.

Also, rumored to possibly show up on the card are Ricardo Arona, Mark Hunt and Joachim Hansen.

The UFC has to look at these fighters as some that they should make an attempt to sign. Misaki and Akiyama would do well in the dwindling UFC middleweight class.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Exciting TUF Finale

Season Six Finale Recap by the MMA Blaster

Anyone who was upset at the uneventful UFC 78 should have been rejoicing after seeing the latest Ultimate Fighter Finale. Season Six wrapped up with a bang with exciting fight after exciting fight. Even though I was a little disappointed at the showing of Tom Speer, the card was great. As you can see by the results there was only one fight that went to a decision and that usually guarantees there were some fireworks. In terms of grades I would give this card an A.

Huerta v. Guida will definately get fight of the year consideration. The fight was an absolute war with Guida beating Huerta pretty bad in the first two rounds. Huerta was able to come back somehow in the third round, a round which he knew he had to do something to finish the fight. He came out with everything he had, hitting Guida with punches and knees that found their mark. Huerta was able to get Guida's back and won with a rear naked choke with just 31 seconds to spare. Because of this victory, Huerta better get a shot at the winner of Stevenson v. Penn.

Full results:

1 Jonathan Goulet defeats Paul Georgieff Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1 4:42
2 Roman Mitichyan defeats Dorian Price Submission (Ankle lock) 1 0:23
3 Matt Arroyo defeats John Kolosci Submission (Armbar) 1 4:42
4 Troy Mandaloniz defeats Richie Hightower KO 1 4:20
5 Ben Saunders defeats Daniel Barrera Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
6 George Sotiropoulos defeats Billy Miles Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1 1:36
7 Jon Koppenhaver defeats Jared Rollins TKO (Strikes) 3 2:01
8 Mac Danzig defeats Tom Speer Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1 2:01
9 Roger Huerta defeats Clay Guida Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 3 0:31

Thoughts on the TUF fights

Ben Saunders needs to develop takedown defense because Barrera was able to get takedowns whenever he wanted. Saunders does have potential to be a UFC star with solid kicks, punches, and submission defense and offense.

Sotiropoulos should have taken on a tougher opponent because Billy has little submission defense or striking ability. George outclassed Billy.

Koppenhaver showed heart and determination in a great fight with Jared Rollins. This was a three round battle that went back and forth with J-Roc and War doing damage. After being wobbled, War Machine was able to sweep J-Roc and knock him out cold with elbows and punches with little time left in the third. This was my second favorite fight of the night.

Mandaloniz v. Hightower was a pretty exciting fight. There were times when Hightower was getting the most of the action, but then he was stunned by some huge shots and pounded out by Rude Boy.

Danzig beat Speer just two minutes into the action. Seemed like Tommy may have been a little gun shy being on the big stage for the first time in his fight career. He didn't look like himself and Danzig capitalized.

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Photo from Sherdog

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ring of Fire First Round Results

I recently found the results of the Ring of Fire event held in the Philippines posted on Josh Barnett's website. I wrote a previous story about this team event a couple weeks back. The results of the match-up were pretty predictable, but at least the two strongest teams are left. I'll preview the finals match-ups shortly. Here are the results:

Team Shamrock vs. Team Gracie


155lbs
Even Dunham wins by Front Choke over Cleber Luciano
185lbs
Kyacey "Ice Cold" Uscola wins by UD over Jorge "Macaco" Patino
205lbs
Mike Whitehead wins by UD over Daniel Serafian
Heavyweight
Ricco Rodriguez wins by TKO (Low Kicks) over Kevin Filal
Women 130lbs
Tonya Evinger wins by Cross Arm Lock over Kat Alendal

Team Shamrock wins 5-0

Team Barnett vs. Team Gokor


155lbs
Koji Oishi wins by UD over Karen Darabedyan
185lbs
Yuki Kondo wins by UD over August Wallen
205lbs
Renato "Babalu" Sobral wins by Side Choke over Rodney Faverus
Heavyweight
Jeff "The Snowman" Monson wins by UD over Hakim Gouram
Women 130lbs
Ginele Marquez wins by Forfeit

Team Barnett wins 5-0

Female fighter of the night: Tonya Evinger
Male fighter of the night: Yuki Kondo
Fight of the night: Tonya Evinger vs. Kat Alendal

Team Championsip finals in Macau:
Team Barnett vs. Team Shamrock

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Photo of Shamrock v. Gracie II found on Photobucket and used incidently to the story

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

UFC Best of 2007

Thoughts by the MMA Blaster

Many of the top fights and highlights of 2007 were shown last night throughout a 3 hour session. A pretty good show, even though certain fights I saw fairly recently. Some aspects of these fights have been blown out of porportion, and I hope to bring us all back to Earth.

Edgar v. Griffin- This was a legit top three in the fights of the year. Some of the best grappling was on display in this contest and it was close. However, Edgar was definately the guy who won the fight. The defining moment of the fight, and the point I realized Edgar was the real deal, was when Griffin sunk in a knee bar. Edgar remained composed, showed heart, never stopped, and then at the end punches Griffin's leg with authority. Both of these guys will fight for a title someday.

Huerta v. Garcia- This was a top two fight of the year. Huerta is the real deal, with his strikes getting the most of Garcia. Garcia has some serious moxy though and is the definition of a scapper. Garcia never stopped his offense and didn't let the beating stop him.

Shogun Rua v. Griffin- Rua fans, it is ok, he did not get completely dominated and this was actually a very good fight. Rua was able to get a takedown's, looked decent on his feet, and just got gassed. Why? Because he had a ligament tear suffered in training and probably didn't get enough cardio work in. When he is healed, I'm sure he will rebound and challenge for the title. The thing to say about Forrest is that he is the real deal and belongs among the top of the UFC 205 division and so does Jardine. This fight got pretty nasty when Shogun opened up a cut near Forrest's hairline, the blood did not phase Forrest.

Cro-Cop v. Gonzaga- The head kick against Cro-Cop was absolutely brutal. The angle of Cro-Cop's foot after the head kick looked alot worse than I remebered.

Salmon v. Evans- Another brutal head kick, perfectly executed. They didn't show the first round last night, but Salmon was winning that fight.

Fisher v. Stout 2- Not as exciting the second time around, Stout definately lost the fight despite getting a couple cuts.

Anderson Silva- Silva is the cream of the crop. If he is on his game he can beat you on his feet or on the ground. Marquard was able to get some takedowns, but took serious punishment from Silva. Franklin was destroyed in the rematch even though it was a better effort by Franklin.

Maynard v. Emerson- I still think that Maynard should have won that fight even though he may or may not have been knocked out. As soon as Emerson hits the mat he was tapping.

Houston Alexander- This guy is a beast and looks absolutley ripped for his fights. If he can develop a better ground game and try to stay off his back he still can be a force. If Alexander's knee connects to your face you will be seeing stars shortly.

Penn v. Pulver- Penn will dominate if he stays at 155. He looked leaner and in better shape for the fight and hammered Pulver. The rear naked choke at the end of the fight was held a touch too long, but I still don't believe it was malicious.

Kenny Florian- Great year for Florian with wins over Mishima (17-6), Alvin Robinson (7-2), and Din Thomas (20-7). All three of those fights was entertaining and he put forth a technical attack.

Rampage- This guy is going to be champ for a long time. While I have seen the replay of the Chuck KO a few times, I didn't remeber the commentary. Apparently Chuck was asking his corner what happened. Liddell did not have a good year (0-2, TKO win over Tito Ortiz 12/30/06).

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UFC 145 Division- One thought while watching the program was man, the UFC really needs a 145 class. Really all they have to do is take the guys from the WEC, Urijah Faber, Jeff Curran, Jens Pulver, Cub Swanson not too tough. Leonard Garcia and some of the current UFC 155's could get to 145 and it is probably a more natural weight for them. With the amount of cards the UFC is putting out, they need some more talent.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

First MMA Blaster Exclusive - Chuck "the Reverend" Grigsby

I'm pleased to announce that I will be doing an exclusive look at up and coming VCC and MCC light heavyweight champion Chuck "The Reverend" Grigsby (15-3). It should be out in a couple days.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

"KID" Yamamoto vs Rani Yahya

K1 "Dynamite!" announced a blockbuster matchup between Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto vs Rani Yahya. Kid (16-1) is known for his aggressive fighting style featuring vicious strikes. Kid received his education in the United States and wrestled at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona, capturing three state championships. Even though he walks around at 143, wrestles at 132, he typically fights at 155. He has KO wins over Cael Uno, Genki Sudo and Royler Gracie. He also has a decision victory over Jeff Curran. However, his last three fights have been against relatively unknown fighters.

Yahya (11-3) is no slouch himself, and will be Kid's biggest test for some time. Before his loss to Chase Beebe (11-1), Yahya had submitted Mark Hominick (14-7).

Here is a Kid Yamamoto highlight

TUF - Upperdecker Edition

Recap by the MMA Blaster

I saw something that was pretty nasty last night. Nasty in the sense that War Machine, or Poop Machine, dropped a deuce in the the top shelf of the Team Hughes toilet. I have heard about this practice before, but had never seen it in action. Billy Miles reaction was priceless when he walked into the bathroom and discovered a nasty smell. When he flushed the backwater came back a little brown.

It was pretty obvious when Team Hughes came back from practice that something had just went down. All three could not stop laughing. Mac said that Richie was laughing like Fran Drescher (the Nanny) and got in his face before the deed was even discovered. The person that took it the worse was J-Rock, who proceeded to kick team Serra's door in (too bad he didn't kick like that when he was facing George). Rude Boy and War ended cleaning it up, no harm, no fowl smell.

The editing of this episode was priceless. Anytime they showed Speer, it was right after his previous fight when he is the most swollen. We got to see some actual coaching from Serra and Hughes - finally. Serra was showing JJ, and Hughes gameplaning for some Saunders high kicks. I wish that they would show more technique and training, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon.

The first round of the fight consisted of Speer basically imposing his will for a takedown, and then Saunders getting the most of Speer on the ground. Saunders nearly had a arm bar, then nearly had a triangle. But, close just doesn't cut it. The second round saw Speer taking Saunders down and getting some shots in. I scored the first round for Saunders and the second for Speer. With time left, I thought for sure it would have been called a draw and we would see another round. To my surprise Speer won. I seriously have my doubts about judges, but if you want to win you have to finish the fight.

The quarters were picked with Danzig fighting Arroyo and George fighting Speer. Supposedly one fighter won't be going any further. If it is injury related, I would guess Speer would be out. If it is idiot related, I would say Mac probably did something stupid to Richie and got booted. Regardless, I am looking forward to the next show.

TUF Finale Preview

Preview Picks by MMA Blaster

On December 8th, this Saturday night, I will be recording the TUF Finale to watch the following morning. Unfortunately, I have two Christmas parties that I am supposed to attend that night. The past episode of the Ultimate Fighter saw Matt Arroyo suffering a rib injury and not being able to continue. John Kolosci was the only fighter enthusiatic about taking a fight with Mac Danzig. However, Mac stood stong against Kolosci's kicks and eventually got him in a rear naked choke.

The second match-up saw George Sotiropoulous v. Tom Speer. Speer threw a punch which caught George's eye. After taking a brief time-out, George re-entered and was caught by combinations and eventually got knocked out. The final is set with Speer v. Danzig.

Here are the match-ups for the finale, my picks are in bold:

MAIN CARD

Clay Guida vs. Roger Huerta
Mac Danzig vs. Tommy Speer - TUF 6 Title
Jon Koppenhaver vs. Jared Rollins
Billy Miles vs. George Sotiropoulous
Dan Barrera vs. Ben Saunders

PRELIMINARY CARD

Matt Arroyo
vs. John Kolosci
Richie Hightower vs. Troy Mandaloniz
Roman Mitichyan vs. Dorian Price
Paul Georgieff vs. Jonathan Goulet

**Looks like my only loss was taking Speer over Danzig.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TUF Fight to Call Tonight - Saunders v. Speer

Thoughts by the Blaster

Tonight's episode of the Ultimate Fighter reality show features a matchup between American Top Teams' Ben "Beserk" Saunders (4-0-2) and Minnesota farm boy Tom Speer (7-1). Speer and Saunders both faced tough battles in their previous fights and both ended up coming out on top. Kind of sucks for them that they have to fight at this stage, because Saunders and Speer are no joke.

Saunders lists himself as a Jeet Kune Do Concepts fighter. I'm guessing he is a Bruce Lee fan "flow like water." I saw superb kicks, crisp punches, and near submission attempts in his fight against a very tough Daniel Barrera and expect the same in this fight. Looking at his record, he has wins over Charles Blanchard (4-1, only loss to Saunders), and a couple 185 pounders. His first pro fight ended with a draw to UFC vet Crafton Wallace.

Speer has been shown as a soft spoken and excellent wrestler on TUF (almost a Matt Hughes clone). The red head was cut by a War Machine punch right off the bat in his first match and bled all over the place. Instead of panicking, Speer persevered and was able to get the victory. He has fought in the WEC beating Sidney Silva (6-2), and has fought mainly in Extreme Challenge events. His one loss came from referee stoppage about a year and a half ago to a fighter named John Meyer (2-1).

I really don't know who to pick in this fight, mainly because I am such a fan of both fighters. While ideally, I would have liked a Danzig v. Speer, George v. Saunders quarterfinals, this fight will probably be entertaining. What the heck, I'll say Saunders by submission round 2.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy 80th Win For Dan Severn!

Congrats by the MMA Blaster

Dan Severn recorded his 80th win at King of the Cage on November 21st according to Sherdog.com (fcf has him at 82 wins). That total is probably closer to 100 or so, but he just keeps going. The ageless wonder has been in the MMA game since 1994. He beat a fighter named Don Richard (7-9) from Michigan. The event was held at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant Michigan. I have a previous post with a highlight video, click Dan Severn on the labels section.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

New Team Event - Josh Barnett, Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock and Gokor Chivichyan Coaches

Anaylsis by the Blaster

Apparently another mixed martial arts promotion from Vegas is starting a new event using a team format, ala IFL, called Ring of Fire. They have three very recognizable names in Shamrock, Gracie and Barnett, but Gokor is probably only recognizable to hardcore fans of judo and sambo, as well as Armenians. I don't think they will be fighting, but a Gracie v. Shamrock fight would be nostalgic.

Since the promotion's first event is in the Philippines, I have doubts that we in the US and Europe will get to see much of the action. I am guessing the best way to catch these fights will be the internet. Ken Shamrock is apparently still a coach for the IFL season, don't worry about him jumping ship.

The teams:

Team Gracie - Cleber Luciano (1-2), Jorge Patino (20-10), Daniel Serafian (?), John Marsh (7-6) and Katrine Alendal (0-1).

Team Barnett - Koji Oishi (15-7), Yuki Kondo (47-20), Renato “Babalu” Sobral (28-7), Jeff Monson (23-7) and Ginele Marquez (5-7).

Team Gokar - Karen Darabedyan (2-0), August Wallen (2-1), Rodney Faverus (24-13, KO of Manhoef, w's over Riggs, Kongo, but 2-5 in last 7), Hakim Gouram(?) and Amanda Buckner (10-4).

Team Lion’s Den - Evan Dunham (4-0, small shows), Kyacey Uscola (13-10, 3 straightlosses), Mike Whitehead (19-5, 10 straight wins), Ricco Rodriguez (26-7) and Tonya Evinger (4-3).

Looking at the teams, from left to right for weight classes, it seems that Team Barnett is the clear favorite. Babalu, Monson, Oishi, and Kondo would make a killer IFL team on their own. Right behind I would put Shamrock's team. Teams Gokor and Gracie look to be a touch behind in terms of talent and experience, even though Buckner is probably the most talented of the women. Babalu v. Whitehead would be a good matchup as would Rodriguez v. Monson.

*Why use Ring of Fire? That is a pretty lame name to choose considering it is also the name of a promotion in Colorado, and a Johnny Cash song. Why not come up with something more unique? **The MMA Blaster is full of ideas**

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Stock photo of Josh Barnett used incidentally to story.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

HDNet Fights Part II

HDNet Fight Preview by the MMA Blaster

HDNet has a pretty good card is set for December 15th in Dallas. For those unfamiliar with HDNet, it is a television channel owned by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The promotion is based out of Dallas and uses the Maverick's arena for the show. Ten of the fighters are from Texas. Here is the fight card:

Jason "Mayhem" Miller (19-5) vs. Tim Kennedy (8-1)
Frank Trigg (15-6) vs. Edwin Dewees (34-10)
Yves Edwards (29-13) vs. Alonzo Martinez (20-8)
Pete Spratt (18-10) vs. Tristan Yunker (12-6)
Chris Bowles (7-1) vs. Cory Mahon (6-0)
Patrick Castillo (3-1) vs. Jay White (1-5)
Krzysztof Soszynski (12-8) vs. Robert Villegas (7-1)
Jason House (7-4) vs. Liam McCarty (6-4)
Lee King (7-11) vs. Marcus Lanier (5-2)
Freddie Espiricueta (5-2)vs. Nissen Osterneck (4-0)

Mayhem v. Kennedy is the match I want to see the most. This is the rematch from their previous fight that Kennedy won by decision. Kennedy explained on 5 Ounces of Pain that it was an extremely bloody fight that was very entertaining.

Overall, this is a great non-ppv card. Five UFC veterens (Spratt, Edwards, Trigg, Dewees, and Miller), IFL vet Soszynski, and other highly touted prospects should make it entertaining.

Mayhem Pic Collage from Photobucket
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Kennedy kick pic taken by the MMA Blaster
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WEC 31 Preview

WEC Preview by the MMA Blaster

I was actually a little sad that there was no more Ultimate Fighter until next April. That is, until I saw the card for WEC 31. The first three bouts could just as easily be on a UFC ppv, and there are an amazing seven undefeated fighters on this card. While many are prospects, it is always nice to get a glimpse at the start of something big. Here is the fight card for Wednesday's action:

Urijah Faber (19-1) v. Jeff Curran (28-8) - FW Belt
Cub Swanson (11-1) v. Jens Pulver (21-8)
Paulo Filho (15-0) v. Chael Sonnen (19-8) - MW Belt
Doug Marshal (6-2) v. Ariel Gandulla (4-0-1) - LHW Belt
Brian Bowles (3-0) v. Marcos Galvao (6-1)
Charlie Valencia (8-3) v. Ian McCall (6-0)
John Alessio (20-10) v. Todd Moore (9-0)
Brian Baker (5-0) v. Eric Schambari (7-0)
Alex Karelexis (9-2) v. Eric "8MM" Ratcliff (3-0)

Faber v. Curran- Faber has been the face of the WEC since Zuffa acquired the organization and this is his biggest fight to date. Faber has been building popularity in recent years, successfully defending his featherweight title three times in 2007. Curran is a well experienced veteren (10 years) who has fought much larger and experienced opponents in his day.

Curran has notable wins over Wagnney Fabiano (9-1), Krazy Horse Bennett (19-14), Jason Dent (15-9) and Rafael Assuncao (11-1). Faber is wins over Chance Farrar (5-1), Dominic Cruz (9-1), Joe Pearson (20-9) and Naoya Uematsu (14-7).

Swanson v. Pulver- Pulver is trying to bounce back from losses to Joe Lauzon and BJ Penn and establish him in the 145 pound class. Swanson is looking to push his way into title contention. I'm guessing the winner of this bout gets an immediate FW title shot.

Most fans seem to forget that Pulver has an extensive career with wins over Joe Stevenson (26-7), Caol Uno (22-14), Stephen Palling (11-7), Cole Escovedo (11-4), BJ Penn (11-4), Dennis Hallman (38-12) and Joe Jordan (38-12). Swanson's last two wins in the WEC came over Tommy Lee (20-6) and Micah Miller (8-1).

Filho v. Sonnen- Filho is the legit number 2 middleweight in the world. Despite his undefeated record, he has chose to stay in the WEC. He is friends with Anderson Silva and has stated that he won't fight him unless the conditions are right. I hope to see Filho use all his skills to defeat Sonnen. Then Silva v. Filho, maybe I am dreaming.

*Watch for Ed "8mm" Ratcliff on the undercard, who will use his style of Tae Kwon Do and Karate.

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Photo of Urijah Faber found on Photobucket, used incidentally to story

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tim Kennedy v. Mayhem Miller II scheduled for HDNET Fights


Story by MMA Blaster

While Tim Kennedy should have been placed in the IFL Grand Prix, I am happy to see that he will take on Mayhem Miller on December 15th for HDNet Fights Part II. I haven't been able to track down the footage of the previous Tim Kennedy v. Mayhem Miller fight but it did occur during a tournament hosted by Extreme Challenge on 2/23/07. Miller had fought Denis Kang (23-9) prior to the Kennedy bout and Kennedy had just beat Ryan Narte (1-3). Kennedy won via decision versus Miller and then won the finals bout against Cruz Chacon (11-12).

Kennedy is stepping in for Sean Salmon who was suspended following a devastating knee strike from Jorge Santiago in the Strikeforce tourney. Kennedy is still listed as fighting in the IFL Grand Prix finals on the under card, but I'm guessing that bout may be canceled.

**Sweet action pic taken by the MMA Blaster

Check out a great exclusive interview of Tim Kennedy on Five Ounces of Pain's website.

TUF Thanksgiving News

Story Copyright of the MMA Blaster

I have been out of range for the past couple days enjoying a Thanksgiving in the Boondocks. I did watch TUF this past Wednesday after my drive to the country. The episode was just about as predictable as it could be, except for Serra winning the coaches challenge.

This episode featured two 170 pound second round tournament match-ups Matt Arroyo vs. Troy Mandaloniz, and Richie Hightower vs. George Sotiropoulos. I always hate when there are two fights in a TUF episode because it usually means two very quick fights. Unfortunately, my prediction rang true and both fights ended in the first with Matt Arroyo and George both getting submission victories.

I'm going to reiterate my point that the Troy (2-1) v. Matt (2-1) fight should never have happened and was probably staged to get someone an easier route to the finals because in my book they are the #4, #5 fighters in the tourney. I would have split Speer and Saunders up to take them on. Well, I'll settle on seeing Saunders v. Speer next week.

Apparently Serra is out for his fight versus Matt Hughes and GSP has stepped in. Dana has decided that Matt Serra's back injury is severe enough to classify GSP v. Hughes III as an interim title fight. Dana has also said that Stevenson v. Penn is also an interim title fight. Does this mean most divisions will soon have two title holders? Can you believe that the last UFC 170 pound title fight was April 7, 2007? That is crazy. Serra won't fight for the title in over a year because of TUF and the UFC scheduling.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UFC 2007 Recap

According to MMAjunkie.com, Spike will be airing a UFC 2007 recap show featuring the best of the 2007 UFC fights. In addition, the show will play some unseen fights from undercards. Alves v. Lytle from UFC 78 would be nice. There is no doubt the UFC has had a tremendous year in terms of growth. Really, the purchases of Pride, the WFA and the WEC were the highlights of the year. The stable of fighters the UFC currently boasts is definately better than any of the competition. What fights for the UFC were there best of 2007? What fights do you want to see that were on undercards?

The season goes from UFC Fight Night 8/UFC 67 to UFC 78.

Florian v. Mishima UFN 9
Couture v. Sylvia UFC 68
Edgar v. Griffin UFC 68
Stout v. Fisher UFN 10
Huerta v. Garcia UFC 69
Gonzago v. CroCop UFC 70
Penn v. Pulver TUF 5 Finale
Davis v. Taylor UFC 75
T.Griffin v. Guida UFC 72
Huerta v. Crane UFC 74
Alexander v. Sakara or Jardine
F.Griffin v. Rua UFC 76
Silva dismantling Franklin
Jackson v. Henderson
Jackson KO'ing Liddell
Liddell TKO over Tito

*I'm missing a ton of fights, fill me in

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IFL Recap and Grand Prix Talk

IFL by the MMA Blaster

On IFL.tv, the IFL officially announced plans for their December 29th Grand Prix finale show. I have been a fan of the IFL and virtually every other MMA league in existence. I had a good time at their May event at the Sears Centre. The format of the IFL drew me in, partly because of the team format and structure which almost resembled a high school wrestling team. Also their stock of fighters made me interested because it included some ex-UFC talent, some B level journeyman, and some legit up and comers who someday will probably dominate the UFC. (Helano, Horodecki, Rothwell, Kennedy, Fabiano)

The team finals came and went, with Renzo Gracie's Pitbulls winning this year and injuries mounting on virtually every team. There were also fighters that were not signed or injured following the team competition. Undefeated IFL fighters Mike Whitehead, Tim Kennedy, Antonio McKee and Ben Rothwell were nowhere to be found in the Grand Prix. Also left out was Red Bear Mark Miller (8-2) who brutally KO'd Josh Neer, had a UD against Brad Blackburn, and lost a UD against the frontrunner in the division Delson Helano.

In an effot to boost hype, the IFL has decided to scrap the Horodecki v. Fabiano fight in the GP, a move that left me quite upset. The IFL has instead tossed in Shad Lierly to fight for the LW title against Horodecki and declared it the "Rematch of the fight of the year." They have decided to drop Fabiano to 145 and have him face LC Davis (9-0)(very talented, but why is he just thrown in there). The 170 final will stay Hieron v. Helano. 185 will stay Horwich v. Radach. And HW will be Nelson v. Jaoude. I was happy to see that they signed Tim Kennedy to fight on the undercard as well as Rory Markum.

The IFL needs to revamp for the next season. My advice, redact a couple more teams to leave the league with 8 or fewer teams (San Jose is gone, add a few more). Pick the teams solely based on the revenue made at each city to ensure good turnouts. Rename the teams based on the camps they are training at. Get Dan Severn to start a team or take one over (Tokyo). Let the fighters advertise on their shorts so they can make more money.

Instead of 3 regular season matches, team championship (2 events), and grand prix (2 events) (possible 7 events in a year) shorten the season. Have 2 or 3 regular season fights to seed the 8 man grand prix (have the grand prix play over 3 events for 5-6 events total). Base the team championship on where fighters place in the Grand Prix. Use the bracket as a marketing strategy like the NCAA tourney and DON'T CHANGE IT UNLESS YOU NEED TO REPLACE AN INJURED FIGHTER WITH AN ALTERNATE. If possible have 3rd place fights to fill in. Have penalties for fighters that do not make weight.

Whatever happens to the IFL, at least they tried something new. I'll post my picks later as the line-up could change.

Shonie pic taken by the MMA Blaster, no doubt that the purple pimp suit was rocking. Whether or not Shonie actually had floor seats is probably an entirely different question.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

UFC 78 Recap - Snoozidation

Recap by the MMA Blaster

I always said leading up to this event that the card had great #3 or #4 ppv fights on it but didn't have a title fight and every ppv card should have a title fight. I stand by that statement and believe this is a card that could have gone live on Spike.

Here are the results:

Akihiro Gono Tamden McCrory Submission (Armbar) 2 3:19
Marcus Aurelio Luke Caudillo TKO (Strikes) 1 4:29
Joe Lauzon Jason Reinhardt Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1 1:14
Thiago Alves Chris Lytle TKO (Doctor Stoppage - Cut) 2 5:00
Frank Edgar Spencer Fisher Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
Ed Herman Joe Doerksen KO (Punch) 3 0:39
Karo Parisyan Ryo Chonan Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
Thiago Silva Houston Alexander TKO (Strikes) 1 3:25
Rashad Evans Michael Bisping Decision (Split) 3 5:00

I was happy that they showed the Lauzon fight, as I predicted he destroyed the smaller and untested Reinhardt. Ed Herman delivered his best UFC performance to date, avenging his loss and looking sharp with his strikes and his game. Silva exposed the Houston Alexander weakness, the ground. Apparantly if you get Houston to the ground he is toast.

In total, this was not the UFC's best card. The three decisions were uneventful and the three stopage wins were completely one-sided. I give the event a C.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Strikeforce Recap - Le Kicks It, Santiago Opts For Knees

Recap by the MMA Blaster

1 Dennis Hallman defeats Jeremiah Metcalf Submission (Heelhook) 1 1:39
2 Chris Drumm defeats Evan Esguerra No Contest (Punch to back of Drumm's head) 2 2:35
3 Alex Crispin defeatsClint Coronel Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
4 Anthony Figueroa defeats Pete Sabala Decision (split) 3 5:00
5 Eric Lawson defeats Josh Neal Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 2 0:20
6 Jorge Santiago defeats Sean Salmon KO (Jumping Knee) 1 0:24
7 Trevor Prangley defeats Falaniko Vitale Decision (Referee Decision) 2 2:12
8 Luke Stewart defeats Bryson Kamaka KO (Knee) 1 0:19
9 Anthony Ruiz defeats Bobby Southworth TKO (Cut) 2 0:52
10 Lemont Davis defeats Brian Schwartz Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
11 Alistair Overeem defeats Paul Buentello Submission (Knees to the body) 2 3:42
12 Jorge Santiago defeats Trevor Prangley TKO (Knee to the body) 1 2:31
13 Cung Le defeats Sam Morgan TKO (Liver kick) 3 1:58

Well, it least I called Cung Le's fight correctly. It was a great fight, with Cung Le landing kicks and impressive takedowns. Cung ultimately made Sam Morgan keel over in pain with a kick to the midsection, they are calling it the liver. I hope he is doing ok, apparently he was having health issues after the fight. Listen for the Cung Le chant.

Jorge Santiago definately landed the performance of the night, brutally knocking out Sean Salmon with a flying/jumping knee to the neck. Santiago continued his ways by TKO'ing Trevor Prangly with another knee, this time to the body.

Alistair Overeem dominated Paul Buentello taking him down, pounding him, and then repeating the sequence before unleashing some Muay Thai style knees.

Brian Swartz gets disappointment of the night. He looked like he had no idea what to do defending the takedown, sprawling, clinching on his feet and the ground, and didn't have knockout power.

**Poll results, we all guessed wrong with the tournament picks, 9 wrong answers.

Cung Le takedown from Sherdog

Cung Le (red gloves) vs. Sam Morgan
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Friday, November 16, 2007

Paul Buentello v. Alistair Overeem

Profile by the Blaster

Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello (23-9) possesses brutal knockout power and has plenty of KO's on his resume, as does fellow kickboxer Alistair Overeem (25-11). Both have got definate power on their feet. On November 16th the Strikeforce heavyweight title will be up for grabs. All of Paul's 23 wins have come via KO or submission, an he has won four straight. As Alistair is also a kickboxer, don't worry about the fight hitting the ground, check out what Paul said on mmafighting.com,

MMAFighting.com: Do you see any scenario at all where this fight could end up on the ground at some point?

Paul Buentello: I don’t know. I’ve never taken anybody down in over thirty matches so I’m not looking for a takedown.

Don't know about you, but this is a fight that I am excited to see. Paul Buentello has wins over Tank Abbott, a vicious KO of Justin Eilers (18-6), Bobby Hoffman (36-10), Rueben Villareal, Carter Williams (3-2), Mike Kyle (9-5), Kevin "the Shaman" Jordan (9-5), Andy Montana (18-10), and the late Gilbert Aldana (6-2). (3-1) UFC record.

Alistair Overeem is a powerful kickboxer who stands tall at 6'5". He has fought at 205 and heavyweight, probably giving up around 25 pounds to Buentello. He has some notable victories over Bazigit Atajev (16-1), Michael Knaap (14-12), 2 times against Vitor Belfort (16-8), an aging Igor Vovchanchyn (16-9), Roman Zentzov (16-11) and split with Sergei Kharitonov (15-3). The knock on Overeem as that he tires out after the first few minutes. I am pretty sure he will be bringing his A game despite going 4-6 in his last ten fights (all losses to top notch opponents).

Here are some highlights:
Official HL


Scott999 from Sherdog

Thursday, November 15, 2007

MMA Blaster gets question on MMA Junkie!

One of my questions for John Kolosci made it on mmajunkie.com during their "Ten TUF Questions" segment. Here is the question and answer.

MMAjunkie.com: Did you come out of the fight with Mac with any injuries, serious or otherwise? It looked like you took a decent amount of punishment. The elbows to the body looked brutal. (from reader “MMA Blaster”)

John Kolosci: Yeah it’s really funny. My body didn’t hurt at all the next day. I don’t remember those elbows, I saw them on the show yesterday, and that was the first time that I knew that had happened. Everyone the next day was saying, “Man, how do your ribs feel,” and “Dude you took tons of elbows to the ribs.” But my ribs didn’t hurt. My body didn’t hurt. My face was the only thing a little bit sore. I had a couple black eyes and a fat lip. I didn’t even realize I’d gotten hit in the body so much.

Wow, I guess I am famous now. Read the rest of "Ten TUF Questions" on MMA Junkie.

TUF Recap Danzig v. Kolosci

Recap by the MMA Blaster

After Serra crushed Hughes during the first round of the tournament, 6-2, Dana White is ready to set the quarterfinals. Apparently Serra has some say in this, but you know Dana White is the guy who is really setting the match-ups. Kolosci wants to fight Danzig, probably still riding the Billy Miles upset momentum.

The match-ups are:
Danzig v. Kolosci
Arroyo v. Mandaloniz
Sotiropoulos v. Hightower
Speer v. Saunders

I don't like the Speer v. Saunders fight because I think they should have met in the next round. My guess is those two sustained the most damage in their wins therefore fighting with the most time to heal. To me, Speer is probably the #4 seed and Saunders the #3, and I would have Arroyo #5, Mandaloniz #6. I think it could set up an easier path for Danzig, who I am pretty sure the UFC is in love with on some level.

Danzig has been portrayed pretty much as a grumpy, condescending, know it all. This episode shows him trying to be a gentler, nicer guy. I don't know what to make of him other than I am not his biggest fan right now.

Arroyo and Hightower get shipped to Hughes team to train and be cornered by Hughes because of the 6-2 advantage for Serra. Sucks for them because Hughes as been kicking his fighters into oblivion during the show and not saying much in the corner. Serra says he won't be yelling from the corner during the two Serra v. Serra fights.

The Danzig v. Kolosci fight was definately one sided. Kolosci was physically taller and bigger than Danzig, so the gameplan was pretty simple, take Danzig down. Of course, it didn't work out that way as Kolosci was beat up in the fight from start to finish. After a brief exchange Kolosci went down and was hammered by Danzig before Kolosci managed to get back on his feet. Next Kolosci tried for that takedown, but Danzig was ready to trade, sprawl and counter. Danzig elbowed the head and behind the head, punched the head, elbowed the ribs, used the point of the elbow on the back and ribs, before eventually getting the rear naked choke. Danzig winner rd 1.

Mac Danzig vs Takumi Nakayama
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

UFC 78 Picks - Total Card

UFC 78 Picks, by the MMA Blaster

I have previously written about the top three fights in the blog. Instead of posting individually, I've decided to clump the rest together.

Bisping vs. Evans - Evans by Decision
Chonan vs. Parisyan - Parisyan by TKO rd 3
Lytle vs. Alves - Alves by decision

Silva vs. Alexander - Alexander by TKO rd 3- This is the toughest fight to call. It could go either way and the winner will instantly be a top 2-3 contender. I just have a feeling Alexander will continue the momentum and win in a brutal fashion. Thiago, out of team Chute Boxe, has some impressive wins over German Tomasz Drwal (14-2), James Irvin (12-4) and Vitor Vianna (7-1). Alexander has victories over Elite XC vet Jon Murphy (4-2), wins over UFC vets Alessio Sakara (11-5) and Keith Jardine (13-3).

Edgar vs. Fisher - Edgar by decision- This fight will be awesome, probably the fight of the night. I have a feeling that Edgar will pull it out. His gutzy performance against Tyson Griffin made me a huge fan. Fischer is no slouch and it could easily go either way.

Doerksen vs. Herman - Doerksen by ground and pound, rd 3 - Only reason I am giving it to Doerksen is the experience factor. Herman lost by triangle in the previous fight, and I am betting he will be game this time around. Herman is (2-2)in the UFC with two wins in a row. Doerksen is 1-3 in the UFC, last losing to Paulo Filho in the WEC.

Reinhardt vs. Lauzon - Lauzon by TKO, rd 2- Reinhard has mostly fought in smaller shows against, no offense to the Courage Fighting Championships, LOF, EC and KOTC. He has fought many fighters with sub 500 records and 0 fers. Lauzon has fought in the TUF tourney, KO'd Jens Pulver, and beat Brandon Melendez in the TUF finale. I see Lauzon imposing his will and ground and pounding a TKO in the second.

Caudillo vs. Aurelio - Aurelio sub rd 1 -this is by far the easiest fight to call on the card. I think the UFC is building Aurelio up for an eventual title shot.

Gono vs. McCrory - McCrory by decision- Gono has a huge experience edge, but my gut tells me that McCrory is the real deal and can pull this one off.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chris Lytle v. Thiago Alves UFC 78

Pick by the MMA Blaster

Lytle v. Alves will be a brawl from start to finish. Alves (12-3), ATT, is coming off three straight wins in the UFC after a loss to Jon Fitch. His last win came off Shooto veteren Kuniyoshi Hironoka (11-4). After Alves' win over Tony DeSouza (10-3) Alves was suspended for use of diruetics. His notable wins come over John Alessio (20-10), Jason "Hollywood" Chambers (16-5), Ansar Chalangov (7-3), Derrick Noble (21-10, lost once to Noble), and a split dec over Marcus Davis (13-3).

Lytle (24-15) is a former pro-boxer who mainly got his name after participating in the Ultimate Fighter reality show, season 4. Lytle made the finals where he lost a close decision to Matt Serra. Lytle is coming off two submission victories, once in the UFC against Jason Gilliam (9-2) and one outside the UFC in his native Indiana.

I see both fighters keeping it on their feet and striking. Lytle may try some takedown attempts to search for a submission, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you have seen Alves in the DeSouza fight you know he has a good sprawl. Lytle does have the experience advantage with wins over vets Savant Young (8-6), Ronald Jhun (22-22), Pete Spratt (16-10), Pat Healy (18-12), Kazuo Misaki (18-8) and Aaron Riley (23-10).

My pick - Alves by unanimous decision.

Thiago Alves vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka
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Chris Lytle
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Randy Will Return, Just Wait

Fortunetelling by the MMA Blaster

I never believed for a second that Randy would walk away from his contract with the UFC. Randy likes to make money, but he also wants to fight. He is just one of those guys who truly enjoys fighting. While it is a job to him he would still be in the game regardless. If there was no MMA game I could see him making peanuts as a wrestling coach.

Getting back to the press conference, Randy Couture (16-8) basically made his case for a raise. When Dana and Randy meet to talk it out, Dana better have an extra 500K to spend on a bonus to get him to fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (30-4). The UFC needs to have big title fights to sell ppv's and grow in popularity. (Sorry, Bisping v. Evans is not exactly a big name fight)

So pony up Dana, give Randy "face of the UFC" Couture some extra cash and some extra love, and get him in the cage to fight the Brazilian legend known as Minotauro. Randy has to know that this is the biggest HW fight that can currently happen outside a potential Fedor v. Barnett fight.

photos from Sherdog pictures
All Star Training Camp Pre UFC 54
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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy 14th Birthday UFC!

Happy Birthday by the MMA Blaster

The UFC was officially born on November 12, 1993, when Teili Tuli had his tooth brutally knocked out of his mouth. Ken Shamrock broke Patrick Smith's leg that night with a heel hook, and afterwards Ken was choked out by Royce Gracie. Royce took that first tournament with ease. It was the first mainstream broadcast of mixed martial arts to the United States. At this point it was still "no holds barred" or NHB. At that point, everything was legal except biting, attacking the eyes and attacking the groin (legal in UFC 2). It is good that the rules have made the sport safer, but I hope the various states keep MMA as close to a real sport as possible.

Happy birthday UFC, lets see 14 more years.

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Royce Gracie Highlight


*It is also the 14 year anniversery of Art Jimmerson wearing one boxing glove to fight Royce Gracie. Don't think this tactic has been duplicated since.

Strikeforce Tournament Series Picks

Strikeforce Tournament Series Review by the MMA Blaster

You have to give it to Strikeforce for deciding to hold a legit tournament on Friday night, 11-16-07. The United States hasn't had a big tournament in some time due to the UFC's stance that they won't hold tournaments anymore. (Don't tell them that TUF is a tournament). I like the idea of the lottery that Strikeforce is implementing.

They basically will have four balls numbered one to four that will be drawn by the fighters. The fighters will then seed themselves in the bracket. You definately want the first fight so you have extra time to recover, but you probably want to fight someone that you are comfortable with first. Those taking part in the tourney are Yuki Sasaki, Trevor Prangley, Jorge Santiago and Falaniko Vitale. The alternate bout is between Sean Salmon and Dennis Hallman.

This card is also stacked with Cung Le (see previous story) v. TUF alum Sammy Morgan, Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello (23-9) and Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem (25-11). World Light Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion Brian “The Mad Stork” Schwartz will make his MMA debut against Lemont Davis (8-4 according to Strikeforce, 0-0 according to Sherdog) in a 175 lb. catch weight.

Picks

Tournament Victor-- Trevor Prangley. He is riding a five fight win streak which includes wins over vet Yuki Kondo, Andrei Semenov (26-9), and Anthony Ruiz (17-10). I think he will use his wrestling skills to grind out the victory.

Buentello v. Overeem- Buentello. The Head Hunter is bigger than Overeem (who has fought mainly at 205) and I see him using it to his advantage to get the win. This fight will be a stand-up war and could very well be the fight of the night.

Le v. Morgan--I have the Cung Le legend continuing with a brutal KO by high kick in the second. Hey, we can all dream, can't we?

Alt. Bout- Salmon v. Hallman- I really want Salmon to get the victory here. It would give him the momentum running into his fight with Mayhem Miller. I think the younger Salmon will relax and avoid the submissions that will be coming at him.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Elite XC - The Kimbo Legend Kontinues

Elite XC Review by the Blaster

Sorry Elite XC, I watched the fights on Google rather than watching it live. Hope you don't mind but I was out getting a couple beers in me. Here were the results.

You've probably heard of the guys who won and Diaz
*KJ Noons def. Nick Diaz (gogo'd Gomi) via TKO (doctor’s stoppage — cuts) — Round 1, 5:00
*Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (street fighting legend) def. Bo Cantrell (just gogo'd by Brad Imes) via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 0:19
*Jake Shields (WW Champ) def. Mike Pyle (ex-IFL) via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 3:39
*Kyle Noke (Austrailian who beat George from TUF) def. Seth Kleinbeck (Doctor) via TKO (doctor’s stoppage — cut) — Round 2, 4:22
*Antonio Silva (Massive melon) def. Jonathan Wiezorek via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 3:12
*Yves Edwards (creator of thugjitsu) def. Nick Gonzalez via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 3:05

Undercard - very obscure fighters
Geoff Bumstead def. Robert Ruiz via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 1:30
Matt Lucas def. Jon Kirk via unanimous decision
Brett Rogers def. Ralph Kelly via submission (strikes) — Round 1, 1:43
Jae Suk Lim def. Daniel Pineda via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 2:42

I just can't believe that Diaz lost. This guy successfully pulled off a gogoplata over then #1 ranked lightweight, and has since looked like absolute crap. Is it because he is concerned about possible drug tests? Was there too much pressure after they created the 160 pound weight class for him? Is he just not focused? Maybe he just needs to switch camps or get some different people around him. Bottom line was that KJ Noons was ready to brawl and Diaz wasn't.

Kimbo Slice continues his legend with a brutal KO over Bo Cantrell. Kimbo imposed his mass and bludgeoned Cantrell with punches and then what looked like a forearm shiver to knock Cantrell to the canvas. Bo then tapped and covered as he didn't want to withstand more punishment.

Ranked welterweight Jake Shields won again over Mike Pyle. It only begs the question, when will Elite XC find some tougher 170 pounders? Mr. Shields needs a big fight to test him. It was reported that he signed a big deal with Elite. Maybe a fight with Yves Edwards is coming, good to see Mr. Thugjitsu get a victory. Hope he is healthy.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pic of the Day

Last May I went to the IFL event at the Sears Centre. Mark Miller KO'd Josh Neer 54 seconds into the first round. I have yet to find out why Miller wasn't in the IFL grand prix. Will let you know.

I think this was from IFL.

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TUF Speer v. Koppenhaver

Breaking News, Blaster's Pick is Correct

Looks like the Blaster's premonition was correct and Tom Speer pulled off a win against Joe "War Machine" Koppenhaver. It was definitely no easy victory for Speer, as War Machine's first punch in their battle landed flush in the bridge of the nose. Blood gushed out of Speer's face as he quickly found himself in a rear-naked choke attempt. There were numerous times I Serra's team thought they had the fight won, but Speer persevered for two minutes of nearly getting choked.

Pulling a page out of the Matt Hughes playbook, ala Hughes v. Trigg, Speer managed to escape out of the seemingly close choke attempts. Then Speer used his farmboy spirit to pound the War Machine with elbows and fists for the rest of the round. The second round was all Speer, who was apparently, "still leaking" according to coach Matt Serra. Koppenhaver said it best when he discussed blowing his load trying to get the choke in the first, because with no gas in the tank Speer pounded War Machine for the entire round with elbows, punches and sub attempts.

*War Machine, if you need to catch your breath, don't throw a leg kick at a wrestler who is looking for a takedown.

**Neck grenade tattoo + bullet belt = Pure Awesome

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tom Speer v. Joe Koppenhaver TUF

I have Tom Speer winning over Joe "War Machine" Koppenhaver on TUF tonight. Tom Speer has a win in the WEC.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

UFC 78 Rashad Evans v. Michael Bisping

"Sugar" Rashad Evans (10-0-1) v. Micheal "the Count" Bisping (14-0) -analysis by Blaster

Both of these TUF winners are coming off of unspectacular fights that led to somewhat controversial results. Michael Bisping is coming off a split decision victory over Matt Hammill (3-1). Many fight fans, myself included, had Hammill winning that fight. Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans fought a hard and somewhat boring fight, with fence grabbing by Tito leading to a draw. Sugar Rashad will probably stand and trade with Bisping for the first round. I expect Bisping will get the better of the action standing, but one needs only remember the brutal Salmon head kick to know Rashad has been working on his stand up game.

Rashad's game plan should focus on taking Rashad to the mat with authority and smashing Bisping with elbows and hammerfists on the ground. Bisping is a well versed fighter, but I don't think Rashad will be allowing another display like the flying knee KO of Pointon on TUF. Bisping's strategy will probably include standing and popping Rashad on his feet.

Bisping's best victories are over Eric Shafer (7-3), which Bisping was taken down before unleashing a fury, and dangerous UFC vet Elvis Sinosic. Rashad's top victories include a brutal KO of Jason Lambert (23-6), Elite XC vet Jaime Jara (16-6), Hector "Sick Dog" Ramirez (6-3 victory over Kendall Grove) and long time mma vet Dennis Reed (41-39). Bisping's best victories are over Eric Shafer (7-3), European fighter Jakob Lovland (9-3) and dangerous UFC vet Elvis Sinosic.


My prediction, Evans by unanimous decision.

Rashad Evans HL



Bisping v. Miika Mehmet

Chris Horodecki v. Bart Palaszewski Part II

Thank you DVR for recording the IFL. My thoughts on the Polish Hammer v. Bartimus

Let me start off by saying that I am a fan of the IFL despite its growing pains. The organization has legit talent with some on the level as UFC caliber fighters. That being said, they overextended themselves and have many that are one notch below UFC level.

Chris "The Polish Hammer" Horodecki and Bart "Bartimus" Palaszewski are definately at the upper echelon of the division and would have had no problems taking the TUF 5 Lightweight tourney if they had the opportunity. No offense to Nate Diaz.

The first round of the battle was hot and heavy, with each fighter laying it on the line with combo's. Horodecki peppered Palazewski's lead leg with inside and outside leg kicks. At the end of the fight I had absolutely no idea how Bart was still standing. Each kick had some serious snap and pop. After each kick a fearsome combination of punches followed. Bartimus did not back down either, he opted for more punching combinations. Horodecki had one flush head shot and Bart slipped and popped up quick, this sealed the round for Horodecki, but clearly wasn't a knockdown. I had the first round for Horodecki.

The second round saw Palazewski getting the better of Horodecki. After scoring a takedown, Bartimus was able to land some ground and pound shots before Horodecki escaped. I couldn't believe I saw Horodecki in the standing guillotine just like the previous fight, and wouldn't you know it he was right near the ropes again. This time the escape was not as controversial, and Bart stalked Chris for the rest of the round. I have this round for Bart, an argument could be made that it was a 10-8 round, but I saw it 10-9.

The third round was a barnburner as both fighters smashed eachother with fearsome combos. I couldn't believe how Bart was still on his feet. Horodecki got a takedown, and landed more strikes in this round, and I gave it to the Polish Hammer 10-9. The judges awarded the fight to Horodecki in a split decision. This was definately a fight that could have gone another round, and makes you want the 5 minute rounds in the IFL. For those that don't know, they have 4 minute rounds. In IFL Superfights, they typically have five, four minute rounds.

Chris Horodecki  (red gloves) vs. Bart Palaszewski
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Chris Horodecki  (red gloves) vs. Bart Palaszewski
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Thanks to Sherdog for the pictures, they are very clear.

Monday, November 5, 2007

MMA BLASTER ON BLOGSPOT DISCUSSING THE UFC, IFL, BODOG, M1, PRIDE

I am the MMA Blaster. I have come to impart my insight and knowledge on the MMA world. I will review the best of all time fights and fighters as well as the current MMA events. If you want the best knowledge, excellent commentary, and sanity, come here. UFC, Pride, Strikeforce, IFL, Elite XC, M1, Bodog from Fedor to Crazy Horse. So check me out on blogspot.

Pics taken by the Blaster at the Sears Centre in Chicago during the May IFL competiton. Marco Ruas v. Maurice Smith (top). Tim Kennedy smashing a high kick into Ryan McGivern (below).

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