Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MMA Legend - Fedor Emelianenko

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Fedor Emelianenko (31-3) has generally been considered the number one overall MMA fighter since 2003 when he beat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via unanimous decision to win Pride's heavyweight belt. Despite being only 6 feet tall and weighing 225-230 pounds, Fedor's heart, striking, submission skills, judo, and ability can't be questioned.

On Sherdog and various other MMA sites on the web Fedor has almost risen to a sort of mythical status as the consensus greatest of all-time. Unfortunately, with his recent two losses to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva, and the emergence of Anderson Silva, Fedor's aura has faded slightly. A win over former Pride champion Dan Henderson this weekend could definitely put a little shine on.

Many fans of MMA have been dying to see him in the UFC, and it appears he might be on the verge of signing. Since the collapse of Affliction, and Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce, rumors about Fedor and the UFC have been swirling. However, the M-1 group which manages Fedor wants co-promotion of events and the UFC will not budge on that point of contention. Strikeforce agreed to that term, dying to get Fedor stateside.

There is no denying that Fedor has beaten some of the best mixed martial artists the world has ever seen. Fedor holds two decision wins over the aforementioned Nogueria, decision wins over Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic, Renato "Babalu" Sobral, K1 legend Semmy Schilt and Ricardo Arona. He has KO victories over Heath Herring, Gary Goodridge, and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. He has submission victories over UFC HW Champ Tim Sylvia, UFC HW Champ Mark Coleman 2X, Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, Naoya Ogawa, UFC HW Champ Kevin Randleman and Kazuyuki Fujita.

One of my favorite Fedor fights was his brawl with Kevin Randleman. Randleman suplexed Fedor on his head and miraculously, Fedor was able to regain composure and submit Randleman with a Kimura.

He recently defeated yet another former UFC heavyweight champ in Andrei Arlovski in his last fight. Arlovski was generally considered the #3 or 4 heavyweight in the world at the time. Despite taking quite a few of Arlovski's punches and kicks, he remained calm and knocked Arlovski out cold three minutes into the bout.

The only loss that Fedor suffered early in his career came at a Rings Tournament. Fedor had beaten Ricardo Arona by slim decision in his previous bout and was cut in that fight. 17 seconds into his second bout of the day he was struck by the elbow of opponent Tsuyoshi Kohsaka reopening the cut and leaving Fedor unable to continue. Rings rules did not allow elbow strikes unless elbow pads were worn. However, because they needed to have someone in the final TK was given a victory.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

UFC 117 Preview - Anderson is Back

This Saturday in Oakland, California, Anderson Silva will attempt to erase his odd performance at UFC 112 against Demian Maia with a solid performance against trash talking Chael Sonnen in this stacked card.

Chael Sonnen (24-10-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has talked and fought his way into a title shot in his current UFC run by winning three straight decisions over Dan Miller, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt. Each victory was dominant for the Bodog, WEC and Pancrase veteran, who has used his Greco Roman wrestling to perfection and has dropped some vicious ground and pound in the process.

Expect Sonnen to move forward, throw his jab, then look for the clinch for takedowns. Sonnen will have problems with Silva's striking, so expect him to close the distance as soon as possible. Sonnen will also have to avoid the submission, as Anderson is a BJJ black belt, and Sonnen has been submitted 6 times in his career.
(Sonnen dropping bombs on Nate Marquardt)

Anderson Silva meanwhile began his career in the UFC in epic fashion, taking Chris Leben, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, Forrest Griffin and James Irvin to school with his beatdowns. While he allowed some takedowns against Travis Lutter and Dan Henderson, each was submitted in the second round.
(Anderson Silva front kick to Dan Henderson)

Then Anderson's elusive style got him in a little trouble with fans, who were dissappointed at his efforts against Thales Leites and Demian Maia. The bone-headed short sighted fans have all but forgotten Anderson's monumental performances, focusing instead on the two boring fights. With much to prove, expect Anderson to counter strike with punches and knees as Sonnen looks for takedowns and pushes forward.


Thiago Alves v. Jon Fitch
Rafael dos Anjos v. Clay Guida
Ricardo Almeida v. Matt Hughes
Junior Dos Santos v. Roy Nelson


Dustin Hazelett v. Rick Story
Phil Davis v. Rodney Wallace
Tim Boetsch v. Todd Brown
Charlie Brenneman v. Johny Hendricks
Christian Morecraft v. Stefan Struve
Dennis Hallman v. Ben Saunders

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shah Bobonis Bellator Bound

I had the chance to catch up with Bellator bound Shah Bobonis, a veteran MMA fighter with over 16 professional bouts. Looking to capitalize on his recent big break, Shah seeks a win at Bellator 24. The event takes place on August 12, 2010 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
(Shah before his fight at XFC 9)

MMA Blaster: Shah I heard you have some big news regarding your fight career, what is it?

Shah Bobonis: On August 12th I'll be fighting in the Bellator Fighting Championships against Eric Luke. This will be my debut under 145 pounds. I'm really excited to be fighting in such a big show.

MMA Blaster: What do you know about your opponent?

Shah Bobonis: Eric is a super tough fighter who trains with Din Thomas in Port St. Lucie. He is a BJJ purple belt who wrestled at the D1 level. Eric has wins over some of the best 135 pounders in Florida like Strikeforce veteran and current XFC 135 pound champ Pablo Alfonso.

MMA Blaster: What weight will that fight be at?

Shah Bobonis: The fight is actually at 140 pounds. At 5'8" Eric is a big 135 pounder. I don't have much of a problem making 145, so I don't think the cut will be that bad to 140. I have a few wins at 155 so we will probably be pretty close in size.

MMA Blaster: What can a win in Bellator do for your fighting career?

Shah Bobonis: With more exposure comes bigger name fights and more money. After the WEC, Bellator is the show most smaller guys want to fight on. This fight isn't in the 135 pound tournament but hopefully with 3 or 4 wins in a row I can get in the tournament.

MMA Blaster:Where are you currently training ?

Shah Bobonis: I'm back in Miami training with FFA and the Avellan brothers, who are both ADCC veterans. David Avellan placed third in the 2009 ADCC Submission Grappling Championships at 194 pounds. FFA really is on the cutting edge of MMA! We have guys like Tom Lawlor, Seth Petruzelli and Mackens Semerzier coming to the gym quite often to train.

MMA Blaster: Have you made any beneficial changes to your training regimen?

Shah Bobonis: I'm now working with Victor Balmaceda and the South Dade wrestling team. SDH is great, they are one of the best high school programs in the nation. The pace elite level wrestlers push is unreal and has taken my cardio to another level.

MMA Blaster: You have been fighting quite a bit in Mexico lately, how has that experience helped your game?

Shah Bobonis: Fighting in Mexico is a unreal experience! The Mexican crowd is as loud as I have experienced in my fighting career. They love to see hard fought battles. The promotion Combate Extremo treats me like a king. I'll always go back to Mexico to fight, it's my home away from home.

MMA Blaster: The last time we spoke, you were getting ready to fight Carlos Monzon in Combate Extremo, how did that fight play out?

Shah Bobonis: The fight with Carlos Monzon was a big win for me, he had almost 30 fights in Mexico which won't show up on any databases but if you look at his highlight reel on youtube you can see him destroy ten to fifteen guys. I caught him in a guillotine two minutes into the fight.
(Bobonis v. Monzon Promo)

MMA Blaster: What results have you had in Mexico since that fight? Any trouble with the judges?

Shah Bobonis: My next fight was with Fabian Galvan which I lost by split decision. At this point I don't complain about decisions anymore because in MMA, if you don't finish the fight you never know what you are going to get. I have felt robbed in Florida, so the fact that it was in Mexico doesn't make a difference. Different judges put an emphasis on different areas of the fight game, that's what I chalk it up to now.
(Shah defeats Josh Robertson at FFP - The Storm)

MMA Blaster: What are current goals in MMA?

Shah Bobonis: I really want to keep fighting on huge shows in the US and Mexico, soon in Asia and Europe. I have a new fighter management company which I want to grow called Fight Solutions. In a few weeks, I will have put fighters in the M-1 selection tournament, Bellator and the XFC. Fighting all over the US and the world I have acquired a huge contact list of matchmakers and promoters. It's really easy for me to keep fighters busy.

MMA Blaster: Anyone you wish to thank?

Shah Bobonis: I always want to thank my parents. Also, FFA, Brawl and Maul and coach Balmaceda for all the support and help.

*For a past article on Shah, click this link "Follow Your Dreams"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Video of the Day - Fulton v. Kohler

Here is Travis Fulton fighting Brad Kohler from CKL/XKL - Mayhem in Minneapolis which took place on 4/24/10. This was a rematch from a 1997 Hook n' Shoot fight which Fulton lost via submission due to punches.

*According to Kohler's wife, who was taking the video, he suffered a broken jaw in this bout.

Video of the Day - Toney v. Greer

Here is James Toney boxing Ben Greer in his last boxing match which took place on 9/12/09 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California.

Toney recently signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC. The former heavyweight boxing champ boasts a 72-6-3 boxing record, but has no known grappling skills. He has signed on with renowned trainer Juanito Ibarra.

Toney is fighting fight Randy Couture at UFC 118 on August 28th in Boston.

Video of the Day - Pene v. Nerney

Here is Jessica Pene fighting Brandy Nerney in FFF 1, Asian Invasion which took place on 2/17/07 in Los Angeles, California.

Pene is one of eight competitors in the Bellator Season 3 Women's 115 Pound Tourney.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Video of the Day - Ninja v. May

Here is Murilo "Ninja" Rua fighting Jeremy May in Impact FC which took place on 7/18/10 in Sydney, Australia.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Video of the Day - Drysdale v. Huveneers

Here is elite jiu-jitsu practitioner Robert Drysdale making his MMA debut against Bastien Huveneers at AFC - Evolution which took place on 7/17/10 in Victoria, Canada.

Drysdale gained notoriety by winning the open weight division of the 2007 ADCC by submitting Marcelo Garcia. In addition, he won the world jiu-jitsu championship of 2005 in the under 94 KG division.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bellator Women's Tourney Set

Despite a rash of legal proceedings against the UFC, TUF 12 competitor Jonathan Brookins and heavyweight prospect Dave "Pee Wee" Herman, Bellator will be coming back this Thursday night on Fox Sports Net.

The first event will take place this Thursday from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The event will feature two women's tournament bouts, Megumi Fujii v. Carla Esparaza and Jessica Aguilar v. Lynn Alvarez. The heavyweight tourney will kick off as well, featuring UFC veterans Eddie Sanchez and Neil Grove.

Here is a look at the Women's 115 pound field:

Megumi Fujii (20-0, 1-0 BFC)- Mega Megu is arguably the best women's submission fighter in the history of MMA with 16 sub victories. The Japanese dynamo already has the best undefeated mark in MMA history at a perfect 20 and 0. Megumi defeated Sara Schneider in her Bellator debut.

Carla Esparza (3-0)- This college wrestler will no doubt challenge Fujii in her first match with relentless takedowns. However, she is a relative newcomer in MMA just starting pro competition in February of 2010. All three of her fights have ended in submission.

Zolia "Warrior Princess" Frausto (7-1, 1-0 BFC)- Zolia earned her way into the Bellator tournament by delivering Rosi Sexton the first KO loss of her career with a nasty knee and punches. Zolia will look to use her Muay Thai striking to get far in the tournament.

Aisling Daly (9-0)- Daly is arguably the top women's fighter in the United Kingdom. The Irish fighter has 5 TKO's and 3 submissions on her record. Daly has notched 3 of her victories in the Cage Rage promotion.

Jessica Pene (7-0, 1-0 BFC)- This California based fighter has been dominating the lighter women since 2006. She defeated Tammie Schneider at Bellator 5, and followed it up with a rear naked choke of Angela Magana.

Lisa Ward (13-5, 1-0 BFC)- Lisa earned her way into the Bellator tourney by defeating Stephanie Frausto at Bellator 22. She has been fighting for 6 years, fighting in Smackgirl, Bodog and Deep.

Jessica Aguilar (8-3)- The American Top Team product has earned her way to the Bellator tourney with three straight wins in the Action Fight League. She has two wins over Angela Magana.

Lynn Alvarez (5-1)- The Shogun MMA fighter has 4 straight wins on her record, including a submission of Chelsea Colarelli in Shark Fights.

(Megumi Fujii Pictured)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just Say No To Olympic MMA

By: MMA Blaster

Mixed martial arts should not be added to the Olympics. MMA would be chewed up and spit out in a watered down version of the sport we know and love. The rule restrictions would be impossible to ignore. Compound that with possible headgear, sponsors not wanting to see blood, and the fact that the best in the world wouldn't be allowed to compete would scare most away.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) would have a field day with the rules of MMA. In a perfect world, MMA should be as close as possible to a no holds barred fight. The Olympics would probably take out knees and kicks to the face while standing or grounded. Next, they would ban elbow strikes of any kind. I wouldn't be surprised if punches to the face of a downed opponent found there way to the ban list. Heel hooks and other leg locks would fall victim to the Olympic rulebook. Then comes the bout duration, which would probably consist of three, three minute rounds.

In Olympic boxing the competitors wear headgear to prevent injury. Anyone who has seen Tae Kwon Do knows the amount of padding that they wear. The Olympic commission would likely mandate MMA fighters to wear headgear, knee pads, and lord knows what else. The most difficult aspect of the Olympic format is participants staying injury free with three to four matches over a two week and a half week time frame.

Olympic scoring in Boxing and Tae Kwon Do give points to effective techniques in cumulative fashion throughout the bout. You can essentially win a fight if you have one big round. If a boxer lands far more punches in the first round he could be up 6-1 in the first, leaving him to coast and stall for the final four rounds and win 8-5.

Another problem would be what fighters would be involved in the event. The UFC holds exclusive contracts over most fighters. The exclusivity restricts fighters from competing in other MMA organizations as well as any other combat art. The MMA amateur circuit is pretty barren and fraught with corruption.

Rather than having the Olympics butcher MMA, why not an MMA World Grand Prix held outside the Olympic banner?

A World Grand Prix could consist of eight countries competing over three events that are spread out over six months. The rule-set would be the unified rules without elbows to the face of a downed opponent in an effort to reduce cuts. You could have weight classes from 135 up to heavyweight and a women's competitor. There would definitely have to be alternates in place.

The biggest challenge would be getting the best fighters in the world. As such, the competition would probably have to be co-promoted by the UFC, Strikeforce, Dream, Sengoku and Bellator. If each promotion would be able to make money from the event, promoters might be fine with the idea.

We could see teams from Brazil, Japan, USA, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, South Korea, and Australia(New Zealand). Or Team North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Or you could take the top eight fighters from each weight division regardless of country. It is very fun to think about. What country would win it all?
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Video of the Day - Boku v. Sakaguchi

Here is Kotetsu Boku fighting Yukio Sakaguchi in Shooto - Revolutionary Changes 3 which took place on 11/23/09 in Tokyo, Japan.

This fight featured one of the best comebacks of 2009, which was overlooked by most in the MMA world. Sakaguchi has dyed blonde hair, with Boku clean shaven.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Video of the Day - Bohlander v. Bustamante

Here is Jerry Bohlander fighting Murilo Bustamante in Pentagon Combat which took place on 9/27/97 in Brazil. In the very next bout of Pentagon, Renzo Gracie fought Eugenio Tadeu and the fans rioted before the 15th minute.

Murilo would go on to capture the UFC middleweight crown by TKO'ing Dave Menne, then defended by submitting Matt Lindland. Murilo, a 5th degree BJJ black belt, also notched Pride victories over Minowaman, Masanori Suda and Dong Sik Yoon in his career.

Murilo will come out of his 2 and a half year retirement from MMA to fight Jesse Taylor at Impact FC this weekend. Scroll below to see the rumored fight card.

Rumored Impact FC Match-ups:

Ken Shamrock v. Pedro Rizzo
Paul Daley v. Daniel Acacio
Bob Sapp v. Soa Palelei
Paulo Filho v. Denis Kang
Murilo “Ninja” Rua v. Jeremy May
Murilo Bustamante v. Jesse Taylor
Peter Graham v. Jim York
Glover Teixeira v. Marko Peseli
Richard Vaculik v. Luke Hume
Shane Nix v. Manuel Rodriguez

UFC on Versus 2 Preview

Jon "Bones" Jones is poised to let his star shine even brighter this Sunday night on UFC on Versus 2. The electric fighter will look to build on his KO win over Brandon Vera with a statement win over grizzled MMA veteran Vladimir Matyushenko. The fireworks will be broadcast live on Versus and take place in San Diego, California.

Jon Jones 10-1DQ) burst into the UFC was his lightening fast stand-up, superb wrestling skills and improving submission game. The 6'4" Jones debuted at UFC 87 with a decision over Andre Gusmao, then took a decision win over Stephen Bonnar, guillotine of Jake O'Brien, then faced Matt Hamill at the Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale and was DQ'd due to illegal elbows. Look for Jones to use his quickness to pick apart Vladdy standing.
(Jon Jones' suplex over Stephan Bonnar)

Vladimir Matyushenko (24-4) has over 13 years of MMA training and fights under his belts, defeating the likes of Yuki Kondo, Pedro Rizzo and Travis Wiuff in his first run in the UFC,leaving in 2003. The international freestyle wrester went on the win the IFL 205 pound grand prix and title defeating the likes of Jamal Patterson, Tim Boetsch and Alex Schoenauer. Since returning to the UFC, he has defeated Igor Pokrajac and Eliot Marshall. Look for Vladdy to go for takedowns to acquire top position.
(Vladimir on the Tokyo Dragons in the IFL)

Mark Munoz vs. Yushin Okami- This is a battle of two excellent grapplers in the 185 division. Munoz will look to impose his will in this fight and get to the floor quickly. Okami will likely try to work strikes and knees while in the clinch.

After taking the NCAA division 1 crown at Oklahoma State University, Mark Munoz (8-1)has gone from assistant wrestling coach to rising prospect. Mark has an improving stand-up game with excellent wrestling. Munoz won two fights in the WEC before getting KO'd by Matt Hamill at UFC 96. He has since ran off 3 straight wins over Nick Catone, Ryan Jensen and Kendall Grove.
(Mark Munoz pictured)

Yushin Okami (24-5) first came on the scene winning an amateur MMA tournament that took place before Pride 4. He has used his grappling skills to grind out wins with top position. Okami has defeated Mike Swick, Jason MacDonald, Dean Lister and Evan Tanner in the UFC.
(Yushin Okami punching Rory Singer)

Takanori Gomi vs. Tyson Griffin- Former Pride champ Takanori Gomi desparetly needs a win in this fight against the energizer bunny known as Tyson Griffin. Gomi was unsuccessful in his UFC debut against Kenny Florian, getting out-grappled and out-struck, losing in the third round via rear naked choke. Griffin meanwhile also looks to rebound from a close decision loss against uber prospect Evan Dunham.

Look for Gomi (31-6) to keep the fight in mid-range and work inside Griffin's solid leg kicks. Gomi was a dominant force in the lightweight division of Pride during his prime, defeating the likes of Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hayato Sakurai with solid boxing and wrestling skills.
(Takanori Gomi pictured)

Tyson Griffin (14-3) may work leg kicks from the outside, or try to bully Gomi with his solid wrestling skill. Griffin is a fire-plug, who seems to easily go through 15 minutes of action pushing the pace. He has defeated Marcus Aurelio, Thiago Tavares and Hermes Franca in the UFC.
(Tyson Griffin pictured)

Jake Ellenberger vs. John Howard- John Howard (14-4) is at his best when he can push around his opponent and overwelm him. That may be hard as Jake Ellenberger (22-5) is a top level wrestler who brutalized Mike Pyle in his last UFC fight winning via TKO. Expect each fighter to be looking the fight quick, but Ellenberger holding the advantage in the wrestling department.


Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann
DaMarques Johnson vs. Matthew Riddle
James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac
Mike Massenzio vs. Brian Stann
Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira
Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Video of the Day - Manhoef v. Fabio Silva

Here is Melvin Manhoef v. Fabio Silva from K-1 Hero's which took place on 9/17/07.

Manhoef fights Tatsuya Mizuno at Dream 15.

Video of the Day - Akiyama v. Okuda

Here is new UFC addition Yoshiro Akiyama fighting Masakatsu Okuda from K-1 Hero's which took place on 11/5/05. Akiyama will be fighting Alan Belcher at UFC 100. Akiyama is a highly decorated judo fighter, who rose to fame after submitting Melvin Manhoef to win the K-1 MW/LHW tournament.

Akiyama will fight Chris Leben at UFC 116.