Saturday, January 29, 2011

Video of the Day - Gracie v. Waterman

Here is Roger Gracie fighting Ron Waterman at Bodog Fight - USA v. Russia which took place on 12/2/2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Gracie is now 4-0 having defeated Trevor Prangley with a first round rear naked choke at Strikeforce - Diaz v. Cyborg.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Video of the Day - Jewtuszko v. Petraitis

Here is Maciej Jewtuszko fighting Erikas Petraitis in Iron Fist 2 which took place on 5/14/10 in Szczecin, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland.

Jewtuszko will be making his UFC debut at UFC 127 against Curt Warburton. The "Pride of Poland" made his Zuffa debut at WEC 50, crushing Anthony Njokuani with a spinning back elbow, then punches to drop his stunned foe.

Video of the Day - Fukuda v. Sakurai

Here is Riki Fukuda fighting Ryuta Sakurai at Deep 49 which took place on 8/27/10 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

Following the fight, Fukuda (17-4) was signed to fight in the UFC. He will make his debut against Nick Ring (10-0) at UFC 127 in Australia.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mikey Rukus - Sounding Off

As a fighter approaches the cage or ring a key component in getting them into a frame of mind to fight is their entrance music. Musician Mikey Rukus, an avid MMA fan, is on the forefront, crafting unique custom introductions for fighters. I had a chance to catch up with Mikey, here is the interview:

MMA Blaster: What exactly can you do for an MMA fighter?

Mikey Rukus: I create custom entrance themes for fighters, much like the WWE Superstars who come out to their own music. I can perform all styles, including rock, hip hop, heavy metal, orchestral, electronic, punk. I specialize in the dramatics and high energy.

MMA Blaster: What fighters have you wrote songs for?

Mikey Rukus: The most notable introduction song I've done was for Robbie Lawler. I have several UFC fighters that want music, but the UFC will not allow custom music in the organization. My business has really picked up with MMA companies.

MMA Blaster: Where is your home base?

Mikey Rukus: I'm based in Richmond, Virginia. I have done work for The 10th Legion and Extreme Brawl MMA promotions in the United Kingdom. I perform live as well as a solo artist with a full back up band.  I can go anywhere. 

MMA Blaster: What is the creative process you go through?

Mikey Rukus: If a client approaches me for music, I gather all of their information, find exactly what they are looking for, then create three samples based on that information. The client chooses the sample that they feel best represents their brand. I specialize in brand identity.  The key is when I create a song for a client, they retain all copyrights.

I can use any catch phrases or motto's they want people to hear within the lyrics. I can sing and/or rap with any style: rock, hip hop, heavy metal, orchestral, punk, or electronic. Everything is completely original. I create all music involved in the process. There are no stock beats, everything is from scratch for every client.

MMA Blaster: How did you get started in the music business?

Mikey Rukus: My older sister snuck me out to see Metallica when I was thirteen.  After seeing that show I knew what I needed to do and taught myself to play guitar, bass then drums, then started using sequencers and small hard disc recorders to do small stuff.

I've been playing music for nearly twenty years, having done everything from rapping on underground mix tapes to scoring indie horror films. My writing has always been adrenaline charged, high energy and dramatic, and my love for MMA has always been there, it just felt right to go after.

MMA Blaster: What do you do to get ready for a live show?

Mikey Rukus: Just prepare. Practice wise, I've learned to turn the switch on and go from Mike Rivera to Mikey Rukus rather quickly. I have the tendency to drive my wife crazy in the day leading up to a show, but I don't see it though, haha.
MMA Blaster: Who are your favorite fighters right now?

Mikey Rukus: I have several, I like watching Jon Jones and BJ Penn.  Ovince St. Preux is set to have a breakout year. I would like to see more of Alistair Overeem in the states, which I know with the upcoming tournament in Strikeforce will be great. In the lightweight division, I'd have to say Anthony Pettis and Clay Guida just because of the high energy. In the welterweight division, I gotta go with Georges St. Pierre. I love to watch Cyborg Santos in the women's division.
Mikey Rukus music can be found here:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Video of the Day - Werdum v. Emelianenko

Here is Fabricio Werdum facing Aleks Emelianenko in 2H2H - Pride and Honor on 11/12/06 in Rotterdam, Holland.

Fabricio recently pulled off the impossible, defeating Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce - San Jose, setting up a rematch with Alistair Overeem. Werdum defeated Alistair at Pride - Total Elimination Worldwide on 5/5/06.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Video of the Day - Gassaway v. Pacholik

Here is Brian Gassaway fighting Michael Pacholik at IFC 2 - Mayhem in Mississippi which took place on 8/23/96 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Video of the Day - Yamamoto v. Mitchell

Here is Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto fighting Craig Mitchell in Shooto - Korakuen Hall which took place on 9/5/03 in Tokyo, Japan.

Kid will fight Demetrious Johnson at UFC 126. The fight will stream live on Facebook.

MMA Blaster 2010 Awards

Thanks so much for those who emailed in their nominations for for the annual MMA Blaster year end awards. 2010 saw some insane action in all major promotions. It saw a legend get defeated, new stars emerge, the judges completely blow some fights and competitors constantly changing the landscape of the fight game.

Male Fighter of the Year Zuffa (UFC/WEC)- Anthony Pettis went 4-0 in 2010 with four jaw dropping performances. Pettis started the year by delivering a nasty head kick to Danny Castillo. In his second bout, he submitted Alex Karelexis with a triangle choke. To get his title shot, Pettis fought Shane Roller in an absolute barn burner, securing a triangle with only 9 seconds left in the 3rd. In his year end finale, Pettis went toe to toe with Ben Henderson for 5 rounds of action in the fight of the year, delivering the super kick heard round the world.
Runners Up- Dominick Cruz went 3-0, defeating Brian Bowles via TKO for the 135 pound title, then defended twice with decision wins over Joe Benavidez and Scott Jorgenson. Cain Velasquez scored two big time KO's over Antonio Nogueira and Brock Lesnar to get the HW title. Jose Aldo defended his 145 pound title twice against Urijah Faber and Manny Gamburyan. Anderson Silva defended the belt twice, with a slick comeback submission win over Chael Sonnen.

Male Fighter of the Year Outside Zuffa- Hatsu Hioki went 3-0 in Sengoku and Shooto taking the Sengoku Featherweight Championship with a dominant performance over Marlon Sandro.  Hioki will likely see matches in Shooto and Sengoku in 2011.  Many fans are hoping he finds his way into the UFC's 145 pound division, but that might be a long shot. 
Runners Up- Hector Lombard went 5-0 in 2010 culminating with a unanimous decision win over Alexander Schmelko for the 185 pound Bellator title. Rafeal Calvancante won 2 including a TKO over Mo Lawal to take the Strikeforce 205 pound title. Joe Warren went 4-0 to take the Bellator 145 pound tournament and title. Nick Diaz went 3-0 with wins over KJ Noons, Hayoto Sakurai and Marius Zaromskis.

Female Fighter of the Year- Zoila Frausto punched her ticket to the Bellator Women's tournament with a big time knee KO of Rosi Sexton at Bellator 23. The Warrior Princess won the inagural tournament with solid striking in wins over Jessica Pene, Jessica Aguilar and women's MMA legend Megumi Fujii.
Runners Up- Meisha Tate went 4-0 in 2010 scoring two wins in one night at Strikeforce's 135 pound tourney. Cris "Cyborg" Santos notched a KO of Jen Finney and TKO of Marloes Coenen in 2010.

Fight of the Year- Anthony Pettis wins a unanimous decision over Ben Henderson in a bout that was non-stop action. Top notch striking and grappling were displayed, with each fighter getting the others back. With the fight close near the end, Pettis launched off the fence doing his best impersonation of a ninja, smacking Henderson in the face, sealing the win.
Runners Up- Jorge Santiago and Kazuo Misaki battle for the MW Sengoku title at SRC 14, with Santiago notching a TKO in the 5th round. Chris Leben scored an amazing 3rd round triangle to dash Yoshihiro Akiyama's lead on the scorecards at UFC 116. Anthony Pettis throws out all the stops with innovative tactics and slick triangle against Shane Roller WEC 50. Brock Lesnar came back from the brink of defeat to secure an arm triangle submission in the second round of the HW title fight at UFC 116. Chan Sung Jung and Leonard Garcia might not have had much technique, but let it all go in an epic slugfest at WEC 48.

Submission of the Year- Fabricio Werdum shocks the MMA world by tapping MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko with a triangle choke victory in the first round.  Werdum was hit by a fairly decent shot and tumbled to the canvas, soon after Fedor pounced, he was baited into a triangle/armbar combo.
Runners Up- Anderson Silva comes from behind to submit trash talking Chael Sonnen with a triangle in the 5th round of their title fight. Nick Pace using a Pillory Choke/Modified Triangle to submit Will Campuzano at the TUF 12 Finale. Dan Hornbuckle's nasty kimura on Steve Carl at Bellator 14. Up and coming Brazilian Charles Oliveira's standing rear naked choke on Efrain Escudero at UFC fight night 22. Mark Bocek's triangle over Dustin Hazelett at UFC 124. Marloes Coenen's armbar over undefeated Sarah Kaufman at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II to take the women's 135 pound title. Cole Miller's modified kimura over Dan Lauzon at UFC 108. Scott Jorgensen guillotines Chad George against the fence at WEC 47. Shinya Aoki's win in the battle of leg locks with an achilles lock submission over Tatsuya Kawajiri.

KO of the Year - Kick/Knee/Slam- Gerald Harris slams David Branch into oblivion at UFC 116.  With Harris up two rounds in the scorecards, David Branch made the mistake of pulling guard.  Harris used the opportunity channel his inner hulk and power slam Branch, knocking him out cold.
Runners Up- Zoila Frausto's big time knee KO over Rosi Sexton at Bellator 23. George Roop destroys Chang Sung Jung with a head kick at WEC 53. Eddie Wineland does his best Rampage Jackson impression in a wicked slam of Ken Stone at WEC 53. Pablo Garza lands a monster flying knee against Fredson Paixo at UFC's TUF 12 Finale. Sarah Kaufman KO'd Roxanne Modafferi via slam at Strikeforce Challengers 9 for the women's 135 pound title.

KO of the Year - Hands/Elbow- Robbie Lawler who on the brink of defeat crushed Melvin Manhoef in Strikeforce - Miami. Lawler was eating leg kicks throughout the fight, with the kicks from the K-1 veteran Manhoef sending Lawler's lead leg high into the air. Looking to throw another kick, Lawler landed a punch on the button knocking Manhoef unconscious.
Runners Up- Carlos Condit flattened Dan Hardy at UFC 120 with a big time punch as each fighter is throwing hands. Mike Russow took a beating for two rounds before throwing a punch that lands clean, knocking hyped prospect Todd Duffee out. Shogun Rua crushed the undefeated Lyoto Machida in the first round of UFC 113 to take the 205 pound title. Marlon Sandro lands big punches and sends Masanori Kanehara to the mat face first at Sengoku 13. Maciej Jewtuszko TKOs Anthony Njokuani at WEC 50 with a spinning backfist. Paul Daley sends Scott Smith to the canvas face first in Strikeforce. Takanori Gomi scores a big KO over Tyson Griffin at UFC Live on Versus 2.

Top Up and Coming Prospect Zuffa- Phil Davis went 4-0 in 2010 with 2 submissions against Tim Boetsch and Alexander Gustafsson. The former NCAA champion will look to take a big step up in competition during his 2011 run in the 205 pound division.  Phil's submission game and athleticism should carry him a long way in his journey in the UFC's 205 pound division.
Runners Up- Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. went 4-0 with 4 T/KO's in 2010 with a successful UFC debut against Mike Lullo, rocking him with an assortment of stinging leg kicks.

Top Up and Coming Prospect Outside Zuffa- United States Olympic wrestling captain Daniel Cormier has made a successful transition to MMA, going 5-0 with 3 submissions and 2 TKO wins. Cormier took the King of the Cage and XMMA heavyweight belts in addition to 2 wins in Strikeforce.  His submission via punches win over slugger Soa Palelei was a big feather in his cap.
Runners Up- Cole Konrad went 7-0 in 2010 scoring a keylock submission win over Neil Grove to win the Bellator heavyweight tournament. 

Comeback Fighter of the Year- Chris Lytle went 3-0 in the UFC, submitting Mike Brown and Brian Foster while avenging a loss to Matt Serra.  Lytle has worked himself up the UFC ladder with gutsy performances that are always entertaining. 
Runners Up- Michihiro Omigawa went 3-0 with wins over Micah Miller and Cole Escovedo earning a ticket to the UFC.  Omigawa's striking has continued to improve greatly since his first stint in the UFC.  Chris Leben went 3-0 in 2010 with big wins over Yoshihiro Akiyama, Aaron Simpson and Jay Silva, before losing a stunner to Brian Stann on January 1st.

Video of the Day - Lawler v. Vitale 2

Here is Robbie Lawler fighting Niko Vitale at Icon Sport: Lawler v. Niko 2 which took place on 2/25/06. Lawler recently scored a huge comeback KO over Melvin Manhoef in Strikeforce.

Lawler next fights Jacare in Strikeforce for the MW title.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top WEC Fighters Coming to the UFC

Here is a look at the best fighters in the WEC who will soon make the venture to the UFC. The most interesting thing will be to see how WEC 155 pounders do in the UFC.

Also, what undersized UFC 155 pounders decide to make a drop to 145? Keep in mind it is unclear which contracts will be renewed and what fighters will not make the transition to the UFC.

135 - Bantamweight
1. Dominick Cruz (17-1)- WEC Champ with well-rounded skills, has wins over Joe Benavidez, Brian Bowles and Charlie Valencia. Cruz defeated Scott Jorgenson in a unanimous decision to close out his WEC career.

2. Brian Bowles (8-1)- Former WEC Champ has wins over Damacio Page and Miguel Torres. Has struggled with injuries as of late.

3. Scott Jorgenson (11-4)- 3X Pac Ten wrestling champ. Wins against Brad Pickett and Antonio Banuelos. Next in line for a title shot.

4. Joe Benavidez (13-2)- The high energy spark plug fighter has wins over Jeff Curran, Miguel Torres and Rani Yahya. Benavidez won via guillotine choke over Wagney Fabiano at WEC 52, and wants to fight in UFC's coming 125 flyweight division.

5. Urijah Faber (25-4)- Faber, the former WEC champ, has stopped Dominick Cruz, Bibiano Fernandes and Raphael Assuncao. Urijah defeated Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 52, and is rumored to possibly coach TUF 13 or be fast-tracked to a title shot.  He is rumored to fight Eddie Wineland in the UFC.

5. Miguel Torres (38-3)- Former champ stopped his 2 fight losing streak with a submission win over Charlie Valencia at WEC 51. Other wins over Chase Beebe, Yoshiro Maeda and Takeya Mizugaki. Torres fights Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126.

145 - Featherweight
1. Jose Aldo (18-1)- Aldo has looked unstoppable in his run to the WEC title, currently riding an 11 fight win streak. The Muay Thai striker has defeated Urijah Faber, Manny Gamburyan, Mike Thomas Brown, Alexandre Franca Nogueira. He fights Grispi at UFC 125.

2. Manny Gamburyan (11-5)- Manny turned a runner-up performance on a talent rich TUF 5 into a brief stint in the UFC, followed by a 3-1 effort so far in the WEC with his lone loss coming to Jose Aldo. Manny's WEC wins have come over John Franchi, Leonard Garcia and Mike Brown.

3. Chad Mendes (9-0)- Mendes has looked solid in his 3 straight 2010 victories in the WEC. Mendes has bested Cub Swanson, Anthony Morrison and Erik Koch. Mendes defeated Javier Vazquez at WEC 52, securing his spot in the UFC. He fights Mike Brown at UFC 125 for a likely title shot.

4. Diego Nunes (16-1)- Nunes is coming off a split decision over Mike Brown in his UFC debut. His other big wins have come over Rafeal Assuncao, Cole Province and Rafeal Dias.

5. Dustin Poirer (9-1)- A drop to 145 did Poirer wonders in a dominant decision win over Josh Grispi at UFC 125. Poirer closed out his WEC career with a TKO over Zach Micklewright.

5. Mike Thomas Brown (24-6)- Thomas, who won the WEC title over Urijah Faber, recently bounced back with a win over Cole Province. Brown is a big 145, having previously fought at 155 in the UFC. He fights Mendes for a likely title shot at UFC 125.

155 - Lightweight
1. Anthony Pettis (13-1)- With an array of stand-up skills and a slick ground game, expect Pettis to make waves in the UFC. He has looked impressive in his last three bouts, KO'ing Danny Castillo with a head kick, then scoring triangle chokes over Alex Karalexis and Shane Roller.

2. Benson Henderson (12-2)- The former college wrestler has developed a nice submission skill-set, submitting Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner in his last two outings. Smooth also has wins over Shane Roller and Anthony Njokuani.

3. Donald Cerrone (13-3)- One of the more interesting characters of the WEC, the Cowboy has solid Muay Thai and legit submission skills. Big wins have come over Razor Rob McCullough, Ed Ratcliff and Jamie Varner.

4. Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2)- Split decision win over Bart Palaszewski at WEC 53. Iran wrestling stand-out has 4 TKO's, with wins over Will Kerr and Dave Jansen.

5. Bart Palaszewski (35-13)- Former IFL stand-out has excelled in the WEC with 3 straight WEC victories, his last two include a KO over previously unbeaten Zack Micklewright and armbar over Karen Darabedyan.

Slick prospect- Maciej Jewtuszko (8-0)- With 4 TKO's and 4 submissions on his resume, his last outing was an impressive 1st round TKO over Anthony Njokuani.

Video of the Day - Silva v. Erikson

Here is Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva fighting Tom Erikson in K-1 Hero's which took place on 5/3/06 in Tokyo, Japan. The fight begins around the 2:45 mark.

Silva will fight Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce's HW Grand Prix.

Video of the Day - Nelson v. McSweeney

Here is Roy Nelson fighting James McSweeney on the Ultimate Fighter 10 semi-final. With the victory, Roy made the TUF 10 Finale, where he KO'd previously undefeated Brendan Schaub for the TUF 10 title. Since he has KO'd Stefan Struve and lost a decision to #1 contender Junior dos Santos.

Nelson's contract with Square Ring promotions has officially ended, and a bout with Frank Mir is rumored for UFC 130 in May.

Video of the Day - Mendes v. Siler

Here is Chad "Money" Mendes fighting Steven Siler at TPF Best of Both Worlds which took place on 7/16/09 in Lenmore, California.

Mendes went 4-0 in the WEC to punch his ticket to the UFC. He will fight highly ranked Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 126.