Friday, May 27, 2011

UFC 130 Picks

Question: What are your picks for UFC 130? I'm looking to put some money down in Las Vegas this weekend. What fights will be good?

- Kevin J. - Sacremento, CA

Kevin, the way the card is stacked looks to be poised for some slugfests and quick finishes. The three fights I feel the most confident in are two undercard fights, with my most confidence in Gleison Tibau over Rafeal Oliveira and Michael McDonald over Chris Caraiso.

Gleison Tibau (-330) over Rafaello Oliveira (+280)- Oliveira hasn't beat anyone of great note and doesn't seem to be on the same level as Tibau. An aging Bendy Casmir looks to be his best win, with his last stint in the UFC resulting in a loss to Andre Winner.

Tibau (22-7) is a much larger, stronger and dangerous fighter than Winner. Pretty sure Tibau pulls out a stoppage win. Tibau, a BJJ blackbelt, has defeated Kurt Pellegrino, Josh Neer, Caol Uno and Jeremy Stephens in the UFC.

Michael McDonald (-350) over Chris Cairiso (+305)- McDonald is coming off 5 straight dominant performances with 3 TKO's including Manny Tapia and Cole Ecovedo in Tachi Palace Fights, an armbar over Clint Godfrey in the WEC and a dominant decision over previously undefeated Edwin Figueroa in the UFC.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Video of the Day - Mayhem v Shibata

Here is video from Jason "Mayhem" Miller in his fight against Katsuyori Shibata. Miller is in the zebra pants.

Miller has been selected as a coach opposite Michael Bisping for TUF 14.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Leonard Garcia on Jung, Miller, Jones v. Evans

Here is friend of MMA Blaster, Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV, interviewing UFC fighter Leonard Garcia. Garcia discusses his recent bout with Chan Sung Jung, where he succombed to the first twister in UFC history. Leonard explains that he has now incorporated the move into his arsenal.

Garcia next discusses the feuds between Cole Miller and his "brother" Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. The feud began when Miller had some attitude when Garcia fought him. Cerrone said he was going to come get Miller at 155, and the two almost fought at a restuarant.

In regards to the Rashad Evans leaving of Team Jackson, Leonard describes Evans as a big brother to him. Evans gave Jones the title shot. Garcia just wants them to fight so they can figure it out and be best friends. Garcia believes that Greg Jackson gets the worst of it, because he really didn't want to choose sides.

Video of the Day - Kikuno v. Matsumoto

Here is Katsunori Kikuno fighting Koichiro Matsumoto in the Deep 41 LW Tournament Final which took place on 4/16/09 in Tokyo, Japan.

Kikuno is scheduled to fight Daisuke Nakamura at Dream 17.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gary Goodridge - The Warrior Spirit

On February 16, 1996, Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge arrived on the combat sports scene with a big splash. From his first fight in the UFC when there were virtually no rules, through his last kickboxing bout in Sweden, Gary has gone all out giving everything leaving everything on the canvas scoring some of MMA's most iconic knockouts.

Goodridge made his debut at UFC's 8th tournament clad in a black gi and a death stare. With a boxing and arm wrestling background, Goodridge proceeded to enter the cage at UFC 8 and destroy All-American wrestler Paul Herrera with a barrage of elbows from the goose neck/crucifix position.

In his second fight of the night, Gary fought the 2-0 Lion's Den product Jerry Bohlander, again Gary scored a big TKO with a barrage of heavy right hands while standing over his opponent. In the finals, Gary met Don Frye, and despite throwing Frye like a rag doll, eventually sucumbed to defeat. With highlight reel KO's in hand, the legend of Gary Goodridge had began.
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(Goodridge Elbows Herrera)

With mixed results at UFC 10 and UU 96,Gary rounded out his UFC career defeating Andre "Big Chief" Roberts at UFC 19 and John Campetella at UFC 10. On July 6, 1997, Goodridge won the first International Vale Tudo Combat tournament in Brazil, defeating Augusto Sanchez, Cal Worsham and then Pedro Octavio in the finals to take the title.
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(Goodridge Takes Out Roberts)

Next, Gary made his first trip to Japan, making the biggest mark in the very first Pride Fighting show. Gary fought UFC 6 champion Oleg Taktarov. Despite being an underdog, Goodridge delivered one of the most violent punch KO's of all-time, flooring The Russian Bear as he was taken out of the Tokyo Dome in a stretcher.

When I asked him about the fight, Gary replied, "I was put in there for him to kick the sh*t out of me. That's what I thought anyways. Then I KO'd him. I loved it and had an amazing contract after that fight. Beating him made me lots of money."

An instant star in Japan, Gary would go on to fight over 30 times in Pride and K-1, with numerous kickboxing bouts sprinkled in. When asked about his popularity in Japan, Gary responded, "I am an all or nothing fighter and let it all hang out in the ring. They love the no give up attitude I adopted."
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(Goodridge's Japanese Pride Figure)

Gary's other big wins in Pride included a devastating head kick KO over Don Frye, a TKO over Dan Bobish and a submission via punches over Valentijn Overeem. Gary's big kickboxing wins came with KO/TKO victories over Mike Bernardo, Cyril Abidi, Scott Lighty and Wesley Correira. Gary won the K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawaii Tournament on July 30, 2005.
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(Goodridge landing a punch on Dan Bobish)

When asked about his current fighting situation, Gary described losing a kickboxing fight in Sweden last week against Cătălin Moroşanu. Gary stated that he was retiring from fighting.
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(Gary's Last Promo Picture)

Unfortunately, one thing still is hovering over Gary's head. FEG, which operates Dream and K-1, has yet to pay Gary for his bout against Gegard Mousasi last New Year's Eve. Gary spoke about that situation, stating, "I have worked for them for over 14 years and I've never been screwed by them at all." Gary is trying to raise some aweness in the media regarding the his non-payment and the non-payment of other fighters.
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(Goodridge head kick KO over Don Frye)

Regardless, Gary will always be known as a fighter with a true warrior spirit, budo. Big Daddy always put everything he had into his fights, laying everything on the line. We wish Gary the best in his future pursuits.
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(Goodridge wins over Jan Nortje)

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(Goodridge Kickboxing KO)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

UFC 130 Preview - Rampage Returns

UFC 130 took a big hit as both Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar pulled out of their proposed lightweight title fight with injuries. Each is looking at 6-8 weeks to heal, as Maynard is dealing with knee injury and a cut that required stiches, while Edgar nurses a rib injury.

Filling the void will be a 205 pound match between Rampage Jackson and Matt Hamill. Rampage is coming off a razor thin decision win over Lyoto Machida. While Rampage (31-8) won the first two rounds on most scorecards, Machida rallied in the third nearly pulling off the win.
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(Rampage KO's Chuck Liddell and takes the LHW belt)

It has been almost two years since Rampage has looked like his old powerful, explosive self. Rampage mainly looks to counter-punch standing, rarely looking for the textbook power takedowns and slams he was once known for. Rampage will be defending Hamill takedowns en mass throughout this bout, counterstriking and looking for an opening to land a texbook power KO punch.

While Matt Hamill (10-2) technically is riding a five fight win streak, he was destroyed by Jon Jones at the TUF 10 Finale a year and a half ago. Always the power wrestler, Hamill has looked good in his past two outings, defeating Keith Jardine and Tito Ortiz.
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(Hamill KO's Mark Munoz with a head kick)

Hamill will look to set-up his takedowns, boxing his way in. Hamill may want to take a page out of the Forrest Griffin handbook, utilizing leg kicks to take the steam out of Rampage.

In the co-main event, former UFC champ Frank Mir will be locking horns with TUF 10 champ Roy "Big Country" Nelson. The winner could be next in line for a title shot, following the Carwin v. Dos Santos fight.

Frank Mir (14-5) has looked to strike early and often in his recent UFC bouts, going 5-2 in his last 7 fights. With a likely reach advantage, expect Mir to utilize a mix of kicks and punches from distance against Nelson. Mir has career victories over Cro Cop, Tim Sylvia and Big Nog.
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(Mir wins the UFC belt)

Roy Nelson (15-5) first made a name for himself as the big bellied champion of the International Fight League. With solid hands and a BJJ blackbelt, Nelson is a wily veteran who poses problems to any heavyweight. Expect Nelson to look to get inside on Mir, throw heavy hands, and try a couple takedowns. Nelson's big victories have come over Brendan Schaub, Stefan Struve and Brad Imes.
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(Roy Nelson wins the IFL belt)

In what is almost guaranteed to be a heavy handed slugfest, the 6'11" Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve (21-4) will fight the massive 6'7" Travis "Hapa" Browne (10-0-1). Expect plenty of fireworks as both these guys like to throw punches.

The 23 year old Struve always seems to be improving his game, with two straight wins over Sean McCorkle and Christian Morecraft in his last two UFC bouts. The Dutchman has been working to put on extra weight for this fight, and has solid submission and kickboxing skills.
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(Stefan Struve TKO of Morecraft)

The Hawaiian Travis Browne is coming off a solid performance in which he fought to a draw against Cheick Kongo. A striker who loves to swing big, Browne has KO wins over James McSweeney, Aaron Brink and Abe Wagner.
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(Travis Browne TKO over McSweeney)

In other action, former Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago (23-8) will make his return to the UFC after posting solid wins over Jeremy Horn, Trevor Prangley, Kazuo Misaki and Mamed Khalidov. Former WEC champ Brian Stann (10-3) will look to build off the momentum of a Chris Leben TKO in this fight.

Dominant striker Thiago Alves (18-7) will meet Ricky Story (12-3) in what is sure to be an entertaining 170 pound contest. Story has used stifling grappling and accurate striking during his 5 fight UFC win streak which includes his latest win over Johny Hendricks.

PPV CARD

Matt Hamill v. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Frank Mir v. Roy Nelson
Travis Browne v. Stefan Struve
Jorge Santiago v. Brian Stann
Thiago Alves v. Rick Story

SPIKE TV CARD

Demetrious Johnson v. Miguel Torres
Tim Boetsch v. Kendall Grove

FACEBOOK CARD

Rafaello Oliveira v. Gleison Tibau
Chris Cariaso v. Michael McDonald
Renan Barao v. Cole Escovedo

Monday, May 2, 2011

Video of the Day - Nishiura v. Man

Here is Akiyo "Wicky " Nishiura fighting Kim Jong Man in Cage Force: EX Eastern Bound which took place on 2/11/08 in Tokyo, Japan.

Wicky Akiyo is the fighter sporting the pink hair and trunks, fighting with his trademark unconventional style. Wicky will be fighting Caol Uno at Dream 17. The fight starts around the 2:40 mark.

DREAM.17: "Fight for Japan" takes place on May 29, 2011 in Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena.

Uyenoyama/Yamamoto winner v. Maeda/Tokoro winner - BW Tourney
Fujiwara/Imanari winner v. Osawa/Otsuka winner - BW Tourney
Shinya Aoki v. Rich Clementi
Katsunori Kikuno v. Daisuke Nakamura
Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura v. Caol Uno
Takeshi Inoue v. Koichiro Matsumoto
Joachim Hansen v. Mitsuhiro Ishida
Kenji Osawa v. Takafumi Otsuka - BW Tourney
Keisuke Fujiwara v. Masakazu Imanari - BW Tourney
Yoshiro Maeda v. Hideo Tokoro - BW Tourney
Darren Uyenoyama v. Atsushi Yamamoto - BW Tourney

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Video of the Day - Hieron v. High

Here is Jay Hieron v. Jason High from Affliction: Reckoning which took place on 1/24/09.

Hieron narrowly defeated Rick Hawn for the Bellator Season 4 Tournament Championship at Bellator 43.

Steven Seagal Talks Lyoto Machida Win

Photobucket The below video features Aol's Ariel Hawani interviewing Steven Seagal and his feelings towards Lyoto Machida's amazing front kick KO of Randy Couture at UFC 129.

TUF 13 Status

The first seven matches of this season of the Ultimate Fighter has wrapped, an assistant coach has been fired and Brock Lesnar has been riding an emotional roller coaster.

In the last episode, coach Junior Dos Santos was trying to console fighter Mick Bowman following his decision loss. Bowman fought hard in an entertaining bout, but just seemed to be holding back a little, not letting his full arsenal fly. Assistant coach Lew Polley next states that he isn't happy, that you should win at all costs, and doesn't care if the fight is boring.
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(Dos Santos landing a body blow on Cro Cop)

The dissention continues, as Lew has seemingly undermined many things that Dos Santos has said throughout the season. After a conference with his coach Luiz Dorea, Dos Santos kicks Lew Polley off the show, marking the first time an assistant coach has been fired.

Brock Lesnar has been an interesting character throughout the season. He seems to be a no nonsense guy who wants the best for his fighters. However, Lesnar's fighters don't always seem to understand the message in his speeches and seem easily offended. It is obvious that Lesnar is emotionally invested in his fighters, expressing joy in the wins and dissapointment in losses.
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(Lesnar punching Frank Mir)

Injuries have played a critical role in this season, as in every season of the show. Before the show started, Myles Jury, the fighter I pegged as the favorite, went down with a ACL injury during the evaluations. Clay Harvison, who defeated Mick Bowman suffered a dislocated finger. Keep in mind it was the most disgusting dislocation I've seen, as the finger popped through the skin.

Len Bentley is a very interesting character. The military veteran fought a very tough and entertaining bout with Ryan McGillivray. Before the bout, he accused teammate Chris Cope of spying on him. He has been offended by Lesnar's speach about turning his fighters from chicken sh!t into chicken salad. He also dislocated his knee cap in training.

When the wild card selection was going on, Len nonchalantly said it was obvious that he wanted the spot. Len mentioned he had some setbacks with the knee, but that he could fight. Anyone who has watched TUF knows that Dana wants fighters to beg for that spot. He was very upset when it was announced that Chuck O'Neil would fight Javier Torres for the wild card.

Dos Santos now has 4 fighters in the 2nd round, with Lesnar having 3. Here is a look at the fighters:

Tony Ferguson (10-2)- Tony is a tall and lanky fighter with solid hands and decent wrestling. In his first bout, he stood toe to toe with Justin Edwards in a slugfest. After giving up a takedown, Tony landed a vicious upkick on the button with the heel, knocking out Edwards immediately. Tony's signature wins outside TUF were over Brock Jardine (6-1) and James Fanshier (17-11).

Clay Harvison (6-1 or 8-3)- Fighting out of Georgia, Clay likes to brawl and use his hands while fighting. Clay used his striking to defeat Mick Bowman in his first bout, landing overhand rights and other combinations throughout the fight. He did seem to gas near the end of the second round and had his pinky gruesomely dislocated when blocking a high kick. He is a tough SOB.

Chris Cope (4-1)- Fighting out of California, Cope fights with heart and seems to never say die. He defeated Javier Torres in the first round of the tournament in a grind it out type fight that went into the sudden victory round. Chris will try to sprawl and brawl. His signature win outside of TUF was a head kick win over Ron Keslar in Strikeforce.

Shamar Bailey (11-3)- Shamar is a power wrestler with excellent takedowns. He is a Strikeforce veteran with career wins over John Kolosci, Matt Delanoit and Waachiim Spiritwolf. In his first match against Nordin Asrih (15-6), Bailey used an array of takedowns, ground and pound and position to win a unanimous decision.

Ryan McGillivray (11-4)- McGillivray is a tall Canadian fighter who used pinpoint striking to defeat Team Lesnar's first pick, Len Bentley in the first round of competition. Despite getting knocked down by a shot by Len, McGillivray rallied, taking the end of the first round and narrowly taking the second to win a majority decision.

Ramsey Nijem (4-1)- Ramsey is the most interesting character on Team Dos Santos, with an odd love of the show Glee and goofy antics. Looks can be decieving, as Ramsey is a former collegiate wrestler and is very strong. In the first round of the tournament, Nijem won via rear naked choke over Bellator veteran Charlie Rader. Using his wrestling game, Nijem broke the will of Radar.

Zach Davis (4-1)- Davis has three submission wins, with two triangle choke victories. He busted out his triangle again in the first round of the tournament, using it to coax a tap out of Chuck O'Neil. Davis will look to continue to use his submission skills in the tournament.