Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Top Five: MMA Comebacks of all time.

When Tim Boetsch came back from a mauling at the hands of Yushin Okami at UFC 144, Joe Rogan quite understandably lost control and callled it the greatest comeback in MMA history.  Now Joe was quick to backtrack on that as he regained his senses, but just which are the best comebacks in MMA history?

Tim Boetsch comes back to beat Yushin Okami via espn

Sunday, 26 February 2012

5 Questions for... Roxanne Modafferi

via mmarising
This weekend the US MMA scene is pretty busy with Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate and Martin Kampman vs Thiago Alves headlining Strikeforce and UFC card respectively.  Elsewhere though, former training partners and leading 125 pound fighters Roxanne Modafferi and Takayo Hashi fight at in Japan's premier women's MMA organisation at Jewels 18.

Preparing for a fight she really must win, Roxanne Modafferi was kind enough to spare a bit of time to answer five questions from jiMMA.

What was your route into MMA?

-I started Tae Kwon do as a kind for fun and because it looked cool, and got bored, so I wanted to try different styles. I wanted the more challenging full contact, so I tried Judo. I was always very competative in sports. I did team sports in school. After Judo, I did BJJ and kickboxing and wanted to try MMA when my Judo friends introduced me to the UFC.

What is your favourite strike or submission to use in a fight?

I prefer submissions, and like straight arm-bars or triangle chokes.

What does it mean to you to be a fighter?

I want to get stronger mentally and physically. It's always been about how much I can force my body to do. I get injured a lot, so the physical aspect is always a struggle.

What separates you from other fighters at 125lb?

The fact that I haven't won in this weight division yet? (joke) I've always fought at 135 and the two times I dropped to 125, I wasn't successful. I felt weak and over-powered. I'm not sure how else to answer this question.

If you could fight anyone in the world who would it be?

I want rematches against Rosi Sexton, Barb Honchak, and Hitomi Akano.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

UFC 144: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Jake Shields Preview

For both these fighters, UFC 144 represents a chance for redemption but also the chance of losing their job.  Before being brought in to the UFC to fight Georges Saint Pierre in Spring last year, Jake Shields was unbeaten in six years.  Similarly, Yoshihiro Akiyama was unbeaten in five years before his current three fight skid started with a loss to Chris Leben in 2010.  The heavy hands and crafty submissions of Akiyama face off against the American Ju Jutsu of the former Strikeforce champion.

Monday, 20 February 2012

UFC 144: Anthony Pettis vs Joe Lauzon Preview

Anthony Pettis is well known for one of the most spectacular kicks in MMA history.  In late 2010 he defeated Ben Henderson for the WEC Lightweight Title and while Henderson fights for the UFC strap this Saturday, Pettis is looking to squeeze his way into contention with a fight against Joe Lauzon.  For his part, Lauzon recently submitted then challenger Melvin Guillard to gain momentum of his own.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

UFC 144: Henderson vs Edgar Preview

Article first published as UFC 144: Edgar vs Henderson Preview on Technorati

Japan holds a special place in the hearts of many fighters and fans as it was the home to some of the best fighters in the sport in the early part of the century.  Zuffa (the UFC's parent company) bought Pride in 2007 and the organization was shut down shortly after.  The UFC has far surpassed Pride's popularity and heads back to Japan with a great card that blends old Japanese favorites and some of the new faces of MMA.

Tate vs Rousey Round Table Reaction: Don't Patronize Us

The Strikeforce female bantamweight champion, Miesha Tate and the contender for that title, Ronda Rousey sat down with press yesterday to discuss their March 3rd fight.  Both women are clearly relishing the limelight and it is wonderful to see women's mixed martial arts firmly in the spotlight.  As a fan of women's MMA though, the thing that struck me most was the patronizing attitude both fighters seemed to have towards fans.  Tate and Rousey feel that for men to watch women fight, the fighters have to be beautiful enough to catch their eyes. This attitude is also reflected in Stikeforce's marketing of the fight.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

UFC 144: Rampage Jackson vs Ryan Bader

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is one of a few fighters on this card that hark back to the good old days of Pride, when the Japanese promotion led the way in mixed martial arts.  A lot has changed since then of course, but there is no doubt that this fight will be eagerly anticipated by the Japanese crowd.
via ESPN

Thursday, 16 February 2012

UFC on Fuel: Ellenberger vs Sanchez - Recap


This was the fight that could catapult Jake Ellenberger into title contention.  A sixth win in a row, against a big name like Sanchez, would surely put him in the mix.  As for Sanchez, he had some momentum himself having won his last two.  He came into the fight looking to steal some of Ellenberger's momentum for himself.  It was expected to be an exciting fight with Ellenberger pitting his power against Sanchez' energy and pace.

via heavy.com

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Five Reasons to Watch UFC on Fuel

This Wednesday night sees the first UFC on Fuel event take place with Jake Ellenberger fighting Diego Sanchez. Somehow, events on smaller channels seem to pass people by, but this on certainly should not.

Here are five reasons why you should not let this one pass you by,

1 - Ellenberger vs Sanchez is going to be great.

For a free card that only a few hundred thousand people will watch, this is a great headliner. Ellenberger and Sanchez are both unstoppable forces in their own ways,

Ellenberger is immensely powerful and Sanchez pushes an incredible pace. Ellenberger's power in striking and wrestling might just be too much for Sanchez, especially combined with Sanchez' exciting style of pressing the action often with reckless abandon

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Jessica Aguilar vs Patricia Vidonic

This weekend leaves another bit of breathing space between UFC events and gives everyone a chance to concentrate on smaller fights and promotions.  One great fight to look out for is between Jessica Aguilar and Patricia Vidonic and that goes down as part of Fight Time Promotions 8 in Florida.  It does not look like we will be able to catch the fight live on TV (although if anyone knows of a way to do so, please hit the comments section), but this is a fight that you ought to find a way to see.

Jessica Aguilar is currently the consensus ranked number two 115lb fighter in the world and a big name in women's MMA.  Unfortunately, given that Bellator, the biggest home of the 115lb division in the US, puts on female fights quite irregularly, Aguilar needs to fill her schedule out with smaller shows.  That is great news for Patricia Vidonic though, as she gets the chance to test out her five fight win streak against by far the toughest opponent she is yet to face.

via fighttimepromotions

Monday, 13 February 2012

UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs Ellenberger - Preview

The UFC's first event on Fuel is happening this Wednesday night and features an important bout between Jake Ellengerger and Diego Sanchez.  Jake Ellenberger has been making waves in the division and is seen by many as one of the pack pushing for a title shot, should Carlos Condit decide to defend his belt without waiting for the return of Georges Saint-Pierre.  Diego Sanchez is an interesting character with a non-stop aggressive style.  In recent years he has been battling various demons in his life and his nickname change from "The Nightmare" to "The Dream" is supposed to represent a changed man.  Either way, this is one of those fights where to powerful forces collide and the consequence will surely be an explosion.

Women's Super Flyweight (125lb) Division - Who's who?

Over the next few weeks, I am going to sort you all out with a veritable who's who of women's MMA.  I am going to take MMA Rising's rankings and give you a run down of who these women are.  This will lead up to a piece about the depth, potential and future of women's MMA.

This tim, I am taking a look at the 125lb division.  This division is slightly messy for a few reasons.  The 115lb and 135lb divisions receive much more attention in the US and Japan, so that many women at 125lb make the decision to go up or down in weight, or to flip flop between divisions.  Aside from that, this division suffers from the age old women's MMA problem of not having one promotion with a sustained division.  That being said, Cage Warriors FC in the UK is making a significant push with the division.  Other than Cage Warriors, you will see these women fight at XFC, Bellator and Freestyle Cage Fighting in the US.

1 - Tara LaRosa (20-2)

Tara LaRosa is the former BodogFight champion at 125lb, until that orgnaisation dissolved.  For the past four or five years she has been fighting for a plethora of small organisations, most recently at Shark Fights.  She is a viscious, well rounded fighter, who finishes a lot of fights.  At the age of 34 and not signed to Bellator which is the American home of the 125lb division, LaRosa will find it hard to keep finding the fights that keep her at the top of the rankings.  Her most recent fight was a against a fast fading Carina Damm.

Take a look at the highlight reel below and you'll see that while her relevance might be fading, she is a fighter to watch if you ever get the chance.

Friday, 10 February 2012

UFC: The Year So Far

Article first published as UFC: The Year So Far at Technorati

It has been a busy year so far, with an event a week since UFC 142: Aldo vs Mendes.  Now we have a small amount of time to look back at the highlights.

via prommanow
UFC 142
The first UFC event of 2012 took place in mid January, with Jose Aldo facing the unbeaten Chad Mendes.  Aldo ended Mendes' night with a brutal knee, but more memorable was his escape from the cage and into the crowd to celebrate with his fellow Brazilians.  On that same card, Anthony Johnson ended his UFC career by failing spectacularly to make the weight cut to 185 pounds, even though this represented a move up in weight classes.  He was summarily dismissed by Vitor Belfort and subsequently released by the UFC.

Top Five: Fights To Look Forward To In 2012

I absolutely do not buy the idea that MMA has become boring or that game plans and fights going to decision have ruined the sport.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the year in MMA so far and there are plenty of bouts to anticipate with childlike glee.  Here's my top five.

via ufcdogbet
1 - Junior Dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem
Some time this summer, Junior Dos Santos should defend his Heavyweight Title against Alistair Overeem.  I should not have to explain why this is going to be great, the only thing that can wrong with this fight is if it is over too quickly.  Dos Santos and Overeem are the two best strikers in their division and both come into this fight on the back of great knockout victories.  Dos Santos is a boxer with supreme power and Overeem is a kickboxer with brutal knees.  They both have the capability to hold their own on the ground, but it is unlikely to go there.  This is destined to end with a beautiful knockout.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Tate vs Rousey and Kaufman vs Davis: Come On Strikeforce, Play Fair

Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate is the first female MMA bout to headline a Strikeforce card since Gina Carano's massive fight against Cris "Cyborg" Santos in 2009.  While this is clearly an exciting time for women's MMA there are many issues around the fight's origin and promotion that are to the detriment of the growth of the female divisions.  There are many disappointing things about the making and marketing of this fight including the timing, the reasoning and promoting the fight based on looks.  As well as the sport and fans missing out, Sarah Kaufman is the clear victim of Strikeforce (and their parent company ZUFFA) grabbing some quick cash from one big fight, rather than carefully and fairly building a sustainable, competitive division.

Sarah Kaufman defeats Miesha Tate in 2009 via unanimous decision (via Sherdog)

Monday, 6 February 2012

UFC Post Fight Press Conference Notes

Below you'll find the complete UFC 143 post fight press conference.  These things are relatively long and dry in places, but it's certainly something that's worth having on in the background while you do something else, some interesting insights come up.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

UFC 143: Diaz vs Condit Recap

Article first published as UFC 143: Condit vs Diaz Recap on Technorati.

This fight was one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in a long time.  It came out of the temporarily settling dust of Nick Diaz's feud with Georges Saint Pierre and many see this fight as the more exciting option.  Nick Diaz had been on a formidable run, including his recent battering of BJ Penn.  Condit was also on a great run with his only loss a narrow decision loss to Martin Kampman.  Watching the UFC Countdown and Primetime shows, the tension going into this fight was immense.  There was Diaz's awkwardness and suspicion of the cameras and the fact that he clearly gets in to 'bad guy mode' in the run up to a fight.  Then there was the stress and anticipation getting to Condit during fight week, where he could not cope with the cameras any longer.

via canada.com

UFC 143: Werdum vs Nelson Recap

Roy Nelson had developed into something of a gate keeper coming into this fight, but he has aspirations to fight higher up the roster.  Well, in this fight he got his wish with a highly ranked and highly though of Fabricio Werdum.  These were two Brazilian Ju Jutsu black belts capable of dropping bombs.  Nelson had recently halted a two fight skid, defeating Croatian legend Mirko Cro Crop and Werdum was coming off a decision loss to Alistair Overeem.  Most gave the submission advantage to Werdum, but there were clear doubts as to whether he could get this fight to the ground.  For Nelson, the question was whether or not he could land that big bomb of a right hand.

via mmamania

UFC 143: Best of the Rest Recap

Josh Koscheck vs Mike Pierce

Josh Koscheck could have been forgiven for feeling a little let down to be fighting Mike Pierce at UFC 143.  He was supposed to be fighting Carlos Condit before GSP's injury.  Instead he was left facing a game, skilled opponent with a much smaller name.  To gain new momentum from this bout, Koscheck needed to beat Pierce and beat him well.  As for Pierce, this is another opportunity to prove himself against a top level welterweight.  He has slipped up against opposition of this calibre in the past, but a win against Koscheck could elevate him well up the pecking order.

via fiveouncesofpain

Friday, 3 February 2012

UFC 143: Best of the Rest Preview

UFC 143 is one of the most stacked cards we have seen in a while.  It features the biggest fight in the welterweight division for years, a fun heavyweight bout and a fight between super exciting bantamweight.  Previews of Diaz vs Condit and Nelson vs Werdum are already out, here we go with two other fights from the main card.

Koscheck vs Pierce
via lasvegassun.com
Recent History

  • Josh Koscheck has been itching to fight since his TKO win over Matt Hughes at UFC 135 and was originally slated to fight Carlos Condit this weekend.
  • Mike Pierce has been hovering around this level of opponent for some time without really breaking through.
  • At UFC on FOX 1, he defeated Paul Bradley by an underwhelming split decision.

UFC 143: Nelson vs Werdum Preview

The co main event at UFC 143 will feature two heavyweights with serious questions being asked about where they stand in the division.  Roy Nelson was the IFL heavyweight champion and The Ultimate Fighter heavyweights winner. He also possesses what Dana White once called the worst physique in all of professional sports.  He will take on Fabricio Werdum, the first guy to halt Fedor Emelianenko's storied run, although some of the sheen was stripped from that when the next two guys did it as well.  Nelson's belly (which is still pretty big) combined with his less than stellar 3-2 record so far in the UFC, have led to questions about whether he is making the most of his potential.  Fabricio Werdum has hovered around the upper regions of the heavyweight rankings for some time but needs to go on a consistent run of wins against high level opposition before he is near contention.

via prommanow

Thursday, 2 February 2012

UFC 143 - Diaz vs Condit Preview

Article first published as UFC 143: Diaz vs Condit Preview on Technorati.

This Saturday night one of the most tumultuous build ups in UFC history comes to a head as Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz fight for the Interim Welterweight Title on pay per view. This fight has been some time and drama in the making and in the meantime, Nick Diaz has developed a tremendous (and marketable) feud with Georges Saint-Pierre, who he would meet late this year, should he win. 

Via mmaconvert

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

MMA - There's nowhere to hide from gender equality.

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece called Fighting Gender Equality in which I pointed out the ways in which MMA tends to exclude, demean or undermine women as participants and spectators.  Today I would like to turn the article on its head, looking at how MMA has the potential and a lot of the building blocks already in place, to help move feminism forward within sports.

via mmacagedoor
via wordpress