Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dirrell Robbed in Nottingham! Abraham Closer to Throne

A bitter sweet start to one of the most anticipated events in boxing ended mixed results.

First up, "King" Arthur Abraham came closer to being named king of the super middleweights with a matter-of-fact-1 punch KO of now routinely vicious KO victim and former undisputed middleweight champion, Jermain Taylor.

Gone was the future contender to all-time status, you know, the one who gave Bernard Hopkins a rough go-round twice, then said to hell with it, and risked it all against the always formidable Ronald "Winky" Wright--only to come out on top all three times.

It may have started with current MW champ Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik, but it definitely ended tonight with Abraham; his chance for greatness. Taylor has now graced the canvas like paint for the third time in less than three years. Time to hang them up, especially after the way he fought and lost to Arthur Abraham: by another one-punch kayo (right hand down the pipe).

Taylor assumes a familiar pose

As for Carl "Cobra, cause he's slippery like that" Froch vs. Andre Dirrell ... let's just say that Froch did a reverse Willie Pep. Instead of winning a round without throwing a punch, he won a fight in Nottingham without landing many punches compared to catching them. Only in the U.K.


3 Notes to Dirrell:

1) Learn how not to clinch like a scared woman

2) Learn to keep your balance when attempting to clinch

3) Learn how to lose your damned passport as robberies are high in Nottingham

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mayweather beats the UFC

2009, a year in which Mayweather was partially retired, proved to be a good year for "Money"

After all the hoopla, essentially two fighters beat out a host of top-notch MMA fighters and a Don King-esque promoter. Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez, two future Hall of Famers each weighing less than half of UFC's biggest superstar, Brock Lesnar, combined to pull in more than 1 million PPV buys and generating $52 million dollars. Not bad for a boring fighter in a dying sport.

It's sad that both combat sports have been reduced to bashing each other in order to gain attention. As far as this writer is concerned, both sports will have to co-exist as they will be supported fully.

And to all the fans that say Mayweather doesn't fight, they need to open their eyes. How many people can dance past Marquez? He was simply too small an slow for the naturally bigger Mayweather. There are only three fighters who stand a better than even chance at beating Mayweather: Paul Williams, Shane Mosely, and Floyd Mayweather.

Manny Pacquiao is not as versatile, too straight forward. Miguel Cotto lacks speed and boxing technique. But this is boxing and all it takes is one punch.

Now, hopefully these silly, PPV wars/fights can go away. Put them on mainstream television and watch the ratings skyrocket (and advertisers pay dearly).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mayweather Dominates Marquez; UFC 103 Results

Mayweather Regains P4P Status?

In his first fight back after almost 2 years being away, Floyd Mayweather lived up to his nickname by dominating the dangerous Juan Manuel Marquez and left the ring not much the worse for wear.

Mayweather, who came in @ 146 lbs., 2 pounds above the contracted weight, refused to make weight and paid $600,000 for his defiance. Much will, and it should, be made about the weight issue. Remember, this is what cost a third fight from happening between Jose Luis Castillo and the late Diego Corrales.

Marquez was dropped from a left hook by Mayweather in round 2. Any other fighter would have been broken down after that. But Marquez is a hall of fame fighter who was in over his head against a younger, stronger and faster fighter. The drums will now beat for the Manny Pacquiao - Miguel Cotto winner. Marquez is still headed to the hall.

UFC 103 Results (televised fights):

Vitor Belfort KO1 Rich Franklin
Vitor showed he will never lose the ability to finish a fight once he has his opponent hurt. Somewhere out there Gegard Moussasi is grinding his teeth.

Junior Dos Santos TKO3 Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic
CroCop has seeming lost the talent/will to win. He showed a good account of himself until he was repeatedly stalked and punched by the taller striker, Dos Santos. Dos Santos is now a serious contender in the HW division.

Paul Daley TKO1 Martin Kampmann
Daley, who has fast hands and isn't afraid to use them, makes a big splash in his UFC debut against favorite Kampmann

Josh Koscheck TKO1 Frank Trigg
Koscheck continues climb back to former status as he stops veteran Trigg.

Tyson Griffin KO2 Hermes Franca
Franca returns without the juice against Sean Sher's twin brother.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Funny Money Only: Picks of the Week

This weekend fight fans will have two sports from which to choose, traditional boxing and UFC's MMA.

Boxing picks:

Mayweather W12 Marquez
It won't be easy unless Marquez grows old and frustrated. Remember, Marquez is the same man who twice barely lost to Manny Pacquiao.

Chris John W12 Rocky Juarez
Juarez is tough as nails and does not get KO'd. John will now show us what he's made of in a rematch. EXPECT A 12-ROUND WAR

UFC 103 Picks:

Rich Franklin W3 Vitor Belfort
Vitor is the odds on favorite and though if it weren't for Anderson Silva, Franklin would be the easy pick. Ace gets stronger as the fight goes on whereas Belfort has shown he gasses. Add the fact he had trouble making weight and who knows. Don't blink: Belfort's hands are for real.

Junior dos Santos Submission2 Mirko FilipovićUnless CroCop found his cojones after the Overeem fight,look for Dos Santos to use his stand up to take it to the ground.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sept. 19th: Floyd Mayweather vs the UFC

For more:

This weekend, Floyd Mayweather will test his marketable skills against the juggernaut that is the UFC, spearheaded by Dana White and financed by the Ferttita brothers. Money Mayweather has cars and a sweet pad, but he does not own casinos or a multi-million dollar organization.

White threw jabs at both Juan Manuel Marquez and Mayweather at an earlier press conference by forgetting JMM's name. Whether that was a Freudian slip or a crab-in-a-barrel approach, it was low even by a promoter's standard (Bob Arum would be proud). The fact is that Mayweather and Marquez are two hall of fame fighters going against a UFC card, 103, which has a slew of good fighters but as of yet none are HOF worthy (Rich Franklin and Mirko Filipovich are close but nay).

Forget the bouts, who will win this financial fight? The UFC has a huge early lead with a top-selling video game and the premiere of the uber-popular, The Ultimate Fighter on SpikeTV, two days before the PPV UFC 103. But Mayweather has HBO's popular 24/7 series and, that's it. ESPN2's Friday Night Fights had its season finale unusually early last month. JMM has never headlined a PPV card. And of course, the star, Mayweather, has been off for more than a year.

Mayweather evokes memory of another HOF fighter who never truly was appreciated by the masses:
"Sweet Pea" Pernell Whitaker.

Granted, Mayweather is infinitely more abrasive than Whitaker ever was out of the ring. But like Whitaker, Mayweather has stepped up in weight and class and outclassed the opposition. It's not always aesthetically pleasing but effective nonetheless. The MMA fans, those who appreciate the finer points of BJJ, can surely appreciate the defensive wizardry Mayweather displays. The other MMA fans, those who want to see a man punched repeatedly after being knocked out, will scoff at Mayweatehr's defensive skills, probably the same fans who boo and change the channel when two experienced ground fighters fight for position.

The pick here is that the UFC will pull away, but not by much. This, unfortunately, is not like the event earlier this year that saw Shane Mosley vs Antonio Margarito and the now defunct Affliction card which was headlining Fedor Emelianenko in a rare U.S. appearance. Different disciplines competing is not bad for either sport. But when only a few fights are worthy, then fans, fighters, and even the promoters lose.
Here's to hoping all fighters give their all to shine this Saturday night.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Fight Game's Summer Bummer

Usually, it's the mismatches and lack of quality opponents, as well as the alphabet belts corruption which disintegrates the fight games of boxing and MMA.

But recently, violent deaths, and not in the ring--if that comes as any relief--has been plaguing the sporting world of boxing. Steroids, has recently KO'd one of the most anticipated cards oft he summer: Affliction Trilogy.

It started with the death of Alexis Arguello, reportedly as a suicide (self-inflicted chest shot), which set off what has now become a chain of gruesome murders. Then, football player, Steve "Air" McNair, was found shot to death in his home by his lover. While the news was shocking, unfortunately there was more to come.

A week after McNair's death, it was reported that former boxing champion Arturo Gatti, had been found strangled to death in Brazil, with his wife the only suspect as of this writing. Two violent death of two boxing warriors in as many months. But just to be reminded that the summer is still here, along with unprecedented violence accompanying it, former world champion and Olympic competitor*, Vernon Forrest was gunned down in an attempted car jacking. And August has yet to come through.

With such a heavy burden to bear, fight fans were still looking to escape their normal routines, as well as the recent tragedies in the sporting world, with the only remedy combat sport brings: a good fight card to ease the emotional pain. But still, the pain grows worse.

Affliction, UFC's latest thorn, was picking up some steam by acquiring the best heavyweight since the heavily hyped Brock Lesnar. Fedor Emelianenko was poised to fight former pal Josh Barnett. But as has been the case in many MMA bouts, a fighter tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. The perp: Barnett. The result: cancelled card and many fighters feeling the chain reaction of one bozo move. If Barnett is indeed guilty, a message must be sent out to all fighters that this type of non-professionalism will not be tolerated.

While a fight card can be rescheduled, there can only be mourning and celebration of a lost life. For now, this is what many fans can expect to hear: A Final Ten Count for the fallen warriors.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Arturo Gatti: Boxing's Real Life "Rocky"

Until all details are released, a ten-count for one of boxing's warriors.

Arturo "Thunder" Gatti (April 15, 1972 – July 11, 2009)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

"Funny Money Only" Picks of the Week

Strikeforce on Showtime

Strikeforce Weigh-in Results:
Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Shields
Look for Shields to control the ground game better and t=for that to be the difference as he takes a hard-earned decision. Shields W3 Lawler

Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith
Diaz too versatile for hard-nosed Smith. Diaz Sub2 Smith

Andrei Arlovski vs. Brett Rogers
Arlovski has the more polished hands but Rogers may have the better beard, and that will be the difference. Rogers KO2 Arlovski

Kevin Randleman vs. Mike Whitehead
Randleman's comeback continues with a decision win against former TUF participant. Randleman W3 Whitehead

Phil Baroni vs. Joe Riggs
Baroni edges out Rigs in a battle of shopworn warriors. Baroni W3 Riggs

Sunday, May 31, 2009

UFC's DREAM Opponent?

Now that Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva hold the light heavyweight and middleweight titles respectively there are clamors of a viable opponent for the both, seemingly indestructible opponents. Now, both have stated that they will never fight each though the business of the fight game has a way of changing things. But until that time who else is there to bring a serious challenge to either?

That man may very well be Gegard Mousasi.

Mousasi, who has been having wild success in Japan's DREAM organization, has solid ground skills and excellent striking skills. He has been submitted only two times yet he has no fear of fighting any style. He has recently said he will be moving up in weight so Silva may not be in his immediate sights.

Which bring us to the very hard to beat, the "Pernell Whitaker of MMA" with heavier hands, Street Fighter's Ryu come-to-life, Machida. Machida is only exciting when he is on the offensive. However, like Whitaker, he loves to make you miss then, and only then, will he look to exact punishment for the audacity of attempting a strike and missing. Rashad Evans found out the hard way that if you dance with the devil he will bedazzle you. If you come at him too aggressively, he will strike like a rattle snake. So what makes Mousasi's chances any better than Evans, as well rounded an MMA fighter as they come?

Mousasi cherishes a challenge. He has a solid chin and excellent power. He does not rely on wrestling and brings the fight with educated hands and strong leg kicks. His motive is to bring the pain systematically. He does not wait for his opponent. Boxers who tried the dancing game with Whitaker always lost. Those who simply bore in with punches always lost. It took a fighter with power, skill and will, even at a late age (Felix Trinidad) to best Whitaker.

Luckily for Machida, Mousasi is only a few years younger in experience and in age. Mousasi has the right moxy needed for a patient striker like Machida. Whether or not he will be able to implement it in a fight is something 15 others have failed to do against Machida. Hopefully, MMA fans will not have to wait for the dirty business that has so eroded boxing in order to find that out in spite of rival promoters/organizations.

Friday, March 13, 2009

R.I.P. Charles "Mask" Lewis

The founder of Tapout's last interview.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Funny Money Only" Picks of the Week

Quinton Jackson vs. Keith Jardine
Look for Jackson to get a 2nd round stoppage over tough Jardine, whose camp association would normally guarantee a victory.

Matt Hamill vs. Mark Munoz
Hamill needs a win after his last loss. Hamill W3 Munoz

Pete Sell vs. Matt Brown
Sell W3 Brown

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane Carwin
Carwin faces tough step up ... and passes. Carwin KO2 Gonzaga

Brandon Vera vs. Michael Patt
Vera Sub2 Patt


Joel Julio vs. James Kirkland

Julio has gone rounds before whereas Kirkland usually blasts out his opponents. Look for Kirkland to survive and win via late round ko.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hasim Rahman vs ... Kimbo Slice?

Former Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman will be the latest washed-up boxer to try MMA


Not to sound cruel, but just as former football greats who could never recover from injury try their hand at boxing, it seems that a pattern of former top boxers who have reached the pinnacle of the ring are now trying to find some solace inside a cage.

While Rahman, who has still not said anything about fighting in MMA himself, will not be the latest to make the transition, he will be the most decorated.

Now don't get it twisted, this is not an all-time great in his prime going into a whole new arena. This is a fighter who struggled mightily against a former genuine bad ass fighter in James Toney who seems to train in the same bar as Tank Abbott (in all fairness to Mr. Abbott, he has never tested positive for steroids).

Shannon Briggs, a linear heavyweight who made a brief but successful transition into K-1, eventually got back his senses and went back to finish ruining a once burgeoning career.

Ray Mercer, who has lapsed his prime, was a former Olympic gold medalist who thought he was going to go toe to toe with the aforementioned Slice, but was out maneuvered and choked out by the glass-jawed, heavy handed bearded man in less than half a round.

Yes, there are other former heavy-waits, such as Franks Botha (K-1) and Butterbean (give this guy credit: he'll fight anyone, anywhere, any style) but neither had the same success they had in the ring.

So what are Rahman's chances?

Slim to none, but then again, read some of the past "Funny Money Only" picks.

Let's see: a 37-yr. old former hw champ with absolutely zero grappling skills and already on the down slide of a fairly successful boxing career going up against fighters who are used to using legs and limbs to get victory. Hmmm?

While Rahman will forever possess the proverbial "puncher's chance" moonlighters of the cage must remember that there is no "submission chance." That is a technique that can take years to master. And considering Rahman's laid back style and the fact that he has looked lethargic in his last few fights, it's easy to see him being beaten by Kimbo much the same way as Mercer.

Unless Rahman can commit to a consistent sprawl game and a sick stamina game, it's hard to see him beating anybody unless he taps their jaws and they go down. And in MMA, that is still no sure victory.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Funny Money Only" Picks of the Week

A busy weekend for fans of boxing and MMA. Choose wisely, but most of all, enjoy the fights!

Look for Pavlik to win by KO6 in a fight that should be on ESNP2

Jennings is an unknown who has a respectable record to rival Cotto's. Unfortunately his list of opponents does not yet compare to Cotto. Cotto KO8 Jennings.

UFC 95

Diego Sanchez W3 Joe Stevenson
This is a must-win fight for Sanchez

Nate Marquardt Sub2 Wilson Gouveia
Marquardt is hungry to get back to the top of the rankings

Chael Sonnen W3 Demian Maia
Look for Maia to get first "L" on record

Paulo Thiago Sub2 Josh Koscheck

Look for Thiago to make spectacular UFC debut

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Paul WIlliams vs Winky Wright: Offense vs. Defense

Can Winky stop the meteoric rise of Williams?

Crossroads fights are good for boxing but bad for boxers. Well, at least one of them.

On April, 11, in Las Vegas, Paul Williams will attempt to continue his upward mobility against a fighter who has derailed more fighters than fast food and fast women: Ronald "Winky" Wright.

For Wright, this will be the first time he's been back in action since a close decision loss to Bernard Hopkins. Williams, who is coming off a TKO win against the durable Verno Phillips, will look to continue his impressive climb up the boxing ranks, whichever division will rank him highest.

While this recession is bad for the nation, boxing fans can take some solace in the fact that this fight will be on HBO Boxing rather than the dreaded and exclusive PPV.

This will be another chance for Williams to expand his exposure. He has fought on HBO, Showtime and more recently, Versus. While some people may mock the quality of the basic cable channel, it's best to be everywhere and anywhere you can build a following rather than price yourself out and making yourself inactive. Archie Moore mastered self promotion before the digital era by fighting all over the country and building a following.

Wright, while not quite an old mongoose himself, is a veteran of the sport and one of the better defensive boxers of his era. His "vacation" may have been beneficial. His eye was cut in the close loss to Hopkins and he has had time to physically recover at an age (37), which, in boxing, make you more vulnerable to injuries. Williams should pounce on the inactive Wright, but needs to pace himself against the craftiest fighter he has faced so far.

The bet is that Williams will come out jabbing and throwing punches to the body. Wright is not too much of a lateral mover though he uses angles, his arms and his jab to keep opponent's offense at bay. Williams will look to use his long arms, superb conditioning, and supreme confidence in trying to break down the defensive shell that has kept Winky at the top of the boxing world against elite competition.

And wile Winky has the experience and chin to confront the Williams Express, he does not have the power to fend off the taller and younger challenger. Williams, unlike Felix Trinidad, is a volume puncher who is just as happy to hit the arms, as he is to connect to the head and body. He does not rely on one single punch to get the job done. Wright will have a hard time with his timing and the sheer number of punches coming to him all night from all angles.

Of course, always remember to bet with "funny money only."

Friday, February 13, 2009

MMA Fighters That SHOULD Retire

It happens to the best of them, eventually. It's hard to know who figures it out first, the fighter or the spectators (trainers, friends, writers, fans). Does the fighter know, not feel, when it's time to retire? Or is the fighter merely going with the flow, fight by fight? So here, without further doubt, are a list of MMA fighters who should hang it up and save a few more losses from their records.

1. Kasushi Sakuraba

A true MMA legend in his prime, Sakuraba left the world of staged Pro Wrestling (where he "fought" Bad News Brown) and entered the arena of true NHB Fighting. No gloves or time limit when Sakuraba stepped into the ring. And he did it in grand fashion, beating the man who ushered in MMA in America as we know it, Royce Gracie. And then he broke Renzo's arm and a legend was born.

But now, it is Sakuraba who has been losing in grand fashion. It may have started after his loss to the bigger Igor Vovchanchyn. Or maybe at the crushing KO defeat of Wanderlei Silva. Heck, there was also CroCop's destruction of Sakuraba. Either way,Sakuraba has seen the best of his wins and it would be nice, if ideally, those that threw him to the wolves would throw him a nice job which will keep him in MMA. (See Bas Rutten)

2. Chuck Liddell

Few fighters in MMA have reached the level of stardom as the Iceman. Even fewer have had his success in two rival organizations. But many have crashed as hard as Liddell has recently. In his prime, Liddell was an excellent striker with some of the best take down defenses in all of MMA. And if your name was not Quinton Jackson, you avoided a rematch with the Iceman. It's not that Liddell has been losing more than he has been winning lately that's alarming: It's the face that he has been knocked unconscious in a manner that mean, "this is only the beginning." Add the fact that Liddell looked less than thrilled to have to tango with Jackson a third time and we see the warrior leaving his being.

Chuck is still a good fighter who can, and will, be marketed for all he's worth. But the flip has been switched and once that happens, there's no reverse.

3. Jens Pulver

He used to be the best little big man in a sport that was still shrouded in controversy. If a prime Pulver were around today, the UFC could not market him enough. But his prime was 7 years ago. A time when Pulver could win and barely lose. But ever since he ran into the fists of Duane Ludwig, Pulver can's seem to win against a good puncher. He can only seem to be kayoed, unless he is submitted first.

4. Jeremy Horn

He is MMA's version of the boxers of yesteryear. Warriors who fought hard and often; beating future greats as well as their contemporaries. Horn is one of the few, very few, MMA fighters who can boast a successful career spanning almost 15 years and more than 100 fights and a winning percentage of 80 (or so)--and he's only 33!

But in his last 7 fights, he has lost 5.And though those losses were to top-ranked fighters, none of his wins in between were to fighters that made you believe Horn could be champion.

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

He's survived the bombs of Fedor Emelianenko, Bob Sapp, Mirko Filipovich, Heath Herring, Semmy Schilt, Mark Coleman, Josh Barnett, etc., and gets KO'd by a submission specialist! Oh, the irony.

Nog is a certain MMA Hall of Famer. He is the best Brazilian HW ever. He has beaten every heavyweight, except Fedor, of his era. He has nothing left to prove. He only has wins, and losses, to add to his record. And neither will take away from his legacy. Here's hoping Noguiera and Evander Holyfield can find peace in their legacy.

6. Yves Edwards

He will always be dangerous from the waist down. And his ground game is solid as well. But his chin will always feel the effect of a good kick or punch. Yves is rapidly approaching the rank of fighter than can only win if he strikes lightning in a bottle. Now this is just fine if you're a fighter looking for a payday. But it spells doom for a fighter who used to rely on technique rather than a flying knee. You can't "catch" someone in checkmate; you have to maneuver them into that position.

Monday, February 9, 2009

R.I.P. Chuck Bodak: 1916-2009

Boxing's legendary cutman worked with the likes of Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Oscar De La Hoya and has success in each era.

He was known to the casual boxing fans as the cornerman with all the stickers on his head.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

UFC 94 Results

UFC 94: Some 0's Had To Go

Diaz Loses to Judges and Fans; Guida Given Decision

Well, this writer continually proves why "funny money" is better to use than real money; especially in this recession. In the first fight of the night, Nate Diaz was "outpointed" by Clay Guida--even though he attempted every submission.

In usual fashion, Guida came fuming out and bullied Diaz to win the first round by smothering Diaz and landing knees to the face as well as a perfect body slam to punctuate the round. Diaz came out in the 2nd round just as defiant and Guida came out just as aggressive. But this time it was stuffed as Diaz controlled Guida's clinches and scored 4 throws as well as attempted a few kimura's on Guida, whose sole offense was holding on to Diaz' back. Diaz won the round and knew it.

Diaz came out the next round and won the first half of the round decisively with his boxing technique, landing his left jab and straight right on Guida's face. Guida, sensing he may get clocked and stopped, attached his body to Diaz's body like a magnet and attempted a few throws. The last half of the bout much like the second, complete with Diaz throwing Guida to the mat with his superior jiu jitsu. However, the judges disagreed, much to the fans delight.

Parisyan Edges Kim

In the next fight, Kim Parisyan met South Korean superstar Dong Hyun Kim and was outmaneuvered in the first round by the Korean judo expert. In the second, Parisyan came out with renewed vigor, almost as if he was past the first-round stage fright and dominated the round on the ground and on the feet. With yet another fight with the fight hanging in the balance, Kim and Parisyan decided to play joust without ever getting close enough to hurt each other. And once again, the undefeated fighter suffered, though in this case it was not as controversial as the Diaz verdict.

Jones Upsets Bonnar

With a record of 0-2 for the night, would the third fight be the charm?

Nope. Not even close.

In the middle of the first round, a roundhouse elbow by Jones hit Bonnar on the back of the head and it dropped Bonnar on his face/forehead. Jones dominated the rest of the round by landing a knee and taking him down at the end of the round.

Jones continued his dominant manner against a fighter in Bonnar who seemed confused as to what to do against a younger fighter who countered everything Bonnar attempted. Jones continued to use lateral movement to avoid Bonnar's wild strike and his Greco-Roman wrestling skills to throw and maneuver Bonnar on the inside. With the third round a mere formality for the younger Jones, Bonnar continued his aggressive forward movement and landed inside punches all over Jones. At the halfway mark, Bonnar attempted a throw on Jones and Jones reversed it and landed on top of Bonnar. With a minute left in the fight, Bonnar and Jones, both clearly exhausted, seemed to make a silent pact where they would make it look good without going all out. For Jones, it was a act he could live with.

Machida Marches Toward Title Shot

As far as fourth time being the charm, Machida came through.

Machida, a calculating fighter with great striking skills and unsurpassed grappling skills, along with some refined English skills, completely destroyed a previously undefeated fighter. Machida, who reminds this writer of a prime Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker, has an impenetrable defense and an offense that only a karate master can deliver.

Stay away from Machida and he'll pick you apart with kicks and punches. Grapple with him and he'll throw you on the ground with utter disdain, then mount, dominate and decimate.

At the end of the 1st round, a round in which Machida had already dropped Silva with punches, Machida threw Silva on the ground, then landed a left that KO'd Silva with zero seconds but but leaving the first loss on Sliva's record.

Ladies and gentlemen, Machida has arrived and is here to stay. Rashad Evans is on notice and hungry.

GSP Destroys Penn

Following the first kayo of the night, GSP and BJ Penn paced themselves as neither fighter attempted any take downs and seemed content to pace themselves and test each others striking skills. GSP won the 1st round simply y out landing Penn.

In the 2nd, GSP go the first take down of the fight ... and DOMINATED the rest of the round. No, seriously, dominated. (End of paragraph)

The 3rd round featured more of the same as GSP got 2 more take downs and controlled the action throughout the round. Penn offered absolutely nothing in return.

The 4th round would prove to be the end as it became a rout with GSP grounding and pounding a totally beaten up Penn. Penn, a once legendary fighter who relished challenging the best, seemed to get old over night. He had absolutely NO answer to GSP aggression and the fight was stopped at the advice of the corner at the end of the round.

It's going to take a fighter with a hell of a wallop to unseat GSP.

"Funny Money Only" Picks of the Week (UFC 94)

This UFC will make up for the last dismal card.

Georges St. Pierre (170) vs. B.J. Penn (168)

You have to give credit to GSP. He gets KO'd by Matt Serra and wants a rematch. He barely beat Penn the first time and is looking forward to a rematch. Other than his chin, GSP reminds this writer of Evander Holyfield. Both relish challenges and invite a repeat. If GSP can avoid the ground game, look for him to narrowly beat Penn. If Penn can match his stand up with GSP, look for Penn to win by a choke.

My pick: GSP W5 Penn

Lyoto Machida (206) vs. Thiago Silva (206)

This may be the most intriguing card on the match as the main event, while a great one, is a rematch. Machida is a pure winner and Silva is a murderous puncher who has not been stretched in his brief, but dominant career. If this fight goes rounds, which it figures it will, look for Machida--a slow starter--to find his groove and win a comfortable, but not at all easy, decision. Look for Machida to avoid any typ of takedowns and look to stop Machida early.

--> Machida W3 Silva

Stephan Bonnar (206) vs. Jon Jones (206)

Jones is undefeated but untested. Bonnar has fought the best in the division and has always made it close. Unless Jones catches lightning in a bottle ...

Bonnar KO2 Jones

Karo Parisyan (170) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (171)

Parisyan is battle tested but Kim is hungry. Look for Kim to pull an upset and outwork Parisyan.

Kim W3 Parisyan

Nathan Diaz (156) vs. Clay Guida (156)

This one has fight of the night written all over it as both fighters will fight like their MMA life span depends on it. The younger Diaz will face his toughest challenge to date ... and pass. Guida is as tough as they come and that is exactly what Diaz will count on in order to bait him in and win.

Diaz Sub2 Guida

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fedor & Margarito: Combat's Unstoppable Surge

In the world of modern professional combat sports, few fighters have been feared and touted as boxing's Antonio Margarito and MMA's Fedor Emelianenko. Of the two, Feodr's aura of invincibility has remained unperturbed by the hands, and feet, of other opponent's.

Not the Margarito is viewed as vulnerable, especially after the thorough thrashing he gave top contender Miguel Cotto. But it's hard to be viewed as unbeatable when he had already been beaten by a decent, if not completely imposing figure in Daniel Santos (who, by the way, is enjoying his own resurgence at jr. middleweight). But ever since he marched toward welterweight supremacy, he has seemed unbeatable. A fact that Paul Williams would relish in disputing sooner rather than later.

Fedor, who is built more like a full-time dock worker rather than the supreme reckoning force of heavyweight MMA, always looks like the flabby underdog but always wins like the sculpted gladiator. He faces another fighter who has knockout power and respectable ground skills in the spartan built, Andrei Arlovski. These Asian fighters will fight for universal acceptance in a sport where Brock Lesnar, a former WWE pro wrestler, is the reigning king in the UFC. Arlovski possesses dangerous hands whereas Arlovski possesses one of the better chins and scramble skills in recent memory. The winner of this fight enters the realm where only a select few fighters ever enter: The world of the "Dream Fight."

It may well to be boxing's rival in the 100+ million dollar PPV arena. Maybe.

One boxer who has not captured the PPV imagination in the same vein as say, former P-4-P king Floyd Mayweather Jr., Margarito has captured the hearts of boxing fans with his straight forward style. A rugged fighter who isn't afraid to digest pain almost as well as he regurgitates it toward his opponents.

His fight with Cotto did two things for Margarito. It showed his strength as a fighter and his weakness as a solo box-office draw.

Margarito is not a flamboyant personality. He is a malevolent figure in the ring and becomes a brute with a few angles. But he is not multi-faceted enough to draw in those fans who will forever be dazzled by style infinitely more than substance; something which Margarito possesses in abundance. Another fighter who mirrored Margarito in his prime is his opponent, Sugar Shane Mosley.

Like Margarito, Mosley was a force who needed an opponent to bring out the box-office dollars. That opponent is now a faded Oscar De La Hoya. Mosley will attempt to stop a fighter who cannot be stopped. Margarito will attempt to bully a fighter who refuses to back down even when defeat is guaranteed. Ask Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright. The winner of this fight throws their bruised knuckles into the ring for a chance to enter the Ricky Hatton/Manny Pacquaio sweepstakes.

Only one fighter in each combat section gets to move forward while the other one becomes a gate keeper. at best. And only one will gain, or maintain, that aura of stamped approval.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Funny Money Only" Picks of the Week

Rich Franklin vs Dan Henderson

(Lucky for Ace, Hendo's stand up does not come with knees included ala Anderson Silva. Franklin is the better stand up fighter though Henderson has the better ground game. A ground game goo enough versus a prime Antonio Nogueira. Tough to see Franklin best Henderson when it goes to the mat. Henderson by a close decision, even if he's passing his prime.)

Mark Coleman vs Mauricio Rua

(Battle of the octagon rust. Will go with the younger Rua, though the winner of this fight better not be good ol' injury.)

Alan Belcher vs Denis Kang

(The temptation is there to go with the more rugged Belcher, but Kang will bring his A game. If not, he'd better bring his pink slip for the UFC brass.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

UFC 93: Out With the Old, In With the Old

As with any great feature the follow up usually falls short of its predecessor. In the case of the next UFC card, the suits at the UFC may be following in line with the recession and booking fighters of yesteryear at minimal cost and risk.

The UFC closed 2008 with one of the strongest cards in combat sports history in a night that favored the underdog with knockout power. So what does the UFC come out with next? UFC 93. Even at third glance this card hardly ignites any interest from all angels, even if a few of the names still hold star power.

In what closely resembles a card that would normally be put together and showcased on the now defunct PRIDE, past stars with little future promise are headlining the show.

In the co-main event Mark Coleman, the co-star of the outstanding documentary The Smashing Machine,returns for the umpteenth time since his days as a tried and true warrior at PRIDE were over. He leaves the familiar setting of the Japanese ring to return to the place of his MMA birth, the octagon. He will face former PRIDE Grand Prix champ, Mauricio Rua, a fighter who was on a meteoric rise and atop many P4P lists before he broke his arm against Coleman when trying to break a fall after being tackled.

Rua was on his way back and seemed poise to overtake the UFC when he faced TUF star Forrest Griffin. A huge betting favorite, he gassed and was submitted by the better conditioned and stronger Griffin. Since then he has married and well, has been an inactive combatant for more than a year. Even with the layoff, Rua will be a betting favorite over Coleman, whose last fight was to Fedor Emilanenko more than 2 years ago. Talk about fighters who need to work off their ring/octagon rust. Hopefully, an injury will not be the winner in this one.

And now for the Main Event: Rich Franklin vs Dan Henderson. Both fighters are veterans of MMA with Henderson having the win in the experience column by light years. Franklin would be the darling if the UFC were it not for current middleweight champion, Anderson Silva. And therein lies the problem. Silva has already disposed of both Franklin and Henderson in conclusive fashion.

So where does either winner go from here?

Henderson seems to be the betting favorite as well as the favorite to get a rematch with Silva. Though Quinton Jackson proved that the third time is indeed the charm, it's doubtful that Franklin can produce a different result versus Silva as he has tried two different strategies against the Brazilian and lost by the same result: knees to the nose.

Henderson was doing a good job of holding Silva to the canvas, if not much else, until Silva played the mat game and won via a choke.

Luckily for both Henderson and Silva this fight is at light heavyweight. Unlucky for them is the fact that Rashad Evans is the champ at that weight. He may not have Silva's flexible lower limbs, but he possesses a strong wrestling background and punching power, as well as a solid chin.

Then there's Dennis Kang making his UFC debut against Alan Belcher. Look for the winner of this one to win by a choke, though Kang is the better stand up fighter.

And lastly, somewhere in the undercard is MMA veteran (only Coleman can claim seniority--if begrudgingly) Jeremy Horn. The 100+-fight veteran will face 10-fight "veteran" Rousimar Palhares. Let's see if youth trumps experience as it has the last time Horn has tested the younger lions.

Let's hope UFC's future PPV's are up to par. Are they trying to match some of Golden Boy Promotions undercards?

Fitness Jiu Jitsu