Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Interview with veteran MMA fighter Forrest Petz

Petz lands a right-hand punch on his way to a stoppage win against Surgej Juskevic. Photo courtesy of The Score Fighting Series

Forrest Petz has been on the big stage. And in the world of MMA, that stage is the UFC. In his fighting career, Petz has won more than he has lost. Unfortunately, in the world of combat sports, a loss can be a devastating setback. Fortunately for Petz, he has won his last four fights since losing to Brian Foster at UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares.

This Saturday night at 7p.m., Nov. 23, when most Americans are either getting over their turkey stuffing or recovering from Black Friday's super sale, live from the Hamilton Place Theater, American MMA fighter Petz will do combat on the main event in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada against Jordan "Young Gun" Mein for the The Score Fighting Series.

Mein is 14 years younger than Petz, they are evenly matched with Petz having 1 more fight (34) than Mein.(33 fights).  And while the future of either fighter cannot be predicted following their respected performance one things for sure: Petz only has his mind focused on defeating Mein.

Petz was kind enough to take time from his final preparation to answer a few questions leading to Saturday night's fight. Special thanks to James Bigg from The Score Fighting Series for coordinating this interview.

1) Forrest, you have fought in the big stage, that being the UFC. Is the plan to go back to the UFC?
Petz: Right now I'm not looking past Mein. UFC would be great but really not even on my mind right now.
2) You are 37 years old, which in the world of sports, especially in the world of combat, its athletes are fossilized. How do you feel while training? Is your body still able to take the daily grind back compared to when you were younger?
Petz: I haven't noticed any real differences from being older yet. Other than its harder to lose weight.
3) Do you still get nervous before a fight, regardless of the organization and opponent?
Petz: I always get nerves before a fight. The day that stops you're gonna get your ass kicked.
4) What is the endgame for you? Do you want to continue fighting for other organizations and fighting their champions or is it to get back to the big show, the 500-pound-billion-dollar gorilla known as the UFC?
Petz: Really, I'm just taking it one fight at a time. My goal is to beat Jordan Mein. When this fights over I'll make a new goal.
5) Are you using any new training techniques or sticking with what brought you here?
Petz: I've stuck to a pretty good routine over the past year and a half. Been pretty successful with it.
6) Aside from the money and attention, what is the main difference between the UFC and Score Fighting Series?
Petz: Honestly a fight is the same no matter where you're at. It's you and another guy. Doesn't matter who's watching it.
7) What advice do you have for both veteran and up and coming fighters in the world of MMA?
Petz: My advice to up-n-comers: get as much amateur experience as you can. Boxing, jujitsu, wrestling, everything. Also, don't pay attention to what people say about you. That's just a distraction.
Advice to veterans...over training is real listen to your body. If you take care of yourself you'll last longer in this game.
Mr. Forrest Petz, thank you for your time and best regards in your life and career.
For more information regarding Saturday's action packed bout, make sure to visit:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

UFC 154: Condit vs GSP

Tonight, Carlos Condit, the interim UFC welterweight champion, will have the chance to prove his win over Nick Diaz was for real by beating the champion of the division who never lost his title, George St. Pierre.

Funny Money Only says Pierre will win a close one with his take down skills. Conventional wisdom says Condit is too much for a fighter, who while great, has not fought in more than a year and a half.

Advantage: Condit

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Romanian vs. The Russian in Canada

Denis Grachev has made the transition from Muay Thai to MMA to professional boxing in search of greater financial rewards.

He will get the biggest opportunity to date when he faces native Romanian and dual Canadian citizen,  and former world title holder Lucian Bute in Montreal. Will Grachev be able to take full advantage of this opportunity?

Fight fans will find out on Saturday, Nov 3., when the pair face off for the NABF light heavyweight title in Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

**UPDATE** Grachev, looking like a mini version of Rocky IV villain Ivan Drago (he even had "Drago's Son" sewn onto the back of his trunks), lost a unanimous 12-round decision to newly crowned NABF champion, Lucian Bute, though one of the scores defied the competitive nature of the bout.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Former WBO Titlist Corrie Sanders Murdered

Former WBO Heavyweight boxing champion Corrie Sanders was killed during an apparent robbery in South Africa. Sanders' most famous win was an upset 2nd-round kayo of Wladimir Klitschko.

Below is a link to the news followed by a YouTube clip of his KO win over the younger Klitschko.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Anderson “The Spider” Silva’s Next Prey?

The Amazing Brazilian Spider-Man: Anderson Silva
(from top counter clockwise, Okami, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, & Chael Sonnen)
For more: prettygoodcomics.blogspot.com

In the animal kingdom, spiders are one of the most diversified and successful species of predators on the planet and rank near the top of the predatory chain. Near, because they also have their fair share of predators which they need to be aware of at all times. In the MMA universe, Anderson Silva is the preeminent predator atop its food chain.

Silva has been undefeated for the past six years and barely tested. He has reached an iconic status in MMA. He is in the pantheon of athletic greats who dominated their respective sports like no other. If it wasn’t for his chosen nickname and favorite superhero, Marvel’s Spiderman, he would have an “S” on his chest because Silva truly is super. But all superheroes and apex predators have challenges.

Two years ago, only Chael Sonnen was able to present a very formidable challenge before succumbing to the spider’s web of skills as so many have. And when a conviction of elevated testosterone use was revealed following the fight, Silva’s victory looked all the more impressive. In the rematch, Silva said he was fine, including his ribs which he said were injured in their first fight. Still, Sonnen used his ground game to make the first round questionable, but nothing else as he was not dominant with his grounf and pound style. And once Silva kept the fight on his feet, Sonnen could do little more than lose. And lose quickly he did. After Sonnen misfired with a Silva-like backfist, he stumbled and Silva was able to inflict his venom as if he did have eight legs.

And with such a resounding victory, the rest of the MMA world was left to ponder: Who can beat the man known as The Spider? Better yet, who can challenge him?

Fans and writers have looked up and down, from the smaller (but very inactive), welterweight champion George St. Pierre to the larger (and similarly dominant), light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Silva, for the most part, has maintained a neutral vision, looking neither up nor down. He is comfortable where he is at. But aren’t all apex predators?

In nature, it takes many years of climate change to produce significant threats to the predator that’s atop the food change. Maybe a new up-and-comer will come to dethrone the old dominant force. Or maybe, just maybe, Silva is that ultra-rare species that is dethroned through everyone’s conqueror: Time.

Until then, foes should steer clear of The Spider's web.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Boy Wonder On FX (No Wires Included)

Will Wonderboy add Brown to his KO highlight reel?
(for more original artwork: www.brettwoodillustration.com)

In the Hollywood world, martial arts movie stars always make the choreography of fighting look easy and dazzling. First, they defeat 10 or more goons with high-flying acrobatics before toppling the main thug with a mean punch or kick. They always make it look easy and efficient. Unfortunately, in the real world, this dance is not easily performed against a fighter who has no such script or director to follow. But every now and then, a fighter comes along with equal style and substance.

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will get more exposure this Saturday on the FX card, which will precede the pay-per-view on UFC 145. In his last outing, Thompson’s karate kicks made the oohs and aahs of the audiences a part of his symphony of kicks. He capped off his performance with a swift, stunning right kick to the head of opponent Dan Stittgen, who suffered his first kayo loss as an MMA fighter. The kick was as effective as it was sudden. Stittgen was out cold before Thompson’s right foot touched reached the canvas. It was the kind of highlight reel kayo, which elicited even more oohs and aahs when watched on instant replay.

And if Thompson’s first-round kayo wasn’t enough, Thompson topped his performance with a celebration-of-the-night-flip. While not as crazy as Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett’s back flips from the top of the cage, it was equally as impressive and very original. Simply described as a body-twisting, front-flip with Thompson landing and resting in a samurai crouch/kneel position, imaginary katana in place at his side. For those still a bit perplexed by the description, Youtube is better at show than tell.

While Thompson is indeed coming off an impressive UFC debut he’s not just another undefeated, hyped fighter who just started knocking people out. Thompson boasts an undefeated amateur and professional kickboxing record of 63-0. And as many UFC fighters learn, unless your name is Anderson Silva, producing highlight reel kayos and remaining undefeated against the world’s best mixed martial artists is highly unlikely.

The last UFC fighter heavily hyped by both fans and media alike was Todd Duffee, a gargantuan heavyweight with a punch to match. Unfortunately, the tires on the Duffee express soon went flat following back-to-back kayo losses. To Duffee’s credit, he remained humble before losing and is currently on the “comeback” trail.

Saturday night, Thompson will battle Matt Brown, a UFC welterweight who has been submitted before but who has never been kayoed. While Thompson would do well to dance with what brought him here, he should also try to keep the fight off his back as he is still learning the finer techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Regardless of the outcome, fans should not blink while Thompson kicks away at Brown, as Brown does not lay down for anyone.

The smart money says Brown will come out and try to take the fight to the ground. This will be a good test for Thompson to see if he can keep the fight on his feet. His initial kick and his flexibility should keep Brown at bay and earn Thompson a second-round stoppage. The funny money says Brown will introduce Thompson to the "aisle of loss fights" via a shocking straight right hand, in the second round.

If you bet with the funny money your a little richer as Brown used his experience and mauling style to earn a well-deserved decsion over Thompson.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Big Brother Rashad: Jon Jones’ Ultimate Test?

(for more original artwork: www.brettwoodillustration.com)

His reality is everyone else’s mystery. Jon Jones’ ascension to the pantheon of the current MMA elite has been as meteoric as it has been expected. The only glitch was a penalty “loss” against Matt Hamill in a bout he was clearly winning.
Not too long ago, Rashad Evans was sweet in everyone’s mind. He was the next big thing. And he got there the good ol’ fashioned way. By beating everyone in his path and doing so decisively. Until he met then unbeaten dark horse Lyoto Machida, a real life Ryu if there ever was one, and he was knocked out in a fight that was showing his limitations against a technical fighter. Add in the fact that Jones recently choked out Machida and this fight is not even close at the betting table.
However, Evans has something none of Jones’ previous victims had; history. Whether this will aid him to victory is another matter altogether.
Evans makes the claim that he beat Jones, who is eight years his junior, rather easily when they trained under Greg Jackson’s training camp. Of course, this was only for one session according to Jones. Evans also made attempted to rile Jones in the UFC octagon after two of Jones’ victories. This has flared Jones’ temper to the point of boldly stating that he will convincingly beat Evans.
Recently, Evans has called Jones a phony who is too cocky. Whether Jones is the former, the latter is hard to avoid for a young fighter who has never been decisively beaten. Humility becomes a liability to fame.
Maybe Evans sees a younger version of himself in Jones. After all, he did help train the young fighter and helped improve his ground game. Maybe there is a little resentment and jealousy at the throne Jones currently resides, both in the MMA universe and Jackson’s training camp. In fact, Evans was slated to face then champion, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua before an injury forced him to watch Jones stop Rua and claim the title. Maybe Evans feels he would have been able to beat the man who bested his conqueror. And maybe, just maybe, Evans is angry at a man whom he knows he has the key to victory. It’s time for little brother to take the test against big brother.
As previously stated, Evans claims to have dominated Jones during a particular session—a claim Jones does not deny but rather claims Evans is guilty of hyperbole. Jones even states that they were like brothers during their training days. What type of secrets and insecurities were shared will amount to nothing once the cage door closes and the actions starts.
Coming into this fight, Evans comes with a bit of forward steam following a victory over formerly undefeated Phil Davis. The fight itself was ho-hum and Davis was all heart but a few beats slower than Evans. What Davis lacks and Jones possesses in abundance is versatile striking.
And adding to a bit of this drama is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s claim after losing to Jones by submission that he feels that Evans is the only man who can beat Jones. Only Machida can add to that statement as they have both fought Evans and Jones—with Jones submitting both.
The smart money says that Jones’ speed and versatile striking ability will compound to Evans’ limited kicking skills and will lead to a 3rd round stoppage. The funny money says that Evans has not only a big brother mentality on Jones but that he also has the punching power and ground control to beat Jones.
One thing is for certain, when these two upstate New York-born n’ bred fightersmeet at UFC 145 on April 21, the time for talking will be over, and the time for proving will have just begun.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bert Sugar Passes Away (1937-2012)

You may not have known the name but you definitely knew the face. With his trademark cigar, fedora and self-deprecating jokes spoken through his raspy voice, Bert Randolph Sugar was a staple in boxing documentaries and commentary. He was a fixture who was always audible and pretty good with his picks.

Bert never soured on boxing and spoke with enthusiasm about the sport from the old days of Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, and Sugar Ray Robinson to present fighters such as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. He was a former editor of The Ring Magazine and also ran his own magazine for a few years called Boxing Illustrated. Fans of boxing should mourn his loss but also celebrate boxing as Bert always did during his life.

The following story is from Yahoo news:
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. (AP) — Bert Sugar, an iconic boxing writer and sports historian who was known for his trademark fedora and ever-present cigar, died Sunday of cardiac arrest. He was 75.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Muay Thai at Madison Square Garden - Photos

At a (possibly) sold out Theater in Madison Square Garden, Take One Productions delivered 14 bouts in 4 hours. What made the attendance all the more impressive was the fact that the NY Knicks were also playing the Indiana Pacers the same night in the main arena.

The fights were impressive as the fighters gave their all in an effort to win decisively. Only a few fights were marred by too much holding in the plum grip and not enough knees. And what would a night at the fight be without a a fighter, in this case Marcus Taylor who lost by first-round kayo to Brian Collette, fighting a fan in the stands.

Here are some photos of the fights from TKO @ MSG, 3/16/2012:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Will Macklin Have the Luck of the Irish Against King Sergio?

(for more original artwork: www.brettwoodillustration.com)

This Saturday, Sergio Martinez will defend middleweight championship for the fourth time against another tough European challenger as he defends his. This time he faces Matthew Macklin, an England born British-Irish fighter on the eve of St. Patrick's Day.

Martinez is coming off a tough 11th-round stoppage of previously undefeated, English-fighter Darren Barker. Macklin, the European middleweight champion, is coming off a hotly disputed decision loss to hometown winner Felix Sturm. Macklin's refusal to accept Sturm's negotiating tactics have paid off in the form of a title shot against the Argentinian champion. Whether he's the most deserved challenger for the crown is disputed. But he is a marketable fighter for the times in New York City.

In the three-plus years since Martinez raised eyebrows by beating fringe contender Alex Bunema, he has been on a tear.  But the fight that catapulted him to boxing's ceiling was his jaw-dropping one-punch kayo of previously iron-chinned Paul "The Punisher" Williams. Unfortunately for King Sergio, the glass ceiling has proven much thicker than its original appearance. Since he is deemed too big for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, boxing's power brokers, and too small for the super middleweight division.

Macklin, who is coming down in weight following his close battle with Sturm, proves to be the best money-making opportunity for Martinez in a division not void of tough contenders but void of tough seat sellers. Until Martinez, who moved up to the middleweight division, decides which way he wants to play with his weight, he will have his hands full with Macklin, a straight ahead brawler who will gladly take punches in return for winging his own.

This fight is coming off the heels of a classic slugfest handed in by Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido in the now-classic rematch. Whether Martinez's herky-jerky, inviting style will produce fireworks is unsure. What is sure is that Macklin will have to produce a Herculean effort to dethrone middleweight's current king.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Muay Thai at Madison Square Garden

Until MMA is legalized in NY, fans should buy tickets to attend Muay Thai at The Garden next Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. Support the combat sports!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Will Dr. Ironfist Provide the Cure for The Black Plague?

(for more original artwork: www.brettwoodillustration.com)

You have to give it to the former kickboxer, Vitali Klitschko.He is over 40 years of age, a strong political figure in the Ukraine government, the first boxer with a Ph.D, and millions of dollars earned through a successful boxing career. Unless you’re Manny Pacquiao, most fighters—inboxing and MMA—will never see half that success. And if they did, they would not continue to risk their health in a dangerous sport against hungry opponents.

Vitali’s younger brother, Wladimir, was originally scheduled to face big brother’s opponent, Dereck Chisora, last year but pulled out due to injuries. In hindsight, that may have been the most exciting fight at heavyweight in recent memory as Chisora was undefeated at the time and was a complete x-factor. In hindsight, Chisora has proven to be an exciting fighter who fights without fear and never gives up.

What makes this an impressive fight for Vitali is the fact that Chisora has fought two opponents who are similar in size and strength toVitali and he has fared well both times; this favors Chisora.
What does not favor Chisora is the fact that neither Tyson Fury nor Robert Helenius have neither the experience nor skill set that Vitali has shown through the years. But what can’t be lost in that fact is that Chisora was able to take their punches and he was able to reach their jaws for12 full rounds. Maybe Vitali’s “lean back” style, coupled with his height and reach,will make him the elusive target which has frustrated nearly all of his opponents.

Both fighters have shown mutual respect for each other leading up to the bout. This should not come as a surprise coming from the philanthropist Vitali, but it is surprising coming from Chisora, who has a history of saying and doing outrageous things. How outrageous you ask? Try kissing a male opponent in the mouth during a stare-down, admitting he is bi-sexual during a televised interview featuring Vitali, and then accusing Vitali of “juicing” in the only visible act of disrespect. To Vitali’s credit, he did not respond in kind to either statement.

With the fight less than two weeks away and barring any injuries to the fighters (see Andre Berto – Victor Ortiz II cancellation), this should be Vitali’s 44th win, by decision. Vitali will make his record and overall career KO (90%) percentage a little more impressive if he is able to do what neither Fury nor Helenius were able to do; knockout Chisora.Though the pick here is that Vitlai’s style of leaping back, making full use of his height, aided by a telephone-pole jab that, right now is only rivaled by his little brother, will make him a much more difficult target than Helenius.
This may be the most exciting fight Vitali has been in since his losing effort to former British heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit

(for more original artwork: www.brettwoodillustration.com)
Maybe George St. Pierre’s body really has been breaking down in the prime of his life following a career filled with fighting UFC legends, up and comers and those tough, technical madmen in between. Maybe.

But lately, his conspicuous crown seems inconspicuously heavy; five years as ruler of the welterweight division can do it to the best of them. He has twice pulled out of scheduled main event fights against two of the most dangerous fighters he has faced since his rematch with Matt Serra, the only man to stop him with punches in MMA’s biggest upset.

As good and as tough as Matt Hughes, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, BJ Penn and Sean Sherk were, none of them, except for the smaller Penn, are all around technique fighters like Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit and MMA true to the bone, bad boy Nick Diaz. Diaz and Condit don’t rely on the stand up game to win. They also don’t rely on the ground game as their go to. They are ambidextrous in their winning ways. They have proven to beat the bombers on their feet and the grapplers on the ground.

George St. Pierre or, as the MMA world calls him, GSP, could retire tomorrow and he will be a shoe in for the UFC’s Hall of Fame (though even without a UFC HOF, he’s an MMA Hall of Famer for sure). But in another realm of combat sports, GSP may find his legacy tainted. For just as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s careers have been impressive, and for all they have accomplished, their careers will still seem unfulfilled if they never meet. GSP’s career may seem the same way as Diaz and Condit have been fighting at the contender level for the last five years in different organizations internationally.

GSP’s last time in the octagon was almost a year ago and it was a less than stellar showing against top contender Jake Shields. GSP, while winning comfortably on points, sounded less like a king defending his rule and more like a protector of a throne. Shields has since been knocked out in one round by Jake Ellenberger, who, in turn, lost a close decision to Condit in 2009. GSP’s best hope is for a truly magnificent fight which will produce a truly magnificent contender that MMA fans will pay to see.

And that brings us back to Diaz and Condit; two honey badgers fighting for the same prize. They both fight with unbridled fury unusual for fighters with such technically superior skills and conditioning. They both go for the knockout every time the fight is on the feet and they always go for submissions when the fight is on the ground. These fighters always give fans a top-quality production on every level and give fans their money’s worth.

Diaz fights with an aggression that is only matched by his prefight antics. He genuinely dislikes the
business of fighting but he gives all fighters the business. Diaz brings five thousand volts of pain that is given even more intensity by the crowds that ignite his style with their roars. Diaz lets his emotions ooze from his pores and he translates those emotions into crisp punches and a never-say-die attitude.

Condit is not to be outdone. He carries the professionalism befitting a fighter who respects the sideshow that goes with promoting a fight. But he also fights like a Mack truck with no brakes trying to avoid a cliff. For every kick, punch, and slam he receives he intends on shaking it off and giving it just as good as he got it; just like Diaz.

The pick here is that Condit will make it past the finish line via a close decision. He is less war-torn than Diaz and does not allow his emotions to betray the fight’s strategy.

Of course, GSP will be watching. And waiting.

R.I.P. Angelo Dundee (1921-2012)

Angelo Dundee passed away on February 1, 2012 at the age of 90. He trained everyone from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali to Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman 2.0 and was involved in the sport he loved until his dying day. RIP to a boxing legend.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

$1 Million Dollar Prize for Glory World Series fight events 2012

It's too bad they don't have events like this in the States, New York City specifically.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vitali Klitschko vs. Derek Chisora

In the video below, Chisora, scheduled to face Vitali on February 18 in Germany, made two unconventional statements in boxing. First, he said he goes both ways sexually when Vitali asked him if he wanted to kiss him. Then, toward the end of the interview, he flat out accused Vitali of "juicing" to stay in shape.

While Vitali has never been a bombastic character, it will be intereting to see if either fighter throws punches with some Cain in them. We shall see.

Fitness Jiu Jitsu