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Posts from — March 2011

Video: A Dana White-friendly Gracie jiu-jitsu video

The Gracies had their Youtube channel stuffed by UFC boss Dana White for copyright infringement yesterday but their back with a UFC-less version. Hopefully they can work something out with White with regards to using UFC (and now Strikeforce) clips in their jiu-jitsu breakdown videos because they really do add a lot to them.

March 29, 2011   No Comments

Gracie Youtube channel terminated by Zuffa

Within minutes of my posting Ryron and Rener Gracie’s breakdown of the submissions (and submission attempts) from UFC 128 (most notably Chan Sung Jung’s twister sub of Leonard Garcia) and the video was removed from Youtube due to “multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement from claimants including Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and ZUFFA, LLC.”

Talk about shortsightedness. The video used a couple of brief clips from UFC 128 amounting to no more than 20 seconds that were used to illustrate the submissions. That’s it. Sure, it’s a copyright violation (although a few seconds should fall under “fair use,” shouldn’t it?) but doesn’t UFC boss Dana White realize that those clips actually help the UFC’s cause by educating fans on the intricacies of the ground game? It’s ridiculous and heavy-handed and Zuffa is just out of control. Swallowing Strikeforce, stepping on the Gracies (who only just invented the damn UFC to begin with). What’s next?

March 28, 2011   No Comments

The Gracies break down the Korean Zombie’s twister and Dan Hardy’s mount defense

March 28, 2011   1 Comment

Video: Crazy inverted triangle submission

The Korean Zombie’s twister is one of the most impressive submissions in UFC history. Maybe the most impressive. It was certainly good enough to win last night’s Submission of the Night. At least in the UFC. Bellator 38 may beg to differ with it’s second-ever inverted triangle sub. Toby Imada did it first.

March 27, 2011   No Comments

Korean Zombie gets a little twisted

Anthony Johnson put Dan Hardy’s UFC career on life support, and Phil Davis proved that he’s got a long way to go before he’s even close to being ready to challenge newly minted light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, but it was Chan-Sung Jung who stole the show with the first-ever twister submission in UFC history.

Last night’s UFC Fight Night card took place nearly a year after Jung (aka the Korean Zombie) lost a split-decision slugfest to Leonard Garcia at WEC 48 in what was easily the most entertaining fight of 2010 (hell, he was so impressive in that fight I bought a T-shirt). But the rematch wouldn’t make it into the judges’ hands. While Garcia threw haymakers (the only strike he seems capable of throwing), Jung launched flying knees and crisp punches before pulling off the spine lock in the final second of the second round. More impressive – he learned the move by watching twister inventor Eddie Bravo’s videos and had never been successful with it before. In fact, he only went for the twister because it was the dying seconds of the middle frame and he had nothing to lose.

Meanwhile, Anthony Johnson made easy work of Dan Hardy for the unanimous decision. He proved Hardy’s takedown defense is made of Swiss cheese and handed him his third straight loss, which has to put Hardy’s stay in the UFC on shaky ground (although he would still make a good division gatekeeper). I’m betting the key to Johnson’s victory had less to do with Hardy expecting (or at least hoping for) a stand-up fight and more to do with Johnson’s size: Johnson made the 170-pound welterweight limit after cutting from 230 pounds but stepped into the cage at 195 pounds.

Phil Davis earned the decision over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira despite being severely out-boxed and stymied in the takedown department for much of the first two frames. Indeed, beyond raw physical ability, there’s little in Davis’s game that impresses. Then again, it is pretty substantial raw physical ability. Give the 5-0 UFC fighter a bit more seasoning and then we’ll talk about championship potential.

March 27, 2011   No Comments

What does the Strikeforce sale really mean? Umm… anybody?

What now? Seriously, what the fuck now?!  That’s the $64,000 question following the purchase of Strikeforce by UFC parent Zuffa, resulting in a seismic shift in the MMA landscape on the order of a magnitude 9.5 on the Richter scale.

It’s been over a week since the deal became official and plenty of folks have weighed in on both sides of the debate as to whether it’s a good thing or not. In the grand tradition of “nobody knows anything,” here’s my two cents.

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March 22, 2011   No Comments

How interested are you in TUF: Lesnar vs. Dos Santos?

My interest in The Ultimate Fighter waxes and wanes more than the moon and until I watched this season 13 promo video I was in serious wane mode. But now, my curiousity has been piqued. What kind of coach – i.e. how big of a dick – will Brock Lesnar be? That’s the question that needs answering.

March 22, 2011   No Comments

A sad day for PRIDE fans but Jon Jones has made me a believer

Time to give some respect. I didn’t think much of Jon Jones‘ chances against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128. I thought even less of the hype surrounding Jones, including stories that he was already signing autographs as “UFC Champion 2011″ prior to Saturday’s title bout. I thought he was more swagger than substance, that his youth and relative lack of experience against top-ranked fighters and arrogance would be his undoing. Now, his demolition of Rua has forced me to think again, as much as that pains me to admit it.

The ease with which he beat the champ is astounding. If ever a fighter has walked through an opponent, it was Jones through Rua, who looked like the Rua who fought Mark Coleman, not the Rua who put the Machida Era into the history books. Jones was the fearless aggressor, not Rua, launching flying knees and spinning elbows and rib-splitting hooks and takedowns and leg locks for which Rua had no answer.

Indeed, it was a sad night for us PRIDE fans, as the former PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix champ’s loss to Jones was preceded by the end of the former PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix champ’s UFC career – Brendan Schaub’s right cross separated the legendary Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic from his senses and UFC boss Dana White was quick to eulogize his UFC career (and given that Cro Cop’s been a shadow of his headhunting self since Gabriel Gonzaga gave him a a taste of his own medicine at UFC 70, and that he’s contemplated both retirement and suicide in the recent past, don’t be surprised if Cro Cop hangs ‘em up permanently).

But back to Jon Jones and Shogun Rua. Rua will likely rebound with a rematch against his old PRIDE nemesis Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, assuming Rampage gets past Matt Hamill. It’s a bout that sells the excitement of two old foes clashing one last time, even if there’s little impact on the title picture in the balance. As for Jones, he’ll face former Greg Jackson teammate and former champ Rashad Evans (which resulted in an uncomfortable couple of moments when Evans joined Jones in the cage after his victory). He’ll likely destroy Rashad, I can see that now, but after that who is there to face? Forrest Griffin? The winner of Shogun/Rampage?

I’m not predicting a lengthy stay atop the 205-pound division for Jones, as I think he’s still a bit green to weather the onslaught of challenges coming his way. But it’ll be more than a one-and-done situation. Perhaps it’ll take Anderson Silva, to whom Jones could easily be compared if only in terms of his dynamism and natural athleticism and physical dimensions, to topple Jones. Or perhaps vice versa. But I’m in no rush to see that fight. Let Jones prove himself as a champion; let’s see how heavy sits the crown on his 23-year-old head.

One more thing: Please stop elevating Jones to superhero status, to sainthood, pondering what he’ll do for an encore, perhaps fix Japan and save the environment and end world hunger. You sound ridiculous when you say stuff like that. Yes, I know he stopped a thief on the same day he became the youngest champion in UFC history. I know he destroyed Shogun Rua, won of the most-feared fighters in MMA history to do it. But just stop, you’re embarrassing yourself. I can think of no other sport where not just its fans but its media is so quick to anoint its newest savior, so desperate are they for heroes. I’m not knocking Jones. I’m done with that. He’s made me a believer. Jones is a phenomenal athlete and a great fighter. Now we find out if he’s a great champion; now we find out what he’s really made of. Isn’t that enough?

March 21, 2011   No Comments

Why’s everybody putting their bones on Jon Jones? My money’s on Shogun

Disrespect. That’s the best way to describe the hype surrounding UFC 128’s light heavyweight title bout on Saturday. You’d never know from the media and from the way the UFC is pumping up Jon Jones (he even got his own Spike TV special), but Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is the defending champ. Remember him? The guy who decisively ended the Machida Era after everybody had written him off as too battered and used up?

Yet everybody has Rua pegged as the underdog. How is that even possible? Has everybody been suckered by the youngster’s flash and flying elbows?

I get that Jones is the shiny new toy and everybody loves a shiny new toy. He’s bigger, faster, more explosive, a freakishly gifted athlete and has a definite reach advantage. He’s also unpredictable but not that technical, something which his quickness and athleticism has thus far allowed him to get away with. And he’s got skinny little cicada legs perfect for kicking, and we all know how much Rua likes to kick the legs (and check out the video to see just how powerful those kicks are).

Sure, Jones also has youth on his side – he’s 23 and has ruined the likes of Matt Hamill, Brandon Vera and Ryan Bader en route to a 12-1 record.

But when Rua was 23 and 12-1 he’dd already beaten Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Akihiro Gono, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona en route to the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix title. Doesn’t quite compare, does it? Oh yeah, and he’s also knocked out Overeem (a second time), Chuck Liddell (before his chin got soft) and Lyoto Machida (when he was considered untouchable) since winning that belt.

In fact, Rua has won 19 fights, 16 by knockout or TKO, and he’s only been finished three times, two losses by submission and one by a fluke broken arm. And he says he’s healthier than ever despite a couple of knee surgeries.

Rua is a Muay Thai wrecking machine fuelled by Chute Boxe-style aggression. He will see a weakness – and Jones has many – and he will swarm. Jones has the reach advantage, but when he throws a punch, which he rarely does in combination, and he misses, he misses by a lot, leaving himself open to some of the best counter-striking in the game. Long limbs also mean big angles and that’s something Rua will be working very hard to cut off.

And Rua’s just as capable of making the highlight reels with head kicks as Jones is with his spinning elbows of death. Yep, Jones can wrestle (and Rua’s takedown defense is sub-par), but what else can he do?  Besides, Rua’s also dangerous on the ground, a BJJ black belt who’s most recent training partner has been Demian Maia, and those long limbs of Jones’s can get tied into knots awfully easily.

That said, a Jones win is hardly out of the question. It wouldn’t even surprise me. But my money’s on Shogun. It’s the safer bet, no matter what the oddsmakers are telling you.

March 18, 2011   No Comments

Dana White’s shameful reaction to Michael Spitsbing

So Dana White believes that Michael Bisping intentionally kneed Jorge Rivera in the head while he was down and he intentionally spit on one of Rivera’s corner men after the bout, yet the best he can do is take away Bisping’s bonus money for the win? (Check out the 5:00 mark of the interview with Ariel Helwani.) The UFC boss says there’s nothing more he can do, that’s it’s up to the athletic commission to take further action by suspending him.

Bullshit. White is the boss of the UFC. If he wants to bench Bisping for six months, for a year, for two years, it’s entirely within his authority to do so. And he should do so. The knee was blatant and intentional and definitely played a role in why he was able to beat Rivera. Rivera’s just lucky that no serious injury resulted. Not that a serious injury is required for White to take action (and docking Bisping a few thousand dollars is not action). The spitting was vulgar and childish and assholish behaviour that has no place in professional sports.

White should make that pouty little fucker sit in a corner with a dunce cap on for the next 12 months minimum. This is just shameful and embarrassing, for the UFC, for MMA and anyone who’s a fan.

The only bright spot? Everybody in the 185-pound division is going to be lining up to give Bisping his comeuppance.

March 18, 2011   No Comments

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