Sunday, June 18, 2017

4 Big Pro Level Grappling Announcements

ACBJJ Open World Championships: off the heels of its Grand Prix events and other invitationals (which in in the past featured the likes of the Mendes Brothers), the organization is occurring Cash prizes at all belts for is July World Championships. 

Polaris available on UFC Fight Pass: 

Firas Zahabi will be putting together a Sub Only Cash tournament with Bitcoin payout and spectators can contribute to the winnings. 

Eddie Cummings to face Paulo Miyao at Grappling Industries: ADCC Rules.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

UFC 213 Extended Video Preview: Nunes vs Shevchenko & Whitaker vs Romero

Well, well, well.....the sand of time and the webs we weave....Whitaker faces Romero for the Interim belt because Bisping has skillfully avoided defending his belt against all comes other than an aging non-TRT Dan Henderson.

I think Whitaker is actually the guy best-suited to face Romero. He has the power to hurt Romero, maintains a workrate that will win rounds especially as Romero's fight against Weidman saw him clearly conserving energy to do just enough to win rounds, plain as day. Jacare didn't have the wrestling to get Romero down and didn't have the confidence on the fight as he appeared tentative much of the bout. Bisping wants no part of Romero's physicality and power, and Weidman also didn't have the power to wobble Romero or the wrestling to get him down. Whitaker has the mystery quotient element....the power to tag Romero and hurt him, which I think will allow him to steal valuable early rounds and then go for the kill later in a 5 round fight. I've said this many times: Romero could never fight 5 rounds. The guy can barely fight 2 full rounds anymore. I suspect USADA is to blame, but y'know, it is what it is these days.

I like Shevchenko, and I think a 5 round fight here suits her as well. Her confidence has grown, and she has the striking chops to give Nunes problems. Nunes has the range, but Shevchenko's timing and slipping as evidence by the Holly Holm fight is the real f'ing deal. I'm actually super excited for this card at the beginning of July.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

UFC Lightweight Division Analysis: Division with a Placeholder Champ

Well, we would have had an Interim champ if Khabib hadn't totally blown it and cut so much weight he was hospitalized. I'm mystified how guys act like they're shocked that their body shuts down when they cut 25 lbs of body weight/water in a month or two. Walk around less heavy between fights. There's not like a mystery how you blow up between fights.

That being said, the #3 guy is Alvarez who got dismantled by Conor and now will likely rematch Poirier to run it back after the unified rules/non-unified/grounded opponent/knee to the head uncertainty that ended their fight. #4 Barboza managed to get a win in a fight I had him losing against Dariush with a well-timed jumping knee. That leaves Barboza without a dance partner as Alvarez is likely booked against Poirier. #7 Chiesa faces surging #12 Kevin Lee, #8 Nate Diaz is being Nate Diaz and I guess waiting for Conor McGregor. #5 Dos Anjos is booked for next week against Saffiedine, and #6 Michael Johnson is booked to face another WSOF champ/import Justin Gaethje in July. Waiting sucks, but most of the top 10 for this division is booked. Barboza is saying he wants Ferguson or Khabib next. Dariush is coming off a loss and #11 aquinta is embroiled with a public feud with his bosses. It reminds me of the Tito Ortiz/Dana White days and perhaps it's mostly trumped up on both sides as a cliched narrative to sell tickets. At this point, nothing surprises me in the fight game. With McGregor gone for at least through the fall I would imagine, they do need to pony up for an Interim belt so the division can move forward. This is the 3rd division I've examined in a few days that is currently on hold because of the champ's  either being injured, off doing other stuff or coming up with reasons to not fight the next guy (*ahem* Michael Bisping, and Demetrious Johnson).

I think an Interim belt up for grabs between Tony Ferguson and Barboza makes the most sense as you can't let Khabib fight for it after his total FAIL missing weight for a HUGE title fight. The UFC usually punishes guys a bit for this squandered opportunity, pre-fight promotional work, and wasted opportunity cost, and rumor has it had he won Interim belt they were gonna do a Russia card with him facing McGregor to unify. It would have been gangbusters. Le sigh, so much for what might've been. As it is, Khabib has been laying very low on the radar and it remains to be seen what word from his camp says.

Champion : Conor McGregor

Monday, June 12, 2017

UFC Fight Night 111: Holm vs Correia.....The Inglorious Card

The main event of this card is two fighters with a combined 1-5-1 in their past 7 fights.
I want you to wrap your brain around that.
Holm has lost 3 in a row. Correia has tied, actually won a single fight, and lost 2.

Arlovski is coming off of 4 losses in a row. ALL BY STOPPAGE.
Tybura is 2-1 in his past 3 fights.

Dos Anjos is 1-2 in his past 3, and Tarec is also 1-2 in his past 3 fights.

Dong Hyun Kim is thankfully 3-0 in his past 3 and Covington is also 3-0 in his past 3, but without their fight on the main card the total record of the main card in the fighters' previous 3-4 fights is a laughable 5-14-1.
The combined record of the recent fights of all but one of the main card bouts is 5-14-1. 

I literally think they put the Kim and Covington fight on the main card for this reason alone.
Hell, Gomi is on the undercard, I didn't know he was even still fighting in the UFC.

What does that even mean? I'm all for growing the women's divisions but putting this fight as a main event can only do poor numbers. Arlovski in his own skid faces up and coming Marcin Tybura in a truly gatekeeper's fight on a UFC Fight Pass card for the former world champion. Dong Hyung Kim, the perennial hot and cold ala Erick Silva type fighter faces Colby Covington and Rafael Dos Anjos faces Tarec Saffiedine.

I truly don't get this card. If it's for Fight Pass content, the name recognition of the fighters is pitiful considering their recent Octagon performances and if it's to build the UFC brand in the Asia's the same. Following the type of cards One FC is putting on, this just won't work.

Every time I consider signing up for Fight Pass, a card like this comes along and I'm like....."Nah, hard pass, guys. Thanks, I guess, for making passing on Fight Pass and its subscription easy. I get the appeal of the fight library but I have been a hardcore fan for years, and have seen most if not all of the bouts when they happened. I'm not a fan who rewatches fights unless I'm doing homework on gambling picks or research for a blog post.
Having the EBI events on there has almost gotten me to sign up multiple times, UFC cards like this, when there's Bellator on free TV a lot of the time, and cards on FOX et cetera, it just makes it a hard pill to swallow. If I wasn't into watching grappling and the broadening swathe of Invitationals now being put on, I would probably have fight pass as a hardcore MMA fan, but this kind of content just isn't enough to "move the needle" as they are so fond of saying. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bellator NYC's OverKill June 24th: Bellator PPV Countdown Special

I feel like 3/4 of the guys worth watching on Bellator are all fighting June 24th. Between the cable TV card and the PPV it's everyone from Fedor, Mittrione, Wanderlei Silva, Sonnen, Larkin, Lima, Chandler, Phil Davis, Bader, Machida's brother. Neiman Gracie, Aaron Pico's debut, & Ryan Couture. I exaggerate a bit on this being all the guys they have worth watching, but frankly, the regular cable card followed by a PPV feels a bit like Overkill. If that's not overkill, you gotta watch the countdown show. Full of choice hyperbolic descriptions of Wanderlei as a "killer in the ring" and plenty of Chael Sonnen promos, it falls short of hyping Fedor nearly as well as it could. The import of Fedor to Bellator after his run in Strikeforce is nothing short of miraculous....but I have digressed.

The show glosses over Chael's outside of the ring foibles, and completely ignores Wanderlei's 3 year suspension (was originally a lifetime ban in Nevada) for literally running out the back door to avoid a USADA drug test as well as his lengthy dispute with the UFC that coincided at that time.

The fact that Bellator had enough guys on its roster to do any shows for the rest of the year with what's left is impressive in terms of considering just exactly how far Bellator's roster has come. 

For the summer run after this extravaganza Bellator still has on deck: 
Lovato has his 2nd Bellator fight, there's a promised Dillon Danis debut, Kendall grove returns, Patricky Freire Joe Warren, Koreshkov, Brennan Ward and AJ McKee on a card in late August to round out bellators robust summer scheduling.