Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gregor Gracie Out-Freestyles Greco-Roman Wrestler

 I guess...or something like that.
Click HERE.

Reflections on My First Year at Purple Belt: 2014

 I traveled quite a bit to referee/compete/work for US Grappling. I won, lost, learned, and got better. I traveled as far away as Chicago and Delaware, competed in my first "super fight" (I still think that term is silly), made the difficult decision to switch teams, and very simply......learned a lot. I competed in Judo, competed in NoGi for the first time since ACL surgery, and did a lot of consideration in terms of how to maximize my training.
Training hard, or training a lot is not enough as the sport continues to evolve.
It's not simply "time on the mat" but the quality of the "time on the mat" you spend.

Did a lot of study on expert skill acquisition, read a lot of Malcolm Gladwell, and as a result began drilling in the mornings before work with my new team at Zenith BJJ in addition to training at night and various open mats around the area.
 "Win or learn."
 I competed at the elite/black belt level at 66kg in Judo but continue to realize I have to focus on one sport in order to maximize my competition results. I miss Judo, but the style of play continues to become more narrow due to ever increasing rules and restrictions and I no longer enjoy winning as much as I once did. The biggest hurdle was overcoming fear/coming back from ACL surgery to compete at that level again.






 Hit the road for a short BJJ road trip and trained in Maryland and Virginia.

 En route to Maryland, stopped and trained at Revolution BJJ with the one and only Andrew Smith (US Grappling) and got folded up by room of tough brown and black belts.
 Stopped in Va Beach to train at Gustavo Machado's school en route to Richmond (not really on the way but whatever).
 Switched teams to focus on sport Jiu-Jitsu and because I was not getting the results in competition I expect for myself. I now represent Zenith Jiu-Jitsu under Sean Spangler.






 Closed out my  busiest year in Jiu-Jitsu competition to date: 11 tournaments, 1 super fight, and a Judo tournament early in the year for good measure.
I have yet to win a Gi Division at purple belt featherweight, but finished the year at US Grappling's Richmond Submission Only with  my best performance to date with wins by brabo choke and a wrist lock from omoplata. I had tournaments where I didn't medal at all (usually in combined weight classes) and a box full of 2nd and 3rd place medals. The biggest gains were not medals or placing but rather an overhaul in my approach to training.
Like a former coach of mine once said, "If it was easy, everyone would be good at it."

Good luck and happy trainings in the new year. The grind continues.




UFC 181: Lawler vs Hendricks II - Slow Motion Cam


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to You! Rolled Up Episode 43: Fernando Terrere

Awesome.

All Aboard the Hype Train! McGregor vs Siver/UFC Fight Night 59 Card/LineUp announced


Enjoy.
 "Event: UFC Fight Night 59: "McGregor vs. Siver"
Date: Sun., Jan. 18, 2015 on FOX Sports 1
Location: TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Main Event:
145 lbs.: Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver
FOX Sports 1 Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Ben Henderson vs. Eddie Alvarez
185 lbs.: Uriah Hall vs. Costas Philippou
155 lbs.: Gleison Tibau vs. Norman Parke
FOX Sports 1 Prelims (7 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Cathal Pendred vs. Sean Spencer
170 lbs.: John Howard vs. Lorenz Larkin
170 lbs.: Zhang Lipeng vs. Chris Wade
125 lbs.: Patrick Holohan vs. Shane Howell
155 lbs.: Johnny Case vs. Frankie Perez
145 lbs.: Charles Rosa vs. Sean Soriano
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (6 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Sean O'Connell vs. Matt Van Buren
125 lbs.: Tateki Matsuda vs. Joby Sanchez"




 Some early thoughts of mine on the card/lineup:
1) McGregor has another durable fighter designed for a crowd pleasing stand-up fest.

2) The addition of Henderson vs Alvarez gives the card some serious punch for a free/cable TV event. 

3) The 2 other undercard fights aren't bad at all for a free TV/cable event. The prelims, however, are of virtually no note whatsoever. I mean, Costas Phillippou won't ever fight for a title, but he'll keep it on the fight for awhile against Urijah Hall who may or may not get a nice highlight reel KO. Tibau will out-size Norman Parke and press the UK fighter against the cage and drag him down for at least 2 if not 3 out of 3 rounds. I'm curious as to what the odds makers will book these fights.
Henderson as been inconsistent as of late dropping losses by TKO/Armbar, but also decision-besting the likes of Josh Thomson and finishing Rustam Khabilov. I don't see Alvarez having the chops to stop Henderson but who knows, Bendo had also never been finished via strikes until Rafal Dos Anjos came calling.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

10 Biggest Jiu-JItsu-Tastic News Stories/Moments of 2014


10. Leandro vs Gilbert Durinho - Gilbert having beaten Leandro at least 3 times of which I am aware, but having departed for MMA/the UFC, Leandro got the tap at about 20 min's in from standing after setting up the cross collar choke from his favorite knee through position













9. Kron Gacie MMA Debut - the son of legend, Rickson Gracie, pulls guard in MMA and wins by armbar in about 65 seconds. Hard to argue with that.




8. Rodolfo versus Buchecha at Worlds 2014 - a rematch for the ages that saw Buchecha advance on and stamp his claim on 3 Absolute titles in a row









7. Preguica/Lepri become two time black belt world champs - Preguica (much like Rodolfo) began rising to prominence as a brown belt/faring well against black belts, now winning Copa Podio and winning another black belt world title. Lepri, with some years in between winning his second faixa preta world championship in a tough, tough division and denying JT Torres his black belt medal at the worlds again.

























6. Miyaos advance to finals of black belt worlds first year/narrowly lose to Mendes Bros. - amazing to see them in their first year at black belt in the finals and only lose by the most narrow of margins. The question will remain as to how the Mendes brothers balance having an academy, the slow onset of age, and growing responsibilities and also how the Miyaos will adapt to life in the big apple, as it's been announced they will be based in NYC with Murilo Santana.




5. Braulio Tests Positive for Banned Substances - Not much to say here but what it is. Braulio busted for performance enhancing substances.









4. Jacare moving toward title shot in MMA - Jacre is marching toward a title shot with each win and has looked increasingly dangerous with each fight. His next test is the incredibly dangerous (and huge) Yoel Romero who has heavy hands, cuts a ridiculous amount of weight, and is a world class wrestler. This will no doubt, stylistically be Jacare's sternest test to date.


3. Renzo vs Kazushi/Bravo vs Royler - rematches and rematches redux. It's hard to complain when you get rematches the likes of this. Granted all 4 men are past their prime, the matches were compelling, exciting, and thrilling. It's a golden age for sport, and combat sports at that, to see matches like these in any format.













 2. Piggybacking off of the above....More Pro Events like the IBJJF Pro, New York Pro, Metamoris, Copa Podio et al. - We used to have to wait for the Spring to get a couple of good events (The Pans and the Worlds). Now, we've added the Abu Dhabi Pro, and the ADCC rounds out the calendar every other year. At any rate, the rise of other smaller professional-ish level events means lots of opportunities to watch high level grappling with teammates on the weekends. The advent of Rickson's new organizaton/federation/whatever, and a new Australian Pro Jiu-Jitsu event makes it hard not to be excited for next year.

1. IBJJF Introduces Background Checks - Finally. Enforcement and categorically consistent enforcement is something I find hard to believe will occur, but I am vaguely and semi-optimistic this will help the sport.


The news which I wish I didn't have to mention: The Jiu-Jitsu World's Most Ignominious Moment of 2014 - the return/rather resurgence of TLI after having laid low for some time following the rape scandal and revelation of Lloyd Irvin's own involvement in a rape case during his college years.


Merry Christmas/While You Were Sleeping: Kron Gracie Wins MMA Debut/Pulls Guard in MMA!




When you're the son of legend Rickson Gracie, I guess it's appropriate to defy expectations and pull guard in MMA. In it's own way, I'm somehow not surprised.










I'm also interested to hear the purists of Jiu-Jitsu find a way to rationalize guard pulling in MMA as being realistic/unrealistic....or some farcical argument about how Kron's fundamentals blah blah blase. The reality is that even Kron Gracie, son of Rickson Gracie will pull guard in MMA if it suits him....realist for the streets or not and all that other politics aside.


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Enjoy.



And while we're at it, here's his match with Claudio Calasans from the ADCC, because why not?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eddie Bravo Invitational - Featherweights

Ridiculous rash guards and spats aside, enjoy some top notch NoGi wizardry.
As usual, I'm absurdly late to the party as this event is likely well known by most of you internet aficionados but whatever. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

US Grappling Richmond Submission Only: 2 of my Purple Belt Featherweight Matches


1st round of the bracket, 3 minutes to lapel choke/cross collar:



3rd place match: 22 minutes originally, this is the first 10 min's or so, I cut out the middle 8 min's or so because of posting to youtube:



And the finish, omoplata to wrist lock:

Monday Morning Combat News: Miyaos to NYC, UFC on Fox Fallout/Hangover, Palhares Does Palhares

In case you were under a rock this weekend, or in my case, competing and reffing from something like 11am until 11pm in Richmond at US Grappling's Submission Only (average match time for the entire aggregate event was 8 something minutes overall), a lot happened.

The Miyao Brothers are opening an academy in NYC. VERY interested to see how their teaching manifests and then watching their guys compete against the likes of Marcelo and Ribeiro and Alliance.

Lifted from BJJee.com's article:
"At our school we bring together athletes and instructors from two of the leading Jiu Jitsu schools in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Barbosa Jiu Jitsu and Cicero Costha PSLPB – giving our students the opportunity to learn and practice alongside some of the very best in the world. In addition to our resident athletes who are with us full-time, our goal is to have a regular rotation of athletes coming in, to teach and train with our students, providing everyone with the best possible environment in which to learn and practice Jiu Jitsu."

For more INFO, click HERE. 
---

On to the face punching of this weekend:
Junior Dos Santos won but also lost. He looked about as beatable as he could have looked against Stipe without actually losing. He was visibly hurt and cut by Stipe's looping, leaping in punches and I genuinely think Cain is a higher volume, heavier punching HW than Stipe (no knock against him, he actually had a great showing and looked better than I expected he would).

Nate Diaz failed to make weight but lost anyway then made excuses about an injury in training camp. Jamie Varner retired in the event that you care. He has always been entertaining to watch and I will miss watching him fight. Mitrione pushed back any progress Gonzaga had recently made and Alistair Overeem punched his ticket to at least another few UFC fights he will probably lose.






Palhares pull a Palhares off against Jon Fitch and kneebarred him into obscurity.


The UFC returns this weekend in Brazil with a tepid card of a few fights with meaning.
Erick Silva tries to prevent any further slide from mattering in his division. Renan Barao attempts to rebound from failing to make weight to recapture his title. Machida fights CB Dolloway but I'm not really sure why.
Anyhow, it's a card, and it's free.
From MMAJunkie.com:
"main CARD

Keenan Cornelius & His Favorite Wrist Locks (Mao de Vaca)

Managed to hit a wrist lock from an omoplata this weekend at US Grappling's Submission Only Richmond event. That being said, I love wrist locks.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Long Beach Pro 2014 - Black Belt Competitor List



Coming up in a few days, the Long Beach Pro with prize money for the upper belts.

Some notable names include:
"Osvaldo Queixinho and Samir Chantre (Brasa) in the featherweight; Rodrigo Freitas (Gracie Barra), Marcelo Mafra (Checkmat), Vitor Oliveira (GFTeam), Magid Hage (GB) and Nathan Mendelsohn (Coalition 95) in the middleweight division; Lucas Rocha (GB), Eliot Kelly (Yemaso) and Gabriel Vieira (GFTeam) at heavyweight.
The ultra heavyweight has Yuri Simões (CTA), James Puopolo (Lovato), Carlos Farias (Roberto Traven) and Gustavo Pires (GB).
Ana Laura Cordeiro (GB) and Mackenzie Dern (Gracie Humaita) are the female stars confirmed."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bernardo Faria Talks 10,000 Hours and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers

Click HERE


I picked up the sweep to over/under pass from Bernardo Faria when I was a blue belt. Coming off of ACL surgery, and drilled it for weeks and weeks and weeks on end. I managed to win a number of divisions at blue belt with the exact same gameplan: pull half-guard,

"“In my opinion, to know a lot of techniques is not the hardest part. Everyone can know a lot of techniques if you really study Jiu-Jitsu. But I think the hardest part is knowing a technique so well that you are able to use in any situation at any time. Like Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book Outliers regarding the ten thousand hours needed to find success, the hardest part is to spend the ten thousand hours on something. As long as you spend a lot of time on one thing then you can become an expert on that one thing. I think what many people do is they change a lot and they don’t focus on one game.
So I think that’s what I’ve done. I have probably spent ten thousand hours doing half guard. ”"

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Remember those Black Belt UAE Jobs You Heard About....

The old adage goes: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Sounds a lot like teaching positions abroad I've ready about in other countries with varying relevance:
Click HERE.

If you've read much about the labor practices and the varying human rights reports about the UAE, camel jockeys, behavior of the royal family et cetera, this honestly shouldn't come as much of a surprise.


“Change of benefits: The company reserves the right to modify any of the above listed benefits at any time at its sole discretion. You will be advised of any change as and when they occur...
Upon arrival, Johann soon understood that the paradise on earth he had been promised was nowhere to be found. As he reached the head office of Palm Sports upon his landing, he was told he would be stationed in Sharjah, one of the emirates of UAE with much more rigid laws than Abu Dhabi, where he would work on a military base....

Living in a crammed apartment, having to wake up at 3:30am to take a bus to a military base, only to return home at 7:30/8pm, working under the blazing Arab sun with no food available was not what he signed up for...."

"The problems started piling up, on the first week when 5 of his colleagues had to get medical assistance, this due to the extreme conditions they were working under. They found out then that the medical care would be deducted from their wages as their health insurance was not available. After many requests for better working conditions and the health insurance situation to be dealt with, the common response was: “If you’re not happy, go back to your country”.

US Grappling Richmond, VA Submission Only - This Weekend

Come compete at IMHO the best submission (and otherwise) only run tournament on the east coast.
US grappling!

I'll be reffing all day and competing in the purple belt featherweight and purple belt absolute.

Reality vs Expectation: Anderson Silva commercial & Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier

I'll be honest.
I wasn't much excited for Anderson Silva vs Nick Diaz. Anderson looked bigger than guys he fought at light heavyweight when he stepped up a weight class. Hell, the guy makes Rich Franklin looks small (who also fought at Heavyweight. Forrest Griffin is a huge light heavyweight and Anderson makes him look small.
I digress...the commercial with the creepy Itsy Bitsy Spider bit singing....well, I leaned closer and started to get excited.

I often bemoan the lack of clear title contention order, or fights that may or may not lead to a title fight....but hyping Anderson's return....well, I did not expect to care, but the commercial did just that.

Now, I still virtually refuse to believe Nick Diaz who is a natural welterweight can beat a guy that in Anderson Silva (IMHO he could beat some low tier heavyweights out there, or if not, come really damn close) is and will always be one of the all -time greats. But hey, like Metamoris has pulled off, sometimes, you just want to see a fight that normally wouldn't happen (*cough cough* Pride). 



Beyond that....if you weren't excited by the colossal amount of semi-true, probably mostly heartfelt trash talk between Jon Jones and Cormier in that other promo, then I guess you watch the fights for the ring girls or something.

It's HERE. I wasn't able to find the Silva/Diaz one embedded anywhere online (way to go UFC marketing!).

That being said, Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier is a good fight.
Cormier has only looked more impressive with virtually each fight in his career.  Cormier is undefeated and it's not like he's been facing cans in his last 6 of 7 fights.
He had a late replacement win over Patrick Cummings but that wasn't Cormier's fault. He's gone from HW and busting up guys like Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva, and Roy Nelson to Light Heavyweight and busting up guys like Dan Henderson in a fight that was hard to watch as he ragdolled and manhandled Hendo.

Jon Jones meanwhile has been finishing every former champ he's faced except for Rashad Evans. Gustaffson (who I predicted with his frame and length similar to Jon Jones would be his sternest test) is the only real question mark or moment of mortality we've seen from Jon Jones in quite awhile.
He's stopped Machida, Shogun, Belfort (granted a guy who's not really a LHW anymore) and done so in decisive fashion.

This is the kind of title fight we wait for where you have a dominant champ facing a guy who really does have the resume to make him a legitimate threat.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Morning UFC 181 Hangover/Productivity Killer

I actually thought Hendricks fought better this time than the last time. He shot takedowns. He landed leg kicks as part of his combinations.
It was clear at other times he was just pressing Lawler against the cage and getting his head "tucked deep beneath Lawler's legs" for his efforts.

I thought Lawler won the first time but didn't get the nod.
I thought Hendricks won the second time but didn't get the nod.
At least Hendricks tried to do some wrestling. Lawler for his credit took virtually no damage when taken down.
It's hard for me to be bent out of shape when it's this close and a guy who I think undeservingly got the nod last time gets it this time.
C'est la vie. 

Overall, I enjoyed watching the card with my buddy and avoided the morass of people drunkenly watching it out socially/downtown.

Pettis showed that he has that killer instinct when it matters. Finishing a guy like Melendez for the first time in his career and doing it via submission is truly something else. Pettis wasn't landing shots that aesthetically looked big, but Melendez did look concussed a bit during the post fight interview. Pettis was dialing in his precision and speed as the fight wore on and despite some faltering in the first round, getting stifled a bit, the game plan came through and he put away the best contender out there not named Nurmagomedov.
I think despite Nurmagomedov's grappling prowess, Pettis is too precise for him on the feet. Pettis' speed kills and his precision and power in short shots looks ever improving.

I was enjoying the Faber/Rivera fight before the eye poke.

At any rate, I enjoyed the card far more than I had most as of late.

I'll likely miss the UFC on Fox card this weekend due to reffing and competing for the awesome folks at US Grappling Submission Only Richmond. 

It will be my 13th time competing this year, and frankly, I'm a bit burned out.
I'm going in with literally no expectations and it feels good to know I'll be competing with no self-induced pressure.

One FC Highlights - Vera, Bibiano, and others


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Watch Gui Mendes Head Nod His Way Through the Toe Hold @ Rickson Cup 2014

That nod.
That nod that says "he's doing exactly what I expected."

Watch Rafa Mendes Breakdance at the Rickson Cup 2014


David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell/Unconventional Warfare

How David Beats Goliath:



Lawrence of Arabia and his "rabble" of a Bedouin army are described as "All legs". That is they were considerably  more mobile, carried less equipment and had little military training when compared to their mammoth opponent: the much better supplied, much larger, but more immobile nemesis the Turks.
The Bedouin were willing to ride longer, harder, with less frills, no pomp and circumstance....and attack in unconventional ways and stay relentlessly on the attack.

How do two brothers from the little known Cicero Costha Team advance from unknown purple belts to the finals of the black belt worlds (and only lose by the narrowest of margins) in such a short amount of time?

The Miyao brothers and their work ethic is well-discussed. Leandro Lo, owner of a phrenetic work rate himself, says "no one works harder than those guys." 
Dan Lukehart mentioned driving by the academy where they were staying while visiting California and they were still at it, long after everyone had left. Watch the BJJ Hacks TV episode to get a glimpse of their attitude toward time on the mat, training, and the endless grind. Whatever attributes they may seemingly lack, they account for in spades with effort, time, analysis, and above all, focus. They train and compete. They do not own nor operate an academy. They describe their life as: being at the academy, leaving to get food, going to strength and conditioning 2x a week, and coming back to the academy. 

The full court press is hard. Gladwell discusses the conditioning, physical and mental effort and work ethic necessary to employ the full court press in basketball and why despite its statistically proven rate of success against seemingly highly skilled and well-coached teams yet why it is not employed more often. It goes against the establishment and often verbal abuse and insults are lobbed their way.
See above. Also, the Miyao brothers come from the little known (until recently ) Cicero Costha team. 

Players must know that there is no other way for them to beat the giant.
They must know this is their one chance.
This must be their only avenue to success to be willing to continually outwork their opponent.

Again, watch how relentlessly the Miyao brothers often and have hunted for the Berimbolo. If at any point....at any one moment, their opponent stops defending the back take...it comes. Persistence is not strong enough a word to describe their devotion to their plan of attack. When it works, it works. When it doesn't? They do it again. When it fails again? They do it again. Ad nauseum. 

Gladwell discusses the laments that the full court press isn't fair  as was voiced/heard by the coach of a girls Youth Basketball team that advanced all the way to the Championships utilizing the full court press to negate their lack of previous basketball experience and fundamental basketball skills. Youth basketball is about the fundamentals of basketball = the 50/50, the  Berimbolo et al negate basic Jiu-Jitsu basics and the spirit of the sport (whatever that means).
See the debate over the Berimbolo at the lower belt divisions and the irony that the match starts on the feet and yet many schools rarely work takedowns to see the fallacy of debating the Berimbolo as a position among others at the other belt divisions. This where you'll hear the "it's not fair" decry springing up and much wringing of the hands, "Won't someone think of the Jiu-Jitsu?!?!"

I came back from ACL surgery and did much more drilling than I ever had before. I would endlessly drill getting to deep half, sweeping, coming up into an over/under pass, then getting to knee on belly and finishing with a lapel choke. I won whole divisions that way. I would beat the same guy twice in the same day with the same gameplan. 
I knew in my mind that so many other parts of my game I had to avoid at all costs due to my knee and range of motion, I saw only ONE WAY to win. That desperation, that full belief that it's all or nothing is powerful in it's own right. If you have only one kind of bullet to shoot. You will 100% commit to firing that bullet with intense focus. 



A lesson I learned early in Judo. I could outwork and out-grind better, more successful and accomplished competitors simply by staying willing to out-attack my opponents.
As I have grown more skilled, I have done what the book points out though, I have pulled a George Washington and adopted a more formal style of warefare/the Continental line/Judo style of play in competition. The reason being, as I realize now, I am lazy. I have grown fat on the feast of easy kills in training and I have been unwilling to train relentlessly and have taken my foot off the gas pedal.
Much like the south when it lacked its ability to use its knowledge of the countryside to its advantage faltered when advancing into the Union territory, we often abandon strategies that we are forced to use earlier on as we progress and have more options, more tools, easier paths. 

Belonging to the institution, the cult, the establishment....it limits your sphere...your horizon...your options. See the movement away from sports competition to self-defense. The belief that you can win in mixed martial arts with Jiu-Jitsu alone and that cross training is somehow anathema to learning Jiu-Jitsu. As though, Jiu-Jitsu is the one true silver bullet, the one word, the one....whatever. 

It's always struck me as odd that in Jiu-Jitsu we mocked traditional martial arts for self-defense and scripted responses to attacks and yet....I now know responses to multiple collar grabs, neck grabs, bear hugs, sucker punches, push kicks, round house kicks.....this battle for the "spirit of the real Jiu-Jitsu" and the "real Jiu-Jitsu" is tiring . You can practice self-defense without mocking those who compete and it just rings hollow to downplay someone's competitive accomplishments with a subtle or not so subtle remark about their probable lack of self-defense training. 
That being said, I have watched the pace and athleticism of matches at the upper echelons of the sport especially at black belt it seems slow considerably. See the old school black belt finals in Brazil versus the tepid pace of some black belt matches now for evidence. As is always the case, there is a balance ever in flux attempting to make a sport of a martial art and where that dividing line is drawn will forever be a point of contention. 

Gladwell points out that in basketball there's a sort of unspoken conspiracy to not often obstruct the inbound pass and watch as the vast majority of teams adopt a similar style of play which benefits the upper tier teams.

I would argue that while the margin for error is smaller than ever before, that there is a sense of the gentlemen's agreement at black belt. There is an unspoken conspiracy to win but to do so in a particular style, that is to say, not a flailing mash of arms and legs and frenetic energy expenditure. 



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Un-Fresh Jits for Your Day: Preguica's 50/50 Copa Podio Final & South American Championship

























Copa Podio Grand Prix Finale.
I'll warn you, if you wanted what you normally like about Preguica's style, it's basically none of that. It's the duration of the match other ankle grabbing or leg scissor battling.
God.



 South American Championship: Renato Cordoso vs Vinicius Marinho:

Unibet UFC 181 Fight Analysis

Some good insight about attributes and strategy for the main event(s) on this card.
Feels like it's been forever since the UFC gave us two title fights on one PPV.
I'm pretty damn exciting about the main event for once and the main card as a whole has some interesting fights with Travis Browne returning to competition et cetera.
I'll put up my picks later today or tomorrow but regardless, I'm excited about this card as a whole. I will definitely be sitting down to watch the prelims then the main event Saturday night.


Monday, December 1, 2014

UFC 181 Countdown Videos: Hendricks vs Lawler 2, Pettis vs Melendez, Hendricks vs Lawler 1 included

As it turns out, or perhaps to psyche Lawler out of the game plan predicting business, Hendricks claims he tore his bicep days before their first fight which would explain his lack of KO power and lack of takedowns.

Call me "that guy" but I've simply never been impressed by any part of Hendricks' game other than his KO power. If he doesn't tag the guy early, I don't see much in his fights that makes me a believer. He's wrestled less and less the longer he's stayed in his UFC career (a Tito Ortiz injury we don't know about currently perhaps, or a Matt Hughes style injury that's forcing him fight a different style of fight, perhaps?).
At any rate, I saw Hendricks lose to GSP up in Maryland with some friends who train at Yamasaki academy and have since seen Hendricks IMHO lose to Lawler but win it in a narrow call by the judges. At any rate, I am semi-excited to watch Lawler do his thing, less so to watch a relatively one-dimensional style of fight from Hendricks.

That being said, I saw Hendricks not take down GSP in their fight either, so I'm not sipping the Kool-Aid on that one. Lawler is a true Cinderella man of the sport returning from years ago/yesteryear UFC glory to fight for the title after dominating his way to a title shot, coming up short (according to some), besting next in line contender Rory McDonald rather than patiently waiting for a rematch (a plan Gustaffson will regret after he fights Anthony Johnson), and now fights for the belt again. Lawler's takedown defense is always a question in my mind, but Hendricks as I've stated simply refused to wrestle much these days. If you're looking for a prediction, I'm gonna go with my heart and the fact that Lawler will benefit from having faced Hendricks previously and come so close whereas I don't see Hendricks doing anything differently than he has over his UFC career.

 Their First Fight:

 

 The Co-Main Event, a long time coming:
Pettis has only looked better and better since exporting to the UFC. Melendez, is in my mind, still the same scrap pack fighter he's always been. He is good at what he does, but Pettis' starching of Cerrone via body kick and his armbar finish of avid Jiu-Jitsu students Henderson are simply hard to ignore.
I have to think that Pettis will find a way to win as he has simply demonstrated far more tools in his game as of late.