Saturday, February 28, 2015

How/Why Judo Led me to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Some people will disagree. Sure. That's life.
Was my groundwork more than rudimentary at best before I began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Nope, barely.

What you'll see below has been pretty much my experience in the efficacy of Judo matwork overall.
I think Jiu-Jitsu could learn some aggression and insistence from Judo because who wants to watch two guys play footsie for ten minutes and call it a black belt match for the world championship, y'know?

Beyond that, however, Judo's matwork and lack of diligence in training it, and clear lack of some solid fundamentals for a lot of otherwise competent Judoka out there is a problem. Pure and simple. I don't expect Judoka who can win with a single throw to be as adept on the ground due to the confines of the rules of the sport.
I do expect that they not have poor fundamentals and understand basics of things like not reaching back to put themselves in a triangle or stacking up and putting themselves in armbar position, or as they love to do: freely giving away the underhook.

This is over at HERE.

Friday, February 27, 2015

So, Frank Mir Won a Fight (This is Why it's Called Gambling)

Last week was one of those know, the night where I'm reminded even a broken clock is right twice a day. Guys like Khabilov and others lost fights that on paper they should have won. Even the oddsmakers had a number of fights pegged wrong....if you can call it that.

I'm 29-27 for picks over the course of the last 5 UFC events. This last event really did a number on my picking %.

The betting lines weren't very favorable to make money off the "sure things" and we were reminded that in the fight game there is no such thing as a sure thing unless someone is on the fix.

At any rate, Khabilov, Andrade, and Silva just didn't get the memo. I did pick the Sam Alvey fight because I saw the startling number of TKO's on his record.

I'm reminded of the UFC Sweden/Stockholm card where almost none of the Swedes won.

I switched up some of my picks for Draft Kings as my thinking shifted a bit the closer I looked at some of the records of the guys fighting by picking Mike de la Torre but overall I went 2-9 on the card with my original picks.

Andrade blew it. Mir pulled the rabbit out of the hat. Iuri blew it. Barboza started strong with a lot of kicks and some well-timed knees but Johnson stayed on the walking him down game play. Dwyer pulled out a superman punch for KO, I can't predict that *&$@, y'know?

This upcoming weekend we have a Bellator card Friday and the hopelessly understaffed Rousey/Zingano PPV with Holly Holm (seriously?) as what I assume is the co-main event. Koscheck fights Ellenberger as both guys try to make some money but we all know neither will fight for the belt again.

I actually met Josh Koscheck in Vero Beach, Florida a couple years ago while there for my mom's wedding. Super nice guy in person.

At any rate, the card is full of a ton of guys who are almost total unknowns to me which makes betting problematic to say the least.

Tony Ferguson faces Gleison Tibau who is a gatekeeper extraordinaire but depending on the line, I may do some gambling. Roan Carneiro returns to the UFC after blazing it up out in the minor leagues against Mark Munoz who has only faltered against top flight guys like Machida which makes it hard to say if Munoz' better days are behind him or if he's a Ryan Bader who only falters against the best? 
Kid Yamamoto is fighting God knows why? but I'd sooner bet on Frank Mir to pull out a win than Kid Yamamoto at this point.

In Bellator's Bush League neck of the woods Emmanuel Newton defends his strap and as the guy is hittable with some come from behind wins, he's always entertaining, King Mo fights Cheick Kongo in what I think will be entertaining for as long as it lasts unless Kongo presses King Mo against the fence for 3 rounds as he does sometimes.

Reminder: Durham, NC - Toro Cup Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Invitational 1pm EST - Streaming Live

Saturday is the day.

I'm part of a Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Invitational Event put on by Cageside MMA at their warehouse/location in Durham, NC (also the location for Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Durham.
Come see it live or watch from the comfort of home:
The stream will be embedded HERE and begins at 1pm EST.

Jiu-Jitsu Purple through Black belts will compete with guys from predominantly North Carolina but a few hailing from as far away as California. Active Jiu-Jitsu competitors, professional and amateur MMA fighters, Judo black belts....but all of whom actively train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

......and your truly representing Zenith BJJ  before I kick off another busy month grinding it out at purple belt in various tournaments.

Berimbolo-Pedia: Standing, Sitting, & to the Inside

Versus Standing:

Versus Sitting:

To the Inside:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

UFC 184: Rousey vs Zingano UFC Gambling Picks & Such

Ah...what was to any rate, maybe one day in a land of cupcakes and rainbows Weidman will fight non-TRT Belfort.

As it is, Saturday I'm competing at the Toro Cup as part of an invitational day of Gi matches, you can watch here at Cageside MMA's website where the stream should be embedded. After that, I'll be eating something delicious, and celebrating after a lot of weeks of hard training.
I'll eat, watch the UFC, get some rest and be back at it training Sunday morning.

March is a busy month of competing with the Toro Cup (technically the last day of February), the Ultimate Grappling event the 7th of March in Norfolk, Hayastan Grappling Challenge the 14th in Charlotte, and the Submission Only event for US Grappling March 21st in Virginia Beach.

I think there are some great betting lines for the upcoming UFC, not so much for the female fights where due to Rousey obliterating everyone of her gender in her division in each title defense and because Holm needs to be groomed as a payday/match-up for the under-challenged Rousey we have some heavy favorites.

I think the Roan Carneiro, Tim Means, and Koscheck fights are all good options.

I don't like betting against Munoz, because he's only lost to guys with names like Machida, Weidman, et al, but I think Roan Carneiro may be on the upswing and Munoz' lost to Machida so quickly he has me doubting if he's a top tier guy/for much longer if at all.

I also find it odd the bookies have Walsh as such a heavy favorite over Jouban. I think the Ferguson fight is tough to pick as well in that Tibau just seems to almost always gut out the decision, and I definitely had him picked to win over N. Parke but not via the picking apart stand up style hemployed over the course of the 3 rounds.

Yamamoto is in Frank Mir territory with me wondering how the dude even gets fights any longer and I just can't bet on him to not find a way to lose because he's gotten real good at doing that these days/years/whatever. Krause should pull out the W against a guy I've never heard of and the last fight is two complete unknowns so on paper, it's anyone's fight come Saturday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The World According to Ronda Rousey('s Mom)

Found this over HERE:

Rousey's mom sounds like a mix between Mickey from the Rocky Movies and Pai Mei from Kill Bill 2.

Anything I've read or seen in her interviews is pure grit and lacking in any form of apology for anyone who takes offense. I don't always agree with her but you know with her you get 100% what she thinks unfiltered and unadulterated.

"You're not just training to be the best in the world - you're training to be the best in the world on your worst day."

"As Ronda explained she was always told, 'you have to be good enough to be the best in the world on your worst day and win every match twice. Because you will not always going to have the best day, and they're not always going to give it to you the first time.'"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Countdown to UFC 184: Rousey vs Zingano

Because Your Takedowns Suck: Throws & Takedowns from BJJ Worlds

From over at BJJEE:

They also included a list of some key differences between Judo and BJJ:

"– Judo’s primary way of winning is to throw the opponent flat on their back – winning by ippon. The same technique in BJJ is a score of 2 points and doesn’t end the match.
– Gripping rules / leg attacks – judo has many strict rules against defensive and stalling grips and leg attacks are forbidden. In BJJ nearly any grip – except for fingers inside the sleeves are permitted.
– Match restarts – in Judo if a competitor is not successful with a total commitment throw, they frequently stall in the turtle position and the referee will restart the match in standing position unless their opponent mounts an effective attack that results in progress on the ground.
– Allowed ground time – in an attempt to keep the action as high as possible, judo referees give little time on the ground before restarting the match. Judo newaza has less time for strategy on the ground than BJJ competition.
– Osaekomi scores. In Judo you accrue points the longer you pin someone on the ground. In fact, if you hold someone in a recognised pin for 20 seconds, then you score an Ippon and win the match outright. In BJJ, holding an opponent in side control is not a method to earn points – unless preceded by a guard pass."

Some quick thoughts I would add to that list along with the lack of gripping restrictions is that the overly defensive posture of BJJ Players and the fact that they can sit to guard/pull guard at any time and negate all that work you've been doing is a key consideration.
You'll spend considerably more time in Jiu-Jitsu fighting stiff arms and the death grip of doom than you ever will in Judo. It's not insurmountable, but it does take time to learn to work with/around/against.

Miyao Brothers Double Under Pass Defense/Analysis

Friday, February 20, 2015

All the Gamblingz! My Bigfoot/Mir UFC Fight Night 61 Picks for Sunday

I'm gonna skip the part where we lament the formerly twice hot pissing steroid/PED Bigfoot is facing a guy who hasn't won a fight in 3 some odd years as the main event but hey, it's a Sunday, and I won't complain. Though, I think, in a strange way, we as fans supporting with our viewership these lackluster cards may be part of the larger problem, but that is a debate for another time:

Since I got back into semi-serious MMA sports picks/betting, I've gone 27-18 in picks. Not bad. I tend to go 3-4 events where I pick 60-70% correct then inexplicably have a bad event where I go something like 4-7 ( like I did UFC 183: Silva vs Diaz. It's usually cards with guys coming off of long layoffs or guys with some debatable losses and/or some undercard guys with not a lot of available footage of their early career online).

The other element is the betting lines as I think it's a no-brainer to get on Bigfoot Silva over Mir but the current line doesn't make it worth much in terms of putting several hundred on him to make some money back.

Without further ado, here we go:
I don't see Mir being any different here than he was in his previous 4 losses. I mean, you have to go back to December of 2011 to find a win (it's over Big Nog, if that's saying anything).

I don't see this being any different than Mir's losses where he gets battered on the feet, folds against the cage under pressure and gets TKO'd whilst on bottom position.

Michael Johnson is one of those guys who I was never impressed with but has quietly picked up some notable wins. Barboza is also a young guy who has looked amazing at times and flat at others (kneebar loss to the black belt/Brazilian tapping machine named Miller). That stoppage loss to Cerrone is also no big thing as a ton of guys have been beaten and/or stopped by Cerrone. In looking at their resumes I compare who Barboza's lost to versus who Johnson has beaten.
They've both got enough wins against good guys and losses to some other good ones to make this the usual pick 'em contest with Barboza a sliiiiight favorite in my mind. Barboza's fought about 6 months more recently but that time off could bring in a refreshed Johnson depending how he uses his off time.....again though, I give the slight edge to Barboza in a 3 round decision.

I'm going with Alvey due to the high number of TKO's on his record against semi-nameless opposition or not, the guy can punch. I think Khabilov is also a no brainer as far as picks go but the line makes betting on him cost prohibitive. TJ Waldburger is another no brainer. Some brazilians who both beat up a bunch of their countrymen which makes determining how skilled they are also makes that a tough fight to pick so I'll go with the guy who has the edge in experience and stoppages: Trator. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

10 Ways to Fail at Your First Jiu-Jitsu Tournament

The sure fire ways to fail your first time competing, paired with mixed metaphor-style-selected memes:

Cut weight for the first time ever in your life by not eating and/or drinking for a couple days beforehand.

Spend the entire match fighting for a takedown even though you practice takedowns for a few minutes every month or so.

Go for that flying omoplata to armbar transition you saw in a highlight reel on youtube the other day.

Go for that guard break you just learned last week in class.

Ignore your coach and their coaching as much as possible during your match.

Have no fun whatsoever. If you win, rip open your guy like it's the world championships.

If you lose, pound the mat with a closed first, perhaps curse, and claim that it "would have been different if there was striking".

Enter the beginner/novice division even though you wrestled for 5+ years or played Judo for 5+ years.

Quit midway through your bracket due to exhaustion.

Don't eat all day from the time you get to the tournament up until you division begins OR eat very poorly, Waffle House or perhaps some Wendy's the morning of the tournament then wonder why you felt sluggish in all your matches

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Eddie Bravo Invitational III Set for March 22nd, Competitors Confirmed

Click HERE for more:

"The brackets won’t be set until the day before the tournament, but the competitors have been set. Along with Tonon, Marcelo Mafra, Nathan Orchard, Enrico Cocco, Karen Darabedyan, Matt Bagshaw, Richie Martinez, Darragh O Conaill, Lauri Karppinen, Matt Secor, Joey Hauss, Josh Valles, Josh Hinger, Eddie Cummings, Julio Cordoba, and Mike Padilla will all vie for the crown."

It will stream from Budovideos for $14.99.
I've been impressed with how quickly they run the matches and the production value put forth by Bravo and his team.

I'll definitely be tuning in unless I'm competing that day somewhere in NC.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Toro Cup Preview: Dirty White Belt Blog/From the Desk of the Matchmaker

A week and a half out.
I'm snowed in and won't be training tonight due to a snow-ish storm-ish weather scenario here in NC. At any rate, the matchmaker for the Toro Cup Invitational Gi Superfight Card thing coming up on the 28th of this month has penned a preview for the event.

Go check it out HERE.

Analyzing Excellence: Being Bruno Malfacine

I sat down for a few hours and watched the bulk of Malfacine's matches I could find on the internet (youtube).  Interestingly enough, for being in the lightest weight class he was just as willing to come on top after pulling guard or to pull guard, though he does seem to pull guard/sit to guard more consistently when fighting up out of his weight class.

He's also one of the guys I've watched (Lucas Lepri, the Mendes brothers, Kron Gracie among others I follow regularly) who has a number of high profile matches outside his weight class.

His history with Caio Terra alone merits its own divisional breakdown as they've been facing one another for nearly 7 years at this point.

What also struck me is that he doesn't seem to consistently impose one style of play. His overall style is unpredictable (and largely seems reactive to his opponents rather than other competitors who seem to impose very narrow windows of skill sets) save for his transitions from just a few positions. He has wins from inverting or deep half to kneebar, and he does like to backstep pass ala Lucas Lepri. He seems comfortable off his back and in coming up to top position to pass.


Matches watched: 17

Range of years analyzed: 2008-2015

General Observations:
- definitely willing to stall you out in your closed guard, very patient when pulled into closed guard by heavier competitors
- often sits to guard or if he pulls guard willing to come on top from double guard pull start
- has competed up in weight relatively often, up against the likes of Gui, Rafa, Frazatto, Farias et al.
- competed against the above along with guys like Felipe Costa and Caio Terra within his own weight class which he has dominated for years
- gives up underhook and looks to backstep which has gotten him into trouble against Caio Terra among others
- against heavier opponenets, prone to getting omoplata'd as he keeps his right arm in deep especially inside the closed guard where he plays very low, very patient (to the point of stalling).

Submissions Observed: bow n' arrow (2), kneebar (2), mounted collar choke (2)

Higher % sweeps:  tomoenage from sitting, butterfly, 50/50, sit-up guard to ankle pick

Positions Swept from/by: giving up underhook as he backsteps, 50/50, inverted/reverse De La Riva/waiter position

The sole submission loss I observed was to Caio Terra by RNC back in 2008. 

For more data visit BJJ Heroes page for Malfacine HERE.

"Main Achievements:
  • World Champion (2004 purple, 2005 brown, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2014 in black belt)
  • Pan American Champion (2005 purple, 2007 and 2008 in the black belt)
  • European Champion (2010)
  • Rio Open Champion (2008 and 2009)
  • Brazilian National Champion (1999 Yellow Belt – under 13 years old, 2002 Junior Blue, 2003 Blue – Under 17, 2005 Purple Belt, 2008, 2009, 2010 black belt)
  • NOGI Brazilian National Champion (2009)
  • Pan American Silver Medallist (2011)
  • European Silver Medallist (2011)
Favourite Position/Submission: Butterfly Guard & Taking the back

Weight Division: Peso Galo (54.4Kg – 126lbs)"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Augusto Mendes Continues Pro MMA Career This Weekend

Click HERE

I follow Augusto in MMA for a number of reasons:
1)  he managed to beat Cobrinha and Rafa on the same day to win his black belt world championship in Jiu-Jitsu. If that's not impressive, I don't know what is.
2) Other than Jacare, it feels like there's not a lot of high level BJJ guys importing over to MMA right now. That's probably not true at lower levels, but it's how I feel.
3) I follow him on instagram and his BJJ couple relationship with Mackenzie Dern kinda warms my heart for personal reasons.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Picks for UFC Fight Night 60: Henderson vs Thatch/This Weekend's MMA Onslaught

There's not a lot of great lines in terms of betting on this card. There's only a couple fights where the lines accurately show a toss up.
Many of the fights are at least as far as conventional wisdom goes one-sided as all get out.


Early on money was on Thatch, which I thought was silly. I went back and watched Thatch's UFC fights and I think he's too big, too long, and similarly poor match-up for Henderson like Rafael. If this was Henderson's way of trying out welterweight, I think he chose about as dangerous a fight as he could stylistically. I wouldn't bet against Thatch in his fight.

As is the case with fights like Holloway/Miller and Magny/Kunimoto. The Lentz fight, unless this Makashvili guy is some phenom, will also be an utter blow out, as will the Makovsky fight.

Maybe some people who know their opponents know something(s) we don't, but otherwise, this card doesn't mean much as far as fantasy or real money cash betting goes. The underdogs are very much just that but I think it will make for a good night of fights.

Friday night, we get some stand n' bang until someone dies from brain damage with Shlemenko facing Manhoef. The line right now shows the smart money on Shlemenko but that's insane. Manhoef punches WAY too hard to ever bet solid money against him and not be sweating the entire course of the fight until it ends. Even when losing, Manhoef very nearly decapitates who ever he is fighting.

And tomorrow night, we get a WSOF card on cable TV.
Not a bad trio of events for a Thurs-Saturday run despite any major UFC belts on the line. Pat Curran fights for Bellator Friday. Cody McKenzie recent UFC critic returns to action on the WSOF card. 

Mendes' Bros NoGi Superfights From Chechnya


Click HERE

Rafa vs Quiexinho NoGi:

Gui Mendes vs Arbi Muradov NoGi:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Video Deluge Tuesday: BJJ Nomad, Underdogs, Psychological Warfare, and the Checkmat Method

So, this happened last weekend at the Berkut Challenge:
"He made a huge impression last weekend in Chechnya at the Berkut challenge where he beat three black belts, submitting the ultra heavyweight Mauricio Cristo from Cicero Costha and deafeating multiple world and Pan champion Claudio Calasans."

There is a clear size advantage, as Calasans is not a heavyweight by any means, but he is a top flight black belt, impressive wrestler and Judoka, on top of his Jiu-Jitsu accolades.

^^ Jump to about 7:15 to watch Gui Mendes baseball choke and knee through pass his usual A+ game.

Conor McGregor's 2nd or 3rd salvo in the mounting psychological war ahead of his bout with Jose Aldo. There's a famous anecdote about Muhammad Ali going to Sonny Liston's house at 3am with the press and calling out Sonny Liston on his own front lawn. I've read things post fact that talk about Sonny Liston thought Ali was crazy and it wore on him, it got to him. There's a lot of ways fights and battles and matches are won. I see Conor's deliberate madness in the build-up. He's prediction stoppages with varying success. Every guy he's faced has admitted after the fact he thought he was just talk, but in fact he is skilled. What Conor is doing, is making Jose fit into a pre-fight build-up he hasn't faced. Everyone (like Anderson Silva for a time) was afraid. You could see it when they touched gloves. You could see it when they locked the door shut. You could see it when their first takedown was stuffed. Hell, you saw it when Nick Diaz was baiting Anderson Silva. Psychological warfare is potent stuff, especially in fact, against a champ who has been fighting guy's mentally beaten before the fight even begins. What impressed me most about Mendes' rematch with Jose was not only his striking, but he fought unafraid of the champ, especially difficult after a 1 round drubbing the first time around.

From King of the World/Wikipedia:
"Clay began taunting and provoking Liston almost immediately after the two agreed to fight. He purchased a bus and had it emblazoned with the words "Liston Must Go In Eight." On the day of the contract signing, he drove it to Liston's home in Denver, waking the champion (with the press in tow) at 3:00 a.m. shouting, "Come on out of there. I'm gonna whip you now." Liston had just moved into a white neighborhood and was furious at the attention this caused. Clay took to driving his entourage in the bus to the site in Surfside, Florida where Liston (nicknamed the "Big Bear") was training, and repeatedly called Liston the "big, ugly bear".


Monday, February 9, 2015

What I'm Reading, Watching, Studying....

"Notable Study Stats:
  • 64% of his passes occurred from Half guard
  • 87% win percentage
  • 54% Submission percentage in wins
  • Scored first in 12 of 13 recorded wins in study
  • 2nd highest pass per match rate ever recorded (1.13)
  • His average match length was 7 minutes and 31 seconds
  • 43% of his submissions were chokes from the back
  • 30% of passes were knee through passes
  • Took his opponents back in 46% of wins"
- Much like Gui Mendes (the other best passer documented, Lucas Lepri's highest % pass is knee through, knee slice, and also, he has a number of finishes from the baseball choke. It's good to see Lucas carrying through those techniques to lightweight as a lot of my game is predicated from half-guard passing, to knee on belly to the baseball choke or other variations.

Keenan Passing Chains:

Garry Tonon vs Javier Vasquez @ Gracie Nationals:

Eddie Bravo Invitational - Welterweights

Failure Before Success: Tournament Recap/Toro Cup, Ultimatum Xships, Submission Only......

Drove the 3 hours up to Norfolk for the Goodfight Submission Only on the campus of ODU. Despite non-existent parking, stumbling into the midst of a large swim meet, and barely making weigh-ins due to a closed tunnel, we made it and weighed in.
Unsurprisingly, it was a combined -162 weight class so we did a round robin then I competed in the Absolute. My first match I lost to a nice spider guard to triangle set-up because I didn't respect the length of his legs. My second match I was escaping a kimura back take but doing so lazily and got armbarred. Instead of stacking in and being patient; I felt like I could pull out. Not so much.

In the absolute I had a couple deep half guard sweeps, but then had difficulty passing the guard for no other reason than fatigue. In general, I felt a bit slow and weak. Not sure if I didn't time my training right after the Submission Only the weekend before, or if I didn't rest enough the day before but I felt pretty flat all around. Spent Sunday afternoon training with/visiting the guy who triangled me the day before. His gym, Tidewater BJJ, in Chesapeake, Virginia was super welcoming.
Tough guys, good training.
Found out about the Ultimatum grappling tournament March 7th in Norfolk, a week after the Toro Cup on the 28th of February. I'll do the Toro Cup, the Ultimatum tournament the following weekend, then I'll head to Virginia Beach for another Submission Only with US Grappling on the 21st of March. My prep for my superfight (yes, I still hate that term) continues for the next 2-3 weeks. The entire event will be streaming online, February 28th, from roughly 1pm EST until completion. 
I'll post more information as it becomes available. Assuming all matches run the full 20 minutes, I'm slated to go about 4:30pm EST. I know almost every single competitor on the card, have trained/rolled with many of the guys competing, and as a spectator alone I'm super excited for the event.  It will also be a fundraiser for the George Pendergrass Foundation. If you're anywhere in NC, or especially the Triangle/RDU area, come out and support.

Event Details: The event will be Saturday, Feb. 28, at Triangle Jiu-Jitsu/Cageside Fight Co. in Durham, NC. The doors will open at noon and the start time is at 1 p.m. The address is 1408-C Christian Ave, Durham NC, 27705. Baked goods and a Dumpling/Food Truck will be on site as well. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Road Warrior: ODU Submission Only - Goodfight Tournament This Saturday

Heading up to Norfolk to compete tomorrow, Submission Only, Eddie Bravo Invitational style: 15 minutes submission only, if no submission, you start with your back taken then escape if possible, switch, and do the same with the armbar.

Haven't competed with this Submission Only modification before. Excited to compete, hopefully see some purple belt featherweights I do and do not know.
Planning to hit up an open mat at a gym I haven't been to on Sunday in the Norfolk/Virginia area.

My first year at purple belt I did 11 Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, 1 superfight, and 1 Judo tournament.
The goal is to compete even more in 2015: By the end of February for this year I will have done 3 Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and 1 superfight.

I'm still slated to compete at the Toro Cup locally in Durham, NC on February 28th. There are 10 (I believe) Gi matches on the card.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Because You Didn't Ask: My Thoughts on Silva/Diaz Drug Test Fails

Read about it HERE.


Diaz now finds himself in Josh Barnett Steroid positive test territory. Once you've been popped for a banned substance 2-3 times, no one can pretend they're surprised anymore when it does happen. If Lineker misses weight (or Johnson for that matter), ever again, we'll all collectively shrug and sigh and roll our eyes. Diaz clearly can't handle the strain of daily life without self-medicating because if it was strictly recreational use, I find it hard to believe he'd have 3 positive results across his career.

Anderson, like other veterans and legends who test positive for steroids, tarnishes something far more deeply than just our perception of them as an athlete or celebrity: they tarnish that belief in technique or design, in training over science.....the death of mythos to some extent is what it actually feels like. I don't think many, if any, will discredit Anderson's career by thinking steroids enable the precision with which he dispatched so many opponents. It does, however, leave that ash in your mouth taste that the question mark attached to his return fight record before what looks like retirement.

I don't really know what it means to me, and honestly, I'm not sure that I'll come away with a much easier willingness to simply willfully forget about it, believe in conspiracy theory, or demonize a guy who has more accolades to his career than just about anyone else in the sport.

Ultimately, he can deny, deny, deny and some will brush it aside in the hopes of avoiding resolving that a great fighter can make a poor decision.
This is the easiest thing to do because our brains desire resolution rather than living with discordant ideas about someone or something.
Or he can face the music and be honest that out of desperation he took a banned substance.

At any rate, it sucks.


Monday, February 2, 2015

This is Why it's Called Gambling: Silva versus Diaz

I posted previously as to my thoughts on wagering on this most recent UFC: Silva vs Diaz.

A lot of intangibles, a lot of guys coming off of lay offs. A lot of "maybe" business in the air.
For every 2-3 or 4 events I pick 6-9 out of 11 fights correctly, there's an event where I go 4 out of 11.
That was Saturday.

My only picks who came through were Woodley, Silva, Brunson, and Alcantra.

4 correct, 7 incorrect.
The only fights I would have put actual money on were Woodley, Alcantra, and Brunson, but the line wasn't great on any of them and McCall vs "Never makes weight" Lineker wasn't worth a fight I thought could go either way because McCall has been inconsistent.

Leites got the finish after Boetsch got whatever you want to call it and was taken down. Boetsch had him hurt, almost finished like I knew he might.....honestly didn't see him giving up a takedown in that fashion.

Lauzon got hurt and was put away. Would have liked to have seen him look to put Iaquinta on the mat much sooner but Lauzon likes that bonus money and we saw what happened. I've always thought Tate was overhyped but she pulled out the win last night.
Mein was doing great out the gate but Alves is as tough as they come (watch his GSP fight for proof) and came back to put Mein away.

I can't even be upset with how the fights fell. I knew Boetsch was a toss up and might finish Leites or get caught. I knew Mein vs Alves was going to be a firefight. I haven't seen the McCall fight and to what extent Lineker not even coming close to making weight played a part, I don't know. I'm irked the fight took place and money was won or lost whenever a guy doesn't make weight by such a wide margin.