Sunday, February 28, 2016

This Day in Terrible MMA Tattoo History

This is only the very tip of an unbelievably huge iceberg, but I couldn't resist. Devotion is a powerful thing. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

McGregor Opens -450 Favorite Over Nate Diaz

Shortlist of Picks for UFC Fight Pass: Bisping vs Silva (kinda worth watching)

I'll be out of town competing at a Jiu-Jitsu event so I'll miss it, but I've got Bisping beating Silva by U Decision. Silva hasn't officially won a fight in almost 3 years. The gray in his beard makes him look aging and I think Bisping can still put the kind of fight on Silva to pressure him and batter him. Silva's time has passed.
"A king has his reign, then he dies."

It is the natural order of things. Silva still wants to believe in the myth of himself but I think the leg break and the steroid/drug suspension shook the image of himself he saw in others.

I was unimpressed watching Bisping's training for this fight and to see no truly notable faces in his training camp. I find this deeply concerting but less concerting than a feeble Silva refusing to believe his time has ended. He's the Lance Armstrong of MMA and his "performance" in the Nick Diaz fight was a throwback to the terrible fights with Leites, Maia, and others that we had to suffer through as fans because Silva was in a strange mood or simply didn't show up mentally or whatever-the-&^%$-it-was.

The Battle Lines video I watched, his voice, the literally sound of his voice was not the same to me. This might sound silly, but it's the kind of thing I pay attention to when picking fights.

Mousasi has COMPLETELY underwhelmed since coming to the UFC and is a B league-er but a can opener when better than the competition but unfortunately for him, the UFC top tier is too many attributes for him. He has looked TERRIBLE at times, listless at others, but simply unimpressive the vast majority of the time. He either needs to get on the realness in terms of steroids or leave the UFC.
Nakamura I'm choosing based on experience level and more wins by submission over granted lesser competition. I think Pickett uses a diverse stand-up attack to find Rivera in a submission whose biggest claim to fame is a close fight with Faber before an eye poke hurt him then he got finished.

I'm a big Pickett fan, have been since before he came to the UFC, but he's gotta be running against the clock career-wise at this point. Always loved seeing him fight, be good to see him win here. He has the clearly more well-rounded skillset when he chooses to use it and I think with his back against the wall, he'll use it here. 

Galvao Out of EBI 6 - Remaining Roster Bonkers

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What I'm Reading/Training/Watching/Listening: Aggressively Patient on the Grind

What I'm Doing:
Mid-March I return to gainfully employed full-time work. I have left teaching (school) for the time being and am excited to move in a new direction. At roughly the ten year mark, in any field of full-time investment and expenditure, you're deep enough in to reflect back and decide which direction comes next.

This weekend I'm working Friday night, then riding out of town Saturday to compete at a Jiu-Jitsu invitational/death match/super fight/whatever-you-call-it event.
My match is 15 min's, Gi, purple belt, submission only. I've been training hard and added sprints and Olympic lifts back into my weekly training regimen.

March 12th I'll be reffing and competing at US Grappling's Submission Only event in Virginia Beach. They run a great event, and even their Sub Only events run more on time than a ton of other tournaments I've attended.  
The following weekend I hope I can afford to do Copa Nova as I've never done one of their tournaments.

As for my new career path starting in March, long hours are to be expected as I'm starting at the ground floor in a new environment, but I've worked 2-3 jobs in addition to teaching to make ends meet for most of the time I was a teacher and long hours to me simply denotes that I have the opportunity to outwork and outpace the 97% who for various reasons don't embrace the grind of learning and persistence in any endeavor. 80% of success is showing up springs to mind, but showing up is more than simply being physically present. It's being there day after day, willing to keep trudging even when your heart really isn't in it but insisting on doing good work and improving over time.
It's training the day after the tournament, training the day after promotions, but most of all simply being consistent regarding a few primary and necessary tasks that are not always short-term rewarding that outpace everyone else who's just going through the motions.

The more you insist on finding time to do, the more hours you find in the week.

A typical weekend for me while working as teacher was: work monday-friday full-time, work downtown Friday night, get off at 2am, wake up, drive to wherever the tournament was 2-4 hours away, referee, compete, then drive 2-4 hours and be back in town by 10pm to then work until 4am.
When people complain about long hours or have their hand out asking others to help them with their journey in pursuing a dream I'm conflicted at times between altruism and skepticism.

Perhaps I've read too much Ayn Rand and her diatribe of trade as the ultimate medium of exchange and welfare or unwarranted support being vilified. Perhaps I just need some coffee.
You can work a full-time job, still train 1-2 times a day given sacrificing things like having kids, a large circle of friends/acquaintances and other less significant hobbies.

I've only been able to compete because of reffing for the awesome folks at US Grappling.
Through them I had the opportunity to compete and referee something like at least 30 times in the past few years. That being said, I also look forward to actually being able to afford attending Jiu-Jitsu seminars, IBJJF level tournaments and some training trips outside of my current area.

- The River of Doubt by Candice Malard: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
- Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda
- Various PDF's of research data and theory on :system justification, cognitive bias, outgroup bias, and ingroup preference,

Watching: Documentaries on Zimbardo's work (other than the Stanford Prison Experiment), social contract theory, bystander effect, and cult leaders.

Listening: The Last Podcast on the Left - each week recaps various horror-related topics such as true crime/serial killers/conspiracy theories et cetera. 

People will always complain: McGregor Moves to Welterweight

I could go on and on and on and on and on about this: McGregor takes fight with Nate Diaz. The ink isn't even dry on the press release and it's "why didn't he fight Cerrone?" "Why didn't he fight so-and-so?" If you think the UFC really airs out how it does business you haven't been following their company practices much as a fan. They don't actually admit to how much fighters are paid outside of listed win/show/whatever money. The negotiating of fights and contracts is still very very very hush hush. You think they tell the general public how things are actually done?

Bisping has done his fair share of crying/complaining after his losses.....
I do think it's hilarious Aldo demands a rematch and says "anytime, anywhere" and then is offered the fight and says no. Talk about primadonna behavior. He's got the Anderson Silva syndrome back when Anderson would balk at virtually everyone the UFC offered him. Anderson was quite the primadonna which people forget because of the Weidman losses and the year long suspension for banned substances putting him in victim-card-playing-territory to some as of late.  Bisping chimes in as he is oft willing to do by calling McGregor lucky that guys keep getting hurt and he fights guys late notice. Option B is McGregor doesn't fight, and pulls a Werdum/Cain rematch that just happened and an event moves to *&^# ing free TV which I'm sure the UFC was highly displeased with to put it mildly.

Conor doesn't fight Nate Diaz so he defies logic double and takes a fight at 170. The crickets sure are chirping.

McGregor SKIPS a weightclass and takes a fight with not just some dude you've never heard of, but a guy who's got legitimate wins in the promotion, a ton of experience and stylistically is a striker as would be the case if McGregor fought Pettis or Cerrone, the other two most notable names tossed in the ring.

Now people say oh Nate is last minute. Oh he's not a wrestler. Nate is blah blah blah blase. 
Cerrone and Pettis both stepped up but if they fought Conor people would say they're both strikers and not wrestlers which is the untested part of Conor's game. And they just fought recently. So if/when Conor beat them people would blame that. 

It's hilarious to watch naysayers do what naysayers do no matter the topic. The justification machine is on full-throttle for Conor McGregor and the spectacle of the rationalization hamster wheel must be melting the metal or the plastic of whatever it's made of currently. 
Typical McGregor hater busy on his facebook newsfeed commenting away

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Episode 4 RePosted - Mea Culpa

Uploaded the wrong sound file. My fault people. I thought I double checked the audio before posting but clearly did not. Will fix tonight.
My apologies.

Click HERE for Episode 4. 
My aversion to technology remains strong, but I'm working on it through trial and considerable error. 

McGregor Puts $ Where Mouth Is: Fighting Nate Dizzle @ 170.

Let that soak in to your brain. Dude skips a weight class entirely. 

"If you must fail, do so while daring greatly."

Monday, February 22, 2016

5 Reasons I loved Kimbo VS Dada 5000

1. Claims of "baby nuts." 

2. Kimbo Doing so little from mount he was stood up while in mount. 

3. One guy fought until he almost died.

4. Kimbo is the contemporary American Jay Gatsby dream of borderline false celebrity: he is the Kim Kardashian of MMA. 

5. Dada is an even bigger success story: he rode Kimbo's coat tails to a Netflix documentary and a Bellator co-main event. The guy got more notoriety and got more peripheral exposure for every dude on that card ever had access to previously on any "legit" MMA card. I haven't sat down to watch an Emmanuel Newton fight ever. I saw one last weekend. 

We were in on the boondoggle/bamboozle. We were willing participants. We/You all tuned in and were active participants in the spectacle. Now it's all "for shame" and belaboring all the things that didn't stop you from tuning in at the critical moment of decision. Spare me. It was no less enthralling than OJ in a white bronco or Brittney Spears self-immolating her reputation with increasingly bizarre behavior. 
I notice everyone is now an arbiter of fine taste after the fact. Soak it in. Admit your guilty pleasure. It kept the one true Cardinal rule of entertainment: it wasn't boring. 

Podcast Episode 4 Preview (Full Episode Posted Tuesday by Midnight)

Podcast Episode 4: The Lame Awakens, Steroid-Spider-Silva Sycophants, & System Justification will be up and posted by midnight tomorrow.

We'll be dissecting the common thread within Star Wars fanboy nerd-dom, Anderson Silva apologists, and how cognitive bias, system justification, file-drawer effect, and narrative construction all very deeply yet very subtly influence our interactions with and perception of reality. 

UFC Fight Night 83: Bad Beats & Favorites Doing What Favorites Do

The Brazilian Cowboy tapped about as fast as humanly possibly. I've always felt Cerrone's submission game is underrated, but that was the least deep looking triangle I've seen in MMA in quite awhile.
Was the fix on? Both sure did manage to not really punch one another in the face much and get paid (ala another high profile fight this weekend). I wouldn't put it past Ken Shamrock to bet against himself and make some money on the side. Especially since I don't think anyone on heart had Royce winning by strikes/TKO in the first round.

Back to the matter at hand, Oliveira loses a fight no one expected him to win, Cerrone makes money, Oliveira gets to be a main event on his birthday.....I dunno, maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist. Maybe a broken clock is right twice a day.

Riggs looked even worse than even I expected and got finished.
Tanquinho took a fight against a guy he had no business fighting on short notice and perhaps not at all. Tanquinho's stand-up/pulling away and straightening up his posture as he does so is a major/fundamental flaw in his game and will get him KTFO at this level of competition.

Roan Carneiro....looked okay until he swung and missed/fell down against the cage and opted to just cover up.....and cover up....and wait?

I over-estimated Roan's win over the soon-to-be-retired-at-that-time Munoz and underestimate Brunson's strong record which speaks for itself (only guy he's lost to in his last 4 fights is now-steroid-suspended Yoel Romero).
Overall, I went 5-2 with my picks, with Garbrandt and Brunson being my only spoilsports for the night.
I had Cerrone subbing Oliveira, Bermudez decision-ing Kawajiri, Krause taking Campbell to a decision, and Bamgbose stopping Sarafian as well.

Up next on the MMA horizon we have  Bellator card Friday with Galvao rematching Dantas (should be a good fight), Kongo facing someone, the Caveman Rickels fighting, and Kendall Grove back in action.
Should be a solid card all around for a Friday night on cable TV.
Saturday, I'll be competing at an invitational grappling event out of town and will miss the UFC Fight Pass Bisping vs Silva card, but would actually consider signing up for FightPass now as I've made it to the age of 33 and never paid for a monthly streaming service and the FightPass will now be streaming the Eddie Bravo Invitational.

Damn you Dana Whiiiiiiiiite! You finally have what I waaaaaant! If only They had Copa Podio I would already be signed up. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bellator Freakshow Backlash: Expected Yet Blase

Your facebook newsfeed is probably like mine/full of Bellator backlash. The armchair quarterbacks are full of comments ridiculing fights they freely chose to tune in to watch and had all kinds of expectations of being terrible then now bask in the revelry of leveling backlash and blah blah whatever. 
News alert: you tune into see a car wreck, it may not unfold exactly as you'd like nor expect. If you tuned in to watch Akebono vs Royce or Matt Hughes vs Renzo, you knew what you're tuning in to see and to complain after the should fall on deaf ears. 
It feels largely disingenuous to hear complaining about any possible way it turned out after freely tuning in to watch Kimbo vs Dada or two 50 year old men fight no matter who they are or what they once did. It was many things: spectacle, freakshow, nostalgia, awkward....many adjectives apply. 
Complaining about it post hoc after tuning in to watch it, however, reminds me of the Hunter S. Thompson quote: "buy the ticket, take the ride."
Perhaps, it's like going to the circus and being mad you had to watch clowns? I loved the event, enjoyed the whole of it. I'm unsurprised by the backlash but that makes it no less eye-roll-inducing. 

UFC Battle Lines Hype Video: Bisping Unimpressed by Silva's Victim Card

As it draws closer, and I consider some of the extraneous stuff, I'm kinda excited about Bisping vs Silva. Initially I could have cared less, fading Silva faces a guy who's complained about facing cheaters? That being said, my stance has softened. With some many fresh faces in the UFC, it's good to see old story lines resolve and narratives with back story. I'm coming to terms with the imperfect realities of fighters at the tail end of their career and above all that I like Bisping taking Anderson Silva to task for his steroid suspension.

If you go two miles in the forest, you have to go two miles to come out.
I think as you achieve notoriety, you bask in that glory, and to blow it by testing positive, well, you deserve that backlash. He was a hero to a lot of people for a long time, and to play the victim card now comes across very disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst.

It's also interesting to see Ed Soares play the good guy with some nice editing of him with Anderson's kids. Mix in Anderson acting confused like Job when God struck him down with a positive steroid test "why has this happened to me?"
I rolled my eyes quite a few times during this very selectively edited piece and the complete ignoring of his "bout" with Nick Diaz (a terrible fight by both guys who would go on to failed for banned substances.

I also see the common hype version of hinting why now things will be different when you overlook the reality that Anderson hasn't won a fight in nearly 3 years. It's a decent job looking to un-villify Anderson after his fall from grace for failing for multiple banned substances.

I appreciate Bisping's unapologetically brash and honest approach. Honestly, I'd be *&^%ing salty having faced what could easily be perceived as a ton of cheaters in a sport where your career and physical health is on the line every time in the cage and in training camp.

You can watch the special below, but if your eyes are weary from rolling into the back of your head afterward, don't say I didn't warn you. I'll be tuned in next Saturday to watch after I compete (*knock on wood*) at an invitational Jiu-Jitsu event here in North Carolina.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Benson Henderson Debut April 22nd

Rafa vs Quexinho: Pressure Passing

I'm actually a bigger fan of Gui than Rafa. Rafa, with his rivalry with Cobrinha and Augusto "Tanquinho" Mendes, (whose UFC debut is this Sunday evening against the much heavily hyped Cody Garbrandt) has better FOILs in his division and certainly I feel like gets more press/hype/credit/notoriety of the two brothers, but more of my passing game and 110% of my brabo/lapel feed/baseball bat choke top game I reverse engineered by watching every single match of Gui Mendes available on the internets.

At any rate, in the absense of Gui's competition life/his retirement, I do watch more Rafa Mendes than before and I do still like his pressure passing style. He leg drags more than I do but his consistent pressure that clearly wears down the resistance or even ability to resist of his opponents is a thing of beauty to watch. Quexinho is no slouch but he just wilts under Rafa's relentless forward pressure with a few direction changes. Rafa is not a torreando swarm-er like Leandro Lo (who with his long frame and arms and torrid pace uses the constant underhook searching and leg dragging torreando passing attempts to grind down even guys like Langhi or Sousa), but rather Rafa is more like 70% pressure with 30% direction change. Rafa when he does change directions appears lightning fast, and his spin to the back and other transitions just look like finesse and speed and precision, but it looks like there's a clear preference for pressure and once he forces the commitment of the defense only past a certain degree/point in time/space will he then change direction.
I like this aspect of his passing the most in that it most directly correlates to my passing style. I feel safter in a sense, with the pressure on the guy, preventing him from getting back to his feet or from regaining hooks/guards of various kinds. At any rate, enjoy:

Gambling Picks for Sunday's UFC Fight Night 83: Cowboy vs Cowboy

Waxed poetic about them earlier this week, and took a bit more time to think about my picks.
Cowboy vs Cowboy - people forget Cerrone has a super slick ground game and transitions well. I think he if he gets into a firefight with the bigger-framed Brazilian Cowboy it'll be a short night for him. I think if he comes out and finds a transition to the back he'll end the Brazilian's night early.

Brunson vs Carneiro - Brunson has never lost by submission and Carneiro's vast majority of wins are by submission. Brunson is a physical specimen and despite some danger flags, I'm going with Carneiro as he's looked great coming back into the UFC after an extended period fighting elsewhere. Brunson is dangerous to be sure but has not brilliant components to his game and I expect Carneiro to find a transition to a position where he RNC's Brunson.

Garbrandt vs Mendes - Garbrandt is like a slightly less hyped version of Sage Norcutt or however you spell his name, but Garbrandt totally underwhelmed me way more in his UFC debut. Garbrandt has bested Brimage  (1-4 in his last 5 fights at this point) and a ploddingly pedestrian point fighting stand-up fest against a guy who's beaten no one you've ever heard of nor could recall. I'm concerned about Mendes getting Garbrandt to the mat as Mendes hasn't faced any top flight guys yet in his short professional MMA career and Garbrandt is willing to look cool (or so he thinks) and win a plodding kickboxing 3 round bout as I've seen in one of his other fights despite all the hype train attention he's been getting as a possible next big thing. I think if he comes out trying to put Mendes away with a sense of urgency he'll make a mistake and get submitted. 

Dennis "I'm coming off of two stoppage losses to two top guys" Bermudez vs Tetsuya "I'll literally sit in your guard and hammerfist my way to a boring-ass decision" Kawajiri....I think Bermudez wins this one in a fight Kawajiri repeatedly tries to drag to the mat with the clinch and Bermudez not letting him.

Chris "yes, I fought Jacare twice and got paid" Cammozi vs Joe "yeah, remember when Nick Diaz and I fought in the hospital after our UFC bout" Riggs - loser leaves town match. Riggs has basically not won in the UFC other than a win via DQ and Camozzi has picked up wins when not facing the Jacare's of the division which Riggs certainly by no stretch of the imagination is. 

Shane Cambell loses to Krause via technical stand-up beating but with Krause's height at this weight class I could see him getting a late triangle to armbar finish in the 3rd round also.

Sarafian vs Scary non-American named fighter - Sarafian is too hittable at times for me to think he doesn't get clipped on the feet early and put away by the dangerous no-namer.

For whatever reason, my spider-sense is suggesting a night of submissions.....perhaps something is in the air? Well, we'll see Sunday night.
I'll be working Saturday night downtown, then Judo and the Hip-Hop Chess Federation Open Mat Sunday then relaxing/watching the fights Sunday evening.
Pretty excited.

Talk to Your Kids About Leg Locks

I laughed.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

UFC 196 Extended Preview: McGregor vs Dos Anjos

It's no secret if you follow my blog that I'm a McGregor fan. Moreso, I'm a fan of guys who seek and achieve excellence and display both the mindset and the goals and success that represent excellence.

McGregor has finished all but one of his opponents (Holloway is the lone survivor) and he did to Jose Aldo in 11 seconds what Aldo had done to so many others.

I'm a fan of those who buck the conventional wisdom. McGregor's goal of dual weight class domination would put him in a category of those with belts in multiple weight classes or repeat champions (Belfort, Couture, et cetera).

I'm also a fan of watching the rationalization monster at work.
Preceding McGregor's fights the critics will say this or that as to why he'll lose then after winning they discount the guy he faced  (has never faced a wrestler/he's protected by the UFC) or training camp (Mendes didn't have time to adequately prepare) or the nature of the win (the fight with Aldo was "luck" or wasn't "a real fight").

- "If you must fail, do so while daring greatly."

This Coming Sunday February 21st: Open Mat Fundraiser in Durham, NC - Hip-Hop Chess Federation

The event is free so you have zero excuse to not ome out and support a great cause and help raise money for the Hip-Hop Chess Federation as it utilizes Chess, Hip-Hop, & Jiu-Jitsu to support a cause to better our society and future generations. I taught high school in Durham for 8 years and can say that the help will go a long way. Come, take pictures, roll, watch, talk, et cetera.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Assorted Naysayers Chiming in on Royce vs Ken (I'm Excited)

As we draw closer to this weekend's irrelevant Royce vs Ken Thrillogy, I've been coming across more and more negativity from the Internet MMA pundits posing as reporters behind keyboards.  
I have a couple points in response: 
1) the two guys started when the sport had no rules and was unsanctioned and the referee couldn't even actually stop the fight (Big John had to convince them that at times fighters were unable to tap/capitulate and corners wouldn't throw in the towel (fun fact in UFC history: Technically, originally a fighter had to tap or his corner throw in the towel, a referee could not stop a fight for any other reason).
2) watching Shogun (still going) and Liddell fight past their prime is/was every bit as hard to watch at times. 
3) Who am I to say two consenting adult males can't fight in a cage in a probably shouldn't but is in fact sanctioned cage match? 
4) like it or not, the market/viewers decide what's relevant. 

Perhaps my tiny Grinch heart is growing with the flow of nostalgia, perhaps it's my soft spot for two dudes who really don't like one another...perhaps it's the air of unsettled business as the last fight ended in a draw...perhaps it simply is what it is and if 18 year olds can choose to fight professionally so can 50 year olds, so long as viewers tune in. I've seen more poorly matched amateurs thrown to the wolves in various spectacles in different states, how different is this? We only care because of selfish reasons for how we want to remember someone or something, not really out of preservation for the combatant(s), I suspect. 

I'll be tuned in with popcorn or cake or coffee or whatever is at hand Friday night. 

We tune in to see brutality. We tune in to see the visceral reality of fighting with far less rules than boxing or Muay Thai. We tune in because the spectacle is part of the alchemy of what makes it exciting. 
How do I feel when people negative nancy the spectacle element? 
Like this: 

Podcast Episode 3 - Dunning-Kruger Effect, Conor McGregor's Figurative 4 Minute Mile, & Humans as Rationalizing Animals

Click HERE to for some aural stimulation as my voice connects your mind to the matrix that is my semi-related topics of interest representing something like a common thread of content.

This week we delve into why you overestimate your abilities in areas which you admittedly lack background, Conor McGregor Challenging Weight Classes and Conventional Wisdom, and Humans as Rationalizing Animals.

Listen. Think for yourself.

JiuJitsu in MMA Alert: Augusto Mendes Late Replacement for Sunday

After getting a UFC deal on short notice then getting hurt week of, Mendes will try again this weekend to make his UFC debut. Mendes ended his professional JiuJitsu career by beating Cobrinha and Rafa Mendes on the same day, arguable the toughest featherweight division of all time and has since full fledged devoted his time to MMA

Monday, February 15, 2016

MMA Weekend Bonanza: Bellator Brings Royce & Ken, UFC Brings Cowboy, Carneiro et al.

Royce faces off in the contemporary MMA version of patriarchs in the Irish traveller Knuckle documentary settling an age old grudgematch from before a lot of modern fans even knew there was a feud. It's an interesting play by Bellator. I'm curious as to what the ratings will be. Tito and Bonnar both had more recent screen time and recognition with fans, and I know this sounds bonkers, but Royce and Ken are actually kind of from before a lot of contemporary fans even followed the sport. I'm doubly curious as to the kind of ratings Bellator has to pull to make this worth their while as I'm sure Royce wasn't cheap but I bet Ken kinda was because based on some of the money schemes I've seen him in, it looks like he needs the cash.

Royce finished Ken the first time around in less than a couple minutes and they fought to a draw the second time around. 

Kimbo faces a guy from his childhood neighborhood who has cleverly segued a documentary entitled "Dawg Fight" into being part of a co-main event alongside two of the most recognizable names in MMA history from back in the human cockfighting days. I could talk a bunch of trash and make fun of it, but honestly it's kind of amazing. He's got better self-promotion than I possess the ability to fathom. 

Emmanuel Netwon faces Linton Vassell and Melvin Guillard faces a guy he'll probably knock out. 

WSOF has some fights on NBCSN at 9pm Saturday night in the event you'd rather watch professional cagefighting than stand around looking at your iPhone while girls are nearby at a bar you go to pretty much every weekend full of people you for the most part don't care to meet anyway.

As for the UFC, Sunday night Cerrone makes a quick turnaround to make some cash and shake off the disappointment of losing in less than a couple minutes after finally fighting his way to a title shot.
The rest of the card is actually pretty badass IMHO. It's certainly got more fights that pique my curiosity than the last PPV that became free Fox TV after losing it's main event.

Derek Brunson faces Roan Carneiro who I'm seeing as a dark horse to make his way to a title shot sooner rather than later. Brunson is hard to bet against as he's only lost to Jacare, Yoel Romero and a split decision back before coming to the UFC.
That being said, I just like how Carneiro has looked as I caught some of his fights before coming back into the UFC, but Munoz wasn't on his A game as he faded out of the UFC so I may be overhyping Carneiro based off of that win. I'm going to go out on a limb and probably bet some cash on Carneiro in the upset for this one but I haven't looked at the betting lines just yet.

Dennis Burmudez faces Kawajiri and both guys plod their way up into title shot contention. If Kawajiri wins it will not be super exciting as his last two fights haven't been anything to write home to Japan about. Bermudez has the pop in his fists to make it a short night but is coming off of two stoppage losses: guillotine and TKO.

Camozzi I haven't seen fight since facing Jacare for a second time and getting tapped out a second time (not that you can fault him for that) and Joe Riggs looks to collect a paycheck the hard way as a prizefighter. I didn't even know Shane Campbell was still fighting or that James Krause was still in the UFC. All in all though, I have no problem spending my Sunday evening watching these fights.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Podcast Episode 3 Coming Soon (Tuesday Night @ Midnight)

This week we'll continue nerding out with dissecting the Dunning-Kruger effect, Conor McGregor Jumping Common Sense & Weight Classes, & Humans as the Rationalizing Animal.

We shall examine the psychology behind why Judo players think takedowns in Jiu-Jitsu must be simple and Jiu-Jitsu players think they could just submit everyone in a Judo division once it hits the ground.

We'll also examine the fallacy of denigrating physicality in Jiu-Jitsu and why belief in technique at the expense of justifying not weight training/cardio is often a subtle rationalization for avoiding weight training and other necessary elements to your overall training regimen regardless of Jiu-Jitsu as fighting or as sport.

Hint: if you're training Jiu-Jitsu as self-defense and don't weight train, you're conveniently avoiding the responsibility of being strong enough to deal with an attacker you readily admit/assume will be bigger, stronger, and attack without provocation.
Hint: if you're training Jiu-Jitsu as sport and don't weight train, you're conveniently avoiding the reality of athletic competition with time limits, number of matches, and predictable and forewarned athletically defined requirements.

The greatness and the folly of the human animal is our ability to hold and genuinely believe two contradictory ideas at the same time.
As humans, we'd love to find a silver bullet. One truth. One story. One explanation. It's our responsibility to find solutions not fashion excuses (or subtle rationalizations and justifications).

"But to think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call 'human nature,' the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct...In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort."
     - Atlas Shrugged 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

BJJ Heroes Analyzes Toquinho vs Garry Tonon

Saw this linked @ Bjj News. 

First I'll be negative nancy and say that I'm honestly-at best-perhaps-kinda willing to get quasi-partially excited/half certain Toquinho won't flake out and back out. I recall he was supposed to face Dean Lister at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo but pulled out because "He has a shoulder injury and is a little overweight, but the main because of the injury."
When your excuse sounds that pitiful, even secondhand...I mean, the original vision must have been even less palatable believable.

That being said Garry is considerable smaller so Toquinho may actually show up. Incidentally, when I visited Renzo Gracie Academy in NYC (right near the garment district and some other bizarre fashion wholesalers, I got to see Garry Tonon and Eddie Cummings the day that was Eddie's last real training before defending his EBI title. Cool to see a solid group of guys wrestling and fighting for all kinds of leg locks. On that note, that day, this guy probably my weight but like maybe 5'1 and built like a small version of Toquinho ankle locked me probably 10 times in 5-7 minutes of rolling. No idea who he was or what rank but the dude ate my lunch via my feet. . Felt like my ankle was in an industrial strength vice. Danaher taught class and my JiuJitsu nerd heart almost exploded.

As for my personal thoughts on the match. I'm curious as to what weight they're meeting at. As for fighting for top position, Garry has diligently worked his wrestling as evidenced at least by videos of him training at Renzo's and wrestling with the likes of AJ Agazarm and other notables who come through. The day I saw them training they weren't going like it was the World Championships on the feet, but Garry certainly looks comfortable combining his wrestling with his Jiu-Jitsu. Palhares (from his ADCC matches) seems comfortable grabbing your leg or foot from virtually wherever it's hanging out and sitting into the submission.

I'm not going to provide much analysis because the leg lock came is a big deficiency in my game and something I'm addressing by making time to roll NoGi at least once a week and force myself to go for more foot locks when rolling with purple belts and up. I'm going to resist the Dunning-Kruger Effect and the desire to overestimate my understanding of leg locks and conjecture up some cool sounding analysis because my foot lock ability level is frankly probably a blue belt at best. I can dive on a rolling toe hold and hunt for a straight ankle lock but that's about it. Read the BJJ Heroes analysis and go forth with ankles crosses and fingers crossed in hopes the match takes place.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Podcast Episode 2: Bobby Fischer, Polgar Chess Family, Butthurt, and the Myth of Natural Talent

Episode 2 - Click HERE

Podcast Episode 2 posted by midnight tonight

This week's podcast includes Bobby Fischer, the Polgar sisters of Chess, the irony of guard-pulling internet vitriol, and some additional Jiu-Jitsu butthurt which I'll mention. Scant discussion of the UFC 196 that became a UFC on FOX and Wonderboy hosting Johnny Hendricks retirement party this past weekend. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

UFC 196 Gambling Fallout & Upcoming Cash Bets

Well, I won cash betting on Wonderboy. Hendricks looked even worse than I expected. I figured Wonderboy would do to Hendricks what he did to Ellenberger, but figured Hendricks would put up more of a fight. Hendricks looked faded and shopworn after the first exchange and a couple crosses he took. Thompson landed a push/front kick that didn't even look like much and it was like you could see Hendricks' sails just deflate and he folded when Thompson swarmed.

Nelson pulled out a "win" if you can call it that. The highlights might convince someone who didn't watch the event it was a fight, but it was mostly plodding with some 2-3 punch combinations sparingly mixed in. Scoggins completely befuddled Borg who seemed to fall apart gameplan wise after the first round. Borg had no idea how to approach or cut off the ring or what to do at all against Scoggins. Scoggins was worrisome in that he CLEARLY coasted in parts of the fight and that kind of behavior will get him KTFO'd or submitted against guys further up the food chain. Makovsky showed not so much that he isn't good bantamweight material, but that Benavidez still has the chops to gatekeep a division he simply will not win until Demetrious Johnson moves out, dies, retires, or starts eating like Johnny Hendricks does between fights.

I have no desire to see Benavidez fight for the strap a third time when his most recent title bid was even less compelling than the first. Benavidez finds himself in Chad Mendes territory in that Mendes lost twice to Aldo, and has lost to McGregor by stoppage (short notice taking the fight notwithstanding). Benavidez will probably beat anyone else in the division but no one other than his mom is clamoring for a third title fight with Mighty Mouse.

That Circunov guy? Jesus. Looking forward to seeing him blast some guys a bit reminiscent of the hulking Houston Alexander but with more patience, a more well-rounded game, but the same bonkers power, size, and athleticism. It wasn't a bad night of fights for free TV, but that card for a PPV even with Fabricio vs Cain II was very much pushing it in terms of asking fans to buy a sub par product.


On to the upcoming betting lines. I like the line on Bisping vs Anderson. Anderson hasn't won a fight in nearly 3 years, October 2012 being the last time he actually won a fight, didn't break a leg, didn't get KTFO, and didn't fail a drug test for banned substances. How the mighty have fallen.....
Bisping has lost to guys with better wrestling mixed in with their striking, ala Rockhold, Kennedy et cetera. I think Anderson is also in Hendricks territory: "A king has his reign, then he dies." It is the natural order of things. I also like the line on Brad Pickett vs Francisco Rivera. Rivera has some losses to guys with styles suspiciously like Pickett: strong wrestling mixed in with competent stand-up skills (Lineker, Faber, and Mizugaki). I think it's a tight fight and Rivera did impress me in that fight with Urijah Faber, but I think Pickett's overall skillset and experience edges Rivera out in this one.

Pickett and Bisping are two the most live betting underdogs I see listed over the course of the next few events.
I'm curious to see Miocic face Werdum. I hate betting on HW fights, but I like Werdum's skillset. He's dangerous AF on the ground, has that tall frame and can use the Muay Thai clinch with knees up the middle because he doesn't fear getting taken down like most heavyweights. I'll wait to see what the line is on that fight, and I'm especially curious to see how the oddsmakers peg the younger Miocic against the aging champ Werdum. Werdum I think has a few wins left in him before he retires.

Jon Jones vs DC is another upcoming ? for me in some regards. I think Jon Jones even with his personal life what sounds like a trainwreck beat DC over the course of 5 rounds. That was DC's first time fighting a 5 round fight and rounds 4 and 5 were what got him. I thought he worked Jon Jones in the tie-up with his head positioning until he faded in the so called Championship rounds. It's an intriguing bet and another one that I'm curious to see what the betting lines look like when they're announced.