Friday, August 18, 2017

Guys! Polaris 5 Takes Place This Weekend!!

Some very cool matches on this card: Tonon and Danis rematch in an effort to settle the war of words and insults. Pickett makes his transition to pro grappling after a storied MMA career. Perennial lightning rod Agazarm has a match. TriStar/Renzo Gracie up and comer Olivet Taza sees action, Jake Shields also continues his competitive grappling work in addition to continuing his MMA career elsewhere. The legends portion of the appeal features Shaolin taking on Uno. Solid card and appeal from top to bottom.

Watching the prologue I heard Danis calling the DDS guys one trick ponies but if you've been the the blue basement/lab where they do work and train, or take class you'll know that's not true. The Squad guy are all ferociously talented in multiple areas apiece. I say that knowing and having felt it firsthand. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bader Defends Title/Bellator Cont. Wrestling MMA Prospect Push

Part of my appreciation for Bellator's rise to MMA Prominence is its multi-pronged approach to building their brand: 
freak show casual fan friendly match-ups
Faded UFC stars and legends
Solid B level fighters (and now A level poaches from the UFC)
Wrestling prospects 
Enough Int'l flare to keep it feeling global 
It comprises a compelling stew appeal when stirred into a few events. The PPV they did was amazing as was the preceding Cable TV card. I'm undecided if their several month hiatuses which occur are good for avoiding audience fatigue or damage their relevance overall, but currently they're doing so much right, I can't complain at all. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MacGregor Less Underdog than 5 Pro Boxers

Absolut Championship Berkut Announces Next Two NoGi Grand Prix Events

Absolut Championship Berket has announced its next two Grand Prixs

Frank Mir's Hall of Fame/UFC Resume

I've given Frank Mir a hard time in various points in his career. I'm not crazy about him as a commentator and in the age of the super HW behemoths, he suffered some brutal stoppage losses. What's lost in the mix is that in an age of brain damage inducing HW fights, Mir has a number of submission-related records during his incredibly lengthy tenure and he came back from snapping his femur in a motorcycle accident which tend to forget. Anyway, I'd never fault a man for making money the best way he knows how, and I hope to see him get a few more submissions against lower tier HW's. In an age of strikers or wrestlers, Frank Mir was the lone submission artist before Minotauro came to town but even he is more of a boxer/grappler than pure grappler. 

My hat off to his incredible UFC career and I hope he gets some more feathers in his cap over in Bellator.

Copa Podio MW Grand Prix Results

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bellator Continues Buying UFC Scraps with Viacom $$

If ain't broke, don't fix it. Bellator has cobbled together a brilliant hodge podge of faded UFC stars and former champs, disgruntled title contenders, and it's own legit talent. Full speed ahead!

Combat JiuJitsu World XShips Anncd. For Nov 12th

Because if you do it first and say it is, I guess it is the Worlds for this format. Good on 'em. I will say, it's a reputable roster of name recognition. Glad to see an interesting list of names on there. I still stand by my thoughts that I think slaps make the job a bit easier for a guy looking for submission opportunities as those strike attempts make a guy tempted to stick his hand in the cookie jar. 5 mma fights to my credit, I've never really cared about some slaps and the like as having trained and fought outnof bad positions and strikes and being flattened out et cetera. I'm glad if it does nothing else other than lure in some name grapplers with mma backgrounds who might not otherwise toss their hat in the mix:

Heather Hardy Returns at Bellator 185

How do I put this.....watching her struggle to put away a fighter with no wrestling or takedown attempts other than walking forward and grabbing....was hardly a splash for a Pro debut. That being said, she didn't get Aaron Pico'd, so I guess there's that. Watching her struggle to finish a very hittable fighter who was right in front of her didn't say much for her striking prowess or stopping power. It's going to be hard to find enough cans to bring her along slowly as her last opponent was about as  non-dangerous as could be. Fortunately, Bellator is short on legitimate female talent and she'll protected for some time to come, but I think she'll get taken down and finishes sometime in the next couple fights against an opponent with a half decent level change or enough cage generalship to clinch her against the cage and drag her down. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

UFC Fight Night 117 JAPAN Reveal

Well, it's got Rua in a rematch no one really asked for, and Gokhan Saki's UFC debut. Saki based on the current crop of LHW's will probably do fine given what I absolutely assume he's lacking a ground game and wrestling. Ishihara, Sasaki, and  Nakamura are there to round of Japanenae fanbase interest. Otherwise, it's got filler overall but who knows? That Mexico City card delivered a night of stoppages. 

Paulie Malignaggi Got What He Wanted

In retrospect, we all saw his coming. The dude talked himself into headlines before even coming in as a sparring partner and it kinda blew up Mayweather and Mac did: it was publicity that gained traction, and Malignaggi has always stoked the flames of any press he got, efen before this brouhaha. 
Malignaggi gets more spotlight than he ever did as a pro fighter, and dare I say it is more of a household name than he ever would've been otherwise. 

I'm fairly certain the management teams have corrected the PR minds to cobble together a string of reveals to stoke the flames of interest leading up to the PPV. Malignaggi was just another element 59 keep the hype train rolling after the flames of the press conferences died down. I'm sure there'll be another reveal next week sometime, a last minute pitch for PPV dollars to casual fans. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Best Description So Far of the Mayweather/McGregor Fight Thus Far

This. Read it and read it again. All these boxing purists boohooing this fight are hopelessly hypocritical. Go back and watch the first 15-20 guys in their pro career and add up their win-loss totals. It's a bunch of borderline lambs led to the slaughter to bring along the guy with the amateur pedigree and the promotional team and the real chance at making it long term. 
Lomachenko is a rare exception to this rule, and he picked up a Loss as a result taking on a veteran who was more than he was ready for at the early stage of his pro career. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Reebok Pays $100K for 4+ hrs of prime time cable airtime

I hope in a decade we look back on the Reebok deal as something like the war on drugs: a noble effort but proof that what sounds like a good idea in practice often simply not not deliver as promised 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

UFC's Welterweight Division is....Anemic

I didn't realize until I pulled it up: Woodley took the belt from Lawler, beat Maia, Certone just lost, I would rather gouge out my eyes with a spoon than see a third Thompson fight, Masvidal lost to Maia, and what Neil Magny? Colby Covington? Interestingly Ponzinnibion with his stoppage wins on his resume is actually looking pretty good, as Gunnar dropped a stoppage loss to him and Carlos Condit already lost to Woodley via injury but whatever. 

Ouch. Dos Anjos interestingly enough could save the division from snoozer Woodley who now 3 fights in a row has fought on the back foot and no way does RDA let Woodley walk around the cage without outworking him and stalking him down and potentially forcing him to actually do some fighting for more than a round and a half in 5. 

UFC Mexico City Card this weekend:

Despite the lack of big name players, I expect given the location and the dearth of smaller weight class guys a good night of fights. Sam Alvey, Jouban, Rashad Evans, Rani Yahya, and Sergio Pettis facing Brandon Moreno make for a solid outing for a Canle TV card. On one hand I want to complain about the card, but I have been perhaps exceedingly critics of the UFC as of late: despite the absence of McGregor from its cards and Bisping's extended hiatus, overall, the handover to the new ownership has given us some Interim belts which I never thought I'd like but it finally basically makes a number one contender type of queue which was my biggest knock on the UFC for the past several years. The whole so and so is fighting for the title shot was like telling someone the check was in the mail. 

At any rate, if we want guys lined up for the Demetrious Johnson or the Cody Garbrandt, or the whoever, we have to spend some time sorting out the mid tier guys and give them the exposure that can lead to exciting title fights. I for one have allowed obsessing over name recognition to blind me to that truth of combat sports. Part of the fun is and long term fandom is following a guy who comes into the UFC relatively unknown then ascends the throne. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Eddie Bravo Talks EBI 12 Female Flyweights, Gi BJJ as a Spectator Sport et al

Having fallen asleep during the last 5 Grappling Lightweight Bracket, I can't say I disagree. Some of those match-ups felt less intense than two blue belts rolling for bragging rights in the gym at open mat. ACB with its recent -60/-65kg bracket did have some great match-ups and matches, but I found myself skipping through some 5 min rounds of open-guard and death grips on Gi pants and lapels.

Gi competitors who cry about not making money but spend 5 minutes with a guy tied up in your lapel, I dunno man, is there a middle ground? More and more, I find myself spending passing right on over protracted guard battles with guys spending more time needing to shut down their passing b/c of a lapel feed or likewise grips.

Anyhow, have a listen. Enjoy. Ponder. Consider.

Legends Tour: Sakuraba to face Dan Henderson Oct. 15th

Aside from facing guys in what amounted to open weight division times, Saku was and is truly a crafty submission hunting grappler. His non sequitur approach and mix of obscure and less traditional (in the JiuJitsu sense) always made him a. Last to watch. His highlight reels are full of transitions and kimuras and leg locks and pro wrestling meets legit grappling chops. Amazing. He'll always be a legend.