New Year is a special time for MMA. It’s the time of year for big name fights and marquee events. It’s also the time of year that best singles out and identifies the MMA fans within a group of friends. When others are planning nights out, organising house parties or clamouring for club tickets, MMA fans are solicitously checking event times, plotting groggy, sleepless nights in front of computer screens, and calculating time differences between their homes and Japan. I remember watching my first New Year’s MMA event, I remember my most disappointing one, and I remember the most important to me in my time as a fan of this sport. I remember MMA at New Year.
Everyone is talking about the earth shattering, Godzilla/Mothra-esque encounter between Dan Henderson and "Shogun" Rua from UFC 139 (I haven't checked, but I think Tokyo was destroyed). From the fight itself, to the judging, to a rematch, and just about everything in between. However, one thing I haven't seen any mention of, despite their being discussion about what a hellacious beating both fighters took, is the physiological toll particularly on the Brazilian. I think Dan Chiappetta wrote about how he doesn't want to see a rematch, and listed the particularly savage nature of the fight as one of the reasons, however he's missing a deeper point.
This past Saturday featured two Fight of the Year contenders, and was possibly the greatest single night in the history of MMA as far as action goes. While it ended up being overshadowed by the classic Dan Henderson/Mauricio Rua bout, Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez put on their own classic encounter for the Bellator Lightweight Title at Bellator 58. With a new champion in place, and Alvarez’s spot in Bellator now potentially in peril due to Zuffa snatching up as many fighters as they can, this may create a void in this organization’s 155lb division. One man who hopes to fill that void is Dave Jansen. The WEC veteran may have punched his entry ticket to Bellator’s next Lightweight Tournament with a 2nd Round Rear-Naked Choke victory over Ashkan Morvari at Bellator 57. I had the pleasure of chatting with Dave following that fight, and we discussed a myriad of topics, including: some recent changes to his training, how he matches up with both new champion Chandler and former champ Alvarez, and his history in both MMA and Wrestling. Keep reading for some excellent insight, and a very open interview with Dave.
This past week, FightLockdown was lucky enough to speak with UFC Lightweight Mark Bocek. The fighter discussed some of his roots in the sport, as well as his upcoming fight with Nik Lentz, his time spent at a new camp in preparation for that fight, and some general MMA talk. Check out the full interview after the jump.
Nobody should welcome conspiracy theories. They’re often farfetched, generally implausible and, almost, invariably driven by a hidden agenda. But cast your doubts aside for the next six hundred words or so and hear this one out, because there has to be some reason why no judge awarded Shogun Rua a 10-8 score in the fifth round of his fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 139 – it might as well be a farfetched one. After losing the first three rounds to Henderson last Saturday, Shogun showed an almost inhuman amount of heart and fortitude to come back to take the fourth round clearly and the fifth round by total domination. It’s rare that the statistics tell the whole tale of a round, but in this case the numbers really do speak for themselves.
Up to this point the UFC has experienced three watershed moments when it comes to moving towards the mainstream consciousness: The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, the rematch between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz at UFC 66 which first broke the million PPV buy barrier, and then pretty much anything involving Brock Lesnar, culminating in UFC 100. On Saturday night, the MMA community hopes to add another event to that list with the UFC's debut on network television, featuring what has the makings of an epic title clash between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. The crew at FightLockdown wouldn't dare leave you in the lurch on such a momentous occasion, so David Anthony, Chris Bailey and Brad Taschuk have the breakdown of what to expect tomorrow night.
Do you want to see Nick Diaz as UFC Welterweight Champion? Well, you definitely should. Stockton’s angriest man reclaimed his UFC title shot last Saturday at UFC 137, with an impressive decision win over B.J. Penn. Weathering an early storm from the former two-weight world champion, Diaz stepped up the pace in the second and third rounds, battering Penn for ten minutes to improve his MMA record to 26-7-1. It’s true that Nick Diaz has his detractors, but I want to see him as a UFC champion, we all should. Because Nick Diaz has something a lot of fighters are lacking, something Georges St Pierre is definitely lacking: Nick Diaz isn’t just interesting, he’s captivating.
Following several changes to its main event, UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz takes place this Saturday, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. And once again, we have three FightLockdown Forecasters here to give you our breakdowns. On today’s panel are Brad Taschuk, Chris Bailey and Jack Barrington. Check out our takes on UFC 137’s matchups, after the jump.
After a long hiatus, and with an impressive looking UFC card on the horizon, the FightLockdown Forecast is back. UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III takes place this Saturday, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, and the FightLockdown Forecasters are here to give you our breakdowns. On today’s panel we have Jack Barrington, Chris Bailey and Ryan Robertson. Check out our takes on UFC 136’s matchups, after the jump.
If this question sounds premature, that’s because it is: How does Daniel Cormier match up with the UFC heavyweight division? The answer, obviously, is that it’s too early to tell. Cormier was impressive in knocking out Antonio Silva last Saturday, but there are still unanswered questions about him, not to mention a very tough fight against Josh Barnett on the horizon. MMA is a sport of ifs and maybes, though, and discussing fights that may never happen is more fun than it should be--in the same way that watching two men fight in a cage is more fun than it should be. Simply put, the prospect of how the unexpected Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finalist matches up with the marquee names in the UFC is one too enticing to resist.