This weekend kick starts a huge run in MMA which will see 4 UFC events, 2 Strikeforce shows, 4 Bellator cards and 1 DREAM offering over the next month. That’s not even taking into account the numerous cards being put on by the likes of BAMMA, Shark Fights, Maximum Fighting Championships, and Titan Fighting Championships among others. To get you ready for this weekend's action we take a look at one of the most aggressive young fighters making a name for himself in MMA today.
When it comes to fights, a seasoned fan can often appreciate the subtle techniques in each aspect of MMA, and find interest in a bout which a more casual onlooker may see as downright boring. However, every once in a while there comes a fight that everyone can agree is thoroughly enjoyable, and often those fights would fall under the category of a “Sloppy Slugfest”. While some in the MMA community dismiss these fights due to their lack of technique, they are merely soulless pessimists and need to learn how to enjoy some brainless fun every once in a while.
This weekend will serve as the calm before the storm that is the fall slate of MMA we are soon to bear witness to. The next five weekends will all feature at least two cards that fall under either a Zuffa banner, or those of Bellator and DREAM. If that doesn’t make the MMA portion of your brain a little bit giddy, I recommend you see a specialist. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s just run down what’s going on this weekend, one always serving as the last remnant of Summer.
This week’s Bodega focuses on what is probably the third most publicised event of the weekend. Obviously the big event on everyone’s mind (for good reason) is the UFC making its return to Brazil. Pro Elite’s MMA return is the next event on the MMA totem pole. However, for those who like their MMA free and in high definition, the announcement that HDNet would be airing Shooto Brazil’s Fight For BOPE event came with some of the greatest joy of any MMA happening this weekend. Whether the partnership carries over to Shooto cards in Japan as well is still to be seen – and lobbied for by fans. But at least for this weekend the historic organization can be viewed live rather than scouring the web for videos weeks later.
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira is a fighter everybody loves. While opinion on how he will actually fare against Brendan Schaub at UFC 134 this Saturday is divided, fan support for “Big Nog” remains constant. There’s a reason for that. While most fighters are lucky to be involved in a fight worthy of defining their own career, Nogueira can lay claim to moments that define the sport itself--and not just the sport, but the best things about it. When struggles to victory like his wins over Bob Sapp and Tim Sylvia fall short, and smooth, domineering triumphs like his wins over Mark Coleman and Randy Couture don’t even get a look in, you know you have a special fighter. His defining moment is a special fight, too. It’s one of the greatest MMA fights of all time: his fight with Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic at Pride Final Conflict 2003.
Sometimes in MMA despite of the bests attempts of promotions, fighters and fans, the fights we really want to see just slip through the cracks. This series is to highlight those fights. To go back and see why we wanted them in the first place, how cool they would have been if they happened, and perhaps even pontificate on how they would have played out. There are many fights to choose from in this category, simply because I’m looking all the way back to the begins of MMA, so rather than choose something like a Fedor/Barnett, I’m going off the beaten path a bit here. One fight that would have been amazing, but never came to fruition, was Jens Pulver vs. Rumina Sato.
FightLockdown's Jamie Hughes takes us through his guide for cutting weight effectively. Having competed in MMA, BJJ and Muay Thai, Jamie knows how important effective weight cutting can be in the fight game, and shares his tips and tricks with you in this article, the first in what should prove to be an interesting series. ------------------ So you have a fight coming up, it may be MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai or Boxing, and step on the scales to see that you are a fair amount over your target weight. With adequate time to prepare your weight cut in the right way you have no reason to worry, as it will make the process a whole lot easier. It’s time to plan. For MMA fights I advise a five or six week process of getting down to your target weight, but for BJJ it can be done in four weeks. For this example I will use the process I use when cutting for MMA.
The 'Friday Fight Bodega' has returned after a bit of a hiatus. In case you are unfamiliar, the purpose of this series is multifold. First and foremost, it shows off some excellent fights that you may otherwise not have seen. I also use it to preview some of the upcoming fights of a particular weekend with previous performances of those fighters. Lastly, it can be a tool used to breakdown upcoming fights by looking at fighters tendencies and examining their skillsets. Mostly it’s just so I get to sort through a bunch of fights and come up with something fun to watch. I’m selfish like that. Anyways, enjoy.
Coming out of UFC 133, one of the most talked about fights has been Rory MacDonald's impressive defeat of Mike Pyle. While the young Canuck certainly cemented his status as one of the top prospects in the MMA world, the performance has resulted in a great deal of hyperbole surrounding MacDonald's future. The most notable culprit has to be UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan, who absurdly claimed that MacDonald has more potential than a certain French-Canadian who had already earned two title shots and beaten three different top 10 opponents by the time he was 12-1 in his career (as "Ares" currently stands). I understand that many in the MMA community are instinctive and overly reactive, but at some point influential figures in MMA do need to draw a line. I feel like Rogan made a huge misstep in proclaiming MacDonald the heir apparent to one of the top fighters in the sport today after a few solid performances, and in a moment of excitement has set undue expectations on a young, developing fighter.
Discussions immediately after Vitor Belfort’s first round knockout of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 generally went one of two ways: people were either impressed with how easily Belfort dispatched a resilient if disappointing fighter in Akiyama, or concerned with the part that illegal strikes played in the finish to the fight. The days immediately after an event are always an emotive time, so now, after the dust has settled, let’s take a more measured look back at Vitor’s performance--the good, the bad and the inevitable--and what it should mean moving forward.