Category Archives: MMA

Ronda Rousey Makes History At UFC 157

Defending 135lb womens champion Ronda Rousey beat Liz Carmouche in the first ever womens bout in the UFC. The victory came in the first round via armbar submission. Which is no surprise because her previous 8 victories were all delivered in the same fashion. There was however a point in the fight that Rousey looked to be in trouble. It came in the first minute of the fight when Carmouche was on Rousey’s back. Carmouche attempted to go for a choke and at one point had Rousey in a neck crank. Rousey stayed patient and was able to get Carmouche off of her and within a matter on minutes had her in an armbar. Carmouche quickly tapped and the fight was over.

Ronda Rousey applies the armbar on Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. (Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey applies the armbar on Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. (Getty Images)

With this fight history was made as it was not only the first womens fight in the UFC’s 20 year history, it was also the main event. Ronda Rousey will now be known as the first ever UFC womens champion. Rousey has definitely set her self up to become a mega star. Within 2 years she has gone from an unknown fighter fighting on low visibility Strickforce on Showtime events to main eventing in the biggest MMA promotion around. This is largely due to the way she has amassed her now 9 victories. All of her victories have come in the first round with an armbar submission, most of which came within under a minute of the fight. She has established the armbar as her finisher much like a pro wrestler has a signature finishing maneuver. This is a gimmick that could take her very far in the sport and also create a legend about her like Mike Tyson had in the 1980’s with his knockout punches.

Ronda Rousey will more than likely fight again by years end. The UFC does not have the other big name womens MMA fighter Chris Cyborg. Cyborg recently signed with Invicta. The UFC does have a fresh crop of talent to build up for her. Its pretty safe to say that her next fight regardless of the opponent will be a big draw. She has developed into a super star the like of which will overshadow the previous Queen of MMA Gina Carrano. It will be exciting to she where this crazy ride Rousey is on will end up.

“The Fall Out” How Jon Jones Killed UFC 151

The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones helped make history this past week.  It was not good history by any means.  The UFC was forced to cancel their September 1st show in Las Vegas.  Jones is completely responsible for this cancellation.  When his challenger went down due to injury on Thursday a wild ride began that did not slow down until Friday afternoon.

Jon Jones
(Getty Images)

UFC President Dana White was able to get a replacement in Chael Sonnen.  Jones would not face Sonnen with only 8 days before the fight.  Jones’ Coach Greg Jackson tried to take the blame for not letting his fighter take the fight.  With that situation Dana White was forced to cancel the show and blamed Jackson for being a “sport killer”.

The next option for the fight was Lyoto Machida.  Machida was due a title shot but not this soon.  It was announced that Machida would take the place of Henderson and the fight would be moved to the UFC 152 show on September 22nd in Toronto.  Machida later declined and the UFC went after another former champion to fill the spot.  That former champion was Shogun Rua, he too declined the fight.

With no other options for a main event fighter for Jones, Dana White chose UFC veteran Vitor Belfort.  Belfort accepted and the fight will take place on the UFC 152 show.   Belfort has great hands but does not have the genetic gifts that Jones possesses.  Belfort is much like a Dan Henderson type fighter in the sense that he is a dangerous veteran that could win but will likely lose.  This 24 hour period of insanity is a true low point for the UFC.

Traditionally when a fighter goes down due to injury the replacement is usually accepted by the remaining fighter.  Jones did not want to follow suit.  Because of this he will drive his appeal down with a fan base that does not really see him as a star yet.  Jones is a fan favorite for the hardcore MMA fans but not casual fans who are the ones that really make or break a star and a champion at the ticket window.  Jones has gone Heel (a pro wrestling term for bad guy) but he is doing it the wrong way.

MMA has had its share of heels through its history.   The most recent being Brock Lesnar and Chael Sonnen.  Both of those fighters know what they are doing with their characters and play the role well.  They make calculated moves that make themselves the bad guys but still marketable and appealing.  Jones does not have the personality or the where with all to be a true heel.

Marketing was stated as a possible reason Jones did not take the fight.  Jones was worried that he may not keep his hot streak alive and possibly lose and hurt his selling potential.  If that was his concern he would have taken the fight with Sonnen.  Even if he lost and came back to another title shot he would be in a better light and position than he is by not taking this fight.  Sonnen was the perfect opponent, he had not been training and would be moving up a weight class.  Jones on the other hand would be peaking for the fight still and would have had 3 months of training under his belt.  Now Jones will be know as the man responsible for destroying UFC 151.

There are many victims from Jones’ decision.  The Cable companies who promoted the fight and where counting on their percentage of the PPV numbers.  The UFC has also spent a lot of money promoting the fight, they even had a huge billboard at Times Square in New York City.  The fighters who will have to wait on a pay day because their fight has to be moved to October or even November.  The most hurt will be the fans who have spent their money to fly into Las Vegas, stay in a hotel  and wait to have their tickets refunded by the UFC.

Jon Jones will likely become a villain from this situation, which for most fighters could be a positive thing.  Not for Jones who needs to be liked.  He recently signed a deal with Nike and when it come to merchandise if you are not liked people will not buy you things.  Jones has a long road ahead of him, can he shake this situation?  Maybe, he could come out on UFC 152 and knock out Belfort and everyone will forget about this like it never happened.  It could be something that sticks with him his entire career and effects his earning and drawing potential.

“A New Day A New Fight” Jones to Face Belfort At UFC 152

On Thursday it was announced that Jon Jones would not be Facing Dan Henderson.  Lyoto Machida was set to be the replacement.  On Friday that all changed again, Machida passed on the fight with only4 weeks to prepare for the September 22nd show. Former UFC Champion Vitor Belfort will now face Jon Jones in the Main Event of UFC 152 in Toronto.

The UFC has done away completely with the UFC 151 event.  It will now be an event that never happened.  The Toronto show will keep the title of UFC 152.  Henderson pulling out was bad enough for the UFC now they have replaced his replacement for that fight.

Belfort is still a good fighter but not going to have a chance at defeating the defending Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.  Belfort is not a big draw in the US and will likely not spark any interest in the US market for this PPV.  Jon Jones recently complained in an interview how he did not want to fight Machida again because of their lack of being able to generate big numbers on PPV.  Jones needs to face reality, that reality is he himself is not a big PPV draw.  This show will have horrible numbers that the UFC and Jones will just have to deal with.

“The Show Must NOT Go On” UFC 151 canned 8 days out

UFC President Dana White
(Photo By: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Dana White made a decision he has never make before today.  In a press conference on Thursday White announced that Dan Henderson had suffered a partial MCL tear and was out of the UFC 151 Main Event.  Henderson was set to face UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones on September 1st in Las Vegas.  White did have a back up plan when Henderson went down, Chael Sonnen was willing to step in to face Jones.  Jones however refused to take on Sonnen with only 8 days notice.  White had no choice but to cancel the show.  He had no other fights at the ready or that were remaining on the card to justify a PPV event.

Jones will now defend his title on September 22nd at what was to be UFC 152 in Toronto.  The Challenger will be former Champion Lyoto Machida.  Jones and Machida have fought previously with Jones taking the victory in the second round with a guillotine choke.  Machida was originally set to face the winner of the Henderson VS. Jones fight but now he gets his title fight right away.

While the UFC has canned a show that had a place and a date without fights scheduled, they have never cancelled a show that had a card set up already.  With injuries and fighters pulling out of fights being the reality of today’s MMA this will continue.  This is a horrible thing to happen right now for the UFC.  They are already having issues with FOX over ratings and the fights they provide FOX.  Their PPV numbers have also been trending downward over the last couple of years.  The injury bug has become out of control in the last year and a half, by far one of the most annoying things a promotion has to deal with.

Something needs to be done and done quickly to stop these things from happening.  The UFC must devise a training plan that all fighters must follow.  The best way to do this would be limiting the days and hours the fighters are allowed to train before a fight.  The business will not last at the level it has been at if this continues for even a couple of more years.  If the sport won’t regulate training the UFC sure the hell should.

“Let’s Get Rowdy” Rousey Defeats Kaufman Via Armbar

Much like a pro wrestler has a finisher so does female MMA fighter “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, the armbar submission.  Rousey is a former Olympic bronze medalist in judo and comes from a tradition of judo, her mother also being a judo practitioner.  Trained by the great “judo” Gene Lebell and training with the Diaz brothers in California.  Rousey has ascended to the top of womens MMA in less than a year.  Rousey has a 3-0 amateur record and a 6-0 pro record, all of the victories came via armbar submission with the latest victory coming Saturday night.

135 lb Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
(Getty Images)

Rousey the 135 pound Champion defended her title against challenger Sarah Kaufman.  Many thought Kaufman’s experience and striking ability would be a tough challenge for Rousey to over come.  There was nothing difficult for Rousey in this fight.  She took Kaufman down early and got the submission victory at 54 seconds.  Rousey has only had one fight that went longer than one minute.  That fight was against Miesha Tate when the fight went 4:27, Rousey claimed the title in that March fight with an arm bar.

The next fight for Rousey will most likely be against former champion Cyborg Santos.  That would be an intriguing fight and would likely be a great one.  Santos striking is the best in womans MMA and we already know what Rousey is bringing to the table.  It could be the highest rated women’s MMA fight in History.

Rousey is very popular and her popularity will only get greater with her submission victories.  Not quit as popular as Gina Corano was a little over 3 years ago when she was on top of the division, Rousey is getting close to that level though.  The myth could grow to the point she may reach the level Mike Tyson in the 1980s.  The only thing that might hold her back has nothing to do with her fighting but rather how she acts outside of the cage.  She does not carry herself like a superstar, Rousey comes across more as an everyday person in interviews.  If she continues her demolition of the women’s division superstar appeal may not matter.  The eyes of the MMA world will be on her even more in her next fight and we will have to see how she handles all of the attention.

UFC On FOX 4, Machida “Most Impressive”

The UFC returned to Loas Angeles, CA and the Staples Center on Saturday night.  The event was the UFC’s 4th special on the FOX network.  The main show on FOX featured four fights.  Two of the fights featured Light Heavywieghts that would determine who will face the winner of the Jon Jones VS Dan Henderson for the division’s championship.  UFC President stated earlier this week that the fighter who looked “Most Impressive” would get the future Light Heavyweight Title shot.

The show started with a Welterweight fight between Damarques Johnson and the returning Mike Swick.  Johnson dominated the fight on the ground in the 1st round.  When the 2nd round began the fight quickly turned around for Swick who was able to grab Johnson’s leg and take him down.  While Swick was taking Johnson down when he delivered a knockout punch to Johnson and was victorious in his return to fighting after a 2 year absence.

The next fight had Joe Lauzon defeat Jamie Varner in a Lightweight contest via submission in the 3rd round.  This was an incredible back and forth fight that had both men matched up pretty evenly.  Varner seemed to get tired as the fight progressed.  Lauzon took advantage of Varner’s fatigue with a triangle choke in the 3rd round that forced Varner to submit.  Great showing for both fighters but this fight made Lauzon look like a star.

In the 1st of 2 Light Heavyweight bouts, Lyoto Machida defeated Ryan Bader in the 2nd round via knockout.  Both fighters stood up during the 1st round and neither fighter took great risk or damage.  Early in the second round Machida counter punched his way to a victory when Bader took a chance at charging at Machida with strikes.  Machida looked good in this fight and ended it early like he was expected to do.

The Main event and final Light Heavyweight bout took place between Shogun Rua and Brandon Vera.  This fight was won by Rua with a knockout in the 4th round.  This fight was mostly dominated by Rua who had Vera on the ground for a lot of the fight and landed more strikes.  Vera did looked good in the fight with the amount of punishment he was able to take and still push through.  Rua won when he knocked Vera down to the ground with a punch against the cage and was able to finish it by punishing Vera.  Rua admitted he was getting tired towards the 2nd round and it showed.

Lyoto Machida gets a future title shot.
(Photo By: Josh Hedges/Getty Images)

Dana White after the show was over announced that he felt Machida was “most impressive” and would recieve the future title shot.  White’s decision was the obvious and correct one.  Jon Jones is likely to be the Champion who will face Machida later this year or early next year.  Jones does have to fight Dan Henderson who is a legend in the sport but probably will not be able to defeat Jones.  Jones has previously defeated Machida so the fight will be difficult for the UFC to sell.  That is the nature of the beast however and the UFC will just have to find a way to market the fight.

This was a solid show with good fights that did not go to decision.  The UFC needs to continue to put good shows on FOX so that they can attract more casual fans.  It would be to their advantage to put bigger fights on the FOX shows to expand the audience.  The UFC feels their main focus should be PPV and not the network specials.  At least this turned out to be a good show but the UFC needs to step up their game on FOX if they want to create new fans.

Silva’s Reign Continues With Win Over Sonnen

UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
(Getty Images)

On Saturday night Las Vegas was home to what will probably be the biggest fight of the year for the UFC.  The defending UFC Middleweight Champion Andson Silva took on his strongest challenger Chael Sonnen in their second fight.  Silva was dominated for the majority of their first fight but pulled out a victory in the final minutes of the fight with a submission victory.  That was 23 months ago, an immediate rematch was demanded by the fans.  Due to several circumstances mostly involving Chael Sonnen that fight was delayed. The MMA World was able to witness one of the most anticipated rematches in the history of the sport on Saturday.

The crowd was really hot before and during the fight.  Sonnen as he said he would refused to shake hands with Silva.  The 1st round was all Sonnen.  He took down Silva in the first minute of the fight and had him on the ground for most of the 1st round.  Sonnen worked well on top delivering ear shots and from time to time was able to raise his body up and bring punches down on Silva’s head.  I scored the 1st round 10-9 Sonnen,  it was as close to a 10-8 round you can get.

The 2nd round started with the crowd chanting USA.  Sonnen tried to take Silva down early but was unsuccessful.  Sonnen went for a judo take down and lost his balance.  Silva took advantage of the misstep and pounded Sonnen while he was up against the cage.  Sonnen was rocked and could not defend himself anymore and the fight was called at almost 2 minutes into the 2nd round.

After the fight Silva said the the emotions were running high prior to the fight but its MMA and he respects Sonnen.  Sonnen had no choice but to accept the show of respect and shake hands with Silva.  Sonnen later said that he had his opportunity and that was all he could ask for, he also said that Silva was a deserving Champion.

Despite the loss this fight was beneficial for Sonnen.  He was exposed to a greater audience with all of the hype surrounding the fight.  He displayed his excellent promo skills and showed he is a really good fighter to many who may have never seen him before.  He could be a big draw for the UFC in the future.

Silva will be a UFC Champion for 6 years in October.  He has showed himself to be a true champion.  Silva will undoubtedly go down in the history of MMA as one of the best champions not only in his weight division but pound for pound.

It is unknown what will be next for Silva however.  He will probably not fight again until the end of the year or early next year.  It has been rumored that he was considering retirement last year.  While he is approaching the age and career length where fighters usually fall back I don’t see him retiring as champion.  I believe Silva will continue to fight until he loses the belt.  Silva cemented his legacy as a great champion even further on Saturday night and the MMA World will wait to see how long he can continue on as champion.