Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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The pre-fight press conference for Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 took place earlier today, and present for the brouhaha was UFC president Dana White and main eventers and co-main eventers Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Lyoto Machida, Brandon Vera and Ryan Bader. Until I can figure out how to embed video, you're going to have to follow this link to watch it. The presser itself doesn't start until around the 26-minute mark. Highlights include:
- White on whether or not the public outcry over announcing that the winner of Shogun vs. Vera would get a title shot caused him any frustration: "Nope, not at all. I said it before and I'll say it again: the way that I look at my job is I'm here to give the fans what they want. They're the ones who decide what they want to see and what they don't want to see. They weren't thrilled with the just the main event being up for the title shot, then the co-main and main event now are. Whoever wins the most impressively on Saturday will now get the shot at the title."
- White on if the performances in the main and co-main event are less than stellar: "If it sucks on Saturday, I'll be the first one standing up here letting you know."
- Machida on if he'd be interested in a third fight with Shogun: "I think it will be a great opportunity for both of us. The trilogy will come for me and Shogun for sure."
- Shogun on a possible third fight with Machida: "I respect a lot Lyoto, and it would be a great opportunity to fight Lyoto. Maybe in the next TUF season in Brazil. It would be a dream come true."
- White on the UFC implementing the ref cam on Saturday night: "I'm still not interested in it… The thing about it is it's great in boxing. Maybe it'll be fantastic."
- Vera on if the announcement that his fight could determine who gets the next shot at the title added any pressure: "Everybody's been asking this question, whether or not it means more because there's a title shot on the line. I don't know what makes you guys think we weren't taking this seriously before, that we weren't going to try to knock the person out that was across from the Octagon from us that evening. I can't speak for everyone else, but that is after the fact. That's a bonus."
- Machida on if he trained with Steven Seagal for this fight: "This camp I did not train with Seagal, but I had a lot of support from my family and from my team. Maybe I'll have a surprise on Saturday."
Bellator will take to Caesar's Atlantic City in New Jersey on September 28. The card will be the Season 7 premier. Bellator 74 will prominently feature the promotion's 170 lb. division as the welterweight tournament kicks off on the live MTV 2 telecast at 8pm (EST).
Every fan has his or her own favorite fighter. But there are a group of fighters who stand out from the rest by consistently putting on the most exciting fights each time out.
The most exciting fights to me are those in which there are sustained periods of combat, in which the athletes use all of the tools at their disposal. Yes, a great standup war is exciting, but a truly great mixed martial arts bout includes kicks, punches, elbows, knees, wrestling, scrambles, throws and jiu-jitsu.
That said, these are my picks as the 20 most exciting UFC fighters to watch. I'm picking active fighters only, so that leaves out the great Chris Lytle. In honor of the former UFC welterweight star, who consistently earned post-fight performance bonuses from the UFC for his exciting fights, I've dubbed my inaugural list of the UFC's most exciting fighters as "The Lytle List."
1. Chan Sung Jung -- If I was going to take a person to a fight and turn them into a mixed martial arts fan, I'd bring them to see the man known as "The Korean Zombie." If you want to see a fast knockout, check out the Zombie. His KO of Mark Hominick is, at seven seconds, tied for fastest in UFC history. If you love submissions, you'll love Jung. He became the first fighter in competition to pull off the Twister when he submitted Leonard Garcia in Seattle last year at Ultimate Fight Night 24. And if you like flat out brawls, who can forget his epic battle with Garcia at WEC 48? For my money, Jung is the most exciting fighter in the UFC, and that's saying a lot.
2. Joe Lauzon -- Lauzon has won 11 fight night bonuses from the UFC in his career, which puts him second between middleweight champion Anderson Silva's 12 bonuses. Lauzon has won six Submission of the Night awards, four Fight of the Night awards and one Knockout of the Night. But sometimes, bonus totals can be misleading. A guy may be the only one on a particular card to get a knockout or a submission and, thus, he wins the award by default. That doesn't mean the fight was exciting. That's not the case, though, with Lauzon, whose fights are regularly the most action-packed on the cards he's on.
3. Diego Sanchez -- Whether he's going by 'The Nightmare,' or 'The Dream,' Sanchez is money when it comes to putting on exciting fights. His 2006 bout with Karo Parisyan remains one of the best bouts in UFC history. His 2009 match with Clay Guida was picked by many as the Fight of the Year. The only downside to being a Sanchez fan is that he is hurt so much because of his fierce style, he doesn't compete as often as we'd like.
4. Donald Cerrone -- He's a veteran of the fight night bonus awards. He landed Fight of the Night five times while in the WEC and twice in the UFC. He's also had a Knockout of the Night and a Submission of the Night. He uses all aspects of the game and fights at a frenzied pace.
5. Leonard Garcia -- Cerrone's best friend, Garcia was a largely unknown when he debuted in the UFC at UFC 69 on April 7, 2007, against Roger Huerta. That was a breathtakingly brutal fight and it set the tone for the kind of fight he'd put on. His first fight with Jung might be the greatest in WEC history.
6. Nate Diaz -- Diaz has won five Fight of the Night and five Submission of the Night honors. His bouts are consistently high-paced and technical, and getting more exciting all the time. Diaz is willing to take risks in order to finish and that increases the enjoyment level of his bouts.
7. Anderson Silva -- He is the greatest fighter of all-time and leads the UFC with 12 post-fight bonuses, including seven Knockout of the Night Awards. Silva has had some stinkers, such as his wins over Patrick Cote, Thales Leites and Demian Maia, which is why he's not higher on this elite list. But Silva has had his share of electrifying bouts and because of that, is a must-see fighter.
8. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua -- The former UFC light heavyweight champion gave fans a glimpse of what was to come in 2005 when he engaged in an epic match with 'Little Nog,' Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, in PRIDE. His fight with Henderson is regarded as the best in UFC history and his knockouts of Lyoto Machida and Chuck Liddell were jaw-dropping.
9. Dan Henderson -- Henderson has the wrestling ability to take an opponent down, smother him and grind out a win. Fortunately, he doesn't use it that way. Henderson would rather use the power in his fists to win his matches. His one-punch knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC 100 might be the most famous KO in UFC history. Many regard his win over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 139 last year as the greatest fight in UFC history.
10. Jon Jones -- Jones would be higher on this list if he had any competition. The best fights are the ones in which there is drama and in which the tide ebbs and flows from one side to the other. Jones has been so much better than the rest of the field, there has been no ebb and flow. Still, Jones is an aggressive, offensive-oriented fighter who tries crazy moves and usually pulls them off.
11. Nick Diaz -- He comes to fight and he delivers amazing action time after time.
12. Clay Guida -- Guida would be much higher if not for that stink bomb of a fight he put on in Atlantic City, N.J., his last time out against Gray Maynard. He's engaged in some incredible duels over the years against the likes of Roger Huerta, Diego Sanchez and Benson Henderson.
13. Gray Maynard -- In his early days, when his technique wasn't as good as it is now, he used his physical power to make his fights exciting. As he developed, he became a heavy-fisted fighter who was hungry for knockouts.
14. Anthony Pettis -- Who can forget the 'Showtime Kick," the move that won him the WEC title and made him a cult hero? Pettis has a variety of moves in his arsenal and is a consistently fun guy to watch.
15. Melvin Guillard -- As UFC president Dana White might say, Guillard just brings it. His aggressiveness may cost him fights, but he's a joy to watch because he is never in a dull match.
16. Benson Henderson -- The UFC lightweight champion has incredible submission defense and is able to fight off submissions that seem destined to put him to sleep. But he is an excellent offensive fighter whose power and physical strength are factors in his success.
17. Frankie Edgar -- His fights with Gray Maynard are classic. His match with Benson Henderson was a classic. His bout with Tyson Griffin was a ... Do you see a trend here?
18. Junior dos Santos -- The UFC heavyweight champion is as easy-going as it gets outside the cage. But when the bell rings, he's a demon whose power and boxing technique make him one of the sport's elite KO artists.
19. Jim Miller -- The submission ace has great cardio and he uses it to fight at a high pace in which he's constantly looking to finish.
20. Demetrious Johnson -- I value power and Johnson isn't particularly powerful, so I dropped him a bit on my list. But he's exceedingly fast and his fights are featured by crazy scrambles and frenetic activity.
There are a lot of entertaining fighters who didn't make out. I hated to leave off Stephan Bonnar, whose bout with Forrest Griffin at the finale of Season 1 of "The Ultimate Fighter" essentially saved the sport.
There were many others who are deserving, but these are my picks for the UFC's most exciting fighters.
Leave your choices in the comments.
Right after an undeniably unsuccessful two- 12 months connection with Ducati, motorcycle celebrity Valentino Rossi has determined to require his skills back again to Yamaha, the crew he still left at the conclude of the 2010 period for what he hoped would be greener pastures.
The bargain signed by Rossi will see him sporting Yamaha blue for two several years the 2013 and 2014 seasons and teaming up when yet again with Jorge Lorenzo, the twenty five – year – ancient Spanish rider who won the Earth Championship in 2010 and is at the moment undertaking the same for 2012. Even though Lorenzo is definitely an very gifted rider, Rossi is a lover and sponsor beloved and is confident to aid Yamaha provide in some much – essential sponsorship bucks.
As to who will be filling Rossi’s vacated saddle at Ducati, rumor has it that the Italian team is most involved in Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso. If which is the instance, he will be paired up with American Nicky Hayden, who has been with Ducati because 2009. Dueling press releases, one from Ducati and the other from Yamaha, can be discovered below. Suffice it to say, the 2013 MotoGP time even devoid of Casey Stoner is shaping up to be fairly fascinating.
Monday, August 13, 2012
The UFC returned to action this evening from the Mile High city of Denver, Colorado for UFC 150. In the main event, lightweight champion Benson Henderson edged out a narrow decision victory over former champion Frankie Edgar. In the co-main event, Colorado's Donald Cerrone rebounded from a shaky start to put away former teammate Melvin Guillard down in impressive style. In other action, Jake Shields, Yushin Okami, and Max Holloway all notched wins on the night.
We wonder what's going on here!
Frank Ocean has abruptly pulled out of every scheduled appearance he had planned for the remainder of his time in Europe, including Way Out West and a stadium tour with Coldplay!
The Odd Future member, who is promoting his new album Channel Orange, cut a performance short at [...]
UFC president Dana White made a shockingly bad decision during a conference call Monday with mixed martial arts reporters when he said that the winner of Saturday's UFC on Fox 4 main event between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera would get the next title shot.
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who defends his belt on Sept. 1 against former Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson, has already crushed all four fighters who are competing on Saturday's card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Ryan Bader meets ex-champion Lyoto Machida in the co-main event.
But it was Vera's so-so record that prompted outrage among media and fans. Vera enters Saturday's bout at the Staples Center 1-2 with a no contest in his last four fights. His best win at light heavyweight was over Krzysztof Soszynski.
When Jones was told on Twitter the Rua-Vera winner would get a title shot, he wrote, "Scratching my head." He wasn't alone in being perplexed by White's call.
So, late Monday, White changed his mind and opened the picture up. He said the fighter who looks the best on Saturday will get the title shot against the Jones-Henderson winner, giving Bader and Machida a chance, as well.
"When the fans speak, we listen," White said in a news release. "So whoever scores the best win, whoever gets the fans excited by going out there on Saturday and looking the most impressive, he will get the winner of Jones vs. Henderson. It is down to what these four guys do Saturday night in the Octagon. Winning isn't enough, they've got to win impressively. Any one of these four fighters can take things into their own hands and make a title shot happen."
Rua lost his title to Jones at UFC 128. Before the fight that day, Jones broke up a mugging, then went out and stopped Rua at 2:37 of the third in a stunningly one-sided performance.
Rua has gone 1-1 since, beating Forrest Griffin and losing to Henderson in what has been called the best fight in UFC history.
"I want the winner of Jones vs. Henderson," Rua said. "The fight I had with Henderson was a great fight, the fight of the year, and it was a very close fight. I am OK with that. It was a great fight. But the loss to Jones, I can't live with. I could have done so much better and I want to fight him again. First, though, I have to beat Brandon Vera and winning isn't good enough. I have to be very impressive, but that it what I have trained to do."
Vera took the change in stride. He has been upbeat and confident despite the naysayers who roared when he was put into a main event. White's announcement doesn't change much for him, because Vera has been saying all along he plans to win impressively.
If he does that, he'll make a very strong case for himself.
"Beating Shogun, and beating him the way I want, corrects all the mistakes I've made and wipes away all the bad performances," Vera said. "Beating Frank Mir is probably my best performance, but people don't realize that was nothing compared to what I do all the time in the gym. I'm going to show off what 'The Truth' really is on Fox."
Dorian Warneck has a rad welcome video for Shed Skateboards.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
UFC President Dana White announced following UFC 150 that heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos will face Cain Velasquez on December 29 for the UFC's year end card. Dos Santos had been hoping to settle some bad blood between him and former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem but that will have to wait until after the December showdown with Velasquez.
You can blame it on living in Florida and eating too many conch fritters, or you can try to pinpoint another reason, but UFC lightweight (usually) Melvin Guillard failed to make the 156-pound limit at today's UFC 150 weigh-ins, which took place in Denver, C.O. Tipping the scales at 157.5 pounds and forgoing further efforts to lose the excess baggage, Guillard will now be fined an undisclosed percentage of his fight purse by the state's athletic commission; however, his co-main event fight against Don Cerrone (who weighed in at 155) is still a go. All other fighters on the card made weight, including main eventers Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar, who will be meeting again in a lightweight championship tilt.
Check out Tracy Lee's photos from Saturday night's fights in Anaheim. See Wagner Prado's busted eye, Brandon Vera after his loss and more.
Howdy. I'm Jim Genia. You might recognize me from such great literary works as "I, Armbar" and "Tito Ortiz's Head: Friend or Foe?" While Maggie Hendricks is covering some sort of athletic event called the "Olympics", I'll be filling in here at Cagewriter. Yes, it's a temp job, but please think of me as that really cool substitute teacher you had in high school, the one who said nothing when you disrupted class and set fire to the lab, yet did not hesitate to plant drugs in your locker and call the police. Heh. Anyway, here's some news to start your day:
- Cesar Gracie, coach to the ultra-talented UFC top welterweight contender Nick Diaz, tweeted that there will be an announcement on Graciefighter regarding Diaz's career today at 4:00 p.m. (PST). If you'll recall, Nick Diaz... yeesh. The big question mark these past few months has been whether Diaz has truly retired or if he'll get in the cage once more. Therefore, we can expect Gracie's announcement to be one of the following: "Nick Diaz is not going to fight again", "Nick Diaz is going to fight again", and "Can someone tell Nick Diaz to call home? No one's heard from him in a while and everyone's pretty worried about him." Stay tuned!
- According to ESPN, UFC middleweight champ and untouchable superstar Anderson Silva wants to fight UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre next.
Of much more interest to Silva are the blockbuster fights that can earn him big money as he nears the end of his career. St-Pierre v Silva undoubtedly would make the biggest Pay-Per-View in UFC history, but while Guimaraes says Silva wants the fight, he admits it has not been offered.
Of course Silva would like St. Pierre in a big-money superfight next. Who would you rather fight? A welterweight champ whose knee could explode at any time, or UFC light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones, who sports an eleven-foot reach and has murdered everyone put in front of him? Silva is no dummy.
- Just yesterday Travis Browne was sad. Ben Rothwell, who was to be his opponent at next week's UFC on FOX 4, fell prey to the injury bug, and Browne was without a dance partner. He was subsequently booted from the card. But it's a new day, and with this new day comes the news (courtesy of the good folks at MMAJunkie) that Browne will now headline UFC on FX 5 in October, facing off against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Hooray! If you'll recall, Browne is big and dangerous and beats people silly - and being big and dangerous and beating people silly is good for main events.
- There may be no offerings from the UFC, Strikeforce or Bellator this weekend, but that doesn't mean there isn't a way to get your MMA fix. Invicta Fighting Championships, the all-female MMA promotion, will be having their second installment in Kansas City, KS, and the event will be broadcast for free on their website. Here's a video promo courtesy of MMAFighting. There are some extremely skilled and capable female MMA fighters out there, and a bunch of them are on Saturday night's card.
That's all for now. Now excuse me while I go plant drugs in your locker.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
On April 10, 2010, the UFC's lightweight division ground to a halt. Of course, we didn't know it at the time. At the time, we thought we'd seen a legendary champ defeated by a heavy underdog, and things would've definitely sorted themselves out in the immediate rematch. They did, sort of. The legendary champ was beaten worse than before, so there was no question as to who rightfully deserved to wear the crown. But then came a rematch, then another, then a new challenger, and now another rematch. Not that it's his fault, but since taking on the incumbent B.J. Penn on that night in April, 2010, Edgar has faced two other people. And folks, there are way more than two people in the UFC's 155-pound weight class. Time for the Baldfather to put his foot down!
- UFC president Dana White said yesterday that regardless of who wins in tonight's title scrap between Benson Henderson and Edgar — and regardless of it is via controversial, rematch-demanding circumstances — top contender Nate Diaz is going to be a part of the next lightweight championship fight. What if Henderson/Edgar II ends via close, close split decision? Diaz gets next. What if Henderson slips on a banana peel while Edgar simultaneously bonks his head on a fallen steel girder, and both men are KO'd? Diaz gets next. What if the Earth splits open and the main event fighters are swallowed by a deep, lava-filled chasm? Diaz gets next.
Josh Gross at ESPN sums up the morass the weight class has been mired in for the past few years here:
Rather than new challengers earning opportunities, the division delivered a cycle of close calls followed by rematches, which, while justifiable, essentially immobilized an intriguing group of young fighters, who could sit in the pits or partake in dangerous contests and risk their status.
White says no more. Diaz gets next. And I'm fine with that.
- UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman had the microphone for yesterday's Q & A session in Denver, C.O., and of course the rising star talked about how he should be next in line to fight champ Anderson Silva. I don't disagree, as Weidman has proved himself to be a worthy opponent, but I can't help but think that since Silva is getting up there in years and has accomplished so much (and made a ton of money), we won't see the Brazilian fight again unless it's a superfight against welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre or some other big-buck match-up. What do you think? Should Weidman face Silva next? Or will Silva be rocking the pay-per-view percentage points and fighting only ultra-compelling opponents outside of his division?
- Brazilian poofy-haired warrior Renato "Babalu" Sobral has signed with Bellator Fighting Championships and will be partaking in one of their light-heavyweight tournaments. Sobral is a veteran of just about every fighting organization there ever was, including the UFC, Strikeforce, One FC, Affliction, and RINGS, and has worn championship belts often. This is a good signing — especially because Travis Wiuff is about to become Bellator's 205-pound champ, and Sobral beat Wiuff when they met in the UFC. So, you know, cool rematch and all.
That's all for now. Come back tonight for Cagewriter's coverage of UFC 150, and take advantage of our "no shenanigans" guarantee.
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The Mo'Fo has a new full length video called Mo'Five. Lots of rad French street skating in this 35 minute video.
Check out Jan Hofer in Nike Switzerland's That's Us...
Former Sengoku Middleweight Champion Jorge Santiago will be making a return to the Zuffa ranks as he makes his Strikeforce debut. Quin Mulhern has announced via twitter that will be the man pegged to welcome the Blackzilian fighter to the Strikeforce cage. The New Mexican tweeted earlier today, “You heard it from me first: I’m [...]
New Zealand's Sean Bone is ripping spots all over the small island nation. Via: Manual.
Two weekends ago, New Jersey-based pro fighter Anthony Montanaro was stuck in hell. He and over twenty other people were confined to the matted-space within the four walls of a massive gym, and every hour for twenty-four hours straight, all were subjected to workouts of varying length and composition. There were seven-minute wrestling matches. Rope climbs. Box jumps and pull-ups. The works. No sleep was allowed, and men broke, both physically and mentally. Yet, despite being driven to the brink of madness, Montanaro pushed through, and when the last workout was done and they were all permitted to leave, he was stronger because if it. Such was the magic of the 24-hour lock-in.
"A 24-hour lock-in is your worst nightmare amplified by ten," says the 25-year-old Montanaro, who, with a shaved head and the tattoo of an armored pitbull on a chest, looks every bit the MMA fighter archetype. "It's twenty-four hours straight of nonstop training, where every hour on the hour you have a different workout that could be five minutes to a half-hour long. The whole purpose is to break you, to make you hit the wall as soon as possible. It's all mental toughness. It's a nightmare."
The Rhino Wrestling Club in Morganville, N.J., was where this nightmare unfolded; the day began Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. and went until 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning. It was rigorous, with the intense physical activity and sleep-deprivation aspects making it more akin to what a soldier would do for Special Forces training than anything else. "I don't know if they stole the idea from Navy SEAL-type stuff, but it was ridiculous," says Montanaro. "It was kind of like the whole Marine or Army crucible-type stuff, know what I mean?"
To prepare for fights, fighters go to great lengths to make themselves like steel. There's roadwork, padwork, grappling, and as we've seen on "The Ultimate Fighter", conditioning drills that can involve things like flipping giant tires and swinging sledgehammers. With a fight coming up in the next few months, Montanaro is no different. But what benefits are derived from the lock-in? Clearly, the limits of the conditioning of the participants are pushed, but is there something more?
"Honestly, just complete mental toughness," says Montanaro. "You get to a point where you don't think you can go anymore and then you have to go. It's insane. It's probably the worst training I've ever done. I was more nervous for that than any fight I've ever had to do."
What of the necessities of human existence? "They have a bathroom, of course," says Montanaro. "Food's included… all the food you can eat. After your workouts, even if you weren't hungry, they stressed that you drink and eat nonstop — just carb you up and keep you going. Sleep, that's not encouraged at all. They keep you awake, keep you zombified, keep you going."
Obviously, the whole endeavor was tortuous. Was there any particular thing that Montanaro found to be the toughest? "The toughest thing about the lock-in? Where do I even start? The whole damn thing. Once you hit that first wall, that's when it's brutal. Everything hits you all at once — you want to sleep, you try to lay down and it's time for the next workout. I would say around two or three in the morning, that's when it's the worst. You know you could just leave at any point you want, but it's just that whole mental aspect."
If one could literally leave at any time, it sounds as if the name — a "lock-in" — is a bit of a misnomer. "It was going to be a complete lock-in, but it was so damn hot, there was no way they could do something like that. We would've kicked the doors down. There was no way."
With door unlocked and retreat requiring only an exit through the door, did anyone quit? "No, surprisingly enough, no one quit. And the craziest thing was there was an 11-year old kid there. Some parent signed their kid up to do it! It was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. So anytime someone wanted to quit, we'd look at this little kid. He was our mascot."
What was the atmosphere like? Was it all business, or was there at least some of element of fun to it? "For the first probably like eight to ten hours, everyone was kind of feeling each other out — you know, like, is everyone in full serious-mode or are we going to have some kind of fun here? Probably at night is when everyone started to get a little loopy. Everyone started to get punchy. The later it got into the night, everyone was just out there."
Would Montanaro go through it all again? "Absolutely," he says without hesitation. "In a heartbeat. After it was done, I honestly just wanted to stay and keep going. It's just nonstop training, no drama, no [expletive], everyone was just there to train. If we could do it, I would love to do it every month."
A wise man once posed the question, "Do you want to be a [expletive] fighter?" It's doubtful he'd dare ask that of Montanaro and participants of the 24-hour lock-in.
In case you were wondering, female mixed martial arts is still very much alive and kicking. The latest installment of the Invicta Fighting Championships is this Saturday night, and in August, Strikeforce returns to Showtime with a main event that will feature champ Ronda Rousey attempting to remove challenger Sarah Kaufman's arm in the most painful, non-surgical way possible. Yep. Wimmins. They be fightin'. So in the spirit of all this impending violence perpetrated by the fairer sex, Cagewriter tracked down 125-pound female fighter Munah Holland, who knocked out Strikeforce veteran Carina Damm two weeks ago at Matrix Fights (a regional show in Philadelphia) to get her perspective on things. She is, after all, on the front lines.
Things to know about Holland: she's a product of the Tiger Schulmann MMA system, and manages one of the organization's gyms in New Jersey. In 2004, she won the prestigious Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament, transitioned to professional fighting with Chuck Norris' ill-fated kickboxing promotion the World Combat League, and now fights in the cage, shimmying out of the clutches of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts and feeding them knuckles until they fall. In her MMA debut, Holland brutalized Kim Couture for three rounds; more recently, she's KO'd top New England fighter Marianna Kheyfets in Bellator and put away Damm.
That's Holland. Here's what she had to say about some of her fellow fighters:
On Strikeforce bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey - "Ronda is, I would say, this deliciously deadly, amazing person. She has something that, when I watch her fight, is incredibly contained, and at the same time, explosive. It's really fun to watch, and her ground game is sick. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with, no matter her opponent in front of her. I can't wait for the upcoming fight between her and Sarah Kaufman — I think that's going to be a great fight."
On top Strikeforce bantamweight challenger and former champ Sarah Kaufman - "I've watched Sarah for a long time, because as a female martial artist, she was one of the girls I knew about first. She's got really, really powerful hands — like, lead in her hands. She's very dangerous. She's constantly evolving… got a lot of heart, and like Ronda, she's a force to be reckoned with. And Sarah has some very good wrestling, so it's going to be interesting, because if Sarah can maintain her wrestling defense and use her hands and use her range, it could be a really interesting fight. If it stays standing, Sarah can do some damage with her hands. We haven't really seen Ronda's chin, we don't know how much damage it can take." Her prediction for the August 18 Strikeforce title fight? "If it stays standing, Sarah's going to have the advantage. If it goes to the ground, my gut says Ronda."
On former Strikeforce bantamweight champ Miesha Tate - "I love Miesha. I once said this out loud and people heard me, but if you have a bum that looks like Miesha's, you've got to plaster it everywhere. She's beautiful, she's tough as nails. And that fight with Ronda, that was sick."
On former Strikeforce featherweight champ Gina Carano - "Gina, I think, has done a world of good for female fighting in general. She's chosen her own path, and gone the way she feels where her future lies. You have to do whatever it is you have to do in this world to have a life and a good living, but I thank her for exposing female martial artists to the world, and making it important for people to watch and making it exciting for people to watch, and proving that, regardless of whether it's females or males, it's just a great sport to watch. She proved that the numbers can be there, that the seats can be filled for female mixed martial artists just as they can for men."
On former Strikeforce featherweight champ Cris "Cyborg" Santos — "Cyborg would scare most grown men away in the cage. The first time I saw Cris Cyborg, I was like, 'Uh, this woman is just frightening.' And frightening in a good way. What a beast. What a beast of mass proportions. This girl… frightening strength, amazing ability coming from Chute Boxe, can really take so much. She's just like a pitbull. She's just going to keep on coming and keep on coming."
On female MMA pioneer Tara LaRosa - "Long before Gina or Cyborg came into the picture, you'd hear about Tara just making her way through one person after another in the circuit — especially in New Jersey, where she's got a lot of fans. For me, she was definitely an inspiration. We can do it, we can do it really well and with a lot of class."
On hoping to fight in the UFC one day - "Oh yeah. Some little girls want to grow up and wear pink slippers, but for me, the thought of being in the UFC… I hope it gets to that point for women, I hope it gets to that point in my MMA lifetime. We can only hope for that. Who wouldn't want to be in that arena?"
On Dana White reconsidering his stance on not allowing women in the UFC's Octagon - "I don't know any woman who wouldn't want to see women in the UFC, and I hope Dana White considers that at some point. Because we'll bring the crowds, we'll fill the seats, and people really enjoy watching it."
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Friday, August 10, 2012
Phil Davis and Wagner Prado's night ended quickly. Less than two minutes into their bout during the preliminary card of UFC on Fox 4, Davis hit Prado with an eye poke. When the fight doctor checked on Prado's eye, which was bleeding and swollen, Prado said he was seeing double. Though Prado protested, the bout was stopped and called a no-contest.
The ending of the bout was a disappointing way for Prado's UFC bout to end. His record is now 8-0-1. For Davis, it was his first fight after losing in a title contender fight against Rashad Evans in January.
With UFC 150 taking place tomorrow night live from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, it is time to have a little fun with the picks. While our staff picks will be up later today, it is time for you guys to make your picks for tomorrow’s main card. Be sure to stay tuned to MMAFrenzy for full coverage of tomorrow’s card.