May 31, 2009

Food for Thought

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:57 pm

There are some things developing that’ll we’ll hopefully be hearing more about in the coming days.  Let’s not forget about Brown/Faber II next Sunday night, Strikeforce on Saturday, and Bellator on Friday.  Should be hard hitting…

–  Josh Koscheck against Matt Hughes or Frank Trigg –   This is a great fight for Kos, he should be able to handle either matchup at this point.  His wrestling is too solid and his striking is improving.  I don’t see him losing unless it’s to freak knockout.  Besides, any chance to see this possible celebration pose is high entertainment


– UFC Undisputed 2010 announced –  This is excellent news, 2009 has set the stage with a solid product that has huge potential, room for improvement, and a solid game engine.   Hopefully a few tweaks to the online setup (to purge disconnectors), increased menu speed (and removing redundant constant loading/saving slowdown), and tweaked roster and combat should lead to a 5 out of 5 game.

Shogun vs. Lyoto Machida for the 205 belt –  This will be a fun fight to watch, will Shogun continue his return to form, or is Machida just beginning to show us his true potential?  Shogun offers some different challenges that Rampage and Rashad don’t offer, but I still think that the fight is Machida’s to lose.  The real question is who is the next number 1 contender after the fight?  Rampage is retooling a little to his slam and pound style and is tied up with Rashad until 2010.  Will he be able to turn around quickly after a win?  What if Rashad wins?


May 28, 2009

Ultimate Fighter 10 Rampage v. Rashad…Sounds Like Fun

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 6:51 pm

Now this is some good news.  The main reason to be so jazzed is that this means the lightheavyweight title doesn’t get put on hold until Christmas.  It means we possibly get 2 more Machida fights this year.  The first one in September is going to be Shogun or Rampage, either of which are fine by me.  It also means we’ll probably end the year with a Rashad/Rampage fight, which is also fine by me.  I wonder who else in lightheavy division is ready to make the leap?  Maybe it could be Luiz Cane, Rich Franklin, Hendo, Vera, or Anderson Silva (hey, it could happen).

The Only Downside of Machida’s Victory…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 6:39 pm

… has been listening to SOME traditional martial arts practitioners (though aren’t boxing, wrestling, BJJ, and muay thai traditional?) begin spewing hyperbole along the lines of Shotokan being the real winner of Machida’s fight.  Really?  I guess his excellent athletic characteristics meant nothing.  His prefight planning was nonexistent, he probably didn’t even watch any tape of Rashad.  His experience training in other arts such as sumo, muay thai, bjj, etc. had nothing to do with his approach.

Seriously though, I think Lyoto Machida is a tremendous asset for the sport, his style is uniquely his own.  The fact that he’s trained in Shotokan since age 3 should not take away from his other training, and coaching he has received.  I see his karate as being the biggest influence in his style -spiritually, strategically, and with impacts on his timing, footwork, and general acumen.  That said, all of the discussion I have read ignores the fact that Lyoto may claim a Shotokan base, but he’s a true mixed martial artist.  I’ve seen people claim that you can’t learn footwork and timing from styles liking western boxing (sigh).  Every facet of Lyoto’s style has been impacted by everything he’s done.  His footwork is influenced by his karate, muay thai, and sumo training.  His clinch work is influenced from the sumo, bjj, muay thai, and karate.

All of this talk about the applicability of shotokan to MMA forsakes the fighters touch and ability to apply his knowledge.  Knowledge he’s spent years acquiring, mixing, and combining with other knowledge he’s acquired of other styles in conjunction with his physicality.  Let’s not oversimplify the unique effectiveness that Machida has made his own.

May 25, 2009

Dream 9 Picks

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 8:07 pm

Dream is coming up here in a few hours and I’d like to put some picks out there for you readers to chew on, I really wish I had HDNet:

J.Z. Cavalcante vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri – I love Crusher, but I think JZ is going to going to be too much power to handle striking wise, and his BJJ is underrated.  He just has more ways to win this fight.

Featherweight Grand Prix (Round 2)

Masakazu Imanari vs. Bibiano Fernandes –  I think Imanari’s experience will prevail here.  Fernandes has the advantage standing, and should prove to be tough on the ground, but I think the a leglock will come out of nowhere and catch him.

Yoshiro Maeda vs. Hiroyuki Takaya – Maeda all the way, go watch his fight with Miguel Torres and understand that Takaya just isn’t at the level to threaten like Torres did, or dish out like Maeda can.

Hideo Tokoro vs. Abel Cullum – Cullum is experienced enough where Tokoro’s experience edge is meaningless, and should prove to be the victor here.

Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren – I never thought I’d be picking against Kid, but I like Warren’s wrestling pedigree.  It’s a huge longshot for him to upset Kid, but Kid’s inactivity since 2007 and his marijuana escapades might have been too big of a distraction.

Super Hulk Tournament

Bob Sapp vs. Minowaman-  I wonder how we would regard Minowa as a middleweight if he actually ever fought middleweights.  He can beat bigger guys, but a Bob Sapp that’s trimmed down to 330ish is too much mountain to move.

Jan “The Giant” Nortje vs. Sokoudjou– Speed kills.  Hopefully Soko remembered to gas up

Jose Canseco vs. Choi Hong-Man-  This match strikes me as a blend of this and this making it just too close to call…

Gegard Mousasi vs. Mark Hunt- This fight probably won’t end up KO/TKO considering it’s Mark Hunt, but I think Mousasi can find a way to get Hunt down and work from the top to get the win.

Dream Middleweight Title Match

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Mayhem Miller-  Miller has the edge in striking, but not much of one, and his strength being BJJ going against arguably one of the best BJJ guys in the world is going to work against him.  Hopefully this will end up swinging Mayhem back stateside.

May 21, 2009

UFC 98 Picks

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:43 pm

Here we go:

Dave Kaplan over George Roop – I expect Kaplan to come out fast and furious, and Roop to weather the initial storm.  After the fight settles down, Kaplan catches Roop, and works some ground and pound.  This is a lock considering Diamond Dave can’t be knocked out (see The Ultimate Fighter)

Yoshiyuki Yoshida over Brandon Wolff – I expect Zenko to take this fight easily.  Wolff has guts, I give him that after the Ben Saunders fight, but Yoshida has a little too much experience and a little too much polish for Wolff.

Krzysztof Soszynski over Andre Gusmao –  I would go nuts if Gusmao could pull this one off finishing with some slick capoeira move of some kind, but Krzysztof has been around the fight game a lot longer.  I expect The Polish Experiment to catch another kimura victory.

Kyle Bradley over Phillipe Nover – Nover is not the next Anderson Silva, but his muay thai is dangerous.  Bradley has a tighter standup game, and should have the advantage on the ground.  Nover’s best chance is to work his range and not let Bradley setup for the takedown.

Pat Berry over Tim Hague –

I will never pick against Pat Berry, and he has speculated that he has something special in store for his UFC 98 entrance.

Brock Larson over Chris Wilson – Larson has had a serious mean streak as of late, and after the armed robbery perpatrated against Wilson and his family 2 weeks ago, I wonder how much focus he’s going to have on this fight.  The UFC has signed Mike Pyle to step in if something goes awry, but Wilson is a solid professional who I expect to just get overwhelmed.

Sean Sherk over Frankie Edgar – Sherk is bigger, stronger, has great wrestling, decent boxing, and most of the edges in this fight.  Edgar has an edge in BJJ, but he’s just not sized right for this fight.  I would like to see him drop to 145 after this fight, and boost an already loaded division.

Dan Miller over Chael ” top 3 middleweight” Sonnen – I don’t know why I pick on Chael Sonnen, but I’m never going to stop.  Miller by whatever submission Chael decides to jump into this time.

Xavier Foupa-Poukam over Drew McFedries – Professor X is due a big win, and should prevail over McFedries

Matt Hughes over Matt Serra***- Oooh rivalry fight, just 1.5 years too late.  If Matt Hughes fights the way he should and utilizes his wrestling, gnp, and cardio, then he should UD Serra.  If Hughes decides to stand and bang, then I immediately change my mind and pick Serra.  I don’t think Serra’s ground game (i.e. fighting off his back) will be a factor in this fight.

Lyoto Machida over Rashad Evans – Rashad has really developed his standup and his speed makes him the biggest threat to Machida.  That said, I think Machida’s technique is stronger, he has more ways to win the fight,  and his recent inclusion of real strength/power training means we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his power.  He works well in the clinch, has avoided plenty of takedowns, and is patient picking his spots.  New champ on Saturday.

Fight Camp Reminder

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:12 pm

Please be advised that MMAPlayground fight picks have to be submitted in just under 2 days to get counted for the fights this weekend.

May 20, 2009

I Totally Called It

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 8:16 pm

Well this week has been much more active than last week’s down period.  Dream 9 is on the horizon, WEC Faber/Brown II is coming in early June, and of course UFC 98 is this weekend, but first there are some other developments worth watching:

– UFC Undisputed 2009 dropped on Tuesday, and it’s a blast.  A blast that has plenty of room for improvement next year.  The fighting engine has a steep learning curve, but it’s fun, offers plenty of depth, and makes for fun gaming on your own or in multiplayer.  The loading and menus are really annoying after every thing you do in career mode.  Career mode itself has been fun so far, I think the training has room for improvement, specifically the sparring and training with other camps.  I would prefer structured move setups to complete proficiently rather than being stuck fighting and having to make situations occur where I can even attempt the task list.  That said, I’d give the game a 4 out of 5.  It’s not perfect, but it’s solid and has plenty of little things that can be improved easily for next year.

–  Sam Caplan and Pat Miletich resign from WAMMA.  This is terrific news.  I’ve never been a fan of WAMMA, their velcro belts, or realy anything having to do with them.  When I first heard about their formation, I instantly thought money grab.  They never really seemed to do anything to further their legitimacy or try to grow the sport.  Hopefully they’ll go gently into the night.

– UFC 99 in Germany is under assault from the ignorant who know nothing of the sport, and are banning admittance of minors to the fights and their barbaric, seedy brutality.

– Time Warner Cable is dropping HDNet.  This means no Sengoku, Dream, HDNet Fights, regional promotions, or anything else for a lot of people.  I’m just hoping for Comcast to step up here locally.

–  Heath Herring has been replaced at UFC 99 by Cheick Kongo against Cain Velazquez.  Should be a good test for both guys, and help set the course for the heavyweight division.

May 18, 2009

Cro Cop Returns!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:17 pm

Reports are out there that Cro Cop is returning in June to fight Mustapha Al-Turk at UFC 99 in June in Germany.  What a pleasant surprise, hopefully we get to see Cro Cop put on some great fights.


Cro Cop Official


Michael David Smith @ AOL Fanhouse

May 17, 2009

This Week at a Glance

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 8:55 pm

You can blame my lack of posting on a lack of news content to discuss and to Plants Vs. Zombies.  That game is highly addictive.  Here are some things to keep on your radar this week after the regional/smaller org. shows this weekend:

– Dana White is going to be on the Jimmy Fallon Show on Tuesday night.

– UFC Undisputed 2009 comes out Tuesday, and numerous Gamestop stores will be having midnight releases

-UFC 98 Countdown show on airing on Thursday night.

– UFC 98 Weigh-ins on Friday afternoon should be viewable to the public online.

– Our MMAPlayground fight camp: Kneebar Blog still has plenty of spots available, and make sure to get your picks in on time.

– On Saturday, at UFC 98, Lyoto Machida will complete his ascension to champion status, and his reign of terror will last  into the forseeable future.

May 14, 2009

A Slow Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:30 pm

This week has been a bit slow news wise.  There will be plenty of action next week for the Machida/Evans fight.

-Don’t forget about the ShoMMA card tomorrow night on Showtime, there should be some competitive action there.

-B.J. keeps pushing Greasegate appeals, I hope he’s focused on Florian

-UFC Undisputed drops next week, don’t forget your preorder specials!

-Fight league on MMAPlayground and the camp name is : Kneebar Blog

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