June 30, 2009

Spectacular Troll or Outright Delusion?

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:13 pm

I know that prefight talk coming from camps has little to do with how a fighter is going to fight in a given bout.  That said, when an interviewer has that recorder running, some people say really wild stuff.  Since there’s not been much news lately, everyone gets all wound up over either a calculated ploy or questionable decision making.  The offender?  Why none other than the Whoolfslayre fight camp

Fighter’s Only

Bloody Elbow’s Leland Roling


“He will take Dan Henderson down more than one time in the fight. He will, that’s how he is going to win the fight. That is how I see it. When they start trading I think Mike will win the scrambles. Dan is a great scrambler but in a scramble situation I think Mike is going to come out on top every time. [Bisping] is fighting a guy that I have competed against, in the sense that Rampage fought him before. What I have done is basically helped him complete his strategy for the fight. Wrestling-wise I am probably one of the best MMA-wrestling trainers in the world at the moment. There is no doubt in my mind that he will end this fight before the third round.”

-Zach Light – Wolfslair Wrestling Coach

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the same man who has coached Bisping’s wrestling against Rashad Evans, Matt Hamill, and led Cheick Kongo to the grinder against Cain Velazquez (Kongo did step up on short notice, but Velazquez’s plan wasn’t a question mark and Kongo has had the ground deficiency as a weakness for a while).   Light is a good wrestler and coach, but to say Bisping is going to outwrestle Dan Henderson is a reach.  Bisping may have the advantage in scrambles and standing, but wrestling is Hendo’s game.  We’re in for a great fight…



June 29, 2009

The Countdown to UFC 100 is On

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 10:06 pm

Required viewing:

June 24, 2009

News and Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 8:47 pm

The weekend was busy with some great fights, but now things are beginning to stew.  Onto the news:

UFC Fighters featured in the EA MMA game –  Sounds good to me, the important part is that they get the engine right or the game will fail.

Vitor could be coming back to the UFC– This would be a huge coup for the middleweight division, and give us another potential title contender for Anderson.

The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale did pretty well ratings wise – The next season very well may set records.  I’m psyched to see how everything goes down.

Jamie Varner may have to compete against an interim champion when he returns. – I’ve always been high on Varner because he brings some good tools to compete with.  Will this lead to a rematch with Cerrone?

Affliction has cut ties with Andrei Arlovski.  This limits Andrei to Strikeforce, Japan, or a UFC return (at a considerably lower pay rate).  I’m not even entertaining his professional boxing career until he makes weight for a fight.

June 22, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:29 pm

Sometimes you can’t help yourself:

June 20, 2009

TUF 9 Finale Predictions

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 8:11 am

Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida


Damarques Johnson vs. James Wilks


Chris Lytle vs. Kevin Burns


Andre Winner vs. Ross Pearson


Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson

Gleison Tibau vs. Melvin Guillard


Brad Blackburn vs. Edgar Garcia


Mike Ciesnolevicz vs. Tomasz Drwal


Nicholas Osipczak vs. Frank Lester


Jason Dent vs. Cameron Dollar


June 18, 2009

Instant Replay Not Quite Yet

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:02 pm

Excellent MMAjunkie article

Basically, instant replay may become a reality in the future for MMA, or at least in sanctioned events in Nevada.  This issue will be a polarizing one as proposals go public, and I am feeling a bit apprehensive about it.  Instant replay needs to pass several trials before it can be effectively utilized in mixed martial arts bouts.

The first and primary concern to be analyzed before making any decisions is the impact of instant replay on fighter safety.  Instant replay seems to have a neutral impact; it will not improve safety or worsen it.  Instant replay is free to move on.

The second trial could be the impact of instant replay in creating a balanced environment for the sport to occur between participants.  I think most would agree that instant replay if, applied properly, could lead to positive outcomes in fights where it is needed.  This raises the question of appropriate application.  Would there need to be more officials placed in different areas or additional camera angles kept?  When is the window for going to instant replay?  Do you use on the appeal of a fighter/corner, when requested by an additional official not in the cage for certain reasons, or if there has possibly been a fight outcome caused by illegal tactic accidental or deliberate?  What if the fight flow continues past an illegal tactic?  What is the followup for instant replay, immediately going to scorecards, round additions, or the same 5 minute rest period for a restart?  Can it retroactively change decisions and scorecards?    You can not come a a conclusion that will please everyone on this issue.

Another trial to consider is the redundant nature of the rule.  The athletic commission of the state usually can reverse the results of a bout or rule it a no contest.  Look at any case where a fighter has tested positive for a banned substance (Diaz/Gomi reference here).  If the sanctioning bodies can make changes already, why is additional ruling and regulation needed?  All instant replay could possibly bring at that point is that it could make for immediate impact in real-time.  I wonder, wouldn’t the commission be able to make an immediate decision anyway?

The most cited cases at this time are the Cro Cop/Al-Turk fight, and of course Johnson/Burns.  In the Johnson fight, they deferred to the officials judgement call, and did not reverse that unfortunate error in judgment even with overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  If installed would we see every bout being second guessed due to an accidental strike to the back of the head or downward elbow?  I am not excited to find out.

June 15, 2009

News and Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 8:57 pm

-Tim Sylvia has been dropped from the Affliction Trilogy card coming up this August.  I give Tom Atencio my full support in keeping Tim Sylvia away from any fight venue where there may be fan unfortunate enough to watch him fight.


– There is a a PR war of sorts brewing right now between the UFC and Cro Cop.  Right now I have no idea of what the truth is or how this will end up, but I see Cro Cop ending up in Dream.  Here’s your required reading:

Zach Arnold


USA Today


Al Turk’s protest of the outcome of the fight looks like it’s dead in the water as well.

June 14, 2009

I See Skys of Blue…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 8:34 am

June 12, 2009

UFC 99 Picks

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:48 pm

Don’t forget to make your picks on MMAPlayground a little bit earlier for tomorrow.  The PPV will be airing stateside at 3pm and again at the usual 10pm slot.  I’m really jazzed for this card, every fight is intriguing in some way.  There should be some good wars.  Here we go…

Cro Cop vs. Mostapha Al Turk


Spencer Fisher vs. Caol Uno


Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy


Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders


Cheick Kongo vs. Cain Velazquez


Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva


June 9, 2009

Stop the What If Scenarios

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:52 pm

First and foremost, the WEC show on Sunday night was absolutely amazing.  I strongly encourage anyone who has not watched its entirety to leave this page open while finding a way to watch the show.  I can wait…

That said, Luke Thomas at Bloody Elbow has written a fine piece addressing the vocal element that is proclaiming that the broken hand explains Faber’s loss.  My opinion is that Mike Brown explains Faber’s loss.  In a bout where limits were pushed for both fighters (Brown’s cardio, Faber’s hand, Brown’s control on the ground, etc.) there are too many variable to lay responsibility wholly on just one.  Brown came out with a clear plan to pace himself, fight a low risk strategy, look for opportunities to assert himself, and utilize his physical stature to his advantage.  I’d also note that he appears to be superior technically standing, on the ground, and in the clinch.  Faber came out with a strategy to keep a high pace testing Brown’s stamina, fight his usual unconventional style, and be more patient than normal before trying spinning elbows and other lower percentage attacks.

One factor that struck me in the first round was that Faber started out very well, he was totally unpredictable mixing kicks and punches, and his movement seemed to neutralize Brown.  As the round wore on, Faber’s confidence grew considerably.  His success and the confidence that followed it seemed to lead into him going riskier and riskier.  His disciplined strategy started to fade, and a few winging exchanges later….broken hand.  This broken hand limited his striking game the rest of the fight lessening his chances for victory.

Mike Brown fought patiently, and “stalked” the cage very well.  He had some weaker moments, but I was impressed with his ability to get back to his home position.  I was also bothered with Faber’s ground game in the fight, he seems to have no aversion to giving up his back whatsoever.  That said, Brown never capitalized on it more than scoring points and with ground and pound.

I am kind of excited about this loss for Faber.  I get the feeling that we will see a new “Faber 2.0” emerge after this fight much like GSP did after his loss to Serra.

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