August 27, 2009

UFC 102 Fight Picks

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 10:21 pm

Is it time for some more picks already?

Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

meeting with destiny

Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva

Chris Leben vs. Jake Rosholt


Nate Marquardt vs. Demian Maia


Brandon Vera vs. Krzysztof Soszynski

not many vera pics

Gabriel Gonzaga Vs. Chris Tuchscherer








August 23, 2009

For the Casual…How to Pick Fights

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 10:00 pm

Yeah it’s been a while, but there’s plenty of resources on my blogroll if you want more serious coverage.  I want to help those of you who may be forced to pick a fight at an event viewing party, at a bar, a pick ’em league, or perhaps this will help if you have money on the line.  That said, this isn’t designed for the serious fight gambler or any gambler actually.   Please take that as my disclaimer that I’m not responsible if you find yourself broke.

Most serious fans have probably seen these rules posted before, and I’m not taking any credit for any of these ideas.

First, some classic rules if you have some contests where you are looking for a deciding factor:

-bet on wrestlers

-bet on Russians

-bet against bad tattoos and bad haircuts

-physique really isn’t an indicator unless you’re seeing a guy start to look sloppy or see a guy making huge improvements

-the amount of weight cut, size, and reach do matter.  Mike Brown is a big featherweight and knows how to use his physicality and technical prowess to create problems for other fighters.

It’s always prudent to look for guys with quality experience tied against competition from the top organizations:  UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, Pride, DREAM, Sengoku, Shooto, DEEP, Bellator, etc.  Competition against other recognizable names gauge a fighters level.

Look for guys that train with serious camps.  There are plenty of mcdojos out there so look for guys that train with elite competitors such as:  American Top Team, Black House, Xtreme Couture, Nova Uniao, Brazilian Top Team, Jackson’s MMA, etc.

Look for guys who have a specialty.  Guys who are world class at grappling (Demian Maia, Jake Shields, Dan Henderson) tend to experience success.  Guys who specialize in striking ( Cro Cop, Anderson Silva, Thiago Alves) also experience success.  The point is that you need to be good at something.

Specialization aside, look for people who can compete in all areas, and are proficient in blending techniques through transition.  Fighters who can use striking to setup up a takedown, ground and pound to setup a guard pass or submission, or effectively feint takedowns to achieve the clinch are dangerous and tend to be good picks.  Examples include Fedor, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Miguel Torres, etc.

Look at how a fighter can win.  Fedor or Anderson Silva can win with dominant striking or grappling.  Guys who can stand up and bang, but don’t have any ground weapons may be at a disadvantage against a guy who can strike and grapple.  Multiple areas of proficiency give a fighter a place to go if their inital gameplan doesn’t work.  Torres had difficulty with Mizugaki’s striking in the pocket, but was able to adapt and move to the clinch and take control of the fight.  Being able to finish from anywhere just increases percentages.

Look for mismatches.  Cheick Kongo was favored by some odds makers against Cain Velazquez, but is known to be most vulnerable on the ground.  What is Velazquez’s strength?  Why he was an All American wrestler, and in that fight, Velazquez is wobbled standing numerous times, but always gets the fight to the ground.  Demian Maia submitting guys with submission vulnerabilities is another prime example.

Got more ideas, let me know….

August 17, 2009

Strikeforce Meh

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 10:05 pm

I’m looking to keep this brief so here goes:

-Carano vs. Cyborg has shown that women’s MMA should be appreciated, respected, encouraged, and not headlining the card of the number 2 promotion in the United States.  Hopefully this will quiet down the Carano force feeding that the media has been giving us, and we can watch Cyborg defend her title without listening to hyperbole about bouts that will change MMA forever.

-I was a little disappointed with the product that was put out on Saturday night.  First, we don’t get the Hieron/Taylor fight which was at least well balanced.  Werdum subbing Kyle was expected, and thankfully ocurred in the first round, but we didn’t get any more content.  We got more talking, and it was lackluster chatter at best.

-Ishida and Melendez was another competitive fight, and I wonder what Ishida could’ve done with an actual training camp for the fight.

-The real main event for me was Babalu vs. Mousasi.  Mousasi is the real deal folks. If you haven’t watched any of Gegard’s fights, then please take a few minutes and watch.  You’ll be glad you did.

August 13, 2009

MMA News and Notes 8/13/09

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:13 pm

Random tidbits:

Phil Baroni headed back the the UFC? I have no interest in this whatsoever.  Baroni has some really awesome moments, but not many of them occur in the cage anymore.

Thales Leites has been cut after UFC 101.  I like Leites and think he’s just hit a rough patch, hopefully he can get a few wins under his belt and come back to the UFC

Tamdan ‘Barncat’ McCrory has been cut too – He’ll be back.

Hot Rumor from MMAJunkie Radio – Fedor vs. Ricco Rodriguez -Totally laughable, absolutely laughable.  This will get Fedor his next past his prime UFC heavyweight to notch on his belt.  Let me be the first to predict the comedy Rodriguez upset option, he is training with the Wolfslair after all…

Nick Diaz going to give pro boxing another shot – I don’t believe this will end well.

Strikeforce picks/discussion to come…

August 11, 2009

Sometimes You Can’t Cry Anymore

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 6:37 pm

Saturday night brought us BJ Penn and Anderson Silva asserting their dominance, and Sunday brought a batch of great fights and a huge upset with Brian Bowles knockout of Miguel Torres.  The bantamweight division is much more interesting with Bowles on top which sets up some creative fights with him vs. Mizugaki, Cruz, Yahya, Curran, Benavidez, and of course a Torres rematch.  The WEC has yet to disappoint, and if you’re not watching it, then you are an irresponsible MMA/sports fan.

Now onto some news….

-Nick Diaz is out against Jay Hieron and Jesse Taylor is in.  This sucks for Hieron as he keeps changing opponents making preparations difficult. Diaz’s well documented history with weed brings more trouble for a seemingly cursed Strikeforce card.

-No more Dana White video blogs!? Noooooooooooooooo

-Fedor’s next opponent is Mousasi in a sparring match I can tolerate one freakshow exhibition a year.  Aoki was the limit.  I’d rather see real fights.

– You should be following the Abu Dhabi Combat Club participants list

August 8, 2009

UFC 101 and WEC Torres v. Bowles Picks

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 7:56 am

Finally some fights, here is who you should take:

BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian

young bj penn

Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin

anderson as mj

Money Miguel Torres (the best fighter in the world) vs. Brian Bowles – Don’t forget this one is Sunday on VS.

cutest pic ever

Also, from UFC 101 take:





Barncat..wait..we’ve gotta have a picture of the Barncat, Tamdan McCrory


Continuing on….take




Don’t forget to make your mmaplayground picks and remember to watch the WEC card on Sunday night!

August 5, 2009

MMA Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 9:05 pm

The Association of Boxing Commissions held its annual conference, and announced some clarifications regarding striking the back of the head.

“Strikes are not permissible in the nape of the neck area up until the top of the ears. Above the ears, permissible strikes do not include the Mohawk area from the top of the ears up until the crown of the head. The crown of the head is found where the head begins to curve.

In other words, strikes behind the crown of the head and above the ears are not permissible within the Mohawk area. Strikes below the top of the ear are not permissible within the nape of the neck area.”

I can dig that, no problems there.  Also, making me happy is that they are not going to screw with weight classes.  There was clarification regarding 5 minute periods after accidental low blows and regarding downward elbow strikes, but I’ll jump into that discussion when it is relating to a current event.

Shifting gears into high comedy:


In the picture on the shirt, he’s wearing the t-shirt too…

There’s a storm brewing between the UFC and Strikeforce, first the Fedor signing and now issues with Gegard Mousasi (was he really misled about contract options), my interest lies in seeing if the UFC goes into full on competition mode with Scott Coker.  I would expect them to utilize countermeasures such as counter programming against Strikeforce events, escalating salaries to lure away talent and pricing Strikeforce out of the ballpark, and by pushing harder for a network deal of some kind.   The general perception among most casual fans is that the UFC is the major leagues of mixed martial arts, has the best talent, and offers the biggest star exposure.  Dana and co. will be more than happy to leverage their advantages here…

Speaking of Strikeforce, they’ve done a good job lately of being aggressive in acquiring talent and trying to shore up weaknesses by co-promoting with DREAM.  My concerns with the organization previously have been that they were riding closer to the event end of things by putting on more fights that lacked organizational background and seemingly throwing things together.  Currently they seem to be pushing more towards being a cohesive league with a background lineage in their divisions.  A weakness that needs to be addressed is their champions, Cung Le is making movies, Overeem is hurt, and Diaz and Shields are jumping around all over the place.  An aggressive organization that can take Diaz and Shields would really hurt Strikeforce (though they still have some solid competitors).

I leave you with one of the all time great entrances….

August 3, 2009

Redundant Post Discussing Fedor Going to Strikeforce

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 10:45 pm

Well, it’s time for another episode of “Beverly Fedor 90210”.   The announcement today of Fedor going to Strikeforce is huge, and not something I would have expected to happen so quickly.  The Fedor saga has cast a shadow on the scene and been the discussion topic of choice for most fans.  I definitely do not want this event to overshadow some of the other happenings lately…

-All the Affliction signings (Vitor, Rafello ‘Tractor’ Oliveira, Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley, etc)

-Tito Ortiz’s return

-This weekend’s WEC/UFC cards

Sengoku IX coverage

Fedor going to Strikeforce is huge news because of the potential matchups with Brett Rogers, Fabricio Werdum, or of course Alistair Overeem (the true heavyweight king, discuss).  Outside of those fights, what more do they have to offer?  Paul Buentello or potential rematches with Tim Sylvia and Arlovski.  There’s no interest for that.  Strikeforce has been very slick in how they’ve positioned themselves to not draw any ill will from the UFC.  They had been growing in a profitable manner, and now they’ve  painted a bullseye on themselves.  Signing Fedor makes all of the MMA hardcores happy, but can anyone point to any true evidence of him being truly worth the risks of copromotion, a leading edge compensation package,  and the ire of a competitor?  We need to face facts and realize the best heavyweight MMA fighter of all time also has the status of being a financial loss leader.  We’ll see how it turns out….

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