UFC 97: “Redemption” Recap

April 20, 2009

Alright, lets get this show started.

As I am sure many of you know UFC 97: Redemption happened over the weekend and it had a very questionable main event with lots of drama. I am going to get into that and what I think about it but first I will start off with how well my predictions went.

I am not going to break down each fight as I normally do, simply because I find that takes alot of time and I only end up repeating myself.

On this particular UFC I ended up correctly predicting 4 of 5 fights, the lone fight I incorrectly picked was the Chuck vs Rua fight, I chose Chuck to win and he ended up getting knocked out by a sloppy leaping left hook. This was a strong showing for Rua, something I am very glad to see as I have always enjoyed watching him fight, so hopefully he keeps up the good work and emerges as more of a threat in the 205 lbs UFC division.

As for the main event of this card, Silva vs Leites, it had all the makings of a classic striker vs grappler fight. Many of us following the MMA scene knew that Silva had a great advantage going into this fight, what we didn’t know was which Anderson Silva was going to be showing up, the one that would destroy opponents without a second thought or the one that was willing to dance and play around with Patrick Cote.

The answer to that question, sadly, was that Anderson would be showing up and performing in the same manner as he did against Patrick Cote. Silva would not fight Leites on the ground and Leites would not engage Silva on the feet, or rather Leites could not engage Silva on the feet because he was too slow and had a horrible disadvantage when it came to reach.

In my opinion Silva gave a shameful performance and appeared more like he was sparring with Leites then trying to knock his block off. This guy has all the talent in the world but I don’t know what he was thinking during Saturday’s main event, it was a horrible fight to watch and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the fans in Montreal who had paid good money to see this man dance around the octagon and play with his opponent in a manner that was not befitting of a UFC champion.

As for the rest of the card, I thought it was an enjoyable event. I really liked watching the Stout vs Wiman fight that got pushed up to the main card from the prelims because those guys just let it all hang out. (I am also a Stout fan and he won the fight, which was nice to see)

So, that pretty much raps up the recap for UFC 97. I will also just like to mention for anyone who is interested that David “The Crow” Loiseau lost his fight to Ed “Short Fuse” Herman, I haven’t seen it yet but from what I have read online it appears as if David just got overwhelmed by an aggressive grappler. This really sucks as I am the fan of David and I hope he finds the strength to make another, very serious, run at becoming a UFC fighter and title contender.


The return of David “The Crow” Loiseau

April 16, 2009

Some of you might be asking who exactly is David “The Crow” Loiseau?

Well my friends, the answer is simple, he is one of the greatest fighters to ever come out of Canada.

David Loiseau started his pro MMA career in the year 2000, fighting for the UCC organization in Montreal or yet better now known as TKO where he compiled an impressive record.

The Crow fights at 185 lbs and was at one time the #1 contender to the UFC middlewieght title. His dream of becoming champion fell short as he was beaten by then champion Rich Franklin over 5 rounds.

The fight between Loiseau and Franklin is one that I still remember watching, David appeared to be gun shy all through the fight and I couldn’t help get over the fact that he was letting his big chance slip right through his fingers. Now granted it is one thing for me to sit here and say that I think the Loiseau we all wanted to show up to that fight never did, however; he could have been hurt before the fight or had some serious problems happening in his life that no one knew about. So, going on what I know, David Loiseau in my opinion was not the same fighter I had grown to love cheering for during that title fight.

After his loss to Franklin the bad beats kept coming as he again appeared gun shy in his next fight vs Mike “Quick” Swick and ended up losing a three round decision. With that loss added onto his record the UFC chose to cut David from their roster. I can’t say I blame them because at the time it was looking like David had lost his fighting spirit.

After being cut Loiseau suffered another loss and that appears to have been the fight that forced things to start turning around for him.

I don’t know if David just said to hell with this losing crap but he has since won 4 of his last 5 fights, the lone loss coming by way of split decision to Jason Day, a fight many people think he won, and with that string of wins David was asked to come back to the UFC.

When I heard the news that The Crow was fighting on the undercard of UFC:97 I was thrilled. This is just one of those fighters you want to see do well and you know  he has all the potential in the world to accomplish great things.

So I will be cheering for David “The Crow” Loiseau come this Saturday night agaisnt a very tough opponent in Ed “Short Fuse” Herman. This is a very close fight to call, I have to say that unless the real Crow shows up on fight night I will be giving the edge to Herman. With saying that however; this is in Montreal (Loiseau’s hometown) and this is in the UFC, I think with those two great motivators behind him, David will come ready to bang.

That’s it for now and here’s hoping the Crow wins in impressive fashion.


UFC 97: “Redemption” Predictions

April 13, 2009

It’s prediction time and I am going to lay down my thoughts on who it is I am picking in the up coming UFC pay per view on April 18th, 2009, in my hometown of Montreal.

This is a tricky card with alot of interesting match-ups, so lets get the show started and hopefully I can make the right picks.

Anderson Silva (23-4) vs. Thales Leites (14-1)

Middleweight: 171 to 185 lb

This is a title fight for the UFC middleweight championship. The current champion, Anderson Silva, has won his last 8 fights inside the octagon and has appeared to be unbeatable.

In his last fight, against hard hitting Canadian striker Patrick Cote, many people believed they started to see the signs of a champion who has become bored with the current middleweight challangers his division was being able to produce. Is this really what was happening? Has Anderson Silva lost that killer drive because he doesn’t feel like these fights are worth his time?

Hahaha, ya right, Anderson Silva wouldn’t fight if he didn’t feel he was giving his opponents the respect they deserved by preparing 100%.

This guy is the pound for pound king and as dangerous a fighter as Thales Leites can be (on the ground because his stand up sucks and he has no power), I don’t think he will be the one to dethrone Silva.

My pick in this fight is Anderson Silva via murder.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (17-3) vs. Chuck Liddell (21-6)

Light Heavyweight: 186 to 205 lb

This fight is an important fight for both fighters, more so then normal because the loser of this fight might find themselves without a job. Both Chuck and Rua are excellent fighters and will always be considered dangerous, no matter how hard of a time they have had in their last couple of fights, because they shown in the past that they can hang with the best at 205 and win. 

As for a more indepth look into this fight, I am wanting to say that Chuck has the edge on the feet and if it hits the mat then you can give it to Rua, though I will acknowledge that Shogun (when he comes in shape) is no joke on the feet and as for Chuck on the ground, well, all I will say is good luck trying to keep him down long enough to get the sub.

Chuck has shown in his last four fights that he is having a hard time dealing with his opponents speed (is he slowing down because of his age? or did he just get caught?), against Rampage and Rashad he went with a punch that was countered and it proved more then enough to halt the fight.

I like Chuck alot, I think he is one of those fighters that you can always watch and know that you’re going to enjoy his fights, but I have to say I am starting to question if it is not indeed time for Chuck to be calling it quits before he ends up hurting himself.

As for Shogun, this guy almost had his career ended after the fall of pride because of issues he was having with his knee. Rua had surgery and all was to be believed well, then something came up and he had to have another surgery on the same knee, this whole process took up time and kept him out of the gym. Questions are rising as to if Shogun is really all that good or if his cardio is just crap because of his inability to properly train with the matters surrounding his knee, etc, etc.

All I can about Shogun is that this should be the fight we see if he is truly a star in the 205 division.

My prediction for this fight is that Chuck will end up winning. I don’t think that Rua has the power or speed that Ramapage and Rashad hold to put him away and I feel with his questionable cardio that he won’t be able to pull a Jardine and decision Chuck.   

Luiz Cane (9-1) vs. Steve Cantwell (7-1)

Light Heavyweight: 186 to 205 lb

These are a couple of young guns in the UFC, both have had only a couple of fights in the octagon and I can’t  really say all too much about them.

From what I know is that Cane and Cantwell appear to be small 205ers. I think this is an interesting fight because both of these guys seem to be at the same level when it comes to skill, so I will make the prediction that Cane wins this one. The reason why I am choosing Cane is because he comes out aggressive, so when you have two guys who hold no real edge over the other one, then you make the assumption that the judges will come into play and aggression will be a factor in any decesion.

Cheick Kongo (13-4-1) vs. Antoni Hardonk (8-4)

Heavyweight: 206 to 265 lb

This fight will be a key battle in choosing who is the next rising star and contender in the UFC’s growing heavyweight division.

Kongo and Hardonk both come from striking backgrounds, Kongo having a large reach advantage in that department, but Hardonk is the one coming into this fight with alot of buzz behind him. Hardonk has won his last three fights in decisive fashion, while Kongo has been impressive in winning his last two fights.

A big difference in these two fighters is the approach they have taken to fixing the similar weaknesses they have in their respective MMA games. Kongo has improved his taken down defence and appears to work on keeping fights standing up, while Hardonk has developed his BJJ skills and can seemingly survive long enough on the ground to avoid any submission and even at times threaten his opponents from the bottom.

As much as I would like to predict that Hardonk can exploit Kongo’s disadvantage on the ground, I don’t think he will be able to do so and I am prediciting Kongo to takes this one as I feel he holds an edge in the stand up.

Brian Stann (6-1) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (16-8-1)

Light Heavyweight: 186 to 205 lb

Another interesting 205 pound fight, similar to the Cane vs. Cantwell fight as both of these fighters appear to hold the same type of fighting style.

I am going to make my prediction short and sweet, I am picking Krzysztof to win and I will be cheering for Krzysztof to win. I think Krzysztof holds the edge in the striking but seeing as he has horrible takedown defence but solid BJJ, I believe Krzysztof will be able to threaten from the bottom if his weakness in wrestling is taken advantage of. 

That’s it for now, hopefully my picks hold up and next time I can write about how awesome I am.

Until then, I hope you enjoyed my UFC 97 predictions.


MMA reffing sucks

March 15, 2009

Honestly the officials in MMA are horrible. This past UFC pay per view had two extremely bad officiating calls and to my shock, one of them involved Yves LaVigne who I had always felt was a solid ref.

Now I am going to give Yves the benefit of the doubt by just having screwed up because of this quote provided by the Canadian press:

“I did let Mr. Sell take maybe — not maybe — I let him take a beating for absolutely nothing. So I didn’t do my job properly. So basically, I screwed up. I screwed up and I’m going to learn from it and try not to do it again. … I’m going to make sure not to do it again.”

Hopefully if he gets another chance in the big show to ref a fight he can redeem himself.

As for the rest of them, the vast majority seem as if this is the first time they have ever reffed a fight and they are either letting fights go way too long, where a fighter is out on their feet and being absolutely destroyed but for some reason the ref will let it go or they are stopping fights way too early, such as when a fighter might be rocked but has yet to lose consciousness or they are hurt but are clearly showing an attempt at improving their position. 

I think because MMA is growing at such a fast rate and is garnering a lot of public attention that some of the key parts of putting on a MMA event are starting to fall behind, for example the reffing. Now the officiating in MMA is, or at least I believe for the most part, overseen by the state / province. This means that it is not up to the promoter to put these guys who are responsible for ensuring the safety of the fighters through the proper training programs but instead it is up to the government.

I hope that the people in charge of putting whomever in the position of reffing a MMA bout will be smart enough to acknowledge that they need to ensure these particular individuals are seasoned professionals who will know when a fight needs to be stopped, because if they continue to allow the health of fighters to be put in jeopardy, then we might end up with a bigger problem then just a couple of bogus stoppages but perhaps even a serious injury.

That’s all for now and my rant on refs, I am sure I will have more to say later on as this sort of topic will never go away, simply because people are imperfect and mistakes are seemingly guaranteed to happen in sports.


My thoughts on Charles “Mask” Lewis

March 15, 2009

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Over this past week MMA suddenly lost one of its great pioneers. Charles “Mask” Lewis, one of the three founders of the MMA clothing brand TapOut, was killed in a horrific car crash.

This to me is truly a great loss for the MMA community because Mask, as he was nicknamed for the costume theatrics he and his clothing partners would participate in, was an out spoken supporter of MMA and he had been selling t-shirts out of the back of his car infront of UFC events since the start.

To say this guy was a hardcore MMA fan is a little bit of an understatement, he lived and breathed MMA and will no doubt be missed.

Rest in peace, Mask.


My Top 5

March 3, 2009

All right, so here is a list of my top 5 favorite fighters in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

 1. Georges “Rush” St-Pierre (GSP)

Without a doubt GSP is my favorite fighter ever, this guy is a tank and I can barely watch each time he fights because of how much I want him to win. GSP has a record of 18 wins and 2 losses; he fights out of Montreal and is the current UFC welterweight champion. 

If you happen to be out and about watching the fights at a bar or what not and there happens to be this loud guy screaming at the TV, well that’s me and I don’t care, I will yell all day long if I feel it will help GSP win.

2. Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer ” Silva

Born in Brazil and currently fighting out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Wanderlei brings a record of 32 wins and 9 losses to the table. This man is a menace when he fights and I love him for it. Wanderlei loves to bang and use Muay Thai to break people, though as much as I enjoy watching him fight, the years have been catching up to him and I see his next few fights as must wins.

Right now Wanderlei has chosen to drop down from the 205 division to the 185 division, I like this move because it will ensure that he is not the smaller man come fight time, as he had been with many of his 205 fights, though I am pretty sure his future retirement is on the horizon.

3. Dan Henderson

This is another fighter like Wanderlei who is in an interesting spot, his effectiveness as a fighter is being drawn into question because of his past two or three fights and I really hope Dan steps up his game.

He has a record of 24 wins and 7 losses; Dan currently is fighting out of Temecula (California) and is next to be showcased as one of the two coaches of this upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. I love Dan for all the great fights he has put on in the past but I think he is starting to lose his fire, simply put, his desire to compete appears to be fading. 

I really hope I am wrong in that assessment because of how much Dan has helped push the sport of MMA beyond the preconceived notion that its just a brawling in a cage but I don’t think he has as much of a passion for the game anymore.

 4. Fedor Emelianenko

What can I say about Fedor or rather “The Last Emperor” that has not already been said? This guy is the best heavyweight in the world and probably will go down as being the best heavyweight ever.

Fedor fights out of the Red Devil Sports Club in Russia, he sports a record of 29 wins and 1 loss (a very controversial loss that many people think should have been a no contest because Fedor suffered a fight ending cut from an illegal strike).

He is the only fighter on my top 5 list that is currently not a member of the UFC organization, a thing that has somewhat hurt his ability to fight other top heavyweights but with many things MMA, I think the UFC will eventually get him into your stable of fighters.   

 5. Nathan Marquardt 

Last but certainly not least, Nate “The Great” Marquardt is starting to once again gain momentum in his fighting career and will hopefully be lining himself up for a possible title shot after his next fight. He sports a professional record of 28 wins with 8 losses and is a universally recognized top 5 middleweight of the world.

This move to put Nate in my top five came most recently after his last performance against Wilson Gouveia and if he continues to fight like that, he will be guaranteed a spot on my list for a long time to come. Nate has most recently been able to get away from his previous tactics of laying on top of his opponents for the duration of fights but improving his striking and showing that he does have the capability to finish fights. I am very much interested in seeing how well he does in the future and hopefully he continues putting people away. 

All right folks, that’s a wrap and I hope you enjoyed my little list of those I personally cheer for.


UFC 95: “Sanchez vs. Stevenson” Recap

February 24, 2009

ufc_95_sanchez_stevenson.jpg ufc_95_sanchez_stevenson.jpg image by cedled

I have to say this card produced some great fights. I honestly did not expect it to be as good as it was, just because it was free on SpikeTV and people rarely give away anything of quality for free.

Now in my previous post I was able to state who I thought was going to win 5 main card fights. I ended up correctly choosing 3 of the 5 fights; something I would say is not all that bad, but now I am going to break down where I think I went wrong and why.

Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson (Winner Sanchez via Decision)

Lightweight: 145 to 155 lb (67 to 70 kg)

I picked Diego in this fight to win, I actually picked him to stop Joe, and it ended up going all 3 rounds, basically a kick boxing match because nobody went for any takedowns and I have to say that I was not impressed by Diego in this fight. The main reason he won was simply because he seemed to be trying to counter Joe all night long and Diego was using kicks when striking with Joe, where Joe was essentially just boxing.

A big problem I see with Joe, from this fight and others, is that he has gotten away from his bread and butter. He needs to take a step back from fighting, find out where he is going wrong and stop allowing himself to be put into these fights where the UFC is being able to build fighters off of the name he has already established for himself.

Nathan Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia (Winner Marquardt via TKO)

Middleweight: 171 to 185 lb (78 to 84 kg)

I picked Nate in this fight and boy did he come prepared. He was switching up levels perfectly on Gouveia and getting him really thinking about the takedown. You also got to see Nate showcase his striking ability as he basically picked Gouveia apart on the feet.

Awesome performance by Nate and he is just another win away from a title shot.

Josh Koscheck vs. Paulo Thiago (Winner Thiago via KO)

Welterweight: 156 to 170 lb (71 to 77 kg)

So this is probably the biggest upset of the night. I picked Koscheck in this fight to win and he ended up pretty much just getting caught on the button.  This happens, kind of an early stoppage but you have to defend yourself at all times and Koscheck just let his standup get sloppy, and if it gives you a better idea of how big a upset this was, this was Koscheck’s 14th fight in the UFC and this was Thiago’s 1st.

Chael Sonnen vs. Demian Maia (Winner Maia via Triangle Choke)

Middleweight: 171 to 185 lb (78 to 84 kg)

I picked Maia to win and this fight was pretty short and sweet. Maia was able to keep his perfect MMA record….perfect…by easily submitting Sonnen.

All I can say to anyone who has to fight Maia in the future is not to do what Sonnen did and that is don’t take Maia to the ground and believe you can survive there. This guy is a beast on the mat and he continues to prove it in every fight.

Dan Hardy vs. Rory Markham (Winner Hardy via KO)

Welterweight: 156 to 170 lb (71 to 77 kg)

So I picked Markham to win in this fight and that was a huge mistake on my part. I figured this would be a coin flip fight and I have to say that I actually feel stupid for making that statement. Hardy just proved he is a very real threat at 170 and that his striking is to be taken seriously, Markham was never in this fight at all and I send my apologies out to Hardy for doubting him. 

That’s it for now, I hope you all enjoyed.