Archive for August, 2012

Strikeforce welterweight Ryan Laflare’s journey from Prospect to Contender.

There is no road map to ensure a safe trip, between prospect and contender. Redemption is never guaranteed, and the only assurance your receive are nagging injuries, and bruised egos.  Strikeforce welterweight prospect Ryan Laflare is no stranger to any of these roadblocks. Currently 6-0 as a professional, and entering Strikeforce as the reigning Ring of Combat Welterweight Champion Laflare is entering a world of possibility, with a fight ethic and pedigree that shows great promise.

As an avid athlete, Laflare’s journey to the mixed martial arts world is an all too familiar one, with rather unusual results. As a high school and collegiate wrestling champion, Laflare’s foundation like many, began quite normally. After completing High School, he began to study the art of Brazilian Ju Jitsu. He excelled, but Laflare, wanted to become a well rounded fighter, so he decided to take up kickboxing! At the age of 23 he began training MuayThai, and studying under the tutelage of renown striking instructor Keith Trimble at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy. Immediately his striking showed incredible promise, odd for a grappler of his caliber and back-round. Although a gym taught wrestler, Laflare developed his early striking skills on the streets of Long Island. With a tough foundation, technique was built, quickly. After showing promise in two amateur fights, that ended decisively, Laflare was ready to turn pro. “Both my amateur fights ended quickly, with one win coming by armbar, the other by TKO” Laflare said.

With his brief amateur career in the rear-view mirror, and after consistently getting the better of pro teammates in sparring, Laflare booked his first professional fight with Ring of Combat. Normally first time professionals, feel a gambit of emotions that vary from nervous jitters, to intense energy. However, for Laflare it was much different. “When I was a wrestler I was my own worst enemy”, Laflare said. “But, now for some reason I don’t get nervous, maybe a little anxiety!” Anxiety, that he attributes to eagerness. “Once the cage closes, and I look into [my opponents] eyes,  its kill or be killed, there is no emotion!” Laflare said.

Compiling an impressive 6 fight win streak in Ring of Combat, Laflare became the promotion stalwart, and walked through everyone put in front of him leading to his first title, and eventually to a call from Strikeforce. With his dreams on the horizon, a bad rash of luck led to several injuries that left Laflare without an opponent, and then unable to fight. First a bad car accident led to wrist surgery, then while training a severe knee injury led ACL surgery.  With a long lay-off, his professional fate in limbo and a growing family Laflare was forced too re-dedicate himself to the sport across the board.

Now finally healthy, the welterweight prospect is ready to stake his claim in the Strikeforce welterweight division. However, Laflare knows the road is going to get more difficult, and he seems ready. One aspect of Laflare’s personality that makes him so magnetic, is his humble attitude. “I’m not looking to get in with Nate Marquardt right away, ‘Who am I’, I haven’t fought anyone yet.” Laflare said. Currently, there is a fight in the works, however it has not been announced yet, so it’s still anyone’s guess who Laflare will face first. “I just want to put on a good fight, I’m ready. Laflare said.

The injuries sustained may have prevented him from competing, however for the past 2 years Laflare has been assisting fellow Long Island Martial artists with their fight preparation, in nearly every capacity. Long Island has a real tight-knit community of MMA Fighters, so Laflare helped prepare UFC fighters like Costas Philippou and Chris Weidman (Team Serra/Longo), as well as his own promising team-mates  Chris Wade (3-0 MMA), Gregor Gillespie (former NCAA champion wrestler), and UFC fighter Dennis Bermudez (9-3 mma 2-1 UFC).

Although injured, the past two years were used to rehabilitate, and too improve on an already impressive arsenal of weaponry. “I spent some time down with the Blackzillian camp, and trained a lot with Henri Hooft” Laflare said. “If you think my striking was good before, I’ve had two years to improve on it!” It is hard to imagine how a fighter like Laflare can become more dynamic. Ryan already possesses a unique blend of dynamic striking, and explosive positioning. Whoever Scott Coker puts across from him, had better be ready for the intelligent fury that has thrust this young fighter from prospect to contender.

Listen above to Dana White speak to the media this morning when he canceled UFC 151

After being a pedestrian during the conference call this morning that shocked the MMA world, it took a while to organize any coherent thought about this situation. Immediate reaction was sadness, for Dan Henderson who obviously is not getting any younger, sad for the fighter who sacrificed, and lost extremely important revenue both from sponsorship’s, and from fight purses. Slowly that emotion evolved into anger directed directly at Jon Jones, and Greg Jackson. Not because of the outlandish things Dana White said, but because they were in a position to satisfy their ultimate boss (the fans), and they refused to answer the call. The very same call that Mauricio Rua answered, that led to Jones becoming the champion.
Rashad Evans was slated to fight for the championship originally but a knee injury forced him out. Rua was offered Jones;  and like a champion he accepted. Now Jon Jones is refusing to do the same. Apparently Jones must has a very short memory, and now an even shorter fan base. The UFC already has enough heels, that are actually really good at playing the bad guy. Kosheck, Nelson, Diaz act universally, they never stray from who they are. Jon Jones does not seem content with either role. Great fighters, want to fight. The fact that Jones did not even want to negotiate terms (ie make it a non title fight, 3 round fight, more money etc) leads me to believe one of two things. First either Jones himself sustained an injury, and this is a convenient way out of the fight. Or he is getting bad advice from his handlers. Either way the damage is done. Jon Jones who once had the potential to achieve Chuck Liddell like status, has assured with one move, that he never will! Fight fans forgive fighters who get beat, who give lackluster performances. However they are historically very tough on paper champions.Fight fans are loyal to their sport first and the fighter second. Jon Jones lost a tremendous amount of respect in the fight community today. Respect that may not ever be earned back. For now, and for some time to come, he will undoubtedly be known as the fighter who choose not too fight too fans, and the employee who let a large number of colleagues, and other workers down!

UFC 151 Cancelled.

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Combat Sports, UFC
Tags: , ,

Video of Jones calling Hendo out for TRT

For the first time in promotion history, the UFC will be cancelling an event. Dan Henderson was scheduled to fight Jon Jones for the light heavy weight title, but due to a partial tear of his MCL in his right knee. According to White the injury originally occurred a few weeks ago, and continued to worsen as he trained. The event was almost saved when Chael Sonnen agreed to take the fight on short notice, but Jones declined. “Greg Jackson is a Fucking sport killer” White said. According to White Jackson advised Jones that taking the fight with Chael would be the biggest mistake of his career. “It has never happened before, a champion turning down a fight!” White said.

Plans are that Lyota Machida will now face Jon Jones at the next pay per view which was originally supposed to be UFC 152, but will now be promoted as 151, since this event was cancelled. “This is gonna cost us a shit load of money!” White said. “Me and Lorenzo are both disgusted.” he later lamented with regard to his relationship with Jon Jones. “This is a selfish disgusting decision that effects alot more than Jon Jones.” White went on to point out that many people who are involved behind the scenes of a fight, and the under-card fighters are the ones who will be hurt by Jones’s decision

According to White, Chael Sonnen was pumped to take the fight, even calling Jones a “mental midget”, and continued saying “there will be no spinning back fists in this fight, I’ll be him mentally and physically!” Sonnen said according to White.  “Sonnen is a lunatic…but he is willing to step up and fight and I really respect that!” White said. The lost of revenue for the lost event has yet to be figured, but with the prelims airing on FX and the lost pay per view buys, the UFC has ever right to be angry with their paper champion.

Dana White also had some choice words for Jon Jones famed trainer Greg Jackson’s advice to stop the fight: “I dont give a shit what Jackson thinks the guys a fucking weirdo, Greg Jackson should be interviewed by a psychiatrist!” Obviously there is some major issues between the sports largest promotion, and one of the sports best camps.

The frustration in White was obvious, he discussed his limited options: “Being a fight promoter I can’t make a fighter fight, you are either a fighter or your not!” White said. “I can’t make you fight, but its probably not a good idea for you not too!” With the event this weekend now scraped, and the fight agree ment with Machida yet to be signed , White warned.”He ain’t turning down the Machida fight!

Nick Diaz is without a doubt one of the worlds most talented fighters. He has fought every big name in his weight class, has never once in his career appeared to be outmatched. Questions regarding the Stockton California native have never been with regard to his ability. The Ceasar Gracie fighter has made headlines for both his amazing fighting skills, and also his strange behavior. Including his absence from press conferences, his involvement in a post fight brawl with Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller during a nationally televised Jake Shields fight, the notorious incident in a Las Vegas emergency room where he and Joe Riggs had to be separated after punches were thrown, Post fight brawl with K J Noons’s Father, then of course the two positive drug tests, for Marijuana metabolites.

Certainly those incidents would drive any employer to the point of firing him. Taken on these incidents, the elder Diaz is easily pegged a thug, or a bad sport. However,  those who know the soft spoken fighter, say the exact opposite. Nick Diaz is consistently sought out by fighters to train with, and more often than not he accepts those invitations. Recently even assisting Ronda Rousey prepare for her last two fights. Odd behavior for a bad ass who only thinks of himself. For those who take the time to know this enigmatic fighter, his personality and work ethic are magnetic. Heavyweight contender Roy Nelson has been training recently with the Diaz brothers at Roger Maywether’s Boxing Club, and he considers Nick to be a hard working, devoted training partner. Even his arch nemesis Georges St. Pierre considers Diaz to be an intelligent fighter, who knows how to play the game. Using intimidation, and attitude
to both control and to sell the fight.

Currently Nick is training full time with his younger brother Nate, who has a title fight coming up against Benson Henderson. Being the consummate teammate Diaz is always assisting Gilbert Melendez, Jake Shields, and his brother Nate prepare for their bouts.  After toying with the idea of retiring following the Condit fight, Diaz again tested positive for a Marijuana. He was summarily suspended from competition until February of 2013.  Once eligible, he will immediately become an instant contender for the title again. With St Pierre v Condit scheduled to happen in November the winner of that fight should be ready to go again around the time Diaz returns to action. Weather or not he deserves an immediate shot is debatable, however in a division that has no shortage of talent, Diaz should have no problem booking an exciting return fight.

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This is becoming a fucking joke. Finally Keith Kizer does something I completely

agree with, when he says Overeem has no chance of getting license early. The sport is young, and on the cusp of breaking through the world dominated by the “Big 3”, but this is the type of incident that drives the average fan away. Mr. Overeem needs to take his medicine(without testosterone), and start playing the humble athlete.
Also, I spoke to an orthopedic surgeon recently and asked him about anti-inflammatory medication that is combined with testosterone. He said he had never heard of such a thing! He also stated that if the mix was made by the doctor, non disclosure of the testosterone could result in the doctor loosing his license.

There is no doubt Alistair Overeem is a great fighter, and there is no doubt he is a legitimate contender, however it is my contention that no athlete is bigger than the sport, by attempting to fight early, it seem Mr Overeem thinks differently.

UFC 150 Guillard v Cerrone

Posted: August 10, 2012 in Combat Sports, UFC


This one has the makings of being a great entertaining fight. Both guys are incredibly diverse strikers, with Cerrone  maintaining a slight advantage on the feet, while also possessing a more versatile submission game.  Greg Jackson will be cornering Donald Cerrone, since Guillard is now training with the Blackzillians.

This fight could be explosive, so make sure not to blink!

Listen closely folks, thats me laughing. First question comes straight from The Clinch Report!