Posts Tagged ‘Chad Mendes’

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By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Folklore has to start somewhere. Legends are born of actuality, rarely do they exist without some sort of merit based on reality. UFC 189 may still only be an infant as far as timeline is concerned,  but it ages, much like a fine wine, it will become widely accepted as the greatest night in not only MMA history, but it may have been the single greatest evening in combat sports history.

For 21 minutes the world was treated to a fight that will forever serve as the bench mark for excellence in mixed martial arts. UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and his vanquished foe Rory MacDonald engaged in a back and forth blood bath that had the entire arena on their feet the entire fight. Early on, the champion was in charge only to find himself virtually knocked out by the challenger late in the fourth round.

However in true champion form, Lawler emerged in the fifth and final round and quickly regained the momentum, cracking Macdonald’s severely damaged nose with a pinpoint straight left hand that had him instantly in survival mode. One more removed all of Macdonald’s motivation, as undoubtedly the pain in his shattered face began to over come his senses.

The fight, an instant classic came before a crowd that wasn’t even expecting, as the Irish flags can attest.

The UFC has long been building their Irish superstar, and it appeared to many that maybe they were making the mistake that many other promoters before them made. Simply put, many did not believe the hype. McGregor for all his bravado and bolstering was set to face a bulldozer in Chad Mendes, and at some point he was going to be tested.

Moments of uncertainty grew, and pundits became semi erect when Mendes grounded the striking assault of McGregor for the better part of the first and second rounds. A elbow inspired gash from a strategic Mendez elbow certainly reinforced those doubters. However McGregor then did what he does so well. He threaded the needle with a few pinpoint strikes, that exposed Mendez’s short camp, and quickly his gas tank empty. Repeated kicks to the body from McGregor increased the leak, and eventually the tank emptied and Mendes shut down.

The win for McGregor earned him the moniker as the UFC interim Champion in the featherweight division. A label he will be forced to wear until Jose Aldo is ready to compete in order to unify the titles.

These two fights may go down as the greatest one two punch in combat sports history. Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are the biggest fighters in the UFC not because of the MMA fans, but because they translate outside of the sport. Love them or hate them, people have an opinion about them and they want to see them.

UFC 189 was full of casual fans who don’t necessarily follow the sport. Many people there like Anthony Macauley were brought there by friends, with no real expectations but instead had eye opening experiences that could make them life long fans of a sport they only casually knew about. “I went out to Vegas with some buddies and wasn’t even planning on going to the fight.” Macauley said. “I’ve always loved boxing but never got into the UFC.” After finally deciding to attend, Macauley was blown away by the event “The intensity in that arena leading up to the main event was unbelievable… I picked a hell of a first UFC event to attend, Im hooked for sure!” Macauley said.

These experiences are what will grow our sport to the next level. UFC 189 may be the night Conor McGregor earned the crown he claimed so long ago, but it will be remembered as the night Rory and Robbie went to war, and the rest of the world couldn’t help but watch!

 

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By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh

Video By:Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

On any given day you can walk into Systems Training Center in Hawthorne CA and bear witness to the next generation of UFC superstars. One of them, Christos ‘The Spartan’ Giagos (10-2 MMA UFC Debut) will not be there however, because right now he is in Rio, cutting weight for his UFC debut against Gilbert Burns (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

Giagos punched his ticket with a huge KO victory over Dakota Cochrane (17-7 MMA) at RFA 17. ‘The Spartan’ dropped Cochrane with a hellacious flying knee that removed his opponent from his senses.  Already a blip on the UFC’s radar, Giagos secured his spot with the highlight reel KO. Once Giagos signed it was announced he would be making his promotional debut in Brazil, against an undefeated Brazilian! Certainly not an easy debut…

Burns, is without a doubt the toughest test yet for Giagos. The submission expert has also reeled off a few finishes via strikes, so a complete game plan will be needed. That is where coach Ian Harris comes into the mix. Harris, is a scientist when it comes to planning a fight. Quickly becoming one of the best kept secrets in MMA, Harris will need to develop a plan to keep Giagos in his comfort zone, without offering any opportunities. Together the two will construct a floating game plan that will adapt(if necessary) to the style of Burns.

The key for Giagos is too not only keep the fight standing, but to pester Burns relentlessly on the feet. Burns maybe physically stronger than Giagos, but no where near as fast. If Christos is able to move in and out of Burns range, and effectively score on the entrance and exits, it could be a long frustrating night for Burns.

According to pedigree Burns will look for the take down at some point, especially if Giagos is scoring on his feet. However very often a grapplers egos get the best of them, and they decide they want to become strikers. Should this be the case, Giagos will win the fight! Especially if Burns thinks he can rely on the ground late in the fight. Giagos has excellent wrestling defense.

Of course every prediction has a short shelf life. Saturdays predictions will vanish as results are carved, Hopefully when that happens, the UFC finally spells the name right! ITS GIAGOS, not GLAGOS!

Prediction: Giagos via TKO Rd3

 

 

 

 

TRU MMA

Cub Swanson with Brother Steven Coach Joel Diaz and his TRU MMA Team

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

To begin the story of Cub Swanson (21-5 MMA), lets start halfway through the tale, to eliminate the 300 lbs elephant. In June 2009, Swanson ate a knee :08 seconds into his fight with Jose Aldo that ended the night for Swanson. ow he lost has since been the screw his haters turn whenever Swanson gets close to that title shot again. The problem is, it appears the UFC is listening, or at least agreeing.

Cub Swanson is a throwback fighter, in a world where title shots are talked into existence, Swanson prefers to let the wins pile up. His 6 fight win streak was punctuated with a 5 round dismantling of Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night. Still after the win Swanson stayed true to his mantra, “I don’t beg!” Swanson said. Should he have too?

His current win streak has seen him beat Denis Siver, Ross Pearson, Dustin Poirier, and Charles Oliveira, as well as the aforementioned Stephens, with four of those six wins coming via stoppage.

Currently champion Jose Aldo is set to face Chad Mendes in Los Angeles in August. What is odd is that the same stereotype that haunts Swanson (vicious loss to Aldo) should also haunt Mendes (who was also KO’d by an Aldo Knee), however for some reason it doesn’t. Both fighters have been on a roll since the tile loss. Mendes has maintained an unblemished record, where as Swanson stumbled once when he was caught in a triangle by former title challenger Ricardo Lamas. (A fight Swanson was dominating before getting caught in the submission!)

So, whose next? If the UFC had its way, they would probably lobby for Connor MacGregor. Who is quickly replacing Chael Sonnen as the mouth of the UFC. Will he be able to talk his way into contention? What happens if Mendes gets hurt while preparing?

Hopefully Swanson’s status as a headliner at a Fight Night Event, was the UFC’s way of seeing if he was a viable headliner. As the UFC grows glaring hole has been the amount of legitimate headliners that can sell a PPV. Recent declines in numbers have people wondering if the amount of events (some weekends now how 2 events!) have watered down interest.

Sure this is all conjecture, and monday morning quarterbacking, but I question anyone to find someone more deserving of a title shot than Cub Swanson. Its been 5 years since he lost to Aldo the first time. In that time, no featherweight has shown more improvement. Each win has been punctuated by drastic improvements.

Swanson is also not the type to ‘ride out a win’. As his win over Stephens showed, even when clearly ahead on points, Swanson is constantly looking for the finish. Winning decisively is not enough for ‘Killer Cub’, he has to finish. This determination is what makes him one of the UFC’s most entertaining fighters to watch.

To deny a fighter what he has earned, because of what others perceive is shameful. It reduces effort, and makes the sport look more and more like a popularity contest, than a combat sport competition!

Maybe if the sport was actually regulated by the ranking system already in place, we wouldn’t run into these issues. The Bottom line is the UFC decides who fights who, not the rankings.

We can only hope that the deserving, and the anointed are one in the same!

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

The long hard life fighters lead is extremely different from fighter to fighter. Back-rounds vary, stories differ, however one goal remains true for most fighters; and that is a contract with the UFC. Andre Fili took one more step closer to that goal last night with a unanimous decision victory over a very game Enoch Wilson at Tachi Palace Fights 15 in Lemoore California.

Utilizing his superior length Fili was able to open up the fight by frustrating Wilson with his jab. After eating a few head turning shots, Wilson was able to secure a take-down  but was unable to keep position as Fili was able to reverse into a dominant position and land strikes from Wilson’s guard.

The second round was very similar to the first, however about halfway through the frame Wilson caught Fili with a whiplash like spinning back-fist that immediately gave Wilson confidence to continue attacking on his feet. Even though he was able to close Fili’s eye with a right hook, once on the ground Fili was able to control most of the round, with the only offense from Wilson being a failed kimura attempt from bottom.

With his eye completely closed, and fight seemingly in his favor Fili could have just cruised to a majority decision. However he began the round like a fighter behind, with excellent distance striking and counter punching. Fili was even able to secure a round securing take-down late, that enabled him to sap the last of the fight from Wilson.

Winning 30-27 on all score cards Andre Fili is hoping to make his way to the UFC soon, where he would join his team Alpha Male brothers Urijah Faber, Joseph Benevides, Chad Mendes, and Danny Castillo who are already on the roster.

Fighter Analysis: At 5-10 the Sacramento native is extremely long for 145 lbs. Very range established striker, with deceptively good ground game. Strong athlete, with excellent agility. Able to establish range with both hands and feet! With 11 wins and only 1 loss that was due to a knee injury, he has the record and the pedigree to make the big stage in his very next fight. Andre Fili is a can’t miss prospect in the 145 lbs division, with an established team supporting him I would not be surprised to see him in the UFC by the middle of next year!

 

The new Flyweight division is set to kick of on March 3, 2012. Beginning with a 4 man tournament, the UFC will eventually crown the winner the first ever Flyweight champion.  The initial fights will see Ian McCall in his octagon debut against former bantamweight contender Demetrious Johnson(14-2 MMA). The winner of this fight will square off against the winner of Joseph Benevides vs.  Yasuhiro Urushitani (also making UFC debut) .

The 125lb limit weight class, will be on display for a  worldwide audience. The flyweight division will be featured as part of the UFC on FOX 2 which is still without a venue.  Johnson was initially scheduled to fight Eddie Wineland at bantamweight, it is unclear who, or if  Wineland will fight on that evening, now that Johnson will be competing in the tournament.

Ian McCall(11-2 MMA), is widely regarded as the best flyweight in the world. He enters the octagon for the first time, as the current Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Champion. The 27-year-old is undefeated (4-0) since dropping down in weight.  Yasuhiro Urushitani at 35 years old may be making is UFC debut, however he is no stranger to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Urushitani (19-4-6 MMA) is currently riding a five fight win streak, and is the current Shooto Champion.

Joseph Benevides (15-2 MMA) is looking to solidify himself as a champion. His only two losses came to current Bantamweight Champion, and Team Alpha Male slayer Dominick Cruz. With Cruz set to fight Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber, and Jose Aldo set to defend his Featherweight Title against Chad Mendes, Benevides is looking to solidify his teams dominance in the lighter weight divisions.

The flyweight division will offer fight fans, fast paced fights, that feature extraordinary technique.