Posts Tagged ‘Chris Weidman’

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Champions emerge, by a culling of the common. A lone figure atop a mountain of vanquished demons. The UFC 194 main card exemplifies these laws of natural selection. A historic event with epochal implications. Simply put, if you are going to buy a combat sports PPV this year this is your huckleberry!

When Conor Mcgregor began his meteoric climb through he UFC rankings it became obvious that a matchup with Jose Aldo would be down the line. Once the fight was signed the hype train was derailed by an Aldo rib injury. Forcing McGregor to fight for the interim belt against divisional stalwart Chad Mendes, who he picked apart methodically. Now that Aldo has healed the fight appears inevitable, just days away and the excitement level could not be higher. Both fighters have fight ending-one punch power and can win in a host of different ways. The odds may determine a favorite but in actuality this fight is an absolute toss up!

The hype generated by this matchup alone is leaving some of the Hollywood elite without ticket options. When you add in the fact that the Weidman vs Rockhold middleweight title fight is the chaser for the featherweight shot on the marquee, you might want to consider a cab ride home.

The co main event might end up being the best fight on the card. Chris Weidman has been dominate since rising to the top of the middleweight division. Unblemished, his win over Vitor Belfort in May proved his durability as he withstood Belforts best punches before slamming him to the mat and swarming him for the finish. His opponent challenger Luke Rockhold may be his toughest test to date. Rockhold possesses a unique blend of speed and athleticism that translate well to all areas inside the cage, and his speed and length may prove to be a nuisance for the champion. Another even matchup that only odds makers could fine a margin of advantage.

Also on the card is a middleweight showdown between Yoel Romero and ‘Jacare’ Souza. The classic matchup of wrestler vs jiujitsu will be on display in this fight that will most likely decide the next title contender. Neither fighter has tasted defeat in quite some time, and when you add in the title implications this fight could be a closely contested battle that goes into deep waters. Standing both fighters have advantages, with Romero the stronger of the two fighters he will have a power advantage. However ‘Jacare’s’ ever evolving standup game with grant him with a significant technique advantage. Another very close contest on paper, that will produce a future contender.

Featherweights Max Holloway and Jeremy Stephens will face off in yet another intriguing battle. Both fighters are at a similar junctions in the title picture, teetering on earning a top 5 ranking. If either fighter is going to become a legitimate contender the time is now, and this fight will solidify that claim. Holloway is riding a 7 fight win streak since his decision loss to Conor McGregor, a run that showcased victories over Cub Swanson and Charles Olivera. In his way is one tough son of gun, Jeremy ‘Lil Heathen’ Stephens. Owner of some of the most powerful punches in the division, Stephens is coming of a big win over Dennis Bermudez and is also at the point where he needs to make some noise. At 29 and with alternating wins and losses, this is a huge opportunity for Stephens to steal some thunder by landing some lighting.

Rounding out the main card is welterweight fight that will also have title implications, featuring two grappling wizards. Both Gunnar Nelson and Demian Maia are absolute masters on the mat. Maia having a career resurgence at 170 lbs has been on a roll (pun absolutely intended) since finding a new weight class.  Outside of his close decision losses to Rory McDonald and Jake Shields, Maia has been nothing short of a menace inside the octagon. Fresh off a dominant win over Neil Magny, the Brazilian submission expert is yet again on the verge of another title shot. His opponent Gunnar Nelson will neutralize much of the ground advantage that Maia is used to enjoying over his opponents which could lure him into a slugfest. A grappling expert himself, Nelson also has some accurate hands. Should a toe-to-toe slugfest emerge, Nelson should maintain a significant striking advantage. However with those little gloves anyones lights can go out at anytime, so don’t blink.

However the card ends up, whoever wins, only time will reveal. Two champions will emerge but so too will claim staking contenders nipping at those champions heels. For in MMA you can only celebrate for as long as the champaign stays cold. Once those grapes go stale, the culling will continue. This card not only serves a holiday feast for fight fans, it also sets the table for the next banquet.

NOTE: Urijah Faber will take on Frankie Saenz in a must see fight on the undercard. Also Jocelyn Lybarger will be making her promotional debut against American Top Teams Tecia Torres. This is another promising fight that could produce entertaining results.

Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor For UFC Featherweight Title
Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold For UFC Middleweight Title
Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza
Max Holloway vs. Jeremy Stephens
Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson
UNDERCARD
Marcio Alexandre Jr. vs. Court McGee
Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington
Kevin Lee vs. Leonardo Santos
Magomed Mustafaev vs. Joe Proctor
Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Saenz
John Makdessi vs. Yancy Medeiros
Jocelyn Lybarger vs. Tecia Torres

Advertisements

UFC 162 is set to take place Saturday Night in Las Vegas. The main card is stacked with a talent pool that all but guarantees one of the most exciting nights of mixed martial arts ever.  With a few lack luster cards in recent history, the company is betting this card will reverse that trend.

The main card is headlined by two champions, one current and one former. Both fighting to cement their respective legacies. Frankie Edgar is attempting to come back after losing his last three fights, all title fights, and in the eyes of many, he was robbed of victory not once or twice but in every fight. For the first time in years Edgar will fight in a 3 round non title bout.

Anderson Silva is the other legend fighting in the main event. I don’t think anyone would argue if you called him the greatest mixed martial arts in the history of the sport. Since joining the UFC middleweight division, Silva has rattled off 16 consecutive victories and has defended the title against all comers, including Chael Sonnen twice. Although age is creeping up on the champion, he never seems to show any cracks on fight night.

Both Charles Oliveira and Chris Weidman have been touted as the future of the sport since they began landing leather in the octagon. Oliveira started his career off strong, but has since run into a few speed bumps. However, his talent has never been in question and his pedigree certainly merits caution.

Chris Weidman, on the other hand has never lost. In fact, rarely has he even been in trouble. Weidman introduced himself as a title contender loudly with a standing elbow KO of Mark Munoz that put the entire division on alert. Like Sonnen, (the only man to ever have any measure of success against Silva in the UFC) Weidman possesses and incredible wrestling game and could stymie the striking of Silva by smothering him. However unlike Sonnen, Weidman is also a high level striker. Which creates other challenges for the champion. Many UFC fighters and professionals are picking Weidman.

 

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson

This is an interesting match up, in the very cluttered 145 lbs division. I don’t believe the winner will get a title shot, but he will definitely be on a short list of contenders. Siver is ridiculously strong at this weight, the former 170 lbs fighter utilizes and assortment of strikes, but his best asset may be his ability to absorb punishment. Cub Swanson is one of the most dynamic strikers in all of MMA, and has been on a tear since his loss to Ricardo Lamas. Swanson will need to avoid the kicks of Siver, and bring the fight into his kitchen. The only way this fight is going to the ground, is if Siver has no other choice but to take Swanson down. Speed is going to be the difference. Winner Swanson via UD rd 3
Tim Boetsch vs. Mark Munoz

Both fighters need victories if they have any ideas at making a title run. Munoz hasn’t fought in quite some time, but his training has been well documented and he looks to be in amazing shape. Tim Boetsch may not be the most exciting fighter to watch, but he gets the job done. A true grinder, Boetsch is known for winning wars of attrition, however this will not be one of those fights. Winner Munoz via TKO rd 2
Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy

Both fighters will be making their promotional debuts, after being folded into the mix when the now defunct Strikeforce promotion closed its doors. Gracie will need to utilize his submission game to control the fight. Kennedy although not primarily known as a striker, will hold a decisive advantage in this department. Kennedy does not want to try his luck inside the guard of a Gracie! Winner Kennedy via TKO rd 1

Co Main Event
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira

Frankie Edgar has single handily ruined fight journalism. There are no more ways to describe him. Every pun, or analogy has been used and abused. So I will spare you any more Rocky references. However, the guy is not a character he is a real fighter. Edgar’s chin and ability to take and give punishment simultaneously is Gatti-esque. His fights with Gray Maynard, Benson Henderson, and Jose Aldo are three of the best fights I have ever seen!

Oliveira is the young gun. At 23 he has already accomplished so much inside the cage. His muay thai has improved tremendously, and has removed him from the ranks of the one trick pony fighters. But his former one trick, his jujitsu, may be the absolute best in the division. This fight is being billed as David vs Golliath, with Edgar being billed as David. I disagree, Oliveira is David, and unfortunately for him, this time Golliath wins! Winner Edgar via TKO rd 3

Main Event

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman – for middleweight title

Many professionals and fight aficionados are picking Weidman to win this fight. On paper, his style is an absolute nightmare for a guy like Silva. Weidman is young, strong as an ox, and he has an entire workshop of tools that he can use. His striking left Mark Munoz and Uriah Hall in a heap, he has submitted Tom Lawler, and in his fight against Demian Maia he proved he could avoid the submission game, in order to grind out a victory. The man has won in every conceivable way, at every level he has competed on. However, he is fighting a man that has never lost in the UFC, in 16 fights.

Anderson Silva is not only the baddest man alive, he is an artist inside that cage. He paints the bloodiest of canvases, with the precision of a surgeon. He is coy, sometimes arrogant in the cage. Often times, he plays possum and lures his opponents into a false sense of success only to break them in an instance. However at times has also looked aloof when his competition, refused to engage or laid prone in hopes of inducing the grind. Chris Weidman will offer no such luxury for Silva. He will bring the fight from the opening bell, and will be in the champions face from the onset. However, how long he remains there is the question. Unlike many of the professionals that are picking Weidman, I am picking Silva. Why? I have 16 reasons! Winner Silva via Submission rd 3

 

by: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Derek Brunson (10-2 MMA) WINS via Decision Chris Leben (26-9 MMA)

Recap: Derek Brunson was able to utilize his superior wrestling skills to keep the oft dangerous Chris Leben at bay for the better part of three rounds. Brunson’s smothering grappling prevented Leben from every mounting any significant offensive flurries. The grinding style served Brunson well, as Leben began to show signs of gassing in the first round.

 

Yushin Okami (28-7 MMA) WINS via Decision Alan Belcher (18-8 MMA)

Recap:The second time was not a charm as Alan Belcher fell to Yushin Okami much the way he did the first time. Using his tremendous grappling and size, Okami took a page from the Chael Sonnen book of MMA. For three rounds the most successful Japanese fighter in the history of the UFC  thwarted every effort Belcher made. The loss will keep Okami in contention, and move Belcher out of the very crowded title mix!

Constantinos Philippou (12-2 MMA) Tim Boetsch (16-5 MMA) v

Recap: Tim Boetsch is an absolute warrior. Even though he was injured early on, and nearly blinded by his own blood he never quit coming. Constantinos Philippou threw ever thing he had at the immobile and prone warrior, and eventually in the third round the referee saw enough.  The win catapults Philippou right into title contention alongside fellow Long Islander Chris Weidman, and a few others in the very crowded middleweight division.

Jim Miller (22-4 MMA) WINS via Decsison Joe Lauzon (22-8 MMA)

Recap: This is quite possibly the best fight of the year. Early on Jim Miller utilized an extremely  aggressive offense to land an assortment of strikes to the face of Joe Lauzon as he coiled in response to the repeated assault. In the second round Lauzon seemed to come on strong, until another flurry by Miller had him on the run and covering up. Miller fought off several late slick submission attempts by Lauzon to get the nod unanimously in a very bloody affair!

 

MAIN EVENT

Cain Velasquez (11-1 MMA) WINS via Decision over Junior Dos Santos (15-2 MMA) 

Recap: Cain Velasquez came charging at the man who knocked him out in under a minute last time they fought. This time, the charge last five full rounds. Right from the start the champion was on his heels, as a huge right hand from Velasquez rattled Junior Dos Santos. The punch seemed to leave JDS without his wits for several rounds. Only toward the end of the fourth round did he seem to regain any sort of steam behind his punches. Cain looked tremendous, as he consistently dragged Dos Santos to the mat, wearing him down with consistent pressure, and grinding elbows.

New Champion Cain Velasquez

by Jonathan King The Clinch Report

With the recent rash of injuries in the UFC, many intriguing match-ups have arisen only to disappear. Jon Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) the current light heavy weight champion of the world was offered his title shot because of an injury. When Rashad Evans (17-2-1 MMA, 15-2-1 UFC) was unable to compete against Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua (21-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) because of an injury, Jones accepted the title shot and went on to dominate Rua becoming the promotions youngest UFC champion in history. Since then other opportunities have been offered, some accepted, some refused, but none were as successful as Jones.

Recently with injuries to both Georges St Pierre (22-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) and Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and as in the past, the UFC decided to implement ‘Interim’ champions. Currently both Carlos Condit (28-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC), and Renan Berao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) hold these titles in the welterweight and bantamweight division respectively. Both fighters are obligated to unify their titles once St. Pierre and Cruz are healthy enough to compete again.

The past month has been especially rough with both title contenders and title holders being injured. After Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 8-2 UFC) injured his knee and was unable to fight Jon Jones several people had the opportunity to rise to the occasion, only no one did. Fighters only have a small window of time before these injuries take their toll. The cliche ‘better to have tried and failed, then to have never tried at all.” seems to be apropos.

As the UFC roster expands more contenders will surely emerge. Hungry young fighters that would relish the opportunity to reach the limelight are moving up the ranks. Fighters such as Chris Weidman, (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) Glover Texiera (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Steven ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (6-1 MMA , 1-1 UFC), and Alexander Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) are certainly going to be looking for the opportunities that Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) willing let go. Now that Machida is set to face Henderson, it seems obvious that title shots disappear quicker and easier than they are offered.

 

Many people think Chael Sonnen to be the greatest talker in MMA. However, this is a subject that is up for debate. Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping (22-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) also has the gift of gab. For some reason though, his banter never receives the attention, or the results that the affable Sonnen does. For many Bisping is easy to hate. He is brash, he talks smack, he is unapologetic and at times just a horses ass, but he has been a middleweight contender for five years now so his skill must be respected.

Bisping exploded on to the scene during the Ultimate Fighter by winning the season 3 light heavyweight tournament, and then later enforced his status as a coach against Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller season 14. The exposure on television provided ‘The Count’ with a stage. His heel character seemed to develop naturally. Unlike the Sonnen who at times appears charming, Bisping’s antics seem to infuriate fans. He has started numerous feuds. Even recently with the entire Alpha Male team on twitter:

Bisping @bisping
@ufc urijah favour,Joseph benavidez and the rest of the munchkin crew talk s— cos theyre stuck in the body’s of pre pubescent boys
and I’ll take the Pepsi challenge with smug faced little shit any time.

Faber then responded:

Urijah Faber @UrijahFaber
Thought we were buddies @bisping I know u can dish it out but can’t take it back @ufc ur like a spoiled 3rd grader. Grow up.

Then later on he decided to take aim at the rest of the middleweight division. With Chris Weidman being declared the #1 contender the British fighter was vexed. “He knocked out a fat Mark Munoz, who was out of shape and coming back off a long layoff because of injury,” Bipsing recently told MMAjunkie.com  “He elbowed a fat Mark Munoz and now he’s the great white hype? Just because he elbowed an out-of-shape fat man? ” Only Bisping can anger two legitimate contenders with one sentence.

Apparently, Bisping embraces his role as the most hated fighter in MMA. However he never seems to get the shot. Other trash talkers such as Josh Koscheck, and Chael Sonnen were able to parlay their hype-based talk into title shots. Why has Bisping been unable too? The answer is simple. His brash attitude lacks the jovial charisma that the other fighters possess. Sonnen’s ridiculous claims, fake title belt, and Ali-like rhyming schemes make people laugh. His over the top claims are impossible to believe, yet charming. Josh Koscheck’s seems to enjoy the hate, and that in itself is charismatic. He acts like the Ric Flair of MMA, and his skills and mouth have earned him the title shots.

Unlike those two, Bisping comes off as a bully. His brash talk and unapologetic manner are not endearing to fans, or fight makers. Simply put, he is a tough guy to like. However his skills cannot be denied, his record against the best fighters in the world enforces his claims. Maybe he should close his mouth and earn the fight the old fashioned way. One has to wonder if it would have already happened. had he done so earlier in his career.