Posts Tagged ‘Conor McGregor’

Stephen Quadros is known as ‘The Fight Professor’ for a reason. He has been involved with every single aspect of the martial arts. As lifelong practitioner, the former judge in the UFC’s early days and Pride commentator has been cage-side for some of the most memorable moments in the sport.

Last week he called in to the The Brutally Honest Show, to talk about everything that is going on in the world of MMA. Check out what he had to say about the sports evolution, and the status of one of the sports biggest stars!

 

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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!

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

The UFC once again is blazing a new trail for MMA. This time along with media giant FOX, the power couple launched a very MMA-centric channel called Fox Sports 1. The channels debut featured one of the UFC’s best cards of the year, headlined by Chael P. Sonnen vs. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. The packed TD Arena in Boston was shaking with the arrival of fan favorites Joe Lauzon and John Howard, how ever the biggest ‘pop’ of the night came when Conor McGregor made his entrance. The Irish featherweight displayed an extremely versatile striking attack early in the fight, however he injured his knee in the second round and needed to utilize his wrestling to secure the decision win over a very savvy Max Holloway.

The Co Main event was by far the biggest upset of the evening, as Travis ‘Hapo’ Browne came back from a vicious early body attack to knock out Alistair Overeem in the first round of their fight. Browne, was floored from an early knee to the gut, and withstood a relentless assault from Overeem that prompted the ref to warn Browne on several occasions that a stoppage was near. Browne, withstood the barrage and then channeled his inner Anderson Silva and kicked Overeem in the face. The blow floored Overeem, and a few Browne hammer fists erased all doubt.

For Browne, his name is now solidified on a short list of contenders for the title. Maybe a match up against Fabricio Werdum would solidify a #3 contender. Overeem’s future is much cloudier. After being viciously knocked out in his last two fights it may be time for him to take a long vacation from the sport. He is not the type of fighter to hang around on mid card status, so his time in the UFC may be coming to an end. Even if it is not, his brain has been rattled lately it might be in his best interest to take at least a year off!

Following the Browne upset, two legends took to the cage. Less than ten seconds into the fight, one of those legends had already imposed his will. Chael Sonnen was able to get across the cage, grab a hold of ‘Shogun’ Rua, and slam him to the mat in less than 10 seconds. ‘Shogun’ did his best to resist, stood up a few times, and then surprised everyone by taking Sonnen down! However, he wasnt able to hold him, and Sonnen was able to reverse position.

Sonnen blanketed the former champion, refusing to let him up. Utilizing his position, Sonnen was able to secure a guillotine choke at the end of the first round that forced Rua to tap. To ‘Shogun’s credit, he rolled and resisted as long as he could. Sonnen, as Joe Rogan pointed out several times has a deadly guillotine,

Like Overeem, these fighters are not really in any title pictures anymore. However unlike Overeem, neither one of these guys has ever appeared to be “done” fighting. For Sonnen, there is talk of a match between him and Wanderlei Silva. A fight that really has no implications, but its should be a fun fight to watch. For Rua, the loss extinguishes any hope of returning to title contention. He has been in a lot of wars, and I wouldn’t blame him if he did hang up the gloves, but I don’t think he will. Maybe a fight with Bisping would make sense.

Analysis of Debut on Fox Sports 1.1:

First the name sort of makes the numbering of events, well redundant, and unclear (For example this was titled UFC on Fox Sports 1.1). I don’t see how that wasn’t brought up already! Secondly, FOX needs to brand the UFC separately from the NFL. For example Kill the robot, and please destroy the NFL music. I’d rather hear the signature “Bring the Pain”. Also, keep Curt Menefee of the broadcasts. Watching him learn about the sport on the fly, hurts my feelings.

Other than those obvious ticks, I think the UFC and FOX hit a 3-run Triple with this swing. Overall exceeded expectations in my eyes. It is a very exciting time for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, which had been in a recession of late. Hopefully these free public displays will infuse life back into the sport that will trickle down to the regional levels. This way the sport continues to grow, and more importantly continues to feed itself!