Posts Tagged ‘DAN HENDERSON’

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

A fighters bravado can ultimately be attributed to necessity. Mohammed Ali mastered the art of winning the fight months before the event, not in the ring but with his mouth. In mixed martial arts young fighters often need to voice that confidence, because otherwise they recognize the chance that they may loose. For some fighters, that possibility is crippling. For others, its part of the game.

For Manny ‘Seargant’ Murillo (5-1 MMA) its just part of the journey. Murillo found his way to the sport, like many others first as a fan. Then one day he decided to give it a try.”I started going to some of the smaller gyms in the area, and did really well on the first day against some of there best guys.” Murillo said.

The sport appeared at first to come easy to Murillo, until that is he found his way to the doors of Team Quest. It was an eye opening first day “Once I got there, I couldn’t move anybody.” Murillo said. “They were on a whole different level!”

With Dan Henderson as a coach and sparring partner the results are staggering. “Its really different with Dan.” Murillo said. “Standing toe to toe with him, is like having a lion charging at you.” Working with the former two division champion has improved Murillo’s game steadily. “Dan shows you something new each time you work with him, weather its a position, a technique, or correcting your posture, he has so much knowledge.” Murillo said.

Murillo is going to certainly need to channel his in inner ‘Hendo’ when he takes on Chris Honeycutt for the vacant UPC Middleweight title at “Up and Comers 16” July 20th at The Agua Caliente Casino and Spa. Honeycutt is a former NCAA finalist as a wrestler, and is widely regarded as one of the sports biggest prospects. Murillo though, seems prepared.

“I am sure his wrestling is going to come into play.” Murillo said. “We have been working specifically on that.” However, its not only Honeycutt’s wrestling that concerns Murillo. “Even though I’m sure he is gonna try to take me down, I think it is going to be more of a back and forth fight.” Murillo said.

Although Honeycutt has the clear edge in the wrestling department, Murillo is the more experienced striker. Murillo also maintains a huge experience advantage as far as cage time. Murillo will undoubtedly be relying on this to carry him through any tough situations, should Honeycutt obtain a positional advantage. “No one wants to say they are going to loose and neither do I, but in reality it comes down to who lands the better blows, and who can hold the better positions.” Murillo said.

Although this may be the biggest fight of Manny Murillo’s career, it by no means defines him. For Murillo it is just another stop on the journey. Faith is what defines Manny Murillo, not wins or loses. “I’m just thankful to be here.” Murillo said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phil “The New York Bad Ass” Baroni is one of the early pioneers in the sport of Mixed MArtial Arts. The Massapequa Long Island native, has fought in some of the biggest stages in the world. Baroni became an immediate fan favorite with his brash style, his unapologetic demeanor, and his vicious aggressiveness. With his legacy assured, and losses piling up many people wondered why Baroni was still fighting at all.  Baroni recently said in our 30 minute interview. “I’m a Pride fighter.”

Below is a few of the questions from our MMA discussion.

JK:You have been fighting since 2000, in some of the biggest shows in the world. Why in your own words do you still compete?

Baroni:”I’m a pride fighter, you know. I fight for money. Records are for DJ’s, Money talks and bullshit walks. But my goal is to win the One FC belt. However, a shiny belt only puts food on the table if you sell it on ebay, at this point in my career money talks.”

JK: You seemed to be a different fighter in your last fight,(win at One FC Debut) do you feel more comfortable fighting under the unified Pride Rules? (with soccer kicks and knees to grounded opponents)

Baroni: “Yeah, I’m a New York street fighter. I’ve been kicking people in the head since I was a little kid! But I play by the rules whatever they are.”

JK: What was the difference between the last fight, and the one before, the one you lost to Holland in Denver?

Baroni: “I have to give a lot of credit to my cornerman, Mike Swick. Everyone before had been telling me to pace myself, and try not to get tired, but Swick told me to be the old Phil Baroni, the guy who comes out guns blazing, and something clicked in my head. At the time I was listening to too many people, my own press clippings, but Swick told me to fight my fight, and thats what I did. He understands me, he was coming off a few losses and a long lay off as well, so he knew where i was at”

JK: The Holland fight was featured on the “Fight Factory” television show. Did having the cameras on you put any added pressure on you? It was a pretty heart wrenching scene with you wife crying after the loss.

Baroni: “The show didn’t show it, but Javier Mendez begged me not to take that fight. I had a few major injuries that hadn’t healed yet, and I took the fight cause i needed the pay day. I should have never taken that fight! I didnt watch that fight, still…I’d rather watch the last one!”

JK: Good segway. How do you feel about Jon Jones not taking the Chael Sonnen fight on short notice?

Baroni: “I would have taken the fight, but look what happened last time, I lost. But, I’m not Jon Jones. I think everyone should get off this kids back. He is the champion, the Boss, what he says goes. Would I have taken the fight, ‘yes’ but who the hell am I? I am not sponsored by Nike, when you’re the champion you get to make those decisions. I don’t think it was his fault the event got cancelled. He is young. In this sport he doesn’t even have hair on his balls yet, is he brash and cocky, ‘yes he is’ but he is the champion, and the champ calls the shots, do you think Don King ever forced Mike Tyson to fight? Tyson would have told King to go fuck himself!”

JK: How has training at AKA changed you as a fighter?

Baroni: “It hasn’t really changed me, but I get to train with the best all the time! Everyone here is a great!”

JK: Did any of the drama between Josh Koscheck and Javier Mendez have any effect on the team?

Baroni: “On me, no. But the team and the trainers yeah it caused a strain. A lot of the fighters were close to Josh, some aren’t. I personally respect the guy, he is a former NCAA champion, and he is super tough…trains his fucking ass off! But business is business and that was it. It disrupted the coaches and managers, but not really the team. at one time Javier and Josh were really close, so there are personal things involved. thats none of my business.”

JK: How did you feel when all of this stuff was airing on television?

Baroni: “Would I have said and done things differently? Maybe I don’t know I got a big fucking mouth too, but yeah maybe some of it was better left off camera.”

JK: How was it having your life documented at every turn?

Baroni: “I’m used to the cameras. I’ve been in this game for a long time, I don’t even pay attention to them.I got nothing to hide.”

JK: What is next for the New York Bad Ass, I saw some rumors that you may be signing with Rey Sefo?

Baroni: “I would love to fight for the One FC belt, but like I said at this point in my career, I have to go where the money is. I have bills to pay, and have to put food on my table!”

JK: Do you have another fight booked?

Baroni: “Not sure what is next. I feel great. I’m in great shape. Old injuries, I don’t make excuses, everyone fights injured but I had some old injuries finally heal, and working at AKA i have learned more in the last six months than I have my entire career. I get to wrestle with Daniel Cormier all the time, I feel great. Feel like I could jump right into the NCAA’s and do great.

JK: What can Phil Baroni fans expect to see in your next fight?

Baroni: “You’re gonna see the same as the last fight. I’m gonna come out guns blazing, looking to finish in the first round. If you can get passed it, hats off to you. I used to train with the Team Quest guys a little (Matt Lindland, Dan Henderson) Like those guys and Randy Couture, I’m getting better as I get older. Physically I am just as strong as ever, and technically I’m faster. ”

JK: When you do decide to hang up the gloves, do you see yourself still part of the fight game in another capacity? Or will you do something else completely.

Baroni: “I love the game man, after fighting I’ll be involved somehow.”

Interview note: I would like to thank Mr Baroni for taking the time to speak with me. We will keep the post updated with any Phil Baroni Information and fight announcements. You can also follow “The New York Bad Ass” on twitter @philbaroni

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.

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 139 featured one of the greatest fights, in Mixed Martial Arts History. Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua displayed tremendous heart, and beat the hell out of each other for 25 minutes. A see-saw like fight, that saw each fighter grab hold of the momentum. For the first two and half rounds, Henderson periodically punished Rua, with vicious right hands, and almost had the fight finished.

Rua was battered and extremely bloodied, however he was far from finished. The fourth and fifth rounds saw the fight momentum swing. A obviously tired Henderson ate several strategic strikes from the clinch, and saw Rua dominate in both positions (on the ground, and standing).

Both fighters gave every ounce of effort, and the judges decision narrowly gave Henderson the victory.

Urijiah Faber looked dominant claiming his next title fight, with a surprisingly one-sided submission victory over former WEC title holder Brian Bowles. From the opening bell Faber overwhelmed Bowles with his striking, and take-downs. The fight ended after a barrage of strikes put Bowles to the ground. Faber followed, grabbed a hold of a choke, then rolled over Bowles, forcing the tap at 1:27 of the second round. Faber is now the clear number one contender and will fight Dominick Cruz again for the Bantamweight Title.

Wanderlei Silva put retirement talks on hold at least for now, with a decisive win over Cung Le. The Brazilian veteran used effective spacing, to counter the versatile attacks of Le. However early in the first round Le landed a stunning spinning back fist to the jaw of Silva, that briefly staggered him. After that, it was all Silva. Towards the end of the fight, Silva closed in on a tired Le. Against the cage, Silva grabbed a plum clinch and began delivering reconstructive knees to a battered Cung Le’s face. Once dropped, Le tried to grab a hold of Silva’s leg, as he ate multiple hammer-fists to the face. The fight ended at 4:49 of the second round.

The fight card results as following:

Dan Henderson def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Wanderlei Silva def. Cung Le via knockout (strikes) – Round 2, 4:49
Urijah Faber def. Brian Bowles via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:27
Martin Kampmann def. Rick Story via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Stephan Bonnar def. Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-27)
Ryan Bader def. Jason Brilz via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 1:17
Michael McDonald def. Alex Soto via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:56
Chris Weidman def. Tom Lawlor via technical submission (D’arce choke) – Round 1, 2:07
Gleison Tibau def. Rafael dos Anjos via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Miguel Torres def. Nick Pace via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Seth Baczynski def. Matt Brown via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 0:42
Danny Castillo def. Shamar Bailey via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:52

The Clinch Report Performers of the night: Dan Henderson, Mauricio Rua, Stephan Bonner, and Urijah Faber.

By Jonathan King
Dan Henderson (28-8 MMA) vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (20-5 MMA)

The most powerful right hand in the light heavyweight division, hangs off the end of Dan Henderson’s arm. However, it is the combination of skills, that makes him lethal at this division. Most prolific fighters at the age of 41, seem to be winding down their careers. Henderson apparently has been drinking from the same well as Randy Couture. He actually seems to get better with age. Henderson possesses world-class wrestling skills, combined with sleep inducing striking. His precision right hand knockout of Michael Bisping in 2009 is still being replayed today. After leaving the UFC for Strikeforce,Henderson continued his winning ways, capturing the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Title following his knockout of Rafael Calvacante. Then he entered the realm of immortality in the sport of MMA with an upset knockout of heavyweight Fedor Emelianeko. In 36 career fights Henderson has never been knocked out.

Mauricio Rua, is the Brazilian version of Dan Henderson. He possesses some of the best jujitsu in the division, but also has dynamite in both of his hands. Shogun can snap bones with his vicious leg kicks, or he can utilize the clinch to punish his victims with crushing knees. After losing the title to Jon Jones, Rua has returned to form as evident with his first round knockout of Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 in August, avenging an earlier loss. A fight that saw a much improved Rua, who seemed more agile, and quicker than Griffin.  Rua will look to utilize good movement and leg kicks to avoid Henderson’s take-downs. Rua will try to keep this fight standing, utilizing in and out movement and capitalizing on distance.

Prediction:Henderson via KO RD.2

Cung Le (7-1 MMA) vs. Wanderlei Silva (33-11 MMA)

After an undefeated career as a kickboxer, Cung Le has since compiled a 7-1 record in MMA. His most notable win was his middleweight championship bout with Frank Shamrock. After a fantastic kicking display, Shamrock was unable to continue having sustained a broken arm, defending Le’s onslaught. That evening Cung Le won the Strikeforce title. His spinning back-kick is legendary, and his powerful strikes work faster than Ambien. After vacating his Strikeforce title to pursue acting, Le is now looking to make his Octagon debut.

Wanderlei Silva is an icon in the sport of mixed martial arts. Entering the fight having been knocked out in 4 of his last 8 fights, his retirement seemed eminent. However, Brazilian is is looking to slug out just one more bit of relevance. The free swinging Silva is still a threat to anyone at 205 lbs, let along anyone at 185lbs, so even at this stage he is quite dangerous. Silva will have to get close to Le, where he can utilize his savage muay thai clinch, that has created a highlight reel of knockouts caused by knees, and elbows. Silva, is also particularly ferocious exiting the clinch, with his fierce free swinging hooks.

Predictions: Le via KO RD.2

Brian Bowles (10-1 MMA) vs. Urijah Faber (25-5 MMA)

Brian Bowles is entering his third UFC fight looking to continue his winning streak. The former WEC Bantamweight champion is an accomplished wrestler, with incredible striking. His rabid fire punches have overwhelmed fighters such as Marcus Galvao and Miguel Torres. However, his wrestling has also led to slick submission victories as well. A win over Urijah Faber will land Bowles a shot at the UFC Bantamweight Title.

Once again Urijah Faber finds himself fighting another world class mixed martial artist. Having already fought Jose Aldo, Mike Brown(x2), Jens Pulver, Dominick Cruz(x2), Jeff Curran and many others; Faber is not only looking to remain a title contender, he just always seems to be in tough fights. Faber will look to utilize his high energy wrestling, and unorthodox striking to contain the smaller Bowles. If he is able to take Bowles down, he will attempt to pepper the face of his opponent with his thunderous ground and pound.

Prediction: Faber via Decision