Posts Tagged ‘Diego Sanchez’

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Bellator 99 delivered some key opportunities for featherweights in the opening round of the tournament. First up, Justin Wilcox survived an early and dynamic battering from Akop Stepanyan, only to secure a submission victory. Wilcox, who took the fight on just 7 days notice, could barely stand after Stepanyan dismantled his lead leg with snapping kicks. However, he could not finish him.

Late in the second round, Wilcox was able to bring Stepanyan down and once he did, the transition to the back and subsequent choke, was lightning fast. Stepanyan did his best to escape, but eventually went to sleep after refusing to tap. With the win Wilcox moves on to the next round where he will face ‘Baby’ Joe Taimanglo.

Taimanglo was able to secure his spot in the next round with a win over Andrew Fisher. Utilizing excellent movement, Taimanglo was able to close the distance well, effectively neutralizing Fisher’s reach advantage. At times the fight lacked action, but that was because both fighters were utilizing their game plans. Fisher flurried late in the third round, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judges.

Also fighting in the opening round of the featherweight tournament were two of the promotions youngest prospects. Former #1 155 lbs prospect Fabricio Guerreiro was able to out point a very dynamic Desmond Green. Guerreiro was able to control the pace of the fight, and aside from a few take downs from Green clearly won the fight.

With the win Guerreiro now is faced with the daunting task of going up against Patricio Pitbull in the next round. Pitbull needed just 1:19 to move on, after he blasted Diego Nunes with an incredible hook to the ear that dropped the former UFC standout. Follow up punches removed all doubt.

Also on the card, Vladimir Matyushenko utilized an effective striking game plan to keep heavy handed Houston Alexander at bay for most of the fight. When Alexander did land, ‘The Janitor’ smothered him with a combination of dominating wrestling and grappling skills. Both fighters refuse to look or act their age (41) and the result was one hell of a fight.

With the win, Matyushenko should be on a short list of names for the next 205 lbs tournament.

More pictures will be added later today!

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Interviewed by Karisa Winett The Clinch Report

Contributions by Jonathan King and John Walsh

The fire of competition is built on years of training, and is fueled by many motivations. For many fighters, these motivations change. They become infected with injury, or influenced by family and friends. Often the pure love of competition is lost in the search for a paycheck, or for recognition. Talent alone is not enough to counter life’s heavy hands, but it does serve for a starting point, should the fire begin to burn again. For Karo ‘The Heat’ Parisyan, the furnace is once again stoked, fueled, and ‘The Heat’ is back on!

UFC 154 GSP Walkout Shirts and Gear

At one time, Karo Parisyan was one of the most talented fighters on the UFC roster. His judo pedigree coupled with his brazilian jujitsu back-round made him one of the deadliest ground fighters in the game. With notable wins over Josh Thompson, Nick Diaz, Matt Serra, and Chris Lytle, Parisyan earned himself a shot for the #1 contender position against Diego Sanchez. Although losing the fight via decision in a back and forth affair, Parisyan solidified his reputation as the fight earned a Fight of the Year nod.

Everything seemed to be going great, but then slowly the fire began to go out. Injuries mounted, that led to poor performances and an addiction pain killers arose in attempt to keep himself fighting. After being cut from the UFC, Parisyan continued fighting injured, and soon found himself a memory in terms of relevance in the MMA world.

Then in 2012 Parisyan began the slow process of rebuilding the fire that once fueled him. Slowly under the watchful eye of Team Hayastan leader Gokor Chivichyan, ‘The Heat’ began feeling healthy again, and with two wins in less than two months, he appeared to be in great form.

With the return to form, Parisyan was able to secure a deal with Bellator. His first fight however, would not be a tune up, he would be fighting former Judo rival Rick Hawn at Bellator 95 April 4th at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City New Jersey. The fight will air live on Spike TV. Hawn, is returning to the 170 lbs division after his loss to Michael Chandler in a 155 lbs title fight. Although the two have never fought in MMA before, they have competed against each other in Judo, and have built quite a rivalry.

“I don’t like Rick Hawn” Parisyan said. “He has said alot of bad things about me, saying he didn’t want to be compared to me!” [in reference a statement Rick Hawn made before transitioning to MMA when he was compared to Karo for his Judo back-round by a reporter Hawn Responded :”“I wouldn’t want to compare myself to him, kind of just because I can’t stand the guy,” said Hawn. “I’ll be better than he was. He had a base with judo but he wasn’t as good. My judo is a little more advanced.”] “He should be happy to compared to me, I helped put Judo on the map for guys like him.” Parisyan said

Although Parisyan does not like Hawn, he does respect his ability. “His right hand is really good, he has been knocking guys out with that, and he is a really strong athlete.” Parisyan said. “But I’m walking around heavier, and have built more strength I used to walk around at 172 and fight at 170, but now I’m closer to 190.” The new strength has shown in the gym, as he is now sparring with bigger guys, and pushing them around.

For Parisyan the future is uncertain, but his focus is clearly placed on his April 4th fight. “I have a three fight deal with Bellator, maybe I will enter a tournament, we will see what they say after this fight.” Parisyan said. For now, the fire will continue to grow. Fueled solely by the motivation too “Shut a few people up…and to kick Rick Hawns ass!”  Parisyan said.

TUF 17 - Wear What the Fighters Wear

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Main Card:

Siyar Bahadurzada (171) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (171)

The first fight is interesting match up between a savvy veteran and a heavy handed newcomer, making only his second appearance for the UFC. Bahadurzada has high expectations, and faces his toughest fight yet in Kim. Standing across from him is a man who has only lost twice both of whom are current title contenders(Carlos Condit, Demian Maia). However, Bahadurzada should still maintain the edge in the striking department.

Prediction: Bahadurzada via TKO rd 2

Mizuto Hirota (146) vs. Rani Yahya (146) Hirota is making UFC debut after coming over from the now defunct Strikeforce promotion. He will be looking to impress his hometown crowd, and the UFC brass. Coming off a unanimous decision loss to Pat Healy, he will look to pressure an extremely dangerous Roni Yahya. Yahya is one of the best Brazilian jujitsu practitioners in the world, and is looking keep the momentum rolling after choking out Josh Grispi in his last fight.

Prediction: Yahya via Submission rd 1

Hector Lombard (186) vs. Yushin Okami (185) Yushin Okami has revived his career with his last two performances, earning him a big fight in his hometown. There is only one problem, his opponent is one of the most feared men in all of MMA. Hector Lombard showed in his last fight, what was missing in his first, when he dispatched Rousimar Palhares in exquisite fashion. For Lombard, the transition to the UFC had not gone according to plan after losing his debut. In the battle of relevance vs excellence, take the later every time.

Prediction: Lombard via TKO rd 2

Takanori Gomi (156) vs. Diego Sanchez (158)*

“The Fireball Kid” has promised a resurgence so to speak, one that will start a journey to the title near his hometown of Tokyo Japan. at 34-8 there are very few fighters in the 155 pound division with as much experience as Takanori Gomi. With wins in his last two fights, one coming over Mac Danzig, maybe there is some credence to his claims. Gomi’s dream to be champion is put to its next test when he faces another “Dream”, one that was formerly a “Nightmare”. For years Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez ran roughshod over 2 divisions in the UFC. His aggressive punch for punch style, and granite chin are legendary to fight fans around the world. His style is reminiscent to the Pride days of yesteryear. Now the “Nightmare” is over. For Sanchez his in cage persona became his life persona. Recent injuries, and hardships have forced to pugilist to find meaning outside of the cage. Religion has given Sanchez a new outlook, and a second lease on life. In the cage, however little has changed. He will be looking to overwhelm his opponent with his non stop aggression, and relentless take downs. Early candidate for Fight of the Night.

* SANCHEZ FAILED TO MAKE WEIGHT Agrees to sacrifice 20% of his fight purse.

Prediction: Sanchez via unanimous decision

Mark Hunt (266) vs. Stefan Struve (260)

This is a very interesting match up stylistically. Struve has a combination of skills that can finish the fight in any position. His hands are more than capable of inducing narcolepsy, and his submissions may be one of the best in the division. Add to that arsenal his 7 foot frame, and you would literally have to be outside the cage to be out of his range. Waiting inn the shadow of this “Skyscrapper” is Mark Hunt, ax in hand, ready to chop it down! Not many people in the world can claim they can strike with Mark Hunt. The former K-1 champion may not have the most impressive MMA record, but his recent improvements have been marked, and heads are turning. He will need to utilize his powerful muay thai strikes to wobble, or stagger Struve. However once inside the lengthy range, Hunt has to be weary of Struve’s jujitsu. Most likely Hunt will need to pop in and out, to be effective. This brings his cardio into question.

Prediction: Struve via Submission rd 1

Wanderlei Silva (204) vs. Brian Stann (206)

If Mixed Martial Artists wore military uniforms, very few would be adorned with more accolades and medals than Wanderlei Silva’s. He has been in more wars than Germany! His go for broke style has made him an icon in Japan. Unfortunately his style may no longer suit his chin. Brian Stann will certainly be looking to test that chin early and often. For some reason this fight will be taking place in the 205 lbs division, although Stann has no desire to stay there. For Silva, this could be his last fight as well. Another poor showing will certainly get more people talking retirement. Stann will have the advantage on the ground, his wrestling and strength should be enough to control the jujitsu attack of Silva. Silva although much older and worn, will still maintain a punchers chance. Stann better make sure to keep his chin away from the Wanderlei hooks.

Prediction: Stann via KO rd 2