Posts Tagged ‘Matt Serra’

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

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Photo by: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Photo by: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

By: Jonathan M. King

The best way to describe Chael P. Sonnen’s personality is polarizing. His cantankerous approach and quick tongue leave most people who come across him on one side of the room or the other. Not many  folks find themselves in limbo when asked “What do you think of Chael?” He is charismatic, talented, extremely intelligent, and his fight analysis is as cerebral as anyone in the business. He can also be a dick. A big one! He doesn’t mind playing the bad guy. He understands that in the world of entertainment everyone has a role to play.

These characteristics are the reason he became the face of the UFC on FOX. Simply put, no one else was a better fit. He was the perfect ambassador for the sport. A good looking, witty dude, who engaged the camera as if it were the viewer themselves. Sonnen made you part of the broadcast weather you agreed with him or not, he involved the viewers. His WWE style promos endered fans who once thought him as brash, but now branded him as ‘colorful’.

Most importantly he raised everyone else’s game to his level. He made Karyn Bryant that much better than she already was… His back and forth exchanges with Kenny Florian, were always hysterical, and his presence made the shows fun to watch. Sort of the way Will Ferrel does, Sonnen’s presence commands the room. You never can be sure what you are going to get from him, and that edginess created a ‘Howard Stern-like’ quality that even his detractors had to watch.

Then it all disappeared. Following two failed drug test (for competition in the UFC, not narcotics) Sonnen was released from his position at FOX, the network cited his conduct as their reasoning.

Ever since the quality of the FOX broadcasting of UFC events has been lacking. Sonnen’s chair has been filled with an ever-changing group of fighters that include (most recently) Josh Koscheck, Matt Serra, Chris Lytle, and Jake Ellenberger. All of whom made Sonnen’s absence that much more obvious with less than stellar performances.

Broadcasting and working with other broadcasters is an artform. A talent that Sonnen has displayed naturally. Maybe we miss him now because those who have tried to replace him have been horrible. However I don’t think its about the what the others lack, per say, its more about what Sonnen possesses. Simply put they’re failures are that they are not Chael!

Not everyone is meant to be a fighter. The same can be said about analysts.  Sonnen’s absence from the FOX broadcast team has shined a glaring spotlight on that fact. The void left in his absence is tremendous. It reminds me of what the news must have been like after Cronkite left…There was no news, because he WAS the news!

Punishment and forgiveness go hand in hand. With the circumstances around this case, with the types of drugs he was taking, and the reasons for taking them (coming off of TRT, and fertility treatments for the soon to be father), maybe its time to forgive. Not because he is needed so badly but….well yeah, because he is needed so badly.

Lets face facts ‘The UFC on FOX’ programming is horrible without ‘The American Gangsta’, borderline unwatchable. The last few shows have proven like Cronkite before him, Chael Sonnen is the identity of ‘The UFC on FOX’ programming. Without him, there really isnt much too watch. Its time to stop fixing mistakes with other mistakes. Please, put Chael back on TV.

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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