Posts Tagged ‘Urijah Faber’

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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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.

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