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UFC 125 Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard

Wow! What a fight!

Even though it’s been several days since the UFC championship fight between Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar, I find myself  thinking about it often. It has to be the amazing fact that Edgar came back from a brutal smashing in the first round –he was knocked down 3 times!–and was able to turn the fight around to the point that I thought he had done enough to win it.

In the first round he took a savage beating inside the octagon but after making a few small adjustments between rounds, Frankie began to get much less. As Maynard began to slow noticeably –probably due to the massive amount of energy he used in trying to finish Edgar throughout the 1st round–  as time went on, Frankie scored often with striking combinations. He also finished several explosive take downs including one that resembled a pro-wrestling power bomb. I’m pretty sure I was fist pumping the air after that one!

The main adjustment he made was a simple yet often underused striking concept. He started to move his head off the line of fire often –especially after throwing his own punching combos– causing Maynard to miss a huge percentage of his striking attacks. A good thing, because there’s no way that he would have been able to handle much any punishment from Maynard. Gray was hitting super hard that night and clearly would have finished Edgar early on, had he been able to continue to land his strikes cleanly.

Last night I filmed a video breaking down the way I  apply several of the techniques Frankie Edgar used so successfully to keep his head from being Gray’s punching bag, in rounds two, three, four and five.

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Categories : Discussion, Reviews, UFC
Comments (4)

UFC 125 going down this weekend…

I’m actually pretty excited about this upcoming UFC Card for many reasons.

  1. It’ll be cool to see Edgar defend his title against someone new.
  2. I always like watching Chris Leben slug it out “Zombie Style” inside the Octagon.
  3. If we’re lucky Silva and Vera could turn out to be a solid striking battle.
  4. Can Dong Hyun Kim stay undefeated after facing the always scrappy Nate Diaz?
  5. Clay Guida is fighting on the card. I’ve always liked his wild aggression and chaotic hammer fisting style of mixed martial arts fighting.

What do you think about the card?

Make your picks (posting them in the comments) and the person/people with the most correct selections will win any one of my MMA training workshops.

Please post your picks in the same order as they are listed below as it will make my job of calculating the results much easier.

Good Luck!

The UFC 125 Fight Card

Frankie Edgar (13-1) vs. Gray Maynard (10-0)
Chris Leben (25-6) vs. Brian Stann (9-3)
Thiago Silva (14-2) vs. Brandon Vera (11-5)
Nate Diaz (13-5) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (13-0-1)
Clay Guida (27-11) vs. Takanori Gomi(32-6)
Marcus Davis (17-7) vs. Jeremy Stephens (18-6)
Josh Grispi (14-1) vs. Dustin Poirier (8-1)
Phil Baroni (13-12) vs. Brad Tavares (6-0)
Mike Brown (24-6) vs. Diego Nunes (15-1)
Daniel Roberts (11-1) vs. Greg Soto (8-1)
Antonio McKee (25-3-2) vs. Jacob Volkmann (11-2)

Categories : Contests, Discussion, UFC
Comments (17)

Without a doubt James Toney is a slick boxer with fantastic head movement, relaxed and accurate punching, and a killer instinct. All of those assets have me really looking forward to seeing how he does inside the 32 foot octagon shaped cage this coming weekend.

Known for his devastating inside fighting and equally proficient trash talking capabilities, I really hope Toney brings some slick movement and long range techniques with him as well on the night of his UFC debut as he desperately needs to avoid being grabbed, stuffed and squished against the cage by his opponent Randy Couture. If he cannot stop Randy from doing those things, this heavyweight match-up between two combat sport legends, will be over very,very quickly.

Many eyes will be watching this weekend from both the MMA and boxing communities. It doesn’t really matter to me who wins as I have spent many years training as both an MMA’er and a boxer and enjoy both sports tremendously; I’m simply hoping for each fighter to be able to showcase their skills a bit to create a memorable fight for all combat sport fans.

That being said, I think Randy will win this one sometime in the second round by ground and pound.

Who are you picking?

Check out this vid showing some of James Toney’s great fight hightlights…

Categories : Discussion, UFC
Comments (0)

Time For Chuck Liddell to Retire?

Posted by: | Comments (5)

There really isn’t a bigger star than Chuck Liddell in the sport of mixed martial arts.

The guy was born to fight. From his signature hair cut to his in-ring intensity and the way he carries himself outside the cage, there’s no denying that the guy is doing the job he was meant to do.

A strong wrestler that can strike, Chuck posed as a huge problem for any opponent that was brave enough to step inside the octagon with him. Those that did enter to face him, knew their mohawk sporting opponent had only one intention once the action started. It wasn’t to choke them, or armlock them or even ground and pound them into submission; Chuck was looking for the knockout! Scary and intimidating for his opposition, it was this mindset that made Chuck a huge hit with pretty much every fight fan out there.

Who didn’t like when he took out Tito Ortiz with strikes both times? I know I did!

For me it’s been really sad to see Chuck, a guy who has done so much for mixed martial arts, lose his last five of six fights. Even more bothersome is the way he’s lost those matches; KO’d or TKO’ed in four of them.  I really hope that any damage Chuck’s taken inside the cage over the years doesn’t permanently affect him in any way outside of the cage in his everyday life.

Should he retire?

I think so as it’s not worth risking the many years he has ahead of him by fighting in a sport that he has already achieved so much in.

Ultimately the choice is his and if he want to keep fighting I wish him all the best and will cheer him on each and every time he scraps. If he does retire,  there’s no questioning the fact that he will be remembered as one of the sport’s biggest stars for a very long time.

Thanks Chuck for the great fights and highlight reel knockouts over the years! You the man!

Categories : Discussion, UFC
Comments (5)

Ever since my fight with Josh Koscheck I wondered what UFC fights would be like inside a cage smaller than the 32 foot diameter octagon that is being used now. I had spent a lot of time training in a smaller cage for that fight but looking back it would have been wiser to spar in a big open area with no ropes or cage surrounding my sparring partners and I. That’s pretty much how big the octagon feels.

The large diameter of the UFC cage combined with the fact that its 8 sides makes it really difficult to mount any offense against an opponent who doesn’t want to engage. With no real effective way to corner a fighter who is looking to simply stay out of range and move, fights can quickly become boring.

During my fight with Josh Koscheck, it was a major challenge to get him close enough to kick let alone punch, and even after I’d land a hard shot he’d be back out of range making combination punching almost impossible. I remember at one point actually leaping in at him while throwing a 4 punch combo and still couldn’t reach him with any of the strikes! My boxing coach still laughs about that moment as I think it threw me right into a take down.

The lack of striking returns from Koscheck luckily didn’t affect our fight because Josh engaged often, scoring some nice takedowns which kept our battle going on the ground.

We’ve seen a few situations  (ie. Starnes/Quarry comes to mind) where a fighter totally chooses to constantly disengage and the other fighter has absolutely no chance of catching up to them. Nate was actually running forward after Starnes at one point and still couldn’t do it.

Lately, I think the large cage has allowed fighters to slow and sometimes nearly halt the action within a fight. In my opinion this is extremely bad for the sport and will without a doubt hurt it’s growth in the future. Some fighters are scoring a takedown or two or landing a few mediocre shots and then riding out the clock because they absolutely know that their opponent will not be able to force them to fight.

Some champions don’t seem to want to take risks anymore using the large cage to move freely while fighting conservatively and winning by decision. I think is an approach that robs the audience of the huge amounts of excitement that many match-ups could have brought. As a fighter I’ve always looked at decision victories as much less than a full win. Sort of a “to be continued” since no one was submitted or knocked out in the process.

I think a smaller UFC octagon will promote action during fights and liven up upcoming fight cards. Let’s keep the UFC excitement train rolling!


Categories : Discussion, UFC
Comments (2)

With the UFC’s recent signing of champion boxer James Toney there has been a lot of talk in the media.

I think it’s great to have a highly accomplished boxer within the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and I’m really looking forward to seeing him go at it in the Octagon. His success will depend on who he gets matched up with first.

From a style standpoint the ideal fighter for him to fight would be someone who likes to strike but possesses less than stellar take down skills. With some basic wrestling training, consisting mostly of drilling defensive movements, I believe Toney can prove to be very dangerous against any fighter who fits that description. Give him a fighter with solid take down ability  and I think he loses the fight sometime in the first round.

It’s all going to come down to what the UFC’s plans are with James Toney. Do they want to see him dominated in his first fight to send a message to the boxing world ? Or do they want to help him climb the ranks and build on his already substantial star status,  by giving him fights in which he has an average to good chance of winning?

Anyone in particular you think would be a good match up for James Toney?

Categories : Discussion, UFC
Comments (5)