Sunday, August 26, 2012

Over Halfway Done!

I'm over halfway done with Version 6.0 of  "Black Swan Origins: Nineveh."  It's about twice as good as Version 5.0 and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  The Protector's best friend is growing in leaps and bounds, as well as another character who lacks integrity and courage.  I also added some more information about what the male gangs are doing during the story.  They can't interfere directly due to strict codes of conduct that the students of Nineveh have given themselves, but they still exert a lot of influence.
I'm very strong when it comes to English grammar and spelling.  However, even if I decide to self-publish in an e-book format, I'm still going to have several editors look at it.  Constructive feedback is invaluable because very often, when we spend so much time on our work, we miss some flaws due to the fact that we are so familiar with them that they don't stand out anymore.  A fresh pair of eyes is always beneficial, and if I decide to go the self-publishing route, I will ask the authors whom I've met on Twitter about which editors they recommend.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Can Belfort Dethrone Jones?

Alright, so for all of you who haven't heard all the chaos going on in the UFC, Machida bowed out of fighting Jones at UFC 152 and now Vitor Belfort will be facing the light heavyweight champion in the main event.  I'm not sure why Sonnen got skipped over, but I've always liked Belfort more.  He has always come across as respectful and kind, and is a genuine Christian.  The only question is whether or not he has what it takes to defeat Jones.  I think that he does.  He's definitely the underdog, but if he works hard and fights smart, he'll be able to pull off the upset and take away the title that Jones no longer deserves to have.  I will be hoping and praying that David defeats Goliath at UFC 152. 

On a side note, I think that Dana White's decision to cancel UFC 151 completely was a bit of an overreaction.  I still look up to the UFC's president and am just as upset at Jones as he is.  That being said, I still think that the other fighters could have put on good matches without Jones.  I'm also curious to know why Jones was even given the option of turning down the match.  If I was the UFC's president, I would have told Jones that if he didn't want to fight, I would take away his belt.  However, I'm sure that Jones will still feel White's wrath one way or another. 

At any rate, I am glad to see that Belfort is getting another title shot.  He has already shown himself to be a better man than Jones and I hope that he puts on the exclamation point by proving that he's the better fighter.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jon Jones Needs To Man Up!

I was completely shocked to find out that UFC 151 was cancelled today.  Basically, Dan Henderson injured his knee, and Dana White called and asked other fighters for a sub.  The only one man enough to do it was Chael Sonnen.  However, for some inexplicable reason, Jones turned down the fight!  Seriously?!  What is going on here?  You are the second greatest MMA fighter alive and you duck a perpetual contender in his mid-thirties?  I'm no Chael Sonnen fan, but at least the guy is willing to put his money where his mouth is and take on all comers.  This has caused me to gain a lot of respect for him, especially since, due to the fact that his first light heavyweight fight in YEARS wasn't scheduled until December, he stepped up to challenge one of the most feared champions in the UFC while being at a severe disadvantage.  As far as Jones goes, the guy was starting to grow on me, but after this, not so much.  He needs to learn that to be a true champion, you need more than just talent.  You need maturity, respect, honor, and courage.  None of his actions displayed those traits in this scenario.  Can he regain the respect of the UFC and the fans after this?  Possibly.  But he's really going to have to prove himself after this fiasco.

Check out the first link for the full story.  The second link shows how other fighters reacted to what happened on Twitter.  In particular, take note of what Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping had to say.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Alright, Ronda, I Tap! I Tap!

After reading about the results of Rousey vs. Kaufman, I discovered that I was dead wrong.  Rousey appears to have completely dominated the veteran Kaufman in 54 seconds.  It looks like she is going to be champion for a while and that Dana White is going to use her to promote the heck out of women's MMA!  Woohoo!  I will never doubt her again (I love my arm too much).  For the results, click the link below.  In the meantime, I'm going to try to make friends who have Showtime so that I can see her matches in the future.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rousey vs. Kaufman: My Prediction

Unfortunately, I will not be able to see the most important fight in female MMA history because I don't have Showtime and neither Duffy's nor Applebees show Strikeforce fights.  However, I still want to make a prediction.  I love Ronda Rousey and hope that she retains her title, since she is doing a great job of convincing Dana White to give more exposure to women's MMA.  However, deep in my gut, I feel that Kaufman is going to end her undefeated streak.  Kaufman has more experience and has already been submitted via one armbar by Marloes Coenen, so she has probably worked her butt off to protect against that maneuver.  She also has phenomenal striking, and if Rousey gets knocked out before she can grab a hold of her, none of her judo training is going to be particularly helpful.  Rousey is a tough girl, so this will probably last until Round 3.  That being said, I see Kaufman getting the knockout late in that round.

On another note, a lot of Rousey haters think she has gotten an unfair push because she is beautiful.  Is this possible? I suppose.  However, none of her professional fights have lasted more than one round, including her submission of the previous champion Miesha Tate, so that would be a tough case to make.  If she kept getting title shots after consistently losing in championship fights, then you could say that she was getting preferential treatment.  But for now, she is undefeated, so the haters need to quit bellyaching and get a life.  In the meantime, I need to make friends with people who have Showtime while I wait for the glorious day that women can fight in the UFC.

Made It To Chapter 15!

I have made it to Chapter 15 in "Black Swan Origins: Nineveh."  I managed to find a way to put krakens into the story.  In the earlier drafts, I focused on plot and character.  However, in this draft, I am really having some fun by throwing in some monsters and magic.  My proofreaders will let me know if I go too over-the-top, but right now, I am pushing the limit.

Nineveh Academy is supposed to be the most hellish school on the planet, and I am not holding back.  Obviously, I'm not going to be gratuitous.  That being said, the reader is definitely going to wonder how any of these children can survive the spirits, beasts, and the most dangerous monsters within the walls: each other. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Becoming A Bleeping Fighter At Nineveh Academy

I've spent the past couple of days figuring out how the fighting system at Nineveh Academy works.  The school has thousands of children, so I needed to create a practical way for the judges and teachers to select and train them for fighting tournaments.  Since these are the elite warriors of the school, the fights aren't free-for-alls like the trials.  There are rules (i.e. no biting, hair-pulling, etc.) to ensure that the cream of the Yangvaadan crop don't get maimed.  Also, the winners of these competitions get rewards which make survival much easier.  That's why there is a lot of corruption, politics, and outright cheating involved, which will be covered in more detail in the novel. 

I also wrote a little bit about Maxine Njalsdottir's notable opponents.  If Nineveh was the UFC, then Maxine would be a female Anderson Silva.  She is THE girl to beat and habitually humiliates all of her foes.  Cassandra would be a female Jon Jones: a young, athletic phenom who no one can figure out.  Will these two clash in their own superfight?  We'll find out soon enough. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Thoughts On UFC 150

Despite one of the worst decisions I have ever witnessed, me and my friend Brandon saw some awesome fights at UFC 150.  Here are my thoughts on each one of the matches.

Lawrence vs. Holloway: To my disbelief, Holloway was able to drop Lawrence with a body shot after stunning him with a knee.  Then he finished him on the ground.  Although I am suspicious about whether the second groin strike to Lawrence was truly an accident, Holloway is clearly someone whom I underestimated.

Okami vs. Roberts: I am so glad that referees are allowed to declare a bout over via TKO if a fighter is unable to intelligently defend himself.  Otherwise, Okami would have been hitting Roberts' arms all night.  Let's face it: when you are just lying on the ground and not even trying to escape the beating that you are getting, you've basically given up, and that's what Roberts did here.   

Shields vs. Herman: Herman showed a lot of heart in this three-round grappling war, but Shields simply had more skill.  The announcers said that Shields claimed that we hadn't seen "the real Jake Shields" before this bout.  It seems that "the real Jake Shields" didn't come out last night, either.  I didn't see anything to suggest that the former Strikeforce champion would become more than an elite gatekeeper in the middleweight division.  To be fair, though, this was a debut at a higher weight class, so things might change.

Cerrone vs. Guillard: Cerrone weathered an early storm by Guillard and smashed Guillard with a right hand after missing with a high kick.  After making Guillard go to sleep with that fantastic knockout, I wouldn't be surprised if Cerrone earns a title shot next year.

Edgar vs. Henderson: Easily the best fight of the night, Edgar and Henderson had an all-out war that was even more brutal than their first encounter.  It included Edgar surviving another guillotine choke and Henderson powering out of two strong front choke attempts.  However, that split decision in favor of Henderson was complete bullcrap!  Edgar knocked Henderson off his feet twice in addition to holding him in those chokes, and their striking was pretty even.  However, I understand why Dana White isn't going to have another rematch.  The state athletic commissions probably wouldn't react well to him undermining the authority of their officials.  Not to mention the fact that a rematch would result in the entire lightweight division getting stalled, something that Nate Diaz and other highly-ranked lightweights would not take too kindly too.  So while it is completely unfair, it seems that Edgar's will have to go to the back of the line for another title shot.  Unless, of course, he drops to featherweight, since a potential dream fight with Aldo could lead to him getting put on a fast track to the title. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

UFC 150 Predictions

Finally, the long-awaited rematch between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar is going to happen.  I can't wait to see Henderson prove his dominance and get a definitive win over Edgar.  Here is what I think will happen in tonight's fights:

Henderson vs. Edgar: Henderson won the first bout by decision, but it was really close.  So close that I still consider it a draw.  However, I think that "Smooth" will get a more decisive victory this time around and send "The Answer" packing to the Featherweight division and a dream match with Jose Aldo.

Winner: Henderson by unanimous decision.

Cerrone vs. Guillard: Cerrone was bested in his bout with Nate Diaz, but he still took it to the number one contender, flooring him during all of Round 2 with brutal leg kicks and refusing to give up even with a broken jaw.  No disrespect to Guillard, but I feel that the "Cowboy" is completely out of his league.

Winner: Cerrone by knockout.

Shields vs. Herman: Herman has four losses by submission, and tonight, I believe Jake Shields will make it five.

Winner: Shields by submission.

Okami vs. Roberts: The physically strongest man in the middleweight division was upset by Tim Boetsch.  However, I really thought that that was a fluke.  Okami is going to redeem himself by ripping Roberts in half by Round 2 at the latest.

Winner: Okami by knockout.

Lawrence vs. Holloway: Lawrence is such a fast and agile fighter that I don't think Holloway will be able to touch him.  I see the "American Kidd" making his debut with a Knockout of the Night award.

Winner: Lawrence by  knockout.

Monday, August 6, 2012

UFC On Fox: Freaking Epic!

UFC on Fox 4 had some freaking awesome battles.  Here's my view on each of them:

Swick vs. Johnson: Swick made an excellent comeback in Round 2, catching Johnson's kick and pushing him down.  He then finished him off with a brutal right hand.  A pretty sweet ending for a guy who had to battle back from a serious illness.

Lauzon vs. Varner: Varner controlled most of the fight early on.  However, he gassed out in Round 2 and Lauzon got the upperhand, leading to a beautiful triangle choke in Round 3.  I am not happy about the bromance which took place at the beginning of Round 3, as I think hugging during a match is just plain silly.  That being said, this was the second best fight of the night, and I was especially happy that Varner lost because he had previously beaten Edson Barboza, one of my favorite fighters.

Machida vs. Bader: "Darth" Bader is one tough dude, but "The Dragon" is on a whole new level.  Machida proved that by toying with the TUF Season 8 winner in Round 1 and smashing him with a quick right hand when he tried to rush in during Round 2.  Dana White said that the fighter with the most impressive win in the last two fights of the night would get a title shot and Machida earned that honor, hands down.  Bader, on the other hand, has his work cut out for him if he wants to become more than a gatekeeper in the light heavyweight division.

Shogun vs. Vera: A brutal 4-round war in which Vera gave Shogun a run for his money.  I was surprised by how well Vera did, and was also shocked that Shogun left his comfort zone and tried to grapple with Vera rather than stand and trade with him.  It was back-and-forth until the fourth round, when Shogun knocked Vera against the cage and finished him on the ground. 

I managed to accurately predict the winners of the last three fights.  The Browne vs. Rothwell fight never happened due to an injury sustained by Rothwell, so that prediction is N/A.  I can't wait for UFC 150, when the rematch between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson will finally happen.