Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ronda Rousey: The Women's Champ Is HERE!!!

You know that you are an amazing fighter if everyone knows your signature move and they still get caught in it!  That being said, Rousey vs. Carmouche wasn't the squash match that I thought it would be.  Here are my thoughts on that bout and the rest of UFC 157.

Koscheck vs. Lawler: Lawler pulled an amazing upset in the first match of the card, knocking out Koscheck in the first round with a shot to the side of the head and then taking his back to finish him with more strikes.  After this, I believe that Lawler deserves a top five opponent for his next test.  Meanwhile, Koscheck being out of the title picture is the least of his worries.  I could easily see him getting the axe like Fitch after he was schooled like this.

Neer vs. McGee: This was a pretty decent fight to watch, with McGee getting a clear decision after picking Neer apart with better striking, a rear naked choke, and a couple of takedowns over the course of the bout.  Neer did make a comeback in Round 2, but it wasn't enough to turn the tide.  By Round 3, McGee was back in control.  While I don't see him entering the top ten anytime soon, I believe that he will work hard enough to stay on the roster.

Faber vs. Menjivar: I wish Faber had fought like this in his last title fight!  He pulled off an amazing first-round submission, transitioning from a crucifix to a rear naked choke while hoisted in the air!  I went completely crazy after I saw that the California Kid still has it!  While I don't think that he should get another title shot anytime soon, Faber has proved that he can still prevail over high level competition.

Machida vs. Henderson: I think that this match was better than a lot of people gave it credit for.  At any rate, while Henderson did manage a takedown in Round 3, Machida's speed, agility, and superior striking were too much for him and he lost by a split decision.  I was also surprised that Machida was able to trip Henderson and do some ground-and-pound in Round 1.  He's not really the grappling type, to say the least.  While Machida has earned his title shot against Jones, I'm a little disappointed that Hendo didn't win.  He probably would have been squashed by Jones, but it would have been nice to see him get a shot nonetheless.

Rousey vs. Carmouche: This was easily the most exciting fight of the PPV!  Carmouche was seconds away from making it to Round 2, and against Rousey, that's a serious accomplishment!  Not the mention the fact that she managed to pull a Vitor Belfort and nearly upset a heavily favored adversary in the first round!  She took Rousey's back and got a rear naked choke, which was very similar to the one that Faber used to submit Menjivar earlier.  Unfortunately for Carmouche, Rousey can take pain as well as dish it out, and managed to hang on until she pried "Girl-Rilla's" foot loose and flipped her.  Rousey also absorbed a nasty kick to the chest and managed to get the submission with her signature armbar, although Carmouche made her fight for it.  I was happy for Rousey's victory, not least because I told my Christian young adult group that if she lost to Carmouche, I would show up to our next event in jeans, a t-shirt and a Curious George bathrobe.  While I'm glad that I will not have to follow through on that promise, I have a bigger reason for being happy: I am hoping for an Olympian vs. Olympian superfight! 

My dream fight for women's MMA would be Rousey vs. McMann.  McMann's silver medal in wrestling makes me believe that Rousey will have a much harder time taking her down and getting her arm.  If anyone has a chance of dethroning the Queen of MMA, it's McMann.  Also, as much as I am proud of Rousey for getting women into the UFC, I'm not one of her fans and hope that McMann can teach her a lesson in humility and respect, octagon-style!  In the meantime, Rousey should enjoy the limelight as the first ever UFC women's champion, because she has earned it, and like it or not, the champ is HERE!!! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My UFC 157 Predictions

The historic debut of the first ever women's UFC champion has come!  Here are my predictions for this groundbreaking PPV!

Koscheck vs. Lawler: Koscheck is still one of the better contenders at welterweight, even though the division has been bolstered by guys like Condit, Diaz, MacDonald, and Hendricks.  I see him getting the victory in his return.

Winner: Koscheck by KO in Round 2

McGee vs. Neer: I see Neer using his experience to pull off the victory.

Winner: Neer by decision.

Faber vs. Menjivar: Faber usually excels in bouts that aren't for the title, so I see him winning this rematch.

Winner: Faber by submission in Round 3.

Machida vs. Henderson: If Hendo lands the "H-bomb", then it's all over.  That being said, I don't think he's fast enough to catch Machida.  I see Machida running circles around him all three rounds before giving Hendo his first KO loss.

Winner: Machida by KO in Round 3.

Rousey vs. Carmouche:  Look, this is MMA and anything can happen.  That being said, Carmouche has as much of a chance as beating Rousey as Brian Stann does of beating Anderson Silva: almost none.  This seems like a squash match set up to make Rousey look good in her debut and I see it playing out just like that.

Winner: Rousey by armbar in Round 1. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wishing I Knew Krav Maga Before I Went To Peace Corps

So far, I have typed up 103 pages of "A Valiant Effort."  It's just more host family drama on Kosrae, so I'll save it for the book.  Suffice it to say that passive-aggressive behavior is extremely irritating. 

At the same time, I am glad that I have been to the School of Hard Knocks.  I had a sheltered life growing up and was a bit of a social recluse, so I didn't experience a lot of negative things until I went away to college and graduated.  Now I am more street smart, and part of it is because of my crash course in the Pacific.  Not to mention that it inspired me to train in martial arts again.

I wish that I knew Krav Maga before I went overseas.  When it came to unarmed combat, karate was more than enough.  That being said, I'm a strong and athletic young man, so most people aren't dumb enough to attack me unarmed.  When I was staring down the barrel of that gun, I froze because I had never prepared for that situation.  My life didn't flash before my eyes or anything.  I only had one thought: "Ah, crap.  Now I'm going to die!" 

Now that I know Krav Maga, I'm more prepared.  Obviously, the key thing is to avoid a situation like that in the first place.  However, if I have no other choice, I know exactly what to do. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

UFC 156: Day Of The Underdog!

Wow!  Last night was ridiculous!  My head is still spinning from all of the upsets!  On top of that, Aldo and Edgar had a five-round war that is an early "Fight Of The Year" candidate.  Here is my reaction to every event on the card.

Benavidez vs. McCall: I correctly predicted that Benavidez would win, but it was due to a poor judges' decision.  Even though the fight was close, I thought that McCall was the victor.  He not only cut Benavidez open; he took his back in Round 2 as well.  However, the judges saw it differently. 

Winner: Benavidez by unanimous decision.

Fitch vs. Maia:  As soon as the match started, Maia was on Fitch like soy sauce on fried rice!  He took him down at will and rode his back like he was a donkey!  Fitch was lucky that he had good submission defense.  Otherwise, Maia would have choked him out.  Maia easily took a lopsided decision, leaving me in shock and awe.

Winner: Maia by unanimous decision.

Overeem vs. Silva:  This bout is proof that you should never underestimate your opponent.  Why not?  Two words: Bigfoot smash!  After toying with Silva for two rounds, Overeem found himself in trouble after a head kick, two overhand rights, and a flurry against the cage.  It was lights out for the Reem, and I looked around for a deep fryer in which to dip my words so that I could eat them.

Winner: Bigfoot by knockout.

Evans vs. Noguiera:  This match is also known as "Never Underestimate Your Opponent: The Sequel."  Rashad found himself the victim of a fighter with better standup.  Why he didn't use his wrestling is anybody's guess.  At any rate, Little Nog was determined to win and Rashad was determined to slack off.  Noguiera clearly earned this decision.

Winner: Little Nog by unanimous decision.

Aldo vs. Edgar:  Edgar made a huge comeback in Round 3, and managed to hit Aldo with a lot of flurries.  In addition, he took him down twice, once in a WWE-style slam.  Nonetheless, Aldo had done just enough to stay ahead.  He landed stronger and more damaging strikes from the outset and came back with a highlight-reel superman punch in Round 5.  I personally think that Aldo took Rounds 1-3 and that Edgar took Rounds 4 and 5.  For that reason, I agree with the judges' decision.  At the same time, with the heart, skill, and class that these guys showed in this astounding superfight, I consider both of them winners.

Winner: Aldo by unanimous decision.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My UFC 156 Predictions

Finally, the two best fighters under welterweight are going at it!  The PPV would be worth it just for Aldo vs. Edgar, but the whole card is pretty stacked.  Here are my predictions for this supercard!

Benavidez vs. McCall: I've never seen McCall fight, but I do know that he had a draw against Johnson before losing their rematch.  This is definitely going to be a close fight, but my gut says Benavidez will win after a three-round war.

Winner: Benavidez by decision

Fitch vs. Maia: Maia is finally getting a true welterweight test in Fitch.  I'm sure that he'll do fine early on, but I think that Fitch will slowly grind him down and knock him out. 

Winner: Fitch by KO in Round 3.

Overeem vs. Silva: Even without the elevated testoterone levels, Overeem's technique and skill is way above Bigfoot's.  He'll probably toy with Bigfoot before submitting him to make a statement.

Winner: Overeem by submission in Round 1. 

Evans vs. Noguiera: Noguiera is certainly a decent light heavyweight and that's why it's good that he is getting a top five opponent.  At the same time, I think he's in over his head against "Suga."  This is probably more of a tune-up fight for Evans, who I am sure will steamroll over "Little Nog" on his path to earning a rematch with Jones.

Winner: Evans by KO in Round 1.

Aldo vs. Edgar: The judges can say whatever they want.  Edgar won that last bout with Henderson and should be the lightweight champion.  Nonetheless, the good that came out of that fiasco is that Edgar has finally dropped to face the Brazilian buzzsaw that is Jose Aldo.  Aldo is fast and has fantastic striking.  At the same time, Edgar is also fast and has a chin made out of granite, phenomenal endurance, superb wrestling, and has spent his career smashing much bigger competition.  I think that Edgar will weather the storm and then, in the fifth round, will move in for the kill after Aldo gasses.

Winner: Edgar by KO in Round 5.