Sunday, March 22, 2015

MMA Blogging: My Hobby

As much as I would love to blog about MMA full-time, there are these things called "bills" which I have to pay.  For that reason, I will just treat it as a hobby for now.  If things take off in the future and I can make money off my hobby, great.  Meanwhile, I will just do it for fun whenever I get some free time.

That means that I will not be able to review every single UFC event.  It used to be that there would only be one UFC PPV a month.  Now, on top of those PPVs, there are free events EVERY WEEK.  I simply don't have the time to keep track of every match anymore, so I have to be picky about which events I write about.

Additionally, as much as I love MMA, I primarily train in the traditional martial arts, so I want to blog about those, too.  Even though Kung Fu isn't trendy anymore, it is still valuable for self-defense and is AMAZING when it comes to physical health.  The Kung Fu kata, in particular, have done wonders for me when it comes to stress relief, improving my overall energy level, healing my joints, and preventing injury.  It's basically yoga for warriors.

For these reasons, I will be cutting back on my MMA posts.  Even though I will cover as many PPVs as I can, the UFC is just one of many aspects of the martial arts.  Therefore, it will only be one of many aspects of my martial arts blog.         

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Showtime" Gets Cancelled At UFC 185!

"Through Jesus, you can do all things!"

That's what Rafael Dos Anjos yelled after giving Anthony Pettis a five-round beatdown en route to becoming the first Brazilian UFC lightweight champion.  His "David vs. Goliath" victory capped off an amazing PPV which also saw Joanna Jedrzejczyk crush Carla Esparza in two rounds, which was another upset I didn't see coming.  Here are my thoughts on each match of the card.

Caraiso vs. Cejudo: As expected, Cejudo schooled Caraiso in a grappling clinic to get the decision.  Caraiso did almost get a heel hook near the end of Round 3, but it was too little, too late.  Even though I don't think Cejudo's quite ready yet, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a title shot after this, especially if "Mighty Mouse" wins next month.

Nelson vs. Overeem: Overeem made me eat my words by picking apart "Big Country" en route to a decision.  In particular, flying knees to the chest and body kicks which turned the entire right side of Nelson's body red were the keys to victory for "The Reem."  He also showed better defense, dodging (and a couple of times, running from) Nelson's fists and covering up when Nelson wailed on him to protect his chin.  Wagging his finger at Nelson to taunt him after stuffing a takedown may not have been the classiest move, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Hendricks vs. Brown: Has Hendricks' "punch-punch-takedown" style become formulaic?  Yes.  But hey, it works.  He basically smothered "The Immortal" for three rounds, using his wrestling to stymie all of Brown's submission attempts, including a couple of inverted triangle attacks.  Not to mention that the slams that "Bigg Rigg" used, especially the one when he carried Brown to the center of the octagon and planted him into the mat, made me nostalgic for the days when WWE was actually good.

Esparza vs. Jedrzejczyk: Joanna is the Polish She-Hulk!  First, she sprawled, stuffed or reversed nearly all of "The Cookie Monster's" takedown attempts.  Then Jedrzejczyk broke the former champion's face with brutal straight rights until she finished Esparza against the cage with a flurry in Round 2 for the TKO.  In all honesty, though, Jedrzejczyk had crushed Esparza mentally long before that.  With her wrestling completely neutralized, Esparza had no clue what to do.  She fell into the insanity trap of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, seemingly unable to believe that the wrestling ability which took her to the top was completely useless against her opponent.  Overeem made me eat my words; Jedrzejczyk, the new women's strawweight champ, shoved them down my throat!

Pettis vs. Dos Anjos:  Dos Anjos was way too nice to make me eat my words.  Instead, he politely served me humble pie, slice-by-slice, through manhandling the best striker in the UFC.  Dos Anjos used straight lefts to smash Pettis' right eye so that he couldn't see.  Then he used multiple takedowns to ground the high-flying champ and brutalized him with ground-and-pound.  On top of that, he rode Pettis' back and nearly got a rear naked choke not once, but twice.  Additionally, he almost got a kimura.  Pettis did attempt a kimura-sweep in Round 5, but Dos Anjos wasn't having it.  In the end, Dos Anjos claimed the lightweight throne as his own before acknowledging the real source of his victory: Jesus Christ.

Ironically, Dos Anjos admitted in a post-fight interview that he had almost pulled out of the fight due to a torn MCL in his right knee.  However, Dos Anjos prayed to God and God told him that he would be fine.  I can only imagine what Dos Anjos will do when he is at 100%!             

Saturday, March 14, 2015

UFC 185: My Predictions

Two championship fights, a former welterweight kingpin trying to climb his way back to the top after being screwed out of his title, and the heavyweight division's most entertaining KO artist attempting to make a comeback?  Sounds like an awesome PPV to me!  Here are my predictions for UFC 185.

Caraiso vs. Cejudo: I'll go with my gut and say Cejudo via decision.

Winner: Cejudo

Nelson vs. Overeem: Nelson has cinder block fists and Overeem's chin is about as strong as an antique vase.  This one is a no-brainer: another first round KO for "Big Country."

Winner: Nelson

Hendricks vs. Brown: Matt Brown has the toughness and the heart to hang with the welterweight elite, but he simply does not have the skill.  I believe that "Bigg Rigg" will achieve the impossible and finish "The Immortal" with a KO in Round 3.

Winner: Hendricks

Esparza vs. Jedrzejczyk: It's nice that Jedrzejczyk pulled an upset over Claudia Gadelha in her last fight.  I just don't see it happening against "The Cookie Monster."  Esparza will defend her title by grinding out Jedrzejczyk en route to getting the submission in Round 3.

Winner: Esparza

Pettis vs. Dos Anjos: Dos Anjos may have knocked out Benson Henderson, but I believe that Pettis is way too fast and dynamic for him.  Even though Pettis' last two wins were by submission, I see "Showtime" returning to his striking game and knocking out Dos Anjos by Round 2 at the latest.

Winner: Pettis

Sunday, March 1, 2015

UFC 184: "Just...F@#$!"


Zingano's exclamation during her post-fight interview pretty much sums up everyone's reaction to Ronda Rousey's 14-second victory over her, including mine.  With this victory, Rousey demolished the last of the "murderer's row" of the top female bantamweights in the world and cemented her place as the undisputed Queen of MMA.

Let's just face it: this belt isn't going anywhere unless Ronda Rousey (pictured with her sister and mother) retires. Image by MMAJunkie (Link to:

Here's my take on this night of exciting finishes:
Ferguson vs. Tibau: Ferguson rocked Tibau with a right to gain the upper hand early.  Several choke attempts later, "El Cucuy" had Tibau in a deep rear naked choke with double leg hooks to get the victory via tapout.

Walsh vs. Jouban: Walsh's forward pressure and aggression was turned against him when Jouban caught him with a left elbow as he rushed in and got the TKO victory after the referee stopped it.  I personally felt this was an early stoppage.

Ellenberger vs. Koscheck: This looked like it would be the most boring fight of the night.  Both Ellenberger and Koscheck appeared to be afraid to engage on their feet.  Koscheck looked like he was trying to cruise to a decision victory by smothering Ellenberger with takedown attempts.  Fortunately, that ended in Round 2 when "The Juggernaut" caught Koscheck in a standing guillotine and took him down into a North-South choke (which I've never seen before in my life) to give him his first submission loss in almost 10 years.

Holm vs. Pennington: This was the fight of the night in my opinion.  I believe that this should have been a unanimous decision victory for Holm instead of a split.  The only round in question was Round 3, when "Rocky" caught her with several hard rights, including one that dropped "The Preacher's Daughter" near the end.  Nonetheless, Holm clearly controlled the rest of the fight with great takedown defense and pressuring Pennington with boxing combos and head kicks.  The real question, however, was whether or not Holm could prove she was a threat to Ronda Rousey.  The fact that Holm had such a hard time defeating the 14th-ranked woman in the division is proof that she is not.

Rousey vs. Zingano: Zingano clearly took Rousey by surprise with a flying knee followed by a suicide throw which had the champ doing a somersault in the octagon.  Unfortunately, Rousey was too level-headed and technically sound to be taken aback for more than a few seconds.  During the scramble that ensued, Rousey took Zingano's back, transitioned into an omoplata, and from there had the second-best female fighter in the world tapping in a straight armbar within 14 seconds flat.  I'm not sure what impressed me more: the fact that Rousey crushed her challenger in record time with a type of armbar that I had never seen before, or her display of sportmanship and class afterward, in which she consoled a clearly distraught Zingano with an embrace and kiss on the cheek.

This completes a face-turn which Rousey began when she commended the effort of her rival, Miesha Tate, at UFC 168 and I can honestly say that I am now a huge fan of the champ.

Now that Rousey has slain every dragon that WMMA has to offer, what should she do next?  Well, she could defeat Holm and Jessica Eye as a formality.  In fact, to make things more efficient, the UFC may consider making Eye and Holm face off in a title eliminator to decide who gets the next beatdown at the hands of the champ.  As another formality, Rousey can go up to catchweight to smash Cyborg (provided that the latter continues to lay off the 'roids).  I would appreciate this, not because I think Cyborg is a credible threat without PEDs, but because it would make her foot-kissing fans shut up.  If Rousey does those two things, she really has nothing left to accomplish and would be better off moving on to bigger and better things such as Hollywood or getting married and starting a family.

At any rate, two things are clear: Ronda Rousey is the undisputed Queen of Queens of MMA, and her character has finally caught up with her talent.