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Everything posted by wandshogun09

  1. wandshogun09

    The new MMA general news, events and thoughts thread

    Nice. Leon Edwards vs Gunnar Nelson is the co-main as well. It’s on MMAJunkie. So the card so far looks like this; Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal Leon Edwards vs Gunnar Nelson Volkan Oezdemir vs Dominick Reyes Danny Roberts vs Claudio Silva Molly McCann vs Priscilla Cachoeira Jack Marshman vs John Phillips Tom Breese vs Cezar Ferreira Gokhan Saki vs Saparbek Safarov I think that’s a really good lineup. Best card we’ve had in a while for me.
  2. wandshogun09

    Wrestling Pod Casts / Radio Interviews

    @tiger_rick as well as the great interview posted on the previous page, he was on X-Pac’s podcast and it’s well worth a listen. It’s on YouTube. I’d embed it but for some reason it’s not letting me. Never had this message before... Anyway, could’ve done without 123 Boy’s co-hosts but it’s a great listen all the same. Regal’s class. He’s been on Jericho’s podcast as well, hasn’t he? Don’t think I’ve listened to that.
  3. It’s the beginning of a new era. On Saturday 19th January the UFC returns to Brooklyn for its debut show under the ESPN banner. ESPN+ MAIN CARD Henry Cejudo vs TJ Dillashaw - Flyweight Title Greg Hardy vs Allen Crowder Yancy Medeiros vs Gregor Gillespie Joseph Benavidez vs Dustin Ortiz Paige VanZant vs Rachael Ostovich Glover Teixeira vs Karl Roberson ESPN PRELIMS Donald Cerrone vs Alexander Hernandez Joanne Calderwood vs Ariane Lipski Alonzo Menifield vs Vinicius Moreira Cory Sandhagen vs Mario Bautista ESPN+ PRELIMS Dennis Bermudez vs Te Edwards Belal Muhammad vs Geoff Neal Chance Rencountre vs TBA I like this card a lot. Not mega stacked in terms of big names or anything but a champ vs champ main event plus Cowboy plus the booby fight...not bad. Henry Cejudo vs TJ Dillashaw. Champion vs Champion. This should be an excellent technical fight. Two champions at the top of their game, at the peak of their confidence, coming off arguably the biggest wins of their careers where they solidified themselves as ‘the man’ in their respective divisions. This was originally supposed to go down at UFC 233 but they moved it to this to kick off the ESPN deal with a bang. The backstories are well documented so I won’t go into too much detail. For those who might be newish to these two...Cejudo is an Olympic gold medalist, he won the gold in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Games in Beijing and is the current flyweight champion. He’s 31 years old, 13-2 in MMA. Dillashaw is 32 with a 16-3 MMA record and is the reigning bantamweight champion. UFC 227 on August 4th this year is where the seeds for this one were really planted though. In the co-main event that night, Cejudo shocked the MMA world by dethroning flyweight king Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson. It was a ridiculously close fight and Cejudo just about squeaked a split decision but it was still an incredible accomplishment. DJ was such a dominant champion. He’d held the UFC flyweight title since its creation back in 2012 and had broken the record for the most successful title defences in UFC history. A 2016 first round stoppage over Cejudo included in there. So for Cejudo to not only avenge that loss but to knock off the most successful champion in the history of the UFC was quite the achievement. With the win, Cejudo made history of his own, becoming the first fighter to win Olympic and UFC gold. An accolade that’s probably not likely to be matched anytime soon. In the main event, Dillashaw knocked out former teammate turned bitter rival Cody Garbrandt for the second time in their rematch. Putting their series to bed and making it clear beyond all doubt that he is the top dog at 135lbs. After UFC 227, as with any big show, the question was ‘what’s next?’ The natural choice seemed to be a Cejudo vs Johnson rubber match given DJ’s previous reign of terror, how close the fight was and the fact they were tied at 1-1. But Cejudo had also called to fight the TJ-Cody winner in his post-fight interview. It was up in the air until the MMA news sites dropped this bombshell; Demetrious Johnson was leaving the UFC and heading to ONE FC, reportedly on a sweet deal and as part of an unofficial trade for Ben Askren. It was also heavily rumoured that the UFC were strongly considering binning the entire flyweight division. In turn this lead to talk of Cejudo just moving up to 135 to challenge Dillashaw, which seemed to be the obvious thing to do. But the UFC threw us a curveball when the fight was announced and that it’d be taking place at flyweight with Cejudo’s gold at stake. Dillashaw’s logic for doing the fight at 125 was understandable. With a win here he gets to add a second title to his collection and becomes only the third man to hold 2 UFC belts simultaneously (the previous 2 being McGregor and Cormier). Makes sense if you’re TJ. He also speculated that this was the UFC’s way to try to kill off the 125 division by having TJ kind of merge the 125 and 135 belts, effectively dissolving the flyweight division. “The UFC wants to get rid of the division and they hired me to go down and close it and get another belt in the process. It’s a win-win for me. They’re paying me a fuckload of money to move down and kill the 125lb division and collect a second belt. So it’s game time.” - TJ Dillashaw For Cejudo it’s a bit of a weird situation. If he wins it’s a huge win but then what becomes of his division? Does it still close? We still haven’t had any official word from the top. If he does win we’ll most definitely get an immediate rematch up at 135 for TJ’s strap. If he loses though, you have to think the flyweight division is gone there and then. Cejudo seems to feel it as well and appears to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder going into this one. “It’s a superfight to a lot of people but I’m gonna smash this guy. You can have a thousand belts. There is only one athlete in this world who has been a two sport world champion and his name his Henry Cejudo. The Messenger. Youngest Olympic champion in history. I’m telling you this because a lot of people are counting me out of this fight with TJ, just like they did with DJ. I’m gonna stop him. I’m gonna stop this man. You underestimate me, you wanna come down to my weight, you wanna take my division out? I’m gonna make an example of you. I’m gonna truly, truly, make an example of you.” - Henry Cejudo Cejudo vs Dillashaw promo; This is going to be some fight. Not a fan of either, to be honest. This is heel vs heel for me. But as fighters they’re undeniably two of the most skilled on the roster right now. A lot at stake. Maybe a Cejudo win keeps flyweight alive a bit longer? Fuck knows? Cejudo has also hinted at possible free agency after this fight if they scrap the flyweight division because apparently his contract specifies that he’s signed to fight at ‘125lbs’. Don’t know if that is a loophole that’ll work but it could get interesting as I could see him using ONE and the DJ rubber match as a bit of a bargaining chip in negotiations. I fancy TJ to win this myself, I just think he’s got more tools and he’ll be too slick but we’ll see what happens. Donald Cerrone vs Alexander Hernandez is a very solid fight. This is Cowboy’s return to lightweight after a decent, if somewhat patchy, run at welter. When news of this fight broke I think a lot of people were a bit underwhelmed. Cowboy had been hinting at something big being lined up for his return to 155 and the rumour mill was throwing up names like McGregor, Gaethje, Poirier etc. So when Hernandez was named as the opponent it left some scratching their heads. I definitely think this wasn’t the initial plan. The way Cerrone was talking after the Mike Perry win, it seemed like the UFC had offered him a name that really excited him. McGregor was the name that picked up the most steam on the MMA sites but Dana shot it down. I reckon it was talked about but must’ve fallen through. Regardless, this is actually a very good fight. Hernandez isn’t the name the others are but he’s shown real potential so far in the UFC. He’s 26 years old, 10-1 with 6 finishes, BJJ brown belt. He knocked out the usually durable Beneil Dariush in just 42 seconds in his UFC debut and outpointed Olivier Aubin-Mercier last time out. This is undoubtedly a big step up though. Cerrone will be the biggest name, highest level, most experienced guy he’ll have been in with by quite a distance. And Cerrone seems to be in a really good place mentally right now. He’s just become a dad and it seems to have lit a fire under him and given him a motivation and focus that didn’t always appear to be there at other points in his career. Yancy Medeiros vs Gregor Gillespie is the newest addition to this card and it’s a cracking fight on paper. This is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** now. Great fight. Medeiros is a really fun fighter to watch but he’s been sidelined since February unfortunately, and he’s coming off a loss to Cerrone. Before that though he was on a solid 3 fight win streak with 3 finishes, one being that forgotten late 2017 FOTY contender against Alex Oliveira. Typical Hawaiian fighter. Tough, likes a scrap and he’s always aggressive in there. Gillespie is undefeated at 12-0 with 10 finishes. He’s 5-0 in the UFC and has stopped his last 4. He’s a New Yorker, 31 years old, NCAA Division I wrestler but he likes to strike and can pull out submissions, seems he can take a dig too. And he’s really likeable. I like both of these two actually. But Gillespie has got something IMO. There’s legit potential there. But this is undoubtedly his toughest test to date. Should be a good one. Paige VanZant vs Rachael Ostovich...brought to you by Pornhub. Seriously, when this fight was announced... Twitter was full of this type of thing. I don’t really know what this fight is. Besides their obvious physical attributes, they do actually have some skills in the cage. But I don’t know if this fight is happening at the right time. VanZant seems to have taken her eye off the ball big time to me as far as MMA is concerned. After a really promising start to her career she’s hit a wall and I just don’t get the impression her heart is in it anymore. She’s only fought twice in the last 2 years and went 0-2. Got choked out by Michelle Waterson in December 2016, sat out all of 2017, moved up to make a fresh start at flyweight, lost to Jessica-Rose Clark in January and sat out again for the rest of 2018. On top of that, she got married and has recently been making noises about following in Ronda Rousey’s footsteps and making a jump to WWE. Her getting that boob job makes sense now! So yeah, I don’t think she’s long for this MMA shit. And Ostovich, I liked her on TUF, thought she looked good at the Finale, but she got subbed last time out and she’s 4-4 now. And is fresh off being at the centre of a horrible story about her husband battering her which almost took her out of this fight completely. The timing for this just seems all wrong. One fighter who’s not arsed anymore and another who’s probably, and understandably, shaken up and distracted by personal stuff. It’s getting hyped because they’re both lookers but in reality it’s a bit of a nothing fight. Glover Teixeira vs Ion Cutelaba is going to be chaos. Love this fight. Glover isn’t quite the animal he was a few years back but he’s still a fucking handful. Hits really hard and has a tight grappling game, especially if he gets on top. And Cutelaba is a guy I’ve been talking about forever on here. So exciting to watch. Stupidly aggressive and intense as fuck. Like Mickey said in Rocky, this guy ‘eats thunder and craps lightning’. He’s not a world beater, he’s got flaws and he’s lost before. But he’s one of those guys who you can tell it’s no fun to be locked in a cage with. Even if you win, you’re getting hurt on the journey to victory. Greg Hardy vs Allen Crowder has been a bit of a controversial one. Greg Hardy is a former NFL player. I know fuck all about American football so I’m not going to pretend to know what his stats mean or if he was any good. All I know is he’s a woman beating piece of shit. Got suspended by the NFL for beating, strangling and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. There are pictures of the woman’s injuries online, I won’t share them here. From what I can tell he was basically shunned and ultimately shut out of the NFL as a result of this case. He’s also had an arrest for cocaine use and had a rep in football for generally being a bit of a shithouse with a habit of tweeting inappropriately as well as reports of him being a bad locker room influence to younger players. But the domestic violence stuff was obviously the main thing. And from what I’ve seen he’s been unremorseful and unapologetic about the whole thing. Which is what baffled the MMA community when he was not only signed by the UFC, but slated to make his promotional debut on the same card as Rachael Ostovich who has just recently been the victim of domestic abuse. Dana’s tried to justify it with the defence of ‘well Rachael is cool with it’ which obviously makes it all OK. His MMA record, if anyone cares, is 3-0 with 3 knockouts and he was on Dana’s Contender thingy. I’d love to see Crowder knock this prick spark out. Joseph Benavidez vs Dustin Ortiz is another fight in the lame duck flyweight division but should be a good one. Apparently, Benavidez is the backup on this card incase Cejudo or Dillashaw get injured. That would be a letdown but they could certainly have chosen a worse backup. At least Benavidez has background with both men. He holds a controversial decision win over Cejudo and is a former Alpha Male teammate of Dillashaw. And I’m a fan of Ortiz actually. He’s a proper unsung quality fighter IMO. He’s had some really good fights that have been buried on the prelims and holds the record for the fastest finish in flyweight history for his 15 second KO of Hector Sandoval last year. Expecting an action-packed fight out of these two. Joanne Calderwood vs Ariane Lipski is actually the more interesting women’s fight on the card for me. Calderwood has been a favourite of mine for a few years. Insanely likeable and genuinely seems like one of the nicest people in the sport. But she’s had a rough go of it in the UFC. She showed real promise early in her career. Really solid Muay Thai and had successful stints in the UK and Invicta. Came into TUF in 2014 with an undefeated record but whether it was big show nerves or she’s not at the level or what, she hasn’t been as effective on the big stage. She’s had her moments but her losses are what stick out in the memory unfortunately. She’s gone 4-3 in the UFC, she’s 12-3 overall. But she did snap a two fight losing streak in August, returning to flyweight and submitting Kalindra Faria. She also stopped Valérie Létourneau at flyweight so maybe that’s the weight class for her. She’s fighting UFC newcomer Ariane Lipski. She’s Brazilian, 24 years old. 11-3 and on a 9 fight win streak with a nice mix of submissions and knockouts fitting of a woman nicknamed ‘The Violence Queen’. She was also the KSW flyweight champion. Exactly the kind of signing the 125 division needed. Alonzo Menifield vs Vinicius Moreira is a fight I’m going in blind on. Both these guys are from Dana White’s Contender Series (really got to start checking that out). Menifield is unbeaten at 7-0 and scored a quick 8 second KO on his second go on DWCS earlier this year. Seems a good dude; Moreira is Brazilian, 9-1 with 9 finishes, mostly submissions. Interested in this now. Two more for the new blood at 205. Say what you want about the UFC but they do appear to be really trying to build up the light heavyweight division. So many new prospects and fresh faces have emerged over the last 18 months or so. They’re clearly thinking of the future where 205’s concerned. Belal Muhammad vs Geoff Neal could be the sleeper FOTN to be honest. Muhammad is a tough scrapper. 14-2 with wins over Tim Means, Jordan Mein and Randy Brown and went to war with Alan Jouban. He fights Geoff Neal, 10-2. Neal got on my radar in his last fight with his crushing headkick KO on Frank Camacho at UFC 228. It was up there for Knockout Of The Year until Yair Rodriguez matrixed the Zombie into unconsciousness last month. Should be a fun one though. Dennis Bermudez vs Te Edwards could be a good one. Bermudez at one time was considered one of the brightest prospects in MMA. Came up short in the TUF 14 final against Diego Brandão but showed real potential and won his next 7 fights in the UFC. Among them a crazy FOTY contender with Matt Grice, a submission over Clay Guida and a decision over Max Holloway (I scored it to Holloway but whatever). Don’t know what happened but he dropped off a cliff after that little streak. He’s gone 2-6 in his last 8. He’s coming into this fight off the back of 4 consecutive losses (although his last 3 were split decisions). Doesn’t look good. There have been bright spots in there. He beat Kawajiri and would’ve had another FOTY with Jeremy Stephens if it wasn’t overshadowed by fucking Lawler vs MacDonald 2 happening on the same night! But he’s definitely struggled the last few years. Mad to think him and Holloway were so closely matched when they fought in 2013. Now look at the difference in where they are. Anyway, Te Edwards is 28 with a 6-2 record, all TKO finishes. Got knocked out by Don Madge in his UFC debut. So yeah.
  4. wandshogun09

    What’s the best aquatic animal?

    Calm down dear.
  5. wandshogun09

    The new MMA general news, events and thoughts thread

    Darren Till talking to IFL says Proper 12 is shite and he wants to fight McGregor. I’ve got no interest in Till vs McGregor, to be honest. Till dwarved Woodley he’d be absolutely massive next to McGregor. I get that it’s the payday but it’s a bit of a weak callout when you’re challenging a guy who probably walks around about 3st lighter than you. Till’s got to be about 210lbs or so out of camp.
  6. wandshogun09

    The new MMA general news, events and thoughts thread

    He’ll be fast as fuck at 185 as well. There isn’t really another guy at 185 who’s as athletic as Woodley is and has his combination of explosion and wrestling. Apart from Yoel and he’s 40 and might be off to 205.
  7. wandshogun09

    The new MMA general news, events and thoughts thread

    Yeah I read that he wants to beat Usman and Covington then move up by the end of 2019. To be fair he’d have almost cleaned out the division if he beats those two. No doubt Ben Askren coming in is a factor as well. Shades of the Cain and DC thing from years ago here. Woodley moves up and leaves 170 for Askren to take over. Oh and Jorge Masvidal tweeted this. Till vs Masvidal for London anyone?
  8. On Sunday 17th February, the Octagon is in Phoenix, Arizona. And it’s the big debut on ESPN. Not ESPN+, the proper ESPN. And they’re bringing a beast of a fight. ESPN MAIN CARD Francis Ngannou vs Cain Velasquez James Vick vs Paul Felder Jimmie Rivera vs Aljamain Sterling Cynthia Calvillo vs Cortney Casey Myles Jury vs Andre Fili Alex Caceres vs Kron Gracie ESPN+ PRELIMS Vicente Luque vs Bryan Barberena Ashlee Evans-Smith vs Andrea Lee Renan Barão vs Luke Sanders Benito Lopez vs Manny Bermudez FIGHT PASS PRELIMS Nik Lentz vs Scott Holtzman Jessica Penne vs Jodie Esquibel Aleksandra Albu vs Emily Whitmire Really like this. Just cross everything that Cain actually survives his training camp and makes it to the cage this time. If Cain actually stays in one piece and fights on this card, he’ll have the distinction of main eventing the first big UFC cards on both FOX and ESPN, pretty cool bit of trivia if you’re a Cain fan. So yeah, Francis Ngannou vs Cain Velasquez headlines. Tremendous fight. If it happens. If. Let’s not harp on the ‘if’ though. Let’s be glass half full optimistic types and go ahead on the assumption that Cain doesn’t get broken again. This is a massive fight for Cain, make no mistake. He’s been gone so long and he’s coming right back in against a monster with huge KO power who challenged for the title just last year. The fact his comeback is happening in Phoenix makes it even bigger for him. CB Dolloway, Ryan Bader and Big Cain V there on the wrestling mats at Arizona State University. Cain was born in California but he actually grew up and went to school in Arizona. It’s probably the place he considers home as much, if not more than Cali or Mexico. Cain came into MMA as a NCAA Division I wrestler. He trained at AKA in San Jose from day one of his MMA career and was being hyped by Javier Mendez and Dave Camarillo as a future heavyweight champion from the jump. He turned pro in October 2006. Fought once in Strikeforce and once in Bodog, 2 first round stoppages, and that was it. At just 2-0 he was signed by the UFC. He made his UFC debut on the undercard of Serra vs GSP 2 in Montreal in 2008. TKOing Brad Morris in 2 minutes. From there he battered Jake O’Brien and Denis Stojnic, moving to 5-0. In June 2009 he got his first real test. Taking on Cheick Kongo at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany. It wasn’t plain sailing. Kongo hurt and dropped Cain three times in the fight. But Cain showed a granite chin, survived and bossed the rest of the fight with his overwhelming wrestling and ground and pound. He won a clear decision despite the 3 knockdowns, which tells you just how dominant he looked the rest of the time. In his next two fights he stopped Ben Rothwell and the legendary Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. His record now stood at 8-0 with 7 by KO/TKO. Time for a title shot. Brock Lesnar was only 5-1 at this point but he came into this fight on a massive wave of momentum having beat Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, Randy Couture and Heath Herring consecutively. It seems a bit silly in hindsight but back then many got swept up in Lesnarmania and thought he might be champion for a long time. Brock vs Fedor was the one people were buzzing to see. And hilariously, Cain was being criticised by vocal pockets of the MMA fanbase for being, and I quote, “pillow fisted”. I never got that one. Like I said, 8-0 with 7 finishes pisses all over that theory. It was a knock that was based entirely on Cain not being able to put Kongo away and it was bollocks. Anyway, Brock vs Cain set the messageboards off. I remember it being hotly debated on here as well going in. The general thinking seemed to be that Cain was the better wrestler technically but Brock’s size would be too much and because Cain obviously couldn’t break an egg with his soft hands, he was fucked against Big Bad Brock. Of course, Cain smashed him to bits inside a round. Just destroyed Brock. Dealt with his initial burst and takedown attempt, beat him up on the feet, gave Brock a taste of his own medicine and took him down, then battered him into oblivion with ground and pound. He actually had Brock kind of cowering against the fence at one point. And when it was all over, Brock was a mess with blood absolutely pissing out of a huge gash on his cheek. Cain Velasquez, at just 9-0, was the UFC undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Unfortunately for Cain, his next fight was a disaster. In his very first title defence, on the big FOX debut show in November 2011... He got knocked out in about a minute by Junior Dos Santos. He lost his title and his unbeaten record in one minute. I always say that it’s fascinating how different fighters handle their first defeat and come back from it. Some learn, adapt and improve. Others are never the same once that invincible aura his gone. Cain bounced back in style. Smile you son of a bitch. No, it’s not Jaws. It’s Cain turning Bigfoot Silva and the Octagon canvas blood red. The fight lasted under 4 minutes and look at the carnage. He also bounced back against Junior Dos Santos. Fucking hell, did he bounce back. After mauling Bigfoot, Cain got a rematch with JDS for the title at UFC 155 in December 2012. What followed was one of the most savage beatings ever witnessed in MMA. Look at this shit; Cain obliterated his face for the entire 5 rounds. 25 minutes of GBH. How Junior saw the final bell I’ll never know. Less than a year later they had the rubber match and Cain fucked him up bad again. Cain vs JDS 2 and 3 are considered two of the worst and most brutal beatdowns in MMA history to this day. JDS has never been quite the same since. Sadly, this is where the wheels started coming off for Cain too. He’d just won the trilogy with JDS who was his biggest threat and the consensus #2 best heavyweight in the world at the time. Cain should’ve been riding high and, with JDS in the rear view, building on his legacy. But over the last few years, he’s spent most of his career like this; It started in 2014. He coached TUF: Latin America opposite Fabricio Werdum, with the two set to fight in November. But Cain suffered a knee injury and had to have surgery. That seemed to open the floodgates for injury after injury over the next few years. In June 2015, the Werdum fight did eventually happen, at UFC 188 in Mexico. And Cain lost again. It was an incredible fight, a back and forth war, but Werdum was having one of his ‘ON’ nights and looked sharp everywhere, submitting Cain with a guillotine in the third. Cain vs Werdum 2 was supposed to go down in February 2016 but, you guessed it; He missed the first half of 2016 and finally came back in the summer. He fought Travis Rousey-Browne at UFC 200 in July and crushed him in the first round. Amazingly, despite all the layoffs, he looked great and like he hadn’t missed a day. But at the same time, Browne had been floundering for a while prior to this so it’s hard to really gauge how good Cain was here. He couldn’t have looked much better though. Once again, Cain vs Werdum 2 was booked for UFC 207 in December 2016. And once again... This time the athletic commission wouldn’t clear him because of a back injury. And that’s the last we heard of Cain and fight bookings for ages. Francis Ngannou has an interesting backstory. He grew up in poverty in Cameroon and was working by the age of 12. In his early 20s he started training boxing to try to escape his shitty situation. At the age of 26 he arrived in Paris, France to try to make something happen with his boxing dream. He was skint, homeless and didn’t know a soul in Paris. In 2013 he got a break when a boxing coach discovered him and let him train at his gym for free. His coach said that from early on, he watched Ngannou in the gym and thought he’d be a perfect fit for MMA. So Ngannou was talked out of Boxing and into MMA. ”The last time I was in Cameroon, I brought a lot of materials for MMA and Boxing, to open a gym. Now I just bought a big space to start the gym, as well. A lot of children in Cameroon, because of me, they have a dream. They say, ‘I will be a champion in MMA. I will do boxing like Francis’, because they saw me when I was young. I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have any opportunity. And today, they see me, and they are dreaming. They are thinking that something is possible. Even when they are so poor, something is possible in life... It’s not easy. It’s so hard, but it’s possible.” - Francis Ngannou Ngannou made his MMA debut in November 2013. He went 5-1 before the UFC snapped him up in late 2015. He quickly turned heads with his scary appearance and by stopping Luis Henrique, Curtis Blaydes, Bohan Mihajlovic, Anthony Hamilton and Andrei Arlovski. At UFC 218 in December 2017, Ngannou was matched up with Alistair Overeem. An experienced veteran of 60 plus MMA fights plus a beast striker in his own right. It was the PPV co-main event. The biggest stage Ngannou had been on and against the toughest test so far in his career. To say Ngannou passed the test would be an understatement. He fucking waffled Overeem with a terrifying left hook and knocked him out cold, stiff as a board, in less than 2 minutes. One of the scariest knockouts ever. Ngannou was now 11-1 and coming off the biggest win of his career with a highlight reel Knockout Of The Year contender. The hype on him was insane going into 2018. With Dana going full on with it and claiming Ngannou as the most powerful man ever, a destroyer of worlds etc. All went tits up. 2018 was a bit of a disaster for Ngannou. He got his title shot against Stipe in January and got completely outclassed, outwrestled and exposed for 5 rounds. Then in July he lost a decision to Derrick Lewis in one of the crappest and most disappointing fights of the year. He did somewhat redeem himself in November though. Ending the year on a high, knocking out Curtis Blaydes in 45 seconds in their rematch in Beijing, China. We heard nothing of Cain for what seemed like forever. No updates, fuck all. And when he did finally pop up, he was talking about possibly jumping over to WWE and was even at the Performance Centre. ”THAT’S GOTTA BE CAIN! THAT’S GOTTA BE CAIN!” Cain in WWE would be the illest fit since John Cena’s suit. Of all the MMA fighters you could see giving it a go, Cain wouldn’t get near my list. His personality is drier than a Ryvita and, as we’ve established, he’s so injury prone. I don’t know what he’s thinking. Definitely Shawn Michaels’ chin. Ngannou vs Velasquez promo; Goosebumps. So there you have it. What happens here? If Cain is still anywhere near on form I think he beats Ngannou and stops him. But all these layoffs and injuries have got to take a toll sooner or later. And if he’s off at all, Ngannou only needs that one punch. James Vick vs Paul Felder should be a really good fight. Both like a scrap. Vick is coming off a quick KO loss to Justin Gaethje but was on a nice little run before that. Felder’s in a similar boat. Lost to Mike Perry last time out in a good fight but had rattled off 3 stoppages before that. I like this matchup and the timing of it. Jimmie Rivera vs Aljamain Sterling is another nice piece of matchmaking. I rate Rivera. He’s won 21 of his last 22 fights and beat Urijah Faber, Thomas Almeida, Pedro Munhoz and Iuri Alcantara. He got knocked out by Marlon Moraes last year but rebounded with a win over John Dodson in September. Sterling also got KOd by Moraes in late 2017 but had a successful 2018 with wins over Brett Johns and Cody Stamann. Again, I like the timing. Both guys are just on the fringes of getting in that contender mix at 135 now so we’ll see who goes forward here. Cynthia Calvillo vs Cortney Casey I’m not that arsed about. It’s alright. Calvillo is quite entertaining to watch. Real good grappling. If it goes to the ground she usually finds a way to get the finish. Her only loss is to Carla Esparza. She submitted Poliana Botelho in her last fight. I think Casey is on the way out here. 8-6 record and she’s lost to most of the decent-good opposition she’s faced. Just think Calvillo is fresher and more of a threat. Myles Jury vs Andre Fili will likely be decent enough. At one time both of these two were thought to be pretty good prospects. I don’t know what it is though, I’ve just never got into watching either of them. Jury is coming off that quick KO loss to Chad Mendes so he needs to make something happen here to stop the plummet. Bruce Leroy vs Kron Gracie is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Didn’t even know this was booked until now but there’s something I love about this pairing. Caceres is one of my favourite prelimers ever. I’m under no illusions that he’s not that good, but he’s great to watch and has had a bunch of really good fights on undercards over the years. There’s a reason the UFC have kept him around for 8 or 9 years despite him losing about half his fights. He’s 14-11-1 now and has lost 3 of his last 5. He’s going nowhere, I know, but I like him. Kron Gracie makes his UFC debut here. Kron is the son of Rickson and grandson of Helio. He’s 30 years old, a BJJ black-belt (obvs), ADCC gold medalist. In MMA he’s 4-0 with 4 submissions. He’s mostly fought in Rizin and submitted Tatsuya Kawajiri in his last fight. Hasn’t fought since December 2016 though. But still, submitting Kawajiri in your 4th fight is impressive. This is probably going to be a squash match but it’ll be exciting while it lasts. Vicente Luque vs Bryan Barberena I’m into purely to see Luque back in there. I think he’s really underrated. Might be because his record, 14-6-1, at first glance isn’t the best. But you look deeper and he’s got stoppage wins over Niko Price, Chad Laprise, Jalin Turner, Belal Muhammad and Hayder Hassan. All solid. He also has a first round TKO win over Thiago Santos back in 2012. He was the first man to beat Santos. He’s a quality fighter and a real finisher. Barberena’s OK, nowt special. Has wins over Jake Ellenberger and Warlley Alves and was the man who took Sage Northcutt’s O. Ashlee Evans-Smith vs Andrea Lee doesn’t do a great deal for me but might be alright. Evans-Smith is best known as the woman who stopped the streak of transgender fighter Fallon Fox. She’s not terrible, but she’s lost any time she’s faced anyone particularly good. Lee I know very little about. Haven’t seen her fight yet. She’s 9-2, Kyokushin black-belt and a BJJ Gracie purple-belt. Renan Barão vs Luke Sanders could be good. Don’t know what Barão has left at this stage though. In the space of a couple of years he went from being arguably the pound-for-pound king to where is he now? He’s only 31 but he seems shot to shit these days. Mad to think he was on a 30-odd fight win streak and now he’s lost 6 of his last 8. He’s fucked. And he’s losing to guys now, like Andre Ewell and Brian Kelleher, who he’d have smoked a few years back. Sanders is 33 years old with a 12-3 record. He’s also in a bit of a slump, losing 3 out of his last 4. Got submitted by Rani Yahya last time. He’s looked decent in some of the fights I’ve watched but it’s not really happening for him results-wise for whatever reason. Highlight of his UFC run so far was his debut where he scored a shock first round submission over BJJ black-belt Maximo Blanco. It’s all been downhill from there. Didn’t realise Sanders is with Becky Lynch until recently either. Who’s ‘The Man’ in that relationship? Benito Lopez vs Manny Bermudez is a fight where I’m not too familiar with either man. Had to Google away to refresh my memory and was reminded of Lopez and his awesome slobberknocker in his UFC debut against Albert Morales. He’s unbeaten at 9-0 and if the Morales fight is any indication he’s definitely got that typical Mexican Warrior style and mentality. Nik Lentz vs Scott Holtzman is OK. I like watching Lentz. Top grappler, tough as fuck, doesn’t mind a brawl. He’s always worth a watch. His 2 fights with Charles Oliveira are real forgotten gems. Can’t recall much of Holtzman but he’s coming off 3 wins and is 12-2 overall. Jessica Penne vs Jodie Esquibel is a bit of a nothing fight between two pretty average fighters. I thought Penne was done, to be honest. The beatings she took from Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade were disturbing to watch. She had a solid 12-2 record before that but those batterings might’ve been game changers. Esquibel is 6-4, 0-2 in the UFC. Only other thing I know about her is that she’s Keith Jardine’s girlfriend. That’s it. Probably a ‘loser leaves town’ situation. Aleksandra Albu vs Emily Whitmire might be worth a look. Albu is 28, Russian, 3-0 record. She’s mostly known for posting pictures of her arse, and videos of her training which focus on her arse. Whitmire is 3-2 and was on TUF. Can’t recall much else other than vaguely that she had a story that she was homeless when she went on TUF.
  9. Alright then, I know this is a little bit away and, given who’s on the card, could well not turn out the way it stands currently. But sod it. This is a tremendous card (for now) and we should probably get talking about it. March 2nd in Vegas. Well, it’s supposed to be in Vegas but, y’know... PPV MAIN CARD Jon Jones vs Anthony Smith - Light Heavyweight Title Tyron Woodley vs Kamaru Usman - Welterweight Title Cody Garbrandt vs Pedro Munhoz Robbie Lawler vs Ben Askren Holly Holm vs Aspen Ladd ESPN+ PRELIMS Jeremy Stephens vs Zabit Magomedsharipov Tecia Torres vs Weili Zhang Diego Sanchez vs Mickey Gall Macy Chiasson vs Gina Mazany FIGHT PASS PRELIMS Ovince Saint Preux vs Misha Cirkunov Polyana Viana vs Hannah Cifers Thomas Almeida vs Marlon Vera As the great Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan once said, ”look at them!” I remembered the two title fights and Lawler/Askren but it’s even more stacked than I thought. Going off MMAJunkie’s bout order there. I’ll change it if it changes. It’s a Jon Jones card so this will probably be edited more times than a Tinder selfie. Jon Jones vs Anthony Smith tops the bill. For now. Like with Cain vs Ngannou thread, let’s try to be as positive as a Jon Jones USADA test here. This is going ahead. Like a few of us have said elsewhere, this is almost certainly going to be a total squash but what can you do? Jones has wiped out all the interesting challengers who, on paper, could threaten him. And Smith is a worthy contender. Just because people don’t like his chances doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get a shot if he’s earned it. And few in the division deserve the chance more right now. So here we are. We all know the Jon Jones story. I won’t go into great detail on his history, it’s been done to death. His last two fights have really seen him vanquish his two biggest rivals though. Jones vs Cormier 2 was probably the biggest fight the UFC put on in 2017. A huge rivalry, a rematch well over 2 years in the making and there was all manner of controversy and bad blood going in. Cormier was thought to be one of the few men who could possibly end Jones’ reign and in the first two rounds he did well. All went to shit in the third round though. A huge Jones headkick shook DC down to his toes, then Jones swarmed him for the finish. Leaving Cormier a blubbering wreck. Of course, Jones then got popped for turinabol and that was that. He got suspended and didn’t fight for nearly 18 months after that. In Jones’ absence the division rolled on. And one man was starting to make a climb. As of July 2017, when Jones was kicking DC’s head in, Anthony Smith wasn’t even in the 205lb division. He was slugging away on the prelims at 185. He had a record of 27-12. Had some decent wins, some bad losses. He’d turned pro in 2008 and fought pretty much everywhere from Strikeforce to Bellator to RFA right down to fleabag, shitly named promotions like Disorderly Conduct and Crowbar MMA. I don’t think it’s an insult to say he was a bit of a journeyman. He returned to the UFC in 2016, after an unsuccessful previous stint a few years earlier. He did better this time, going 3-1 in his first 4 fights. Most notably an impressive come from behind headkick finish against Andrew Sanchez in April 2017 on FOX. I vaguely knew of him before this but that was the fight where he first really got on my radar. In September 2017, he took on Hector Lombard. Once again, Smith had to live up to his ‘Lionheart’ nickname and come back from a right beating to stop Lombard in the third. He was catching a right arse kicking early on. My main memory of this fight is that Lombard must have been talking some shit going in because Smith was pissed at him between rounds and post-fight, and kept saying ”Hey Hector, do you know me now? Do you know my name now?” and stuff like that. Whatever the case it was the biggest name win of Smith’s career to date. He lost his next fight to Thiago Santos in February 2018. I remember it being a really exciting bombfest but Smith just came off worse and Santos got the TKO in the second. That’s when Smith decided to move up to 205. And so began the 3 fight streak that landed him the title shot. In June, on the UFC 225 prelims, Smith threw a brutal knee which knocked out the shell of Rashad Evans in just 53 seconds. Turned out to be Rashad’s last fight as he’s since retired. In July, Smith went to Germany for his first UFC main event. And battered another legend. It took him just 1:29 of the first round to have Shogun slumped against the fence in the arms of Marc Goddard. Then in October, Smith headlined again in Canada. This time he took on dangerous Swiss KO artist Volkan Oezdemir. It turned out to be nowhere near as easy a night’s work as the Rashad and Shogun fights. Volkan gave Smith all he could handle. Both took some heavy shots and Volkan had Smith in some bother on the feet and on the ground. The comeback kid struck again though. In the third round again (Smith loves that 3, eh?) he managed to catch Oezdemir in a rear naked choke for the tap. With this win, Smith was 3-0 with 3 finishes at light heavyweight, and had improved his overall record to 31-13. And Volkan was ranked #2 in the division going in. Smith made his intentions clear in with a pretty great post-fight interview. ”Listen guys, I’ve been fighting since I was 17 years old. I’ve been chasing this dream, my career’s been up and down. I’ve just gone through so much adversity. And all I wanted was to stand here in this Octagon after a win, and to feel confident enough to ask Dana, Hunter Campbell and Mick Maynard one question: My name’s Anthony Smith and I want a title shot.” - Anthony Smith OK, his one question wasn’t actually a question. He fucked up there. He had just been clattered in the head a bunch by ‘No Time’ though. It was a really good little promo though and made you want to see him go all the way. Who doesn’t love an underdog story? It was right around this time that Jones’ suspension was up. The announcement was made. With Cormier now up at heavyweight, the 205 title was vacated. Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson 2, to crown a new champion, was booked as December’s UFC 232 main event. It was a rematch of their 2013 epic. One of the greatest fights in UFC history. A rematch people were waiting to see for 5 years. What could possibly fuck this up? Yep. Jones got USADA’d again. Pictograms. Grains of salt in Olympic sized swimming pools. Can’t be arsed going into it all again because what’s the point? It’s all so recent and I’m done with it. Fuck it. The crux of it was that the Nevada commission wouldn’t give the go-ahead for Jones to fight so the whole event had to be moved to California just days out. Never seen anything like it. The saving grace was that at least the fights still happened. And despite all the controversy and upheaval, 232 was one of the best shows of 2018 when the credits rolled. And Big Bad Jon schooled Gustafsson. It was nothing like the first fight. This was a total Jones showcase. He shut Gus down and never let him get anything going at all. Took him down then battered him for the third round TKO. Rivalry done. It’s mad because everyone sees Jones’ two biggest rivalries as Cormier and Gustafsson but you look back now in the record books and he’s 2-0 over both. I know the second DC fight is officially down as a No Contest because of the test failure but it’s really 2-0. We all saw him knock DC out. They were his two big rivals yet neither got a win on him. Frazier got a win on Ali, Marquez got a win over Pacquiao, Ward got a win against Gatti, fuck even Tito eventually got a win over Chuck in the end. Nobody beats Bones though. After the fight, the questions naturally are always ‘what’s next?’ And this is where Jones and Smith had their first little interaction. It’s nothing much but it planted the seed... There’ll probably be criticism for this fight being made but what can you do? Do you just never give Smith a crack because Jones is going to wreck him? Plus it’s probably better if Jones stays busy. You get the feeling the more time Jones has on his hands the more likely he is to get himself in the shit again. Keep him busy. Even if they’re just feeding him bodies to devour once every 3-5 months, it’s surely better than having a prime Jon Jones sitting on the bench. I’m actually looking forward to it. Tyron Woodley vs Kamaru Usman came a bit out of left-field. The fight everyone was expecting was obviously Woodley vs Covington. Fuck knows what’s gone on there. Covington was the interim champ so you’d have thought that he was the logical fight to make. Yet Dana claims Colby’s been offered the fight and turned it down. Colby’s saying he was never offered it and has been giving Dana both barrels the last week or two. I don’t know what’s happened but Covington’s loss is Kamaru Usman’s gain. Woodley has been the champ now since July 2016. He ended Robbie Lawler’s wildly entertaining title reign by knocking him out in a minute. After that he got the better of Wonderboy Thompson over two fights and beat Demian Maia in a 5 round dud. A funny old reign. All good wins but unfortunately for Woodley, after KOing Lawler so impressively, he was unlucky that the next two challengers in line were Thompson and Maia - two of the most awkward guys and trickiest styles to look good against on the roster. Didn’t help that he also had a bad shoulder injury and Dana White shitting on him in the media during this time either. He was good to go by September though. He defended his title against Liverpool’s Darren Till at UFC 228. Till came in undefeated and with massive confidence, self belief and momentum. He was also a fucking giant welteweight and a way bigger man than Woodley, as you can see there. Woodley put on an absolute masterclass though. For me this was probably his best all-round performance to date. He dropped Till with a big right hand and submitted him with a beautiful D’Arce choke in the second round. And still... Woodley took Till’s 0 and solidified himself as a great champion. During his reign so far he’s 1) knocked out the hardened warrior in Lawler. 2) dropped and outpointed the technical and tricky Karate master in Wonderboy. 3) nullified and shut down maybe the best pure grappler in all of MMA in Maia. And 4) dropped and submitted the undefeated, younger, much bigger, confident up and comer in Till. The fights themselves might not all have been the most exciting to watch but you look at what Woodley was able to do against 4 very different styles and it’s mega impressive. Speaking of impressive. Kamaru Usman. The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’. He’s been on quite a run himself. An imposing grappler, constant pressure, relentless pace, a suffocating top game, improving striking. He’s a handful for anyone. I don’t think he’s unbeatable but at the same time I don’t think anyone has an easy night with him. He’s 14-1 now. The loss was just his second pro fight so he’s on a 13 fight winning streak now. In his first 7 fights in the UFC he beat Hayder Hassan, Leon Edwards, Alexander Yakovlev, Warlley Alves, Sean Strickland, Sergio Moraes and Emil Meek. In May 2018 he beat Demian Maia by decision over 5 rounds. Easily his biggest win at that stage but, like Woodley vs Maia, it was a crap fight to watch so while it was a great win for Usman, it didn’t feel like the shot in the arm he needed. The talk after wasn’t ‘great win’ it was ‘shit fight’. It just put a negative feel on it. In November though, Usman headlined the TUF finale and beat Rafael Dos Anjos. Now this was more like it. Usman put on a really strong performance, outpointing RDA with a high pace attack of wrestling with some striking mixed in. So Woodley vs Usman then. This is a bit of a tough one to call. I’m definitely leaning towards Woodley. I can see their wrestling maybe cancelling each other out and it becoming mostly a standup battle. And, although Usman is getting better on the feet, Woodley wins that all day for me. But we haven’t seen Woodley face a wrestler like Usman before so it’ll be interesting to see what that looks like. Flipside to that though, Usman hasn’t come up against a wrestler like Woodley either. And if he can’t take Woodley down I think he’s in trouble. Cody Garbrandt vs Pedro Munhoz should be a good one. Garbrandt is in a tough spot here. He’s coming off back-to-back KO losses to Dillashaw. He’s in no mans land at 135 really, isn’t he? He’s not likely getting another title shot as long as TJ is champion. If he loses this then it’s really hard to see where he goes. I’m guessing he’d change weight class. Even if he wins this fight it’s hard to say what’s next. And Munhoz is no joke. This is a hard fight for someone coming off 2 bad knockouts who needs to rebound. You don’t typically fight a guy like Munhoz on the rebound. Munhoz has won 6 of his last 7 fights. The only loss being a split to John Dodson. He’s 17-3-1, never been finished and has beat some decent opposition like Caraway, Font, Johns and Scoggins. It’s definitely doable for Cody but Munhoz is probably not the kind of guy Cody is going to just knock over easily. And that’s probably what he needed at the moment. Who knows where he is mentally after the TJ losses. Robbie Lawler vs Ben Askren is 235’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** easy. I can’t fucking wait for this. How many years have we all been saying that we need to see Ben Askren in the UFC because that’s where the tests and interesting matchups are? The day has finally arrived. And they’re not exactly laying out the Welcome mat. Robbie Lawler awaits. Lawler is by far one of my all time favourite fighters. He was one of the big names I’d commonly hear when I first got into MMA. Once I saw his fights with Nick Diaz and Chris Lytle I was in the bag as a fan for life. And over the years that followed his fights with Scott Smith, Melvin Manhoef, Matt Lindland and Ninja Rua just strengthened my love for the madman. He’s had a proper up and down career but his unexpected UFC return and subsequent title run made all the losses and lacklustre performances earlier in his career worth it. That run was magic. Battering twatty Koscheck, the great fight with Matt Brown, taking the title off Hendricks the prick then those back-to-back all time classic FOTY candidates against Rory and Condit. Lawler’s 2013 to 2016 might be my favourite run of any fighter in MMA history. Sadly it all came to an end when Woodley flattened him. He’s gone 1-1 since losing the title. A win over Cerrone in a cracking fight and a loss to Dos Anjos in another pretty good scrap. He’s far from shot but it does appear all the wars are finally starting to catch up to him. But yeah, Sideshow Ben is finally here! In all seriousness, Askren is a bad man. You’d have to be to rock that hairdo, wouldn’t you? Askren is a NCAA Division I wrestler, an absolute terror on the mats. Won a bunch of medals and different accolades as a collegiate wrestler and competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He holds the record for the most pins in a single NCAA season and is third on the all-time pins list. His final collegiate record was 153-8 with 91 of his wins by pin. He got the nickname ‘Funky’ during his wrestling days due to his unorthodox style of wrestling. After the Olympics, Askren decided to persue a career in MMA. He joined American Top Team in Florida and made his MMA debut in February 2009. He went 3-0 in 2009 with 3 first round finishes. From there Bellator signed him and by the end of 2010 he’d won 4 fights in Bellator, was 7-0 overall and had won the Bellator welterweight title beating Lyman Good by decision. Over the next couple of years Askren racked up wins over Jay Hieron (barely), Douglas Lima, Karl Amoussou and Andrey Koreshkov. But he’d got himself a reputation, rightly or wrongly, as a boring fighter. ”Ben Askren makes Jon Fitch look like Wanderlei Silva.” - Dana White in 2013 Regardless, by the summer of 2013 he was 12-0 and had successfully defended the title 4 times. Oddly, in November 2013, Bellator suddenly announced that they’d come to terms to release Ben Askren from his contract. This was weird because Askren was still their welterweight champion. It didn’t make much sense. It was expected that Askren would be UFC-bound but this is when Dana started spewing all that silly bollocks about Askren not being worthy and needing to prove himself. While bums like Royston Wee were on the card and CM bastard Punk was about to be singed for $500,000 a fight. I get why, but fuck me. Askren ended up going over to ONE FC in Asia for a bit. Askren won ONE’s belt, adding it to his mantle along with the Bellator strap he never lost. He won 7 fights in ONE, finished 5 of them. In November 2017 he stopped Shinya Aoki in 57 seconds and then retired. Nothing happened for a year, but Askren did pop up on Rogan’s podcast giving his version of why Dana didn’t let him in the UFC. Then in October 2018 it was announced that hell had frozen over and Askren had actually signed with the UFC in a trade for ONE getting Demetrious Johnson. Almost immediately, Askren took to Twitter and started trolling and calling out everyone from the Diaz brothers to Khabib to GSP to Darren Till, the lot. There were all kinds of names being thrown around as potential opponents. One name that wasn’t really coming up was Robbie Lawler, but ex UFC fighter Aaron Simpson chucked this out there on Twitter... Askren wasn’t having it... Wasn’t too long after that the fight was made official. I really love this matchup. I was actually the one who suggested Lawler vs Askren in the Askren thread on here when he signed, so I’ll take full credit for this. It’s a great fight and a real legit test that should show us where Askren stands. Lawler has the KO power to hurt Askren plus he’s got solid defensive wrestling. I still expect Askren to be able to take him down of course, but I like that on paper Lawler has the tools to make it a proper fight. Holly Holm vs Aspen Ladd is an interesting one. Veteran vs prospect. Of course, we all know Holm’s story by now. Former Boxing world champion, Kickboxing experience, former UFC champ, ended the Rousey reign etc. She’s 37 now and has had a long career in combat sports. She’s had a few losses the last couple of years but even still she’s gone the distance with Cyborg and Shevchenko and gave a good account of herself. It’s not like she looks bad out there. But there can’t be too many fights left for Holm now surely? In Aspen Ladd she faces a 23 year old, undefeated, younger and fresher opponent. Ladd is 7-0 with 6 finishes. In her last 3 fights she’s beaten Sijara Eubanks, Lina Lansberg and Tonya Evinger. The Evinger fight was especially impressive as she battered and TKO’d Evinger in 3 minutes. Evinger had managed to last to round 3 with Cyborg previously. Ladd’s got something IMO. I like her aggression in there. But I’m not sure she’s ready for Holm. Maybe she is, maybe she’s catching Holm on the way down, but I’ve got a feeling Holm will prove too crafty. Jeremy Stephens vs Zabit Magomedsharipov is a hell of a fight. Lawler vs Askren was my one to watch but this is probably going to be the FOTN. Stephens is a cock but he’s got such a fun style to watch. Probably the hardest raw power puncher in the 145 division and he fucking goes for it. And Zabit is a maniac. If it wasn’t for Israel Adesanya then Zabit would have been nailed on for that Rising Star award on here. Really creative with his striking and his submissions and was a highlight of 2018 for me. I hope he smashes Stephens. Tecia Torres vs Weili Zhang could be worth keeping an eye on. I can take or leave Torres myself. She had a fucking tremendous fight with Rose Namajunas in Invicta years ago but I’ve found her mostly dull to watch since then. It’s Zhang who’s piqued my interest here. She’s 29 years old, Chinese, 18-1 record with 16 finishes, hasn’t lost since her MMA debut so a 18 fight win streak. And she submitted Jessica Aguilar in a round in her last fight in November. There seems to be zero hype on her but if she keeps this up it won’t be long before she’s making some noise in the title picture. Diego Sanchez vs Mickey Gall could be awesome or really sad. Haven’t decided yet. Sanchez is clearly far past his best. He has been for some time. It’s a shame. He’s given us so many amazing fights over the years, maybe more than any other fighter when you really stop and think about it. I mean the Melendez fight in 2013, the Guida fight in 2009, the Parisyan fight in 2006, the Diaz fight in 2005. The list goes on. The Kampmann fight, the Paulo Thiago fight, Ellenberger, fuck me! There’s so many. But he’s clearly declined big time now. He was always known for his crazy chin and durability. He’d never been knocked out for the longest time. There was the doctor stoppage against BJ Penn where Diego’s head was cut right down to the skull, but he’d never actually been knocked out. He had 34 fights before he got put out. Now he’s been KO’d in 3 of his last 5 fights, all in the first round not good. Gall’s best known as the man who crushed CM Punk in his UFC debut. He’s still quite green at just 5-1 but he’s a real talent and is probably going to bash Sanchez up here, I reckon. Macy Chiasson vs Gina Mazany doesn’t really interest me. Chiasson won the TUF featherweight tournament in November. But here she is, immediately dropping to 135. Great. 145 is crying out for more depth, they do TUF to find more fighters for the division, Chiasson wins then fucks off to 135. I remember her looking decent at the finale in fairness. Mazany has fought 3 times in the UFC and I don’t remember her at all. I probably saw at least one of the fights as well, just no recollection. She’s 5-2 with losses to Sara McMann and Lina Lansberg. Ovince Saint Preux vs Misha Cirkunov is a solid fight at 205. OSP has slowly grown on me over time. Didn’t get into him for ages but I quite like the big daft lump now. I love that he’s made the Von Flue choke his finish. He’s had his share of losses and it’s unlikely he’ll ever be a contender now but he’s decent in the gatekeeper role and has some good fights. Cirkunov is a fireplug brick shithouse of a man. He’s lost when he’s stepped up a level but he has beat, and finished, Patrick Cummins, Nikita Krylov and Ion Cutelaba. Good fight. Polyana Viana vs Hannah Cifers would’ve gone under my radar if not for Viana and her recent headlines... Love that. I’m a fan of Viana on the strength of this story alone now. Can’t recall if I’ve actually seen her fight. She’s 26, 10-2 record. 1-1 in the UFC, beat Maia Stevenson in her debut but lost to JJ Aldrich in her next fight. She’s coming off a big TKO win over that mugger though! Cifers is 8-3 and I know her only as the woman who got royally fucked up by Maycee Barber in Barber’s UFC debut recently. You know a card is deep when a fight like Thomas Almeida vs Marlon Vera is this far down the pecking order. This could be really good. Almeida was thought to be a future champion at one point. He went 20-0 with 19 finishes at the start of his career, including a highlight reel flying knee KO over Brad Pickett at UFC 189. He’s had a few setbacks now though. He’s lost 3 of his last 4, dropping his record to 21-3. He’s still got skills though and is always exciting once the cage door shuts. Vera is 12-5-1 and coming off a couple of wins. He also has a win over Pickett and also went the distance with John Lineker. Tough guy but I think Almeida has him beat everywhere. And that’s 235.
  10. wandshogun09


    I’ve got 2 pictograms. Not by much.
  11. wandshogun09


  12. wandshogun09

    UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Velasquez - Feb 17 🇺🇸

    Rickson on Rogan’s podcast telling the Yoji Anjo story; For those who aren’t familiar with the story, basically Takada and the UWFi worked shoot pro wrestling promotion in Japan were calling out Rickson and wanted him to ‘fight’ in their company. He declined but offered them to come to his gym if they wanted to fight. They took him up on the offer and brought Yoji Anjo and a load of media. It didn’t end well for Anjo. Listen to Rickson’s version. It’s better. No doubt it’ll have been a complete one-sided mauling but I hope Rickson does release the tape one day. It’s part of MMA history and was the incident that pretty much ended up spawning Pride. Fuck, we might as well rename this the Rickson Gracie thread.
  13. wandshogun09

    Frank Mir is a wrestler now it seems

    I’m guessing so. Like UWFi but better because Josh Barnett is involved. And it’s called Bloodsport.
  14. wandshogun09

    UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Velasquez - Feb 17 🇺🇸

    His son Rockson died as well in late 2000. He was only 19. So that also lined up timing-wise with him jacking fighting in. He’ll more than likely have appeared in the Choke documentary at various points. Really sad story. Here’s a bit of an article from BJJHeroes on it. Note the bold bit on the Sakuraba fight. Never knew they were supposed to fight but Rockson’s death, understandably, seems to have been the main reason why it never happened. I knew Rickson had a son who died young but didn’t know the details or put two and two together on the timeline. It all makes sense now why Rickson never came back to fight Sakuraba, or anyone else for that matter.
  15. wandshogun09

    UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Velasquez - Feb 17 🇺🇸

    This Rickson highlight is amazing. Not a fan of U2 but the song and footage fit perfectly here. E-LE-VA-TION; And here’s a little clip of Rickson in the 80s. He’d have been in his 20s here. There’s actually more old footage of Rickson on YouTube than I expected.
  16. wandshogun09

    UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Velasquez - Feb 17 🇺🇸

    The thing with Rickson also though, was age. He was already 42 years old when he retired in 2000. So fights with young Frank and Wandy probably weren’t realistic. From stuff I’ve read over the years, Rickson had been taking part in submission matches and full-on fights in gyms and probably on fucking beaches and in secret underground Bloodsport-like locations since the 80s. He predates the era of the term Mixed Martial Arts and even No Holds Barred as we came to know them, and certainly predates those things being televised. I think that’s why some think he was a myth. A lot of what would have been Rickson’s prime fighting years weren’t televised so it’s harder to trace and verify. But there’s been enough said and written over the last 20-odd years, by people whose opinion you’d respect, to make me think Rickson was legit. There was definitely a big heated rivalry in Brazil between the BJJ lot and the Luta Livre lot which spawned many a fight before MMA was a thing. And Rickson would’ve been front and centre of that, as was Marco Ruas and others on the Luta Livre side. By the time Rickson fought at Pride 1 he was pushing 40. It’s unrealistic to have expected him to fight much longer. Certainly not into the Fedor/Cro Cop era. Him talking about beating those guys was just his way of keeping his name out there, I guess. MMA just came along slightly too late for him really. Sadly, we never did see the best Rickson Gracie. Choke’s a fascinating documentary and gives some insight but it’s not the same as if we’d got him in his late 20s-early 30s when the UFC and Pride were kicking off. If the UFC started in 1983 istead of 1993, who knows what Rickson’s legacy would be now. Rickson vs Sakuraba was the one that should’ve happened. But I get why it didn’t. The best time for that fight would’ve been 2001. After Saku had gone through Royler, Royce, Renzo and Ryan. Rickson coming in then like the last and most difficult boss on the video game that Sakuraba had to try to beat would’ve been incredible. I don’t know if there were any talks or negotiations behind the scenes but the timing was a bit dodgy anyway as Rickson wasn’t with Pride by then and had retired the year before. For the right price I’m sure he’d have been coaxed back but a 42/43 year old Rickson vs a 31/32 Sakuraba in 2001 wouldn’t have been ideal. Bas Rutten also announced at Pride 3 that he wanted to fight Rickson in Pride after his UFC contract finished but it never happened. Oh and Conor McGregor stole Rickson’s moves;
  17. wandshogun09

    UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Velasquez - Feb 17 🇺🇸

    Yeah, for some reason I’ve noticed that I’ve only been doing it on the Fight Night threads and not the PPVs. I’ll change that. As you say, makes it that little bit easier to know when a show is, without having to open the thread to check. Especially with the amount of shows now.
  18. wandshogun09

    UFC Brooklyn: Cejudo vs Dillashaw - Jan 19 🇺🇸

    Cejudo’s looking in the shape of his life here; Both at their best I’d pick Dillashaw every time. On the feet I think he’s leagues above Lego Henry (David©) and even in the wrestling I think TJ will be hard to get a hold of and pin down, even for an Olympic gold medalist. But there are two x-factors for me; 1) TJ and the weight cut. I suspect he’ll be fine but until we actually see him on the scales and in the cage, it’s hard to say. 2) I could be wrong but I get the feeling that TJ might be slightly looking past Cejudo. Seems very dismissive of Cejudo whenever I hear him talking about this fight and he’s already been making noises this last week about going up to 145 to challenge Max Holloway. He’s a pro and I’m sure he’s taking Cejudo seriously but if anything is going to cost TJ in this one I reckon it’s a tough weight cut and/or overconfidence.
  19. wandshogun09

    UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Velasquez - Feb 17 🇺🇸

    Neither did I until I looked this card up. I’m looking forward to it. A Gracie in the UFC will always stir up old feelings but the last bunch of Gracies in the UFC have flopped pretty bad. Kron’s actually one who I think has legit potential to do something. He’s not just a surname, obviously the name opens doors a little easier in MMA circles, but from what I’ve seen he’s there on his own merit as well.
  20. wandshogun09

    Minor News & Random Shit

    Best thing Jake Shields has ever done?
  21. wandshogun09

    UFC 232: Jones vs Gustafsson 2

    Closing out 2018 with a bang. December 29th in Vegas for this one. PPV MAIN CARD Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson - Light Heavyweight Title Cris Cyborg vs Amanda Nunes - Featherweight Title Carlos Condit vs Michael Chiesa Corey Anderson vs Ilir Latifi Chad Mendes vs Alexander Volkanovski FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS Andrei Arlovski vs Walt Harris Cat Zingano vs Megan Anderson Petr Yan vs Douglas Silva De Andrade BJ Penn vs Ryan Hall FIGHT PASS PRELIMS Nathaniel Wood vs Andre Ewell Uriah Hall vs Bevon Lewis Siyar Bahadurzada vs Curtis Millender Brian Kelleher vs Montel Jackson Fucking incredible card that. The top two fights are where it’s at but I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say that I’m genuinely interested in every single fight there on some level. Love this card. Jones vs Gustafsson 2 is a beast of a main event. A rematch 5 years in the making. It’s for the title but I’m a bit confused as Daniel Cormier hasn’t been stripped of his title as far as I know. Yet this fight is being billed as for the title. Notice the poster doesn’t say ‘interim’, it’s for THE title. Fuck knows these days. Suppose they’ll just wait and see. Guess if DC doesn’t come back to 205, the winner of this is the undisputed champ anyway. And if he does, we’ve got a big unification match on the horizon. Anyway, yeah, 5 years in the making. They first met on September 21st 2013 at UFC 165 in Toronto. It was Jones’ sixth defence of the title having already breezed through Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen in his previous defences. He looked unstoppable and untouchable. Gustafsson was 15-1 and coming off points wins over Shogun Rua and Thiago Silva. He looked promising but he’d shown weakness in the grappling and already had a submission loss to Phil Davis. When the fight was announced, it was thought to be another run of the mill defence for Jones. I remember the promos for this all banging on about the size of Gustafsson and how they measured up in height, reach etc. But it didn’t matter. Jones was going to wreck him. I haven’t seen this fight in yonks so I’m interested to take another look at it now. Here we go. Round 1: Lots of kicking from both early, especially Jones with those evil push kicks to the knee. I wince every time I see that. Gus countering well with kicks of his own and a nice jab. Gus getting busy now and starting to land more and Jones is cut above the eye already. He’s doing a great job of answering Jones’ kicks with punches. With about a minute left in the round... Gustafsson scores a takedown, which is huge as Jones had never been taken down before. It seemed to be the element of surprise more than anything and Gus lets him back up but that will keep Jon guessing more now. Jones tries a takedown and Gus stuffs it as the round ends. Gustafsson 10-9. Round 2: Gus catches a kick and briefly trips Jones down again. Gus getting the better of the boxing exchanges but Jones is landing some kicks. Jones having no luck with the takedowns though. Zero. Which was surprising given Gus’ lack of wrestling in his earlier fights. ”Jones has had five takedown attempts stuffed by Alexander Gustafsson.” - Mike Goldberg Jones with a hard elbow. Gusty back with more punches. Jones throwing loads of kicks though, to the legs and body then goes up high. There’s a great sequence here where Jones throws another headkick, Gus eats it and catches the leg, then Jones does some mad roll out and goes for a takedown which Gus stuffs yet again. Jones with another headkick. Uppercut by Gustafsson. Another Gus round. 10-9. Round 3: Same story. Gus boxing, Jones kicking. Jones with another high kick and Gus lands an uppercut straight after. Fuck me. ”This has been the most Jon’s ever been hit in the Octagon by strikes. And the most he’s ever been hit clean.” Joe Rogan Gus is really boxing well here but Jones with a headkick again and he’s kicking the knees constantly. Hard body kick and a left hand land for Jones. Gus running backwards a lot. Jones lands a spinning elbow to the head. Gus body kick, Jones jab. And another round in the books. Really close round that but I think Jones nicked it, 10-9. And we enter the championship rounds. Round 4: Jones with a nice straight right. Jones starts the round off pretty well but then Gus starts tagging him up. Jabs, body shots, head shots. He’s landing almost at will. And Jones still can’t take him down! Gus is boxing the head off him. But Jones back with another headkick! Gus absorbs it and keeps throwing. This might be Gus’ best round yet. Then with about 40 seconds left in the round, it happens... Jones fucking cracks Gus with a spinning elbow. Gus is hurt bad and Jones swarms all over him with a barrage of knees and elbows. Gus is bleeding from the head. He somehow still stuffs a takedown, while rocked, but he’s fucked and Jones batters him with more knees, elbows and punches. Flying knee from Jones. Gus survives the round, fucking barely, and staggers back to the corner. Jones round, 10-9. Now it would be a 10-8 but back then the rules said that for a 10-8 you had to dominate the round overwhelmingly not necessarily get a near finish. And Gus was winning the round before that elbow connected. So I’ve got them even going into the 5th. Round 5: Gustafsson seems to have recovered quite well and is back on the volume punching early this round. Hard step-in elbow by Jones. Gus fires back. And Jones FINALLY gets a takedown. ”Finally! On the tenth attempt, Jones gets the takedown.” - Mike Goldberg But Gus manages to get back up against the fence. Jones fucking waffles him with another headkick... And Gus somehow just takes it. This is brutal. He throws a few more but Gus blocks them with his arms. A minute to go and both still throwing. Another headkick by Jones. Christ. More headkicks and an elbow by Jones. I don’t know what the hell is keeping Gustafsson up at this point. Flying knee by Jones lands and the buzzer goes. ”UN-BELIEVABLE! What a fight. That might be the greatest title fight in the history of the Light Heavyweight division.” - Joe Rogan Jones 10-9 again for me. So I’ve got it 48-47 Jones. Winner - Jon Jones by unanimous decision. Two of the judges had it the same as me, 48-47. One had it 49-46 which sounds off. It all comes down to that third round. I think most people would’ve had Gus taking the first two rounds and Jones taking the last two. It depends how you scored the third and that was a close one. I could see it going either way. Anyone crying robbery is talking bollocks though. Regardless, an incredible fight. Rogan saying it might be the best in 205’s history is actually underselling it, IMO. For me it’s easily the best fight in the Light Heavyweight division’s history. And up there as one of the best UFC fights ever full-stop. Rocky shit. Naturally, whenever there’s a close title fight and people are debating the decision, talk of a rematch is never far behind. Gustafsson rebounded by knocking out Jimi Manuwa in London in March 2014. In the April, Jones made another successful title defence beating Glover Teixeira comfortably on points at UFC 172. The rematch was set. September 27th, 2014. UFC 178. It was signed, sealed but unfortunately not delivered. Gus injured his knee and had to pull out. Daniel Cormier stepped in to face Jones and...well you know the rest. One press conference brawl later and Gustafsson was forgotten. The Jones vs Cormier rivalry was born and it eclipsed Gustafsson and his rematch hopes. Over the next few years Jones and Gustafsson took very different paths. In MMA and in life. Jones wound up beating Cormier by decision at UFC 182 in January 2015 but he pissed on his own chips when he tested positive for cocaine. He was then booked to defend against Anthony Johnson in May but got himself suspended and stripped of the title when he was involved in a hit-and-run where he hit a pregnant woman with his car and fled the scene. He finally came back and beat OSP in a lacklustre decision in April 2016. But things went tits up again when he killed the UFC 200 headline rematch with Cormier by getting popped by USADA and suspended again and stripped of the interim title. The DC rematch finally happened in July 2017. Jones won by knockout and gave a seemingly heartfelt baby-face post-fight speech and called out Brock Lesnar. Then he got popped by USADA a-fucking-gain! The result against DC was overturned to a No Contest and he was stripped of his belt again. Fucking shambles. Gustafsson had his own ups and downs. In the cage he’s had his low points. Getting knocked out by Rumble Johnson, in Sweden, must’ve stung emotionally as much as physically. And he came up short in his second title shot in October 2015, losing another razor close decision in another war with Cormier. Add to that he’s been plagued by injuries, he’s had a rough few years. He’s back on track now though, winning his last two fights. And after knocking out Glover Teixeira in Stockholm last May, he proposed to his hot girlfriend and their second baby was born recently. Life’s good in the Gustafsson household. In September, Jones tweeted this, which was probably just because it was the 5th anniversary of their fight but it sparked some rumours that a Jones-Gus rematch might finally happen. In October it was made official. Jones vs Gustafsson 2 is on. I really can’t wait for this. Even more now after rewatching the first fight. What a way to end the year. It’s got a hard act to follow but this is a rematch that needs to happen. The first fight was so close that it kind of feels like unfinished business. ”Winning over Jon Jones is bigger than taking the belt. He is my Mount Everest” - Alexander Gustafsson Watch this promo. At 10 minutes it’s longer than the usual promo but it’s well worth it. One of the best fight promos I’ve ever seen. Let’s just hope they both make it. Between Jones constantly fucking up and Gus constantly getting injured, the chances of this fight falling apart seem higher than Nick Diaz. Cross everything that they both make it to the cage on Dec 29. Cyborg vs Nunes is a monster co-main. This could’ve easily topped a PPV on its own. Champion vs Champion and it’s THE two scariest women to ever compete in MMA. August 2009: This is where it all started for Cyborg really. She’d already been fighting 4 years by this point and was 7-1 but she wasn’t that well known. When Strikeforce boss Scott Coker booked her to fight women’s MMA darling Gina Carano though, that all changed. The contrast between the two captured the attention of MMA media and fans alike more than any other female fight had before. It was Beauty vs The Beast in 4oz gloves. And Gina got smashed. At 4:59 of the first round it was all over. Carano never fought again. The Cyborg era had begun. Over the next few years Cyborg bulldozed her way through the Strikeforce and Invicta rosters. She won 7 fights, all knockouts, but had her share of controversy when she tested positive for steroids in 2012. Amanda Nunes had turned pro in 2008 and gone 7-3 over the next 5 years fighting in Invicta, Strikeforce and Brazilian promotions. She made her UFC debut in August 2013, TKOing Sheila Gaff in a round. November 2013: Nunes followed that up with another first round TKO. She stopped Dutch striker Germaine De Randamie with punches and elbows from the mount. March 2014: Cyborg takes a Muay Thai fight in the Lion Fight promotion against Jorina Baars. Baars is a top kickboxer, was a ISKA champion, a 10 year vet and was 29-1-3 at the time of this fight. Apparently the reason she was fighting an MMA fighter in Cyborg at all was because she was struggling to find opponents in Muay Thai. Cyborg got beat up and lost but she managed to survive and take Baars the distance over 5 hard rounds and she landed some good shots herself. This fight, to me, told us more about Cyborg than all her MMA wins combined. She showed guts and toughness here that she's never had to show in MMA so far and it was a real good fight to watch. Baars was complimentary of Cyborg after the fight. ”I couldn’t KO her so I know that it was a good fight and a very hard fight. She is so strong in the fight. She fights like a robot and I mean that in a good way. I respect Cyborg a lot because she had only done two or three Muay Thai fights.” - Jorina Baars March 2015: After a September 2014 loss to Cat Zingano, Nunes returns and TKOs Shayna Baszler with leg kicks in under 2 minutes in Rio. August 2015: In her very next fight Nunes submits Olympic silver medalist and former UFC title challenger Sara McMann in under 3 minutes. March 2016: On the undercard of McGregor vs Diaz 1, Nunes goes the distance for only the second time in her career and wins a hard fought decision against Valentina Shevchenko. May 2016: Cyborg finally makes her long awaited UFC debut at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil. She battered Leslie Smith in less than 90 seconds. July 2016: Nunes gets her big break. Challenging UFC bantamweight champ Miesha Tate for the title in the main event of the milestone UFC 200 event. Nunes destroys Tate, battering and bloodying her up on the feet before submitting her with a rear naked choke in around 3 minutes. Amanda Nunes, new UFC bantamweight champion of the world. “Amanda hits like a man. I can say first-hand that she hits so hard. And it looks effortless, she is very natural at it. She’s got this falcon-like wingspan. She has the power to knock Cyborg out, I do believe that. I don’t think it will happen this fight, but if Cyborg doesn’t actually come in with a strategy and just wants to bully Amanda, she might get hurt.” - Miesha Tate September 2016: Cyborg headlines a Fight Night in Brazil against Lina Lansberg. Lansberg’s toughness sees her last to round two but she gets bludgeoned to a TKO. December 2016: In Nunes first title defence she’d main event UFC 207 against the original queen of the division Ronda Rousey, who was returning from a year out after getting knocked out by Holly Holm in 2015. ‘SHE’S BACK!’, said the event poster. And Nunes, the champ, was treated like a complete afterthought with stories since revealing that UFC execs saw Nunes merely as “cannon fodder” for Rousey’s return. How wrong they were. 48 seconds is all it took. Nunes set about Ronda and punched her up and down the Octagon until the referee jumped in and waved it off. An absolute mugging. It was actually a bit uncomfortable to watch. Amanda Nunes had solidified herself as the best 135lb female fighter on the planet. July 2017: On the stacked UFC 214 PPV, Cyborg faced veteran Tonya Evinger to crown the first UFC women’s featherweight champion. Evinger gets mauled, somehow surviving into the third round before Cyborg knees her to bits and finishes her with a TKO. Cyborg finally adds UFC gold to her growing collection of belts. September 2017: Nunes wins another hard fought decision in a rematch against her toughest foe to date, Valentina Shevchenko. It was a gruelling and competitive 5 rounds but Nunes came out on top again. December 2017: Cyborg defends her title against her stiffest test yet in former boxing champion and Rousey conquerer, Holly Holm. They go 5 hard rounds and Cyborg wins a clear decision but it was a good, competitive fight and Holm connected with her share of strikes. But ultimately, Cyborg won a lopsided decision. March 2018: Cyborg back to being Cyborg. Smashing Yana Kunitskaya in a round in the main event of UFC 222. May 2018: Nunes absolutely crushes Raquel Pennington and leaves her a bloody mess in the main event of UFC 224. Hard to watch. She just obliterated poor Pennington here. And here we are. Again, watch this promo. It’s the same guy who did the Jones-Gus one above. He’s great at these. This is going to be wall to wall violence. The two most terrifying women in the game. The streaks these two have been on have been something to behold. Between them they've beat all the top female fighters in MMA history from Ronda Rousey to Holly Holm to Valentina Shevchenko to Miesha Tate to Gina Carano. The only one neither have beaten is each other. Corey Anderson vs Ilir Latifi could be decent. I’m indifferent to Anderson. He’s not a bad fighter I just don’t really enjoy watching him. He’s coming off a win over Glover so he’s improving. I like Latifi a lot though so that’s where my interest lies here. Always got time for the ‘Sledgehammer’. He’s doing well at the moment too. He’s won 5 of his last 6 and choked out OSP in a round in February. Carlos Condit vs Michael Chiesa has serious potential to steal the show. All depends if Condit is up for it and has his head in the game. He’s been flirting with retirement for a while now and he hasn’t looked right in his fights either. In fact, he hasn’t looked good since the war with Robbie Lawler a couple of years back. Hopefully he can dig deep and find some of that old ‘Natural Born Killer’ in there because he was one of the most exciting fighters to watch when he was at his best. Chiesa is always game, tough and a good grappler. He’s someone I think Condit would’ve handled a few years ago though. Now I’m not so sure. Should be a good fight either way. Cat Zingano vs Megan Anderson should be fun. Like Condit, Zingano was one of my favourites to watch for a long time but she’s had so many setbacks, personally and professionally, that she hasn’t seemed at the races for a long time. She did manage to snap a 3 fight losing streak in her last fight in July, outpointing Marion Reneau. So hopefully she can build off that. Megan Anderson is still a bit of a mystery to me but she impressed me in the Holly Holm fight. It was a massive step up for her, especially in her UFC debut. And although Holm won fairly comfortably, Anderson looked a right handful in the striking. To the point Holm, the striker, turned into a wrestler. She’s huge for the weight too. I’m interested to see her back in there. But at the same time intrigued by the matchup because grappling seems to be her kryptonite and grappling is Zingano’s bread and butter. Chad Mendes vs Alexander Volkanovski just got added to the card. This is now ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH***. Great fight. Two absolute tanks at 145 colliding. Mendes returned from his USADA suspension in July and knocked out Myles Jury in a round. He looked like really refreshed and like he hadn’t missed a beat. Volkanovski beat Darren Elkins on the same card and called out Mendes after they both won. At that point this fight was a no brainer for me. Such an interesting matchup and a timely step up for Volkanovski, who’s put together a very impressive 18-1 record and his one loss was over 5 years ago. He’s 5-0 in the UFC and it’s time to see him tested against a top contender. And Mendes is just that. If Mendes wins, ending Volkanovski’s streak, he’s instantly back in the title picture. Perfect fight to make. Andrei Arlovski vs Walt Harris is the heavyweight offering on this one. You’ve got to throw the heavies in there. At this point there’s not much more to say about Arlovski. Everyone knows the score by now. He’s been around forever. Still moves pretty well, still hits hard, still has that questionable chin. Walt Harris is a guy I think Arlovski can still beat. He’s 11-7 and hasn’t looked particularly impressive so far in the UFC. I quite like him though. Seems a good guy in interviews. He’s been sparring Tyson Fury recently, apparently, and has sparred Deontay Wilder as well in the past. BJ Penn vs Ryan Hall is maybe the only possible fight that I’m not really against seeing BJ involved with in 2018. Hall’s a complete throwback. Almost 100% grappler. He’s not the type of fighter who’s going to scramble BJ’s brains. I’m hoping Penn goes back to his grappling roots here. I’d be quite pleased if this basically looks like Metamoris in a cage. I think it could actually be quite fun. Watch Hall rip his leg off now. Uriah Hall vs Bevon Lewis is a fight that’s got my attention even though I’m not familiar with Lewis. Hall varies from fight to fight but when he’s got a good dance partner he can be so much fun to watch. He’s been in entertaining fights of late to be fair. Guess it’ll depend what Lewis brings. All I know is he fought on Dana’s Contender thing, he’s 27, fights out of Jackson-Wink and he’s undefeated at 6-0. And his nickname is ‘The Extraordinary Gentleman’ for some reason. Siyar Bahadurzada vs Curtis Millender is going to be a battle and, just a guess but it’s probably not going the distance. Siyar doesn’t do anything pretty, you won’t see a technical masterpiece out of him but he hits fucking hard and he’s aggressive as fuck. Millender is more of a technician but he’s shown legit promise so far in the UFC. He knocked out Thiago Alves in his debut and beat Max Griffin on points in July. He’s 16-3 overall now and is looking like someone worth keeping an eye on. Petr Yan vs Douglas Silva De Andrade is a fight I really hope ends up televised. I’m already a big fan of Yan. He’s a former ACB champion, 10-1, 2-0 in the UFC so far, and he’s a little beast of a striker. Really fun style to watch. De Andrade is a tricky customer though and a veteran of 28 fights. It’s a step up the ladder for Yan so it’ll be interesting to see how he does. That’s 232. That’s 2018. That’s all folks.
  22. wandshogun09

    Boxing Thread

    Pacquiao vs Broner is also live on ITV4 next Saturday the 19th.