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wandshogun09

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Everything posted by wandshogun09

  1. Look at this for an old school picture. A young Frank Warren with Lenny McLean (who was Fish Eyes’ second cousin) and Paul Sykes. Don’t recognise the two men on the right. This would’ve likely been taken sometime in 1979 as McLean and Sykes were supposed to fight that year but it never ended up happening.
  2. Yeah, main event aside it wasn’t much of a show. The fights I thought would really deliver like Formiga vs Figueiredo and Makdessi vs Pinedo just didn’t catch fire and even Vera vs Saenz was over before it got going. It was nice to see Randa Markos have a good showing on the prelims. She completely outclassed Angela Hill and subbed her in a round. She needed something like that. And I think I mentioned it after her UFC debut but as promising as Maycee Barber looks for 20 years old, I can’t help thinking her pulling back with her chin up in the air is going to end in tears sooner or later. It nearly did here when she got dropped in the first round. She did well to come back and get the finish herself but I get the feeling she’s going to run into trouble as she moves up the levels. Felt a bit sorry for JJ Aldrich. She was winning and looking well on track to derailing the hype train but it all went tits up in that final flurry.
  3. Little Nog was great but you’re right. He was always the bridesmaid. Big Nog was the one who was always in the main events in Pride, had the backstory of being run over by a truck as a kid, pulled off those heroic comebacks against Sapp and Cro Cop and so on. He was always in his brother’s shadow. And even moreso with them being twins. I mean, they had the same face! Everything Rogério did would naturally be compared to Rodrigo’s accomplishments. He was quality in his own right though. I always thought he had better hands than Big Nog. He repped Brazil and had some success and won medals as an amateur. I think he trained a bit with the Cuban Boxing team as well if I’m not mistaken. Like you say wins over Sakuraba, Hendo and Overeem were highlights of his Pride run. Even that classic with Shogun, it’s arguable that he should’ve got the decision that night. Even as a massive Shogun bummer I wouldn’t have complained if they scored that to Nog. It was that close. I’ve posted this before but I’ll post it again. This Little Nog highlight is the bollocks and really shows you what he could do when he was at his best; I remember being so chuffed when the UFC finally signed him in 2009. I was sure when Pride died that they’d bring him in with his brother but I guess the Sokoudjou KO put paid to that. You’d see him cornering his brother for his UFC fights and hear about these fights he was winning in Brazil or Affliction and there’d be no mention of the UFC picking him up. Then all of a sudden he’s in the Octagon, finally making his debut, knocking the shit out of Luiz Cane (proper ‘where is he now?’ name there but Cane was looking like a top prospect for a bit). Sadly, with hindsight that was kind of the peak for Little Nog. He had and won a cracking fight with Jason Brilz but got backlash (unfairly) because most people seemed to think Brilz got robbed. Him battering Tito was lovely actually. It’s been mostly a rough old stint though. But he was really good in his day. People who’ve only seen him in the UFC haven’t seen the best stuff. He deserves more love. I think he’ll always be under appreciated.
  4. More than pencilled in, Aldo vs Pettis was all officially signed and announced for UFC 163 in August 2013. Which is where that sexy beach picture above is from. They’d already started promoting it out in Brazil where the show was going to take place. Pettis pulled out with a knee injury and was replaced by the Korean Zombie. I was fucking gutted but the Zombie was good enough of a replacement to sweeten the pill. Oddly enough, within weeks of pulling out of the early August 145 title fight against Aldo, Pettis was recovered from his knee injury and fit to step in against Benson Henderson in late August for the 155 strap. I remember reading speculation online at the time that maybe Pettis pulled out because he was struggling with cutting down to 145. Another rumour I read was that the UFC were scrambling because of TJ Grant’s concussion problems taking him out of the Bendo fight and with the Bendo card being in Milwaukee - Pettis’ hometown - plus the ready made backstory between Bendo and Pettis, it just made sense to shuffle the fights and do Aldo vs Zombie and Bendo vs Pettis 2. Who knows? It worked out in the end but it’s a shame we never did get that Aldo vs Pettis fight at the time. Although I honestly think the fight happening now would be just as good, if not better, with the form they’re both currently in. As for Pettis’ slump, I think there were a whole bunch of factors. I remember going into that Dos Anjos fight he seemed to be hitting his absolute peak. He was on fire in the Lauzon and Cerrone fights, the Bendo title win and his first defence against Melendez. But I also recall thinking there were signs he was perhaps starting to believe his own hype. The pre-fight interviews for RDA, I think he was talking about being the best of all time and how his opponents weren’t on his level or something. Nothing outrageous, fighters talk like that to sell fights sometimes but I remember thinking it seemed a bit out of character. Then RDA gave him that 5 round spanking (still one of the greatest title winning performances ever for me, that) and I think how RDA utterly dominated him might’ve mindfucked him for a bit. Didn’t help that his next 2 fights, what should’ve been his rebound fights, were against fucking Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza! The Alvarez loss in particular was terrible as the fight was shockingly dull and proof that two rights can make a wrong. Pettis vs Alvarez sounded like the FOTY on paper but it was a dud. Can’t blame Alvarez for switching things up and fighting safe. He needed a W and, while disappointing to watch and not the most entertaining as a spectator, his tactics were successful and threw Pettis right off. Since the Barboza loss Pettis has gone W-L-W-L-W-L-W. So he’s hardly BACK but the losses were to Ferguson, Poirier and Holloway FFS. And he looked back on form in the wins submitting top grapplers like Charles Oliveira and Michael Chiesa. And now KOing Wonderboy, Superman style. So yeah, the TL;DR version - I think the Anthony Pettis ‘lost years’ of 2015-17 were down to a mixture of overconfidence initially, mental hurdles after the RDA loss making him gun-shy, some injuries and just generally facing a steady flow of beasts. You fight the list of killers Pettis has and either you’re going to suffer some defeats or you must be the GOAT. Seriously, look at the shift Showtime has put in over the years...
  5. Yeah that was madness. What a KO. Out of nowhere. You kind of new when that 10 seconds left horn went off that Pettis would try something but because he’s so unpredictable you never know what it’ll be. He’s never really knocked anyone out with punches before, has he? Maybe in the WEC days but nothing is springing to mind. That extra bit of weight at 170 must’ve made some of that difference but he also timed it to perfection. And that’s where Wonderboy’s hands down style of defence relying on reflexes can backfire. Like you guys I had Wonderboy taking both the first 2 rounds right up until that killshot connected. Pettis was competitive throughout and landed some solid stuff, mostly the leg kicks, but it just felt like Wonderboy was going to run away with it. Like I said in the opening post though, when you get 2 strikers as accurate, quick and unorthodox as these guys all it takes is one slip up or lapse in concentration and it can be lights out. Wonder what’s next for Pettis after that. He was saying before this that it was probably going to be a one-off thing at welterweight. And with his teammates Woodley and Askren in the title picture at 170, I can’t see him sticking around there. But at the same time, he’s already fought and lost to most of the top boys at 155. There’s still fights to be made there of course. Pettis vs a Gaethje, Iaquinta, Diaz (if he ever comes back), even McGregor would all be appealing fresh matchups to make. And rematches with Cerrone or Poirier wouldn’t upset anyone. But pretty much everyone already has a dance partner now. It’ll be interesting to see who he’s paired with next. He deserves something big after that. I keep saying it but I really hope we get to see Aldo vs Pettis before Aldo retires. If Aldo gets by Volkanovski at 237 it’s definitely the fight I’d go with next. Should’ve happened in 2013 so there’s unfinished business there. And who wouldn’t want to see that fight? On paper it’s a match made in heaven style-wise. And the timing couldn’t be much better with them both getting their swagger back again recently. Fuck it, even if Aldo loses to Volkanovski I think I’d do Aldo vs Pettis next. Who’s going to complain? Get it made.
  6. 2 Americans - Devin Clark and Roxanne Modafferi. Other than that you’ve got Marcelo Golm from Brazil and Keita Nakamura from Japan. I think the rest are all European though. Oh and this is cool. The moment Rafael Fiziev found out he was going to be a UFC fighter;
  7. On Saturday 11th May, the UFC is back on PPV and back in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with this lot. PPV MAIN CARD Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade - Strawweight Title Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski Jared Cannonier vs Anderson Silva Antônio Rogério Nogueira vs Ryan Spann Bethe Correia vs Irene Aldana ESPN PRELIMS Wu Yanan vs Luana Carolina Thiago Alves vs Laureano Staropoli Talita Bernardo vs Jessica Rose Clark BJ Penn vs Clay Guida FIGHT PASS PRELIMS Said Nurmagomedov vs Raoni Barcelos Alberto Mina vs Warlley Alves As always, I’ve just gone off MMAJunkie’s bout order there. I’m guessing it’ll be shuffled about and maybe a couple of fights will still be added yet. I’ll update it if it changes. Good card, I think. Yeah, it’s not a blockbuster but there’s plenty to like about this one and I pretty much always dig the Brazil shows anyway. Usually always a great atmosphere. The crowd for this show should be especially electric with Andrade challenging for the title plus legendary names like Aldo, Silva and Nogueira on there. There was originally talk of Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm headlining this show but I don’t know what happened to that. Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade tops the bill. This was confirmed ages ago. It’s been in the works for some time now. By the time this fight happens, it’ll have been over a year since we saw Thug Rose in action. I’ve seen fans speculating that she took time out because she was shaken up after that McGregor bus debacle in Brooklyn last April. But she’s actually been out with severe back issues. Hopefully that’s all sorted now and she can kick on with her career. Rose’s story hasn’t been told all that much but she’s had a hell of a life already for a 26 year old woman. Her family left Lithuania and escaped the Soviet Union to come to America, she was sexually abused as a kid and her Dad had schizophrenia and died when she was just 16 years old. She’s been through a lot and, knowing that, it kind of makes you understand why she comes across so cold and unfazed a lot of the time. When she first got on my radar she was just Pat Barry’s girlfriend to me. But I caught a few highlights and saw one of her Invicta fights and was impressed. She’s got an extensive Taekwondo background and also has a really strong submission game. Her first fight against Tecia Torres at Invicta 6 in 2013 is what really made me a fan though. They were both only 2-0 going in, and they had an awesome fight. Rose lost on points but it was clear she had a ton of potential. She then got on TUF in 2014, was mega impressive in her fights on the show but came up short in the Finale against Carla Esparza. She’s had a great run since then. She avenged her loss to Torres and submitted Angela Hill, Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson. In late 2017 she got her big chance. She was granted a title shot against Poland’s strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 in Madison Square Garden. Huge. But pretty much everyone saw Rose as the latest sacrificial lamb. Jedrzejczyk was undefeated at 14-0 and had been dominating and butchering all challengers. She had basically run out of contenders to smash up so Rose getting the shot just felt like a case of keeping Joanna busy until the next challenger emerged. But Rose went out there and shocked the world. She caught Joanna with a flush left hook right on the chin and put her away in the first round. "It feels like a movie right now. This belt don't mean nothing, man. Just be a good person. That's it. This is extra. This is awesome. But let's just give each other hugs and be nice, man. I mean, I know we fight but this is entertainment. Afterwards, it's nothing. I feel like a normal person, man, I'm just regular. Ain't nothing special here." - Rose Namajunas As big a fan of Joanna as I am, this was such a feel-good moment that I couldn’t help but be happy for Rose. Their rematch 6 months later at UFC 223 in Brooklyn was much different and much more competitive. But in the end the outcome was the same. Rose retained the belt by unanimous decision, going 2-0 over Jedrzejczyk and solidifying herself as the real undisputed baddest 115lb woman on the planet. Like I said though, she’s been out ever since then with a bad back injury. Who knows how that, or the lay-off, will effect her. Talk about crap timing. In the meantime, the strawweight division rolled on and one woman really stood out for me. Jessica Andrade was a pretty solid bantamweight, with wins over Raquel Pennington and Rosi Sexton. But, although she was built like a little tank, at just 5’2” it wasn’t the ideal weight class for her as her opponents often had the height and reach on her. In 2016 she dropped to 115 and never looked back. Sometimes when a fighter changes weight class it just feels like a bit of a desperate attempt to make something happen. With other fighters, it instantly clicks and you realise that they should’ve been at that weight all along. Jessica Andrade definitely falls into the second category. She immediately looked like a legitimate force at strawweight and was finally in with women who didn’t tower over her. She quickly went from being a decent 135er to a beast 115er. In her first 3 fights as a strawweight, Andrade TKO’d Jessica Penne, submitted Joanne Calderwood and decisioned Angela Hill in a barnburner. She looked so impressive that in May 2017 she got a title shot against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She lost a 5 round decision but didn’t disgrace herself by any means and it felt like a loss she’d learn and improve from. The comeback began. In September 2017, Andrade traveled to Japan to take on fellow Brazilian Claudia Gadelha, who was previously considered the number two strawweight in the world. Gadelha had taken Jedrzejczyk the distance twice in close fights and was known for her strong grappling and physical strength. Andrade threw her about like a beach ball. It was a great fight that got FOTN but when it was all over it was clear that Andrade had surpassed Gadelha as the top Brazilian strawweight. It was exactly the kind of performance and statement Andrade needed to make to get herself back in that title conversation. From there she beat Tecia Torres by decision in February 2018. And that set up another big fight in the co-main event of UFC 228 in September against another former title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Kowalkiewicz had also gone 5 rounds with Jedrzejczyk and also had a win over Rose Namajunas herself. So this was 2 of the top 115lbers facing off with a probable title shot up for grabs. And Andrade ironed her out in a round. It’s very rare that you see a strawweight who packs a one shot KO punch like that. Andrade is a little wrecking ball. I’ve called her the female John Lineker before and she really is that kind of attacking, aggressive savage. Shades of Wanderlei Silva in her style as well, so you can see why I love her. Namajunas vs Andrade promo; I’m really excited for this fight. Won’t get the buyrate wankers stiff but it’s a fantastic fight style-wise. You can’t go wrong. Not sure how it’s going to play out. Could Rose’s lay-off be a factor? Can Andrade pull it off this time in her second crack at the gold on home soil? Can Rose keep Andrade at bay enough to make her game work? Or does Andrade ultimately overwhelm her with her power and physicality? A great, great fight this is. Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski is currently slated to co-headline. I say ‘currently’ because I just read that Aldo has been in hospital with a bacterial infection this week. Andre Pederneiras is saying Aldo will be good to go so hopefully it won’t put this fight in jeopardy. Aldo was on about finishing up his contract and retiring later this year. I think he has 2 fights left so this and one more and that might be it. He’s looked great in his last couple of fights. He rebounded from the Max Holloway losses by stopping Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano. He seems really fired up to go out on a high. Volkanovski is no joke though. He’s 19-1 and on a 16 fight win streak, strong as fuck, aggressive, not afraid of trading punches with anyone, can take a dig, can grapple, sets a high pace. He’s really, really good. He finished Chad Mendes in his last fight in December in a proper fun scrap. So he’s earned a big fight like this. A win over Aldo here would put him right in line for a shot at the gold. Fair play to Aldo for taking this fight. Most legendary fighters finishing their career would be looking purely for big name money fights on the way out. Aldo has mentioned names like Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone and Dustin Poirier but in the end he seems down to fight absolutely anyone. Moicano in his last fight, now Volkanovski. He’s taking on the young, in form new breed guys. He’s only 32 years old himself. It’s a misconception that Aldo is old and washed up. He never was. But if he really is retiring after this next couple of fights, it’d be cool and refreshing to see him end it on some wins. I like Volkanovski, but I’m pulling for Aldo’s farewell tour to keep rolling here. Jared Cannonier vs Anderson Silva is a funny one. Not a fight I’d have chosen but I’ll roll with it. Anderson has also been talking retirement on and off. In December he was quoted saying he wants 3 more fights and he’s done. He’s had one of those already, losing to Israel Adesanya in a fun fight in February. So this is a fairly quick turnaround for Anderson. And I think it’s obviously because he wants to fight in Rio. It could well be the last time he fights in Brazil. He’ll be 44 by the time he steps into the cage in May. And while he didn’t embarrass himself against Adesanya, it’s clear he’s at the end of his career now. Cannonier is a good fighter but like I said, he wouldn’t have been my choice to use up what will surely be one of Anderson’s final fights. Nothing against Cannonier. He earned a big fight when he scored the upset KO over David Branch at MSG in November. But it feels like a bit of a waste as one of Anderson’s last fights. If Anderson wins here, I guess he’ll do his farewell fight later in the year. If he loses though, I can see him retiring in the cage post-fight. I just hope it’s a good fight either way. The Adesanya thing felt like a positive despite him losing, the last thing Anderson needs now is a snoozer. Antônio Rogério Nogueira vs Ryan Spann is another case of the old Brazilian vs the young up and comer. Seems to be the theme of this show. I love the Nogueira brothers but Little Nog should probably go the way of his brother soon and hang the gloves up. He’s 42 now and while he hasn’t taken quite the damage in his career that Big Nog did, he’s not far behind really. He’s had a load of injuries and lay-offs over the years. Not to mention some bad knockouts like the Rumble and Sokoudjou ones, the war with Shogun in Pride etc. He’s got some miles on him. It was great to see him stop Sam Alvey in his last fight but I hope he doesn’t carry on too long now. He really looks like a relic in there these days. Like when Hacksaw Jim Duggan came back to WWE in 2006 or whenever it was. Just weird seeing him still there now. And Spann looks decent. 27 years old, 15-5 record, think he trains with Curtis Blaydes. And he’s a big old boy at 6’5”. Most of his wins are by submission though, so hopefully he’ll play the grappling game and that’ll play to Nog’s strengths. We’ll see. Bethe Correia vs Irene Aldana is a nothing fight but could be alright. It was meant to happen at UFC 227 back in August but Correia got injured. She hasn’t fought since Holly Holm kicked her head in nearly 2 years ago. Mostly remembered for getting KO’d by Ronda Rousey in what turned out to be Ronda’s last MMA victory. Aldana is Mexican, 30 years old, 9-4 record. She’s OK, nothing amazing. I did love her wild fight with Leslie Smith in her UFC debut a couple of years ago though. If you haven’t seen it and fancy watching a brawl, you can do worse than throwing Leslie Smith vs Irene Aldana on. Wu ‘Tang’ Yanan vs Luana Carolina, I don’t know enough about Yanan and nothing about Carolina to really comment on this much. Yeah, Wu Yanan’s nickname isn’t ‘Tang’ but I’ll keep calling her it because it should be. She could be promising actually. 10-2 record and still just 22 years old. Submitted Lauren Mueller in a round on the Shanghai show in November. Luana Carolina is making her UFC debut here. She’s Brazilian, 25 years old with 5-1 record and was on Dana’s Contender Series last year. Thiago Alves vs Laureano Staropoli could well steal the show. You pretty much know what you’re getting from Alves. He’s lost a few steps since the heyday about a decade ago but he’ll still push forward and try to kick your legs off and punch a hole in your face. He had a tremendous fight against Max Griffin on the Fortaleza show in February. One of my lowkey favourite fights so far this year. Just a back and forth war with neither giving an inch. Alves got the judges nod on a close split decision. He’s had a bunch of losses in recent years and, at 35 and banged up, it's clear he’s never getting back to title contention but he’s still great to watch when he’s on. He’s in with Argentinian Laureano Staropoli. 26 years old, 8-1 with 7 finishes. Seems like the type of scrapper who Alves will be able to have a good ruck with. Talita Bernardo vs Jessica Rose Clark is just there really. Neither are troubling the title picture anytime soon. Might be a pleasant surprise though. Bernardo is Brazilian, 32, a BJJ black-belt and has a 6-2 MMA record. Clark is Australian, 31 with a 9-5-1 record and notable wins over Paige VanZant and Bec Rawlings in the UFC. I quite like Clark actually. Seems a cool girl and has shown some skills in her fights. But I can’t see her ever climbing too far up the ranks. BJ Penn vs Clay Guida is a fight lifted from 2008, isn’t it? If this would’ve happened at any time between 2007 and 2009 it could’ve been so much fun. Yeah, BJ was in his prime then and no doubt would’ve steamrolled Clay in the end. But as squash matches go, it would’ve been about as entertaining as they get. Clay was a total lunatic of a wildman back then. Having FOTY candidates for fun against the likes of Tyson Griffin, Roger Huerta and Diego Sanchez. Proper nutcase. He would’ve been buzzsawed by Penn back then but it’d have been great however long it lasted. In 2019 though...not so much. BJ is just shot to bits now. He’s got nothing left. It’s actually worrying that he keeps being booked to fight. He’s lost 6 in a row, 8 of his last 10 and hasn’t won a fight since 2010. He got submitted in less than 3 minutes by Ryan Hall in December. It’s been over for years. Clay is 37 years old himself now, 2-3 in his last 5 and hasn’t won in 2 years. But he still feels like a massive favourite here. Which says everything about just how done BJ Penn is. Said Nurmagomedov vs Raoni Barcelos is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. I really like what I’ve seen so far of Said Nurmagomedov. I originally read that he was Khabib’s cousin but apparently they’re not actually related. He’s one to keep an eye on though. Even before his debut when he first signed with the UFC, I saw Frankie Edgar raving about how good he was. He’s from Dagestan, 26 years old with a 13-1 record. Much more of a striker than his namesake Khabib, although he can do a bit of everything. Stopped Ricardo Ramos (who’d looked promising himself previously) in his last fight in February with a nasty spinning body kick. Barcelos is Brazilian, also 13-1 but a few years older than Nurmagomedov. He’s on a 6 fight win streak and is 2-0 in the UFC so far with a submission over Chris Gutierrez and a highlight reel KO over Kurt Holobaugh that was probably one of the best finishing sequences of 2018. Love this fight. I hope it gets bumped up the card a bit because it should be televised, it deserves better than Fight Pass. Alberto Mina vs Warlley Alves should be a solid little Brazil vs Brazil battle. Mina is a 3rd degree black-belt in BJJ and black-belt in Judo. He was undefeated before losing on points to Ramazan Emeev last time out, he’s 13-1 now. Stopped Mike Pyle via flying knee and beat Sexyama before that. Alves is 12-3 and was the TUF Brazil 3 tournament winner in 2014. He has wins over Alan Jouban and Nordine Taleb but his claim to fame is his 2015 first round submission win over Colby Covington on the Aldo vs McGregor undercard. I like Alves for that alone! So that’s that.
  8. What happened with Dave Taylor and Tracy Smothers? I just watched the preview for his Highspots shoot on YouTube and when asked about a match with Smothers, Taylor goes ”We don’t have to go there, do we? He nearly killed me.”
  9. Saturday 20th April, the Octagon is back in Russia. ESPN+ MAIN CARD Alexander Volkov vs Alistair Overeem Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Marcin Tybura Sergey Pavlovich vs Marcelo Golm Krzysztof Jotko vs Roman Kopylov Alexander Yakovlev vs Teemu Packalen Antonina Shevchenko vs Roxanne Modafferi ESPN+ PRELIMS Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs Devin Clark Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Michal Oleksiejczuk Keita Nakamura vs Sultan Aliev Islam Makhachev vs Arman Tsarukyan Magomed Mustafaev vs Rafael Fiziev Movsar Evloev vs Muin Gafurov Decent enough. I like that main event and there are some under the radar fights and debuts on this one as well. So Alexander Volkov vs Alistair Overeem headlines. Good heavyweight fight on paper between two men looking to get back in the title race. We last saw Volkov in October on the Khabib-McGregor undercard. He got wiped out by Derrick Lewis and his hot balls with just 11 seconds remaining in a fight Volkov was winning fairly comfortably. He was on a 6 fight win streak before this and had knocked out Fabricio Werdum. He was getting close to a title shot but the Black Beast put a swift stop to that. This is a big fight to try to rebound for Volkov. A win against Overeem here would put him right back in the mix. Overeem snapped a 2 fight losing streak in his last fight, stopping previously undefeated Sergey Pavlovich. Overeem is coming up on 39 years old and has had a long old career between MMA and Kickboxing, with 76 pro fights all told. He’s had a ton of wins of course but he’s also been knocked out 16 times. Some of them really bad. You have to think the sand timer is running empty now. You never know with The Reem. He’s been written off a few times and came back to go on a streak. I’ve got a feeling this might be his last run though. Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Marcin Tybura doesn’t do a great deal for me but suppose it could be alright. Abdurakhimov is the hometown boy here. Solid 19-4 record and is coming off the biggest win of his career, a decision over Andrei Arlovski on the last Russia show in September. He’s not terrible but he’s not going to be troubling the title scene any time soon. Tybura is similar really. He’s Polish, 17-4 record, coming off a win over Stefan Struve. He’s also beaten Arlovski and he did go 5 rounds with Werdum. Could be an OK fight but I find them both a bit too plodding and lumbering to really enjoy watching. Sergey Pavlovich vs Marcelo Golm I’m kind of interested in. Mostly to see Pavlovich again. Like I said above, he was unbeaten before running into the much more experienced Overeem in his UFC debut. He’s 12-1 now, with 9 of his wins coming by KO or TKO. Golm is Brazilian, 26 years old, 6-2 record, fights out of ATT and dropped decision losses in his last 2 fights. Krzysztof Jotko vs Roman Kopylov didn’t particularly jump out to me initially but scratching under the surface it could be fireworks. Poland’s Jotko has bounced around the UFC for a bit now. Had his ups and downs and is coming off 3 consecutive losses, his last 2 by stoppage. He was 19-1 prior to that though, with a win over Thales Leites. He could be out the door with another loss here though. And this Kopylov fellow sounds handy. He’s Russian, 27 years old and he’s 8-0 with 7 finishes. He’s won multiple titles in Combat Sambo, was the Fight Night Global champ at 185, fought for ACB and won his last fight in December with a body shot. Sounds like a fight worth a gander. Alexander Yakovlev vs Teemu Packalen is a weird one. Neither have been active in a while. Yakovlev hasn’t fought since 2016 for some reason. He was decent from what I recall of him but he lost his last 2 (one of them to Kamaru Usman, no shame there). He also managed to survive 5 rounds of Demian Maia and has wins over Paul Daley and Gray Maynard. Packalen is from Finland, 8-2 record and was last seen in 2017, on the wrong end of a highlight reel KO by Marc Diakiese. Antonina Shevchenko vs Roxanne Modafferi is an interesting one. On paper it’s almost purely a striker vs grappler matchup. Antonina Shevchenko, if you didn’t already know, is the older sister of current flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko. Antonina is 34 years old, 7-0 in MMA, 39-1 as a Kickboxer and was the Lion Fight lightweight champion. She made her UFC debut in November with a comfy points win over Ji Yeon Kim. Modafferi is 36 years old, experienced but with a journeywoman MMA record of 22-15 and she has brown-belts in both BJJ and Judo. Seems like very much a case of whoever can control where the fight takes place. Modafferi can be awkward and crafty but if Shevchenko can keep it standing it’s hers to lose. Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs Devin Clark is another intriguing battle in the steadily improving 205 division. Edilov could be a bit of a prospect if he wasn’t a dodgy twat. He’s Russian, 27 years old with a 17-4 record and coming off an 11 fight win streak. He actually signed with the UFC back in late 2015 but immediately got popped by USADA. He finally made his Octagon debut in 2017, TKOing Bojan Mihajlovic, but has been out of action since. He’s also been heavily linked to Ramzan Kadyrov, serving as a henchman and even training Kadyrov’s sons. Umm, yeah. Clark is alright. 28 years old, 9-3 in MMA. He was giving Aleksandar Rakic all kinds of grief in his last fight in December before Rakic rallied and finished him. He hasn’t had that standout win or performance yet but he’s looked fairly solid from what I’ve seen of him. He’s the automatic babyface in this fight regardless. Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Michal Oleksiejczuk could well end up bagging FOTN, I reckon. Another Russia vs Poland scrap. Antigulov isn’t a world beater by any stretch but he’s a bit of an animal all the same. 20-5 record with 19 of his 20 wins being finished inside the distance. Actually, of his 25 career fights, he’s only went the distance once. Very much a ‘kill or be killed’ type of fighter. He goes for it. He got stopped by Ion Cutelaba last time out but was on a 14 fight winning streak previously. And Oleksiejczuk is coming in fresh off a quick knockout victory over Gian Villante in February. He’s 24 with a 13-2-1 record and has stopped 10 of his 13 wins. I’d be surprised if this goes to the judges. And if it does it’ll probably be a bit of a slobberknocker. Keita Nakamura vs Sultan Aliev isn’t getting my nips hard, to be honest. Might be a pleasant surprise, I’m just not feeling it much. Nakamura is a veteran of 46 MMA fights. He started in 2003. Record stands at a respectable 34-9-2-1. Mixed results in the UFC though, and he’s traded wins and losses in his last few. Aliev is 14-3 in MMA, had a stint in Bellator a few years ago and is 1-2 in the UFC. Islam Makhachev vs Arman Tsarukyan is a real darkhorse fight. An all Russian clash. Makhachev has long been considered a bit of a beast but he’s had a few layoffs and it’s really slowed his roll. He’s 16-1 with wins over Kajan Johnson, Gleison Tibau and Nik Lentz in his last 3. He’s won 4 in a row now so hopefully he can stay injury free and start building some momentum. It’s a deep pool at 155 but I think Makhachev could really start making waves over the next couple of years if he can stay active. This Arman Tsarukyan looks good himself though. I didn’t know anything about him but looking him up now he’s only 22 years old, he’s 13-1 with 10 finishes and on a 12 fight streak. Watched a few little bits, including him killing some fucker with a big headkick... ...Yeah, he looks a bit of a handful. Magomed Mustafaev vs Rafael Fiziev is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH***. Might not be a fight that immediately grabs you by the bollocks but it’s one worth tuning in for. Mustafaev has been off the scene since 2016. He lost by submission to Kevin Lee in his last fight but I remember him giving a good account of himself and doing especially well on the feet. Apparently he injured his arm in the fight and took a break. A 3 year break. And now he’s back. Still only 30 years old, 14-2 record and had won 13 in a row before the Lee loss. It’s not really him that’s got my attention here though. It’s the newcomer, Rafael Fiziev. He’s 25 years old, perfect MMA record so far of 6-0 with 6 finishes. Born in Kazakhstan but fights out of Thailand and is primarily a Muay Thai striker. He’s sometimes referred to as ‘The Muay Thai Matrix’ due to his crazy Neo-like evasions of his opponent’s kicks. Look at this shit, will you... Fucking Limbo Slice here. Couldn’t find his Muay Thai record but read that he has close to 40 wins in that game. And his coach is Pavel Fedotov who is also the coach of the Shevchenko sisters. I love him already. What an exciting addition to the already loaded 155 division. I’m already dying to see Matrix Fiziev vs Groovy Lando. Movsar Evloev vs Muin Gafurov sees 2 more new faces enter the UFC. Evloev is 25 years old, 10-0 with 7 finishes. Was M-1 bantamweight champion. And Gafurov is only 22 with a 16-2 record and all 16 wins by stoppage. He’s fought for ONE FC and ACB and has a bit of an Arturo Gatti look about him to me. So not the strongest lineup at first glance but there’s plenty to sink your teeth into there. Some really interesting debuts and there was seriously about 5 fights I could’ve had as my ‘one to watch’. Yeah, I like this card.
  10. ”I’m ‘avin an affair with Fergie, and I’m absolutely knackered. I’ve been at it like a frog on a bike pump.”
  11. I’ve just been ragged, bagged and shagged.
  12. Really love Cowboy vs Iaquinta and Dos Anjos vs Lee. Great fights and especially as 5 rounders. Guess this means we’ll probably be getting Woodley vs Ponzinibbio as well, which I wouldn’t be mad at at all.
  13. That’ll probably be because Okamoto was with ESPN anyway. Just quickly googled and it seems he’s worked for ESPN since 2010. He’s been good for a while to be fair. You wouldn’t see his stuff like you would a Helwani, Luke Thomas, John Morgan or whoever but whenever he’d tweet breaking news or a fight announcement or something you’d know it’s reliable. But yeah, this UFC/ESPN deal means he’s getting more play on the platform and his work is getting much more coverage. I’ve really enjoyed his stuff so far since the start of the year. He also did a great thing with Ben Askren and Chael Sonnen on trash talkers in MMA/Boxing, a really good 30 minute interview with Ben Askren on UFC 235 fight week and a good one with Darren Till in London. He’s excellent at what he does. We’ve all been sleeping on him really.
  14. I haven’t been digging into the story to any great degree but the first two fighters I saw saying they knew he was a dirty cheat all along were Cody Garbrandt and Raphael Assuncao - two fighters with losses to TJ who obviously have an axe to grind and a vested interest in him being branded a cheat. Also, if we take Cody’s version as true and TJ was on the Alpha Male mats openly giving tips on how to juice and get away with it, why did all the Alpha Male twats cry so much when TJ left the team? They never stopped banging on about how he left the team in the lurch and all that. But if they’re so squeaky clean and ethical why did they want a big filthy cheater representing their gym? That whole TJ/Ludwig vs Alpha Male thing has always seemed really silly to me. If there is anything to this failure and he has taken something, I’m guessing it’ll have been something to help him cut the weight to make 125. That would explain why he’s popped for this fight and never in the past anyway.
  15. Another side of Francis Ngannou. He’s up there with JDS for most likeable fighters for me at this point. And Michelle Waterson’s kid showing Dana how to properly sell a product;
  16. Fuck Dillashaw. Like someone else said, now this clears the path for Cejudo vs Moraes. I’m much more into that than running back the TJ thing. Edit - Actually, what am I saying? Cejudo is 125 champ isn’t he. Fuck knows at 135 then. Maybe they’ll just do Cejudo vs Moraes anyway for the vacant belt.
  17. That’s a blessing in disguise IMO. I think Moraes would’ve fucked Cody up. Bad. I get why Cody probably looks at this situation and thinks it could’ve been his way back into the title picture, but I think Munhoz did him a favour by knocking him out, oddly enough. Moraes would’ve done it worse, I reckon.
  18. Even his name sounds like something you’d drunkenly slur while trying to say something else. ‘Schaub my keys shlub clhhgjkdfvzzz taxi...love yow mate...(PUKE).’
  19. I remember those fights and enjoyed them. Especially the Cabbage brawl and the second Arlovski fight. But the soiling himself mid-fight and those shit fights against Monson and Arlovski (third fight) were what he’s always predominantly going to be remembered for. Those fights were 5 rounds but felt like 15. He was bad more and longer than he was good. At least it seemed that way. I also remember him talking shite about Fedor and Big Nog when they were in Pride, then he got beat by faded versions of both when Pride was dead and gone. Sylvia wasn’t a bad fighter at all in his day. I’ll never pretend otherwise. But it’s a fact that he ruled over the worst heavyweight division the UFC has probably ever had. Aside from the win over Arlovski in their second fight (and even then he got put on his arse before coming back), how impressive was his resume? People love to dissect and shit all over (pun intended, Timothy) Pride’s top heavyweights records but who the fuck did Sylvia beat when he sat atop the UFC’s division during that same time period? There’s a reason there was almost universal rejoicing when Randy ‘not bad for an old man’ Couture came out of retirement and stopped the misery that was The Maine-iac’s title reign in 2007. And it wasn’t just because Randy was beloved. It was like waking up from a bad dream when Randy clobbered him with that big overhand right and knocked him flying in the opening seconds of their fight. A realisation that things were going to be alright. In hindsight, that Couture vs Sylvia fight was the end of that shitty heavyweight era. It’s never been that bad again. Within months of Sylvia losing the strap we saw Big Nog, Cro Cop and Heath Herring come in. And by the end of 2008 the division had gained Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos and Shane Carwin. Some of the criticism Sylvia gets is harsh, fair enough. But whether it’s deserved or not, I think the name Tim Sylvia is always going to be synonymous and associated with that dark and gloomy era of the heavyweight division where the likes of Paul Buentello, Justin Eilers and Gan McGee were in the title mix. Beautiful.
  20. Speaking of Bigfoot, his daughter made her amateur MMA debut the other day. Lost on points. Thankfully for her, she must’ve got her looks off her mum. And Egg, I meant that if anyone who lived through the Tim Sylvia era remembers it fondly, they need to stop it and get some help. Unless people have ‘fond memories’ of the time he shat his shorts or those awful fights with Jeff Monson, Brandon Vera etc.
  21. Tim Sylvia. Fondly Remembered.
  22. New podcast with Dan Hardy and Marc Goddard called ‘LISTEN’; First 3 there. Could be worth a...well, a listen. Hardy is always good on podcast type things, as seen by his appearances on Rogan’s, London Real, True Geordie and that brief show BT did (that I can’t remember the name of) with him, John Gooden and Scroobius Pip. And it should be really interesting to get Goddard’s take on things from the POV of a current top, high profile referee.
  23. Fair enough didn’t realise it was another company. Still can’t see it happening though. There’s a difference between the UFC letting Conor fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match and the UFC letting him fight Paulie Malignaggi in a fucking bare knuckle fight, isn’t there?
  24. That Bare Knuckle promotion didn’t even pay Chris Leben his purse for the Baroni fight the other month. And we’re supposed to believe they’ve got that red panty coin? I’ll be surprised if they pay Paulie. They sound well shady. As for Conor in July, I think Khabib is technically cleared after April, isn’t he? But last I heard he was sitting out until his teammates are allowed back, which I think would be around October time. Saying that, despite originally banging on about fighting for his people and his country and all that, Khabib seems to suddenly have become obsessed with money. Hence that silly shite about fighting Mayweather etc. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he forgets his ‘loyalty’ in favour of those easy millions he’ll make for making Conor beg for mercy again. If not, maybe that McGregor vs Cerrone fight ends up back on. Or a slimmer outside chance of a rubber match with Nate maybe.
  25. This is great. Ben Askren media scrum in London; This was filmed before Till got ironed out by Masvidal so he’s still angling for the Till fight here which obviously isn’t as likely now. But this is still more than worth a watch. Covers a whole range of topics. Everything 170 and a bit about 165 and the potential dream match against Khabib. Plus Colby, Marty, GSP, McGregor, London sight seeing, relationship with Dana, the possible Lawler rematch, his personality and debunking the narrative of grapplers being boring/not drawing. It’s a really good watch. He really is Chael plus a perm but minus all the bullshit.
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