How It Should Have Ended – UFC 197 Edition

Greetings, fight fans! Today we’re analyzing/throwing big rocks at UFC 197’s main card, while sitting high atop our glass houses on the internet in my monthly column: How it Should Have Ended!

McGregor’s Latest Statement Prompts Importance of Fighter Health

When looking to dissect Conor McGregor’s undoing of UFC 200 in the last 48 hours, whether it’s through his astronomical social media presence or lengthy disappearances, it’s been clear that the Irishman’s latest statement speak volumes. His use of power to generate shockwaves across the internet has all been a part of his carefully calculated approach to redeem himself of his recent actions.

Analyzing the UFC 200 Headline Debacle

After publishing perhaps one of the most damaging tweets in mixed martial arts history Tuesday, Conor McGregor exemplified his global reach. His three-lined poem about retirement, still unclear in nature as the man is brilliant at mental warfare, fell on the eyes of fans and promotion alike as a riddle unwilling to be answered.

The Aftermath with Johnny Hollywood

As the final moments dwindled to its inevitable end, hometown starlet Jake Matthews tried for the second time in the third round to defeat Johnny Hollywood’s neck, sinking in his forearm to tie in a rear-naked choke. After failing at his first attempt and with 30 seconds of the round falling astray, the Australian grasped Hollywood’s back and crept his arm beneath his opponent’s chin to force a pounding tap. In a powerful roar, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre celebrated their native’s triumph while the American looked to peel himself from off the canvas that held up his defeated cheek.

Unpopular Opinion – The Cure for ‘Rematch Fever’

Ah, the rematch. If there’s anything fighters love more than the phrase “No excuses BUT…” it’s the do-over. Say what you will about how much more exciting the second time around is, but this age-old practice stalls divisions and is essentially the equivalent of “Clip Show” episodes of the Simpsons.

How the Art of BJJ Built MMA Fighter Adam Defreitas

The ebb and flow of a mixed martial arts fight can be dictated in so many various scenarios. For ACE Fighting Championships lightweight champion Adam Defreitas, were a fight’s universal pull up to him, he’d look to showcase his evolving striking game. But in the narrow moments between victory and defeat, it becomes his beloved practice of Brazilian jiu-jitsu that has carried forth victories in his amateur career.

The Rematch Plague

Perhaps it could have been different; one final swing of leather, one harsher clash of bone, one last inch of reach to another man’s chin, a battle can always be different. But the way a fight is executed is based on a number of variables in the moment. With this in mind, what is the basis behind how the UFC seeks legitimacy in forming rematches? Does it a take a sliver of doubt in a disagreeable decision? Does it take the ultimate fall of a beloved champion, or does it essentially take how much a fighter’s financial tally will be worth? The way MMA has been going, it’s hard to put it past financial gain.

A Featherweight Title Defense Has Always Been Calling Conor McGregor

It was a merely a matter of time before the self-built empire of Conor McGregor found itself engulfed in the grip of another man. A grip so tight, yet so familiar (as the Irishman’s two other losses have come via submission) one may wonder how he will come away from this loss. To assume that a loss, even one that stings with devastation, was something the featherweight champion could avoid is simply naïve. McGregor has been on a fast track to inking himself into the books of combat sports history since he inducted himself into the minds and hearts of UFC fans across the globe.

How It Should Have Ended – UFC 196 Edition

Hello and welcome to my nearly-monthly series breaking down all the biggest UFC events in the most informative, accurate and meticulous manner possible. Just kidding, I’m chasing this whole event around with “Pool noodles.”

Analyzing the UFC 196 Press Conference Fiasco

It’s difficult to imagine that the ever-polarizing Conor McGregor could allow anything or anyone to inflict even a dent onto his overwhelming sense of self-belief. Considering the fact that the man who once stood at a mere 145 pounds with gold wrapped around his waist is clawing upwards to welterweight to engage with longer, heavier men like Nate Diaz is a facet of fearlessness.

Jason Saggo Reflects on His Road Back from Injury and Into the Octagon at UFC 196

It’s been over a year since Jason Saggo has felt the brush of the UFC canvas beneath his feet and the splash of light along his skin. The lightweight has been forced to the outskirts thanks to a ruptured Achilles that he suffered in 2015, preventing a potential appearance when the UFC was set to touchdown in Poland last April.

Unpopular Opinion – Sage Against the Machine

It’s not easy being Sage Northcutt. You can’t throw a single punch before someone’s corner begins ragging on your ground game (or lack thereof). There’s not a fighter on the roster who hasn’t chimed in on the young upstart, especially after his recent and unexpected loss. It’s easy to write him off as being the flavour of the week and/or poke fun at his youthful naiveté, but that can’t really be the reason for all the negativity, can it?

Unpopular Opinion – Open Letter to Miesha Tate

Congrats! It looks like you’re fighting for a belt. The one you’ve been waiting your entire career for. Against a woman who, for one shining moment, single-footedly put the same slack-jawed expression on over 56,000 people live and untold masses for days later. No pressure or anything.

The Push and Pull Between McGregor and Diaz

The mixed martial arts world has seen very few moments of frailty out of Conor McGregor during his short but undeniably influential UFC tenure. The Irishman’s sense of resilience even in the face of adversity and in the face of plenty of newly appointed opponents, has been admirable to say the least.

Bisping Hoping to Spoil Silva’s Octagon Return

Michael Bisping is by far one of the UFC’s most endured fighters with over a decade of experience under mixed martial arts’ most prestigious helm and 23 fights to his name. Now, the Englishman is on the cusp of perhaps one of his most important bouts against Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 84 February 27th on familiar soil in London. With a wealth of experience to his name and a faded aura surrounding the Brazilian, this match up could bring forth a new dimension to the legacy Bisping has continually been longing for. This is of course, if he tastes victory.

Act Like a Thai

Simon Marcus has spent his entire life beneath a Canadian sky. Ajahn Suchart has spent the last 29 years spreading the craft he loves under that same sky. Were it not for Suchart’s touchdown onto Western soil, it is unknown whether Marcus would have been exposed to the art of Muay Thai, something that has helped to define him and bred him into the storied fighter he is today.

The Aftermath with Misha Cirkunov

The climax to Misha Cirkunov’s second UFC appearance ended with a sound that reverberated throughout the MGM grand. After a heavy clinic of striking in the first round, the Latvian-Canadian looked to dominate Alex Nicholson in the second round in his most dangerous of positions, on the ground. With little reply for Cirkunov’s attack, he slipped his hands into Nicholson’s neck to achieve a choke that in turn would end the fight with a snap, figuratively and literally.

Unpopular Opinion – What Happened to the Heavyweights?

Everyone loves a great heavyweight slugfest. It’s not a matter of favouring technique over strength, heart over heavy hands or underdogs over favourites. It’s a matter of attraction to the idea of the biggest, baddest dog in the yard asserting its dominance. When you’re in the UFC’s heavyweight division, you’re always someone’s pick to win. So why is it then, that we’re all so eager to throw them under the bus at every opportunity?

Kountermove Fantasy Preview – UFC Fight Night: Johnson vs. Bader

Putting his recent third-round submission loss to champ Daniel Cormier aside, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson enters Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event with wins in four of his past five outings — three by way of KO. “Rumble” faces No. 4-ranked light heavyweight mainstay Ryan Bader, who holds a five-fight win streak — all by way of decision. This bout may determine the next light heavyweight title challenger.

Sergej Juskevic and the Art of Devastating Grappling

The undisturbed look across the face of Sergej Juskevic prior to the echo of the bell in the octagon is one that tells of a storied career, in and out of North America. But the cool demeanor that the Lithuanian fighter exudes in the cage, regardless of the man standing across from him, is only a mere facet of the Hard Knocks Fighting welterweight champion.

Olivier Aubin-Mercier in No Rush to Leave His Mark

The culmination of some of mixed martial arts’ greatest competitors has come into fruition through various avenues. Perhaps on the coat tails of sacrifice, unique talent, utter determination or a recipe involving all of the above. Yet, what builds fighters into potential contenders, talented brawlers or continuous journeymen is the long withstanding commitment and desire to simply compete.

ONE: Dynasty of Champions, WSOF 27 LIVE Saturday on Fight Network – Canada

Fight Network presents a pair of stacked live mixed martial arts events this Saturday, Jan. 23, beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET with a live broadcast of ONE: Dynasty of Champions from Changsha, China. Later, at 10 p.m. ET, Fight Network presents WSOF 27: Future Champs live from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.

Kountermove Picks – UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz

UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz airs live on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 from TD Garden in Boston, Mass. It will feature FOX Sports’ first UFC title fight with former champ Dominick Cruz challenging current bantamweight titleholder T.J. Dillashaw.

Patrick Côté’s Analytical Approach to Fighting

The glaring difference between those who cover general sports and those who cover combat sports is that very few general reporters, if any, can understand the tangible sensations that a fighter experiences within, before and after battle. That invaluable experience is simply unrealistic for most media members, but in many ways it is a loss of dimension to legitimately critique and praise.

UFC – The Business of Popularity

Part of the brilliance that the polarizing Conor McGregor sustains is his ability to recognize self-value. In a sport where risk and damage often outweigh reward, the means of pride and glory end up filling the void where financial incentives go astray.