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.”
Ryerson University played host to Grappling Industries over the weekend, drawing a slew of the finest BJJ and MMA Gyms from around the province to the round robin tournament.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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 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.
The departure of Benson Henderson from a juggernaut promotion such as the UFC raises a variety of questions regarding the promotion itself and the fighters within its grasp.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
So much of sports these days is image-building. Not for world champion boxer Tim Bradley. He spends exactly zero time even thinking about that.
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.
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.
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.
Recently at a bar with my significant other and several friends, I was asked to justify my love of our beautiful bloodsport pass time and came up a little short.
Happy New Year, fight fans! Shake off that hangover, wipe the Doritos from your chin and, for the love of god, go have a shower. Once you’re all done that, join me in breaking down all the main card bouts of the very first pay-per-view of 2016 in the latest installment of “How it Should Have Ended:” The Lawler v. Condit Edition.
In the whirlwind of mixed martial arts, there seems to be no definitive measure of success other than the prospect of gold. In a sport so compact with various facets, disciplines and outcomes, to find the distance between glory and falling short is for some fighters the place of grey that defines parts of their career.
Get ready for UFC 195 on January 2nd! In the main event, Robbie Lawler will look to defend his UFC welterweight championship against former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit.
It’s been close to a year lapse since Josh Hill enforced his will upon current World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes for five gritty rounds at WSOF 18.
On this month’s How it Should Have Ended, we get into an in-depth recap of the most anticipated fight of the year on the last big card of 2015. This one was a doozy, quickly living up to the hype and once again swapping out the division leaders.
Conor McGregor was simply dancing. His posture erect and his vision clear; it took him a mere 13 seconds to demolish the stature of a 10-year empire built by Jose Aldo. Although the finish felt anti-climactic, it also felt laced with the idea that a sport that has been practiced a certain way for so long is finding itself in a state of flux.
It’s often stated that gyms take on the qualities of their owners. It’s then no surprise that upon stepping into Toronto’s Black Devil MMA you’ll notice this no-gimmick gym is built on passion and a positive work ethic. Sipping coffee in a downtown cafe, I’m joined by a grinning man who can’t contain an infectious laugh as he sits across from me.
Hey there, 2015. Do you have a moment? We need to talk. It’s not you, it’s me. Well actually, it was mostly you. You were interesting and all, but sometimes a fan just needs a bit of consistency, you know?
As a precursor to the overtly inflated meeting between featherweights Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor at UFC 194, the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion will open the gates to another landmark in mainstream female MMA.
The culmination was over. Conor McGregor stood with his arms above his head, a gash upon his left brow and a blanket of tears in his eyes.
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