SHIFT Review – Captain America: The Winter Soldier Blu-Ray

The bigger, more reputable a film studio is, the more I expect from them. I’m not going to lie: I expected more from this package in terms of extras, but what it does provide, it provides well. I just get the feeling that there’s a Phase 2 box set being prepped that carefully plucked things that could have been included here. Oh well, such is the game with these Marvel Cinematic Universe sub-franchises, so no sense in getting fussy.

Surprisingly to me, there is no Marvel One-Shot short film to be found. At first I had thought I simply wasn’t looking in the right place (menu scrolling isn’t always the easiest task late at night), but alas, my original thought was correct. The special features it does have are all pretty by the books, but they do have their charms.

UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Soto Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the home of Team Alpha Male for UFC 177 this Saturday night, fittingly co-headlined by a pair of standouts from the Sacramento-based gym, as bantamweight kingpin T.J. Dillashaw seeks a repeat performance against former champion Renan Barao, while Danny Castillo attempts to prevent an octagon hat trick from “Ultimate Fighter 13” winner Tony Ferguson.

Has Renan Barao Recovered Enough to Rematch T.J. Dillashaw?

Apart from PEDs, concussions in sports have been one of the biggest ongoing stories in the sports world over the past several years.

Head trauma is of course part of the deal in prize fighting. Renan Barao learned this the hard way back in May, where he lost his UFC bantamweight title to T.J. Dillashaw in a fight where he absorbed several brutal shots.

UFC Fight Night: Henderson-Dos Anjos Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship caps off a doubleheader this Saturday with UFC Fight Night 49, which invades Tulsa, Oklahoma’s BOK Center.

Headlining the live broadcast on FOX Sports 1, former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson faces longtime contender Rafael dos Anjos, plus hardened veteran Mike Pyle clashes with highly touted youngster Jordan Mein in the co-feature.

UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship heads to Macau, China for the third time ever this Saturday for UFC Fight Night 48.

Taking place inside The Venetian’s CotaiArena and streaming live on UFC Fight Pass, the bill features a pair of highly compelling co-features, as No. 8-ranked “Ultimate Fighter” winner Michael Bisping headlines opposite former Strikeforce champion Cung Le, plus top 10 welterweights Tyron Woodley and Dong Hyun Kim will get it on.

Avila Highlights Friday’s Golden Boy LIVE on Fight Network

This Saturday night, Fight Network presents another edition of Golden Boy Live! from the Sports Center in Fairfield, California.

Showcased this week are a pair of hot prospects in the Golden Boy stable, super bantamweight Manuel Avila, and heavyweight Gerald Washington.

Bisping vs. Le and the Cloud of PEDs in MMA

PEDs in mixed martial arts have more or less dominated headlines this summer and over the weekend, Cung Le added more fuel to the fire.

The former Strikeforce star posted this photo on his Instagram page.

SHIFT Review – ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ Blu-Ray Combo Pack

​The ‘Spider-Man’ series, whether it be Regular or ‘Amazing’, is Sony’s baby. It’s their big brand, their big money maker at the box office. And for good reason — it’s an established OG with a reputation for having top special effects and delivering a good time. I’ll always remember jamming out to “Hero” by Nickleback when I was a wee lad.

Figueroa Rises to Occasion, Stops Estrada to Retain Title

The first of two undercard title fights prior to the Shawn Porter-Kell Brook IBF welterweight world title main event at the StubHub Center in California this past weekend featured undefeated WBC world lightweight champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (W24, KO18, D1) taking on the talented but erratic Daniel “Tremendo” Estrada (W32, KO24, L3, D1).

Dirrell Outlasts Bika to Win WBC Super Middleweight Title

In a title fight that resembled a pro wrestling match more than it did a pro boxing match, 29 year-old Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (W27, KO22, D1) defeated 35 year-old Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika (W32, KO21, L6, D3) to win the WBC super middleweight world title. Scorpions are known to sneak up on their unsuspecting foes and biting them, which Bika has also done to his unsuspecting foes a couple of times in past. There was some very bad blood between the two fighters stemming from Bika’s roughhouse tactics in their first fight, which was inexplicably called a draw even though most ringsiders had Dirrell winning that bout.

Brook Shocks Porter to Win IBF Welterweight Crown

In what has to be one of the biggest boxing upsets in the welterweight division in many years, undefeated British welterweight Kell “The Special One” Brook (W33, KO 22) defeated “Showtime” Shawn Porter (W24, KO15, L1, D1) by majority decision at the StubHub Center in California, to take his IBF world welterweight title. It was the second and as it turned out, last defense of the welterweight title for Porter. Many boxing insiders and bookmakers thought that Porter’s reign as champ would last more than just two fights.

For Brook it was a dream come true. The wait for the title shot was indeed long. Brook was promised a title shot in 2112 with Devon Alexander, before Alexander lost his title in an upset to Porter. In fact, Brook had first dreamed of becoming a world champion at the tender age of nine. He has nurtured that dream for a long time. Against Porter he made that dream come true, proving that success is there, if you are willing to work hard enough to achieve it.

UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux Preview & Predictions

After three weeks off, the Ultimate Fighting Championship debuts in Maine as UFC Fight Night 47 emanates from Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center.

The 10-bout card is headlined by a light heavyweight clash between top 10-ranked contenders Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux.

Bader vs. St. Preux and the Decline of the LHW Division

The UFC’s light-heavyweight division was long considered to be the bread and butter of the promotion during its rise in the mid-2000s.

Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Forrest Griffin, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson among others helped carry the UFC from obscurity to the mainstream.

The 5th Annual Heroes Expo Features George Chuvalo

Next month on Sept. 12, Order of Canada member George Louis “Boom Boom” Chuvalo, the man who headlined Madison Square Garden nine times and fought six world champions, will celebrate birthday number 77 with family and friends. Chuvalo’s achievements both in and out of the ring have graced the sports pages of Canada and the world for the last six and a half-decades.

Chuvalo is appearing this week at the 5th Annual Heroes Expo in W

Gunnar Nelson Analysis – Robin Black & Lawrence Kenshin

In MMA’s recent years, there’s been several karate prospects. Multiple outlets ranked Lyoto Machida as the number one prospect years before his UFC debut. And of all karate stylists clearly representing their roots, Machida has accomplished the most.

But Machida isn’t the only karateka to give his opponents a nightmare matchup – there are other prospects on the rise now. Perhaps the most notable is Gunnar Nelson, disciple of John Kavanagh and teammate of Conor McGregor.

SHIFT Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A dark cloud has hung over this production of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ for as long as I can remember. When Michael Bay was reported as being attached (as producer), the fanboys lost their minds; when the leaked script revealed the mutated turtles weren’t mutated turtles at all, rather aliens from the planet Radical, the fanboys went into a frothing frenzy. Coalitions were formed, riots were had, fires raged. It’s been a tough time. Don’t even get me started on the initial reaction to how the turtles themselves look…

KounterMove – Metamoris 4 Fantasy BJJ in Five Simple Steps

No, fantasy jiu-jitsu doesn’t mean a play by play fantasy of you rolling with Kyra Gracie. Get your mind out the gutter!

Fantasy sports and for this matter, jiu-jitsu, means creating a team of picks from an event’s lineup. Although Kountermove is predominantly MMA fantasy games, this year we’ve rolled out fantasy games for kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and even WWE.

Sergey Kovalev Surges On, ‘Krushes’ Blake Caparello

The Sergey Kovalev (W25, KO23, D1) demolition derby continues to roll on in spectacular fashion as he destroyed Australian southpaw opponent Blake Caparello (W19, KO6, L1, D1) in less than two rounds at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey this past Saturday night. Kovalev annihilated Caparello with vicious left hooks to the liver compliment by blistering right hands to head. Now, to be honest, Caparello wasn’t expected to give Kovalev much of a fight but by the same token, it was hoped he would last more than just two rounds.

Brandon Rios Bests Diego Chaves in Ugly, Foul-Filled Affair

“Just win this fight and look good the next one.” That is the time honored advice many boxing trainers have given their fighters throughout the years when ever they are fighting a guy who is awkward, hard to hit or very dirty. In the case of welterweight Brandon Rios (W32, KO23, L2, D1), who was attempting to get back on the winning path after losing two straight bouts in 2013, such advice was no solace for his victory by disqualification over a gritty, foul-throwing Argentinean welterweight named Diego Chaves (W23, KO19, L2).

SHIFT Review – Guardians of the Galaxy

For the first time since, oh, I don’t know, ‘Howard the Duck’, I was able to go into a Marvel movie without a ton of expectations and a ton of character history nagging at the back of mind. I’ll admit, the first time I heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy was when the film was announced way back when. I had known of Thanos, one of the main villains in its universe, but as for Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon? Nope, I had never really ventured into the cosmic area of the Marvel universe outside of a few out there episodes of ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’.

UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will look to keep the momentum rolling after a pair of exciting UFC Fight Night events last week, as the world’s preeminent mixed martial arts organization returns to San Jose for its third network TV event of the year.

UFC on FOX 12 features a pivotal welterweight eliminator as No. 1-ranked Robbie Lawler battles No. 5-ranked Matt Brown.

KounterMove Picks – UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown

Matt Brown takes his closest step toward title contention when he faces fellow welterweight destroyer Robbie Lawler, this Saturday at UFC on FOX 12. Aside from Brown receiving a much awaited shot at one of the divison’s best with Lawler, many fans expect their main event matchup to include enough onslaught to take home ‘fight of the year’ nods. We can only hope this match fulfills a promise to be… a heart racing and technically vicious brawl.

Robbie Lawler and the Wisdom of Fighting Often

Between the rigorous training and the actual competition, fighters are constantly walking a very fine line between staying healthy and honing their skills.

With this dynamic in mind, conventional wisdom suggests that a fighter should aim for three to four professional fights a year if their health permits it. At the highest levels of prize fighting, champions like Floyd Mayweather or Jon Jones tend to defend their titles only twice a year.

Full Preview – Can Geale Beat GGG?

This coming Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the uber tough and talented Australian middleweight Daniel Geale (W30, KO16, L2) will attempt to unseat the force of nature that is Gennady Golovkin (W29, KO26). It is a tough task to say the least. It is also an unenviable task as Golovkin, a native of Kazakhstan, has yet to lose in the pro ranks. Madison Square Garden is expecting a sold-out crowd for this clash as Golovkin puts both his IBO middleweight and WBA super middleweight titles on the line.

Rigondeaux Scores First-Round KO in Odd Fight

In December 2013, Guillermo Rigondeaux made the first defense of his super bantamweight world title, defeating Joseph Agbeko by unanimous decision over 12 rounds in Atlantic City. His second defense this past Saturday night in Macao, China on the undercard of the Zou Shiming-Luis De La Rosa WBO flyweight title fight, was both very odd and quite memorable for Rigondeaux and for boxing fans worldwide.

Flyweight Zou Shiming Shines Again

Flyweight Zhou Shiming, the two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist and icon to Chinese sports fans, ran his career winning streak to five victories (with one knockout) as he spent 10 action-packed rounds aggressively punishing his hopelessly outmatched and outgunned opponent, Luis De La Rosa (W23, KO13, L4, D1) from Colombia. There was a lot of exciting back and forth action, which often brought the live crowd to its feet. The bout was part of a card that took place at the Cotai Arena located at the Venetian Resort in Macao, China.

UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao Preview & Predictions

Headlined by a fight that would probably tank as a main event in any other market, Conor McGregor’s Irish homecoming on Saturday night sold out in a mere two hours.

Just three days removed from an entertaining card in Atlantic City, UFC Fight Night 46 will emanate from Dublin’s 02 Arena and features a featherweight clash between the former two-division Cage Warriors champion McGregor and “The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner Diego Brandao.

Journey to Thailand Blog – Fight Night Part 4

My little adventure to Malaysia and a short outing to Bangkok had given my body the chance to rest and heal. The past four months I had rarely left the Huay Kaew area. I usually grabbed food just down the street, while spending most of my days in and around the gym. There are always ups and downs in training and fighting, so the minibreak was definitely a good thing. I had the hunger to fight again.

UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller Preview & Predictions

After a rare weekend off, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Atlantic City for UFC Fight Night 45 this Wednesday at Revel Casino Hotel, airing live on FOX Sports 1.

The main event features a compelling showcase of top lightweight contenders, as No. 6-ranked Donald Cerrone meets No. 7-ranked Jim Miller.

Conor McGregor – MMA’s New Trash-Talk King

As legend has it, a young Muhammad Ali was once given advice by professional wrestling star “Gorgeous” George Wagner early in his career.

“A lot of people will pay to see someone shut your mouth. So keep on bragging, keep on sassing and always be outrageous.”

Canelo Scores Controversial Split Decision Over Lara

This past weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez scored a well earned-but-controversial split decision victory over slick Cuban fighter Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara. Perhaps what is truly scary about Canelo’s victory is that he is only 23 years of age. He is still a good five years away from hitting his prime. What does that mean about his future? It means precisely this, as great as he is now, he is only going to get that much better once he hits his prime years. By that time there may be no one left for him to fight.

SHIFT Review – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I’m a 25-year-old man. I was born in 1989, a full 21 years before the original ‘Planet of the Apes’ hit theatres. In fact, my father was only a little toddler while Charlton Heston was being accosted by those damn dirty apes. The films eventually found their way into my father’s heart, who then, much later on, tried to pass on his adolescent nostalgia onto his son. Problem was that I wasn’t old enough (no more than 9-years-old) to appreciate what I was seeing. I couldn’t get passed the costumes, and after the first film, I lost the plot. It was just too complex and convoluted, with too many character motivations for me to wrap my ‘Homeward Bound’ loving mind around.