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.

The Final Chapter on B.J. Penn

John Pollock takes a look at the career and legacy of B.J. Penn following the announcement of his retirement this past weekend.

Full Preview – Is Lara Too Slick for Canelo?

In many ways, Erislandy Lara (W19, KO12, L1, D2) may be the best fighter that Canelo Alvarez (W43, KO31, L1, D1) has yet faced in his career, including Floyd Mayweather Jr. We will find out for sure when they step into the ring on July 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to battle each other in a highly anticipated junior-middleweight bout.

The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale Preview & Predictions

One of the most influential fighters in mixed martial arts history will try to go out on a high note on Sunday night as the legendary B.J. Penn drops all the way down to 145 pounds in his quest for redemption against two-time conqueror Frankie Edgar.

In addition, “The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale” will crown two season winners, as Corey Anderson and Matt Van Buren collide at 205 pounds, while Eddie Gordon and Dhiego Lima vie for the middleweight six-figure contract.

UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida Preview & Predictions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the fight capital of the world for one of the busiest weekends in promotional history as back-to-back events emanate from the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the first time ever, bunched in with UFC International Fight Week and Fan Expo festivities.

The main course will be served up on Saturday night as the pay-per-view presentation of UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida features the best lineup of the year, headlined by a pair of championship fights.

KounterMove Picks – UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida

UFC 175 promises its own stars and fireworks this July 4 weekend when one of 2014’s premier UFC cards unfolds at the Mandalay Bay Events Center this Saturday in Las Vegas. With three stellar main card match ups including the likes of UFC mainstays Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida and Ronda Rousey, along with an undercard bursting of TUF superstars, much is anticipated for the holiday weekend event.

SHIFT Review – Transformers: Age of Extinction

Since the advent of the internet, people have taken movies a lot more seriously — dead seriously in a lot of ways. Materials such as comics, action figures, cartoons and so forth have become golden, infallible deities. When some film studio dares adapt one of these supreme spiritual beings to the big screen, the level of scrutiny is beyond anything we’ve ever seen in time’s past. And you know what? I’m guilty of this at times. Because of my depth of knowledge, I’ll never fully be able to take my fanboy goggles off, but sometimes you just have to dial down their intensity.

I say all this because I find the ‘Transformers’ series to be one of the most heavily scrutinized and ridiculed out there, and not always fairly. And believe me, I used to be a huge hater, because it’s one of those series that is cool to hate. It’s like a hipster thing, I swear. No matter how much good director Michael Bay does, he is just imbued with this reputation as a man who bastardizes people’s childhoods. I can’t defend the second ‘Transformers’ film, ‘Revenge of the Fallen’. It was the first I had seen in theatres, and I actually felt bad afterwards. I think I apologized to my date.

Video Highlights & Recap – Crawford Stops Gamboa in Nine

It was a fight fought in two acts at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. before an enthusiastic sold-out audience. The fight lasted nine rounds and the fifth round was the turning point in the match. It was an exciting fight. Native Nebraskan Terence Crawford (W24, KO17) wowed his boisterous hometown crowd by successfully defending the WBO lightweight title he recently won from Ricky Burns in Scotland, with a scintillating performance against the usually formidable Cuban expat Yuriorkis Gamboa (W23, KO16, L1).

KounterMove Picks – UFC Fight Night Doubleheader

Whether you’re up at the unholy hour of 2:30 a.m. to watch UFC Fight Night 43 in Auckland or decide to hold off until UFC Fight Night 44 in San Antonio — 21 bouts, across two UFC Fight Night cards, are coming our way Saturday for another UFC doubleheader!

Once more, we’re dishing up a few stars & bargain picks to get your Kountermove fantasy MMA team on it’s way to the top.

UFC Fight Night: Te Huna vs. Marquardt Preview & Predictions

In the first half of a UFC doubleheader this Saturday, the promotion makes its highly anticipated debut in New Zealand.

Headlining UFC Fight Night 43 from Auckland’s Vector Arena, we’re treated to a rare instance of two fighters switching weight classes and meeting in the middle, in this case Nate Marquardt returning to the middleweight ranks from his stint at 170 pounds to collide with hometown hero James Te Huna, who drops to 185 pounds following his tenure as a light heavyweight.

2014 First Half UFC Awards

It’s late June, which means the calendar year midway point in upon us.

It’s been a hectic year in the world of mixed martial arts to say the least, especially for the sport’s biggest promotion.

Lomachenko Too Much for Russell Jr. on Showtime

His second attempt at a world title was a charm for Vasyl Lomachenko (W2, KO1, L1) as he captured the WBO featherweight title by a surprising majority decision (he should have been awarded a unanimous decision) by dominating Gary Russell Jr. (W24, KO14, L1) for twelve consecutive rounds at the StubHub Center in Carson City, Calif. this past Saturday night.

Journey to Thailand Blog – Muay Thai in Malaysia

After my last fight, I took a few days off from training to lick my wounds. I also had to renew my Thai visa, which involves leaving the country. I’ve always wanted to see Malaysia, so I took the opportunity to spend three days in Kuala Lumpur. I packed a small backpack along with my boxing gloves, and headed out to KL.