Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Topps UFC 2012 Knockout series unleashed

The Topps UFC 2012 Knockout series hit shelves today and they offer new features as well as old favorites.

Topps (Twitter: @toppscards) UFC 2012 Knockout series’ newest addition to the collection is the Fist-O-Graph cards.  The oversized card will display an image of a mixed martial artist with their signature and an imprint of their fist.  There are 10 different Strikeforce and UFC fighter Fist-O-Graph cards to collect.

The popular relic cards that Topps offered in the past have been taken to a new level with the UFC Knockout 2012 line.  This time the relic cards in this series consist of Dual Autographed Fight relics, which entail two fighter autographs and a piece from the mat the competed on.  The Autographed Fighter relics contain an autograph and a piece of an authentic worn item.  The Between Rounds Autographed relics feature the Octagon girls, pieces of their outfits, round cards, robes, and an autograph.  The Triple Threads Autographed relics are three relics in individually created die-cut windows and an autograph.  The Fight Mat relics display a mixed martial artist along with a piece of mat on which they fought, and the Fighter Gear relics which shows fighter-worn shorts or shirts.

A very unique relic that Topps UFC 2012 Knockout series provides is the Triple Threads relic double combos.  That is six book cards highlighting six fighters each on Triple Threads card, each with a relic piece in individually created die-cut windows.

Topps introduced some new appearances to the autograph cards in UFC Knockout 2012 series, as well.  Fighter Autographs cards feature fighters and on-card autographs. First-time signers will receive the “First Autograph Issue” foil stamp.  The Notable Nickname Autographs showcase fighters and their signed nickname on the card.  To add a little flash to the series, the Full-Contact Autograph card will offer fighters sign on-card autographs in silver ink, and the Red Ink line which has fighter nicknames in red ink.

Three very exciting things about the autograph cards in the Topps UFC 2012 Knockout series are the Three of a Kind Triple Autograph cards, SickSigs Autographs, and the Autographed Glove Redemption cards.

The Three of a Kind Triple Autograph cards each display three fighters who share a common bond and their autographs.  SickSigs contains cards each featuring six fighter autographs, and Autographed Glove Redemption cards have a code good to redeem a UFC glove signed by a fighter.

Topps UFC 2012 Knockout series has creative new aspects to please the MMA enthusiast, but they also included the previous parallel cards and base cards that consist of the premier fighters in the sport.

Nick Catone vs. Chris Camozzi set for UFC on FX 4

Nick Catone (photo courtesy of Sherdog)

Bob Badders confirmed for MMADieHards.com that Chris Camozzi and Nick Catone are set to meet at UFC on FX 4 on June 22 at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.

Camozzi (16-5) has gone 1-1 since his return to the UFC, most recently defeating Dustin Jacoby via guillotine-choke at UFC on Fox 2.  The Ultimate Fight 11 participant was released from the UFC in January 2011, following a loss to Kyle Noke.  Camozzi beat Joey Villaseñor in a bout outside the Octagon, but was welcomed back in October of last year and lost to Francis Carmont at UFC 137.

Catone’s (9-2) last outing had him defeat Constantinos Philippou at UFC 128 in a catch-weight bout of 195 pounds, and he is currently riding a two-fight win streak.  Catone was expected to face Aaron Simpson at UFC 136, but withdrew from the bout due to a torn achilles tendon.  Since joining the UFC in 2009, Catone was compiled a winning record of 3-2.

Muay Thai at the Mecca recap

 

“Take on the world one Knockout at a time”.  That is the mantra of the Take-On Productions Muay Thai promotion. On Friday they took over Manhattan, hosting a significant event for Muay Thai inside New York City at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Over 3,200 fight fans filled the Theatre for an historic evening of fights.  This was the first ever muay thai fight card held in Madison Square Garden aka “The Mecca.”  Widely known as “The world’s most famous arena,” and often spoke of in reverent tones, MSG is also considered “The Mecca” of boxing, and basketball.

President Eddie Cuello, and his two partners Mike Gasparski and Aziz Nabih have accomplished a great deal of success in less than three years.  Those three gentlemen are also fighters, and have fought hard in making “Muay Thai at The Mecca” a milestone event.  The biggest event ever sanctioned by the World Kickboxing and Karate Association.

The fight card was split into a nine-fight amateur undercard, and a five-fight professional main card.

The first fight on this legendary night in New York was between two women.  Prairie Rugilo defeated Angie Babel by majority decision.  Her teammates from the Girl Fight MMA gym could be heard screaming “girl fight, girl fight”, as she was declared the winner.

Evaristo Hernandez from Camp Undefeated displayed some impressive and flashy kicks, along with a remarkable mohawk.  Rich Brattole from Weapons 9 was more fundamental and landed more strikes.  After taking some big shots in the second round and looking visibly exhausted, Hernandez did not answer the bell for the third round, giving Brattole the TKO victory.

The second TKO of the evening would belong to Joey Hernandez fighting out of Mushin MMA.  Hernandez ended Evolve Ohio fighter Brandon Poindexter’s evening in the second round with a vicious body shot.

Nick Vaughan from The Wat, brought the Theatre at MSG crowd to its feet, with a vicious left hook KO over Megaladon Georgia’s fighter Brian Hutchings at the 1:08 mark of the 3rd round.  Vaughan would earn himself the 165lb Super Middleweight Title with the win.

Easily the fight of the night, and best back-and-forth battle would belong to Steven Hernandez from Pinpoint Muay Thai and Ariel Abreu from Camp Undefeated.  These two 190-pound combatants were simply letting it fly.  Some great exchanges throughout the contest, but Abreu did more damage earning himself the unanimous decision.

The rest of the undercard:

Chris Mauceri (Five Points Academy) MAJ DEC over Tim Schmeier (Sitan Gym NY)

Freddy Cheung (Sitan Gym NY) UNAM DEC over Andrillo Suarez (American Killer Bees)

Rudy Felix (Sitan Gym NY) UNAM DEC over Cornell Ward (Five Points Academy)

Delroy Mccoy (Camp Undefeated) UNAM DEC over Vinny Hui (Five Points Academy)

The main card would see the pace quicken and the action intensify.  Brett Hlavacek wasted no time scoring another KO for The Wat Gym, finishing off Sommai Muay Thai’s Cris Clodfelter with some brutal kicks at the 1:40 mark of Round 1.

Eric Ruiz from Progressive Martial Arts defeated Anthony Demaio of Staten Island Muay Thai by unanimous decision, and Deshawn Robinson out of Americas Finest and Sean Hinds from Mushin MMA would battle to a majority draw.

The last two fights on the card would also end in first round knockouts:

Eastern Academy’s Brian Collette hit Performance Muay Thai’s Marcus Taylor with a barrage of strikes early in the first that sent him to the canvas.  Taylor would get back up, only to fall right back down, giving Collette the KO victory.  The damage must’ve also bruised Taylor’s ego, as he went after a heckling fan on the walk back to the locker room.  Luckily security stopped Taylor before anything transpired.

The main event saw Ryan Madigan, a UFC veteran fighting out of Evolve Ohio; dominate Rigel Balsamico from Cool hearts Muay Thai.  Balsamico had no answer for Madigan.  He was swarmed from the opening bell by a significant number of strikes, and knocked down twice.  The referee wisely called the stoppage after the second knockdown at the 2:21 mark of the first round, giving Madigan the KO victory.

At the conclusion of “Muay Thai at the Mecca,” MMA Diehards caught up with legendary, world famous muay thai trainer Phil Nurse.  Nurse owns The Wat Gym in New York, N.Y., and he shared his thoughts on the historic event and his two victorious fighters.

Phil Nurse (L) seeing his student off into the ring.

“I think it’s a big move for Muay Thai.  Nurse said.   I think there’s a lot of room to make this even bigger, I’m happy for it.  It’s a good venue, like anything else you have to build it.  It’s a good start.

“I tell them, you don’t get paid for overtime, you get paid to get it done.  I’m very, very proud of them,” Nurse said, referring to his students Hlavacek, and Vaughan.  “Both good fights, first round knockout, third round knockout.  I’m psyched, I’m happy.”

MMA Diehards asked if muay thai events in N.Y.C. could help the cause of getting MMA legalized in the New York state.

“I don’t know, because they fought tonight with European Rules (WKA Rules),” Nurse explained.  “No elbows to the head or anything like that, I don’t think it helps anything out just yet.”

Though, Nurse does not believe the event will do much for the progression of MMA in the Big Apple, he does think it will help his favorite discipline.

“I think it can,” Nurse said, on Muay Thai being successful in the U.S. as its own sport.  “There’s a lot that can happen with muay thai. (The) U.S. has a lot of other things going on.   I think muay thai can really make a graph, there’s a lot of fighting going on in N.Y.C. right now”.

Lastly MMA DieHards asked how proud Nurse was to see a historic night for muay thai.

“I’m very proud, that’s what I started with, that’s what got me into the MMA world, is the muay thai,” Nurse admitted.  “It’s not just a regular standup, it’s an art that I love and I’m very passionate about.  To see it get to the Garden, and start making moves forward, I’m very proud of that.  It’s a good move”.

Take-On definitely made a good move, bringing muay thai to the “Mecca.”  They took on New York, and knocked us all out.

Twitter MMA: Best of the Week for March 12 – March 19

Rashad Evans ‏ @SugaRashadEvans

Damn! Jon Jones is always trying 2 one up me! I take a pic with a wig on & he goes full drag on me! Fine bro http://instagr.am/p/IQcSUdE1Er/

Matt Lindland ‏ @mattlindland

@KarynBryant @rampage4real @FrontRowBrian jokes r 1 thing, disparaging &degrading women is no joke or funny.

Quinton Jackson ‏ @Rampage4real

@mattlindland dude shut the f*ck up,I’m not like u at all,u r boring as f*ck! Count yo fans then ask them 2 keep it real,then get at me?

Matt Lindland ‏ @mattlindland

@Rampage4real in order for you to insult me, It would require I respected you and valued your opinion. #justkeepingitreal

Ben Saunders ‏ @bensaundersMMA

My next fight is less than 2 weeks away! Make sure not to miss it… Set ur calendars people, and or DVR if ur schedule doesn’t allow it…

Ben Saunders ‏ @bensaundersMMA

There is no UFC event on the same night this time… so NO EXCUSES! lol :D

Stephan Bonnar ‏ @StephanBonnar

Attention assh*les: Don’t invite someone to your wifes bday dinner at an expensive fu#*ing resturant, then make them pay!#nomoreFREEufctix

Mark Pavelich ‏ @MarkPavelich

People have been asking about the new hash tag we wanted U 2 know there is a huge difference between being on the grind & the #PavelichGrind

Stephan Bonnar ‏ @StephanBonnar

The worst part about it:I just had my wisdom teeth pulled & couldn’t chew 4 sh*t! Oh, & the bill had over $100 on it from water alone! #bs

Anthony Pettis ‏ @Showtimepettis

I’m not dropping to 145 to fight aldo! 155 is my home and I’ll get that belt soon!!!

Miesha Tate ‏ @MieshaTate

Looks like no surgery!! Dr was impressed w progress so far! :)

chris leben ‏ @cripplerufc

Just invented the most crazy takedown ever. Think im gonna give it some crazy eddie bravo name like the heroin needle death spike

Quinton Jackson ‏ @Rampage4real

2 all the dumb sheep n tweet land…my knees was f*cked b4 my fight with Ryan,n I was waiting 2 hear about surgery b4 I knew about Shogun

Quinton Jackson ‏ @Rampage4real

Its not that yall,I just like 2 inform dumb people! Hahahaha xbox time,yall have a goodnight

Jose Canseco ‏ @JoseCanseco

Time to put up or shut up I am ready to fight you in Japan or Vegas yes I am talking to you Shaq

Jose Canseco ‏ @JoseCanseco

Shaq is 7′ 350lbs I am 6’4 250lbs I will gain 30 pounds of muscle and train for 5 months to beat him .I am taking this very serious

Michael Chiesa ‏ @MikeMav22

Thanks every1 for the support in my Dad’s passing, much luv. Proud to be on Team Faber, hats off to Vick and Team Cruz. @InsideTUF #TUFlive

Organik explains MMA rap battle and likens the evolution of KOTD to MMA

Co-owner and host of KOTD, Organik. (Photo courtesy of bringyaehgame.com)

Likewise to the growth of MMA, rap battle promoter and competitor Organik finds resemblances in the rise of King of the Dot.

Organik (Twitter: @OrganikHipHop) is the co-owner and host of N. America’s premier hip hop battle league, known as KOTD.  Being a lifelong mixed martial arts fan, Organik has always been enticed by two people that are the best at what they do compete against each other to see who is the greatest.

Similar to a cage fight, rap battling offers two competitors stepping in front of an audience and proving who has the best skills.  The two MC’s stand toe-to-toe, circled by spectators and unleash verbal assault on one another.  The battler compiles a record of wins and losses, and after a series of victories or outstanding performances they are awarded a title shot.

After noticing an increase of MMA references being used in the competitions, Organik and two of KOTD’s rappers spawned the idea of an all MMA battle.

“That was a one-time thing between Step Easy and 100 Bulletz, who are also huge MMA fans,” Organik explained to Amy Barton, Mike Fester and Alex Donno on MMA Beatdown Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “Us three would always discuss MMA on Facebook or whenever we talked and they thought it would be cool to add a theme to the battle where every bar had an MMA reference in it.  Me being an MMA fan, I thought the idea was amazing, so I said let’s go for it and it turned out amazing.

“For the references you really need to be an MMA fan to understand every reference in that.  It even brought back memories from mixed martial arts that I forgot.  Hearing names like Travis Fulton and stuff like that, it was just like whoa.  It was really cool to have them all brought up and see that battle with that theme and seeing how far they can expand on it.  And being an MMA fan, it was cool, it makes you want to go back and watch MMA videos you grew up watching because of the references in there.”

Organik watched an abundance of MMA videos on the internet when Youtube was introduced to the world.  He said once he started working and could afford it he would order the UFC pay-per-views with his friends long before the sport had the notoriety it does today.  He even used to stay up until 4 a.m. to catch the live Pride FC pay-per-views.

Organik’s fondness of the sport did not start when The Ultimate Fighter 1 began; in fact, it began in the pre-Zuffa days.

“Ever since I was a little kid I was attracted to it,” Organik explained.  “I remember being like 9-years-old and in the video store and pulling on my mom’s coat like, ‘I want that video.’  It would be like Ken Shamrock on a UFC cover in a rental store and my mom would say I have to be good in order for her to rent that for me because she knew it was violent.  I kind of had to do good deeds to watch UFC.  My mom thought it might be a bad thing for me to watch at that age, but she knew it was something I was very interested in.”

Organik has watched the growth of MMA his entire life, but mostly in his native country of Canada.

UFC president Dana White once referred to Canada as the mecca of mixed martial arts.  The fans in The Great White North are suggested to be some of the most passionate about the sport.  The country is no stranger to supporting their countrymen in the cage and belittling a non-Canadian opponent.

Organik sums this behavior up as the Manny Pacquiao effect.

“It’s easier for things to grow off word of mouth in Canada,” Organik explained.  “Georges St-Pierre being a world champion is kind of an accomplishment for the whole country, so the word spreads quickly and people get involved a lot quicker.  Whereas in America, a lot of people have success stories, up in (Canada) when somebody goes in a tournament and grabs first place a lot more people are taking notice of it.

“I look at it like the Manny Pacquiao effect with boxing and the Philippines.  They’re so proud of Manny Pacquiao, so when he fights it’s a huge thing for the country.  They all rally for him.  It’s kind of the same way in Canada.”

When Organik isn’t watching bouts the UFC showcases in the Octagon, he is busy constructing matches for KOTD.

King of the Dot is coming out of its infancy and gaining momentum.  The league is growing with the rap battle scene, rapidly.  From the early KOTD battles that took place in schoolyards, to having guest hosts such as Raekwon, JD Era and Drake, to now drawing crowds of nearly 1000 people; Organik is venturing into his next project.

“The Fresh Coast is the newest expansion for the King of the Dot,” Organik explained.  “We’re moving into California now.  The fresh coast is the west coast of America, and for a long period of time California is where all the best were coming from.  If you were able to battle in California, being from another place, it meant you had worldwide attention.

“Over the last couple of years Toronto kind of took that spot, so we’re trying to get Toronto, California and everybody on the same page and rebuild the scene.  If we all work in a unified way it’s all under the same league and everyone can be aiming towards the same goal.  People can have their records show and not be clustered all over the internet.”

The Fresh Coast division of KOTD is set to hold an event featuring longtime battler Dizaster taking on LL Cool J’s former adversary, Canibus.  It is a great accomplishment for Organik and everyone involved to make that happen, but in the meantime the Bolton, Ontario native has to continue focusing on building future KOTD events.

As Organik ponders the future of KOTD and reflects on the past, he can’t help but compare battle rap and his favorite sport.

“I honestly reference battling to mixed martial arts,” Organik admitted.  ”It’s almost in the same phase where mixed martial arts was when it was coming up.  Getting into certain cities and getting a bigger fan base there, being online and growing and stuff like that.  It really depends on what city, who is on the cards and everything.

“There’s some (events) that soon enough we’re going to have to be moving into venues that hold 1500 people or around there.  The popularity is jumping.”

In Their Own Words: The Week’s Noteworthy MMA Quotes

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (Photo courtesy of 5th Round)

“(Dana saying that teammates should fight each other), It’s funny to say that, right? If that was the case, I would like to ask him if he’d like to split the UFC with Lorenzo, each would have their own show fighting for audience and sponsorship and everything else that involves their business. They’re friends, partners… What I think is that friends shouldn’t fight. Dana doesn’t fight. He sells well the fight, he’s a good promoter, but he isn’t a fighter. I have nothing against Dana, I admire him, but he doesn’t know what this is, and he can’t say that two friends should fight. We spend more time together than with our own families. We share the pains, the frustrations, and just because he wants to sell a fight that he thinks it would be cool and that the public would like to see two companions fighting. He wants to match a fight with two friends? That’s impossible, it only happens with people who aren’t real friends. We have a philosophy in our team that, regardless of two being from the same weight class and the same objective of being UFC Champions, we know that this won’t happen. MMA is not a collective sport. It’s not normal for me to fight a guy that I live with every day. It’s natural to him, because he doesn’t fight and hasn’t even got pinched once.”
- Anderson Silva told SporTV that he does not agree with Dana White’s stance on friends fighting friends.

“This isn’t baseball or football. They aren’t a team. They train together, go out together, but they aren’t a team that plays together. I’d like for Anderson to tell me if I’m wrong: he has the belt, the fame, the money, and it is because of that, that there are many guys who’d like to be Anderson Silva, especially those inside his gym and are friends of his. Many friends of his would love to have that belt and they should fight for it. If they have to fight, it doesn’t mean that they don’t like each other, that they can’t be friends. It’s business, it’s what they do for a living. If this was something I and Lorenzo would have to fight, we would. If Lorenzo has the title and I’d have to fight him, it’s what would happen. It’s not personal, it’s only to see who’s best. Imagine two famous teams in Brazil, such as Flamengo and Corinthians. Imagine if they would refuse to play against each other because they’re friends, because they like each other. “We don’t want to play you, we’d hurt your feelings.” Oh Anderson, come on… Vitor used to train with him. Did you see what he did to his friend? I guarantee you that the guys that are his friends want to be like him. Your friends want your belt, and they won’t pay your bills when you’re done fighting, Anderson.”
- White elaborated on SporTV why friends should fight friends.

“I would love to figure that out, that blood thirsty kill freak. I can’t stand the dude. … The thing is, at this stage in his career, I know he’s past his peak. I know he’s not looked great in his last few fights, and maybe he’s kind of winding down. I would love to fight him and, if he was willing to take the fight, I would by all means love to get in there and put it on him, but I’m not going to chase after the guy cause he has passed his peak and he may not want to a fight against someone who doesn’t like him as much as me.”
- Dan Hardy made it well-known that he Is not a fan of Matt Hughes via MMA Weekly.

“No, no, no. Absolutely not. Not only did I not take more of it, I was never even accused of that. Josh Gross, who’s incompetent beyond measure, went on ESPN and said that I did, so it became my reality and I went with it. I was never even accused of that. Is it legal or is it not legal? If a person’s taking a legal substance, that’s the end of the conversation. You’re sounding a lot like Josh Gross.”
- Chael Sonnen was a guest on MMA Uncensored, and he disputed allegations that he used testosterone replacement therapy in the past.

“He’s possessed by a demon. That’s the truth. He’s an athlete that failed the drug test, I fought him while injured, and he had problems with the American Justice system. He respects nothing and he didn’t respect our country. What does he represent? Nothing. I respect the opinions and the positions of the promoters of the fight and the owners of the event, but in my opinion he shouldn’t get the chance to fight me again. But that’s not something that I can decide. I will get ready for the fight just as I would with any other. He disrespected our idols that made history in the world of sports, such as Lance Armstrong. This guy is complicated, he’s got personal issues. The attention that the Brazilian media gives him, the attention that Palmeiras gave him, it’s very bad. If any Brazilian would be in the position that he finds himself in, if they would talk about the US and he does about Brazil, and the American idols, we wouldn’t even have the same opportunities of going in their country or talking to the American media. I think that Brazilians should be more patriotic, like the Americans.”
- Anderson Silva talked to SporTV about the disrespect Sonnen has towards Brazil.

“Jealousy fuels Rashad, to some degree. I think it’s safe to say, yeah, absolutely safe to say. I think it’s very weak emotionally on his part. That’s why I can’t wait for this fight to be over. I have no problem with him. Right now, I have my kids, I have my girl, we have our place together, I’m following my dreams. I’m doing the right things in life. I’m on the right track. Rashad is the one who looks at this whole story like, you know, this guy’s went off and created his own team and he’s left the people who were there for him in the beginning. He’s the one who is going through this whirlwind in life right now. And I just can’t wait to put him out of his misery and solidify me being the light heavyweight champion and telling him to go have a seat somewhere.”
- Jon Jones told UFC.com that he is anticipating ending Rashad Evans’ misery.

“I know how to beat him. There are things about his game which he can’t change. The fact that we used to train together gives me a lot of confidence. I know where I need to get to with Jon in order to fight my game. Jon’s a tall guy, I can’t, obviously, fight on the outside. I gotta get inside where I can fight my game. I see a lot of spaces in Jon’s game for a lot of different things. I’m to the point where it doesn’t matter who you are, if I take you down, I’m going to unleash my ground and pound on you. I think I’ve improved more since the last time we trained together. I’m in a new environment, I had to learn. He’s in the same environment, same coaches, learning the same thing. I will defeat Jon Jones and become UFC light heavyweight champion.”
- Evans explained his advantages against Jones to UFC.com.

“I did say, and have said this since I came back to the UFC, the only guy I would cut down to middleweight for is Anderson Silva.  I’d take that match whether it’s for a title or not.  That’s the only guy the fans want to see me fight, so that is the only reason I would cut down to 185 (pounds).

“I’m not asking for a fight with Anderson, I have no problem cutting down, but I think if they came to me and offered me a fight at middleweight against anyone other than Anderson, I would say no.

“It’s not a fight I am asking Dana (White) for, but if they asked me I would probably say yes.”
- Dan Henderson, though waiting for the winner of Jones vs. Evans, admitted to MMA DieHards that he would take a fight against A. Silva.

“Chael showed a strong wrestler does well against him. The only thing that Chael failed to do was damage Anderson throughout the fight, and that’s kind of my specialty. I will deliver a high amount of damage from start to finish, and that would make a huge difference in the outcome of the fight. A lot of fighters out there are (scared). They think of him as an invincible superhero. If you’re thinking that way about your opponent, you’ve already lost. I think that’s what happens to a lot of guys. They lose that fight before they even get in the cage with him. I want Anderson to hold onto that belt until I get there. He is obviously a legend in the sport already. That being said, everybody has to lose eventually and I want to be the guy to take that belt from him. That’s been a dream of mine for a long time.”
- Tim Boetsch admitted to Sherdog that he believes he has what it takes to dethrone UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

“For me there is not much to change, but I actually wanted to get Brandon Vera because he talked a lot of nonsense. He took a beating like a little girl and was crying afterwards. I think [this time] he broke a nail, so he couldn’t fight.”
- Thiago Silva gave his opinion on Brandon Vera to Sherdog.

“Melendez’s situation is complex right now. We still don’t have an opponent, date or place set. They said he could fight in San Jose but it’ll probably change. They mentioned Josh Thomson but then said it was not going to happen. It depends on the relationship between Dana White (UFC president) and Showtime (TV channel that broadcasts and managers Strikeforce). That’s the problem. I spoke to Joe Silva (UFC’s matchmaker) and he told me maybe some UFC fighters will go to Strikeforce. We would really like to see him fighting Pettis or BJ, but we are still not sure about what’s going to happen.”
- Cesar Gracie mentioned to Tatame who he would like to see Gilbert Melendez fight next.

“When we come [to New York] we’re going to blow it out. We’re going to put on a ridiculous UFC 100-style card, stacked, big, open to the public weigh-ins, press conferences, after-parties, the whole deal. Everybody will be there. This is going to be an event that will remind you of 1971 when Ali fought Frazier for the first time and every celebrity in New York had to be there. The biggest problem that I’m going to have is going to be where to sit everybody and who gets seats and who doesn’t. It’s going to be crazy.”
- Lorenzo Fertitta told mmafighting.com that New York is in for a real treat when MMA is legal in the Big Apple.

Bellator 61 recap: Falcao, Vasilevsky, Santos and Rogers advance in Season 6 middleweight tournament

Bellator 61 took place Friday at The Horseshow Riverdome in Bossier City, La.

Maiquel Falcao battered Norman Paraisy en route to a decision victory.

Brian Rogers knocked out Vitor Vianna in the first round, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky beat Victor O’Donnell, and Giva Santana defeated Bruno Santos, both via decision.

It was clear from the beginning Falcao was the aggressive fighter.

Paraisy backed Falcao into the fence, but as soon as he threw a kick, the Brazilian caught it and threw him to the gorund.  Falcao beat on Paraisy through the first round, as he picked apart his opponent with punches and kicks.

Falcao opened up his striking in the second round and visibly hurt Paraisy with body shots.  Falcao dropped Paraisy with a punch near the end of the round, but instead of taking advantage of on the downed opponent, the Brazilian taunted him.

Early in Round 3 Falcao tripped Paraisy and slammed him to the mat.  Falcao punished Paraisy on the ground while trying to gain mount position, but the Frenchman kept his composure and fought him off.  The bout made it back on its feet, but hit the floor again and Falcao attempted a guillotine-choke, though he was unsuccessful.  Falcao seemed to have been the victor of the third round and picked up a unanimous decision win.

Rogers was impressive in victory at Bellator 61.

Rogers struck first with a leg kick, and when Vianna tried to retaliate, “The Predator” counterstruck and capitalized.  Rogers caught a kick and sent Vianna to the floor, but did not follow the Brazilian to the mat.  Once on the feet again, Vianna dove in for a takedown, to his misfortune, Rogers reversed the takedown and ended up in a dominant position on the ground.  Rogers landed a few hammer fists before standing the fight back up.  Rogers hit Vianna with a couple of clean punches and wobbled him.  “The Predator” then charged at the Wand Fight Team member, executing a highlight reel knockout as Vianna timbered backwards to the canvas.

After a back-and-forth battle, Santos won a decision.

Santana and Santos traded strikes through most of the opening round.  Though, neither combatant completely dominated the other, there were some powerful blows exchanged.  The second round was similar to the first, but Santana appeared to do more damage and control Santos a little better.

Santana began the third round strong, but his pace slowed quickly and Santos started to take control of the bout.  Santana was searching for any way possible to avoid the judges’ scorecards, but Santos held him off and earned a unanimous decision.

Vasilevsky and O’Donnell displayed on a crowd pleasing battle.

Vasilevsky and O’Donnell put on an action-packed first round.   After exchanging blows on their feet as soon as the bout commenced, O’Donnell took Vasilevsky to the mat.  The two mixed martial artists both attempted transitions in order to gain a dominant position.  When the action slowed, the referee stood the fighters up.  Shortly after, Vasilevsky got a takedown and the ground, but the bout returned to its feet before the round ended.

The second round was all Vasilevsky.  He battered O’Donnell and bloodied up his opponent’s face.  Vasilevsky landed punches at will, and O’Donnell did not have an answer for anything the Russian threw.

Vasilevsky picked up the third round where he left off in the second.  O’Donnell showed heart, as he tried to stay in the fight, but Vasilevsky was too much.  Vasilevsky was awarded a unanimous decision.

Gabe Ruediger is ready to start his climb to the top and against all odds

photo courtesy of BammaUSA.com

‘Three strikes and you’re out,’ is a familiar adage, one that  Gabe Ruediger will try to defy in regards to getting back into the UFC.

After a KO loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC 63, getting kicked off TUF 5 for failing to make weight, and getting cut from the UFC again after two straight losses to Joe Lauzon at UFC 118 and Paul Taylor at UFC 126, Ruediger has had his opportunities in the big show, only to come up short.

Ruediger hasn’t fought since that loss to Lauzon last February, and will now look to take his first steps back to the UFC when he faces Scott Catlin this weekend for BAMMA, then fights again in Super Fight League in India two weeks later.

Two fights in two weeks is daunting enough on its own, but Ruediger will do so while also stepping into the cage for the first time since major back surgery.

“I was having back problems before I even fought Joe Lauzon”,  Ruediger said while a guest of MMA Beatdown on the MMA Diehards Radio Network.  “When I fought Paul Taylor my back went completely out.  I had a 12mm herniation of my L3 and I had to get back surgery. That’s why I’ve been out.  I had back surgery in August.  I had what’s called a discectomy, which means they went in and cleaned out the disc that’s been ruptured, so  it was a matter of me recovering from a very serious injury.”

And when Ruediger does  fight this weekend, how he bounces back from surgery won’t be the only question mark. “Godzilla” admits to not knowing much about Catlin, save for one Youtube video he’s seen of an old fight.

“I don’t know him no, there a lot of fighters in CA,” Ruediger said. “You have to be worried about everybody. Regardless of record, regardless of ability, a fight is a fight, if you take somebody lightly you know, it can bite you in the butt. I know that maybe Scott thinks because I’m taking a fight two weeks later I’m not taking him seriously, but that’s not the case at all. I think he’s a game opponent, and from what I gather he’s a standup guy.  I’ve fought plenty of standup guys before.”

MMA Beatdown asked Ruediger if it meant anything that his opponent is 4-5?

“Yes and no, it means that it’s a fight I have to win,” Ruediger said. “If you lose to someone that’s 4-5 that’s kind of a career killer for me, so I have to be that much more serious about it. “

It would, no doubt, be a devastating loss for Reudiger, especially if he hopes to get back to the UFC.

As for his opponent two weeks later, Ruediger revealed the news of his opponent in Super Fight League to MMA Beatdown.

“I’m fighting the loud mouth Brit Paul Kelly”, Reudiger said. “He does not shut up, his Twitter banter is like dealing with an ape with down syndrome, just a complete moron, running his mouth nonstop.”

Ironically, Kelly was also released after UFC 126, losing to Donald Cerrone via rear-naked choke, and he will be looking to use Ruediger as a stepping stone to make it back to the promotion. “Godzilla” has to get passed Scott Catlin this weekend first, but he admitted that another shot in the UFC is very much in his thoughts.

“I would like to go back and test myself against the best guys in the world, I kind of faltered last time,” Ruediger said. “I feel like I’m on that level, I would love to go back.  I take one fight at a time though, if it doesn’t  happen  then it doesn’t happen.  It’s unfortunate because at the very least I want my one chance to get a UFC win.”

Ruediger takes that first step towards getting his chance this weekend. And no matter the opponent or record, Ruediger cannot afford to swing and miss again.

WMMA set for their first show with Sean McCorkle and Karo Parisyan leading the way

Live from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, Worldwide MMA Sports (WMMA) is proud to bring to you a world-class fight card. This event will deliver more than mixed martial arts; it will deliver a true sporting event and the essence behind the arts.

For more information, please check out, wmmasports.com.

The Score Fighting Series: No fight is too hot for Josh Hill

Canadian bantamweight fighter, Josh Hill (Photo courtesy of mmaalliance.ca)

When not dedicating time towards the safety of his community, Josh Hill is extinguishing fighters inside the cage.

Undefeated at 7-0, Hill is a multisport athlete that has recently made a  name for himself on the Canadian MMA circuit.  Like most Canadians, Hill started to play hockey at a young age and continued his love for sports through football, rugby and baseball while growing up.

Always looking to accomplish bigger goals, Hill has already become the bantamweight champion of Aggression MMA and now looks to conquer the division ladder.  Making his next climb Friday night in front of a local fan base, Hill’s squares off against Eric Wilson at The Score Fighting Series at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario.

Looking back on how Hill got here, it came to light that it didn’t involve martial arts – at first.

“I never really planned it out,” Hill told MMADieHards.com.  “I just started training in mixed martial arts at my local weight-lifting gym, and I never had a background in wrestling or striking.  I eventually entered into some submission wrestling tournaments, won those and thought that I could be good on the professional scene.”

It didn’t take long before his natural talents were noticed and the young fighter was taken to Iron Tiger Muay Thai and Pura BJJ to start the molding of the Hill we see today.  Training with UFC featherweight fighter Antonio Carvalho, Hill realized early in his career that in order to get better, he needed to train with martial artists from all disciplines.

With that in mind, Hill packed his bags and went to Brazil.

“I went at the end of 2010 with my training partner Lyndon Whitlock for about a month,” said Hill.  “Wagnney Fabiano was going down there for his training camp and asked us to come along.  So, we went down and trained at Nova Uniao and trained with the likes of Jose Aldo, Marlon Sandro and Thales Leites. There are so many good guys we trained with out there, it was a great experience.”

Consistently sharpening his arrows for battle, Hill is now preparing for a civil war against a fellow Canadian for his eighth bout.  Wilson, who is fighting out of Saskatchewan, Canada, brings a 5-1 record with his most recent bout against John Fraser being his first loss.

Possessing a strong submission base, Wilson is commonly known for attacking the legs of those who stand before him, finishing almost half of his fights via leg lock.  While it may not have been by submission, Wilson also holds a notable victory over current UFC bantamweight Roland Delorme at CFC 6.

Still making time for his regular training routines, Hill has considered a few changes in the gym.

“He is definitely not afraid to get in there and fight,” admitted Hill.  “He’ll slug it out on the feet, but the one thing that he is known for is that when he hits the mat, he is always looking for ankles, heel-hooks and other submission locks with the legs.  That is one thing I’ve taken into consideration and I have a couple of my good jiu-jitsu guys going for my legs all the time when we role, so I can get used to it.

“I’ve been training for everything and I feel really comfortable everywhere.  I think that I’m going to be the bigger, stronger and a little bit more superior of an athlete in the fight, but he is definitely a tough and scrappy guy; it’s going to be a good fight.”

As with most fighters, the ultimate goal is to be a member of one of the leading MMA promotions in N. America, the UFC and Bellator.  After winning the Aggression bantamweight title, Hill had originally planned to take his shot at the UFC through its reality series, The Ultimate Fighter Season 14.  Those plans were put on hold as Hill broke his thumb in his championship efforts and required surgery days later.

Now with that door closed behind him, it appears that they’ve come back knocking.

“We’ve talked with the bigger shows, the UFC and Bellator,” Hill said.  “Obviously the UFC is the biggest one and the one that you want to go for, but we’ll see what happens.  I just have to get more fights; more wins and keep proving myself.  I think that the only thing I’m lacking right now over my last two or three fights is a very big finish.  That’s what I’m going to be looking to do, whether it’s a nice knockout or a nice submission; either or, I don’t really care.

“The next guy I have ahead of me is a tough task, but I definitely think that is a fight that I can win.”

Competing in a cage isn’t the only fight in Hill’s life.  When not training, the Stoney Creek native has found another passion in dedicating himself to the helping lives of others with the Hamilton Emergency Services.

“As of right now, this training camp is my life,” said Hill.  “But I’m also a volunteer fire fighter.  Other than fighting for a career, my second dream job would be a full-time career firefighter.  That’s kind of the avenue that I’m going with what I did my schooling for.  Eventually I would like to get on as a full-time fire fighter if the fighting career doesn’t pan out.”

Hill’s dreams of becoming a fire fighter are still a reality, but choosing the career of putting out fighters’ lights is the brighter path.

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