Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET, MMA DieHards Radio is joined by a panel of guests and cover the world of MMA.
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Birchak (Twitter: @abirchakMMA) won the first-ever MFC bantamweight match at MFC 37 when he defeated Ryan Benoit. The match was fight of the caliber, so we’ll get Birchak’s thoughts on the bout and see what’s next for the Arizonian.
Kelly and Charron will also recap UFC on FX 8, as well as dissect UFC 160, which takes place Saturday.
UFC on FX 8 started a tad slow, but finished strong with a slick submission and vicious knockout.
In the night’s main event, UFC veteran Vitor Belfort annihilated forever Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
In a moment of hilarity, Rockhold fell when attempting a head kick at the beginning of the bout, but hopped up before Belfort could attack. Belfort threw an, out of character, spinning head-kick that came nowhere near connecting with Rockhold. Vitor displayed his quick hands and stalked Rockhold down with punches, but the former Strikeforce standout didn’t absorb a lot of damage. Then, Belfort attempted another spinning head-kick, only this time his heel planted directly on Rockhold’s temple. The UFC debutant collapsed to the ground and Belfort finished him off with a few punches.
Belfort has won four of his last five outings- that sole loss came against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones- and he finished those four adversaries. The victory surely places Belfort extremely close to title contention.
Rockhold, though, lost the fight and had a nine-fight winning streak put to an end, should still be a Top 10 middleweight in the UFC.
In the opening round of his first UFC bout, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza put a stop to Chris Camozzi.
Camozzi kept his distance in an effort to avoid a Souza’s takedowns. “Jacare” got a hold of Camozzi, but the American reversed Souza against the cage. Souza broke away and then accomplished a takedown. Camozzi did exceptionally well defending Souza’s superb transitions, but the inevitable ensued.
“Jacare” worked intelligently, while utilizing his craftiness until sinking in an arm-triangle choke. Within seconds Camozzi was unconscious and referee Mario Yamasaki stepped in to end the match.
Souza won his UFC debut and extended his win streak to four straight victories. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion also requested the winner of the main event on UFC on FX 8, Belfort, following his submission of Camozzi.
Camozzi, due to the loss, had his four-fight win streak broken.
Rafael dos Anjos won a close decision against Evan Dunham at UFC on FX 8.
Dunham was on the defense for the first minute of the bout, but turned up the pace by mid-round. Dunham showed good speed, but didn’t utilize his reach to it’s full potential. While dos Anjos was mixing up a wide variety of strikes, Dunham was basically boxing and throwing the odd leg kick, nonetheless, the fight stayed eventful. Dunham got dos Anjos to the mat, but after a lackluster minute, the referee stood the combatants up.
In Round 2, Dunham started with a flurry of hard punches and hit a double-leg takedown. It wasn’t long before dos Anjos was up and retaliating. Dunham opened a cut on dos Anjos’ right eyebrow, but the Brazilian was winning the exchanges on their feet. Dunham managed to get a takedown at the end of the second frame, but the buzzer sounded immediately after the two fighters hit the mat.
Round 3 looked similar to the opening frame, as Dunham used boxing and a minimal amount of leg kicks, while dos Anjos mixed up strikes. Dunham could not complete a takedown, but he kept dos Anjos guessing. Both combatants put on an exciting show towards the end of the bout by standing in the pocket and tagging each other with punches until the time clock expired.
Dos Anjos won the match via decision (29-28×3) and is on a four-fight win streak.
Dunham, however, is 3-2 in his last five fights.
Rafael Natal, through a combination of intelligent striking, smooth Brazilian jiu-jitsu and an opponent’s exhaustion, defeated UFC newcomer João Zeferino.
Zeferino and Natal spent a large part of possible heel-hook positions. They stayed just busy enough to not get stood up by the referee due to lack of action, but the strikes thrown were not effective. The two mixed martial artists were eventually instructed by the referee to stand up, but with only 25 seconds left in the opening frame not much was attempted before the round ended.
Zeferino attempted a high number of kicks and punches, but Natal remained calm and evaded any damage. As Zeferino tired, he attempted an effortless takedown that Natal denied with ease. Zeferino, on the ground from a punch Natal hit him with, laid exhausted and “Sapo” dropped into his opponent’s guard with a punch. Natal finished the round on top of Zeferino, battering him with punches.
Natal pressed forward in Round 3. He elevated his output of strikes, yet avoided a drained Zeferino’s attacks. Natal took down Zeferino midway through the round and started working for a submission. “Sapo” continued bashing Joao Zeferino with fists when he couldn’t nail a submission until the match finalized.
Natal won a decision (30-27, 29-28×2) and is now and has won two consecutive bouts since losing to Andrew Craig in July 2012.
Zeferino’s UFC debut and seven-fight win streak were spoiled with the loss.
The UFC on FX 8 preliminary card was a six-fight card full of knockouts, submissions, and back and forth battles.
Nik Lentz defeated Hacran Dias in a back and forth, exciting, action packed bout.
Lentz put the pressure on Dias right out of the gate. The grappling from both combatants was technical and aggressive, with reversals and defense in check. Neither fighter got the better of one another, but kept the action going until Round 1 ended.
Lentz dropped Dias with a knee, but was hesitant to follow up and the Brazilian had a few seconds to regain composure. Lentz took the fight to the mat and sat in half guard, while punishing Dias relentlessly with elbows. Dias did eventually get back to his feet for a short period of time before being placed on his back again. Lentz finished the round in mount position, continuously hitting Dias with punches and elbows.
In Round 3, both combatants were swinging for the win. Dias was clipping Lentz with punches, which led to the American attempting a takedown, yet he was unsuccessful. When pressed up against the cage, Lentz hit a guillotine-choke, but Dias escaped and reversed into an arm-triangle choke. Lentz held on, but appeared to be close to tapping out. In the final minute of the bout, both mixed martial artists were standing and trading punches, still trying to finish the fight.
Lentz won a decision (29-28×2, 28-27) and is on a three-fight win streak.
Dias had his nine-fight win streak snapped after losing to Lentz.
Francisco Trinaldo defeated Mike Rio with some very impressive submission skills.
Rio searched for a couple of takedowns and ate a punch in order to get the fight to the ground. Trinaldo withstood Rio’s attacks on the mat and got back to his feet. The Brazilian accomplished a takedown of his own, in spectacular fashion to boot, which led to the finish.
Trinaldo secured an arm-triangle choke, but what made it unique was the fact that he pulled it off from half guard. It’s seldom seen, but Trinaldo made Rio tap from the submission that is usually applied from side guard.
Trinaldo has won two consecutive matches via arm-triangle choke and has only lost once in the Octagon.
Rio, aside from losing on “The Ultimate Fighter 16,” had a three-fight win streak come to an end.
Gleison Tibau picked up the first submission of UFC on FX 8 with a win over John Cholish.
Tibau, to no one’s surprise, hit a takedown on Cholish right after the opening bell. Cholish, however, escaped the side-control of Tibau. Cholish showed good footwork and striking, though, it didn’t affect Tibau’s performance. Tibau was able to complete another takedown before the frame ended, which undoubtedly earned him the round.
Cholish was a little more creative with his striking in Round 2, even attempting a flying-knee. But Tibau was more powerful and hurt Cholish with a left punch. Cholish became wobbly, and Tibau took down his opponent. The Brazilian latched on guillotine-choke that forced Cholish to tap before going unconscious.
The submission places Tibau back in the win column after losing to Evan Dunham at UFC 156.
Cholish is on a two-fight losing skid after suffering a loss to Tibau.
Paulo Thiago bested UFC newcomer Michel Prazeres in a three-round match.
Prazeres came rushing out of his corner in an attempt to take Thiago down, but the BOPE officer managed to stay on his feet. The first round was mainly a back and forth grappling match, but neither combatant accomplished anything significant.
In Round 2, Thiago punished Prazeres with a knee to the midsection and followed his opponent to the canvas. Prazeres defended Thiago’s transitions on the mat and got back to his feet. He then pinned Thiago on the canvas, against the cage and worked his ground and pound. But, in such high level of grappling match, Thiago snuck out from under Prazeres and ended up on top of “Trator” as the frame finalized.
It was either combatant’s fight to win in the last round. Thiago was the more aggressive fighter off the hop, but Prazeres was able to nullify or absorb strikes coming from the UFC veteran. Thiago stayed relentless in his attacks, but the match eventuated to a decision.
Thiago walked away from the cage as the winner (29-28 on all judges’ scorecards). He is now in the win column after losing two consecutive bouts.
Prazeres lost for the first time in his professional career and now owns a record of 16-1.
Yuri Alcantara wasted no time getting rid of Illiard Santos.
Santos took the fight on short notice, and the bout was short lived. Alcantara hit Santos with a left straight that collapsed his opponent and then swarmed on him with a flurry of punches. The referee immediate halted the action and Alcantara won the match via TKO in Round 1.
Alcantara has won back-to-back bouts in the UFC, both by way of TKO.
Santos’ Octagon debut resulted in a loss and put an end to his seven-fight unbeaten streak.
After a sketchy opening, Fabio Maldonado earned a much needed victory against Roger Hollet.
Not even one minute into the bout, Maldonado was the victim of a brutal groin shot from a spinning back-kick thrown by Hollet. After a short rest, Maldonado returned to his feet and the match continued.
Hollet, out of respect to Maldonado’s elite boxing skills, was quick to take the fight to the ground. Though, it was a lackluster opening to the bout, Hollet avoided damage and controlled his opponent for the majority of Round 1.
Hollet, surprisingly, landed a number of punches on the Brazilian near the beginning of the second frame. However, Maldonado went to work on Hollet’s body, then went upstairs and starting landing punches on the Canadian’s head. Hollet was clearly becoming fatigued from the damage but escaped the round.
Round 3 was all Maldonado. When he wasn’t landing punches, Maldonado was egging on Hollet. Maldonado turned up the pace and battered Hollet until the fight ended. Hollet showed toughness by hanging in there, but Maldonado was declared the winner via decision (29-27×2, 29-28).
Maldonado snapped a three-fight losing skid with the win. The victory was Maldonado’s first since October 2010.
Hollet is now on a two-fight losing streak and remains winless in the UFC.
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MMA DieHards Radio returns at 6:30p.m. ET, as hosts Jason Kelly (Twitter: @JayMMADieHards) and Corey Charron (Twitter: @charronkotd) welcome in a range of guests; from rappers, to the future of the sport, to a UFC camp.
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (Twitter: @MightyMouseUFC), UFC bantamweight champion, puts his belt on the line against John Moraga at UFC on Fox 8 on July 27. The champ, due to injury, was forced out of their original scheduled bout on last month’s “The Ultimate Fighter 17: Finale.”
Rising Canadian bantamweight Josh Hill (Twitter: @gentlemanjhill) will join the show and inform us on what’ next in his elevating career. A former Score Fighting Series standout, the Ontarian’s road to the UFC was sidetracked when the Hamilton area promotion closed their doors earlier this year, forcing “The Gentleman” to search for new employment.
Step Easy (Twitter: @StepEasy3rdAve)and 100 Bulletz (Twitter: @100Bulletz) competed in a King of the Dot rap battle, which had rules stating the competitors could only use lines consisting of MMA content. The two MMA fanatics showed their passion for the sport through a lyrical throw down. We’ll dissect the battle, as well as talk about some current MMA with Step.
Yeah, so what, Sam Alvey’s cornerman is a pregnant woman.
Alvey (Twitter: @smilensam) fights Jay Silva at “MFC 37: True Grit” on Friday at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. To witness a veteran competitor like Alvey, who has 25 pro MMA bouts to his credit, enter the ring for combat is common, but a cornerman such as his is seldom seen.
The majority of fighters stroll to the ring or cage with an entourage of fellow male training partners. Even the female mixed martial artists typically have a crew of men. Not Alvey, he rolls with his spouse, and in this case, his wife plus one.
“She’s eight-and-a-half months pregnant and she’ll be up there again,” Alvey told MMADiehards.com. “I talked to her, because I hate to break this streak of her cornering me, but she said she would be more nervous if she wasn’t there. That’s what worried me about her going there; she’d be too amped up. But she said she’d be more amped up if she didn’t go.”
As instrumental as Alvey’s wife is to his game, he required some assistance in the gym from his own gender.
Alvey trains at Team Quest with Dan Henderson, amongst the numerous mixed martial artists the facility draws in. Working with the elite striker and final Strikeforce welterweight champ, Tarec Saffiedine, has taught Alvey to keep his hands up, he said. Preparations for Silva went according to plan, excluding one slight adaptation made when “The Spida Killa” served as a late replacement for Chase Degenhard.
“My game plan is to always beat the guy by any means necessary,” Alvey said. “So, the only difference I really had to make for this fight was, the guy I was going to fight, Chase, he was like 6’6” or 6’7” from what I’ve read. Jay, he’s a little shorter than me. So, instead of having to throw high, I have to jab instead. That’s the biggest difference.”
Similar to Alvey’s opponent reducing in height, where he travels to fight Silva will drop in climate.
Alvey, a Californian, meets Silva in western Canada, which is a fairly drastic change in temperature. It’s not the first time “Smilin” has experienced The Great White North, as he competed for the MFC in his previous bout, and can bear the cold, crisp Canadian weather. Just as long as the fervent, fired-up fans are in tow.
“Last time I was there the fans were great,” Alvey said. “It was a packed house, I don’t think there was an open seat in the arena and the energy was incredible. Everyone in the audience was incredible and excited for the fight. I’m hoping that transfers into this upcoming fight, which I think it will.”
One thing Alvey can guarantee will be identical to his last trip to Alberta; his wife will be in his corner. Although, concluding she will present while pregnant, did come after negotiations.
“She’s the best corner in the business,” Alvey said. “She’s knows everything I know. She knows how I fight better than I do. There is not another person I would rather have there. Because she’s pregnant, I’m going to have one more corner, a coach of mine. That’s kind of the bargain we came up with for someone to help take the workload off her.”
Well, that woman is one heck of a cornerman.