Posts Tagged ‘Anderson Silva’

Twitter MMA: Best of the Week for Dec 29 – Jan 5

Below are some of the best tweets of the week from mixed martial artists and personalities of the MMA community.  Tweets including a link that isn’t displayed have been hyperlinked, therefore, you can simply click on the tweet to view the attached link.

MMA 2013: Who would’ve thought…

In January, no one could have told the unforeseen things that happened in MMA this year.

GSP STEPS AWAY

This biggest news story and unexpected change in the landscape of MMA in 2013 was Georges St-Pierre stepping away from the sport.

After returning from an injury in November 2012 to defeat Carlos Condit, St-Pierre was set to scrap Nick Diaz early 2013.  GSP met Diaz in March, completely outpointed the former Strikeforce champion and retained his UFC welterweight title.  St-Pierre was in prime physical condition for the match, and any idea of him walking away from his belt and the sport was not conceivable.

St-Pierre then put his title on the line again in 2013, this time against former Oklahoma State wrestler Johny Hendricks.  His performance that night at UFC 167 was not nearly as dominant as those throughout his five-year title reign.

Hendricks battered St-Pierre and even out-wrestled the champ.  The French Canadian was declared the winner via split decision, but controversy surrounded the outcome of the match.

Then St-Pierre trumped that talk with his post-fight interview.

Inside the Octagon, St-Pierre told UFC color commentator Joe Rogan that he is stepping away from the sport and has personal issues to deal with.  UFC president Dana White was furious at the post-fight press conference, citing that the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s judges were “atrocious” and “incompetent.”  To top it off, St-Pierre’s timing to announce his hiatus from the sport was something with which White strongly disagreed.

St-Pierre’s future plans stayed in limbo for 27 days.  Then he and the UFC held a joint conference call to explain the champion vacated his title and immediately embarked on an indefinite leave from MMA.

The 32-year-old’s announcement came out of nowhere and rattled the entire UFC welterweight division.  It shook up things so much that it created a scenario in which Robbie Lawler will fight for a UFC belt in 2014 (against Hendricks), something unthinkable a year ago, when Lawler was middling in Strikeforce.

SAYONARA SILVA?

After being such an unstoppable force for so many years, who could have imagined Anderson Silva would be where he is now?

Silva had a glorious career until 2013.  He captured various UFC records, littered highlight reels with his finishes and earned the distinction of many as the best mixed martial artist of all time.

“The Spider” defeated Chael Sonnen and Stephan Bonner, both via TKO, in 2012, while not appearing to not have lost a step in his game.  However, a former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler named Chris Weidman came along.

Silva and Weidman clashed at UFC 162 in July.  The challenger, Weidman, knocked out the seemingly unstoppable Silva in Round 2, putting an end to the Brazilian legend’s 17-fight winning streak.  An instantaneous rematch was scheduled for UFC 168 in December.

It ended in a nightmare for Silva.

Silva broke his tibia and fibula while throwing a leg kick that Weidman checked with his knee.  Silva’s many admirers watched in horror and stunned disbelief as the longtime UFC middleweight kingpin’s leg snapped.  He was stretchered out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena, screaming with pain all the way, and rushed to the hospital for immediate surgery.

Sure, getting caught can happen to anyone, and Silva’s time came in his first meeting with Weidman.  But to go from such a destructive champion to crippled in one year was another surreal unpredictable scenario.

BELLATOR’S BETTER BUSINESS?

Bellator changed the company’s business model in 2013, and perhaps not for the better in many instances.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney organically grew the organization by utilizing the tournament format, developing talent and securing sensible television deals.  In 2013, that changed as Viacom-owned Bellator premiered on Spike TV, debuted a reality TV series and fleshed out its roster with familiar, undesired faces.

To start the year with a bang, Bellator revealed the television series “Fight Master,” which featured former UFC two-time champion Randy Couture as one of four coaches on the show.  Bringing in Couture instantly triggered a reaction from an irate White.

The public feud between White and Bellator created a rivalry between “The Ultimate Fighter” and “Fight Master,” but the Spike TV series could not match the finely tuned “TUF” on FX and then the new Fox Sports 1.

After airing a reality television series similar to “TUF,” the company that once prided itself on not copying the UFC shamelessly tried to mimic the world’s No. 1 MMA brand.

The promotion announced in June that it signed former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.  Just one month later, UFC legend Tito Ortiz came out from backstage at a Bellator event to publicize his signing with the organization and his match against Jackson in the first-ever Bellator pay-per-view show.

In August, Bellator re-signed Eddie Alvarez, its former lightweight champion and promotional poster boy, after a long, ugly and drawn-out court battle with the UFC over contract disputes.  Alvarez was scheduled to challenge lightweight champ Michael Chandler on the pay-per-view card in the co-main event, although media and fans claimed should’ve have been the main event.

Unfortunately, Bellator’s new approach to attracting fans did not go as planned.

Due to a neck injury suffered by Ortiz, the bout with Jackson never materialized, and the pay-per-view was cancelled.  Detractors were left to argue that moving the event to a free show on Spike TV hurt the promotion’s credibility and displayed the lack of faith Bellator had in its “own” guys to carry a pay-per-view card.

In addition, the other UFC cast-outs Bellator signed — including Cheick Kongo, Lavar Johnson and Joey Beltran — did little to intrigue fans to spend Friday nights watching their events any more than in past years.

For a promotion that was the clear-cut No. 2 organization in the world in January 2013, Bellator unpredictably ended the year struggling to gain back credibility amongst the MMA community.

WOMEN GET THEIR SHOT

Not all unexpected moments of 2013 were misfortunes, and some were pleasant surprises.

While it was known that women’s MMA was coming to the UFC in 2013, even the WMMA community would have been hard-pressed to figure it would play such a big role in”TUF 18″ and “TUF 20.”

In March 2013, the UFC broke news that women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and the winner of the match between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano would coach opposite one another on the first-ever co-ed season of “TUF.”  Zingano won the match, but required knee surgery. Rousey’s hated rival, Tate, filled the spot.

The season was a success, though the males on the show felt slighted due to the women getting all of the attention, not to mention higher TV ratings on episodes featuring female fights.  The series provided a backdrop for the lead-up to Rousey vs. Tate at UFC 168 and their burning hatred for each other, while also adding depth to the only UFC women’s weight class at the time.

Nearing the end of 2013, the UFC purchased the contracts of the 11 females that made up Invicta FC’s strawweight (115-pound) division.  The Zuffa-owned promotion made its mark in WMMA in 2013, and has set up 2014 with the all-female “TUF 20″ cast featuring 16 women to decide the division’s inaugural UFC 115-pound champion.

A promotion that until mere months before refused to allow women to compete, the UFC raised the stakes in WMMA with the moves made in 2013.

These stories, along with dramatic outcomes of fights throughout 2013, made for a roller-coaster of a year in MMA.

There’s no telling what 2014 will bring.

UFC 168: Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva video preview

Video preview for the UFC 168 main event, a middleweight title match between champion Chris Weidman and former title holder Anderson Silva.

MMA DieHards Counterpunch: UFC 168

MMA DieHards focuses on UFC 168 in this week’s session of Counterpunch, for the bouts that take place Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC 168 is co-headlined with two title matches.  Middleweight champion Chris Weidman takes on Anderson Silva in a highly anticipated rematch.  The co-main event delivers an equally intriguing bout, as women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey puts her title on the line in a rematch against Miesha Tate, following a heated battle as opposite coaches on “TUF 18.”

MMADieHards.com selected some of their finest to bring you Counterpunch for the event.  The group independently makes its selections for each fight. Minority picks will be defended by one of the panelists making that selection.

Joining this week is Joe Rizzo, Corey Charron, Nick Hammar, Trevor Airdrie and myself, Jason Kelly.  However, Charron picked with the majority in each case and will not be defending any of his selections.

Fighters unanimously selected were Jim Miller and Dustin Poirier.

Below, we list the match and the defender’s write-up:


Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva

Defending Weidman: Joe Rizzo

My esteemed colleagues, I thank you for not monitoring history.  The lesson is that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Heck, even Vegas is ready to take advantage, making Silva a slight favorite.

Time to take money from your friends.

In case you were not paying attention, Weidman beat Silva the first time they met. Call it a fluke at your own risk. Think all you want that Silva is not going to appear to showboat in this fight.  It’s not showboating, it’s part of his mental and physical game to make his opponents swing and miss early, then take themselves mentally out of the match, opening the door for Silva, the deadliest striker in MMA history.

When you’re advancing in your 30s (Silva is now 38), combat skills decline some days by millimeters, and that is what happened to Silva in the first fights with Chael Sonnen and Weidman.  Weidman connected with the feigning Silva where everyone else in the past missed.  The chances of Silva’s skills being off by a margin otherwise not noticeable are increasing every day.  It’s a matter of the opponent being able to take advantage.

Weidman is the guy.  It would be easy to predict a five-round decision, but I’ll get fancy and say a fourth-round TKO.


Ronda Rousey vs. Meisha Tate

Defending Tate: Trevor Airdrie

At UFC 168, Tate will finally dethrone the “Queen of the Armbar,” Rousey, and cap off the 2013 UFC calendar with a colossal upset (odds as high as 15-1). I believe Tate will win due to the fact that this was no normal training camp. This was an extended camp because of “The Ultimate Fighter.” On the series, what we witnessed was Tate  staking out her camp in Rousey’s head and staying there ever since.

When these two met back on March 3, 2012, there was very little footage on the patented Rousey armbar. After experiencing it first hand, Tate will go in to the cage Saturday with the training to avoid it.

Nobody knows if Rousey has the cardio of a five-round fight, but we know Tate does after the three-round war with Cat Zingano.

I am certain on Saturday we will hear Bruce Buffer’s famous call, ”And NEW UFC women bantamweight champion, Meisha Tate.”

Prediction – Tate via second-round submission.


Travis Browne vs. Josh Barnett
Defending Browne: Joe Rizzo

Sometimes Vegas throws us a bone if we’re willing to read between the lines a little bit, and this is one of those cases.  Barnett should be a bigger favorite than minus-190 (wager $190 to win back $100), and Browne a bigger underdog than plus-165 (wager $100 to win back $165).  When those numbers are off, I take it as a red flag that we have a live underdog.

Under most circumstances, I would not go against the War Master, for fear of retaliation from Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler.  But this pick makes sense.  Barnett does not lose often, but neither does Browne. Vegas is putting them into the same class, and it’s worth taking a shot on the underdog here because of it.

Browne’s best chance is a KO-TKO, simply because Barnett is so dangerous on the ground and the more difficult route would be to grind out a decision.


Chris Leben vs. Uriah Hall
Defending Leben: Jason Kelly

UFC president Dana White publicly called out Hall for not having a killer instinct and not being a real fighter.  So in Hall’s do-or-die bout, what does the UFC do?  They match him up with Chris Leben, a gentleman who is nothing but a fighter.

Leben is one of the few modern fighter that still employees a grittiness similar to the tough pioneers of the sport.  “The Crippler’s” durability and powerful punches, partnered with Hall’s alleged lack of warrior spirit, will be the deciding factor in this bout.

While Hall has exhibited a happy-go-lucky attitude in his UFC fights, Leben has displayed a violent, angry approach in his bouts.  Leben will be looking for Hall’s head from the moment the match begins, and seeing as Hall likes to keep fights standing, the chances of “The Crippler” improve greatly.

At some point throughout the fight, Hall will attempt to set up one of his video-game kicks and Leben will answer with a thunderous punch to end the “TUF 17″ finalist’s evening.


Gleison Tibau  vs. Michael Johnson

Defending Tibau: Jason Kelly

You could say Tibau will make this match a drag.

As athletic as Johnson is, and as incredible as his wrestling is, Tibau’s ability latch on to his opponents and drag them to the canvas is exceptionally better.  Johnson may avoid the first few takedowns, but Tibau’s relentlessness will earn him a takedown at some point and trigger Johnson’s frustration.

Johnson has been emotional in past fights that weren’t going his way.  To be under a combatant like Tibau that excels at controlling an opponent, Johnson’s potential loss of focus will lead to long night on the defense.  Tibau will undoubtedly attempt submissions if the opportunities present themselves, but I think Johnson’s submission defense will hold up and the bout will make it to the judges’ scorecards with the Brazilian dragging out  split-decision victory.


Manny Gamburyan vs. Denis Siver

Defending Gamburyan: Joe Rizzo

If you think there is any way that Manny Gamburyan is going to lose on a card on which his training partner Rousey is co-headlining, well then we’re just going to have to disagree.

Gamburyan is a significant underdog (plus-210) and I think the reason is because of Diego Nunes, who beat Gamburyan but lost to Siver.  However, the last time we saw Siver, he was getting knocked out in the middle of the third round in July against Cub Swanson.

Siver seems to thrive when he has the strength advantage, but it says here Gamburyan is going to keep him off balance and scramble to a decision victory.


John Howard vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Defending Howard: Jason Kelly

Sometimes for fighters there are factors outside of the fight that couple with skill to play a key role in winning.

Howard was released from the UFC in June 2011, following a three-fight losing streak.  “Doomsday” immediately made the move from welterweight up to middleweight and has compiled a 7-1 record since, including a defeat of Hall in Howard’s return to the Octagon.

Howard’s confidence and momentum is in a special place as he heads into his UFC 168 match against Bahadurzada.  Howard’s proven toughness and striking capabilities in addition to his recent adjustments outside the cage should provide him with the victory.  Given he’ll take some punishment from the superior striker, Bahadurzada, everything else is aligning for Howard to be successful against the Afghan.


William Macario vs. Bobby Voelker

Defending Macario: Nick Hammar

Macario is hungry welterweight with ambition and youth on his side.  Some may point out that Voelker has a wealth of experience over the 22-year-old Macario, but the American has taken up his new found position as gate keeper for younger fighters to step on, after losses against the likes of Patrick Cote and Robbie Lawler.

Voelker fully expects the Brazilian fighter to gas out mid-fight, allowing him to creep up and secure the win. This may have been the case against Macario during his last bout against Leonardo Santos, but I suspect it won’t be the case this time. We will see a more fully rounded Macario with better cardio.

Macario will pace himself better to pull off a second-round win via TKO.


Estevan Payan vs. Robbie Peralta

Defending Payan: Nick Hammar

The first fight of the night on the preliminary card should not disappoint.  Both fighters are primarily strikers with a lot of energy behind them. Payan should be able to keep Peralta at bay with his slightly better stand-up ability. I suspect Peralta’s smaller stature will make him easier to drag to the ground and give Payan a second advantage.

Peralta tested positive for marijuana after his last bout, which he lost against Akira Corassani in Sweden.  If you can’t keep off the pipe you can’t win fights.

This battle may stretch out to a full three rounds, with Payan edging out the decision.

Video: Fight Flashback: A behind-the-scenes look at Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman at UFC 162

An in depth look at the UFC 162 main event, which featured Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman, that shows never before seen footage of the occurrences that took place surrounding the bout.  Silva and Weidman meet again at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.

Marina Shafir: ‘I’m going to be proving a lot of people wrong’

MMA rising featherweight Marina Shafir (Photo courtesy of www.jewishjournal.com)

A lifetime of competing has aligned Marina Shafir with exceptional training opportunities, and has readied her for a career in shutting down the naysayers.

Born in the small eastern European country Moldova, Shafir (Twitter: @MarinaShafir) moved with her family to Latham, N.Y., when she was 5 years old.  Her father, a professional power lifter and Army Special Forces member at the time, let Shafir have her first experience in judo at the age of 6, which set her off on a successful quest in the discipline.
Shafir was competing in judo at 13 years old.  After conquering the junior circuit by age 17, she started showcasing her skills on an international stage.  As Shafir advanced in judo, her seamstress mother and mechanic father watched as travel expenses mounted.  Along with an itinerary that included travel throughout the U.S. twice a month and outside the country about four times a year, Shafir was dealing with rehabbing a lower-back injury.

The odds stacked against her, Shafir made a decision that seems unthinkable in retrospect when considering where she is today.

“On top of me being almost crippled and my family struggling to keep my dream alive, I just quit,” Shafir told Jason Kelly and Joe Rizzo on MMA DieHards Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “I bartended for about three-and-half years, and I worked at Starbucks and I taught the little kids at the local jiu-jitsu club I started going to just to stay active.

“I did all these boot camps.  I went to the gym, I did five (kilometer runs), but it just got so boring for me.  I just wasn’t one of those gym rats.  I tried to be, but I wasn’t.  I started rolling more, and one thing led to another, then I got my first amateur fight and I realized I belong in that cage.

“Now we’re here.”

Where “we” are is close to Shafir making the switch from amateur mixed martial artist to professional.

Shafir’s amateur MMA record stands at 3-0, with all victories coming via armbar submissions.  She views the transfer from amateur to pro as an elevation in professionalism – fighting as well as entertainment.

Her close association with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey gives onlookers the inclination that Shafir is ready to graduate to the next phase of MMA competition, but she has a different agenda.

“I think everyone that I train with is really shocked I’m still an amateur fighter,” Shafir said.  “I understand why.  I mean, after all, my best friend is a world champ.  They’re like, ‘Why don’t you just go pro?’  I could if I wanted to, but I want to go through the ropes, and when I feel like I’ve gone through the ropes of the amateur circuit, then let’s sway into professional.  It really boils down to me to make that call.”

Being chums with Rousey is beneficial in and out of the cage.  A golden nugget of advice Shafir said Rousey provided her with is to always remain true to who she is.  And as far as training perks, Shafir has had the privilege of working with some of the sport’s best athletes, and even got to experience “The Ultimate Fighter 18” alongside Rousey.

While Shafir looks up to Rousey more than anyone in MMA, there is one former UFC champion that she places second to none inside the cage.  If things go as planned, Shafir may be training with this combatant soon and need a roll of toilet paper.

“I going to be training at Anderson Silva’s Muay Thai College,” Shafir said.  “I think I might (expletive) my pants.  I might do, like, a shart, like a (expletive)-fart.

“Anderson Silva is my absolute favorite fighter, I don’t care what anybody says about him, I don’t care what anybody thinks about his style, because he is the (expletive) man.  All you mother(expletive) are drinking ‘Haterade,’ and wait until the rematch (against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168).  You see who your true fans are when you lose, and I’m a true (expletive) fan.  He could lose five times in a row and I’d still be there and he’d still be the best fighter in the world.”

Silva’s school would prove essential if Shafir was to meet the fighter many MMA analysts have concluded would be her best friend Rousey’s toughest test.

Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, The Invicta and former Strikeforce female featherweight champion, is considered to have the striking ability to stifle Rousey’s outstanding grappling talents.  Due to each combatant competing in different weight classes, the bout has a small chance of ever materializing.

Shafir, however, intends on having a career in the 145-pound division, and says she is ready to face “Cyborg” now, despite the difference in experience.  Whether she could or couldn’t defeat “Cyborg” is debatable, but her eagerness to succeed in MMA cannot be denied.

“I’m very excited for the future of my career, and I’m just really excited to get into it,” Shafir said.  “I’m going to be proving a lot of people wrong.”

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

UFC lightweight No. 1 contender Anthony Pettis

“I want be the guy that goes out there and gives the fans a show. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. You’ve got so many fight fans and so many fighters, but I like to be that guy that fight fans want to watch because they don’t know what’s going to happen. I strive to be that different fighter and set myself apart from the group.”
- UFC lightweight No. 1  contender Anthony Pettis stated to MMA Fight Corner that he intentionally tried to put on a show other fighters can’t in the cage.

“The opponent does not come into the equation. This is my spot. The Irish are coming home era. Coming to Boston. The Irishmen are coming home to their native land, Boston, United States. The opponent does not come into the equation. I am the main event. If you stick me in the main event, I’m going to steal the show every time.”
- Connor McGregor spoke highly of himself via The MMA Hour.

“Bisping has already been talking, I know. I was at my camp doing 10 days of an intensive wrestling camp with a bunch of wrestlers, over 300 of them. My phone was just blowing up. People were texting me and tweeting me all this stuff about Bisping talking a lot of smack about me. But that stuff doesn’t bother me. I show my talk inside the Octagon. He was saying he was going to beat me into depression and if I was depressed, I’d go into more depression. The fact of the matter is, he has pillows for fists. He hasn’t knocked anybody out and he says he’s gonna knock me out? He hasn’t knocked anybody out. It’s going to be like a pillow fight when I fight him. He’s going to have pillows and I’m going to have hammers.”
- Mark Munoz let MMAMania.com know that trash talk from his upcoming opponent, Michael Bisping, will not change what’s to come on fight night.

“Yes absolutely (this is a fresh start). I believe that both Browne and myself are top ranked fighters and the winner of this fight will be one step closer in getting a title shot, so in that sense I know this fight can put me right on track as I still have one goal in life and that’s becoming the UFC heavyweight champion.

“I know there are more fighters going after that number one spot but with the nature of the sport anything can happen. So my main focus is my next fight and afterwards we will see who or when I will be fighting next.”
- Alistair Overeem told Bleacher Report that his goal is still a UFC strap.

“It’s very important I don’t overstep my boundaries with those eight weeks. I’m only looking eight weeks ahead. I’m not looking seven months ahead. I have to be real with myself. I have to be real with everybody. I can’t come back too soon. I’ve already had double-ACL surgery. This isn’t a game. This is a serious business. This is my livelihood and my life.”
- Dominick Cruz was a guest on Inside MMA, and detailed his recovery and timeline on Octagon return.

“The TRT, the shot just gets you level in the system. So, the bottom line my level is always lower than a regular guy. I never go [over] the limit, the level. So, what I’m trying to do, I’m just trying to be fair in my career against my opponent. The TRT is just something my body cannot produce. I’m doing the treatment with doctors, with bloodwork, so everything’s pretty black and white. But, all of guys are out there doing a lot of stuff but they don’t get caught because they don’t have blood.”
- Vitor Belfort discussed his TRT usage with Sherdog.

“I will make this easy on Vitor. If he is going to continue to make conditions on who he will fight, I will face Vitor at a catchweight or at light heavyweight.”
- Regardless of terms, Gegard Mousasi told MMAJunkie.com that he is willing to square off against Belfort.

“I don’t see the problem with using TRT, everybody uses [steroids], from the champion to the newcomer. I believe we [from Nova Uniao] are the only ones that don’t do that, because Andre (Pederneiras) was always against steroids. I think it’s wrong to criticize someone who came forward and said they take TRT.

“Americans always used that, Randy Couture fought until he was 50, and you say he was clean? If the doctors prescribe you and you’re on the limits, OK, I see no problem. If I need that one day, I will use TRT too.”
- UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo spoke candidly about TRT and steroids via Tatame.

“It was predicted I’d win Golden Gloves when I came home, it was predicted by people that knew of me.  I was ahead of the game, boxing came easy to me, so it was like I was playing.  People used to compare me to Pernell Whitaker, actually, people used to call me “Sweat P” in jail.  They used to call me “Sweat P” and “Sugar Ray” (after Ray Leonard).  Like, some of the stuff (Anderson) Silva does, like stick his head out and that, I definitely did all of that.  I was pretty good, and boxing is actually my biggest regret, that I didn’t follow that dream when I came home.”
- Legendary MC Cormega spoke to MMA DieHards about his extremely unique boxing past.

“The thing is, I think he gets a little bored in there because he’s talented, and he seems like he’s more talented than a lot of the guys. He is one of the best I’ve ever worked with. He understands timing and distance really well. I think he could’ve avoided taking those shots, but again, I’m not sure what his thought process was. I think he was just a little bit lazy and playing around too much.”
- Boxing trainer Freddie Roach joined The MMA Hour, and gave his thoughts on Anderson Silva’s at UFC 162.

“For the simple fact that they’re spending their union members’ dues to try to hurt the UFC, which has nothing to do with the union members or whatever it might be. It’s so transparent and just so ridiculous. For instance, what they do is they use different organizations on serious issues. Whether it’s women or gay rights or whatever it may be, they use these different organizations to try to get what they want, and what they want in Station Casinos.

“If they get Station Casinos it’s another $10 million a year to the union. So they’ll use any dirty tactic, and spend as much money as it takes, to try and get Station Casinos.”
- Dana White talked about Zuffa’s archenemy, the culinary union, to Bleacher Report.

“When I watch these guys talk about the UFC and how their boss doesn’t put stress on them, a lot of it to me is just a lot of bulls—. I know Dana White can be abrasive and aggressive and all that type of stuff, but it doesn’t mean you’re not able to work with the guy.”
- Agent to the who’s who of UFC stars, Malki Kawa, talked to MMAJunkie.com about the UFC vs. Bellator beef.

Video: Anderson Silva gets advice from Roy Jones Jr., Usher post UFC 162

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

 

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva receives advice from boxing great Roy Jones Jr., as well as Usher in this video.  There is also footage of “The Spider” with his team and family following his loss at UFC 162 against Chris Weidman.

Cormega: ‘People used to compare me to Pernell Whitaker’

Legendary MC, former boxer Cormega (Photo courtesy of slamonline.com)

Sacrifice comes with the dedication it takes to become a legendary MC, but forgoing boxing and not knowing what he could’ve accomplished in the ring weighs heavy on Cormega’s mind.

Cormega (Twitter: @realcormega) is awaiting the autumn release of his next album, a collaboration with Large Professor entitled “Mega Philosophy.”  Cormega has released seven retail albums, including the hip hop gem, “The Testament,” flooded mixtapes, been featured in an abundance of other artists’ songs and rocked mics across the globe for nearly two decades.  His finely crafted music is evidence that Cormega is passionate about real hip hop, however, the Queensbridge MC is equally enthusiastic a combat sport.

Cormega, though, not an avid MMA fan, is well-versed in boxing.  Cormega’s experience with the sweet science is unique, as he competed as a welterweight behind the walls of Rikers Island penitentiary.  If the lyricist chose four-punch combos over 16-bar verses upon release from prison, the world may have witnessed the New York native perform on a different stage.

“I definitely had medals in boxing,” Cormega told Jason Kelly and Step Easy on MMA Cypher Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “I was a USA amateur registered boxer, I used to actually box.  I won a few gold medals in amateur boxing.  I worked with Donald Hayes, I sparred with David Telesco before.

“It was predicted I’d win Golden Gloves when I came home, it was predicted by people that knew of me.  I was ahead of the game, boxing came easy to me, so it was like I was playing.  People used to compare me to Pernell Whitaker, actually, people used to call me “Sweat P” in jail.  They used to call me “Sweat P” and “Sugar Ray” (after Ray Leonard).  Like, some of the stuff (Anderson) Silva does, like stick his head out and that, I definitely did all of that.  I was pretty good, and boxing is actually my biggest regret, that I didn’t follow that dream when I came home.”

Being fortunate enough to have such athletic potential in the sport makes one wonder why Cormega did not see his boxing dreams through.

Options are something that are weighed when a person has choices.  Cormega’s choices, whether it be the street, the ring or the mic, all appeared to be fruitful.  When the outcome of one involves death or jail, and the other could possibly result in facial fractures and concussions, Cormega selected a route that was running familiar amongst his peers.

“I came home to a (expletive) record deal,” Cormega said.  “I came home to “The Firm.”  Plus one of the main things you can’t do is have interactions with a female, and you can’t just tell someone who just came home from jail that.  I’m ready to train, but I’m ready to do other things too.  Meanwhile, my friends are some of the most popular rappers in the world.  When I came home, (Mobb Deep’s classic) “Shook Ones” was the new record.  (Nas’) “Illmatic” was a year old, “It Was Written” was being recorded, everything was taking off so quickly it was like, ‘Damn.’  So I definitely didn’t feel like going back to the ring.”

Sure, Cormega has had a successful career and will be remembered as one of the illest MCs to ever rock a mic, but he still has the “what if” questions.  Being a naturally talented human being at anything is a gift, so to walk away from something you were blessed with and not explore its full potential usually leads to wondering.  Cormega is comfortable with his decision to hit the recording booth, but the thoughts of what he could have been still haunt him.

“If you have something that you love, and something else comes forth, don’t stop what you love, you can do both” Cormega said.  “I regret not doing both.  I was watching something recently and my back started sweating just from watching the fight, I get anxiety.  There’s other times I’m watching a fight and I’m like, ‘I would kill this dude.’  I look at someone’s technique and punch power and movement, and I’m like, this dude is wack.”

Having previous experience and keeping in tune with the fight game allow Cormega to intelligently dissect current and potential matches.  He may not have the MMA prowess of a Bas Rutten, but he has seen enough to know he is a fan of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Cormega said he is impressed with every part of “The Spider’s” game, from the knockouts to the submissions.  When talks of Silva vs. Roy Jones Jr., who Cormega is also a fan of, in a boxing match came up, the creator of “Born and Raised” provided his thoughts on the bout.

“Roy is a different fighter, last few fights he’s had he’s been a different fighter, so, I don’t know,” Cormega said.  “And Silva?  Silva, I don’t know how good Silva is at boxing, I know he’s a jack of all trades in fighting, he has many different styles, but that would be interesting.”

As much as Cormega would expect a competitive match between Silva and Jones in the squared circle, he views a boxer’s chances of succeeding in MMA much slimmer.

“A lot of boxers are arrogant and they didn’t give the mixed martial arts fighters their proper dues, they didn’t give them that respect,” Cormega said.  “They looked at it like, ‘Man, I’m a boxer, I’m a professional, my hands are registered, I knock people out, blah, blah, blah.’  So they’re looking at (mixed martial artists) as they’re not really polished fighters, but they need to understand there’s different techniques that boxers don’t have.  In order for a boxer to be successful (in MMA), you have to erase his whole memory of what he knows and become novice at a new sport.  Master the takedowns, master the submissions, master that craft because there’s different angles to winning.  You might be a better boxer than this guy, and this guy knows you’re a better boxer, so he’s going to use other ways to beat you.  You have to know how to use your feet, hands, everything.  Your defense has to be flawless.  Your defense has to be to the point where I’m down on my back, but now I’m going to use my feet to attack this dude and choke the (expletive) out of him.  The same way you study greatness in boxing, you study greatness in (MMA).  I think that a boxer that does that and does things the right way would be a dangerous mother f’er.”

To Cormega, like most fans of the sport, boxing has lost its luster due to the politics.   He finds most weight classes require more depth, and has come to terms that Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is not likely ever going to happen.  He still watches the bouts he can, but notices a lack of star quality athletes.  However, the sport will always have a place in his heart.

“Boxing to me is like that good girlfriend you let get away,” Cormega said.  “You’re just like, ‘Damn.’  I regret that I didn’t continue boxing, I regret it.”

*Editor’s note: Radio interview contains detailed stories of some of Cormega’s matches,including knocking an opponent out of the ring, plus a lot of hip hop talk.

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

UFC president Dana White

“Nobody wants to watch them on free TV. They’re pulling terrible ratings. If they want to get into the pay-per-view business, get ready to lose some money boys. Real money.”
- UFC president Dana White warned Bellator that the pay-per-view business is not friendly via mmafighting.com.

“Honestly, I feel like I’ve been re-born. My excitement, energy and aggression, it’s all back and bigger than ever. I feel like a kid again. The Rampage you’ll see Nov. 2 will be better than any Rampage you’ve ever seen.  Everybody knows Tito and I have a very long history. He’s a former teammate and friend, and it’s one of the reasons I stayed away from the UFC as long as I did.  But, I want to be very clear; any sort of friendship we once had doesn’t exist when that cage door shuts. I’ve got a ton to prove on November 2nd, and unfortunately for Tito he’s the guy I have to make an example of. He’s in my house now and Saturday, Nov. 2nd on PPV, it’s going to be a horrible night for Tito Ortiz.”
- Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson gave his thoughts on headlining the first-ever Bellator pay-per-view via Bellator press release.

“I’m back. Over the last few years, my passion for MMA was completely killed, dealing with UFC politics and with Dana. I didn’t have that drive to compete, my heart wasn’t in it. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m free. Bjorn and Bellator put together an opportunity that made me part of the promotion, part of the family.  I feel like I can breathe again and my old friend is going to be on the receiving end of all that happiness turned into an old school Tito Ortiz ground and pound beating. I’ve fought and beaten the very best in MMA history and on Nov. 2nd, Rampage will be the next huge win on my record. This is a new era for the People’s Champion.”
- UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, now a Bellator competitor, chastised his former employer and spoke on his bout against “Rampage” via Bellator press release.

“It’s only the MMA diehards that want to see that fight. I have so many things going on. If she really wants to make that fight happen, I’m here.”
- Ronda Rousey talked to ESPN about the people that want to see her fight “Cyborg” Santos.

“He went out and bulled B.J. because he knew he could. He didn’t try to bully Ellenberger. Don’t come in and say my fight was great and technical and I belong in the top-10 and all this s—, and don’t go in there and try to perform. I don’t think he performed. I don’t think he did anything. He threw a few jabs and some front kicks.”
- At the UFC on Fox 8 post-fight press conference, White spoke on the lackluster bout between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger.

“I hate answering questions about him. He’s just not relevant to me. There’s so many great fighters in the light-heavyweight division. He’s not even top five in his division. I’m not sure if he is.”
- Jon Jones admitted at the UFC World Tour that Daniel Cormier is not on his radar.

“Vitor drives me crazy man. Lorenzo can deal with Vitor, not me.”
- White spoke to OGlobo about the difficulties of matching Vitor Belfort with a suitable opponent.

“I’ve never made Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre money, anyway. The thing I’ll miss the most is being a part of the greatest sport, the fastest-growing sport in the world. It’s so awesome to go out there and know I’m a part of the big show. The UFC really is the Super Bowl of mixed martial arts. It’s the biggest and best. It will be sad to not be a part of that anymore.”
- Aaron Riley talked to mmajunkie.com about his recent retirement

“I was sitting on the toilet and I heard screaming, ‘GSP! GSP are you there?! I was saying to myself, ‘Are you serious? Is he really calling me while I’m on the toilet right now?’ And I didn’t say a word. So I’m waiting and I’m like, ‘Shoot, I can’t believe he’s doing this to me.’ I’m a shy guy. I don’t like to be on the spot. So I wait. When I finished, I flushed and I even waited the next five minutes to make sure everybody that was in the [bathroom] when the guy called me … was gone, so it was different people because I don’t want to be put on the spot.”
- Georges St-Pierre, at the UFC World Tour, detailed a peculiar fan interaction.

“I don’t mind my goals being told aloud because then it makes me train that much harder.  My goal is to fight at 185 (pounds) and hopefully win a belt there.  That’s my real goal because, like I said, I walk around at 220.”
- Johny Hendricks admitted to MMA DieHards that he intends on vacating the welterweight division.

”When I used to box, I was like Anderson Silva.  They compared me to Pernell Whitaker.”
- Hip hop icon and former boxer Cormega talked to MMA Cypher about his unique boxing history.

“I’ve always been physically ready.  Every fight, I’ve always been in shape.  I’ve always been there.  Just for me it’s a mental thing because I can be a head case and that really has been what’s gotten me down in the past, but I took personal steps in my personal life, new relationships, new whatever it may be to just change for the better. I really am just happier and in a much better place than I can really ever remember, which is nice.”
- Ian McCall admitted to MMA Weekly that his life changes will be the key to his UFC success.

“I lost my focus and made a technical mistake. It was one of the things that I left – the philosophy of the martial art –and it cost me the belt. I always fought with this felling of keeping the martial art philosophy and keeping the control of the situation – trying to be as calm as possible for me to keep the balance of the octagon, which is very hard to do.”
- Anderson Silva explained to Mundo da Luta how he feels after his first UFC loss.

“Dana White has killed the sport that you and i love. The refusal to build stars. The reward for standing and wanging. THE UNIFIED RULES, have all killed the sport of mixed martial arts. I come to you humbly, as a student and teacher of the mixed martial arts. A man that has never tapped out, or been knocked out in mixed martial arts competition and ask that you do not support a corporate monarchy that favors a mark in the Win column, over showcasing the ART of MMA.”
- Jason “Mayhem” Miller took to The UG to address the UFC president.

 

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