Posts Tagged ‘Mike Rio’

Tony Ferguson vs. Mike Rio scheduled for UFC 166

UFC on FX 8 preliminary card recap

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.

Punch Drunk Radio: Mike Rio, Zach Makovsky

Punch Drunk Radio


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Tonight’s episode of Punch Drunk Radio has hosts Amy Barton (Twitter: @amesbelle) and Alex Donno (Twitter: @AlexDonno) coming at you with a pair of guests in Mike Rio and Zach Makovsky.

Rio (Twitter: @MikeRioMMA) is a UFC lightweight on a three-fight win streak, who is about to make his second appearance in the Octagon.  Rio, a product of “The Ultimate Fighter 15,” is set to face Francisco Trinaldo on May 18 at UFC on FX 8 at the Arena Jaraguá in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil.

Makovsky (Twitter: @ZachFunSize) is the former Bellator bantamweight champion.  He recently left the promotion and made the drop down to featherweight.  Makovsky will make his 125-pound debut against Claudio Ledesma at CFFC 24 on May 11 at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.

Tune in to Punch Drunk Radio every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET for exclusive fighter interviews, special guests, breaking news, contests, event recaps and much more – only on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. If you can’t be here live, catch the archive on demand right HERE following the broadcast – or on iTunes!

TUF 15: Mike Rio anxious to be nitpicked by Cruz or Faber

The Ultimate Fighter 15 hopeful Mike Rio

Competing on The Ultimate Fighter is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but Mike Rio is anxious for another first time experience.

Rio has received the chance to grasp a six-figure UFC contract is season 15 of TUF, after compiling an 8-1 record outside of the big show.  “The Wolverine’s” only loss came against Efrain Escudero at CFA 2 in July 2011, since then Rio has won back-to-back fights.  He trains at Zen Jiu-Jitsu with coach Enrico Coco, trains kickboxing at Young Tigers under the direction of coach Manuel Lopez and does his conditioning at The Health Joint with Ulises Garcia.

With a stable training regimen and team and success in the smaller shows, Rio’s career appeared to be on the track to the UFC.  He could’ve continued to climb the ranks and eventually make it to the big stage, but when this opportunity presented itself, Rio chimed in on his inner Diego Sanchez.

“Sometimes you got to find a hole and run through it,” Rio explained to  “Whatever is put in front of you, you just got to go after it sometimes.  You have to treat it like the movie Yes Man, and just say, ‘Yes, I’m just going to go after it.  Whatever it is, I’m just going to go after it.’”

Rio will need that positive attitude to get through this season’s cast.

The Florida native is familiar with some of the competitors on the show, yet some he has no clue of their fight history or skills.  Rather than enter the house with somewhat of a scouting game plan, trying to map out the easiest way to the finale, Rio will treat everyone as equals.  He has his own strategy that he hopes will help crown him the winner of TUF 15.

“Everybody on the show is a threat or a danger to me,” Rio admitted.  “That’s the way I’m going to look at it.  I don’t want to underestimate anybody.  I don’t want to go on there and think, ‘This guy is tough and this guy is weak, luckily I’m getting the weak guy.’  That’s not the attitude to have for me.  I don’t want to take anybody lightly; I’m going to take everybody serious.  Right now, everybody is the No. 1 contender to me and I’m going in there balls to wall.

“I’m going to take it day-by-day, one at a time and hopefully I can rough through the competition.”

Rio will rely on his physical skills to win fights, but it’s a mental toughness that defeats the house.

The TUF house is legendary for bickering, fighting, and an obnoxious drunk.  When 16 mixed martial artists are confined to a house, with no contact to the outside world, catastrophe usually ensues.  Besides one thing in particular, Rio said he isn’t sure of exactly what to expect, but he supposes previous experiences will assist in getting through the troubles of the house.

“I’m expecting a lot of lonely time,” Rio said.  “There is going to be us guys hanging out, but we’re going to be secluded from the rest of the world.  We’re going to have these mental hang ups where we’re like, ‘Man, I’m bored.  I miss home, I miss this, I miss that.’  But, I feel like I can deal with it.  I’m 30-years-old, I’ve done wrestling camps, wrestling tournaments, so I feel like I’m a little more prepared for the situation.”

Rio said he is ecstatic about the whole opportunity, but what excited him the most is working with the coaches.

TUF 15 features rival coaches Urijah Faber and UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.  Faber, a former champion himself, has a wealth of experience with 31 fights on his record in a career that has spanned almost a decade.  Cruz has been the champ for two years, defended the belt four times and has only one defeat on his record.  That sole loss came via Faber.

Rio expects training under the tutelage of either combatant will be an experience like he has never endured before.

“I’ve trained under a lot of world-class wrestlers, but according to the world of MMA I have trained with decent, seasoned fighters,” Rio explained.  “It’s more or less good local talent.  This is actually the first time I’m going to be able to touch, and train and hang with the pop MMA fighters of the world.  Whether it’s Cruz or Faber, they’re the top two guys in the world right now at their weight class.  Just being in the same room as them and them nitpicking at me, little by little to make me better is something I cannot wait for.

“I’m telling you, bro.  I cannot wait to train under one of those guys.”

Mike “The Wolverine” Rio won’t be making apologies once he has entered the UFC

Apologies will not change the outcome against Mike “The Wolverine” Rio. Fighting out of Championship Fighting Alliance, Rio (twitter: @MikeRioMMA) has been dominating the lightweight division along the Florida circuit.  Developing a record of 3-1 in 2011, Rio’s only loss came by the hands of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner, Efrain Escudero at “CFA 2”.

In his most recent outing at “CFA 4,” Rio came out victorious in a last minute bout against Massachusetts native, John Ortolani, shortly after completing his tryouts for the fifteenth season of “TUF.” “I was in a situation where I needed to keep fighting and I didn’t want to sit out for too long,” Rio said to White Belt Radio which is heard exclusively on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.

“I know for a fact that the whole situation with the “TUF” takes a little while so I couldn’t sit out too long.  I knew that I would have gotten the quick fight, took the fight, won the fight and came out with nothing hurt.  Now I just wait and hope to either get a call-back or to hear really good news from the UFC.”

The experience of trying to make UFC’s reality show is a long, tough process that requires a level of patience and a certain demeanor.  With the day starting at seven in the morning and concluding over 12-hours later, there was a lot of time for Rio to scope out the competition and prepare for the infamous, “interrogation round.”

“It is a huge honor to sit there with the people that could instantly change my life with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” Rio said. “But it is also a little bit nerve racking.  A lot of people go in there trying too hard and they lose it, so just go in there and be yourself.  I tried to stay calm, cool and collected while impressing them on the ground, impressing them with my hands and trying to sound intelligent and professional because I’m not that guy to start cursing people off.”

Taking a fight after the tryouts proved to be a beneficial gamble for “The Wolverine”, as if he lost, it may have ruined his chances at appearing on “TUF” or even with the UFC altogether.  However, the well-rounded Rio knew that the calculated risk would pay off.

“Ortolani is extremely strong and very athletic,” Rio admitted. “But due to the situation that I was in – picking up a fight directly after the “TUF” tryouts – it was a make or break fight for me.  So I went into this fight very safe and very calm because the last thing that I wanted to do was put a loss on my record that could change my life.  I managed to win the fight in the first round with both of us taking minimal damage.”

Before the fight even took place, there was a battle pursuing within the social media world that got a little out of hand.  When the fight was announced, friends and fans of both sides decided to show their support for their chosen fighter. When words became more serious and personal, Rio took notice, but took the bigger approach and turned a blind eye.

However, Ortolani took notice and attacked the situation head on, providing retribution in a way not typically undertaken by fighters.

“What happened was, when you get friends of fighters that are set to fight,” Rio explained.  “They can tend to take it too far with the favoritism and messages being sent.  One of John’s friends or acquaintances ended up cursing me out publically on Facebook, I saw it, but I don’t slander my opponents so I just let it slide.

“Apparently John Ortolani told his friend to remove the comment and he took it upon himself to email my mother and apologies for what was said.  John Ortolani is a top notch guy to me; he’s a gentleman, 100%.”

In return, Mrs. Rio will be writing an apology letter to the UFC, for what her son is going to do to the lightweight division.

White Belt Radio: CFA 4′s Mike ‘The Wolverine’ Rio

White Belt Radio is back on the MMA DieHards Radio Network, focusing on some of the nation’s best regional and local shows.

Tim O’Connor of the The Combat Sports Agency and co-host Mark Daniels of the Boston Herald, talk to CFA 4′s Mike ‘The Wolverine’ Rio, fresh off his victory against John Ortolani by TKO.