Posts Tagged ‘UFC 145’

UFC on Fox 5: Rory MacDonald’s combat’s in another class

UFC welterweight Rory "Ares" MacDonald celebrates after a hard-fought battle in the Octagon. (Photo courtesy of

Rory MacDonald wants recognition as the UFC welterweight division’s god of war.

First entering the Octagon in 2010, MacDonald (Twitter: @Rory_Macdonald) made a strong opening statement by submitting Mike Guymon at UFC Fight Night 20 with an armbar that January. He’d next drop a close call to Carlos Condit in June 2010, losing via last-minute TKO at UFC 115.

It’s a defeat that transformed MacDonald, disappointment driving his skills toward new heights. Originally nicknamed “The Waterboy,” he decided he needed a new moniker reflecting fearsome violence. After much soul-searching, MacDonald picked “Ares,” reimagining himself after the ancient Greek deity of combat.

“When I used to be called ‘The Waterboy,’ it just kind of hung on,” MacDonald told MMADiehards’ Punch Drunk Radio on Oct. 30. “I got annoyed by it and just changed it. ‘Ares’ is one of two sides of me. I’m only in that mindset when I’m in the cage.”

“Ares” quickly amassed a 13-1 record, mowing through a murderers’ row of tough competition. He started by dominating Nate Diaz, suplexing him three times in a unanimous decision rout. Next, he destroyed Mike Pyle in a first round knockout. In his most recent massacre, MacDonald battered Che Mills into unconsciousness at UFC 145 last April.

Such an epic run hasn’t satisfied MacDonald’s bloodlust. He’ll next battle 16-8-2 B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn in Seattle, Wash. at UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8. Should “Ares” prevail, he’ll cement his status as one of the world’s top welterweights.

So far, no love’s lost between both men. Originally scheduled for UFC 152 last September, their duel was delayed after MacDonald sustained a deep cut while training. Taking issue with the holdup, Penn has questioned MacDonald’s dedication ever since.

“Penn said I was backing out from the fight and that’s just ridiculous,” MacDonald said. “How can you fight with 38 stitches in your head? I would have looked like sh*t. I’m not about to go into the biggest fight of my life with no training for it.”

If MacDonald seems cautious, it’s only because Penn’s a living legend. A titan of MMA, “The Prodigy” has won both the UFC welterweight and lightweight titles. As one of only two champions across weight classes in UFC history, he represents MacDonald’s toughest challenge yet.

“When you see Penn fight you know he’s a real fighter,” MacDonald said. “It’s not about money for him. I think he still wants to go in there and compete and show he’s still got it.”

“Ares” claims Penn won’t display any continued relevance come December. After months of healing, MacDonald said he’s ready for a rise further up the welterweight ranks.

“It’s my life to be at the gym and perfect my art,” he said. “I’m a very hard worker. I like competing and I like fighting. I’m back in the full swing of things now.”

At day’s end, “Ares” added, he thinks he can pulverize Penn fully healed. When the cage door closes next month, he said “The Prodigy” doesn’t have a prayer.

“When it’s your time, it’s your time,” MacDonald mused. “For him, that’s Dec. 8. When there’s a buildup like that, that’s when there’s electricity in the room.”

Mark Hensch is an avid MMA fan who became interested in the sport through wrestling and karate. When not covering the hurt business, he serves as a digital editor for the Washington Times’ in Washington D.C.

UFC 152: Marcus Brimage talks back flips, boozing and brawling

UFC featherweight fighter Marcus "Brim" Brimage (Photo courtesy of

The first thing Marcus Brimage will do Saturday night should he emerge victorious at UFC 152 is open a bar tab.

Few things interest the 5-1 UFC featherweight as much as a night on the town following a big win. “Brim” (Twitter: @Brim205) said he knows 10-0 Jimy “The Kid” Hettes presents a tough challenge this weekend, but his potential success has him already envisioning wild celebration. That’s just the way Brimage likes life – loud and proud.

“After a fight, it is on and popping,” Brimage confessed to MMADiehards’ Punch Drunk Radio on Tuesday, Aug. 7. “I get white girl wasted. I do things that make people want to punch me in the face. Someone needs to be on Marcus Brimage duty when I celebrate.”

Ironically, Brimage wasn’t in the mood for revelry after his last UFC win. Meeting Venezuela’s 8-4-1 Maximo “The Max Murderer” Blanco in April at UFC 145, Brimage said he’s still displeased with his split decision win.

“I was pissed off after that fight,” Brimage said of his standoff with the ex-Sengoku fighter. “Going in to that all I heard was, ‘Blanco is going to rape Brimage,’ or ‘Blanco is going to run through Brimage like finish line tape.’ He wasn’t aggressive at all. He ran like a little bitch.”

The competition was so close, Brimage continued, that it didn’t end with the final bell. Blanco famously back flips after wins, and busting one out post-fight, Brimage couldn’t let him have the last laugh. The pair traded acrobatics before “Brim” emerged victorious on the judges’ scorecards.

“When it was over, Blanco started back flipping like he won and I was like, ‘no bitch, you haven’t won sh*t,” Blanco said. “I did one too. It escalated from there.”

Brimage said he’s taking Saturday’s bout with Hettes much more seriously. A takedown titan, Hettes was last seen hurling Nam Phan around at UFC 141 in December. Such brutal grappling skills, Brimage said, definitely have his attention.

“He’s got pretty sh*tty shots but his judo is something serious,” Brimage said of Hettes’ style. “In his last fight against Phan he just kept sweeping him and taking him to the ground. I’m not going to front. It was beautiful.”

“Brim” said he’ll conquer Hettes Saturday night with superior striking. He thus plans on knocking “The Kid” unconscious well before any takedowns or submissions spoil his night.

“I’m going to have my hands full staying on my feet,” Brimage said. “I’m trying to knock him out and he’s trying to submit me. I’m hoping to score the Knockout of the Night bonus and up my surroundings. Right now I’m deep in the hood.”

“Brim” said heading into his third UFC fight he feels like his star’s on the rise. The ex-”Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller” contestant said he’s found his groove at featherweight.

“I think I’m going to stay at 145 lbs. for awhile,” Brimage said of his current weight class. “I think it’s a perfect fit for me, just like a glove.”

Brimage said that should featherweight conquests start piling high, he’ll know what he’s ordering from the bartender.

“I don’t like beer,” “Brim” confessed. “I like Smirnoff Ices and Mike’s Hard Lemonades. I drink gay girl drinks. I’m a total fight starter.”

Mark Hensch is an avid MMA fan who became interested in the sport through wrestling and karate. When not covering the hurt business, he serves as a digital editor for the Washington Times’ in Washington D.C.

Miguel Torres signs with World Series of Fighting, off November Titan FC Card

Stephen Thompson vs. Besam Yousef added to Montreal’s UFC 154 in November

Throwdown Lowdown: Matt Riddle vs. Chris Clements at UFC 149

UFC welterweight Matt Riddle poses at the UFC 149 weigh-ins. (Photo courtesy of

Welcome to the debut edition of MMADiehards’ “Throwdown Lowdown.” Each week, one of our writers breaks down the mechanics of a pro MMA match and shows fight fans what it all means. Today’s column examines a war between welterweights Matt Riddle and Chris Clements at UFC 149.

Who: Matt “Deep Waters” Riddle vs. Chris “The Menace” Clements

What: UFC welterweight bout

Where: UFC 149 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta Canada

When: Last Saturday (Saturday, July 21)

Why: Clements entered the Octagon with two goals. First, “The Menace” wanted to make clear he belonged in the UFC following a lackluster split decision debut against Keith “The Polish Connection” Wisniewski at UFC 145 in Atlanta last April. Second, he wanted to court approval from his fellow Canucks. A Chatham, Ontario, Canada native, Clements wanted to improve his 11-4 record with a stunning win in front of an adoring hometown audience.

Riddle, for his part, entered the cage with a 6-3 record and a recurring problem with injuries. “The Ultimate Fighter” standout hoped to show the same potential he displayed on the show’s seventh season and earn a convincing win. Having won one of his last three, “Deep Waters” wanted to stay in the mix by starting a string of victories.

The good: Riddle rocked in this fight. Utilizing fluid level changing, he rushed Clements upstairs and downstairs with all the restraint of a tsunami. Relentlessly seeking takedowns, Riddle added twists, pivots and trips when more mundane varieties failed. It’s a strategy that worked, and “Deep Waters” planted Clements on the canvas at least five times.

Clements, meanwhile, did his best displaying superior striking. “The Menace” mixed unorthodox spinning strikes with crisp combos in an attempt at disorienting Riddle. Though it didn’t work, Clements also showed his ability improvising. Surprised by Riddle’s grappling game, he brought out a heavy sprawl and started stuffing more takedowns as the rounds wore on.

The bad: Clements clearly gave the lesser performance last Saturday night. Taken down on multiple occasions, he also lacked a ground game capable of scaring seasoned grapplers. Riddle roped Clements in with his wiry frame, controlling him completely and containing his escape attempts. When the two were on their feet, “The Menace” tried too hard on unusual strikes and left himself open to counterattack. Overall, it was a strategy that cost Clements victory.

That isn’t to say Riddle revealed a perfect performance. Dominating in most areas, Riddle’s striking still came up short. Though he used his reach to keep Clements at bay, the punches he threw were often timid and sloppy. “Deep Waters” made up for it with an airtight clinch and sharp knees, but at day’s end he’ll need more work before becoming a peak pugilist.

The ugly: Neither fighter made grave errors worth mentioning in their bout. Instead, that dishonor belongs to referee Josh Rosenthal. Riddle caught Clements with a booming body kick in round one, leaving “The Menace” winded. Rather than let the action continue, Rosenthal stopped it fearing an illegal groin strike. The poor call gave Clements a breather, and more importantly, may have helped him survive two more rounds.

The end result: Clements whipped out a desperate whirling backfist in round three. Riddle was ready for it, having watched him telegraph spinning strikes with his hip movement for the entire fight. Ducking low, Riddle caught Clements in an arm-triangle choke and threw a huge single-leg trip to bring him down. Once there, he hardened his grip on the hold and forced Clements to tap at 2:02 of round three.

What it all means: Clements left Calgary with an 11-5 record and an even tougher cross to bear. A recent UFC entrant, he’s won one of two and not convincingly at that. For his next fight, he’ll have to prove he’s major league material in dominating fashion.

In contrast, Riddle’s night couldn’t have gone much better. Now 7-3, his triumph last Saturday stabilized his record with a two-fight streak and counting. More importantly, the welterweight won in such convincing fashion he could call out other opponents with impunity. Riddle revealed he’d like to dance with “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy, and with his stock up, it’s possible he’ll get his wish in the near future.

Mark Hensch is an avid MMA fan who became interested in the sport through wrestling and karate. When not covering the hurt business, he serves as a digital editor for the Washington Times’ in Washington D.C.

Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Winner James Wilks Retires

UFC on FOX 4 Draws Travis Browne vs. Ben Rothwell

UFC 145 fighter salaries

MMA Beatdown radio: Bellator Middleweight Tournament Finalist Andreas Spang


People! It feels so good to be back! Did you miss us? Sorry ’bout last week and everything. Consider it like a mandatory 14-day medical suspension from an athletic commission – there was nothing we could do about it. We had to take the time off. But it’s Tuesday, it’s 8:30, it’s time to party. No Wayne and Garth, but Mike, Hector, and Amy’ll have to do.

The B-to-the-D is back for another arse-kickin’ show. Mike, Hector, and Amy are joined this week by a relative newcomer who burst onto the mainstream scene just last week in Andreas Spang is gracing us with his presence for another stellar show.

Spang on Friday came into his Bellator Season 6 middleweight tournament semifinal fight against Brian Rogers as a big underdog – Rogers was a 5-to-1 favorite in the fight. And what’s crazier is that Spang, from Sweden, took the fight on less than a week’s notice. In his Bellator debut, with a shot at the middleweight finals on the line, Spang, like the honey badger, didn’t give a spit. He stopped Rogers with a second-round knockout. He’ll talk to us about the short-notice upset and his ambitions for the finals against UFC vet Maiquel Falcao.

Tonight’s show streams live at at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, 5:30 Pacific. And if you can’t make it here live, the show is available on demand RIGHT HERE after the completion of the broadcast or as a download at iTunes.

Michael McDonald UFC 145 post-fight media scrum

UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald. (Photo courtesy of Sherdog)

Michael McDonald UFC 145 post-fight media scrum after defeating Miguel Torres.

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