Archive for May, 2009

Breaking down a weekend of MMA

May 26th, 2009
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Very busy week with the WAC Baseball Tournament and Memorial Day, so with Dream 9 now finished, let’s take a look at some of the big fights from the last few days.

UFC 98

Brandon Wolf vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

Tough times for X-1 champion Brandon Wolf, who suffered his second loss in as many as UFC fights and couldn’t make it 3 minutes after being submitted by Yoshida with a guillotine choke. Two quick fights for Wolf who looks like his UFC career may be short lived.

Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans

Lyoto Machida became the new UFC light heavyweight champion with another impressive performance, this time a left hook that knocked Evans out in the second round. Machida has still not lost a round in the UFC and forget the fact that he’s the champion now, where does Lyoto stand on the P4P list? He’s easily in the same class as Fedor, GSP and Anderson Silva now and I would put him at 2 behind Fedor. Anderson hasn’t looked impressive in his last 2 fights and Machida is undefeated while we’ve seen GSP taken out by a much lesser opponent in Matt Serra. GSP can climb above Machida if he’s impressive in his UFC 100 fight with Thiago Alves, but for now, my top 5 is Fedor, Machida, GSP, Anderson, Miguel Torres.

DREAM 9

Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Jacare Souza

Very unfortunate ending as the fight is ruled a no contest after an accidental kick caused a huge gash on the head of Souza, forcing the referee to stop the fight and rule it a no contest. Not much to say about this other than Miller looked extremely bummed after the fight. This was probably the biggest fight of his career and to train and train for a fight and have it end that way no doubt is tough.

The ending didn’t take away from a card that saw a crazy fight between Abel Cullen and Hideo Tokoro, a shocking split-decision loss by Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and a fight between Hong-Man Choi and Jose Canseco.

Yes, that Jose Canseco. MMA was set back about 10 years, although Jose actually showed something for the first 20 seconds, stepping in and throwing a punch before stepping back out and running away. Unfortunately the running away part became a lot more frequent and in one instance, he looked to have hurt his knee. Choi pounced and Canseco tapped from strikes to avoid from getting hurt. For his troubles, Canseco took a lashing from panelists on ESPN’s Around the Horn today.

Oh, and Gegard Mousasi is the real deal. Destroyed Mark Hunt in a fight and is quickly becoming a star in MMA. I wonder how long until the UFC comes calling his way?

Wolff fights tomorrow at UFC 98

May 22nd, 2009
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Local boy Brandon Wolff will try to bounce back from a quick and painful loss to Ben Saunders in his UFC debut with a fight against Yoshiyuki Yoshida in a preliminary bout during tomorrow night’s UFC 98 event, headlined by a main event featuring light heavyweight champion “Sugar” Rashad Evans defending his title against undefeated Brazilian Lyoto Machida.

Yoshida is 1-1 in the UFC, but coming off a knockout loss to Josh Koscheck in December of last year. Wolff was overwhelmed by Saunders in his debut UFC fight, taking a ton of knees in the clinch before going down by TKO in less than 2 minutes.

Yoshida is at the end of a three-fight deal with the company and will be fighting with the extra motivation to try and stay with the UFC. Wolff needs a good performance as well after his quick loss to Saunders, so both men will feel some pressure heading into the fight.

I’m extremely excited for the main event as it makes me very happy that Machida is getting a shot at the title before Rampage Jackson gets his shot at regaining a title he lost last year to Forrest Griffin. Machida can do it all and has been absolutely dominant in his UFC fights. I don’t think he’s ever lost a round as his unorthodox karate style has befuddled everyone he has been in the cage against.

I don’t think Evans will be able to get close enough to tag Machida with the power he has that has crippled the likes of Griffin and Chuck Liddell. Evans is going to have to get tricky with the even trickier Machida, but I don’t see it happening. Give me Machida by TKO in the second round.

The other big fight is a grudge match between former welterweight champions Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. Hughes is getting up there in age, but I think this is a perfect fight for his style. Unless Serra can catch him with a punch ala Serra/GSP I, I don’t see how Serra can attack Hughes. I think Hughes is better in every aspect and dominates a unanimous decision win while putting a beating on Serra.

More on Aina/Evangelista finish

May 16th, 2009
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Photo: Daisy Rosas, StrikeForce

Aina/Evangelista

I finally watched the Mike Aina/Billy Evangelista fight from last night on Showtime. Aina was awarded the victory by disqualification after referee Herb Dean ruled Evangelista hit Aina with an illegal knee to the head of a downed opponent.

While Aina definitely had one knee on the ground, considering him “downed”, the knee never made contact with Aina’s head. Instead it hit Aina in the shoulder/upper arm area and the impact sent Aina’s arm into the side of his face, causing an injury to the other side of his jaw. It was a weird way to suffer a jaw injury, but Evangelista’s knee clearly never made contact with Aina’s head or face area.

Doctor’s ruled Aina couldn’t continue and you have to give Aina credit for saying after the fight he wouldn’t consider it a win. These guys don’t train like they do to have a fight end that way and be happy about it. I would expect a rematch between the two down the line.

Posted in Fights | 9 Comments »

Aina fights on Showtime tomorrow

May 14th, 2009
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Hilo’s Mike Aina weighs in later today for his fight tomorrow night against undefeated Billy Evangelista in the main event of the Showtime Challenger Series event put on by StrikeForce.

Key fight for Aina whose 3-fight contract with the company expires after this fight. He was signed by then-EliteXC to take on Nick Diaz in Hawaii where he made his name in a split-decision loss. He beat Kaleo Kwan (who is also fighting on the card) in his second fight and now tries to beat Evangelista, the favorite coming into the fight.

Expect both guys to stand and trade even though both have the ability to turn it into a wrestling match. The fight will be shown on a 3-hour tape delay in Hawaii beginning at 8 p.m. Kwan’s fight is on the undercard and isn’t expected to be shown on the TV broadcast.

Grove added to UFC 101

May 4th, 2009
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Some interesting news regarding UFC 101 in Philadelphia.

Originally, it came out of BJ Penn’s camp that he would fight Kenny Florian for the UFC lightweight title at the UFC’s August event in Philadelphia. People from both Penn and Florian’s camps will tell you the fight is a go, but the fight has not been made official by the UFC. Everything I know says the fight will happen, but it’s interesting that it’s not listed on the official UFC Web site.

The original date of the event has been pushed back a week as the card will now take place August 8th from the Wachovia Center. The UFC did make official a middleweight fight between Maui’s Kendall Grove and Ricardo Almeida. Grove is coming off a 92-second TKO victory of Jason Day in March.

I’ve also heard the rematch between Shane Nelson and Aaron Riley will take place on this card, but that wasn’t made official by the UFC.

Currrent “official” matchups for UFC 101 are:

205: Anderson Silva (24-4) vs. Forrest Griffin (16-5)
185: Amir Sadollah (2-0) vs. Johny Hendricks (5-0)
185: Kendall Grove (12-5) vs. Ricardo Almeida (10-3)
155: Josh Neer (25-7-1) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (19-4)
170: Tamdan McCrory (12-2) vs. John Howard (11-4)
170: Matt Riddle (2-0) vs. Dan Cramer (1-0)
155: Rob Emerson (10-7-1) vs. George Sotiropoulus (9-2)
170: Jesse Lennox (14-1) vs. Danillo Villefort (9-2)