Tag Archive for Chael

Chael Sonnen rates Fedor Emelianenko as the Best Heavyweight of All-time

Over the course of his well-traveled career, Chael Sonnen has fought many of the best middleweights and light heavyweights of all-time, and now he has faced what he considers to be the greatest heavyweight ever.
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Midnight Mania! Chael Admits Heartbreak Over Loss to Fedor

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Chael Sonnen has lost many times inside the Octagon. On the MMA Hour, via MMAFighting.com, he explained that the pain doesn’t go away- but at least his teeth are still intact.

“Physically, everything hurts,” said Sonnen. “[Emelianenko] hit me with a missile about five-seconds in. That one still hurts a little bit. But other than that, I am doing well…My teeth are okay. If I had one wish going into a fight, aside from serious injury, it’s that I won’t lose a tooth. I had that same wish since I started this when I was 19 years old. But, yes they are all intact.

“Emotionally, I get heartbroken about these things. From a competitive standpoint, I have dedicated my whole life to this since I was nine years old and I would have started earlier if my dad would have let me. He wouldn’t let me start until I was nine. It hurts. It hurts really bad that you don’t get those moments back.”

Sonnen got knocked down and ragdolled repeatedly by Fedor, and kept getting up and moving forward, until Fedor unleashed some particularly brutal ground and pound that turned Sonnen fetal. For Chael, it’s getting back up after a defeat like he just suffered, that defines the word ‘fighter’ to him.

“I’ve had these feelings before,” said Sonnen. “I am convinced, in my interpretation, this is what it means to be a fighter. Somewhere over time that word became corrupted. It became about the punches and the kicks. But I’ve always believed it’s feeling like I’m feeling right now and getting out of bed anyway and facing the media and getting back on it. So now I have to be a fighter. I prefer to be a winner, I prefer to be on top of the world and looking down on everybody else. But today I’ve got to fight.”

He elaborated on his gameplan further, explaining what went wrong. He also said this is the first time in his career he’s been outstruck, which seems incredible.

“I’ve fought 49 guys, well I guess 50 counting Fedor, and I’ve never been outstruck,” said Sonnen. “Not one single time have I lost the stand up part of a fight. I can’t that anymore. This is first stand up I’ve ever lost. I didn’t think he was fast enough to catch me. I thought I’d be too quick. So I was going across and distract him with some punches and get into a clinch or get into a double-leg and make it a wrestling match. I wanted to have my hands on him at all times. I was ready for some of those throws Sambo throws, I was ready for them to go against me, I was ready for him to succeed with those throws and have to scramble on the mat.

“It wasn’t like a real sophisticated gameplan as much as it was just pressure-based. I just wanted to fight him. I wanted to be on him and wanted him to have to respond. But I also thought I could take his shots. I still didn’t see those punches. They were so fast and I was so impressed. In spite of hanging my head here today, I have to give him his credit. He earned it. I’ve got to credit his sped and his power, they were very difficult for me.”

Sonnen concluded that his future will hopefully not be at heavyweight. Physically, he can compete more effectively there.

“When I get a phone call and they have an idea, I say yes,” said Sonnen. “But ideally, I liked to go back to light heavyweight. I had a really hard time in both of my heavyweights getting to some of the positions I wanted to be in. So I think physically, it’s a little better for me at light heavyweight.”


Insomnia

Okay… I really like the UFC 230 poster.

Dana White gets annoyed at fake news, which always elicits a sense of irony.

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This story is Number 1 BULLSHIT.

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Amanda Nunes compares her relationship with partner Nina Ansaroff to two red pandas play-fighting in the snow.

Holly Holm

Swords crossed…

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⚔️

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Very cool for Robert Whittaker

This is wild

Piers Morgan had a grumpy old man take on Daniel Craig carrying his baby in a pouch and UFC featherweight prospect Alexander Volkanovski had to set him straight.

Fedor Emelianenko wore one too:

Unintentional spinning backfist TKO

Dillon Danis comparing himself to Jesus was just one more moment beyond jumping the shark.

Now we know what kind of ink you need to impress Mark Hunt

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Now that’s a nice back piece

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Angela Hill practicing her spinning technique


Slips, Rips, and Calf Crushers

The guard of death

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Herbert Burns calf crusher

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Holy shit

Mark Hunt has been in some wars

I got some good fights from this question

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For A Fake Fight, Fedor Sure Punched Chael Sonnen Really Hard

Bellator 208 ended on an entertaining note with a gutsy fight from Chael Sonnen against Fedor Emelianenko (watch the highlights here). Few gave the middleweight much of a chance against the heavyweight GOAT, but Sonnen dug deep and kept getting back to his feet and chasing more takedowns after multiple knockdowns and throws.

That aggressive momentum created some unique looking scrambles and breaks, which led to some MMA ‘fans’ on social media to question whether the fight was faked. There was enough rumbling that the press actually asked Bellator head Scott Coker about it during the post-fight press conference.

“Come on, that doesn’t even deserve a response to the people that are saying it,” Coker said (via MMA Fighting). “Listen, Chael got clipped. He told me, ‘Man, he hit me and he hit me really good,’ and he was done. So that’s it. With Chael, the thing with Tito, ‘oh, he let him go’ or something, come on, why would you do that? You’re a professional athlete and you’re a fighter. He wants to continue, he wants to go to the next round of the tournament. That’s just all rubbish.”

“To me, they see Chael, he’s got this character and I think they just feel like with Chael it’s just like this character, so maybe that’s what they’re thinking. But If you had Fedor punching you and kicking you and kneeing you like he was doing today — that was real, that was not fake.”

Chael himself was happy to confirm that statement.

”I don’t know why he hit me so hard,” Sonnen joked, his face covered in bruises. “I don’t know what ol’ Chael ever did to that guy but he sure felt like laying ‘em into me.”

”I would call him explosive with his punches,” Sonnen continued. “There wasn’t a ton of setups, they just came and came hard. And even on the ground, I had some good positions on him and he would just explode, it wasn’t necessarily technique based but it was impressive. He’s an impressive athlete. I don’t think I’ve ever been grounded and pounded like that.”

There were several moments in the fight where Chael seemed close to defeat, but each time he managed to regain position or stand back up. Well, until the final moments of the first round, anyway. As Fedor hit him with withering ground and pound, Sonnen covered up and the ref stopped the fight. According to Chael, that was strategy gone awry.

”The referee warned me, he said if I didn’t move they’d stop the fight,” he said. “I didn’t think he would because they were going into my hands, I thought I was blocking them. I thought I was having a rope-a-dope moment, I thought I was luring him in. That was a bad strategy, as it turns out. That was a bad plan.”

Emelianenko now moves on to the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he’ll face light heavyweight champ Ryan Bader on January 26th in Inglewood, California. As for Chael, maybe he’ll return to 185 pounds, but more likely we imagine he’ll remain a Bellator moneyweight, fighting across three divisions against any opponent that catches his fancy. Not a bad way to close out your career.

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Midnight Mania! Fedor Emelianenko Favored Over Chael Sonnen

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Fedor Emelianenko rolled back the clock this past weekend, knocking out fellow aging veteran Frank Mir in a fight that somehow managed to pack an entire narrative, including momentum swings, Fedor getting knocked down, getting back up to land a gorgeous Judo throw, and then knocking Frank Mir out cold, into less than fifty seconds of action.

Next, he faces up-cycled middleweight Chael Sonnen for a spot in the final. While Fedor has always been a small heavyweight, and hasn’t faced a consistent wrestler since Matt Lindland in 2007, he opened as a favorite over the American, at -200. Fedor’s power, sambo experience, and submission skill is evidently weighted higher by the bookies than an undersized Sonnen’s wrestling chops.

Sonnen, of course, disagrees, and has gone on record recently discounting Fedor’s wins in Pride due to alleged match fixing. UFC commentator Joe Rogan is also on record saying he thinks the rampant steroid use in Pride made it a different era for fighters.


Insomnia

This is going to be fun

Good news for Ray Borg’s family

A retired Dan Henderson wants to look like this painting, which is an exact depiction of his musculature as an active fighter.

How Michelle Waterson settles marriage disputes:

McGregor’s baby is one pale child, but he’s got that mean mug down pat.

The Prince.

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Well, that’s… not good.

Tito Ortiz’ top five bands of all time.

Violent Bob Ross is just such a good fighter nickname

Happy birthday to the Rock from the Jones brothers.

Happy birthday champ @therock I appreciate the role you play in life

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Slips, Rips, KO Clips

This spinning elbow is the best knockout you will see today

That was quick.

Gi grappling can get weird

Classic ground and pound


Podcasts and Video

Andrew Richardson’s pro debut, episode 1! Follow MMA Mania on Youtube

The MMA Ratings podcast discusses Adesanya vs. Tavares and much more

MMA Squared Episode 12


Good Reads


Random Land

China’s incredible karst topography doesn’t even look real.

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Rampage Jackson vs Chael Sonnen staredown video from Bellator 192 weigh ins

Bellator MMA is less than 24 hours away from its Bellator 192: “Rampage vs. Sonnen” mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Paramount Network (formerly Spike) and CMT, locked and loaded for this Saturday night (Jan. 20, 2018) inside The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Prior to this weekend’s big show, which also features “Prelims” bouts on ParamountNetwork.com, the promotion sent all 38 fighters to the scale for the official Bellator 192 weigh ins.

Crunch the numbers here.

Of course, no weigh-in event is complete without the corresponding staredowns, and Bellator 192 is no exception. Watch Quinton “Rampage” Jackson come nose-to-nose with Heavyweight opponent Chael Sonnen, along with all the other fighters, in the embedded video player above.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Bellator 192 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the ParamountNetwork.com “Prelims” matches at 7 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 9 p.m. ET, live on Paramount Network and CMT.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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Chuck Liddell got in Chael Sonnen’s face over all that smack talk

Things between the two fighters got heated, all with Chael Sonnen’s mother in the middle.

Chael Sonnen is no stranger to surprise altercations. Wanderlei Silva called him out for his borderline racist attacks on Brazil during a shuttle to a UFC event. Later on he’d try to sucker punch Chael on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Now the same sort of thing is happening again, but this time with another legendary light heavyweight fighter: Chuck Liddell.

Sonnen has been trash talking Liddell for the past several months since a fight between the two started to seem like a possibility in Bellator. One of his greatest hits over that time? That Liddell was broke and “snorted all his money away.”

“I come into the dressing room and there was Chuck, face to face, and it was awkward,” Sonnen told MMA Fighting during a media scrum. “And I was doing [The Rich Eisen Show] and Eisen told me, ‘You got a message for Chuck? He’ll be here tomorrow.’ So I gave him a message to Chuck, thinking he would be there tomorrow.”

”Turned out Chuck was in the back, watching it on a monitor, with my mother. So, my mom and uncle had to get involved and it was just a big, colossal mess. I had to go one way and Chuck had to go the other, and it was weird.”

The two ended up in a heated shouting match, but Sonnen doesn’t think it will escalate into a real fight … not one that the two will get paid for, anyway.

”I don’t think he’s going to fight again,” Sonnen said. “I didn’t ask him point-blank because we were too busy yelling at one another, but he looked good, I’ll give him that. I mean, it looked like he was in shape, but I don’t know. I don’t know what he’s going to do. I’m up for [the fight] right now. I’m ready to go. I was ready to fight him yesterday in the green room, would’ve reached right over my mother.”

Just one day before, Liddell had told MMA Fighting that Sonnen’s jabs weren’t getting to him.

“He takes a lot of liberty with facts,” Chuck said. “He doesn’t need his facts to be true — he just makes them up as he goes. It’s hard to get mad at someone who everything he’s saying is made up.”

“If it was something where he really pissed me off and I wanted to fight him, I’d show up to his house. We don’t need the money, I’ll show up to his house. We’ll find out real quick.”

I wonder if showing up at The Rich Eisen Show qualifies.

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Bellator 192: ‘Old school’ Rampage Jackson is not terribly excited to fight wrestling-minded Chael Sonnen

Bellator 192: “Lima vs. MacDonald” comes to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Jan. 20, 2018. The first Bellator show of the year is a “tent pole” event for Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) that will see Welterweight champion Douglas Lima defend his title against Rory MacDonald in the main event of the evening.

That fantastic match up will also be joined by the first bout of the Heavyweight Grand Prix, featuring two brash former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stars, Quinton Jackson and Chael Sonnen. The good news for both “Rampage” and “The American Gangster” is that neither man has to watch his weight or his mouth for the big fight.

Jackson and Sonnen recently participated in a conference call to promote their fight and the upcoming event. And given their mutual propensity for verbal tirades, the discourse was surprisingly non-combative.


The call opened with talk of a viral video where Jackson said he’d pay Sonnen $ 10,000 each time he was taken down, with Sonnen claiming he’d get nine takedowns and pocket $ 90,000 in response. Jackson was asked if he’ll get the same money in return.

“That wasn’t part of the deal for me to take him down to get my $ 10,000. Chael’s supposed to come back with something for me to bet so I can benefit from it, but he said he had to check with his WIIIIIFE.”

Jackson was asked for his prediction on how the bout is going to go on fight night.

“It ain’t no secret. Chael’s gonna definitely try to take me down. You know, I’m gonna try my best to stay on my feet and throw them hands. It’s no secret, it’s no secret. Everybody knows what type of fight it’s going to be.”

Sonnen was asked to further explain this proposed bet between the two of them.

“Yeah, people think that’s a joke, man. I didn’t know how to take it, either. Rampage is a man of honor, we shook, I think we’ve got a bet here so … you know, I told him I can’t pay him anything. He said, ‘I want $ 500 for every jab that I land.’ I said ‘Rampage, I’m married, I’m a married man, I can’t go around making $ 500 bets.’ Now I can’t make a bet, I’ve got to go get clearance. As a man of honor I am not involved with that (bet). I am not part of that. Chael P. is purely here to collect.”

Sonnen then gave his prediction of what the style of their fight would be.

“I’ll tell you I do agree with Rampage, I’ve got to take him down, he’s got to stand up. I’ve got one way to win, that’s to be on top of him and annoy him for 15 minutes. He’s got one way to win that’s to put me to sleep. I’ve taken a lot of people down, he’s put a lot of people to sleep. This one isn’t rocket science.”

Sonnen was asked what his ideal weight would be for the Heavyweight Grand Prix.

“I’d like to be 214. I was 221 this morning. I was 224 a week ago so I’m headed in the right direction, but I have a goal of getting to 214. It’s always been tough. You know it’s been tough. I’ve never had to lose weight at any point in my life, I’ve never tried to diet for weight loss, aside from having to make a weight contractually. So that was always the force of discipline that I had in place and I don’t have that this time. It’s taken an extra element which I have found some struggles with. It’s very hard when you’re hungry and laying in bed at night to not eat something when you can, but to answer your question … 214.”

Jackson is asked what his ideal weight for the fight with Sonnen would be.

“I want to weigh 210, but that’s not going to happen! (laughter)”

Jackson was then asked what kind of fights he wants to have going forward.

“I don’t care who I fight, but I’d like to fight guys who don’t mind standing up and fighting. I just fought a wrestler my last fight. I’d like to fight guys who like to fight. You just heard Chael say he’s got to hold me down for 15 minutes. Why would I be excited about a guy who’s going to hold me down for 15? Honestly, I don’t care — it’s a tournament you got to fight everybody. If I’m going to be excited it’s going to be somebody who makes it an exciting fight. I’m old school. I’m one of a dying breed.”

Jackson was asked if he has any animosity with Sonnen.

“I don’t have any problem with Chael right now. Only problem that I got is that he’s in my way and I’m trying to get that Heavyweight belt. Nothing personal.”

Sonnen was asked if he can fight Jackson without beef between them.

“In fighting we’ve found that we need a little animosity. This is different, it’s a tournament. This is the way the Olympics does it, the NFL does it, the NCAA does it. It’s a straight line bracket like every other sport out there.”

Sonnen was asked if he would stay to defend the title if he wins the Grand Prix.

“I definitely would not go anywhere else or use that as a negotiating tool, I’m completely loyal to Bellator, but I really believe that you’ve got to defend it. I don’t think anybody should go out on top. Aside (from GSP) and Lennox Lewis I can’t think of anybody who goes out on top. I don’t want to leave anything on the table. If I’ve got one more good bad or indifferent, I’m going to take it.”

Sonnen claimed that Jackson is underrated when it comes to his verbal skills.

“I’ve seen all of Rampage’s matches. People always ask me who’s the better talker — you or Conor? I always say they’re leaving one name out — Rampage.”

Sonnen was asked if it bothers him to play second fiddle to Rory MacDonald.

“I love it. My ego is greatly affected any time I’m not the main event, and co-main event is exactly where I belong on this card. GSP doesn’t hand out compliments and he says Rory MacDonald if not being the best Welterweight in the world is the second best to him. You can go on and on about this guy, and with that said he’s not our champion — Douglas Lima is! He’s got incredible hands, he’s huge, he should be a Middleweight, but he’s a man of honor he honors the contract. If anything comes of this night it should be that if Lima gets over Rory we should finally give him his due.”

Sonnen was asked if he can remember an incident with Jackson that Michael Bisping broke up.

“It’s just heat that goes back a long time and I really can’t remember and Rampage was such a gentleman two weeks ago we had to start this over. Dana offered us coaching spots on The Ultimate Fighter and it just never came around. I don’t remember the history. I was in Chicago and we were socializing and I got into it with some guy and it turned out to be Rampage’s brother and things just escalated and ultimately Bisping had to get in and break the whole thing up. I’m jumping around on the story, but I’ve got you 90 percent there.”

Sonnen was asked if he’d talk trash just to get something started between them.

“I got out to L.A. about 10-12 days ago and Rampage was such a nice guy I don’t know what to say. If I don’t see it, I won’t say it. I won’t make something up to sell a fight. Fortunately, we’re in a bracketed format where animosity has nothing to do with it. I’ll leave it where it lies.”

Finally, Sonnen was asked if he sees a path to victory through the tournament.

“I play the bracket through 10 times a day every single day. I like to be distracted, I like to have something else to look forward to, but looking past Rampage is a risky game. I’m interested in Mir and Fedor, I feel that could go both ways, I’m not one of those guys that writes Fedor off. I don’t want to fight Mo because we go back to college days and I’d rather not fight him, but he does his best work against those bigger guys, so I think he’s a likely guy to advance. I think Mitrione is the real No. 1 guy if there wasn’t a tournament, he’s also the Vegas favorite, but I think Rampage and I got lucky in that we’re first. It’s about who can hold up. That’s why they have to have alternates. I can promise we’ll walk out there no matter how we feel, but I can’t say that for sure about the other guys. If nothing else we have the most time to recover.”

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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Chael Sonnen Wanted to Face Chuck Liddell in Bellator

Like some sort of hyper-violent retirement community, Bellator has become the place where spent fighters squeeze the last bit of mojo out of their names for a paycheck. And that’s great, because how else are people like Chael Sonnen, Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Mir going to make their mortgage payments? But apparently there were whiffs […]

The post Chael Sonnen Wanted to Face Chuck Liddell in Bellator appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Midnight Mania! Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson face off… cordially

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Quinton Jackson says he’s not “Rampage”… not just yet.

That will come closer to fight day. This early face-off with Chael Sonnen was, therefore, very cordial.

The pair are scheduled to kick off the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix, their heavyweight tourney, at Bellator 192 on January 20th. The event will be headlined by a welterweight title clash between Rory Macdonald and Douglas Lima.

When asked about how he and Rampage matched up, along with all the other matchups of the tournament, Sonnen claimed they had “heat” that goes way back:

Rampage and I have heat that goes way back. Last time we were together, we had to be separated in a hotel lobby in Arizona. I always thought that match could happen, but I thought it was impossible because he was going back to the UFC. Contractually, I’m not privy to how that worked out, but I’m happy it did. What other reason is there to fight than two guys want to?

However, tonight, when asked if they “saw something” in each other’s eyes, both men concurred it was too early for all that.

R: It’s too far out.

S: I’m waitin’ for him to turn, man. I’m waitin for him. It’s comin’.

R: you won’t see Rampage until the cage close.

C: Until the chains? Necklace Rampage, apparently a nice guy. Chain Rampage is who I gotta watch out for.

R: I’m Quinton! I’m not even Rampage, I’m Quinton.

The question is, will you still buy what they will be selling? UFC 220, with Francis Ngannou vs. Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir, is set for the same night. It looks as though MMA fans will have a wealth of options January 20th.


Insomnia

Maybe its the kid or his party life keeping him up at night, but Conor McGregor looks tired here.

Good night beautiful world I love you ❤️

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

This is about a useful as any other martial arts drill that starts out drills with stepping punches.

Why would they think attacking this guy was a good idea??

Not the first time Floyd Mayweather has spent time hanging out with Russian tyrant and human rights violator Ramzan Kadyrov.

I Was Over In Russia Discussing Boxing With My Family @kadyrov_95 My Guy Is A Real One!! #Boxing #TMTRussia

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on

Stipe Miocic got on Joe Rogan’s podcast today and riffed about defending his UFC championship belt, whether he would give up firefighting or cagefighting first, and whether Ngannou intimidates him.

Thanks @joerogan for having me on JRE today while I was in town! #AndStill

A post shared by Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) on

Okay, I’ll give it away: he wouldn’t give up firefighting.

This is incredibly cool: K-1 champion Takeru drills with two-time bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw

Not ever day we get to see the @UFC Champ do sparring drills with a K-1 Champ @tjdillashaw @k1takeru

A post shared by Duane Ludwig (@duanebangcom) on

Really cool MMA art by Chris Rini

I do appreciate MMA art, even unintentional MMA art:

The town of Babylon officially appreciates Dennis Bermudez

Today is the 2nd Annual #InternationalDennisBermudezDay !!! #December13 How are you going to spend your day ?

A post shared by Dennis Bermudez (@menacebermudez) on

Robbie Lawler is a hitter


Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

Will we see Final Round Robbie Lawler this weekend? Or Rafael Dos Anjos the destroyer.

Could we get something like this?

Probably not this… I had never seen this before!

This knockout is so clean

Mike Perry got KOed in a boxing match

He’s also been scoring knockouts since the beginning

Mike Perry on the mic is… unmistakable, to say the least.

Misha Cirkunov is an incredibly strong submission grappler

He can strike too


Podcasts and Video

Andrew and Andrew break down Rafael dos Anjos’ pressure footwork. Follow MMA Mania on Youtube for more!

Flyin Brian J breaks down the bout:

Here’s that interview with Rogan and Stipe

Rafael Dos Anjos on fighting Robbie Lawler:


Random Land

I hope this is real

I like this picture

i really hope this eagle sees snow in the future. #eagleeyes #prayforsnow

A post shared by becca (@ralfafara) on

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Midnight Mania! Chael Sonnen breaks down Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight

Welcome to Midnight Mania! This one is going to be considerably shorter than these things usually are, because I’m (hopefully) stuffed full of turkey and enjoying an evening with my girlfriend. But while I do, enjoy this interview with Chael Sonnen, as the mouth from West Linn puts on his analyst hat and takes us through each fighter in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. It seems he isn’t all that sold on himself winning the damn thing, which is interesting. Via ESPN.com:

Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson:

Chael’s Take: Rampage and I have heat that goes way back. Last time we were together, we had to be separated in a hotel lobby in Arizona. I always thought that match could happen, but I thought it was impossible because he was going back to the UFC. Contractually, I’m not privy to how that worked out, but I’m happy it did. What other reason is there to fight than two guys want to?

How Rampage Jackson wins it all: I think that’s a lot easier scenario to believe than perhaps some people. Rampage at 205 pounds is a tough out. He’s a former world champion, and he’s beaten a number of other world champions. The question is: How is he at heavyweight? I’ve only seen him at heavyweight once (decision loss to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in March). Does he move as well? Does he train as hard? I thought he held up well against Mo. We’ve all seen him push a little harder, but whenever a guy goes up or down in weight, it takes some getting used to. Rampage to win isn’t that far out there.

How Chael Sonnen wins it all: Fight one fight at a time. Get in the right mindset. It would help to stay out of the clinch with these guys, stay out from underneath these guys. It’s just a lot of weight for me to move around. I think I’ll probably weigh around 214 pounds. Size was never a factor when I started my career though. I can’t remember how many fights I was in before I even saw a scale. That’s just the way it was, so I don’t mind.

Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson:

Chael’s Take: Ugh, Mitrione got a bad deal in some ways. He was one fight away from being a world champion. Now he finds out he’s three fights away. He and I must have had completely opposite perspectives when we got the news. He must have said, “Oh, geez, you’re telling me I need to win three fights?” I got the phone call and said, “Wow, I can win three fights and be a world champion? I didn’t see that coming.” I think Mitrione is the best heavyweight out there. When I say that, it’s usually met with resistance, but it’s my opinion and I mean it. They have fought before though, and Roy beat him (December 2012). That does matter and they both remember that.

How Matt Mitrione wins it all: If Matt goes out and fights and competes and does what he does — has a little bit of fun — I think he’s the favorite. He seems to be at his best when he’s loose and having fun. He’s the guy to beat.

How Roy Nelson wins it all: He can’t just rely on being the bigger guy. He’s going to have veterans of the sport who know how to move around him — I’m one of them. I know how to hit and move and not get pinned by a bigger man. I think that’s the trick to Roy. I don’t think someone like me or Ryan Bader or King Mo is going to just change levels and take him down. Roy needs to go out and fight and use his skills. Everybody talks about the right hand but he can wrestle, too.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir:

Chael’s Take: Love this fight. Pride champion vs. UFC champion. I don’t know if I agree that Fedor’s been as rusty as others think. You take that Mitrione fight (TKO loss in June), Fedor knocked Mitrione out — it just turned out he was knocked out at the exact same time. That was just a really weird match. But go back to when Fabricio Werdum beat him (June 2010), none of us knew how good Werdum was. Take when Antonio Silva beat him (February 2011). You want to talk about size disadvantages? Silva goes in there close to 300 pounds. I would never take my eye off the Fedor ball. I have always respected him and still do.

How Fedor Emelianenko wins it all: He needs to protect himself, and learn from some of his past lessons. He’s a great grappler. He’s had so much success going in there and trading punches, it seems he bought into that. Hey Fedor, don’t be afraid to go out there with your hands up, your chin down, and grab ahold of these guys. Wear a guy down, then start fighting.

How Frank Mir wins it all: You know, Frank is such a tricky bastard. I’ve counted him out many, many times and he’s gone out and broken a guy’s arms, legs and shoulders. Frank’s just very mean. He doesn’t go for a submission to get you to tap. He and Josh Barnett are the same way: They go for a submission to rip a limb off. He’s not the guy you want to draw in a tournament like this. He hasn’t fought in two years though, and he needs to be in the gym now. His fight isn’t until April, but if he thinks he can come off that layoff with a traditional eight-week camp, he’s wrong. He needs to be busy now.

Ryan Bader vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal:

Chael’s Take: I didn’t fully get it at first. You’ve got the light heavyweight champion in Bader, taking on a fellow light heavyweight in Mo, but the belt isn’t on the line. So, let’s say Mo wins, beats the light heavyweight champion … he doesn’t become the champion? Just the drama in that is compelling. It’s going to piss a lot of people off, which is good for the sport, right? Get people arguing about something. Those are the two most athletic guys. They actually met up in college wrestling (in 2003), quarterfinals of the NCAAs, and Mo beat him pretty soundly. So, Mo knows he can beat him, believes he can beat him — and Bader wants that back. That’s very interesting.

How Ryan Bader wins it all: Matchup-wise, he’s probably running into his toughest one right out of the gate. Here’s a guy who can match his athleticism and his wrestling. In general, if Bader goes out and pushes his pace, forces takedowns, he’ll be effective. He’s a little sloppy with his punches, but that’s what makes him so effective. He moves awkward, and I say that as a compliment. I’ve watched film on him thinking I might fight him and said to myself, “This guy does his own thing out there and he’s hard to figure out.”

How Muhammed Lawal wins it all: Real simple: Stay healthy. That seems to be his biggest Kryptonite. When Mo gets in there with heavyweights, he’s a handful. He goes out weighing 207 pounds and knocks them out. He’s explosive, hits hard, and finds his target. On top of that, his wrestling is on point. If he can get past Bader, he actually does better with heavyweights. He does well with light heavyweights too, but better with heavyweights. He’s like a Dan Henderson — for whatever reason, the bigger the opponent, the better Mo’s chances are.


Insomnia (You didn’t eat your turkey did you?)

We got another two seconds of Conor McGregor footage today

Interesting? Because Manny Pacquiao apparently wants to box McGregor next year. Thanks to the Ali Act, McGregor would make more boxing him than fighting anyone in the UFC.

Happy Thanksgiving! Stay fit my friend. #realboxingmatch #2018 @thenotoriousmma

A post shared by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) on

Luke Rockhold and Khabib Nurmagomedov

Good to be home working with my brother @khabib_nurmagomedov

A post shared by Luke Rockhold (@lukerockhold) on


Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

Tenshin wins again

Left hook outta nowhere

You have to love a good liver shot.

Man down

This one made me wince.

Watch out for Muslim Salikhov this weekend:

Apparently he does this a lot:


Podcasts and Video

While digesting the Thanksgiving feast, enjoy my interview with @MrMentalMuscle, Nic Davenport, who get a lot of the fighters at American Top Team in top cognitive condition:

Check us out on SoundCloud as well as iTunes and Stitcher on the official MMA Mania channel! Be sure to Follow MMA Mania on Youtube as well.


Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality. If you have a cool MMA link or GIF or meme, be sure to leave it in the comments below!

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