XFC Lightweight Nick Newell explains to Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice what happened during his EPIC knee KO against Adam Mays. The phenom also tells Inside MMA what fights are on the horizon
Tag Archive for Victory
Imagine, for a moment, that you are Lyoto Machida or Ryan Bader. Either of them. It makes little difference which one. On Monday you sit through a media conference call where your boss announces that the two other guys on the call — Mauricio Rua and Brandon Vera– will be fighting for a title shot. You and your opponent? You’ll just be fighting for money, fame, respect — the usual.
Then the next day the boss calls you up to tell you he changed his mind. Now he’s decided to open up the title shot sweepstakes to all four of you. Whoever looks “most impressive” in victory on Saturday night will get the next crack at the UFC light heavyweight title. Could be any one of you.
My question is: if you’re Machida or Bader, and you went from out of the running to “in the mix” after a little public outcry and a change of plans, what are you supposed to do with this information? Now that you know your fortunes can be changed with a win deemed more impressive than whatever happens in the other fight, which you have no control over, how can it not mess with your head — not to mention your game plan — at least a little bit?
“It’s there in the back of my head,” Bader admitted when I put this question to him on Wednesday afternoon. But then, he added, maybe it shouldn’t be. After all, he was already planning on winning the fight and looking good doing it.
“It was kind of like, okay, I just have to beat Lyoto regardless, and then I’ll at least be closer to a title shot,” Bader said. “But then [White] came back and said that, so my hopes are up again. It got me a little bit more excited.”
Machida admitted to having a similar reaction after hearing the change of plans.
“I really respected Dana’s opinion on that, and I believe the UFC always positions itself the right way in those matters,” he said through a translator. “But I did think it was a little unfair of them to say that only the winner of the main event would get the title shot.”
Now that the title shot is up for grabs among the four fighters at the top of Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 4 card, the dynamic has undeniably changed. Obviously, all four of them had planned on winning and winning big even before the stakes shifted, but now there’s a built-in way for them to win and still lose. If victory itself isn’t enough, what vague value judgments will their performances be subjected to?
Typically, there are a lot of different ways to look impressive in a fight. A quick finish is one way. A long, dominant performance is another. The bouts that win the ‘Fight of the Night’ bonuses are usually back-and-forth battles where each man has his moments. But as several fighters and trainers have pointed out in the past, getting ‘Fight of the Night’ means you probably got beat up at least some of the time. What’s so impressive about that?
“I think ultimately the fans want to see knockouts,” said Bader. “You think you’ve got to go out and knock someone out for it to be an impressive win. But it’s kind of hard to even know what an impressive win means.”
It’s also sometimes hard to make it happen all on your own. Is a win in an exciting, competitive fight more impressive? And if so, how do you guarantee that you’ll have a willing dance partner?
That’s a question both Bader and Machida will have to face. While Bader has his share of one-punch knockouts, the smart play for him might involve using his wrestling to nullify Machida’s striking game. Then again, takedowns and top control aren’t known for being all that impressive to most MMA fans.
It’s the same for Machida, who’s known for his “elusive” stand-up. Striking technicians and karate purists might appreciate a few rounds of hit-and-run mixed with sprawl-and-brawl, but would it be impressive enough to result in a title shot?
In Bader, Machida said he sees a fighter who “plays a lot with strategy” and “fights the way he can.” But for this fight, Bader made very sure that he wouldn’t be thrown off by Machida’s unorthodox style. His team brought in a karate world champion from Las Vegas to give him a Machida-esque look in training, he said.
“A lot of guys haven’t seen that in practice, so it’s a surprise when they get in the Octagon with him,” Bader said. “We put on the headgear and sparred some when he first came down, and you couldn’t tell that it wasn’t Machida. Same stance, same style.”
But then, in training he wasn’t focused on winning according to someone else’s definition of what’s impressive. He was focused on being the better of the two fighters in the cage rather than the most impressive of the four guys at the top of the card. And make no mistake, there is a difference.
Both Bader and Machida will tell you that this new wrinkle doesn’t change anything. Intellectually, they know that winning is always the first priority, regardless of what the boss says will happen later. Worrying too much about how you win is a good way to get yourself beat. But then, who wants to be the guy who gets passed over for playing it too safe? Who wouldn’t be thinking about ways to earn that title shot, whether they admit it before the fight or not?
Bader isn’t pretending that this doesn’t add a little bit of extra pressure. The whole impressive win contest that the light heavyweights have going on this time around “kind of makes you want to open up a little more and be reckless and careless and swing for the fences a little bit,” he said.
“But at the same time, that might get you in trouble,” he added. “Or it might win you a title shot.”
Japan many no longer the seat of MMA’s Asian scene, but the ghosts of PRIDE were visible Saturday at
Harkening back to the days of soccer kicks and stomps, UFC and Bellator veteran Roger Huerta was savagely albeit legally soccer kicked into unconsciousness at the 3:53 mark of round two in his bout with Zorobel Moreira. Huerta tried to rush ‘Zoro’ early, but by the end of the first round the Brazilian had found his range.
In the second frame it was all Moreira. The Brazilian dominated Huerta throughout the period with a wide arsenal of strikes, hurting the former top prospect at several points. It was one strike from Moreiera – a right hand in the second – that spelled the beginning of the end for ‘El Matador’. After the right connected and clearly stunned Huerta, Moreira followed up with several strikes from the clinch and eventually sealed the deal with a brutal soccer kick that rendered Huerta prostrate on the canvas.
A right hand from Tatsuya Mizuno surprised and temporarily floored Sobral in the early moments of round one, even drawing blood in the process. Mizuno was too reckless, however, and the jiu-jitsu black belt scored an armbar submission victory in just 31 seconds into the first round.
Renato Sobral def. Tatsuya Mizuno by submission (armbar) at :31 of round 1
Zorobabel Moreira def. Roger Huerta by KO (soccer kick) at 3:53 of round 2
Leandro Issa def. Masakazu Imanari by unanimous decision
Adam Kayoom def. Gregor Gracie by unanimous decision
Eric Kelly def. Bae Young Kwon by unanimous decision
Arnaud Lepont def. Brian Choi by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:38 of round 3
Mitch Chilson def. AJ Vaa by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:39 of round 1
Marcos Escobar def. Rodrigo Praxedes by submission (brabo choke) at 1:05 of round 3
Peter Davis def. Kim Hock Quek by TKO (strikes) at :55 of round 1
Recently departing from long-time Vegas camp, Xtreme Couture, Gray Maynard has returned to his wrestling roots, joining AKA to train with current Strikeforce champ, Luke Rockhold. Maynard clarified with ESPN’s MMA Live that there was no hard feelings in his departure. “Xtreme Couture is still there in my heart. I grew up there throughout my career. …
The post Maynard plans to call for closure with Edgar after Guida victory appeared first on Caged Insider.
In what most observers are calling a highly questionable if not indefensible decision by judges in Nevada, Timothy Bradley won a split decision victory over Manny Pacquiao Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Bradley won 115-113 on two scorecards. Pacquiao took 115-113 on only one judge’s ledger. MMA Fighting scored the bout 117-111 in favor of Pacquiao. The victory makes Bradley the new WBO welterweight champion.
Pacquiao appeared to be en route to a clear unanimous decision win. According to the punching statistics shown in the HBO pay-per-view broadcast, Pacquiao landed 190 of 493 power punches to Bradley’s 108 of 390. In terms of overall punches, Pacquiao also outlanded Bradley: 253 of 751 for Pacquiao, 159 of 839 for Bradley.
Bradley fought more competitive rounds later in the fight, but was battered early with hard punches. Bradley was never out of the bout, but was rocked several times and controlled by Pacquiao’s superior punching power.
As part of the contractual terms in the signing of tonight’s bout, a Bradley victory meant Pacquiao would earn an automatic rematch November 10th of this year.
“It’s part of the game,” Pacquiao told HBO commentator Max Kellerman after the decision was announced. “I accept that whole-heartedly. I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough.” Pacquiao did state, however, he believed he won the fight.
For five minutes, Donnie Liles played a pretty good villain.
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There are two schools of thought on how a given fighter should end their career in the UFC. The first, and perhaps most honorable method, involves a fighter going out on their shield, fighting until they can fight no more, so to speak. The second involves a fighter talking a ridiculous amount of trash, losing a fight in embarrassing fashion, and throwing a hissy fit backstage that only enforces their bosses decision to fire them. Thankfully, Mirko Cro Cop chose the former method (though he perhaps stuck around a couple fights too long), and after suffering a trio of (T)KO losses to Frank Mir, Brendan Schuab, and Roy Nelson, was ousted from the UFC.
This is not to say that we got any enjoyment out of witnessing the Croatian’s demise, but more so that we were happy to see Cro Cop come to the realization that his career in mixed martial arts had gone as far as it could go. His career in kickboxing, however, has seemingly yet to come to a crashing halt, and in fact maybe on the upswing, as Filipvoic managed to pick up a rather impressive second round knockout victory over Loren Javier Jorge at K-1 Rising earlier today in Madrid, Spain.
Cro Cop looked better than we’ve seen him in quite some time, unleashing a few beautiful, snappy head kicks that were nothing short of nostalgic. But the finishing blows did not come as a result of his well-documented kicks, but rather from a series of uppercuts that dropped Jorge a two occasions, the latter of which he could not recover from. Cro Cop looked quick, efficient, and more than anything else, eager to finish the fight when presented the opportunity. Again, it was a very nostalgic experience for both Cro Cop and those who had the privilege of catching the fight.
Though the finish comes toward the end of the video, my personal favorite moment comes around the 6:43 mark, where, after the referee separates the two, Cro Cop pulls off a dead-on Robert Deniro impression without uttering a word. If there was anyone doubting his acting talents after Ultimate Force, they can promptly suck it.
Rebney finally announced the date of the featherweight title duel between Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Pat Curran. The Brazilian faces the champion at Bellator 73 on August 24; the venue has yet to be announced for the event.
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