The Fight Nerd

February 19, 2013

Frankie Edgar on loss at UFC 156, featherweight division, and what’s next

Fight Nerd correspondent Michael Stets caught up with former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar at the MMA World Expo 2013 to discuss his recent loss against Jose Aldo at UFC 156, and how it feels to have had seven title fights back to back. We also discuss how he feels about being in the featherweight division and if he will stay there, thoughts on Anthony Pettis getting a title shot next, and why so many lightweights are moving down to featherweight, and more!

Please excuse the audio, we had some mic troubles at the event.

July 11, 2012

A Photo Montage of Athletes Sleeping Through the UFC Fighter’s Summit

Filed under: Nerd Stuff,Photos — Tags: , , — Peter Lampasona @ 1:00 PM

Over the last two days in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC parent company Zuffa Entertainment held its annual UFC Fighter’s Summit: a meeting where the brass go over rules of professional conduct, fighter’s rights and career advice with the athletes they employ. The fighters, being professional fighters, had much to share with their fans about the meeting via social media. The majority of what information they had to spread is who was passed out during the meetings. The above photo features Clay Guida sleeping through what must be a riveting discussion, courtesy of fellow UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon.  After the jump are other shared pictures illustrating the  attention span fighters have for administration. (more…)

June 29, 2012

Greg Jackson wishes Guida Engaged More, But Makes No Apologies

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Peter Lampasona @ 10:00 AM

A week after Clay Guida utilized a dramatically different game plan from his usual forward pressure strategy in his bout against Gray Maynard, his coach is still being called upon to defend his attempt to win. In an interview with Sherdog last night, Guida coach and legendary trainer Greg Jackson stated that the performance that fans are calling the worst of The Carpenter’s career was only slightly off.

“I wanted Clay to, after he drew Gray out, to engage a little bit more, but I think Clay was waiting for him to open up a little bit and he was able to land some combinations when he did that,” Jackson told Sherdog. “But one of the things that I think both Clay and I learned is that … we need to do a little more right after the misses, kind of jumping on him a little bit more. I chalk it up to experience and a learning process, and hopefully we won’t be in that situation again where we have such a close decision. Hopefully we’ll be able to dominate the next time.”

Known for constantly bringing the pressure to his opponent, Guida did a 180 in the Jackson game plan, electing to outmaneuver Maynard while striking from the outside. Though the crowd was displeased throughout the fight, but the strategy was working for Guida until the later rounds, when Guida started having trouble landing his counters and simply danced away. Ultimately, Guida was on the losing end of the tight split decision. The fight also marked the first time that Guida was given a warning for lack of aggression. Even though Jackson admits his pupil should have turned it up a bit in the later rounds, but makes no apologies for the stick-and-move plan.

“Now again, we should have engaged a little bit more, and that’s just the way the fight went down,” Jackson continued. “…but I’m never going to tell my guy, ‘Listen, this guy does everything better than you. I just want you to take all the damage you can until he gets tired of punching you in the face so that everybody’s jumping up and down and then maybe you’ll win, but maybe you’ll just get choked out.’ That doesn’t seem very smart to me at all. … I’m always going to be trying to do it smartly. It’s got to be an entertaining fight obviously, but at the same time you can’t just jump on somebody that’s stronger than you, that hits harder than you and has better wrestling than you do.”

Jackson has been consistently blamed for “boring” game plans from his fighters, with Guida’s performance in particular raising the ire of many fans. However, Jackson pointed out that one of the other fighters in his stable, Cub Swanson, was awarded knockout of the night on the same card in one of the bigger fire fights of the year.

June 26, 2012

Greg Jackson: Fighter’s Ally, Fan’s Foe?

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , — Brandon New @ 11:00 AM

MMA fans were perplexed this weekend when Clay Guida, one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, failed to provide the level of entertainment to which we have become accustomed. At no time did Guida’s skills appear to have deteriorated or diminished in any way. In fact, he looked quite sharp and energetic throughout the fight. The approach, however, was completely different from what many fans had hoped for. As Maynard stood in the center of the octagon, Guida utilized his well-known head and footwork. Guida maintained a distance and circled away from Maynard in each of the five rounds of their contest. This time Guida was not fighting for the fans, he was fighting for himself. It may not be as thrilling but you cannot blame a fighter for avoiding punches (Kalib Starnes excluded).

After Maynard was awarded the split decision victory, Guida expressed no regrets about his strategy.

“The game plan that they’re used to, just going in there and playing Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots and getting my head kicked off and get punches in the face,” Guida said during the post-fight presser. “No, I stuck to a smart strategy and wasn’t there for big punches. I liked my game plan.”

This approach was likely masterminded by Guida’s long time coach, Greg Jackson. Maynard is not a technical striker but carries one-punch knockout power. The heavy hands are reason enough for the strategy to be implemented, add to that Maynard’s world class wrestling and takedown ability, the game plan makes even more sense.

The judges didn’t completely buy in to the fact that this style could win a fight on points alone. When Greg Jackson used a similar strategy for Carlos Condit against Nick Diaz, the judges gave Condit the benefit of the doubt. The amount of damage inflicted by an opponent is reduced significantly with this style, so logically it makes sense. The approach will not work, however, if a judge is very aggression-based with their personal scoring. The result from the UFC on FX 4 show proved that this strategy may be just as much of a gamble as risking a more aggressive style.

It is also possible the emotions of the crowd could have factored in the judges scoring. Reminiscent of the movie Rocky IV, when the Russian crowd’s cheers for Drago eventually swayed in favor of Balboa, so too did the crowd in New Jersey on Friday night. Chants of “Guida” were deafening until the crowd grew weary of Guida’s lack of willingness to engage. Maynard’s “bring it on” antics were applauded by many and created a dramatic shift in the atmosphere as Guida remained true to his philosophy for the fight. Judges are expected to remain impartial yet they are only human. Multiple thousands of people surrounding you, chanting in unison could be very overwhelming to some and influence their thought process. It can happen in any sport.

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January 3, 2012

Top 10 Best Fights From the UFC in 2011

In a sport with the sheer variety of outcomes that MMA has, there’s no specific formula for what makes a great fight. Instead, truly great matches are made when some or all of the elements of MMA come together in two fighters to make something that is both a highly competitive bout and a dramatic story told through action.

2011 served as a flagship year in the world’s largest MMA organization when it came to great fights. To put a bow on this passing age, below are the top ten greatest fights in the UFC for 2011.

10. Pat Barry versus Cheick Kongo

With a total run time of 2:39, the headlining clash between Barry and Kongo at UFC Live on Versus 4 was not the great epic that some of the other top fights of the year were. But, as brevity is the soul of wit, sometimes a single exchange can tell the best story.

A former K-1 competitor with great expectations he hadn’t quite lived up to, Barry was coming in to his fight against Kongo with something to prove. And, for most of the fight, it looked like he did. Just as it looked like Barry was about to usher Kongo to a permanent spot as a heavyweight gatekeeper, everyone’s favorite French superhero through a single counter punch off of shaky legs that brought him back from the dead. With just a few punches, all the major points of a great fight including excitement, back and forth action, and both men being in danger were met.

See the rest of the top ten of 2011 after the jump.

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November 11, 2011

Friday Link Party – November 11, 2011

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Peter Lampasona @ 6:00 AM

For all of the controversy surrounding his character, UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen also generates some good press. Here’s MMA Mania’s story of how he got the 11 year-old son of a fan the ultimate fan experience.

“I took my 11 year old son, Ty, to UFC 136. He is a huge UFC fan and we traveled from NJ to go to the Fan Expo and attend the fight. After Chael’s victory, my son approached the security gate to get his autograph. Chael lifted my son over the gate and took him behind the scenes where the other fighters were either recovering from their fight or preparing for an upcoming battle. A security guard brought me back as well, and what followed is a father/son moment that we will both never forget.”

Middle Easy has a subjective look at the 12 best Thai boxers in the world

The guys over at Lowkick brought us this interview with UFC on Fox co-headliner Clay Guida where he discusses his opponent, Ben Henderson.

“Ben Henderson is pretty much the same [as Anthony Petts], great on the feet and solid on ground. I won’t go into detail, but I want to finish this fight. To me, a big win earns a title shot. I want to win big so that there is no question about my title shot. Everyone hyped Melvin Guillard as the obvious next shot, but then he lost in the first-round to Joe [Lauzon]. So, I figure with a big win, then it’s my turn for that title shot.”

According to MMA Payout, ad inventory sold out for UFC on Fox.

“Media buyers say a 30-second spot in The UFC on Fox cost just north of $100,000. Among the marketers advertising are Anheuser-Busch, the Casio G’zOne Commando smartphone, and the U.S. Marine Corps. Two studios–20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.–have also made buys.” (more…)

November 3, 2011

Velasquez vs Dos Santos only fight to be aired on FOX Broadcast

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Hiroko @ 9:00 AM

In a somewhat surprising announcement at the media conference call for UFC on FOX, it was announced that the only fight airing on FOX will be the headlining match-up between UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior “Cigano”  Dos Santos.  UFC President Dana White was quoted at a media press conference yesterday, “The heavyweight championship fight is going to be the only fight that’s aired on FOX, even if it’s only 10 seconds.” The news is a bit surprising as the Clay Guida, Ben Henderson fight has some pretty significant title implications.

“This is a throw-back to the old days of boxing; we are putting a big fight – a huge fight – on free TV to expose this thing to a new audience,” Dana continued, “Our goal has always been to bring big fights back to network television; we are thinking long-term for the future of this sport. It is an investment in the future of the UFC. Fans that have never seen the UFC before will see this show and that’s why we decided to put Cain and Junior in this position.”

Both men are currently currently undefeated in the UFC. Cain Velasquez is returning from a rotator cuff injury from his match up in October of last year in which he won the belt from Brock Lesnar. Junior Dos Santos last fight was in June of this year where he defeated Shane Carwin via unanimous decision. UFC on FOX goes down November 12th with weigh-ins being aired on Fuel TV. Fans at home will be able to watch all 10 undercard fights on both Facebook.com and FOX.com for free via live stream.

August 18, 2010

UFC Deluxe Action Figures wave 6 & 7 and two-packs unveiled

The Iceman VS The Natural from UFC 57, captured by Jakks Pacific!

Things are starting to heat up with Jakks Pacific’s UFC Deluxe action figures! Wrestlingfigs.com has posted prototype images of three upcoming waves, including their next two-packs. Jakks also recently released images of their UFC Fan Expo exclusive Georges St. Pierre, so check that one out too if you have not, especially since he is the first UFC figure to come with a championship belt made out of medal and leather!

Series 6 will feature Randy Couture, Georges St. Pierre, Tito Ortiz, Frank Mir, Clay Guida, Jens Pulver, Thiago Alves, and a classic version of Bas Rutten. Following that wave will be the seventh wave which includes Anderson Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Diego Sanchez, Gabriel Gonzaga, Joe Stevenson, Forrest Griffin, a Pride FC version of Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera and a classic version of BJ Penn. Series 6 will be out by October and series 7 should be available towards Christmas season… how convenient.

As if that was not enough plastic madness, in October, the second wave of two-packs will hit shelves/ This wave has Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture and Shogun Rua vs. Lyoto Machida. Keep in mind that these figures are subject to change by the time they hit shelves, so while the face sculpts might look funky in prototype form (such as Randy Couture and Clay Guida’s incredibly flat faces), but they should be vastly improved by the time they are up for sale.

Hit the jump for TONS of photos of these figures, and I mean tons!
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June 10, 2010

UFC Deluxe Action Figures Wave 6 prototypes have Couture, Rutten and Pulver

It’s action figure madness this month, courtesy of Jakks Pacific. Following up the news of their Kimbo Slice variant with fuzzy chest hair, Jakks has revealed prototype pictures for Wave 6 of their UFC Deluxe Action Figures. MMAfigs.com got the scoop, showing off pics of Bas Rutten, Clay Guida, Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre, Tito Ortiz, Bas Rutten, Frank Mir, Jens Pulver and Thiago Alves.

Keep in mind, these are prototypes and NOT the final sculpt, so if Couture looks too old or GSP has a funny nose, just remember that the final product will look different from what you see here. Also to note, this line only has one previously released figure, which would be Frank Mir, however this Mir has a different hair sculpt which looks like a more recent Mir, so I would say this is a pretty strong line considering we have multiple champions and main-eventers in it.

My personal favorite is the Bas Rutten, which has to be the most accurate figure I have seen Jakks make since their Kevin Randleman figure from an earlier wave. In other words, you can now re-enact their famous fight from UFC 20 for the Heavyweight Title and this time, you be the judge who wins it (even though I stand by Bas being the champ, not that it mattered since he retired soon after).

Hit the jump for the rest of the pics
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January 26, 2010

Couture, Ortiz, Penn and more in wave 2 of Round 5 UFC figures

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Canadian based MMA toy company, Round 5, has announced their next wave of UFC figures, which will include a few familiar faces to the line and some new ones. BJ Penn, Michael Bisping, Forrest Griffin and Kimbo Slice round out the newcomers to the line up and Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, who were part of the debut line a few years back, return with all new sculpts.

These figures should be available sometime in Spring of this year, and coming out in stores next month will be the first wave of the UFC figures, which includes Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, George “Rush” St. Pierre, “Suga” Rashad Evans, Kenny “KenFlo” Florian, Clay “The Carpenter” Guida and Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida.

Read the official press release after the jump!

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