The Fight Nerd

March 27, 2014

UFC Fight Night 40 Quick Preview

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:55 PM

BY JAMES PETERS

As UFC Fight Night 40 edges closer, the fascinating main card at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio looks set to give fans another thrilling night of fights. Opening the main card in Ohio will be Chris Cariaso versus the unbeaten Louis Smolka in the flyweight division. With a 6-3 record inside the Octagon, the experienced Cariaso goes into the fight with more UFC appearances than his opponent has professional fights, and that could be the difference in this bout.

Next up on the card is the heavyweight clash between Australian Soa Palelei and promotional newcomer Ruan Potts. With two straight KO wins since returning to the UFC, Palelei will be a strong favorite to see off the untested South African Potts, with everything pointing to an early finish for the big Aussie. Palelei has been undefeated since 2011, and is an easy pick for winner by whatever he wants in this match.

Next up, William Macario and Neil Magny meet in an evenly matched welterweight match-up, with both fighters looking to win second straight bouts inside the Octagon. While Magny has the greater top level experience, Macario has the tools to possibly surprise the Betfair odds and take the win. Both fighters are looking to keep their confidence high after returning to the winners circle, and neither man will want to go the distance either, so expect to see Macario push for a finish with Magny holding on and trying to grind it out.

Erik Koch will be looking to follow up his impressive TKO victory over Rafaello Oliveira with a win again Daron Cruickshank. The 25-year old has mixed it with the best throughout his time in the sport and will be a comfortable favorite in this lightweight fight. Cruickshank is coming off his epic spinning wheel kick knockout against Mike Rio back in January, but Koch seems to be the more explosive of the pair. Look out for this one to be fight of the night material!

Heading to Ohio on the back of two straight defeats, Costas Philippou is in desperate need for a win against Lorenz Larkin in the co-main event. But despite his relatively low profile, Larkin had been building up a decent run before his points loss to Brad Tavares in January and the Californian will be confident of handing the Cypriot fighter his third straight UFC defeat.

The main event of the night sees Matt Brown look to continue his ruthless tear through the welterweight division when he meets Erick Silva. Brown will enter the Octagon on a six-fight winning run and will be a firm favourite with Betfair, but Silva showed what he is capable of with his bonus-winning KO victory against Takenori Sato in February.

UFC Fight Night 40: Brown vs. Silva is set for May 10, 2014 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.

March 13, 2014

Robbie Lawler credits return to sparring with rise in UFC

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:18 PM

This weekend at UFC 171, Robbie Lawler gets a crack at the UFC welterweight title, a long and arduous journey behind him that has spanned his time as a top dog in Strikeforce all the way to his return in the UFC. A recent interview on Yahoo! Sports revealed a surprising fact about Lawler’s training camps during his tenure in Strikeforce – that he stopped sparring during his fight camps!

Lawler has gone 3-0 since his return to Zuffa land, and the sportsbook odds are in his favor for this championship bout, but it took a drastic change in his training to get him to where he is now. Back in the summer of 2012, after losing to Lorenz Larkin at “Strikeforce:Rockhold VS Kennedy”, Lawler opted to stop having intense sparring sessions in his gym, eliminating it completely from his regimen. Kevin Iole has the details, via Monte Cox:

He basically didn’t spar before facing Larkin, in effect going 180 degrees away from the aggressive sparring philosophy he was brought up with at the Miletich camp, and it left him unprepared.

“We talked after that and we both realized that he needed to spar some,” Cox said. “Not sparring kept him concussion-free, but in this sport, you need to spar some to be able to see the openings and get your timing and all of that.”

Lawler also stated that he never felt truly ready to be the best fighter that he saw himself being, but it seems that things have begun to click for the MMA veteran, and it might be enough to get him the belt that has eluded him so long during his journeyed career.

Lawler will meet Hendricks (whose last appearance in the octagon was a controversial loss to the now retired Georges St. Pierre) in what is expected to be either a five-round brawl that will go the distance, or a very short and violent scrap, this weekend at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas at UFC 171. Welterweights Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley will also meet on the main card, along with Diego Sanchez VS Myles Jury, Jake Shields VS Hector Lombard, and Ovince St. Preux VS Nikita Krylov

February 27, 2014

NSAC bans use of TRT, UFC is okay with that

Filed under: Lead Story,News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 7:24 PM

Earlier today, the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned testosterone-replacement therapy, AKA TRT, from all combat sports in their state. NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar was quick to note that he hoped the Association of Boxing Commissions would take notice of this and make this a universal change.

“I would encourage the ABC to look at this issue for all commissions in all states across the country,” Aguilar said. “I think it’s important that there be a standard and I think [the NSAC] is not afraid to set that standard.”

UFC President Dana White issued a statement regarding the decision:

“The Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events. We encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling.”

This announcement comes two months before Vitor Belfort is scheduled to face Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas. Belfort previously has been approved to use TRT in his past three fights, all of which took place conveniently in Brazil.

Currently, the UFC has six fighters that are approved for TRT use in Nevada: Dan Henderson, Shane Roller, Todd Duffee, Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir and Forrest Griffin.

January 17, 2014

Rich Franklin can not retire on MMA earnings, will have to work again to “live comfortably for the rest of my life”

Filed under: News — Tags: , — The Fight Nerd @ 1:53 AM

Former UFC middleweight Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin spoke with Fight Hub recently to discuss fighter pay, and the topic inevitably came to how life after fighting has been for Franklin. What might surprise some fans is that, while Franklin was one of the top dogs in the octagon for a long time, he is not rolling in the dough that one would hope a champ would make.

Franklin had this to say during the interview:

I leave comfortable, but. Here’s the thing…the reality of my situation is I’m not…and you can tell this based on my career, my persona, I’m not the guy that’s rolling around in $250,000 sports cars. I’ve never spent money on stuff like that. I live a very modest lifestyle and I will probably the rest of my life.

I find value in experiences rather than material things. I’m the kind of person who would spend money to like, go observe lions in their natural habitat before I would buy a brand new sports car or something like that.

So, with that being said, I’ve made enough money that I could live my modest lifestyle comfortably for a little while, but I couldn’t retire for the rest of my life. If I could just retire for the rest of my life and never work, I don’t know that I would have opened up ZeLin as a business venture. Instead I would have just taken my passion for teaching people and would have done lifestyle lectures and motivational speeches for fun. I would do a bunch of charity work. I’ve done tons of things in the past for disabled veterans, for children’s hospital here in Cincinnati, I’ve been involved in a lot of different things.

So, I’m not going to put it on cruise control the rest of my life. I’m going to need another financial source to make money to live comfortably for the rest of my life.

My funds would definitely run out before my heartbeat did, that’s for sure.

Franklin was grateful for the way the UFC had consistently treated him and always followed through with him when they said they would do things. Unfortunately, Franklin was champ in the odd transition time when the UFC was just beginning to get more mainstream recognition, and fighter pay was still generally awful (Nate Quarry was paid 10K to fight Franklin for his belt way back at UFC 56 in 2005). Thankfully, the fighters of this era are doing much better in terms of finances, but the question begs to be seen how well the fighters will be once they hang up the gloves.

Transcript via Bloody Elbow

December 29, 2013

Anderson Silva breaks leg at UFC 168, UFC releases official statement

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:02 PM

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UFC 168 was a great card, marred by one of the most gruesome finishes in UFC (and possibly MMA) history.

At the start of the second round in the Anderson Silva VS Chris Weidman rematch, Silva threw a low kick that Weidman checked, like you would with any other low kick. Unfortunately, Silva’s leg snapped in grizzly fashion, leaving him tumbling to the ground in agony as the Vegas audience gasped in confusion and disgust.

Silva was stretchered out of the arena and was unable to offer much in terms of updates at the post-fight press conference. Earlier today, Zuffa released the following statement regarding Anderson Silva’s injury.

“Following Saturday evening’s UFC 168 main event, former champion Anderson Silva was taken to a local Las Vegas hospital where he underwent surgery to repair a broken left leg. The successful surgery, performed by Dr. Steven Sanders, the UFC’s Orthopedic Surgeon, inserted an intramedullary rod into Anderson’s left tibia. The broken fibula was stabilized and does not require a separate surgery. Anderson will remain in the hospital for a short while, but no additional surgery is scheduled at this time. Recovery time for such injuries may vary between three and six months.

“Anderson is deeply touched by the outpouring of support from his fans and the entire MMA community. There has been no immediate decision about his future, and he would kindly ask for privacy at this time as he deals with his injury and prepares to return home to recover.”

At the post-fight press conference, Weidman said that he was checking the kicks with his knees intentionally to hurt Silva so that he would stop kicking him (a common defense), but he had no idea or intention that it would break his opponents leg so badly.

Photo by Esther Lin on MMA Fighting

November 25, 2013

Old School MMA Review: Ultimate Ultimate 1995

After far too long, the Old School MMA Review has returned! This time, The Fight Nerd and Zane Simon of Bloodyelbow.com take a look at the UFC tournament to end all tournaments (in 1995), the first Ultimate Ultimate!

In the UU ’95, the best of the best were invited back to the octagon for a one-night tournament to see who was the most ultimate of the ultimates. Returning champs like Dan Severn and Oleg Taktarov battled the likes of Tank Abbott and Paul Varelans, plus Keith Hackney… for some reason. Polar bears, pit fighters, awkward interviews with Ken Shamrock & Kimo, and vampire hunters who are dragons, all in this episode and more!

Don’t forget to support the official DVD release of the Ultimate Ultimate 1995, which at this time is only available on DVD through the Silvervision release which also contains the Ultimate Ultimate 1996 (which we will review as well soon enough).

November 18, 2013

UFC 169 comes to New Jersey in 2014 with two title fights

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 2:16 PM

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Two world title fights headline UFC’s return to Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. In the night’s main event, the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion will be crowned when reigning champion Dominick Cruz (19-1, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) returns to action after two years away from competition due to injury to meet red-hot interim champion Renan Barao (33-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

Then, in the night’s co-main event, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (23-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) returns to the Octagon® to face proven finisher Ricardo Lamas (13-2, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.), a winner of four straight.

If that wasn’t enough, two former heavyweight champions collide when former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir battles former Strikeforce® champion Alistair Overeem.

“We put together a fight worthy of Super Bowl weekend,” UFC president Dana White said. “It’s the fight that everyone has been waiting for – champion vs. champion – Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao for the 135-pound title. Dominick Cruz is the reigning champion and hasn’t lost a fight in six years. He takes on the interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, who’s been on a tear with a 30-fight win streak and hasn’t lost in eight years. Two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, two of the best 135-pounders on earth: the world is finally going to find out who is the undisputed 135-pound champion!

“Plus, the unstoppable Jose Aldo takes on the man everyone has been waiting to see him fight, Ricardo Lamas. Aldo has been the 145-pound champion since 2009 and he’s torn through the featherweight division. But Ricardo Lamas has heavy hands, great wrestling and will be the toughest test of Aldo’s career.”

November 11, 2013

“UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013″ 20 Disc DVD Set Review

Filed under: Product Reviews — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 8:20 PM

In what is becoming one of my most anticipated products of each year, Anchor Bay has released the third edition in their Ultimate Fight Collection in a gigantic 20 disc DVD set. For the past two years, these DVD sets got some of my best reviews, so there was a lot to live up to with this years set, and I am happy to say that it lived up to the standards set by its predecessors, with a few changes that may make it better for some, worse for others. Let’s dive in and take a look!

This massive set includes all UFC events consecutively from July 2012 to June 2013, which is UFC 148 to 161, including UFC on Fuel, FX, and Fox events, as well as TUF finales. That adds up to 30 events total and hours upon hours upon hours of footage (around 3200 minutes of footage to be exact). You can now relive Anderson Silva VS Chael Sonnen 2, the rise of Chris Weidman when he knocked Mark Munoz out with an elbow that catapulted him to the number one contenders spot in the UFC middleweight division, Jon Jones decimation of Vitor Belfort (and Vitor’s armbar that almost ended the fight early), the UFC’s first trip to China with Cung Le VS Rich Franklin, Georges St. Pierre’s (arguably) most impressive title defense against Nick Diaz, and the first ever women’s MMA fight in the octagon with Ronda Rousey VS Liz Carmouche, among many others.

It’s hard not to write this review and turn it into one giant list of all the great fights you will receive, but that is the best highlight of these Ultimate Fight Collections. Instead of having nearly 30 separate DVD cases, you will have them all stored in one long book format that makes for an attractive display, especially when stacked up with the previous two releases. This set is also the only way to get all of the televised events like those aforementioned Fox shows, so if you want to relive the TUF finales and Henderson VS Diaz, Belfort VS Bisping, and Nogueira VS Werdum to name a few events.

Since this set crams 30 events into this format, there is a downside in terms of content. One of my nitpicks with the earlier two sets was the special features. Namely, I complained that some of these features were nothing too special (other than some of the backstage stuff) and took up room that could have been left for more fights. This year, there are absolutely no special features, which leaves room for more fights and events. Unfortunately, this set remained as a 20 disc set and has not added more events. Due to that, very few of the events contain any prelim fights (the majority of the events do not). This is the price we pay for more solid content, and I am fine with the lack of special features if it means more fights, but I am hoping that next year, we see a few more discs, especially with the sheer volume of fights there were in this time period.

Overall, this is a tremendous collection of action with the only downside being that I want to see more fights, in spite of the 150 bouts that already exist in this set. To be honest, that is hardly a downside at all when you look at the big picture. You can order the “UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013″ on Amazon.com for around $80, which is the cheapest this set has ever been! At that price for that many events, all in one convenient box, this is arguably the best Ultimate Fight Collection that has been made so far. Granted, there are only three so far including this one, but with the amount of fights you get and at this unbelievably low cost, there is no reason not to buy this one. This will make the perfect gift for a fight fan this holiday season, or any time of year, so pick this one up right away!

October 25, 2013

Tito Ortiz & Ken Shamrock join forces to bash Dana White on “Off The Record”

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 1:17 PM

This past Thursday, an unlikely duo joined together against a common enemy – who would have ever expected that? Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, who have repeatedly beat the crap out of each other (and even had a whole season of “The Ultimate Fighter” to hype one of those bouts) appeared via satellite on “Off The Record” (OTR) with Michael Landsberg in a no holds barred interview. The pair talked about fighter pay and treatment, along with plenty of criticism on Dana White and how he takes too much credit for making the sport big, while Ken and Tito believe it was them and other fighters.

“(Myself) and Ken were probably the ones who sold the biggest pay-per- view fights to date.” Ortiz claimed during the interview, backed by Shamrock. “If Dana White didn’t have you (Tito Ortiz), Chuck (Liddell), me or Frank (Shamrock) – for him to be able to make the money off our back, our sweat, our blood. Where would he be?” said Shamrock.

“Dana White is an excellent promoter – He goes out and promotes the sport for what it is. But he’s not the one getting in the cage, that’s entertaining the fans who are watching and buying the pay-per views.” said Ortiz via satellite. “(These) fighters are the ones who are stepping in and putting our lives on the line and (providing) entertainment for fans to watch the fights.”

“When I came in,’ Shamrock added, “I told (Dana White) that I promise you that these (pay-per-view) buy rates will jump over 100,000 (purchases). He didn’t believe me. Then lied to me about what the buy rates were because he didn’t want to pay me what I was supposed to get. If anybody owes money, (Dana White) owes the fighters money.”

One topic brought up was the sport of boxing and how these athletes make far more money than MMA fighters. Ortiz believes UFC fighter salaries should be on par with boxers

“I look at a guy like Floyd Mayweather who makes 42 million dollars for a pay-per-view. What am I doing different that this guy is doing? I’m not just sparring, I’m going there trying to hurt a guy.

“I think you’re forgetting we’re the fighters, we’re putting on the show,” Ortiz added.

You can check out the full interview above, and you can catch Tito making his return to the cage at the first Bellator MMA pay-per-view on November 2.

September 22, 2013

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 Edition coming out in November

Filed under: News — Tags: , — The Fight Nerd @ 2:19 PM

UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 3D cover

Timed for the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), fans are invited to relive action-packed, history-making moments with UFC®: Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 Edition, available as a 20-disc DVD set available November 5 from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

UFC: Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 Edition comes in a collectable box and features over 200 epic fights and 50 hours of action that took place inside the Octagon® from July 2012 to June 2013. The collection is packed full of hard-hitting bouts featuring UFC superstars such as Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez and Georges St-Pierre. History-making moments include the crowning of the UFC’s first-ever flyweight and women’s bantamweight champions. The collector’s set showcases the best fights from every Pay-Per-View, FOX network, and The Ultimate Fighter Finale during 2012-2013, including all main event and championship fights.

We have been big fans of the last two collections that came out in previous years, and are greatly looking forward to this one. You can preorder it right now on Amazon, which I would recommend doing. It may look like a monstrous price tag, but when you consider how many events you are getting, it’s quite the insane bargain.

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