This week in MMA and BJJ

This week we will be taking a look at Irish MMA sensation “The Notorious” Conor McGregor.

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It’s funny how quickly things can turn around in the fight game. Irish MMA had looked to be dead on its feet after the debacle with John Ferguson’s Cage Contender promotion (Fighters were not being paid for weeks and/or months, if at all) and there was generally a bad feeling around MMA in the country at the time, as Cage Contender was the biggest and best promotion in the country, and to see it go down the pan did not bode very well for MMA in Ireland. But a Hero was waiting in the wings, Conor McGregor, who at the time was the reigning Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion, was scheduled to fight Ivan Buchinger for the vacant featherweight Title. If Conor won the bout, it would have made him the first person in world MMA to be champion in two different weight classes simultaneously, there was a lot on the line for the Dublin native. Mcgregor put on a clinic and K.O’d Buchinger at 3:40 of the very first round, making “The Notorious” the two division champ. This was the Knockout heard around the world, because Joe Rogan, the UFC colour commentator heard about Conor’s exploits and started getting the Irishman some international exposure. It wasn’t long before the UFC came knocking, and a bout was set up between McGregor and Marcus “The Bama Beast” Brimage, much to the delight of Irish MMA fans, who knew all about their hero’s potential when everyone else was asking “who the hell is Conor McGregor, and why all the hype about him”.Marcus Brimage is no joke, and had, at the time, won three fights on the trot inside the UFC Octagon. Conor disposed of him easily at 1:07 of the very first round. This was the turning point for Irish MMA. For many people all it took to restore their faith in Irish MMA was to see their fellow countryman get his hand raised inside the Octagon. It was just one fight for Conor, but the importance of that fight for Irish MMA was immesurable. Mcgregor fought again in the Octagon in August of this year, against Max Holloway, picking up a unanimous decision victory, but injuring his knee in the process. McGregor is now 2-0 in the UFC, and is looking to start fighting top 10 opponents upon his return, sometime in 2014, and this time, it won’t just be the Irish MMA community who look forward to seeing “The Notorious” perform, the Worldwide MMA community awaits with baited breath.

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Conor is a BJJ purple belt fighting out of Straight Blast Gym Ireland. His style of fighting makes him one of the most exciting fighters in the world at the minute. He is not afraid to use what could only be described as “experimental” techniques inside the cage, when many other fighters would play it safe, Conor throws a bit of Capoeira into the mix, just because he can, and because he is genuinely not afraid. He is, by his own admission, a devoted student of the martial arts, declaring that many of the techniques he practices come from reading obscure martial arts texts, or watching hours of internet footage. All of this makes for a supremely dangerous opponent in the cage. But our Conor is not as two dimensional as that, he is also an extremely fashion forward individual, with a look that could be viewed as a cross between a London high street Gent and a Caveman. He sports the must have fashion accessory of the moment: a massive beard, which is normally accompanied by a bow tie, and a tweed suit, resulting in a look which no doubt confuses many of his opponents, but strangely absolutely suits him. McGregor at some point in his life must have taken a bite out of the Blarney stone, because he could talk the paint off the walls, sometimes to his detriment, recently branding longtime UFC stalwart Diego Sanchez a “Braindead stuttering fool”. Conor lets his hands do the talking inside the Octagon though, and it is for this that we know and love him. In 2011, I had the pleasure of watching “the Notorious” perform in Letterkenny. He was to face off against Paddy Doherty in a lightweight showdown. It was to be a very early night for poor Paddy, as McGregor put him away at only 4 seconds into the very first round, I was instantly a fan, and went up to him in the lobby of the hotel to congratulate him, and i’m happy to say he was an absolute gentleman. I know I speak for all Irish MMA fans in wishing him a speedy recovery from his knee troubles. Hopefully we see anothe 4 second K.O in the new year.

Until next week,

Pierce.

This week in BJJ and MMA

This week in BJJ and MMA, we will take a look at the recent controversy surrounding Georges St.Pierre and Johny Hendricks in their UFC 167 title bout, we will also take a look at the profile of one of the all time BJJ greats, Roger Gracie.

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Roger Gracie is an enigma, he has so many world titles to his name (14), that it almost seems comical. The thing about Roger is that his Jiu Jitsu is so simple, yet so incredibly effective. Roger likes to get top position, pass your guard, and progress to the full mount, where he will inevitably catch you in a cross choke from the mount. Everybody knows his game, and yet nobody can stop him. This speaks volumes about the effectiveness of solid fundamentals in BJJ, something which seems to be getting lost day by day in the evolution of our beloved art, you won’t see any “Berimbolos” from this man, and why would you? 14 World Championships speak for themselves. These 14 World titles did not come easily either, beating such high level competition as Ronaldo Souza, Rodrigo Cavaca, Demian Maia, Mario Sperry and Xande Ribiero, the list is as long as your arm, but these represent the sheer calibre of opponents Roger faced on his way to the top. Roger has also won the ADCC, becoming the only person to submit all 8 of his opponents, to be crowned the 2005 weight and absolute champion, an absolutely incredible achievement, and one that has not been replicated since.

Roger is a great ambassador for the fundamentals of BJJ, and he is someone who carries himself and our sport with the greatest of respect and esteem, never will you hear somebody say a bad word about Roger Gracie, and rightly so, he is in my opinion the greatest competitor to ever set foot on a mat.

Now we move on to MMA, and a look at the Judging situation therein.

 

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Judging on the photo above, would you say won the fight? The guy on the right? Well I’m sorry to have to inform you, you’re wrong. It was, inexplicably, the man on the left, Georges “Rush” St.Pierre.

Judging in MMA is a funny old thing, and there are some major issues at hand when it comes to scoring a contest. MMA fights are scored on a ten point must system, similar to Boxing. The problem is, MMA is not similar to boxing, there are too many elements at play to score an MMA contest as such. Another problem is that, many of the judges have absolutely no grappling experience or knowledge of any kind, aside from maybe a little bit of College or High School Wrestling, which is why takedowns are scored so highly, and can often win a fighter, who was previously getting pummeled, a round. As in any sport, corruption can play a role as well as poor judging, we need to keep a close eye on our officials, lest they fall prey to the toxic judging that Boxing has been subject to for years.

In the case of St.Pierre vs Hendricks, it may have simply been a case of the scoring system taking precedence over who actually won the fight, because, while Georges was not doing a lot of damage, he was still striking, and managed to throw in a few takedowns and even a submission attempt, all the while getting battered by the incredibly hungry and relentless Hendricks. St. Pierre in my opinion managed to clinch at least 3 rounds in this manner, and even though he got battered by Hendricks, unfortunately it’s what’s on the scorecards that counts, although that will not make it any easier for the man they call “Bigg Rigg” to swallow. Hendricks will almost certainly get an immediate rematch. In the meantime, a complete overhaul of the judging system needs to happen, with more credence given to the grappling arts, especially in bottom position on the ground, just because you’re on your back doesn’t mean you’re losing the fight. Just ask Georges St. Pierre, He’ll tell you all about the judging system.

This week in BJJ and MMA

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He is the best at what he does, the Guard smasher, the Guard passer. Possibly one of the most feared BJJ Athletes. “The Black Belt hunter” Rodolfo Vieira.

Born in 1989 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he did not start training in BJJ until the age of 13, when he took his first class, initially as a way to lose weight. He proceeded to the rank of Blue Belt at this academy, under Arlens Maia and Bruno Souza. As the Academy was fairly small, he left to find a more competitive Gym, eventually landing at GFT (Grappling Fight Team, then known as Universidade Gama Filho). It was here that Rodolfo found the best training partners and coaches, and it was GFT that made him a true BJJ Athlete. Rodolfo finally made his big breakthrough in 2011 at the World Professional Jiu Jitsu Cup. The format of this competition allows both Brown and Black Belt competitors to compete against each other in the same division. Rodolfo, a brown belt at the time, beat a string of highly recognizable Black belts to win gold in both the under 94Kg weight class and the open weight class, earning himself the nickname “the Black Belt Hunter” in the process. He was subsequently promoted to Black Belt after this competition, under one of the few lineages that does not carry a Gracie name at any point ( Luis Franca, Oswaldo Fadda). Rodolfo is primarily known for his heavy pressure top game, with a combination of extreme pressure, technical talent and a super aggressive guard passing game, he is an athlete to be feared. Take a look at this highlight video of Rodolfo Vieira, with thanks to Preston Smith on YouTube.com. Note the Heavy top game of Vieira, accentuated by his massive takedown skills.

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Now we move on to last nights UFC 167 card which was not short of controversy.

The main event of this card featured a bout between the reigning Welterweight champion, Georges “Rush” St.Pierre (25-2) and the much vaunted challenger Jonny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (15-2)

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St.Pierre came into this Bout riding a 12 fight winning streak, 8 of which were title defences. He is one of the most complete fighters of all time. If you’re a good wrestler, he will out wrestle you, if you’re a good striker, he will stay on the outside probing, peppering with his jab, and then he will take you down. But what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? We were destined to find out on Saturday night. Hendricks had a big opening round, controlling much of the action, clinching with Georges against the fence and delivering some vicious elbows to the side of the head, Hendricks also secured a takedown in this round, which probably secured him the round. The second round seen Hendricks score massively with uppercuts. He had the French-Canadian wobbled at more than one juncture, and although St.Pierre had his moments as well, this round headed to Oklahoma along with the first. The third frame saw St.Pierre out-strike Hendricks on the feet, although the challenger had a big takedown at the end of the round, the round probably went to St.Pierre. The fourth inning was very even, with both parties scoring heavily, I would be inclined to give the round to Hendricks, although when he had “Rush” on his back, he did not do very much damage. In the fifth and final round, St.Pierre did just enough to eek out a win to the round. Surprisingly St. Pierre was declared the winner via split decision, much to the dismay of the Vegas crowd. You cannot  afford to stay in there with “Rush” for 5 rounds, he has never lost a fight that has gone to the Championship rounds. Massively disappointing for Hendricks, especially considering GSP “retired” in the Octagon afterwards, supposedly denying the Oklahoman any chance of a rematch. At any rate we will see Hendricks back to compete for the Belt sooner rather than later.

Until next week,

Pierce.

This week in BJJ and MMA

Michael Langhi

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu these days is all about the flashy moves. All the cool kids are “Berimboloing” their way to victory. But for me, my favourite position will always be the Guard. The Guard is a much overlooked position these days, with many top level players more interested in the take-down and playing the top game, rather than fighting off their backs. To me, the guard is the purest form of Jiu Jitsu, fighting an opponent who is often much larger than yourself using everything you’ve got to stop him from passing your Guard. Some of the best BJJ players of all time have been Guard players. Take the impossibly technical guard of Michael Langhi from team Alliance for example, whom I recently had the pleasure of training with. The man has won two World championships and 4 pan American championships at Lightweight (76 kg) all using his seemingly impossible combination of open Guard defense and attacks. His Guard is famed for being almost impossible to pass, and all this from a 76 KG Fighter? The best Guard players are almost exclusively found in the lighter weight classes. Lightweights have to have a good game off of their backs, or else they will get taken to task by the heavyweight bullies. Do yourself a favour and show your Guard some love, if it’s good enough for Langhi, it’s good enough for you.

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Now we move on to the action from last weekend’s World No-Gi Championships in Long Beach California.

As the ADCC took place two weeks before the annual No-Gi Worlds, many of the very finest No-Gi competitors were absent from this years competition, that did not seem to matter though, as the Black Belts put on a show on the Sunday to finish off the weekend strongly.

A shock was in store for Leandro Lo on Sunday, as an in form Gilbert Alexander Burns made his return, to beat out the Cicero Costha man on advantages to the coveted Middleweight title. A shock for Lo, and his fans no doubt. In the open weight division, Lo reached the final, but would end up capitulating to Murilo de Santana who also had an excellent Tournament at the Walter Pyramid. Here is a link to the match between Lo and Burns, with thanks to Graciemag.com on YouTube, note the powerful guard of Lo and the extreme patience of Gilbert Burns.

Next week we will take an in-depth look at one of the most exciting competitors of recent years Rodolfo “the Black Belt Hunter” Vieira.

Vitor

Now, onto MMA news as we take a look at this weekends UFC fight night 32.

This card features a light-heavyweight (205Lbs) bout between Vitor “the phenom” Belfort (above) (24-10) and Dan “Hendo” Henderson (29-11). But first up on the main card was a featherweight (145Lb) bout between Rony “Jason” Mariano (13-4) and Jeremy “Little Heathen” Stevens (22-9). It was the “Little Heathens” first foray inside the Octagon at 145Lbs and it was destined to be a very short one, as he knocked out Rony “Jason” with only 40 seconds gone in the very first round.  Rony was foolishly leaving his hands too far down by his sides while throwing overhand rights, Stevens seen this and capitalized almost instantly with a vicious right shin to the face of Mariano, followed up with a heavy right hand on the canvas just to make sure. The Referee was left with no choice but to call the bout at 40 seconds. An unbelievable entrance to the 145Lb division for the American. The Featherweight Division is listening Mr Stevens.

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Now onto the main event between Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. It was destined to be a short night for the American as he squared off against “the Phenom” for a second time, albeit the first time inside the Octagon. Dan would become the second Victim of a right high kick on the main card. Vitor caught Dan getting sloppy with his trademark overhand right punch and pounced with the right high kick to end the bout at one minute and seventeen seconds of the very first round. It will be interesting to see what “Hendo” does now, as he has lost three on the trot and is getting no younger. Vitor, on the other hand, has had a new lease of life recently, having won four of his last five fights, losing only to Jon Jones in a closely contested Championship bout. People will cry “TRT” as Vitor is a user of Testosterone Replacement Therapy, but then again so is Dan Henderson, and if the UFC and WADA are happy for the “Phenom” to press ahead, then there is nothing the fight fans can do about it. The “Phenom” will now surely receive a title shot either in the Middleweight division against the winner of Weidman vs Silva, or, in the 205Lb division against Jon Jones

Until next week,

Pierce.

~Photo credits~

(1) bjjheroes.com

(2) ibjjf.org

(3) thedolcedietlivinglean.com

(4) mmaweekly.com

This week in BJJ and MMA

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Some people train BJJ for medals, and some people train just to get in shape and maybe to meet new people. Me? BJJ changed my life. My start in BJJ came about inadvertently when a friend suggested I try a kickboxing class which was starting up in the locality, it was around this time that my Father got seriously ill with prostate cancer. Although it was a Kickboxing class, the guy who was running the class was doing a little bit of no-gi Jiu Jitsu (the “Gi” or “Kimono” is the uniform in which BJJ is practiced traditionally) on the side, after class had finished. From my very first exposure to BJJ, I fell in love with the sport. It was so much more graceful than punching somebody in the face repeatedly, and it also allowed me to train with 100% effort, with minimal risk of injury. The feeling of using pure technique to defeat your opponent is indescribable, and it is something that anyone who does not train BJJ can never understand. Eventually the Gym i was training at was not getting enough numbers and unfortunately had to close its doors. My friend who was running the Gym had the good grace to inform me of a club in the vicinity that was training BJJ full time, and so it was off to Rilion Gracie Ireland to begin training with them. If i said I felt scared that first time walking up those stairs to the Gym, that would be somewhat of an understatement, petrified would be a more accurate description. I had only spent around two weeks training there when the phone rang, and I was informed that my Father was reaching his final days. In a way, I was glad for him, he had suffered so much in his last few weeks, and it was unbearable to see him suffer so. I loved him with my Heart and Soul, and it crushed the life out of me when he died. I would have probably self destructed if it weren’t for BJJ and the club. It gave me an outlet for my grief and kept me focused throughout the time following my Fathers death. I owe a lot to our wonderful sport, I have a Club that I consider home, and I have friends from there whom I consider Family. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is now a part of my life, and I thank God every day that it has come into my life, without it who knows where I’d be.

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This week we will take a look at the IBJJF world No-Gi Championships which take place at the Walter Pyramid, long beach, California U.S.A.

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The annual World No-Gi championships is always a great tournament to watch, with some of the fastest, slickest Jiu Jitsu in the world on display. On day one of the championships, in the Black Belt open weight division, Leandro Lo, as always, came out with nothing but Gold on his mind, cruising through the opposition to win in the semi final against the massively experienced James Puopolo. Sunday will see Lo contest the final against Murilo de Santana. To be fair, Lo had a bye in the first round, but I don’t think it would have mattered with the form Lo has been in recently, he is one of the most exciting competitors at the minute, and in my opinion he is, pound for pound, the best in the world right now. He will face far stiffer competition in the middleweight division on Sunday though when he faces potential match ups with the likes of DJ Jackson, Magid Hage, and Clark Gracie who is also on fire at the minute. It will be interesting to see if the Sao Paulo native can overcome the challenge of Gracie and Hage, should they meet.

Now to MMA and a look at the upcoming UFC 167 card.

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UFC 167 will see the return of the longtime Welterweight Champion, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre (24-2) against the Dynamite handed Johny “Big Rig” Hendricks (15-1).

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St. Pierre will face what many consider to be his sternest test yet in the form of Johny Hendricks. While the Oklahoman undoubtedly possesses hands of mass destruction, dispatching two of his last four opponents by way of spectacular knockout, he also possesses NCAA division one wrestling and will be more than a match for St. Pierre in what many people consider to be his strongest department. St. Pierre meanwhile will be looking to finally get a finish on his resume having not finished an opponent since way back at UFC 94 in 2009 against B.J Penn. St. Pierre will claim otherwise, but a finish at this stage in his career is paramount, as, by his own admission he may not have long left in the fight game. Hendricks will not be easily put away though, he has never been stopped in 15 professional bouts, losing only once by judges decision in a closely contested match against Rick Story. This is sure to be a great match up to determine the future of the Welterweight Belt.

Also set to collide at UFC 167 are “Suga” Rashad Evans (20-3-1) and Chael Sonnen (29-13-1) This is a fantastic fight between two stalwarts of the UFC. Rashad  has had his troubles in recent times, dropping two in a row to Jon Jones and Antonio Nogueira. Most recently he beat Dan Henderson in an uninspiring fight which the fight media lambasted for being too boring. “Suga” will look to get back to winning in exciting fashion when he steps into the Octagon opposite Chael Sonnen. Chael on the other hand is coming off a spectacular first round submission victory against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, although he has also lost two of his last three, notably both those fights were title shots against Jon Jones and Anderson Silva respectively. An interesting bout at 205Lbs for sure.

Until next week,

Pierce.

The week in BJJ and MMA

It has been an incredible weekend of combat sports action, as we had both the ADCC in China and UFC 166 in Houston Texas.

First up we will take a look at the ADCC and all the action therein.

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It was a weekend of superb fights in China, as the worlds best grapplers got together for the bi-annual ADCC. The -66kg Division saw two of the worlds pound for pound best, Rafa Mendes and Reubens “Cobrinha” Charles (pictured above with yours truly at this years European Championships) start at opposite ends of their brackets and run through their respective opponents to meet in a hotly anticipated and viciously contested final. Rafa had to beat the always dangerous Joao Miyao on his way to the final, so that tells you the calibre of opponents that compete in this division. Someone once told me that in Jiu Jitsu, 10 seconds is a lifetime, well if 10 seconds is a lifetime for an average competitor, what is 47 minutes between two of the world’s best? That is how long it took “Cobrinha” to overcome the challenge of Rafa Mendes, the man who had already beaten him to two consecutive ADCC world titles. It took Reubens 6 years and 3 attempts to finally get his hands on the coveted ADCC title, but I’m sure it was all the sweeter for the wait.

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In the open weight division Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida (pictured above)  started at exact opposite ends of their brackets and were on a collision course from the get go. Marcus had to first get through a very game Gary Tonon before facing Rustam Chisiev in the quarters and the super dangerous Leglock Machine, Dean Lister in the semi’s. On the other end, “Cyborg” had to get through the always tough Pole, Kamil Uminski, he also had to face Gary Tonon as the original opponent, Jared Dopp was injured in the first round. Roberto then had to face new team ATOS Black Belt, Keenan Cornelius in the semis before finally meeting Marcus Almeida in the final. It was always sure to be a crazy fight, but no one expected “Cyborg” to come out on top. Marcus was the hot favourite coming into this final and many people expected him to not only beat, but humiliate Roberto. “Cyborg” wasn’t having any of that nonsense though, seemingly achieving the impossible and eventually beating “Buchecha” by 10 points to 0 after losing to him earlier in the day in the +99kg division. As a massive “Cyborg” fan myself i was very pleased to see Roberto win the absolute (open weight) world  title.

On to MMA news now as we take a trip to the Toyota center in Houston Texas and the incredible UFC 166 card.

The beauty of MIxed Martial Arts competition is that you rarely ever get what you expect, the fights which seem the best and have the most hype behind them almost never live up to expectations. Veteran viewers of UFC events have come to expect maybe 2 out of 5 fights on the main card to be any good. If that’s what you were expecting last Saturday night, you were in for a rude awakening, as EVERY fight on the card was an absolute Slugfest.

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First up in the Flyweight division we had John Dodson (pictured) (15-6) against Darrell Montague (13-3). This was Montague’s 16th Professional bout and his UFC debut, it was perhaps a little unfair to put him in against a man with such UFC experience as Dodson, a man who is fresh off a narrow loss challenging for the Flyweight belt. Dodson was all over Montague from the get go, hardly giving him any room to breath and punishing the brave rookie with strikes, rocking him once with punches and failing to finish. Montague was not as lucky when Dodson caught him the second time with a vicious right hand knocking the newcomer out. Dodson received knockout of the night honours for his performance.

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Next up in the Heavyweight division, Gabriel Gonzaga (above) made short work of Shawn Jordan (15-5). Jordan was early on the attack and was pressing the action against the talented Brazilian, a move which proved to be extremely unwise as Gonzaga showed Jordan how dangerous he is from any position. Gonzaga, back-pedalling towards the cage , caught Jordan with a sweet knockout punch at 1:33 of the very first round. This is the second time in a row Gonzaga has ended a fight in this fashion, and he will now look to start challenging the top 5 in the division.

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Also on this card we had a Lightweight Bout between the always entertaining Diego “the dream” Sanchez (24-6) and former Strikeforce and WEC champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (above). This is the kind of fight fans crave, it’s the reason many of us watch MMA, to see two warriors slugging it out in pursuit of a K.O. This was a bout for the ages, there is no point in trying to dissect the rounds, it was just too crazy. Do yourself a favour and watch this fight, you deserve it, Melendez ended up winning by Unanimous Decision, a decision which clearly irked Sanchez, as he immediately called for a 5 round rematch. God if you’re up there, please let this happen!

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On to the main event now between Cain Velasquez (13-1) (above) and Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (16-3). If somebody had told JDS that this fight would go down almost exactly the same way as his last outing against Velasquez did, he would have probably laughed in their face. Alas, for Junior, that is exactly the way it went down, with Cain utilizing his stellar wrestling skills to keep the Brazilian against the cage, battering him with Elbows and short range punches for almost 5 rounds. Near the middle of round number 5 junior could take no more of the onslaught and shot for a Takedown from which he would never recover. The Referee jumped in to bring an end to this gruelling one sided affair, and declare the winner by TKO and still the Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez. It’s not looking like anybody is going to be able to stop Cain any time soon, but you just never know in the MMA game.

Until next week,

Pierce.

This week in BJJ and MMA

This week as always we will be taking a look at what’s going on in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts.

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This Friday, Saturday and Sunday 18th-20th of October will see the ADCC take place in Beijing, China. This is the Premier event in all of grappling sports and an event which all of the grappling world will watch with a lot of interest. The Mind therefore boggles at the decision to hold the ADCC in one of the most heavily locked down countries in the world. China is a communist country and is renowned for how heavily controlled its internet is, with many of the most popular websites subject to a block and any information that actually is on the web there is heavily censored. China is not a Country where BJJ is popular at all, so it will be interesting to see how many people actually turn up to watch the event. Anyhow, This ADCC promises to be a cracking event with two super fights lined up between legends of the sport.

First up on the Friday will see Braulio Estima, (3 time World Champion and 5 time European Champion) take on Andre Galvao (2 time World and 2 time ADCC Champion) this promises to be an excellent fight between two massively experienced competitors, and is very interesting from a technical aspect to boot, with Braulio known more for his accomplishments in the Kimono and being a guard player and Andre known primarily for his heavy top game. It is surely a great way to get the tournament off to a great start.

Next up will see Fabio Gurgel, head of Alliance Jiu Jitsu and 4 time World Champion take on Mario Sperry, Founder of Brazilian Top team and 4 time World Champion. This is sure to be an explosive fight between two living legends of the sport, two men who will no doubt leave everything on the mat in pursuit of glory.

Next week we will take a close look at the happenings of ADCC 2013, but for now we will move on to MMA news.

UFC 166

 

This Sunday also sees UFC 166 taking place at the Toyota center, Houston, Texas.

A Heavyweight bout between Cain Velasquez (c) (12-1), and former Heavyweight champion,  Junior “Cigano” dos Santos (16-2) is set to headline this card. This will be the Heavyweights third encounter and will decide once and for all who takes all the marbles in this clash of Heavyweight Titans. The two have taken one apiece in their previous two encounters with Dos Santos beating Velasquez in the first outing via a round one Technical Knock Out (TKO) and claiming championship gold in the process. The second outing was to prove much different, as Cain treated “Cigano” to a one sided 5 round battering, which left the Brazilian looking as if he had been through the meat grinder. This is an interesting match up as it will prove definitively who is the Heavyweight division’s real Kingpin.

Staying with the heavyweights in the Co-Main event at UFC 166 we have a showdown between Cain Velasquez’s American Kickboxing Academy  teammate Daniel Cormier (12-0) and the man with a granite chin and a belly to match, Roy “Big Country” Nelson (19-8). Cormier will enter this fight as the heavy betting favourite, coming off a big win at UFC on Fox: Henderson vs Melendez, against longtime UFC star Frank Mir. Cormier will feel that he has the edge both in youth and in his record, having never been beaten in his professional career. The former StrikeForce Heavyweight Champ will look to add Nelson to his growing list of conquests. Easier said than done though when a man such as “Big Country” stands in your way. The Kings MMA BJJ Black Belt will no doubt look to utilise his powerful punching to stop Cormier in his tracks. or at least get the fight to the ground where he is equally as comfortable. Nelson is coming off a decision loss to Stipe Micocic at UFC 161, and will no doubt be looking to improve his record once again. The feeling abounds that the winner of this one will be next to challenge for the Heavyweight belt.

Also on this card we have an exciting match up between lightweights Diego Sanchez (24-6) and former Strikeforce Champion Gilbert Melendez (22-3) this one has fireworks written all over it as both Sanchez and Melendez just love to trade heavy Leather. Diego has proved in the past against the likes of BJ Penn that he will not lie down and give up, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against the striking excellence of Gilbert Melendez.

Until next week,

Pierce.