Thursday, February 14, 2013
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Monday, February 11, 2013
|Hester's TUF Profile|
Heading into the third episode of the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter, there was an incredible amount of hype. The hype was surrounding a supposed “one of the worst knockouts not just in TUF history, but in all of the fight business”. Many were skeptical due to Dana’s love of hyping fights.
Well, it was one of the most brutal knockouts in UFC history. It was not only hard to watch, but it made you grimace and cringe. It was both beautiful, and terrifying.
But before I write out a whole article about it, let’s welcome Clint Hester back for his point of view:
So this episode starts out showing Bubba calling out Kevin "King" Casey, and King expressing his feelings about being called out, still having a cut from elimination fights. Which is interesting for me, because I don't feel one should have a tough guy attitude when it comes to The Ultimate Fighter. Especially when you have a house full of this much talent!
Next thing we see is how Uriah's past affects him today in his adult life. I can see how it would be hard to go from being degraded and ridiculed as a young child to where a simple joke would trigger so much anger in the blink of an eye. But when you are around a group of new people, sometimes customs are just very different. Then we all get to see how Adam has come along in his fight career, which impresses me because he has a “plan B” making this is a no pressure situation. So we know that he can still enjoy the fun in the sport that we all love.
We all know that we are in a sport that is 90% mental when you really give it an in-depth look. If you're not in it mentally, no matter how much talent or athleticism you have, all the talents in the world won't help anything!
So now we go to the fight. I loved how Adam went out and let his hands go. He came to fight. He threw combos, controlled the ring, and was the aggressor. But there were times when Uriah's strength and speed helped to not completely give Adam the edge. Then we see a very nasty KO. It was all due to Adam making a very small mistake that very few fighters would actually be able to capitalize on. Because the window of opportunity that Adam gave Uriah was so small, it just goes to show Uriah's striking level. Now Team Jones is down 0-2. We have to wait and see what happens with Collin Hart vs. "King" Kevin Casey!!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
|Daniel Straus receiving the $100,000 check after winning Bellator's featherweight tournament.|
Photo via MMAWeekly.com
The second best featherweight in Bellator could very well be the best featherweight in Bellator. Daniel Straus, a huge and strong 145er, is the next to challenge current Bellator champion, Pat Curran. With an extremely impressive record of 21-4 including wins over Marlon Sandro, Mike Corey, and Nazareno Malagarie, Straus could very well be the man to take the belt away from Curran.
Despite Curran holding a win over Straus in the past, these are two completely different fighters since that past meeting.
With their second meeting now scheduled for April of this year, Straus sat down with us for an interview.
Check it out:
CR: Going into your fight with Pat Curran in April, what are your plans when it comes to your training camp; what will you be focusing on the most?
Daniel: I sat down with the coaches and I have been studying tape with them and I think, personally, I like the stand up game with him. He has really good boxing but with my stuff, I think I can exploit some of the things that he is weak at. When I get in the gym with my coaches, we have been working really hard on my movement, standing and basically my fundamentals.
CR: How do you think your previous loss to Curran will affect this fight for the both of you when it comes to mentality and preparation?
Daniel: I think the loss helps motivate me and to be honest I don't really think about it. It doesn't really bother me. I don't grieve on it and I don't go back to it as far as looking at my career. It is a loss to me and I've moved on. I learned from that loss. You can tell from my record. After that loss to Pat Curran it did something to me. So, coming into this fight it is just the same thing. I lost to him when I previously fought him. I knew I'd fight him again. Obviously everyone knows he hits hard but I am not scared to get hit by him. So, that’s actually an advantage for me, its keeps me more motivated.
Cr: Great and also, who do you predict will win the current featherweight tournament: Shamalaev or Rad Martinez?
Daniel: Honestly man, it’s really a tossup. Somebody asked me that before and it’s really hard to answer. You know
Martinez, a lot of guys count him out but as you can see that in
every fight he has ever fought in, he is always in there. He is the guy to
beat. As far as Shamalaev, he’s just as tough. He looks like a killer and
fights like a killer. So, it’s just going to be a tough fight for the both of
CR: Yea it should be a great fight. So, you to be improving each fight, what have you been doing to be able to improve like that?
Daniel: Really just focusing on my flaws. Focus on what I'm good at and what I'm not good at. Going back to the drawing board. It’s not myself that makes me better. It’s my teammates and my coaches. I get in the gym I work hard with my teammates. And when I'm not doing something right I am instructed to do it differently. I will then try and work on that more and more. And I think it has been showing through in my fights.
CR: Absolutely. Also, what will your goals be after you win the title?
Daniel: My goal after winning the title is to defend the title and continue to defend the title. I don't necessarily have any goals as far as like with any other organization. Right now, I am just focusing on winning fights. Right now, this is where I'm at and this is where I want to win my fights at. For the future I just see myself as a multiple time championship winner and holding on to the belt in Bellator.
CR: What do you think will go through your mind if you win the title?
Daniel: I did it. You know, I did it. This fight is really important for me. I've come a long way in my career. It’s been only a few years but it has come full circle for me. You know it’s a big stage. It’s also getting bigger with Spike and everything so winning this fight just lets me know to myself that I've made it.
CR: Wow that's really awesome. What strategy do you believe Curran will use against you?
Daniel: I think he will definitely want to pick me apart on the feet. I think he will want to use his boxing advantage. I think he will want to use it for the fact that he's knocked me out before. An advantage that maybe he thinks I will keep that in my head; which really doesn't bother me. I think he'll also use the fact that he's very good on the ground and up against the cage. So, I think he will definitely try and exploit those for sure.
CR: When you finished Alvin Robinson, did it feel good to quiet all of the critics who have complained saying that you don't finish fights?
Daniel: To be honest, no man. It really didn't. I stand behind how I feel, you know what I mean?
CR: Yea for sure.
Daniel: Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of people get what I say wrong. People take me as "Oh he's not a guy that wants to finish" or "he's not looking for the finish"; which is absolutely not true. I'm looking for that knockout. I want that knockout, I want that submission. It feels good to get it but I'm not going to change how I fight for the next man's view. I believe that if I can break a man by going all 15 or 25 minutes then that's what I’m going to do to win my fight. This game is a strategy game. It’s not just a barbaric game, its strategy. If that’s my strategy and it works for me, then that's what I'm going to continue to do.
CR: Yea, sounds very reasonable. Why change what is making you so successful. Anyway, we wish you a ton of luck in your fight against Pat.
Daniel: Thanks a lot man.
Make sure to follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielStraus and support him in his upcoming title bid against Pat Curran on April 4th.
Make sure to tune onto Facebook at 12 PM ET and to Fuel at 3 PM ET for this event.
Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald: A fight between the two brightest and most entertaining stars in the UFC? I’m down, but it’s not going to be as close as we are hoping it to be. Despite McDonald’s incredible power for a bantamweight, Barao is the superior fighter everywhere it goes. His technique and speed is unmatched by many fighters at 135 and his ground game is probably the best at bantamweight, or at least his BJJ. We have to really see what McDonald’s ground game is like as his standup has been putting many of his opponents unconscious early. Barao will be able to pick McDonald apart on the feet for a majority of the fight. If he is able to avoid the power punches, a late submission could be in the works for Barao = Barao via 5th round submission (choke). My 2nd pick for FOTN!
Cub Swanson vs. Dustin Poirier: Early fight of the year candidate? Absolutely. Hard fight to pick the winner of? Yes, and no. I have picked against Swanson in his last 3 fights, only for him to knockout his last three opponents. Dustin has been look progressively worse in his last three fights: losing the standup game to a promotional newcomer, being submitted by the underdog in Chan Sung Jung, and almost being finished by Jonathan Brookins. Though he has gone 2-1 in those fights, Poirier is still a growing fighter. He needs more time to grow before becoming a title contender. Swanson is hitting his prime right now in his career. Because Poirier was nearly knocked out in his last fight against Brookins, I think that’s what Swanson will do = Swanson via 2nd round TKO. My 1st pick for FOTN!
Jimi Manuwa vs. Cyrille Diabate: I’m a fan of Jimi Manuwa. I love to watch him fight and I look forward to his UFC career. But he desperately needs to work on his conditioning. The only reason he got the finish over Kingsbury in his last fight was because of a swollen eye. Diabate looked absolutely fantastic in his last bout over Griggs, but I feel as though it was more Griggs looking atrocious and Diabate taking advantage of that. Diabate has the technique advantage while Manuwa will have a huge power advantage. I see Manuwa winning two of the three rounds with Diabate showing holes in Manuwa’s game = Manuwa via unanimous decision.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago: It’s a shame that someone like Jorge Santiago just simply can’t find his groove inside the UFC. His record of 1-4 is very under-average and doesn’t do his skills a justice. But Gunnar Nelson, now that is a name that casual fans need to remember. His BJJ is some of the best in the UFC.
also has spectacular BJJ but Nelson is on another level. We saw what happened
when Santiago fought someone who
was the better grappler in Maia: he lost by decision. Though Nelson isn’t as good
as Maia, I still predict a similar outcome = Nelson via unanimous decision.
James Te Huna vs. Ryan Jimmo: I love this fight. They are two of the more exciting prospects in the UFC looking to send themselves into contention. Though they are both big power punchers, but there is a difference in how they find that big punch. Te Huna is a blitzer; he goes right after his opponent with combinations aplenty looking for the knockout. Jimmo measures more and takes his time when looking for that finishing shot. Both guys have amazing chins and are pretty good grapplers. I think Te Huna’s blitzing style is what is going to win him this fight = Te Huna via unanimous decision. My 3rd pick for FOTN!
Che Mills vs. Matt Riddle: I have got to say, Matt Riddle has really impressed me lately. He looked really good against Chris Clements (despite the fact that it was overturned due to marijuana) and showed a more measured fighting style against John Maguire. But Mills is on a different level to that of both Clements and Maguire. His standup is devastating. He hits so hard that it’s hard to watch. Mills will continually hurt Riddle until he gets the finish = Mills via 2nd round KO. My pick for KOOTN!
Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte = Etim via 1st round submission (armbar).
Paul Sass vs. Danny Castillo = Sass via 1st round submission (triangle). My pick for SOTN!
Josh Grispi vs. Andy Ogle = Grispi via split decision.
Stanislav Nedkov vs. Tom Watson = Nedkov via 2nd round submission (arm triangle).
Vaughan Lee vs. Motonobu Tezuka = Lee via unanimous decision.
Ulysses Gomez vs. Phil Harris = Gomez via 3rd round submission (choke).
Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald: McDonald is a great young fighter with a huge future ahead of him, but outside of a “puncher’s chance”, he is not going to come close to winning this. Barao is an animal who is a better athlete and is far above McDonald’s skill level in every facet of the game. I see Barao controlling the fight and not getting too risky, but if he hurts McDonald at all, he will pounce and finish it. = Barao by unanimous decision.
Dustin Poirier vs. Cub Swanson: Possible fight of the year candidate in this one. Swanson has been improving by leaps and bounds lately and seems to be taking out good competition rather easily. Poirier is always a gamer but the main difference in this fight for me is Cub’s fight IQ as of late. He is a Jackson’s fighter and it has been showing. Poirier is a great fighter but his recklessness will hurt him in this one. I see Poirier getting sloppy and Cub sneaking in an opening and dropping Poirier. = Cub by TKO in round 2. My Pick for Fight of the Night!
Cyrille Diabate vs. Jimi Manuwa: If it wasn’t for the Swanson vs. Poirier fight, this would be my pick for Fight of the Night! This fight will be an all out technical striking match. The main differences in this fight are the facts that Diabate’s chin will not be able to handle Manuwa’s power and speed. Manuwa will be much faster, stronger but Diabate will have a major reach disadvantage. If Diabate wants to win, he must keep Manuwa as far away as possible. But I see Manuwa using leg kicks and speed to be able to cut down on Diabate’s footwork and mobility. This will be a close one but don’t be surprised if Manuwa pulls off a huge KO. = Manuwa by unanimous decision.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago: Always good to see Jorge back in the UFC. He is an exciting fighter who can be brilliant at times. Nelson is going to be a very tough test for Jorge. Nelson is extremely well rounded and is a finisher in every sense of the word. Jorge has a chance to come back and win this by playing it smart and not getting into any ugly scrambles, but Gunnar is a young brute and he will find a way to win. = Nelson by unanimous decision.
Ryan Jimmo vs. James Te Huna: Oh boy, this is a treat. Minus his last fight, Jimmo is a slow starter that plots around looking for an opening to land bombs. That will not be the case this time as Te Huna will blitz him like he always does. Jimmo will be forced out of his comfort zone and I don’t think he will like this fight one bit. I see Te Huna being too much for Jimmo and later on catching him. = Te Huna by TKO in round 3.
Che Mills vs. Matthew Riddle: Riddle’s boxing is very strange and not all that effective. That is what will lose him this fight against Mills. Mills has great striking abilities. Mill will land early and often until Riddle is out cold. = Mills by KO in round 2. My Pick for KO of the Night!
Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte = Etim by submission in round 1.
Danny Castillo vs. Paul Sass = Sass by submission in round 2. My Pick for Submission of the Night!
Josh Grispi vs. Andy Ogle = Grispi by unanimous decision.
Stanislav Nedkov vs. Tom Watson = Nedkov by split decision.
Vaughan Lee vs. Motonobu Tezuka = Lee by submission in round 2.
Ulysses Gomez vs. Phil Harris = Gomez by split decision.
Let us know your predictions either on Twitter @Champion_Rounds or in the comments.
Make sure to tune in for this event at 8:00 PM on Spike.tv for the prelims and at 10:00, Spike TV will be featuring the main card.
Eduardo Dantas vs. Marcos Galvao: Okay, we all know that Dantas was knocked out in his last fight, a fight in which was supposed to be a warm up fight for him. It didn’t go so well so people are sort of overlooking Dantas now. Don’t do that! He is still one of the more exciting prospects in all MMA. Galvao is also a fantastic fighter who is very well rounded. His main weakness is his chin. He has been knocked out twice and rocked by several people. Dantas’ power is underrated and I believe he will knock Galvao down and look for the finish = Dantas via 3rd round submission.
Brian Rogers vs. Dan Cramer =
via split decision.
Brett Cooper vs. Norman Paraisy = Cooper via unanimous decision.
Andreas Spang vs. Doug Marshall = Spang via 1st round KO.
Timothy Goodwin vs. Nathan Davis = Goodwin via 3rd round TKO.
Chris Mierzwiak vs. Johnny Buck = Buck via unanimous decision.
Kyle Bolt vs. Joe Pacehco = Bolt via unanimous decision.
Sultan Aliev vs. Mikkel Parlo = Parlo via 2nd round KO.
Aaron Johnson vs. Brennan Ward = Ward via 1st round KO.
David Mejia vs. Mont Mcmullens = Mejia via 1st round submission (strikes).
Eduardo Dantas vs. Marcos Galvao: I am very excited about this fight. Dantas is a killer but is coming off of a devastating loss to Tyson Nam and will be looking to rebound against a very tough and technical grappler in Marcos Galvao. I think Galvao’s best chance is to try and make this a slow grinding ground battle. If Dantas is allowed to fight his game, Galvao will be taken out early. This one is tough to pick but I think I’m going with the younger, stronger, faster champion. = Dantas by unanimous decision.
Dan Cramer vs. Brian Rogers = Rogers by unanimous decision.
Brett Cooper vs. Norman Paraisy = Cooper by split decision.
Doug Marshall vs. Andreas Spang = Spang by unanimous decision.
Nathan Davis vs. Tim Goodwin = Goodwin by unanimous decision.
Johnny Buck vs. Chris Mierzwiak = Buck by TKO in round 2.
Kyle Bolt vs. Joe Pacheco = Bolt by unanimous decision.
Sultan Aliev vs. Mikkel Parlo = Parlo by TKO in round 2.
Aaron Johnson vs. Brennan Ward = Ward by KO in round 1.
Mont McMullens vs. David Mejia = Mejia by KO in round 1.
Let us know your predictions on Twitter @Champion_Rounds or in the comments.
Graham Spencer vs. Mukai Maromo: This is a fantastic fight. Their first fight was great and now that they have both really improved since then, it will be even better this time around. Spencer did win that fight by unanimous decision, but Maromo has really improved since then, showing a better ground game and displaying brutal knockout power. Spencer is still a very good fighter, but Maromo will win this rematch = Maromo via unanimous decision.
Elvis Mutapcic vs. Sam Alvey: (Check out our interview here) I have to say, I was extremely surprised when I found out that the UFC released Alvey following TUF. He is entertaining, charismatic, and extremely talented. What he showed on TUF doesn’t do him a justice. He has wins over Lucas Lopes, Jason Guida, and even Karl Amoussou. He also has an extremely close loss to Vitor Vianna. Mutapcic is also one of the more exciting prospects himself, always putting on great fights and pulling off upsets. I mean, the guy has wins over Joseph Henle, Jacen Flynn, Zak Cummings and even has a knockout win over TUF:
winner, Cezar Ferreira in just 25 seconds. They both have the tools to defeat
each other, but I think Alvey has the power to win it. It will be extremely
close but Alvey will rock him several times throughout, making the judges lean to him = Alvey via split
Mike Hackert vs. Smealinho Rama = Hackert via split decision.
Clay Davidson vs. Jason Zentgraf = Zentgraf via unanimous decision.
Leo Bercier vs. Jay Silva = Silva via 1st round KO.
Jonatas Novaes vs. Kurt Southern = Southern via unanimous decision.
Mukai Maromo vs. Graham Spencer: This fight should be a blast to watch. I think Maromo’s game has improved since the last time these two fought back in 2010. However, his game has not evolved enough to handle Spencer. Spencer will drag this to the ground and keep it there until the final bell rings. = Spencer by unanimous decision.
Elvis Mutapcic vs. Sam Alvey: (Check out our interview here) Sam Alvey is the man! He was a great interview and I think he takes this fight. But both of these guys are incredibly durable and tough and they are also both very well-rounded. This will be a close fight but I think Alvey comes from a great camp and he is also much more experienced. I see Alvey controlling the pace and dictating where the fight takes place; landing bombs along the way. = Alvey by unanimous decision.
Mike Hackert vs. Smealinho Rama = Hackert by split decision.
Clay Davidson vs. Jason Zentgraf = Zentgraf by submission in round 3.
Leo Bercier vs. Jay Silva = Silva by KO in round 2.
Jonatas Novaes vs. Kurt Southern = Novaes by submission in round 2.
Make sure to tune in to this event at 10 PM on AXS TV on February 15th and let us know your predictions for this event, either on Twitter @Champion_Rounds, or in the comments.
Friday, February 8, 2013
This is the whole first episode and it is an amazing episode of Primetime. It truly is a must-see. Goes into depth about Ronda and her life. I recommend all of you to watch it. As always feel free to comment on it! Follow us on Twitter @Champion_Rounds