Archive for September, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 2

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 (TUF10) had a little bit of everything: squabbles between Jackson and Evans (regarding mat time), Kimbo Slice and Roy Nelson talking directly to the camera, training sessions and the problems therein, and another fight with another elimination.

The constant arguing behind false smiles between the two coaches must be stressing out both these guys. Their egos leave little room for anything else. In this episode, Evans’s team were five minutes’ late leaving the mat area, causing Jackson’s blood pressure to rise. Stupid stuff.

As a carrot for further episodes, we watched Kimbo Slice train. Jackson and his people extolled Slice’s talents. Roy Nelson talked about how much he wanted to fight Kimbo Slice, but during training sessions he did not follow direction and worked on his own. One of Evans’s coaches took him aside, called him “uncoachable”, said that he didn’t listen, and wanted him to be serious. He then asked Nelson if he wanted to get knocked out again. When in front of the camera, Nelson said it was a matter of “two masters getting together”. He considers himself a master. Even the most accomplished people have teachers and are then students. There’s always more to learn. His ego needs to be deflated, more than a little.

Jackson picked Evans’s James McSweeney to fight Wes Shivers. McSweeney is an English kickboxer with a record of 136-9, who trains with Evans and Greg Jackson. Shivers is one of the biggest guys in this group at 6’7″, about 270, with a 6.5 inch reach advantage. A former NFL player who worked in law enforcement, he now trains with Alan Belcher.

Each man thought the other did not have the skills to win: McSweeney believed that Shivers would “run out of steam” because of his size, whereas Shivers thought McSweeney didn’t have the skills to win against him. Jackson merely wanted Shivers to beat McSweeney.

Round 1 had McSweeney applying very loud, devastating leg kicks mostly to Shivers’s lead leg. McSweeney got taken down and while Shivers was in half guard, Shivers attempted a Kimura (ude garami) on McSweeney. McSweeney had a difficult time determining distance, but eventually got a punch in. Shivers caught one of McSweeney’s kicks as well.

As Shivers threw his punches (slightly bent over) and moving forward, McSweeney backed up and actually turned his back. He looked as though he were running away. In the latter part of the round Shivers was flat-footed and looked exhausted.

During the break, Shivers had his mouth wide open trying to get air. His corner told him to “move forward”. McSweeney’s corner told him to “keep it simple”.

Round 2 was more of the same: McSweeney delivering devastating leg kicks, Shivers throwing a punch, McSweeney throwing a punch. It was almost a non-fight. No combinations. Both guys huffing and puffing. Several times they both stood looking at each other, hands on hips, trying to catch their breaths, and McSweeney’s turning his back and running away.

At one point, after a hook, I believe, and then a head kick, Shivers went down and McSweeney attempted a front guillotine (hadaka jime) while on the bottom, the most interesting part of the round.

The fight went to decision with McSweeney getting the win. It was an ugly fight, and even if McSweeney has great leg kicks, he turned his back several times and obviously was running away from his opponent.

At the end of the show, Evans chose the competitors for the next episode – Kimbo Slice and Roy Nelson.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 is on Spike on Wednesday nights at 10 EST.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

ayjay

September 24, 2009

UFC 103 – Franklin vs Belfort

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The Ultimate Fighting Challenge 103 UFC 103 – Franklin versus Belfort was last Saturday night. In order to generate revenue, or interest people in more PPV, some of the preliminary fights were broadcast on Spike from 9 to 10 p.m. The first thirty seconds or so of the first fight consisted of some of the funniest television we’ve watched in a while (excluding The Big Bang Theory). The fight was between Drew McFedries and Tomasz Drwal, middleweights. As they began the match, the beginning few seconds of audio and video looped for the next 30 or so seconds. Granted, we missed the actual fighting, but it was funny nonetheless.

What we did see were low leg kicks by Drwal and a take down by Drwal with his landing on top. McFedries stood up with Drwal on his back. Drwal applied knees to McFedries hamstrings and head. Both fighters were striking heavily and McFedries looked exhausted afterward.

Just before the buzzer, Drwal achieved another take down and had one hook in, while on McFedries’ back.

Round 2 had Drwal’s strikes connecting. He then took McFedries down again, moving from side mount, to the back. He then applied a rear naked choke (hadaka jime) for tapout.

Efrain Escudero, winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 8, was up next against Cole Miller. The announcers talked about Escudero’s problems making weight and that his health might be a concern. Also Escudero has been seriously injured and has not been fighting since last December.

Although Miller is four inches taller than Escudero and has a two inch reach advantage and tried to use both to his advantage, Escudero was in control from the beginning. Escudero caught Miller’s leg after an attempted kick, threw a couple of punches and let Miller up.

Escudero then took Miller down with a big slam and let him up again. He threw a series of punches, all of which hit their target, left, right, another big right and Miller went down. Two other strikes while Miller was on the ground and the referee stopped the match.

Welterweights Rick Story and Brian Foster were up next. This match had lots of action from both men, with strong, fast striking, and action on the ground. Story took Foster down early on, picking him up and throwing him. While on the ground, Story used his elbows for ground and pound. He moved from side control to half guard while Foster never ceased moving on the bottom, even throwing elbows from below.

When standing again, Story took Foster down again. As Foster rose to his feet, Story landed some punches. Foster threw an upper cut. Story’s nose seemed to have been broken at some point in this exchange.

Round 2 had Foster attempting a head kick. Story took Foster down and was in guard and then half guard. While Foster had Story’s leg trapped, Story accomplished a solid kata gatame (arm triangle), even without having his legs free, which turned into a choke, causing Foster to tap out. Really amazing technique. Fight of the Night.  Submission of the Night.

Southpaws Jim Miller and Steve Lopez, both lightweights, were next to fight. Round one went to Miller: he connected with strikes and leg kicks, attempted a take down, which Lopez avoided by sprawling, and then tried a front hadaka jime.  Miller tried various other techniques when in Lopez’s guard, including wrapping Lopez’s own arm around Lopez’s neck, not a technique you see often, but very effective at trapping your opponent’s arm and aiding in a choke if you’ve got it right.

Round 2 had Lopez fighting far better, looking more confident and relaxed until he threw out his left shoulder, a horrible sight. Referee stoppage by verbal submission.

As for the main card, the fights were varied, but mostly standing. Josh Koscheck demolished Frank Trigg in the first round by a looping right, a shot to the chin and multiple strikes when he was on the floor. TKO referee stoppage in round 1. 

Tyson Griffin threw many leg kicks and strikes in his match against Hermes Franca. As the match went on, Griffin would come in for a quick strike and/or kick and then go out again such that Franca could not tag him. A couple of times Franca tried to grab Griffin’s leg in order to have him close enough to strike.

Round 2 had Franca coming in strongly and both men were trading strikes and leg kicks. Franca then grabbed Griffin’s leg and held on, trying to strike. Griffin approached Franca at angles and threw jabs, leg kicks and upper cuts.  One strike to Franca’s chin caused him to hit the ground. Griffin followed up with multiples strikes. TKO in Griffin’s favour.

Martin Kampmann fought Paul Daley in a short match that had Daley in control most of the time. Daley used lots of combinations, with the most deadly being his left hooks, which were solid and heavy. Kampmann managed to grab Daley and push him to the fence at one point. He then applied knees until Daley escaped.

Daley then rocked Kampmann with another left hook, which he immediately followed up with multiple strikes. TKO referee stoppage.

The match between Mirko Cro Cop versus Junior Dos Santos was a co-main event. Cro Cop is a kickboxer with devastating kicks, but his record in the octagon is mediocre. During  this bout, he threw very few kicks, probably no more than five, and threw few punches. Although the men injured one another with cuts above the eyes and Dos Santos with a mouse below the left eye, Dos Santos seemed to be picking Cro Cop apart, connecting with fast strikes. Cro Cop would grab Dos Santos around the neck and push him away, probably to set him up for kicks, but they didn’t come. A take down attempt early in the match by Cro Cop failed with his landing on the bottom and both men getting up right away.

Round three had Cro Cop as the aggressor, but Dos Santos in control. Dos Santos toppled Cro Cop with huge knees to the body and head (eleven in all). One shot went to Cro Cop’s left eye and Cro Cop tapped verbally.

Mike Goldberg made a comment during this bout concerning Dos Santos which I have to reiterate: “The young, hungry competitor, eight and one overall…” Our reaction was: “The young, hungry competitor ate and won overall…”

The remaining co-main event was between Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort. Franklin was in the center of the octagon and Belfort circled.  Franklin tried a leg kick, but Belfort caught it. He then attempted a left hook and leg kick. His straight rights were not connecting. Belfort kept watching and following Franklin, waiting for the right moment. Belfort eventually threw a big looping left punch and dropped Franklin. He immediately followed up with several shots to the head of Franklin.  Knock Out of the Night.

ayjay

September 21, 2009

p.s. As an aside, I’m grateful that Franklin’s sleazy commercial is no longer being shown (the one in which his “student” rolls her eyes at him).

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 1

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 began last night. This is the season of heavyweights with coaches Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans and, as the top dog, or most-looked-forward-to-individual, Kimbo Slice (Kevin Ferguson). In addition to the size factor, the ages of these people are different from previous seasons: most of these guys are aged from mid-twenties to Slice at the high end at 35.

The guys had two hours only in which to show their skills to the coaches. After the two hours, Jackson and Evans picked their teams. Evans seemed interested in guys who could take direction well and Jackson wanted the biggest fellows.

Jackson picked the first fight – his guy, Abe Wagner, against Jon Madsen from Evans’ team. Madsen is 6′ and 240, whereas Wagner is 6’4″ and 265. Madsen’s background is all wrestling. He started in high school and actually won against Brock Lesnar as a kid. He was a Division 1 national wrestling champion at university as well. He trains with Matt Hughes and Robbie Lawlor.

Wagner’s background is in football and basketball, including being a linebacker in university. He is employed as a mechanical engineer and has studied mixed martial arts since 2005.

Madsen’s game plan was to take Wagner down, since Evans said Wagner’s groundwork experience was lacking. Wagner believed he could win the match, that his jiu jitsu was sufficient to win. He also is decidedly larger than Madsen - four inches taller, twenty-five pounds heavier and a five inch reach advantage.

The match began with Madsen taking Wagner down within seconds. Wagner held on to Madsen tightly, but Madsen delivered punches to Wagner’s kidney and ribs and then did some ground and pound. He opened a huge gash in Wagner’s head from the hair down the forehead and there were puddles of blood everywhere.

Round 2 began in the same way as round 1 – an immediate take down which Wagner did not fight. It was a cheap shot, though, as Wagner reached out to touch gloves and Madsen faked him out, taking him down instead. They were made to stand after a while as nothing happened with either man. Madsen looked gassed, but he easily controlled Wagner.

Most of the round consisted of take downs and closed guards. Jackson screamed, “Abe, get up!” many times in the round, to no avail. Wagner did trap one of Madsen’s legs and threw a knee when told to, but got taken down again.

Unanimous win by Madsen.

Jackson walked out after the match and took responsibility for picking the fight.

As for potential in this season, we have Jackson and Evans arguing continually from start to finish in the episode. Clips from next week’s show indicate that the conflict continues. Kimbo Slice is a target in everyone’s sights, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Will the coaches keep him in reserve to ensure an audience or treat him like any other competitor?

The Ultimate Fighter is on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on Spike.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

ayjay

September 17, 2009