Archive for April, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 4

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 Episode 4 seemed to revolve around one fighter, Kyacey Uscola. Not only was Uscola chosen to fight Liddell‘s Rich Attonito, but he was also involved in a major row with Jamie Yager in the house.

Ortiz said that Uscola had good take downs, good take down defense and good submissions. He expected Uscola to continue striking, defend against take downs and get up right away afterward. One of Uscola’s teammates mentioned that Uscola had a good double (which I assume means double leg take down).

Attonito, per Liddell, was a good wrestler, had good shots and good take downs. Due to prior commitments, Liddell would be missing this fight, though.

Before the fight aired, Uscola accused Yager of theft of a shirt. After much cursing on both parts and further arguing in front of Ortiz, it was determined that Yager had had permission to take a “Team Punishment” shirt and had not stolen it. Uscola refused to apologize for the accusation.

Round one of the match between Attonito and Uscola: They began by trading strikes with Attonito succeeding in hitting Uscola sufficiently for Uscola to go to the ground. Some ground and pound followed by Attonito. Then Attonito picked Uscola up and threw him to the ground head first. Quite a frightening take down.

Uscola attempted a Kimura (ude garami), but Attonito flipped over to be on the bottom, causing Uscola to lose the arm bar grip.

Uscola had some side control, threw elbows to Attonito’s gut and when Attonito still had a knee on the mat, applied knees to Attonito’s chest and face. The referee stopped the match immediately.

Attonito was awarded the win by disqualification on Uscola’s part. Amazingly, Uscola spoke to the camera saying that he didn’t respect Attonito as a fighter, when Uscola had performed the illegal and quite dangerous techniques.

Ortiz stomped out of the fight area, ripping a door off the hinges.

Attonito may have won the fight, but he is out of the competition having broken his hand so severely he might require surgery.

The second fight of the episode was between Uscola’s nemesis, Yager, and Charlie Blanchard, from Liddell’s team.

Liddell thought that Blanchard would come out aggressively, that he had great take downs and high kicks and, when on top during ground fighting, Yager would have a hard time getting Blanchard off.

Ortiz said Yager had to circle, circle, circle, throw shots, cover his head and avoid take downs. He thought that this would be an easy win for Yager. Yager, himself, said that he felt he had superior striking. In fact, Yager is five inches taller and had a five inch reach advantage on Blanchard.

Round one began with a take down attempt by Blanchard and then another, with Yager sprawling well to avoid them. Yager did a Superman punch and Blanchard was down. TKO referee stoppage.  

The Ultimate Fighter is on Spike at 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesdays.

Click here to go to TUF11 Eps. 1 & 2.

Click here to go to TUF11 Ep. 3.

ayjay

April 22, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 3

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 Episode 3 had at least one surprise: Chris Camozzi was sent home, having sustained a slight fracture of the jaw during his elimination fight. Dana White was pre-empting a broken jaw by Camozzi’s elimination. Tito Ortiz was then given the opportunity to pick a guy from the eliminated men to come back. He chose Seth Baczynski.

This episode’s fight was between Brad Tavares (Liddell‘s team) and James Hammortree (Ortiz’s team).Yager felt that Tavares was going to win by knock out, while Nick Ring guessed that Hammortree would win by TKO in the second round.

Hammortree, nicknamed “The Sledge”, has a record for the fastest KO in Florida – five seconds. Ortiz was looking for a take down by Hammortree and ground and pound. One of Liddell’s coaches said that Tavares will be “a force to be reckoned with in the UFC”.

Hammortree was the bigger of the two men, two inches taller with a two inch reach advantage. His record was 5 and 1 coming into this fight, whereas Tavares’s record was 4 and 0.

Round one began with a failed take down attempt by Hammortree, Tavares threw his opponent with harai goshiand ended up on Hammortree’s back. He then tried a rear naked choke which failed. Hammortree flipped over and was in Tavares’s half guard.

Tavares used the fence to get up, after which Hammortree tried a take down ending on the bottom again with Tavares on his back. Ortiz kept yelling for Hammortree to get “up, up, up”. Hammortree again managed to get in Tavares’s half guard and then side, but there was a huge gap between their bodies and Tavares was up.

Round two had Hammortree rushing Tavares to the fence. Tavares pushed Hammortree and ended in Hammortree’s guard. Tavares applied a knee to Hammortree’s face. While on the ground Tavares was on his knees with Hammortree on his back. He used the fence to stand up, but Hammortree took him down. While on the bottom, Tavares tried a Kimura (ude garami) for some time. At the bell, Hammortree was in Tavares’s guard and butterfly guard.

The Sudden Victory round began with Tavares’s striking. Hammortree attempted a take down which was stuffed and then Tavares rolled into Hammortree’s half guard. Hammortree applied elbows and achieved full mount. Tavares immediately rolled over and was in control.

While bent over, Hammortree tried a take down; Tavares was holding Hammortree’s arm trying ude garami sporadically.

Unanimous decision in Tavares’s favour.

My thoughts: If Hammortree were a striker (witness his record in Florida), why was he trying so hard to defeat Tavares on the ground? Hammortree was jumping from one technique and position to another very quickly, not giving himself the opportunity to establish control.

Tavares deserved the win. His techniques were solid and competent.

Click here to go to TUF11 Episodes 1 & 2.

Click here to go to TUF11 Ep. 4.

ayjay

April 20, 2010

UFCs 111 and 112 Thoughts

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Rather than go through all the fights, or even the majority, I have one fight in each of these to cover.

At UFC 111, a preliminary fight was shown at the end of the main card to PPV customers. This fight was between Jerod Hamman and Rodney Wallace, light heavyweights who couldn’t look any more different. Hamman is tall, almost spindly, with white, pasty skin. Wallace is a short, overly-muscular black man.

Being so muscular allowed Wallace to put a great deal of weight behind his punches, but he gassed out early as well. In addition, I think having big muscles gets in the way in a sport which allows for fine motor skills when doing some submissions.  

Round one had Wallace connecting with an upper cut against Hamman’s head so strongly that Hamman’s head went up and back like a PEZ dispenser. Hamman accomplished a take down with an uchi mata, though, and didn’t give up after being clobbered severely.

Round two had Hamman doing another uchi mata, better and more strongly than the previous. He is an awkward-looking fighter and one viewer here suggested he was “Forest Gumby”. His techniques were solid, though, and he rolled Wallace over whenever he wanted to as Wallace became more tired. 

Round three had Wallace throwing Hamman withkuchiki taoshi, grabbing a leg after a kick attempt and sweeping out the other leg. A late flourish of strikes by Wallace had Hamman wobbling like Jackie Chan in “The Legend of the Drunken Master“.

Both men did not give up and, although exhausted, Wallace had moments later on in the match in which he fought solidly. The match went to Hamman by unanimous decision.

UFC 112 had Anderson Silva against Demian Maia. I have avoided watching this match until today because Silva’s antics in recent fights have bothered me so much.  Silva’s match inUFC 97 Redemption was boring to watch and I was certain this would be more of the same.

Silva took a minute and a half before he threw a kick, but once he started, he connected with a leg kick and spinning back kick. He then threw strikes and more kicks. Maia was extremely hesitant and followed Silva around the octagon. Silva had his arms down a great deal leaving openings for Maia. The crowd was chanting “Silva!”.

Round two had Silva doing a couple of capoeira movements, then standing still with hands down. Maia rushed at him for take downs, but Silva escaped each time. Silva taunted Maia to fight and then would strike and kick whenever he wanted. Low leg kicks to Maia’s lead leg succeeded each time.

Round three had Silva attacking the lead leg many times and indicated that Maia was completely outclassed: Silva could do whatever he wanted, whenever he tried anything.

Round four had a change in the audience and in Silva: Silva circled the octagon continually and did nothing. The crowd chanted “Maia!” Maia then became frustrated with the constant circling. Chanting of “GSP!” came next. The round ended with a chorus of “Boo!”.

Round five began with Maia’s left eye virtually swollen shut. That did not seem to impact his performance, though, as he did better in this round than any other. Maia’s strikes connected and he tried a couple of take downs. Silva received a warning from the referee about his circling the octagon and not doing anything.

As usual, Silva won and kept his belt. As usual, the fight was boring for the most part: Silva taunts his opponents and then monkeys around; his BJJ opponents pull guard and he avoids the ground. When Silva connects with a strike or kick, the technique is fast and flawless. The problems might be the opponents or perhaps he is no longer interested in being on the receiving end of the punch or kick or ground technique. Silva apologized to the crowd and suggested that he had ring rust from lack of fights. He has apologized before, but his fights are not getting better.

ayjay,

April 20, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Eps. 1 & 2

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 began with more fights (or partial fights) in one hour than we’ve seen to date. For people unfamiliar with MMA, there were good varieties of techniques and skill levels. We also had injuries, lots of blood and a couple of boring bits. All ’round, it was one of the best episodes of The Ultimate Fighter that I’ve seen. Nothing was on long enough to cause me to want to change the channel and there was something new in the next five minute segment.

In episode 1 we had 28 competitors and fourteen fights. Those fourteen winners will be fighting in the next few weeks to come up with the final seven. In order to have eight finalists, the coaches will name the eighth person from among the losers of the previous seven matches.

As for the fights on this night, we had some serious bleeding from a head wound, a broken orbital socket (Victor O’Donnell vs. Chris Camozzi (W)), a popped shoulder (Cleburn Walker vs. Kris McCray (W)), and the worst broken nose I’ve ever seen – flattened and askew -(in a bout between very close friends, Clayton McKinney (W) and Charley Lynch). We had several knock outs: Jamie Yager (W) vs. Ben Stark; Jordan Smith vs. Brad Tavares (W); Jacen Flynn vs. Charles Blanchard (W); and Kyacey Uscola (W) vs. Brent Cooper.

Joe Henle (W) won with a juji gatame against Constantinos Philippou, while we had a few matches that went to decision: Josh Bryant (W) vs. Greg Rebello, Rich Attonito (W) vs. Lyle Steffens, Nick Ring (W) vs. Woody Weatherby, and Kyle Noke (W) vs. Warren Thompson. Court McGee vs. Seth Baczynski went to a third round with McGee winning.

In addition to all that excitement we had a Frenchman, Norman Paraisy, who had said that he wanted to prove that the French were fighters and didn’t deserve the negative comments they always got. He gave up after round one against James Hammortree.

One of the best fights of the night was against Victor O’Donnell and Chris Camozzi. Both men fought well, with Camozzi throwing O’Donnell with harai goshi twice, both times quickly and with precision. O’Donnell continued through the fight with a broken orbital socket, eye mostly shut, a very tough guy.

The first episode of TUF11 was fun and I’m looking to see more of the same.

Episode 2 had the coaches, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, choosing their team members from the winners of the first episode. After all the men were picked, Ortiz mocked Liddell’s choices when talking to his own team, mentioning the size of the guys Liddell had chosen, most of them being 5’9″ or slightly more. Dana White even went up to Liddell and made comments, suggesting that Liddell had the worse team and White couldn’t understand his picks. Liddell saw something in the men he chose and he was happy with his team.

In addition, Liddell got to pick the fighters for the first preliminary bout, naming Kyle Noke from his team to fight against Clayton McKinney from Ortiz’s.

Comments from Liddell and his coaches about Noke were that he had good strikes, kicks, ground game and no weaknesses that they could see. McKinney was a total other animal. He was complaining continually about his shoulder, injured during his elimination fight. He was not relating to anyone in the house and slacked off during training due to his injury. (An MRI found bone bruising, but nothing structural wrong with it.) Ortiz felt that McKinney had never been truly tested before.

During the match, McKinney switched stances a number of times, and had his hands far too low. The men exchanged leg kicks, but seemed hesitant. After a failed take down by McKinney, he ended in Noke’s triangle choke (sankaku jime) and, with perhaps 30 seconds before the choke was on well, did not escape. Tapout. Win by Noke.

McKinney tried to leave the room immediately, but Ortiz and his coaches made him watch an escape from the triangle and then attempt the escape twice. Ortiz really is a fantastic coach. Instead of letting his own disappointment overwhelm him, something we have seen in past coaches on The Ultimate Fighter (Rampage Jackson certainly comes to mind), he spoke positively to McKinney and showed him how to avoid the triangle in the future.

As for mocking Liddell, fight one goes to Liddell.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.

Click here to go to TUF11 Episode 3.

Click here to go to TUF11 Ep. 4.

ayjay,

April 10, 2010