UFC: What did the Ultimate Fighter season finale have in store?

diazmaynard

Diaz and Maynard headlined the show – Source: Scott Petersen(MMA Weekly)

So, another season of TUF comes to an end. With that comes the finale. We have Rakoczy v Pena for the women’s contract, and Holdsworth v Grant for the men’s. I haven’t seen the fights yet but I had a sneaky peak at the results for this write up. Let me start by saying that if I had done picks for this, I would have done horrendously. The event was headlined by the third and deciding rubber match between Maynard and Diaz. The latter put a beatdown on his TUF rival, en route to a TKO victory. Diaz pasted him from the opening until Yves waived the fight off, with Maynard collapsing to the canvas shortly afterwards.

Pena got the win by TKO after grounding and pounding her victim until the ref had stop the fight with seconds to spare. I thought Rakoczy could use her boxing to keep Pena at bay, similarly to how she did Pennington. Obviously this was not the case. I’m still not sold on Pena as a contender yet though. Holdsworth submitted Grant early. I felt that grant would be good enough everywhere to be able to keep the fight where he wanted it, wearing down Holdsworth. Oh well, better luck next time Grant. Duke v Morgan had a battle of two tall hotties. Duke battered Morgan to get the unanimous decision. Pennington took on the nerd. This was as close to a gimme for Pennington as can be, but it appears that Modiferi made her work for a decision win.

The one fight I did see was a flyweight bout between Sampo and Benoit. Sampo weighed in 2ĺbs over. The fight was basically the bigger Sampo bashing on the tough sob Benoit, until he was able to lock a sub and force him to tap. I felt straight away that this had the potential to be the fight of the night, and it was named so. Benoit may not have won the battle but he certainly won the war. As Sampo failed to make weight, his share of the bonus was given to Benoit who netted himself 100k and a percentage of Sampo’s purse, plus his own salary. Happy Christmas to you sir. What a jammy bastard!

Thanks for reading,

Arun Paul Smith

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UFC: Moras taps out Morgan with wicked armbar on The Ultimate Fighter

morasA victorious Sarah Moras – Source: (Al Powers/Zuffa LLC)

Thanks for checking out my thoughts on the UFC, and in particular this week, the latest edition of The Ultimate Fighter.

The most recent episode of TUF was supposed to have two fights – the final quarter final fights for the men and the women. Unfortunately we found out early on that there was only going to be one. Miesha Tate’s top pick reckoned he couldn’t make weight so he bailed out and got booted off the show by a pissed off Dana White. Seriously, this has happened in almost every season. I’m beginning to think that they script this into the show. His opponent got the option to cut weight again in a couple of days and fight another guy or go straight to the semis. You can guess what he did? He went straight to semi central.

The girls gave us a short but great scrap. In fact, in my opinion the girls have given us the best fights this season, although it is clear that there is a vast gap between the elite and the not so good. I have to say though, the two fights that we have coming up, to produce the finalists are quite intriguing. Guttierez fights UK native Grant, while the other UK fighter Wootten takes on Holdsworth. For the women, Pena fights Moras and Pennington takes on Rakoczy. Obviously, in terms of the men, my money is on the Brits. I truly believe that they can win their fights. With the ladies, it’s not so clear. If Moras gets it to the ground, she’s taking Pena’s arm home.  Her sub is the nastiest arm bar since Rousey nearly broke off Tate’s arm. I’m excited and I hope you are too.

Thanks for reading.

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: The latest results and opinions on TUF and Fight Night

MMA: UFC Fight Night 29-Weigh-insDemian Maia and Jake Shields square off – Source: Jason Silva (USA TODAY Sports)

Thanks for joining me on The Real Mid Card for some viewpoints on the very latest in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Today I’m going to run through the last episode of TUF then give my predictions on and summary of UFC Fight Night 29: Maia v Shields.

I’m not going to lie to you, TUF was pretty boring. Knowing that next week has ladies in bikinis made me want to skip this one. OK, so the fight saw our own Davey, pitted against Louie, the guy that lost his fight to get in but the guy Dana liked. Davey outclassed him and battered him in round one, then finished him real quick with a real naked forcing the tap. Great fight for Davey, not so much for poor Louie. Team Rousey still in control. Next week we get a lanky model against a short tattooed lady. That should be a fun scrap.

Now let’s talk Fight Night and take a look at my predictions of the main card from bottom to top. Assuncao v Dillashaw: Assuncao is the home boy, Dillashaw is a wrestle-boxer. Assuncao seems to have found his groove, having won four straight, but that goes the same for Dillashaw. They have a common opponent in Vaughan Lee who both have finished off, but with Dillashaw did it faster. I see Assuncao getting a safe decision.

Pearce v Palhares: Palahares is a headcase, and he is a dirty cheating midget. Pearce is going to be too savvy and I see him winning the decision. Maldanado v Beltran: This is a battle of two former heavyweights, both come to bang. Maldonado has the crisper boxing but Beltran has that KO power. Maldanado takes a while to warm up in his fights, but this is a toss up fight. My heart says Beltran. My head says Maldonado. I’m going with my head.

Hamil v Silva: I’m going with Silva here by TKO in the second. The big question is, will he piss hot? I hope not. Silva v kim: Kim is tough as shit and a bit of a prospect killer, but Silva impresses me every time. He is beautifully violent, with so much style and grace. He has a loss to Jon Fitch and I think that Kim will look to impose his will and Fitch him up. I hate to say this but unless Silva comes out and puts a muthfuckin blitz on Kim’s head and knocks him the fuck out, it’s Kim’s fight all day. I’m going for Kim by decision.

Finally Maia v Shields: Both of these two have stellar BJJ, and both are pretty good grapplers. The question is, where will the battle be contested? That depends on Maia. He has fell in love with striking, since training with Wanderlei. However, he does lack power. Shields doesn’t like getting hit and has awful striking ability. He wants this on the ground but I see him trying for three (maybe more) eye pokes before he gets it there. This is a fight that Maia can and should win easily, but how he will win I don’t know.

How did the night actually go off? Let’s take a look at my live commentary and results. I’m not sure anyone is really feeling these Wednesday cards. The usually electrifying Brazil crowd is more like a damp squid. The fights seem to be lacking excitement. The fights are going as predicted, except that tree stump beat Mitchell. Palahares seemed to have taken off his mental head. All he wanted was to take Mitchell’s leg home and he did it in seconds.

Next up is Silva v Kim. I’m running out of steam but I will see it through to the end. Ill watch the next episode of TUF after some sleep. I hate these ad breaks that go on forever. One thing of note is that Thiago Silva weighed in 3lb over it showed. He looked soft and was gassed after a minute. He is on thin Ice with his bosses and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cut even with his win over Matt Hamill. It’s a shame because he has talent, but he doesn’t seem to want it anymore. You can see it. If he had the commitment, he could make a serious run for the title. Dana only knows, what he does with the guy. Maybe they will put him in with Daniel Cormier after he whacks Roy Nelson.

Back to the fight. Kim is doing the Fitch as predicted. Erick Silva throwing with bad intentions. Kim throwing spinning shit. Kim with a takedown and mount. Will he go full donkey Kong? Just humping and slapping. Silva working for sweeps. Round one ends  and has got to be Kim’s. Round 2 and Silva explodes. Kim is tying up. Silva is throwing strikes but mostly missing. Stun gun with a big punch and Silva is out Fucking cold. Wow. Didn’t expect that beautiful finish. The venue must be ridiculously humid. I haven’t seen this much sweat and heavy breathing since Abu Dhabi. UFC really needs to start taking these things into consideration. Dehydration is not fun and can put these guys at serious risk of a brain injury.

Coming up the main event of the evening. I actually didn’t make it through the fight. I read that Shields got the split decision. I’m not surprised.

I Watched another TUF and what a fight! A back and forth battle – very competitive. Some are hailing it the Griffin v Bonnar of WMMA. That may well be so. Its a must see fight and if you haven’t seen it, you simply must see it. If you have seen it, watch it again. I loved the fight. This means that Team Tate takes control. The next fight features a Brit from Team Rousey, and that’s always good.. She may gain control again. I’m going to leave it there and keep this part short because this has been rather long overall.

Thanks a lot for sticking through and coming back for more.

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter begins!

tuf18The cast of The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 – Source: UFC

Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter started this week and I thought It only fair that I wrote about it. Not about this season in particular, but an overview of it. I am a massive TUF fan. I think its fair to say that it revolutionized the sport. In my opinion, TUF has brought the the sport to the masses, and without it, maybe the sport would be dead by now. The sport is continuing to evolve and some say that TUF should too. What would you do to it? I think generally it has been great. It gives people the opportunity to compete on a TV network and attempt to make a name for themselves.

Believe it or not it, it does improve the UFC and the talent pool it has. I think with the UFC saturating the market with content, it’s easy to forget how important a tool TUF is. Obviously the first season was the most successful in terms of talent. I believe it also still has the most fighters than any season still competing today. But today, the UFC has such a huge turnover of fighters. Being in TUF doesn’t even guarantee you a fight on the finale, let alone after the finale. That is the major difference between TUF1 and today. You just get one moment to shine.

Fighter experience must also be a factor. People like Forrest Griffin already had fights over or approaching double figures. The new blood of today rarely have that luxury. This may be a blessing for genuine UFC fighters. Fighters like Amir Suddula may fight their entire careers inside the Octagon. Matt Riddle might have too, until he got busted for weed and generally talking crap. But that really is the exception. Unfortunately if you want to be in the UFC, you have got to be able to fight. You can’t learn to fight in the Octagon, not anymore anyway.

In a sense, that was what TUF was built on, the face that you could learn and losing didn’t necessarily mean the end for you. This may be the reason why people are frustrated when they invest so much time in a season of TUF, watching 16 people develop, when in all likelihood only four of them will make it past the finale. For me, it’s the coaches and the fighters that make TUF great. UFC generally gets the coaches spot on. There are only two seasons I can think of when the coaches really stank.

For Mir v Big Nog, not only were the coaches rubbish but the fighters were forgettable too. And TUF Smashes, which was a great concept was let down by awful boring coaches. Ross Pearson for the UK and George Sotoroplis for Australia. I can’t think of another UK v Aussie pair right now, but it was bad. Thankfully the fighters on both teams were actually really good. Every other coach pairing has had moments of greatness, hilarity and warmth.

Michael Bisping is TUF gold. He has been involved with three seasons so far and he has been great in all of them. I would have loved him to coach opposite Chael Sonnen. How great would that of been? Instead you had Jon Jones. He is arguably one of the most talented fighters in the world, but outside the cage he is terribly dull. Forward to now and we have female coaches and a house with both men and women. Potentially this could be an amazing season.

Both the coaches have beauty and charisma and both are great fighters. On this season more than any other, it is going to be the fights that will make or break the show. Ronda Rousey has already played an interesting move. The first fight for next week is the two first pick female in each of the teams. I’m intrigued and I will definitely be watching this season. I truly believe that the women will outshine the men but I think this is the point. Similar to the first season of TUF, the majority of the women are hugely experienced. Time will tell.

Arun Paul Smith

UFC: Fight Night 28 – Teixeira comes out on top in Brazil

UFC Fight Night Weigh-in

Bader faced off with Teixeira in the main event – Source: Getty Images

UFC Fight Night 28
Wednesday 4th September 2013
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Predictions: Featuring a headline fight which is basically a title eliminator fight but only if Teixeira wins. I’m going to do what I normal do and predict the main card, then give my perspective when the dust settles. First up was Vinicius v Baginatov. I don’t know anything about either guy so I’ll pick the guy with the most experience, that being Vinicius. Natal v Troeng. Troeng was on the season of TUF that brought us Uriah Hall. Natal is a Brazilian BJJ wizard and seasoned UFC vet. Troeng has 1 UFC fight to his name, a win over Adam Cella. Big step up for Troeng, and on this occasion too big a step. My money is on Natal by sub in the first.

Trinaldo v Hallmann. I’m not familiar with Hallmann too much, but Trinaldo was a semi standout in the first Brazilian season of TUF. Trinaldo by decision. I think Octagon shock will be too much for Hallmann in his promotional debut. Benevidez v Formiga. This screams squash match. Benevidez is a former title contender. Formiga has had two UFC fights, one of which is a loss to John Dodson. Guess who Dodson fights like? Benevidez by brutality.

Okami v Souza – Middleweight Okami is a former title contender and best buddies with Chael Sonnen. Souza is a Strikeforce BJJ phenom. Okami is a huge wrestler and Souza seems to be quite small for the weight class. This fight will definitely go to the ground. I’m not sold on Okami when standing up. I think Souza will get the submission in round one. Okami needs to keep the fight on the feet but I fear his wrestler mentality will take over and he will be smothered.

Finally the main event of the evening. Teixeira v Bader. Why did I say that this was a title eliminator but only if Teixeira wins? Tito Ortiz, that’s why. Bader got KTFO by Ortiz. Any chance of Bader being touted as a prospect are gone forever, or so it seems. Bader would have to win quick and exciting and not get injured. He has to be like Jon Jones, who handed him his very first career loss. Bader, the poor soul, was never on the short list of contenders. He lost to Machida and has only one win since. That was against Matushenko.

Teixeira is kind of the new UFC wonder boy right now. His fights so far have been exciting, except against Rampage. He is trained by John Hackleman and of course is mates with Chuck Liddell, who is best mates with Dana White. Talk about friends in high places. If he wins, he is the next logical contender to the winner of Jones v Gustuffson, if the winner of that fight is Mr. Jones of course. I think you can guess where I’m going with my prediction here? Of course its Teixeira that I’m going for. On paper, Bader should be his toughest test. Rampage didn’t care and just wanted his walking slip. I Just can not see how Bader has any chance.

Look. If Bader wins, he ain’t getting out of Brazil alive, so he still loses whatever the outcome. I think Teixeira will come out all guns blazing and look to starch Bader early. If it goes to the ground, he will have his BJJ to rely on and look for sweeps to get on top for the ground ‘n’ pound. Bader on the other hand, should look to keep Teixeira at a distance and look to take him to the later rounds and outwork him en route to a decision. Teixeira has a questionable gas tank. My prediction though, is Teixeira by TKO in the 2nd.

Results: I’m watching live as I type and here are the results. Seeing how long I can stay up, what with having work tomorrow. Vinicius v Bagautinov looks like a man fighting a child. Bagautinov is tiny and has got heavy hands. Seriously I’m already 0 and 1 on predictions – not fair! Vini clearly had his brains scrambled by the beating in round one. Bagy gets the TKO. Natal v Troeng – Troeng is tough. So many shots and so many sub attempts. Natal showed heart and grit with his constant pressure. Natal by unanimous decision.

Trinaldo v Hallmann – Damn you Trinaldo! Your winning the fight and you get tired, then submitted. You even tap. Call yourself Brazilian? Hallmann submission round two with the Kimura lock. Benevidez v Formiga – Benevidez gets the KO, no surprise there. Okami v Souza – Souza is a beast. Finished in first round but with strikes. That’s a scary dude. Amazing ground and sniper strikes. I see him being fast tracked to fight the winner of Weidman v Silva.

Now for the main event of the evening – Teixeira v Bader. Both come out with bad intentions and Bader fast. Teixeira really slow and almost plodding. Bader got Teixeira on the cage and it was looking like Bader would get him, then blammm! Bader was on his ass, getting his head bounced off the canvas. The fight was over and Teixeira was victorious.

I didn’t do too badly. 4 out 6. Good event. Brazil was quiet tonight though. Very underwhelming. Teixeira is the next contender.

Arun Paul Smith