Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

UFC Stars Front Media in Melbourne

Rousey image: https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

UFC boss Dana White has fronted the media ahead of UFC 193 in Melbourne. Sitting beside him was MMA superstar Ronda ‘Rowdy’ Rousey, challenger Holly Holm, Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzehczyk, and her challenger the ever hopeful Valerie Letourmeau.

The air was literally electric with anticipation.

It’s been a running joke that White was initially reluctant to have a women’s UFC division. But since changing his mind, Ronda Rousey has become the franchise’s greatest drawcard and asset.

White chuckles about being reminded of his opposition.

“She’s broken through – it’s amazing,” he said to new.com.au. “She’s the biggest star we’ve ever had.”

And White has had some stars. Chuck Liddell crossed over from Strikeforce, Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva were megastars. But no one – and White confirms this – no one has ever been as big as Rousey.

“Normally it’s a f*@king nightmare to manage somebody like her. But the thing with Ronda Rousey is the more rich and famous she gets, the easier she is to deal with. It’s not supposed to be like that. It’s always the complete opposite. Any of these guys, if they get this much fame, this much money, they lose their mind. Ronda is the exact opposite.”

And it’s not just White who benefits.

Rousey was clearly jetlagged when approached by reporters. And while everyone would be wise to be cautious around the most dangerous female athlete on the planet they found her approachable and friendly.

After a recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show the popular talk show host felt she’d got the best from the UFC stable.

“She’s got unbelievable charisma,” White continued describing Rousey. “She’s intelligent. She’s literally the whole package.”

And Ellen DeGeneres agrees.

But Rousey adapts to her situation.

“She’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said White about the fighter Rousey. “She’s mean. She’s nasty. She doesn’t just want to beat you, she wants to destroy you. She comes out of that tunnel with bad intentions.”

All of her previous opponents agree.

Nick Diaz Suspended for Five Years for Pot?!

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFC_183

The MMA world has gone into overdrive, outraged at the five-year ban to UFC welterweight Nick Diaz for allegedly testing positive to marijuana.

Diaz was also fined a ridiculous 33 per cent of his prize purse – $165,000.

If these penalties seem inordinately heavy when compared with the crime, it’s because they are.

The man Diaz fought before the controversy (Anderson Silva at UFC 183) returned a test positive for steroids. He received only a one-year ban.

Lucas Middlebrook, Diaz’ attorney, presented an aggressive defense to the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday. In an at times fiery session he questioned the very validity of the test results.

Middlebrook argued that separate tests by the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) and the World Anti-Doping Agency both showed Diaz had marijuana well below the 150ng/ ML limit.

The only positive test above the limit was returned from Quest Diagnostics, showing 700ng/ML for marijuana.

Middlebrook then called upon an expert witness to discredit the lone positive result.

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Diaz

“With all due respect,” said Middlebrook, “if the commission imposes discipline based on the complaint as written, which wholly igmores the two negative tests, thereby depriving this man of his earnings and his future ability to earn a living, it’s not only the highest form of administrative abuse of discretion, but it’s ripe for judicial review and reversal.”

 But the commission had the scent of blood in their nostrils and argued that Diaz had not claimed the use of marijuana on the pre-fight questionnaire – a document all athletes are required to sign.

Diaz showed his contempt for the proceedings by choosing to plead his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer the questions put to him.

MMA fans around the world were stunned.

Marijuana isn’t a performance enhancing drug (the way steroids are). Diaz certainly broke the rules, but banning him for five years effectively ends his career; and to recieve a penalty five times worse than someone using PEDs is absurd.

But what has outraged sportsfans most is the declaration made by Chairman Francisco Aguilar that the sentence is also for things other than the marijuana. “This is  not just a casee of marijuana,” he said. “I think this is a case of complete lack of disregard for the sport.”

But Diaz wasn’t on trial for his attitude.

And while he was also suspended in 2007 and 2012 for marijuana use it seems to be drawing an awfully long bow to say this equates to a ‘disregard for the sport’.

Fans Ignore Mayweather’s Last Fight

Mayweather image: en.wikipedia.org

Boxing fans gave Floyd Mayweather the send-off he deserves, ignoring his last fight against chump Andre Berto.

With the fight taking place today there were still hundreds tickets still available.

Mayweather hit the media in an eleventh-hour attempt to drum up interest. He declared the challenger a genuine threat, though those with even a passing knowledge of boxing will tell you Berto is a massive underdog.

Berto’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, also stepped in to beat the drum, hinting at ‘personal issues’ between the two fighters.

Both are well-worn avenues for attracting interest. But it appears to be too little too late.

Mayweather’s camp believed the simple fact of this being the champion’s last fight would be enough to fill the stadium. Upon this assumption they didn’t think it mattered who walked out from the opposite corner. Why then, would Mayweather choose an opponent that could actually challenge him?

It appears the boxing public are a little more discerning: Boxing fans go to watch boxing. Mayweather fans go to watch Mayweather. It appears there are more of the former than the latter.

 

Mayweather won against Berto without much trouble. This win puts him equal with heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano at 49-0.

Ticketmaster were offering hundreds of empty seats in prices between $150 and $1,500.

Blachowicz Beaten Up in UFC 191

Image: https://twitter.com/JanBlachowicz/status/640641449512538112/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Corey Anderson won a lop-sided heavyweight match up against Jan Blachowicz in UFC 191 on the weekend. It seems the loss has damaged more than just Blachowicz’s face and body.

Blachowicz posted a picture of his battered face after the fight.

He wrote, “I have to take a break for the next few months. I have to think, put everything together, do some analysis, and primarily to restore my passion and spark that I lost. In a few hours I’ll come back to you guys and I’ll say more.”

And Blachowicz has good reason for the rethink.

Judges scored the bout 30-25, 30-25, 29-26 to Anderson.

Anderson overwhelmed Blachowicz with his wrestling and improved Brazilian jiu-jitsu. H didn’t have it all his own way, saying after the bout, “I got my teeth knocked in again, but came out with avictolry; that’s priceless.

Blachowicz managed to land a few shots in the first round. Anderson adjusted by switching to a grappling-focused fight. Blachowicz was unable to match him in this area and Anderson controlled the rest of the fight.

Anderson took balchowicz to the canvas in the first, but nearly got trapped with an armbar.

In the second he caught a kick from Blachowicz, took his opponent to the mat, and mounted him for top-position.

Anderson then laid on the ground-and-pound with a torrent of damaging g punches and elbows.

In the end it was his superior conditioning that allowed Anderson to keep pouring on the pressure

“I’ve got cardio and pressure forever,” he said. “I don’t get tired.

Anderson now moves to a record of 6-1; while Blachowicz drops to 18-5.

McGregor talks About TUF 22 Coaching Role

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UFC star and TUF 22 coach Conor McGregor has done the unthinkable (again) and announced his plans for the upcoming TUF season.

He has said he has no intention of actually coaching the members of his team. Instead he’ll concentrate on keeping them fresh and focused on a career in the toughest MMA franchise in the world.

McGregor was initially reluctant to do the show. But once he was convinced of its benefit (to him as well as his fighters) he decided to approach it in an entirely novel way.

McGregor believes the six-weeks is far too short a time in which to add to or change anything in a fighter’s repertoire. Attempting to do so might actually confuse fighters and be detrimental to their chances of winning.

“I’m simply going to provide the platform for them,” McGregor said. “I’m going to bring eyes to the screen for them. I’m going to provide coaches that I have come with, but really it’s a six-week run of fights, on and off.

“I’m not going to go in and teach them anything. I told them their training should already be done. You should already have your hard rounds done. Now it’s about keeping the body fresh because every fight you get knocks and bruises so it’s about maintaining those injuries and making it through those fights.”

FOX Sports 1 will be airing the new season of The Ultimate Fighter on Wednesday night at 10pm ET.

McGregor has already told his team not to expect him to be running practices – or even showing up for training sessions. He casts himself more as a life coach – preparing young hopefuls for the rigours for life in the UFC.

“I’m not going to be at every training session, if I’m going to be at any training session (at all).

“I’m just going to be there picking the fights and doing that obligation and I’ll be at the fights. I have my team of coaches that will be preparing them and I trust they will give them the right training.”

But McGregor saved the bombshell for the end.

He said The Ultimate Fighter isn’t about teams, it’s about the winner getting a head start in the most lucrative fighting franchise in the world, a start that could put them tens of thousands of dollars ahead of their competitors.

“Forget teams, forget all this other stuff,” said McGregor. “It means nothing.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk Named UFC 193 Co-Headliner

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Australian UFC fans are in raptures after Dana White announced another title defence for UFC 193.

Current women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her title against Canadian Valerie Letourneau.

Jedrzejczyk (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) was originally scheduled to fight Claudia Gadelha at UFC 195, but UFC powers have decided to open all the stops for Melbourne and asked Jedrzejczyk to share the card with Ronda Rousey.

Jedrzejczyk is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC stable and considered one of the finest strikers in all of women’s MMA. She earned Fight of the Night bonus with her bloody title defence against Jessica Penne in June and has destroyed any and all opponents placed in front of her.

octagon-750x400Letourneau (8-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is riding a wave of success after winning her last three UFC fights. She will make a name for herself if she can upset Jedrzejczyk who is coming off her own unanimous decision victory over Maryna Moroz.

The announcement of Jedrzejczyk and Letourneau pushes Mark Hunt and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva from the co-main event status.

Despite this the November 15 crowd is expected to blow away all previous records for an MMA event in Australia. 70,000 are expected – and they’ve got good reason to go.

Briggs Confronts Klitschko Again!

Image: https://www.facebook.com/110523639683/photos/a.10152128700509684.1073741827.110523639683/10152650819319684/?type=1&theater

If emulation is the greatest compliment then boxing is a fan of the UFC.

This week Shannon Briggs took a leaf out of the UFC marketing playbook and continued his haranguing of heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko – causing worldwide media interest.

Briggs, 43 years-old, is due to fight Michael Marrone this weekend. But he made sure there were cameras around when he confronted arch rival Klitschko at a Florida gym – and then posted the footage on social media.

Briggs is desperate for a fight against IBF, WBA, WBO champion Kiltschoko; and has been pursuing this dream for more than a year.

Klitschko, however, has bigger fights, with a defence of his title s against Britain’s Tyson Fury due on October 24.

This latest ‘staged’ run-in only escalates interest in an inevitable showdown.

Briggs has disrupted Klitschko’s press conferences, knocked him off a paddle board, even gatecrashed the champion at a quiet lunch.

TMZ Sport suggests the latest fracas became quite heated off camera, with boxing legend Evander Holyfield having to intervene before fists flew.

Richie Vaculik Named on UFC 193 Fight Card

Image: https://twitter.com/RichieVaculik?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

If fans weren’t already excited about seeing UFC superstar Ronda Rousey heading the UFC 193 card in Melbourne, then they’ve just been given another reason.

In a card stacked with well-known and home-grown fighters the UFC announced today that TUF: the Smashes contestant and UFC Fight of the week co-host Richie Vaculik has been added to the card.

Vaculik made an inauspicious entrance to the UFC in the TUF: The Smashes house. The opposing Canadian team ran roughshod over the Aussies. But since then the Australians have blossomed.

Vaculik announced on Thursday that he will be fighting Danny Martinez in what promises to be a spectacular flyweight bout.

Vaculik is coming off a loss to Louis Smolka. But the 32 year-old has won 10 of his last 14 fights and says he will be ready for the dangerous Martinez. He flies out to Thailand on the 18th for his training camp in Thailand.

The disappointment of his most recent loss and the chance to perform in front of 70,000 screaming fellow Australians offers Vaculik huge encouragement.

Melbourne’s Etihad stadium will host what is expected to be the largest attendance and viewing numbers for any MMA event in the country ever.

Female MMA Fighter Beats Up Would-Be Robber

Triangle hold image: Youtube

Monique Bastos was on her way home from jiu-jitsu training with two friends on Tuesday when two men attacked their group. They demanded their mobile phones and money.

What they didn’t expect was for Bastos to fight back.

While Bastos may only weigh in at 56 kg, she does, however, have six fights to her MMA career – and she’s a killer!

“I was going to my jiu-jitsu training when they arrived on a motorcycle and said they wanted our phones,” Bastos said to MMAFighting.com. “I tried to hold my phone, and I realised they were not armed. When they tried to escape (after feeling the wrath of Bastos’ fists for a few minutes), I lifted the rear wheel of the bike and they fell on the ground. The guy who took my phone ran away, but I was able to get the other one.”

And Bastos showed him why crime doesn’t pay.

The man, later identified as Wesley Sousa de Araujo, was eventually ‘subdued’ with a rear naked choke. Bastos then held him in a triangle choke for 15 minutes until police arrived to arrest him.

At several points Araujo is screaming for sympathy, but he showed none when he was robbing his victims; fortunately he was shown none in return.

“I’ve been thought this a few times before,” Bastos continued, “and it’s the second time I fought back. There were two guys, and they were using knives, but I was able to use my jiu-jitsu and get my phone back. It’s a huge risk, but I did it to defend myself and my friends, so I used what I learned.”

White Effusive Over Rousey

Rousey image: https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

UFC supremo Dana White is falling over himself praising Ronda Rousey.

In an interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole he spoke of Rousey’s willingness to help him out of the UFC 193 jam.

Robbie Lawler’s injured thumb prevented his title defence against Carlos Condit in Melbourne. Suddenly White had an event with no headline fighters.

Rousey was already scheduled to fight on January 2, but White thought he might at least try to convince her to move the bout forward six weeks.

“I swear on my life,” said White to Iole, “I called her today when I thought something might happen and I said to her, ‘Hypothetically speaking …

“She interrupts me and said, ‘I’ll do whatever you need me to do.’

“So I laugh and I’m telling her how much I love that attitude and I’m going on and she stops me again and says, ‘Hey, so what’s up? What do you need?’

“She’s incredible. In 15 years of doing this, I’ve never seen anyone remotely like this woman.”

Fans’ reactions to the announcement of Rousey coming to Australia were off the charts. There, quite literally, is no one with her star power.

However, many are now lamenting the choice of Holm as an opponent. While Holm is a decorated striker, a veteran fighter, and an up-and-comer in the women’s UFC bantamweight division many think it is too early for her to step into the Octagon against the untouchable Ronda Rousey.