Archive for the ‘Extreme Sports’ Category

Kelly’s UFC 193 Opponent Switch

Dan Kelly images https://twitter.com/dankellyjudo

In the space of a few hours yesterday Melbourne MMA fighter Daniel Kelly’s training regime changed dramatically.

Kelly was scheduled to face 84kg, 180 cm Brazilian submission expert Ricardo Abreu on November 15 at UFC 193.

But Abreu was forced to withdraw with what is believed to be an injury.

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva scoured the list of available fighters.

The man he found couldn’t be any more of a different opponent.

Florida-based Steve Montgomery is a towering 193cm tall, he fights as a welterweight at 77kg, and he’s  a south paw.

Kelly took he change in stride.

It’s a completely different match-up, but we’re seven weeks out.

“There’s plenty of time to adjust what we’re doing so it’s fine.”

Within two hours of being notified of the change Kelly had already watched most of Montgomery’s fights.

“He’s pretty well rounded and has good knees in the clinch.

“He’ a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and his striking is not bad.

“He’s from a very strong gym America Top Team.

“I’ve watched one of his fights and that’s obviously only happened in the last couple of hours. But we’ve got a fair idea already of what we’re going to do.

“I’ll just make sure I’m fit and strong and I’ll go out there and enjoy it.”

But Kelly was cautious about his new opponent.

Dan Kelly image https://twitter.com/dankellyjudo

Dan Kelly image https://twitter.com/dankellyjudo

“Montgomery doesn’t have the power that Abreu had and he doesn’t have the pedigree that Abreu has on the ground. He’s tall and because he throws good knees as well, I’ll have to be careful going to double legs, but I’ll find another way to make it my game. It’s a different match-up, but they’re all hard.”

Kelly has experience with southpaws. He knocked out Sam Alvey in the first round and won a unanimous decision over Patrick Walsh.

“This is the third fight in a row where I’ll be preparing for a south paw,” said Kelly

“I’ll just keep working and progressing on the stuff we’ve already been doing,

Ticket Rush for UFC 193

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ticket sales for UFC 193 in Melbourne look set to break all stadium records.

At 10 am on Monday morning the vendors’ servers were smoking as fans rushed to book their seats for what will arguably be the greatest sporting event the southern hemisphere has ever seen.

Seat prices ranged between $100.60 and $468, with the later being sold out in minutes.

Corporate boxes and ringside VIP seats were selling for $18,000 and are all but gone.

Etihad stadium said that the seating capacity will be increased by around 15,000 to 70,800 for the event.

Should they sell out it will set a new world record for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, beating that of Toronto four years ago with 55,724.

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Ronda Rousey Image: https://www.facebook.com/ronda.cips/photos/pcb.10153689082834382/10153689076994382/?type=1&theater

Headliner Ronda Rousey is wooing the city of Melbourne. She has been the darling of the media and fans alike. Her accessibility to media and fans has – and will continue – to only heighten interest that is already at fever pitch.

Rousey’s opponent, Holly Holm, is new to MMA but is a decorated boxer. Should she be able to elude Rousey’s takedowns and grappling she will present the incumbent bantamweight champion with some stiff competition and damaging punches.

Englishman Michael Bisping and his opponent Aussie Robert Whittaker have almost passed unnoticed. But make no mistake this will be an intriguing, brutal, and high-level battle between a veteran and an up-and-comer.

UFC 193 is going to be AWESOME!

MMA Fighters Boycott Nevada in Response to Diaz Sentence

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

The fallout from the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s handling of the Nick Diaz drug charge continues to worsen.

The Commission handed out a five-year suspension to Diaz (effectively ending his career) for testing positive to cannabis after his UFC 183 bout.

Fans and fighters were outraged at the excessive nature of the ban. And MMA fighters are making their displeasure known by refusing to fight in the state of Nevada.

The latest to add his name to the blockade is Henry Cejudo, an Olympic gold medallist.

Fast rising bantamweight Aljamain sterling tweeted that he is intent on doing the same, “ … let the NSAC know,” he broadcast on the 17th, “they need to be unbiased & give a fair process.”

They join female bantamweight Leslie Smith in expressing their dismay at the Star Chamber-like actions of the NSAC.

“This situation is just the latest example demonstrating the need for mixed martial artists to stand together,” said Smith. “(We need) to influence our sport and have our voices heard by speaking together as the mixed martial arts fighter association.”

These fighters are fervently hoping others will make a similar stand. Alone they will accomplish little; but should the stars decide to follow their lead the NSAC may actually be answerable to someone.

Heavyweight Matt Mitrione blasted ex-UFC fighter now executive Matt Hughes for his comments supporting the NSAC. UFC superstar Ronda Rousey has labelled the ban ‘unfair’. For Diaz to receive a penalty five times greater than that given to Anderson Silva. Silva tested positive for steroids in the fight against Diaz.

‘It makes no sense at all.’

She describes herself as a close friend to Diaz and is shocked at the suspension.

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 [email protected] 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.

First Ever American Ninja Warrior Wins $1 Million

Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-PC9CGpqSE

Isaac Caldiero, the first ever winner of American Ninja Warrior, has decided he’s not going to splurge after winning the US$1 million first prize.

“I might buy myself a nice shirt,” he told MarketWatch, a financial new website.

Caldiero managed to jump, twist, swing, and climb his way through the four-stage obstacle couse in the fastest time to become the inaugural winner of an event that has captured the attention of fans around the world.

But he clearly hasn’t let the prize go to his head, “You’re not going to see us driving around in a brand-new Ferrari. I’m going to be smart with the money and invest it.”

Only time will tell if the investment was a smart idea or a rip-off. But 33 year-old Caldiero will likely give up his job as a busboy.

“For the past six years, my girlfriend and I have lived on less than $10,000 a year.

“There have been times I’ve had less than $20 to my name. There were times I’d eat cereal and water for breakfast and live on ramen noodles and potatoes, and sleep in fhe front seat of my car or in the RV.

“Who needs all that consuming anyway?

“It’s a lot of sacrifice but it’s worth it to have the ultimate freedom we have.”

Caldiero and his girlfriend are avid rock climbers and search around the US for the most exciting climbs.

“This (prizemoney) is going to enable us to do some amazing things and go to some amazing places.”

Caldiero was only one of two people to finish all four stages of the obstacle course. It then became a race to scale a 23 meter rope in the fastest time.

Caldiero shot up the rope in 26.14 seconds; nearly a whole four seconds faster than his British opponent Geoff Britten.

The Mountain Beaten in Arm-Wrestling

The Mountain image: commercialgymtrainer.blogspot.com

Hafthor Bjornsson, runner-up in the World’s Strongest Man competition, winner of a slew of strongman competitions, and player of Game of Thrones character The Mountain Ser Gregor Clegane has been beaten in an arm wrestling match.

The 25 year-old Icelandic giant (2.06m and 180kg) was challenged and soundly defeated by by Devon Larratt – a man just over half his size (102kg).

To be fair, the Canadian, Larratt, is an arm wrestling legend. He won the left hand championship of the World Arm-Wrestling League in 2014.

But no one was prepared for the  apparent ease he had in dominating Bjornsson.

Bjornsson wasn’t playing around. He threw all his considerable bodyweight into defeating Larratt, who virtually toyed with the big man before pinning him.

In their second match Larratt even had the cheek to give Bjornsson advice, before again winning the contest!

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’.

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

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

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.