Archive for the ‘Strength’ Category

Mason on Report After First Tackle

Mason image: https://twitter.com/mase21?lang=en

He has never been known as the sharpest knife in the draw. This week Manly forward Willie Mason showed just how stupid he is.

In his first game back following a two-week suspension for a shoulder charge Mason sunk his shoulder into the Rooster’s prop Dylan Napa in the very first hit-up of the game.

Napa is no shrinking violet. The 109 kg steamroller was met by three Manly defenders, one of whom was Mason.

Mason didn’t even bother to disguise his shoulder charge.

So with only seven seconds of the game gone the Roosters had their first penalty and Mason was once again on report.

Mason has been an outspoken critic of the new shoulder charge rule.

“I’m embarrassed to be a rugby league player at the moment,” he said after the first two week suspension, “with all the rule changes and everything like that.

“It’s a sad day for rugby league really if you have a look at it.

“I’ve seen bigger hits on the weekend in netball.”

And who can argue?

Rugby league is meant to be a hard-man’s game; getting rid of the shoulder charge from league is like outlawing the body check in ice hockey or the blindside hit in NFL.

I suppose we should be thankful the NRL management don’t run Formula One – everyone would have to drive at the speed limit.

Shoulder charge rule: “Is where a defender, without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the ball-carrier (or any opposing player) using the arms or hands, makes direct physical contact using the shoulder or the upper arm (tucked into the side).

“It will be considered misconduct, if any player affects a tackle in the manner as defined.”

Card Stacks for UFC 193 in Melbourne

Image: https://twitter.com/UFCEurope/status/628204426021330944

Melbourne fight fans are licking their lips as Stefan ‘Skyscaper’ Struve has been signed to fight American Jared Rosholt at UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium in November.

Dutchman Struve is a giant of a man, towering over opponents at 2.12 meters.

He was powering up the heavyweight rankings with a four-fight win streak; overpowering luminaries like Stipe Miocic, Lavar Johnson, Dave Herman, and Pat Barry before being forced out of competition with a heart condition.

Since then Struve lost two bouts; the first to Mark ‘the Super Samoan’ Hunt, the second to Alistair Overeem. He has since regrouped with a unanimous decision victory over the highly respected veteran warrior Anotonio Rodrigo Nogueira in August.

Rosholt, in contrast, is unranked in the UFC heavyweight division. He is rising fast, but still something of an unknown.

He was knocked out in the first round by Alexey Oliynyk in November.

But Rosholt has since defeated Josh Copeland and Timothy Johnson on his way to securing a 5-1 UFC record and a 9-1 MMA record.

The night will be headlined by the welterweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit.

Adopted Aussie Mark Hunt will meet fellow slugger, the hammer-fisted Bigfoot Silva.

Australian prodigy Robert Whittaker will get his first taste of the big time, being given the opportunity to fight the veteran but ever dangerous Michael Bisping.

Whittaker versus Bisping is expected to be a show-stopper!

Chael Sonnen Speaks about Unfairness of UFC Drugs Policy

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chael_Sonnen#/media/File:Chael_Sonnen_at_UFC_115.jpg

Ex-UFC fighter, TUF coach, and MMA legend Chael Sonnen has spoken to news.com.au about the confusion and controversy surrounding the UFC drugs policy.

Sonnen blasted onto the UFC radar in his middleweight title bout against Anderson Silva. At UFC 117 Sonnen stunned the world by bashing the incumbent champion from pillar-to-post for four rounds. He was the clear winner going into the fifth, but one mistake allowed Silva to steal the match via an armbar submission.

In a post-fight drug test Sonnen tested positive to elevated levels of testosterone.

Four years later he retired amid more positive drug tests and allegations.

Anderson Silva also returned positive results shortly thereafter.

While many of Silva’s former opponents have sought to assuage their losses against Silva in the wake of the drug scandal Sonnen is more prosaic:

“I knew exactly what he was doing and he knew what I was doing, Sonnen said. “You’ve got to understand, there’s a misconception that the UFC had a drug problem. The reality of it is tht it had an age problem. The guys from my generation … things were different when we started, the rules were different, the rules changed over time and we did not change. We were set in our ways and we kinda said, ‘this is how we’ve always done it and this is how we’re gonna keep doing it.

“When the rules changed there were just a lot of guys who were caught with their pants down and there’s no excuse about it. That’s just the way it happened. [Silva’s] in a jam now because there’s a couple of things that were just ridiculous. He failed for three substances. None of the substances I had ever heard of and I doubt any of your readers had heard of them until he tested positive for them, so that’s a little underhanded.

“When you look close, two of the substances are over the counter at every store in the world. They are sleep-aids … I can tell you – in fight week you’re stressed out of your mind, you’re dehydrated, you can’t sleep, and if he took something that’s gonna help him fall asleep, if I’m gonna be his opponent, take more – take five times as much – its’ fine with me.

“To come out and say that stuff is banned with no warning ahead of time – there’s no list, there’s no one you can call and check, there’s no way to tell until it shows up and there’s a violation – that’s underhanded.

Joe Rogan Weighs Into Rousey-Holm Controversy

Amanda Nunes image: https://twitter.com/amanda_leoa

Veteran MMA analyst and UFC commentator Joe Rogan has disagreed with Ronda Rousey over her choice of opponent.

Rousey raised eyebrows by overlooking number one bantamweight contender Miesha Tate and selecting relative MMA unknown Holly Holm.

Holm is by no means a chump however.

“I’ll be fighting Holly Holm, who is actually the most decorated striker we have in all of mixed martial arts,” Rousey announced.

Holm was a 9 times world boxing champion and The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound fighter of the year before moving to MMA and the UFC.

But Joe Rogan believes Rousey has made a mistake.

“That Holly Holm fight … I don’t think that’s smart,” said Rogan in his Sunday podcast. “I would have gone with Amanda Nunes before Holly Holm. Amanda Nunes looked like a badass when she knocked out Sara McMann. That’s a more dangerous fighter … a more marketable fighter. [Holm] is only the best boxer in the world if Ann Wolf decides not to box.

“The Holly Holm fight is not as intriguing to me as Amanda Nunes would be. “Holm’s big issue is the grappling. Who knows though? You never know. Maybe Holly, because her stand-up is so much more refined, she’s been doing it for so much longer, maybe she can keep Ronda away from her.”

There is mounting speculation that the reason Rousey is so dominant in her division is as much because of the lack of talent as Rousey’s near freakish skills.

Rogan agreed.

 “I’m serious, I just think, honestly, the real problem is that there’s a lack of talent .

“Ronda’s going to have to do things now. She’ll have to do a judo match during the day and then have an MMA fight. Remember when Roy Jones Jr. would play basketball? He played basketball the day of a world title defense – the day of (the defense)!”

Rogan went on: “I think Amanda Nunes has real potential. If you look at Claudia Gadelha, she’s world-class, Joanna Jedrzejczyk – world-class. There’s a few: Cris Cyborg Justino, steroids or no steroids, take away the controversy, go by her performances – ferocious. That’s four. There’re four of them.”

Rousey steps into the ring to defend her bantamweight world title against Holm on January 2nd. It will be the main event at UFC 195 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Transgender MMA Fighter Continues to Divide Fight Community

Fallon Fox images: https://twitter.com/fallonfox

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has revised her position on fighting transgender athletes; she says she will decide whether to fight an opponent on a case-by-case basis.

Her revision comes as the MMA world is split over the question of Fallon Fox, known to be the first transgender athlete in MMA.

Fox opened up about her gender reassignment in an article published by Sports Illustrated.

“A reporter came after me,” she told the magazine, “and asked me questions about my past. I was scared I could be outed, I felt like I had it coming, so I got ahead of it.

“The scope of anger and vitriol that I received initially … That was disheartening, tragic. It was mind-blowing.”

Fox immediately divided opinion in the MMA world.

She was described by UFC fighter Matt Mitrione as a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak.”

While UFC commentator Joe Rogan was just as outspoken: “You’re a f*@king man!” he raged. “And she wants to be able to fight women in MMA. I say no f*@king way. If you had a dick at one point in time, you also have all the bone structure that comes with having a dick.”

Rousey initially refused to even consider fighting Fox, but has since reviewed her position.

Fox was born Boyd Burton on November 29, 1975. He showed signs of struggling with his gender from the age of 5; when he would sneak into his sister’s bedroom and dress in her clothes.

He later married his girlfriend, with whom he had a child. But the confusion continued.

In 2000 he came across the term ‘gender dysphoria’ and began to understand his condition.

Burton served with the navy between 1996 and 2000. Upon his release he began to seek treatment with a therapist.

But in 2006 Boyd decided to make the change and flew to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery.

She described having the procedure as ‘empowering’.

She returned to the US a woman and continued driving trucks for a living.

Then she came across MMA.

“You see things in movies with strong female characters that can fight; but seeing it in real life sucked me in. I saw these women in MMA and thought they were amazing.

Fox said fighting made her “feel like I was just like everyone else.”

She now has an MMA record of 5-1 (all against women fighters).

She believes her previous gender gives her no advantages.

“I’ve been through a lot of things to change myself from male to female … they decrease my testosterone levels to lower than any other female on the planet who’s not transgender.”

The medical fraternity back up these claims.

“Male to female transsexuals have significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass, than males,” said Dr Eric Vilain, director at the Institute for Society and Genetics at UCLA. Dr Vilain was integral in assisting the association of boxing commissions piece together its transgender policy.

However, UFC supremo Dana white remains unconvinced.

“Bone structure is different, hand s are bigger, jaw is bigger, everything is bigger. I don’t believe in it. I don’t think someone who used to be a man and became a woman should be able to fight a woman.”

Green Wins 10 Rounder Against Bolonti

Green image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Green_(boxer)

Danny Green has made a decisive impact in his comeback fight against Argentina’s Roberto Bolonti, at the Hisense arena in Melbourne.

A fit and focused Green took a big step towards securing a multimillion dollar rematch with Anthony Mundine by overcoming the highly credentialed Bolonti in a bruising, yet entertaining encounter.

Fans of the green Machine might have been worried as green started slowly. He was looking to land his big right, but was given few opportunities.

But as the fight progressed Green settled into a comfortable range and rhythm.

Though 42 years of age (6 years older than Bolonti) and without a fight for the last three years, Green showed fitness and ring smarts.

Curiously, Bolonti did not capitalise on Green’s early inactivity. He pressed forward throughout the fight, often to his own detriment by walking into Green’s devastating rights.

“It was a very awkward fight,” said a relieved Green. “He’s survivor and he can punch. He’s a strong man, an ox.”

All three judges scored the 10 rond fight 100 – 90 to the Australian.

Green was elliptical about talk of challenging Mundine. “In his insular world he (Mundine) is king, but he needs to look outside his bubble.” Green believed the public didn’t really care to watch Mundine fight. He underscored this by saying he wouldn’t be fussed’ if the fight never went ahead.

“He needs a fight with me more than I need a fight with him.”

Rousey v Tate 3 – Worth Watching?

Miesha tate image: https://twitter.com/mieshatate

With the feud over fight-weight between Rousey and Justino seeming intractable (Rousey wants to fight at 135 lbs, Justino at 145 lbs) many are giving up on the idea of the two meeting.

That leaves the UFC roster: Many are wondering if there are any UFC women bantamweights who can even take Rousey to the first round bell? The champion has needed a total of 64 seconds to destroy her last three opponents, and never has never even looked threatened.

Enter Miesha Tate.

Again.

Miesha has fought and lost to Rousey twice. She coached opposite her in the during the TUF 20 season. And she is riding on a high after defeating the formidable Jessica Eye.

Could the third time against Rousey be a charm for Tate?

Tate thinks so.

Tate and her coach looked through Rousey’s recent fight against Bethe Correia – all 34 seconds of it. Even though it was a lopsided slaughter both believe Rousey was far from flawless. And she plans to exploit those weaknesses.

Furthermore, Tate is euphoric after beating a superior striker in Eye. “… beating someone at their own game – someone who was supposed to outbox me and be such a great striker and all of these awesome things – says a lot about the evolution of my striking game,” said Tate.

Tate has also changed her strength and conditioning training, moving to Phase 1 sports in Las Vegas. It’s training venue for elite athletes. Tate says she has dramatically improved her power and endurance.

Polish Giant Wins Belt With KO of the Year

Image: https://www.facebook.com/KrzysztofGlowaGlowacki/photos/a.331309400335753.1073741825.331308617002498/331312550335438/?type=1&theater

The social media world has gone into overdrive at the vicious KO of Marco Huck at the hands of previously unknown Krzysztof Glowacki.

Glowacki, a 29 year-old Polish boxer stunned the WBO cruiserweight champion with a brutal 11th round knockout on Friday night. The win ended Huck’s six-year championship streak and cemented Glowacki as one of the most devastating punchers on the planet.

The win was Glowacki’s 26th career victory.

“My trainer (Fiodor Lapin) told me to pace myself and I didn’t listen to him,” said a clearly euphoric Glowacki. “I knew the second part of the fight wasn’t mine, so I decided to go for broke. Not even for a second did I think I would lose this fight.

“This is the biggest night of my life.”

Huck’s promoter, Lou DiBella, said it was a magnificent fight, even though it was his man that ended on the canvas.

“Huck had pulled ahead and he is a beastly strong guy,” said DiBella. “But this Glowacki did not stop coming. He was like the undertaker. He was dead on the canvas and got up and went and got Huck. That was a great fight.

“This is the entertainment business, and that was entertainment.”

Huck spent most of his boxing career in his native Germany, but moved to America to build his career.

He remained firm against a strong-starting Glowacki, enduring a first round flurry of aggressive punches.

In the sixth round Huck stunned the Pole and came within a hair’s breadth of winning the fight.

Glowacki managed to stay in the contest. The two traded blows until the 11th round when Glowacki landed several bell-ringers on Huck’s chin, leading to the KO.

Huck was ahead on all three scorecards until he hit the canvas.

Jessica Eye Talks About Femininity and Fighting

Jessica Eye images: https://twitter.com/jessicaevileye

Number 6 ranked women’s UFC bantamweight Jessica Eye spoke to Cosmopolitan magazine this week about the image of femininity in her sport.

The 29 year-old has followed the lead of division champion Ronda Rousey and spoken about issues that have affected her throughout her life and the stability her sport has provided.

“As a young girl, I did not know my mother,” said Eye. “I didn’t meet her until I was 16 years old. I missed out on some of the things that most females get to do, like talk to their mums about makeup.

“My father and my brothers raised me to be a tough tomboy. I was bullied at a young age and through my early teenage years by my father.”

But Eye was adamant she did have a very feminine side to her. She went further saying she believed most female sportswomen believed to be tomboys are probably the same.

Jessica Eye images: https://twitter.com/jessicaevileye

Jessica Eye images: https://twitter.com/jessicaevileye

“I think the biggest misconception about female athlete is that we’re tomboys and that we’re not pretty; we’re not girls – we’re just like male figures in the sport.. We’re not! We’re females too. We still like to get dressed up, we still like to put makeup on, we still like to go out on dates and be treated lkike women.”

Eye said she was pidgeon-holed by her peers because of her bodyshape growing up.

“I’ve always had an athletic build, so sometimes I didn’t fill out tank tops the right way, or I couldn’t wear certain outfits because my legs were bigger, my calves were bigger, or my body was more athletic than your typical female, with a big chest and a giant butt and skinny legs.

“To me, it took me getting older that I was like, ‘You know what, I like how I am.’ I like having big legs! I like having wide shoulders! I like those things now.”

One has to wonder – If Jessica Eye is so content with herself why tell us?

Fight Cared Announced for UFC Melbourne

Robbie lawler image: https://twitter.com/ruthless_rl

Australian MMA fans were thrilled at the announcement of the headliners for UFC 193 in Melbourne.

Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler is set to defend his title against former interim titleholder Carlos Condit. This is a fight all fans want to see.

Lawler (26-10) stunned the world with his comeback victory against Rory MacDonald at UFC 189. Trailing MacDonald 3-1 Lawler entered the fifth round knowing he had to finish Lawler to win. He unleashed an all-or-nothing flurry of punches against his opponent to win in what many ae describing as Fight of the Year.

Condit (30-8) is no slouch either. Of his 30 fights only two have gone the distance. Condit became interim champion by defeating the fearsome Nick Diaz in 2012. While the fight was boring and Condit was accused of fighting defensively he has shown when he senses blood in the water he’s as lethal a fighter as anyone on the planet.

More recently Condit was sidelined with a torn ACL from a fight last year against the hulking Tyron Woodley.

After 14 months recuperating he returned in May this year to finish the respected Thiago Alves in Brazil and earn his title shot.

Lead writer for the Bleacher Report, Jeremy Botter, described the Lawler – Condit match-up as a bit of a surprise. “Many expected Lawler to defend his championship against Hendricks. The two have already fought twice, with each scoring a close victory. Hendricks has been vocal about wanting the next title shot, and it seemed a lock that he would be the man to face Lawler next.”

While the date is set, 14 November, the venue isn’t. The UFC have to decide between Etihad Stadium or Rod Laver Arena. Australian MMA fighters Mark Hunt, Robert Whittaker and Jake Matthews are hoping to be included on the fight card. While American Matt Mitrione has called out Bigfoot Silva in a dialogue that escalated quickly.