Archive for Strikeforce

Suckerpunch: Fedor vs. Werdum

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley
The MMA overload continues.  Saturday’s Fedor vs. Werdum card both tested our patience as fight fans, and turned the MMA world upside down in one single night.  Needless to say it served as an opening act so to speak for this week’s Lesnar vs. Carwin heavyweight toggle.

The most appreciated aspect of the card was….

No ex-football players or former athletes on the card.  Every participant on Saturday’s card is a full-fledged mixed martial artist.  No freak shows or guest spots which is something fight fans really appreciate.

Cung Le won and….

was there any doubt?  He was dominating his first match with Scott Smith until he ran out of gas then found himself waking up to the ceiling lights.  It’ll be interesting to see whether he grants Smith a rubber match, or now that he has avenged his loss will it give him enough satisfaction to move on?  In any case he needs to quickly make up his mind.  No more pondering.

Enough already…

and make the Erin Toughill – Cyborg Santos match.  I don’t know what was worse.  Strikeforce’s sadistic matchmaking in this case or the referee’s decision to allow Cyborg to keep butchering poor over-matched Jan Finney. There was never going to be any Buster Douglas moment for Finney in this one.  She was just the latest sacrificial lamb for Cyborg.  Strikeforce has a legitimate and potentially competitive women’s championship match on their hands with Cyborg and Toughill.  There is no reason to keep prolonging it.

The WTF Award goes to…

Fabricio Werdum for submitting the world’s best heavyweight.  Talks of retirement and never watching any film of his opponent’s fights sent off alarming signals that Fedor Emelianenko may not h ave been totally focused for this fight. He’s neither the first grand champion to make this mistake nor will he be the last.  In any case Werdum shocked the world and deserves all the credit in the world for doing what many that was impossible.  The only person probably happier than Werdum himself is Dana White.

MMA Monsters – P4P

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

1) Georges St. Pierre


Regardless of whether you think he’s a safety 1st wrestler, the fact remains is that he always faces top opposition and always brings his best performance in the cage…every…single…time.  The complete fighter.
2) Anderson Silva

Has been reduced to strictly a counter striker.  He only excels when others come forward.  Against passive opponents, Silva has failed miserably.  He cannot push the action and his foolishness just illustrate his insecurities.  Looking to pick on smaller men like GSP is pathetic too.
3) Fedor Emelianenko

The only knock against “The Last Emperor” is the lack of activity.  If he fought more often he’d be #2.
4) Mauricio Rua

Because knocking out Lyoto Machida to win the light heavyweight championship should be enough to get you in anyone’s top 5.  Shogun was magnificent in both fights. He looks like the Shogun that tore through Pride and the UFC might finally have a dominant LHW champion on their hands.

5) Jose Aldo

Aldo may be the least known on the list, but he certainly deserves to be one of the most appreciated.  His fights look like an arcade game due to his stupendous skills.  After stomping Urijah Faber, the Aldo era has no apparent end in sight.

Sucker Punch: Strikeforce

Posted in MMA with tags , , on April 19, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

What’s not to love about Strikeforce?  Strikeforce did it again this past Saturday by providing us with an absolutely free card featuring some of the biggest names in the sport.  With any fight card, “Strikeforce:  Shields vs. Henderson” had it high points and some really low points.  Either way, Strikeforce gave us plenty to talk about Monday morning at the water cooler:

Say what you want about Jason Miller interrupting Jake Shield’s interview….

but the Cesar Gracie camp should feel like punk bitches for the post fight melee.  They need to realize the damage their actions caused the promotion that employs many of them.  There was no need for the entire team to shamelessly swarm and beat on Miller like they did on live television.  Post-fight challenges and shoving matches are nothing new in the fight business.  It’s how many future matches come to realization and certainly a simple intervention would have been sufficient. The wolf pack mentality has no place in the sport often praised for its all-around respect.  Cesar Gracie’s lynch mob did more damage to MMA then they did to Miller when they jumped him.

Mad props goes to….

Gilbert Melendez for putting a final stamp on his win over Japanese superstar Shinya Aoki.  Melendez bashed Aoki on every corner and when Aoki crab crawled after him, Melendez nailed him as he did the whole fight.  Melendez wanted to finish strong and was simply not content with a stellar shut out win.  That killer instinct is what makes him special.

Mo Lawal won but…

rounds 1 & 2 of fight should serve precedent for re-evaluating position versus damage scoring. How can you constitute an elbow to the head to be more valuable than just lying on top of someone and absorbing damage?  Dominant position has value when a fighter imposes his will but if his will gets him beat up from the guy in the inferior position (bottom), then how does he win the exchange?  Should a submission hold more value if the victory comes from a dominant position?  Of course not.  Therefore striking from the bottom should not cease to exist just because the man on top is unable mount any offense.  It’s an unfair advantage that only benefit wrestlers and eradicates everything we learned from Royce Gracie.

Someone needs to tell….

Dan Henderson to go in to a championship fight with a better game plan than just wanting to end the fight with a big right hand.  Henderson got lazy and was humiliated because of it.  Getting schooled by a blown up welterweight was a total embarrassment for Henderson and he’s been in this sport too long for him to have Chuck Liddell syndrome.



Cyborg’s Next Test

Posted in MMA with tags , , , on February 18, 2010 by Dallas O'Malley

Women’s MMA is Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ oyster.  Since conquering Gina Carano last August, the Strikeforce Featherweight Champion continues to improve at an alarming rate.  Cyborg’s recent destruction over submission veteran Marloes Coenen, makes the contender’s list look more like a grocery list for Cyborg to gobble up.  Women’s MMA is still in its infancy stage and the biggest obstacle is the incredibly shallow talent pool.  Coenen was Cyborg’s stiffest challenge to date, but Cyborg still stalked her down and finished her in 3 rounds. Cyborg is a beast and the only question surrounding her is who can challenge her?

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is hoping his latest acquisition and named next-in-line challenger, Erin Toughill, is the one who can actually threaten Cyborg’s title.  Coker would have preferred building Toughill for the American audience but Cyborg’s dominance has forced his hand.  Toughill is a big, strong and experienced fighter in both MMA (10-2-1) as well as boxing (8-2-1).  She is a worthy adversary for the champion and for the 1st time in her career, Cyborg will find her natural advantages taken away from her.  That in itself makes the match up more interesting.

Under normal circumstances, Cyborg is the larger woman in the cage.  Cyborg’s size has often overwhelmed her opponents.  That’s not going to be the case against the former American Gladiator.  The 5’8″ fighting phenom will not have that luxury with the 5’10” Toughill as her dancing partner.  Cyborg has had weight issues in the past.  She has fought a couple of pounds over the 145 lbs limit but never in a contest contracted over the featherweight limit.  Toughill has consistently competed between 160-170lbs and has successfully made the transition to 145lbs.  Cyborg’s bullying tactics will most likely not work on a woman on Toughill’s size.

Taking in account Cyborg’s trademark wild attacking style, it could be thwarted by a larger and patient counter puncher (see Dan Henderson vs. Wanderlei Silva).  Herein lies another obstacle for Cyborg.  Toughill has had her share of encounters with savage females.  She knows how to tackle that situation.  Toughill has also brought her power down with the weight cut.  All of that, along with her boxing background, made it possible to knock out the very same Marloes Coenen in only 1 round.  Toughill should be the crisper and cleaner puncher in the fight.  If she can weather the storm of punches thrown by Cyborg, she maybe be able to find an opening to make the champion pay for being overzealous.  Cyborg has shown a great chin in her fights by walking through her opponents shots, but Toughill does not punch like anyone from Cyborg’s past.  The flip side to that is Toughill has been chin checked and stopped before, but by better and bigger strikers.  Toughill gave Laila Ali a good fight at 168 lbs in one of boxing’s most brutal female matches, but ultimately succumbed to the quicker Ali whose straight right hands have been too much for any female to bear.  Even those with a zero fight IQ know that Ali is a far better puncher than Cyborg.  One of Toughill’s 2 MMA loses came against a 300 lbs+ Russian (the other loss was a disqualification), therefore she has been hit with more than what Cyborg is physically capable of.  It goes without saying that she will be ready for everything in Cyborg’s kitchen sink.

Women’s MMA might not carry the same weight it does when Gina Carano isn’t the headliner, but Cyborg-Toughill should peak any fight fan’s interest.  Knowing that Cyborg will be pushed should be enough reason to tune in, but the main reason you should be excited about this match up is because both these women come to fight.  MMA audiences love striking affairs and both women will be content on keeping the fight standing until one of them goes down.  Both are comfortable on the ground and have notched some impressive wins there, but their strengths and passions are in the striking game.  There is plenty to celebrate when you have two straight ahead warriors like Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and Erin Toughill.  MMA is full of dominant champions and the winner will have the goods to join the likes of BJ Penn, GSP and Anderson Silva as dominant division kingpins.  That is something to be appreciated.  The book is already out on Cyborg and now that you know more about Erin Toughill, I hope you pay these two great women the ultimate respect by watching their championship contest.  This one will be a classic for as long as it lasts.

2009 Female Fighter of the Year: Gina Carano

Posted in MMA with tags , , , on December 31, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley

Gina Carano was the cornerstone for women's MMA in 2009.

The 1st thing that comes to mind when reading this is how can I say Gina Carano is the Female Fighter of the Year when she lost her only fight in 2009 to Cris “Cyborg” Santos?  The answer is simple.  I chose Carano as the best 2009 had to offer is because she was women’s MMA in 2009. Also for the victory that it was for the women, to headline a major MMA event, could have never been realized without Carano.   As one of the biggest MMA success stories in ’09, Strikeforce:  Carano vs. Cyborg, it was easily one of  the most historical events in history as well .  She didn’t have the best year in the cage but her contributions outweigh anything else her peers accomplished this year.

Gina Carano made women fighters marketable to corporate America with her Pepsi endorsement which aired on Superbowl Sunday.

Thanks to Gina Carano, women’s MMA reached the pinnacle of the sport and it came at a heavy price.  Facing a beast of an opponent,  Carano willingly sacrificed valuable training time by enduring the smothering exposure that came from a heavy promotion built almost exclusively on her own star power.  No athlete in the world meant as much to their gender’s success in sport like Gina Carano. She dealt with unforeseen and astronomical pressure in making her title fight with Cyborg a success.  Until her Elite XC debut in 2007, no one cared or fully accepted women’s MMA until she broke into the spotlight.  The stark contrast in the two women was media bliss but it was Carano who sold the fight with a perfect blend of uncanny skill, tons of charisma and of course her movie star looks.  Had she had nothing to offer as an athlete it would have been declared a desperate novelty act, but Carano was as good as her billing and when it mattered most Carano delivered on all fronts.

Carano had the championship within her grasp against Cyborg.

Carano had the championship within her grasp against Cyborg.

A back-and-forth battle derived that had a packed house at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA standing on their feet for the bout’s entirety.  It was an all-action fight thatprovided more action than most of the guys did in their own encounters. Had a quick knockout occurred then the sport would have died right there and then, but now women like Erin Toughill, Marloes Coenen and champion Cyborg Santos now have the opportunity to showcase their skills to grander audiences without fear of repercussion. Carano put up a good fight and could have beaten her stellar opponent proving that she was not the next Anna Kournikova.  She is championship material and the world fully accepted women’s MMA due to her brave performance.  Paving the path for future stars is the greatest courtesy one can execute for their sport.  When considered what has transpired for women’s MMA it’s hard not to mention Carano’s name.  It’s an superlative achievement and justifying her as the best of 2009.

Fedor vs. Rogers Aftermath

Posted in MMA with tags , , , on November 10, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley

Marloes Coenen vs. Roxanne Modaferri

Oh, that’s right Scott Coker featured this in the prelims therefore you missed Marloes Coenen’s 65 second eradication of Roxanne Modaferri.  Coenen likely earned a title shot but it will bring little buzz since no one got to see what she has in store for Cyborg.

Gerard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou

Mousasi was never in any real danger against Sokoudjou.  Sokoudjou gets his props for fairing much better than anyone expected, but Mousasi put the “jungle fighter” to sleep before any real expectations of an upset could occur.  With an anemic light heavyweight division it will be interesting to see what “The Dream Catcher’s” future holds.

Middleweight Championship – Miller vs. Shields

Miller vs Shields

“Mayhem” Miller delivered all the action in his fight against Jake Shields.

What many believed could be the fight of the night led to a dreary 25-minute snooze fest.  Almost as disappointing was the much hyped cage entrance for Jason “Mayhem” Miller.  The priest robe and dancing were almost as dreadful as the fight itself.

The monotonous action was no fault of Miller’s who delivered the fight’s few stirring moments.  Both men had their advantages and clearly Shields’ wrestling outweighed Miller’s striking.  Shields did what was necessary to earn a decision although he did not win anyone over with this performance.  The awkward ground positioning forced in the match most certainly caused viewers at home to flip to the UFC’s counter broadcast.  Miller deserves credit for doing more on the bottom than Shield did in a dominant position.  He is the true winner of this fight although this match did nothing to phase Dana White one bit about his apparent competition.

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers

Fedor vs Rodgers

Fedor left Rogers a crumbled heap and again walked away victoriously.

All hail Fedor. The public wanted an entertaining fight and they got it in Fedor vs. Rogers.  Brett Rogers was game and even had his moments in the fight but his refusal to give Fedor any credit in his post-fight interview deserved another overhand right from hell.  He bloodied and banged Fedor but never had him in any real trouble.  Fedor has seen it all and once he figured Rogers out then Rogers’ night was over.  No premature stoppage as Rogers claims as you could see when his eyes glazed over when he hit the mat. Big John McCarthy is the best in the business and made the right call.  Fedor crushed Rogers with a single right hook so had he been allowed to continue then Rogers’ wife may not have recognized him after the fight.  Strikeforce needs to strike while the iron is hot and put Fedor next in line for champion Alistair Overeem.

5 Reasons To Watch Fedor vs. Rogers

Posted in MMA with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley

Dana White would have you believe that nothing in MMA exists outside of the UFC.  He has crushed every rival promotion that dare attempt to take a slice of the MMA pie.  Little experience and overspending have exhausted upstart promotions such as Elite XC and Affliction, but in Strikeforce/M-1 Global the UFC will see that this telecast will be different.

White knows it too.  He’s countering Strikeforce’s card with his own collaboration broadcast of main event fights from recent pay-per-view events.  It’s a colossal line up sure to put up a good fight against a quality card.  Sure to White’s displeasure, here are 5 reasons you should watch Strikeforce – Fedor vs. Rogers.

5) Women’s MMA

Just because Dana White didn’t want women fighting under the UFC banner doesn’t mean they don’t belong in the sport.  Make no mistake about it, these female warriors put on a good show.  In most cases their fights are more compelling than those of their male counterparts.  Carano vs. Cyborg was a massive success and even though women’s MMA is “The Gina Carano Show” this is an excellent opportunity to see the other capable women in the sport not named either Gina Carano or Cris Cyborg.  Roxanne Modaferri vs. Marloes Coenen should be an entertaining scrap and also help paint a picture of potential challenger(s) for Cris Cyborg.

4) Gegard Mousasi

"The Dream Catcher" lived up to his moniker by putting Babalu to sleep for the middleweight championship.

"The Dream Catcher" lived up to his moniker by putting Babalu to sleep for the middleweight championship.

Mousasi is arguably the most talented light heavyweight not in the UFC.  He has devastating skills and his impressive KO of former UFC champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral in his Strikefore debut opened many eyes.  His title is not on the line but keep in mind he’s the #7 ranked light heavyweight in the world regardless of promotion according to Sherdog.  Whenever a fighter is mentioned in the same breath as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida & Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, then that fighter deserves a look.  He shouldn’t disappoint.

3) Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Jake Shields

"Mayhem" is a lunatic and crazy guys are always entertaining.

"Mayhem" is a lunatic and crazy guys are always entertaining.

The Strikeforce Middleweight Championship fight is a lock for “Fight of the Night”.  “Mayhem” Miller should bring millions of fresh fans to the event thanks to his hosting gig on MTV’s “Bully Beatdown”.  Those who knew him before MTV know him for his flamboyant style and balls out fighting style.  Jake Shields is a beast that is vastly skilled and matches up well against Miller.  Shields is a heavy favorite but Miller doesn’t lat down for anybody and has promised to “beat the piss out of Jake Shields”.  You can bet the farm that both Miller and Shields will make this an instant classic.

2) Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor

Move over Mr. Rogers, this is Fedor's neighborhood.

The Russian Sambo king looks more like the neighborhood bus driver than the world’s top heavyweight, but his impressive record illustrates he’s butchered a murderer’s row of legendary heavyweights including a few former UFC champions.  Forget the language barrier because Fedor does his talking violently with his fists.  The next one in line looking to crush the folklore of Fedor is heavy-hitting Brett Rogers.  Rogers is a big and scary heavyweight who can end the fight in an instant.   At 6’5″ and 265lbs he is a monster of man who is living up the “Rocky” role leading up to the fight.  Fedor is no stranger to larger opponents and has dismantled them with the slightest window open for destruction.  This one is not going the distance and will be fun while it lasts.  If you love knockouts then this is a fight you’re not going to want to miss.

1) It’s Free

Strikeforce is exhibiting every MMA fan’s dream.  They are airing a PPV quality card for free on a major network.  The UFC has put on similar shows for free on Spike but believe it or not, not everyone has cable.  All you need is a television and you can watch Fedor vs. Rogers.

Competition is good and in this case the fans are the beneficiaries.  Pro wrestling was at its peak when Ted Turner’s WCW went head-to-head against Vince McMahon’s WWE (formerly WWF).  Competition raises the bar and forces one to boost their brand.  UFC105 is airing live on Spike and it’s not because Dana White wants to throw you a bone.