UFC 153: Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar

When UFC President Dana White put this fight together, he is giving the folks a fight that could have epic proportions. In Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, the reigning Middleweight Champion and the best pound for pound fighter in the world today, you have an unparalleled fighter.  Stephan ‘American Psycho’ Bonnar you have a true warrior who can fight with anyone. He does not retreat, he can take a punch and not afraid to get hit to win his objective.

Silva is actually stepping into Bonnar’s world by coming up to fight in the Light Heavyweight category at 205lbs. Bonnar is always in great shape. In his 11 year career he has fought in some wars. The fight that he had with Former champion Forrest Griffin is considered the best fight in UFC history. Both fighters trying to win a six figure contract with the UFC. They fought so hard and were so bloodied and worn out at the end of the fight which was awarded to Griffin. UFC President Dana White was so impressed with Bonnar also, that he extended him a six figure contract also.

What can be said about Silva, he has not lost a fight in six years, and he has defended his title 10 times in the past six years.  He has been the consummate champion by being an ambassador to the sport of MMA and he carries himself in a manner that screams Champion.

Bonnar, the warrior who has lost fights in his career, but he has never been knocked out or submitted.  He is a strong willed competitor who would be carried off on a stretcher before he quit.  He leaves it all in the cage every time that he fights.

Silva is a great stand up fighter and will trade punches with you.  He has an arsenal of punches and kicks. He will also take the fight to the ground where he has a good ground game.  He sometimes has problems with grapplers, shown in his first fight with Chael Sonnen.  Bonnar is a good grappler so Silva will have to be on his guard and not slip up.

Bonnar will stand and throw punches, but he has litany of kicks to his credit. Standing 6”4, he has a slight height and reach advantage over Silva who stands 6”2.  Bonnar will press the action with Silva and make him work for everything that he gets.

The longer that the fight goes on, the more it favors Bonnar who is in his natural element. Silva fights rarely go into later rounds.  Both fighters have their work cut out for them and it is a hard one to predict. Conventional wisdom would say to go with Silva, but not being a conventional kind of guy, I think that Bonnar stands a very good chance to win this fight.

The folks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and fans around the world will get everything that they asked for tonight.  Brazil is going to be off the chain tonight and I know this journalist would love to be there to partake in the action close up and personal.

Mike Samuels is a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. He can be reached at msamuels@thepenaltyflagblog.com on Twitter @Steeler_Mike and at http://www.facebook.com/TheSportsDude


‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey: Fighter Profile

Rousey ArmbarDo not let the model good looks and the high heels fool you. This young lady is as tough as they come in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.  She is an accomplished athlete who has no fear when she steps into the octagon.

Ronda Rousey won 7 Senior National titles in Judo and was a Bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. She is the first American medalist in women’s Judo. Women’s Judo became an Olympic sport in 1992. She also qualified for the 2004 Olympics in Athens Greece, and at age 17 made her the youngest Judo competitor at the Games.

She is the current Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion at 135 pounds.  Ronda started her professional MMA career in 2010. She fought her first fight against Hayden Munoz which she made quick and painful. Rousey submitted her by armbar in :23 seconds of the 1st round.  She won all of her amateur fights by submission in the 1st round and they were all by Armbar submission. Rousey fought 3 amateur fights for a total of time of 1:43 all ended in first round.

Ronda has fought 6 professional MMA fights, all have ended in the first round by submission and on former Bantam weight title holder Miesha Tate has gone past the first minute. Tate lasted 4:27 seconds. Rousey took the title from Tate.

Rousey defended title against former champion Sarah Kaufman on August 18, 2012 the fight only lasted 0:54 seconds. Once again Ronda wins by armbar submission.

Rousey at just age 25 has a long career ahead her as long as she chooses to fight. Her armbar is one of the best that I have seen. The only other fighter that I can think of with kind of power is Frank Mir. Both have broken bones using that submission.  Along with the name ‘Rowdy’, I have heard her referred to as ‘The Armbar Assassin’, a name that truly befits her skills and ability. Both Rousey and Mir use the armbar submission with devastating results.

I believe that if she trains and continues to fight at such a high level, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with. I do not see anyone beating her at this point. I am ready to watch her defend her title in her next bout. Ronda is in a class all by herself.

Mike Samuels is a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. He can be reached at msamuels@thepenaltyflagblog.com , Twitter @Steeler_Mike and at http://www.facebook.com/TheSportsDude

Ryan Jimmo: This is the knockout face

Ryan JimmoRyan Jimmo a Canadian fighter who is fighting his first bout in the UFC brought his debut in with a bang. The light heavyweight was fighting Anthony Perosh. The bell rings, both fighters touch gloves Jimmo closes the distance between the two and throws a big right hand catching Perosh the ear and he goes to sleep in record time.  Jimmo pounces on him and throws a punch to the side of the head, but Perosh was already KO’ed and napping. The Referee steps in and waves Jimmo off of Perosh.  This knockout is now tied for the fastest KO in UFC history. The time was seven seconds.  The KO was devastating, but more funny to me was the look on Perosh’s face as he lay sleeping. I will call this the “Knockout Face”.

You never judge how a fight is going to go, but in tonight’s case Perosh was overmatched before he even got into a rhythm to attempt to fight a good fight. Perosh has a record of (13-7) four wins by knockout and 5 wins by submission, he has never had a fight go to decision. Jimmo has a record of (17-1) 8 wins by decision, 6 TKO’s, 2 by submission, and 1 by KO. Jimmo lost his first fight via TKO.

Could Jimmo be a challenger for Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones? Only time will tell. Jimmo helped his stock tremendously with his impressive knockout of Anthony Perosh.  UFC President Dana White was thoroughly impressed with Jimmo, and whether that like will earn him a title shot down the road can only be speculated at this point.  When you knock out a guy with one punch in your first fight in the UFC and impress Dana White your stock is only going to go up.

My thoughts on Jimmo are that he has great power, but how is he going to go follow up this fight? He needs to keep doing the things in a positive way. If he can continue to win he should get a title shot down the road. In the 205 lb. weight class there are some really good fighters, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson Lyoto Machida to name a few, all who have fallen victim to Champion Jon Jones.

Stay tuned in the Light Heavyweight division, things could get interesting.  This division is stacked with talent and putting the right matches together will make it one of the busiest weight classes in the UFC.  The continuous flow of new talent in this weight class has kept it very competitive.  I see Dana White using this class a springboard for all the other weight classes.  The caliber of athletes in the UFC are by far the best in the world. This is where aspiring fighters look to get and be able to fight the stiffest competition in the world.


Anderson Silva: How many more will get stuck in the web?

Anderson Silva

Anderson SilvaI am Anderson “The Spider” Silva and I am the current and reigning UFC Middleweight Champion. I have not lost a fight in 6 years.  I last defended my title for the second time against challenger Chael Sonnen and in both fights I was victorious. Sonnen pushed me to the brink in our fight, but he did something that I do not do. He made a mistake, and I submitted him in round 5 to retain my title.  At UFC 148 we fought again and once again he made a mistake and I made him pay for it. The fight was stopped in the second round due to strikes and again I retain my title.

I am the best pound for pound fighter in the world today.  I am 37 years old and I am in phenomenal shape. I train twice a day 6 days a week. I can knock you out striking or I can take you down and submit you. To beat me, you have to fight a perfect fight. You and I know that is not going to happen because I will pressure you and you WILL make a mistake. Then it is my turn to add you to my list of victims. The list is long, and the opponents have been many. I have defended my title on ten occasions and I always come out victorious.

When my opponents are asleep or watching television or whatever it is that they do. I am training, I am always training to make and keep myself in the best condition so that I am ready for any challenger to step up and try and take my title. I welcome each and every challenge, but I warn you that I am not going to go down easy. I will stay on you like a relentless pitbull until I knock you out or I make you submit to my superior will to win. My will to win each and every fight is stronger than the fighters that I fight.  Do I have an ego problem? No I do not, I am just supremely confident in my abilities.

I am a family man, a spiritual man, a quiet man, I am all of these things until I get into the ring. Then I transform into the “Spider” and when you come into my web, I dictate the action, the pace, and where we are fighting either on the ground or we can stay on our feet and my excellent striking skills take over. I am always going to fight my fight and you do not get to dictate anything.  The octagon is my domain and you are a guest, but you are not welcome, so I will be knocking you out or choking you out shortly.

This is a short look inside the mind of Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and how he goes about his routine of training and how he dictates the pace of the fight and his will to win. Silva has been great for Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC.   He is hero to the children and people of Brazil, and he is becoming very well known around the world.  How much gas does the 37 year old Silva have left in his tank? How long can he go? Only time will tell, but from where I am sitting he has a long way to go before it is all said and done.

Is Alexander Gustafsson ‘the next big thing’ in MMA?

Alexander-GustafssonAlexander Gustafsson is considered by many to be one of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division and is even being compared to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Gustafsson does look really good on paper. He has a 14-1 record with his only loss coming from then undefeated and current top 10 ranked Phil Davis. Gustafsson also holds notable wins over Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko. It’s easy to see why some people think he will be “the next big thing” in MMA. Before we crown him with that title we should take a closer look at Gustafsson’s key wins.

The fact Thiago Silva hadn’t fought in over a year is greatly over looked. Ring rust is real and it was obvious in the fight. Silva is normally aggressive and constantly attacking. In the fight with Gustafsson, Silva seemed a lot more hesitant than usual. When Gustafsson fought Matt Hamill, a string of unfortunate events happen to Hamill. One of the worst things that happened to Hamill was his loss to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Jackson stuffed all his takedown and with a broken hand still managed to out strike Hamill. A loss like that would eat away at anyone’s confidence. Rumors were spreading that Hamill would retire after. The rumors went away when it was announced Hamill would be fighting Gustafsson at UFC 133.

During the fight it was clear Hamill had lost his hunger. Hamill who is a three-time division III NCAA national champion shots (Takedown attempts) were sloppy at best. Hamill stood with his hands down most of the time and tried to brawl the whole fight. Shortly after the fight Hamill announced his retirement. I think it would be fair to say Hamill had been beaten mentally way before he fought Gustafsson. I believe it is also fair to say Gustafsson didn’t fight the best Matt Hamill.

It’s not my intention to be dismissive but when Gustafsson beat Matyushenko, Matyushenko was 40 years old and about 10 years past his prime. This is a young person’s sport.

I am not taking anything away from Gustafsson. He has incredible talent who won those fights fair and square. I just feel if someone is labeled “the next big” and being compared to Jon Jones they should earn it. Right now I believe it is premature for those labels and comparison. When he can beat two or more top 10 fighters, label him. Until then let’s call him what he is, a talented up and comer.

Torrey Lee is a  Journalist for The Sports Blitz. He is currently a student at Jackson Community College and a hardcore fight fan. He has trained in MMA for 2 years in holds a green belt in Evolution style Kenpo Jiu Jitsu. Torrey has a wealth of writing experience and has been published on many reputable websites. You can contact him on Facebook or on Twitter @thetorreylee. Contact Torrey Directly by emailing him at TLee@TheSportsBlitz.com

Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones vs. Anderson Silva: The ultimate fight

Jon JonesThe ultimate Mixed Martial Arts battle would come between the two best fighters in the sport today. Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Jon “Bones” Jones both champions and both are very good at keeping other fighters in a “purple haze”. Silva, fighting in Brazil his whole life and Jones, the Greco-Roman wrestler turned fighter. They are the type of athlete that you tell your children or grandchildren “I saw them when…” Having seen both these gentlemen I am convinced that they are the best that I have seen. Now I need to know which man is the better fighter. Will this fight ever happen? Who knows? Only time will tell.

I know that fight fans are chomping at the bit to see this fight happen, but there are some obstacles in the way. Silva and Jones are in different weight classes. Luckily it is only a one weight class difference. Jones weighing in at 205 pounds could drop 10 pounds and Silva at 185 pounds could add an additional 10 pounds to come up to 195 pounds. Having them meet in the middle would be the best thing for both. Silva, the Middleweight title holder has not lost a fight in five and a half years. He is 14-0 in the UFC octagon. He is thirty-six years old and he is seemingly getting better as time goes on. A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, a very good striker, and he is a very well-rounded fighter. He shows no signs of slowing down. Jones, the Light Heavyweight title holder is just twenty-four years of age. He has successfully defended his title three times so far and has a title fight against Rashad Evans April 21, 2012 in Phillips Arena in Atlanta. His wrestling is superior, he has good jiu jitsu, excellent Muay Thai, and with his 84.5 inch reach it is very hard to get inside on him. Jones is hard to hit and his unorthodox style just plain confuses opponents.

In my estimation, these two would be like lions fighting for leadership of the pride. The old lion using all his skills against the younger lion, who wants to make his mark on the sport. The old lion has wisdom and cunning on his side. The young lion has his youth, stamina and strength on his side. Both want to be the greatest, but that is reserved for just one of them. Silva has a lot of fights under his belt, so he has seen almost everything that you can see in the octagon. Jones is much younger and has only been fighting in the octagon for a few short years, but his skills give him a very good chance of winning this ultimate match were it to happen in the near future. Both Jones and Silva want to leave their signature on the world of mixed martial arts.

For me and for fight fans around the world this would be the ultimate match-up. At this point in time they are both at the top of their respective games, and the match would show the fight world who is the pound for pound best in the world. Fans of the mixed martial arts will have to wonder about which fighter is better, Jones or Silva? I would love to see Dana White put this fight together in the near future while they are both at their best. Personally I believe Jones to be the better of the two, but that distinction will be debated for some time to come. This is the fight that I would most like to see. This is my ultimate.

Mike Samuels is an MMA writer for The Sports Blitz.  He can be conatcted at MSamuels@TheSportsBlitz.com

Jonny “Bones” Jones: Fighter profile

Jon JonesThe youngest champion in UFC history, those are wonderful credentials to have gained at the young age of 23 when he won the light heavyweight crown. Jon Jones was a stand-out high school wrestler and state champion. He was a Junior College champion as well. Jones has been a stand-out throughout his athletic career. In just about four years as a professional he has amassed an impressive record of 15 wins with just one defeat. That single defeat was by disqualification due to downward elbow strikes. He was handily winning that fight as well.

Jones stands 6”4 with an 84.5 inch reach, the longest in UFC history. He presents many obstacles for his opponents. He utilizes his wrestling, jiu jitsu, and Muy Thai to defeat his opponents. He is a very unorthodox fighter. He throws kicks and punches from odd angles. The elbows and spinning elbows that he throws are lethal. He is not easy to take down. His take down defense is excellent. He has very good submission skills as well. He uses the guillotine and rear naked choke very well. Coming from a Greco Roman wrestling background he has great upper body strength. He is somewhat of an enigma to those who have faced him. No one has been able to figure out his style of fighting. He is a student of the game. He watches a lot of tapes of other fighters. It has helped his all-around fight game. He is a very complete fighter in that he utilizes all aspects of the fight game. He kicks, he punches, he shoots for take-downs, he throws vicious elbows and knees. For a fighter who has only been in the game for a few years, the techniques that he uses are that of a fighter who has been at it for a much longer period of time.

He defended his title first against former champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 defeating him at 1:14 of the fourth round with a rear naked choke. He had Jackson on the defensive through three rounds of their fight and did not allow Jackson to mount much of an offense. When the fight was over Jackson gave the younger Jones a lot of praise and respect. Jones’ performance in his first title defense was to quote the video game Mortal Kombat a “Flawless Victory”. His second title defense came against another former champion in Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 and defeating him at 4:26 of the second round due to a guillotine choke. In the first round both fighters felt each other out. Exchanging punches and kicks, Machida caught Jones with a good shot, but Jones worked through it. Jones took Machida down and hit him with an elbow that put a deep cut into Machida’s head, they worked back to their feet where the referee stopped the fight to let the doctor check out the deep gash in Machida’s head. The fight resumed and just prior to the end of the fight Jones caught Machida with a short left that sent him to the canvas, and in getting to his feet he stumbled into the guillotine which ended the fight. Machida was completely knocked out and Jones left him in a bloody heap against the side of the cage to retain his title.

Jon Jones is one of the most gifted young fighters to come into the MMA world in a very long time. Now at the tender age of 24, his skill level as a fighter is well beyond his young age. Every time we see him fight it seems that he has added another weapon to his ever growing arsenal. One of the things that most impresses me about this young man is that he is very humble and soft spoken. He puts thought into the words that he speaks when being interviewed. He is an all-around nice young man. That is until you have to face him across the cage during a match. I think that Jones can be the champion as long as he chooses to be. He trains properly and has good folks around him to help him stay focused. Jones brother Arthur plays for the Baltimore Ravens and his younger brother Chandler is a D Lineman at the University of Syracuse.

If you are a fan of Mixed Martial Arts then Jon Jones is a fighter that you really need to watch if you have not done so already. You will not be disappointed in what you see. He is a one of a new breed of athletes that can compete at the elite level of whatever sport or sports that they want and do well at that level. According to sherdog.com Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones is the No.1 light heavyweight in the world and the No. 3 Pound for pound fighter in the world.

Mike Samuels is a writer for The Sports Blitz and can be contacted at MSamuels@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com

Mixed martial artists are the gladiators of today

Fedor EmelianenkoThese gladiators stepping into the octagon do not carry swords, shields, spears, or wear armor. They step in with only their wits, their hands in four ounce gloves, a pair of shorts and their bare feet. There is no being fed to the lions if you lose, but there is always the chance of being knocked out, choked out, or just being thoroughly beaten up. Fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva, Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Dan Henderson compete because this sport is the closest thing to no holds barred fighting as you can get. These gladiators are not brawlers or undisciplined fighters. They are highly skilled, well trained and, very disciplined at their craft. In order to be successful in this sport you have to be all of the above or you will have a very short lived career.

What is a mixed martial artist? He or she is a combination of a boxer, a wrestler, and a martial artist. The martial arts portion encompasses a lot of different styles of martial arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muy Thai, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo to name a few. Using this combination of skills the fighter have a multitude of weapons at their disposal to help them win the fight. By the time these gladiators get to the professional ranks, they are some of the most well-conditioned and mentally tough individuals on the planet. Some have been competing in one sport or another all their lives and just want a higher level of competition or they come into the sport and learn it from the ground up. In any event it makes the sport one of the most exciting sports to either participate or watch as a spectator.

This competition puts one fighter’s skill against another fighter’s skills. Most of the time the decision comes down to whom has the stronger will to win. Some fighters like to fight standing throwing punches and kicks. Then some like fighting from the ground using their grappling and submission skills to their advantage. Some use the combination of both standing and ground game to win their fights.

There is much to be said when a competitor can take his or her battery of skills and make another competitor submit (Tap out) to the other fighter’s will to win. Some fighters are so committed to not submitting they will not tap out or will not quit under any circumstances. Tapping out to them is like quitting, and is not acceptable to their mindset. To some that might sound extreme, to let themselves get a broken bone or go to sleep rather than tap out, to others it is a point of honor. To say that no matter how much pain or lack of oxygen I have, I will not submit. Some fighters do not know anything but fighting and competing, but there is a larger number that are very cerebral and intelligent and do not have to fight. All the fighters that I have watched over many years fight because they love what they do. Many are very quiet people until they get into the octagon and the adrenalin starts pumping and then out comes the gladiator. Then there are others who are loud and boisterous are ready even before they step into the octagon.

In my opinion the very cerebral fighter who never gets rattled no matter what his situation in the octagon is, he finds a way to win and is the most fun to watch. That is when you see those last second knockouts or last second submissions. Being able to intelligently defend yourself while being low on stamina or oxygen is something to see. The fighter who will continually keep coming after being hit or kicked, or keeps getting up after being knocked down. I have seen fighters with deep cuts, lacerations, bruised and battered and they still continue to fight. It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to take that kind of beating. You have to respect not only the mental and physical toughness but, just the sheer will to win. The never say die attitude. Having that type of mental outlook, not only works in the octagon, but it is carried into their everyday life.

Watching these modern day gladiators compete is something to behold. In this day and age the crowds are just like the ones of the past who seem to have that thirst for action and competition. Again, there is no thumbs’ down, and being thrown to the lions if you lose, so I say thumbs up to all of these modern day gladiators. I applaud your efforts.

Mike Samuels is a writer for The Sports Blitz and can be contacted at MSamuels@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com