Morning Commute today has two epic PRIDE events as the day in history. Also stories on Chris Weidman and his Long Island home, ref issues from Bellator 78, Frankie Edgar is getting the title shot against Jose Aldo and more. Use the player below or download the file to listen to later.
Posts Tagged ‘Frankie Edgar’
Today’s Morning Commute features a bit of sad news as former UFC commentator and US Olympic Gold Medalist Jeff Blatnick died yesterday. He is survived by his wife, his brother, his mother and his kids. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Also on the podcast, lots of news about UFC and Brazil, the Superbowl card looks to have it’s first fight, Koscheck is running his mouth again and of course this day in history. Use the player below or download the mp3 for later listening.
Ricardo Lamas is arguably the number two featherweight in the UFC after defeating Hatsu Hioki in June. In speaking to Steve Muehlhausen of SportsTownChicago.com today, Lamas revealed the plans that the UFC had for him.
While he was the number two guy, there was a fight already booked for the champ in Eric Koch. Lamas wasn’t one to wait and was actively seeking a fight. When word got out that former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar was dropping to his weight class, he was ready for that match.
“The UFC offered me a fight with Edgar in December and we had accepted. We were waiting to hear back from Sean Shelby on Edgar’s side. We accepted and were waiting for confirmation before we could announce it. This took place about two weeks ago but wasn’t signed.”
When Koch became injured and had to withdraw from the fight, the UFC of course went searching for a replacement fighter. One of the first people they called was Lamas.
“They called me and said Koch was injured. They needed an answer that night if I would fight Aldo. Of course we said yes right away and got everything they wanted in order. Then around 9pm they called me back and said they decided to go a different direction.”
That different direction of course was Edgar stepping in for the injured Koch. Lamas was quick to point out that he could see why.
“I was disappointed that I was out of the fight. I was excited for that fight. That’s an opportunity that guys wait their entire career for. It came out of no where so I can’t be super mad. I wasn’t promised for months and this came in last minute. I can see from the UFC’s perspective where it would be a better fight. he’s a former champ and more well known. Of course people want to see him fight Aldo over me.”
Lamas has been offered another fight for the end of the year, but wouldn’t reveal any other details as it isn’t signed yet.
And the injuries keep on happening to main event fighters. This time, Erik Koch had to withdraw from his scheduled UFC 153 bout with Jose Aldo. But unlike UFC 151 where the champ declined a fight with a potential challenger, 153 is still arguably even more in tact as Frankie Edgar will be dropping down to fight Aldo.
News of the injury and replacement was first reported by USA Today and MMAJunkie. Koch’s injury has not been disclosed.
Edgar has long been asked about dropping down to the featherweight division, even while he was having a very successful run at lightweight. He holds notable wins over Gray Maynard, BJ Penn, Sean Sherk, and Jim Miller. Even his back-to-back losses to Ben Henderson were close fought battles, but it was enough to have the former champ think seriously about dropping to featherweight.
Many thought he would have to fight a challenger before getting a shot at Jose Aldo, but Aldo has been vocal enough about the potential fight that none was needed in this case. While Edgar was lightweight champ, many fans wanted this super fight, but Aldo repeatedly stated that Edgar would have to drop down to his weight and it wouldn’t be fought at 155lbs.
Aldo is one of the most dominant champions under the Zuffa banner. He entered the WEC with a 10-1 record and quickly rose to fan fame with five knockout victories. The five knockouts earned him a shot at the title and like his previous fights, Aldo knocked out the champ. He then battled for twenty five minutes with Urijah Faber and followed that up with another knockout victory over Manny Gamburyan.
After those eight fights, the WEC was merged with the UFC and Aldo went back to work. He compiled back to back decision victories over Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian, the former earning him fight of the night honors. Just when fighters thought they found chinks in Aldo’s defense, he knocked Chad Mendes out with just one second remaining in the first round, reminding everyone how dangerous he is.
UFC 153 takes place on Saturday, October 13 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
Today’s Independent Link club features some of the best stories from around the smaller mixed martial arts circuit that you may not have read.
Cage Warriors sign unbeaten featherweight prospect Chris Fishgold [The MMA Review]
Ultimate Evolution: UFC Must Adapt to Maintain Quality as it Increases Quantity [The MMA Corner]
A talk with ‘Babysitter to the Stars’ UFC Hype Man Burt Watson *Video* [Pro MMA Now]
Joe Lauzon ties Anderson Silva w/ two UFC on FOX 4 Fight Night Bonuses [MMA Valor]
Technique of the Week, Frankie Edgar shows how to use the Slip a Jab [The Fight Nerd]
ONE FC names Matt Hume the New Vice President of operation and Competition [The Fight Nation]
While we are approaching the end of March and it seems like it has been forever since an actual UFC event other than The Ultimate Fighter, it is time to recap what has transpired in the first quarter of 2012 with regards to the UFC.
From January 1st through March 31 the UFC held seven events. The first of which took place on January 14th and the span ended on March 3rd. That was seven events in seven weeks. No wonder the UFC decided to take some time off as the next event scheduled isn’t until April 14th.
Looking back at the events, there were several memorable moments. From fights to knockouts to submissions, the first quarter did not disappoint in the least. Let’s take a look at some of the best of the best through out this quarter.
During the quarter there were a total of seventeen submissions. Some were obviously more memorable than others. But there was something special about our top five submissions. It could be because a fighter stuck to his bread and butter, it could have been a submission that hasn’t been seen before, or it could have been just from the sheer fact that the fighter got the submission. In all cases, just mentioning the fight and the submission it is likely to bring images of people tapping to the forefront of your brain.
5. Jim Miller defeated Melvin Guillard by rear naked choke at UFC on FX: Guillard vs Miller
4. Dustin Poirier defeated Max Holloway by mounted triangle armbar at UFC 143
3. Martin Kampmann defeated Thiago Alves by guillotine choke at UFC on FX: Alves vs Kampmann
2. Rousimar Palhares defeated Mike Massenzio by heel hook at UFC 142
1. Charles Oliveira defeated Eric Wisely by calf slicer at UFC on Fox: Evans vs Davis
Nothing gets the crowd going more than a crazy knockout. Sometimes a ref is merciful and is able to stop the barrage of attacks and other times, a single shot sends a foe to the canvas stiff as a board. No matter how the knockout happened, fans will always place the fighter that delivered the finishing strike on a new pedestal wanting him to take on a step up in competition.
5a. Stephen Thompson defeated Dan Stittgen by head kick at UFC 143
5b. Anthony Pettis defeated Joe Lauzon by head kick at UFC 144
4. Tim Boetsch defeated Yushin Okami by TKO at UFC 144
3. Lavar Johnson defeated Joey Beltran by uppercuts at UFC on Fox: Evans vs Davis
2. Jose Aldo defeated Chad Mendes by knee at UFC 142
1. Edson Barboza defeated Terry Etim by spinning heel kick at UFC 142
While there were several memorable fights across all the cards, there is just something extra about the fights that received fight of the night honors from the UFC. Some fights were quick, others were one sided beatings, and others were great back and forth battles. With that said, here’s the top 5 fights from the first quarter.
5. Evan Dunham vs Nik Lentz at UFC on Fox: Evans vs Davis
4. Diego Sanchez vs Jake Ellenberger at UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs Ellenberger
3. Roy Nelson vs Fabricio Werdum at UFC 143
2. Demetrious Johnson vs Ian McCall at UFC on FX: Alves vs Kampmann
1. Frankie Edgar vs Ben Henderson at UFC 144
Pay per views always tend to have a higher ranking as far as star power is concerned, and justifiably so; they require someone to purchase the event instead of watch it for free. But sometimes the free cards can out perform their pay per view counter parts on the fact that the fighters want to be on the main card of a pay per view instead of televised card. It was a difficult decision to rank the cards, but here’s the top 5.
5. UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs Ellenberger
4. UFC on FX: Guillard vs Miller
3. UFC on FX: Alves vs Kampmann
2. UFC 142: Aldo vs Mendes
1. UFC 144: Edgar vs Henderson
The first trip to Japan for the Ultimate Fighting Championship under the Zuffa banner did not disappoint. Fighters on this card turned out an impressive array of victories out of hard fought competition. The excitement was high leading to the main event of UFC 144: Japan; a title fight for the undisputed lightweight championship between the current UFC Champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar versus the former WEC champion, Benson “Smooth” Henderson.
The major questions coming into this fight was weather or not Edgar could deal with the size, flexibility, kicks of Henderson and ultimately finish someone who has not been finished in his last 15 professional fights. The questions for Henderson were if he could be the first person to finally put Edgar away after being “rocked.” Edgar had shown in his last two title defenses that it takes more than just landing punches on the chin. This was excellent match making of two highly skilled mixed martial arts competitors.
The entire fight was back and forth with both men giving as good or better than they were receiving. Edgar was able to time Henderson’s kicks well enough to catch them against his body. Edgar tried several times to counter off the caught leg with hand strikes, leg kicks, leg sweeps or takedowns. These attempts were very valid and frequent, but never really contributed to neither damage nor Octagon control. When Edgar got his challenger to the ground, he tried to take the back, but Henderson was able to find a small opening and escape back to the feet. According to FightMetric.com, the official stat partner of the UFC, Edgar was 5 of 12 for takedowns and Henderson was one-for-one. Anytime a fighter is less than 50% of takedowns, I award the other fighter with great defense and Octagon control.
The most telling moments of the fight came from the blue corner. Henderson landed a huge and damaging up kick at the end of the second round. That kick opened a cut on the bridge of Edgars’ nose and the blood started to flow. This of course was nothing new for Edgar and is now almost expected from fans when Edgar fights. This is part of Edgar’s charm as a fighter; taking damage and keep moving forward. Another moment was Henderson’s deep guillotine submission attempt in the middle of the fourth round. This attempt was easily the closest attempt that could have ended the fight. Edgar was calm and worked his way free to continue the fight. Again, this is what Edgar does, bounces back from being down. Lastly, was the fact that Henderson out struck the Champion in total strikes with 100 to Edgar’s 81. Henderson also won in the significant strikes department with 87 to Edgar’s 68. The damage was done to Edgar’s face with an almost swollen shut left eye and a cut on his nose that spotted blood all over the canvas. While Henderson, on the other hand, left with no visible damage and a smile on his face.
Benson “Smooth” Henderson defeated Frankie “The Answer” Edgar via a unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46)
For Henderson the talks are either an immediate rematch with Edgar or a WEC championship rematch with the last WEC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. A rematch with Edgar does not make too much sense to me because Edgar was not as dominate as a champion as BJ Penn when Penn lost the title to Edgar nor was the result of Edgar/Henderson controversial. It makes more sense for the UFC, marketing wise, to make the Pettis/Henderson II fight later on this year.
For Edgar there is a lot of talk from outside sources, including the President of the UFC Dana White, that he should drop down to 145 or even 135 and challenge Jose Aldo and/or Dominick Cruze. Needless to say that he has several options. I think he will stay in the lightweight division to try and regain his title. His next opponent could be Clay Guida or the loser of the Jim Miller/Nate Diaz fight in May.
UFC 144 took place on Saturday February 25 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan (though it happened on Sunday morning locally in Japan). The pay-per-view was super-sized with seven fights airing live during the broadcast. Including the first fight of the night between Issei Tamura and Tiequan Zhang that was originally aired on Facebook, all twelve fights ended up being broadcast either on FX or during the pay-per-view broadcast.
On RecapRadio Brent Todd and John Petit had given their predictions for the event. Even just going with the winners they thought would win, Todd went 2-5 and Petit went 4-3. The results were some of the most exciting and craziest in recent history.
The submission of the night award was easy to hand out as there was only one submission. Vaughan Lee defeated Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto by armbar late in the first round. The two each blasted the other with big punches with Yamamoto nearly finishing early in the round. But Lee was able to recover and after Yamamoto was hurt, Lee rushed and locked in a triangle. The submission looked deep, but Yamamoto wasn’t tapping. Lee switched to an armbar and that was all that was needed to earn the tap.
Five fights ended by either knockout or technical knockout making the decision for who would earn the $65,000 bonus difficult. The first fight of the night between Tamura and Zhang was a great start to the night as Tamura landed a vicious right that sent Zhang to la-la-land.
Still part of the preliminary fights, Takanori Gomi showed some of what made Gomi so popular as he was able to earn a technical knockout over Eiji Mitsuoka. In the second round while both fighters seemed extremely gassed, Gomi started to connect with his strikes. It wasn’t long before Mitsuoka wasn’t responding and Gomi just unloaded everything he had into punching Mitsuoka until the referee was forced to stop the fight.
Both Tim Boetsch and Mark Hunt had impressive knockouts in their bouts against Yushin Okami and Cheick Kongo respectively. Boetsch was losing his fight to Okami badly. Knowing he was down two rounds to none Boetsch came out in the third swinging. He staggered Okami with a straight punch. Boetsch smelled blood and swarmed with tricky uppercuts. The assault of uppercuts continued until Okami fell to the floor in a bad way and Boetsch landed two more before the ref stopped the fight.
Many felt that Hunt was going to be seriously outmatchedand outworked by Kongo. But that never happened. Early in the fight Hunt dropped Kongo but decided to let Kongo get right back up. The second time he wasn’t as nice as he swarmed Kongo and rained down punch after punch until Herb Dean was force to save Kongo from eating any more damage.
With Boetsch’s come from behind knockout and Hunt’s impressive striking display it would take a special kind of knockout to earn the extra $65,000. And an impressive knockout did happen. Anthony Pettis and Joe Lauzon seemed happy to trade punches. Pettis lands a kick to the body on Lauzon but Lauzon continues to press forward. Pettis threw another kick, Lauzon went to block it low, but the kick sailed high and connected perfectly on Lauzon’s head and Lauzon was unconscious.
The main event screamed Fight of the Night award even before the first punch was thrown. Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson have been in several battles that were amazing and exciting. Edgar caught nearly every one of Henderson’s kicks and then proceeded to punch him in the face for even throwing a kick. But Henderson had more than just kicks at the ready as he blasted Edgar with straight punches that bloodied up Edgar quickly. The fight was a twenty-five minute back and forth battle that was extremely close. The judges had their work cut out for them but in the end they awarded the fight to Henderson crowing a new champ. Even though Edgar lost, he still pocketed an extra $65,000 for the performance as the fight was deemed the Fight of the Night.
Benson Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46)
Ryan Bader defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mark Hunt defeated Cheick Kongo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:11
Jake Shields defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tim Boetsch defeated Yushin Okami via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:54
Hatsu Hioki defeated Bart Palaszewski via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Anthony Pettis defeated Joe Lauzon via knockout (kick and punches) – Round 1, 1:21
Takanori Gomi defeated Eiji Mitsuoka via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:21
Vaughan Lee defeated Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:29
Riki Fukuda defeated Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Chris Cariaso defeated Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Issei Tamura defeated Tiequan Zhang via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:32
Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and Ben “Smooth” Henderson headline one of the best fight cards in recent memory; a fitting role for two of the most exciting fighters in MMA. UFC 144: Edgar vs Henderson, will be held at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. PRIDE FC captivated audiences for years with spirited fighters like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and now the UFC will look to fill that spot with their organization, bringing Rampage back and showcasing some of the best talent the lightweight division has ever seen.
Edgar is the toughest lightweight champion in the history of the UFC. His two bouts with Gray Maynard elevated him to another level, a true champion, and earned him the respect of a great. Initially a wrestler with developing boxing, Edgar has taken and defended the lightweight title with his hands, winning two decisions, a draw, and a knockout in his past four championship fights. Amazingly, many think his challenger wont be phased.
Henderson is certainly as “smooth” as they come. His mix of striking, wrestling, athleticism, and submission defense shot him into the spotlight in the WEC, where he won the lightweight title. Since moving to the UFC, he has racked up three high-profile wins against top competition in Mark Bocek, Jim Miller, and Clay Guida. Henderson has shown that in the UFC, he can out-grapple the grapplers. A parade of hype now surrounds him, propelling him to be an even bet against the champion.
Edgar is going to test just how good Henderson’s striking has become. He represents the best striking Henderson has come across since his loss to Anthony Pettis in the WEC. Edgar has speed on his side, while Henderson has reach on his. It’s close, but Edgar should be able to win the exchanges between these two.
This leads to the wresting, which I am forced to leave up in the air. It would appear on paper that Edgar is the better wrestler; he has a much more decorated carer, has excellent technique, and has even coached wrestling at a division-one level. The reason I wont call the wrestling for Edgar is because of Henderson’s recent success handling grapplers. Henderson is bigger and taller than Bocek, Miller, Guida, and now Edgar. He imposes his size advantage by using an excellent controlling clinch, powerful take-downs, and superb under-hooks to stop shots.
On the ground, neither can afford to be on their back. It is very unlikely that either can submit the other from a guard position, because they have two of the best top games in the lightweight division. Whoever is taken down needs to scramble up immediately, and I expect both men to be able to avoid being held down. If a submission does happen, you can bet that it will be in a scramble.
Bigger, younger, and stronger sometimes just aint’ enough. I’m going to predict that Edgar out-boxes Henderson to a Unanimous Decision win.
On the February 21st edition of RecapRadio hosts Brent Todd and John Petit had a variety of topics to discuss. We kicked off the show talking about the lack of mma that happened over the weekend on a national level. With two weekends in a row without a UFC event it was rather surprising that there wasn’t a national show to take stage.
Carson Beebe then joined the show to talk about his upcoming fight for Legacy Fighting Championship. It is his first fight back at 135 since auditioning for The Ultimate Fighter. He discussed his wrestling, managing his time, and trying to rep Chicago while down in Texas.
After Beebe we moved on to give our thoughts on the UFC on Fuel TV 1 card. Petit was the victor in the predictions for the week so hats off to him.
With time running out and some sidetracking curbed, we settled in to give our thoughts on UFC 144 and our predictions. There were some differences this week in the predictions and both of us made compelling arguments for our respective fighters. Here’s how the fight predictions broke down:
Joe Lauzon Sub Round 2
Bart Palaszewski KO Round 1
Yushin Okami UD
Jake Shields Sub Round 2
Cheick Kongo UD
Rampage Jackson TKO Round 2
Frankie Edgar UD
Anthony Pettis UD
Hatsu Hioki UD
Yushin Okami UD
Jake Shields TKO Round 2
Cheick Kongo TKO
Ryan Bader UD
Frankie Edgar UD
Use the player below to listen to the full show.