Posts Tagged ‘Mark Hunt’

UFC 146: All Heavyweight Bouts – The Good, the Bad and the Grueling…

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Editorials

UFC 146 PosterOn March 6, the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced the fifth fight that would be scheduled to air during the Pay-Per-View broadcast of UFC 146. That bout was another heavyweight bout between Stefen Struve and Mark Hunt. This will mark the first time in the company’s history that all fights on the main card will be competed in the heavyweight division. I believe that this card started out as an accident for having mostly heavyweights, but grew into a forced live experiment by the UFC brass.

The good: This is a great strategy that may play out well for the UFC three to four months afterwards. By having the champ defend his title against the latest challenger, a number one contender fight and three other bouts battling for position within the division will answer many questions in the one night. Dana White, the president of the UFC, is asked ‘all the time’ at post fight press conferences about whom the winners and losers will fight next. His response is always a truthful one in “I don’t know. We’ll have to see.” At the UFC 146 post fight presser; he will have a much clearer picture of whom each fighter should or could fight next.

Bellator Fighting Championship has been using this similar format to run their tournaments for years now, and it seems to be working for them and their audience. With all of these fighters fighting on the same night, injuries and typical medical suspensions almost become irrelevant because they will be on the same time table. This will level the playing field for the next fight, if the fighters from this card are matched up with an opponent from the same UFC 146 card for their next fight. Which again, Bellator has set the example for them to follow.

Summary: This makes future match making simpler and faster.

 

The bad: One of the best aspects of the largest MMA promotion in the world is their talent roster of over 300 active fighters. The heavyweight division is rapidly grown and is the deepest it has ever been. This division has almost been around since the beginning. Its long history dates back to UFC 12 in 1997 when the first heavyweight champ was crowned. However, the heavyweight division is still one of the shallowest divisions when compared to the other divisions (light heavyweight down to lightweight; featherweight through flyweight are new and still in development).

From UFC.com: Number of Fighters per Division
Heavyweight 33; Light Heavies 35; Middleweight 48; Welterweight 64; Lightweight 57

The UFC is not using all of their resources to entertain the fans. With mixing the division on the cards, the fans get to see the sport they love used in different ways. One difference from the heavies from everyone else is the space in the cage. The heavies are at a disadvantage because they have slightly less space on the canvas to paint their art on. But the best example is the faster pace lighter fighters can work in compared to the heavies. Explained more below. Another worry is that these fights will end in the first three minutes. Heavies have a great reputation of ending each other early more than any other divisions. We will be tuning in to see hours of live MMA action as we are now accustom to, but only a combined 30 minutes of the main card.

Summary: No diversity for the audience and a quick night.

 

The grueling: When was the last time you saw a high paced heavyweight fight for more than one round? Heavyweights are huge men and their bodies need more oxygen to fuel those heavy muscles than the average lung can take in during each breath. Of course these men are professional athletes and will come into the fight in shape and under the 265-pound limit. What I am worried about is all or most of the ten fighters will start to gas out after the first few minutes of the fight. Do you remember season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show? I’m not talking about Rampage and Rashad’s epic confrontations. I’m talking about the slow, non-technical, heavy breathing action in the cage each week. Again, I’m not comparing that crop of new talent to all of the fighters on the 146 card.

My point is that the heavier a fighter is, the sooner they slow down in the cage. By the time the main event, or even co-main, rolls around we may already be bored to tears after three fights of huge men throwing looping punches, half hearted kicks, leaning on each other against the cage, checking the clock and gasping for air. This is not entertaining for most MMA fans. A part of that may be due to the fact that we are now accustom to the fighters in the lighter divisions fighting at a very high pace. These lighter fights are very entertaining, because they can do more moves, technics and combos with in the same window of opportunity as the heavies. We now expect to see that from every fight, including the big boys.

Summary: Great fear of slow moving action for three plus hours.

The card:
Heavyweight Championship: Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem
Heavyweight: Cain Velasquez vs. Frank Mir
Heavyweight: Antonio Silva vs. Roy Nelson
Heavyweight: Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve
Heavyweight: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane del Rosario

Tune in on May 26 to see how this historic event unfolds.

UFC 144 Results, Bonuses and Recap

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Results

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.

Vaughan Lee submits Kid Yamamoto via Iron Forges Iron

Vaughan Lee submits Kid Yamamoto via Iron Forges Iron

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.

Anthony Pettis KO's Joe Lauzon - via Iron Forges Iron

Anthony Pettis KO's Joe Lauzon - via Iron Forges Iron

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.

Frankie Edgar vs Ben Henderson - via Iron Forges Iron

Frankie Edgar vs Ben Henderson - via Iron Forges Iron

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.

Quick Results
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

Cheick Kongo

UFC 144 Cheick Kongo versus Mark Hunt Preview and Prediction

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Editorials

Cheick Kongo
When the UFC announced they would be holding a show in Japan, the idea was to put at least one fighter in each fight who made a name for themselves in the Asian mma scene. Mark Hunt fits that profile with 11 of his fights happening overseas. His opponent Cheick Kongo meanwhile has had fifteen fights in the UFC alone, more than Hunt has had his entire career.

Hunt made his way to the UFC not because he had fought and won enough to gain a spot, but because he had a contract with PRIDE that carried over when the UFC purchased the struggling promotion. The UFC even offered to just buy out his contract, but Hunt was insistent on fighting and earning the paycheck.

His UFC career has been one of a fan resurgence having lost his debut to Sean McCorkle and then winning back-to-back fights against Chris Tuchscherer and Ben Rothwell. Hunt is starting to make a name for himself with the US fan base for his entertaining fight style.

If one was to look at the caliber of opponents alone, one would immediately give the edge to Hunt. Being that his five previous fights to get into the UFC were against Gegard Mousassi, Melvin Manhoef, Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett; all top fighters at the time. Hunt even holds victories over a prime Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Cro Cop which in and of itself is impressive.

Kongo as of late has been getting a lot of slack for his low kicks to the groin. Some even going so far as to call him “Cup Cheick Kongo”. Kongo has been in some wars through out his UFC career showcasing his powerful striking game. When it comes to fighters in the top of the division, that is where Kongo has faulterd in his career.

Hunt is not in the upper echelon of the heavyweight division and thus this should be a fight that Kongo wins. Kongo has shown an ability to come back from being rocked and land devastating punches. Hunt has shown his submission defense is weak, having lost 86% of his fights from submissions and I highly doubt that Kongo will suddenly implement a new and improved submission game.

Being that both fighters are heavy handed and have shown to have solid chins, I am expecting this fight to go the distance. I don’t think Hunt has turned the proverbial corner just yet and I think he will lose on the score cards. Cheick Kongo to win by unanimous decision in decently entertaining battle for heavyweights.

Roy Nelson Cut after UFC 143

UFC 143: Werdum vs. Nelson Recap

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Editorials

Roy Nelson Cut after UFC 143Two things stood out to me during the course of the co-main event at UFC 143 between Fabricio Werdum and Roy “Big Country” Nelson in the heavyweight division. First was that Werdum’s striking has improved greatly over the last three years away from the sports’ main stage. Secondly, that Nelson will probably never be KO’ed or TKO’ed in a fight. This marks the third time that Nelson has taken fifteen minutes of punishment to the face and kept moving forward in the fight. Junior do Santos didn’t stop him; Frank Mir didn’t stop him and now Werdum. Not only can Nelson take punishment and last for all three rounds against the sports’ best, but he also retains his focus. During his fights with the three previously mentioned fighters, Nelson was always looking for a way to end the fight with a big overhand right or by submission.

During the first round of action, Werdum was able to get Nelson into the Muay Tia plum clinch and deliver several knees to Nelson’s face. One in particular was able to open a medium size, semi-vertical cut on Nelson, just over his right eye. It started to release blood almost immediately. So much blood in fact that the referee paused the action for the Octagon side doctor to clean off his face and check the location of the gash. The blood did not rush into Nelson’s eyes so the doctor and referee cleared him to continue the fight. Soon after the fight resumed Werdum landed another knee to Nelson’s face from the clinch that made an awful sound, which the camera picked up and broadcasted to everyone watching. It sounds like a baseball bat hitting a head of ice burg lettuce. I thought for sure the fight would be soon over or that Nelson had a broken orbital bone. Neither outcome came true.

Nelson. Is. Tough.

The knee that opened Nelson’s face up was the most significant strike landed by either fighter for the rest of the fight. In the second round Nelson was able to get a standing headlock on his opponent after a takedown attempt by Werdum. It was in tight too; you could clearly see that Nelson’s right forearm was underneath Werdum chin. Nelson realized this and quickly tried to secure his hands together and turn Werdums’ back against the cage. A standing guillotine chock was now menu and chef Nelson was looking to fully deliver. Because of Werdums’ black belt knowledge of submissions, he recognized the attempt, fought the hands of Nelson and clear himself out of danger. That attempted turned out to be the closest Nelson would come to finishing the fight. The rest of bout consisted of back and forth punches to the head and one takedown from Nelson, but didn’t play the jiu-jitsu game with Verdum.

Stats…
According to FightMetric.com, the official stat web site of the UFC, Werdum out-struck Nelson by a total of 91 to 26 in the entire fight.

Official Result…
Fabricio Werdum was victorious via a unanimous decision.

Next Opponent…
Werdum has made a large impact with his return to the UFC. His next opponent should reflect the progress he has made and receive a mid or high tier fighter in the heavyweight division. A fight between Werdum and Frank Mir would make sense or Werdum could also take on the winner of Mark Hunt and Check Kongo.

Nelson’s next opponent could be someone from the lower tier of the division to get his win streak back up to par. A fight with Christian Morecraft would defiantly give him motivation to win and win impressively.

Next Training Session…
Werdum became a little gassed towards the end of the second round. I think that if he had a bigger gas tank he may have been able to finish Nelson with a submission. Werdum needs to work on his killer instinct and go in for the finish when he knows his opponent is hurt.

Nelson was the slimmest he has ever been for a UFC fight; he weighed-in at 246 on the eve of battle. I think Nelson needs to come in with a game plan. It seems to me that he just shows up to fight and hopes to hit him more times than his opponent hits him. Because he is shorter than most of the heavies in the division, he needs to fight smart and not just hard. If he combined his mental ability to out smart his opponent and his durability, he could be a top heavyweight by the middle of 2013.