Predictions by MMAxposed’s Farrell Tremblay
After losing UFC 151 and Strikeforce: Melendez vs Healy, we almost lost UFC 153 as well. Although the card doesn’t have the same relevant fights as it did a month ago, we now have some very exciting matchups that can really be best described as “fun”, even if they have no impact on any division. Let’s break down the insanity of an already broken down card.
Anderson Silva vs Stephan Bonnar
This fight has a lot of people really excited. Rightfully so, these two fighters have a history of exciting fights with spectacular outcomes, but before I cloud the matter with such misleading facts, let’s be clear about something: People aren’t excited about this fight in the same way they were excited for GSP vs Nick Diaz. The excitement people feel for this fight is really more akin to giddy sadism or the strange fascination we have watching wildebeest cross crocodile infested rivers on the Discovery Channel. Stephan Bonnar is one tough S.O.B. but is he ever out of his league. I believe his ability to absorb unnatural amounts of punishment will take this fight into later rounds but I will be shocked if Anderson Silva finds himself in any sort of danger at any point in this fight. Yes, this is MMA and anything can happen (just ask Matt Serra) but this is also the greatest man to ever fight in the sport and he will deliver that greatness by the fistful
Prediction: Silva by TKO
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Dave Herman
You have to respect a guy like Nogueira. He is a legend of the sport, and if he retired tomorrow would have nothing but fond farewells from the MMA community. He’s a former champion in the two most prestigious promotions this sport has produced. Coming off a devastating loss to Frank Mir and nearly a year of inactivity, the last thing Big Nog needed to do was take a fight on short notice against a lower tier heavyweight on a two-fight losing streak but he stepped up when the UFC needed him the most. Dave Herman probably isn’t the caliber of fighter we would have seen Nogueira fight had he been matched up on more organic terms, but he is still a tough, durable fighter with heavy hands who may have the spryness of a young fighter to put them on the aging Brazilian. The more likely scenario is that Nogueira boxes his way inside Herman’s sloppy standup, takes him down and takes home a limb.
Prediction: Nogueira by submission
UFC 152 is soon upon us and I can’t help but feel a wealth of emotions in my attempt to predict the action. The reason I say this is because it seems that predicting MMA fights are no longer as simple as “fighter A over fighter B” but instead a much more complex and anxious process that could be better described as “provided the physical well-being of fighters A and B is at acceptable competition level, it is likely X will be the outcome.” However if one or more parties are unable to participate and the suitable replacement(s) is/are willing and able to perform on Saturday, I predict Jon Jones won’t walk away from two cards in two weeks if he knows what’s good for him”. The caveat “Both Must Fight For Action” has taken on a whole new meaning, as the possibility that there may be no action has become as real as any other. With Saturday’s outcome hinging on all of these conditions I’ll do my best to predict the winners of UFC 152’s currently billed card.
Jon Jones vs Vitor Belfort
Jon Jones is a very clear favorite to win this fight, and rightfully so. Given his accomplishments over the last year and a half against strikers, wrestlers and muggers, it’s hard to imagine there are any stylistic matchups left to threaten the champ. This is doubly so when considering his opponent is 10 years his senior. However, when you consider Jones’s toughest test to date has come at the lightning quick hands of Lyoto Machida, it is reasonable to think that Vitor, a boxer with a conceivably greater speed advantage, may have more of a chance than odds-makers are letting on. In addition to a certain striking advantage, Vitor Belfort probably has the best jiu-jitsu of any fighter Jones has faced since entering the UFC. That being said, I don’t think Belfort has the advantage in the grappling department and despite still being a very dangerous fighter, his chin isn’t what it used to be and he will be giving up a foot of reach and considerable mass on fight night. Despite having made a case for Vitor’s chances of success, I simply can’t envision him taking control of the fight before Jones takes his confidence away.
Prediction: Jon Jones by TKO in round 3
Joseph Benavidez vs Demetrious Johnson
Joseph Benavidez has long been touted as the uncrowned flyweight kingpin and on Saturday he’ll finally get his opportunity to live up to such accolades. This won’t be easy though and “Mighty Mouse” is no walk in the park for anyone and his ability to outwork opponents often leaves him with his hand raised, despite his original underdog status. Benavidez comes into this fight with real stopping power for flyweight, as demonstrated in his fight with Yasuhiro Urushitani and Johnson may find his chin tested in the early rounds of this fight. Ultimately, I think Johnson’s speed will keep him out of harm’s way for the first couple rounds and as the fight wears on, he will begin to pull away as he continues an unrivaled work rate.
Prediction: Demetrious Johnson by unanimous decision
Michael Bisping vs Brian Stann
Michael Bisping may very well be at the end of his rope with this fight, should he lose. He has a great record against a number of very tough opponents regardless of the outcome, he will undoubtedly fight on for years to come… but should he lose, at what cost? Bisping may find himself at the bottom of the pile if he loses to Brian Stann on Saturday and what makes this so interesting is the outcome really depends on which game plan he chooses to employ. Bisping actually has very underrated grappling skills, despite hailing from a nation that has, traditionally, poor grappling skills. Given that Brian Stann is certainly no pushover on the ground (unless your name is Chael Sonnen), it is far and away, the weakest aspect of his game. If Bisping employs the same technical boxing game plan he has used against most of his recent opponents, I feel that he is gambling with his future. Brian Stann has proven an ability to put away both brawlers and technicians in absolutely brutal fashion. Stann will fearlessly go toe-to-toe with “The Count” and employ the counter punching that has made him so successful since coming down to middleweight.
Prediction: Brian Stann by TKO in round 2
Matt Hamill vs Roger Hollett
Matt “The Hammer” Hamill makes his return after a brief 17-month retirement and it will be interesting to see what shape he returns in to the octagon. If Matt aims to head-hunt as he has done in the past he may find himself getting beaten to the punch (no pun intended). Hamill, after re-evaluating his career will likely come back using the game plan that brought him success in his early days, take them down and pound them out.
Prediction: Matt Hamill by TKO in round 3
Cub Swanson vs Charles Oliveira
Cub Swanson has been a modest tear, cutting down George Roop and bringing the fight to a much larger Ross Pearson. Swanson may be small but he is scrappy and when he hits his stride he packs a hell of a wallop. I feel though he may find it harder to impose his game on Oliveira as Do Bronx has a rangy style that can be just as sporadic and unpredictable as Swanson’s. Furthermore, Cub’s commendable bottom game that served him so well against Pearson will likely count for nothing if he finds himself under Oliveira. With that in mind, I don’t foresee many areas that Oliveira will not be comfortable taking the fight.
Prediction: Oliveira by submission in round 2
Predictions by Farrell Tremblay
Written by: Matt Marcone
With just two days to go before the Score Fighting Series’ fifth event in Ontario, we present episode seven of the MMAxposed podcast. We get a real heart to heart interview with Hector Lombard, who dropped a split decision to Tim Boetch in his UFC debut.
It was Lombard’s first loss in 25 fights and he opens up about the haters, his injury during training camp, and Dana White’s post-fight comments saying he should fight at welterweight. He also gives his thoughts on a new possible training destination, making it to the big show, and who he wants to fight next.
In what many are predicting could be fight of the night, Canadian striking sensations Jesse Ronson and Alex Ricci also join the podcast. They will be fighting each other at SFS5 in Hamilton on Saturday, August 25th and both sound desperate to get inside the octagon.
Ronson talks about his mentality going into his fight on July 28 knowing he couldn’t afford to get hurt, the intensity of his sparring sessions and the origins of his nickname. He also thinks a victory could possibly send him to the UFC’s stacked lightweight division.
Ricci talks about the fight with Ronson, competing on four of the five Score Fighting Series cards, and a UFC dream of his own.
Let us know what you think!
(8:00) Jesse Ronson
(18:45) Alex Ricci
(27:30) Hector Lombard
Written by Randi Lotsberg
Ontario pro fighters Jason Saggo and Eric Attard will be stepping into the cage this Saturday, August 25th at the Score Fighting Series to test their minds, strength and skills. MMAxposed could see this bout being the fight of the night between these two skilled lightweights. Saggo is a brown belt training under Paul Abel out of P.E.I. and Attard trains out of Modern Vision MMA in Welland, Ontario under coach Chris Bonfoco. Both of these guys bring a different element into the cage; Saggo being known for his strong ground game and Attard for his Muay Thai background and powerful leg kicks. They are both at a comparable level when it comes to fitness and strength. This fight could go either way but it is bound to be the epitome of what a MMA fight should be!
Have a look behind the scenes in their training leading up to this event. Hear what they have to say about each other and how they think this fight will end.
Get your tickets at www.ticketmaster.ca for this event The Score Fighting Series: Hill Vs. Fraser Saturday August 25 2012
READY FOR WAR!!
Written by Jordan Maskell
It didn’t take long for Ronda Rousey to retain her bantamweight title in one of the most highly anticipated women’s bout in MMA history. Last night’s Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman saw the champion dispose of her opponent Sarah Kaufman in a familiar style via armbar submission at 0:54 of the first round. Kaufman (15-2), a former champion, came into the event on a three-fight winning streak but stood little chance against the Olympic bronze medalist. Rousey (6-0-0) has now won all of her six professional fights with a first round armbar. After the fight she called out former featherweight champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who is currently on a one-year suspension after testing positive for an anabolic steroid earlier this year, suggesting Cyborg “come down to 135 and let’s settle this.”
The co-main event featured Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza making quick work of Derek Brunson, knocking out the middleweight at 0:41 of the first round. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had indicated the winner of the Souza-Brunson bout may very well be next in line to face middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, and it seems likely Souza will get his rematch. The former champ lost the belt to Rockhold in a five round unanimous decision last fall.
Chris Clements has had a dream since he was in high school to get into the UFC. This past year after beating UFC veteran Rich Clementi at The Score Fighting Series, his dream finally came true. At the age of 34 he made his UFC debut and faced Keith Wisniewski, taking home yet another win. It has been a great year for Chris; he got married to the love of his life, they had their first child, and his UFC debut was just five weeks later. This is Chris’ story about his dream, his family, and his life.
Phil Baroni is getting ready for his fight against Rodrigo Ribeiro at ONE FC in the Philippines on August 31th, 2012. He tells us about a new reality series called Fight Factory TV, which is set to premier August 15, 2012 on Nuvo TV.
Attard talks about the step up in competition, the “sketchy” Discipline MMA show in Belleville and his preparation for Saggo. Saggo talks about training with legends all over the world, his passions, and fight mentality.
Download MMAxposed podcast Episode 6 HERE
Written By Dwight Wakabayashi
Following a false start in January, Sudbury native Mitch “The Machine” Gagnon is set to make his UFC debut this Saturday night on the undercard of UFC 149 from Calgary. It is really a night of Canadian debuts as, Gagnon and fellow Canadian fighter Ryan Jimmo are both getting their first crack at the big time.
Gagnon stated on Twitter earlier this week that he is currently reading UFC 149 headliner Urijah Faber’s book, and he better hope to learn something from it. The Team Shredder product out of northern Ontario will be in tough competition against Team Alpha Male fighter Bryan Caraway. Caraway brings some good experience to the cage, coming off a win against Dustin Neace in his own UFC debut last December. Caraway has fought some very tough opponents in his career, with notable losses to Mark Hominick and Fredson Paxaio. His twenty-one fights to Gagnon’s nine give a clear edge in experience to the American.
Gagnon is a very strong, compact fighter and his ground game is tremendous. He holds a Canadian regional title and has fought and beaten some tough local talent. This is a nice match up for him to get his feet wet in the UFC with his strength being his key to victory. Caraway is also a submission wizard with 14 of his 16 professional wins coming via tap. He poses a formidable challenge for Gagnon and will definitely surprise and make some noise if he wins on Saturday night.
Gagnon has not fought since he defeated David Harris at Ringside MMA 12 in October of last year and cage rust could be a factor going in to this fight. A saving grace may be the fact that Caraway hasn’t fought this year either so they will both be willing and eager combatants.
Gagnon is one of six Canadian fighters on the preliminary card with a seventh, Adrenaline welterweight Chris Clements the only Canadian on the main card. Clements stepped in for an injured Thiago Alves against opponent Siyar Bahadurzada, but will now face another replacement in the always game Matt Riddle. The Calgary card has been plagued by injuries and is virtually unrecognizable to the original card that was announced months ago.
The seemingly cursed card has lost the likes of Yoshihiro Akiyama, Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva, Mauricio Rua, Michael Bisping and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to injury or pull out. Yet in a true show of the depth of the UFC roster they have been replaced by such stars and notables as Urijah Faber, Renan Barao, Hector Lombard, Tim Boetsch, Bryan Ebersole and Chris Clements. The card remains full of world class fighters who should not be overlooked. Due to the revolving door of fighters on and off the card, this event is under-hyped and could over perform among the many over-hyped and anticlimactic cards we have experienced in the past. Don’t sleep on it.
Written By Randi Lotsberg
Ontario MMA fans and fighters got some great news today! The Score Fighting Series is back at the Hamilton Place Theatre on Saturday, August 25th for its fifth event since the province legalized the sport. Action has been lacking on the local MMA scene in 2012, but every show the Score Fighting Series puts on just keeps getting better. They are doing an excellent job giving fans of the sport an opportunity to be able to watch great up and coming fighters in an intimate environment.
I have had the chance to speak with many fighters over the past few months and these guys are hungry, eager and ready to get into the cage. With such a long wait between fights for some of these guys, I am certain it’s going to make for an extra burst of highly intensified action. These men are ready for battle!!
The main event on the card will be a bantamweight showdown between John “Haggis Basher” Fraser and Josh “Gentlemen” Hill. This bout has been highly anticipated for some time now. Fraser, 34, is a Sarnia, Ontario native with a record of 10-3 and is riding a seven fight win streak. The 25-year-old Hill resides in Binbrook, Ontario and is currently 8-0. Both of these skilled athletes have a lot on the line in this one, with a win likely propelling either of these men to the next level in their professional MMA careers. With that being said it is a great opportunity to be able to see them live in action before they make it to the UFC.
Other amazing Canadian talent on the card includes: Tristan Johnson (7-2), Will Romero (9-3), Lyndon Whitlock (7-2), Alex Ricci (5-0), Ryan Dickson (2-0), Jason Meisel (3-0), Jason Saggo (6-1), Elias Theodorou (4-0), Adam Assenza (1-1), Rory Mcdonell (5-6) and Robert Thomas (0-0). Their opponents are still to be decided.
Tickets start at $30 and go on sale on Monday, July 23 at ticketmaster.ca, Copps Coliseum box office and from local fighters on the card. The entire show will be streamed live on thescore.com and for the first time ever, the main card fights will be carried live on The Score television network starting at 9 p.m. EST.
This veteran fighter doesn’t necessarily need a Bruce Buffer introduction, but ‘The Pride of El Salvador’ Ivan Menjivar (24-8) will get it this weekend at UFC 148. Ivan will be going for his fourth straight victory in the UFC. His opponent will be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Mike Easton (12-1) from Alliance MMA under Lloyd Irvin. Mike is currently on a seven fight win streak. Ivan believes that Mike has great hands to go along with his prolific ground skills and has been forced to train smart for this match up. His fight camp has once again been under the tutelage of one of the best in the business Firas Zahabi from Tri Star Gym in Montreal, Canada. These Bantamweights will square off this Saturday, in the under card, of the highly anticipated re match between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Menjivar rarely disappoints when it comes to putting on crowd pleasing performances. The Menjivar/Easton combination lends itself to have all the makings of a fight of the night honour. Menjivar already holds a submission of the night honour in the UFC. Ivan says he just appreciates the opportunity that the UFC is giving him and he just wants to face-off Saturday night and put on a great show for the fans!
UFC lightweight Sam Stout attending the Show Your Strength Charity event this past weekend with fellow training team mates Mark Hominick and Chris Clements. Sam reflects on Jens Pulvers documentary DRIVEN, bullying, Stanley Cup Finals and his upcoming fight at UFC on FX 4
MMAxposed reporter Matt Marcone was at the “Show Your Strength” charity event held at the Toronto Underground Cinema. The event had a free screening of the documentary “Jens Pulver – Driven,” and was in support of programs to promote athletics for youth at risk.
He spoke with Canadian MMA fighter Mark Hominick about the documentary, Jens Pulver’s legacy, Sam Stout vs. Spencer Fisher three, Kenny Florian’s retirement, and the Stanley Cup finals.
Photos and article by Randi Lotsberg
Participants were treated to an afternoon martial arts class last weekend, instructed by current UFC Welterweight champion, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre. Around 250 people took part in the event, hosted by Robinson’s Karate School in Newmarket, Ontario. Prior to the event, St. Pierre spent time taking photos and signing autographs with fans that came to the seminar.
He began the class explaining how he incorporates gymnastics into his training, following this up with a number of warm up exercises. Over the next few hours, St-Pierre demonstrated various techniques he utilizes while inside the octagon including his patented superman punch and how to perform an armbar.
St- Pierre had previously coached a season of the UFC’s reality series, The Ultimate Fighter against welterweight Josh Koscheck culminating in the champion defeating Koscheck by unanimous decision at UFC 124. He spent time walking around, observing participants and showing them the proper techniques of what he was teaching. GSP concluded the seminar by thanking everyone for coming out and participating.
It is unknown yet when he will be able to return to mixed martial arts competition. St-Pierre has been out of action since late 2011 with an ACL injury. His last fight was on April 30th, 2011 at UFC 129, where he defeated Jake Shields by unanimous decision. However, it is expected he will defend his title against Carlos Condit later this year.
Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig was in Ontario recently for a seminar at Blue Dragon Muay Thai and Warrior Fight Store in Whitby it was a great turnout with participants of all ages. UFC’s Antonio Carvalho also came out for the seminar.
Watch our interview with Duane below:
WARNING: May contain inappropriate language
By: Matt Marcone
Canadian light heavyweight standout Ryan “The Real Deal” Jimmo has won 16 straight and is primed to make his UFC debut. Jimmo’s impressive string of wins includes decisions over Wilson Gouveia and Marvin Eastman.
Oddly enough, he thinks his insecurity might be his greatest asset.
“When I’m walking to the ring, I try to talk myself into not thinking I’m going to lose,” laughs Jimmo. “By nature I’m a very insecure person and so I’m like that in training. I never think I’m good enough. Even when I win, I always think it’s a horrible performance.”
Jimmo was scheduled to take on Karlos Vemola January 20 at UFC on FX 1, but withdrew a week out due to an ankle injury. It only took a couple weeks until he was training again.
“We’re looking at probably July 21 in Calgary,” says Jimmo on his UFC debut. “I haven’t been given an opponent but that’s the tentative date we’re shooting for.“
Jimmo is coming off a close decision win over highly regarded veteran Thierry Sokoudjou. It was also the first fight where judges used a modified half-point scoring system.
“I think the half point system can make things a little more accurate,” Jimmo explains. “If it’s a really close round but you have to give it to someone, you still have to give them a 10-9 round, so I think the half point system is an improvement.”
Jimmo has taken the next step in his own career by moving to South Florida, currently training with the world-class Blackzilians.
“I’m doing very well training down here,” says Jimmo. “When I first came down, training with Rashad Evans I thought it was going to take a while to get up to their level, but that’s not the case at all. I came here and I’m surprising myself at how well I’m doing.”
Jimmo also excels at studying physics and playing chess. The latter has definitely affected his approach to fighting.
“Absolutely, I beat my opponents with technique, but also by out-thinking them,” says Jimmo. “They’re just a large chess piece that I manipulate as I please.”
Fans can listen to the full interview on episode three the MMAxposed podcast. Jimmo explains what it was like wanting to turn pro while not being able to afford groceries, and gives an epic explanation about the origins of his nickname “the real deal.”
23 year old Female Brazilian fighter Claudia Gadelha has made her first trek to Canada recently and is preparing to fight for the first time on North American soil this Friday April, 20th in Gatineau, Quebec for Wreck MMA against Valerie Letourneau(Tristar, Montreal). Claudia trains out of Nova Uniao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and is currently 6-0 in her pro career. We got a chance to catch up with Claudia at Evolucao Thai Gym in Toronto this week during filming of the Canadian documentary The Fight Exchange produced by Aaron Avruskin, The Fight Exchange is exactly as it sounds an exchange of Canadian and Brazilian fighters each training in the others countries, more details to come soon where and when you will be able to check out the final product.
Watch our interview with Claudia below:
After our interview Claudia said ” Learning English is harder then fighting” After that comment we definitely can’t wait to see how natural this lady is in the cage.
Travis Marx (19-3) made his Bellator debut this past Friday night at Caesars Casino in Windsor, Ontario for Bellator 64. Travis trains out of Jacksons MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico with world renowned MMA trainer Greg Jackson. Travis went up against Masakatsu Ueda (15-2) and dominated his way to victory by decision.
We asked Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney what his personal highlight of the night was and he said…
” Travis’ win was gratifying, kinda speaks to who we are. You give a guy a chance who’s not ranked in the top 30 in the world and you put him against the #6th ranked guy in the world and Travis wins the fight and dominates the fight. To see a guy who really was not picked to win, take advantage of an opportunity like this…. you give a guy a shot and he steps up and takes advantage of it and he just grabs it by the throat. That’s kinda gratifying. You look at it and say That’s what it’s all about.”
Travis’ accomplishment Friday night is just one of many in the future for this fighter.
Check out Travis’s website HERE
“Always Believe!” ~ Travis Marx
Photo Slideshow of last night’s Bellator event. All photos by Randi Lotsberg
Taylor Solomon is a small town guy trying to make his way to the top like any MMA fighter on the scene, but what makes Taylor stand out is his willingness and drive to take on any challenge. Taylor was on a 3 loss streak but still managed to find his way to Bellator 57 last Novemeber, after coming off a loss against World Muay Thai Champion Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell. That fight went to decision and Taylor took his third loss as an achievement and I think others would agree, these two guys went at it and put on an amazing show. It’s now April 2012 and Taylor is off to fight Jason Ficsher for his 2nd Bellator bout and this guy is ready for war. He was given an opportunity to come back and to shine, and Taylor is taking that opportunity and running with it. You can catch tonights fights on www.spike.com @ 7pmET/6pmCT TV fights will be aired on MTV2 &EpixHD @ 8pmET/7pmCT
Written & Photography By Randi Lotsberg
Getting to know Lyndon Whitlock….
MMAxposed had the chance to catch up with Jake Shields this past weekend while he was in the GTA. We got to check him out in action during his seminar hosted by Haymaker Fightwear at BAMA BJJ in Burlington, Ontario Canada. We also got to attend an evening event with Jake and the guys at EventbanksMMA and The Warrior Fight Store. It was a great weekend with many successful events throughout the GTA.
I have known Lyndon since 2001. We used to train together and when he first started training, I spent alot of time helping him out. The one thing I noticed right away was how fast he picked up grappling. Within a couple of months training he went to compete and do an amazing job at a very tough local competition. Since that time, he took many years off of training focusing on work and other things.
We recently began training together about a year ago and the exact same thing is happening. He is picking up and absorbing technique so well and keeps getting better each and every time we roll. It is an honor to know him as a student, friend and representative of my store. Not just because of his abilities, but for his hardworking, honest and humble attitude on and off the mats. Just dont tick him off in the cage…or he will break something of yours….literally!
Written By Riccardo Ammendolia