UFC VEGAS 11 is in the Books: A night of star making victories and crushing defeats

I don’t follow sports, with the exception of MMA and occasionally Boxing. Saturday night was an impressive card of fights,  that ended for some with crushing defeats.

Two of the most talked up fights was Woodley vs Covington and Meerschaert vs Chimaev, and in both cases the old lions lost to the rising tigers. With Meerschaert losing in 17 seconds of the 1st round, and Woodley getting TKO’d (rib injury) in the 5th round.

Here is the thing, there is no shame in losing. It is a competition and victories and defeats come to all. Anyone who has the guts to get in there and compete with the best in the world, by default deserves the respect of us mere mortals, who are not doing that. Now that said, sometimes your mouth can talk you into embarrassment and ridicule.

And I get it, to get hit in the face for a living, to go in there and take abuse and give abuse, and be successful at it, takes a certain mentality. It is a belief in your own invincibility, bordering on delusion. And when that delusion… you make into fact, you are a hero. When you don’t, you leave yourself open to what Shakespeare called “being faced out of your way”.  In short bragging, and falling on your face rather than delivering.

That is the corner both Meerschaert and Woodley talked themselves into.

Woodley, coming off back to back defeats, and even before that victories that seemed lacking in ‘convincing style’ or ‘killer instinct’, spent the whole build up to the fight talking about how he couldn’t lose to his opponent, and making what should be a competition about two fighters, instead becomes about everything except the fight.  Woodley bringing a little bit of the circus Colby brings into his fight. 

However, Colby for all his trumpian “heel act”, to court controversy (a detestable thing to do for any reason, people will emulate your poison, not knowing you are doing it for the dollars– and the whole quagmire that is the world, sinks a little more because of it— but each to their own conscience answer), at the end of the day he is a top notch fighter, always bringing his ‘A’ game.

And Colby, even in defeat, has something I have not seen in any of Woodley’s recent fights, he has a killer instinct, he has the desire and pace to get his opponent out of there.

Woodley in his last few fights– no so much.

So coming into this fight and guaranteeing victory, and saying you ‘CAN’T’ lose to your opponent, it sets you up to be embarrassed. Especially against an opponent that has been fighting well and convincingly.

Do your talking in the ring. And then win or lose, you have not promised and failed to deliver. But this way, it is just a forever soundbyte of you claiming you are  not going to lose, followed by a clip of you, definitely losing. Again there is no shame in losing, but you cause shame for yourself in bragging and failing to deliver.

And honestly I think even Woodley’s comments to the media indicated a man who was talking about why he couldn’t lose, or perceived non-germane social media statements/stances, rather than a fighter who was working on how he will win. And while I would have liked for Woodley to win, there is nothing in his recent performances, or in his build-up to this one, that would lead one to believe he would beat Colby.

That to the side, congrats to both men for bringing what they had.

**************

Moving on Chimaev and Meerschert, again a build up filled with a lot of talking, mostly on Meershaert’s end about feeling disrespected, and derailing Chimaev, and win or lose leaving him in no condition for another quick turnaround fight. Again, no shame in losing. But to do all this talking about taking the new guy into the deep water, and instead getting ended in 17 seconds— you have created a ready made meme.

Do your talking in the ring.

Because only God can truly guarantee the fates of men.

All in all, another exciting UFC card, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming Adesanya/Costa fight, this coming Saturday! Both fighters have been talking much smack, the difference here being, both fighters have winning records, and have recently shown the heart and the victories to back up that talk. That should be a must watch fight!

 

Greatest of All Time MMA List! The Final Word???

You will see a lot of people reacting to Connor McGregor’s GOAT List.

Most people with axes to grind, including the original video itself. However, I think this video by Youtube channel Weasel really gives you a list of Greatest of All Time, with ego removed, and one that actually makes sense.

Really great list. I give it a thumbs up!

 

 

 

 

Streaming VOD TV Guide for Today 4 Mar 2020 : Youtube Edition

 

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Ebay Item of the Day!

 

Video of the Day: Top 100 Sports Bloopers of the Year 2019

 

 

I am not a sports guy.

In the words of Tommy Lee jones in THE FUGITIVE, ‘I don’t care.’. Outside of Boxing and UFC/MMA I did not follow any other sports in 2019. That said I have respect for all sports, and all athletes, I generally just don’t have interest in following most sports these days.

But the end of year highlights are always entertaining, and the above video is especially fun. Video #40 makes me laugh out loud every time.

Enjoy.

 

Today’s Deals!

Youtube Video of the Day : 10 FIGHTS That Made Us Question MMA

 

I’m a huge boxing fan. And an MMA fan. But perhaps not to the same extent as Boxing. and I’ll get to why in a second.

Combative Sports, seeing talented practitioners display their excellence is a draw, is compelling. That’s why organizations make money, networks make money, athletes make money, because it is a compelling attraction, that people will pay to see.

It appeals to us, to that part of us that lifts, when adversity meets will. There is something inspirational in it, in any athlete at their best.

Whether that is Jimmie Connors on the tennis court, or Sugar Ray Robinson in the boxing ring, those places where will meets adversity, and people come out on the other side as champions and victors… it is rousing.

However combative sports adds an additional layer of danger, in that unlike the goal of tennis or baseball or football or soccer or even rugby, where the goal is to get the ball past your opponent (and I understand these sports, all sports, can be incredibly dangerous, incredibly violent, can be potentially damaging); combative sports, inflicting damage is the goal.

In combative sports the goal is to damage the other person. Not to kill, or cripple, or maim, but enough to get them to submit or to lose. Winning in combative sports defined most clearly by being able to knock out or submit your opponent and have an early night. Now many fights go the distance with no one being knocked out or submitted, but those are potentially even more damaging as you have had people dig deep and go multiple rounds to the finish, trying to knock out or submit the other.

And nothing says highlight reel, like the knockout.

Do a search on youtube for best knockouts of 2019, and you will see that place where will meets adversity, and one person walks thru that door, and one person falls at it.

It is a rousing place for the athlete, and the audience. Look at the crowd or yourself during a great knockout.It impresses, and it rouses. 

So I being human, am as guilty of being roused by those drums of wills colliding. So I like combative sports and knockout highlight reels as much as the next person.

But especially with the rise of MMA, and pound and ground, my ‘like’ is becoming more tinged with concern. Because for all the compelling nature of combative sports, we want these people not to be seriously injured or killed for anybody’s entertainment or money.

And I think Boxing has grown a lot in its history to reduce it from its bare knuckle bloodbath war of attrition origins, to the place where you have gloves of a certain weight, and mouth guards, and rules, and a ref there to enforce the rules, and doctors, and corner people, and yes blood baths do still occur in boxing, but boxing has improved greatly to reduce the risk of people getting maimed and killed for a paycheck.

I think MMA, because it is geared to offer us ‘real’ combat, widens the potential zones of attack, and therefore zones of damage. And a lot rides on the ref. Because if boxing’s goal is to knock an opponent down, most boxers know to pull away at that point where the person is down, and the ref gets to give a standing eight count etc; MMA has a more ill-defined goal.

In MMA when the person is down, that is when for the fighter.. the fight begins, and any MMA fight, the fighter on top is pounding away on the person with maiming and potentially killing hammer blows, not because they want to maim, or kill, but because that is the ‘sport’,… you hit until the ref stops or opponent submits. Now a concussed opponent will not be able to submit, so it falls on the ref to quickly keep people from getting destroyed or killed.

It is a potentially disturbing sport, that runs the risk of transcending what we admire about combative sports, to being what we despise about blood sports.

It is a slippery slope, and I think like Boxing will have to adopt better safe guards, as fighters get better, stronger, faster, and arguably more deadly to each other.

Couple things I don’t like about the UFC in particular, is putting people in a cage like pit-bulls to fight, I don’t like people in cages for any reason. Also, I don’t like the corner people removed from their fighter, it delays the response to throw in the towel if needed, or provide medical attention, etc.

I don’t know any easy answers, but I think we have to start looking for them sooner rather than later.

That’s one reason that made me lookup the ‘effects of knockouts’ on Youtube, and that brought me to the below video.

So I’m not saying ban MMA, I am saying increase the safety of your fighters. At the end of the day someone getting maimed or killed, is not a sport. Let’s keep it a sport by keeping it competitive, and keeping it well regulated and well referred.

And I know a lot of people like to see women fight. And there are a lot of great women fighters. However, while I love to see women looking like the above image for any reason, I personally do not like watching women fight. Which is very hypocritical. And I’m not saying they should not fight, if you are good at something, man or woman, and that is your passion, then do it.

I’m saying as a spectator while i don’t mind seeing a guy hit in the face or knocked out, I do not like to see women hit. I do not like seeing beautiful things marred. It’s like splashing grime on a painting. I personally do not like it as a spectator, so I choose not to watch it. But again, I am not saying women are not great fighters,and should not be allowed to fight. If you are great at something and someone is willing to pay you for it, more power to you.

I’m just saying, I personally am not the audience for female fights. And I accept that my feelings are sexist, and chauvinist, and woefully outdated. They are the thoughts of a dinosaur… and you know what… I’m okay with that.

Anyhow hope you found this post useful, if so give a subscribe and a like. And feel free to shoot me a note about your thoughts on this post.

Till next time… Be Well! 🙂

2018 : The resurgence of BOXING Interest in the US!

The last couple years have shown a real resurgence in mainstream US interest in Boxing.

 

Now that Interest has never waned abroad, and is arguably stronger than it has ever been everywhere from England to Russia, but only in the States that for most of the 20th century was the heart and head and seat of professional Boxing (The home of Boxing’s greatest champions From Jack Johnson to Evander Holyfield), has Boxing been shuffled off the main stage, into all but minor league obscurity.

And while MMA is undoubtably big these days, it is not Boxing. And it is not better than Boxing, it exercises different interests, the way Soccer differs from Football. They both have their strengths.

For my money while MMA has its strengths, and I am glad for its growth, that growth should not come at the expense of Boxing. Anymore than the growth in Rugby should mean we stop giving airtime to Football.

While I like MMA as a discipline and there have been many great matches, the standup game of Boxing and that specification of strikes, and limitation of styles, lends itself to truly epic engagements deserving of apellations such as fight of the year, far more often and regularly than MMA.

 

Boxing due to its length and its style lends itself to being… more than a sprint, when you have two great fighters and styles in the boxing ring, you get these epic engagements of will that allows you to see a fighter’s chin tested and his endurance tested in a way that the sprint, submission style of MMA, rarely lends itself to.

Again there are many great fighters and matches in the past and present of MMA, from the domination years of Royce Gracie to the domination years of Sakuraba to the domination years of Anderson Silva to the current domination years of fantastic fighters such as Jon Jones (currently the best UFC fighter and a personal favorite, who I like to introduce, whenever I see him fight, in my best Boxing Announcer voice as… ‘JON JONES…… THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER!!!!! You have to be a comic book fan to get the reference, but I think that is way better than the idiotic nickname of ‘BONES’ that they give him) and such phenoms as Buakaw (if you do not know that name, go searching for any of his over 200 professional fights. Yes I said over 200 fights!!!!! He is the stuff of legend.); but these exceptions aside, as a whole Boxing’s stand up style lends itself to far more interesting engagements.

 

I recently watched (on the big screen TV, I don’t watch video on a phone or tablet or laptop. If I am going to take the time to watch something, I want to watch it as close to its intended scale as possible. Only then can you get close to adequately consuming, or reviewing and forming and intelligent opinion on the content consumed.  David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA  seen in 70mm on a full size movie theater, which I have done, is a completely richer experience than watching it on someone’s LCD monitor. How you consume content, is part and parcel of the experience), courtesy of the Youtube App on my Roku device, a bevy of classic 70s and 80s Boxing matches, with men who fought true wars in the ring.

 

Of course Ali, Frazier, Norton, George Foreman (people remember Foreman for his later post Ali years as Champion and beloved funny guy and elder statesman of boxing, but during his first life, as a boxer, that went from 1969 to 1977, this guy… in a heavyweight scene full of fearsome men, was the most feared man on the entire planet.

He was a young, gigantic, brutal,and undefeatable force of nature breaking everything in his path. Ivan Drago’s character in Rocky 4, the character played by Dolph Lundgren (‘I will break you.’) that was George Foreman in the late 60s early 70s. An unbeatable force of nature, till a man called Ali found a way to beat him.)

 

And similar, stuff of legend wars… were fought in the lighter divisions by men with names like Tommy the Hitman Hearnes, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Roberto the man with the hands of Stone Duran, And Sugar Ray Leonard.

I watched the 1st Duran Hearnes fight, then I watched the Hearnes Sugar Ray fight, and its eight year later sequel.

Here is the thing people forget about Hearnes, he much like George Foreman, because of his height and frame and reach… was something new in boxing for his weight class. A kid, like they all were back then, coming out of Detroit he cut through the middlewight division like a knife, earning the name of Hitman by knocking out everyone he faced. An undefeated champion, he and Sugar Ray Leonard, also a champion, would meet in September 1981 for a winner take all unification match.

It was called the showdown and lived up to its billing. Being a 15 round war and one of the greatest fights of that year or any year.

I take this trip down memory lane to say that… what is great about Boxing, can not be replaced or usurped by MMA. There is a uniqueness to Boxing, that makes it, when you get a talented crop of Boxers, the stuff of legend.

I think after 20 years of neglect, and corruption (something that the UFC seems to be dealing with, as well as K1. The japanese PRIDE was the best thing to happen to MMA, and since its effective buyout and dissolution, we have an increasingly suspect, in terms of management, UFC). 

you now have a very exciting Boxing landscape starting to form, particularly at the lower weight classes. Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence being two of the most exciting fighters to come along in decades. And suddenly you begin to see this return of interest and money to the boxing landscape, that I for one am looking forward to.

For more on Boxing, go listen to two recent, pretty darn excellent John Siuntres WORD BALLOON podcasts, that veer from comic books to boxing, in interviews with two great names in the Boxing coverage landscape.

 

http://www.wordballoon.com/

http://percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=1113527&episodeId=10850405#

http://percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=1113527&episodeId=10858419#

Completely riveting interviews, and after listening, you, like I, will be searching Youtube for great Boxers past and present and future.

Thanks for checking out this post, and if you enjoy please leave a like, or comment. And feel free to recommend your 5 favorite recent boxing and or mma matches or websites.

To get you started here are my recommendations of must watch Youtube boxing/mma videos:

I love watching Thomas Hearnes fight. He had a fantastic jab, a great left hook attack to the body and head, and one of the best, most devastating, right hands in Boxing history. Which makes the following clip, all the more amazing. And why Sugar Ray Leonard, like his idol Muhammad Ali, is the greatest of all time. Because he fought unbeatable men… and found a way to beat them.

And if that is the past of Boxing, here is the present and future: 2018 is the year America remembers what the world has never forgotten, that the boxing ring is the place where the last legends of the world…. are made.

And for more on how to stay ontop the changing world of Boxing, I recommend the following two sites (that both offer subscriptions to their magazines):

http://www.ringtv.com

http://www.ringsideseatmag.com

Kazushi Sakuraba MMA Royce Gracie Japan’s Folly and National Treasures


It’s damn near inscrutable, the things that go through my mind.

And the odd, out of the blue things that will take stage center in my attention.

In a very busy, holocaust strewn news day, a conversation with co-workers gets me thinking about mixed martial arts. We talked about some local schools, one that teaches Jujitsu among other disciplines, and has to its credit a Gracie as a teacher. And discussing Gracies always gets me onto the topic of Sakuraba, The Gracie Hunter.

Sakuraba is not a name known in the UFC dominated Americas, but for those who let their exposure to MMA extend beyond the borders of the US, Sakuraba a few years ago, fighting almost exclusively in the Japanese PRIDE fighting league, was one of the most celebrated names in Mixed Martial Arts.

Depending who you ask… he still is.

He gained world-wide acclaim for his defeat of living legend Royce Gracie. And he didn’t just beat Royce Gracie, a man who for a long time WAS not just the most domineering and feared fighter in mixed martial arts, but arguably was Mixed Martial Arts… Sakuraba destroyed Royce Gracie. It’s not putting too fine a point on it to say he humiliated Royce Gracie, walked through him like he wasn’t there.

All these years later and the fight is still in rotation throughout the Internet. This led to what amounts to a family fued, with Gracies lining up to avenge Royce’s defeat. Sakuraba, stoic and game, took on all comers.

4 Gracie fights. 4 Gracie victories. (Though recently Royce in 2007 came back to avenge his defeat)

In a field of walking monsters, of engines of destruction, it’s hard to explain what makes Sakuraba special, what makes him stand out if you haven’t seen those early fights. He was clearly not the biggest, not the strongest, perhaps not the fastest, definitely not the most brutal or the most intimidating, but this ex-performance wrestler, what he had… was an all around skill unlike anything anyone else had brought to the table, he was technically the most exciting and skilled fighter I had ever seen, he could beat you standing up, or on the ground, and his heart— his heart was the stuff they make movies about. They write ballads about.

And there was something amazingly likeable about him. He got in the ring, this stoic but seemingly affable enigma, and he beat you in a chess game of moves, of holds, of submissions, of punches, and you knew, the way people who saw Jack Johnson, or Joe Lewis or Sugar Ray Robinson or Hagler or Hearnes or Ali or Foreman or Holifield… you knew, you were seeing something pure, violence distilled into something not far removed from… art.

Some odd mating of the technical wizardry of a Roy Jones, with the heart of a Roberto Duran.

Yeah years ago when I discovered Sakuraba, he quickly enshrined himself for me, as what this always questionable sport of MMA could be about, at its best. Not cracking people skulls open, or pit bull brutality, but technical wizardry, and sportsmanship. I think that’s what came across in the fights of Sakuraba, yeah this was a tough guy, but he walked into the ring, with respect, both giving it and getting it, not like an animal, but like a man.

But even then, I could see, he was taking too many hits. And just as the sport outgrew Royce Gracie, grew better, tougher meaner, by his example, Sakuraba’s popularity brought an ever more devastating class of opponent to his door. Men often weight classes heavier than him, and men increasingly younger, stronger, and more brutal than him.

Life being what it is I tuned out of the mixed martial arts scene for the last few years, but often I would think of the wizardry of the man called Sakuraba. My discussion with my coworkers piquing my interest enough to do an internet search of recent Sakuraba news.

I came across ever more recent fights. And what I saw…increasingly sickened me.

I’m not one overly given to sentimentality. Well maybe I am. God knows someone needs to be these days.

But I think the most important thing for a fighter is to have someone who cares about him in his corner, someone he can trust with his life. Because ultimately a fighter’s manager, should be there to preserve the well being of his fighter, to defend him, when he is no longer capable of defending himself.

Sakuraba obviously has no such person in his corner.

I watched a recent fight with Sakuraba, a Japanese PRIDE fight, where the Gracie Hunter, this poet of the ring, where he was literally kneed in the head over twenty times, until his skull cracked.

—-

Yes, I said until his skull cracked.

And the referee, just let it go on. And his corner-men just let it go on, and the crowd just— let it go on.

And Sakuraba, he could have yielded, he could have surrendered, but because he is Sakuraba, he to his detriment does not know how to yield. That is why he is the stuff of legend, and that is why I fear for him continuing to fight. He will endure, everything you throw at him even onto his death… he will endure.

And he, has nothing left to prove. He shouldn’t have to. But he is a warrior, he will not yield, that’s why it’s important for the referee and his corner to be there to keep a competition from escalating into a bloodbath.

And increasingly at Sakuraba’s fights… they’re not doing their job.

And it’s enough to make one both sick and mad.

A lot of people talk about the rules of UFC and how it’s weak compared to PRIDE, and I was one of them. But Let me tell you something, thank god for the rules of the UFC. Because what I witnessed happening to Sakuraba is not a sport, it’s a travesty. It’s putting pit bulls in a ring until one dies. The referee should be admonished at the least, and more likely fired and charges laid against him. Sakuraba’ cornermen, his manager and friends, should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the butchery to continue. Obviously with the first couple of blows, the fight, the contest is over, stop the damn fight.

I mean Sakuraba was, is a fucking national Japanese Treasure, and they let him increasingly get nearly murdered in the ring, for no good reason. The contest was over long before the 2nd knee landed, and I’ll tell you something about a knee to the head, it doesn’t take a fighter to hurt you with a knee or an elbow to the head, just about anybody’s knee or elbow will do the job, so when you have a 200lb, trained fighter, whose knees and elbows can break stones, you don’t want anybody getting hit more than once or twice by such a fucker if you can help it. Cause the only possible outcome of such abuse is brain damage or murder.

Sakuraba is older than me, and I’m older than Methuselah. And seriously there’s no way he cannot have brain damage, with the abuse he has taken. Someone, his manager, his friends, the Japanese fight board really needs to tell him, “you know what, you’re the greatest, but… in the ring is not the place for you any longer. You’re not as fast as you were, and you’re getting tagged too much”.

So here’s hoping the karma of this message gets out there, and maybe infects people, who infect people, who infect people, and it gets back to Sakuraba’s people that… “hey… you did us proud warrior… now time to rest”.

At least I hope so.

Because for Sakuraba to die in the ring is a waste of a great warrior who would be better served training a new generation of Sakurabas.

Here endeth my rant.