If you ever wondered what it would look like if two professional wrestlers fought each other in an MMA bout, Bellator will deliver the closest thing to it on January 21 when Tito Ortiz squares off against Chael Sonnen in a light heavyweight main event. They both grew up as wrestling fans and have nicknames that firmly pronounce their colorful personalities.
The bravado of Ortiz’s fiery clad “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” is the perfect foil to the boisterous Midwesterner in Sonnen aka “The American Gangster.” If that’s not enough, the nucleus of their combative arsenal is a grinding wrestling style to punish their opponents against the cage. Continue reading “Ortiz vs. Sonnen Announced for Bellator 170”
I respect Jon Jones, the talented athlete, and extraordinary fighter but I have a hard time liking Jon Jones the personality. His apparent lack of humility rubs people the wrong way. Jones will tell you he’s not cocky, just extremely confident. The fine line between the two, however, makes it difficult to tell if Jones’ self-critique is fact or fiction. As a result, he gets little benefit of any doubt when he voices his opinion. Continue reading “I Agree with Jon Jones”
What happens when only 624,000 viewers watch last week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter? Dana White works his magic, and Jon Jones changes his tune from not fighting Chael Sonnen to coaching the next season of TUF against Sonnen and fighting him on April 27, 2013.
Continue reading “Is Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen A Bad Thing?”
If you have been living under a rock, you are unaware of the story that has engulfed the MMA landscape. For the first time in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a pay-per-view event has been canceled. This unprecedented move has caused a firestorm of controversy, with venom being spewed in several directions.
Everyone has their own opinion on the subject, but the big question underneath all the chaos is: who’s to blame? Do we blame Jon Jones for refusing to fight with Chael Sonnen, who accepted the bout on eight days’ notice? Does the blame belong to Dan Henderson, who suffered the injury in the first place? Or, perhaps, the blame falls on some other element that is hiding in plain sight. Continue reading “Jones vs. UFC”
The atmosphere of tonight’s big fight is unlike any other in professional sports. Casual spectators and avid followers know with absolute certainty that two veteran warriors will do battle in an encounter that’s not to be missed. This is the type of occasion that only combat sports can produce.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena will host the biggest fight in MMA history as the UFC tries to replicate the success of its Pay-Per-View predecessor, the WWE. The promotion kicked off its inaugural International Fight Week extravaganza on Thursday, leading up tonight’s championship bout. Make no mistake about it, this event is the UFC’s equivalent to the first WrestleMania.
Continue reading “UFC 148 Silva vs. Sonnen II Preview and Predictions”
Chael Sonnen, the mouthpiece of the middleweight division, returns to the Octagon on Saturday night after a 14-month suspension to take on Brian Stann in a contest that will determine the next contender to Anderson Silva’s championship reign. For Stann, it’s a fight to show the world that he belongs among the middleweight elite.
For Sonnen, this is the first step towards silencing the critics that the fruits of his labor against Silva were the result of hard work and not the product of ill-gotten gains. The sub-par administration and lack of drug testing from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will cast a shadow of doubt over a Sonnen victory. Chael’s flair for dramatic storytelling sells the bout while Brian Stann’s personal story of heroic combat and decorated military service sells itself to popular opinion.
The UFC stayed away from commission shopping for fighters, but they made a first-time exception for Sonnen since Texas is the only state in the country he can get licensed in. The Oregonian’s placement on this card suggests the promotion is banking on him to win. The reality is Zuffa wins no matter the outcome. A win for Sonnen sets up a huge money-making rematch and a win for Stann creates a new star in the division. Whether it is legal or in poor taste, you can’t blame the UFC for making a business decision, they would have done it sooner or later.
The promotion for this fight has been a little different since Sonnen has uncharacteristically shied away from insulting his opponent. Customary diatribe such as “I will mow you down like autumn wheat, AGAIN” in reference to Silva has been replaced by “I’m the best Middleweight fighter in the world and I’m going to prove it again on Saturday”. It’s easier to insult a world champion who some perceive to be cocky than a Marine Corps veteran with hero status.
The fight itself will prove to be a battle of wills inside the cage. Stann will try to engage with his stand up while Sonnen will look to control the action with his wrestling. Chael’s weakness is unquestionably his submission defense. Stann does not have the pedigree on the ground to catch him in a submission. He will have to avoid Sonnen’s mixture of punches and elbows from the top position and scramble back to his feet in quick fashion in order to improve his chances. In the end, wrestling will be the key factor, as I don’t see Sonnen having problems taking Stann down since he has no problem taking down higher caliber opposition.
Prediction: Chael Sonnen by judges decision.