Mixed Martial Arts
Category

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson Statistical Analysis

“The middleweight title picture in the Ultimate Fighting Championship is about to get weird.

Newly minted middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC 204 on Saturday in Manchester, England, will defend his belt for the first time in his home country against Dan Henderson, who knocked him senseless seven years ago at UFC 100. “The Count” was long considered past the point of being a serious title contender, but “The Ultimate Fighter 3” winner has since experienced a late-career resurgence that culminated in a first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June. This will be the first time Bisping fights three times in a year since 2010. It will also be his 27th fight in the UFC, which will tie him with Frank Mir and Tito Ortiz for the most all-time.

It is not often that a single-fight winning streak earns a crack at the title, but that is exactly where Henderson finds himself. The 46-year-old is a legend of the sport, though he has not won back-to-back fights since 2011. The former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder is 2-2 since dropping back to middleweight in 2015. His last fight was a second-round knockout of Hector Lombard, which happened the same night that Bisping claimed the title. Prior to that, “Hendo” was 2-6 over the course of four years and hardly in the title hunt. This will be his second fight of the year and quite possibly the final fight of his storied, decades-long career.

This is not the average title fight, but it is an intriguing matchup for several narrative and stylistic reasons. Here is what the Tale of the Tape has to say…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

The Nature of the Beast

“I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes: UFC Fight Night “Lineker vs. Dodson” also reminded me of the fable of The Scorpion and The Frog. In case you’re not familiar with the fable, a scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog is worried that it might get stung, but the scorpion assures it that nothing of the sort will occur. After all, if the frog goes down, the scorpion would drown, too. Of course, when the frog decides to give it a ride, it gets stung and they both descend into their watery fate. Before they die, the frog asks the scorpion why it stung him, to which the scorpion replied, “It’s my nature.”

Humor me for a minute. UFC Fight Night 96 was a solid billing as far as these sorts of events go. It had a few fights with varying degrees of divisional relevance and a few fights for quasi-name value action; and some fights were just there. Whatever the card lacked in substance, however, it apparently made up for in outrage-inducing circumstances…”

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Cyborg a Missed Opportunity for the UFC

“It would be easy to say something pseudo-clever like “death, taxes and Cyborg by TKO,” but after Cristiane Justino’s 12th straight bout ended before the final bell, it seems like dodging taxes and cheating death might be easier than surviving a title fight with the best female fighter on the planet. “Cyborg” violence has become an inevitability: Her knockout streak is coming up on eight years, and in her 17 career wins, she has only needed the judges to notarize the outcome twice.

Of course, none of this is new. We’ve been saying more or less the same things about Justino since she was competing in Strikeforce. Regardless of what you can say about her competition or lack thereof — we’ll get to that in a minute — Cyborg is a supreme talent in the sport, and one in which the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be wise to invest moving forward…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Money Fights and the Forgotten Art of Knowing Your Role

“Back when I still started my day stuck on a freeway for an hour every morning, I was regularly reminded of an adage that was more enraging than illuminating. Though it supposedly has its roots in some sort of zen enlightenment, I tend to think that it actually sprouted from some snarky, contrarian dude in the passenger seat. The adage goes something along these lines: “You aren’t in traffic; you are traffic.”

I’m not sure what the creator of that was really going for. I suppose he or she was trying to alter the maddening experience of being forced into what is essentially a game of politically correct bumper cars where you want to smash into the person in front of you but can’t. However, instead of thinking “whoa” and feeling my impatience dissolve into the vibrations of the universe, all it did was magnify the fact that there were no other options but to tackle traffic, day in and day out. It’s tantamount to telling Sisyphus that he was doing it all wrong: “The secret is to be the rock.” Yes, visualize, breathe deep and become your own futility.

There’s a lesson here for Michael Johnson.

The Blackzilians lightweight snapped a two-fight skid by completely flattening Dustin Poirier in 95 seconds at UFC Fight Night 94 on Saturday in Hidalgo, Texas. In doing so, he announced not only a return to form but also a return to the top shelf at 155 pounds. Prior to losing back-to-back fights to Beneil Dariush and Nate Diaz, Johnson had all the looks of a serious contender in a division in no short supply of serious contenders. Now, “The Menace” is right back in the mix. It was a big win.

After the fight, though, Johnson called out nobody in the most specific way possible: “Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz getting paid that money and they’re out here scrapping, having a sparring match. I come to finish fights. I go for the kill. Pay me, baby, what’s up?” He then clarified that he would fight anybody but wanted to be in the big-money fights. Here’s the thing: If you want to be in a money fight, you have to be a money fight. Right now, despite his monstrous knockout win and undeniable talent, Johnson is not a money fight. If you need to explicitly call for a money fight, odds are you are not the one bringing the money to the fight…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

A Good Heavyweight is Hard to Find

“When we break down the purpose of organized competition into its most basic parts, past the platitudes of fun and entertainment, we get a glimpse into the human psyche. Sports — both participating and watching — are indeed fun and entertaining, mostly because we all understand that such physical feats are really, really difficult. Somewhere in the heart of man there is a relentless curiosity to know the limits of our species. A core part of all of us wants to see a concrete demarcation of what those limits are even though they rarely have much to do with our own personal limitations, which tend to be pretty unimpressive in the grand scheme of things. It’s why we idolize and admire great people: They show us what can be done while simultaneously making us wonder how they did it. The visual aesthetic of greatness is only part of it; actually seeing the best is obviously great, but we also want to simply know. Competition is a mechanism of exploration.

The appeal of heavyweight fighters is as pure a distillation of this dynamic as there is in sports. In the name of fair play, fighting has been broken down into weight divisions, each champion representing the best fighter in a particular range of size. However, if we were to exist in the world as it just is, it would stand to reason that the biggest best fighter would simply be the best fighter. It’s what we expect of our heavyweight champions and why we tend to label them the “Baddest Men on the Planet.” The heavyweight champ is supposed to be the last one standing if every single person in the world fought in a tournament. Theoretically, the heavyweight division should compose the majority of the final few rounds.

Yet, when we look at the current heavyweight landscape in MMA, that ideal doesn’t quite seem to materialize. At the very least, it doesn’t resonate much. Four of the division’s elite did little to change that at UFC 203 on Saturday in Cleveland…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more