By In Mixed Martial Arts

High Stakes in the Shadow of UFC 200

“UFC 200 is big. It was big at conception, but now, a little less than a month away, it’s bigger than ever. A total of nine current or former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholders will be fighting, alongside two former champions from other major organizations. Three more former title contenders and two “Ultimate Fighter” winners are also on the card. Of course, the core of the event lies in the three championship bouts it boasts, and the return of Brock Lesnar has been so widely covered that I need not say anything else about it. Yes, UFC 200 is big indeed. So large is its shadow that if you weren’t aware of the high-stakes headliner at UFC Fight Night “MacDonald vs. Thompson” on Saturday in Canada, I wouldn’t blame you.

It’s important whenever the two top-ranked fighters in a division square off, but the significance of the Stephen Thompson-Rory MacDonald main event extends beyond their rankings. Both have a lot riding on this performance, in very different ways…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Exploring the UFC 199 Narratives

“What a night. Usually I’m more loquacious than that, but UFC 199 was so busy an intersection of storylines that it’s hard not to arrive at some clichéd platitude. The event in its entirety was one of the best pay-per-view cards in recent memory, and it was as great as it was with only a modest amount of star-power behind it. There’s something refreshing about the fact that a fight card can still stand out on its merits of fighting more than anything else, especially given the various change-ups UFC 199 experienced in the last few weeks.

Each of the main card’s winners built themselves up in meaningful ways, and while I usually like to stick to a single theme for these columns, such a night warrants a bit of exploration for each of the narratives that emerged…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping – Statistical Analysis

“Not so fast, injury bug. The Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight title will still be up for grabs.

After dethroning Chris Weidman in decisive fashion in December, Luke Rockhold had been gearing up to rematch the man he beat for the title. A neck injury put the bout on hold, and with Ronaldo Souza forfeiting his next-in-line status due to post-fight injuries of his own, Michael Bisping was the logical choice to replace Weidman in the UFC 199 main event on Saturday in Los Angeles. After suffering a devastating loss to Vitor Belfort in his promotional debut in 2013, Rockhold has put together a five-fight, five-finish winning streak, including a dominant second-round submission win over Bisping. Rockhold fought twice in 2015, but this will be his first fight of 2016.

On the other side of the cage will be longtime veteran and “The Ultimate Fighter 3” winner Bisping. He entered the UFC as an undefeated prospect in 2006 and has been fighting at middleweight since 2008, making Bisping one of the longest-tenured fighters on the UFC roster in any weight class. In spite of that, this will be Bisping’s first appearance in a title fight, having lost in high-profile title eliminator matches to Dan Henderson in 2009 and Chael Sonnen three years after. Since losing to Rockhold in 2014, Bisping has won three straight, a streak he capped with a career-defining win over the legendary Anderson Silva in February. Thus, this will be his second fight of the year, matching the number of Octagon appearances he made in 2015.

While this may not be the first-choice title matchup for fight fans, there are intriguing narrative and stylistic elements to it. Here is what the Tale of the Tape says…”

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Social Media

Press Row

Had the opportunity to jump on Press Row to talk about Hawaiian MMA. Give it a listen!

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

A Call for Recalibration

“No line of work is without its own brand of bulls—.

It’s ironic that, despite the celebratory status of puritan work ethic, the Good Book states that the very concept of work was created as a form of punishment. Even the evolutionary necessity of work — the idea that we must work in order to survive — doesn’t really apply to humankind anymore; we’re so ahead on the species power rankings that survival on a macro scale is no longer a pressing issue.

Yet for whatever reason, there is something essential to our being that demands work, and even craves it. Idleness is the devil’s workshop, as it goes, and prolonged periods of no work can unhinge the mind and divorce us from what it means to be human in powerful ways. That makes it all the more strange that we can’t seem to help ourselves from polluting this inescapable, vital thing with political B.S.

The world of mixed martial arts has been brimming with it lately. Whether it’s fighter pay, the ever-growing demands of so-called “independent contractors,” including how much they’re allowed to weigh after weighing in, or the potential sale of the largest MMA organization on the planet, these stories have dominated the landscape of fighting as much — if not more — than the actual fights…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more