MMA Thought of the Day

Today’s MMA Thought of the Day is about Chael Sonnen. More specifically, it is about Chael Sonnen and UFC 167 on November 16th in Las Vegas. As a ticket holder for UFC 167, I have been eagerly anticipating the official announcement that The American Gangster has been added to the card (presumably in the co-main event slot). Chael brings an air of excitement to every event he is a part of through his pro-wrestling style promos and nonstop trash talk. Sonnen is the kind of fighter I like. He fights as much as he can and he isn’t afraid to call someone out. It seems like too many fighters today forget they are in the ‘fight game’ and won’t step too far out of line. Perhaps the current landscape of the UFC is to blame with their ’2 losses in a row and you’re gone’ policy that seems to be quite prevalent today (although being an exciting fighter can and will keep you around longer even if you lose).

The trash talk and promos are a big reason I was hoping to see Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen and Silva have been going back and forth at each other for quite some time now. Sonnen has called out Wanderlei multiple times with the most recent call out coming after his first round submission victory over Wanderlei’s fellow Brazilian and ‘henchman’ according to Sonnen, Shogun Rua. Silva initially turned down the fight. Dana White stated Wanderlei wouldn’t fight without PPV points. Silva then posted a rambling video from a creepy basement somewhere in which he tells Sonnen he will destroy him, break his nose, and then calls him butt face (although I’m guessing something got lost in translation…at least I’m hoping) all while awful metal music plays in the background. Nothing strikes more fear in the heart of a fighter than an angry Brazilian in a basement calling them a butt face. Unfortunately for now, that fight is off the table as Wanderlei is apparently recovering from a back injury according to Dana White and will be out of action until early 2014.

Following the collapse of that potential match, another match that had been looked at was Sonnen vs. Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis. Phil Davis has been climbing the light heavyweight ranks and most recently won a decision victory of Lyoto Machida. Talk of that fight happening at UFC 167 bubbled up and then it seemed to quickly fizzle out.

Sonnen recently further took the matters into his own hands (like he typically does) and unexpectedly asked (rather than his typical call out) Rashad Evans what he was doing on November 16th via Twitter. Evans said he was up to nothing and that a fight with Sonnen sounded good to him. Evans is coming off of a recent decisions victory over Dan Henderson. Today the announcement came down that the Sonnen vs. Evans fight will be taking place at UFC 167 and it will be at 205lbs.

While I was hoping to see Sonnen take out someone he actually has issues with, any fight involving Sonnen is sure to be entertaining (at least leading up to the fight). I feel, however, that Chael will probably be more toned down towards his opponent since they are friends and do work together for Fox Sports.

Is this the best match we could have hoped for? Worst? Somewhere in between? What do you think?

In Review – UFC 164

UFC 164 is in the books and it saw the crowning of a new UFC Lightweight Champion in Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.  Pettis looks absolutely great in his first round arm bar submission of Benson Henderson.  Henderson looked good in the opening minutes of the first round, but Pettis took control after landing several strong kicks to the body before finishing Henderson with an arm bar. This was a very surprising finish to just about everyone.  What is next for the newly crowned champ?  Well, it seems we may have to wait to find out for a bit due to a possible knee injury suffered by Pettis during the fight.  Pettis stated that he felt his knee pop and will have an MRI done to see if there is any damage.  Following the fight, however, Pettis did call out UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Dana White said that the fight is possible.

As a fight card overall, I found UFC 164 to be a great bunch of fights.  Josh Barnett‘s first round knock out of Frank MIr was quite impressive.  Many feel the fight was stopped to early after Mir crumpled to the mat following a knee to the face by Barnett.  Mir seemed to recover right away, but the ref had already called the fight.  It will be interested to see where both fighters go after this.  Barnett called out Travis Browne following his victory.

Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida was another very exciting fight.  Mendes was able to become the first person to score a KO over Clay Guida via  devastating combination of strikes in the third round.  After a performance like that, I believe Mendes should be fighting for the belt in the near future.

Below is a list of full UFC 164 results and a review  of my picks for UFC 164 via Tapology.com.  Let’s just say I didn’t do so well.  What did you think of UFC 164? Let us know in the comments!

Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson via verbal submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:31
Josh Barnett def. Frank Mir via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:56
Chad Mendes def. Clay Guida TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:30
Ben Rothwell def. Brandon Vera via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:54
Dustin Poirier def. Erik Koch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Gleison Tibau def. Jamie Varner via split decision (29-28, 27-29, 29-28)
Tim Elliott def. Louis Gaudinot via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Hyun Gyu Lim def. Pascal Krauss via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:58
Chico Camus def. Kyung Ho Kang via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Soa Palelei def. Nikita Krylov via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:34
Al Iaquinta def. Ryan Couture via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Magnus Cedenblad def. Jared Hamman via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:57

Word Punch Picks - UFC 164

Word Punch Picks – UFC 164

UFC 164 is tomorrow night with a main event fight between Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis for the UFC Lightweight Championship.  This will be the second time these two have fought, with their first bout ending in a decision for Pettis in the final WEC match before being absorbed by the UFC.  Henderson is going into this fight with the belt and with revenge on his mind.  The promos for UFC 164 have featured Henderson stating that he wants to get the stain of the loss to Pettis off of his soul.  Will he be able to do it?  I am picking Henderson to win by decision.  Henderson is not known for his ability to finish fights and finishing Pettis will be no easy task.  Pettis is a dangerous and unpredictable striker (just take a look at the now famous Showtime kick he threw in the first match with Henderson), and this poses a real threat to Henderson’s title reign.  Still, I have to go with Henderson to pull this one off. Plus, we’re both from Arizona so that has to count for something, right??

The rest of my picks are below. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

Word Punch Picks - UFC 164

The Curious Case of Ben Askren

Ben Askren is/was the Bellator welterweight champion. When Askren’s contract with Bellator recently expired, Bellator announced that they would not be looking to resign their welterweight champ. It seems a bit odd for a company to simply let their champion walk away, doesn’t it?. At this time, however, that appears to be exactly what Bellator is doing. Is there a reason for this? Are they hoping that the UFC will give Askren a low offer that Bellator can have a chance of countering? Do they not believe any of their welterweights can defeat Askren and don’t want him making the rest of their 170lb roster look bad?

Askren has spent his time recently peppering various UFC fighters with insults and barbs and asking Dana White for a match against GSP if Hendricks somehow gets injured before their November 16th match up via twitter and there is a real possibility he will end up in the UFC sometime soon. Dana White has expressed interest in signing Askren, but how would he match up with the best fighters in the world? I believe that the top ranked 170lb UFC fighters would pose a real challenge for Askren like he has never encountered prior. With his current limited striking skills, I do not see him being able to get past fighters like GSP, Condit, or Hendricks, but you just never know in this sport. I hope we all get a chance to see how he will stack up against MMA’s best.

What do you think? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments section!

Word Punch Picks – UFC Fight Night 27

Below are the Word Punch Picks for the main card of UFC Fight Night 27 taking place tonight in Indianapolis, Indiana on Fox Sports 1!

Main card (FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)

Carlos Condit def. Martin Kampmann
Donald Cerrone def. Rafael dos Anjos
Kevin Gastelum def. Brian Melancon
Court McGee def. Robert Whittaker
Erik Perez def. Takeya Mizugaki
Brad Tavares def. Robert McDaniel

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!!
Looking forward to some great fights!

UFC Fight Night 27 is tonight!

The UFC has been having a lot of events recently with the next one, UFC Fight Night 27, taking place tonight, August 28th, 2013, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  As usual, the fight card has the potential to be exciting and definitely worth checking out.

Which fights am I most interested in seeing tonight?  Without a doubt, the main event, which pits former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (28-7) against Martin Kampmann (20-6), promises to be a great fight.  This will be the second time these two have fought.  Kampmann welcomed Condit to the UFC in April 2009 with a split decision victory over Condit.  Now Condit is looking to avenge that loss and he has all the skill to do it.  My pick for this fight is Condit.  This is an important fight for Condit (coming off of two losses) and I believe he will rise to the occasion.  I always find Condit to put on exciting fights and look to finish his opponents.

Another fight that I can’t wait to see is the welterweight debut of Kelvin Gastelum.  Gastelum defeated heavy favorite Uriah Hall in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 17 at middleweight (185lbs). Interestingly enough, Uriah Hall just lost to John Howard in a match that was more like a high five fest then a fight.  Following the fight, Dana White stated that Uriah Hall just isn’t a fighter.  It will be interesting to see what is next for Hall, but I don’t think he will be cut loose from the UFC just yet.  He has tremendous potential, but he needs to sort out his mental game it seems.  Now back to Gastelum, since winning The Ultimate Fighter, Gastelum has dropped to welterweight (170lbs) and is set to take on Brian Melancon (7-2).  Many counted Gastelum out from the start of TUF17, but he has managed to keep on winning.  Will his winning streak come to an end tomorrow? I don’t believe so.  I see Gastelum taking this fight by utilizing the same toughness and heart he displayed during his time on TUF mixed with his improved skill set since becoming a full time fighter.

Those are the two fights I am most interested in, but all the fights will be a good time for sure.

What are you thoughts/picks for UFC Fight Night 27? Feel free to leave them below in the comments section!

The full fight card is below:

Main card (FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Kevin Gastelum vs. Brian Melancon
Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Erik Perez
Brad Tavares vs. Robert McDaniel

Undercard (FOX Sports 2 at 6 p.m. ET)
Dylan Andrews vs. Papy Abedi
Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki
James Head vs. Jason High

Undercard (Facebook at 5 p.m. ET)
Zak Cummings vs. Ben Alloway
Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo