Monday, November 28, 2011

Bellator 59 Postscript

I love it when Bellator rolls into Atlantic City, because it always means slots on the undercard – and often the main card – get filled with local talent. Case in point: Bellator 59 on Saturday night, which saw Kurt Pellegrino and Phillipe Nover on the MTV2 broadcast while cats like Doug Gordon, Jesus Martinez and Chris Wing fought on the prelims. Some thoughts:

-Kurt Pellegrino got screwed big time on the referee stoppage against Patricky Freire. Freire was a bad matchup for him, and when Pellegrino went down he was definitely going to be struggling to avoid damage. But! The ref never gave him a chance to work himself out of the situation. Screw that.

-Nover got screwed even worse than Pellegrino via a split decision that he should’ve gone his way. Marcin Held was creative and entertaining with his rolling kneebar attempts and heelhooks, but Nover escaped and countered and pounded on him, bouncing the Polish fighter’s head against the canvas again and again. There’s no question Nover should’ve won that.

-Karl Amoussou just out-gunned Jesus Martinez on the feet, plain and simple. I like Martinez, too. But he and the Frenchman stood in front of each other and fired away, and it was Martinez that went down.

-LeVon Maynard never let Chris Wing set himself and never let Wing uncork his dangerous hook. I was actually shocked at how much Maynard stifled him.

-Lucas Pimenta is an absolute beast. He crushed Doug Gordon just like he crushed Bryan Danner. He deserves to be tested with one of the area’s tougher welterweights now.

-Bryan Van Artsdalen is one of the most exciting fighters around these parts that can’t defend subs.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

From the Department of Helping One of Our Own

"Daniel James Miller, son of UFC middleweight fighter Dan Miller and wife Kristin, was born with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. AMA Fight Club welcomes you to attend a Super Seminar to support Daniel in his treatments for autosomal recessive polycystic kidndey disease.

Join AMA Fight Club to aid Daniel in his fight for life.

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2011
Location: AMA Fight Club - 831 Route 10 East Whippany, NJ

Schedule of seminars and events:

9:45AM – 10:00AM Welcome and Introduction With AMA owner/trainer and UFC corner man Mike Constantino

10:00AM – 12:00PM No-Gi MMA/BJJ/Wrestling training with UFC Lightweight Jim Miller and other UFC fighters

2 hour No-Gi seminar cost $100.00

12:00PM – 1:00PM Professional MMA fighter meet and greet lunch included with seminar registration with lunch provided by the Miller Brothers family. Cameras and Videos encouraged

1:00PM – 3:00PM Muay Thai Kickboxing With Muay Thai Champion and AMA head Muay Thai instructor Kaensak Sor Ploenjit

2 hour Muay Thai seminar cost $100.00

Entire day pass combo including both seminars with meet and greet lunch: cost $175.00

Seminars are open to men, women and children ages 12 and up.

Raffles and prizes to benefit Daniel’s treatment including pro UFC fighter gear, UFC fighter Jim Miller actual debut fight shorts, shirts, gloves, gym memberships and so much more."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ROC 38 Postscript

Another great installment. Despite Jimmie Rivera and Uriah Hall getting scratched from the card, there was still a lot of star power going into the event, and though the home team took some lumps, there was more than enough action to get your heart racing.

-Tom DeBlass once again proved why he’s the hottest prospect coming out of the Northeast circuit. Other than Hulk-like strength, Davit Tkeshelashvili had nothing for him – and that’s not a swipe at the Russian, that’s a compliment to DeBlass. The Ricardo Almeida-trained fighter out-boxed and out-grappled his foe, and it was never boring.

-Pete “Drago” Sell simply got out-struck by Nordine Taleb, and while the fight was unfolding, I couldn’t help but think that the Drago that fought Scott Smith would’ve totally kicked Taleb’s ass. I guess we could blame Father Time, because Drago certainly has more fight left in him. It just sucks seeing a Northeast legend go down like that.

-Performances like what Deividas Taurosevicius put forth are the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Marlon Moraes, who’s a training partner to Edson Barboza and who seemed every bit as deadly, was utterly kicking DT’s ass on the feet, and when it went to the ground, he was kicking our favorite Lithuanian’s ass down there as well. But! Somehow, DT’s escape from back-mount involved trapping Moraes’ arm, and he flawlessly slid into a head/arm choke that shocked everyone in the Tropicana – Moraes included. When DT got the tap, I was sitting next to judge Dave Tirelli, and Tirelli and I looked at each other and simultaneously exclaimed “Holy shit!” That’s what heroes are made of right there.

-Going into the Al Iaquinta/Pat Audinwood bout, I had Iaquinta with the edge in kickboxing and wrestling, a thought that, though Audinwood has a dangerous guard, the Team Serra/Longo standout would be too savvy to get caught with anything. Therefore, I wasn't surprised when Iaquinta tested the Bombsquad rep's chin, was somewhat surprised when Audinwood tested Iaquinta's chin right back, and was even more surprised when Audinwood started seriously threatening with sub from the bottom. And in the end, Iaquinta eventually got caught. Really, this should only be a speedbump in Iaquinta's career, because at the end of the day, no one else around these parts can beat him. It's just that, damn, I guess Audinwood is that good (and yes, I'd seen Audinwood fight many times).

-Drew Puzon vs. Aung La Nsang was a close, close fight, and I actually had Nsang taking the decision two rounds to one. He was far more dangerous on the feet, and his sweeps really put Puzon on the defensive. Oh well. No shame in losing to Puzon, who’s an old schooler that seems to have gotten better with age.

-Brett Linebarger never impressed me in the past, but last night, against Fikret Darzanoff, he looked like a well-rounded badass. Darzanoff was beaten everywhere the fight went.

-Props to Jarred Mercado for getting Jay Isip to the canvas and holding him there. But no way was Mercado ever going to hurt that perfectly-coiffed blond head of hair. No way.

-Ryan Vaccaro did his thing against Mike Prokop, which is wrestle and jiu-jitsu the New Yorker to the bitter end. Props also to Frankie Perez, who finished Allen Cozze with ease; Tom English, who controlled Anthony Facchini on the ground; and Pat DeFranco, who did the same to Rob Gittens, only with more violence. For someone who hails from a boxing school (Ardon’s Sweet Science), Alex Davydov certainly looked knowledgeable in the grappling department, even though he was eventually out-wrestled by Andre Harrison. And the highlight of the undercard was totally Chris Wade’s beatdown of Vinicius Agudo. Agudo looked like some kind of jiu-jitsu stud with the way he transitioned into sub attempts, but Long Island MMA rep Wade was ready for him, and with superior wrestling and ground and pound, he beat the bejeezus out of the Team Link rep.












Thursday, November 17, 2011

The ROC 28 Preview You Won’t See Anywhere Else

(Hello there, friend. Long time no see. You look good. Yes, I agree, I haven’t done much in terms of posting on this MMA Journalist blog. Been busy, you know, what with RAW COMBAT and the site. But here I am, back to… you know… weave some more magic as it were. Anyway, tomorrow night is Ring of Combat 28, and as it’s the biggest regional promotion in the Northeast, it of course deserves some press. So here, have this preview. It’s painted with some of my favorite brushstrokes. I daresay it’s a masterpiece worthy of the MMA Journalist of old.)

Friday night brings us another installment of Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat, and assembled together are all the usual madmen and horse thieves. Unsure of whether or not you should attend or purchase the event on GoFightLive? Well, hold onto your hat, ‘cause here’s a breakdown of what you’d be seeing if you committed to something – anything – in your life, you goddamn slacker. And no, “occupying Wall Street” does not count as a commitment. That’s just hipster laziness.
· Pete Sell vs. Nordine Taleb – After some rocky performances in the UFC, local hero Sell took some time off, and returned at ROC 26 to have another rocky performance that he ended up recovering from to win his bout. So. We know this: Drago can still take a punch, but even if you knock him out, he’ll keep fighting. This does not bode well for the Canadian Taleb, who will likely flee from the American’s “Walking Dead” impersonation.
· Deividas Taurosevicius vs. Marlon Moraes – DT’s pretty much been there and done that in terms of fighting, so unless Moraes has superpowers like telekinesis and heat-vision, the kid is getting jiu-jitsu-fucked to death.
· Al Iaquinta vs. Pat Audinwood – You can look at this as a contest between the best lightweight in the Northeast and a UFC veteran, or you can look at it as one of Team Serra/Longo’s top guys versus one of Team Bombsquad’s top guys. I, however, like to view it as a match-up between two damn whippersnappers. Get off my lawn, you little bastards!
· Tom DeBlass vs. Davit Tkeshelashvili – DeBlass is pretty much at the top of every journalists’ “promising up-and-comer” list, and with good reason: he’s slain all put before him. He should have little problem with this tough M-1 Global veteran. Unfortunately, announcer Peter Neglia is going to kill himself trying to pronounce “Tkeshelashvili”. Poor guy.
· Jimmie Rivera vs. Anthony Leone – This bout is off. Leone tested positive for leprosy.
· Uriah Hall vs. John Troyer – This bout is off as well. Turns out Troyer is pregnant. Congrats, man.
· Ryan Vaccaro vs. Mike Prokop – With a nickname like “Porkchop”, how could you not like Prokop? Seriously.
· Drew Puzon vs. Aung La Nsang – Puzon is an old schooler who returned recently, and he’s been keeping it pretty real in the cage. La Nsang, who’s a kickboxer with skills on the ground, is either going to get steamrolled into the canvas or he’s not. How’s that for a prediction? Yeah? Go screw yourself.
· Jay Isip vs. Jarred Mercado – Jay freakin’ Isip. That’s all I have to say on the matter.

And Now, The Money Shot

The New York Times shows RAW COMBAT some love and affection!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zuffa Sues New York

Today Zuffa filed suit against the State of New York, claiming that MMA is a form of speech and the ban on pro MMA in the state violates the protecting of that speech as per the First Amendment of the Constitution. Hey, that's one way to skin a cat. Here's my breakdown on the lawsuit, which is over a hundred pages long and uses words that don't mean nothin', like "lupid". Will it work? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it forces the issue, maybe it ties the issue up in court and we have to go even longer without sanctioned MMA. Time will tell.

Kickass Battle of the Books Vid

Sunday, November 6, 2011

















Battle of the Books Postscript

Last night, at a secret location in Manhattan, yours truly had his book launch party. Dubbed "Battle of the Books" - as I shared the event with author Matt Polly (his book, "Tapped Out", hits stores on November 17) - the event featured food, drinks and underground MMA fights in a cage. Space was limited, so the majority of the guest list was media and publishing. But turn out was great, and as most of the invitees had never seen an MMA fight before, let alone an underground one in a cage literally just a few feet away... well, let's just say they were enthralled. I was interviewed by the New York Times, the New York Metro and the New York Observer, and reps from ESPN and Black Belt Magazine were there. Plus, there were reps from Universal Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer's studio, there. Good times. Good times.