Monday, April 7, 2014

UFC Fight Night Abu Dhabi: Ryan LaFlare Doing Work


Poor Ryan LaFlare. The Long Island-based fighter amasses a spotless record in the Northeast circuit, earns a spot in the UFC, and now has to fly to the ends of the Earth to compete for them instead of getting to fight in the Octagon when it's set up nearby (like Newark or Atlantic City - anywhere closer than Abu Dhabi, really).

UFC Cuts Jake Shields - And That's Not a Bad Thing


Jake Shields, former EliteXC and Strikeforce champ and one-time UFC welterweight contender, has been cut by the UFC.

The good folks at MMAFighting have the scoop:
"Jake Shields has been released by the UFC. Jake appreciates the opportunities provided by the UFC and thanks Dana White and Lorenzo Fertita. Jake is an elite athlete who is one of the best welterweight fighters in the world with a long history of winning at a championship level.
"Jake and our team are already exploring options. I'm confident that Jake will have a new promotion to call home very soon. Jake thanks his fans for their support and looks forward to competing for them again soon."
The initial reaction to this move by the UFC is probably shock and disappointment that such a high-level fighter could get the axe, but there's more than one way to look at Shields' termination. First, there's very little upside to a grappler whose last submission win was a 2009 guillotine over Robbie Lawler in Strikeforce. Since then, all Shields has done is either win by decision or lose by decision (plus there's a quick TKO loss to Jake Ellenberger in there). How much mileage - exciting, crowd-pleasing miles - does he have left?

Flashback: Underground Combat League - 9.25.04


Want to know what the MMA scene was like in New York City in 2004? It was the Underground Combat League - true style vs. style, kung fu instructor vs. bouncer with a judo green belt, ultra-secret stuff.

It was glorious.

New York MMA Story Courtesy of Northeast Public Radio


Northeast Public Radio did a story on MMA in New York, and while it's a piece painted with some pretty broad strokes, it's still worth checking out.

At the crux of the piece is that recent University of Toronto study that tries to quantify the incidence of knockouts in MMA and correlate it to rates of head trauma. Quotes from Uriah Hall and Marc Ratner are in there as well.

TUF Nations Finale Primer: Tim Kennedy in Action


The TUF Nations Finale quickly approaches, so to prep you for the main event - which will see mouthy Brit Michael Bisping (who's actually a really nice guy in person) take on real American hero Tim Kennedy - here's a video of Kennedy kicking ass.

Unfortunately for us Northeast folk, the fighter on the wrong end of this ass-kicking is former ROC champ Rafael Natal, but oh well. You can't win them all, and "Sapo" is still a tough dude.