Who is Cro Cop?
Mirko Cro Cop is one of the most feared MMA fighter ever to grace the sport. Known for his destructive striking abilities, Cro Cop has a list of knockout victims all thanks to his infamous Left High Kick.
Cro Cop’s MMA career flourished during his tenure in the Pride Fighting Championships in Japan. For unknown reasons, Cro Cop has left PrideFC and has joined UFC’s Heavyweight roster.
This new addition to the shallow UFC Heavyweight division will make current Heavyweight fighter’s in UFC think twice about dropping weight or whether or not to continue their MMA career. I can imagine now. Tim Sylvia, UFC’s current Heavyweight Champion, has just took a shit in his pants.
If you’re a serious MMA fan who follow the sport internationally will know that Cro Cop ends his fight brutally. And that is what the typical American fan craves. UFC has always claimed that no one has ever died in a UFC fight. That might change in the near future as Cro Cop’s first fight will be in February.
What do you think?
Cro Cop is one of my favorite fighters with more skill and talent you can shake a stick at. His striking is beyond superior, and his takedown defense is world class. But he has never fought in a cage like UFC. That difference can be a factor in his style of fighting. Nonetheless, Cro Cop’s opponent will have other things to worry about then to use the cage to their advantage. Such has avoiding an 85 mph left high kick to the head.
For the first time ever, Pride FC will be holding its event on U.S. soil.
Mark Coleman will be fighting against Fedor Emelianenko, Pride’s Heavyweight Champion. And Coleman’s team mate, Kevin Randleman, will be fighting Maurico Rua, Pride’s 2005 Middleweight GP Champion.
This will be an awesome event… Event starts in 5 minutes. Gotta go!
Sherk was the heavy favorite and even though Sherk won the unanimous decision you have to give Florian a lot of credit. Florian took a beating but kept coming at Sherk. Even up until the last two minutes of round 5 there was still a glimpse of hope that Florian could possible pull out a suprising submission. In the end, Sherk definitely deserved the title for all he has been though. And Florian, even with this loss, proves that he is one of the top 155 pounders in UFC.
I was expecting a stand-up war between Franklin and Silva, but the fight ended so abruptly, and decisively, that feel I really bad for Franklin. It seem to be all down hill once Silva had Franklin in his Thai-clinch. The knees to the body and the nose-crushing blow was devastating. For the first time in UFC, Franklin looked unmotivated and out classed, in terms of striking ability. Congrats to Silva. It was his second UFC fight and he won the title. Not many can have that sort of claim.
My biggest question is what’s next for Franklin? And also will there be an immediate rubber match? Silva is definitely here to stay. Who will UFC feed him? Swick? Matt Hughes (that’s if he wants to move up)? From Silva’s performance tonight it looks like he will be holding onto the title for quite a while.
Two titles are on the line; the middle weight championship and the light weight championship.
My quick predictions:
Franklin v.s. Silva
Franklin by stoppage of the 3rd or 4th round.
Sherk v.s. Florian
Sherk by stoppage of the 1st round.
If you’re an MMA fan then you know that in early 2004 BJ Penn moved from UFC’s lightweight division to welterweight to fight Matt Hughes who at the time is the most decorated and dominant fighter in UFC history. The fight turned out to be one of the biggest upsets in MMA as Penn was able to tapout Hughes in the first round. After winning the title, Penn left the UFC to pursue more lucrative and challenging fights abroad, which left the title vacated until Hughes picked it up again.
Last Saturday Penn got his chance at getting his title back from Hughes. But unlike their last fight things were much different.
Penn came out strong keeping the fight on his feet peppering Hughes with his jabs. Hughes made several attempts to take Penn down but was unsuccessful. The fight remained on their feet and they each exchange punches, at one point Hughes was thumbed in the eye by accident by one of Penn’s punches. The fight continued and finished the round on their feet. The round clearly went Penn with his crisp boxing and takedown defense.
Hughes exchanged a few punches with Penn before making a couple of attempts to take Penn down. Hughes is successful and gets Penn down up against the cage. Penn is constantly working on his position from his guard. Hughes rained down some punches and elbows. As Hughes threw a hard elbow Penn was able to slip pass it to sweep Hughes to get his back. Hughes almost slips out of Penn’s legs but Penn holds on to Hughes in a awkward triangle hold. The triangle was loose, but Penn was able to capture the arm and attempted to put in an armbar-type move but was unsuccessful and the round ended with Penn’s leg wrapped around Hughes. The round was close, but I would have given it to Hughes because of the takedown and the several hard shots he rained on Penn. Penn’s last minute submission attempt didn’t really put Hughes in much danger; the triangle was loose and the arm bar attempt was more of a hold than a submission.
Hughes comes out and tags Penn with his punches at will. Penn doesn’t look too good, as though he lost his will to fight, and doesn’t have an answer to any of Hughes strikes. Penn does a weak takedown attempt in which Hughes manage to stuff Penn getting into his half guard. Hughes passes the guard and puts Penn into a crucifix. Hughes has control of both Penn’s arms and with Hughes right arm being free he rains down onto Penn’s face for over 30 seconds until Big John McCarthy stopped the fight. The third round was a complete domination by Hughes ending with a referee’s stoppage.
Overall, Penn did well in defending the bigger and stronger Hughes’s takedowns. Penn is one of the best BJJ practitioners and he doesn’t seem to use it to his advantage. It’s a shame that Penn doesn’t go for takedowns and utilize his ground game. As for Hughes, he did what he does best; overwhelming his opponents via takedowns and pounding them out until the ref stops it or his opponent taps out.
What’s next for Penn? That’s two losses in a row. He should move down to 155 and clear out that division capture the title. If he stays in the welterweight division he has very long road ahead of him if he ever wants another title shot.
What’s next for Hughes? Penn was actually a replacement for George St. Pierre for this fight since George got injured during practice. Now, George has recovered and will be Hughes next opponent in November. I can’t wait.
UFC 62 had great fights. In fact, all of the fights were great, but I was disappointed with the main event. Not only was I wrong with my pick for the winner, but the fight ended so quickly that we weren’t able to see the fighters showcase their skills.
Chuck is a great striker and he does what he does best, keeping the fight on his feet to knockout his opponents. And Babalu made the mistake of carelessly rushing in and catching a stiff right-cross from Chuck.
What could Babalu have done? Well, there were many things he could of have done. Babalu could have used his boxing an low-kicks to bring the fight pass the 2nd round. Exploiting Chuck’s stamina was a game plan that could have definitely worked in favor of Babalu. Maybe a few takedown attempts could have changed the outcome of the fight, but Chuck is known for his great takedown defense. In the end, congratulations to Chuck. As for Babalu this was his shot at the title and losing this fight sets him back quite a ways as this is his second loss to Chuck. He’ll have to rack up another amazing winning streak to be even considered to fight Chuck again.
With this win, Chuck was unofficially set to fight Wanderlei Silva, PrideFC’s 205 lbs title-holder. Silva is a very powerful and skilled fighter who, like the Iceman, likes to keep the fight standing. If this fight happens this could be the most anticipated fight of all time. And who ever wins this fight would undoubtedly be the best fighter in the 205 lbs division in the world.
This time we have another exciting match-up. It’s Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral for this Saturday’s UFC 62. Anyone who has even a slight interest in MMA knows the Iceman, the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Babalu, on the other hand, is not well-known as the Champ. Babalu is a top contender of the division and has recently beaten some notable good fighters. Unfortunately, he has been under the radar and many of the MMA fans are unaware of his talent.
Coming into this fight Chuck has the mental edge of knowing that he has already beaten Babalu back in UFC 40. Chuck is known as a fighter who likes keeping the fight on his feet and knocking out his opponents. What makes Chuck so dangerous is that he is capable to do exactly that to any opponent. He has faced world class wrestlers, who tend to take fights to the ground, and manage to keep the fight standing which is an accomplishment in itself. To win this fight, Chuck will need to stick to his game plan and keep the fight standing. Babalu is no chump-fighter from a typical McDojo. Babalu is currently the top jiu-jitsu fighter in UFC’s 205 lbs division and getting into Babalu’s guard should be the last thing on Chuck’s mind. If Chuck can manage to keep his distance and throws his kicks and patented looping-punches he can knockout Babalu.
Babalu is currently on a 10-fight winning streak, and there’s currently no one else in the UFC who deserves this title shot more than him. His last loss was to Chuck back in 2002 and Babalu has come a long way and has beaten some top competition during his journey. To win this fight Babalu will need to take Chuck down and slip in a submission. That’s easier said than done. Chuck’s sprawl is infamous for stopping world class takedown-artists dead in their tracks. So Babalu will need to use every trick in his bag to take him down, and at the same time avoid Chuck’s heavy hands.
What’s my opinion? Well, I have a feeling that this fight will be much different from their last encounter. Chuck is coming off recovery from a broken toe, and it may or may not have affected his training. Rumors have been floating around that Babalu has been working intensively on his boxing. He might not want to stand toe-to-toe (no pun intended) with Chuck, but may use the boxing to setup a takedown. Many will disagree and some will out-loud call me an idiot, but I have Babalu causing an upset. How? If Babalu can take Chuck pass the 3rd round Chuck will be tired enough to make a mistake or two and get caught with a submission (Rear-Naked Choke). Chuck isn’t known for his stamina and it’s something Babalu can exploit.
This Saturday, March 4th, BJ Penn and George St. Pierre will face off in the Octagon at UFC: 58. These two are the top fighters in the 170 lbs division and considered by many fans to be ranked (relatively) 1 and 2 in the world in that division.
BJ Penn is considered by many to be the pound for pound best fighter in the world. He has career victories over many great fighters including the the most dominant fighter in UFC history, Matt Hughes (which at this time has the UFC Welter Weight Title). Penn last fought in the UFC back in January of 2004 winning the title from Hughes. Wanting to compete against better and bigger fighters Penn left UFC to fight overseas, which incidently strips his UFC title. Outside of UFC, Penn fought in the 185 lbs and 205 weight division and have done stellar garnering him that pound for pound status by the fans (NOTE: Penn started his career fighting in the lightweight division at 155 lbs). Zuffa (The company that owns and runs UFC) has now re-signed Penn back into the UFC, and he is looking to get his title back from Hughes once again, but a road block lies ahead and that road block is named George St. Pierre.
George St. Pierre (GSP) is the up and coming fighter. He’s the future breed of MMA fighters. Not only did he beat three top ranked fighters, but he made them look bad, in fact, demolishing them as if they had no reason being in MMA. Similar to Penn, GSP has also fought Matt Hughes. GSP was beating Matt throughout the fight, but ends up getting caught with a submission in literally the last second of the first round leaving it the only loss on his almost perfect record. Since that loss, GSP has been on the warpath to get that title shot again. And BJ Penn is the only person standing in his way.
This has “Fight of the Year” written all over it. Why is that? I’ll tell you why. Both Penn and GSP have excellent striking and jiu jitsu skills. Penn is slick and can submit GSP if he makes a slight mistake, whereas GSP is tremendously quick and strong and can put Penn on his back where he can utilize those Canadian elbows. People say there’s a slight edge for Penn to win due to his more extensive experience, but it’s so razor thin that it comes down to who makes the first mistake.
What’s my pick? I’m going for the Canadian. Again, GSP is on the warpath, and Penn has never fought anyone who is as explosive as George St. Pierre.
The weather was wet and cold. Portland, Oregon didn’t seem any different than any other city except for having one of the best fight teams in the US.
The Team Quest training facility is quite big. It has two large training areas and two other non-fighting rooms; one for weights and the other for the heavy bags. During the three day session Randy Couture, Matt Lindland, Nathan Quarry, and Robert Follis were able to go through a lot of techniques in striking to the ground game.
Team Quest’s base is wrestling and many of their techniques derived from wrestling but tweaked to fit for fighting. Randy went over his famous clinch-work you see in all his fights and how he uses it to his advantage. Matt with his extensive wrestling background went through several ways on how to escape from the bottom positions such from the guard, half-guard, side mount and full mount. Nathan went over several defensive moves and showed us how to use the cage to your advantage. Robert is the guru of the ground game. He went over many of the techniques on how to advance to get into dominant position from the top. These techniques from these Pros are very effictive and it shows why they have some of the best fighters out there.
The camp ended with the guys fielding questions from everyone about dieting, training, their personal lives, and opinions on Pride, UFC, and the future of MMA. Overall, the camp is awesome, and I recommend anyone with a remote intrest in training in MMA or just even a fan of the sport.
You can check out their website HERE
I’ll be leaving next Friday to Portland, Oregon for a camping trip. This is not just any camping trip but an MMA training camp at Team Quest. I will be training with former two-time UFC champion Randy Couture, one of the top middle fighter in the world, Matt Lindland, and season 1’s TUF fighter Nathan Quarry.
It’s going to be a three-day event of pure MMA training. Hopefully I’ll be in good enough shape to train with these guys. I’ll try to take plenty of pictures. I should be home the following Sunday evening. That’s if I don’t break a bone or die.