Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez spoke with Rich Keefe leading up to his May 6th fight at the Wang Theatre in Boston against Josh Neer. Alvarez had been ranked #3 in the World, but #1 Penn and #2 Aoki both lost recently.
Friday, April 23, 2010
The former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Couture takes on Toney who will be making his UFC and MMA debut after signing a contract with the organization in March.
Couture: (18-10 MMA)
Toney: (72-6-3 Boxing)
Other potential bouts at UFC 118:
Frankie Edgar (champ) vs. B.J. Penn for Lightweight Title
Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard
Randy Couture vs. James Toney
Joe Lauzon vs. TBA
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Aoki’s MMA Record (23-4) (4-0 Pride, 7-2 DREAM)
Notable wins: Mizuto Hirota, Joachim Hansen (2), Vitor Ribeiro, Eddie Alverez, Caol Uno, JZ Cavalcante, George Sotiropoulos
Notable losses: Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (2), Joachim Hansen
Titles: DREAM Lightweight Champion, Shooto Middleweight Champion, WAMMA* Lightweight Champion
*WAMMA = World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts, they currently have only 2 champions as Dana White and the UFC are not on board with WAMMA’s goal of having just 1 champion per weight class regardless of organization. Therefore Fedor (Heavyweight) and Aoki (Lightweight) are the only WAMMA champs at this time.
Aoki may be best known as the guy wearing pants who pulls off crazy submissions like gogoplatas and such. He is not imposing and at 5’11-155 often looks much weaker than his opponent. However strength is not a big part of Aoki’s game. Positioning, a crazy rubber guard, and of course submissions (14 of his 23 wins are by submission) are what make him great.
This past December, Aoki showed fight fans a different side of himself. He was scheduled to fight Kawajiri, but a short notice switch had him battle Mizuto Hirota. Aoki caught Hirota in a submission (jump to the 2:55 mark), pulling his arm behind his back until it broke, then immediately after, the normally calm, reserved fighter gave his fallen opponent the finger a la Brock Lesnar. The guy has fire.
On Saturday many American MMA fans will be introduced to Aoki, who will not be allowed to wear his signature pants. Die hard fans are well aware of Aoki’s significance in the sports, pointing to wins over JZ Cavalcante, Bellator Lightweight Champ Eddie Alverez, Sengoku Lightweight Champ Mizuto Hirota, and DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Champ Joachim Hansen.
Perhaps if those wins were over Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk, Diego Sanchez, or even Joe Stevenson, Aoki would be a bigger name for the casual fan. Not participating in the UFC can be seen as not fighting the best fighters in the world, but not in the Lightweight division.
In a hypothetical 16 man Lightweight Tournament (something Dana White would never sign off on) the 8 best UFC Lightweights take on the 8 Best Non-UFC Lightweights. I will pick the teams right now off the top of my head.
UFC: B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian, Gray Maynard, George Sotiropoulos, Diego Sanchez, Sean Sherk, Clay Guida. (For argument sake Diego stays at 155)
The Field: Shinya Aoki, Eddie Alverez, Joachim Hansen, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Josh Thomson, JZ Cavalcante, Gilbert Melendez, Benson Henderson
How great would that be? Who do you think wins? I still say Penn wins the tournament, but I like The Field to send more guys to the 2nd and the 3rd rounds.
I guess my point is, the Lightweight division is a little bit different. Fighters like Aoki, who have not been in UFC, still get to face some of the toughest challenges that their division has to offer. That is why I am really looking forward to the Aoki vs. Melendez fight on CBS this Saturday.
And who knows, Aoki turns just 27 next month, he could fight in the UFC after all, but I don’t think he has to.
Strikeforce is putting on a potential “Card of the Year” with Saturday night’s event that boasts a ridiculous 3 title fights…
Light Heavyweight Championship: Gegard Mousasi vs. Muhammed “
Middleweight Championship: Jake Shields vs. Dan Henderson
Lightweight Championship: Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki
And did I mention that these fights are completely free? No pay-per-view here, just CBS this Saturday night. Enjoy the fights!
(Article courtesy of BostonThrowdown.com)
Friday, April 9, 2010
UFC 112 on Saturday night features 2 championship bouts. Lightweight Champ B.J. Penn puts his belt on the line against Frankie Edgar and Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva squares off with Demian Maia. Also on the main card is a match up between two past their prime legends Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie in a Welterweight showdown.
Anderson Silva def. Demian Maia via TKO in Round 2
B.J. Penn def. Frankie Edgar via submission in Round 3
Matt Hughes def. Renzo Gracie via unanimous decision
Terry Etim def. Rafael dos Anjos via submission in Round 1
Mark Munoz def. Kendall Grove via KO in Round 1
Post fight prediction... after both dominating their fights to retain their respective belts; Anderson Silva will face Georges St. Pierre either at 185 or at a catch-weight of 177; while B.J. Penn will leave the Lightweight division and possibly match up with a Jon Fitch, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck, Thiago Alves at Welterweight.
If you want more in depth coverage of UFC 112 check out the Boston Throwdown UFC 112 Preview
As always, enjoy the fights,
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Rich Keefe had a chance to talk with former 2-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia, as he prepares for his May 21st fight against 5-time World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski at Moosin: God of Martial Arts in Worcester, MA.
Here is the Throwdown Podcast: Tim Sylvia
(Courtesy of BostonThrowdown.com)
Tim Sylvia (25-6)
Notables wins: Andrei Arlovski (2), Brandon Vera, Jeff Monson, Ricco Rodriguez, Mike Whitehead (2), Ben Rothwell
Notable losses: Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera, Randy Couture, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir