Archive for the ‘WMMA’ Category

It seems that we have another hot topic in MMA journalism. Someone wrote an article pointing out the reasoning for Ronda Rousey’s dominance; namely: Only in Judo do women martial artists have the infrastructure to provide them the competition necessary to develop true talent. Now that one person has written it, everyone is writing it, yet passing off the idea as their own. Example #1 here. Example #2 here. You might be asking, “Which one is not a plagiarist? Who said it first?”

The answers are “none of the above” and “MMADork.”

Rob, the Wise Old Sage

Without meaning to take away from Ronda’s admirable work ethic, attitude, or talent, I made this observation several times on Fight Fans Radio, then posted it here about six months after first discussing it. If you’re not interested in wading through all that text, here’s what I wrote:

As for [the fight between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate], those [claiming that Ronda hasn’t earned the title shot] just don’t understand that there is only one well-developed, high-quality combat sports organization that’s available to women, and that’s USA Judo [error deleted]. USA Judo is highly organized, highly competitive, and international in scope. Miesha Tate wrestling in high school against two other women statewide (yes, I’m exaggerating) does not prepare her the same way Judo prepared Ronda. The fact that Miesha trains with men doesn’t change the equation. Every professional combat athlete will tell you that training with the best doesn’t compare to actually competing against the best. When it came to competing, Miesha simply didn’t have the same level of competition because 1) there aren’t many competitors in the first place, and 2) she didn’t fight people beyond her relatively small region. Thus, the complaint that Ronda lacks experience is actually ridiculous. Miesha is far too green for this fight….”

(emphasis added). Last modified January 8, 2012.

Once again, I find myself about 2-3 years ahead of the curve. As with my 2011 comments predicting Ronda’s impact on MMA (quotes below. Last modified June 22, 2011), MMA Journalists are finally saying what I’ve been saying for years. Their writing has an air of arrogance as if they’ve personally made this great discovery. Well, so does mine, but at least I’ve earned the right to be such a snob about it. In fact, considering that Ronda Rousey herself followed my writings before she had such a busy schedule, I wouldn’t be surprised if these articles started popping up because someone found my blog and outright plagiarized it.

What’s the Point?

Believe it or not, this isn’t about me telling you how brilliant I am; quite the opposite. It’s about telling how little a deal this is, and thus showing you that MMA Journalism, even after all of these years, is still very much a joke. That’s the big deal. Anyone with 1) knowledge of her judo career and 2) a capability to apply inductive reasoning could have predicted and understood Ronda’s success. I’m simply pointing out that MMA journalists have neither despite it being part of their job description to have both. After all of these years of reporting and research, you’d expect that they’d finally be on target. You’d be wrong.

Yeah, I just love the media.

And I am brilliant. 🙂

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork

P.S. What I wrote in June, 2011 is here:

Watch for this one. She could very well be the future of women’s MMA, and she definitely lends credibility to the women’s division…. I expect to see her in Strikeforce soon. Moreover, it will be hard for Dana White to continue to ignore women’s MMA with women like Ronda in the mix.

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Image c/o UFC

No. That really would be a stupid prediction.

Ronda by TKO/KO in round 1.

I also have Little Nog beating Shogun, Big Nog beating Streuve, Soa Palelei beating Bigfoot, and Demian Maia beating Neil Magny.

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I don’t do my research anymore, so my picks are even more suspect than ever, but I’m inspired to take another shot at it because of a couple of interesting fights on the card. I’m picking only those fights where I already know the fighters.

 

George Roop v. Rob Font

I’m still quite bitter that Roop lost to Hioki, ruining what would otherwise have been a perfect night of picks for me*.

Roop by decision.

* Okay, so I made a sentimental pick that ruined the perfect score anyway, but based on my discussion of the fight on Fight Fans Radio, it’s clear I knew Nelson would beat CroCop.

 

Chris Camozzi v. Bruno Santos

Bruno who?

Camozzi by decision.

 

Uriah Faber v. Alex Caceres

This is a ridiculously one-sided match up, but what else is the UFC to do? Uriah can’t beat Barao or Cruz but is head and shoulders above everyone else. They have to put him against lesser talent that has no chance. Of course, now that T.J. Dillashaw is champ, Uriah has an opening to get back into the title picture without everyone saying, “Been there; done that,” but this fight was already booked.

Faber by 1st-round dismantling (KO/TKO).

 

Uriah Hall v. Thago Santos

Yeah, Hall can throw a wheel kick. Do you know who else can throw a wheel kick? Me. It was my signature kick when I got my black belt in TKD. We measured it, and the power was scary. However, I won’t be winning a UFC championship anytime soon, and neither will Hall. If he connects with them against people on the UFC roster, then maybe we can stop calling that kick a fluke, but until that point, it’s not a selling point for picking fights.

Santos by decision.

 

Stefan Struve v. Matt Mitrione

A year ago, this was an easy pick, but Struve’s heart condition not only sidelined his fighting but also his training. I can’t believe he’s as sharp as he was.

Mitrione by 1st or 2nd round KO/TKO.

 

Ronda Rousey v. Alexis Davis

Now it’s time for my customary “I told you so.” I predicted all of this long before Dana White or even Scott Coker knew Rousey existed. However, while I certainly don’t wish ill will on her, she’s now “on my list.” I take partial credit for getting her a title shot against Tate when she did. She would have eventually done so without my help, but I’m responsible for getting her that shot about 6 months earlier than she did (with a serious hat tip to Erika Lewis). And before you call bullshit, Ronda acknowledged this in an interview; she just didn’t name me. She said “someone on Twitter” got the ball rolling. Trust me when I say I don’t want to be in the spotlight, but I found that a bit odd. Of course, none of this affects how I’m picking these fights.

Ronda by 1st round armbar or whatever else she chooses. There’s simply no one to challenge her in WMMA right now.

Please note: I’m not taking credit for her bronze medal, her actual winning of the title, her general self-promotion, or her harai-goshi. That’s all Ronda, and she should be proud of all four (and so much more).

 

Chris Weidman v. Lyoto Machida

Contrary to what some armchair fighters have said, Weidman’s wins over Silva were not flukes. He beat Anderson twice. Contrary to what Weidman himself has said, most people recognize that Weidman’s wins weren’t flukes. He’s not “underrated” or “not being given the credit he deserves.” However, I’m still picking against him. This is about how fighters match up against one another, and Weidman is almost tailor-made for Lyoto. Have a nice nap, Chris.

Machida by 2nd round KO/TKO.

 

Follow me @MMADork. Or don’t. I really don’t like the spotlight.

I’m really too busy to write about this, but I’m always hoping to find a way to get a legitimate journalist to cover MMA, and Mike Wise of the Washington Post is on the fence about doing so. One of these days, maybe something will get him curious enough to watch, then interested enough to write. Tonight might be the night. The women have arrived, and the greatest MMA fighter ever is back to reclaim his title.

Manny Gamburyan v. Denis Siver

This is a toss up. Siver used to be good, but now he’s at the level of Gamburyan. Quite an endorsement, eh? When in doubt, I root for the judo guy.

Gamburyan by decision

Michael Johnson v. Gleison Tibau

I still don’t know why Johnson gets such a push when so many fighters are getting their pink slips for losing a single match.

Tibau by decision

Uriah Hall v. Chris Leben

Leben’s best days are behind him. While Hall is still developing, I think he’s good enough to get the win.

Hall by decision

Jim Miller v. Fabricio Camoes

Miller has disappointed me lately. I actually see this as a punishment for that. If he can’t beat Camoes, he’s in danger of getting bounced by the UFC. I never thought I’d say this so soon.

Miller by submission

Josh Barnett v. Travis Browne

I can’t see why so many people are picking Barnett. No way.

Browne by 3rd round KO/TKO

Ronda Rousey v. Miesha Tate

There is absolutely no reason to think this fight isn’t going the same way all of Ronda’s fights go. It’s a complete no-brainer. For those who hate Ronda, I say think with your brain, not your heart. And to everyone, I remind you, I told you so … 2-1/2 years ago, well before Dana White and Scott Coker knew she existed.

Rousey by 1st round submission

Chris Weidman v. Anderson Silva

Weidman has the style and skill to beat Silva, but he showed last time that he’s susceptible to being pulled into Silva’s game plan. Lightning doesn’t strike twice. 99.99% of the time, Silva wins the striking battle. Despite what most are saying, I think Anderson goes in there and does the same goofy dance he always does, gets under Weidman’s skin, and knocks him out. The only question is whether it will take more than one round. I’ll play it safe.

Silva by 2nd round KO/TKO

And now I’m off to Baileys in Ballston Mall. If you’re in Arlington, say hi.

Unless I don’t like you.

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Here’s some more news on the proposed women’s mixed martial arts (WMMA) superfight between current Strikeforce bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, and suspended former Strikeforce featherweight champion, Cris “Cyborg” Santos.

Random Drug Testing and Follicle Testing

Some of the buzz making its way through the MMA internet comes from Darin Harvey, manager for Ronda Rousey. Harvey is making it clear that any contract establishing a fight between his client and Cris “Cyborg” Santos will have to include some fairly strict drug testing requirements if they expect to get Ronda to sign it. Here’s a story by Mike Chiappetta spelling out Harvey’s demands, which include both random testing during the training process, and follicle testing, which would determine whether Santos has been doping during her suspension.

How Heavy?

Another controversy is whether the fight will occur at Rousey’s current division of bantamweight (135 lbs.), Santos’s current division of featherweight (145 lbs.), or at a compromise catchweight of 140 lbs. Rousey is adamant that, as champion, she shouldn’t have to cater to her challenger, so Santos should come to her. Santos responds that Ronda has competed in judo in two different weight classes, Ronda started WMMA at featherweight, and Santos has always had trouble making 145 lbs. In total, asking Santos to reach 135 lbs. is Ronda’s means of ducking the fight she knows she can’t win.

This is all, of course, hype. Santos is currently considering fighting in InvictaFC because there’s no one at 145 lbs. worth fighting in Strikeforce. Her prior claim that Ronda ran to 135 lbs. to duck her would seem hypocritical. Ronda had no reason to stay at 145 lbs. once Santos was suspended. However, Ronda is also making a demand that’s designed to screw with Santos’s mind. Ronda can fight at 145 lbs., but Santos might not be able to fight at 135 lbs. It’s a tactical demand designed to improve Ronda’s chances at wining.

Whose demand should be met? Ronda’s, because she’s the champ, and Santos has every responsibility to come to Ronda for the fight. When and if Santos moves to InvictaFC, right or wrong, she will be perceived as the one that’s running from a fight.

Putting Them Together

Seeing the connection between these two issues shouldn’t require a huge intellectual leap. Santos has had trouble making 145 lbs., but the accusation is that she’s been taking steroids for quite some time now, having only recently been caught. If her weight troubles were the result of her steroids use – something that we don’t know and would be unfair to assume – then a clean Santos might not have problems making 135 lbs. Of course, if the truth is that she’s be doping all along, that truth will never come out, so Santos could avoid 135 lbs. by continuing to claim that doctors have told her not to make the weight cut.

A WMMA PPV?

Chiappetta’s article raises another interesting point, though only in passing: The possibility of the fight appearing on a pay-per-view (PPV) event. Whether this would be a Strikeforce PPV or an Ultimate Fighting Championship PPV is an interesting question. Personally, I just want to see the fight; however, Zuffa knows that Ronda is sure to sell PPVs and, the fight would generate mainstream media coverage that Zuffa doesn’t generally get. From Zuffa’s perspective, the smart move might be to have the “Strikeforce” women’s bantamweight title headline a UFC card. This could give a title fight to a card that otherwise wouldn’t have one, improving an otherwise dismal PPV draw.

Just my 2¢.

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It’s now official: Ronda Rousey will be fighting Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce Bantamweight (135lb) title. This has produced numerous threads on Facebook, Twitter, and all the MMA forums, with each post seeming to fall into one of two categories:

1. Ronda will armbar Miesha in less than 61 seconds; and
2. Ronda didn’t deserve the shot, and Miesha will prove that by knockout.

It’s surprising that there appears to be no middle ground among those offering an opinion, which is great because it means there’s serious buzz being generated. This is good for Strikeforce and women’s MMA generally. Although I also fall into one of these categories, I promise you that it has nothing to do with that hype. I simply get something that some others are missing.

Ronda in 60 Seconds

Ronda Rousey will easily beat Miesha Tate the same way she does everyone else: submission in round 1. If you disagree, then you’re actually giving women’s combat sports too much credit. I’ve been an advocate of women’s MMA for some time now, having faith that, once developed, it’ll be a great product. Whether it’s ever as good as the men’s division is hard to predict but in any case irrelevant to the point. It will be a product worth watching — in fact it already is — and will eventually generate the kind of buzz we’re seeing with this fight, but much more often.

As for this fight, those in category #2 just don’t understand that there is only one well-developed, high-quality combat sports organization that’s available to women, and that’s USA Judo (of which she’s been a member almost since birth). USA Judo is highly organized, highly competitive, and international in scope. Miesha Tate wrestling in high school against two other women statewide (yes, I’m exaggerating) does not prepare her the same way Judo prepared Ronda. The fact that Miesha trains with men doesn’t change the equation. Every professional combat athlete will tell you that training with the best doesn’t compare to actually competing against the best. When it came to competing, Miesha simply didn’t have the same level of competition because 1) there aren’t many competitors in the first place, and 2) she didn’t fight people beyond her relatively small region. Thus, the complaint that Ronda lacks experience is actually ridiculous. Miesha is far too green for this fight, and the fear in her eyes and ridiculousness of some of her comments on the matter demonstrate that.

Please note, that by “fear” I’m not saying Miesha is afraid of getting hurt. She’s a fighter, and when she loses, she’ll bounce right back and gladly get hit in the face on her climb back up the ladder. What scares Miesha is that she knows her lack of experience will likely result in a quick loss. If she fights Kauffman and rematches Coenen, she has the chance to legitimize her status as champion with two successful title defenses. If she fights Ronda and loses in 60 seconds, people will unfairly call her win over Coenen a fluke. One-and-done usually means you’re a fluke (unless your opponent also is one-and-done, which would instead suggest parity). This will be unfair, of course, because removing Ronda from the equation, Miesha really is the best 135-lb fighter in Strikeforce, and perhaps in all of American WMMA. Ronda, though, is just too far above that pack to lose a fight, even if she goes into it with food poisoning.

Other complaints include that Ronda can’t take a hit. She can. I can personally vouch for her claim that there are almost as many punches thrown in judo as there are in kickboxing (for what little my judo experience is worth). I’m certain she’s been hit hard and fought through it. There’s also the concern that Ronda can’t handle the weight drop, but Ronda walks around at 145 lbs. She doesn’t have to “make weight” for featherweight, and so she should have no problem dropping 10 pounds. In fact, she’s fought in two different weight classes while in judo.

Keep Talking, Mr. Anonymous

Many of you will continue to kid yourselves into thinking Miesha has a prayer, then sink into silence when she loses in a minute or so. Having published my opinion on a blog that I promote, I don’t have that luxury, so feel free to come back and take me to task. On this issue, I’m not the slightest bit nervous. In fact, if Ronda takes more than a round to defeat Tate, I’ll happily characterize myself as “wrong.”

In closing, I’ll remind you that our talk means nothing. The fight will happen, and the results will be the results regardless of any of our predictions. As Ronda continues to embarrass the other women, though, I’ll continue to say, “I told you so,” at every step of her career. The only real challenges she faces are Cyborg Santos (after suspension) or Kyra Gracie (if she ever makes the move to MMA). Why are these women challenges whereas the others are not? Because women’s MMA is a bit better developed in their home country of Brazil. Not surprisingly, 5 of Santos’s 11 wins have been first round stoppages (including the one against Hiroko Yamanaka that was just declared a no contest), and only two of those were decisions, showing that she’s also head-and-shoulders above the rest in her division. Kyra has yet to compete in MMA, but when she does, she’ll set the WMMA world on fire. Nevertheless, the smart money is still on Ronda, as her highly-organized vehicle for development was international, not merely national, in scope. In any case, that’s when things get interesting. Those three represent the cream of the crop as far as women’s combat sports is concerned, and until they meet one another, the outcomes of their fights will be predictable.

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