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Up coming bouts. My thoughts.

Posted 10-14-2009 at 11:02 AM by The Don
There are several fights of note coming up I want to give my thoughts on.

Strikeforce / M-1 Global - Saturday Nov. 7th

The first fight i want to talk about is is Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi (26-2-1) vs. Rameau Thierry "The African Assassin" Sokoudjou (7-4). Now Sokoudjou is an underdog in this fight even though 6 of his 7 wins are by T/KO, all in the first round, and his losses one being to the current UFC LHW champ Lyoto Machida. Still makes him an underdog. Gegard, who is a training partner of Fedor, is on a fairly impressive 13 win streak. his last loss being to none other then Akihiro Gono to end his previous 8 straight win streak. His wins coming by a mixtures of Submisisons, KO's and TKO's having only failed to finish 5 opponets including his 2 losses and one draw. While it is obvious Rameau has some power and can finish a fight with a KO. I do not think his arsenal of weapons is as deep as that of Gegard.

My Prediction - Gegard Rd 2 T/KO.

Next comes JAKE SHIELDS (23-4-1) vs. JASON "MAYHEM" MILLER (22-6). Now I will be honest here I am a bit biased towards sheilds. I been a fan of his for awhile now. Plus my BJJ instructor is a good friend of Jakes and has trained alot with him. Now both of these guys have some Ultra slick Jiu Jitsu both holding many titles in various Jiu jitsu competitions. Jake has been very impressive as of late with miller more known for his hosting role on MTV's Bully Beatdown. Jake is on a 12 straight win streak, his last 7 wins were by submisison 6 of those in the first round, most notablely being Robbie lawler, who jake being a LW fighter moved up to middle weight for the challenge. Which is where this fight with miller will be for the recently vacated Strikeforce title. (The title was recently Vacated by Cung Lee who is currently persuing an acting carear, and hopes to return to fighting in the future). I think the deciding factor in the fight might be the underrated stand up skills of Jake Shields. if it goes to the ground I think it could be anybodys contest. Miller just seems to have had a string of bad luck in matches lately. going 1-1-1 in his last 3 though his loss was an incredible match against Ronaldo Souza but his most recent match... a rematch against the same ended in a NC. This has the makings of being a fight for the ages. Neither has had to go 5 rounds in awhile, or rather had an opponent able to push them that far. This could be a possibility. Neither fighter is known for KO power and have 7 TKO's and no KO's between them, but I feel it is stand up that will decide this. Many say Jake looks very stiff in the ring and as I stated many feel his striking is sub par. If miller takes jakes stand up lightly and hopes to keep this standing he might be in for a surprise. FRom a recent interview and reading his facebook posts I know Jake is not taking miller lightly in any aspect of this fight. For the outcome of this fight I am having mixed thoughts. It could be a long drawn out decision and a stand up battle going into the late rounds. But if weither fighter makes a mistake both are capable of picking up a quick win by a slick submission.

My prediction - Shields Rd 3 TKO

Lastly on this card...

FEDOR "THE LAST EMPEROR" EMELIANENKO (30-1*-0 1NC) vs. BRETT "THE GRIM" ROGERS (10-0). Now its rare for a man who is 10-0, 9 of which are KO's or TKO's to be an underdog, but you would have a hard time finding anyone who gives Rogers more then a punchers chance. Fedors last loss was 9 years ago (read early entry about Fedor for futher explination) 6 years before Rogers first Pro fight. Rogers most notable win was over Andrei Arlovski in :22 seconds by TKO who 5 months earlier Fedor defeated by KO in 3:14 of the first round. Both men have punching power. but many who haved stepped into the ring with Fedor claim no one has ever hitten them harder. Fedor has survived many tough situations and over come many opponents who were bigger stonger or supposedly better, with wins over several former UFC champions, including 2 wins over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Now Rogers is not known for having much of a ground game. Where Fedor has out Grappled Grapplers, and out struck, strikers. Fedor is known for his robot like mentality in the ring showing no emotion even when he wins. His sportsmanship is unparralled, but to look into his eyes before a fight looks as if you are looking into teh eyes of your executioner, and I think mentally he has most opponents beaten before the opening bell. Watch the eyes of Hong Man Choi even Tim Sylvia before the opening bell, weather they will admit it or not they have the look of someone who just got locked in a cage with a hungry dragon. Now one thing going for Rogers in this fight is it is Fedors first time in a cage. Many previous Pride fighters who have come over to the UFC and other groups have not always faired well in a cage. Though I do not feel that this will be a big deal for Fedor. I do not think Rogers really brings anything to the table Fedor really has to worry about. He has fought people who hit harder, are better strikers, better grapplers and has weathered them all.

My Prediction - Fedor 1st rd Ko (utter destruction)

UFC 104 Oct 24th

Only one real fight I want to talk about on this card.

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida (15-0) vs . Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-3) for the UFC LHW title. On 2/3/07 Lyoto made his UFC debut and put together a string of what some called un-exciting Unamious Decision wins. He came into the UFC with an 8-0 record with wins over BJ Penn, Rich Franklin and Stephen Bonnar to his resume. He started to put detractors to rest when he submitted Rameau Thierry "The African Assassin" Sokoudjou then picked apart Tito Ortiz in a 3 round battle where only once was Lyoto in any trouble then he KO'ed Thiago Silva and then Rashad Evans to win the title. Rua on the other hand boasts 15 T/KO wins and has a who's who list of wins to Rival Fedor, including several that match Fedor, Big Nog and Kevin Randleman. Rua is known as a game striker who likes to take it to his opponents a style that has so far utterly failed against the likes of Machida. In fact so far no one has been able to figure out the puzzle machida represents. His striking is on par with the best and his ground game is on the same level. he has incredible take down defense. It leaves me wondering what Rua is going to try that no one else has, and is it going to work. being a fan of both fighters it is hard to pick. Rarely do I choose against Rua. I just don't think though he is going to be the one to defeat Lyoto.

My Decision - Machida Rd 2 TKO.

Well these are just some coming up that I wanted to comment on.. there are more to come.

My personal blog can be read [URL=""]here[/URL].

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Why do I train?

Posted 09-29-2009 at 01:46 AM by The Don
It is a simple question and a post by a fellow blogger [URL=""]Onganju[/URL], His post here . [URL=""] [/URL]got me thinking.
Why do "I" really train. now in [URL=""]Onganju[/URL]'s post he breaks down the reasons people train. He lists Inspiration and Aspiration. so I started thinking why do I train.

To put things into contest I just recently turned 32 years old. I have a wife, 3 kids and a full time job. I am the oldest guy in my school. So what is the reason I go back. Most likely at this point in my life the chances of me having a shot at going Pro in MMA while not impossible are more then likely improbable. Becoming a world class BJJ players also the same chances. Yet I find myself in the gym every chance I get.

Now growing up I was always very competitive and in some ways this has pushed me further and harder into my training. When I first started I could barely roll 2 minutes without being gassed.. I weighed in barely south of 300 pounds. When I would play with my kids it was hard to do a lot of physical things. And for me it was frustrating.. I was an above average athlete growing up and could play most sports well. After classes I was sore bruised and could barely roll out of bed most mornings following class. But I was the old guy and I hate losing. So I would drag my but back into class. now the company I work for has a full service gym. I signed up when I first started working and went for like 3 weeks but then just stopped.. and when I got back into BJJ the competitive edge started to kick back in and I been hitting the gym on a regular basis and been training hard.
I look at my kids now that it has been close to a year I have been training and I can actually play with them and not get winded. I am not sore I can get down on the floor and get up again easily. I can roll in class for a solid 5 minutes and take a short 30 second break and go another 5 and I can do this multiple times. I now weigh in about 267 and feel much better. I can actually run 2 and a half miles and not pass out.. heck I can run 2 and a half miles and enjoy it.

I did not really know why I started training but I now know why I keep training. I want to be able to do things with my kids as they grow older. I want to compete and have fun. and I hope before all is said and done I want to look in the mirror and see a black belt around my waist one day and take those skills I have learned and pass them onto others. If you would like to follow me on my journey you can check out my blog at [URL][/URL]
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Fedor and the UFC. My thoughts.

Posted 08-06-2009 at 02:15 PM by The Don
First let me start by saying I am a huge Fedor Emelianenko fan. He is most like the most dominant fighter to date in the history of MMA regardless of Weight class. "The Last Emperor" as he is known is was born September 28, 1976 (let it be known I was born almost exactly 1 year later Sept, 19th 1977) he weighs in approximately 233 pounds and fights as a Heavyweight. His current official record is 30-1* with 1 no contest. The asterisk next to his name is to denote his one loss came in a tournament where he was hit with an illegal elbow and cut. The bleeding was unable to be controlled and therefore he could not continue so the one who hit him was given the win so he could advance. if not for the tournament format the fight would have been declared a no contest as it was very obvious the elbow was not intentional. Almost all MMA rankings have him listed as the #1 heavyweight fighter in the world and many have him as the #1 pound for pound fighter in the world his record and stats can be viewed [URL=""]here[/URL]. Now that you know who this is about let me go into the topic on hand.

Now it is widely accepted and I even agree that at the moment the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC is the current top dog in the MMA world. In almost every weight class they boast at least 5 of the top 10 fighters and in some weight classes even more. The one weight class that seems to be in the biggest contention is the Heavyweight division. And The UFC has some great young and veteran fighters. It is also widely felt that the HW division in MMA in general for the most part is the most talent shallow division.

Back in the Heyday of Pride Fighting Championship Fedor reigned supreme while Randy Couture was pretty much the ruler of the UFC. Just about everyone who was an MMA fan at the time wanted to know who would win. Captain America or the Russian Machine. Sadly in Randy's Prime this match never happened. Now though Pride is long gone. Fedor is currently under contract with M-1 Global who is owned in part by Vadim Finklestein who just also happens to be Fedor's manager (keep this in the back of your mind. As you read this.)

Now several times in the past Dana White the president of the UFC has tried to sign Fedor for instance after the demise of Pride. In the past negotiations have always seemed to break down as neither side seemed willing to make concessions to other. Past negotiations I blame on both parties at the table.

Now let me state some feelings here. Personally I do not think Fedor has any say over what contract he signs as I truly believe his manager/fighter contract with Vadim has him practically a slave. And his only way out would be to defect from Russia which as most MMA fans know is a point of personal pride with Fedor as he loves his country. And keep in mind Russian contract law is most likely very different then US contract law where most athletes can get out of a contract if they feel their management is not acting in their best interests.

Back to the point... as I said, past negotiations have always broken down with both sides Fedor's management and Dana calling each other names and such. The last time this happened Fedor ended up signing with, if you guessed M-1 Global, you would be correct. The contract was for 6 fights, So far Fedor has had 3. 2 of which were under Affliction where he defeated, excuse me, destroyed two former UFC HW champs. After 2 shows. Affliction is back to just clothing and Fedor needs to find a new place to fight.

Well to give credit to Dana White, He seems this time to have listened to the fans and came to Fedors management with an incredible deal, a supposedly 6 fight contract making over a million, some reports say up t 5 million per fight deal which would make him the highest paid fighter in MMA history. A point of contention on the past has been Fedor's participation in Sambo matches in his home country which is really Fedor's true passion, Dana gave in. Dana said Fedor could hang banners about M-1 Global and even wear shorts in the ring that said M-1 on them, let the record show that when Affliction announced it was going to promote MMA events fighters were banned from wearing Affliction clothing or posting Affliction on their ringside banners, re-aired shows had Affliction apparel fuzzed out, So this was a big thing for Dana to give. Every concession that was for Fedor the fighter Dana appears to have made.

Except, you know there had to be one of these things seemed to perfect...

Except to co-promote events which is what Vadim states as the main reason they did not sign the contract. Now some say this was ludicrous for Dana not to agree to co-promote. Why would the UFC not agree to this? well in the early days when MMA was all but outlawed in most states and Dana and the owners were trying to grow, none of the other smaller promotions of the time would help them fight to get the laws and such changed, Because of the efforts of the UFC and Dana White MMA is legal in most states and more are signing on. It cost the UFC a lot of money which they have more then since made back but have made it easier for the promotions that would not help them to survive, most failed to survive anyway. Dana does not feel like helping another promotion succeed because of all his and the UFC's efforts. I partly agree.

In the Fedor issue I feel the UFC went over and above what it should have done to try and sign this superstar even at the risk of upsetting their own current stable of fighters who most of which together would not be getting what Fedor was offered, but as I said Dana tried to create the fights fans have been begging to see. I also feel this gives some credibility to the past rants of Dana white referring to Fedor’s management team as "crazy Russians".

I also feel the UFC does not need Fedor, nor does Fedor need the UFC. The UFC is now a large stable company believed by many fans to be the major leagues of MMA, argument for a future entry. And Fedor has 30 wins having beat every challenger put in front of him including a rematch to his one "loss"

So where does this leave Fedor, I mean obviously the UFC is going to continue as they already have 4 or 5 shows scheduled and the next season of The Ultimate Fighter taping featuring Kimbo Slice, again future posts. Fedor is going to the next largest promotion in the US, Strikeforce. There he has only 3 obvious challengers the most dangerous of whom would be Allister Overeem, who I predict Fedor beating in the first round and becoming the Strikeforce HW champion to add to his Pride title and the WAMMA title, yet another future topic. It is supposedly a 3 fight contract which will end to coincide with the end of his M-1 contract. Does this mean we have to wait 3 more Fedor fights before we have a chance to see Fedor in the UFC?

The answer to that is I do not know. Personally I feel as long as Vadim is his manager Fedor will not get into the UFC. And if I am right about his contract with Vadim this may never happen because I do not believe Fedor would ever leave his home country. So for me... I look forward to the next UFC event this weekend along with the WEC event(its free so that’s the one I will watch) and to Fedor's next fight whenever that is.
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Posted 08-06-2009 at 02:11 PM by The Don
Updated 08-06-2009 at 02:13 PM by The Don
Before I enter my first official blog post here let me just give you some insight to myself.
I'm 32, 6'2" 265, I train in MMA & BJJ, currently a 2 stripe white belt under Greg Smith who is a purple under Royler Grace and David Adiv. He also trains MMA under Jake Shields and has also recently signed a 3 fight deal with Strikeforce.
In the past I have also trained in many other styles and have studied the histories of many more. I have also started my own personal blog in which I talk about my training as well as MMA and combat sports in general. Some of the posts here will be found also in my personal blog. Some will be written for this site only. The opinions and thoughts expressed are mine and mine only. I do not claim to be an expert in any way shape or form, but I hope you will enjoy my thoughts and opinions. So ... Enjoy..

PS. Heck I am not sure if a post script is proper in a blog but oh well.. just as a note.. some of the information that is posted in both my personal blog and here may have some information that will seem redundant but alot of those viewing my personal blog are very new to knowing next to nothing about the MMA world and combat sports some I may go into some long winded explanations.
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