Gabe Molnar's MMA blog on the sport and everything (loosely) related to it from a unique prospective with raw edges and funny angles. I know, blogging could be a silly form of expression and it's weird that it's uninterrupted by others, which is also the beauty of it. Hope you like what you read and if not, that is perfectly OK with me. Enjoy the ride if you have an MMA sec.
Jack Slack did a fantastic job writing this great piece for FIGHTLAND (praise! ) so after my mumbles read that, it's golden!
Amongst many other great things that happened this past weekend at UFC 173, TJ destroyed the Champ Barao, and I mean finished him and a lot of people were upset he was even in the conversation. Everything else happened snaked to the bottom of the ocean for a while, the main event was the main event for the ages, like no other main event before, Joe Rogan called it the finest performance in the in the octagon, as good as Aldo or Jones! So shall we (JOck did a much better job than I ever will so, I won't even try…OK maybe one day I will get there):
UFC 171 was one of the latest Ufc and MMA card as of late, one of the most entertaining and one of the most enjoyable for sure. As always I picked a guy (or two) that kind of ran under the radar once again. I was most impressed by 2 guys, one of them is Dennis Bermudez and the other one was Myles Jury. Sure Myles was expected to win over The Dream/ ex-Nightmare, but he picked him apart with speed and technique and I thought he did a much better job than Melendez, even though Melendez' pout was that he is willing to stand with Diego Sanchez and still get the W. In my opinion, that could have gone either way or at least was sort of close. Myles put on a beating, and forget the two fights next to each other, watch earlier Myles Jury fights! The guy just got like 30% better or something. Not sure what happened but he looked much more technical, more confident, a lot more stronger and faster than before and it showed. He made it look easy to whoop Diego's butt even with the alleged food poisoning.
Dennis Bermudez (91% takedown defense) on the other hand just got his 6th win in a row and never even been on A main card/main event. The Guy just derailed Jimy Hettes from becoming one of the most amazing prodigy. Great job on making such a talented guy look bad. I think He way passed his prelims fights and it's about time to get him a top 10 guy. As a matter of fact both guys got a level up. Myles is on a 5 fight winning streak in the UFC, Dennis on a 6 fight streak himself within the UFC. Both guys were part of the Ultimate Fighter reality mma show.
Time to recognize! (Thank you for the photos UFC)
Of course many other amazing fights happened and Johnny Hendricks is the new 170lb Champ! Congrats! That was of course covered in all the mma media possible. I like to pay attention to the guys still somewhat in the shadow. It's time to shine some bright light on these hungry and ambitious fighters.
Matt Mitrione, what a stud! What an athlete! This guy left football to get hurt for less money.
Always an oddball, always have something to say, always a smirk on his face. He mixes up his facial hair too. I personally love when he grows out a mustache (same with Gabe Gonzaga!) …or when he rocks a Pink Floyd t-shirt. Why? Because he chooses to. Because this Cat seems like a kuku, a weirdo to some, but maaan I am telling you, he has it all! I love guys you can't shove in a category, like him or Roy Nelson, Pat Berry comes at you from weird angles too, not to mention the quiet Gunner Nelson (I promise you it's not the Nelson last name - otherwise we'd never had those famous songs to remember from the group Nelson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_(band), not to mention the Diaz Bros and Co. This is not an accident. These guys have something missing perhaps…and this is when I - and many of you - can relate. They guys that look like they barely can keep it together, trouble with the message they project sometimes, communications, privet stuff…could be anything. However! These guys are so insanely talented, defeating the odds from time to time, carry so much talent, it would break most people's back if they have to carry the weigh of excellence. What I'm trying to mumble here is: these guys might have a wheel missing in 'civilian life' but they make it up with a tremendous performance in the arenas - when everything clicks. And when I say they good, they are so good, you won't believe sometimes it doesn't even make sense. How can Meathead move like a lightweight? How come no one can finish Big Country? Or keep up with the pace and boxing with the Diaz brothers? Can it be that these guys just not have it one day, work on it and it just works? Could be. Probably. I guess… then you know it takes such insane work and dedication, besides I think they all have something that you can never learn or teach. Talent and heart.
Matt Mitrione put a big fat, fucking smile on my face one more time, winning on this previous weekend on the Ufc Fight Pass card against the super strong and dangerous (also ex football player) Shawn Jordan who put Pat Berry away like a Christmas decoration after the Holidays. Gone!
Mitrione seemed like he was gonna go out on his shield or secure a victory - which he did - going forward, meeting Jordan in the middle of the octagon, and just went: Ready? Set! Go!
Throwing haymakers that eventually paid off close to the end of the first round. He was fast and moved even faster and better then before if it's possible. He didn't have anything silly to say, just that he didn't follow much instructions from his corner, had a great camp and about the unfortunate loss of his teammate's Guerra's tragedy http://www.gofundme.com/733vg4 Again, just proves he can be solid as fuck.
He seemed mature, pretty together, well conditioned and in a great spirit. Most importantly you would not think he just went to China, and sort of executed his opponent in a brutal and dangerous fashion.
Matt's back was against a cage "outside/inside of the Octagon" before his fight and I was so glad to see one of my favorite fighter back in the Win column. Well deserved and if he played it off that well, that nothing was depending on it, I won't mention in details either.
Some of the guys mentioned here might disagree or call me an amateur idiot (which I AM), and even though I a huge fan of these guys, the only thing it matters to me is to write about what I pick up on, and write about honestly, even if it's not that nice, and not so much what others would want to hear. I have no credibility, it's more like honest bullshit:) I'm a fan and I respect these guys more than anything!
Congrats to Matt and can't wait to see him fight again!
Also well deserved "Performance of the Night" bonus!!!
UFC 173: Lyoto Machida faces Chris Weidman after Vitor Belfort withdraws!
Nevada Athletic Commission (came as something we have been anticipating to happen for a while so perhaps little less) surprising ban of testosterone replacement therapy in combat sports came as an early birthday present to some or at the very least it's something a few fighters were waiting for, at the 185lb division: Vitor Belfort is out, the long considered poster child of the (controversial) TRT movement, has been replaced by Lyoto Machida at UFC 173 Probably we will hear a lot more io the issue, more guys will make changes and adjustments, as this will force to transform the landscape of the sport in general, who and how will stay, pull out, train. Teams, matches, weight classes will shift, and even more eye rolling will come along as this change start to sink in.
Patrick Cummings got up a day before yesterday morning, put on his clothes and started his day.
He went to work at the local coffee shop when he had a very urgent phone call, that he has to make a decision, and that this is his most important decision of his life. -Do you want to fight for the N01 Contender spot on one of the biggest UFC card of the year against Daniel Cormier? The Light Heavyweight match is on Feb 22, this next Saturday, Yes it's UFC 170, the Rousey vs McMann card!
He lost his job due to taking this phone call during a work shift, but he got a the fight and the UFC signed him right away. This story is come to show once more that dreams do come through if you want it bad enough and as the old jedi master (Obi-Wan) said: In my experience, there's no such thing as luck.
The whole story besides everywhere, can be found at the Bleacher Report.
…Allegedly he knew about it, tweeted and wanted it, probably not thinking that he can really get it, but man, you wake up a sleeping lion and there is no turning back. Fight week, media, ready, go! …Let's just say Cormier wasn't too excited to see his old training partner was brought in, but at least he will fight. Will see how the cards will be dealt to Rashad Evans who had to pull out of this fight and unintentionally caused all this trouble.
I was gonna have a short article on how I don't actually want to cover anything topical because in this day and age, there are so many amazing coverage on mma in general, and the dear folks do it much better then I ever would. When I first started to work on the idea, I tried to put together all the power points, the 'why and how' - it was fun: How I can just write on interesting stuff, so eventually when people go through your regular mms news, you can found the weird yet still a little interesting addition just to make your 'mma news belly' happy. Then a Patrick Cumming comes along with his American Dream story and everything goes right out the window. So I guess you truly really never know with this MMA thing. Welcome to the unpredictable. I've learned my lesson and won't try to box myself into a small place, when I can really limit myself and even though I will try to keep the unique angle - but man- this story needed to be told.
Christian Cyrus Leben is officially retired from MMA.
Tim Kennedy, Patrick Cote, Michael Chiesa, Evan Dunham, John Maguire, Joey Beltran all expressed they emotions on Twitter about Leben leaving the sport after his loss compiling a record of 12-10 in 22 appearances for the UFC organization as one of the most feared fighter in the Middleweight division. He ran into a four fight loosing streak, but he was kept around for a reason. Leben was in the original cast member in THE Ultimate fighter series with all the names that "made" the UFC explode into the superb phenomenon that it is today.
Chris was/is one of the favorite for many, including my wife who watched him being a sensitive young kid into a not so much technical fighter, rather one of the most feared one, the relentless one who never stops coming forward. We all remember Joe Rogan's comment on the big head/great punch taking abilities theory that some of you might find insulting, but more so this might be just one of the main key for his amazing fights. Chis was more dangerous while hurt towards to the end of the round.
He fought Anderson Silva pretty early on and he KO-d the other Silva: Wanderlei among many others, TUF, and many other accomplishments on his records. The Guy has nothing to prove. If I have to put only one world to describe him it should be relentless.
Thank You so much Chris, and I really hope that we will see you back as a coach or trainer, even hall-of-famer if that whole TUF crew is going there one day. I loved witnessing your journey, listening your stories (from you and from others). Your heart kept you in our heart. You made a lot of us a fan of MMA, TUF and the UFC.
The WAR PAINT, nails, hair, the style. All gone. Amazing inspiration. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Well, this article might be as unrelated as it comes, however this is one subject keeps me up at night.
Sounds like a spacey idea, but so often I wonder what would certain mma fighters be like if they were born just a little bit ago. When nations and tribes fought just about all the time. Would these guys with a thus to rule, unmatched power and skill rise to the occasion as they do in the sport and become a leader naturally in their own army? Yes, I'm damn serious and I'm talking about one of my favorite times, the medieval dark ages (mainly).
Just think of the fighters background/ethnicity/race and I'm sure if you let your imagination fly, you WILL get your entreatment and enjoyment out of this.
Think of shinny armors, leather and iron. Blood and dirt, sweat and tears,
Imagine Cain Velasquez as a Mexican ruler, who is not too worried about blood and violence when it comes to taking care of business as you saw it in the octagon many times before. His side is his vicious right hand man Gilbert Melendez on the black horse, on his left Diego Sanchez like a ferocious wild dog marching along the side and couldn't wait to get to the battle, and being unleashed.
From other parts of the world more fighters are coming to the big events (essentially I'm thinking title fights in big arenas) Game of Thrones styles, but so many obstacles to overcome before they get there (the road to the belt). Fighting your local circuit will bring the best guys up on top surrounded with a great team.
Imagine Alexander Gustafsson with his blond and bloodied beard and helmet marching down from the Norwegian land as a Viking warrior with Gunner Nelson (from Iceland) on his side. They meet up with the Island rebels such as Conor Mcgregor (Ireland) who is annoyed by the Brit and Roman Legion's veterans Alessio Sakara (Italy) and Bisping (UK) the Count! Once they figure out how to keep the union between them, so they can bring more names and titles home after the yearly invasions.
The East has it's solders too and in the far far the left, the Last emperor Fedor (Russia) sits on his Byzantine Throne. Even though people say his is too old and not relevant, we know that even western world's most powerful women warriors such as Ronda (US WestCoast) would have his 57 sons and daughters and his is literally considered the undisputed best ruler ever, The Last Emperor.
Hold on for a sec! The Canadian land mass produces perfect athletes like GSP with Rory on the side and I can hear the chants of Brazil carrying Anderson Silva on his shield covered with gold, but that means nothing if the battle is lost.
And who would forget a fear spreading Haka dance with Browne and Hunt so just throw something at the direction of Maori, Kiwi, Samoan Islands and their distant relatives, the Hawaiian King named BJ Penn and his lengthy weapon Kendall Grove. The Fight Teams/Camps could be just smaller individual cavalries, I mean stop pretending when in many organizations the "walk out" is not something like a small fighting group just arrived to kick some ass with they glorious entrance.
Nova Uniao Could one of the most aggressive one, they attack like Hyenas and will pick you apart, others rely on the great strategists like Winkeljohn/Jackson's behind Jones and the rest. The Invicta women helps to get the Amazons some recognition and you don't want to mess with them, they Can fight like men, no problem.
One day I will use all my photoshop skills to give you a visual idea as well.
Don't get too hang up on my clumsiness and the lack of other nations and fighters, perhaps I mix things up too. Just enjoy the ride and never stop dreaming!
More Wars are coming soon!
WOW! This is obviously something thats need to be mentioned, regardless of my schedule.
I mean Holy crap!
The guy is one of the great ones: An innovator, a record breaker, an idol to many. Waits on the sideline for about 2 years, heals up, finally gets the fight to make sure everybody remembers how and why he got that belt. Than another injury happens, nothing and nobody will wait any longer including his status, rank, job, belt, so he vacates belt, and that's it.
Sometimes we don't know why things happen, but here is a weird pattern to watch about Champs in the near past:
-Jones (Light Heavyweight champ) breaks toe, gets insane high level competition, very close fight with Alexander Gustafsson (underdog).
-GSP (now ex-Welterweight champ) struggles with motivation in the last few fights, basically leaves scene, looses belt.
-Anderson Silva (now ex-Middleweight champ) gets finished twice in a year by the same guy (crazy underdog) Chris Weidman and breaks an insane way, looses belt.
-And now Dominic (now ex-Bantamweight champ) looses belt...
We are living the unapologetic times of mayor upsets and it's time to wake the fuck up! Everybody has an expiration date and in these days Champions are being tested by (BIG) time, by fighters growing up on MMA/UFC and times are tough my friends! This is heartbreaking and harvests amazing drama and close competition. At the end of the day, the fans Win! As unfortunate this happened to @theDomin8r, we finally got to say our praises about him. We can now look back and now acknowledge and embrace his speed, angles, style, that his footwork changed the game so much, that even heavyweights started doing it. ( while people were debating if his weight class should or shouldn't exist!) Think about that!
Thanks Dominic! I wish you the best and hope to see you back! Still contributing, teaching, analyzing, and yes even fighting too if you are ready. -G. Molnar
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
This post had no research behind it at all. Only, I think this is not something you can really research, it's a lot more like based on your 'gut feeling thing.
Yes, I'm talking about the fighters/things to watch in 2014. What I think this really cover is what impressed you/me the most in 2013, what moved my imagination, who do you see more than probably to succeed, who looked promising and impressive...rememberable - is not a bad world for it either.
So here is my list.
The Number one person that can potentially reach the sky and win even more people over to his side this year is, yes it's a male Featherweight fighter named Conor McGregor straight outta Ireland. The mainly striker fighter is the owner of 10 first round finishes and is on a 10 fight winning streak.
This 'GQ fly cat' sounds like a guy don't know how to pull back with the confidence, he just can not silence the voice inside his head: nobody can fuck with me ~ In all honesty: I actually think it's discipline more than anything. You just can not be this loose with those kicks of his and not to work insanely hard. That takes dedication. I say to be that loose physically in the Octagon, takes hardcore intensity in the mind and in the gym. I believe it needs balance, I think the two comes together. Ideally we all do:)
How about his fighting, besides being very entertaining?
Fast, flashy, precise, stylish, for me seems like ton of karate,, ton of kicks, great boxing, great on the ground, amazing footwork. All this with the the menace borrowed from the Stockton and Co. aka the Diaz brothers. Talking to the opponent, never a big issue either.
Other fascinating thing about him: close friend and training parter with Gunnar Nelson.
Which takes me to the second guy on the list. The number 2 guy to watch in 2014 is Gunni, who is from Iceland, therefore cool as fuck to begin with. I'm sorry, how many Icelandic, more authentic guy you know who is also an amazing fighter. Both guys are unorthodox, Gunner - a dangerous Welterweight - probably even more so. I would consider him a ground fighter - I am considering him:) . Not sure, if I can pull a parallel between his demeanor and approach to fighting, but he is WAY too calm, and as far as what I got out of his fighting style: Unique, powerful, loves the ground fight, and minimal - meaning he does what it needs to be done not less, not more. I say both guys are easily top 10 or will be this year for sure. Both are 25 years old, both takes risks, loves to fight and very good at them. Another reason, I have never heard of them before last year, but as the year progresses, we all learned their name and all I was hearing is the mentions of their name among others, but these too just stood out for me.
Fighters to watch in 2014: Conor McGregor (25yr, 14 - 2) Featherweight Gunnar Nelson (25yr, 10 - 0 - 1) Welterweight
Also need to mention this guy, who I think might have stole the show in 2013 is Alexander Gustafsson (26yr, 15 - 2 - 0) LightHeavyweight. He deserves his own separate article dedicated only to him. Now I know what am I going to do, later tonight/this week.