|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
Tonight at UFC 126, Jon "Bones" Jones took the fight to Ryan Bader. Both men were seen as huge prospects for UFC's 205lbs division, and after a slick guillotine choke from the top, Ryan Bader moves down the ladder a bit and Jon Jones moves up. Jones demonstrated some superb ground work against Bader and was able to use his reach advantage to keep Bader at bay.
Jones' stand up still leaves a lot to be desired, with his stance, movement and lack of set-ups. All of the big strikes he threw had a lot of power behind them and looked right on target, but not as many connected as could have if he actually set the strikes up. This includes a left high kick, a few big hooks and a Remy Bonjasky-style flying kick.
So what is the point of all of this? In what was a WWE or even Oprah moment for UFC, Joe Rogan came into the cage to tell Jon Jones that Rashad Evans was injured and at UFC 128 the UFC would like Jon Jones to step in for him and challenge Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. It is a huge step up in competition for Jon Jones, and honestly the fight of his life. Shogun's striking, while a bit on the brawling side due to the Chute Boxing style of Muay Thai, is still technically sound and does lots of damage.
Jones has a reach advantage over Rua, but that wouldn't be the first time he has given up reach, and it also isn't the first time he has gone into the fight without a giant hype train behind him. When he challenged Lyoto Machida, Machida had endless momentum and it turns out wasn't prepared for Muay Thai, and now Jon Jones is in the same position. Jones is most definitely a great prospect, but there are serious holes in his stand up that Ryan Bader was able to exploit tonight and not enough time to fix them before the fight.Add a comment
Yesterday we took a look at Anderson Silva as part 1 of our LiverKick.com take on Saturday’s big UFC 126 showdown between Silva and Vitor Belfort. If you missed it, be sure to read that article here for a look at Silva’s Muay Thai and Pro Boxing careers. Today, part 2 as we examine the boxing career of Saturday’s challenger: “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort.
Belfort’s career as a boxer has many similarities to Silva’s. Belfort has just one pro boxing bout to his name, and like Silva, Belfort’s opponent was another one and done fighter. But while Silva tried his hand at boxing just before hitting his MMA peak, Vitor’s boxing debut came at a very different point on his career trajectory.
Belfort made his boxing debut in April 2006, and while it was a small show in Brazil, there were many eyes on the fight. Because Vitor Belfort was only a year removed from his 2nd UFC run and the classic series of fights with Chuck Liddell, Marvin Eastman, Randy Couture, and Tito Ortiz. In the time since leaving the UFC, he had taken two fights (including his first encounter with Alistair Overeem); he had also spoken openly about his plans to compete as a boxer.
The idea of Vitor Belfort as a boxer makes a lot of sense. Despite talk of his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu pedigree, Vitor is and always has been a largely one dimensional MMA fighter, using his hand speed and power throughout his career (Belfort did try out a new wrestling based style in Pride, which was successful, though incredibly boring). And so fans were interested in what kind of skills Belfort the boxer would bring to the table when he met Josemario Neves.
As it turns out, Vitor Belfort the boxer is not much different from Vitor Belfort the MMA fighter, which in all honesty is not a bad thing. Belfort’s strength has always been his boxing, so for him to focus on those skills and really keep his game tuned to this strength is a smart move. And here we do see some nice examples of Belfort tightening up his technique. One quick exchange I like comes when Neves tries to trap Belfort against the ropes. Once he has Vitor pushed back, Neves goes for a punch, but Belfort ducks the punch and steps out to the side, escaping the punch and the bad positioning in one fluid motion.
This fight really displays Vitor’s greatest strength – the killer instinct and knowledge of when to finish a fight. Belfort is one of the best at this in the history of MMA – once he tags you, he simply unloads until you are done. If you watch Vitor’s left hand here you can see when he decides to switch gears and end the fight. For the majority of the fight, he keeps that left hand high and close to his chin in a very strong defensive position, ready to block any incoming punches. Once he hurts Neves just before the first knockdown, he gives up that defense in favor of landing as many heavy shots as he can as quickly as he can. In some ways it’s a gamble – leaving yourself open to go for the kill can get you hit – but Belfort knows when to time it so that he stays safe. It’s telling that Belfort has used that flurry to KO numerous opponents, but never once has an opponent landed a counter strike to drop Belfort during these rapid fire attacks.
One other interesting aspect from this fight is that, because this is boxing and not MMA, Vitor needs to do more than just overwhelm his opponent once suddenly – he needs to hurt him enough to keep him down or continue the assault after his opponent has time to recover. Here, Vitor’s power is not enough to keep Neves down for a 10 count, but it is enough that after the first knockdown, the fight is essentially over. The moment they begin to exchange again after that initial knockdown, it’s clear that Neves has nothing left to offer. Vitor swarms him again, then once more for the 3 knockdown victory.
When he faces Anderson Silva tomorrow night, all it will take is one opening for Vitor to launch that rapid fire attack, overwhelm Silva once, and again become UFC champion (though hopefully this time it will be a bit more legitimate). What’s tricky for Belfort is that, while no man has yet countered that quick attack, if there’s any man to do it, it’s Silva. Will Silva give Belfort the opening he needs? And if he does, will the sublime striking we know Silva is capable of be able to save him? We’ll know soon enough.Add a comment
We at LiverKick.com have been working with the top Dutch kickboxing promotion, It's Showtime to find a way to hook up their American fans who read LiverKick.com religiously, and after receiving the massive package from It's Showtime today, I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with what we have to offer you.
In a world of uncertainty with K-1, It's Showtime has gone above and beyond to pick up the slack and has a ton of shows scheduled for 2011, with more to come! The first show is on March 6th and is shaping up to be incredible. How good is it? The main event is Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita, with Andy Souwer vs. L'houcine Ouzgni, Artur Kyshenko vs. Gago Drago and a lot more.
If you somehow aren't familiar with It's Showtime, read around our site or visit ItsShowtime.nl, and you'll see what all the hype is about. It's Showtime actually manages some of the greatest fighters in the game today, from Badr Hari, Hesdy Gerges, Giorgio Petrosyan, Gago Drago, Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Tyrone Spong to Mosab Amrani and more. All of these fighters, plus the likes of Melvin Manhoef, Sem Schilt, Peter Aerts, Yoshihiro Sato and more have competed for them and will continue to compete for them. To say It's Showtime is the real deal isn't even being fair, they are the future of kickboxing.
So we decided to work with It's Showtime to help celebrate the opening of their new webshop, http://itsshowtimeshop.com/en/. Yes, it is in English and yes, they'll probably ship to you without a second thought (as long as you pay them). So if somehow you don't walk away from this contest with some sweet It's Showtime stuff, it'll be alright, you can always help support their new web store and purchase some awesome stuff.
Now, I'm sure you are wondering how the hell you can win some of this awesome It's Showtime gear, right? Well, it is simple. Sign up for an account at LiverKick.com (top left corner, "create account") and confirm your email address when we send you an automated email. Then in the comments section of this post, tell us why you deserve some free It's Showtime gear from LiverKick.com and It's Showtime! Go crazy, be creative, tell us exactly why we should pick you. Tell us your favorite It's Showtime memory, your favorite event, what fight you are looking forward to, draw us a picture of Badr Hari's back hair patch, take a photograph of your child spinkicking your dog. Anything! Just make a good argument for yourself and we'll hook you up.
You have until Monday, February 7th to post a comment and tell us why we should pick you. So now, what exactly are the prizes? I'm glad you asked. Read after the break.
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Sometimes being Marvelous means people will get confused when they talk about you, apparently that is what is going on with "Marvelous" Melvin Manhoef. Earlier today, MMAJunkie broke some news that Melvin Manhoef will be fighting for Strikeforce on March 5th against Tim Kennedy. Tim was originally slated to fight Luke Rockhold, but that fell through.
Ever the vigilant fight fan, Bloodstain Lane (yes, Bloodstain Lane) so artfully told everyone on Twitter that Melvin Manhoef was not fighting Tim Kennedy, that it was faulty information. Manhoef was going to be fighting on that card, but that is not his opponent. So, now this evening, Manhoef himself cleared the air about his upcoming fight: Melvin Manhoef will be facing Luke Rockhold at Strikeforce: Columbus.
We'll have to wait to see what the official word from Strikeforce is, as well as what will become of Tim Kennedy, but Melvin Manhoef fighting again in the US means that we can expect fireworks for sure. With only one armbar win to his credit, Rockhold does not seem to pose a threat to Manhoef's kryptonite of sorts, but Rockhold is a strong wrestler with an impressive four rear naked choke victories. He has never faced a striker as dynamic, powerful and skilled as Melvin, so he should look out.
Manhoef's career has spanned K-1, It's Showtime, DREAM, HERO*s, Cage Rage and more. Manhoef has knocked opponents out all over the world, 27 times in kickboxing competition, 23 times in MMA competition. Rockhold is in for the fight of his life.
UPDATE: Melvin Manhoef was armbarred by the internet, it seems, as he just moments ago announced on his Twitter that Luke is injured and that he'll be fighting Tim Kennedy. The news, it just comes slower in the Netherlands, alright?Add a comment
We've had a lot of rumors lately about Strikeforce moving over to promote a show in Japan, with an arbitrary date tossed around of April 9th. It turns out, from sources close to Real Entertainment who spoke with our good friend and former contributor Mike Hackler of MMA-Japan.com, that the show will be April 10th in Japan during the afternoon.
What this means is that the show will take place in the mid-afternoon in Japan on April 10th so that it can air live in the United States on Showtime. This has been one of the main criticisms that I've seen towards the Strikeforce in Japan show; that it probably would be airing on tape delay in the United States and as most fans are antsy to get the latest news, the event would be spoiled and viewers would not tune in to watch the event. This has been an ongoing issue for UFC when they have international cards and do not adjust the show to be live in the US.
I feel as if a lot of people are not giving Scott Coker the proper credit here, as he has a handle on promoting cards internationally and what needs to be done to make it all work out for everyone. The event will host a few fights from the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, most likely Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum as well as Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers. M-1 might also be thrown into the mix, as Fedor Emelianenko is rumored for the card, making it a co-promotion between Real Entertainment, Strikeforce, Showtime and M-1 Global.
There should also be a few Lightweight bouts in place, possibly from the rumored Real Entertainment and Strikeforce Lightweight GP we mentioned previously. There are lots of names of top Japanese Lightweights being thrown around, including Tatsuya Kawajiri and Shinya Aoki, considered two of Japan's top Lightweights. But for now, we'll wait and see, as with anything in Japan, things can change in a heartbeat. [source]Add a comment