Pros Pick: Coleman vs. Shogun II
Coleman and Rua are set to square off again this Saturday at UFC 93. Sherdog.com contacted dozens upon dozens of pros for their thoughts on the rematch, but not many were brave enough to put their reputations on the line:
PETE SELL VS MATT BROWN AT UFC 96
In what could be a sleeper nominee for Fight of the Night, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed with sources close to Pete “Drago” Sell that he will be making his Ultimate Fighting Championship return on March 7 against Matt Brown at UFC 96 in Columbus, Ohio.
Denis Kang’s best day may still not be enough against Alan Belcher
“If I could fight the guys in the UFC in a Muay Thai fight, I think I would destroy them, it wouldn’t even be close. I wouldn’t have to hold back. But you’ve got to worry about the takedowns and stuff like that…I’m getting to the point where it’s hard for anybody to take me down. I mean [Kang’s] going to have to work really hard. If he’s on his best day, his best performance, it’s still going to be hard for him to take me down at all and then if he does then I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve for him. You never know, I’m might slap a triangle or something on him.”
Hendo Anticipates Technical Battle At UFC 93
Eleven years into a fighting career, Dan Henderson takes improvement in bits and pieces.
“It’s just a matter of who’s in front of me and what my game plan is, and that’s kind of the things I focus on for those few months,” Henderson tells MMAWeekly.com. “There’s so many things in MMA that need improving that it’s hard to get to everything at once, so I think it’s good to take one fight by one fight and improve on certain skills.”
His impending battle with Rich Franklin at UFC 93 has been a fan dream ever since the two were champions in rival organizations. No title is at stake, however, and both fighters have options at middleweight or light heavyweight. It’s just another tough fight on a road the 38-year-old former Olympian sees himself walking for another two years, give or take.
UFC Quick Quote: Michael Bisping would prefer to fight Dan Henderson
“For me personally I’d prefer Dan Henderson to win. Number one because it would be great to fight such a true legend. And number two, simply because Franklin is a southpaw, and southpaws are a bit of a pain in the backside. Chris Leben, my last opponent, was a southpaw and it changes everything — you have to change your footwork, it mixes everything up. When you’re not used to the fighter it makes it quite difficult. It didn’t really bother me last time for the fight, it was the training that was a pain in the arse. It adds an a extra hassle, an extra different dimension you have to take care of.”
Anderson Silva Interview
Anderson trains strongly to face Thales Leites, and spoke with TATAME.com about the preparation, “Minotauro” Nogueira and Wanderlei Silva’s loss in UFC 92 and much more.
Thiago Alves eager for next challenge
.“It will be a tough fight and I will be there watching in the first chairs. Taking into account the fact that the fight will be disputed in 25 minutes, I believe that St. Pierre has more chances, because he is a better athlete, but, technically speaking, I believe that BJ Penn is more complete because he is best on foot, is better on the floor, only in wrestling I believe that the GSP is better, but if BJ will come in great shape I think he has more chances" bet the Brazilian.
"Agreement" or not, Chris Lytle willing to adapt style to win
The first bout of any mixed martial arts broadcast can easily set the tone for the remainder of the evening.
While that can be a risky proposition for many combatants, it's safe to assume Saturday's "UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson" will be off to a quick start when Chris Lytle meets Marcus Davis.
And while the two have a well-documented "gentleman's agreement" to keep the fight standing, Lytle says he'll do whatever it takes to win.
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Ask the Doc: Dr. Benjamin on MMA, concussions and mental illness
In the wake up the recent deaths of MMA fighters Evan Tanner, Justin Levens and Justin Eilers, many fans are struggling to find a correlation.
While there may be none, some people, including researcher Chris Nowinski, see combat sports (and concussions) going hand-in-hand with depression and mental illness in later life.
In his latest “Ask the Doc” column, combat-sports specialist Dr. Johnny Benjamin discusses the topic, specifically as it relates to MMA, and why there’s so little relevant information available on it. He also gives two reasons why there’s so much controversy about trying to connect the two.
Q. Dave Meltzer recently wrote an article discussing three unrelated deaths of former UFC fighters; two of the fallen fighters were known to suffer from depression. Metzler notes Chris Nowinski’s studies correlating boxing to mental illness later in life. Many fans and fighters feel MMA is safer than boxing. MMA fighters are more likely to suffer a few concussive blows (i.e. knockouts) as opposed to a myriad of “padded” shots as in boxing. Many fights end without any substantial head shots. Is it fair to assume the same long-term consequences in MMA? Steve in Los Angeles
A. Steve, you are asking the million-dollar question.
Also, my hat is off to Dave Meltzer for even attempting to intelligently discuss this difficult subject. This and apparently many other topics are difficult for the MMA faithful to discuss reasonably without deteriorating into emotional outbursts, personal attacks and worse. Good articles are written to make intelligent readers think not to defame anyone or anything.
Do repeated blows to the head make MMA participants more likely to suffer with depression or other forms of mental illness later in life? It’s a great question and one that needs to be investigated and researched now rather than adopting a wait-and-see approach.
The current form of MMA is relatively early in its life cycle. We are talking less than 20 years. As major sports go, MMA is still in its infancy. Therefore, I would assume nothing with respect to the potential long-term health consequences. But as you’ve implied, I would learn a few things from the collective experience of other, more mature (older) contact and combat sports. It is also prudent to be proactive when it comes to fighter safety, since it is very difficult, if not impossible, to fully restore competitors’ mental health once it has traumatically been taken from them.
Retrospective (looking back after the deed is done) studies of professional athletes involved in boxing, football, soccer, hockey and rugby seem to suggest a link between repetitive blows to the head, concussions (MTBI, which is minor traumatic brain injury) and depression or dementia. This is a very controversial statement for at least two major reasons.
First, it is very difficult to prove a direct causal relationship. Did the accumulation of blows to the head directly cause permanent brain injury that led to depression or dementia? Or are the athletes that participate in these sports on the professional level more prone to depression to begin with? Do their inherent, aggressive, possibly somewhat antisocial personality traits allow them to achieve in these sports at a high level? Simply put, they may be a little crazy or unstable to begin with. That’s why they do so well in these contact and combat sports. (Absolutely no disrespect is intended to those that suffer with mental illness.)
Second, the powers that govern these major sports fear the cost associated with acknowledging a relationship between participation in these sports and subsequent dementia and/or depression. Simply put, if the sport caused it, somebody is going to have to pay for it. Forget lawsuits and punitive damages (which will most certainly come); just the cost of long-term care would be staggering. No one is prepared to pay that without a serious fight.
Professional MMA fighters should assume nothing and be prepared for everything. When your favorite fighters’ careers are over and no one is any longer screaming their names, paying them sponsorship fees and buying their pay-per-view appearances, who is going to pay their medical expenses and provide assistance to their often forgotten caregivers? Your heroes have families too.
Again, Steve, it’s a great question but not one anyone can answer definitively at this time.
Dr. Johnny Benjamin is MMAjunkie.com’s medical columnist and consultant and a noted combat-sports specialist. He was also recently appointed to the ABC’s medical advisory team and will help review and refine the unified rules of MMA. Dr. Benjamin writes an “Ask the Doc” column every two weeks for MMAjunkie.com. To submit a question for a future column, email him at askthedoc [AT] mmajunkie.com, or share your questions and thoughts in the comments section below. You can find Dr. Benjamin online at www.drjohnnybenjamin.com, and you can read his other sports-related articles at blog.drjohnnybenjamin.com.
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