MMA, Lies and Videotape
by Jordan Breen (email@example.com)
In his epic strategy-and-swordsmanship treatise “The Book of Five Rings,” Musashi Miyamoto writes, "You can become a master of strategy by training alone with a sword, so that you can understand the enemy's stratagems, his strength and resources, and come to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies. And you should always watch videotape."
Clearly, Nate Marquardt and Thiago Silva know the martial way.
Although I may have fabricated one of the sentences above, the point remains. No matter how you view MMA -- as pure martial arts, as sport or even as business -- these are all realms where the adage of "know thy enemy" are foundational. Yet, it's only in the very recent past that the concepts of actual strategy and planning have crept into this sport. This is why I am so ecstatic for Marquardt and Silva to have dominated Saturday night. More importantly, it's not that they won but rather how they won.
It took Marquardt just 21 seconds to completely nuke Demian Maia, as he countered an ill-conceived Maia kick with a flush right cross. Instead of tucking his head and keeping his left hand up to protect his chin, Maia's head was rigid and upright, and his left hand aimlessly drifted toward Marquardt's face. The counter was reflexive and instantaneous, because it had already become muscle memory.
"I had watched tape on him and had kind of noticed how he telegraphs when he kicks," Marquardt said at the post-fight presser. "I have a lot of counters for kicks and stuff … . It's crazy how it worked so easily."
It's not that the counter itself was special. It is that Marquardt focused on a specific technical flaw in his opponent, and the instant it appeared, he sent him flying at the canvas forehead-first. Yet for as obvious and effective as this kind of hyper-specific stratagem seems, it is a rarity in this game. Even with major money now at stake, MMA is still a sport where lines like "It's a fight" and "We'll see where it goes" are familiar phraseology.
Just a few months back, Josh Koscheck commented that he never watches his opponents before he fights them and almost seemed to brag that he had no idea what Paulo Thiago looked like. I imagine he might have liked to have at least a gander at some fight tape now. Likewise, talented middleweight Dan Miller admits to not watching his opponents beforehand, but after being completely dominated by a one-dimensional Chael Sonnen for 15 minutes, hopefully he realizes that a bit of time watching tape may have helped him find an opening for a submission against a fighter far less skilled in that department than himself.
Part of the reason these attitudes persist is that MMA is still reliant on crippling generalities. We still discuss the sport in terms of "strikers" and "grapplers" and throw out adjectives like "unorthodox" and "world-class" without much thought to individual skills and technique. However, it isn't 1999 anymore, and fighters have become generally, if not perfectly, well rounded. In 2009, these oversimplifications are lies, as fights are more often won and lost on the very specific and unique wrinkles -- both positive and negative -- in a fighter's game...
Former Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia ready to return to the UFC
Former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia wants to return to the place where he first found major success.
The former two-time title-holder, who left the UFC in early 2008 after mutually agreeing with the organization to terminate his contract, has lost three straight fights, which included an embarrassing nine-second knockout loss to 48-year-old boxer Ray Mercer in June.
UFC Quick Quote: Ben Rothwell hasn’t done nothing … yet
“I embrace the challenge. They offered me the opportunity to be a co-main event against Cain, who’s established himself in the UFC, and I was all for it. I feel like I’ve been paying my dues for a long time, and this is my time…. I’ve been doing this for ten years, and all along, it’s always been about being in the UFC. In ten years, I really feel like I’ve had no accomplishments. It sounds like I’ve done some things, but to me, it’s all been training to come here to the UFC. I know it’s gonna be a great fight because I have a tough opponent like Cain, but I’m gonna show you what you all came to see.”
Demian Maia will train (not complain) following his KO loss to Nate Marquardt
I knew the first loss would come one day because I intend to fight for many years. As a matter of fact, though, it happened in a pretty unexpected manner because I was a little bit casual in the stand-up fight. I repeated two kicks. He got my timing down, and, the third time, he came with a straight punch and knocked me down. At the beginning of the fight, everyone is really strong, and I think the referee was right to stop the fight. I stood up well. I had no damage, and that’s most important … But a punch to the chin, like the one I took at the beginning of the fight, is probably the only defeat you cannot make comments about. I cannot complain about anything. Now, I just have to stand up, train hard and be ready for the next challenge.
Former undefeated submission deity Demian (10-1) gathers himself after a first round knockout loss to middleweight contender Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 on August 29 in Portland. The Brazilian was headed for a possible title shot opposite Anderson Silva until a "Great" knockout punch floored him — and any immediate title opportunities. Fortunately Maia isn’t making any excuses and will use the loss as motivation to come back better than ever.
Time for Leben to go?
The UFC is not a charitable organization. While I'm sure it brings joy to millions of people, the UFC is foremost a business.
But not everyone sees it that way.
A recent article by Cagewriter editor Steve Cofield talks about the recent problems of Chris Leben, saying, "Here's hoping they don't axe him because if he's struggling with some of the demons of the past it might be the worst time ever for UFC to dump him."
Interview With UFC Lightweight Phillipe Nover
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with MMABay and answer a few of our questions:
MMABay - Firstly, you have a big fight coming up in just a few weeks, how’s the preparation going, and how are you feeling in the run up to the fight?
Nover - I feel fantastic. I was notified only 4 weeks out but I'm always in shape and have been training. It is just a matter of tailoring my training for Sam's style. My overall preparation has been almost perfect. Weight is good, no major injuries, lots of team support, and I'm totally focused!
Carwin: Fedor is going to become irrelevant at Strikeforce
UFC heavyweight number one contender, Shane Carwin gave his thoughts on Fedor Emelianenko recently signing with Strikeforce, saying the Russian could have gone down as the greatest of all time but he chose to seek protection, just as he has done in recent years.
When asked about the recent comments made that Strikeforce offers Fedor a better challenge at heavyweight, Carwin scoffed:
Really good article IMO. It shows how UFC successfully turned a worthless division into the best one in the world. Also mentions Fedor's possible future.
Denis Kang eager to beat Michael Bisping’s ass in Manchester
“I jumped at the opportunity as soon as it was put in front of me…. I think I am gonna beat his ass … whether he won his last fight or lost it. He is a good fighter, he has got cardio and he knows how to win a fight. He knows how to ride the momentum, you know what I mean? I wouldn’t say he is a standout in any area but he is decent in all areas and he has a good head for the game, which can take you a long way…. I always want to finish the fight but you know, he’s only got two losses and he went the distance with Rashad Evans. But I am going to go for the KO like Hendo!… To me he is not ‘cocky Michael Bisping,’ he is just a sack of flesh and bones across the Octagon that I am waiting to pound on.”
White makes weight-loss wager with Liddell, endorses spot on "Dancing with the Stars"
UFC president Dana White recently made his opinion quite clear on fighters who pursue film careers while still active in MMA.
But when it comes to semi-retired former champion Chuck Liddell's appearance on the ABC series "Dancing with the Stars," White's all for it.
"I think it's interesting," White said. "I think that it's great because Chuck needs something to do with his time right now, and he's taking it serious and he's training for it. It's good to see him fired up and taking something serious and back in the gym."
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Fighting Brock Lesnar would be ‘awesome’
“I like big fights like that. It would be my pleasure, but if they gave me a title shot, it would be awesome. I have more experience than (Lesnar). That’s a big advantage I have. A lot of jiu-jitsu and good standing up, make him tired man, move around, move around. When I get his timing, hit him with a good right hand and box him, box him and get him tired. I’ve been in there a long time. I can see what’s going on. If he goes on the top into my guard, I can play with him. Let’s see, let’s see what is going to happen.”
UFC heavyweight contender Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira breaks down a possible future bout against current champion Brock Lesnar. “Minotauro” reinserted himself into the title picture with a thrilling three round victory over Randy Couture at UFC 102 on August 29 in Portland. That victory helped erase the memories of a “half-dead” Nogueira getting trounced by a suddenly pugilistic Frank Mir back at UFC 92. Does a reborn Big Nog still have the ability to finish off the major players in his division? Or will bruising behemoths like Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar turn him into Brazilian confetti?
Could a "Big" Referee Return To UFC In October?
If the CSAC makes it so via referee assignments, maybe. That today is according to veteran referee "Big" John McCarthy on possibly returning to UFC at UFC 104 in Los Angeles. California is one of a few states McCarthy is currently licensed in, meaning he could work the UFC event, but says it's up to the CSAC and there's no guarantee he'll be used.
Carwin reveals Velasquez/Rothwell to fight for title next
When asked about the possibility of facing either Randy Couture or Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira somewhere down the line should he capture the title against Brock Lesnar, Carwin revealed:
“I was told that the winner of the Brock fight will likely face the winner of the Cain and Rothwell fight at UFC 104.”
Despite UFC 102 headliner, White reiterates no interest in five-round non-title fights
If you thought Saturday's Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Randy Couture UFC 102 main event fight might have swayed Dana White to change his mind and allow five-round non-title fights in the UFC, think again.
Although the Nevada State Athletic Commission has officially opened the door for non-title five-rounders, the UFC won't be using the option.
White admits that while watching Nogueira navigate his way to a decision victory at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore., he thought about it. But the purist in him wants to keep five-round fights strictly for championship bouts.
UFC 102 Medical Suspensions
It looks like everyone that performed at UFC 102 is going to be just fine. The only person whose status is still unknown is Ed Herman. A few others such as Chris Leben, Krzysztof Soszynski, Chris Tuchscherer, Mark Munoz, and Justin McCully were further evaluated following the event.