As much as they would hate to admit it, Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz may have been destined to fight each other one last time. Their career paths, while diverging slightly in the middle, have followed a rather parallel trajectory. It seems only fitting that they meet once again to determine the next stage of their careers.
Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz both began their UFC careers starting out on The Ultimate Fighter season 5. Diaz submitted Maynard in the semifinals and went on to win the season. This first exhibition fight is what allows the UFC to bill Saturday’s contest as Maynard/Diaz III. After the season, Diaz became known as one of the UFC’s most exciting fighters, winning 7 fight night bonuses prior to his second bout with Maynard. He never quite gained contender status but he was a bankable commodity.
After The Ultimate Fighter, and the infamous no contest with Rob Emerson at the finale, Maynard put together a solid winning streak. Knocking off veterans such as Frankie Edgar, Roger Huerta and Jim Miller, Maynard was suddenly in title contention. But at the time, he needed one more signature win. Enter Nate Diaz. It was thought that defeating an exciting veteran like Diaz would have likely propelled Maynard into a title shot. However, the trash talk leading up to the bout turned out to be more exciting than the bout itself. Because of the nature of the split decision win, UFC brass was hesitant to grant Maynard the title shot, instead choosing to match Frankie Edgar up against then champion BJ Penn. Maynard would eventually get his shot at gold though after a dominant performance over Kenny Florian.
In his next two bouts against Edgar, two of the most memorable fights in UFC history, Gray Maynard would come up short. A draw at UFC 125 and a stoppage loss at UFC 136 would force Maynard back in line. A lackluster decision win over Clay Guida and another stoppage loss to TJ Grant leave Gray Maynard in no man’s land. At age 34, with 1 win in his last 4 fights; “The Bully” is fighting to stay relevant.
After the second bout the Maynard, Diaz would go on to have an unremarkable 2-2 stint in the welterweight division. Upon returning to the lightweight ranks, he rattled off three impressive victories over Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller that ultimately earned him a title shot. A loss to then champion Ben Henderson and a subsequent highlight knock loss to Josh Thomson leaves Diaz reeling as well.
And here we are again. The first fight was to get into the UFC. The second fight was to move towards title contention, the peak of the UFC. The third and likely final fight is to remain relevant, and quite possibly stay employed with the UFC. Somehow, out of all the trajectories in the UFC’s lightweight division, these two always seem to find each other, serving as a barometer in each phase of their career.
Check out the original post my by Tyler Keane
Singapore’s Royston Wee, Muay Thai and MMA coach for Impact MMA, is the first signing from the country to the UFC. He has a scant record of 2-0 – both fights two years ago – but was perhaps chosen for his striking background. Wee trains alongside fellow coaches and pro MMA fighters Alexsandro “Leke” Machado, Bruce Loh, and Juan Wenjie among others. Wee said, “I’m feeling excited and good about this fight.” “This fight” will be against the URCC Interim Bantamweight Champion Dave Galera. He bested Red Romero to take the belt on the same card in which fellow regional prospect and new signee Will Chope won the URCC Featherweight title. Galera is 5-0 and his strength lies in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trains at Team Lakay, alongside fellow champs Eduard Folayang,Honorio Banario (URCC Lightweight Champ, former ONE FC Featherweight Champ), Kevin Belingon (URCC Flyweight Champ), Crisanto Pitpitunge (former PXC Bantamweight Champ), and Rey Docyogen (URCC Pinweight Champion). MMA-in-Asia has the full story.
After the outrage associated with the UFC 167 title fight between GSP and Johny Hendricks, it is natural that many would be calling for changes the way fights are scored. One of the great MMA writers of our time, Ben Fowlkes takes on ‘open scoring’ in a piece this week in MMA Junkie.
When you come at it from a purely theoretical standpoint, open scoring makes a lot of sense. Every other sport in the world tells you who’s winning before the match is over. Why not MMA? Why does it always have to be this tortured math problem where we add up effective strikes, subtract takedowns, multiply by “octagon control,” then divide by the square root of Cecil Peoples? Wouldn’t fighters rather know whether they’re winning or losing before their chance to do something about it is gone?
I thought so, but a quick, informal poll of some active MMA fighters yielded very few willing to voice a full and unwavering support for open scoring. Most sided with UFC flyweight contenderJoseph Benavidez, who worried that it would alter the action too much if fighters knew exactly what the score was.
Ben goes on to put together a pretty strong argument. Read the full story.
What do you think? Does open scoring make sense?
Each week, Tommy Toe Hold takes a satirical look at the goings on in MMA. Today: The UFC celebrates 20 years at UFC 167.
The final event of season nine tied up some loose ends, finding a winter home for the Bellator Middleweight championship, as well as closing out the Welterweight and Lightweight tournaments. The event took place from the Sand Casino Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and the Bellator 109 main card also feature the former UFC fighter Terry Etim making his promotional debut. Here’s what I picked up on in those high-stakes bouts at Bellator 109.
Will Brooks: Confidence is a double edged sword in MMA. It can allow you to cut through layers of bullshit and hype, and it can also make you blind to your own mortality. We’ve seen Brooks when he’s forgotten that he can, in fact, be hurt in a fight, but tonight wasn’t one of those nights. Brooks fought a masterful game plan and executed it to perfection, walking directly into Tiger’s wheelhouse in the first round and not being afraid to box on the inside. This forced Tiger to square up to Brooks, whom would then take advantage of the lack of hip engagement and hit takedown after takedown.
The second round saw Brooks switch back to his long range style, working from the outside before blasting in with a takedown. It was clear by the middle of the second round that Sarnavskiy was finished and unsure of what to do as Brooks battered him over and over again from top position. It would take another round to make it official, but the writing was on the wall as Brooks manhandled the Russian. This sets up an interesting pairing with the winner of Alvarez vs Chandler 3 being Brooks next scheduled opponent. While I can’t see Brooks beating either fighter, he has a lot of down time to heal any nagging injuries and sharpen his tools, as this young fighter is ready to grow and dominate his weight class.
Rick Hawn: A less than stellar performance for Hawn turned into an exciting KO nonetheless, as Hawn turned on the juice in the 3rd round and starched Keslar with an overhand right. Hawn is starting to look his age in there, and welterweight is looking like a bad idea at this point, yet Hawn is set to face off against someone for the Bellator strap. Considering the issues he had with a journeyman like Keslar, I’m not sure we’ll see much of Hawn after this upcoming championship fight.
Alexander Shlemenko: Another fighter in the twilight of their career, Storm showed he still had more than enough firepower for Doug Marshall, pasting him with a shovel hook to the liver in the first round. Shlemenko’s reflexes are clearly starting to go and have been for the last year, yet it will take a razor-sharp opponent to take that belt from him without getting clobbered by his stout offense. Ward stands as his next test, but the young man’s swagger makes me think he’s walking into a severe ass whipping when this fight goes down.
For Complete Bellator 109 results, check out the original post by Mike Hammersmith, Featured Staff Writer at MMA Valor.
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So.. Glory World Series has some incredible ring girls, and guess what? You can watch them dance in their underwear in this video titled GLORY Girls Exposed. You’re welcome.
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Watch GLORY World Series 12 right here on iJF tomorrow November 23rd at 9/8c.
Props Bauzen from MiddleEasy for the find.
A few days ago we mentioned that Dare would be releasing the first episode of it’s 2013 season… well HERE IT IS!!
Dare Fight Sports proudly presents: IRON FIST vs THE JOE RAY.
The Opening Episode of The Million Dollar Tournament – Season 2013. Mixed Martial Arts On Its Original Stage by the Original Rule Set, From the Original Fight Capital of the World. DARE – Live from Bangkok Turn your speakers up and get your GAME ON!
Personally I have to congratulate the guys at Dare. They somehow won the approval of the Thai government for MMA. and this product is slick. Great looking ring girls, interesting commentating, and some unique pre-fight interviews combine with the exotic setting that is a Bangkok night club.
Check out more at darefightsports.com
The GLORY Lightweight World Championship Tournament hits The Theater at Madison Square this Saturday. For those of you in America, it airs LIVE on Spike TV, November 23rd at 9/8c. In the rest of the world, you can watch the PPV right here on iJudgeFights.
This is Glory’s second event on Spike and wull feature a one night, four man lightweight tournament & Giorgio Petrosyan. The multi-time Grand Prix champion is the clear cut #1 kickboxer in the world.
GLORY 12 NEW YORK FIGHT CARD
Superfights (airing online)
Artem Vakhitov vs. Nenad Pagonis
Brian Collette vs. Warren Thompson
Igor Jurkovic vs. Jhonata Diniz
Francois Ambang vs. Eddie Walker
Paul Marfort vs. Thiago Michel Silva
Live Stream Player is after the jump.
Tempers are already flaring in Macau as the Clash in Cotai prepares for the final countdown. On Wednesday morning there was an alledged physical altercation between the trainers of Pacquiao’s camp Freddie Roach, and Rios’ trainer Robert Garcia, over the split of the gym that both camps are sharing.
The Clash in Cotai will be a historic event that will have the 54-5-2 Manny Pacquaio fighting outside the USA for the first time since July 2006; for the apparent tax advantages. It’s been nearly a year since Pacquaio was knocked out cold from the viscous blow of Juan Miguel Marquez on December 8th; and with the questionable split decision loss to Timothy Bradley in June of 2012, Manny is coming off 2 successive losses and probably getting ready to focus on his political career.
The younger brawler Brandon “BamBam” Rios, 31-1-1, is willing to fight anywhere to prove that he is the next super star and to avenge his unanimous decision loss to Mike Alvarado earlier this year. Rios claims that no one is giving him a shot to win!
A good part of the fans watching in China will be just as focused on the undercard flyweight event featuring Zou Shiming 3-0-0 taking on his third opponent in Mexican national Juan Tozcano who is 4-0-0 in a 6 Round matchup. Another up-and-coming prospect from the Asia region also fighting on the card is light flyweight Rex “The Wonderkid” Tso of Hong Kong based Def Boxing fighting Thailands Susu Sithjadaeng who is 7-2-0.
On Sunday morning 8am China time (PPV Saturday evening 7 EST) we will see the result of the Clash on Cotai!
Ken Di Cicco is the Director of Business Development for China-based Oceans Marketing.
Epic is having your MMA promotion in a wild night club where the booze never stops flowing and the babes are just mind blowing. Epic is having a bunch of fighters signed to your organization who will step into the cage and fight like their life depended on it. Epic is having your ring announcer put on some gloves and go in the cage to fight just because a mach got cancelled. Epic is that ring announcer’s beard. Epic is to have all this “epicness” go down in the craziest city in the world, Bangkok, Thailand. And just in case it hasn’t hit you yet, Epic is a four letter word that is sometimes spelled “D-A-R-E”, just saying.
After a long hard battle to gain the acceptance of MMA in Thailand, DARE recently made an epic return to the Asian MMA scene on the 12th of October with its “Rebels of MMA” event. The bad boys of MMA made a triumphant return and delivered a gritty badass show that only they could deliver. If you missed it, don’t feel so bummed out kiddo because DARE will be releasing the fights from the show shortly on Youtube. It’ll be starting off with the release of its main event between Joe Ray and Ole Laursen tomorrow, the 22nd of November.
Video not working? Follow this link.