iggy azalea photos
Iggy Azalea is sexy (46 pics)

Tag: middleweights

Yushin Okami on Bridging the East-West Training Divide and Moving Forward After His UFC Release [Tokyo Dispatch #2]


(Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

I got off the Oedo subway line from Shinjuku station at the Kiyosumi Shirakawa stop and waited for a few minutes to meet up with my guide for the night, Stewart Fulton. Stewart is a Scottish ex-pat who has lived in Tokyo for over a decade. He’s also a professional fighter and has bled and sweated with some of the best fighters in all of Japan.

On this Friday night, Stewart is taking me to the gym of the man UFC president Dana White has said is the best fighter to have ever come out of Japan — Yushin Okami. Uncle Dana may very well be right about that.

It’s an interesting time to visit with “Thunder” because, despite White’s lauding of him, the UFC released Okami last fall. Now, the former middleweight title challenger is signed with the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) and is expected to make his promotional debut in March against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

Stewart has told me that I can train with the group of select professional fighters that Okami will lead tonight but also warned me that it is a sparring day and that they go hard. After three straight days of hard grappling at other schools in Tokyo, I’m fine with sitting through tonight’s session as a spectator and leaving with my head still attached to my body.

I wonder out loud to Stewart what kind of mood Okami will be in tonight. He hasn’t done many interviews since being cut by the UFC. Okami’s release shocked some observers since he is still clearly a top middleweight. Surely, it shocked Okami as well. Who knows how eager he’ll be to talk about the topic.

Luckily, there are plenty others to discuss. Namely, training.

Stewart tells me that over the years he’s been amazed that Yushin has never appeared to be injured during training. Injuries happen constantly in training and fighters are almost always nursing several of them that vary in severity.

“I’ve never noticed him favoring an injury during practice,” Stewart tells me.

“Either he doesn’t get hurt or he’s very good at not showing it.”

Read More DIGG THIS

Last-Resort Alert: James Te Huna Dropping to Middleweight After Consecutive First Round Losses at LHW


(Playing dead: Works against bears, not against Shogun Rua. Photo via Getty.)

James Te Huna‘s 2013 got off to a rocky start. The hard-hitting slugger was paired against Canadian splitster Ryan Jimmo at UFC on FUEL 7 in February, and was favored as high as 3-to-1 over the former CP guest blogger. Early in the first round, however, Te Huna ate a vicious head kick that would have ended the night of a lesser man. Although the New Zealander would right the course and end up defeating Jimmo via unanimous decision, he would drop his next two contests to current title challenger Glover Teixeira and former champion Mauricio Rua via first round submission and KO, respectively.

While there’s no shame in losing to either of those gentlemen, Te Huna has quickly gone from one of the division’s top fighters to one who could be fighting for his job. The four fight win streak he was able to build in the wake of his UFC 127 loss to Alexander Gustafsson erased, it appears that Te Huna is opting for a favorite change-up amongst struggling MMA fighters: Dropping a weight class to save his career.

Te Huna recently sat down with The MMA Corner to discuss how his decision to drop to 185 for the first time in his career came about. The answer may surprise you (if you were in a coma all of last year):

Read More DIGG THIS

Poll: Who Would You Like to See Lyoto Machida Face Next at 185?


(Machida enjoys a post-victory meal with friend/Fight Night 30 opponent Mark Munoz, who really wishes someone would answer that damn phone. Via Machida’s instagram.)

After emphatically dispatching highly-ranked contender Mark Munoz within the first five minutes of his middleweight debut, Lyoto Machida has once again become the talk of the town. Although it might be a little early to start labelling Machida the UFC’s next two-division champion, the fact that Anderson Silva’s competitive days are winding down suggests that “The Dragon” could at least be *fighting* for the 185-pound crown in the not-too-distant future.

But that is all speculation for the time being. What we do know is that Machida’s head kick KO of Munoz opened a lot of doors for the former light heavyweight champ at 185 pounds. Dana White has already hinted that a showdown between Machida and Vitor Belfort could be on the horizon and Gegard Mousasi recently called out Machida as well, so we got to thinking: Who Should Lyoto Machida Face Next at 185 pounds? 

Vote in our survey after the jump, then sound off in the comments section.

Read More DIGG THIS

[VIDEO] Anderson Silva Breaks Down Technique & Fighting Tactics for Group of British Dudes

It is rare that we seem to get revealing, sincere and engaged comments from former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in the quick-hit, superficial interviews that he’s grown used to and apparently tired of over the past seven years or so. However, a video of Silva conducting an intimate seminar in the London three weeks ago shows “The Spider” in great form.

The future hall of famer takes his time working with the students, carefully answering their questions in English about fight tactics, techniques and opponents. Anderson is talking about the thing he loves and does so expertly – fighting – with people who themselves train and who are informed and interested in learning from him. Guess that’s the secret to getting good stuff out of Silva, huh?

Check the video out to see Silva break down his favorite positions on the ground from off his back and detail how he pulled off some of his best moves. Also, he does all of it in glasses and a sweater. Baller.

Read More DIGG THIS

‘TUF 19′ to Feature 185-Pound Men, 205-Pound Women (Not Really, But Could You Imagine?)


Bas Rutten poses with a future UFC women’s Gibraltarweight champion. Image via (COVER YOUR EYES!!) Rutten’s Facebook.

It’s a credit to reality television that it has managed to both continuously lower our expectations regarding what is an idea worthy of verbalizing (looking at you, everything on Bravo excluding Top Chef) while simultaneously redefining what we consider a “season” of television. Whereas in simpler times, a show like Seinfeld would operate at a one season per year pace, reality TV has somehow managed to dilute even the most basic of television truths, cramming upwards of four seasons into the average year. Not to mention all the spin offs. My God, all the spin offs.

The Ultimate Fighter is one of the more notable offenders of this trend, now 18 seasons deep despite being less than 10 years old. Another favorite of mine, Chopped, also requires a mention, now 14 seasons deep in just 4 years (!!). Yes, the cheap production costs and minimal staffing required for the average reality show has seen them churned out at near breakneck speed, which is why it makes sense that in the same week we received our first glimpse of TUF 18, the UFC is already putting out a casting call for TUF 19.

According to release sent out by UFC.com early today, next season’s tryouts will be open to MEN (their emphasis, not ours) competing in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. The requirements are as follows:

Read More DIGG THIS

Rumor: Mark Munoz vs. Michael Bisping will Headline UFC Return to Manchester in October


(And then another heh heh heh he-heh heh heh. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

Fresh off of a convincing victory over Tim Boetsch at UFC 162, Mark Munoz already has his next fight lined up.

According to MMAJunkie.com, Mark Munoz and Michael Bisping have both verbally agreed to fight each other on October 26th in Manchester, England. The bout will serve as the main event of an upcoming UFC on Fox Sports 1 card, although no other fights have been announced for the card.

The bout makes for a compelling match-up – not only because both guys are top middleweights coming off of victories, but also because they’ve spent the past two years calling each other out. Munoz kicked things off by rallying for a fight against Bisping after reconsidering his adorably misguided call-out of Anderson Silva at UFC 138. Bisping was suspiciously quiet about it – especially for a guy who hates this sort of thing – until he spoke with FightersOnly one year later, after Munoz lost to Chris Weidman:

Well, [Weidman is] on a roll but I don’t think a win over a fat Mark Munoz makes you a contender. Especially when Munoz has bounced into the Octagon like he’s at a Take That concert and with a haircut that looks like Belcher’s tattooist has switched careers. Did that distract him? It distracted me. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. What was it supposed to be, do you know?

Read More DIGG THIS

Lack of Perspective Alert: Michael Bisping is Asking For a Title Shot Again, For Some Reason


(Rampage and Bisping might want to start running the things they are about to say out loud by more people than one another)

Let’s just dive right in, nation. UFC middleweight and all around centered and nice guy Michael Bisping recently spoke with MMA Junkie and had some pretty silly things to say. “I’m tired. I know I’ve got to wait my turn, but it’s pissing me off. I want to get my title shot, and if I keep beating guys, they’ll have no choice but to give it to me,” he told Junkie.

“I’m here, and I’m fighting the best guys. I want my shot.”

Bisping has undoubtedly fought some of the best fighters in the world, but he still doesn’t seem to realize that he needs to beat some of them in order to deserve a title shot. At present, ‘The Count’ has a brand new streak of exactly one, count em, one wins.

Read More DIGG THIS

Chris Weidman Swagger-Jacks Mark Munoz, Undergoes Elbow Surgery


(I guess we could caption this, but wrestling has a way of sometimes looking funny enough on its own.)

#1 middleweight contender Middleweight Chris Weidman just can’t let Mark Munoz have his own moment. First, Weidman spoiled Munoz’ hopes of earning a title shot. Now, just days after we found out Munoz injured his foot and will be out for some time, and also that his elbow is still jacked up from nasty bone chips, Weidman decided that he needed elbow surgery to remove bone chips as well.

We suppose its possible that Weidman’s elbow surgery is unrelated to sticking it to Munoz. MMA Fighting has the report. “[Weidman] underwent surgery at the Sanford Surgical Tower on his left elbow to clean out bone chips that had developed over time.”

According to the report, Weidman had been dealing with elbow issues for over two years.

Read More DIGG THIS

[Exclusive] Mark Munoz Talks Coaching Himself, Throwing Bombs, and Taking Names


(Munoz pays tribute to his favorite terrible fighter, Emmanuel Yarborough, by squashing a scrawny ginger less than 1/3rd his size.) 

By Elias Cepeda

At first, what he said kind of passed by unnoticed, but when I caught it, I was forced to ask him to clarify. We were talking to UFC middleweight contender Mark Munoz about training camp for his UFC on FUEL 4 main event scrap tonight against Chris Weidman and thought to ask how things were going with the gym he owns, Reign Training Center.

Munoz opened up the Southern California fight gym a couple years ago and since that time it has grown to house not just 9-5ers seeking workouts, but some of the best fighters in the world as well. Munoz said the business was going swimmingly, spoke about some of the challenges of starting up and managing a gym and, almost in passing, mentioned that he led training for the guys.

Well, certainly not while he was in camp, right? Wrong, Munoz corrected. The fighter has, in fact, been his own head coach and trainer for all the fighters at Reign as he has readied to fight Weidman.

“I actually lead the training along with training myself,” Munoz said. “I’ve been coaching for awhile now and for me, I love running practices. I think about how to run practices and how to be able to breakdown technique and to be able to help the whole group. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years when it comes to Division I wrestling. Love to teach and to coach and get a good workout in the process. The guys love it too. They see the workouts and feel that they are catered to them. I’m glad I can accomplish both coach and competing. I’ve always wanted to do both but with wrestling you can’t really do it.”

Simultaneously fighting and coaching? That’s some Bill Russell and Pete Rose stuff right there.

Read More DIGG THIS

Tim Kennedy Offers to Fight Michael Bisping for the Good of Mankind

(Guess if they’re gonna let *somebody* fight Bisping, it might as well be somebody we like.)

When last we heard from Tim Kennedy, he’d just completed the MMA equivalent of sinking a two-foot putt by choking out Melvin Manhoef in Strikeforce, then went public with his lament that he hadn’t been the one to administer an in-home eye exam to Osama bin Laden. Y’all know we’ve always liked Kennedy. Seems like a super cool dude and admittedly there’s something fascinating about a guy whose typical day might just as easily include either choking out a Dutch-Surinamese kickboxer or smoking the world’s top terrorist. Give or take.

It’s exactly that admiration that led us to be a bit disappointed this week when we heard about Kennedy offering to fight Michael Bisping over at MMA Weekly. Calling out Bisping is one of the more played-out moves a well-known middleweight can make, after all. When we saw Kennedy saying it, we assumed it was just another case of a guy trying to make his bones off Bisping’s inflated reputation and general overratedness. Truthfully, there probably is some of that at work here. But then we started digging into Kennedy’s quotes and realized that A) He’s offering to fight “The Count” basically for free (PR bump notwithstanding) and B) He seems driven to do it out of moral obligation, more than anything else. As far as we’re concerned that – as long as he’s not just bullshitting us – is pretty cool.

Read More DIGG THIS
CagePotatoMMA