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The second UFC on Fox event of 2015 promises to be a great show.  Headlined by a #1 contender bout for the middleweight title, the card also features many other relevant and interesting matchups, with several up-and-comers facing seasoned veterans and looking to break through to the next level.  Of course even this card was not spared by the injury curse:  the scheduled co-main event fight between Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Yoel Romero was the fight I was looking forward to the most on this line-up, and just last week Romero pulled out of the bout with an injury.  This is the second time this match up has been scrapped; it was initially slated for UFC 184 but that time Souza came down with a bout of pneumonia.  Maybe this fight was just not meant to be… or maybe the third time will be a charm?  Anyhow, I am not too mad about losing this fight, considering how stacked the rest of the card is.   In fact it’s so good that even the prelims will be broadcast on Fox instead of the usual Fox Sports 1 (save for the three fights relegated to Fight Pass).

Main Event: [#2 MW] Lyoto Machida vs [#6 MW] Luke Rockhold

Worth: $20

Why: While fans might be upset about Souza-Romero dropping off the card, Rockhold and especially Machida are probably elated about it.   After all, any of these four could have been the next contender, depending on which winner of the two fights was more impressive in his performance.  Machida has faced the champion Chris Weidman in Weidman’s first title defense, and if Lyoto were to beat Rockhold and Weidman retains his title against Vitor Belfort, the winner of Souza-Romero would likely jump the line to avoid having Weidman-Machida II so soon.  Now, the winner of this fight is virtually guaranteed the next shot, no matter who the champion is at the time and even if this fight ends up a total snoozer.  I’m a bit surprised by Rockhold being a slight betting favorite against Machida.  Either way, it’s a very solid main event to cap off a night of free fights.

Continue reading 'Bang for Your Buck: UFC on Fox 15'

Posted on April 16, 2015 by oleg

Event Previews | Comments (2)


Middleweight (185)
[#2/#7DD/#8P4P] Lyoto Machida (22-5-0, +115) vs. [#6] Luke Rockhold (13-2-0, -139)
Lyoto Machida is the All-Time #12 ranked Absolute fighter.
Luke Rockhold is the All-Time #13 ranked Middleweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Lyoto Machida (2-1-0)
2014-12-20: W vs. [#11MW] C.B. Dollaway (15-6-0) via TKO (Kick to the Body and Punches) in 1:02 of round 1
2014-07-05: L vs. [#1MW/#1DD/#3P4P] Chris Weidman (12-0-0) via UD (49-45, 48-47, 49-46)
2014-02-15: W vs. [#4MW] Gegard Mousasi (36-5-2) via UD (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)

Last 3 Fights: Luke Rockhold (3-0-0)
2014-11-07: W vs. [#12MW] Michael Bisping (25-7-0) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in 0:57 of round 2
2014-04-26: W vs. [#17MW] Tim Boetsch (18-8-0) via Submission (Inverted Triangle Kimura) in 2:08 of round 1
2014-01-15: W vs. [#13MW] Costas Philippou (13-4-0) via KO (Kick to the Body) in 2:31 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Lyoto Machida 119, Luke Rockhold 162
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Middleweight (185)
[#3] Ronaldo Souza (21-3-0, -1113) vs. [#36] Chris Camozzi (21-9-0, +731)
Ronaldo Souza is the All-Time #8 ranked Middleweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Ronaldo Souza (3-0-0)
2014-09-05: W vs. [#4MW] Gegard Mousasi (36-5-2) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in 4:30 of round 3
2014-02-15: W vs. [#19LHW] Francis Carmont (23-10-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
2013-09-04: W vs. [#21MW] Yushin Okami (30-9-0) via TKO (Punches) in 2:47 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Chris Camozzi (2-1-0)
2015-03-06: W vs. [#112MW] Wes Swofford (10-6-0) via in of round 1
2014-11-21: W vs. [#141MW] Jeremy Kimball (9-5-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 3:33 of round 1
2014-09-05: L vs. [#29MW] Rafael Natal (19-6-1) via SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Ronaldo Souza 225, Chris Camozzi 43
Previous Match-up Record: Ronaldo Souza leads 1-0-0
Wins Against Common Opposition: Ronaldo Souza leads 2-1
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Featherweight (145)
[#6] Cub Swanson (21-6-0, -148) vs. [#13] Max Holloway (12-3-0, +129)
Cub Swanson is the All-Time #12 ranked Featherweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Cub Swanson (2-1-0)
2014-11-22: L vs. [#2FW/#6DD] Frankie Edgar (18-4-1) via Submission (Neck Crank) in 4:56 of round 5
2014-06-28: W vs. [#17FW] Jeremy Stephens (23-11-0) via UD (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
2013-07-06: W vs. [#25FW] Dennis Siver (22-10-0) via TKO (Punches) in 2:24 of round 3

Last 3 Fights: Max Holloway (3-0-0)
2015-02-14: W vs. [#39FW] Cole Miller (21-9-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
2014-10-04: W vs. [#71FW] Akira Corassani (12-6-0) via KO (Punches) in 3:11 of round 1
2014-08-23: W vs. [#38FW] Clay Collard (14-5-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:47 of round 3

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Cub Swanson 147, Max Holloway 63
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Cub Swanson leads 1-0
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program: UFC on FOX 15 (04-18-2015)'

Posted on April 13, 2015 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (1)


Ah, Fight Pass.  The red-headed stepchild of the UFC broadcasting family.  At this point it’s pretty clear that since I am only considering live UFC fights and not the additional content that Fight Pass has to offer, the value will not be worth the subscription price.  Especially with Fox Sports 1 gobbling up Fight Pass-worthy cards such as Maia-LaFlare, and sometimes even showing the lowest of the prelims, e.g. Fight Night 63.

This leads us into the first Fight Pass-exclusive event of the year: UFC Fight Night 64, live from Krakow, Poland.  As these cards usually tend to be, it has very few recognizable names or highly ranked fighters, and is mainly designed to appeal to the local crowd.  There are usually one or two interesting fights at the top of the card, but in this case UFC decided to cap it off with one of the most pointless rematches in the history of the organization.

Main Event: [#23 HW] Gabriel Gonzaga vs  [#27 HW] Mirko Filipovic

Worth: $1

Why: For some odd reason, the UFC match makers really love rematches.  After all, if the first fight between the two fighters was great, why not do it again, right?  While sometimes a rematch makes all the sense in the world, unfortunately this is not one of those instances, because in 2015 this fight makes no sense at all.

When these two first met at UFC 70 back in 2007, Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic was near the very top of the heavyweight heap. Fresh off winning the Pride 2006 open-weight Gran Prix, capped off by a knockout win over Wanderlei Silva and a TKO stoppage of Josh Barnett, Cro Cop was  ranked #2 in the division, and predicted by most fans to run over the UFC heavyweights when he joined the promotion.  Despite scoring a first-round TKO against a deer-in-the-headlights Eddie Sanchez, Mirko looked a bit tentative in his UFC debut.  This was attributed to the infamous ‘Octagon jitters’ and he was still on a collision course with then champion Randy Couture – until Gabriel Gonzaga spoiled his plans with a bit of ground-and-pound followed up by the kick heard around the world.

Defeating Cro Cop with his own biggest weapon marked one of the most memorable, jaw dropping finishes in history of the sport.  The win secured a title shot for Gonzaga, and marked the begging of Mirko’s decline: though he went 8-6 with 1 NC since then, he has never again beaten an elite opponent.  Gabriel Gonzaga hasn’t fared much better, amassing an 8-8 record with his biggest win coming over Ben Rothwell in 2013, after a very brief retirement.  It’s very unlikely to expect a Mark Hunt-like late career resurrection from the 40-year-old Mirko, and just as unlikely that Gonzaga will ever be more than a gatekeeper for the elite: though at 35 he might have a few more good years left in his career, his lack of conditioning, porous striking defense, questionable chin, and non-existent game planning cancel out his world class grappling and immense striking power.  Cro Cop, on the other hand, is still essentially a one-dimensional striker who complains about his dislike for elbow strikes in MMA and thinks that the ground game should be limited in the UFC.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Gonzaga takes it based on age advantage, psychological advantage from the first fight, and besides that simply having more ways to win.  But really no matter how this fight goes, anything short of a flying gogoplata will be a disappointment compared to the outcome of their first bout.  I understand that Mirko wants to end his career in the UFC and avenge the most brutal loss he has suffered, but would much prefer both fighters to face someone else.  Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie, and let old fight results stand.  There was no need for a do-over in this one, and I have very little interest in seeing it.

Continue reading 'Bang for Your Buck: UFC Fight Night 64'

Posted on April 9, 2015 by oleg

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (1)


Heavyweight (265)
[#23] Gabriel Gonzaga (16-9-0, -167) vs. [#27] Mirko Filipovic (30-11-2, +139)
Mirko Filipovic is the All-Time #8 ranked Heavyweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Gabriel Gonzaga (1-2-0)
2014-12-13: L vs. [#13HW+] Matt Mitrione (9-3-0) via TKO (Punches) in 1:59 of round 1
2014-01-25: L vs. [#9HW+] Stipe Miocic (12-2-0) via UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
2013-10-19: W vs. [#33HW+] Shawn Jordan (17-6-0) via KO (Punches) in 1:33 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Mirko Filipovic (2-1-0)
2014-12-31: W vs. [#73HW+] Satoshi Ishii (12-4-1) via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) in 5:00 of round 2
2014-08-23: W vs. [#73HW+] Satoshi Ishii (12-4-1) via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in 2:37 of round 2
2013-11-08: L vs. [#15HW+] Alexey Oleinik (55-9-1) via Submission (Neck Crank) in 4:42 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Gabriel Gonzaga 119, Mirko Filipovic 101
Previous Match-up Record: Gabriel Gonzaga leads 1-0-0
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Light Heavyweight (205)
[#17] Jan Blachowicz (18-3-0, +136) vs. [#18] Jimi Manuwa (14-1-0, -165)

Last 3 Fights: Jan Blachowicz (3-0-0)
2014-10-04: W vs. [#30LHW] Ilir Latifi (9-4-0) via TKO (Kick to the Body and Punches) in 1:58 of round 1
2013-03-16: W vs. [#39LHW] Goran Reljic (14-4-0) via UD ()
2012-09-15: W vs. [#82LHW] Houston Alexander (16-11-1) via UD ()

Last 3 Fights: Jimi Manuwa (2-1-0)
2014-03-08: L vs. [#6LHW] Alexander Gustafsson (16-3-0) via TKO (Knee and Punches) in 1:18 of round 2
2013-10-26: W vs. [#24LHW] Ryan Jimmo (19-4-0) via TKO (Leg Injury) in 4:41 of round 2
2013-02-16: W vs. [*] Cyrille Diabate (19-10-1) via TKO (Retirement) in 5:00 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Jan Blachowicz 189, Jimi Manuwa 399
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Middleweight (185)
[#103] Garreth McLellan (12-2-0, +113) vs. [#165WW] Bartosz Fabinski (11-2-0, -147)

Last 3 Fights: Garreth McLellan (3-0-0)
2014-08-30: W vs. [#327MW] Dricus Du Plessis (5-1-0) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in ? of round 3
2014-03-27: W vs. [#354MW] J.P. Kruger (6-2-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in ? of round 1
2013-10-10: W vs. [#664WW] Jeremy Smith (8-3-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 0:00 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Bartosz Fabinski (3-0-0)
2014-10-18: W vs. [#457WW] Alik Tseiko (7-4-0) via SD ()
2014-06-08: W vs. [#821MW] Alexey Repalov (6-6-0) via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in 1:54 of round 1
2014-05-09: W vs. [#366MW] Gregor Herb (14-8-0) via UD ()

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Garreth McLellan 224, Bartosz Fabinski 175
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program: UFC Fight Night – Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2 (04-11-2015)'

Posted on April 8, 2015 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)


  • Men’s Bantamweight expanded from 300 to 350.
  • Men’s Flyweight expanded from 150 to 200.
  • Women’s Bantamweight expanded from 25 to 30.
  • Women’s Strawweight expanded from 30 to 35.

Posted on April 3, 2015 by jcs

MMA Ranks | Comments (2)


Another Saturday, another Fight Night.  A few things about this one are unusual.   For one, the broadcast begins at 11 AM (ET), with the main card starting at 1 PM – making it more of a ‘Fight Late Morning/Early Afternoon’.  Besides the unusual start time for a US event, there are no Fight Pass prelims: the entire event will be shown on Fox Sports 1.  Most importantly, this card is nicely stacked for a Fight Night, especially compared to the last few FS1 events.  All of the match-ups are also extremely competitive, at least judging by our rankings.

Main Event: [#4 FW] Chad Mendes vs [#5 FW] Ricardo Lamas

Worth: $15

Why: This is an important fight as the winner is going to be up there with Frankie Edgar as the next contender for the featherweight title after Jose Aldo defends against Conor McGregor.  Considering the timing of upcoming featherweight fights, and assuming that Edgar beats Uriah Faber in his next outing, it’s likely that there will be another elimination bout between the winners of these two fights.  Which means that if Aldo retains his title, he will have to start on the rematch circuit, and this makes a McGregor win a far more interesting scenario for the featherweight division.

Why am I talking about Aldo – McGregor instead of the fight at hand?  Because this fight, and the rest of the division, are overshadowed by the McGregor hype.  And all the hype aside, I am not as excited about this matchup as I probably should be, considering how much sense it makes from the ranking and title picture standpoint and that both guys have been on fire save for their losses to the champion.  For me this fight just has the feel of a bronze medal contest in the Olympics.  Good, but not great.

Continue reading 'Bang for Your Buck: UFC Fight Night 63'

Posted on April 2, 2015 by oleg

Event Previews | Comments (0)


Featherweight (145)
[#4] Chad Mendes (16-2-0) vs. [#5] Ricardo Lamas (15-3-0)
Chad Mendes is the All-Time #6 ranked Featherweight fighter.
Ricardo Lamas is the All-Time #11 ranked Featherweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Chad Mendes (2-1-0)
2014-10-25: L vs. [#1FW/#3DD/#2P4P] Jose Aldo (25-1-0) via UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
2013-12-14: W vs. [#9FW] Nik Lentz (25-6-2) via UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
2013-08-31: W vs. [#15FW] Clay Guida (31-15-0) via TKO (Punches) in 0:30 of round 3

Last 3 Fights: Ricardo Lamas (2-1-0)
2014-11-15: W vs. [#14FW] Dennis Bermudez (14-4-0) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in 3:18 of round 1
2014-06-28: W vs. [#19FW] Hacran Dias (22-3-1) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
2014-02-01: L vs. [#1FW/#3DD/#2P4P] Jose Aldo (25-1-0) via UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Chad Mendes 161, Ricardo Lamas 140
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Even: Both have 2 win(s) against common opposition.
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Lightweight (155)
[#8] Al Iaquinta (12-3-1) vs. [#13] Jorge Masvidal (28-8-0)

Last 3 Fights: Al Iaquinta (3-0-0)
2015-01-31: W vs. [#26LW] Joe Lauzon (24-10-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:34 of round 2
2014-11-07: W vs. [#27LW] Ross Pearson (17-8-0) via TKO (Punches) in 1:39 of round 2
2014-09-05: W vs. [#101LW] Rodrigo Damm (12-9-0) via TKO (Punches and Elbows) in 2:41 of round 3

Last 3 Fights: Jorge Masvidal (3-0-0)
2014-09-27: W vs. [#69LW] James Krause (21-7-0) via UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
2014-07-26: W vs. [#55LW] Daron Cruickshank (16-6-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
2014-04-19: W vs. [#52LW] Pat Healy (28-20-0) via UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Al Iaquinta 63, Jorge Masvidal 189
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Even: Both have 2 win(s) against common opposition.
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Lightweight (155)
[#41] Michael Chiesa (11-2-0) vs. [#43] Mitch Clarke (11-2-0)

Last 3 Fights: Michael Chiesa (2-1-0)
2014-09-05: L vs. [#26LW] Joe Lauzon (24-10-0) via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in 2:14 of round 2
2014-05-24: W vs. [#48LW] Francisco Trinaldo (16-4-0) via UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
2013-11-06: W vs. [#165WW] Colton Smith (4-4-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 1:41 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Mitch Clarke (2-1-0)
2014-05-24: W vs. [#8LW] Al Iaquinta (12-3-1) via Technical Submission (Brabo Choke) in 0:57 of round 2
2013-06-15: W vs. [#418LW] John Maguire (19-8-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2012-07-21: L vs. [#92LW] Anton Kuivanen (21-8-0) via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Michael Chiesa 211, Mitch Clarke 315
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Michael Chiesa leads 2-1
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program: UFC Fight Night – Mendes vs. Lamas (04-04-2015)'

Posted on April 2, 2015 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)


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