This week on the FNU Combat Sports Show we discuss a fantastic month of November as far as fighting goes. We only had two shows last month, so we kick off this week in catch up mode. We discuss Ward vs. Kovalev at length, go off on a few tangents and then get to Tony’s review of “Bleed For This.” We then go back to MMA for Rich’s commentary on Miesha Tate telling Dana White, “FU, you’re not my boss..” after his request that she go to the hospital after her fight with Raquel Pennington. Tate retired earlier in the evening after a stellar career. Rich also gets going about the fighter union front and some new developments with Georges St. Pierre, Ex-Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, Cain Velasquez, T.J. Dillashaw and other UFC notables breaking new ground in the niche with the founding of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association. We also manage to preview the upcoming weekend’s boxing schedule before the end of the broadcast tonight.
LAS VEGAS (November 22, 2016) – The “Round 7, Operation Knockout” amateur mixed-martial-arts and grappling card, presented by Tuff-N-Uff in association with Neon Star Media, will air Sunday, November 27 (11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT) on CBS Sports Network.
The seventh annual “Operation Knockout,” held this past Nov. 19th at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, was created to help Randy Couture’s G.I. Foundation raise funds and awareness for wounded soldiers and their families.
This exciting, unique charity event featured a night of amazing fights and a fabulous silent auction that featured gloves signed by Randy Couture, Luke Rockhold, Miesha Tate and Gray Maynard, tickets to Criss Angel, Rock of Ages and Legends in Concert, and many more items. There was something for everyone with nine amateur MMA fights, four of which were for title belts, and six super-fight grappling bouts featuring Bellator’s Ryan Couture, ex-UFC fighter Ulysses Gomez and current UFC fighter Anthony Birchak, former Bellator fighter and active military, Michael Parker, former Lion Fight fighter Fanny Tommasino, and current Combate Americas fighter and former Tuff-N-Uff fighter, Kyra Batara.
Veteran MMA announcers Sean Wheelock, Joey Varner and living legend Couture called all the action live from ringside.
“Tuff-N-Uff is honored to have a hand in helping to raise funds for and bring awareness to our brave service members who have sacrificed so much for our great country,” Tuff-N-Uff CEO Jeff Meyer said. “Any little bit helps and the least we could do was put together a fight card with the Future Stars of MMA, as well as some big names in MMA who participated. We can’t thank everyone enough for helping put this amazing event together for a good cause.”
Xtreme Couture G.I. Foundation provides necessary support and services for wounded soldiers and their families, many of whom return with traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blast injuries. One-hundred percent of the proceeds are given as Operation Knockout continues to build on its efforts to raise more money and help more wounded soldiers and their families. With help of its generous sponsors and donations, “Operation Knock” had raised more than $170,000 going into this year’s event.
“I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the support from Tuff-N-Uf, Downtown Las Vegas Events Center and the D Las Vegas of ‘Round 7, Operation Knockout’ and wounded veterans through xcgif.org,” Couture commented. “We at XCGIF appreciate your help and support of this cause.
“We train our warriors to suppress strong emotional reactions in the face of adversity, to tolerate physical and emotional pain, and overcome the fear of injury and death. The military can’t decrease the intensity of that conditioning without negatively affecting the fighting capability of our military. It is a Catch-22. A chilling truth is service members are, simply put, more capable of killing themselves by sheer consequence of their professional training and we are losing 22 a day. This must change. We need to retrain our warriors on what defines success for them.”
“It’s going to be a great night of fighting and grappling. Thank you all for your contributions.”
CBS Sports Network is available across the United States through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com
Twitter: @tuffnuff, @Neonstarmedia, @randy_Couture
| About Tuff-N- Uff: A 22-year old combat sports organization, the Las Vegas-based TUFF-N- UFF presents the best amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) action in the nation. It has given rise to some of the biggest stars in the sport today, including former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, as well UFC and Strikeforce veteran Ryan Couture and UFC welterweight Alan Jouban. TUFF-N-UFF has helped grow the careers of many other MMA athletes including Jessamyn Duke, Ashlee Evans-Smith, Tonya Evinger, Jon Fitch, Jesse Forbes, Chris Holdsworth, Brad Imes, Jimmy Jones and Jesse Taylor. In 2013, TUFF-N- UFF became the first combat sports organization to be included on the UFC International Fight Week schedule of events. In 2014,
TUFF-N- UFF presented a second event Thursday, July 3 live from Texas Station, earning status as the first event promotion to be listed on the UFC International Fight Week schedule two years in a row. TUFF-N- UFF celebrated its historic 20th anniversary Saturday, June 7, 2014, with over 15,000 fans, in a sold-out live event inside the Thomas and Mack Center. In 2014, TUFF-N- UFF partnered with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) to present, as part of UFC International Fight Week 2014, the first-ever amateur MMA World Championships. Jeff Meyer is the CEO of TUFF-N- UFF and runs the organization in dedication to his late brother, Barry Meyer, who founded TUFF-N- UFF in 1994. TUFF-N- UFF is committed to growing the sport of MMA and building the “Future Stars of MMA”.
About Neon Star Media LLC: Neon Star Media is a marketing and content company that creates highly effective brand-integration experiences for our clients, executed through a unique “story-telling” approach that empowers client’s product messaging to soar while delivering results. At Neon Star Media, we maximize client media spends by leveraging our relationships with various sporting events, cable channels, digital platforms and other social media outlets. We work with our clients to engage, endorse and advance their message with audiences on all platforms 24/7.
About the D Las Vegas: the D Las Vegas delivers the fresh, energetic attitude and fun atmosphere synonymous with downtown Las Vegas. The new casino hotel boasts 629 remodeled rooms and suites and a unique two-level casino featuring modern and vintage floors. Cocktails, beer and frozen beverages abound inside the casino at LONGBAR and on the Fremont Street Experience at D Bar. the D offers contemporary American fare at D Grill, Detroit’s legendary Coney Dogs at American Coney Island and premium steaks and authentic Italian dishes at Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. The Showroom at the D Las Vegas features outstanding entertainment ranging from award-winning dinner theater and Broadway productions to music, comedy and more. Follow the D on Facebook and Twitter.
About Downtown Las Vegas Events Center: Located at the corner of Third St. and Carson Ave. across from the D Las Vegas, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center can accommodate up to 11,000 guests and features state-of-the-art stage, sound and lighting. The open-air design is inviting to both tourists and locals and offers the perfect spot for concerts, conventions and other large-scale events. Embracing the uninhibited spirit of Downtown Las Vegas, the new venue plays host to a line-up of curated events including premier concerts, food festivals and more. The venue is also the first entertainment arena in Las Vegas to accept Bitcoin as currency. For more information, visit www.dlvec.com or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @dlveventscenter.
Tom, Tony and Rich discuss the week in Combat Sports, focusing on the recent UFC Fight Night in Hamburg, Germany, the UFC debut of Phil Brooks (A.K.A. CM Punk) and the upcoming battle between Kell Brook and Gennady Golovkin.
By: Rich Bergeron
Those who know me personally would all say I am a mellow individual, until you seriously cross me, like, for instance, if you become the subject of an investigative report I’m working on, or sue me for $25 million. Sometimes I may take things like that as a sign you might not want me to really find out who you are and what you do behind closed doors to screw hard working people over.
This week, a certain individual who won’t even let me follow him in Twitter (https://twitter.com/danawhite) pissed me off to the point where I could only think of one thing to do. Because I’m officially blacklisted in every possible way by the UFC brass, and have even had restraining orders placed against my directly contacting the Fertittas and ANY UFC fighter, my best option is to publish a drastic diatribe here I am just going to call my “OPEN FU” to Dana “Effing” White.
I’m sure Mr. White will not take my calls or subject himself to a one on one interview with me. So, I will have to settle for a written FU…and a multi-tiered and multi-purpose FU.
FU, Dana “Effing” White… for many, many reasons…too many for one small blog post to do justice, but let’s just say Most of all FU….
For what you THINK you know about Holly Holm…
Hey, Dana, you wanna talk about your “effing” reality show “Looking For a Fight????” I was actually looking for a fight when I watched that old reality “shit show” when you were supposed to box Tito Ortiz, but HE magically backed out at the last minute.
Now, you, DANA “EFFING” WHITE, are telling Holly Holm about a decision YOU think she didn’t think through enough??? And now you act like someone pissed in your Wheaties because you have two upset wins at UFC 196 to work around and figure out how to make sense of somehow.
Boo “effing” hoo, buddy.
Welcome to how things don’t go as planned sometimes in the fight business, you ungrateful prick.
Holly Holm Was the Bantamweight Champion of the UFC when she allowed HER Manager (not Dana “effing” White) to negotiate the Tate fight on her behalf, and she knew (and her long-time manager knew, too) what she was doing and what she wanted. And guess “effing” what, Dana? She wanted to fight.
Sorry, Dana “Effing” White, but Holly didn’t want to sit on an “effing” sideline waiting for Ronda Rousey to finish her “effing” ROADHOUSE REMAKE!
Holly wanted to go to work… but unfortunately she has to work for a boss who has no idea what it’s like to step into HER office and handle HER daily workload with such tenacity, class, dignity and grace.
And I think maybe she looks back a bit differently than you do, Dana, with no “effing” regrets whatsoever for putting her absolute all into that fight and just plain getting caught in her one area of weakness in a battle where she likely would have won a three-round fight. Maybe if YOU were a fighter, Dana, you might get that whole concept. Maybe losing in this case only makes her better, stronger, and more durable as a career mixed martial artist. Who gives a damn if it makes her less marketable in your eyes? What do you really know, anyway?
UNLIKE YOU, Dana “Effing” White, Holly actually respects Miesha Tate and thought it would be a challenge to fight her. Yeah, she lost, but damn, she was absolutely correct about it being a challenge. I think the fight will go down as one of the greatest battles in female MMA history.
Now, why don’t you open your “effing” eyes, Dana, watch the fight again, and quit bitching about what should have happened in that cage you never fought in yourself.
Be grateful you have a champion you just paid $92,000 in fight pay (before bonuses) to take your organization’s belt from the girl you WANTED TO WIN (and paid $500,000 just to be there). It may not be what you expected, but the anxiety you feel about it is what you DESERVE to feel for being such a douchebag to the fighters who built the UFC.
My biggest questions on this subject for Dana are: Why are you such a biased, crooked asshole who can’t bother to give Miesha the time of day FOR ALL HER HARD WORK? Why can’t you give credit where it is due…on both sides of that fight? Why can’t you shut the “eff” up about what you think Holly or her management should have or could have waited for?
It’s not your place to look back with 20/20 hindsight and act like Holly and her manager should have gone all Nostradamus on this fight when you obviously didn’t see this shit coming, either, you dome-headed dimwit.
Fighters “effing” fight, Dana. That’s what they “effing” do, which you should know, since I am pretty sure you used to be an “effing” manager of MMA fighters yourself. Yes, that was many moons ago, but how could you forget?
Fighters don’t sit on their asses on corporate jets and stand at podiums in front of the press all day to earn the “effing” paltry paychecks your organization pays out to most of them. Most fighters simply cannot afford to wait around for shit to happen or for someone “worthy” enough in your eyes to step up and fight them.
Some fighters need to feed their kids. All of them need to pay their bills and for everything else involved with training camps, daily living expenses, travel and whatever costs medical insurance doesn’t cover when they have to address nagging injuries. Your shitty Reebok deal made it virtually impossible to get any other outside sponsors to help pay for anything like that stuff for many fighters, Dana.
Welcome to selling out and forgetting where you came from, Dana. You used to care more about fighters. Now you act like fighting in a cage is just like doing any other 9-5 job. It’s not. It’s “effing” hard work.
So, yeah, Holly chose to fight instead of waiting for Rousey to be ready for the rematch. And you think she needs your opinion now that everything didn’t work out as planned for you both?
She hurts a lot worse than you, and I can guaran-effing-tee that.
Oh…and…by the way…fighters are way more responsible for the growth and success of the UFC/Zuffa organization than you ever have been. And that’s real talk, you rich bitch with a stick up your ass because you were never good enough in your life to ever have your own official fight.
So, get over the God complex and learn to respect ALL of your fighters, not just the ones you want to see win because you might think you can work with them better or you think they will move the organization in a better direction. Respect the effort, the sacrifice and the pain ALL your fighters go through each and every day to get where they get. That belt you put on Miesha’s waist was EARNED, and don’t you ever think it is “effing” cool to call the fact that Holly Holm had the guts to face Miesha Tate “a mistake.”
It rings hollow, especially when I would consider that handing you a microphone to talk about MMA at all was THE greatest mistake the sport ever made, period! Anyone who would try to knock a former champion down a peg that way in his own organization does not deserve to be recognized as that organization’s president.
You have no clue what it’s really like to fight, and your criticism of Holly Holm tells me you can never possibly understand the mindset that led her to take the Tate fight and not wait an idle year for Ronda “effing” Rousey to be ready to appear at one of your precious shows.
So, FU Dana White for treating your former champ like she’s an idiot who doesn’t know how to control her own career without you butting your stupid, bald head into it. Holly’s fine without your advice, and she trusts her manager, which might be something you’re not familiar with, but for other people it is actually a reality of doing business with legitimate people.
FU, Dana for being a piss-poor ambassador for the sport, disrespecting fighters who bleed (and sometimes suffer lifelong injuries) for you and the sport, and totally underestimating and failing to grasp what it really takes to actually be a professional fighter who actually competes against other fighters…
Do you remember the days when you had to settle for being a lowly boxercise instructor because your boxing trainer Boston slapped you too hard in the ear once? You never had a single competitive fight in your life, Dana “effing” White, and that’s a DOCUMENTED FACT!
Do you ever even look back at those days before the silver-spoon-fed Fertittas helped you claw your greedy, selfish, egotistical ass into the position of OFFICIAL UFC MOUTHPIECE?
Do you remember those “hairy” days when you blew through $40 million of Fertitta funds to perpetrate the “Zuffa Myth” while claiming credit for the UFC brass singlehandedly legitimizing the sport and getting it regulated all by your “effing” selves? As if not a single FIGHTER nor any other industry professional who pioneered MMA before you dipped your greedy little paws into it had anything to do with it?
Your Mom remembers those “coulda been a contender” days, Dana..when you thought you might be able to have an actual fight with another human being. Your own mother remembers even though you and one of your sleazy friends tried to silence her, BASH HER ONLINE, and even blacklist her BOOK, too.
Do you remember the days when even Floyd Mayweather, Jr. thought you were cool, back when your daily driver was an “effing” Honda, Dana? Floyd Remembers. He knew you long before you could afford to blow a normal person’s yearly pay on a single hand of poker.
You’re in a different place now, Dana “effing” White, and it’s a delusional place. Like on the distant planet you live on, people actually believe YOU really, honestly, truly “effing” know what it’s ACTUALLY like to be an “effing” fighter? Do you actually believe YOU somehow could ever REALLY know that feeling?
You know what A FIGHTER is, don’t you, Dana? A fighter is a man or woman who has the courage to willingly step into unarmed combat against another actual man or woman instead of just criticizing up and down the guys and girls who do have the guts to actually stand across from another human being while knowing and internalizing that the accepted goal is to physically destroy each other.
A fighter, in more simple terms, is “one who fights.” And let’s be clear about one “effing” thing, Dana “effing” White, I know fighters, and YOU are no fighter.
You are nothing like a fighter, Dana “effing” White, and you never “effing” will be. You are too weak, both physically and mentally. Until we see you go through a six-week training camp and then get into the cage against someone and kick his ass, we shouldn’t have to listen to one damn “coulda,” “shoulda,” or “woulda” out of your cornfed mouth about what you think of any particular fighter’s performance or decision making process. Those people have the guts to do what you will NEVER do yourself, and you ought to respect that.
FU Dana White…For not recognizing Real Fighters Like Miesha Tate and Nate Diaz who keep at it no matter what and NEVER seem to earn your ULTIMATE RESPECT….
Nate Diaz stepped up to fight Conor McGregor for a reason. He had nothing to lose, and he wasn’t intimidated one bit. He famoulsy went on television with Fox Sports 1 on a split screen with Conor before that welterweight fight and quipped that his nemesis had already been choked out before, “by two lames.” Diaz also had the perfect instinct to add humourously that McGregor’s choke losses happened, “like a week ago.”
Diaz beat Conor in the shit-talk game long before he ever slapped him down and slipped that choke around his neck in the cage. The media created by that freakshow fight might have stopped the unchecked rise of your big, bold, six-headed dragon champion, but it created a new monster at the same time. And he’s a Reebok-hating, scowling, swearing, Stockton-slapping Mother-F$#king BEAST who doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about what he does or says.
You might think Diaz and his attitude are “bad for business,” but I think his victory was the best thing that could ever happen to all you smug punks running the UFC. It just proves once and for all that you do not control the MMA universe.
Nate Diaz went without respect and credit for being an MMA pioneer and a good UFC soldier for far too long. The bitterness brewed and boiled within him, and I loved every second of him letting it pour out in post-fight interviews after he choked the shit out of Conor until the Irish bloke tapped the “eff” out and left Dana White drooling in a stupor at the thought of having to congratulate a man who’s become more of a mortal enemy than a member of the big “team.”
More power to Nate and all the crazy, abrasive, in-your-face Diaz brother types out there in the UFC who will fight Dana “effing” White’s flamboyant fire with even more bravado and brash talk of their own. They can always say, “I learned it by watching you, Baldfather!”
As for Miesha Tate, she deserves true respect and admiration for being champ now after picking herself off the mat twice in the face of grueling losses to Rousey. Kudos to Tate for continuing her career and relentlessly focusing on getting by that Rousey armbar once and for all.
Though Miesha never did solve that Rousey submission dilemma, trying at all costs to get another crack at the belt paid dividends at UFC 196. Her never quit attitude led her to an opportunity of a lifetime, and she capitalized on it. Now, Dana, you actually have to pay this young lady what most of her fans would say she was worth a long time ago.
And now you simply have to treat Tate with a bit of reverence and appreciation for once in your ungrateful life, Dana “effing” White. I know it must pain you so much to give this young lady the credit she’s worked so incredibly hard for, because maybe she touched a nerve when she called you out in the past for being the true clueless and disrespectful prick you really are. She was right, and you were wrong about how great she really is at fighting. Then again, weren’t you also WRONG about women fighting in the cage, period?
So, you DON’T wanna be a fighter, Mr. White? Then step aside and let the people who DO wanna be fighters go to battle for you so you can ride around the world on your jet and act like you know what the “eff” you’re talking about when you stand in front of a microphone to describe the sport’s true athletes and what they do to make a living in mixed martial arts.
The line from Dana that most stands out to me as comblete BS in this whole debacle is this one:
“He’s an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart and he isn’t,” White said of Fresquez [Holm’s Manager]. “I feel bad for Holly because I don’t know if she really knows what she lost.”
I have only two more “effing” questions for you Dana “effing” White…
1.) What makes you think you are really in any “effing” position to EVER know or understand what Holly Holm lost the other night? Aside from a few bad poker hands and tons of respect, the only thing you ever lost is your mind.
2.) Doesn’t your backhanded quote about Holm’s manager describe your own shitty character a whole lot better than that of Mr. Fresquez?
AND…just in case after reading all this anyone STILL needs yet another reason to have beef with the Baldfather:
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Given that it’s tax season, it’s a good time to remember that are there three guarantees in life: death, taxes and Ronda Rousey once again showing why she is the best female fighter on the planet with a first-round demolition of her opponent.
Rousey’s performance at UFC 184 last month was her finest to date. She submitted Cat Zingano, widely regarded as Rousey’s biggest challenge, in 14 seconds. While Rousey was aided by an absolutely horrible strategy by Zingano, her virtuoso performance led to another discussion of who has what it takes to dethrone Rousey. It also led to a ridiculous conversation of whether or not Rousey could compete against and defeat male fighters in the UFC’s bantamweight division. The less time spent on that absurd notion that accomplishes nothing but trying to discredit the great fighter Rousey is, the better.
Of course, the first name that always comes up is Cris “Cyborg” Justino, the Invicta FC featherweight champion. She is expected to drop to 135 pounds for a fight with Invicta this summer before moving on to a fight with Rousey. However, Cyborg attempted a drop to bantamweight last year and abandoned those plans. So I wouldn’t hold my breath on the long-awaited grudge match between Rousey and Cyborg happening anytime soon.
Rousey recently expressed a desire to fight Bethe Correia, who battered two of Rousey’s “Four Horsewomen” teammates and has been calling Rousey out ever since. Jessica Eye has also staked her claim to a title shot, but neither of these women pose a real threat to Rousey. During UFC 184’s postfight coverage, Daniel Cormier floated the idea of his colleague Miesha Tate getting a third crack at Rousey.
Besides the fact I think trilogies should be reserved only when each fighter has a victory over the other, I see no reason why third time would be a charm for Tate. While she is the only woman to go further than the first round with Rousey, Tate has plateaued as a fighter while Rousey has gotten better. If the two were to fight a third time, I see no reason to believe the result would be any different.
So where does this leave Rousey? In my opinion, she has cleaned out the UFC women’s bantamweight division. There is no one who poses a credible threat to her. If Zingano adjusted her strategy and received another shot at Rousey, she might have a chance of winning. Beyond that, if Rousey decided to go out on top and build on her burgeoning film career, I don’t think anyone would hold it against her.
Rousey is currently on a run akin to Anderson Silva’s run atop the UFC’s middleweight division. He dominated everyone in his path and except for his first fight with Chael Sonnen, made it look easy. Rousey’s hardest fight to date was against Liz Carmouche, when she had Rousey in a rear naked choke in the first round of their fight in 2013 before Rousey was able to escape and secure another armbar victory.
Silva’s reign atop the middleweight division came to an end when the previously unknown Chris Weidman came along and showed no fear and took the fight to Silva. Maybe that’s what needs to happen with Rousey. She needs to find an opponent who will get right in her face, give her no quarter and take the fight to her. Zingano attempted that at UFC 184, but her overzealousness ended up costing her dearly.
Until Rousey finds her own Chris Weidman, we can add another superlative to the many that are already attached to the women’s bantamweight champion: cleaner. Rousey is fresh out of worthy challengers to her crown, a task she accomplished by cleaning out her division.
Chris Huntemann writes about mixed martial arts in the state of Maryland. He also shares his thoughts on the UFC, Bellator, and World Series of Fighting. Check out his blog, or follow him on Twitter: @mmamaryland.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Saturday, Feb. 28, is going to be a landmark day for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. All the fighters on the pay-per-view card that day will pass their pre-fight drug…….never mind. That’s too easy.
That day will be the first time a UFC card features women’s bouts in both its co-main event and main event. After middleweight champion Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from his fight against Vitor Belfort due to injury, the new main event at UFC 184 is Ronda Rousey defending her women’s bantamweight belt against Cat Zingano. In the co-main event, much-heralded prospect Holly Holm will make her UFC debut against Raquel Pennington in another women’s bantamweight fight.
As I’ve mentioned before, UFC has come a long way from when Dana White told TMZ that women would “never” fight in his organization. Rousey will main event her third consecutive February PPV and Holm is widely believed to be the next in line for a shot at the title, should she defeat Pennington. Holm is still very raw in mixed martial arts, but trains with the world renowned coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.
Rousey is carrying the flag for women’s MMA and for women in the UFC. Other female fighters have followed her into the Octagon, including Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis. What do those three have in common? They all also fell to Rousey – Tate twice in Strikeforce and the UFC, and Carmouche and Davis both in the first round at UFC PPVs in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Rousey and Tate’s feud is well-chronicled. It led to the two being coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, which included female fighters for the very first time who greatly outshined their male counterparts on the show that season.
Given that season’s success, the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter featured ALL female fighters and the debut of the UFC’s newest division, women’s strawweight. Carla Esparza, the former Invicta FC strawweight champion, won the inaugural UFC version of that belt after defeating Rose Namajunas.
So in the span of four years, UFC goes from having no female fighters and White emphatically stating that it never will, to being home to TWO female weight classes and undoubtedly the promotion’s biggest star right now in Rousey. Don’t believe me? Did you see the third Expendables movie? Or do you plan on seeing the film version of Entourage this summer? You might notice a familiar face.
So where does women’s MMA go from here? I am personally a big fan of female fights, as they tend to be among the more entertaining and action-packed fights on a UFC card. As I previously stated, female fighters are more than capable of outshining their male contemporaries. Why is that? Maybe female fighters feel they have more to prove inside the Octagon and always go for broke. Maybe they go into the Octagon with more of a “go for broke” mentality and actively seek a finish as opposed to “playing it safe.”
The fight between Rousey and Zingano on Feb. 28 will also go a long way toward determining the future of women’s MMA. Should Rousey defeat Zingano – which all signs indicate she will – she will have essentially cleaned out her division, with only unknown challengers like Holm and Bethe Correia left. If Zingano pulls the upset, then the division has a fresh batch of exciting matchups waiting.
But who knows what would have happened if Dana White kept his promise to TMZ?
Chris Huntemann writes about mixed martial arts in the state of Maryland. He also contributes his thoughts to our site on the UFC, Bellator, and World Series of Fighting. Check out his blog, or follow him on Twitter: @mmamaryland.
Photo Credit: UFC
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has hit it out of the park so far in 2015, with its first two major cards of the year living up to the hype of their main events. Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones dominated Daniel Cormier to prove he is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world at UFC 182, and at the UFC’s live card in Boston, Mass., in January, Conor McGregor secured a featherweight title shot against José Aldo and wasted no time getting in his next opponent’s face.
Which brings us to UFC 183 tonight, and a main event that is considered a dream matchup by many. Anderson Silva returns to the Octagon after suffering a gruesome leg injury in his last fight against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in 2013. Nick Diaz also makes his return to the UFC after losing his last fight against former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in 2013.
Tonight’s card isn’t without its other storylines though. A pair of significant undercard fights are taking place under some controversy, as flyweight John Lineker came in overweight for his fight against Ian McCall, which is expected to determine the next no. 1 contender to the flyweight title. In the co-main event, Kelvin Gastelum came in 9 pounds overweight for his fight against Tyron Woodley, which means 30 percent of Gastelum’s fight purse actually goes to Woodley. Talk about insult to injury.
Of course, there is always the wild card with Diaz too. He plays by his own rules, having no-showed the open workouts earlier this week. Will he actually show up to the cage for tonight’s main event? It remains to be seen, though most everyone thinks he will.
So, having said all that, who do I think wins tonight?
Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (15-5) vs. Sara McMann (8-1) (Women’s bantamweight – 135 lbs.)
This is actually the main event of the preliminary card on Fox Sports 1. Tate requested to compete on this portion of the card instead of the pay-per-view card, taking a page from Urijah Faber’s playbook. Tate is also eager for a third fight with Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title. Both of these women suffered Rousey’s wrath, particularly McMann, who was demolished by Rousey in about a minute last year.
McMann is a pure wrestler with very little else to her repertoire, whereas Tate built on her established wrestling skills to become an effective striker. I think she will stuff McMann’s attempts to take this fight to the mat and use her vastly superior striking skills to keep McMann befuddled en route to a dominant victory.
Winner: Tate by unanimous decision
Jordan “Young Gun” Mein (29-9) vs. Thiago “Pitbull” Alves (25-9) (Welterweight – 170 lbs.)
Alves has alternated wins and losses in his last six fights, while Mein rides a two-fight win streak. Alves is always dangerous with his Muay Thai and striking, while Mein landed a first-round TKO victory in his last fight. This should be an exciting stand-up battle with neither guy willing to give an inch. I think Alves is the more dangerous fighter here, and will land one good shot to knock Mein silly.
Winner: Alves by second round TKO
Thales Leites (24-4) vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (18-7) (Middleweight – 185 lbs.)
Leites comes into this fight on a roll, having won his last seven fights, with the last two coming by way of TKO. Boetsch has alternated wins and losses in his last four fights, including a TKO victory in his last fight against Brad Tavares.
Boetsch is a slow, plodding bruiser best known for derailing the Hector Lombard hype train when he first made his UFC debut. Leites is a crafty, dangerous fighter who can finish you with his hands or by submission. I think Leites will avoid Boetsch’s power and wait for Boetsch to make a mistake, where Leits will capitalize.
Winner: Leites by third round submission
Joe Lauzon (24-10) vs. Al “Raging” Iaquinta (10-3-1) (Lightweight – 155 lbs.)
You know what you’re getting with a Joe Lauzon fight. You’re going to see an exciting, action packed bout that will most likely end with him locking in a slick submission or, in the case of his fight against Jim Miller, suffering a gnarly cut that will guarantee a blood battle.
Iaquinta has been on a roll since his time on The Ultimate Fighter Live, having only lost once in his last six fights. A win against Lauzon would be a real feather in his cap and might propel him into title contendership discussion. But Lauzon is one of the best submission specialists in the UFC, and I think the crafty veteran has another submission up his sleeve.
Winner: Lauzon by second round submission
Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley (14-3) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (11-0) (Welterweight – 170 lbs.)
As mentioned above, Gastelum weighed in 9 pounds over for this fight and will forfeit 30 percent of his purse directly to Woodley. It was reported that Gastelum spent time in the hospital leading up to this fight, which contributed to him coming in overweight.
Woodley will be angry in this fight, and rightly so. It’s not fair that his opponent will have a weight advantage due to his own failure to do what he was supposed to do. Give Woodley credit for wanting to keep fighting when it would have been perfectly understandable to postpone it.
Woodley will channel his rage into a blitzkrieg of offense at Gastelum, and the lethargic and probably still-injured Gastelum will have no response.
Winner: Woodley by second round TKO
Anderson “The Spider” Silva (33-6) vs. Nick Diaz (27-9-1) (Middleweight – 185 lbs.)
This is one of the several main events that have fight fans buzzing in 2015. Many didn’t think Silva would ever walk again after his leg injury against Weidman, let alone come back to the UFC to fight. The matchup style of Diaz wanting to push the pace, get in his opponent’s face and sucker him into trading blows against Silva’s unrivaled elusiveness will be interesting to watch.
Diaz said he wouldn’t trash talk Silva during this fight out of respect. But if Silva keeps bobbing and weaving and dodging Diaz’s punches, we’ll see how long Diaz commits to that. I think we’ll see vintage Silva in this fight, making Diaz look silly in some spots while landing well-timed strikes that will confuse and frustrate Diaz, which will allow Silva to land even more.
Diaz is too tough to finish, but this fight will show that Silva still has it and is the vastly superior fighter.
Winner: Silva by unanimous decision
Chris Huntemann writes about mixed martial arts in the state of Maryland. He also contributes his thoughts to our site on the UFC, Bellator, and World Series of Fighting. Check out his blog, or follow him on Twitter: @mmamaryland.