John Douglas

A Concrete Blonde

Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

Best fighters outside of the UFC?

Posted on October 11, 2014  in Writing

 Light Heavyweight results with 281 votes

  • Emanuel Newton – 26%, 74 votes

  • Tyrone Spong – 21%, 59 votes

  • Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – 17%, 48 votes

  • Liam McGeary – 11%, 32 votes

http://poll.pollcode.com/84778513_result?v

 Middleweight results with 782 votes

  • Yushin Okami – 49%, 380 votes

  • Mamed Khalidov – 13%, 100 votes

  • Melvin Manhoef – 10%, 81 votes

http://vote.pollcode.com/22263212

 Welterweight results with 742 votes

  • Ben Askren – 67%, 500 votes

  • Jake Shields – 9%, 64 votes

  • Rousimar Palhares – 8%, 56 votes

http://vote.pollcode.com/88289456

 Lightweight results with 740 votes

  • Michael Chandler – 38%, 281 votes

  • Shinya Aoki – 22%, 165 votes

  • Will Brooks – 16%, 117 votes

  • Justin Gaethje – 10%, 74 votes

http://vote.pollcode.com/12754527

 Featherweight results with 92 votes

  • Patricio “Pitbull” Freire – 62%, 57 votes

  • Pat Curran – 13%, 12 Votes

  • Daniel Straus – 5%, 5 votes

http://vote.pollcode.com/64238217

 Bantamweight results with 74 votes

  • Marlon Moraes – 53%, 39 votes.

  • Eduardo Dantas – 15%, 11 votes.

  • Bibiano Fernandes – 15%, 11 votes.

http://vote.pollcode.com/62529553

 Flyweight results with 59 votes.

  • Adriano Moraes – 42%, 25 votes.

  • Alexis Vila – 8%, 5 votes.

  • Pietro Menga – 8%, 5 vote.

http://vote.pollcode.com/35725911

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

I’m not a real MMA Fan.

Posted on August 30, 2014  in Uncategorized

So because I dont want to shell out for a PPV that sucks enormous balls Im not a true MMA fan? I usually watch the events in my house because my wife is the only person I know who likes UFC(or at least pretends to for my benefit). I ripped my Judo gi last week and wanted to buy a new one. I think Ill opt for that over wasting money on a shitty PPV. Id rate this PPV a 2/10 for fight quality. The free card next week and 178 are maybe 7s. Ill go to sleep early and go to the gym tomorrow morning instead of wasting my time and money on a sub par product that has been getting progressively worse for months and told by the promoter he doesnt give a fuck if I watch or not.

UFC doesn’t control PPV prices. There are legal ways to watch events for free/cheap. Use this as an opportunity to socialize with other fans of the sport.

Some people dont live in the US and can catch a card at primetime.

I know I won’t be swaying the masses of this subreddit full of supposed fans of MMA; with their undying hatred and vitriol towards the “evil” UFC and it’s “sleazebag” president, Dana White.

Yeah, because its just that simple isnt it.

But I’m almost entirely positive that PPV prices are NOT determined by the UFC – they may have input into what price point would make sense – but it’s actually the providers of the on-demand events who create the price.

Actually thast not true. Dana famously raised the price of 168 from 54.95 to 59.95 and said it was for that event only. Even after he promised that PPV prices would never increase. He claimed the value of that card warranted a price hike and when asked by media members why it was decided he replied ”Cuz”. And you wonder why ”the masses” of this sub are angry?

Regardless, if you think $60 is too much to shell out for a fight but you still want to watch it – because supposedly you are an MMA fan in this thread and not solely an athlete fan – why is it so out of the question to go watch the fights at a sports bar and socialize with other fans in your area?

Because not every person on this sub resides in the US.

because supposedly you are an MMA fan in this thread and not solely an athlete fan

I dont even….

To the people that are complaining about the $60 price tag but hate the idea of going to a bar: invite 5 friends over (who also think $60 is too much for a fight) and everyone throw down $10! Or, as a last option, stream the event illegally like you were originally going to anyway…I have a sneaking suspicion many of the people complaining about price don’t buy many PPVs anyway.

Thats assuming a whole lot about a sub of 85 thousand people and generalising them into a tiny basket.

I guarantee that a long-term reason the UFC started it’s subscription service was to ultimately move away from cable-provided PPV models. PPV is becoming a bit antiquated in our current state of technology and, with more people jumping the cable/satellite ship in lieu of internet-only streams, it will not age gracefully.

To the people that are complaining about the $60 price tag but hate the idea of going to a bar: invite 5 friends over (who also think $60 is too much for a fight)

LULZ

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

Sara McMann just wrestled her way to a split decision.

Posted on August 17, 2014  in Uncategorized

Sara basically wrestled her way to victory. She pretty much took Murphy down at will, but didn’t really pass guard or do a lot of ground n’ pound. Lauren was active off of her back throwing a fuck ton of little rabbit punches that did no damage. The UFC stats say she landed 193 strikes, and McMann had a teeny-tiny shiner under one of her eyes to show for it.

The stats pretty much tell the story.

McMann – 5 takedowns, 10:41 seconds of control.
Murphy – 0 takedowns 14 seconds of control.

McMann – 64 of 112 strikes landed – 38 significant.
Murphy – 193 of 236 strikes land – 48 significant.

Almost all of Murphy’s strikes and significant strikes coming off of her back.

I mean, it’s almost impossible to have consistent judging in a fight like McMann-Murphy, because it all depends upon how you view what’s happening.

It’s also a case of people not knowing the judging criteria.

The majority of the fight took place on the ground, with McMann in top control. Here are the literal rules for scoring a fight when it is on the ground:

If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round on the canvas, then:

Effective grappling is weighed first; and

Effective striking is then weighed.

The key there being, when the majority of a round is on the ground, grappling takes precedence over striking.

So when someone is dominating in top position for the majority of the fight, they are scoring more points than someone throwing a bunch of rabbit punches off of their back.


Now, the other key word here is “effective,” and what is “effective” grappling, and “effective” striking.

You could make a case that there was basically not really any effective striking in the entire match. There was some effective grappling by McMann, with the 5 take downs, and a couple of guard passes, but not much.

It was just a shitty fight all around.

I think you have to give it to McMann though. When they were on the feet, McMann clearly got the better of the striking exchanges. Same when they were in the clinch. Also, McMann had top control for basically 2/3rds of the fight. As paced as her ground and pound and grappling was, according to the unified rules, it beats out Murphy’s shitty rabbit punches off of her back.

Also, at no point did Murphy even attempt to threaten with a sub from her back, so it’s not like you can award her points for an active or threatening guard. If she had been constantly going for subs, keeping McMann on the defensive, threatening to land a few, then you could probably give her the fight, but that didn’t happen at all what so ever.

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

How have the ex-Strikeforce fighters done in the UFC? A look at their collective record since the merge and some other facts.

Posted on July 31, 2014  in Writing

So the topic came about in another thread about how good the Strikeforce guys have been in the UFC since the merger in early 2013. For statistics’ sake, here is how each fighter has done in the UFC at each weight class. I’m not including the fighters from the women’s bantamweight division, since it was also new at the same time.

Note: If a fighter is now in a different weight class, his name will be highlighted in italics. If a fighter is no longer with the UFC, his name will be struck through.

Heavyweight

Daniel Cormier (2-0), Had Top 5 Ranking in HW before moving down

Josh Barnett (1-1), Current #6 in HW Rankings

Guto Inocente (0-1)

Light Heavyweight

Daniel Cormier (2-0), Current #2 in LHW Rankings, Will Challenge for LHW Title

Ovince St. Preux (4-0), Current #10 in LHW Rankings

Gegard Mousasi (1-0), Had Top 10 Ranking in LHW before moving down

Rafael Cavalcante (1-2), Current #12 in LHW Rankings

Gian Villante (2-2)

Middleweight

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (3-0), Current #4 in MW Rankings

Luke Rockhold (2-1), Current #5 in MW Rankings

Tim Kennedy (3-0), Current #6 in MW Rankings

Gegard Mousasi (1-1), Current #7 in MW Rankings

Yoel Romero (4-0), Current #11 in MW Rankings

Derek Brunson (2-1)

Trevor Smith (2-2)

Nate Marquardt (1-0)

Lorenz Larkin (1-3)

Roger Gracie (0-1), CONTRACT NOT RENEWED

Anthony Smith (0-1), CUT

Bristol Marunde (0-2), CUT

Welterweight

Robbie Lawler (5-1), Current #1 in WW Rankings, Challenged for WW Title, Will Likely Challenge for WW Title

Tyron Woodley (3-2), Current #4 in WW Rankings

Tarec Saffiedine (1-0), Current #10 in WW Rankings

Adlan Amagov (2-0)

K.J. Noons (1-0)

Nate Marquardt (0-2)

Bobby Voelker (0-4)

Jason High (2-2), CUT due to pushing a ref

Lightweight

Gilbert Melendez (1-1), Current #2 in WW Rankings, Challenged for LW Title, Will Challenge for LW Title

Josh Thomson (1-2), Current #6 in LW Rankings, Was Going to Challenge for LW Title

Bobby Green (4-0), Current #7 in LW Rankings

Jorge Masvidal (4-1), Current #14 in LW Rankings

Adriano Martins (2-1)

K.J. Noons (1-1)

Isaac Vallie-Flagg (1-2)

Roger Bowling (0-2, 1 NC)

Yancy Medeiros (0-2, 1 NC)

Pat Healy (0-4, 1 NC), CUT

Ryan Couture (0-2), CUT

Caros Fodor (0-1), CUT

Featherweight

Mizuto Hirota (0-2), CUT

Kurt Holobaugh (0-1), CUT

Overall record of Strikeforce fighters since joining the UFC: 60 wins, 51 losses, 3 No Contests.

That record is shared between 38 fighters.

The GOOD:

  • 2 of these fighters have fought in title matches (Gilbert Melendez and Robbie Lawler)

  • The same 2 have also received title shots twice (technically hasn’t been officially confirmed for Lawler, I know)

  • 4 fighters have received title shots (Melendez, Lawler, Daniel Cormier, and Josh Thomson; unfortunately Thomson didn’t end up getting his when Anthony Pettis got injured)

  • 8 fighters are still undefeated in their UFC tenures so far; these fighters are responsible for nearly half of the Strikeforce fighters’ win total, with a combined record of 25 wins and 0 losses (Cormier, St. Preux, Jacare, Kennedy, Romero, Saffiedine, Amagov, Green)

  • Of the undefeated fighters, Cormier, St. Preux, Romero, and Green all lead the way with the best records (4-0), Jacare and Kennedy are next (3-0), while Amagov and Saffiedine are still 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.

  • The ex-Strikeforce fighter with the most wins since the merge is Robbie Lawler, with 5. He is also the most active fighter of the lot with 6 professional bouts.

  • Currently, sixteen fighters are numbered in the UFC official ranking system, which goes up to 15. Twelve are in the top 10, and six are in the top 5. Those six are: Daniel Cormier (#2 LHW), Jacare Souza (#4 MW), Luke Rockhold (#5 MW), Robbie Lawler (#1 WW), Tyron Woodley (#4 WW), and Gilbert Melendez (#2 WW).

THE BAD:

  • No fighter has yet to win a UFC title.

  • Of these 38 fighters, only 16 have a winning record during their tenure in the UFC. 17 have a losing record, and 12 have failed to pick up a win at all.

THE UGLY:

  • These 12 winless fighters also make up almost half of the loss total for all ex-Strikeforce fighters (their overall record is 0 wins, 23 losses, and 3 NCs).

  • Of the 12 winless fighters, 8 have been cut. Remarkably, Bobby Voelker (0-4), Roger Bowling (0-2, 1 NC), and Yancy Medeiros (0-2, 1 NC), have managed to avoid the pink slip so far.

  • Since the merge, 9 fighters have been cut from the UFC. The total of these fighters records while they were in the promotion was 2 wins, 16 losses, and 1 NC.

  • The only cut fighter that won in the UFC is Jason High. He is also the only fighter cut that did not have a losing record (2-2). This is due to the reason he was cut: making aggressive physical contact with a ref.

CONCLUSIONS:

We can tell that, at every weight class from LW to HW, the Strikeforce imports have made a significant impact in each division (well, maybe not so much for HW). Strikeforce fighters have fought for the title in LW and WW, the majority of contenders right now at MW are ex-Strikeforce (indeed, this division has definitely changed the most since the merge), and LHW got a much-needed injection of new talent with Cormier and OSP.

There have also been quite a few fighters that didn’t quite make it, but still, considering that Strikeforce was the #2 promotion before its dissolution, I would have to say that the majority of the fighters have punched above their weight

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

Ranking and Legitimacy: From Intuition to Measurement

Posted on July 24, 2014  in Uncategorized

This essay, by Corey Whichard, won first place in the Co-Main Event Podcast’s second annual White Elephant Essay Contest, in the persuasive essay category.

“The UFC always has the fallback to where if some really bad shit happens, it can just have Dana White yell at us about it … Bellator doesn’t really have that. … It doesn’t have that figurehead who is endowed with the confidence to think that he can just make us believe whatever.”
– Chad Dundas, 5/12/14, Episode 103

“But, you know, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on with those rankings … It seems like if the UFC wanted to make those rankings into a thing that we could all take seriously, they would have to have some rules …”
– Ben Fowlkes, 5/12/14, Episode 103

In today’s MMA landscape, the UFC’s capricious abuse of its own ranking system is symptomatic of a much more serious threat to the overall health of MMA. That is, the UFC has too much control over how the sport is presented, and it often uses this control to benefit its own financial agenda at the expense of the sport’s integrity. If MMA is ever going to attain the kind of “sport for sport’s sake” legitimacy that attends football (or even tennis), an important first step is to develop a meaningful ranking system based on objective standards of athletic accomplishment. In this essay, I describe a method for creating such a system and demonstrate its validity.

One way to generate a standardized MMA ranking system involves drawing on techniques used in a sub-field of sociology called “social network analysis.” The basic idea is to model the structure of a social group by mapping out the relationships between individual group members (Borgatti, Everett, and Johnson 2013). It helps to think about this visually. For instance, picture all of the fighters in the UFC’s Welterweight division as large dots drawn on a piece of paper. Now imagine that there are lines linking certain dots together, where each line represents a fight, and each linked pair of dots represents fighters who have competed against each other. Using information from Sherdog.com to construct a win-loss matrix for all Welterweights employed by the UFC circa September 2013, I actually diagrammed the 170-pound division with a program called UCINet. [See Figure 1; Georges St. Pierre is the red dot.]

Once the network structure has been mapped out, it is possible to rank the fighters by calculating each fighter’s “Beta-centrality.” Beta-centrality functions by assigning each fighter a score based on the number of opponents in the network that he has beaten; it then adjusts that score based on the position of those opponents in the network, which itself is based on the position of the opponents that they have beaten, and so on. The process counts all opponents that are directly tied to the fighter, and all opponents that are indirectly tied to the fighter within 10 fights, though opponents that are “farther” away contribute less and less to the fighter’s score. Thus, when Jake Shields beat Martin Kampmann, his “Beta-centrality” score got a bump for this direct victory, but it also got a smaller bump for Kampmann’s win over Paulo Thiago, and an even smaller bump for Thiago’s win over Mike Swick, etc. This kind of recursive calculation is impossibly difficult to perform by hand, though relatively simple with the right computer program.

In plain English, a ranking system based on Beta-centrality means that the “best” fighter in the division does not simply have the most UFC victories, but he has the most victories over the most accomplished fighters in his division. Unlike the current ranking system, where the criteria for evaluating a fighter’s accomplishments largely rest on human opinion, a system based on Beta-centrality has the advantage of standardization. The relevant concept here is prestige, or the notion that a person’s prominence in a group only exists as an emergent quality of their relation to other group members. If you can empirically measure a person’s relationship to others in a group—using, say, a win/loss record—then you can empirically measure their relative position in that group. I used these techniques to generate a top-ten list of the Welterweights described above [see Table 1]. Keeping in mind that this ranking technique does not (yet) account for wins against fighters who were not employed by the UFC during September 2013, that it does not account for periods of inactivity (as long as the fighter was employed, their record was counted), and that it does not assign “style” points for impressive wins, it is notable that 50% of the same names appear (in different order) on my top-ten list that appear on Bloody Elbow’s September 2013 Welterweight meta-rankings (Wade 2013). This overlap provides suggestive evidence that the Beta-centrality rank is at least somewhat accurate. However, I ran one more test to verify this ranking technique’s validity.

Beta-Centrality Ranking for UFC Welterweights

Rank          Fighter Name          Prestige Score

1                       Georges St. Pierre          5.43

2                      Matt Hughes                     3.16

3                      BJ Penn                               2.39

4                      Martin  Kampmann        2.22

5                      Johny Hendricks              2.02

6                      Carlos Condit                    2.00

7                      Thiago Alves                      1.87

8                      Jake Ellenberger             1.80

9                      Matt Serra                         1.79

10                   Rick Story                           1.63

Highly ranked fighters are highly successful fighters. If this ranking system is valid, then a fighter’s rank should be strongly related to other factors associated with professional success, such as financial compensation. It is reasonable to assume that the amount of show money that a fighter receives is a decent approximation of how much the UFC values that fighter. There are aberrations—Nate Diaz received 15K show money for UFC on Fox 7 (mixedmartialarts.com 2013)—but the overall pattern holds true. For the group of Welterweights described above, I recorded the amount of show money (in thousands) that they received for their most recent fight. I also recorded each fighter’s Beta-centrality (“prestige”) score. Because the amount of show money each fighter makes will be influenced by other factors, I also gathered data on how long each fighter had been employed by the UFC, their number of UFC victories, and the number of performance-based bonuses they had received. [Descriptive statistics for these variables can be found in Table 2.]

I then entered all of this information into Stata 11 (StataCorp 2009), a computer program designed to model statistical relationships between multiple variables. I used a statistical technique known as “Ordinary Least Squares” (OLS) regression to examine the correlation between Beta-centrality and show money, while simultaneously accounting for the influence of UFC wins, tenure, and bonuses. [See Table 3 for results.] Here’s how to read the table of results: the “b-coefficient” value estimates the correlation between the variable and “show money,” the “standard error” value represents the degree of imprecision, and the asterisks indicate the probability that the estimated correlation may be due to random chance. For instance, a “p-value” of 0.05 means that you can be 95% certain that the observed effect is real. To interpret the correlation, you read the b-coefficient as “a one-unit change in the predictor variable produces an X-unit change in the outcome variable.” Alright, so here’s what all this complicated shit really means: after accounting for the number of years a Welterweight has been employed by the UFC, how many wins they have, and how many bonuses they’ve won, each 1-point increase in the Welterweight’s prestige score translates to an additional $25K in show money, give or take about $4K. The model is more than 99.9% certain that the correlation is not due to random chance. In other words, Beta-centrality is powerfully correlated with financial success. The highest-rank fighters make the most show money, and the lowest-ranked fighters make the least show money. This confirms that the ranking metric is highly correlated with fighter success, which supports the notion that “Beta-centrality” is a legitimate way to go about ranking fighters.

With enough manpower, it is theoretically possible to use every professional fighter’s win/loss record from Sherdog.com to create one enormous MMA combat network. When fighters change promotions, it would be possible to treat them as “bridges” (Granovetter 1983) between the ranking structures of different organizations—a prospect that is increasingly plausible, given the UFC’s recent habit of releasing fairly high-profile fighters. In brief, using fancy mathematical techniques, it is totally possible to create an objective ranking system for MMA fighters. I propose that the implementation of such a system would go a long way toward elevating MMA’s status as a legitimate sport, and would wrest a core piece of the greater MMA narrative out from between Mr. White’s teeth.

Works Cited

Borgatti, Stephen P., Martin G. Everett, and Jeffrey C. Johnson. Analyzing Social Networks. Los Angeles: Sage, 2013. Print.

Dundas, Chad, and Ben Fowlkes. CoMainEvent.com. “Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 103.” 12 May 2014. Web. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

Granovetter, Mark. 1983. “The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited” Sociological Theory 1: 201–233.

MixedMartialArts.com. “UFC on FOX 7 salaries + bonuses to Brown, Mein, Romero, Thomson.” 21 April 2013. <http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/436808/UFC-on-FOX-7-salaries–bonuses-to-Brown-Mein-Romero-Thomson/>. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

StataCorp. 2009. Stata Statistical Software: Release 11. College Station, Tx: StataCorp LP.

Wade, Richard. BloodyElbow.com. “Bloody Elbow September 2013 Meta-Rankings: Welterweight.” SB Nation. 4 October 2013. Web. Accessed on 17 May 2014.

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

The Chronicles of Fedor

Posted on June 25, 2014  in MMA Related Videos

Fedor “the Last Emporer” Emeliankenko (age 37):
 Won 4 Pride title fights, 3 of those were defenses.
 Fedor was a Pride champion for 7 years and 3 months
 Emelianenko won 14 fights in Pride
 Fedor has an overall win percentage of .875 (35 wins in 40 fights)
 Emelianenko’s longest consecutive win streak in Pride was 8 

Strength of schedule:
 Fedor had 4 Pride title bouts. 25% of the fights in his entire professional career have been for a title (10 title fights out of 40 total fights)
 Emelianenko has 7 wins against opponents that were ranked in the top 5 at the time of the fight
 The Last Emporer has 12 wins against opponents that were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the fight
 Fedor’s record vs. current/future UFC/Pride hall of famers is 4 wins, 1 loss, and 1 no contest (2-0-1NC vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, 2-0 vs. Mark Coleman, 0-1 vs. Dan Henderson)
 Emeliankenko has 7 wins against former UFC/Pride champs (Minotauro 2x, Coleman 2x, Randleman, Sylvia, and Arlovski)
 The Last Emporer defeated 2 BJJ world medalists (Arona, Munson), 2 world-class wrestlers (Coleman, Lindland), the best judokas (Ogawa, Ishii), the best kick boxers (Semmy Schilt, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt)

Other:
 Future hall of famer
 Professional MMA career: 12+ years (May 21, 2000 – June 21, 2012)
 Of the 40 times he fought, he finished 65% of his opponents (26 stoppages in 40 fights)
 Of the 40 times he fought, he was finished 10% of the time (stopped 4 times in 40 fights)
 Significant stats:
Strikes absorbed per minute – 1.00
 President of the Russian MMA Union

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

A quick history of Chael’s untruthful behavior.

Posted on June 12, 2014  in Writing

Chael failed a drug test, I know he defends himself saying these aren’t steriods, that they’re banned but not illegal (it takes a real politician to make that distinction) and that he did a test himself and found they were out of his system. It doesn’t matter he wasn’t being entirely truthful, he took a substance he knew was banned and thought he could get away with it. Chael has a history of this sort of behavior.

Chael failed a drug test at UFC 117 and was found with T/E ratio four times that of a normal man. Sonnen didn’t disclose this information officially to the commission (sound similar?) but he claimed that he had an unwritten agreement with Kieth Kizer that he was approved for TRT. Kieth Kizer responded that he had never spoken to Chael Sonnen in his life and it was a straight up fabrication. Kieth Kizer even confronted Chael Sonnen who tried to deflect questions and come up with even more lies and excuses such as it was his manager that talked to Kizer not him, he just mispoke, Kizer described the situation as a “strange story” and ridiculous explanation.[1]

On top of this even his diagnosis of hypogonadism, the condition that requires him to be on TRT is questionable. An endocrinologist stated that his diagnosis if incomplete. Another doctor said it would be crazy for someone born with hypogonadism to be able to be an elite wrestler and the causes for his low testosterone is steriod abuse.[2]

Chael also had some harsh words for Lance Armstrong saying

“Lance Armstrong did a number of things, and he gave himself cancer. He cheated, he did drugs, and he gave himself cancer.”

When confronted about these words, he lied, denying that it was him that said that.](http://www.mmaconvert.com/2010/08/05/chael-sonnen-tells-jim-rome-guy-with-hispanic-accent-made-lance-armstrong-comments/[3] )

Hendo claimed that Chael was lying when he said that Dan told him he was injured so Chael could start preparing for Jon Jones and set him up.[4]

Not to mention his charges for money laundering and mortgage fraud. When these were brought up in an interview Sonnen was denying that he was involved in mortage fraud and tried to deflect the question by asking the interviewer if he beat his wife.[5]

Just thought you should know.

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

Cutting Weight in MMA

Posted on June 7, 2014  in Writing

image

Weight cutting is dangerous, there’s a reason they weigh in the day before the fight; it gives them a chance to rehydrate. It’s crazy. Let’s call it what it is. It’s kind of cheating, but it’s cheating that everybody does. You’re allowing someone to pretend they’re 155 pounds. Motherfucker, you’re not 155 pounds! You look at Gleison Tibau and it’s like, ‘Dude, you are not a 155-pound fighter. You’re just not. I understand that you can get onto that scale and it can show 155 pounds, but that is for the briefest window possible.’ As soon as guys get off the scale, they suck on pedialyte, they drink coconut water and do whatever they can to get fluids back into their system, and they’re fucking dying.

I just think that bringing your body to a state where it’s almost dying just a day before you’re going to fight is fucking crazy. I like it when guys get within 5 pounds or so. I’ve talked to guys who are really intelligent about their cuts, and they get within 5 pounds. Here’s a perfect example: Thiago Alves. All throughout his career he’s had problems with weight cuts. He missed the cut for the Matt Hughes fight and came in looking fucking enormous when he fought Hughes, and a lot of people thought that was a real advantage. I mean, he looked like a goddamn gorilla! Like someone came in and shaved a gorilla. But if you saw him in his last fight, a really entertaining fight against Seth Baczynski, he was on weight the day before the fight. The day before the fight he was 170 pounds and he didn’t have to cut any weight. He looked a little smaller as far as his musculature goes, but he looked great. He didn’t look weak in any way, shape or form. His technique was fantastic, his gas was great and he came off a two-year layoff and fought a war with a very tough Seth Baczynski. He had a really entertaining fight and he had the endurance. He was healthy coming into that fight because he didn’t have to deplete himself and starve himself and all of that shit.

I just think that approach is a better approach. I really wish there could be some sort of an agreement with fighters where it’s just, ‘Goddammit, what the fuck do you weigh? You weigh 180 pounds right now? Is that what you weigh when you’re fit? Then you should fight at 180 pounds.’ This making weight thing drives me crazy. I understand that it’s important for championship fights, to define how big the fighters are so we have people competing against people who are the same size, but I think it should stop. I think it’s a dishonorable part of the sport, and I know that’s a very controversial stance to take, and I know that a lot of people may say that I’m ignorant for saying that. ‘Who are you? You’re the commentator. You’re the guy who is the supposed expert who is explaining MMA in the No. 1 organization in the world, and you think that weight cutting is cheating?’ Yeah, I do. I think it’s cheating that everybody does. It’s one of those situations where everybody has to cheat, because everybody else is cheating.

So for a guy like me to say that I think weight cutting is just cheating that everybody agrees to, I understand that it’s a very controversial thing for me to say, and I understand that a lot of people are going to get angry at it. But I really think that it’s something that we should look at, and we should look at it, and we should look at it from that perspective. I walk around and I weigh about 155 pounds. If I told someone that I really weigh 145 pounds, and they’re like, ‘Good, I weigh 145 pounds too, I’ll meet you here at this time and let’s grapple or fight or whatever.’ If I really do weigh 155 pounds, I’m going to have a 10-pound weight advantage over that person. So if I trick them into thinking that I weigh 155, and starve and dehydrate myself to prove it, and then when we actually meet I’m healthy and back up to 195 pounds, isn’t that cheating? Isn’t that lying? That’s what people are doing.

When people weigh in at 155 pounds and then balloon up to 175 pounds totally shredded and ripped with giant, full muscles … It’s crazy! What kind of game are we playing? Why are we playing that game? Well we’re playing that game because everybody is playing it. The weight cutting game is part of the whole MMA game now. It’s deeply entwined and integrated into the sport that you cannot compete against the best in the world unless you’re willing to starve yourself and deplete yourself, and I think it’s fucked.

I think it’s contrary to the very spirit of martial arts. The very spirit of elite level martial arts should be that you train as hard as you can, you watch your nutrition, you do not take performance-enhancing drugs that give you any sort of unfair advantage and you want to compete against someone who is your size. That’s what it should be all about. You don’t want to go in there and bully someone who is littler than you. You don’t want to go in there and hit someone who is 30 pounds lighter than you that you have some sort of ridiculous advantage over. That’s not in the spirit of elite-level martial arts. Elite martial arts should be people competing against people who are the same size as them. Sure there will be some variations. There will be a guy who is 170 pounds and is built like Hector Lombard, and another guy who is 170 pounds and is kind of doughy and soft and has a lot of body fat. Well, the Hector Lombard guy is always going to be stronger and faster. There are going to be variables, but at least we can minimize those variables if people agree to fight at whatever weight they actually are at.

If you want to fight at 170 pounds, figure out a way to get your body healthily down to 170 pounds. There are optimum weight classes for people. There are people who are carrying around too much body fat, and they would perform at a higher level if they could drop that body fat and get more fit. There are a lot of people who carry unnecessary muscle mass, which looks good if you’re powerlifting or bodybuilding, but the reality of MMA is a lot of that stuff just sort of gets in the way. There’s a point of diminishing returns, where too much musculature is just going to rob you of your performance, especially in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. It’s a huge factor when you see a really muscular guy.

We’ve commented on it on the broadcast a lot, sometimes to the point where muscular guys like Tyron Woodley have taken umbrage with it and get pissed off at me. It’s not that I’m not a Tyron Woodley fan, but if you look at Tyron Woodley and then at the other guys that are 170 pounds, and it’s clear that one of these things is not like the others. One guy has a significantly larger amount of muscle than other guys. It works great for him in certain ways, but in other ways you pay the price for that.

I think that if someone wants to compete at 170 pounds, they should fucking weigh 170 pounds. If someone wants to compete at 185 pounds, that should be what you weigh, and if you want to compete at that weight class, figure out how to get your body down to 185 pounds in a healthy way.

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

Machida is currently 13/2 (+650) to beat Weidman via KO/TKO.

Posted on May 27, 2014  in Uncategorized

Those are bad odds. I wouldn’t touch Machida by KO at +650 (13.3%). Maybe if it was +1500 or better.

Consider that Machida’s won 8 of his 21 victories by KO (38%), then consider his odds of winning as a whole. Even if you give Machida 33% odds of winning, that’s still only a 12.5% chance of winning via KO based on prior performance, meaning +650 is (roughly) the break-even if Machida has a one-third chance of winning and has a similar probability of winning via KO as he has vs. previous opponents.

Every match has it’s intricacies and stylistic matchups, but in order for this bet to be sound, you have to justify either:

  • Machida having a better chance to KO Weidman than his previous opponents OR
  • Machida having a very good (>33%) chance to win

Personally I don’t see either of those happening. I don’t think he has a better chance of KO-ing Weidman than he did his previous opponents, and I give him a ~25% chance of winning.

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Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

Top 20 biggest upsets in MMA History.

Posted on May 26, 2014  in Uncategorized

20.  Jamie Varner (+460) upsets Edson Barboza (-580)

19.  Zak Cummings (+475) upsets Yan Cabral (-560)

18.  Chan Sung Jung (+475) upsets Mark Hominick (-560)

17.  Zoila Frausto Gurgel (+500) upsets Megumi Fujii (-800)

16.  Tito Ortiz (+525) upsets Ryan Bader (-825)

15.  Frankie Edgar (+550) upsets Tyson Griffin (-1000)

14.  Joe Lauzon (+585) upsets Jens Pulver (-725)

13.  Pat Curran (+600) upsets Roger Huerta (-1000)

12.  Thiago Santos (+660) upsets Ronny Markes (-840)

11.  Sergey Golyaev (+700) upsets Takanori Gomi (-1100)

10.  Chad Griggs (+700) upsets Bobby Lashley (-1200)

9.  Matt Serra (+700) upsets Georges St-Pierre (-1000)

8.  Frankie Edgar (+725) upsets B.J. Penn (-1100)

7.  Johnny Eduardo (+735) upsets Eddie Wineland (-935)

6.  Joey Beltran (+750) upsets Rolles Gracie (-1500)

5.  T.J. Dillashaw (+765) upsets Renan Barao (-1250)

4.  Will Brooks (+800) upsets Michael Chandler (-1000)

3.  Larue Burley (+925) upsets Bubba Jenkins (-1400)

2.  Emanuel Newton (+975) upsets Muhammed Lawal (-1175)

1.  Rameau Sokoudjou (+1350) upsets Antonio Nogueira (-2300)

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