AJ Zavala dropped a collection of handrail and gap footy for Slave today, and his part makes you believe rails are simple and easy. A very slept on dude out of Shepdawgs but his part might make you become aware very soon.
On Tuesday, March 24th, Brock Lesnar officially closed the door on his career in the UFC after announcing that he had re-signed with WWE on ESPN Sportscenter. Speculation has run rampant over the better part of three years about the former UFC heavyweight champions future, would he make one last run in the UFC? Would he stay with WWE? Nobody knew the answer to these questions including Lesnar himself until Mondaywhen he came to terms with Vince McMahon on a new contract that will allow him to continue to work with WWE part time, but still get paid as a full time top performer. So now that we have the answer after all this time, a new question must be asked. What is Brock Lesnars legacy in the UFC?
Brock Lesnar burst onto the MMA scene in 2007, debuting in K1 against Min Soo Kim whom he defeated in 1:06 of the first round. This was Lesnars very first professional fight and shortly after he was signed to the UFC telling Dana White he wanted to compete with the best. Not only did he compete, he defeated some of the best heavyweights in the world in route to winning the UFC heavyweight championship after defeating Randy Couture by TKO at UFC 91. He would go on to defend the belt twice, defeating Frank Mir and Shane Carwin in two instant classics before eventually losing the belt to current heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez. During his run with the UFC, Lesnar had two separate bouts with a deadly stomach disease called diverticulitis. This set back his career in many ways as he had surgery for the first time in 2009 to repair his intestine which had been leaking for over a year and then again in 2011 when he had to get a 12 inch piece removed from his colon. Both these surgeries took there toll on Lesnar and cut his octagon career short along with hampering his performances as he was never fully healthy while he held the title or after he lost it.
The achievements of Brock Lesnar cannot be denied, he won the UFC heavyweight championship in only his 4th pro fight ever which is a feat no other UFC fighter has even come close to accomplishing. He is the only man to win a UFC championship, WWE championship, and a NCAA Division 1 wrestling national championship. Lesnar was also the top draw the UFC has ever had, even during the legendary championship runs of legends like Anderson Silva and Georges St Pierre. Brock holds 3 of the top 5 best UFC PPVs of all time with three of his championship fights selling over a million buys and currently holds the number 1 spot with his UFC 100 rematch against Frank Mir.
Whether you love Brock Lesnar or hate him, his credentials speak for themselves and deserve the respect of any fight fan. He is a once in a lifetime athlete who was never afraid to take on new challenges in a time where athletes playing it safe to ensure career ascension is the norm. There will never be another beast like Brock Lesnar and we can only speculate how good he actually would have been if he would have taken up MMA after winning the national title in wrestling instead of going straight to the WWE. With his blend of size, speed, strength and aggression that no athlete in the UFC can match even today, I'm betting he would have gone down as an all time great. Brock Lesnars legacy in the UFC should be that of a trail blazer, he brought in a new generation of fans and helped bring the sport of MMA to new heights. One thing is for certain and that is that Brock Lesnar is a born entertainer, whether in the UFC octagon or in a WWE ring it is always must see TV when "The Beast Incarnate" is getting his hands on someone.
Follow me on Twitter @FightMartian and let me know what you think of Brock's legacy and his decision to return to the WWE.
This past Saturday the UFC returned to Dallas, TX for the second year in a row and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the blockbuster event they brought to my hometown. This marked my 6th UFC event I have been too and I must admit it was one of the most exciting.
We started out at the UFC Fan Village on Saturday, which was basically an event before the fights for the fans to meet and greet some of the UFC's best fighters and included other contests and activities if you didn't have the patience to wait in a long line to meet someone. The fighters appearing at this particular fan village were Donald Cerrone, Jake Ellenberger, Uriah Hall, Tecia Torres, and Raquel Pennington among others. Also the beautiful Octagon Girls Brittney Palmer and Arianny Celeste were there signing calendars and posing for pictures with lucky fans.
Here is Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone doing what he does (second) best, drinking a bud light at early in the afternoon. He was awesome with fan interaction and by far had the longest line of people waiting to meet him.
This is me and Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger. He was super chill and nice to everyone and I'm glad I got to meet him.
Here is (former) champion Anthony Pettis getting introduced. The Dallas crowd was really supporting him, and was definitely disappointed with the outcome of the fight.
As for the event itself, the Dallas faithful came out in full force with plenty of energy which made the fights even more exciting. There were some huge upsets as both champions lost their titles, but all of the local fighters like Johny Hendricks, Jared Rosholt, and Ryan Benoit walked away with dominant crowd pleasing victories in their hometown. I definitely got my money's worth as the excitement of live MMA never gets old and I will continue to go anytime they come to Dallas. I also encourage any fan who has never been to a UFC event to do themselves a favor and go. The energy and excitement the crowd brings along with the intensity of the fighters is a can't miss combination that will have you counting down until the next one, and that's a promise.
This Saturday the UFC returns to the Lone Star State here in my neck of the woods, Dallas Texas, and with them they bring in a few stars of their own in a stacked pay-per-view lineup featuring two title fights and some important contenders bouts. In the first championship match of the night we get to see Carla Esparza defend her women's strawweight title for the first time against confident contender Joanna Jedrejczyk coming all the way from Poland. Before the dust can even settle from that fight, we get to see lightweight champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis attempt to live up to his nickname by taking on top contender Rafael Dos Anjos. Also, former champion and Dallas' own Johny Hendricks will look to take his first steps back to reclaiming that title in a very tough match up against one of the best in the division, Matt Brown.
The UFC has done a great job once again in the match making department as this card is full of great matchup's and popular fighters from top to bottom. So if you like MMA even a little bit, then you will want to tune in.
Below I will be breaking down and making my picks for each fight on the main card.
Henry "The Messenger" Cejudo (7-0)
Chris "The Kamikaze" Cariaso (17-6)
Breakdown: Chris Cariaso comes into this fight after suffering a defeat in his last outing to dominant flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Cariaso has a well rounded style that compliments his fast paced output and also possesses above average takedown defense. "The Kamikaze" will need to use every bit of that takedown defense to keep this fight standing and should look to get his hands going early by using punches in bunches to get Cejudo out of his comfort zone . Cejudo however, will most definitely be looking to take the fight to the mat early and often as he holds a huge advantage in that department due to his pedigree in wrestling, winning a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. Cejudo has all the makings of a future champion in the UFC but has recently been held back by his inability to safely make the 125lb limit so questions remain just how good Cejudo will be after a grueling weight cut that left him unable to compete during his last scheduled fight.
Prediction: Cariaso will be a great test to see where the young prospect Cejudo stacks up in the flyweight division. I think he has the right skill set to make this a tough stylistic matchup against Cejudo due to his well rounded style and experience in the octagon against some of the division's best. That being said, once Cejudo gets that first takedown (and he will) it will only build his confidence from there and begin to wear down Cariaso with repeated takedowns. This gameplan will allow him to dictate the pace of the fight and control where it takes place.
Cejudo By Decision
Roy "Big Country" Nelson (20-9)
Alistair "The Reem" Overeem (38-14-1)
Breakdown: The breakdown for this fight is as simple as it gets. Someone is getting knocked out. Quickly. Both these heavyweights possess the power to KO any man walking the planet and I think we will see that power on full display come Saturday. As a former K1 kickboxing champion, Alistair Overeem will possess the technical edge in this fight, but will need to mix it up and use a very strategic game plan in order to avoid the extremely dangerous overhand right of Roy Nelson. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Overeem attempt a grapple heavy gameplan in order to nullify Nelson's striking game and perhaps use takedowns to get Nelson on his back and dish out some ground and pound. Roy Nelson on the other hand will have a much more simple way of thinking, land his patented overhand right and walk away with his hand raised. Nelson is one of the UFC's most dangerous knockout artist and can take it as well as he can dish it out.
Prediction: Overeem has proven he is a world class kickboxer by beating some of the very best pure strikers in the world. However, after a lifetime of fighting powerful men in both MMA and kickboxing, Overeems chin has suffered the consequences along the way. It's no secret that "The Reem" can no longer take the punishment he used to be able to and without that he has lost 3 out of his past 5 fights by way of KO. It's never good to bet on a fighter who only has a "punchers chance" but in this case that's exactly what I am going to do because I truly believe if Nelson is able to land one clean blow, Overeem is going down. On the flip side I believe Nelson can survive an offensive onslaught from Overeem with his iron chin and armored belly and will be able to catch Alistair early on for the first round KO.
Roy Nelson by KO
Johny "Big Rigg" Hendricks (16-3)
Matt "The Immortal" Brown (19-12)
Breakdown: In what is my pick for fight of the night we should have a good old fashioned Texas throw down on our hands when these two men meet inside the octagon. Johny Hendricks is out for redemption after losing his welterweight title this past december in a controversial loss to Robbie Lawler and will look to make a serious claim as the rightful number one contender when he takes on Matt Brown. This fight has all the making of an all out war, and I personally cannot wait to see this fight live and in person as both these fighters are two of my current favorites which makes this fight tough for me to call. I basically see this as a knock down drag out war that will see both men have their wills tested while taking the fight everywhere it can go. Hendricks holds the advantage in wrestling and I fully intend on seeing him use that after getting away from it lately in his battles against Robbie Lawler as he had a hard time keeping him down on the ground. Matt Brown will be looking to keep the fight standing and use his unique blend of ruthless Muay Thai combined with his relentless style of pressure that won him 7 fights in a row from 2012-2014.
Prediction: If anyone reading this follows Johny Hendricks on social media then you have seen that he is perhaps in the best shape of his life leading up to this fight. That is actually surprising considering that he dropped famed MMA nutritionist Mike Dolce for this fight and seems to have benefited from the decision. With an easy weight cut ahead and only a three round fight for the first time in 2 years, I think we will see the best version of "Big Rigg" we have ever seen. While beating Matt Brown will be no easy task I think Hendricks will be able to control this fight with his wrestling and use his heavy hands to hurt Brown and maybe even pull off a finish.
Johny Hendricks by TKO
(C) Carla "Cookie Monster" Esparza (10-2
Joanna Jedrejczyk (8-0)
Breakdown: In the first title bout of the night we get only the second Straweight championship fight in UFC history. Defending champ Carla Esparza will be fighting the scary striker Joanna Jedrejczyk in a classic striker vs grappler match-up. Esparza will have a big advantage in the wrestling department and I think that will be her main weapon of choice to lead her to victory due to the grappling inexperience of her opponent. Esparza still has a ways to go before she is considered a great striker but she is more than capable of handling herself standing up with Jedrejczyk even though the challenger will have a slight advantage on the feet. Jedrejczyk will look to sprawl and brawl during this fight, and it would be wise for her to avoid the ground at all costs against Esparza who has slick submissions and a dominant top game.
Prediction: I really think Carla Esparza is the woman who will capitalize the most on the spotlight brought to women's MMA by Ronda Rousey and the first step to doing that is securing an impressive performance against a tough contender on a big stage like there will be on Saturdays ppv. I see Jedrejczyk coming on strong in the first round, perhaps trying to put Carla away early and maybe even stealing a round, but ultimately she will get taken down and overwhelmed by the relentless pursuit of takedowns by the champion. If "The Cookie Monster" can finish the fight while they're down there then that would just be a cherry on top of what should be a long run on top of the division.
Carla Esparza by Decision
(C) Anthony "Showtime" Pettis (18-2)
Rafael Dos Anjos (23-7)
Breakdown: Anthony Pettis has shown the world he has video game like capabilities with his flashy striking style and quick submissions during his ascension in the UFC. Now he will look to secure his second title defense against perhaps his most dangerous opponent in Rafael Dos Anjos. RDA is a UFC veteran and has shown very few weaknesses in his game during his 17 fight run with the promotion. I think Pettis will try to kickbox with RDA and look to set him up with traps and then go for the kill. Dos Anjos should have a gameplan similar to Gilbert Melendez when he fought Pettis and not let him get comfortable by using pressure to nullify the flashy, fast strikes of the champion and would be smart to keep the fight at a slower pace to avoid any unpredictable moves from Pettis. Both fighters possess plenty of cardio so them gassing out won't be an issue, but I think if the fight does go to the later rounds then the advantage goes to Pettis due to Dos Anjos never seeing the championship rounds before.
Prediction: This should be a very exciting action packed fight that will give the fans their money's worth. Anthony Pettis is in his prime right now and has taken out his past 4 opponents in the 2nd round or sooner and I think he will keep that streak alive come Saturday. As well rounded as Dos Anjos is, I just don't think he is better than Pettis anywhere the fight goes and he is going to have some trouble with the speed and techniques Pettis will bring to the table.
Pettis by TKO
Follow me on Twitter @FightMartian for daily MMA updates and more. I will also be in live tweeting from UFC 185 as I will be in attendance!