Posts Tagged ‘MMA Gyms Toronto’

The top five MMA stories of 2010

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

It’s just after New Year’s Eve, so why not reflect on what stories rocked the boat in mixed martial arts more than any other this year? Here are my picks for the top five of 2010.

5. The Brock Lesnar hype train derails.

That changed quickly, didn’t it? In the summer, he was heralded for his heart, absorbing a first-round beating before submitting Shane Carwin. However, the MMA world cooled on the Silverback after watching him turtle while Cain Velasquez pounded him into dust last October. He hasn’t communicated with the UFC at all since that loss. Is he finished with MMA almost as quickly as he started?

4. Everything to do with Chael Sonnen.

First there was his epic, scathing, often hilarious trash talk leading up to the Anderson Silva fight. Then, we saw Sonnen use his wrestling to beat Silva for four and a half rounds before he got caught in a choke. Finally, there was the steroid suspension. Arguably, no fighter stole more headlines than the controversial Sonnen in 2010.

3. Upsets, upsets and more upsets.

2010 showed us some of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history. Frankie Edgar overcame huge odds to defeat BJ Penn twice. The hugest shocker, however, was Fabricio Werdum’s quick submission over the legendary Fedor Emelianenko. For the first time ever, the Last Emperor looked human.

2. Legalization!

From a Canadian perspective, seeing MMA legalized in Ontario was a massive story. The UFC will come to Hogtown on April 30 and the Rogers Centre will help the UFC shatter its attendance record. But Ontario wasn’t the only place to welcome MMA in 2010: Boston opened its doors as well and New York is waiting on the final word.

1. The UFC/WEC merger

I would argue that no news story shook up MMA like the merger did. The UFC’s talent pool spiked significantly with two more weight classes added and the number of title belts growing to seven; Jose Aldo, one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, joined the big leagues; and the competition for lightweights and welterweights, the only two active divisions in both sports, became fierce.

MMA Gyms Toronto, North York, Brampton, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, Oshawa, Peel Region, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Thornhill, Vaughan, Woodbridge, York, York Region Ontario Canada.

The future of the UFC lightweight division

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Thank goodness for Frankie Edgar.

A few weeks back,  “The Answer” outhustled and outstrategized BJ “The Prodigy” Penn in the UFC lightweight championship, one of the “unbeatable” champions in MMA was dethroned and the playing field in an entire weight class was levelled.

Most fight fans agreed that the UFC lightweight division was a shark tank of talent but that, like welterweight and middleweight, its champion was in a class of his own. Now that Edgar is the champ, things get a heck of a lot more interesting.

First off, who should face Edgar next? I would argue it has to be wrestling powerhouse Gray Maynard. Not only is Maynard undefeated, he’s the only man to beat Edgar. He deserves his shot. Next in line would probably be Kenny Florian, who was flat against Penn last summer but dominated Clay Guida and Takanori Gomi since then. His Muay Thai, BJJ and intelligence would provide an interesting challenge to Edgar.

I’d be tempted to give Edgar the Maynard fight and pit Kenny Florian against unbeaten George Sotiropoulos, whose ground skills, boxing and long reach would test Florian mightily. The winners of those two bouts could face off.

And where does Penn fit in? Well, I’m going on a hunch, but I believe Penn will view his loss as an opportunity to return to the welterweight division instead of look for a rematch. Plenty of interesting opponents would await him there, from Matt Hughes to Josh Koscheck to Jon Fitch to Thiago Alves. Penn could certainly make things interesting.

After Anderson Silva embarrassed the UFC, it’s especially good timing that one division just got a major shakeup. As for Edgar, before we write him off as a one-hit wonder, maybe we should stop underestimating the little guy. He’s fast, he can box, he can wrestle, and his cardio is unbelievable. He just may stay champ for a while.

By Matt Larkin
Guest Writer

MMA Gyms Toronto, North York, Brampton, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, Oshawa, Peel Region, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Thornhill, Vaughan, Woodbridge, York, York Region Ontario Canada.

UFC 108 Prediction: Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

We call this Saturday’s UFC 108 the “cursed card.” It seems every fighter remotely associated with it at any time – Lesnar, Carwin, Anderson Silva, Alves, Nogueira – succumbs to a freak injury or illness the moment you mention his name in the same breath as UFC 108.

Let’s hope we don’t jinx Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva by discussing their bout. They headline what has become a bland card but their fight does have a major impact on the light heavyweight contender picture. Here’s my prediction for the UFC 108 main event.

Rashad Evans (13-1-1) vs. Thiago Silva (14-1)

Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva’s only career losses came against Lyoto Machida; that’s where their similarities end.

Rashad showcased heavy hands when he dropped Chuck Liddell and ground-and-pounded Forrest Griffin but the truth is that he’s a wrestler first and his standup is a distant second. Trainer Greg Jackson has a knack for convincing his fighters to focus on their strengths, so we can expect Rashad to take this fight to the ground as quickly as he can. Though Thiago Silva has a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt, he’s much more comfortable on his feet. Evans, who has a powerful Wrestling base, is the stronger man and will likely control Silva should he take him down successfully.

This matchup will ultimately come down to offense versus defense. Aside from Machida, Evans is arguably the best defensive fighter in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He went undefeated in his first 14 pro fights largely because he was so good at evading and blocking strikes, minimizing the damage he took. Rashad’s defensive skills get a major test this Saturday since Thiago Silva is one of the most devastating offensive forces in MMA .  A Muay Thai killer who models himself after Wanderlei Silva, Thiago Silva approaches his fights with a singular game plan: walk forward and knock his opponent out via lethal punches, kicks, flying knees and clinch strikes.

As Silva proved in his last bout versus Keith Jardine, another Jackson disciple, he can overwhelm opponents. Considering that Rashad has the psychological hurdle of his first knockout loss to overcome, it’s possible that Silva could overwhelm Evans too. However, we shouldn’t underestimate Evans because of his recent loss. He knows what to expect form Silva and he’ll keep his hands up. Evans also still has fight-changing knockout power in his constantly cocked right hand – similar to that of Dan Henderson. Silva exposes himself during his flurries and could very well get caught.

This is a tough fight to predict given each guy’s talent but I like Rashad Evans to redeem himself. Once he gets Silva to the ground, I just don’t think Silva can get back up. I expect a ground-and-pound TKO.

Pick: Rashad Evans

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