Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

MMA Fighters who need to call it quits

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I couldn’t help but chuckle thinking about the upcoming UFC 109 main event, which pits Randy Couture against his veteran wrestling contemporary Mark Coleman. They were slated to clash at UFC 17 but Mark Coleman, then still sporting hair on his head, got hurt. UFC 17!? Something tells me these two need to retire before they suffer permanent brain damage.

We’ve covered the Natural and the Hammer. Who else in mixed martial arts should be put out to pasture?

Chuck Liddell

Easy decision here. Guys like Couture and Coleman had longer primes because they did their damage by grappling opponents, pinning them against cage, taking them down and avoiding dangerous exchanges. But the Iceman’s bread and butter has always been striking and he just doesn’t have the chin to stand and trade anymore.

Wanderlei Silva

Wandy’s in a similar boat to Chuck but, unlike Liddell, he actually had a long prime. The problem is that Silva started fighting as a teenager. He’s just taken too many shots over the years. For anyone who doesn’t agree that MMA “age” is more about number of fights than number of years on Earth, know this: Wanderlei Silva is in the twilight of his career at age 33 and Randy Couture fought his first MMA bout at age 33.

Frank Trigg

Fittingly matched up for UFC 109 against another guy who should consider retiring, Matt Serra, Frank “Twinkle toes” Trigg just doesn’t look like a mixed martial artist anymore. In his “fight” against Josh Koscheck, he was an old man trying to battle a young buck. The result wasn’t pretty. Time for Trigg to take his big mouth to the broadcast booth permanently.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic

Here’s an easy choice. Once the most feared heavyweight striker in the world, Cro Cop is a shadow of his former self. He looked genuinely afraid to fight Junior Dos Santos and has openly wrestled with his desire. Hopefully, he can go out in style against Ben Rothwell at UFC 110.

By Matt Larkin
Guest Writer

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

MMA’S most underrated fighters

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Earlier this week, we lambasted the most overrated fighters in mixed martial arts. It’s only fair, then, that we give credit to the sport’s most underrated fighters. After all, no one else does.

Tyson Griffin

You’d think an athletic, well-rounded, exciting fighter like Tyson Griffin would get bigger billing or at least a slight move in the lightweight rankings. Instead, the 14-2 Griffin (who I think is 15-1; he should’ve gotten the decision against Sean Sherk) sits helplessly as lesser fighters like Clay Guida pass him on the ladder. How does Guida get fights against Diego Sanchez, Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian when Griffin beat Guida?

Junior Dos Santos

Shane Carwin gets a lot of hype for a guy whose only notable victory came against Gabriel Gonzaga. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos, however, has earned his 10-1 record by knocking out Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop and Gilbert Yvel in consecutive bouts to start his UFC career. He’s stuck behind the high-profile top five (Lesnar, Mir, Carwin, Nogueira, Velasquez) in the UFC’s heavyweight division but deserves better. How about a boxing expo between Dos Santos and the ever-improving Mir?

Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch

These two get joint mention because they’re both in the same boat. They’re elite practitioners in their disciplines – Alves a devastating Muay Thai striker and Jon Fitch a Wrestling ace – who each could’ve had lengthy runs as UFC welterweight champion if Georges St-Pierre didn’t exist. All they can do is fight each other again – which they will at UFC 111.

Gegard Mousasi

It’s weird to call Mousasi underrated when he’s the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion but the Dutch kickboxer is one of MMA’s best-kept secrets. He’s a sparkling 28-2-1 in his career and he’s finished 26 opponents via knockout or submission. This intelligent fighter deserves more respect.

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

Who was the mma fighter of the decade?

Monday, January 11th, 2010

We’re into mid-January, meaning we’re almost past the “New Year” phase during which pundits reflect on the past year or years and pass judgment. Almost. Before we fully say goodbye to the 2000s, let’s pick the fighter of the decade.

In mixed martial arts, two criteria stand above all: dominance and longevity. With that in mind, let’s proceed.

Was it Minotauro Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop or Wanderlei Silva? No. All three dominated the PRIDE circuit in the first half of the decade but all three have been shadows of their former selves since arriving in the UFC, though I’m still holding out hope for Big Nog.

How about Chuck Liddell? The Iceman makes a solid case, as he was arguably the most feared puncher in the sport from 2004-2007, but he stumbled badly in the last few years and seems over the hill.

Lightweight master BJ Penn gets some votes. He’s been around long enough and, if not for his repeated failures at welterweight, could’ve been the choice. But we can’t ignore his struggles at 170 pounds.

Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva are excellent picks and I don’t fault anyone who votes for them. They’re both absolutely dominant fighters who could retire as legends today and have made mockeries of their weight classes.

But my vote goes to Fedor Emelianenko. Say what you want about him ducking opponents of late but there was no more dominant fighter this decade. He took down legends of the heavyweight division – Nogueira, Cro Cop, Mark Coleman – systematically. He finished the decade with an amazing 27-1 (1 NC) record. Best of all, Fedor stands for everything mixed martial arts should be. He’s a perfect hybrid of striking and grappling, combining heavy-handed boxing with sambo and judo. He’s an honourable, modest man who takes every opponent seriously and goes about his business with a stoic demeanour.

The next decade will belong to someone else – St-Pierre? Machida? Jon Jones? – but Fedor is the best mma fighter of the last 10 years.

By Matt Larkin
Guest Writer

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

Matchmaker, Matchmaker: Fights we need to see in light of UFC 108

Monday, January 4th, 2010

UFC 108 has come and gone and we have egg on our faces. The supposedly cursed, talent-starved card delivered with one spectacular finish after another. After Saturday, here are a few fights I think the MMA universe needs to see.

Paul Daley vs. Thiago Alves

Wow. The brash Brit Daley backed up his big mouth by knocking Dustin Hazelett into next year. Daley has monster power, an aggressive style and seems far too thick to fight at welterweight. Doesn’t that sound like Thiago Alves to you? Intstead of rematching Alves and Jon Fitch, how about giving the Pit Bull Paul Daley? That Muay Thai vs. boxing matchup could be the slugfest of the year. Since Alves may have already signed for the Fitch fight, we have to wait for the dream matchup against Daley.

Martin Kampmann vs. Josh Koscheck

Kampmann tossed aside Jacob Volkmann on Saturday; big deal. Kampmann still ate too many punches and, as he showed us during his previous fight against Daley, that gets him killed against powerful strikers. Now that Josh Koscheck has heavy hands, he’ll pose a serious threat to Kampmann’s baby-faced jaw. A victory could land Koscheck the winner of the St-Pierre/Hardy title fight; a win for Kampmann would confirm that we still have to take the Danish Thai boxing star seriously at 170 pounds.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir, Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez

I feel for Junior Dos Santos. With Brock Lesnar out of the picture, JDS is a clear fifth wheel at heavyweight. The top four guys are slated to fight each other, as Frank Mir meets Shane Carwin for UFC interim title and Cain Velasquez battles Minotauro Nogueira for No. 1 contendership. Dos Santos should wait to fight a loser of those two matchups, as any other opponent would be a step backward for him. He won’t fight Nogueira, his training partner, so it has to be Mir, Carwin or Velasquez. All would be worth opponents for the slugger Dos Santos, who has lightning-quick hands.

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

The Fights of the Decade

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Sniff, sniff. Hard to believe we’re a decade into this young millennium already. I can’t help but get sentimental. I tear up as I reflect on my favorite fighters pounding on each other in the Octagon or the ring. Don’t you?

I now present to you my picks for best MMA fights of the decade.

5. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs Gina Carano (August 15, 2009)

So it was one round and it ended with our hero battered to a pulp. It was still (a) an historic event, as it was the first women’s bout to headline a major MMA promotion and (b) an unbelievably entertaining round. Have you ever seen two fighters land so many clean strikes in such a small amount of time?

4. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II (April 16, 2005)

Hughes’ rematch with mouthy Frank Trigg started ominously after Hughes ate a heavy groin strike unseen by the referee. Trigg almost finished Hughes but couldn’t complete the choke. Hughes escaped and completed one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history and defeated Trigg via rear naked choke. Hard to believe it all happened in one round!

3. Randy Couture vs Tim Sylvia (March 3, 2007)

“Not bad for an old man.” Joe Rogan said it best. The fight wasn’t great but Randy’s first-round knockdown of 6’8” Sylvia was a shot heard round the world. The grizzled Greco-Roman wrestling vet owns one of MMA history’s greatest upsets.

2. Fedor Emelianenko vs Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (August 28, 2005)

Two of the greatest heavyweights of all time, meeting in their prime during PRIDE’S peak? What more could you want?

1. Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar (April 9, 2005)

This fight gets the glory, hands down. Not only was it a phenomenal bout, an epic boxing exhibition in which neither guy relented, it was perhaps MMA’s most significant fight to date. As the Ultimate Fighter season 1 finale, it launched the UFC into mainstream popularity. Dana White and company have never looked back.

By Matt Larkin
Guest Writer

MMA Gyms:  North York, Toronto Acton, Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Bowmanville, Bradford, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Chatham, Cornwall, Elliot Lake, Etobicoke, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kanata, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, Leamington, Listowel, London, Markham, Midland, Milton, Mississauga, Montreal, Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, Oakville, Orangeville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peel Region, Peterborough, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Sarnia, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Stratford, Sudbury, Thornhill, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Trenton, Vaughan, Waterloo, Welland, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock, 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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Ontario’s Largest Judo Tournament

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Will be held on November 7th and 8th in Kingston, Ontario…

According to the Judo Ontario website, “The 2009 Ontario International Open promises to be Judo Ontario’s largest tournament to date with competitors coming from across Canada, the United States and around the globe.”

The Judo tournament will take place at the Kingston Military Community Sports Centre.

Find a Judo Club in Ontario or Learn About Judo.