Ronda Rousey’s Dominance is Great for the UFC

I saw somebody drop the quip, “Ronda Rousey charging men $70 for a minute of action since UFC 175″.

Ronda won by way of a vicious knockout of Bethe Correia last night. They stood and brawled. Ronda wanted to make a point, as she didn’t even bother tossing Bethe to the canvas (after they clinched once). She stood and banged with a brawler, caught a few shots herself and ensuingly dropped Correia after clipping her in the temple. All in 34 seconds.

Ronda’s drive, passion and heart isn’t something new. I remember watching an interview of her back in 2011, when nobody knew who she was and she was the same person back then that she is now, except in the octagon she continues getting better and better. Her dominance has brought on two types of people: those who show intense adoration for what she brings to the combat sports game or insecure detractors doing everything they can to tear her down.

Yes, the striking from Ronda looked sloppy, as she was all-out brawling, leaving her arms extended forward and not even covering up her face, but what about Bethe’s? Correia was supposed to be a proficit brawler in the 135 lb. women’s division, and she got her ass whipped by somebody with the reputation (pun not intended…) of a fighter with average (or below average) striking abilities. The kicker is that Ronda’s just getting better in that department.

People bitch, cry and whine all the time about top tier athletes getting in trouble and all that jazz, and here we have Rousey who has this Michael Jordan-esque mindset of never being complacent in her craft. It really is something else. I love studying extreme winners and knowing what’s the force behind their drive to do what they do. Unfortunately, a lot of other people seem to only want to tear them down and find flaws. Why do that? Is it projection? Insecurity?

It looks like Miesha Tate will be getting her third crack at Rousey in either December on the Jose Aldo/Conor McGregor card or on January 2nd.

I hope the Cris “Cyborg” Justino/Ronda Rousey fight will eventually happen one day. People jump on Rousey for saying she’d go up to 145 lbs. to fight Gina Carano, since Carano kick-started women’s MMA and was a pioneer, but wouldn’t fight “Cyborg” at that weight. I reckon Ronda should’ve kept her mouth closed about going up to 145 to fight Gina, but because she’s the women’s bantamweight champion, Cyborg should — drug-free — come down to 135 to fight her. However, I’d love to see Rousey go up to 145 and be challenged by the — once again, drug-free — “Cyborg”.

On a bit of an unrelated note, I roll my eyes whenever the UFC hosts a card in Brazil, because the inevitable happens. Whenever a Brazilian fighter loses, the crowd goes dead silent. It’s fucking annoying. “Well, Troy! What do you expect?! Their home fighter has lost!”, you might say. So what, dipshit? When an American fighter loses, you never get that kind of feedback from the jerkoffs in the crowd. Brazilians also love chanting, “Uh vai morrer!”, which translates to, “You will die!”

UFC 190: Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia Predictions

I’m sad to hear about pro wrasslin’ legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper passing away. His passing has occurred at a bizarre time. Ronda Rousey’s nickname, “Rowdy”, was based off of Roddy Piper (and using the nickname, she was given his blessings), and she’ll be fighting tonight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil against Bethe Correia for UFC 190.

rouseycorreiaAntonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Stefan Struve
Struve has been on a roll of getting knocked out lately. A bad luck streak as of late, especially since passing out before his bout with Matt Mitrione last July. Big Nog is a BJJ black belt. Why is he an underdog? Prediction: Big Nog by submission — round 1.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Shogun is one of the fighters that got me hooked to watching MMA. His work in PRIDE was amazing. He’s 1-4 in his last five fights. He hasn’t won consecutive fights in a row since 2009 which — even though the year 2009 feels like yesterday — was six (!) years ago. I think he should consider retirement if he suffers another loss. He just doesn’t have it anymore. It’s crazy to think he’s only 33-years-old, but that’s an old 33, considering the amount of fights he’s been in. Lil’ Nog is older than dirt (physically) and has had injuries run roughshod on him, too. This is tantamount to some kind of retirement home fight. Fuck it! I’m gonna be a Shogun fan until the bitter end. Prediction: Shogun Rua by TKO — round 1.

Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia
Correia is 9-0 and she has shown nothing in her arsenal that will combat Rousey’s judo. She will be taken down and she’ll be punished. Rousey says that she wants to prolong the ‘beating’, but why would you do that in a title fight? Judo toss her to the canvas, take her arm, boom. Prediction: Ronda Rousey by armbar — round 1.

Ronda Rousey on What She Calls, “Do-Nothing Bitches”

The UFC, or somebody, should get into marketing “not a do-nothing bitch” shirts, because those would sell like crazy, I bet. Rousey’s stardom continues to rise, and a lot of her sycophantic fans would eat that up.

It seems that a lot of people achieving extreme greatness and success, like Rousey, harbor this interminable unhappiness derived from their constant need to avenge something, whether it’s detractors from their early life or a wrongdoing (or wrongdoings) by somebody that fucked them over once upon a time and sublimate that lingering anger and bitterness into energy that evolves into success.

Good on Ronda. She’s brought in a ton of women MMA fans (my girlfriend is a fan and even wants to read her book, albeit I sometimes wonder if she’s just a fan of RR’s because I prefer Miesha Tate over Rousey), and I’m glad of that, even if many are merely fans of her. That’s cool. She’s a great role model for young girls.

By the way, the above video kinda gives off the idea on why she despises the octagon girls.

Paige VanZant is on her way to being a huge star in the 115 lb. women’s division, thanks to her physical attractiveness and marketability, but I’m not sure if she has the same “killer instinct” and drive to succeed. She would be in a world of trouble against strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk if they were to fight tomorrow, but I digress.

TJ Dillashaw = TJ Killashaw

TJ Dillashaw has defeated Renan Barao by TKO once again, this time coming in the fourth round, last night.

How is it that a guy (Renan Barao) who is younger (28-years-old compared to the 29-year-old TJ Dillashaw), that has been in the game longer and went undefeated for so long (not losing once from 2005 until May 2014), and having almost a year to analyze and reinvent himself, come back with worse conditioning than the last time?

Renan Barao genuinely added nothing effective, whatsoever, to his gameplan in terms of countering TJ’s gameplan, and lost worse than the last time.

If Barao was already old and on his way out of MMA, I could understand it. However, he’s still so young and has so many effective tools to use. He was as helpless to TJ’s footwork than he was the last time! I wonder if he even brought a training partner to imitate TJ in his fight camp. It seems to me that he was in denial of the first loss all this time and thought he could come back and get his belt back just like that.

You know your coaches suck ass when they can’t give you technical advice between rounds. Barao’s corner was telling him, “Win! Just win!” What the fuck? All this was happening while Duane “Bang!” Ludwig was giving Dillashaw specific instructions (a la, “Don’t stand in front of him (Barao)”). Barao needs a boxing coach and legitimate sparring partners as he moves on, and y’know, consider moving up to 145 lbs.

Nice night of fights. Was pleasantly surprised to see Miesha Tate dropping bombs on Jessica Eye. Pretty cool to see “Cupcake” be active like that. Looks like we’ll get Ronda Rousey/Miesha Tate 3 if/when Rousey defeats Bethe Correira (BETCH CO-HEYA! … I dislike Portuguese pronunciations) next Saturday night.

UFC on Fox Chicago: TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao 2 Prediction

I’ve been away for about the last ten days, visiting my girlfriend’s family, out of the loop with much of what’s gone down in the sports world, but one thing I’ve heard plenty about has been the UFC’s firing of the best cutman in sports, ‘Stitch’ Duran. A ridiculous ‘firing’ at that. Duran had stated in an interview that the UFC’s introduction of those fugly Reebok uniforms and the accompanying official sponsorship had, and will, cost him in the wallet. Nothing disparaging or remotely “anarchist against the grain, fight against the man!” crap. Just a run of the mill comment. And the UFC fired him. What a shame. As a fan, it’d be nice to see some top level fighters jump ship to Bellator in retaliation, because competition is what’s best for all businesses.

ufc fight night chicago
I’m excited for tonight’s free Fox card. I’ve always been a big time Joe Lauzon fan, and he’ll be fighting Takanori Gomi, which — on paper — sounds like a can’t-miss bout. Miesha Tate, as per the poster, will be facing Jessica Eye, but I haven’t watched any JE fights, so adding any commentary about that bout will be of no avail.

TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao fought last May, and the UFC world saw one of the biggest upsets of all-time, when Dillashaw decimated Barao for five rounds before finally TKO’ing him in the fifth round to capture the bantamweight title. It’s crazy how Dillashaw went from being a big time -730 underdog in the first fight to being a significant favorite in the rematch. The two were originally going to fight for the second time last August, but on the day of the weigh-ins Barao passed out and Joe Soto stepped in as a replacement, and Soto took Dillashaw to five rounds.

I think it’s batshit crazy to complete the 180 by labeling Dillashaw the unanimous favorite. Sure, he destroyed Barao for five rounds and made him look like a foolish amateur, but that was a long time ago in MMA circumstances. Fourteen long months. I’m not so sure that things will be the same. I’d like to see if Barao uses more pressure. He’s always been a counter striker that’s relied on his talent and a few specific moves to dominant opponents. Dillashaw walked into the octagon against him and used his amazing footwork and movement to flummox Barao. I’d like to believe that this fight is harder to call than the way people are acting, but I could be wrong, and hell, I probably am. Watch Dillashaw destroy Barao. But… on the other hand…

Prediction: Renan Barao via second round submission.

Conor McGregor TKO’s Chad Mendes in the Second Round — What Now, McGregor Detractors?

MMA is the best sport in the entire world. Nothing else, sports wise, gives me as much of a pure, extreme and unadulterated adrenaline rush like MMA. The only thing that could possibly ever compare would be a St. Louis Rams Super Bowl victory or Virginia Tech Hokies college football national championship. I watched my Boston Celtics win the NBA Finals in 2008, and when it comes to basketball, that was the pinnacle of elation and nothing else they ever do again, for me, as a fan, will come close to that. I watched the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series in 2006 and 2011. The adrenaline rush I get from MMA is unrivaled.

I love this sport.
I love this sport.

Tonight’s UFC 189 was fucking tremendous. Conor McGregor TKOed Chad Mendes with seconds remaining in the second round.

Mendes was getting eaten alive by body shots. McGregor opened up the first round with a spinning back push kick right to the center of Mendes’ abdomen. When McGregor dropped Mendes, he landed at least five or six shots before Herb Dean waved it off. Mendes had gone into “fetal retreat” mode by then. Mendes’ claim to a victory was lying on top of McGregor with little activity.

Yes, Mendes utilized ground’n’pound, but it didn’t phase McGregor. Yes, he clipped McGregor and cut him open, but after that random, failed execution of a guillotine choke by Mendes, McGregor stood up and (beautifully) boxed Mendes, eventually dropping him and finishing the fight with strikes to the side of Mendes’s head while [Mendes] covered up.

“Mendes was winning the fight!”, detractors say. Well…. I’m not a fan of that style of point scoring, regardless of how the judges have it. Lying on top of your opponent and doing minimal damage with ground’n’pound should not account for a large heap of points in MMA scoring. It’s lazy anti-fighting. If you take your opponent down, you better execute some ground’n’pound that’s inflicting substantial damage to your opponent, otherwise it’s nothing more than glorified stalling that detracts from the sport and makes fans everywhere roll their eyes.

“Mendes only had a 2-week camp!” Well, McGregor trained for months for a Muay Thai based fighter and had two weeks to prepare for a wrestler while having an injured knee. You can concoct excuses for anybody from anywhere if you want to play that game.

More excuses will roll in, simply because detractors of McGregor can’t help themselves but attempt (and fail) to rationalize their disdain.

bruna the mcgregor detractor

By the way, so much for Mendes ‘closing’ the gap on McGregor. Heh.

Troy’s UFC 189: Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo — I mean… Chad Mendes — Predictions

ufc189

Ever gone to a family or friend’s barbecue get-together, expecting all kinds of juicy meats, maybe even some delicious grilled onions and peppers, only to be served up grilled bologna?

Neither have I, but I’ve used that terrible analogy to describe the main event of UFC 189. We are getting filet mignon in the co-main event, with ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler defending his UFC welterweight title against Rory the Canadian Psycho ‘Aries’ MacDonald, and a bowl of cereal served with spoiled milk in the main event.

Nah. I’m over-exaggerating on purpose. I’m so salty over the absence of Aldo in the main event that I’m surprised my blood pressure isn’t through the roof. At this time, Conor McGregor is probably my favorite fighter to watch. I watch most UFCs with friends that are casual fans who I’ve ‘christened’ into the sport of MMA over the years, and their first exposure to a McGregor fight was back in 2013, when Conor fought Max Holloway. In that fight, he tore his ACL but still won by way of a decision over the young Holloway. Then you know the drill — McGregor returned in 2014, beat up on Diego Brandao (who’s one tough dude, despite being past his best fighting days), tooled with a top 5 featherweight in Dustin Poirier (Poirier is so much better than what he’s given credit for; he’s been one of my favorite fighters to watch for a while — he’s always game; no frills with this guy) with a first round TKO and then made his bout with Dennis Siver look easy, and Siver’s a tough son of a bitch.

A lot of folks have an issue looking past Conor McGregor’s trash talking. He’s a charismatic Irishman who’s used words as tools for marketing, promotion and a title shot over the years. I have no problem with it. I’ve always been an advocate for trash talking in sports. I love reading about and hearing anecdotal stories from basketball players that played with or against one of the greatest Boston Celtics of all-time (dare I say the greatest, but I’d rather not disrespect the likes of Bill Russell), Larry Bird, a man that might be the biggest trash talker in the history of basketball! But in the same vain as combat sports, look at the likes of Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest villains in the history of boxing/combat sports. Ali is beloved by many nowadays, and rightfully so (he’s a cultural icon!), but in his heyday, he was a bonafide villain. Look into his two fights with Floyd Patterson (the ‘babyface’ good guy) to see the biggest examples.

For detractors of McGregor, though, I ask of you to mute his trash talking and watch his fights. “But Troy! He fights cans!” you say. How so? “Well, he fought a young Holloway who’s way better now! He fought a Brandao that has psychological issues and not even much of a fighter anymore! Poirier is just a gatekeeper! Siver?! He’s old and not even the cream of the crop!” Those are all professional mixed martial artists, and Conor made it look easy by beating them. I resent how disrespecting Poirier is in MMA — a few years ago he went five rounds with the Korean Zombie, Chan Sung-Jung. McGregor destroyed him.

Conor’s standup, as a featherweight, is second to none. Watch how smooth his flow is as a striker. It’s pure, beautiful artwork. He might lose tomorrow night, and I wouldn’t be surprised, and it’s a shame if that happens, because so many fans are blinded by hate (it’s always the utmost profitable to be a villain in combat sports; people will pay a horde of money with hopes that you’ll get your ass kicked) and ignore the skill of McGregor.

“Troy! He’s never been tested by a wrestler in the UFC!” And now he will, tomorrow night, by Chad Mendes. If McGregor beats Mendes, detractors will still find a way to disparage him, and they’ll say shit like, “Well, he didn’t fight Frankie Edgar!” or “Mendes didn’t have a full camp!” and those arguments are plum silly.

MMA fans are the most fickle in all of sports. Trust me. Look around. “But Troy! Doesn’t that make you fickle, then, to say that?” Eh. I guess so! I’m a fan of the sport overall, though. I have my favorite fighters, but I don’t delve into the abyss of fanboy arguments that so many people get themselves into. I think those are silly. I respect everybody who steps into the octagon and hardly negatively speak about any fighters (sans Johny Hendricks). The point I’m trying to make is, MMA fans change their opinions constantly, and it’s not from evolving their thoughts/thinking patterns or developing new perspectives… it’s more because they jump from bandwagon to bandwagon, not to mention most fans can’t see a foot ahead of them for their own hate.

Prediction time.

Dennis Bermudez vs. Jeremy Stephens
Bermudez got toyed with by Ricardo Lamas back in November, and that’s the last we’ve seen of him. Stephens is a streaky fighter who’s lost five of his last eight fights, including his last two (Cub Swanson and Charles Oliveira). I don’t think this will be a slugest. I favor Bermudez, because I reckon his combinations are more fluid and crisp, and his wrestling will pay dividends from afar, and in close where Stephens tends to be too rigid. Prediction: Bermudez by decision.

Robbie Lawler (champion) vs. Rory MacDonald for the UFC welterweight title
These two had a hard fought battle back in November 2013 in which we saw Lawler knock down MacDonald once and he won the fight by split decision. Since then, Lawler has fought five billion times and defeated Johny Hendricks for the title back in December, while MacDonald has won three fights in a row in very dominant fashion (Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine). I think this fight is going to be the undisputed fight of the night. Unfortunately it’s flying under the radar for casual fans, but fuck them. I’m so excited to see whether or not MacDonald is going to use much of his patented jab against Lawler, after RRL defended against it well back in November 2013. This fight could go either way. Either fucking way. Five rounds. This is so hard to predict. I’ve been on record with friends, saying that MacDonald is going to win the title, but I think he’s going to have to dominate Lawler for five rounds or submit him. Prediction: MacDonald by 4th round submission.

Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes for the UFC interim featherweight title
I ranted enough about this above. McGregor is a southpaw fighter and that could give Mendes fits, although I think Mendes’ wrestling is enough to overcome that. We’ll finally get to see McGregor’s true takedown defense against an elite wrestler in Mendes, unless McGregor flusters Mendes enough to cause Chad to go all trigger happy with the overhand right. I think the easy prediction is to say that Mandes is going to destroy McGregor, which is what a lot of bitter detractors are on their knees praying for, but I don’t really care to see a third Aldo/Mendes fight, so while a Mendes unanimous decision or submission is on a lot of people’s minds, it’s time for the Mystic Mac to once again rise to the occasion and make the bout with Aldo inevitable. Prediction: Conor McGregor by 1st round TKO.