• Coach talks Anthony Pettis and Ben Askren

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    Former champion kickboxer and current top MMA coach Duke Roufus has been busy these days. In addition to his work as a color commentator for the Glory Kickboxing promotion's televised events, Roufus still runs his Milwaukee gym, Roufusport, full-time and coaches some of the best and hottest fighters in the world.

    Cagewriter spoke with Roufus briefly this week to talk about some of his start fighters in the news lately. As we reported earlier this week, Roufus' star pupil UFC lightweight Anthony Pettis will be sidelined for 6-8 months with his latest knee injury.

    Pettis got some passive-aggressive criticism recently from the man he was supposed to fight next, Josh Thomson, suggesting that Pettis' injury didn't require this much time off. Roufus says that no one wants to fight more than Pettis himself.

    "The founder of Evolve MMA, Chatri Sityodtong, is actually an old, good friend of mine," Roufus says.

  • War veteran Caros Fodor finds peace through MMA

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    From an early age, Carlos Fodor knew he wanted to be a soldier.

    “I grew up watching a lot of movies like Missing in Action and Rambo,” Caros remembers with a smile.

    “When I was 12, I decided that I would go into the Marines. Once I hit high school, I recruited like five friends to enlist with me. I got my mom to sign the waiver to let me join when I was 17 and right after graduation, I enlisted.”

    Fodor imagined a long and productive career for himself that would, one day, doubtlessly include combat. He didn’t expect for war to come so soon, however.

    Fodor was still 17 and in boot camp on September 11, 2001, but there would be no slow track.

    He was soon activated and deployed to the Middle East.

    “I wanted to go to the military and get the whole experience,” he remembers.

    “Eventually at some point in my career I imagined I’d see combat but I definitely didn’t expect it that soon. No one did. My mom signed the waiver on the agreement with me that I’d become a reservist first, get my college degree and then go active duty and start my career.”

    “They moved us up to the border [of Iraq] on March 17 and we were invading on March 19,” he details.

    War, he learned, complicates matters.

  • Vitali Klitschko stops mob from storming government building

    ecepeda at Boxing 1 yr ago

    WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko talked down a quickly-forming mob in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday, that called for the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich. According to a report from the LA Times, protesters armed with bricks and flares threatened to storm the Presidential Administration Building Sunday before Klitschko, himself an opposition leader who has said he will run for president of the Ukraine in 2015, got hold of a bullhorn and told the crowd that if they were to use violence, they'd be walking into a "trap."

    “I am telling you, get back!” Klitschko yelled at the crowd, reportedly pushing the men near him so hard that they almost fell down.

    “You have no business here. Don't fall into a trap!”

    Some estimates place the protest at about 200,000 people strong. The LA Times report said that after Klitschko's admonition, "the tense crowd began to reluctantly back up."

    The opposition is protesting Yanukovich's decision not to join the European Union, turning Ukraine back toward Russia's sphere of influence."

  • TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena blasts Ronda Rousey

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    Before her winning TUF 18 finale bout, Julianna Pena made waves by calling UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey a "spoiled, rich brat," and "pretentious" during an interview on Fox Sports 1. Pena is friends and training partners with Rousey rival Miesha Tate and chaffed at Rousey's harsh assessment of her before and after Pena upset TUF 18 Team Rousey member Shayna Baszler.

    After winning TUF 18 Saturday night, Pena clarified her remarks about Rousey but did not back off of her criticism.

    "Whether Ronda has one penny or $10 million, the point I was trying to make there is she has her nose in the air and she acts like she's better than everyone else," Pena said during the post event press conference.

    "If [Rousey] was so real, why didn't she tell me that I didn't deserve to breathe the same air as Shayna Baszler? Why didn't she tell me that to my face instead of saying it on camera behind my back?"

    "I'm probably like two or three fights away [from a title fight]," she said.

  • Jon Jones wants UFC super fight with Cain Velasquez within a year

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has long talked openly about his desire to eventually move up to heavyweight. During a recent fan Q&A, "Bones" revealed that he plans to make a permanent move to the division within two years but also that he hopes to get a super fight with heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez sooner than that.

    "I think that’s going to happen within the next two years - I’ll go up to heavyweight, permanently," Jones said.

    "But I am looking to take a super fight sooner or later, within the next year. So, yeah I’m excited for it. I’ve been really thinking about me and Cain Velasquez going at it. It would be huge for the sport. He’s definitely the toughest guy in that division, and he’s not that big, so I think it would a really entertaining fight. Don’t be surprised if you see that sooner or later."

    At some point this spring, he is expected to defend his light heavyweight title against Glover Teixeira. Jones last fought and narrowly won a controversial decision against Alexander Gustafsson in September.

  • For free agent Ben Askren, glory more important than money

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    In a new MMA Fighting interview, Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren says that he'd happily turned down more money to re-sign with the organization in order to seek out better competition in the UFC.

    "I was getting to the end of my exclusive period with Bellator. [Bellator CEO] Bjorn [Rebney] made me a couple offers, and they weren't bad offers and Bellator isn't a bad company, but my main reason why I got into the sport of mixed martial arts was to be number one in the world," Askren explained.

    According to Askren, who has publicly offered to fight either UFC champ Georges St. Pierre or his teammate Rory MacDonald for free, the goal of proving that he's the best fighter in the world is much more important to him than money. "I'm not willing to compromise my goals for monetary value," he continued.

    "Once that happens I'll have better idea where they actually stand."

  • Retirement may be smart move for UFC champ Georges St. Pierre

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    Let’s talk about two separate things. The first is that the judging of UFC 167’s main event between Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks was atrocious.

    Factoring in the significance and the stage, it was perhaps one of the very worst decisions in UFC history. Hendricks clearly earned the victory and the UFC’s welterweight title after five rounds but only one judge scored it his way. Even that judge inexplicably only had Hendricks winning by a single round.

    And yes, the robbery was particularly heart-wrenching given that Hendricks may not even get an automatic rematch since St. Pierre announced a vague leave of absence from MMA after the bout.

    UFC president Dana White disagreed vehemently with the decision despite the fact that it saved his biggest cash cow, St. Pierre, from a loss. White also jumped on GSP’s back for having the gall to want to step away from the sport without the certainty of calling it a retirement.

  • Robbie Lawler beats Rory MacDonald, steps into UFC welterweight title contender role

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    Robbie Lawler was as good as advertised Saturday night, making his welterweight match up against Rory MacDonald knock down, drag out scrap and winning a split decision at UFC 167. From the onset, Lawler was the aggressor, throwing and landing more strikes in a close first round.

    In the second, MacDonald continued to bide his time, apparently looking for opportunities to counter or get a take down. With less than two minutes left, MacDonald turned the second round in his favor with a take down.

    Lawler made a statement in the third and final round, however, knocking "Aries" down twice with punches. MacDonald refused to give up and ended the round with another take down and elbows landed to Lawler's head from on top inside the half-guard of "Ruthless".

    The late surge was not enough for MacDonald in the eyes of two of the ringside judges, however, and they scored the fight for Lawler. Lawler has now won three straight fights since returning to the UFC - second straight over a top-ten opponent - and very well could find himself fighting for the welterweight title soon.

    Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda

  • Tyron Woodley stops Koscheck at UFC 167

    ecepeda at Cagewriter 1 yr ago

    Strikeforce veteran Tyron Woodley earned his first ever UFC win Saturday night with a KO win over former two-time title challenger Josh Koscheck at UFC 167. Woodley used a number of well-placed and powerful right hands to drop the TUF 1 veteran multiple times before ultimately putting him out near the end of the first round.

    Woodley struck early with a double jab, followed by a right cross that dropped Koscheck the first time. After the wrestler recovered and the two were separated by referee Herb Dean, Woodley got back to work and hurt Koscheck once more with several more right crosses and an overhand right to the back of the head.

    Koscheck appeared to recover slightly while on his back, got a tight full guard and under hooks on Woodley to defend against strikes and appeared as if he might survive the round. Dean stepped in and stood them up, however, and Woodley soon countered a punch from Koscheck with another right hand right on the chin.

    Koscheck fell flat on his back one final time and Woodley landed one more shot to him as he lay prone before Dean stepped in and called a halt. The loss is Koscheck's third straight.