- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter5 hrs ago
UFC lightweight star Joe Lauzon is hard at work to prepare for his Octagon return Sep. 5 but he took a break from training to sit down with Cagewriter editor Elias Cepeda to break down the main event and co-main event of this Saturday's UFC 177 card. In the main event, Renan Barao and champion TJ Dillashaw rematch their bantamweight title bout from last May.
In the co-main, Dillashaw's teammate Danny Castillo fights the red-hot Tony Ferguson. Check out Lauzon and Cepeda's picks and analysis below and then let us know who ya got, in the comments section!
Renan Barao vs. TJ Dillashaw
Elias Cepeda: I've already said it - I don't like this rematch. At least, not right now. into camp for the rematch, and there's no telling how much additional damage he's taken in camp.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter21 hrs ago
Kamal Shalorus (9-3) was born and raised with wrestling all around him. Growing up near the wrestling hot-bed of Azerbaijan, Shalorus had both the intense Iranian and Russian wrestling cultures pushing in on him as a young man.
The wrestling passion of the region became his, and he used it to lift himself up, professionally. He would go on to represent Britain’s wrestling team at the 2004 summer games, and later become a top MMA fighter.
Kamal’s parents had no problem accepting his career as a wrestler, but fighting in a cage with less rules seemed more foreign to them, at first. “Wrestling, they knew, so they were very supportive,” he tells Cagewriter.
“But MMA, well, my mom was a lot more nervous about that (laughs). But now they see what it is and understand it a bit more.”
It took Shalorus some time himself to begin to fully understand MMA. He first got into the sport as a training partner for MMA fighters to better their wrestling, but soon realize that he was good enough to step into a second career as well.
“The transition was definitely challenging, especially the striking, but I enjoyed it and it ultimately came natural to me,” he says.
- Elias Cepeda at Boxing23 hrs ago
Several Mexican boxing legends recently took some time to talk about the Argentine of the moment - Marcos Maidana. Last May, "El Chino" went the distance with pound-for-pound boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr., before losing a decision.
On Sep. 13 the two will rematch. Whether Maidana can once more test Mayweather or not, he's already earned the respect of several Mexican boxing greats. Julio Cesar Chavez, Israel Vazquez, Erik Morales and former 154 pound champ Raul Marquez all had great praise for Maidana.
Speaking of characteristics stereotypically associated with Mexican fighters, all four Mexicanos seem to see a bit of themselves in Maidana. "I must confess I was amazed to see how courageous Maidana was. He squared up in front of Mayweather and just went at it with everything he had," Chavez said.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter1 day ago
Rory MacDonald will fight Tarec Saffiedine Oct. 4 in Canada in a match that was put together, in large part, because of Saffiedine's calling out of "Ares." MacDonald was happy to sign on the dotted line to fight Saffiedine, but he says he couldn't have cared less about getting called out.
"I don't really think about it, to be completely honest," MacDonald said in a recent MMA Fighting interview.
The Canadian contender says he's got bigger goals than opponents like Saffiedine. "My hope is just to be fighting for the championship," he explained.
"I don't really care about people who are ranked below me or whatever. I just want the belt. If other people are calling me out, that's OK. That's on them."
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter1 day ago
UFC president Dana White just released the first of his video blogs (about UFC 175) that he's released in a long time, and it's a good 'un. Uncle Dana says that he thinks it's one of the "most powerful" vlogs he's ever released, and he may be right.
in this one you'll see heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Stefan Struve go from would-be foes to consoling friends, after Struve was forced by doctors to pull out of his fight against Mitrione because he nearly fainted back stage at UFC 175. You'll also see middleweight Uriah Hall deal with the pain of having his broken foot re-set and Ronda Rousey's hand looking darn near exploded after the wraps are taken off.
This blog is definitely not one to miss so check it out and let us know what you think was the most memorable moment in the comments section!
Bethe Correia believes that, sometimes, confidence is more important than physical ability. Take, for example, UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
The Brazilian Correia is now 2-0 in the UFC's bantamweight division and will fight Rousey's friend and teammate Shayna Baszler Saturday at UFC 177. Though Correia respects Rousey's skills, she believes that the reason the "Rowdy" one has been able to dominate in MMA thus far is because she's simply more confident than her opponents.
"It’s not that she’s better than the opponents she’s fought, but they don’t believe in themselves," she said in arecent interview with Guilherme Cruz.
"Her look shows it. They don’t feel they are better than Ronda. Ronda has this aura that she’s unbeatable. She needs to face someone that looks into her eyes and says ‘you can’t beat me.’"
The first two episodes of the latest fun behind-the-scenes mini-documentary series, UFC Embedded, has earthquakes, training, goofing around and opponent taunting, taking place on two continents. TJ Dillashaw shocked the world last spring when he dethroned then-UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao.
Now, the two are facing one another in an immediate rematch this weekend. The rematch is ill-advised for multiple reasons, most importantly Barao's health (he was badly hurt by Dillashaw a couple of short months ago and has had virtually no time to recover before jumping back into training camp), but it is nontheless a compelling one.
Chris Weidman will defend his middleweight UFC title Dec. 6 against Vitor Belfort - the third consecutive dangerous striker the champ will have faced (Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida being the previous two). However, Weidman is confident that he canget the better of "The Phenom" on the feet, just as he did against Silva and Machida.
"I think that I’m a versatile individual, and I pretty much feel like I can do anything that I want to do in there," Weidman said in a recent interview.
In fact, "The All-American" believes that he'll be able to finish Belfort anywhere the fight may go. "I can stand and bang and knock him out, or I feel as if I can take him down and submit him," he went on.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter3 days ago
All the trash talk and accusations from afar between UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and challenger Chad Mendes came to head when they came face-to-face Tuesday morning in Brazil to promote theirUFC 179 title fight. The two met for a media day at Maracana Stadium and when it was time for them to pose for the cameras while squared up, Aldo got right into Mendes' face and then shoved him away.
People swooped in to get between the two fighters before any more extra-curricular activity could erupt. Great to see the UFC now doing even less to prevent brawls when bringing heated rivals together to promote fights, than they were before.
Does seeing Aldo shove Mendes get you more amped up for their rematch? Let us know in the comments section.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter3 days ago
Fans of MMA have witnessed a lot of nutty behavior from retired UFC middleweight star Chris Leben over the years, ranging from urinating on others' bed to excessive candy-eating post weighing in but we didn't know just how close to competition some of Leben's recklessness got until now. During a recent pod cast interview (below), Leben revealed that, just days before his 2011 TKO loss to Brian Stann, he got black-out drunk...and then arrested.
“ Right before I fought Brian Stann I actually went out," Leben's sad tale began.