Saturday, February 27, 2010

B.C. MMA Fan Headed To Vancouver For Gold Medal Hockey Game


What is there to say, really? Opportunities to witness sports history in the making don't come along everyday. Team USA has actually played better and more consistent hockey throughout the tournament, but our players should get a massive boost from the raucous support of the entire nation. I'm jacked.

Go! Canada! Go!

Strikeforce's Next CBS Show Set For April 17; Fedor Set To Be A No-Show


The worlds most accomplished MMA heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko (31-1), and his cadre of managers/spiritual advisers, etc have proven once again that UFC President Dana White may be on to something when he calls them "crazy Russians."

How else can you explain that Fedor, who stands to benefit immensely from exposure on U.S. soil and who needs to keep busy to avoid be criticized, yet again, for his plodding approach to fight scheduling, has apparently removed himself from Strikeforce's upcoming second CBS card set for April 17th. Fedor was tentatively scheduled to fight world #10 heavyweight Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1), but has apparently decided that the very best opponent that Strikeforce can currently offer just isn't good enough. Or maybe it was the money, or some sort of co-promotional misunderstanding; in any case, Emelianenko's primary manager Vadim Finkelstein seems dead set on turning Fedor into something of a bad joke among less-seasoned MMA fans.

Suddenly, Strikeforce's surprise acquisition of Dan "Hollywood" Henderson (25-7) is looking like the best free-agent signing in MMA history, as he will now step up to the main event to battle Jake Shields (24-4-1) for the latter's middleweight title, thus saving the card from being considered a complete disaster. Dan, of course, is coming off "The KO of 2009," maybe of that entire decade, when he completely starched Michael Bisping (18-3) at UFC 100. Shields, who some fans dislike for his wrestling-first style, is coming off a widely panned victory over Jason "Mayhem" Miller at Strikeforce/M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rogers last November. Fan support for Henderson is at an all-time high, but he has never been an incredibly strong draw and the potential exists here for a fairly ho-hum decision in either direction.

Also believed to be on the card is a fight from the "too soon" file between Dutch DREAM and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi (28-2-1) and the still painfully green American power-wrestler Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (6-0). If Henderson and Mousasi both win in April, it is likely that Henderson will move up to face Mousasi shortly thereafter in an attempt to hold the 185lbs. and 205lbs. Strikeforce titles simultaneously just like Dan did in PRIDE. That feat, holding any two belts simultaneously in a respectable promotion, has never been accomplished by anyone else in the sport's history.

Strikeforce may have dodged a bullet here thanks to their serendipitous signing of Henderson, but unless Emelianenko and company begin playing nice soon, Strikeforce President Scott Coker could have a hard time putting together enough main event quality fights going forward to justify their network TV presence.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Victoria, B.C.'s Sarah Kaufman Gets It Done In Five; Sweeps Every Round


Coming directly after a questionable doctor's stoppage prematurely ended the Trevor Prangley vs. Karl Amousou fight, the main event at Strikeforce Challengers 6 had an uphill battle to get the disgruntled fans in San Jose excited. The world's two finest female fighters at welterweight (135lbs.) certainly did all they could to win the crowd over during a grueling 25-minute war of attrition.

Picture Props: Sherdog.com

After watching Victoria, B.C.'s Sara Kaufman (11-0) rock and drop her opponent several times in the opening frame, many in the arena probably thought a finish was inevitable, but it was not to be. Nonetheless, the resulting fight was highly technical and very entertaining throughout, if not quite heart-stoppingly thrilling.

Most fans probably took two things away from the fight.

One is that Japan's Takayo Hashi (12-2) is one tough cookie. She absorbed a surgically methodical onslaught from Kaufman over the entire course of the fight and kept coming back for more. In a rare display of resilience and determination, Hashi somehow managed to have her best round in the fifth stanza after taking a relatively one-sided beating for the preceding four. Her many takedown attempts, which, as the fight wore on began to resemble pulling guard more than anything else, were almost universally stuffed by Kaufman's clear superior strength and her textbook sprawl-n-brawl. When a grappler isn't afforded a chance to go for any submissions you know she's in for a long night, but many lesser fighters would have cracked, psychologically at the very least, under Sarah's relentless pressure.

The other thing most fans probably took from the fight is that, after three consecutive unanimous decisions, Sarah can't seem to catch a break as far as landing her first finish under the Strikeforce banner. That's not to say she wasn't trying. At no point in the fight did Kaufman hold back, except possibly following a fifth-round eyepoke when she seemed to allow her opponent a few seconds of much-deserved respite. Of course, that didn't prevent her from sweeping the judges' scorecards to lay claim to Strikeforce's first ever women's welterweight title at 135lbs. Play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo used the word "coast" to describe Kaufman's performance, but all I saw was a very intelligent gameplan being stuck to unflinchingly.

It looks like the first challenger to Sarah's new belt may be the well-rounded Roxanne Modafferi (14-5) and there's still that eight-woman tournament in the works to find more contenders, but the champ is probably too busy celebrating her historic win tonight to be very concerned about that. In any case, it will be tough for anyone in the welterweight division to match Sarah's technical excellence and will to win.

Congratulations Sarah, you've done well by your chosen sport and given all Canadian MMA fans something to stand up and cheer about.

MFC 24: Heat XC -- Quick Results


I haven't had a chance yet to watch these fights, but it looks like Maximum Fighting Championship achieved their objective of producing more finishes after a lackluster main event of Dean Lister vs. Thales Leites at MFC 23. Every main card bout ended in a (T)KO, with only one fight making it out of the first round. Is it possible to get too much of a good thing?

One thing is certain, it's nice to see Yves Edwards (37-15-1) continuing his revival-- that makes three wins in a row. Meanwhile, Britain's Tom "Kong" Watson (11-3) [Pictured Left], who currently trains out of Jackson's Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, NM, put himself on many fans' maps tonight by handily turning aside a tough challenge from Canada's Travis Galbraith (17-6).

Main Event

Yves Edwards def. Derrick Noble by TKO (Strikes), Rd. 1 @ 4:44

Main Card

Tom Watson def. Travis Galbraith by KO (Head Kick), Rd. 1 @ 1:56
Dwayne Lewis def. Ryan McClain by TKO (Strikes), Rd. 2 @ 2:08
Jesse Juarez def. Nathan Gunn by KO (Head Kick), Rd. 1 @ 0:11

Undercard:

  • Dami Egbeyemi def. Paapa Inkumsah by Split Decision

  • David Letourneau def. Nick Hrynchyshyn by Unanimous Decision (30-27 X 3)

  • Garret Nybakken def. Chris Barber by Submission (RNC), Rd. 1 @ 2:30

  • Zach Blaber def. Eric Chouinard by Submission (Kimura), Rd. 1 @ 1:17

GSP and Head Trainer Zahabi "Protect This House" In New UnderArmour Ad



There are plenty of shots of Georges St. Pierre (19-2) looking bad-ass in this nationally televised UnderArmour commercial, and TriStar's head trainer Firas Zahabi gets his share of the limelight as well.

StrikeForce Challengers 6: Kaufman vs. Hashi -- Results


After an up-and-down night, the main event went the distance and gave fans their money's worth. Sarah Kaufman captures the 135lb welterweight women's title, which she'll bring back through customs to its new home on Vancouver Island.


Quick Results

Main Event:
Sarah Kaufman def. Takayo Hashi by Unanimous Decision (50-45 X 3)

Main Card:
Trevor Prangley vs. Karl Amousou Ruled a Technical Draw
Luke Rockhold def. Paul Bradley by TKO, Rd. 1 [2:24]
Tarec Saffiedine def. James Terry by Unanimous Decision [30-27 X 3]
Yancy Medeiros def. Raul Castillo by Unanimous Decision [30-27 X 3]


Detailed Results:

Main Event
:

Sarah Kaufman (10-0) vs. Takayo Hashi (12-1) Women's Welterweight Championship

Rd. 1: Hashi lands a pair of leg-kicks. Kaufman lands a right that knocks Hashi down. Kaufman has Hashi pinned against the fence in the clinch, lands knees and body shots. Ref restarts fight. Kaufman land a punch-kick combo, then more jabs and leg kicks. Hashi dropped by another jab. Kaufman continues to control the action. Kaufman drops Hashi with counter-right. Hashi shows toughness in weathering the storm, ends the round standing. 10-9 Kaufman

Rd. 2: Kaufman stalking, takes a leg kick. Kaufman lands intermittent strikes, looks comfortable. Kaufman continues stalking, lands a big right. Hashi landing some kicks, but gets hit upstairs most times. Kaufman ends with a flurry, wins round if less convincingly. 10-9 Kaufman

Rd. 3: Sarah lands a straight right that drops Hashi early. Kaufman continues to land flurries, four unanswered short right hooks. Kaufman tags Hashi her with the old one-two, then drops Hashi with a straight right. Lands more jabs, and a big right hook on the way out of a clinch. Kaufman lands a triple-jab and stuffs a takedown. 10-9 Kaufman.

Rd. 4: Kaufman is doing a great job of avoiding the takedown in an extended clinch. Ref restarts the fight. Kaufman continues to stalk. Hashi attempts to pull guard, but Kaufman lands some ground shots and stands back up. Hashi is in rough shape, while Kaufman looks not much worse for wear. 10-9 Kaufman.

Rd. 5: After a short feeling out period, Hashi shoots in for a takedown. Kaufman sprawls perfectly, continues to land with jabs. Hashi pulls guard again, but Sarah shrugs it off. Hashi lands a front kick to the face. Hashi lands a one-two, then a few jabs. Hashi is poked in the eye, but continues fighting. Fighter trade non-threatening shots to finish the fight. 10-9 Kaufman.

Official Result: Kaufman def. Hashi by Unanimous Decision (50-45 X 3)



Main Card:

Trevor Prangley (22-5) vs. Karl Amoussou (11-2-1)

Rd. 1: Amousou lands with an early flurry. Prangly unfazed. Fighters are tentative, ref wants action. Prangley scores trip takedown, lands in half-guard. Amousou has one arm trapped, ref stands them up. Amousou catches Prangley with a left and a right. Prangley catches Amousou with a right. Amousou is poked badly in the eye, allowed time to recover. Fight stopped by the doctor, because Amousou could not reopen his eye. Crowd boos and Amousou protests.

Official Result: The fight is ruled a Technical Draw



Luke Rockhold (6-1) vs. Paul Bradley (12-1)

Rd. 1: Bradley presses Rockhold against the cage. Fighters circling. Rockhold lands some weak shots, then lands a big right to the back of Bradley's head that drops the big wrestler. Bradley is mounted and takes some shots, but regains his feet. Rockhold lands clean with a counter-right that drops Bradley again. Bradley gets up, but starts taking knees from the clinch. The fight is stopped shortly after, though it appeared a low-blow may have landed just before the ref stopped it. Rockhold by TKO [2:24].

Official Result: Rockhold def. Bradley by TKO, Rd. 1 [2:24]
Rockhold Post-Fight: "I want to move up."



James Terry (7-1) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (7-2)

Rd. 1: Terry throws left high-kick, but it is blocked. Saffiedine lands straight right and controls the centre of the ring. Each fighter throws in combination. Saffeidine lands leg kick and a nice Brazil kick. Saffeidine lands clean with a left, then a right that rocks Terry. Terry blows through Saffeidine with a powerful double-leg, but Saffeidine quickly returns to his feet. Terry gets hit with another right that opens a cut under his left eye. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Rd. 2: Saffiedine lands a variety of shots, including a knee to the body. Terry lands an uppercut. Saffiedine sticks and moves effectively, lands body kick. Saffiedine lands two overhand rights. Terry bleeding badly from the mouth and eye. Saffiedine lands with left and right hooks, stuffs a takedown. Terry needs to get going soon, attempts takedown to no avail. Saffeidine lands jabs and leg kicks. Terry runs in throwing big shots, but comes up empty. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Rd. 3: Saffiedine continues to control the fight. Terry almost scores another takedown, but Saffiedine gets up right away. Saffiedine lands a powerful knee from clinch, continues to dominate. The fighters exchange punches. Saffiedine continues to pick Terry apart, lands an elbow. Terry fails on takedown attempt, gets hit with high kick then spinning back kick. Saffiedine mounts and punishes Terry at the bell. 10-9 Saffiedine

My Score: 30-27 Saffiedine over Terry
Official Result: Saffiedine def. Terry by Unanimous Decision (30-27 X 3)



Raul Castillo (6-0) vs. Yancy Medeiros (4-0)

Rd. 1: Castillo unsuccessful on several takedown attempts. Medeiros landing the much better shots throughout, including several solid knees from the clinch. Medeiros almost finishes Castillo in final 30 seconds. 10-9 for Medeiros.

Rd. 2: Medeiros continues to pick Castillo apart, begins to mix in kicks. Castillo can't get anything going. Castillo tries more takedowns and a knee at the end of the round, but it not effective with either. 10-9 Medeiros.

Rd. 3: Castillo attempts more takedowns with no success. Medeiros opens up and attacks, but takes a knee to the groin. When the fight resumes, Medeiros lands with a flurry that drops Castillo. Clock expires with Catillo still eating punches and getting stifled in his takedown attempts. 10-9 Medeiros.

My Score: 30-27 Medeiros over Castillo
Official Result: Medeiros def. Castillo by Unanimous Decision (30-27 X 3)



Undercard:


Wayne Phillips def. Eric Lawson by Submission (Armbar), Rd. 1
Samuel Bracamnonte def. Chris Stewart by TKO, Rd. 3
Tristan Arenal def. George Miller by TKO, Rd. 2
Jesse Tobar def. Phil Balducci by Submission (RNC), Rd. 2
Renee Robinson def. Lilia Salas by TKO, Rd. 1
Steve Dickie def. Alan Lummel by TKO, Rd. 1
Ronald Carillo def. Anthony De Los Santos by Submission (Armbar), Rd. 2

UFC 115: Two Fights Involving Heavyweight Strikers Now Rumoured For Vancouver


In a somewhat complicated turn of events Pat "Get Hype" Barry (5-1, 2-1 UFC) will now reportedly meet Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic (26-7-2, 3-3 UFC) at UFC 115 in Vancouver, while Barry's original opponent at that event, Gilbert "The Hurricane" Yvel (36-14-1, 0-1 UFC), will face "Cro-Cop's" intended opponent at UFC 110, "Big" Ben Rothwell (30-7). An eventual fight between the two winners is almost certainly a given and would create a fairly legit contender for the UFC.

It all started when Rothwell withdrew from his fight with Mirko "Cro-Cop" at this past weekend's UFC 110 event. That meant Mirko had to face a lesser opponent who agreed to step up at a moment's notice. After the event, Dana White said point blank that he still intended to match Rothwell against "Cro-Cop," but it seems that they like these match-ups more and, I have to say, I agree. Pat Barry is a squat, smallish heavyweight just like Mirko and both have top-shelf, K-1 tested, striking. Yvel and Rothwell, meanwhile, are both tall, scary dudes who are coming off of losses and both like to set up big shots from outside the pocket, which should make for an interesting fistic tango.

With the addition of these two major heavyweight fights, and rumours circulating of a showdown between Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1) and Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1), the Vancouver fight card for June 12th is beginning to take shape.

Full UFC 115 Rumoured Card:


Possible Main Event:
Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz III
~or~
Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Main Card & Under Card:

Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham
Pat Barry vs. Mirko Filipovic
Gilbert Yvel vs. Ben Rothwell
James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta
Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox

Programming Reminder: MMA Double-Header -- "MFC 24: Heat XC" and "Strikeforce: Challengers 6" Both Live Tonight


Many Canadian sports fans will be transfixed by the men's hockey semifinal against Slovakia this evening, but there are also a pair of great MMA cards competing for attention on this day-- Friday, February 26th. In a perfect world we could watch all three events, but there may have to be some tough choices made tonight. Below is a rundown of the two MMA events and some links that might help you make up your mind.

B.C. MMA Fan will, of course, have coverage of both MMA events available this evening.


Event: MFC 24: HeatXC
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Start Time: 7:00pm PST/ 10:00pm EST
How To Watch: Tickets Still Available, Live Stream Available for $9.99


Main Card:

155lbs.: Yves Edwards (155.5) vs. Derrick Noble (156)

185lbs: Tom Watson (184.5) vs Travis Galbraith (186.5)

205lbs.: Ryan McClain (205) vs. Dwayne Lewis (205

170lbs.: Jesse Juarez (171) vs. Nathan Gunn (169.5)

170lbs.: Dami Egbeyemi (170.5) vs. Paapa Inkumsah (170)

Undercard:

170lbs.: David Letourneau (169.5) vs. Nick Hrynchyshyn (170)

185lbs.: Elliot Duff (193) vs. Jason Gorny (185.5)

155lbs.: Chris Barber (153.5) vs. Garret Nybakken (154)

Catchweight: Eric Chouinard (207) vs. Zach Blaber (207)



Event: Strikeforce Challengers VI
Location: San Jose, CA
Start time: 7:00 pm PST /10:00 pm EST
How To Watch: Showtime (USA), SuperChannel (Canada)

Main Card:

135 lbs.: Sarah Kaufman (133.8) vs. Takayo Hashi (132)

185 lbs.: Trevor Prangley (185) vs. Karl Amoussou (184.5)

185 lbs.: Luke Rockhold (185) vs. Paul Bradley (186)

170 lbs.: James Terry (169) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (170)

185 lbs.: Raul Castillo (183) vs. Yancy Medeiros (185.5)

Undercard:

185 lbs.: Eric Lawson (185.5) vs. Wayne Phillips (183.5)

185 lbs.: Chris Stewart (182.5) vs. Samuel Bracamnonte (180)

155 lbs.: Tristan Arenal (156) vs. George Miller (155.8)

145 lbs.: Jesse Tobar (141.5) vs. Johnson Nguyen (144.8)

145 lbs.: Renee Robinson (141) vs. Lilia Salas (145)

265 lbs.: Steve Dickie (242.8) vs. Alan Lummel (253)

135 lbs.: Ronald Carillo (132.8) vs. Anthony De Los Santos (134)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sarah Kaufman Video Interview From Strikeforce HQ



With just over twenty-four hours left until the opening bell rings at Strikeforce Challengers VI: Kaufman vs. Hashi, Strikeforce themselves caught up with Victoria, B.C.'s Sarah Kaufman (10-0) to produce this wide-ranging pre-fight interview.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rampage Jackson -- "I Don't Know How Much I Ever Loved MMA"



There is some bad news in this interview for all the Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (30-7) fans out there. Yes, he'll be back to face Rashad Evans (14-1-1) at UFC 114 (May, 29th), but it's looking less-and-less likely that he'll continue fighting MMA for much longer after that.

Quote From Fighters Only Interview above:

"They've said some things and done some things I don't agree with -- that's not the way I do business," Jackson said. "I'm a loyal person so I take care of people who take care of me, but people who don't take care of me, I don't take care of them. So I'm done with the UFC. They can't ask me for anymore favors. Nothing. I just want to finish my contract and get out of there, do my own thing. Dana lied to me. He told me I didn't have to fight Rashad, I could fight Machida. I did the show and then after that he told me I had to fight Rashad."

UFC 110: Review -- Five Fighters In Five Divisions Take Big Steps Up


I had a successful night with my official predictions at UFC 110, going 6-3 (%66.7) with a hit on the main event, but, more importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed nearly every fight on the card. More than just being entertaining, the bouts at UFC 110 were laden with meaning for the future of each of the UFC's five weight divisions because, following the night's events, we ended up with one new, legitimate, contender at every weight-class.

So rather than focus on why Mirko "Cro-Cop" couldn't seem to finish "The Hippo," whether Stephan Bonnar got ripped off, how it is that C.B. Dollaway keeps winning fights, or when there will be another Te Huna sighting, let's focus instead on the fab five fighters who each made humongous splashes down under.

[Picture props: Sherdog.com]


Heavyweight: Cain Velasquez def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by TKO, Rd. 1

The Fight: Cain Velasquez (8-0) was a slight betting favourite at UFC 110, but, in the hearts of many longtime MMA fans, this was a major upset. Cain did not simply defeat "Minotauro" Nogueira, he out-classed him on the feet and TKO'ed him in the first round, which had never happened to "Big Nog" before. Cain's boxing looked better than ever, especially the tight right-left-right combination he used to finish the fight, and he also proved that he doesn't need to use his wrestling to beat world-class opposition.

What's Next?: They say that to become a legend you must first defeat a legend. That means two things in this case, one is that Velasquez is now officially a legendary MMA fighter, and the other is that Cain now has a huge bull's eye figuratively pasted on him. If the winner of Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin (UFC 111, March 27th) is medically fit to fight Brock Lesnar in July, which seems pretty likely, Velasquez will likely next fight the winner of Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Junior Dos Santos (UFC on VS. 1, March 21st). In fact, there is really no other option considering what those five big men (Lesnar, Mir, Carwin, Dos Santos & Gonzaga) have done, along with Velasquez, to separate themselves from the pack at 265lbs. At most, two wins in a row for any one of them means a guaranteed title shot.


Light Heavyweight: Ryan Bader def. Keith Jardine by TKO, Rd. 2

The Fight: Forget that it was tied going into the third round, and that Ryan Bader (11-0)'s takedowns, which looked effortless in round one, weren't landing throughout the second. The pivotal moment in this fight came when "Darth" Bader clipped Jardine with a right two-minutes into the third round. Jardine's knees were wobbled, but he would have recovered quickly if Bader hadn't lunged in with a flying-knee-to-left-hook combination that put "The Dean" to sleep. That kind of killer instinct should serve Bader well as he moves up yet again in the most ruthlessly violent division in the UFC.

What's Next?: Ryan Bader, who is now 4-0 in the UFC, will certainly need to take another significant step up after KO'ing Jardine at UFC 110, but I don't think he'll be given anybody in the top-five. That leaves the possibility of a fight against one of the losers of either Brandon Vera vs. Jon Jones (UFC on Vs. 1, March 21st) or Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio "Lil' Nog" Nogueira (UFC 114, May 29th). Another option would be Matt Hamill who is currently unscheduled, but is technically coming off of a DQ win.


Middleweight: Wanderlei Silva def. Michael Bisping by Unanimous Decision

The Fight: I may have ultimately been incorrect in predicting this fight as a split-decision win for "The Count," but it was definitely more closely contested than many observers assumed it would be. Bisping feels he was robbed, but I believe the decision was accurate and, in any case, this is a great outcome for fans because another loss for Wanderlei would have spelled disaster for his career. At middleweight, Wanderlei looks quite a bit faster and can probably absorb more clean shots, but we are all going to have to accept that he will never again be as fearsome and ferocious as he was in PRIDE.

What's Next?: This one is a no-brainer. Nearly-undefeated middleweight and fellow PRIDE super-star Yoshihiro Akiyama has been calling out "The Axe Murderer" for weeks and to deny him that fight would make zero sense for anyone. In a perfect world for Zuffa, they could put this fight on in Japan, but pulling off such a coup in a short period of time looks extremely unlikely. For that reason, many have already speculated that this fight could occur at UFC 115 in Vancouver B.C.'s GM Place arena on June 12th of this year.


Welterweight: Chris Lytle def. Brian Foster by Submission (Knee Bar), Rd. 1

The Fight: Let's be clear, Chris Lytle (28-17-5) is still the furthest away from a title shot out of anyone on this list, but he did show superb skills in this fight against a hungry young fighter and definitely deserves a step-up in competition. What's more, Lytle showed a lot of heart in weathering an early storm against Foster, while also remaining calm enough to sink in that knee bar.

What's Next?: This victory brings Lytle up to three wins in his last four UFC fights, with his only loss being a somewhat controversial split-decision in a truly epic fight with Marcus Davis. I expect Lytle to get one more shot at the big time in his next fight against the likes of either Mike Swick or Martin Kampmann. "Lights Out" could possibly even face the loser of Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley (UFC 113, May 8th) since a fight against another talented striker is what most fans want to see from Lytle.


Lightweight: George Sotiropoulos def. Joe Stevenson by Unanimous Decision

The Fight: Rarely has such a one-sided beatdown been awarded "Fight of The Night" honours, but, then again, rarely does a local fighter, who happens to be a massive odds underdog, put on the performance of his life against such a well-known fighter as Stevenson. It truly was the highest emotional plateau of the evening, and a moment many Australian MMA fans will never forget. As for the fight itself, what can be said, really? Sotiropoulos was better standing up and much, much, much, better on the ground. Stevenson scored a few takedowns, but did nothing appreciable with them at all.

What's Next: George deserves a step up in competition, but there aren't many clear steps up from Stevenson available. A fight against Gray Maynard might be a bridge too far at this point, but most other lightweights already have bouts scheduled with only the winner of Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi (UFC Fight Night 21, March 31st) or the loser of BJ Penn vs. Frank Edgar (UFC 112, April 10th) representing that crucial step up. As a result, Sotiropoulos may have to accept a high-profile fight against a fairly beatable opponent if only to stay busy. What about giving Mac Danzig a call? Just a thought.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sneak Peek At "UFC Undisputed 2010"



UFC President Dana White appears in this video interview, along with a pretty wacky dude from video game media giant IGN.com, to discuss the second edition of the popular UFC Undisputed franchise from THQ, which is due out this spring. Look for the impressively faithful virtual recreation of Mike Swick vs. Paulo Thiago from UFC 109.

B.C. Bio: Sarah Kaufman-- "Wherever The Fight Goes, I Plan On Striking"


B.C. MMA Fan's Josh Oliveira caught up with Victoria, B.C.'s own Sarah Kaufman ahead of her upcoming Strikeforce title fight. Sarah discussed fighting on Vancouver Island, training under Adam Zugek, preparing for Takayo Hashi, and, of course, her love of puzzles! It was recently announced that Sarah's upcoming title fight at Strikeforce: Challengers VI on Friday, February 26th, will now serve as the night's main event.

J.O.: Okay so, Sarah, for your fans around the world, can you talk a little bit about why you continue to train in Victoria, B.C. and maybe what it is you like about the city.

Sarah Kaufman: Well, I grew up here so I've been here my whole life and it's a pretty great place to live. It's pretty temperate and I don't like a lot of sun or snow so it's pretty perfect for me. Also, I mean, it's just beautiful and it's nice because it's on the Island. Well...sometimes that's nice because it's not quite as busy...

J.O.: Right, but one of the drawbacks of being based on Vancouver Island is the ferries and the difficulty of getting to the mainland. Has that ever been a problem at all for you, especially early in your career?

Sarah Kaufman: It hasn't affected my training, but it does make it harder to get to tournaments. If people want to compete locally, for the most part you have to go to Vancouver, which means either getting on the 7:00am ferry and probably waiting all day, or else going over the night before and paying for a hotel. So it's not as easy to get to tournaments, but it's still a great place to train.

J.O.: Have you drawn any extra inspiration during this training camp from Canada's Olympic athletes?

Sarah Kaufman: I don't have cable.

J.O.: Oh, so you're not too into it then?

Sarah Kaufman:Well, I do love the Olympics-- I just don't have cable and I am never home.

J.O.: Yeah, you must be busy. Okay, so after your most recent fight, when you faced Shayna Baszler last June, there was a lot of downtime. How did that layoff feel and was it frustrating that your fans and the media maybe lost contact with you for a bit.

Sarah Kaufman: Well, it's great if the fans want to know what's going on, but I'm kinda in the same boat. So, I think it can just be frustrating for both sides. It's always going to be one of those things, though-- you have to wait for the right fights. You can't just get over-anxious and jump at anything.

J.O.: Since the announcement of your upcoming fight, you have made numerous recent appearances on radio shows and have given many other interviews. Do you see it as part of your job to help promote the sport in that way?

Sarah Kaufman: I think it's a big part of the job. I also think it's important to have the fans know who you are and have an invested interest in you so that they want to watch you fight. If nobody wants to see you fight then you have no draw, which means why would a promoter have you even if you're the best fighter in the world. If no one wants to watch you, there's no reason for you to get a a spot, especially on a televised card. So, I do think that promotion is a big part of the job and I also think it's important for everyone to realize that we're just average people trying to do our best in MMA, in such a crazy sport.

J.O.: In the past you have described yourself as shy, but has this current media blitz helped you to become more comfortable at all?

Sarah Kaufman: Um..I'm comfortable talking to people, but I think I am really just more shy in terms of being around people in my off-time. So, if I were to go into a big group of people, I don't need all of the attention to be on me.

J.O.: I have to say, though, that you have done a great job and have been very articulate in every interview that I have seen recently. Is there a chance that there's a future behind the mike or in front of the camera for Sarah Kaufman?

Sarah Kaufman: It's funny. I really don't mind talking on a microphone or in front of a crowd. It's really just being in a crowd that I don't know and they don't know me that can be a bit awkward. So, who knows. I haven't had any offers or heard anything specific, though.

J.O.: Fair enough, can you talk a bit about your head-trainer, Adam Zugec and how he has helped you over the years to reach your potential?

Sarah Kaufman: He is the perfect coach for me. He is awesome, not only in his technical ability, but also in game planning for each separate person. He really takes the time to put everything together for a particular fighter, sees their strengths and weaknesses, and, instead of making a generic fight-plan, he comes up with unique strategies.

J.O.: Right, for instance, you are known primarily as a striker, whereas he is known, at least in certain circles, as more of a jiu-jitsu guy. So he didn't try to mold you into a ground fighter or anything like that.

Sarah Kaufman: Yeah, but he's also an instructor in Thai Boxing and an instructor of C.S.W. under Erik Paulson. So, Adam has many different accolades to help him bring together the games that are appropriate for people. I am just really lucky to have found him as my first coach and I really don't feel like I ever need to go anywhere else.

J.O.: So is it safe to assume that most of your higher-level sparring partners around her are the guys?

Sarah Kaufman: For sure.

J.O.: Be honest, do you ever take it easy on them?

Sarah Kaufman: No.

J.O.: No? So you just let'em have it?

Sarah Kaufman: I train like I would with anyone and they do, too. Everyone always has good days and bad days, so it's always just a give and take.

J.O.: Have you implemented any new training techniques for your upcoming title bout given that this fight will be a five-rounder?

Sarah Kaufman: With my last couple of fights I have actually started using an Airdyne bike, which I really like a lot, but I've prepared for five, five-minute rounds before for HCF. So it's really just making sure you have the proper conditioning and I really don't feel like I'm ever worried about where my conditioning is at once I'm in the ring.

J.O.: Here we are at the end of your training camp and I heard that you use something called the "water loading" technique to cut weight. Can you explain a bit about that?

Sarah Kaufman: For me, I am a big water drinker. I don't drink coffee, tea, juice, pop, or anything like that. I really only drink water. So coming up to a fight I slowly start increasing the amount of water I drink in a day. Just before I am ready to begin cutting weight, I will be up to 10-12 liters of water each day. Your body becomes used to having lots of water put in, so, when you stop drinking, it's theoretically supposed to get rid of water-weight faster.

J.O.: Fascinating-- it's like reverse-psychology for your body. A lot has been made about the fact that you and your upcoming opponent, Takayo Hashi, are ranked number one and number two in the world respectively at 135lbs. Do you consider her to be your toughest opponent to date?

Sarah Kaufman: I think every opponent is my toughest opponent to date because there's always that unknown factor. You don't know what they're going to bring or how they're going to come out. So that's really how I look at every fight.

J.O.: Also, in this case, we haven't seen Hashi fight in almost two years, right? So, there's really no telling what she has added to her game in that time. That said, given your either career (T)KO's, can we assume the plan is to force Hashi into a stand-up war?

Sarah Kaufman: Wherever the fight goes, I plan on striking. So whether it's a finish from standing or a finish on the ground, I'm up for whatever. I am really just eager to see how this fight goes and I hope that I can finish it.

J.O.: There has been some Internet chatter about Roxanne Modafferi being next in line for the title shot with Strikeforce, have you given any thought to her as an opponent?

Sarah Kaufman:
I think it would be a great fight, but, really, whatever Strikeforce wants is what I'll do and who I'll fight.

J.O.: And, as far as you're aware, they're still planning an eight-woman tournament at 135lbs.?

Sarah Kaufman: I haven't talked to Strikeforce directly about it, I've just heard whatever is on the Internet.

J.O.: So you know what we all do, I suppose. You have said in a couple of interviews that you are a geek at heart. For all of your four-eyed friends out there, what is the geekiest thing you're into that you're willing to talk about?

Sarah Kaufman: Ahhh...the geekiest thing? Well, I really am just a big fan of
puzzles. I will sit down and do jigsaw puzzles for hours on end, no problem. I also love crosswords. I will do them when I am walking and pretty much everywhere. I will even do crosswords in the bath with some Epsom salts, you know? Wherever I am, there's my crossword.


J.O.: Sweet, do you like the really difficult ones? Like "The New York Times" crosswords?

Sarah Kaufman: I'm not great at those ones, but I will try really hard. Even right before a fight I am usually sitting down doing puzzles of some sort.

J.O.: Nice! Puzzles definitely rock. Alright, well, those are all of the questions that I have for you today. Thanks so much for taking time to speak with us and best of luck in your fight on Friday.

Sarah Kaufman: Alright, thanks. Awesome.

Sarah trains and also instructs classes at ZUMA (Zugec Ultimate Martial Arts) just over the bridge from downtown Victoria, B.C.
Website: http://zuma.tv

B.C.'s Sarah Kaufman Has Title Fight Elevated To Main Event Status At Strikeforce Challengers (Feb. 26th)


Strikeforce's first-ever women's bantamweight (135lbs) title fight, featuring Victoria B.C.'s Sarah Kaufman (10-0) and Takayo Hashi (12-1) of Japan, has been elevated from co-main event status and will now serve as the featured attraction at Strikeforce: Challengers VI.

Originally, a fight between experienced veteran Trevor Prangly (22-5) and up-and-coming M-1 prospect Karl Amoussou (11-2-1) was set to conclude the night, but I suspect that the overwhelming fan and media interest in Kaufman's potential as a future women's MMA superstar caused the Strikeforce brass to re-think their approach.

Strikeforce: Challengers VI takes place this Friday (Feb. 26th) live from San Jose. In Canada, the show is available on SuperChannel 2, but other viewing opportunities may become available at the fights approach.

Full Card:

Main Event:

Sarah Kaufman (10-0) vs. Takayo Hashi (12-1)

Main Card

Trevor Prangley (22-5) vs. Karl Amoussou (11-2-1)
Luke Rockhold (6-1) vs. Paul Bradley (12-1)
James Terry (7-1) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (7-2)
Raul Castillo (6-0) vs. Yancy Medeiros (4-0)

Undercard

Eric Lawson (9-2) vs. Wayne Phillips (3-3)
Chris Stewart (Amateur Debut) vs. Samuel Bracamnonte (Amatuer Debut)
Tristan Arenal (Amateur; 3-1) vs. George Miller (Amateur; 3-1)
Jesse Tobar (Amateur; 2-0) vs. Phil Balducci (Amateur; 1-1)
Renee Robinson (Amateur Debut) vs. Lilia Salas (Amateur Debut)
Steve Dickie (Amateur; 3-0) vs. Alan Lummel (Amateur; 1-0)
Ronald Carillo (Amateur; 1-0) vs. Anthony De Los Santos (Amateur Debut)


B.C. MMA Fan's exclusive interview with Sarah will be posted shortly.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dave Pavelich Gives An Extended Interview On MFC 24: Heat XC



Seen here speaking with David Stanford of MMACanada.net, Maximum Fighting Championships' Vice President Dave Pavelich offers the lowdown on MFC 24: HeatXC, which is scheduled for this Friday, February 26th, in Edmonton. The show is available for the first time from MFC as an online stream priced at the very affordable rate of $9.99. For more information about the fights or how to order the show via the Internet, visit the MFC official website.

Victoria's "Armageddon FC II" Gets A TV Deal With "Fight Network"


According to a recent story posted by The Times Colonist, Armageddon Fighting Championships II will be broadcast across Canada. The stacked card, featuring Surrey's Kalib Starnes (9-4-1) and Victoria's Justin Shaw (0-0) of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is set for Colwood's Bear Mountain Arena on March 6th and will be aired via tape-delay a couple of weeks later on The Fight Network.

To see the event live visit www.armageddonfc.com, drop by Island MMA, or call 250-478-8384 to purchase tickets.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

UFC 110: Prediction Results


Wow, what a fantastic night of fights at UFC 110. Velasquez beat Nogueira to the punch and finished the fight early, which I did not expect even though I picked Cain to win. He isn't likely to leapfrog to winner of Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin , but I definitely expect him to get a title shot before the year is out.

Wanderlei's gutsy decision win prevented me from sweeping the main card, but credit too him for successfully reinventing himself as a middleweight. It now appears possible that Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama could take place at UFC 115 in Vancouver. That would be a dream fight for most B.C. MMA Fans, myself most definitely included.

I will have more detailed reactions to UFC 110 by Monday morning. By the way, if you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend taking in the Olymic atmosphere in down town Vancouver. Simply epic.

UFC 110 QUICK RESULTS

Main Event

***Cain Velasquez def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria by TKO, Rd. 1

Main Card
---Wanderlei Silva def, Micheal Bisping by Unanimous Decision
***Ryan Bader def. Keith Jardine by TKO, Rd. 3
***George Sotiropoulos def. Joe Stevenson via Unanimous Decision
***Mirko Filipovic def. Anthony Perosh via TKO (Cut), Rd. 3

Under Card
***Krzysztof Soszynski def. Stephan Bonnar via TKO (Cut), Rd. 3
---Chris Lytle def. Brian Foster by Submission (Knee Bar), Rd. 1
---CB Dollaway def. Goran Reljic by Unanimous Decision
***James Te Huna def. Igor Pokrajac by TKO, Rd. 3

*** Correct Picks ---Incorrect Picks

UFC 110 Score: 6 out of 9 correct (%66.7) with successful main-event pick.


My overall prediction record now stands at 159-90 (%63.9) and 21-6 (%77.8) in main events.

Friday, February 19, 2010

UFC 110: Predictions

February 21st will feature an average Sunday afternoon for most Australians-- shrimp will hit barbies across the nation, surfers will hit the waves at Bondi, and kangaroo meat will hit the spot. But for the UFC's rabid Aussie fan-base at Sydney's Acer Arena, that afternoon will be the greatest moment of their entire lives. Well, it will be pretty close to that, for sure.

Thanks to the combined magic of satellite broadcasting and standardized time zones, UFC fans in North America will receive live video of the event on Saturday, February 20th at 7:00pm PST (9:00pm EST). [Picture Props: Sherdog.com]

My prediction record now stands at 153-87 (%63.8) and 20-6 (%76.9) in main events.

Ranked Fighters at UFC 110 Include:

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (#4 HW), Cain Velasquez (#6 HW), Keith Jardine (#16 LHW), Wanderlei Silva (#22 LHW), Michael Bisping (#14 MW), George Sotiropoulos (WW #22), Joe Stevenson (LW #14)

Rankings courtesy of: USA Today/SBN Poll


Main Event:


Heavyweight: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (-110, 3-0 UFC) vs. Cain Velasquez (-120, 5-0 UFC)

When professional oddsmakers offer such evenly matched lines, the odds represent the mathematical equivalent of a shoulder shrug. What I can do is offer three possibilities for how the fight will go:

1) Mostly Stand-Up: If the fight remains upright, Cain Velasquez (7-0) will be at a clear technical disadvantage, but he can make up for it with sheer tenacity. That is to say, (deep breath) Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro/Big Nog" Nogueira (32-5-1) has some of the finest pure boxing in the sport, but can be overly patient in looking for openings. Several of "Big Nog's" past opponents have shown that acting first can put Nogueira on his heels. Once he's backing up, Nogueira has difficulty finding his rhythm as long as the pressure remains constant. Obviously, most of Nogueira's opponents eventually let off the proverbial gas pedal, but no one maintains an all-out assault quite like Cain Velasquez. If Cain holds back for even one moment, he will likely get picked apart. So he would be well advised to throw bombs with controlled ferocity from bell to bell.

2) Mostly Ground: If majority of the fight takes place on the mat, Nogueira will probably find a way to submit Velasquez. Contrary to recent comments made by a certain welterweight contender, submissions from full-guard position are not on their way out in MMA. At least not so long as "Minotauro" Nogueira has any say in it. Sure, Velasquez is a strong positional wrestler and often lands in at least half-guard or even side-control following his takedowns, but giving Nogueira ample time on the mat is like standing still in an open field while a trained sniper assembles his rifle. Not smart.

3) An Even Mix: This is where Cain Velasquez possibly has the most significant advantage. Not only because an up-and-down fight will prevent "Minotauro" from finding his comfort-zone in either position, but because Cain, being the vastly superior wrestler and the most constantly active fighter in the division, would likely score on nearly every takedown and land strikes both first and last in most scrambles and short exchanges.

This fight is pretty tough to handicap, but Velasquez' tenacity and wrestling advantage will make it very difficult for Nogueira to win by decision. A submission victory for Nogueira a distinct possibility, but I am willing to bet that Velasquez has developed his mental game and submissions defense enough to successfully execute an extremely disciplined, takedown-heavy game plan. In fact, I even think there is value in a bet on Velasquez at the current lines.

Velasquez by Unanimous Decision


Main Card (PPV):


185lbs.: Michael Bisping (+125, 8-2 UFC) vs. Wanderlei Silva (-155, 2-4 UFC)

After browsing the internet for UFC 110 predictions, one could logically conclude that Wanderlei Silva (32-10-1) is the same beast he was in PRIDE circa 2001-2003. The average breakdown for this match goes like this: "My longtime personal hero "The Axe Murderer" is way too awesome and cool for that jerk Bisping to handle. Wand by early KO as Bisping goes down harder than he did against Henderson." Of course, most of these writers know that Wanderlei was also KO'ed by Dan Henderson (25-7) three years ago, but can't help basking in the image of Wanderlei Silva unleashing a holy terror of strikes.

I don't dispute that Wanderlei might smash Bisping into oblivion, but relatively few seem willing to accept that Bisping, the owner of 12 career (T)KO's, could also finish Wanderlei, who has been KO'ed three times in just his last six fights. Not to mention that Bisping's superior reach, better hand-speed, and greater ability to control range should give him an edge in scoring points. Plus, this is Wanderlei's first fight at 185lbs., so there is no telling how he will look at this new weight until we actually see it.

Wanderlei may have a slightly better chance of finishing this fight, but I am willing to stick my neck out and state that Bisping has a better chance of winning. That said, I would not recommend any bets here as there is too much potential for variance to justify chasing the small potential payouts.

Michael Bisping by Split-Decision


205 lbs.: Keith Jardine (+135, 6-5 UFC) vs. Ryan Bader (-165, 3-0 UFC)

This is one of the most unpredictable fights on the entire card because TUF 1 veteran Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine (15-6-1) tends to do one of two things in his fights. He either herky-jerks his way to a close decision, or gets knocked out early. Nine of his eleven UFC fights have ended in one of these two outcomes. Undefeated TUF 8 winner Ryan "Darth" Bader (10-0), a former NCAA Div. I wrestler out of Arizona State University where he helped win three Pac-10 Championships, definitely has the power in his hands to knock Jardine out, but not the striking savvy to hang with "The Dean" for three full rounds. Therefore, Bader's best bet is to take Jardine to the ground. Of course, that only adds another layer of unpredictability to the fight given how rarely we have seen Jardine's ground game.

I will take Bader here on the hunch that his stand-up defense has improved since his underwhelming win at UFC 104 and because, after his most recent flash knockout at UFC 102, Keith Jardine's chin now looks more suspect than ever. Still, given Bader's massive experience disadvantage, I can't recommend a cash bet on him. If anything, there may be some value in Jardine's underdog line, especially if last-minute betting shifts it even further into the positive numbers.

Bader by TKO, Rd. 2


155 lbs.: Joe Stevenson (-250, 8-4 UFC) vs. George Sotiropoulos (+190, 4-0 UFC)

George Sotiropoulos (14-2), the only Australian on the main card, is a well rounded fighter who was eliminated from the TUF 6 tournament due to an eye poke from Tommy Speer (13-4). Sotiropoulos has finished all four of his UFC opponents to date, and has only lost twice in his entire career-- once by decision in his fourth fight and once via questionable DQ against Shinya Aoki (23-4, #2 LW). UFC fans are very familiar with what Joe Stevenson (31-10) brings to the table. He is a former title contender and has looked great since joining Greg Jackson's camp ahead of is last fight, in which "Daddy" dominated Spencer "The King" Fisher (23-5) en route to a second round submission (due to strikes).

Stevenson is easily the superior wrestler in this fight, but Sotiropoulos creates some difficult challenges of his own. For one thing, George is several inches taller, which should help him to work behind the jab, as well as providing extra leverage to facilitate his slick arsenal of submissions. Sotiropoulos' lanky limbs should also help him to tie Stevenson up if Joe "Daddy" lands in his full-guard following a takedown. Both fighters hold BJJ black belts, but Stevenson has historically relied too heavily on the guillotine choke, while Sotiropoulos has proven himself effective with a wider variety of subs. Stevenson has also shown a tendency to make poor decisions when a fight is not going his way, as he did in the Kenny Florian (12-4) and Diego Sanchez (21-3) fights, while Sotiropoulos always remains composed.

Stevenson represents a massive step up for Sotiropoulos, but the hometown boy knows this could be his best chance to grab an inside track toward title-contendership and I believe he has just the right amount of skill to pull it off. One thing I know for sure is that there is still significant value in George's line, though that has been diminishing fast. Sotiropoulos was originally pegged at +285, but a mountain of money has since come in on him to win, which pushed him back down to +190.

Sotiropoulos by Submission (Armbar), Rd. 3


Heavyweight: Mirko Filipovic (2-3 UFC) vs. Anthony Perosh (0-1 UFC) ***Odds Not Available at this time.***

Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic (25-7-2 1NC) was set to face Ben Rothwell (30-7) before the latter pulled out with an illness at the last-minute, creating an opportunity for Australian Anthony "The Hippo" Perosh (10-5) to step-in. Given that Perosh is a submissions expert with the majority of his losses by (T)KO, and Mirko is a (T)KO master who has been submitted only twice (once by "Big Nog" in 2003 and once due to strikes at UFC 103), I see no reason not to pick Mirko here.

"Cro-Cop" is not what he once was, but he isn't about to lose to a guy calling himself "The Hippo."

Filipovic by TKO, Rd. 1

Under card (May not be broadcast):


205 lbs.: Stephan Bonnar (+140, 5-5 UFC) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (-175, 3-1 UFC, CAN)

Everyone remembers Stephan "The American Psycho" Bonnar (11-6) from his epic fight with Forrest Griffin (17-6) at the TUF 1 finale, but "The American Psycho" has fallen on hard times of late. His last win came in October of 2007 and he has lost two clear-cut decisions since returning from injuries and a steroid suspension in early 2009. Nonetheless, Bonnar remains a very real threat to Canadian submissions specialist Krzysztof "The Polish Experiment" Soszynski (18-9-1). For one thing, Bonnar has never been submitted and, for another, his muay thai striking is more varied than Soszynski's traditional boxing.

Still, I will take Soszynski based on superior strength and conditioning as well as his distinct grappling advantage. A bet on Soszynski at these odds is risky, but not necessarily ill-advised.

Soszynski by Submission (Kimura), Rd. 3


170 lbs.: Brian Foster (+140, 1-1 UFC) vs. Chris Lytle (-170, 6-9 UFC)

UFC fans know Chris "Lights Out" Lytle (27-17-10) from the many thrilling striking matches he has been in over the years, but one thing Lytle has never been known for is takedown defense. That fact haunted him when he fought Matt Hughes (43-7) at UFC 68, a fight Lytle lost by unanimous decision after spending the entire fight getting pummeled from above. For that reason, I have reservations about picking Lytle to defeat one Hughes proteges in Brian Foster (13-4), who fights like and actually even looks a bit like a younger, faster version of Hughes. Foster utterly dismantled a savvy veteran in Brock Larson (26-4) back at UFC 106 and, even though Lytle's submissions from guard are decent, they shouldn't be anything Foster can't handle.

This is my third underdog pick at UFC 110, but you only get so many chances to catch a promising wave before others spot it. I think Foster has the goods to do big things at 170lbs. and would definitely endorse a bet at these odds.

Foster By Unanimous Decision


185 lbs.: CB Dollaway (+140) vs. Goran Reljic (-215)

I have never been a fan of C.B. Dollaway (9-2). It is not because I think he is among the worst fighters ever to compete in the UFC, it's just that I am certain he will never be considered among the best. So it frustrates me that he continues to hold onto a coveted roster-spot. If the undefeated Goran Reljic (8-0) weren't coming off a long layoff following back surgery, I would be extremely confident in his chances. As it stands, I am only reasonably convinced he will win. Reljic is strong enough to stop C.B.'s takedowns, skilled enough not to fall prey to one of Dollaway's Peruvian neckties, and is a decent enough striker to put a serious hurting on C.B. standing up. I wouldn't bet on Reljic at these odds, especially not knowing how the layoff has affected his skills, but I will make him my straight-up pick.

Reljic by Submission, Rd. 1


205 lbs.: James Te Huna (-165) vs. Igor Pokrajac (+135, 0-1 UFC)

Igor Pokrajac (21-6) is a shameless lackey of Mirko "Cro-Cop" with no real business fighting in the octagon, while James Te Huna (11-4) is a New Zealander who probably doesn't belong there either, but is getting his shot because the UFC is passing through Oceania for the first time. I'll take Te Huna because he looks like a fully grown bruiser and, heck, I might just slap a shiny nickel or two down on him while I'm at it.

Te Huna by KO, Rd. 1


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B.C. MMA Fan Goes To The Olympics

Hi All,

I (Editor-in-cheif Josh Oliveira) will be rockin' out in downtown Vancouver, taking in some of the sights and sounds of the Olympics, over the next couple days. So, my MMA posts could become a bit sparse. I will, on the other hand, try my best to drop-in with some pictures and a few lines about the Olympic experience in Van-City, which, from all I have heard so far, should be completely off the chain. Hopefully, I will get a chance to watch UFC 110 live, but, if not, you know I will be checking it out online just as soon at I can.

Next week is going to be an exciting time on the site. We will have an exclusive interview up with Sarah Kaufman (10-0) on Monday and as much coverage of her upcoming title fight at Strikeforce Challengers as we can muster. On top of that, we will have all the fall-out from UFC 110, plus coverage of the very enticing MFC 24: Heat XC card on Feb. 26th in Edmonton.

Also, let's not forget that we're now just two weeks away from the biggest MMA card to hit British Columbia in 2010: Armageddon Fighting Championships II from Bear Mountain Arena in the outskirts of our capital city, Victoria. The card is truly stacked with great fights and is an excellent example of what Vancouver-based fight fans can expect whenever the dam holding MMA back finally breaks loose with pro-fights in the lower-mainland.

Sincerely,
B.C. MMA Fan