Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

Campbell McLaren talks to Kingdom MMA 'I would have never sold the UFC'

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Leon Edwards set to face Seth Baczynski at UFC Krakow April 11th

By Alex Dillon @ADillon__





A welterweight bout between Seth Baczynski (19-12 MMA, 5-5 UFC) and Leon Edwards (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night 64.

UFC Fight Night 64 takes place April 11 at Krakow Arena in Krakow, Poland. The entire event is set to stream on UFC Fight Pass.

Baczynski is likely in a must-in situation. The 33-year-old Hawaiian, who now trains out of Arizona’s Power MMA and Fitness, returned to the UFC for a second stint in 2011 and promptly won his first four fights. However, he’s just 1-4 since then, and in his two most recent fights, “The Ultimate Fighter 11″ cast member has suffered a decision loss to Thiago Alves and a knockout defeat to Alan Jouban. However, both bouts earned “Fight of the Night” honors.

He now meets Edwards, a 23-year-old English fighter who won six straight fights, primarily with BAMMA, to earn a UFC contract last year. However, in his promotional debut, he suffered a split-decision defeat to Claudio Silva (though most media outlets score the fight for Edwards).

The latest UFC Fight Night 64 card now includes:

Mirko Filipovic vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

Jan Blachowicz vs. Jimi Manuwa

Seth Baczynski vs. Leon Edwards


Monday, 26 January 2015

Post-fight Pressers, Johnson the latest member of G-Unit and Pomposity in its hilarity

by Simon Rushton @Simon_Rushton

I have a man cold. I warn you of this now in case I start to ramble or list out seemingly meaningless words. I am feverish and delirious.

As ridiculous as the notion is, some people still do not believe in the danger of man flu and man colds. If there are any of you that are silly enough to doubt this then I’ll refer you to this infomercial that I am assured is completely factual.

The next point of fact is that Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson the new Light Heavyweight champion sounds remarkably like 50 Cent. Every time I hear him speak I expect him to start singing Window Shopper. Briefly touching on Rumble, I like the guy. Full of class and is well deserved of the now imbued title that I gladly give up ‘punches like a motherfucker’. Anthony ‘punches like a motherfucker’ Johnson. Can you imagine them reading that out? I think I’d wee.

Where does the title come from I hear none of you ask? Well… this one time, at band camp…

Turns out that Rushy here many moons ago, used to train, fight, compete, etc, etc, not in anything as glorious as the cage but in local competitions nameably ‘Heyhead Street’ or ‘Pink Ele Park’ even the giddy heights of ‘The Feathers Inn’. Such grand locations where the challenger would expel such linguistically brilliant orations such as ‘let’s jump that little c*nt over there’. If any of you are not that quick on the uptake, I am the aforementioned ‘little c*nt’. It seems that the intellectually challenged but testosterone gifted idiots thought that a short guy was a good target to bully.

One such grandiose episode of fisticuffs ended in the challenger falling over and said Rushton here being a bit too gung-ho, punching the wall instead of the challenger’s head. Wall 1 Rushy 0. I am to this day rather grateful that the supposed target had taken up momentary ornithology as it turned out my hand and wrist had fractured rather nicely. Such compelling argument was put forward by a rather cheekily non-paying observer that one punches like a motherfucker and at the age of 17 that shit tends to stick.

Anyhoo… So Anthony ‘PLAM’ Johnson did what a lot of people didn’t think him capable of doing and he not only beat Gustafsson but he put him out. This was ruthless and clinical. Importantly it was unheard of. There are going to be a 101 people writing about this so, on that note, I’ll stop and jump to the Post-fight Press Conference.

I've mentioned in previous articles that I am acutely aware of the trap of churnalism and how it irritates me, as does bad reporting in general because frankly it gets us all a bad name. However, prior to the conference I was under the impression that those members of the press that are fortunate enough to be given access to ask questions would be of a high calibre, the elite if you will. So when I’m sat studiously watching the ‘Post Fight…’ and I hear questions such as this corker:
“Warrior: What went wrong tonight?”
I have to wonder how people are chosen to sit on these panels. He got punched, in the face. That is all. It’s not as if this was a long drawn out five rounder, this was a massive punch on the back of heavy pressure. I’d like to briefly highlight the shock jock journo that tried to stir up a non-existent rivalry between Rumble and Bones. It would be nice if they mentioned the paper/site the reporters are representing before they speak so that we can dub them with white noise. It’d be more suspenseful.

Daily Churn: “Alex, do you ##############” Epic.

Colour Commentary

Saying that, if the TV commentary isn’t much better should I be expecting more from journo’s that generally aren’t getting paid?! Of course I refer to Daniel Cormier who fits both into this category and the last, proceeding section on pomposity. At the end of the TV footage he sat complaining about Marc Goddard’s supposed reticence to step in and that the fight should’ve been stopped sooner.

Now I have to admit that at first, while the fight was ongoing, I thought it should’ve been stopped sooner but then I detached emotion because naturally we become hyped watching a fight and looked at it again. Was Gustafsson taking any undue punishment? No. Was he unconscious? No. Was he in front of 30,000 people that were arguably all there supporting him? Yes. So it only makes sense that he be given time to show he can work out of it. This really was a matter of seconds after all rather than minutes.

He then applied the same argument to fights being stopped sooner and indirectly referenced Dan Henderson’s “premature” stoppage. The stoppage that could ultimately have saved his eyesight in his left eye.

Now I realise none of us are infallible but if I can see this and he can’t, despite having access to better angled cameras and such like, then there’s something amiss. Importantly, he’s getting paid a shit load of money to sit there and get things wrong I mean commentate so surely the guy at home paying to watch this tripe criticism shouldn’t be the one calling things right.

Pomposity

Yes my other pet hate and something I’ve referred to in the past. This week, my dear and avid reader, we’ve been treated to a double dose of pomp.

In reverse order, there is Daniel Cormier who I really struggle with. He’s like an anthropomorphic dichotomy; outside the cage he seems a good family man, humble and doting but then as soon as he talks about anything UFC or MMA related this new persona comes out and he’s suddenly the UFC’s Kurt Angle. But then Jon Jones is fake right? No Jon Jones is a prick, we all know that. Daniel Cormier though I cannot weigh up. His condescension of referee’s over the weekend was frankly disrespectful and laughably inaccurate.

The real example however of both hypocrisy and pomposity was TJ Dillashaw, the accidental champion who in all his wisdom and insight criticised Conor McGregor as being fake and undeserving of a title shot.
“Why is that deserving of a title shot? Dennis Siver is not on the way up; he’s not up there looking for a title shot himself,”
This statement was in reference to McGregor potentially beating Siver (albeit from an earlier interview). On the face of it, it could be deemed a valid question. However… let’s take a look at Dillashaw’s record prior to his title shot shall we?

His previous four fights, the same number as McGregor had in the UFC prior to the Siver fight show results like this.

WLWW – and apart from Raphael Assuncao (who beat him) the guys he beat were as harsh as it sounds, journeymen, each with relatively mixed records of wins and losses.

Compare this to McGregor who had a four fight history of WWWW – First, Marcus Brimmage – up until his fight with McGregor was on a three fight win streak. Next up, Max Holloway who prior to this had only lost one in four and then the loss was against Dennis Bermudez. He’s since gone on to a four fight win streak. Diego Brandao, has only lost to Dustin Poirier in the four fights preceding his KO loss to McGregor and then Dustin Poirier who again was on a three fight win streak only losing to Cub Swanson prior to that.

So tell me, Tyler Jeffrey, who based on these facts, was/is the more deserving of the title shot?

Last of all, on my one man diatribe against this nonsense pomposity, I highlight again more comedy gold by Dillashaw.
"It's just the antics. To me, I can't get it. I'm just too professional for the way he acts."
Yes, yes you’re a better man by far than all of us. It might even be true that he is professional to the ‘nth’ degree but what gets on my tits is again this innate ‘holier than thou’ mentality that seems to emanate from a few fighters in the UFC. It’s like they’re trying to emulate the great Hulk Hogan (before they found out he was being fed steroids). Going back to Dillashaw, he fought a few journeymen and then kicked the snot out of the champion. Well done son but don’t get ahead of yourself.

The Answer

Is McGregor staging this persona he’s accused of having? Honestly I don’t think so; I just think that unlike his ‘vitamin taking, God fearing American’ friends he doesn’t give a shit what people outside of his circle think about him. It’s the same for Michael Bisping, full on gob shite and renowned wanker but he is who he is. I reckon it’s a British/Irish trait; the majority of us don’t really give a fuck. We are who we are and that’s just how it is, we’ve enough to worry about with our dip shit government – don’t forget to vote kids – to start worrying about what some people we’ll never fight think of us. Oops, there it is. Would TJ Dillashaw have really commented if he thought for one iota of a second he’d come face to face in the cage with Conor McGregor?

Answers on a post card to @Simon_Rushton and @KingdomMMA – winner gets to tell everyone how great they are.

Thanks go to MMAWeekly, Bleacher Report and Sports World News for unknowingly/unwittingly giving me sources for quotes, comments, etc.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Akira Corassani Retires Following Loss to Sam Sicilia at UFC on Fox 14

Akira Corassani Retires Following Loss to Sam Sicilia at UFC on Fox 14

by Chris Houten - @ChrisHoutenMMA & Ben Heather - @benheather


32-year-old Swedish featherweight, Akira Corassani has announced his retirement from MMA after losing to American Sam Sicilia at UFC on Fox 14 in his native Sweden.

MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani appeared on the UFC on Fox 14 post fight show suggesting Corrassani had told him he would retire:

"Look Ariel, I could fight until I'm dead, I will fight until I am dead but my brain just can't take it anymore."

Corrassani later appeared on Sweden’s TV4 Sport and announced his retirement citing a "glass jaw" as his reason for hanging up his gloves in a post fight interview with the channel. He said:

“When you take a punch and fall down… enough is enough”. “Life is in chapters, and I have had a fantastic career. This will just be a new chapter in my life.”

A pro since 2007 Corassani became more recognisable when he was on The Ultimate Fighter season 12 as part of Team Bisping. Corassani made his octagon debut in September 2012 stepping in to the cage with a 9-3-1 NC and walking away with a split decision victory over Andy Ogle.

Corassani followed that up with a victory over Robbie Peralta before an illegal knee by Maximo Blanco gave him a 3-0 start to his UFC career and put him in contention of breaking in to the top 10 in the featherweight division. At the start of 2014 Corassani was given the toughest test of his career against top contender Dustin Poirier and although the fight didn't go his way he certainly had his chances and rocked Poirier at one point. That fight also earned Corassani and Poirier a UFC post fight bonus, the only of his career.

Following that loss to Poirier he ended up with back to back knock out losses in Stockholm and walks away with a 12-6-1 NC record and went 3-3 in the UFC.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Vitor Belfort trains with Nieky Holzken ahead of UFC 184 title fight against Chris Weidman

Andreas Georgiou - @AGeorgiouMMA


In a recent video of GLORY kickboxer Neiky Holzken's Instagram page, showed a video of the Dutch fighter training with Vitor Belfort as both guys prepare for their upcoming bout.

Holzken is scheduled to compete in the GLORY 19 welterweight contender tournament on February 6 from Hampton,Virginia. Holzken will face Aleksandr Stetcurenko in the first semi-final,

Whereas, Belfort is currently training for his middleweight world title shot against Chris Weidman at UFC 184, which takes place February 28 from Staples Center, LA.

There have been question marks over Belfort's appearance and performance, having come off TRT for this fight, after it was banned in the UFC,

Initially Belfort looked a lot smaller and less muscular, but as the fight has neared he has regained his shape well.

Below is a video of Belfort working the pads with one of Holzken's coaches Sjef Weber.

5 Polish Fighters the UFC Should Sign Ahead of Poland Debut

5 Polish Fighters the UFC Should Sign Ahead of Poland Debut

by Chris Houten - @ChrisHoutenMMA


#thetimeisnow for Poland, with the UFC officially announcing their first show in the land of fields which takes place in April. A country of 38 million people, Poland has grown to be one of the powerhouses of European MMA thanks to local promotion KSW and its high-time that the world finest promotion visited this fine land.

With the arrival of the UFC in Poland here are five local fighters worthy of a place on UFC Fight Night Poland.

Marcin Tybura

Outside Mamed Khalidov, who would have been first choice on this list if not for injury which will see him out until December, there is no better choice for a place on the UFC roster than 29-year-old heavyweight Marcin Tybura. Arguable the best heavyweight in the world outside of the UFC and Bellator, Tybura has ran though everyone he has ever faced in style finishing 10 of his 12 opponents on his unblemished record. Ranked 13th in the world by Fightmatrix.com, Tybura has literally dominated the finest fighters Eastern Europe has to offer on route to winning and defending the M-1 heavyweight title against Damian Grabowski and Denis Smoldarev, fighters who could be in contention of a place in the UFC roster themselves.

A black belt and European champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Tybura has great takedowns and has used his excellent positioning to set up submissions where six of his career wins have come. Tybura is on an absolute tear finishing his last seven opponents, five in the first round. A stumbling block could be the fact that Tybura is signed to M-1, a promotion who wont want to let their star attraction leave, however  if the UFC could sign Tybura, he would be an excellent addition to the UFC roster not only for UFC Fight Night Poland but as a future title contender in years to come.

Mateusz Gamrot

Mateusz Gamrot should be familiar to British MMA fans as the polish prospect has broken the hearts of many a UK MMA fan picking up crushing wins over every Brit he has faced. Andre Winner, Jefferson George and Tim Newman have all fallen to this rising prospect as he has amassed an untouched 8-0 record.

A strong and dynamic wrestler, Gamrot has excellent takedowns, and a smothering offensive style on the ground where he is equally gifted in striking and submissions. Mateusz Gamrot is a new breed of fighter, with a great all round skill-set and easily one of the best unsigned lightweights in all of Europe.

He is scheduled to fight at next months KSW 30 which might effect his chances of being signed by the UFC. He may also find he is over looked for this event due to the sheer number of lightweights currently signed to the UFC - a problem Scottish prospect Stevie Ray is currently experiencing, but with a solid record which includes wins over a UFC vet in Winner, Gamrot is definitely one of the best prospects coming out of Poland and if definitely worth Joe Silva taking a look at ahead of UFC Fight Night Poland.

Karol Bedorf

Another heavyweight prospect the UFC should be looking at is 31-year-old Karol Bedof. The current KSW heavyweight champion, Bedorf has put together a five fight unbeaten run which includes wins over former UFC fighters Rolles Gracie and Oli Thompson on route to earning the reputation as one of the best heavyweight in Europe.

A diverse fighter who has five submission wins and three knockouts in his 11 fight career, Bedof brings a good standard of striking especially in the clinch, and is an excellent wrestler who can hit a takedown like a runaway train. At 31-years-old, Bedorf is relatively young for the UFC's heavyweight division and could certainly add a bit of fresh air to a division in desperate need for prospects. Similar to Tybura, Bedorf might be a difficult signing as KSW will no doubt fight to keep their heavyweight champion, however Bedorf has certainly shown he has talent worthy of the UFC pursuing.

Agnieszka Neidzwiedz

One of the best bantamweights in all of Europe, 19-year-old Agnieska Neidzwiedz has been in little trouble in her pro career on route to building an undefeated 7-0 record. A Cage Warriors vet, Neidzwiedz comes from a Judo background where she won a bronze medel in the European Cup Cadets. Neidzwiedz brings a solid offensive ground game and an underestimated striking game that has seen her defeat Gemma Hewitt and Kerry Hughes on route to cementing herself as the number one contender in the Cage Warriors bantamweight division.

Neidzwiedz is expected to challenge Pannie Kianzad for the Cage Warriors bantamweight title, a fight she had to pull out of last November due to injury, sometime in 2015. The argument could be made, that at such a young age Neidzweidz is in no rush to sign with the UFC but with six finishes already in this exciting prospects career its only a matter of time before Neidzwiedz is offered a UFC contract.

Oskar Piechota

The least known fighter on this list, Oskar Piechota is a undefeated Polish Middleweight who comes personally recommended by Polish journalist Maciek Szumowski of MyMMA.pl. A world class grappler who has ADCC experience - see him in action at the 2013 world championships against Keenan Cornelius here, 25-year-old Piechota is one of the best up and coming fighters in Poland.

A pro since 2011, Piechota has taken all of his 6 wins inside the distance, using his excellent BJJ to submit four of his opponents while his other two opponents have fallen victim to Piechota's hard hitting strikes.

One thing that could benefit Piechota should he be on the UFC's radar is the fact he hasn't fought on any of the major Eastern European shows like M1 and KSW which would certainly make him easier to sign than some of the others on this list.



Friday, 23 January 2015

Video: UFC Strawweight Contender Joanne Calderwood Last Fight in Glasgow

Video: UFC Strawweight Contender Joanne Calderwood Last Fight in Glasgow

by Chris Houten - @ChrisHoutenMMA

The UFC announced earlier today that they would be making their debut in Glasgow later on in the year. While the event is months away why not get yourself hyped up by watching Scotland's star attraction, strawweight contender Joanne Calderwood's last fight in Glasgow while you count down them days.

Watch Calderwood handle Sally Krumdiack at Cage Warriors 53 back in 2013 below.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Video: Gegard Mousasi Talks Ahead of UFC on Fox 14 Bout with Dan Henderson

Video: Gegard Mousasi Talks Ahead of UFC on Fox 14 Bout with Dan Henderson

by Chris Houten - @ChrisHoutenMMA

The festivities are in full swing in Stockholm, Sweden ahead of UFC of Fox 14. Our good friends at MMA Plus are on the ground bringing you all the latest from this groundbreaking European event.

MMAPlus spoke to former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi as he prepares to face off against MMA icon Dan Henderson at Stockholm's Tele2 Arena on January 24.