September 8, 2007.  London, England.  Following the much anticipated fight at UFC 75 between “The Ultimate Fighter” winner MICHAEL BISPING and MATT HAMILL, controversy has reared its head.  Bad blood existed long before Saturday night’s fight as many fans believe that if not for an injury, MATT HAMILL would have had a great chance to defeat BISPING at “The Ultimate Fighter” finale.  Ever since, HAMILL has called out BISPING for a match and finally got it at UFC 75.  HAMILL dominated the 1st rd and cut BISPING under each eye.  The 2nd round could have also been HAMILL’s but his fitness level started to break down.  BISPING was able to box his way throughout the 2nd and 3rd rounds and was able to pull out the win in his homeland of England.  BISPING’s end of fight comments were less than cordial, as a humble HAMILL maintained that he lost to BISPING “fair and square”.  One of the three judges had the fight 3 rounds to 0 in favor of HAMILL as fight fans are up in arms over the decision.  The best part of controversy within the mixed martial arts world is that is can always be resolved – inside the octagon.  It’s no longer a  matter of whether there’s a rematch … but a matter of when.

September 8, 2007 – London, UK.  Leading up to the first ever unification of the UFC and PRIDE light heavyweight belts at Saturday night’s UFC 75:  Champion vs. Champion, UFC fans were treated to 3 other fantastic fights.  Arguably the fight of the night belonged to “The Irish Hand Grenade” MARCUS DAVIS (13-3) and “Relentless” PAUL TAYLOR (8-2-1), two up and comers that weren’t part of the list of stars headlining the event.  They both lived up to their nicknames!  The fight lasted almost one round but was one of the most exciting fights you will witness in mixed martial arts, ending with DAVIS as the victor by armbar submission.  DAVIS had to overcome a devastating kick to the head that dropped him and almost ended the fight but “The Irish Hand Grenade” was able to reverse momentum several times to finally end the fight with a masterful armbar. 

Also on the card, emerging star, CHEICK KONGO (11-3-1)overcame a slow first round to dominate PRIDE FC legend MIRKO CRO COP (22-6-2).  After the first round, CRO COP seemed as if he’s back in the thick of things as his previous fight resulted in a  KO loss via a GABRIEL GONZALEZ head kick.  But as the second round went on, KONGO picked up confidence and started to slow CRO COP down with repeated knees to CRO COP’s gigantic thighs which showed leg fatigue for the Croatian the rest of the fight.  As CRO COP couldn’t get things going, KONGO showed he could do no wrong.  KONGO’s ground game appeared much improved, quickly making him a top contender for the UFC heavyweight belt.  Look out RANDY COUTURE!

England’s own MICHAEL BISPING (15-0) also overcame a terrible first round, where he almost lost the fight, to pull out a decision over nemsis MATT HAMILL (5-1).  With cuts under each eye, BISPING was able to box the rest of the way and keep it a standup fight.  As the fight wore on, HAMILL seemed to wear out as he was unable to take BISPING down to the mat, where he is most effective.  Eventhough it was a close fight, at the end of the fight, HAMILL said that BISPING “won fair and square”.  One judge scored all 3 rounds in favor of HAMILL.  Hopefully their beef is now over. 

The last fight of the night was a 5 round, all out war between two of the greatest in the business.  QUINTON “Rampage” JACKSON (28-6) and DAN “Hollywood” HENDERSON (22-6) went the distance in a back and forth matchup of with JACKSON pulling out a win.  Each fighter showed the tremendous level of fitness as they tried to force their will on the other.  Neither fighter was truly in any danger at any point in the fight and at the end, JACKSON did just enough to pull out the win.  Now crowned the undisputed greatest light heavyweight in the world.

The biggest question now is WHO will go after RAMPAGE’s belt?  Maybe the winner of the UFC 76:  KNOCKOUT between MAURICIO “Shogun” RUA and FORREST GRIFFIN will reveal the answer.  That result is coming up September 22, 2007!

rampage-howling.gif

Well, the highly anticipated UFC 75 is almost here!  This fight is also of historical significance as it unifies the 205 lb. light heavyweight belts of the UFC and PRIDE FC.  The QUINTON “Rampage” JACKSON and DAN HENDERSON fight could be an epic battle between two hard hitting, never-say-die fighters, who happen to also be friends.  Here’s an interview leading up to this historic championship bout.  No whining allowed from those who don’t see it, as it is broadcast for free on SPIKE TV.

Video courtesy of Fightcoverage.com:

 

DAN HENDERSON’s big gamble

September 5, 2007

At UFC 75 this Saturday in London, England, “Dangerous” DAN HENDERSON will enter the octagon cage taking a huge gamble.  HENDERSON is the third high profile superstar to make the transition from PRIDE FC’s boxing-style ring into the UFC’s octagon cage.  HENDERSON’s debut fight this Saturday in the UFC octagon is for the UFC light heavyweight championship against a very confident champion and close buddy, QUINTON “RAMPAGE” JACKSON.  The previous two superstars to join the UFC from PRIDE were JACKSON and MIRKO “CRO COP” FILIPOVIC.  Both fighters’ UFC debuts were a bit uneasy, suggesting some discomfort and unfamiliarity with a cage as opposed to the boxing-style ring that made them the mega-stars they are today.

JACKSON’s debut inside the octagon vs. MARVIN EASTMAN, a hard nosed fighter who had defeated JACKSON in in 2000, was far from Rampage-ish.  Very tentative and nervous, JACKSON wound up knocking out EASTMAN in the 2nd round but not before UFC president DANA WHITE sweat out a ton of bullets.  JACKSON later admitted to being “the most nervous” he has ever been.  MIRKO CRO COP’s debut went far better against an over matched EDDIE SANCHEZ.  SANCHEZ, though, is a far less proven fighter than EASTMAN.  CRO COP’s 2nd fight didn’t go well at all, as he was KO’ed in devastating fashion by GABRIEL GONZAGA.  Again, some questions linger about his lack of experience inside a cage as opposed to a ring.

See where I’m going with this?   HENDERSON is a tremendous talent and his aggressive style is very difficult to handle for most fighters.  Is he ready for his first fight in the octagon cage in 9 years?  Is it smart to take on a high caliber champion like JACKSON as your debut fight inside the octagon cage – a forum unfamiliar to HENDERSON since 1998?  Why take on a fight for a championship as your very first fight inside the UFC cage in a long time?  Will there be cage rust?

A warm up fight would have been the safer choice, but then again when it comes to HENDERSON’s vocabulary, the word “SAFE” does not exist.

 

MIRKO CRO COP training

August 29, 2007

Here’s some dated footage of Mirko’s training regimen.  He will beef up the sessions as his fight with CHEICK KONGO on September 8, 2007 arrives.  His past opponents are some of the best in mixed martial arts world but his fight against KONGO is undoubtedly one the most important in his career.

don’t ever get kicked by Mirko: