dimanche 28 février 2010

Mike Goldberg & Joe Rogan

I came across a pretty awesome thread on the MMA underground. The original poster (named "The Swinging Richard"), pointed out a few of Mike Goldberg`s best moments.

This isn`t a slag at all on him...he and Joe Rogan make a great team providing colour commentating for the UFC. Joe is the man...

Here are a few snippets:

"I'm sure that Goldie is a lot cooler dude than he comes across during the UFCs as it's in part a "on-air personality" that he has to play while commentating. In a three hour window of time, while watching some crazy ass fights, you're bound to say some stupid shit from time to time.

But when Goldie says something like the following in the middle of a PPV .....

UFC 49: Karo v. Nick Diaz
Rogan: "Karo is wide open"
Goldberg: "Diaz smells the opening"

UFC 67: Silva v. Lutter
Goldberg: "He's like the Michael Jordan of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu!"
Rogan: "No, he's not"
Goldberg: "Exactly right, Joe!"

UFC 76: Machida v. Nakamura
Goldberg: "And here is Nakamura ... entering the Octagon for the 1st time ... touching the fence for the first time."
Rogan: "You are running out of things to say?"
Goldberg: "Yeah. Kinda. You? You know, you could help out and chime in once in awhile ... "

UFC 102: Couture v. Nog
Goldberg: Referring to Minotauro "Unbelievable but when you look at fighter mileage this man has been in so many battles ..."
Rogan: "Yeah, mileage, he's not there as .. Randy may be 46, but Minotauro is at 56 as far as mileage"
Goldberg: "Yeah, he might be a brand new Bentley, but he's a Bentley with about 150,000 miles on it ......... still a Bentley though"

Goldberg: "You can hear the corner speaking portuguese!"
Rogan: "Uh, that's Japanese, brother"
Goldberg: "I should have known that."
Rogan: "You're the one married to a Japanese chick."
Goldberg: "That is correct."

and now...the video evidence...

Just a bit of Sunday morning humour.

Stay healthy my friends!

vendredi 26 février 2010

Friday Night Fights

***Update...I`m a retard. The Ramon Dekkers seminar is April 24th and not this weekend as I eluded to in the following blog. The guys went to OAMA for the inhouse Muay Thai and will be training the remainder of the weekend. Sudbury Muay Thai had 3 guys competing and I`m pleased to say that all 3 won their fights!! Congrats to Khune Mike, Corey and Kyle!

Friday has finally arrived. I spent the week on the road for work and anytime I`m away for more than a few days, diet and excercise take a back seat to restaurant food and hours spent behind the wheel in my car.

I`m looking forward to getting back to the club, but not sure exactly who will be around to train with tomorrow. Steve & the guys from the Muay Thai program are in Ottawa for some inhouse Muay Thai demos at OAMA along with a seminar with Ramon Dekkers.

Dekkers is a retired Dutch kickboxer and 8 time Muay Thai world champion. He owns an incredible record of 186 wins, 20 losses and 2 draws. (95 wins coming by way of knockout!) Until recently, I didn`t have a real good pulse on the world of Muay Thai, but for those who follow combat sports, Ramon Dekkers is a legend. He was the first foreigner to be named "Muay Thai Fighter of the Year" in Thailand.

Our club is very fortunate to be affiliated with the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts. Pat`s team consistently brings in world class fighters from Muay Thai and BJJ which do nothing but elevate our programs to new heights. You can visit OAMA on the web at www.oama.ca

Here`s a quick highlight video of Ramon Dekkers. Good luck to the boys from Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai Academy at the in-house fights!!

mercredi 24 février 2010

mardi 23 février 2010

Article on Corey Hill's fight vs Mark "Boots" Holst

Here's an article pulled from www.mmajunkie.com Corey Hill admits he doesn't know much about Mark Holst except that he's a Muay Thai fighter. In my humble opinion, this isn't a good fight for Hill to take if he's looking to make it back to the UFC. I predict Mark wins this fight and opens the doors to his own debut inside the octagon.


Ex-UFC fighter Corey Hill's comeback trail continues March 20 at XCL event

by Steven Marrocco on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:25 am ET

Former UFC lightweight Corey Hill (2-2) continues on his comeback trail when he faces Mark Holst (7-1) at "Xtreme Combat League: Evolution" on March 20 in Yipsilanti, Mich.

It's Hill's second fight since a gruesome leg injury in a December 2009 UFC fight that forced him to sit on the sidelines for 13 months. On Jan. 23, he defeated Jason Trzewieczynski by unanimous decision at an event in upstate New York.

As Hill told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Monday, the experience of getting back in the cage made his struggles worthwhile.

"That's my sanctuary," he said. "That's my place to gather my thoughts. You can train MMA, but being out there fighting at full speed, knowing that this guy is really trying to kill you, and having all those thoughts and emotions and being able to harness it, it's just awesome."

Hill, rail thin at 6-foot-4 and 155 pounds, suffered a fractured tibia and fibula in the second round of his fight with Dale Hartt at the UFC's "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops" event in Fayetteville, N.C., and had a metal rod and pins surgically implanted in his leg to hold his bones together during the healing process. Bedridden for several months, he began a gradual return to training this past July after he had the pins surgically removed.

The amiable fighter, who entered the UFC after appearing as a contestant on "The Ultimate Fighter 5," said he suffered no leg pain during the Jan. 23 fight – or pain in any other part of his body for that matter.

He is, however, critical of his performance.

"I'm happy and grateful for the win, but (there) was ... some stuff we worked on that I didn't do as well as I thought I would do," he said. "So I had a little disappointment in some areas. But overall, I felt great."

Hill admits he doesn't know much about his opponent on March 20 other than he's a Muay Thai specialist and the fight is five rounds long (the bout is for the XCL's lightweight championship). He expects a tough fight and nothing less.

As for a return to the UFC, both he and his trainer, Rob Kahn, want to make sure things aren't rushed.

"Of course I want to be back in the big show, but I'm with Rob," Hill said. "We're in this for the long shot. The experience on Jan. 23 was priceless. You couldn't put a price on just the mental side of having an injury and getting back out there.

"When I come back, I want to have no doubt of my ability or talent. So I'm taking my time."

"Xtreme Combat League: Evolution" takes place March 20 at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. UFC veterans Ricco Rodriguez, Jeff Monson and Vinny Magalhaes are also scheduled to appear on the card against opponents to be announced.

Steven Marrocco is a staff reporter for MMAjunkie.com and an MMA contributor for The Vancouver Sun.

lundi 22 février 2010

The Future of MMA?

check these kids out...this is pretty awesome.

The Future of MMA By Bobby Razak from Bobby Razak on Vimeo.

dimanche 21 février 2010

UFC 110 results

Wow...that was a great fight card! Let`s take a quick look at my predictions and see how horribly I did. haha!

UFC 110 Predictions

Ben Rothwell vs CroCop

Ben Rothwell had to pull out of the fight due to a last minute illness. Anthony Perosh, an Australian fighter stepped in and took the fight on very late notice. He showed a ton of heart, but CroCop was just too much. I had predicted a knockout for CroCop in round 2 vs his initial opponent and this one ended by TKo in the second frame. (I`ll take it...1 for 1 so far)

Ryan Bader vs Keith Jardine

I had picked Jardine by TKO in round 3. Wrong! This was a great standup fight but Ryan "Darth" Bader took it by vicious KO in the 3rd. Jardine questionned wether or not the fight was stopped too early, but his "stank leg" told a different story. He was out! (1-2)

George Sotiropoulos vs Joe Stevensen

Was I wrong on this one!! I had picked Joe Daddy by submission in rounnd 2. I had picked George Sotiropoulos to win the Ultimate Fighter when he was on the show, but he came up short. Since then, he`s rattled off 4 wins in his first 4 fights with the UFC. Last night, he put on a clinic!! His Jiu Jitsu was unbelievable and he dominated Stevensen from bell to bell. I can`t wait to see him fight again. Fight of the night!! (predictions aren`t going well here...1-3)

Michael Bisping vs Wanderlei Silva

I picked Wanderlei to win by KO, but he brought a different gameplan than what we`re used to seeing from him. There was still the odd wild hook, but his patience paid off and he took a much needed decision over the Brit. (2 for 4)

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez

I picked Big Nog to win this fight using his experience and ability to take a pounding and still find a way to win. Cain Velasquez looked awesome on his feet and never gave Nogueira a chance to take the fight to the ground. 1 clean shot to the chin followed by 5 unanswered blows had Nogueira laying on his back dreaming of fields filled with running leprichauns and unicorns. Zzz Zzz Zzz!! Velasquez took the fight by vicious knockout.

So I went 2 out of 6. Not my best night of predictions but that was an awesome card. Lots of good fights to look forward to over the next few months.

Stay tuned!

samedi 20 février 2010

Mark Holst, Braulio Estima & Saturday at Sudbury BJJ

What a beautiful Saturday! The sun is shining, it`s above freezing and we started the day out at Sudbury BJJ for the kids Jiu Jitsu class. Noel and Ben were both excited to get on the mat. Steve ran a good class and had the kids practicing solidifying their base and breaking grips. Ben (my 3 year old) had a meltdown at the end of class because he wanted to keep going, but outside of that, it was all good.

BJJ was awesome today. For me, I sometimes have days where I feel like I`m completely useless on the mat. I can`t escape a bad position to save my life and my timing is off. Then you get a day like today where everything seemed to line up. I was getting out of bad positions with relative ease and the new techniques we worked on seemed to make sense. What I mean by that is sometimes a specific move in BJJ either works well for your bodytype or it doesn`t. It`s not an exact science where you pick a move and work it until you`ve got it. It`s all about flow, moving from one failed move to the next until you get to where you want to be. Today was one of those days where it just felt right. Steve ran a great class. Thumbs up!

In MMA news...

I don`t know Mark Holst personally, but I`ve met him twice. He`s one of the elite fighters from OAMA (Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts) with whom we are an affiliate club. At any rate, Mark has been doing very well in MMA and professional Muay Thai and the team from Sudbury BJJ will stand behind him all the way to the top. I predict it won`t be long before we see him in the UFC`s lightweight division.

Mark is slated to fight Corey Hill (UFC veteran and cast member of the Ultimate Fighter show on Spike) in a month from now. They`ll be fighting for the Xtreme Kombat League lightweight championship in Detroit, Michigan. (Someone should call the promoters of the club and let them know they accidentally spelled "League" correctly. They might want to fix that...(ok, I stole that joke from a thread I read on the Underground, but it`s a good one, so I`ll take it)

Here`s a video of Mark`s fight highlights. You can follow Mark`s blog on his website. www.markholst.com (it`s an interesting one to follow)

Lastly, it was announced on mmajunkie.com that Braulio Estima is set to make his MMA debut vs Rick Hawn (Pan-Am champion in Judo and US Olympian from 2004 with a current record in MMA of 3-0) They`ll be fighting at a catchweight sometime in mid-May for Shine Fights III. I`m looking forward to this one. Braulio is one of the very best BJJ fighters on the planet. (he won the Abu Dhabi Combat Club absolute championship and 88kg division in 2009, the highest level jiu jitsu and grappling tournement in the world)

Good luck to Mark and Braulio!!

Tonight...UFC 110. Heading over to Big Kevin`s place to watch with some friends from the club. Should be a great way to cap off a great day.

Stay healthy my friends!

jeudi 18 février 2010

Thursday Night at Sudbury BJJ

Woah...I`m burnt.

Had a great evening at home with my boys while Roxanne snuck out to the club to get in a Muay Thai conditioning workout in. She got back at 8 and I made my way out the door for BJJ.

The class started out like normal with warmups and drilling mount and side mount escapes. I`m 6 months into my training and I still struggle with these. I guess that`s why it takes a 2 years to progress beyond white belt. These are the fundamentals which will allow you to survive in a fight. (or do well in competition) It`s all about muscle memory...drill drill drill...burn the movement into your subconscious so that when you find yourself in a bad position, you can react on instinct. I`ll get there...eventually.

We later worked some technique and then moved into randori. (randori is essentially sparring, working with a resisting opponent) We were a big enough group tonight, maybe 30 or so. Rather than just doing 5 minute rounds of rolling, Steve & Big Tom mixed it up by setting up challenges. 6 guys took spots on the mats and the rest lined up along the wall. One by one we`d fill in with the 6 and start from a dominant position. (full mount or side control) The guy on the bottom had 1 minute to escape the bad position and move to either half or full guard or better yet, a sweep to a dominant position. If they weren`t able to escape in that minute, a fresh body would jump in and you`re back to square one. We did a few challenges like this. It was awesome!

In other news, I scored tickets for UFC 113 in Montreal this morning. Looking forward to the fights. There is nothing like a live UFC event...it`s the best.

See ya on the mat!

UFC responds to Dalton McGuinty

a response from the UFC via www.mmajunkie.com

Heading to the club again tonight...I`ll bring my camera and snap some pictures for everyone to see what Thursday nights are like at Sudbury BJJ.

On to the story...

UFC issues response to Ontario premier's comments

by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:20 am ET
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is not going down without a fight when it comes to getting MMA regulated in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Amid a pre-fight public-relations blitz for Saturday's UFC 110 event in Sydney, Australia, the promotion on Wednesday evening issued a swift response to recent comments by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty that the idea of legalizing mixed martial arts in province to create jobs and tax revenue is "just not a priority."

"We are working very closely with the various levels of Canadian government, including the Province of Ontario, to ensure the highest levels of safety for all of (MMA) participants," Marc Ratner, vice president of regulatory affairs for the UFC, stated in a prepared statement.

McGuinty's comments came as an apparent setback to the UFC's promise to hold an event in Toronto within the year.

"We respect the fact that the Premier has indicated that MMA regulation is not a top priority; however, we are confident that our efforts in educating Canadian officials, including members of the provincial cabinet, will eventually result in regulation of the sport in Ontario," Ratner stated.

Ratner, a former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, clears legislative barriers to UFC events in states and territories the promotion has not yet visited and helps local athletic commissions with regulatory standards.

The UFC statement said a recent economic analysis suggested that more than 42 percent of the spectators who attended the Montreal event (UFC 97) in April 2009 came from the province of Ontario with an estimated $5 million of immediate economic impact to the city of Montreal.

McGuinty, however, said the sport's legalization is not a cure-all for Ontario's economic woes.

"We have higher priorities when it comes to developing those jobs and strengthening the economy," McGuinty said. "We have other things on the go right now, and we'll stay focused on those, whether that's our tax reforms, stimulating the economy through investments in infrastructure, getting our children better opportunities at the outset."

In the past, the promotion has named Ontario — the most populous province in Canada with more than 13 million residents — as the "Mecca" of mixed martial arts despite its illegality and estimated an event there could draw as many as 60,000 fans. The province reportedly holds the highest television ratings and per capita pay-per-view buyrates around the world.

Nationwide the sport is barred by section 83 of the Canadian Criminal Code, but many provincial athletic commissions do not enforce the law.

Recently, the UFC helped pave the way for a two-year pilot program to regulate the sport in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. UFC 115 is planned for the 2010 Winter Olympics host city on June 12.

So far, the UFC has held two events in Montreal, and a third event is planned in the city on May 8. Both shows have been quick sellouts.

What steps the promotion now takes to clear the legislative impasse is unclear, though UFC officials have employed at least one lobbyist to represent their interests in Ontario.

mercredi 17 février 2010

Dalton McGuinty doesn`t get it (shocking isn`t it?)

Here`s an article from the Canadian Press I found on tsn.ca outlining the Ontario Premier`s moronic position on sanctioning MMA in the province.


TORONTO - Mixed martial arts fans gave Dalton McGuinty a virtual smack down Wednesday after the Ontario premier said he's not ready to allow wildly popular Ultimate Fighting Championship events nor similar fights to be held in the province.

Despite the likelihood such matches would generate much-needed tax revenue for the cash-strapped province and jobs, McGuinty said it's "just not a priority."

"We have higher priorities when it comes to developing those jobs and strengthening the economy," said McGuinty, who has suggested in the past he was open to having mixed martial arts fights in Ontario.

"We have other things on the go right now, and we'll stay focused on those, whether that's our tax reforms, stimulating the economy through investments in infrastructure, getting our children better opportunities at the outset."

UFC spokesman Marc Ratner said in a release that the group respects McGuinty's position that MMA regulation is not a top priority.

"However, we are confident that our efforts in educating Canadian officials including members of the provincial cabinet will eventually result in regulation of the sport in Ontario," said Ratner.

Despite a strong fan base in Ontario, mixed martial arts fighting -- or MMA -- has long been banned because it's considered to be prize fighting -- making it illegal under the federal Criminal Code.

It can, however, be licensed by provincial and municipal athletics commissions, something that has happened in various provinces and U.S. states.

MMA is one of the world's fastest-growing spectator sports and the UFC, the sport's top promoter, has claimed an event in Toronto could generate $4 million in tax revenue. UFC president Dana White has called Canada the "Mecca" of his sport, citing healthy ticket sales to Canadians for shows around North America and elsewhere.

The backlash online was fierce, with MMA enthusiasts trashing McGuinty for failing to support the sport.

"What is McGuinty talking about -- not a priority? It's not like hosting a UFC event is some project the provincial government is going to organize, promote, host, etc.," said one posting on TSN.ca.

"All that's being asked is you pass one law so that it's not ILLEGAL."

Another reader added: "McGuinty needs a triangle choke."

A posting on bloodyelbow.com stated: "Sweet, now we can watch infrastructure investments armbar tax reforms instead of watchin' those lame GSP fights."

Georges St-Pierre of Quebec, who is often referred to as GSP, is the welterweight champion of the UFC.

Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak said the premier should stop "wrestling with himself" and "just get on with it."

"Forty states allow for mixed martial arts, five other provinces -- just direct your minister to make it happen in the province of Ontario," Hudak said.

"Let's bring some tourism dollars to our province."

Mixed martial arts matches are permitted by provincial athletic commissions in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Manitoba. Municipal athletic commissions in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Prince George, B.C., and several other B.C. communities also sanction MMA events.

Consumer Services Minister Sophia Aggelonitis said the province was watching the sport and aware of its popularity, but like the premier, said she wasn't ready to back it.

"We want to make sure that we protect not only our spectators but also sports participants," she said.

Asked outright whether he found something in mixed martial arts offensive, McGuinty declined to elaborate, nor did he say if he was closing the door on the sport altogether.

Ontario has objected to the 1-on-1 fights in the past, saying they're too violent. McGuinty has also suggested that regulating the sport may be a better option than banning it and forcing its followers into underground fights, with no medical precautions and little training.

Events are planned for Montreal and Vancouver as early as this spring.

That's where Ontario residents will have to travel if they want to watch the sport -- which combines elements of fighting sports such as boxing, wrestling, kick-boxing, karate and jiu-jitsu -- live.

UFC 110 Predictions

Saturday night is the UFC`s first trip to Australia. Although the card lacks a title fight, the main card isn`t bad at all. Here are my picks and thoughts on each fight.

Ben Rothwell vs CroCop

Rothwell is a big man who did very well in the IFL and has a ton of fight experience. He has dropped 2 of his last 3 fights and didn`t look great in his UFC debut vs Cain Velasquez. CroCop is coming off a tough loss to Junior Dos Santos, so look for him to come out hungry. I see this fight ending with one of CroCop`s vintage head kicks. Crocop by KO in round 2.

Ryan Bader vs Keith Jardine

Bader is a strong wrestler with an undefeated record of 10-0. With that, I don`t think he`s faced anyone as tough as the Dean of Mean. Jardine is one of those fighters who brings the pain every time he fights. He goes for broke and win or lose, his fights usually end in spectacular style. I`m going with Jardine by tko, round 3.

George Sotiropoulos vs Joe Stevensen

I like both these guys. Sotiropoulos will have his countrymen in his corner, but will the added pressure of fighting at home in Oz help or hinder his mental game? Joe Stevensen looked awesome in his last fight vs Spencer Fisher. His game had gotten predictable and prior to the fight with Fisher, he switched camps to train under Greg Jackson (aka Yoda). With that, I`ve got to give him the nod. Joe Daddy wins this fight via submission in round 2.

Michael Bisping vs Wanderlei Silva

Bisping looked great in his last fight vs Denis Kang. He had to come out hard and prove himself after getting his head knocked off my Dan Henderson at UFC 100. (a fight I was lucky to witness in person) With that said, he`s fighting a man who has his back against the wall. Wanderlei Silva lost his last two fights, although I believe he won his last one vs Rich Franklin, but that`s in the past. Watch for Wand to come out hungry especially seeing Rampage will be in Bisping`s corner during the fight and at the weigh-ins. Wanderlei hates Rampage and has vowed that seeing him by the cage will give him extra motivation to destroy Bisping. Wanderlei takes this one by murder in round 1.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez

7-0 Cain Velasquez meets the biggest challenge of his young career. Minotauro looked amazing in his last fight vs Randy Couture. The winner of this fight will be one fight away from a title shot. (possibly less if the winner of Carwin vs Mir is not ready to fight Lesnar by July) I see Big Nog taking this fight by submission in round 3.

Heading to Jiu Jitsu for my boys little ninja`s class. Stay tuned and stay healthy!

mardi 16 février 2010


This is one of the coolest videos I`ve seen to hype a fight. The UFC should hire the guy that made it...I can`t wait for this fight. I`ll be in the crowd! woohoo!!

Article on Renzo Gracie`s fight for UFC 112

Pulled from MMAJUNKIE.COM (a great source for MMA news)

For Renzo Gracie, "middle-age crisis" includes defending family's honor

by John Morgan on Feb 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm ET
At 42 years old, it's been more than two years since MMA pioneer Renzo Gracie (13-6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has set foot in a cage.

But this April, Gracie will debut for the UFC on the main card of "UFC 112: Invincible" in Abu Dhabi when he takes on UFC legend and future Hall-of-Famer Matt Hughes (43-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC).

It's a bout rife with storylines, and Gracie recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he's in the best shape of his life as he prepares to deal with what his wife calls a "middle-age crisis."

"I'm feeling like a kid," Gracie said. "I lost 27 pounds, and I'm back in the game. I can't wait to fight.

"I'll be 43 when I fight [Hughes]. My wife says instead of buying a motorcycle or a sports car, my middle-age crisis is to get back in the ring."

An eight-time PRIDE veteran, Gracie has also fought under the IFL and EliteXC banners during his lengthy career. But after previous bouts at middleweight, Gracie will now compete at 170 pounds, and he says he's truly focused on just himself for the very first time.

"I'm very fortunate," Gracie said. "I was able to set up all the goals I had before – to set-up my schools and tune-up my business so I could push my art to future generations of my family. I was able to do that, so now my business is running by itself, and I can just concentrate on myself for the first time in my life and just train to fight.

"I believe I'm going to surprise a lot of people."

Gracie currently runs a training academy that oversees 1,100 students. Among those that have been guided by Gracie's tutelage is former welterweight champion Matt Serra – a man Hughes defeated this past May after a lengthy verbal rivalry.

And of course, Hughes also defeated Gracie's cousin, Royce, in a 2006 superfight.

In other words, Renzo has ample motivation.

"I love my cousin," Renzo said. "In that fight, in particular, [Royce] came up short against Matt Hughes. He was having a life that wasn't fit for a fighter. He was working every weekend and doing seminars. He was booked for two years in a row. You can't fight under those circumstances.

"I hope to fight that guy. That's the guy I want to see in April – in that kind of shape. I want to test myself against the best that [Hughes] has ever been. I hope he's in good shape. I believe where Royce came up short, I'm coming up to get the flag. We are a large family, and anywhere a Gracie comes up short, someone should be there to push that thing forward."

Of course, in order to defeat Hughes, Gracie knows he'll have to leave no question as to the result, even if the bout does take place in Abu Dhabi, a location Gracie calls a "second home" after years of traveling to the locale to train some of the area's most wealthy residents.

"Matt Hughes became kind of a hero for the UFC," Gracie said. "It's a guy that has like 40-something fights. To beat him, you have to really beat him.

"You can't go in there and have a tough fight. If you give a little margin to the referees or the judges on the side, they will pull the rope toward him. I know that already, and I'm glad I'm fighting in Abu Dhabi. That's my second home."

And while the Gracie name is synonymous with ground fighting, Renzo knows he must present a well-rounded attack if he hopes to gain control of the action.

"You cant take a wrestler down," Gracie said. "If you've got a Division I wrestler, I'm not taking him down. I will need the striking to take him down. If I get him out of balance by striking, I'm able to shoot, and even a Division I wrestler will end up on his butt. But if you just go in, and he's not afraid of getting hit by you, you're going to be on your back every single time.

"How are you going to take a guy like Matt Hughes down if you're not going to strike? That's the reality."

Gracie's past three wins have been against MMA legends Frank Shamrock, Carlos Newton and Pat Miletich. Adding Hughes to that list would certainly provide Gracie with another impressive feat to add to his already lengthy list of credentials.

But Gracie said he has even more reasons to hope for a win: the fans.

"A lot of fans come up to me and are very angry with [Hughes]," Gracie said. "I don't know if success went to his head or he insulted people in certain ways, but a lot of people come to complain about his attitude. When they come to me, it's like, 'Teach him a lesson.'"

Gracie will try to do just that at UFC 112. But if you think his mid-life crisis will end there, know that he has five more fights in his UFC contract.

"They offered me three (fights), and I said I'll only sign if it's for six," Gracie said. "If I have to dive, I dive head-first."

I don`t know about you...but I can`t wait for this one.

lundi 15 février 2010

History of the Gracie Family

The Gracie name is synonymous with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They are one in the same. Without the Gracies, BJJ doesn`t exist and neither does the sport of Mixed Martial Arts as we know it.

Most might not know that the UFC was created by Rorion Gracie (eldest son of Helio Gracie) to show the world that Gracie Jiu Jitsu was the most dominant martial art in a real world application. (no holds barred fighting)

Rorion selected his younger brother Royce to represent the family in the first tournament. The rest as they say, is history.

The real history began in 1917 Carlos Gracie, 14 year old son of Gastão Gracie, watched a demonstration by Mitsuyo Maeda at the Teatro da Paz and decided to learn judo (also known at the time as "Kano Jiu-Jitsu".) Maeda accepted Carlos as a student, and Carlos went on to become a great exponent of the art and ultimately, with his younger brother Hélio Gracie became the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Most people mistakenly believe that Helio Gracie created Gracie Jiu Jitsu on his own, but this was not the case. Here is a quick video by Rener Gracie explaining the origins of BJJ and the family tree. Pretty cool stuff...

samedi 13 février 2010

Sudbury BJJ - In House Tournement

This morning, some of Northern Ontario`s best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners gathered at Sudbury BJJ and Muay Thai Academy for an in-house tournement to raise funds for Team Renzo Gracie Sudbury`s trip to the Arnolds next month in Columbus, Ohio.

There were approximately 30 competitors in multiple weight classes followed by an absolute division tournement to end the day. One of the biggest surprises of the day was 11 year old Nathan Thompson from Sudbury BJJ. This little guy is in the kids program, but sometimes stays late to roll with the men. To see him compete with someone his own size showed just how far his game has progressed over the last few months. He was shooting for flying armbars and ended most of his matches with a triangle choke. If Nathan sticks with it, his future is bright! I would have taken some pictures from his matches, but I was too busy watching. Congrats Nathan!

A big thanks to John Cole and the team from Sudbury MMA for helping make the event as successful as it was and to Steve Joncas for putting it together.

Here are a few pictures from the event. Good luck to Team Renzo Gracie Sudbury at the Arnolds!

vendredi 12 février 2010

Rolles Gracie released from UFC contract

I watched Rolles Gracie vs Joey Beltran on the ppv telecast last Saturday night with great anticipation. My house was full of Team Renzo Gracie Sudbury so this was the first time one of our own was in the octagon.

We all know how the fight went. Rolles lost by TKO in the 2nd round after he gassed out and seemed to lose all focus. The internet message boards have been going nuts since the fight aired with most armchair warriors crying shame that he wasn't prepared or something to that effect.

With that said, I've watched the fight over a few times. Yes, he gassed out near the end of the first round and the fight was all but over at the beginning of the second. However, I easily gave him round 1. He won that round clearly. So for a fight that lasted a little over 6 minutes in total, he was in control for 4. He controlled the octagon from the start, pinned Beltran to the fence, landed a takedown, got mount, landed some punches, took his back and then got reversed. He also landed the most effective strikes although his technique wasn't Sam Stout perfect.

Rolles was released from his contract today, but Dana wasn't hard on him. He'll rack up a few more wins outside the UFC and we'll see him come back, I've got no doubt.

Here's the link to Rolles' fight. (I couldn't embed the clip for this one).


and finally...the news on his release courtesy of mmajunkie.com


jeudi 11 février 2010

Writer Steve Cofield apologizes for Hughes-Renzo piece

Steve Cofield posted the following on the Underground.

"Thanks to Damon Martin from MMAWeekly for pointing out that Matt Pena had some complaints about my Serra/Hughes posts.

Good call by Pena. I didn’t read Matt Hughes’ sarcasm very well and then conveyed it poorly to Matt Serra when I asked the question in the follow up video. It put Serra in a bad position. As a result, the Serra post was a stretch and created heat in the Renzo Gracie-Hughes-Serra triangle where there was none.

As far as having an axe to grind with Matt Hughes. It's not the case. I have nothing against Matt. He’s one of the best guys in the business to work with. He’s always allowed me to ask tough questions and in turn stood his ground. I actually wrote after UFC 98, that the guy has been great for the sport and will be missed when he walks away (http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Retire-or-fight-on-Hughes-will-do-exactly-what-?urn=mma,165516).

So no harm intended.

Hope you accept the apology. Please relay the message to Matt Hughes.


So there you have it. He got called out and Pena was right. I actually enjoy some of Steve Cofield`s interviews, but it would be good if these guys with press credentials allowed the fighters to create their own drama. There`s enough of it out there. With that said, I give my vote to Ariel Harwani from AOL Fanhouse for being the best MMA interview in the business. He always asks the right questions and is very respectful of the fighters and the sport.


UFC 110 & BJJ In-House

UFC 110 is a little over a week away. I really haven`t been thinking too much about this one, but the main event is intriguing. Big Nog is fighting Cain Velasquez which will be a big challenge for the latter of the two.

Nogueira looked incredible in his fight vs Randy Couture at UFC 102. After a seamingly bad performance against Frank Mir, he bounced back and looked like he`d regained the form he showed during his time with Pride. For Velasquez, he`s an ultimate prospect. Is he where he needs to be right now? Some think his inability to finish Kongo showed he`s not quite there yet. This should be a good fight!

Stay tuned for my predictions for the televised card.

In club news...

This Saturday, we`re holding an in-house BJJ tournement with our friends from Sudbury MMA. Weigh-ins start at 9am and we`re hoping the action will get underway by 10. I`ve done a ton of randori over the last 6 months, but this will be the first time I`ve competed in a points based match. I`m really not concerned with winning or losing at this point. I see this as a test to see where I`m at 6 months into my training. Hopefully I`m somewhere near where I feel I should be. I`ll keep you posted!

Stay healthy my friends!

mercredi 10 février 2010

The Little Ninjas!

I'm not going to be a pushy parent. You know the kind...those that were never able to live up to their own expectations so they're going to try to live the dream through their kids.

Tonight, I decided it was time to test the waters and have my boys try the Little Ninjas class at the club. I was invited by Steve and Jenn to suit up myself and help out seeing as my boys don't speak much English. (on parle seulement le francais a la maison!) The idea was to let them decide whether or not this would be something they'd like to jump into. Their answer was an overwhelming yes! Here are a few pictures from the class.

After warmups, we got down to business. (my boys are in the blue and red t-shirts)

We then played a game of North-South-East-West. The idea was to listen to the coaches instructions and run in the direction he called out for. They would also be instructed to stop and drop into "Samurai pose" or "Man Overboard" which teach the kids basic positions and introductory techniques for Jiu Jitsu. (as seen below)

The games were then followed by learning a specific technique. Tonight, we focused on freeing yourself from your opponent's grip. This is also a great self defense technique against a schoolyard bully. The idea being that when someone grips your collar (or jacket etc), you take two hands and grip their sleeve at the wrist. You then plant your feet firmly into the ground and bend your knees creating a solid base. From there, put your opponent's hand down toward his knee while simultaniously pushing yourself back, in turn, breaking free of his grip. In the next picture, Noel grips my collar as I work with him to show him how this is done.

The beauty of the Little Ninja's class is that the instructors don't overload the kids (age 4-6) with too much technique. They're learning the basics in a fun environnement. Each class ends with a game of Murder Ball. (teaching the kids to be quick on their feet...and take a shot to the face! haha...just kidding)

Then it was time for a rest.

Noel and Ben loved their first class. I couldn't be any more proud of how well they listened and participated. They can't wait to go back next week! With that, I welcome them to the awesome world of Jiu Jitsu. The gentle art.


in response...

Is Steve Cofield (Yahoo Sports) simply trying to stir the pot? No doubt he is, the guy isn't the most respected MMA journalist out there. Either way, the hype for the fight is starting to ramp up. See the clip below for Matt Serra's response to Hughes possibly taken Renzo lightly.

So now that you've watched that clip, Matt Pena (trainer for Matt Hughes, Robbie Lawler & Spencer Fisher) has posted a reply on the Underground stating the following.

"The claims that Hughes is calling Renzo old is a complete fabrication from a writer struggling to find a story, so he is making one! I was next to the two guys when they were doing their interviews both times in Miami. Hughes was having fun with the interview and making a references to how the young new generation of fighters has arrived, and how him and Renzo were the older guys fighters in the division. So Cofield turns this, and tells Serra that "Matt called Renzo old" in an attempt to create fireworks. A gracious Serra (after his win) saw right through it, and said Hughes must have been kidding. Then Serra said, if Matt thinks Renzo old than Hughes is taking Renzo too lightly. All of a sudden he's pushing a story that Serra said, "Hughes is taking Renzo too lightly".

The truth is, Matt thinks Renzo is the best MMA fighting Gracie out there. Matt is currently in Salt Lake City with Jeremy Horn and myself at Elite Performance. Matt showing up to camp 9 weeks out is a record for him. Hardly the signs of someone taking a fight lightly. We anticipate a tough fight, and Matt will be ready for a tough fight."

So there you have it. He goes on to talk about the editing from the Ultimate Fighter show being cut to show Hughes in a negative light, but for me, that was the real Matt Hughes. I read this autobiography "Made in America" and although it was a semi interesting book, I found myself thinking he came across as a jerk in his own book.

On to some other news...

Rolles Gracie made his octagon debut on Saturday night at UFC 109. For those who've seen the fight or read the commentary afterwords, he had a less than perfect performance. Rolles is a world class black belt and some of his Gi and NoGi Jiu Jitsu matches can be seen on youtube to back this up. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg commented that the adrenaline dump from his first fight in the top organization coupled with the pressure he put on himself could have been significant contributing factors.

Here is a quote from Renzo from Graciefighter.com

"It was embarrasing", lamented the legendary fighter/coach. "I can tell you he wasn't in that bad of shape. Fact is the nerves drained him of his energy. His stand up and ground work looked bad, nothing at all like he was doing in training leading up to the fight and it was if he couldn't hear what I was telling him. I think the pressure he put on himself overwhelmed him." He'll learn and be back."

Mmajunkie.com has an article on Braulio Estima's preperation to enter MMA. (more on that another time) He referenced Rolles as well...

Estima worked with Gracie and said the UFC newcomer was injured and unable to train.

"His performance was nowhere near what we expected and what he expected," Estima said. "He had a lot of injuries in training. He hurt his rib and that stopped him training for a while. But he was very excited to do it and he put a lot of pressure on himself. It wasn't the best decision to fight." Estima said he's taking extra care to ensure an impressive debut.

Article can be read here...


At any rate, I believe Rolles will bounce back. He's still very young in his MMA career and has the pedegree to make an impact. I'm hopeful that the UFC will give him a shot at redemption at some point. He'll be back! Here's a picture of myself with Rolles and Sudbury BJJ blue belt Guy "Kinda Thing" Poulin.

mardi 9 février 2010

"Matt Hughes is the Anvil"

I've never been a fan of Matt Hughes. Matt Serra put it best, he's a simpleton from the Mid-West. You can't deny he's done alot in MMA having carried the UFC's welterweight title for a long run until finally meeting his match in GSP.

That brings us to UFC 112 which is set for April 12th in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Hughes is facing the man...Renzo Gracie. For those of you reading this who aren't aware, Sudbury BJJ is an affiliate of the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts (OAMA)which is an official affiliate of Team Renzo Gracie making us a part of Team Renzo Gracie Ottawa.

Be sure to check back and I'll keep you posted on the inside scoop leading up to this fight. A small group of us from the club were able to attend a seminar with Renzo at OAMA back in December(2009). The picture up above was taken at the end of his class. The guy is the real deal.

Back to Matt Hughes...here is a short interview with Steve Cofield from Yahoo Sports/ESPN. Matt calls him a "fag", says he's fighting Renzo because he's old and how his wife is afraid of him going to Abu Dhabi because of the dangers of the Middle East. I've got a cousin living in Abu Dhabi...the country is filled with expats from North America and Europe. The culture is different, but it's safer than Mexico these days. Gotta love those country bumpkins.

Without further delay...check out the video below. More to come as the hype for this fights starts to build. I can't wait to see Renzo back in action.

lundi 8 février 2010

on or off the bandwagon?

So yesterday was Superbowl Sunday. I`ve always found it odd that for one day of the year, some of my friends become the biggest fan of a sport they never talk about outside of that one random Sunday in February.

That`s something I love about MMA. You can be a fan of a certain fighter, no secret, I`m a big fan of Georges St-Pierre, but being a fight fan is so much more rewarding. Every few weeks a new matchup is announced that could cause fireworks. I love it...

So tonight was the introduction of the new kettlebell class at Sudbury BJJ. I was drained after Randori so I checked it out after having hit the showers. Sore from just watching, I made my way to the door. I`ll try it out later this week. Until then...time to rest up for the next roll.

dimanche 7 février 2010

Welcome to the BJJ Diaries...

I remember being 18 years old and walking through a local video store and seeing the vhs case for UFC 2. I picked it up and scanned the back and thought this might be the greatest thing I`ve ever gotten my hands on.

Watching that first (officially 2nd) "mixed martial arts" event introduced me to different styles of martial arts. Back then, I had trained in amateur boxing and having grown up playing hockey, I`d never had the time for other sports, but I`d always figured I`d take karate at some point. I`d never heard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but I could tell this was the real deal. There was no other explanation as to how a skinny Royce Gracie could demolish guys twice his size.

Fast forward to 2009...I discovered that my hometown had a school that teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. More importantly, a school which teaches Gracie Jiu Jitsu. So in August 2009, I signed up and haven`t looked back since.

This blog will be all about Jiu Jitsu & MMA. Aside of training in BJJ, I`m a huge fight fanatic and haven`t missed a UFC ppv in many years. I don`t claim to know it all, but I do have an opinion and you`re welcome to read mine and let me know how far off the mark you think I am. I`ll also keep you up to speed on life at Sudbury Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai Academy. The club has become a second home for me. Roxanne (my wife) has recently taken up Muay Thai conditioning and my two boys will soon be joining the little ninjas program. It`s a great place. You should come check it out! http://www.sudburybjj.com/

Stay tuned for my fight predictions, stories of getting choked out and all things BJJ.

Stay healthy my friends!