Posts tagged: Randy Couture

Vera To Play The Role of Gatekeeper at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones

Brandon “The Truth” Vera (11-4) broke onto the scene five years ago as a young, up-and-coming heavyweight prospect with intentions of proving himself by beating the best competition that the UFC had to offer.

Vera ran through opponents in the two years that followed, but was denied his title intentions due to defeats from more experience UFC veterans.

Brandon Vera

On Sunday, for the first time, Vera will play the role of “the gatekeeper” when he faces young, up-and-coming light-heavyweight prospect Jon “Bones” Jones (9-1) in the main event of UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo.

Fighting out of San Diego, Calif., Vera is a former WEC heavyweight champion. Vera, a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, currently trains with both Team Lloyd Irvin and Alliance MMA in San Diego. He has also trained at Linxx Academy and Hybrid Academy.

Vera gained experience wrestling in high school and continued wrestling at Old Dominion University, and then with the United States Air Force. However, he is best known in the MMA world for his effective muay thai skills.

Through the first four years of his MMA career Vera went a perfect 8-0, with seven of his wins coming by way of stoppage and four earned in UFC competition. Arguably his most impressive performance came at UFC 65 when he stopped Frank Mir at just 1:09 into the first round via TKO (punches).

In his next two matches Vera saw a step up in competition, losing a decision to Tim Sylvia and a TKO to Fabricio Werdum. These back-to-back losses, to much larger opponents, prompted Vera’s move to light-heavyweight competition. Vera now holds a 3-2 record as a light-heavyweight. His two losses came via close and controversial decisions.

Vera vs. Fabiano Scherner

MMA veteran, TUF cast-member and UFC newcomer Krzysztof Soszynski (19-9-1) went the distance with Vera at UFC 102. Vera won a unanimous decision by controlling the fight, avoiding the takedown and dominating on the feet with strong kicks and combinations.

Vera saw a step up in competition in his next fight as he went the distance with UFC Hall of Famer and five-time UFC champion Randy “The Natural” Couture in the main event of UFC 105. Couture controlled the fight from the clinch utilizing dirty boxing while Vera dominated the striking from the feet, hurting Couture badly with kicks and combinations in each round.

Vera was caught in Couture’s clinch, fighting off the takedown, for the majority of the competition. However, Vera landed very effective strikes from the feet. He dropped Couture in the second round, but was unable to finish him. After bearing an assault from the clinch Vera landed a series of body kicks that hurt Couture in the third round and followed up by taking him down and transitioning to full mount. The fight ended with an intense exchange.

All three judges scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Couture. The ruling surprised Vera and was very controversial.

Jon Jones is a young (22 year old) prospect with impressive striking and wrestling skills. Vera’s muay thai skills will be much more relevant in his upcoming fight than in his last two, which saw him trapped in his opponent’s clinch for the majority of the fight. However, Vera, a BJJ brown belt, will likely have an advantage in the unlikely case that the fight goes to the ground.

Vera has been in Jones’ situation a number of times early in his UFC career. Jones will face the toughest test in his young MMA career at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones. For Vera, a victory will likely put him back in the title-mix.

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The event will air live on Versus at 9 p.m. EST

Another title shot for Nogueira reigns possible

As Ultimate Fighting Championship hits Australia for the first time viagra cheap at UFC 110 on Feb. 20, 2010, heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira looks to add his 33rd win in MMA competition.

Nogueira vs Velasquez will occur at UFC 110

Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 NC), 33, represents Brazil as he takes a trip to Sydney to highlight the main card at UFC 110 against undefeated heavyweight United States figher Cain Velasquez (7-0-0).

Despite Velasquez’ winning record and fierce wrestling style, Nogueira, also known as Minotauro, brings experience to the table with a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.

Although Nogueira only has five losses, one of those losses came in one of his last two bouts, and was not pretty for the Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil native. UFC 92 (12-27-2008) in Las Vegas, Nev. marked the end of a reign for Minotauro. When 3-1 underdog Frank Mir took the octagon, he immediately took control of the fight, knocking down Nogueria twice with boxing moves. In the second round, Nogueria tried to establish his jabs, but Mir continued to land the big shots, finishing off with back-to-back left hands and the referee stopping the fight. With 1:54 in the second round, Nogueria lost the bout and the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship.

Nogueira would fare better in his next fight, which occurred Aug. 29, 2009 at UFC 102. The event would have taken place about one year earlier had Randy Couture not retired in Oct. 2007. In the meantime, Nogueira would win the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship and become the first fighter to ever hold both PRIDE and UFC belts.

Couture and Nogueira squared off in what would be known as the “loser’s bracket” of the UFC’s mini heavyweight tournament. However, the fight also highlighted the event, being named “Fight of the Night” when all was said and done.

Couture opened the fight strong with some great avoidance and defensive tactics to remain in the stand up game. Eventually, Nogueira’s fists took advantage, taking Couture to the ground and allowing him to get a tight brabo choke on Couture. The second round saw Couture in one of his weaker states, the half guard, for most of the round. Finally, things slow down as Nogueira slowed down his offensive attacks in round three. Despite Couture’s late round efforts with some ground blows, it was not enough. Nogueira took the fight with a unanimous decision: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

Looking towards UFC 110, Nogueira sees that a win will likely earn him the right for a future title bout – an honor that his undefeated opponent, Velasquez, will not let go easily. Velasquez has built a reputation to be one of the most talked about heavyweights in the mixed martial arts world, today.

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If Velasquez has any chance of winning this fight, it is with a technical and sound game. Nogueira on the other hand would be best suited to stick to his normal routine, where he has proven that he can win over 80-percent of the time.

Acclaimed Fighter? Businessman? Team led by expert

The Axe Murderer. Cachorro Louco. The Mad Dog. Wanderlei Silva (32-10-1, 1 NC) has torn through the mixed martial arts world through the years. The 5’11” 205 pound Muay Thai specialist has trained in Brazil at the Chute Boxe Academy, and in Las Vegas at Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture, and most recently, has opened his own facility, the Wand Fight Team Academy.

Silva is currently training in Australia for his next fight at UFC 110 against Michael Bisping (19-2-0). However, Silva’s purposes in Australia are not limited to training. He is also actively recruiting new fighters to join his newly opened Wand Fight Team Academy.

In January, the Team added its first Puerto Rican fighter, up-and-coming Orlando “Tiky” Sanchez. Silva’s efforts in Australia should wield results, as Wand looks to add to its current repertoire of 12 fighters.

Wand Fight Team Academy, Image Courtesy of wandfightteam.com

Vastly growing and gaining credibility, the Wand Fight Team Academy not only shares head trainer Silva’s expertise in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but also hoards a plethora of coaches and trainers that supplement Silva’s knowledge and skills.

Coaching BJJ, Vitor Vianna is a six-time Brazilian Champion, and has been awarded the BJJ World Cup Championship three times (2001, 2002, 2003). After an impressive performance in the 2006 Fury FC Grand Prix against Thiago Silva, in which analysts believe the only reason he lost was because of a broken arm, Vianna was noted to be one of the best middleweight fighters in the MMA world, today.

Boxing training is also heavily equipped with experience. For MMA fighters, the stand up game is always an advantage that one would like to have in the back pocket. Coach Mike Smith helps to ensure that trainees get the necessary training to add this important asset to their game.

After a stint with the Army, Smith returned to his hometown of Brooklyn. He has coached many New York area fighters, including three-time female Golden Glove Champion Ronica Jeffrey.

The team’s cardio and weights coach is Grant Prestwidge.

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With a win at UFC 110, not only will Wanderlei Silva improve his record and even more credibility in the MMA world, but he will also be able to promote the type of fighter that the Wand Fight Team Academy breeds.

History in the making, Couture-Coleman; Brazil sweeps the Main Card

One day before the New Orleans Saints wrote a new page in their franchise’s history, legendary fighter Mark Coleman, 45, indicated he would “probably” hang up the gloves after submitting to a rear-naked chokehold (1:09) from none other than Randy Couture, 46, in the second round of the Main Card Light Heavyweight bout at UFC 109.

The two were originally supposed to face off during the adolescent years of Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1998 at UFC 17, but were unable to because of a Couture injury.

After a ten-year hiatus from the Octagon, Coleman has lost two of three bouts. The latest bout featured an aggressive Couture, who was able to toss Coleman around the cage with little opposition in the first round. In the second, Couture continued the beating, eventually leading to the rear-naked choke that decided Coleman’s fate. The fight lasted just six minutes. Couture is now 18-10-0.

Also in the Main Card were two Middleweight fights and two Welterweight fights – three of which won bonuses. Fighters winning bonuses were granted $60,000.

In the Middleweight action, Brazilian Demian Maia faced off against the United States’ own, Dan Miller. After a devastating 21-second knockout was dished out by Nate Marquardt in August, Maia looked to rebound hard against Miller.

In the first round, Maia strategically used the stand-up game and his hands to send a message. Miller dropped his guard and ended up on his back, which gave Maia the upper hand early.

Throughout the rest of the match, it was a battle of martial arts tactics, and punches and kicks were landed on both sides. In the final frame, Maia tried for submissions against the cage on Miller, but was slightly unsuccessful. The final decision came unanimously in favor of Maia: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.

Sonnen vs Marquardt

Chael Sonnen handling Nate Marquardt; Image courtesy of mmaweekly.com

In what was named the “Fight of the Night,” Nate Marquardt took on the outspoken Chael Sonnen. Sonnen, who had words for Marquardt before the middleweight title eliminator, used his natural wrestling maneuvers to control the upper-hand on Marquardt for the entire match.

Despite Marquardt’s efforts, which resulted in a deep forehead cut for Sonnen, and a late pummeling in the closing seconds, Sonnen was still able to get the unanimous victory: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27. Sonnen now looks towards the winner of the Silva-Vitor at April’s UFC 112, hoping that Silva wins for the sake of battling “the lower road.”

In a more fast-paced bout, and what would be named “Submission of the Night,” welterweights Paulo Thiago (Brazil) and Mike Swick squared off in the Octagon. Thiago, now 13-1, was able to put away Swick very easily at 1:54 in Round 2 with a quick right-hand counter, which resulted in a lights-out D’Arce choke.

Check out the Countdown to UFC 109 Preview video below of the Thiago-Swick fight.

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Finally, the Knockout of the Night was awarded to welterweight Matt Serra. Serra battled Frank Trigg in what would result in a quick and easy knockout at 2:23 in first round. After a nasty right-handed blow that would knock Trigg to the ground, Serra mounted his opponent and finished him off with punches, forcing the fight to be called due to a knockout.

Overall, Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center drew a crowd of 10,687, with a gate of $2.27 million.

Coleman attempts to put Team Hammer House back on center stage

Mark “The Hammer” Coleman’s Team Hammer House has fallen on hard times as of late.  However, Coleman hopes to turn the trend around as he meets another MMA great and fellow UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture this weekend at UFC 109 Relentless.

Team Hammer House is a MMA team operating out of Columbus, Ohio, focused on amateur wrestling, and made up of mostly former NCAA wrestlers.  The team has cross training deals with notable fighters and camps such as Matt Serra, Pat Miletich, and Xtreme Couture MMA.

The main strengths of Team Hammer House are its wrestling and ground-and-pound.  Coleman is credited with being one of the first American MMA fighters to successfully use the strategy of ground-and-pound, which has earned him the nickname of the “Godfather of Ground-and-Pound.”

Coleman, the founder of Team Hammer House, holds numerous accomplishments in the world of professional MMA.  He is a UFC Hall of Famer, the first ever UFC heavyweight champion, and the winner of the UFC 10 tournament, UFC 11 tournament, and 2000 Pride openweight GP tournament.  Coleman, like many of his teammates at Hammer House, is a former NCAA collegiate wrestler.

Team Hammer House holds a roster with several prominent fighters, including four UFC veterans: two of whom are former UFC champions. The team’s notable fighters include: Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Wes Sims and Branden Lee Hinkle.  Phil Baroni, a UFC, Pride and Strikeforce veteran, is a former member of Team Hammer House.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman is a senior member of  Team Hammer House. Randleman, a former collegiate wrestler and two time Division I NCAA champion, was defeated by Mike Whitehead via unanimous decision in June of 2009 during his Strikeforce debut at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields.  The fight marked his first fight in over a year due to a shoulder injury, as well as his first fight in America in nearly seven years.  In his most recent fight Randleman was defeated by Stanislav Nedkov via split decision at World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 11.

Wes Sims, three-fight UFC veteran  and The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights cast member, recently fought Bobby Lashley on the main card of Strikeforce: Miami. Sims was stopped in the first round via technical knock out (2:06).

Branden Lee Hinkle, three-fight UFC veteran and NCAA Division II national wrestling champion, was stopped by Chris Tuchscherer in round 4 (4:43) of his most recent fight at SNMMA: Beatdown at Four Bears. Hinkle has lost four of his last five fights after going undefeated in his previous nine matches.

Coleman scored a unanimous decision victory over Stephan Bonner in his last fight at UFC 100 after falling to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via technical knock out in the third round (4:36) at UFC93.  He is currently training with Team Hammer House in preparation for his match with Randy Couture this Saturday Feb. 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.

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Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 109 will begin at 10 p.m. EST.

Randy Couture Training for UFC 109

Randy Couture is looking to be in top shape for his UFC 109 main event bout against Mark ”The Hammer” Coleman.  Couture is coming off a unanimous decision victory against Brandon Vera at UFC 105.  Coleman last fought at UFC 100 when he out-wrestled Stephan Bonner and won a unanimous decision. 

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Webb's Pick: Submission of the Year

Arm bar. Guillotine. Kimura. Crucifix Neck Crank.

If you’re a fan of mixed-martial arts, these words are music to your ears; for these are among the greatest submission holds that a viewer can view and a fighter can perform. Not all submissions receive acclaim, however. Thus, I present my pick for submission of the year. I have taken into account the fighters, the stages and the circumstances of the fight. And the winner is…(drum roll)…

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Rear naked choke. UFC 101. A fight for the Lightweight belt. Bad news for Kenny Florian, great news for you. Let me tell you why.

B.J. Penn had it all. That also meant he had it all to lose. Born in Hawaii, Penn trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ralph Gracie, the Brazilian martial artist known not so affectionately as “Pitbull,” and only gained ground from there. In 2000, he became the first American-born winner of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the black-belt category. Penn received his first MMA championship in 2004 at UFC 46. Penn jumped up in weight classes to challenge the five-time defending UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes to fill a title contention slot.  Heavily favored to win,  Hughes lost the fight four minutes into the first round by what would become one of Penn’s signature moves, the rear naked choke.

Penn lost the title in 2006 when Georges St. Pierre defeated him by unanimous decision for the welterweight title. By 2008, Penn had thought his career as an MMA fighter was coming to an end. He had plenty of wins under his belt, but the losses were starting to mount. A stint on The Ultimate Fighter 5 as a coach helped boost public appearance, but Penn missed his fighting days. Determined to prove to himself and the world that his reign wasn’t over, Penn stayed at lightweight to challenge Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 for UFC Lightweight Champion. And guess what? Penn won. He became only the second person to win a title in two different weight classes (the other being the immaculate Randy Couture).

Kenny Florian only had seven fights under his belt prior to his fight at UFC 101. Penn had thirty-three. Penn had everything to lose in this fight. It was a crucial part of his comeback: defending the title. Being what Sherdog and MMAWeekly calls the best lightweight fighter in the world, Penn deserved this win after four long rounds.  Winning two titles in two different weight classes is one thing. Defending that title and defending it successfully, well, that’s something that I deem worthy of submission of the year.

Cornermen II: Mike Pyle's Legacy

Anyone watch UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera? The titular fight pit legendary heavyweight Randy Couture against UFC regular Brandon Vera. It was a three-round slugfest that concluded with a Couture victory via unanimous decision. How, at what the sports world would consider a grandfatherly age of 46, did Couture pull off a UFC victory and stand tall as a heavyweight contender? It might have something to do with his cornerman.

Mike Pyle wasn’t a champion from the get-go. His first mixed-martial arts fight was a loss to soon-to-be-great Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

He worked hard, though, and came up big, smacking around guys like Jon Fitch, Brett Bergmark and Shonie Carter. The losses came just as the wins did. Pyle realized he was a good fighter who had potential, but knew his skills could be utilized elsewhere as well. Training was calling his name.

Pyle joined fellow fighter Couture’s training organization, Xtreme Couture, and the rest, as they say, is history. Providing training, encouragement and a few water bottles to fighters like Couture, Pyle has distinguished himself from the pack as an elite cornerman.

It is pretty sweet to see “Quicksand” Pyle beat up on some fighters, so here’s a video from his heyday.

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=333998

Too lazy to watch and just want a summary of that fight? Shonie Carter gets a beatdown. The end. That, my friends, is the awesomeness of Mike “Quicksand” Pyle and reflects his nearly-insuperable skills as a trainer.

Who You Callin' A Welterweight?

Ever since its advent in 1993, The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been the paramount battle ground for mixed martial artists. It has been and still is the event fighters participate in to prove their prowess and skill not just to themselves, but to the world. Greats such as Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture passed through this system and gained international fame by beating opponents into submission there.

So here we are, at UFC 104. Wow. One hundred and four contests. The proving grounds are no longer graced by the likes of Liddell and Couture however; the grounds of UFC 104 belong to Anthony Johnson and Yoshiyuki Yoshida…at least in the welterweight category.

Johnson, an American fighter known for his kickboxing style, owns an impressive 7-2-0 record, with both losses happening to have been in UFC events. His last fight was against American Luigi Fioravanti at UFC Fight Night 17 (taking place between UFC 94 and UFC 95) on February 7th, and the result was memorable: a four-and-a-half minute technical knockout of Fioravanti on punches. Watch the fight, and as you watch you’ll see Johnson’s a pretty intense fighter.

Yoshida is a Japanese fighter known for his Judo style and a solid 11-3-0 record. His last fight was in the welterweight division of UFC 98 on May 23rd against former Navy SEAL American Brandon Wolff. And guess what? Yoshida put the ex-military man in a Guillotine choke that would make even Dana White cringe. Don’t take my word for it though; check out the video and see for yourself. Anthony Johnson might want to make those last minute changes to his will sometime soon.

UFC 104 looks to be a great match-up, especially in the welterweight class. A battle between two fighters in their prime always makes for great TV, and you don’t want to miss it. UFC 104 airs live on Pay-Per-View Saturday, October 24th at 10 p.m. Get excited with the preview video below and be sure not to miss what your buddies will be talking about for weeks afterward. YouTube Preview Image

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