Posts tagged: UFC 100

Mir Focused on Carwin, but Lesnar rematch is Big Picture

It is no secret that UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and contender Frank Mir have a bitter relationship, to say the least. However, Mir will have to get through heavyweight powerhouse Shane Carwin (11-0) at UFC 111 before he can enact his dream of regaining the undisputed heavyweight title from Lesnar.

Frank Mir

On Saturday, Mir will have the chance to guarantee himself the next shot at Lesnar with a win over Carwin in a bout, scheduled for five rounds, for the interim heavyweight championship. The fight is scheduled as the co-main event of the evening at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., Mir is a former UFC heavyweight and interim heavyweight champion. Mir, a black belt in kenpo karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, currently trains with Team Sityodtong in Boston, Massa., under owner and head trainer Mark DellaGrotte. He earned his black belt in BJJ under Ricardo Pires after only five years of training.

Currently holding a professional MMA record of 13-4, Mir is an accomplished grappler and renowned submission artist whose standup has drastically improved with each appearance in the octagon. He is the 2007 NAGA absolute division champion. Of his 13 victories, eight have come by way of submission.

After winning the UFC championship in a match with Tim Sylvia at UFC 48 in 2004, at the age of 25, Mir faced a potentially career ending injury. He was left with a broken femur and torn ligaments in his knee after a motorcycle accident, and was told that he may never walk again, let alone fight. Mir was stripped of his title after 14 months.

In 2006, nearly 2 years later, Mir returned to the octagon. In 2008, Mir shocked the world by submitting rising star Brock Lesnar in the first round at UFC 81, in a match in which he was clearly outsized and not favored to win.

Mir vs. Lesnar I - UFC 81

After running through Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim heavyweight championship at UFC 92, Mir faced Lesnar in a rematch for the undisputed heavyweight championship in the main event of UFC 100.

Lesnar, a NCAA national champion wrestler, took Mir down with ease in the first round and smothered him, landing effective ground-and-pound. In the second round Mir landed a left elbow followed by a flying knee that rocked Lesnar, but he gave up the takedown in doing so. Lesnar continued to land brutal ground-and-pound from the top position until the match was stopped at 1:48 into the second round via TKO.

In the co-main event of UFC 107, Mir faced off with muay thai and kickboxing ace Cheick Kongo. Mir beat Kongo at his own game, dropping him with a lead left hook less than a minute into the fight. Mir then locked in a guillotine and choked Kongo unconscious, ending the fight at just 1:12 into the first round.

Carwin, a NCAA division II national champion wrestler and boxer with incredible knockout power, presents a huge challenge to Mir. In Carwin’s 11-fight MMA career, he has earned six victories via knockout or TKO and 11 first round stoppages.

With all of his losses coming by way of TKO, Mir is not known for his ability to take a punch, especially while fighting off of his back. Carwin’s wrestling background and powerful punches could prove dangerous to Mir. However, Mir’s submission game will present a threat to Carwin should the fight go to the ground, and Mir is perhaps the more technically sound striker. Mir recently stated that he believes that Carwin is a more dangerous version of Lesnar.

Carwin showed a good chin in his last fight against Gabriel Gonzaga and was able to get off of his back in a matter of seconds. With his 11 career fights lasting just over 12 minutes, it will be difficult for Mir to study Carwin for weaknesses, so he will likely stick to his normal training regimen.

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Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 111 will begin at 10 p.m. EST

Frank Mir on ESPN – 3/25

Countdown to UFC 111

GSP Looks To Prove He is The More Complete Fighter at UFC 111

In the first episode of UFC Primetime: St. Pierre vs. Hardy, UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush St. Pierre says, “I’m a martial artist, he’s not. He probably doesn’t understand the meaning of this, but after the fight I guarantee he will,” in regard to his opponent, Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy (23-6-1).

St. Pierre

This statement may be a stretch, but at UFC 111 St. Pierre will no doubt attempt to prove that his game is on another level, like he has against so many opponents in the past.

Two-time UFC welterweight champion and former TKO Canadian welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre will make his fourth title defense, since winning the undisputed championship in 2008, this Saturday in the main event of UFC 111 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Currently training out of Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts and Zahabi MMA, St. Pierre has trained with various gyms, coaches and fighters throughout his MMA career. St. Pierre’s head trainer is Firas Zahabi and his muay thai coach is Phil Nurse.

Considered by many as one of the most well rounded fighters in MMA today, St. Pierre holds a third-degree black belt in Kyokushin-kaikan karate and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. St. Pierre is known for his wrestling skills and strong takedown defense.

Fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, St. Pierre holds a professional MMA record of 19-2. St. Pierre has avenged both of his losses, to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, and looks to continue his six-fight win streak. He has defeated one current and three former UFC champions in his career.

In the main event of UFC 94, St. Pierre defended his welterweight championship against lightweight champion B.J. Penn in a rematch of their UFC 58 meeting, in which St. Pierre was the victor via split decision. The fighters traded exchanges from the feet and the clinch for the first round, with Penn successfully fending off takedown attempts.

St. Pierre vs. Alves

In the second round St. Pierre was finally able to take Penn down and execute his game plan. St. Pierre took Penn down and passed his guard with ease for the majority of the remainder of the fight, landing vicious ground-and-pound. St. Pierre outlanded Penn 234-67 in total strikes, according to compustrke.com. The fight was stopped by Penn’s corner at the end of the fourth round and St. Pierre earned the victory via TKO.

In his last fight, in the co-main event of UFC 100, St. Pierre defended his welterweight championship against Brazilian muay thai expert Thiago Alves. St. Pierre both exchanged punches with and took down Alves with ease in the five round competition.

St. Pierre outlanded Alves 135-83 in total strikes and earned 11 takedowns. He attempted submissions and even dropped Alves in the third round, but was unable to finish him. St. Pierre dominated the fight, scoring a unanimous decision victory: 50-45, 50-44, 50-45.

In his last 13 fights St. Pierre has just one loss, which came to Matt Serra at UFC 69. His opponent at UFC 111 will present the same threat that helped Serra overcome the odds three years ago: knockout power.

Fighting out of Nottingham, England, Hardy holds a black belt in tae kwon do and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Hardy is a powerful standup fighter with a perfect 4-0 record in UFC competition. Of his 23 wins, 11 have come by way of knockout or TKO.

St. Pierre learned from his loss to Serra and improved his game. In their second meeting he was more reluctant to stand with Serra and rather took him to the ground from the start of the match and landed devastating ground-and-pound. Expect St. Pierre’s game plan to be much similar when he faces Hardy.

Many people are ruling Hardy out of the fight, and it’s hard not to question his chances considering St. Pierre’s impressive track record. However, Hardy embraces his underdog role and will at the least have a puncher’s chance at UFC 111.

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Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 111 will begin at 10 p.m. EST.

Watch UFC Primetime: St. Pierre vs. Hardy on Spike.com

Bisping-Silva Should Impress

Michael Bisping (ufcmedia.com)

Australia is currently the hotspot for MMA action, as we get ready for UFC 110, which will occur in Sydney. Highlighting the Main Card is the much anticipated Nogueira vs. Velasquez. However, there is another fight that may draw more attention.

Only separated by three years of age, middleweights Wanderlei Silva (33) and Michael Bisping (30) are more dramatically separated by eight years of professional experience. With his first professional bout in 1996, Silva has risen to become not only a great fighter at 32-10-1 (1 NC), but also a great leader and teacher, starting his own fight team (Wand) in Las Vegas, Nev.

Bisping, on the other hand, began his professional career in 2004 at Pride & Glory 2: Battle of the Ages, in which he won the fight in 0:38 with an armbar over Steve Matthews (2-4-0). Since then, Bisping has generated an 18-2 record – his only losses occurring within the past two years. He was undefeated with a record of 14-0 until a loss to Rashad Evans (14-1-1) in 2007 at UFC 78 on a split decision.

More recently, Bisping, also known as “The Count,” added his only other loss against United States wrestling specialist Dan Henderson. Prior to the fight, which occurred at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, Nev., Bisping and Henderson squared off in a different venue: The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom. Bisping coached the UK’s team, as he grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

In a fight with implications of a shot at Anderson Silva for the Middleweight Championship Belt, Bisping looked to improve his record to 15-1 and contendership, but Henderson had other plans. In what seemed to be an evenly matched first round, both fighters exchanged blows using their hands and feet, which is not surprising, beings that Bisping’s style indicates a background in kickboxing, BJJ and Muay Thai.

By the end of the round, it was quite obvious that Wolfslair MMA Academy’s own, Bisping, was fatigued, and at 3:20 in the second round, after another match of punches and kicks from both fighters, Henderson landed two big punches to defeat Bisping via an absolutely ruthless knockout.

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Bisping would rebound nicely, as he ventured off to his homeland of England where he would face off against Canadian BJJ specialist Denis Kang at UFC 105 in Manchester.

The fight would win Fight of the Night honors, and featured a much different Bisping. Contrary to Bisping’s prior fight, his opponent gained complete control of the first round, mounting Bisping twice in the early-going.

Bisping followed with a statement kick to the head, which grazed Kang, and then followed up with two of his own takedowns. After a few jabs and another takedown, Bisping mounted Kang and finished him off with punches and knees. The referee stopped the fight at 4:24 of the second round, declaring Bisping the winner by TKO.

So, will Silva’s quick and aggressive Muay Thai and BJJ style, paired with the extra eight years of professional experience, bode well for the 18-2 Bisping? Bisping certainly thinks so, especially after tweaking his defensive posture, according to an interview on Bisping’s website.

Bisping vs Silva (mmafight.com)

“I’ve been working a lot of my defense, obviously since the Dan Henderson fight,” he commented. “I had no choice. I got knocked out there, and I’m not in a rush for that to happen again. I’ve been working on my defense, and I’ve got no qualms standing with Wanderlei.”

UFC 110 will air on February 21, 2010, and we will find out if Bisping has what it takes to handle a veteran and rank among the top middleweights in the world.

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.

Too Much For Mir

Too big, too smart, too strong – Brock Lesnar last Saturday at UFC 100 proved to be all of these and more when he avenged his only loss in a TKO win against Frank Mir.

Mir got the best of Lesnar during their first match up with an opportune kneebar submission in the first round, handing the rookie his first and only professional loss during UFC 81.

Since then Lesnar has accomplished much, capturing the heavy weight title from MMA legend Randy Couture and earning a unanimous decision over top contender Heath Herring. He has repeatedly and without relent, telling fans what a changed fighter he is. He was not bluffing. The Lesnar of their first match up was clearly not the same man who TKO’d Mir in the second round last Saturday.

Just a week ago it seemed that Mir had thoroughly read the “Brock Lesnar Manual.” In an interview with cagewriter, Mir seemed to know exactly what Lesnar’s game plan was going to be. “If a guy wrestled in college, typically you’ll watch his training sessions, and it’ll look like a college wrestling practice. So they’re not looking to use their striking to win fights. He will stay within his comfort zone,” said Mir. He also seemed confident in his ability to overcome Lesnar in his weaker area, “striking is a phenomenal way to win fights. I’m light years ahead of most guys in the heavyweight division.”

When the first round bell sounded, both men took little time in going to the canvas in what seemed to be a continuation of their first meeting. They fumbled around on the ground for a few seconds, until Lesnar situated himself in a suitable position to pound away at Mir’s face. Just like their first encounter. However, this time around there were two vast improvements in Lesnar’s game. He did not leave his legs vulnerable and he kept his chest very close to Mir’s, limiting his motion.

As the first round came to a close, it became very clear that Lesnar was the superior fighter. Mir would need to exploit one of Lesnar’s mistakes, but with his game greatly polished since their first meeting, this did not seem likely.

Round two saw a little burst of offensive action from Mir, who tried to execute his game plan and win the fight on his feet. Once Mir was backed up to the cage however, Lesnar took him back to the ground and pound. After about five seconds of Mir having his face smashed into the canvas, the fight was stopped.

Many fans counted Mir out, and were only shocked when the fight made it to the second round. Even though Lesnar had the edge, Mir’s slick style and experience made the fight very competitive. With each fighter now owning a win over the other, could a trilogy be in the foreseeable future? If anyone can defeat Lesnar in a huge heavyweight title upset, we know Mir is the one man capable of pulling it off.

Brock Lesnar: A Worthy Champ?

Heavyweight Champion Of The World – a title that designates one human being on the planet as the biggest and baddest. It is a great crown that should be worn with pride, honor, and class. Most of all, it is something that is obtained through hard work, determination, and sacrifice. Which begs the question: why in the world is Brock Lesnar (3-1), the heavy weight champion?

Lesnar entered the UFC in February of last year, and made his debut during UFC 81. He fought Frank Mir (12-3), to whom he lost, and is currently scheduled to fight this weekend during UFC 100 in what is being called a “revenge match.”

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Prior to his entry into the UFC, Lesnar was a “professional wrestler,” and only had one MMA fight (which he won via submission) after he left the WWE. Which begs another question: why was he even signed to the UFC in the first place?

Although Lesnar had a heralded amateur wrestling career, he had not really wrestled competitively for almost a decade.

So, Lesnar who had almost no professional MMA experience and lost his debut fight, was granted a world title shot! Why? All because of his credentials as a “professional wrestler,” and the recognition that he was expected to bring to the UFC?

I can’t ignore the fact that he is now legitimately the heavy weight champion, and that he gained his title by legitimately beating Randy Couture, an MMA legend. I am not going to say Couture was washed up or too old, because the fact is, he was the heavy weight champion.

That being said. I am still not sold on Lesnar, nor convinced that he is worthy of the title. A fighter should have to build up to a title fight, and earn it through defeating the best contenders in the world. Former UFC heavy weight legends Ricco Rodriguez and Tim Sylvia amassed a record of 15 – 1 and 16-0, respectively, before fighting for the title or even getting a title shot. This is how the title is meant to be earned.

How it is not meant to be earned, is by coming into the UFC because you’re a celebrity, and having your celebrity status grant you an opportunity that anyone else would have to dedicate most of their lives to before achieving.

However, Lesnar now has a chance to prove that he is worthy to carry the title and be a great champion, although he did not properly earn it. His rematch against Frank Mir at UFC 100 this Saturday will be his true test of worthiness. If he avenges his loss, and solidifies himself as a solid champion, then he may actually be the greatest publicity move the UFC has ever made, not to mention their luckiest gamble.

Take 2: Lesnar vs. Mir

At UFC 100,  Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir are scheduled for an encore, hopefully giving fans another great fight. However, very much has changed since their first showdown. When Lesnar and Mir met each other for the first time at UFC 81, Lesnar was just breaking into the UFC. It was only Lesnar’s second fight in the UFC, and only his third MMA fight ever. Lesnar’s “pro wrestling,” career could have hardly gained him any legitimate fighting experience. Mir was a former UFC heavyweight champion and an 8 year UFC veteran.

As many expected, Mir won the fight, but hardly dominated against the rookie. Mir also showed much vulnerability as he was unable to avoid Lesnar’s takedowns. Many felt Mir captured the victory only through capitalizing on some of Lesnar’s rookie mistakes; such as leaving himself vulnerable on the “ground and pound.”

Most UFC fans see their fight at UFC 100 as having a very different outcome. Let’s compare these two athletes on three different important points in an effort to better analyze how their next showdown might play out.

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Brock Lesnar

Who did he fight last, what was the outcome?

Lesnar last fought at UFC 91 against MMA legend Randy Couture for the heavy weight title. Couture is a MMA veteran with 25 fights under his belt and over 12 years of experience. It was only Lesnar’s fourth fight in the UFC, and the biggest challenge of his young career. Lesnar pulled out the TKO win for the heavy weight championship against a very formidable opponent — though some question if Couture was too old and washed up — and is now considered one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC.

What has he done to improve as a fighter since their last meeting?

Many UFC fans believe that Lesnar lost their first match up because of over-eagerness and mistakes due to inexperience. However, since their first meeting, Lesnar has shown a vast improvement in his ability to stay calm and less anxious. Take Lesnar vs. Herring for example. In that fight, Lesnar was flying all across the cage, clearly over-anxious. However, in his fight with Couture, he was calm and much less wild. This vast improvement took place in only a one-fight period. Considering Lesnar is a fast learner, heralded NCAA wrestling champ, and a beast with natural power, this rematch should prove to be very interesting; especially now that Lesnar has “found himself” in the cage.

What are his advantages when fighting Mir?

Lesnar’s biggest advantages are his size and power. He is 6’3 and 265 pounds, making him almost 30 pounds heavier than Mir as well as one of the largest and most powerful men in the UFC. But unlike most big men that tire more quickly and are limited in their agility, Lesnar is not plagued by these problems.

He showed no signs of fatigue during a hard fought three rounds against Heath Herring. He is also very agile, which he clearly demonstrated in his first fight with Mir, taking him down almost immediately, and then dominating, for the most part, on the ground with his superior agility and strength (until Mir’s leg lock, which I don’t think he’ll be lucky enough to pull off this time around).

Frank Mir

Who did he fight last, what was the outcome?

Mir last fought at UFC 92 against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim heavyweight title. Nogueira was a huge MMA veteran with 37 total fights. Mir won the fight with a strong TKO victory in the first round.

What has he done to improve as a fighter since their last meeting?

Mir was already very well-rounded when they first met. His superior experience became clear when he turned a ferocious beating, and potentially devastating loss, into a leg lock which ended the fight and earned him the victory. There is always room for improvement, but I don’t know how much Mir has improved other than in his experience. I think he will mostly be the same fighter.

What are his advantages when fighting Lesnar?

His biggest strength in fighting Lesnar for the second time, is his experience from their first fight. He knows about Lesnar’s strong ground game, but also knows what to look for when exploiting Lesnar. Mir knows he is not as good a wrestler as Lesnar, but his upright game is much better. Mir’s clearest advantage will be to force Lesnar to stay on his feet, where he is less experienced. He got lucky on the ground against Lesnar in their first fight. Lesnar will not likely make the same mistakes in their second.

Most people consider Mir to be a big underdog this time around. However, Mir is no stranger to being the underdog and has been for most of his big fights. Fans should be advised not to sleep on Mir during this fight. Mir still has much to offer the UFC, and while Lesnar’s star is rising, Mir’s star has far from gone out.

Coming Out On Top

One of the most anticipated fights of UFC 100 is Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping. Most expect the fight to be won or lost on the ground. This being so, the biggest question is, who will have the overall advantage? Can Bisping out-wrestle a former Olympic wrestler? And does Henderson, who now primarily relies on his fists, still have the wrestling skills to overcome Michael Bisping?

MMA veteran Dan Henderson, is a former olympic wrestler and PRIDE middleweight, and light heavyweight champion. He is also, as of more recently, a largely one -dimensional fighter. One would think that Henderson relies mostly on his strengths in wrestling; in fact, he is criticized for not fighting to his wrestling strengths. He has found most of his success in his cannon right hand.

Michael Bisping is a former kick boxer. He is 18 and 1 in the UFC, his one loss being a close split decision. Bisping is the former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ, and former Cage Rage light heavyweight champ. He was also winner of The Ultimate Fighter television series during the show’s third season.

Let’s take a look at both fighters’ wrestling backgrounds.

In high school, Henderson wrestled at both the 1987 and 1988 California State Wrestling Championships, and received medals there for his accomplishments.

The first part of Henderson’s collegiate career took place at Cal Stat Fullerton, and then at Arizona State, where he wrestled at the 1993 NCAA championships.

A year earlier he represented the country in the 1992 Olympics, and then again three years later at the 1996 Olympics.

Since his recent reentry into the UFC in 2007(Henderson participated in the late 90’s, when the UFC was still a single tournament, rather than a “league”) he has fought some of the best strikers and wrestlers. Among the ones he has beaten are Rousimar Palharis at UFC 88 and Rich Franklin at UFC 93.

Henderson made it very difficult for Palharis to get him on the ground, and when he did, Henderson showed superior wrestling skills. In the win against Rich Franklin, Henderson showcased his wrestling abilities by dominating Franklin on the ground for most of round 2, which was the decider in his split decision victoryInflatable Water Slide.

Bisping’s background in wrestling is not nearly as heralded as Henderson’s. Originally, he was a kick boxer who had some success and won a British light heavyweight kickboxing title. It was not until 2004 that Bisping entered the sport of MMA.

Bisping relied heavily on his kick boxing experience to carry him to 10 and 0 record in the Cage Warriors league, and made the transition into the UFC in 2006.

He was featured on The Ultimate Fighter, and received training under legendary fighter Tito Ortiz. Although he went on to win the show, he realized that expanding his ground game was crucial to his success in the UFC.

Bisping faced a three time NCAA D III wrestling champ in Matt Hamill at UFC 75, and came out with the split decision win. He showed good resilience to Hamill’s take downs, and a strong ability to get back to his feet. The Hamill fight proved to be one of his best ground-oriented fights.

Since then he has much improved. Bisping faced Rashad Evans at UFC. He took his only loss in the Evans fight, but demonstrated much-improved ability on the ground, only allowing 5 of 15 attempted takedowns as recorded by MMA Madness.

Bisping is also currently training with renowned wrestling coach Zach Lite of the famed, Wolfslair gym. Lite also trained UFC light heavyweight sensation, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Lite is also going to be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter season 10. He is very confident in Bisping’s refined wrestling skills. “He will take Dan Henderson down more than one time in the fight. He will, that’s how he is going to win the fight. That is how I see it. When they start trading I think Mike will win the scrambles,” Lite said in an interview with Fighters Only Magazine.

We will have to settle for making Comparisons and educated predictions while we wait for them to meet in the octagon on July 11th, at UFC 100. The fight is largely up in the air though, and it is anyone’s guess who will come out on top. This is part of the reason it is such a fan favorite. Will the former wrestling star, get the better of the ground action? Can the kick boxer come out on top with the win? Well, we will just have to wait to find out.

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Crossing Over: Brock Lesnar

Everyone knows that professional wrestling is highly entertaining, the athletes are extremely skilled, and very real injuries do occur – but all the action, fake! When athletes make the transition from “professional wrestling,” into other sports, there is justifiably a large amount of skepticism about the ability of that athlete to successfully perform. Last year, Brock Lesnar, of WWE/WWF fame, made the bold transition from performer and entertainer, to prize fighter. Lesnar however, does have legitimacy for his transition.

Lesnar had a stellar amateur wrestling career. He went 33-0 his senior year of high school, and moved on to wrestle at Bismarck State College, in Bismarck, North Dakota. At Bismarck, Lesnar excelled, gaining NJCAA All American status and became the 1998 NJCAA heavy weight champion. After two years at Bismarck, he was granted a wrestling scholarship to the University of Minnesota for his junior and senior years. At Minnesota he gained NCAA All American status, and was crowned the 2000 NCAA heavy weight champion. A star was born, but his career after college was uncertain. Lesnar turned to “professional wrestling” as an outlet through which he could continue his success.

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Lesnar signed with the World Wrestling Federation, later the World Wrestling Entertainment in 2000, and began his training in what is essentially the “professional wrestling” minor leagues. He was called up in 2002 to join the roster, and his star quickly began to rise. Lesnar was set to defeat The Rock, the WWE’s biggest star at the time, and was crowned the heavy weight champion. After having reached the pinnacle of what he could accomplish in “professional wrestling,” Lesnar stayed in the wrestling game for two more years, until calling quits with hopes of going to the NFL. Lesnar was good enough to get looks from the Vikings, and was allowed to play with them in the preseason. How ever, he was cut late in the 2004 preseason, but given an invitation to be their representative in NFL Europa, which he declined.

Lesnar, with not much else to do, shifted his attention to MMA. After wrestling one year in Japan, and being defeated there, he decided to shift his sights to the UFC, which had gained much popularity since his WWE days. on February of 2008, Lesnar made his debut appearance on UFC 81 against former heavy weight champion Frank Mir. He was defeated but not deterred, and has been creating waves in the sport since. With the UFC having high expectations for his career after the Mir fight, at UFC 82 he fought Heath Herring, a veteran of MMA, and won by UD after three rounds. This was a big step for Lesnar. MMA icon, and heavy weight champion Randy Couture was to be Lesnar’s next opponent at UFC 91. To the surprise of many, Lesnar won via a technical knockout in the second round, and was crowned the new champion. The sport had its newest star, and Lesnar had achieved the success he could not find in “pro wrestling,” or football.

UFC 100, is scheduled to happen on July 11th. It is a milestone for the UFC, marking their 100th event and how far the UFC has come in only 16 years since their start in 1993. A rematch between Lesnar and Mir is scheduled to take place, and is one of the headlining fights on the card.

Lesnar’s successful transition is a rarity in sports. He is a testament to the incredible athleticism and perseverance of mixed martial artists. His star is on the rise, and he will surely find his greatest success in the UFC.

From UFC 1 to 100: Evolution of the UFC

To see athletes of different or similar fighting practices challenge each other – that has always been the goal behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

That goal has come a long way since the UFC’s conceptual development in 1991. The original concept was a single event tournament to discover the world’s best fighting style. The tournament aired in 1993, and was a mini-success, with nearly 90,000 Pay Per View buys. At the time the tournament aired, the entire concept of “mixed martial arts,” as we know it today, did not really exist. The tournament placed athletes of only one fighting art against each another, pitting boxers against Karate, and wrestlers against jiu jitsu and everything in between. Most times, fighters did not know what to do to handle the other opponent as they had never faced someone of that particular art, and the matches were often lacking in entertainment value. Another problem also existed. There were no weight classes, usually setting opponents together with huge size differentials. While this proved to be entertaining at times, this was not practical, especially if the UFC had any desire to be a legitimate organization.

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Due to its success, the UFC became a recurring tournament, but many aspects of the tournament needed to be addressed. With a tag-line that read “there are no rules!” and “fighting techniques” such as hair pulling, groin strikes and head butting allowed; the UFC had to revamp it’s entire concept if there was any hope in becoming a permanent fixture in the sporting community.

The tournament had aired five times but in 1995, it started to gain negative popularity, attracting wide press coverage from all over the nation, most of it very unfavorable. Political action was quickly taken against the UFC, and Senator John McCain led the campaign, calling the UFC “human cock fighting.” It was dropped shortly after by major cable and pay per view providers, and in 1997, 36 states had banned no-holds-barred fighting. The UFC was launched into the abyss of sports, thought by many to never be seen again.

However, in response to all the criticism, and much to the surprise of many, the UFC began to cooperate with state athletic commissions. The transformation of the UFC into a legitimate sporting event began to take place. The rules were revamped, eliminating the “dirty” aspects of the tournament like hair pulling, groin shots, and head butting, as well as putting an emphasis on the core elements of the UFC as we know it today; striking, grappling, and punching. With UFC 12 came the introduction of weight classes, UFC 14 mandatory gloves, UFC 15 the banning of strikes to the back of the head and neck, and UFC 21 the introduction of 5 minute rounds. By 1999, the UFC had evolved into a full-fledged sport, almost ready to be accepted by both politicians, and the sporting community. With UFC 28 in 2000, the final step was taken in legitimizing the UFC as an athletic organization, and the New Jersey State Athletic Commission sanctioned the event.

In 2001 the UFC was sold to Zuffa LLC and Dana White. With UFC 33 in September of that year, came it’s returned to main stream cable television and PPV. With effective advertisement and a partnership with the Spike TV network in 2005 for the development of the currently running show, The Ultimate Fighter, now in season 9, the UFC quickly gained mainstream popularity.

On July 11th, UFC 100 is scheduled to take place, and will mark a very important milestone for the UFC. Sixteen years and 100 events since its creation in 1993; from a no-holds-barred tournament with sumo wrestlers and kick boxers to what it is known as today. The card will be headlined by Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar. Ten other fights are on both combined main, and undercard, for an event that is sure to out do the last; something the UFC seems to accomplish with all their recent events.

Despite much adversity, the UFC is the quickest growing sport in American and a far cry from its early no-holds-barred days. It is no longer just a tournament but a multimillion dollar organization and mainstream sporting event. The fighters that participate in the UFC are no longer athletes of two very different fighting arts. This current generation of fighters has a very mixed array of skills, and study everything from wrestling to Jiu Jitsu. The UFC is beginning to reach global audiences, and recently held its first event, UFC 99 early this month, in mainland Europe. With good fights, smart advertising, and entertaining television, the UFC’s future is very bright.

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