Posts tagged: UFC 105

Hardy loses Welterweight Championship Bout

A long career in mixed martial arts was about to pay off for welterweight Dan Hardy. After signing with the UFC in 2008, it didn’t take Hardy very long to become a contender for the UFC Welterweight Title. He would compete for this against reigning champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111 this past Saturday, March 27, 2010 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

However, Hardy (23-7) couldn’t advance to the next milestone in his career, as St-Pierre came out on top, winning the match in five rounds. The decision was unanimous in St-Pierre’s favor, 50-43, 50-44, 50-45.

Hardy vs St-Pierre, Image Courtesy of the LA Times

It wasn’t an easy one for the English fighter, Hardy, also known as “The Outlaw.” At 6’0”, 170 pounds, Hardy shows versatility and quickness, and his Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, Jui-Jitsu and boxing experience all helped in keeping him in the fight against the 20-2 Canadian Welterweight Champion.

In the first round, Hardy couldn’t stay on his feet, as St-Pierre controlled this portion of the fight. It would’ve been over much quicker, but Hardy’s toughness and durability prevented him from submitting to a fierce armbar. As the clock winded down, Hardy was able to escape the hold, and prepared for the second round.

The trend continued, as St-Pierre kept Hardy on his back again for most of the second and third rounds. Another armbar in the fourth almost drove Hardy into submission, but he toughed it out until the bell rung for the final time in the fifth.

Prior to this past weekend’s bout, Hardy was on a role – 7-0 since his last loss via disqualification at GCM: Cage Force 5 against Yoshiyuku Yoshida in 2007. In his most recent fight, Hardy defeated American Mike Swick (14-4) at UFC 105 to become the contender for the Welterweight Championship.

The fight went three rounds, and it was a close one. Hardy was able to gain control of the first round late with a few light right swings, and a knee to the midsection of Swick.

In the second round, Swick controlled the ring, as he was able to ward off most of Hardy’s strike attempts, and was able to counter with plenty of his own.

Hardy was able to gain slight control of the final round, as he nabbed Swick with some good strikes. Hardy won unanimously, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

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Hardy will now return to his hometown of Nottingham, England to continue training, with hopes of getting another shot someday. Hardy trains with Team Rough House, which is located in East Midlands, England, and features other fighters, including Paul Daley and Ross Pearson.

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

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.

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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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.

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