MMA News

World Series of Fighting's first-ever event in Florida continues to fill out, and a light-heavyweight matchup of Francisco "Kiko" France (8-3) vs. Hans Stringer (21-5-2) and a bantamweight contest of Chad "Robo" Robichaux (10-2) vs. Andrew "The Golden Boy" Yates (7-0) are the latest additions to the lineup.

Both matchups take place on the World Series of Fighting 6 preliminary card, which streams live on the promotion's official website, WSOF.com, and precedes the night's two-hour, nationally-televised main card on NBCSN.

Featuring the first championship bout in the promotion's history with Josh Burkman vs. Steve Carl, "World Series of Fighting 6: Burkman vs. Carl," takes place Oct. 26 at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla.

Tickets for the event, which start at just $29, are currently on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com and charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000.

The live, two-hour NBCSN telecast of the World Series of Fighting 6 main card begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Preliminary bouts stream live on World Series of Fighting's official website, WSOF.com, beginning at 6 p.m. ET, and venue doors open at 5 p.m. ET.

The 30-year-old France is a jiu-jitsu wizard who has earned all eight of his career wins by way of submission. A Finney's Hit Squad fighter, France has competed professionally for more than five years and boast wins over UFC veterans James McSweeney and Cale Yarbrough. Most recently, France earned a first-round submission win over Dan McGlasson by way of armbar.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Stringer also makes his World Series of Fighting debut after having his planned first appearance scratched just one day before the scheduled bout. Stringer was expected to face longtime veteran Lew Polley at August's World Series of Fighting 4 event, but Polley missed weight by more than 30 pounds and was ruled out of the fight.

The Blackzilians-trained Stringer has lost just once in his past 13 appearances. Seventeen of his 21 career wins have come by way of stoppage.

Meanwhile, "Robo" Robichaux is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and 14-year MMA veteran with extensive experience in both the professional and amateur ranks. Seventeen of his 19 total career wins have come by way of submission, including 15 first-round tapouts.

A Special Operations Force RECON Marine who also worked with the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service, Robichaux is also a veteran of several tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the undefeated Yates also makes his first World Series of Fighting appearance. A member of MMA legend Wanderlei Silva's famed Wand Fight Team, Yates turned pro in 2011 following an extensive amateur career of more than 25 fights. The 24-year-old has defeated all seven of his professional opponents, including four wins by way of submission and one by knockout.

Additional World Series of Fighting 6 bouts will be announced shortly.

The attention of Bodog betting fans will be closely focused on Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta on September 13, 2013, with the ONE Fighting Championship's Champions and Warriors event sure to cause a stir. The fight card features some great match-ups, with the best Indonesian fighters going head-to-head with some international MMA stars. There are also big names from the United States, Europe, South America and Japan on the card, giving the event a truly international flavour.

One bout which local fans of sportsbook betting are sure to be keen to see is the match-up between Eugenio Tan and Vincent Majid. These two big men are expected to produce a titanic clash in the 93 kilogram weight division, and there is more than a splash of national pride at stake too. Malaysia and Indonesia have a long rivalry in martial arts, and with local pride at stake, this is sure to be a classic.

Indeed, many are predicted that the two heavyweights who possess a lot of KO power that a first-round stoppage might well be on the cards. Bodog sportsbook bettors might be wise to lay a wager to that effect, as both men will be desperate to prove a point in front of a passionate and noisy crowd. What adds interest to the bout is that it is, in fact, Majid's first bout as a professional MMA fighter.

While some Bodog sportsbook betting fans might think that places him at a disadvantage, especially facing a more experienced opponent, Majid himself is fairly relaxed at the prospect. His nickname of 'Jack Hammer' is testament to the hitting power that the big man possesses.

“I’m a national Judo champion and I’m a multi-times winner of the Indonesian Submission Championship," he recently explained to reporters.

"I’m also a two-time superfight champion in the Indonesian Jui-jitsu Championship and I used to fight in Combat Sambo and once got to be ranked in the top ten."

That kind of pedigree means that Majid clearly has talent. As any sportsbook betting fan knows, though, it is important to study the form of both fighters. Eugenio Tan is no fresh-faced beginner. He made his professional MMA debut a year ago, and with two fights already under his belt, as well as some amateur experience, he is sure to provide Majid with a serious work-out. A first round stoppage might be asking a little much, but this fight is sure to grab the attention of every seasoned MMA fight fan.

In terms of the rest of the card, there are some thrilling match-ups for fight fans to enjoy. Fans of MMA should check out the latest online sportsbook reviews at Bodog88.com to see what the latest odds are on some of these eagerly anticipated bouts.

Bodog Indonesia sports fans are sure to be keeping a close eye on Max Metino, fighting in the 65.8 kilo division. The Indonesian has been training since the age of nine in a variety of martial arts, including Kung Fu, Aikido and boxing. He will need his extensive MMA skills to beat his opponent, the Cambodian Kun Khmer boxing champion, Long Sophy. Sophy's talents are such that he finds it very tricky to find opponents in his native country.

The Cambodian's main weapons are the fearsome strikes he can produce with his elbows. Those fans looking for the best online sportsbook odds may not want to rule Metino out completely, though. His grappling is excellent, and he may well manage to force a submission, should the bout go to the mat. Fans should expect a war in this bout, with a nice contest of style taking place.

Many of the best sportsbook odds for the event will be found in relation to the evening's main event, though. This places two of the world's very best flyweights in opposition, with Japan's Shinichi Kojima facing up to American Andrew Leone. Kojima is a seasoned pro, who has been in the cage with some of the world's best MMA stars. Leone is an up-and-coming fighter, who has trained in Thailand since 2010. With an outstanding grappling and wrestling ability, he has been working hard on his Muay Thai striking skills in order to improve his all-round style. He is sure to need all his skills against the experienced Kojima when the One FC Champions and Warriors commences next week in Jakarta.

 

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Chris Weidman, who takes on the greatest UFC champ in history on July 6 for the UFC MW crown, is a fine physical specimen.  But like all of his, he was just a kid once, and he took the time to share some of his childhood pics on his Facebook account.  In the third pic, you can see he destroyed the watermelon, but somehow Cecil Peoples scored the bout 30-27 for the watermelon.

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Here's a nice little competition of moves that got competitors disqualified at various BJJ and grappling tournaments.  Mostly illegal slams, some of which were brutal.  There's even a self-KO in this video.  Fun stuff.

 

GLORY 5 takes place in London, England on March 23, and the card is stacked. In the main event, heavyweight superstars Remy Bonjasky (77-15, 40 KO’s) and Tyrone Spong (68-6-1 42 KO’s) will clash in a battle for the ages.  Also on the card is British Muay Thai sensation Liam Harrison.  I had the pleasure of ring announcing Harrison when he fought at the Warriors Cup event in New Jersey.  Harrison will be taking on Moroccan superstar, Mosab Amrani, in what could be the fight of the night.  Harrison is known for his ferocious leg kicks, and if I had to bet, I'd put my money on him in this fight.  Speaking of betting, there's a fine site to game at called  JackpotCity.  So if you're so inclined, check it out.

Here is the complete card for Glory 5 London:

Jeff Blatnick, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling and MMA pioneer, died yesterday from complications after heart surgery.  Jeff was a long time commentator for the UFC, and he was instrumental in helping to establish the unified rules of MMA, which enabled the sport to become sanctioned in most states.  Jeff was also a licensed judge and referee in New Jersey, and it was always a pleasure to work with him at shows there.

Amazingly, Jeff won his Olympic gold medal, after having his spleen and appendix removed due to cancer, which shows you how determined and talented he was.  He went on to commentate the 1988 Olympic games for NBC before becoming a major figure in the new sport of MMA.

I first met Jeff at the Kimbo-Mercer event in 2007, where I interviewed him using a loaf of French bread as microphone.  He looked at me like I was crazy, but graciously allowed the interview to take place.  After that, every time I'd see him, he'd ask me where my loaf of bread was.  He was a good sport and a good friend and will be sorely missed.

Rest in Peace, Jeff Blatnick.

I will never forget Randy Smith's words back in 2008, immediately following a knockout loss.  He told me, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  In the years since, Randy has backed up those words, and his efforts have now earned him a shot at former UFC champion Tim Sylvia.

Smith will be fighting Sylvia on June 16 at New England Fights in Lewiston, Maine.   If Tim thinks he's got an easy fight in front of him, he's got another thing coming.  The Wolf is far better than his record, and he brings a lot of firepower into the cage with him.  I would not be surprised at all if Randy shocks the fight world by beating the former UFC champ.

Randy is coming off a loss to the UFC's Tom DeBlass via heelhook.  But Tim Sylvia is more of a bomber than a submission artist, so this fight is sure to be fireworks for as long as it lasts.  For more info about this card, check out the NEF website.

Good luck, Randy "The Wolf" Smith!

 

Tom DeBlass made his UFC debut in Sweden recently, taking on Cyrille Diabate at UFC on Fuel 2.  Tom took the fight on very short notice, and he was coming off an injury, but the former ROC HW and LHW champion made no excuses for the majority decision loss.  He learned a lot from the experience, and I have no doubt he'll come roaring back in his next UFC fight.

I ran into DeBlass, as I often do, at the Ring of Combat last week, and he was kind enough to grant an interview.   Since I had forgotten the mic (as usual), this interview can be described as "in your face."  We talk about the Diabate fight, and also about Tom moving to the UFC's middleweight division.  Nothing is scheduled as yet, but UFC middleweights are on notice: Tom DeBlass is coming!

Here's the video:

Alistair Overeem had his hearing with the NSAC yesterday, and he is now suspended for 9 months as penalty for failing a drug test.  His expected fight for the UFC HW title against Junior Dos Santos is obviously not going to happen now, which is a huge blow to that card.  In his place, Frank Mir will step up to face JDS.  Mir was originally slated to fight Cain Velasquez, who will now take on Antonio Big Foot Silva.

Actually, a nine month suspension is not really all that harsh a punishment.  It basically means forfeiting one fight--albeit a title fight--but it allows for the possibility that Overeem could fight on a UFC year end card.

Overeem's excuse for the high testosterone levels was that his doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication for a rib injury, and unbeknownst to Alistair the med contained testosterone.  That story did not really go over that well with the NSAC, and it does sound a bit far fetched.

Either way, it scuttles one of the most anticipated fights in years.  The UFC suffers as a result, and so do the fans.  But the biggest loser in all this is Alistair Overeem.  He loses a big payday, and all his past wins are now tainted.

PEDs are a big problem for the UFC, and things only seem to be getting worse.  There are no easy solutions, but the commissions and the UFC need to work together to keep illegal drugs out of the bodies of fighters.  Drugs may help athletes perform better, but until they are legalized they are making the sport quite sick.

 

 

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