UFC Strikeforce

(Pic from RondaRouseyMMA.com)

By Brandon Engel

On July 5, 2014, UFC champion Ronda Rousey defended her UFC Bantamweight title against Alexis Davis. Sixteen seconds in, and Davis was kneed-in-the-groin, flipped over the hip, head held in a deadlock, bam, bam, bam and the fight was over. Rowdy Ronda Rousey had won yet another championship.

It was the sort of spectacle that many have come to expect from Rousey. Certainly, there have been other notable female competitors in the sport, like Gina Carano or Cris “Cyborg” Justino. But a big part of what distinguishes Rousey is that she’s proving to be an excellent mascot, by combining the charisma and beauty of Carano with the in-cage savagery of Justino. Rousey has even managed to parlay her celebrity status into other ventures, modeling for provocative magazine spreads and acting in action films.

She has her detractors, certainly. News of her recent film work has also invited speculation about her dedication to the sport. Is she a superb athlete, or an opportunist whose ambitions lie elsewhere. What some of her critics may not realize, however, is that for Rousey, there are family precedents for greatness in fighting...

In 1984, Ronda's mom, AnnMaria De Mars, was the first American woman to win the World judo championship. Her mom was a tough and determined woman too. She trained Ronda in judoka, and Ronda won the bronze medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympics in judo. Ronda became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in that discipline.

Ronda would decide to enter into the professional MMA world in 2011. She made even more of a name for herself on March 3, 2012 when she fought Miesha Tate, the reigning Strikeforce champion in the women's division. Ronda won two times: first she beat Miesha mentally by evoking Muhammad Ali with her now signature 'trash talk (which Rousey insists is to generate publicity for fights). Ronda used this negativity as a strategy to get Miesha angry and break her concentration. It worked; Ms. Rousey defeated Ms. Tate in the ring with her classic armbar technique.

Their fight drew the attention of Mr. Dana White, head of the UFC. Their fight prompted Mr. White to take a second look at his decision not to have female fighters as contenders inside the Octagon. Because of her prowess as a fighter, Mr. White made Ms. Rousey his next superstar in the UFC. Her next fight with Liz Carmouche signaled another first for Ronda — she and Liz were the first women to fight in the UFC. She won that contest to become the UFC Bantamweight Champion. It has been a wonderful ride for her ever since.

Ms. Rousey has progressively improved her fighting skills, admitting to practicing her striking abilities the most. People have critiqued her on those skills as well as her not acting as a lady should. Ronda knows her weaknesses; that is why she works as hard as she does to improve herself. Concerning being a lady, she is not in a “lady like” profession; a “lady” would not make a living out of beating the crap out of someone!

She recently won the ESPY Award in the category of “best female athlete” for 2014. She was a contender in the category of “best fighter.” She is the first UFC fighter to ever win that award. She is also gearing up for her role in the Entourage movie. She even plays a role in the forthcoming Expendables 3, sharing the screen with Stallone and Schwarzenegger. In terms of overall visibility, this will be great for Rousey, as both previous installments of the Expendables have performed well at the box office and both are being screened frequently on TV (more info here.) Whether or not this legitimizes or delegitimizes Rousey in the eyes of MMA purists remains to be seen. Regardless, it is very likely that Rousey will attract new viewership, and potentially even bring respect to the MMA for women.

 

(Click Pic for video)

The UFC’s great lightweight fighter, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar was not only in attendance for MSG’s Grapple At The Garden event, but he was also a competitor. Featured as one of the main events, he competed against Brooklyn’s own Phillipe Nover (who also had a stint on The Ultimate Fighter).

After his match, Frankie gave a quickie interview on the subject of wrestling with kids as a positive influence and how he felt going back to his native sport from Mixed Martial Arts.

Another fantastic short film by MMA's premier videographer Kahleem Poole Tejada.

 

OUR MISSION

FIGHTING RELENTLESSLY FOR THOSE IN THE  MARTIAL ARTS AND MIXED MARTIAL ARTS COMMUNITY WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM LIFE THREATENING ILLNESSES.

WHO WE ARE

Live to Fight Inc. is a not for profit organization headed by Kristen Brown, cancer survivor and dedicated martial arts fan, practitioner and journalist, and governed by an accomplished board of directors.

WHAT WE DO

Live to Fight Inc. raises money and offers additional support for people in the martial arts and mixed martial arts community suffering from life threatening illnesses. Funds will be raised by offering various events for the general martial arts/MMA community including benefit instructional seminars led by professional fighters and high level martial artists and an annual MMA fashion show.

JOIN THE FIGHT

Make a donation, volunteer, host a seminar, become a Live To Fight sponsor, and join the fight! Do you or someone you know need help? Tell your story.. Read More...

 

Live to Fight is rasing money on Indiegogo.  Please click the link and give generously: LIVE TO FIGHT.

 

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Press release:

On November 12, Anchor Bay Films will release AMBUSHED: a hard-hitting thriller about the law’s battle to keep order, bringing back together hard-hitting EXPENDABLES I and II ex-pats Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture, with Vinnie Jones completing a holy trinity of action and thrills! Directed by Giorgio Serafini, written by Agustin, and from the producers of MAXIMUM CONVICTION, SEAL TEAM SIX: THE RAID ON OSAMA BIN LADEN and THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS, AMBUSHED packs a punch full of fists and thrills, and will be available on Blu-ray™/DVD Combo Pack and DVD.

AMBUSHED charts the dark, seductive underbelly of Los Angeles, told from the point of view of two of its seedier denizens, mid-level drug pushers Eddie (Gianni Capaldi) and Frank (Daniel Bonjour). They want a chance to hit the big time. Unfortunately, they decide to achieve their goal by ripping off their middleman in a murderous bid for greatness, setting off a dangerous chain of events involving a ruthless crime boss, a dirty cop and the Federal agent chasing them all.

Agent Maxwell (Dolph Lundgren) is about to close in on an international cocaine smuggling operation run by criminal mastermind Vincent Camastra (Jones). When Agent Beverly Royce (Carly Pope) goes undercover with the drug dealers, she finds herself in deeper than she can handle. Up against ruthless killers as well as dirty cop Jack Reiley (Randy Couture), Frank and Eddie will soon find that dreams built on corruption sometimes exact a heavy toll...

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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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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.

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.

 

 

Ashley Rollo is a fighter.  She trains and competes in BJJ and MMA, but she is facing her toughest challenge yet...an unknown disease that is ravaging her body.  She needs all of us in her corner right now, and her family is raising money for treatment not covered by her insurance.

Please visit this link for more details about Ashely and how to help. Thank you.  A Cure for Ashley Rollow.

Excerpt from Ashley's website:

On September 17th, 2007, Ashley was diagnosed with an unknown blood disease after an accidental trip to the hospital. Ashley has since endured over 4 years of medical interventions, which included over 12 surgeries, that have wrecked havoc on her body. In September 2010 Ashley received chemotherapy with a drug called Rituxamb that made her disease go into remission, but 8 short months later, her disease returned in the summer of 2011 and it came back and worse than ever.

Her PET scan in December 2011 showed that the masses were back and were all over her body. Now, after her most recent trip to Robert Wood Johnson after a thymectomy gone wrong, (a painful surgery that doctors decided to do to see what would happen) there were several complications, and her lungs and heart took a beating and needed several surgeries as well as a 5 week stay in the hospital. She put her hope in her new doctors at Robert wood Johnson- The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and still has no answers. She has been seen at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, as well as NYU, The Children’s hospital of Philadelphia, Long Island College Hospital, Centre State Medical Center, Winthrop University hospital, an North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital.

No doctor has yet to find out what is wrong with Ashley. She has had dozens of surgeries, bone marrow biopsies, blood transfusions, and has tried a lot of different medications to see if they help. Ashley is in chronic pain all over her body, chronic fatigue, masses growing in different parts of her body, and is getting worse as time goes on. Her current doctors have ran out of treatment ideas, and Ashley is suffering. Prior to 2007, Ashley was a normal 21 year old and in perfect health.

Read the rest here:  Ashley Rollo

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