UFC Strikeforce


Erick Silva made a splash in his UFC debut at UFC 134 back in August when he TKO's his opponent in just 40 seconds.  He followed up that outstanding performance with what appeared to be an even quicker knockout of Carlo Prater this past weekend at UFC 142.  Everyone watching at home thought that referee Mario Yamasaki had stopped the bout in Silva's favor, but then realized that Mario had actually ruled that Silva had hit Prater in the back of the head illegally.  The fight was awarded to Prater, which prompted an incredulous Joe Rogan to interrogate Mario in the Octagon afterwards.  Dana White too thought that the blows were legal and he paid Silva his win bonus anyway.  Slo-mo replays seem to agree with Dana and Joe.  One or two may have been to the back of the head, and totally accidental.  Time will tell if the fight ruling gets overturned later on.

In addition to the support shown him by the UFC in this fight, Silva also discovered that he has a big admirer in UFC LHW champ Jon "Bones" Jones, who called him "the future of the sport."

Jones told Tatame Magazine:

"Erick is a great talent of the UFC. It is the future of the sport. He needs to know that tonight (UFC 142) will forever live in his life. It was a watershed for Erick and he has a great future ahead in the franchise. I made the invitation to Erick. I want to see him working with me at any time in the United States."

Silva was very flattered by Jones' remarks, and might take him up on his offer to train together.  We'll have more on the Silva ruling when information becomes available.

(Whittier resident Gene Pace, 78, receives his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the Gracie Barra studio in Costa Mesa on Thursday night. He studied for 15 years before receiving the recognition. (DON LEACH, Daily Pilot)

Big congratulations to 78 year old Gene Pace who, after training for 15 years, earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.  It's an amazing feat, and it's nice that the Daily Pilot, owned by the LA Times, sought fit to write an article about Pace's accomplishment. Here is the article:

By Sarah Peters

January 13, 2012 | 7:56 p.m.

COSTA MESA — It's pretty impressive whenever a student of the Gracie Barra school of Brazilian jiu-jitsu gets a black belt.

Even more impressive is when one of those students is 78.

Gene Pace was awarded his black belt Thursday night during a ceremony after his regular twice-weekly class and sparring session at the Costa Mesa studio.

More than 100 of Pace's friends and supporters showed up to see his milestone.

"It was overwhelming. And last night..." Pace started with a pause, then laughed. "Well, it was a little emotional."

The Whittier resident has been training under the Costa Mesa school's founder and instructor, Mike Buckels, for more than 15 years.

"He's Mr. Consistency. He never misses a class, not ever," said Buckels, who holds a black belt in jiu-jitsu, as well as kru in Muay Thai kickboxing.

In those 15 years, before Pace, Buckels had only awarded one other jiu-jitsu black belt, and it was to another instructor.

"The best way to describe Gene is that he just executes what you teach him to do," Buckels said. "If you show him a move, he will go after that move."

Although Buckels admits that he is careful whom he pairs with Pace, as an older student Pace is not one to underestimate.

"Gene can still pick me up — and I'm a 180-pound man — and toss me to the ground," Buckels said. "He practices with people as much as 55 years younger than him."

Pace fell into the Brazilian practice after signing up for a martial arts course for fitness — and to humor his grandchildren.

"I thought to myself, 'Well, OK, they can't kill me, and besides, maybe I'll learn something,'" Pace said, laughing.

"Once I got started, I had to think, 'Do you just walk away [and] embarrass your grandkids?'" Pace continued. "Nah, you can't be disrespectful like that. And everyone just stuck with it."

Pace's interest in martial arts transferred to jiu-jitsu after meeting Buckles and liking his style of teaching.

A lot of that style resonated with Pace's finish-what-you-start attitude.

"The things learn you here are discipline and techniques, which you apply to situations, but you never walk around like a peacock," Pace said. "But, as Mike says, if someone won't back down, you finish it."

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(Gabriel Gonzaga, turning heads with his fists)

Gabriel (Napao) Gonzaga is a world class BJJ player with big striking power, and in his earlier UFC career, he seemed to get away from his grappling roots while going for the knockout against opponents.  This led to a couple of key losses that jettisoned him from the UFC.  But he's back now, and in his fight at UFC 142 with Ednaldo Oliveira he put on a BJJ clinic, taking his man down and finishing him with a rear naked choke.

It's great to Gabe back in the big leagues.  He's a very good fighter, and once again has his sights set on the UFC HW title.  He has a long road ahead of him on that score, obviously, but it's always fun to watch him perform in the Octagon, and he's sure to give some HWs fits in there.  Here's hoping to see him in the top ten again.

Just a few days ago, Rumble Johnson was sitting pretty in the UFC.  He'd struggled to make the 170 pound weight limit in the welterweight division earlier in his career, but now was moving up to middleweight, where everyone expected him to be stronger, and have an easy time making weight.  Things didn't turn out that way, however, and now Johnson finds himself not only on the losing end of a fight with Vitor Belfort, but out of a job as well.

Dana White handed Johnson his walking papers after the Belfort fight.  Fighters missing weight is a real problem in the UFC--it almost scuttled last night's co-main event--and by firing Johnson, White sends a powerful message to the fighters--make weight or make haste out of the UFC.

There are a few good fights for Johnson outside of the UFC, but it's still sad to see him go.  He was an exciting fighter, but he really needs to get his weight problems under control.  We wish him all the best in his post-UFC career.


Jose Aldo's takedown defense is beyond good. He did a masterful job of defending Chad Mendes's attempts last night at UFC 142, and when the opening presented itself, Aldo landed a crushing knee to Mendes's face, which put the challenger down on the mat.  Aldo followed up with a couple of big punches that put Chad out.  Immediately afterwards, Aldo ran into the stands and was mobbed by jubilant Brazilian fans.  Security worked hard to get him back into the Octagon.

It was a brilliant performace by Jose Aldo, and the win moves him up the pound for pound best lists.  Looks like Aldo is going to be champ for a long time,

Here are the complete results from last night's UFC:

Anthony "Rumble" Johnson made weight, 204 pounds, for his middleweight (185 pound limit) fight with Vitor Belfort tonight. Yes, you read that right.  Yesterday before the weigh ins, while Rumble was cutting weight to make the 185 pound limit, he lost feeling and movement in his legs, which prompted the UFC doctor to order him to hydrate.

At the official weigh ins last night, Johnson came in 12 pounds over, at 197 pounds, which almost torpedoed the fight.  Vitor agreed to allow Johnson to come in heavy--gaining a hefty piece of Rumble's purse in the bargain--but stipulated that Johnson must not weigh more than 205 on fight day.  Johnson and the UFC agreed, and Johnson came in at 204 this morning at a special weigh in.  So the fight is a go, but we'll have to wait and see if Rumble's tough cut will affect his performance in the cage, and also what kind of hot water he's in with the UFC for causing all this drama.



Anthony "Rotund" Johnson usually fights at 170 pounds, and although he's been making weight there, he came in 12 pounds over the 185 pound middleweight limit today, a day ahead of his UFC 142 fight with Vitor Belfort.  12 pounds?  That's not even in the ballpark.  The fight will still happen, however, with Vitor agreeing to the bout and Johnson forfeiting a chunk of his purse.

Johnson weighed in at 197 pounds--after a weight cut--and Vitor insisted that he'll have to weigh less than 205 pounds tomorrow.  If he fails to come in at 205 or less (this is a MW bout, remember), there's a good chance this fight will be scrapped.

Dana White was not happy at the weigh ins, and it remains to be seen how this weight snafu will affect Rumble.  Dana's had a hair-trigger lately (minus the hair, of course) so who knows how he'll respond to this, especially if Johnson is over 205 tomorrow night.

Not sure what happened with Rumble's weight cut, but if he wants to remain on the UFC roster, he needs to get a grip on the number line.  Twelve pounds is as unacceptable as it is dumb, and there is really no excuse.  Hopefully the fight will happen as scheduled tomorrow and Johnson won't have any more weighty issues to burden his fight career.


Edson Barboza is a fast rising, undefeated UFC fighter with an electrifying stand up fighting style.  He's fighting Terry Etim tomorrow at UFC 142 in Brazil, and this fight could very well be the Fight of the Night.  I've been covering Edson back since his Ring of Combat days, and I can tell you that this kid is the real deal.  Look for him to shine in Brazil, and take a big step up the UFC LW ladder.

After the jump, check out some GIFs of Edson in action, as well as a video of me talking with him and his manager and strength and conditioning coach Joe Mullings, owner of the Armory.


(Jose Aldo)

Very nice title tilt headlining UFC 142 in Brazil this weekend, with champion Jose Aldo taking on undefeated contender Chad Mendes in the main event.  Aldo has been wowing fans with his stand up, and he even showed some nice ground work in his recent fights.  Mendes is a NCAA wrestler who has been dominant on his way to this title shot.  Should be a very entertaining fight.  Here are a couple pics of the fighters preparing for battle.


(Chad Mendes)


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