War of 2 Worlds

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As everyone knows now the Khabib vs Conor fight is creating a lot of tension and has its own thick presence, not due to the fight only as is the case in most of Conors fights the spectacle is reaching a fever pitch within every tier of fan from the deep hardcore training fans all the way to the new fans. The non-accommodating resistance within this bout is a person that I believe is an unflappable participant that has Conor excited to compete. That person would be Khabib “War Eagle” Nurmagomedov the undefeated champion he’s my go-to guy because he is head and shoulders above everyone as a grappling technician and scares everyone but T Ferg but Ts crazy. When nobody wants to fight you and you’re a stoic and funny Russian hitman the company doesn’t necessarily want you to light the golden boy on fire. Conor says he will fight anyone and he’s proved he’s learned from Mayweather to promo not based on the other man’s name and skill but purely on the theatrics of what you can do. Now the only thing that the MMA mainstream media wants to talk about is how Khabib got caught by Michael Johnson a very testy point within the community, the Al Iaquinta fight, how Conor beat Chad, Conors left hand and Conors cardio. So I’ll be discussing these talking points and explaining them for what they are and not what we want them to be.

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Khabib versus Michael Johnson was a mauling one-sided fight where people took what Rogan said he believed to have happened as the gospel, that being Khabib being hit by a right hand from a very talented Henri Hooft trained fighter. I have encountered a lot of pro-Conor fans and analyst that repeat the same thing. I would like to dissect this as a guy that has seen guys get rocked, caught, checked, and starched. Getting caught is one thing getting rocked implies getting hit clean and your legs buckling. It’s an easy thing to see in boxing because guys aren’t dropping down to shoot or stepping offline to through a kick etc. So the gif below is what makes Conor fans hopeful because a fast southpaw was able to hit Khabib. If you are caught it tends to lead to getting hit more and more to the point you are rocked. Khabib gets hit and then defends against the barrage Johnson then through with a high elbow and shoulder defense Allah Diaz’s, Bobby Green, Jorge Masvidal, etc. That is the opinion of a guy that has been in the gym post-2005 and seen a lot experienced a lot I’ve felt and seen what rocking and catching a guy is. I feel like yes Khabib got hit clean however he wasn’t buckling at the knees, he was literally just responding in line to how he and any other fighter is trained you defend the barrage.

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The Khabib versus Al is an interesting fight where we can compare how both guys compare Conors finishing ability of short notice vs Khabibs ability to take out and finish a short notice fight. However that tells me nothing funny enough why because of the strengths on both ends lean themselves to a flash finish or a grinding pace of a fight, those are the antithesis of both men’s styles. Khabib versus Al was interesting because we saw what happens when an American with a wrestling background decides to bend at the hip and force Khabib to strike basically. Is Khabibs ability to mix it up like GSP from striking to wrestling to striking back to wrestling with every jab and shot looking the exact same. I was not at all surprised Khabib fought safe and sound against Al because there was a lot on the line, play with the jab that was the better in that bout shoot when its open and keeps the pace high and constant to get some 5 round experience. Those are the specifically strikes weighed against Khabib to make him look basic.

 

Now for the Conor points starting with how he handled Chads wrestling positive and negatively. My points usually start with if mini Mendes could control the takedown and bust open Conor from top position for long periods of the rounds what can Khabib do. The rebuttal is the post-fight announcing that Conors was hurt on antibiotics. I will concede that point if previous to the Chad replacement, something that itches in my thoughts, however, is that Dennis Siever took down Conor in that Boston showcase fight. I just come back to Conor extending on the straight 2 and Dennis shooting off that, what Brendan Dorman calls a reactive take-down not a response to getting hit but to counter the strike thrown. Conors ability to front kick Chads stomach was a brilliant and now obvious tactic that would have had the same effect even if Chad had received a 8-week camp. Is his wrestling defense improved I would believe so because of how he was able to defend the take-down against Nate until the 5th round in the 2nd fight as well as the shot from Eddie. My point here is this, Conor is not some Okie Doke grappler with no skill or awareness of what to do in situations he’s not incompetent.

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The striking is unobjectionably in Conor wheels house and favor, he is able to fight backward and walking forward he can get hit but the man’s got a beard. The only issue that can be leveraged is a cardio drop off around the mid 2nd round of in the cage and around the 8th round in a boxing competition with 3-minute rounds versus 5 minute rounds. Khabib hasn’t shown a drop off that you can title as fatigue, everyone gets tired but not everyone gets fatigued. Conor has said over and over he has fixed that issue but the Eddie fight didn’t go long enough and the only 5 rounder he looked like cardio wasn’t a problem was against Max Holloway. The argument people will make is that Nate was bigger and he boxed against Mayweather, my response is it wasn’t short notice because Conor was able to train for it. The issue becomes grappling fatigue and again the energy systems being trained in camp biking, running, and rowing get you half way home you’ve got to grind in that wrestling room to get all the way home. Conor could make up that distance and since he hasn’t been doing media I would love to believe that was his focus this time around. I would love to think that but when you say you’re going to ice him in the 1st round, Chael said it best if you go for the KO you will not win the decision and by extension a 5 round war.

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Dissecting Khabib is fairly simple, this ain’t your normal white guy this is a “Russian” competition breed Master of Sport in Combat Sambo, AKA propelled bear wrestling terror at 155. It’s not if but when he wants to take Conor down, he can let him up and do it again like he always does against faster opponents and stronger opponents. So the master of sport in sambo, “say man who else had that pedigree in MMA”, oh yeah FEDOR prime FEDOR. Sambo is if not the best base for MMA its right next to wrestling and now kickboxing (thanks Wonderboy for stealing Hendricks soul). So when he gets it to the mat after shooting the most technical double outside of any current Olympic wrestler maybe because honestly, he’s as good as Yoel Romero. Khabib shoots and if Conor starts attacking off the bottom and arms gets snatched from side control or crucifix, that can end up being a broken limb. Khabib is a high-level submission artist go watch his sambo matches and make your own opinion but some of the best armbars ever were done by Sambo players Fedor to the late Randleman, Khabib, Rustlam etc. But what if Conor kicks him similar to Mendes, Sambo players basically brought over the beginnings of this crazy leglock and ankle lock game you see in BJJ. In my mind, he runs a single into a double or takes the knee pick because that’s what he does to everyone who throws a linear kick. Then when the hesitation on the kick comes in to play watch for power double pass to half smash smash smash pass to mount smash knee in elbow pass to crucifix end the fight. That’s been Khabibs game since he was strangling baby bears. Can Conor catch the DEATH BY THE LEFT, I believe so, I don’t know how Khabib will take it we don’t know how anyone will take it. Khabibs got a chin but can he make it to the grinding or will Conor catch him in the first round to stop Khabib from getting to his ace.

 

I think Khabib beats Conor because of the old history of fighting not caring about your heart and passion when you’re not as skilled as the other in a discipline. Conor and Khabib are both in that situation Khabib does not possess the offensive striking while Conor doesn’t have the grappling ability in a nutshell. The story is who can develop the skill fastest enough to defend and capitalize. This fight in my head doesn’t end as a blow out either way it ends after a hard-fought chess game were both guys show defensive strategy and if their lungs hold up a blistering pace and activity we accept to see. I can’t wait for this fight but I caution everyone this may end up being a replay of Woodley vs Wonderboy 1 a lot of blitzing and some well-timed shots over and over again. Well, that’s my take on things, who’s gonna call out GSP I wonder…..

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Too Hot Too Cold just Right

What we have gathered from watching the experiment in the UFC’s 185 division is a lesson on someone that’s hit the Goldilocks zone and someone that’s just missed it. This is clear when you look at Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. Robert is a guy we can say is in the Goldilocks zone his training and skill with experience has hit a level where he is a concern for everyone in the division and you have to ask who can beat him. Yoel is not the opposite case but rather a case of it maybe too late.
Yoels international competition experience and experience on the mats and in grappling in general have made him a problem everywhere, Yoels striking or rather finding a style for his age and build was the hard part. The Cuban striking scientist in Florida have figured it out and you see the development from the Machida fight to now, the culmination of that development was seen in the Rockhold fight where Yoel used that Archie Moore style using his biceps to catch, selective strikes, and explosive parrys. The issue seems to be Yoel has just figured this out while he’s on the precipice of his body no longer being able to compete in the way he would like. When you juxtapose the two the skill can be seen as equal while the differences are seen in experience and the body’s abilities to function at the highest level for 5×5 in the UFC as well as the training leading up to said bout. It’s a recurring joke on JRE but father time is undefeated, Yoel is father times toughest fight in MMA history but the long the fight goes the more definitive the lose will be for Yoel. You can only accommodate loss of function be it for whatever reason from cardio, flexibility, etc for so long in MMA before the next young lion figures out there next year that experience can’t overcome. Does this mean Yoel should hang it up because he can’t beat Robert… obviously not (he said with a chuckle) it’s more so a look at the bouts on paper with a deep introspective look at the fighters involved.

I had a conversation with Brendan Dorman (from YouTube and Obviously Fight Talk) that along with Yoel seeming to just narrowly miss the mark he on a longevity standpoint is showing what the human capacity is, by that I mean he’s got fused discs in his neck and a lifetime of international highest level wrestling competition in the madhouse of Cuba. Yoel is a pioneer in that way, sometimes we needed to be reminded that the exception is obtainable but the price maybe a shorter window for success. When your window is post peak years of your physical capacity being an exception to the rule is a good thing to have but the skill and style has been built. So I say that to say I would love to see a guy like Woodley in his later years adopt this style, and we see him implementing it now. So that’s my take on Yoel and Roberts lessons to the world, if you need me I’ll be in my office writing and listening to the Powercast.

Yoels international competition experience and experience on the mats and in grappling in general have made him a problem everywhere, Yoels striking or rather finding a style for his age and build was the hard part. The Cuban striking scientist in Florida have figured it out and you see the development from the Machida fight to now, the culmination of that development was seen in the Rockhold fight where Yoel used that Archie Moore style using his biceps to catch, selective strikes, and explosive parrys. The issue seems to be Yoel has just figured this out while he’s on the precipice of his body no longer being able to compete in the way he would like. When you juxtapose the two the skill can be seen as equal while the differences are seen in experience and the body’s abilities to function at the highest level for 5×5 in the UFC as well as the training leading up to said bout. It’s a recurring joke on JRE but father time is undefeated, Yoel is father times toughest fight in MMA history but the long the fight goes the more definitive the lose will be for Yoel. You can only accommodate loss of function be it for whatever reason from cardio, flexibility, etc for so long in MMA before the next young lion figures out there next year that experience can’t overcome. Does this mean Yoel should hang it up because he can’t beat Robert… obviously not (he said with a chuckle) it’s more so a look at the bouts on paper with a deep introspective look at the fighters involved.

I had a conversation with Brendan Dorman (from YouTube and Obviously Fight Talk) that along with Yoel seeming to just narrowly miss the mark he on a longevity standpoint is showing what the human capacity is, by that I mean he’s got fused discs in his neck and a lifetime of international highest level wrestling competition in the madhouse of Cuba. Yoel is a pioneer in that way, sometimes we needed to be reminded that the exception is obtainable but the price maybe a shorter window for success. When your window is post peak years of your physical capacity being an exception to the rule is a good thing to have but the skill and style has been built. So I say that to say I would love to see a guy like Woodley in his later years adopt this style, and we see him implementing it now. So that’s my take on Yoel and Roberts lessons to the world, if you need me I’ll be in my office writing and listening to the Powercast.

Garry Tonon

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Garry Tonons is the hope of the BJJ based grappler or the newest glitch in the matrix I’m hoping for both folks both. Garry is a phenom grappler if you don’t know please do yourself a favour and watch the link here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJv01Wz3-L8 ). This was a master class in beginning striking levels you can cross compare Garry and Kron and you see how vast and calm Garry translated the similarities from how to move explosively and evasive with footwork from grappling. Now what Garry showed was sharp basics his straight punches were true and straight his timing for the hook was based on the GSP level change for the reaction and then strike. Evade to create space than close space faster than the opponent can react with 2 or 3 option don’t overload yourself overload their mind. The matrix that is MMA should be scrambling because the performance Garry put on is a roadmap to the needed level of striking you need to translate to MMA, not just footwork or touching shots but power and set up punches and kicks that you expect to see from your standard striker at any of the big Teams like ATT.

 

What I consider the basics, his hands are up he V Steps and mirrors to cut off the exist and cut off the ring. His jab was TRUE AS MATH, the kicks where chambered on the initial steps, patients was evident from the jump. Switch stepping to look at the angles and force a change from distance and not in the pocket where he can be hit, knee up foot flat to check kicks hands up elbow down to guard against small gloves not just an open palm to catch a fist which never works (SMALL GLOVES FOLKS THIS IS VALE TUDO). Lastly timing power, Garry has taken more grappling shots than most humans on this earth he knows how to explode and he translates that into a straight punch A to B is the quickest path and he set it up with a jab like a JOCK. This is very simple but its hard if you don’t have patients in the fire, people grappler or beginner whatever they lose their mind in the cage and the game plan and training goes out the door. Through Garry’s years of high level grappling experience against the killers at Renzos (Danaher DEATH SQUAD!!!) he stays calm under the most exhausting and fierce circumstances which makes MMA just a normal day in a somewhat different lane. I’m happy OneFC made this pick up and I can’t wait to see the growth to come.  

Humanities Forge

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Humanities forge is Martial Arts, that may or may not be an esoteric statement to some, however, that idea is still challenged by a large majority of people sighting that idea as toxic and masculine. To that I say, Mackenzie Dern and Holly Holm, like Frankie Edgar and heart you can find people as centred and kind but you will not find anyone kinder. Let us just nip this now, martial arts are not in themselves masculine or feminine it’s a study in optimizing your human existence. Much like Rogans quote about martial arts being the vehicle for developing your human potential which is very true. What I’m expressing is the journey that martial arts buts you on is one in which you can do nothing more difficult over your lifetime other than war or fighting fires. The physical part is where the masculine gets injected by people just looking from the outside, why because that is all surface. Martial Arts in itself is a full body exercise that has been tried and tested forever and with steady results. You’re forging your body now that sound crude but its very artistic, a Katana is a beautiful piece of metal work as well as the deadliest eastern blade type of all time. The path is the path and its non-discriminant on background nor gender or self-identification. Why state that well because the martial arts path or teaching is simple these things work and you can test it and figure that out fast does keeping your hands up in the pocket work well test it with your hands down and get hit in the face experiment done. There is a built-in immediate testing phase in martial arts. A punch, kick, choke, and endurance only gets better with work and there is no distinction other than speed and power when comparing in gender and from there within weight and height (ie Cyborg and Rose or Mighty Mouse and Francis).

 

Now, what’s the forging process that’s the simple process that is very difficult double negative I know, it’s a simple process that beginners make difficult, why? The forging begins when you walk in the door for the first time, then the heat starts under increased stress that is actually minimal but seen as very intense when compared to how easy regular life is today. The stressor is the shock you system gets put in on those initial first days. However after you tough it out a couple of times it gets very easy and you wonder why you were complaining only 2 days ago. Next is the levels at which you progress things get more detailed and the learning builds and builds like anything else. The impurities are constantly getting burned off and reformed when new tactics and understanding of techniques are introduced and built on. The blade or armour etc is never really finished it’s constantly being worked on the smelting and forming will eventually be done but the polishing and sharpening are never done. The journey is for perfection which bleeds over into how you live your life outside of martial arts. Knowing that you will always be the farthest thing from perfect is the endless wheel we run on because you dream and reach high and if you come up short you still lept.  

Beast vs Super Samo

Hunt versus Lewis 

 

 

Hunt the K-1 Champion high-level ever-improving takedown defence, versus Derrick Lewis who’s a legendary heavyweight Boxing trainer Larry Holms with an ever improving fluid striking game and improved cardio. Name of the game is a striking war this fight on the mat won’t happen I think, Hunts kickboxing experience and flowing in and out of striking styles. This bout could end fast or it could be a very interesting long fight.

Breaking it down Derrick needs to stay on Hunt and look for his shots behind the jab, no dipping down vertically because that’s how you catch a 6 from Hunt. The 1 and 2ares where he is safe because of the height and the power factor he creates being bigger. If Frank gets into a slugfest it is ill-advised and rarely works out for the person going to war with Hunt the man’s got steel in his chin. On the ground,  if Derrick wins he has very good wrestling defence subbing Hunt is not really a factor.  It’s pretty much a given that if Hunt lands its lights out for Derrick and if Derrick lands it could be lights out as well.

For Hunt to win he needs to use that striking, the K-1 stamp is something only 2 other UFC fighters have ironically they both are heavyweights…go figure can use. Marks 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 are atomic bombs that are pro boxer sharp he hides them behind devastating leg kicks and switches leg kicks and that wonderous footwork. Hunt rolls shots like Duran and Archie Moore from the shoulder and off the neck roll and chin roll. If he leg kicks Derrick be sure to watch the punch he sets up off that kick. Front leg kick followed by a 2 or 3 rear leg kick followed by a shovel 4 or straight 2 then cold stiffness is usually followed. Hunt if he can tag up Derrick, may want to pressure him with footwork and get to the outside shoulder against the cage and dropping an 5 or 6 ends the bout like his classic walk-offs have usually ended. Staying off the mats for any extended time is paramount, Hunts a purple belt so I’m not super worried about him there.

Okay, I’m rolling with my man Marky Mark Super Samoan Hunt, I’m K-1 loyal and love the new Hunt with his weight loss and commitment to AKA Thailand where he can tighten up his striking with the OGs in Thailand like he did for those K-1 shows. I think this is the biggest test for Derrick Lewis. That’s my take I know the UFC are trying to push Derrick with a high profile test while having Hunt play gatekeeper.

 

Run That Back

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko

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Well the rematch at 135 is gonna be intense because both women are high-level fighters everywhere unlike where the division use to be like all things progression. Each of these women’s striking is up there, Valentina obviously has the edge with a  Muay Thai championship and all beating Joanna. Not to be ignored is Amanda’s boxing power and IQ when it comes to the mid-range, her ability to throw all sorts of kicks is also an important element to her game. Amanda’s striking is like Conors flash to draw the eyes and then plant a canon on the chin. The difference between her and Conor is a laterally evasive movement which she doesn’t really show a lot and the very nice leg kicks that Conor doesn’t use excluding the Nate fight. Now on the mats, Amanda has that edge and I’ll explain why gassing out was an issue in the last fight but it’s not because Vals got this crazy gas tank either. Both are close in talent level and ability it’s just Amanda’s pressure and power give her the edge and gave her the edge in the first fight.

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Amanda’s power is a real concern at 135 she hits hard like hard….Metro Boomin hard. Now her gas tank isn’t the issue like people are suggesting, in the last fight, she had Val hurt and was teeing off on her for a full round so yeah she might have been a little tired after that kind of adrenaline dump like that. Now if that were to happen again and you give Val that 3rd round I’m almost positive she would have been recovered for the 5th round and it would have looked a lot like the 1st and 2nd rounds, mainly because she wasn’t hit with as much devastation as she hit Val with, Val mainly controlled her from the top. The game plan for Amanda is similar to the first fight. Amanda I believe should feint in vs the bull rush like Holly, because you will get checked, leg kick leg kicks leg kicks and redirection with hooks before dropping straights….pretty standard stuff. Val is totally different get Amanda to respect your power speed and the wrestling so in the 1st round make her respect the shot then the speed and power so she doubles back when she enters to strike then pick apart from range before doing any spinning attacks or shooting for real. Lastly, Val should stay off the cage, I think, unlike Holly whose power is in those legs, Amanda will punch and kicks with heavy power so be advised get off the cage fast quick and in a hurry.

 

-Interesting rematch for sure

Cowboy vs The Boogie Man

Donald Cerrone vs Robbie Lawler

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Both guys are coming off losses and this fight will right the ship for both win or lose, so with that being said, that should give the f the world mentality that both guys already have shown. Some things have happened with Robbie he left ATT and is now training with Henri Hooft which proves to me that there is a God. Okay so why do I feel that way mainly because of how Henri operates as a coach, there is no room for bad technique with him. Look at Anthony Johnson, Michael Johnson, or Tyrone Spong; all of them are fluid and sharp with every strike they throw. Now my biggest beef with Robbie’s technique is only with his kicks he just doesn’t have the range of motion to kick well he delivers power on multiple of occasions he’s proved that. Know if you clean up that kicking he will be devastating because he will be able to play with more combinations versus using it to just force someone to raise their hands before punching now he might be able to connect cleanly. Another X-factor in this bout is whether or not the last 4 wars he’s been in and the devastating 1st round KO, the question is how much has it taken from his chinny chin chin. I guess we’ll find out I guess.

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Now how does this play out in the fight well pretty simple it’s going to be a striking war. Donald will more than likely target the head body head like a Dutch kickboxer and Robbie will look to attack that body like everyone does. The key to winning this fight is all about maintaining a level of pressure both guys are pressure fighters. Volume and pressure who every maintains will win don’t anticipate any counter shots really just the forward march. If it goes for five rounds it’s Robbie’s round so Donald has to come alive from the jump to win some rounds because Robbie in the fifth is a legend and pretty much the boogie man for those 5 minutes at least guaranteed. I would love to see a return to 3 and 5 point combos from Donald that was what made me love him in the WEC and when he got to the UFC mainly because his transition into knees and leg kicks are Kevin Ross like and he gets to the head from legs so fast it’s insane check the gif he hits Matt Brown with a same leg switch with the quickness. Wrestling goes in the way of Robbie and submissions to Donald I don’t anticipate anything but ground and pound with Robbie on top or some wrestling defense.

 

-Thats that bangers on banger on bangers