Posted: May 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
The last middleweight champion of Strikeforce, Luke Rockhold (10-1), has a massive task ahead of him this weekend at UFC on FX 8. The 28-year-old UFC debutant will face MMA veteran Vitor Belfort (22-10) in his home country of Brazil. The Brazilian has looked like the Belfort of old in his last few outings, so much so that many fans have become cynical about his publicised use of testosterone replacement therapy. Rockhold hasn’t been shy in speaking out about the issue and once again seized the opportunity at the pre-fight press conference. He also spoke about his grappling skills and his brown belt level “legitsu.” Watch the conference highlights here.
“For me, fighting, I believe it’s more mental than it is physical and I know I’ve worked so hard to be here and put myself in this position. I haven’t supplemented, I haven’t taken anything in anyway and I know I’ve put in more work, I know I have a bigger heart, I know have the will that will push me through this fight. I believe people that need that extra push, the TRT, I think they’re lacking something and I believe that will show in this fight. That will be a big factor and I believe in myself, my heart, my will and my hard work … I’ve been in jiu-jitsu and grappling my whole life. I’m very aware of my body and how I move, and I’ve competed on a world level in jiu-jitsu and I’ve won. I may only be a brown belt, but I have two world championships at blue belt, one at purple belt and I actually turned down my black belt because I wanted to compete at brown belt and win a world championship and try to earn it a different way. Black belts are black belts, I’m very capable of beating anybody. I bring “legitsu” to the table.”
Posted: May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized
This time last year, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (18-4) was two weeks away from perhaps the worst beating of his MMA career. Challenging UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (11-1) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Brazilian was taken down and bloodied up for three-and-a-half minutes before the referee called it off. Since then, Silva has bounced back to score impressive TKO victories over Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem. In two weeks, on May 25, he returns to the scene of his biggest defeat for another shot at Velasquez and his UFC gold. Listen to the full UFC 160 conference call here.
“I think the main thing is in our first fight I was nervous and I was anxious. I’ve replaced those emotions now. Now, I’m driven, I really want this. Comparing my style of fighting to Cain’s style of fighting, I would have to be born again to become faster than Cain Velasquez. I have 30 pounds on him. He’s going to be faster than me, so I need to work with what I have. I have to work with what I have, I have very heavy, heavy hands … I’m very confident that I’m going to win this belt, so I believe I’m going to be the one defending it … We learn a lot from our mistakes as people, especially our professional mistakes. For sure, I learned a lot from my last fight (with Velasquez), from how things were for me going into the fight, what I need to do different. So, this is a whole other ball game. I’m prepared and I’m ready to go … Obviously, in the first fight, I made a big mistake. But there were a lot of things I did right going into that fight that unfortunately you guys didn’t get to see, so, much of that has been maintained. Overall, the main strategy is just not to let his elbows get near my forehead.”
Posted: May 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Chris Weidman (9-0) knows he’s up against something special in UFC pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva (33-4). The much-anticipated clash goes down at UFC 162 on July 6. While some fans argue Weidman’s mix of wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu is Silva’s kryptonite, others think the 28-year-old will be just another top contender caught in The Spider’s web. Weidman, a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler and ADCC competitor, has maintained an outspoken confidence rarely seen in Silva’s opponents. It’s hard to imagine someone defeating the Brazilian, simply because the last person to do it was Ryo Chonan via diving ninja sub almost 10 years ago. But Weidman told Yahoo! Sports he wasn’t fazed.
“You have to treat him like just another opponent. You respect what he’s done in this sport – of course you do – but you can’t get caught up in it. Guess what? He’s a person just like I am, he’s got two arms, two legs, two eyes, like I do. I’m not fighting a superhero, I’m fighting another person and it’s my job to defeat him. Simple as that … I can’t change anyone’s mind and that’s not my job, anyway. I feel like I have the right mix of skills, the desire, the determination, to get the job done. The UFC thinks enough of me to give me the title shot. To those who might think I don’t deserve this yet, all I can say is, tune in on July 6 and I’ll show you otherwise.”
Posted: May 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Luke Rockhold (10-1), the final Strikeforce middleweight champion, makes his UFC debut against Vitor Belfort (22-10) next weekend at UFC on FX 8 in Brazil. The 28-year-old American Kickboxing Academy product could leap into UFC title contention with a win over the MMA veteran. At 36, Belfort has experienced somewhat of a renaissance since his devastating loss to Anderson Silva two years ago. He’s finished Yoshihiro Akiyama, Anthony Johnson and Michael Bisping and given UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones his toughest test yet. Rockhold is well aware of Belfort’s punching power, but given the fight is five rounds, he also has his eye on the Brazilian’s cardio. However the fight goes, the UFC debutant is openly gunning for a lucrative Fight of the Night bonus. Watch the full interview at Sherdog.
“Vitor, he’s dangerous whether he’s on TRT or not. He’s still got that power, he’s still got that explosiveness, he’s got a good round or two in him and beyond that, who knows where his head’s at. He says he’s got cardio, he says he’s got all that, but I think I can push five rounds like no one else and I’ll do that if need be. But I want to finish him earlier, I want to finish him while he’s hot and I want to make a statement in this fight. I feel capable of beating him everywhere … My style, I feel like I’m pretty well-rounded, I can fight in all areas. I’m going to come out hot, I always pressure, I don’t back down from a fight. I’m not going to be shy, so I’ll be in your face – sometimes I like to fight a little too much, you know, I like to give and take. This fight, I have to be a little bit smarter, I have to be on my game, I have to respect Vitor and his striking. But I come from a wrestling background and a lot of jiu-jitsu, so, you’re going to see me wrestling. I’ve got to get some blood in Vitor’s arms, slow him down a little bit and then maybe I’ll pick him apart on the feet from there or finish him earlier on that ground. I don’t really know, but this fight will be everywhere and it will be explosive. I don’t see how this could be boring, this is going to be a fun fight and I’m looking to get some bonus money out of it, too.”
Posted: May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
Strikeforce product Luke Rockhold (10-1) has had some choice words for UFC veteran Vitor Belfort (22-10) in the lead-up to next weekend’s UFC on FX 8 clash in Brazil. It should be an explosive main event between two well-rounded, dangerous fighters looking for a title shot. But the fireworks began last week, when Rockhold claimed he was “more of a man” than the Brazilian, a quote interpreted by most as a shot at Belfort’s publicised use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Belfort, who first fought in the UFC when Rockhold was 12 years old, wasn’t impressed by the 28-year-old’s antics. Watch the full MMA Hour.
“I think he’s wrong, but what are you going to say, man? People say whatever they want to say, you know. If he doesn’t know me, I don’t know how he can say that, but we’ll see. You cannot judge. I think it’s too arrogant to say you’re more of a man. I don’t even know if he knows what a man is, you know. He doesn’t have any kids, he doesn’t have no wife. I don’t know what he’s thinking, you know. He’s talking about courage? I don’t know what he did in the sport. I think this is disrespectful, the way he thinks, but it is what it is. You cannot control a mouth, you cannot control people. My conversation with him will be inside the cage and I’m not going to have to talk, we’re going to fight, and that’s what it’s about … I’m bringing the heat, you know, I’m bringing it. He will come to a jungle, he will face a lion.”
Posted: May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman (9-0) says he’s going to be all over Anderson Silva (33-4) in the UFC 162 main event. A relative newcomer to MMA, Weidman has enjoyed great success in the UFC, with wins over Demian Maia and Mark Munoz. But in “The Spider,” he’s up against arguably the best fighter to put on the fingerless gloves. A former NCAA Division 1 wrestler and a talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, Weidman has the grappling ability to give Silva problems on the ground. If he can get the fight to the mat on July 6 in Las Vegas, he’s confident he can dethrone the champion. Watch the full interview by Cage Potato.
“I think the biggest thing is once you get him down, to stay relaxed and not to be so tense. I think I have a real smooth, aggressive game. And I’m pretty relentless with my cardio and that’s one of my things I have most pride in. So, I feel like I’m going to have the cardio to where he’s going to break before I break. I’m going to be all over him … One of Anderson’s Silva’s best traits in MMA is that he gets inside people’s heads. Before they even step in the cage, he has a certain mystique about him that intimidates people. He earned that over the years. But even when they get in the cage with him, he makes sure to make them feel as if he’s on a whole other level. And then he waits for them to believe him in that,and he freaking mentally and physically breaks them…I’m just going to be confident. I’m not going to be worried about what he’s doing, I’m worried about what I’m doing.”
Posted: May 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
Jake Ellenberger (29-6) has compiled an 8-2 record in his four years in the UFC and now finds himself on the brink of a title shot. The word is, if the 28-year-old beats rising star Rory MacDonald (14-1) at UFC on Fox 8 on July 27, he becomes the #1 contender. While his 23-year-foe is a powerful wrestler with rapidly improving striking skills, Ellenberger suspects there’s a glaring hole in his armour – his chin. “The Juggernaut” has the tools to expose a suspect chin – as evidenced by his 18 stoppage victories with seven clean KO’s – and he’s confident he’ll stop “The Canadian Psycho” in his tracks. Watch the full interview from MMA Heat.
“He’s got a lot of confidence behind him, training with GSP. He’s kind of been a guy I’ve always been like, ‘We’ll meet eventually,’ and it excites me. Stylistically, it’s a great match-up, he’s great everywhere. Has he really been tested? He really hasn’t fought an opponent like me, so that’s why this is an exciting fight to watch. And to be part of the Fox card, too, is a bonus for me … He’s young, he’s hungry. He fought Carlos Condit – the only guy in the top 10 I believe that he’s fought, he lost to, which was Carlos Condit … They’re claiming this kid to be the next GSP, the next to dominate the division, well, I disagree. I’ve been working my whole life to be in this position that I’m in now, so, yeah, I absolutely believe that I’ll beat him. I really don’t think his chin’s been tested. I’ve seen him be dropped by Che Mills, he’s been dropped in fights. He does a lot of things good, but he doesn’t do anything spectacular.”