Triangle Offense


Carano vs. Cyborg an instant classic by thesportsminded
August 19, 2009, 11:38 am
Filed under: MMA/UFC | Tags: , , ,

The long awaited fight between Gina “Conviction” Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos is hyped big time by media for a reason. It was meant to be a classic battle.

The fight didn’t disappoint and it definitely lived up to its hype eventhough it was cut short by referee Josh Rosenthal with a second remaining in the first round.

You just couldn’t ask for more in a one-round fight.

Carano and Cyborg slugged it out all over the cage at the get go for what seemed like one of the best five-minute round in MMA history.

Cyborg, with the volume of power punches she threw, was slightly ahead in the round when she got Carano to the ground with less than 20 seconds left. She suddenly unleashed fury in her ground and pound as Carano covered up and took approximately 15 unanswered shots to the face through her guard.

After seeing Carano not moving or defending, Rosenthal felt compelled to halt the fight. The crowd went wild as they thought that the ref could’ve just held off since there was only one second left in the round. Cyborg (8-1) was declared the winner as she won the Strikeforce women’s lightweight title at the 4:59 mark of the first round.

Cyborg was pleased with her stunning performance as her overpowering strength proved too much for the very popular Carano.

“I felt at that point it was time to finish the fight. I started to harder but I didn’t know there was like five seconds away from the end of the round. I felt like Gina kind of closed her guard and turned around a little bit. That’s when I went for the stronger punches,” said Santos

After tasting her first setback, Carano (7-1) was emotional in the cage as they announced the winner and handed the title to Cyborg. She is competetive throughout the fight as she even landed two solid right hooks followed by a takedown that gave her a full-mount position. Carano opted to give out the position and allowed Cyborg to stand up as they both engaged in a brawl. It was in the final 30 seconds where Cyborg’s power dominated Carano.

Carano even seemed like the crisper striker as she landed some power blows but the volume of punches coming from Cyborg was just too much to deal with.

The fight definitely matched the atmosphere of a typical UFC fight. Women’s MMA is here to stay thanks to Carano and Cyborg.

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“Pinakain ng pekpek ni Cyborg si Carano,” said my friend Red Kanapi.

It broke my heart after watching Gina lose but what my friend said was right. I would have to agree. At least for now.

Yes yes, you guys know I am a huge Gina Carano fan both because of her looks and her ability to fight but I just have to admit Cyborg dominated her.

Cyborg just punched too much and Gina, even with the legendary Randy Couture in her corner, just didn’t handle it quite well. At least in the last 30 seconds.

I thought Gina fought well in the first two and a half minutes of the fight. She even got in two strong right hooks and scored a takedown which allowed her to land in full-mount. However, a lack of ground game was very evident as she didn’t capitalize on the position and allowed Cyborg to get back up. She even gave her back two times.

Carano is a great Muay Thai artist and a great striker but she definitely needs to work on her ground game if she is to beat Cyborg.

With the heavy volume of punches thrown by Cyborg, it was tough to beat her standing up. There’s just no way any woman fighter could stand the volume of Cyborg’s punches, at least for now.

If a rematch will happen, which it eventually will, Carano needs to reflect on this defeat and build from it. She has the tools to beat Cyborg. She just needs to work on it.

With a rematch, Carano would need to try a very different strategy, and that would be defense, defense, defense. Carano has been an entertaining fighter throughout her career because she is so aggressive, but to win, she may need to take a step back. Carano should not engage as much in the first few rounds to tire out and frustrate Cyborg, and then go for the kill in a later round.

Strikeforce, we are begging, we want a rematch!

For now, here’s a fact though: Gina is hot, Cyborg is not. Take that!

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Did Rosenthal made the right call? by thesportsminded
August 19, 2009, 10:58 am
Filed under: MMA/UFC | Tags: , ,

Mixed Martial Arts referee Josh Rosenthal has taken tremendous heat from MMA fans all over the world as he stopped the blockbuster fight between Gina “Conviction” Carano (7-1)and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (8-1) last Sunday with a second remaining in the first round.

The heavily hyped and much anticipated bout between Carano and Santos , women’s MMA’s two top contenders, for Strikeforce’s women’s lightweight title was a great success and an instant classic as the two slugged it out at the get go but Rosenthal’s decision to jump in and stop the fight with only one second left in the first round has generated many questions about the wisdom of the move.

Well, I love Gina so much and she’s a great fighter plus she’s very beautiful but I just have to admit that the ref indeed made the right call even with just a second left in the round. Gina’s pretty face wasn’t meant to be damaged. Come on guys, she’s the 16th sexiest woman in the world and the ref just preserved her pretty face. Just kidding, that wasn’t the reason.

Carano was covering up on the ground, wasn’t fighting back and wasn’t attempting to change her position. Rosenthal warned her several times to fight back and defend herself before he jumped in to stop the fight. It’s hard to see Carano lose that way but Cyborg was just too much. The defeat is a heartbreaker for Carano, and for her millions of admirers around the world, as she tasted her first setback.

The referee simply can’t take into consideration how much time is left in the round. He can’t be watching the clock to see how much time is left. He has to focus at all times on the fighters. The next blow could always be the one that does the damage, and if the referee thinks a fighter has had enough, he should stop the bout no matter the time.

It’s understandable, given how exciting the fight was, that fans wanted it to continue. Rosenthal, though, did what he had to do. He protected the fighter from punishment, and she can come back to fight again.

I know the stoppage is tough to accept for all the Gina Carano lovers out there but that’s just the right call.

The fight needs to be stopped when one fighter has had enough and is unable to fend the opponent off. MMA has a much better safety record than boxing, and there’s only been one death in North America in a sanctioned fight (Sam Vasquez in 2007). The safety of the fighters is always the referee’s first priority.

For a fighter, a second is a long time. A lot can happen in that second. Tough to accept, but it was a great call made by Rosenthal.



Silva knocks out Griffin; Penn retains title by thesportsminded
August 9, 2009, 1:58 pm
Filed under: MMA/UFC | Tags: , , , ,

They say that size beats talent more often but today, talent clearly whooped the living hell out of size.

After his last two lackluster title defenses, UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva bounced back big time by knocking out former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin in stunning fashion at 3:23 of the first round in their light heavyweight bout at UFC 101.

The Brazilian Champion wowed the crowd and enthusiasts as he picked Griffin apart knocking him down twice before delivering an overhand right straight that put Griffin down for good. Silva has been criticized in his last two fights for not letting his hands go and being too conservative in his fighting approach. This time, he made sure all the doubters (even yours truly) shut up with an amazing display.

Everyone knew how talented Silva is but his last two fights made a lot of doubters. After today though, no one would doubt who the pound-for-pound king is in the world of mixed martial arts. Including me.

I am a huge Georges St. Pierre fan and I do believe (along with some fighting websites) he is the world’s best but after today, I admit it just had to be Silva. Griffin is a very capable opponent but Silva made him look like a first timer.

He manhandled Griffin that the latter got so ashamed of his performance. Griffin ran right to the locker room after getting his senses back because of the humiliating shocker. I never thought the fight would end that quick and that easy knowing Griffin’s caliber but Silva is just in another planet.

His stunning win extended his record of 10-fight winning streak in the UFC. He is set to go back to middleweight and defend his title in a rematch with Dan Henderson whom he already defeated via rare naked choke.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/news;_ylt=Apkh0CjREkQ.FOGjTPvUHVg5nYcB?slug=ki-ufcearly080709&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

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Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn awakened everyone that he is still the man at 155 pounds as he tops Kenny Florian via his trademark rear naked choke at 3:54 of the fourth round in their championship bout also at UFC 101.

After his humbling defeat at the hands of Georges St. Pierre last February, fight fans disclosed Penn as an elite fighter but the Prodigy once again proved that he can still dominate. Florian presented a game plan and strategy to neutralize Penn’s striking and ground game but to no avail.

Florian forced most of the action onto the cage and trying to take the champion down but Penn’s takedown defense is just unbelievable. All of the challenger’s attempts to take him down went to waste and Penn made him pay with his counter striking and an explosive takedown that sealed the deal via submission.

Penn is expected to fight Diego Sanchez for his next title defense at 155 pounds.

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Okay okay, I was 0-5 on my UFC 101 predictions. I didn’t see that coming. Come on man, I didn’t get a single prediction right. I hope that won’t happen again. Hopefully my UAAP predictions for today would be right on cue.



UFC 101 Picks: Upset City Looms by thesportsminded
August 8, 2009, 2:07 pm
Filed under: MMA/UFC | Tags: , , , ,

Hardcore fighting fans await tomorrow’s UFC 101 (Declaration) as it is sure to present a slam-bang affair with its hyped up card. Two super fights supported by quality bouts will surely give us what we deserve—–non-stop action. Here are my predictions for tomorrow’s UFC 101.

Lightweight Championship Bout: B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn (Champion) vs. Kenny “Ken-Flo” Florian

The Champion Penn is heavily favored to retain his title because of his versatility but I do feel Florian has the tools to pull off an upset. Penn will push the tempo at the start but we all know about his weak cardio. If Florian survives an early storm and makes it to the fourth round onwards, I see him winning in a close decision. Florian over Penn via split decision.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Forrest Griffin

Arguably the world’s number one pound for pound fighter, Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva steps up a weight class to challenge former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin in their much awaited fight. As expected, Silva is heavily favored as they say he is in a different league. I tend to agree but I do think that Griffin has a legit shot at giving Silva his first defeat in the octagon. He’ll caught Silva with one of those hooks. Griffin over Silva via second round TKO.

Middleweight Bout: Kendall Grove vs. Ricardo Almeida

This is a pretty even fight but I think Grove’s hunger will get him through. Grove over Almeida via split decision.

Lightweight Bout: Josh Neer vs. Kurt Pellegrino

Neer via first round TKO.

Welterweight Bout: Amir Sadollah vs. Johny Hendricks

Only his second pro fight but I’ll go with Amir via unanimous decision.