Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A 30 minute interview I did with EWU student fighter Josh Strickland about his upcoming fight. 

I’ve had the honor and privilege of watching this guy progress in his journey as a fighter. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

To crush or be crushed

Possible opponents for Gina Carano’s return match to MMA

Xtreme Couture announced that women’s MMA fighter Gina Carano (7-1) had returned to their gym to train.  Carano officially announced her return to the sport at the last Strikeforce event. 

Carano has not fought since August 2009, and the number of women fighters on Strikeforce’s roster has grown. 

Although Strikeforce may throw someone to Carano for a quick win for her return match, there are others who could - and probably be willing - to step up to face Carano.

Sarah Kaufman (12-1)

Not too long after Carano made the announcement, Sarah Kaufman, former Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight champion, had  tweeted that she would welcome the opportunity to face Carano in a fight.

"I would give Gina a fight that would force her to "leave it all in the cage,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman and Carano are known strikers with some ground game.  While fans might relish in the fact of these two women going at it, Carano, who in the past has struggled to make the 145 lb weight, would have much harder time to cut down to 135. 

Kaufman could always move up the weight class, or they could make it a catch weight bout.

Marloes Coenen (18-4)

Marloes Coenen, who is the Strikeforce’s Women’s Welterweight champion, would most likely have to move up in weight to face Carano.  However, this would not be as difficult, as she previously fought at 145 in her match against Christiane Santos. 

Coenen is a well rounded fighter, who has earned many knock out and submission victories.  Her experience would also give her an advantage over Carano.

If Strikeforce did decide to put Coenen against Carano, it may take place in late 2011, she Coenen is scheduled to defend her championship against Meisha Tate in March.

Kim Couture (3-4)

Kim Couture, who is the ex-wife of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, was not interested in joining mixed martial arts until Carano had joined Xtreme Couture, according to an interview with MMA Junkie.

While there may or may not be any bad blood between the two, a match with Carano may be just the the fight Kim needs to get her career on the right track.

Julia Budd (1-1)

Although Julia Budd’s mixed martial arts career is beginning, she a muay thai fighter who has earned many accolades, including a victory over Carano in the ring.

Carano may ask for this fight, just to get a chance to exact some amount of vengeance for the loss she suffered at Budd’s hands. 

However, a victory over Carano would give Budd the jump start to what could be a very successful career in mixed martial arts.

Miesha Tate (11-2)
Miesha Tate is becoming one of Strikeforce’s well known faces.  Her model looks and fighting prowess could very easily make her the new “Face of Women’s MMA.”

It was a year after Carano’s loss that Tate had won a four women 135 lb tournament and earned a title shot, which will take place in the next month. 

Like Coenen and Kaufman, Tate would most likely have to move up weight to fight Carano.

Other possible match-ups

Christiane Santos (10-1) - Carano may ask for this match just to see if she can avenge the first MMA loss she suffered at the hands of Santos.  Still a rematch with Santos may seem like a few years away.

Tonya Evinger (8-5) - Strikeforce may be able to get Evinger to return if gives her a chance to avenge her loss to Carano in September 2007.

Megumi Fujii (23-1) - for all of the fans who hate Carano, this would probably be a dream match for them, as Fujii would be a tough opponent for someone who has taken a long time away from the cage like Carano.  Still, anything could happen in MMA, and Carano could pull out a victory.

Stephanie McMahon (0-0) - only in my fantasies.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Historical figures who could make it in MMA

Over the years history has given us individuals who were known for their great strength, resiliency, and indomitable will.   Here are some figures, who if they were alive today, may have had a good career in the world of mixed martial arts.


Abraham “The Rail Splitter” Lincoln (1809 - 1865)


Lincoln, who was the 16th president of the United States, was known for standing over six feet with an average weight of 18o lbs.  Although he was depicted as a boxer in a political cartoon, there was no record of him actually being in the ring. 

Despite not officially being recognized as a boxer, Lincoln would have a long reach and a height advantage over most of the opponents in his weight class.  He could have also used his honesty with his trash talk.  If his opponent had a weakness, Lincoln could call his opponent on it, and use it against him.  If he were alive today, he may be training with America’s Top Team. 

Possible opponents

Wanderlei Silva
Chael Sonnen
George Washington

Jesus “The Messiah” Christ (5 BC - 30 CE)


Many fighters have sported the slogan “Jesus didn’t tap”, referring to his crucifixion, where he endured agonizing torment until his death.  Although the crucifixion is a testament to how much pain he can endure, he also fasted for forty days in the desert, where he resisted temptation.  He was also raised as a carpenter’s son and walked everywhere, which may have given him muscle.

Christ was very charismatic and popular with the populous.  People would flock to see him and he was known for being around the best and the worst people (prostitutes, lepers, and tax collectors just to name a few).  While he may not make his announcement to join the sport at the Second Coming, The Lamb would definitely travel to different events and gyms.  If we were to fight, Christ would be someone who want to give the fans everything in the ring and the cage.

Possible Opponents for Jesus

Georges St. Pierre (great fight for the fans)
Jason Miller
Dana White

 “The Maid of Orleans” Joan of Arc (1412 - 1431)

Women’s Welterweight

Joan of Arc was many things, including a saint, a heroine, and a strong, and a martyr.  crime was said to be heresy.  She also gained criticism due to her heresy and wearing men’s clothes.  It was later said that she wore men’s clothes to keep herself from being molested, according to clergy reports years after her death.

However, Joan was also known for her military success.  She had gained many victories for the French during the 100 Year War, and ended the siege of Orleans.  Today, Joan would find her competition not only in the women‘s part of the sport, but also may with the men,

Possible Opponents for Joan

Cris Santos
Megumi Fujii
Marloes Coenen
Urijah Faber

“The Scourge of God” Attila the Hun (406-453)

Middleweight/Light Heavyweight

Hun was a ruler who commanded armies of North Eastern Europe and Western Asia, his empire only second to the Roman Empire.  Despite having a smaller empire, Attila still battled the Romans.  Despite being a mighty warrior, Attila did not have a warrior’s death.  Possible causes of his  include internal bleeding or a hemorrhage.

Attila and his armies were known to be very dominating on the battle fields, which could transition to his in ring abilities.  The huns’ ability to survive in the wild could also help with Attila’s resilience.  In addition to being a good fighter in the ring, Attila would most likely open his own gym to train his fighters.

Possible Opponents for Attila

Alistair Overeem
Phil Baroni
Matt Serra (Catchweight)
Alexander the Great

Ghengis “Temujin” Khan (1162 - 1227)

Middleweight/Light Heavyweight

Like Attila, Khan was a ruler who known for having a massive army.  He was respected by his subjects and developed many concepts that were later used by Western and Chinese civilization.  Although he was loved by his subjects, he did not trust many due to his father being poisoned when Khan was just a small boy.

In addition to his strength, Khan was also a tactician, who developed many strategies for his army.  His tactical mind may give him an advantage over his opponents who step into the cage with him.

Possible Opponents for Khan

Kazushi Sakruaba
Rashad Evans
Lyoto Machida

Jack “Gavleston Giant” Johnson (1878 - 1946)


An accomplished boxer, Johnson was known for many achievements, including being the first African American Heavyweight champion.  He has over 90 fights on his professional record and is a member of  the National Boxing Hall, the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.  Johnson was also known for being sentenced to prison 1912, for violating the Mann act which was “transporting a white woman across state lines for immoral purposes”.

While Johnson’s knock out power would certainly help him in his stand up game against fighters who are prone to knock outs, he would also have to take extensive ground training, wrestling or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,  to have better chances in the cage.  Johnson was also known for being a celebrity who had his fans, as well as his critics, and was known for “chasing” prospective opponents to get them to fight him, particularly white opponents.

Possible Opponents for Johnson

Antonio Rodrgio Nogueria
Shane Carwin
Brock Lesnar
Mike Tyson

“King of Sparta” Leonidas I (540’s  B.C. - 480 B.C.)

Light Heavyweight

A king of Sparta, Leonidas is most well known for his role in the Battle of Thermopylae (which 300 is based on).  He was not originally the heir of his father, so he had to be sent to the agoge and endure harsh training before coming a full citizen of Sparta.  He became king after his brother Cleomenes went into exile in 490 B.C., and would remain king until his death at Thermopylae.

Leonidas was said to be a descendant of Heracles and that he had inherited the strength and bravery of the fabled Greek Hero.  Whether this was true or not, Leonidas’ fighting spirit and strength could be an asset inside of a ring or a cage.

Possible Opponents for Leonidas

Forrest Griffin
Michael Bisping
Gerard Butler

 “Geronimo” Goyahkla (1829 - 1909)


Goyahkla was born of the Apache tribe, but was then taken to live with the Chihenne people by his mother, after the death of his father.  He would eventually marry and start a family, though they would later die after an attack by Meixcan soldiers.  He was mainly known for being an Apache warrior and got the nickname Geronimo after a battle in which he repeatedly attack Mexican soldiers with a knife while being shot at. 

Geronimo’s fearlessness in battle would be a help to him against any opponent he faced.  He would have a tough chin and resiliency after surviving gunshot wounds.  Being a military leader, he would also be an affective manager, perhaps painting the faces of his fighters, just like he did with the warriors who followed him.

Possible opponents for Geronimo

Jake Shields
B.J. Penn
Matt Hughes

Other figures who could break into MMA

George Washington - military general and a hero to many, including Lincoln.  Who would not love to see a match between Washington and Lincoln?

George S. Patton - Another well known military leader, although Patton would make just as a good of a coach as he would a fighter.

Alexander the Great - King who ruled Macedonia.  In a way, he kind of set the standard of how empires and kingdoms are built.

Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca - A very well talented commander who among other things was known for marching elephants across the alps and into rome.

Marco Polo - Although he was a merchant, he traveled throughout Asia, and is sometimes depicted with a bow and a sword.  He may have also learned some strategy from the Monguls.

If you can think of any historical figures who would be good fighters, let me know.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Black fighters who have excelled in MMA

In celebration of Black History Month, here are some notable African American (and Canadian American fighters).

Editorial Note: If there are some fighters who are not on here, my fullest apologies. I chose to leave out fighters like Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo and Paul Daley, mainly because Black History month is celebrated in Canada and the U.S.

Jon Jones (12-1)

Jon “Bones” Jones, who has a background in Muay Thai, Greco Roman Wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, has been labeled by many as the future of the UFC. Although the hype around him has reached new limits, Jones is still a formidable fighter.

Jones has only lost one of his 12 fights, (a DQ over Matt Hamil in December 2009). His most recent win came from a submission victory over Ryan Bader via a modified guillotine choke.

After his win over Bader, Jones will replace Rashad Evans in the Light Heavyweight title match against Mauricio Rua at UFC 128.

Quinton Jackson (31-8)

Perhaps one of most well known fighters around the world, “Rampage” Jackson is a man who talks a lot of smack, but can also back it up when it comes to a fight. He known for his wrestling background, as well as his power, which he can use to knock out his opponents, or slam them on the canvas.

During his career, Jackson has not only captured the UFC Light Heavyweight title and a runner up in the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, but has also had rivalries with a who’s who list of fighters, including Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, and Rashad Evans. Jackson would go on to coach against Evans during the Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights season, and eventually lose their fight via decision back in May 2010.

Jackson‘s most recent win was against Lyoto Machida last November. He was originally scheduled to fight Thiago Silva at UFC 130, however he will now face Evans in a rematch.

Rashad Evans (15-1-1)

Fans were first treated to Rashad Evans during the Ultimate Fighter 2, where he won the heavyweight competition on that show. Prior to the UFC, Evans had won his first five fights, and even won the Gladiator Challenge Light Heavyweight tournament.

After the Ultimate Fighter, Evans would go on to defeat fighters such as Chuck Liddell, Michael Bisping, and even Forrest Griffin, who defeated for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship. After losing the title to Lyoto Machida, Evans would score a decision victory over Thiago Silva and coach against Quinton Jackson in The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights. He would later go on to defeat Jackson in late May 2010.

Evans was expected to face Mauricio Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight title, but had to pull out of the fight due to injury. He will now face Quinton Jackson in a rematch, at UFC 130.

Antonio McKee (25-4-2)

McKee is a brown belt in Judo and has an extensive background in wrestling. Despite having many wins on his record, he was the subject of criticism due to having the majority of his fights (19 of them wins) going to decision. He is the current MFC Lightweight champion.

McKee signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in September 2010. He would make his debut against Jacob Volkmann at UFC 125 where he would lose by decision. After the loss, he was cut by the promotion.

After being cut from the UFC, McKee returned to Maximum Fighting Championships where he will defend his title against Drew Fickett on the 25th.

Muhammed Lawal (7-1)

The fighter known as “King Mo” has been capturing the attention of MMA fans in Japan and in the United States with his flashy entrances and persona. In his first two years of MMA he had won seven fights and captured the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title. He would lose the title to Rafael Cavalcante in August 2010.

In addition to his MMA career, Lawal has an extensive amateur wrestling background. Prior to his MMA career, he was a Division I All American and a Big 12 champion.

Recently, Lawal has undergone knee surgery. He has stated that 2011 would be the year he gets his belt back.

Ben Henderson (12-2)

Henderon has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and was an All American wrestler in college. In his MMA career, he is a former WEC lightweight champion and WEC interim lightweight champion.

At the last WEC event, Henderson put on a show with opponent Anthony Pettis. Despite putting on a valiant effort, he ended losing the match by decision.

Henderson will make his UFC debut at UFC 129.

Josh Koscheck (15-5)

Koshcheck has been a long time UFC fighter, since competition in the first season of the Ultimate Fighter back in 2005.  He has also become one of the sport's most notable trash talkers.

After earning victories over fighters like Frank Trigg, Chris Lytle, and Diego Sanchez, Koscheck’s biggest career moment to date would be defeating Paul Daley to become the number one contender for the UFC Welterweight title, and becoming a coach on the Ultimate Fighter 12.

After The Ultimate Fighter season 12, he lost to Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre back in December 2010. Despite not winning the belt from St. Pierre, Koscheck is still ranked one the top 10 welterweight fighters in MMA.

Yves Edwards (40-16-1)

Edwards is one of MMA’s more experienced fighters.

Since debuting in 1997, Edwards has fought in several organizations, including UFC, Pride FC, Bodogg Fight FC, Elite XC, and Strikeforce. Edwards practices a variety of martial arts, including a self created style he called “Thug-Jitsu.”

His most recent win was a submission victory, over up and comer Cody McKenzie.

Demetrious Johnson (9-1)

Known to the fans as “Mighty Mouse”, Johnson won his first six fights before debuting in the WEC. In his debut, he would lose to Brad Pickett by decision.

Despite the loss, Johnson would go on his next two fights in the WEC.

In his UFC debut, Johnson spoiled the hyped up debut of Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto.

Jason High (13-3)

From Kansas City, Jason High has fought in Canada, Japan, and the United States.  He gained notaritey in the Dream promotion where he made it to the finals of their Welterweight Grand Prix.  He lost in the finals to Marius Zaromskis.

Since the loss, he has won four out of his five last fights (the only loss coming from Charlie Brennerman in the UFC)

High recently signed with Strikeforce and will debut in 2011.

  Honorable and not so honorable mentions

Kevin Randleman (17-15) - one of MMA’s more seasoned fighters, this former UFC Heavyweight champion has come up against some of the best fighters, both in Pride and in the UFC. Although he turned 40, Randleman has said he will continue his career.

Carlos Newton (15-14) - Newton is a former UFC Welterweight champion and a UFC 17 tournament runner up. He was also a longtime fighter in Pride, and a coach in the International Fight League. He is expected to fight in May 2011.

Herchel Walker (2-0) At 48 years old, this former NFL player has already acquired two wins on his record, including a first-round knock out victory over Scott Carson. Walker said that he will continue his MMA career.

Gary Goodridge (23-23-1) - Goodridge has fought in several organizations. His earliest accomplishments include being a finalist in the UFC 8 tournament, and a quarterfinalist in the 2000 Pride Grand Prix.

Bobby Lashley (5-1) - was on a five-fight winning streak before losing to Chad Griggs back in August 2010. He was taken out on a stretcher and has not fought since the loss to Griggs.

Bob Sapp (11-6-1) - Although he has not had as much success as his peers, Sapp has been a kick boxer, pro wrestler, and a football player. Sapp was supposed to fight at the Dream Dynamite 2010 show, but did not due to contract issues.  He is scheduled to fight sometime in March 2011.

Kimbo Slice (4-2) - Had a brief stint in the Ultimate Fighter season 10, and a win in the UFC. Slice has been reported to pursue careers in boxing and pro wrestling.

James Toney (0-1) - former boxing champion James Toney decided he would pursue a career in MMA.  According to reports, he hounded UFC president Dana White for a fight with one of the UFC's top guys. Toney got his wish, but in his first MMA match he got schooled by Randy Couture at UFC 118, (this didn't stop the UFC from paying him $500,000). He most recently called out Quinton Jackson.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quote of the morning

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."

- Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quote of the morning

Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even. - Muhammad Ali

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quote of the morning

"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn."
- C. S. Lewis