The Art and Success of the Short Jab in MMA

August 11, 2009

by Nick Colon… Anderson Silva and Brian Bowles are very different fighters. Yet their wins at UFC 101 and WEC 42, respectively, are very similar.

How so is this possible?

The technique becoming more popular in MMA, and so powerful, is known simply as the short jab.

The punch that both Silva and Bowles used to knockout their tough opponents was an accurate jab that, when placed correctly, can render the opposition defenseless.

Silva is a master of this punch, using it multiple times alone in his fight with Griffin and dropping him once before the official onslaught began.

Bowles, on the other hand (no pun intended), used the punch as defense against a rushing, wild Miguel Angel Torres.

Both punches seemed very effective, especially when used against fighters like Torres and Griffin who both threw very erratic, inaccurate jabs and crosses.

It appears no matter what weight class you fight at, the punch is both a good defensive and offensive move.

An important aspect to remember is the accuracy of the punch. Fans might notice that Silva’s punch landed directly on the temple region of Griffin, dropping him very quickly and ending the fight instantly.

Bowles’ punch at least appeared to land in the same region, possibly a little lower on the cheek area.

Regardless of the exact area of the punch’s completion, both punches finished their respective fights and gave one man a bright future and the other a feeling of restoration to his legacy.

Just imagine how good Bruce Lee must have been with his one-inch punch.

MMA’s Rising Popularity: Is a Plateau on the Horizon?

June 1, 2009

By Nick Colon… There is no doubt that mixed martial arts is one of, if not the fastest growing sport in the world today.

However, like all good things, it will eventually come to an end…or will it?

The UFC, the biggest MMA organization in the world, and questionably the best, is in the midst of a meteoric rise in the business, and have captured the hearts of many fans out there already.

Other organizations such as DREAM and Affliction have also increased the viewership amongst modern day guys and gals ages 16-35.

The question remains, will it ever halt?

History says yes. History also says that there will be more wars, more disease, and more prosperous times, as well as hardships. What history does not tell, is how long this new hybrid of MMA will last.

I myself am not a cleric, nor a fortune teller. I do think, however, that mixed martial arts should be appreciated now more than ever, and that it has a very good time left at the pinnacle of it’s sporting takeover.

I also believe it is up to us, the fans, to keep MMA going as strong as it is.

A few weeks ago, I heard someone say that there isn’t a prominent MMA magazine company out there, and that is something that needs to be explored in the upcoming years. I agree to a certain extent, as there’s no “go-to” magazine for all your MMA needs like ESPN the magazine, or Sporting News, or anything like that.

There also is dispute amongst the fans about one organization’s dominance over others. Let us be truthful with one another; MMA is a sport, and it has it’s fans. You hear baseball fans talk all the time about which league is more dominant, or football fans about the better divisions, and even hockey fans say which team or conference is the best. MMA fans can do the same, but remember fans, we’re all on the same team.

We all support the sport, and we all love a great fight. Our “shot heard around the world” is Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar. Our Super Bowl could be Aoki vs Penn or Fedor vs Lesnar. For our World Series, we match up Mousasi vs Silva (take your pick of which one). And our Pete Rose scandal comes in the form of Kimbo against Petruzelli.

The fact is, the sport is still on the rise, and no matter where or when it ends, enjoy it now.

History says MMA will falter eventually. But not now

Chuck Liddell To MMA: This Is It

December 22, 2008

by Nick Colon… 2009 is a year that will be a year of many goodbyes in the UFC. Many expect some of the older fighters to start bowing out of competition. Common names include Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, possibly Anderson Silva, and yes…Chuck Liddell.

Liddell, once the toughest man to beat in the UFC, has gotten soft, and who can blame him. Age is every fighter’s worst enemy, and it just so happens that age appears to be catching up with Liddell, as he just turned 40 less than one week ago.

It is Liddell who has pioneered the high and mighty Light Heavyweight division to what it is today, with youths such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, and Thiago Silva (to name a few) taking the reigns from the elderly Liddell.

Please don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that Liddell is no longer a force to be reckoned with, as his right hand would certainly have something to say about that. However, the chances of Liddell getting a title shot once again is very slim with all the contenders now ahead of him. Also, don’t forget that Liddell is a man of pride and dignity, and he’ll bow out if he feels it is the right time.

The possibility of Liddell’s resurgence is very slim, though not impossible. His next few fights may be against some of the bottom half of the LHW division, with fighters such as James Irvin, and Houston Alexander all still very viable bouts.

Much talk has come of Liddell facing Anderson Silva, another man expected to retire at the end of 2009. To me, and many fight fans, this is not a very smart fight for Liddell, should he take it. Silva, at this point, has all the tools necessary to defeat Liddell very easily, and should he take the fight, it may not make much sense to him either, with not much to gain from a win.

Regardless of Liddell’s next few fights, I still believe that it would be a smart choice on his part to end 2009 with a glory, gory fight…the way we want to remember Chuck.

Pacquiao-De La Hoya: Who Will Win?

December 3, 2008

by Nick Colon… This Saturday, boxing fans will be subject to one of the better boxing bouts of the year, or so it at least appears, when Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao takes on boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya in the Mandalay Bay Center in Las Vegas, NV.

There is a lot of speculation going on with this bout, stating whether De La Hoya still has enough gas in the tank to get it done, or if Pacquiao’s lack of tough opponents when compared to De La Hoya’s will hurt him in the fight.

Here’s the few facts we do indeed know about this fight:

1) Oscar has the body mass advantage, as he’s always fought at a larger weight than Manny.

2) Pacman will have the speed advantage, as he’ll train accordingly for Oscar.

3) Oscar will have the height and reach advantage.

4) Pacman will undoubtedly be the underdog going into the fight.

5) Most importantly, this is likely Oscar’s last fight, and it’s important to remember Oscar maintains the experience edge over Manny, with tougher opponents, and the mentality of going out on top. Pacman still has years ahead of him.

Regardless of who you like in this bout, it is sure to be a great one no matter what. Expect fireworks early, and a late finish.

My prediction? Oscar by 10th Rd KO, but I’ll be rooting for Pacman.

Local MMA: WCF Preview

November 8, 2008

by Nick Colon… Yes, it’s in rings like the one shown above where some of the greatest fighters in Mixed Martial Arts have come from.

Everyone starts off at shows where they expect to fight for little-to-nothing pay, and live paycheck to paycheck. However, times have changed my friends.

What used to be considered as small shows, are now actually quite the opposite. This is the case with the World Championship Fighting organization.

The next event held by the WCF is scheduled for November 14th, and it will be the fifth rendition held by the WCF, and if it’s anything like the first four, I highly recommend attending if possible.

The WCF showcases many young local stars, yet each and every time out, the promotion seems to put on a better edition of the last event, and every fight has always been stellar. From guys like Dan Bonnell, who fights out of Team Renzo Gracie (NH), all the way to the guys known outside of local MMA such as Dan Lauzon and Sam Hoger, the action is always great.

Need proof? I got your proof.

Out of 37 fights dating back to WCF 2, only seven of them have been decisions. Every other fight has been decided by submission or KO or TKO (with the exception of one disqualification).

Need I say more? Sure, why not.

The WCF promotion gives fans what they want (as if great fights weren’t enough). On top of the stacked fight cards they provide, they also get UFC stars such as Marcus Davis, Kenny “Kenflo” Florian, Joe Lauzon, and Jorge Rivera to come sign autographs at each event. This is very gracious on both the fighters part, and the management at the WCF.

To top it all off, expect the unexpected. This is true when at WCF 2 special guest Dana White came to take in the WCF experience, and the fighters let him know what they had to offer, to say the least.

So, if you’re one of those fight fans that stick to the mainstream MMA, and the big promotions, that’s fine. However, if you get a chance to go see any local MMA events, I highly recommend doing so. I know I’ll be at WCF 5.

Matt Hughes All Done?

November 2, 2008

by Nick Colon… With father time ticking, how much longer does Matt Hughes have left in the UFC?

The simple answer is not too much longer, though Randy Couture would try to prove me wrong.

Matt Hughes was indeed one of the best Welterweights of this era. Was being the key word. In his prime, there was none better than Mr. Hughes. No matter who you put in front of the guy, he would take him to the ground, dominate, and end it eventually. The same could be said now of the fighter’s who game plan for the former champ.

Thiago Alves, an up and coming fighter in the UFC’s Welterweight division just took Hughes out with a very quick knee, and some devastating ground and pound. His next opponent is Matt Serra, and you can bet that he is planning for a fight that ends up going to the ground.

But not to avoid the question asked at the beginning of the article…how much longer does the former UFC champion have?

Well, he himself knows the time is drawing near for him to retire. He said it himself after the Alves fight. He said that he did not want to be the punching bag for anyone, and it’s clear that Hughes is just that for the higher contenders. He’s still adamant that he wants another title shot, but unless something drastic occurs in his game plan, he won’t get that shot.

He will however get that Serra shot, and for now, that’s good enough.

Kimbo Slice to Join UFC?

October 24, 2008

by Nick Colon… Now that ProElite, the parent company behind EliteXC, has collapsed almost as hard as the NY Stock Exchange in recent weeks, the main question on fight fans minds is: What happens to all the talent from EliteXC?

Not that there ever was alot of that there, but there certainly was a decent showing of it in highlight moments. Fighters like Gina Carano, Jake Shields, Joey Villasenor, and so forth, may be talent that can all be put to good use in another organization. But the huge question remains: What about Kimbo?

Rumor has it that the UFC, an organization owned by the Fertitas, and run by UFC President Dana White, could possibly sign Kimbo to a very, very small amount of money contract.

The fact remains that Dana White always says what is on his mind. Another fact is that he truly and honestly believes Kimbo is nothing but a brawler, and this may be true. However, from a business standpoint, would anyone question Kimbo to be nothing less than a big draw?

If White could sign someone to a small contract ($2,000 per fight for example), yet make the ratings soar even further than they already are, then why wouldn’t you take a shot at him? Personal feelings certainly have gotten in the way before *cough Tito cough*, but this hasn’t stopped Tito from making a huge career thanks in part to Dana White.

How does Kimbo feel about this?

His manager has been recently quoted, according to newsday.com as saying, “When everything is said and done,” Imber said, “we’ll take offers from anyone.”

So, news to UFC fans. You may hate Kimbo.  You may think he is the worst MMA fighter in all of the short organized history of MMA. However, if the UFC signs Kimbo Slice, you cannot, and would not say that the matchups would be nothing less than intriguing.

MMA Power Rankings: Month 1

October 14, 2008

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0331/mma_sherk_florian_300.jpgby Nick Colon… I’ve been looking around to find out what other sporting groups are focusing on for their articles.

What did I find you ask? Power Rankings!!!

Yes, we’ve seen MMA power rankings before, but none like this. We haven’t hardly made it out of the top five, and when we do, we tend to start breaking them into their respective divisions.

But this power ranking system is different. It’s overall MMA. Oh, and it has a bottom five of the people we know from organized MMA (obviously we wouldn’t take the nobodies of the world into consideration here). And the Power Rankings will be consisting ONLY OF THE TOP 20 IN THE WORLD. If I were to go deeper, more controversy would ensue, and I’d be so tired. So no.

So, without further introduction, here is the MMA Power Rankings Week One edition on B/R.  As always, comments are welcome, and if you don’t like my rankings, by all means make your own.

1) Fedor Emelianenko

Simply the best. Better than all the rest. I know it comes from a song, but still. He’s the best. He’s proven it back and forth, and though Silva gives him stiff competition at this spot, right now he’s the best, and come January, expect a war with Arlovski.

2) Anderson Silva

Simply the second best. Hahaha, the fact is that he very well could and maybe should be number one. I think if he does a little bit more at 205, sure, I’ll give him the nod. Until then, I’ll stick with Fedor for now…even though I’m a UFC man.

3) BJ Penn

This guy’s BJJ is the best in the world quite possibly. He makes big men look like mice, and when he trains as hard as possible, no one, even Aoki, can beat him. Should be a great bout with GSP in the near future.

4) Georges St. Pierre

This guy’s the class of the Welterweight division. He can take any welterweight out in the world, and come most likely January, we’ll see if he can take any lightweight out in the world too.

5) Shinya Aoki

I put this guy here, even though he doesn’t get half the recognition he deserves. I used to be blind to Japanese MMA, but B/R contributors have widely opened my eyes. Thanks crew.

6) Forrest Griffin

I dare you to find me one fighter in all of MMA that gives more to his sport than Forrest. Can’t find one can you? Well, that’s why he’s sitting pretty at the sixth spot. Right now, no one better at LHW.

7) Randy Couture

Gotta give some love to the elderly. This man is simply remarkable, and he is who he is because of who he is. What? I know, but the fact remains Captain Couture is the second best HW, and once he finishes his career, he’ll be the best coach around, even surpassing the great Greg Jackson.

Author Poll

8) Urijah Faber

This guy is unstoppable at 145 lbs. There is no way, NO WAY, at all, that anyone person will beat him at 145. Then, the only solution to being beaten is to go up to 155 and make the most amazing bout this century with BJ Penn.

9) Andrei Arlovski

Yes, I put him ahead of Nogueira and Mir, and any others right now. He’s back to old Arlovski, the one that no one could beat. Lets see if he holds that mentality come January with the world’s best.

10) Big Nog

He’s the interim champ of the UFC, and rightly so, but don’t give me this routine about how he’ll go down as the best HW behind Fedor. The guy got smashed by both Sylvia and Herring, and for all you Lesnar haters out there, remember that Herring didn’t come close to winning one round against that beast. Not many are better at BJJ, but up top, Nog’s got some problems.

11) Quinton Jackson

Even though Rampage has had some problems recently, if he’s able to pull through them, he’ll be back on the road to redemption. And with such a stacked division, he has to rebound quick.

12) Eddie Alvarez

Also thanks to the B/R contributors, Alvarez has made me a believer. If he never got injured at the Grand Prix, he’d be the champ for sure. However, “Hellboy” Hansen came in and won, so good for him. Yet, Alvarez should defeat Diaz soon in EliteXC for the newly vacated Noons title.

13) Thiago Silva

I’m not a believer that injuries make a fighter drop off the planet. But it was devastating to see Silva not be able to compete against Machida. Now, after a little rehab, the bout should still go on, and Silva will still be one fight away from garnering that coveted LHW belt.

14) Lyoto Machida

Likewise, Machida also is one fight away from the belt just like Silva, and they should be the next ones in line for the winner of Evans/Griffin. Regardless, this guy has truly “Samurai’ed” his way to the title.

15) Dan Henderson

After showing where Rousimar Palhares was weak, this man will be the next coach of TUF. His U.K. counterpart may be Michael Bisping. If this follows through, Hendo will beat him (no doubt) and may be either one fight away from Silva, or the #1 contender at that time.

16) Kenny Florian

You are simply looking at the next man to challenge BJ Penn for the Lightweight title. There is almost no doubt that he beats Joe Stevenson, and gets the next shot. After his dismantling of Roger Huerta, Florian honestly deserved the shot then, but was forced into this bout with Joe Daddy. Should be a good bout with BJ, though many wouldn’t give him a shot.

17) Thiago Alves

I’m not a fan of Alves. I think this is the 20th time I’ve said that, but obviously I mean it. But the win streak this guy is on is worthy of his bout with Diego Sanchez, and the winner of that could be looking at the winner of Penn/GSP.

18) Rich Franklin

Franklin, coming off a very good win against Matt Hamill is building on that win, and should get a pretty decent fight with another contender at 205. If he could continue to win, you may see him get to tangle with Silva for a 20th time…

19) Nate Marquardt

This guy is primed for another Anderson Silva matchup. He’s looked the best, and when Cote gets picked apart by Silva, look for Marquardt to take really good notes.

20) Brock Lesnar/Takanori Gomi/Josh Barnett

As you can see, I didn’t have the heart to leave these guys all off the list. If I left Gomi off, I’d get so much heat it’s not even funny. Lesnar was a personal choice, as he’ll shoot up next months’ rankings should he beat Couture, and Barnett is the #2 contender only to Arlovski. I promise I won’t do this again next month, but there’s just so many good fighters!

Just Missed the Cut:

Gegard Mousasi- No more MMA for this guy….

Diego Sanchez- Lets see what he does against Alves

Fabricio Werdum- Overhyped to say the least…just a BJJ practitioner despite the Gonzaga KO

Shogun Rua- What have you done for me lately?

Paulo Filho- See Shogun Rua…and Dr. Drew for rehab.

Rashad Evans- If he beats Forrest, I’ll let him take his place at six.

Tyson Griffin- I don’t know why I left him off…I’ll put him in the top 15 next month…if he doesn’t lose to Sherk.

Bottom Five:

Matt Hughes/Serra: Aren’t they one in the same?  Haha, but seriously this is just an elderly battle now, and neither are serious contenders to the title now.

Houston Alexander: Talk about downfall. This guy didn’t take the elevator down, he just jumped! We thought he wasn’t just all hype, and well…he is!

Antonio Silva- Bigfoot can use it to stick in his mouth after a positive steroid test.  Too bad…he looked destined for…Kimbo?

Kimbo Slice- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Brawlers will be brawlers…

Cub Swanson- Ever since his loss to Jens, he won’t touch title contention for awhile now.

Whos Who in The World of #1 Contendership

September 16, 2008

by Nick Colon…

I’m tired of Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and BJ Penn. No disrespect to any of those fighters, but we know they reign dominant right now. So why keep wasting breath about their reigns, and how about a little more talk on the contender subject.

With the most deserving man in Jon Fitch out of the contender role currently in the UFC’s Welterweight division, who is left that has a shot of taking out current champ St. Pierre?

What about the Lightweight title? So many names, not enough talk. And please lets not go into Anderson Silva’s apparent reign that will never end. Listen, if Napoleon couldn’t conquer the world, Silva won’t either—though he may come close.

Below I’ve listed a few names to keep an eye on in each division in the UFC. If anyone would like to do one for Dream, or any other promotion, please do so. I’m only interested currently in the bigtime.

Lightweight (155 lbs.)

1) Kenny Florian

Please, let’s not downplay Florian’s rise once again in this division. Since his loss to Sherk, Florian’s looked nothing short of great, and he is the one in line for a title shot if he gets past Joe Stevenson in November. Don’t sleep on “Kenflo”.

2) c

The next fight for Griffin will be a telling one against the former champ Sean Sherk. Don’t be surprised if this one doesn’t go to the judges, as Griffin and Sherk’s feverish pace may make for fireworks.

3) Nate Diaz

As many of you may have read in my recent article about Diaz, he is a sleeper in this crazy division. Diaz is slowly creeping up the ladder with multiple wins in a stacked weight class. If Diaz can make it past Neer, expect bigger fights to come for the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.

Welterweight (170 lbs.)

1) BJ Penn

I know this isn’t Penn’s true weight class, but the fact remains the guy can demand a fight of anyone, and will get it at this point. He recently outpointed Sherk in the lightweight title fight, and it appears Super Bowl weekend may have gotten sweeter with the BJ/GSP fight.

2) Thiago Alves

Not much of a fan of Alves, as he struggled to make weight in his last fight, and shows a lifestyle not of a champion, rather of a chump. However, the guy fights with strength and speed, and if he wins his next fight with Diego Sanchez, could be ready for the shot.

3) Mike Swick

Swick has done well at the lower weight class, but his fights lack the normal luster he maintained at the higher weight. If Swick lets his hands go, and fights like the old Mike Swick, he could be one to watch.

Middleweight (185 lbs.)

1) Patrick Cote

Obviously he’s the current contender, and a fill in for would-be contender Yushin Okami. If he, like Swick, lets his hands go, and fights much like he did against heavy hitter Drew McFederies, he may have a chance to pull off the unthinkable.

2) Nate Marquardt

Marquardt looked simply stellar in his last fight against a well-prepared Martin Kampmann. Marquardt came out with fire, and ended the fight early against a really good fighter. Is probably gearing up for a fight with Okami for that #2 contender spot after Cote.

3) Yushin Okami

You can’t take a guy out of contention just because he gets hurt. If that happened with other greats like Liddell, or GSP, fans would have their arms up in the air. Okami should get one warmup fight, with Marquardt as aforementioned to prepare for Silva if successful.

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.)

1) Rashad Evans

Now with a guaranteed shot against current champ Forrest Griffin, the season one and two winners of The Ultimate Fighter will duel to see who the best at 205 lbs. actually is. Griffin won’t be knocked out by any fluke punches, and he’ll take a beating before he goes down.

2) Thiago Silva

I’m his biggest fan. No question. But the guy now needs to rehab, and get another fight or two before his shot comes. This means fans will have to wait until late Winter, early Spring before we see the throat slash back in action.

3) Lyoto Machida

With his fight against Silva now scrapped, this leaves the warrior waiting by the sidelines. His camp has said he will wait for Silva to rehab so that they may continue on with the fight, however Dana White and Joe Silva may have different plans in mind.

Whatever happens, Machida’s a fight or two away from the shot.

Heavyweight (207-265 lbs.)

1) Brock Lesnar/Randy Couture

Well, this is awkward isn’t it? These two will be beating each other up about a month before Nogueira and Mir go to war. What does it mean for other heavyweights? Just keep winning.

2) Gabriel Gonzaga

He lost two bouts in the last two years; once to the current “champ” Randy Couture, and once to Fabricio Werdum. If he regains his hunger, he can make it back to the title.

3) Cheick Kongo/Werdum

To be quite honest, these two fighters need to fight one another. Kongo talks about training for nothing, and Werdum’s next fight is against a nobody. These two would set up a nice No. 2 or No. 3 contendership.

If you have any suggestions, or recommendations yourself, please post comments. All are welcome.