So we were at The Wild Card Gym on Tuesday checking out Amir Khan as he prepares for his upcoming title defense in Washington D.C. against Lamont Peterson. While there we got to chatting with Freddie Roach as he asked us what kind of a guy Nick Diaz was. We answered as any other honest person would answer, “the dude is kinda weird.” Roach shook his head and started chatting with us about some of the mistakes Nick Diaz has in his stand up game, though that is from another video and article.
Our conversation somehow shifted over to UFC light heavyweight Dan Henderson. A few years back, Henderson would stop by and work boxing fundamentals with Freddie. Freddie noted it was a fun experience working with Henderson and our fight correspondent Marcos Villegas asked him a interesting question, “How hard does Dan hit with his right hand?”
“He has decent power, he’s too stocked up on his stance though, he needs to relax a bit,” said Roach. He then told us about the first time he met Dan and how jokingly Roach threw a kick in which Henderson immediately put the boxing trainer in a clinch. “He’s a strong mother ******,” recounts Roach. Check out the story below!
So this past weekend MMA fans were glued to Fox, as the most highly anticipated UFC heavyweight match up of current (we believe Lesnar vs. Overeem is a bigger match up) Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos debuted on TV. It took a mere sixty-four seconds for Dos Santos to become the new heavyweight champion, shocking many in Anaheim. One can say they knew this would happen from the very beginning, others were left wondering as to why Velasquez was not more aggressive working take downs and others cried Velasquez’s time off as a factor in the bout. We had spoke to Cheick Kongo a few weeks back and we knew he had vested interest in this match up.
Kongo explains to our cameras that when he fought Velasquez back in 2009 that he was not in shape and was fighting knee injuries. He strongly wants another shot at Velasquez and though is not sure when he will get a title shot, he senses that he is close.
This past Saturday at UFC 138, UFC middleweight Mark Munoz put on the most impressive and dominating performance of his career, beating Chris Leben via corner stoppage before the third round of their five round bout. It signaled the fourth straight win for Munoz, who at this point has beaten everyone the UFC has put in front of him minus a split decision loss to Yushin Okami.
Munoz’s stock has certainly risen with in the middleweight division, with the fighter himself finally calling for a title shot when in the past he had been quiet and reserved. It goes to show that Munoz is coming into his own and truly believes he has made the next jump in skill level. The UFC title picture is murky at current writing, with strong indications that Chael Sonnen will have the next crack at champion Anderson Silva, Munoz believes in fact he should be next in line. He makes a pretty strong argument while talking to our Fight Hub TV correspondent Marcos Villegas. If he does in fact get a title shot, he will be facing a friend in Anderson Silva, “I am not trying to say I am calling out Anderson, that is not my intent. I have the up most respect for him. Just so happens he is the world champ and you know, I want to be the best in this weight class. That is why I am here in the UFC,” Says Munoz.
UFC 137 on Saturday October 29th will be headlined by former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn. Standing across the cage will be former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. As compiled in this breakdown, Penn is able to end the fight on the feet or the ground and will be the best match stylistically for Mr. 209 in his return home to the UFC. In honor of Hilo’s most notable son, Fight Hub TV has compiled a list of his Top Five Finishes
5. Penn vs. Uno – UFC 34; November 2, 2001 -Las Vegas,Nevada
One of the quickest fights in Penn’s career, Caol Uno came out aggressive and missed with a flying kick, Penn responded with a left hook to stun him and a right that sent him down, followed by a barrage until “Big John” McCarthy had seen enough. This was the third consecutive win in his beginning career, first three wins all by way of KO/TKO.
4. Penn vs. Sanchez* – UFC 107; December 12, 2009 -Memphis,Tennessee
In what would be his last successful lightweight title defense, Penn picked apart the outclassed Sanchez with technical standup and one very nasty kick to the face. Diego was a bloody mess, prompting a doctor stoppage in the fourth round. Since winning the lightweight championship for the second time, Penn had finished all of his opponents and never went the distance when the belt was on the line
3. Penn vs. Sherk* – UFC 84; May 24th, 2008 -Las Vegas,Nevada
A fight that required no motivation for either man, Penn had won a vacated title that was stripped from Sean Sherk after he tested positive for steroids in his match at UFC 73 by the CSAC. Penn baited his opponent with trash talk while Sherk went along with it and the two met center cage. Giving up a decorated wrestling base, Sherk decided to box with Penn and ended up being outclassed until punches found a home and the flying knee finished “The Muscle Shark” off to lie against a cage while the reigning champion enjoyed another successful victory.
2. Penn vs. Stevenson* – UFC 80; January 19, 2008 –Newcastle,England
Following a successful position as coach on TUF season five and avenging his first title fight loss to Jens Pulver, “The Prodigy” was once again inside the octagon for the UFC lightweight championship. Standing on the other side was Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, the season two winner of TUF and a successful lightweight who was aiming to make this bout his fifth straight win and take home a belt for his efforts. In the end, Penn opened up Stevenson, displaying one of the most memorable (and bloody) rear naked choke submissions in all of MMA.
1. – Penn vs. Hughes III – UFC 123; November 20, 2010 –Auburn Hills,Michigan
One of the most storied and rivaled fighters in the UFC welterweight division, BJ Penn and Matt Hughes each had a win over the other. Penn shocked Hughes with a submission victory to take the welterweight belt at UFC 46; Hughes responded years later with a TKO victory over a returning Penn in 2006. Going into the bout, both men had matured but still wanted to finish the other and Penn did so, in quick and vicious form. Ending the fight with a knockout less than thirty seconds in, Hughes sat asking “what happened” as Penn ran out of the cage and back inside, elated with victory.
This Saturday night, that kid from Stockton will take center stage in the UFC. The crazy, jumbled mess that has been the UFC 137 card has drawn much attention; with all eyes being on Nick Diaz the entire time. The pressure to deliver is on Diaz but, as the past has shown, he handles the pressure just fine… homie.
In preparation for his war on Saturday night, Fight Hub TV looks back at the Top Five Finishes of Nick Diaz’s MMA career:
5. Vs. Josh Neer – UFC 62: Liddell Vs. Sobral – 8/26/2006
Highlight reels for years to come, this will not make. However, this fights serves as a proven ground for Nick Diaz. Until this point, Josh Neer was one of the toughest opponents the 209 native had faced. As a late replacement, Diaz faced the challenge and made the most of it. Snatching a kimura in the 3rd round, Diaz forced Neer to submit showing not only his well-rounded game but his propensity to always go for the finish.
4. Vs. Marius Zaromskis – Strikeforce: Miami – 1/30/2010
Coming into this fight Marius Zaromskis was *the* talk of the welterweight division. He was coming off of a breakout 2009, winning the DREAM welterweight GP, and riding a three-fight-headkick-KO winning streak. That’s all fine and good but it wasn’t enough to prepare him for the unadulterated realness that Nick Diaz brings to the cage.
The two faced off and insanity commenced. As the two exchanged, Marius dropped Diaz with a left-hook. In his baffling fashion, Diaz immediately recovered and shifted the tide. He used his reach and technically superior boxing to tee off. Literally seconds after being in control, Zaromskis was lost and could find no answer. The accumulation of shots to the dome (and body) became too much and Diaz closed the show with a right hand.
3. Vs. Paul Daley – Strikeforce: Diaz Vs. Daley – 4/9/2011
Those who believe there is a conspiracy covering up the fact that Nick Diaz is actually Wolverine had many of their theories confirmed in this fight. Honestly, how can anyone take Paul Daley’s Left Hook of DEATH and survive?! And immediately recover?!?! HOW?!?!
The most dangerous striker Strikeforce could pair against Diaz turned out to be just another victim. After (yet another) insane battle, Diaz put his opponent away when the supreme amassing of strikes became far too much.
2. Vs. Robbie Lawler – UFC 47: It’s On! – 4/2/2004
This was the night that Nick Diaz established his name. If Nick Diaz was going to beat Robbie Lawler he HAD to take the fight to the ground, right? As the fight ensued everyone thought Nick was playing with fire by standing in front of Lawler. And talking trash?! What was he thinking?!
Shortly into the 2nd round, Diaz turned out Robbie’s lights and showed the world he knew what he was doing.
Nick Diaz showed what he is capable of and what he is famous for today: Standing and trading, finishing fights, and talking some mad flimflam!
1. Vs. Takanori Gomi – PRIDE 33: The Second Coming – 2/24/2007
Nick Diaz and Takanori Gomi waged one of the craziest wars in MMA history and produced one of the greatest fights ever captured on video.
After getting tagged and dropped, Diaz summoned his inexplicable recuperative power and dragged Gomi into the deepest of waters. The two swung wildly, both with intentions of a knockout. Heading into the 2nd round it was clear Gomi’s will had been drained. A bloodied Diaz continued to press the action and forced the PRIDE champion to shoot for a take down. Diaz countered the take down attempted and locked on MMA’s white whale: The Gogoplata. Gomi tapped. The MMA universe let out a collective gasp. Frank Trigg and Josh Barnett lost their minds. Several gambling junkies in Stockton with serious debts were able to live confidently once again. It was a dramatic finish.
Unfortunately for Nick, this win no longer exists. Post-fight drug tests showed that Diaz was flying higher than Rob Van Dam during this fight and the Nevada State Athletic Commission overturned the ruling and deemed the bout a “No Contest.” Controversy and rulings aside, Nick Diaz has had no greater, career-defining, finish than this.
Depending on who you ask, Diaz may add to this list come Saturday night.
So we ran into Fabricio Werdum last night while at a great little amateur show called Samurai X in Culver City. The Strikeforce heavyweight was there to support some of his Kings MMA teammates as they had their chance to shine on the local level. Werdum looked extremely lean as he has been training for a hopeful expected return in December or January of next year.
When our fight correspondent Marcos Villegas got to him though, it was all business as the two chatted about his crazy Abu Dhabi final with Vinny Magalhaes. Werdum is convinced that he is made out of rubber, citing that he was shocked that he heard not one pop when he had Magalhaes in that arm bar in the closing moments of their match for the Abu Dhabi title. Werdum also dispels rumors about signing with the UFC, mentioning that no one from his team has been in talks with Zuffa. The odd thing is that at the very end of the interview, Werdum says there might be truth to the rumors and that if he was in talks with the UFC he could not say anything at this point.
When we sat here in the editing room, we all made a collective “what?” So I guess Werdum is going to the UFC? What do you all think?
UFC hall of famer and MMA legend Chuck Liddell was recently in Las Vegas two weeks ago, stopping by at The Pit Las Vegas to make a guest appearance at the grand opening of the new facility. The Pit of course was founded by long time Liddell trainer, John Hackleman. Liddell is no stranger to Fight Hub TV as he once attempted to help fight correspondent Marcos Villegas score a date with uber hottie Kenda Perez. Though unsuccessful, it showed us how down to earth Chuck Liddell is. This humbleness is certainly one of many things that connects Liddell to MMA fans.
He recently spoke to us once more about the new Pit opening, staying retired and just had a overall general conversation with our fight correspondent Michael Mardones. Thick and Thru, Mr. Liddell is a good man, though if your reading this Chuckie, Marcos would like your help in still scoring a date with Kenda….
It goes to say everytime we run into Gary Shaw, our discussions always turn to MMA, leaving us with little nuggets of juicy information from the one time Elite XC head honcho. Last Saturday, our fight correspondent Marcos Villegas caught up with Shaw in Los Angeles in wake of the disastrous main event between Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson.
The initial conversation was of course aimed at his prized fighter winning the WBC light heavyweight belt from Bernard Hopkins though it would soon transition towards another fighter of his, Kimbo Slice. Slice had his second boxing match last Saturday, winning via KO in the first round via a thunderous hook. Shaw mapped out what he quotes as a fast track for Kimbo for a heavyweight title shot, expecting the fighter to box every two months. He announced that Kimbo would return in December or January of this year and dispelled rumors that he would fight street brawler DADA 5000 in a MMA bout.
Shaw also speculates about Quinton “Rampage” Jackson wanting to make a boxing debut, inviting him to give him a call if he is serious about a trek into the sport.
As December 21, 2012 fast approaches many people around the world are expecting doom! As they believe a cataclysmic event will strike the earth. Scenarios being discussed by these certain peoples are comets or asteroids coming from the heavens and crashing into the earth, E.T.’s finally make first contact with us or the spread of a deadly virus. Of course they all base this on them good old ancient band of peoples known as the Mayan’s and their calendar which happens to stop at that date.
Did anyone ever come to think that the Mayans may have run out of room on that little ole calendar of theirs to fit more dates? Just a thought…
So any-who, people everywhere are expecting the worse and some are even expecting the dead to rise, creating what we have all come to see in any George Romero flick, The Zombie Apocalypse! ::cue suspenseful music:: One man who is not taking any chances and is keeping his blasting skills sharp is UFC Welterweight Dan Hardy. Hardy (who admits to us his blasting weapon of choice is the shotgun) is continuing his quest to become a master marksman and recently allowed us to tag along with him at The Gun Store in Las Vegas as he polishes his machine gun skills.
His Victim? A zombie clown (talk about double whammy). His Weapon? A Tommy Gun (he is getting gangsta with it). Want some Zombies? Get some! Hail to the king, or should we say god save the queen?
The Life of a retired fighter can conjure thoughts of the fabled Elysian Fields to many, as the thoughts of greener pastures and not having to endure brutal training camps and injuries while enjoying the prize money earned is a means to an end. Many fighters take up their newly found free time by opening gyms and training fighters or taking up hobbies. For one particular English fighter, it seems in his new found free time has he watched a few UFC cards from time to time.
Boxing legend and undoubtedly the UK’s biggest boxing draw, Ricky Hatton who won major world titles at junior welterweight and welterweight has joined the list of many other boxers (Mike Tyson, David Haye, Bernard Hopkins) who slowly have become fans of mixed martial arts. Hatton, who spoke to our fight correspondent based in the UK, Nigel Turner admits he wasn’t a fan at first, but as the sport continues to push into the mainstream he took notice. “The more I watch it, slowly but surely I am becoming a bit more of a fan.” This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling that Hatton is a fan of people beating the snot out of each other a view shared by us over here at Fight Hub TV.
It is one that we wished was shared by the more polarizing figures on all ends of the spectrum as Boxing should not been seen as a has been sport with no action to MMA diehards (as boxing is a part of MMA) while old school boxing fans should not see MMA as barbaric as the science and techniques of grappling take years to master. All in all, crossover fans see and respect both sports athletes for what they are, dedicated warriors to their chosen craft and it is one that should be preached as both sports will continue to co-exist and can help both grow.