Monday, March 21, 2011

127, 128, Strikeforce, and Bellator

Lots going on in the MMA world the past few weeks.
I'll try to be as succinct as possible.

Lets start with Bellator. They're not in the same league as the UFC, but they know that. They do a good job of recruiting (for the most part, couple of those round 1 fighters are way out of their depth) All of their guys are hungry, and the tournement format is good fun, however they HAVE to work on their production values. I've watched highschool wrestling matches on youtube with better production quality. Hopefully the longer they work with MTV the better that will get.

Strikeforce is not dead, but its on it's way. Zuffa bought them last week. My thought is they're going to wait for some of the higher profile contracts to end, and slowly fold those guys into the UFC, then close up shop once the showtime deal ends.. Or not. They might set up Strikeforce as a "minor league" promotion, allowing them to keep name guys who are past their prime out of other people's hands and leverage Showtime/CBS into talking turkey. Either way it seems like it was a good move, as they are really the only game in town now.

This was a pretty blah overall card. I understand the UFC is trying to get a toehold on Australiasia, but they have to either come up with some better fighters from that region, or just bring in guys, because the Australiasian fighter vs. Some shmoe on the same level format isn't working, not enough good fighters to make a compelling card. Use the undercard to build fighters from that region, and don't subject us to an entire card of gatekeeper and journeymen fights.

Mark Hunt could be somebody if he ever got his butt in shape. His walk-off KO of Chris Tuchsherer was a thing of beauty.

Glad to see Nick Ring in the UFC, he is one of the few guys from TUF that seems like a reasonable and intelligent guy. I like to see those guys doing well.

Kyle Noke looks like he's on the upswing. Hopefully the UFC won't/won't have to wrap him in bubble wrap and feed him a line of tomato cans like they have Mike Bisping in order to have an aussie "face." More on that in a bit.

George Sotiropoulos is a good fighter, and a decent guy, but his wrestling sucks. He clearly has learned takedowns from a jiu-jitsu coach with no other grappling background. To be frank there is a reason every great ground fighter has worked some form of Judo/wrestling/takedowns from a specialist. The days of being able to grab a leg and sorta hork your opponent to the ground have gone the way of wearing a Gi in the cage.

I am tired of Mike Bisping. He is fatiguing. He is a decent low level gatekeeper who has fought 2 fighters who are even gatekeepers (Hendo who starched him, and Wanderlei who is not the same Wanderlei) and yet he thinks he should be in line for a title shot. Part of me wants to see it. He'll talk smack and Anderson will punch is chav face off. Then let him tumble down the ladder and watch him get beat by Marquardt, Sonnen, Maia, Okami, Palhares, Munoz and god knows who else. The fight I really want to see is Mayhem Miller vs Bisping.

I thought Jon Fitch won that fight. BJ Penn thought Fitch won that fight. BJ almost broke. If there had been a 4th round there wouldn't have been a 5th. If you're judging a fight, there has to be an "Ass-kicking" clause in your judging. If at the end of a fight you look at one of the fighters and say "that guy got his ass kicked." then the other guy won the fight.

Erik Koch looked good. He's a goofy kid with a lot of potential. Hopefully the UFC will bring him along slowly and let him develop. He's got a lot of potential.

Barboza vs. Njokuani was a terribly difficult fight to score. Njokuani controled the pace, but Barboza landed some heavy shots and scored a couple timely takedowns. I had Njokuani winning, but you just never know.

Kamal Shalorus needs to go to a better camp so that he can get over his striking and learn that he needs to fight a smart fight in order to win. At age 38 he just doesn't have time to learn hard lessons in fights.

Brendan Schaub looked good in his fight with CroCop, and is on his way up. The big question mark is his wrestling.

CroCop is done. Even before Dana White said it. Watching his fights in PRIDE he was a cerified killer. He was someone to be feared, and he knew it. Since the loss to Gonzaga he has doubts. He looks like he'd rather be anywhere else. You can tell he's not training as much, his physique is softer, smoother. He's just not the same guy.

Eddie Wineland had the right gameplan, he just wasn't athletic enough to pull it off agains Urijah Faber. Faber looks set to take the bantamweight belt. I think he beats Dominick Cruz.

Jon Jones is a handful. His speed, reach, and wrestling make him trouble for anyone at 205. Rashad Evans knows it, that's why he's acting the way he is. Dumping Greg Jackson is just building an excuse for why he's going to lose the fight. Once he loses he'll come back to Jackson, or some other camp, and suddenly he'll be rejuvinated, win a few fights and think of some other reason why he isn't going to beat Jones.


Friday, March 18, 2011

I can tell a hawk from a handsaw when the wind is northerly..

It is windy out there.
I haven't been posting much, mostly because much of what is going on is not really for public consumption. The grizzly is quickly becoming his own little person. Chatting, and pointing. He reacts emotionally to things other than hunger or discomfort. I am trying to be his father and his dad. A process that is still simple, but requires care and is exponentially gaining complexity. He looks very much like I did as a kid. Makes me wonder if this was how my dad felt when I was that age. My parents were still together then, were they fighting? What was it like for him then? This time for me is fantastic mostly.
Everything else is sort of on hold.
My training, I'm doing a 3 day full body, lower, upper split. Spending lots of time re-learning to squat while using front squats and deadlifts to get/keep my strength up. I have been back on the mats some. It's been good. Ironing out weaknesses, and teaching what I know.
My weight is good: 201 last week. It'll go up a few pounds after this weekend, but nothing tragic.
Work, I'm working and keeping up, but it's 8 a day and 40/week and that's it. Training I have paired down to a couple distance clients, and even that is coming on hold now that rowing season is getting going and Pan Ams are next week.
I'm getting used to the new car. The stick is still a challenge, but I really only kill it when I'm testing my limits to see what I can get away with.
This weekend is my birthday. 36. Average male lifespan:72
I'm halfway.. or not. one never knows for sure. Don't worry, I have enough fortitude that there's no need for a red sports car. I have too much living to do to spend time worrying about dieing.
The wife is making me a coconut cake for my birthday. My favorite. The real deal, not just some lame vanilla cake with some packaged coconut thrown on top.
I ate too much corned beef, and potatoes yesterday.
Wednesday I didn't train. I got an email from my dad. My grandmother, his mom, died. She taught me how to cook, and was one of the few people who made me feel like I was special, important. She made me feel like being family was not conditional even if her respect was. Her health has been declining for years. The last few she was confused, not herself. I feel guilty that I didn't see her(hadn't since just after we were married), but worse still because I'm kind of glad. I remember her lucid. Able to take care of herself.. and I feel more guilty for feeling that way.
I hate to engage in this sort of navel gazing, but hopefully you will indulge me this one time. It's been a very introspective week.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Off the mats in the gym.

Work, sickness, sick kid, have all conspired to keep me off the mats for a week. I have been hammering away in the gym though.

Kb snatch 20 sec on (5 reps) 20 sec off x10
Kb clean and press 20 sec on (4 reps) 20 sec off x10
all at 62

Front squats: 4x5
press/chins: 5x5/5

Kb snatch 30 seconds on (5 reps per hand) 30 off x15

battling ropes:
90 sec on
1minute off
1minute on 1minute off x4

box squats: 5x3
deadlifts: 2x5
hip thrusters: some

Feeling good. I haven't spent this much time working exclusively in the gym for a long time. It's kind of refreshing. It's a good way to reboot, and take some "time off" without getting all sloppy and out of shape.
A few weeks ago I was really frustrated. I got roundly trounced by two guys who are technically the same belt level as me, but have been there a good long time. One is a phenom, a natural who had come back from college for spring break. The other is a former pro fighter who is prepping for a major tournament. Those guys should trounce me, but my ego was in the way and I got annoyed with myself, and then really stopped paying attention to things and getting beat on worse and worse. It snowballed, my ego ate me up. This happened twice.
A little time away putting in hard work and suddenly I just want to be on the roll, don't care with whom, win or lose.
Should be back Saturday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New car, and not sick.

Two weeks ago, I was crazy sick. Last week was just crazy. Training has been spotty. I'm getting it in when I can, but I still only trained 4 days last week.

Monday I did some light conditioning, and then it was back regularly scheduled programming today.

Sunday, I traded in my 2002 Ranger Pick-up. I've driven that car for 9 years and over 96,000 miles. It was an extension of my being. It was weird getting in a new car Monday and driving to work. The truck just didn't make sense any more. Car seat didn't really fit, wasn't exactly safe, and it was going to need a few hundred bucks worth of work to pass emissions (for a car worth less than 2 grand). So I traded it in.

I got a new(ish) VW rabbit. Solid small car. Supposedly run forever. I really like it. I have nothing to compensate for, thus the small car is not a problem. In fact in a lot of ways it is far preferable (the gas mileage is insane)

Even though I was getting total garbage for gas mileage the environmentally sound decision was to keep the truck. I drive so little, that the delta between the environmental impact of building another car, and the better gas milage was negligable. This is a factor that people forget when looking at the impact of cars and fossil fuels. If everyone kept and maintained their cars for 8-10 years it would significantly decrease our use of fossil fuels even though the average gas mileage on the road would decrease slightly. It takes a lot of plastic and petrolium to manufacture a car. Unfortunetly the Auto industry has a rather compelling reason to get us to turn over cars as much as possible.

The average new car stays with it's inital owner for 5.5 years. Juuuust long enough to pay it off and turn it over (most car loans are 60 months). To me that was just the beginning. Once I paid off my truck, to me it was just the beginning.

So here's to driving someone else's car.. until I pay it off.