Following a late night of MMA on Saturday thanks to UFC 130, North American fans hoping to get a long awaited fix of Japanese MMA will have to stay up through the night, or give themselves a couple hours of rest, as DREAM.17: Fight for Japan will be taking place in the wee hours of the morning. MMA fans, particularly those of the Japanese variety are no strangers to sleep deprivation, but their bigger challenge will be where to watch the card live. HDNet, DREAM’s normal home for North American broadcasting won’t be airing the card until June 3rd, so unless some Japanese streams exist (which is a big if, considering the fact that TBS has severed their association with FEG), fans may have to rely on play-by-plays… the modern day MMA equivalent of a radio broadcast.
UFC 130 was originally supposed to feature the third installment in the Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard saga, and people were actually excited for it, which a year ago is something that would've been impossible to fathom. With both fighters getting injured almost simultaneously, that fight was scrapped and with no meaningful replacement in site the Quinton Jackson/Matt Hamill bout was promoted to main event status, much to the chagrin of MMA fans everywhere.
There is a satisfying feeling about following a fighter from obscurity to greatness; about knowing a fighter before they make it onto the big show and then watching them advance right to the top of their division. This series doesn’t quite go to that extreme, the fighters it will focus on are already fighting on the biggest stage, but it will highlight a promising fighter on the undercard of each event, bringing them to your attention and making sure you don’t miss out on the prospects fighting on the prelims.
Too often in MMA we see what should be a fun striking battle recede into something resembling an awkward sparring match. With each fighter so keen to land that knockout blow to their opponent’s chin, we are left with what seems like an endless stream of punches clipping forearms and shoulders, tiring both the fighters physically and spectators mentally, with little to no practical impact. This is the unfortunate consequence of head hunting in MMA. Where the more a fighter chooses to throw only head shots in hope of a highlight reel knockout, the smaller the chance of a finish actually becomes.
When was the last time we didn’t have a UFC champion in need of surgery or time off to recover from some injury? The fight game is extremely taxing on the human body and unfortunately injuries are a part of the training and the fights themselves. It is rare that we see a card take place with absolutely no changes due to injury. Does it not seem that injuries are even more common with champions though?
When news suddenly and unexpectedly broke that Zuffa had purchased Strikeforce the MMA world went into a frenzy. What would be the repercussions? Would we finally get to see super-fights with champions fighting champions? Would the UFC just absorb the roster and shut down Strikeforce? As the weeks have passed some things have been answered and some are still merely speculation. We know for sure that Zuffa must fulfill the terms of the Showtime contract that Strikeforce has in place, but once that is done, will that be it for the Strikeforce brand? There have been opinions and articles for both cases. Some feel Zuffa should keep Strikeforce around to use as a feeder brand while others feel they should merge as soon as possible and just drop the dead weight on the rosters.
April was a very slow month for MMA... and May looks to be even slower with only one major event at the end of the month. Even though the UFC has absorbed all of the fighters from WEC and now runs Strikeforce, it seems too taxing to put on more than one show in May. And this is one of the problems with Zuffa running everything in the sport.
Jose Aldo’s performance at UFC 129 prompted some strong opinions from detractors. He successfully defended his title, defeating Mark Hominick via unanimous decision; but, for critics of the UFC Featherweight Champion, it was a showing that left a lot to be desired, with some even questioning his status as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport. The day immediately after an event can be an emotive time, so now, after the dust has settled, let’s take another look at Aldo’s performance to see if this criticism is warranted.
The debate regarding mixed martial artists’ salaries is a heated one. Amongst any group of MMA fans, conversation will at some point turn to fighter pay and whether or not it is fair. While there are always conflicting viewpoints, my opinion has stood strong that that the fighters, in general, deserve more than they currently get. I recently found myself in a quandary then, when I watched Nick Diaz interviewed by Ariel Helwani. Nick, being Nick, described himself as the most overworked, overtrained, underpaid fighter in the sport. I couldn’t disagree more.
This past weekend the FightLockdown.com community received some shocking and heart-breaking news that sent us reeling when we learned of the sudden passing of long-time friend and contributor, Matt Bishel (also known as MJB23 on our forum). Most of the staff and veterans of FLD and its sibling site MMAForum.com have known Matt since 2006, where we were introduced to his passion for mixed martial arts and life in general, through thousands upon thousands of posts.