Friday, May 14, 2010

Boxer Mayorga could be in for MMA surprise by Kevin Lole

Boxing fans who have never seen mixed martial arts before often come away with the impression that it’s just bad boxing after watching their first MMA bout.

Of course, that’s far from the truth. MMA fighters have to take different stances in their stand-up than boxers do because they have a lot more to defend against than just punches.

A fighter who takes a boxing stance in an MMA fight is more often than not going to have his front leg kicked out from under him and be taken quickly to the ground.

Ricardo Mayorga – who will instantly become the most high-profile boxer to transition to MMA when he takes on veteran Din Thomas on Saturday in the main event of a Shine Fights pay-per-view card at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. – insists he’s not all that impressed with the skills of MMA fighters.

Mayorga, who held welterweight and super welterweight world titles as a boxer, suggested that MMA fighting is not much different than fighting in the streets. And he said he’s not all that concerned about meeting Thomas, an Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran who holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“I’m going to take that black belt and wipe my feet with it after I knock him out,” Mayorga said of Thomas. “The striking in boxing and in MMA are hugely different. MMA is more geared toward a street fight and I’ve been fighting in the streets of Nicaragua for years.”

Whether Mayorga will get the opportunity to face Thomas remains somewhat in doubt, though – in fact, it’s in the hands of a Florida judge. Boxing promoter Don King is seeking an injunction to prevent the Mayorga-Thomas fight because he claims he has an exclusive promotional contract with Mayorga.

Mayorga and Shine CEO Devin Price insist the card will go on as scheduled and that King’s contract is for promoting boxing only, not MMA, and that Mayorga’s contract with Shine is MMA only.

But King said the contract covers all combat sports and is suing to preserve it. He also said Mayorga owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars and is concerned Mayorga will be hurt by Thomas – and thus unable to repay him.

“This fight will cause me irreparable harm if it goes forward,” King said. “Mayorga ain’t prepared to fight in MMA. This ain’t like boxing; it’s like a no-holds-barred fight. He could get hit with elbows and knees and he could get kicked. He’s not prepared for that punishment. I know he’s not even training.

“You can take this kind of punishment if you’re conditioned for it, but Mayorga isn’t conditioned for it. This fight could ruin him and he’s still a promotable guy. I have to sue to protect my investment and the sanctity of my legally binding contract.”

Mayorga called King “a jealous man” and said he believes he’s free to fight Thomas. He said of King: “I wish him the worst.”

In a statement, Price said: “I have faith in the American justice system, and I believe justice will prevail. When one operates within the rules and regulations, one has nothing to worry about. As far as King goes, it is just his usual smoke and mirrors. He shoots his mouth off about an injunction to try and sway the media’s perception, and then waits until the last minute to file in hopes of affecting the success of the promotion. I know the difference between MMA and boxing, and so does Don King. The members of the media, and both MMA and boxing fans, can clearly see that Don King is up to his ‘trickerations.’ ”

Mayorga may be in for a surprise if the fight occurs. He described himself as a longtime MMA fan but said he’s been training for 2½ months. He is considered a hard puncher in boxing, with 8- and/or 10-ounce gloves, so it figures he’ll be an even harder hitter with 4-ounce gloves in MMA.

He can’t, however, know too much about ground fighting and defending Thomas’ variety of attacks. Mayorga expressed no concern, which more than anything likely shows his ignorance of MMA.

“I’ve picked it up quickly,” Mayorga said of MMA. “I know how to get out of the moves, the jiu-jitsu moves, he might try. I’ve been practicing my takedown defense.”

Thomas isn’t looking to prove anything other than that he’s better than Mayorga, and doesn’t see himself in a position of having to defend MMA’s honor.

“When Brock Lesnar came to the UFC, you didn’t hear anyone saying it was a jiu-jitsu guy against a pro wrestler; it was an MMA fight,” Thomas said. “I don’t think of this fight as a boxer against an MMA guy. I look at it like it’s me against Mayorga.”

King, who has been investigating the possibility of promoting MMA, said he understands the risks and that Mayorga does not. Mayorga could easily have his arm broken by a Thomas arm bar before he even knows what happened.

King said he’s been in talks to put Mayorga into a middleweight championship bout in boxing, likely against World Boxing Association champion Felix Sturm.

“I’m a fan of MMA and when I promote it, I’m going to do it in a meaningful way,” King said. “Mayorga has pulled out of fights and has been very tough to work with. He pulled out of the [Alfredo] Angulo fight [in 2009] and now HBO doesn’t want a thing to do with him.

“Mayorga is a crazy guy. He’s liable to stick out his chin to show how tough he is – the Joe Palooka syndrome. I’m concerned that the man is going to get hurt, with the kicks and elbows and knees, slamming his head. He’s not training. He was drunk and he called Dana [Jameson, a Don King Productions official] two days ago. This can’t be allowed to happen.”

Mayorga is going forward and said he hopes to become an MMA champion. He held a boxing title as recently as 2006, when he lost the World Boxing Council super welterweight title to Oscar De La Hoya. He wants to add MMA hardware to his collection.

“I want to make a career out of this and beat someone a lot better than this guy [Thomas], and hopefully get some belts to my name,” Mayorga said. “This is only the start.”

If Mayorga is taking Thomas as lightly as he seems to be, his MMA debut could wind up being very memorable – and not for the reasons he may think.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lesnar-Carwin Unification Bout Official for UFC 116

UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will meet interim titleholder Shane Carwin in a blockbuster unification bout at UFC 116 “Lesnar vs. Carwin” on July 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The promotion on Tuesday made the matchup official.

“When people wonder why the heavyweights capture the imagination of all fight fans, it’s because of guys like Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin,” UFC President Dana White said in a release. “Not only are they great athletes and former national wrestling champions, but they both have the ability to end a fight with one punch. This is one of those fights that you won’t be able to turn away from because it can be over in a split second.”

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mayweather dismantles Mosley with ease as fight goes to form

Gareth A Davies
The Floyd Mayweather show goes on – the slickest boxer of this generation demonstrating once again that he is unsurpassable, breaking Shane Mosley down over 12 one sided rounds in a Las Vegas ring to finish the winner in a lopsided contest. It went to form.

It was a landslide decision, with the judges awarding the fight 118-110, 119-109 twice to the 33-year-old by unanimous decision. I had it 119-110. I scored it 10-10 for the first round, and thought Mosley took the second with gusto, when he momentarily had the younger man under fire. But Mayweather recovered and returned fire by the end of the round. Thereafter, he dismantled Mosley piece by piece turning him into a 38-year-old jigsaw puzzle by the end of the second third of the contest. There is much to admire in the work of ‘Money’, who, if pay-per-view buys on Home Box Office have reached 2 million, he will have walked away with the best part of £36 million pounds.

Mayweather maintained his unbeaten record, moved to 41-0, and from here, all talk will be of a Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiation. Expect Mayweather to hold all the cards.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How long will Brock Lesnar’s reign last?

Despite having obvious physical gifts, don’t look for Brock to hold the belt for long. His big advantage in his UFC fights so far has been his size, and the fact that the UFC heavyweight division is relatively thin. When he faces someone with a wrestling background who is also a striker, then we’ll find out what Brock is made out of. Sure, Frank Mir ain’t exactly tiny, but he doesn’t have that wrestling background to cope with Brock on the ground. I think Gabriel Gonzaga would fare better against Brock than Mir did. I’m by no means a Gonzaga fan, but he has shown he can dominate on the ground, and he’s not coming back from a devastating leg injury like Mir.

I’d like to see Gonzaga unleash one of those wicked leg kicks onto Brock’s head. Shane Carwin is another one waiting in the wings who would give Brock fits. Huge size, KO power, and a wrestler to boot. I’d expect the UFC to keep him far away from Brock until at least a few more lucrative PPVs.

Cain Velasquez would be an interesting match-up for Brock, being a dominant wrestler, and a better striker, though giving up about 40lbs in size to Lesnar. I’d expect him to get the next shot at Brock. After this coming season of TUF, I’d expect to see a few more quality heavyweights join the ranks of the UFC. Brock’s reign will be short-lived, one way or another.
written by gdawg

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pound for Pound Top 10 MMANEWS.COM

1. Georges St. Pierre  2. Fedor Emelianenko  3. Anderson Silva  4. Lyoto Machida  5. Jose Aldo  6. B.J. Penn  7. Mike Thomas Brown  8. Jon Fitch   9. Thiago Alves  10. Brian Bowles

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Matt Hughes Not Ready For Retirement

April 12, 2010

Author: Thomas Casale
Matt Hughes owns a UFC record 17 wins. Now, he’s looking for No. 18.

The 36-year old Hughes said this weekend he has no plans on retiring after recording back-to-back victories over Matt Serra and Renzo Gracie.

“I’ve got three more fights left on my contract,” Hughes said after defeating Gracie Saturday at UFC 112. “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to continue fighting. I’m 36 years old. I had a lot of changes over the last five years.”

Hughes is 44-7 overall in his MMA career and 17-5 in the UFC. He is not only one of the greatest welterweight fighters of all time but one of the top pound-for-pound fighters to ever compete in MMA.

Hughes feels recharged since joining the Illinois-based H.I.T. Squad gym, which features some of MMA’s top young, upcoming fighters.

“I still love to compete,” he said. “I’m a lucky guy. When I go to the gym every day, I’m super happy. I have a great crew with me wherever I go to train. As long I still love to compete inside the octagon and as long as I enjoy working out, then I’ll still be here.”

Dana White said Hughes still has a home in the UFC but who his next opponent will be is still uncertain. While Hughes has defeated two aging fighter he was destroyed by Thiago Alves at UFC 85 back in 2008.

It’s doubtful Hughes can compete with the division’s top younger fighters at this point in his career but he has shown enough in his last two bouts to allow his stellar career to continue in the UFC.

He may not be the Matt Hughes of old but the future UFC Hall of Famer isn’t ready to hang it up either. As long as Hughes remains competitive, White will surely find people for him to fight inside the Octagon.