Naseem Hamed: Conor McGregor is the ‘most entertaining man’ in combat sports

Conor McGregor got a ringing endorsement this week from a man once considered the most flamboyant and entertaining fighter in boxing.

“Prince” Naseem Hamed, who was once one of the most polarizing pugilists, gushed about the Dublin-born MMA fighter during an appearance on the Boxing News Magazine podcast.

The former Lineal, WBC, IBF and WBO, IBF featherweight champion, who will be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in June alongside Ray ?Boom Boom? Mancini and Riddick Bowe, complained that nobody in boxing today had swagger like he did.

?I pray to god that I would see somebody that ignites me with that passion and that confidence [I had]. There?s only one guy? I was in Sheffield with my brother last week and he showed me this guy from Dublin? Conor McGregor. I swear to God that this guy is a breath of fresh air. And this guy, in my eyes, is the most entertaining man in the whole of any combat sport there is today.

Prince Naseem Hamed talks with host Jay Leno during an interview on Dec. 4, 1998. (Photo: NBC)

“He’s blazed out the whole of boxing ? smashed it out of the water,” Hamed continued. “He?s a UFC fighter. Listen, he?s ENTERTAINING. This guy, he says in his interviews, ?I don?t just knock them out, I pick the round.? The guy is a confident guy. I like the way he fights. Obviously, after I watched him I read up on him a little bit. The guy used to be a national amateur champion, and obviously he grew up watching me. Some of the stuff he does reminds me of me when I was younger, and what I used to do, and how confident I used to be. Some of his way[s] that he speaks, and how confident he is, and the way he carries himself? I want you to watch out for Conor McGregor.”

McGregor (17-2) will face UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo (25-1) in Las Vegas at UFC 189 on July 11 ? a month after Hamed?s induction during the June 11-14 HOF weekend in New York.

mma fight
mma training
anderson silva
chuck liddell
martial art

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Never say never: Ben Askren to the UFC isn’t out of the question

There may not be a more accomplished fighter outside the UFC than undefeated welterweight Ben Askren.

Askren, the one-time Olympian and two-time national champion out of Missouri, made waves in the MMA scene when he announced his intentions to turn pro in mixed martial arts after his amateur wrestling career concluded.

?Funky Ben? first burst onto the mainstream in April 2010 for the Viacom-owned Bellator. At the time, the four-time All-American only had three professional fights to his credit. However, given his incredible amateur wrestling background, the Hartland, Wisconsin native was a hot commodity and many thought UFC championship gold was all but assured.

Four fights later, in October of the same year, Askren was Bellator welterweight champion. By July 2013, Askren was a free agent, still undefeated at 12-0 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship was the next logical choice for the surging 170-pound powerhouse.

However, UFC president Dana White had a different take on Ben Askren:

“He’s a nice kid,? recounted White to USA Today after meeting with Askren in 2013. ?I’ve got nothing personal against him. He’s a nice guy. We just won’t be signing him.”

White said that Askren could go fight for rival promotion World Series of Fighting, where he could face ?actual competition.?

?I think it?s crazy that he?s ranked in the top 10. He hasn?t fought anybody and has no challenges. The best thing that could?ve ever happened to that kid was leaving Bellator. Now he has the opportunity to go to World Series of Fighting and show what he?s got.?

Well, Askren didn?t sign with WSOF. Instead, he signed with Asian promoter ONE FC and has since become their welterweight champ. The blossoming MMA promotion hosts their shows all over Asia, and has sponsorship deals in place with Disney/Marvel among others. And although Askren may not be getting the kind of North American exposure he would get in, say, the UFC, he is still undefeated.

Since becoming a free agent in 2013, Dana White?s tune has changed in regards to Askren ? no longer is Askren the ?nice kid,? but rather a ?moron.?

Whether it?s Askren?s continued winning, his incessant harassment of UFC fighters, or perhaps it’s his posturing in hopes of trying to score a bigger deal with the UFC, something rubbed the UFC president the wrong way. One could speculate that Askren leaving for a rival Asian promotion instead of a Las Vegas-based promotion like World Series of Fighting may have had something to do with it; after all, White did refer to WSOF by name and ONE FC as ?that Asian organization.?

At UFC 185 this weekend in Dallas, however, signs began pointing toward the UFC and camp Askren getting friendly. Perhaps the ?moron? was making an impression on UFC brass.

First came an Instagram post by Duke Roufus of a beaming Askren seated next to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva (seemingly equally as giddy).

Now, by itself, that may have been nothing more than coincidence ? maybe Ben Askren just likes poking the bear, having some fun with the UFC higher-ups, and Joe Silva is just a nice guy who doesn?t want to turn down a request for a picture, right?

Sure, that seems logical enough.

However, the tinfoil hats really came out during the UFC 185 pay-per-view broadcast when UFC announcers Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg referred to Askren, by name, on multiple occasions.

This is not normal practice for the UFC. Normally, in years’ past, when there is an unsigned free agent on the market, or a fighter making waves outside the organization, their name was rarely, if ever, brought up.

Think back to the years of Fedor Emelianenko in PRIDE/Strikeforce; you never heard a peep about ?The Last Emperor? on UFC broadcasts. The same went for Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez when they were some of the most prized free agents on the scene during their respective runs of dominance.

The thinking was (and rightfully so, to an extent): if a fighter isn?t signed to the UFC and making us money, then why give them or their sheer existence any credence?

So, that begs the question: why were UFC pundits talking up Askren?s credentials. The most obvious speculation is, they were ?putting over? then-UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis.

Pettis trains with Askren at RoufusSport in Milwaukee and has long been a vocal proponent of bringing his buddy over to the Las Vegas-based promotion. However, the fact that the UFC crew mentioned Askren by name (coupled with the Joe Silva photo) got more than a few people wondering if something was in the works.

It?s an interesting situation to ponder.

On one hand, the UFC welterweight division doesn?t really need Askren. Yes, he?s undefeated, but the ?competition? assertion that White made back in 2013 is still valid today; Askren doesn’t have a top-15 win ? UFC rankings or otherwise.

To make matters worse, the UFC has a who?s who of proven, action-packed fighters on their welterweight roster ? champion Robbie Lawler, contenders Rory McDonald, Johny Hendricks, Tyron Woodley and Carlos Condit litter the top of the division. And let us not forget the speculation that divisional kingpin and legend Georges St-Pierre may return from his retirement at some point.

Add that to the fact that Askren would probably want a similar deal to the ones that the aforementioned Shields and Melendez received ? both men were granted immediate UFC title shots after being signed as free agents ? and you can?t blame Dana White for being skeptical.

Yes, Askren is undefeated, but he isn?t what Shields and Melendez were ? not even close. Both Shields and Melendez had records littered with top-10 victories, which was in part due to the MMA landscape of the time (more promotions, more competition) and in part because of their tenure as MMA veterans. They received immediate title shots upon their UFC arrivals because they were credentialed fighters with critical acclaim.

So, if Ben Askren is thinking about fighting a UFC contender or headlining a UFC PPV title fight in his debut, he’d be wise to re-evaluate his expectations.

With all that said, Askren is still a commodity. He?s an undefeated fighter, Olympian and two-time national champion. Sure, his style may leave something to be desired (Askren is typically thought of as a ?grinder,? a man who will wear you down in lieu of exciting fights), but he has managed to finish his last four opponents ? and Askren promises more to come.

To his credit, Askren, 30, remains on a steady warpath of harassment in his hopes of one day getting signed. While taking in the UFC 185 festivities over the weekend, Askren took some time to harass former collegiate nemesis and former UFC champ, Johny Hendricks.


Askren has gone after Hendricks and various UFC fighters before ? but, with all the talk this week of ?Funky? and his credentials, we are left to wonder: is something up?

Will Ben Askren finally be joining the UFC or does he need more substantial tests first?

anderson silva
chuck liddell
martial art mma fight
mma training

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Duke Roufus on UFC 185: Anthony Pettis has GSP qualities, Dos Anjos perfect victim, Carl Esparza retains title

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis appears to be the most dominant UFC star not called Ronday Rousey and Jon Jones. He’s won each of his last four fights via stoppage and looks completely unflustered when posed with even the biggest threats in the division. Pettis is in one of two UFC title fights this Saturday [...]

martial art mma fight
mma training
anderson silva
chuck liddell

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video: Felice Herrig expects first round knockout over Paige VanZant at UFC on FOX 15

anderson silva
chuck liddell
martial art mma fight
mma training

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For Ronda Rousey, 14 seconds is nice, but not a personal record

Ronda Rousey won her last fight in just 14 seconds, successfully defending her UFC women’s bantamweight title against previously unbeaten Cat Zingano by catching Zingano in an arm bar.

[DraftKings: Players Who Drafted Ronda Rousey during UFC 184 won over $150,000. Draft Your Fantasy MMA Team.]

The fight before that, she needed just 16 seconds to best Alexis Davis at UFC 175.

Rousey has become the talk of the sports world because of her dominance. On Monday, former New York Mets general manager Steve Phillips and  1996 National League Rookie of the Year Todd Hollandsworth mentioned her on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, and they joked about which baseball player they could find who could hang with Rousey in a fight.

On “WWE Raw” on Monday, just two days after Rousey’s incredible victory over Zingano at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Paul Heyman was doing a promo for ex-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s match at WrestleMania against Roman Reigns that is set for later this month.

Heyman told Reigns, “Brock Lesnar [might] simply Ronda Rousey your ass.”

She’s been so dominant there has even been crazy talk of her fighting a man. But such quick wins are nothing new to Rousey. When she was 14 and competing in judo, she defeated an opponent in just four seconds using an Ippon, or perfect throw.

The entire video is below. And while it’s not of the greatest quality, it’s obvious that Rousey was just as dominant as a young girl as she is now. She also has the giddy celebration that she still uses in the UFC.

chuck liddell
martial art mma fight
mma training
anderson silva

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For Ronda Rousey, 14 seconds is nice, but not a personal record

Ronda Rousey won her last fight in just 14 seconds, successfully defending her UFC women’s bantamweight title against previously unbeaten Cat Zingano by catching Zingano in an arm bar.

[DraftKings: Players Who Drafted Ronda Rousey during UFC 184 won over $150,000. Draft Your Fantasy MMA Team.]

The fight before that, she needed just 16 seconds to best Alexis Davis at UFC 175.

Rousey has become the talk of the sports world because of her dominance. On Monday, former New York Mets general manager Steve Phillips and  1996 National League Rookie of the Year Todd Hollandsworth mentioned her on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, and they joked about which baseball player they could find who could hang with Rousey in a fight.

On “WWE Raw” on Monday, just two days after Rousey’s incredible victory over Zingano at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Paul Heyman was doing a promo for ex-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s match at WrestleMania against Roman Reigns that is set for later this month.

Heyman told Reigns, “Brock Lesnar [might] simply Ronda Rousey your ass.”

She’s been so dominant there has even been crazy talk of her fighting a man. But such quick wins are nothing new to Rousey. When she was 14 and competing in judo, she defeated an opponent in just four seconds using an Ippon, or perfect throw.

The entire video is below. And while it’s not of the greatest quality, it’s obvious that Rousey was just as dominant as a young girl as she is now. She also has the giddy celebration that she still uses in the UFC.

mma training
anderson silva
chuck liddell
martial art mma fight

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anthony Pettis ‘would love’ to fight Nate Diaz next

anderson silva
chuck liddell
martial art mma fight
mma training

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Former UFC star Chael Sonnen to fight Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral at Metamoris VI

Former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has remained busy despite his retirement from the company after multiple failed drug tests and his unceremonious firing from UFC/FOX Sports broadcasts.

[DraftKings: Players Who Drafted Ronda Rousey during UFC 184 won over $150,000. Draft Your Fantasy MMA Team.]

Almost immediately after his departure from FOX, ESPN brought him aboard as an MMA analyst. To curb his competitive appetite, the ?Gangster from West Linn? has remained active in the competitive jiu-jitsu scene by competing in Metamoris, the California-based submission-only grappling tournament. Sonnen was submitted by BJJ world champ Andre Galvao in his promotional debut at Metamoris IV in August of last year.

Now, the 37-year-old quasi-retired promo-machine is looking for a bit of revenge from his fighting days, as earlier today it was announced that Sonnen would again be competing at the next Metamoris event this summer against former foe Renato ?Babalu? Sobral. Although no date is officially set, the event will take place in Los Angeles and a main event announcement will follow in the coming days.

Sobral and Sonnen rumbled back in their company days at UFC 55 in 2005. Sobral submitted Sonnen in the second round via triangle choke. It is important to note that Sonnen does have a win over his Brazilian counterpart from a prior tussle years ago in a lesser promotion, and it seems like the two aging vets are looking to settle the score on the submission mats.

News of the match was confirmed today by Metamoris founder Ralek Gracie, along with Sonnen, and a specific date is to be announced in the coming days. The promotion features one 20-minute round of competition; if a submission is not achieved in the allotted time, a draw is declared.

What say you, Cagereaders? Do you still want to see Chael Sonnen compete and is Metamoris a suitable venue for his talents?

 

martial art mma fight
mma training
anderson silva
chuck liddell

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smart tips for a low Carb weight cut

SMART TIPS FOR A LOW CARB WEIGHT CUT

Low carbohydrate diets are one of the most tried and tested ways to make weight leading up to a fight. Here we?ve teamed up with the Sports Scientists at Myprotein.com to look at the foods you should be including in your diet if you?re thinking of using this particular weight cut method.

Firstly it?s perhaps important to explain why so many fighters and nutritionists favour cutting out carbs before a weigh in. It has a lot to do with the way carbohydrates are stored in the body, since once carbohydrates are eaten they are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Muscle glycogen specifically weighs about 18 grams per kg of lean body mass and one gram of glycogen is linked to about 3.5 grams of water. So to run through an example for a featherweight fighter weighing 62kg with 20kg of lean body mass muscle:

? 20 Kg (of lean body mass) x 18 grams of glycogen = 360 grams of total glycogen
? 360 grams (of glycogen) x 3.5 grams of water = 1260 grams of water

This means in theory this particular featherweight fighter has 1.62kg of weight to cut in their muscles and water alone (this is in addition to cutting weight in the digestive system and water retention from other parts of the body.)

Now we understand the way in which carbohydrates are stored within the body, the key is cutting carbohydrates out of the diet whilst including certain foods that ensure you remain energised and don?t suffer mentally or physically.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UFC bantamweight Nick Denis retires, cites potential brain injuries

UFC bantamweight Nick Denis has announced his MMA retirement.

The 29-year-old Canadian fighter, who made an impressive UFC debut earlier this year, made the announcement on Thursday on his personal blog.

Denis, who went 1-1 in the UFC, cited concerns over potential brain injuries.

mma training
anderson silva
chuck liddell
martial art mma fight

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment