Holly Holm is your "& 1" Model of the Week, Jon Jones takes on Chuck Liddell in Vs, the results out of Bellator 115, Ronda Rousey is freed from her management company and more!
Hello everyone and welcome once again to 411mania's MMA 5&1! We hope you continue to make this your first port of call for all your Monday morning MMA news needs, and that you'll comment with your thoughts, vote on our polls, and generally get a kick out of this rather fine recap column.
The major news articles this week once again involve results from Bellator, the growing likelihood of Gina Carano competing inside the UFC Octagon, Paul Daley taking a kickboxing fight, and the ramifications of Chris Weidman going down with an injury!
Disclaimer: This work may not be ENTIRELY my own... but I did contribute... slightly...
Oh, and on an unrelated note, thanks to Remo Signori for the original (and now supposedly unrecognizable) banner-work...
Last week, the Versus Community made their feelings clear in relation to two huge heavyweight superfights! First off, reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez posted a 66-23 victory over former multiple division UFC Champion and bonafide legend Randy Couture in a clash between two outstanding tacticians. Couture, better known to UFC fans as ‘Captain America', was well-known for pulling off monumental upsets as he took on a who's who of top heavyweights and light heavyweights during the early years of the UFC. Despite fighting to his late forties and taking on men weighing well in excess of his own weight, Couture managed to carve out a legacy that few can hope to match. Cain Velasquez, however, is another animal entirely.
The Versus Community also awarded Dutch kickboxing legend and former undefeated UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten a crushing 71-14 win over compatriot and former K-1 Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion Alistair Overeem in one of the most lopsided decisions in Versus history. Rutten, a master of pinpoint body blows and devastating kicks, was one of the first true standout strikers in MMA – and his legend continues with this outstanding win courtesy of the Versus Community!
This week, Jon Jones was quoting as saying "As far as my likability compared to Chuck, I'm not Chuck Liddell. I'm just me. I'm shamelessly me. I'm really proud of what I've been able to do in my career. I don't try to compare myself to Chuck or any other champion. I figure as long as long as I'm breaking records and doing my part, that's all that matters." – this came in response to a quote from trainer John Hackleman that Jones may be overlooking upcoming challenger Glover Teixeira, and that Jones is not as likeable as Liddell – well, we'll see about that, won't we, Versus Community? So what do you say? Jones vs Liddell? Let's get it on!
And since we're doing a UFC superfight, let's go retro and break out a PRIDE superfight! We're talking one of the most violent and aggressive strikers the world ever saw in Wanderlei Silva and the stoic, unflappable Fedor Emelianenko. Both men held PRIDE gold, and both men fought common opponents, such as Mirko CroCop and Kazuyuki Fujita – but they never met one another! Well, now they do – and you, the Versus Community get to determine the winner! Vote on!
Until next week, Versus Community...
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd nooooooooooooow, the MMA 5:
Controversial former UFC star Paul Daley was in action once again this past weekend, this time under the Legend Kickboxing banner!
His opponent Alexander Surzhko could be credited with a 14-4 pro kickboxing record coming into this clash, and had never been KO'd before – that didn't mean a great deal against power puncher Daley, who scored a third round TKO to move to 3-0 in the sport. Daley looked comfortable standing toe-to-toe with Surzhko, and a power left hook rattled the Russian with less than a minute remaining in the round – Surzhko was able to continue, but with blood in the water, Daley moved in for the kill. Another barrage of his patented power strikes knocked Surzhko off his feet, and the referee moved in to call time on the bout.
Daley was last seen in MMA knocking out Romario da Silva in BAMMA in December 2013, and isn't booked to return to the cage anytime soon. He is, however, booked to fight again in a kickboxing bout against Miran Fabjan in Slovenia later this month.
So what do you think of Daley's performance against Alexander Surzhko? Has he impressed you? Does he have a future in kickboxing? And will you be sad to see him bow out of MMA, given Dana White's pledge to ensure he never fights in the UFC again? Answers in the comments section please!
Dana White recently revealed that he will sit down for talks with Women's MMA star Gina Carano! Dana White had previously stated that he would welcome Carano to the UFC with open arms, and things seem to have developed somewhat since then.
Carano, who was last seen competing back in 2009 in a losing effort to Cristiane ‘Cyborg' Justino under the Strikeforce banner reportedly has fights left on her contract that Zuffa picked up in the takeover of the promotion – and though White could not confirm that he would be discussing a fight in the UFC, he did say that they would ‘sit down and talk and see what happens'. White added they would be meeting in the coming week.
Prior to her defeat against Justino, Carano was 7-0 as a professional fighter and was the poster girl of WMMA. Since then, she has appeared in five films, including Fast and Furious 6, and remained a ‘top ten most searched athlete on Yahoo! in 2013'.
So what do you think of Carano fighting back in the UFC? Is she still good enough, after a five year absence? Was she ever good enough in the first place? And who should she fight, the Champion Ronda Rousey, or should she take a tune up fight first? Let us know in the comments section!
Speaking of Ronda Rousey, her dealings with Fight Tribe Management are finally at an end. Rousey took her contract with Fight Tribe Management before the California State Athletic Commission in a bid to free herself from the deal, and the CSAC have since ruled that the contract she had with the outfit was ‘unenforceable' and ‘invalid' as pertaining to combat sports – however this is a case that could yet wind up in front of the California Supreme Court, since the CSAC is not in a position to assess all other aspects of the contract.
Rousey's attorney, Steven Bash, stated last month that "As far as disagreements go, we don't have any intention to publicly litigate any dispute or air any grievances or dirty laundry about their relationship. The only current issue is whether or not Fight Tribe can legally be considered Ronda Rousey's manager under well-established California law, and we feel the answer will be no...Today, the fact is, [the representation agreement] is voidable and null and not legally enforceable. Once we get a determination, then we'll go from there, but that's really what the issue is today."
Quite why Rousey wanted to split from Fight Tribe in the first place seems something of a mystery, though it is still possible that the hot-headed former Olympian will yet air her grievances in the future – for now, however, this legal battle remains largely that – an affair for the courts and commissions.
So, do you think this is good news for Ronda's career? Should she now refocus on defending her UFC Women's Bantamweight title? And who would you like to see her face next? Answers in the comments section please!
UFC 173 took a major hit when news of UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman's knee surgery saw his title defence against Lyoto Machida moved to UFC 175 – with Renan Barao-TJ Dillashaw for the UFC Bantamweight title taking top billing at the former show.
But it's the announcement of Dan Henderson vs Daniel Cormier that makes UFC 175 even more mouth-watering! As if a major title clash wasn't enough to whet the appetite, Henderson-Cormier is a battle between two heavy-hitting wrestler-cum-MMA fighters with an old school vs new school feel! Henderson, who was last seen TKOing the great Shogun Rua in Brazil, will now face the unbeaten Cormier with a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight title on the line!
Cormier, who dropped a weight class in order to avoid a confrontation with friend and training partner Cain Velasquez will have no qualms locking horns with light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, and nor will Henderson!
So how excited are you for UFC 175 now that it sees both Weidman-Machida and Cormier-Henderson? Is this one of the strongest main/co-main pairings in 2014 so far? And who do you pick to win those crucial bouts? All answers down there in comments please!
At Bellator 115, the promotion's unbeaten Heavyweight Champion Vitali Minakov out-pointed 18-fight UFC veteran Cheick Kongo to extend his perfect record to 14-0. Minakov, who was quick to play down comparisons to the great Fedor Emelianenko, used his judo and sambo stylings to plant Kongo on his back multiple times during their bout, and overcome a first round point deduction for a pair of low blows to retain his title.
Also on the show, Herman Terrado and Justin Baesman battled to a majority draw, with the third judge awarding the bout 29-28 to Terrado. For the other judges, Baesman was able to secure a 10-8 scorecard in the second round to tie things up with Terrado's 10-9's across rounds 1 and 3. Terrado showed better grappling overall, even as Baesman looked for and secured takedowns of his own, while Baesman looked sharp on the feet and made the most of top control in the second stanza with strong ground and pound.
Kelly Anundson ended the unbeaten run of Swiss prospect Volkan Oezdemir with a second round neck crank, while Danish middleweight Mikkel Parlo advanced to 4-2 in Bellator and 12-2 overall with a dominant, if uninspiring decision win over Johnny Cisnero.
At Legacy FC 30, unbeaten female fighter Holly Holm advanced to 7-0 with a fifth round TKO of Julia Werner to become the inaugural Legacy FC Women's Bantamweight Champion. Former pro boxer (33-2-3) and kickboxer (2-1) Holm was later revealed to have suffered a fractured forearm in the bout, but proceeded to win nevertheless.
Meanwhile, Brazilian veteran Flavio Alvaro won for the 40th time in his MMA career with a decision victory over Donald Sanchez, and unbeaten New Mexico prospect Ray Borg stayed perfect at flyweight with a second round Rear Naked Choke submission of Nick Urso. Borg has used the same hold 4 times so far in his 6-0 streak.