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The Ultimate Fighter (US vs UK) episode 10 June 4, 2009

Posted by crarence in MMA, Shows, Sports, Television.
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Last night was a particularly good episode of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF.) If you didn’t catch it, here are some of the highlights:

  • Really, what was Pierce thinking? The man knows that he’s on a reality TV show, surrounded by cameras watching and recording his every move and conversation. Why lie about his dealings withthe UK team when he can’t escape getting caught?
  • The first round between DaMarques and Nick was one of the best fights in any TUF season. DaMarques was leading for the first four and half minutes until Nick unleashed a salvo of punches at the end that left DaMarques reeling. I thought Nick could have finished the fight there, but DaMarques refused to give in. Good stuff.
  • It’s hard not to like DaMarques as the episodes roll on. The man has  a good blend of eloquence and smack talk. He’s a bit of a showboat, which I’m sure would annoy me if I was on the show with him. However, he’s also the top dog on that show and can back up anything he says. With Nick out, I can’t see Frank or James posing any real threat to him.

I wonder if there will be more spin-offs like this should ratings show that this season was successful – US vs Brasil? US vs Canada? East Coast vs West Coast? In the meantime, I’m going to hang on as the season nears the finish.

The Ultimate Fighter May 14, 2009

Posted by crarence in MMA, Shows, Sports.
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I remember a Saturday, years ago, when I was just enjoying a lazy afternoon. I was flipping through the channels when I stumbled across Spike TV as they were running The Ultimate Fighter3 marathon. After one episode, I was hooked, and I have enjoyed that TV series (and most things UFC) immensely over the years.

The basic idea behind the show is you have a group of aspiring mixed martial artists who are put into a house. They are separated into teams and coached by famous fighters. Each week, you get to see them train and face off against each other in elimination matches. At the end of the series, there is a sole winner (per weight category) who earns himself a 6 figure contract with the UFC. I like the show a lot because:

  • Unlike Wrestling, which I watched growing up, there is no script in the UFC. Everything is real – the fighting, the techniques, the rivalries, the emotions – it’s all genuine.
  • If you’re a fan of the UFC, it’s really cool to see how the famous coaches act outside of the octagon. Many of them act in a very different way than you might expect. For example, Tito Ortiz seems like a loud mouth braggart, but he may just be the best coach to date in the entire series. BJ Penn radiates confidence when he fights, but he made for a horrible leader on the show.
  • MMA is simply exciting to watch. There is a real science to the sport and it’s crazy when the underdog wins through superior technique or simply having a larger set of tools to beat a larger, more aggressive opponent.

MMA has really blown up over the years, and no small part of it is due to The Ultimate Fighter. If you want to see the next generation of champions get their shot at glory, you can buy the DVDs or follow the latest series Wednesday nights at 10:00PM on Spike.

Deadliest Warrior May 7, 2009

Posted by crarence in MMA, Shows, Sports, Television.
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At first, it’s hard for most guys not to enjoy SpikeTV’s new show Deadliest Warrior. It’s bursting with loads of testosterone goodness like weapons, blood, and  explosions. Basically, they pick two warriors/soldiers/fighters from different eras and compare 4-5 weapons, have the expert hosts decide which weapon is superior, crunch the “data,” and re-enact a fight based on the results. While highly entertaining at first, the show quickly loses it’s sense of realism and scientific authority, and rapidly gets stale.

  • In an effort to keep you on the edge, the weapon match ups always end up being close, even when it makes no sense to do so. Deadly accurate throwing knives loses to Trident and net? Bomb with crushed glass to the eyes loses to Spear?
  • The re-enactments get sillier and sillier as the fighters have to carry most (if not all) the weapons that were showcased, or they conveniently find them behind a rock or something. Sometimes the fights are poorly choreographed too – at times a fighter is dominating but then leaves an opening or gives his opponent some recovery time that no-one in a real life would do.
  • They never take “skill” into account and assume it’s all about the weapons. For example, in Mafia vs Yakuza, they compare the nunchuks vs a baseball bat. The Yakuza expert clearly states that the nunchuks can be used to distract, disarm, and strike blows. And yet, the baseball wins due to the sheer damage it inflicts.

All in all, I’ll probably still keep watching the show because it does scratch that guy itch in me for senseless violence. I’ll just have to endure the tired format they’ve sunken themselves into. If you’re interested in checking it out, new episodes of Deadliest Warrior can be seen on Spike TV, Tuesdays at 10:00PM.

Judo April 23, 2009

Posted by huymix in MMA, Sports.
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judo fplusjudo logo beijingIf you read my profile page you should already know that I think quite highly of Judo. Unfortunately, in Canada, Judo is a very niche sport. This is an odd trend considering it’s relative high global participation and the high levels of immigration from nations that are big into judo. If you don’t know what it is, the first thing you need to know is that it’s not Tae Kwon Do or Karate. There are a lot of great reasons to at least try judo, specifically:

  • Fantastic exercise. If you put in the effort, you will work your body as hard or even harder than you might at the gym. I love this quote from Fight Club “guys come in and their asses were made of cookie dough, and they came out carved out of wood”.
  • It’s usable for self-defense. You might say, “I won’t need to learn self-defence cause I won’t be in a position to need it” but that’s what a lot of victims have thought before it happened to them. It’s a rough world out there, you gotta learn to take care of yourself in it.
  • It’s pretty cheap. Unlike say hockey or football, the only equipment you need is a uniform. Not only that, but judo clubs typically have very cheap monthly rates (or drop-in rates) relative to most other sports.

I hated going to the gym. I wasn’t a class-guy but the monotonous track running and weight lifting just didn’t provide enough motivation. With judo in my life, I have a reason to work out, I have a reason to put the effort in, and exercise is not so much work as it is improving my judo. Generally, judo clubs are pretty relaxed, they’ll let you try it out for a bit without paying. Give it a try, it’ll at least be a lot different than whatever you’re doing nowadays.

UFC 97 – Redemption April 19, 2009

Posted by crarence in MMA, PPV, Sports.
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I sadly got home late tonight to catch UFC 97 and I debated buying the PPV, worried that I had missed the co-main event. I was equally excited about Liddell vs Rua as I was to see Silva vs Leites, and I would have broken something if I paid for half of the main card’s star attractions. Thankfully, I only missed the first two fights, though I regret not seeing the beast that is Cheick Kongo in action.

– Krzysztof Soszynski put on a great show, submitting his opponent Brian Stann with consummate ease. It’s rare to see a fight stop by kimura but Krzysztof made it look easy.

-Even though the Liddell vs Rua fight only went one round, it was an exciting fight. If there was any doubt about Rua’s conditioning, his first lightning fast head kick (even if it was blocked) put my doubts at ease. During the first half of the fight, Rua went for a lot of leg kicks, even exposing himself to a few of Chuck’s punches. Rua took some glancing blows but managed to dish out some counter shots of his own. Then, in a rare moment in MMA history, Chuck was taken down and controlled for a bit. No real damage was done, but given Chuck’s legendary take-down defense  and recovery, it was pretty impressive.  During the last minute, Rua landed a looping punch that knocked Chuck off his weakened legs, whereupon Rua landed something like 6-7 devastating hammer fists. Mario Yamasaki saved Chuck from more damage, and now the Ice Man’s future in the UFC seems over.

-Even though the Silva vs Leites fight was long and boring, I can’t really blame either fighter. Leites turtled up and went to the ground whenever Silva started mounting any offense, to the disgust of the crowd. But what did the crowd expect? Silva is arguably the top striker in MMA – trading blows with him is going to lead to your head getting knocked off. And Silva was no fool either. Despite being a BJJ black belt, Silva never went to the ground with him, as Leites’ BJJ skills were superior (as Joe Rogan put it, Leites eats other black belts without breaking a sweat.) Silva started working on Leites leg with vicious front and side kicks, and his pin point accuracy was astounding. At some points, Silva was even reaching and punching Leites in the leg, show casing how lightning fast he could be.

So while the main event was disappointing, Silva managed to still show off his skills, and all the prior fights I caught had been fast-paced and exciting, especially the Liddell vs Rua match.