Canadians are famously polite, not sure if Team Australia would agree though. After watching the season premier of TUF Nations Canada vs Australia it’s safe to say that things are getting heated quickly in the great white north as tension brews between the Aussie’s and Canucks. Are the Aussies on hostile territory? Or will they be bringing the hostility from down under?
Sportsnet opened its doors last night to TUF cast members friends, family and media for the TUF Nations premier presentedby XBOX ONE. It was a very intimate affair with the presence of Team Canada cast members Chad Laprise (7-0) and Elias Theodorou (8-0) who I may add are both UNDEFEATED As well as UFC lightweight Sam Stout, TUF China cast member Albert Cheng and local Ontario MMA talents Alex Ricci and Adam Assenza.
It was a change of scenery watching The Ultimate Fighter surrounded by people so heavily involved in the sport in a studio environment with live taping during and after for UFC Central. The energy from guests reactions while watching our Canadians in action speaks for itself that this is going to be a season on The Ultimate Fighter that will keep fight fans entertained with patriotic fight action, hostility, witty humor and good old Canadian charm.
O’Reilly starts the first round in a dominant fashion and taking Johnson to the ground in the first 25 seconds and a second takedown in under a minute things quickly turn around for Johnson as he get hold of O’Reillys ankle but O’Reilly managed to get out of the dangerous situation. About halfway through the first round there is an exchanging of punches then Johnson pulls O’Reilly in towards the cage towards the ground takes his back and finishes with a rear naked choke. Taking the first victory for Team Canada and sending Johnson to the next round.
Dana White said “If guys thought fighting in the toughest tournament on television was hard, imagine how they feel doing it with a whole country on their shoulders,” Could this country vs country style tournament help build a new breed and bigger fan base for the sport of MMA? Could this help push MMA to becoming more mainstream and an Olympic sport in the years to come?
Australian female fighter ‘Rowdy’ Bec Rawlings @RowdyBec Aka Bec Hyatt until recently returning to her maiden name, posted this to twitter during the show “Watching TUF Nations & I literally know TWO guys on the Aussie team.. what the frig who are these guys?”
Even Johnson questioned in the first episode whether any of these guys had over 10 fights, which didn’t seem to go over well with the Aussies. Team Canada has a total of 84 fights between all 8 cast members and Team Australia has a total of 54 between them ( keep in mind Johnson has 30 of those just on his record) I’m not saying the match ups are a huge difference but looking at the numbers I have to say this season is looking mighty good for Canadian domination.
PREDICTION TIME: So who do we think is going to win this season of The Ultimate Fighter TUF Nations Canada vs Australia? Without sounding bias being a Canadian writer. I think Canada will be winning in both weight classes with my top four picks on team Canada being Kajan Johnson and Chad Laprise in the welterweight division and Elias Theodorou and Nordine Taleb in the middleweight division but there can only be two I think we will be seeing Laprise and Theodorou representing Canada come time for the finale and Kajan Johnson possibly being signed with the UFC regardless.
Written by Carlin Bardsley
UFC welterweight champion and future Hall of Famer Georges St Pierre has made the decision to vacate the title he has help since 2008. GSP announced the decision on a conference call with the media on Friday afternoon.
St. Pierre made the decision to step away from the sport due to what he described as a lot of pressure and a lot of “criticism” in his professional life and unspecified issues in his personal life that require his attention.
“It’s like every fight I’m carrying weight on my shoulders. With every fight you add weight and add weight and add weight, eventually it gets too heavy.” the French-Canadian superstar told reporters.
St. Pierre carefully avoided the word retirement, instead preferring to keep the talk about an extended break. But he felt that he needed to vacate his title “for the respect of the other competitors” and added “I can not put myself through a training camp right now and I don’t want anyone to wait”. (more…)
As the sport of MMA has grown over the last 20 years so has one of the sports largest and most successful brands TapouT, A fan of the sport or not you are probably familiar with the name. What many would say is an over night success story in reality was many years of hard work spent selling T-shirts out of the trunk of their car and following a dream motivated by nothing more then a passion for a sport that was not even legal in the state they lived.
TapouT was founded in 1997 in San Bernardino, California USA by PunkASS (Dan Caldwell), the late Mask (Charles Lewis Jr) and later joined by SKRAPE (Tim Katz). In 1998 the company brought in about $30,000 and in ten years they managed to make the $100 million dollar mark. Tapout is the perfect example of a success story but what did they do that was different then other companies out there? Personally I think it has a lot to do with their personalities, ability to network and their dedication to BELIEVE!! The laws of attraction and power of positivity can go a long way and these guys are living prove of what one is truly capable of achieving. After the years of work and success they still seem like the cool and humble dudes I am only guessing they were when they started from nothing.
“Follow your own dreams and don’t listen to other people because people are going to tell you otherwise cause it’s not their dream” – SKRAPE
“If you love what you’re doing and it doesn’t feel like work you just keep doing it because you love it and you would do it whether you got paid for it or not.” – PunkASS
Written by: Ryan Manahan
The UFC continued their ‘World Tour” of press conferences on Thursday, this time hitting up the hometown of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in scenic Montreal, Quebec. GSP and challenger Johny Hendricks attended the conference, as well as UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright, and several other Canadian MMA luminaries were in the audience. MMAxposed had the opportunity to catch up with GSP and get his thoughts on a variety of subjects
Regardless of what is said before the match or who is standing across from St. Pierre in the octagon, for GSP, it all comes down to the fight.
If you ever have the opportunity to speak to Brian Cimins, President and CEO of Grappler’s Quest at one of his events, do it. Brian is one of the most approachable, engaging, humble, exciting, and inspirational people you will ever find.
We had an opportunity to speak to Brian at the recent Grappler’s Quest 2013 US National Championships on July 20, 2013 in Morristown, NJ about how Grappler’s Quest started, his own personal journey in martial arts, and where he sees the sport and his brand going in the future.
Brian started Grappler’s Quest as a senior project in college in 1998 when he saw there was a need to have a local grappling tournament. In 1999, Grappler’s Quest held the first amateur exclusively nogi tournament in the world. Grappler’s Quest was also the first organization to run a US national event (since 2000).
Grappler’s Quest is a labour of love for Brian. He talks passionately about how every sport needs amazing, independent organizations that are free from the control of a governing body, and he believes that Grappler’s Quest fills that spot in the grappling world. To Brian, Grappler’s Quest belongs to the people that support it – the competitors. It is the human support that drives Brian. As he says, “Grappler’s Quest is yours”
UFC 165 Tickets are on sale to the general public today through Ticketmaster
Watch the media scrum with the current Light heavyweight Champion Jon Jones below:
Tuesday July 9,2013 UFC held their UFC 165 press conference at Real Sports in Toronto, Ontario with the headliners, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. MMAxposed correspondent Ryan Manahan sits down with Gustafsson: Watch the interview below
The two fighters addressed the crowd with two different types of positive demeanours. Gustafsson sat to the right of the podium looking refreshed and excited to talk about his upcoming opportunity. Tom Wright told the crowd that Gustafsson had spent yesterday relaxing at a local amusement park in the area. Jones sat to the right of the podium with his Light Heavyweight championship title to his left and a cup of coffee to his right admitting to feeling a little tired. Though he felt tired, he spoke to the crowd with enthusiasm, a sense of humour, and a smile. While the two fighters had opposing energies, there was a great level of respect shared between the two of them.
“Alexander Gustafsson is a guy who really wanted a shot at the title. And he’s a guy that I asked for. He asked for me, I asked for him,” Jones said before complimenting Gustafsson’s boxing and saying he was the the perfect opponent to face when attempting to surpass Tito Ortiz for the most consecutive title defenses at Light Heavyweight. Gustafsson showed Jones a similar level of respect saying, “I see the greatest test in my career. He’s the champion for a reason.”
While this press conference was designed to promote Jones vs Gustafsson at UFC 165, Jones was asked just as much about former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva’s loss to Chris Weidman last Saturday night. After the fight, Jones tweeted out, “This sucks,” and further said at the press conference, “To see a great champion go down always sucks.” As result of the loss, Jones went up to top the pound for pound rankings, but Jones did not think too much of it saying, “To become number one because of Anderson’s lost doesn’t make me feel like I accomplished anything,” Jones looked at Silva’s loss more as a form of inspiration, telling the crowd, “It motivates me a lot to see someone like that lose.”
Jones dissected the Silva loss even further, saying the loss didn’t change his perception of the man many regard as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time and that Silva just made a mistake – “Anderson Silva is a magnificent fighter. I think he has an extraordinary gift. He’s comfortable with his gift. And he abused his gift. He disrespected the gift by disrespecting his opponent… He got disrespectful and the war gods made him pay for it.” He concluded his praise the former Middleweight Champion by saying, “He’s still that great Anderson Silva in my book.”
While Jones answered questions about Anderson Silva, Gustafsson talked about his road to becoming the number one contender for the Light Heavyweight championship. It was only three months ago that he felt his opportunity slipping through his fingers when he had to pullout of the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9 in his home country of Sweden after suffering a cut just days before the fight. He explained the contrast of pulling out of one main event in his home country to competing for the Light Heavyweight Championship saying, “It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Now I just left it behind me now with my dream fight coming up.”
Alex Ricci (7-1) takes home the win against Luis Felix (9-7) via unanimous decision at Substance Cage Combat 1.0 this past weekend at the George Bell Arena in Toronto. Carlin Bardsley (In The Cage With Bards) catches up with Alex after the fight. Check out the video below:
Johny Hendricks talks about UFC 167, punching GSP in the face, being a new father and Olympic Wrestling
MMAxposed was fortunate enough to partake in this past weekend’s fundraiser and charity event at ‘Woodbridge Heroes’ collectibles store in scenic Woodbridge, Ontario. The event was held in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association, the city of Vaughan food bank and SOS Children’s Villages.
The event, sponsored in part by Haymaker Fightwear, was a rousing success, raising much-needed funds for worthy charities and providing entertainment for children of all ages including super hero costumes and an exotic petting zoo.
Also featured were appearances from real-life superheroes in the form of some of the top names in MMA, including UFC #1 welterweight contender Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks. Hendricks gave this exclusive interview to MMAxposed where he discusses the clash with GSP, becoming a father the day before, whether wrestling will be back in the Olympics and more. Watch as “Bigg Rigg” pulls no punches on any subject!
By Carlin Bardsley
99 Sudbury in Toronto has hosted many events for the arts but now they are home to a different kind of art, Mixed Martial Arts. Evolucao Thai MMA School celebrated their grand opening this past Saturday with a seminar hosted by UFC Light Heavyweight Wanderlei Silva along side close longtime friend, head instructor and co-owner Mauricio Veio. Both Silva and Veio are from the original Chute boxe Acadamy in Brazil which is how they met at the young ages of 13 and 16. Mauricio refelcts on their friendship “Wanderlei my hero, hero for personal, for fighter.” says Veio “Today I am so proud to have Wanderlei in my school.”
The new Evolucao Thai MMA School offers much more then other MMA gyms in the greater Toronto area, included in your monthly membership is full access to The Gym @ 99 Sudbury which offers exceptional facilities to add quality workouts to your MMA training you also get access to all classes provided through Evolucau unlimited MMA School classes, Muay Thai Classes, Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, No-Gi, Boxing plus yoga and fitness classes. You can check out Evolucao and The Gym @ 99 Sudbury at http://www.evolucaothai.com
All images video, editing, music and writing by Randi Lotsberg
UFC on FOX 6 Recap:
By Dustin Perie.
Odd start to the show, first with the panel not realizing the camera was on, then slight audio issues, commentary was in and out, and when it did come back it was Goldberg speaking to presumably his producers, asking if he needs to apologize for the audio issues, great stuff that boarder lined awkward. But enough about technical issues, let’s get to the violence.
Ricardo Lamas 12-2 (+160) vs. Erik Koch 13-1 (-175)
Hats off to Koch for the bad ass entrance music: Scooter – Fire, it’s very dated, but if you are interested in a trip back to the mid 90s, it’s a funky way to do it.
First round started off slow, both men showing off their great head kicks with not much being landed clean. Lamas went for a single leg mid-way through the round, but somehow Koch found a way to stay vertical. Lamas received a warning from John McCarthy about open hand strikes to the face. Right near the end of the round Lamas scored a sloppy takedown which will likely score him the round.
According to me: 10-9 Lamas.
We recently had the opportunity to interview Royler Gracie while he was in Ontario teaching seminars. We caught up with Royler at Robinson’s Karate School located in Bolton, Ontario Canada. Royler reflects on his thoughts about whether his father should be in the UFC Hall Of Fame for his contributions to the sport, the importance of being skilled in more then one of the martial arts and why he chose to make the move to America from Brazil.
Predictions by MMAxposed’s Farrell Tremblay
After losing UFC 151 and Strikeforce: Melendez vs Healy, we almost lost UFC 153 as well. Although the card doesn’t have the same relevant fights as it did a month ago, we now have some very exciting matchups that can really be best described as “fun”, even if they have no impact on any division. Let’s break down the insanity of an already broken down card.
Anderson Silva vs Stephan Bonnar
This fight has a lot of people really excited. Rightfully so, these two fighters have a history of exciting fights with spectacular outcomes, but before I cloud the matter with such misleading facts, let’s be clear about something: People aren’t excited about this fight in the same way they were excited for GSP vs Nick Diaz. The excitement people feel for this fight is really more akin to giddy sadism or the strange fascination we have watching wildebeest cross crocodile infested rivers on the Discovery Channel. Stephan Bonnar is one tough S.O.B. but is he ever out of his league. I believe his ability to absorb unnatural amounts of punishment will take this fight into later rounds but I will be shocked if Anderson Silva finds himself in any sort of danger at any point in this fight. Yes, this is MMA and anything can happen (just ask Matt Serra) but this is also the greatest man to ever fight in the sport and he will deliver that greatness by the fistful
Prediction: Silva by TKO
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Dave Herman
You have to respect a guy like Nogueira. He is a legend of the sport, and if he retired tomorrow would have nothing but fond farewells from the MMA community. He’s a former champion in the two most prestigious promotions this sport has produced. Coming off a devastating loss to Frank Mir and nearly a year of inactivity, the last thing Big Nog needed to do was take a fight on short notice against a lower tier heavyweight on a two-fight losing streak but he stepped up when the UFC needed him the most. Dave Herman probably isn’t the caliber of fighter we would have seen Nogueira fight had he been matched up on more organic terms, but he is still a tough, durable fighter with heavy hands who may have the spryness of a young fighter to put them on the aging Brazilian. The more likely scenario is that Nogueira boxes his way inside Herman’s sloppy standup, takes him down and takes home a limb.
Prediction: Nogueira by submission
Written by Randi Lotsberg
Ontario pro fighters Jason Saggo and Eric Attard will be stepping into the cage this Saturday, August 25th at the Score Fighting Series to test their minds, strength and skills. MMAxposed could see this bout being the fight of the night between these two skilled lightweights. Saggo is a brown belt training under Paul Abel out of P.E.I. and Attard trains out of Modern Vision MMA in Welland, Ontario under coach Chris Bonfoco. Both of these guys bring a different element into the cage; Saggo being known for his strong ground game and Attard for his Muay Thai background and powerful leg kicks. They are both at a comparable level when it comes to fitness and strength. This fight could go either way but it is bound to be the epitome of what a MMA fight should be!
Have a look behind the scenes in their training leading up to this event. Hear what they have to say about each other and how they think this fight will end.
Get your tickets at www.ticketmaster.ca for this event The Score Fighting Series: Hill Vs. Fraser Saturday August 25 2012
READY FOR WAR!!
By: Matt Marcone
The UFC finally delivered to the network audience by putting on four excellent fights and an all around great show. The judges were not needed on the main card and a future light heavyweight title shot was awarded.
UFC President Dana White said that whoever put on the most impressive performance in the two main event fights would earn a shot at the light heavyweight championship.
Both Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Lyoto Machida were victorious, earning fourth and second round finishes respectively.
“The answer is I think Lyoto Machida was the most impressive tonight,” says White. The boss has spoken, enough said.
Machida proved once again that he only needs his opponent to make one mistake to finish a fight. After frustrating Ryan Bader on the feet in the first round, he waited for him to charge in and landed a straight right hand. That was all it took at 1:32 of round two.
The main event saw Brandon Vera nearly pull off a huge upset with a tight guillotine in the opening round, but Shogun defended it perfectly.
Written By Jordan Maskell
With the news that Frank Mir will enter the Strikeforce cage to face David Cormier, the question is how many more UFC-Strikeforce bouts will we see in the future? The most recent cross promotion bout announced looks to be the first within Strikeforce. However, this is following a string of Strikeforce crossovers with former champions including Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Dan Henderson, and Allistar Overeem making the transition to the Octagon.
It has been revealed that the Strikeforce Heavyweight division will eventually be dissolved, as after this fight both Mir and Cormier will compete solely in the UFC. This will be done to focus on developing the depth of other weight classes, including a women’s division within the company. Many former Strikeforce Heavyweights have already entered the UFC including Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Shane del Rosario, Shawn Jordan, and of course Overeem.
Until now, both rosters have been considered exclusive to its respected promotion, although there have been exceptions to this rule. UFC President Dana White has said in the past that fighters from Strikeforce will not crossover to the UFC while there is a deal between Showtime and Strikeforce. The company was bought by the UFC’s parent company Zuffa in March 2011. He has said before he would not sign Strikeforce fighters while they were contracted with Strikeforce due to the deal with Showtime.
MMAxposed reporter Matt Marcone caught up with Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy at the “Heroes” comic book store in Woodbridge, Ontario. It was an awesome event that had everything from real transformers cars to memorabilia to exotic animals in the petting zoo. Not too often do an MMA fighter, batman, iron man, bumblebee, two camels and a lemur all get to hang out in one place!
He was one of the nicest guys we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and bluntly spoke about having to rediscover his passion for mixed martial arts.
Hardy stormed onto the UFC welterweight scene in 2008, winning four in a row and earning a title shot against Georges St. Pierre. After losing a decision to the reigning champ, Hardy consecutively dropped three more fights to Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Chris Lytle.
Due to his fast paced style and willingness to push the action, the UFC opted not to cut him and gave him another fight against Duane Ludwig. Their decision proved to be justified as he knocked him out with a devastating hook in the first round.
In the interview, Hardy opens up about star wars, his upcoming fight with TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah, and finding his spirituality. He also gives his prediction for the upcoming title fight between St. Pierre and Condit, two guys he’s very familiar with.
Hardy’s bout with Sadollah is scheduled for September 29, 2012 in his hometown of Nottingham, England at the UFC on FUEL TV 5.
Pro Fighter Chris Clements gives us a behind the scenes look into his home. Stay tuned for our upcoming video “Chris Clements on Cloud 9” which will take you further in depth into his life getting married, becoming a dad and making his UFC debut.
Follow Chris on Twitter @menaceclements
This veteran fighter doesn’t necessarily need a Bruce Buffer introduction, but ‘The Pride of El Salvador’ Ivan Menjivar (24-8) will get it this weekend at UFC 148. Ivan will be going for his fourth straight victory in the UFC. His opponent will be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Mike Easton (12-1) from Alliance MMA under Lloyd Irvin. Mike is currently on a seven fight win streak. Ivan believes that Mike has great hands to go along with his prolific ground skills and has been forced to train smart for this match up. His fight camp has once again been under the tutelage of one of the best in the business Firas Zahabi from Tri Star Gym in Montreal, Canada. These Bantamweights will square off this Saturday, in the under card, of the highly anticipated re match between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Menjivar rarely disappoints when it comes to putting on crowd pleasing performances. The Menjivar/Easton combination lends itself to have all the makings of a fight of the night honour. Menjivar already holds a submission of the night honour in the UFC. Ivan says he just appreciates the opportunity that the UFC is giving him and he just wants to face-off Saturday night and put on a great show for the fans!