Sunday, August 5, 2018
Photo Credit: Unknown
When people debate the pound for pound best or ranking such as that, they are sometimes blinded by the UFC bubble, where they think all the best are in that promotion. That however is not accurate at all. Case in point, Julia Budd. Julia started her career with a 2-2 record, which in itself is not "remarkable". But consider, those two looses were Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey. But those where early in her career, when she was herself just learning and getting started.
What's remarkable is those losses came in 2011. Julia has not lost a single fight since. After those bouts she moved on to Invicta FC winning all four bouts for the promotion, finishing three of them. It was clear even in those bouts, Julia worked hard to make improvements in her game and people were seeing the potential was there for big things. Her opponents in those bouts were outmatched, but Julia was still very impressive and it was on opportunity for the world to see.
Photo Credit: Unknown
In early 2015 Julia moved on to Bellator and got a decision win over Gabrielle Holloway and immediately let Bellator know that they could be on to something special. Nine months later she took out previously unbeaten Roberta Rovel and then the big tests came. Julia faced Arlene Blencowe, a fighter way better than her record would indicate and took a decision and then got to face Marloes Coenen for the vacant featherweight title. Budd not only won the bout and the title, but she got a fourth round stoppage against Coenen, someone who most people would have on their lists of the best females in the sports history. From there, Julia would defend her new title in a rematch with Blencowe and again get the decision.
This led to July 13th at Bellator 202. Budd was set to defend her title against undefeated Talita Nogueira. Budd not only defeated a Nogueira that some thought would be her toughest challenge, but did so in dominating fashion, winning via TKO in round three. Cementing herself as one of the top two featherweights in the world and among the sports pound for pound best.
Photo Credit: Bellator MMA
What is next for Julia? Well the fight many fans want to see is currently not possible. Many fans would love to see Julia get her chance to be the one to possibly dethrone Cris Cyborg, but the two fighters being in different promotions obviously makes that impossible for the time being. But as Budd continues to put on great performances and Cyborg does so as well, then that is a fight down the line we can hope for. But that is the future, so for now we can hope that Bellator can continue to do what they have been successful at, having a featherweight division with solid contenders to continue giving Julia an opportunity to show that her name belongs with the with others at the top of the list of pound for pound elite in MMA and continue to show her ever evolving skills. Julia has shown she can stand and bang when she wants to or she cant take you down and do some serious damage from the top, and in each fight she has done so better than the fight before.
Photo Credit: Unknows
Ashley Kaltwasser seemingly came out of nowhere in 2013 when she ended her first full year as a pro by winning the coveted Olympia title. She would then go on a run that included two more Olympia wins and put her not only in the conversation but at the top of the list of most successful bikini competitors ever.
Included among those wins was an ever growing fan base. Ashley appealed and still does to everyone. Female fans like Ashley because she is someone they can admire and be motivated by in their own goals, male fans like her because she is easy to root for. If you think back to your high school days, Ashley is the beautiful girl in class who doesn't act like the beautiful girl, doesn't act like the is too good to associate with others. Other competitors can also like Ashley because even on her dominating run of wins, she didn't get stuck up like can happen to someone when they have success, especially the success Ashley was having.
Photo Credit: NPC News Online/Lloyd Terry Jr.
In 2016 Ashley finished fourth at the Olympia. Obviously fourth place against the elite of the elite is great. But also obviously it was below what she had been getting and what most would have expected. This is not a forum I like to be used for the "she should have placed...." discussions, that's for others to decide in other places. But what stood out was Ashley finished below what was expected but handled it was class and professionalism, again, something not everyone could or would do.
2017 was a year where we did not see Ashley on stage one time. But in 2018 she has come back and come back with the proverbial vengeance. Ashley first took first place in Colorado at the Mile High Pro against a solid field of competitors. Then just recently in a field of sixteen, she walked away with another first place at the Vancouver Pro. What's really notable is Ashley is looking as good as she ever has, showing 2017 was not a year to be lazy or relax, instead it was a year where she continued to work and was nowhere near done from adding to her legacy.
Photo Credit: NPC News Online/Imagingbee.com
The bikini division itself has seen an influx of new competitors making statements, winning shows and showing what they are capable of, but Ashley has shown in 2018 she is still at the top of the heap and definitely a favorite to regain her throne as the best of the best. It's going to be fun to watch and see what is next for Ashley and hopefully people are aware of what they are watching, possibly the best competitor we have seen yet since the introduction of the bikini division.
Monday, July 30, 2018
We are back again with our UFC 227 predictions. UFC 227 takes place on August 4th. Joining myself (Jason Adams) is Alyssa Vasquez, Amy Montenegro, Andy Nguyen, Ashley Hawkins, Chris Gregory, Emily Andzulis, Jehnn Stumborg, Jen Aniano, Jenna Bernick, Jenna Skinner, Jessenia Quinonez, Jessica Dinch, Jillian DeCoursey, Kate Brummitt, Katherine Grasshopper, Katie Casimir, Kerry Hughes, Kia Lola, Lacey Hancock, Layla Newton, Leigh-Ann Baskey, Lindsey VanZandt, Mallory Kane, Missy Pontbriand, Monica Franco, Olivia Parker, Rach Frehe, Rachael Smith, Sarah Shell, Serena DeJesus, Shamir Peshewa, Sophie Sharp, Stephanie Skinner, Tamikka Brents and Teri Brents.
1. Danielle Taylor (9-3) vs Weili Zhang (16-1)
Jenna B: Taylor
Jenna S: Zhang
Totals: Taylor- 16 Zhang- 20
2. Bethe Correia (10-3-1) vs Irene Aldana (8-4)
Jenna B: Aldana
Jenna S: Correia
Totals: Correia- 12 Aldana- 24
3. Pedro Munhoz (15-3, 1NC) vs Brett Johns (15-1)
Jenna B: Johns
Jenna S: Johns
Totals: Munhoz- 15 Johns- 21
4. Benito Lopez (9-0) vs Ricky Simon (10-1)
Jenna B: Simon
Jenna S: Simon
Totals: Lopez- 22 Simon- 14
5. Cub Swanson (25-8) vs Renato Moicano (12-1-1)
Jenna B: Swanson
Jenna S: Moicano
Totals: Swanson- 29 Moicano- 7
6. Polyana Viana (10-1) vs JJ Aldrich (6-2)
Jenna B: Aldrich
Jenna S: Aldrich
Totals: Viana- 12 Aldrich- 24
7. Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) vs Henry Cejudo (12-2)
Jenna B: Johnson
Jenna S: Johnson
Totals: Johnson- 36 Cejudo- 0
8. TJ Dillashaw (16-3) vs Cody Garbrandt (11-1)
Jenna B: Garbrandt
Jenna S: Garbrandt
Totals: Dillashaw- 16 Garbrandt- 20
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Photo Credit: Ultimate Fighting Championships
UFC on FOX 30 took place on July 28th from The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Main Event featured a rematch between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier after their first bout had a controversial ending that resulted in a no-contest. The two fighters exchanged blows throughout with neither gaining an edge till round two where on the ground, Alvarez was warned for landing a 12 to 6 elbow. The elbow seemed to energize Poirier who then poured it on landing many hard shots till the ref had not choice but to stop it. In women's action, Nina Ansaroff continued her hot streak taking a close decision from Randa Markos. Both ladies had their moments in the bout with each taking a round. Round three Ansaroff was a bit more aggressive and it made the difference. Also Katlyn Chookagian took a decision from Alexis Davis. Chookagian was the more effective striker, landing punches and circling out of danger before Davis could land much in return. Davis for her part landed some nice leg kicks and was able to take what Chookagian gave her, but the judges rewarded Chookagian. In the final women's bout, Joanna Jedrzejczyk got back on track taking a decision from Tecia Torres. Torres made it clear she wanted it on the ground and was able to force clinches and get it to the cage, but Jedrzejczyk was able to thwart the takedowns and land knees well in the clinch. Torres tried to make a push for it in round three but it was too little too late. Here are all your results and our Of The Night Awards.
1. Lightweight: Devin Powell (9-3) defeated Alvaro Herrera (9-6) via KO at 1:52 of Round 1.
2. Strawweight: Nina Ansaroff (9-5) defeated Randa Markos (8-7) via Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28). We scored it 29-28 Ansaroff.
3. Flyweight: Dustin Ortiz (19-7) defeated Matheus Nicolau (13-3-1) via KO at 3:49 of Round 1.
4. Flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian (11-1) defeated Alexis Davis (19-8) via Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/30-27). We scored it 29-28 Chookagian.
5. Lightweight: John Makdessi (16-6) defeated Ross Pearson (22-15, 1NC) via Unanimous Decision (30-26/29-27/29-28). We scored it 30-27 Makdessi.
6. Light Heavyweight: Ion Cutelaba (14-3, 1NC) defeated Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-5) via TKO at 4:25 of Round 1.
7. Lightweight: Islam Makhachev (16-1) defeated Kajan Johnson (23-13-1) via Tapout (Armbar) at 4:43 of Round 1.
8. Featherweight: Hakeem Dawodu (8-1-1) defeated Austin Arnett (15-5) via Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27). We scored it 30-27 Dawodu.
9. Welterweight: Jordan Mein (31-12) defeated Alex Morono (14-5, 1NC) via Unanimous Decision (scores not read). We scored it 30-27 Mein.
10. Lightweight: Alexander Hernandez (10-1) defeated Olivier Aubin-Mercier (12-3) via Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/29-28). We scored it 29-28 Hernandez.
11. Strawweight: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-2) defeated Tecia Torres (10-3) via Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27). We scored it 29-28 Jedrzejczyk.
12. Featherweight: Jose Aldo (27-4) defeated Jeremy Stephens (28-15) via TKO at 4:19 of Round 1.
13. Lightweight: Dustin Poirier (24-5, 1NC) defeated Eddie Alvarez (29-6, 1NC) via TKO at 4:05 of Round 2.
Submission of the Night: Islam Makhavhev
Knockout of the Night: Dustin Ortiz
Fight of the Night: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Tecia Torres
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Photo Credit: Ultimate Fighting Championship
UFC 226 took place July 7th from Las Vegas, Nevada. In the night's Main event, Daniel Cormier became a double champ knocking out heavyweight title holder Stipe Miocic. Miocic used his jab very effectively early on as Cormier looked to try and force the clinch. Late in the first round, as the broke off a clinch in the center of the cage, Cormier dropped him and followed it up and got the stoppage. In the Co-Main Event, Derrick Lewis won an incredibly uneventful fight over Francis Ngannou taking a decision in a bout where neither seemed willing to engage. In women's action, Emily Whitmire took a close decision from Jamie Moyle in a bout where both had their moments but Whitmire dominated the third to get the decision. Here are all your results and our Of The Night Awards.
1. Strawweight: Emily Whitmire (3-2) defeated Jamie Moyle (4-3) via Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28). We scored it 29-28 Moyle.
2. Lightweight: Dan Hooker (18-7) defeated Gilbert Burns (13-3) via KO at 2:28 of Round 1.
3. Welterweight: Curtis Miillender (16-3) defeated Max Griffin (14-5) via Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28). We scored it 29-28 Millender.
4. Lightweight: Drakkar Klose (9-1-1) defeated Lando Vannata (9-3-1) via Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27). We scored it 29-28 Klose.
5. Bantamweight: Raphael Assuncao (27-5) defeated Rob Font (15-4) via Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27). We scored it 30-27 Assuncao.
6. Middleweight: Paulo Costa (12-0) defeated Uriah Hall (14-9) via TKO at 2:38 of Round 2.
7.Light Heavyweight: Khalil Rountree Jr. (8-2, 1NC) defeated Gokhan Saki (1-2) via KO at 1:36 of Round 1.
8. Lightweight: Anthony Pettis (21-7) defeated Michael Chiesa (14-4) via Tapout (Triangle Armbar) at :52 of Round 2.
9. Welterweight: Mike Perry (12-3) defeated Paul Felder (15-4) via Split Decision (29-28/28-29/29-28). We scored it 30-27 Perry.
10. Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis (20-5, 1NC) defeated Francis Ngannou (11-3) via Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/30-27). We scored it 30-27 Lewis.
11. Heavyweight Title: Daniel Cormier (21-1, 1NC) defeated Stipe Miocic (18-3) via KO at 4:33 of Round 1.
Submission of the Night: Anthony Pettis
Knockout of the Night: Khalil Rountree Jr.
Fight of the Night: Mike Perry vs Paul Felder
Friday, July 6, 2018
Photo Credit: Ultimate Fighting Championship
The finals of the 27th Ultimate Fighter took place on July 6th coming from The Pearl Theater in Paradise, Nevada. In the night's Main Event, Israel Adesanya scored the biggest win of his career taking a unanimous decision from Brad Tavares. The bout was set to be the biggest test for the undefeated Adesanya and he passed the test using his often unique and aggressive striking to keep Tavares at bay for the most part. Tavares for his part, put forth a gutsy performance and survived despite a bad cut and never quit trying. In women's action, Montana De La Rosa scored a late stoppage over Rachael Ostovich. The first two rounds saw De La Rosa being the more active striker, throwing and landing more shots than Ostovich. In round three, Ostovich tried to step it up and had De La Rosa in trouble looking for an armbar, but De La Rosa escaped and with just seconds remaining sunk in a choke for the win. Also, Roxanne Modafferi got a big win over Barb Honchak. Round one was pretty even with both having their moments, both landing good shots. Round two was all Modafferi as it went to the ground and Modafferi was able to transition to whatever position she seemed to want and finally the ref had to step in. Here are all your results and our Of The Night Awards.
1. Middleweight: Gerald Meerschaert (28-9) defeated Oskar Piechota (11-1-1) via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:55 of Round 2.
2. Featherweight: Steven Peterson (17-7) defeated Matt Bessette (22-9, 1NC) via Split Decision (29-28/28-29/29-28). We scored it 30-27 Peterson.
3. Featherweight: Bryce Mitchell (10-1) defeated Tyler Diamond (9-2) via Majority Decision (29-28/29-28/28-28). We scored it 29-28 Mitchell.
4. Lightweight: John Gunther (7-1) defeated Allan Zuniga (13-2) via Majority Decision (29-28/29-28/28-28). We scored it 29-28 Gunther.
5. Lightweight: Luis Pena (5-0) defeated Richie Smullen (3-1-1) via Tapout (Guillotine Choke) at 3:42 of Round 1.
6. Flyweight: Montana De La Rosa (9-4) defeated Rachael Ostovich (4-4) via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:21 of Round 3.
7. Middleweight: Alessio Di Chirico (12-2) defeated Julian Marquez (7-2) via Split Decision (27-30/29-28/29-28). We scored it 29-28 Marquez.
8. Flyweight: Roxanne Modafferi (22-15) defeated Barb Honchak (10-5) via TKO at 2:32 of Round 2.
9. Featherweight: Alex Caceres (14-11, 1NC) defeated Martin Bravo (12-2) via Split Decision (28-29/29-28/29-28). We scored it 29-28 Bravo.
10. Featherweight: Brad Katona (8-0) defeated Jay Cuccinello (9-1) via Unanimous Decision (30-26/30-26/30-26). We scored it 30-27 Katona.
11. Lightweight: Michael Trizano (8-0) defeated Joe Gianetti (7-1) via Split Decision (29-28/28-29/29-28). We scored it 29-28 Trizano.
12. Middleweight: Israel Adesanya (14-0) defeated Brad Tavares (17-6) via Unanimous Decision (49-46/50-45/50-45). We scored it 50-45 Adesanya.
Submission of the Night: Gerald Meerschaert
Knockout of the Night: Roxanne Modafferi
Fight of the Night: Alessio Di Chirico vs Julian Marquez
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Photo's 1-3 Credit: JM Manion/NPC News Online
For two years Margie Martin had established herself as the best, the top female bodybuilder in the world. 2017 she took a year off from the sport, at least the competing on stage part of the sport. It was good for the sport in that it allowed new blood to step up and compete to be the best. This month, Martin returned at the Toronto Pro Supershow and picked up right where she left off, taking first place against a very good field and looking better than ever.
Margie earned her pro card in 2013 winning the heavyweight division and overall at USA's. Wasting no time making a name for herself on the pro stage, Martin had two top five finishes in 2014 at the Toronto and Omaha Pro's and qualified for the Olympia in her first year as a pro. Finishing tenth place, Martin put the sport on notice that she was here and big things were coming.
In 2015 those big things happened and happened fast as Martin won the Wing's of Strength Texas Pro and began laying claim to the best in the sport. In early shows that year she was placed lower than some would have thought she deserved but she won the Tampa Pro and then moved on to Texas and it was on. Margie Martin was here and for real.
In 2016 she again proved to be the best of the best retaining that title winning the Rising Phoenix Arizona Pro. That was the only show she did that year, but when you are the best, you only have to compete in the show that decides the best. Against an incredible field of competitors, Martin came out on top, a decision that was never in question from the very first time they hit the stage. After just a couple years as a pro, Margie was now being mentioned with the greats of the sport, Iris Kyle,
Lenda Murray, Cory Everson, and now Margie Martin.
As mentioned she took 2017 off, which was sad for fans but good for the sport. But she is back now and it will be fun to see where her top competitors stack up. Toronto showed us it's going to be a hell of a challenge to unseat her. When you walk out on top and come back looking better than ever, it's safe to say you are still at the top, still the best. She's never been defeated for her crown so for me, that crown is still hers.
While it was unfortunate to see women's bodybuilding removed from the Olympia, with people like Wings of Strength still promoting and pushing it, it isn't going anywhere and still has a big fan base and with someone like Margie Martin leading the way, it's exciting to see what's next, for the sport and for Margie herself.