Sunday, February 27, 2011

Training Log -- 2/27

Interesting night. Went in early to work on armbars from guard, transitions to triangles, and back to armbars off failed attempts. Worked on securing an underhook, lifting the hips up on the opposite end, and threatening the opposing arm.

Began regular class with some work from side control. Mostly variations of faking knee-in-belly, grabbing the defending arm, and taking high mount (s-mount...) for a triangle choke. Variations included a ridiculously tight armlock and rolling over to guard for a finish. I foolishly paired up with Brian, a freakishly strong Muay Thai vet and MMA fighter. His side control was painful to say the least, and he didn't really need to lock in the triangle for me to tap to cup-in face pain. Great chiropractic treatment, and for free!

Rolled with Ankur once, who I did OK against, warding off submission attempts and generally trying to protect my arms from his whip-like, Gumby-esque limbs. Also rolled with Andrew, who steam-rolled me with superior speed and wrestling (if needed).

Had a new guy who was stupidly strong and outweighed me. Drilled with him from top side-control and almost lost position as he damn near threw me away. Transitioned to an armbar and flung him down for a loud "TAP!" Rolled with him, and really wanted to work on the underhooked armbar from guard, but the dude insisted on going into BEAST MODE every time, using some kind of Brian-strength. He caught me with some kind of pseudo jaw-crusher which I shouldn't have tapped to, but it fucking hurt. At that point I shifted to a defensive game, stalking him on one knee with a leg out for bait. He fell into it twice, and I pulled an easy high guard and arm barred him. The second armbar saw him lift me off the ground and attempt to powerbomb me Rampage style. I released the submission for the sake of my vertebrates.

Closed out the evening with a crazy roll with Brian. He shit on my life with infinite beast mode and triangles everywhere. I have no answer for "GSP thighs" around my arteries. The highlight came from another defensive roll with him, as I was somehow able to keep him from passing guard and stay conscious of his arms. I nearly locked in a triangle with my less dominant side, but knew I wouldn't be able to finish the choke against his massive neck. I was able to pry his arm down and hit a textbook armbar from a failed choke. He stacked the shit out of me and I eventually let the lock go. Minor victory.

I left after that with symptoms best described as lactic acidosis. Fun night, though.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

UFC 127

Tonight is UFC 127, and even though the card is thoroughly mediocre, I'm still kinda looking forward to it.

First of all, I have no idea who the first main card fighters are....

Some predictions for the rest of the card:

Lytle by submission. I'm going balls out here and calling for an armbar.

Sotiropoulos by decision. I don't think he will be able to hold down Dennis Siver and get a submission.

Bisbing by brutal stoppage. I like Rivera, and his trash talk was epic (see video at end of post, if you haven't already). But he's too old and Bisbing should also be the more skilled striker.

B.J. Penn by TKO. Yes, that's a ref stoppage I'm calling. BJ is the smaller fighter which will give him a slight speed advantage. On top of that, he's already a fantastic striker. I see Fitch getting caught early in the fight and not recovering. Penn finishes the job. And yes, I realize Fitch hasn't yet been KO'd.

At this point I also enjoy watching Mark Hunt lose. And I hate his opponent, Chris Tucherererererrrrrr (who will definitely be cut if he loses). Kinda interested to see that fight.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Jiu-Jitsu Training Log Update -- 2/23

So this is going to be the first post in my BJJ training log. Josh, a blue belt I train with, suggested I start documenting sessions... and as much as my ego would like to say I don't need to, it's definitely a good idea.

Today we went over some similar techniques we learned last week. Mostly side control-related work, which began with hugging the far-side arm and using that side's lapel to cut into the armpit. Using your other hand, you can hold down your opponent's legs and easily take mount. From there you can take technical mount and transition to an armbar or take the back for a collar choke, bow and arrow choke, or rear-naked choke. I actually really liked this sequence and I'm going to work it into my rolling.

I'm finding that I've reached the point of my training where I recognize the importance of CREATING openings, which ties into CONTROL. Contrary to what most people and casual fans think, Jiu Jitsu is NOT about submissions. Jiu jitsu is about CONTROL. Subs are secondary to completely dominating another human being on the ground without using too much strength. I think the first "progression" for most newbies (including myself) was gunning for submissions and position advancement. That is, once I started to learn techniques and feel more comfortable on the ground, I tried to implement those techniques by quickly moving to positions when they opened up. This works on most people, but when you learn to CONTROL your opponent, then you really start to understand the intricacies of BJJ. When I roll with another one of our blue belts, recently I've been able to control him better than ever before. The last few times we've rolled, I definitely would have won on points. I subbed him with an armbar about a week ago for the first time when I pried his arm out during a triangle attempt. A few days back I threatened with a kimura from north/south but got sloppy, and his blue beltness helped him to easily escape into my guard. I've realized that you can't just wait for shit to open up, you have to CREATE THE OPENING. I'm trying to slow everything down and work on securing each position, and it's working pretty well. I used to rush from side control into mount, and then struggle to submit from there. Now I'm finding that I take advantage of side control openings, try working on the far-side arm, and end up attacking with a kimura or armbar from technical mount or from north/south.

Few things I want to work on in the next couple of weeks:

1. Finishing when taking the back. I have been taking the back much more often, but I sometimes end up back in mount. If I body-triangle my opponent, I can maintain position -- but I often cannot secure the choke. I want to mostly work on rear-naked choke finishes and the occasional bow and arrow choke, although I hit those more often. Armbars and triangles are also a nice option from when you're high on the back.

2. Bottom side-control escapes and sweeps. I usually give up mount because my side-control defense is weak.

3. Guard passing. I get very little practice guard passing so this needs to be worked on. I made some progress today when I recognized a double underhook pass and grabbed for the cross-collar grip. Casey, my instructor, showed me what I did wrong, and I think next time I'm in that situation I'll be able to hit the pass.

4. Maintaining guard. Not a huge problem compared to the other stuff right now, but this needs to be drilled.

That's pretty much it for now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Great Fedor and the Fall of Andrei Arlovski

Strikeforce this weekend really surprised me, offering pretty much nothing but balls-to-the-wall fighting and "heart" up the ass. It was probably as exciting, if not more so, than the past UFC events.

The main fights that really mattered were Arlovski and Fedor. Arlovski's opponent will definitely be a force as he continues to improve, and I don't want to take anything away from him -- however, Arlovski has a glass jaw at this point, and sadly, at the age of 32, it's time to retire. I say this not because of his recent losing spree, because plenty of fighters have bounced back and continued to be productive mixed martial artists. Really, the issue is his knockouts. With this weekend's KO, Arlovski has been highlight reel KO'd 7 times out of 9 loses. Out of 24 professional fights, his brain has shut off nearly a third out of 24. This is really fucked up. If Andrei continues to fight, he will certainly have brain complications, if he doesn't already. Will he retire? Highly doubtful. It's unfortunate, and I will not support his career any longer.

Fedor suffered his second consecutive loss at the hands of the freakishly huge "Bigfoot" Silva. Pretty much, his gameplan sucked. I think Fedor has a swollen head (literally and figuratively...) and refused to do anything differently after his loss to Fabricio Werdum. His best bet was to stand inside the pocket and trade with Bigfoot, in an attempt to nullify some of the reach advantage his opponent had. Sadly, he did whatever the fuck he wanted, by diving into Bigfoot's guard and not adapting his striking when fighting someone 50+ pounds larger than him.

So what happened? The great Fedor Emelianenko got grapplefucked. Mauled on the ground. Trapped in mount and ground n' pounded until his eye closed shut.....

But you know what? He showed why he's the greatest Heavyweight of all time. He defended submissions. He kept bringing the heat. He COUNTERED submissions. He was Fedor. And he would have continued for the final round if it was up to him. But the doctor made the right decision and called the fight.

Fedor is a weirdo. He has no emotion, he dislikes pretty much all music except for Russian Orthodox tunes with no beat. What the fuck? He hinted at retirement last night. I have to wonder why he would consider retirement after only 2 legit loses on his record. Really, unless his heart just isn't in fighting anymore, there's no reason to call it quits. He's 32. Randy Couture is nearly 50 and is still a force in the UFC LHW/HW divisions. What if he quit when he was 32? He wouldn't be considered a GOAT, that's for sure. While Fedor will always be the Heavyweight GOAT, there's no reason why 2 loses should signify retirement.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back in Jiu-Jitsu

Yesterday was my 3rd day back in a row after my long layoff from the ringworm on my leg. There were a few points from yesterday that I need to address:

1. My cardio is not really that bad. While it can certainly be better, by no means is it *horrible*.

2. Weight training. I need to get back into this, asap.

3. Fun times with wrestlers and baseball players. We had 2 new guys come in yesterday. One had a small wrestling background and was a solid, muscular build, and the other was a baseball player with a similar frame. Both were roughly my height. They were fucking strong. We did some drilling and one guillotined me when he moved from side-control to mount. I guess it got his confidence up, having subbed me from a side control position. Thing is, I suck from that position. But I guess that's what drilling is for. So, I need to work more on side control escapes. After that, we rolled, and both guys just figured they would do whatever. I'm not claiming to be an expert or anything, because I'm just a white belt. But I do like to help out some newer guys with tips that were given to me. One big one was "never attempt submissions when inside someone's guard". The wrestler guy tried to keylock me and I warned him. He proceeded to try to pass but got caught in a triangle and stuck his arm out to defend. He got armbar'd. The baseball guy had the mentality of "what the fuck do you know" and he ignored my advice to not attack from guard. He tried to keylock me and got swept/armbar'd. He was a bit too cocky to tap so I might have hyperextended his elbow. Whatever.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with my performance against people who were much stronger than I was. But this was a great lesson that I need to take weight training somewhat seriously if I expect to compete and do well.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

126: The Aftermath

UFC 126 was everything I hoped it would be. There are a few things that I have been mulling over:

1. Silva-GSP is VERY possible. GSP is a nice guy and all, but there is no way in hell he outclasses Anderson Silva. Silva is bigger, quicker, and a Muay Thai wrecking machine. GSP has some excellent, crisp boxing, but his Muay Thai is nothing for Silva. Naturally, the more complete striking art will prevail. On top of that, Silva's reflexes are just not human. GSP Gets TKO'd or KO'd in brutal fashion, and Silva officially becomes the baddest man on the planet - and the REAL baddest man, not the fake one like Brock Lesnar. As a side note, I think the UFC should vote to retire nicknames like sports teams do numbers. Nobody else is worthy of ever calling themselves "The Spider".

2. GSP-Shields. I'm an actual educated MMA fan, so I don't buy into hype. Shields is not the "toughest opponent to date" for GSP, like Belfort never had anything for Silva. GSP will Koscheck the shit out of Jake Shields' face.

3. Which tattoo will Rich Franklin be getting? Haha.

4. Jon Jones takes out Mauricio Rua before the championship rounds. Yeah, I said it. Jones will go on to become a staple in the P4P top 3, and he will rule the Light Heavyweight division like Silva runs Middleweight and GSP owns Welter.

5. "Mighty Mouse" has a new fan. The dude is a firecracker!

6. Within the next year, it seems to me like the Bantam and Feather divisions will be looking like the Lightweight division. They are coming along very nicely.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

UFC 126 Predictions

This is going to be the best fight card since UFC 100. Soooo pumped! Some quick picks:

Silva with a TKO over Belfort. This is a toughy because I *really* like Belfort and I feel like his hands can put away Silva and take the 185 crown. BUT, Silva has some great fight IQ and I think he will push Belfort against the cage and take him out with some brilliant clinch work. Ala Franklin, I suppose.

Franklin with a decision over Griffin. "Ace" has some fantastic hands, and everyone knows Forrest's striking is mediocre at best. I see some superior boxing from Franklin on the OUTSIDE of the pocket. Think GSP v. Koscheck II.

Rocha with a submission over Ellenberger. This fight goes to the ground and Ellenberger gets schooled. Rear-Naked Choke is a strong possibility.

"Bones" Jones with a stoppage over Bader. I would NOT bet money on this, and I honestly am not sure who would take this. I would guess Bones outsrikes Bader and (somewhat) easily stuffs his takedowns. Bones is an enormous dude and his striking should reflect his size.

Torres with a submission over Banuelos. Torres should be the quicker man and he will overwhelm Banuelos until the fight hits the floor. Another possible Rear-Naked Choke.

As for the prelims, Cerrone should have another good showing. Mendes will decision us to death again, and "Kid" Yamamoto will make a successful UFC debut.

"Cake" Ruediger will lose again and be cut. Finally.