Back again after a weekend filled with fights and, of course, the opening kickoff of the new NFL season! Those of you who read my blog last week might remember I had a bet against Ulysses Gomez about the Raiders vs. Broncos game and anyone who watched Monday night knows who came out on the winning end of it. Ulysses is going to be in trouble because I’m going to starve myself for a few days and make him buy me a good dinner. I got worried about my Raiders in the third quarter because that’s when they usually fall apart but they got an interception and made some key stoppages, plus the Broncos fumbled, and for the most part things went well for us. I think Oakland could go over .500 this year. They’re putting together a good team and in a couple of years we could have a solid team. Hopefully Al Davis will be gone by then!
There were a lot of good fights on Strikeforce this past weekend. At first I thought Maximo Blanco was going to be too fast for Pat Healy, but Healy showed that he’s there to fight and I think the size finally got to Blanco. The submission he got Blanco in was different to say the least. Honestly, I’ve never really seen a Rear-Naked Choke like that. Muhammed Lawal did what he needed to do and that’s keep it standing against Roger Gracie. “King Mo” is very fast and athletic. I’ve held mitts for him, I’ve seen him spar, and you can his comfort in standing translate into the fight when he’s in there. And what can you say about Luke Rockhold other than that kid made the most of the opportunity? He really took it to Ronaldo Souza and pretty much beat him up the whole fight. It was a good back-and-forth battle but the longer the fight went you could see “Jacare” slowing down. Rockhold is very talented. Daniel Cormier was impressive as well. He has good speed and power for a heavyweight, and his hands are looking better every time. With his background as a wrestler it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat this kid.
As far as Cormier’s Grand Prix final with Josh Barnett, if that fight happens, I think Cormier has a very good chance. Barnett is a big guy and he’s good on the ground but I think Cormier will be too fast and he has power in both hands. Point blank – I think Barnett will be in some trouble.
I also have to congratulate AKA for going 4-0 at the event. Like Cormier said, they have great sparring and when you’re in there day in and day out with Cain Velasquez, then you face someone who isn’t Velasquez, it gives you a lot of confidence. If you can hang with Cain, anyone else you fight isn’t going to be as good because Cain is a monster. They’re definitely putting together a great team out in California. Javier Mendez is doing an excellent job with his guys and I wish them nothing but the best, nothing but love. You can see the hard work paying off. One of the things Phil Baroni, who trains a bit at AKA, has always told me is that those guys, when they spar they spar like they’re in a fight. Bottom line is they’re doing a fantastic job in San Jose. Those guys go in there with so much confidence and any fighter with that much self-assurance is always dangerous.
For people who have asked me about Vitor Belfort fighting Cung Le, Vitor is still in Brazil but he’s coming back soon to get camp started. He’s very excited about the fight and our camp thinks it’s a great fight for us. Cung is dangerous and fast but I think Vitor is equally quick and explosive. One thing in our group’s favor is that Vitor is so much better on the ground than le. On the feet, Vitor has better combinations, but to be objective I should also say that I think Cung has better single strikes. However, regardless, I think we’ll end up stopping him when showtime comes in November.
One last thing before I wrap this up. As I’m sure you all could have guessed given my chose profession I’m a big fan of boxing, so of course last weekend I also watched the Vitali Klitschko vs. Tomasz Adamek fight. I give credit to Adamek for moving up and weight and taking the fight but he was just too small. The Klitschkos are good and have improved a lot but their chins aren’t very durable, especially Vitali’s, and it took him eight rounds to put away Adamek. Until someone can match the Klitchkos size though they’re going to be tough to beat. The problem is that all our big athletes in the US are playing football or basketball…or now, getting into MMA. If there was someone in boxing’s heavyweight division that was similarly sized the Klitchkos wouldn’t be doing as good as they are. I think there should be a heavyweight division and a super heavyweight division but there just aren’t enough good super heavyweights to make that happen. It’s really hard for even the most talented little man to beat a somewhat good bigger man. Hopefully within the next few years we can get some big heavyweights to match their size.
That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for future blogs. Remember, on top of reading about my adventures here, you can also find me on Twitter (@mastermitter).