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Posts Tagged ‘future’

Ronda Rousey doesn’t have to beat Cat Zingano this Saturday at UFC 184 to protect and nurture the women’s MMA scene. In fact, a loss for Rousey would be the best thing that could happen to the women’s 135-pound division—and for all ladies in the sport.

The time where the existence of women in the UFC was a fragile experiment that Rousey was personally care-taking has passed.

As we head into UFC 184, the popularity of the women’s bantamweight division is in good condition. The same could also be said for the new women’s strawweight group.

While Rousey has only competed and dominated at 135 pounds, her success and star power helped to set the foundation for the ladies at 115. There are potential stars on the horizon such as Zingano, Holly Holm (who will face Raquel Pennington in Saturday’s co-feature) and Bethe Correia. That’s not to mention past Rousey opponents like Miesha Tate and Sara McMann.

Carla Esparza will make her first defense of the strawweight title in the co-feature at UFC 185 against the undefeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk. There’s also fighters like Paige VanZant and Felice Herrig coming down the pike to challenge for gold at 115 pounds.

Rousey has done her job as a trailblazer well, but someone has to challenge her seriously for the ladies in the sport to take the next step.

If Rousey should lose to Zingano, women’s MMA would not only survive but flourish. Holm said as much in a recent interview with Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com. When asked how a Rousey loss would affect the UFC, Holm said:

“I think it would benefit greatly. I think when you see one person do well, or kind of bring down the No. 1, then everybody thinks, well if she can do that, I can, too.”

It’s time for a formidable rival to put doubt in the minds of MMA prognosticators and fans. Zingano looks like she could be the girl who at the very least makes us wonder. A Rousey loss—no matter how it happens—would immediately create the demand and interest for a rematch.

Rousey has faced Tate twice, but quite honestly, the rematch had to happen because there wasn’t anyone of note left to challenge the champion. A win by Zingano—or even a tightly contested bout—would create an element of competition at the top of the weight class that we haven’t seen since its inception.

Zingano isn’t quite as prepared to be a box-office star and crossover sensation, but her journey through injury and personal tragedy is compelling enough to make casual fans take notice. She’d make a nice champion and would immediately become one of the most important fighters in the history of women’s MMA.

By becoming the first to slay Rousey, Zingano would have an accomplishment that would be amongst the most hallowed the sport has ever seen. That is solely attributed to how good Rousey has been. And the champion is still in her prime, which would make Zingano‘s win all the more impressive.

If Zingano loses, it’s business as usual, and there will be serious doubt as to whether any fighter can beat Rousey. It would be entirely plausible to see Rousey leave the UFC at some point to chase greatness in the WWE. That, in fact, may be inevitable. She’s a big fan of sports entertainment and seems to be a natural for that scene.

She’s attended live events and even made videos with friends performing pro-wrestling-style maneuvers.

No one could blame her for chasing other challenges after having beaten all comers in the UFC. Rousey‘s legacy is safe. She’s the greatest women’s MMA fighter in history, and one of the most dominant regardless of gender.

Every woman who steps into the Octagon Saturday—and in the future—should thank Rousey like boxers salute Al Haymon for his leadership and influence. Without Rousey, there’s no way the stage for women’s performances would be as large.

That said, it might be time to share the spotlight.

 

Follow Brian Mazique on Twitter. I dig boxing and MMA.

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Ronda Rousey's Mom Initially 'Couldn't See A Future' In MMA For Her Daughter
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“I told her that going into MMA was the stupidest idea that she ever had come up with, and that was really saying something because she already had plenty of dumb ideas in her life,” recalled her mother, AnnMaria De Mars. “I just couldn't see a future

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Jorina Baars has accomplished plenty in muay Thai, but she is best remembered for her win over Cristiane Justino at Lion Fight 14 a little less than a year ago.

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Despite the fact that Anderson Silva scored a win just 13 months after breaking both his left tibia and fibula, the man responsible for those injuries, UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, evidently wasn’t all that moved by the feat.

Top-ranked middleweight Silva proved he fully recovered from the gruesome injuries he suffered on a leg check from Weidman at UFC 168 by outpointing Nick Diaz in the main event at UFC 183 on Saturday. Still, Weidman, who seemed to be speaking genuinely and from a fan’s point of view, said on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour (via a report by MMA Fighting) that he hopes the longtime former middleweight champ and pound-for-pound king will decide to call it quits:

As a fan, if I’m just a normal person, I want to see him done. As Chris Weidman, as me, it’s a big money fight, a third fight eventually. But I’d really just like to see him retire. I think he’s got a great family, he’s got five kids, he’s made a lot of money, he has a great legacy. He just won a fight. I wouldn’t mind seeing him retire on a (win).

In his first win since whipping Stephan Bonnar in the main event of UFC 153 in October 2012, The Spider looked like his former self in spurts, outstriking Diaz 108-80 and stuffing the Californian’s lone takedown attempt. Each of Silva’s 108 strikes landed was deemed a significant strike, and though Silva didn’t score a knockdown or threaten to finish the ever-durable former middleweight title challenger, he clearly outclassed a battered Diaz in a win that brought him to tears.

But even though Weidman expressed excitement about watching Silva bounce back from his injuries, he didn’t seem impressed by his performance or convinced that the 39-year-old Brazilian deserves a title shot in the near future:

He was healthy, he was able to go out there and get a (win). But do I think he looked impressive? No. I don’t think he’s what everybody thought Anderson would look like and what he could do to Nick Diaz. … I don’t think he deserves a title shot. There’s a lot of other guys that I think are better than him right now.

In just his 10th career fight, Weidman upset Silva and took his middleweight belt at UFC 162 in July 2013, becoming the first man to knock out The Spider in the process. Less than six months later in their rematch at UFC 168, Weidman checked a low kick that ended up breaking Silva’s tibia and fibula.

 

All statistics were gathered via Fightmetric.com.

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Despite the fact that Anderson Silva scored a win just 13 months after breaking both his left tibia and fibula, the man responsible for those injuries, UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, evidently wasn’t all that moved by the feat.

Top-ranked middleweight Silva amazingly proved he’s fully recovered from the gruesome injuries he suffered on a leg check from Weidman at UFC 168 by outpointing Nick Diaz in the main event at UFC 183 on Saturday. Still, Weidman, who seemed to be speaking genuinely and from a fan’s point of view, essentially said on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, per a report by MMA Fighting, that he hopes the longtime former middleweight champ and pound-for-pound king will now decide to call it quits:

Being the champion, I know this ends up going further than I’d even want my comments to go, because my opinion, I don’t think, really matters that much and I don’t want it to weigh on him at all. But me as a fan, if I’m just a normal person, I want to see him done. As Chris Weidman, as me, it’s a big money fight, a third fight eventually. But I’d really just like to see him retire. I think he’s got a great family, he’s got five kids, he’s made a lot of money, he has a great legacy. He just won a fight. I wouldn’t mind seeing him retire on a (win).

In his first win since whipping Stephan Bonnar in the main event of UFC 153 in October 2012, The Spider looked like his former self in spurts, out-striking Diaz 108-80 and stuffing the Californian’s lone takedown attempt. Each of Silva’s 108 strikes landed was deemed a significant strike, and though Silva didn’t score a knockdown or threaten to finish the ever-durable former middleweight title challenger, he clearly outclassed a battered Diaz in a win that brought him to tears.

But even though Weidman expressed excitement about watching Silva bounce back from his injuries, he didn’t seem impressed by his performance or convinced that the 39-year-old Brazilian deserves a title shot in the near future:

In the fight, you know, I’m happy that he came back. He was healthy, he was able to go out there and get a (win). But do I think he looked impressive? No. I don’t think he’s what everybody thought Anderson would look like and what he could do to Nick Diaz. There was a lot going against him with the leg injury, (and) it didn’t seem like he was kicking the legs as much as he usually could. But, you know, I don’t know. I don’t think he deserves a title shot. There’s a lot of other guys that I think are better than him right now.

In just his 10th career fight, Weidman upset Silva and took his middleweight belt at UFC 162 in July 2013, becoming the first man to KO The Spider in the process. Less than six months later in their rematch at UFC 168, Weidman checked a low kick that ended up breaking Silva’s tibia and fibula. 

All statistics were gathered via Fightmetric.com.

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Anderson Silva may have posted one of the most gratifying wins of his MMA career at UFC 183 by out-pointing fan favorite Nick Diaz. That said, he was noncommittal on his fighting future.

Speaking with ESPN’s SportsCenter, Silva said that he “will go back…and talk to [his] family.”

He echoed that sentiment again at the post-fight press conference. When asked about what could be next, he reiterated that while he “loves his job,” his family is more important than his career.

In the UFC 183 main event, Silva put on a signature performance against the Stockton, California fighter. As many predicted,  Diaz waded forward with punches while Silva reared back and stung him with hard right hands that tore up the left side of his face. While the fight did not reassert Silva as the top middleweight in the game, it earned him a clear unanimous decision win (to the tune of 50-45, 50-45, 49-46).

However, entering fight night, Silva and UFC President Dana White both openly discussed Silva potentially making another run at UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Weidman and Silva have fought twice before, with Silva suffering a devastating knockout loss at UFC 162 and famously breaking his leg at UFC 168. While the fight would likely generate strong gate and pay-per-view numbers, many expressed reluctance regarding Silva’s chances against the formidable champ.

Either way, Silva’s legacy as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport is already secure. With a list of accomplishments including the most defenses of a UFC title (10) and the longest winning streak in the promotion’s history (16), a win over Diaz (and almost any other potential opponent for him) is just a cherry on top of a sundae of excellence.

Keep an eye on Bleacher Report for more updates on Silva’s future as they become available.

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Nick Diaz came up short against Anderson Silva at UFC 183 and, as is somewhat expected at this point, he was more than a little bit negative when discussing the life of a professional fighter and his future in the sport.

When asked about what lies ahead for him, Diaz quietly said, “it’s really crazy coming out here. I’m kind of tired about being a loser…I’m doing well about this being a job compared to the other guys out here…I don’t know what to make of it right now.” In his signature stream of consciousness style, he touched on a variety of topics ranging from inconsistency in MMA judging to pre-fight etiquette to editing of MMA highlight reels, but he made no effort to hide his dissatisfaction with the fight and his feelings about the sport.

While Diaz put in a strong performance against a fighter who held a clear, undeniable stylistic advantage over him, the fight was a decisive win for Silva. Diaz found success in the first two rounds with his looping punches, but Silva’s rangy counter-punching and size advantage allowed him to slice up the fan favorite. By the end, Diaz owned a badly damaged left eye and a three-fight losing streak.

While in most cases a three-fight losing streak would be worrisome regarding a fighter’s continued employment with the UFC…not so with Diaz.

In spite of an almost two-year absence from the sport, the former Strikeforce and WEC champion remains popular enough that he can carry a pay-per-view. Some fans love him and some fans hate him, but he is most certainly one of the UFC’s top draws today. That said, few “big” fights lie out there for Diaz and because of that, it may be another long while before he returns.

Watch out for Bleacher Report’s coverage of Diaz over the coming days, weeks and months.

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Former Strikeforce star and current UFC middleweight Derek Brunson earned one of his most decisive victories to date by knocking out Team Quest’s Ed “Short Fuse” Herman at UFC 183.

Brunson faked a kick and floored the 34-year-old veteran with a series of lefts. The victory, which was his fastest in the Octagon, improved his record to 4-1.

Brunson, a former NCAA Division II All-American wrestler, talked about fine-tuning his game plan ahead of the Herman fight.

“It was a long camp. I’m a wrestler by trade so just trying to change that mentality, you know going for the takedown real fast. Just really taking my time,” Brunson told reporters after Saturday’s fight.

With a few wins against established names in the sport and a strong performance in defeat against dangerous Olympic wrestler Yoel Romero, Brunson‘s time to enter the Top 15 of his middleweight class is now. Here are a few opponents who could stand across from the 31-year-old in 2015.

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 31:  Nick Diaz  leaves the arena after losing to  Anderson Silva in a middleweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Silva won by unanimous decision.  (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

After losing three fights in a row, the mercurial star is in no man’s land. One thing’s for sure though: Diaz can still draw a crowd.


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Anderson Silva wasn’t the only one to break down in tears following his victory over Nick Diaz in the UFC 183 main event.

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