Heavy Hands

This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about UFC Rochester, a card with a mixed lineup that delivered nothing but consistent action, and more than a few surprising upsets. After that, it's on to the Heavy Bag. Here are our topics:

  • RDA finally has enough experience to defeat a slightly unpolished wrestler
  • Having survived the horrors of the Hyrkanian fighting pits, Ian Heinisch has no fear of muscly BJJ guys
  • Give Charles Oliveira a step up in competition! Either that, or let him fight Nik Lentz over and over for the next ten years. We'll watch either
  • Heavy Bag questions: what makes a fighter "UFC level?" what other analysts do we like? how valuable is body toughening for MMA? 
Direct download: 264_redux.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:39pm EDT

You didn't pray for Jose, did you? Any of you. If you had, he would have won last weekend. Whereas now... well, now all of you are dead to us. Anyway, this week's topics include:

  • Can RDA finally defeat a big, strong wrestler?
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs Ian Heinisch
  • Vicente Luque vs Neil Magny DERRICK KRANTZ
  • Was Namajunas headed for a loss even before Andrade KO'd her?
  • How Alex Volkanovski outsmarted Jose Aldo on the feet, and the revenge we have planned for him
Direct download: 263_YOU_DIDNT_PRAY_FOR_JOSE_DID_YOU.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:45pm EDT

Connor and Phil share a harmless laugh over the long-awaited destruction of Michael Page. This is a teaser for our latest bonus episode. You can hear the episode in full over on the Heavy Hands Patreon.

This week's main episode will be published tomorrow, due to last minute card changes. We hope this bonus ep will keep you sated till then!

Direct download: bonus_38_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 6:59pm EDT

Rose Namajunas has two wins over the greatest women's strawweight of all time. Now we're about to find out whether she's a fitting replacement. This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about:

  • Has Rose Namajunas gotten good enough to overcome the physicality and aggression of Jessica Andrade?
  • Jose Aldo continues his quest to wipe out all the other featherweight contenders, this time against Alex Volkanovski. Pray for our boy
  • Silva vs Cannonier, Trinaldo vs Ferreira
  • How Donald Cerrone beat the rage out of Al Iaquinta
  • Elias Theodorou vs Derek Brunson: an absolute masterpiece of a bad fight
  • And Burgos vs Swanson, too
Direct download: 262_Pray_for_Jose.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:16pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we have about a billion fights to talk to you about, and we're having a good time discussing each and every one. Next weekend, Al Iaquinta and Cowboy Cerrone throw down, whereas last weekend saw some fascinating action in both the UFC and Bellator cages. Our topics:

  • Does Iaquinta have the footwork to stay in Cerrone's face?
  • How does Derek Brunson manage to be terrified of Elias Theodorou?
  • Shane Burgos and Cub Swanson--a repeat of Swanson's fight with Doo Ho Choi?
  • Jack Hermansson fought a perfect fight, and that's great but we feel bad for Jacare
  • Rory MacDonald's frustrating loss to a perfectly clean Jon Fitch
  • Cory Sandhagen may not have deserved the victory over John Lineker, but he fougth a damn good fight
Direct download: 261_Albert_vs_Donald.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:53pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're still in emotional recovery from UFC 236, but the almighty schedule marches on. Russia last week, Florida this week. Aside from Greg Hardy's vile presence, though, it's really hard to complain about this upcoming main card. Today's topics include:

  • Does Jack Hermansson have the subtlety to beat an aging Jacare, or will aggression be enough?
  • Is Cowboy Oliveira the latest bruiser to bury Perry?
  • What does bantamweight's Carlos Condit have for John Lineker that Rob Font didn't?
  • Has Ion Cutelaba grown enough to beat crusty old man Glover?
  • Overeem! Tsarukyan! Shevchenko! Oleksiejczuk! So many consonants and so little time
Direct download: 260_Pinhead_Mackenzie.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT

We were only really watching UFC 236 for the two fights at the top of the card, and now that we're four days removed, we can still hardly believe what we saw. This week on Heavy Hands, we discuss:

  • Why did Dustin Poirier end up being such a tough foe for Max Holloway?
  • Does Max have a future at 155?
  • Kelvin Gastelum's valiant effort, and the lessons he hopefully learned from Adesanya
  • Khalil Rountree's career-best performance, and Eryk Anders' worst
  • Belal "Remember the Name" Muhammad--our dude does it again
  • Alistair Overeem vs Aleksey Oleinik: yes, this fight is happening
Direct download: 259_All_About_Oleinik.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

The main and co-main event of UFC 236 are so compelling, it feels downright cheap to think of the winner of either bout being rewarded with a UFC interim title. Might as well give 'em a UFC hotdog brander, while you're at it. Anyway, we're talking about all the good stuff on this week's episode of Heavy Hands. 

  • Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier--who's improved more over the last seven years?
  • Does Kelvin Gastelum have the technical depth to trouble Israel Adesanya on the feet?
  • OSP vs Nikki Thrillz: if there is a God, Von Preux
  • Jalin Turner vs Matt Frevola--meaningless fun?
  • Curtis Millender vs Belal Muhammad (we hope you remembered the name)
Direct download: 258_Holloway_vs_Poirier_2.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

We have a UFC-less weekend ahead of us for what feels like the first time in an age, and that means finally answering your Heavy Bag questions. But before we can enjoy the nonviolence, we have to break down Justin Gaethje's huge KO of Edson Barboza last weekend. 

Topics: 

  • Why was Justin Gaethje an underdog, again?
  • Phil explains his irrational hatred of Josh Emmett
  • Sodiq Yusuff beating Sheymon Moraes in just his 7th pro fight makes his Lloyd Irvin affiliation all the more disappointing. He's really good, guys
  • KEVIN HOLLAND
  • What is "anti-technique," and is there such a thing as "anti-style"?
  • Why is striking defense so consistently poor in MMA, and how can it be trained more efficiently?
  • How do we pick up so many details when we watch fights?

 

Direct download: 257_VACATION_ALL_I_EVER_WANTED.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT

  • How can Edson Barboza survive a terrible style matchup against Justin Gaethje?
  • What does Michelle Waterson have for Karolina Kowalkiewicz?
  • It's a real shame Sodiq Yusuff is a Lloyd Irvin guy, because he looks really good
  • What Anthony Pettis did well last weekend, and why he's still fundamentally the same guy
  • Justin Willis' flat feet, and other reasons that he is not Francis Ngannou
  • Maycee Barber's newfound grit
Direct download: 256_Night_of_the_Shattered_Femurs.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Okay, so maybe, just maybe we're getting to the point where we could really use a break. This stretch of UFC cards has been pretty damn great, but uh... Stephen Thompson vs Anthony Pettis? What's  up? This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about...

  • Is Anthony Pettis a sneakily tough matchup for Stephen Thompson?
  • Does Justin Willis have the defensive wrestling to check the chin of Curtis Blaydes?
  • Jussier Formiga vs Deiveson Figueiredo--a meaningless fight that should've been so, so meaningful
  • Masvidal's KO of Till, and his backstage scuffle with Leon Edwards (Connor thinks it was cool, Phil thinks it was lame and is, therefore, a lame, himself)
  • Why is Leon Edwards so good at fighting in his opponents' area of expertise?
  • Did Oezdemir actually beat Dominick Reyes, and what does the fight tell us about two potential Jon Jones challengers?
  • Nathaniel Wood, and Claudio Silva vs Danny Roberts
Direct download: 255_Phil_is_a_normie_who_likes_Hamilton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we've got a boatload of brilliant fight analysis for you. The UFC schedule continues, but we are thoroughly enjoying the start of the new UFC/ESPN era. 

Topics include:

  • Are Darren Till and Jorge Masivdal set to have another boring welterweight fight?
  • Does Leon Edwards have the well-rounded skillset to nullify Gunnar Nelson's deadly specialties?
  • Volkan Oezdemir is gonna boop Dominick Reyes. Isn't he.
  • Why was Junior Dos Santos so uncharacteristically reckless against Derrick Lewis?
  • Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos--grade A action fighter if the opponent is well-rounded; silent killer if they aren't
  • Price vs Means, Dariush vs Dober, and Rocco Martin vs Moraes
Direct download: 254_Welterweight_Wango_Tango.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:02pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, there are far too many fights, in the best way possible. We're in the midst of a glut of exciting UFC cards, and if that means the episodes get a little long, well... hopefully you're the kind of weirdo who likes that. We discuss:

  • Jon Jones' easy walk over Anthony Smith
  • Kamaru Usman's brilliant performance, and how Tyron Woodley's gambit finally failed to pay off
  • Is Derrick Lewis another easy opponent for late-career JDS?
  • Getting excited about how similar Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs Curtis Millender looks to Ponz vs Taleb (an instant classic)
  • Yes, we talk about Herb Dean's controversial premature stoppage of Lawler vs Askren
  • And, somehow, more
Direct download: 253_Too_Many_Fights_2019.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:19am EDT

2019 feels like it's been off to a strong start for fans of face-punching, and UFC 235 is one of the best cards of the year so far. This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down six of the top fights.

  • Jon Jones needs to eat, and Anthony Smith is just crazy enough to get eaten
  • Can Kamaru Usman keep the pressure on Tyron Woodley without getting flatlined?
  • How good does Ben Askren need to be to take advantage of Robbie Lawler's lifelong hatred of boring wrestlers?
  • Cody Garbrandt takes a big risk returning against Pedro Munhoz
  • Misha Cirkunov vs Johnny Walker, just to remind you what the REST of light heavyweight looks like
Direct download: 252_Feeding_Jones.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down the most light heavyweight of matchups, by which we mean a fight between an old white guy and a middleweight. That's right, Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos are fighting in Prague, and we're just sad that one of 'em has to lose. 

Topics this week include:

- Does Jan Blachowicz have enough in common with the likes of Gegard Mousasi to outsmart Marreta?

- How will Petr Yan deal with John Dodson, his craftiest (and most frustrating) opponent to date?

- Damir Hadzovic vs Polo Reyes: your Luque-Barberena of the week

- Last week's very brief main event, Ngannou vs Velasquez, and Connor's abiding shame for having picked Cain to win

- Brilliant performances in challenging matchups: the gameplans of Paul Felder, Andre Fili, and Aljamain Sterling

Direct download: 251_HEROES_COLLIDE.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

You know how last week's card was shockingly bad for a pay-per-view? Well this next one looks shockingly excellent for something happening on cable TV. This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down six of the biggest and most exciting matchups.

Topics include:

  • Is Cain Velasquez simply too broken down to make good on the obvious stylistic advantage he has over Francis Ngannou?
  • Is Paul Felder's best chance against James Vick to take him down?
  • Cortney Casey's sluggish-strawweight-Condit stylings against the inconsistent peppering of Cynthia Calvillo
  • Kron Gracie has earned two very credible wins so far, but can anything have prepared him for the directionless madness of Alex Caceres?
  • Does Barberena have the horsepower to come back from a Vicente Luque beating in the first round?
  • Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling: bantamweight fucking rules
Direct download: 250_Free_Willie_Velasquez.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:10pm EDT

Connor and Phil discuss Anderson Silva's valiant loss to Israel Adesanya, and also take some time to preview Bellator 216's MVP vs Paul Daley. This is a teaser for our latest bonus episode. You can hear the episode in full over on the Heavy Hands Patreon.

Direct download: bonus_35_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

The UFC returns to Australia with UFC 234 and, well... it's not quite as good as their last show down under, is it? Nonetheless, the main and co-main events feature a squadron of must-see fighters, and we still have Assuncao vs Moraes to recap, as well. This week, on Heavy Hands, we talk about...

  • Why is Kelvin Gastelum so frustrating for fight nerds like us?
  • Is Israel Adesanya the next Anderson Silva, and will the answer to that question have any bearing on how badly he batters the old Spider?
  • Marlon Moraes' new slate of knockout wins
  • Connor's shame at having picked against Jose Aldo, and his joy at seeing the featherweight GOAT get another landmark win
  • Charles Oliveira, Demian Maia, and Johnny Walker
Direct download: 249_Whittaker_vs_Gastelum.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:25pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're looking forward to the (quite stacked) main card of UFC: Assuncao vs Moraes 2, and also looking back at Bellator: Fedor vs Bader

  • Does Raphael Assuncao have the fire to beat Marlon Moraes in another closely contested fight?
  • Is Renato Moicano simply too big for an aging Jose Aldo?
  • Maia vs Good, Oliveira vs Teymur, Walker vs Ledet
  • Ryan Bader vs the mouldering corpse of Fedor Emelianenko
  • Aaron Pico: what happens if you throw a blue chip talent against tough opposition from the very beginning of his career? 

Support Heavy Hands, and gain access to bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474

Subscribe to the show via...

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Or on Spotify!

 

Direct download: 248_Bad_Looks_for_Connors_Faves.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

UFC: Cejudo vs Dillashaw marked the promotion's first event on ESPN+, which is another thing you're supposed to buy to follow this sport. It was one hell of a good card, and it ended with an unexpected--but somewhat anticlimactic--bang. On this week's episode of Heavy Hands, we're breaking it all down. 

Topics include:

  • How come TJ Dillashaw got murked like that, and did the weight cut have anything to do with it (probably, yes)
  • Has Henry Cejudo's win done anything to help save the UFC's flyweight division?
  • Old man strength in action: breaking down Donald Cerrone, Joe Benavidez, and Glover Teixeira's crafty performances
  • Geoff Neal, and other names you should get used to hearing
  • You still have to remember Belal Muhammad's name, though
Direct download: 247_Coming_up_Dillashort.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

After a nice, long break, the UFC returns with the first card of their new deal with ESPN. As was the case in the early Fox days, they're breaking out the big guns for this one, delivering a card that looks all the better for the breather we got beforehand. 

This week on Heavy Hands, topics include:

- What problems does TJ Dillashaw's unique (and uniquely limited) style pose to Cejudo?

- Is the UFC deliberately trying to match Gregor Gillespie up against the tallest lightweights possible, and is James Vick available?

- Has Dustin Ortiz improved enough to beat an all-time-great in Joe B?

- Is Donald Cerrone about to pass the torch, or is he a sneakily bad matchup for Alexander Hernandez?

And more. Too much more. Somebody stop us.

Direct download: 246_The_Last_Superfight.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 6:51am EDT

It's finally that time again, folks. Not only does the new year afford us a few blissful weeks of pretending that everything can be good again, it gives us a chance to look back, and reflect. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the third annual Heavy Hands year-end awards, the 2018 Handies. 

Topics include (among many others):

  • Fighter of the Year
  • Knockout of the Year
  • The Patrick Wyman Memorial Award for Explosive Muscularity
  • Worst Brain Thinking in a Fight Award
  • The B-Hop Award for Strategic Cheating 

...and many more!

Direct download: 245_The_2018_Handies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24pm EDT

UFC 232 has come and gone, but we are far from done thinking about it. Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes asserted themselves as two of MMA's most dominant fighters, and all the way down the card, wars were waged, contenders were made, and prospects were proving themselves. 

This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking it all down in-depth. Topics include:

  • How Jones' improvements as a boxer made Gustafsson far easier prey this time around, and how his style continues to develop and improve
  • Amanda Nunes is scary
  • But also, what the hell was Cyborg thinking
  • How Alexander Volkanovski's sharp jab and intelligent pressure wore Chad Mendes down quickly
  • Petr Yan's sensational-yet-simple combination punching
  • Ryan Hall dooms Team Tristar to another generation of ill-advised Imanari roll attempts

...and more!

Direct download: 244_Jones_masterpiece_Nunes_slaughter.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:26pm EDT

Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Fights are happening soon.

Up to now, UFC 232 has been a shambles. After yet another failed PED test for erstwhile light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, the UFC, and the commissions which are supposed to regulate them, conspired to move the card from Vegas to LA on a week's notice, not even bothering to tell most of the fighters on the undercard about the expensive change. 

Of course, the fights are still happening, so we set (most) of our complaining aside and look at the matchups, as such. And--let's be real--UFC 232 is one hell of a good card. Just be sure to blame Jon Jones for this episode being late.

Topics this week include:

  • How close was the first fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, really?
  • Is greatness still within the Mauler's reach, or is a full, proper camp enough for Bones to overcome his size?
  • Cris Cyborg's underrated technique, and Amanda Nunes' bantamweight physicality
  • Is Alexander Volkanovski ready for Chad Mendes, and if not, would he ever be?
Direct download: 243_Blame_Jon_Jones_for_the_episode_being_late.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:09pm EDT

The last UFC card to appear on big Fox came and went, and it left some of us scratching our heads. This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down Kevin Lee vs Al Iaquinta, and answering some solid questions from our supporters.

Topics include:

  • What exactly was going through Kevin Lee's mind when he chose to spend so much of the fight striking, and how much credit does Iaquinta deserve for getting him to fight that way?
  • Helpful, violent reminder: Edson Barboza loses to big wrestlers,  beats slow strikers who hang out at long range
  • Sergio Pettis' perma-problems, and Rob Font's lovely jab
  • Whatever happened to low kicks and Dutch kickboxing combos in MMA?
  • What are the best examples of how to use gameplanning to defuse a pressure fighter? What about an out-fighter, a brawler, etc?
  • And more
Direct download: 242_lee_iaquinta.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're looking back at UFC 231. Keep your eyes peeled for a preview of next weekend's Lee vs Iaquinta on our Patreon. 

Topics on this episode include:

- Max Holloway's dramatic beatdown of Brian Ortega--how he confused and outclassed T-City for the better part of four rounds

- Valentina Shevchenko beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Phil needs at least 15 minutes to gloat

- Gunnar Nelson continues to befuddle, dropping the first round badly only to get an uncharacteristic (and disgustingly gory) comeback win over Cowboy Oliveira

- Thiago Santos. THIAGO SANTOS. 

- THIAAAAGOOOO SAAANTOOOOOS

Direct download: 241_THIAAAGOOO_SAAANTOOOOOOS.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:46am EDT

It's time. IT IS TIME. UFC 231 is upon us, and that means two of the most intriguing title fights we've had in some time--and only one of them is a "superfight," and such a good one that no one has even bothered mentioning it. 

This week on Heavy Hands:

- How fully has Max Holloway recovered, really, and can he still be a stylistic thorn in T-City's side?

- What would it take for Joanna Jedrzejczyk to beat Valentina Shevchenko, who bested her three times in Muay Thai?

- Cowboy Oliveira and Gunnar Nelson: what the hell is going on

- Jimi Manuwa vs Thiago Santos: will middleweights continue to take over the light heavyweight division?

- Claudia Gadelha vs Nina Ansaroff: a gimme for the grappler, or perfect timing for the up-and-comer?

Direct download: 240_Bless_this_Mess.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

With UFC Beijing behind us, and a dual-card weekend right on the horizon, we have a lot to choose from, this week. Then again, when the UFC's event schedule gets this crazy, you have to pick and choose. Fortunately, we'll have another bonus episode coming out soon to preview a few of the upcoming undercard bouts that we didn't have time for.

On this week's episode of Heavy Hands:

  • Rafael dos Anjos pretty much always loses to aggressive wrestlers--but are there enough holes in Kamaru Usman's game to make the difference?
  • It's hard to trust Junior Dos Santos these days, but is Tai Tuivasa capable of testing his embedded weaknesses, or just his chin?

  • Jake Matthews is going through his fourth puberty, and he looks pretty scary, but fellow weight-gainer Tony Martin could be a sharp enough puncher to take him out

  •  

     Bryan Caraway is fun to hate and fun to watch--but Pedro Munhoz looks like a terrible matchup for him

  • Francis Ngannou returned to form at UFC Beijing--but what does that mean for his future?
  • Discussing the impressive, exciting wins of Overeem, Song Yadong, Li Jingliang, and Zhang Weili
Direct download: 239_Too_Many_Fights_again.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

Mookie Alexander of Bloody Elbow and the Three Amigos podcast joins Connor to discuss Oleksander Usyk's devastating knockout win over Tony Bellew, his unique fighting style, and a potential future at heavyweight. This is a teaser for our latest bonus episode. You can hear the episode in full over on the Heavy Hands Patreon.

Direct download: bonus_32_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 5:21pm EDT

UFC Buenos Aires wasn't a bad card, by any means. And UFC Beijing will doubtless have some very good fights on it. But let's be honest: we've all seen better lineups, and more interesting results. Here we are, friends, back in the shit.

Nonetheless, there was some good stuff to discuss on this week's episode of Heavy Hands. We had a good time, even if we weren't particularly surprised by anything. Topics include:

- The wreckless (or punitive) matchmaking that has Francis Ngannou rematching Curtis Blaydes while on a two-fight skid, and the many improvements Blaydes has made since their first meeting

- Song Yadong, super-athletic Chinese prospect, and the Contender Series loser who seems to stand a good chance of beating him

- Neil Magny's fruitless fight for survival, and the simple techniques that allowed Santiago Ponzinibbio to dominate him

- Ricardo Lamas. He's Actually Good, guys

- Johnny Walker, the latest violent weirdo to make his mark in the UFC

- Chito Vera--literally the best fighter on earth

- Should the UFC simply combine their light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions?

Direct download: 238_No_Surprises.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 6:44pm EDT

So, about Korean Zombie... he's okay. This week on Heavy Hands, we just wanted you to know that. He was terribly unlucky, and Yair Rodriguez was terribly tricky, but he's fine. It's fine. Everything is fine. 

On this ep, your hosts discuss the whole gruesome fight leading up to the shocking finish, and look forward to next weekend's Neil Magny vs Santiago Ponzinibbio. Topics include:

- Whether or not Yair Rodriguez has taken any technical strides since his wipeout loss to Frankie Edgar last year

- The staying power of Donald Cerrone, and the falling star that is Mike Perry

- Maycee Barber's prospect potential, and the shark tank her winning UFC debut has cast her into

- Neil Magny's puzzling weirdness vs Santiago Ponizinibbio's Actually Good-ness

- Now that Mirsad Bektic has done it, will Darren Elkins be able to outwrestle Ricardo Lamas?

Direct download: 237_Removing_the_head_or_destroying_the_brain.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT

Our brief respite has already given way to a dauntingly long stretch of UFC cards. Thank goodness for the vacation, though, because UFC 230 ticked all the right boxes, and next week's fight night in Denver looks similarly intriguing. Violence, violence everywhere--and we don't even get into the US midterms (look for the bonus episode to hear Phil's thoughts on gerrymandering).

Topics this week:

- Daniel Cormier is really, really good, and this was what was pretty much always going to happen. He's really good though

- Jacare Souza's unbreakable heart, surprisingly clever skills, and strong good guy vibes

- Israel Adesanya's thumping of Derek Brunson, the latest highlight in his breakout year

- Lando Vannata: the war magnet

- Korean Zombie vs Yair Rodriguez, the dojo war between Donald Cerrone and Mike Perry, and more...

Direct download: 236_UFC_230__the_return_of_Korean_Zombie_fixed.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:10pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, one of the hosts is dying, but that still won't keep us from breaking down UFC 230. It feels strange to say this, but... it's a pretty good card! And with Anthony Smith achieving the impossible last weekend, it seems almost inevitable that his lord and master, Derrick Lewis, will be heavyweight champ by Sunday. Topics include:

- The fascinating, frustrating, and utterly functional style of Derrick Lewis

- DC is still gonna wreck him, isn't he?

- Is Jacare a sneakily bad matchup for Chris Weidman?

- Israel Adesanya's cocky cleverness vs Derek Brunson's weaponized insecurity (and wrestling)

- Julio Arce vs Sheymon Moraes, a prospect fight you shouldn't miss

Direct download: 235_UFC_230_is_SIIIICK.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

Another break from the UFC gives way to another eight-week stretch without a single reprieve--but that's okay, for now. We're feeling refreshed, and more excited than is appropriate to break down some classic(ally terrible) light heavyweight matchups! Topics for this week:

- Forget about whether Smith or Oezdemir is better... are either of them Actually Good?

- Deciding which, of his limitless powers, Artem Lobov should use to destroy Michael Johnson in the co-main event

-  Gian Villante vs Ed Herman--just to remind ourselves that the main event isn't actually all that bad

- A topic from our patrons: what makes one effective in wild scrambles or exchanges, and who are the best at it?

Direct download: 234_Only_at_Light_Heavyweight.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're covering a topic which has consumed much of the online MMA sphere these last few weeks. Ever since Nate Diaz decided to announce his contention for the 165-pound UFC title, that weight class has captivated our collective imagination--even though Nate never really was scheduled to fight for the title, and is currently not scheduled to fight at all, and also there is no 165-pound division. 

Yet. 

So this week, we draw up a list of 32 fighters of all stripes, who we think could benefit from a move to 165, and smash them together like action figures until only the hypothetical champion is left. Enjoy, sickos.

Direct download: 233_superfighter_division.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:08pm EDT

UFC 229 gave us pretty much everything we could have asked for, given the lineup. In the main event, Khabib Nurmgomedov and Conor McGregor fought tooth-and-nail, with Nurmagomedov notching his greatest victory to date--after all, no one else has beaten Dillon Danis. Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis had an outrageous war of wills in the co-main event. Further down, Dominick Reyes showed veteran smarts and skills in a telling victory over Ovince Saint Preux, and Derrick Lewis was more Derrick Lewis than ever. 

We break it all down on this week's Heavy Hands.

Direct download: 232_This_is_a_Derrick_Lewis_show.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT

Here it is, folks. The moment we've all been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for. Goodness, it feels like ages since we've had a matchup this compelling, doesn't it? Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon after an absence of two years, to take on the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. Topics include:

  • What makes McGregor-Khabib compelling is also what makes it sort of difficult to analyze
  • We still argue about who will win for half an hour, though
  • Is Anthony Pettis one of the worst winnable matchups out there for Tony Ferguson? Can Pretty Tony actually beat the Tony whom only a mother could love?
  • Dominick Reyes looks like an exciting light heavyweight prospect. We refuse to get our hopes up.
  • Derrick Lewis vs Alexander Volkov, i.e. a much worse Anthony Johnson vs a slightly different kind of Alexander Gustafsson

And don't forget, if you will be watching UFC 229 live, Connor will be livecasting the fights on the new Youtube channel, which you can find right here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8uiE3gzYRYXWOM1aBTmORw

Direct download: 231_Conor_and_Khabib.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:01pm EDT

Connor and Phil discuss the champ vs champ fight between Rory MacDonald and Gegard Mousasi, the main event of Bellator 206. This is a teaser for our latest bonus episode. You can hear the episode in full over on the Heavy Hands Patreon.

Direct download: Bonus_30_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

UFC 229 is right around the corner, and while we would normally split a massive, tentpole pay-per-view like that into two episodes, the undercard just doesn't merit it. So, you might be thinking, this is a perfect time to cover the upcoming Bellator 206! But, uh... we forgot about that one. Not to worry, though--keep your eyes glued to the Heavy Hands Patreon for a bonus episode breaking down the highlights of that stacked card. Until then, enjoy our discussion of UFC Sao Paulo, and a few questions from our patrons. Topics include:

  • A pathologically violent Thiago Santos, and the bright future ahead of him at light heavyweight
  • The sad, sad fall of Renan Barao
  • Little Nog rides again!
  • How we feel about watching a sport surrounded and populated by so many amoral/immoral people
  • How the "average" fighter can overcome a far superior athlete

Also, an important note: you are likely reading this on BloodyElbow.com. If so, you should know that this will be the final episode of Heavy Hands to be featured at that address, and thus the last episode to be posted on a BE-associated Youtube channel. Future episodes will be published on the Connor Ruebusch Youtube channel, but also on all of the usual podcast distributors--now including Spotify!

Direct download: 230_Sao_Paulo_and_the_rest.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Well, there was a huge fight last weekend, and I'm sure you are all desperate to hear us break it down. Unfortunately, Blachowicz vs Krylov has to wait for the second segment. Instead, we kicked off this week's episode with an in-depth breakdown of the rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, an instant classic that saw Golovkin pressured for the first time in a long time. After that, it's on to UFC Moscow, and the upcoming UFC event in Sao Paolo. Topics include:

- How Canelo tapped into Golovkin's internal stylistic struggle, and how GGG made him pay, anyway

- Jan Blachowicz's contender-making victory over Nikita Krylov. UFC GOLD AWAITS

- Petr Yan's exceptional striking skills

- Thiago Santos is fighting who, now? Eryk Anders? Okay, we talked about that.

- Andre Ewell would be Renan Barao's worst loss yet, but the giant bantamweight newcomer is dangerous. Can the baron recapture his old ferocity?

Direct download: 229_strangeglove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:31am EDT

So, UFC 228 was pretty spectacular. From the early prelims to the main event, last weekend's lineup did everything in their power to deliver one truly memorable night of fights. 

Now, did this have anything to do with Valentina Shevchenko's absence? We'll never know. but the answer is yes

We're breaking almost all of it down on this week's Heavy Hands, in addition to looking forward to next week's UFC Moscow, which is actually a little better than its lackluster main event might imply. Topics for this episode include: 

- The two sides of Tyron Woodley

- The zero significant strikes of Darren Till

- How Jessica Andrade delivered the most stunning one-punch KO in UFC WMMA history

- Is it best to pump the brakes on Zabit Magomedsharipov?

- Tatiana Suarez, aka Kha-she-b Her-magomedov. Get it? Look, Phil didn't like it either, and I'll admit it's a little clumsy, but IT'S A GOOD PUN

- Next week, Jan of Rivia takes on the prodigal prospect, Nikita Krylov, and we could not be more excited

...and more!

Direct download: 228_ufc_228.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:47pm EDT

Alright people, UFC 228 is just about here, so it's time to get extremely [clap] hyped [clap] for these [clap] fights!

Seriously, though, the highlights are great. Tyron Woodley, Darren Till, Nicco Montano, and Valentina Shevchenko are all capable of impressive feats of martial skill, and that makes this one easy to advertise. And in truth, all four of them could show up and put on a pair of truly fascinating fights. But looking back at their recent histories--Till vs Thompson (1 or 2, take your pick), Woodley vs Thompson, Shevchenko vs Nunes 2--how excited should we really be? 

This week on Heavy Hands, we're all about UFC 228. Topics include:

  • Tyron Woodley and Darren Till both want the same kind of fight, but we're not sure which will stick his neck out first
  • Nicco Montano: UFC CHAMPION. Valentina Shevchenko: WMMA'S GREATEST COUNTER PUNCHER. The matchup between them: UNINTERESTING
  • Zabit gets a chance to break out, as possibly the last exciting fighter viewers will see on the main card
  • How does Jessica Andrade's freakish athleticism compare with the surprising strength of Karolina Kowalkiewicz?
Direct download: 227_Tyron_us_out.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:54pm EDT

Last weekend the UFC went to Lincoln, Nebraska, and the result was a night of good old-fashioned corn-fed chaos. This week on Heavy Hands, your beloved hosts discuss all of the best action in detail. Topics include:

  • James Vick's giant, ponderous defense, and the higher weight class that is so clearly calling him
  • Angela Hill's controversial loss to Cortney Casey--how we saw it, and what we expect out of both fighters
  • Deiveson Figuereido announcing himself in the flyweight division with a crushing win over perpetual tough-out John Moraga
  • Eryk Anders, the guy who lost to Machida, is still sort of the dude who lost to Machida. Tim Williams ain't bad, though
  • A career-best performance from (welterweight) James Krause, Cory Sandhagen's frankly disgusting determination to win, and more...
Direct download: 226_Midwest_Slugfest_-_The_Lunacy_In_Lincoln_Pt_II.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 5:06am EDT

After a two week hiatus, the UFC returns in modest fashion with a perfectly solid fight night card, and that means Heavy Hands is back to deliver more of the same perfectly adequate fight analysis you know and regard favorably. Totally fine! They're calling this one "UFC Lincoln, and the main event is Justin Gaethje vs James Vick. A crossroads kind of fight between the world's most exciting mixed martial artist and (perhaps) its most underrated light heavyweight.

Here's what we talked about this week.

  • Can Justin Gaethje be a brawler, or will James Vick make him wish he was a little bit taller? 
  • Does featherweight make sense for Michael Johnson, and is Andre Fili a good enough athlete to beat him?
  • Angela Hill will be trying to sort out her power problems against Cortney Casey, who is either strawweight's Thiago Santos or its Gian Villante--we can't tell
  • John Moraga is the definition of a crafty vet, but is he savvy enough to stop Deiveson "Young Romero," Figueiredo from doing whatever crazy nonsense he likes?
  • UFC "Lincoln", huh? So either this thing is going down in Nebraska, or at another one of Dana White's kids' birthday parties
Direct download: 225_Vick_or_get_off_the_pot.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09am EDT

The latest episode of Heavy Hands comes at a rare time, betwixt two entire weekends utterly devoid of UFC content. Hell, even TUF and Dana White's Dancing with the Contenders are off the air at the moment. Shh... hear that? It's... silent. Wow.

And that means that this week, we get to talk about... well, whatever we want. And apparently we wanted to talk about... weight cutting? Oh. Phil's idea, I'm sure. 

Anyway, topics include

  • What does a weight advantage actually do for a fighter, in the cage, and which styles make the most of the arduous cut?
  • Fighters who simply refuse to move up in weight, even though it is so very clearly the right idea--yeah, JOSE AND YOEL, WE SEE YOU
  • Fighters who stopped cutting weight and started smashing people
  • Why isn't Hyung Gyu Lim currently making his 8th consecutive light heavyweight title defense?
  • Listener questions
Direct download: 224_weight_cutting_sucks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:48am EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we are having computer troubles. But aside from that, we're coping. Yes, TJ Dillashaw closing out his rivalry with Cody Garbrandt was satisfying, but we have to be honest... UFC 227's co-main event, the 12th title defense of flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson, left a strange taste in our mouths. Also, it was probably responsible for the computer troubles. Please send your complaints to Henry Cejudo.

Topics this week include:

  • Is TJ the perfect foil for Garbrandt, or is Garbrandt the perfect foil for himself?
  • Demetrious Johnson is EXPOSED. All you have to do to beat him is not lose too badly
  • Oh, so when Willie Pep wins a round without throwing a punch, that's okay, but now that Henry Cejudo is doing it, you're upset
  • Renato Moicano, Pedro Munhoz, and flyweight finisher Alex Perez
Direct download: 223_TJ_and_DJ_corrected.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

Though it lasted less than two rounds, Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw I is already considered one of the most exciting bouts in bantamweight history. Likewise, Demetrious Johnson's destruction of Henry Cejudo is widely regarded as his finest hour--or rather, his finest two minutes and 49 seconds. In the main and co-main events of UFC 227, both matchups will play out for the second time. 

This week on Heavy Hands, Connor and Phil are here with the in-depth technical preview, as well as a look back at some of the results of last weekend's UFC Calgary. Topics include: 

  • How good is Cody Garbrandt, really? Can he adapt to a rematch the way we expect TJ to do?
  • Can Henry Cejudo make his improved striking work against Demetrious Johnson, or will it be death by clinch all over again?
  • From UFC Calgary: the changing style of Dustin Poirier, and the adjustments he made to secure the finish this time around
  • How “back” is Jose Aldo, and how much do we really care? because that shit was incredible
Direct download: 222_IN_HONOR_OF_JOSE_ALDO.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 5:16pm EDT

The UFC went to Hamburg, Germany last week, and on the latest episode of Heavy Hands, your hosts do everything in their power to avoid talking about it. Fortunately, next week's UFC on Fox card has some superb matchups to preview, analyze, and hopefully distract us from the thought of the brutal, pointless end that awaits every prizefighter, no matter how beloved.

No, but seriously. Eddie Alvarez vs Dustin Poirier... again! This week on Heavy Hands, we tuck into three top-notch fights, and more. Topics include:

- Eddie Alvarez is the reigning king of violence, and maybe the best lightweight there's ever been--but does his style still match up favorably with Poirier's?

- Jose Aldo certainly has the skills to do to Jeremy Stephens what he did to Frankie Edgar, but having lost 3 of his last 4, Stephens' own skills are not to be overlooked

- Joanna Jedrzejczyk had a tough time with the reach and pressure of Rose Namajunas. Can Tecia Torres present similar problems?

- The Assassination of Shogun Rua by the Coward Anthony Smith

- Nasrat Haqparast's style evolving in a dominant victory over Marc Diakiese

Direct download: 221_Good_fights_ahead_and_everything_is_normal.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

This is a teaser for our latest bonus episode. Check out the whole thing on our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474

Direct download: bonus_27_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

Alright, so off the bat, we’re not really saying that Mauricio Rua is going to be light heavyweight champion. I mean, it’s not totally unrealistic that he could, given that he is still here knocking people out, recently ranked as high as #4 in the light heavyweight division. But no, he won’t be champion again. Probably.

This week’s episode of Heavy Hands celebrates the things that are still great about former phenom Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who fights Anthony Smith this weekend in the main event of UFC Hamburg. We also break down some of the action that took place last Saturday at UFC Boise. Topics include:

  • The Crafty Veteran™ that Shogun Rua has become, and the decrepit division he polices
  • Anthony Smith: is he really better than Gian Villante? Does it matter? Does any of this matter?
  • Blue chip prospect Nasrat Haqparast takes on derailed former blue chip prospect Marc Diakiese in a very interesting undercard bout
  • Alex Volkanovski’s dominant victory over top featherweight Darren Elkins at UFC Boise, and where he stands among such stiff competition
Direct download: 220_From_Boise_to_Hamburg.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

This is a preview of our latest bonus episode. Connor and Phil talk about Darren Elkins vs Alexander Volkanovski, and the return of Chad Mendes against Myles Jury. Check out the whole thing on our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474

Direct download: bonus_26_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 6:31pm EDT

Well, we finally had enough confidence in Stipe Miocic to actually pick him, and then Daniel Cormier knocked his block off thirty seconds before the end of the first round. We're taking it all in on this episode of Heavy Hands, and our topics represent the full, balanced diet that was UFC 226:

  • Daniel Cormier’s heavyweight brilliance, and the transitions that set him apart
  • Connor and Phil offer to lift the HH curse: if Stipe Miocic subscribes to the Patreon, we’ll start picking against him again
  • We knew we were in for a funhouse mirror-match, but Ngannou-Lewis was worse than we had ever imagined
  • RE: our wayward son Mike Perry... this is kind of it for him, isn’t it
  • Paulo Costa a.k.a. "Borrachinha" a.k.a. “Uberlandiareem” was very good and very scary in his fight against a particularly sharp Uriah Hall
  • Raphael Assuncao, and the much deserved love he got for his total domination of Rob Font
Direct download: 219_DC_did_it.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:37pm EDT

UFC 226 feels like a bright beginning. A true superfight between current light heavyweight and heavyweight champions is enough to get any fight fan's blood pumping. Add to that a title defense, in which one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on earth faces a creative challenger who has finished every one of his last seven opponents. And then there is the undercard, a worthy appetizer. 

We couldn't ask for a better event to preview for Dr. Patrick Wyman's final episode as co-host of this podcast. Pat has been a regular part of the show for nearly four years, and his insightful analysis, good humor, and passionate fury will all be missed. We are joined once again by new co-host Phil Mackenzie, and since this is a landmark episode, I didn't try to hard to edit it down. That's right, prepare yourselves for an hour and a half of the analysis you crave, including such topics as:

  • Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier: can DC still take heavyweight power, and can Stipe wrestle with the crotch lift king?
  • Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega: holy hell, this fight
  • But really, Ortega could've gotten three times better since his last fight, in which he was markedly better than the fight before that
  • And that still might not be enough against the combat genius of Holloway. THIS FIGHT.
  • Francis Ngannou looks into a funhouse mirror and sees a chubbier version of himself. Who wins?
  • Israel Adesanya, and the gentle-as-can-be test that is Brad Tavares
  • Gokhan Saki and Khalil Rountree: two incredible athletes with skillsets no deeper than a sidewalk puddle--for Pat
Direct download: 218_UFC_226_and_Farewell_Dr_Wyman.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:54pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we are preparing for some pretty monumental changes. Pat Wyman has been a part of this show for nearly four years, during which time he has started a family, earned his doctorate, and started two history podcasts, both of which are vastly more successful than this rinky-dink operation. The man is busy, and the MMA schedule isn’t always forgiving. This, friends, will be the second-to-last time that Connor is joined “as always” by Dr. Patrick Wyman on Heavy Hands.

But don’t you worry. Heavy Hands will still be going strong, and this episode is not just for impending goodbyes. This week, we welcome Phil Mackenzie, who will be taking over as co-host. Phil is one of the most insightful analysts working in MMA today, a lyrical writer and a keen thinker. Plus, his British accent could earn us up to six (6) new female listeners in 2018, if our projections are correct.

And for this very special, two-co-host edition of Heavy Hands, we have chosen a special topic for you. The three of us have selected a total of six all-time classic fights to discuss. We break down the techniques and strategies on display, and celebrate some of the finest performances we have ever seen in this sport. The topics include:

  • Fedor Emelianenko vs Mirko Cro Cop: the perfect (and first) anti-kicker gameplan?
  • Eddie Alvarez vs Joachim Hansen: one of the first great wars in Eddie Alvarez’s career—a decade ago
  • Rory MacDonald vs Tyron Woodley: The Waterboy/Ares/The Red King hands Woodley his most decisive loss, in a performance none since have replicated
  • Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes II: the best fight of Jose Aldo’s career, and the very first fight that Pat and Connor ever broke down together on the show
  • Rory MacDonald vs Robbie Lawler II: the greatest MMA fight of all time, and that’s that
  • Jose Aldo vs Max Holloway: a memorable crossroads, where the best featherweight alive beat the best featherweight ever
Direct download: 217_A_Very_Special_Episode.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:32pm EDT

The UFC returns to Singapore, but more importantly for most of us, the promotion has returned to an era of passable Fight Night cards. This lineup has quality sprinkled throughout, from established action fighters to promising prospects, and enough mid-level weirdness in between to keep things interesting. This week on Heavy Hands, we talk about...

- Does Leon Edwards have a deep enough game to trouble Donald Cerrone, even as Cowboy nears the end of his career?

- Tyson Pedro's developing style, and how Ovince Saint Preux could prove too tricky for him

- The UFC debut of blue chip prospect Petr Yan, against hard-hitting Teruto Ishihara

- Jake Matthews and a deceptively interesting matchup with the grimy, wrestle-boxing Shinsho Anzai

- Listener questions from the Heavy Bag!

Direct download: 216_Is_Cerrone_still_too_good_for_Edwards.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT

Remember how awesome the first fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero was? If you are reading this after watching UFC 225, the answer is probably no, as it would be were we to ask you to recall any other event prior to Whittaker vs Romero 2. These two bring the best out of one another, and this was every bit the rematch we were all hoping for, and then some. And then some more.

This week on Heavy Hands, we are absurdly excited to talk to you about it, and the rest of the weekend's UFC card. Topics include:

- Are there any middleweights in the world who can give Robert Whittaker more of a test than that? (we doubt it)

- The unfolding mystery of Yoel Romero, and what a future at light heavyweight could hold for the Vicar of Violence

- Colby Covington's obnoxious apotheosis

- Holly Holm, a damn professional, and Megan Anderson's terrible takedown defense

- CM Punk, and a reality check for 90% of MMA fans, or 99% of dudes in general who don't really care about fighting but still think they must be pretty good at it

- plus, Tai Tuivasa, Curtis Blaydes, Mirsad Bektic, and some words on the war between Claudia Gadelha and Carla Esparza

Direct download: 215_WAAR_GOOODDZZZ.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

The spring schedule has been a drag, in the sense that mustering any excitement for these cards has felt very much like wearing a plastered-on grin while being dragged through a field of thorns. But hey, our suffering is over, at long last. UFC 225 is here, and with it, a whole slate of intriguing and meaningful fights. This week on Heavy Hands, topics include:

- The rematch between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, whose first fight was a tactical war of epic proportions

- All of our hopes and dreams resting on Rafael Dos Anjos' capable shoulders

- Holly Holm as a stiff test for the still-relatively-untested Meeeeegan Anderson

- Seriously, RDA, please send Colby Covington to the netherworld

Direct download: 214_Whittaker_vs_Romero_AGAIN_woooo.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

Oh boy. UFC Liverpool came and went, and the cursed pattern held. Just like last weekend, and the weekend before that, this card looked too top heavy to stand, and yet the action on the undercard ended up far surpassing that of the main event. Yes, Thompson vs Till was a dreadful fight--but why? This, in addition to a preview of next week's Jimmie Rivera vs Marlon Moraes, is the focus of this week's episode of Heavy Hands. 

Topics include: 

- Why did Stephen Thompson once again fail to pull the trigger?

- What does this performance say about Darren Till, and is the welterweight division doomed?

- Arnold Allen's remarkable comeback, and the performance that should put Mads Burnell on the map

- Jimmie Rivera vs Marlon Moraes will be better than this. IT WILL

- Is Vinc Pichel a genuine test for Gregor Gillespie?

...and more!

Direct download: 213_it_was_so_bad_guys.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 6:46pm EDT

This is a preview of our latest bonus episode. To hear the thing in full, check out our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474

Direct download: bonus_25_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 5:14am EDT

Just a few more weeks, folks. Just a couple more events until UFC 225 is finally upon us. Until then, we're wading our way through a spate of dangerously top-heavy cards. The good news is, they've been surprisingly fulfilling so far, for the dozen or so people watching, and that means there is always plenty to talk about after the fact. Topics for this week's episode include:

- Darren Till's rapid rise to relevance, and the questions he still needs to answer

- An interesting clash between two exciting pseudo-prospects in Makwan Amirkhani (Mr Finland vs Mr Mississippi, anyone?)

- Kamaru Usman's frustrating victory over Demian Maia at UFC Chile

- Tatiana Suarez's dominant performance in the co-main event

- Dominick Reyes: official badass

- Enrique Barzola: underappreciated badass, now 5-1 in the UFC

Direct download: 212_Till_Thompson_preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:58pm EDT

Last weekend, some people fought, and it was good. Some parts were not so good, but other parts were especially good.Then, the weekend ended, and Connor Ruebusch and Patrick Wyman sat down to discuss it.

This week on Heavy Hands, the topics include:

- Raquel Pennington's corner, and the unnecessary fifth round they refused to save her from

- Jorge Linares, the first man since Orlando Salido to give Vasyl Lomachenko a stiff test

- Lomachenko passing that test in typically astounding fashion

- Kelvin Gastelum, middleweight's Anthony Pettis (it'll make more sense when you listen)

- previewing Kamaru Usman vs Demian Maia, and Alexa Grasso vs Tatiana Suarez

Direct download: 211_Still_Got_a_Shot.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:01pm EDT

Our holiday away from UFC coverage is over. Fedor was fun, right? And how about Kyoji Horiguchi? He won his fight in about one tenth of one percent of the time we spent analyzing his style! Amazing! But now it's UFC season once again, and the world's premiere MMA promotion has gifted us with a card that is... well, it's fine.

This week, we discuss:

- Raquel Pennington: the best of a bad division, or a legitimate threat to Amanda Nunes' belt?

- Kelvin Gastelum's strangely static style

- Mackenzie Dern's pugilistic potential

- John Lineker vs Brian Kelleher

- vitorbelfortvslyotomachida

Direct download: 210_vitorvsmachidawwwhhhhyyy.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 7:41pm EDT

With one more blessed, UFC-less weekend left to us, the hosts of Heavy Hands turn to Bellator and Rizin for inspiration. That means talking about the heavyweight GOAT, and the only top five flyweight not currently fighting under the UFC banner. Topics include:

- How the MMA game of Fedor stacks up against todays heavyweights

- Kyoji Horiguchi's tricky rhythm and developing skillset

- Whether he will be able to beat Ian McCall at Rizin 10

- The difference between an "action fighter" and an exciting fighter

...and more, I swear. 

Direct download: 209_Fedor_and_Kyoji_sitting_in_a_tree.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

Kevin Lee emulated Khabib Nurmagomedov in his dominant victory over Edson Barboza at UFC Atlantic City, and with a few non-UFC weeks ahead of us, we stretch our legs to discuss this and other face-punching topics. Your table of contents for this week's episode of Heavy Hands:

- Kevin Lee's vicious grappling, and ever-improving striking

- Frankie Edgar's triumphant comeback

- Aljamain Sterling, and the best performance of his career

- The bizarre and worrisome ending to Dvalishvili vs Simon, and a reminder that it was a sensational fight before all the controversy

- A discussion of how size and weight affect fighting style and tactics

Direct download: 208_barboza_lee_recap.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're drowning in lightweights. Pat, at least, doesn't seem to mind. Our topics include:

- Justin Gaethje's brawling style, and whether it needs to change

- What allows Poirier to hang in the pocket with the likes of Gaethje and Alvarez? And can he beat Khabib?

- Israel Adesanya's road to contention--longer than we'd hoped?

- Edson Barboza vs Kevin Lee

- Is Frankie Edgar returning too soon from his first knockout loss, or does he simply have Cub Swanson's number?

- Do-or-die time for Aljamain Sterling, and the game of his 15-0 opponent, Brett Johns

Direct download: 207_Suplex_City_Bitch.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 9:07am EDT

On the latest Heavy Hands, your hosts discuss the absolute insanity of UFC 223, and preview the upcoming war of all wars between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. Topics include:

- Khabib Nurmagomedov's disappointingly dominant win over Al Iaquinta

- The ever-improving skills of Rose Namajunas, and her masterful fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk

- Zabit Magomedsharipov's icy demeanor versus the burning fury of Kyle Bochniak

- Renato Moicano's contender-making win over Calvin Katter

- What Dustin Poirier can offer Justin Gaethje that other lightweights cannot, and vice versa

- Marvin Vettori: Israel Adesanaya's first big test

Direct download: 206_Khabib_Looked_Like_Shit.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT

UFC 223 is finally upon us, and there was simply no way we could come this close to the date without losing one half of the main event. MMA just doesn't work that way. But despite Tony Ferguson's last-minute, freak injury, the card is still rock solid, and we are more than ready for it. Topics of discussion include:

- Max Holloway: one of Khabib's toughest possible matchups... but on short notice?

- How Joanna Jedrzejczyk needs to adjust to Rose Namajunas to regain her title

- Trying to figure out who's good enough to beat Anthony Pettis as he gets older

- Paul Felder vs Al Iaquinta

And in case you missed it, we covered two other bouts set for the UFC 223 undercard on last week's show, namely Calvin Kattar vs Renato Moicano and Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Kyle Bochniak. 

Direct download: 205_Max_has_our_backs.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:20am EDT

Our second sans-UFC weekend in a row gives Connor and Pat to discuss a wide variety of topics, including:

- Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker, two members of a new golden shiny age in heavyweight boxing

- Calvin Kattar vs Renato Moicano (!!!!!!)

- plus, Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Kyle Bochniak, another bantamweight featherweight showcase on the undercard of UFC 223

- The current state of striking defense in MMA

- Our favorite MMA slicksters, what made them great, and what's next

 

Direct download: 204_Can_Parker_overwhelm_Anthony_Joshua.mp3
Category:Boxing -- posted at: 3:29am EDT

After a slight delay, Heavy Hands is back, and there is the matter of Jan Blachowicz to solve. Witness the thrilling conclusion of an argument you never particularly cared about. All of that, and:

- Is age finally catching up to Fabricio Werdum?

- Alexander Volkov's chances against the rest of the elite (and especially Stipe Miocic)

- How Jan Blachowicz's vaunted "technical striking" won him the day in an unexpected thriller with Jimi Manuwa

- Leon Edwards and Darren Till: complete fighters?

- Hakeem Dawodu, Magomed Ankalaev, and the archetypal Prospect Loss

- Listener questions from the Heavy Bag

All of that, and--need I say it--more! Enjoy the show, folks.

Direct download: 203_The_Lay_of_Jan_Blachowicz.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:17pm EDT

Your latest edition of Heavy Hands is a very spicy meatball. We cover fights. We shout at each other about one of them, and it's not even the one we care about. Then we talk about some of our favorite battles from MMA's mythic past. Topics include:

- Werdum's Brazilian Muay Thai vs Alexander Volkov's cold-blooded efficiency

- A big argument about whether or not Jan Blachowicz is Actually Good

- Related to the former, the long-awaited return of Passionate Pat, and his trusted sidekick, Incorrigible Connor

- Tom Duquesnoy on the comeback path

- The impending UFC debuts of hot prospects Hakeem Duwodu and Magomed Ankalaev

- Great fights that stand the test of time, and a conversation on the major differences between modern MMA and the bloodsport of old

Direct download: 202_Werdum_vs_Volkov_Wyman_vs_Ruebusch.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 7:28am EDT

Okay, so UFC 222 was a bit of a mixed bag, but think of it this way: it was the last UFC card for a full two weeks. That's right! Which means we had time to discuss all of the following on this week's Heavy Hands:

- Cyborg crushing Kunitskaya

- How Brian Ortega became the first man to ever finish Frankie Edgar

- Sean O'Malley's slick victory over Andre Soukhamthath

- Cody Stamann and Alex Hernandez notching big wins over ranked opponents

- Deontay Wilder's wonderfully weird and wild win over Luis Ortiz in the boxing ring

- And three thought-provoking questions from our listeners!

Direct download: 201_Brian_Ortega_is_weird_and_scary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am EDT

Still mourning the loss of Holloway-Edgar, your hosts discuss:

- Yana Kunitskaya's style, and her chances against Cyborg the soul-taker

- The fascinating dynamics of Frankie Edgar vs Brian Ortega

- Sean O'Malley's tricky rhythm, and what he needs to improve

- Jeremy Stephens' knockout of Josh Emmett at UFC on Fox 28

- Mike Perry, and the vacation he so desperately needs

Direct download: 200_UFC_222_-_Remember_the_Holly_Holm_fight.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:51am EDT

This week, on Heavy Hands, your hosts cover a number of topics, including:

- Screaming at Fightpass

- Jeremy Stephens' fluidity in contrast to Josh Emmett

- Jessica Andrade's unstoppable killer instinct

- Swearing at Fightpass

- Donald Cerrone's quality preparation for Yancy Medeiros

- Stabbing the computer monitor with a knife

- James Vick's steadily improving boxing

And more! Including a couple of top-notch questions from our listeners.

Direct download: 199_Fightpass_Fuming.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:43am EDT

The main even of UFC 221 was fascinating. Luke Rockhold showed off some much improved boxing, but Yoel Romero stifled the former champion's work with a brilliant strategy and yet another vicious knockout in the third round (his eighth of that description). Connor and Pat break it down in detail, before covering the other highlights of a very entertaining pay-per-view, including Curtis Blaydes' impressive win in the co-main event, Jake Matthews finally putting the pieces together on the undercard, and the electrifying UFC debut of Israel Adesanya.

After that, a preview of next week's main event, Donald Cerrone vs Yancy Medeiros, plus a quick look at a compelling matchup between Francisco Trinaldo and the surging James Vick. 

Direct download: 198_ROCKHOLD_GO_TO_LIGHT_HEAVYWEIGHT.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:16pm EDT

UFC 221 is right around the corner, and while it may not be the superbowl of MMA (it's definitely not), Connor and Pat are still intensely interested in its main event, a scrap between middleweight mystery Yoel Romero, and former UFC and Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold. Also of interest: Mark Hunt vs Curtis Blaydes, the co-main event, the UFC debut of eye-catching kickboxer Israel Adesanya, and the continuing adventures of featherweight fireplug Alexander Volkanovski.

Finally, a look back at Machida vs Anders from last weekend, and the controversial outcome of Valentina Shevchenko vs Squash Match Victim 2B Priscila Cachoeira.

Direct download: 197_Rockhold_vs_Romero_for_the_interim_interim_title.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:15pm EDT

Are you a fan of Bloody Elbow’s MMA Vivisection? Do you like how long it always is? Well then you’re going to love this episode of Heavy Hands!

BE’s Zane Simon joins Connor and Pat on this week’s episode to discuss what could be the definitive end to Lyoto Machida’s long tenure as a UFC contender, as the Dragon prepares to take on untested prospect Eryk Anders in the main event of UFC Belem. The power trio also breaks down the co-main event, John Dodson vs Pedro Munhoz, as well as the flyweight debut of Valentina Shevchenko.

After that, a recap of last weekend’s UFC on Fox card, which, while deservedly underwatched, did give us some quality fights, and reminded us all that, yes, Jacare Souza is a man to be feared.

Direct download: 196_Still_Scared_of_Jacare.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

Francis Ngannou looked dangerous. In fact, he was. But, as it became clear within the first three minutes of his UFC 220 main event, the Cameroonian crusher was simply not prepared for the experience and craft of Stipe Miocic. So this week's episode of Heavy Hands is all about groveling, and begging forgiveness of the only man to ever defend the UFC heavyweight strap three times in a row. 

But between sobs, we still manage to break down a whole heck of a lot of MMA action. There's Miocic vs Ngannou, of course, but also UFC 220's co-main event between light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier and Volkan Oezdemir. We break down the brilliant war between Calvin Kattar and Shane Burgos and Rob Font's win over Thomas Almeida from the same card. Then, a look at former UFC contender Rory MacDonald, who withstood terrible punishment to take the Bellator welterweight title from Douglas Lima, as well as Aaron Pico, owner of the body shot heard round the world. Finally, we wrap things up with a quick preview of next weekend's UFC show, focusing on the main event, Jacare Souza vs Derek Brunson.

Direct download: 195_Please_Stipe_think_of_our_loved_ones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm EDT

We are extremely excited for UFC 220. And no, it's not because the card is great, as a whole. It's because Francis Ngannou is a terrifying mystery, and if Miocic beats him, he will have officially compiled the best championship run in UFC heavyweight title history. 

We tap into the mystery of Ngannou on this week's edition of Heavy Hands, and explore the options which Miocic might have against him. Daniel Cormier's title fight with Volkan Oezdemir doesn't evoke the same giddy, can't-wait sensation as the main event, but we break that one down, too, in addition to our two favorite undercard fights: Calvin Kattar vs Shane Burgos (probable fight of the night) and Thomas Almeida vs Rob Font (probable second-best fight of the night). 

After that, it's onto our analysis of the events of UFC St Louis, namely Jeremy Stephens' crushing victory over "Korean Superboy" Doo Ho Choi in the main event, Kamaru Usman's troubled climb through the welterweight ranks, and Darren Elkins' mastery of the art of the comeback.

Direct download: 194_HEAVYWEIGHT_HYPE.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:18pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're looking forward to UFC St. Louis, main-evented by a mouthwatering matchup between "Korean Superboy" Doo Ho Choi and "Extremely Dangerous Veteran" Jeremy Stephens. Sure, Stephens may only be a fringe contender in the division, but that didn't prevent him from staggering current challenger Frankie Edgar when the two met in 2016, nor did it enable current champ Max Holloway to style on Stephens the way he does most opponents. Stephens is a threat, and that makes this fight very interesting. 

We also touch on Uriah Hall vs Vitor Belfort, the return of Paige VanZant, and Michael Johnson's impending featherweight debut--plus, a few questions from our subscribers.

Direct download: 193_Choi_vs_Stephens.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

This is a teaser for a full episode which can be found on the Heavy Hands Patreon page (link: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474 ). Our various bonus episodes include interviews, fight breakdowns, and special feature series--and for just $3 a month you can hear it all. Thanks for the support!

Direct download: bonus_23_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 1:45pm EDT

2017 was a rough year for UFC pay-per-views, and fight fans questioned whether UFC 219 was on par with some of the promotion's other year-end shows. Nevertheless, the main event showdown between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm maintained an entertaining simmer for five rounds, and in the co-main, undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov made Edson Barboza's name the 25th on his ledger.

For the first Heavy Hands of 2018, Connor and Pat break them both down in detail, plus three undercard fights.

Direct download: 192_Edson_Barboza_in_the_Swamp_of_Sadness.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT

Merry CRISmas, everyone. The holidays are upon us and another year comes to an end, but as usual, there is one more UFC event to watch just before the new year rolls in. The main event is a featherweight title fight between champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino and former bantamweight champion Holly Holm. We're fairly certain some Holly will be decked, but you'll have to listen in to hear the particulars, as well as our breakdown of the also-very-exciting clash between lightweight elites Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza, plus some other stuff, too.

I don't know, we're all still drunk.

Direct download: 191_CYBORG_SMASH_pod.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 8:23pm EDT

Last week on Heavy Hands, your hosts predicted a win for Robbie Lawler over Rafael Dos Anjos. This week, they pray that Dos Anjos wasn't listening.

Not only did RDA take the fight to the former welterweight champion early and often, but he maintained his trademark, breakneck pace for the full 25 minutes. On this week's episode, the boys ask whether this win makes Dos Anjos an all-time great, and preview the expected matchup between him and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. 

After highlighting our favorite moments from the rest of the card, Connor and Pat discuss the role of matchmaking, in a promotion in desperate need of both stars, and a martial middle class.

Direct download: 190_Scusi_Bappa-di-buppee.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

On this week's Heavy Hands, Connor and Pat look forward to a pair of fights that seem to guarantee action. Former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler takes on former lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos at the top of this upcoming weekend's UFC card. A little further down on that card, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Mike Perry put their chins on the line in a battle of punchers that could very well surpass the main event.

After that, it's onto Brian Ortega, Vasyl Lomachenko, and more from last weekend. Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 189_Violence_on_the_Horizon.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:22am EDT

UFC 218 delivered no shortage of magnificent, memorable, and very meaningful action. Max Holloway defeated featherweight GOAT Jose Aldo for the second time. Eddie Alvarez was the immovable object which finally brought Justin Gaethje's unstoppable force to a halt. Francis Ngannou pulled Alistair Overeem's soul out of his body and ate it on live TV.

But when it rains, it pours, and today's episode of Heavy Hands is packed with so much more. In addition to our detailed breakdown of the events of UFC 218, we look ahead to two fights set for UFC Fresno--the main event between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega, and a battle of bantamweight contenders, Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling, on the undercard. THEN, we move on to discuss the upcoming boxing match between Vasyl Lomachenko, who many regard to be the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world today, and Guillermo Rigondeaux, who is himself so skillful that it takes a fighter of Lomachenko's caliber to finally challenge him. 

Wild stuff.

Direct download: 188_The_Wild_Boyz.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 7:18pm EDT

UFC 218 feels like a blast of fresh air after a few weeks of cards that, while generally solid, didn't exactly get the blood pumping. In the main event, former featherweight champion Jose Aldo steps in on short notice to rematch the man who took his belt, Max Holloway. Lightweight warriors Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje are set to find out who is the UFC's "most violent man." Heavyweight phenom Francis Ngannou gets a tough test in the form of Alistair Overeem, and Henry Cejudo looks to work his way into another flyweight title shot with a win over Sergio Pettis.

 

Direct download: 187_No_Jose_Please.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:41am EDT

Michael Bisping may be 137 years old with only half of one good eye, but that won't stop him from taking on Kelvin Gastelum this Saturday--on short-notice, and just a few weeks after being knocked down and then strangled unconscious by Georges St-Pierre.

We also get into Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Sheymon Moraes, a fight between 2017's elite featherweight prospect and 2015's. Plus, a detailed breakdown of our favorite moments from last week's UFC Sydney, main-evented by Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura.

Direct download: 186_Bisping_vs_Gastelum_Feel-Bad_Special.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:31am EDT

"It borders on interesting" isn't the most compelling description of a fight card, but that's about how good UFC Sydney looks to us, despite a solid-enough main event in Werdum vs Tybura. Still, we highlight our favorite parts of the card, before reflecting on the outcomes of UFC Norfolk, an event which delivered a puzzling mix of drudgery and excitement. 

Dustin Poirier took a page out of the Rafael Dos Anjos playbook and smashed Pretty Tony Pettis in the main event. Raphael Assuncao reminded us that, yes, he is one of the best bantamweights on earth and a fascinating fighter worth watching. Matt Brown reconsidered retirement after catching Diego Sanchez with a savage elbow, reconstituting his human body into a pile of miscellaneous parts in the process. 

It was wild. So, you know. Listen to us talk about it.

Direct download: 185_Pretty_Cloney.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT

UFC 217 was absolutely fantastic. There was plenty weird about it. Odd officiating, mental lapses on the parts of experienced fighters, and a whole lot of bizarre numerical coincidences in the three title fights. More than anything, however, it was an event at which all three of the defending champions lost their belts--the first time the UFC has ever seen so much divisional change in so little time. 

On this week's Heavy Hands, we take a look at Georges St-Pierre's remarkable comeback win over Michael Bisping, TJ Dillashaw's triumph over hated rival Cody Garbrandt, and Rose Namajunas' mind-blowing, first-round knockout of dominant champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Yes, we cover other fights (and a few set for next week's card, as well), but this week, it's all about the belts. 

Direct download: 184_UFC_217_WAS_GREAT.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 5:28am EDT

Garbrandt vs Dillashaw: a grudge match for the championship of the UFC's strongest division. Jedrzejczyk vs Namajunas: the strawweight division's best fighter defends her belt against its most dangerous. Oh, and the return of Georges St-Pierre, who, despite the uncertain nature of his comeback, remains the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

At least that's what Connor and Pat think, and that is why this week's episode is dedicated to the three title fights topping the upcoming UFC 217.

Direct download: 183_UFC_217_Preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:17am EDT

Lyoto Machida makes his return to the Octagon this weekend. After a two-year PED suspension (and a particularly unfair one, at that) the Dragon looks to recapture his classic form against Derek Brunson, who hopes to make Machida his 14th first-round win. Connor and Pat break down the UFC Sao Paolo main event on this episode of Heavy Hands, before moving on to the decidedly more relevant co-main between old lion Demian Maia and young gun Colby Covington. And speaking of young guns, Darren Till absolutely scoused Donald Cerrone in his first ever UFC main event at last week's UFC Gdansk. We take stock of his dramatic upset victory, and highlight our favorite moments from the card.

Direct download: 182_Machida_vs_Brunson__Till_KOs_Cerrone.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:45pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, Connor and Pat are discussing the scheduled bout between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till, the main event of UFC Gdansk. Okay, so it isn't the greatest card in UFC history. But it's on in the afternoon! And it's on Fightpass! And, as we hope you'll agree after hearing us out, Cerrone vs Till is not only an interesting matchup, but an important one for the lagging welterweight division. We cap off our UFC Gdansk preview by answering some great questions from our subscribers. Enjoy!

Direct download: 181_Cerrone_vs_Till_preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:10pm EDT

Tony Ferguson claimed the lightweight interim title. Demetrious Johnson defended the flyweight crown for the 11th time. Lando Vannata and Bobby Green went to war. From top to bottom, UFC 216 was a stupendous night of MMA action, and Connor and Pat break it all down in this episode of Heavy Hands. 

Direct download: 180_ferguson_lee.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Tony Ferguson just may be the best lightweight in the world, and while his much-anticipated fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov has yet to take place, young gun Kevin Lee offers an interesting test, particularly on the ground. On this week's Heavy Hands, Connor and Pat break down the UFC 216 main event, before also previewing a few of the other top fights, namely Johnson vs Borg, Duquesnoy vs Stamann, and Dariush vs Dunham. It looks like a solid night of fights, and we had a blast breaking 'em down. Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 179_UFC_216_Preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, Connor and Patrick sit down to discuss the aftermath of UFC Japan, un unremarkable card that ended up delivering some very memorable results. Ovince Saint Preux’s third Von Flue choke, Jessica Andrade’s statement-making win over top contender Claudia Gadelha, and kickboxer Gokhan Saki’s UFC debut. All of these make the docket before we spend the rest of the show discussing confidence and ringcraft, two essential components of combat that are nonetheless under-explored and misunderstood.

Direct download: 178_Japan_and_Confidence_and_Ringcraft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Fans of both boxing and MMA encountered some familiar frustrations on Saturday night. Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fought to a disputed draw, proving that no big fight in boxing can end without controversy. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, MMA fans witnessed Luke Rockhold following in the footsteps of his stylistic familiar Anthony Pettis, failing to show much in the way of development even after switching camps.

Still, we at Heavy Hands try to be optimistic, and there was a lot to like about this weekend. GGG-Canelo was one hell of a fight, and we celebrate that by breaking down some of the nuances, in addition to discussing the controversy of the scores. Rockhold’s terrifying ground-and-pound was certainly a welcome sight for fans of the former middleweight champ. Not only that, but the rest of UFC Pittsburgh was chock-full of highlights. Finally, a brief preview of a not-particularly-good card in UFC Japan. Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 177_GGG-Canelo_post-fight_analysis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42am EDT

The docket is full this week, so prepare yourself for a jam-packed episode. Connor and Patrick look back at the controversial result in UFC 215's Nunes vs Shevchenko, and discuss other noteworthy aspects of the event, including the terrible punishment endured by Gavin Tucker, who took at least three minutes of sustained and thoroughly unnecessary punishment thanks to his corner and the referee in the bout, who might as well have spent the duration of the contest in the restroom for all the good he did Tucker. 

Anyway, after that, it's on to last weekend's Superfly boxing card, which featured the downfall of the great Roman Gonzalez, and--in contrast to the disgraceful events on the UFC undercard--some excellent, prudent cornering by Joe Delguyd. MMA fans may know Delguyd as trainer of UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and former trainer of bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt. When working the corner of Antonio Nieves, Delguyd only allowed Nieves to absorb so much punishment from Naoya "The Monster" Inoue before stopping the bout. If you happen to see Joe on Twitter, please let him know that fight fans appreciate fighter safety.

Finally, we wrap our episode up with analysis and predictions for the upcoming superfight between Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, as well as the weekend's UFC card, featuring a middleweight bout between former UFC champion and former (two-weight) WSOF champion Dave Branch. 

Direct download: 176_UFC_215_and_GGG-Canelo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:28pm EDT

Bloody Elbow’s Connor Ruebusch and boxing historian Kyle McLachlan talk about the 10 greatest boxers of all time, and place Floyd Mayweather in fistorical context.

Future episodes of this show will be available through the Heavy Hands Patreon. $3 a month grants access to 2+ monthly episodes plus feature series like this: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474

Direct download: 6_Fighters_greater_than_Mayweather.mp3
Category:Boxing -- posted at: 5:46pm EDT

This week’s episode of Heavy Hands is all about big things on the horizon—except in this case, all of those big things are people, and most of them weigh less than the average gymnast.

That’s right, the main event of UFC 215 is on our radar, in which Demetrious Johnson is scheduled to make the record-breaking 11th defense of his UFC flyweight title against unheralded contender Ray Borg. In the co-main event, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will rematch Valentina Shevchenko in defense of her belt.

But the real star of this weekend’s lineup is not UFC 215, but HBO’s Superfly triple-header. Roman Gonzalez, until recently the #1 pound-for-pound fighter of many pundits, rematches the man who tarnished his undefeated record, Thai powerhouse Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Both men have a kayo rate of 81 percent, which sounds impressive until you consider the power of Naoya Inoue. The Japanese “Monster” is set to defend his WBO super flyweight belt, which the 24 year-old won in just his eighth pro fight, over two years ago. Finally, Juan Francisco Estrada, who gave headliner Roman Gonzalez one of his toughest ever fights, will take on another tough Gonzalez opponent in Carlos Cuadras.

The best mixed martial artist in the world and a championship grudge match at UFC 215. Three of the best boxers on earth, any of whom could give any of the others a memorable fight. It looks like a good weekend for combat sports fans, and we break it all down in our trademark style. Enjoy the show, friends.

Direct download: 175_ufc_215_and_SUPERFLY.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm EDT

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fought. It finally happened, and now it's finally over. Now, with the spectacle finished, we can comfortably discuss the fight as it played out. And fortunately for us here at Heavy Hands, the bout was a good deal more interesting than it had to be. We analyze Mayweather's limited-but-effective pressure game, the improvements and failings of McGregor's "MMA boxing," and the lessons we hope to see him take back to the UFC cage.

After that, it's on to a short preview of UFC Rotterdam, a mixed bag of a card that nonetheless contains a few very interesting fights. We analyze in brief and give our predictions. 

Take a breath. Have a glass of iced tea. Enjoy the peace and quiet for a moment. Then, enjoy the show!

Direct download: 174_A_New_World.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 4:30am EDT