Heavy Hands

Conor McGregor may have just proven that he is an all-time great. Nate Diaz is simply a bad style matchup for him. No matter what anyone tells you about Diaz's many losses, or his lack of athleticism, or his predictable attack--he remains a tough fight for McGregor. A tall southpaw out-fighter, against a southpaw who feeds primarily on orthodox opponents, most of which are smaller, and most of which cannot compete with him at long range. Plus, Diaz might have the hardest head in the lightweight division, an added benefit against one of the sport's most dangerous power punchers. 

So to beat Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor had to change. He had to train new skills, but he also had to train a new mindset. He had to think of Diaz differently than he had any other opponent, and challenge his own tendencies in order to outsmart his natural advantages. 

We're breaking all of this down on today's episode of Heavy Hands, plus discussing what changes the two would have to make for a rubber match, analyzing Anthony Johnson's vicious KO of Glover Teixeira, and having a little fun with Cody Garbrandt, trash talker extraordinaire.

Direct download: 120_mcgregor_diaz_recap.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:56am EDT

At last, the time is near. 

What began as a fairly run-of-the-mill short-notice fight for featherweight champion Conor McGregor now threatens to become one of the best series in the history of the sport. Nate Diaz beat the featherweight king--at welterweight, oddly enough--and now they're rematching. Same weight, same city--nothing has changed other than the fact that this time Nate Diaz has a full camp behind him, and McGregor (hopefully) has some idea of what not to do. I would have added the fact that now Diaz knows for certain he can win, but he claims he was "not surprised" by the first result anyway, so . . . 

We're giving it an in-depth breakdown on this week's episode of Heavy Hands, discussing the mental and physical barriers for both combatants, looking back at the first fight, and giving each opponent a gameplan for the next one. It's not done after Diaz-McGregor 2, of course, because there are three other fights on this card that really demanded our attention. We wrap up the show by discussing Anthony Johnson vs Glover Teixeira, Rick Story vs Donald Cerrone, and Cody Garbrandt vs Takeya Mizugaki. 

Direct download: 119_mcgregor_diaz_2.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:45pm EDT

This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about stature. On this show, we have already dedicated numerous episodes to fighting style, and our main point was this: style is not a product of build, but of personality. It would be a mistake to base a fighter's approach entirely on his size and shape without taking into account the makeup of his mind. 

Even so, there are certain tactics that work well for long and tall fighters, and certain tactics that allow short fighters to counter them. On today's episode, we discuss these techniques in-depth, addressing how short men can fight from the outside as well as in the pocket, and analyzing the difference between short man's boxing, and short man's MMA.

Yair Rodriguez and David Teymur are also on the brain thanks to their impressive performances at UFC Salt Lake City, and we spend the first segment of the show breaking down their fights, and predicting where they go from here.

 

Direct download: 118_long_and_tall_vs_short_and_small.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 7:49am EDT

The gut doesn't lie. Tyron Woodley was the wrong kind of challenge for Robbie Lawler at this point in his career. The man who had been staggered in just about every fight for the last two years was knocked out by one of the welterweight division's hardest hitters, and perhaps that's not as surprising as it seemed at first. 

But we're not going to spend all our time reflecting on the fall of Ruthless Robbie. I mean, if we did, the show would just be an hour and twenty minutes of weeping, right? So instead, we're talking about distance management, and boxing for MMA. 

Face-punching is something both mixed martial artists and boxers can appreciate, but it is only recently that MMA fighters have begun to improve the other aspects of the sweet science: defense, footwork, and ringcraft. 

Over the course of this week's episode, we break down the differences between MMA boxing and traditional boxing, and relate the topic to some recent or upcoming fights. Could Rose Namajunas have benefitted from a little ringcraft against Karolina Kowalkiewicz? Will Yair Rodriguez's lack of mid-range striking skills hurt him against Alex Caceres? Listen in to get our perspective.

Direct download: 117_boxing_for_mma.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 9:58am EDT

Brian Stann was known as an action fighter during his professional MMA career, but since then he has settled into a role on the sidelines and established himself as one of the wisest voices in the game--and potentially the greatest living American. Just don't tell him that. 

He joins Heavy Hands this week to look back on UFC International Fight Week and UFC 200, and look forward to the matchups made possible by those events. Brian celebrates the battle between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha, and discusses the brilliance of Jose Aldo's victory over Frankie Edgar. As for Conor McGregor, who will likely rematch Aldo next, whether he wins or loses in his rematch to Nate Diaz, Brian gives his thoughts on McGregor's unique mental state. McGregor may possess unmatched mental fortitude, but how can he possibly improve on a 13-second KO? 

Listen in to hear the full intreview, plus a detailed breakdown of UFC 201's big fights, Robbie Lawler vs Tyron Woodley for the welterweight strap, and Rose Namajunas vs Karloina Kowalkiewicz. Our predictions may surprise you . . .

 

Direct download: 116_brian_stann.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:51pm EDT

It's not the strongest Fox card the UFC has ever put together, no it is not, but UFC on Fox 20 does have a few meaningful matchups to save it from irrelevance. 

At the top of that list is the women's bantamweight showcase between former champion Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko, whose last fight was a close defeat to the current champion, Amanda Nunes.

Direct download: 115_holm_shevchenko.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:23am EDT

The weekend of UFC 200 was meant to be a weekend of superlatives, and with 72 of the best fighters on the planet competing over the course of three days, there were plenty of remarkable performances. In the spirit of UFC Fight Week, this week's episode of Heavy Hands is all about superlatives. We name our picks for the best fight, best performance, and best finish of the weekend. 

We also touch on some of the drama and controversy surrounding the event. Was Frankie Edgar robbed? Did Daniel Cormier stall his way to victory over Anderson Silva? 

The answers to these questions are obviously know, but you need to hear the full rant to really get the gist of it. Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 114_ufc_200_recap.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 9:17am EDT

Direct download: 113_ufc_200.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

Episode number two of our Heavy Hands UFC Fight Week extravaganza (patent pending) delves into the Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, main evented by a fantastic rematch between strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha, two women who, even in a talent-rich division, stand in a league of their own. But UFC 200 is the big one we're all looking forward to, and to that end we're also discussing the OTHER fantastic rematch of the weekend--no, not Cormier-Jones II nor TJ Dillashaw vs Raphael Assuncao II, but former featherweight champ Jose Aldo's second fight with former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar.

In discussing these fights, we talk about the integral role that punishment plays in successful takedown defense, and explore the vicious gamesmanship that sets fighters like Jedrzejczyk and Aldo apart--while acknowledging that both fighters find themselves matched with a pair of ruthless opponents. 

Doo Ho Choi and Will Brooks get a bit of shine at the end of the episode, and why not? Brooks, a former Bellator champ, makes his highly-anticipated UFC debut against savvy vet Ross Pearson. Choi, the Korean Superboy, is set to clobber Thiago Tavares, but should the young fighter make a mistake, the well-rounded skills of the Brazilian will be there to punish him. 

Direct download: 112_jedrzejczyk_and_aldo.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

Your intrepid hosts Connor Ruebusch and Dr. Patrick Wyman are immensely excited about the advent of UFC Fight Week, and as a result we bring you the first of three episodes dedicated to the incredible action scheduled to take place on these three back-to-back-to-back cards, all culminating in UFC 200. 

Speaking of UFC 200, we spend a healthy portion of this week's episode discussing the UFC return of former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in a segment we like to call Punch/Counterpunch. Patrick makes his case for a Lesnar win, and Connor refutes him with the (obvious) truth that no man, not even Brock Lesnar, can afford to take a "Super Samoan" meteor on the chin. 

But before that, we break down the lightweight title fight between champion Rafael Dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez scheduled to take place on July 4th. Rounding out the show is a little analysis of two of the other highlights of that card, Joe Duffy vs Mitch Clarke and Anthony Birchak vs Dileno Lopes. Fun stuff, and just about too much of it to break down, but we do our best!

Direct download: 111_rda_alvarez.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:39am EDT