Heavy Hands

Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit are both fascinating fighters, and their UFC 195 clash could very well end up being one of the greatest fights in welterweight history. Both Condit and Lawler welcome the blood and the guts of combat with open arms; and yet both are intelligent, crafty fighters with undeniable skill. Their fight will be a contest of adaptation, and we spend the bulk of this week's episode sussing out the different ways in which these two great warriors adapt. 

In scouting this fight, we also examine what we consider the best and worst qualities of each fighter. After that it's on to Lorenz Larkin vs Albert Tumenov (don't mind the sound of drool hitting the mic) and the fortunately rescheduled Dustin Poirier vs Joe Duffy, both phenomenal action fights. 

The show wraps up with a few questions from our listeners.

Direct download: 84_lawler_condit.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:59pm EST

Rafael Dos Anjos got it done against Donald Cerrone, and it only took about a minute, cementing him as the rightful lightweight champion and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. In addition to the stunning killer instinct Dos Anjos displayed, we break down Alistair Overeem's slick win over Junior Dos Santos, and Nate Diaz's triumphant return to form against tough-luck would-be contender Michael Johnson. 

But enough about what just happened. UFC on Fox 17 was the last UFC event of 2015, and it was a year full of great fights and shocking upsets. Next week we'll be looking ahead to UFC 195, but on this episode we remember the year in mixed martial arts, and name our picks for the best of 2015. Best fighter, best fight, best upset--these and more are discussed in detail on the latest Heavy Hands. 

 

Direct download: 83_2015_awards.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:39am EST

Greatest fight in featherweight history! One of the most skilled fighters to ever step foot in the ring or cage defends his title against the most dangerous contender he's ever--what's that? It's over already? Oh. 

Huh.

It took Conor McGregor a mere 13 seconds to lay 10-time champion Jose Aldo out flat on the canvas and emphatically declare himself the best featherweight in the world. On this week's episode of Heavy Hands, we ask how much we can really take away from such a quick and one-sided victory, get a little sentimental about the potential end of Jose Aldo's career, and break down the tactics--well, tactic that McGregor used to get the KO. 

After that it's on to Luke Rockhold, who put a beatdown on middleweight champion Chris Weidman, and Frankie Edgar, who made us look like fools for doubting him--again

Finally, we give our predictions for next week's lightweight title fight between newly crowned champion Rafael Dos Anjos and fan favorite Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. Should be a good one!

Direct download: 82_conor_mcgregor_new_champ.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 9:35am EST

Jose Aldo is fighting Conor McGregor in the biggest fight in UFC featherweight history. What more is there to say? 

Well, a lot actually. And on this week's episode of Heavy Hands, we try our very best to say all of it. With so many variables at play, our main goal is to come up with a gameplan for each of the two combatants. We lay out three keys for Aldo to defend his belt, as well as three keys for McGregor to take it for himself. How does Aldo deal with McGregor's pressure and volume? How does McGregor deal with Aldo's variety, experience, and defense? And who wins? 

We discuss all of this in detail, as well as giving our analysis and predictions for Frankie Edgar vs Chad Mendes and Max Holloway vs Jeremy Stephens, two other extremely relevant featherweight fights taking place the same weekend. 

Direct download: 81_aldo_mcgregor.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:37pm EST

This week on Heavy Hands we're looking forward to the imminent UFC extravaganza, with three events taking place three days in a row, from December 10th through December 12th. There are too many great matchups to discuss on this episode, so we're saving a few (including Aldo vs McGregor) for next week and reserving the bulk of this week's show for the middleweight title tilt between Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold, who is almost certainly the young champion's toughest challenge to date.

It's maybe the most technical, well-rounded matchup in middleweight history, and it's a doozy to predict as a result, but we do our best! After that, it's the number one contender's fight between Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, and Yoel "The Preacher of Pain/The Cardinal of Carnage/The Vicar of Violence/The Pontiff of Punishment" Romero, two of the sport's most explosive old men. 

Wrapping things up, we give the quick skinny on Paige VanZant vs Rose Namajunas, Aljamain Sterling vs Johnny Eduardo, and Edson Barboza vs Tony Ferguson. Who says there's too much of a good thing? Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 80_rockhold_weidman.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 8:52am EST

What makes an out-fighter an out-fighter, or a boxer a boxer? On this week's Heavy Hands we look into the behaviors that let us define fighters' styles. 

First up, there's Neil Magny, often sold as a rangy boxer but, as he showed in his upset win over Kelvin Gastelum last weekend, actually much more effective on the inside. Then there's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, the new pay-per-view king of the boxing world, whose peculiar blend of power and boxing skill makes him a uniquely dangerous--and uniquely limited--opponent. Finally, we analyze the stylistic talents of Tyson Fury, set to battle Wladimir Klitschko for--well, all the heavyweight titles on Saturday, November 28th. 

Direct download: 79_magny_canelo_fury.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 10:11pm EST

Holly Holm wasn't supposed to beat Ronda Rousey. She wasn't even supposed to survive for more than a round or two. Expectations didn't stop her from putting on the performance of a lifetime, however, and her training and preparation seemed absolutely flawless. 

On the other end of the bout, Ronda Rousey had an unbelievable amount of trouble with Holly Holm. The loss highlighted some of the flaws in her game, particularly in her boxing. Rousey has trained her hands diligently at Glendale Fight Club under coach Edmond Tarverdyan, but there is reason to doubt the effectiveness of this training. On this week's episode of Heavy Hands, we talk about the changes Rousey will need to make in order to prevent a repeat of this result when she rematches Holm--and a change of camp just might be at the top of that list. 

After that, it's on to the co-main event, in which strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk showed off her adaptability against an unexpectedly tough challenger, despite breaking her right hand early in the fight. 

Direct download: 78_how_holly_holm_beat_ronda_rousey.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:07pm EST

Ronda Rousey achieved the status of a "not if, but how" fighter years ago. No longer do we wonder whether or not she will beat the next opponent in front of her; we merely ask how she'll get the finish, and how long it will take. And though she has yet to rematch Claudia Gedelha, to whom she arguably lost, strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is starting to take on a similar aura. 

So on this week's episode of Heavy Hands, we're talking about stylistic matchups, and trying to figure out just what, if anything, Holly Holm and Valerie Letourneau have to offer the queens of MMA. 

After that it's a recap of last weekend's two standout fighters, Thomas Almeida and Rashid Magomedov. One earned yet another knockout, but did so in impressively intelligent fashion; the other earned yet another decision, but did so with the same fascinating surgical precision as always. Both seem destined for the top tens of their respective divisions. 

Direct download: 77_rousey_holm.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:03pm EST

UFC Sao Paolo is chock full of fantastic matchups between prospects and the veterans who love to thwart them. On this week's episode of Heavy Hands we're talking about the process of becoming a prospect, and where we expect these standout fighters to go next. 

First there's Rashid Magomedov, a Master of Sport in both boxing and Russian hand-to-hand combat, who combines his precise hands with a stellar kicking game and excellent distance management. Magomedov, a finished product who has yet to break through, faces off against Gilbert Burns, a true prospect with massive potential but only three and a half years of pro MMA experience. 

We also discuss Thomas Almeida, Corey Anderson, and the other young athletes that make UFC Sao Paolo such a fantastic card from top to bottom. 

Direct download: 76_sao_paolo.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:28pm EST

Today on Heavy Hands we're discussing southpaws. 

Last weekend's fights gave us a number of open stance (southpaw vs orthodox) fights, and most of them highlighted just how challenging it can be for an orthodox fighter to strategize for a southpaw. Darren Till vs Nicolas Dalby, Tom Breese vs Cathal Pendred, and Terence Crawford vs Dierry Jean all demonstrated some of the essential challenges of open stance fighting, while inspiring us to discuss some unconventional ways to defuse the unique challenges offered by a southpaw opponent (or an orthodox opponent, if you're a lefty).

Today's episode also marks the launch of Heavy Hands on Patreon, a site that allows listeners to fund the show in exchange for rewards. Please take a moment and a few dollars to help support the podcast. We're also interested in hearing your suggestions for rewards that you would like to see!

 

Direct download: 75_southpaws.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 8:45am EST