Heavy Hands

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

"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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

As the sun is blotted out in the sky, we await the be-all end-all of money fights, the Alpha and the Omega. Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor is finally upon us, and on this episode we finally take the time to talk about it on a technical level. How will Conor's MMA striking play off of Mayweather's boxing? What makes Mayweather such a daunting challenge, and how crazy would it actually be if McGregor won?

Of course, there is only so much close reading one can give a fight with so many X-factors (and seemingly so few regular factors to consider), so we brought on Chapo Trap House's Felix Biederman to discuss the nature of the fight game, the politics of combat sports, and the usefulness of martial arts in an increasingly violent political landscape. 

Direct download: 173_May-Mac_and_Felix_Biederman.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 2:05pm EST

Greg Jackson. Firas Zahabi. Rafael Cordeiro. Mike Brown. Matt Hume. Henri Hooft. If you are a fan of MMA, you are almost certainly familiar with at least one of these names, and quite possible the whole group. These are a few of the sport's elite trainers, and the fighters they produce exemplify their unique understandings of combat. By watching Jon Jones, you understand something about the mind of Greg Jackson. Firas Zahabi seems to speak through the punches and kicks of Rory MacDonald. And every guy Rafael Cordeiro trains turns into a human buzzsaw.

On this episode of Heavy Hands, we rate these teams (as best as we can from the outside) and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses relative to one another. After that, we name our most dangerous unranked fighters in the UFC, the overlooked warriors who haunt the shadows of the top ten. 

Direct download: 172_MMA_Camp_Power_Rankings.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:13pm EST

This weekend, Sergio Pettis gave fans hope. The younger brother of former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis earned the biggest win of his career, a clear and very impressive victory over Brandon Moreno. Pettis showed off his striking skill--both pressuring and countering--and carried himself with a level of comfort we had yet to see from him in the cage. We may have a serious contender on our hands, people. 

Then it's on to Vasyl Lomachenko--and speaking of hope, we discuss Lomachenko's opponents, who rarely seem to have any. Miguel Marriaga is not the most skillful adversary to date, but he fights well and hits hard, with 21 of 25 wins by knockout. And yet when round one began and Lomachenko met Marriaga in center ring, the puncher wanted nothing to do with "Hi-Tech's" hands. 

And at the end of today's show, we answer some questions from the Heavy Bag. Thanks patrons!

Direct download: 171_Pettis_and_Lomachenko.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:31am EST

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 ). We release two or more of these bonus episodes every month--including interviews, fight breakdowns, and special feature series--and for just $3 a month you can hear it all. Thanks for the support, folks.

Direct download: bonus_16_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 4:26am EST

It happened. After a long and troubled hiatus from the sport of mixed martial arts, Jon Jones finally returned at UFC 214. No sport has ever missed an athlete more than MMA missed Jones these last two years—the one man perfectly suited for its unique and exacting demands. In regaining his title, Jones dethroned Daniel Cormier, and further cemented his status as one of the greatest fighters of all time.

On this week’s episode of Heavy Hands, we break down the fascinating back-and-forth that was this fight. We discuss Jones’ brilliant strategic mind, his firm grasp of initiative and mental warfare. Of course, for us, his win is bittersweet—because it is also Daniel Cormier’s loss. But while wrestling with the tragic aspect of this fight, we also get a chance to discuss the brilliant tactics which Cormier had prepared for his arch-rival. Everyone learns something on this very special episode of Heavy Hands (cue heartwarming sitcom music).

But that’s not all! Oh no. UFC 214 was loaded with exciting and meaningful fights, and we get into nearly all of them. The championship wins of Tyron Woodley and Cris Cyborg. The triumphant return of Robbie Lawler, and the still-surprising adroitness of Donald Cerrone at welterweight. The continued, unlikely run of Volkan Oezdemir, now knocking at Jones’ door (while Jones looks toward Brock Lesnar and the heavyweight division). Lamas, Sterling, Ortega, Katter—it’s all here, folks. It was a great card, and it led to a lot of great discussion. We hope you enjoy it.

Direct download: 170_Jones_Returns.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:55am EST

UFC 214 is right around the corner, and this week’s episode is all about the main event, a long-awaited rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. This time DC’s name comes first on the poster, and he will enter the cage second, with the belt (metaphorically) around his waist. Nonetheless, Jones never did lost that belt in a fight, and most are expecting him to make a triumphant return to his throne. On this week’s Heavy Hands, we break the fight down every way we know how, getting into the adjustments Cormier might make this time around, the confounding nature of the style matchup, and even Jones’ unimpressive win over Ovince Saint-Preux, his only Octagon appearance in the last two-and-a-half years.

And if that analysis happens to turn into a brief but heated argument about the difference between “close” and “competitive,” well then that’s just a little treat for you, our listeners. Come for the breakdowns, stay for the aggressive musings of the man some podcast hosts are calling “Passionate Pat.”

In addition to Cormier-Jones 2, we also get into a bout which was (thanks to the blood god, praised be his name) rescheduled for this date after it failed to happen at UFC 213. Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerrone. It sounds amazing, and we are very excited for it. After that, it’s onto Manuwa-Oezdemir, Lamas-Knight, and Sterling-Barao.

Direct download: 169_Cormier_vs_Jones_2_preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:53am EST

On this week's Heavy Hands, Patrick Wyman and Connor Ruebusch delve into two of the big matchups scheduled for UFC 214. Plus! Previews of Weidman-Gastelum and Rivera-Almeida, and a breakdown of Santiago Ponzinibbio's recent win.

Direct download: 168_Woodley_Cyborg_and_Gastelum.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:53pm EST

Two very different fights, both every bit as brilliant and beautiful as MMA can be. We break them both down (and more) on this week’s Heavy Hands. Justin Gaethje made his UFC debut in the main event of July 7th’s TUF 25 Finale, and while those of us who have watched him for years were worried about his chances, he did exactly what he always does. Michael Johnson had a speed advantage, and a better chin than just about anybody else Gaethje has fought. Gaethje took his best shots and knocked him out anyway, in a wild war that may not be topped for the rest of the year.

The next night, Robert Whittaker stepped into the Octagon to challenge Yoel Romero for the UFC interim title, and a guaranteed shot at Michael Bisping’s belt. A few months ago, the superhumanly explosive Romero, alongside jiu-jitsu ace Ronaldo Souza, was considered one of the two best middleweights in the world. Whittaker obliterated Souza back in April, and while the first two rounds of this fight were much tougher, Bobby Knuckles did it again. He outsmarted and outpaced Romero down the stretch in a display of striking skill and takedown defense that can only be called sublime. That he did all of this with a busted knee renders his accomplishment all the more remarkable.

It was not the greatest International Fight Week ever, and plenty of things went wrong in the lead-up. The two main events, however, will be remembered for a very long time. Instant classics, courtesy of Justin Gaethje and Robert Whittaker.

Direct download: 167_Gaethje_and_Whittaker.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:05pm EST

Connor sits down for an in-depth, hour-long interview with UFC lightweight Jim Miller, a fan-favorite who still yearns to leave his mark on the sport of MMA. Miller talks about his motivation, his training methods, and what he plans to do to Anthony Pettis at UFC 213.

To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

Direct download: Bonus_15_teaser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44am EST

At UFC 213, Amanda Nunes will have the opportunity to prove that she is the true queen of women’s bantamweight, the rightful heir to Ronda Rousey’s contested throne. But the task may not be easy. Valentina Shevchenko also has eyes for the throne, and she already survived an onslaught from Nunes when the two fought in 2014, before taking her to the brink of destruction in round three. On this episode of Heavy Hands, your hosts ponder the possibilities of this grudge match, and get into a bit of a verbal scrap in the process.

After that: serious, brow-furrowed analysis of the goofy rubber match between heavyweight legends Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem. Plus, a quick look at blue chip prospects Mark Diakiese and Curtis Blaydes, each of whom fights on the main card of Friday’s TUF 25 Finale and Saturday’s big pay-per-view, respectively. For your enjoyment, folks, an extra-large episode of erudite fight analysis.

Direct download: 166_nunes_vs_shevchenko_II.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:21am EST

In this special bonus episode, Connor and Pat tangle with the existential questions that have haunted mankind for ages: who am I? why am I here? what is Bellator MMA going for, exactly, and how am I supposed to feel about it? Yes, Bellator 180 was just about the strangest event we've ever seen, and we spend the bulk of this bonus episode struggling to understand it, before recapping the highlights of UFC Oklahoma City.

Direct download: bonus_14_teaser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:52am EST

On this week’s Heavy Hands, your hosts look ahead to UFC International Fight Week. The main card of UFC 213 is absolutely stacked with mouthwatering matchups, and with the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 25 taking place just one night before, the weekend boasts too much talent to be covered by just one episode.

Fortunately, we are forward-thinkers and careful planners. Okay, well, Pat is. In any case, this week’s show features in-depth breakdowns of the interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker, the lightweight return of former champion Anthony Pettis against Jim Miller, and the UFC debut of WSOF champion (and bloodthirsty maniac) Justin Gaethje, who takes on the lightning quick Michael Johnson.

Direct download: 165_Romero_vs_Whittaker_and_More.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:47am EST

Holly Holm finally got herself back on the winning track last weekend, with an emphatic kayo victory over stalwart contender Bethe Correia. On this episode of Heavy Hands, we give our thoughts on Holm’s victory, and some of the other meaningful victories from UFC Singapore. After that, it’s on to Andre Ward, who got a strange and controversial knockout in a fight with Sergey Kovalev, itself a rematch of a first fight which also ended in controversy. Hear our thoughts on Ward’s performance, and the stoppage. A preview of the upcoming bout between lightweight contenders Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee closes out the show.

Direct download: 164_Holm_Ward_and_Chiesa.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:19am EST

With Max Holloway's win, we have reason to believe that Jose Aldo's long reign as the greatest featherweight in the world has finally, emphatically, and officially come to an end. While the Brazilian legend certainly still has more to offer the sport of MMA, now is as good a time as any for Connor and Pat to look back at the incredible career of this featherweight great.

To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

Direct download: bonus_13_teaser.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:28am EST

All that is gold does not glitter, and while I’m still not certain that UFC Auckland was gold, it certainly delivered more action than most in the MMA community expected (including us). This week on Heavy Hands, your hosts are breaking down the most worthwhile bits of action, from Alexander Volkanovski’s contender-making win over a very tough and crafty Mizuto Hirota, to Mark Hunt’s intelligent victory over powerhouse Derrick Lewis.

After that, it’s on to UFC Singapore, main evented by Holly Holm and Bethe Correia. This stands to be a more competitive fight than you might think, and with former lightweight champion Raphael Dos Anjos also making his welterweight debut on the main card, UFC Singapore has the makings of another under-the-radar action card.

Finally, questions from our lovely listeners! We talk about the worst opinions in both casual and hardcore MMA fandom, the metagame of fight preparation, and fighters who seem to break all the rules without consequence.

Direct download: 163_all_that_is_gold_does_not_glitter.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:51am EST

It wasn’t easy to watch for us die-hard Jose Aldo fans, but it’s about time to buckle in and begin breaking down the birth of the Blessed Era. Sorry--grief makes me alliterate.

On this week’s Heavy Hands, your hosts are getting into the fascinating nitty-gritty of UFC 212. What went wrong for Aldo? How did Holloway adapt and go from a bad first round to a dominant third? Where does Aldo go from here, and, now that he’s beaten the greatest featherweight of all time, who the heck can stop Max Holloway?

In addition to the main event, we also analyze Claudia Gadelha’s first-round submission of Karolina Kowalkiewicz, the wild-yet-tactical victory of Paulo Borrachinha over Oluwalae Bamgbose, and the eight-limbed chess match between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes.

Oh, and apparently there is another UFC event next weekend, I guess. Huh.

 

Direct download: 162_The_Blessed_Era_Begins.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:01pm EST

UFC 212 isn't a great card, but it has a great main event. Max Holloway has spent the last three years and 10 fights (all of them victories) working his way toward the UFC featherweight title. And if we're talking about greatness, the man standing in his way is the greatest featherweight in MMA history, Jose Aldo. On this episode of Heavy Hands, we give our thoughts on the matchup, and hem and haw for a good long while before venturing to make our predictions. 

After that, it's on to the co-main event matchup between top strawweight contenders Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, as well as the UFC debut of WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes, who takes on elite gatekeeper Raphael Assuncao. Oh, and don't think we would miss the opportunity to talk about Alexander Gustafsson's dominant and violent win over Glover Teixeira from last weekend's UFC Stockholm. 

Direct download: 161_Aldo_vs_Holloway_preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:42pm EST

Connor and Pat preview the important light heavyweight fights scheduled to take place at UFC Stockholm. In the main event, Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira will battle to determine which man still deserves to call himself a title contender. In the co-main, Volkan Oezdemir and Misha Cirkunov will vie to announce themselves as the next big thing at 205. 

To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

Direct download: bonus_12_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 4:57pm EST

With UFC 211 behind us, we look to the future on this week's episode of Heavy Hands. Recently the UFC has picked up a number of interesting prospects and contenders. WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is a hard-nosed, hard-hitting brawler who doesn't know the meaning of the words "boring fight." WSOF bantamweight champ Marlon Moraes is a supremely technical kickboxer who has begun transforming his talent for picking opponents apart into a talent for finishing them. And Dagestani knockout artist Zabit Magomedsharipov is a gigantic featherweight who looks ready to take the next step.

We take a hard look at all of these fighters, and speculate on how far they might go now that they have been welcomed into the UFC fold. In this week's final segment, we address a topic requested by one of our patrons: why is striking defense so much worse in MMA than in boxing, and how can it be improved?

Direct download: 160_New_Kids_on_the_UFC_Block.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 6:00am EST

At UFC 211, many thought that the two defending champions--Stipe Miocic and Joanna Jedrzejczyk--had a tough test on their hands. Junior Dos Santos had beaten Miocic once before, and Jessica Andrade seemed poised to follow up on the (admittedly limited) success of Jedrzejczyk's last two opponents. Instead, the champs defended their belts with aplomb. For Miocic, it was his fourth first-round knockout in a row. For Jedrzejczyk, it was the most complete performance of her MMA career. 

On this episode of Heavy Hands, we analyze the two title defenses and revisit the other meaningful scraps on this titanic card, including Demian Maia's close win over Jorge Masvidal, Frankie Edgar's domination of Yair Rodriguez, and the thrilling war between Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez that ended too soon--in a No Contest. 

Direct download: 159_ufc_211_in_review.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:08pm EST

The card of the year is almost upon us. Touch my hand; I'm shaking.

Junior Dos Santos defeated Stipe Miocic in 2014, but that was before Miocic became UFC heavyweight champion, and before Dos Santos was sent tumbling to the canvas by Alistair Overeem. Miocic has grown into his role as champ, and Dos Santos has made serious strides to fine-tune his dangerous boxing game. On this edition of Heavy Hands, we break down this rerun of a classic heavyweight fight, and give our predictions for the contest.

But this is UFC 211, so you know that’s not all. In the co-main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes on Jessica Andrade, who just might be her most dangerous opponent yet. Can Jedrzejczyk overcome the power and volume of the Brazilian, or will The Pile Driver take the title away from WMMA’s most dominant champ? As with the main event, we give this scrap the full-segment treatment it deserves. Spoilers: one of our picks pay surprise you.

But, uh . . . this is UFC 211. So yeah, the fun ain’t over. Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis will open the main card with a fascinating fight, the winner of whom will very likely earn a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s title. For Cejudo, it would be a chance at redemption, and if the crazy aggression he brought to bear against Joseph Benavidez is any indication, he is ready for another shot at the belt. The little brother of Anthony Pettis has been quietly compiling an impressive win streak, however, and Cejudo’s name would be the one he needs to prove that championship talent runs in the family.

Direct download: 158_ufc_211_big_show.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:35am EST

On this new Heavy Hands feature, Bloody Elbow's Phil Mackenzie (@evilgregjackson) joins Connor (@BoxingBusch, in case you didn't know) to discuss the journeymen, weirdos, and up-and-comers-gone-astray of UFC 211. They call us... the Underdawgs.

We present this first episode of the Underdogs free to you. Future episodes will be available to $3 subscribers to the Heavy Hands Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474), along with all of our other bonus episodes.

Direct download: 1_ufc_211.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 6:54pm EST

Your second bonus episode of May is a good excuse to keep talking about UFC 211. We told you this card was stacked, and the action doesn't stop at the bottom of the pay-per-view. We break down Krzysztof Jotko vs Dave Branch, Chas Skelly vs Jason Knight, and the scintillating featured prelim between former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and knockout artist Dustin Poirier. 

To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

Direct download: bonus_11_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 2:31pm EST

Okay, so we didn't get you three bonus episodes last month. We're really sorry. But this month, we're going to do our best. And to start May off right, we thought we'd regale you with an interesting discussion that popped up during our analysis of Joshua vs Klitschko. That was a great fight, in part because it was long enough for the drama to play out--for the momentum to shift back and forth several times. MMA needs more of that. Forget championships, and forget main events: the sport would benefit from more five-round fights in general. As for boxing, well... they can't all be Joshua-Klitschko. We give our thoughts on the proliferation of long boxing matches in this era of too many divisions and too many belts. 

To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

Direct download: bonus_10_teaser.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:08am EST

UFC 211 is so damn good that we have to spread it out over two—no, three, if you count our upcoming bonus episode—different episodes. This week, we’re looking at just two of the three fights on the main card with immediate title implications. If Yair Rodriguez gets past Frankie Edgar, a shot at the winner of Jose Aldo vs Max Holloway will probably be in order. And if Demian Maia beats Jorge Masvidal, not even an obviously hesitant UFC will be able to deny him a chance at Tyron Woodley’s welterweight belt. Both are compelling, competitive fights, and gosh darn it do we have a hard time picking them.

But that’s not all. This edition of Heavy Hands is capped off by a look back at last weekend’s heavyweight boxing showcase, a thrilling battle between star-in-the-making Anthony Joshua, and Wladimir Klitschko, who ruled the heavyweight division alone for the last decade. The fight was insanely good, with both men showing off their skills and their guts, and neither managing to take over decisively until Joshua knocked Klitschko out in the 11th round. A true classic of modern heavyweight boxing, and we invite you to share our excitement.

Direct download: 157_211_and_anthony_joshua.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:45am EST

Good thing we gave Artem Lobov at least a little credit on last week's show, because The Russo-Irish Hammer really exceeded expectations in his much-maligned main event bout with top featherweight contender Cub Swanson. The two set the UFC record for significant strikes in a featherweight contest, and while Swanson nearly doubled Lobov's accuracy, the SBG fighter still managed to land 123 significant strikes over the course of the fight, more than anyone else Swanson has ever faced. Those sparring sessions with Conor McGregor must be paying off.

Not only do we break down Swanson-Lobov on this week's episode, but we get into the rest of UFC Nashville as well. It was a solid outing from the UFC despite a dearth of relevant matchups, and we analyze the likes of Mike Perry, Brandon Moreno, and Danielle Taylor (now officially one to watch at strawweight). Oh, and we give you just a little idea of what to expect from Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko at the end. Spoilers: Connor is a grumpy old man. 

Direct download: 156_artem_is_actually_pretty_good.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:50am EST

Connor sat down to talk with UFC bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera this week for a written piece. But since we appreciate you subscribers so much, we've uploaded the audio as an extra bonus episode for the month. Hear Jimmie talk about his training methods, his relationship with Tiger Schulmann, his sparring session with TJ Dillashaw, and his future in the UFC.
 
To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two bonus episodes every month.
Direct download: bonus_9_teaser.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:36pm EST

Apparently Robert Whittaker doesn’t much like the nickname “Bobby Knuckles,” but honestly, we at Heavy Hands think he’s making a mistake. It fits, right? I am sure that Jacare Souza would agree. The longtime middleweight contender felt the Australian’s knuckles on several occasions, before Whittaker dropped him by laying his instep—the knuckles of the foot, of course—across the Brazilian’s cheek. It was a sizeable upset, but guess who saw it coming?

Okay, so we’re doing a little bragging on this week’s Heavy Hands. We don’t always get out picks right, and this week we nailed just about every fight we chose to talk about. From the ascension of Bobby Knuckles, to the 10th title defense of Demetrious Johnson. From Aljamain Sterling to Rose Namajunas to Tom Duquesnoy. Pat even predicted that Whittaker would stop Jacare in the second round! Give the man his props.

After a few very brief mentions of our masterful fight-picking, we analyze the fights themselves. And, uh . . . well, after we revisit last weekend’s card, which was almost certainly one of the best UFC on Fox cards ever aired, we talk about next weekend’s card. And it’s main event. Which . . . it’s Cub Swanson vs Artem Lobov, okay? Yes, it makes no sense as a main event, and it means nothing. It’s weirdness alone should compel you to watch, however, and I, for one, cannot pass up any opportunity to see “Killer” Cub do his thing.

Direct download: 155_bobby_knuckles.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:56am EST

This week's bonus episode is all about Vasyl Lomachenko. "Hi-Tech" took on Jason Sosa last weekend, and despite the fact that Sosa is a very good fighter with a number of impressive wins, Lomachenko made him look like an absolute amateur. We're here to break it all down--the footwork, the combination punching, the ferocity. And you'll forgive us if we indulge in a little fanboyism as well. 

To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two bonus episodes every month.

Direct download: bonus_8_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 1:05am EST

Well... UFC 210 was kinda weird, huh? On this week’s Heavy Hands, we revisit the oddness of Gegard Mousasi’s win over Chris Weidman via illegal legal knees, as well as the absolutely classic self-sabotage of Anthony Johnson, who decided to wrestle with Daniel Cormier before giving up his neck in trademark fashion. Oh, and about Will Brooks... well, you’ll have to listen to the show for our thoughts on that one.

Next week, however, sees the UFC putting on what just might be the best UFC on Fox card to date. Flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson takes on Wilson Reis for what will be his 10th title defense, and we look forward to watching the best fighter on the planet do his thing. We’re also looking into the tough break facing Jacare Souza as he takes on Robert Whittaker, because basically no one who actually deserves to fight for the middleweight title will get the chance in 2017. Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson are set to put on a thrilling strawweight battle, and Tom Duquesnoy, the crown prince of violence, makes his UFC debut on the prelims.

Direct download: 154_rumble_crumbled.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:03am EST

At UFC 210, Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will meet in the Octagon for the second time. In their first encounter, Johnson managed to drop Cormier before the wrestling skill and sheer determination of his foe undid him. It is a pattern that has repeated itself throughout Johnson’s career, and it saw Daniel Cormier walk away with the belt around his waist. This week on Heavy Hands, we discuss the dynamics of the rematch. How might Johnson have adjusted his game, and will Cormier be able to repeat the greatest triumph of his career?

We also get into the co-main event, a battle between former middleweight champion Chris Weidman—who was knocked out in both of his last two fights—and Gegard Mousasi—who knocked the other guy out in his last three. Mousasi would appear to have inertia on his side, but Weidman would be the biggest win of his career, and he can bring the kind of pressure-based gameplan that has beaten Mousasi in the past. Plus, we get into the comeback of Will Brooks, and the scintillating matchup between prospects Kamaru Usman and Sean Strickland.

Direct download: 153_ufc_210_preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:39am EST

We know that styles make fights, but do we know which styles make which fights? Well, your hosts have a a few ideas, but we need data to know for sure. So, this week on Heavy Hands, we are making our second round of picks for our Styles Make Fights series. At the end of 2016, we predicted several fights based on the styles of the combatants. Today, we recap those picks and make a few more. Our ultimate goal: to find out which styles beat which, and enable ourselves (and you) to make rock-solid predictions. 

But future fights aren't everything. This week, we also delve into the first loss of Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez's career. The top pound-for-pound boxer was bested by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a close fight, and we discuss the clever tactics of both men. Gennady Golovkin came close to experiencing the same fate when he took on Daniel Jacobs on the same night, but managed to come away with a close win. We're breaking that down too. 

 

Direct download: 152_styles_make_fights_revisited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:01am EST

Though it probably won’t make it onto any year-end lists, UFC London ended up being a fun, well-rounded card. The wild scrambles between Arnold Allen and Makwan Amirkhani, the stunning dynamism of Marc Diakiese, the triumph of Jimi Manuwa at the top of the card, and the emotional retirement of Brad Pickett to lend everything else a little more meaning. It was fun, is what I’m saying.

And there, right in the midst of it, was Gunnar Nelson. Stoic and unreadable, the Icelandic teammate of Conor McGregor has given us fits for years. Since his UFC debut in 2012, Gunni has repeatedly demonstrated incredible dynamism atop a solid bedrock of world-class grappling. In all of that time, however, he has changed very little, and still prides himself on figuring opponents out in the cage, without the benefit of a gameplan. We take Nelson’s London win as an opportunity to remember just how good he is, but also to delve into our relationship to the fighter. What is his ceiling, and why does he so often frustrate our expectations?

Direct download: 151_ufc_london.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:48am EST

Matchmaking is a difficult job, so let this week's episode of Heavy Hands stand as a celebration of good matchmaking. Sure. UFC Fortaleza's main event felt like a bit of a letdown--Vitor Belfort was essentially fed to Kelvin Gastelum, name value and all, and the fight played out just as expected. And UFC London's main event is similarly uninspiring, with a well-matched but lowkey scrap between Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson taking pole position.

The undercards, though...

Last weekend's undercard was full of entertaining battles, and next week's promises more of the same. We are discussing the main events on this show, but we're also paying special attention to the flying knee knockout of Edson Barboza, and the valiant defense put up by Shogun Rua. Then it's on to London, where Alan Jouban and Gunnar Nelson are set for a classic war of styles, Arnold Allen and Makwan Amirkhani will seek to prove whose star is brighter, and Joe Duffy and Tom Breese attempt to regain momentum and put the name "Tristar Gym" back on everybody's lips. 

Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard have been doing an excellent job in Joe Silva's absence, and this week's show celebrates that. It's a fight smorgasbord, people, so come ready to tuck in.

Direct download: 150_fortaleza_london_smorgasbord.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:20pm EST

Well, they can't all be winners. In their first fight there were hints that Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson might not be the kind of rivalry we wanted. They were rarely willing to collaborate in that first bout, and only the concrete threat of Woodley's power--and Thompson's ability to withstand it--turned the slow scrap into a nail-biting affair. We wondered last week what adjustments both men would make to seal the deal this time around--as it turns out, they both moved away from the measured action of the first fight and into the measured inaction of this one. Woodley-Thompson I was among the best fights of 2016; Woodley-Thompson II will go down as one of the worst title fights ever (though certainly not the worst). 

We're breaking it all down on this week's Heavy Hands, and fortunately talking about happier subjects too. Like David Teymur's victory over Lando Vannata, both tactical and thrilling. Or "Dadbod" Dan Kelly's win over Rashad Evans, odd and inspiring. Or how about Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, two more boxers receiving 2017 as the year of the meaningful matchup. 

It was a good weekend for fight fans, and without it Woodley-Thompson II would not be so fun to gripe about. Silver linings, I guess. But hey, we're not too interested in dwelling on the past, and we also give our thoughts on two of the best fights scheduled for next weekend's UFC event in Fortaleza, Vitor Belfort vs Kelvin Gastelum, and Edson Barboza vs Beneil Dariush. 

Direct download: 149_recapping_the_shitshow.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 8:39am EST

UFC 209 is this week, and the bulk of this week's Heavy Hands is dedicated to the fantastic main and co-main events of that card. First up we've got the rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson, who fought to a nail-biting draw at UFC 205. We discuss the adjustments Thompson could have made since the first battle, and the secret genius of Woodley's unassuming style.

After that it's on to Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson, or, as we call it, the best lightweight fight possible today. The combined record of these men is 46-3, and while Dagestan's Nurmagomedov can brag that none of the three losses are his, Tony Ferguson is undeniably the toughest and strangest matchup of his career. Will Ferguson's boxing and submission wrestling prevail, or will Nurmagomedov test his chin after dragging him to the ground? Or... wait, could Ferguson's chin survive and then he outlasts Nurmagomedov down the stretch? Or maybe Khabib's stamina really is as good as it has seemed, and this fight will see him hitting takedowns with greater and greater ease over the course of the bout... 

Whatever happens, it will be an amazing fight.

Finally, our episode wraps with a segment requested by one of our patrons, in which we discuss the differences between the MMA and boxing clinches--and yes, that means getting into Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, too.

Direct download: 148_ufc_209.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:18am EST

Derrick Lewis is a treasure. He's genuine. He's funny. He turns people into a fine mist when he hits them. Oh, and he needs a bathroom. 

On this week's Heavy Hands, we're breaking down Lewis' tremendous, hard-fought victory over a rejuvenated Travis Browne at UFC Halifax, and then delve into the rest of the highlights from a surprisingly entertaining night of fights. Johny Hendricks got his groove back. Gavin Tucker went from unknown to fan-favorite in a matter of fifteen minutes. Santiago Ponzinibbio and Nordine Taleb had the perfect fight, a pleasing blend of technique, intelligence, and good old fashioned grit.

And if you thought it was impossible to have a heated argument about Elias Theodorou's win over Cezar Ferreira, objectively the least interesting fight on the card, you were dead wrong. Call it a waste of time; I've decided to call it #MiddleGate. And you'll have to tune in to hear the fun, and share our mutual exasperation.

At the end of the show, we delve into a topic suggested by one of our generous patrons. Tournaments--they don't happen all that much anymore, at least not on our side of the pond, and they rarely occur over the span of a single night. But perhaps the tournament (and its edgier cousin, the one-night tournament) should make a comeback. If they do, we have a few ideas regarding which current day fighters would excel within the format, and why.

Do you want a topic on the show? How about a simple question? Or maybe you're just interested in the two secretive bonus episodes we release every month? Or perhaps you just want to hear the cherubic smiles on our faces, knowing that your contributions helped put them there? If so, check us out on Patreon, where you can peruse all of these rewards and check out some of our exclusive content. 

Direct download: 147_halifax_smorgasbord.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:14am EST

Holly Holm lost her third fight in a row. Anderson Silva earned his first win since 2012. Jim Miller garnered a draw card from one judge after his barnburner with Dustin Poirier.

Only... should any of that have actually happened? Going in, UFC 208 was looking like a fight card only a mother could love. After the final fight was concluded,  mom had a change of heart and disowned the event after all. Despite some interesting (if not altogether thrilling) fights throughout the card, it seems no one has talked about anything but its many controversies since. 

Did Holly Holm deserve the decision over Germaine de Randamie? Was Anderson Silva just faking his way to an unlikely win? And what about that classic scrap between Dustin Poirier and Jim Miller? On this week's Heavy Hands we not only delve into all of these questions, but offer you all the in-depth analysis of technique and strategy that you have come to expect from us. 

Whether you agree with our conclusions or not, our ultimate goal is to get you liking this episode more than you liked UFC 208. Shouldn't be too hard . . .

Direct download: 146_ufc_208_recap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:35am EST

It wasn't so long ago that Holly Holm was the women's bantamweight champion of the world, and now the long-time boxing champ could very well be on the cusp of a three-fight losing streak as she prepares to take on dangerous Muay Thai stylist Germaine de Randamie for the UFC women's featherweight title--an honor that admittedly feels pretty empty now that Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino is out of the title picture for a while. 

We're breaking UFC 208 all the way down on this week's Heavy Hands, including the strange-but-actually-pretty-awesome co-main feature between Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson. There's also Jared Cannonier, who may have a few surprises in store for Glover Teixeira, the toughest opponent he's fought to date, and welterweight prospect Randy Brown, undeniably the most successful discovery from Dana White's show "Lookin' for a Fight." 

PLUS (I know, there's a lot of things to talk about) we get into the nitty gritty of the Korean Zombie's thrilling comeback, and a few of the other bouts from the highly enjoyable UFC Fight Night 104. As noted last week, we fight fans are being spoiled with great fight after great fight so far in 2017, and the near future is looking good. 

Direct download: 145_holm_de_randamie_preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:21pm EST

Fights, fights, fights. Sometimes the UFC hits you with so many bouts you can't keep your thoughts from spinning out of control. Fight overload, and you find yourself wishing for just a little break. At least, that's what happens when you talk about fights for a living. Other times they keep you waiting, and the weeks start to feel like years. 

And then other times, they strike a perfect balance. Every now and then the UFC will put together a string of cards that you don't HAVE to see, but which you will positively enjoy if you do. We appear to be in the midst of just such a period right now. Last week was UFC on Fox 23, and Valentina Shevchenko secured her shot at the bantamweight title--and revenge--both of which she could find in a rematch with champion Amanda Nunes. At the same time, Julianna Pena raised a few questions about the direction of her career, with a little help from head coach (?) Rick Little. Also, Jorge Masvidal knocked Donald Cerrone's block off. We talk about all of that and more. 

At the other end of the show, our focus is on next week's UFC card, and especially the long-awaited return of Chan Sung Jung, The Korean Zombie. Have three years of recovery (and compulsory military service) allowed the Zombie to reach his final form, or will ring rust leave him helpless to stop the onslaught of Dennis Bermudez? The answer probably lies somewhere between these two extremes, but then that's why you listen to this show. It's all about the finer points of face-punching, and boy is there a lot of face-punching to discuss. 

All of that and more on this episode of Heavy Hands. 

Direct download: 144_korean_zombie_preview.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:52am EST

UFC on Fox 23 is flying just slightly under the radar, but diehard MMA fans learned long ago not to judge a book by its cover. Sure, there are not a lot of names bedazzling the preliminary portion of this card. And sure, Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena are hardly stars. From top to bottom, though, this is an extremely well-matched card, replete with competitive and meaningful fights. 

At the top Valentina Shevchenko will battle Julianna Pena for a shot at Amanda Nunes' women's bantamweight title. Shevchenko lost to Nunes just last year, but it was a close fight--the kind where one or two more rounds would have almost certainly allowed Valentina to seize victory. And her last fight was a very convincing win over former Holly Holm. Despite these achievements, Shevchenko is a fighter with a finnicky style, and Julianna Pena should provide an entertaining test of her ability to deal with pressure. 

And from there on out the episode turns into another messy (but delicious) edition of the Fight Smorgasbord. Donald Cerrone, Jorge Masvidal, Aljamain Sterling, Raphael Assuncao, Jason Knight, Alex Caceres, Alexandre Pantoja--yeah, all of those guys are fighting this weekend. We're pretty excited about it. 

 

Direct download: 143_shevchenko_pena.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:01pm EST

Greg Jackson has accomplished the rare feat of making himself an MMA celebrity without ever stripping down and setting foot into the Octagon. He has become a star trainer, and not without a whole host of good reasons. For one, Jackson has been teaching mixed martial arts since 2000 at this point. He has played a crucial role in the careers of many champions and all-time greats, including Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Carlos Condit, Donald Cerrone, and more.

Throughout all of this, Jackson has garnered a reputation as one of the best strategists in the sport. They've called him a sport-killer and a hero, but no one can deny that Greg Jackson knows how to come up with a gameplan. On this week's Heavy Hands, Greg sits down with us to discuss his process. How does gameplanning differ from one fighter to the next, how does he know what to look for, and how does it all come together in the corner?

The back half of the show features a discussion of matchmaking in the UFC as it pertains to our surprisingly entertaining UFC Phoenix card. We break down Yair Rodriguez's dominant win over BJ Penn and Sergio Pettis' win over John Moraga through that lens.

Direct download: 142_rodriguez_penn_recap_vid.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:41pm EST

Remember when it felt like BJ Penn was probably going to win his next fight? Us, too. It was a magical time, when “just scrapping” was a viable way to find wins in the UFC. A time when talented rich kids could float breezily through a schedule of fights that would kill a normal man. A time when BJ Penn was king.

We have a simpler way of describing this mythical era, and the language involved is bound to offend friends, relatives, and fans alike, as well as Baby Jay himself. We call it “over six years ago.”

Yep. The age of Penn has come and gone, but here we are, with The Prodigy himself raring for another comeback, and this time against one of the most dangerous young prospects in the UFC, Yair Rodriguez. On this week’s Heavy Hands, we discuss the methodologies of Penn and Rodriguez (they’re not as different as you might think), and reflect on Penn’s legacy as a martial artist.

But that’s not all. We’re also breaking down the way that Joe Lauzon so artfully manages to both live and die by the sword (or submission, as the case may be), offering our reasons why you shouldn’t yet give up on Sergio Pettis, and answering listener questions.

Direct download: 141_penn_rodriguez.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:51am EST

At UFC 207, Ronda Rousey flashed in an out of existence like a Higgs boson, her comeback undone by the particle collider of Amanda Nunes' fists. Cody Garbrandt unveiled hitherto unseen discipline and skill, not only handing Dominick Cruz his first loss in 10 years, but outboxing and outfoxing him in the process. And TJ Dillashaw made a strong case for a shot at Garbrandt's new title, using his well-rounded game to transform John Lineker, dangerous power puncher, into John Lineker, broken man. 

If that purple prose is any indication, we could go on about these three fights forever, and that's just about what we did on this week's episode of Heavy Hands. We break down Rousey's second consecutive loss, and the path which brought her to this point. We talk about Amanda Nunes' future. We analyze the possibility of a Garbrandt-Dillashaw title fight.  We even discuss our own ignorance and try to understand why we were so shocked to see Cody Garbrandt's final form.

All of that and more on this week's Heavy Hands. Enjoy!

Direct download: 140_ufc_207_recap.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:11am EST

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