Heavy Hands

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 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 ). 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 EST

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 EST

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