Heavy Hands

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

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

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

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

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

Topics: 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Topics include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topics this week include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topics include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Or on Spotify!

 

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

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

Topics include:

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

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

This week on Heavy Hands, topics include:

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

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

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

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

And more. Too much more. Somebody stop us.

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

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

Topics include (among many others):

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

...and many more!

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

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

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

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

...and more!

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

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