Heavy Hands (ufc)

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT