Heavy Hands (general)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Almeida and Cody Garbrandt are two of the most promising action fighters in one of the UFC's most promising action-fight divisions. Between them they have a near 90 percent finish ratio, with the vast majority of those finishes being knockouts. Both just 24 years old, "Tominhas" and "No Love" are undefeated--which only adds to the stakes in their main event matchup at UFC Fight Night 88. 

On this episode of Heavy Hands, we give Almeida vs Garbrandt the full, in-depth breakdown, and predict the outcome of the fight. But that's not all, no sir. Fight Night 88 is easily one of the most stacked cards of the year, with a lineup sure to delight any hardcore fight fan. We take our pick of the litter, and break down Aljamain Sterling vs Bryan Caraway, Renan Barao vs Jeremy Stephens, Tarec Saffiedine vs Rick Story, Jorge Masvidal vs Lorenze Larkin, Josh Burkman vs Paul Felder, and Chris Camozzi vs Vitor Miranda (middleweights!). 

Holy hell, what a collection of matchups! Join us for your weekly dose of fight discussion, and walk away a smarter (and slightly more bloodthirsty) version of yourself.

Direct download: 106_almeida_garbrandt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14am EST

On this week's Heavy Hands, we're talking prospects, up-and-comers, and all other manner of important fighters that maybe haven't quite earned your attention yet. We discuss not only what makes these men such promising fighters, but what improvements we expect to see out of them in the future, and how they have developed as fighters so far. 

At the top of the show, however, it's all about adaptive fighters. Men like Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Jose Aldo, and Anderson Silva--a who's who of all-time greats--held onto their titles and win streaks for so long because of how well they adapted in the cage. And yet all of them fight in very different ways, with clearly different priorities. We discuss what allows a fighter to make the split-second adjustments and smart decisions that keep him on the winning track, and even get into the dense tangle of virtues and foibles that make a fighter who he or she is.

Direct download: 97_adaptive_fighters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EST

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