Heavy Hands (ufc)

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

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