Heavy Hands (ufc)
40 - The Transitional Brilliance of Ronda Rousey

MMA is all about transitions, and so is this episode of Heavy Hands. Including this excellent segue!

Ronda Rousey, the armbar queen of the UFC, is currently riding a two-knockout streak. It's not that she's abandoned her judo base, but rather that she's found a way to really make it work for MMA, which means setting up her throws with strikes, and vice versa. She faces Cat Zingano this weekend in the main event of UFC 184. 

Also featured on the card is Holly Holm, who racked up 33 career wins as a professional boxer. She faces Raquel Pennington in her UFC debut. Your hosts discuss her chances against the game Pennington, and what her style means for her should she meet champion Rousey down the road.

Direct download: 40_ronda_rousey.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

37 - Silva vs Diaz, Al Iaquinta, Listener Mailbag

So, Anderson Silva vs Nick Diaz happened, and it was... different than we expected it to be. Of course, it was still a great fight, but the tactical battle between the two men may teach us a lot about where they go from here, how they can perform in future fights, and just how cool it is to see high level fighters from different weight classes putting it on the line against one another.

(also Anderson popped for steroids after the fight)

But hey! What about that Al Iaquinta? Pat thinks he can become a top five lightweight given time. Your hosts break down his combination-punching style, and talk about his potential.

And to open up the show, it's time for some listener mail. You sent the questions in, and we answered 'em.

Direct download: 37_silva_diaz_post_fight.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT

Both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz are coming off pairs of losses. Silva's defeats came at the hands (and shins) of Chris Weidman, a series of brutal finishes, the second of which left the former champ with a broken leg and a long recovery ahead of him. Diaz's losses came in a competitive decision to Carlos Condit, and a considerably less competitive decision to then-champion Georges St-Pierre.

Both men have been out for a long time, but now they return, and they're facing off. A fight that would have seemed impossible just two years ago is happening, and Pat and Connor couldn't be more excited.

Your hosts break down, in-depth, the styles of both competitors, and then compare notes to analyze the interesting way in which their styles match up. It's a tough fight to predict, and there's no concrete favorite, but we hope that this fight is as tantalizing to you as it is to us.

Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 36_silva_vs_diaz.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

Last week Pat and Connor discussed Conor McGregor as an aggressive counter puncher. This week we're talking Conor McGregor as a bonafide knockout artist and dangerous opponent for featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

Then there's next weekend's UFC main event, a number one contender's bout between top light heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony "Rumble" Johnson. Your hosts break down the styles of the two men (hint: aggressive counter punching makes a return appearance), and give their predictions for the bout.

Finally, Deontay Wilder became the first American heavyweight boxing titlist since 2007 by beating Bermane Stiverne last weekend. Also, his style gives us some clues about how Gustafsson could beat Johnson this Saturday night. That deserves some discussion too, don't you think?

Direct download: 35_gustafsson_johnson.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Conor McGregor is fighting this Sunday. His opponent, some guy named Dennis Silver, hasn't gotten a lot of love, but that's not exactly surprising, or even wrong. McGregor is an incredibly talented mixed martial artist and, interestingly, likely one of the hardest hitters at featherweight. As McGregor prepares to face what will likely be his last opponent before Jose Aldo, Patrick Wyman and Connor Ruebusch break down the subtleties of his style.

His left high kick. His wide left. And, interestingly, his tremendous power, which has gone largely unheralded despite his very high knockout ratio.

Next, your intrepid hosts discuss step-knees and Donald Cerrone--who just happens to like said knees an awful lot. Cerrone faces Ben Henderson for the third time in this weekend's co-main event.

Finally, a few minutes are devoted to the recently announced Johny Hendricks vs Matt Brown, a dream-fight that's sure to have fans of in-fighting everywhere salivating, and excusing themselves from fancy dinners while they take a few seconds to collect themselves.

Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 34_mcgregor_and_cerrone.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier don't like each other. They're both excellent wrestlers. And, most importantly, two of the best mixed martial artists in the world. Jon Jones may, in fact, be the very best.

All of those factors combined to make their January 3rd title clash a fight to remember, and Pat and Connor are here to break it all down. 

In-fighting is the topic of the day, as Jones and Cormier spent the vast majority of their bout battling it out toe-to-toe, in the clinch, against the cage, and just generally close enough to kiss--or elbow each other in the mug, as it transpired. Your hosts break down the various aspects of in-fighting, as well as the mean-spiritedness it takes for Jones to do it as well as he does.

Direct download: 33_jon_jones_and_infighting.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:12am EDT

It's a weekend full of fantastic fights, but you'll have to do a bit of channel changing to ensure consistent quality. First Connor and Pat break down the impromptu slugfest that is Hunt vs Werdum for the interim heavyweight title. That's the main event of UFC 180, which is co-headlined by Jake Ellenberger vs Kelvin Gastelum, an intriguing fight that should tell us once and for all if Ellenberger is done as a potential contender, and if Gastelum is the new man to watch at welterweight.

Over on Spike we've got a very interesting rematch between Michael Chandler and Will Brooks for the Bellator lightweight belt. Pat predicts this one will look like a more athletic Dustin Poirier (Brooks) against a less athletic Chad Mendes (Chandler), but at lightweight, which... sounds great to me! 

Also, one of the sport's best prospects in Justin Gaethje defends his WSOF lightweight belt against Melvin Guillard. Lots of great action, with some really interesting analysis to boot--just keep your remote handy.

Direct download: 26_-_UFC_180_and_Bellator_131.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:07pm EDT

It's a weekend packed with UFC fights, and Pat and Connor have a unique way of looking at them. Today your hosts discuss the concept of "style." What is a fighting style? How does it impact an analysts perceptions of a fight, and how does it affect a fighter's performance against another athlete of a same or different style?

We focus this discussion on many fighters, but featured heavily are some of this weekend's most prominent competitors, including Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, John Lineker, and Ian McCall.

All of that and more on this episode of Heavy Hands!

Direct download: 25_-_Styles_Make_Fights.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:33pm EDT

23 - Strategists vs Tacticians with Patrick Wyman

Pat Wyman of Sherdog.com joins Connor to co-host a discussion about the place of strategy and tactics in MMA. Which is better, a head coach who strategizes, or one who understands the moment-by-moment adjustments of a tactician?

And what about this weekend's impending matchup between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes? Aldo's coach, Andre Pederneiras, is a strategist, while Duane "Bang" Ludwig, the trainer of Mendes, is one of the best tacticians in the sport. Who will win in this battle of wits and wills?

Listen in to find out what Connor and Pat think!

Direct download: 23_-_Strategist_vs_Tactician.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

What's this? A Heavy Hands episode actually being released on Thursday, as advertised? That's right, folks. This one's up early (on time), and you definitely don't want to miss it. This week I was joined by Jimmy Smith, color commentator for MMA and co-host of Discovery Channel's popular show Fight Quest. Oh, and he used to beat people up for a living, too. Did you know that Jimmy holds a win over Jason Chambers, the co-host of the History Channel's competing series Human Weapon? Jimmy doesn't think so, but I suspect that's why Discovery hired him.

Anyway, the bulk of the show is spent breaking down the main card of UFC 171, which features a whole bunch of exciting matchups, in particular the battle for the recently vacated welterweight throne between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. Jimmy's analysis is excellent, as always.

Enjoy the show!

Direct download: 18-UFC_171_w_Jimmy_Smith.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 6:25pm EDT