Heavy Hands

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

Connor and Phil discuss the champ vs champ fight between Rory MacDonald and Gegard Mousasi, the main event of Bellator 206. 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_30_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers -- posted at: 4:05pm EST

UFC 229 is right around the corner, and while we would normally split a massive, tentpole pay-per-view like that into two episodes, the undercard just doesn't merit it. So, you might be thinking, this is a perfect time to cover the upcoming Bellator 206! But, uh... we forgot about that one. Not to worry, though--keep your eyes glued to the Heavy Hands Patreon for a bonus episode breaking down the highlights of that stacked card. Until then, enjoy our discussion of UFC Sao Paulo, and a few questions from our patrons. Topics include:

  • A pathologically violent Thiago Santos, and the bright future ahead of him at light heavyweight
  • The sad, sad fall of Renan Barao
  • Little Nog rides again!
  • How we feel about watching a sport surrounded and populated by so many amoral/immoral people
  • How the "average" fighter can overcome a far superior athlete

Also, an important note: you are likely reading this on BloodyElbow.com. If so, you should know that this will be the final episode of Heavy Hands to be featured at that address, and thus the last episode to be posted on a BE-associated Youtube channel. Future episodes will be published on the Connor Ruebusch Youtube channel, but also on all of the usual podcast distributors--now including Spotify!

Direct download: 230_Sao_Paulo_and_the_rest.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 12:22pm EST

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

So, UFC 228 was pretty spectacular. From the early prelims to the main event, last weekend's lineup did everything in their power to deliver one truly memorable night of fights. 

Now, did this have anything to do with Valentina Shevchenko's absence? We'll never know. but the answer is yes

We're breaking almost all of it down on this week's Heavy Hands, in addition to looking forward to next week's UFC Moscow, which is actually a little better than its lackluster main event might imply. Topics for this episode include: 

- The two sides of Tyron Woodley

- The zero significant strikes of Darren Till

- How Jessica Andrade delivered the most stunning one-punch KO in UFC WMMA history

- Is it best to pump the brakes on Zabit Magomedsharipov?

- Tatiana Suarez, aka Kha-she-b Her-magomedov. Get it? Look, Phil didn't like it either, and I'll admit it's a little clumsy, but IT'S A GOOD PUN

- Next week, Jan of Rivia takes on the prodigal prospect, Nikita Krylov, and we could not be more excited

...and more!

Direct download: 228_ufc_228.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:47pm EST

Alright people, UFC 228 is just about here, so it's time to get extremely [clap] hyped [clap] for these [clap] fights!

Seriously, though, the highlights are great. Tyron Woodley, Darren Till, Nicco Montano, and Valentina Shevchenko are all capable of impressive feats of martial skill, and that makes this one easy to advertise. And in truth, all four of them could show up and put on a pair of truly fascinating fights. But looking back at their recent histories--Till vs Thompson (1 or 2, take your pick), Woodley vs Thompson, Shevchenko vs Nunes 2--how excited should we really be? 

This week on Heavy Hands, we're all about UFC 228. Topics include:

  • Tyron Woodley and Darren Till both want the same kind of fight, but we're not sure which will stick his neck out first
  • Nicco Montano: UFC CHAMPION. Valentina Shevchenko: WMMA'S GREATEST COUNTER PUNCHER. The matchup between them: UNINTERESTING
  • Zabit gets a chance to break out, as possibly the last exciting fighter viewers will see on the main card
  • How does Jessica Andrade's freakish athleticism compare with the surprising strength of Karolina Kowalkiewicz?
Direct download: 227_Tyron_us_out.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:54pm EST

Last weekend the UFC went to Lincoln, Nebraska, and the result was a night of good old-fashioned corn-fed chaos. This week on Heavy Hands, your beloved hosts discuss all of the best action in detail. Topics include:

  • James Vick's giant, ponderous defense, and the higher weight class that is so clearly calling him
  • Angela Hill's controversial loss to Cortney Casey--how we saw it, and what we expect out of both fighters
  • Deiveson Figuereido announcing himself in the flyweight division with a crushing win over perpetual tough-out John Moraga
  • Eryk Anders, the guy who lost to Machida, is still sort of the dude who lost to Machida. Tim Williams ain't bad, though
  • A career-best performance from (welterweight) James Krause, Cory Sandhagen's frankly disgusting determination to win, and more...
Direct download: 226_Midwest_Slugfest_-_The_Lunacy_In_Lincoln_Pt_II.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 5:06am 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

This week on Heavy Hands, we are having computer troubles. But aside from that, we're coping. Yes, TJ Dillashaw closing out his rivalry with Cody Garbrandt was satisfying, but we have to be honest... UFC 227's co-main event, the 12th title defense of flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson, left a strange taste in our mouths. Also, it was probably responsible for the computer troubles. Please send your complaints to Henry Cejudo.

Topics this week include:

  • Is TJ the perfect foil for Garbrandt, or is Garbrandt the perfect foil for himself?
  • Demetrious Johnson is EXPOSED. All you have to do to beat him is not lose too badly
  • Oh, so when Willie Pep wins a round without throwing a punch, that's okay, but now that Henry Cejudo is doing it, you're upset
  • Renato Moicano, Pedro Munhoz, and flyweight finisher Alex Perez
Direct download: 223_TJ_and_DJ_corrected.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 2:13pm EST