Tue, 26 May 2020
Connor and Phil have no idea what is going to happen between Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns. It's a weird fight. In fact, the whole card is kind of weird, but not uninteresting.
- Gilbert Burns has the grit to emulate Nate Marquardt, but does he have the technique, or the chin?
- Ivanov vs Sakai is a weird fight by heavyweight standards, which is to say that it might look sort of like a normal fight
- Mackenzie Dern gets a bounceback
- Katlyn Chookagian seeks to revenge herself on the sinister Shevchenko family
- ...and more
Direct download: 318_Does_Woodley_get_Burned.mp3
-- posted at: 9:37pm EDT
Tue, 19 May 2020
Connor and Phil talk about heavyweights, and then it's on to more uplifting matters, like robberies.
- Of all the ways Walt Harris vs Alistair Overeem could have gone, we got both of them. And it was sad.
- Angela Hill--ROBBED
- Edson Barboza--ROBBED?
- Chito Vera--probably not robbed, it was really close. In fact they were all pretty close.
- Eryk Anders vs Krzysztof Jotko reassures us that the earth is healing, and that there will always be a middleweight division
Direct download: 317_Competitive_Fights_and_Tragic_Ends.mp3
-- posted at: 9:15pm EDT
Wed, 13 May 2020
Connor and Phil lavish terrified praise on the newest version of Justin Gaethje, lest the next one come and find us.
- Was Tony Ferguson finally shot, or did Trevor Wittman build the perfect machine to destroy him?
- Henry Cejudo, the greatest combat athlete of all time, greater even than legendary pankratist Arrhichion, who paid for victory with his life, finally seems to know what he's doing, and then retires
- How does Alistair Overeem beat Walt Harris? other than taking him down, obviously
- Edson Barboza at featherweight.
- Chito vs Yadong. Chito vs Yadong. CHITO VS YADONG.
Direct download: 316_JG-1000.mp3
-- posted at: 12:58pm EDT
Wed, 6 May 2020
Connor and Phil talk UFC 249, and it's such a relief to have another UFC event to discuss, that thinking of Tony Ferguson hardly even makes them cry.
- Tony Ferguson finally gets his shot... at oblivion. Justin Gaethje might not win, but if he does, it'll be the saddest end to a legendary win streak in history
- Dominick Cruz would've been an easy pick over Henry Cejudo in his prime, so what's stopping him now? other than age, inactivity, and fourteen new debilitating injuries
- Calvin Kattar vs Jeremy Stephens. Hell yeah
Direct download: 315_Numbered_Event_of_the_Beast.mp3
-- posted at: 6:45am EDT
Thu, 30 April 2020
Another commentary episode for your quarantined asses. This time, Connor and Phil watch the title-winning performances of three of the UFC's most unique champions.
- The dawn of the Machida Era (and the birth of Shad face)
- Ben Henderson blows up Frankie Edgar's nose with his mind
- Dominick Cruz does bad technique in a good way, and who the hell is Brian Bowles
Direct download: 314_Weird_Kings.mp3
-- posted at: 6:06pm EDT
Wed, 22 April 2020
Connor and Phil survey the blasted landscape of three of the UFC's strongest weight classes, and decide a new champion for each.
Coronavirus comes for all men, and UFC champions are no exception. Now that Henry Cejudo, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Kamaru Usman have all taken terribly ill, we seed each champ's respective division with eight top contenders, and let them fight for the vacant throne.
Let's hope the new kings disinfect the thing before sitting down.
Direct download: 313_Corona_Clash_2020.mp3
-- posted at: 2:19pm EDT
Wed, 15 April 2020
Jordan Breen joins the show to watch the breakout moments of some MMA legends.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC debut: awful, horrible, hideous striking--but obvious talent
- Jose Aldo vs Alexandre Franca Nogueira: technique, speed, power--Jose Aldo's WEC debut clearly indicated how great his potential was
- Jordan Breen talks about whatever Jordan Breen wants to talk about
Direct download: 312_Breakout_Fights_feat._Jordan_Breen.mp3
-- posted at: 6:33pm EDT
Thu, 9 April 2020
Connor and Phil preview a couple of tenuous UFC 249 matchups and talk about some of MMA history's more underrated technicians (and action fighters).
- What does Niko Price have to do differently to knock Vicente Luque out?
- Chito Vera's much bigger than Ray Borg, but will that matter once Borg starts wrestling?
- Chris Lytle, Martin Kampmann, Kazuo Misaki, and Mark Hominick--underrated technicians, all-time great action fighters
Direct download: 311_underrated_action_fighters.mp3
-- posted at: 4:04pm EDT
Thu, 2 April 2020
Connor and Phil cover some of the biggest turning points in MMA history. This week, we're commentating three fights that led the way forward in our still-young sport.
- Mark Coleman vs Maurice Smith: the dawn of sprawl-and-brawl
- Chuck Liddell vs Rampage Jackson: anti-grappling meets superior striking
- Fedor Emelianenko vs Big Nog: BJJ gets absolutely smashed by the MMA ground game
Direct download: 310_MMA_Impressed_Us.mp3
-- posted at: 2:41pm EDT
Wed, 25 March 2020
Man who go first do good. Man who go second do BAD. Unless...?
The Fight Site's Danny Martin joins us to discuss.
- Why are pressure, aggression, and volume so important in MMA?
- Is good, systematic striking defense really possible in this sport?
- How can a fighter seize the initiative without throwing the first punch?
- And more!
Wed, 18 March 2020
The last UFC event for who-knows-how-long was full of superb grappling, and we brought in the Fight Site's Ben Kohn to help us break it all down.
- Said Chucky Olives to the Motown Phenom: "We are not so different, you and I."
- Maia and Yahya: does MMA put a hard ceiling on positional BJJ?
- The extremely light heavyweight grappling of Nikita Krylov
- and more!
Direct download: 308_Brasilia_with_Ben.mp3
-- posted at: 7:31pm EDT
Wed, 11 March 2020
Connor and Phil recap the excellent and the disappointing from UFC 248, and look forward to a STACKED fight night card.
- The main event may have hurt both fighters' stock, but it was still a fascinating glimpse into the galaxy brains of Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero
- Thank GOD for the strawweights
- Is the Tristar version of Kevin Lee aggressive enough to bully Charles Oliveira?
- Does Nikita Krylov beat Johnny Walker simply by having a good chin?
- and more!
Direct download: 307_Strawweight_Saviors.mp3
-- posted at: 11:38am EDT
Wed, 4 March 2020
Connor and Phil break down the two title fights set for UFC 248, and look back at Deiveson Figuereido's (almost) championship win.
- Will Israel Adesanya carry an early lead down the stretch, or is Yoel's uncanny ability to lose until he wins enough to give us a Pereira-esque KO?
- Zhang Weili is an athlete on par with Valentina Shevchenko, but a far shallower technician. So, will Joanna Jedrzejczyk win the last three rounds, or only the last two?
- Joe B's heartbreaking defeat, and the seven minutes of brilliant action that preceded it
Direct download: 306_ufc_248.mp3
-- posted at: 4:31pm EDT
Wed, 26 February 2020
Fight Site godfather and boxing historian Kyle McLachlan joins the show this week, not only to break down Tyson Fury's incredible win over Deontay Wilder, but to preview one of our most anticipated UFC fights of the year.
- Joe Benavidez is probably the best to never win a belt, but Deiveson Figueiredo is the future of the division--is Joe B too old for destiny?
- How did Tyson Fury dominate Deontay Wilder so thoroughly?
- Did Paul Felder and Dan Hooker lift one another up, headfirst right into their shared ceiling?
Direct download: 305_Fury-Wilder_feat_Kyle_MacLachlan.mp3
-- posted at: 7:52am EDT
Thu, 20 February 2020
Heavy Hands is back with a particularly ramble-y episode, in which we look forward to Paul Felder vs Dan Hooker, and try not to think too deeply about Diego Sanchez.
- Can Paul Felder's gritty wear Dan Hooker down, or will he get shot to pieces at range?
- Jimmy Crute vs Michael Oleksiejczuk, a light heavyweight matchup which is simultaneously very dumb and very intriguing
- Jan of Rivia avenges another defeat
- Diego Sanchez funny! And sad. Very FUNNY, though hahahaha! but sad
Direct download: 304_Felder_vs_Hooker.mp3
-- posted at: 2:58pm EDT
Wed, 12 February 2020
This week on Heavy Hands we are very pleased to be joined by Tom Elliott (@Muay_Khaoboy), who made an excellent study of Jon Jones in his Elements of Dominance series. And while we planned to talk about lots more, we ended up spending (more than) an hour and a half just talking about Jones vs Reyes and the results of UFC 247.
- What to make of this current version of Jon Jones? What isn't working, and what still impresses the hell out of us?
- Dominick Reyes obviously had the tools to beat Jones--but what could he do better next time?
- How many dully predictable wins will it take for Phil to stop haunting Valentina Shevchenko's Instagram comments?
- Get well soon, Derrick Lewis! and Ilir Latifi's future at heavyweight
- Has Mirsad Bektic Phil Davis'd himself?
Direct download: 303_REYES_REX_feat._Tom_Elliott.mp3
-- posted at: 7:55pm EDT
Wed, 5 February 2020
This week on Heavy Hands, we're figuring Dominick Reyes' chances against the light heavyweight GOAT, and saying a prayer so that Katlyn Chookagian's soul might find peace in the afterlife.
- Is Dominick Reyes as good as the light heavyweight champion, Thiago Santos?
- The question is not whether Katlyn Chookagian loses, but whether she looks more like Holm or Carmouche in the effort
- Is Dan Ige scrappy enough to take Mirsad Bektic out of his comfort zone?
- Derrick Lewis betrayed us by becoming Actually Good, but he's still probably gonna win
Direct download: 302_Jones_vs_Reyes_and_NOTHIING_ELSE.mp3
-- posted at: 6:45pm EDT
Wed, 29 January 2020
We've got a bit of a grab bag for you on this week's episode of Heavy Hands, what with so little of interest happening last weekend in Raleigh, and UFC 247 still a week away (and looking remarkably thin, at that).
- Rafael Dos Anjos was supposed to blow Michael Chiesa out of the water. He should have. What happened?
- Three years ago Junior Dos Santos would have given Curtis Blaydes serious problems. Is he officially over the hill?
- What good are pound-for-pound rankings?
- In particular, what good are pound-for-pound rankings when they include the likes of Jessica Eye and Katlyn Chookagian?
- Kamaru Usman: his chances of putting together a legendary reign, and the challengers most likely to stop him
Direct download: 301_RIP_RDA__JDS.mp3
-- posted at: 6:59pm EDT
Wed, 22 January 2020
The vaping scooter gang takeover continues, as the Fight Site's Srirarm Muralidaran joins us to break down last week's fights, and (surprise) next week's fights, too. It's a good one, folks!
- Conor McGregor did the thing he was always going to do to Donald Cerrone, who reacted in the way he always has
- Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington conspired to put on a fight even more boring than their first one
- Carlos Diego Ferreira surprised us, not by beating Anthony Pettis, but by using his best Nate Diaz impression to do it
- How awesome is Roxanne Modafferi?
- Is JDS a secret poison matchup for Curtis Blaydes?
- Would it be funnier for RDA to finish Michael Chiesa with body shots, or leg kicks?
Direct download: 300_UFC_246_feat_Sriram_Muralidaran.mp3
-- posted at: 11:54am EDT
Wed, 15 January 2020
The UFC is back after a three-week hiatus, and so is Conor McGregor, though his own break was both longer and significantly more full of sexual assault allegations. MMA, folks! Our topics this week:
- McGregor's gonna knock Cerrone out in round one--but what if HE DOESN'T?!
- Does Claudia Gadelha have the physicality to stop Alexa Grasso overwhelming her down the stretch?
- Carlos Diego Ferreira's long-overdue opportunity to break out
- Drew Dober makes for a great foil, but does he actually have a shot at beating Nasrat Haqparast?
Direct download: 299_UFC_PR.mp3
-- posted at: 4:36pm EDT
Wed, 8 January 2020
Connor and Phil claw their ways out of bed to compare Bellator champs to UFC champs. Then they die.
Direct download: 298_flu_edition.mp3
-- posted at: 8:33pm EDT
Fri, 3 January 2020
Billy Crystal and Phil Mackenzie join forces once again to celebrate another absurd(ly technical) year in the world of MMA.
That's right: here we are, once again, giving out Handies. And you're about to listen to it. Who had the best knockout of 2019? The best gameplan? What about the best gameplan that didn't actually work? Will Cody Garbrandt hold onto the coveted Worst Brain Thinking Award for the second year in the row? Who will take home the Patrick Wyman Memorial Award for Explosive Muscularity, and how could it not be Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa?
All of these burning questions answered, with only the slightest chance that you will experience a burning sensation in the bathroom. What better way to kick off 2020?
Direct download: 297_HANDIES.mp3
-- posted at: 10:58am EDT
Thu, 26 December 2019
Audio issues and cynicism abound! We spend the day before Christmas talking about the UFC. YOU'RE WELCOME
- Korean Zombie ends 2019 by giving us our first accurate prediction of the year. Better late than never!
- "Is Aleksander Rakic good?" we asked. In answer, the light heavyweight division laughed
- 2019 was the year in which all of our old favorites either started falling apart (Jose Aldo) or were finally ground into dust (Anderson Silva)
- Also this was the year we found out that Henry Cejudo is the greatest fighter on earth. Merry Christmas
Direct download: 296_Crankie_Edgars_Christmas.mp3
-- posted at: 3:25pm EDT
Wed, 18 December 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, UFC 245 was awesome! And we've got Frankie Edgar vs Korean Zombie coming up next week. It's all good stuff, folks.
We only had room for the main and co-main of UFC 245 on this episode, but don't despair: we did break down just about every other undercard bout, and you'll be able to find those over on our Patreon, where all of our bonus episodes are available for just $3 a month. As for this ep:
- That nincompoop Ed may have convinced us there would be wrestling, but we did learn a lot about Kamaru Usman's striking
- Alexander Volkanovski proved himself a worthy champion with another brilliantly planned and executed strategy
- Does Edgar have the wrestling to get past Korean Zombie's laser-guided uppercut defense system?
- Aleksander Rakic: is he actually good?
Direct download: 295_Jawbreak_Jamboree__Edgar-KZ.mp3
-- posted at: 12:35pm EDT
Wed, 11 December 2019
UFC 245 is finally upon us, and if it took seeing the inside of Alistair Overeem's face to get here, it was almost worth it. And The Fight Site's Ed Gallo joins the show once again specifically to break down the main event.
- What makes Alexander Volkanovski one of the smartest fighters in MMA today, and is that enough to beat Max Holloway?
- What do the college wrestling careers of Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington tell us about their UFC title fight?
- How insecure is Colby Covington, exactly?
- Germaine de Randamie is bantamweight's dark horse, but are reach and timing enough against the well-rounded attack of Amanda Nunes?
Direct download: 294_ufc_245.mp3
-- posted at: 11:50am EDT
Wed, 4 December 2019
We're back on our bullshit. After two beautiful weeks off, we've got more UFC events to preview. The good news is, of all the fights on next week's card, only one of them is Overeem vs Rozenstruik.
- Does Alistair Overeem have the composure to take down a kickboxer with no wrestling ability? The answer may surprise you
- Marina Rodriguez wrecked Tecia Torres in her last fight; now how about a scrappier version of the same opponent
- Cody Stamann may lack Song Yadong's transcendent talent, but he does have a pretty solid wrestling game so... this is a great matchup.
- After years of waiting, Jose Aldo is finally changing weight classes! We can't wait to see the greatest featherweight of all time at ligh--wait
Direct download: 293_rozenreem_vs_overstruik.mp3
-- posted at: 11:11am EDT
Wed, 27 November 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, Ed Gallo of Bloody Elbow, the Fight Site, and Twitter's own vaping scooter gang joins us to discuss wrestling, how it applies to MMA, and how it's killing the sport.
- Did Ben Askren's wrestling game prepare him so well for MMA that he was able to get away without learning any other skills?
- Why do we remember as a short-lived king of the punchers, and not one of the best wrestlers ever to grace the cage?
- And if Hendricks wasn't able to adopt a new wrestling style for his new sport, how the hell did Daniel Cormier do it?
- Stipe vs Fedor redux: Ed decides
Direct download: 292_Ed_Gallo.mp3
-- posted at: 12:22pm EDT
Wed, 20 November 2019
This week on Heavy Hands... we're FREEEEEE! Laughing and playing, frolicking like free-spirited children, yippeeeee!
Well, almost. Before enjoying these precious few weeks without a UFC event, we break down some of the (mostly abysmal) UFC Sao Paulo card, and then it's on to discussing our first juicy topic in what feels like forever.
- How do the GOATs of each division stack up against the current champions? Could Fedor beat Stipe? Could a prime Andy beat Adesanya? Would BJ Penn even survive a fight with Khabib (lol)?
- Jan Blachowicz and Jacare Souza conspired to shit the bed together, in the worst main event of the year. How did they cancel one another out so completely?
- Would it be sadder if Shogun Rua lost to Paul Craig, or if he won? Wrong.
- Bless Charles Oliveira for doing his best to save the card with a sensational (and remarkably technical) KO
Direct download: 291_Sao_Paulo_and_the_GOATs.mp3
-- posted at: 10:56am EDT
Wed, 13 November 2019
Compared to UFC Moscow, next week's Sao Paulo card really isn't bad. It's not great, but hey--it is the last UFC show of the month, after which will follow several episodes about the weather till things pick up again in December.
- Is Jacare Souza another middleweight destined for light heavyweight greatness, or is he ten years too far behind Luke Rockhold to survive the power of Jan of Rivia
- Shogun Rua is still fighting. Shogun Rua's recent record holds up remarkably well. Light heavyweight is a wasteland. Shogun Rua will probably win this fight. That is all. Skip this part of the episode
- Previewing three solid prelims: Sergio Moraes vs James Krause, Francisco Trinaldo vs Bobby Green, and Warlley Alves vs Randy Brown
- How Zabit beat Calvin, Ed Herman's savvy veteran win, and more
Direct download: 290_Phoning_it_in.mp3
-- posted at: 11:02am EDT
Wed, 6 November 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're feeling inspired by the many dramatic performances of UFC 244, but before any of that, we simply have to talk about next weekend's main event.
- Can Zabit chop Kattar's legs out from under him? And how good, exactly, is Kattar's defensive wrestling?
- We guessed that Jorge Masvidal would appear to be slightly better at everything Nate Diaz wanted to do. In a stunning turn of events, we were kinda right
- Everyone was bored by Till vs Gastelum, but listen, damnit: Darren Till SHOWED UP
- STEPHEN THOMPSON. WONDERMAN FOREVER. GREATEST KICKBOXER IN HUMAN HISTORY
- Kevin Lee killed a man
Direct download: 289_Zabit_vs_Kattar_and_UFC_244.mp3
-- posted at: 3:40pm EDT
Wed, 30 October 2019
This week on Heavy Hands: UFC 244. That's it. Finally, we've got a card so strong we literally have no reason to discuss anything else. It feels good. On this episode we're covering...
- Was Nate Diaz showing his age in his last fight, and is there any reason to pick him over this newer, exceptionally more violent Jorge Masvidal?
- Kelvin Gastelum and Darren Till, two men defined by their limitations. I don't know what that says about the fight, but it sure sounds smart
- Could a loss to Gregor Gillespie break Kevin Lee once and for all?
- Corey Anderson seems perfectly designed to beat Johnny Walker, which is precisely why Johnny Walker is gonna knock him out with a flying bicycle kick in 20 seconds. Don't even listen to this segment. That's what's gonna happen
- Plus: Burgos vs Amirkhani, Arce vs Dawodu, Connor vs Phil's livelihood
Direct download: 288_UFC_244.mp3
-- posted at: 1:08pm EDT
Wed, 23 October 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're keeping things simple. No cramming to keep up with the schedule--instead, we're focusing solely on the big fights, including one from the main card of the upcoming (and absolutely stacked) UFC 244.
- Has Demian Maia finally found the wrestler he can beat, or is the old man doomed to stall out on another 10,000 single legs?
- Rory MacDonald is rematching Douglas Lima. We wish he weren't, but here we are
- The Stephen Thompson PR defense squad unites against the forces of evil (Lucas Bourdon, Anthony Pettis, etc). Vicente Luque has the power, but does he have the pressure to back it up?
Direct download: 287_THREE_BIG_FIGHTS.mp3
-- posted at: 8:15pm EDT
Wed, 16 October 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down Chris Weidman's long overdue (but likely ill-fated) light heavyweight debut, recapping Joanna Jedrzejczyk's dominant win over Michelle Waterson, and tearing our eyes away from the UFC hypno toad just long enough to mention Demetrious Johnson's win over Danny Kingad.
- Chris Weidman probably waited too long for this move up in weight--but then, Dominick Reyes has pretty much never fought a wrestler
- Jeremy Stephens vs Yair Rodriguez, abridged edition. Check out episode 281 for our original breakdown
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk brought back some of the old aggression, and revealed that, apparently, Mike Winkeljohn's fighters don't have very good boxing
- CHITO. VERA. He's getting better, bantamweights, and you're next
- And much more. Too much more, really. We need help.
Direct download: 286_CHITOOOOO_VERAAAAAA.mp3
-- posted at: 2:14pm EDT
Wed, 9 October 2019
Israel Adesanya did it, folks. He did beautifully, and brutally, and yes, our hearts are still pretty much broken but there's so much to talk about on this week's episode of Heavy Hands! We've got...
- What was Robert Whittaker thinking, and where did he go wrong?
- How does Israel Adesanya stack up against his future challenges?
- Dan Hooker's long guard, and his hidden right hand
- Is Joanna Jedrzejczyk still an easy pick over Michelle Waterson, or has something changed?
- Plus: previewing Chito Vera vs Andre Ewell, Deiveson Figueiredo vs Tim Elliott, and Niko Price vs James Vick!
Direct download: 285_All_Hail_Adesanya.mp3
-- posted at: 1:35pm EDT
Thu, 3 October 2019
In case you didn't notice, Heavy Hands was a little late this week. We did record a phenomenal discussion of Robert Whittaker vs Israel Adesanya on Tuesday, but one power outage and a night wracked by evil dreams later, it was all gone. So we rescheduled, and did the damn thing over again, including:
- Literally nothing else from UFC 243
- Almost everything from last weekend's UFC Copenhagen
Direct download: 284_The_Whittaker_x_Adesanya_do_over.mp3
-- posted at: 4:25pm EDT
Wed, 25 September 2019
We've gotten so used to the thin gruel the UFC is usually spooning out that, when we saw UFC Copenhagen sitting on the table in front of us--I'll admit--we went a little overboard, and tried to cover everything. Unbuckle your belt and enjoy the smorgasbord with us. There will be coffee after.
- What makes Jared Cannonier so dangerous at middleweight, and does Jack Hermansson have the well-rounded skillset to thwart him?
- Gunnar Nelson vs Gilbert Burns, aka SBG vs Team Evil.
- Michael Oleksiejczuk, a new light heavyweight who may in fact be Actually Good, takes on Ovince Saint Preux, who defiantly Isn't
- Nicolas Dalby returns! (to be sacrificed at the altar of athleticism)
- And a few quick words about the fantastic fight between Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso, and the aborted one between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens
Direct download: 282_Finally.mp3
-- posted at: 3:04pm EDT
Wed, 18 September 2019
The fight cards stay thin, but this one has quite the layer of cream on top. Is that... is that gross? It's gross, isn't it.
On this week's ep:
- Rodriguez vs Stephens: whose footwork breaks down first?
- Grasso vs Esparza: can body shots really stop the (second) most determined wrestler at strawweight?
- Justin Gaethje's approach surprised most of us, but was it really misguided? Either way... wild man's got tricks
- Michel Pereira cheated his way to the funniest loss in MMA history. Tristan Connelly is a blue collar god
- And more!
Direct download: 281_Two_Killer_Style_Matchups.mp3
-- posted at: 12:53pm EDT
Wed, 11 September 2019
... now Fortis MMA is my best friend.
No, but seriously. UFC 242 didn't teach us anything new about Khabib Nurmagomedov (who is probably now the #1 p4p fighter in the world), but it gave us a whole lot to think about. Oh, and Justin Gaethje's fighting next week. On today's episode of Heavy Hands:
- What was up with Dustin Poirier? Freaked out? Ill prepared? Or just unsuited for the matchup?
- Paul Felder and Carlos Diego Ferreira both showed new skills and excellent gameplans, giving us the card's two best feelgood performances
- Is Justin Gaethje a bad matchup for Donald Cerrone? Yeah... yeah, probably
- Teixeira vs Krylov and Crute vs Cirkunov: alright, so maybe light heavyweight isn't getting better, after all
- ... and more!
Direct download: 280_Friendship_Ended_with_ATT.mp3
-- posted at: 12:20pm EDT
Wed, 4 September 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we talk for a long time. A very long time, and mostly just about one fight. But can you blame us? It's Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier, and we're kind of excited. Our topics:
- What's wrong with Khabib's striking, and how does he make it work so well?
- The evolution of Dustin Poirier, and the tests he's passed on the way here
- Paul Felder and Edson Barboza take on one of our favorite questions in their rematch: do style matchups ever change?
- Mairbek Taisumov is fighting a maniacal brawler. Take that in.
- How Weili Zhang wrested the title from Jessica Andrade, but more importantly, THE LEEEEECCCCCHHHH
Direct download: 279_Dagestan_vs_the_Diamond.mp3
-- posted at: 6:36pm EDT
Wed, 28 August 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we break down the upcoming fight between Jessica Andrade and Weili Zhang, chitter excitedly about Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs the Leech, and then get optimistic about the near future of the UFC's infamously abysmal light heavyweight division.
Direct download: 278_uuuuugggghhhh.mp3
-- posted at: 1:16pm EDT
Tue, 20 August 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we've got one of the best events of the year to discuss, and--would you believe it--no terrible fight night card to preview! UFC 241 delivered, and so have we:
- What adjustments did Stipe Miocic make for the rematch, and did any of them matter more than his seemingly impromptu decision to just whack Daniel Cormier's ribs until he was done
- Nate Diaz looked rusty, Anthony Pettis looked surprisingly good, and then Nate Diaz won anyway
- Borrachinha vs Romero, Yusuff vs Benitez--two thrilling fights in which everyone did their absolute best
- Kai Asakura teaches us about the risks of Kyoji Horiguchi's hybrid style, and Casey Kenney does his Frankie Edgar thing against a much bigger man
Direct download: 277_All_the_UFC_241.mp3
-- posted at: 9:18pm EDT
Fri, 16 August 2019
Connor and Phil talk themselves into a dire realization regarding Derek Brunson and Ian Heinisch.
This is a teaser for our latest bonus ep, which you can find on the Heavy Hands Patreon. In the full episode, we also break down the upcoming Gabriel Benitez vs Sodiq Yusuff, and give our thoughts on Valentina Shevchenko's SCINTILLATING win over Liz Carmouche.
Direct download: bonus_42_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers
-- posted at: 12:02pm EDT
Wed, 14 August 2019
You know how the cards have been absolutely whack for the last few weeks? Well, this is why. This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down the big fights of UFC 241.
- How much does DC's win over Stipe tell us about a rematch?
- Can Nate Diaz do what he did to Cowboy Cerrone to one of the few guys who absolutely wrecked Cowboy Cerrone?
- Yoel Romero vs Borrachinha, aka the Patrick Wyman Memorial Muscle Dude Fight. Costa's crazy aggression vs Romero's wrestling and peerless mind powers
- Assuncao vs Sandhagen--a fascinating crossroads fight at 135
Direct download: 276_Big_Bois_Big_Card.mp3
-- posted at: 2:03pm EDT
Wed, 7 August 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we are surrounded by evildoers on all sides. Colby Covington dominated Robbie Lawler; Valentina Shevchenko is probably going to dominate Liz Carmouche, just much more patiently. Topics this ep:
- Can Shevchenko master her sinister nature and bring the fight to Liz Carmouche, or are we in for a serious staring match?
- Vicente Luque is sharper, more careful, and more methodical than Mike Perry, who might still knock him out. FIIIIRE
- Does Volkan Oezdemir have the takedown defense to stop Ilir Latifi doing his best Cormier impression?
- After shutting out Robbie Lawler, is it time to ask whether Covington might even be a tough fight for the likes of Kamaru Usman?
Direct download: 275_Two_Evils.mp3
-- posted at: 7:28pm EDT
Wed, 31 July 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down Lawler vs Covington, and making ourselves a little sad in the process. That, and a look back at UFC 240.
- Does Robbie Lawler still have the anti-wrestler skills that made him UFC champ?
- Are Joaquim Silva's durability and power enough to trouble Nasrat Haqparast
- Frankie Edgar was robbed
- Did Max Holloway show some new skills, or was his old way enough to deal with Edgar?
- Cris Cyborg narrowly survives death via heat exhaustion to secure a close decision over Felicia Spencer
- Two absolute bangers to break down: Neal-Price and Figueiredo-Pantoja
Direct download: 274_Ruthless_vs_Loveless.mp3
-- posted at: 2:01pm EDT
Wed, 24 July 2019
UFC 240 is a little thin on the ground, but the main event is something to get really excited about. Namely, a Max Holloway fight. A taste of what we talked about:
- Edgar is definitely the best wrestler Holloway will have ever faced--so why does it feel like a bad fight for Frankie?
- Felicia Spencer, and the style Cyborg has beaten several times before
- So... the flyweight division is sticking around? Well, Pantoja vs Figueiredo is a bout between two of its most exciting contenders
- Geoff Neal looks like champ material, but Niko Price is as powerful as he is weird and hittable
- Edwards defied our RDA picks and proved once again, in characteristically clinical fashion, how damn good he is
- Recapping Hooker vs Vick, Hernandez vs Trinaldo, and more
Direct download: 273_Max_vs_Frankie_and_virtually_nothing_else.mp3
-- posted at: 5:24pm EDT
Wed, 17 July 2019
Things feel pretty good in the UFC world, right now. Last week's card seriously exceeded expectations, and next week's lineup looks pretty sweet. This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about:
- Is Rafael Dos Anjos vs Leon Edwards one of the MOST SKILLED matchups possible in the welterweight division?
- James Vick & Dan Hooker are both tall fighters who excel at fighting shorter men. So... what happens when they fight each other?
- Does Alex Hernandez have the depth of skill to beat a crafty old puncher like Massaranduba?
- GDR and Urijah Faber's two (too) quick knockouts
- Josh Emmett proves he's just good enough to annoy the hell out of Phil, and Andre Fili proves that he's actually just pretty damn good
- Ryan Hall. Ryan Hall. Ryan Hall. The greatest fight of our times, equal parts hilarious, tragic, and genuinely impressive. RYAN. HALL.
Direct download: 272_Ryan_Hallelujah.mp3
-- posted at: 3:10pm EDT
Wed, 10 July 2019
UFC 239 was a pretty strong card on paper. In practice, it was utterly fascinating--so we're dedicating this week's entire show to breaking down and discussing the results.
- Phil missed his pick, but only by a hair. Thiago Santos, middleweight maniac, was indeed one of the toughest challenges of Jon Jones' entire career
- That wasn't really Jones' gameplan, though, was it? But seriously, what was he doing
- How did Nunes so easily break Holly Holm apart?
- Jorge Masvidal, the nature of "flukes," and a good argument for starting every fight with a flying suicide attack
- It turns out that, at 205, Luke Rockhold is just a slightly bigger guy who doesn't know how to box
Direct download: 271_Stylistic_Limitations__Heroic_Deeds.mp3
-- posted at: 2:22pm EDT
Wed, 3 July 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're looking forward to two very big and very interesting fights, as well as reviewing the violence visited on our beloved boy Junior Dos Santos by Francis Ngannou last weekend. Topics:
- Has Jon Jones ever faced a fighter like Thiago Santos, and how much does that matter?
- Holly Holm is like a larger, less skilled Valentina Shevchenko. Is that enough to beat the double champ Nunes? (probably not)
- Demian Maia just barely beat Jorge Masvidal. Does Ben Askren have enough Maia in him to do the same?
- It's going to be super funny when Jan of Rivia just takes Luke Rockhold's head off all because he spent the last half decade ensuring that he'd leave his chin at 185
- Junior Dos Santos, and the overhand he didn't throw hard enough
- Joe Benavidez rules, and Jussier Formiga looked better than ever, and WHY IS ALL OF THIS HAPPENING TO THIS AWESOME DIVISION
Direct download: 270_PHIL_DID_IT_HE_ACTUALLY_DID_IT.mp3
-- posted at: 3:58pm EDT
Wed, 26 June 2019
This week on Heavy Hands: heavyweights (confusing, depressing), featherweights (exciting, reaffirming), and more.
- Is Junior Dos Santos destined to follow his rival Cain into Francis Ngannou's skull collection?
- Has Jussier Formiga improved enough since 2013 to get his revenge on Joe Benavidez?
- The Korean Zombie, jab counters, and difficult lessons to learn
- More like Shill Mackenzie, right folks
- Oh yeah, and KEVIN HOLLAND
Direct download: 269_Ngannou_getcha.mp3
-- posted at: 3:13pm EDT
Wed, 19 June 2019
This week, we're looking ahead to Moicano vs the Korean Zombie, and the rest of UFC Greenville.
- Moicano's attritive range tools vs the pressure and crushing counters of Korean Zombie. What a fight, folks
- Rob Font was short on experience the first time he fought John Lineker. Has he gathered enough since, and will it matter?
- THE GOAT RETURNS. What chance does Alessio Di Chirico have if Kevin Holland is already beating himself?
- Connor's new favorite Kevin Aguilar is gonna punch Dan Ige so hard
Check out Heavy Hands on Patreon for more: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474
Direct download: 268_Renato_vs_The_Living_Dead.mp3
-- posted at: 3:49pm EDT
Fri, 14 June 2019
Our latest Patreon bonus episode, for your enjoyment. We look back at the stacked and absolutely stellar UFC 238 prelims, and evaluate the performances of Tatiana Suarez, Aljamain Sterling, Alexa Grasso, Calving Kattar, and their opponents.
So this is what a bonus episode sounds like. Some of them are shorter than this, and some of them are dedicated to topics rather than recent/upcoming fights, but it's pretty much just an unedited episode of Heavy Hands without music. Also, Phil has a tendency to share his more controversial (some might say offensive, or even sickening) opinions behind the paywall.
This, fight commentaries, and a breakdown of Horiguchi-Caldwell coming soon on the Heavy Hands Patreon.
Direct download: bonus_40_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers
-- posted at: 2:27pm EDT
Wed, 12 June 2019
We were looking forward to it, and UFC 238 delivered. Unfortunately, the delivery contained a spectacular win for Valentina Shevchenko, but hey, a tiny version of Tito Ortiz now holds two UFC belts, so it's not all bad. Our topics today:
- Did Henry Cejudo cleverly adjust after decisively losing the first round, or did Marlon Moraes throw the fight away while trying to knock him out?
- Valentina Shevchenko sustains herself by sucking the blood from newborn babies, but her KO of Jessica Eye was pretty cool, I guess
- Tony Ferguson is great, and he should not feel bad about it!
Catch the rest of our UFC 238 review on the Heavy Hands Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474
Direct download: 267_UFC_238_in_Review.mp3
-- posted at: 1:42pm EDT
Fri, 7 June 2019
Connor and Phil discuss the upcoming bout between Jimmie Rivera and cold-blooded murderer Petr Yan.
This is a teaser for our latest bonus ep, which you can find on the Heavy Hands Patreon. In the full episode, we also break down Suarez vs Ansaroff and Lamas vs Kattar, in addition to recapping Anthony Smith's win over Alexander Gustafsson last weekend.
Direct download: bonus_39_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers
-- posted at: 3:00pm EDT
Wed, 5 June 2019
It's here, folks. UFC 238 is right around the bend. So close, and so good that we could lose half of the matchups between now and Saturday and still have one hell of a lineup to watch. On this week's Heavy Hands, we discuss:
- Does Henry Cejudo have the right wrestling style to keep Marlon Moraes on the floor?
- Does Jessica Eye have even a little bit of a chance against Valentina Shevchenko? And do we really have to watch? What did we do to deserve this?
- Is Tony Ferguson too much of a slow starter to get the jump on Cowboy Cerrone?
There's more to UFC 238 than we could handle for this episode. Head over to the Heavy Hands Patreon for more undercard previews--Rivera-Yan, Lamas-Kattar, Suarez-Ansaroff--as well as our look back at the shocking results of Gustafsson vs Smith. Of course, we also broke down Aljamain Sterling vs Pedro Munhoz on last week's main ep, so make sure to check that out if you missed it.
Direct download: 266_UFC_238.mp3
-- posted at: 11:51am EDT
Wed, 29 May 2019
First, light heavyweights. The big boys are fighting, and none of them are quite as good as it as they'd like you to think. But next week... next week, folks, it's UFC 238, and it's been a long time since we've seen a lineup this good. Today on Heavy Hands:
- How much better is Alexander Gustafsson than Anthony Smith, really?
- Oezdemir vs Latifi: WHO WILL BOOP FIRST
- Did Devin Clark teach Aleksander Rakic enough to beat Jimi Manuwa?
- Aljamain Sterling vs Pedro Munhoz: a main event matchup that didn't even make the main card of UFC 238
Direct download: 265_Some_stuff_before_UFC_238.mp3
-- posted at: 3:30am EDT
Wed, 22 May 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about UFC Rochester, a card with a mixed lineup that delivered nothing but consistent action, and more than a few surprising upsets. After that, it's on to the Heavy Bag. Here are our topics:
- RDA finally has enough experience to defeat a slightly unpolished wrestler
- Having survived the horrors of the Hyrkanian fighting pits, Ian Heinisch has no fear of muscly BJJ guys
- Give Charles Oliveira a step up in competition! Either that, or let him fight Nik Lentz over and over for the next ten years. We'll watch either
- Heavy Bag questions: what makes a fighter "UFC level?" what other analysts do we like? how valuable is body toughening for MMA?
Direct download: 264_redux.mp3
-- posted at: 3:39pm EDT
Thu, 16 May 2019
You didn't pray for Jose, did you? Any of you. If you had, he would have won last weekend. Whereas now... well, now all of you are dead to us. Anyway, this week's topics include:
- Can RDA finally defeat a big, strong wrestler?
- Antonio Carlos Junior vs Ian Heinisch
- Vicente Luque vs Neil Magny DERRICK KRANTZ
- Was Namajunas headed for a loss even before Andrade KO'd her?
- How Alex Volkanovski outsmarted Jose Aldo on the feet, and the revenge we have planned for him
Direct download: 263_YOU_DIDNT_PRAY_FOR_JOSE_DID_YOU.mp3
-- posted at: 12:45pm EDT
Wed, 15 May 2019
Connor and Phil share a harmless laugh over the long-awaited destruction of Michael Page. This is a teaser for our latest bonus episode. You can hear the episode in full over on the Heavy Hands Patreon.
This week's main episode will be published tomorrow, due to last minute card changes. We hope this bonus ep will keep you sated till then!
Direct download: bonus_38_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers
-- posted at: 6:59pm EDT
Wed, 8 May 2019
Rose Namajunas has two wins over the greatest women's strawweight of all time. Now we're about to find out whether she's a fitting replacement. This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about:
- Has Rose Namajunas gotten good enough to overcome the physicality and aggression of Jessica Andrade?
- Jose Aldo continues his quest to wipe out all the other featherweight contenders, this time against Alex Volkanovski. Pray for our boy
- Silva vs Cannonier, Trinaldo vs Ferreira
- How Donald Cerrone beat the rage out of Al Iaquinta
- Elias Theodorou vs Derek Brunson: an absolute masterpiece of a bad fight
- And Burgos vs Swanson, too
Direct download: 262_Pray_for_Jose.mp3
-- posted at: 2:16pm EDT
Wed, 1 May 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we have about a billion fights to talk to you about, and we're having a good time discussing each and every one. Next weekend, Al Iaquinta and Cowboy Cerrone throw down, whereas last weekend saw some fascinating action in both the UFC and Bellator cages. Our topics:
- Does Iaquinta have the footwork to stay in Cerrone's face?
- How does Derek Brunson manage to be terrified of Elias Theodorou?
- Shane Burgos and Cub Swanson--a repeat of Swanson's fight with Doo Ho Choi?
- Jack Hermansson fought a perfect fight, and that's great but we feel bad for Jacare
- Rory MacDonald's frustrating loss to a perfectly clean Jon Fitch
- Cory Sandhagen may not have deserved the victory over John Lineker, but he fougth a damn good fight
Direct download: 261_Albert_vs_Donald.mp3
-- posted at: 12:53pm EDT
Wed, 24 April 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're still in emotional recovery from UFC 236, but the almighty schedule marches on. Russia last week, Florida this week. Aside from Greg Hardy's vile presence, though, it's really hard to complain about this upcoming main card. Today's topics include:
- Does Jack Hermansson have the subtlety to beat an aging Jacare, or will aggression be enough?
- Is Cowboy Oliveira the latest bruiser to bury Perry?
- What does bantamweight's Carlos Condit have for John Lineker that Rob Font didn't?
- Has Ion Cutelaba grown enough to beat crusty old man Glover?
- Overeem! Tsarukyan! Shevchenko! Oleksiejczuk! So many consonants and so little time
Direct download: 260_Pinhead_Mackenzie.mp3
-- posted at: 12:29pm EDT
Wed, 17 April 2019
We were only really watching UFC 236 for the two fights at the top of the card, and now that we're four days removed, we can still hardly believe what we saw. This week on Heavy Hands, we discuss:
- Why did Dustin Poirier end up being such a tough foe for Max Holloway?
- Does Max have a future at 155?
- Kelvin Gastelum's valiant effort, and the lessons he hopefully learned from Adesanya
- Khalil Rountree's career-best performance, and Eryk Anders' worst
- Belal "Remember the Name" Muhammad--our dude does it again
- Alistair Overeem vs Aleksey Oleinik: yes, this fight is happening
Direct download: 259_All_About_Oleinik.mp3
-- posted at: 1:08pm EDT
Wed, 10 April 2019
The main and co-main event of UFC 236 are so compelling, it feels downright cheap to think of the winner of either bout being rewarded with a UFC interim title. Might as well give 'em a UFC hotdog brander, while you're at it. Anyway, we're talking about all the good stuff on this week's episode of Heavy Hands.
- Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier--who's improved more over the last seven years?
- Does Kelvin Gastelum have the technical depth to trouble Israel Adesanya on the feet?
- OSP vs Nikki Thrillz: if there is a God, Von Preux
- Jalin Turner vs Matt Frevola--meaningless fun?
- Curtis Millender vs Belal Muhammad (we hope you remembered the name)
Direct download: 258_Holloway_vs_Poirier_2.mp3
-- posted at: 11:47am EDT
Wed, 3 April 2019
We have a UFC-less weekend ahead of us for what feels like the first time in an age, and that means finally answering your Heavy Bag questions. But before we can enjoy the nonviolence, we have to break down Justin Gaethje's huge KO of Edson Barboza last weekend.
- Why was Justin Gaethje an underdog, again?
- Phil explains his irrational hatred of Josh Emmett
- Sodiq Yusuff beating Sheymon Moraes in just his 7th pro fight makes his Lloyd Irvin affiliation all the more disappointing. He's really good, guys
- KEVIN HOLLAND
- What is "anti-technique," and is there such a thing as "anti-style"?
- Why is striking defense so consistently poor in MMA, and how can it be trained more efficiently?
- How do we pick up so many details when we watch fights?
Direct download: 257_VACATION_ALL_I_EVER_WANTED.mp3
-- posted at: 1:04pm EDT
Wed, 27 March 2019
- How can Edson Barboza survive a terrible style matchup against Justin Gaethje?
- What does Michelle Waterson have for Karolina Kowalkiewicz?
- It's a real shame Sodiq Yusuff is a Lloyd Irvin guy, because he looks really good
- What Anthony Pettis did well last weekend, and why he's still fundamentally the same guy
- Justin Willis' flat feet, and other reasons that he is not Francis Ngannou
- Maycee Barber's newfound grit
Direct download: 256_Night_of_the_Shattered_Femurs.mp3
-- posted at: 3:40pm EDT
Wed, 20 March 2019
Okay, so maybe, just maybe we're getting to the point where we could really use a break. This stretch of UFC cards has been pretty damn great, but uh... Stephen Thompson vs Anthony Pettis? What's up? This week on Heavy Hands, we're talking about...
- Is Anthony Pettis a sneakily tough matchup for Stephen Thompson?
- Does Justin Willis have the defensive wrestling to check the chin of Curtis Blaydes?
- Jussier Formiga vs Deiveson Figueiredo--a meaningless fight that should've been so, so meaningful
- Masvidal's KO of Till, and his backstage scuffle with Leon Edwards (Connor thinks it was cool, Phil thinks it was lame and is, therefore, a lame, himself)
- Why is Leon Edwards so good at fighting in his opponents' area of expertise?
- Did Oezdemir actually beat Dominick Reyes, and what does the fight tell us about two potential Jon Jones challengers?
- Nathaniel Wood, and Claudio Silva vs Danny Roberts
Direct download: 255_Phil_is_a_normie_who_likes_Hamilton.mp3
-- posted at: 2:19pm EDT
Wed, 13 March 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we've got a boatload of brilliant fight analysis for you. The UFC schedule continues, but we are thoroughly enjoying the start of the new UFC/ESPN era.
- Are Darren Till and Jorge Masivdal set to have another boring welterweight fight?
- Does Leon Edwards have the well-rounded skillset to nullify Gunnar Nelson's deadly specialties?
- Volkan Oezdemir is gonna boop Dominick Reyes. Isn't he.
- Why was Junior Dos Santos so uncharacteristically reckless against Derrick Lewis?
- Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos--grade A action fighter if the opponent is well-rounded; silent killer if they aren't
- Price vs Means, Dariush vs Dober, and Rocco Martin vs Moraes
Direct download: 254_Welterweight_Wango_Tango.mp3
-- posted at: 1:02pm EDT
Wed, 6 March 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, there are far too many fights, in the best way possible. We're in the midst of a glut of exciting UFC cards, and if that means the episodes get a little long, well... hopefully you're the kind of weirdo who likes that. We discuss:
- Jon Jones' easy walk over Anthony Smith
- Kamaru Usman's brilliant performance, and how Tyron Woodley's gambit finally failed to pay off
- Is Derrick Lewis another easy opponent for late-career JDS?
- Getting excited about how similar Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs Curtis Millender looks to Ponz vs Taleb (an instant classic)
- Yes, we talk about Herb Dean's controversial premature stoppage of Lawler vs Askren
- And, somehow, more
Direct download: 253_Too_Many_Fights_2019.mp3
-- posted at: 3:19am EDT
Wed, 27 February 2019
2019 feels like it's been off to a strong start for fans of face-punching, and UFC 235 is one of the best cards of the year so far. This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down six of the top fights.
- Jon Jones needs to eat, and Anthony Smith is just crazy enough to get eaten
- Can Kamaru Usman keep the pressure on Tyron Woodley without getting flatlined?
- How good does Ben Askren need to be to take advantage of Robbie Lawler's lifelong hatred of boring wrestlers?
- Cody Garbrandt takes a big risk returning against Pedro Munhoz
- Misha Cirkunov vs Johnny Walker, just to remind you what the REST of light heavyweight looks like
Direct download: 252_Feeding_Jones.mp3
-- posted at: 1:41pm EDT
Wed, 20 February 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down the most light heavyweight of matchups, by which we mean a fight between an old white guy and a middleweight. That's right, Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos are fighting in Prague, and we're just sad that one of 'em has to lose.
Topics this week include:
- Does Jan Blachowicz have enough in common with the likes of Gegard Mousasi to outsmart Marreta?
- How will Petr Yan deal with John Dodson, his craftiest (and most frustrating) opponent to date?
- Damir Hadzovic vs Polo Reyes: your Luque-Barberena of the week
- Last week's very brief main event, Ngannou vs Velasquez, and Connor's abiding shame for having picked Cain to win
- Brilliant performances in challenging matchups: the gameplans of Paul Felder, Andre Fili, and Aljamain Sterling
Direct download: 251_HEROES_COLLIDE.mp3
-- posted at: 2:53pm EDT
Wed, 13 February 2019
You know how last week's card was shockingly bad for a pay-per-view? Well this next one looks shockingly excellent for something happening on cable TV. This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down six of the biggest and most exciting matchups.
- Is Cain Velasquez simply too broken down to make good on the obvious stylistic advantage he has over Francis Ngannou?
- Is Paul Felder's best chance against James Vick to take him down?
- Cortney Casey's sluggish-strawweight-Condit stylings against the inconsistent peppering of Cynthia Calvillo
- Kron Gracie has earned two very credible wins so far, but can anything have prepared him for the directionless madness of Alex Caceres?
- Does Barberena have the horsepower to come back from a Vicente Luque beating in the first round?
- Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling: bantamweight fucking rules
Direct download: 250_Free_Willie_Velasquez.mp3
-- posted at: 1:10pm EDT
Tue, 12 February 2019
Connor and Phil discuss Anderson Silva's valiant loss to Israel Adesanya, and also take some time to preview Bellator 216's MVP vs Paul Daley. 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_35_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers
-- posted at: 3:11pm EDT
Wed, 6 February 2019
The UFC returns to Australia with UFC 234 and, well... it's not quite as good as their last show down under, is it? Nonetheless, the main and co-main events feature a squadron of must-see fighters, and we still have Assuncao vs Moraes to recap, as well. This week, on Heavy Hands, we talk about...
- Why is Kelvin Gastelum so frustrating for fight nerds like us?
- Is Israel Adesanya the next Anderson Silva, and will the answer to that question have any bearing on how badly he batters the old Spider?
- Marlon Moraes' new slate of knockout wins
- Connor's shame at having picked against Jose Aldo, and his joy at seeing the featherweight GOAT get another landmark win
- Charles Oliveira, Demian Maia, and Johnny Walker
Direct download: 249_Whittaker_vs_Gastelum.mp3
-- posted at: 1:25pm EDT
Wed, 30 January 2019
This week on Heavy Hands, we're looking forward to the (quite stacked) main card of UFC: Assuncao vs Moraes 2, and also looking back at Bellator: Fedor vs Bader
- Does Raphael Assuncao have the fire to beat Marlon Moraes in another closely contested fight?
- Is Renato Moicano simply too big for an aging Jose Aldo?
- Maia vs Good, Oliveira vs Teymur, Walker vs Ledet
- Ryan Bader vs the mouldering corpse of Fedor Emelianenko
- Aaron Pico: what happens if you throw a blue chip talent against tough opposition from the very beginning of his career?
Support Heavy Hands, and gain access to bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474
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Direct download: 248_Bad_Looks_for_Connors_Faves.mp3
-- posted at: 4:19pm EDT
Wed, 23 January 2019
UFC: Cejudo vs Dillashaw marked the promotion's first event on ESPN+, which is another thing you're supposed to buy to follow this sport. It was one hell of a good card, and it ended with an unexpected--but somewhat anticlimactic--bang. On this week's episode of Heavy Hands, we're breaking it all down.
- How come TJ Dillashaw got murked like that, and did the weight cut have anything to do with it (probably, yes)
- Has Henry Cejudo's win done anything to help save the UFC's flyweight division?
- Old man strength in action: breaking down Donald Cerrone, Joe Benavidez, and Glover Teixeira's crafty performances
- Geoff Neal, and other names you should get used to hearing
- You still have to remember Belal Muhammad's name, though
Direct download: 247_Coming_up_Dillashort.mp3
-- posted at: 3:46pm EDT
Wed, 16 January 2019
After a nice, long break, the UFC returns with the first card of their new deal with ESPN. As was the case in the early Fox days, they're breaking out the big guns for this one, delivering a card that looks all the better for the breather we got beforehand.
This week on Heavy Hands, topics include:
- What problems does TJ Dillashaw's unique (and uniquely limited) style pose to Cejudo?
- Is the UFC deliberately trying to match Gregor Gillespie up against the tallest lightweights possible, and is James Vick available?
- Has Dustin Ortiz improved enough to beat an all-time-great in Joe B?
- Is Donald Cerrone about to pass the torch, or is he a sneakily bad matchup for Alexander Hernandez?
And more. Too much more. Somebody stop us.
Direct download: 246_The_Last_Superfight.mp3
-- posted at: 6:51am EDT
Wed, 9 January 2019
It's finally that time again, folks. Not only does the new year afford us a few blissful weeks of pretending that everything can be good again, it gives us a chance to look back, and reflect. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the third annual Heavy Hands year-end awards, the 2018 Handies.
Topics include (among many others):
- Fighter of the Year
- Knockout of the Year
- The Patrick Wyman Memorial Award for Explosive Muscularity
- Worst Brain Thinking in a Fight Award
- The B-Hop Award for Strategic Cheating
...and many more!
Direct download: 245_The_2018_Handies.mp3
-- posted at: 5:24pm EDT
Wed, 2 January 2019
UFC 232 has come and gone, but we are far from done thinking about it. Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes asserted themselves as two of MMA's most dominant fighters, and all the way down the card, wars were waged, contenders were made, and prospects were proving themselves.
This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking it all down in-depth. Topics include:
- How Jones' improvements as a boxer made Gustafsson far easier prey this time around, and how his style continues to develop and improve
- Amanda Nunes is scary
- But also, what the hell was Cyborg thinking
- How Alexander Volkanovski's sharp jab and intelligent pressure wore Chad Mendes down quickly
- Petr Yan's sensational-yet-simple combination punching
- Ryan Hall dooms Team Tristar to another generation of ill-advised Imanari roll attempts
Direct download: 244_Jones_masterpiece_Nunes_slaughter.mp3
-- posted at: 2:26pm EDT
Thu, 27 December 2018
Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Fights are happening soon.
Up to now, UFC 232 has been a shambles. After yet another failed PED test for erstwhile light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, the UFC, and the commissions which are supposed to regulate them, conspired to move the card from Vegas to LA on a week's notice, not even bothering to tell most of the fighters on the undercard about the expensive change.
Of course, the fights are still happening, so we set (most) of our complaining aside and look at the matchups, as such. And--let's be real--UFC 232 is one hell of a good card. Just be sure to blame Jon Jones for this episode being late.
Topics this week include:
- How close was the first fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, really?
- Is greatness still within the Mauler's reach, or is a full, proper camp enough for Bones to overcome his size?
- Cris Cyborg's underrated technique, and Amanda Nunes' bantamweight physicality
- Is Alexander Volkanovski ready for Chad Mendes, and if not, would he ever be?
Wed, 19 December 2018
The last UFC card to appear on big Fox came and went, and it left some of us scratching our heads. This week on Heavy Hands, we're breaking down Kevin Lee vs Al Iaquinta, and answering some solid questions from our supporters.
- What exactly was going through Kevin Lee's mind when he chose to spend so much of the fight striking, and how much credit does Iaquinta deserve for getting him to fight that way?
- Helpful, violent reminder: Edson Barboza loses to big wrestlers, beats slow strikers who hang out at long range
- Sergio Pettis' perma-problems, and Rob Font's lovely jab
- Whatever happened to low kicks and Dutch kickboxing combos in MMA?
- What are the best examples of how to use gameplanning to defuse a pressure fighter? What about an out-fighter, a brawler, etc?
- And more
Direct download: 242_lee_iaquinta.mp3
-- posted at: 1:48pm EDT
Wed, 12 December 2018
This week on Heavy Hands, we're looking back at UFC 231. Keep your eyes peeled for a preview of next weekend's Lee vs Iaquinta on our Patreon.
Topics on this episode include:
- Max Holloway's dramatic beatdown of Brian Ortega--how he confused and outclassed T-City for the better part of four rounds
- Valentina Shevchenko beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Phil needs at least 15 minutes to gloat
- Gunnar Nelson continues to befuddle, dropping the first round badly only to get an uncharacteristic (and disgustingly gory) comeback win over Cowboy Oliveira
- Thiago Santos. THIAGO SANTOS.
- THIAAAAGOOOO SAAANTOOOOOS
Direct download: 241_THIAAAGOOO_SAAANTOOOOOOS.mp3
-- posted at: 11:46am EDT
Wed, 5 December 2018
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
-- posted at: 1:59pm EDT
Wed, 28 November 2018
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
-- posted at: 2:28pm EDT
Sun, 25 November 2018
Mookie Alexander of Bloody Elbow and the Three Amigos podcast joins Connor to discuss Oleksander Usyk's devastating knockout win over Tony Bellew, his unique fighting style, and a potential future at heavyweight. 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_32_teaser.mp3
Category:Bonus Episode Teasers
-- posted at: 5:21pm EDT
Tue, 20 November 2018
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
-- posted at: 6:44pm EDT
Wed, 14 November 2018
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
-- posted at: 3:23pm EDT
Wed, 7 November 2018
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...
Wed, 31 October 2018
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
-- posted at: 12:24pm EDT
Wed, 24 October 2018
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
-- posted at: 4:46pm EDT
Wed, 17 October 2018
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.
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
-- posted at: 3:08pm EDT
Wed, 10 October 2018
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
-- posted at: 2:01pm EDT
Wed, 3 October 2018
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
-- posted at: 3:01pm EDT
Wed, 26 September 2018
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 EDT
Wed, 26 September 2018
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
-- posted at: 12:22pm EDT
Wed, 19 September 2018
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
-- posted at: 3:31am EDT
Wed, 12 September 2018
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
Direct download: 228_ufc_228.mp3
-- posted at: 2:47pm EDT
Wed, 5 September 2018
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
-- posted at: 3:54pm EDT
Wed, 29 August 2018
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...
Wed, 22 August 2018
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
-- posted at: 9:09am EDT