Archive for the ULTIMATE FIGHTING Category

The Education of Conor McGregor

Posted in Fighters, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, Philosophy, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2015 by chencenter

Conor McGregor 2

In the mixed martial art world, people are still buzzing from Conor McGregor’s phenomenal 13-second victory over featherweight, undefeated champion Jose Aldo in UFC 194.  Some people may still be mumbling under their breath with distain, others may be scratching their head in confusion, but talent truly shines and at the moment, Irishman Conor McGregor is the beacon of mixed martial arts.  Currently he is 19-1-2, with his last defeat being 5 years ago/14 fights ago.

“…I see these shots, I see these sequences and I don’t shy away from them.. (if you do this) you are creating that Law of Attraction and it will become reality… I knew he’d (Jose Aldo) over-extend and I knew I’d catch him.”

But as crafty, confident and technical he is – there’s a higher level of skill that is being seen by all.  Easy to quote, easy to grasp (an understanding of), but hard to possess, is this melding of confidence, self-assuredness, courage, visualization, movement variation, and adaptability (to name a few).  So many people have put the mental aspect of fighting aside from “the game.”  The MMA world is full of fit and conditioned bodies, all striving to climb the ladder of success.  Few fighters strive to be different, try different things; some lack the courage or belief.  Perhaps with the growth of this 27-year old fighter from Dublin, the level of competition will reach an even greater height.

“If you can see it here (points to his brain) and you have the courage to speak it, it will happen.”

Bruce Lee said, “The way you think is the way you will become.”  He also said, more famously, “…Be (like) water.”  If you internalize what many of these teachers have said, believe it, and strive for perfection – success will come.  This is a lesson for all of us and something applicable to many factors in Life like; relationships, business and (in this case) sport & performance.

“Doubt is only removed by action.  If you’re not working, that’s when doubt comes in.”

Belief is not enough.  Anything that we require in life requires work.  But even when you’ve got belief and put in the work, how many of you continue to visualize failure? How many people continue to harbor the stressors that come with thinking “What if…”?

“…winners focus on winning. Winners focus on what they can control.  …Losers focus on winners.  People ask, did you learn anything (from Ronda, etc)… although I learned from watching the contest, the technical aspect of it… I already felt like the top before tonight.”

One thing that many people saw from the video that the UFC put out prior to the Dec. 12th event, was the huge amount of psychological warfare that Conor placed on Jose.  By watching the video (posted below), you can see the eagerness and tension building between the two combatants – but Conor, the aggressor, remains calm (if you want to call it that).  It’s the same taunting and prophesizing that helped give Muhammad Ali the legendary status he has today.  The only problem is you now have two fighters vying for the title “Greatest of all-time”  (Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor).  Floyd has a good argument as to why he should be (and we’ll explore that in another post), but with Conor, time will tell.  Even in an interview, LA Media Scrum (by MMAfigtingonSBN), Conor’s girlfriend wrote on his water bottle, “G.O.A.T.” Conor believes it, Conor’s girlfriend believes it, and in due time the world will as well.

But somehow it seems destined with Conor “Mystic Mac” predicting outcomes so precisely.  Here is what he said in UFC 194 : Exbedded on FOX (timestamp 3:10) –

“We’ll collide at that first exchange and that will be it.”

There have been many fighters to predict rounds, but how many have predicted one to the amount of exchanges?  It’s quite alright if you want to chalk it up to luck, that for someone who speaks so much will stumble on some truth – even a broken clock is right two times a day… but at some point, it goes to show you that mentally, if you open up and fully embrace this formula of success and are prepared to put in the hard work, the universe will manifest itself to you.

“Precision beats power, timing beats speed.”

When I heard this last quote,  I immediately thought of Bruce Lee.  Then I remember thinking, did this just come from a 27-year old fighter?  Because it sounded like it came from a physicist, or movement coach trying to boil things down to a simple understanding.  I was told that it came from Goethe.  Whoever said it first doesn’t matter.  The mark it makes does; and now it’s on the lips and minds of many.

conor-mcgregor-vs-hafthor-julius-bjornsson-of-game-of-thrones-fame-as-the-mountainBut the more I thought about this, the more I loved this quote because of its truth and relevance to the 13-second fight I just witnessed.  In Conor’s training we saw him playing body shots with The Mountain (aka. Gregor Clegane – real name, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson), from Game of Thrones (6’9, 400 lbs.), movement pattern work with Ido Portal and even snuffing out the flame of candles set about the room, with his punches (and kicks).

(Regarding the candles) Anyone who has ever tried this knows that it requires expert precision and tremendous quickness in order to pull this off.  In fighting, timing/rhythm will greatly disrupt, or stop an opponent’s effectiveness in attack or halt the opponent’s ability to start an attack.  If your timing is refined to the point that it enables you to move (and in this case, move and counter) at the very beginning of your opponent’s attack, the quickness of your attacker becomes of little concern.  It brings me back to Bruce Lee’s clip on Longstreet in which he says, “This time I intercepted your emotional tenseness.  From your brain to your fist, how much time was lost.” {CC article}

“When you face me, it’s a whole other ballgame.”

The message that Conor delivers in this statement, punctuates his determinedness, skill, undeniable confidence and flair – at the same time, alluding to the fact that those that face him are better fighters afterwards.  It depends on how you take it (losing).  But win or lose, there is something to learn, something to gain.  But what you should know is that when you fight Conor McGregor, you getting the whole Conor and you better not come to the fight with a singular approach – because that is just not going to work!

MICHAEL JOYCE

MENTIONED VIDEO

RELATED ARTICLE

CONOR McGREGOR’S #1 TRAIT

BRUCE LEE: ‘THE ART OF DYING” {PLUS VIDEO}

CONOR McGREGOR vs. THE MOUNTAIN

Interview with Jeff “The Snowman” Monson

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Training, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2012 by bradvaughn

Brought to us by Section 8 MMA (and AMAA JiuJistu) in Welcome, North Carolina, the Combative Corner is pleased to present a special Q & A with veteran mixed martial artist Jeff Monson.  Combative Crew Member Brandon Vaughn was on the scene (above center).  For more information on Jeff Monson, please visit his page on Sherdog.Com.

In this interview, Monson answers some choice questions about his life and the mma industry.

To listen to the entire interview, click play on our YouTube video below.

INTERVIEW WITH JEFF MONSON

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This special interview was made available by the great people at Section 8 MMA in Welcome, NC & was attended by Combative Corner author, Brandon Vaughn (pictured on the right).  This is not to be Monson’s last trip to Section 8, so please comment below with additional questions!

10 Questions with Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii

Posted in 10 Questions, Fighters, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, ULTIMATE FIGHTING, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by Combative Corner

Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii is one of the best pound-for-pound female mixed martial artist in the world.  Currently at 25 wins – 1 loss* (Sherdog). We had the unique privilege to talk to her and get the latest.  Due to the brevity of Twitter and the fact that we cannot read Japanese (without the help of Google Translator), this interview is fairly brief.  Answers were able to be expanded due to the great work of the guys at The Grappling Dummy and director Matt Benyon. Watch video at the bottom of the article to view.

To visit Megumi’s official website (in Japanese), click image above.

1, How did you begin the martial arts & fighting competitions?

On the recommendation of my father (a strong Judo practitioner), I began studying judo at the age of three and continued up until about 22 years of age.  Did Sambo, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling/Grappling starting at 23.  I was 30 years old when I started in Mixed Martial Arts.  I wanted new and challenging things.

I wondered what I could do to take advantage of my experience, so I decided on MMA.

I’m motivated to do things other people have never done.  When everyone else will give up.  I am different.  I won’t.

2, How do you spend your day

Always weight & MMA training.  I never get bored with this.  I feel uncomfortable when I am not training!  And there’s no secret.  You have to train hard to win.

3, What exercises do you enjoy training with the most?

Push ups!

4, Who are some of your favorite athletes/influences?

Josh Barnett, Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Edgar

5, What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to watch movies, go to dinner with friends and play with cats. (=^^=)

6, What goes through your mind or what do you think about before your fight?

Before the fight, comes a feeling of fear…and fun.  Nearing the fight, I try to soothe my mind – Nothing in the mind.  Once the fight starts I think about my strategy.  And I move!

7, More of your fights are going to the decision – Has this been a result of a strategy change?

I like to finish the fights and have the audience rejoice.  My last big fight (Zoila Gurgel) I wanted to win badly, but lost (to the decision).  In the future, fight to the finish!

8, What is your favorite “finishing move” to use in a fight?

My favorite techniques are the ankle-lock and the arm-bar.

9, At the age of 37, how much longer would you like to compete? Afterwards, what do you want to do?

I will be 38 in May.  This year I am going to continue to work hard and fight.  Next year… that I do not yet know.

10, Your perfect undefeated record ended with Ziola Gurgel.  How did you feel about how that fight went?  What did you wish you did differently?

Zoila is a great fighter.  I thought I really won that fight, but lost instead.  I wanted to ask the referee, “How can this be?”  To lose a “perfect record” is very disappointing.  Since the match was in the United States, I did have some jet lag and fatigue.  But I’m eager for a rematch.  Hopefully I’ll be back in the United States soon!

Bonus,

What is your favorite cartoon?

Sponge Bob ! ! !

We at the Combative Corner, Thank Megumi for her time and consideration and wish her the very best. 

我々は Combative Corner で彼女の時間と配慮のためにめぐみに感謝し、彼女の非常に最善を尽くしたいと思います。

VIDEO INTERVIEW [ENGLISH SUBTITLES]

*Responses in italics expanded from GrapplingDummy’s interview-  Sept. 2010

*Megumi Fujii stats are from Sherdog.Com

Sifu Freddie’s Message To Shannon Lee

Posted in Fighters, Philosophy, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee said,

“My dad would have really enjoyed UFC, I think he was very into real combat, his art is all about being a complete fighter and being able to handle yourself in any situation you find yourself in. This (the UFC) is really the closest you can get to it.”

Ms. Shannon Lee I completely disagree with you.  You may be Bruce’s daughter by blood but that does not mean you know anything about true Martial Arts.  The spirit of the Martial Arts is not passed on by blood, but the understanding comes from within and it’s an individual experience. Yes, Bruce was into studying real combat but UFC is not real.  His art is not about being a complete fighter, his art is about being a complete HUMAN BEING.  And yes, he teaches to be able to handle yourself in any situation you find yourself in by learning “The art of fighting without fighting” (as he stated in his film, Enter the Dragon).  Bruce Lee’s movies, his writings (and interviews) speak for him.  Sorry Ms. Shannon Lee, you don’t have to speak for him… And UFC is NOT the closest that you can get to real fighting.  Real fighting only occurs in real life – away from the cameras.  In real life, real fighting occurs spontaneously, not in controlled environments designed for entertainment for profit.  Real fighting many times will involve real death and real jail time.

Bruce’s movies portray something much more real than UFC will ever portray.

Sifu Freddie Lee

Freddie’s Modern Kungfu

[Thoughts via FMK’s Facebook. 1//10/12]

“To me, ultimately, martial arts mean honestly expressing yourself… Now it’s easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling… but to honestly express oneself – not lying to oneself.  And to express myself honestly; that, my friend, is very hard to do.” 

(Bruce Lee, “The Lost Interview.  Aired in 1971)

Silva: Kick Felt Round The World : UFC® 126

Posted in Fighters, Martial Arts, News, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2011 by Combative Corner

Anderson “The Spider” Silva, now with a career record of 28-4-0, appears, only when not completely bored, invincible.  Vitor Belfort (19-9-0), stood a chance (however small) of de-throning Silva last night at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada until, at 3 minutes 25 seconds (of Round 1) a front kick by Anderson was perfectly placed into and up under “The Phenom’s” chin.

The question arose long again, and continues, “Can Silva be stopped?”  Discussions are starting behind the scenes for a Super Match between Silva and George “Rush” St. Pierre.  This shall prove to be the fight of the decade.  Will Silva be able to make it look easy? Again?

The CombativeCorner is eager to hear everyone’s thoughts!

The results of the other fights were as such:

WINNER / LOSER / ROUND / TIME

Forest Griffin / Rich Franklin / 3 / 5:00 (Decision)

Jon Jones / Ryan Bader / 2 / 4:20 (Submission-Choke)

Jake Ellenberger / Carlos Eduardo Rocha / 3 / 5:00 (Decision)

Miguel Torres / Antonio Banuelos / 3 / 5:00 (Decision)

Donald Cerrone / Paul Kelly / 2 / 3:48 (Submission-Choke)

Chad Mendes / Michihiro Omigawa / 3 / 5:00 (Decision)

Demetrious Johnson / Norifumi Yamamoto / 3 / 5:00 (Decision)

Paul Taylor / Gabe Ruediger / 2 / 1:42 (KO- Kick)

Kyle Kingsbury / Ricardo Romero / 1 / 0:21 (TKO)

Mike Pierce / Kenny Robertson / 2 / 0:29 (TKO)

The Prodigal Son Gets Schooled (Again)

Posted in Fighters, Martial Arts, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by Combative Corner

The world of mixed martial arts embraced BJ Penn, at least at one point, as one of the (if not the best) pound-for-pound fighters in the world.  Penn, a skillful artist that could quickly find the answer to dismantling his opponents, either by extremely well-timed punches or by masterful submissions.  The answer did not come so easy when Penn fought Frankie “The Answer”  Edgar in Abu Dhabi on April 10 (UFC 112); and after his retake exam on Aug. 28th (UFC 118) in Boston, Mass…. the so-called “Prodigy” failed to make the mark.

As a martial artist and fight fan, I must say that I’ve been highly impressed with Edgar, especially from his decision over Sean Sherk (UFC 98) in 2009.

Last night, I watched in amazement as he did punctuated his position as the lightweight champion by a unanimous verdict of 50-45, 50-45-50-45.  Frankie, like a continuation of his first fight with Penn, kept great movement, and at each turn kept Penn guessing.  He showed he was in top form by taking Penn down to the canvas on multiple attempts – only slipping up once in round 4 when Penn almost got Edgar’s back.  Other than that one moment, I was never worried.  Penn looked like the same fighter that showed up last April, whereas Edgar was well conditioned and had a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Congratulations Frankie, that’s five straight wins, and your first title defense!

§

Randy Couture vs. James Toney

As on the fight card was Hall of Fame MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture versus boxing legend James “Lights Out” Toney.  I had to admit, as a boxing fan, this fight was very interesting to me.  But I had serious doubts that Toney would be able/allowed to through even one “big shot” in this match… and I was right.  Randy wasted no time in teaching Toney what mixed martial arts are all about.  After mounting and slowly side-constricting Toney since the opening seconds of round one, Randy inched in an arm choke that left Toney stretching out for referee intervention.  Sad, but we all know it was coming.  Hopefully no one lost too much money on this fight!  Randy by arm-triangle choke at 3:19 of Round 1.

What would have been much more exciting would be James Toney vs. Kimbo Slice.  What says everyone out there?

Cheers-

Michael Joyce

The Combative Corner

Silva: Men, Fighting & The God Complex

Posted in MMA, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Combative Corner

Anderson “The Spider” Silva is one of the most dominant fighters in the world today.  Dana White, President of the Ultimate Fighting Championships® has said that “Silva is pound-for-pound the best middleweight there is.”  With a record of 26 wins and 4 losses, it’s easy to admire the guy.

A FIGHTER OF (SILVA’S) CALIBER MUST SHOW HIS HUMANITY, AS WELL AS HIS SKILL

What’s even more awe-inspiring is that he lost, in a unanimous decision, in his very first professional mma fight (2000) to Luiz Azeredo.  Three years later he was submitted with a triangle choke in Pride 26 by Daiju Takase.  He was demolishing his opponent Ryo Chonan in another Pride Fighting match until, on a desperation attempt, Ryo shocked the martial arts world with a perfect “flying” scissor takedown into a heel hook.  Finally, Silva’s final blemish to his record came on a disqualification for an illegal kick in Rumble On The Rock 8 (2006)- which, (in many a fan’s mind) felt and probably should have been legal.

Silva has from that point on, fought and won 12 straight fights against world-class fighters such as: Rich Franklin (twice), Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, Forrest Griffen, and just recently, Demian Maia.

The Latest Fight: UFC 112® versus Demian Maia

UFC® Pay-Per-View on April 10th, 2010 was met by many with great expectation.  You have Matt Hughes fighting Renzo Gracie, B.J. Penn fighting Frankie Edger and last but not least, Anderson Silva vs. Jiu-Jitsu expert Demian Maia.  In Portuguese (Silva’s native tongue), Silva mentioned to his trainers that he had “something up his sleeve” – what exactly, we don’t know.

From the start of the fight Silva was in control, throwing jabs and leg kicks – and like his last several fights, looking like someone who knew he was in complete control.  Fans and commentators were completely snowed and drawn into the the picture of dominance that Silva was painting – elaborately all over Maia’s face.

What seemed to turn the fight sour was Silva’s continuous in-fight boasting, chest-pounding, and lunges (which seemed to be out of boredom).  I must admit I was happy to see him bring some capoiera-stylings to the fight, but for someone looking to remain in fan favor, he wasn’t giving them the finale that was owed them.  On the one hand, a fighter that can’t match the speed of his opponent (Maia) should “hang it out there” and let loose with whatever’s left in the tank.  On the other, a fighter of Silva’s caliber must show his humanity, as well as his skill.

It is clear that the utter bulldozing of such big names like: Griffen, Franklin, Marquardt, Leben and others have given him (to put it mildly) a God complex.  In my eyes (only personally) his loses have been as a result of those two submissions; one of those being the closest thing to “A miracle” that I’ve seen in MMA (see, Chonan fight).  This last fight, although one may understand why Silva is beginning to flaunt his cloak of invincibility and beat his chest for a tougher challenger, the one thing that he must absolutely… without a doubt prove… is that he can finish him.

Much Respect.

Although I was entertained, I sure hope Silva learned his lesson.

Kudos to Maia for not sticking to his game plan, however “human” and futile it was.

Fight fans, give us your thoughts.

-Michael Joyce

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