Listen. Seriously. Notre Dame. That's all.
And That's the Way it Was: Twenty fighters that after the last week who are shining, not fading.
1. Remy Bonjasky: I dunderheadedly forgot to include Glory 2 Brussels on last week's YWICS, which I sorely regret and apologize for. After three years away from the sport, Bonjasky main evented G2B against rapidly improving Anderson "Braddock" Silva and was getting truck-sticked early on. Braddock is on the rise and was pouding on Remy early, but the wily vet battled back, earned an extra round, and used it to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat. I'm in no hurry to see that version of Remy fight Badr Hari anytime soon, but it was still a great card and an awesome moment.
2. Antonio Silva: Yes, yes, Browne's knee, et all..., the fact remains that Silva took this fight much more seriously than Browne and kept a methodical calmness throughout. Plus, that right hand would end most civilizations. Good lordy, that was brutal. Plus, it was good to see for Bigfoot, a loveable goofball who's truly one of the good guys in the sport. Him breaking the cage when he jumped on it?? Awesome.
3. Jessica Penne: Became the first-ever Invicta champion, defeating Jewels champion Naho Sugiyama to claim the Invicta Atomweight (105lb) Championship. Kudos to Invicta for a fantastic card, and their title belt looks awesome. Actually, it looks just like Rocky Balboa's belt in Rocky III.
4. Moises Fuentes: This made me very sad, as Ivan Calderon came out swinging, but it became apparent that the division had passed him by and Moises Fuentes took his belt from him. The division is in good hands with Fuentes, but there's something missing with Ivan not ruling the division there.
5. Alexander Volkov: I know I predicted Volkov to beat Rogers, but sheesh, not like that. A 30-25 UD??!? Holy shit. Most MMA judges would rather give away their first born then score a 10-8 round, so that says something.
6. Gokhan Saki: The heavyweight beast threw early, often, and brutally in a defeat of Mourad Bouzidi in the co-main event of Glory 2 Brussels. Bouzidi hung in gamely, but he just got worked.
7. Wilfredo Vazuez Jr.: In an unfortunate substitute fight, Vazquez stopped Jonathan Oquendo in the seventh round in a barn-burner.
8. Shinya Aoki: Hate the punkass as I do, I did say that if my life depended on one fight, he'd win, and he did. 85 seconds was all it took to dispose of Arnaud Lepont who should never have even sparred with Aoki, let alone fought him. Like ONE a lot, hated that matchup.
9. Kotestu Boku: The longtime JMMA vet finally gets a major title. I have a soft spot for guys that battle and battle and finally catch a break. Will Boku ever be Top-10? No, but he's a perfect veteran champ for a young promotion.
10. Richard Hale: I said in the UFC thread that I think Hale could take this tournament because he's the only athletic Heavyweight in Bellator. He's a tried-and-true Light Heavyweight that's playing Heavyweight for a shot at the belt. He's very talented and could use his speed and submission game to take this thing.
11. Soo Chul Kim: Some might say Kim is an unknown, but I have a Kim fight from RoadFC ready for my Top-300. Regardless, he played a perfect gameplan to take out Lenadro Issa and claim OneFC's Bantamweight Title.
12. Adrian Hernandez: Got his rematch against Kompayak Porpramook and this time took the win emphatically, TKO'ing the WBC Junior Flyweight Champion and re-taking his belt.
13. Blake Caparello: Australia's top light heavyweight made a name for himself in his homeland by taking a dominanting unanimous decision from Aaron Pryor Jr.
14. Shayna Baszler: Brought the violence against Sarah D'Alelio. Threw stomps on Sarah's achilles, ankles, and calves that would have left me curled in a fetal position and sobbing hysterically.
15. Justin Edwards: I was shocked that someone (Kater? TC?) said that in the BECW, only 5 people out of 170 picked Edwards. FIVE?! Justin Edwards is a good fighter. At the very least, he's on the level of Josh fucking Neer. Christ, more people are going to pick Bonnar over Silva than that. Unacceptable.
16. Mike Pierce: BORINGFIGHTERSAYSWHAT?? Pierce is farmboy strong, can counter any wrestler in the division, and has never been finished. If he's to be a fun gatekeeper, so be it, but Pierce is nasty and any opponent should be fearful of him.
17. Jake Ellenberger: Eh, I guess. That was underwhelming. Nonetheless, a co-main event win for Ellenberger keeping him in the upper-tier of the division.
19. Melvin Manhoef: Just when I'm ready to write off Manhoef, he knocks someone cold.
20. Jorge Linares: Snapped a two-fight losing streak with a UD win over Hector Velazquez. It was a test for Linares to see if he was still a game lightweight and he passed on a live Fox Sports broadcast.
Friday October 12
12:00am The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel)
12:00am Israel Vazquez vs. Oscar Larios (ESPN Classic)
1:00am UFC Tonight (Fuel)
1:30am UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
2:00am Best of Pride Fight Championships: Greatest Japanese Fighters (Fuel)
4:00am UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot (Fuel)
9:00am Bellator 75 (MTV2)
10:00am UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida Prelims (Fuel)
11:00am Francisco Sierra vs. Jesus Gonzalez (ESPN 3D)
11:30am Super Fight League 4 (YouTube)
2:00pm UFC 153 Countdown (Fuel)
3:00pm UFC 153 Weigh-Ins (Fuel)
4:00pm UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida (Fuel)
6:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot (Fuel)
7:00pm Hector Camacho vs. Ray Mancini (ESPN Classic)
8:00pm Bellator 76 (MTV2)
8:00pm Dee Lee Promotions: Go Fight Friday Night ($9.99 GoFightLive)
9:00pm Beibut Shumenov vs. Enrique Ornelas (FSN)
10:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (FX)
10:00pm Jermain Taylor vs. Raul Munoz/Tevin Farmer vs. Jose Pedraza (Showtime)
Saturday October 13
12:00am UFC 153 Countdown (FSN)
12:45am John Molina Jr. vs. Rob Frankel (ESPN 3D)
1:00am The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (FX)
2:00am Jermain Taylor vs. Raul Munoz/Tevin Farmer vs. Jose Pedraza (Showtime Extreme)
2:30am UFC 153 Weigh-Ins (Fuel)
3:30am UFC Tonight (Fuel)
5:30am Ultimate Answers (Fuel)
6:00am UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller Prelims (Fuel)
9:00am UFC Special: Michael Bisping (Fuel)
9:30am UFC Special: Rashad Evans (Fuel)
10:00am ESPN Classic Presents: Julio Cesar Chavez (ESPN Classic)
11:30am The Fight Game with Jim Lampley (HBO2)
4:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot (Fuel)
6:00pm UFC 153 Weigh-Ins (Fuel)
6:00pm Cage Fury Fighting Championships 17 ($14.99 GoFightLive)
7:00pm UFC 153 Countdown (Fuel)
7:30pm Cage Wars 18 ($14.99 GoFightLive)
8:00pm UFC 153 Prelims (FX)
8:00pm Lion Fight Muay Thai 7: Schilling vs. Walker ($14.99 GoFightLive)
10:00pm UFC 153 ($54.99 Pay-Per-View)
10:00pm Nonito Donaire vs. Toshiaki Nishioka/Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado (HBO)
10:30pm Chris Martin vs. Teon Kennedy (ESPN 3D)
Sunday October 14
1:00am UFC 153 Postfight Show (Fuel)
2:00am UFC 153 Postfight Show (Fuel)
3:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic (Fuel)
3:30am ESPN Classic Presents: Julio Cesar Chavez (ESPN Classic)
3:30am K-1 World Grand Prix Round of 16 (Spike.com)
6:00am UFC 153 Postfight Show (Fuel)
7:00am UFC 153 Postfight Show (Fuel)
8:00am UFC 153 Postfight Show (Fuel)
9:00am Bellator 76 (MTV2)
9:30am ESPN Classic Presents: Julio Cesar Chavez (ESPN Classic)
9:30am Nonito Donaire vs. Toshiaki Nishioka/Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado (HBO)
12:00pm Andres Gutierrez vs. Onalvi Sierra/Nydia Feliciano vs. Yazmiin Rivas (Fuel)
2:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot (Fuel)
4:00pm UFC Tonight (Fuel)
4:30pm UFC Roundtable: Legends (Fuel)
4:45pm Nonito Donaire vs. Toshiaki Nishioka/Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado (HBO2)
5:00pm UFC Roundtable: Legends II (Fuel)
5:30pm Ultimate Answers (Fuel)
6:00pm Best of Pride Fighting Championships: Greatest Japanese Fighters (Fuel)
9:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel)
9:00pm UFC Unleashed (FSN)
10:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel)
11:00pm UFC 153 (Fuel)
Under the Radar: Names that aren't on American broadcasted shows this week.
Adonis Stevenson vs. Don George: (October 12, Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec)
David Lemieux vs. Alvaro Gaona: (October 12, Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec)
Audley Harrison vs. David Price: (October 13, Echo Arena, Liverpool, England)
James DeGale vs. Hadillah Mohoumadi: (October 13, Glow, Kent, England)
Kultar Gill vs. Amr Fathee Wahman: (October 12, Super Fight League 4, Mumbai, India)
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Niko Puhakka: (October 13, Fight Festival 32, Toolon Kisahalli, Helsinki, Finland)
Lucio Linhares vs. Jake Doerr: (October 13, Fight Festival 32, Toolon Kisahalli, Helsinki, Finland)
Cameron Dollar vs. Chris Manuel: (October 13, Made For War 1, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock, Colorado)
Joe Riggs vs. Josh Cavan: (October 13, Made For War 1, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock, Colorado)
John Salter vs. Jeremy Kimball: (October 13, Made For War 1, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock, Colorado)
Best Viewing Options: An absolute CRIME that the potential boxing card of the year has to go up against a UFC PPV. NOBODY WINS HERE, YOU GUYS! A CRIME, I SAY! YOU WANNA GO, BRAH??
1. UFC 153: Maybe it's me being a pollyanna, but I have a weird feeling about this fight, you guys. It just seems that Bonnar has nothing to lose, Silva has nothing to gain, and it just seems right. Forrest was, at the time, the #2 LHW in the world, and as we know now, a bit off mentally and can't really handle that kind of pressure. Bonnnar, on the other hand, is someone who possesses an awareness that Forrest never could. In a UFC pre-fight show, he volunteered himself to Dan Henderson, because Hendo needed "an easy tune-up fight". Forrest can be self-depricating all he likes, but it seems desperate and sad. Bonnar knows what he is and who he is. Silva will win this, but damned if Bonnar won't go for broke like Forrest never did.
2. Nonito Donaire vs. Toshiaki Nishioka/Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado: It is darn crummy that this on the same night as 153, as from a pure boxing perspective, this could easily, EEEEAAASSSILLY be the card of the year. All four guys are must-see, especially now that Rios has ceased his Hallman-like efforts to make lightweight. If you have any disenchanted boxing fans, THIS is the card they should be watching. Hence, my disappointment that it falls on the same HOUR as an Anderson Silva-led UFC PPV. A serious bummer for everyone.
3. Bellator 76: Screw it, I don't care if he is on the way out, Alvarez vs. Pitbull, son! Not a lot of big names on this here bracket, but I've seen most of them fight, and IT GON' BE GOOD!
4. K-1 Grand Prix Round of 16: Not the usual stellar lineup, but it's K-1! K-1 NEVER DIE! MAN, I cannot wait until they get to TV.
5. Super Fight League 4: It doesn't have the usual SUPA FITE LEEG heavyweight names, but they're choosing to focus more on homegrown fighters. Good strategy if they're going to be doing weekly shows, as it appears they will. I like the LEEG, and not just because they're CEO has the same name of a former TNA X-Division wrestler.
6. Hector Camacho vs. Ray Mancini: From 1989, Mancini's last hurrah, and it goes to a very, VERY close split-decision. MACHO VS. BOOM BOOM! DO IT!
7. Jermain Taylor vs. Raul Munoz/Tevin Farmer vs. Jose Pedraza: Ehhhhh. But Friday night is a ghost town for fights. It was reported that Taylor's camp turned down a bunch of different fighters for this show, which is beyond disappointing. It'll probably be another sloppy decision win for the man in Razorback Red. To make matters worse, in the co-main, Jose Pedraza's original opponent, Allan Benitez, had to pull out due to injury, so Tevin Farmer, he a 7-3 lightweight whom BoxRec has ranked deep into the triple-digits is taking this fight on four days notice. Neat.
8. Lion Fight 7: Live Muay Thai! The timing is poor, but it'll be available on-demand the next day.
9. Best of Pride: Greatest Japanese Fighters: Well this should be fun, especially for you Gomi fanboys. I may find you annoying, and your poster boy smug and lazy and disinterested and above all this "taking stuff seriously" business, but not the good folks at Fuel!
t10. The Ultimate Fighter: I guess.
t10. The Fight Game with Jim Lampley: UNAPOLOGETIC LAMPLEY HONK! GET OFF ME!!
Fight of the Week: In honor of Orlando Cruz having the guts and fortitude to come out, here's him against Michael Franco for the WBO Latino Featherweight Title from almost a year ago.
Orlando Cruz vs Michael Franco 14/10/11 (via 5StarFighting)
Bold, yet Laughable Predictions: If I may be a smug bastard for a second...PIERCE VS. SIMPSON I TOLD YOU IT'D BE SURPRISINGLY AWESOME BWAHAHAHAH!!
Best Fight of the Weekend: Nonito Donaire vs. Toshiaki Nishioka
Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Erick Silva vs. Jon Fitch
Who will be #1 on BV's List Next Week: Nonito Donaire
Fight to Keep Your Eye On: Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi
Card that Will Deliver the Best Pound-for-Pound Action: Donaire vs. Nishioka
BV Loses You Money: Damn your gangly, tendon-ridden knee Travis Browne! Alas, good win for Bigfoot, who's a genuinely likeable dude.
Last Weekend's Hangover:
If you put down $100 on each of my predictions last YWICS, you'd have today:
BV Lost You: $75
Adonis Stevenson -1000 Don George
David Price -1000 Audley Harrison
Stephan Bonnar +735 Anderson Silva
Lines courtesy of BetUS
The Non-Profit Black Velvet Sponsored Bloody Elbow Combat Sports Fantasy League Challenge For All Ages: (NPBVSBECSFLCFAA)
Last Weekend Lineup: 4-2 (Aoki, Ellenberger, Budd, Linares)
My Lineup This Week:
Flyweight: Nonito Donaire
Bantamweight: Jose Pedraza
Featherweight: Brandon Rios
Welterweight: Jermain Taylor
Light Heavyweight: Anderson Silva
Heavyweight: David Price
Take a Knee: Even the biggest combat sports fan needs to recharge their batteries before diving back in. Here are five games that are nationally broadcasted this weekend that deserve your eyes as well on Friday and Saturday. To avoid suspected homerism, I won't be including my favorite teams.
Navy @ Central Michigan: Friday, 8:00, ESPN2: Friday MACtion! Two teams that hate Brian Kelly! Triple option!
Oklahoma vs. Texas (in Dallas): Saturday, Noon, ABC: Man, this game would have much more mustard on it if it wasn't for Kansas State and West Virginia, but still! Red River SHOOTOUT (FOH with that "Red River Rivalry" nonsense)!
American League Championship Series: Saturday, 8:00, TBS: Screw it, I'm with T.C., I'm picking the Rangers too!
South Carolina @ LSU: Saturday, 8:00, ESPN: Again, would have had a little more stank with an LSU win, but this is still an enormous game, and I'll go so far to say that this is the biggest game in South Carolina Football history, or at the very least since the 1984 team hit #2 in the rankings. And Les Miles is just dumb enough to beat them.
Amur @ Dynamo Moscow: Sunday, 9:00am, ESPN3: I know I never include Sunday sports during fall because, well, duh, BUT HOLY MOLEY YOU GUYS, HOCKEY! REAL LIVE HOCKEY! WITH REAL, LIVE PLAYERS!! KHL ON ESPN! Now, this won't be much of a game, mind you, as Dynamo Moscow is one of the premiere hockey clubs in the world, and Amur is...well...not. BUT STILL! God, I will have never been so happy to see Alexander Ovechkin on my screen.
Your YouTube Finale: Remember when you were growing up and Sports Illustrated and your local video store (Hi Reel Entertainment!! Miss you!) had those NFL videos? I was raised on those, son. Here's the opening of one I must have watched a hundred times or more with my friends in my youth; NFL Crunch Course.
NFL Crunch Course - part 1 of 3 (via ghost2dapost)