I wanted to have a YWICS in last week and the week before, but, per usual, it wouldn't let me post. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have a 7,500-word column ready to post, but it won't? Ugh. So we're trying this again. My apologies.
And That's the Way it Was: Twenty fighters that after the last week who are shining, alas, not fading.
1. Jon Jones: Well, it was a pretty complete victory, but Rashad pushed Jones further than anyone in years. If you were extremely liberal on judging, you could have even scored that 48-47 for Jones. I had it 49-46, though. He's now cemented himself as the #1 LHW in the world and one of the all-time greats. Doesn't mean I have to like him.
2. Eddie Alvarez: As much of a must-win as you could find for Alvarez. After a loss to Mike Chandler, if he would have lost, for the second time, to Aoki, his days as a Top-5 guy are done. But he avenged his loss, TKO'd the slippery Aoki in the first, and regained some serious momentum that he needed. Regardless of his future, I think we'd all looooove Chandler/Alvarez II if he chooses to enter the tourney.
3. Rory MacDonald: RoryMac took his first PPV co-main appearance and made the most of it. After a first round where he battered Mills, he turned on the jets for the second round. Just pure, unadulturated violence. Watching Rory fight is pure joy in carnage. To put it bluntly, he beat the shit out of Che Mills.
4. Abner Mares: Claimed the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight title in a lopsided decision over a clearly overmatched Eric Morel. After the Agebeko "fight", if you can call it that, after Mares launched a one-man campaign on Joseph Agbeko's balls, I was definitely skeptical of his true talent, but a decisive (and clean) win over Agbeko in a rematch and dismantling of Morel makes me think Mares might be ready for a crack at Nonito Donaire.
5. Rick Hawn: The former Bellator Welterweight contender claimed his spot in Bellator's Lightweight tournament final WITH AUTHORITY by knocking out the extremely tough Lloyd Woodard.
6. Brent Weedman: I was surprised to find out that Weedman and Rick Hawn never fought each other at welterweight in Bellator. I thought for sure they might have crossed paths since they're always in the mix. Alas, they meet for the first time, at lightweight, in the Bellator tourney final for a chance at the tenacious Michael Chandler.
7. Anselmo Moreno: Stopped David De La Mora in the 9th to retain the WBA Bantamweight Title. He's now as close to the undisputed best Bantamweight in the world as you can be. I'd love to see Joseph Agbeko get a big win and take him on, but Moreno is talking about moving up and taking on Donaire.
8. Ben Rothwell: Brent talked about Ben's backstory before, and it is very interesting and inspiring. He wanted to quit, but the fans at the UFC Fan Expo gave him life to keep going, and it showed. He looked in phenomenal shape, and he continued the blueprint wrote by Roy Nelson and Nog. Survive Schaub's early flurry, then land a couple that count. Huge win for the former IFL champion. Thinking maybe Travis Browne next?
9. Michael McDonald: Welcome to THE MIX, Mike! If it wasn't for his douchesack brother, he'd be my favorite bantamweight in the world. Regardless, he's now and should be for some time, in the conversation for title. A just God would give us Barao (if he gets best wily vet Ivan Menjivar) vs. McDonald for the title shot.
10. Andreas Spang: Pulled a massive upset over the Predator to earn his spot in the final against Maiquel Falcao, cementing the feud by brawling during the staredown. However, you know, these things happen in MMA.
11. James DeGale: The Olympic Gold Medalist, bided his time, and then dominated and stopped Cristian Sanavia in just four rounds. One more step towards another Groves vs. DeGale fight we all know is coming at some point.
12. Eddie Yagin: Good for Eddie, he was a massive underdog and expected squash match for Hominick, and he brought the goods and made a name for himself. Machine has some serious soul-searching to do, and I truly hope the loss of Shawn Tompkins hasn't broke him. He's a hell of a fighter and I want him to rebound. But it is what it is, and Yagin is now a high-profile featherweight in the UFC.
13. Maiquel Falcao: Well it wasn't the violent output I'd expect from Falcao, but a W is a W. He must have been saving his violence for the post-fight staredown with Spang.
14. Andre Santos: The man whose tires I pumped multiple times throughout the Top-235 of 2011 list won again in the main event of Mortak Kombat Championship's first event. Seriously, invest in him early, he's going places.
15. Jermain Taylor: It wasn't pretty, but Jermain got the first win of his comeback on Showtime over Caleb Truax. "Bad Intentions" looks to have his shit together, and I wish him the best. He was formerly the undisputed Middleweight Champion of the world.
16. Justin Baesman: Pulled the upset over veteran Jaime Jara at KOTC: All In, in the main event.
17. Tatsuya Yamamoto: In the main event of Shooto Battle Mix 7, Yamamoto takes home the UD win over veteran Takeshi Sato.
18. Mark Bocek: Not even John Alessio's Gosling-hair was enough to stop Mark Bocek, whose grappling was outstanding against the longtime vet. I feel for Alessio, who spent five and a half years trying to get back to the UFC, and I hope he gets another crack.
19. Travis Browne: Between us gals, Griggs had no business fighting Browne. I like Chad Griggs, but Browne was eons out of his league. This was as one-sided as can be, and Browne earned bonus points with Sub of the Night.
20. Mark Holst: At Wreck MMA's latest show, Road to Glory, he cemented himself as probably the best fighter in Wreck history with yet another submission win, trying to find a place back in the majors. Bellator would be certainly smart to bring him in.
Friday April 27
12:00am: The Ultimate Fighter: Cruz vs. Faber (Fuel)
1:00am: UFC Tonight (Fuel)
1:30am: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
2:00am: Best of Pride Fighting Championship (Fuel)
2:00am: MMA Uncensored (Spike)
4:00am: UFC 143 Prelims (Fuel)
5:00am: James Tillis vs. Mike Tyson (ESPN Classic)
5:00am: UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller (Fuel)
8:00am: UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger (Fuel)
8:00am: Bellator 66 (MTV2)
10:00am: MMA Uncensored (MTV2)
11:30am: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
2:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
2:30pm: Francisco Sierra vs. Jesus Gonzales (ESPN3D)
3:00pm: UFC 143 Prelims (Fuel)
3:30pm: XFC 17 (HDNet)
4:00pm: Chris Martin vs. Teon Kennedy (ESPN3D)
4:45pm: Portrait of a Fighter: Canelo Alvarez (HBO)
5:00pm: UFC 139 (Fuel)
7:00pm: NAAFS Caged Fury 17 ($14.99 GFL)
7:30pm: Omar Sheika vs. Yusaf Mack/Derrick Webster vs. Sabou Ballogou ($9.99 GFL)
8:00pm: Best of Bellator (MTV2)
8:30pm: Ring of Combat 40 ($14.99 GFL)
9:00pm: Mark Jason Melligan vs. Sebastian Lujan (ESPN3D)
9:00pm: Inside MMA w/Diamond Dallas Page, Michael Chandler, Stephan Bonnar (HDNet)
9:00pm: Cutthroat MMA: Invasion Chicago ($9.99 GFL)
10:00pm: Tim Coleman vs. Vernon Paris (ESPN3D)
10:00pm: Denis Grachev vs. Ismayl Sillakh/Javier Fortuna vs. Yuandale Evans (ESPN2/ESPN3)
10:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (FX)
10:00pm: Best of 2011 Part 2 (HDNet)
10:15pm: Diego Corrales vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (HBO2)
11:00pm: Marcus Johnson vs. Thomas Oosthuizen/Christopher Martin vs. Luis Orlando Del Valle (Showtime)
11:00pm: Miguel Cotto vs. Shane Mosley (HBO2)
Saturday April 28
12:30am: 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO)
12:30am: Inside MMA w/Diamond Dallas Page, Michael Chandler, Stephan Bonnar (HDNet)
1:00am: Derrick Findley vs. Fernando Guerrero (ESPN3D)
1:30am: Best of 2011 Part 2 (HDNet)
2:00am: Marcus Johnson vs. Thomas Oosthuizen/Christopher Martin vs. Luis Orlando Del Valle (Showtime)
2:00am: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (FX)
2:30am: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
3:30am: UFC Tonight (Fuel)
4:00am: UFC Rio: Aldo vs. Mendes (Fuel)
4:00am: Best of 2011 Part 2 (HDNet)
6:00am: UFC 79 (Fuel)
9:00am: UFC 135 (Fuel)
10:00am: 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO)
10:30am: Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out (HBO)
12:00pm: Diego Corrales vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (HBO2)
12:00pm: UFC 136 (Fuel)
12:45pm: Miguel Cotto vs. Shane Mosley (HBO2)
3:00pm: UFC 134 (Fuel)
4:00pm: Francisco Leal vs. Robert Marroquin (FSN)
6:00pm: UFC 68 (Fuel)
7:00pm: Cage Fighting Xtreme 33: Minnesota vs. Japan ($9.99 GFL)
8:00pm: Invicta Fighting Championship 1: Coenen vs. Ruyssen (FREE Invictafc.com)
8:00pm: Spartan Fighting Championship 14 (FREE GFL)
9:00pm: UFC 137 (Fuel)
9:00pm: Jungle Fight (ESPN3)
9:45pm: 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO)
10:15pm: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson/Chazz Witherspoon vs. Seth Mitchell (HBO)
10:30pm: UFC 136 (FSN)
Sunday April 29
12:00am: UFC 139 (Fuel)
12:30am: 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO)
1:00am: Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out (HBO)
3:00am: UFC 140 (Fuel)
6:00am: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
6:30am: Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story (ESPN Classic)
7:00am: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
8:00am: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
8:30am: Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out (HBO)
9:00am: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson/Chazz Witherspoon vs. Seth Mitchell (HBO)
9:00am: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
10:00am: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
11:45am: 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO)
12:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
12:45pm: Portrait of a Fighter: Canelo Alvarez (HBO)
1:00pm: Paulie Malignaggi vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko (PPV $29.95)
1:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
2:00pm: UFC In The Moment: The Rise of Jon Jones (Fuel)
3:30pm: UFC Tonight (Fuel)
4:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
4:30pm: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson/Chazz Witherspoon vs. Seth Mitchell (HBO2)
5:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
6:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
7:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
8:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
9:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
9:00pm: UFC Unleashed (FSN)
9:45pm: Portrait of a Fighter: Canelo Alvarez (HBO2)
10:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
11:45pm: 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO2)
Under the Radar: Names that aren't on American broadcasted shows this week.
Yusaf Mack vs. Omar Sheika (April 27, Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Oklahoma)
Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Elio Rojas (April 28, Grand Oasis Resort, Cancun, Mexico)
Bronco McKart vs. Jose Medina (April 28, Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio)
Sean Strickland vs. Brandon Hunt (KOTC: Hardcore, April 26, San Manuel Casino, Highland, California)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Carlos Eduardo (Shooto Brazil 29, April 26, Hebrew Social and Sports Club, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Damian Grabowski vs. Eddie Sanchez (MMA Attack 2, April 27, Spodek, Poland)
Juan Manuel Suarez vs. Peter Sobotta (MMA Attack 2, April 27, Spodek, Poland)
Marvin Eastman vs. Dmitry Zabolotny (Ring of Combat 40, April 27, Tropicana Resort and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey)
Billy Vaughan vs. Ryan Vaccaro (Ring of Combat 40, April 27, Tropicana Resort and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey)
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Jeremy Hamilton (CFX 33, April 28, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Dean Lister vs. Rodney Moore (Cage Contender 13, April 28, Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Marloes Coenen vs. Romy Ruyssen (InvictaFC 1, April 28, Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas)
Lisa Ellis-Ward vs. Jessica Penne (InvictaFC 1, April 28, Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas)
Liz Carmouche vs. Ashleigh Curry (InvictaFC 1, April 28, Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas)
Kaitlin Young vs. Leslie Smith (InvictaFC 1, April 28, Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas)
Sarah D'Alelio vs. Vanessa Mariscal (InvictaFC 1, April 28, Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas)
James Irvin vs. Scott Rosa (Gladiator Challenge: Star Wars, April 29, Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, California)
Best Viewing Options: Ever want to not have a child? Watch Mystery Diagnosis some time. Jesus. They all begin the same. The mother saying "he/she was such a perfect, beautiful baby...then the (sores/lumps/deafness/gangrene/mutations/pox/constipation/black lung disease) started...ugh. If my legacy dies, at least neither me or my spawn have had some sort of snake-pox on our corneas.
1. Hopkins vs. Dawson: Rumored that the first fight only drew 40,000 buys, HBO smartly put this on premium cable. The first fight was an abomination, and didn't really have any value in a rematch. This wasn't Pacquiao-Marquez stuff here, this was Dawson throwing Hopkins to the mat, and a 48-year old man hurting his shoulder in the process. It was sad and bogus. So hopefully, they at least put on some kind of show. It's an extremely lean weekend for combat spots, which is why this is the perfect time to watch this fight. As an aside, the undercard here is incredibly weak. Bad strategy knowing that this fight could literally, end at any moment, for, literally, any reason.
2. InvictaFC: Coenen vs. Ruyssen: Because of my opinions of Ronda Rousey and Sarah Kaufmann, some of which have gotten be banned before, a few of you think I hate WMMA. That couldn't be further from the truth. I'm a huge WMMA fan through and through. Though I can't stand (hate? that seems harsh...ok, hate), Rousey and Kaufmann, that massive disdain flipped, is about my feelings on Marloes Coenen. I love that woman so much I should probably be on a watch list somewhere. Personally and professionally, Marloes is not only my favorite WMMA fighter on the planet, but she's Top-3 overall. Liz Carmouche isn't far behind. I have high hopes for Invicta, as I think their model so far is fantastic. Broadcasting their first card for free in a marketable arena on a weak MMA weekend is genius. I will, for sure, be tuning in and hosting a live-thread if BE won't be doing one.
3. Marcus Johnson vs. Thomas Oosthuizen: Oosthuizen is a great pickup for ShoBox. He's a fantastic fighter that desperately needs a step-up in competition. I'm not sure Marcus Johnson is that guy, but the exposure can't hurt.
4. Inside MMA: Look at the lineup. Wow. I could literally write 5,000 words on how WWE fucked up Dallas Page, but that's for another day, and as we all know, PRO WRESTLING IS RUINING THIS SITE!
5. ESPN Friday Night Fights: Kind of a letdown after Michael Katsidis, but every fight is usually a letdown after Michael Katsidis fight. However, "The Pirate" (!) Grachev is still an explosive Light Heavyweight in a division that needs them. Maybe a Pascal fight in his near future? At least Tavoris Cloud?
6. Ring of Fire The Emile Griffith Story: I know before I said I'd never put repeated specials in this area, but since there are some new readers that didn't read me talking about it before, but this is just an outstanding documentary that a few guys commented on after I recommended it and loved it. His life story is absolutely astounding. Griffith, the former undisputed welterweight and middleweight champion, fought a trilogy against a fighter named Benny Paret, the third fight televised on ABC in 1962. Griffith brutalized Paret mercilessly for twelve rounds, eventually leading to a vicious TKO barrage which Paret never woke up from. Some thought that Griffith intentionally tried to kill Paret because of a gay slur Paret called Griffith at the weigh-in. Why? Well, because Griffith was bisexual, you see. Ring of Fire tells his story or before and after the incident, as Griffith was plagued with guilt as he maintained his innocence, and the sport of boxing was off network television for over a decade afterwards. Fantastic documentary.
7. CFX 33: An overall better card and cheaper than the usually fantastic ROC cards. Even discounting Yoshida, CFX really went above and beyond to build this card. Kudos to them.
8. Jungle Fight: So ESPN Deportes/ESPN3 rolls out Jungle Fights this week! Jungle Fights has been a longtime Brazilian MMA staple featuring tons of awesome fighters. Junior dos Santos got his start there and I was thrilled when I heard that ESPN picked them up. The only problem is that they're not releasing a ton of info, so I don't know if this is a live show, or a previous show, or a Best Of show. It's also in Spanish and Portuguese. REGARDLESS! BRAZILIAN MMA ON ESPN!!
9. Best of 2011 Fights: HDNet rolls out the second edition of the best of 2011 fights. Feel free to pair that with a hearty dose of BV's Top-235 Fights of 2011 (cheap plug)
t10. Paulie Malignaggi vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko: I like Paulie. I like the Senchenko brothers. I can't justify 30 dollars for this fight with no undercard to speak of. Alas, it's the first big live PPV event on a Sunday since Fedor-Monson. Since I grew up in the days of wrestling PPVs being on Sundays, I still have a soft spot and incorporate PPV events being on Sundays.
t10. Spartan Fighting Championship 14: Free professional MMA always makes my list.
Fight of the Week: Here's a YouTube fight I can actually embed. On the heels of the fantastic 99-200 King of Kings openweight tourney, RINGS had one the following year. In the quarterfinals, we have here Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ricardo Arona in a very close bout.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Ricardo Arona (Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block B - Opening round) (via Ments7)
Bold, yet Laughable Predictions: Definitely bold last week, and absolutely laughable.
Best Fight of the Weekend: Paulie Malignaggi vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko
Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson
Who will be #1 on BV's List Next Week: Bernard Hopkins
If My Life Depended on One Pick: Liz Carmouche over Ashleigh Curry
Upset of the Week: Jeremy Hamilton over Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Fight to Keep Your Eye On: Chazz Witherspoon vs. Seth Mitchell
Card that Will Deliver the Best Pound-for-Pound Action: Invicta FC: Coenen vs. Ruyssen
BV Loses You Money: Ok, who wants to win big?!?! (Proceed at your own risk)
Last Weekend's Hangover:
If you put down $100 on each of my predictions last week, you'd have today:
BV Lost You: $0
On the Year: $0
Denis Grachev +700 Ismayl Sillakh
Bernard Hopkins +275 Chad Dawson
Hopkins vs. Dawson Over 11.5 Rounds -300
John Watson -300 Jason Cook
Danny McIntosh +300 Tony Bellew
Lines courtesy of BetUS
The Non-Profit Black Velvet Sponsored Bloody Elbow Combat Sports Fantasy League Challenge For All Ages: (NPBVSBECSFLCFAA)
Last Weekend (Actually Three Weekends Ago)'s Lineup: 6-2 (YAMANAKA, Ueda, SOTO, Kelly, ASKREN, SHLEMENKO, LEBEDEV, TONEY)
My Lineup This Week:
Flyweight: Lisa Ellis-Ward
Bantamweight: Marloes Coenen
Featherweight: Liz Carmouche
Lightweight: Thomas Oosthuizen
Welterweight: Jeremy Hamilton
Middleweight: Bernard Hopkins
Light Heavyweight: James Irvin
Heavyweight: Damian Grabowski
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. No hockey for a week! Awful! Despite my team being dogshit, these NHL playoffs have been outstanding. Because of the draft, there are no games on ESPN or other national outlets.
NFL Draft: Rounds 2-3 (Friday, ESPN 7:00): As someone who used to cover the NFL Draft for a living and made trips to NYC, I obviously hold the draft very close to my heart. I can't wait to see Pittsburgh disregard their needs and draft awfully for the eleventh year in a row! Fingers crossed! MOAR LINEBACKERS! LET BEN BE HELD TOGETHER BY CHOCO TACO RESIDUE!
NFL Draft: Rounds 4-7 (Saturday, ESPN Noon): The former "second-day". Where teams are built, and where Pittsburgh takes linebackers they'll never use.
Your YouTube Finale: Urdnot Wrex rapping like Biggie? Urdnot Wrex rapping like Biggie.
Urdnot Wrex Rap! (Notorious B.I.G. "Juicy" Parody) (via JoeLaTurkeyIII)