A moment to remember the late Junior Seau, who was found dead this morning. Regardless of the cause, a 43-year old man passing well before his time after struggling with issues leaving behind children is extremely sad. I watched Marcellus Wiley's interview on NFL Live and broke down. It's just a sad situation all around. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends, he was beloved by so many.
Rest easy, 55.
And That's the Way it Was: Twenty fighters that after the last week who are shining, alas, not fading.
1. Chad Dawson: Didn't get sucked into playing Bernard's games, played his own game against him, and landed some awesome shots to take an undisputed (extremely rare for Bernard Hopkins) victory over Hopkins to become the undisputed Light Heavyweight champion. He's usually as exciting as celery, but his skills are undeniable.
2. Marloes Coenen: MARLOOOEEESSS!! Got a much-needed high-profile win in the main event of Invicta over Romy Ruyssen. Her going back to featherweight was questionable, but that is her natural weight, and if she can find fights at 145, all the best. She looked dominant and like the Top-5 P4P WMMA fighter in the world that she is.
3. Paulie Malignaggi: Paulie wanted this fight, he got it, and few thought he had much of a chance. But not only did the 31-year old Paulie dominate the WBA Welterweight champion, but he did what Paulie seldom does, he finished him. In the ninth round in Senchenko's home country, Paulie got the TKO. Rough month for the Senchenko brothers. But Paulie walked the walk, and went from 28th to 8th in the world welterweight rankings on BoxRec after one fight. That's great hustle.
4. Seth Mitchell: The fight of the weekend featured heavyweight boxers. I'll let that sink in. Seth Mitchell got overwhelmed early and often by Chazz Witherspoon, but rebounded and finished Chazz in the fourth. Definitely the most entertaining heavyweight bout I've watched since Tyson Fury vs. Dereck Chisora. The fact that Seth is a legit prospect in the desperately-hungry HW is fantastic and much-needed.
5. Liz Carmouche: The badass GirlRilla absolutely terminated Ashleigh Curry in little over a minute by TKO. Liz is one of my faves in the world, men or women, and one of the few women in the world that wouldn't be scared of Cyborg. Will she win? Probably not, but she'd stand toe-to-toe with her.
6. Denis Grachev: Upset-city! I'm usually awful at picking upsets (as evident by my 2011 YWICS betting record that was in the red to the tune of about five digits), but for ONCE, I got one right. Grachev is a breath of fresh air in the Light Heavyweight division and he came back from the brink of defeat to get an 8th-round TKO.
7. Thomas Oosthuizen: It was pretty hairy early, with Marcus Johnson taking it right to Oosthuizen and getting the better of it early, but as is usually the case in boxing, the cream usually rises to the top. That's about what happened here. It was a nice step for Oosthuizen, but he's due for a bigger step. Maybe a co-main on a Showtime Championship card? He needs to work on not becoming a 160-pound Struve with not using his length and reach.
8/9.Kaitlin Young/Leslie Smith: Kudos to these ladies for bringing the thunder. I support Invicta and what they're doing 100%, but it started to go off the rails a bit. Bad WMMA is probably up there with bad heavyweight boxing as damn-near unwatchable, and we had a healthy spoonful of that for a few bouts. Then Davis and Nicadali went at it, Schneider and Krumdiak had another nice grappling bout, Sarah D'Alelio went after Mariscal, and it came to a head with Kaitlin Young and Leslie Smith. They put on the best brawling WMMA fight that I've seen in some time. Fantastic bout and now the co-main and main just had to stay the course to end the card on a great note, which they both did. Easy FOTN and a worthwhile draw! I love draws! 29-29 BVandDietPepsi!
10. Damian Grabowski: The Polish Pitbull advanced his record to 15-1 with a victory via kimura over UFC vet and Brett Rogers-conquerer Eddie Sanchez. The bright side is that at least Sanchez wasn't robbed by the, ahem, fickle judges that seem to populate Polish MMA events.
11. Dean Lister: Coming off a gold medal at the 2011 ADCC, the first fight in about two and half years for Lister ended via third-round heel hook...forrrrrrr Lister! Nice rebound fight. Hope Lister keeps fighting. Yes he's 36, but he's fought the best of the best and beaten some of them, with not many miles on him. Only 19 pro fights. Seeing as how his last fight was in Belfast, it wouldn't shock me to see him on the next BAMMA card.
12. Peter Sobotta: The UFC vet easily disposed on M-1 hotshot Juan Manuel Suarez at MMA Attack 2 via first-round rear-naked choke, giving him only his second loss. Sobotta's first run in the UFC was fruitless, but he'd be a nice addition to Bellator.
13. Yusaf Mack: In my internet boxing pick of the weekend, Mack, as expected, took a dominant UD over Omar Shieka in Resorts Hotel and Casino in New Jersey. Mack is a quality High-Mid Light Heavyweight with good finishing numbers (on the winning and losing end). I wouldn't mind him facing Hopkins, to be honest.
14. Yoshiyuki Yoshida: I had Jeremy Hamilton on my fantasy team for the upset, but Yoshida proved that, while he may not be world-class, he can still pick apart anybody at a regional level, picking up a submission win in the main event of the Minnesota vs. Japan card at CFX 33. I know I say this a lot, but BELLATOR!
15. Marvin Eastman: I'M NOT DEAD YET! The much-embattled veteran took home a UD win over 14-4 Dmitry Zabolotny. Good for Marvin, I say. Nobody wants to see a vet hang on too long and have a Gary Goodrige scenario on our hands, but if someone like Eastman can work the indies, and more importantly, perform well and win, hell, good for the dude.
16. Motonobu Tezuka: In the biggest Japanese event of the weekend, Tezuka defeated veteran Shunichi Shimizu in the main event of the WOOOORLD-FAMOUS Differ Ariake in Tokyo.
17. Javier Fortuna: Made a statement with a first-round TKO of Yuandale Evans on the Friday Night Fights card.
18. Carlos Eduardo: Defeated fellow excellent Brazilian Light Heavyweight and Strikeforce competitor Marcos Rogerio de Lima in the main event of Shooto Brazil 29.
19. Wilson Gouveia: UFC vet and habitual weight-misser Gouveai picked up a win via the ultra badass "Leg Kicks and Punches" TKO over Kyle Keeney in the main event of Florida's rapidly-rising Fight Time promotion.
20. Naoki Tajima: Aside from Pancrase, Deep also put on a show this weekend at the slightly-lesser Shinjuku Face in Tokyo. As a longtime Puru fan, I always pay attention to JMMA, and my Top-235 should reflect that. At any rate, Tajima picked up at UD over Munehiro Kin at Deep's Tokyo Impact 3.
Friday May 4
12:00am: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Roberto Apodaca (ESPN Classic)
12:00am: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
12:30am: Face Off: Mayweather vs. Cotto (HB0)
12:45am: Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out (HBO)
1:00am: Carlos Ramirez vs. Miguel Cotto (ESPN Classic)
1:00am: UFC Tonight (Fuel)
1:30am: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
2:00am: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Tony Pep (ESPN Classic)
2:00am: MMA Uncensored (Spike)
2:00am: Best or Pride Fighting Championships (Fuel)
2:45am: 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO)
3:30am: Diego Corrales vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (HBO Zone)
4:00am: UFC 143 Prelims (Fuel)
8:00am: UFC on FOX: Evans vs. Davis (Fuel)
9:30am: MMA Uncensored (MTV2)
11:00am: Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out (HBO2)
2:00pm: UFC 142 Prelims (Fuel)
3:15pm: Face Off: Mayweather vs. Cotto (HB02)
3:30pm: XFC 10 (HDNet)
4:00pm: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller Weigh-In (Fuel)
5:00pm: UFC 143 Prelims (Fuel)
6:00pm: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Roberto Apodaca (ESPN Classic)
6:00pm: Mayweather vs. Cotto Weigh-Ins (HBO)
6:30pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
7:00pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
7:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
7:00pm: Barfly w/Ed O'Neill, Dana White (FSN)
7:30pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
8:00pm: ESPN Films: The Real Rocky (ESPN2)
8:00pm: Bellator 67 (MTV2)
8:00pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
8:00pm: Ultimate Warrior Fighting: Tournament of Warriors (GFL $9.99)
8:30pm: Mayweather vs. Cotto Weigh-Ins (HBO)
8:30pm: Showdown Fights: Uprising (GFL $14.99)
9:00pm: ESPN 30 For 30: One Night In Vegas (ESPN2)
9:00pm: Inside MMA w/Quinton Jackson, Mark Pavelich, Mike Pyle (HDNet)
10:00pm: Mike Tyson's Greatest Hits: Volume 3 (ESPN2)
10:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (FX)
10:00pm: MFC 33: Collision Course (HDNet)
10:00pm: Isaac Hidalgo vs. Noel Mendoza/Carlos Luque vs. Jose Marrufo (GFL $9.99)
10:00pm: Epic Fighting 12 (GFL $9.99)
10:45pm: Face Off: Mayweather vs. Cotto (HB02)
11:00pm: Daniel Ponce De Leon vs. Eduardo Lazcano (FSN/FSN Deportes)
Saturday May 5
12:00am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
12:30am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
1:00am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
1:00am: Inside MMA w/Quinton Jackson, Mark Pavelich, Mike Pyle (HDNet)
1:30am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
1:30am: Daniel Ponce De Leon vs. Eduardo Lazcano (FSN)
2:00am: Mayweather vs. Cotto Weigh-Ins (HBO2)
2:00am: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (FX)
3:00am: MFC 33: Collision Course (HDNet)
4:00am: ESPN Films: 26 Years - The Dewey Bozella Story (ESPN Classic)
6:30am: John Molina Jr vs. Rob Frankel (ESPN 3D)
9:00am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
9:30am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
10:00am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
10:00am: UFC on FOX: Evans vs. Davis (Fuel)
10:30am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
11:00am: Mayweather vs. Cotto Weigh-Ins (HBO)
12:00pm: Barfly w/Ed O'Neill, Dana White (FSN)
12:15pm: Kassim The Dream (ESPN Classic)
1:00pm: UFC 143 Prelims (Fuel)
3:00pm: UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
4:00pm: Face-Off: Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO2)
4:00pm: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller Weigh-Ins (Fuel)
4:15pm: Portrait of a Fighter: Canelo Alvarez (HBO2)
4:30pm: Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out (HBO2)
5:00pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
5:00pm: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller Prelims (Fuel)
5:30pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
6:00pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
6:00pm: Caged Chaos 5: Vendetta (GFL $9.99)
6:30pm: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
7:00pm: Mayweather & Cotto: In and Out of the Ring (HBO2)
7:00pm: Elite 1 MMA: Showdown (GFL $9.99)
7:30pm: Mayweather vs. Cotto Weigh-Ins (HBO2)
8:00pm: Fight Day Now! Mayweather vs. Cotto (HBO)
8:00pm: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller (Fox)
8:00pm: World Combat Series 4 (GFL $9.99)
9:00pm: Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Miguel Cotto/Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley/Jessie Vargas vs. Steve Forbes (PPV $59.99)
10:00pm: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller Prelims (Fuel)
11:00pm: Demetrius Andrade vs. Rudy Cisneros (ESPN2)
11:00pm: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller Weigh-In (Fuel)
Sunday May 6
2:00am: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller Weigh-In (Fuel)
5:00am: UFC on Fuel: Gustafsson vs. Silva (Fuel)
8:30am: Super Fight League 3 (YouTube)
9:00am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO)
10:00am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
10:30am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
11:00am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
11:30am: 24/7 Mayweather-Cotto (HBO2)
12:00pm: Prizefighter: Light Heavyweights (Fuel)
1:00pm: UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller (Fuel)
3:00pm: UFC 141 (Fuel)
6:00pm: UFC Tonight: UFC on FOX Diaz vs. Miller (Fuel)
6:30pm: UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
9:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
9:00pm: UFC Unleashed (FSN)
10:00pm: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Fuel)
10:00pm: Barfly w/Ed O'Neill, Dana White (FSN)
11:00pm: UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller Weigh-In (Fuel)
Under the Radar: Names that aren't on American broadcasted shows this week.
Dustin Ortiz vs. Josh Robinson: (May 4, NAFC: Colosseum, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Haney: (May 4, NAFC: Colosseum, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Stav Economou: (May 4, Dubai Fighting Championship 1, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort, Dubai, Uniated Arab Emirates)
Brock Jardine vs. Blas Avena: (May 4, Showdown Fights: Uprising, UCCU Events Center, Orem, Utah)
Jan Jorgensen vs. Tyson Collett: (May 4, Showdown Fights: Uprising, UCCU Events Center, Orem, Utah)
Marco Huck vs. Ola Afolabi: (May 5, Erfurt, Germany)
Robert Stieglitz vs. Nader Hamdam: (May 5, Erfurt, Germany)
Chris John vs. Shoji Kimura: (May 5, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore)
Paul McCloskey vs. DeMarcus Corley: (May 5, Kings Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Renato Sobral vs. Steve Bosse: (May 5, Instinct MMA 4, Montreal, Quebec)
Phil Baroni vs. Martin Grandmont: (May 5, Instinct MMA 4, Montreal, Quebec)
Hae Joon Yang vs. Vaughn Anderson: (May 5, Glory 2, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, Australia)
Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson: (May 6, Super Fight League 3, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, India)
Baga Agaev vs. Trevor Prangley: (May 6, Super Fight League 3, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, India)
Doug Marshall vs. Zelg Galesic: (May 6, Super Fight League 3, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, India)
Best Viewing Options: How fantastic were King Mo and Julie Kedzie at Invicta? Good grief, just fantastic from both of them, and their knowledge and techinical speak kept Mauro dialed down. When I become a money mark, I'm running my shows with online commentary choices. You'll get Schiavello, Bas, and Kedzie on one and Jimmy Smith, Sean Wheelock, and King Mo as the other.
1. UFC on FOX: Natch. It's kind of amusing to watch the UFC/FOX booking angle for the first three FOX cards. FOX CARD 1: "We want excitement! Heavyweight title fight right here right now! We're bringing back the excitement of Heavyweight title fights back to network!" (JDS knocks out Cain in a minute). UFC ON FOX 2: "Well that was way too short! We want more action! Fighters who can go the distance and flesh out our broadcast!" (Three fights, all to decision, none knocking anyone's socks off, one was terrible). UFC ON FOX 3: "Alright, I think we got it! We want a mix of fighters who are finishers, but can also be exciting even if they go the distance and eat up time!" Now we've got what we want. An awesome mix of exciting and talented fighters that will put on a show whether it goes three rounds or three seconds. A Miller and a Diaz fight never disappoints.
2. Mayweather vs. Cotto: I don't have high hopes for this fight, but at the very least, Cotto will go balls out trying to get after Floyd. At the very least, I get to see the Canelo victory tour take another step towards dethroning PBF.
3. Bellator 67: Solid planning by Bellator to have this on the relatively barren Friday. The card itself is fantastic and should certainly not be missed. They offer something at every level.
4. Super Fight League 3: Rise and shine campers! Shake off that hangover and watch some free, live MMA from India! Thompson vs. Lashley should be a trainwreck, but the card itself looks promising, and great on India for working their own prospects in and trying to cultivate an MMA culture there. There's a lot of potential there, just ask Dahlsim.
5. Barfly: Barfly has been a FSN staple for a while, but this is the first time they've crept into MMA. Dana, yeah sure, he might say something wacky, but ED O'NEILL?! NO MA'AM!!
6. 24/7 Mayweather vs. Cotto: Mayweather exhausts me. He makes me emotionally exhausted watching and listening to his ranting and raving and being "Money". I've barely been able to watch 24/7 between Mayweather just trying soooo fucking hard and Cotto, being...well...Cotto. Not a ton of personality or interest, just going out to fight. Alas, regardless of it's boxing or hockey, the last installment of 24/7 is always the best, even better than the first installment. You're invested in the characters, you've watched it build and build, and now it's time, both parties are wrapping it up and making final preperations before going in. Gives me goosebumps every time. Also, excellent news that we WILL have another season of 24/7 for the Winter Classic featuring Toronto and Detroit! Get ready for a lot of squawking from Brian Burke, Dion Phaneuf, and Joffrey Lupul, and...erhm...probably nothing from Detroit. Ok, it won't be the most exciting 24/7, but dammit, it's 24/7.
7. Friday Night Fights: On a special Saturday start time because of the NBA playoffs, it kinda works. If you didn't order or obtain Mayweather-Cotto, this is quality free ambient noise while you're catching up and reviewing UFC on Fox.
8. MFC 33: Definite worth watching after Bellator on Friday, but a somewhat weak card for MFC. Nathan Coy is worth a look, but not a ton else. Still, if no good hockey is on, worth a look.
9. Kassim The Dream: Debuted a few years ago at the AFI Film Festival. This is the story of Kassim Ouma, who was kidnapped to join the Ugandan military at the age of six, who fleed to the U.S. on a boxing visa, and was/is labeled as a deserter and punishable by death. Just an amazing story on the heels of the other fantastic story of Emile Griffith you all should have watched last week, you bums!
10. Daniel Ponce De Leon vs. Eduardo Lazcano: Danny PDL is one of the best of our time, and the fact that he's on free TV on FSN is must-see. DVR it if you must, but Ponce De Leon, even though he's not everyone's cup of tea, on free basic cable is a gift.
Fight of the Week: To commemorate Witherspoon and Mitchell bringing some eyes and ears to boxing's Heavyweight division, here's the best heavyweight title fight of the past twenty years. Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe I. I remember watching this with my dad and uncle (we'd always go to my uncle's to watch Pay-Per-Views) and automatically being captivated. This is one of my first memories of watching fights with family and friends. Hope you enjoy it like I did then and now.
Evander Holyfield - Riddick Bowe 1 [HD] (via kmjns01)
Bold, yet Laughable Predictions: Whew, at least my Life Depending on One Pick was right, otherwise these picks were dogshit...except for my fight to keep an eye on! Guess you'll have to reach back and find it, freeloaders!
Best Fight of the Weekend: Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz
Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Akihiro Gono vs. Michael Chandler
Who will be #1 on BV's List Next Week: Jim Miller
If My Life Depended on One Pick: Saul Alvarez over Shane Mosley
Upset of the Week: Alan Belcher over Rousimar Palhares
Fight to Keep Your Eye On: Ben Saunders vs. Bryan Baker
Card that Will Deliver the Best Pound-for-Pound Action: UFC on Fox 3
BV Loses You Money: Even a blind squirrel finds DEM NUTZ, and last week, friends, I was chin-deep in nuts. I've said too much.
Last Weekend's Hangover:
If you put down $100 on each of my predictions last week, you'd have today:
BV WON (Do you believe in miracles?!) You: $433
On the Year: +$433
Marco Huck -200 Ola Afolabi
Saul Alvarez -900 Shane Mosley
Jim Miller -220 Nate Diaz
Alan Belcher +220 Rousimar Palhares
Dennis Bermudez -175 Pablo Garza
Lines courtesy of BetUS
The Non-Profit Black Velvet Sponsored Bloody Elbow Combat Sports Fantasy League Challenge For All Ages: (NPBVSBECSFLCFAA)
Last Weekend Lineup: 4-3 (Ellis-Ward, COENEN, CARMOUCHE, OOSTHUIZEN, Hamilton, Hopkins, GRABOWSKI
My Lineup This Week:
Flyweight: Sergio Pettis
Bantamweight: Chris John
Featherweight: Dennis Bermudez
Lightweight: Michael Chandler
Welterweight: Robert Stieglitz
Middleweight: Alan Belcher
Light Heavyweight: Marco Huck
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, Saturday, and Sunday. To avoid suspected homerism, I won't be including my favorite teams.
Nashville vs. Phoenix (Friday, 7:30, NBC Sports): What's cool about the West right now (sorry Tim), is that whomever advances to the Finals will be playing for their first-ever Cup. Even though that West is currently a crapshoot, it's still incredibly fun.
New York vs. Washington (Saturday, 12:30, NBC): In the words of my late grandmother, this series has been nuttier than a holiday fruitcake. The Capitals, the Washington Goddamn Capitals playing defensively responsible hockey...in THE POSTSEASON NO LESS?? Nothing is safe, people. We are through the looking glass.
Los Angeles vs. St. Louis (Sunday, 3:00, NBC): Know how once your team is eliminated from a sport's postseason, you tend to root for the team that will make you nausous the least to win the title? Yes, I'm a St. Louis Blues fan right now. They absolutely deserve it. Loyal fans, great organization, good hockey town. Pulling for Inglorious Backes and the Blues.
New Jersey vs. Philadelphia (Sunday, 7:30, NBC Sports): Very few situations on this life make me root for a New Jersey-based team. This is one of those situations.
Atlanta vs. Boston (Friday, 7:30, ESPN): Only because I needed a fifth. Any situation that makes Bill Simmons upset and hopefully cry is one I can absolutely throw my rooting juju behind. Do it, Hawks.
Your YouTube Finale: In honor of the late linebacker, here is a piece from MMAInterviews, who got a few minutes of his time to talk some MMA only a few months ago.