Oh, hi there!
And That's the Way it Was: Twenty fighters that after the last week who are shining, not fading.
2. Demetrious Johnson: From the Alaskan Fighting Championship to UFC Champion in two and a half years. He's now officially the best in a weight class that everyone said should be his best.
3. Ricky Burns: On a magnificent weekend on boxing across the Atlantic, Burns smashed his way through Kevin Mitchell in four rounds via TKO. With Brandon Rios out of the division, the crown is up for grabs, and Burns has as good of an argument as anyone at lightweight.
4. Michael Bisping: Bisping'd his way to victory, only with an added takedown wrinkle. PRETTY SNEAKY, MATE! Stann is still a quality gatekeeper, but it's evident now moreso than ever, he needs to log more time with a certain dough-flipper in Oregon.
5. Gabriel Rosado: Defeated Charles Whittaker in the main event of NBC Sports Main Events. By the by, NBC Sports boxing cards have been fantastic since Day One. Seriously, check them out, it's been almost shocking how fantastic they've been marketed, put together, and broadcasted. Rosario now gets a shot at the IBF Junior Middleweight strap that is to be contested between Cornelius Bundrage and (the now Fitty-less) Andre Berto.
6. Cub Swanson: Took out Aloe Vera with a ridiculous KO. Each time Bronx appears ready to take that next step, he takes a hard loss, and it's usually brutal. But Cub is tenacious, and the Featherweight division needs a gritty gatekeeper. The bantamweights have Wineland, Mizugaki, and Bowles.
7. Carl Frampton: The fresh-faced up-and-comer demolished veteran Steve Molitar in Northern Ireland in a nice step-up fight for the lad.
9. Jhonathan Romero: Utterly dominated Efrain Esquivias in the main event of ShoBox. Winning every round on every judge's card.
11. Raoni Barcelos: Improved to 4-0 in the main event of Shooto Brazil 34 against 27-8 veteran Jorge Rodrigues. Didn't start his career until March of this year, but the 27-year old has run roughshod over Shooto Brazil's Featherweight division. A guy to keep your eye on, as Shooto Brazil is a fertile breeding ground.
12. TJ Grant: As some expected, put on the Fight of the Night with Evan Dunham, and came out on top in his native land, showing that he is more than just a fantastic grappler, but a striking game that few thought he had.
13. Mika Nagano: Defeated Tomo Maesawa by horrific-sounding "Technical Submission - Armbar" in the main event of Jewels 21st Ring. Can't wait to watch this card. Jewels is a fantastic promotion.
14. Kazuyuki Miyata: The Dream veteran defeated Erzan Estanov in the main event of a Rings card at legendary Korakuen Hall.
15. Sergey Kovalev: Leading off the NBC Sports card, Kovalev set the tone with a punishing third-round TKO of Lionell Thompson to improve his record to 19-0 and 17 knockouts.
16. Marcus Brimage: Played an excellent gameplan against Jimy Hettes, constantly defending Hettes's lame takedown attempts and peppering him consistantly. Let his foot off the gas pedal a few times, but controlled the fight and wouldn't let Hettes catch him in his web.
17. Kentaro Watanabe: The Shooto vet defeated Nam Jin Jo by unanimous decision in the main event of Shooto Border Season 4.
18. Roman Morales: In the co-main of ShoBox, handed Jonathan Arrellano is first loss via UD to improve to 13-0.
20. Seth Baczynski: SETH BACZYNSKI WILL NOT DIE!
Friday September 28
12:00am The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel TV)
12:00am Courtney Burton vs. Julio Diaz (ESPN Classic)
12:00am Klitschko (HBO2)
1:00am UFC Tonight (Fuel)
1:30am UFC Special: Rashad Evans (Fuel)
1:30am MMA Uncensored (Spike)
2:00am MMA Live (ESPN2)
4:00am UFC 152 Prelims (Fuel)
6:00am UFC Unleashed: Diaz vs. Penn (Fuel)
7:00am UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
7:30am UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
8:00am UFC 140 (Fuel)
11:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Weigh-In (Fuel)
12:00pm UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger (Fuel)
3:00pm UFC Tonight (Fuel)
5:00pm Eddie Sanchez vs. JC Candelo (ESPN Classic)
6:00pm UFC on Fuel: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier (Fuel)
6:00pm Bellator 74 Prelims (Spike.com)
7:00pm UFC Ultimate Insider (FSN)
7:15pm Mark Jason Melligan vs. Sebastian Lujan (ESPN 3D)
8:00pm Inside MMA w/Dana White, Bjorn Rebney, Pat Healy (AXS)
8:00pm Luis Ramos Jr. vs. Noe Bolanos (FSN)
8:00pm Comanche Nation's Friday Night Fights (GFL $9.99)
8:00pm Bellator 74 (MTV2)
9:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Weigh-Ins (Fuel)
9:00pm XFC 20 (AXS)
10:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (FX)
11:00pm Ultimate Reno Combat 37 (GFL $9.99)
Saturday September 29
12:00am Inside MMA w/Dana White, Bjorn Rebney, Pat Healy (AXS)
12:00am UFC Unleashed (FSN)
1:00am The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (FX)
1:00am XFC 20 (AXS)
1:00am UFC Ultimate Insider (FSN)
1:35am The Fight Game with Jim Lampley (HBO)
2:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Weigh-Ins (Fuel)
3:00am UFC 143 (Fuel)
4:00am 30 For 30: Muhammad And Larry (ESPN Classic)
4:00am Inside MMA w/Dana White, Bjorn Rebney, Pat Healy (AXS)
6:00am UFC on Fuel: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier (Fuel)
9:00am UFC on Fuel: Munoz vs. Weidman (Fuel)
12:00pm UFC on Fuel: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger (Fuel)
12:00pm Klitschko (HBO)
3:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Prefight Show (Fuel)
4:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic (Fuel)
4:00pm Tim Coleman vs. Vernon Paris (ESPN 3D)
4:00pm Luis Ramos Jr. vs. Noe Bolanos (FSN)
7:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Postfight Show (Fuel)
7:00pm Warriors Cup XV (GFL $14.99)
8:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Postfight Show (Fuel)
8:00pm Latif Mundy vs. Patrick Majewski (GFL $9.99)
8:00pm Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy Prelims (Showtime Extreme)
9:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Prefight Show (Fuel)
9:45pm Edwin Rodriguez vs. Jason Escalera/Luis Orlando Del Valle vs. Vic Darchinyan (HBO)
10:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic (Fuel)
10:00pm Anthony Dirrell vs. Kevin Engel (ESPN 3D)
10:00pm Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy (Showtime)
Sunday September 30
1:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Postfight Show (Fuel)
1:00am Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy (Showtime Extreme)
2:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic (Fuel)
5:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic Postfight Show (Fuel)
5:00am ESPN 30 for 30: One Night In Vegas (ESPN Classic)
9:00am The Fight Game with Jim Lampley (HBO)
9:30am Edwin Rodriguez vs. Jason Escalera/Luis Orlando Del Valle vs. Vic Darchinyan (HBO)
9:30am Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy (Showtime)
12:00pm Deontay Wilder vs. Kertson Manswell (Fuel)
1:30pm UFC 101: The Fundamentals (Fuel)
2:00pm UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller (Fuel)
4:00pm UFC Tonight (Fuel)
4:00pm Edwin Rodriguez vs. Jason Escalera/Luis Orlando Del Valle vs. Vic Darchinyan (HBO2)
9:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson (Fuel)
10:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson (Fuel)
11:00pm UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic (Fuel)
Under the Radar: Names that aren't on American broadcasted shows this week.
Caol Uno vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari: Shooto 10th Round, September 30, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Andreas Kraniotakes vs. Lubos Rauser: MMAA Arena, September 30, Tipsport Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
Peter Sobotta vs. Arbi Agujev: MMAA Arena, September 30, Tipsport Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Konstatin Gluhob: M-1 Challenge 34, September 30, Druzhba Sport Hall, Moscow, Russia
Yasubey Enomoto vs. Khusein Khaliev: M-1 Challenge 34, September 30, Druzhba Sport Hall, Moscow, Russia
Alexander Povetkin vs. Hasim Rahman: September 29, Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Julio Diaz vs. Hector Sanchez: September 29, Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California
Best Viewing Options: UFC, Bellator, AND Strikeforce this weekend, ladies and gents! No major boxing, but I can't complain at all. I was bored watching 152 without your beautiful selves, so let's try and make sure that doesn't happen again!
1. UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic: Still your best pick amongst the three cards. Let's see if England can retake its Dana White Best Crowd Plastic Beer Mug back from Brazil. Plus, who doesn't like watching Stefan Struve fight, get punched a lot, bleed, and somehow pull out a submission win. Fun every time!
2. Bellator 74: Not a fan of their Welterweight tourney this year, but there's always a chance that Whitemare can get back on a headkicking rampage, and Wallhead vs. Good will at least be a fun, technical bout. Plus they loaded up the undercard with exciting fighters (Alexandre Bezerra, Phillipe Nover, Kenny Foster, etc...)
3. Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy: This card is...yeah. Not Strikeforce's best effort in years. But using the Strikeforce rule, the worse a card looks, the better it usually is. Santiago-Mulhern (WHERE JASON HIGH IS?!) and Thomson-Fodor should be rather entertaining, plus we have chance, NAY, the OPPORTUNITY, to watch Jorge Gurgel vs. Mizuto Hirota which might, MIGHT, become the worst fight in the history of modern combat sport.
4. The Ultimate Fighter: You know, if you're into that sorta thing.
5. Edwin Rodriguez vs. Jason Escalera/Luis Orlando Del Valle vs. Vic Darchinyan: Rodriguez is a quality Super Middleweight, with a couple of decent wins (Will Rosinsky, Aaron Pryor Jr.), and could, at the very least, sprucen up the stagnant 168-lb division. Darchinyan is done at the championship level, but he's always entertaining.
6. Inside MMA: The fact that it's not tape-delayed before the HDN...err...AXS!...fights anymore is kind of a bummer. Yes, it's cool that they're live, but it provided a great lead-in to the fights to make a night of it.
7. Klitschko: HBO does documentaries and behind-the-scenes very, very well (see: 24/7). This is a feature-length doc they've put together of Wlad and Vitali and their daily goings-on. Should be solid.
8. Warrior's Cup XV: Looking for something to do between UFC and Strikeforce while still consuming alcohol and satisfying your bloodlust?? OF COURSE YOU ARE! MUAY-THAI! Huge fight card. It beats having to watch Jorge Gurgel fight, I'll tell you that.
9. The Fight Game: Said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a big Jim Lampley guy, always have been.
10. 30 For 30: Muhammad and Larry: Yeah, it's been on for a while now, but it's so damned good. WATCH IT ANYWAY, CORN COB!
Fight of the Week: In honor of his dipshit kid getting popped yet again for the chron, here's Julio Cesar Chavez getting battered by Oscar De la Hoya in their second encounter that made him not leave the stool in the 8th and made me loose my stool with excitement.
oscar de la hoya vs julio cesar chavez II (via carlitoboxing7isback)
Bold, yet Laughable Predictions:
Best Fight of the Weekend: Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic
Disappointing Fight of the Weekend: Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy
Who will be #1 on BV's List Next Week: Gilbert Melendez
If My Life Depended on One Pick: Alexander Povetkin over Hasim Rahman
Fight to Keep Your Eye On: Luis Orlando Del Valle vs. Vic Darchinyan
Card that Will Deliver the Best Pound-for-Pound Action: UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic
BV Loses You Money: Ahhh...this is more like it. Time to come away penniless! Speaking of which, anybody ever play Vegas Dream on NES? Where you got approached by shady men for a chance to win money and if you lost it all, you wound up randomly in an airport? That's what my picks do to you, for anyone knew that's reading this column.
Last Weekend's Hangover: If you put down $100 on each of my predictions last YWICS, you'd have today:
BV WON (Is this real life?!) You: $188 On the Year: +$621
Alexander Povetkin -1400 Hashim Rahman
Stefan Struve +190 Stipe Miocic
Gilbert Melendez -1400 Pat Healy
Kubrat Pulev -500 Alexander Ustinov
Lines courtesy of BetUS
The Non-Profit Black Velvet Sponsored Bloody Elbow Combat Sports Fantasy League Challenge For All Ages: (NPBVSBECSFLCFAA)
Last Weekend Lineup: N/A
My Lineup This Week:
Flyweight: Vic Darchinyan
Featherweight: Alexandre Bezerra
Lightweight: Gilbert Melendez
Welterweight: Yasubey Enomoto
Middleweight: Tom Watson
Heavyweight: Alexander Povetkin
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.
Hawaii @ BYU (Friday, ESPN, 8:00): Welcome to salt country, Rainbow Warriors. Bronco Mendenhall has no time for your wacky unis and dances. He's currently measuring how much elbow he can cram down your throat. The answer? Enough.
Tennessee @ Georgia (Saturday, CBS, 3:30): Mark Richt, perpetually on the hotseat despite a perenially successful program gets to take on Derek Dooley. If this was a chess match, Dooley would be a middle pawn taking on a Queen. On a pile of kinged checkers. On a triple word score space.
Ole Miss @ Alabama (Saturday, ESPN, 9:15): Nick Saban may be a son of a bitch and a despicable person, but goddamn do I love watching his teams play college football. I'd field an NFL team completely of Alabama defenders.
Oregon vs. Washington State (Saturday, ESPN2, 10:30, in Seattle): Oh you think you're wacky and crazy, Chip Kelly? Ha! Maybe for the Pac-12. You know shit about crazy! Mike Leach may be limited in resources and players at Washington State, but the canons are firing in the pirate ship carnival that is his demented mind.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia (Sunday, NBC, 8:20): The NFC East? On primetime?! Surely, you jest! I know, but this might be the game where Mike Vick finally breaks into 14 pieces while a different member of New York's defensive line feasts on them over a fire at the Philadelphia 25-yard line. He's brittle and New York is violent, I guess is what I'm trying to say.
Your YouTube Finale: Inasmuch as internet memes go, WTFBOOM might be my favorite out there. If it's not yours, it might be after this cut-up of Toy Story.
Toy story WTF boom The movie (via Soeufans)