The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Japan for UFC 144, an epic card which features a lightweight title fight and a matchup of light-heavyweight contenders Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Ryan Bader.

There is also a heavy dose of Japanese fighters who are eager to show off in their birth land with Yushin Okami, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Hatsu Hioki also on the main card.  Adding to this, each of the bouts on the preliminary card (which airs for free on FX) features a Japanese born fighter.

Throw in the lightweight match-up of title contenders Joe Lauzon and Anthony Pettis and the sure-to-be heavyweight slugfest of Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt, and this card is absolutely stacked from top to bottom.

So what should we expect?  The UFC hasn’t been in Japan since UFC 29, and the company has competed with now-defunct rival organization PRIDE in the past for Japanese supremacy (needless to say, PRIDE was always more popular among the Japanese fans).

Which is what I want to ask:  Do you prefer the UFC or PRIDE (in its prime)?  There has been a lot of talk lately about how PRIDE had the better rules and was more conducive to all-out brawls, but which do you find more appealing?  Do you like the soccer kicks, ruthless slams and rock-em, sock-em battles of PRIDE or the technical and skillful, sometimes brutal art that takes place in the UFC octagon?

-Mirko Cro Cop looks to land a vicious stomp in the Pride ring.

What will it be, cage or ring?  Let me know in a comment and let’s have a talk about what you like better about each organization!


Nick Diaz on MMA rules

Say what you will about the Stockton bad-boy Nick Diaz– he’s disrespectful, he’s unprofessional- but he comes to fight.  Out of the ring, he has a bad reputation, but he is a fighter who brings it each and every night inside the cage, and you have to respect that.

I stumbled upon this video of Nick today and thought he brought up some interesting points about judging and how game-plans are implemented today (skip to 4:50 in the video for these thoughts).


What do you guys think about this?  Obviously, everybody loves a good brawl or a technical, back-and-forth ground battle, but is there any merit to controlling a fight and winning the decision?  Guys like GSP and Jon Fitch have made their careers with these tactics, but should they be considered true “fighters”?

Let me know what you think and share your thoughts!


Change of Plans!

Caged Vengeance 10, the latest fight card assembled by the North American Allied Fight Series, has announced a major shuffle in the night’s main event.

The bout, which was originally slated to pit former NAAFS champion Nick Duell against Team Gracie fighter Alex Trevino, will now see the former champ Duell take on Team Miletich’s Sean Huffman, a seasoned professional with 35 career fights, including a contest against current UFC welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger.

The new bout of Duell vs. Huffman presents some problems for Duell, as Huffman is much more experienced and will certainly present some new problems.  It will be interesting to see how the shuffle affects Duell’s game-plan and how the Ohio based fighter will react to the change.

For any fighters, how do you or would you react to a last minute opponent change like this?  Would you still take the fight?  Is it even possible to make a new game-plan in such a short time period?

Caged Vengeance 10 is this Saturday, Feb. 18 at Gray’s Armory in Cleveland, OH.  Tickets can be purchased through the NAAFS website, but act fast; it is nearly sold out.


Caged Vengeance 10 Update

Less than 100 tickets remain for Caged Vengeance 10 Saturday, Feb. 18 at Gray’s Armory in Cleveland, OH.  The event is hosted by the North American Allied Fight Series and will feature some of the finest local amateur and professional fighters.

The full fight card can be found here.

The event will also be streamed on pay-per-view for those who cannot attend the event. Per an NAAFS press release:

The NAAFS also confirmed that Caged Vengeance 10 will stream live via PPV on The live stream will begin at 6:30pm (EST) on both and for a fee of only $9.99. will also feature a brand new “Free View” function that will allow NAAFS fans to watch at no cost for 15 minutes prior to purchasing the live stream.

Get your tickets now or make arrangements to order the PPV, this is going to be good!

The “Super-Fantastic-Extra-Amazing-Blog-a-Day-Recap”

Today marks the end of a task unlike any other I had previously attempted.  This past week (Feb. 6-today) our interactive journalism class was required to create one blog post per day and…Well, actually that’s it.  It doesn’t seem such a tall order in writing, but it is actually a lot more difficult in execution than one would expect.

Content, of course, was the main issue I encountered.  Luckily, Nick Diaz’s brash personality and penchant for the hippie lettuce gave me a few articles to discuss, while the UFC’s constantly expanding roster and fight schedule lent me a few other posts.

I was disappointed, however, that I could not focus more on local issues.  I did tie in the national stories to the local scene and to MMA in general, but to get really good stories on a local level, a significant amount of reporting and interviewing is required.  Time constraints simply would not allow that the past week, so my stories ended up being a bit more national than I would like.

Still, I have some great local stories that I will be posting soon; it just was not meant to be on blog-a-day week.

Through this experience, I gained a huge amount of respect for those professionals (and amateurs) who do this (blog) for a living (or on a regular basis) (holy shit, that’s a lot of parentheses).  To come up with relevant and noteworthy information on a regular basis is pretty remarkable, and I learned just how difficult that can be.

Blog-a-day week was a fun and eye-opening experience.  My legs are still a little sore from the sprint, but I just may have to try a 10k and go for another week in the future :D.


Best style for MMA?


I wanted to do something a little differently with this post. Rather than speculate on the sport’s future or predicaments of fighters, etc., I wanted to open the floor up to you to discuss what you think is the best style to come into the sport of mixed martial arts with.  (Ending a sentence in a preposition?! Blasphemy! )

Several styles have proven valuable in the sport, but if you were to start training today, what style would you emphasize the most?


For the past few days, I have been talking about the Carlos Condit-Nick Diaz rematch and the implications that would carry for the sport and for the fighters’ futures.

Thanks to Nick Diaz’s addiction love for marijuana, none of that matters now.

Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed in a statement to MMAweekly:

All (UFC 143 drug test) results received thus far have been negative, except Mr. Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites.  A complaint for disciplinary action against Mr. Diaz has been filed.”

This is Diaz’s second time being busted for marijuana following a fight, the first time being after his 2007 bout with Takanori Gomi.  In 2009, Diaz was pulled from a Strikeforce fight card for failing to submit drug tests before the fight.  Needless to say, Diaz has a problem with the hippie lettuce, and it will be hard for him to maintain the stable and professional career he is capable of until he fixes it.

What do you think of this news?  Should marijuana be a drug they test for in the UFC and where do you think this puts Diaz’s career?

I’ll be sure to update as more news develops concerning the case.  It will be interesting to see what happens with Condit and GSP from here.