Omari Akhmedov vs. Gunnar Nelson. Nelson, with his high level karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills was the one so many were watching. But Akhmedov also brought some serious accomplishments to the Octagon. Who would win?
Keep reading to find out.
Early on, Akhmedov landed a low kick. Nelson took the center of the ring, getting hit with another. The two clashed knees when they both threw leg kicks. Grazing right hand by Akhmedov. Then came a big time left hand, of the sudden karate style from Nelson, which allowed him to transition to a takedown on an off balance opponent. Nelson immediately took top control, then the mount. Some blood coming from the face of Akhmedov. And from there, Nelson, in spots, landed solid elbows on his adversary which clearly took their toll, especially toward the end of the stanza. After some scrambling, Nelson stood, took side control, and then fell back with the guillotine choke in hand. And that was that.
Gunnar Nelson defeats Omari Akhmedov by guillotine choke at 4:36 of round one.
What do Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir, and Vitor Belfort have in common? Beyond excellent careers in mixed martial arts, the four have also fought legally in the UFC while receiving Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). Along with this, Belfort was all ready to apply for a Testosterone Use Exemption (TUE) for his upcoming fight in Vegas against Chris Weidman.
That was, until the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to ban applications for TUEs for testosterone replacement therapy, effective immediately.
In one word- wow!
Yep, in a stunning turnaround, the commission has gotten rid of a fighter's ability to apply for a TUE. If a fighter already had a TUE in Nevada, the fighter will now be unable to apply for a new exemption when they apply for a renewed license to fight in the state. That said, since fighter licenses terminate at the end of a calendar year, there are currently no fighters that currently hold a TUE in the state.
Big time news. Get ready for a lot of articles on Vitor Belfort :)
What the UFC had to say:
"The Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)," said White. "We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field.
"We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events. We encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling."
Reference: Yahoo Sports
Tony Jaa is the real deal when it comes to the practice of Muay Thai. He's also a true to life martial arts movie action star. Back in 2003, he connected with martial arts fans for his performance in the film: Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior. In 2005 he starred in The Protector.
And now he's the star of Tom-Yum-Goong 2, or The Protector 2. Tom Yum Goong was the original Thai title of The Protector. The name refers to a soup with many different ingredients, which would seem to connect with the multiple martial arts styles displayed in the film.
So if you're looking for hard-hitting action from a man with a truly significant martial arts background, The Protector 2 may just fit the bill. In case you're wondering if it's for you or not, check out the American trailer for the film here (The Protector 2 Trailer).
Reference: Protector 2 Has a U.S. Trailer
Any time that you hear that someone made the US team in something, it carries some weight. After all, making a national team of any sort is nothing to scoff at, let alone in a country as large and athletically inclined as America. Such was the case when an instructor at the Traditional Chinese Kenpo at Lee's Academy of Kung Fu in Oak Forest, Illinois by the name of Scott Gordon was selected to the U.S. Traditional Wushu Team.
Gordon was selected to the team after completing trials in Tysons Corner, Virginia on Sunday, Feb. 16. By making the team, he will represent the United States at the 6th World Traditional Wushu Championship taking place in China in October 2014. Though he teaches at a different school, Gordon is considered a student representative of Bei Dou Kung Fu Academy in Naperville, Ill., where he currently trains.
"Scott is, and has been, a remarkable instructor for our young and adult students alike," stated Danny Cichocki, owner and instructor at Lee's Academy of Kung Fu, according to this article at the Oak Forest Patch. "His dedication to continued training and now his commitment to pursue his dream of competing for the US Wushu Team is nothing short of inspiring."
The US Traditional Wushu Team and the qualification trials are hosted by the U.S.A. Wushu-Kungfu Federation (USAWKF), the official United States representative to the 145 member-nation International Wushu Federation (IWUF), the official member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The event was organized by the Professional Martial Arts Academy (PMAA).
Robert Whittaker vs. Stephen Thompson was one of those striking battles worthy of note. Would the karate kid (Thompson) win out, or would the former TUF contestant pull it out at UFC 170?
Get ready, get set, go?
Early on, Whittaker landed a nice jab. Later, Thompson hit home with a couple of punches, then a low kick. The two traded evenly. Then Thompson hit home with a punch. Nice jab by Whittaker. Body kick followed by a low kick by Thompson. Nice axe kick by Thompson. Solid combination by the South Carolina fighter. Then he did it again.
The bottom line is that Thompson is hitting with combinations and then moving.
Thompson connected with a hook kick to the head. Then he landed a left-right to the head that floored Whittaker. Moments later, after bunches of punches on the ground, it was all over.
Stephen Thompson defeats Robert Whittaker by TKO at 3:43 of round one.
Most 70 year olds can't do jump kicks. Many have trouble even getting off of the couch. But 5th degree Taekwondo black belt Skip Leonard holds himself to a higher standard.
"Doesn't bother me what they're doing (others his age)," Leonard told the San Diego Union Tribune. "I go to the gym every morning, and on my 70th birthday, I did four sets of 20 pull-ups along with my workout."
Not bad, huh? Yep, Leonard has been teaching martial arts in the city of Escondido's recreation department for 20 years now. He's a former fighter pilot who joined the navy in 1966. He believes that he completed some 150 runs over Vietnam, and currently trains younger pilots at the Top Gun facility in San Diego.
"All of my flying was off of aircraft carriers, and my last Vietnam cruise was on the USS Midway from '72 to '73," Leonard recalled. "The Midway was a great boat, and I'm glad to see her (in San Diego). She's still a great boat. You know, she was my home for well over a year."
As I read this story, which can be found here (San Diego Union Tribune), it really got me thinking. Leonard was clearly a special guy in his youth. But the martial arts have allowed him to extend that youth longer than most can. The first reason to take martial arts? Some might say self defense. But a close second would be to improve the quality of one's own life. That appears to be what Leonard was able to do with Taekwondo.
Bellator MMA is widely considered to be the second largest MMA promotion on the planet, significantly behind top dog the UFC. We've heard that they've made a play for lightweight fighter Gilbert Melendez. And last week, it was also announced that Bellator MMA and Attack Poker have signed a partnership to allow the free poker site to become the official online gaming partner of Bellator. This is significant in that both sides are looking to promote one another.
The promotions and ideas have already begun to flow. On the free-to-play online poker provider's website is a large banner offering a ticket giveaway to Bellator's next event on February 28. Word has it that the Attack Poker logo will show its face in the Bellator cage. And the MMA organization also plans to introduce an award called 'Attack of the Night', which is a reference to their new partner.
"Our partnership with Attack Poker speaks directly to our focus of aligning with innovative industry leaders," Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. "Attack Poker's distinctive and consumer interactive approach to free-to-play poker is what positions them as a leader in the online gaming industry and it's what made them our top choice to align our brand with."
Nick Jonas, formerly of the Jonas Brothers musical group, is set to play Nate Henderson in the upcoming TV drama Navy St. According to starpulse.com, the show will center on a former fighter played by Frank Grillo, who runs an MMA gym. Jonas will play Grillo's son, who signs a UFC contract.
Admittedly, it's hard to imagine Jonas taking on the role of a fighter, given his boy band past. Then again, Mark Wahlberg was a part of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch before becoming a serious and rather believable action star on the screen. So it's certainly not impossible for Jonas. That said, a strong martial arts background, or at least a lot of training right now, will certainly help hardcore fans of the sport to accept him in the role.
It will be interesting to see how this DirecTV show comes off.
Remember all of the martial arts scenes from the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" series (1997), and the movies Blade (1998), The Hulk (2003) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)? What most don't realize is that two choreographers/stunt people were behind the scenes of all of them. The names? None other than Ron Balicki and Diana Lee Inosanto. Inosanto is quite well known in martial arts circles. She's the daughter of Filipino martial arts legend Dan Inosanto, and is the niece of none other than Bruce Lee. Anyway- found a very cool interview over at Dread Central regarding this husband-wife team, and the work they did for the upcoming film I, Frankenstein. Check out the beginning of it below.
Ron Balicki (on how he came to the project- I, Frankenstein): "I have a student named Simon Rhee (Best of the Best) who trains Kali with me and has for ten years. He was training the director, Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean), who was a writer at the time. So, Simon was training Stuart and Stuart loved Kali. Kevin Grevioux (Underworld) had written I, Frankenstein. They got together and thought, "You know what Frankenstein's going to be? This guy with double sticks, or a Kali background." So, then... there was a Stunt Coordinator/Second Unit Director on I, Frankenstein named Brad Martin (Underworld). We're friends and the production said that they needed a guy to train Aaron Eckhart. Brad said, 'I know this guy!" So, they got me and I met Stuart and said, 'What made you think of Kali?' He said, 'Oh, I train under Simon Rhee.' It's this weird thing...(Read More at Dread Central)
Get ready, get set, go!
Early on, Caceres hit home with a mild left hand, then moments later a low kick. Pettis landed a right hand. Low kick from Pettis. Lots of missing going on here, before Caceres hit home with a body kick. Another nice body kick by Caceres. Low kick from Pettis. Two grazing punches in a combination from Pettis. Mild knee to the body from Caceres. The two traded strikes. Solid punch from Pettis. Good low kick from Caceres. Then came a hard body kick by Pettis. Low kick from Pettis. The two traded punches, with Pettis getting the better of things. Then came a hard left from the younger brother of Anthony. Round kick followed by a front kick to the body from Caceres. Another body kick from the former TUF competitor. Then Pettis landed two head kicks, including a very hard one the second time through. Nice punch from Caceres before the bell.
That was a close stanza. To be honest, it probably should go to Pettis based on that big kick at the end.
Hard body kick was landed by Caceres early in round two. And that's when it happened. Caceres hit home with a huge left hand that dropped Pettis. The Roufusport product immediately went for the takedown, which left both of them scrambling on the ground. But Pettis managed to get up. The two traded punches, with Pettis landing more than his adversary. Surprisingly, Pettis seems fine, landing a counter punch and then a body kick. The two continued to go back and forth for a while, before Pettis landed a big time round kick to the head. Soon after, he followed it up with a hard body kick. And from there, Pettis began to stick and move nicely until the bell.
That was a round which would've went to Pettis, had it not been for the knockdown. But a knockdown is a knockdown, so I'd say the winner of round three wins the fight.
Caceres managed to land a kick and a couple of nice strikes before Pettis took him down. Caceres got right back up but ate a round kick to the face for his efforts. 'Bruce Leroy' then went for a kimura that Pettis rolled out of. Finally, they came to their feet. Some back and forth striking, with Pettis doing a little bit better than his adversary, before losing his balance and falling to the canvas. The two scrambled for a few moments to no avail before getting up. A lot of back and forth striking followed. Pettis was probably just a shade ahead on the scorecards. And that's when Pettis went for a takedown, which ended with Caceres on top of him. Moments later, Caceres managed to take his back and sink in the rear naked choke.
Alex Caceres defeats Sergio Pettis by rear naked choke at 4:39 of round three.