Friday, December 6, 2013

UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot Prelim LIVE


Watch the first UFC Fight Night prelim bout live from the land down under, as two fighters make their UFC debut in the welterweight division. Catch the rest of the prelims at 7:00pm on Fox Sports 2 and the main card at 9:00pm on Fox Sports 1!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The People's Main Event: Shogun vs. Te Huna


'The People's Main Event' is a feature we will be doing each fight week in order to promote one of the more intriguing matchups that may not be getting all the love that comes with being the true main event on a UFC card. The UFC gives more than enough attention to the headline fighters with all the countdown shows, TV spots, and free fights, and we thought our time and effort would be better spent building up one of the other, less promoted bouts.

This week's featured fight is an exciting matchup in the light heavyweight division between Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. James Te Huna.


MAURICIO 'SHOGUN' RUA

At one point in time, Shogun was one of, if not the most feared stiker in Mixed Martial Arts. Out of his 21 wins, 18 came by way of KO, and 15 of which occurred in the 1st round of action. It's worth noting that many of these 1st round finishes took longer than the UFC standard of five minutes per round and even more involved the use of now-foreign terms like 'soccer kicks' and 'stomps'. Although when names like Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin, Mark Coleman, Rampage Jackson, and Little Nog help make up your list of victims, I think you've earned the right to ignore any statistical asterisks that may be attached to your name.

This former champion of both the UFC and Pride is a top hall of fame candidate on all lists and his legacy has long been cemented in the hearts and minds of fans and critics alike. But the man fighting this Friday is not the same man who knocked out Chuck Liddell at UFC 97. If Shogun falls short in his bout against Te Huna, that will leave him with just two wins in his last seven fights, sending the media into broken-record mode once again as they are forced to ask the same old question of "Where does he go from here?" Talks of dropping down to middleweight have already surfaced and the dreaded "R" word will undoubtedly rear its ugly head in the post fight presser, however ALL can be avoided with a big win over a surging Te Huna.


JAMES TE HUNA

James Te Huna is a New Zealand native, fighting out of Sydney, Australia, and he is sure to receive the lion's share of support from the Aussie crowd Friday night; even against a perennial fan-favorite like Shogun. He began fighting professionally back in 2003. After winning the Cage Fighting Championship Light Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2009, he caught the attention of the UFC and has performed brilliantly ever since. He currently boasts a UFC record of 5-2, with losses to the current No. 1 and No. 2 contenders in Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira respectively. The five wins include three knock out victories and a Fight of the Night decision win over Joey Beltran back in 2012.

James is a well rounded fighter with takedown ability, an active ground game and very dangerous power on the feet as well as in the clinch. He is a thrilling fighter to watch and in a lot of ways, he has a similar feel to vintage Shogun Rua; referring to his style, aggressiveness, and flair for the dramatics, certainly not based on his resume. Te Huna is a true talent and could very well become a top contender for the UFC light heavyweight belt in the near future as current champ, Jon Jones has already worked his way through most of the top 10 in decisive fashion. The monkey wrench of Jones' plans to move to heavyweight may hurt his chances at a title run, as the prospect of 'skipping the line' becomes more far-fetched with a new champion in play. This is especially true if Gustafsson or Glover hold the belt next, both of which had pretty dominate performances over Te Huna in the past. However as the old saying goes; a win is a win. And Te Huna can only help his chances by defeating Shogun in front of the home crowd. 


WHAT TO EXPECT

This one will stay standing. Te Huna and Shogun are known to stand and bang and with both men looking to deliver a statement-making dominate performance, I expect each fighter to try to end things quickly with a signature knockout. In fact, an intriguing storyline might be developing between the main event and co-main event to see who will take home Knockout of the Night honors. We may see a takedown attempt or two by Te Huna, but the weapon will likely be used to keep Shogun guessing and not as a legitimate means to finish the fight. That being said, Te Huna needs to be careful of Shoguns striking and will likely look to clinch early and land some big punches from inside with his heralded dirty boxing ability. This could very easily be named Fight of the Night as well as there is nothing more dangerous than an animal backed into a corner and both of these light heavyweights have something to prove on Friday. Expect a war. This one will be good.

Monday, December 2, 2013

UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot Preview


It's fight week once again and I need your full attention for a moment. Rather than a Wednesday or Saturday show, this week's UFC Fight Night is set to take place on Friday, December 6th. I repeat: FRIDAY! Don't show up a day late!

As far as Fight Nights go, this is certainly one of the better lineups. With an intriguing preliminary card headlined by Julie Kedzie's chance at redemption against an undefeated and promising Bethe Correia, making her UFC debut, and a stacked main card, there is a lot to look forward to in this one. If you caught my "TUF 18 Finale Preview" last week, then you know by now that our predictions are as good as gold. So here we go again. Check out my main card predictions below and place your bets accordingly. Enjoy!


MAIN CARD PREDICTIONS

1st Fight: Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester

Fellow TUF 17 competitors and budding UFC stars, Dylan Andrews and Clint Hester are true up-and-coming talents in the middleweight division. With similar size and style, this is an intriguing matchup, no matter how you look at it. I could honestly see this going either way, but I think Andrews will have a slight edge, being from the neighboring country of New Zealand. He will certainly have the support of the Aussie crowd, and in a razor close matchup like this one, that's reason enough to go with the Kiwi.

Winner: Dylan Andrews
By: Decision


2nd Fight: Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei

Pat Barry has had an interesting stay in the UFC thus far. After making his debut back in 2008, he has alternated wins and loses almost systematically over the past five years. If that pattern holds up, his June 15th loss to Shawn Jordan is all the preparation he will need to take home the victory this Friday. Standing in his way is Soa Palelei. This Australian native will certainly have the fans behind him, but that's not the only momentum "The Hulk" has going into this bout. While this is only his second fight in the UFC, he is currently riding an impressive 9 fight win streak and is certainly someone to be fearful of in the heavyweight division. I'm going to have to go with Barry, however, as UFC experience is truly an irreplaceable factor in today's world of MMA.

Winner: Pat Barry
By: 2nd round KO via punches


3rd Fight: Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh

Ryan Bader has four losses on his record, but a more impressive four losses, you'd be hard pressed to find. His losses were to three future or former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions in Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz, and Lyoto Machida. And his 4th loss came at the hands of Glover Teixeira, the current #1 contender to the UFC Light Heavyweight belt. Not to shabby. Anthony Perosh, who continues to compete with the highest level of competition at the ripe age of 41 years old, is a force to be reckoned with, however I don't believe he has what it takes to overtake "Darth" Bader on Friday night. Age is a definite factor, no matter how much we pretend it's not. And age aside, I think Bader is the more talented fighter anyway. No-brainer.

Winner: Ryan Bader
By: 1st round KO via punch


Co-Main Event: Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna

Shogun is truly one of the greatest fighters in the history of MMA. With countless iconic battles in both Pride and the UFC, a deadly variety of strikes and submissions, and a plethora of 'of the night' and 'of the year' awards, Shogun is a true Hall of Fame candidate, and a perennial fan favorite. He is the former Pride Middleweight GP Champion and the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. His resume speaks for itself. Unfortunately, he is a shell of the fighter he used to be. While still young, he has been in some wars over the years and it's catching up to him. I have to go with Te Huna in this one, although I'll be openly rooting for Shogun.

Winner: James Te Huna
By: 1st round KO via punches


Main Event: Mark Hunt vs. "Bigfoot" Silva

Mark Hunt was on a four fight win streak before being knocked out by a spectacular spinning heel kick via Junior Dos Santos. Is a wild knock out at the hands of a top heavyweight contender really even a loss in fighter value? Of course, that same argument can be made for Silva, as his most recent loss was to Cain Velasquez via knockout. However his unlikely victory over an overconfident Alistair Overeem is more in the realm of fluke than accomplishment in my book. Whether that opinion is fair or not, I believe Hunt is still a top contender at heavyweight, and will prove just that on Friday night.

Winner: Mark Hunt
By: 1st round KO via punch

Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Rap God" - Eminem


"Rap God" is, at least in my opinion, among the best songs ever created by one of hip hop's true G.O.A.T. candidates. Even more impressive as that it's a lyrically heavy masterpiece released at a time when many questioned whether Slim still had that in his arsenal. Now, the hit single has a visual pairing and it's definitely worth watching. Hearing an artist rip up a track is entertaining but seeing it performed is a different experience all together. Check out the video for "Rap God" below and if you haven't already, pick this album up. It's amazing.


Friday, November 29, 2013

TUF 18 Finale Preview


Check out the live weigh-ins for the TUF 18 Finale to see if all the fighters can make weight before they enter the Octagon tomorrow night, beginning at 7:30pm. The main card, which consists of four bouts between The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 contestants and a trilogy fight between Grey Maynard and Nate Diaz, should be exciting. Check out my predictions below, and tune into the weigh ins tonight at 7pm.

MAIN CARD PREDICTIONS

1st Fight: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Raquel Pennington

I have to go with Raquel on this one. Despite looking flat in her semi-final fight against Rakoczy, she looked to be one of the strongest fighters in the TUF house, and I believe she will overwhelm Roxanne with both striking and wrestling. 

Winner: Raquel Pennington
By: 1st round TKO via ground and pound


2nd Fight: Jessamyn Duke vs. Peggy Morgan

Despite both fighters losing in the first round of the TUF 18 tournament, I believe Jessamyn lost to a far better opponent. She also helped put on arguably the best performance of the season in that losing effort and certainly has all the tools to defeat Peggy tomorrow night.

Winner: Jessamyn Duke
By: Decision


TUF 18 Men's Final: Chris Holdsworth vs. David Grant

It's hard not to love David Grant. His reaction to getting a free pass to the finals was the perfect embodiment of what a mixed martial artist should strive to be. That being said, Chris Holdsworth is just too good. Going into the show, he already had the skillset to be one of the best jiu jitsu practitioners in the Bantamweight division. His improved striking, which is sure to be even stronger after returning to the Duane Ludwig coached Team Alpha Male, makes him dangerous in all aspects of the fight and I believe he'll take this one. 

Winner: Chris Holdsworth
By: 2nd round TKO via punches


TUF 18 Women's Final: Julianna Pena vs. Jessica Rakoczy

Not to take anything away from her opponents, but Jessica didn't have the hardest road to the finals. Roxanne was easily dominated and she didn't so much defeat Raquel as Raquel beat herself. Julianna arguably had the roughest stay in the house, as she was the #1 target by a lot of her housemates. Despite all that, she managed to beat some of the toughest women in the house, and do so in spectacular fashion. I don't see her losing this one. 

Winner: Julianna Pena
By: 3rd round submission via rear naked choke


Main Event: Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz

This is an interesting fight for a couple reasons. If it stays standing, these are two of the more aggressive strikers in the division. If Maynard takes it to the ground, it becomes a battle of wrestling vs. jui jitsu. This one could go either way, but if I had to pick, I'd have to go with Gray on this one.

Winner: Gray Maynard
By: Decision


COMING SOON: Brand New MMA Website


A new website is in the works! Unlike Real Radio, which covers a wide variety of topics, this site will focus solely on the sport and community of Mixed Martial Arts. While I will continue to follow hip hop, television, and other sports in my day to day life, it's unlikely that I will be writing about it anymore (at least for a while). The reason for this change is twofold.

First, I was spreading myself too thin. I felt an obligation to find a balance between all the Real Radio categories and as a result, I was not able to achieve the intellectual depth that I had originally set out to accomplish. Falling into the trap of quantity over quality, I began taking short cuts. For example, I was posting music videos along with one or two sentences in order to keep up with content, without actually contributing anything of value to the post. This was far from my original intention, and it was a trend that I was not proud of. It has become clear that focusing on one subject would result in a higher quality product. While I'm sure a faction of my readers couldn't care less about MMA and are disappointed with this announcement, I hope, through hard work and dedication, I'll be able to sway that opinion over time. That brings me to my second reason for the switch.

Mixed Martial Arts, in large part, is still clouded by vast misconceptions and unfair negative stereotypes. This is understandable, as the sport's beginnings were from squeaky clean, but the current world of MMA is one of positivity, respect, and honor. Fighters are relatable and honest; not barbaric. More and more of the fan base is screaming for technique and heart, not blood and broken bones. Both the sport and the surrounding community is growing up, and as we have just entered the 20th year of the UFC's existence, like most 20 year olds, MMA is beginning to enter adulthood. What they've accomplished in such a short amount of time is nothing short of remarkable, and the focus is no longer on improving the sport itself, but rather getting eyes on the tremendous product that is already out there. I'm convinced of two simple truths; truths that I plan on making abundantly clear to everyone who takes the time to read my posts in the future.


1) If people could see what I see when I watch MMA, they would fall as in love with it as I have.

2) At some point in history, there was no-doubt a collection of people claiming that this whole 'football' thing would never catch on. Same with computers, rock-n-roll, and automobiles. My point? New things take time. MMA fans may not be great in number, relatively to their fellow athletic counterparts, but they are loyal as all hell. They're not going anywhere and they will continue to grow. I just want to do what I can to be a part of the movement.


All that being said, we are still in the preliminary stages of developing this new site. This is simply a heads up. So thank you for your continued support at Real Radio, and I hope to see you guys at the yet-to-be-named site when the time comes. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Phoenix" - A$AP Rocky


Not quite sure how I missed blogging about this before, but you guys definitely need to check this video out, if you haven't already. Nobody does visual pairings like A$AP Rocky. Being the name behind one of the largest collections of cinematic masterpieces in all of hip hop is no easy task; especially when you've only been on this earth for 25 years. I will say this though... if this is some sort of sick twisted foreshadowing for the season-finale-fate of Chalky White, I'm going to be super pissed. DON'T KILL CHALKY! I can't watch another Michael K. Williams character die. I just can't.