Dan Henderson is fighting tonight! Rejoice!

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Whew! This one almost flew right by me! With the McGregor madness just subsiding and the simmering fervor for the return of Anderson Silva next week, this seriously compelling FOX card almost soared right under my radar.

The headlining bout is a legitimate number one contender feud between Alexander Gustafsson and ‘Rumble’ Johnson. Let me tell you, I am JAZZED up for this one. Rarely do two fighters with such contrasting styles get in the cage with “it all” on the line. The precursor to this scrap will be the return of Dan Henderson to the cage, this time back at 185. Can the 44 year old keep up his comeback ways against the ‘Young Vagabond‘ Gegard Mousasi? Find out after the jump!

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Spinning Webs: Let’s Predict the UFC 183 Main Event

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Finally, the time is now! Anderson Silva is coming back to the cage to add another victim to his web. On January 31st, Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz will tangle in one of the biggest fights in recent memory. When the legend of Anderson Silva matches up against the cult of personality that is Nick Diaz, who knows what will happen, but all that is certain is that I will be sitting comfortably in front of the TV screen to watch what madness goes down. Get my prediction for this heated tilt after the jump!

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#HotTake: Daniel Cormier will DISMANTLE Jon Jones

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It’s going down. This Saturday night has that special tingly feeling about it. That feeling that only comes around once in a blue moon in today’s MMA landscape. Ever since the “Year of the Superfight” was declared, I was expecting this combat sports induced sensation to be occurring on a monthly basis, but I can’t remember the last time I felt this way before a big fight. (Alright, maybe I lied, the last time I was this amped up for a fight it likely involved Anderson Silva…)

Arch-enemies and natural foils Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier will finally do the damn thing in the cage at UFC 182 in dusty Las Vegas. After raucous pre-fight antics and an unfortunate injury delay, the day is here and boy, it is going to be some kind of fun. That is, if you are a Daniel Cormier fan.

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Moai Martial Arts 2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog, and we share it each year with you.  Thanks for making this site so much fun.  Let’s have another great year together! – Bill

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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3rd Annual Moai Martial Arts Year End MMA Awards

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Here we are again. It’s that time of year where I toss on my finest tuxedo t-shirt and reminisce on the year that was in this wacky sport we call mixed martial arts. Was it a banner year for dude’s fighting in cages? No, not even close. As 2014 comes to a close, (with some serious litigation in the near future) the sport’s largest organization seems to be on wobbly legs for the first time in years.

Now, let’s forget about all that dense lawyer-speak and celebrate the good times we had in the eight sided cage this year. What was your favorite fight of the year? Who had the best year once the bell sounded? And as always, I’ll down a 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor and make some bold predictions for 2015! First, we have to dust off that crystal ball and see how well prophecies held up these last 12 months.

ALar’s Bold Predictions for MMA in 2014 (Written in December 2013):

RondaRousey_HeadshotBelt

Got one thing right!

 

First up, my thoughts on the champs at year’s end 2014:

Women’s Strawweight: Carla Esparza (1/1. Boom! Good job, me!)

Women’s Bantamweight: Ronda Rousey (Duh. The sun also sets in the west…)

Flyweight: John Dodson (Too bad, we never got to see the rematch. JD’s knee will keep him out of action until early 2015.)

Bantamweight: Urijah Faber (My 2014 Fighter of the Year got his title shot in February, but suffered an odd early TKO loss. His homie TJ Dillashaw avenged his loss later in the year. I get half credit for at least picking a Team Alpha Male guy, right?)

Featherweight: Chad Mendes (Aldo vacates to fight Pettis at 155) (Who knows what would have happened if Pettis was healthy… Mendes gave Aldo all he could handle in October, but it just wasn’t enough to dethrone the king.)

Lightweight: Anthony Pettis (Genius, ALar, genius…)

Welterweight: Johny Hendricks (Debatable, but it looks like he may get another crack at the strap…)

Middleweight: Chris Weidman (Anderson wins at 168, promptly retires) (What was I smoking with that addendum? Still, another point for the good guy!)

Light Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier (Defeats Jones. Jones then moves up to Heavyweight, gets immediate title shot) (If only UFC 182 was a few weeks earlier I could add another tally in the win column!)

Heavyweight: Jon Jones (Cain Velasquez hasn’t fought since Bush was in office. That’s H.W., if you’re wondering…)

4/10 ain’t too bad in a year where it seems every champion spent most of the time cheering on contenders from the first row while nursing some sort of ailment.

Other Predictions:

Why, man? Why?

Why, man? Why?

The ‘Year of the Superfight’ moniker proves to have come about a year too early. We see Pettis/Aldo and Jones/Velasquez in the second half of 2014. (Injuries stink.)

Nick Diaz comes out of retirement and faces Carlos Condit. And wins. (Wrong again, but I am GEEKED out for UFC 183. Don’t be scared, homie!)

BJ Penn defeats Frankie Edgar at 145. Announces move back to 155 and faces Nate Diaz. (Woof. BJ Penn looked like an old-timey saloon brawler in that tilt. Had nothing left to offer. Sad, but still one of the greatest to ever do it.)

Chael Sonnen retires from MMA and becomes full-time analyst at FOX Sports 1. (Replace retires with “Kicked out of the sport for being on every PED known to man” and FOX Sports 1 with “ESPN”.)

After all the trash talk, Ben Askren loses his second fight in ONE FC. (Nope. But who is Nobutatsu Suzuki, anyway?)

The UFC’s digital distribution network’s price point proves to be a detriment to sales. $9.99/Month price tag is dropped to $7.99/Month by mid-year. (Wishful thinking…)

Bellator folds. (No, but I get half credit for the Rebney regime coming to an end right? Hail Coker!)

Now, on to the awards. Get your champagne ready!

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Wooo!

 

Fight of the Year

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There are some popular choices out there:

Matt Brown v. Erick Silva

Johny Hendricks v. Robbie Lawler I or II (I was better…)

Jose Aldo v. Chad Mendes

But there can only be one winner!

2014 Fight of the Year: Chris Weidman v. Lyoto Machida from UFC 175

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Who saw this coming?

 

Sure, Chris Weidman was the Middleweight Champion entering 2014, but had we really seen him tested? Much of the MMA community wrote of his two shocking defeats of Anderson Silva as “flukes” and thought the elusive, slimmed down Dragon could really jar the Champ’s chops.

And boy, did he! Weidman and Machida demonstrated a masterclass on movement, MMA wrestling, and striking in the 25 minutes they were locked in the cage. As the fight closed, the two combatants engaged in a furious exchange that surely would see the Dragon strike down the clumsy American wrassler, right? Wrong! Weidman bobbed and weaved his way through Machida’s strikes and answered each and every one with a stinging straight or bludgeoning hook. Post fight, we all realized that Chris Weidman just stood toe to toe with one of the greatest strikers the history of the sport. He was legitimized as our reigning Middleweight king, and therefore Weidman/Machida was my pick of FOTY in 2014.

Fighter of the Year

Pick me, ALar! Pick me..

Pick me, ALar! Pick me..

The typical pick across the MMA blogosphere for this award has been the UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler. Now, don’t get me wrong, Mr. Ruthless’ 2014 was astonishing. The guy was no doubt one of the most prolific fighters within the sport’s premiere organization, but I am going to take a right turn with this one.

My choice? Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

FOX UFC Saturday: Ultimate Media Day

Why? Well, if you watched the UFC’s self-produced Year in Review, Cowboy was all over that thing like flies on horse dung. He kicked off the year with a jaw-shattering KO of Adriano Martins and followed that up with a shocking submission of the uber-talented Edson Barboza. Oh, dang? He can knock your teeth out or out grapple BJJ purple belts? This Cowboy character might have something going for him!

"Ouchies!"

“Ouchies!”

Next up, in his first UFC headlining tilt, Cowboy walked into Jim Miller’s turf in the Dirty Jerz and straight up smacked him silly with another thunderous leg kick. Still, Cowboy saved his best performance for the year’s biggest card. He welcomed the highly touted Eddie Alvarez to the UFC with a beating that a big brother would give to a smaller, slower little brother.

UFC 178 - Cerrone v Alvarez

With a win at UFC 182 over Myles Jury, Cowboy could be just a shot and a beer away from a UFC title shot. Did I mention Cerrone put together a 4-0 2014 while incessantly swigging Budweiser, wakeboarding, and generally living out the definition of American Bad Ass? All in all, he wins the Fighter of the Year award, and rightfully so.

WTF Moment of the Year

"Wrestler"

“Wrestler”

If you remember last year, my WTF Moment of the Year was Vitor Belfort’s general existence. As for this year, I had plenty of options to choose from:

CM Punk and HIS general existence

Rampage’s return made a late run…

The UFC Champions and their “injury bug”

But one thing stands head and shoulders above the rest… CHRIS CARIASO’S SUIT at UFC 178 is my WTF Moment of the Year. Did this guy waltz into a Marshall’s and grab the first suit he saw? Did he not realize he was going to be in front of a flash enabled camera for the entire week leading up to his HEADLINING fight on one of the biggest cards of the year? The guy could have been holding UFC gold at the end of the night and he was walking around in the same suit he wore to his cousin’s wedding six years ago.

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Where do you shop? Baby GAP???

 

 

With Conor McGregor stylin’ and profilin’ on that stage and Dana White wearing a black on black ensemble that likely cost more than my 2009 Toyota Corolla, no one could throw a style tip to Chris Cariaso? The guy looked like a deer frozen in a set of oncoming headlights leading up to the event, but good God, his mimicry of a part-time valet at a Cracker Barrel didn’t help his career advancement. Let’s hope that suit doesn’t make another appearance anytime soon…

Alright, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty… 2015 prediction time!

We’ll start with the year end champions:

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‘Sup?

 

Women’s Strawweight: Carla Esparza. PVZ isn’t ready yet.

Women’s Bantamweight: Ronda Rousey. Cyborg isn’t coming around any time soon.

Flyweight: John Dodson. Get that belt, man!

Bantamweight: TJ Dillashaw.

Featherweight: Conor McGregor?!?! Loses to Aldo in April. Aldo moves up to fight Pettis. McGregor faces Mendes or Edgar at the year end show.

Lightweight: Anthony Pettis. Takes out Aldo.

Welterweight: Rory MacDonald. Pains me to type that…

Middleweight: Jacare Souza. Why not? A Weidman/Jacare Trilogy is the stuff of dreams.

Light Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier. That’s right!

Heavyweight: Jon Jones. What?!?!?!

Bold and Beer Fueled Predictions for 2015!

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Always fresh!

 

CM Punk loses his first UFC fight.

Brock Lesnar joins the UFC. Defeats Alistair Overeem and is granted a title shot.

Anderson Silva defeats Nick Diaz, asks for GSP fight when speaking with Joe Rogan.

Dan Henderson, both Nogueiras, Shogun Rua, and Josh Barnett retire from the sport.

Though, one of the above listed will first welcome Rampage Jackson back to the UFC.

The lawsuit against the UFC stalls and no major movements are made by either party.

Massive backlash against the Reebok design team leads to Dana White having to make a public statement about individual fighter branding. One fighter will be cut due to a kerfuffle about the uniform.

Joe Rogan announces plans to leave the UFC broadcasting gig. Hopefully Brian Stann is groomed as his successor.

Two Champions will fight, with belts on the line.

Fighter pay will still be an issue heading in to 2016…

2015 New Year celebration

 

Happy New Year, fools! Let’s hope for a 2015 filled with fantastic fights and entertaining antics. See you on the other side!

 

 

 

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Holiday Gift Guide for the Prepper in Your Life

After testing and reviewing some pretty sweet knives, it’s time for Part Two of our series on preparedness.  We got some great response on the first article, and we hope you enjoy this no-nonsense guide to buying holiday gifts for the prepper in your life (or yourself).  Really no one interested in preparedness or survivalism should be without these essential pieces of gear.  If you have a family you should definitely invest in at least some entry-level items.

You don’t need to go crazy, or do you?

Other than an excellent knife, you should start with some essentials for basic preparedness.  I have individually purchased and tested all of these items–though thankfully not in a dire situation.  I’d like to do some more testing through survival scenarios throughout the coming months.  With that said, if you have review information to share, please do so in the comments.

Just a heads up: buying from Amazon via these links helps support this site.  Just click the images for purchase information.  The prepper holiday gift guide starts after the jump.  Thanks!

prepper, doomsday, preparedness, shelter, survival

You probably don’t need to take it this far, but who knows?

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Weekend Fight Watch: Triple Threat!

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How much spare time do the MMA decision makers think us fight fans have? This weekend alone there will be THREE reasonably populated MMA cards that could make for a long few days on the couch for the average fight fan. Friday night, the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion will be crowned as Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas clash at the culmination of TUF 20. Saturday evening, Jon Fitch and Rousimar Palhares will tangle in the WSOF cage, and I mean, that should be pretty gosh darn exciting. And lastly, the cherry on top of the weekend is the UFC on FOX 13 card featuring a mish mash of heavyweight tilts and the return of a Diaz brother. Can you ask for much more? Are you not entertained?!?! Warm up that couch and hit the jump for a breakdown!

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Forget Thanksgiving, the MMA Feast is Here! A UFC 181 Breakdown

Yes. In fact, this is the best poster the UFC has ever made.

Yes. In fact, this is the best poster the UFC has ever made.

For the last few months, I’ve struggled to summon the passion to write a blog about a UFC event. Outside of a certain Notorious Irishman, nothing has really moved the needle in my neck of the woods since I attended the UFC event at Foxwoods in early September. Sure, some fights were cool and had some legit implications, but NONE of those can hold a candle to the 181 card. For my money, this is the best card the promotion has put on all year.

After Anthony Pettis ended the snoozeworthy Benson Henderson title reign, I was amped up to see what kind of star Showtime could become. Unfortunately, his balky knee kept him out of action for over a year. Finally, one of the most spectacular strikers in the sport will be walking to the cage once more this Saturday evening. And against who? Oh, one of the combatants in my second favorite fight of all time: Gilbert Melendez? Word, sign me up!

If you have ever read my rambling thoughts before, you know I have been driving the Bigg Rigg bandwagon for some time now. I’m generally not a fan of title rematches, but after the phone-booth brawl that Hendricks and Lawler put on he first time they clashed, I’m counting the seconds until they touch gloves again.

Add in Urijah Faber, Travis Browne, Todd Duffee, and Sergio Pettis and UFC 181 is what we in the business call “must-see TV.” I’m going to throw an old school breakdown at you, every fight on the main card will be previewed!

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Action in Austin! UFC Fight Night 57 Preview

What’s at stake for Featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson on Saturday night?

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THIS ONE is a treat. Two of the most talented fighters in one of the UFC’s most skilled divisions will go toe to toe this weekend with title implications on the line. As a fight fan, you can’t ask for much more. Each of these dudes come with a highlight filled history of bringing the ruckus whenever they enter the cage. For someone who has had a little TOO MUCH fun on the last few Saturday eve’s, I can’t wait to melt into the couch this weekend with an IPA that is entirely too hoppy and watch these two top level talents trade leather. I’ll break down who I think wins this important scrap after the jump!

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EDC Knife Roundup

Looks like I’m a little behind on my posting lately.  Time to take the reins back from ALar and to tell you a little about what I’ve been up to!

I hate to admit it, but one of my many projects has been to start prepping.  I can’t be blamed, though.  ALar lent me a copy of Sam Sheridan’s Disaster Diaries, and, well, events were put in motion that just couldn’t be stopped.  I spent all summer stockpiling canned goods, building a bug-out bag, and thinking of ways to get my family out of Dodge in my new FJ Cruiser.

Yeah, I may have went a little overboard . . . 

But with Ebola and ISIS and Obama threatening our way of life, who can blame me, right?

Anyhow, on with the show.  I plan to write about some practical prepping plans that are easy on your mind and budget.  Let’s start the series with one of the most practical and necessary items everyone should have.  A good pocket knife.

Preparedness starts with what you have on your person, ready to use should the need arise.  A knife is one of the most important multi-purpose tools to keep in your pocket.  Think of all the things you do with your teeth, a dull pair of scissors, or brute strength each day that could be simplified with a few quick cuts — opening packages, stripping wire, tasks in the yard, breaking down boxes.  Add emergency, first aid, and self-defense uses, and you can see why the knife is one of man’s oldest tools.

We've come a long way since these were dug up.  Read on to learn more!

We’ve come a long way since these were made. Read on to learn more!

I researched, tested, purchased, and worked with dozens of knives in my search for some of the best everyday carry (EDC) tools for the average martial artist.  As much as I’d like to walk around with a machete (or a katana) it’s just not a good idea.  Here are my recommendations for the best knives given different preferences and uses.

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