Here’s a nice article about my sensei, Ed DeCosta from a local newspaper. I mentioned his promotion to 9th-dan recently, and you can read more by following the link below. Congratulations to Ed and the others who earned promotions as well!
A UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt v. Bigfoot Preview
Grab a Foster’s and settle in for this rare Friday night UFC event. Due to Brisbane being on the opposite side of the world than most of the UFC’s loyal fan base, this event will air live on Fox Sports 1 at 9 PM Friday instead of the promotions usual Saturday slot. I can’t complain as this adds to an already stacked weekend of combat sports (Legacy, Invicta, ONE FC, and WSOF all have cards going down this weekend as well). This card is surprisingly solid for a “local” Fight Night event. Any and all fighters with any sort of name recognition and some sort of Australian relation have found their way to this event. Looking at the card’s content, we will get treated to a few slobberknocker Heavyweight scraps, as well as the return of ‘Shogun’ Rua. The Main Event is a mythical matchup between Mark ‘The Super Samoan” Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot’ Silva. Spoiler alert: someone is going to sleep in that one. From top to bottom, this Aussie event has the potential to be one of the most entertaining of the year. Hit the jump to check out the preview!
This is a quick preview of a project I am working on with a local artist, Marissa Dziedzic, whose work can be found all over Gracie Farmington Valley. We’ve written and illustrated a karate book for kids! It is tentatively titled Cranky Kenny Learns Karate, and it’s a fun story about how a boy learns to be nicer by studying Shohei-Ryu Karate. It will include lots of instructive material that is great for kids of all ages beginning to study the art. We hope to publish the book in the summer of 2014, or maybe sooner.
If you would like to receive updates about the project, you can join our e-mail list by clicking below.
Of course, you should check back here early and often for updates. Look for some concept art coming soon!
I try to watch TUF, I really do, but the show is just so damn stale at this point. Sure, the Ronda Rousey fueled antics spiced this season up a bit, but even the injection of women into the TUF house couldn’t keep my interest. There were some decent fights on the show, though with what seems like a UFC event every week, I had no need to block out the time to catch a lackluster TUF scrap. Regrettably, it doesn’t look like the TUF train is slowing down anytime soon either. However, the addition of BJ Penn to the TUF 19 season does have me intrigued. As compelling as some of the TUF coaching choices are (Sonnen, Rousey, Penn) the show still is built upon the fighters. With Uriah Hall fizzling out, we haven’t really had a marketable star come out of the TUF house in some time. Are any of you clamoring to catch the Chris Holdsworth/Davey Grant Finale fight? Do you even know who either of them are? I doubt it, the real reason we are tuning in here is to watch a Diaz brother do Diaz things in the cage. Check out my preview of that fight after the jump!
I don’t have anything profound to say right now about gratitude or the holiday season or self-defense tips on how to stay safe during Black Friday. All I can say is that ALar and I appreciate another great year of sharing quality time online with you. Thanks for reading this blog and for helping us to build an active and open-minded martial arts community.
If you’re traveling, stay safe. Enjoy friends, family, and, of course, feasting. See you on the mats tomorrow! – Bill
ALar shares his thoughts on Saturday’s 20th anniversary card
We have finally arrived at the UFC’s landmark 20th Anniversary. From Royce to Tank to Bones, the sport has remarkably come a long way. I can still vividly remember that right hook from Rampage that connected on Chuck Liddell’s mohawked melon that got me hooked on the whole guys fighting in cages thing. (I heard that Rampage guy had a fight this weekend or something…)
In my mind, there is no better way to celebrate the meteoric rise of the UFC as a promotion than a Georges St. Pierre fight. This guy has perfectly embodied the evolving MMA athlete over the last 7 years, making him undoubtedly one of the most important fighters in the promotion’s history. His fights are landmarks on the expansive MMA timeline and his reign is approaching legendary status. Though, as many pundits have pointed out, the bearded wrestler from Oklahoma State may provide ‘Rush’ with his toughest test to date. Who do I think will be the Welterweight Champ come Sunday morning? Check out the rest of the preview to find out!
Wow! Talk about a quick turn around for the crew at Zuffa. Wednesday in Kentucky, Saturday in Brazil… The brand is clearly working towards that global domination goal. Now, I hate to say it, but this preview is going to be incredibly abbreviated. Not only is this card rather lackluster to the average American fan, but the celebration of a quarter century of ALar living on this Earth is this Friday. That joyous event coincides with the start of UConn basketball season, therefore my time is somewhat limited. Even with those roadblocks in the way, my favorite fighter is in competition this weekend, so I HAVE to toss my fans some knowledge regarding Hendo’s latest scrap. A rare one fight preview from yours truly, but hit the jump to check it out!
Vitor Belfort (-230) v. Dan Henderson (+180)
On paper, this fight makes no sense. Vitor has been using his TRT fuel to shoot up the ladder at 185, while Hendo has been dropped two tentative fights in a row at Light Heavyweight. There is little marketing for the rematch here since both fighters have changed drastically since their PRIDE 32 scrap where Hendo dominated with his elite wrestling. Now in 2013, we find each athlete at very different points in their career. In recent media, Vitor is somehow attempting to convince us that his resurgence isn’t medically related, while Hendo is admittedly attempting to just maintain relevance within the sport since his fall from grace at UFC 151.
MMA hardcores will certainly be on edge when these two legends clash on Saturday, but who will come out victorious? Vitor has looked like a world-beater as of late, but if we look at how Hendo and Vitor each handled a certain Michael Bisping, we can toss that one out as a push. We can then compare the Rockhold win for Vitor and the Evans loss for Hendo. Last time out, Vitor struck gold when he tossed out a spinning kick at Luke Rockhold’s dome and ended up with a violent KO victory. Hendo’s last two bouts have seen the wily vet hesitant to toss out the H-Bomb and he has dropped two decisions with little fuss.
On Saturday, I see this as a test of who can best control the tempo. Hendo holds the grappling advantage, but Vitor’s initial blitz isn’t something to be forgotten. We haven’t seen Vitor reach a decision since 2007, and I think this one might change that trend. Hendo knows how to control great strikers (Machida, Rampage) and can go toe to toe with damn near anyone (How’s life, Fedor?). Vitor can win this if he blitzes Hendo and earns an early stoppage, but when was the last time someone knocked out Dan Henderson??? Oh yeah, NEVER. I see this thing going to a decision with Hendo working Vitor on the feet. He will sustain the initial barrage and then use a combination of crisp striking and wrestling to put a beat down on Belfort. These two will be pretty high on the Coleman Index come the latter rounds therefore I believe Hendo will land that H-Bomb and earn a TKO win in the fourth. A great Birthday present for yours truly!
I have to say, I am a fan of absolutely anything that benefits those that defend our country. I genuinely respect the UFC for throwing this fight card at Fort Campbell in Kentucky in front of a packed house of our nation’s heroes. This patriotically themed Fight Night event echoes the same level of fights that we see on the other Wednesday Night cards that have filled up our DVRs. Though, when you take a magnifying glass to this Wednesday’s lineup, it is surprisingly solid. Admittedly, the Main Event lost some luster when Lyoto Machida was pulled and replaced with NYC’s own ‘Sapo’ Natal. Even so, for the average fight fan that likely doesn’t have a busy schedule on a November Wednesday Eve, this one could be worth a bag of popcorn and a six pack of your favorite domestic brew. On to the preview!
This was a big weekend for several of my karate heroes! First, I’d like to congratulate my sensei, Ed DeCosta for achieving his 9th-dan while training in Okinawa this week. After a lifetime of training and teaching, it is a tremendous accomplishment for him.
What isn’t recognized by his promotion is his dedication to bringing out the best in his students. I am in his debt for all he has done for me over the years, and I wouldn’t be anywhere near as physically, mentally, or spiritually strong as I am today without his care and guidance. Thanks, Ed!
Woah, this one snuck up on me! This Saturday afternoon the UFC is throwing down another Fight Night card on Fox Sports 2 (AKA Fuel TV). This card isn’t exactly setting my inner MMA fanaticism on fire, and thankfully I don’t think that is the point. This card was supposed to feature British favorite Michael Bisping in his home country, (hence the 3 PM ET start.) but he was forced off the card with a gruesome eye injury. And let’s face it, any card, no matter the quality would have a tough time following up last weekend’s stellar UFC 166 card. As usual with these Fight Night events, we have three solid fights up top and then an assortment of local talent and up and comers filling out the rest. I mean, if you don’t have a religious college football alliance or aren’t out soaking in the fall foliage, what better do you have to do than take a seat on the couch and watch some fights? On to the preview!