***This week, a UFC Hall of Famer goes off on Stephan Bonnar’s induction, and Bas Rutten breaks down game plans for Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman.
Miesha Tate reveals how things have gone with Ronda Rousey during the TUF tapings, and Bruce Buffer talks about his fight with Royce Gracie?! All this and much more, this week on Inside MMA Live!***
Inside MMA Live on AXS.TV report by Steve Te Tai
Originally aired LIVE Friday, July 5 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV
Bruce Buffer introduced the show from the IMMA set.
UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman
They run down the card co-headlined by Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira. Bas is very anxious to see the big fight between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. Ron Kruck joins us from an empty MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Kruck talks about the Vegas odds showing Weidman as his toughest challenge to date.
Chris Weidman tells Kruck it all boils down to his goal being the World champion. Anderson tells Kruck that both of them trained hard for the fight, but he doesn’t like to talk. Weidman says his wrestling and jiu-jitsu game, youth, and his length, and his feet can surprise people, will all work in his favor for this fight. He seems completely stone confident. His trainer Ray Longo says he’s been like this from day one. His confidence, poise, and analysis of the fight game. He’s been spot on since the day he met him.
Dana White says all the fighters, a lot of media guys, and all the Vegas oddmakers believe in Weidman, so this is going to be an interesting fight. Weidman doesn’t feel it’s a big deal that he “called out” Anderson Silva, his only goal has been to be number one, and he knew Silva was his weight class from day one and he wouldn’t have gotten into this sport if he wasn’t prepared to face and defeat Anderson Silva at some point.
Silva tells Kruck if he would lose to Weidman he doesn’t know if that would be the biggest upset in MMA history, but it’s a good question for fans. For him, it’s the great fights for his legacy and that’s to fight Roy Jones Jr. which is more important to him. (Not sure if I heard him right about the Jones fight being more important.)
Weidman says his father will be in his corner for the first time, and say a nice prayer for him before he goes out. This is the fight he’s always wanted, and he was always jealous whenever anyone else fought Silva.
Silva says he has nothing to prove for his fans or the Brazilian people. Only God has the plans for he and Weidman (sounds like Fedor after his losses.)
Kruck points out Anderson Silva usually opens as a 4-1 favorite unless he faces a solid wrestler which is what Weidman is. He’s about a 2-1 favorite right now, but they expect those odds to drop as they expect late action on Weidman.
Bas’ Keys to Victory: Silva vs. Weidman
Anderson Silva needs to fight on his feet. After every combination he needs to move, and do not throw kicks since that leaves him vulnerable to takedowns. Once down, get him in the guard to stop his submission attempts.
Chris Weidman needs to take this fight to the ground. Set up take downs with strikes but be careful for Anderson to counter those strikes and get tagged. On the ground, pass the guard and go for submission or ground and pound.
Kenny wonders if Anderson is ripe for the picking and timing is on Weidman’s side. Bas references Sonnen-Silva I, since if Weidman took Silva down he has great submissions. However Anderson always seems to find an answer to win though. If he’s down he’ll weather the storm from the guard, because he only needs one shot to win and he’ll have five rounds to look for it.
In recent years, there’s been a lot more talk about cross weight superfights surrounding Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and Jon Jones. They show a graphic pointing out how Silva is on a 16 fight win streak, GSP is on 11 wins, and Jon Jones is on a 9 fight winning streak. Their next opponents are Weidman, Hendricks, and Gustafsson. (Jones might be the only one to win his!)
He says it always comes back to Silva-GSP, but Bas and Kenny would prefer Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva. Bas thinks the hesitation comes that even if they’re fought at a catch weight, you can still lose your “glow” with a loss, like Bruce Leroy in the Last Dragon.
They show another graphic pointing out how 4 of the current UFC champions (Silva, Aldo, GSP, Barao) are non-American, and 1/3 of the Top Ten fighters were also born outside of the US. Also 50% of the UFC shows in 2013 so far have taken place outside of the US.
Dana White told Kruck that in 2013 that their deal in Mexico is their biggest accomplishment right now and they’re working hard on China and India.
Miesha Tate LIVE
Tate joins us on the big screen from a gym in Las Vegas.
She is not used to coaching a whole team but it’s a lot of fun and she’s learning and retaining a lot. She is grateful to be a part of this and it’s a cool experience and an honor.
Miesha talks about how people think she Nancy Kerrigan’d Cat Zingano since she took her historic spot on TUF. It was an unfortunate situation for her, and feels for Cat, but when Dana gave her the opportunity she’d have to be absolutely out of her mind to not take it. She’s really honored to be a part of this show, and to have a second chance at Ronda Rousey, and she will make the most of it.
Miesha says she and Ronda either have no interaction ignoring each other completely or when they do interact it’s like fuel on fire. There’s no happy medium at this point, and being in such close quarters all the time has definitely made their rivalry more intense.
ESPN reached out to her and she put them with her management for how she got on the ESPN Body Issue. They met about it and decided this would be a good career move and she could look back on this and appreciate it. She sees it as an honor to be selected for something like this. The photo shoot was on a beach and everyone was professional. She was really nervous.
Bas says the women will want to show that they are better than the guys, as we all know that women are more vicious than guys, or at least his ex-wife was.
--Khabib Nurmagomebov. Not only does he walkout wearing a large fuzzy blond wig, but he is 4-0 in the UFC with 14 stoppages from his 20 total wins and no losses. Keep an eye on him.
--James Krause. After being a journeyman for so long, he finally made it to the UFC and in his debut he beat tough UFC veteran Sam Stout.
--Conor McGregor. Bas goes off in a long Scottish accent talking about McGregor (even though Conor is Irish). He’s on a 9 fight win streak and faces Andy Ogle at the Boston UFC show in August on Fox.
Jacob “Stitch” Duran LIVE
Stitch joins us on the big screen from the same gym as Tate in Las Vegas. The toughest cut he has to deal with typically is right between the eyes on the big artery that runs vertical on the forehead. The last one he remembers was when Jay Hieron took a knee from Jonathan Goulet right there and it’s hard to work on and you can only stop it for half a round. And if someone gets a choke on you from that it bleeds big time. All cut men are familiar with that wound and laugh when they talk about it because it’s so difficult to deal with.
When he worked in kickboxing years ago he did it all, including doing cuts, and over time, being cut man just sort of floated to the top for him. He loves training guys, and once in a while will break a sweat with his son, but you wrap a fighter’s hand and give them that confidence or work a cut and save a guy’s career, it’s very gratifying and that is where he makes his concentration to be the best cut man in the business.
He has his own products including Quick-Aid. He had different companies send him stuff over time and it didn’t work, but he’s found stuff that works best for cuts and he’s used it on the Klitschko’s, Andre Ward, and in the UFC. Bas has used it on his recommendation and it worked. Stitch says if it worked that well on drawing out the impurities on staph it’d be a “million dollar” product. Bas also says he has a great book. www.stitchduran.com
Bruce Buffer LIVE
The veteran UFC ring announcer joins Bas and Kenny from the balcony of the Nokia Plaza. Since UFC 8, Bruce has only missed 2 events, so he actually might have seen more UFC events that anyone including Rogan and Joe Silva.
What fights sticks out for Bruce was the end of the TUF 1 season, with Bonnar-Griffin as one of the most amazing pinnacle shows, as it was the launching pad for the UFC rocketship that still has no end in sight.
Kenny brings up Bruce’s book, but let’s Bruce say the title “It’s Time” because he’s afraid he will have violate some sort of a copyright by saying it. Bruce laughs he would be in violation, but since he’s a friend he’s allowed to say it. People always wonder how he got started in this business and after he tore his ACL at the UFC Toronto debut (did he just say he tore his ACL announcing a fight?), he sat around and decided to tell his story.
Bas asks about Bruce sparring with Royce Gracie. He talks about how he was into kickboxing because in his day it was all about being Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee. Hollywood director, John Milius, who designed the Octagon along with Rorion Gracie, told Bruce to come train with him in Torrance to learn “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” before the UFC started. That was where he met Royce for the first time. He easily outweighed Royce by 20-30 pounds and was feeling like a bull so he confidently walked into a room with Royce, who invited him to try to come at him, and promptly took Bruce down and choked him out in about 20 seconds. Afterwards Royce told him, “see isn’t it nice to not be hit in the face?”
Bruce started to see the UFC crossover audience right before the Zuffa takeover, but had they not taken over when they did, the sport would not be where it is now and might not even exist.
Tito Ortiz and the UFC Hall of Fame
Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin will be inducted this weekend due to their historic fight. Last year’s inductee, Tito Ortiz joins us on the big screen from his gym in Huntington Beach, CA.
Tito says you don’t go into the Baseball Hall of Fame for having the best game of your life, so it shouldn’t happen for MMA either (in reference to Stephan Bonnar.) You have to be World champion and have many unforgettable fights. Bas says this fight still put UFC on a much bigger map. Tito says it comes down to the UFC saying “haha Tito we don’t care what you say” and they will induct them anyway, (as if UFC is doing this to personally spite Tito Ortiz), but fans want to see who the best guy was in the HOF. If it’s just about one fight, then how can you ignore all the great things that Frank Shamrock did, who is never mentioned ever, and credits Frank for being the first fighter to truly do “mixed martial arts” into the sport in his time. He learned from him, and a bigger name than Ken. But he’s set out because he stood his ground just like him.
But things are the way they are, but if you’re in the HOF you need to be a former world champion and it has to be more than one fight. Forrest was a World champion who fought and beat the best in his time, and he is perfect. He thinks Bonnar is a great guy, but you have to earn you way in to be in the HOF. Tito thinks the fans should be able to vote for HOF inductees, but fans don’t always know. Bas is one that UFC fans might not be aware enough of, when he should be in the HOF too. Bas says it was one fight, but it was the one that put UFC on the map. Tito would prefer Kenny’s idea if he was put in as a “contributor” like how baseball does umpires, but not as a normal inductee.
(Griffin/Bonnar should both be in because of the significance of their fight. Without that fight, Bonnar doesn’t deserve to be in at all, but frankly neither does Griffin. He was champ once, and lost it immediately, like Ron Garvin, so while that puts him a notch above Bonnar, Forrest is not even close to an all-time great fighter.)
Ron Kruck with Frankie Edgar
Frankie Edgar is on a 3-fight losing streak, however those were all title bouts and close decision losses. Edgar faces Oliveira this weekend, and bas says Frankie wants this on the feet, even though he won’t get submitted on the ground with his great defense. Oliveira last lost from KO so it might be in his head.
Oliveira needs this on the ground since that’s where his real strength is. He needs to press and push Frankie to get that takedown. Perhaps he could surprise him with power in his hands, however Frankie has a granite chin and is hard to outwork him or finish him.
Ron Kruck spoke with Edgar about this bout. Frankie does see that 3 straight losses is a lot of adversity against him, no matter who it’s too. But at the end of the day it’s just another fight. Every fight is just as important as the next and that’s what this is. His next fight. It’s tough because you’re so close to the finish line and get beat in the last second. He’s been here before from wrestling missing things by a hair, so he’s been able to not pack it in, and still work towards his goal of being number one and that’s what he’s doing. Losses build mental toughness which you need or it could break you.
He’s heard the criticism but he doesn’t pay attention to it. The way fans and media treat fighters you have to constantly prove yourself. He points out how Anderson Silva can have one subpar performance he gets ridiculed, and then he comes back the next fight and looks phenomenal, but it’s the nature of fighting.
Bas Rutten’s Pound 4 Pound rankings
10. Renan Barao. If he fought 2 more fights he’d be higher
9. Demetrious Johnson. Great everything, stamina, heart, he puts it all together.
8. Rory MacDonald. He will get a title and he sees a lot of starpower in his future and liked how he mixed his body shots with head shots against Penn.
7. Cain Velasquez. The most well-conditioned heavyweight who came back from a loss to regain the belt and is a monster
6. Benson Henderson. He’s just a really good fighter. Always in great shape, great ground game, but just a great fighter and great person.
5. Gilbert Melendez. Since its his top ten he puts Gilbert here because he felt Gilbert won that fight, so in his book Gilbert is #5.
4. Jon Jones. He just never lost. Complete fighter, very fast, and stronger, and could easily be higher but can’t put him higher than the others.
3. Jose Aldo. Aldo is his guy with his “frickin’ explosive striking” and a great ground game that he never has to use. Bas reminds us it’s his top ten, not anyone else’s.
2. Georges St. Pierre. He’s just unbelievable and avenged both losses. He’s all over the place and beats everybody. He only fights top dogs.
1. Anderson Silva. Most consecutive title defenses. Unbelievable career going all the way back to Pride when he announced for them.
Kenny speculates if Silva wins, then they have to do Silva-Jones.
(Will this show be historic? I know most acknowledge Anderson Silva as the greatest champion ever and all, but I actually don’t think the list of guys he’s fought in the UFC has been that impressive since 2008. It’s been a long list of marginal Brazilians and some average to above average Americans. The other significance to this fight is Chris Weidman is the first young, rising star fighter Anderson has EVER fought in the UFC. And the 3rd real wrestler, but with the x-factor of having strong jiu-jitsu as well.
I think the only way Silva wins is if Weidman somehow freezes up and has his takedowns stuffed and then can’t adjust from there and Silva wins on points in a snoozefest. Of if Silva comes up with something completely brand new striking-wise. So I think Weidman emerges from this fight either looking severely overrated following a victory over a less than perfect Mark Munoz, or he comes out as the middleweight version of Jon Jones, as someone completely unstoppable in his weight class.)
Upcoming MMA shows
--July 13, Invicta (PPV)
--July 19, Legacy FC 21 (AXS.TV)
--July 26, Lion Fight 10 (AXS.TV)
--July 27, UFC on Fox 8 (Fox)
So like Bas always says, Godspeed and party on!