***This week, Chael Sonnen explains the two guys at the top of his list, and Alistair Overeem explains the Silva loss and his UFC future. Plus Dan Henderson talks his new gym, his favorite fights, and the guys he’s looking to fight next, Cyborg tries a new sport, Nick Newell explains the trouble with signing with WSOF, and much more, this week on Inside MMA LIVE!***
Inside MMA Live on AXS.TV report by Steve Te Tai
Originally aired LIVE Friday, August 16 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV
Ron Kruck with Chael Sonnen
A sweaty Chael Sonnen, joins Kruck from the arena in Boston, and calls Shogun a “tremendous pain in the ass”, he’s good everywhere, he fights hard with a ton of experience, and he’s a big guy. Shogun has skills he doesn’t have and vice versa. It’s going to be a long unpleasant evening.
Even Chael’s coaches admire Rua’s new striking coach, Freddie Roach, who recently said Shogun now punches like Superman, and while Chael loves his coaches, he says it must be a great experience for Shogun to work with the legendary boxing trainer.
He was never told about the licensing issue controversy. He was only told he had to produce a letter from his doctor and given a date. That morning he called in to see if there were questions on that letter and then found out they were having a hearing about his license. Had he known about it, it would’ve brought a tremendous amount of stress, but didn’t know until the day he was approved anyway.
As for those who claim his TRT exemptions gives him an unfair advantage, you can’t claim it’s unfair because it’s in the rules. We don’t take things to hurt us, we take things to help. If you’re going to do it, follow the rules and take the steps. He does so doesn’t feel bad about it.
There are two fighters he’s always trying to get ahold of, Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. Everywhere he turns he tries to get a fight with Wanderlei, and everywhere Silva turns he “claims” he tries to get a fight with him. For anyone to believe that the UFC hasn’t tried to put that fight together that’s just silly. Wanderlei claims the fight’s never been offered.
He’s never accepted the outcome of his last fight with Anderson Silva and wants to fight him again. However it is just coincidence the fighters he wants are all Brazilian, it’s nothing against that nation or its fighters.
Bas’ Keys to Victory: Sonnen vs. Rua
Bas says it’s the classic ground guy vs. the standup guy. More specifically Shogun cannot plant his feet or throw wild punches or kicks like normal, he needs to be more technical, and move after every combination or Chael will take him down.
Chael needs the fight on the ground, and if Shogun throws wild, that’s when he should move in.
Bas’ Keys to Victory: Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
Both men lost to Bigfoot Silva, however Bas points out Browne’s only loss was due to an injury. Overeem needs to keep his hands up after throwing combos. Also go back to single strikes he always did. So always have one hand on the chin, since he’s been knocked out seven times in his long career, and it only gets worse not better, so protect yourself.
Browne should do what he always does. Use your footwork and use combinations, all the while looking out for knees from Alistair.
Eddie Alvarez Bellator or UFC?
Eddie Alvarez is back in Bellator (just like when Couture went back to UFC, bills don’t pay themselves …) Alvarez’ first bout will be a rematch with Michael Chandler under the Ortiz-Jackson PPV. Chandler says he is faster than before and will finish him faster, but Bas points out that Alvarez has never lost a rematch.
Cyborg’s new career
Cris Cyborg will fight for Lion Fight 11 in a Muay Thai boxing fight on September 20 on AXS.TV against Martina Jindrova.
The Final Bell: World Series of Fighting 4
They run down the results of last weekend’s card including Tyron Spong and Nick Newll victorious and Ray Sefo falling to Dave Huckaba in his “100th fight”. Bas examines some questions from the fallout of this show.
--What’s next for Tyron Spong?
Bas would love to see Spong fight Anthony Johnson, but it won’t happen because they train together. You have to put Spong against a good ground fighter with great wrestling and if he beats that guy he’s on the way to the top.
--Is Marlon Moraes a Top Ten Bantamweight?
Oh yes he is. He’s won his last five and just beat someone who won his last six.
--Did Nick Newell slience the doubters?
Bas thinks he did five fights ago. Caldwell, the guy he beat, was 9-1 with 8 KO finishes. Nick really proved himself. (Newell has all the tools to be a superstar and a great gimmick with the arm. And while it took Dana White years to open his mind to women fighting in the UFC, it will likely take years for Dana to open his mind to Newell too.)
Nick Newell LIVE
Kenny joins Nick on the foggy balcony at Nokia Plaza. He says there was a lot of pressure on him with the competition stepping up and more eyes on him, and therefore more doubting his ability to perform. There was a lot of stress this training camp and even broke down a couple of times and had to get himself focused.
There were a lot of factors in his decision to go with WSOF, but the main thing was the level of competition and the impressive roster they have and the challenges that await him. He didn’t get into this to be second fiddle, and wants to see how long he can push this and how far he can go and the only way to do that is to face the best guys possible.
They show a graphic showing the top lightweights in WSOF as Nick Newell (10-0), Dan Lauzon (17-4), Justin Gaethje (9-0), and JZ Cavalcante (18-7-1). Nick says he is ready for any challenge and compete with any of those guys and if they make a tournament with these three for a Lightweight title, he would win.
Earlier this week he had lunch with Jim Abbott who pitched in the MLB despite having the same affliction with the hand. He met him as a kid and was an inspiration back then and still is. They show a picture of the two from this week. Abbott showed him there are people with one hand doing anything they want and following their dreams by working hard.
http://luckyfinproject.org/ is a group Nick is working with to raise awareness for children with limb differences and tolerance. They are selling bracelets and other gimmicks.
CES MMA from Lincoln, RI had:
--Rob Font over Chris Foster
--Gil Freitas over Chuck O’Neil
Dan Henderson LIVE
Dan joins us from his home in Temecula, CA. He says he took time off this summer to vacation with family and it out of shape but he’s getting back into the gym. The new gym’s grand opening is this Sunday, and Dan puts Bas on the spot to be there for an appearance! John McCarthy will be there too. Bas says he has an interview in the morning but he might just make it there.
Dan feels the Shogun-Sonnen fight will come down to conditioning. He doesn’t see Chael losing that fight at all. He has the capability of putting Shogun on his back and as long as he doesn’t make any stupid mistakes he should be able to control this fight. If Shogun comes in great shape, it can make it difficult for Chael, especially if Sonnen isn’t in great shape. But it comes down to conditioning.
Bas brings up that Vitor Belfort wants to fight Chael Sonnen, but if not him, then he wants Dan Henderson. Henderson brings up that would be a rematch from the Pride show in Las Vegas. He’s down for whatever the fans want. He’s DTF (down to fight).
They show a graphic of how his last 8 opponents were all former UFC, Strikeforce, and/or Pride World champions. The ultimate goal is to be the top guy. He’s a little further away from these past two fights that didn’t go his way. He just wants to fight someone who will get him there quicker. He’s not sure if Vitor is that guy, but he’s willing to fight the guys the fans want.
The RINGS tournament was the toughest night of fighting in his career, 3 in one night, including tweaking his knee in the second one. Knocking out Wanderlei in Pride was a big one for him, and the Fedor fight definitely meant a lot to him.
Phil Davis, Gustaffson, or anyone in the top 3 or 4 are the guys he’d like to fight. Jon Jones is the one guy who he wanted to fight and hasn’t been able to. He trained his butt off until he got hurt so that fight went away on him, but Jon Jones is not the average guy, and the challenge of Jon Jones intrigued him the most. He feels like he would match up well with someone like him, and from past experience, tall guys’ reach hasn’t been an issue with him. But he accepts he’s further away from that fight at this point in his career.
--Martin Sano Jr. finished Billy Colon (at the weigh-ins Sano declined to shake Colon’s hand) from Rocktagon MMA
--Dave Huckaba finished Ray Sefo after Sefo whiffed on a high kick and was pelted with punches
--Jared Rosholt KO’d Jason Walraven from C3 Fights
--Jinh Yu Frey KO’d Darla Harris with a frighteningly accurate power stiff punch right on the chin in a 105 pound bout.
Ron Kruck with Alistair Overeem
From Boston, Kruck meets with the ‘Reem. Alistair predicts he will be more active in the future compared to his UFC tenure so far, and will probably fight again in 2013. On average, UFC fighters go 2-3 times a year, so figures December-ish will be his next fight. He doesn’t feel he has to prove anything, but the UFC has something he wants in that championship belt, which would crown his career.
He took a lot of lessons from the Silva loss. When the team sat down and looked at the fight, they’ve built on that and months later they fixed all the things he did wrong. As for critics who said he might’ve gotten too cocky in that fight and had his hands down too much, they might be right. Underestimating Silva was one of the factors for that loss, but there were many factors.
As for Travis Browne, they are both strikers, and while he has an experience advantage, Browne is someone not to be underestimated.
As for beating Browne equaling a future shot at Velasquez or JDS, he’s not focused on too far in the future or in the past.
This truly was WTF?! They show a clip of “Florentine football” which is supposed to be a combination of football, soccer, and rugby, but anything goes. This “sport” was supposedly formed in the 16th century. It appeared to be four teams on a soccer field, basically scattered around the field squaring off with each in random fights, and supposedly there was a ball somewhere and you win by throwing it through a net somewhere. There were some rules which were no soccer kicks to the head or sucker punches. The best part was, there were still several thousand people in the stands.
Facebook questions for Nick Newell
Nick joins Kenny and Bas in the studio.
--What top fighters would be on your top list to fight in the near future?
There’s JZ Cavalcantes, Dan Lauzon, who are the top guys of the weight class for WSOF.
--What is the weakest part of your game and what are you working to improve?
He works on everything, his wrestling, striking, and grappling, but mixing it all together is what he’s working on.
--Who is your favorite Ninja turtle and why?
This question came from his training partner and he laughs and says Michelangelo is.
--You always seem to have a crazy gas tank. How do you keep that level of intensity throughout the fight?
He knows how he isn’t a patient fighter, and even when they tell him not to brawl, he goes out there guns blazing, so he trains to be able to do that the entire fight, but as it happens he’s won a lot of fights in the first round.
Next week is the 300th episode of Inside MMA!
Upcoming MMA shows
--Aug 23, Legacy 22 (AXS.TV)
--Aug 30, Titan Fighting 26 (Hallman-Hornbuckle on AXS.TV)
--Sep 6, XFC 25
--Oct 18, XFC 26 (Hot Sauce Holtzman © vs. Roger Carroll)
So like Bas always says, Godspeed and party on!
If you don’t get AXS.TV or missed the show, you can watch a replay on Tuesdays at 1am or you can see extended video highlights. You can also follow Inside MMA on Twitter and Facebook.