***This week, Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis discuss “The Kick”, its impact on their careers and the likelihood of the kick happening in their rematch.
Plus, the real scoop on Dennis Hallman’s famous weigh-in fail that got him fired from the UFC, Josh Barnett talks Frank Mir and his relationship with Dana White, and Ben Askren says Bellator wants to help him get to UFC? Oh, really? 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, August 30 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV
Episode 301 debuts a new desk for IMMA!
UFC Milwaukee: Henderson-Pettis II
They run down the entire card, and preview the main event of Saturday night’s show, by showing clips from the final WEC show which saw Pettis defeat Henderson for the WEC Lightweight title with the memorable off the wall “showtime” kick to the face back in December 2010. This was Henderson’s last loss.
Bas’ keys to victory for Benson is to be light on his feet, and needs takedowns, mixing strikes with takedowns and then stay out of Pettis’ guard. Pettis needs the fight on his feet, since he’s better with a bigger plethora of striking techniques, so why even go to the ground, even though he is fine there.
Kenny points out how both fighters have improved tremendously since their first fight and both have evolved in different ways. Bas sees this as a very fast paced fight, as both guys fight that way and Pettis has knockouts all over the place.
They go to Milwaukee, where Ron Kruck talks about famous kicks in sports history, most notably missed and made FG’s, but the most famous kick in MMA history by far is Anthony Pettis’ “showtime” kick on Benson Henderson’s face. Both fighters realize how they will be forever linked by that kick. Pettis says his fame went crazy after that. Dana marvels that a fighter could even do that in training, let alone do that in an actual fight for an important title. Ben was worried for the judges since he knew that was such a cool kick and he’d lose the judges favor from that. Pettis says everyone is expecting something big for this fight, if it happens again it’s going to be huge. His trainer calls Pettis a very instinctive fighter and he can adapt to the moment and pull off some crazy moves. Dana points out that if Ben wins he will break the record for consecutive UFC lightweight title defenses. Ben has been waiting to get his hands on Pettis so he is very excited for this fight. Pettis is anxious to prove he is more than just a kick. Ben welcomes a “showtime” kick again because they have something in store for him if he tries.
While the UFC championship reign has helped fade the memory of that kick, Ben has to watch the constant highlights of that kick playing all the time so it’s inescapable. Then Kruck shows the old clip of Pettis executing the “showtime” kick on him, by kicking a bottle off of his head.
UFC Milwaukee: Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir
The two former UFC heavyweight champs face off in Milwaukee too. Bas says they are very close stylistically, and Frank needs to use his new boxing skills and new gas tank to push, push. He’s going to make it a busy fight and take it to the ground since he thinks he’s better on the ground than Barnett, however Barnett probably thinks he is better on the ground! Barnett needs to use his striking to set up the ground attack. He’s great with ground and pound. It will be very close, but since Mir improved sooooo much in the stamina department, he will push the fight. (Boy, I wish this was a TUF season. Would’ve been awesome …)
The Return of Dennis Hallman
In October of 2012, Dennis Hallman was cut by the UFC following a seven pound overage in his fight with Thiago Tavares. What wasn’t widely known was how Hallman was in the midst of a divorce and custody battle over his four year old daughter. Hallman says three days before this fight, was when things really exploded with his wife. At this time he was only sleeping forty five minutes a night. He talked to Dana and Joe Silva and they were cool about it, and gave him his money and told him to go get himself fixed. Dana White remembers and says that if things aren’t right at home, things aren’t right anywhere. He had problems at home that needed to be addressed. With him going through stuff he felt releasing him was the right thing to do.
One month later, his home burned to the ground, and for Dennis things couldn’t be worse. He looked at it as a test to how much he could go through. Keep your head up, look forward, and things will get better. Since the Hurricane of 2012, he’s built a new gym and house, and looks to resurrect his career this weekend fighting Dan Hornbuckle for Titan Fighting Championships, with daughter Kyla by his side. Dennis feels things have turned around and he is now raising the next generation of fighters. Fighting Hornbuckle on AXS.TV is a fabulous reboot for him and he wants to show he is still a factor in the welterweight division.
The Return of Paul Buentello!
Legacy Fighting Championships from Lubbock, TX had:
--The slim and trim UFC vet Paul Buentello over TUF vet James McSweeney with a beautiful ground punch straight to the solar plexus, in his first fight at 205
--Aaron Cerda over George Pacururu in his 4th straight win
UFC Fight Night
They show highlights and results from this past Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night show where Carlos Condit beat Martin Kampmann and Rafael Dos Anjos beat Donald Cerrone. Condit has now won fight night bonuses in six of his last seven fights. He fights very weird mixing his kicks with really hard punches. He’s only had a handful of decisions and over thirty finishes.
Next week is UFC Fight Night with Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader and Yushin Okami vs. Jacare Souza in a show from Brazil. Bas thinks bader needs to use his wrestling skill to take the striking away from Teixeira. Glover should keep the fight on his feet since he is strongest there, even though he’s good on the ground. Short combinations and moving right away.
Costas Philippou LIVE
Rising middleweights Costas Philipou and Francis Carmont fight at the September 21 UFC Toronto show. Costas joins us live on the big screen from the gym in Long Island, NY.
Costas says he’s been having a great training camp so far and he’s ready to go and has had enough so wishes the fight was tomorrow. Bas tells Costas he needs to have a great fight since September 21 is the 20th anniversary of his MMA career. Costas doesn’t know if he’s going to choose to strike with him or not, but wishes since it will be more exciting, but honestly doesn’t think he’d be able to handle his striking or feet, so would expect Carmont attempt to take the fight to the ground by the end of round one.
He knows Carmont is on like a five year win streak including winning five in a row in the UFC, but he has what it takes to beat him. He’s faster, a better striker, and better takedown, so as long as they stay standing he’ll have the advantage. Bas says Costas is the best boxer in MMA, and proposes a new nickname as “The Pugelist” since it means prizefighter or combatant. Costas says it’s funny that fighters pick their own nicknames, but he don’t need one.
They show a graphic comparing Costas with Chris Weidman as both are middleweights, both debuted in March 2011, both have fought six times (Costas only has one loss between them) with a high finishing rate, and both trained under Serra-Longo in Long Island. Costas says he hasn’t spoken with Weidman since he won the belt since he switched the Bellmore gym in Long Island a few months ago. Although they do have the same sparring partners just not at the same facility. He also knows Chris has been very busy since being champ. As for facing Weidman, he doesn’t think he’s close to challenging for a title and isn’t even thinking about that, only one fight at a time, and is focused on beating Carmont and will figure out his next move after that fight.
Josh Barnett Uncensored!
Ron Kruck spoke with Barnett this week. A heavy metal shirt wearing Barnett says anytime he has the opportunity to mangle a person for life it’s a special occasion. He doesn’t regret leaving the UFC back in 2002 since it exploded since, but he likes where he’s at in life now. The struggles in life define who you are.
He mocks the UFC brass for being on some sorts of recreational drugs to rank himself #10 compared to Frank Mir’s #6 ranking. What it all comes down to is that he’s Josh Barnett and he’s Frank Mir and that’s how and why he’ll win. However he doesn’t take Mir lightly and knows he is a well-rounded fighter with a lot of skills that need to be respected. However he understands them well enough to win.
Barnett once joked that couples massages were in the future for he and one-time foe Dana White, but says they might actually get re-acquainted in Chicago during Harley week.
Global MMA Highlights
--Cage Warriors from Chechnya had Beslan Isaev over Viktor Halmi continuing his win streak.
--George Sullivan over Jesus Martinez from Cage Fury 26 in Atlantic City, NJ.
--Who was once considered one of the next big things, Miguel Torres was recently arrested for possession of marijuana and released on a $1500 bond.
--Jake Murphy was pulled from BAMMA show due to a shoulder injury, but now Barnaoui replaces him to face Warburton for the vacated title.
--Tony Lopez, who once held three titles for KOTC at once (sort of like Ultimo Dragon!) was suspended due to “unsportsmanlike conduct” after choking out his opponent and punching him in the face and had to be pried off. CSAC suspended him for 180 days and his license status will be reviewed at a later day. The CSAC says what he did will not be tolerated in California in any way. Lopez later said this issue was personal because his opponent had taken verbal jabs at his family and his wife.
Ben Askren UFC bound?
Ben Askren has left Bellator after three years, saying if he’s going to go to the UFC, they won’t make an offer, and they will speed up the process of getting him there. Askren will meet with UFC brass in Milwaukee this weekend. Askren says his matching period lasts for a year. While they say he’s released he’s actually not. If Bellator matches the UFC offer he has no option he has to stay. Kenny references the Eddie Alvarez situation and perhaps their contracts are slightly different, and Bas in general, doesn’t understand why you’d keep a fighter who doesn’t want to be there.
--Pavel Kusch finished Chris Scott with an inverted heel hook in Chechnya
--Joseph Sandoval finished Jonathan Lopez with a barrage of knees and punches to the body and face, at Legacy
--George Sheppard finished Derrick Kennington with some great straight and strong punches from Atlantic City.
--Manuel Quezada finished Robert Michael with a solid overhand KO right in 10 seconds from LeMoore, CA.
Alexander Gustafsson LIVE
They show a clip of Gustafsson’s gym’s “Harlem Shake” before introducing Alexander from his gym in Chula Vista, CA. Alex says he is feeling great having just finished practice and is really excited and motivated to get in there to fight fellow 6’4” fighter in Jon Jones.
He’s brought in high level wrestlers, kickboxers, and judo guys to prepare for Jones. He doesn’t reveal everything, but they have seen some things from Jones’ fights to hopefully exploit in their fight. He still bases out of Stockholm, but is with Alliance in Cali right now for the actual fights. He trains with Phil Davis now, who actually handed him his first loss. He was frustrated by that, but since became friends.
From all of Jones’ title defenses, Gustafsson is the first challenger to enter the ring with a six-fight winning streak. Bas speculates that Alexander might be able to keep Jones at bay on their feet, so he’ll need to be better prepared for takedown attempts from Jones. He is training with high level wrestlers, but you never know what will happen in a fight so you have to be able to adapt (something Jake Ellenberger needs to learn!)
Bas shows how Jon Jones is capable of taking almost anyone down with his 62% success rate for takedown attempts. However Alexander has good takedown defense with an 86% defense rate. Can Jones take him down? Bas notices when Alex begins to take punches he is able to move himself out of the line of fire very quickly.
At Thrones MMA from Russia, in what practically looked like a Hillbilly Jim fan gimmick, a fighter had no opponent, so they asked the crowd if anyone could fight and a fan took off his jacket and shirt, put on gloves, and stepped into the ring/sandbox with twine ropes, and they fought. And sure enough this “fan” knocked his opponent out with some great punches.
Upcoming MMA shows
--Sep 6, XFC 25
--Sep 13, Legacy FC 23
--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.