***This week, we find out who the new Welterweight champion will be, Miesha Tate explains her edge over Ronda Rousey, Leonard Garcia explains why he lost in the UFC, and Bigfoot Silva talks his fight with Mark Hunt. Plus Cyborg’s role in the Rousey-Tate fight, the Invicta invasion of the UFC, and a future superstar turns down a UFC offer. 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, December 13 at 9pm EST on AXS.TV
Georges St. Pierre gives up UFC World title
GSP held a press conference title earlier today and vacated the UFC Welterweight title to take an extended leave of absence. He says physically he is 100%, but mentally he is not. Rather than make anyone wait for him to return from an indefinite timetable, he’s giving up the belt, and if he comes back, he’ll come back as the challenger, and doesn’t expect anything, even if the UFC makes him earn a title shot first. (I guess he’ll still “owe” Dana and Hendricks the rematch)
The New UFC Welterweight champion!
As a result of the GSP announcement, Johny Hendricks will fight Robbie Lawler for the vacated UFC Welterweight title on February 15, which will in turn push the Jon Jones-Glover Teixeria fight to UFC 172.
Ron Kruck with Demetrious Johnson
“Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson will defend the UFC Flyweight title against Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez as the main event of UFC on FOX 9 this weekend from Sacramento.
Demetrious tells Ron Kruck that Benavidez is a great athlete and fighter, and that first fight showed him a bit of what he’s like. The rematch will likely see better standup with Ludwig training and he also notices his improved footwork.
Demetrious says he is very technical and moves a lot to avoid getting hit, and it’s not a coward thing, getting hit is stupid. Kruck points out that if he beats Benavidez that’ll be beating three out of the top five flyweights in the world in 2013 alone. Johnson says he’s not trying to attain recognition for the flyweights or acceptance for the division. He loves being small and loves fighting at 125, so you can hate it or love it.
Bas Rutten’s Keys to Victory
--Johnson vs. Benavidez. Bas says Johnson needs to move a lot and keep on striking. Move away after each combo to avoid takedowns, and avoid the power counters from Joseph. When he can, go for a takedown, then ground and pound plus submission.
Benavidez needs to counter strikes with power shots. Focus on the counter for the first, then get in right away. Even if it’s a 1-2, he needs to beat Johnson to the 2. When DJ starts countering he has to use that to setup a takedown, then ground and pound, then submission as well.
--Urijah Faber #2 vs. Michael McDonald #3. Faber needs to lure McDonald in to throw counters, then throw combo and shoot underneath for a takedown. Push forward non-stop to make it difficult for McDonald to strike with power by cutting off his reach.
McDonald needs to watch for takedowns, never stand still, even after throwing combinations. Strike, move to the side. Set up his strikes. Pretty sure Faber wants it on the ground, so if it does go there, get him in the guard.
Prospect Watch: Thomas De Almeida
Despite being only 22, he is already 15-0 with 14 first round finishes and an average fight time of 2:56.
Legacy FC Highlights
--Thomas De Almeida over George Pacurariu
--Chris Pecero over Renaldo Rodruiguez
--Leonard Garcia over Kevin Aguilar
After the fight, Garcia said he wasn’t getting finishes in UFC since they were holding him down, but his takedown defense is better and he’s hitting harder, so he’s ready for the UFC again, but he’ll gladly defend his Legacy featherweight title too.
Two Sport Fighter
Cosmo Alexandre has a new deal with Legacy FC but still allows him to compete for Lion Fights kickboxing simultaneously, like Tyrone Spong does.
Miesha Tate LIVE
The former Strikeforce women’s champion Miesha Tate joins us on the big screen from her home in Las Vegas. She’s wearing a large pink hat with ears that she got in Japan.
She’s never had such an amazing camp or an amazing set of coaches and she’s never been more ready in her life. It’s also an honor to be on the same card as Wiedman-Silva. From TUF she learned a lot about Ronda and how unstable she is emotionally, and some weaknesses she didn’t know before. She also learned a bit about herself as well.
She’s looking forward to putting the best Miesha Tate yet on December 28. She believes she can shut down Ronda’s judo, but she also wants to hit her in the face and would like to win by knockout. She punched her in the first fight and she didn’t like it and she won’t like it when she does it again.
Bas brings up that Cyborg offered to spar with Tate to prepare for Ronda, and Miesha took her up on that and they were trying to coordinate something, but Cyborg is back in Brazil now, but Cyborg is the best woman on the planet and she’d love to have her, and she’s always be welcome, plus the fact that she doesn’t like Ronda is also a bonus.
She says Ronda tried to get in her head from TUF but it didn’t work, since she’s not as invested in Ronda anymore, as it’s more about her growing as a fighter.
Bas wonders if Ronda is too emotional, and she is super-competitive, but warns about getting too emotional in a fight since it leaves you vulnerable.
--Barb Honchak over Leslie Smith
--Lauren Murphy over Miriam Nakamoto when Nakamoto’s knee popped while standing and couldn’t continue
--Tecia Torres over Felice Herrig
Ultimate Fighter 20
Tecia Torres and Felice Herrig are both going on season 20 of the Ultimate Fighter featuring 115 pound women in 2014. It will be the first all female cast for TUF and features 11 Invicta fighters. Shannon Knapp told IMMA this is not a partnership with UFC as she signed over the contracts, and this is positive as it validates her brand. (and here I thought she was just raided!) They can still fight on Invicta as this isn’t exclusive. (oh, ok it’s not literally a raid.)
One Invicta fighter who won’t be jumping to the UFC is #1 ranked Jessica Aguilar, who will instead go to WSOF to debut the women’s division there. She says there are enough strawweights to go around. She is #1 for a reason, so she’ll get the WSOF title, do what she has to do, then see what’s next. (Good for her. If she’s top ranked, no sense in leaving yourself vulnerable to a fluke TUF loss. Join after the show.)
Ron Kruck with Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald grew up on Modesto, CA and faces “California Kid” Urijah Faber who is 12 years older. When asked if he looked up to Faber, he says there are very few fighters he looks up to. He picks up aspects of people in his life, but not fighters he wanted to be. Specifically he never admired Faber because he’s a different type of fighter than the one he wanted to be. However, he’s watched him the most and seen a lot of his fights so he didn’t even need to study more film, he already knows him. To beat Faber, as a businessman it’ll do great things for his career, since Faber is so well known, but as a martial artist it’s a different story, since he thinks he’s better than him and looks forward to testing himself.
With the winner of this bout, expected to face the Barao/Cruz winner for the belt, McDonald prefers Renan Barao as the only unanswered loss of his career. He thinks Faber has more fans than anyone in this sport, and calls Faber an incredible businessman to have so many fans without actually having a belt.
Bigfoot Silva LIVE
They run down the results of the card from Brisbane, Australia with the legendary heavyweight draw between Mark Hunt and Bigfoot Silva, along with highlights from this great fight.
Antonio Silva joins us from Coconut Creek, FL from the gym on the big screen
He says he is very happy from this fight and he did his best. He wants to get back to training and will wait for UFC, and fight the best in the UFC but has no idea what will be next with so many heavyweights, he wants Cain, but Cain has a shoulder injury to take him out most of the year, but he is ready for whoever UFC wants to give to him. He’s going to rest for two weeks and to recuperate his body, and after 2 weeks he’ll resume a little bit of training until he finds out who he fights next.
International MMA Highlights
--Mamed Khalidov over Ryuta Sakurai from KSW Poland
Cage Warriors 62 from Newcastle, England had
--Ian Entwistle over Liam James from Cage Warriors in Newcastle, England.
--Andre Soukhamthath over Corey Simmons in Lincoln, RI when Simmons was puking after round 1
--Holly Holm over Angela Hayes from Frezquez productions
Holly Holm rejects UFC
Holly Holm’s management turned down a UFC offer, citing they wanted a six figure deal. Holly herself, is only worried about her 2 fights with Legacy, and is letting her management feel out the negotiation process. Holm and her management feel they have enough for her brand to ask for a bigger deal.
Shane Del Rosario RIP 1983-2013
They run a tribute piece with clips and video from Del Rosario over the years on IMMA. They play a clip from friend since the 7th grade, Ian McCall who spoke with Ron Kruck via Skype.
McCall says it’s been an emotional roller coaster, Shane was his best friend and pretty much saved him from his battle with addiction. He says Shane had an infectious smile and was just upbeat, a very happy guy.
Weidman reacts to Silva
Recently, Anderson Silva said this was going to be a tough fight, but it won’t last long if it stays standing. Weidman says on video, that Anderson might be right, but it’ll be [Silva’s] butt on the canvas. Chris says it’s not only about beating Silva, its about letting the entire division know that he’s here.
Bas wonders if this is more head games from Weidman to make Silva think he’ll stay standing.
Anthony Pettis on injury
Anthony recently had successful surgery on his knee. He says it’ll be 2-3 months before he can start training, and 4-6 months recovery before fighting again. It is a pretty serious injury, but he’s 26 and he wants to do it right by letting his body heal right so he can stay champ a long time.
Diego Sanchez Reckless?
After watching a possible fight of the year against Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez, Conor McGregor among others criticized Diego’s style as reckless. Diego says he doesn’t hold back. At 155 he feels guys can’t hurt him. Even with Gilbert’s best punches, he wasn’t dazed or rocked at any point. If he has a little stutter in his voice, it’s the same way he talked when he debuted on TUF in 2004. He’s not a professional speaker, he’s a professional fighter!
--Martin Sheridan over Jordan Desborough with a knee to the face from Cage Warriors in England
--Ronan McKay over Leeroy Barness with punches and knee to the head, also from Cage Warriors
--Ben Pierre-Saint over Donald Williams with an overhead right KO from Shine MMA.
Eric Williams Alex Escalera fight to win amateur, big right uppercut to the chin
--Josh Cavan over Michael Riggs with the Peruvian necktie also from Shine
--Daniel Jolly over Matt Steward with a kick to the chin from Legacy 26
--Nate Andrews over Franklin Isabel with a kick to the side of the head from CES MMA
--Virgil Zwicker over Mike “Purely Sexy” Hayes punches from KSW from Poland
Urijah Faber recently did a short video with comedian Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Office) for Maxim Magazine to promote “Hotties Week”, which was a comedy bit with bikini girls and choking out guys at poolside, finished with Craig waking up in the morning next to Urijah Faber.
Upcoming MMA shows
--Dec 14, BAMMA 14 (Paul Daley vs. Romario Da Silva)
--Dec 27 Bazzies Awards!