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42 posts categorized "Ultimate fighting"

January 13, 2010

Wednesday tidbits

PHERSY: Hey all, sorry Feldy and I have been so out of it lately. I've been swamped with covering The Clash, and I know Feldy has been in and out of town for family stuff and now he's back covering the high school hockey beat. But Feldy and I made a New Year's resolution ... we're going to attempt to post something new on Faceoff every week day. It's out goal ... not a promise, but it's what we're shooting for.

So, I figured I'd start things off with some random thoughts that are swirling around in my head ...

I heard this on KFAN earlier this week, so I can't take credit for it, but how amazing would it be if the Vikings brought in Jessica Simpson to sing the national anthem for Sunday's playoff game against the Cowboys? Honestly, I don't care how much it would cost. A million bucks? Done! It would be well worth it. I'd laugh for 30 straight minutes, and Tony Romo would be rattled before he threw his first pass. Priceless, I tell ya! ...

Speaking of the Vikings, is there any chance they lose this game? It's at the Dome! I know Romo and the Cowboys are considered red hot, but I just don't see them walking into the Metrodome and stealing this game. Anything is possible, but I think the Vikes are playing for the NFC crown next week. ...

I have to put this one on here, simply because Mrs. Phersy is infatiuated with this guy. When the Wild traded Benoit Pouliot to Montreal for Guillaume Latendresse, I was a bit skeptical. I was starting to like some of the things Pouliot was doing, and I wasn't ready to give up on him just yet. But man, I was way off. Latendresse has been fantastic. Really, I don't even know if Pouliot's ceiling was as high as what the Wild are already getting from Latendresse (here's a Strib story about him). The guy's a stud, and I'm glad he's in a Wild sweater. Plus, Mrs. Phersy thinks he's hot. ...

The Lynx recently traded for Lindsay Whalen, the former University of Minnesota star who got this state excited about women's basketball. Can she do it again? It's going to be an uphill battle, that's for sure. Despite having a top 3 pick in the WNBA lottery every year since the beginning of time, the Lynx still stink. And nobody is going to their games. Let's hope the trade for Whalen will at least generate some moderate interest. I guess the fact that I'm talking about it now shows just that ...

Your Rochester Ice Hawks had a rough weekend, dropping two out of three games. I was at The Clash all weekend, so I didn't get to see any of the games. I'll be chatting with coach Fatis later today, so I'm interested to hear what he has to say. I texted him Sunday night after they lost to the Lumberjacks, and I asked if the guys just didn't have the fire this weekend? Basically, he said the team had been holding the gas pedal down for more than a month straight and they let off of it Friday night against the Flying Aces. And once you let off, it's hard to find that pedal again. What are your thoughts Hawks fans? Good news is they have three more this weekend to figure something out! ...

The Timberwolves still stink. Enough said. ...

Guess what?! Feldy's favorite college hockey team, the University of Minnesota, is starting to play better. They've got a nice little winning stretch going. Are they better or are they just playing worse teams? Tough to say. I think we'll know more after this weekend, when the Gophers host North Dakota. ...

I will say I'm glad Feldy didn't do too much trash talking last weekend when the Sioux got lucky and took two from the Mavericks. I received a few nasty text messages, but that's it. So hats off to Feldy. This is always an odd weekend for me, when the Sioux and Gophers meet. Normally, I love to hate the Sioux, simply because of Feldy. I'm an MSU fan, so I generally dislike the Gophers, not to mention I'm not a big Don Lucia guy. So this weekend I'm torn ... I guess I'll root for a pair of ties.

On the local MMA front, there's plenty of news going on. Tommy Speer has accepted a fight in Canada against Ryan Ford (this is a big fight, because Ford is very, very good ... check him out on youtube). Also, Travis Wiuff successfully defended his IFC heavyweight title. Finally, there will be an amateur MMA show in Rochester (at the barn) on Jan. 30. I haven't heard any further details on this show, but I'll let you know when I hear something. ...

Totally random ... I went to the movie "Up in the Air" for the second time yesterday. It's a great movie, and I highly recommend it. Mrs. Phersy loves it. I'm not sold on the ending, but it's still a fantastic movie, one of Clooney's best performances. ...

That's all for now. Watch for an Ice Hawks update later today if I can get in touch with coach Fatis.

January 21, 2009

Local fights on Jan. 31

PHERSY: There will be a local mixed martial arts event in Rochester on Jan. 31. The event is called Extreme Challenge, and it's being promoted by MMA agent Monte Cox. I don't know too many other details, since the promoters have no contacted me at all.

If the rumored card holds true, it will be an exceptional event, one of the best ever to hit Rochester. Early reports had Travis Wiuff, Brandon Adamson, Chad Reiner, Travis Pierzynski, Mike Wenzel and Joel Schrimpf on the card. Now if that holds up, it will be an amazing event.

There is one thing I must note ... LOGAN CLARK IS NOT FIGHTING. I heard a radio ad and saw a poster with Logan's name on it. And Logan called me this week to confirm that he is NOT fighting for them at this event. He wasn't too thrilled the promoters were using his name either, but I guess that happens. Logan had wanted to fight for them, but I don't think the money ended up being right for him, plus there was a communication problem.

Anyway, this is an interesting event for me. It's the same night as a UFC event that will feature my favorite fighter, Georges St.-Pierre in a super fight against BJ Penn. It's a dream matchup for true MMA fans. I think it's going to make this event in Rochester a tough sell, but we'll see. At the same time, it's tough to skip seeing Travis Wiuff fight on his home turf. He's a great guy, and this will be a good tuneup for him before he heads back over to Japan.

If the promoters ever contact me, I'll get you more information!

October 02, 2008

Phersy's 10-4 Thunder breakdown

PHERSY: This Saturday at Graham Arena Mickey Clark's Fight Nation will bring us "10-4 Thunder," a mixed martial arts/boxing event. Guy Limbeck is handling the boxing preview for the event (will be in the PB on Friday), and I wrote the MMA portion yesterday.

So I thought I'd check in and break down the fights a little bit on here, because there are some big-time matchups on this card, including Tommy Speer's return to the ring (I'd normally say cage, but the fights will happen inside a five-roped ring for this event). So here goes my first attempt at a breakdown/prediction post for MMA ... I think Logan Clark will be checking in with some thoughts later today, too.

Jordan Neer (4-1) vs. Josh Lebsock (2-0) at 145 pounds: Neer is a great wrestler from Iowa. His record says 4-1, but I know he's had more fights than that ... I've personally seen him lose more than once, so I'm guessing his record is somewhere in the 6-2 range, but that's a guess. Neer has improved every single time he's stepped into the cage, and he was very impressive in his win over Jared Chaney here in Rochester a few months ago. He started as just a wrestler, but now he's developed some good striking, too. Lebstock is a submission specialist. He's only had two fights, but he's finished both very quickly. In his first fight, he won by armbar in just 20 seconds. His second fight he won by armbar in 1:04! This is my pick for fight of the night. We'll see how smart Neer is. He will be able to take down Lebsock, but he won't want to. Lebsock's guard is just too good. If Neer is smart, and he keeps this thing standing, he can win. If he decides he wants to take down Lebsock, he'll get submitted. My pick: Neer by decision.

Joel Schrimpf (2-1) vs. Corey Washington (1-0) at 185: Schrimpf is an outstanding wrestler. He wrestled for Bill Sutter in high school at Goodhue. He's got decent submissions now, and he's getting great coaching at the Minnesota Marial Arts Academy, one of the best camps in the world. Rumor is his coaches want him to use his hands more, but I think if he starts losing the battle on the feet, Schrimpf's wrestling instincts will take over. Washington trains with Minnesota Top Team. He's very strong but inexperienced. He won his first fight by submission (rear-naked choke) ... it should be noted that that fight was at 205 pounds. My pick: Schrimpf by second-round submission.

Mike Hansen (7-11) vs. Chuck Parmelee (9-8) at 170: Hansen has been working with Logan Clark and he's even made the trip up to the Cities with Logan several times to train at the Academy. Since he started training with Clark, Hansen has improved greatly. He's got decent takedowns and good submissions, but I know Logan would like to see him use his hands in this fight. Hansen's record is deceiving. He took on many fights he shouldn't have early in his career. Let's just say he's better than his 7-11 record would indicate. Parmelee is a vet. He's another guy with a goofy record ... he's had way more than 17 fights. I'd guess he's fought about 30 times, maybe more. Parmelee has done most of his fighting at 185, but since coming down to 170, he's looked great. Word out of his camp is that he's taking this fight seriously and training very hard. Parmelee lost to Logan Clark early in his career. This could be a great matchup. My pick: Hansen by first-round submission.

Zack Strand (4-1) vs. Chad Reiner (17-4) at 170: Strand is from Owatonna, and he's another fighter trained by Logan Clark. He continues to improve and will bring a three-fight winning streak into this matchup. However, this is by far his toughest opponent. Reiner is a UFC veteran. He was in the UFC in 2007, but after losses to Josh Burkman and Anthony Johnson, he was cut by the UFC. Reiner has been fighting on smaller shows for the past year. He's a submission specialist ... nobody wants to go to the ground with this guy! Still, some have questioned his stand-up skills. Which makes me think he's going to keep this fight standing and look to prove he can stand and bang with someone. My pick: Reiner by first-round TKO.

Tommy Speer (9-3) vs. Joe Julianelle (0-0) at 180 (catch weight): Speer, of course, is the UFC veteran from Elgin who appeared on the reality TV show "The Ultimate Fighter." He advanced to the TUF finale, where he lost to Mac Danzig. Speer is looking to get his career back on track with a victory in this fight. He's a good wrestler, and he's extremely strong. He wins most of his fights with grit and determination ... he's got that farm-kid spirit, and you can see it in his fighting style. Julianelle is from Nebraska, and he's from the same camp as Houston Alexander. He is listed at 0-0, but he's been fighting in the Marines for years. The Marines' version of MMA is called combatives, and Julianelle is reportedly undefeated in combatives matches. Obviously, this will be a big step up for Julianelle, competition wise. But it's not a bad way to kick off a career, with a fight against a UFC vet! My pick: Speer by first-round TKO.

So that's it. Just one man's opinions. Tickets are still available for the event, but I know they're selling fast. It would probably be a good idea to head to Mickey's Irish Saloon before Saturday and grab your tickets, just to make sure you get a seat. GA tickets are just $26. Not a bad price, considering you'll get to see a pair of UFC vets, plus Raphael Butler in the boxing portion of the card. Can't wait until Saturday!

***

ADDITION (2:30 p.m.): Just a funny little note about Josh Lebsock. Here's a video of him winning his first MMA match, the 20-second submission victory. Now, take a look at the tattoo on Lebsock's stomach. He's got a tat of a GIANT EYEBALL right across his stomach. Just thought that was funny ... something to watch for on Saturday!

***

ADDITION NO. 2 (3:35 p.m.): I just received word that there are five VIP tables remaining for the event. Cost is $450, and a VIP table seats 10 people. Along with the VIP table, you get your seat on the floor, the first round of drinks is free, and you'll have your own waitress serving you all night. Not a bad deal if you can find nine close friends to attend the event with you. It also means your seat is guaranteed, and you don't have to show up right at 6:30 to get a good spot in the stands. Anyway, for more info, you can call 358-0786.

September 12, 2008

Wiuff vs. Roger Gracie

PHERSY: Like a minute after I posted about the local MMA event coming up this weekend, I read about one of our local fighters who's just agreed to take on a big-time opponent.

Rochester's Travis "Diesel" Wiuff just agreed to fight Roger Gracie as part of World Victory Road's Sengoku 5, which will take place Sept. 28 in Japan.

If you know MMA, you know the last name Gracie. Roger is the young Gracie, but he seems to be as athletic as any member of the Gracie family. And go figure, he's amazing on the ground. But we'll see if he  can get an All-American wrestler down to the ground!

Another big-name opponent for Wiuff ... what's it going to take for the UFC to sign this guy again? I think he can compete with any heavyweight the UFC has under contract now, that includes guys like Lesnar and Couture. Anyway, it won't be long before Wiuff is back in the UFC.

Remember, Sengoku 5 on Sept. 28 also will feature Eyota's Logan Clark vs. UFC veteran Jorge Santiago. That's another great opponent for Logan, though I'd argue his last opponent, Kaz Misaki, is the best guy he's ever faced.

Golf clap for our two local MMA stars fighting on the big stage in Japan. FYI, I won't post exact numbers on here, but this organization pays these guys well. Very, very well. Much more than they'd get if they signed today with the UFC, just to put it in perspective.

McMurphy's Ultimate Fight Night

PHERSY: Finally, mixed martial arts has come back to Rochester.

After not having an event in town all summer, Jami Klair is putting on a show Saturday at The Aquarius/McMurphy's. The show originally was scheduled to be outdoors, but now it will be inside the Aquarius.

There are a few solid fights on this card. First off, Travis Perzynski vs. anyone is exciting. Perzynski will fight Frank Johnson in the main event, and Klair assures me Johnson can hang with Perzynski, especially if Johnson can keep the fight standing.

Jeremy Lafferty vs. Jeremy Elisius or Lish vs. Laff ... this fight will be explosive. These two don't like each other at all.

Aaron Vold also is on this card, and I always love watching him fight.  Vold, Lafferty and Perzynski make this card worth it for me!

One other note ... 6 p.m. tomorrow night (FRIDAY) there will be an official weigh-in party at McMurphy's. Fans are welcome to come out and watch the weigh-ins and meet the fighters.

A story on the event ran in Wednesday's paper, here's a link to that.

Otherwise, here's the fight card as it stands:

1. Travis Perzynski (17-2) vs. Frank Johnson (10-2) for UCS LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE

2. Jeremy Elisius vs. Jeremy Lafferty

3. Aaron Vold (11-2) vs. Mark Koehn(11-1)

4. Chris Barden vs. Aric Adams

5. Keith Feurstneau vs. Ryan Stock

6. Adam Murphy vs. Rubin Huppert

7. Jason Elisius vs. Bruce Johnson

8. Tyler Knutson vs. Jordan Sheperd

9. Dan Copp vs. Nathan Boebel

September 04, 2008

Good morning!

PHERSY: Well, I figured I'd better get a post started since Feldy is leaving on vacation today. He better hurry up and get this week's high school football game on the blog, or he'll miss out. Maybe he's already throwing in the towel after going 2-5 in Week 1. Sad.

One other note I should mention, Logan Clark has picked up a big fight here at the end of the month. He will be fighting Jorge Santiago on Sept. 28 in Japan as part of Sengoku 5. The fight will be part of World Victory Road's middleweight tournament. It's another big-time opponent for Clark. Santiago has fought everyone ... he recently beat Jeremy Horn, plus he has losses to Chris Leban, Alan Belcher, Joey Villasenor and Diego Sanchez. A win would be huge for Clark.

I do have to give Logan some crap, though. He always keeps me posted when he's going to fight, but then he always asks me not to print it yet until the organization he's fighting for says it's OK. Well, every time that happens, another Web site prints the information before I do ... even though I've been sitting on the information! Dang fighters!

Anyway, big fight for Logan. Best of luck to him.

August 09, 2008

UFC 87 picks

PHERSY: Well, it's 1 p.m. and my wife and I will be leaving shortly for UFC 87. We're both very excited. I promised to give you my picks for the entire card, so here they are:

GSP vs. Fitch: GSP by TKO in round 1. GSP is the best athlete on the planet. How do you stop that Fitch?

Kenny Florian vs. Roger Huerta: Florian by decision. I want to pick Huerta because he's been training with GSP, but Florian is just too experienced.

Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring: Lesnar by TKO in round 1. Herring looked absolutely ripped at the weigh-ins; he's in the best shape of his life. Still, Lesnar is a freak of nature, and he'll run over Herring.

Manny Gamburyan vs. Rob Emerson: Gamburyan by submission (arm lock) in round 1. Note sure why this fight is on the main card, but Gamburyan is a jiu-jitsu wiz. Emerson is tough, but he'll get sub'd.

Jason McDonald vs. Demian Maia: Maia by TKO in round 2. I'd like to go with the tough Canadian, McDonald. But Maia is developing into a top talent.

Cheick Kongo vs. Dan Evensen: Congo by KO in round 1. If Evensen can get the fight on the ground, he has a chance. But Kongo will knock him out before he has a chance.

Luke Cummo vs. Tamdan McCrory: Cummo by decision. Cummo is smart and technical. He'll grind out a decision.

Andre Gusmao vs. Jon Jones: Gusmao by TKO in round 1. I think Gusmao is on a steady climb up the ranks, and this is just another steppingstone.

Chris Wilson vs. Steve Bruno: Wilson by decision. Don't know much about these guys. Good luck!

Ben Saunders vs. Ryan Thomas: Saunders by submission (choke) in round 1. Tommy Speer beat Saunders on The Ultimate Fighter. But Saunders has long legs, and long legs equal triangle chokes.

And that's it. I've had several people e-mail me from the Rochester area to tell me they're making the drive up there today, too. Should be a blast ... it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. So enjoy it!

August 07, 2008

Phersy's countdown to UFC 87

PHERSY: I really can't put into words how excited I am for UFC 87, which is this weekend at Target Center.

Heads up as far as coverage goes ... I'll have a feature on Brock Lesnar and Travis Wiuff, a local fighter who has been helping Lesnar prepare for his big fight Saturday, in tomorrow's Post-Bulletin and an event preview in Saturday's paper. That paper will have picks by local fighters like Wiuff, Logan Clark and Tommy Speer.

I'm most excited to see Georges St.-Pierre on Saturday. GSP, in my mind, is the best athlete on the Ufc83_11_stpierre_v50079_2 planet (not just in MMA). If GSP chose to play another sport, he'd be a star in that sport too. An athlete like GSP comes along every so often, and it's so much fun to watch someone like him.

GSP will fight Jon Fitch, who has beaten everyone put in front of him in the UFC. But this will be the ultimate test for Fitch. He's a great fighter, another of my favorites. But I just can't figure out a way for him to beat GSP. GSP is a better striker and a better wrestler. And wrestling is supposed to be Fitch's strength, but GSP out-wrestled Josh Koscheck, so there's no way Fitch is going to out-wrestle him. No way this title fight gets past round 2. I think GSP wins by TKO, in either the first or second round. I think Fitch might be the second-best 170-pounder on the planet, but he's not on GSP's level, if that makes sense.

Next up, as far as my excitement goes, is the Kenny "KenFlo" Florian vs. Roger "El Matador" Huerta fight. This has fight of the year potential. I think fans will see a much improved Huerta. He's been all over the place training, and he's brought some of the best to Minnesota to help him prepare. Florian's jiu-jitsu is fantastic, but Huerta has heart (not that KenFlo doesn't), and I think that will carry him to an upset victory. This is the toughest fight to call, but most experts are taking Florian, mainly because he's faced better competition, plus there are a lot of Huerta haters out there. But El Matador is a good guy, and I have no problem cheering for him.

Finally, Lesnar will square off against Heath Herring. From what I'm hearing, Lesnar is ready. And I think this fight doesn't last long. Lesnar will take Herring down and finish him by ground-n-pound in a hurry! I can't wait!

LOCAL MMA

On the local scene, look for a few big events to hit Rochester in the near future. The first will be Sept. 13, outdoors at McMurphy's. Brandon Adamson, a Miletich fighter, will face Travis Perzynski, a ZM grad, for the Ultimate Combat Sports lightweight title. So far the rest of that card doesn't look great. But hopefully there will be a few other worthwhile matchups.

There is another local event on the horizon, another boxing/MMA event put on by Mickey Clark's Fight Nation. It's set for Oct. 4 at Graham Arena. Area fight fans ... leave that date open. I'm not kidding, you won't want to miss this event. I can't give too many details just yet, but let's just say a local superstar will be fighting on this card! And it's possible there will be more than one local superstar! WiuffSeriously, Oct. 4's event at Graham will be one you can't miss if you enjoy good MMA.

As for the area's big three, here's the latest: Watch for Travis Wiuff to sign with a major organization in the very near future. Monte Cox was recently negotiating a deal Lcmmadha21for Wiuff with a big-time outfit ... I can't say which one just yet, but I'll let you know as soon as it's official. Wiuff, as previously mentioned, has been training for the past six weeks at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. He's been training with Lesnar and about six other big heavyweights. Wiuff said he's improved a lot, so watch out. If he's on top of his game, I think Travis can be a heavyweight contender. Logan Clark is scheduled to fight in Japan again at the end of September. He doesn't have an opponent yet, and there are some rumors Img_57981about Dream and World Victory Road possibly folding. But those are just rumors at this point. I'll let you know when/if Logan finds out his opponent. And finally, Tommy Speer: The Farmboy has basically been given an open invite to the WEC. Sounds like his return to the WEC will happen during the organization's December event. He's still working on the farm a lot, so I think that has played into his waiting until December to fight again. Guessing Tommy's fight would be on TV, but the event is a long way out, so we'll see. The WEC is planning to do more shows now, so that should provide more opportunities for fighters, which is a great thing!

Anyway, that's all I've got.

Tomorrow, I'll post my picks for the entire card ... main event fights and undercard! UFC 87 ... the countdown is on!!!

July 20, 2008

Phersy would be proud: UFC Fight Night KOs

FELDY: OK, So I'm still not as much of a UFC rube as Phersy is, but he certainly has got me watching more often. UFC's Fight Night Live was on on Saturday night when I got home after the Deer Creek Speedway races rained out.

I may not know much about the technical aspects of ultimate fighting, but I know a dang good KO when I see one, and I saw two on Saturday.

The first was actually the main event of the card, as Anderson Silva -- perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in UFC, at least according to the announcers -- stepped up from 185 pounds to 205 to take on James Irvin, who was previously unbeaten in the UFC. Silva took care of that quickly. The knockout blow comes about 1:21 into this video of the entire fight.

The second was an undercard match that was actually aired after the main event to fill time. It was between Brodie Farber and Rory Markham. The video quality here isn't great, but this is a heckuva finish to the fight. Watch Farber's legs as he drops to the mat; he just goes limp. I thought the dude was dead for a few seconds until they showed him up and on his stool.

May 29, 2008

UFC 87 in Minnesota

PHERSY: Well, as most of you know, I'm a huge mixed martial arts fan. So you can guess how excited I am that the UFC is coming to Minnesota in August. UFC 87 will be at the Target Center on Aug. 9 (just three days short of my birthday ... we'll say it's my 28th birthday). The card for the event is still in the works, but there already are some amazing fights. The main event will feature No. 1 ranked welterweight Georges St.-Pierre against No. 2 Jon Fitch. St.-Pierre is my favorite fighter, so having him on the card obviously makes me giddy. There are some other huge fights lined up, too. Here's what's already set:

Georges St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch

Kenny Florian vs. Roger Huerta

Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring

Cheick Kongo vs. Dan Evensen

Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida

Steve Bruno vs. Chris Wilson

Rob Emerson vs. Manny Gamburyan

Frankie Edgar vs. TBD

Most of these fights have been confirmed by the fighters, though the UFC hasn't official announced them yet. If the UFC finds a good opponent for Frankie Edgar, I'd expect that fight to make its way on to the main card. Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida could be amazing. Danzig is the guy who beat Tommy Speer in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 6, and Guida fought Roger Huerta that same night in what some called the fight of the year. Personally, I hope Guida smashes Danzig!

At any rate, there are still tickets available at ticketmaster.com. If you're not familiar with the UFC, though, sticker shock might scare you away. UFC tickets are as expensive as going to the Super Bowl. Floor seats for this event are $600. Then there's a group of $400 seats, $250 seats (the first few rows in the upper level are $250) and then some nose-bleeds up at $125, $75 and $50. Now, these prices are in line with other UFC events at big arenas. However, I feel like the UFC must not have come to Minnesota to look at the venue before they set these prices. I think they've really priced themselves out of a sellout. Why? Because anything in the upper level at the Target Center is a joke. Who's going to pay $250 to sit that far away? I think the die-hard UFC fans will snap up all the floor seats, even at $600 a pop. And if this thing was at the X, I'd say $250 for an upper level seat would be acceptable, because the upper level there isn't bad at all. But the Target Center? No way.

Anyway, that's my ramblings for today. Regardless of ticket prices, I'm really pumped for this event. IT's the first time the UFC has been in Minnesota. It might be the last in my lifetime, so I'm not going to miss it!