2007 World Tae Kwon Do Championships

Had a great day today went to the National Indoor Arena to watch the 8th Open Tae Kwon Do World Championships. The event started a little later than scheduled due to the vast number of competitors taking part this year. By the end of the day we had seen a number of World Champions crowned in the Musical Patterns as well as the Singles and Team Sparring and WTF formats.

I enjoyed the day, realised how much I miss participating in open competitions so it all felt a little bitter sweet. The level of competition was extremely high which was to be expected given that there were almost thirty countries represented. Plus I caught a glimpse of the incomparable Becky Riggs

I managed to record a few of the fights on my N73 which I’ve uploaded to YouTube, here’s one of them:

All in all it’s been a really enjoyable day.

UFC 71 – ‘Rampage’ knocks out the Iceman

Managed to watch UFC 71 late last night and was hugely impressed with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. I predicted a few months back that in my opinion he would defeat the reigning champion Chuck Liddell when the two of them finally fought for the title.  Last night rampage proved me right with a devastating first round knockout of Liddell.

You can see highlights from the fight here.

UFC 67 – Silva retains title, and Rampage dominates Eastman

Just finished watching the highlights of UFC 67. Some pretty good fights. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made his debut against Marvin Eastman – the first round lacked any real action as the fighters tentatively circled each other and tried to find their range, which did lead to the crowd booing a lot. Jackson ended the fight pretty quickly in the second round with some pretty accurate punches, knocking out Eastman. I’m not overly impressed with Jackson’s performance, it could just have been nerves given that it was his debut, but I have to say I expected a lot more aggression from him, he was extremely passive for most of the first round until right at the end when he stunned Eastman with a right uppercut followed by a left hook. He made short work of Eastman in the second so maybe im nit-picking :p

The main event between Travis Lutter and Middle Weight Champion Anderson Silva was quite impressive. The fight was overshadowed by Lutter’s failing to make the weight, as a result it went ahead but wasn’t a title fight. At one point I thought Lutter had the fight won when he got the Silva onto the mat twice in quick succession. However Silva fought extremely well from the bottom and survived Lutter’s onslaught. Silva ended the fight in the second round with an attempted triangle choke followed by a succession of lefts and right when Lutter mis-timed a takedown and took a vicious kick to the head.

I’m impressed with Silva he’s an exceptional striker and because of that people often overlook his excellent Jiu-Jitsu skills.

MMA: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson signs with UFC

Don’t know how I managed to miss this … probably because I’ve spent most of the weekend in bed 😉 Anyhow it’s official Quinton Jackson has signed with UFC, and debut’s against Marvin Eastman on Feb 3rd. Jackson has spent much of his career competing in the Pride tournaments in Japan. What’s interesting about this move is that Jackson is one of only 3 men to ever have beaten the reigning UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. Liddell has already avenged his other two losses at the hands of Jeremy Horn and the iconic Randy Couture. I have no doubt that Chuck will want to settle old scores, and that the UFC will try to get this fight on for around September.

I haven’t seen Jackson fight in a while, but I remember watching their last encounter, it was an ugly fight, but Jackson TKO’d Liddell and the only other man to have ever TKO Liddell was Couture. As I recall Jackson slammed Liddell to the matt a few times where he ended the fight. Jackson is freakishly strong, an extremely good wrestler and like Liddell a vicious striker. I don’t believe Ortiz had the strength to force Liddell to the ground, but Jackson does, in fact he’s built his career around working opponents in the clinch and slamming them to matt with sort of high impact throws one expects to see in a wrestling ring and not in the Octagon. I’ll never forget watching him reverse a triangle choke by lifting his opponent into the air and throwing him out of the ring.

For those of you have not seen Jackson fight, or don’t follow Pride – I found this highlight reel on YouTube … it’s probably not for the feint hearted! In fact while I was looking for a highlight reel I found the footage of the first fight between Jackson and Liddell, you’ll need to sign into YouTube to watch it, to say it was a one sided contest is understating things.
2007 is going to an interesting year in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.

MMA: Liddell vs Ortiz – Liddell Wins

Wow, what a fight. As I predicted a few days ago Liddell won this with another TKO, this time in the third round. The decisive factor, again as I predicted was that although Ortiz tried to get Liddell onto the ground he was for the most part unsuccessful and fell victim to some brutal stand up at the hands of the champion.

I’ll give Ortiz credit, the fight looked as though it should have been over in the first round when Liddell put Ortiz on the matt and delivered a succession of blows to the challenger. I was expecting referee Mario Yamasaki to stop the fight at that point but Ortiz was doing enough to defend himself, and miraculously made it back up to his feet.

The ease with which Liddell countered Ortiz’s takedown attempts was damn impressive and each time Ortiz failed to take Liddell to the ground the champion made him pay. After another failed takedown attempt in the third round Ortiz made his final mistake he seemingly decided to get into a standup exchange of blows with Liddell who sent Ortiz crashing to the ground with a flurry of blows, and followed it up with a barrage of blows on the grounded Ortiz that forced Yamaski to stop the fight just under the 4 minute mark.

It was an impressive win for Chuck, he showed great composure throughout the fight stuck to a very simple gameplan and kept Ortiz off balance.

I’m hoping we now will finally get to see Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell face Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva sometime in 2007 … a fight which was on the cards until recently. Silva is the Pride Middlewight Champion and Liddell is the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion – unfortunately the politics involved in getting a fight set up between two champions from different promotions looks likely to prevent this happening. If it does happen … my money is on the Axe Murderer 😉

MMA : Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz – Rematch

Ok, im seriously getting fed up with people asking me for my prediction for this fight, not because I dont have one but because it’s impossible to offer a prediction without explaining the rationale behind it. Having the same conversation over and over again is getting irritating! So it’s a good job, I brought my laptop with me 😉

Chuck Liddell is the current UFC Light Heavyweight champion. Tito Ortiz is the challenger. The first time they fought each other was back in April 2004, and Liddell TKO’d Ortiz in the second round with some brutal stand up. In the world of professional mixed martial arts theres been few rivalries that have captured the imagination of fans, fighters and pundits alike.

I suppose what makes this so interesting for us as spectators is the fact that the two men have very different styles Liddell is considered to be one of the most dangerous stand-up fighters in the world. His fights rarely go the distance, I guess one of the things that makes him so dangerous is his take down defence – very few competitors have ever been able to take him to the ground, which forces them to fight him standing up. For Liddell this fight will be his seventh defence of the title he claimed by beating the legendary Randy Couture – who for me was one of the greatest champions ever!

Tito Ortiz enters the fights on the back of an impressive winning streak; included amongst this list are his two victories against Ken Shamrock which finally ended their longstanding feud. Ortiz is an excellent wrestler who practically reinvented the technique we now refer to as Ground-n-Pound. On the ground, inside his opponents guard, there is no-one more vicious – I think he practically invented the short-elbow.

This is really the briefest of possible introductions to these two fighters, in fact I doubt that I’ve done them any justice. However the intro serves to illustrate the differences in the styles.

OK so here’s my prediction If the fighters remain on their feet I dont have any doubt that Liddell will win this. I think Ortiz is a competent striker but I just dont think he can stand up to the punches and kicks that Liddell will throw. With Liddell it isnt just the freakish power he has behind his blows, its the incredible speed and accuracy with which he can deliver them that makes him so exciting to watch. Liddell’s take-down defence is exceptional, which will make it all the more difficult for Tito. On the other hand Tito is a fantastic wrestler and I think he will have learnt from their first encounter. I hope he tries to avoid the stand up and focuses on getting Liddell in the clinch and taking him down to the ground – which I think Tito is capable of doing.

If I have to pick a winner it would be Liddell. I think he’s got too many advantages going for him in this one

Whatever the result theres a load of us here in Europe who’ll be watching this fight, and who knows we might be seeing a new champion crowned. I’ll write up a post-fight summary.