Velasquez, MMA stars shine in first-ever UFC event Down Under
You hear this kind of thing fairly regularly from promoters and managers and trainers. Sometimes you pay attention. Sometimes you don't. For every young fighter that pans out, 20 won't. But more often than not, when the San Jose, Calif.-based Mendez mentions a name, it's worth storing in the back of your mind.
Chalk another one up for the trainer who entered MMA as part of
So confident was Melendez in his young charge, that two fights into Velasquez's career, he brought the two-time All-American to the UFC, where the 27-year-old Mexican-American has been smartly handled since. Each subsequent bout brought unique challenges to a green fighter, but none were as complex, important or revealing as the man he pasted in the main event of UFC 110.
With his knockout of
As it is, Velasquez, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighed 242 pounds at fight time, has rounded into the type of fighter that will dominate MMA over the coming decades. He can wrestle. He can kickbox. He can dictate where and how the fight plays out. He is strong-willed. He does not fatigue easily. And he has a great camp that will continue to push him to improve.
Exciting times are ahead for heavyweights in MMA. And Velasquez, like Mendez promised, is a name that will be part of the discussion for some time.
It's easy to dismiss Nogueira's stoppage loss in December 2008 to
The 33-year-old Nogueira (32-6-1) stepped into the cage as prepared as he could be. It just wasn't enough.
After losing five of his last six bouts, including three brain-rattling knockouts, Wanderlei Silva was so desperate for a win that he shed 20 pounds and allowed a plastic surgeon to essentially re-arrange his re-arranged face.
Gone was the sloping forehead that complimented Silva's "Axe Murderer" nickname and persona. So too the mangled nose that obstructed his oxygen intake.
Would his ability to dole out punishment disappear, as well?
The verdict is still out on that, but after seeing him engage with
Silva seemed to benefit from his reconnection with the Chute Boxe lineage and trainer
Silva (33-10-1) should face Japanese middleweight
I don't see the Croatian having any kind of impact at this stage of his career. At best, he was uninspired against Perosh. At worst, he was as good as he can be. Either way, Filipovic's tenure in the UFC has not been a good one. Sure, he remains promotable, and the victory should put him in a position to fight
Filipovic should consider himself lucky it was Perosh (10-6) and not "Big Ben" standing in front of him in Australia.
While the Nogueiras and Silvas -- and the UFC brand name -- helped fill Acer Arena, it was the homeland heroes who brought the MMA-hungry crowd to its most raucous crescendos.
With due respect to Velasquez, no one owned the night more than Australian veteran lightweight
Sotiropoulos and light heavyweight prospect