This? Oh, It’s Just Some Wrestling Stuff

Twenty years of MMA here in the States and it is has become an irrefutable truth that the art of wrestling is an essential component for success within the cage. Whether it’s about getting the fight to the ground or diligently keeping it on the feet, if a fighter doesn’t have at least a working knowledge of the intricacies of takedowns and sprawls, he or she is going horizontal in the worst way possible.

I’ve never donned a wrestler’s singlet myself, but the aforementioned truth is what prompted me to go to Madison Square Garden on Sunday morning to check out the second installment of Grapple at the Garden – an event that can best be described as “more amateur wrestling than you can possibly keep track of at once”. There were eight mats laid out on the Garden’s massive floor, thousands cheering from the stands, music pumping out of the speakers, and entire teams representing such colleges as Rutgers, Cornell and Boston University, their individual wrestlers battling it out for superiority and an ephemeral concept of points. Yet for all the mysteries of the scoring process (and to me there were plenty), what was crystal clear was the action, and the elation of the crowd when one competitor skillfully ragdolled his opponent to the mat. Therein lies wrestling’s general appeal.
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TUF 18 Finale After-Action Report

Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter is now a wrap in its entirety. After tonight’s Finale we have 2 new TUF winners, a few other newcomers who could be interesting, the answers to a few questions, and the emergence of some new ones. Overall it was a solid night of fights and storylines, and we didn’t even have to pay the cost of a PPV to see it – can’t complain about that. A few things about the card that stood out were:

What a blow

In the lead up to this event we took a look at where Gray Maynard stands in his career and contemplated what got him there and what the future would likely look like for the former number 1 contender. Unfortunately for The Bully tonight was likely another nail in the coffin containing his hopes of remaining anywhere near the top half of the 155 pound division. While I am not yet convinced that he is no longer a UFC caliber talent, 2 knockouts in a row at this stage of a UFC career is obviously a huge setback. Ironically I thought that Gray looked fantastic physically in the early goings of his fight with Diaz tonight. He looked to be in great shape, his offense seemed very crisp, and he was certainly not timid at all. But the fact is that Maynard has won just a single fight in all of 2011, 2012, and 2013 and he didn’t exactly set the world on fire in that win either. After all that he has been through in those wars with Frankie, the change in gyms, the injuries, etc, we have to ask ourselves, how much does Gray Maynard have left in him? Personally I’d like to see him in at least one more fight to better gauge his current standing. A rematch with Jim Miller after Miller’s upcoming fight seems about right.

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TUF 18 Finale Chat – If You Dare

Enter at your own risk.

chat

Jared Rosholt’s Road To The Octagon At TUF 18 (Exclusive Interview)

Heavyweight Jared Rosholt will make his UFC debut against Walter Harris at The Ultimate Fighter Finale in Las Vegas. Rosholt is a 3 time NCAA Division 1 All American and is currently has the most wins of all heavyweight Oklahoma State university history. Once his brother Jake Rosholt began fighting and made it into the UFC, he made the commitment to do it as well. Rosholt has only been fighting for 2 years, but once he started taking fights he never said no to an opportunity. In fact, Rosholt took his first fight in February of 2011 and before the first week of June was over he was already 4-0. The last three of those fights took place on consecutive weekends.
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Nate Diaz Will Never Be Champion

Nate Diaz – who will be headlining the TUF 18 Finale opposite Gray Maynard – has stayed relevant in the UFC since winning his season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2007. Not many Ultimate Fighter winners after Nate have been able to have as much success as him, and only one other winner after Diaz did what the 209 native has done, challenge for a championship. Staying relevant and being one of the best fighters in the division are two entirely different things though, and here are the reasons why Nate Diaz will never be a champion.
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