Cain Velasquez is preparing himself both mentally and physically for who seems like the toughest all-around opponent he has ever faced in his MMA career. Velasquez expects a war coming into UFC 110, admitting that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira can be very dominant standing up with his superb boxing skills and then of course on the ground with his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
The Mexican-American fighter talks about covering some of the holes he saw himself having trouble with during his UFC 99 fight against Cheick Kongo. Although he was surprised with the hits he could take from Kongo and still win the bout, he still plans on fixing up some the technical aspects in his game.
From Cain Velasquez:
“I am preparing for an all-out war on February 21 in Sydney. My opponent Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is an incredible boxer, incredible with jiu-jitsu, so I can’t really take the fight anywhere and expect it to be easy. I expect a war the whole time. I have been training with a lot more guys who specialise in jiu-jitsu to get ready for Nogueira, but other than that my training regime has been the same as usual – between two and three sessions a day. This could be the best fight of my career. When I look back on my fights in the UFC, I don’t really have a favorite yet, but definitely the one that stands out most is my battle with Cheick Kongo at UFC 99. I went through some adversity in that fight, but I wouldn’t just fall over and crumble. I got hit and I came back on top and won the fight pretty easily. I surprised myself a little bit, I was willing to take his punches and then give back what I had. I think a lot of guys would have fallen. To take that kind of hit and then capitalize, it was great, but while I was really pleased with my toughness, I was not happy with the technical side of things, getting caught like that.”
Miami, Florida is where it is set to go down. Herschel Walker will definitely be in attendance. At first glance you may think I am talking about that “Super” football game but you would be more wrong than Roy nelson in Vale Tudo shorts. I am talking about the best card of 2010 (So far anyway). Strikeforce and their CEO, Scott Coker, have put together the biggest fight card in this promotions history. It should be a night of great fights with style and attitude conflicts. Start training your eyes now because January 30th, 2010 will be a night you will not want to blink!
The co-main event features Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos defending her Featherweight title against Marloes Coenen. Cyborg is returning to the cage after her dismantling of the lovely Gina Carano. Cyborg had her most impressive showing to date when she crushed the aforementioned Carano on August 15th. Cyborg is a big, physically imposing 145 lb fighter. She has devastating stand-up with impressive Muay Thai kicks and knees. She is one who has never been afraid to stand and bang with anyone she has ever faced. Let’s face it, why should she with the way she has ravaged her opponents on the feet. She is very fast and explosive and according to her past opponents, very strong. She holds a record of 8-1 with 6 of those victories coming by way of (T)KO. The other two victories came in the form of decisions. Her lone defeat came early in her career, in 2005, when she lost via leg lock to Erica Paes. Submissions are Cristiane’s biggest weakness. Her ground game has been suspect throughout her career but no opponent to date has been able to expose that with the exception of Paes. Her adversary on the 30th however is a very dangerous submission fighter who may cause stylistic matchup problems for Cyborg.
Marloes Coenen is a very slick and dangerous ground fighter who hopes to shock the world by defeating the heavily favored Cyborg. Coenen has a slight height advantage over Cyborg and will have to drop weight to meet her at 145lbs. Coenen boasts a professional record of 17-3. Of those 17 victories, 12 have come by way of submission. She is very good on the ground and can seemingly transition seamlessly from one position to another in order to set up her submission attempts. She does have 3 wins via (T)KO but those all came against opponents who were outclassed and undersized. Her best opponent to date, and arguably her toughest fight, came against Cindy Dandois. That fight ended in a Unanimous decision loss for Coenen. Marloes’s bread and butter is on the ground but she has the heart of a true champion which is what she hopes to become. I am sure her team will have her game plan set to avoid early strikes, secure a takedown and work for submissions. Her stand-up game is definitely not her strong point and although she has the heart of a champion she will be best served to not stand and trade with Cyborg like she did against the always dangerous Yoko Takahashi.
Look for this fight to be a great test for Cristiane Santos and an even bigger test for Marloes Coenen. It is a classic example of “striker” versus “grappler.” Don’t blink or miss a moment of the action as these two set out to prove who is the best 145lb female fighter on the planet!
THE MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING! This is a going to be a war between two of the flashiest fighters in MMA. The Strikeforce welterweight title is on line as Nick Diaz squares off against “The Whitemare” Marius Zaromskis. Just like the Santos and Coenen fight this set to be a battle of contrasting styles as it again pits “striker” versus “grappler” for the 170 lb strap. Both of these fighters have extremely flashy and crowd pleasing styles. On paper this should be a barn burner full of furious action.
Marius Zaromskis is the current Dream welterweight champion but is hardly a household name here in the states. His name and reputation is reserved for the hardcore MMA fans. He is hoping to change that on January 30th by knocking off the martial arts anti-hero Nick Diaz. Zaromskis is a hard hitting power puncher with a taste for the extravagant KO. He is known for his thunderous decapitating head kicks. In fact, his last three victories have all come by way of head kick. The Lithuanian Zaromskis is reminiscent of fellow European fighter Mirko Cro-Cop. Marius is yet to show off any kind of compelling ground game which could pose a problem against the always slick Diaz. Marius is known as a knockout artist and his record most certainly defends this reputation. He has a record of 13-3 with 10 of those wins coming by (T)KO. He has only 1 submission victory under his belt in his 16 fights. He has been knocked out himself twice which is primarily due to his take no prisoners stand-up style. He has a tendency to let it all hang out and swing for the fences which makes him a fan favorite wherever he fights but it also exposes holes for counterpunchers. For the most part Marius is untested by top-tier competition. His only notable win came against Ross Pointon, of “The Ultimate Fighter” fame, in 2007. He has twice lost to tough competitor Che Mills. No doubt Marius’ game plan is going to be to use his devastating kicks and knees to try to break down the taller and more experienced Diaz. It is safe to assume he hopes to end the fight with a big head kick perfectly placed over the patented outstretched lead hand of the younger Diaz brother. I am sure Nick would like to use his slick submission prowess to keep that from happening. They say that everyone has a puncher’s chance in any fight but Marius seemingly has a high-kicker’s chance in this one.
209!! 209!! 209!! This has become the war cry for the always confident and always brash Nick Diaz. There has never been a fighter more proud of his area code than the polarizing Nick Diaz. You either love him or hate him, there is no grey area. Nick is a slick fighter with an impressive ground game, constantly improving stand-up and a will to back up his trash talk. Nick is a legitimate Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt. He has used his long arms and legs along with his Gracie Jiu-Jitsu skills to beat some of the most elite fighters in the game. His most recent victory came against the very powerful and heavy handed Scott Smith. His fight against Smith could very possibly have been a perfect warm up for Zaromskis as their styles are very similar. Diaz was able to dispatch Smith with a smooth transition that was finished with a rear naked choke. Although the submission of Smith was one of his most impressive victories to date he has very good striking as well. He has a record of 20-7 with 11 of those wins via (T)KO. What could prove to be his biggest asset in this fight with Marius is his chin. Of Nick’s 7 losses, 5 of those have come in the form of decisions. He is a difficult fighter to finish thanks to his slick ground game, much improved boxing skills, and his tremendous reach and length. Nick’s resume of fighters he has faced reads as a who’s who in the constantly evolving world of MMA but Marius could prove to be his most dangerous task to this point. Nick is actually half as good as he thinks he is so that makes him a very dangerous opponent as well. This is going to be an absolute war for the ages. I would dare to guess that this will be fight of the night and a candidate for fight of the year if everything plays out the way it should.
January 30th, 2010 at 7:30pm EST., mark that date on your calendars. This is going to be an evening full of big time debuts, style match-ups and title fights. This is without a doubt the most anticipated card of the year. No matter who wins, these fights are sure to be exciting, well matched and end explosively! The only question for you is, who will win? Leave a comment and let us know what you think. Click here for the complete Strikeforce ‘Miami’ fight card
About the author: Chris “The Buzz-Saw”Bowman is a mixed martial arts competitor, school owner, and judge with over 15 years of combative experience.
He owns and operates Louisville Elite Combat in Louisville, KY. He is a black belt in the Japanese art of Bushi Jutsu Ryu and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg feels relatively comfortable putting her belt on the line against Marloes Coenen this Saturday night at the Strikeforce ‘Miami’ co-main event. She tells sherdog.com that she has been training in San Diego with several MMA experts including Wanderlei Silva’s conditioning coach Rafael Alejarra. Cyborg looks to be mentally focused and physically prepared to go five rounds against Coenen come January 30th.
From Cris Cyborg:
“I’ve seen some of Coenen’s fights and she likes to stand up. She wins some of her fights by submission. I’m just going to go over to her and exchange with her, get a feeling for what she’s doing and go for my knockout. I’m always prepared to go in. I’m always hoping that I’m going to get a really good fight and a really good exchange. I’m always prepared for my five rounds, but for some reason, my fights keep ending in the first round…[In regards to her training] I prefer to train with men. I feel more comfortable. I’m afraid of hurting the women…I’m training at The Arena in San Diego with Rafael Alejarra for conditioning, Billy for muay Thai, and Javi Vazquez for jiu-jitsu. Javi comes down three times a week because he’s training with Rafael and Billy, too, for his March 6 fight (at WEC 47). I’d also like to add that I’m still a member of Chute Boxe and I want to thank them for their continued support…[She talks about the fighters she would like to train with] I would really like to train with B.J. Penn. I really admire his fighting skills and his ground skills. He’s someone I admire overall as a fighter. Maybe I’ll train with him someday. That would be fun. I’d also like to train with Fedor Emelianenko. I think that he rocks. He’s really strong and delivers the knockout. I love his little baby face. He kicks ass and makes it fun. I’d love to train with this baby-face.”
The former WEC Bantamweight (135 lbs.) champion Miguel Torres has decided to move to Las Vegas to train with Mark Dellagrotte. Torres strongly believes that his Chicago fight camp wasn’t pushing him enough throughout his last couple of fights and that’s the reason why he wasn’t able to defend his title against Brian Bowles at WEC 42.
Prior to Torres’ loss against Bowles, the Mexican-American MMA fighter was on a 17-fight winning streak. He seems to be pretty eager to make another title run, but he’ll have to first take on Joseph Benavidez as part of the WEC 47 co-main event that takes place on March 6 in Ohio.
From Miguel Torres:
“I’ve used the same training partners for 11 or 12 years, and I haven’t brought any of them back for this fight…What ended up happening was — I wasn’t getting cocky, they got cocky. They would say, ‘Oh, you’re going to kill this guy. He’s only got seven fights’…The guys I had coaching me were there just to give me water and talk my face off. They weren’t giving me anything I could use. Looking back, I can see there were a lot of things off. But I was in a bubble at the time and couldn’t see it.”
Chuck Liddell was called in to take the coaching position for The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 show opposite coach Tito Ortiz which premiers on March 31, 2010. Both coaches will battle each other at the end of the show, making it their third bout in UFC history. Liddell tells media that he is excited to finally make his octagon return soon, stating that he simply needed some time to rest. He strongly feels that he has around four more fights left in his MMA career.
From Chuck Liddell:
“I don’t think I have anything to prove, but I would like to prove [White] wrong…It is what it is. I’ll keep arguing, and [White] will keep arguing with me. It doesn’t matter. I’ve just got to show him I can perform. If I perform, he’ll keep letting me fight…At this point, I’d like another fight after (Ortiz)… Hopefully Dana’s happy with me if I get two wins, and I’d like a shot at a contender and then a shot at the the title. That’s four fights…That’s about as far forward as I’ve thought. But that’s what I’d like to do…I have to go out on my own, the way I want to go out. It has to be my decision. I’m not going to let fans or people that aren’t that close to me and don’t watch me train, don’t see what I can still do, make that decision for me.”