Connect with us


Maia Submits Askren in Grappling Superbout



In a battle that was much more than two welterweights fighting for their futures, fourth degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Demian Maia faced off with former Olympic Wrestler Ben Askren this morning in Singapore, but in the end, it was Death by Jiu Jitsu that struck again.

The former two time UFC title challenger Maia submitted Askren late in the third round, once again with his patented rear naked choke, the hold that has brought him most of his eleven submission wins in the UFC. It marked three wins in a row for the Brazilian, but what was really important about the win became evident when Maia jumped on the cage and shouted “Jiu-Jitsu!” at the Singapore crowd. This had been positioned as a battle of wrestling versus Jiu Jitsu for weeks online, and for Maia, this seemed to be the win for his art as much as it was for himself.

As is often is the case when elite grapplers face off, much of the bout was fought on the feet, and in the first round Maia established himself as the superior striker, using much better footwork and touching Askren up repeatedly with a straight left hand. Askren looked elementary on the feet even against Maia, who is no Stephen Thompson or Nate Diaz on the feet.

It was Askren who repeatedly went to initiate the grappling and he finally managed to take Mia down with a minute left in the round, but Maia immediately began attacking with submissions and managed to escape the round with minimal damage.

Despite his rudimentary footwork, Askren did show some better striking in the second, specifically hitting Maia with hard right hooks and right uppercuts, one of raised a nasty cut below Maia’s left eye. Again, Askren got a takedown with about a minute left in the round, but Maia quickly attacked with a triangle and then used an omaplata to sweep Askren and get on top, bringing the crowd to their feet. He nearly had the back and went for a kimura but Askren transitioned and survived the round.

Maia came out in the third and again was landing well on the feet, and Askren closed distance with a bodylock takedown right into side control, but Maia easily managed to get to his feet. Maia was once again landing with his left hand, the body and the head now, as well as the occasional hard knee to the body. When Askren went to take him down, Maia seemed to accept the takedown and right to a heel hook, using the move to sweep on top of Askren. He cut through into the mount, and Askren gave his back for the second Maia needed.

Now on Askren’s back with the bodylock, Maia began working for the choke. Askren did what you are taught to do and went two to one on one of Maia’s arms, but Maia punched through the other arm, slapping on the rear naked choke. Maia didn’t even need to grab his other arm or get a grip of any kind. His squeeze was enough to force a near unconscious Askren to tap out. The time was 3:54 of the third round.

The win caps an excellent comeback year for Maia, who notched his third win of the year following three straight losses, two of which came to world champions Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman. He just signed his last UFC contract and seems to be more interested in having fun and challenging himself than winning a world title at this point. This could make the man more dangerous than ever.

The loss also culminates a highly disappointing year for Askren, who talked a lot of trash before and through a 1-2 year that saw him slammed on his head and bloodied before getting a tainted win over Robbie Lawler, an eight-second knockout at the hands of Jorge Masvidal, and now this lost to the forty-one year old Maia. Tough break, yo…

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. JR

    October 26, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Nice recap of a great fight. Loved the back and forth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Was Max Holloway Robbed at UFC 251?



Last weekend, Max Holloway earned his featherweight title rematch against Alexander Volkanovski – but was he robbed in the decision? Many fighters and fans think so.

Here’s what legendary MMA fight manager Ali Abdelaziz had to say after the fight:

Nate Diaz was quick to chime in with his thoughts on Holloway’s loss at the hands of the judges as well:

The bottom line is this was a back and forth fight that could have gone either way. Yes, we would have scored it for Holloway too, but this is what happens when fighters leave bouts to the judges to decide.

Professional fighter Joe Schilling mentioned on a recent Joe Rogan podcast that he thought the UFC should add additional measures to keep judges more accountable. Some sort of tracking system that helps identify and remove judges who consistently score fights against the grain would be a great way to keep both fighters and fans appeased during tough decisions like this one.

Continue Reading


UFC 249 has a long and adventurous story



UFC 249 was originally planned to take place on April 18th in New York but, due to the ongoing pandemic, governor Cuomo restricted mass gatherings and sports events, confining everyone to their homes, leaving them with little more to watch than reruns of old fights and perhaps Game Changers. UFC president Dana White then announced that the event was still on but the location will change. Later, it was announced that it will take place at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California. ESPN and its parent company Disney didn’t like this, though, pressuring White to suspend the event for the time being – which he did. Finally, the event was rescheduled for May 9

Meanwhile, interesting news started circulating about a potential location for future UFC fight nights that, if it becomes a reality, might put an interesting spin on the world of mixed martial arts.

UFC Fight Island

Even before the issues with the event, White planned to arrange a brand new location where fight nights could be organized: a private island where athletes could train and fight.

“All the infrastructure is being built right now and getting put in place,” he told the press back in April. “As we get closer to that, then I’ll start figuring out booking fights, getting guys ready. Plus, I can ship guys over there earlier, and they can start training over there, on the island. So, once that’s all in place – we’re looking at like a month – I’ll have that all put together, and guys can start training and can go there.”

The UFC is serious about it: it has already registered several trademarks around the “UFC Fight Island” brand, covering several types of goods, services, even jewelry. 

When, and Where?

The “where” is still a mystery. Although he spoke repeatedly about the arrangements being made for athletes to be able to train and stay on the island, White has not revealed its location yet. Some theorize that it may be somewhere in international waters so it could serve as a place where international athletes could stay without restrictions, perhaps off the coast of California. But this is just a theory – all will probably be revealed in due time.

The “when” is a bit less vague: White told the press that UFC Fight Island will be operational by June. It will have amenities like an Octagon on the beach, and hotels for the fighters to be lodged at. And most importantly, it will allow international fighters to participate in fights, even with the pandemic-related travel restrictions still in place.

The idea of an island dedicated to fighting may sound familiar – it was the topic of the 2006 martial arts movie “DOA – Dead or Alive” and 2007’s “The Condemned”, among others. Let’s hope this one will have a happier ending.

As for UFC 249 ‘Ferguson vs. Gaethje’, that event will now take place at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Continue Reading


What Justin Gaethje’s past fights tell us about his chances at UFC 249



It’s fair to say that Justin Gaethje has firmly taken up the role of underdog ahead of his clash with Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on May 9th. The latest Tony Ferguson v Justin Gaethje betting offers present Ferguson as the clear favourite, after his opponent was drafted in at the last minute to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is on lockdown in his home country of Russia. 

Gaethje is relatively inexperienced in the world of UFC, having fought just six times in the competition in the past. But his calibre from prior ventures in MMA, notably the World Series of Fighting, means that he is a fighter not to be trifled with, and while he won’t represent as formidable a challenge for Ferguson as Khabib would have, there is much to admire about the 31-year-old.

To understand fully Gaethje’s chances ahead of UFC 249, it’s important to analyse his performances in recent fights. Indeed, his past three bouts have resulted in impressive victories, with Gaethje winning Performance of the Night awards in two of those fights — against James Vick and Donald Cerrone respectively. 

But his UFC started off in disappointing fashion, with just one win from his first three fights. That victory came against Michael Johnson in the reality show The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale, but from there he failed to gain a strong foothold in the championship. He suffered back-to-back defeats against Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, including a knockout at the hands of the former, as he struggled to adapt to the competitive nature of the UFC.

Those defeats obviously shook Gaethje into life, because he has come roaring back in his last three fights, mustering up a trio of impressive performances to bring him to the level he finds himself at today, where UFC chief Dana White is drafting him to replace someone of the calibre of Khabib. 

The first of this trio of victories was a win over James Vick in August 2018, where Gaethje produced a fine display which silenced some of the doubters who had perhaps questioned his ability at the highest level. He won Performance of the Night for that one, and was then involved in the Fight of the Night the following March as he defeated Edson Barboza by knockout in Philadelphia. His most recent victory was a TKO triumph over UFC veteran Donald Cerrone in October last year, where Gaethje once again walked away with the Performance of the Night accolade. 

All three of his most recent wins have come via first round knockout or technical knockout, proof that Gaethje has the ability to overpower opponents in the opening stages of a fight. Of course, to do this against Ferguson will be a whole different ball game, as he is the most high-profile fighter Gaethje has faced so far, but perhaps the key lies in ensuring he comes out all guns blazing early on.

Gaethje’s Performance of the Night wins indicate that he is capable of producing a show-stopping performance on any given night. He is undoubtedly the underdog going into the fight against Ferguson, but with a few good wins now under his belt, who’s to say he can’t spring a surprise on May 9th and truly announce himself in the UFC. 

Continue Reading