Twitter gives me the power to interact with fight fans all over the world with the click of a button. What better way to kick off the week than by opening up the dialogue with the best fans on Earth? Here’s the best of the best from my Q&A.
@kennyflorian Why are ring girls so hot? Is there a story behind that? Do they get a piece of the action, retirement?
Is this a philosophical question? Is this related to their actual body temperature? Your question leads me to have more questions than answers but I guess you’re asking me "why are ring girls good-looking?" I assume they are good looking because MMA and fighting in general is a sport enjoyed by guys. Many men enjoy looking at beautiful women. So there ya have it. You kind of lost me with your "action/retirement" part of your question though. On a side note, I was offered a ring guy position but I had to turn it down. Didn’t want to steal the ladies’ cheers and whistles.
@kennyflorian how about an article on tips for strengthening shins? I think we all would want to read that about right now.
While there are simple things you can do to strengthen your shins, if you hit a weak part of your shin against a hard part of someone else’s shin at the wrong time then you can still break your leg no matter how conditioned your legs are. A broken leg like the one that Anderson Silva suffered against Weidman came from 1. Force. 2. Small part of the Silva’s leg. 3. Strong part of Weidman’s leg. Hearing good news that Silva could be fully healed and ready to train in as early as 6 months. Wish him the speediest of recoveries. Now to answer your question.
Everyone equates hard shins with muay-thai and fighters from Thailand. That is mostly true but the stories of them kicking trees or concrete poles are pretty inaccurate. Many years ago, the less fortunate who couldn’t afford proper equipment to train their kicking skills would use banana trees. Banana trees are very soft much like kicking a heavy bag or "banana bag" in the gym. So please, don’t kick trees like pine, oak or redwoods. We need the trees and you may need your legs to kick for mma. Kicking a banana bag in the gym everyday will do the job. Work your way up to 500 kicks per leg. Use low kicks for these drilling purposes. You will generate more power kicking low then high so the impact on your shins will be greater and will strengthen over time. Start with a realistic goal of 50-80 kicks per leg everyday and add 20-30 reps every week. Just don’t think your legs will be unbreakable from this kind of training. Good luck and safe training my friend.
@kennyflorian Do you think Ronda will retire undefeated as she has discussed(sooner or later) or will someone ever be able to challenge her?
Ronda has quite the advantage over a lot of women in the ufc based on her years of world class competition. We also can’t ignore her work ethic, growing skill set and physical gifts. I believe her most difficult challenge on paper comes in the form of her next challenger, Olympic medalist and freestyle wrestler, Sara McMann. Sara has similar world class credentials. Ronda showed some excellent boxing combinations and power in her last fight against Tate. Perhaps the takedowns will nullify each other and we will see a stand up battle. A stronger indicator of how this fight might go lies with the takedown battle. The woman who wins the takedown battle will most likely win the fight. Both women are better from the top position when the fight hits the mat. One things is certain, both women will need to cross-train in both judo and wrestling to acquire that feel before they lock up in February. An interesting note, McMann has a very good ground game and trains with perhaps the best pound for pound jiu-jitsu practitioner in the world in Marcelo Garcia. I get giddy thinking about this McMann and Rousey matchup. Will I be shocked if Rousey retires undefeated, probably not but we all know that every fighter no matter how dominant they are is always one mistake away from losing in the octagon.
@kennyflorian How important is it for you to assist them in helping grow MMA in Spanish speaking countries and have you ever considered
I think it is extremely important to grow the influence of mma in spanish speaking countries. We know how passionate the Hispanic market is in the United States and abroad and the UFC has been taking measures to educate the fans and bring more programming and material to them all the time. It is important that the UFC push stars in the UFC that speak spanish and represent the large markets like Mexico and other Latin-American countries. Goyito Perez has been helping a lot and having Cain Velasquez as heavyweight champ right now is huge. I always tried to do a lot of for the UFC as a proud Peruvian American to get more passionate Hispanic fans on board. Traveling, interviews etc were all part of the job in accomplishing this goal. With my current schedule, I have a lot on my plate but I always offer the UFC my help with things like this. Right now they are in good hands with people like Victor Davila, Fabricio Werdum, Mario Delgado and others.
@kennyflorian why are many mma fighters content to ground and pound from guard? Wouldn't they do more damage if they passed? Pass or stay?
Good question. The mysteries of the guard position aren’t as problematic as they were back in the 1990’s. Today a fighter is very capable of staying on top in guard without losing position and at the same time be able to damage their opponents. The occasional submission from guard still happens at the highest levels in the UFC but it usually comes from a careless mistake from the top position and is rarely created off of a brilliant offensive guard game that came out of nowhere. The reality is that with proper positioning and posture, the closed guard can be easily nullified in MMA. For me, I always preferred to advance my position so I could look for a mount or back mount position to set up more effective strikes or to open up a submission. This isn’t always an easy thing to do however. The technical level of the fighters are always improving. I think time constraints and a more conservative approach is also responsible for us not seeing a more dynamic ground game in the UFC. A lot of wrestlers for example are way more comfortable being in someone’s guard or taking side control than being on top in mount for example. Ultimately it all comes down to styles, coaching, tactics and strategy.
@kennyflorian the UFC has had issues with the judging in the past. Are they working on this so it doesnt become a real problem like boxing.
One thing should be made very clear. The UFC is NOT responsible for the judging. The state athletic commissions are the ones responsible for hiring, licensing and choosing quality referees and judges. It is my understanding that the UFC always does their best to give their feedback and works with the commissions to improve the overall process but ultimately the decisions lie with the various athletic commissions. While there are always ways to improve, human error will always be an issue when judging/refereeing a sporting event. It is the unfortunate nature of the beast. Ways to improve? Continued education, peer review and more experience can help with the judging issues.
@kennyflorian who is the first champion to lose the belt in 2014? I think Cruz.
There is no doubt that Cruz is in for the toughest fight of his career when he meets Barao in February. I think both of these guys have very contrasting styles that can offer some problems if one or the other can’t make the proper adjustments. The feints, fakes and rhythm changes shown by Wineland in the first round against Barao were causing problems for the interim champ. Cruz has feints, fakes and rhythm changes in spades. He also has an excellent wrestling game and high MMA IQ which complicates things even further for Barao. What Barao has is size, nasty Jiu-jitsu and KO power. These are all things that Cruz is going to have to be ready for. It’s been a long layoff for the champ but if anyone can comeback and answer a challenge like Barao, it’s Dominick Cruz. Who is the first champ to lose the belt in 2014? How dare you ask me a difficult question like this? Truly, I don’t know. Belfort/Weidman is going to be interesting and hopefully we see Jones & Gustafsson Part Deux this year as well. All tough fights that could crown a new champ. If it happens, I suspect it may be at 135, 185 or 205 in the men’s divisions.