MMA Underground

A site for MMA Fans and fighters
by MMA Fans and Fighters.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Like never before: A conversation with UFC lightweight Diego Sanchez

UFC 95 “Sanchez vs. Stevenson” is set to go down tonight starting at 9 pm ET from the O2 Arena in London, England. Headlining the event opposite Joe Stevenson will be Diego Sanchez, a former welterweight contender making his much-anticipated debut at 155 lbs.

The inaugural Ultimate Fighter (TUF) middleweight champion had resisted the move in recent past, especially since he was knocking on the door of a potential 170-pound title shot with a win over Thiago Alves at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” back in October.

Sanchez had to withdraw from the bout, however, because of a rib injury. Alves went on to strafe last minute replacement and top player in the division, Josh Koscheck, to score a convincing unanimous decision win.

While the injury was legitimate, it didn’t stop the critics from making accusations about his desire to fight the dreaded “Pitbull.” Some even accused him of “running” to the lightweight division to avoid him.

Sanchez was unfazed.

“People are entitled to an opinion. It is what it is. You get hurt, you get hurt. I just trust God’s plan!”

His new career at 155-pounds starts against one of the top contenders in the weight class. Joe Stevenson, TUF 2 welterweight winner and newly-minted Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, poses a very serious threat to Diego’s plans to move quickly through the lightweight ranks.

And Sanchez isn’t taking it lightly.

“It’s a good opponent and I’m very prepared. Being the main event at a UFC is a dream come true. I’m ready for the time change, it’s all about being able to flip the switch to ‘on’. I can do that very easy after learning peak mind state training at Tony Robbins. My game plan is to just outclass him in all aspects and to stay out of his guillotine. I’m prepared for that move.”

When Diego posted to his MySpace blog last December that he was dropping to lightweight, it wasn’t long before he was called out by former 155-pound title holder Sean Sherk. A win over Stevenson and Sanchez feels a bout with Sherk is inevitable.

“It will happen. He is the top fighter at 155 in my opinion. He just was dumb to try and strike with BJ (Penn at UFC 84). He should have pushed the pace with scrambles and a lot of takedowns. But I guess he was not confident in his ground game.”

As if facing “The Muscle Shark” wasn’t bold enough, “Nightmare” can even see himself eventually taking on perhaps the best lightweight in the world in BJ “The Prodigy” Penn.

“(Dropping weight will be a) good opportunity to better my stock as a fighter. Yes, I beat (Kenny) Florian easy and think as long as I show I can make the weight and dominate Joe, I can argue … I know the fans want me and BJ. It makes no difference in the outcome. BJ gets tired easy. It’s pathetic to think I really believed he had focused and trained hard (for UFC 94). I hope we get to fight. It’s a dream fight for me.”

Despite his optimism, not everyone was convinced that Sanchez would be able to drop the weight in time for his fight at UFC 95 - especially since he was as high as 195 lbs. just two months out.

It didn’t matter. Aside from his commitment to his new division, Sanchez had the power of herbal sweetener Stevia on his side.

“Stevia is amazing, good for cutting weight. It’s like a healthy lemon aid. Sweet! Also it gives good energy. I’m faster, stronger, more dedicated, and very focused - like never before. It’s all or nothing from here on out, I promise.”

In the end, Sanchez can’t credit Stevia, dedication or anything else for his overall success in the UFC. That good fortune came from none other than the man upstairs, the notorious G.O.D.

“All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me! The victory is not mine, it is his. Without him I am nothing. With him I am everything. I love Jesus so much! Thanks (also) to the Maloof family, Sacramento Kings, Bad Boy MMA and all my supporters.”

It all goes down a little later tonight. Remember that will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the tape-delayed main card action starting tonight at 9pm ET.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Title Shot- into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts

Article Written by Penny Buffington

In 2008 Kelly Crigger published a book through the publishing company Victory Belt Publications. He named his book Title Shot- into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts. Kelly is an Army officer serving as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2006. In an exclusive interview Kelly gave insight into why he felt a need to write the book. “First I just wanted to explore why guys fought. I wanted to understand a little more why people did it. Because, I understand why I do what I do, I’m in the Army and I take risks for the greater good. But to strap on a little pair of gloves and slug it out with other guys is just something I wasn’t understanding. So it started out as an exploration of what motivated people to fight and then it just turned into a lot more from there. I wanted to find out why the mma fighters were portrayed so poorly in the media when they were clearly from my travels much different people then the people that you see on TV. I wanted to explore the similarities between my profession the Army and mma because every team you go into has a hierarchy just like an Army unit would have, or like a battalion. A mma gym is the same way; there is a hierarchy for sure. So that is where it started. It was an idea to figure out why guys fight and it just blossomed into a whole lot more.”

Kelly told me the mixed martial arts community is very supporting of the military. “They are all very supportive. A lot of them will even go out of there way- like Greg Jackson- about 4 or 5 months ago after UFC 88, this was back in Nov. after Rashad Evans fought and knocked out Chuck Liddell. Greg Jackson jumped in a car and drove 4 hours from Atlanta down to Savannah, Georgia and donated a day of his time training troops down there. Just because we asked. He spent an afternoon training soldier on combatives. On how to be better at hand to hand while you are in uniform and in turn they took him out on a shooting range and let him bust a bunch of caps. So it was a good time.”

Kelly explains, “The book covers 5 gyms; the Army MMA Tournament and 3 live events I went to. I went to Sport Fight. I went to the IFl Finals and I went to UFC 79 to get a glimpse of what mma is like. I got to spend 3 hours with Dana White talking about his view of mma from the top of the food chain. It was nice to see the view from the mountain top about the issues that were affecting the sport in the last year.”

“I spent so much time in the camps 5 camps that I went to from Team Quest to Cesar Gracie, Greg Jackson and Sityodtong -Mark DellaGrotte, and American Top Team. Just living with fighters hearing their stories, getting their stories, and trying to figure out what made them tick.”

“One of the things that I will tell you is the conclusion I came to when writing the book was a lot of times you see these fighters on TV and they are usually captured where they are in front of the camera at a bad time. It is easy to make snap judgments on whether you like a fighter on a 30 or 60 second interview. But you have got to keep in mind that those cameras are put in their face just before a fight. Their minds are changing their bodies are changing. They are cutting weight. They are irritable and Kenny Florian came right out and said look, 2 weeks before a fight I don’t like having people around, people don’t like being around me. I’m starting to change. I’m starting to focus. I can’t eat the things I want to eat and you stick a camera in my face and I’m probably going to say things that are going to make you not like me. So that is one of the things I hope people get from the book is that you can’t judge a fighter based on 30 or 60 seconds. Especially if it’s right before he is getting ready to fight. Kenny is a class act. He is head and shoulders above the rest. Cerebral, nice, down to earth, great view point’s, he can pick apart a fight from a stylistic advantage point. He is a sharp, sharp guy. He is a witty guy.”

The Army Lieutenant Colonel plans on writing more book on the sport as well. “I hang out with Greg Jackson. He and I are writing a book together, actually there are going to be 2 books; a book on striking and a book on grappling.”

As Kelly explains reading the book is for everybody. “If you just want to know a little bit about mma. If you’re somebody who only knows a little bit about mma and want to learn more about what it is like, live in a camp. What it is like to be a professional fighter. Then my book is for you. If you are a hard core mma junkie, there are facts in there, even people that have been around mma may finds some facts in there they probably didn’t know before. So it’s for everybody.”

While you can buy Kelly's book at Barnes and Nobles and Boarders among many other places if you purchase it from the Ranger Up web site you can buy the book signed by both Kelly Crigger and UFC and Affliction fighter Matt Lindland! $3.00 from every book sold will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project! Price: $15.99.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Diego Sanchez telling his greatest fan he loves her!

Fri the 13th 2009

Diego Sanchez says, "I love you Penny. I've got nothing but Love for you and I want you to know I think your awesome."

This is how Diego Nightmare Sanchez treats his fans! The reason I have been for years and will continue to be his GREATEST FAN

Penny Buffington

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Juanito Ibarra - World Class MMA Boxing - Grand Opening

Juanito Ibarra

World Class MMA Boxing

Grand Opening

Febuary 21, 2009

Home of Juanito's Fight System

14042 Locust St
Westminister, Ca. 92683

Amateur & Professional
Wrestling/ Muay Thai
YRG Fitness System
Nutritional Specialist

Monday, February 2, 2009

MMA is great, so why the hate?

My question is why do the media, other sports, and the older generation always seem to be hating on mixed martial arts? We need to be educating more about how safe it really is compared to other main stream sports. I practice mma on a regular basis and I can say personally that I have received a lot more injuries from playing basketball and even tennis. I have had three leg surgeries from my time on the hardwood and on the tennis courts and have had only minimal injuries from practicing mma. In most cases mma is taught by professionals with many years of experience and have rigorous training techniques that they follow to ensure the safety of the participants. I have followed mma religiously since 1997 and what would invite all the nay sayers to compared the stats from mma to football, soccer, baseball, basketball, to see which has more injuries. Thanks, Jason Frisby