Posts for MMA Category

Eddie Alvarez Let Himself Down

Kevin Kinkead - July 30, 2018

Eddie Alvarez blew it on Saturday night.

The Kensington native was fighting Dustin Poirier in a much-anticipated 155 pound rematch, 14 months after we were left with a “no contest” decision in the first go-round after Alvarez landed illegal knees while Poirier was grounded. That brought to a complete halt one of the better fights I had seen at that point in 2017.

So it was disappointing this weekend when Eddie, holding an advantageous full mount position and looking strong in round two, broke the rules again, this time throwing a pair of “12-6” elbows that caught Poirier on the shoulder:

Photo credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

See how the elbow is coming straight down in that photo? That’s called a “12 to 6” because if you think about a clock, you go straight from 12 to reach 6. It’s illegal in MMA. All elbows have to be thrown from an angle and can’t be thrown vertically like that.

Here’s the video, also featuring an illegal wet willy:

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Max Holloway, Clearly Not Himself, Pulled From UFC 226 Card

Kevin Kinkead - July 5, 2018

I’ve had UFC 226 circled on the calendar for a while. It’s part of a Saturday night QUADRUPLE-header featuring Pirates/Phillies at 4 p.m., Union/Atlanta at 7 p.m., and some late night Sixers summer league action.

Unfortunately, 226 will not feature the Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega featherweight title fight, as Holloway was taken off the card due to concussion-like symptoms.

Per Ariel Helwani, who just took a new gig with ESPN:

“Max’s team and UFC staff noticed Max was not normal since late last week,” Holloway’s manager Brian Butler told ESPN via a prepared statement. “This became obvious to many watching his interviews and public appearances the past few days.

“He was showing concussion-like symptoms before he even started his weight cut and was rushed to the ER on Monday where they admitted him overnight. Initial scans seemed OK, and he was released Tuesday afternoon, but symptoms still continued.

“Max fought with his team to continue with the fight. He showed some improvement over the next day but was still showing obvious symptoms. After open workouts, he crashed and was very hard to wake up; when he did, he had flashing vision and slurred speech.

“He is now back in the ER for further tests.”

Take a look for yourself. Max is a relaxed and chill type of guy, but not like this:

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MMA Fighter Rags “Filthadelphia Eagles” Over Canceled White House Visit

Kevin Kinkead - June 11, 2018

Colby Covington is what we’d call a “heel.”

The guy is a great fighter but a total asshole, a trash-talking former collegiate All-American wrestler who now competes in the UFC’s Welterweight division.

Covington beat Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 225 on Saturday to claim the interim belt and set up a future fight with division champion Tyron Woodley. He used part of his post-fight press conference to slag the Philadelphia Eagles for “disrespecting” the country:

Well, they didn’t kneel for the anthem, but whatever. We’ve been over this before.

Covington said similar stuff about the Eagles (and threw in the Warriors) during weigh-ins:

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UFC 223: Conor McGregor and the Cursed Card

Kevin Kinkead - April 6, 2018

Feels like the UFC 223 fight card has been under assault both literally and figuratively since the day it was announced. I wrote 95% of this article before Max Holloway was ruled out this morning, so now I’m trying to backtrack and scrape together something cohesive.

It looked like we were finally going to get the Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Numagomedov fight, a matchup planned three times in three years and cancelled every single time. This time, Ferguson had to pull out after injuring his knee in a non-training accident, resulting in featherweight champion Max Holloway stepping in to take the fight on short notice. He’s now off the card, according to Brett Okamoto:

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Frankie Edgar Added to UFC’s Atlantic City Fight Night

Kevin Kinkead - March 22, 2018

A sneaky-good card slated for Boardwalk Hall next month just got a whole lot better.

Toms River native Frankie Edgar will fight Cub Swanson in a rematch of their entertaining 2014 bout:

It’s a RAPID return for Edgar, who fought Brian Ortega just three weeks ago at UFC 222. He was knocked out for the first time in his career when he caught a vicious first-round uppercut and hit the canvas. Edgar was originally supposed to fight Max Holloway for the lightweight title, a matchup that was scrapped twice due to injuries, so Edgar took the Ortega fight instead and suffered a tough loss.

Is it too soon for him to fight again?

I think so, but Frankie is a machine, so I’m not surprised. He’s a New Jersey guy and trains not far from Atlantic City with Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza, the latter of whom will headline the event in a matchup against Kevin Lee. Knowing Edgar’s history, he probably wants to get back in the octagon ASAP to rid himself of the bitter taste of a bad defeat, and he’ll want to fight in front of a home town crowd again. Frankie hasn’t fought in South Jersey since 2006, when he beat Jim Miller in a Reality Fighting event.

The first Edgar/Swanson matchup was decided with in the fifth round, when Frankie won with a neck crank submission with 4 seconds remaining on the clock. 

Here’s the Atlantic City fight card, stuffed with intriguing matchups between ranked fighters:




UFC Fighters Lee and Barboza Talk Atlantic City, Eddie Alvarez, and Basketball

Kevin Kinkead - March 14, 2018

Imagine traveling around town with a guy who you’re going to punch in the face in five weeks.

Sounds odd, but that was the case on Tuesday, when UFC fighters Kevin Lee and Edson Barboza hit a bunch of Philly spots to talk about their April 21st headlining bout at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Maybe the art of promotion in combat sports isn’t dead after all.

For Barboza, this will be his third fight in AC. He beat Evan Dunham there in 2014 at Revel Casino, the last time the UFC went to South Jersey. The Brazilian lightweight also won a pair of fights in Atlantic City back in 2010 when he was fighting for the Ring of Combat promotion. Barboza relocated to New Jersey a few years ago and trains with Toms River native Frankie Edgar and Philadelphia’s Eddie Alvarez.

Lee is a Detroit fighter who made his UFC debut in Newark but has yet to fight in our region.

It’s a interesting matchup at 155 pounds between a pair of guys coming off tough losses to elite opponents. Lee fought for the interim lightweight title in October but was bested by Tony Ferguson with a third round triangle choke. Barboza was battered by the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov back in December.

Khabib and Ferguson meet on April 7th in Brooklyn for the title that Conor McGregor won in 2016, then later vacated.

This fight should help sort out the pecking behind Ferguson and Khabib. Lee had the opportunity to fight Alvarez, but wanted Barboza instead. Eddie is three months removed from an excellent win against the previously unbeaten Justin Gaethje.

Lee and Barboza rang the bell at the Sixers game last night and were nice enough to speak for a few minutes before tip-off:

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UFC 218 – Preview and Predictions for a Sneaky-Good Card

Kevin Kinkead - December 1, 2017

No, this card isn’t as good as 217, but most aren’t going to be. We don’t get three title fights at Madison Square Garden. We don’t get a Thug Rose upset and the return of an all-time great, Georges St-Pierre.

What we do get is a salvaged card featuring a rematch of one of the year’s better title fights and a heavyweight co-main that should provide some divisional clarity. There’s a Philly angle with Eddie Alvarez on the card and intriguing flyweight and strawweight fights as well.

Featherweight: Max Holloway (C) vs. Jose Aldo

This was supposed to be a title fight between Holloway and Frankie Edgar, who had to pull out due to injury.

So Aldo, who lost to Holloway just six months ago, gets another crack at reclaiming the title he originally lost to Conor McGregor back at UFC 194. He looked rough at weigh-ins Friday morning, struggling with a short-notice weight cut. Max didn’t look too healthy either.

That said, Holloway is in the best form of his career right now. He was comfortable and focused in his first win against Aldo, beating the former champ on his home turf in Rio. Aldo, after a strong bounce-back win over Edgar last year, just didn’t seem like himself in the last outing. He looked a bit burdened in front of the Brazilian crowd and didn’t throw the savage leg kicks we’ve seen him utilize in the past, apparently because he had a leg injury he hid during build-up to the fight. I wonder if the short preparation and trip to Detroit is actually a boon for Aldo this time around for pressure purposes, and I wonder if the leg is 100%.

I just see two guys moving in different directions right now, with the 25-year-old Holloway on an 11-fight win streak and the 31-year-old Aldo looking mortal after so many great years.

prediction: Holloway wins via unanimous decision

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UFC 217: Preview and Predictions for the Biggest Card of the Year

Kevin Kinkead - November 3, 2017

It’s hard to build a more complete card than UFC 217.

Tomorrow night we’ve got three title fights, the return of a future hall of famer, and a 14-fight win streak on the line. All 24 fighters made weight on Friday and we haven’t been blindsided with any illness issues (yet). Even the undercard is stacked with intriguing matchups.

If you’re not a MMA fan, this is the type of fight card that might get you interested in combat sports. There’s a lot going on here, with some unique storylines and interesting style matchups on the docket.

Here’s the rundown, with some background information and my predictions: Continue Reading

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