Thousands of miles away from my home base just north of Toronto, Ontario, today I am enjoying the beautiful view of the MMA world from the sun drenched landscape of Miami, Florida. While play-by-play duties for Titan FC are in my near future, there are other items happening in the sport that have also captured my attention.
First and foremost, with Titan FC flyweight champion Tim Elliott now a member of the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, an interim Titan FC FLW champ will be crowned here on Friday night.
One of the sport’s most heralded prospects at 125 lbs, Jose “Shorty” Torres is set to square off against a not so happy opponent, in Abdiel Velasquez. You see, during my call of Velasquez’ victory over Alexis Villa at Titan FC 39, Torres tweeted and called out Abdiel. Well, Abdiel didn’t take too kindly to that, and has since made it clear that “Shorty” will pay for his words.
This is just one bout that promises to be exciting, not just from an emotional perspective and an interim title, but the prospect of one of two things happening: a unification bout with Tim Elliott could be on the horizon, or, if Tim stays with the UFC, the interim tag will be stripped off and either Torres or Velasquez will become the organization’s official champ at 125 lbs.
But that’s just the co-main event … the headliner sees newly crowned lightweight champ JZ Cavalcante defending his newly acquired gold vs. 145 lber turned 155 lber, Freddy Assuncao.
I actually rode with Freddy and his brother Raphael from the airport to the hotel and can assure you is primed and ready to rock. His time off from the cage will not be a concern and we can all expect Cavalcante will likely get a longer fight from Assuncao than he did from Pat Healy at Titan FC 39, where JZ won the title in dramatic fashion, finishing off “Bam Bam” via knockout at 2:07 of Round One. I’m seriously still in awe at how that bout ended. I sincerely did not see that one coming at all.
So while South Florida will showcase some outstanding MMA on Friday night, things have been moving and shaking across the MMA landscape, what will rules changes, bout announcements and more.
Regarding the recent Association of Boxing Commissions recent recommended rule changes, I like them. But that means nothing … it’s up to each individual athletic commission to adopt the recommendations, not some bald guy from Toronto to determine.
The definition of a downed fighter has finally changed. You know, the one where fighters took advantage of a loophole, but placing their hand on the mat to prevent getting kneed in the noggin? Yeah, that’s all but gone and now if you aren’t truly a downed fighter, you will have to defend yourself accordingly.
Then there’s the women’s attire change - no more loose fitting tops (sending Reebok designers back to the drawing board). They can also no longer wear singlets ( ok ?!?! ) and can wear rash guards (sleeveless or short sleeves only). Not liking this one too much, but I definitely understand the potential wardrobe malfunctions that could happen with incorrectly fitting tops. Here’s hoping designers can put together something the ladies can use while competing. I’ve liked the rash guard look and loathe the baggy shirt look.
Now if the ABC can someway somehow tackle the stupidity behind the 12-6 elbow foul. Cmon Son!! It’s not a foul. If you can throw every elbow under the sun, 12-6 should allowed. Diagonal elbows are allowed. Forearm strikes are allowed. Ceiling to Floor is not allowed. All because some voting member, years ago, saw some some dude smash a stack of ice blocks with a 12-6 elbow on tv ... and it scared him. True story. Get over it.
Also instant replay - it’s 2016 and I’m ok with the addition of instant replay to MMA judging, refereeing, etc. What can instant replay possibly do? I don’t know. Determine the right call vs. the wrong call? Showcase a missed foul or missed call? Heaven forbid the right call is made in an MMA bout, right?
From sarcasm to some more MMA news:
Georges St-Pierre opened up as a slight favorite in a potential bout vs UFC Welterweight Champ Tyron Woodly. Not sure I agree with the odds, as Georges has been out for quite awhile while Woodly is a tad fresher. Then again, GSP is … well … GSP, so who knows right.
Oh - start the hate now: I’d rather see Nick Diaz vs. Tyron Woodley next. Not because it makes no sense, but solely because I’m lacking some Nick Diaz craziness in my life. Seriously, the guy is awesome. Just a walking headline.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino reportedly has a new opponent: Lina Lansberg. Yup - whatever just went through your head, was the same thing that went through mine.
Renan Barao will be on the same as Cyborg ( UFN 95 in Brazil) and will face Phillipe Nover. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Then again, it’s MMA - Barao could skyrocket up any rankings with back-to-back wins.
Also apparently on this card will be Jussier Formiga vs. Dustin Ortiz. I like this scrap. Should be a fun one with two guys jockeying for positiong to get to a title shot. Neither is close, but in a division desperately looking for a challenger for “Mighty Mouse”, any victory and solid performance can catapult a fighter in the eyes of the UFC matchmaking team into a title shot.
In closing, if you missed our most recent podcast on FightFul.com, you can easily check it out by visiting the site and clicking the Podcast heading. You can checkout Managing Editor Sean Ross Sapp spitting science while losing his marbles again. It’s a standard in every show now. His promos are fantastic by the way … riles me up everytime.
Back to the Miami heat for me … see what I did there? Never mind.