Saturday, February 19, 2011

GSP must protect this house

While several well-known mixed martial artists like Mike Brown, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Leonard Garcia have previously found their way to Maryland, my contemporary in all things Maryland MMA, Kevin Richardson from The Baltimore Sun, probably landed his biggest interview to date when he was able to talk to UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre while GSP was visiting the headquarters of Under Armour in Baltimore (Yeah, betcha didn't know it was headquartered here did you?).

GSP starts by talking about the increasing possibility that he will fight UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, which would more or less be the "superfight" to end all superfights in MMA from my perspective. While I'm sure most MMA fans believe that a superfight should somehow involve Fedor Emelianenko, I personally think Fedor's best days are behind him as evidenced by his back-to-back losses. GSP/Silva is where it's at.

GSP also raises a very interesting point during his interview, in that he would have to move up in weight to fight Silva and noted that it is actually more simple for a lighter-weight fighter to gain weight for a fight than it is for a heavier fighter to lose weight. I can identify with that sentiment, albeit on a significantly smaller scale. I've been trying to lose weight for some time but appear to be stuck in the 190-195 pound range, which is roughly where GSP said he walks around at before his fights when he has to cut down to 170 pounds. Losing weight definitely sucks.

GSP and Kevin also have a very interesting discussion about the different countries where MMA is readily present, like Brazil and Russia. GSP basically concludes that it is difficult to determine the best pure fighter in the world, since each country has its own style that's popular.

Suffice to say I'm extremely jealous that Kevin got to interview GSP. I'm hopeful for the day where I will be able to nail a landmark interview of my own.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Youth is Served, Part II

I made an entry a couple weeks ago about a pair of brothers training in MMA. While I wish I could take credit for the pair's sudden ascendancy in local MMA, that would probably be more than a little disingenuous.

However, there is no debate that Cal and Chase Wilson are getting more notoriety, at least on a local level. The local FOX station recently did a feature on the brothers, and in the process enlightened me to something I didn't previously know.

Cal, the older of the brothers, prefers the stand-up, Muay Thai aspect of MMA while Chase, the younger, has taken a liking to the ground game and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The pair's Dad is also a part of Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg, where they train, and I'm sure having two sons who partake in two different aspects of MMA keeps ol' Dad on his feet.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Molto Mario

I'm willing to bet most people don't know that one of the more recognizable faces in mixed martial arts spends a lot of his time here in Maryland.

Mario Yamasaki, one of the top and most respected referees in the UFC along with the likes of Herb Dean, runs the Yamasaki Academy in Rockville. My fellow MMA blogger Kevin Richardson from The Baltimore Sun had the opportunity recently to interview Mario for his blog on the Sun's website.

Mario touches on how he got his start working for the UFC, noting that he started before the sport really took off here in America and he played a role in the UFC establishing a presence in Brazil. At the end of the interview Mario shares a new workout technique at his gym that looks to be a sick way to work your abs.

Mario will also be the referee of tonight's Middleweight Championship fight at UFC 126 between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort. You want to know more? Well, watch the video. What are you waiting for?