All tagged usa

7 Questions With Nick Baez

An active and interesting follow on Twitter, (@NickyB4Prez) I am delighted to resurrect my 7QuestionsWith series with a boxer who has not exactly had a traditional journey to the cusp of professionalism. The 30-year-old New Yorker has done some living and perhaps this experience will benefit him as he enters the world of professional boxing. 

Ricky Simon: Living Outside of the Comfort Zone

After an unsatisfactory debut, Ricky Simon faced Montel Jackson (at short notice) back in August, but he again says he was not truly happy with his own performance. Despite having won both bouts and remaining unbeaten in the UFC, Simon hopes that it’ll be third time lucky in his own mind, and he’ll put on a display that he can be truly proud of this weekend, when he faces Rani Yahya at UFC234.

Alex Hernandez: No Looking Back

Some fighters like to re-watch their own contests several times (win or lose) and really dissect each performance, but in his own unique way, Hernandez explained why he isn’t the type to do so – ‘I don’t dwell on the past, whether it’s good or bad too much at all – I don’t really like to smell my own shit’

Tatiana Suarez: Her Own Worst Critic

When Tatiana Suarez dominated and defeated Carla Esparza at UFC228, the MMA world almost unanimously stood up and took notice. Having already defeated fellow prospect Alexa Grasso inside a round, Suarez took on a former Champion that had pushed perennial contender Claudia Gadelha to the brink and arguably should have got the nod only 3 months prior.

Ricardo Ramos: Mental Strength

Ricardo Ramos had just turned 14 when he first began training in the art of jiu-jitsu; he was introduced to the practice by a friend of his father and he explained that the gym let him train for free in exchange for helping out around the place with cleaning and other jobs where required.

Tyler Diamond: Kill or Be Killed

A featherweight showpiece will take place at UFC Fight Night: Adelaide with TUF27’s Tyler Diamond stepping into the octagon to face Suman Mokhtarian. Shortly before the fight was announced, SpitballingPod caught up with Tyler to reflect on his experience in the TUF house and his MMA journey so far.

Gerald Meerschaert: Fighting Smart

On July 6th, Gerald Meerschaert defeated highly touted prospect Oskar Piechota and claimed his 4th victory under the UFC banner (28-9 overall, 4-1 UFC).

‘It does feel nice to be the guy to be the decided underdog and then get the victory. I’d watched his fights previously, but I didn’t know he was this huge prospect until I spoke to all of the interviewers on fight week’ Meerschaert said, when speaking with SpitballingPod recently.

Eryk Anders: Tremendous Upside

‘I feel like if you go the distance then you should still always be hunting for the finish, my heart rate was barely up and I could’ve used cardio as a weapon’ – hindsight is a wonderful thing, and Eryk Anders left Brazil following his controversial loss to Lyoto Machida with the sense that he perhaps could have done more.

Alex Perez: No Backward Steps

Since I last spoke to Alex Perez, he has defeated Eric Shelton (who he called out in our last interview), returned to training and been scheduled to fight Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres as the featured bout on the Fight Pass prelims at UFC227 this weekend.

Ricky Simon: Prospect Killer

Back in April, 25 year old Ricky Simon travelled to Atlantic City to compete in his UFC debut as part of the undercard to Kevin Lee vs. Edson Barboza. At the end of 3 rounds, Simon emerged victorious in controversial circumstances, recording the latest submission victory in UFC history. In what should have been the happiest moment of his professional career, the night was blighted by the controversy surrounding the finish and Simon feeling like he didn’t fight to his fullest potential.

Aljamain Sterling: Slaying the Dragon

‘I could lose this fight, it’s the fight game, but I feel large, I’m Matt Serra powerful and I feel back to my old ways’. Aljamain Sterling appeared to be in good spirits when speaking to SpitballingPod late last week ahead of his clash this weekend in Atlantic City against Brett Johns.

Max Griffin: Falling Into Place

‘Everything happens for a reason’, or so the saying goes; When Max Griffin lost a unanimous decision to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos back in October 2017, little did he know that this would kick start a chain of events that would ultimately reshape his career for the better.

Curtis Blaydes: Seizing the Opportunity

Roger Babson once said that ‘The successful man is the one who had the chance and took it’ – This couldn’t be more applicable than it is within the UFC. Looking back throughout the last few years alone, Bisping stepped in at two weeks’ notice to claim the title from Luke Rockhold’s clutches, Nate Diaz stepped in to steal the notoriety of Conor McGregor and Brandon Moreno made his name in the UFC by upsetting Louis Smolka.

Eryk Anders: Passing the Torch

Early in the 2007 season, the Green Bay Packers and their devoted fan-base had no idea what life would be like after Brett Favre eventually retired. The then-37-year-old quarterback had been with the team for 15 seasons, but had minced with the prospect of retirement for several years. For the past two seasons, Favre had been a sub-par quarterback but his legacy alone had kept him firmly in the driving seat when it came to the QB role and seemingly there was nobody to challenge him for his place on the throne.

The Curious Case of Kamaru Usman

The UFC Welterweight Division is a thing of beauty, it contains everything you need to keep the fans interested and is stacked highly enough that the matchmakers quite literally produce a bad fight. Entwined in this stacked division is a contender-in-waiting and as the title suggests - the curious case of ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Kamaru Usman.

Michael Johnson: Taking Over the Featherweight Division

The saying goes that ‘It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog’ and those words couldn’t be truer when it comes to UFC contender Michael ‘The Menace’ Johnson (17-12). Following on from his participation in the perennial choice for ‘Fight of the Year’ as he ultimately lost out to Justin Gaethje, Johnson is now ready to begin his assault on the UFC Featherweight Division, and true to form, he’s jumping straight in at the deep end as he prepares to face off against Darren Elkins (23-5) at UFC Fight Night 124 in his hometown of St.Louis on January 14th 2018.