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Heavy Hands Podcast

Heavy Hands Podcast

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Heavy Hands is a combat sports podcast with a focus on technique, training, and all the finer points of face-punching. Find us in the iTunes store, or on heavyhandspodcast.com.


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  • 207 - Lightweights on lightweights on lightweights
    Wed, Apr 18, 2018


    This week on Heavy Hands, we're drowning in lightweights. Pat, at least, doesn't seem to mind. Our topics include:

    - Justin Gaethje's brawling style, and whether it needs to change

    - What allows Poirier to hang in the pocket with the likes of Gaethje and Alvarez? And can he beat Khabib?

    - Israel Adesanya's road to contention--longer than we'd hoped?

    - Edson Barboza vs Kevin Lee

    - Is Frankie Edgar returning too soon from his first knockout loss, or does he simply have Cub Swanson's number?

    - Do-or-die time for Aljamain Sterling, and the game of his 15-0 opponent, Brett Johns

  • 206 - Khabib is EXPOSED
    Wed, Apr 11, 2018


    On the latest Heavy Hands, your hosts discuss the absolute insanity of UFC 223, and preview the upcoming war of all wars between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. Topics include:

    - Khabib Nurmagomedov's disappointingly dominant win over Al Iaquinta

    - The ever-improving skills of Rose Namajunas, and her masterful fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk

    - Zabit Magomedsharipov's icy demeanor versus the burning fury of Kyle Bochniak

    - Renato Moicano's contender-making win over Calvin Katter

    - What Dustin Poirier can offer Justin Gaethje that other lightweights cannot, and vice versa

    - Marvin Vettori: Israel Adesanaya's first big test

  • 205 - Max Saves UFC 223... But Can He Win?
    Wed, Apr 04, 2018


    UFC 223 is finally upon us, and there was simply no way we could come this close to the date without losing one half of the main event. MMA just doesn't work that way. But despite Tony Ferguson's last-minute, freak injury, the card is still rock solid, and we are more than ready for it. Topics of discussion include:

    - Max Holloway: one of Khabib's toughest possible matchups... but on short notice?

    - How Joanna Jedrzejczyk needs to adjust to Rose Namajunas to regain her title

    - Trying to figure out who's good enough to beat Anthony Pettis as he gets older

    - Paul Felder vs Al Iaquinta

    And in case you missed it, we covered two other bouts set for the UFC 223 undercard on last week's show, namely Calvin Kattar vs Renato Moicano and Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Kyle Bochniak. 

  • 204 - Heavyweight boxing & MMAking them miss
    Wed, Mar 28, 2018


    Our second sans-UFC weekend in a row gives Connor and Pat to discuss a wide variety of topics, including:

    - Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker, two members of a new golden shiny age in heavyweight boxing

    - Calvin Kattar vs Renato Moicano (!!!!!!)

    - plus, Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Kyle Bochniak, another bantamweight featherweight showcase on the undercard of UFC 223

    - The current state of striking defense in MMA

    - Our favorite MMA slicksters, what made them great, and what's next

     

  • 203 - Polish Power 2: The Reckoning
    Thu, Mar 22, 2018


    After a slight delay, Heavy Hands is back, and there is the matter of Jan Blachowicz to solve. Witness the thrilling conclusion of an argument you never particularly cared about. All of that, and:

    - Is age finally catching up to Fabricio Werdum?

    - Alexander Volkov's chances against the rest of the elite (and especially Stipe Miocic)

    - How Jan Blachowicz's vaunted "technical striking" won him the day in an unexpected thriller with Jimi Manuwa

    - Leon Edwards and Darren Till: complete fighters?

    - Hakeem Dawodu, Magomed Ankalaev, and the archetypal Prospect Loss

    - Listener questions from the Heavy Bag

    All of that, and--need I say it--more! Enjoy the show, folks.

  • 202 - Werdum vs Volkov, Wyman vs Ruebusch
    Wed, Mar 14, 2018


    Your latest edition of Heavy Hands is a very spicy meatball. We cover fights. We shout at each other about one of them, and it's not even the one we care about. Then we talk about some of our favorite battles from MMA's mythic past. Topics include:

    - Werdum's Brazilian Muay Thai vs Alexander Volkov's cold-blooded efficiency

    - A big argument about whether or not Jan Blachowicz is Actually Good

    - Related to the former, the long-awaited return of Passionate Pat, and his trusted sidekick, Incorrigible Connor

    - Tom Duquesnoy on the comeback path

    - The impending UFC debuts of hot prospects Hakeem Duwodu and Magomed Ankalaev

    - Great fights that stand the test of time, and a conversation on the major differences between modern MMA and the bloodsport of old

  • 201 - How Brian Ortega became the first to finish Frankie
    Wed, Mar 07, 2018


    Okay, so UFC 222 was a bit of a mixed bag, but think of it this way: it was the last UFC card for a full two weeks. That's right! Which means we had time to discuss all of the following on this week's Heavy Hands:

    - Cyborg crushing Kunitskaya

    - How Brian Ortega became the first man to ever finish Frankie Edgar

    - Sean O'Malley's slick victory over Andre Soukhamthath

    - Cody Stamann and Alex Hernandez notching big wins over ranked opponents

    - Deontay Wilder's wonderfully weird and wild win over Luis Ortiz in the boxing ring

    - And three thought-provoking questions from our listeners!

  • 200 - A Sacrifice to Cyborg
    Wed, Feb 28, 2018


    Still mourning the loss of Holloway-Edgar, your hosts discuss:

    - Yana Kunitskaya's style, and her chances against Cyborg the soul-taker

    - The fascinating dynamics of Frankie Edgar vs Brian Ortega

    - Sean O'Malley's tricky rhythm, and what he needs to improve

    - Jeremy Stephens' knockout of Josh Emmett at UFC on Fox 28

    - Mike Perry, and the vacation he so desperately needs

  • 199 - Stephens vs Emmett, and fuming at Fightpass
    Wed, Feb 21, 2018


    This week, on Heavy Hands, your hosts cover a number of topics, including:

    - Screaming at Fightpass

    - Jeremy Stephens' fluidity in contrast to Josh Emmett

    - Jessica Andrade's unstoppable killer instinct

    - Swearing at Fightpass

    - Donald Cerrone's quality preparation for Yancy Medeiros

    - Stabbing the computer monitor with a knife

    - James Vick's steadily improving boxing

    And more! Including a couple of top-notch questions from our listeners.

  • 198 - Romero loves (murdering) Rockhold
    Wed, Feb 14, 2018


    The main even of UFC 221 was fascinating. Luke Rockhold showed off some much improved boxing, but Yoel Romero stifled the former champion's work with a brilliant strategy and yet another vicious knockout in the third round (his eighth of that description). Connor and Pat break it down in detail, before covering the other highlights of a very entertaining pay-per-view, including Curtis Blaydes' impressive win in the co-main event, Jake Matthews finally putting the pieces together on the undercard, and the electrifying UFC debut of Israel Adesanya.

    After that, a preview of next week's main event, Donald Cerrone vs Yancy Medeiros, plus a quick look at a compelling matchup between Francisco Trinaldo and the surging James Vick. 

  • 197 - Romero vs Rockhold for the interim interim title
    Wed, Feb 07, 2018


    UFC 221 is right around the corner, and while it may not be the superbowl of MMA (it's definitely not), Connor and Pat are still intensely interested in its main event, a scrap between middleweight mystery Yoel Romero, and former UFC and Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold. Also of interest: Mark Hunt vs Curtis Blaydes, the co-main event, the UFC debut of eye-catching kickboxer Israel Adesanya, and the continuing adventures of featherweight fireplug Alexander Volkanovski.

    Finally, a look back at Machida vs Anders from last weekend, and the controversial outcome of Valentina Shevchenko vs Squash Match Victim 2B Priscila Cachoeira.

  • 196 - Can Machida best Ya Boy?
    Wed, Jan 31, 2018


    Are you a fan of Bloody Elbow’s MMA Vivisection? Do you like how long it always is? Well then you’re going to love this episode of Heavy Hands!

    BE’s Zane Simon joins Connor and Pat on this week’s episode to discuss what could be the definitive end to Lyoto Machida’s long tenure as a UFC contender, as the Dragon prepares to take on untested prospect Eryk Anders in the main event of UFC Belem. The power trio also breaks down the co-main event, John Dodson vs Pedro Munhoz, as well as the flyweight debut of Valentina Shevchenko.

    After that, a recap of last weekend’s UFC on Fox card, which, while deservedly underwatched, did give us some quality fights, and reminded us all that, yes, Jacare Souza is a man to be feared.

  • 195 - Begging Stipe's Forgiveness
    Wed, Jan 24, 2018


    Francis Ngannou looked dangerous. In fact, he was. But, as it became clear within the first three minutes of his UFC 220 main event, the Cameroonian crusher was simply not prepared for the experience and craft of Stipe Miocic. So this week's episode of Heavy Hands is all about groveling, and begging forgiveness of the only man to ever defend the UFC heavyweight strap three times in a row. 

    But between sobs, we still manage to break down a whole heck of a lot of MMA action. There's Miocic vs Ngannou, of course, but also UFC 220's co-main event between light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier and Volkan Oezdemir. We break down the brilliant war between Calvin Kattar and Shane Burgos and Rob Font's win over Thomas Almeida from the same card. Then, a look at former UFC contender Rory MacDonald, who withstood terrible punishment to take the Bellator welterweight title from Douglas Lima, as well as Aaron Pico, owner of the body shot heard round the world. Finally, we wrap things up with a quick preview of next weekend's UFC show, focusing on the main event, Jacare Souza vs Derek Brunson.

  • 194 - HEAVYWEIGHT HYPE for Miocic vs Ngannou
    Wed, Jan 17, 2018


    We are extremely excited for UFC 220. And no, it's not because the card is great, as a whole. It's because Francis Ngannou is a terrifying mystery, and if Miocic beats him, he will have officially compiled the best championship run in UFC heavyweight title history. 

    We tap into the mystery of Ngannou on this week's edition of Heavy Hands, and explore the options which Miocic might have against him. Daniel Cormier's title fight with Volkan Oezdemir doesn't evoke the same giddy, can't-wait sensation as the main event, but we break that one down, too, in addition to our two favorite undercard fights: Calvin Kattar vs Shane Burgos (probable fight of the night) and Thomas Almeida vs Rob Font (probable second-best fight of the night). 

    After that, it's onto our analysis of the events of UFC St Louis, namely Jeremy Stephens' crushing victory over "Korean Superboy" Doo Ho Choi in the main event, Kamaru Usman's troubled climb through the welterweight ranks, and Darren Elkins' mastery of the art of the comeback.

  • 193 - Doo Ho Choi vs Jeremy Stephens preview
    Wed, Jan 10, 2018


    This week on Heavy Hands, we're looking forward to UFC St. Louis, main-evented by a mouthwatering matchup between "Korean Superboy" Doo Ho Choi and "Extremely Dangerous Veteran" Jeremy Stephens. Sure, Stephens may only be a fringe contender in the division, but that didn't prevent him from staggering current challenger Frankie Edgar when the two met in 2016, nor did it enable current champ Max Holloway to style on Stephens the way he does most opponents. Stephens is a threat, and that makes this fight very interesting. 

    We also touch on Uriah Hall vs Vitor Belfort, the return of Paige VanZant, and Michael Johnson's impending featherweight debut--plus, a few questions from our subscribers.

  • Which fighters stood out in a year short on narrative? (Bonus teaser)
    Fri, Jan 05, 2018


    This is a teaser for a full episode which can be found on the Heavy Hands Patreon page (link: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474 ). Our various bonus episodes include interviews, fight breakdowns, and special feature series--and for just $3 a month you can hear it all. Thanks for the support!

  • 192 - Who can beat Khabib Nurmagomedov now?
    Wed, Jan 03, 2018


    2017 was a rough year for UFC pay-per-views, and fight fans questioned whether UFC 219 was on par with some of the promotion's other year-end shows. Nevertheless, the main event showdown between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm maintained an entertaining simmer for five rounds, and in the co-main, undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov made Edson Barboza's name the 25th on his ledger.

    For the first Heavy Hands of 2018, Connor and Pat break them both down in detail, plus three undercard fights.

  • 191 - Murdering the New Year with Cyborg
    Thu, Dec 28, 2017


    Merry CRISmas, everyone. The holidays are upon us and another year comes to an end, but as usual, there is one more UFC event to watch just before the new year rolls in. The main event is a featherweight title fight between champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino and former bantamweight champion Holly Holm. We're fairly certain some Holly will be decked, but you'll have to listen in to hear the particulars, as well as our breakdown of the also-very-exciting clash between lightweight elites Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza, plus some other stuff, too.

    I don't know, we're all still drunk.

  • 190 - Can Rafael Dos Anjos beat Tyron Woodley?
    Wed, Dec 20, 2017


    Last week on Heavy Hands, your hosts predicted a win for Robbie Lawler over Rafael Dos Anjos. This week, they pray that Dos Anjos wasn't listening.

    Not only did RDA take the fight to the former welterweight champion early and often, but he maintained his trademark, breakneck pace for the full 25 minutes. On this week's episode, the boys ask whether this win makes Dos Anjos an all-time great, and preview the expected matchup between him and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. 

    After highlighting our favorite moments from the rest of the card, Connor and Pat discuss the role of matchmaking, in a promotion in desperate need of both stars, and a martial middle class.

  • 189 - Lawler vs Dos Anjos: Violence on the Horizon
    Wed, Dec 13, 2017


    On this week's Heavy Hands, Connor and Pat look forward to a pair of fights that seem to guarantee action. Former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler takes on former lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos at the top of this upcoming weekend's UFC card. A little further down on that card, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Mike Perry put their chins on the line in a battle of punchers that could very well surpass the main event.

    After that, it's onto Brian Ortega, Vasyl Lomachenko, and more from last weekend. Enjoy the show!

  • 188 - Wild Boys on Wild Fights
    Thu, Dec 07, 2017


    UFC 218 delivered no shortage of magnificent, memorable, and very meaningful action. Max Holloway defeated featherweight GOAT Jose Aldo for the second time. Eddie Alvarez was the immovable object which finally brought Justin Gaethje's unstoppable force to a halt. Francis Ngannou pulled Alistair Overeem's soul out of his body and ate it on live TV.

    But when it rains, it pours, and today's episode of Heavy Hands is packed with so much more. In addition to our detailed breakdown of the events of UFC 218, we look ahead to two fights set for UFC Fresno--the main event between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega, and a battle of bantamweight contenders, Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling, on the undercard. THEN, we move on to discuss the upcoming boxing match between Vasyl Lomachenko, who many regard to be the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world today, and Guillermo Rigondeaux, who is himself so skillful that it takes a fighter of Lomachenko's caliber to finally challenge him. 

    Wild stuff.

  • 187 - UFC 218 Catchweight Preview
    Wed, Nov 29, 2017


    UFC 218 feels like a blast of fresh air after a few weeks of cards that, while generally solid, didn't exactly get the blood pumping. In the main event, former featherweight champion Jose Aldo steps in on short notice to rematch the man who took his belt, Max Holloway. Lightweight warriors Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje are set to find out who is the UFC's "most violent man." Heavyweight phenom Francis Ngannou gets a tough test in the form of Alistair Overeem, and Henry Cejudo looks to work his way into another flyweight title shot with a win over Sergio Pettis.

     

  • 186 - Bisping vs Gastelum Feel-bad Special
    Wed, Nov 22, 2017


    Michael Bisping may be 137 years old with only half of one good eye, but that won't stop him from taking on Kelvin Gastelum this Saturday--on short-notice, and just a few weeks after being knocked down and then strangled unconscious by Georges St-Pierre.

    We also get into Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Sheymon Moraes, a fight between 2017's elite featherweight prospect and 2015's. Plus, a detailed breakdown of our favorite moments from last week's UFC Sydney, main-evented by Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura.

  • 185 - Pretty Cloney and UFC Norfolk
    Wed, Nov 15, 2017


    "It borders on interesting" isn't the most compelling description of a fight card, but that's about how good UFC Sydney looks to us, despite a solid-enough main event in Werdum vs Tybura. Still, we highlight our favorite parts of the card, before reflecting on the outcomes of UFC Norfolk, an event which delivered a puzzling mix of drudgery and excitement. 

    Dustin Poirier took a page out of the Rafael Dos Anjos playbook and smashed Pretty Tony Pettis in the main event. Raphael Assuncao reminded us that, yes, he is one of the best bantamweights on earth and a fascinating fighter worth watching. Matt Brown reconsidered retirement after catching Diego Sanchez with a savage elbow, reconstituting his human body into a pile of miscellaneous parts in the process. 

    It was wild. So, you know. Listen to us talk about it.

  • 184 - Three New Champs & How They Did It
    Wed, Nov 08, 2017


    UFC 217 was absolutely fantastic. There was plenty weird about it. Odd officiating, mental lapses on the parts of experienced fighters, and a whole lot of bizarre numerical coincidences in the three title fights. More than anything, however, it was an event at which all three of the defending champions lost their belts--the first time the UFC has ever seen so much divisional change in so little time. 

    On this week's Heavy Hands, we take a look at Georges St-Pierre's remarkable comeback win over Michael Bisping, TJ Dillashaw's triumph over hated rival Cody Garbrandt, and Rose Namajunas' mind-blowing, first-round knockout of dominant champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Yes, we cover other fights (and a few set for next week's card, as well), but this week, it's all about the belts. 

  • 183 - UFC 217 Triple-header Preview
    Wed, Nov 01, 2017


    Garbrandt vs Dillashaw: a grudge match for the championship of the UFC's strongest division. Jedrzejczyk vs Namajunas: the strawweight division's best fighter defends her belt against its most dangerous. Oh, and the return of Georges St-Pierre, who, despite the uncertain nature of his comeback, remains the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

    At least that's what Connor and Pat think, and that is why this week's episode is dedicated to the three title fights topping the upcoming UFC 217.

  • 182 - Machida-Brunson preview, Till KOs Cowboy
    Wed, Oct 25, 2017


    Lyoto Machida makes his return to the Octagon this weekend. After a two-year PED suspension (and a particularly unfair one, at that) the Dragon looks to recapture his classic form against Derek Brunson, who hopes to make Machida his 14th first-round win. Connor and Pat break down the UFC Sao Paolo main event on this episode of Heavy Hands, before moving on to the decidedly more relevant co-main between old lion Demian Maia and young gun Colby Covington. And speaking of young guns, Darren Till absolutely scoused Donald Cerrone in his first ever UFC main event at last week's UFC Gdansk. We take stock of his dramatic upset victory, and highlight our favorite moments from the card.

  • 181 - Cowboy vs Till & UFC Gdansk preview
    Wed, Oct 18, 2017


    This week on Heavy Hands, Connor and Pat are discussing the scheduled bout between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till, the main event of UFC Gdansk. Okay, so it isn't the greatest card in UFC history. But it's on in the afternoon! And it's on Fightpass! And, as we hope you'll agree after hearing us out, Cerrone vs Till is not only an interesting matchup, but an important one for the lagging welterweight division. We cap off our UFC Gdansk preview by answering some great questions from our subscribers. Enjoy!

  • 180 - UFC 216: A Night (of fights) to Remember
    Wed, Oct 11, 2017


    Tony Ferguson claimed the lightweight interim title. Demetrious Johnson defended the flyweight crown for the 11th time. Lando Vannata and Bobby Green went to war. From top to bottom, UFC 216 was a stupendous night of MMA action, and Connor and Pat break it all down in this episode of Heavy Hands. 

  • 179 - Ferguson-Lee & the Best of UFC 216
    Wed, Oct 04, 2017


    Tony Ferguson just may be the best lightweight in the world, and while his much-anticipated fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov has yet to take place, young gun Kevin Lee offers an interesting test, particularly on the ground. On this week's Heavy Hands, Connor and Pat break down the UFC 216 main event, before also previewing a few of the other top fights, namely Johnson vs Borg, Duquesnoy vs Stamann, and Dariush vs Dunham. It looks like a solid night of fights, and we had a blast breaking 'em down. Enjoy the show!

  • 178 - Confidence, Ringcraft, & UFC Japan
    Wed, Sep 27, 2017


    This week on Heavy Hands, Connor and Patrick sit down to discuss the aftermath of UFC Japan, un unremarkable card that ended up delivering some very memorable results. Ovince Saint Preux’s third Von Flue choke, Jessica Andrade’s statement-making win over top contender Claudia Gadelha, and kickboxer Gokhan Saki’s UFC debut. All of these make the docket before we spend the rest of the show discussing confidence and ringcraft, two essential components of combat that are nonetheless under-explored and misunderstood.

  • 177 - GGG-Canelo and Rockhold's shaky comeback
    Wed, Sep 20, 2017


    Fans of both boxing and MMA encountered some familiar frustrations on Saturday night. Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fought to a disputed draw, proving that no big fight in boxing can end without controversy. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, MMA fans witnessed Luke Rockhold following in the footsteps of his stylistic familiar Anthony Pettis, failing to show much in the way of development even after switching camps.

    Still, we at Heavy Hands try to be optimistic, and there was a lot to like about this weekend. GGG-Canelo was one hell of a fight, and we celebrate that by breaking down some of the nuances, in addition to discussing the controversy of the scores. Rockhold’s terrifying ground-and-pound was certainly a welcome sight for fans of the former middleweight champ. Not only that, but the rest of UFC Pittsburgh was chock-full of highlights. Finally, a brief preview of a not-particularly-good card in UFC Japan. Enjoy the show!

  • 176 - UFC 215 and Golovkin-Canelo preview
    Wed, Sep 13, 2017


    The docket is full this week, so prepare yourself for a jam-packed episode. Connor and Patrick look back at the controversial result in UFC 215's Nunes vs Shevchenko, and discuss other noteworthy aspects of the event, including the terrible punishment endured by Gavin Tucker, who took at least three minutes of sustained and thoroughly unnecessary punishment thanks to his corner and the referee in the bout, who might as well have spent the duration of the contest in the restroom for all the good he did Tucker. 

    Anyway, after that, it's on to last weekend's Superfly boxing card, which featured the downfall of the great Roman Gonzalez, and--in contrast to the disgraceful events on the UFC undercard--some excellent, prudent cornering by Joe Delguyd. MMA fans may know Delguyd as trainer of UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and former trainer of bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt. When working the corner of Antonio Nieves, Delguyd only allowed Nieves to absorb so much punishment from Naoya "The Monster" Inoue before stopping the bout. If you happen to see Joe on Twitter, please let him know that fight fans appreciate fighter safety.

    Finally, we wrap our episode up with analysis and predictions for the upcoming superfight between Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, as well as the weekend's UFC card, featuring a middleweight bout between former UFC champion and former (two-weight) WSOF champion Dave Branch. 

  • 10 Fighters Greater than Floyd Mayweather (Fistorical Perspective BONUS)
    Fri, Sep 08, 2017


    Bloody Elbow’s Connor Ruebusch and boxing historian Kyle McLachlan talk about the 10 greatest boxers of all time, and place Floyd Mayweather in fistorical context.

    Future episodes of this show will be available through the Heavy Hands Patreon. $3 a month grants access to 2+ monthly episodes plus feature series like this: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474

  • 175 - UFC 215 & Superfly: big things in small packages
    Wed, Sep 06, 2017


    This week’s episode of Heavy Hands is all about big things on the horizon—except in this case, all of those big things are people, and most of them weigh less than the average gymnast.

    That’s right, the main event of UFC 215 is on our radar, in which Demetrious Johnson is scheduled to make the record-breaking 11th defense of his UFC flyweight title against unheralded contender Ray Borg. In the co-main event, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will rematch Valentina Shevchenko in defense of her belt.

    But the real star of this weekend’s lineup is not UFC 215, but HBO’s Superfly triple-header. Roman Gonzalez, until recently the #1 pound-for-pound fighter of many pundits, rematches the man who tarnished his undefeated record, Thai powerhouse Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Both men have a kayo rate of 81 percent, which sounds impressive until you consider the power of Naoya Inoue. The Japanese “Monster” is set to defend his WBO super flyweight belt, which the 24 year-old won in just his eighth pro fight, over two years ago. Finally, Juan Francisco Estrada, who gave headliner Roman Gonzalez one of his toughest ever fights, will take on another tough Gonzalez opponent in Carlos Cuadras.

    The best mixed martial artist in the world and a championship grudge match at UFC 215. Three of the best boxers on earth, any of whom could give any of the others a memorable fight. It looks like a good weekend for combat sports fans, and we break it all down in our trademark style. Enjoy the show, friends.

  • 174 - A New World, post-Mayweather-McGregor
    Wed, Aug 30, 2017


    Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fought. It finally happened, and now it's finally over. Now, with the spectacle finished, we can comfortably discuss the fight as it played out. And fortunately for us here at Heavy Hands, the bout was a good deal more interesting than it had to be. We analyze Mayweather's limited-but-effective pressure game, the improvements and failings of McGregor's "MMA boxing," and the lessons we hope to see him take back to the UFC cage.

    After that, it's on to a short preview of UFC Rotterdam, a mixed bag of a card that nonetheless contains a few very interesting fights. We analyze in brief and give our predictions. 

    Take a breath. Have a glass of iced tea. Enjoy the peace and quiet for a moment. Then, enjoy the show!

  • 173 - Mayweather-McGregor, feat. Felix Biederman of Chapo Trap House
    Wed, Aug 23, 2017


    As the sun is blotted out in the sky, we await the be-all end-all of money fights, the Alpha and the Omega. Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor is finally upon us, and on this episode we finally take the time to talk about it on a technical level. How will Conor's MMA striking play off of Mayweather's boxing? What makes Mayweather such a daunting challenge, and how crazy would it actually be if McGregor won?

    Of course, there is only so much close reading one can give a fight with so many X-factors (and seemingly so few regular factors to consider), so we brought on Chapo Trap House's Felix Biederman to discuss the nature of the fight game, the politics of combat sports, and the usefulness of martial arts in an increasingly violent political landscape. 

  • 172 - The Best Teams & Trainers in MMA
    Wed, Aug 16, 2017


    Greg Jackson. Firas Zahabi. Rafael Cordeiro. Mike Brown. Matt Hume. Henri Hooft. If you are a fan of MMA, you are almost certainly familiar with at least one of these names, and quite possible the whole group. These are a few of the sport's elite trainers, and the fighters they produce exemplify their unique understandings of combat. By watching Jon Jones, you understand something about the mind of Greg Jackson. Firas Zahabi seems to speak through the punches and kicks of Rory MacDonald. And every guy Rafael Cordeiro trains turns into a human buzzsaw.

    On this episode of Heavy Hands, we rate these teams (as best as we can from the outside) and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses relative to one another. After that, we name our most dangerous unranked fighters in the UFC, the overlooked warriors who haunt the shadows of the top ten. 

  • 171 - Sergio Pettis arrives, Vasyl Lomachenko rules
    Wed, Aug 09, 2017


    This weekend, Sergio Pettis gave fans hope. The younger brother of former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis earned the biggest win of his career, a clear and very impressive victory over Brandon Moreno. Pettis showed off his striking skill--both pressuring and countering--and carried himself with a level of comfort we had yet to see from him in the cage. We may have a serious contender on our hands, people. 

    Then it's on to Vasyl Lomachenko--and speaking of hope, we discuss Lomachenko's opponents, who rarely seem to have any. Miguel Marriaga is not the most skillful adversary to date, but he fights well and hits hard, with 21 of 25 wins by knockout. And yet when round one began and Lomachenko met Marriaga in center ring, the puncher wanted nothing to do with "Hi-Tech's" hands. 

    And at the end of today's show, we answer some questions from the Heavy Bag. Thanks patrons!

  • Is Kelvin Gastelum too small for middleweight? (Bonus Teaser)
    Wed, Aug 02, 2017


    This is a teaser for a full episode which can be found on the Heavy Hands Patreon page (link: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474 ). We release two or more of these bonus episodes every month--including interviews, fight breakdowns, and special feature series--and for just $3 a month you can hear it all. Thanks for the support, folks.

  • 170 - How Jon Jones spoiled Cormier's perfect fight
    Wed, Aug 02, 2017


    It happened. After a long and troubled hiatus from the sport of mixed martial arts, Jon Jones finally returned at UFC 214. No sport has ever missed an athlete more than MMA missed Jones these last two years—the one man perfectly suited for its unique and exacting demands. In regaining his title, Jones dethroned Daniel Cormier, and further cemented his status as one of the greatest fighters of all time.

    On this week’s episode of Heavy Hands, we break down the fascinating back-and-forth that was this fight. We discuss Jones’ brilliant strategic mind, his firm grasp of initiative and mental warfare. Of course, for us, his win is bittersweet—because it is also Daniel Cormier’s loss. But while wrestling with the tragic aspect of this fight, we also get a chance to discuss the brilliant tactics which Cormier had prepared for his arch-rival. Everyone learns something on this very special episode of Heavy Hands (cue heartwarming sitcom music).

    But that’s not all! Oh no. UFC 214 was loaded with exciting and meaningful fights, and we get into nearly all of them. The championship wins of Tyron Woodley and Cris Cyborg. The triumphant return of Robbie Lawler, and the still-surprising adroitness of Donald Cerrone at welterweight. The continued, unlikely run of Volkan Oezdemir, now knocking at Jones’ door (while Jones looks toward Brock Lesnar and the heavyweight division). Lamas, Sterling, Ortega, Katter—it’s all here, folks. It was a great card, and it led to a lot of great discussion. We hope you enjoy it.

  • 169 - Cormier can compete, but can he beat Jones?
    Wed, Jul 26, 2017


    UFC 214 is right around the corner, and this week’s episode is all about the main event, a long-awaited rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. This time DC’s name comes first on the poster, and he will enter the cage second, with the belt (metaphorically) around his waist. Nonetheless, Jones never did lost that belt in a fight, and most are expecting him to make a triumphant return to his throne. On this week’s Heavy Hands, we break the fight down every way we know how, getting into the adjustments Cormier might make this time around, the confounding nature of the style matchup, and even Jones’ unimpressive win over Ovince Saint-Preux, his only Octagon appearance in the last two-and-a-half years.

    And if that analysis happens to turn into a brief but heated argument about the difference between “close” and “competitive,” well then that’s just a little treat for you, our listeners. Come for the breakdowns, stay for the aggressive musings of the man some podcast hosts are calling “Passionate Pat.”

    In addition to Cormier-Jones 2, we also get into a bout which was (thanks to the blood god, praised be his name) rescheduled for this date after it failed to happen at UFC 213. Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerrone. It sounds amazing, and we are very excited for it. After that, it’s onto Manuwa-Oezdemir, Lamas-Knight, and Sterling-Barao.

  • 168 - Previewing Woodley-Maia & Cyborg-Evinger
    Wed, Jul 19, 2017


    On this week's Heavy Hands, Patrick Wyman and Connor Ruebusch delve into two of the big matchups scheduled for UFC 214. Plus! Previews of Weidman-Gastelum and Rivera-Almeida, and a breakdown of Santiago Ponzinibbio's recent win.

  • 167 - Gaethje & Whittaker put on instant classic fights
    Wed, Jul 12, 2017


    Two very different fights, both every bit as brilliant and beautiful as MMA can be. We break them both down (and more) on this week’s Heavy Hands. Justin Gaethje made his UFC debut in the main event of July 7th’s TUF 25 Finale, and while those of us who have watched him for years were worried about his chances, he did exactly what he always does. Michael Johnson had a speed advantage, and a better chin than just about anybody else Gaethje has fought. Gaethje took his best shots and knocked him out anyway, in a wild war that may not be topped for the rest of the year.

    The next night, Robert Whittaker stepped into the Octagon to challenge Yoel Romero for the UFC interim title, and a guaranteed shot at Michael Bisping’s belt. A few months ago, the superhumanly explosive Romero, alongside jiu-jitsu ace Ronaldo Souza, was considered one of the two best middleweights in the world. Whittaker obliterated Souza back in April, and while the first two rounds of this fight were much tougher, Bobby Knuckles did it again. He outsmarted and outpaced Romero down the stretch in a display of striking skill and takedown defense that can only be called sublime. That he did all of this with a busted knee renders his accomplishment all the more remarkable.

    It was not the greatest International Fight Week ever, and plenty of things went wrong in the lead-up. The two main events, however, will be remembered for a very long time. Instant classics, courtesy of Justin Gaethje and Robert Whittaker.

  • Jim Miller gets better by focusing on the basics (Bonus Teaser)
    Wed, Jul 05, 2017


    Connor sits down for an in-depth, hour-long interview with UFC lightweight Jim Miller, a fan-favorite who still yearns to leave his mark on the sport of MMA. Miller talks about his motivation, his training methods, and what he plans to do to Anthony Pettis at UFC 213.

    To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

  • 166 - Getting Heated over Nunes-Shevchenko 2
    Wed, Jul 05, 2017


    At UFC 213, Amanda Nunes will have the opportunity to prove that she is the true queen of women’s bantamweight, the rightful heir to Ronda Rousey’s contested throne. But the task may not be easy. Valentina Shevchenko also has eyes for the throne, and she already survived an onslaught from Nunes when the two fought in 2014, before taking her to the brink of destruction in round three. On this episode of Heavy Hands, your hosts ponder the possibilities of this grudge match, and get into a bit of a verbal scrap in the process.

    After that: serious, brow-furrowed analysis of the goofy rubber match between heavyweight legends Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem. Plus, a quick look at blue chip prospects Mark Diakiese and Curtis Blaydes, each of whom fights on the main card of Friday’s TUF 25 Finale and Saturday’s big pay-per-view, respectively. For your enjoyment, folks, an extra-large episode of erudite fight analysis.

  • Bonus Teaser - Bellator 180 in the Uncanny Valley
    Wed, Jun 28, 2017


    In this special bonus episode, Connor and Pat tangle with the existential questions that have haunted mankind for ages: who am I? why am I here? what is Bellator MMA going for, exactly, and how am I supposed to feel about it? Yes, Bellator 180 was just about the strangest event we've ever seen, and we spend the bulk of this bonus episode struggling to understand it, before recapping the highlights of UFC Oklahoma City.

  • 165 - Yoel Romero vs Robert Whittaker (and more)
    Wed, Jun 28, 2017


    On this week’s Heavy Hands, your hosts look ahead to UFC International Fight Week. The main card of UFC 213 is absolutely stacked with mouthwatering matchups, and with the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 25 taking place just one night before, the weekend boasts too much talent to be covered by just one episode.

    Fortunately, we are forward-thinkers and careful planners. Okay, well, Pat is. In any case, this week’s show features in-depth breakdowns of the interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker, the lightweight return of former champion Anthony Pettis against Jim Miller, and the UFC debut of WSOF champion (and bloodthirsty maniac) Justin Gaethje, who takes on the lightning quick Michael Johnson.

  • 164 - Analyzing the KOs of Holm and Ward
    Wed, Jun 21, 2017


    Holly Holm finally got herself back on the winning track last weekend, with an emphatic kayo victory over stalwart contender Bethe Correia. On this episode of Heavy Hands, we give our thoughts on Holm’s victory, and some of the other meaningful victories from UFC Singapore. After that, it’s on to Andre Ward, who got a strange and controversial knockout in a fight with Sergey Kovalev, itself a rematch of a first fight which also ended in controversy. Hear our thoughts on Ward’s performance, and the stoppage. A preview of the upcoming bout between lightweight contenders Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee closes out the show.

  • Bonus Teaser: The Life and Times of Jose Aldo
    Wed, Jun 14, 2017


    With Max Holloway's win, we have reason to believe that Jose Aldo's long reign as the greatest featherweight in the world has finally, emphatically, and officially come to an end. While the Brazilian legend certainly still has more to offer the sport of MMA, now is as good a time as any for Connor and Pat to look back at the incredible career of this featherweight great.

    To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

  • 163 - UFCs Auckland & Singapore: All that is golddoes not glitter
    Wed, Jun 14, 2017


    All that is gold does not glitter, and while I’m still not certain that UFC Auckland was gold, it certainly delivered more action than most in the MMA community expected (including us). This week on Heavy Hands, your hosts are breaking down the most worthwhile bits of action, from Alexander Volkanovski’s contender-making win over a very tough and crafty Mizuto Hirota, to Mark Hunt’s intelligent victory over powerhouse Derrick Lewis.

    After that, it’s on to UFC Singapore, main evented by Holly Holm and Bethe Correia. This stands to be a more competitive fight than you might think, and with former lightweight champion Raphael Dos Anjos also making his welterweight debut on the main card, UFC Singapore has the makings of another under-the-radar action card.

    Finally, questions from our lovely listeners! We talk about the worst opinions in both casual and hardcore MMA fandom, the metagame of fight preparation, and fighters who seem to break all the rules without consequence.

  • 162 - The Blessed Era Begins
    Wed, Jun 07, 2017


    It wasn’t easy to watch for us die-hard Jose Aldo fans, but it’s about time to buckle in and begin breaking down the birth of the Blessed Era. Sorry--grief makes me alliterate.

    On this week’s Heavy Hands, your hosts are getting into the fascinating nitty-gritty of UFC 212. What went wrong for Aldo? How did Holloway adapt and go from a bad first round to a dominant third? Where does Aldo go from here, and, now that he’s beaten the greatest featherweight of all time, who the heck can stop Max Holloway?

    In addition to the main event, we also analyze Claudia Gadelha’s first-round submission of Karolina Kowalkiewicz, the wild-yet-tactical victory of Paulo Borrachinha over Oluwalae Bamgbose, and the eight-limbed chess match between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes.

    Oh, and apparently there is another UFC event next weekend, I guess. Huh.

     

  • 161 - Previewing Aldo vs Holloway with bated breath
    Wed, May 31, 2017


    UFC 212 isn't a great card, but it has a great main event. Max Holloway has spent the last three years and 10 fights (all of them victories) working his way toward the UFC featherweight title. And if we're talking about greatness, the man standing in his way is the greatest featherweight in MMA history, Jose Aldo. On this episode of Heavy Hands, we give our thoughts on the matchup, and hem and haw for a good long while before venturing to make our predictions. 

    After that, it's on to the co-main event matchup between top strawweight contenders Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, as well as the UFC debut of WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes, who takes on elite gatekeeper Raphael Assuncao. Oh, and don't think we would miss the opportunity to talk about Alexander Gustafsson's dominant and violent win over Glover Teixeira from last weekend's UFC Stockholm. 

  • Bonus Teaser: Gustafsson vs Teixeira preview
    Thu, May 25, 2017


    Connor and Pat preview the important light heavyweight fights scheduled to take place at UFC Stockholm. In the main event, Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira will battle to determine which man still deserves to call himself a title contender. In the co-main, Volkan Oezdemir and Misha Cirkunov will vie to announce themselves as the next big thing at 205. 

    To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

  • 160 - Gaethje and Moraes: New Kids on the UFC Block
    Wed, May 24, 2017


    With UFC 211 behind us, we look to the future on this week's episode of Heavy Hands. Recently the UFC has picked up a number of interesting prospects and contenders. WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is a hard-nosed, hard-hitting brawler who doesn't know the meaning of the words "boring fight." WSOF bantamweight champ Marlon Moraes is a supremely technical kickboxer who has begun transforming his talent for picking opponents apart into a talent for finishing them. And Dagestani knockout artist Zabit Magomedsharipov is a gigantic featherweight who looks ready to take the next step.

    We take a hard look at all of these fighters, and speculate on how far they might go now that they have been welcomed into the UFC fold. In this week's final segment, we address a topic requested by one of our patrons: why is striking defense so much worse in MMA than in boxing, and how can it be improved?

  • 159 - How Miocic and Jedrzejczyk dominated at UFC 211
    Wed, May 17, 2017


    At UFC 211, many thought that the two defending champions--Stipe Miocic and Joanna Jedrzejczyk--had a tough test on their hands. Junior Dos Santos had beaten Miocic once before, and Jessica Andrade seemed poised to follow up on the (admittedly limited) success of Jedrzejczyk's last two opponents. Instead, the champs defended their belts with aplomb. For Miocic, it was his fourth first-round knockout in a row. For Jedrzejczyk, it was the most complete performance of her MMA career. 

    On this episode of Heavy Hands, we analyze the two title defenses and revisit the other meaningful scraps on this titanic card, including Demian Maia's close win over Jorge Masvidal, Frankie Edgar's domination of Yair Rodriguez, and the thrilling war between Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez that ended too soon--in a No Contest. 

  • 158 - Breaking down Miocic-Dos Santos & Jedrzejczyk-Andrade
    Wed, May 10, 2017


    The card of the year is almost upon us. Touch my hand; I'm shaking.

    Junior Dos Santos defeated Stipe Miocic in 2014, but that was before Miocic became UFC heavyweight champion, and before Dos Santos was sent tumbling to the canvas by Alistair Overeem. Miocic has grown into his role as champ, and Dos Santos has made serious strides to fine-tune his dangerous boxing game. On this edition of Heavy Hands, we break down this rerun of a classic heavyweight fight, and give our predictions for the contest.

    But this is UFC 211, so you know that’s not all. In the co-main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes on Jessica Andrade, who just might be her most dangerous opponent yet. Can Jedrzejczyk overcome the power and volume of the Brazilian, or will The Pile Driver take the title away from WMMA’s most dominant champ? As with the main event, we give this scrap the full-segment treatment it deserves. Spoilers: one of our picks pay surprise you.

    But, uh . . . this is UFC 211. So yeah, the fun ain’t over. Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis will open the main card with a fascinating fight, the winner of whom will very likely earn a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s title. For Cejudo, it would be a chance at redemption, and if the crazy aggression he brought to bear against Joseph Benavidez is any indication, he is ready for another shot at the belt. The little brother of Anthony Pettis has been quietly compiling an impressive win streak, however, and Cejudo’s name would be the one he needs to prove that championship talent runs in the family.

  • The Underdogs #1 - Journeymen of UFC 211
    Tue, May 09, 2017


    On this new Heavy Hands feature, Bloody Elbow's Phil Mackenzie (@evilgregjackson) joins Connor (@BoxingBusch, in case you didn't know) to discuss the journeymen, weirdos, and up-and-comers-gone-astray of UFC 211. They call us... the Underdawgs.

    We present this first episode of the Underdogs free to you. Future episodes will be available to $3 subscribers to the Heavy Hands Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474), along with all of our other bonus episodes.

  • Bonus Teaser - Alvarez-Poirier and the UFC 211 prelims
    Tue, May 09, 2017


    Your second bonus episode of May is a good excuse to keep talking about UFC 211. We told you this card was stacked, and the action doesn't stop at the bottom of the pay-per-view. We break down Krzysztof Jotko vs Dave Branch, Chas Skelly vs Jason Knight, and the scintillating featured prelim between former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and knockout artist Dustin Poirier. 

    To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

  • Bonus Teaser: Why MMA needs longer fights, and boxing needs shorter ones
    Wed, May 03, 2017


    Okay, so we didn't get you three bonus episodes last month. We're really sorry. But this month, we're going to do our best. And to start May off right, we thought we'd regale you with an interesting discussion that popped up during our analysis of Joshua vs Klitschko. That was a great fight, in part because it was long enough for the drama to play out--for the momentum to shift back and forth several times. MMA needs more of that. Forget championships, and forget main events: the sport would benefit from more five-round fights in general. As for boxing, well... they can't all be Joshua-Klitschko. We give our thoughts on the proliferation of long boxing matches in this era of too many divisions and too many belts. 

    To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two (or more) bonus episodes every month.

  • 157 - UFC 211 preview pt. 1 and Joshua vs Klitschko
    Wed, May 03, 2017


    UFC 211 is so damn good that we have to spread it out over two—no, three, if you count our upcoming bonus episode—different episodes. This week, we’re looking at just two of the three fights on the main card with immediate title implications. If Yair Rodriguez gets past Frankie Edgar, a shot at the winner of Jose Aldo vs Max Holloway will probably be in order. And if Demian Maia beats Jorge Masvidal, not even an obviously hesitant UFC will be able to deny him a chance at Tyron Woodley’s welterweight belt. Both are compelling, competitive fights, and gosh darn it do we have a hard time picking them.

    But that’s not all. This edition of Heavy Hands is capped off by a look back at last weekend’s heavyweight boxing showcase, a thrilling battle between star-in-the-making Anthony Joshua, and Wladimir Klitschko, who ruled the heavyweight division alone for the last decade. The fight was insanely good, with both men showing off their skills and their guts, and neither managing to take over decisively until Joshua knocked Klitschko out in the 11th round. A true classic of modern heavyweight boxing, and we invite you to share our excitement.

  • 156 - Cub Swanson vs Artem Lobov was . . . actually pretty great?
    Wed, Apr 26, 2017


    Good thing we gave Artem Lobov at least a little credit on last week's show, because The Russo-Irish Hammer really exceeded expectations in his much-maligned main event bout with top featherweight contender Cub Swanson. The two set the UFC record for significant strikes in a featherweight contest, and while Swanson nearly doubled Lobov's accuracy, the SBG fighter still managed to land 123 significant strikes over the course of the fight, more than anyone else Swanson has ever faced. Those sparring sessions with Conor McGregor must be paying off.

    Not only do we break down Swanson-Lobov on this week's episode, but we get into the rest of UFC Nashville as well. It was a solid outing from the UFC despite a dearth of relevant matchups, and we analyze the likes of Mike Perry, Brandon Moreno, and Danielle Taylor (now officially one to watch at strawweight). Oh, and we give you just a little idea of what to expect from Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko at the end. Spoilers: Connor is a grumpy old man. 

  • Bonus teaser: Jimmie Rivera talks sparring Dillashaw, beating Faber
    Mon, Apr 24, 2017


    Connor sat down to talk with UFC bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera this week for a written piece. But since we appreciate you subscribers so much, we've uploaded the audio as an extra bonus episode for the month. Hear Jimmie talk about his training methods, his relationship with Tiger Schulmann, his sparring session with TJ Dillashaw, and his future in the UFC.
     
    To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two bonus episodes every month.

  • 155 - Mighty Mouse and Bobby Knuckles win with style
    Wed, Apr 19, 2017


    Apparently Robert Whittaker doesn’t much like the nickname “Bobby Knuckles,” but honestly, we at Heavy Hands think he’s making a mistake. It fits, right? I am sure that Jacare Souza would agree. The longtime middleweight contender felt the Australian’s knuckles on several occasions, before Whittaker dropped him by laying his instep—the knuckles of the foot, of course—across the Brazilian’s cheek. It was a sizeable upset, but guess who saw it coming?

    Okay, so we’re doing a little bragging on this week’s Heavy Hands. We don’t always get out picks right, and this week we nailed just about every fight we chose to talk about. From the ascension of Bobby Knuckles, to the 10th title defense of Demetrious Johnson. From Aljamain Sterling to Rose Namajunas to Tom Duquesnoy. Pat even predicted that Whittaker would stop Jacare in the second round! Give the man his props.

    After a few very brief mentions of our masterful fight-picking, we analyze the fights themselves. And, uh . . . well, after we revisit last weekend’s card, which was almost certainly one of the best UFC on Fox cards ever aired, we talk about next weekend’s card. And it’s main event. Which . . . it’s Cub Swanson vs Artem Lobov, okay? Yes, it makes no sense as a main event, and it means nothing. It’s weirdness alone should compel you to watch, however, and I, for one, cannot pass up any opportunity to see “Killer” Cub do his thing.

  • Bonus teaser: In praise of Vasyl Lomachenko
    Wed, Apr 12, 2017


    This week's bonus episode is all about Vasyl Lomachenko. "Hi-Tech" took on Jason Sosa last weekend, and despite the fact that Sosa is a very good fighter with a number of impressive wins, Lomachenko made him look like an absolute amateur. We're here to break it all down--the footwork, the combination punching, the ferocity. And you'll forgive us if we indulge in a little fanboyism as well. 

    To hear the rest of this episode, head over to our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2439474). Patrons who pledge $3 a month get access to two bonus episodes every month.

  • 154 - Demetrious Johnson and the best UFC on Fox to date
    Wed, Apr 12, 2017


    Well... UFC 210 was kinda weird, huh? On this week’s Heavy Hands, we revisit the oddness of Gegard Mousasi’s win over Chris Weidman via illegal legal knees, as well as the absolutely classic self-sabotage of Anthony Johnson, who decided to wrestle with Daniel Cormier before giving up his neck in trademark fashion. Oh, and about Will Brooks... well, you’ll have to listen to the show for our thoughts on that one.

    Next week, however, sees the UFC putting on what just might be the best UFC on Fox card to date. Flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson takes on Wilson Reis for what will be his 10th title defense, and we look forward to watching the best fighter on the planet do his thing. We’re also looking into the tough break facing Jacare Souza as he takes on Robert Whittaker, because basically no one who actually deserves to fight for the middleweight title will get the chance in 2017. Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson are set to put on a thrilling strawweight battle, and Tom Duquesnoy, the crown prince of violence, makes his UFC debut on the prelims.

  • 153 - Will Rumble crumble again?
    Wed, Apr 05, 2017


    At UFC 210, Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will meet in the Octagon for the second time. In their first encounter, Johnson managed to drop Cormier before the wrestling skill and sheer determination of his foe undid him. It is a pattern that has repeated itself throughout Johnson’s career, and it saw Daniel Cormier walk away with the belt around his waist. This week on Heavy Hands, we discuss the dynamics of the rematch. How might Johnson have adjusted his game, and will Cormier be able to repeat the greatest triumph of his career?

    We also get into the co-main event, a battle between former middleweight champion Chris Weidman—who was knocked out in both of his last two fights—and Gegard Mousasi—who knocked the other guy out in his last three. Mousasi would appear to have inertia on his side, but Weidman would be the biggest win of his career, and he can bring the kind of pressure-based gameplan that has beaten Mousasi in the past. Plus, we get into the comeback of Will Brooks, and the scintillating matchup between prospects Kamaru Usman and Sean Strickland.

  • 152 - Styles still make fights, GGG and Chocolatito
    Wed, Mar 29, 2017


    We know that styles make fights, but do we know which styles make which fights? Well, your hosts have a a few ideas, but we need data to know for sure. So, this week on Heavy Hands, we are making our second round of picks for our Styles Make Fights series. At the end of 2016, we predicted several fights based on the styles of the combatants. Today, we recap those picks and make a few more. Our ultimate goal: to find out which styles beat which, and enable ourselves (and you) to make rock-solid predictions. 

    But future fights aren't everything. This week, we also delve into the first loss of Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez's career. The top pound-for-pound boxer was bested by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a close fight, and we discuss the clever tactics of both men. Gennady Golovkin came close to experiencing the same fate when he took on Daniel Jacobs on the same night, but managed to come away with a close win. We're breaking that down too. 

     

  • 151 - Gunnar Nelson: Frustrating talent?
    Wed, Mar 22, 2017


    Though it probably won’t make it onto any year-end lists, UFC London ended up being a fun, well-rounded card. The wild scrambles between Arnold Allen and Makwan Amirkhani, the stunning dynamism of Marc Diakiese, the triumph of Jimi Manuwa at the top of the card, and the emotional retirement of Brad Pickett to lend everything else a little more meaning. It was fun, is what I’m saying.

    And there, right in the midst of it, was Gunnar Nelson. Stoic and unreadable, the Icelandic teammate of Conor McGregor has given us fits for years. Since his UFC debut in 2012, Gunni has repeatedly demonstrated incredible dynamism atop a solid bedrock of world-class grappling. In all of that time, however, he has changed very little, and still prides himself on figuring opponents out in the cage, without the benefit of a gameplan. We take Nelson’s London win as an opportunity to remember just how good he is, but also to delve into our relationship to the fighter. What is his ceiling, and why does he so often frustrate our expectations?

  • 150 - Violence from Coast to Coast
    Wed, Mar 15, 2017


    Matchmaking is a difficult job, so let this week's episode of Heavy Hands stand as a celebration of good matchmaking. Sure. UFC Fortaleza's main event felt like a bit of a letdown--Vitor Belfort was essentially fed to Kelvin Gastelum, name value and all, and the fight played out just as expected. And UFC London's main event is similarly uninspiring, with a well-matched but lowkey scrap between Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson taking pole position.

    The undercards, though...

    Last weekend's undercard was full of entertaining battles, and next week's promises more of the same. We are discussing the main events on this show, but we're also paying special attention to the flying knee knockout of Edson Barboza, and the valiant defense put up by Shogun Rua. Then it's on to London, where Alan Jouban and Gunnar Nelson are set for a classic war of styles, Arnold Allen and Makwan Amirkhani will seek to prove whose star is brighter, and Joe Duffy and Tom Breese attempt to regain momentum and put the name "Tristar Gym" back on everybody's lips. 

    Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard have been doing an excellent job in Joe Silva's absence, and this week's show celebrates that. It's a fight smorgasbord, people, so come ready to tuck in.

  • 149 - Why was Woodley vs Thompson II so bad?
    Wed, Mar 08, 2017


    Well, they can't all be winners. In their first fight there were hints that Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson might not be the kind of rivalry we wanted. They were rarely willing to collaborate in that first bout, and only the concrete threat of Woodley's power--and Thompson's ability to withstand it--turned the slow scrap into a nail-biting affair. We wondered last week what adjustments both men would make to seal the deal this time around--as it turns out, they both moved away from the measured action of the first fight and into the measured inaction of this one. Woodley-Thompson I was among the best fights of 2016; Woodley-Thompson II will go down as one of the worst title fights ever (though certainly not the worst). 

    We're breaking it all down on this week's Heavy Hands, and fortunately talking about happier subjects too. Like David Teymur's victory over Lando Vannata, both tactical and thrilling. Or "Dadbod" Dan Kelly's win over Rashad Evans, odd and inspiring. Or how about Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, two more boxers receiving 2017 as the year of the meaningful matchup. 

    It was a good weekend for fight fans, and without it Woodley-Thompson II would not be so fun to gripe about. Silver linings, I guess. But hey, we're not too interested in dwelling on the past, and we also give our thoughts on two of the best fights scheduled for next weekend's UFC event in Fortaleza, Vitor Belfort vs Kelvin Gastelum, and Edson Barboza vs Beneil Dariush. 

  • 148 - UFC 209 preview: Woodley-Thompson, Khabib-Ferguson
    Wed, Mar 01, 2017


    UFC 209 is this week, and the bulk of this week's Heavy Hands is dedicated to the fantastic main and co-main events of that card. First up we've got the rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson, who fought to a nail-biting draw at UFC 205. We discuss the adjustments Thompson could have made since the first battle, and the secret genius of Woodley's unassuming style.

    After that it's on to Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson, or, as we call it, the best lightweight fight possible today. The combined record of these men is 46-3, and while Dagestan's Nurmagomedov can brag that none of the three losses are his, Tony Ferguson is undeniably the toughest and strangest matchup of his career. Will Ferguson's boxing and submission wrestling prevail, or will Nurmagomedov test his chin after dragging him to the ground? Or... wait, could Ferguson's chin survive and then he outlasts Nurmagomedov down the stretch? Or maybe Khabib's stamina really is as good as it has seemed, and this fight will see him hitting takedowns with greater and greater ease over the course of the bout... 

    Whatever happens, it will be an amazing fight.

    Finally, our episode wraps with a segment requested by one of our patrons, in which we discuss the differences between the MMA and boxing clinches--and yes, that means getting into Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, too.

  • 147 - The Black Beast Special: Ether, two ways
    Wed, Feb 22, 2017


    Derrick Lewis is a treasure. He's genuine. He's funny. He turns people into a fine mist when he hits them. Oh, and he needs a bathroom. 

    On this week's Heavy Hands, we're breaking down Lewis' tremendous, hard-fought victory over a rejuvenated Travis Browne at UFC Halifax, and then delve into the rest of the highlights from a surprisingly entertaining night of fights. Johny Hendricks got his groove back. Gavin Tucker went from unknown to fan-favorite in a matter of fifteen minutes. Santiago Ponzinibbio and Nordine Taleb had the perfect fight, a pleasing blend of technique, intelligence, and good old fashioned grit.

    And if you thought it was impossible to have a heated argument about Elias Theodorou's win over Cezar Ferreira, objectively the least interesting fight on the card, you were dead wrong. Call it a waste of time; I've decided to call it #MiddleGate. And you'll have to tune in to hear the fun, and share our mutual exasperation.

    At the end of the show, we delve into a topic suggested by one of our generous patrons. Tournaments--they don't happen all that much anymore, at least not on our side of the pond, and they rarely occur over the span of a single night. But perhaps the tournament (and its edgier cousin, the one-night tournament) should make a comeback. If they do, we have a few ideas regarding which current day fighters would excel within the format, and why.

    Do you want a topic on the show? How about a simple question? Or maybe you're just interested in the two secretive bonus episodes we release every month? Or perhaps you just want to hear the cherubic smiles on our faces, knowing that your contributions helped put them there? If so, check us out on Patreon, where you can peruse all of these rewards and check out some of our exclusive content. 

  • 146 - Were Holly Holm and Derek Brunson robbed?
    Wed, Feb 15, 2017


    Holly Holm lost her third fight in a row. Anderson Silva earned his first win since 2012. Jim Miller garnered a draw card from one judge after his barnburner with Dustin Poirier.

    Only... should any of that have actually happened? Going in, UFC 208 was looking like a fight card only a mother could love. After the final fight was concluded,  mom had a change of heart and disowned the event after all. Despite some interesting (if not altogether thrilling) fights throughout the card, it seems no one has talked about anything but its many controversies since. 

    Did Holly Holm deserve the decision over Germaine de Randamie? Was Anderson Silva just faking his way to an unlikely win? And what about that classic scrap between Dustin Poirier and Jim Miller? On this week's Heavy Hands we not only delve into all of these questions, but offer you all the in-depth analysis of technique and strategy that you have come to expect from us. 

    Whether you agree with our conclusions or not, our ultimate goal is to get you liking this episode more than you liked UFC 208. Shouldn't be too hard . . .

  • 145 - Germaine de Randamie may have Holly Holm's number
    Wed, Feb 08, 2017


    It wasn't so long ago that Holly Holm was the women's bantamweight champion of the world, and now the long-time boxing champ could very well be on the cusp of a three-fight losing streak as she prepares to take on dangerous Muay Thai stylist Germaine de Randamie for the UFC women's featherweight title--an honor that admittedly feels pretty empty now that Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino is out of the title picture for a while. 

    We're breaking UFC 208 all the way down on this week's Heavy Hands, including the strange-but-actually-pretty-awesome co-main feature between Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson. There's also Jared Cannonier, who may have a few surprises in store for Glover Teixeira, the toughest opponent he's fought to date, and welterweight prospect Randy Brown, undeniably the most successful discovery from Dana White's show "Lookin' for a Fight." 

    PLUS (I know, there's a lot of things to talk about) we get into the nitty gritty of the Korean Zombie's thrilling comeback, and a few of the other bouts from the highly enjoyable UFC Fight Night 104. As noted last week, we fight fans are being spoiled with great fight after great fight so far in 2017, and the near future is looking good. 

  • 144 - Julianna Pena bites the bullet, the Korean Zombie RETURNS!
    Wed, Feb 01, 2017


    Fights, fights, fights. Sometimes the UFC hits you with so many bouts you can't keep your thoughts from spinning out of control. Fight overload, and you find yourself wishing for just a little break. At least, that's what happens when you talk about fights for a living. Other times they keep you waiting, and the weeks start to feel like years. 

    And then other times, they strike a perfect balance. Every now and then the UFC will put together a string of cards that you don't HAVE to see, but which you will positively enjoy if you do. We appear to be in the midst of just such a period right now. Last week was UFC on Fox 23, and Valentina Shevchenko secured her shot at the bantamweight title--and revenge--both of which she could find in a rematch with champion Amanda Nunes. At the same time, Julianna Pena raised a few questions about the direction of her career, with a little help from head coach (?) Rick Little. Also, Jorge Masvidal knocked Donald Cerrone's block off. We talk about all of that and more. 

    At the other end of the show, our focus is on next week's UFC card, and especially the long-awaited return of Chan Sung Jung, The Korean Zombie. Have three years of recovery (and compulsory military service) allowed the Zombie to reach his final form, or will ring rust leave him helpless to stop the onslaught of Dennis Bermudez? The answer probably lies somewhere between these two extremes, but then that's why you listen to this show. It's all about the finer points of face-punching, and boy is there a lot of face-punching to discuss. 

    All of that and more on this episode of Heavy Hands. 

  • 143 - Is Valentina Shevchenko the next UFC champion?
    Wed, Jan 25, 2017


    UFC on Fox 23 is flying just slightly under the radar, but diehard MMA fans learned long ago not to judge a book by its cover. Sure, there are not a lot of names bedazzling the preliminary portion of this card. And sure, Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena are hardly stars. From top to bottom, though, this is an extremely well-matched card, replete with competitive and meaningful fights. 

    At the top Valentina Shevchenko will battle Julianna Pena for a shot at Amanda Nunes' women's bantamweight title. Shevchenko lost to Nunes just last year, but it was a close fight--the kind where one or two more rounds would have almost certainly allowed Valentina to seize victory. And her last fight was a very convincing win over former Holly Holm. Despite these achievements, Shevchenko is a fighter with a finnicky style, and Julianna Pena should provide an entertaining test of her ability to deal with pressure. 

    And from there on out the episode turns into another messy (but delicious) edition of the Fight Smorgasbord. Donald Cerrone, Jorge Masvidal, Aljamain Sterling, Raphael Assuncao, Jason Knight, Alex Caceres, Alexandre Pantoja--yeah, all of those guys are fighting this weekend. We're pretty excited about it. 

     

  • 142 - Greg Jackson interview, Rodriguez-Penn discussion
    Wed, Jan 18, 2017


    Greg Jackson has accomplished the rare feat of making himself an MMA celebrity without ever stripping down and setting foot into the Octagon. He has become a star trainer, and not without a whole host of good reasons. For one, Jackson has been teaching mixed martial arts since 2000 at this point. He has played a crucial role in the careers of many champions and all-time greats, including Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Carlos Condit, Donald Cerrone, and more.

    Throughout all of this, Jackson has garnered a reputation as one of the best strategists in the sport. They've called him a sport-killer and a hero, but no one can deny that Greg Jackson knows how to come up with a gameplan. On this week's Heavy Hands, Greg sits down with us to discuss his process. How does gameplanning differ from one fighter to the next, how does he know what to look for, and how does it all come together in the corner?

    The back half of the show features a discussion of matchmaking in the UFC as it pertains to our surprisingly entertaining UFC Phoenix card. We break down Yair Rodriguez's dominant win over BJ Penn and Sergio Pettis' win over John Moraga through that lens.

  • 141 - Whatever happened to BJ Penn?
    Wed, Jan 11, 2017


    Remember when it felt like BJ Penn was probably going to win his next fight? Us, too. It was a magical time, when “just scrapping” was a viable way to find wins in the UFC. A time when talented rich kids could float breezily through a schedule of fights that would kill a normal man. A time when BJ Penn was king.

    We have a simpler way of describing this mythical era, and the language involved is bound to offend friends, relatives, and fans alike, as well as Baby Jay himself. We call it “over six years ago.”

    Yep. The age of Penn has come and gone, but here we are, with The Prodigy himself raring for another comeback, and this time against one of the most dangerous young prospects in the UFC, Yair Rodriguez. On this week’s Heavy Hands, we discuss the methodologies of Penn and Rodriguez (they’re not as different as you might think), and reflect on Penn’s legacy as a martial artist.

    But that’s not all. We’re also breaking down the way that Joe Lauzon so artfully manages to both live and die by the sword (or submission, as the case may be), offering our reasons why you shouldn’t yet give up on Sergio Pettis, and answering listener questions.

  • 140 - Ronda Rousey's doom, Cody Garbrandt's big surprise
    Wed, Jan 04, 2017


    At UFC 207, Ronda Rousey flashed in an out of existence like a Higgs boson, her comeback undone by the particle collider of Amanda Nunes' fists. Cody Garbrandt unveiled hitherto unseen discipline and skill, not only handing Dominick Cruz his first loss in 10 years, but outboxing and outfoxing him in the process. And TJ Dillashaw made a strong case for a shot at Garbrandt's new title, using his well-rounded game to transform John Lineker, dangerous power puncher, into John Lineker, broken man. 

    If that purple prose is any indication, we could go on about these three fights forever, and that's just about what we did on this week's episode of Heavy Hands. We break down Rousey's second consecutive loss, and the path which brought her to this point. We talk about Amanda Nunes' future. We analyze the possibility of a Garbrandt-Dillashaw title fight.  We even discuss our own ignorance and try to understand why we were so shocked to see Cody Garbrandt's final form.

    All of that and more on this week's Heavy Hands. Enjoy!

  • 139 - Ronda Rousey's return & Cody Garbrandt's big puncher's chance
    Wed, Dec 28, 2016


    Christmas has come and gone, but it's Easter for Ronda Rousey, as the former champion finally makes her return after just over a year away from the Octagon. Much has changed since Rousey lost her bantamweight strap. It seems we barely had time to discuss a potential rematch with Holly Holm, the first woman to beat Rousey, before Miesha Tate became the first mixed martial artist to beat Holm. Nor would Tate face the biggest name in women's MMA, as she too would lose the title after a few months, leaving it around the waist of Amanda Nunes.

    Not only do we get Nunes vs Rousey, but Dominick Cruz vs Cody Garbrandt as well. Cruz has been sterling since his long absence due to a litany of injuries, winning back and then defending the title that he never really lost. The bantamweight champ seems intent on staying active, too, as this will be his third fight in 2016, even if that makes it just his fourth fight in the last five years altogether. Does Cody Garbrandt have more than just a puncher's chance? If not, the winner of TJ Dillashaw vs John Lineker will surely be eager for a crack at Cruz's belt.

    Three big fights, three in-depth breakdowns. These are some of the episodes we love the most, and we hope you enjoy the show. 

  • 138 - Prospect's Journey: Paige VanZant, Shade Northcutt
    Wed, Dec 21, 2016


    The UFC catches a lot of flak for their handling of prospects--and fighter development in general. Whether throwing a newly signed novice to the wolves or refusing to let shopworn contenders take even a momentary step down in competition, the Octagon has garnered a reputation as a stage where fighters are told to either sink or swim--no exceptions.

    It is hard to blame matchmaking for this, though. Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt are, in a way, cut from the same cloth. Both athletes look more like Disney Channel stars than fistfighters, and the UFC has doubled down on that incongruous appeal, often to the frustration of their hardcore fanbase. Both VanZant and Northcutt are legitimate prospects, however, and the UFC has consistently matched both pretty well. So when VanZant and Northcutt show few signs of improvement from one fight to the next--and even seem to regress in some areas--they have no one to blame but themselves. Or their parents. Or their camps. 

    Point is, the UFC is not to blame for what happened at UFC on Fox 22, when both VanZant and Northcutt were beaten. Now really is time for the pretty blonde prospects to sink or swim. And on this week's Heavy Hands, we're talking about the techniques and practices that could either keep them afloat, or act as the cinder blocks around their ankles.

     

  • 137 - UFC 206 recap and VanZant-Waterson preview
    Wed, Dec 14, 2016


    UFC 206 was so good, you know we had to dedicate a solid chunk of this week's show to it. This week on Heavy Hands, Max Holloway's brilliant style is dissected, as are his chances in potential future matchups with Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. As for Anthony Pettis, who was stopped for the first time by Holloway, we get into the reasons for his continuing decline, and discuss which matchups and methods could get him back on track as he prepares to return to the lightweight division.

    Cub Swanson and Doo Ho Choi staged a classic, back-and-forth war, stealing the show from a number of other excellent fights. We break down Swanson's special swagger and the changes Choi will need to make to avoid a repeat beating. Donald Cerrone and Matt Brown, Kelvin Gastelum and Lando Vannata--this is the show for you if you're still stuck on that UFC 206 high. 

    As for the final segment of the show, we look forward to fan favorite Paige VanZant's second main event appearance and the testing of Mickey Gall by Sage Northcutt, all set to take place next weekend.

  • 136 - Max Holloway vs Anthony Pettis preview
    Wed, Dec 07, 2016


    Jose Aldo is the featherweight champion once again. With former champion Conor McGregor being stripped and/or "relinquishing" the belt, it is officially the weirdest title change since Josh Barnett and Randy Couture back in 2002. But what is a championship of questionable validity without an even more questionable interim championship? 

    Now, if I'm being honest, this cynical tone does not truly reflect my feelings for this fight. Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis are two of the most consistently entertaining fighters in the UFC today, and the mere prospect of either man facing Jose Aldo next year is tantalizing. That they also happen to match up so well with one another is just more reason to celebrate. The politics might be weird, but the fights are still good, and that's what matters. 

    We're not only breaking down Holloway-Pettis on this week's Heavy Hands, but also looking ahead to Donald Cerrone's welterweight clash with Matt Brown. In addition to the previews, we look back at Demetrious Johnson vs Tim Elliott and Joseph Benavidez vs Henry Cejudo, two excellent fights and two strong ads for the UFC flyweight division.

  • 135 - Joseph Benavidez vs Henry Cejudo, Vasyl Lomachenko
    Wed, Nov 30, 2016


    Demetrious Johnson is fighting a particular challenger this weekend, but we can't talk about that just yet. Instead, we get to look at the flyweight champion's place in the hierarchy of MMA greats, and discuss potential future fights that we would like to see. 

    As for fights we can talk about on this episode, Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo are set to throw down, almost certainly with a shot at Johnson's belt on the line. Benavidez is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC at this point, and his veteran savvy makes him a tough out for Cejudo, but if Henry took the right things away from his lopsided loss to the champion earlier this year, he has a chance to redeem himself.

    Finally, how could we miss the chance to talk about the crazy thing that Vasyl Lomachenko did last weekend. The guy is an amazing boxer; we all knew that already. But Nicholas Walters was supposed to at least make him work for the win. Instead Lomachenko effortlessly outclassed the elite puncher before forcing him to quit on the stool after just 7 rounds. Yeah, we had to talk about that.

  • 134 - Whittaker-Brunson, Kovalev-Ward, FIGHT SMORGASBORD
    Wed, Nov 23, 2016


    Sometimes in the fight game you just come across a plate heaping with delicious face-punching. A smorgasbord of combat, if you will. Such is the case on this week's episode of Heavy Hands. We talk about the impressive performances of some of the UFC contenders who competed last weekend: our constant companion Thomas Almeida, our sleeper favorite Krzysztof Jotko, Stevie Ray (now the new Ross Pearson), and welterweight insurgent Kamaru Usman.

    Then it's on to future affairs, namely the middleweight showdown between fringe contenders Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson, a matchup which should vault one of those men into serious title contention.

    Finally, a recap of the epic battle between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward. These two pound-for-pound kings fought hard, forcing one another to adjust constantly, and proving that they are both living legends of the squared circle. The result was controversial--in fact your two hosts each scored the bout differently, but the fight gave fans of fisticuffs reasons to celebrate, and on today's show we do just that.

     

  • 133 - Mark Henry talks Alvarez's loss, Conor McGregor's future
    Fri, Nov 18, 2016


  • 132 - UFC 205 in review: Conor McGregor and the gang
    Wed, Nov 16, 2016


    It happened, and it was glorious. Now is the time to bathe in the afterglow of UFC 205, and I can think of no better way to do that than to break down some fights!

    At the top of the docket is, of course, Conor McGregor. In becoming the first two-division champion in UFC history, McGregor has truly established himself as the stuff of legends. He absolutely walloped Eddie Alvarez, and in the process set up for himself a murderer's row of hungry contenders. We break down in brief the idea of MGregor versus Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz, and Jose Aldo--four of the most likely challengers for one of the Irishman's belts. 

    Conor McGregor was not the only man to turn in an entertaining performance at UFC 205, however, and we spend some time talking about a few of our other favorites. Namely, Tyron Woodley, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Yoel Romero. 

    Enjoy the show, folks!

  • 131 - Conor McGregor vs Eddie Alvarez preview analysis
    Wed, Nov 09, 2016


    The time is upon us. Americans, we survived the election. Non-Americans, we made it through a terrible, debilitating three-week UFC drought. Tony Ferguson's remarkable win over Rafael Dos Anjos was just the appetizer. This, UFC 205, is the main course of all main courses. 

    And at the top of it all, Conor McGregor vs Eddie Alvarez. The first champion versus champion fight since 2009, and Conor McGregor's chance to truly enter into the pantheon of MMA greats. On this week's Heavy Hands, we are breaking down the main event exhaustively. What strategies might work for either fighter? What did we learn from their recent fights? And, of course, who do we expect to win? 

    After that, it's on to the co-main event, an intriguing matchup between newly crowned welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and the oddball contender favored to beat him, Stephen Thompson. Thompson may look like he belongs in a pair of shiny gi pants rather than Reebok board shorts, but he has proven himself against a litany of top fighters--that includes knocking out the invincible Johny Hendricks, and dismantling the cerebral Rory MacDonald. 

    And finally, Kelvin Gastelum vs Donald Cerrone. It will be Gastelum's toughest test, and arguably Cerrone's as well. We discuss whether Cowboy's impressive welterweight run is doomed to fail, or whether he can overcome the odds yet again to defeat a naturally larger, more powerful opponent. 

    My goodness, is it gonna be good! 

  • 130 -Jedrzejczyk vs Kowalkiewicz & Dos Anjos vs Ferguson preview
    Wed, Nov 02, 2016


    You know UFC 205 has too much good stuff to be covered by just one show, so we're previewing a few of the tentpole event's biggest fights on this week's show, and then covering the rest next week. This week, we talk Joanna Jedrzejczyk's strawweight title defense against fellow Pole Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Every Jedrzejczyk fight is an event to look forward to, and this time, matched with a relentless volume puncher with killer clinch skills, should be a barnburner. 

    Our other UFC 205 fight is a meaningful battle between top lightweight contenders, namely undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov and Michael Johnson, a fast and mobile striker. Nurmagomedov has never faced such a fighter, and Johnson may just have the style to beat the man no one else has.

    UFC 205 isn't the only exciting event on the horizon, however, and we also devote time to UFC Mexico's big main event, a thrilling matchup between former champion Rafael Dos Anjos and maniacal up- and-comer Tony Ferguson. In addition to that slobberknocker, we talk about the UFC debut of Invicta star Alexa Grasso, a talented striker and one of the most promising prospects in the stacked strawweight division. 

    There is nothing better than breaking down such a collection of fantastic fights, and we hope you enjoy the show!

  • 129 - Can Sergey Kovalev outsmart Andre Ward?
    Wed, Oct 26, 2016


    If there is one good thing about a lull between UFC events (and there are probably several), it is that it gives us fight analysts time to talk about other things. Exciting, fascinating things like the upcoming fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. I mean . . . what a fight. 

    We spend the bulk of today's episode breaking this one down. Andre Ward makes good on his promise to establish himself as a top light heavyweight, and the veritable boxing genius seems well-suited to the task. We talk about Ward's intelligence both in and out of the ring, the calm, cerebral style that got him where he is today, and the fact that Sergey Kovalev is undeniably the most dangerous man Ward will have ever faced.

    As for Kovalev, how will he cope with his most frustrating opponent to date, and can he prove that his transformation from brawler to boxer-puncher was really profound enough to beat a dyed-in-the-wool, classic American slickster? 

    To cap off the episode, we spend a segment answering a question from one of our patrons. Namely, what one trait would we add to make various top five mixed martial artists into championship material? It's a good one, and we hope you enjoy it.

  • 128 - Styles Make Fights; Can they Predict them?
    Wed, Oct 19, 2016


    A while ago on Heavy Hands, we began a series called "Styles Make Fights." Original, I know. The idea of the series was to dissect what we saw as the five overarching styles of fighting: out-fighting, counter fighting, pressure fighting, boxer-punching, and brawling. Listeners liked it; we liked it. It was a lot of fun, and we've been hearing requests for the series to make some kind of comeback for a while now. 

    Well, voila! 

    In order to make a meaningful addition to our existing conclusions--whether that means bolstering them or changing them completely--we will be using those five style archetypes to categorize UFC fighters, and then predicting the outcomes of their fights based solely on the style matchup. So when we ask if Frankie Edgar will beat Jeremy Stephens, we're really asking whether an out-fighter beats a boxer-puncher. When we pick the winner of Yoel Romero vs Chris Weidman, we're really picking between boxer-puncher and pressure fighter. 

    Not only does this give us a chance to identify flaws in the system--what about those fighters who don't fit neatly into any single style archetype?--but a chance to understand the usefulness of identifying styles in the first place. We'll continue the series in the future, and catch up on all the fights for which we make predictions. Until then, enjoy this latest episode of Heavy Hands. 

  • 127 - Hendo's Last Stand & Aaron Pryor Tribute
    Wed, Oct 12, 2016


    Prior to October 8th, 2016, it was said by a certain MMA writer that Dan Henderson had put on his last great performance against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, five depressing years ago. Well, that guy's name is Connor Ruebusch (he hosts a really cool show you should check out) and he was wrong. As it turns out, Hendo had one last titanic effort left in him yet, and he let it out at UFC 204, in a fight for the UFC middleweight championship.

    Michael Bisping deserved the win, most of us can agree. But at 46 years old, well past good expectations, Dan Henderson came damn close to ending his career with a belt, and reminded us in the process why we have been amazed by him for so long. On today's episode of Heavy Hands (that's what that show is called!) we're breaking down Henderson's transformations over the years, from grinder to bruiser to swarmer to counter puncher. We're also looking at the career evolutions of men like Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi, who also clashed at UFC 204. 

    And to close things out, a little celebration of the skills and talents of Aaron Pryor, probably the second best boxer ever to come out of Cincinnati after Ezzard Charles--though Freddie Miller deserves his credit, too. Pryor passed away on October 9th. He was a week shy of his 61st birthdary.

  • 126 - Bisping vs Hendo: No Fight for Old Men
    Wed, Oct 05, 2016


    Fighters like Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping are the future of fighting. Not that Henderson has a good chance of winning the belt, nor Bisping of keeping it--but they are a pair of old dudes. That's kind of like looking into the future, right?

    Funnily enough, Michael Bisping now is probably at the place in his career at which Dan Henderson started knocking fools out--including Michael Bisping. Henderson, meanwhile, has continued to age and, in many ways, deteriorate. On this episode of Heavy Hands, we talk age and experience, and the divergent paths of athleticism and skill. MMA is no sport for old men, but for a special few, the benefits of time and training are too great to be written off completely. We doubt even a hip-replacement could take away Dan Henderson's lethal right hand.

    To cap things off, we review the bantamweight clash between John Lineker and John Dodson from last week, which exceeded expectations and tickled us all. 

  • 125 - Can anyone beat Cyborg? + Lineker vs Dodson preview
    Wed, Sep 28, 2016


    Some of us expected Lina Lansberg to give Cristiane Justino a little something to work with. Some of us expected a bit of a back-and-forth before Cyborg notched another inevitable win. Some of us thought that, maybe at least for the first few minutes, Cyborg wouldn't be literally grinning while having her way with Lansberg in the clinch.

    Some of us were wrong. 

    On today's Heavy Hands, we take a look at the impressive skills and talents of Cyborg Justino, 2-0 in the UFC and undefeated since 2005. In addition, we undertake a mental search for the woman who can finally beat her, whether she truly exists or not. Ronda Rousey? Holly Holm? Miesha Tate? Who will be the Buster Douglass to Cyborg's Tyson?

    After that, enjoy a preview of the top two fights scheduled to take place at UFC Portland. We break down the bantamweight clash between former flyweights John Lineker and John Dodson, and Will Brooks vs Alex Oliveira, before using Hacran Dias vs Andre Fili as a jumping-off point to talk about the role of discipline and caution in mixed martial arts. 

  • 124 - Gilbert Burns on being a Complete Fighter, Cyborg-Lansberg preview
    Wed, Sep 21, 2016


    Heavy Hands returns with another interview, this time with the bold, funny, and insightful Gilbert Burns, one of the most promising prospects in the UFC's lightweight division, and a veritable master of the armbar (he has won three of his four UFC bouts using that technique). Gilbert talked to us about . . .

    - Training Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Nova Uniao
    - Transitioning from submission grappling to MMA
    - The benefits of having spent his entire MMA career with the Blackzilians team
    - Learning striking from Henri Hooft, sparring hard
    - Becoming a well-rounded fighter, rather than fighting like a BJJ specialist
    - His teammate Michael Johnson's knockout victory over Dustin Poirier

    One of my favorite highlights from our conversation came when Gilbert addressed fellow grappling ace Demian Maia, and his belief that the best victory is one which causes no harm to the opponent."Don't get me wrong," Burns said. "I have Demian as a friend. I love to watch this guy's fighting, but I don't agree with a couple of the things he says. Like, 'Oh, I just wanna finish the guy, don't wanna make damage, next day he can train . . .'

    "No, bro. I wanna finish you . . . if I see your face there, my elbows gonna come."

    After the interview, we preview the best bouts of the UFC's upcoming Brasilia card, including the main event clash between Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino and Lina Lansberg.

  • 123 - Poirier vs Johnson, & the Best Stylists in MMA
    Wed, Sep 14, 2016


    On today's episode of Heavy Hands, we're trying something new: talking about recent and upcoming MMA fights. Novel idea. 

    So to kick things off, we're breaking down the heavyweight title clash between Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem, which was both surprising and predictable, and a whole lot of fun. Jimmie Rivera put on a stellar performance of his own at UFC 203, and so did Jessica Andrade, so we're breaking down those fights as well. 

    Then, it's on to next weekend's fight night card, main evented by Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson, and featuring a whole host of interesting undercard fights. 

    To close out the show, we're talking styles in MMA, in a segment inspired by one of our dedicated listeners. What are styles in MMA, who are the best representatives of each, and how did some of them manage to overcome innately difficult style matchups?

  • 122 - Stipe Miocic vs Alistair Overeem preview
    Wed, Sep 07, 2016


    Disagreement is not something to be feared, but rather embraced. Our differences are what make us human. They don't separate us; they bring us together. 

    And that is why Patrick Wyman is still on this show despite being totally wrong about Stipe Miocic vs Alistair Overeem. 

    In fairness, it isn't an easy fight to call. Miocic is relatively new to this game--especially compared to Overeem, the heavyweight division's most experienced veteran--but he is durable, and well-rounded, and dangerous. Still, I think Overeem is a tough matchup for his first title defense, especially given the recent changes his style has undergone. We hash it out on this week's episode of Heavy Hands, gently making our cases for each of these two elite heavyweights. 

    There is time also for the co-main event, a rematch between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne, as well as Urijah Faber's bantamweight showdown with top prospect Jimmie Rivera. Is Faber finally reaching the end of his road, or will he shut the gates in Rivera's face as he has so many others? Joanne Calderwood vs Jessica Andrade has us feeling all giddy, too, and we cap things off by answering listener questions at the end of the show.

    All in all, this episode has everything you've come to expect from Heavy Hands. Fight breakdowns, silly banter, fan interaction. 

    And Pat being wrong. That too.

  • 121- The Gentle Art of Demian Maia
    Wed, Aug 31, 2016


    A lot of us expected Demian Maia to win, but very few expected that. The former middleweight, whose shot at Anderson Silva's title was both bizarre and disappointing, has more than redeemed himself as a welterweight, now capping a six-fight win streak with a submission of longtime contender Carlos Condit. It took him less than two minutes to secure the rear naked choke and force the tap. 

    We're celebrating the skills of Demian Maia on this week's Heavy Hands, and taking a look at the rest of the card to boot. What did Anthony Pettis' featherweight debut say about his future as a fighter and contender? How did Paige VanZant look against Bec Rawlings? We're also previewing UFC Hamburg's main event, a heavyweight clash between former champions Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett, before answering a few of your questions at the end of the show.

  • 120 - Breaking down Diaz vs McGregor 2
    Tue, Aug 23, 2016


    Conor McGregor may have just proven that he is an all-time great. Nate Diaz is simply a bad style matchup for him. No matter what anyone tells you about Diaz's many losses, or his lack of athleticism, or his predictable attack--he remains a tough fight for McGregor. A tall southpaw out-fighter, against a southpaw who feeds primarily on orthodox opponents, most of which are smaller, and most of which cannot compete with him at long range. Plus, Diaz might have the hardest head in the lightweight division, an added benefit against one of the sport's most dangerous power punchers. 

    So to beat Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor had to change. He had to train new skills, but he also had to train a new mindset. He had to think of Diaz differently than he had any other opponent, and challenge his own tendencies in order to outsmart his natural advantages. 

    We're breaking all of this down on today's episode of Heavy Hands, plus discussing what changes the two would have to make for a rubber match, analyzing Anthony Johnson's vicious KO of Glover Teixeira, and having a little fun with Cody Garbrandt, trash talker extraordinaire.

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