Cody "No Love" Garbrandt (6-0) is set to make his sophomore appearance this weekend on
the Mcregor/Aldo the McGregor/Mendes card and will be taking on tough Mexican (I think) prospect Enrique “Henry Bure” Briones (16-4). This is obviously a huge fight for both guys, as is every fight in the UFC, but one of these two men are on the cusp of MMA stardom and I'll give you one guess who that is. I’ve seen it before and I’m telling yinz right now that Cody Garbrandt is just a few highlight reel performances away from becoming a division standout and some could argue that he already is. I have noticed countless articles, pictures and other important sounding shit that leads me to believe this quasi fact and just the other day I read something about him on TMZ, seriously.
TM fucking Z.
That is how you know you’ve made it, when TMZ is harassing your suspected girlfriend about your relationship. What it must be like to be famous, I’ll never know. Anyway to keep that ball rolling No Love needs to put another huge win on the board this weekend which will be live and free on Fox Sports 1 starting at 8:00pm.
So here is what you need to know about Garbrandt/Briones:
Enrique “Henry Pure” Briones 16-4
Everything about this guy screams average –at least on tape- but he's in the UFC for a reason. Well technically it's not really a reason more of an action. Believe it or look something else up and prove me wrong, but Briones' bread and butter is a rear uppercut that he wields with absolute fucking impunity. He has literally built and destroyed careers with this single punch and this shot alone is the only thing that I, an unabashed, un-ashamed, No Love mark am worried about. Briones has stopped quite a few guys with this shot and obviously has become very adept at throwing it. This could pose some problems for the president of the 922. Which leads me to my next point:
To maintain his current status, he has to keep winning
This win is important to Garbrandt because let's face it, as humans we only really remember people's failures, especially in fighting and if he hits a wall, or more specifically a small 5 inch wide wall hurling upward towards him with the power of years of practice and nervous angst, he will have a helluva time rebuilding. You're only as good as your last fight in this game and even though it is very much a "what have you done for me lately" type affair, the pressure to win here is probably less than the actual pressure of factoring in what a loss really means. The reality here is Cody Garbrandt should beat this kid and beat him handily which means that the equity in a win won't even come close to covering the value lost in an upset.
Check out the rest after the break:
Yesterday's showdown between Pittsburgh's Sammy Vasquez (19-0) and Nigeria's Wale Omotoso (25-2) was everything it was billed to be and more with both guys showing why they received a top slot on the PCS production.
Vasquez started off early using the jab and sharp counter movements to land some serious heat on Omotoso that kept him shelled up for most of the early rounds. The MVP of this match up was Vasquez's straight left hand that scored big, multiple times a round whether it was straight down the pipe or by way of spearing body shots. Aside from landing hard, meaningful punches consistently throughout the rounds, Vasquez used intelligent angles to move himself into better positions during the exchanges. In one instance he turned Wale into a huge left hand that knocked his mouthpiece clean out. He also used great set ups and entries to keep Omotoso guessing and missing when he was on offense.
The facilitator of the offense always takes some damage in the process.
Sammy’s beautiful offensive onslaught did not happen without sustaining some punishment of his own as Omotoso was a live dog all the way until the final bell and produced more damage on Vasquez physically than all of his previous opponents combined. Two of Vasquez’s most significant cuts were from a head butt and an early elbow but Omotoso put some missiles in the air and caught Sammy with some pretty legit punches.
They just weren’t enough and Vasquez wouldn’t be denied.
Vasquez proved that he has the skillset, the physical tools and the ability to absorb damage at the higher levels of the game yesterday and truthfully after a showing like that, the sky really is the limit. There was a moment towards the end of the fight where one of the guest commentators Virgil Hunter or Paulie Malignaggi were discussing how Sammy should just box and run for the last round or so because he appeared to have slowed while Omotoso looked like he was rallying a bit. Instead of getting on his bike and safely riding towards the decision he had already clearly won, Sammy hopped back in the tank and met Omotoso in the middle, tamping him down one last time and proving he’s here to fight every second of every round regardless of the score.
I can’t really remember a better time to be a boxing fan than right now with all of the outlets available for higher level match ups. Boxing needed a shot in the arm and PBC is exactly that, they still have some one-sided “works” (where one guy is clearly supposed to win) but that’s the sport and they aren’t afraid to make the match ups that need to be made.
Gregg Rudolph aka the Carson Street Concussion aka The Lumberjack has been making moves in the fighting world lately even though he has been sidelined with an injury for just under a year. These moves are pretty substantial to the fabric of the combat sports world in the region and will probably change its entire dynamic in a lot of ways. As of July 1st, Gregg Rudolph will be the sole owner and operator of Fight Club Pittsburgh.
There’s a new sheriff in town
I have talked to Gregg about this change over extensively and can see nothing but great things coming down the line. Fight club’s original owner and operator, Mick Morrow has done more for this sport regionally than any other promotion or individual combined but because he doesn’t trumpet his accomplishments on social media like the rest of us, you are probably just learning about him now. Mick was almost single handily responsible for the amateur rule changes – the new tiered system including the advanced amateur rules- which was a serious, drawn out and ultimately expensive affair that took nearly 2 years to push through. Mick has also been instrumental in moving top talent to the next phase in their career and is directly responsible for the success of stars like Cody Garbrandt, Mark Cherico, Adam Milstead and countless others. So even though you don’t know it, this changing of the guard is a fairly substantial play that will have an effect on more than few elements to the current landscape.
Rudolph plans on picking up and moving the ball down field
After starting out his career at later age (early 30’s) Gregg had smashing success in his Pinnacle amateur debut with a first round, one punch knockout over a more experienced opponent which basically lit Facebook on fire. Over the years he has built up a network including some of the best connections in the sport and was able to bring former clothing juggernaught Thick As Thieves to the UFC’s door in just a few months. Using some of his connections with teams like the American Top Team and managers like Charles MCcarthy, along UFC stars like Hector Lombard and Charles Rosa, Gregg expects to send more athletes from the area to the UFC than ever before.
Hometown hero, actually make that real life hero, Sammy Vasquez (18-0) is set to take on far and away the stiffest test of his developing career in KO artist Wale Omotoso (25-1), which will take place on the biggest stage of his career Premiere Boxing Championships live on CBS. Vasquez recently shut out Emmanuel Lartey in Pittsburgh earlier in the year and has now set his sights on another standout performance on national TV.
Here’s what you need to know:
From what I’ve seen on Facebook, Sammy has reunited with former coach Ryan Rimsek who was essential to his development as an amateur. As a former student of Rimsek’s I can tell you with confidence that this addition can only help the team rise to the next level and here’s why. Sammy’s style consists of a few key components, the sharp right hook, a finishing straight left hand and tricky outside head movement, all of which are Rimsek’s specialties and more than likely a product of his own creation some odd 17 years ago. Rimsek is a natural southpaw who loves explosive movements, especially after taking an angle when the opponent misses a shot and has some of the better padwork in the sport.
Wale Omotoso’s name is annoying to type and re-type so thank you Larry Tessler for developing the copy and paste function all those years ago (google stuff every once in a while, it’s good for you). Nothing like a little highbrow PC humor eh? Anyway Wale spent most of his career crushing cans in Australia until he came stateside roughly 4 years ago with pretty good results.
Omotoso has knocked a shitload of people out. 21 out of 25 to be exact, which is a fairly healthy statistic. Even in his loan lost to Jesse Vargas, another boxing standout, Omotoso floored him with a body shot in the 2nd round. Another thing to note here is that of the most recent (and most relevant) bouts, Omotoso has stopped 6 guys late (past the 5th round). What that means is that his power stays with him throughout the fight, his style is built around accumulation of damage rather than one big shot and he is dangerous enough to put guys out late in the fight.
Check out the rest after the break:
Everyone's favorite destroyer Khama Worthy (7-3) is taking on a very tough opponent in Matt Bessette (14-6) at the Twin River Casino tonight in Rhode Island. You can watch this fight on Direct Tv on the AXS channel or if you're like me and sold your soul to the coaxial gods themselves (Comcast) you can watch the fight at Pre- Game in the southside.
Bessette has fought an East coast who's who of opponents including wins over Saul Almedia and Diego Nunes. He is a multiple time Bellator vet and has been competing since 2007. What I am saying here bros is that this is no easy task by any stretch of the imagination and a win here would be huge.
Be prepared for fireworks from the opening bell as both guys come to scrap and look to send each other into their respective spirit worlds in as devastating fashion as humanly possible. I have been looking for an internet stream but so far have come up short which means that if you want to watch this, you need to get to a TV that has the AXS channel.