By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
Fresh, flashy, and riveting already describe the athletes who compete in MMA’s premiere organization, the UFC, but these adjectives could also tactically combo off one another with precision to relate to one of the UFC’s most recently contracted hires: Robin Black, MMA analyst and color commentator at The Fight Network. The UFC used no feints and shot-in to takedown Black onto their side of business because one of his insightful fight breakdowns would prove beneficial leading into UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm, yet Black, “The Rockstar of MMA,” likely, predicted such an attack the entire time.
What usually wins fights is not so much style as content.
Both style and content are what won Robin Black an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the main event of UFC 193. With an ultimate fascination to cultivate a product that entices its fans, the UFC has wisely opted to enlist the craft of Black to delve deeply into the pairing of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (12-0) vs. “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holly Holm (9-0). Obtaining accreditation as a pound-for-pound best in the realm of noting fighters’ tendencies, Black appeared as a guest on the MMA Latest P4P Podcast to reveal MMA’s infinite possibility when it comes to learning, and his success, principled on learning, is not limited to only the fight game.
I. Why Does Black Breakdown?
Type 1 behavior is fueled by more intrinsic desires than extrinsic ones. It concerns itself less with the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself.
Black admitted that his repetitive sweep of fight film would be freelance, basement projects if nobody paid him, and the UFC’s continued progression rests on such innovation. Dana White, President of the UFC, was pleased that Black will work his magic prior to Rousey entering the Octagon against Holm because Black targets the Performance of the Night bonus with each tale of the tape,
“Truth is: If seven people saw it [footage of my breakdowns], or, if possibly, no one saw it, I would still love doing it.”
Fighting is a way to feel, an anti-video game, a way to force something to happen.
Each dissection of a fight by Black registers on FightMetric as significant and spot-on strikes, glamorizing the importance of breaking down the largest scale women’s fight in MMA to date,
“When it [a breakdown] is done, you really want to show somebody because the whole motivation of these breakdowns, at least mine, is I’m obsessed with it.”
Part of becoming a writer is the desire to have everything mean something.
A similar search for meaning occurs in any chosen field. Black simply wants everyone to comprehend the nuances his studies have unearthed,
“The idea is: I want to figure out what’s going on. Then, the thing is: I think I’ve figured out some things, and then it’s like-holy shit, this is cool; people have to see what’s going on here.“
The great artist is the simplifier.
-Henri Frederic Amiel-
Manipulating video footage, Black artistically constructs the piecemeal to answer any lingering questions surrounding a particular fighter or pairing of combatants,
“Making the breakdown itself is because people have got to see this thing. If they see what’s happening here, their minds will be blown. It’s so cool that it’s true for some people, but there is still this idea: that every person in the world, if they could really see what fighting really is, literally 98% of them would love it.”
Standing toe-to-toe with one of Black’s masterpieces ushers anyone along the fence, or anywhere near its proximity, to inch closer to the canvas. Check out a piece Black composed in an attempt to derail the alleged hype behind “The Notorious” Conor McGregor’s train of success into the UFC:
II. Black’s Prescription to Breakdown
Authority is 20% given and 80% taken…so take it.
When Black informs listeners how he reached his current destination, it was definitely not a sparring match, and he held back on nothing,
“It’s a funny thing because I hate clichés, so I won’t be, ‘Oh, I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity.’ I don’t know why people talk like that. I just think people should talk like real people, so that’s a weird pet peeve that I have. My hesitation to talk like that stops me from saying just how fucking fortunate I feel.”
There is an important “I” quality to work.
Appreciative toward his camp of colleagues, Black refuses to shy away from the efforts he invests into his practice,
“At the same time, you have to give yourself some credit for going out and pursuing this stuff. So whatever the luck, good fortune, or whatever I did to get there, I’m not going to the judges at American Idol and say, ‘I’d like to thank the judges and everyone else who voted for me.’ People who talk like that are full of shit.”
III. Prognosis for Future Breakdowns
Create your own future from your future, not your past.
As a means of furthering his push to transcend historical context, Black wanted to linger on the mentality that freezes change,
“I know we are going to be talking about fighting, mostly, because I know that’s what we’re here to do, but there’s this weird distraction I’ve had lately with weird rituals.”
Before sharing, Black sets the stage with a group of co-workers fixated on a baseball game. Playoff baseball or not, Black broke down his observations,
“I tune into this baseball [game] for a second, and, low and behold, this broadcast starts with a guy standing in front of a stadium, ‘Hi, I’m here on location in front of whatever stadium. Today, these guys will be facing off; it’s game whatever.’”
Mimicking this baseball commentator with a robotic tone, Black would prefer to not see these broadcasters survive the first round, and his flare for screen-time and MMA could knock past methods out,
“If you went into 1951, the teachnology would be different and we would dress differently, but it would be the exact same fucking broadcast. What are we doing as a people that we are looking to do exactly what someone did fifty years ago? How on Earth did we decide that was the best way to make television?”
A broadcast should be as colorful as one of Black’s shirts.
Sometimes I think human beings learn to harden like concrete.
Break the mold, start anew; put it in your rearview. Each of these fragments could fit securely into any sentence espoused by Black about recycling the same format to deliver information,
“Entire generations of people have gone to school to study broadcasting, and they just go and learn what those people did back then. I started to find that really strange; probably because watching martial arts and studying martial arts, studying the greats in martial arts. The greats are literally pioneering by the hour. We live in a world where some people don’t pioneer shit.”
IV. Prognosis for Future Breakdowns
You’ve got to continue to grow or you’re just like last night’s cornbread-stale and dry.
Black would contend the best fertilizer for personal prosperity is feeding your curiosity,
“Why do we watch great people? We were talking about Joe [Rogan], who is a great human being. So why are we watching him? And that takes us right back to fighting. Why are we watching Ronda Rousey perform at the highest level? Why are we trying to see how Matt Hume and Demetrious Johnson are pioneering their thing? We are watching them to be inspired and to learn something from it.”
You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.
Black instructed those who wish to mirror a similar growth mindset must go on the offensive,
“If somebody says, ‘That thing, I don’t know how to do it. Learning is the only thing you can be doing right now. It’s the only way to make sense of the world.”
The more you look around, the more you see everyone is fighting something.
Every talent must unfold itself in fighting
Cramming countless hours of rounds, Black arrived at the realization: No matter the area someone chooses to demystify expertise, Black would agree that all learning entails a fight of some kind,
“I’m pretty evangelical about why fighting and martial arts are so beautiful, but, among them, everybody who is a black belt was a white belt. That’s fucking cool! You can become a black belt of cooking, or you can become a black belt of being a good friend, or you can become a black belt of making your apartment look cool, or you can become a black belt in appreciating your parents, or whatever.”
BJ Penn, the “Prodigy,” will sometimes roll with white belts and analyze the awkward new positions they end up in-not that they’re necessarily good ones but there might be something in it.
Masters living each day as beginners collect valuable knowledge, intrigued with contemplation and problem solving, and Black would encourage everyone to strive for mastery in any endeavor that livens your heart,
“I think that is where the beauty of martial arts is: understanding that type of improvement and mastery over time. If it’s important to me in my collection of things I want to get better at in life, you can become a black belt.”
Stay tuned to Robin Black for his itemized list of what will take place at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia for UFC 193. Not if, but when Black nails the bulls-eye for what to expect in the Rousey versus Holm matchup, it is safe to assume the UFC will seek out Black’s prowess to continue cataloging the science behind the sport’s complexities.
Don’t be surprised when it comes to MMA, follow Robin Black at:
Check out Black’s collection of fight analysis at:
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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”
MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.
Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.
Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?
I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.
Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?
I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened. They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.
Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?
I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.
It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 15, 2017
Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?
I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 16, 2017
I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.
Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!
2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures
After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.
Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.
Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.
At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.
For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.
Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.
Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:
- Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan 125 lbs
- Anna Astvik vs. Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
- Chamia Chabbi vs. Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
- C. McCrudden vs. Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
- Gase Sanita vs. Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
- Yernaz Mussabek vs. Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
- Gamzat Magomedov vs. O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
- Joel Arolainen vs. Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
- V. Andruhovich vs. Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
- Sola Axel vs. Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
- B. Haraldsson vs. Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
- Pavel Pahomenko vs. Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
- Irman Smajic vs. Lev Vins 265 lbs
- Atanas Krastanov vs. Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate
Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.
But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.
After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.
The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.
Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.
He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.
In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.
Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.
It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.
Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.
The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.
Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.
Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.
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