Al Iaquinta on fighting Gilbert Melendez

Al Iaquinta on fighting Gilbert Melendez “I’ve been visualizing it every way possible, and however it goes down I’m coming out with my hand raised.”

Al Iaquinta came on Submission Radio this week to discuss his new UFC Fight Night 71 opponent Gilbert Melendez.

Although his original opponent Bobby Green got hurt Al was presented with a golden opportunity to have a fight with Gilbert Melendez he explained his reaction when he found out the fight was official: “Oh man I was ecstatic. I was going crazy. First, you know going crazy in a bad way once I heard Bobby Green was out, and you don’t know who you’re going to get. He was an opponent ranked above me, so you know it has really good benefits to beat a guy like that.”

Fighting at UFC 188 Al saw a few holes in Melendez’s from his losing performance against Eddie Alvarez “I thought it was a great fight. I thought it was a real solid fight and it definitely gave me some…let me see some weaknesses a little bit. The cardio thing might not be a weakness at sea level. So we’re going to have to go some other routes, but we’ll get the win for sure.” As a hungry young fighter Al further discussed what he felt his advantages in match up may be “Yeah definitely I’m young and hungry, I’m coming for it. I think he’s been in here a while and maybe his back’s against the wall coming off a couple of losses. But you know, I’m hungry. This is what I’ve been dreaming about. I don’t think he’s been dreaming about a fight with number 13 ranked Al Iaquinta, but I’ve been dreaming about a match up with a top five guy to get me up there. So I’ve definitely been visualizing this moment and I’ve been visualizing it every way possible, and however it goes down I’m coming out with my hand raised.” Continue reading Al Iaquinta on fighting Gilbert Melendez

Getting To “Unfinished Business”

At Bellator 138, the main event was expected to be Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice, take two.

A year after Scott Coker took leadership of Bellator MMA from Bjorn Rebney, there have been instances of non-title bouts headlining over championship ones: Tito Ortiz/Stephan Bonnar over Will Brooks/Michael Chandler at Bellator 131. And with “Unfinished Business”, Shamrock/Slice is scheduled to main event over a featherweight title match between Patricio Freire and Daniel Weichel.

In the view of some MMA fans, having title fights not main event devalues their champions and championships.

These practices are not exclusive to Coker’s reign in Bellator. Rebney presided over Bellator’s first, and so far only, pay-per-view (Bellator 120) with Quinton Jackson and Muhammad Lawal as headlining the card. An (interim) title fight with Will Brooks and Michael Chandler as the co-main event. In November 2013, a lightweight championship rematch between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez was initially booked under Quinton Jackson and Tito Ortiz at Bellator 106. Ortiz’s withdrawal catapulted Chandler/Alvarez 2 to main event status. Jackson was rescheduled for a main event bout with Joey Beltran at Bellator 108, while the heavyweight title fight between Alexander Volkov and Vitaly Minakov happened earlier on the card.

Despite that there’s is a sense by some that in the Coker era, Bellator’s business model has changed book fights based on drawing power which equals high television ratings. Rebney and the tournament format he helped create are gone. Continue reading Getting To “Unfinished Business”

‘Zilla’ really is the king of all monsters

At AFC 13, Brandon ‘Zilla’ Sosoli stepped into the cage against Andre ‘The Giant’ Meunier knowing that he was only one step away from achieving the ultimate goal of winning the AFC Heavyweight Championship. After just a couple minutes in the first round, that goal was realised as Brandon stopped ‘The Giant’ with strikes.

Brandon has since returned to his native New South Wales and has now had a chance to reflect on the colossal victory:

“I have had a few different feelings since returning home, it is just starting to sink in now the quality of opponent I was able to beat. Andre is a world beater and it was a career high point just to share the cage with him, to win the belt and fight in the same division as people I look up to like Soa and Peter Graham is literally a dream come true for me and I’m really excited for future challenges and the chance to test my ability on future AFC shows. The other emotion I am feeling is the sense of family and brotherhood for my team that comes after all my fights where I reflect on how much they all mean and what it means to me to have such a strong team behind me”

Andre came to the AFC with a credentialed kickboxing background and most felt that he would have the advantage in this department, however Brandon’s more well rounded MMA game certainly left him in good stead. The fight pretty much seemed to go perfectly to plan as Brandon was able to secure the early takedown and unleash some vicious ground ‘n’ pound prompting the referee to stop the fight: Continue reading ‘Zilla’ really is the king of all monsters