The Sports Inquirer

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Verbal Submission Podcast 5 #sportsinquirer #verbalsubmissionpodcast — July 10, 2017

Verbal Submission Podcast 5 #sportsinquirer #verbalsubmissionpodcast


In this edition of the Verbal Submission Podcast, we discuss UFC 213, UFC Fight Night, UFC Ultimate Fighter Finale, Bellator 180 and the official announcement of the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight.

Audio below:

Verbal Submission Podcast 4 #verbalsubmission #mma #podcast — May 3, 2017
Verbal Submission Podcast 3 — April 24, 2017
Passing the Guard: MMA Thoughts 2.2.16 — February 2, 2016

Passing the Guard: MMA Thoughts 2.2.16


By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor

Music to listen to: Entangled (live) by Genesis

-Anthony Johnson quick submission of Ryan Bader shows clear divide in UFC light heavyweight division. Coming into UFC on Fox 18 earlier this month, we knew that the depth of the the division wasn’t the strongest especially with Jon Jones’ suspension still in place. Viewers hoping to see Bader provide a challenge to the top-level of the division had little optimism when he shot into Johnson for a takedown in the first round. Johnson defended it, got Bader’s back and proceeded to gain the knock out on punches from up top.

We’ve seen Johnson fight current UFC champion Daniel Cormier already and suffer a loss. This provides impetus at the highest level for us to see Jones/Cormier 2, most likely at UFC 200 to gain some clarity in the division.


-Sage Northcutt loss not worst thing for career. The 19-year old came into his UFC on Fox 18 contest against Bryan Barberena with the promotional backing of the organization that prompted him into the main card of a network television broadcast. While Northcutt had shown promise in previous fights, his relative lack of experience didn’t match the hype.

What we ended up seeing is the veteran Barberena take advantage of Northcutt novice skills on the ground and promptly sank in an arm triangle for a submission victory.

I’m not a grappler (I need to take some classes) but from seeing the comments of other fighters, grapplers and even Joe Rogan on the broadcast, it looks like Northcutt submitted to a hold that the majority of others on the UFC roster would have countered and avoided losing to.

Even with this, Northcutt isn’t in bad shape. In most cases, he would have been in this prediciment at some dojo without cameras, tapped and learned a lesson from his instructor. We witnessed this on Fox. The potential is there for him to become an elite fighter and even a champion. He isn’t there yet. Not everyone is Jon Jones and can make it through the majority of his career without a loss.

I’ve personally seen Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Fabricio Werdum, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Wanderlei Silva and countless other world champions and some of the best to ever fight in MMA lose a fight and then comeback and achieve greatness. I’m not saying that Northcutt is going to make it to that level but if you’re going to be the best in a sport like MMA, setbacks are going to happen.

The best move for Northcutt will be to get back in the gym, work on his ground defense and continue to develop.


-Changing UFC 196 to UFC on Fox 18 was wise move. This Saturday, we were supposed to get UFC 196 which featured a main event of Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title. Velasquez gets injured (not a surprise at this stage of his career) and Stipe Miocic stepped up to face the champion Werdum. A day later Werdum pulls out of the new fight due to injuries of his own, therefore that fight is off as well.

Jones threw his hat in the ring to fight for the legitimate title, not an interim one but the UFC balked at that. Smart move by the way.

In the end, the fight card wasn’t cancelled but moved to Fox with Johny Hendricks facing Stephen Thompson in the main event.

First, if the heavyweight division wasn’t so top heavy, I’d say that Velasquez has permanently placed himself outside of the title picture due to the continued injuries. However, he’s still a viable name and there’s not much standing in his way for a future title shot.

I don’t want to call dirty pool on Werdum but if he agreed to the Miocic fight to than pull out of it after it was announced, that’s not cool. He has the right to not want to fight a new opponent on relatively short notice (this is professional fighting, not a bar fight) as a champion but a promise like that can’t be broken. If the UFC made the Miocic decision without consulting Werdum (not entirely improbable), that’s a bad move by the promotion.

I’m happy that the fight card is still in tact so that those fighters can get paid and that’s the most important thing. Sure, the UFC loses money not having pay-per-view buys even if it was going to have a low buyrate but it will make up for it in the future.

The fans get to see a free fight card and that’s great too.


-Wise move by Benson Henderson to move to Bellator. I’ve seen people criticizing this move, mainly Dana White (why is he so salty every time a fighter leaves the promotion) but its good for Henderson.

If the asinine Reebok sponsorship deal wasn’t enforced in the UFC right now, I believe Henderson would still be in the promotion. There were still fights available for him in the 155-pound division and personally think he would have an impact in the 170-division as well.

However, while Bellator may not offer as much money as the UFC and there are conflicting reports about that, Henderson will make up for it in sponsorships.

Henderson has been around a long time and may have four or five fights left in him. Best to take advantage of the healthy body now before it breaks down. Furthermore, if Henderson lights it up at Bellator, he’ll have leverage to get a new, more lucrative deal with promotions domestic and foreign.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours?


Passing the Guard: This Week in Mixed Martial Arts 7/2/15 — July 2, 2015

Passing the Guard: This Week in Mixed Martial Arts 7/2/15


By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor

Music to listen to: Prelude / Kiara by Bonobo (live)

-Jose Aldo is out and Chad Mendes is in to face Conor McGregor for the interim UFC featherweight title at UFC 189.

Mixed Martial Arts is a cruel sport. Aldo and McGregor have been slated to fight for months in the biggest fight of the year. Fans from literally around the world made plans to travel to Las Vegas to see these two battle for supremacy. The UFC itself admitted to putting the most money ever in the promotion of a fight into this battle. The two men did a worldwide press tour that took them to three continents and five countries in a week. Anticipation was at a premium.

Than Aldo fractured his rib in training and the fight is now off.

First, the fact that Aldo, who has a history of getting injured before fights and missing contests, gets hurt preparing for his biggest payday stinks for everyone involved. There’s a reason that the injury was first reported last week but Aldo, according to continued training, taking anti-inflammatory medicine and platelet-rich plasma injections to his body. He was going to do whatever it took to make it to this fight which would have made him millions. However, Aldo was wisely pulled from the fight.

Personally, I wasn’t a fan of McGregor getting the title shot seeing how he’s not even in my top-five rankings within the division. However, after my initial critique, I changed my mind because Aldo has already defeated Mendes, Frankie Edgar, Ricardo Lamas, the other guys I have ahead in my rankings. Also, McGregor has done an amazing job selling this fight from his verbal statements towards Aldo, social media insults and theatrics during press conferences.

My 17-year old nephew who is starting watching MMA in the past year can’t stop talking about McGregor who has become his favorite fighter. My 17-year old, black nephew from Georgia currently living in Florida has adopted a white Irishman as his fighter of choice. The UFC has to drool over the crossover demographics that shows. McGregor has made himself a known name in a sport that can honestly use some personality from its top fighters.

The point of all this was that an old-school fan like me who remembers watching MMA fights in Japan on the internet in the early 2000’s has been able to bond with a new-school fan and McGregor is a factor in that.

Now McGregor faces Mendes who brings the wrestling and striking skills that many feels McGregor has never fought against in the UFC. For those who wanted to see McGregor get past a wrestler before getting a title shot, myself included, that wish has oddly come true.

I’ll save my prediction for next week but we’re truly going to see McGregor’s star appeal when the pay-per-view numbers come out. Its also a major risk for the UFC because if Mendes mauls McGregor, that eliminates the maximum potential for the Aldo/Mendes fight.

If McGregor wins the interim title, his fight with Aldo may become even bigger.

-Yoel Romero is a bad man and a major threat to Chris Weidman. Even though it happened two weeks ago, acknowledgment should be given to Romero for his dominating third-round knockout win over Lyoto Machida.

Romero may be the most explosive fighter in the UFC middleweight division and possibly the entire promotion. His physicality of getting takedowns and fast-twitch punches is tough for any opponent to match. I believe Romero should face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in his next fight in a number-one contender matchup with the winner of that fight facing the victory of the Weidman/Luke Rockhold contest.

-Romero’s post-fight comments didn’t bother me even though I didn’t agree with them. This deserves its own commentary which will come soon because it touches on a subject I have high interest in; the freedom of speech for public figures.

After Romero defeated Machida, he made statements glorifying God and renouncing homosexuality. Excuses have been made by others claiming that’s not what Romero said citing his broken English. While English may not be Romero’s primary message, it was clear what he was trying to say.

Furthermore, the timing of the Supreme Court of the United States granting full rights for same-sex couples to marry the day before makes it obvious that this topic was on Romero’s mind.

Personally, I disagree with that opinion greatly but Romero has the right to say what he believes. He didn’t use derogatory terms, slurs or profanity to express his opinion. Now, as a businessman who wants sponsorships for The Sports Inquirer, I can see the UFC not being happy with these comments because it’s a sensitive topic but I haven’t heard too much from sponsors having issues.

In the end, you have to accept the good and bad when you give somebody an open microphone in public.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours?

Bellator MMA announces agreement with Royce Gracie — October 8, 2014

Bellator MMA announces agreement with Royce Gracie

image001Release from Bellator MMA:

Known simply as the pioneer of mixed martial arts, Royce Gracie is widely considered the most influential and important figure the sport has seen. Engaging in some of the most memorable fights in MMA history during his time with the UFC and PRIDE Fighting Championships, Gracie has now joined Bellator as an official brand ambassador.

“To call Royce a legend would be an absolute understatement,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “Royce and the Gracie family are directly responsible for making this sport what it is today and we are incredibly fortunate to have him be a part of the Bellator family. Royce will serve in many different capacities for Bellator and I look forward to our fighters, staff and most importantly, our fans, in having the chance to interact with one of the most iconic figures in sports.”

“I have known Scott for a long time and have always respected him as not only a promoter but as a martial artist who has always treated fighters with respect and truly understands their value,” Gracie said. “Bellator and Viacom want to give fans exciting fights and enable fighters to continue to grow and most importantly provide for their family, and it’s something I want to be a part of. UFC has done a great job over the past twenty years in building this sport and taking it globally and I’m glad to have been part of that, but Bellator is a growing organization I am honored to be a part of, and with the dedicated and talented people already associated with the company, we can further the growth of mixed marital arts as a sport worldwide.”

Gracie will immediately be involved with Bellator including promotion for Bellator 131, which is headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar, along with a lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Will Brooks on November 15. Moving forward Gracie will host seminars, be involved in autograph and promotional appearances, as well as aiding in the international expansion of Bellator around the world. Bellator and Gracie will also be involved in a co-branded merchandise line that will debut in 2015.