Thursday, August 28, 2014

"The American Psycho" enters Bellator MMA

Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar stepped out of retirement and back into the cage, but this time with a new MMA promotion. He has recently signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA. Throughout his mixed martial arts career, Bonnar has fought some top fighters in the light heavyweight division such as: Mark Coleman, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machina, Jon Jones, and Anderson Silva. Bonnar, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Tae Kwon Do black belt, along with former UFC titleholder Forrest Griffin, gave the UFC a major push into the mainstream, with their Ultimate Fighter season one finale fight on Spike TV. After retiring from the sport in 2012, a year later, he was inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame. Now, the 37 year old MMA veteran is ready to fight again.

 Along with his coming out of retirement announcement, “The American Psycho” called out former UFC titleholder Tito Ortiz, who previously defeated Bellator's Middleweight Champion, Alexander Shlemenko by the way of submission in a non-title fight. In all honestly, I believe Stephan Bonnar still has a few fights in him. I could see both him, and Tito Ortiz headlining a televised Bellator event in the near future. Tito Ortiz isn't the only fighter that Bonnar should keep on his radar. He is entering a light heavyweight division filled with stars like, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Joey Beltran, and Bellator's Light Heavyweight Champion, Emanuel Newton.

 Stephan Bonnar is definitely a popular name in this competitive sport, and with him now in Bellator, it's a good thing for the sport. He previously appeared as an analyst for the UFC television show, so I hope to see him as a commentator and fight analyst for Bellator MMA. I look forward to see Stephan Bonnar in his new home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If you're stoked for WWE 2K15, give me a HELL YEAH!

(YouTube Screenshot)
Yes, I am a still a wrestling fan – there I say it. Whenever I see wrestlers taunt the crowd, preform moves from the top turnbuckle, or get slam through tables, it always take me back down memory lane. When I was much younger, I was absolutely obsessed with professional wrestlers. I used to idolized popular wrestlings such as: Bret The Hitman Hart, Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and Stone Cold Steve Austin among others. Back in the days, when I was in elementary school, my friends and I used to get in trouble during recess for performing wrestling moves on each other. Since then, the only way it's possible for me to perform a crowd pleasing sharpshooter, an atomic leg drop, a jaw dropping choke slam, or a good ol' Stone Cold Stunner was through WWE's video games. This October, I am more than electrify to finally get my hands on WWE 2K15.

Based on the screenshots and videos I've seen of the current-gen version of WWE 2K15, the visuals are truly impressive. Of course, graphics isn't everything, but being a fan of professional wrestling, I'm keeping an eye on this game. Initially, I wasn't too stoked when I heard the announcement of WWE 2K15. I played the previous titles here and there, mostly with friends and family. What made me excited for the upcoming WWE game was the announcement of the legendary Sting per-order DLC. If you per-order the game, you get both 80s Sting, and 90s Sting. Toward the very end of the announcement video, it contains old footage of 90s Sting which brought me flashbacks of him aiming his metal baseball bat toward his opponents.

Now, I have to wait anxiously for the arrival of WWE 2K15 which hit store's sleeves on October 28th. Hoping for the best!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The excitement leading up to UFC 177

In the first Bantamweight Championship fight between Renan Barão and T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173, Dillashaw didn't waste anytime. He was very calm and collective in the beginning of the first round, but when the opportunity eventually presented itself, he went for the attack. Dillashaw landed a huge right shot on Barão's face which had him rocked. From that moment on, until the end the fight, Dillashaw was in total control. He dominated in their first encounter by landing nasty combinations that left Barão dazed and battered. In the fifth round, it looked like Dillashaw was going to win by decision, but instead, Dillashaw left the fight out of the judges' hands by winning via TKO. 

It was a major upset. Prior to their first fight, Renan Barão was on an absolute tear. He was undefeated for almost a decade. While defending his title, he took down top fighters, and was on his way to wiping out the entire Bantamweight division. T.J. Dillashaw was a huge underdog in their first bout. He was ranked #4, which convinced me that Barão would pull off the win with ease. With Dillashaw's flawless performance, he reminded me on that night, that in a fight anything could happen. 

Their rematch is scheduled for this Saturday in the main event at UFC 177. It's obvious that Renan Barão wants to redeem himself in this rematch by recapturing the title, and reminding the world that he is still the best of the best. Remaining as UFC Bantamweight Champion is on T.J Dillashaw's agenda. The MMA world will see this Saturday who will be victorious.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hours of glory with the Ratchet & Clank HD Collection

(YouTube Screenshot)
Insomniac Games has created multiple game titles that brought both excitement and creativity to Sony's consoles. The Spyro series allows players to play as a fire spitting dragon that thrust his horn into evil baddies in clever designed levels. Eight years later, the Resistance series was introduced to the gaming world, and is well known for it's unique weapon design. Between the birth of these two popular series is, Insomniac's action platformer series, Ratchet & Clank. My first Ratchet & Clank game I played through and completed was Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction on the PlayStation 3. I instantly felt in love with it's combat system, visuals, challenging levels, sense of humor, and it's charming dynamic duo. I missed out of all the Ratchet & Clank games on the PlayStation 2, so I decided to do a good deed and play the entire HD collection.

 The HD collection includes titles from the original series such as: Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. All games are running in 60 frames per second at 1080p. In the first out of the three, the development team done a outstanding job establishing a well combat system with over thirty weapons to use to take down various enemies. In the beginning of the game, you start out with the OmniWrench 8000, a wrench that is use for both melee and solving small puzzles, and the Bomb Glove, a grenade thrower. As you advance through the game, you are introduce to multiple weapons and gadgets.

 After completing Ratchet & Clank and jumping straight into it's sequel, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, I immediately noticed the improvements Insomniac Games made from the first game. Everything from the user interface, controls, new weapons and gadgets made the experience even better. In this game, Ratchet has the ability to participate in mini games in order to earn extra bolts. These mini games are, hover bike races, arena battles, and spaceship battles. After defeating enemies, Ratchet gains experience which extends his health meter and also, levels up his weapons, ultimately becoming more stronger. The small things really made Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando my favorite among the three titles. I thought it was a smart design choice to pause the game while the player choose weapons in the quick select menu. This design choice was found only in the second game.

 The third and final game in the collection is, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. The great combat, challenging levels, Clank's segments, and humor are all found in Up Your Arsenal. What differentiates the third game from the others is, players can play as Captain Qwark in 2D side-scrolling levels which reveals the history between Captain Qwark and Dr. Nefarious. In addition, the game offers a online mode as well. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal was the first out of both the original series and the Future series to have a online mode. Overall, the Ratchet & Clank HD Collection is a great collection to own in your PlayStation 3 video game library. I'm truly impress that these games still holds up today, and I highly recommend it.

Eddie Alvarez enters the UFC with a bang! (MMA Post)

Eddie Alvarez, the former Bellator Lightweight Champion, who held the title twice during his time with the company, is more than ready to compete in the UFC's talent lightweight division. Alvarez has impressed the MMA world with his stoppages over great fighters: Tatsuya Kawajiri, Roger Huerta, Shinya Aoki, and Patricky Freire. The two bouts he had with Michael Chandler at Bellator 58 and 106 were some of the greatest MMA matches and rematches that I have ever watched. What makes Eddie Alvarez a stand out fighter is, obviously the wins he have over notable fighters, but the fact that he got rocked in almost all of his fights, and still managed to pull off the win with a stoppage. In almost all of his fights, he has either won by technical knockout, knockout, or submission.

Recently, Eddie Alvarez has made the leap from Bellator, where he spent most of his MMA career to the UFC. He signed with the UFC on August 19, 2014. The lightweight division he is entering in is, arguably, the most stacked division in the company. Elite stars such as: Benson Henderson, Bobby Green, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Rafael dos Anjos are all battling their way to the number one contender spot. On top of their division is, the current UFC Lightweight Champion, Anthony "Showtime" Pettis, who is ranked #7 in the UFC pound for pound rankings. Eddie Alvarez plans to make a statement in his UFC debut against #4 ranked lightweight contender, Donald Cerrone, who is currently on a four fight winning streak.

Eddie Alvarez's upcoming bout against Cerrone, which is the co-main event that takes place at UFC 178 on September 27, 2014 is, Alvarez's most important fight of his career. Eddie Alvarez has a tough opponent in front of him, and a win over Donald Cerrone will not only impress the world of MMA, but without an doubt, grant him a position in the UFC's top five lightweight rank. Let's not forget, along with Eddie Alvarez's great striking skills, he also has an amateur wrestling background as well. In addition, he trains out of the BlackZillians camp where notable fighters and former titleholders train (Rashad Evans, Anthony Johnson, Victor Belfort, and Tyrone Spong). Alvarez's upcoming co-main event bout is one that I'm totally excited for this year. It will be intriguing to see how he matches up against the MMA elites. Can't Wait!!!