Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Round With Joël (Bellator 180/Bellator NYC Reaction)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The excitement leading up to Bellator NYC/Bellator 180

This Saturday night will be a historic night in Bellator MMA's history. Bellator MMA is making their New York debut in "The World's Most Famous Arena" and Mecca of combat sports, Madison Square Garden. Bellator 180 will be their televised event while Bellator NYC will be on PPV. This card is completely stacked filled with three title fights and a double main event featuring mixed martial arts legends. 

North America debut of James Gallagher

Rising star and Irish native James Gallagher is currently undefeated in his MMA career with six wins. This featherweight contender impressively secured five of those wins via submission. Gallagher trains out of Straight Blast Gym - Ireland (SBGI) along with other UFC fighters such as Gunnar Nelson, Artem Lobov, and current UFC Lightweight Champion, Connor "Notorious" McGregor. Similar to McGregor, Gallagher is brash, talented, and like to pick the round in which he would defeat his opponents. With a win over his upcoming opponent, Chinzo Machida, who is the brother of former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, can put in line for a fight with another top prospect and undefeated competitor, A.J. McKee. 

Three Title Bouts

Davis vs. Bader
Not one, not two, but three title fights are scheduled for this historic event. The first title bout of the evening is a rematch among two former UFC top contenders, Ryan Bader and current Bellator Light Heavyweight (LHW) champion, Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis. These two first met back at UFC on Fox 14 in 2015. In their first encounter Ryan Bader won via split decision. Ryan Bader is making his Bellator debut this Saturday and has his mind set on capturing Bellator gold. Since signing with this organization, Phil Davis looked incredible with 1st round stoppages over Emanuel Newton and Francis Carmont, and dominant performances over Muhammed Lawal and Liam McGeary. 

Larkin vs. Lima
The second title fight is an exciting one and my pick for Fight of the Night (FOTN). It includes the debut of former Strikeforce and UFC challenger, Lorenz Larkin and current Bellator Welterweight Champion, Douglas Lima. Together both competitors have a total of 46 combined wins. Throughout his professional MMA career, Larkin has 11 victories via KO/TKO, while Lima has a total of 13. I am expecting nothing but fireworks when these two finally met in the Bellator cage.

Primus vs. Chandler
The third title contest will be in the Lightweight division between challenger Brent Primus and current Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael "Iron" Chandler. Impressively, Primus has established himself in his division with earning most of his wins via submission. He is currently undefeated and is on a 7-fight winning streak. Across the cage from him is one of Bellator's biggest star and two-time champion, Michael Chandler. Chandler has been competing in this organization since 2010 and has wins over top stars such as Patricky Freire, Eddie Alvarez, and Ben Henderson. He is on 4-fight winning streak and wants to continue his dominance in Bellator. 

Double Main Event

Mitrione vs. Emelianenko
Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko were originally scheduled to compete at Bellator's February 2017, event in San Jose, California. Due to kidney stones, Mitrione was forced out of this fight. This heavyweight collision has been rescheduled and will happen this Saturday night. Mitrinoe is never shy about displaying his stand up abilities in any of his MMA bouts. Mitrione looked fearless in his Bellator run so far with two KO/TKO wins over Carl Seumanutafa and Oli Thompson. His upcoming opponent is considered to be the G.O.A.T in the MMA world. He once was on a 28-fight winning streak, has numerous victories over top challengers during his run in Pride FC, and won over 20 wins via stoppage. I don't see this heavyweight contest going to a decision. 

Silva vs. Sonnen
This event will end with a grudge match between bitter rivals Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen. Silva is a relentless striker who is known for his ability to deliver devastating punches and knees from the clinch. Additionally, he has a total of 27 knockouts in his MMA career. Always entertaining both inside and out of the cage is NCAA Division I wrestler, Chael Sonnen. This upcoming fight will be Sonnen's second bout in Bellator, and he is looking at a chance to not only redeem himself from his previous loss to Tito Ortiz but also to defeat one of his biggest rivals. 

Bellator NYC/Bellator 180 Predictions:
Heather Hardy 
Neiman Gracie
James Gallagher
Phil Davis
Aaron Pico
Lorenz Larkin
Michael Chandler
Matt Mitrione
Chael Sonnen

Fight On!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Catching up with Deadpool (video game)

     Deadpool (video game) was released in North America for PS3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows in 2013, and then later released for PS4 and Xbox One in late 2015. It currently averages a 57.50% (PS4) via GameRankings. Despite its overall review, I still enjoyed this game a lot more than expected. 

     I like playing beat 'em up games in general. Modern ones like Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, No More Heroes, Batman: Arkham series, and Heavenly Sword among others have a special place in my heart. These types of video games are usually easy enough for players to jump in and play. With beat 'em ups, depending on the series, I usually don't care much about the story. Instead, I just want to dive in, destroy enemies, and watch the combos go up.

     I'm a causal comic book fan, and I watched Deadpool (movie) not too long ago, and I thought it was a great film. A few days later while I was at a gaming store, I noticed Deadpool (video game) was on sale for under $20, so I decided to buy it. Throughout the game, fighting against the enemies can be achieved without great effort, allowing the player to defeat a large group of attackers by simply mashing the buttons. The player can avoid enemies' sword and gun attacks by teleporting. With its close camera perspective, teleporting in tight spaces was frustrating because enemies would suddenly be off-camera. This caused confusion during my play through at times because I was unaware of enemies' locations. Luckily, one of Deadpool's greatest superpower is the ability to regenerate his health that helps him recover to full strength easily. Along with that, he is armed with multiple guns and katanas.

    The game play does become repetitive quickly. The game usually fills the screen with multiple enemies at once. I found it entertaining at first chaining together combos combine with both melee and shooting attacks, but eventually the longer I played, it became less exciting. The large part of that is due to the game's lack of stronger enemies and variety in attacks.

    Despite its shortcomings, the game is still enjoyable. There are moments where I laughed due to Deadpool's humor and his interactions with other Marvel characters. I would recommend this game if you're into silly jokes, comic book, senseless action, and don't mind repetition. The game can also be completed in about 10 hours. 

Game On!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The excitement leading up to UFC 212

This Saturday night, a championship unification bout between the interim UFC Featherweight Champion, Max Holloway, and the UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo will happen. Also, the co-main event of the evening will be a title contention in the women's strawweight division. 

Main Event

Before losing to the current Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor back in December 2015, Jose Aldo was undefeated for eight years and captured seventeen professional wins. In his last bout at UFC 200, Aldo looked incredible against a former titleholder, Frankie Edgar. His opponent, Hawaiian native, Max "Blessed" Holloway has earned impressive wins over top UFC fighters such as Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson, and Charles Oliveira among others. Holloway's last loss was also against McGregor back in 2013, but since then he has gathered nine straight victories. This Saturday, Holloway will be entering enemy's territory in Aldo's country of Brazil. 

Co-main Event 

The co-headliner is a possible title contention between two top strawweight fighters, #1 Cláudia Gadelha and #2 Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Despite their losses against current UFC Women's Strawweight Champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, both competitors have established themselves in this highly competitive division. Throughout her career, Brazilian mixed martial artist, Cláudia Gadelha, has secured 14 wins out of 16 MMA bouts. Before losing to Jedrzejczyk in November 2016, Polish mixed martial artist, Karolina Kowalkiewicz went 10-0 since competing professionally 
in 2012. 

UFC Debut 

Former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Bantamweight Champion, Marlon Moraes will be making his UFC debut in his country which will air on the FS1 prelims. I had the honor to watch Moraes live at WSOF NYC in December 2016 where he defended his title against Josenaldo Silva. He remained undefeated during his four-year run in the organization, captured the inaugural WSOF Bantamweight Championship, and successfully defended it five times. 

Main Card Predictions:

Max Holloway
Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Nate Marquardt
Paulo Borrachinha
Erick Silva

Fight On!