Oh, you thought this past MMA weekend was going to be slow? Well, how wrong you were. Between another tremendous Invicta FC show and the pair of blockbuster rematches that now dot the UFC's upcoming schedule, there was no shortage of discussion to be had over the past few days.
If you blinked you might have missed it, but that's why we're here to catch you up, plus offload some goodies along the way. So, folks, let's get to it.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Weidman vs. Silva II. It's on. Former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva is scheduled to rematch Chris Weidman on December 28, 2013 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, NV, in the main event of UFC 168. Said Silva: "I back. Trust me, I back."
Cyborg seizes title. Cris "Cyborg" Justino brutally defeated Marloes Coenen via fourth-round TKO to claim the inaugural Invicta FC featherweight strap in the main event of Invicta FC 6. Click here for complete results and gifs of the action.
Henderson vs. Pettis II. Let's just call it turning lemons into the world's most delicious lemonade. T.J. Grant withdrew from his UFC 164 title challenge against lightweight champ Benson Henderson due to a concussion, leading former WEC champ Anthony Pettis, the last man to defeat Henderson, to eagerly swoop in on the vacant spot. Of course, Grant subsequently fended off conspiracy theorists who doubted his injury.
Soares on Silva. Ed Soares, manager of 38-year-old former champ Anderson Silva, said to AXS TV's Inside MMA: "Anderson Silva will fight out the nine fights on his contract. But his next fight will be against Chris Weidman."
UFC 162 drug tests. According to NSAC officials, all 22 fighters who competed at UFC 162 passed their post-fight drug tests, including middleweight headliners Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva.
Bisping vs. Munoz. Middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Mark Munoz verbally agreed to fight in the main event of the UFC's Oct. 26 show in Manchester, England.
Damn, that Swanson-Siver photo is gnarly. Esther Lin, ladies and gentlemen. The best in the business.
So in case you didn't know, Cris Cyborg is a bad, bad woman. Quick poll: Her versus Rousey, who wins?
This guy is willing to pay you $2 to try and hit him. Could you do it?
B.J. Penn wasted at 7 a.m. in Las Vegas? Yep.
Game of Thrones + Anderson Silva = Chills.
Huge props to @MightyKatrani for the find.
An ode to the forgotten doors of The Ultimate Fighter. May you all rest in peace.
Oh yes, this is why I love the internet.
LET'S RUN IT BACK
Just announced!! I will be defending my belt for the 1st time against Anderson in a Rematch on Dec 28th in Vegas... http://t.co/0xALrBuPu3— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) July 14, 2013
Greatest pic.twitter.com/bFAVef4gBJ— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) July 12, 2013
"Você ganha força, coragem e confiança através de cada experiência em que você realmente para e encara os erros e medos de frente."— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) July 14, 2013
July 12, 2013
I am so stoked to be fighting on the same card as the @ChrisWeidmanUFC vs @SpiderAnderson rematch! #UFC168 pic.twitter.com/rsNz9eoD0l— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) July 15, 2013
A BOLD CLAIM
@EdSoares: "@SpiderAnderson will fight out the 9 fights on his contract. But his next fight will be against Chris Weidman."— Inside MMA (@InsideMMAaxstv) July 13, 2013
Is this real life????— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) July 13, 2013
Thanks everyone for your concerns. I am healing from a concussion I suffered in BJJ of all things. I hope to be back training very soon— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) July 13, 2013
U can't stop destiny !!! Me and Henderson for the belt in my home town!!!!— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) July 13, 2013
Sorry all you conspiracy theorists. @danawhite / @ufc did not and could not pay me any amount of money to step aside.— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) July 13, 2013
. @ufc @danawhite @showtimepettis #ufc164 :-D— Benson Henderson (@BensonHenderson) July 13, 2013
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
@arielhelwani Belfort sounds good to me! NOT in Brazil!#TRT— Costas Philippou (@Philippou185UFC) July 13, 2013
CAN'T GET WHAT YOU DON'T ASK FOR
Bisping vs Munoz main event at M.E.N i would love Pearson vs Gomi co-main what u think?— Ross Pearson (@RossTheRealDeal) July 13, 2013
Running the stadium with @KelvinGastelum we rolllliiiinn pic.twitter.com/0BE2252pQ8— uriah hall (@UriahHallMMA) July 14, 2013
PERKS OF BEING PRESIDENT
Stumbled into a private car park in Zuffa earlier today and came across Dana's Ferrari Spider convertible!! #HOLYSHIT pic.twitter.com/wCRhiic5qq— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 13, 2013
NOT YET, WEIDMAN
How's that man considered a super fight!? Just stop— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 13, 2013
Announced over the weekend (Friday, July 12, 2013 - Sunday, July 14, 2013):
- UFC 163: Josh Koscheck (17-7) injured, bout against Demian Maia (18-4) cancelled
- UFC 163: Thales Leites (20-4) vs. Tom Watson (16-5) promoted to main card
- UFC 163: Ian McCall (11-4-1) vs. Iliarde Santos (27-7-1) promoted to FX preliminary card
- UFC 164: T.J. Grant (21-5) out with concussion, Anthony Pettis (16-2) in against Benson Henderson (19-2)
- UFC 166: Tony Ferguson (13-3) vs. Mike Rio (9-2)
- UFC 168: Chris Weidman (10-0) vs. Anderson Silva (33-5) booked for main event
- UFC 168: Ronda Rousey (7-0) vs. Miesha Tate (13-4) rescheduled for co-main event
- UFC on FS1 #3: Johnny Bedford (19-10) vs. Hugo Viana (7-1)
- UFC on FS1 #3: Rafael Natal (16-4-1) vs. Tor Troeng (16-4-1)
- UFC on FS1 #3: Marcos Vinicius (20-4-1) vs. Ali Bagautinov (10-2)
- UFC on FS1 #3: Godofredo Pepey (9-2) vs. Sam Sicilia (11-3)
- UFC on FS1 #3: Keith Wisniewski (28-14-1) vs. Marcelo Guimares (8-1-1)
- UFC: Michael Bisping (24-5) vs. Mark Munoz (13-3) booked for main event on Oct. 26 in Manchester, England
- Bellator 97: Rob Emerson (12-10, 1 NC) out with injury, Jared Downing (9-2) in against Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (17-2)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees MarshalDCarper help out with: Breaking down Weidman's kneebar attempt
Before Chris Weidman sank the Anderson Silva showboat, he attempted a kneebar to heel hook combination. The particular entry that Weidman used is not terribly common in MMA, and I've seen a few fans commenting about how it seemed incredibly risky to spin into a leg lock against a jiu-jiteiro of Silva's caliber.
While the kneebar attempt was a bit of a risk on Weidman's part, the footage suggests that the kneebar was more of a reaction than a planned attack. In this situation, Weidman didn't set up the kneebar. He didn't bait Silva into it or cinch his way into position for the submission. Silva began to use a de la Riva hook to attack Weidman's hips to off-balance Weidman, motivating Weidman to find a way out of an increasingly dangerous technical corner (watch the full sequence here. Edit: Special thanks to Zombie Prophet for creating the GIF).
At the start of the exchange, Weidman is standing over Silva. In the above still, Silva is beginning to thread his right leg around Weidman's left leg. This is the beginnings of a de la Riva hook. In jiu-jitsu, a de la Riva guard is a powerful position for off-balancing your opponent that is primarily used for sweeps, but the position can also lead to submissions and back-takes.
The position derives much of its power by the way it compromises the strength and mobility of an opponent's lead leg, which in turn limits that opponent's hip mobility. When a de la Riva hook is set, the top person will have great difficulty rotating his knee outward, and stepping forward or backward is difficult because of the way the bottom fighter has threaded his leg. A tight de la Riva guard will exert a steady pressure, forcing the knee to collapse inward.
When Silva first starts to set his de la Riva hook note the space between Weidman's left foot and Silva's buttocks. Also note how Silva's foot is somewhat below Weidman's left thigh.
In this next still, Silva has closed the space between Weidman's foot and his buttocks, he has established wrist control with his left hand, and he has angled his hips slightly to his right, giving him the ability to shoot his right foot between Weidman's leg and to the front of his right thigh. In sport jiu-jitsu, this is the beginnings of a back take because the de la Riva hook is exerting immense pressure on Weidman's left leg, which his body naturally seeks to relieve by rotating the hips with the pressure rather than against. Because of the angle of the de la Riva hook, the hips want to turn away (circling to Weidman's right), which in turn exposes the back (here is a kneeling version of how this deep de la Riva hook creates an opening for the back take).
With Silva's de la Riva position growing stronger and stronger, Weidman needs to act to protect his base and his top position.
Weidman's first choice is to peel the hook loose, which would be tricky even if Silva wasn't controlling his right wrist, preventing Weidman from posturing up or reaching to fight the hook. Since he can't unthread the de la Riva hook, Weidman would rather attempt to counter than risk getting swept. For the sake of clarity, I feel I should emphasize this: Weidman's choise to attack with a kneebar was a signfiicant risk, but we do not know how compromised Weidman felt by the de la Riva hook.
So he steps backward with his right foot, turning Silva's deep de la Riva hook into a kneebar opportunity. This counter is not unheard of (Marcelo Garcia teaches it on one of his DVDs), but it can be difficult to finish consistently because of its dynamic nature. At the high levels, most of the successful submissions we see occur at close quarters, the result of inching and inching into better and better position until a submission is a wrist flick or hip pop away. The more space that a fighter must close to finish a submission, the greater the likelihood of failure. The attacker can make mistakes, and the defender has more time to protect himself.
This is a bit like hitting a half-court shot versus a lay-up.
In this kneebar entry, Weidman must turn his back and then transition from a standing position to a sitting position if he is to successfully tighten the kneebar. In the above still, you can see that Weidman lands more on Silva's face than on Silva's hips. By overshooting the leg, Weidman leaves a great deal of space between his hips and Silva's. Ideally, Weidman would have landed with his hips connected to Silva's. In this position, Weidman needs to close that gap and extend the leg.
In the ensuing scramble, Weidman succeeds in extending the leg, but he fails to close the space. As you can see in the above close-up of referee booty, most of Silva's thigh is exposed. With little control over Silva's hips, Weidman is unable to stop Silva from rotating to relieve the pressure of the kneebar. To be clear, Silva is in some danger here. We have certainly seen fights end in positions like this. It's just not ideal from a technical standpoint, and Silva knows enough about the ground-game to exploit the cracks in Weidman's technique.
As Silva rotates out of the kneebar, Weidman looks for a heel hook, a common next-step after an attempted kneebar. With his legs triangled around Silva's right leg, Weidman is pretty well attached to Silva. Weidman, however, again fails to control the hips. While a heel hook is primarily an attack on the knee, successfully finishing it often requires successfully controlling the "free" leg. If the other leg is free to move, it becomes a tool for attack grips and for changing positions (check out how a Sambo specialist addresses this challenge).
So even though Weidman is firmly attached to one leg, Silva still has a tool for escaping. Weidman should be looking to use his right foot to hook Silva's leg to slow and stifle his ability to rotate by limiting the mobility of Silva's hips.
But he doesn't, and Silva is able to rotate out of the heel hook pressure and pull his leg free.
The lesson to take from this is the importance of battling the hips. Weidman's initial kneebar attempt stemmed from Silva attacking his hips, and Silva's subsequent escapes were a result of his hips having the space and mobility to change angles to avoid submission pressure.
Did you like this article? Check out the Artechoke in a Can installments in our archives for more technique, and download the free e-book copy of our new book, Don't Wear Your Gi to the Bar: And Other Jiu-Jitsu Life Lessons.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.