MMA Observer
    1. Quinton Jackson Wants to Avenge Losses Against Mauricio Rua, Glover Teixeira 

      A “comeback tour” of sorts would make sense. Marketable fights that will motivate Jackson and at the same time act as a good measuring stick of his current form.

      I thought Rampage looked great against Maldonado, though it was a matchup made in heaven for him.

      I was surprised to see his cardio bounce back well in the third round, given how erratic training conditions leading up to the fight must have been.

    2. ‘Mighty Mouse’ Sets Unbreakable Record, Gets Arm Bar With a Second Left 

      Kevin Iole writing for Yahoo Sports:

      With 10 seconds left Saturday, [Demetrious Johnson] had Horiguchi in a crucifix. Johnson could have held him there and would have gone on to take a wide unanimous decision victory. That, though, wasn’t good enough for Johnson.

      That’s what amazes me most about Johnson’s finish – that he had one possible finish with around 10 seconds left, abandoned it and managed to find a new one, and get the tap, before the bell.

      Johnson is insanely fast and fluid physically, and unbelievably quick mentally. He fights in a clear-minded and technically flawless manner, and I get the impression his brain works twice as fast as his body does. Over time he shuts down, overwhelms, and demoralises his opponents. That for me is what he does better than anybody else. Outthinks his opponents.

      However… when fans leave the arena during his fight, or complain that he is boring, I don’t have a hard time understanding their point of view. As much as I was dazzled at several points during the fight, it was also by far the easiest fight of the event for me to keep up with Twitter during.

      There were several long stretches where I could see exactly what Mighty Mouse was setting out to do – smother and wear down Horiguchi with his wrestling –, knew there would be no fight-changing action for a couple of minutes, and could safely check my Twitter feed without feeling I was missing what was going on in the cage.

    1. UFC 186 Betting Odds 

      From BestFightOdds, the odds on offer for the main card…

      • Demetrious Johnson (-700 / 1.14) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (+700 / 8.0)
      • Michael Bisping (-135 / 1.74) vs. C.B. Dollaway (+144 / 2.44)
      • Quinton Jackson (-164 / 1.61) vs. Fabio Maldonado (+155 / 2.55)
      • John Makdessi (+102 / 2.02) vs. Shane Campbell (-105 / 1.95)
      • Thomas Almeida (-385 / 1.26) vs. Yves Jabouin (+348 / 4.48)

      A Dollaway & Jackson double sounds tempting to me, which would be offered at around 3.48 given the above odds.

      Click through for the prelims, more formats, and so on.

    2. UFC 186’s Demetrious Johnson: From Nothing to Something Special 

      E. Spencer Kyte writing for The Province about Mighty Mouse:

      Despite his unique journey to the top of the division and standing as one of the elite talents in the UFC, Johnson has thus far been unable to break through and become a star with the fickle fans of this sport.

      There have been myriad theories and potential explanations for his struggles to connect with fans put forth during his reign atop the flyweight ranks, with most focusing on his size and his perceived lack of charisma and personality.

      While the former is something he can’t do anything about, speaking with him during Thursday’s Media Day at the Pavillon Jacques-Cartier and watching him on the latest entries into the UFC Embedded series shows that he’s got personality for days – it’s just that he doesn’t delve into the world of trash talk.

      Good read, though Kyte tends to reduce the relative lack of fan interest in Mighty Mouse – given his status as champion and pound-for-pound great – as simply down to his unwillingness to trash talk opponents.

      I think there’s a bit more to it.

      Randy Couture did very little trash talking throughout his career, yet the personality and character he conveyed to the fans, along with his Captain America gimmick and ability to accomplish great things at an increasingly advanced age, made him an all-time fan favourite.

      Fedor was similar in that he did not trash talk his opponents, yet completely commanded the attention and interest of the fans.

      Mighty Mouse needs a way to convey his personality in public, so they can easily understand the strength of character that allowed him to get to the top and develop such a masterful skill-set.

      Oddly enough, one way this might happen would be to put him up against a trash-talker, where his – perhaps lack of – response to the trash talk can be appreciated as showing character and strength in silence.

      Sooner or later I think it’s inevitable Mighty Mouse will break through as a big draw, but it might take a few trash-talking contenders to help make this happen.

    3. UFC 186 Embedded: Episode 3 

      Featuring Mighty Mouse explaining the finer points of Mortal Kombat, Rampage slapping some fans, and Bisping salivating over the idea of drinking chocolate milk…

    1. Rampage on Anderson Silva’s Failed Drug Tests: “I Wished It Wasn’t True” 

      Adam Guillen Jr. writing for MMA Mania recaps Rampage’s comments at the UFC 186 media scrum regarding Silva failing his drug tests.

      Rampage on Silva testing positive:

      It’s just unfortunate. But you know, it’s one of those things. I think if fighters take steroids to fight, I don’t believe in it. Basketball players, baseball players, they are not contact sports. I don’t care nothing about those guys. Fighters and football players, you can hurt people if you take steroids. But I look up to Anderson Silva no matter what. The guy came off one of the worst injuries known to man and he’s older in age and stuff like that. So when I heard that, I wished that it wasn’t true.

    2. Michael Page vs. Rudy Bears, July 17 

      On the undercard of Bellator 140, which is headlined by a welterweight title fight between Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov.

      Michael Page is one of my favourite fighters at the moment. Probably the most exciting striker in the sport today. One to watch.

    3. Rampage Jackson Granted Catchweight for UFC 186 

      Ken Pishna writing for MMA Weekly:

      Needless to say, it was a stressful time for [Rampage, which he admitted in this media day scrum](Rampage, which he admitted in this media day scrum) with reporters in Montreal.

      Realizing what a stress it put on Rampage, UFC officials on Friday announced that his bout with Maldonado would be granted a 215-pound catchweight limit instead of the originally agreed upon light heavyweight limit of 205 pounds.

      Maldonado didn’t fair too well last time he stepped up in weight – to fight Miocic at heavyweight –, but 215-pounds sounds like it could be a more agreeable weight for his body type.

    4. ONE Championship 26 Results 

      MMA Junkie with the results from today’s ONE Championship event.

      Unusual and unfortunate ending to the main event (Ben Askren vs. Luis Santos).

    5. Justin Buchholz on Mighty Mouse’s Failure to Sell UFC 186 Tickets 

      Justin Buchholz, Team Alpha Male fighter and co-host of Stud Show Radio, on Demetrious Johnson’s failure to sell tickets for UFC 186 (via BJPENN.com).

      Buchholz on seeing Demetrious Johnson in the UFC 186 Embedded video:

      I could just see it in Johnson’s actions, I feel like he’s on edge and he’s not like the playful child he normally portrays, I feel like he’s on edge. I think it’s because he got news that he doesn’t sell a single ticket and half the arena had to get closed down.

      That’s pretty serious man – if I’m headlining a UFC card and they close half the arena a couple days before the fight goes, it’s just like ‘Dude, I’m going to fight in front of nobody?’ That would definitely affect me.

      I would try to say it wouldn’t, and you would want to say during fight week ‘Oh no, I’m just going in there to do my job.’, but that has to affect him because that’s his value as a fighter. Even with the UFC’s promotion, with all these other guys on the card, the responsibility of selling out that arena falls on the champion in the main event, and he didn’t live up to it.

      The flyweight division isn’t the easiest to sell, but I agree Mighty Mouse could do a much better job of promoting his fights. He is preternaturally skilled as a fighter, but there is a failure to translate this into the kind of pre-fight excitement that makes people buy his fights, whether in the form of ticket sales or pay-per-view buys.

    6. Mark Hunt Confident Ahead of Miocic Fight 

      Hunt:

      Of course I feel like I’m the best fighter in the world, and me fighting at this level proves it at my age.

      I hope we see Hunt, 41, fight for the title before he retires. Regardless of the outcome, a shot at UFC gold would mark the peak of his years-long resurgance perfectly.

    1. UFC 186 Fight Card: Fabio Maldonado vs Quinton Jackson Full Fight Preview 

      Andrew Richardson writing for MMA Mania breaks down Rampage vs Maldonado.

      Richardson:

      Bottom Line: This should be an entertaining slugfest between two men who are not going to contend for the title anytime soon.

      I think Rampage could surprise when it comes to how far he can climb the current light heavyweight rankings. Maldonado, not so much.

      Great to see this fight back on the card. I never thought for a moment it would go ahead, but I’m looking forward to it.

    2. Wing Chun and MMA: Controlling the Center 

      Jack Slack examines the practicality of principles from Wing Chun – the traditional martial art Bruce Lee’s master practised – applied in the context of modern combat sports such as MMA and boxing.

      Great, fascinating read as always from Slack.

    3. Joe Riggs’ Key to Success? Avoid Handguns and Copy Benson Henderson 

      Mike Bohn writing for MMA Junkie:

      The UFC 186 contest against Cote will mark the 57th professional bout of Riggs’ career. That’s a tremendous amount of experience for a 32-year-old fighter, but Riggs said he’s not done improving just yet.

      Hard to believe Riggs is only 32.

    4. American Kickboxing Academy Responds to Dana White’s Critical Remarks About Their Gym 

      Javier Mendez, head coach of AKA:

      The best way to prepare for a fight is to fight. Yeah, I’ve had some injuries. But when we fight, nobody says we’re not training right when they look at the way we fight. We’re going to keep doing it. We could get injured again, but you don’t come into training with those thoughts. I don’t go in thinking about getting injured. We go to work, beat each other up, just like a fight. We don’t go into a fight with those thoughts either.

      In the case of Cain Velasquez, my feeling is that his injuries have largely been caused by bad luck, in combination with a vulnerability to injury.

      Either way, the effect has essentially been to put the heavyweight division on ice for several years. It’s good that Dana White is looking for clear solutions to help reduce injuries.

    5. Russian “MMA” Fight Between Medieval Knights Wearing Swords, Shields, Armor 

      The latest from Russia’s batshit crazy MMA scene.

      The problem with this concept is there’s no way to go “all in,” with heavy swords and stabbing motions, without also making it deadly – so it loses a lot of its cool factor once you realise how limited the combat actually is.

      Nonetheless, it’s cool and unusual enough to entertain for a few minutes.

    1. Matt Brown vs. Nate Diaz Off 

      Matt Brown confirms he has been informed the fight is off, after Nate Diaz didn’t sign the contract.

      To be fair, Diaz’s complaint seems legitimate. Both fighters should always agree – at least verbally – to a fight before it is announced and promoted.

    2. Renan Barao vs. T.J. Dillashaw II, July 25 

      Hard to believe the original fight was almost a year ago.

      With a long fight camp ahead of both fighters, and having had plenty of time to prepare strategically, the rematch should answer all questions.

      Fingers crossed both fighters stay healthy this time.

    3. Weighing the Options of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic 

      Tom Taylor at Fightland looks at Cro Cop’s possible future opponents, following his unexpected victory over Gabriel Gonzaga on Saturday.

      Personally, I think that if Cro Cop does continue to fight in the UFC – and all indications are that he intends to – Arlovski would make for an excellent matchup.

      Having said that, this matchup is unlikely to be put together by UFC if Arlovski beats Travis Browne – which would lift him into the top five – come May.

    4. UFC Launches Online Petition for NY Legalisation; Free Month of Fight Pass for Signing 

      One free month’s fight pass for New Yorkers who sign up to the petition.

      To thank you for joining the fight to legalize MMA in New York, we are offering a one month free subscription to UFC FIGHT PASS. The goal is clear. The time is now. Welcome to the team!

      I’m pretty certain offering free prizes goes a long way towards invalidating a petition as a measure of political belief… but if you’re a New Yorker, you might as well sign up.

    5. UFC 1 Veteran Kevin Rosier Dead at Age 53 

      Sad news of the passing of one of the sport’s pioneers, who fought on the second televised UFC bout – winning his first fight before being defeated by Gerard Gordeau later in the tournament that night. Rosier died of an apparent heart attack.

      RIP.