Fight Theater: Ovince Saint Preux vs. Patrick Cummins

Ovince Saint Preux improved his record in the UFC to 6-1 after his victory over Patrick Cummins at Fight Night Newark in 2015. Saint Preux faces Yushin Okami in the main event of Fight Night Japan on FXX on Friday, September 22. He was origianlly supposed to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua before the former Pride Grand Prix winner withdrew from the fight due to injury.

Ovince Saint Preux (born April 8, 1983) is an American professional mixed martial artist who competes in the light heavyweight division for the UFC. A professional competitor since 2008, Saint Preux has also formerly competed for Strikeforce, the XFC, and Shark Fights. Saint Preux is currently #7 in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings.

Saint Preux was tabbed as a short notice injury replacement to face Jon Jones for the interim light-heavyweight title on April 23, 2016 at UFC 197 filling in for Daniel Cormier.Saint Preux lost via unanimous decision.Saint Preux’s coach revealed that Saint Preux’s arm was broken in the second round.

Saint Preux faced Jimi Manuwa on October 8, 2016 at UFC 204.He lost the fight via knockout in the second round

Saint Preux was expected to face Jan Błachowicz on February 4, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 104. However, Błachowicz was pulled from the fight in mid-January and replaced by promotional newcomer Volkan Oezdemir.Saint Preux lost the fight via split decision. 14 of 16 MMA media outlets scored the fight for Saint Preux.

Saint Preux faced Marcos Rogério de Lima on April 22, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 108. He defeated de Lima due to a Von Flue choke submission in the second round. With this win, Saint Preux is the only fighter to successfully win via Von Flue choke twice in the UFC

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Patrick Durkin Cummins (born November 16, 1980) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Light Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 2010, he has formerly competed for Strikeforce. As of August 3, 2015, Cummins is #12 in official UFC Light Heavyweight rankings.

Cummins faced Jan Błachowicz on April 8, 2017 at UFC 210.[31] He won the bout by majority decision.

A rescheduled bout with Gian Villante eventually took place on July 22, 2017 at UFC on Fox 25.[33] Cummins won the back-and-forth fight via split decision.

Cummins is expected to face Corey Anderson on November 4, 2017 at UFC 217

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Alman on NXT – September 20

This week’s episode of NXT was pretty packed with matches and good segments.

The opening contest Johnny Gargano took on Tino Sabatelli, one week after he defeated Riddick Moss. It was a good back and forth match – Sabatelli and Moss look great and I like them as a team. During this match Sabatelli was a cocky heel who would have Gargano on the ropes, but let him catch his wind.

Sabatelli had Gargano down, but Johnny Wrestling was about to rebound and lock the Gargano escape for the win. Gargano is more than ready for the main roster, but I’m glad to see NXT is having two inexperienced guys like Moss and Sabatelli work with someone with Gargano’s experience.

A couple of announcements – Roderick Strong will challenge NXT Champion Drew McIntyre for the title in two weeks. They also showed a video package of Asuka vacating the NXT women’s championship.

I hadn’t addressed this before, but I really enjoyed watching Asuka come into her own as a performer. I’m sad to see her leave, but I know she’ll kill it on Raw or Smackdown Live. During the night you also had Sonya Deville and Dakota Kai say they want to be the next women’s champion.

The second match was Lacey Evans vs. Biana BelAir. Both women impressed me in the Mae Young Classic and both wrestlers impressed me tonight. BelAir showcased her strength and pace while Evans displayed some good moves in the ring. She has a bit of sizzle to her steak.

Evans almost had the match won until BelAir used her hair as a whip, setting up a reverse powerbomb for the pin. What’s great about BelAir is she can use her hair as a weapon and the referee can’t do anything about it because it’s not a foreign object.

Aleister Black came out to cut his first promo. In what would be his toughest test, he delivered a good promo about traveling the world and spending 15 years to get to NXT, collecting scars along the way. Then came down the Velveteen Dream, who called out Black, saying his scars were false and he was afraid. Black knocked the microphone out of his hand and went to his seating position while the Dream joined him for a moment, then left the ring.

This segment could have gone bad really quick. A couple of people tried to start a “What” chant, which could have killed Dream’s steam. Yet it didn’t go anywhere. This set up a program between NXT’s more unique wrestlers. It kind of reminds me of The Undertaker and Goldust in 1996.

Lars Sullivan took on No Way Jose in a match. Jose managed to get in some offense, but Sullivan dominated most of the match. He delivered a flying headbutt and slam for the win. I like Sullivan’s presentation. He’s a scary looking man with scary move and power moves that devastate his opponents.

In the main event you had Tyler Bate and Trent Seven vs. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’ Reilly accompanied by Adam Come (bay-bay).

Great match with both teams showcasing great movies. I loved Seven faking the knife edge chop to hit a DDT on Fish. After he received the hot tag, Bate showed some athleticism and strength.

The match ended after O’Reilly had Seven in a sleeper, then Fish hit a kick then covered Seven for the pin. Fans who really hadn’t seen ReDragon or Moustache Mountain perform got a good sample in this match.

NXT champion McIntyre ran out to chase Cole and reDragon away. As The Trio went up the ramp, they were met by NXT Tag Team champions Sanity – who solidified their face turn –
to end the show.

All in all it was a good episode of NXT. Plenty of action and a couple of good segments. The main event match was great and I enjoyed seeing Black cut his first promo and enter a feud with the Velveteen Dream.

Linebacker Ben Boulware would be great for wrestling

In an article from the Greenville Online, Manie Robinson wrote that former Clemson star linebacker Ben Boulware would be a perfect fit in professional wrestling. After going undrafted, Boulware was cut from the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 2 during the final round of roster cuts. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers three days later, but was subsequently cut this past Tuesday.

Here’s a sample of what Robinson wrote.

“Sure, it is more spectacle than sport, but it provides an avenue for Boulware to perform in his prowess. World Wrestling Entertainment may script the outcomes of its championship events, but the strength and athleticism exhibited cannot be fabricated.

Boulware could still display the strength that helped him shed blocks and wrangle running backs. He could still get paid to do something he apparently loves — running into people at full speed. And the antics he pulled under piles would draw praise instead of penalty flags.

Boulware already has an audition tape. He turned a Saturday afternoon romp into Monday Night Raw last season when he suplexed a Syracuse receiver mercilessly to the Death Valley turf.”

Boulware is equipped for stardom. His strutting sack dances, sharp tongue and unremitting tenacity would make him the perfect heel. His beard alone has more charisma than most football players. He would be brilliant with a microphone in his hand and a belt over his shoulder.

Boulware is a concoction of grit, vigor and abandon, doused in gasoline and harnessed in heart. There is no room in him for an ounce of quit. He will chase the NFL doggedly. There is nothing any general manager could say to stop him.

There are a plethora of examples to use when comparing football players who chose the path of professional wrestling. Former world champions like The Rock, Vader, Ron Simmons, John Cena, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt are just some stars who have transitioned from the gridiron to the squared circle.

I say let’s give this kid a chance to see what’s made of. Sure, not everyone is made to be a professional wrestler, but there have been plenty of performers who have surprised fans and surpassed their expectations, and Boulware could be the next big thing.

Pro Wrestling when fans attack

Jason Saint from S****loads of Wrestling posted this video of WCW referee Mark Curtis handling a fan who decided to interrupt a match between Dean Malenko and Psicosis.

When being an overzealous fan goes wrong, it usually means you get ejected from the arena after getting your ass kicked by a wrestler thirteen times your size and strength. In this instance… it may have been a bit more embarrassing. – Jason Saint

Embarrassing would be right and there are countless videos of fans getting involved during or after a match. It’s usually referees or security that takes them out, but fans have also seen wrestlers take the boots to a fan. One of my favorite memories was seeing Kevin Nash and Scott Hall take the boots to a drunk fan who decided to get in on the action.

I know, I probably shouldn’t be amused to see a fan, who isn’t a trained wrestler, get kicked by two professionals, but I’m also not someone who applauds stupidity when it’s masked as what people might think as courage. What really irks me is when fans try to justify the terrible behavior of others, especially if it’s directed as a wrestler they don’t like. I’m sorry, but why was it a good reason for someone to throw Money in the Bank briefcase at Roman Reigns.

Fans hitting the ring or messing with the heel wrestlers was common back in the day. It was a part of heels getting heat. In fact, wrestlers were encouraged to fight fans who got in their face or called them out in order to protect the business.

Still, I don’t think it’s a good idea for someone who isn’t trained to fight to get up in a wrestler’s face. On the other hand, it’s dangerous for a wrestler because you don’t know if someone is carrying a knife or a gun.

If you pay a ticket to attend a live WWE event, you are allowed to voice your opinion, cheer, boo – whatever you want to say. But that ticket doesn’t give you the right – or privilege – to attack a wrestler for whatever reason.

NY Times’ Bobby Heenan’s story

New York Times’ NEIL GENZLINGER penned a good story on former wrestling manager and broadcaster Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Here’s a snippet.

Bobby Heenan, a professional wrestler who found greater success managing other wrestlers and working as a quick-witted commentator, becoming one of the most colorful figures in a flamboyant business, died on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. He was 72.

His death was announced on the website of WWE, the organization formerly known as World Wrestling Entertainment. Mr. Heenan, universally known by his nickname, the Brain, had been treated for throat cancer and other health problems for years.

Mr. Heenan managed a starry roster of wrestlers, including Andre the Giant, Nick Bockwinkel, the Brain Busters, King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd. And he was one of wrestling’s most visible characters, whether inviting the crowd at ringside to shower him with derision or bantering on television about a forthcoming match.

The wrestler Ric Flair, on Twitter on Sunday, called him “the greatest manager, one of the greatest announcers, and one of the best in-ring performers in the history of the business.”
Raymond Louis Heenan was born on Nov. 1, 1944, in Chicago. His father, Robert, was a railroad worker. His mother, the former Mildred Bernadette Kambrcz, was a hotel manager.

He saw his first match as a boy, and the attraction was immediate. “I was 10 years old, and I went to the Marigold Arena in Chicago, and I was hooked, just like that,” Mr. Heenan said at his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

He began hanging out at wrestling events in Chicago as a teenager, carrying wrestlers’ jackets, selling soda and doing other odd jobs; the wrestler Dick the Bruiser (Richard Afflis) was a particular mentor.

When someone did not show up one day, the young Mr. Heenan donned a mask and took part in a match. By the mid-1960s he was in the ring as a wrestler himself. He often employed a shtick that involved a lot of talk but an aversion to actual physical contact.

Mr. Heenan began managing other wrestlers early in his career, and in the bluster-filled world of professional wrestling, that did not mean merely scheduling their matches; it meant brashly talking them up and taunting their opponents.

His wrestlers were generally “heels” — the villains in the matches — and so he came in for a fair amount of taunting himself. Detractors called him Weasel and were quick to chant that name when he turned up at ringside or in the announcers’ booth.

To read the rest of the story, follow the link.

Wilnis faces Belgaroui in title shot eliminator at GLORY 45

From Glory

When Jason “Psycho” Wilnis (30-7-1, 8 KO’s) stopped Simon Marcus at GLORY 33 NEW JERSEY last year and won the middleweight title, he did so in such ferocious fashion that it seemed he would be holding the belt for the forseeable future.

A successful defense against Israel Adesanya followed, but then Marcus proved his own championship caliber by taking the belt back from Wilnis at GLORY 40 COPENHAGEN earlier this year, albeit by split-decision.

On the same card, Amsterdam’s Yousri Belgaroui (22-3, 10 KO’s) beat Agron Preteni and Alex Pereira in back-to-back fights to win the Middleweight Contender Tournament and place his name into the title mix.

Now, Wilnis and Belgaroui are set to clash at GLORY 45 HOLLAND in a title shot eliminator bout. The winner will walk away with the right to challenge for the middleweight belt in his next fight.

The two are on similar form: the loss to Marcus snapped a four-fight win streak for Wilnis, while Belgaroui is 3-1 in his last four and 2-0 in his last two. They are also next to each other in the rankings, with Wilnis at #1 and Belgaroui at #2.

A derby element also underpins the fight, with Belgaroui coming from Amsterdam and Wilnis fighting out of the nearby city of Utrecht. Fighters from outside Amsterdam always take a special pleasure in beating fighters from the Netherlands’ largest city.

Wilnis fights out of the Collosseum Gym, home to his brother Jahfar Wilnis and legendary veteran Peter Aerts as well as rising stars like Tyjani Beztati, who will also fight at GLORY 45.

Belgaroui fights out of Mike’s Gym, where his team mates include current welterweight champion Murthel Groenhart and former featherweight champion Serhiy Adamchuk, who challenges Robin van Roosmalen for the belt in the GLORY 45 main event.

The winner of the fight will have to wait until the next event to find out who he will be facing: Simon Marcus is defending the belt against Alex Pereira at GLORY 46 CHINA on October 14.

Glory Sports International, the parent company of GLORY World Series, is dedicated to placing world championship level kickboxing, or martial arts stand-up fighting, on a major platform before a global audience, and to producing match-ups between the top fighters on the planet.

GLORY World Series is where martial arts athletes, highly skilled in a wide array of combat disciplines, including Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, Karate, Kung-Fu, Tae Kwon Do and Capoeira, converge under one set of rules to determine who reigns supreme in the ring.

Natalya defends Smackdown Women’s title against Charlotte Flair

From WWE.com

It will be a battle pitting The Queen against The Queen of Harts, the Figure-Eight Leglock against the Sharpshooter, the unstoppable against the truly insurmountable. At WWE Hell in a Cell on Sunday, Oct. 8, Charlette Flair will attempt to unseat SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya in the latest chapter of their storied rivalry.

Charlotte earned the opportunity to face the third-generation titleholder by winning a Fatal 4-Way against fellow former Women’s Champions Becky Lynch and Naomi as well as the intimidating Tamina on the Sept. 19 edition of SmackDown LIVE, setting the stage for a highly-anticipated struggle between two Superstars who have championships embedded in their DNA.

SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya is, of course, a graduate of the infamous Hart Family Dungeon. Moreover, she has proven to be a ruthless competitor, and there is no doubt she will do anything it takes to stay on top of the SmackDown LIVE mountain after her moment of triumph at SummerSlam, where she captured her first title in seven years.

As the daughter of two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, Charlotte has taken the WWE by storm from the moment she set foot in the squared circle, using her incredible athleticism to become the first-ever Raw Women’s Champion and making history by competing in and winning the first-ever Hell in a Cell Match between two female Superstars.

Who will walk away with the gold when Natalya and Charlotte square off at WWE Hell in a Cell on Sunday, Oct. 8, at 8 ET/5 PT, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network?

Natlaya and Charlotte have squared off numerous times in the past and all of their matches have been great – from their Takeover bout in NXT to their series of matches leading up to Wrestlemania 32. One thing to note is Natalya has never beaten Charlotte clean in a one-on-one contest for a championship, so it will be interesting to see if the Queen of Harts can finally best the Queen herself.

Breaking away from kayfabe, I’m not surprised to see Charlotte getting a shot for the title with her and her father’s book “Second Nature” hitting shelves. Nothing wrong with that and I’m sure Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair will be a great match.